seen to do, but extremely impressive to the neophytenspectator. When Arruza had to kill, he did so with thensecond thrust but very neatly, so that the bull dropped as ifnpoleaxed, spouting an eruption of blood from the mouthnthat should have emptied him completely before he reachednhis knees in the sand, and rolled onto his back with his legsnup and the life fading visibly from his great dark eyes. It wasna fine kill and the president awarded Arruza both ears, whichnhe paraded around the ring before tossing them to his fans.nBullfighters have egos unmatched except by those ofnopera singers, and so Silveti must have been anticipating anbrave bull — or anyway a bull on rails, as aficionadosnsay — for his second bull, the brindle we had seen eadier innthe pen. But this bull was not on rails, he was oif themncompletely — meaning that nothing that he did, the way henused his horns or charged or in any way conducted himself,nwas in the least predictable. This type of bull is of all bullsnthe most dangerous to the matador and to his men, and thenstrain of dealing with the brindle must have worn badly onnSilveti in the first two acts of the fight, so that when he hadnto kill he found that he could not do it properiy: perhaps henhad become afraid to go in over the horns of this bull. Henstood just as Mariano Ramos had stood, with his back turnedndirectly to us, so that I, with him, sighted along hisnoutstretched arm to the turned-down sword’s point. WhennSilveti went in to kill, I felt almost that I was dealing thenestocada myself.nThe sword penetrated to the hilt, but the bull did notndrop. Silveti stepped away from the bull and faced up to thenband above the president’s box. “Musica, musical” he cried.nThe musicians obliged, but the crowd drowned them out.n”Tow! Tow!” the people shouted, as if their sympathy hadnbeen transferred suddenly from the man to the bull thatnman was trying to kill.nSilveti went in again with the sword and this time the bullncharged him, knocking him down in the sand where hendisappeared under the trampling brindle body as it strucknwith its horns at the human figure pinned directly beneathnit. The banderillews rushed in swirling their capes, and thennSilveti was free of the bull and on his feet again, makingnfurious gestures and exclaiming loudly as he caught up hisnsword from the sand. Already cushions were spinning downnand plopping around him, while the stadium echoed withnthe boos and catcalls that had been added to the groans, andnfinally the bellowing, of the mortally wounded bull. Silvetinhad that fierce expression on his face that he had had withnhis first bull and he was showing his teeth again, but in truenanger this time; his handsome blue-and-gold costume wasncovered with blood. He kicked a cushion out of his way as henbrought up the sword and sighted along its quicksilvernlength. Even as he went in the air was thick with cushionsnonce more, and all around the ring people were getting upnand leaving. The puntillew ran in with the knife and Silvetinstruck with it unsuccessfully before he seized the swordnagain and jammed it between the brindled shoulders. At last,nwith heaving bellows, the bull collapsed in the sand andnrolled in his little blood, the upturned point of his right hornngleaming in the evening light. It was the same strangelyndeflected point Jim and I had noted when we visited thenpens many hours before.n”That horn,” Jim said as we stood from the tendidos andnreached behind ourselves for the cushions, “is probably allnthat kept that guy from being gored to death this afternoon.”n* * *nOn our way from the bullring, we became engulfed in thentide of eighty-five hundred departing spectators amongnwhom the matadores were driven slowly by their chauffeurs.nThey sat with grim and fixed expressions, staring at their lapsnexcept when they gave the driver the order to stop and wrotenautographs through the rolled-down windows. In the middlenof the confusion two or three taxi cabs began backing amongnthe crowd, and suddenly Jim shouted to me, “It’s anpickpocket scam!” The drivers of the taxis were pushingnpeople like cattle toward the Monumental Bar, and I felt antug at the sleeve of the jacket I carried over my arm. Thenringleader was obvious enough when you caught on to whatnwas happening; a dark, stoutish, and highly unpleasantlookingnman. Jim had begun to scowl but we did not dare tonreact aggressively in the middle of that Juarez crowd, whichnwe escaped as quickly as we could to flag a waiting taxi onnthe boulevard. The driver wore a Chico Marx hat and innalmost every other way resembled Chico himself. A large dienin black-and-white hung by a cord from the rearview mirror.n”Cudnto cuesta al puente avenida Juarez?” Jim askednhim as soon as we were inside the taxi.n”Five dollars each person.”nFive dollars was what we had paid coming out for twonpeople. “No, no,” Jim told him. “Five dollars for twonpeople!”n”Oke,” the driver agreed cheerfully; ” — for two!” Butnwe didn’t go anywhere.n”What seems to be the problem?” Jim asked the driver atnlast.n”No problem, senor. I am only waiting for more people.”n”For God’s sake, man,” Jim exclaimed. “Take us to thenbridge, can’t you? You can come back here and get all thenfares you want.”n”Oke,” the driver explained, starting the engine.nHe drove very fast, not stopping for the ALTO signs andnplunging precipitously into a one-way street that did notnhappen to be going our way, as the black-and-white diendanced and spun from the rearview mirror. Jim’s face duringnthe trip was difficult to read. When we reached the bridgenthe driver put his foot down hard on the brake beforenturning to regard us across the seat-back with a wide grin ofnself-approval. “Here is bridge. You want anything else? Younwant to get drunk? You want some p y?”nWe paid him the five dollars and walked on to the bridge,nsidestepping the teenage whores as we went. Already thenwetbacks were taking to the river on inner tubes with boardsnplaced across them for seats, and ahead of us the lights of thenEl Paso skyscrapers flared through the smog and the blowingndust, while in memory I heard again the cry uprolling fromneight and a half thousand throats: “Ole! Ole! Toro! Toro!”nIn the bullfight, the bull has nobility conferred upon himnbecause, for all his strength, courage, and endurance, he cannnever be a man; as, in the bullfight also, the man, for all hisnskill, control, bravery, and grace, can never be a god. Only anvery spiritual and essentially realistic people, it seemed tonme, could ever have appreciated and developed the art andnritual of bullfighting.nnnnAPRIL 1992/25n