Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/114

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out of the saddle, with a jerk which broke his neck, by one of Martinez's subalterns. War to the death had been proclaimed on both sides, and no quarter was given or asked.

One day in 1869, the writer was standing on Montgomery street in San Francisco, conversing with General Martinez and others, when the subject turned on the languages which each spoke, or did not speak. One could speak Spanish, English and French; another German, English and French, and so on. One of the party deprecatingly remarked that his Spanish was deficient, but added, "I have managed to wade through a good deal of French in my life-time." "What does he say?" asked the General quickly. The remark was translated to him literally, when he instantly lifted his hat with a polite bow, and responded, "Yo tambien Señor!" (I also Sir!) It was, all things considered, the most terrible pun I ever heard uttered.

For twenty miles, our road led us along the shores of the Laguna de Zacoalco, a part of the time with the Laguna de Seyula on the opposite side of the tongue of land on which we traveled. The soil was for the most part coarse and gravelly, and the country little cultivated. The mountains, though covered with dense verdure, were composed almost wholly of old lava, and all the fences along the roadside were built of the same material, in fact, this entire country is of comparatively recent volcanic origin. At the upper end of the Laguna de Zacoalco, we passed near the water-side for miles. Great cane-brakes came up to the road in many places, and, growing by the edge, of the water, we saw thousands of beautiful pink and spotted lilies, richly fragrant, and much like the Japanese lily in appearance.