rock; the summits were jagged, and suggested that the mass consisted of stratified rocks tilted up on end. Just as we left town, two narrow and lofty parallel rocks suggested a gate-way. Further down, a mass was worn out into a sharp column, a little separated from the rock mass behind. On the right, was the precipice, ever abrupt, and sometimes the almost vertical bank of a yawning chasm. After an hour and a half over the fairly good road, we came to a grand ascent. It was magnificent, though difficult. In some spots the road was muddy, and at others it was a series of rough stone steps; at still others, it was the unmodified bed of a mountain torrent. As we followed up this gorge, side-gorges joined it, in which we glimpsed pretty cascades, pits worn by little falls, trees, the trunks of which were covered with thick sheets of green moss, quantities of tree-ferns blighted by the late frost, cliffs, and wild forms of rock, in wonderful variety. At last I reached the summit and overtook Manuel, whose horse was completely fagged, and who had been forced to drop behind; for some time we saw the others before us, but somewhere they took a different trail, and we saw them no more. After a considerable descent, we made our final but easy rise. From here we were on a level road, which constantly improved until near Mepetec, while beyond it, we came to a true cart-road. From here a fine view presented itself, over a forest of pine trees to the clean brown plain so typical of Hidalgo, swept, as we soon found, by the equally typical Hidalgo wind. We rode rapidly from the herreria of the Trinidad to Metepec, and then to Las Tortugas, where we arrived at 11:40, having been five hours and a half upon the road. To our surprise, Louis and Ramon were not there. Having waited some time, as it was almost the hour for the train, we ordered dinner for two, but before we had begun to eat the others appeared. They had taken a short road, which did not go by Metepec, and travelled slowly that we might overtake them. After a good meal, we waited for our man with the pack animals. Meantime the train was preparing, and we watched it, realizing that if we missed it, we had a day of dust and scorching sun and heavy wind before us. The train’s crew made all ready, the cry of “Vamonos” was given, and we settled down in desperation to await our tardy man. An hour after the train left, he arrived, received his fee less the two dollars, and started homeward. Twenty-three hours later we took the train, and our season’s work was done.
IN THE HUAXTECA