The city of Parras contains about fifteen thousand inhabitants and is delightfully situated on a plain at the foot of a high mountain. The climate is unsurpassed in the world; the air is so pure that flies and mosquitoes are unknown, and mountain peaks over one hundred miles off can be plainly seen with the eye. Pears, grapes, Pomgranats, olives and melons of all kinds grow in abundance and of the best quality. Wheat, corn, oats and Barley fields cover the plains while the wine and Brandy is famed all over Mexico...
The women of the place possess more than their share of beauty. Some have skins as fair as our own New England girls, with such enchanting glorious eyes! and black glossy hair! what little feet and hands and divinely graceful shapes! Often mothers at thirteen, grandmothers at thirty, they become fearful old hags at forty.
I became acquainted with a Velasco family which contained two sisters so very handsome as to be known as "El dos hermosas hermanas," both being so faultless lovely, that I could not make up my mind which to admire the most. If when looking into the love lit eyes of Nina I was ready to vow eternal allegiance to her, the next moment when listening to the sweet melody of Rosita's songs, I felt as if I was her slave forever, and ended in my swearing love to both.
I escorted the sisters to Fandangoes and the Theatre, made them presents, and I and the "mellizas" (twin sisters) were well known at all places of amusement in Parras.
One morning as I came through town from picket, I stopped at the "Casa" of Velasco to make an early morning call on the young laidies. I passed the "puerta" and fastening my horse in the "patio" or yard, I entered the house and the sleeping apartment of the doncellas, with the freedom of an old friend of the house. This was a great mistake of mine, I should have sent in my card! My two charmers were in bed, but not alone! The black shaggy head of a Mexican lay on the pillow between the raven tresses of Rosita and Nina!I recognized in the invader one Antonio, a renegade, and guide to our army. Overcome with my emotions, I was about to retire with becoming modesty when the voluptuous rascal sprang up and drawing a "macheta" from under his pillow, and wrapping his blanket around his left arm, he rushed on me like some wild beast, while the fastidious young ladies, instead of fainting or screaming sat up in bed and cried, "Bravo! Bravo! bueno Antonio! matar, matar el grande pendaho." (Bravo Bravo good Antonio, Kill! Kill the big fool) What charming creatures!
I drew my sabre and came to guard in an instant. He was as active as a cat, and I found I had all I could attend to in keeping his ugly knife from getting between my ribs. All my cuts and points were received on his confounded blanket, and more than once his knife glided over my guard cutting my jacket. I began to regret that I had not sent in my card!
"El dos hermosas mellizas"
I could hear the gentle Nina say "unda! unda! mia dulce, mia alma (quick! quick! my sweet, my soul), while Rosita, in her most dulcet tones murmered "Antonio, mia amor, pungar el gringo, y que la cama." (Antonio, my love, stick the foreigner and come to bed!)
How cheering to myself were the words of the darlings, but I did not lose heart, and finally succeeded in giving my antagonist an ugly slash across one of his bare legs, causing him to drop his knife, when I gave him a point in a part, that made him howl with agony, and would cause him to lose the regards of the "dos margaritas".
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