Page:Narrative of an Official Visit to Guatemala.djvu/59

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CH. III.]
39
TO GUATEMALA.

conical hill. It was composed of one good sized apartment built of reeds, and two others detached, one serving as the kitchen, the other as the bed-room: the family, which was very large, consisted of two sons, and five daughters. One of them had been lately married, and the four others, all marriageable, were likely to follow the example, for they were very comely, and had each got a lover. There were two swinging cots in the front apartment, one formed of open mat-work, the other of string-net. A recumbent posture being the most desirable, and this couch admitting on all sides the free circulation of the air, there is hardly a hut, however mean, that has not this accommodation: it is generally occupied by the elder branches of the family; but as there are no seats of any kind, it is always tenanted by some portion of the inmates. The usual method of availing yourself of this indulgence, on arriving at any of these simple hospitable abodes, is to untie your leggings or stamped leather boots of the country,