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quered the whole country around, and murder any white man who attempts to enter their territory. They have no coin or other circulating medium; no horses, cattle, mules, or other domestic animals except fowls, and the cocks they keep under ground to prevent their crowing being heard. There was a wild novelty—something that touched the imagination—in every step of our journey in that country; the old padre, in the deep stillness of the dimly-lighted convent, with his long black coat like a robe, and his flashing eye, called up an image of the bold and resolute priests who accompanied the armies of the conquerors; and as he drew a map on the table, and pointed out the sierra to the top of which he had climbed, and the position of the mysterious city, the interest awakened in us was the most thrilling I ever experienced. One look at that city was worth ten years of an every-day life. If he is right, a place is left where Indians and an Indian city exist as Cortez and Alvarado found them; there are living men who can solve the mystery that hangs over the ruined cities of America; perhaps who can go to Copan and read the inscriptions on its monuments. No subject more exciting and attractive presents itself to my mind, and the deep impression of that night will never be effaced. Can it be true 2 Being now in my sober senses, I do verily believe there is much ground to suppose that what the padre told us is authentic. That the region referred to does not acknowledge the government of Guatimala, has never been explored, and that no white man ever pretends to enter it, I am satisfied. From other sources we heard that from that sierra a large ruined city was visible, and we were told of another person who had climbed to the top of the sierra, but, on account of

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the dense cloud resting upon it, had been unable to see anything. At all events, the belief at the village of Chajul is general, and a curiosity is roused that burns to be satisfied. We had a craving desire to reach the mysterious city. No man, even if willing to peril his life, could undertake the enterprise with any hope of success, without hovering for one or two years on the borders of the country, studying the language and character of the adjoining Indians, and making acquaintance with some of the natives. Five hundred men could probably march directly to the city, and the invasion would be more justifiable than any ever made by the Spaniards; but the government is too much occupied with its own wars, and the knowledge could not be procured except at the price of blood. Two young men of good constitution, and who could afford to spare five years, might succeed. If the object of search prove a phantom, in the wild scenes of a new and unexplored country there are other objects of interest; but if real, besides the glorious excitement of such a novelty, they will have something to look back upon through life. As to the dangers, these are always magnified, and, in general, peril is discovered soon enough for escape. But in all probability, if any discovery is ever made it will be by the padres. As for ourselves, to attempt it alone, ignorant of the language, and with mozos who were a constant annoyance to us, was out of the question. The most we thought of was a climb to the top of the sierra, thence to look down upon the mysterious city; but we had difficulties enough in the road before us; it would add ten days to a journey already almost appalling in prospective; for days the sierra might be covered with clouds; in attempting too much we might lose all; Palenque was our great point, and we determined not to be diverted from the course we had marked out. The next morning we had one painful moment with the cura, and that was the moment of parting. He was then calm and kind, his irresistible laugh and his enthusiasm all gone. We had one village to pass at which he told us the Indians were bad, for which reason he gave us a letter to the justitia; and in the kindness of his heart insisted on my accepting one of his beautiful quezales. As this was Holy Week, we had great difficulty in procuring a guide. None of the Indians wished to leave the village, and the alcalde told an alguazil to take a man out of prison. After a parley with the inmates through the grating, one was selected, but kept in confinement till the moment of starting, when the alguazil opened the door and let him out, our roll of luggage was put on his back, and he set off. The battered soldier accompanied us a short distance, and Bobon went before, carrying on a stick the royal bird of Quiché. Crossing the plain and the ravine on which the city stood, we ascended a mountain in the rear, commanding a magnificent view of the plain of Quiché, and descending on the other side, at the distance of two leagues reached the village of San Pedro. A thatched church, with a cross before it, stood near the road, and the huts of the village were a little in the rear. The padre had told us that the Indians of this place were “muy malos,” very bad; and as our guide, when he returned, had to be locked up in prison, to avoid the necessity of stopping we tried to induce him to continue; but he dropped his load at the foot of the cross, and ran back in such haste that he left behind his ragged chamar. The justitia was a Mestitzo, who sent for

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the alcalde, and presently that worthy trotted down with six ālguazils, marching in single file, all with wands in their hands, and dressed in handsome cloth cloaks, the holyday costume for the Holy Week. We told them that we wanted a guide, and the whole six set off to look for one. In about ten minutes they returned single file, exactly on the same trot as before, and said they could not find any ; the whole week was holyday, and no one wanted to leave home. I showed Carrera's passport, and told the justitia he must go himself, or send one of his alguazils, and they set off again in pursuit. After waiting a little while, I walked to the top of a hill near by, and saw them all seated below, apparently waiting for me to go. As soon as they saw me they ran back in a body to repeat that they could not find a guide. I offered them double price, but they were immovable; and feeling rather uncertain what turn things might take, I talked largely of Carrera's vengeance, not contenting myself with turning them out of office, but taking off their heads at once. After a few moments' consultation they all rose quietly; one doffed his dignity and dress, the rest rolled up the cargo, and throwing it on his bare back, placed the band across his forehead, and set him off on a run. We followed, the secretary begging me to write to Carrera that it was not through his fault I was kept waiting, and that he would have been my guide himself if I had not found another. At a short distance another alguazil, by a cross cut, intercepted and relieved the first, and they ran so fast that on the rough road we could not keep up with them. The road was indeed rough and wild beyond all description; and very soon we reached another immense ravine, descended it, and commenced an ascent

on the opposite side, which occupied three hours. Through openings in the woods we looked down precipices one or two thousand feet deep, while the mountain side was still higher above us. The whole mountain was clothed with luxuriant vegetation, and though wanting the rocky, savage grandeur of Alpine scenery, at every turn the view was sublime. As we climbed up we met a few Indians who could speak no language but their own, and reaching the top, saw a wretched spectacle of the beings made in God’s image. A drunken Indian was lying on the ground, his face cut with a machete, and weltering in his blood; and a drunken woman was crying over him. Our Indians stopped and spoke to them, but we could not understand what they said. At about three o'clock we emerged from the woods, and very soon saw Totonicapan, at a great distance and far below us, on a magnificent plain, with a high table of land behind it, a range of mountains springing from the table, and rising above them the Volcano of Quezaltenango. The town was spread over a large space, and the flat roofs of the houses seemed one huge covering, broken only by the steeple of the church. We descended the mountain to the banks of a beautiful stream, along which Indian women were washing; and following it, entered the town, and rode up to the house of the corregidor, Don José Azmitia. Our luggage had arrived safely, and in a few minutes our men presented themselves to receive llS. Much might be said of Totonicapan as the head of a department, and surrounded by mountains visible on ali sides from the plaza; but I stop only to record an event. All along, with the letters to corregidors, the passport of Carrera, and the letter of the archbishop, our road

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