Page:Travels in Mexico and life among the Mexicans.djvu/628

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TRAVELS IN MEXICO.

arrested my attention, and there came into view a caravan of mules, which lengthened out until nine fourteen-mule teams had passed down the broad street and disappeared in the dusk. They were the teams used in transporting machinery and mining supplies to those far away camps in the mountains. At another time a great wagon drawn by long yokes of oxen came up from the south, from Mexico City, quite a thousand miles away, with its spare wheel lashed under the wagon body, and its drivers and cattle looking worn and weary. Not many more trips are in store for them, for the railroad covers much of their long, wearisome route, and they will soon be as useless as their fifth wheel, except in cases of emergency, unless they seek new fields in Central America.

These carts were laden principally with the beautiful pottery of Guadalajara, a great State of Central Mexico, famous for these products of the ceramic art and for the vast cathedral of its capital city. To complete the series of pictures of the principal churches and cathedrals of Mexico, I insert an engraving of this great and splendid religious edifice.

On the arrival of the first train from the North, which was but eight months previous to my visit, the entire population went out to greet its distinguished visitors, and the city, even to the high towers of the cathedral, was illuminated. The next day was that of the Independence of Mexico, the 16th of September, and to the booming of cannon and ringing of bells was added, for the first time in Chihuahua's existence, the whistle of the locomotive. All Chihuahua, wrote the correspondent of a Texas paper at that time, were around the railroad track as the train came in. "All who were able to ride, walk, or crawl were there. And of the assembled thousands, fully one half belonged to the untutored, mystery-worshipping class, who had never seen even the picture of a locomotive or train of cars. They had heard of the wonders of the cars from stray travellers of their caste, who by driving freight wagons to El Paso had seen them, and were ready to behold an engine or a devil. But when they saw the wonderful thing itself, coming like a black mastodon, roaring, hissing, rumbling, tearing along through the