Creole Democracy by Rufino Blanco Fombona

1876 Words Oct 28th, 2010 8 Pages
Creole Democracy
Rufino Blanco Fombona

The hamlet of Camoruco stands at one of the gateways to the plains. The wagon road cuts the little settlement squarely and neatly in two, like the parting of a dandy’s hair. Stretched out upon the savanna, the village consists of two rows of houses which stand in a file along the edge of the road and seem to peer furtively upon the passerby. They look like a double row of sparrows upon two parallel telegraph wires. Close by flows the Guarico, an abundant stream that irrigates the pampas; in its sand slumbers the skatefish and on its banks, with half open jaws the lazy alligators take their noonday rest. It was election time; a governor of the Department was to be chosen. For certain political
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The government forces, however, would always wreak swift vengeance and in a few minutes the battlefield would be heaped with corpses of the insurgents. But the few who succeeded in reaching the soldiers alive would avenge their fallen comrades, for in a hand-to-hand struggle, a heavy gun is a hindrance rather than a help, and against the furious machete neither the bayonet nor anything else can avail. One must choose between death and fight. “What I don’t like about all this business,” declared one of the peons, “is that they don’t tell a fellow the truth. If we’re going to war, let’s go; but let ‘em not hide it from us.” All agreed that the complaint was justified. If they knew the truth they could at least bid farewell to their wives, to their children, their mothers. “They take us for hens.” “No, not for hens but for chattering magpies.” “That’s right. They’re not afraid that we’ll run into hiding like so many hens or women but that we’ll squel on them and we’ll betray the uprising and inform the commissary or the magistrate.” Then an old, experienced mulatto with grayish head and a forehead furrowed by a deep scar begin to quell the dissention. “That’s the way those things are done, boys. In ’92, when we started a revolt in El Totum under General Crespo…” And he plunged into his memories of army life. They all listened to him with pleasure, for the old plainsman, in his way and for his kind, was a true soldier. In the midst of the

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