Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/71

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65
THE RAVAGES OF WAR.

nine pounds, sells for five dollars and twenty-five cents per piece. The women get two and one-half rials—thirty-one and one-fourth cents—per piece for weaving the cloth, and the other operatives thirty-seven and a half cents per day, they boarding themselves. The cotton costs thirty-four cents per pound cleaned, at present, and two dollars and twenty-five cents per arroba of twenty-five pounds unginned.

The present cotton product of the State of Colima is two million, five hundred thousand pounds, and there are many thousands of acres of uncultivated land available for cotton raising if required. The women work faithfully and quietly, but with downcast and generally hopeless look. They are of all colors from red to white, a mild lemon color being the leading and fashionable hue. I have been told that a number of these girls recently went to California to better their condition, and that their letters from San Francisco, to their friends in Colima, have created a general desire among their sister operatives to follow in their footsteps, and seek a home in the Golden State.

From the roofs of the mills we looked down on gardens filled with tropical fruits, oranges, bananas, cocoa-nuts, coffee, vanilla, and a thousand, to us, rare things, growing in rank and neglected luxuriance, then mounted our animals, and galloped back along ruined bridges and shattered walls, in part the effect of the cannon-balls rained upon Miramon's forces by the Liberal artillery under Col. George M. Green, when Juarez was advancing on Guadalajara from the West; in part to the contest between the French and Liberals, when the latter were defeated and the city taken, and in part the effect of a great flood in 1864, and were soon at the door of Señor Huarte's hospitable casa.