Chapter Thirty

This entry is part 30 of 36 in the series Bend

Chapter Thirty

There was activity at the trading post when they returned. The trader and his wife were busy getting ready for the wedding party. Pio and Nocho were helping. Several display tables were moved back, making more room in front, close to the bar. From out of the pile of junk the trader brought an old phonograph and a stack of records. They would have a dance.

“It plays real good and loud,” said the trader. “The spring is broken and one must keep turning the crank to keep it going. We can take turns doing that.”

Al thought it was time for a drink and get the party going!

“You said you had some rum, what kind is it?” He addressed the trader.

“The best kind.” He produced a bottle and handed it to Al. “Flor De Cana,” he said, “flower of the cane. You never get bugs in your belly, or have a hangover when you drink Flor De Cana.” He handed Al a glass. “Pour yourself a drink.
Try it.”

Al poured about a quarter of an inch in the glass. It smelled good. He tossed it down and stood there for a moment looking down the bottle.

“Very good, is it not?” Asked the trader.

Al licked his lips. “Very good I would say. Put this on my bill and give us all a good drink.

“I will make a Nica Iebra.” Said the trader. “It is a very fine drink.”

It was starting to get dark. The trader’s wife lit several coal oil lamps and placed them where they would do the most good.

“What time will the guests arrive?” Al asked.

“As soon as they hear the music, they will come.”

Al turned to the trader’s boy who was standing close by eating a banana. “Do you know how to operate that darn thing?”

“Yes sire, I know how.”

The kid turned his attention back to the banana. Al thought and got the idea. He took out his pocketbook and pulled out a five Cordoba note. He handed it to the kid. Evidently this is what the kid had been wanting. He threw away the banana peel and headed for the phonograph.

As the trader predicted, the guests began to arrive. It was quite a formal affair. The trader’s wife was a perfect hostess. She introduced the newlyweds to everyone as they came inside.

The trader was busy pouring drinks out of Al’s bottle; soon it was empty. The trader waved the empty bottle at Al. He nodded his head. The trader reached for a full one. A half hour and two quarts later everyone was dancing. There was hardly standing room as the place was packed.

Of course Al and Adilia were the center of attraction. Al danced with most of the women. The men stood in line waiting their turn to dance with Adilia. These people certainly knew how to celebrate, Al thought. Occasions like this was their main source of entertainment. He didn’t know what to expect next. But as usual the traders’ wife was on the ball and took charge.

The next thing on the program was food. The men were all told to be seated. The women would serve.

Al noticed that most everyone had brought something to the dance with them. Now he could see it was food for the occasion. A special seat was made for the guests of honor. Plates piled high with food were served to everyone.

Al and Adilia were hungry. They had lunched on the roast turkey several times earlier today, but it had been hours since they had eaten. Everything tasted good; even iguana pie.

When the meal was over the women cleaned up the tables. Al thought the party was over but he was mistaken. Many wrapped packages were set on the table in front of them. The trader’s wife smiled at them. “Open them, they are all yours.”

With the opening of each package, the pile of baby clothes in front of them grew higher and higher. Al wondered if Pio and Nocho told everyone they intended to raise fifty kids!

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