Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/592

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American, with a carbine slung to his saddle and a six-shooter belted about his waist, guarding a large flock of sheep.

This "International" road, the Mexican offshoot of the "Sunset" system, pursues a southwesterly course toward the capital of Durango, where it will connect with the Central Railroad. If continued on from Durango, it will end eventually at the Pacific, at some point, depending upon a practicable pass through the Sierra Madres and a sheltered harbor with navi-

TLM D592 International bridge.jpg

(Over the Rio Grande.)

gable channel. It will thus form a great and much-needed transcontinental line between the Eastern United States and the Pacific Ocean; and, as it is being built without subsidy, it can choose its own route, and so seek out the territory richest in mining and agriculture. It enters first the great State of Coahuila, which contains two cities, eleven towns, and numerous haciendas and ranchos. The cities of Parras and Monclova are flourishing, productive centres, while the Sabinas valley contains bodies of extremely fertile land, and the Laguna country the only lakes of any extent north of Chapala and the valley of Mexico. A spur southward from Monclova can connect with