The men, all of whom wore large sombreros and Spanish style clothing, began laughing and shouting as two of them began poking the ground with sticks all around the staked man.
The man lay over an ant bed, and the stick-poking stirred up the vicious insects so that they swarmed over the helpless man in a thick, red, writhing mass. He jerked about and moaned, trying in vain to free himself.
After perhaps fifteen minutes of being completely covered with the large red ants, the man finally stopped struggling and lay lifelessly still. All the men yanked off their sombreros and, with a wild, animal-like outcry, threw them into the air.
The rider on the hill looked up. It was high noon, and another bit of desert justice had been meted out. He lifted his hat, wiped his brow with his shirt sleeve, then turned his horse and rode back the way he had come.
He would cross the desert at a later time, and at a less dangerous place.