Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/461

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"Of course I do, and I want that rail?"

"Very well; if the rail belongs to you, I don't want it. Take it and welcome, Señor. Buenos tarde Señor!" and coolly unhitching the oxen from the rail, he politely lifted his hat and walked off with his animals, leaving the rail lying there, twelve miles from the track, for the owners to get it back as best they could; it did not appear to worry him a bit.

There are no silver mines in the vicinity, but the diligences were formerly stopped pretty regularly, and the supply of silver for ornamenting the steel work, appears to be still sufficient to meet the demand of the trade.

His Excellency, Governor Romero, and staff, accompanied us in his private coach from Puebla as far as Tepeaca, an old Aztec city nine leagues from Puebla. Here we stopped for breakfast, and parted with the Governor and his aids with mutual expressions of regret. The Governor had done all that any man could possibly do, to show Mr. Seward attention and respect, and made the stay of the party in the State of Puebla a pleasant one, and he will long be remembered with gratitude.

Tepeaca has a history, if we had had time to stop and look it up. We breakfasted in a fonda opposite the grand plaza. In this plaza, in front of the church, stands a tall, square tower of brick or adobe, painted white, with a red tile roof, arched port-hole-like openings near the top, and a sun-dial painted on the side perpendicularly, according to the Aztec custom, instead of horizontally as ours used to be. On the dial is an inscription to this effect: "Here I am, and there is no mistake about me." This was a fortress of the Aztecs, and being very curious, the Spaniards did not destroy