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ried their water-jars by silken cords. Giving our mules to Santiago, we entered the open door of the church. The altar was thrown down, the roof lay in broken masses on the ground, and the whole area was a forest of trees. At the foot of the church, and connected with it, was a convent. There was no roof, but the apartments were entire as when a good padre stood to welcome a traveller. In front of the church, on each side, was a staircase leading up to a belfry in the centre of the façade. We ascended to the top. The bells which had called to matin and vesper prayers were gone; the crosspiece was broken from the cross. The stone of the belfry was solid masses of petrified shells, worms, leaves, and insects. On one side we looked down into the roofless area, and on the other over a region of

waste. One man had written his name there :

Joaquim Rodrigues,
Conata, Mayo 19, 1836.

We wrote our names under his and descended, mounted, rode over a stony and desolate country, crossed a river, and saw before us a range of hills, and beyond a range of mountains. Then we came upon a bleak stony table, and after riding four hours and a half, saw the road leading across a barren mountain on our right, and, afraid we had missed our way, halted under a low spreading tree to wait for our men. We turned the mules loose, and after waiting some time, sent Santiago back to look for them. The wind was sweeping over the plain, and while Mr. Catherwood was cutting wood, Pawling and I descended to a ravine to look for water. The bed was entirely dry, and one took his course up and the other down. Pawling found a muddy hole in a rock, which, even to thirsty men, was not tempting. We returned, and

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found Mr. Catherwood warming himself by the blaze of three or four young trees, which he had piled one upon another. The wind was at this time sweeping furiously over the plain. Night was approaching; we had not eaten anything since morning; our small stock of provisions was in unsafe hands, and we began to fear that none would be forthcoming. Our mules were as badly off. The pasture was so poor that they required a wide range, and we let all go loose except my poor macho, which, from certain roving propensities acquired before he came into my possession, we were obliged to fasten to a tree. It was some time after dark when Santiago appeared with the alsorgas of provisions on his back. He had gone back six miles when he found the track of Juan's foot, one of the squarest ever planted, and followed it to a wretched hut in the woods, at which we had expected to stop. We had lost nothing by not stopping; all they could get to bring away was four eggs. We supped, piled up our trunks to windward, spread our mats, lay down, gazed for a few moments at the stars, and fell asleep. During the night the wind changed, and we were almost blown away. The next morning, preparatory to entering once more upon habitable regions, we made our toilet; i. e., we hung a looking-glass on the branch of a tree, and shaved the upper lip and a small part of the chin. At a quarter past seven we started, having eaten up our last fragment. Since we left Güista we had not seen a human being; the country was still desolate and dreary; there was not a breath of air; hills, mountains, and plains were all barren and stony; but, as the sun peeped above the horizon, its beams gladdened this scene of barrenness. For two hours we ascended a barren stony mountain. Even before this the desolate from

tier had seemed almost an impregnable barrier; but Alvarado had crossed it to penetrate an unknown country teeming with enemies, and twice a Mexican army has invaded Central America. At half past ten we reached the top of the mountain, and on a line before us saw the Church of Zapolouta, the first village in Mexico. Here our apprehensions revived from want of a passport. Our great object was to reach Comitan, and there bide the brunt. Approaching the village, we avoided the road that led through the plaza, and leaving the luggage to get along as it could, hurried through the suburbs, startled some women and children, and before our entry was known at the cabildo we were beyond the village. We rode briskly for about a mile, and then stopped to breathe. An immense weight was removed from our minds, and we welcomed each other to Mexico. Coming in from the desolate frontier, it opened upon us like an old, longsettled, civilized, quiet, and well-governed country. Four hours' ride over an arid and sandy plain brought us to Comitan. Santiago, being a deserter from the Mexican army, afraid of being caught, left us in the suburbs to return alone across the desert we had passed, and we rode into the plaza. In one of the largest houses fronting it lived an American. Part of the front was occupied as a shop, and behind the counter was a man whose face called up the memory of home. I asked him in English if his name was M'Kinney, and he answered “Si, señor.” I put several other questions in English, which he answered in Spanish. The sounds were familiar to him, yet it was some time before he could fully comprehend that he was listening to his native tongue; but when he did, and understood that I was a countryman, it awakened feelings to which

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he had long been a stranger, and he received us as one in whom absence had only strengthened the links that bound him to his country. Dr. James M*Kinney, whose unpretending name is in Comitan transformed to the imposing one of Don Santiago Maquene, was a native of Westmore and county, Virginia, and went out to Tobasco to pass a winter for the benefit of his health and the practice of his prosession. Circumstances induced him to make a journey into the interior, and he established himself at Ciudad Real. At the time of the cholera in Central America he went to Quezaltenango, where he was employed by thé government, and lived two years on intimate terms with the unfortunate, General Guzman, whom he described as one of the most gentlemanly, amiable, intelligent, and best men in the country. He afterward returned to Comitan, and married a lady of a once rich and powerful family, but stripped of a portion of its wealth by a revolution only two years before. In the division of what was left, the house on the plaza fell to his share; and disliking the practice of his profession, he abandoned it, and took to selling goods. Like every other stranger in the country, by reason of constant wars and revolutions he had become nervous. He had none of this feeling when he first arrived, and at the time of the first revolution in Ciudad Real he stood in the plaza looking on, when two men were shot down by his side. Fortunately, he took them into a house to dress their wounds, and during this time the attacking party forced their way into the plaza, and cut down every man in it. Up to this place we had travelled on the road to Mexico; here Pawling was to leave us and go on to the capital; Palenque lay on our right, toward the coast of the Atlantic. The road Dr. M'Kinney described as more Vol. II.-I I

frightful than any we had yet travelled; and there were other difficulties. War was again in our way; and, while all the rest of Mexico was quiet, Tobasco and Yucatan, the two points in our journey, were in a state of revolution. This might have disturbed us greatly but for another difficulty. It was necessary to present ourselves at Ciudad Real, three days’ journey directly out of our road, to procure a passport, without which we could not travel in any part of the Mexican republic. And, serious as these things were, they merged in a third; viz., the government of Mexico had issued a peremptory order to prevent all strangers visiting the ruins of Palenque. Dr. M'Kinney told us of his own knowledge that three Belgians, sent out on a scientific expedition by the Belgian government, had gone to Ciudad Real expressly to ask permission to visit them, and had been refused. These communications damped somewhat the satisfaction of our arrival in Comitan. By Dr. M'Kinney’s advice we presented ourselves immediately to the commandant, who had a small garrison of about thirty men, well uniformed and equipped, and, compared with the soldiers of Central America, giving me a high opinion of the Mexican army. I showed him my passport, and a copy of the government paper of Guatimala, which fortunately stated that I intended going to Campeachy to embark for the United States. With great courtesy he immediately undertook to relieve us from the necessity of presenting ourselves in person at Ciudad Real, and offered to send a courier to the governor for a passport. This was a great point, but still there would be detention; and by his advice we called upon the preseto, who received us with the same courtesy, regretted the necessity of embarrassing my movements, showed us a copy of the order of the gov

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