A feat of wit

This happened in one spring between 1936 and 1939 in a village called Checa.

A Civil Guard called Toribio, born in the nearby town (Orea), had married a woman from Checa who was my aunt’s-great grandmother Saturnina. Being stationed in Orea, the man was ordered to arrest the mayor of Checa, Cristino, who was a friend of his.

This was a really difficult situation: if he arrested the mayor, he was at risk of being executed; but on the other hand, if he didn’t follow orders, Toribio could suffer serious reprisals. In that difficult situation, he managed to get the person who would go with him on the mission to Checa to be someone who didn’t know Cristino.

One morning, together with his colleague, he travelled to Checa to fulfil the mission and arrest Cristino. When they arrived in Checa, they met Cristino face to face and Toribio very skilfully greeted him first, saying good morning but changing his name. Cristino understood the message, and without waiting to allow the Guards the chance to find him, he disappeared.

Toribio and his colleague asked and asked but nobody knew anything about his whereabouts. This way both men were saved and they both died of old age.

Alicia Gardel Ferrer 2A. Bécquer High School, Algete, Madrid

Castilmimbre. Alcarria

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