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dispersed, the atmosphere was darkened by a shower of stones and ashes. This over, a moment of stillness followed, and then another report and eruption, and these continued regularly, at intervals, as our guide said, of exactly five minutes, and really he was not much out of the way. The sight was fearfully grand. We refreshed ourselves with a draught of cocoanut milk, thought how this grandeur would be heightened when the stillness and darkness of night were interrupted by the noise and flame, and forthwith resolved to sleep upon the mountain.
The cnra of Zonzonate, still in the vigour of life, told me that he remembered when the ground on which this volcano stands had nothing to distinguish it from any other spot around. In 1798 a small orifice was discovered puffing out small quantities of dust and pebbles. He was then living at Izalco, and, as a boy, was in the habit of going to look at it; and he had watched it, and marked its increase from year to year, until it had grown into what it is now. Captain De Nouvelle told me he could observe from the sea that it had grown greatly within the last two years. Two years before its light could not be seen at night on the other side of the mountain on which I stood. Night and day it forces up stones from the bowels of the earth, spouts them into the air, and receives them upon its sides. Every day it is increasing, and probably it will continue to do so until the inward fires die, or by some violent convulsion the whole is rent to atoms.
Old travellers are not precluded occasional bursts of enthusiasm, but they cannot keep it up long. In about an hour we began to be critical and even captious. Some eruptions were better than others, and some were comparatively small affairs. In this frame of DESCENT FROM THE VOLCANO. 329
mind we summed up our want of comforts for passing the night on the mountain, and determined to return. Mr. Blackburn and I thought that we could avoid the circuit of the mountain by descending directly to the base of the volcano, and crossing it, reach the camino real; but our guide said it was a tempting of Providence, and refused to accompany us. We had a very steep descent on foot, and in some places our horses slid down on their haunches. An immense bed of lava, stopped in its rolling course by the side of the mountain, filled up the wide space between us and the base of the volcano. We stepped directly upon this black and frightful bed, but we had great difficulty in making our horses follow. The lava lay in rolls as irregular as the waves of the sea, sharp, rough, and with huge chasms, difficult for us and dangerous for the horses. With great labour we dragged them to the base and around the side of the volcano. Massive stones, hurled into the air, fell and rolled down the sides, so near that we dared not venture farther. We were afraid of breaking our horses' legs in the holes into which they were constantly falling, and turned back. On the lofty point from which we had looked down into the crater of the volcano sat our guide, gazing, and, as we could imagine, laughing at us. We toiled back across the bed of lava and up the side of the mountain, and when we reached the top both my horse and I were almost exhausted. Fortunately, the road home was down hill. It was long after dark when we passed the foot of the mountain and came out upon the plain. Every burst of the volcano sent forth a pillar of fire; in four places were steady fires, and in one a stream of fire was rolling down its side. At eleven o'clock we reached Zonzonate, besides toiling around the base of the volcano, having ridden upVol. I.—T T
ward of fifty miles; and such had been the interest of the day's work, that, though my first effort, I never suffered from it.
The arrangements for my voyage down the Pacific were soon made. The servant to whom I referred was a native of Costa Rica, then on his way home, after a long absence, with a cargo of merchandise belonging to himself. He was a tall, good-looking fellow, dressed in a Guatimala jacket or coton, a pair of Mexican leather trousers, with buttons down the sides, and a steeplecrowned, broad-brimmed, drab wool hat, altogether far superior to any servant I*saw in the country; and I think if it had not been for him I should not have undertaken the journey. The reader will perhaps be shocked to hear that his name was Jesus, pronounced in Spanish Tlezoos, by which latter appellation, to avoid what might be considered profanity, I shall hereafter call him.
SICKNESS AND MUTINY. 331
Sickness and Mutiny.—Illness of Captain Jay.—Critical Situation .—Rough Nursing.—A Countryman in Trouble.—Dolphins.—Succession of Volcanoes. —Gulf of Nicoya.—Harbour of Caldera.—Another Countryman.—Another Patient.—Hacienda of San Felippe.—Mountain of Aguacato.—"Zillenthal Patent Self-acting Cold Amalgamation Machine."—Gold Mines.—View from the Mountain Top.
On Monday, the twenty-second of January, two hours before daylight, we started for the port. 'Hezoos led the way, carrying before him all my luggage, rolled up in a baquette, being simply a cowhide, after the fashion of the country. At daylight we heard behind us the clattering of horses' hoofs, and Don Manuel de Aguila, with his two sons, overtook us. Before the freshness of the morning was past we reached the port, and rode up to the old hut whioh I had hoped never to see again. The hammock was swinging in the same place. The miserable rancho seemed destined to be the abode of sickness. In one corner lay Sefior D'Yriarte, my captain, exhausted by a night of fever, and unable to sail that day.
Dr. Drivin was again at the port. He had not yet disembarked his machinery; in fact, the work was suspended by a mutiny on board the English brig, the ringleader of which, as the doctor complained to me, was an American. I passed the day on the seashore. In one place, a little above bigh-water mark, almost washed by the waves, were rude wooden crosses, marking the graves of unhappy sailors who had died far from their homes. Returning, I found at the hut Captain Jay, of the English brig, who also complained to me of the American sailor. The captain was a young
man, making his first voyage as master; his wife, whom he had married a week before sailing, accompanied him. He had had a disastrous voyage of eight months from London; in doubling Cape Horn his crew were all frostbitten and his spars carried away. With only one man on deck he had worked up to Guayaquil, where he incurred great loss of time and money in making repairs, and shipped an entirely new crew. At Acajutla he found that his boats were not sufficient to land the doctor's machinery, and was obliged to wait until a raft could be constructed. In the mean time his crew mutinied, and part of them refused to work. His wife was then at the doctor's hacienda; and I noticed that, while writing her a note with pencil, his sunburned face was pale, and large drops of perspiration stood on his forehead. Soon after he threw himself into the hammock, and, as I thought, fell asleep ; but in a few minutes I saw the hammock shake, and, remembering my own shaking there, thought it was at its old tricks of giving people the fever and ague; but very soon I saw that the poor captain was in convulsions. Excepting Captain D’Yriarte, who was lying against the wall perfectly helpless, I was the only man in the hut; and as there was danger of his throwing himself out of the hammock, I endeavoured to hold him in ; but with one convulsive effort he threw me to the other side of the hut, and hung over the side of the hammock, with one hand entangled in the cords, and his head almost touching the ground. The old woman said that the devil had taken possession of him, and ran out of doors screaming. Fortunately, this brought in a man whom I had not seen before, Mr. Warburton, an engineer who had come out to set up the machinery, and who was himself a machine of many horse-power, having a pair of shoulders that