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).
took us at once to his house.  The town is small, the population a miserable mixture of black, white, and indian elements.  Few of the couples living there have been legally married.  The parish is one of the worst in the whole diocese.  The bishop warned the padre that it was an undesirable field, but it was the only one then unoccupied.  But the padre was working wonders and the church was then undergoing repairs and decorations.  The actual curato was long ago seized by the government and is now used as a schoolhouse.  The priest lived in a rented house close by the river bank.  The house is a double one and the priest occupied but half of it; those in the other half were hostile to him and he was anxious to rent the whole place.  His neighbors, however, did not care to leave and threatened vengeance; they were behind a mass of accusations filed against him with the bishop.  His friends rallied to his support, sent in a strong endorsement, and he remained.  The padre had been industrious while here.  Behind his house is the little river, with a bath-house built over it; crossing in a dugout canoe we found his garden flourishing, filled with fresh vegetables.  The family of pets had grown; Baldur, Freia, Votan, Doxil—­the dogs—­were here as at Chila, but he also had fantail and capuchin pigeons, hens and chicks, ducks and geese, canary birds, and native birds in cages.  Here also were archaeological relics, plants, beetles and birds for gathering.  And here too, for the first time, I had the opportunity of examining his great collection of Ecuadorean humming-birds and a magnificent lot of Guatemalan quetzal skins, among them probably the finest ever collected.

[Illustration:  THE PADRE’S HOUSE; MEDELLIN]

[Illustration:  THE CHURCH; MEDELLIN]

We left Medellin on January 8th; went by rail to Puebla, then to Oaxaca.  Here we found our friend Doctor Hyde, of Silao, who was nursing Lucius Smith, in what proved to be a final illness.  He aided us in finding animals and completing preparations for our journey.  We secured a large bay horse for myself, a roan for Ernst, a little mule for baggage.  For my own part, I dislike mules; Ernst and the doctor, however, were loud in their praise of such a beast; both asserted that a good mule should sell for double its cost on our arrival at Guatemala City.  When, finally, after inspecting a variety of animals we found one lively, young one, the doctor was delighted.  Taking me to one side, he informed me that such an opportunity was unlikely to occur again.  I yielded and the little mule was ours.  We named the three animals Mixe, Zapotec, and Chontal, from three tribes through whose country we expected to pass.

The doctor’s helpfulness was not confined to advice regarding mules.  He insisted upon our buying various supplies, such as boxes of sardines, sago, coffee, etc., the utility of which appeared neither at the time nor later.  Also at his suggestion a quart of whiskey was purchased and carefully divided into two flasks, one for each saddlebag.  Most useful of all the doctor’s suggestions, and one for which we had reason many times to thank him, was the securing from the governor of a letter to all local authorities in the state, directing them to supply us with the necessities of life, at just prices.

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