Breaking the Line

I actually did pretty well, I think.  I stuck to back streets as much as possible and got a few miles behind me before emerging on the highway north of Cabo San Lucas proper and crossing over to the seaward side.  And here I felt rather exposed.  I was on a pretty empty stretch of road where the businesses petered out to be replaced by golf courses and resorts between Cabo San Lucas and Cabo San Jose.  Nearby was a bus stop next to a dry culvert running beneath the highway.  A taco truck and an auto mechanic's garage stood a hundred yards or so farther north.  That was about it, other than the traffic – cars whizzing by north or south, any one of which could reveal a masked assassin.

Should I hide in the culvert, wait for the bus?

Then the unmistakable syncopated swim-fin-on-a-kettledrum sound announced the arrival of a car with a flat tire.  I turned to watch a recent model Honda roll to a stop close to me.  A dark haired senorita in a maroon blazer and ruffled blouse was pounding on the steering wheel, frustration etched in her even featured, cafė-latte hued face.  The front two tires looked unscathed.  A closer inspection showed the right rear of the two-door sagging slightly.

Now I am not a full time Good Samaritan.  I don't feel the call to volunteer for a half a dozen charitable organizations.  I seldom even recycle.  But I do help out from time-to-time when the occasion presents itself.  Here was such an occasion and I'd normally lend a hand simply out of what little kindness lies in my heart.  Still, what led me to offer my assistance now wasn't altruism.  People were trying to kill me and if I didn't need a ride to the airport I'd be hiding in the culvert right now, allowing some other kindly soul to assist the damsel in distress.  Hell, an auto shop wasn't more than a couple football fields away.

I approached the passenger window and waited for her to take in the hulking, sweat-damp gringo.  I let her make up her mind that I wasn't a dangerous lunatic.  “Necesitas ayuda?” I asked when she lowered the window.

“Tire is flat,” she answered in barely accented English.  “I have a spare, but I don't think I have a, what you call, a lift?”

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