This is the continuation of my mother's autobiography. I originally translated this document for my class at Fairhaven College and my notes reflect that.
But let's go back to the time before I was born, to 1910. My father was no longer an official in the army of Porfirio Díaz. He was, by then, a simple citizen who would slaughter cattle for a living. He would sell the meat and would make good money. My mother told me about the time when my father was travelling in the mountains and a platoon of soldiers found him. They captured him and took him, by shoves, to their General. The General turned out to be Pancho Villa, who stared at my father and asked him, "Are you Rafael Andrade?". My father answered, "Sí mi General!" General Villa then ordered the soldiers to let go of him, "because he is my friend." They began to chat and Pancho Villa asked after my mother, María. My father told him that she was expecting a baby. I imagine that this took place in December because I was born on the 5th of January. Then General Villa ordered that my father be given a bunch of bars of piloncillo (loaf sugar) and several disks of Mexican chocolate. He told him, "Here, take this to María so that when she has the baby, she'll produce a lot of milk." He also gave my father a beautiful horse (and I remember that horse) so he could get back home. So it is that I am nourished with food that once belonged to Pancho Villa.
My mother no longer had servants, but somehow she managed to do her housework. In this situation, I was born on January 5, 1911. I was very little and had light colored hair and blue eyes. But eventually the color of my eyes changed and now they are brown. Well, I grew*. Between the ages of seven and eight, in the 1918, when the Spanish influenza killed so many people -- it was a disaster -- my mother agonized, being pregnant, and my father died. Six months later, my mother's sister came and convinced my mother to go and live with her and her family, so we went. My mother took with her a fair amount of livestock: two horses and one burra with her colt. This place (Rancho El Moro) was a very beautiful high mountain far from the pueblo (Villa Victoria). Everytime our food would run out, my mother would have to go down the mountain to the pueblo to sell and animal so she could feed us. She had to do this to prevent any bad feelings with my aunt's family. And this is how my mother's money dwindled. On the other hand, my brother, Domingo, would secretly steal and sell my mother's jewelry. He was very rude to my mother. My sister, María, got married and we never heard from her again. And so my mother became very poor, she had nothing. The only ones who stayed with her were my brother, Rafael, and myself. We would obey her and take care of her and she would, in turn, care for us. Rafael and I would make houses with thatched roofs if we had to move. We would go into the woods and collect honey from wild bees, we would gather wild vegetables and would hunt pigeons or wild birds. I was always with him because he suffered from fevers due to a shock he received. When he would get a fever, he would remain unconscious for two or three hours. We always took water in a gourd and I would mop his brow with a cool, wet handkerchief. Our suffering was great, but we never asked anyone for anything. When it was time to plant, my brother would hire himself out to work for some me who would drive pigs or cattle to as far away as Colima on the coast. They would go on foot and it would take them as much as a monthg to get there. But when he returned, he would bring us shoes, lengths of fabric to make me dresses and candies -- really good ones which were packed in beautiful little wooden boxes...I don't think they make them anymore**. In short, my dear brother did as much as he could. He worked and they paid him the same as a big man because he as on par with them, working from sun to sun. He wouldn't grow, he was small and thin, maybe because of his infirmity, but someone cured him and he grew after he got well to not less than six feet tall, but thin.
Well, let me return to my mother. One day, my mother went to a certain place, and as I said, our poverty was great, the soles of my mother's shoes were worn out. We were walking when she suddenly cried out and I asked, her, "What's the matter?" and she said, "I got a splinter." She sat down, shouting and crying at her great misfortune. But God had a plan so great and marvellous with my mother.
A few months later, she came home and said that she had been at the house of a family that was getting ready to go to Tampico, Tamaulipas. In that time, Tampico was in a bonanza (boom time) and that family had invited my mother to go with them and she accpeted. At home, there were much more than one dozen goats that were mine, some very fine pigs that someone had traded my mother for some goats, and a female piglet that my mother had bought with my silver dollar with the horse on it. I remember very well that dollar my father gave me when I had the measles. My throat was so swollen and for about three days, I couldn't eat a thing. In that time there were no doctors and no matter how much they begged, I would not eat. My father went and got a big bag of gold and silver money and he told me, "Eva, if you drink this glass of milk, you can pick any coin you want," and he emptied the contents of the bag on the bed. I liked that silver peso and then on I began to eat. That is the story of the pigs and the goats.
*"Well, I grew..." This sentence is an utterly simple and eautiful way to describe the years between her birth and the first major event of her life. It is obviously appropriate that a more experienced writer might hesitate to be so brief.
**"...candies...real good ones..." Here, the writer seems to lapse into he own little world, as if she is re-experiencing the eeling that those candies used to give her.