Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/73

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usual hour of retiring, eight o'clock, by some of his people who had been off at a fiesta. The hacienda of San José is near the Sierra, the only line of hills in Yucatan, and here called mountains. These we climbed easily, sitting in the front of the volan, to avoid tipping up the mules, and descended the other slope before the sun got hot. The driver urged the mules down hill at a furious pace, lashing them all the way, over steep, slippery

TLM D073 Corridor of hacienda.jpg


rocks, and along the borders of high cliffs, but when we reached level going he pulled them up! We had been going about two hours, when we saw José pull out a long black cigar and light it. By this sign we knew we were near a town or hacienda, this being an invariable custom, as no high-bred driver will appear in any village or plantation without a lighted cigar in his mouth and driving like mad. Sure enough, the hemp-fields soon hove