Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/283

This page has been validated.

chickens, etc., that will bring only a dollar or two at the most. They have a peculiar dog-trot, which they keep up hour after hour and day after day; some of the Indian couriers, through their knowledge of paths and by-ways, have been known to accomplish the distance between certain points in less time than the mail-coach. Their ordinary load for a long journey is from seventy-five to a hundred pounds, but in the mines they climb up TLM D283 Indian woman.jpgINDIAN WOMAN.
(From a Wax Figure.)
the primitive ladders—merely notched poles—bearing four hundred and even five hundred pounds of ore.

The Indian is contented with the little he gets, and if a little remain it is almost invariably spent at the pulquerias—the liquor-shops—before he departs for home. Although the Indians form villages and settlements by themselves, and in the city of Mexico dwell in a suburb apart from the whites, yet they freely mingle in the streets, "a people within a people," says the authority from which the preceding account has been mainly drawn; they remain apart, interfering in none of the affairs of the upper classes, and confining even their quarrels to their own class. Humble and obedient, their self-abasement is such that they accept and apply to themselves the reproach of the whites, a term that implies that they have no understanding. A white man is to them a gente de razon,—a man of intelligence,—while the Indian is called a gente sin razon, or a man without reason,—of no understanding.

Further research into the Indian question may prove tedious to the general reader, and so we will leave the subject, merely pausing to state that the difference between the nomadic Indian of the Western prairies and the agricultural Indian of Mexico is hardly greater than that existing between the Aztec of the valley of Mexico, or the Yaqui of Sonora, and the native of