Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/187

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CHAPTER VII.


GUANAJUATO, AND BENEATH IT.


FROM a height three miles from the City of Guanajuato, just as the sun was sinking behind the mountains in the west, we looked down on what appeared to be three separate towns situated in a deep ravine or canon. The tall spires of the Cathedral of Guanajuato, glowing like gold in the red sunlight, were the conspicuous feature of the main and central city. Entering the canon, we rode for two miles along the narrow bed of a tortuous little stream, whose waters, having done duty in all the silver reduction or beneficiating haciendas of the district, were clogged and thick with the residuum of the pulverized quartz which they were bearing away into the valley.

The town of Marfil, which is wholly supported by the beneficiating works which constitute its sole industry, lines the banks of this stream on either side, and the different haciendas, each of which is surrounded by a high wall, and capable of being defended against attack by a strong force, give it the appearance of one vast fortress. The houses are all hidden by the walls, which come down to the bed of the stream, and we hardly saw a human being in all this ride.

Passing, at last, an ancient tower, of a quaint pattern, constructed by the, Spaniards for raising water, looking like a relic of the days of the Crusaders, we