Diary of Alfred Burton Welch

Tuesday 11-29-98

Work in office in a.m. until 11 o’ clock. Then took boat with Adj. to town. Raining very hard but kept dry under ponchos. Landed at Customs House. Ser. Major & I went with mail to P.O. then to Alhambra where I wrote to Tops. A monkey came in thro’ a hole in the wall & stole a flute.

Bo’t papers published here. Uncle Sam– Freedom, American. Got mail which came on “Zealandia” 2 days after we left Frisco. Tried to get a half naked native to carry it on his yoke but he wanted 5¢ so we took a carriage behind a very small team driven by a native who squatted upon his heels and shouted to the team –which set of at a breakneck speed. We passed buffalo carts –run down men and scattered crowds right & left. Along streets 15 ft. wide, past acres of cathedrals, ruined by earthquake shocks, over canals choked with crafts and cocoanut rafts, past shady plazas, everywhere the trotting natives & Chinese stopped & got some bananas for dinner. Most delicious they are –not cultivated– but wild ones.

A person takes his life in his hand when he rides. Paid 20¢ Mex. dinero. Watched the endless procession of buffalo carts & laborers until 4 p.m. when the Captain of the Port told me our launch had broken down, and put his own at our disposal, so got out at 4.45 p.m. with mail for everyone but Welchen. To bed early. Tired. But too badly disappointed to sleep.