The Municipal Jail in Mérida
This was the old municipal jail downtown, a very loose jail, nothing at all like the new one. You could keep your belt, and your shoelaces if you had shoes, and your necktie too. You were free to hang yourself. Wives and mothers and sweethearts were there with bowls of pozole, a Mexican version of grits, for their men. It was like a busy bus station.
When I left Eli he was writing something in a tablet, working zurdo, left-handed, with his fist twisted around. A journal? Prison literature? Yes of course, I knew about that, an old tradition, but I had no idea they started in on it so soon. Jail was a place for reflection, no doubt. Time would hang heavy. But Eli with pen in hand? Well, why not? It would make for some good reading, the confessions of El Zopilote ["the buzzard," his nickname].

Pancho Villa himself had gone a little soft in his prison cell. He applied to a business school for a correspondence course. He would learn to use a typewriter and begin a new life, a clerical life. He would live in town and wear a clean shirt and write business letters all day. Most respectfully Yours, Francisco Villa, Who Kisses Your Hand.

But then after a day or two with the study materials he became annoyed, saying it was tedioso and all a lot of mierda seca, and he broke out of jail and went back to his old bloody ways on horseback.

--- From Gringos
Charles Portis
߇ Simon & Schuster
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