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ising to keep him till he died; and the only thing that relieves me from self-reproach in not securing him such pasture-grounds is the recollection of the padre's weight.
At four o'clock on the third day we reached Ocosingo, likewise in a beautiful situation, surrounded by mountains, with a large church; and in the wall of the yard we noticed two sculptured figures from the ruins we proposed to visit, somewhat in the same style as those at Copan. In the centre of the square was a magnificent Ceiba tree. We rode up to the house of Don Manuel Pasada, the prefet, which, with an old woman-servant, we had entirely to ourselves, the family being at his hacienda. The house was a long enclosure, with a shed in front, and furnished with bedsteads made of reeds split into two, and supported on sticks resting in the ground.
The alcalde was a Mestitzo, very civil, and glad to see us, and spoke of the neighbouring ruins in the most extravagant terms, but said they were so completely buried in El Monte that it would require a party of men for two or three days to cut a way to them; and he laid great stress upon a cave, the mouth of which was completely choked up with stones, and which communicated by a subterraneous passage with the old city of Palenque, about one hundred and fifty miles distant. He added that if we would wait a few days to make preparations, he and all the village would go with us, and make a thorough exploration. We told him that first we wished to make preliminary observations, and he promised us a guide for the next morning.
That night broke upon us the opening storm of the rainy season. Peals of crashing thunder reverberated from the mountains, lightning illuminated with fearful flashes the darkness of night, rain poured like a deluge
RUINS AT O COSING O.
upon our thatched roof, and the worst mountains in the whole road were yet to be crossed. All our efforts to anticipate the rainy season had been fruitless.
In the morning dark clouds still obscured the sky, but they fell back and hid themselves before the beams of the rising sun. The grass and trees, parched by six months' drought, started into a deeper green, and the hills and mountains seemed glad. The alcalde, I believe vexed at our not being willing to make an imme. diate affair of exploring the ruins, had gone away for the day without sending us any guide, and leaving word that all the men were engaged in repairing the church. We endeavoured to entice one of them away, but un. successfully. Returning, we found that our piazza was the schoolhouse of the village. Half a dozen children were sitting on a bench, and the schoolmaster, half tipsy, was educating them, i. e., teaching them to repeat by rote the formal parts of the church service. We asked him to help us, but he advised us to wait a day or two; in that country nothing could be done vio. lenter. We were excessively vexed at the prospect of losing the day; and at the moment when we thought we had nothing left but to submit, a little girl came to tell us that a woman, on whose hacienda the ruins were, was then about going to visit it, and offered to escort us. Her horse was already standing before the door, and before our mules were ready she rode over for us. We paid our respects, gave her a good cigar, and, lighting all around, set out. She was a pleasant Mestitzo, and had a son with her, a fine lad about fifteen. We started at half past nine, and, after a hot and sultry ride, at twenty minutes past eleven reached her rancho. It was a mere hut, made of poles and plastered with mud, but the situation was one of those that warmed us to
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country life. Our kind guide sent with us her son and an Indian with his machete, and in half an hour we were at the ruins.
Soon after leaving the rancho, and at nearly a mile distant, we saw, on a high elevation, through openings in trees growing around it, one of the buildings of Tonila, the Indian name in this region for stone hou. ses. Approaching it, we passed on the plain in front two stone figures lying on the ground, with the faces upward ; they were well carved, but the characters were somewhat faded by long exposure to the elements, although still distinct. Leaving them, we rode on to the foot of a high structure, probably a fortress, rising in a pyramidal form, with five spacious terraces. These terraces had all been faced with stone and stuccoed, but in many places they were broken and overgrown with grass and shrubs. Taking advantage of one of the broken parts, we rode up the first pitch, and, following the platform of the terrace, ascended by another breach to the second, and in the same way to the third. There we tied our horses and climbed up on foot. On the top was a pyramidal structure overgrown with trees, supporting the building which we had seen from the plain below. Among the trees were several wild lemons, loaded with fruit, and of very fine flavour, which, if not brought there by the Spaniards, must be indigenous. The building is fifty feet front and thirtyfive feet deep; it is constructed of stone and lime, and the whole front was once covered with stucco, of which part of the cornice and mouldings still remain. The entrance is by a doorway ten feet wide, which leads into a sort of antechamber, on each side of which is a small doorway leading into an apartment ten feet square. The walls of these apartments were once cov