Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/59

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53
THE STREET AND MARKETS.

minor articles such as are usually found in a "notion store" at "Cheap John's" in the United States, on mats, and squat beside them on the pavement. The main market is held in an open square, where the more common articles of coarse food, green corn, fruit, etc., and the light, strong, red earthen ware of the country are exposed for sale in the morning. Colima has 35,000 or 40,000 inhabitants, and at morning or evening they are all on the streets. As our party passed along, people always civilly made room, and the better class generally bowed politely. In passing the prison, the guard invariably presented arms to me, and I found after a time, this was all owing to the fact that I wore a vest of blue cloth, with brass buttons bearing the coat of arms of the State of California, and for my own convenience I was forced to change it, and by donning a plain white vest retire to private life.

They make the change here, when you buy anything at a store, down to the smallest fraction of a cent; there is nothing like the Californian contempt for the odd bit in Mexico. Being in want of a pair of light pantaloons, I learned to my surprise that there was no ready-made clothing store in Colima, and a tailor was sent for at once to wait upon me. My order and measure taken down, the "artist" departed, and at night returned with the garment finished. "How much?" He at once rendered me a bill for cloth, buttons, thread, labor, etc., amounting to seven dollars and twelve and one-half cents, and he would neither take seven dollars, nor seven dollars and twenty-five cents, but must have the exact change. The barber, boot-maker, shoemaker, and other tradesmen wait on you in the same manner, and exact the same minute change.