Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/54

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48
WATER-BEARERS OF MEXICO.

the performance by stoning them, then jumping back to the seat while the coach was in full motion. These postillions carry matting sacks holding about half a peck, which they fill with stones about the size of a hen's egg, and keep in reserve for emergencies. If the team balks, or is stalled for a moment, they will send a steady stream of these stones through the air, hitting each mule on the head in turn, with the accuracy of a Western sharp-shooter.

Some places which those little mules took our heavy coaches through, hardly seemed passable, but they did it. The old simile of the "rat running off with a hay-stack" loses all point when applied to these little Colima mules, but it is death on the rats, nevertheless. Four "police of the road," mounted on little agile horses, with costly saddles and rich trappings, each man carrying a

OSR Mexico D054 senor huarte's house in colima.png
SEÑOR HUARTE'S HOUSE AT COLIMA.

machete, or straight, short sword, Henry rifle, and a Colt's revolver of the finest pattern, rode in advance, and four fine, tall, intelligent-looking men of the the Custom-House Guard, still more splendidly equipped and armed, rode behind us. One of these last men was