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).
scrape their skin bottles.  In the little tank below, where the water lies so clear that everything is visible upon its bottom, one may see axolotls creeping.  They are water-salamanders, but they have a strange history.  Like frogs, they pass through a series of changes, and the larval is very different from the adult form.  In some Mexican lakes of genial temperature, the little creature goes through its full history from the larva to the adult; but in cold mountain lakes, the adult form is never attained, and the larva (elsewhere immature) lays eggs that hatch its like.

Our last evening at Huixquilucan, I went out to purchase native garments.  We rode from house to house, and were quite away from the town in a district where houses were few and far between.  It was nearly dusk and our search must end.  We were at the last house on a slope near the bottom of a valley, on whose opposite slope were but a few houses.  The people were primitive in appearance, dress and language.  They could not understand all we said, but were anxious to please the “padrecito,” whose hand they kissed.  Having no clothing to sell us, they tried to help us procure some.  Orders were given to a shy and wild girl, with deep-set, shining jet-black eyes, raven hair and dark brown skin, dressed in rags.  Stepping to a little out-jutting mass of rock, she gave a wild cry, looking across the valley to the nearest house on the opposite slope, fully half a mile away.  We could see the people of the house turn out to hear.  Then, in a high, clear voice, strangely penetrating, but without harshness or a break or pause for breath, with rising and falling intonation, she cried her message.  There was a moment’s pause, and then we saw the answering crier take her place, and in the same clear, penetrating, unbroken, up-and-down voice, came back the reply.  It was not favorable, and the old man apologized for the failure, as he kissed the padrecito’s hand in parting.

Some weeks later we were again at Huixquilucan, this time to secure some busts.  Having reached the house of the presidente, we sent out our drunken friend Augustin, who had been useful to us during our measuring experiences, to find subjects.  He finally appeared with a man who agreed to submit to the operation for one peso.  Everything went well until the moulds were removed; it is true that in the removal a good deal of hair was pulled out, but no serious damage was done.  When the peso agreed upon was offered, the subject indignantly refused to receive it, demanding five.  I replied that he well understood our agreement:  there was his peso; if he cared to take it, good; if not, I would keep it; but that to pay five pesos was out of the question.  He thereupon grew angry and boisterously demanded the increased sum.  Several of his friends gathered and backed him in his demand.  The noise they made attracted a still greater crowd until at last we were surrounded by forty or fifty

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