Who te trujo, hijito?
The word for this episode is trujir. It’s old Castilian, and in Caló it means to bring. The modern Spanish word for the same is traer.
The plan worked. Boy and the rest of the passengers who were stranded by the broken-down bus in Paisano recruited a caravan of two cars to take them the rest of the way. It was fortunate that the cantina they approached had just filled with Saturday night customers. The old man who was leading the group of bus riders merely had to hold up a clutch of $20 bills and ask if anyone would drive them to La Junta.
“We need rides to La Junta. We’ll pay $20 each. Fourteen of us,” the old man said even as he walked through the door.
“I have a van. It’ll take eight,” one man said.
“I have a big Oldsmobile. It’ll take the other six,” a younger man said.
“Then let’s go,” said the old man.
It was almost 9 p.m. They’d be at their destination by near-midnight, assuming no delay at Customs.
“Who’s going across the river?” the Oldsmobile driver asked.
Six people, including Boy and the old man, raised their hand.
“You come with me,” the driver said.
They were on the highway minutes later.
“Destinations?” the driver asked.
Everybody named their destination in OJ.
“Los Montoyas,” said Boy.
“Umm. This car won’t go there. Drop you off somewhere in OJ?” asked the driver.
“Your kin sent a kid like you alone thinking you’d get to Los Montoyas in one day? Surely you have people in OJ you can stay with tonight,” the old man said to Boy.
“Sí, my aunt Choco. She lives…” Boy said before he was interrupted.
“El Progreso, where the Montoyas live,” somebody in the car said.
“So you’re a Montoya? Careful everybody,” the old man said.
“Precious package,” the driver said.
Boy didn’t say anything. He didn’t know how to take the comments.
“They say the jura quickly draw their guns when they learn the people they’ve apprehended are from Los Montoyas,” somebody in the car said.
“Simón. That’s why they don’t worry their kids are out alone. They know nobody’ll dare touch them,” said the old man.
Two hours of silence later, they were in OJ. Boy was the first one to be dropped off. The driver looked back at Boy, who then guided him to his aunt’s house, where the lights were all off.
“Hijito, what are you doing here so late? Who te trujo?” his aunt asked, looking into the Oldsmobile.
“Nosotros lo trujimos,” said the driver.
“Safe and sound, as you can see. He thought he was going to make it all the way to Los Montoyas tonight,” said the old man.
“But so late,” his aunt said.
“Not because of us, señora. The bus broke down in Paisano,” said the old man with a frown.
“Please let his people know that we lo trujimos bien,” he added on second thought.
“Está bien,” Boy’s aunt said.
“Gracias señora,” everybody in the car said in unison.