Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/459

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443
BARGAINING FOR SPURS.

the bit as a gift; it is a thousand years out of date, and must have been stolen by your ancestors from Hernando Cortez or Alvarado!"

"Five dollars, Señor?"

"No!"

"Four?"

"No!"

"Well, here take them!" and I did take them, and found next day that he had offered them to Col. Green a few hours previous for two dollars, and asked him what he would give—indicating a willingness to accommodate by going lower. I shall never wear those spurs with any degree of satisfaction.

The iron is produced near the railway, some twenty miles from Puebla, and is converted into steel and wrought up with much skill by the native citizens, with the very rudest appliances.

The people in the vicinity have a reputation for eccentricity. When the first telegraph line was erected along the road from Orizaba to Puebla, miles of the wire disappeared from the poles in the vicinity of Amazoc every night, in the most mysterious manner. At length the company offered to compromise with the iron-workers by giving them, as a free present, a given quantity of wire annually, provided they would ensure the line remaining intact. The proposition was rejected with scorn, as an insinuation of a doubt upon the honesty and fair fame of the iron- workers; but the wire continued to go off, until the company adopted a different material which could not be made useful by the skillful workers in blue steel and silver, and now everything is lovely, and the line hangs high and undisturbed.