NEW MEXICO: I Am Nothing

For nearly 40 years, wispy, stooped Billy "Smith" was just another of the wandering fruit tramps who drift through California's central valley, following the crop seasons. Three years ago, Billy settled down at Dingville, a little grocery-&-bar crossroads on Alfred ("Dutch") Montna's ranch outside Marysville. He did odd jobs around the ranch and store.

Last week the hands and ranchers crowded about the pay phone in the back of Dutch's grocery store. Dutch put in a call for General Patrick J. Hurley, in Santa Fe. Old' Billy spoke into the phone. "Hello? Is this Pat Hurley? Well, this is Bill."...

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