In Indian Mexico (1908) eBook

Frederick Starr
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 481 pages of information about In Indian Mexico (1908).
Ernst asserted that by placing the rope over the nostrils of the animal and then leading, he must move.  We tried the experiment.  The beast gave a snort, a groan, lurched, fell over, kicked convulsively, closed his eyes, and lay to all appearance dead.  The town below, which had been watching progress, came running up.  We removed the halter; the animal lay quiet.  The pity of the by-standers was maddening; their remarks exasperating.  “Poor little mule, he dies;” they pointed to his rubbed sides,—­“Ah, poor creature!  What a heavy load!  How thin he is.”  It is certain that the best mule in the town was in far worse condition, and as for food, Chontal had eaten more the night before than our two horses put together.  Having exhausted their vocabulary of sympathy, our friends left us, as the “poor little animal” showed signs of coming to.  We concluded to engage a man on foot to carry the burden across the mountains and to lead Chontal.  After some delay a man was found, who readily agreed to carry the burden and pack-saddle, but when he found he was to lead the mule besides, he defied the town authorities and refused to go.  Unfortunately, he was a carpenter and, by law, could not be made to go against his will.  Hours passed, while another carrier was sought.  Declaring that I would not return to town, I waited on the road with the mule, while Ernst rode back and forth.  As soon as he had left, the beast began to mend; he coughed, raised his head, and, opening one eye, gravely winked.  Taking his halter and encouraging him to rise, I led him a few yards up the hill, when he again braced himself and I desisted.  There he ate zacate.  Presently we took another turn, mounted a little higher up the hill, where he stopped again.  A little later we made another journey, and again halted.  Just then I heard an indian boy of fourteen years calling from the cliff above me in great excitement, “Senor, un animal” (An animal, sir).  Clambering over rocks, I came up to the boy, with his machete in his hand, standing at the foot of a tree upon the leafless branches of which was a fine iguana (lizard) two feet or more in length.  Visions of iguana steak, which I had long desired to try, rose in fancy.  The boy was disgusted when he found I had no pistol with which to shoot his animal, but grunted, “If we but had a cord.”  I directed him where to find a cord among our luggage and on his return he made a slip-noose, cut a long and slender pole to which he tied his snare, then handing me his machete he raised his pole and tried to slip the noose over the lizard’s head.  The iguana gave a leap, and as it shot by me I struck at it with the machete, which hit it and threw it on the rocks below.  However, before we could reach it, it had made good its escape.

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In Indian Mexico (1908) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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