Page:Face to Face With the Mexicans.djvu/305

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299
FROM MEXICO TO MORELIA.

The hacienda has more the appearance of a town or municipality than anything else, having a store, a fonda, a very fine large flouring-mill, and produces great quantities of wheat. All the farm work is done by American machinery, and, in addition, one thousand men are employed the year round, who earn from 18 to 50 cents a day. In reply to our interrogation as to how they could exist on so small a sum as 18 cents, the administrador (manager) said that "until the peon was educated to where he felt the need of something more than tortillas and Chili peppers to eat, it was not likely his ambition would be much stimulated. It is only by the education of the young children that any such thing may be expected."

We were greatly interested in a young deaf-mute, who is employed as gardener on the hacienda. He had graduated at the School of DeafMutes at the capital, and afterwards took a course in horticulture and agriculture at the Agricultural College there. He wrote on the slate in three languages, Spanish, French, and English, and seemed delighted to converse with us in the latter language. The borders and walks were marvels of beauty, but the former were rather startling, as they represented huge snakes, made of various kinds of bottles, and white quartz and lava, broken in tiny bits, with their great mouths wide open, as if to swallow anything that came in sight. Rustic fences of exquisite shape and style have been planned and arranged by this gardener, and at regular intervals on the rustic fence he had placed dainty baskets of ferns, brought from the mountains. He has ten men and two carpenters to carry out any of his designs. He was much pleased with our praises of his skill and taste.

We were the recipients of many social kindnesses from prominent citizens, to whom we bore letters of introduction. Among them Governor Llalan, the Governor of the State, received us with all the grace of a cavalier in the grand salon of the palace. Upon the walls of this elegantly furnished apartment there hung the portraits of all past Governors, while supported on handsome easels in the corners, were those of Hidalgo, Juarez, and George Washington.