Page:Mexico, California and Arizona - 1900.djvu/213

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193
SAN JUAN, ORlZASA, AND CORDOBA REVISITED.

given, in pleasant recollection of one of them, as he said, the remarkable name of "Lovis," which afterward proved to be "Lewis." Adjoining was a barracks of Rurales, whose bugles sounded a cheerful réveille in the morning. The central plaza is perhaps three miles from the station. On the way you cross a handsome stone bridge built by Maximilian. The river San Juan had vanished from under it and left a mere gulch, as is the way with most of the streams in the dry season.

The inhabitants have their houses, gardens, and all, often above the cement floors left by the extinct race, and the edges of these floors crop out beside the road, worn down through them. Nobody has framed a satisfactory theory of the place, but it is supposed to have been a great pantheon, or burial-place, for the dead of importance. Maximilian encouraged excavations, and a great Egyptian-looking head, unearthed in his time, is seen. Charnay dug there later, and so did my friend of the newspaper expedition. Probably a commission ought to be issued by the Government for tunnelling, without impairing their form, the two pyramids, to ascertain if there be not something of importance within. It is at present both conservative and apathetic in such matters. The larger pyramid, that of the Sun, has an excellent zigzag plane approaching its summit. A long road, called the "Street of the Dead," strewn on both sides with heaps of weather-worn stones, indicating constructions, extends from it to that of the Moon. Both are now grown with scrubby nopals and pepper-trees.

A couple of children ran out from a cottage at the foot of the Pyramid of the Sun, to sell "caritas" the little antiquities, the day I approached to climb it. From the top you see other villages, as San Francisco, Santa Maria Cuatlan, San Martin. The inhabitants of San Francisco