Mama Torres Quotes in Flight
And there was Pepé, the tall smiling son of nineteen, a gentle, affectionate boy, but very lazy. Pepé had a tall head, pointed at the top, and from its peak, coarse black hair grew down like a thatch all around. Over his smiling little eyes Mama cut a straight bang so he could see. Pepé had sharp Indian cheek bones and an eagle nose, but his mouth was as sweet and shapely as a girl’s mouth, and his chin was fragile and chiseled. He was loose and gangling, all legs and feet and wrists, and he was very lazy. Mama thought him fine and brave, but she never told him so.
Emilio said, “Some day I too will ride to Monterey for medicine. Did Pepé come to be a man today?”
Mama said wisely, “A boy gets to be a man when a man is needed. Remember this thing. I have known boys forty years old because there was no need for a man.”
When the grey shape of Pepé melted into the hillside and disappeared, Mama relaxed. She began the high, whining keen of the death wail. “Our beautiful —our brave,” she cried. “Our protector, our son is gone.” Emilio and Rosy moaned beside her. “Our beautiful—our brave, he is gone.”