prepared in the house of the alcalde, who received and entertained us hospitably, during the hours of our stay. That functionary is obliged, by the laws of the land, to provide a lodging for strangers applying to him for accommodation, in case that there is no regular inn. Excellent watermelons and ice were to be had abundance.
As time was not to be trifled with, we were constrained, however, after the greatest heat of the day was spent, to remount our horses, and pursue our route to the town of Cuautla Amilpas, at four leagues distance. The road, for the greater part, runs over the fertile portions of the plain, and passes many noble sugar haciendas, each with its dwelling house, refinery, crushing mill, and other offices, built in the most substantial style, and almost always adorned by a church, with dome and tower. They rank, in value, fertility, and good cultivation by free labour, among the first in New Spain.
About sunset, when within a league of Cuautla Amilpas, our line being a very straggling one, three of us, attended by Garcia, made a wrong turn, and went off across a huge unbroken level, towards the base of Popocatepetl; doubling our distance, and adding greatly to the fatigues of the day. We however agreed that the view we had hereby gained of the great volcano, rising, without any neighbour or rival, to the height of fourteen thousand feet perpendicular above the plateau on which we stood, with the red glow of the sunset upon his snowy summit, amply repaid us for the fatigue and vexation.
It was dark before we entered the posada, in which we found that M'Euen and the mules had with difficulty effected a lodgment. Indeed, it was not till our arrival that a misunderstanding with the revenue officers was satisfactorily explained, and our party felt at liberty to prepare for rest and refreshment. How far that which followed merited that character you shall judge.
Cuautla Amilpas, like the town of Yautepec, is situated upon one of the more considerable branches of either the Rio de las Balsas or the river Mescala, whose channels carry off to the Pacific all the waters flowing from the southern slopes of the table land of Mexico.