Consider the timeless and romantic figure of the pistolero. Striking in no manner, other than his poverty, he appears at the edge of town leading the haggard old mule that bears his few meager possessions. Ragged pantaloons, a bloodstained, dirty shirt that hangs on his bony frame, and boots that leave nail marks in the hardpan. He has no rig for his gun, so he tucks it into the rope that serves as his belt.
His weapon is simple in design, but it’s accurate, oiled, and balanced. Some of the men in town speculate that the chambers of the large-bore revolver might be empty, based on the stranger’s disheveled, worn appearance—after all, how does a man live past his thirtieth year and have so little to show—but they aren’t making any serious bets on the number of rounds in his gun. Besides, there’s no law against living a life of destitution—or even being beaten down by life, love, and the elements. The pistolero swiftly fades from the consciousness of anyone who has even bothered to notice him in the first place. Continue reading “El Pistolero”