Puslapio vaizdai

the door, and never moved them until he was lant grin upon Potts, at whom Cleary also safely in the witness-chair. Other witnesses tes- ducked his head and smiled. At the door Ristified to the similarity between the words on the ley brushed by, and Potts clenched his hands proof and Captain Risley's handwriting. Ris- and looked him squarely in the face. The bankley was recalled, and simply and stolidly denied er's malevolent glance fell, and he walked on the writing.

with long, heavy steps. For half an hour Cleary shrilled against bank- At six o'clock, as the mules trotted by the ers, usury, fraud, and oppression; and for a full “shack,” Huntley's face still wore that enorhour Haggis bellowed anathemas at trickery, mous grin. There was flour in the wagon, and shistlessness, and printers. In that community, in his pocket, besides red stick candy and plug dependent for its material and political support tobacco, there was actually a roll of bills : for upon the bucolic population, a lawyer would Mr. Huntley had mortgaged the mules, paid as soon have inveighed against the Constitu- Cleary, and had money enough left “to run tion and the Ten Commandments as to have him through.” whispered a suspicion that farmers were not Potts went down to his printing-office, where the deserving and oppressed of earth. It took he locked himself in for half an hour. When the six farmers and laborers who composed he came out there was dust on the knees of his the jury not six minutes to return a verdict trousers; but his freckled, red-whiskered little for the plaintiff.

face was serene, and he walked home with a As the crowd was leaving the room, Hunt- step in which there was no hesitation. ley, for a moment, turned his huge and jubi

Will Payne.


NE of the most interesting and confess that the great profusion of them sur

least known portions of the prised me. In one day I made a wide circuit North American continent is back into the mountains, returning by another that lying along the boundary trail to my camp on the Piedras Verdes River, line between the Mexican States and in that thirty miles of almost continuous

of Chihuahua and Sonora, in the riding I believe I saw from 100 to 150 separate northern part of that republic. Early in March, and distinct ruins. 1889, a small party under my charge crossed Far back in the Sierra Madre range there the boundary between the two republics just are one or two curiously combined cave- and south of Deming, New Mexico. On crossing cliff-dwellings, long since abandoned, that are the boundary we came to a rich and fertile ingeniously supplied with water. At one place country that contrasted strikingly with the a deep cave has been divided into


small well-known arid region of the southwestern rooms, one of them containing a huge jar that part of our own Territory. Beautiful mountain takes up the whole interior of the compartment, streams spring from the flanks of the Sierra and which, unless the cave was densely popuMadre range, and water profusely the foot-hills lated, must have furnished a water-supply for of the Cordilleras in a country which, judging a week at least; and sieges by predatory tribes from our own near by, we expected to find al- probably could not have been maintained longer most barren of water. Here the wild Apaches than that. In the other cave the plan was more loved to graze their ponies on the sweet grasses ingenious, and a greater supply was secured. of the rolling hills, and in view of its fertility Instead of one reservoir, there was a series of the obstinacy with which for many years they them, each just below its fellow, so as to receive closed this country to civilization can be easily its overflow, the top one fed by a sweet-water understood.

spring and the last emptying over the cliff into In this portion of Chihuahua we found ruins the stream below. The proximity of water couof houses, villages, and towns along the valleys, pled with the reservoirs clearly indicated defense most numerous where the soil was richest, while in both cases, giving force to the conjecture that there were terraces and irrigating-ditches along the stone piles and ridges seen elsewhere on the hillsides, which plainly spoke of a peace the hilltops overlooking other ruins were for a ful mode of life; yet on the hilltops and crests similar purpose. Stone axes and hatchets were of cliffs were undoubted signs of old fortifica- found in comparative profusion around these tions, which showed the warrior element among numerous ruins. The deserted dwellings sugthem. I had expected to find many ruins in my gested to my mind that there was probably some travels through this part of the country, but I connection between the ancient cliff-dwellers of


Arizona and New Mexico and the living cave. The savage race live mostly on the cliffs or in and cliff-dwellers of southwestern Chihuahua, caves, are worshipers of the sun, and, while they toward whom we were traveling.

plant a little corn without cultivation on the The country of the Sierra Madre in the land steep hillsides, they are not otherwise tillers of of the living cliff-dwellers is most thoroughly the soil, but sustain themselves by the chase. alpine in character. We approached the crags The civilized Tarahumaris of the Papigochoo and cliffs of that region from the east by an were plowing with rude wooden plows with elevated plateau as high as the crests of the hard-wood points. That night we camped on mountain-chains in the country, so that we the Guajochic, a much prettier stream than its looked down into this alpine section rather Tarahumari name would indicate. I was told than up to it, as would have been the case had that the last syllable "chic,” meant“the place we approached from the Pacific side. of,” the remainder of the word filling out the

The native people found by us may be said phrase, and that it was applied to all geoto be of two kinds, the so-called civilized and the graphical names; another person said that a savage, but so gradually passing from one into friend who spoke the language called it “ the other that the distinction cannot be clearly ter.” I could not get definite information as to made, though in the extreme of each this dif- its signification. The most appalling part of ference is so wide as to impress the beholder this language, to a stranger, is the inordinate with the thought that there is no connecting- length of a great many of the words-Cusilink. Our first encounter with the semi-civilized huiriachic, a Mexican town of from 6000 to was on the Papigochoo River, in the heart of 7000 souls, being a fair example, but far from the Sierra Madre. They were working in a the longest. little field where the windings of the mountain It was early in May, about noon, when my river had left a level space. They were Tara- party crossed the beautiful Bacochic. We were humaris, a tribe of great extent in this part of all mounted on mules, while pack-mules carMexico, and one to which I believe the cave- ried our effects. The sides of the mountains and cliff-dwellers belong, although this subdi- inclosing the stream at this point were precipivision of the family has drifted so far away tous, while a lot of broken shale on the narrow from the parent stock that at first glance one trail made it somewhat hazardous, and even would not recognize them as relatives. Both the dangerous, when near the steep cliffs. A deep semi-civilized and the savage branches are sin- ravine cutting in at right angles to the Bacogularly alike in their timidity, even the civilized chic closed our way to the north as we ascended ones usually trying to avoid strangers if possible, the winding trail, and when we had worked our though never fleeing from them like so many way up the steep bank some 200 or 300 feet, a wild beasts, as the uncivilized ones always do. favorable exit from the low, scrubby pines gave The Mexican packers of mule-trains in the me an opportunity to look straight across this Sierra Madre range are very noisy in urging for- picturesque ravine, and I was surprised to see, ward their plodding animals. They claim that on the other bank, which seemed ever this does some good in the way of notifying an precipitous than the one on which I stood, a approaching train of their presence, so that the deep cave walled up in front nearly to the top, two will not meet and attempt to pass on those and evidently indicating cave- or cliff-dwellers. dizzy cliffs and dangerously small trails on the My first thought was that the curious habitasteep mountain-sides so very common on the tion in front of me belonged to the era of backbone ridge of the sierras. Certainly it tells similar buildings in Arizona and New Mexico, the timid Tarahumari of their coming, and if which the best authority consigns to a very not engaged in too important work on his little old period. With me, however, was a Mexican farm he will not be seen when the travelers pass gentleman who said that the cave was inhabby. Mr. Becerra told me that he had traveled ited, but as the occupants were extremely timid, the whole distance across the Sierra Madre probably we would not be able to see them through the Tarahumari country without see- without forcing an entrance into their strange ing one of the natives when he was accompa- home. He believed that most of them were nied by a pack-train, and, again, had gone over inside peeping at us over the rude walls and the same route and had good views of them by around the very dilapidated animal's hide that the score when making his own way over the served to close the door. The cave was not trail or with only a companion or two. over two hundred yards away, and, with the

Some two or three hundred years ago the aid of our field-glasses, we could plainly make Spanish Jesuits came among these people and out its details. converted numbers of them to their faith; the My impressions led me to the theory that descendants of those converts, I assume, are now these were vagabond individuals of the local the so-called civilized Tarahumaris, who live in Indian tribes who were occupying this old rude houses and roughly cultivate the fields. cave-dwelling in the cliffs, much as we see the


[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

corresponding class with us occasionally occu- skulked behind a big boulder at the base of pying dugouts, shanties built into the side- the cliff, and we saw him no more. hills, and even caves around the suburbs of Everywhere in the mountains the semi-civtowns. But one of the Mexicans, who argued ilized Tarahumaris are used as couriers and against forcible intrusion into the homes of mail-carriers, none of the domesticated animals these people, said that we would find a great being able to keep pace with them for long or number of them further on in the deep recesses for short distances. Halting to camp about of the Sierra Madre range, and that among three o'clock one afternoon, a Tarahumari mailso many we would have good opportunities of carrier passed my party, bound in the same diseeing them to better advantage than we pos- rection that we were traveling and toward a sibly could here. My Mexican friend was born point we expected to make in some two days' and reared in this part of Chihuahua; his good marching. Replying to a question, he said father and uncle owned one of the largest that he would reach this point early that night, and richest mining-districts in that portion of a feat which we afterward ascertained he had the Sierra Madre toward which our course accomplished. Not very long ago, before the was directed, and to reach which he attached diligence, or Mexican stage line, was put on himself to our party for a couple of days, when from the city of Chihuahua to the foot-hills of our paths separated. His business called for the Sierra Madre, the mail was carried from almost constant traveling in these parts. He that city to the mining-camps on the western placed the number of living cliff- and cave- mountain-slopes by a Tarahumari, who made dwellers in this part of Mexico at from gooo to the round trip with his thirty or forty pounds of 12,000 persons. We afterward saw from 300 mail and provisions in just six days, resting to 500 of them, which, considering their great Sundays in Chihuahua to see the bull-fight. timidity and the small part of their land trav- This distance is over 500 miles, half of it being ersed by us, would give an air of reasonable- on as rough and hazardous a mountain-trail as ness to the estimate of Don Augustin Becerra, any in the known world. for such was my friend's name.

In the Barranca del Cobre a trail leads 5000 Even as we stood on the edge of the cliff feet or more up the steep mountain-side to opposite this singular home, we saw an Indian the crest of the range. It takes five or six hours in the cañon far below. He appeared to be to ascend iton muleback along the twisting trail. wearing only a breech-clout of animal skins; It takes four or five hours to descend. A Tarahe carried a long bow and arrows. He looked humari courier carried a message from a peralmost as dark as a Guinea negro as he skirted son at the crest to another in the bottom of the the shadows of the cañon, and his hair was cañon,and returned, in an hour and twenty minlong. A rattling of the falling chips of shale utes. In fact the word “Tarahumari” means drew his attention to us, when he at once “foot-runner.”

VOL. XLIV.–37.

The semi-civilized Indians are very fond of river directly underneath. Some years ago a a sort of foot-ball game in which speed counts fine Mexican rider attempted this place on a for more than the qualities we usually associate dark night, and his mangled body and that of with this contest. A favorite trick is to catch his mule, which were found next morning on the the ball on the toes and run with it to the goal. boulders in the shallow river beneath, showed

The mountain-trails are one of the most cu- too plainly how he had met his death. I weighed rious and interesting features of the central 267 pounds, and my mule was a correspondsierras. They go up grades that would be dan- ingly large animal, so I had a delightfully cool gerous to ascend on foot if made directly up sensation as the great “pinto" beast took up the face of the mountain, but by winding back- a lumbering trot when he came to this part of ward and forward on “switch-backs” of from the trail ; for it should be borne in mind that 25 to 50 yards in length, increasing the distance the best riders give their animals wholly their tenfold, they make a trail that the ibex-like own way in crossing dangerous or even debatMexican mule can travel. The loss of foot- able places. The depth and height these trails hold is now and then about equivalent to attain in the great barrancas and cañons of loss of life; for the trails on these steep slopes the mountainous sierras are wonderful, and furseldom average over four or five inches in nish some of the most picturesque scenery in width, and are sometimes cut out of the solid the world. At nine o'clock one forenoon we rock. They often wind round dizzy spurs, cliffs, were on La Cumbra (The Crest) of the moun

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

and precipitous bluffs. Near Batopilas the max- tains overlooking the Grand Barranca of the imum is reached in La Infinidad (The Infin- Urique, and where we could get a drink of iceity of the Mexicans), where from a trail cut in water from the rills, breathe cold air, and listen rock the rider looks over the side of his mule a to the wind in the pines around us. In three vertical 2600 feet to the cañon-bottom below. hours we were among orange- and lemonAt another point on the Urique trail we had a groves, eating their ripe fruit, or bathing in short stretch of a few yards where the trail was water of tepid temperature, and breathing air “stuck on ” to the side of the hill like the top that was almost stilling. We had fallen a verof a row of swallows' nests, and from which one tical mile in that time, but had twisted and

ed vertically for about 500 feet into the wound round ten times as far to make it.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The scenery of the Chihuahuan Sierra Madre them bearing aloft the most grotesque designs is magnificent beyond conception. The Grand in hard rock that has defied the sculpturing of Barranca of the Urique surpasses the Grand the elements, while their pedestals have been Cañon of the Colorado in points of vastness carved to a singularly slender and fragile apand magnificence. It is not so continuously pearance. On one column was the form of an a cañon, with monotonous walls of perpendic- eagle with outspread wings, which might have ular rock for miles and miles, as the latter, but been taken for this emblematic bird in reality here and there breaks into openings of many but for its enormous dimensions. miles in width, which furnish the most stupen- In many of these caves and caverns and curidous alpine scenery that the eye ever rested on. ously carved cliffs live the wild Tarahumaris. Great, frowning buttresses of rock a mile in Some of their houses are simply the rudest height soften backward into slopes of almost of caves partly walled up in front; others are pastoral beauty, while, between, the curious partitioned off into rooms; and a few, like the cliff- and cave-dweller makes his home, forming one shown above, have well-built bake-ovens in all a wonderland unsurpassed in the world's with rude shelves for holding primitive cookingmany marvels. The Arroyo de las Iglesias utensils. In a few large-size caves, high up in (the Valley of Churches) should be called the the cliffs, were little stone houses of three sides, Valley of Church Spires and Cathedrals. For very similar to some deserted cliff-dwellings a number of miles the bewildered traveler wan- I have seen in the south west of our counders through a fairy-land of sculptured rock and try. The most curious houses were those on water-carved walls that keep him comparing the steep cliffs where no caves existed. Probathem here and there with birds and beasts, with bly a stratum of soft rock some six or eight feet busts and statues, with faces and figures, and thick had been washed out by the waters until with a thousand fanciful designs. Here are a deep furrow had been made, and in this the caves and caverns on a level where the ancient living cliff-dweller constructed his home of and present waters could carve the soft rock to three sides, the diminutive windows, when seen the best advantage, while above come fluted from the cañon-bottom far below, looking like columns, domes, minarets, flying-buttresses, and port-holes in a block-house. These small

winall the shapes and moldings that art or archi-dows were also found in the detached houses tecture ever conceived. Surmounting all are in the other caves, but, where the front of the spires and even spears in slenderness, some of cave was walled in, light was generally secured

« AnkstesnisTęsti »