Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
to know what the joke was about. They confessed that they had taken me for some defeated
revolutionary leader escaping towards the U.S. border, and when I heard this I joined the
where a dusky policeman in a ragged uniform hung around me for quite a while, looking at
me from every angle. After some time he slouched away, only to return with my friend the
comisario (sheriff), who immediately roared with laughter when he saw me. He then told the
vigilante to show me the 'thing', a remark that made me wonder what was coming. The poor
man with a blush, if such a thing was possible under his dark, greasy skin, slowly took a prin-
ted picture out of one of his torn pockets and handed it to me. It was the photograph of a
Swedish bank cashier who had disappeared together with a considerable sum of money, and,
accordingtothetextbelowthepictureofthatgentleman, itwassuspected thathehadescaped
either to Central or South America, where the bank had distributed these photographs, hoping
somebody would identify the man. The reward offered was enough to make a rich man out of
only resemblance I could see between myself and the man on that photograph was the colour
of the skin, but probably white men were all alike to this poor vigilante , much the same as
negroes are to me.
A cold trip, over high hills at first, and then along a steady down grade brought us to
Saltillo, an important town which stands below in a hollow or pan. Here the famous sarapes
are made, coloured cloaks without which no charro 's or china poblana 's equipment is com-
From this town I headed the horses towards Monterrey, covering the distance in two days.
A fair road exists, but in several places it was difficult to distinguish the right one from others
that went in different directions among the mountains one has to cross to reach the plain in
which Monterrey stands.
For a long distance the pass in the mountains leads through a narrow and deep gulley,
broken, producing some strange effects. Two peculiarly shaped peaks are especially worthy
of note, 'El Agujero' (The Needle Eye), so called because near the pointed peak a circular
hole goes clear through, showing the sky on the other side. The other is named 'La Silla' (The
Saddle), having the appearance of a Mexican saddle with the pommel in front.
When we reached the outskirts of Monterrey I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw
neat bungalows with pretty lawns in front of them. For the moment I had forgotten that we
were nearing the U.S. border and that these practical houses were due to American influen-
ce, which can already be felt there. This town is utterly different from any other I had seen in
Mexico, for even from far away I was astonished to see more factory chimneys than church
towers. It is the most industrial town in the republic, the outstanding factory being the big
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