Page:Mexico, California and Arizona - 1900.djvu/386
OLD MEXICO AND HER LOST PROVINCES.
But at Monterey it means absolutely not a word. There are Spanish signs on the shops, and even Spanish advertisements, as, for instance, the Wheeler & Wilson Maquinas á Coser, on the fences.
My Mexican experience was a liberal education for Monterey, and I made the most of it. I was taken to call upon an ancient señorita, in whose history there was some romance.
"Las rosas son muy secas"—("The roses are very dry") she said very apologetically, as we entered her little garden, laid out in regular parallelograms, behind an adobe wall topped with red tiles. Large yellow and red roses were blowing to pieces in the wind before her long, low adobe house.
She was one of those who spoke no English. It seems if there were some wilful perversity in it, after having been since 1846 a part of the most bustling State of most active country in the world. It seems as if it must be some lingering hatred of the American. But the señorita is a little, thin old lady of fifty. Her romance was with an American officer, it is said, thirty years ago, and she has never since married, but has withered, like her roses, at Monterey.As seen from a distance, scattered loosely and white on the forest-crested slope of the fine bay, the little city, which has now perhaps two thousand inhabitants, does not show its unlikeness to other places. But when entered it consists almost exclusively of whitewashed adobe houses, and the straggling, mud-colored walls of enclosures, for animals, known as "corrals." Many of them are vacant.