I’m walking down the hill since like 20 minutes already. I’m still 25 Kms away from my final destination, a highly lost spot in the middle of Sierra Morena. My last bus delivered me like an hour ago in Pampaneira. It’s getting dark pretty fast. I know I should have waited on the village, but somehow, I was feeling strong, and 25 Kms can be walked in a couple of hours, was what I though. Anyway, here I am, maybe lost. So I decide to hitchhike.
The first car that I see passing is a white cargo van. I try to stop it, waving very heavily, since I don’t expect too many autos in this road, at this time of the day. The van, instead of stopping, accelerates, and I need to move left to avoid being run over. A drunken driver? Still surprised, I see it rolling down the hill, smaller and smaller, and I stay looking at its reddish back lights until they seem to turn to the left and disappear.
Then I hear a second engine. Nice! Another car comes! I make it a sign, and this one stops. It’s a featureless browny standard four-wheels four-doors vehicle, that looks like older than me. “Good night” I say. The driver is a bearded man, of around 40 or 50, dressed like a peasant. He wears a checked beret on the style of the local hunters. He stares at me before adding “Good night. Are you coming down?” I nod. “You can leave your backpack on the back seat” he says. I do so and jump in.
The car starts moving again, not without complaining. Lights inside go off, not before I realize a strange shape layin on the dashboard. It looks like a gun. The driver looks at me. “Do you like it?” I hesitate.”Yes, it’s very nice.” I say. “Don’t worry, I have permission for it” he adds quickly ” and I brought it for using it.” I shiver. “Did you see, by chance, a white van going down the hill a few minutes ago?” I nod. He smiles. His smile is sinister, and it reminds me the Joker of the playing cards. “Very good!” He takes the weapon, while still driving. I have a look to my backpack, and to the lock of my door. He continues.”Can you tell me maybe, please, when we arrive to the next cross, where do you think it went? We can stop there if you need to have a better look.” I’m petrified, so I can only make a noise that can be understood as a yes.
We stop in the cross. I read the signal. Fortunately, my path goes to the right. So I can leave the car. I tell my driver so, and I collect the backpack. “So? ” he says “can you thank me by telling me where it went?” I hesitate, but I answer. “I saw it from up the hill, but it was looking like going to the left”. If I tell him the van went right, the driver may lose his victim and arrive to our camping place. Therefore finding out where we are. And he may come back for me. But I could have saved one life.
I do not have the strength to ask my driver what he’s going to do with the driver of the white van when he finds him. I put the backpack over my shoulders, walk away in the dark, and try to forget what I just saw.