Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2) eBook

Carl Sofus Lumholtz
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 383 pages of information about Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2).

When he came home in the afternoon he missed them, and followed their tracks, but could not find them.  He slept alone, and in the night he said to the mice, which he took for the women, “Come, come to boil the deer-blood!” He continued his search until he reached the place where they had disappeared.  The women, seeing from above how he went around looking for them, laughed, and he caught sight of them and called out, “Tie your girdles together that I may get up also.”  He climbed up; but when he had almost reached them, the oldest of the women told the others to let him drop, because he had deceived them.  He became a coyote and has remained in that shape ever since.  If he had succeeded in getting up, he would have become a star, the same as the women.

The three stars in the Belt of Orion are deer.

Chapter XXIV

On to Morelos—­Wild and Broken Country—­The Enormous Flower-spike of the Amole—­Subtropical Vegetation of Northwestern Mexico—­Destructive Ants—­The Last of the Tubars—­A Spectral Ride—­Back to the United States—­An Awful Thunder-storm—­Close Quarters—­Zape—­Antiquities—­When an “Angel” Dies—­Mementos of a Reign of Terror—­The Great Tepehuane Revolution of 1616—­The Fertile Plains of Durango.

After having at last succeeded in getting men, I continued my journey to the northwest, over the very broken country toward the town of Morelos, inhabited almost entirely by pagan Tarahumares.  There were, of course, no roads, only Indian trails, and these in many places were dangerous to travel with beasts of burden.  The barrancas during the month of May are all but intolerably hot, and it was a relief to get up now and then on the strips of highland that intersperse the country and look as fine as parks.  At the higher altitudes I noticed a great number of eagle ferns, and the Indians here plant corn in the small patches between the ferns, merely putting the grains into the gravelly red ground without tilling the soil at all.

Lower down were groves of big-leaved oak-trees.  Their leaves are sometimes over ten inches long and of nearly the same breadth, and are frequently utilised by the Indians as improvised drinking-vessels.

On the summits of the barrancas, and on the slopes over which we descended into the valleys, an astonishing number of parasites and epiphytes was observed, especially on the pines and oaks.  The round yellow clusters growing on the branches of the oaks sometimes give the entire forest a yellow hue.  In the foot-hills I saw a kind of parasite, whose straight, limber branches of a fresh, dark green colour hang down in bunches over twenty feet in length.  Some epiphytes, which most of the year look to the casual observer like so many tufts of hay on the branches, produce at certain seasons extremely pretty flowers.

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Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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