Thanks to my friend Chris Casey, yesterday I watched the 1949 Mexican Western, "Malquerida" (loosely translated as "Bad Girlfriend"). The entire dang movie is sitting there on YouTube (it's an hour and a half, that is just crazy. How does YouTube store all of this stuff?!I know, I know, the Cloud. Well, that is one BIG cloud!) Anyway, it's long on Telenova-soap-opera-style set pieces, but interspersed throughout are some dang cool horseback vaquero scenes. And lots of giant sombreros, and I do mean giant. Inspired by what I saw, I took a crack at a character from that world this morning.
All of this due diligence is to bone up on all things Mexicana for our reprise of the Mickey Free-Apache Kid story, which The Top Secret Writer and myself are banging into shape for the August issue of True West. Although a fictional account of the hunt for the Apache Kid, I think you'll recognize more than a few of the characters.
Mr. Fiero is known as "The Angel of Death." He is Doroteo Arrango's muscle in the highly mobile band of outlaws who infest Chihuahua. They are now expanding their brand of hostile takeover capitalism to the neighboring state of Sonora. It is Angel who presides over executions and excels at the summary dispatching of problematic situations. The son of a cotton broker who was murdered on the streets of El Paso when the boy was only nine, Angel has no patience or love for gringos. When he meets Horn, Young and Free, this is the exchange:
Fiero: "So you are the notorious Chingaderos."
Horn: "I believe they call us the Gringoderos."
Fiero: "Trust me, the Sonorans are just being polite. I am not."
"To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest."