We stopped by Pete’s Pub on our way to the covered dish social. The whole group we called La Prensa was there. We were in luck, they had a few beers and were more than willing to share what they had learned about Mrs. Ladrona, our suspected goat thief. She had been seen on several occasions all over town. Bart from the hardware store had sold her several bags of concrete. Normally her foreman, Soy Matadera would purchase the supplies, but he had left, as several others before him, without a word and she was in the middle of building a cement pond behind the house.”Mor’in likely around the whole house with one a them drawbridges judgin’ from all the damn concrete she bought”. Larry from the feed store had filled a special order of some large reptile feed and delivered it to her house. Seeing the place again, he recalled that her family was originally from Elmendorf and her grandfather had owned a successful construction company supplemented by a bootlegging operation. Tom and I were trying to listen to two conversations at once. “Did you say concrete BOOT business?” Tom asked. We were corrected by Charlie who added that they operated a saloon in addition to a petting zoo/meat market. The grandfather had trouble keeping steady help in the way of bar maids and to add to his misfortune his wife disappeared. Two wives in fact. The saloon had long since closed down. “Read it all in Texas Monthly back in ’02” Charlie said solemnly through glazed eyes and then added “Better give Sheriff Tate a call”
Family history wasn’t my concern at this point. I didn’t see what this had to do with my current problem of getting my goat back. I did learn that Mrs. Ladrona’s maiden name had been Ball and she was named Joe Ann, after her grandfather, Joe. It would be helpful to know her first name when I interrogated her later that evening. I wasn’t about to bother the sheriff about a goat. What we needed was the Animal Cops.
(Photo at Pete’s Pub)
We had decided to drop our covered dish offering and hastily find the woman that was our reason for being there. I finally spotted the suspect in the church hall mashing up something that looked like hamburger helper. I couldn’t think of what to say and either could she by the look on her face. Looking down at her hands kneading through the mixture, I blurted out “Soy burgers? Sorry to hear about your care taker” At this point, Tom bailed me out. “We have been wanting to find out about our goat” he said diplomatically. “Is she bred and ready to come home?” This seemed to set her off. She grabbed a butcher knife and started chopping up tomatoes vigorously as she glared at us “You’ll never get her back. She’s MY Mamacita de cabrito” That’s when we back tracked down the hall way and decided that maybe we should come up with a plan to get our goat back. A plan that involved calling the sheriff. We decided to mull it over at Rosario’s restaurant, but first I had to change into my shirt that RCP had given me……
LIMIT ONE MARGARITA