In Indian Mexico (1908) eBook

Frederick Starr
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 409 pages of information about In Indian Mexico (1908).

Early Monday morning, we appeared upon the scene.  After breakfast we betook ourselves to the state palace; the governor was already in his reception room, but, instead of being ushered promptly into his presence, as had always happened in our previous visits, we were left to sit two hours in the outer office.  Finally, on our displaying some impatience, a message was again taken to his Excellency, and a few minutes later, the jefe politico of the district bustled past us into the carefully guarded reception chamber.  He did not long remain there, and, on coming out into the office where we were waiting, brusquely asked, “Are you the persons who want to measure heads?  Well, they are waiting for you out there in the corridor; why don’t you go to work?” Seizing our instruments, blanks and camera, we hurried to the corridor and began operations.  Three or four were measured in quick succession; then, when I cried, “Otro” (another), the jefe’s eyes began to bulge.  That one measured, and another called for, he seemed half-distracted; desperation seized him; as he faintly repeated “Otro” he looked wildly around in search of subjects and it was plain that he had not begun to realize what demands we planned to make upon him.  Before the noonday rest, we had measured fourteen subjects, but the jefe’s personal interest had ceased, and he had completely disappeared from the scene of action.  When we returned at three o’clock to resume work, only the guards were there to help us.  One and another subject, invited to be measured, showed no interest in advancing science.  So, Mr. Wilson went to see the jefe in his office; the old man was furious and actually ran out, with the statement that he had plenty of his own work to do.  When this scene had been reported, it in no wise increased the readiness of subjects to undergo the operation.  Finding that we were accomplishing nothing, we decided upon desperate measures.  Going to the office of the governor’s private secretary, we insisted on his telling the chief executive that we were losing time, that no one was assisting us, that subjects were obdurate and stubborn, and that something must be promptly done.  We waited but a few minutes.  The fiat went forth; the jefe politico appeared, puffing and blowing, and wildly excited.  He was closeted a moment with the governor.  On his reappearance, we greeted him cordially, and told him that the people present would not be measured and indicated one particularly stubborn subject, who was dealt with, promptly, and without gloves.  The jefe remained long enough to reestablish order, though, under his breath, he muttered curses and threats, and expressed his feeling to any official, who chanced to pass.  He said the business was driving him clean crazy; that he was doing what he did, not for love of us, but from respect to the orders of his chief.  Having set the ball to rolling, he left us and there were no more delays.

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