Page:Mexico, California and Arizona - 1900.djvu/308

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
288
OLD MEXICO AND HER LOST PROVINCES.

ness and plainness. She waited on us at table at Tierra Colorada. The colonel desired to know her name.

"Victoria."

"Well are you named Victoria!" he cried, in simulated enthusiasm. "Que cara simpática!" ("What a sympathetic face!") he repeated at intervals.

Meekly, and with no suspicion of raillery, she replied, each time, "Mil gracias (A thousand thanks"), señor."

"Give thanks rather to Heaven, which made you so, and not us, who do but recognize it," rejoined the colonel, piously.

At La Venta de Peregrino the night was hot, and it still rained all day. A garden of bananas twenty feet tall grew next to the basket-like house of canes where we stopped. We hung up our wet garments and properties on the poles of the thatched porch, or pavilion, till it resembled one of those very numerous national establishments, the empeños, or pawn-shops. Dogs, cats, donkeys, horses, pigs and fowls—"shooed" out, when they became too familiar, with an emphatic Ooch-t!—gathered under the same shelter, as if it had been Noah's ark. We supped on pepper-sauce, tough chicken, frijoles, tortillas, cream-cheese, and, coffee without milk, spread out upon a mat in the ground. The propietor in person—a man in embroidered shirt and cotton drawers, whose talk was not of the wisest sort—held pitch-pine splints to light the feast.

"Now, how does it happen, hombre," inquired the colonel, as if in a speculative way, "that a person of your fine appearance; a statesman, as one might say, who goes to Dos Arroyos to see who is going to be elected mayor" (the man had been there that day, as he told us), "with a fine house like this—how does it happen, I say, that you have