Editor's Note





Contributors' Notes

Shadow Chaser

Lowell Jaeger

Well, it seems Adolfo Padia's young love interest comes up pregnant. Adolfo, being an honorable and hard-working kid, does what's right, and the newly weds settle in a casita near this exact spot we are standing. Anyway, one Saturday night Adolfo plays cards in the local cantina, wins hand after hand. Which causes one of the losers to claim Adolfo's wife slept around and maybe the baby belongs to some other hombre. Adolfo jumps up, shoots Senior Boca Grande, stumbles home, hacks his esposa with a straight razor, carves out the unborn and slits its throat. After which, Adolfo falls to his knees, sobbing, and promptly gives himself over to the sheriff in that building which is an architect's office now but once housed the territorial jail. Hanging was too civilized, some thought, —given the gruesome nature of the crime— so a mob of locals drags Adolfo into the street, forces him to run a gauntlet of vengeful straight razors, slicing him like roast beef till he collapses just past that stoplight. Not this one but the next, on the corner by the bank, says our guide, local historian, and "shadow chaser"—tracker of ghosts. Who recounts the story of this place and will tell you where all the others got it wrong. Who reminds us how facts get twisted. In matters of the distant past, he says, we are all shadow chasers. And that's the truth. Or at least based on the truth. As told by a guy we paid to tell it. Someone who might know something we don't.