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The Caballero's Way: Summary

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The Caballero's Way

Summary subtitle

A. The Kid, His Woman, and The Ranger [1-6]

Let's meet the main characters in this love triangle:

  • The Cisco Kid is a 25-year-old living on the Texas-Mexico border; he is notorious for killing men for fun. He thinks of himself as a "caballero" or gentleman, especially in regard to the ladies.
  • Tonia Perez is his "woman," a part-Mexican girl who lives in a small grass-roofed house near a big forest of cactus. The Kid can go to her house through this forest without being seen. A very old man--her father or maybe grandfather--lives with her, too. He is always drunk.
  • Lieutenant Sandridge is a member of the Texas Rangers. He is sent to hunt for the Kid.

B. The Search [7-16]

After searching for the Kid, Sandridge is told about Tonia. He goes to her house hoping to find the Kid, but instead falls in love with her, as she falls in love with him.

C. A Love Triangle [17-34]

Sandridge visits Tonia twice a week, and teaches her how to braid a rope. (This requires putting his arms around her from behind, to guide her hands.) Whenever he goes to her house, he watches carefully in case the Kid comes. And he came, singing as his horse guides him along the confusing paths inside the cactus forest. But he becomes tired and stops singing before he reaches the house. As usual, he checks the house before going in, so he sees Sandridge and Tonia working on a piece of rope.

D. The Plan [35-48]

The Kid hears Tonia and Sandridge speaking of love, and then he hears them making a plan: the next time Cisco comes to visit, Tonia will send word to Sandridge by a boy named Gregorio. When he receives the letter, Sandridge will come to the small house and kill the Cisco Kid.

E. Return of the Kid [49-71]

The Kid waits until Sandridge leaves, then pretends he is just arriving, singing as he comes. They both hide their feelings, pretending Sandridge doesn't exist. They even kiss! In fact, because he thinks of himself as a gentleman, the Kid can not kill any woman, even one who has betrayed him. So he has to think of a way to solve his problem, without killing Tonia.

F. The Letter [72-79]

A letter is brought to Sandridge's camp by a man named Domingo Sales --not the boy Gregorio. Gregorio is sick, he says. So Sandridge reads the letter, which adds a twist to the plan: because he feels someone is trying to kill him, the Kid wants Tonia to ride away in his clothes, while he waits at the house wearing hers. She tells Sandridge to let the rider in Cisco's clothes escape--it's her--then kill the one in her clothes. Sandridge goes to a small building near the house where wagons are kept, and waits.

G. The End [80-89]

So after an hour, Sandridge sees the person riding away in men's clothes. He then goes immediately to the house and shoots the one in women's clothes. But the letter was actually written by the Cisco Kid. He has just ridden away in his own clothes, and Sandridge has shot Tonia. By escaping, and tricking Sandridge into killing Tonia, the Kid has solved his problem.


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