Boner looks everywhere. He runs around in his night shirt with his boner bouncing shouting, “César, ambapo ni wewe? César, ambapo ni wewe?” But they are gone, long gone. Chui is scared — big time scared. If his pack doesn’t get to the intended contact he is a dead man, no excuses, dead, dead, dead. That’s the way the drug business works ― you fuck up, you’re dead. Maybe his one saving grace will be that he never hired Gustavo, but someone sure as hell had.
Boner runs by shouting, “César, ambapo ni wewe?”
I have to take charge and come up with a plan. These two yoyos will just run around the place doing their pollo poco routine.
I get them seated, make a cup of coffee for Chui and open beers for Boner and me. “Okay, let’s all agree that we want to rescue ― if that’s the right word ― Josefina and to retrieve ― I believe that’s the right word ― the backpack that was entrusted to Chui by the …
Boner interrupts me with, “kubisha mbali bullshit.”
“I agree with Boner,” Chui adds, as if he now understands Boner. “Let’s go after that pinché bastard, Gustavo.”
“I think it is safe to assume that we are unanimous in our definition of the objective of this rescue exercise. I hesitate to call it a ‘rescue exercise’ without knowing the particulars of their sudden departure, but I will assume that this will suffice as an operative expression until we learn further information. What we need to discuss, however, and come to an agreement on, is the detailed plan on how we are to achieve our mutually agreed upon objective. Let’s start with where Gustavo might have been …”
“Señor Bob, We were to meet Alfredo at the crossroads 14 kilometers northwest of here.”
“Would Gustavo deliver the two backpacks to Alfredo or would he have an alternate and possibly a more lucrative plan?”
“Why would he deliver the packs to Alfredo?” Chui interrupts again, “So he could screw me and earn a double fee? No, he would steal both packs and sell them to someone in the Sinaloa Cartel for mucho dinero. Yeah, that’s what he would do, that pendejo. He took Josefina because he needed someone to carry my pack and he’s had the hots for her ever since he saw her eyeing Boner’s verga grande.”
“How valuable is the cargo you were transporting? Was the value enough to warrant …”
Bang! Bang! Bang! Someone is knocking loudly on the back door. I pull the kitchen curtains aside and see Deputy Dip-Shit and another guy standing on my back porch.
“Boner, Deputy Dip-Shit is here. You and Chui sneak out the front door and go find something to fix up. I’ll tell them that Chui is here helping you do whatever you end up doing. Now get going.”
They exit the front door just as I open the back. “Deputy, it’s good to see you again after such a short time. I was just about to make some coffee. Come on in.”
Deputy Dip-Shit says pointing to his comrade, “This here’s Frank Gomez of the U.S. Border Patrol. He was headed out this way and I told him I’d tag along, seeing that you and I are such pals.”
“I’ve got instant or I could put a pot of Josefina’s finest on.”
“The instant will be fine. Say Bob, Frank here has a complaint he’d like to register with you.”
“We, ah, just learned that you — er — you’ve been harboring … harboring illegals, Frank begins. “You know that providing sustenance and shelter to known illegal immigrants is against the laws of the United States and punishable by imprisonment and/or a substantial fine.”
“How do you take your coffee? Here’s the sugar ― I’ll get some half and half from the fridge.”
“I don’t think you heard Frank. He’s here on official U.S. Government business,” Deputy Dip-Shit adds as if I wasn’t paying attention.
“Oh, I heard what Frank said alright. I was just trying to think of the last time I actually saw an illegal immigrant. Using Frank’s term ‘illegal immigrant’ seems inappropriate somehow. I would think we should simply use the term immigrant before a court of law determines the legality of such immigration. You see, in the United States we are innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, a more appropriate term might be alleged illegal immigrant. I think it is important to …”
Frank interrupts me with, “Cut the crap. We didn’t come here to debate U.S. law or terminology with you. We came to find out if you’ve been providing food and shelter to known illegal immigrants.”
“I’d like to explain something to you two officers of the law. We, and I include Josefina and Boner in my definition, have never done anything for anyone that was doing anything we deemed illegal. We have however, provided nourishment and comfort to travelers in need of our assistance, as I’m sure you and any other good, red-blooded American would. Our country was founded by and populated with immigrants both internal and external. In fact, the Westward movement …”
“Did I hear you just confess to harboring illegals?” Frank blurts out as his facial color darkens a hue or two.
“No, you did not hear me say that. What I said was that I sometimes provide neighborly assistance to travelers in need. I’m not one to judge a traveler’s status or the legality of his or her travels. When someone comes to my door, I don’t check their citizenship or verify their legal right to travel. I just invite them in and share with them a little bit of comfort …”
“Do you realize that you’re contributing to the destruction of the U.S. economy by aiding and assisting in illegal immigration?”
“First off, I’m not aiding and assisting in any act of immigration. If someone from a foreign country shows up at my house they have already immigrated. I’m not at the border nor am I running a border checkpoint here. You don’t need a passport to have dinner with us and second, these poor people are keeping our economy alive by doing all of the lower-tier, minimum wage tasks that Americans won’t do. Have you seen that movie A Day Without a Mexican? It was about a day in L.A. when …”
Frank interrupts me again. He is visibly agitated. “I’m not going to sit here and argue philosophy and government policy with you.”
“Good, then let’s talk about something else. How do you think the Dodgers will do this year now that they’ve strengthened their bullpen?”
That was it for Frank. He rises and storms out. Deputy Dip-Shit just sits there looking like he’s just farted. Finally he stands, says a hurried goodbye and follows Frank out the door.
I find Boner and Chui out moving rocks in the front of the house.
“What kind of fixin’ up is moving rocks from one place to another? It seems to me that if God put those rocks there he had some plan in mind. But one could assume that it was simply the randomness of nature that …”
Boner interrupts with, “Kata ya shit.”
“Come on in, we were in the middle of something when Deputy Dip-Shit interrupted us. I’ll get us another beer.”
Once we are seated around the table again, I say to Chui, “I had just asked you the value of the cargo you were carrying and you were about to reply.”
“Let’s see, we each had 30 kilos of pure coke, that’s 132 pounds to you metric-challenged gringos. And at roughly twenty-eight thousand dollars a kilo, that’s … let me see … that’s, ah … ah, one point six eight million dollars U.S. at the street price. You understand that the wholesale price will be much lower than that. Maybe Gustavo can sell the 60 kilos for one to two hundred grand.”
“Wow, you mean to tell me you brought $1,680,000 worth of drugs into my kitchen last night and we went to sleep with it just sitting here.”
“What do you think I am — a penny-ante smuggler? No señor, I’m the real deal. I am the most successful mula in all of the Juárez Cartel. I’ve lugged more dope across the border than …”
Finally, my chance to interrupt Chui. “Where would Gustavo establish contact with the — did you say the Sinaloa Cartel — isn’t that the cartel that you’ve been at war with. I don’t mean you specifically.”
“Si, he probably arranged to steal our dope long before we ever left Mexico. That hijo de la chingada madre! I’m telling you; you just can’t get good help anymore. If I’m right and I’m sure I am, he’s headed for Phoenix and his really big payday right now as we speak.”
“Then Phoenix it is. Boner, pack your …”
“Señor Bob, you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into,” says Chui “This drug war is for real. Those pinché cabróns in the Sinaloa Cartel will cut off your head and piss down your throat just for the fun of it. I suggest you think about this a bit before you go to war with Joaquín Guzmán, the most wanted man in Mexico and one of richest men in the world.”
“Fuck him and his billions. I’m going to rescue Josefina. Boner, get the car.”