Books > Old Books > The Plumed Serpent (1926)


Page 319

CHAPTER XIX - The Attack on Jamiltepec

baking tortillas on the flat earthenware plates, upon the small wood fires. A woman was going to her hut with a blazing brand, like a torch, to kindle her fire. A few peons in dirtywhite clothes squatted silent against the walls of their houses, utterly silent. As the motor-car turned its great glaring headlights upon the highroad, little sandy pigs with short, curly hair started up squealing, and faces and figures stood out blindly, as in a searchlight.
There was a hut with a wide opening in the black wall, and a grey old man was standing inside. The car stopped for the lieutenant to call to the peons under the wall. They came to the car with their black eyes glaring and glittering apprehensively. They seemed very much abashed, and humble, answering the lieutenant.
Meanwhile Kate watched a boy buy a drink for one centavo and a piece of rope for three centavos, from the grey old man at the dark hole, which was a shop.
The car went on, the great lights glaring unnaturally upon the hedges of cactus and mesquite and palo blanco trees, and upon the great pools of water in the road. It was a slow progress.

CHAPTER XX - Marriage by Quetzalcoatl

KATE hid in her own house, numbed. She could not bear to talk to people. She could not bear even Juana's bubbling discourse. The common threads that bound her to humanity seemed to have snapped. The little human things didn't interest her any more. Her eyes seemed to have gone dark, and blind to individuals. They were all just individuals, like leaves in the dark, making a noise. And she was alone under the trees.
The egg-woman wanted six centavos for an egg.
`And I said to her - I said to her - we buy them at five centavos!' Juana went on.
`Yes!' said Kate. She didn't care whether they were bought at five or fifty, or not bought at all.

travel books:
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