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El Indio by Gregorio Lopez y Fuentes
a synopsis, with 11 illustrations by Diego Rivera



Chapter XV -- Revolution

Something very serious was happening among the gente de razon. Some of the Indians who had been working for the influential people in town brought news one day that a band of armed men had arrived suddenly, removed the authorities, and killed the military commander. They, the Indians, had therefore left, especially as the new people did not seem to need them for anything. One old man said that when he was very young, he had been fortunate enough to witness some of the struggles among the whites, since they also war among themselves just as Indians do....The only difference between Indians and whites is this, said the old man: that the whites make war more efficiently, by means of the amochitl, the lead used in firearms.

Chapter XVI -- The Plague

Smallpox has struck the rancheria. The cripple brings water to the sick and buries the dead. When he checks on the girl he once loved, he finds her and her newborn baby both dead. He shut himself in with her all afternoon, thinking and mourning, keeping the two bodies company. Having no one to help him, he made a grave next to the bed, rolled the bodies into it, and on top put the things dearest to the Indian woman: her marriage gourd, her bead necklaces, her quexquemetl, her girdle flecked with diamonds of yarn. Then he packed the earth down over them.

An official from the new government arrives. He looked like a guerrilla leader, with his important official air, his pistol at his belt, and riding a magnificent horse.While he frees the Indians from their obligations to work on the haciendas of the land owners, he enlists their aid in building schools and roads for the future.