my calculations proved to be wrong, for I had just finished accommodating the horses when
motor-cars arrived to take me back to Puebla, and in spite of my trying every excuse to avoid
and at eight o'clock in the morning I was back with the horses and made ready to start.
We followed an excellent road which winds over the mountains, connecting Puebla with
Mexico City, and when I had energy enough I admired the wonderful panorama around me.
Beautiful forests cover the mountains, and high above and quite near tower the two snow-
capped volcanoes, the Ixtaccihuatl and the Popocatepetl. (Both these names are of ancient
Aztec origin,theformermeaning'SleepingWoman'andthelatter 'SmokyMountain.')Many
cars passed during the day, and I had to dismount every now and again to speak to people
who had come to greet me, and I am certain that I should have fallen asleep had it not been
for these distractions. In the evening I heard the droning of many motors, and after a while
a long line of motor-cycle police from the capital came speeding along. To my surprise they
City Traffic Department. He embraced me in typical Mexican fashion, and from that moment
he has been one of the countless friends I made during my long and unforgettable stay in that
My new friend told me that a reception had been arranged in my honour and asked me to
push ahead until I came to a place where stood the remains of what had at one time been a
wealthy hacienda (estate).
I had covered some thirty-five miles when I unsaddled, and as there was no fodder for the
horses nor good food for myself, the city police arrived in cars some two hours later, bringing
me all and more than I required. I was so tired that I could hardly sleep, and I was glad when
my small alarm-clock advised me that daylight was not far off.
A woman in a hut prepared me a cup of coffee, and whilst I was sipping it I heard voices
'shot' at all angles. One of the newspaper men who had also arrived let me into a secret that
made me forget everything else. He told me that among the many surprises waiting for me,
myoldcompanionGatowasonhiswayouttogreetme,togetherwithacrowdof charros and
other riders. He added that the horse had entirely recovered and was full of life. This piece of
news filled me with such joy that I started off at a fast trot, paying scant attention to an aero-
plane that circled overhead, giving me a welcome, and I hardly noticed the cars that passed
me, the occupants shouting loud vivas in our direction. I kept on trotting fast, and although
Mancha was perspiring freely I made him go at this pace, for I was in a hurry to see Gato, and
I wondered if he would recognise Mancha and myself and how he would act.
Far ahead I could see a crowd moving towards me, and judging by the cloud of dust they
raised I rightly guessed that this was the vanguard of the charros who had left the city before