Page:Mexico, California and Arizona - 1900.djvu/225

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SAN JUAN, ORIZABA, AND CORDOBA REVISITED.

the views of one of these watchmen. He showed me the Remington rifle with which he was armed. He said that he went on duty at 7 P.M. and finished at 5.30 A.M., and received three and a half reals—forty-two cents—a day, which he did not think enough. There are no cabs at Cordoba. It is a tram-car, making a total of two trips a day, that takes you, bag and baggage, two dark miles or so to the station.


V.


But I did not leave before first visiting the Indian village of Amatlan. I do not insist that erudition of incalculable value has been brought to light in these travels, but they were a succession of excursions into the actual heart of things. I was pleased when I could find something unmodified by the innovations of railway travel, and witness the familiar, every-day life of the people. Perhaps we never thoroughly understand anybody until we learn his routine. A stimulus to what we usually neglect, and take as a matter of course, is aroused abroad. Law-making, education, buying and selling, eating and drinking, marriage, and the burial of the dead, all yield entertainment. The traveller who spreads before us only the outré and startling that he has seen may still leave us very much in the dark about where he has been. In Mexico, however, almost everything is outré.

To Amatlan and back is a comfortable day's excursion. We found saddle-horses for hire, and a young Indian as a guide, and set off. My companion on this excursion was a commercial traveller, a sprightly young American of Spanish origin. Commercial traveller in machetes and other cutlery: such was his profession. The machetes were of American make. I have one hanging in my room