100 Bullets: Brother Lono 5


And now we see the threads beginning to be drawn together, and in a dream, a daydream, we see where I and no doubt many others have expected this story to go since that intial scene, four long months ago.

And as the story turns to ride downhill, towards its ultimate destination, it grows simpler, its scenes flowing from one to another, each scene bringing the four main protagonists towards its centre: Cortez and Craneo, Sister Rose and Brother Lono.

There’s no immediate follow-up on either of last months revelations: indeed the episode begins with a dream, Lono’s dream of a conversation with Christ, who seeks his aid. Yet it is not the aid Lono provides, which is to pull out the nails and help him down from the cross: Lono’s role is to kill Christ. In what sense that would be is lost: Paolo picks up the fallen bottle that has inspired Lono’s dreaming, but the Dog still barks loudly enough to jump him by instinct.

Enter Sister Rose, whom Paolo rejects with anger, knowing she is not what she pretends to be. His reaction to her is so extreme that Lono is at first mystified. But then Sister Rose says something to open his eyes, and the fact that his eyes were not open of their own accord is something that troubles Lono, and brings him back to the Orphanage at night, rather than commit himself to Cesar’s cells. It looks as if that will be a fateful decision.

We see Carneo with his daughter and her baby-mother, we see Cortez talking to the strange, pickled baby in its tank, making explicit what we have understood for so long, that Las Torres support the Orphanage, that it is in some unquantifiable way, sacrosanct, but that it will thrive and grow that much better if they, not the Church, directly control it. Meanwhile, his guest Maddon demands via his pohone that ‘things’ are done his way.

Despite his hostility to all those there, Paolo has remained at the Orphanage. He daydreams of destroying it, of killing Father Manny and Sister Rose, and Brother Lono, a vision that Lono reads too easily in his eyes, having seen it in a mirror (though Lono’s version reserves an alternative fate for the good Nun). He’s watching her now: into town to shop, and back. He laments to Father Manny that he can no longer tell when a lie is being spoken: that, the Father says, is because he has learned to trust. Whilst they talk, Paolo searches Sister Rose’s room and finds what should not be there: a gun.

And it is well that Brother Lono is on hand for Craneo arrives out of the night, offering money to the orphans to do jobs for Cortez. The money tempts, and though Father Manny says no, some boys say yes. But it is not they who are wanted on this occasion: Craneo is hear for girls, for some of the older girls. Sister Rose too says no, emphatically. Craneo goes over her head to the girls, challenging them to decide for themselves.

Which is when Lono steps forward. He tells Craneo to leave: he will leave alone. Craneo disputes this, he revs her car up, brings it in front of Lono. He will not leave alone. Behind the white-clad Lono, his right arm in its sling, a shadowed Paolo raises his left hand. He is holding Sister Rose’s gun.

Los Hijos de la Sangre. The Sons of the Blood.

Whose blood?

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