Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/461

This page has been validated.

mines with them, and fill them full of ore; another, to pulverize the ore and roll it up in cigarette papers; another, to have it in little bags, so arranged with strings that they could change it from side to side, under their loose shirts, or sarapes, TLM D461 Mexican miners.jpgMEXICAN MINERS. when the keeper was passing his hands over them. They conceal it between their toes, in their ears, and in the last places one would think of; their scanty clothing offers no aid to hiding. In the Rosario is an old shaft four hundred feet in length, leading from the top of a hill into the mine; it was long since abandoned, and is now used as a chimney for one of the engines in the mines. For a long time great quantities of ore were missing. The paid agents of the company reported that stealing was going on, but could not tell how. At last it was discovered that an adit had been driven into the hill to the old shaft, and up this dangerous place they had climbed at night, dragging the bags of ore after them. An exploring party was sent in and found a dead man and some provisions, the man suffocated by the smoke.

"If the superintendent," says a certain writer, "should roast the parish priest in front of the oxidizing furnace, till he confessed all he knew about the thefts of his parishioners from the company, he would tell strange stories;—how Juan Fernandez