smoked mixed with tobacco, having a similar effect to opium on a person, except that it is not
quite so strong a drug, but, on the other hand, more of an irritant.
ers, instead of speaking normally, whisper as if communicating some important secret. The
drug is a great favourite among soldiers, and, although the growing of the weed is strictly il-
legal, it can be obtained almost everywhere if one 'knows the ropes'. I understand that during
latter years, especially since the prohibition law has been in force in the U.S., large quantities
of marihuana have been smuggled across the border, and, of course, tequila and mescal fetch
good prices and have found ready acceptance among Americans, especially in the Southern
States. I had ample reason to believe that there must be truth in this rumour, for when I was
riding along the highways in the Southern States, I used to amuse myself counting the empty
flasks and bottles that had been thrown into the ditch by passing motorists, and the daily aver-
age I reached was astounding, although I was only able to count, more or less, on one side of
Riding over the high mesas I got lost several times, the old road being completely over-
grown with grass. Indians who live in low stone huts with straw roofs inhabit these parts, and
the many cross-trails that exist are apt to mislead even the most expert traveller who does not
know them well.
I had to sleep in strange places, and I was glad that nobody there knew who I was; it was a
pleasant change not to have to answer the same old questions everybody in towns put to me.
The people of San Juan del Rio were on the look-out for me, and when I was within a few
miles of the little town a crowd of charros came out to meet me. I had not bargained for more
receptions after Mexico City, but soon I found out that I had made a great mistake. When we
rode into the town people came rushing out of their houses and cheered, and I noticed that
cover the distance between Mexico City and New York in as short a time as the horses could
without suffering, and had it not been for all the receptions, I am convinced that my animals
would have given a good account of themselves and that it would have taken many attempts
to lower their record.
San Juan del Rio entertained me for three days; there were dances, luncheons, fiestas and
speeches, and when I heard that the next town was already preparing to welcome us, I gave
up the idea of making good time, and began to wonder if we would ever get out of Mexico
at all. I envied aviators, for after all, they can travel undisturbed and in relative comfort once
they are in the air, but I had to stop every time I was asked to do so, and there was no way of
in a hacienda outside the town where a merry crowd gathered. The most classical of all Mex-
ican dishes, a mole de guajolote (stewed and spiced turkey) was served, and plates were filled