Returning to the mule I found it eating grass contentedly by the roadside. It was three o’clock in the afternoon when our human beast of burden finally arrived, took up his burden and was ready to start. Then, suddenly, I took a new resolve. Before us rose the appalling mass of the Sierra Madre; to get that mule across it would wear us out in mind and body; I regretted that he had not died, and determined to have no further trouble with him. Quickly, we sent back word to Nenton that a mule and saddle were for sale; the crowd gathered. We demanded fifteen dollars for the mule, ten for the saddle; and were offered ten and five respectively. But we declared we would kill the mule and burn the saddle before we would take less; we triumphed. Our account stood:
Cost of mule
Cost of saddle 6.00
Selling price of mule
Selling price of saddle 10.00
Loss—paid for experience in mules $26.00
Our serious work was to begin with one of the most conservative and reserved of Mexican indian populations. If we could do what we planned to do with the Otomis, we were likely to have but little greater trouble with any tribe. In ancient times the name of Otomi was synonymous with stupidity. When an Aztec was particularly stupid or clumsy, his fellows in derision called him an Otomi. They still are ignorant, suspicious, and unprogressive.
Huixquilucan, which we had chosen as our field for labor, is situated on a high ridge within sight of the National Railroad, at a distance of perhaps a mile and a half from the station of Dos Rios. A crowd of indian women and children are always at the station when trains pass, to sell tortillas, chalupas, and pulque to passengers; few travellers from the United States, passing over this road, have failed to notice the dark and ugly faces of these sellers, and have received their first impression of the indians of Mexico from seeing them. Our party, three in number, reached Dos Rios in the morning and began work at the station with the women who were selling there. Dr. Powell, as our interpreter, undertook the personal dealings, and our material, as was to be expected, was chiefly women. When we came to record the names of our subjects, we found that every woman’s first name was Maria, the differentiation between them being first found in the middle name. They were little creatures, scarcely larger than well grown girls of eleven or twelve among ourselves. Some old women, with grey hair and wrinkled faces who piously kissed our hands when they met us, were among the smallest. Now and then some young woman or girl was attractive, but usually their faces were suspicious, sad, and old before their