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ARRIVAL AT LAGUNA.
sions of another night on board, when another squall came on, not so violent, but blowing directly from the harbour. Tremendous rain accompanied it. We made two or three tacks under a close-reefed foresail; the old bungo seemed to fly through the water ; and, when under full way, the anchor, or, to speak more correctly, stone, was thrown out at some distance below the shipping, and brought us up all standing. There were breakers between us and the shore, and we hallooed to some men to come and take us off, but they answered that the breakers were too rough. The rain came on again, and for half an hour we stowed ourselves away under hatches.
As soon as it cleared off we were on deck, and in a little time we saw a fine jolly-boat, with a cockswain and four men, coasting along the shore against a rapid current, the men at times jumping into the water, and hauling by ropes fixed for the purpose. We hailed them in English, and the cockswain answered in the same language that it was too rough, but after a consultation with the sailors they pulled toward us, and took Mr. Catherwood and me on board. The cock. swain was the mate of a French ship, and spoke Eng. lish. His ship was to sail the next day, and he was going to take in some large turtles which lay on the beach waiting for him. As soon as we struck we mounted the shoulders of two square-built French sailors, and were set down on shore, and perhaps in our whole tour we were never so happy as at that moment in being rid of the bungo.
The town extended along the bank of the lake. We walked the whole length of it, saw numerous and wellfilled stores, cafés, and even barbers' shops, and at the extreme end reached the American consul's. Two men were sitting on the portico, of a most homelike appearance. One was Don Carlos Russell, the consul. The face of the other was familiar to me; and learning that we had come from Guatimala, he asked news of me, which I was most happy to give him in person. It was Captain Fensley, whose acquaintance I had made in New York when seeking information about that country, and with whom I had spoken of sailing to Campeachy; but at the moment I did not recognise him, and in my costume from the interior it was impossible for him to recognise me. He was direct from New-York, and gave the first information we had received in a long time from that place, with budgets of newspapers, burdened with suspension of specie payments and universal ruin. Some of my friends had been playing strange antics; but in the important matters of marriages and deaths I did not find anything to give me either joy or sorrow.
Don Carlos Russell, or Mr. Charles Russell, was a native of Philadelphia, married to a Spanish lady of large fortune, and, though long absent, received us as one who had not forgotten his home. His house, his table, all that he had, even his purse, were at our service. - Our first congratulations over, we sat down to a dinner which rivalled that of our friend of Totonicapan. We could hardly believe ourselves the same miserable beings who had been a few hours before tossing on the lake, in dread alike of the bottom and of another night on board the bungo. The reader must have gone through what we had to form any idea of our enjoyment. The negro who served us at table had been waiter at the house of an acquaintance in Broadway; we seemed but a step from home, and at night we had clean sheets furnished us by our host.
Laguna.-Journey to Merida.-Sisal.-A new Mode of Conveyance.- Village of
Hunucama.- Arrival at Merida.-Aspect of the City.-Fate of Corpus Dom. ini.—The Cathedral.—The Procession.- Beauty and Simplicity of the Indian Women.- Palace of the Bishop.—The Theatre.-Journey to Uxmal.-Ha. cienda of Vayalquex.-Value of Water.-Condition of the Indians in Yuca. tan.-A peculiar kind of Coach.-Hacienda of Mucuyche.- A beautiful Grotto.
The town of Laguna stands on the island of Carmen, which is about seven leagues long, and which, with an. other island about four leagues in length, separates the Lake of Terminos from the Gulf of Mexico. It is the depôt of the great logwood country in the interior, and a dozen vessels were then in port awaiting cargoes for Europe and the United States. The town is well built and thriving ; its trade has been trammelled by the oppressive regulations of the Central government, but it had made its pronunciamento, disarmed and driv. en out the garrison, and considered itself independent, subject only to the state government of Yucatan. The anchorage is shoal but safe, and easy of access for vessels not drawing over twelve or thirteen feet of water.
We could have passed some time with satisfaction in resting and strolling over the island, but our journey was not yet ended. · Our next move was for Merida, the capital of Yucatan. The nearest port was Campeachy, a hundred and twenty miles distant, and the voyage was usually made by bungo, coasting along the shore of the open sea. With our experience of bungoes this was most disheartening. Nevertheless, this would have been our unhappy lot but for the kindness of Mr. Russell and Captain Fensley. The latter was bound directly to New York, and his course lay along the coast of Yucatan. Personally he was disposed to do all in his power to serve us, but there might be some risk in putting into port to land us. Knowing his favourable disposition, we could not urge him ; but Mr. Russell was his consignee, and by charter-party had a right to detain him ten days, and intended to do so; but he offered to load him in two days upon condition of his taking us on board, and, as Campeachy was blockaded, landing us at Sisal, sixty miles beyond, and the seaport of Merida. Captain Fensley assented, and we were relieved from what at the time we should have considered a great calamity.
In regard to the project for the purchase of the ruins of Palenque, which I have before referred to, Mr. Russell entered into it warmly; and with a generosity I cannot help mentioning, hardly to be expected from one so long from home, requested to be held liable for two thousand dollars as part of the cost of introducing them into the United States. In pursuance of my previous arrangement I wrote to the prefect, advising him of Mr. Russell's co-operation, and referring him to Pawling as my agent in settling the details of the purchase. This was enclosed in a letter from Mr. Russell to the same effect, which stated, besides, that the money should be paid the moment it was required, and both, with full instructions, were given to Pawling. The interest which Mr. Russell took in this matter gave me a flattering hope of success, and but for him, the scheme for making castings would have failed entirely. He was engaged in building an unusually fine house, and in order to finish it had sent to Campeachy for plaster of Paris, but not finding any there, had imported some from NewYork. Fortunately, he had a few barrels left; and but for this accident there was none nearer than Vera
A FLOATING HOME.
Cruz or New-Orleans-Pawling's journey, so far as related to this object, would have been fruitless. We settled the details of sending the plaster with Pawling to Palenque, receiving and shipping the castings to me at New-York, and on Saturday morning at seven o'clock bade farewell to Mr. Russell, and embarked on board the Gabrielacho. Pawling accompanied us outside the bar, and we took leave of him as he got on board the pilot-boat to return. We had gone through such rough scenes together since he overtook us at the foot of the Sierra Madre, that it may be supposed we did not separate with indifference. Juan was still with us, for the first time at sea, and wondering where we would take him next...
The Gabrielacho was a beautiful brig of about one hundred and sixty tons, built under Captain Fensley's own direction, one half belonging to himself, and fitted up neatly and tastefully as a home. He had no house on shore; one daughter was at boarding-school in the United States, and the rest of his family, consisting of his wife and a little daughter about three years old, was with him on board. Since his marriage seven years before, his wife had remained but one year on shore, and she determined not to leave him again as long as he followed the seas, while he was resolved that every voyage should be the last, and looked for. ward to the consummation of every sailor's hopes, a good farm. His daughter Vicentia, or poor Centy, as she called herself, was the pet of all on board ; and we had twelve passengers, interesting to the Common Council of New York, being enormous turtles, one of which the captain hoped would gladden the hearts of the fathers of the city at their fourth of July dinner.
The reader cannot realize the satisfaction with which Vol. II.-3D