The Living Age 1859

The spirit of Mexico abounds
amongst the boys. A distinct code of honour prevails
here. Treachery when discovered is rewarded.
Fire issuing from the windows and doors of one of the
small inns reveals the fact that the owner has been
weighed in the balances and found wanting. I was
told that the csikds drive away strange animals without
compunction, and at the first offensive word will kill
a man, if the fokos be in their hands. ” A fokos is an
instrument with the head of a tomahawk, and may be
used as a walking-stick: it is to the szegtny legtny
what the sword is to the soldier.” Another custom
is not without its interest . Supposing a csikds under
the influence of drink unconsciously betrays one of
his comrades, no sooner has the alcoholic spell spent
itself than he of his own accord goes to the court and
submits to the punishment. Again, there is the love-
duel. It sometimes happens that two men may fall
in love with the same girl. Report hath it then that
each go out into the terrible heat of the summer sun
to fight a death-fight. ” Each needs a sure eye
and a steady hand, for upon one throw of the lasso
life or death may depend.” The two best horses of
the herd are selected, and each man, ever watchful,
circles round and round awaiting his opportunity for
the final throw. To the mere watcher the apparent
unconcern of the combatants reveals much of character.
Men who act like this make great soldiers. The
hissing, the cruel hissing sound of the delivered lasso
is heard, and in a second it falls on the neck of its
victim, a cracking sound, a gurgle, then the brave
soul falls. He has loved and lost.

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