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Before daylight we were in the saddle, and rode till eleven, when we stopped at a small village to feed our mules and avoid the heat of the day. At three we started. Toward evening I heard once more the deep rumbling noise of the Volcano of Izalco, sounding like distant thunder. We passed along its base, and stopped at the same house at which I had put up on my visit to the volcano. The place was in a state of perfect anarchy and misrule. Since my departure, Rascon, rendered more daring by the abject policy of the government, had entered Zonzonate, robbed the customhouse again, laid contributions upon some of the citizens, thence marched to Izalco, and quartered his whole band upon the town. Unexpectedly, he was surprised at night by a party of Morazan’s soldiers; he himself escaped in his shirt, but nineteen of his men were killed and his band broken up. Lately the soldiers were called off to join Morazan’s expedition, and the dispersed band emerged from their hiding-places. Some were then living publicly in the town, perfectly lawless; had threatened to kill the alcalde if he attempted to disturb them, and kept the town in a state of terror. Among those who reappeared I was told there was a young American del Norte, whom I recognised, from the description, as Jemmy, whom I had put on board his ship at Acajutla. He and the other American had deserted, and attempted to cross over to the Atlantic on foot. On the way they fell in with Rascon's band and joined them. The other man was killed at the time of the rout, but Jemmy escaped. I was happy to hear that Jemmy, by his manners and good conduct, had made a favourable impression upon the ladies of Izalco. He remained only three days, and whither he had gone no one knew.
While listening to this account we heard a noise in the street, and looking out of the window, saw a man on the ground, and another striking at him with a white club, which by the moonlight looked like the blade of a broadsword or machete. A crowd gathered, mostly of women, who endeavoured to keep him off; but he struck among them with blows that would have killed the man if they had hit him. He was one of the Rascon gang, a native of the town, and known from boyhood as a bad fellow. All called him by name, and, more by entreaties than force, made him desist. As he walked off with several of his companions, he said that the man was a spy of Morazan, and the next time he met him he would kill him. The poor fellow was senseless; and as the women raised up his head, we saw with horror hairs white as snow, and the face of a man of seventy. He was all in rags, and they told us that he was a beggar and crazy; that he had given no provocation whatever; but the young scoundrel, in passing, happened to fix his eyes upon him, and calling him a spy of Morazan, knocked him down with his club. Very soon the crowd dispersed, and the women remained to take care of the old man. These were times which required the natural charity of woman to be aided by supernatural strength. Every woman dreaded that her husband, son, or brother should cross the street at night, for fear of quarrels and worse weapons than clubs; and we saw five women, one with a candle, without a single man or boy to help them, support the old man across the street, and set him up with his back against the side of the house. Afterward a woman came to the door and called to the woman in our house, that if the young man passed again he would kill him; and they went out again with a can
dle, carried him into the courtyard of a house, and locked the door. The reader will perhaps cry shame upon us, but we went out once and were urged to retire, and two men were standing at the window all the time. It was natural to wish to break the head of the young man, but it was natural also to avoid bringing upon ourselves a gang which, though broken, was strong enough to laugh at the authorities of the town, and to waylay us in the wild road we had to pass. There was one ominous circumstance in the affair: that in a town in the State of San Salvador, a man dared threaten publicly to kill another because he was a partisan of Morazan, showed a disaffection in that state which surprised me more than anything I had yet encountered. Our men were afraid to take the mules to water, and it was indispensable for them to drink. We were cautioned against going with them ; and at length, upon our standing in the doorway ready to go to their assistance, they set off with loaded pistols. When I passed through Izalco before it was a tranquil place. Early in the morning we started, arrived at Zonzonate before breakfast, and rode to the house of my friend Mr. De Nouvelle. It was exactly two months since I left it, and, with the exception of my voyage on the Pacific and sickness at Costa Rica, I had not had a day of repose. o I was now within four days of Guatimala, but the difficulty of going on was greater than ever. The captain could procure no mules. No intelligence had been received of Morazan’s movements; intercourse was entirely broken off, business at a stand, and the people anxiously waiting for news from Guatimala. Nobody would set out on that road. I was very much distressed. My engagement with Mr. Catherwood was for a specific time; the rainy season was coming on, and by the loss of a month I should be prevented visiting Palenque. I considered it actually safer to pass through while all was in this state of suspense, than after the floodgates of war were opened. Rascon's band had prevented my passing the road before, and other Rascons might spring up. The captain had not the same inducement to push ahead that I had. I had no idea of incurring any unnecessary risk, and on the road would have had no hesitation at any time in putting spurs to my horse; but, on deliberate consideration, my mind was so fully made up that I determined to procure a guide at any price, and set out alone. In the midst of my perplexity, a tall, thin, gaunt-looking Spaniard, whose name was Don Saturnino Tinocha, came to see me. He was a merchant from Costa Rica, so far on his way to Guatimala, and, by the advice of his friends rather than his own judgment, had been already waiting a week at Zonzonate. He was exactly in the humour to suit me, very anxious to reach Guatimala; and his views and opinions were just the same as mine. The captain was indifferent, and, at all events, could not go unless he could procure mules. I told Don Saturnino that I would go at all events, and he undertook to provide for the captain. In the evening he returned, with intelligence that he had scoured the town and could not procure a single mule, but he offered to leave two of his own cargoes and take the captain's, or to sell him two of his mules. I offered to lend him my horse or macho, and the matter was arranged. In the midst of the war-rumours, the next day, which was Sunday, was one of the most quiet I passed in Central America. It was at the hacienda of Dr. Drivin,
about a league from Zonzonate. This was one of the finest haciendas in the country. The doctor had imported a large steam engine, which was not yet set up, and was preparing to manufacture sugar upon a larger scale than any other planter in the country. He was from the island of St. Kitts, and, before sitting down in this out-of-the-way place, had travelled extensively in Europe and all the West India Islands, and knew America from Halifax to Cape Horn; but surprised me by saying that he looked forward to a cottage in Morristown, New-Jersey, as the consummation of his wishes. I learned from him that Jemmy, after his disappearance from Izalco, had straggled to his hacienda in wretched condition and sick of campaigning, and was then at the port on board the Cosmopolita, bound for Peru. On our return to Zonzonate we were again in the midst of tumult. Two of Captain D’Yriarte's passengers for Guayaquil, whom he had given up, arrived that evening direct from Guatimala, and reported that Carrera, with two thousand men, had left the city at the same time with them to march upon San Salvador. Carrera knew nothing of Morazan's approach; his troops were a disorderly and tumultuous mass; and three leagues from the city, when they halted, the horses were already tired. Here our informants slipped away, and three hours afterward met Morazan’s army, in good order, marching single file, with Morazan himself at their head, he and all his cavalry dismounted and leading their horses, which were fresh and ready for immediate action. Morazan stopped them, and made them show their passports and letters, and they told him of the sally of Carrera's army, and its condition; and we all formed the conclusion that Morazan had attacked them the same day, defeated them, and was then in Vol. II.—I