THE INSURGENCE of CHAN SANTA CRUZ

 

BOOK TWO:  BOOK of the CAMPAÑA

 

CHAPTER TWENTY THREE

 

          The village of Chankik, four kilometers from Chan Santa Cruz, was presumed the birthplace of the sorcerer… the word may be variously translated as an affectionate term for a younger sister or, on the other hand, a small amount of blood…, but not even the oldest resident remembered Miguel Chankik as a young man or a boy, nor had their ancestors. The xaman... one of several curanderos of their village... had always frequented the edge of town, appearing for a few days, often disappearing for a few months or years as Juan de la Cruz directed. These old people crossed themselves at his mention.

          No power had his name against the Mexicans. The Federal forces captured the village with little opposition on the twenty third of April. Two sublevados were killed and three of the Mexicans wounded, besides which some prisoners also lost their lives. The villagers retreated towards Santa Cruz.

          Following the vanguard which had taken the village, the body of the Federal troops and the State Guardia settled in at Chankik, with the expectation of an assault upon the capital in two weeks' time, so as to be able to report victory back to Porfirio Diaz on the occasion of the fifth of May, the anniversary of Mexican liberation. Now commenced a short epoch of posting letters, shining boots and saddles, polishing buttons and swords and making sure that all weapons were in firing order for, although a great victory was assured, so also was great slaughter assumed and, this time, every soldier understood that the prisoners could not be expected to take the brunt of casualties. The campaign was making ready for that demanding mistress whom Silvestro Kaak called doña del Muerte and her lethal consort as if primping for a grand ball. Holes in trousers, long ignored, were sewn up, dirty shirts carefully washed and folded and a certain civility even entered into the last days of the campaign. Cheating at card tables dropped away, children usually kicked aside or cuffed at the slightest provocation were tenderly held and given sweets. Padre Juliano was kept up from dawn until the late hours of night, hearing the confessions of the company.

          Jose Macias declined the priest’s invitation.

 

RETURN to HOMEPAGE – “THE INSURGENCE of CHAN SANTA CRUZ”

 

RETURN to GENERISIS HOMEPAGE