I was surprised the following morning when thirty-six subjects were produced; we knew that, for the moment, the building operations of the government palace were discontinued, and we suspected that all the work done by indians in Tuxtla was likewise temporarily ceased. When the last one had passed under the instruments, the jefe heaved a sigh, rang his bell for glasses, and the event was celebrated by a final draught of cognac.
[Illustration: ZOQUE DANCERS; TUXTLA GUTIERREZ]
[Illustration: TZENDALS FROM TENEJAPA; COLD HANDS]
The man with whom we had expected to arrange for animals had promised to come to the hotel at seven. He came not then, nor at half-past, nor at eight, nor at nine. When we sent an inquiry, he made the cool reply, that it was now too late to arrange matters; that he would see us at eight the following morning. Furious at his failure, we ourselves went with the boy from the hotel at ten o’clock to his house, but could not get him even to open the door. “To-morrow! To-morrow!” was his cry. Desperate, we went, although it was now almost midnight, to another arriero, who, after some dickering, agreed to leave at eight the following morning, charging a price something more than fifty per cent above the usual rate. Of course he was behindhand, but we actually set out at nine.
TZOTZILS AND TZENDALS
We started out over the hot and dusty road, passing here and there through cuts of the white earth, which is used by the women of Chiapa in their lacquer-work. We soon reached the river, and, leaving our animals behind, to cool before swimming them across, embarked with a dozen other passengers, and all our baggage, in one of the great canoes, which we by no means filled. Landing on the other side, with an hour to wait, we walked down stream, and took a fine bath in the fresh cold, clear, deep water. Just below where we were bathing, some indians had exploded a dynamite cartridge, killing a quantity of fish, and the surface