For Uruapan is especially a beauty spot along the little Cupatitzio, where water clearer than that of Lake Geneva foams down through the dense vegetation and under little bridges quaint and graceful as those of Japan. The sanitary arrangements, of course, are Mexican.

For a long distance we mounted through a district of sugar-canes; then passed a little settlement of rude huts spread out over a reddish space; then, by a gentle but circuitous ascent, to a rugged trail which brought us to the summit and the edge of the great slope to Uruapan. At the further side of the valley and to our left, in a mass of green, we saw smoke rising from the factories of Uruapan.

The scene was wholly different from that about Uruapan, 1700 feet lower. There was very little green, and nothing at all of jungle; only a sun-faded brown tapestry backed by a jumble of low mountains covered with short bristling pines. Here and there a timid, thin-blue peak peered over a depression in the chain.

On every side the town dies away into domesticated jungle beyond which lie such pine forests, vast corn fields, and washed-out trails as on the way thither from Zamora. There is not a "sight" of the slightest importance in Uruapan.

That official expressed delight in doing our bidding, and we saw the messenger summoned and the order placed in his hands, with full direction as to its delivery. Meantime, there were objects of interest for us in Uruapan itself. The town is famous for its lacquer work, made with aje, like that of Chiapa.

Over all the scene was a light-blue, transparent sky, flecked only with a few snow-white whisps of clouds, like bits of the ostrich plume that hung over Uruapan in the far west, and from which a soft wind tore off now and then tiny pieces that floated slowly eastward.

But it was only half-tropical, and further down the way was lined with huge trees resembling the elm. Uruapan was just high enough above the real tropics to be delightful. The attitude of its people, too, was pleasing. If not exactly friendly, they lacked that sour incommunicativeness of the higher plateau.

Passing through Ajuno, which lies upon a steep slope, we overtook a party of police, mounted on horses, taking a group of prisoners to Uruapan. At Escondidas, itself a miserable village, we were impressed by the mercantile spirit of these indians.

The only train out of Uruapan leaves at an unearthly hour. The sun was just peering over the horizon, as if reconnoitering for a safe entrance, when I fought my way into a chiefly peon crowd packed like a log-jam around a tiny window barely waist high, behind which some unseen but plainly Mexican being sold tickets more slowly than American justice in pursuit of the wealthy.

The town is electric-lighted and several hotels had been lately put in readiness to receive the crowd of visitors expected with the completion of the railroad, a matter of a few months later. The prefecto of Uruapan and jefe politico of the district is the son-in-law of Governor Mercado, and to him we bore a special letter from his father-in-law.