Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/257

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249
THE VALLEY OF MEXICO.

Business reverses will sour any man's disposition, and I have known the peace of many a happy and devoted family irretrievably wrecked by an unfortunate commercial venture, or an investment in stocks on a falling market.

Luckily, neither of them had their revolvers within reach at the moment, but they made a general average on the chairs and furniture—all the property of others as it happened—and when the company separated them, we—the owners of the property destroyed—were temporarily ruined, and they went their way, vowing undying hatred of each other to the end of their days.

Since that moment I have had a horror of meeting people who resemble each other, and it was an infinite relief to me when I found that this man whom I met on the road, and my friend in White Pine, were of different nationalities, and not likely to greet each other as natural brothers, should they ever come together.

Ten miles ride in the valley took us out from among the broken hills, and the view became magnificent. The mountains along the eastern horizon, beyond the lakes of Mexico, lay like great purple clouds against the deep blue sky. Popocatapetl, monarch of them all, lifted his head, white with the snows of ages, majestic and awful in its grand proportions, far into the unclouded heavens in the distance. Truly, the beauty of the Valley of Mexico has not been overrated.

Ten miles from the City of Mexico, Señor Lerdo de Tejada, and Matias Romero, two of the most noted men of the Cabinet of President Juarez, and the United States Minister to Mexico, Mr. Nelson, were waiting with carriages and an escort of brilliantly uniformed cavalry, and the party left the coach in which