Page:Mexico, California and Arizona - 1900.djvu/451

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431
LOS ANGELES.

reconciled to the Mongolians. In an outburst of deadly prejudice, in the year 1871, they were dragged out of their Spanish houses and hung to lamp-posts, wagon-tongues, and their own door-ways, to the number of eighteen, of all ages and sizes. The riot was occasioned by their resistance to some process of a deputy-sheriff. My informant described them to me as hanging like bunches of carrots.

At present they were putting up, near the site of these sanguinary scenes, an ornate open-air theatre or temple, for a triennial religious festival, to last a week or more.

IV.


One of my pleasantest days at Los Angeles was that which I spent in a drive with the Zanjero.

The Zanjero, indeed! who or what is a Zanjero? His title is derived from the Spanish zanja—ditch—continued down from the times of the original settlement, and he is the official overseer of water and irrigation. He took me about with him to observe this important and entertaining part of the economy of civilization in these thirsty regions. Not that Los Angeles is so dry in comparison, for it has thirteen inches of rain against two at Bakersfield, but it is in abundant need of irrigation.

The Zanjero is elected by the City Council annually. Six deputies aid him in the summer, reduced to three in the winter, when the rains render irrigation hardly necessary. All are invested with the authority and badges of policemen.

The city, the Zanjero tells us, as we ride along, controls in its corporate capacity all the waters of the Los Angeles River. The Los Angeles River is a Southern