Still the work went slowly. No one was left in town but the officials and some women. The latter locked and barred their doors, at the approach of any of the town authorities, and neither threats to burn their houses above their heads nor bribes would bring them forth. It was only after three days of hard work that eighty men and twenty-five women were secured. By that time, it was plain that the other men were safely out of reach, and we concluded that naught remained but to return to Cuicatlan, to complete our work with representatives from other towns. This we did, although we found our jefe still gentle, mild, and slow.
Once in the hot valley, we concluded that we might as well see more of it. Leaving Cuicatlan at noon, a few minutes’ ride brought us to the station at Tecomavaca, perhaps the hottest of the hot valley towns. Within it are ruins which have been strangely neglected by all tourists and investigators. Probably, the great heat has killed whatever little enthusiasm may have been kindled in those who have seen aught of these ruins. When we reached the station, in the hottest portion of the day, the valley seemed to glow; all looked hot and desolate. There were no mozos to help in carrying baggage, though the town was fully half a mile from the station, behind bare, hot, sandy hills. It is one of the poorest and meanest of the Mexican towns. A dreary plaza is surrounded by miserable adobe, or adobe-plastered, buildings. The only edifices that looked clean and neat were the school, jail, and town-house. We found shelter at a sort of a meson, where we could get no supper until nine, or possibly till ten. Rather than go inside the rooms, we took possession of the corridor, and there, with two cots, a table, and the floor, lay down to rest. But not to sleep! The town, small as it was, had twenty cases of la grippe. The woman of the house where we were stopping was one of these. Her husband, who came back from the mountains long after dark, appeared to have an affection and solicitude regarding her, which, under other circumstances, might have been quite touching, but which, then, was thoroughly exasperating. While he cooked his own supper, made chocolate for her, and heated hot water for her use, he kept passing back and forth, between the kitchen and the sick chamber, until later than two o’clock in the morning. The noise which he made, and these repeated movements, kept us all awake the whole night long. The night was hot and close, and new and unknown insects troubled us extremely. We were glad to be dressed and mounted, the following morning. Riding across the river, we made the ascent to the summit, on which were the ruins of Tecomavaca Viejo. The ascent was so abrupt that our horses were repeatedly compelled to stop for breath. The trail passed through cactuses, and spiny shrubs and trees, which tore our clothes more than all we had endured during weeks of travel. The ruins