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dred head, which had been kept up two days without food, were let loose into a field two or three miles in circumference. Eight men were mounted, with iron spurs an inch long on their naked heels, and each with a lazo in hand, which consisted of an entire cow's hide cut into a single cord about twenty yards long; one end was fastened to the horse's tail, which was first wrapped in leaves to prevent its being lacerated, and the rest was wound into a coil, and held by the rider in his right hand, resting on the pommel of the saddle. The cattle had all dispersed; we placed ourselves on an elevation commanding a partial view of the field, and the riders scattered in search of them. In a little while thirty or forty rushed past, followed by the riders at full speed, and very soon were out of sight. We must either lose the sport or follow; and in one of the doublings, taking particularly good care to avoid the throng of furious cattle and headlong riders, I drew up to the side of two men who were chasing a single ox, and followed over hill, through bush, brush, and underwood; one rider threw his lazo beautifully over the horns of the ox, and then turned his horse, while the ox bounded to the length of the lazo, and, without shaking horse or rider, pitched headlong to the ground. At this moment a herd swept by, with the whole company in full pursuit. A large yellow ox separated from the rest, and all followed him. For a mile he kept ahead, doubled, and dodged, but the horsemen crowded him down toward the lake; and, after an ineffectual attempt to bolt, he rushed into the water. Two horsemen followed and drove him out, and gave him a start, but in a few moments the lazo whizzed over his head, and, while horse and rider stood like marble, the ox again came with a plunge to the ground. The riders scattered, and one horse and rider rolled over in such a way that I thought every bone in his body was broken; but the sport was so exciting that I, who at the beginning was particularly careful to keep out of harm's way, felt very much disposed to have my own horse's tail tied up and take a lazo in my hand. The effect of the sport was heightened by the beauty of the scene, with the great volcanoes of Agua and Fuego towering above us, and toward evening throwing a deep shade over the plain. It was nearly dark when we returned to the house. With that refinement of politeness, which I believe is exclusively Spanish, the gentlemen escorted us some distance on our road. At dark we reached Guatimala, and, to our great satisfaction, learned at the gate that the soldiers were confined to the barracks.

The news of my arrest and imprisonment, with great exaggeration of circumstance, had reached Guatimala before me, and I was advised that the state government intended making me a communication on the subject. I waited several days, and, not receiving any, made a formal complaint, setting forth the facts, and concluding that I did not attempt to suggest what ought to be done, but felt satisfied that the government would do what was consistent with its own honour and the rights of a friendly nation. In a few days I received an answer from the secretary of state, conveying the regrets of the president for the occurrence, and stating that, before receiving my note, the government had taken the measures which it deemed proper in the premises. As this was very indefinite, and as I bore considerable anger against the parties, and, moreover, as I heard out of doors something about these " measures," and considered it necessary, for the protection of Americans who were or might be in that country,

DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENCE. 209

not to suffer an outrage that had become notorious to be treated lightly, I addressed a farther note to the secretary, asking specifically whether the officer and alcalde referred to had been punished, and if so, in what way. To this I received for answer that, in the circumstances in which the country was placed by means of an extraordinary popular revolution, and the distrust prevailing in the frontier villages, the local authorities were more suspicious than usual in the matter of passports, and that the outrage, " el atropellamento," which I had suffered, had its origin in the orders of a military officer, "un official militar" who suspected that I and my companion were "enemies," and that General Cascara, as soon as he was informed of the circumstances, had removed him from his command; the reply went on to say that the government, much to its regret, from the difficult circumstances in which the country was placed, had not the power to give that security to travellers which it desired, but would issue preventive orders to the local authorities to secure me in my farther travels.

I had understood that General Cascara had removed the officer, but the intelligence was hardly received in Guatimala before Carrera ordered him to be restored; and I afterward saw in a San Salvador paper that he had threatened to shoot General Cascara if his degradation was not revoked. In farther communications with the secretary and the chief of the state, they confessed their inability to do anything; and being satisfied that they desired it even more than myself, I did not consider it worth while to press the subject; as indeed, in strictness, I had no right to call upon the state government. The general government had not the least particle of power in the state, and I mention the cii

Vol. I.—Dd

cumstance to show the utter feebleness of the administration, and the wretched condition of the country generally. It troubled me on one account, as it showed the difficulty and danger of prosecuting the travels I had contemplated.

From the moment of my arrival I was struck with the devout character of the city of Guatimala. At matins and vespers the churches were all open, and the people, particularly the women, went regularly to prayers. Every house had its figure of the Virgin, the Saviour, or some tutelary saint, and on the door were billets of paper with prayers. "La verdadera sangre de Cristo, nuestro redentor que solo representada en Egipto libro a los Israelitas de un brazo fuerte y poderoso, libre nos de la peste, guerra, y muerte repentina. Amen." "The true blood of Christ our Redeemer, which alone, exhibited in Egypt, freed the Israelites from a strong and powerful arm, deliver us from pestilence, war, and sudden death. Amen."

"O Maria, concebida sin pecado, rogad por nosotros, que recurrimos a vos." "O Virgin, conceived without sin, pray for us, that we may have recourse to thee."

"Ave Maria, gracia plena, y la santissima Trinidad nos favorezca." "Hail Mary, full of grace, and may the Holy Spirit favour us."

"El dolce nombre de Jesus,
Sea con nosotros. Amen."

On the first Sunday after my arrival was celebrated the féte of La Concepción, a féte always honoured in the observances of the Catholic Church, and this day more important from the circumstance that a probationer in the convent of La Concepción intended to take the black veil. At break of day the church bells rang

TAKING THE BLACK VEIL. 211

throughout the city, cannon were fired in the plaza, and rockets and fireworks set off at the corners of the streets. At nine o'clock crowds of people were hurrying to the Church of La Concepcion. Before the door, and extending across the streets, were arches decorated with evergreens and flowers. The broad steps of the church were strewed with pine leaves, and on the platform were men firing rockets. The church was one of the handsomest in Guatimala, rich with gold and silver ornaments, pictures, and figures of saints, and adorned with arches and flowers. The Padre Aycinena, the vice-president of the state, and the leading member of the Constituent Assembly, was the preacher of the day, and his high reputation attracted a large concourse of people. The pulpit was at one end of the church, and the great mass of the people were anxious to hear the sermon. This left the other end comparatively vacant, and I placed myself on a step of the nearest altar, directly in front of the grating of the convent. At the close of the sermon there was a discharge of rockets and crackers from the steps of the church, the smoke of which clouded the interior, and the smell of powder was stronger than that of the burning incense. The floor was strewed with pine leaves, and covered with kneeling women, with black mantas drawn close over the top of the head, and held together under the chin. I never saw a more beautiful spectacle than these rows of kneeling women, with faces pure and lofty in expression, lighted up by the enthusiasm of religion; and among them, fairer than most and lovely as any, was one from my own land; not more than twenty-two, married to a gentleman belonging to one of the first families of Guatimala, once an exile in the United States. In a new land and among a new people, she

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