"No sale," said the ever faithful Fuji firmly.
One of the bandido's big friends walked over to him and, with his back to Fuji and his arm around the bandido, gestured with his thumb at his hip to the side of the Blazer, where it said PARNELLI JONES. After Zapata, Parnelli Jones is the biggest name in Baja.
The bandido turned around. "My friends say they won't buy your wheels if you give them a fender that says Parnelli on it," he said to Fuji.
Jones' right front fender lay cracked beside the car.
"It's a deal," said Fuji, and six smiling gorillas rode off in a rusting and rattling old truck that would soon have a new white Blazer fender chicken-wired to it, and one Hawaiian-Japanese gringo collapsed into a bucket seat, overcome by a rush of relief.
"Uh-oh, we're in trouble now," said Evans, over the whrrssnng of wheels spinning in the sand. He had swerved in order to dodge some overhanging branches that could have cracked the windshield, and had run off the road, nudged a tree and gotten stuck. Evans and the codriver unfastened their shoulder harnesses and crawled out of the windows. While Evans dug furiously around the rear wheels with a tiny Army-surplus shovel, the co-driver gathered brush and packed it under the wheels. Evans blasted out of the hole while the codriver stood on the rear bumper, and sped away as the co-driver climbed from the bumper to the bed and into the cab, feeling like Roy Rogers leaping off Trigger and scrambling from the caboose to the locomotive to rescue a runaway passenger train. "Go!" he shouted as he dived into his bucket seat headfirst, his legs still dangling out the window. Evans gave him a curious glance. The codriver felt silly when he got rightside up and realized they had already been going.
Half an hour later Evans suddenly shouted "Whoops!" as he pumped the brakes. "No reason!" he shouted to himself. "I'll be damned!" he shouted cryptically. Then he finally got to the point. "No brakes!" he shouted.
"None?" asked the codriver.
"Well, a little," replied Evans. "I think we've got a broken line. All I got is front brakes. There's definitely a problem, but whatever's wrong, it ain't nothin' we've done."
"Can you get this thing to the next stop at El Chinero?"