Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/57

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51
THE MUSIC OF CORTEZ.

counterpane and gilt canopy, and from that to the walls, painted in pale blue, and frescoed, and the cream-colored ceiling, with cross-beams of a soft, chocolate color, and then went to the iron-latticed window and looked down on a neatly-paved court, around which the house was built, and the great staircase with its wealth of brilliant-hued tropical flowers and climbing delicate-foliaged plants, and its Moorish dome painted in fresco. Where was I? Opening the door of my bedroom, I looked into the grand saloon, about sixty or seventy feet square, with its walls and ceiling painted like those just described, its glazed tile floor, double rows of Moorish arches and pillars supporting the roof, and chandeliers suspended with iron chains from the ceiling, and the long table with its crimson damask covering, and at last the truth of the situation flashed upon me. I was not in the Alhambra at Grenada, in 1469—I might have been, for everything was as thoroughly Moorish—but in Colima, in October, 1869.

"Is it a revolution?" I asked of the obsequious servant in white, who came at once to attend upon me. "Oh no, Señor; only the troops changing guard at the State Prison on the Plaza!"

Going out on the balcony, I looked across the way, and saw the band in front of the prison and the white-clad soldiers—all of Indian blood—with red plumes in their hats, and Springfield muskets of the year 1862 in their hands, going through the form of guard mounting. I saw those muskets in San Francisco, during the late war with France, if I mistake not. The ruinous old cathedral, dating far back into the 1600 and something, adjoins the prison, and all around the Plaza runs a row of shops, for the most part but one story high. All