Chapter Notes and Summary
Lencho, a Mexican peasant is waiting anxiously for rain in order to have a good harvest, but rain is followed by a hailstorm and crop is destroyed. He can let his family die of starvation or he can borrow some money. Only this time he decides to request God to send him hundred pesos. literary device used here is irony. postmaster doesn’t want to shatter faith of a simple farmer who believes that God has destroyed his crop and now God will help him with hundred pesos. He urges his colleagues to donate money for Lencho, but all he is able to collect is seventy pesos. And same post office employees are blamed by Lencho for stealing his money.
Lencho’s Hopes are Dashed to Ground
Lencho’s house is on top of a hill, from where one had a good view of entire valley. He has planted corn in his field which are now ripe and a shower would do wonders for crop. In beginning, we find Lencho looking towards North-East sky expectantly, hoping to find some clouds. His elder children are working in fields while younger ones are playing. He announces happily that they will get some rain definitely to which his wife also agrees. While they are having dinner it begins to rain, which is soon followed by a hailstorm. smile on Lencho’s face vanishes.
The rain which he called earlier as ten cent and five cent pieces are now looking like silver coins. Only they wouldn’t bring any silver or gold coins for family. fields are covered with white frozen pearls or hail and crop is totally destroyed. Not a leaf remained on trees. That night is full of sorrow for family and thought of going hungry that winter fills them with dread.
Lencho Writes A Letter to God
Lencho still had full faith in God. He tries to reassure his family members by saying that, ‘no one dies of hunger,’ but his foresight could see a bleak winter ahead with no crop and no money to sustain his family. So, he decided to write a letter to God and ask for help. As soon as it was daybreak, he picked up a paper and a pen and started writing. He wrote about all his troubles and requested God to send him hundred pesos and dropped it in letter box. He needed money to sow his field again and to live until crop was ripe again. For address, he simply wrote ‘To God’, pasted a stamp and dropped letter in mailbox.
Postmaster Decides to Help Lencho
The postmaster was first of all amused by address on letter and perhaps a little amazed also. He decided to open letter to see what farmer had written. As soon as he opened and read letter, he knew that Lencho required more than his goodwill. He was moved by sad plight of farmer and decided to help him. All employees at post office were told to contribute something. But despite all efforts, postmaster was only able to collect seventy pesos. postmaster decided to send collected amount to Lencho.
Lencho Blames Post Office Employees
Everyone at post office is waiting for Lencho to come and collect money. As Lencho asks for his letter and counts money, postmaster looks at him with satisfaction of a man who has done a good deed. But Lencho is angry not at God, but at post office employees. He immediately asks for a paper and a pen and sits down to write another letter. As soon as Lencho leaves premises after posting Lencho, postmaster grabs it and sits down to read. He finds that Lencho’s faith in God remains unshaken, but he has blamed people at post office for stealing his remaining money. He calls them a bunch of thieves and requests God not to send money through post office.
Chapter Notes and Summary