Page:Appleton's Guide to Mexico.djvu/235

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207
THE MEXICAN NATIONAL RAILWAY.

the same name (111•50 kilometres). Here the elevation is 8,423 feet. The town lies about a mile north of the track. The traveler may see the boundary-line of the States of Mexico and Michoacan near by. Stone monuments about three feet high are placed in the ground every thousand yards. One of them is very close to the railroad. Presently the line crosses the Rio Lerma and continues through a fertile country. Good pastures for cattle abound here, and the tourist can see many fine haciendas from the car-window. The track has usually been laid some distance from the hamlets and villages. Hogs are raised in considerable numbers on the estates along the line of the Toluca and Maravatio division of the National Railway, and yet no one has had the enterprise to put up hams for domestic use. The natives seem to prefer to import American hams at 50 cents and those of Westphalia at 62½ cents a pound. It is believed that hams could be sent from Toluca to the capital and sold at a handsome profit for 20 cents a pound. This is only one out of many business chances that await the American or European settler in Mexico.

Flor de Maria (133•90 kilometres) is the next station. Here the conductor calls out in English, "Half an hour for dinner." The dining-room consists of a freight-car, and the kitchen is in an adjoining car on a siding. The tourist is agreeably surprised at finding an excellent dinner served in such a primitive eating-house. Six reales is the price charged. We soon come to the station of La Jordana (149•90 kilometres). The next station is El Oro (164 kilometers), where the elevation is 8,344 feet. There are mines containing gold and silver on the hill-side about four miles southwest of this place. A New York company owns them. A forty-stamp mill has been erected at great cost, owing to the machinery having been transported, first over the Mexican Railway with its enormous