Page:Mexico, California and Arizona - 1900.djvu/205

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185
A BANQUET, AND A TRAGEDY, ETC.

XV.


A BANQUET, AND A TRAGEDY, AT CUAUTLA-MORELOS.


I.


When I saw Amecameca again it was to pass it on board a gala train going down to celebrate the completion of the Morelos railway to Cuautla, in Tierra Caliente. The Morelos railway is a native Mexican work. It was built under the auspices of Delfin Sanchez, a son-in-law of President Juarez, was rushed forward with great expedition, in order to secure valuable premiums, added to the regular subsidy by Government, and there was much defective work in its construction. It is laid to the narrow gauge, and projected ultimately to reach Acapulco, but this latter need hardly be looked for in any predicable time. At present it reaches about seventy-five miles—to Cuautla- Morelos, capital of the state of Morelos.

All official and distinguished Mexico was aboard that day—the President, the justices of the Supreme Court, generals, senators, littérateurs, and, greatest of all, Porfirio Diaz. "Porfirio" wore a felt hat with a tall top, and his manner with his friends was easy and unpretentious. Had the accident of a week later happened that day instead, the Republic of Mexico would have needed to be reconstructed from the bottom upward.

A locomotive exploradora, a look-out engine, went on ahead of us to see that all was safe. Every little place had its music and firing of crackers, and the local detach-