Twenty-two-year-old Raoul Delgado had planned carefully for the greatest event of his life. He'd worked hard for six months, saving all he could, and now had 50 US dollars. He was ready. Raoul waited until it was dark before crossing the Rio Grande, and now he was in El Paso Texas. He walked toward the bright lights and his bright future with the dream of great wealth. Raoul had heard stories about how good workers could make as much as $2.00 an hour and two US dollars was more than he could make in a whole day in Mexico.
The first establishment that Raoul came to was the Silver Spur Saloon. The bright lights and the loud music got his attention immediately. He stopped walking and stood on the edge of the road looking at the front door thinking he should celebrate. I am Raoul Delgado and now that I am in the land of milk and honey, I will soon be rich and a very important man. The door opened and two men stepped out, got into a late-model pickup truck and drove away. The air stirred up by the pickup carried with it dust from the gravel parking lot, the stench of cigarette smoke, and the faintest bouquet of bourbon. It drew him in like a magnet.
Three hours later Raoul was thrown out of the bar, penniless, drunk, and mean. He got up from the gravel parking lot cursing, yelled meaningless threats, and then like a moth, staggered off toward the nearest lights.
Rita Ann Whitefeather didn’t like to work late but she understood only too well that she didn’t really have a choice. She was female, a single mother, Native American, and lucky to have a job that didn't include selling herself on the streets. Rita had worked the two extra hours with a pleasant smile, rushed home, picked up her son, Logan, from the neighbors, and then they had gone to the Food Mart.
By the time Rita parked her older model car in front of their rented mobile home it had been dark for several hours. She handed the front door key to her eleven-year-old son and then opened the trunk. By the time she picked up the first bag, Logan was standing there ready to take it. Rita handed the boy a bag of groceries, and then saw the man standing behind him holding a large knife. The man appeared to be Hispanic; his shiny black hair appeared to be wet, maybe with sweat, maybe oil, or maybe both. He was a younger man near her own age with the beginnings of a mustache visible above a mean drunken smile that showed yellow crooked teeth.