Page:Narrative of an Official Visit to Guatemala.djvu/62

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42
[CH. III.
OFFICIAL VISIT

large requas, or droves of mules which they employed in this carrying trade.

At Dos Arroyos, we put up at a peon's, or day-labourer's house. He had just returned home in the evening to partake the domestic comforts prepared for him by a tidy young wife and three little children. As he was my humble host, I invited him to be my friendly guest. His ideas of political economy and regal governments were strikingly limited. With regard to the former, all that he knew was that, under the old régime, he used to pay eight dollars for the shirt which now cost him but two, and that the mita, or capitation tax, he no longer paid at all: but, when I told him that there were other kings greater than the king of Spain, he shook his head with a doubtful air: to be sure, he had lately heard something of the English, that they were very clever people, and could find out gold and silver in the mines which the Spaniards had given up as exhausted; but then