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.