With His Pistol in His Hand (Part 1)

I personally like how “With His Pistol in His Hand” is structured. I find it more interesting than the first book that we read because of the context that the first chapter contains. I remember having to navigate around the characters in “The Squatter and the Don” as they came along one by one with no context (at least for some of them) whatsoever ahead of time. After having been given some historical context, I found it easier to know “where I am”.

It is apparent that greed, along with brutality, is a recurring theme in the books that we have read so far. The 21st page of the book talks about categorizing Americans during this time. They either do not have personal feelings against the Mexicans but ruthless in their efforts to acquire a fortune quickly or they are inclined to be brutal to everyone and have targeted the Mexicans because of their defenseless state after the war because they are easy outlets.

As I was reading the part where it explains how Rangers would “shoot first and ask later”, I could not help but be reminded of the stories of the Second World War that I heard from my grandparents when I was little. My great grandfather passed down his experience with the Japanese during the Second World War. Since the Philippines was an American base in the Pacific, it is expected to have the presence of the Japanese military in the country. My great grandfather lived in a small town where a person can just run around to warn people that Japanese soldiers are coming to do their rounds. Two of my great grandfather’s nieces sought refuge in his home as they said that some Japanese soldiers were after them. My great grandfather had to find a way to hide his nieces and he did. He had them hidden and rolled up in straw mats and leaned them against the wall. Shortly, the soldiers came along with an interpreter who can speak both the dialect and Japanese. The Japanese soldiers asked about the girls but of course my great grandfather said that they weren’t there even though the soldiers insisted that they saw the girls run towards his house. My great grandfather succeeded in convincing the soldiers and they all decided to leave. The interpreter was the last one out the door but then he told my great grandfather, “take care of those girls. I know they’re here. Straw mats don’t roll up that big.”

It is obvious that greed and brutality has been part of society and it is sad how this is how most people will be remembered, some as the ones being oppressed and some being the ones doing the oppressing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *