Travel Reference
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man would be killed any moment. Finally, his hand became freed and he fell to the ground.
The bull turned to charge, but, drunk as the man was, he jumped to his feet and began to run
towards the inner barrier of the ring. The bull's horns almost touched him during this race for
life,whilstthecrowd,morepleasedthanever,stoodonitsfeetandcheered.Thepoormanwas
far too busy to listen, and when I thought the beast must inevitably get him, he threw himself
overthebarrier,landinglikeasand-bagontheotherside.Thebullcrashedintothebarrierand
the man, who was not even hurt, got up and ran even farther away, to a place of entire safety.
Even if this fellow had not proved to be a champion rider, he has probably made a world's
record for quick sobering-up, and never have I seen or heard of more appreciative spectators
than those in that bullring.
Only very few charros are professionals, most of them being modest ranchers, excepting
those in the capital, who belong to the alta sociedad .
Whilst in Queretaro I visited the spot where Emperor Maximilian of Austria was executed
by a firing squad. A small chapel has been built there, and the rough pine coffin in which he
was carried back to the town is in a small museum in the municipal hall.
A few days before I visited the place a shooting affray had taken place there, and the walls
and windows were riddled with bullet-holes. One projectile had smashed the glass case and
ripped open the sides of the coffin in which the stains of the emperor's blood can still be seen,
the most remarkable being where his blood-covered hand had rested. During the recent shoot-
ing a man had been killed just alongside the coffin, and a bullet which had glanced off the top
of his head had lifted off tufts of his hair which remained stuck to the wall and ceiling in a
most singular manner. A pool of dried blood showed the place where the man had fallen, and
when one of our party looked around he found the revolver of the victim under some wooden
steps, where it must have been flung as the man was falling.
Had I been a souvenir hunter, I could have taken away some of these gruesome and histor-
ical relics, for I was even offered a splint of the emperor's coffin, but somehow such things
only appeal to me in museums - after all, their proper place.
A large party of us motored out to a famous hacienda that had originally been a nunnery.
Themainbuilding,withitssolidstonearchesandspaciouscourtyardwasimposing,butwhen
wild horses were brought into the corral outside, none of us had time for admiring the old
building; what we then wanted was action and fun, and plenty of it we had before long!
This hacienda made pulque on a large scale, so after we had finished our rough play in
the corral, we proceeded to the pulqueria (pulque factory), where I was made to sample every
variety. Indians were doing the work in the place, and shortly after sunset I saw them going
through a strange ceremony.
All lined up in two rows inside the pulqueria near the door, and then the foreman stepped
between them and started to yell out a long-drawn Ave Maria in a high-pitched voice, the two
words being answered by the others in a similar fashion and in one long breath. When their
lungs were empty, they made a quick turn towards the door, and stepping out like soldiers,
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