Page:The Rambler in Mexico.djvu/208

This page has been validated.

shed, which served at once for chapel and courthouse, and were extremely amused by a visit of ceremony which the chief magistrate paid us in the course of the evening, bearing a silver stick as badge of office, and attended by a posse of half-naked subalterns. After five minutes spent in nodding and smoking with his guests like the best friends in the world, he departed and left us to our repose; with the bright moonlight glistening upon the snow of the volcano, and the clarinet and banjo of the Indians sounding in our ears. But what sight or sounds can keep the weary traveller from his rest?

The following morning we continued our rapid journey to the east and northeast, over an open country, to Atlisco, a large town situated at the foot of an acute conical hill of considerable elevation, which rises from the level bosom of the surrounding country. Besides the chapel on its summit, Atlisco boasts no fewer than seven or eight churches. Here we halted only two hours; and then trotted onward, hoping to reach Cholula, five leagues distant, at an early hour. The country over which we passed was in very bad repute for the robberies upon it—but here, as elsewhere, we experienced no interruption, though the numerous crosses by the roadside proved the truth of the report.

Long before sunset, we came in sight of the plains of Cholula, and of La Puebla de los Angeles. Their surface is broken by many mounds, natural and artificial; and among these, the celebrated Teocalli of Cholula, with the white church upon its platform, soon became distinguished, and gave a spur to our movements. But our animals were jaded with the heat and stony roads; and the last sunbeams were shining on the facade of the Church of Neustra Señora de los Remedies above us, as we entered the town.

Night speedily followed; and as my paper is full, I will begin another letter with the history of another day.