The volume here presented to the reader does not profess to be a history or description of Mexico as a whole, nor does it claim to be typical of all sections of the country. It deals simply with an out-of-the-way and little-known region, accompanied by a history of personal experiences, with comment upon conditions almost or quite unknown to the ordinary traveler. Many books upon Mexico have been written—a few by competent and others by incompetent hands—in which the writers sometimes charge each other with misstatements and inaccuracies, doubtless oftentimes with reason. However that may be, I have yet to discover among them a narrative, pure and simple, of travel, experiences and observations in the more obscure parts of that country, divested of long and tedious topographical descriptions. Narrations which might be of interest, once begun, are soon lost in discussion of religious, political, and economic problems, or in singing the praises of "the redoubtable Cortez," or the indefatigable somebody else who is remembered chiefly for the number of people he caused to be killed; or in describing the beauty of some great valley or hill which the reader perhaps never saw and never will see. I have always felt that a book should never be printed unless it is designed to serve some worthy purpose, and that as soon as the author has written enough to convey his message clearly he should stop. There are many books in which the essential points could be encompassed within half the number of pages allotted to their contents. A good twenty-minute sermon is better than a fairly good two-hour sermon; hence I believe in short sermons,—and short books.