Page:A Study of Mexico.djvu/30

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A STUDY OF MEXICO.

telegraphed from Saltillo (Northern Mexico), under date of February 15, 1885, pretty clearly indicates the scope and desirability for future improvement, and also the present limitation on the authority of the existing national Government: "The commission of officers sent from Zacatecas by the Government to treat for a surrender with the noted bandit leader, Eraclie Bemal, has returned, having been unsuccessful in its mission. The chief demanded the following conditions: Pardon for himself and band, a bonus of thirty thousand dollars for himself, to be allowed to retain an armed escort of twenty-five men, or to be appointed to a position in the army commanding a district in Sinaloa." How such a statement as the foregoing carries the reader back to the days of the "Robbers of the Rhine," or the "free lances" of the middle ages! On the other hand, a recent consular report calls attention to the circumstance "that a certain local notoriety of the mountain districts, who had acquired a formidable reputation as an independent guerrilla leader in past wars, and as a frank highwayman in the intervals of peace, had made a descent upon the city (Mexico); unarmed and unattended, and purchased two plows."

States, some of which have not even passed through the imagination of the wickedest man in Mexico; such as the robbery of the remains of the philanthropic capitalist, A. T. Stewart, in order to get a ransom for them."