Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/203

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was " in bonanza" paying enormous dividends to its owners; and when Humboldt visited it, he estimated that it then produced one-fifth of all the silver in the world. It passed after his time into the hands of the "Anglo Mexican Company," which commenced with a capital of five million pounds sterling, (say $25,000,000 in American coin,) with a board of directors sitting in London, who sent out officers of the army and navy who had never seen a mine in their lives, to superintend its workings at fabulous salaries, erected an immense engine, and run it at constant disadvantage and loss; and finally, after sinking in this and other mines, nearly their original capital, learned wisdom from experience, and changed the programme. They employed a competent director, Mr. Charles Furber, working some other mines here at a profit, and in time their stock would have been once more in demand, but a fearful tragedy which I shall presently relate, put an end to all operations again, for a time, at least.

Accompanied by Messrs. Anthony Burgess, Thomas Abrams, Frederick Meyer, Smith, and Dr. Harris, all American residents, who with Governor Antillon, and Alfred Jeanotat had been unceasing in their attentions to us, I started out to visit this famous mine at day-break, Thursday, November 4th. Mounted on the beautifully fleet and easy riding horses of the country—which have an artificial gait, trotting with the hind legs and galloping with the fore legs at the same time—with revolvers at our waists, and swords hung at the pommel of the saddle and run through under the stirrup-strap so as to be held under the left knee of the rider—when will our American cavalry learn this neat trick and dispense with the knocking and rattling