Unit Eight : Yoe Go Your Way，I'll Go Mine
A young boy faces the impossible task of trying to soften the blow of tragic mews.
You Go Your Way, I'll Go Mine
The messenger got off his bicycle in front of the house of Mrs. Rosa Sandoval. He went to the door and knocked gently. He knew almost immediately that someone was inside the house. He could not hear anything, but he was sure the knock was bringing someone to the door and he was most eager to see who this person would be -- his woman named Rosa Sandoval who was now to heat of murder in the world and to feel it in herself. The door was not a long time opening, but there was no hurry in the way it moved on its hinges. The movement of the door was as if, whoever she was, she and nothing in the world to fear. Then the door was open, and there she was.
To Homer the Mexican woman was beautiful. He could see that she had been patient all her life, so that now, after years of it, her lips were set in a gentle and saintly smile. But like all people who never receive telegrams the appearance of a messenger at the front door is full of terrible implication. Homer knew that Mrs. Rosa Sandoval was shocked to see him. Her first word was the first word of all surprise. She said "Oh," as if instead of a messenger she had thought of opening the door to someone she had know a long time and would be pleased to sit down with. Before she spoke again she studied Homer's eyes and Homer Knew that she knew the message was not a welcome one.
"You have a telegram?" she said.
It wasn't Homer's fault. His work was to deliver telegrams. Even so, it seemed to him that he was part of the whole mistake. He felt awkward and almost as if he alone were responsible for what had happened. At the same time he wanted to come right out and say, "I'm only a messenger, Mrs. Sandoval, I'm very sorry I must bring you a telegram like this, but it is only because it is my work to do so."
"Who is it for?" the Mexican woman said.
"Mrs. Rosa Sandoval, 1129 G Street." Homer said. He extended the telegram to the Mexican woman, but she would not touch it.
"Are you Mrs. Sandoval?" Homer said.
"Please," the woman said. "Please come in. I cannot read English. I am Mexican. I read only La Prensa which comes from Mexico City." She paused a moment and looked at the boy standing awkwardly as near the door as he could be and still be inside the house.
"Please," she said, "what does the telegram say?"
"Mrs. Sandoval," the messenger said, "the telegram says --"
But now the woman interrupted him. "But you must open the telegram and read it to me," she said. "You have not opened it."
"Yes, ma'am," Homer said as if he were speaking to a school teacher who had just corrected him.
He opened the telegram with nervous fingers. The Mexican woman stooped to pick up the torn envelope, and tried to smooth it out. As she did so she said, "Who sent the telegram -- my son Juan Domingo?"
"No, ma'am." Homer said. "The telegram is from the War Department."
"War Department?" the Mexican woman said.
"Mrs. Sandoval," Homer said swiftly, "your son is dead. Maybe it's a mistake, Everybody makes a mistake, Mrs. Sandoval. Maybe it wasn't your son. Maybe it was somebody else. The telegram says it was Juan Domingo. But maybe the telegram is wrong,"
The Mexican woman pretended not to hear.
"Oh, do not be afraid," she said. "Come inside. Come inside. I will bring you candy." She took the boy's arm and brought him to the table at the center of the room and there she made him sit.
"All boys like candy," she said. "I will bring you candy." She went into another room and soon returned with an old chocolate candy box. She opened the box at the table and in it Homer saw a strange kind of candy.
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