[Illustration: OUR PARTY LEAVING TEHUANTEPEC]
[Illustration: ZAPOTEC WOMEN AND GIRLS, TLACOLULA]
We had expected at this town to secure a muleteer, as the one we hired from San Carlos had agreed to come only to this town. Here, too, we had expected to rent a new horse for Mr. Lang. Our muleteer, however, was much taken with the party, and declared that he should hire himself to continue with us to Tlacolula. We quickly arranged with him, and at four o’clock prepared to leave. The sick horse was then at its worst; it had lain down, and for a time we believed it was really dead; it was out of the question for it to go further; so, calling one of the villagers, I told him that he might have the horse, and if there was any possibility of curing, it, he should do what might be necessary.
From four to seven it was a tiresome climb, largely through stream-beds to Carvajal. It is a large rancho, but we stopped at the first house we came to, a miserable place, where, however, we got coffee, bread, beans and eggs, and some mats for beds, which we laid out upon the ground, under the open sky. Taking early coffee and tortillas, we were again mounted at four and on our way. It was the last ascent. The moon was shining brightly, and we could see that the road followed the edge of a fine gorge. When we once reached the summit, there was no further descent to make. We were on the high, flat, table-land of Oaxaca, and from here to the capital city of the state, the road is level, and passes through a rich agricultural district. Passing San Dionisio at seven, we pressed on as rapidly as possible to Tlacolula, where we arrived before noon, ready for the good meals and comfortable quarters which we well knew awaited us there.