by Mack White

Chapter One

An adobe shack in the Chihuahuan Desert of Texas
is the setting of our tale.

Inside the shack a gruff voice barks, "You're lyin', old man!
Ever'body knows you know where the treasure is!
Tell me, or by God I'll break your neck!"

A weaker voice rasps, "I will show you!"

Hard, calloused hands release a frail, withered neck.

"That's more like it."

"I will show you tonight."

"You'll show me now, or I'll--"

"The magic only works at night."

"Magic, huh? Well, it better work."

Night falls.

The old Yaqui drinks from a bowl,
then hands it to the cowboy.

The cowboy sniffs the bowl and winces.
"That'd make a buzzard puke.
You better not be messin' with me, old man."

"Drink," says the old man.

The cowboy looks doubtfully at the dark liquid.
It must not be poison, he reasons.
For, if it had been poison, the old man
would not have taken a drink.
He has heard the old man's magic is powerful.
If it will make me rich, he decides,
I guess I can stand the taste.

So, holding his breath, he drinks.
The old man sits down.

"Now we wait," he says.

"Well, I ain't gonna' wait long," says the cowboy.

As they sit facing each other,
the cowboy begins to feel dizzy.
Then he notices
the old man's face is changing . . .