wallet and looked into it: three ones, arnten, a couple of twenties. Of course hernhad no change. I drew out the singlesrnand showed him them.rn”Cuatro dolares, senor. Uno masl”rnIn among some bank receipts I spottedrna five dollar bill. I drew it out and gave itrnto the man.rn”Seis dolares, sefiorl”rn”No-o-o-o-o.”rnHe took the money from me and wasrngone without another word.rnJim Rauen picked me up aroundrnnoon Saturday on his way from Belen,rnand we rode down to Juarez together inrnhis new Buick. Arriving at the ring toornlate for the sorteo we crossed the street tornPaco, formerly Max-Fim, for lunch, andrnfound the place almost unrecognizablernunder a face lift and a new coat of paint.rnIt was also permanently closed, and sornwas Geronimo’s next door. There isrnscarcely a decent Italian restaurant belowrnCanal Street in New York Cityrnwhich is not the site of at least one ganglandrnkilling, but tlie citizens of Juarez arernapparently less blase than New Yorkers,rnPaco’s owners having closed downrnthe restaurant and sold the buildingrnfollowing the shootings last August andrnSeptember.rnBeing among the first to enter the ringrnafter the gates opened, we escaped therninconvenience of a body search performedrnon all later arrivals as Juarez’srnfinest were suddenly everywhere, whilernwalkie-talkies crackled and red lightsrnswirled. It was a well-meant gesture, norndoubt initiated by Hurtado himself, andrnwe worked hard not to notice that anyonerntoting a bomb or packing a semi-automaticrnweapon had had a full quarter ofrnan hour before the arrival of the police tornM O V I N G ?rnTo assure uninterruptedrndelivery ofrnCHRONICLES,rnplease notifyrnus in advance. Send changernof address and thernmailing label fromrnyour latest issue to:rnCHRONICLESrnSUBSCRIPTION DEPT.rnP.O. BOX 800rnMOUNT MORRIS, IL 61054rnsneak himself and his contraband pastrnthe gate and take up a strategic positionrninside the ring. Besides the cops therernwere a considerable number of ^FV cameramen.rnWe walked around three ofrnthem trying to get the perfect angle on arnpair of girls in tight shorts and haltertopsrnto the refreshment stand and drank arncouple of beers as the crowd passed byrnslowly into the arena.rnWith bullfighting making a comebackrnin northern Mexico and along the border,rnthe patrons of the Plaza Monumentalrnare more enthusiastic and at the samerntime more serious than they were six, seven,rnor eight years ago, when Hurtadornpadre was still alive and the temporadarnwas three corridas a season. The calendariornfor 1998 lists ten events: the Easterrncorrida mixta, in which a novillero, orrnnovice who has yet to make his altemativa,rnperforms with one or more matadoresrnin the course of the afternoon; five novilladas,rnall of whose toreros are novilleros;rnand four corridas, restricted solely tornmatadores. This afternoon the ring,rnthough half empty as always on the sunnyrnside, was more crowded than we hadrnseen it yet, and the crowd itself less full ofrnidle chatter.rnFrom our third-row seats immediatelyrnto the right of the president’s box, werncould watch the entrada forming for thernentry and then, when the cuadrilla wasrnin place for the first fight, look stiaight uprnthe tunnel as the bull came chargingrnout. Bulls fought by the novilleros arerncalled novillos, smaller and lighter thanrnthe toros—big fighting bulls—but therernwasn’t any difference between them thatrnI could see, unless it was that El Juli’s animalsrnwere faster and more furious thanrnthose Antonio Urrutia and Carlos Ronderornfaced: all of them magnificent greyrnbulls with perfectly symmetrical hornsrnfrom the breeding ranch of Cerro Viejo.rnEl Juli himself was a beautiful boy whornwould have been perfectly cast in anrnepisode oiBrideshead Revisited and whornpossessed the aplomb, stage-presence,rnand panache of a man of 40 who hadrnbeen fighting bulls all his life. In spite ofrnthe slight uncooperativeness of his firstrnnovillo. El Juli performed brilliantly,rnplanting his own banderillas with a stylernand accuracy that challenged the olderrnmen who followed to call off their banderillerosrnand match the performance.rnWatching him in the faena, passing thernbull so close to his body that he wasrnbumped twice by the horn, I felt not onlyrnthat I truly understood the bullfight forrnthe first time, but that this was also thernfirst occasion when I was actually seeingrnit—or being made to see it. On thernafternoon of April 11, the separate faendsrn—Urrutia’s and Rondero’s as well asrnEl Juli’s —unfolded in a fluid series ofrnperfectly executed passes, to which thernonly possible response was: ‘Tes. That isrnhow it is supposed to be always, you havernnever seen it quite this good before, andrnnow that you have seen it you will neverrnforget what good looks like, how everythingrnreally is supposed to be, and nowrnyou have a standard of perfection byrnwhich to judge every fight that you willrnever see between this afternoon and thernend of your life.”rnThe second half of the corrida was disfiguredrnby a drunk who tossed a plasticrnbottle filled with branch water at one ofrnthe picadores (always the most unpopularrnof the cuadrilla), hitting him in thernside of the head and nearly knocking hisrncap off The picador, who at the momentrnof impact was leaning on his lancernto press the steel point deeper into thernbull’s shoulder hump, shot a killing lookrninto the crowd which, rising simultaneouslyrnto its feet, shouted, “Fueral FuerarnFuera” in unison as the police moved inrnto apprehend the culprit and Rondero,rnshrugging, seated himself across the ringrnto await the restoration of order. But thernwind, which got up just after he hadrnkilled his first bull, though it scoured thernfaces of everyone sitting on the sombrarnside of the arena, allowed the threerntoreros to show what they were capable ofrnin the most dangerous conditions that arnbullfighter can know in the ring. El Juli,rnconcerned but not in the least intimidatedrnor flustered, gestured to his cuadrillarnas he stepped out to take the bull fromrnthem. Following the faena that ensuedrnhe killed beautiftilly by a perfectiy placedrnestocada and was awarded an ear by thernpresident, which he afterwards tossed tornthe arena’s equivalent of the peanutrngallery as he exited the ring.rnAfter the corrida we washed up at thernhotel and then went for dinner at La Fogatarnon the Avenida 17 septiembre. Thernrestaurant wasn’t there—not just closedrnbut the building removed down to thernfoundation with that sudden and finalrndispensation that awaits so many thingsrnin Mexico, including bulls. We found arnfish place and dined there for 20 dollarsrnfor the two of us, while in the Catedral dernNuestia Sefiora the Easter Vigil went onrnand on and, in the wide streets, a hotrnwind blew. crn50/CHRONICLESrnrnrn