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by these Iximayans on this occasion. Indeed, it appears that these primitive and isolated people, holding no intercourse whatever with the rest of mankind, were as ignorant as their ancestors, even of the existence of this kind of weapon; and although their modern hieroglyphical annals were found to contain vague allusions to the use of them in the conquest of the surrounding country, by means of a peculiar kiud of thunder and lightning, and several old Spanish muskets and pistols were found in their scant collection of foreign curiosities, yet not even the most learned of their priests had retained the slightest notion of the uses for which they were designed.
While this summary conflict was enacted on the open lawn of. the forest, the dismounted company in the cavern having completed their fruitless search for the fugitives, emerged from its portal with all the mules and baggage, just in time to see and hear the fiery explosions of the rifles and their effect upon the whole body of scarlet cavalry. The entire scene, including the mounted possession of their horses by uncouthly-attired strangers, previously invisible, must have appeared to these terror-stricken natives an achievement of supernatural beings. And when Mr. Huertis wheeled his obstreperously-laughing party to recover his mules, he found most of the astounded men prostrate upon their faces, while others, more self-possessed, knelt upon the bended knee, and, with drooping heads, crossed their hands behind them to receive the bonds of captives. Their gallant and gailyaccoutred young chieftain, however, though equally astonished and dismayed, merely surrendered his javelin as an officer would his sword, under the like circumstances, in civilized warfare. But, with admirable tact and forethought, Huertis declined to accept it, immediately returning it with the most profound and deferential cordiality of manner. He at the same time informed him, through Velasquez, that, though strangers, his party were not enemies, but friendly visitors, who, after a long and painful journey, again to be pursued, desired the temporary hospitality of his countrymen in their magnificent city.
The young chief replied, with evident discomposure and concern, that his countrymen showed no hospitality to strangers ; that the inhabitants of their city held intercourse only with the population of the surrounding valley, who were restricted alike by law and by patriotism from ever leaving its confines ; he and his fel. low soldiers alone being privileged to visit the neighboring regions for the purpose of arresting intruders (cowana), and escorting certain kind of merchandise which they exchanged with a people of their own race in an adjoining district. He added, with much eloquence of manner, and, as Velasquez believed, of language, which he but partially understood, that the independence and peace of his nation, who were a peaceful and happy people, depended upon these severe restrictions, which indeed had been the only means of its preservation.
He further added, says Velasquez, that some few strangers, it was true, had been taken to the city by its guards in the course of many generations, but that none of them had been allowed an opportunity of betraying its existence and locality to the cruel rapacity of the foreign race.
Mr. Huertis rejoined that he could destroy any number of armed men, on the swiftest horses, before they could approach him, as the chief had already seen ; and, since he could enforce his exit from the city whenever he thought proper, he would enter it upon his own terms, either as a conqueror, or as a friend, according to the reception he met with. Without waiting for further colToquy, he ordered his party to dismount, restore their horses to their owners, and march with the train of mules toward the city, 'in the usual style of travel. With this order, his Indians complied very reluctantly, but on assuring them that it was a matter of the highest policy, they evinced their wonted confidence in his judgment and ability. To the young chief he returned his richly-caparisoned steed, which had fallen to the lot of the unfortunate Mr. Hammond, who was now lying desperately wounded in the care of the faithful Antonio. For himself and Senor Velasquez, Mr. Huertis retained the horses they had first seized, and placing themselves on each side of the Iximayan cominander, with their friend Hammond borne immediately behind them, in one of the cane couches of the cavern, on the backs of two mules yoked together, they advanced to the head of their party while the red troopers, followed by the surviving bloodhounds leashed in couples, brought up the rear. Huertis, however, had taken the precaution to add the spears and hatchets of these men to the burthens of the forward mules, to abide the event of his reception at the city gates. The appearance of the whole cavalcade was unique and picturesque; for whilst Velasquez wore the uniform of a military company to which he belonged in San Salvador, much enhanced in effect by some brilliant additions, and crowned with a broad sombrero and plume, Huertis wore that of an American naval commander, with gold epaulettes; his riflemen and muleteers generally were clothed in blue cotton and grass hats, while the native cavalry, in the brilliant tunics and feathered coronals, already described, must have completed the diversity of the variegated cortége. Had poor Hammond been mounted among them, his costume would have been as equivocal as his new complexion, for he had attired himself in the scarlet coat of a British officer of rank, with several blazing stars of glass jewels, surmount
d by a white Panama hat, in which clustered an airy profusion of ladies' ostrich feathers, dyed blue at the edges.
In passing the spot of the recent skirmish, they found that nine horses and two men had been killed, the latter unintentionally, besides the riflemen of their own party. Many other horses were lying wounded, in the struggles of death, and several of their riders were seated on the ground, disabled by bruises or disloca
tions. Huertis's men buried their comrade in a grave hastily dug with the spears which lay around him, while the Iximayans laid their dead and wounded upon horses, to be conveyed to a village on the plain. The former, it was found, were consumed there the next day, in funeral fires, with idolatrous rites ; and it was obseryed by the travelers that the native solliers regretted their dead with emotions of extreme sensibility, and almost feminine grief, like men wholly unaccustomed to scenes of violent death. But the strongest emotion evinced by the young chief throughout their intercourse, was when he heard the word “Iximaya," in interpreting for Huertis. He then seemed to be smitten and subdued by blank despair, as if he felt that the city and its location were already familiarly known to the foreign world.
As already stated, the distance to the city was about six miles. The expedition found the road to it bordered, on either side, as far as the eye could reach, with a profuse vegetation, a portion the result of assiduous and skillful culture. Indigo, corn, oats, a curious five-eared wheat, gourds, pineapples, esculent roots, pulse, fax, and hemp, the white as well as the crimson cotton, vineyards, and fruit orchards, grew luxuriantly in large regularly. divided fields, which were now ripe for the harvest. The villages, large and populous, were mostly composed of flat-roofed dwellings, with broad overhanging eaves or architraves, supported by heavy columns, often filleted over spiral flutings, in the Egyptian style. A profusion of bold sculpture was the prevailing characteristic, and perhaps defect of all. The inhabitants, who thronged the wayside in great numbers, appeared excited with surprise and exultation, on beholding the large company of strangers apparently in the custody of their military ; while the disarmed condition of the latter, and the bodies of the slain, were a mystery they could not explain. Many of the husbandmen were observed to be in possession of bows and arrows, and some of the women held rusty spears. The predominant costume of both sexes was a pale-blue tunic, gathered in at the breast and descending to the knee, with reticulated buskins, of red cord, covering the calf of the leg. The women, with few exceptions, were of fine form, and the highest order of Indian beauty, with an extraordinary affluence of black hair, tastefully disposed. At the village where the dead and wounded were left, with their relatives and friends, doleful lamentations were heard, to the time the expedition entered the city.
The walls of this metropolis were forty feet high, sloping inward from the foundation, surmounted by a parapet which overhung in a concave curve and rested upon a plain moulding. They were evidently a massive work of a remote period, for although constructed of large blocks of granite stone, white and glittering in the sun, passing ages had corroded rough crevices between the layers, and the once perfect cornices had become indented by the tooth of time. The sculptured annals of the city gave them
an antiquity of four thousand years. They formed a parallelogram four miles long and three in width, thus inclosing an area of nearly twelve square miles, and breasted the cardinal points of the horizon with a single gate, aidway on every side. On approaching the eastern gate, the travelers discovered that the foundations of the walls were laid in a deep fosse, or moat, a hundred feet wide, nearly full to its brink, and abounding with water-fowl. It was replenished from the mountains, and discharged its surplus waters into the lakes of the valley. It was to be crossed bý a drawbridge, now raised over the gate, and the parapet was thronged with the populace to behold the entrance of so large a number of strangers, for whom there was no return.
At a signal from the young chief, the bridge slowly descended, and the cavalcade passed over ; but the folding gates, which were composed of blocks of stone curiously dove-tailed together, and which revolved upon hinges of the same material by a ball-andsocket contrivance above and below, were not yet opened, and the party were detained on the bridge. A small oval orifice only appeared, less than a human face, and an ear was applied there to receive an expected word in a whisper This complied with, the ponderous gates unfolded, and a vista of solemn magnificence was presented to the view. It was a vista, at once, of massive statues and trees, extending, apparently, the whole length of the city. No two of the statues were precisely alike in countenance, and very few in their sculptural costume. There was some distinctive emblem upon each. They stood sixty feet apart, with a smaller monument of some mythological animal between each. A similar but shorter avenue, it appears, crossed the city from north to south, having a proportional number of such monuments through its entire extent; and these two grand avenues ran through wide areas of greensward richly grouped with lofty trees.
As the cavalcade advanced to the centre of the city, the population assembled to behold the unprecedented spectacle ; but the utmost order prevailed, and the silence was profound. The fact of these strangers wielding deadly weapons had already excited their dread. Arrived at the quadrated point, where the two great avenues intersected, Mr. Huertis boldly demanded of his guide the further course and character of his destination. He was answered by his dignified companion, that he would be conducted to the building immediately before him, one of majestic dimensions and style, where the monarch of the nation daily assembled with his councilors, at the hour of noon, to administer justice and listen to complaints. In the mean time, his wounded friend could be placed in a state of greater ease and repose in one of the apartments of the edifice, while the mules and baggage could be disposed of in its basement vaults. When this was accomplished. the hour of audience had arrived.
The entire party of strangers, with the young chief and several of his subordinates, were then led into a large and lofty hall, surrounded by columns, and displaying three raised seats covered with canopies of drapery. On the one of these which stood at the eastern end sat the monarch, a personage of grave but benignant aspect, about sixty years of age, arrayed in scarlet and gold, and having a golden image of the rising sun, of extraordinary splendor, displayed from behind his throne. On the seat on the southern and western side sat venerable men of advanced age, scarcely less gorgeously attired. Around the apartment, and on the steps of the throne, were other grave-looking men, in scarlet robes. Huer
of which he had not suffered them to be deprived, stood on the left side of the monarch, the young chief and his soldiers on the right. The latter gave his statement apparently with truth and manly
ador. the facts which he averred seeming to fill the whole council with amazement, and to leave settled gloom upon the imperial brow. The decision given, which was concurred in by the associate councilors, appeared to be that the strangers, having magnanimously released and restored the company of guards, after they had surrendered themselves prisoners, and having voluntarily entered the city in a peaceable manner, when they might possibly have effected their escape, were entitled to their personal freedom, and might eventually, under certain obligations, become eligible to all the privileges of citizenship within the limits of the city. Meanwhile they were to make no use of their dangerous weapons, nor exhibit them to terrify the people. With this decision, Huertis and his companions were perfectly satisfied, for the latter had undiminished confidence in his ability, and determined to achieve their escape. On leaving the hall of justice, they observed the elder military chief, of whom a slight mention has been made, brought in with two others of inferior rank ; and it was afterwards currently reported that they had been sentenced to close imprisonment. It was also ascertained by Velasquez, that the four companies of rangers, already noticed, composing a regiment of two hundred men, constituted the whole military force of this timid and peaceful people.
The place of residence assigned to our travelers was the vacant wing of a spacious and sumptuous structure, at the western extremity of the city, which had been appropriated, from time immemorial, to the surviving remnant of an ancient and singular order of priesthood called Kaanas, which, it was distinctly asserted in their annals and traditions, had accompanied the first migration of this people from the Assyrian plains. Their • peculiar and strongly-distinctive lineaments, it is now perfectly
well ascertained, are to be traced in many of the sculptured monuments of the Central American ruins, and were found still more abundantly on those of Iximaya. Forbidden, by inviolably sacred laws, from intermarrying with any persons but those of their own caste, they had here dwindled down, in the course of many centuries, to a few insignificant individuals, diminutive in