had probably not been opened for years, it began to creak and crack and suddenly fell down
with a loud crash, but luckily both of us were able to jump out of harm's way in time.
As the roofs of these churches have long ago fallen in, their interiors are overgrown with
grass and even shrubbery. Statues of saints were lying about, and it was obvious that some of
the old graves had been disturbed by treasure-seekers. A few old paintings remained hanging
high up on walls where they happened to be sheltered from the weather, but the majority have
goes in this matter, some of them may be of artistic value.
My pleasant and interesting day was spoilt in the evening by an occurrence which I was
powerless to prevent: it would have been as much as my life was worth to interfere. I saw one
of the autoridades outrage an Indian girl of some twelve years, which he did by imprisoning
her father and mother, and when the girl came to bring her parents some food he forced her to
follow him into one of the rooms which surrounded the yard where I kept my horses. When
he returned with the sobbing creature, he released her parents and chased the three away as if
they were dogs. I could quote several similar and even worse examples ofhow the Indians are
sometimes treated; as I accidentally happened to witness the whole of this vile deed whilst I
was with the horses in the dark courtyard I will not dwell further on so distasteful and revolt-
ing a subject, but I might add that when I later told the man concerned that I had caught him
in the act, he thought it was an excellent joke and bragged about his cunning idea of arresting
the parents, and when I protested as far as circumstances and wisdom permitted, he told me I
was ridiculously sentimental and childish, for who cared a damn about an Indian wench?
a wedding was being celebrated, and so things were lively. In the centre of the plaza Indi-
ans were squatting on the ground, spinning thread and chewing coca leaves whilst they were
watching the wedding-party dance to the music of flutes and drums. The musicians started at
pirouetted and charged about in all directions near them, all the time waving handkerchiefs in
the air. After the dancing had continued for a while in one corner the musicians moved to an-
around like puppies with wasps on their tails. After having gone round the plaza several times
they danced their way to the best man's house, where alcohol and food were served, but soon
they were back on the plaza again, where they once more started from corner to corner.
The bride was dressed in white woman's clothes, and to imitate further her fair-skinned
cousins, and to add to her charms, her face was thickly powdered. She wore a pair of white
football boots that were several sizes too large for her - in fact, her tout ensemble might have
had also made efforts to look ' IT ', and stiffly hopped about in what had once been a business
suit that was much too tight for him, and every time he bent slightly I fairly held my breath,