Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/39

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Thus a merchant makes up his correspondence and takes his letters to the Post-Office, where he pays twenty-five cents on each. There are stamps provided for by law, but none are for sale here, and the letters receive no mark from the Postmaster to show that the postage has been paid. Then the merchant dispatches a mail carrier to Colima, and pays him ten dollars for carrying the same batch of letters on which he has just paid the Government twenty-five cents each. At Colima the letters are delivered to the Post-Office, and twenty-five cents each collected again for simply passing them out over the counter, as there is nothing to show that they have paid the legal dues. Letters come from Mazatlan by steamers, prepaid, and twenty-five cents each is collected on them on their arrival here. Then they are sent to Colima as stated, and pay again before starting, and also on their arrival there, or three times in all. Letters from San Francisco, by steamer, for persons here, must be delivered to the Postmaster by the purser on his arrival, and twenty-five cents each is charged at once before they can go into the hands of the persons to whom they are directed. If the entire postal system of the country was thus managed, the Post-Office Department ought to be a paying institution, but I was told that the abuses complained of are exceptional and local, and that the Federal Government does not reap the benefit of the imposition. However, the tax is a heavy one on the merchants. I was told that one house having a depot here and a large store at Colima, paid last year $6,000 in postage and courier charges.

Despite the incessant rains, our time in Manzanillo passed not unpleasantly away, we were elegantly lodged,