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
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