For All Nails Pt. 138h: Anti-Climax
June 9, 1949
Angel Island, California
Sheriff Walker Bush's office
"...and so that's how we killed the tiburon." Bush pointed to the plaque on the
wall, the shark's tooth mounted in fresh rosewood. "Harpoons attached to
air-filled a barrels to bring him up, and then a bolt full of pólvora down the
gullet. We picked the colmillo out of the hull when he went up." He looked from
face to face; the room full of his staff; deputies and secretarias alike. "Now,
we've still got a job to do; we've still got terroristas to catch. But tonight,
I want you men and women to celebrate." Sheriff Walker Bush grinned. "We won!"
Bush jumped slightly, then blushed when the assembled group applauded, then
broke out into cheering. The next few minutes were handshakes and
congratulations, men who'd eyed him with suspicion for months pressed in to
shake his hand before filing out into the police station. There were a few
volunteers on the streets tonight; mostly foriegners or Anglos, but for most of
the police force, it was the kind of celebration one didn't usually see until
"So, Dan, Escobar and the other OP[FN1] boys are going to the Federal District.
Silva wants to make campeóns out of us, I suppose." He shrugged. "So, you'll be
running the show for the next few weeks, while we-"
"What happened, Walker?"
"We killed the shark, Dan. That's about all there is..."
"That's fucking chingo, Walker." said Ortega quietly. He closed the door, the
sounds of the party now muffled by the heavy wood. "What happened out there?"
Bush hesitated, bouncing up and down in his Jefferson leather boots, before he
spoke. "I don't know, Danny. Something's wrong." He sat down in his big chair,
the kind of heavy oak and leather that contables had used a generation before.
"Something's wrong with the barca del Escobar. I think it goes up further."
Bush explained his worries.
"So, I can't do anything on the island. If I can get to the Federal District, I
can do more digging, or at least turn this over to the MI boys...at worst,
they'll be gone from here."
"Madre de dios, Walker..." Ortega shook his head, then laughed slightly.
"You've got great acero bolas, I'll give you that much..." He punched the wall
with his good hand. "Cabrons, those fucking cabrons! I can't believe I drank
with him. "You're not leaving until mañana, Walker. I'm going to have to talk
to the UM people on the island, those who survived. Tell them to watch out. And
you know that's going to get out, going to expand...it'll all be desmadre,
unless you get what you're looking for. And soon."
"I know, I know..."
June 10, 1949
The ranch houses were almost invisible from the air, a fine contrast to the
copper mines of a few hundred miles back. At least one property of his father's
was down there, somewhere. Despite his worries about his traveling companions,
the roaring grumble of the P-58's engines had almost lulled Bush into total
relaxation before he felt a hand on his shoulder. His hand slapped his waist
reflexively, where his holster had been before it had gone in storage in the
two engine airmobile's hold.
"Excusa, senor!" The MEC was short, stocky, and Negro; Bush remembered her
boarding with two others at the airport in Colorado City. "May I join you?"
"Euh, si..." Bush moved over and the MEC, with the insignia of a corporal, took
the seat next to him. "If you could move through this airmobile, you must have
had a good motivo." The corporal nodded. "Your hombre back there sent me up."
she said, pointing to the rear of the plane. Bush felt his liver turn over. It
had been surprisingly easy to slip back into good fellowship with Captain
Escobar... "He said you were a very solo hombre, and that you needed someone to
Bush paused, thought fast, then smiled. "Well, I don't know about that, but
it's nice to meet you." He extended a hand. "Walker Bush, Sheriff of Prescott's
Point, back a few hundred miles that way." "Oh, the tiburon killer!" She smiled
and shook his hand. "Bueno day, I'm Corporal Barbara Horadar of...well, the
Federal District, now. I file ponecias for a living."
"Ah, well, the war runs on people like you." Bush shrugged. "I used to fly
airmobiles, before I was golped out. So you're from Chiapas, originally?" "Oh,
no!" Barbara laughed. "I'm not one of those algodón girls. My people are
norteamericanos, I'm afraid; from Southern Vandalia. My father came over after
Emancipación to run a school for Negros in Jefferson, he Mexicanized the family
Bush remembered stories he'd heard from friends of his older brothers, men who
remembered Emancipación and what had followed it, freeing those few slaves
owned by his businesses before Calles' legislation had passed and staying
inside when his neighbors formed mobs, and grabbed ropes. Jefferson had been a
good state, one of the best in Mexico. There had only been a few dozen
"A brave man." "He was." She smiled slightly. "It's no airmobile flying, I
Had ya goin' there, didn't I? Thoughts?
[FN1] Orilla patrulla: the Shore Patrol.
President Chester A. Arthur
"Do justice, though the heavens fall."