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Frederick Starr
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 409 pages of information about In Indian Mexico (1908).
clothes, with faces masked or painted, wandered about singly, addressing persons on the street in a high falsetto voice with all sorts of woeful stories or absurd questions.  Very pretty was a company of trained dancers,—­with a standard, leader, music, and fancy costume,—­each of whom carried two staves in his hands; these performed a variety of graceful movements, and sung a song in Spanish; this was interestingly like the song of the xtoles, and the movements were almost precisely theirs.  In the evening, we attended the baile de los mestizos—­dance of the mestizos, where the elite of the little city was gathered, and the place was crowded.  Very little of it was enough, for while the music and dancing were all right, the heat, the tobacco-smoke, and the perfume, were overpowering.

To our joy, on Wednesday, the “Hidalgo” appeared, bound for Coatzacoalcos.  All day Thursday we waited for it to unload its cargo, and on Friday morning, we loaded into a little sail-boat at the wharf, which we hired for a price far below what the regular steamer would have charged to take us to our vessel.  The luggage had been weighed and valued, and an imposing bill of lading, and an official document, had been made out, to prevent our paying duty a third time when we should reach our port.  At 10:30 we were on the “Hidalgo,” ready for leaving.  It is the crankiest steamer on the Ward Line, and dirty in the extreme.  The table is incomparably bad.  The one redeeming feature is that the first-class cabins are good, and on the upper deck, where they receive abundance of fresh air; there were plenty of seats for everyone to sit upon the deck, a thing which was not true of the “Benito Juarez.”  Of other first-class passengers, there were two harmless Yucatecan gentlemen—­one of whom was seasick all the voyage,—­and two Americans, brothers, one from St. Louis, Mo., and the other from Springfield, Ill.  The captain of our vessel was a Norwegian, the first officer was a Mexican, the chief engineer an American, the purser a low-German, the chief steward an Oaxaca indian, and the cook a Filipino.  Never was I so glad to reach a resting-place, never so relieved, as when we got our baggage and our sick man safely on board.  As to the latter, he at once lay down, and, practically, was not on his feet during the voyage.  We had expected to make the run in thirty hours, but were hindered by rough weather, catching portions of two northers; the second was so bad that, when almost in sight of our destination, we were forced to put to sea again, and lost many hours of time and miles of distance.  On the morning of the third day, however, we had dropped anchor, and on looking from the cabins at five, caught sight of Coatzacoalcos; but it was not the Coatzacoalcos of 1896.  Prodigious changes had taken place.  The Pearson Company, having taken possession of the railroad, had made great improvements; their pretentious general-offices, located at the wharf, had recently been completed; the railroad

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