The Book

Texico Days
by J. Paul Gorman

Chapter 1:  The Fightin'

     The story of how Texas tore itself away from the United States in the birthing days of Texico is the tale of calling bluffs and deadly force. In the teens, and earlier, a bloody war raged south of the U.S. border between Mexican police and armies and the organized crime organizations that truly ruled the country. Hundreds of thousands of people died, many in gruesome and cruel executions. Many in terrorist-styled suicide attacks. The gutless warriors. Texas, at that time a state of the U.S., was stirred by ancient obligation to intervene, but seemed the lone troubadour of the Mexicans. Unable to let the massacre continue, and despite official condemnations, declarations, and protestations of the rest of the country, the Texans eventually raised an army of over 100,000 though the Texas Ranger's charter to partner with Mexico and crush the drug pushers. Texas, always fertile ground for lawyerly brilliance, took the matter to the courts and continued it's recruitment of new Rangers and weapons stockpiling. Ultimately, it is this case, The State of Texas vs. The United States of America, which allowed the bloodless succession of Texas through courtroom maneuvers, nuanced understandings, and implied indications.

     The recruitment process attracted a wild band of characters to the various county courthouses across the then state. Rescuing the tortured people of the then nation of Mexico was a rally cry not far removed from the Houstonian plea before San Jacinto many years before. The war had by that time spread across the border and into the larger cities and the Texans never acquired a taste for idleness when the fightin' starts. The defensive-minded and reactive police forces were not designed to arbitrate a war through the courts and the need for an offensive was apparent. Texas was being invaded, the U. S. Federal government seemed uncaring, Texans were dying daily by gruesome methods, and the war was finally being covered by all legitimate media sources. The Texas Governor, James T. Barnes, led a massive Texan revolt of the Washington politics. Once all the Texas Senators and Congressmen left Washington in the same plane on a steamy August day, a case was filed in the courts, and the Texas Rangers were making a big comeback. Eventually, the most important part of raising the right force to partner with the Mexicans and crush the druggies was to determine who to reject. The intense demonstrations in the long ago 1960's for peace was the most recent comparison of the public outrage. Only this time the outrage was for outrage. That was the public mood. Some individuals would be outraged at any Mexican and could not be a Texas Ranger. The Mexicans were the victims, as were the Texans. This soldier would require discernment. Judging discernment was the key to recruitment of the legendary Texas Rangers. A force was raised, one that went on to partner with the Mexicans and crushed the druggies. In two weeks. The Ranger Navy went underground with the use of two thousand infiltrators and additional surveillance and quickly helped develop a battle plan. 

     The druggies had their infiltrators and additional surveillance as well, but the Ranger Navy spies had one critical advantage that assured the winning battle plan. Satellites. Houston. All that stuff is in Houston. Thank you LBJ. Yes, it was almost like playing a video game when Operation Liberate Mexico launched on Thanksgiving night in 2014.  That night the final battle for the soul of Mexico began and the next two weeks brought unspeakable battle. Indescribable horrors of war. Modern battle has to be quick. The severity and precision of the weapons and the relentless fury of a well led force will not allow the beaten enemy to endure for long. As long as the politicians don't drop the ball or cuff the hands of the fighters.

     The Texas/Mexico alliance was extremely well led politically by Julio Fransisco Del Corona and L. Dean Fitzgerald acting as liaisons between the Texas Governor and President of Mexico. In communiqué. The force was unleashed without restrictions and the battle plan was executed over the two week period. The druggies that remained alive were in dire straits, meekly offering summits and compromises. L. Dean was the convincer of no compromises. Governor Barnes and the Mexican President publicly, and heroically, appeared together on the bridge connecting Laredo to its sister town, Nuevo Laredo, to denounce any compromises. Peace came to Mexico only days later when bands of white flag waving Mexicans walked from the hillsides and valleys of Mexico and abandoned the lords they served. The false gods, the drug gods, promising money to the wayward Mexican youth and now only delivering a thousand hysterical Texas Rangers in tanks and on horseback invading the front yard of the compound. 

     Truly, it took the Texans to convince the Mexicans to use brutal tactics to win the war. It was the only humane way. The druggie refugee prisoners were held in West Texas tent prisons and many have re-acclimated themselves into current Texico society. But they were scarred by what they endured and survived in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 14. Most of the drug leaders were killed by these refugees before the official surrender. When surrender came, the highest ranking drug official at the live television/multi media event was the 2nd cousin of the Yucatan kingpin, Felix Soto. Geraldo Rivera hosted the event and to this day, it remains the 2nd highest rated program ever. Behind 9/11. Remember the Towers. Remember the Alamo. Remember the Apostles Creed.....

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy Christian church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.


     Descended into hell sits alone. Not much is talked about. Oh, the battle! But the dead do rise and are forgiven. Texas and Mexico celebrated the liberation of the country like long lost brothers. And they were long lost brothers, with sisters and wives and mothers and fathers and all the children. The millions. A borderless culture developed in post war Mexico and Texas. Music, food, tourism, commerce, media, and industrial bonds grew strong and vibrant. "I'm Going to Texas" turned into "I'm Going to Texico" when L. Dean Fitzgerald wrote the Texico National Anthem and sang it at the Ballpark in Arlington during the 2017 World Series. Life and business was alive in Texico and the Washington (and Nashville) establishment were frowning. Forgiveness had never come to the Texans for Operation Liberate Mexico. The case of The State of Texas vs The United States of America was working its way through the appellate courts and was about to hit the desk of the honorable John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Chapter 2:  Number 9


     When the maniac from Iran lifted hands with the Turks and the Brazilians we all knew the rules of the world had evolved.  This was no longer the America of founding purity, diversity of thought, or even right and wrong. Boundaries were only for the moral. So it seemed back then. In the raging teens.

     "Honey", L. Dean remembered calling out, "Come on. Chillleees!" he continued with loud whistling and banging.  It was early on a June Saturday morning.

     "Daddy?" Ava finally answered, tired from the previous night's soccer game.  It was tournament weekend for the 11/12 year old girls and games were stacked, two to a day.

     "Everybody is drinkin' a bunch a'water. Don't want t' get dehydrated." L.Dean roared, always giving advice to his family. Ava Rose, the young and fierce; Shelby Lynn, the powerful and conflicted; and Annabelle, the wise and beautiful preacher woman.  Several friends had been battling dehydration, common in the summer Texas heat, and L. Dean was insistent on his water demands. "I already drank two glasses. One before my morning walk and one after. Drink girls. Drink!" he continued to yell to his sleepy family. Annabelle was many things, but counting on her for morning promptness was perilous. L. Dean woke in the early dark, an hour before the sun, stretching his body for long periods of time.  The scent of mowed grass and sounds of the early darkness creating melodies never heard.  The sun's light woke Annabelle, her huge green eyes heavy until devotions and prayers. However, her preoccupation with her daughters didn't need alert eyes. They thought the same thoughts, overcame the same frustrations, and swayed to the same rhythms, all of L. Dean's girls acted as one maiden of God's creation. Somehow, the inevitable conflict actually balances the fragile relationship between mother and daughters, releasing steam when needed. The daughters (sisters, really) enjoyed a devout, and at times ferocious, sibling alliance. Three was stronger than one. The feminine trinity of the Fitzgerald’s.

     "Ava, your jersey is hanging on the hook in your bathroom," Annabelle shouted from her bedroom, "Get some water ready daddy.  Shelby Lynn, no one is listening to your crying and whining." The oldest had indeed pleaded for more quiet and was taking sides against everyone in the family. Tears followed.  Eventually, the inevitability of the established schedule and some prideless coaxing from Ava and L. Dean would clear the air. Annabelle said nothing to the oldest daughter and was utterly unaffected by the latest eruption.  When the entire family finally climbed into the car, Annabelle continued to ensure proper direction, "Sunscreen? Chairs? Towel? Ava, did you eat anything? Shelby Lynn, you?"

     "Yes mamma, I had some grapes and half a muffin," Ava answered, then continuing with a growl, "I'm gonna track down number 9 all day. She goes left, I cut her off, she goes right, I get the ball, she elbows, I elbow back. I'm ready to goooowaa." Her teeth clenched and both fists balled tightly.  Her blood boiled and her face turned red. 

     "Hope you stretched your shoulders," L. Dean said, "Soccer is a game for all four limbs.  You got to use your entire body, remember we talked about that?  Remember?", he asked while turning around and looking at Ava. "Use your whole body," he continued, "You never know how the refs are gonna call it 'til the game starts.  It's not a bad thing to be the first to get a warnin'"  Annabelle, glaring at L. Dean,  quickly laughed and reminded her youngest to have fun and play hard.

     "Number 9 is miiiine," yelled Ava Rose. 

     "Stay on her honey," her mother said.

     Number 9 was a spectacular player. Fast, agile, smart, and unselfish. Despite a supreme effort, Ava was humbled that day. Number 9 was better. It was obvious. L. Dean, Annabelle, and Shelby Lynn took the loss hard. They were praying and willing a win. Not until dusk did they return to normal moods. Ava made a note. Filed it away. Twenty years later as she captained the 2030 Texican Women's World Cup Championship team, she set up the winning goal against the Brazilians. On that famous play, in the final minute, she shook off an elbow to the jaw while driving past two defenders and softly lifted a pass over another defender to a streaking Texican wing player. The wing drove the ball past the leaping goalie and ignited the noise of legitimacy in the admiring crowd. The goal scoring player was number 9, dark haired and tireless Elishia Mendoza, the same player who commanded Ava's esteem so many years earlier. 

     "Let's just go home," Annabelle moaned after the game, "Ava, you played your heart out sweetie.  Now, I want an hour of chores when we get home.  Thirty minutes free time, then an hour."  The girls gave her a dirty look. 

     "Number 9 was the best player I've ever seen," said Shelby as they drove slowly home.  "For sure she's the best 12 year old I've ever seen."  She looked at Ava with pity, then told her she played really good.  "You got a goal girl!", she said while patting her head.  She loved Ava Rose.     

     "Yep," whispered L. Dean, "Number 9." He was taking the long way.

     "Can I have a friend over today?" asked Ava.  The wind that day was unsettling and relentless. Through that summer (crude summer to the disgusted Cajuns), oil stained the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico while the political men and women continued to keep the corrupted system alive.  Grease was their main concern, not oil.  L. Dean wondered about the gathering wickedness in the world and the delusional American rebuke. He made a note and filed it away. He vowed candid dissent, demanding competence and late-17 hundred's conviction of ideas.

     "No honey, we're going to go home and spend the day together", answered Annabelle.  "Do you know how lucky we are?"  Both girls looked out the window and started humming the same song.


Chapter 3:  The Texico Papers

     There are many founding documents that are important to the Texico balance of individual liberty and governmental controls.  Mainly, these guiding documents are meant to encourage economic success for the citizens of Texico while maintaining the international relationships critical for relative world-wide peace.  The most important and enduring document is The Texico Papers.  Penned in 2013 by L. Dean Fitzgerald and Elias T. Woods, it's adoption and protection laid the foundation for the rapid rise of Texico's revolutionary economic and social cultures.

The Texico Papers
dated july 4th, 2013

1.  Estados.  The Estados of Brazos, Trinity, Galveston, Pecos, Ogallala, Lousiana, Delta, Yucatan, Chihuahua, Baja, Tabasco, Veracruz, and Mexico are the governing entities.  The elected Senador of the Estado employs sufficient staff to enforce criminal law and administer needed governmental functions.  Texico shall always maintain an odd number of Estados.

2.  Executive Branch.  The offices of  President, Vice President, and Attorney General of Texico are determined by the popular vote of the Senadors, every 3 years, for a maximum of two terms.  The Secretaries of Defense, Truth, and State will be appointed by the President.  Primary functions are promoting economic success for Texico and it's citizens, leading an efficient and elite military, appointing judges, budgeting national revenue, national sports teams, and enforcement of laws.

3.  Taxes.  Texico and each Estado will split evenly 1% of all revenue generated.

4.  Defense.  The Texico federal government will maintain a comprehensive elite force to proactively protect country and interests.  This is solely the responsibility of the Executive Branch.

5.  Private Business.  Lawful private business is actively encouraged. 

6.  Land Ownership.  The owner of any real estate has sole decision-making over what is lawfully produced on or from the land or any structure fixed to the land.

7.  The Truth of the Apostle's Creed.  True until proven wrong.

8.  Judicial Branch.  There are 3 levels of Judges, all appointed by the President of Texico and approved by a popular vote of the citizens of Texico.  The first level are Arbitrars, the second level are Magistrates, and the final level is a 5-Judge Forum.  All judges are eligible to serve for 12 total years.  All criminal matters and civic disputes are settled through this single judicial process.

9.  Voting.  All voting is done in via the internet and the lone shared responsibility of the Executive and Judicial branches is to establish an all-inclusive, secure, voting process.  Pure democracy in the form of popular vote will determine all legislative decisions including, but not limited to, passing laws, reversing laws, approving budgets, approving judicial nominees, and impeachment.  Legislative voting will occur twice a year for a period of 48 hours each season.  Early spring, early fall.  All judicial appointments made by the Texico President must be approved by popular vote of the citizens of Texico and may be impeached with 2/3rd popular vote.  Senadors are elected by popular vote of each Estado every 6 years for a maximum of one term and may also be impeached with 2/3rd popular vote of the Estado.

10.  Personal Protection.  The right to responsibly own a gun is undeniable and everlasting.

11.  Sports.  Texico will maintain an active and competitive national sports program aligned with current Olympic sports events.  Each Estado shall maintain a similar sports program, grooming the best athletes for the national program.

Chapter 4:  Race For Harmony


     America, perhaps doomed from the start, is paralyzed by race. Through race equality everything is filtered, without exception. This filter includes laws, politics, guilt, business marketing, shame, and media. Asian-American, African-American, Mexican-American, Female-American, and Muslim-American. Two of these American sets given a continent, one a country, one a gender, and one a faith. If one was a Dane originally, he would be referred to as an American from Denmark. Or if a Canadian man, he might still be called a Canadian, regardless. If that Canadian were female or black, Canadian would not work and the gender or race would be disclosed. The Australian gets the rugged Aussie label; Indians (or still Native-American to some) boldly, and controversially, demanded the removal of the hyphenated label which led to the awkward Indian Native label if you were actually from India. In fact, by 2040 these groups had largely geographically segregated themselves into definable regions in America. This obsession with race had impacted America in many ways. Coalitions were forged between race groups depending on mutually shared benefits. Especially economic and political. Through the years, America had suffered several bloody race wars. The Asian-American/Mexican-American War of 2026 ended after a month of bloody battles, eco-poisoning, and other brutal tactics. Ten thousand were left dead and the Asian-Americans finally declared victory after the Mexican-Americans retreated from San Francisco and contentedly remained settled in Southern California and the southwest desert regions of America. The nuclear agreement the Asian-Americans struck with China and promised radioactive destruction of San Diego ended the terrible war. Of course, other countries exploited and encouraged the racial strife in America. Largely, America in 2040 resembled the USSR in 1990. A historically great superpower ready to crack in a world full of superpowers. Bitterness, entitlement, and self-occupation destroying the once-great unity. Compared with the previous century, America was just holding on. 

     Texico was the opposite. Harmony among races, religions, genders, and classes seemed prevalent. The Texico Papers and the political will (and mandate) to protect the truth kept cultural rivalries and resentments to a minimum. Pure capitalism and a servant's mentality were primary goals shared by all Texicans. Culturally, Texico thrived due to the thick skin of the people, appreciation of diversity, and lessons learned from the American mistakes. One unifying and descriptive label was used--Texican.

     L. Dean is white ( if there is such a thing). European-Nordic-Saxon-Danish-Irish-Canadian-Irish (black) blood in his veins. Probably his ancestors were part of the Great Heathen Army that battled the Franks a millennia ago. All the way back to Adam and the sweet mother of all, Eve.  The raceless family.  Annabelle Fitzgerald, an adopted daughter of northern Europe.  J.T. Barnes, from the Ozarks originally.  Elias T. Woods came from Texans that fought, and died, at the Alamo.  Travis B. Whitney is black (if there is such a thing).  Maggie Graham is a burning red head obviously descended from Ireland.  Fran Del Corona has stubborn Latin blood.  Mitch Parrish was born an east-coast American blue-blood.  Inspired by truth, all Texicans are respected and protected as humans and prosper due to actions and results.

Chapter 5: L. Dean


     L. Dean Fitzgerald, 73 years old, is one of the founding fathers of Texico and current Secretary of Truth.  Grey hair, peppered with dark brown, and usually has some stubble due to shaving only once or twice a week.  Although fighting normal age maladies, he is in good shape and credits a significant stretching program began in his early forties and a life-long diet consisting primarily of foods of the ground or raised on the ground.  The choice had served him well.  Hearty fish is eaten as well and his wife, Annabelle, assured that his two girls learned similar eating habits.  His grown daughters, Shelby Lynn and Ava Rose, were accomplished in their own right.  Shelby as an actress, popular in America and Texico.  Ava Rose for her incredible Soccer career that culminated in two World Cup Championships for the nation of Texico.  Soccer was king in Texico and the women led the way.  Ava Rose had led the way.  More on these two later.   Much more later on Annabelle Leigh, the wife, and the former Annabelle Leigh Funderburgh.  Married for over 50 years to L. Dean, she is a timeless beauty whose fiery Christian (Lutheran) convictions took over her life and drives her daily activities.  As if her time to help other people is ticking down.  Which it is.  She is a beloved figure in Texico and the world for her efforts and ability to compassionately lead.  L. Dean loves his wife immensely.  And respects her.  And he finds her very beautiful.
    He was the son and stepson of many.  He currently carries out Fitzgerald patriarchal duties along with older and wiser brothers Jess Ross and Willie Bryan.  All the Fitzgerald brothers are proud native Texicans but enthusiastically enjoy the company of a large group of American kin.  Peace has found the Fitzgeralds.  And prosperity.  The three were major land owners and made a fortune together when Texico was young.  Most of their land was in the province of West Texas and the abundance of power below and above the ground made their natural gas and wind power company, called Texico Wind and Gas Inc., a very powerful and wealthy international force.  Sons and daughters now run the company, inheriting all the headaches, inspirations, and achievements of daily operations.  It remains a very successful company.  

     L. Dean continued a busy pace after terminating himself from employment and walking out of his office one day.  He was 50,  had published several books, wrote folk songs and poems, and followed his girls around.  He and Annabelle spent the next 10 years following them around the world before they both made him a grandfather within two months of each other.  Each now had three children.  L. Dean and Annie have continued to to be very proactive and helpful grandparents.  The grandchildren range in age from 15 to 2 years.  Shelby, 2 older boys and a youngest daughter, Ava Rose, 2 older girls and a youngest son.  Health was graciously abundant and hope lives in the heart of the L. Dean Fitzgerald family.  They all live very comfortably, but the vast majority of the original family fortune was used to create the world's largest, and most respected, charitable organization.  The name is Feed His People Services.  Annie actively leads the organization while L. Dean has committed the past 13 years in service to the people of Texico. 

     He has served as Vice President, Secretary of State, and now, Secretary of Truth.  He has always maintained a steady writing schedule and remains an influential cultural figure in Texico.  Retirement was long ago deemed irresponsible and unlikely.  He views it as giving up on life and instead prefers constant mental stimulation and physical exertion.  Thoughtful, bold, and easy-going, possessing a healthy apathy.  Considered a trusted confidant by many and an internationally respected representative of Texico.  Fiery when necessary, collaborative by nature, and eternal thinking always.  Wears a smile and encourages others.  Classic dresser, avoiding trends and tight fitting clothes.  Walks with a solid posture and loves to drive.  Comfortable alone or with a small group.  Tolerates large crowds, but usually looks for an opportunity to disappear quickly.  Carefully impulsive.  Hates arrogance and usually displays a humble spirit.  Has a signature old Texas accent that can be embellished when appropriate.

Chapter 6:  The Second Louisiana Purchase 


     A provision to provide a needed balance in the initial population of Texico was evident from the start.  The solution led to the 'Gone To Texico' campaign.  As part of the agreement to combine the legal nation of Texas with the nation of Mexico, a four year timeline was laid out stipulating the maneuvers, needed negotiations, compromises, and agreements to officially create the nation of Texico.  The Texico Papers, written by L. Dean Fitzgerald and published several years before, had clearly indicated that private land ownership was extremely important to the development of a truly great nation.  'Gone to Texico' was the marketing effort to influence Americans, Canadians, Africans, Europeans, Egyptians, Indians, Japanese, Australians, Vikings, Chinese, Cubans, or Eskimos to buy land and move to Texas during the four year timeline, beginning in 2018.  Despite Washington's continuous legal interventions and delay tactics, the courts had spoken and Texas was legally a country.  Due to the very low taxes on income and goods, the economy thrived and the Texas and Mexico business bonds grew strong in the pre-Texico days.  
     The greatest suburb builders in the history of the world, the Mexicans, were building homes, businesses, and cities from Athens to Archer City.  In a sign of the times, the United States sold Louisiana to Texas in 2020 so it could actually keep the American government open.  Louisiana, long neglected and ridiculed, was too expensive to keep in the Union.  Texas paid $1 Trillion dollars and in return got New Orleans and courtroom peace from the Americans.  The revolution was over.  The Cajuns gladly went along, our Frenchmen and Mudwomen of the swamps.  The gator hunters and juke joint jazz queens.  America was down to 48 states and half the Gulf of Mexico.  Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson were turning in the dirt.  The Second Louisiana Purchase was destined to be a part of Texico lore.  By 2022, when the nation of Texico came to be, the Mexican population was 200 million, swelled by Central and South American immigration, and Texas had grown to 215 million.  The encouraged combination of all cultures led to an acceptance of diversity, starlets of all shapes and sizes, and electric-neon-lighted Texico nights.  No border towns existed, although the Red River had to be reinforced at times due to frequent Okie annexation uprisings and everything possible was done in Baja to prevent any Californians from unknowingly entering Tijuana.

Chapter 7:  Breakfast Talk

     The call he made to the prime minister of Mexico on a calm November day of 2017 was one of many during Texico's road to nationhood. L. Dean had just finished a breakfast of two eggs and toast and over coffee he contacted Francisco Del Corona and told him what he was proposing.  "Fran, open your mind.” they spoke in English due to L. Dean's solitary language abilities, “A union of our two countries seems the most natural thing in the world t' me."

     "Well amigo, I can see the benefits, too, however, we pause due to our historical place at the heel of your boots. Remember the Mexican people haven't always been treated very well by the Texans, go back generations."

     "Damn Fran! Who burned who at the Alamo? And who brought their war to San Antonio and San Angelo? You remember than little seven year old girl the Mexican druggies kidnapped and tortured on TV? Those bastards are gone now. Long gone." He paused and continued sensing the uneasiness on the other end of the line, "But my point is there's blood on both sides of the path we've walked. We've been fightin' for years. Not anymore. Let's turn our rages and injustices and grudges into the heart of a new neon country, open for business for those wanting to live in peace. Who the hell cares about the past anyway? Fran, we have a neon future together."

     "Ahhh, El Dean", as he was known to all Mexicans, "You are right, of course. But the Mexican leadership is worried about the perceptions of Anglo rule." Del Corona, was getting to the point. The Mexicans knew joining Texas and adopting the Texico Papers would springboard them to the top of the international scene. After years and years of being rightly portrayed as a country in chaos and run by the cartels, the desire to channel the Mexican soul into another movement was shared by all. The Texico Papers, written by L. Dean himself, outlined a complete plan to decide leadership and was designed to ensure local enforcement of laws and maintain national diversity. Political maneuvering was part of any process, but the Texico Plan kept it to minimum with its term limits and impeachment process.
     "Well Fran, an Anglo may get in (he was speaking of the Presidency), or somebody over in Baja. But they only get one shot at it. What's an Anglo anyway anymore? You know better. You're talking to me Fran. You're born with some warm blood, like me. You're born with a beating heart, like me. You're born with breathing lungs, like me." L. Dean was almost singing by this point. "It's all in the Texican soup!"

     "El Dean, you should write that down and pick a tune from it. I know your guitar is near." Fran was trying to lighten the discussion, L. Dean was roaring.

     "Oh, I'm sorry Fran, I know you're speaking for the masses. But they should trust what they've never truly trusted before."

     "What's that amigo?"

     "Themselves," said L. Dean.

     The truth was for months there had been talk among the political establishments and corporate leadership of both nations and an agreement on the Texico Plan seemed assured.  The Mexicans had much to gain with a union.  After breaking from America a few years earlier, Texas had influenced many American companies to relocate to Texas. The business environment was inviting and free of the petty and politically motivated regulations and their over-bearing regulators. Texas was focused on strict enforcement of a few important regulations, but was not in the business of choosing sides on the business field. The people would put them out of business, and where the people were powerless and rules were broke, the government would provide swift banishment from the field of play.  Texas was on their way to economic wonderment and the Mexicans wanted in. 

  Texas was not the land of 2nd chances in business matters. Win by competing. Monopoly's were fragile due to the people's sway and invested heavily to remain in the public's favor. Large companies gave billions to fuel infrastructure, universities, charities, parks, and other institutions. Fine quality, value, and influence, each feeding the other, was the way to win in the marketplace.

     The call continued with various details and agreements.  Well wishes and reminders of the approaching adoption of the Texico Plan by Texas on July 4th of the following year.  "We'll have people streaming over our border in droves. I just hope we can keep the okies out." L. Dean joked, "Four years to swell our population before we make it official with y'all in 2022. I figure we could get up to 500 million total. One thing is for sure, a bunch a' Mexicans will be walkin' around with a bunch a' cash. All the building we'll be doing. Talked to some guy the other day about building houses into the ground. I think our land’s to shifty for that, but it would be better in a tornado."

     "Gone to Texico. El Dean, I can't wait to see it." Fran replied.  He truly admired the clear vision of L. Dean.

     L. Dean took a final drink of his coffee before ending the call, "It'll be neon Fran. The brightness of a Texico night. Advise ratification of the Texico Plan and the next four years will be a marvel." 

     Fran hung up knowing a better future for the Mexicans awaited.

Chapter 8:  Oklahoma Food Drop

     The leaders of the succession from America movement, which eventually resulted in the re-establishment of the Texas nation, which eventually led to the establishment of the Texico nation, were all still involved in Texico society throughout their lifetimes.  

     Well into his eighties, J. T. Barnes streamed live on the media wire.  Although electrical wires by that time were obsolete and the Texican landscapes are all wireless now.  He died in a car wreck near Spur, Texico trying to avoid hitting a jackrabbit.  Details of the incident remain undisclosed by the Barnes family.  

     Fran Del Corona grew tomatoes and counted his money until he fell on his head trying to walk across an icy sidewalk in Ft. Worth.  He was 123 years old. To this day, most world record opinionators consider him the longest living human ever.  Although how can we really know, especially considering the Old Testament.  

     Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald continued, often in vain, to change the world.  When they were both 98 years old, L. Dean paid a farmer a thousand dollars to take them up in an old crop duster so they could drop some food to starving Americans in Ada, Oklahoma.  Annabelle, by that time, had overcome her fear of flying and was fearless in the air.  Unfortunately, for all involved, including the hungry folks in Ada who never got the food, the farmer proved to be an inadequate pilot and the plane went down on Granite Mountain, near Davis, Oklahoma.  No one survived and the 76 year marriage of L. Dean and Annabelle Fitzgerald finally ended on earth.  The music stopped, but the melodies remain for all Texicans.  The red hours followed by stars in the neon night.

Chapter 9:  Maggie Graham


     "You're telling me you cannot say yes to the proposal?" Maggie Graham was moving closer to the Brazilian President, "What are your alternatives?"

     "Magggeeie", he wanted to keep her affection while reasoning, "Texico is too new, too different, too audacious. These things take time to mature."

     "What things?” she asked while taking his hand. The Texican Secretary of State was an articulate and educated woman of 35. Her face was flawless and her beauty moved in an upright posture, shoulders back.

     "Relationships. Only a decade ago it was Mexicans and Americans. Then the Texans got fed up and wanted to do it their way. Nothing wrong with that, but we have concerns about the Texan influence in Texico. Brazilians know Mexicans, but are leery of people like L. Dean and Barnes."

     "Oh, Henrique. You know me. Are you leery of me?" She was close enough to whisper and the President could smell the aromas of lotions, perfumes, and human scents. They had spent the evening dining together at the Palacia da Alvorada, the official residence of the President. Henrique Diego Almeida was a hero in his homeland but famously prone to a wandering eye. The silk white, Irish blooded, green eyed face of Maggie Graham was inches from his lips. Her eyes closed and she kissed him for an extended period. She moved closer to him and her hair fell down. He knew resisting was hopeless and he knew the deal with the Texicans for petroleum rights and refinery development would be announced the next day. The Western Hemisphere Oil Alliance (WHOA) with Canada, Texico, and Brazil would bring Texico gas prices to early 1970's levels for it's citizens and ensure the heating and transportation industries would continue to thrive from Rio de Janeiro to New Foundland for all three nations. The Americans continued to rely on the English and Saudi's for oil, the mighty Gulf of Mexico no longer their own. By 2030, the entire American oil industry went bankrupt due to government regulations and controls and gas was $20 a gallon.  The bones of Andrew Jackson, the fiercly independent president of the people and who the American twenty dollar bill is named for, was likely shifting dirt around.  The bones of Sam Houston, his protege and fellow Tennessean, were getting the last laugh.

     The wind powered most of the Texico's domestic needs.  Critics argued that wind could not produce on-demand power.  When a Texico A&M scientist, Dr. Dale DeVille, discovered a method to store up electricity, Texico city's were assured of illumination and evening celebrations.  In addition, because the government no longer provided lighting of any kind to cities, towns, or Estados, power was only used when needed.  Corporations were looking for profits and lighting up a high-rise building so you can see it from afar, wasn't worth the expense.  St. Patrick's Day or not.  Night time skylines were obsolete in Texico.  Only the street levels were lit.  Neon and bright.

     "Sleep good, Henrique?” a stretching Maggie asked when she woke with the sun rise. Her hands were behind her head, elbows bent out. He turned from the window where he was standing and smiled wearily at her.

     "Like a king." he said.

Chapter 10:  Really Fine 170 Years

....because everyone would have to agree. Motivations would need to be compelling for both entities. Whoever thought we'd be at this place. One day away from the glory of a new hope for the world. A place of purity and thoughtfulness. A place where wolves sleep during the day and get fed at night. The passing people just kept on walking. Right though the screen doors and paper walls. The sturdy folks stood there unmoved and resolved. No one would tell them how to act. Rights were rights. The bluecoat men thought the Texans would fall in line. The gasps when the letter was delivered. 'Mr. President, it's been a really fine 170 years, but today the people of Texas declare our independence. God bless America.'....

Chapter 11:  Tulsa Uprising (Reptiles Rule The Yard)

.the neon lights are brightest at dusk.
.the texican women take their time.
.hot jets and twisters with water smooth as glass.
.okies keep coming in over the red river.
.better let the archers know to tighten their bows.
.up near powderly they seem to have snuck in.
.back in the early thirties the americans cut them loose.
.something about bankruptcy and the tulsa uprising.
.the mayan people know the art of the brush off.
.and francisco del corona put his foot down.

.we take the criminals out to west texico.
.out between sweetwater and guthrie.

.there we hang 'em in the sun.
.make sure the wild hogs have their fun.

.target practice for the bow hunters.
.all the prisoners in tents within the razor wire.

.left there to work, then die.
.society better off without the killers of innocents.

.mercy shown to the citizens of our great nation.
.termination of the guilty without any rehab attempts.

.the judges send them away as applause fills the courtroom.
.and they don't get any camera time.

.assigned a number and all their teeth are pulled.
.no television no visitors.

.hosed down once a month.
.reptiles rule the yard.

Chapter 12:  Follow The Sun 

     Texican hands were rough. Full of earth spots, sun spots, and nicks.  From the fertile dark soils of the northeast to the dust left over from the dust bowl of the previous century, there was a purpose for all the dirt.  Sands of Galveston, Padre Island, and the Yucatan Rivera met the Sea of the Gulf.  Baja and Acapulco bid farewell to the Pacific.  It does always go east to west it seems.  Follow the sun.

     The family farm was a thriving industry in Texico.  Robust local economies supported direct trade. Producer to consumer was the normal exchange.  Only manufacturers of large or specialized items used middle men.  Mostly, it was direct and modestly priced.  America's corrupt institutions included its economy, where several deals were contracted and negotiated before the buyer got to decide.  Persuasions to fool the masses represented the largest industry in America.  Advertising and media.  Billboards were not existent in Texico, where anything to burden the evening views and morning sunrises was scorned by the population. Money was a means to end, not the end of the rainbow.  Many American farmers migrated to Texico to live the life they knew.  The estado of Trinity, with its spring rains and rich soil largely supplied the nation's food and textiles needs, allowing economies of other areas to focus on other industries.  There was cooperation and strategy, not competition and sabotage, among the estados of Texico.  Oil energy in Delta, sugarcane in Veracruz, wind energy in Ogallala, technology in Pecos, automobiles in Chihuahua, media and tourism in Yucatan, telecommunications in Mexico, financial services in Brazos, sports in Tabasco, music in Galveston, beer and wine in Louisiana, foreign exporting in Baja, and the farming and ranching in Trinity.  Never had the world seen a well coordinated and executed strategy applied to an entire economy.  The results were spectacular for all Texicans. 

     The term limits written into the Texico Papers ensured innovation and evolution of thought.  Creative solutions to problems and, more importantly, the avoidance of creating new problems motivated the politicians and their actions.  Like the economy, middle men were cut out of government.  Politics was not an industry like the still-greasy Washington D.C. of America.  The lobbying profession barely existed and went underground.  Offenders would rightly be brought up on bribery charges, usually convicted, and sent to an Ogallala tent prison.

Chapter 13:  Holy Water

     To some, water is the most essential element.  Not only does it ensure sanitary living, but the soul needs the cleansing prior to the arrival of the Holy Spirit.  If you were to invite God over for dinner, would you not give your house a good cleaning?  Wash that infant soul.  Because of it obvious importance and tremendous abundance, many steps were taken in the early days of Texico to develop the water purification industry. The process was very simple and required only steam emissions.  The abundant ocean waters could be consumed.  Privately funded infrastructure was improved and, relatively quickly, the deserts and dust of western Texico became an oasis.

     The Pacific Ocean water proved more tasty and fresh.  Baja was known as the Pias de Agua--Land of Water.  The Gulf water better for irrigation and swimming pools.  Gulf mud baths were a luxury for vacationing tourists and locals alike.  The Caribbean waters were left alone, mostly, but a few private companies had created huge fresh water lakes using the sacred clear water.  Seafood fed the masses along with beef, tomatoes, almonds, cheese, spices and herbs and peppers of a thousand varieties.  Texico was a culture focused on its culture.  Music was everywhere.  The beats were reggae, Cajun, honkeytonk, blues. All jazzed up and plugged in.  Every night was an event.  No better way to end the day.  Also, days of the week were abandoned in Texico.  Dates were fine, the brilliance of the Mayans, but the Monday - Sunday weekly marker disappeared in Texico.  Generally, private employers gave a number of days per year off. The average Texican works about half the days of a year.  The rest are sick days, vacation days, birthdays, holidays, sabbath days, family days, and health days.  The schools in Texico work in much the same fashion. Education is very more customized, individualized, and specialized.  Technology is used creatively and effectively to provide very low cost education.  After only ten years as a nation, the Texican children were the smartest in the world and contributed to innovation of thoughts, ideas, and methods at very early ages. America had its Ivy League; Texico had its Cyber League.  Texicans didn't go away to big buildings to get educated, week after week after week.  Like voting, school was largely done through the internet.  Cheaper, better, customized.  The industries of the modern world required a new model from the three R- reading/rightin/rithmatic educations of the poor American children.

     Texican water and purification systems would also have major impact abroad as well.  By 2050, the Sahara Desert had completely disappeared.  Changed, like western Texico, into a lush green bed.  The Australian Outback as well.  Ice cultivation and earth heating technology, invented by Dr. Dale DeVille, transformed Greenland into a vast prairie region.  Innovation was what Texico was known for most and it's relationships with almost all the countries of the world were strong.  Relations with America were always tinged with a bit of frost, although mutual interests and business realities kept the peace assured.  A war between the nations never occurred.

     Once the succession was ratified by America during the Second Louisiana Purchase Agreement in 2020, blood shedding was never considered a prudent action.  Although the nations never declared war on each other, border skirmishes were common in the early days of Texico with the Battle of Lake Texoma and the San Diego Incident being the most notorious.  The Okies desire for acceptance into Texico was normal, but never had a group of people banned together in tribal unity and violence demanding to become part of nation. This level of intensity was usually reserved for factions of people breaking away from a country. 

     Perhaps that’s what was happening.  The Okies, desperate to leave America like the Texans, directed the anger at Texico.  Because the Okies had no real guns, the fighting was done through bows and arrows, and knifes.  When 2,000 Okies stormed over the Denison dam and marched into downtown Denison announcing their arrival, 20,000 Texico citizens showed up a day later and sent them running back in a haze of shotgun fire.  Texicans didn't like their style and saw no future for the Okies in Texico.  In San Diego, tunnels were dug to funnel people into Texico from America.  This was during the Mexican American and Asian American race war of 2026.  The people of San Diego wanted Texico to protect and accept them as their own, but the Californians were insistent on certain demands and the Texicans passed on the deal.  Insulted, the San Diego Brigade of the Mexican American army turned it's fury towards Texico.  Details are undisclosed, but the Texican Especialista Nombre was called in and the conflict ended quickly.  The following day, the Brigade had another commander with a more reasonable attitude towards Texico and tensions subsided.

     A pipeline now runs from the Pacific Ocean to the Edwards Aquifer.  It is the purest water in all the world, hailed for its healing qualities and mineral content.  The holy water of Texico.

Chapter 14:  Amigos 

     The paper he held in his hand was meaningless.  The proposed partnership was just another attempt to draw the country into a legal mire.  Long ago the country refused to acknowledge the high courts of other nations.  And they no longer respected many of the nations themselves.  The President’s chuckle masked a deeper frustration.  Politically, he was being pressured to enter into alliances, treaties, and agreements with the persistent neighbors to the north.  The ties that bind ran deep.  Families, businesses, and traditions shared by Texico and America were centuries old.  The money was also centuries old.  However, the memory of the struggle to regain independence was fresh in his mind.  Although bloodless, the five years of bitter transition from the state to lone star state to the lone star nation was hard fought in courtrooms, boardrooms, media outlets, and foreign nations.  Enemies were forged and rivalries were born.  One can only speculate when the point of no return was reached, but it was reached and any argument to remain part of the United States after the point of no return was dismissed.

     “The Yanks want us to put the squeeze on Microsoft.  They want us to join in a legal battle to break the geek monopoly.  How ‘bout we let that monopoly run out of Austin.  Pay attention to this wisdom folks—don’t tick off the techies.  I learned that the hard way.”  President James T. Barnes was familiar with the benefits of presiding over a true capitalistic system.  Let the best thrive in your economy and you will win the global competition.  If they eat everybody up, so be it.  Make sure they follow the law and don’t compromise.

     Winning the global competition is what allowed Texas to become a sovereign nation.  It is what allowed the union of Texas and Mexico and the eventual establishment of Texico.  But competitive complacency could never be tolerated and after 30 years the Texico nation had grown into the 2nd largest economy in the world.  For a nation whose economy was driven primarily by energy, agriculture, and financial services, the chance to be the host of the undisputed technology giant of the world was a discussion President Barnes and his cabinet placed at the top of his weekly cabinet meeting agenda.  No other agendas were in the room as he surrounded himself with his most trusted advisers, his most thoughtful rebukers, and the man he called his right hand man.  When his cabinet was formed two years prior he carefully selected the five individuals that made up the powerful group.  He then contacted all of them directly and made a few demands.  “Be who you are.  Give me the advice you want to give.  I’ll make or not make decisions behind closed doors taking your counsel into consideration.  We leave the room unified and on message.  No politics in the inner circle.”  If they could work under those terms, along with a healthy salary and generous benefits, they could have one of the most powerful jobs in the world.  Only one declined.

     The Vice President was Julio Francisco Del Corona.  He was a patriarch of old Mexico and, despite his advanced years, was a vigorous and genuine Texican patriot.  His inclusion in the inner circle was a given in light of his long and mutually respectful association with President Barnes.  He was universally known as Fran.  And he was not timid.

     Maggie Graham was a master campaigner and a major land owner and real estate developer.  She had benefited greatly from Texico-style pure capitalism and was eager to spread the gospel.  She was the President’s main adviser on economic issues.  She was a wealthy and beautiful woman.  And well traveled.  As Secretary of State she was responsible for relations with other nations.  She was the voice and messenger.  Not as same-minded with Barnes as the others, she was quick to offer dissenting opinions but had held to the pre-conditioned demands of the job.  Her talent abroad was obvious and she had recently made major progress with the Brazilians on an energy agreement.  The western Hemisphere Oil Alliance (WHOA).  It amounted to a Monroe Doctrine of petroleum.  The OPEC dinosaurs were reeling from the loss of most of the North and South American continent markets.  They still manipulated the American economy, but were losing their iron grip and some of their power on the world scene.  Canada’s inclusion in the agreement the prior year had given the effort momentum and Brazil was the desperately needed final dagger in OPEC’s heart.  Along with Canada’s and Brazil’s energy resources, advanced electric automobile technology, wind power, massive off-shore oil field discoveries, and the abundant natural gas fields of West Texico, the energy alliance could provide for the energy needs of the rest of the hemisphere and be competitive in the Eastern part of the world as well.  Global competition extended to energy and the Texicans played to win.  The Arabs could drown in their oil.  Or sell it for a buck.  We no longer cared and Graham made no apologies.

     Mitchell C. Parrish served as Secretary of Defense.  His was a broad job that included military defense, technology defense, disease defense, and defense of the Texico Papers, the governing documents of the nation.  Parrish was a shadowy figure to the media and others, but within the cabinet and in powerful circles from Dallas to Mexico City, he was heavily sought after and listened to.  His easy smile and boisterous nature equipped him with the ability to hide the disastrous affects the job was having on his health.  Those in the room were not fooled as his slight frame and sunken eyes betrayed his attempted deception.

     Travis B. Whitney was the Attorney General and pleaded the case of the administration in the courts of law and the court of public opinion.  He was the likely successor to Barnes’ leadership in the election of 2040.  Able to debate any side of any issue, his brilliant mind was legendary.  However, his motives were questioned by some.  His pro-American rhetoric and nostalgic writings of previous years left him a bit vulnerable, but he had proven his Texican credentials with hours upon hours upon hours of law arguments on behalf of Texico in foreign nations.  The vast majority of those arguments he won.  Travis B. Whitney was a winner.

     L. Dean Fitzgerald was the Secretary of Truth and one of Texico's Founding Amigios, as they were known.  Other Founding Amigos included Elias T. Woods, Fran, and J.T. Barnes.  Their early cries and reasoning for liberty, inspired a unity and purpose for the Texican people.  The dynamics of nations are not set in stone.  Beginnings and endings.  Texico, in it's beginning years.

Chapter 15:  Galveston Coast

     Almost drowned down there, on the Galveston Coast, had to go deeper and deeper to make sure a big one was rode.  Passed on a few, got oily saltwater in my mouth, sunglasses aflutter.  Purchased a boogie board that morning, a day after constructing massive and precise castles and underestimating the sun's capability to turn me bright pink.  Wore a long sleeve shirt and tight hat from then on.  Spent the morning getting the hang of it and instructing my daughters as they caught wave after wave.  Then went out deeper to find a wave of my own.  My youngest daughter stuck with me for awhile, but halted with great concern as she saw me heading for the big breakers.  Wanted to ride one all the way in.  Had two concealed Modelos iced down on the beach.  A huge umbrella covered our possessions.  Finally got out to where the big waves broke, having to jump as the waves passed to prevent a face shot.  Learned this the hard way.  Then it came.  Saw it from way back.  Had a rhythm so my confidence was high.  Took the final plunge and leaped on, my elbows tucked rigidly on the board.  Whipped by my youngest, who looked astonished and proud, and felt the speed.  Riding an uncontrollable wave, with complete control.  Came to a complete and exhausted stop at the ankle water.  Turned over and laid flat in the shallow water.  Wife, friend, and lover of our souls, saw the whole thing.  Perched on the beach with a golden tan and floppy hat.  She motioned approval and reached for the camera.  Youngest came running over, the most excited of all.  Oldest missed it, distracted by the loss of her shades, but heard the story, in detail, later that night over fish dinners and shrimp.   Those Modelos went down in a rush, drank from a hotel cup.  Think of that wave.  It's creation, it's maturing, it's final service.  Indifferent to the seemingly important tasks of our daily actions and uncaring of my ride.  This life ain't hard and this life ain't easy.  Spend your time finding waves, just the right ones, the uncaring ones.  Ride them all, take drink breaks, and control the uncontrollable.

Chapter 16:  Pecan Clusters

...led down a hall to a room full of pecan clusters...glazed with sugar and steaming...the smell was incredible and stays with me always...morning dreams and fireproof unions...more good days than bad...heartbreaks and last second shots...move the body and expand the brain...this life, full of cliffs...jumping jacks flashing the containers litter the room...old ways of thinking...when liberty was for the courageous...only love matters in the end...the love of it all...pleasure and pain...old and new...of things not even new yet...this ain't no American dream...laws and regulations and socially acceptable long as the checks keep coming and the roads get all the people in the the streets after robbers...make maps of the city limits...plunged into poverty and the Texicans built barb wired fences...

Chapter 17:  American Margin Call

     No one could have predicted the rise of the Texicans, but many were involved.  Elias T. Woods considered it long ago, on the banks of the Brazos.  Talking late into the night with L. Dean, he understood the Texico dream.  Economically, he knew a Texico future was more fertile, but he questioned the willingness of the people, or even the willingness of the politicians, to revolt from America. 
     At that time, before the towers fell, America was widely considered the lone superpower.  The storefront doors swung open and the world bought America.  And also stole America.  Literally, as Chinese and Indian hackers stole every piece of data owned by Americans, American corporations, American government institutions, American schools of higher education, American museums, American halls of fame, American financial institutions, American military infrastructure.  It was a fleece job the likes of which the world had never seen.  Meanwhile, America was sending another big boat to the Persian Gulf to really pressure the Iranians to quit making a nuclear bomb.  The Iranians never looked intimidated. 
     Just like the Brits, America was fighting wars the old way and stumbling along.  Trillions of dollars were borrowed from future generations of Americans and foreigners to fund the operation.  New planes, ships, rockets, night vision glasses, and jeeps every year.  The President always got a few hats and a blue all-weather jacket to wear around the boats and military bases.  Uncle Sam had big, big pockets of borrowed money.  Commanders in Chiefs with a tribe of cameras documenting the whole sad scene. 
     In wait the hackers plotted along with the lenders.  Eventually the days of the American Margin Call arrived and while Americans drowned in $10 gasoline and double digit inflation, corporations laid off millions.  Chinese were dumping treasuries like the great flood of the world--a  financial flood.  The notes were due.  All the while, Asian replication of the American economy progressed and America's slide to second world country continued.  Once it was disclosed that Fort Knox held no actual gold, the public was finally outraged.  Even Guantanamo closed down, in an undeclared surrender. 
     By this time the government was so massive, only mirrors could capture the guilty, naive, and dumb.  However, the government didn't lay anyone off, it got bigger.  Factions of dissenters remained, but only Texas was able to organize and prepare effectively.  Only Texas had men and women of adventure, courage, and persistence to follow through.  The bravado, the umph, the vision.  Put your cards on the table and keep your hands where I can see 'em.  Part of the past and ingrained in the Texas earth.  This place will exist long after America, as all places have throughout history.  Empires rise and fall.  The same will likely happen to Texico one day.  Or, perhaps God will decide to end it all prior to that day.  Perhaps Texico is the last empire on earth.

Chapter 18: The Texican Delta

that dude pulling the race car is driving like a madman.
weaving in and out, tailgating everyone.
sunburnt people in a rush and cussing gas prices.

quite an operation they got going on the island.
southern rockers and barefoot pickers.
everyone from somewhere else and smiling.

it's hard work to relax and have a good time.
expensive too.
we must get digital evidence in black, white, and coral.

queen of buns wore pink with a huge bow on front.
the woman in her is busting out and raging.
learning hard lessons about the nature of humanity.

grainy a.m. stations with protectors and defenders.
wish they had a good jazz station in dallas.
monk and miles and grover and fagen.

compelled to worship and pray, called to proclaim.
religious culture warriors step aside.
culture will always change, now it's your turn.

change your heart, save your soul, turn and testify.
Jesus didn't sue anyone.
spoke for Himself, died for all.

they got sugarcane all up through there.
the soggy middle of the texican delta.
bumpy back road shortcuts and stalled out trains.

Chapter 18:  The Texican Maneuver

.stay right here
.let it loose
.they can look right into our windows
.nosy and unrelenting
.they will come for money and blood
.they will dig in and fight
.talk with measured words
.claw our way to respectability
.smoking rooms and bribes
.we can start all over
.we can begin again
.as weird as it sounds
.the texican maneuver
.the law men have already decided
.bluffs are coming soon
.stay steady and calm
.the unbelieving are aghast
.what happens next is considered
.the american guy was easily distracted
.drank expensive drinks and sweated heavily
.talked down to people habitually
.an awful trait
.looking for a way out
.keep the peace at all costs
.unconscious before eleven
.talked about louisiana the next morning
.they were relieved 

Chapter 19:  The Devil's Trade

.started with a huge gasp of air.
.made their way to the cannonballs.
.kept blasting the opposite banks.
.all through the afternoon and night.
.the white flags came out eventually.
.the Texicans rise again. 
.hysterical commitment cannot be overcome.
.a burden beyond belief.
.carried it up the road.
.on the outskirts of town.
.even had help along the way.
.it could not be done alone.
.agony and moments of boredom.
.branded with scars of war.
.brought to the alter with shame.
.complete mysteries never to be explained.
.something about that wine.
.transferred by digestive means.
.blame it on rio.
.beautiful beautiful things.
.its all been done before.
.for the same exact reasons.
.the devil's trade.