Saturday, October 26, 2013

Torn Man 1999

One of my best friends when we lived on the Zuni Reservation was Sam Wayaco*.  When I met him, Sam was about the age I am now--early sixties.  He owned a horse pasture and barn and I needed a place to keep my horses.  I ended up paying a a nominal fee to keep them stabled there for the eight years we lived in Zuni.  In appearance, he was more cowboy than Zuni, always wearing cowboy boots and hat, except when he worked at his day job, which was driving heavy machinery for the Village and then he wore a baseball cap.  Like me, he loved horses, and was a wonderful friend.

Sam had a son-in-law, named Carlos*, a Mexican National.  Carlos fancied himself a rancher, and would  offer to help Sam out when he needed it.  Sam kept on good terms with Carlos to keep peace in the family,  not liking Carlos much, but he was family; the husband of his daughter and the father of his grandchildren.  Near the end of our stay in Zuni  I had an argument with Carlos, and a few weeks later, while I was at the barn, working with the horses, bullets whinged by my head.  Carlos was shooting in the adjacent pasture, and had "accidentally" aimed some shots my way.  It shook me up, but I had a hard time thinking he deliberately shot at me.

A few years after we left Zuni,  I got the news that Sam had been outside his home in the Village, talking with an old friend, a non-Zuni Mormon man that Sam had known for years.  The man, Sheldon*, walked a thin line when it came to taking advantage of his friends, and had gotten Sam into trouble a few times; things like  borrowing Sam's stock trailer, transporting stolen cattle in it, and then getting caught.  As Sam stood talking to Sheldon, Carlos drove up in his truck, got out with a pistol in his hand and shot Sheldon in the chest several times.  Evidently, Carlos felt that Sheldon was taking advantage of him on a deal involving a horse.  Sheldon died, Carlos went to prison, and Sam went on with his life.

*All names are fictitious

1 comment:

  1. Man, Holly, you are on a roll with stories about near-misses! No wonder you make a lot of work with a death motif!

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