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stract myself from the tumult of the city and ascend the Volcano of San Salvador; but the next morning a woman came to inform us that one of our men had been taken by a pressgang of soldiers, and was in the carcel. We followed her to the place, and, being invited in by the officer to pick out our man, found ourselves surrounded by a hundred of Vigil's volunteers, of every grade in appearance and character, from the frightened servant-boy torn from his master's door to the worst of desperadoes ; some asleep on the ground, some smoking stumps of cigars, some sullen, and others perfectly reckless. Two of the supreme worst did me the honour to say they liked my looks, called me captain, and asked me to take them into my company. Our man was not ambitious, and could do better than be shot at for a shilling a day; but we could not take him out without an order from the chief of the state, and went immediately to the office of the government, where I was sorry to meet Señor Vigil, as the subject of my visit and the secrets of the prison were an unfortunate comment upon his boasts of the enthusiasm of the people in taking up arms. With his usual courtesy, however, he directed the proper or. der to be made out, and the names of all in my service to be sent to the captains of the different pressgangs, with orders not to touch them. All day men were caught and brought in, and petty officers were stationed along the street drilling them. In the afternoon intelligence was received that General Morazan's advanced guard had defeated a detachment of Carrera's troops, and that he was marching with an accession of forces upon Guatimala. A feu de joie was fired in the plaza, and all the church bells rang peals of victory.
In the evening I saw Señor Vigil again and alone. He was confident of the result. The Honduras troops
TAKING OF SAN MIGUE L.
would be repulsed at San Vicente ; Morazan would take Guatimala. He urged me to wait; he had his preparations all made, his horses ready, and, on the first notice of Morazan's entry, intended to go up to Guatimala and establish that city once more as the capital. But I was afraid of delay, and we parted to meet in Guatimala; but we never met again. A few days af. terward he was flying for his life, and is now in exile, under sentence•of death if he returns ; the party that rules Guatimala is heaping opprobrium upon his name; but in the recollection of my hurried tour I never for. get him who had the unhappy distinction of being vicepresident of the Republic.
I did not receive my passport till late in the evening, and though I had given directions to the contrary, the captain's name was inserted. We had already had a difference of opinion in regard to our movements. He was not so bent as I was upon pushing on to Guatimala, and besides, I did not consider it right, in an official passport, to have the name of a partisan. Accordingly, early in the morning I went to the Govern. ment House to have it altered. The separate passports were just handed to me when I heard a clatter in the streets, and fifteen of twenty horsemen galloped into the courtyard, covered with sweat and dust, among whom I recognised Colonel Hoyas, with his noble horse, so broken that I did not know him. They had ridden all night. The Honduras troops had taken San Miguel and San Vicente, and were then marching upon San Salvador. If not repulsed at Cojutepeque, that day they would be upon the capital. For four days I had been running before these troops, and now, by a strange caprice, at the prospect of actual collision, I regretted that my arrangements were so far advanced, and that I had no necessity for remaining. I had a strong curiosity to see a city taken by assault, but, unfortunately, I had not the least possible excuse. I had my passport in my hand and my mules were ready. Nevertheless, before I reached Don Pedro's house I determined to remain. The captain had his sword and spurs on, and was only waiting for me. . I told him the news, and he uttered an exclamation of thankfulness that we were all ready, and mounted immediately. I added that I intended to remain. He refused; said that he knew the sanguinary character of the people better than I did, and did not wish to see an affair without having a hand in it. I replied, and after a short controversy, the result was as usual between two obstinate men: I would not go and he would not stay. I sent my luggage-mules and servants under his charge, and he rode off, to stop for me at a hacienda on the road, while I unsaddled my horse and gave him another mess of corn.
In the mean time the news had spread, and great excitement prevailed in the city. Here there was no thought of flight; the spirit of resistance was general. The impressed soldiers were brought out from the prisons and furnished with arms, and drums beat through the streets for volunteers. On my return from the Government House I noticed a tailor on his board at work; when I passed again his horse was at the door, his sobbing wife was putting pistols in his holsters, and he was fastening on his spurs. Afterward I saw him mounted before the quartel, receiving a lance with a red flag, and then galloping off to take his place in the line. In two hours, all that the impoverished city could do was done. Vigil, the chief of the state, clerks, and household servants, were preparing for the last strug
gle. At twelve o'clock the city was as still as death. I lounged on the shady side of the plaza, and the quiet was fearful. At two o'clock intelligence was received that the troops of San Vicente had fallen back upon Cojutepeque, and that the Honduras troops had not yet come up. An order was immediately issued to make this the rallying-place, and to send thither the mustering of the city. About two hundred lancers set off from the plaza with a feeble shout, under a burning sun, and I returned to the house. The commotion subsided; my excitement died away, and I regretted that I had not set out with the captain, when, to my surprise, he rode into the courtyard. On the road he thought that he had left me in the lurch, and that, as a travel. ling companion, he ought to have remained with me. I had no such idea, but I was glad of his return, and mounted, and left my capital to its fate, even yet uncertain whether I had any government.
Contributions.-El Baranco de Guaramal.-Volcano of Izalco.-Depredations of
Rascon.-Zonzonate.- News from Guatimala. - Journey continued.- Aguisal. co.-Apeneca.-Mountain of Aguachapa.--Subterranean Fires.--Aguachapa.-Defeat of Morazan.-Confusion and Terror.
The captain had given me a hint in a led horse which he kept for emergencies, and I had bought one of an officer of General Morazan, who sold him because he would not stand fire, and recommended him for a way he had of carrying his rider out of the reach of bullets. At the distance of two leagues we reached a hacienda where our men were waiting for us with the luggage. It was occupied by a miserable old man alone, with a large swelling under his throat, very common all through this country, the same as is seen among the mountains of Switzerland. While the men were reloading, we heard the tramp of horses, and fifteen or twenty lancers galloped up to the fence; and the leader, a dark, stern, but respectable-looking man about forty, in a deep voice, called to the old man to get ready and mount; the time had come, he said, when every man must fight for his country; if they had done so before, their own ships would be floating on the Atlantic and the Pacific, and they would not now be at the mercy of strangers and enemies. Altogether the speech was a good one, and would have done for a fourth of July oration or a ward meeting at home; but made from the back of a horse by a powerful man, well armed, and with twenty lancers at his heels, it was not pleasant in the ears of the " strangers” for whom it was intended. Really I respected the man's energy, but his expression and manner precluded all courtesies; and though he looked at