persecution by the Church, but schools and hospitals were not necessary and hardly existed. I
had ample opportunity to hear people discuss the religious situation, and although many miss
their daily services, I have met none who wish the Church to exist again as it did in former
times, with its heavy taxation and other forms of exploiting the Mexican people and giving
education. I have no doubt that these evils were the foot of all the trouble in that country, and
should the pendulum during the sudden clean-out have swung somewhat the other way, this is
bound to adjust itself again, once the ousted party realises that a return to former conditions is
out of the question.
In the important town of San Luis Potosí we were given another rousing reception, enter-
tainments lasting for a whole week. The local charros gave a splendid exhibition of their skill
in the bullring, and one of them performed a trick that I had never before seen or heard of.
Riding his horse this charro chased a wild mare and, when he had the chance, he jumped on
to her back. When she had unsuccessfully tried every vicious trick in her repertoire to shake
him off, the charro spurred her into a gallop, and then called his tame and splendidly trained
gracefully back into the saddle. This trick is named Paso de la muerte (death pass), and is one
of the finest pieces of horsemanship I have ever seen performed, for not only does it require a
greatrider,butaperfect training ofthesaddle-horse, athingaboutwhichtheaverage cowboy,
charro , or gaucho horse-breaker knows very little. It is one thing to be a 'bronco-buster' and
another a horseman, and the mixture of the two is rare to find.
we passed an occasional Indian goat-herd sitting in the shade of the large cactus plants which
resemble huge pipe organs, whilst his animals fed on the shrubbery around him. Goats are the
times jumped up in front of us, frightened by the trampling of the horses' hoofs. This part of
Mexico very much resembles Santiago del Estero, in the Argentine, which is situated about
the same latitude south as this is north of the equator.
At long intervals we passed miserable stone huts with straw roofs where the goat-herds
live, and sometimes I called there to see if they could spare a little of the usually salty and
dirty water they stored in some hollow near the habitation. I considered myself lucky when
I could buy myself sufficient tortillas and frijoles to make me forget my raving appetite, and
more than once I had to go without even these. I had only one meal a day, besides a can of
coffee inthe morning, andthe poorhorsesdidnotfare much better,having toexist onanydry
finding them. Lack of nutritive fodder never seemed to weaken them, but when money could