Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/209
THE GENTLEMEN OF THE ROAD.
befallen me because I did not give five thousand dollars."
In justice to the "gentleman of the road" in Mexico, I must say that as a rule they are the most polite people on earth, and even in taking a man's money and watch, do it with a certain courtesy and grace that makes the operation comparatively easy to bear on the part of the victim. They always apologize for the act, regretting that necessity compels them to do it, and in parting with the traveler, devoutly commend him to the protecting care of Divine Providence. When not too sharply pressed by the Government, the different gangs in any one state usually have a sort of business connection, and, if you desire it, the leader of the first band into whose hands you fall will very courteously, write out a pass for you to take along to save you from further molestation. I have one of these passes in my possession. It was given by the leader of a band in the State of Guerraro, to a friend of mine, who was " put up " in the most approved manner. He went through the party in the highest style of the art; and then, sitting on his horse, wrote with a pencil on a slip of paper, on the pommel of his saddle, a pass as follows:
"Dear Gomez: This party has been done according to our regulations. Please let them pass without molestation. Manuel."
The gentleman who received the pass then said:
"But, my dear sir, you have not left me a dollar to buy meals on the road!"
The brigand replied, "Pardon Señor? How much do you require?""Well, about five dollars will take me to Acapulco, I think!" said my friend.