By Luis G. Gomez, Guadalupe Valdez, Thomas H. Kreneck
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Extra info for Crossing the Rio Grande: An Immigrant's Life in the 1880s
That is, he looked like another person. He was now wearing a nice suit and looked like a distinguished gentleman. His suit was jet black with stripes of silver threads embedded in the cloth; they could barely be seen in the background of that ﬁne suit, which was quite becoming to him. He was wearing an extremely white shirt made out of ﬁne linen, silk socks, and expensive charcoal-black shoes. His hands were covered with skintight gloves made of ﬁne leather. I noted that around his wrists were black straps made from otter skin with a bright furry trim that looked nice; their laps were secured with a pressed button protruding through a gold-covered eyelet.
The black lady, who was at her side, was churning butter in a clay butter maker that was very popular in those days among the North American families. When the Anglo lady saw me, she got up from her chair so fast I thought she had a spring under her. ” I immediately spoke to her in Spanish and asked for the man of the house. She answered in English that he had just left a moment ago, but she was sure he would return soon. I learned that this lady understood some Spanish because I would address her in Spanish, and she would answer in English.
The 375 getones [a 36 M I S M E M O R I A S (My Memories) slang term for dollars such as “smackeroos” or “bucks”] that I carried in my pocket in check-times were beginning to squirm like a reptile after winter when it begins to come out of hibernation and look for the summer sun to get warm. After I made myself comfortable, the ﬁrst thing I did was to review my valuable papers, examining them meticulously to see whether everything was intact. I checked for issued dates on them and how long I had had them in my possession, and I found out to my surprise that I had kept them in my pocket for a year.