For ten hours we rode, without even stopping for lunch, through Sabina and Pichataro, San Juan Tumbio and Ajuno, back to comfortable Patzcuaro.
We have always loved the State of Tlaxcala and its quaint little capital city of the same name. For more than a dozen years its governor has been Prospero Cahuantzi, a pure-blood indian, whose native language is Aztec. He is a large, well built man, with full face and little black eyes that are sunken deeply into the flesh. He is a man of some force and energy. The population of his little state, the most densely populated in the Republic, is almost entirely indian, and it at once fears, hates, and respects him. Having made several previous visits to the city, and having always been graciously received by Don Prospero, we thought it hardly necessary to carry with us our usual letters of recommendation from the Federal authorities.
Just before we were ready to visit Tlaxcala, while we were in the City of Mexico, we learned that Governor Cahuantzi was there, on business. We thought it best to call upon him, explaining our proposed work and asking his interest. So to the Hotel Sanz, where he always stops when in the Capital, we went. We called twice without finding him and our third call appeared to be as unsuccessful, but just as we were leaving, resolved not to try again, we met the governor alighting from his carriage at the door. Intercepting him, we asked a moment’s interview, which was granted, though with ill grace. It was plain that he was sadly out of humor. Apologizing to him for our intrusion at so late an hour and so immediately after his return to his hotel, we told him of our projected visit, described the measurements, photographs and other data we were gathering, reminding him that two years earlier he had heard our plans and promised his assistance. In a somewhat gentler mood, he told us we might visit Tlaxcala and that he would aid us, but he must have a little time “for preparing the soil;” that all his people were indians, and that our work would necessarily be considered with suspicion. Upon our asking him how much time would be needed “to prepare the soil,” we received no definite reply. He, himself, planned to leave for home the following morning, Friday; so we suggested that we would go first to Puebla, and reach his capital on Monday. He plainly considered this somewhat hasty, but grunted his assent, and we left him, somewhat surprised at his unusual gruffness and lack of interest.