Long before the automobiles came into view, Nardo had carefully set down the tree he was carrying. He took out his faded kerchief to wipe sweat and grime off his face. Though he had been a recluse for years, he didn’t want to appear uncouth. By the time the cars emerged from among the trees and the morning mist, the somewhat neater Nardo had buttoned up his camiza chino. He waited by the horizontal tree which, not quite accidentally, happened to block the rest of the path.

Nardo presumed that the people in the automobiles would be looking for him. Nobody else stayed around these parts. No one else could cut this deep into the forests of Montalban. Nardo had cleared a way through the trees with his bare hands, and the path ended at his hut and little farm.

He knew that they had not simply lost their way. People in convoys usually had very specific destinations.

Continue reading