"UnRepentent Cowboy has been a valued CollapseNet contributor from nearly our beginning. He is a farmer, rancher, author, http://unrepentantcowboy.com/index.html, and he has been a radio guest on MCR's Lifeboat Hour. All of us at CollapseNet wish him the best through this entire episode and we hope the worst is over.
Cowboy's story again proves my point about the greatest threat we all face in collapse, and that is being confronted with random and growing violence, everywhere. Cowboy just happens to live at the crossroads of desperation and murder, near the Texas-Mexico border. I'm afraid he may see more of it sooner than most, but if this last week has proved nothing else, it has shown that no one is immune or safe from violence, even when sitting at a movie theater or relaxing in their own home.
Stay safe, Cowboy. And all of us. - Wesley T. Miller for CollapseNet"
La violencia llega
I was working, as usual on a Sunday, the first day of the week according to my calendar. I saw Manuel and Jesus and a few unknowns sitting around a picnic table behind the trailer they share as I drove by. Smoke rose from the grill; the umpah beat of Norteño music blared from speakers of an unfamiliar car.
Later, while in the garden transplanting tomato plants, Manuel approached me with a few young men, introduced as nephews from Houston. They wanted to buy a hog or a goat, kill it, and take the meat back to Houston.
I told them I was too busy. Because I was.
They left, disappointed, or so I thought.
Around 10 pm my dogs began to bark incessantly. Leah and I were watching television. I heard a frantic knock at my back door.
I opened the door. Jesus stood in a pair of jeans and socks, bathed in blood. There was a hole in his abdomen and one leg of his jeans was soaked. Blood on both arms, his torso. His face drained white. Sweating.
In Spanish he said, “They tried to kill me with a knife. I killed Manuel, but the rest of them are still over there and I have no more bullets.”
Manuel is a beloved friend of twenty years. A brother, of sorts.
Jesus began showing me where he’d been stabbed.
“You killed Manuel?”
“Yes, but just Manuel. The rest are still over there. What should I do?”
“Stand right here. I’m going to call the cops.”
The next few hours I count among the most difficult I have faced in this life.
It took about fifteen minutes for the cops to arrive but I couldn’t go to my friend’s aid, (or dead body, if what Jesus had said was correct), for fear of getting caught in the fray.
Being a convicted felon I’d be the only guy in a gun fight without a gun. I suppose I could have wielded a garden hoe or some such…
But I am not made of such stuff.
The rest is a blur of cops, ambulances, well-meaning volunteer firemen and rescue workers, and finally the helicopter that flew away with Manuel’s body.
I did not learn until midmorning today that Manuel survived his wounds, despite being shot in the face from point blank range with a .38.
Will violence jump the Mexican border?
The Devil's Right Hand
Manuel told me doctors removed a bullet from his jaw bone, another remains lodged in his collarbone and a third passed through his right forearm, breaking the bone in the process.
His account of the event differed remarkably from that of Jesus.
I still don't know what happened.
What I do know is that a very dear friend came close to losing his life and remains disfigured for no good reason.