The unpleasant exit of Quintana Roo's hapless Governor... immortalized by a photographer and promptly circulated in an anti-Constitutionalist publication... caused some of those other prisoners brought back with Garcilazo to be forgotten as, through the summer, the position of Venustiano Carranza improved. He adopted the most innocuous of Zapata's land reforms, winning over the southern moderates. North of the capital, the Constitutionalist army, under Obregon, inflicted defeat after defeat on the Villistas and the United States, inclined towards Villa through the first half of the year... though ever watchful of events over the Atlantic... began suggesting that a negotiated settlement would be preferable, with a broad hint that intervention would follow if such did not occur.

          Carranza had incorporated the territorial status of Quintana Roo into his Constitution, but the sublevados cared nothing for this, nor even learned of it until months later. As for Villa and Zapata, they were otherwise preoccupied, and all of those in Yucatan who desired the territory's return or some other outcome were either dead, or in fear of the wrathful Alvarado. The First Chief, like Diaz, invited investors to the territory but found only a very few foolish men, these had only to set foot in Santa Cruz or Payo Obispo to realize the enormity of the joke.

          Not one was Yucatecan. They had always known of the nature of Quintana Roo... and the value of official promises.

          The rains swept mercilessly across the Territory; Mexico's grasp on Santa Cruz del Bravo seemed to weaken with every new storm; the muddy road back to Peto swarmed with child traders, dealers in guns, cloth, illegal rum and prostitutes of the most desperate sort. Army deserters, men whom the worst chicle monterias would not have, nor even the bandit bands, sneaked through the monte, sometimes far from even a trail... and those who did not die of disease or snakebite or lead poison came to Peto, also.

          Colonel Plank mounted his horse and rode away to rejoin Alvarado and Reynoso went with him. Governorship of Quintana Roo passed to one Pedro Gasca, whose sole charge was to find some honorable way out of the territory. He sent massages to all of the sublevado chiefs, hoping for someone who would come forward and accept responsibility under the authority of Venustiano Carranza, but none would appear. And so, on July fourteenth... three days following the execution of the hapless Garcilazo... Gasca surrendered his capital to its only legitimate claimant, the monte. Down came the flag of Mexico for the last time and, when the officers leading this retreat passed out of sight, an unknown idler with a sense of humour ran a pair of women's undergarments up the flagpole. To the satisfaction of all but the mosquitoes, Santa Cruz del Bravo had been surrendered unconditionally.

          Pedro Gasca's term of office had been one week, an incumbency short even by the standards of the peninsula after Munoz Aristegui and before Alvarado.

          The sublevado jefes met and debated what should be done with Bravo's city. Any of them who dwelt there would gain advantage over the others by exploiting its road and its railway links and its reputation among the Mexicans. Santa Cruz was a single piece of gold among four bandits, a single woman among five brothers on a deserted island. The jefes could not agree with one another. "What should we do?" they asked of Miguel Chankik.

          His reply came quickly and was short, and to the point... "Destroy it!"