Larry Torres at his home in El Salto.

The bell was tolling en la iglesia y con cada doblido, Canutito counted el número de los tolls. Cuando la campana had finished doblando, he ran into the kitchen donde la Grama Cuca estaba frying up unos huevos blanditos for breakfast. "¡Grama," he said breathlessly, "se murió una mujer!" He sat down en una silleta.

"And just how do you know that it was a lady who died, m'hijo?" Grama Cuca asked him, flipping the eggs over en la puela.

"Es porque la church bell would toll tres veces and then pause. If it had been un hombre que se murió, entonces la campana would only ring twice y luego it would pause."

Grama Cuca smiled mientras que estaba escuchando al muchachito talking. He was right. Ésa era la costumbre allí; two for a man y tres para una mujer.

"I was remembering una vez en los 1960s cuando una old lady estaba sola en la casa cuidando a su 4-year-old grandson. La mamá had already gone to work leaving her babysitting y de repente la abuela got very sick y el niño no sabía what to do," she said. "And the worst part era que la viejita was dying y el niño sabía que se iba a morir."

"Oh my goodness, grama," Canutito exclaimed. "I wouldn't have known lo que podía a hacer si eso happened to me."

"The other thing was," Grama Cuca continued, "es que he could only speak Spanish y no tenía any vecinos. Pero el niño had seen a su grama usar el telefón. Era uno de esos rotary phones where you have to stick el dedo and turn the dial. Pues, el nino didn't know any telephone numbers pero he just kept dialing hasta que alguien respondió."

"Y respondió somebody on the other side, grama?" Canutito asked her.

"Sí, m'hijo," grama said, "el niño told the lady en el otro lado: 'Oiga, llame a mi mom y dígale que mi grama está muy enferma. Qué se venga pronto a la casa."

"¿Cómo se llama tu mamá, m'hijo?" the unknown lady asked the child on the other side.

"Se llama Flora," the child replied.

"¿Dónde esta tu mamá ahora, m'hijo," the lady asked the kid.

"Trabaja en la tienda donde venden carros," the child answered.

"The lady knew que no había más que un car dealership en esos días so she called para allá and asked si trabajaba una 'Flora' allá y luego when they put her on line, le dijo que su hijito había llamado para decirle que su grama estaba muy enferma y que se fuera pronto pa'la casa. Y luego she hung up sin decirle su nombre."

Canutito was all ears, escuchando la historia about just how una mujer desconocida had called the car dealership and gotten a hold of his mom and told her to come home de una vez porque su grama estaba muy enferma. He breathed y luego le preguntó: "¿Qué pasó, grama?"

"La Flora came home and she found a la grama agonizando, y pudo estar con ella until she died. Pero cuando people would ask a la Flora how she found out que su mamá se estaba muriendo, she said que una unknown voice had been reached on the phone por su hijito y ella fue la que la llamó."

"Did anyone ever find out quién sería la mujer que les avisó que la grama que dying? Canutito asked her.

"No, m'hijo," Grama Cuca said, "It was probably un ángel who guided to little boy's hand to the right numbers para que la grama would not die alone," Grama Cuca said …

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