From Hell to Breakfast Page: 37
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TALE OF TWO COMPANIONS
companion said to the other, "I will go ahead and tell the
people something to please them. Then after a little while
you come up and confirm what I say. We must not show
that we have known each other. Thus we shall make our
So the First Companion went up to the rancheria. These
people so far out in the mountains seldom saw a stranger
and soon all of the households were around him.
"What is there of news?" they asked.
"No, all is pacific," the First Companion answered.
"You have come from the City of the Mouth of the
River, is it not so? " the spokesman of the group pressed.
"Then you must know something new. Look, we live
here at the tail end of the world. We are very humble,
without instruction. Tell us something new."
"Well," the First Companion responded, "the only thing
new I can tell is what I heard just as I was leaving the City
of the Mouth of the River. I heard people saying that the
river was on fire."
"We did not ask for lies," a man of San Juan dryly ob-
"I told you I was reporting only what I heard," the First
Companion replied. "But look, yonder comes a man from
the direction I came from. Perhaps he knows something."
The Second Companion walked up and was courteously
saluted by the country people, also by the First Companion,
as if he had never seen him.
"Sir," he said, "I myself have just arrived at this place.
I come from the City of the Mouth of the River. You seem
to come from that direction also. I was telling the people
here that when I left, rumor had it that the river was on
fire. I do not understand how this could be, but perhaps you
know something of the matter."
"Yes, I come also from the City of the Mouth of the
River," the Second Companion replied. "Like you, I heard
also that the river was on fire. I did not see it burning, but
as I was leaving I saw ox carts coming up loaded with fish
already cooked, and I was told that they had been both
boiled and baked by the burning water."
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. From Hell to Breakfast, book, 1944; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67649/m1/45/: accessed March 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.