Crossing fields, crossing highways, stepping over the thorns, walking between the rocky highlands, consumed by the ravenously thirsty dryness in his mouth--that is how the Revolutionary Delegate goes on his intended undertaking of persuading--under the avenging sun, it seemed, daringly hurling him with its fierce flames; but the Delegate does not stop; he does not want to waste a minute. From some shacks come out rotten mean dogs, to chase him, as hostile as the miserable dwellers of those shacks, laughing stupidly, ignoring the apostal, who brings them the good news.

The Delegate moves forward; he wants to get to that group of nice little houses close to the bottom of the high mountain, where he has been told there are some comrades. The heat of the sun is unbearable; hunger and thirst debilitate him as much as the tiring walk; but his lucid mind has the fresh idea as clear as the water from the mountain, beautiful as a flower, where there is no place for the threat of the tyrant. So is the idea: immune to oppression.

The Delegate walks, walks. The deserted fields oppress his heart. How many families could live in abundance if all this land would not be controlled by a few ambitious people! The Delegate follows his way; a snake rattles under the dusty bush; the crickets fill the noisy rumor of the hot ambient; a cow moos from afar.

Finally, the Delegate arrives at the village, where--he has been told--there are comrades. The dogs, alarmed, bark. From the doors of the small houses, indifferent faces lean out. There is a group of men and women under a porch. The apostal approaches; the men see him and contract their eyebrows; the women see him with distrust.

"Good afternoon, comrades," says the Delegate.

The group looks at each other. Nobody answers the greeting. The apostal does not give up, and again says:

"Comrades, the propagandist continues, the tyranny is swaying; strong men have taken arms to demolish it, and only we hope that all of us, without exception, help in any manner we can those who fight for freedom and justice."

The women yawn; the men scratch their heads; a hen crosses between the group, followed by a rooster.

"Friends"--continues the indefatigable propagandist of the good news--"liberty requires sacrifices; your life is hard; you have no satisfaction; the future of your children is uncertain. Why are you indifferent before the abnegation of the ones who have thrown themselves into the struggle on behalf of your happiness, to free you, so your little children would be happier than you? Help, help however you can, give part of your salaries to promote the Revolution, or bear to arms if you so prefer; but do something for the cause, at least propagate the ideals of the insurrection."

The Delegate pauses. An eagle passes, swaying in the clear sky, as if it could have been a symbol of the thought of that man who, being among human swine, would keep himself very high, very pure, very white.

Bugs, buzzing, in and out of the mouth of a sleeping old man. Men, visibly worried, were coming, one by one; the women had all left. Finally, the Delegate is left alone with the old man who is sleeping away his drunkenness and a dog that furiously bites the flies that suck his coat. Not even a penny had come out from those sordid pockets, not even glass of water had been offered to that answering man, who, casting a compassionate look to that egoistic and stupid den, started to walk toward another shack. When he passed in front of a tavern, he could see those miserable men he had spoken to, drinking huge glasses of wine, giving the bourgeoisie what they did not give to the Revolution, clinching the chains of their children, with their indifference and selfishness.

The news of the coming of the apostal had extended around the whole town, and, the alerted dwellers closed their doors when the Delegate would approach.

Meanwhile, a man, who appeared to be a worker, came heaving towards the police office.

"Sir," said the man to the police officer, "how much do you pay for handing over a revolutionary?"

"Twenty reales," said the officer.

The dealing was done; Judas had lowered the tariff. Moments later, the man, tied elbow to elbow, was pushed to jail. He fell, and by kicking him out, was lifted by the executioner, amongst the laughing, drunken slaves. Some kids were enjoying throwing handfuls of dirt into the eyes of the martyr, who was no other than the apostal, the one that had crossed fields, traveled highways, over hawthorn, pebbly land, dried, thirsty mouth devouring him, but with a lucid, clear mind, carrying with him the idea of regeneration for the human race, by way of comfort and freedom.

(From "Regeneración," number 19, dated January 7, 1911.)

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