We had hardly risen in the morning, when the village was thrown into great excitement by the appearance of a band of soldiers. They had come to arrest a young man supposed to be a leader in the local opposition to Governor Cahuantzi. This opposition was just at fever heat; the election was approaching, and a fierce effort was being made to oust the governor. Forty-four towns were in open rebellion, among them, all of those which we had visited. There had been new laws passed regarding land and taxes; these had been resisted. The governor had threatened to send engineers to make new surveys, and to bring land-titles into question. The suspicion and distrust which we had met were doubtless, in large part, due to these measures, and the fear that we were government spies. So great was the discontent, and so openly expressed, that it was said that on the Saturday preceding, in the Plaza of Tlaxcala itself, there was a riot, with cries of derision and contempt, and firing of guns upon the palace. We were told that the nearest haciendero, who was friendly to the governor, was marked for assassination and would be killed within the next few days.
Leaving at ten next morning, we skirted Santa Ana, and, having passed through San Pablo, came out upon the banks of the Sawapa. This pretty stream has reputed remedial power, and in May hundreds of people bathe in its waters, to protect themselves against small-pox. As we crossed the great stone bridge, we met a drunken indian who attached himself to our party. Between him and the Mexican members of our party, there arose hostility and an exchange of angry words. To us, personally, he was maudlinly affectionate and respectful. Finally, shaking him off, after climbing a considerable height, we stopped at Belen for a noonday rest and lunch. Dinner having been ordered, we seated ourselves in the shade, when our drunken friend again appeared upon the scene, and in great excitement, begged me to move, as it was certain death for a heated and perspiring person to sit in the shadow of a Peru tree. So persistent was he, that Quehcol and Manuel lost all patience, and ordered the local officials to arrest him.
About the middle of the afternoon we were again upon the road; having passed the bare, fortress-like church of San Mateo, and descended a long hill, toward evening we crossed a fine bridge over a gorge of black basaltic rock, and shortly reached Santa Maria Atlihuitzia, where we planned to spend the night. Here is a fine old church, with a facade absolutely covered with elaborate carving; a square tower rises at one corner. The great altar is a magnificent piece of carving and gold work; the windows are set with thin slabs of onyx. Within, near the church-door, are two paintings representing the scene of mayrtrdom for which the town is famous. These pictures are ancient, and represent some interesting details of indian life at the time of the Conquest. The head-dress and mantle of feathers worn by the old chieftain, the dress and hair-dressing of his wife, war weapons and buildings are all shown. Here, in 1527, the boy Cristoval, child of the great chief Acxotecatl and his wife Apalxitzin, was killed by his father because he would not renounce Christianity. The little lad was only thirteen years of age, and had been trained by Spanish priests. He was the proto-martyr of the new world, and the story of his martyrdom and the early church in Tlaxcala, have been charmingly narrated by Mendieta. Close by the church stand the ruined walls of the monastery, impressive for their massive construction and the enormous space which was enclosed. It was dark before we finished the examination of these quaint and interesting old buildings, and we were glad enough to go to the house of the secretario, where we found good beds and elaborate furniture. In the room where we were to sleep there was a nacimiento, made in connection with the Christmas season. The table was covered with little landscapes, scattered over which were figures of many kinds, including a group of San Jose, Maria, and the infant Christ.
Santa Maria is purely mestizo. In the morning, finding breakfast somewhat slow, we started for a walk, and passing by the old church, came shortly to the spot where the boy martyr was killed. From here we descended, over a long slope of gray tufa, to a pretty stream flowing through black basalt. The rock is hard and shiny with cells or air-bubbles scattered through its mass. Close by the water's edge we were shown some curious impressions, on the nearly level surface of the rock, which were said to be the imprints of the knees of the Holy Virgin as she knelt here to wash clothes in the brook; there are also grooves made by the Virgin's fingers as she scrubbed the clothing on the rock; by the side of these impressions are two hollows, marking the spot where the Holy Child sat with its mother as she worked. On the rock behind is the impression of a mule's foot. Formerly there were two of these impressions, but in 1888 a tornado broke away the mass of rock, on which was the other impression. Just below this place the stream leaps in a pretty cascade which, with its white foam, contrasts strikingly with the black rock. The trail followed by Cortez on his way from Vera Cruz to Tlaxcala was pointed out to us and we were told that Atlihuitzia in those days was an important city, numbering five thousand solteros (unmarried men). On the way back to the village, we visited the arbol huerfano—orphan tree—a cypress, so called because it is the only tree of its kind in this district. Quechol says that a long line of such trees, at a distance of several leagues apart, was planted by the Spaniards, and he and the villagers mentioned a number of them in different places. Passing once more by the spot of martyrdom, a white capulin was pointed out, as being the very tree represented in the picture of the killing.
It was now almost ten o'clock and we found breakfast waiting. At Quechol's request, it was a purely Mexican meal, consisting of Aztec dishes. We had tamales, atole, and, for the first time, champurado. The latter is atole—corn gruel—mixed with chocolate, and is really an excellent dish. After breakfast, we left our friends of Atlihuitzia and hastened back over the same road past San Mateo, Belen, San Pablo, and Santa Ana. The way was long and the sun was hot, but the road was beguiled with many stories regarding the places that we passed, for the whole state of Tlaxcala abounds in legend.
IN THE CHINANTLA
Once more we found ourselves in picturesque Cuicatlan. Walking up the familiar street, we again found lodging with Dona Serafina. Having settled, and taken a look out over the beautiful landscape visible through our windows, we interviewed the jefe politico, whom we we found the same nerveless, well-meaning individual as ever. After grumbling, and insisting that it was impossible to fit us out on such short notice, he finally promised that all should be ready the next morning. It was a sorry outfit that we found; one medium-sized mule for myself, and four small burros for the other members of the party. A boy from the jail was sent with us as mozo to carry our instruments. It was still early when we started through the hot, sandy, flat land, covered with gigantic cactus trees, which swarmed with little birds of many beautiful kinds. We soon began to climb the great, red rock cliffs, up, and up, and up, endlessly. We had forgotten how long the road was; but it was longer than ever on account of the beasts we rode. Long before we reached Papalo, Manuel and Louis were on foot, rather than longer submit to the torture of riding their little burros. As we neared the town, we were surprised to find a cloud effect almost as fine as that near Juquila in the Mixe country. Had it had clearly defined banks on both sides, its resemblance to a cataract would have been complete. As it was, there was no boundary back of the side towards us, and the clouds plunged over and downward as well as in the direction of the flow of the main mass. No one in the town recognized us. Supper and a night's lodging were readily supplied, but when we wished to secure new animals for the onward journey, there was difficulty. They were promised, indeed, for seven o'clock, but it was long after eight before we saw any signs of their appearance. Remonstrating, we were told that there was other business to attend to, and that the town officials could not devote themselves to us. With great difficulty, by 10 o'clock all preparations were made, and we started on the journey. The animals were not bad, but we had been told that there were eight leagues of hard road between us and Tepanapa, and six more from there to San Juan Zautla, our destination; we were told that we should spend the night at Tepanapa, reaching Zautla the second day. As we left the town we overtook a funeral procession on its way to the little hill-crest cemetery which we passed soon after. At first the road was good, gradually ascending. It led us up a rising pine-covered crest, with a little hollow of deciduous trees in the midst. We were again getting into a region where the great hills presented two differing slopes, one dry, pine-clad; the other moist and covered with the dense tropical forest. We soon found ourselves upon the damp slope in a forest, almost the counterpart of those with which we were familiar in the land of the Mixes. Great oaks were loaded with bromelias and dotted with orchids; ferns of many beautiful kinds grew along the roadside. Unlike the forest of the Mixes, the trees here were hung with masses of golden-yellow moss, presenting a curious and mysterious aspect. From here, the trail descended rapidly over surfaces of slippery stone and patches of mud; the air was heavier and heavier with moisture. Ferns abounded, and presently great tree ferns were to be seen, here and there, in all directions. Shortly, our road was through a true gorge, where the footing for the horses was precarious. Great masses of lycopods of several species covered the rocks and little round tufts of a dark green plant with feathery foliage dotted the decaying tree trunks. The descent seemed endless, and for more than two hours we descended deeper and deeper into the dampness and darkness. It was six o'clock when we came out upon a slope where the trail was easier and almost level, and it was after dark before we reached the first hut of the miserable ranchito of Tepanapa. Checking our horses, we called, but received no answer. Sending our mozo to the house, we asked for food and shelter, but were refused everything, as they said that they were in bed. A little lad, however, agreed to show us to the next hut, and we followed him as well as we could in the darkness and over the slippery road, some rods further. We found there two empty huts within an enclosure, and, taking possession of one, brought in our things out of the mist, and soon had a fire built and a candle lighted. In vain we urged our mozo to hunt for food. He said that all the houses were empty, and, if perchance one were occupied, no one would turn out so late to supply us. All were extremely hungry, as we had eaten nothing since morning except a tortilla or two with some eggs as we rode along. Manuel, Louis and Frank slept in the loft, Ramon and I upon the floor below. The two mozos with the saddles slept in the other hut. The night was cold and the damp air penetrating. We arose early to go upon our way, but unfortunately yielded to the request of Louis and Ramon, permitting them to go in search of food. Two full hours passed before they returned with a few tortillas and two eggs; so that it was half-past-eight when finally we started.
The road was slippery and muddy, descending constantly; a large portion of the way was through woods: at the bottom of the slope we found ourselves by a fine brook, which we forded. Then began an ascent as precipitous, slippery and unpleasant. The trail followed the bank of the stream. Passing through a dense jungle of vegetation, where the air was hot and wet, the flora was characteristic. Trees with large, coarse, broad pods enclosing two or three great seeds, trees with acorn-shaped red fruits, quantities of sensitive plants covered with pink flowers, occasional orchids bearing flowers of brilliant flame color, and vines with lovely blue pea-flowers made up the bulk of the tangled growth through which we passed. At two places we crossed pretty streams, with cascades and narrow gorges, opening on to the gorge along the sides of which we were travelling; where these streams crossed our trail there were great masses of caladiums with their leaves of green velvet. We passed two little coffee plantations, the first of which was sadly neglected and overgrown with weeds, the second neatly kept. From this we rose again, and having gained the summit, looked down upon the village of San Juan Zautla.
Riding to the town-house, we met the presidente and secretario, the latter an intelligent fellow, who told us that the town was dwindling, numbering at present but 80 contribuentes. He ordered a capital dinner for us of chicken, fried bananas, eggs, frijoles, tortillas and coffee. Though the secretario was intelligent, the presidente was otherwise. He was good-natured, but a fool. With pride he frequently remarked, "yo soy presidente" (I am president). Then he whispered and mumbled, kissed my hand, assumed an air of great intelligence, and walked off with a peculiar tottering movement. These performances took place not once or twice, but every time the official made his appearance. Having fed us, the secretario disappeared, and did no more for us. While waiting for him, our attention was attracted by a curious drumming noise. It was due to women who were beating cotton. At the first house we visited we found three women all busily occupied. An old woman sitting in the doorway was spinning thread; a second, somewhat younger woman with a baby in a blanket on her back, sitting on the ground, was weaving cloth; a third woman sat, with a great cushion of moss in a bag of matting on the ground before her, over which was spread a deer-skin on which was laid raw cotton, which she briskly beat with beaters made of five or six divergent sticks fastened together at one end. Such beating sticks are called mapaho; one is held in each hand, and the beating is briskly done, alternately with one and the other; the beating is intended to spread the raw cotton into a thin and even sheet before it is spun into thread. Returning to the town-house, we began our work, but were soon interrupted. The town is situated on a slope over which the houses are scattered. From the porch of the municipal house where we sat, we could see several huts upon the slope above. Groups of women and children gathered on the little terraces before the houses to look down upon us at our work. The presidente and other officials had gone to bring us subjects, when we heard an outcry upon one of these terraces. A man cried out to the officials; struggled, apparently with a woman, then fell. The police rushed up the path. A moment later a surging crowd of a dozen persons were struggling together with cries and shouts. In spite of the commands of the segundo secretario, we started for the scene of the disturbance, but long before we reached the spot, met a big topil with his head cut open and blood streaming down his face, soaking his garments. His arm was thrown around another man's neck, whose wrist he held, dragging him thus a prisoner toward the jail. Two others followed, holding a bad-looking little man between them. The two had fought, and when the topil tried to take them, the little man, seizing a rock, split open his head. The two persons were thrust into the jail and a guard set. Great effort was made to find the stone with which the blow was dealt, in order that it might be used as evidence. The secretario told the topil not to staunch nor wash the wound. With natural curiosity, the presidente and other men were clustered around the jail, looking in at the prisoners, when the segundo secretario ordered them from the door.
This man is a strange one. He is a Cuicatec, who married a Chinatec wife. He is little, but important. He ever carries a queer old sword. When he first appeared before us, he impressively said, "No tengas cuidado" (Have no care.) He told us that our comfort and our orders should be cared for, even though we were in a pueblo of mere brutes, unreasoning beings; he should charge himself and the officials with our needs. There were scarce three hours of daylight in the afternoon, and night set in chilly and damp. Meantime, the secretario, the segundo, the presidente and the topils, all had disappeared. In vain we urged that arrangements should be made for fuel, for beds, and for a mozo, whom we had ordered should be supplied to accompany the man from Papalo back to that town with the horses. It was now dark and late, with no sign of attention to our wishes. Through the darkness, we picked our way over a muddy road, slippery and soaked with water, to the secretario's house, where we forcibly made known our wishes, and said that attention must be paid to them. Before we got back to the town-house our shoes were soaked with water and heavy with mud, while our clothing was soaked through with moisture from the air filled with mist and drizzling rain; and this in the midst of the dry season!
During the afternoon, we had seen a curious-looking indian, dressed in a red flannel shirt, white drawers and a cap, but with the regular red Chinantec neck-cloth. He was a Mixtec from San Francisco Huitzo, who is in charge of the well-kept little coffee finca which we passed upon the road. He showed us a bottle of coffee essence of his manufacture. It was a heavy, oily, clear liquid which I understood he had distilled from a weaker and darker coffee extract. It was exceedingly strong, and was supposed to be used for making coffee, a small quantity of the essence being put into a cup with hot water and sugar. He desired us to test this, but a look at it was quite sufficient. He was a handy fellow, and did much to hasten the fulfillment of our orders. Under his direction, sleeping mats were brought, and he, himself, served our supper, when finally it was ready. We were so tired that directly after supper we laid down upon the mats spread on the damp earthen floor. We had hoped to start our man from Papalo back with our horses early; the officials had promised that the mozo to accompany him should be ready; but, of course, neither breakfast nor mozo was to be seen. So we again started for the secretario's house. The secretario himself was lying drunk in bed, and the segundo was almost as bad. In vigorous words I made known my dissatisfaction. The segundo, with his sword in one hand and tortillas in the other, almost too drunk to walk, led us to the town-house and summoned the people before him. He thundered forth his orders: "You dogs, children of a degraded race! Wretched brutes! What do you mean? Why are you not bringing in breakfast for these gentlemen? Eggs, tortillas, frijoles, chicken? Why are you not supplying them? Obey his order. Fulfill your duty. You hear? If you do not fulfill your duty, you shall be punished. Hear and obey at once." Under this impulse the men started and breakfast was soon disposed of.
Work being slack, the boys went bird-hunting. Manuel fetched in a rara avis, a little old man of 95 years, who had an extra thumb on his right hand. Notwithstanding the small population of the town, there were three cases of extra digits. In addition to this old man with his extra thumb, two persons in the town each had an extra toe upon one foot. We have already stated that the presidente of the village was a fool. He had plenty of companions. One of the men, who made himself quite useful to us was an imbecile; he crossed himself, kissed our hands, nodded his head, and told us the most surprising things in regard to the subjects whom he brought before us. In connection with each case he cried and carried on at a great rate, and finally insisted that he was going to bring me a raw egg as an offering of friendship, which he did. One of his subjects was his cousin, who was both idiotic and a deaf-mute. My impression was that there were several cases of deaf-mutism in the village. One man, whenever any of our party spoke to him, or in any way turned our attention to him, piously and vigorously crossed himself, grimaced and gesticulated as if in a fit. One man, who seemed exceptionally intelligent, after he had seen us make a plaster bust of one of his townfellows, stated with great delight, that it was an idol, representing Jesus Christ, and that we were going to use it in the church. Unlike any other indian town we have visited, there is not even the pretence of an open school in this place. Nowhere else have women and children showed so great a fear of us and our work. From the moment that I showed an interest in the mapaho, the beating of cotton ceased, and the village was quiet. At no time during our stay did women or children come to the town-house. Shortly after sending back our horses to Papalo, we found that there were no animals for riding in San Juan Zautla. Fortunately, our next point, San Pedro, was but two leagues distant, and rather than wait until animals could be brought from Cuicatlan, we decided to walk. The night before we were to leave, we made arrangements for our carriers. The secretario had set the price at two reales a man; four were ordered, and an early hour set for the departure. When the time came, our men were in open rebellion. They refused to go upon the journey. We told the town officials that, if these men failed us, they themselves must do the work. The men were really scared, and stated that the people of San Pedro had threatened to kill us all, if we came to their town. In vain we argued—they were sure that the whole party were going to their doom. For such a paltry sum no man would risk his life. At last, however, the officials decreed obedience, and our party started. At first we led the company and the carriers came behind. The road led straight down the mountain-side to a brook, and then up the opposite side to the summit, just beyond which lay our goal. As we started, he who had recognized the bust of Jesus insisted upon accompanying us a way for friendship, and on the journey made various wise remarks regarding the busts. Hardly had we started when our men again rebelled; they would not make the journey for the price agreed upon, the risk was too great; they must be paid more, if they went at all. I felt that patience had ceased to be a virtue. Telling them that we would no longer go ahead, we ordered them to take up their burdens and precede us, at the same time threatening to shoot them, if they stopped without permission. After marching along in this new order for a time, they indicated a desire to parley. They would carry their burdens to the foot of the hill, where they would leave them by the brook-side. We could then go on to the village of San Pedro and send back carriers to bring them. To this proposition we gave no encouragement. The descent was abrupt. At the bottom was a fine brook, with a hanging bridge of vines swinging from tree to tree across it. Here we stopped to drink the fresh cool water, cut some sugar-canes, catch butterflies, and take views. One of the trees from which the vines hung was a perfect mass of ferns, orchids and bromelias of many kinds. On the great slope back of us, toward the gap through which the brook had broken, were great cliffs of massive rock; otherwise the whole mountain slope was a sheet of richest green. The ascent was long and difficult, and the party went slowly, with many rests. It was amusing, how, even at this distance, as we mounted the slope, we could hear the constant beating of the mapaho in the village behind us, as if in rejoicing at our departure. As we neared the summit, our carriers again made signals of a desire to converse. They would fulfill their whole duty, and would carry their burdens to the town-house in San Pedro, but would we have the kindness, from here on, to take the lead? Oh, yes, we answered, we would take the lead, and they should see that nothing would happen. No one would harm us; we were not about to die.
To make a favorable impression, we asked for a drink of water at the first house we came to, and passed a greeting with the few men, women and children whom we met on our way into town. The greater part of the population was at church, where we found a service in progress, and we were obliged to wait until it was over before we saw the town officials. I told the secretario to summon the town government to the municipal-house, which was a small affair, no more than 15 or 18 by 20 feet, with walls of lashed poles and a palm roof. A narrow bench ran around the four sides, and two tables, one long and one short one, set at right angles, occupied the greater portion of the open space. A long wide bench was placed alongside of the larger. At one end there was a santo, in a little shrine decorated with flowers and leaves. A little fire was built upon the floor, over which wax was melting, in which candles were being dipped.
The secretario chanced to be a man whom I had met at Cuicatlan the year before. He recalled our work, and taking us to his own house, we soon had an excellent dinner. He seemed to be well-to-do, and had two houses built of slabs lashed vertically together. Nets full of jicaras, great stacks of corn neatly laid out, good tableware in quantity, and a kerosene-lamp, all were evidences of his wealth. We ate at a good table, in the house, where the corn was stored. The most astonishing thing, however, in the house was an old-fashioned piano, long beyond use. How it was ever brought over the mountains to this village is a wonder. When we asked him, what we were to pay for the dinner, he replied, nothing; that we would begin to pay later. The impression made upon us by San Pedro was more agreeable than that produced by Zautla. The town government is large and vigorous, comprising a dozen well-built young fellows. On account of the church festival, plenty of subjects had been brought together. We did not understand what the secretario expected, and therefore took up our quarters at the town-house. We paid dearly for our misunderstanding. We waited long for supper, but none came. The presidente and the older men were at church. The secretario was nowhere to be found. While we were waiting, the young fellows who were making candles, and a crowd of boys, crouched about the fire and watched the work. Presently they lay down a couple of serapes on the floor, and the whole group, eighteen or twenty in number, dropped down upon them, a perfect mass of humanity, packed close together in the most curiously twisted attitudes, and were fast asleep in no time. They had no covering, but seemed to keep each other warm. After they were fast asleep, some of the other men appeared, and we urged the bringing in of supper. A handful of tortillas and two fried eggs were not a hearty meal for six hungry persons, nor were our sleeping accommodations satisfactory. With difficulty we got some mats, and I lay down upon the smaller table, Frank on the larger, Louis and Manuel rolled up on the ground below the latter, and Ramon and the mozo on the long bench. Half a dozen of the older men remained sitting about the fire. It can be understood that the room was fairly full. The men made no pretense of sleeping until past ten o'clock, and two or three times during the night they broke out into loud conversation.
Just outside the town-house, under a thatched shelter, a group of old women were cooking atole in great ollas until a late hour. This gruel they ladled out to those men and boys who had been working, and doled out to them drinks from black bottles. The men and boys, with their red head-cloths or neck-cloths, went forth from time to time in groups upon some public errand. Towards evening, eight or ten little fellows came from the forest with bundles of firewood upon their heads and great machetes hanging at their sides. In the morning, the same group of youngsters came in loaded with bunches of green leaves and holly to be used in decorating the church. At eight o'clock there was a procession in the churchyard; the saint, dressed in flowing garments, was carried about, accompanied by banners and a band of music. During the festival, everyone drank; even the little boys of eight or nine years, who brought in their loads of wood, received their spirits, which they drank like old topers. There was no evidence of bad temper as a result of this drinking, but an increasing stupidity. When, in the morning, we found our breakfast to consist of nothing but coffee, we realized our mistake of the night before, and promptly betook ourselves to the house of the secretario, where we spent the following day. The demands of the church during the day were so heavy that we did little work. The day itself was dark and dismal. In the late morning the boys brought in great loads of poinsettia, from which they fashioned brilliant rosettes and garlands for the church. At night, a wooden platform was brought in for a bed, upon which Louis, Manuel and I slept, while the others made a bed of broad boards upon the floor. Being behind with his developing, Louis set to work as soon as the lights were out, and kept at it until half-past-one. Scarcely had he come to bed and promptly fallen asleep, when there was a pounding at the door, which was almost immediately after broken in. Rising, I called out to see what was wanted, and four or five indians, all very drunk, came staggering in. The oldest of the party carried a great machete, and one of them closely hugged a bottle full of spirits. After begging pardon for disturbing us, they built a smoky fire, near the drying negatives. Fearing that their drunken movements and the smoke would work disaster, I made them change their place of rest and fire, moving them to the other end of the room. There they built another fire, and, before morning, they had consumed three bottles of spirits. What with the firelight and smoke, the noisy laughter, the loud talking and constant movement, it was impossible for me to sleep. Only for a single hour, when they fell back upon the floor in drunken slumber, and their fire burned down, did I get a bit of rest. If seems that they were an official guard put to watch the town store of grain which was kept in the building, and which was subject to the depredations of animals. During the following day we completed our work upon Chinantecs. The type is one of the best marked. In the child, the nose is wide, flat at the tip, with a straight or even concave bridge; the eyes are widely separated and often oblique; the mouth is large, the lips thick and the upper lip projects notably beyond the lower; the face is wide, and flat at the cheek-bones. With age, this type changes, the nose becomes aquiline, and of moderate breadth, the upper lip becomes less prominent, the skin lightens.
For two days more, days of darkness, rain and cold that penetrated to the marrow, we remained prisoners in the village, waiting for the horses for which we had sent the day of our arrival. It was impossible to make photographs, nor was it feasible to look around the town, or into the adjoining country. The secretario, indeed, showed us the way in which spirits are distilled from the sap of sugar-cane, and we had ample opportunity to examine the dress of the people and the mode of weaving. All the women dress in garments of home-woven cotton, and the red head-cloths, so characteristic a feature of the dress of men and boys, are woven here from thread already dyed, bought in other places. The little figures of animals or birds or geometrical designs worked in them in green or yellow worsted are woven in, at the time of making the cloths, with bright bits of wool.
At last our animals appeared. They had been sent from Papalo, and we made arrangements, as we supposed, for using them through to Cuicatlan. The animals arrived at 9:30 in the morning and the mozo with them reported that the roads were bad from the constant rains of the past several days. We decided to leave that afternoon, stopping at Zautla for the night, and then, making an early start, to push through in a single day. The presidente, alcalde, and other town officials accompanied us to the border of the village, where they bade us adieu, begging for a real for drink. As we left, the sky was clear and the mists were rising from the valleys. For the first time we gained some idea of the beauty of the country all around us. The houses of the town are well built, with walls of poles or narrow slabs neatly corded together in a vertical position. The roofs are thatched with palm; they pitch sharply from a central ridge and the ends pitch also from the ridge in independent slopes. The top is crested with a comb of thatch, neatly applied. Off to the right from the village lay a magnificent valley, with massive rock walls clad with green forest. The low masses of clouds and great banks of mist but emphasized the impression made by those parts of the scene that were visible. Soon we had passed the ridge and looked down again into the Zautla valley. The road was not as bad as we had anticipated. As we made our upward climb, we found that the flame-colored orchids, few when we last passed that way, were out in quantity. They are a terrestrial species, and the colors are a beautiful combination of flame-red with chrome-yellow. The other day only the outer and lower flowers of the racemes were blown, but on this occasion the whole cluster was in bloom. We noticed strikingly, what had before suggested itself to us, that through this district flowers of certain colors mass themselves together. Thus, on this slope, the hundreds of bunches of flame-colored orchids were rivalled by clusters of a tubular flower perhaps an inch in length, of almost the same hues. Along the glen-road near Tepanapa all sorts of flowers seemed to be pink or flesh-colored, while along the jungle-bank, near the coffee plantation, everything was blue or purple. When we reached Zautla, neither the presidente, the secretario nor the segundo was in town. The big topil, whose head was healing, did the honors of the place. We had intended to make an early start, but it was half past six before we mounted and were on our way. Going back over the old road, we soon reached the little coffee finca in charge of our Mixtec friend, and here we left the familiar trail, for what our guide insisted was a better one. We struck up and up and up the slope to avoid little ravines which he assured us were very bad. At last, when it was certain that he had completely lost his way, we started down into the forest. For a time we followed a bad and disused trail, but soon even this disappeared, and we tore our way through the tropical vegetation as best we could. Often the men had to cut the way with their machetes; sometimes we slid for yards over the wet mud; frequently our heads were caught by hanging vines, and faces and hands were scratched with brambles. When at last we came out upon a cleared space, we found ourselves at the Chinantec village of Santa Maria. Perhaps there were four houses in the village. Our appearance caused great excitement. Our pack-animals bade fair to destroy the maize and other plantings in the field. In the trail were oxen, which had to be gotten out of our way for fear of being driven to frenzy by our mere passing. They assured us that we were on the road to Tepanapa, so we completed the descent to the brooklet and started up a trail which at any time would have been steep, stony, slippery, all at once. We were compelled, finally, to dismount and lead our animals; Frank, before he did so, tumbled his horse three times down the bank. At one place two of the horses fell together in a struggling mass, and for a moment things looked serious. All the animals but my own fell, at least once, before we reached the summit. From there, it was an easy ride over a level district until we were in sight of Tepanapa, which, by sunlight, presented a most attractive appearance. The houses are spread over a gentle slope, to the very edge of a little barranca. Each had a little enclosure, with a group of banana plants. Butterflies of brilliant hues lazily flew about, and a few birds uttered their characteristic cries. We could not, however, delay. Before us lay a tremendous ascent; the first part, which we had passed after dusk, we found rougher than we realized; rock masses here were covered with a thick cushion of brilliant crimson moss, a kind of sphagnum. The gully trail had not been improved by the recent rains, and it taxed our animals severely to reach the summit. Arrived in the district of the trees loaded with beards of golden-yellow moss, we caught a magnificent view back over the valley. With one sweep of the eyes, we could almost follow our whole round of wandering. The ridges on which lay San Juan Zautla and San Pedro Soochiapan both were in sight, as were the valleys in which Santa Maria and Tepanapa lay. But the only actual feature which we could see and recognize was the little coffee finca this side of Zautla. The combination of green mountains, blue ridges and bare rock cliffs was grand. Here our road forked, and at this point we had a moment's excitement. We met an old indian man with a baby tied upon his back, and his old wife, carrying a burden, followed after. Before them a black bull was calmly walking. The moment the old man saw us, he waved his arms and cried out, in great excitement, "Toro, muy bravo!" (Bull, very fierce!) and hastened forward to catch the lasso wound round the horns of the beast to lead him out of our way. Just then the bull took matters into his own control, and, with a snort and plunge, started wildly away, dragging the old fellow at a wild run down the trail, finally whirling him and the baby into a heap by the roadside, while he himself took up the mountain-side. It was after dark before we reached Papalo.
After much grumbling, supper was prepared and a solemn promise given that we should leave at seven in the morning. When we were ready, no animals were to be seen. The presidente asserted that the price which we had paid was only to that point, and that if we wanted animals for Cuicatlan we must make a new arrangement. This was sheer blackmail, because there had been no misunderstanding in the matter, and a liberal price had been paid. After wrangling for an hour, we shook the dust of Papalo literally from our feet, and started to walk to Cuicatlan, telling the town authorities that our burdens must be taken by mozos to the cabecera before three o'clock, and that we should pay nothing for the service. Probably we should not have been so ready to take this heroic action if we had not remembered that the road was down hill all the way, and good walking. Still, fifteen miles is fifteen miles, and the sun was hot, and though we left at 8:30, it was two o'clock before we entered Cuicatlan. We had no adventures by the way, except the killing of a coral snake which lay in the middle of the road. At three the mozos with their burdens arrived, and felt it very hard that we kept our promise of paying nothing for their service.
For a day we rested at Cuicatlan to make arrangements for a trip to the land of the Chochos. We complained bitterly to the jefe politico regarding the miserable animals which had been supplied us for our last journey, and demanded something better.
Frank had had enough of practical anthropology, and left us, so there were but four to be provided. At eight o'clock the following morning, four decent horses and two pack animals were waiting at our door. A mounted arriero was in charge, to accompany us. Although he had been inefficient on the preceding journey, the same jail-bird was sent with us, as mozo, whom we had had before. At 8:30 our party of six persons started; passing the river, which we forded, an excellent road took us, for a league, over the sandy plain, which was fairly grown with trees, supplying a little shade. The great pitahayas were in bloom, and their white flowers looked well against the ugly, stiff green branches. The roadside was bordered with acacias which, in full bloom, presented masses of golden balls and perfumed the air with their delicate odor. Passing a considerable sugar hacienda, the trail struck into the mountains, and for three hours we made a steady ascent. The road itself was excellent but the sun beat down with fearful force, and the heat was reflected from the bare road and the rock cliffs along which we travelled. At one place the vegetation consisted of a curious mixture of gigantic cactuses, rising as single stalks as high as telegraph poles but larger in diameter, and palms. Arriving at the crest, we saw a long plain stretching before us, presenting a mingled growth of palms and pines. At the very border of the ridge stood a hut of poles, where we stopped to drink tepache and to eat broiled chicken which we had brought with us. We found the old woman, an indian—neither Cuicatec, Chinantec, Mixtec, nor Zapotec, as we might expect—but a full Aztec from Cordoba. She was bright and shrewd, and, as we chatted with her, we noticed a little chicken a few days old awkwardly running about with curiously deformed feet. Upon my noticing it, the old lady remarked that the moon made it so. I inquired what she meant. She said, "Yes, we know it is the moon which shapes the bodies of all young animals." We followed the road a long distance over the hot plain, passing San Pedro Jocotepec to our left, and shortly after, struck up the mountain side and had another long and steady climb, until, at last, we reached the crest of all the district. Here and there, we encountered bits of limestone, which always, in this southern country, makes the worst roads for travel. The rain erodes it into the oddest of forms, leaving projecting ridges almost as sharp as knife-edges, with irregular hollows pitting the surface, so that it forms a most insecure and unpleasant foot-hold for the animals. Not only so, but the surface, rough as it is, is frequently as polished as glass, and, whether wet or dry, is slippery to the tread. Walking over these jagged surfaces of limestone is destructive to any shoes. A single afternoon of this will do more wear than a month of ordinary use. Troublesome as these limestones are, as roads, they are ever interesting, because the masses by the roadside present the most astonishing and beautiful forms of waterwear; upon a mass eight or ten feet across, there will be worn a system of ridges and intervening channels, which, in miniature, seems to reproduce the orographic features of the whole country.
While we were passing over one of these limestone stretches, a little before reaching the summit, we found a spot of unusual difficulty. The two pack animals were together, one tied to the tail of the other; the second had several times acted badly, but in passing over this bit of road, he jumped and plunged, so that his pack loosened and slid to one side. Plunging, kicking, and falling, he dragged down the unfortunate beast to whose tail he was tied; the old rope tugged and creaked, and, for a moment, we expected to see the very tail of the forward animal pulled out, and both packs destroyed by the struggling beasts. Fortunately, at this moment, the rope itself broke. The forward animal was loosened and quickly quieted; but the other one kicked and struggled, with our load of plates and developing trays under him. Quickly cutting the ropes that held the burden, we tried to release the animal, but it lay exhausted, and, for a moment, we thought it dead. Really, however, it was not hurt at all, and the loads themselves appeared undamaged. The burdens having been repacked, we again started on the journey. At several places on this road, we had noticed cairns, or heaps of pebbles. On inquiring from Don Manuel—the funny little man, who had the animals in charge—we learned that every Chocho indian passing the place adds a pebble to the heap, to secure good luck and insure his safe return home. At the summit, we found one of these piles of stone surmounted by a cross, and learned that when the Chochos reach this spot, they always stop, repeat a prayer, and dance for good health and fortune before the cross. It was now almost dark. Soon we saw the downward slope, at the foot of which Huauhtla lay. We hastened down the slope, passing through a grove of oak trees, heavily loaded with bromelias; at the foot of the slope, we crossed a stream of clearest water, bordered with handsome cypress trees, and passing several houses, came to the one where we planned to stop for the night. It was now dark. There was no opportunity for sleeping in the hut, and so we prepared to lie down outside. The people in the house prepared tortillas and beans, and, after eating, we rolled up in our blankets and lay down on some dried corn-husks on the ground. It was a night of suffering; the cold was so great that our blankets furnished no protection, and the place swarmed with fleas innumerable. At last, at four o'clock, two hours before sunrise, we started on our journey in the hope of getting warm. The air was damp and heavy, and, until the sun rose, we had a desolate journey. We were again upon a limestone district, with interesting features of scenery, and with few difficulties in the road. We passed many oblong hills of limestone, the horizontal layers of which upon the slopes present tiers of steps, one behind the other. These hills were astonishingly overgrown with trees, and formed masses of the darkest green. There was a great deal of subterranean water, and sink-holes produced by caving over such streams were frequent. The soil generally was a residual red or brownish clay. Flocks of gray pigeons were startled from their roosts by our passing; and little doves were plentiful; great hawks and small eagles were seen in pairs, hovering high in the air. We passed several little ranches, to one of which the name of El Zapato is given from a foot-print which is said to be painted on the rocks at that point. Finally, we saw before us the hill behind which, Don Manuel assured us, lay Coixtlahuaca. To mount and drop down behind it seemed a simple thing, but we had to traverse the whole length of the rather irregular ridge, which seemed interminable. The road which led up to it was called the Rio Blanca—white river—an appropriate name, as it was broad and deeply worn into the soft rock of which the ridge consisted. When we reached the crest, we found the ridge extending as a flat plain of light, buff-colored tufa, with many trails worn deeply into it, and giving out, under the bright sunshine, a frightful reflection of light and heat. Long before we reached the end of this dreary stretch, we saw Coixtlahuaca and its adjoining indian villages, Nativitas and San Cristobal. As we drew nearer, the view was striking. The town is broad, but of little depth; its streets are laid out with regularity; its great church, with masses of ruin on either side, is conspicuous; the plaza is large for the size of the town. To one side of it are the portales and the town-house and jefatura. To the right of the town and behind it is a large, walled cemetery with many gravestones. Back of all, rise hills of tufa, such as we had just traversed. The houses, similar to those at Huautla, and in the country between there and here, appear to be constructed with a view to cold. At least, two houses usually occur in one inclosure; the one, more important, corresponds to the god-house of the Aztecs and the other to the cook-house. The former is better built, and has low, carefully constructed walls, and a high abruptly four-pitched, heavily thatched roof. Going to the jefatura, the young clerk there was much impressed by the documents we presented, and asked us if we would accompany him to the jefe's house, as thus no time would be lost. Upon arriving at the house of the jefe, we found that a wedding was about to be celebrated in the church. The jefe received us with magnificent promises; we should room at the palace, arrangements should be made for boarding at a private house, beds and other proper furniture should be brought immediately, and the following day we should journey on horseback through all the indian towns of the vicinity. This was all very fine, but we told him that meantime we were hungry—we had eaten nothing since the night before and then had fared badly—and that we must unload our animals, which we had left with the rest of our company, standing in front of the palace. The unloading was done at once and we were given the schoolhouse for our quarters, at the rear of the patio of the palace. At this moment, however, everything else was neglected for the wedding. This we all attended, and it was, indeed, an occasion. The bride in white, with veil and orange-blossoms, was accompanied by her mother, god-mother, and other female friends. She was really a pretty and wholesome indian girl, and the groom was a decent young mestizo, with gray wool sombrero, and linen jacket, cloth trousers, etc. He and his god-father were bustling about attending to all sorts of preliminaries. In the solemn procession which took place to the church, the company of ladies preceded; the jefe and myself led the line of male friends, and, when we filed into the church, the building was fairly filled. The special friends, including our party, moved in procession to the high altar, where the ceremony was performed. The bridal company knelt with candles in their hands. Other candles, some of enormous size, were burning in various parts of the church. The priest, with much ceremony, gave the sacrament of the communion to the couple, and then fastened two golden chains, crossing, about both their necks. A scarf of satin was placed upon them so as to cover both, passing over the head of the woman, and the shoulders of the man. From the church, our procession, dwindled to the particular friends and guests of honor, walked through the village to the justice-court, where the civil ceremony was performed. The matter having been accomplished with full respect to the requirements of the law, we thought again of dinner. The jefe told us that to-morrow we should go to our boarding-place, but that to-day we were to dine together in state. Time passed, hour after hour lagged by, until the mozo and arriero struck for money, with which to buy themselves something to eat. Meantime, we waited. Finally, at three o'clock in the afternoon, we were summoned, and the jefe, myself, and our companions, started down the hot, dusty, main street. On and on we walked, until, at last, the jefe himself impatiently demanded of our guide how far we had to go. At last, we heard the strains of music, and, shortly, found ourselves in a yard crowded with people, among whom two bands of music were present, one with stringed instruments and the other with brass. It was the house of the bride, and after a moment's waiting in the yard, we were ushered, by the jefe's clerk, into the building. It had been cleared of all its contents and a long table, set in the middle, ran lengthwise of the place. Benches were placed beside it. A line of vases, filled with bouquets, occupied the middle of the table and between these were bottles of wine, catalan, mescal, pulque, tepache, beer, etc. The ladies were already seated; we took the remaining seats. The company consisted of the bride and groom, their parents, god-parents, families, and particular friends. And then, we had a dinner which amply compensated for the thirty-six hours through which we had been fasting—good bread, soup, stews, broiled meat, mole, mole prieto, chicken, beans, sweetmeats, coffee, with the beverages before mentioned. Dishes, when they came in, were politely passed across the table to the ladies opposite; no one ate till all were served, and when we were through, the place was cleared, and another room full of friends sat down to the bountiful repast. And then a third, and then a fourth, till everyone had feasted, even to the commonest, and the musicians, to whom abundance was carried after those invited in had eaten. Through all this lengthy feasting the bands of music alternated with each other. When all had eaten, the women quickly cleared the house, the tables were moved, and all the chairs of the neighborhood were set stiffly around the walls, after which dancing began, continuing through the night.
After having eaten, we stepped outside to visit with the crowd. Among them, several drunken men showed special friendliness. One of these insisted upon showing us an idol, which, from his description, should have been a rather beautiful piece. It turned out to be a very crudely-made head, wrought in coarse, cellular lava. Considering the material, the work was really fine; nor was it a fragment broken from the body, as there had never been more than what we saw. From here, a yet more drunken dulcero insisted on our going to his dulceria and bake-shop, where he told us that he had a much finer piece. We found he really had an enormous head, made of coarse, but rather bright, red stone; it was another example of the same type of separate head, a type which must be characteristic of the district.
Notwithstanding the fine promises, we found no beds or other furniture when we returned to our room. This was not, perhaps, surprising, in view of the excitement over the wedding, which might drive lesser matters out of the mind of the great official. With difficulty, we secured some mats from the chief of police, and made our beds with these upon the desks and benches of the school room. But, though we remained in Coixtlahuaca several days, no beds were forthcoming, though we referred to them often enough; nor did the private boarding-house materialize. We, however, found a little place in the village where we got plenty of good food cheaply. Nor did the ride on horseback through the neighboring villages, which had been so pleasantly suggested by the jefe, materialize. However, each day of our stay we were assured that all arrangements had been made for it to take place on the morrow.
We have already mentioned the plaza as large in proportion to the size of the town. On Sunday it was crowded, and while many things were bought and sold, the trade in sombreros surpassed all others. This is a specialty of all the district; throughout the Chocho towns, they make an excellent grade of palm-hats and everyone engages in the making. Both men and women braid palm, and in every yard there is excavated in the soft, tufaceous rock, a cueva, or cave, in which they work. Here the palm is left between times, and here two persons generally work together, each braiding at a hat, while a little cross, cut in the rock-wall, looks down upon the work, for good luck. These caves have a narrow opening upward and are scarcely large enough to admit the two persons who sit at their work. The object of the cave is to keep the work moist, as the plaiting cannot be well done, if the palm dries out.
The Monday we were there, the victory of February 5th was celebrated. The day began with music by the brass-band, from the roof of the presidencia. The band, a large one, consisted almost entirely of boys about fifteen years of age. Only the director and one among the players were men grown. At sunrise the national flag was raised, and at seven the church-bells were rung. Through the afternoon, games of ball and cock-fights furnished amusement. Among the crowd, at the house of the bride, we had met a little, stout man of about twenty-five or thirty years, who considered himself superior to the other people, and who variously attempted to make himself familiar. At several times during our measuring and bust-making, he had hung around, making smart remarks, but we had never invited him to submit to measure, as he did not seem to be a really full-blood indian. He had made a nuisance of himself, but, finally, one day, when he was standing in the crowd, which was looking on, he called my attention to a friend of his, remarking that here was a good subject. On calling this young man to be measured, we met with unexpected resistance. He was purely indian, short, well-dressed, and well-mannered, but he refused to be measured. We had had some little trouble with our subjects that afternoon, and therefore insisted that he should undergo the operation. He refused. Of course, the officials were on our side, and the police led him off to jail. When he saw that there was no escape, he consented to be measured, and they brought him back, under guard, until the operation was performed. So much feeling had been raised by the matter, that his foolish friend, to whose jocularity he owed the unpleasant experience, thought best himself to be measured. Accordingly measures were taken, although it was after dark, and a candle had to be used in reading. As our day's work was done, we returned to our room, making ready to go to supper. The crowd had departed. To our surprise, we found these foolish fellows at our door awaiting us. "Sir," they said, "we would speak with you a moment." Going aside with them, I asked their wishes. They then launched out, with weeping and groans and much wringing of hands, into a dreary tale. They were young teachers waiting for appointment; one of them had a little family; it would be a dreadful thing for them to be taken away and forced into the army. It was impossible to convince them that there was no harm in the matter. After long discussion and elaborate explanations, they cheered up somewhat, but insisted that I must go to the house of one of them, the one who had given trouble, to take pulque. We went, three abreast, each one of them taking one of my brazitos queridos—"beloved little arms;" as we went, they alternately indulged in admiring exclamations—"Ah, Severo, what a maestro! how fine a gentleman! how amiable! Say Manuelito, was there ever such a one." At the house, which was neat and clean, I met the mother and two little ones, who would be left behind in case Severo were forced to go into the army. Then the pulque was brought in and sampled. As I was leaving to go to supper, they said, no, I must go to my room; they would accompany me. In vain I reminded them that my companions were waiting for me at the eating-place; I must be seen back to my very door, then I might go where I pleased; but with them I had gone forth, and until they saw me home again, they would be responsible for my person.
Coixtlahuaca itself is largely a mestizo town. But immediately in its neighborhood, and on its outskirts, are indian villages. All Chochos know Spanish, and but few talk their own language. There is little of interest in their life and nothing characteristic in their dress, which is that of mestizos in general. But the physical type is well defined. The stature is small; the face is short and broad; the nose is wide and flat, with a fat, flattened tip; the hair is somewhat inclined to curl, especially on top behind.
Despairing of the promised trip through the villages, we issued orders for our animals to be ready early one morning. Only after vigorous complaints and threats were they actually ready. The owner of the beast which I, myself, mounted went with us on foot, and a mozo was supplied for carrying instruments. In spite of fair promises that we would leave at three, it was 4:40 before we started, though we had risen at half-past-two. Our arriero was the best we ever had; far from sparing his good horse and grumbling at our speed, he was continually complaining at our slowness. "Why don't the boys want to go fast?" he would say. "Don't you want to get there at a good hour? Why do you go so slowly?" And then, striking the horse, he trotted along at wonderful speed. We reached Huautla at half-past-eight, stopping an hour to feed our horses and to eat beans and tortillas. We then pushed on down the slope, and out over the long ridge, passing the hut of our Cordoban Aztec woman. It was the hottest hour of the day when we descended the broad road, over the hot rocks, and saw Cuicatlan in the distance. Thanks to our arriero, we drew up at Dona Serafina's when it was but 3:40 in the afternoon, having been upon the road eleven hours.
HUAUHTLA AND THE MAZATECS
A short ride upon the train, through the hot and dusty valley, brought us to the miserable station of San Antonio, from which, we had been assured, a coach ran daily to Teotitlan del Camino; arrived at the station, no stage was in sight, and we were told that it sometimes came and sometimes not. Accordingly, leaving my companions at the station in care of the baggage, I walked to the village, half a mile away, to see what arrangements could be made for transportation. It was hot, and it seemed difficult to arouse interest on the part of the town authorities. Neither conveyance nor animals were to be had. Accordingly, a foot messenger was sent to Teotitlan, which is a cabecera, asking that some arrangement be made for transporting us. As there was no hurry, and it would be some time before we could receive an answer, I sat under the thatched roof in front of the town-house, resting and enjoying the little breeze which had sprung up. Suddenly the belated coach, itself, came into sight, bound for the station. Starting to mount, the driver told me it was better for me to remain sitting comfortably in the shade, and that he would pick up my companions, of whom, I told him, there were three, and that I could join the company, as they passed. As arrangements had already been made regarding the transportation of the baggage by mules, the advice seemed good, and I remained where I was. A long time passed, and when, at last, the coach arrived, it contained but one passenger, a dignified licenciado. When I asked the driver where my companions were, he answered that they had refused to come because I had sent no written order to that effect. I suggested that we should turn back and get them, but to this proposition he gave refusal. Not only so, but the licenciado expressed vexation at the delay which he was suffering, and demanded that we should go on at once. Argument, persuasions, threats were all of no avail, and, as it was necessary that I should see the jefe at the earliest possible moment, I was forced to mount the coach and leave my unfortunate and obedient companions to their fate. For an hour and a half the coach lumbered slowly over a hot and dusty road, which passed between small, bare, gray or brown rock hills, rising to a higher level only a little before we reached Teotitlan itself.
Hastening to the jefatura, I discovered that the jefe had gone to Mexico, leaving the presidente of the town as his lieutenant. This man was neither willing, interested, nor efficient. He had little authority, even with his own policemen and townsmen. I requested that the first thing should be to send for my companions and bring them to town within the briefest time. Orders were sent by the policemen to the driver of the coach, that he should return at once to the station; to these orders, he sent the false reply that his coach had broken down, one wheel being completely ruined. After some wrangling and delay, the presidente sent a foot-messenger to San Antonio with orders to the authorities of that village to supply three animals for the travellers. The messenger left at five in the evening. Meantime, we arranged with difficulty for beasts for our further journey. Although we were assured that no animals from the town could accompany us further than the first ranchito in the mountains, named San Bernardino, they assured us that fresh animals could be obtained there for the remainder of the journey. Going to the regular hotel in the village, we found the prices higher than in Oaxaca or Puebla, and equal to those of a first-class hotel in Mexico itself. As the landlady seemed to have no disposition to do aught for us, we decided to look elsewhere. At a second so-called hotel we found a single bed. At this point, a bystander suggested that Don Pedro Barrios would probably supply us lodging; hastening to his house, I secured a capital room, opening by one door directly onto the main road, and by another, opposite, onto the large patio of his place. The room was large and clean, and four good cots were soon in place. Having ordered supper at a little eating-house, for four persons, to be ready at seven o'clock, I spent a little time in looking at relics found in the neighborhood. Pottery figures and heads are quite common and frequently painted brilliantly; small heads and ornaments of green-stone are not uncommon; curious clubs of stone for beating bark-paper are also found; objects of gold and silver have been found in ancient graves, near the foot of the mountains, on the outskirts of the village. These were of curious forms and excellent workmanship, and included large ornaments for the ears and pendants for the neck, made of thin sheets of gold; turtles and human skulls cast in a single piece; and most curious of all, odd pieces of filigree where the gold-wire was coiled into strange human heads. One of these was made half of gold and half of silver wire.
At seven, no sign of my companions had appeared. A policeman went to tell the keeper of the eating-house that we would eat at eight, and, putting my chair outside the open door, I sat in the cool air and watched the people passing in the moonlight. Eight o'clock came, and no companions. The supper hour was postponed to nine. Between nine and ten, Don Pedro and I talked over various matters, and at last, yielding to his solicitation, I went to supper, he promising to send my comrades in case they should arrive during my absence. I had just finished supper, at half-past ten, when my three hungry companions arrived, with big appetites for their own meals, and it was after eleven before the party was through its supper.
They, themselves, had by no means spent a dull afternoon. The station agent and his lady wife had indulged in a vigorous battle. Both were drunk, shot revolvers recklessly, bit one another, tore hair, and clubbed most vigorously. The man finally took $6,000 in money out of the company's safe and left the station, vowing that he would never be seen again. Though the authorities at San Antonio had received the order to supply animals at six o'clock, it was after nine before they had the beasts ready for the travellers.
After an excellent night's rest we started our pack-animals, and were ourselves ready for the journey at nine, when we found that no arrangements had been made for a foot mozo to carry our instruments. This again caused delay and trouble, but at last we were upon the road, and started out through the little village towards the mountains. My animal appeared a beast of vigor and spirit, and my hope ran high. The moment, however, that we struck the climb, matters changed. He then stopped every few yards, breathing as if it were his last gasp. This he kept up for the whole ascent, and there seemed doubt whether he would ever reach the summit. For a long distance, the road followed the side of a gorge in which a fine brook plunged and dashed. We passed and repassed picturesque groups of Mazatec indians with their burdens. The women wore enaguas, the lower part of which was brown, the upper white. Their huipilis are among the most striking we have seen, being made of native cotton, decorated with elaborate embroidered patterns of large size, in pink or red. The favorite design is the eagle. Men wore cotones of black or dark blue wool. We had been riding steadily for two hours before we reached San Bernardino, where the mozos and pack animals were changed, and where we rested for a few minutes. We then rode for a long time, gently ascending through forests of pine or oak. Here and there the air-plants on the oak trees were notable. Finally, we mounted to a road along a narrow ridge, like a knife's edge, and from here on had one of the most remarkable roads that I have ever travelled. Keeping continuously upon the crest, we had upon the one side the dry slope, with the pine forest, and on the other the damp slope, densely grown with low oaks, heavily clad with orchids and bromelias and weighted with great bunches of gray moss. The road passed up and down gentle and abrupt slopes separated by level spaces. When we first caught sight of Huauhtla it looked so near, and the road to be traversed was so plain, that we expected to reach the town before three o'clock; but the trail proved drearily long. True, the scenery was magnificent. The great mass of mountains; curious ridges extending out from their flanks; the multitude of horizontal, parallel long roads following these; the little towns, San Geronimo, San Lucas—all were attractive. From the great slope opposite Huauhtla, the view of the town was most impressive. Before us opened a narrow valley, the depth of which we only realized after we had traversed it. An hour and a half was necessary for making the descent and the up-climb. From the point whence we were looking, the church, town-house, and clustered houses of the village were above us. Below stretched a line of nublina, and beneath it the whole great mountain flank was checkered with the irregular brown and green fields belonging to the villagers. It was already five o'clock when we began the descent from this fine view-point, and, on our way down the slope and up the opposite slope to the village, we met great numbers of drunken indians,—as it was Sunday,—usually a man and woman together. Two of the men we met had been fighting, and were covered with blood; the face of one of them was livid with the blows which he had received. Many of the parties were noisy and quarrelsome, and some of them showed a tendency to meddle with us, as we passed.
The greater portion of the journey had been over fine, dry roads; after we reached the knife-edge ridge, however, whenever there was a descent or ascent, we found the road of clay, moist and slippery; in the rainy season these bits would be bad enough. At this time of year they are due to the nublina, great masses of which we saw from the time we reached the crest-road, and, at times, we passed through great sheets of it which cut off all view and which soaked our clothing. Upon our last descent and ascent, we were almost discouraged, and the last half-hour of our journey was made by the light of the moon, struggling through nublina. Though it was dark, when we reached the village, we were impressed with the fineness of the municipal-house, the best constructed we have seen in an indian town. Its location, near the edge of the mountain slope, giving a magnificent outlook over the great valley, is very fine. The houses of the Mazatecs are picturesque. The walls are built of mud, or slabs or posts daubed with mud, while the roofs are thatched with palm. The ridge pole extends, at both ends, in projections which themselves are thatched, forming curious and striking horns. This same mode of thatch, picturesque in the extreme, is also used above the little granaries which are raised, on poles, several feet above the ground, in order to keep the contents from the attacks of animals. Huauhtla is a large town. The village and its immediate dependencies have a population of 7000. Until lately the town was jealous of visits from outside, and little inclined to hospitality towards travellers. If this were formerly true, it has ceased to be so. We were received most heartily; the large and enthusiastic town government, after learning our errand, expressed their willingness to aid us in every way. They at once cleared a fine large room in the town-house for our occupancy, prepared four beds of boards covered with petates, and brought from the priest's house, hard by, blankets, sheets, and pillows for my own use. Arrangements were also made for our eating with the priest, Padre Manzano, with whom we fared in truly regal fashion. In the days we stayed at Huauhtla, there were no delays in our work and everything went in orderly fashion. It is true, our subjects for busts were an awkward and trying lot. The first subject broke the back-piece of the mould to fragments, and, when the plaster was being applied to his face, he opened his mouth and talked, opened his eyes, and drew out his nose-tubes, with the result that eyes, nose and mouth were all filled with the soft mixture, and it was all that we could do to clean him without damage. As for trying to take his bust again, that was quite out of the question. The second subject was all right, until the last application had been made, when he turned in the partly hardened mould with truly disastrous results. The third one acted so awkwardly that a piece of mould, which should have come off singly, was taken off in ten fragments.
The dress of the Mazatec women is elaborate and striking, both enagua and huipil being made from the cotton woven by themselves. At the base of the enagua is a broad and heavy band of wool, embroidered in geometrical patterns, the color being cochineal. Above these bands, there are embroideries in the same colored wool, animal and human figures, and geometrical designs. Unfortunately, cochineal, while brilliant, is by no means permanent, a single washing of the garment spreading the color through the white texture. The huipilis are ornamented frequently with red, purple and crimson ribbons, bought in stores in the town, which are sewed to the garment in such a fashion as to divide it into rectangular spaces. These, in turn, are occupied with the elaborate large patterns in pink representing the eagle and other designs already described. It is uncommon among Mexican indians to find a native use of silk. Here, however, silk-worms are reared and carry-cloths, kerchiefs and belts are woven from their product. These are worn by both men and women. The mode of wearing the hair among the Mazatec women is in two broad, flat braids hanging down the back. The women made no demur whatever to being measured, but everyone, who presented herself for the operation, came dressed in her best clothing, with her hair elaborately braided, and showed serious disappointment and dissatisfaction if not invited to be photographed.
The town has a most curious reputation, as devoted to commerce, and not to manual labor. In fact, it is considered disgraceful for a man of Huauhtla to indulge in work. The people of San Lucas, the nearest town, and a dependency, are, on the other hand, notably industrious, and it is they who carry burdens and do menial work for the lordly Huauhtla people. Mrs. de Butrie told us that she tried in vain to get a cook in the village. The woman was satisfied to cook and found no fault with the wages offered, but refused the job because it involved the carrying of water, and she feared lest she might be seen at such ignoble labor. Mr. de Butrie a while ago bought a set of shelves from a man who had them in his house. As they were dirty, he suggested that they must be cleaned before he would receive them. The seller said, very well, he would send for a man of San Lucas to clean them. It was only lately that they condescended to carry stuff to Teotitlan to sell. In the town-house they cherish two much-prized possessions, the titulo and mapa of the town. The former is the grant made by the Spanish government to this village, in the year 1763. It is an excellently preserved document in parchment and the old writing is but little faded. As for the mapa, it is a strip of native, coarse cotton cloth, seven feet by three feet nine inches in size, with a landscape map of the surrounding country painted upon it in red, yellow, black and brown. It is a quaint piece of painting, with mountains valleys, streams, caves, trees, houses, churches and villages represented on it with fair exactness. It was probably painted at the same time that the titulo was given to the village.
The morning after our arrival, we witnessed a quadruple indian wedding in the church at seven. The brides were magnificent in the brilliant huipilis, and the godmothers were almost as much so, with their fine embroideries. The ceremony was much like that at Coixtlahuaca, already described. The bride put a silver ring upon the groom's finger, and he did the same by her; the priest put money into the man's hands, he transferred this to the woman, and she to the priest; single chains were hung about the neck of each of the party, both men and women; the covering sheet or scarf was stretched over all four couples at once, covering the heads of the women and the shoulders of the men.
Near the town-house, along the main street, is a series of sheds or shacks used as shops, altogether numerically disproportionate to the population. Great was our surprise to find that one of these was kept by a Frenchman, who spoke excellent English, and who is married to an English lady. They were the only white people living in this great indian town. Monsieur de Butrie has a coffee plantation in the valley a few miles away, at Chichotla, but he finds the climate bad for himself and lady. Accordingly, they had moved up onto the high land, and it is easy for him, when he must give attention to his finca, to go to it for the necessary time. They have some pretty children and are doing well. We called at their house, quite like the others of the town, and were hospitably received with chocolate and sweet English cakes. During our stay, this gentleman and his wife did their utmost for our comfort, and gave us many interesting bits of information regarding the people, their customs and their superstitions. We have elsewhere described in detail their witchcraft practices, their belief in transformation into tigers, and their ideas regarding the destiny and condition of persons after death.
[MAZATEC FROM SAN LUCAS]
[MAZATEC FROM SAN LUCAS]
Just across the way from the town-house, was a large house of the usual fashion, which we quickly learned was the rendezvous and practice-place of the town band. This consisted entirely of boys, none of them more than twenty years of age, and numbered upwards of thirty pieces. The leader was a man of forty, a capital trainer. The daily practice began at 4:30 in the morning, and was kept up until noon; then ensued an hour's rest. At one, they were again practicing, and no break occurred until long after dark. During the days that we were there, a single piece only was being practiced. It was our alarm clock in the morning, beat time for our work throughout the day, and lulled us to sleep when we retired for the night. Senor de Butrie insists that during the year and more than he has lived in the village, several boys have blown themselves, through consumption, into early graves. Our pleasant stay at Huauhtla came to an equally pleasant termination. Having stated the number of animals and human carriers necessary, and the hour at which we wished to start, we found every preparation made on awaking in the morning, and at 6:25, after an excellent breakfast with Padre Manzano, we sallied forth. Six human carriers bore our busts and baggage, and four capital horses carried us rapidly over the good road. It was a magnificent morning, but later in the day, as the sun rose, it became hot. We arrived at three in the afternoon with our carriers close behind. The following morning we forgave the crabbed cochero at Teotitlan sufficiently to take his stage coach for San Antonio, where we arrived in fifty minutes, having two hours to wait before the north-bound train took us towards Puebla.
TEPEHUAS AND TOTONACS
Leaving Puebla on the early morning train, and taking the Pachuca branch at Ometusco, we changed cars at Tepa onto the narrow-gauge Hidalgo road for Tulancingo, which took us by a winding course through a great maguey country. After two hours of riding, in the latter part of which we were within sight of a pretty lakelet, we reached Tulancingo. Broad avenues, bordered with handsome trees, connected the station with the town, in the plaza of which we shortly found ourselves. This plaza consists of a large square, planted with trees, with an open space before it, and is surrounded by various shops and the great church. It is pretentious, but desolate. In front of the treed space, were temporary booths erected for the carnival, in which dulces, aguas frescas, and cascarones were offered for sale. Hawkers on the streets were selling cascarones, some of which were quite elaborate. The simplest were egg-shells, dyed and stained in brilliant colors, and filled with bits of cut paper; these were broken upon the heads of persons as they passed, setting loose the bits of paper which became entangled in the hair and scattered over the clothing. Some had, pasted over the open ends, little conical caps of colored tissue-paper. Others consisted of a lyre-shaped frame, with an eggshell in the center of the open part. Some had white birds, single or in pairs, hovering over the upper end. The carnival was on in full force, and we saw frequent bands of maskers. They went in companies of a dozen or so, dressed like clowns, with their clothing spotted and striped with red. Their faces were concealed by cloth. They walked rapidly, almost ran, through the streets. They spoke to no one, and did nothing except to keep up a loud and constant trilling of the most ridiculous kind. Packs of youngsters chased behind and crowded upon them; they also pelted them with stones, and the head of one of the maskers was bleeding quite profusely, but he still kept up his headlong run and trilling. We had counted upon the assistance of the jefe, but found him too dignified to receive us outside of office hours, and therefore we arranged the matter of our transportation to Huachinango. The price was high, the coach inconvenient, and the cochero unaccommodating. In vain we tried to have all of our plaster taken in the load with us; only one-half could go, the balance must follow the succeeding day. Finally, at about ten in the morning, we lumbered heavily away, and were soon out of the town, passing through a brown, hilly district, at first devoted to pulque plantations, but further along becoming fine pastureland. Neat fields, separated by bands of yellow, unplowed stubble, and true farm-houses of good size, were striking features. We passed through quantities of pine groves, and everywhere a cold wind blew strongly in our faces. At one place, we were obliged to dismount and walk, on account of the sharp descent, and found ourselves upon an ugly piece of limestone or sandstone rock, which soon, to our surprise, we found replaced by a solid mass of obsidian. The cochero, says that the place is known as itzlis—the obsidians, the knives. It was 2:30 when we reached Aguazotepec, where we called upon the presidente, and engaged a mozo, for a peso, to convey our instruments the balance of the journey, as we were completely tired out with carrying them upon our knees. We also arranged with that official to forward the balance of our stuff to Huachinango the following day. We also arranged to pay for horses from Aguazotepec to Huachinango. Having eaten an excellent dinner, when ready for resuming our journey, we discovered, with surprise, that the stage was still our conveyance to Venta Colorado, only a league from Huachinango. There we were to secure the animals for which we had paid, though we were warned that only three could be supplied. Manuel and Louis at once tossed coins to see which should ride first. Although we had paid the full cost of the coach, two other passengers were crowded in upon us, and the man, for whom we had paid the peso to carry our instruments, ran alongside the coach on foot, throwing stones at the mules, while we had again the pleasure of carrying the instruments and boxes on our knees. The country through which we rode was much as before. For some time we passed through a fine pine forest; then we made a deep descent into a valley, at the bottom of which flowed a large stream, which was bridged by a grand old structure of stone and cement. This descent, and the opposite ascent, we were obliged to make on foot, as the approaches were bad. We have been impressed strongly with the fact that everywhere in Mexico the worst bits of road are those which, in old Spanish days, were handsomely and well paved; and which, during the disturbed period of the early Republic, were neglected and allowed to go to decay. It is depressing to see so many evidences of past magnificence and present poverty. It was almost dusk when, after skirting the edge of a deep gorge, we reached a piece of bad road, where the coach with difficulty made its way, with frightful jolts and pitchings, till we drew up at Venta Colorado. Here the coach was finally abandoned. Our animals were packed and mounted, and after fussing and quarreling with our ugly cochero as to whether he or we should carry the bulk of our baggage, we started. The distance was not great. It was down hill, and we had to pick our way with great care over the rough road, filled with loosened and separated blocks of ancient paving.
This district, in one respect, reminded us of the Tarascan country. Every house along the road was a sales-place, where drinks, cigarettes, fruit and bread were offered, and each had the little boarded window, open when sales were solicited, and closed when business stopped. The houses, too, were log structures with shingled four-pitched roofs, and the houses in the town were well built, cement-walled, with low-sloped, far projecting tile roofs supported on trimmed beams. One might as well have been in Patzcuaro, Uruapan, or Chilchota. Again the cochero; we had told him that the stuff should go to the jefatura, and not to the hotel; he told us with great insolence that the jefatura was closed, and that it would be impossible to see the jefe and that the stuff would remain at the hotel; he followed us, when we went to the jefe's house, and great was his surprise when he found our order efficacious. We had a long talk with the jefe, who told us that few indians lived in the town, and that none of them were Totonacs; he assured us that, though there were no Totonacs in Huachinango, we could find them in abundance at Pahuatlan, to which he recommended us to go. The nearest indian town to Huachinango is Chiconcuauhtla, but it is Aztec. The next day was spent in town, waiting for our other baggage, and for the jefe to arrange our orders and lay out our journey. My day of fever was on, and I spent it mostly in bed. There were many indians in the market, most of whom were Aztecs, though a few were Otomis. The men wore dark brown or black cotones; the enaguas of the women were wool and were dark blue or black. Many carried on their shoulders carry-pouches, consisting of two rectangular frames of sticks, corded together along the lower side, and kept from opening too widely, above, by a net of cords at the ends. The indians of Chiconcuauhtla are easily recognized by their little flat, round caps. Late in the afternoon the bands of maskers, here called the huehuetes, were out. There were a dozen of them, dressed in absurd costumes; a bewhiskered Englishman in loud clothing, a gentleman, a clown, a lady, etc. These all went, by twos, on horseback; a clown and a devil and a boy with a prod, on foot, accompanied them. The duty of the latter, who remotely resembled death, was to prod the unhappy devil. They were accompanied by noisy crowds the several times they made the rounds of the town, keeping up the peculiar trilling, which we had noticed at Tulancingo. At dusk, these maskers dismounted and promenaded in couples about the plaza.
Nowhere, as in this region, have we had so much difficulty with regard to animals. The demands were so exorbitant that we insisted upon the jefe making the arrangements. He received us in anything but a pleasant mood, but acceded, and finally we secured four horses and four mules, for which we were to pay for two full days, and a foot mozo to whom we also were to pay two full days' wages. As the jefe himself had made this arrangement, we consented to it, but the man who was outfitting us then demanded pay for the mozo who went to bring back the horses and for the fodder of the animals. At this, even the jefe balked, declaring that he was not in favor of really robbing the gentlemen. Paying him the seventeen dollars and twenty-five cents, in order that there might be no further discussion, we started. Just as we left, the man who supplied the animals decided that our loads, which before had been so large, were really not too large for three mules, which number was actually sent with us, though we had paid for four. We were ready for starting at seven, but it was ten before we left. Meantime, clouds had gathered, and just as we started, rain began. There were first several separate showers, and then a steady downpour, which lasted almost till we reached Pahuatlan. All the blankets had been packed away, and we rode through the rain until our clothes were drenched through and through. For three hours this continued, and it was impossible to see anything of the country through which we passed. Finally, however, as we reached a great crest, and looked down into the valley beyond, the sky was clear and we could see something of the scene about us. The descent we were to make, and the slope in front, were covered with sugar-cane, broken here and there by great patches of pineapples. With each plantation of sugar-cane there was a little shelter of poles under which was a sap-trough or boiling-tank, while at the side of and behind the shelter was a rude mill, the power for which was furnished by a yoke of oxen. Boys fed the fresh cane between the crushing rollers, and the sap, as it ran out, was carried in little troughs to vats. Not at all these little shelters was sugar-making in progress, as we passed, but over both slopes many columns of smoke indicated places where the work was going on. The fire in the vat kept the sap boiling, and a man standing near with a great ladle, pierced with holes, kept dipping up and pouring out the hot sap. When we started up the great ascent we had no hint of Pahuatlan, and, when we reached the summit, could see nothing of it. But hardly had we begun the descent before we saw the large and handsome town below, but still with a long slope and a sharp ascent to be passed, before we could reach it. From the brook-side, at the bottom of the valley, almost to the village itself, we passed through a dense growth of bananas, which seemed to have suffered some damage, as many were dry and yellow, and individual leaves were curiously tattered and jagged. Among them grew other plants, coffee, orange-trees, peaches, and cane. When we reached the town, my heart sank; a church with handsome dome and modern tower, a planted plaza with central fountain, buildings, of two stories with gaudy fronts and portales, surrounding three sides of the square, augured better for comfort while we were in the place, than for work on Totonacs. We rode up to the municipio, where we found the presidente, a rather stylish young fellow, who was interested in our work and helpful. The town controls fourteen thousand persons, and its name is derived from that of a large ahuacate, the Aztec name of which is pahuatl. The presidente assured us that there was no Totonac town, properly speaking, within the limits of the municipio. For all this district, Orozco y Berra makes many errors. Atla, which he lists as Totonac, is really Aztec. The presidente, upon a local map, showed us the interesting way in which natural barriers limit idioms. Two little streams, coming together at an acute angle, may divide three languages—one being spoken in the angle and one on either side. In Tlaxco, a small village in this municipio, four idioms are spoken—Aztec, Otomi, Totonac and Tepehua.
Two years before, just as my work was ending, we were in the great Otomi town of Huixquilucan, in the state of Mexico. While resting at midday, I noticed a neatly-dressed and clean young indian, plainly not Otomi, with whom I conversed. He was an Aztec, and much interested in the work we were doing. In our conversation, he told me that I would find much of interest in the state of Hidalgo, and particularly called my attention to the making of paper from bark, which he had observed in the town of San Gregorio, two years before. This particularly interested me, and I then made notes regarding the method of getting to San Gregorio. I was advised by him, in case of going to that place, to talk with Don Pablo Leyra, of Huehuetla, who was himself an Indian and a man of consequence in the district—a sort of cacique among his people. Several years ago, I had first learned from Senor Eurosa, a Mexican Protestant clergyman, that in the little town of Tlacuilotepec, there still survive interesting pagan practices. In planning our present journey, I had arranged to visit San Gregorio and Tlacuilotepec for the purpose of investigating this manufacture of paper and these pagan customs. Inquiring of the presidente of Pahuatlan about his indians, I asked regarding paper-beating, and discovered that it was done at the nearest indian village of San Pablito, Otomi. We were told that bark of several species of trees was used—jonote, dragon, and mulberry; that the paper is usually made secretly and in-doors; that the passing traveller can hear the sound of light and rapid pounding as he passes through the village; that it is made in every house, and the proper season is when the sap runs, April to June; San Pablito is the only village in the municipio where it is made. It is used in brujeria (witchcraft); other paper can be bought much cheaper, but only this kind is serviceable. It is cut into munecos; representing human beings and horses and other animals, and these are used to work injury to human beings and beasts, being buried in front of the house or in the corral. The judge, who was sitting by, told us that a prisoner brought before him for trial was found to carry such a paper figure, which was sewed through the body with thread and had its lips sewed also; he learned that this figure represented himself, and that the lips were sewed to prevent him from pronouncing judgment on the prisoner. They assured me that the nearest point for finding Totonacs or Tepehuas, in sufficient numbers for my purpose, was in the district of Tenango del Doria, where, at Huehuetla, we would find the largest Tepehua town, and that in Pantepec, which is in the district of Huachinango, and near Huehuetla, we would find Totonacs. We had had such ill success in locating Totonacs so far, that, at our suggestion, they telephoned to the jefe at Tenango inquiring regarding the populations of Huehuetla and Pantepec, with the result that we decided to visit those towns.
At Tulancingo, we had been snubbed by the jefe, who would not treat with us outside of office hours. When the presidente of Pahuatlan took us to the house where arrangements had been made for our accommodation, we found a garrulous, simple-minded, individual who was set to clear our room and make our beds. To myself, as leader of the company, he was attentive and ceremonious in the highest degree, and on several occasions he took my companions to task for their ignorance regarding the proper deference to display toward me. He inquired whether we were acquainted with Senor Arroyo, jefe politico of Tulancingo, and then informed us, with pride that that gentleman was his "Senor Padre." "If so, Senors, you may well ask why you see me thus dressed in calzoncillos. For two reasons: first, I am not a legitimate son, no, Senors, my lady mother, who bore me was an Otomi indian, but I am the acknowledged illegitimate son of my honored Senor Padre. Second, I had the misfortune to be involved in trouble in the district of Del Doria, which forced me to flee from that district to escape the jefe. But, sir, my Senor Padre said to me, 'son, I am the jefe politico of Tulancingo and the governor of the State is Pedro L. Rodriguez; I am his intimate friend, and we shall succeed in ousting that jefe in Tenango del Doria who has ordered your arrest.'" He also told us of one time, when his Senor Padre and an inspector visited that unfortunate district as an investigating committee, and found the jefe guilty and put him in jail incomunicado. He also told us of the band of Pahuatlan, justly famous, which made so great an impression in one town it visited, that it determined to go to Tulancingo to serenade the jefe of that district, his honored Senor Padre. "And I was invited, sir, not that I am a musician or know one note from another, but because I am of the family of the gentleman who was to be honored, and as a mark of distinguished favor to both members of the family. The band played so beautifully, that it was not allowed to stop until half-past-eleven at night, when it retired in great triumph." All this was very interesting, the first time it was told us, but the natural son remained while we ate supper, and afterwards, following us to our sleeping-room, kept up the repetition until two were already in bed and asleep and the others wished to be, when, finally, we turned him out and locked the door upon him for the night. We have stated that we paid for four animals to bring our baggage hither, while but three were actually employed; the animals, both pack and passenger, started on their journey for Huachinango at half-past-four in the afternoon, though we had paid both beast and man two full days' wages.