[Illustration: CACTUS NEAR CUICATLAN]
[Illustration: VIEW IN A TLAXCALAN BARRANCA]
When, however, we found ourselves at the station, waiting for the train, we looked back across the river to our three ruin-crowned hills. Then, for the first time, having visited the spot, we could clearly make out the relations. Three natural mountains or hills, the greater, central one flanked on both sides by lesser, had been utilized by the old builders; the natural rock masses had been cut and walled, until they practically formed masses of construction, rising terrace behind terrace, to the very summit. When the terraces were entire, with their temple-crowned pyramids, and with embankments and walls in full repair, these vast constructions must have been indeed impressive.
IN TLAXCALAN TOWNS
A street-car line, running for most of the distance down hill, connects Santa Ana with Tlaxcala, the towns being separated by seven miles. When making this little journey to Tlaxcala in January, 1897, we noticed in the car with us, a stout, purely indian man, who seemed anxious to engage us in conversation. Knowing a few words of English, he was particularly anxious to practice them. He called our attention to the various villages, streams, and mountains in the country through which we were passing, and took delight in analyzing the native names and explaining their meanings. When we were returning in the afternoon, we met a gentleman who had been in the same car with us in the morning, and we inquired regarding our indian acquaintance. He told us that he was a full-blooded indian, whose native tongue was Aztec, and who lived in Santa Ana. Being the child of poor parents, the state had assisted in his education; he was now studying law in the city of Puebla. He was also a musician, and on this occasion had been upon his way to a public appointment, where he was to sing.