. NORTON OF MEXICO By ARTHUR DAFISON FICKE Decorations by jladys
Brown Reynal Hitchcock York Third Printing, February, 1940
COPYRIGHT, 1939, BY ARTHUR 0AVISON FICKE All rights reserved
including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof m
any form PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BY THE CORNWALL
PRESS, CORNWALL, N. Y. The persons and the events herein de picted
are Imaginary and no real name that is known to the author has been
wed. CONTENTS I. THE DISCOVERY OF CHAPALA I II. ROMANTIC LADY OF
EIGHTY 17 HI, THE BURRO OF CHAPALA 83 IV. THE TWENTY-FIRST LION 10
V. THE MIGHTY WHIRLWIND 122 VI MRS, MORTON BUYS A FISH 145 VII. THE
PORTRAIT OF MRS. MORTON 165 VIII. THE HOLY PAINTING OF JOCOTEPEC
2OI ix MRS. MORTONS ENEMY 246 X A CANDLE FOR ST-CHRISTOPHER 265 XI.
ALL ROADS TO GRAVES ARE DUSTY 277 XII. CHAPALA TWILIGHT 296 ... ON
A promontory beside Lake Chapala there now stands a stele of
granite on which are engraved the lines PRAYER AT CHAPALA Lords of
this lake Lords brooding over this lake Most visibly in the evening
Give us our daily bread Give us the power to take our brothers hand
in kindness Grant us the strength to - forgive ourselves our sins
Fortify our courage that we may love life And fear not pain and
old-age and death, And that we may walk quietly in our own paths
without evil Amen, It is known to everyone that the stone was
erected by Senor Enrique Devargas Castellano and it is presumed
that the lines are of his composition. . ., THE DISCOVERY OF CHAP
ALA WHEN MR. AND MRS. HENRY CLAY MORTON and their schoolboy son
Albert arrived at Lake Chapala, they were surprised at the
enthusiasm with which they were received by the Widow Sanchez,
proprietress of the smallHotel Universal. Their first appearance at
the door, dusty and jolted after their wearisome drive from
Guadalajara, evoked no special demonstration It was only after they
had registered and after the buxom Widow Sanchez had scru tinized
the name Morton that the exuberant royal welcome began. She beamed
upon them she kissed young Albert, much to his disgust, and put a
flower into Mr. Mortons buttonhole, and poured forth a flood of
eloquent Spanish. Whats all this fuss about Mr. Morton said suspi
ciously to Plutarco Juarez, the rat-faced interpreter he had
brought with him from Mexico City. She say she very welcome you to
Chapala that all everybody be very happy you come at last. That why
you not write her you coming That why you not never come all long
time before That maybe you want to make big surprise. Hum I guess
that means she doesnt get many people from the States and she
intends to charge us sucker prices for our rooms. Ask her what kind
of rooms she can give us, and how much she wants for them. Mr.
Morton was not enjoying his six-weeks tour of Mexico. He had come
only because his wife insisted. You need a rest, dear, after the
strain of working so hard on that billboard campaign. He was an
advertising executive of sorts. And it has been a nervous year for
you, worrying over your income tax, and having those nasty Internal
Revenue men beat you in the courts and make you pay that hideous
sum of money. You must go away. And Albert is working too hard in
school. I know he is, he looks so pale. And I need a change and a
rest myself. Why not take six weeks off, and visit our nearest and
charming Latin neighbors But Mr. Morton had not found his nearest
Latin neigh bors charming. Thehigh plateau of the Mexican capital
made him short of breath and nervous and the happy-go lucky Mexican
way of doing things was profoundly irritat
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