Ramón Delgado- The most feared name in all Mexico.
One summer’s night in 1866 while fleeing from the Mexican Army, Ramón Delgado, infamous hired gun, and murderer, clung to his black steed whose convulsing frame showed evidence of violent exertion. Ramón whipped and spurred his mount until white froth oozed from the animal’s mouth and nostrils. Appearing as shadow across the low ridge, Ramón and steed outran the echoes created by the beating hoofs upon the rocks.
There was a time, ten years earlier, when Ramón, a tall handsome dark brown eyed, square-jawed man with black raven hair, and full Manchu mustache, held the rank of captain in the Mexican army. One day, upon returning home, he found his wife and two sons murdered by the hands of well-known local bandits. Fredrico, neighbor and friend, witnessed the murders and informed the mournful Ramon. Ramón unleashed a ruthless revenge, sought out the bandits, killing them one by one. In doing so, Ramón became hunted by the very army he had served. Some would say he had right for revenge; others thought the killings made Ramón lose his mind.
In a short distance, below the ridge, a small town lay asleep, except for the cantina. The cantina lured Ramón to an abrupt stop. He dismounted, quickly scanned the area, and then went inside. Six caballeros sat playing poker as Juan Hernandez played flamenco while his beautiful wife Maria, clapping hands and stomping feet graced the small dance floor.
Carlos Alvarado, the short black bearded bar tender, gazed at Ramón in mortal terror. Carlos, as did everyone else in the cantina, knew right away, who entered.
Ramón stepped to the bar grinning wryly. “Whisky and leave the bottle,” he growled.
Carlos, shaking, reached for the whisky bottle behind him on the shelf, nearly dropping the shot glass as he turned and sat it on the bar. Slowly backing away from the bar, Carlos offered, his voice weak, “For you Senor Delgado. No charge.”
Ramon laughed, grabbed the bottle of whisky and shot glass, and then, approached the card game. When he got to the table, one of the caballeros stood and offered Ramón a chair.
“Take my chair Senor Delgado.” The man backed away, turned, and left the cantina hurriedly.
Ramon sat in the chair, took a shot of whisky each time he looked at each of the five remaining men, and then slammed his glass to the table. “Let’s play,” he yelled.
One hour later, an empty whisky bottle is all that remained on the table. The very lucky Ramón scooped all the winnings in his pockets and then waved his revolvers above his head. Laughing deliriously, he stumbled toward the table where the senorita still danced. He began shooting close to her feet until she stumbled and fell to the floor.
Ramon placed his revolvers in the holster, turned and walked back to the bar. “Another bottle for the road,” he demanded.
Carlos looked past Ramón and moved quickly to the end of the bar. The complete silence in the cantina compared to a tomb.
Ramón sensed piercing eyes fixed to the back of his neck.
“Who is this who wants death?” Ramón uttered as he turned to face Juan.
Ramón saw Juan staring at him with deep-set dark eyes, remaining steady and full of revenge. Ramón did not see the steady hands that drew the pistols and fired the bullets of death.
A life, short, poignant, and haunted, ended by a single bullet. Ramón’s life pulse lay mangled on the floor. His disorder of demons lay nameless in shrouded form. At least now, they could no longer haunt the shadows of his mind.
His soul lay helpless in obscurity without an escape route.
As Ramón’s lungs choked in silence, his new loneliness befriended darkness and his soul