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The Republic
February 12, 1919


Few countries are richer in strange beliefs than Mexico, writes Charlie Bernard Nordhoff in the Atlantic Monthly. There the witches assume the eyes of cats and flit through the night on vampire wings. A brisk business is done in love potions and candle figures still point the way to buried treasure. The Mexican inherits his cruelty to domestic beasts from both the Spaniard and the Indian, and his superstitions may be traced to the same double source.

Eccentricity is not understood in Mexico. The native is a lover of formality, and one is judged largely by external things. Each man dresses according to his station, and it is unthinkable that a well-to-do man should wear a straw sombrero or carry a serape; the peons would be the first to jeer at him.