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

Rested and refreshed, we started at 12:30 for the long fourteen leagues of journey.  We passed Pichataro, where the round paddles for Patzcuaro canoes are made, and where the applewood, so prized as material for spear-throwers, is procured.  We passed Sabina, where the canoes themselves are hollowed out, miles from their launching place, to which they must be carried over mountains.  Each town we passed made me more and more uneasy, as I knew that Nabor contemplated revolt.  He did not like the idea of too long a journey for his horses.  He wished to stop long before the goal that I had fixed.  When we left the last of the important towns behind us, I felt for the first time secure.  It was now dark, and we found the roads far worse than we remembered them.  They were worn into deep gullies, into which our horses fell and over which they stumbled.  Long before reaching Ajuno I felt convinced that we had missed the road, but we floundered on, and never was sight more welcome than the light of fires shining through the cane walls of the wretched huts of that miserable town.  Here there was a final council regarding resting for the night.  The whole party, except myself, considered Ajuno as a capital resting-place.  All yielded, however, and we continued on our way.  It was almost midnight when we rode up to the hotel, upon the plaza in quaint old Patzcuaro.  All were cross and tired; neither crossness nor weariness were helped when we were told that there was no room for us at the inn.  We made such vigorous representations, however, that the doors were finally thrown open.  An old store-house was cleaned out and supplied with decent beds, and a good supper was served.

CHAPTER X

THE BOY WITH THE SMILE

(1898)

It is doubtful whether the common people of any country are so rarely surprised, or taken unaware, as those of Mexico.  At a moment’s notice, the commonest indian, who may have scarcely been outside of his own town in all his life, may start to go across the country.  Astonishing incidents appear to create no more surprise in their minds than the ordinary affairs of every day.  In January, 1898, we revisited Cholula.  As we alighted from the street-car we noticed a boy, some fourteen years old, whose most striking characteristic was his smile.  He wished to serve as guide, to show us the pyramid, the convents, the chapel of the natives.  On assuring him that we knew far more about the lions of his town than he, he was in no wise abashed, but joined himself to us for the remainder of the day.  He accompanied us to see the blessing of the animals in the great churchyard.  He displayed an interesting knowledge of English, answering “yes” quite perfectly to every sort of question, and repeating the two words, which are well known the whole world over as American-English, on all conceivable occasions.  When at evening he saw us safely on the street-car

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