|About the Book|
On the 5th of July, 184-, at about six in the evening, a party of well-mounted horsemen started at a gallop from Guadalajara, the capital of the state of Jalisco, and proceeded along the road that traverses the village of Zapopan, celebrated for itsMoreOn the 5th of July, 184-, at about six in the evening, a party of well-mounted horsemen started at a gallop from Guadalajara, the capital of the state of Jalisco, and proceeded along the road that traverses the village of Zapopan, celebrated for its miraculous virgin. After crossing the escarped summits of the Cordilleras, this road reaches the charming little town of Tepic, the usual refuge of those Europeans and rich Mexicans whom business carries to San Blas, but to whom the insalubrity of the air breathed in that port, the maritime arsenal of the Mexican union, would be mortal. We have said that six oclock was striking as the cavalcade passed the gateway. The officer of the watch, after bowing respectfully to the travellers, watched them for a long time, then re-entered the guardroom, shaking his head, and muttering to himself, - Heaven save me! What can Colonel Guerrero be thinking of, to set out on a Friday, and at such an hour as this? Does he fancy that the salteadores will allow him to pass? Hum! He will see what they are about at the barranca del mal paso (the gorge of the evil step). The travellers, however, probably unaffected by the superstitious fears that ruled the worthy officer, rapidly sped on the long poplar alley that extends from the town to Zapopan, caring neither for the advanced hour nor the ill-omened day of the week. They were six in number-Colonel Sebastian Guerrero, his daughter, and four peons, or Indian criados. The colonel was a tall man, with harsh, marked features, and a bronzed complexion. The few silvery threads mingled with his black hair showed that he had passed middle life, although his robust limbs, upright stature, and the brilliancy of his glance denoted that years had not yet gained the mastery over this vigorous organisation. He wore the uniform of a Mexican field officer with the ease and nonchalance peculiar to old soldiers- but, in addition to the sabre hanging by his side, his holsters held pistols- and a rifle laid across the saddle-bow proved that, in case of need, he would offer a vigorous resistance to any robbers who ventured to attack him.