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Frederick Starr
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 409 pages of information about In Indian Mexico (1908).
Several times we issued orders that they be brought to the town-house for measurement, and each time, after an effort to obey our orders, we were told that they would not come.  “Very good,” said I, “if they will not come, it is plain that we must go and measure them in their houses.”  Accompanied by the town government, we started on our rounds.  The first house was tightly closed, and no reply was made to our demands for entrance.  The second was the same; one might imagine that it had been deserted for weeks.  At the third, the door was opened, and within, an aged woman, ugly, bent, decrepit.  Here we measured.  The next house, and the next, and the next, were shut.  And then another open house contained another veritable hag.  Passing several other houses, tightly closed, we found a third old woman, and I saw that we were destined to secure nothing but decrepit hags, as representatives of the fair sex.  At the next closed house, I stopped, and turning to an official, who spoke Spanish, said, “I am tired of these closed houses; who owns this house?” His name was given, and I wrote it down.  “Very well,” said I, “I shall recommend to the jefe of the district, when I reach El Salto, that he be made to pay a fine of five pesos.”  At this, the town officials gasped, but we walked to the next house, which was also closed.  “Who owns this house?” And down went a second name.  By the time I had three names of owners of closed houses on my paper, the officials held a hasty whispered consultation; then coming to me, they begged me to excuse them for a moment, as the secretario would accompany me upon my round, and they would soon rejoin us.  With this, they disappeared, and we entered another old woman’s house.  When we emerged, a wonderful change had taken place; every house in the village had its door wide open, and in the doorway were to be seen anywhere from one to three or four ladies of all ages.  From this time on, there was no lack of women, and the twenty-five were promptly measured.

We had picked out our subjects for modeling before we started on our rounds to measure women; and had left Ramon in charge of that part of our work, staying only long enough to see him make the mould of the first subject.  This was an indian, named Juan, the first alcalde of the village.  We had carefully explained the operation to our subjects; we had described in detail the sensations and emotions connected with the thing, and thought we had the subjects well prepared.  When Juan began, he seemed to have good courage, but we told a young fellow, who sat near and understood Spanish, that he should tell the man certain encouraging things which we repeated to him.  The translation was promptly done, and we were therefore much surprised to see our subject’s confidence gradually give way to terror.  While we were applying the first mould, he began to sob and cry like a child; this was, however, nothing compared with the abject terror and sorrow which he displayed

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