62 pages 2 hours read

Américo Paredes

George Washington Gómez: A Mexicotexan Novel

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1990

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Part 1, Chapters 1-5Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1: “Los Sediciosos | The Seditionists”

Part 1, Chapter 1 Summary

Américo Paredes’s George Washington Gómez opens on a view of the arid chapparal of southeastern Texas. A group of white Texas Rangers, led by a man named MacDougal, encounter two men on a buggy. One of the men is Lupe García, while the other is only referred to as “El Negro.” The Rangers question Lupe, who claims to only be carrying soap, and is allowed to pass. When one of MacDougal’s fellow Rangers declares he is suspicious of Lupe and posits following and killing him while he camps, MacDougal recalls a story of how Lupe escaped being killed by the law before, and that he is likely not with the specific group they are hunting: “Lupe is a business man. He steals money. Or cattle. He wouldn’t join up with a crazy bunch like De la Peña’s and their Republic of the Southwest. There’s no money in it” (10).

Soon after, the Rangers encounter Doc Berry driving by in a Ford Model T. Doc Berry is accompanied by Gumersindo Gómez, a fair-skinned, redheaded Mexicotexan whose wife is currently in labor. The Rangers allow them to pass, and the narrative follows the two men as they return to Gumersindo’s small home.