Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/138

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TRAVELS IN MEXICO.

is an immense mound and a gigantic sculptured head, and a road leads straight from the coast, through Timax, to that aboriginal city.

Alonzo and I occupied a hammock in a large, empty building belonging to Don Juan, and slept again à la Yucateca, the feet of each in close proximity to the other's head, which is almost as compact a style as that denominated "spoon fashion." We were to start at four the next morning, but did not rise till five; and though I expected to get on our journey by sunrise, it was nine o'clock before we left the town. This might have been expected, for the day before it was to have been muy temprano,—very early,—and we left Timax three hours behind time. No one was stirring in the plaza, but a baker's shop was open, with the usual knot of men in cotton pants, shivering in their sarapes; and here we got a cup of chocolate. While waiting for my horse, we visited the old churchyard, a walled-off corner, with orange trees in it. It must have been formerly used as a cemetery, for there were heaps of boxes—wine cases, brandy and soap boxes—full of dead men's bones; and in a recess in the church wall were arm and leg bones, and grinning skulls, that seemed inclined to dispute our entrance. Don Juan took us to see an old stone, with a strange inscription on it: probably, as he said, the work of Indians under Spanish direction; and he held up a wooden cross while we removed from it the boxes of bones.

Having thus been cheerfully fortified for the journey, I thought Alonzo would start; but he lingered here and there, buying meat and bread, till eight o'clock; then we mounted our horses, bade our friends "Adios" and rode down the street to a hut, where he asked for breakfast. This consumed another hour, though the Mestiza girl worked hard to prepare it for us, being hindered by the admiring and amorous Alonzo, who haunted the kitchen, teasing the pretty cook for a caress. Her mother, a wrinkled old lady, learning that I could not speak Spanish, pulled a dolorous countenance and called me pobrecito,—poor little fellow,—and wanted to know where in the world I lived, that the people could not speak "Castellano."