Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/50

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44
AN IMMENSE SUGAR-HOUSE.

grace over one shoulder. This hacienda has the name of being very unhealthy, and many of the men appeared ill from malarious diseases. The meat was cut in irregular pieces with rude knives and axes, and sold at from six and a half, to ten cents per pound. Each purchaser took but a small piece, about enough for a "square meal" for three persons in a cold climate. The fat was being tried out for candles in a large kettle in front of the market, and the offal was lying in a corner. Swarms of long-nosed wolfish-looking dogs hung around, snapping up every scrap of meat left within reach, or thrown to them.

Beyond the market stands an immense half-finished sugar-house, and all around the place was scattered machinery therefor, hardly two pieces, belonging together, being within hearing distance of each other. The walls were of brick made on the place and poorly laid in cement. The roof is to be of tiles, but it is not yet finished. A vat for water, intended to hold at least two million gallons, built of brick and cemented, is built along-side. The three great boilers for this mill were being towed through the Laguna of Cayutlan—having been closed and cemented water-tight to insure their floating—as we came up on the previous day. The mill cannot be finished in less than six months, and meantime a superb crop of cane goes to waste. Opposite the sugar-mill is a huge building containing a rice mill, saw-mill, &c. The sugar machinery and distilling apparatus are from Hamburg, the steam-engines and boilers from England, and the rice and saw-mills from Boston and San Francisco. Everything consumed on the place is raised on it. Between the two mills is an enormous ditch or race for carrying the water to a great