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MODE OF LIFE AT PALEXQOE. 309
in three bows about two feet high over the frame of the beds. Over these the sheets were stretched, and, sewed down all around, with a small space open at the head, had much the appearance of biers. At night, after a hard day's work, we crawled in. Hosts were waiting for us inside. We secured the open places, when each, with the stump of a lighted candle, hunted and slew, and with a lordly feeling of defiance we lay down to sleep. We had but one pair of sheets apiece, and this was a new way of sleeping under them; but, besides the victory it afforded us over the moschetoes, it had another advantage; the heat was so great that we could not sleep with our clothes on; it was impossible to place the beds entirely out of the reach of the spray, and the covering, held up a foot or two above us and kept damp, cooled the heated atmosphere within.
In this way we lived: the Indians came out in the morning with provisions, and as the tortillas were made in the alcalde's own kitchen, not to disturb his household arrangements, they seldom arrived till after breakfast.
In the mean time work went on. As at Copan, it was my business to prepare the different objects for Mr. Catherwood to draw. Many of the stones had to be scrubbed and cleaned; and as it was our object to have the utmost possible accuracy in the drawings, in many places scaffolds were to be erected on which to set up the camera lucida. Pawling relieved me from a great part of this labour. That the reader may know the character of the objects we had to interest us, I proceed to give a description of the building in which we lived, called the palace.
A front view of this building is given in the engraving. It does not, however, purport to be given with
the same accuracy as the other drawings, the front being in a more ruined condition. It stands on an artificial elevation of an oblong form, forty feet high, three hundred and ten feet in front and rear, and two hundred and sixty feet on each side. This elevation was formerly faced with stone, which has been thrown down by the growth of trees, and its form is hardly distinguishable.
The building stands with its face to the east, and measures two hundred and twenty-eight feet front by one hundred and eighty feet deep. Its height is not more than twenty-five feet, and all around it had a broad projecting cornice of stone. The front contained fourteen doorways, about nine feet wide each, and the intervening piers are between six and seven feet wide. On the left (in approaching the palace) eight of the piers have fallen down, as has also the corner on the right, and the terrace underneath is cumbered with the ruins. But six piers remain entire, and the rest of the front is open.
The engraving opposite represents the ground-plan of the whole. The black lines represent walls still standing; the faint lines indicate remains only, but, in general, so clearly marked that there was no difficulty in connecting them together.
The building was constructed of stone, with a mortar of lime and sand, and the whole front was covered with stucco and painted. The piers were ornamented with spirited figures in bas-relief, one of which is represented