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circumstances. Three times a day the motley crowd gathers, but I like it best at sunset, with a flushed sky overhead, against which the figures are dark; gleams of trickling water; the straw hat of a teamster, or a gaunt gray donkey, catching the waning light; while evening shadows brood already in the hollows of the mountains and deepen the mystery of the cañon beyond.
Past the store and the water-tank the road winds still upward, and passes out of sight round a spur of the mountain. It leads to the Mexican camp and into an entirely different social atmosphere. The village lies all in broadest sunlight, unrelieved by tree or shelter of any kind except here and there the shadow of a rock in which, perhaps, stands a donkey, with drooping ears and hanging lip, motionless in a patient reverie.
The Mexican camp has little of that bustling energy which belongs to its neighbor on the floor below. It wakes up slowly in the morning,-especially if the morning be cold,—and lounges abroad on moonlight nights, when guitar-tinklings sound from the shadowy vine-flecked porches. The barest little cabin has its porch, its climbing vines and shelf of carefully tended plants. Dark-eyed women sit on the doorsteps in the sun braiding a child's hair, perhaps, or chattering to a neighbor, who leans against the door-post with a baby half hidden in the folds of her shawl. They walk up and down the hilly street, letting their gowns trail in the dust, their heads en
veloped in a shawl, one end of which is turned PACKING"
up over the shoulder; the smooth, sliding
step corresponds with the accent in speak dren, and the house that knew him knows ing. In passing, they look at you with a him no more. Another assortment of slow, grave stare like that of a child. All, family garments flaps on the clothes-lines; even to the babies, have an air of repose; another brood of chickens and children crudeness of voice or manner is almost throngs his door-step.
unknown among them. During the long months when drought The first time I went down into the mine sits heavy on the land, the water-tank is one of the men of the party, as is the cusone of the idyls of the Cornish Camp. It tom, passed a bottle of whisky among the is a sort of club at which congregate all the men in each “labór” we visited. The stray dogs, donkeys, sad-eyed cows (who Cornish men drank in a hearty, unconsubsist, at this season, chiefly on hope strained fashion enough, but each Mexideferred), boys with water-pails, red-shirted can, before raising the bottle to his lips, teamsters, and “wood-packers” with trains of turned to the two women of the party with jaded mules; there is nothing dubious in the a grave inclination and a Buena salud, nature of its benefits, and of all who gather Señoras !! there none depart in bitterness, unless it In practical dealings with them one is may be the small Cornish lads, who carry constantly baffled by the softly spoken away two heavy pails and a sense of injury phrase, “No possible, Señora !” There is natural to the spirit of youth under such one, Vesequio,-a dark, short, fat-visaged person, not without guile, I fear, who gives | ing of the spirit. Man Friday carried the lessons on the guitar,* attends all the mi. chair; Vesequio thus had both hands free to ners' auctions, and keeps for sale, in his assist him in a series of graceful salutations dingy little shop, a curious collection of as Lizzie ushered him into the room. If I furniture, new and old. In a moment of had been equal to the part of Imperial weakness we bought a chair of Vesequio. Highness it would have greatly resembled It had certain merits (cheapness, probably, the introduction of an embassador bearing was one of them) which induced us to gifts from one potentate to another. If you overlook the fact of its being slightly out of could have seen the gesture with which repair. Vesequio promised to mend it - Vesequio spread out both hands—and if the work of an hour or two—and bring it you could have seen the hands! the next day. It did not come, of course, We found at Vesequio's an old brown jar, he hadn't the tools; he would send it the broken slightly on the lip, but such a delightvery next day to his neighbor the carpen- ful old heathen! He looks as if he had tero; then the carpentero went to town,- crawled out of a tomb ages old. The color when he returned it should be mended at is dull reddish-brown, it is big and clumsy once. After I had given up all hope of in shape, and looks as if it held old secrets ever seeing it in the house, Vesequio came of the flesh. We asked Vesequio if he could down the trail one day, dressed in his best get us any smaller ones. His face took a clothes, followed by his man Friday, a sudden gleam of half-concealed and crafty blear-eyed, idiotic-looking Mexican, whose satisfaction, and he said softly, as if to himlife is, Í fear, anything but an upward striv- self, “ Possible!” but Both Vesequio and we
were disappointed. Not another could be
found in the camp. It would have been He plays (on some instrument-I don't know great fun, the bargain with Vesequio. He what) during service at the Catholic Chapel. On
saw we were anxious to have it, and how he Christmas eve, at the midnight mass, they played, would have enjoyed the elaborate details of just at 12 o'clock, “ Put me in my little bed." Mexicans did not understand the meaning of the
the final settlement. I don't care how long words very clearly, or else mistook their associa- the bargaining lasts. It is so amusing to
follow the inflections of Vesequio's fat voice,
the action of his hands, and the play of his crumpled, as if-I hope Theophila will partoad-like features.
don the suspicion—she might have slept in I began an acquaintance with Vesequio's it. They were very drowsy-looking wrinkles, pretty little daughter, Theophila. The first and the dark locks hanging down her back
time I saw that brown-cheeked little maiden had certainly not been braided that morning, she was standing on a ladder watering her I saw her cheek, half turned away, the red plants. They were ranged on a kind of flush showing under the brown, her drooped scaffolding, like a rude balcony, across one eyelashes, and the frizz of dark hair above end of the house, and the ladder was leaned her forehead; one slender brown hand was against it. I remember some hollyhocks, lifted with the water-pitcher. There was a white, pink and yellow, lifting their spires hint of positive red somewhere about her of blossoms in the sunlight, with the gray it might have been a glimpse of her stockings boards behind them. She wore a brown pet or a bit of ribbon hanging from that rough ticoat and a short white sack, somewhat braid. She was perfect ! °I cannot believe
Theophila will ever be like the curiously swarthy boy, and a donkey with a very big wrinkled or fat and shapeless señoras I have head. I don't know whether a donkey's obseen standing in their door-ways, one hand stinacy increases with the size of his head, propping the arm which raises a cigarette but the small boy's figure slanted at a sharp to the lips while they gaze languidly down angle with the hill,—he was as far in adthe sunny street.
vance of the donkey as the length of his One sees very few old people among the rope would permit, and the rope was very Mexicans; they are a feeble race, and sel- taut.” The donkey carried on his back a dom last into the seventies; but when you kind of wooden frame, used to hold waterdo meet one who has shuffled into that buckets, one suspended on each side, but “ last scene of all,” he takes the part so loaded instead with pots of blossoming
plants,-flaming scarlet geraniums, a tall calla-lily, and a thorny monster of a cactus, beloved by the Mexicans. As the donkey sulkily planted one foot before another, all this gay company nodded and shook in the sunlight, and seemed to wave greetings to their stay-at-home neighbors in the road-side porches.
On our walk weonce met some bare-legged, bare-headed Mexican lads racing their donkeys over the hills, looking themselves like wild young colts of a dark and stubbed breed. One of them—such is the happy instinct of these people—wore a pink cotton shirt; had the tone of the surrounding landscape required it, his shirt would have been flaming yellow.
One day Mr. H. brought the beauty of the Mexican camp to call. Her name is
Aurelia Sambroña; she has lovely dark well
, you feel that you have never seen an eyes and a soft voice; but I was disapold man before.
pointed that she did not wear the dark Climbing the steepest part of the main shawl draped round her head and shoulstreet of the Mexican camp, I met one ders as they are worn on ordinary days at
a procession of two—a small, the camp. Our Mexican water-cooler has
OLD MEXICAN WOMAN.
an inscription of which I asked for the met a number of the dancers returning home meaning. Aurelia smiled and said : “ Help after a few hours sleep. Many of them thyself, little Tomasa !” The maker of the walked all the way from Guadaloupe. jar had pictured to himself some browncheeked maiden lifting it to her lips.
My last visit to the Mexican camp was After this we went up to the Mexican during the yellow hazy July weather; it camp to return Miss Aurelia's call. She was after a fire had swept away all the lives with her married sister ; they keep a houses lying below and around the rock, quiet kind of restaurant. Mr. H. said our which rises like a fortress at the north-west call would be regarded as a great conde end of the camp. The bare sun-baked rock scension, but I confess that when the two stood out, with all its reddish-yellow lights graceful, dark-eyed women came in to re- and purple-brown shadows, in strong relief ceive us, their soft voices and movements, against the solid blue of the sky. Down its and a kind of slow, gentle self-possession, sides were the blackened lines of brick made me feel my own manner crude and which marked the foundations of the ruined angular by comparison. Mr. H. talked for houses. Below, was the little street silent us all, and they looked from us to him, and deserted, with its quiet afternoon shadwhenever we spoke, with a pretty appealing ows stretching across it. It seemed old smile. They offered us the native wine, and enough for anything. It might have been the most delicious dried figs,—not with- a little Pompeiian street lying so still in ered and pressed, but dark plump lumps the broad sunlight, under that intensely
, of sweetness clinging together.
blue-bright sky. I sat under the shadow of A ball was given by the Mexicans upon a Mexican cabin on the high bank overthe anniversary of their independence. We looking the street. A little girl named went up to see the dancing, which was very Amelia, too slight and small to carry the beautiful. The Mexican girls have ex- child she held wrapped in an old shawl
. quisite forms, especially when in motion ; I stood beside me and told me the Spanish their dancing was like inspiration. There were people of every nationality-stout, blonde Cornish youths side by side with slim, swarthy Mexicans. There were Ignatio Enestrajo, a “ Chiliano,” and the sisters of Castro (the silversmith), half Mexican, half Chinese. A young Spaniard delivered the “oration. I saw the son of the German foreman at the Hacienda dancing with the daughter of the French butcher. The music was very good for the purpose, –a violoncello, two violins, one brass piece, and a flute. They played the Mexican national hymn to open the ball, and much of the “ dance music" had pretty Mexican or Spanish names. The refreshments were whisky, ale, Port wine
sangeree, lemonade made of some kind of acid, crackers, cheese, candy and nuts. The next day (Sunday) we