The Mesa Trail

The Mesa Trail

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There was in Domingo a man named Baca. Domingo is a tiny village of adobes nestling along the curve of Santa Fé creek under the gray sharpness of Bajada hill; there is also an Indian pueblo of the same name.

In every ancient native settlement there is at least one man named Baca, which signifies “cow” and may be spelled, in the old fashion, either Baca or Vaca. If these folk came all of one stock, they have increased and multiplied exceedingly.

Under the big cottonwood tree that grew in front of the Baca home sat smoking Joe Gilbert and his partner Lewis. Up to them, and halting abruptly before the house, crept a dust-white flivver in which sat two people: one a woman, great of girth and frame, the other a man, gaunt and haggard, whose black eyes blazed like twin stars of desolation.

The woman alighted and faced the two smokers. They rose and doffed their hats.

“Gents, know where I can find Alf Lewis and Joe Gilbert?” she inquired, bluntly.

“That’s us, ma’am.”

“Thought so. My name’s Mehitabel Crump, with Mrs. for a handle. I’m goin’ to open up an ore outcrop. This here is Thady Shea, my partner. Want work, or not?”

“I’ve heard of you, ma’am,” said Gilbert.

“So’ve I!” exclaimed Lewis. “You bet we want work! Only, ma’am, we’d ought to tell ye square that they’s apt to be warrants out for us.”

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