Ramón Beteta, in Camino a Tlaxcalantongo, may have produced a work that will be remembered. The narrative begins on a noisy May morning in 1920 at a railroad yard in Mexico City as Don Venustiano Carranza, the deposed president, prepared for his hasty departure from the capital. The forces of General Álvaro Obregón were moving rapidly down the paths that led into the valley. The scene was one of confusion and complete disorganization wherein everybody wanted to command and nobody wished to obey. The author was then a young university student fully dedicated to the primer jefe. He was among thousands who nervously awaited the signal to start the engines that were to pull the troop trains. Their destination was Veracruz, where the garrison gave “assurances” of devotion and loyalty. But in Mexico such pronouncements were meaningless. The trains were not able to travel beyond the sierras of Puebla. As the opposition forces closed in, and the inevitable turncoats evidenced their infidelity, the trains were abandoned. Accompanied by remnants of his party, Carranza fled to a mountain village where on a stormy night he was killed by bullets from assassins’ guns.

The scene of the cold-blooded murder was a hut located at Tlaxcalantongo where he slept with complete assurance of being protected. The methods employed were commonplace to Mexican politics—first, pronouncements of friendship; second, deception; and then, murder. His fate was clear and logical, as was that of his predecessors as well as successors. He had participated fully in this human disorder and knew well the rules and consequences. The new patriot of the moment under whose command the shameful episode occurred was General Rodolfo Herrero, one of many who had vowed unending loyalty to his commander. Herrero would later be rewarded by the new caudillo of Mexico, Alvaro Obregon. The setting was a little different, but the story was the same.

The author accomplished several things and in each ease he did them well. He did not argue a political point nor discredit any group or person. In this he varied from the typical “patriot” of the revolution. His work is a sample of good literature constructed of short sentences with clear and concise thoughts. His observations were keen and the story intensely interesting. He seems to have meant what he said and to be happy that he finally said it.