Page:A Study of Mexico.djvu/248

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year elapsed, and the mules were not delivered. The head of the house would not, however, allow any message of inquiry or reminder to be sent, but remained quiet. A year after the stipulated time, the rancheros came in with the mules. There had been a disease and a drought, which had killed the colts the first year, and this was the reason assigned for not coming according to agreement. They sent no word, because it was so far, and they did not remember the name." When the firm counted the mules, they found that three had been brought for each pair stipulated and paid for; which was the way the rancheros quietly settled for their unavoidable breach of contract.

But, notwithstanding all these obstacles to the extension of trade, the advantages from commercial intercourse with Mexico are all on the side of the United States. Commerce, in establishing a course between any two points, always follows the lines of least resistance. And to-day, through the establishment of railway lines, which furnish ample, rapid, and comparatively cheap facilities for transportation between the interior of Mexico and such great commercial and manufacturing centers as Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Kansas City, the easiest movement for the commerce of Mexico is by and through the United States. One demonstration of this is to be found in the fact