The White Desert, Egypt
"I want to live!" Santos said.
Who doesn’t want to live, pendejo?
"Let’s go back," Santos insisted. "Let’s all just turn around. We can make it. I know we can make it."
The walkers who saw this conflict did not know what to do. Although Mendez had clearly gotten them lost, he was the leader. He was in good shape. He was some king of bigwig chingon in the guia group, whereas Santos was a chubby underling, some weak little man they did not respect. Still, he had a point.You’ll die.
They listened to Mendez. It was like choosing a pickup soccer team. Santos led his small mutiny, calling for anyone with the balls to walk back the way they had come. Calling for anyone who wanted to live. He wasn’t lying anymore, he was telling the truth: the only sure way through the desert now was to follow their own tracks and repair the damage. There was one path, and it led backward.
Accounts vary. Either three or five men stepped up. The Santos team.
I’m going home.
We’re almost there, man.
I don’t care. I’m going back.
Santos, expedition leader. They turned around and walked away. Mendez was disgusted with the fat man. He didn’t care to watch them walk away. Some of the walkers watched, torn with fear and worry, unsure what they should do. But they weren’t quitters. Men don’t quit. Hombres. Machos. Viva Veracruz. Viva Guerrero.
Desolation swallowed Santos and his crew.
No trace of them has ever been found.