Part 4 Summary

Mrs. Fellows lies on her bed, a handkerchief soaked in cologne on her head to ease the pain of a headache. She calls for her husband to put more on it.

Captain Fellows moves slowly. Their daughter, Coral, has died, but Mrs. Fellows has said that they will not discuss it. They hear some ruckus outside. Captain Fellows says that a priest is to be executed that morning, perhaps even the one who stayed with them so many weeks previously.

Mrs. Fellows talks of going back home where she can see a real doctor. She is certain that if she stays in Mexico, she will die. She reads a letter to her husband about a friend’s offer to shelter them until they can find some place to live.

Captain Fellows harshly announces that he is not returning to England. Mrs. Fellows is contemptuous, saying that he does not know how to do anything to make money in Mexico. Captain Fellows falls silent, wondering about the priest. Mrs. Fellows says that he probably deserves all that he gets.

Mr. Tench works on the police chief’s teeth, which are badly decayed. He tells the “jefe” that he has received a letter from his wife. She has found religion and wants to forgive him. He thinks about going back home.

Outside is the noise of the crowd at the priest’s execution. Mr. Tench goes to the window and recognizes the priest as he is half-dragged out into the yard. He hears the prisoner say “Excuse,” and he is shot. The body is dragged off. 

A sense of loneliness comes over Mr. Tench as he remembers talking with the executed priest.

A woman tells her children about Juan the martyr. Her son is enthralled by the tale and wonders if the priest who was executed that morning will be made a saint. His mother tells him that he is likely to be and thinks about buying some relics just in case. The boy looks out the window and sees the lieutenant passing by. When the lieutenant smiles at him, the boy spits on him.

That night, the boy dreams that the priest’s body is laid out in his home. Unexpectedly, the priest winks at him.

The boy wakes up and hears someone knocking on the door. He opens it to find a man holding a suitcase. The man asks for his mother, explaining that he is a priest. As soon as the boy learns that the man is holy, he opens the door wide.