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Title: Journeys and Experiences in Argentina, Paraguay, and Chile - Including a Side Trip to the Source of the Paraguay River in the State of Matto Grosso, Brazil, and a Journey Across the Andes to the Rio Tambo in Peru
Author: Stephens, H. L. (Henry Louis), 1824-1882
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  [Illustration: Henry Stephens, Ph.D.]


  [Illustration: Locust Pest in Argentina

   Estancia, Santa Isabel, Province Buenos Aires]


  [Illustration: Snow in the Tropics

   Plaza Pringlés, San Luis, July, 1913]


  [Illustration: Reflection of Aconcagua Volcano in the Clouds above
   Valparaiso

   This rare phenomenon is occasionally seen in April and September at
   dawn. The mountain itself is invisible from Valparaiso.]


JOURNEYS AND EXPERIENCES IN ARGENTINA, PARAGUAY, AND CHILE

Including a side trip to the source of the Paraguay River
in the State of Matto Grosso, Brazil, and a journey
across the Andes to the Rio Tambo in Peru

by

HENRY STEPHENS

Harvard, A.B., Vienna, Ph.D.

FIRST EDITION



The Knickerbocker Press
New York
1920

Copyright
By
Henry Stephens
1920



     TO
     MR. H. L. MENCKEN, OF BALTIMORE, MARYLAND
     WHO IS CONSIDERED TO BE AMERICA'S FOREMOST CRITIC
     OF LITERATURE I GLADLY DEDICATE THIS BOOK OF TRAVELS



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER I

                                                                    PAGE

  MONTEVIDEO                                                           1

  Experience in landing. Population of the city. Conservativeness
  of the inhabitants. Gambling establishment at Playa Ramirez.
  Train ride to Colonia.

  CHAPTER II

  BUENOS AIRES                                                        21

  Population of the city. Streets and architecture. High cost of
  living. Hotels. Beverages. Street beggars and vagabonds. Mariano
  Moreno College. Habit of not bathing. Jews. La Plata.

  CHAPTER III

  SAN LUIS                                                            62

  Appearance of the city. Capitol. Plazas. Hotels. Neighboring
  country. Character of the natives. Train ride to Mendoza.

  CHAPTER IV

  MENDOZA                                                             78

  Viticulture. Fruit growing. Wheat. Population and appearance of
  the city. Earthquake of 1861. Cerrito de la Gloria. Hotels.
  Aconcagua. Cacheuta. Across the Andes. Arrival in town of Los
  Andes.

  CHAPTER V

  SALTA AND TUCUMÁN                                                  101

  Train ride to Salta. Lerma Valley. Province of Salta. Chuchu
  fever. Population of the city of Salta. 20th of February Club.
  Churches and San Francisco Monastery. Population of the city of
  Tucumán. Capitol. Governor Padilla. Heat of the city. Hotel
  Savoy. Kirwin the photographer. Villa Nougués.

  CHAPTER VI

  CÓRDOBA                                                            130

  Province of Córdoba. Description of the city of Córdoba. Great
  number of consumptives. Breweries. Streets, religious edifices,
  and hotels. Sierra de Córdoba. Cosquin. Locust pest. Rosario; its
  hotels. Pergamino. Mercedes.

  CHAPTER VII

  ASUNCION                                                           155

  Train ride from Buenos Aires. Population of Paraguayan districts
  and towns. Don Eduardo Schaerer. Currency. Colonnades. Pavement
  of Asuncion's streets. Oratory of Lopez. Climate, rains, and
  reptiles. Madame Lynch. Hotels. Mangrullo Cemetery. Market-place.
  Cigars. Low cost of living. Asuncene womanhood. Unmorality.
  Ypacara-i.

  CHAPTER VIII

  TO THE SOURCE OF THE PARAGUAY RIVER                                195

  River scenery. Villa Concepcion. San Salvador. State of Matto
  Grosso. Corumbá. Lawlessness. By water to Cuyabá. City of Cuyabá.
  Huber. Detour to source of river. Bog and pool. Huber becomes
  ill; his death. Diamantino. Return to Buenos Aires by river.
  Yerba maté.

  CHAPTER IX

  SANTIAGO                                                           226

  Republic of Chile. Central Valley. Longitudinal railways. Paucity
  of factories. Breweries. The Chileno. Illegitimacy. Fiesta of the
  Angelito. Reception in Santiago. Compactness of the city; its
  streets. Installation of the president. Military parade. American
  ambassador. Hotels. High death rate. General Cemetery. Apoquindo.

  CHAPTER X

  BATHS OF CAUQUENES. CHILOÉ ISLAND. LAKE NAHUEL. HUAPI              263

  Rancagua. Baths of Cauquenes. Hostelry. Horseback ride to Los
  Lirios. Linares. Panimávida. Araucania and its native
  inhabitants. Temuco. Valdivia. Osorno. Fire at Osorno. Ancud.
  Castro. Lake Llanquihue. El Tronador Puella. Puerto Blest. Lake
  Nahuel Huapi. San Carlos de Bariloche.

  CHAPTER XI

  CHILLÁN. ASCENT OF THE VOLCANO CHILLÁN                             312

  Description of the city. Hotel de France. Earthquake. Chillán
  Viejo. Birthplace of O'Higgins. Journey to Las Termas de Chillán.
  Establishment of Las Termas. Gambling. Episode of the
  administrator's brother. Snowfields and glaciers. Eruption of
  volcano. Don Vicente Mendez U. Curicó.

  CHAPTER XII

  NORTHWARD TO ANTOFAGASTA BY RAIL. COPIAPÓ, ANTOFAGASTA, AND        347
  IQUIQUE

  Greenberg's adventure. San Felipe. Jahuel. Palm groves. Choapa
  Valley. Illapel. La Serena. Vallenar. Oasis of Copiapó.
  Retrogressant provincial capital. Professor Platner. Desert.
  Prosperity of Antofagasta. Strict prohibition laws. Bubonic
  plague. Pestilential Tocopilla. Description of Iquique.

  CHAPTER XIII

  ARICA TO ILO OVERLAND, VIA TACNA, TARATA, AND MOQUEGUA. MOLLENDO   387

  Dr. Petit. Morro of Arica. Dispute between Chile and Peru over
  Tacna and Arica. Architect Pitaud. Description of Tacna. Peculiar
  architecture. Hotel Raiteri. Don Santiago Carmona. Caplina
  Valley. Ascending the Andes, Tarata. Parish priest. Tales of
  buried treasure. Hacienda Carmona. Ticalco and Sama Valleys.
  Stupidity of Peruvian jefe politico. Ilabaya. Dishonest cholo and
  Prat's spree. Don José Vergara. Moquegua. Ilo. Stinking Mollendo.
  Arrival at Callao.

  CHAPTER XIV

  LIMA                                                               434

  Architecture of Callao. Mixed population of Lima and its seaport.
  Origin of Lima. Rimac River. Interesting city. Its population.
  Confusion of street names. Concepcion Market. Religious edifices
  and procession of El Milagro. Hotels and cafés. Difficulty in
  getting money changed. Crookedness of post office officials.
  General Cemetery. Viceroys of Peru.

  CHAPTER XV

  ACROSS THE CORDILLERA TO THE RIO TAMBO                             470

  Departure from Oroya. Across the Cumbre. Tarma. Valley of the Rio
  Palca. Huacapistana. Tropical vegetation. Swinging bridges. San
  Ramon. La Merced and the Chanchamayo River. Chuncho, Campas, and
  Cashibo Indians. Perené Colony. Down the Ucayali. Iquitos. Head
  hunting Indians.

  CHAPTER XVI

  BUSINESS PROSPECTS IN ARGENTINA, PARAGUAY, AND CHILE               496

  Knowledge of Spanish and of the Latin character a necessity.
  Companies should be fully capitalized. Wheat belt of Argentina.
  Argentina poor in fuel and in minerals. Zona del Riego. Flour
  mills and beef canning factories. Stock raising and great
  ranches. Tannic acid factories. Grafting politicians. Breweries
  and sugar mills. Yerba maté industry in Paraguay. Bright outlook
  for Chile. Topography of the country. Nitrate, minerals, and
  viticulture. Breweries. Enamel works. Railroads of Chile. Great
  need of good hotels.



ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                         PAGE
  Henry Stephens, Ph.D.
  Locust Pest in Argentina
  Snow in the Tropics
  Reflection of Aconcagua in the Clouds above
    Valparaiso  _Frontispieces_
  Colonia, Uruguay                                         19
  Congress Building, Buenos Aires                          23
  Buenos Aires Types                                       25
  Avenida de Mayo, Buenos Aires                            27
  Mr. Oliver H. Lane                                       29
  Calle Bartolome Mitré, Buenos Aires                      31
  Fireman and Policeman, Buenos Aires                      33
  Zoölogical Garden, Buenos Aires                          35
  Scene on the River at Tigre                              53
  Station of the Southern Railway, La Plata                55
  Old Railway Station, La Plata                            56
  Bank of the Argentine Nation, La Plata                   57
  Bank of the Province of Buenos Aires, La Plata           58
  Allegorical Statue of La Plata                           59
  Unfinished Cathedral, La Plata                           60
  Plaza San Martin, Mercedes                               63
  Street in San Luis                                       65
  Bank of the Argentine Nation, San Luis                   66
  Capitol, San Luis                                        68
  Matriz Church, San Luis                                  70
  Estancia near San Luis                                   73
  Statue of San Martin, Mendoza                            84
  Avenida San Martin, Mendoza                              85
  Monument to the Army of the Andes, Mendoza               89
  Waiting for the Train at Cacheuta                        94
  On the Terrace at Cacheuta                               95
  Thermal Establishment at Cacheuta                        97
  One of the Diversions at Cacheuta that is neither
    Bathing nor Gambling                                   98
  Steps at Cacheuta Leading from the Railroad
    Station to the Hotel                                   99
  Güemes                                                  107
  Cathedral and Bishop's Palace, Salta                    109
  Tomb in Cemetery, Salta                                 113
  Calle Mitre, Salta                                      116
  Capitol, Tucumán                                        121
  Calle Laprida, Tucumán                                  123
  Residence of Dr. Juan C. Nougués, San Pablo             127
  Country House at Villa Nougués                          128
  Northern Market, Córdoba                                133
  Cathedral of Córdoba                                    137
  Residence of Martin Ferreyra, Córdoba                   138
  Church of Santa Teresa, Córdoba                         139
  Zoölogical Garden, Córdoba                              141
  Corner of Plaza San Martin, Córdoba                     142
  Bridge on Road to Dique San Roque                       144
  Courthouse, Rosario                                     147
  Street Scene, Rosario                                   148
  Plaza 25 de Mayo, Rosario                               149
  Street Scene, Rosario                                   150
  Calle San Nicolas, Pergamino                            151
  Plaza 25 de Mayo, Pergamino                             152
  Street in Mercedes                                      153
  Scene from Railroad Station at Villa Rica               162
  Casa de Gobierno, or Capitol, Asuncion                  167
  Drawing Showing Construction of Colonnades on
    a Paraguayan Building                                 170
  Cabildo, or City Hall, Asuncion                         171
  Plazoleta del Puerto, Asuncion                          172
  Calle Palmas, Asuncion                                  173
  Calle 15 de Agosto, Asuncion                            174
  Street Scene, Outskirts of Asuncion                     175
  Mangrullo Cemetery, Asuncion                            184
  Street Scene, Cuyabá                                    205
  Street Scene, Outskirts of Cuyabá                       206
  Source of the Paraguay River                            213
  House in Diamantino where Huber Died                    220
  Diagram Showing Idea of Central Valley of Chile
    in Relationship to the Andes Mountains and
    the Coast Range, with Course of Streams               227
  Scenery, Central Valley of Chile                        229
  Village Scene, Central Chile                            230
  The Valdivia Breweries Company, Valdivia                233
  Santa Lucia Hill, Santiago                              239
  General View of Santiago from Santa Lucia Hill          241
  Alameda, Santiago                                       242
  Calle Huerfanos, Santiago                               243
  Modern Residence on the Alameda, Santiago               244
  Calle Ejercito Liberador, Santiago                      245
  Fountain in Santiago                                    247
  President Don Juan Luis Sanfuentes of Chile with
    Cabinet                                               248
  Monument of Don Pedro Montt, Cementerio Jeneral,
    Santiago                                              249
  View Looking West on Compañia Street from
    Estado at the Plaza de Armas, Santiago                251
  Cathedral Street, Santiago                              252
  Mapocho River near Santiago                             256
  Street in Nuñoa, Chile                                  261
  Plaza O'Higgins, Rancagua                               264
  Calle Bresil, Rancagua                                  265
  Street in Rancagua                                      266
  Gorge of the Cachapoal at Baños de Cauquenes            268
  Main Street of Linares                                  277
  Panimávida                                              278
  Bridge over the Malleco River at Collipulli             283
  Street in Temuco                                        287
  Plaza de la Republica, Valdivia                         289
  Calle-Calle River at Valdivia, Showing Flour
    Mills                                                 291
  Street in Valdivia                                      292
  Riñihue Landscape, Southern Chile                       293
  Osorno                                                  295
  Scenery on the Railroad between Osorno and
    Puerto Montt                                          297
  Indian Belles, Chiloé Island, Chile                     301
  Lake Todos Santos from Petrohué                         304
  Puella                                                  306
  El Tronador, Chile                                      308
  San Carlos de Bariloche                                 311
  Plaza O'Higgins, Chillán                                314
  Calle Roble, Chillán, Looking East from Calle
    Arauco                                                315
  Street in Chillán                                       316
  Market Place, Chillán                                   317
  Scene at the Station at Pinto                           322
  Post Station at La Dehesa                               323
  Harvesting Scene at La Dehesa                           324
  Mountain in the Renegado Canyon, Chile                  325
  Corral of Las Trancas                                   326
  Forest in the Province of Ñuble, Chile                  327
  Scene on the Road to Termas de Chillán                  328
  Termas de Chillán                                       329
  Casuchas at Termas de Chillán                           330
  Mr. Henry Stephens                                      333
  Mr. Hugo Gumprecht                                      333
  View towards the Argentine Frontier from the
    Slopes of Volcano Chillán                             334
  Glacier Covered with Fresh Snow on the Volcano          335
  Rim of the Crater of Volcano Chillán During
    Eruption                                              337
  Snow Fields of Volcano Chillán                          337
  From the Slopes of Volcano Chillán                      339
  Savedra, Gumprecht, and Prat on Lava Fields of
    Volcano Chillán                                       339
  Mountain Scenery and Waterfall at Las Trancas           343
  Church in San Felipe                                    348
  City Hall, San Felipe                                   349
  Street in San Felipe                                    352
  Street in Almendraz                                     353
  Jahuel                                                  356
  Ocoa                                                    359
  Street in Vallenar                                      362
  Alameda in Copiapó                                      363
  Monument Erected in Honor of Atacama's Illustrious
    Dead, Copiapó                                         364
  Main Street of Copiapó                                  365
  Main Street of Copiapó                                  366
  Outskirts of Copiapó                                    367
  Hovels on the Outskirts of Copiapó                      368
  Cemetery, Copiapó                                       369
  Plaza Colon, Antofagasta                                374
  Provincial Capitol Building, Antofagasta                375
  Street in Antofagasta                                   377
  Street in Tocopilla                                     380
  Cemeteries at Tocopilla                                 382
  Street in Iquique                                       384
  Street in Iquique                                       385
  Cemetery, Iquique                                       386
  Custom House, Arica                                     388
  Street in Arica                                         389
  Capitol Building at Tacna                               392
  Street in Tacna Showing Earthquake Proof Houses         393
  Calle Bolivar, Tacna                                    394
  Fountain in Tacna                                       395
  Unfinished Cathedral in Tacna                           396
  Style of Tacna Architecture                             397
  Old Residence, Tacna                                    398
  Street in Tacna                                         399
  Calle Miller, Tacna                                     400
  Alameda, Tacna                                          401
  Street in Tarata                                        406
  Street in Ilabaya, Peru                                 423
  Alameda, Moquegua                                       426
  Street in Moquegua                                      428
  Street in Moquegua                                      429
  Callao Harbor                                           435
  Puente Vieja, Lima, as Seen from the Bed of the
    Rimac                                                 438
  Calle Huallaga, Lima                                    440
  Plaza Italia, Lima. Vendors of Bread                    441
  Plazuela de la Inquisicion, Lima                        442
  Boulevard in Lima                                       444
  Façade of San Augustin Church, Lima                     447
  Procession of the Milagro, Lima                         449
  Cercado Church, Lima                                    460
  Tomb of the Goyeneche Family, in the General
    Cemetery, Lima                                        461
  Mr. Kurt Waldemar Linn of New York                      462
  Mr. Linn of New York Rising out of the Tomb
    Erected in Honor of the Peruvian Heroes of
    the Pacific War, 1879-1882                            463
  Corpse Bearer, General Cemetery, Lima                   464
  Putting a Coffin into a Niche, General Cemetery,
    Lima                                                  465
  Llamas at Casapalca                                     474
  Tarma, Peru                                             477
  Cemetery, Tarma                                         479
  Argentine Plazas. Plate No. I                           521
  Argentine Plazas. Plate No. II                          523
  Chilean Plazas. Plate No. III                           525
  Map Showing Route Taken by Author                  _At End_



Journeys and Experiences in Argentina, Paraguay, and Chile



CHAPTER I

MONTEVIDEO


In my former book, _South American Travels_, I made a statement
relative to the pronunciation of the word "Montevideo" as follows:
"Many foreigners make the mistake of pronouncing the name of the
city with the accent on its penultima 'e'. Each syllable should be
pronounced alike, with no distinction made as onto which syllable
the accent falls." I have since found out that I was wrong, and am
convinced so by my losing a ten-dollar bet with a gentleman relative
to the pronunciation of the Uruguayan metropolis. Montevideo has its
accent on the penultima. The word is derived from the Latin "_Montem
video_" the final _m_ in _montem_ having been dropped to facilitate
pronunciation. Its site was first discovered by Magellan in 1520, and
as the 493 feet high dun-colored _cerro_, which dominates the western
side of the harbor on whose shores the city is now built, appeared on
the occidental horizon, somebody at the bow of the ship yelled out,
"Montem video" ("I see a mountain"), which words gave the city its
present name. It can be safely assumed that the man at the bow who
uttered the Latin exclamation was a priest or a friar because who
amongst a crew of sailors and adventurers would have a knowledge of
Latin unless it was a man who had taken Holy Orders? The Spaniards
and Portuguese in those days never embarked on any expedition without
taking some of these gentry along.

Montevideo is sometimes called "Queen of La Plata" on account of its
cleanliness, haughty reserve, and aristocratic appearance; more often
has it been styled "Modern Troy" due to decades of internecine strife,
anarchy, revolutions, and a Ten Years' War. Now that there has been
quietude for several years, with prospects of continued peace, it is
unfair to its inhabitants to liken it to the prehistoric city at the
southeastern end of the Hellespont.

Several times during the years 1915 and 1916, I visited Montevideo,
having made occasional trips from Buenos Aires, but an episode
connected with my last advent on Uruguayan shores will take an
indefinitely long time to erase it from my memory. It was like this:

On February 17, 1916, I had embarked on the Lamport & Holt steamship
_Vestris_ at La Plata for Montevideo to bid farewell to friends
returning to the United States. The steamer was scheduled to sail from
Montevideo at 2 P.M. the next day.

When that time came I was in the dining room, and was so engrossed in
a conversation that appealed to me that I never heard the ringing of
bells and the blowing of whistles that denote that an ocean leviathan
is about to get under way. Suddenly an acquaintance, Mr. Lynn B. Packer
of Norwich, N. Y., ran into the dining room calling out: "The ship is
in motion, Stephens, we are in for it!" We both ran up the stairs and
onto the deck. True enough, the _Vestris_ was sailing but at a snail's
pace, and the anchor was being pulled up. The lighter containing the
visitors had left and was now but a black speck behind the breakwater.
Not even a fishing boat was in sight. We ran to the port side, and saw
a few hundred feet away a rowboat in which were two men pulling away.
We yelled to them and waved our handkerchiefs; they stopped. We took
off our coats and waved them also; they swung their rowboat around
and rowed back towards us. A steward and a couple of sailors got a
rope-ladder which they hung over the railing of the deck, and down
this Packer and myself clambered, and jumped into the rowboat which had
now reached the sides of the _Vestris_. The two men of the rowboat now
pulled out to let the ocean liner pass by, so as not to get caught in
the vortex of water caused by the propellers.

The sea was rough; a leaden sky cast a gloomy canopy over the leaden
water; to the left rose the dun-colored cerro crowned by its prison
and lighthouse. In the background nearly two miles away, seemed to rise
in tiers, the somber buildings of drab Montevideo, the twin towers of
the cathedral, the Gothic steeple of a church, and a large rectangular
pile at the water's edge, which was formerly the university, being
silhouetted against the sky line. Black hulls of ships, merchantmen,
and freighters flying the flags of most civilized nations, besides the
interned German ships of the Kosmos Line, dotted the harbor and the
open sea outside of the breakwater, but we were at least half a mile
from the nearest one of them.

We now began to size up the two boatmen. They were a villainous
looking pair. The one who acted as the boss was an undersized man about
thirty-five years old. He wore a black moustache, and about two weeks
stubble of beard. His hair was unkempt, and white mucus had collected
at the corners of his mouth and eyes. He stunk of garlic, and his
clothes were dirty and greasy. His companion was a tall and slender
man, a few years his junior. His appearance was likewise unkempt,
although his long face, covered with pimples, was clean shaven, except
for an occasional straggling whisker on his chin which his razor had
overlooked.

The boss boatman, knowing me to be a North American, attempted to
converse with me in English, but his knowledge of that tongue was
so execrable that he soon had to desist; he knew but a few words of
Spanish. By mixing lingoes we made ourselves understood and he informed
me that he was a resident of Rio de Janeiro, of which city he was a
native, and that he was at present employed as a doctor on a Brazilian
passenger ship in Montevideo, and that his regular trips were from
Manaos on the Amazon to Montevideo, touching at all the seaports; his
comrade, he informed me, was a Paulista and was the Marconi operator on
the same ship. Both had been making a visit to the different ships now
anchored in Montevideo harbor, having had chats with the doctors and
Marconi-men of said ships, and were returning to their own vessel when
hailed by us.

This yarn I refused to believe, for no man that I had ever seen had
a more unmedical appearance than the boss boatman; moreover instead
of attempting to row us to the docks, both men were rowing towards
the Brazilian vessel, which we were approaching, and which belied its
title of a passenger ship, having more the appearance of a freighter.
The sea, as I said, was rough, and I yelled to the boatmen to swing
around as I had no desire to be carried into the South Atlantic in an
open boat; my misgivings were not so much on account of the elements,
as for the thought that I became obsessed with, namely that these two
vagabonds were trying to shanghai us, endeavoring to get us aboard
the Brazilian ship. Montevideo, Valparaiso, and Callao are noted as
tough ports, where shanghaiing is rife, and many of these stories were
brought to my mind. To Packer, who lay reposing in the stern, I told
my doubts. He replied that he had been thinking the same thing for
some time. I told him the best thing for us to do would be to ask for
the oars so that we could row back to shore ourselves; in case the
boatmen refused, to rush them, and lay them out. He said he was game
for a fight but refused to row, giving some excuse which I interpreted
in meaning that he was too lazy. I had nothing but a pocket knife with
me, and in case of a fight, meant to plant the blade in some vulnerable
spot in the anatomy of the boss boatman, whom I took to be the boss
villain.

We had gradually been drifting out in the open sea, and the waves were
becoming rougher. These were also unpleasant thoughts, especially since
during the last few minutes the Brazilians had developed a streak of
laziness. Packer gave me a wink which was the cue, and I asked for the
oars. Great was my astonishment and also relief of mind, when instead
of refusing my request which would have brought on a sanguinary fight
with possible loss of life to one or more of us, the boss boatman
handed me the oars. The Paulista, ready for a siesta, even though the
sea was rough, dropped his oars beside his comrade, and turned over
on his side for a snooze. All alone, with no help, I had to row the
three occupants back, as each refused to labor any more. It took me two
hours, hard pulling, before we again reached the dock at Montevideo.
Believing that the "doctor" stunt was a lie, and that both were sailors
from the Brazilian vessel, I offered the boatmen a piece of change for
their aid in bringing us to terra firma, for unless they had taken us
in their rowboat we would by this time be well under way for Santos.
The boss boatman was indignant and informed me that I was insulting
him. I then handed out some silver to the "Marconi" operator; he was
on the point of accepting it, but withdrew his hand at a growl of
disapproval from the "doctor."

"You had better have some refreshment," I said to them, leading the way
to a nearby bar. They followed me and seating themselves at the same
table with us, ordered some raspberry soda. This was astonishment No.
2, for I could hardly conceive such villainous-looking rascals imbibing
anything milder than one hundred proof whiskey.

"See this ring," quoth the Fluminense, turning a finger to me so
that I could see within the gold setting, a black stone in which was
chiselled the image of a serpent: "It denotes the cult of Æsculapius.
Most Brazilian doctors wear them. I have been on the same ship for
three years. Here is my card." The man pulled a book out of his pocket
similar to a lodge pass-book at home, and true enough I saw that he was
telling the truth, and that he really was a bona fide physician.

We must have sat at the table for about fifteen minutes, when the
Marconi operator got into a row with the waiter, whom he claimed
overcharged him the day before on a dish of ice cream. The waiter
called the proprietor and a big rumpus occurred. It wound up by the
Paulista pulling a fist full of nickle-in-the-slot machine slugs out
of his pocket and hurling them with great force into the face of the
outraged proprietor. Before he could recover his astonishment, both
Brazilians "beat it" in the direction of the docks. Packer and I,
anticipating trouble, also "beat it," but up the hill. No man likes
to chase another up hill. In case any reader of this article should go
to Montevideo, and would like to know where this particular café is, I
wish to inform him that it is situated at the southwest corner of the
streets, Rampla and Alzaibar.

That same night as I was standing on the Plaza Matriz in front of
the Hotel Lanata, I was accosted by a very clean-looking gentleman,
immaculately dressed in black, wearing spats, and carrying a small
cane. I thought it was a case of mistaken identity and was about
to pass on, when to my amazement I recognized the doctor. The
transformation was complete. He could now pass for a boulevardier while
before he had the air of a cutthroat. He informed me that he had rowed
back to his ship, changed his attire, and had returned to shore by a
motor boat.

The city of Montevideo has about four hundred thousand inhabitants
exclusive of suburbs, and stretches over quite an area of land, due to
the broad streets and lowness of its houses. It is built around the
harbor and also along the Atlantic Ocean which is separated from the
harbor by a hill in the shape of a whaleback. At the western end of the
harbor is the cerro which marks the mouth of the La Plata and which is
the only hill worthy of the name until that of Lambaré is reached one
thousand miles up the river, the landmark for Asuncion. The whaleback
is the business part of the city, although the shopping district has
now a tendency to spread more eastward. The gradient to the top of
the whaleback on which lies the Calle Sarandi, one of the principal
streets of the city, is gentle, but yet I have several acquaintances
who refused to walk it, preferring to go from the docks to the Plaza
Matriz in a taxicab. One of these men is Mr. Oliver H. Lane, formerly
of Washington before that city was made "dry," but who, because that
calamity befell the National Capital, moved to Boston. One day in
December, 1915, he, Packer, and I started from the docks uptown on
foot. After we had gone two blocks, Lane planted his back against the
wall of a building and said:

"What do you take me for? Do you think I want to walk to Paraguay?"

As there were no taxicabs around, Packer and I were obliged to walk
about three-quarters of a mile to the Plaza Matriz to get one to return
for Lane, whom we found in the same identical spot with his back still
against the wall.

Montevideo ranks according to the tonnage of vessels entering and
clearing its harbor as the ninth port in the world, surpassing all
South American cities in this respect. Until about fifty years ago,
it was the metropolis of the La Plata watershed. About that time
Buenos Aires passed it, and to-day the population of the Argentine
metropolis is four times larger. Montevideo has a fine harbor; Buenos
Aires has none. The Uruguayan back country is richer than the country
behind Buenos Aires. Montevideo has a wonderful climate, cool,
invigorating, with a fresh breeze always blowing; Buenos Aires has
a humid, enervating, somewhat depressing climate. With these natural
superiorities, one would think Montevideo would outrank Buenos Aires
but not so. Buenos Aires has always had a spirit of progression, which
has become contagious and has spread to Rosario, and to Bahia Blanca;
Montevideo has always been conservative, entirely wrapped in herself,
indifferent to other cities. Uruguay, which is the smallest republic in
South America, has an area of only 72,210 square miles, not as large
as the province of Buenos Aires alone. Of its population of 1,042,668
inhabitants, one half live within a radius of twenty miles from the
center of the city of Montevideo. The difference between Buenos Aires
and Montevideo is so great that it is difficult to realize that they
are separated only by a night's run of 190 knots.

The topography of the city is a succession of low hills which flank
the harbor. They continue to the cerro, seven miles around the
semi-circular harbor, and on their sides and summits are built a
succession of villages not included in the incorporation limits of
Montevideo. On the cerro rise the whitewashed houses of the town of
Villa del Cerro, while at its bottom slopes near the La Plata mouth
there is a large eucalyptus grove of dark green color, a landmark for
many miles at sea.

There was but little building done in Montevideo between the years 1912
and 1916; in fact I could see no change, although I have no doubt but
that the population is increasing on a normal scale. The monotony of
the appearance of the residential streets is impressing. Each street
has the same cobblestone pavement; on each street there are sycamore
trees between the pavement and the sidewalk; the houses are mostly the
same, one and two stories high, built of the same material and offering
absolutely no contrast in architecture, in size, or color to the
thousands like them in the Uruguayan metropolis. This same condition
must have existed since the Colonial times, because one writer, whose
book written about 1830 I recently read, said in his description of
Montevideo that on account of the great similarity of the houses and
absence of street numbers, drunken men frequently mistook houses of
other people for their own and entered them at different times of the
day and night causing much embarrassment and confusion.

The residences of the wealthier inhabitants do not have this monotonous
uniformity. They are villas, set back from the street in large gardens
and lawns, enclosed by low brick walls. In architecture they are light
and resemble the houses of the aristocracy of Rio de Janeiro. Compared
with the palatial homes of the Buenos Aires millionaires they are
inexpensive. The Avenida Agraciada is the main residential street, but
the Avenida Brazil in the suburb of Pocitos has many fine homes, some
of which are the summer abodes of Argentinos who like to spend the
hottest months of the summer by the seashore. The very finest mansion
in the city is on the Plaza Zabala, the loafers' park, in the business
section on the whaleback, and not far from the docks. It is owned by an
Italian who wished to have his residence near to his place of business.

The main shopping streets are Sarandi and Rincon. These are parallel
and are but one block apart. The Avenida 18 de Julio, like the Avenida
de Mayo in Buenos Aires, is the parade street. It is a beautiful broad
avenue about a mile and a half long, and runs eastward from the Plaza
Independencia. Seven blocks up it is interrupted in its course by
the Plaza Libertad, formerly named Sagancha. It is one of the finest
streets in South America. Many of the streets have old Indian names
peculiar to the country such as Timbo, Yaro, Tacuarembo, Yaguaron, Yí,
Cuareim, Ibicui, Ituzaingo, Guarani, etc. It is pleasant to see this
change in street names after a sojourn in Argentina where in each city
the nomenclatures of the streets never vary, with the omnipresent San
Martin, Tucumán, Córdoba, Corrientes, La Rioja, and many others.

Montevideo and its suburbs on the ocean are the great bathing resorts
of South America and are visited annually by more people than Mar del
Plata, the latter place being exclusively for the rich. On account
of its proximity to Buenos Aires, it is resorted to daily by great
numbers of tourists, who make the night trip across the La Plata River.
Pocitos is the most popular bathing resort. The poor natives do their
swimming from the rocks on the ocean front near the heart of the city.
They are invariably garbed _à la_ Adam, and are visible by all the
occupants of the electric tramcars that pass along that shore. The most
aristocratic beach in Montevideo is the Playa Ramirez but people do
not flock to that section as much for bathing as they do for gambling.
Everything goes in Montevideo. The exclusive and expensive Parque
Hotel at the Playa Ramirez, the show place of costly raiment, and of
sparkling gems which embellish the figures of their wearers, has in
connection the finest gambling house in America, roulette and baccarat
being the attractions. The Parque Hotel, which was formerly under the
management of a naturalized United States citizen, Edward Aveglio, is
now under the same management as the Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires, and
is considered to be one of the best seashore hotels in South America.
It is patronized largely by Argentine aristocracy.

The gambling establishment, probably after those of Monte Carlo and
San Sebastian the most luxurious edifice of its kind in existence,
opens at 5 P.M. and closes at 7.30 P.M. It reopens at 9 P.M. and closes
at 2 A.M. A fee of one peso ($1.04) is charged to enter. One peso is
the lowest permissible play on any single number at roulette and one
hundred pesos is the highest. Unlike the Argentine roulette wheels
which have a 0 and a 00, this one has but a single zero which gives the
player (or rather the victim) one nineteenth of a better show to win,
if successful.

The same class of crowd that graces most European casinos is seen
here at its zenith. There is present the nervous individual, who
wants the public to think he has a system. To make them believe it, he
pretends to study a chart and makes pencil notations. When he loses,
he mutters an unintelligible exclamation. There also grace the scene
fat dowagers with paste diamond necklaces. Some women who have wasted
their allowance on bridge and poker, and are now in the clutches of
the moneylender, come here to attempt to retrieve their fortune on
one final coup, in most cases their swan song. Bankers, diplomats,
millionaires, and cabinet officers from Buenos Aires, a president of
one of the Latin republics are to be seen. Young fops are in evidence,
not to play, but to ogle the raft of glorious girls always to be found
in propinquity to tables of chance.

The casino does a great bar business in champagne cocktails to the tune
of forty-one cents a glass. This champagne cocktail, regardless of its
high price, seems to be one of the favorite strong drinks there. The
soft drink that tickles the palate of the Montevideanos is a nauseating
concoction named _palta_. It is made of orange juice, pineapple juice,
sugar, and the yolk of an egg; to it is added siphon water. It is
then stirred, and served in a large goblet. I tried some of it as an
experiment and am sorry that I did not stick to beer, for the egg that
the mixologist used in my palta was rotten. In R. Bibondo's Brazilian
coffee house on Suipacha Street in Buenos Aires, I once received a
piece of cake in whose making a rotten egg was likewise used.

Although the Grand Hotel Lanata cannot be called first-class in any
respect, excepting the restaurant which is the best in the city, it
is far better for the unaccompanied male visitor to stop there than at
the Parque, on account of its central location. It takes twenty minutes
by electric car to reach the Parque from the Plaza Independencia. It
costs $1.20 to reach it by taxicab. The Grand Hotel Lanata of Ximines
and Santamarina is in the central part of the city on the Plaza
Constitucion (formerly called the Plaza Matriz) and is convenient
for shoppers and sightseers. The Oriental near the docks is a good
hotel, but the glass-roofed parlor and lobby is malodorous from poor
ventilation. Other good hotels are the Colon, Barcelona, and Florida
Palace. Regarding the last-mentioned place, I must state that its
proprietor is a Brazilian who does not draw the color line as to his
clientele.

Worthy of interest are the cathedral, the Solis theatre, the central
market, the colonnaded buildings on the Plaza Independencia, the new
university, the central cemetery, and the Uruguaya brewery.

The cathedral is a twin-towered and domed majestic structure on the
Plaza Constitucion with an elaborately decorated chapel. Four golden
suns (the sun is the emblem of Uruguay) are painted on an azure
background on the wall beneath the dome. The rays of the natural sun
above, penetrating the yellow and blue skylights of the dome, cast
weird and ghostly lights in the interior.

The Uruguaya brewery is on the Calle Yatai, to the west of the center
of the city, but nearly two miles from the downtown business section.
It is best reached by electric tramcar. The reason for a visit to it is
the large beer hall like the Hofbrauhaus in Munich, and whose replica
is to be found nowhere else in the Western Hemisphere. There are
large bare tables, with chairs and benches. The visitor sits at one of
these. He need not give an order for no sooner is he seated than a full
schuper of foaming elixir is placed in front of him. When he has had
enough, he turns his empty mug bottom up, otherwise it is a sign that
his thirst has not been quenched and that he is in line for another
one, which is immediately set in front of him.

The specialties of Montevideo are the polished agates and stones common
to Uruguay. These are found in abundance in the department of Minas,
and although expensive are fine souvenirs. No tourist should visit
the city without taking some away as they make admirable gifts to
friends at home. They are made into paper weights, paper cutters, stamp
holders, buttons, etc. The best ones are dark blue; next come the smoky
gray. Also beautiful, but cheaper, are the brick red ones, and those
that are a combination of black and white.

A beautiful pink lily graces the lawns of the Avenida Agraciada. In
shape it is like our common orange red milk lily but unlike the milk
lily which grows in racemose clusters on a single stalk this Uruguayan
lily has but one blossom. It is hardy and should thrive in the United
States.

A gastronomic delicacy of Montevideo is the lobster which is caught on
the Uruguayan littoral, and which is seldom to be procured in Buenos
Aires restaurants.

Montevideo vies with Rio de Janeiro as being one of the cleanest cities
in the Western Hemisphere; like Rio de Janeiro, its taxicabs and
public automobiles for hire are the best in the Western Hemisphere.
The Montevideano drivers are reckless, and one day while out driving
in the suburbs in a hired motor car, the chauffeur tried to drive his
machine through a narrow place with the result that he drove into a
five-mule-power wagon and smashed the left headlight and dented the
hood for his pains. Returning by the same road shortly afterwards,
he met the same wagon, and angered drove into the mules for revenge.
This caused much annoyance as the mule driver, not knowing that the
automobile was a public vehicle; believed that it belonged to me and
that I had set the chauffeur up to this nefarious trick. The latter,
being a cur, stood safely to one side while I and the teamster had
the altercation. Although we nearly came to blows on account of the
chauffeur's scurvy stunt, the latter never opened his mouth to help me
out of the difficulty.

The Uruguayan metropolis is the congregating place of desperadoes,
ruffians, and other gentry of similar character from Argentina, and
other nations. They loiter about the entrances of the disreputable
saloons and sailors' dives and by their drunken actions and foul
speech make it impossible for a respectable woman to pass down any of
the streets near the docks without an escort. Argentina, glad to be
ridden of this class of social outcast, makes no effort to extradite
them unless they have committed some major crime. Here in Montevideo,
they "raise hell" and scarcely a day goes by without the newspapers
mentioning some murder, assault, or burglary that has taken place.

One of these gentry, a Cockney, evidently mistaking me for one of
his kind, approached me one day as I sat in front of a café under the
colonnades in the Plaza Independencia, and asked me for a job. He said:

"I ham not a bit particular what kind of a job it be," and drawing near
to my ear, he let his voice drop as he spoke: "I hax no questions. If
there be hanybody you'd like to put out of the way, Hi'm the man to do
it."

Not many people traveling between Montevideo and Buenos Aires ever
think of making the trip otherwise than on one of the palatial steamers
of the Mihanovich Line which ply between the two ports in a night's
run. The luxurious steamers _Ciudad de Buenos Aires_ and the _Ciudad
de Montevideo_, and the smaller but admirable _Londres_ and _Lisboa_,
are in the height of the season jammed with passengers nearly to
overcrowding. Tired of gazing upon the sluggish and muddy La Plata
River and eager to see the Uruguayan landscape, I decided to make the
trip by rail as far as Colonia and thence make the twenty-five mile
crossing to Buenos Aires on one of the smaller boats.

Colonia, capital of the department of the same name, is 153 miles
distant by rail from Montevideo. Trains run thrice a week only, on
Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, making the return trip the next day,
and their running time is seven hours and fifteen minutes, the speed
including stops being slightly over twenty-one miles an hour.

I left Montevideo on the Central Railroad one morning at 6.15 A.M., and
thirty-five minutes later entered the department of Canelones at the
large village of Las Piedras. The landscape during that short distance
and even as far as 25 de Agosto, where the department of San José is
entered was a monotonous succession of low rolling hills, with low,
long red brick and whitewashed _estancia_ buildings set back from the
country roads, at the edge of eucalyptus and pepperberry groves. Herds
of fat cattle and sheep browsed in the pastures tended by shepherd
boys with long-haired dogs. Between Las Piedras and 25 de Agosto a
small city was passed. Its name is Canelones and was formerly called
Guadelupe. It is the capital of Canelones and lies to east of the
railroad between it and a river named the Canelon Chico. The rivers,
Canelon Grande and Canelon Chico give the name to the province.

25 de Agosto is nothing but a railroad junction with some repair shops.
The main line of the Central Railroad runs north to the Brazilian
frontier at Rivera, and is here joined by the branch that goes westward
to Colonia. The department of San José which is now entered, presents a
different aspect than Canelones for the trees which had hitherto been
present in abundance around the estancias, had now disappeared. The
country had become more rolling, and to the westward a low range of
hills appeared on the horizon. As far as the eye could see, a canopy of
yellow dried prairie grasses bedecked the parched and blistered soil,
sweltering beneath the scorching rays of the hot February sun. All
over this seething landscape, roamed at will, half wild cattle, long
and gaunt. It is as much as a man's life is worth to venture on foot
amidst a herd of these Uruguayan cattle. They seldom attack a horseman,
knowing that he has them at an advantage, but the foot traveler should
be wary, for the quadrupeds know the tables are turned, and will
charge and gore him to death on sight. Birds of the genus Struthio,
spoken of as ostriches, but which in reality belong to the branch named
cassowaries, as they have three toes instead of two like the ostrich,
and no tufted tail feathers like the latter, mingle with these nomadic
cattle; so does the timid deer, unafraid and on terms of comradery, for
it is only against man that these beasts have animosity.

The city of San José, one of the largest in Uruguay, whose population I
imagine is about fifteen thousand inhabitants, is reached at 9.11 A.M.
It is pleasantly situated on a river of the same name at the base of
some high hills, which rise at the west of the city. The town itself
is intersected by the railroad which in a Uruguayan city is unusual as
most are generally at quite a distance therefrom. At Mal Abrigo, which
is reached about an hour after leaving San José, the railroad branches
out again, the other one going to Mercedes, a pleasant city on the
Rio Negro, and the capital of the department of Soriano. Continuing
on the Colonia line, we enter the department of Colonia and keep on
till we reach a small place named Rosario which is the junction for
another branch line to a La Plata port named Puerto del Sauce. Colonia
is reached at 1.30 P.M. Connection is made with small boats of the
Mihanovich Line which sail one hour later, making the crossing to
Buenos Aires in three hours to the tune of $2.89.

Colonia is a fine little town with about eight thousand inhabitants
lying directly across the La Plata River from Buenos Aires from which
city I imagine it to be about twenty-five miles distant. It is cool,
with a fresh breeze generally blowing and, owing to this, is much
visited by the inhabitants of the Argentine metropolis as a health and
summer resort. It has two good hotels, the Esperanza and the Ruso.
Besides the boats that ply daily between Buenos Aires and Colonia,
there are excursion steamers Sundays; also those that make nightly
trips returning at an early hour of the morning. The reason for this
last mentioned service is that in Uruguay gambling is permitted, and
at San Carlos, near Colonia and reached by a narrow gauge railway, is
another casino where the click of the ball as it revolves on the disk
of the roulette wheel disturbs the nocturnal air.

My friend Packer had an obsession for this kind of pastime, and
many were the nightly visits he made to San Carlos. On one of these
trips, while watching the game in the casino, an Englishman had made
a considerable winning, but owing to his inability to converse in the
Spanish language, the croupiers were endeavoring to cheat him out of
his winnings. He appealed to Packer, who helped him out and got his
money for him. On the trip back to Buenos Aires that same night, he and
Packer were seated opposite to one another in the dining-room. Packer
tried to enter into conversation with him. The Englishman puckered up
his lips and said: "I no speeka Engleesh." He deserved to be thrashed.
It is a very common occurrence in most countries of South America,
especially in Argentina for Englishmen to try to hide their nationality
and pass off as a native. Why they do this odious act, I do not know,
but any foreigner no matter how ignorant he is, can always spot an
Englishman by his mispronunciation of the language he is trying to hide
himself under.

  [Illustration: Colonia, Uruguay]

A syndicate was formed with $800,000 capital to start a bull ring
at San Carlos. It would have undoubtedly been a great money-making
transaction drawing innumerable people from Buenos Aires, but the
socialistic government of the Banda Oriental, as Uruguay is frequently
spoken of, very wisely put a ban on this cruel sport.



CHAPTER II

BUENOS AIRES


Buenos Aires which should have been named Malos Aires, on account
of the enervating, depressing humidity of its summer climate when
the thermometer sometimes registers as high as 104° Fahrenheit, and
when not a breath of air is stirring, is a city of nearly 1,750,000
inhabitants and rivals Philadelphia towards being the third in
population in the New World. This capital of Argentina, built upon
the west bank of the muddy La Plata River in latitude 34° south is
the entrepôt and distributing point for all merchandise and goods
that enters and leaves the vast territory which comprises the La Plata
system and in fact of all southern South America east of the Andes. It
is a city of marble statues, of elegant public buildings, of sumptuous
palaces, of parks and boulevards, and is often spoken of as the "Athens
of America." It is also a city of narrow streets, of _conventillos_
(poorer class tenements) teeming with Hebraic and Sicilian life, of
confidence men, lottery ticket vendors, Greek and Syrian peddlers,
fugitives from North American justice, bewhiskered Irish bums, and
Galician Jews reeking of garlic, adorned with corkscrew sideburns.
Down its avenues parade the same sort of crowd seen in Naples, also the
pompous banker, the bespatted fop with slender cane, the staid business
man, the artizan, beggars galore, and a galaxy of prostitutes, both
Iberian and _criolla_.

The most remarkable thing about Buenos Aires is how fast one can get
rid of one's money with so little received for it in return. Everything
costs half as much again as what it should, with the possible exception
of clothes and shoes. Meals, hotel rooms, beverages, lingerie,
photographic material, drugs, theater admissions, and in fact nearly
everything under the sun is sky high. The entertainments for a stranger
to indulge in are but few and mediocre. It is every day the same
routine after the first week of novelty of sight-seeing has worn off.
Unless in Buenos Aires on business, the stranger absolutely kills time
unprofitably by getting into a rut from which he does not extricate
himself until it is time for him to sail for home. He finds himself
two or three times a day at the same table in front of the same café,
watching the same people promenade by, the only variation being an
occasional visit to a burlesque show, the race track, the post office,
or to the zoölogical garden.

  [Illustration: Congress Building, Buenos Aires

   This is the finest building in South America. It cost $20,000,000. All
   the marble for its facing was imported from Italy]

In a previous book, I stated that the sycamore trees on the Avenida
de Mayo were sickly and did not think that they would live. I first
saw them in January, 1913. In December, 1915, when I again beheld
them, I was astonished at their appearance. They were a third again
as large, and they begin to show prospects of becoming elegant shade
trees. The subway was completed in 1914. It begins at the Plaza de
Mayo, on which square the Casa Rosada, or Capitol, faces, and continues
underneath the Avenida de Mayo to the mile-distant Congress Building,
thence underneath the next parallel street to the north, Rivadavia,
the bisecting thoroughfare of the city, to the Once railroad station,
the terminus of the Western Railway. An extension runs three miles
farther to a section of the city named Caballito. Caballito is the name
that the Naón estancia went by years ago before the city grew up. The
part of the city where the estancia once stood still retains the name.
Compared to subways in other cities, this one of Buenos Aires is poorly
patronized. It resembles the Budapest subway, more than it does the New
York or Boston ones, and its cars make but little better speed than do
those in the Budapest tube. Cab fare and taxicabs are cheap, which are
undoubtedly some of the primal causes of the subway's not excessive
patronage.

After his first few days in Buenos Aires, when the novelty of a strange
city had worn off, a friend and brother Elk, Mr. Oliver H. Lane,
remarked to me:

"Buenos Aires looks to me just like a big Italian city. Her Avenida de
Mayo, however, is a poor imitation of the Parisian boulevards."

In the first respect, I agree with him. The architecture of the
buildings, the attire of the male inhabitants, the way the moustaches
are trimmed, the cafés, the _toscanos_, the wax matches, the lottery
tickets, the dirty paper money, the confectionery stores, the ice
creams, and the beggars all savor of the Lavinian shores. In the second
respect I cannot agree with him. The Avenida de Mayo is physically
somewhat similar to the Parisian boulevards, but in character it is
widely different. If it is supposed to ape them, it is then a poor
imitation, but so different is it in most respects, that as a first
impression I would only call it a physical imitation. The oftener and
the longer one sits in front of the cafés and watches the people pass
by, the further apart he draws the comparison of this street to any
street in the world. I would designate the Avenida de Mayo as original.
The buildings that flank it are much taller than those of Paris; the
street is also considerably narrower than those in the French capital;
the crowd that parade the sidewalks is also not the same.

  [Illustration: Buenos Aires Types]

Rivadavia is the street which runs at right angles to the La Plata
River, and continuing westward into the country, divides the city into
two parts, its intersectors having different nomenclatures south of
it than they have north. For instance, a cross street has the name
Santiago del Estero south of it, and Talcahuano north of it: another is
named Piedras south of it, and Esmeralda north of it, etc. In the old
section of Buenos Aires, where the buildings are almost entirely given
up to wholesale and retail trade, the streets are exceedingly narrow. A
decade and a half ago, in order to give the people a breathing space,
and to relieve the congestion of traffic in this part of the city,
houses one half a block south of Rivadavia were torn down, and the
Avenida 25 de Mayo was put through. It starts at the Plaza de Mayo
on which is the Capitol, and ends at the Plaza Congreso, on which is
the new white marble Congress Building, the finest and most expensive
building in all South America. The length of this boulevard is about
one mile.

Architecturally the exterior and façades of the Buenos Aires
buildings are as fine as any in the world; the style of architecture
predominating is original, but the contagion has spread, and the new
structures of Montevideo, Rosario, and Mar del Plata have copied the
ornate and domed style that is preëminently Bonaerense. In order to
compare the architecture of Buenos Aires to that of another city,
let us choose Paris or Vienna because the Argentine capital is a city
that is fundamentally European. Although more beautiful in buildings
than either Paris or Vienna, it can hold no comparison to them in the
massiveness and solidity of the edifices in either of them. Nearly
all the buildings in Argentina are built of the poorest imaginable
brick, loosely fitted together, but little mortar having been used.
To these is given a coating of plaster, which on the façades is
worked into ornaments. On account of the climatic effects on the cheap
material, these buildings in a few years' time take on a weather-beaten
appearance. On account of the poor foundations on a muddy soil, many
structures sink after a few years.

  [Illustration: Avenida de Mayo, Buenos Aires

   This view is looking west from Calle Santiago del Estero]

With the exception of the modern steel and trussed concrete edifices,
the old patriarchal houses of the colonial times and days of the early
republic are the best built. Hundreds of these are to be seen to-day
on the side streets. They have marble-paved, glass-roofed patios onto
which open the doors of the parlor, dining room, and living rooms.
These rooms are likewise dependent on the patio for their light. Behind
the first patio is generally a second one, open to the sky, but on
rainy and on sunny days decked with an awning. Here sit the family in
their leisure hours; from this patio open the doors to the bedrooms.
A small garden is invariably at the rear; the kitchen and servants'
quarters are in its proximity. The handsome villas and private
residences of the wealthy inhabitants differ but little in architecture
from the same class of buildings the whole world over. It must not be
imagined that because the material and construction are poor that they
are cheap. They cost nearly double to build what their duplicates would
be in the United States. Brick, stone, iron, sand, lime, and lumber are
much more expensive than at home.

The cost of living in Buenos Aires is higher than in New York, with
the exception of some articles I have already named. The hotel rates
are, however, cheaper. On the Avenida de Mayo, Calle Florida, and Calle
Callao, the show streets, one is obliged to pay Fifth Avenue prices
for articles purchased; on the side streets the same goods are much
cheaper. The average native does not patronize the show places. At
any of the Avenida de Mayo cafés, a small cordial glass of Benedictine
costs twenty-one cents. At one of the side-street _almazens_ (grocery
stores), which have a dispensary, the same glass costs nine and one
half cents. A pint of Guinness' stout at the Hotel Savoy costs sixty
cents; at the Avenida de Mayo cafés it sells for forty-three cents,
while in the almazens it can be bought for twenty-six cents.

  [Illustration: Mr. Oliver H. Lane

   This photograph was taken on roof garden of the Hotel Majestic]

Regarding hotels, Buenos Aires has some very fine ones. Most have table
d'hôte service, which in Argentina is taken in preference to meals à la
carte, for most of the guests take their rooms _en pension_ unless they
intend to make a short stay only.

The Plaza Hotel, which is the best known and widest advertised, is
operated by the Ritz-Carlton Company. It was built by the banker
Ernesto Tornquist and leased to them. It is nine stories high, and cost
nine million pesos ($3,843,000.00). Its rates are excessive for the
service rendered. The rooms are small, its location is not central,
and there is nothing to it that gives it the tone of comfort to be
had at the other hotels, although the cuisine cannot be improved upon.
Imagine paying twenty-five dollars a day for a small room with bath and
vestibule, lunch and dinner, but not including breakfast. The Plaza is
in much demand for private balls and teas, and is also much patronized
by North American commercial travelers who wish to make a splurge,
and impress their prospective customers with their own importance, or
with the importance of the firm which they represent. An incident that
happened in connection with this hotel should be mentioned.

  [Illustration: Calle Bartolome Mitré, Buenos Aires

   Looking east from Calle Florida]

When Naón, the Argentine ex-ambassador to the United States, on a
recent trip home wrote to his family asking them to get suitable
apartments for him, his sister had a talk with the manager of the
Plaza Hotel. The latter, seeing a chance for a hold-up, told her that
Naón could have a certain apartment for five thousand pesos ($2135.00)
a month. This figures out $71.17 a day. Naón refused to consider the
matter and engaged a much better suite at the Hotel Majestic at a much
cheaper rate. A month or so afterwards, while attending a reception
at the Plaza extended to him by the American Universities Club, the
manager servilely approached him, and asked him where he was staying.
Upon Naón answering that he was stopping at the Majestic, the manager
spoke deprecatorily of the last-mentioned hostelry, and told him he
would do much better for him at a lesser price at the Plaza. Naón said
that he should have done so in the first place, but on account of his
trying to hold him up, he would not stop at the Plaza if he should put
the whole hotel at his disposal free of charge.

The two best hotels in Buenos Aires, to my notion, are the Majestic and
the Grand.

The Majestic is on the Avenida de Mayo, at the northwest corner
of Calle Santiago del Estero, which is but two blocks from the
Plaza Congreso. It was opened in 1910 at the time of the Argentine
Centennial. It was rented that year by the government to house the
foreign diplomats attending the celebration. The prices are reasonable;
the rooms all have baths, and most of them are suites with parlors.
The meals are table d'hôte and the food and service are excellent. The
building is seven stories high, has a roof garden, and a corner tower.
The parlors and writing room are on the third floor and are lighted
from a skylight at the top of the five-story courtyard of pillared
balconies. The Majestic is the residence of many foreign ministers and
their families; of people of wealth and culture; and of the commercial
representatives of the best European firms. It is no show place, but a
hotel of quiet refinement.

  [Illustration: Fireman and Policeman, Buenos Aires]

The Grand Hotel, good but expensive, is on the main shopping street,
the narrow Calle Florida, one block north of the Avenida de Mayo in
a very noisy part of the city. The narrowness of the streets makes
the rooms dark. The Palace Hotel, a large establishment on the Calle
25 de Mayo, is well spoken of. It overlooks the Paseo de Julio and a
beautiful park at the river's edge, but the class of people and stores
always to be found in the neighborhood of the docks makes the location
poor. Among the older of the modern hotels which are also good are
the Paris, with a large restaurant and café, the Cecil, the Splendid,
and the Esclava. The España, patronized by Spaniards, is a lively and
excellent place with an à la carte dining room. It is a good place for
the single man to stop at; also the Galileo and the Colon are first
class, clean, and have good restaurants. The Colon is owned by the
Gontaretti brothers, who are likewise proprietors of the Hotel Regina
at Mar del Plata. It has in connection the best confectionery store in
Buenos Aires, that of Dos Chinos.

Of all the Buenos Aires hotels, the biggest fake is the Savoy, which
is owned by the da Rossi Company. It is on the southeast corner of the
streets Callao and Cangallo, but two blocks from the Plaza Congreso.
It was opened in 1913, at which time the current talk was that the
district in which it is situated was going to be the best in the city.
The prices are exorbitant, the food is poor, and the rooms are dirty.
As in all the large Buenos Aires hotels, the prices here are made
for the guest according to the financial judgment the scrutinizing
manager passes on him. The waiters in the Savoy are veritable robbers,
and there are two prices for drinks, and for the use of the billiard
table, the North Americans having the benefit in being obliged to pay
the highest of the two prices. They tried to "put one over" on "yours
truly" on the price of wet goods one day when the writer was playing
pool with some friends. The waiters had evidently forgotten that they
had sold me a couple of bottles of Guinness' stout the day previous at
a reduction of forty centavos (17 c.) a bottle under the price they now
anticipated that I would pay. An argument followed in which I won out,
but only after I had threatened them with a cessation of visits in case
they insisted on making me pay the excess tax that they had imposed
upon me.

The Bonaerense restaurants are usually connected with the hotels,
although there are many that are not. Among the best of the latter are
the Rotisserie Sportsman, Charpentier's, and the Petit Jardin. Aue's
Keller, the Kaiserhalle recently opened by the employees of Aue's
Keller, and the Bismarck are German restaurants and beer halls. There
are many Italian restaurants, that of Paccatini on Calle Moreno a few
doors east of Calle Piedras being quite popular.

  [Illustration: Zoölogical Garden, Buenos Aires]

The cafés are excelled by none in the world either in size or in the
expense of their equipment. Life in them is not as animated as in those
of Vienna, Budapest, or Paris, and they close about 1.00 A.M. They are
not patronized much by women, nor do they display moving pictures on
their walls as in Rosario. They are solely rendezvous for people who
enter them to talk or drink; many have antiquated billiard tables.
Among the best are the cafés Paris, Colon, and Tortoni, all on the
Avenida de Mayo.

As the Argentinos are not as a rule solely addicted to the frequent
imbibing of strong drinks, soft drinks such as _refrescos_, lemonade,
beer, coffee, and tea play an important rôle in the dispensing of
liquid refreshment at cafés. The average Argentino suffers from
gastric, digestive, and intestinal ailments, not so much from
overeating alone as from his utter inability to use discretion in
drinking. For breakfast he will have coffee; before lunch he will
drink a couple of vermouths with bitters, which he designates as
an appetizer. (His favorite bitter is a sickening, sweetish syrupy
liquor of Buenos Aires manufacture named Aperital.) At lunch he will
either consume a pint of wine or a quart of beer, to be followed by a
postprandial cup of strong coffee and a liqueur. In the afternoon, he
will imbibe a bottle of mineral water and two cups of tea. The dinner
beverages, the same as at luncheon, consist of beer or wine, coffee and
cordial. After dinner, which is eaten at half-past seven or at eight
o'clock, he feels "filled up" on food and liquid and has no immediate
desire for alcoholic refreshment. He now prefers to sit in front of
a café and watch the crowd pass by, but he would look out of place
occupying a seat without paying for anything, so he orders a dish of
ice cream and a refresco. A refresco is a syrup either of currant,
strawberry, raspberry, or grenadine flavoring, covering an inch in the
bottom of a tall glass, to which is added either plain or soda water
and cracked ice. An hour after partaking of this, he orders a whiskey
and soda followed by a duplicate or a triplicate, unless he switches to
beer. He caps the whole mess off by a cup of strong coffee.

The Porteño (so is called the inhabitant of Buenos Aires, and which
means Resident of the Port) is also a heavy eater. For luncheon and
for dinner, he is apt to eat seven courses, four of which are meat
and fish, and it makes no difference to him if the fish comes after
the meat or before it. The dinner tables of the private houses have
white slates on which is written with a black lead pencil the names of
the dishes in the different courses as at a table d'hôte in a hotel.
In this way it leaves no surprise nor conjecture as to which the next
course will be. Maté is passed around in the afternoon. This vile tea,
brewed from yerba maté, an herb indigenous to Paraguay, the southern
states of Brazil, and the Argentine Territory of Misiones, is poured
into a gourd and is drunk through a metal tube with a spoonlike head,
closed and perforated with little round holes, named a _bombillo_.
But one person drinks maté at the same time. When he finishes this
"slop" the servant takes both gourd and bombillo away from him and
fills the former for the person sitting next to him. Two rounds of
it are generally partaken of. This maté drinking, although said to
be absolutely harmless, is such a habit with the native women of the
poorer classes that they prefer it to a husband. At Tucumán, while
I was there, three such wenches got into a fight and one had her
ear bitten off. While at the police station she started wailing; the
police thinking she was howling about the pain tried to soothe her. It
transpired that she was wailing because she left some maté boiling on
the stove at her home and nobody was left there to tend to it.

The Café Tortoni is on the north side of the Avenida de Mayo between
the streets Piedras and Tacuari. It extends back to Rivadavia. It
is the oldest café in Buenos Aires and is owned by a nonagenarian
Frenchman, Monsieur Curutchet, who is on the job morning and night
and is still active, although the management of the establishment
is in the hands of his son, M. Maurice Curutchet. It was in front of
this café that my acquaintances came at least twice a day, and from
a marble-topped iron table beneath the street awning we observed
Bonaerense life to great advantage as it paraded by. We soon became
so accustomed to the different passers-by, many of whom went by at the
same time each day, that we soon knew the vocations of many of the folk
that were but atoms in the large population of the great city.

There was a subway exit but a couple of rods from our table, and it
was astonishing to see how people when they had reached the top step
would stop and pant. It was not a deep subway, but so physically poor
is the average Porteño of the middle classes on account of abuse of
living that he soon becomes exhausted. He does not live long, and many
men of forty are like men at home of sixty. The crowd that continually
passes does so with quick step, neither looking to the left nor to the
right, but straight ahead, serious and never smiling. I noticed this
and remarked to an acquaintance about it.

"They are evidently thinking," said he, "of how they can swindle
somebody out of ten cents."

The Porteños appear to be a sad folk, and if one sees somebody smile
or hears a sound of laughter on a Buenos Aires street, you may be sure
that an Italian or a Spaniard is present. Latins from Europe that
come to Argentina soon become like natives, depressed, excitable,
and despondent. Many Argentinos of the cities wear black straw hats
instead of white ones, which still further enhances the funereal
appearance of the men. This is a sign of mourning, similar to the black
arm bands that were in fashion in the United States a decade ago.
I know a Philadelphia jackanapes who wanted to follow the custom of
Buenos Aires, and seeing the great number of men wearing black hats,
bought one not knowing that it was a token of respect for the departed
relatives. He returned to his country evidently never knowing his
mistake.

The beggars, street fakirs, and peddlers on the Avenida de Mayo are
terrible. No city in the world has so many. Neither Naples nor Las
Palmas can compare with Buenos Aires in proportion in this respect.
A man seated at a table in front of a café is never free a minute
from annoyance from this rabble. Children from five years old up to
octogenarians of both sexes systematically make multi-diurnal rounds
up to the different cafés. Some are insulting. A narrow shouldered
young man, a mixture of degenerate and of cigarette fiend, came to a
table where I was seated and offered some chewing gum for sale. Upon
my refusal to buy any, he backed up a few steps, started calling me
names, and then walked away. A few hours later I met him accidentally;
he wilted when he saw there was no escape. I grabbed him by the coat
collar and nearly shook the eye teeth out of him. I at least put the
fear of God into him.

The street urchins have a habit of making the rounds of the different
tables and if you are not watching, steal the cracked ice from the dish
in which it is kept in front of you to put into your glass of refresco,
according to your desire. I caught one such boy doing this trick to
me, and slung the contents of a water pitcher at him which caught him
squarely, giving him a drenching. Near by was seated a well-dressed
Argentino who took the boy's part, and started to call the police. As
a foreigner, especially a North American, has no rights in Argentina,
I thought it best to walk away.

There are milk depots stationed at various parts of the city and along
the Avenida where a person may enter and for ten centavos (.042) buy
a liter of milk either fresh or cooked. These belong to La Martona
and other companies. Two ragamuffins one night entered the milk depot
at the northeast corner of the Avenida de Mayo and Calle San José and
begged some cracked ice from the waiter behind the counter. Upon his
refusal to comply with his request one of the boys expectorated in
a gallon jar of fresh milk that stood at one end of the counter, and
which was for sale to prospective customers, and then ran out. Do you
think the man behind the counter threw the milk out? I should say not.
He merely took a large spoon, skimmed off the expectoration, and went
about his business as if nothing had happened. I sat in a chair and
watched three other customers, who came in later, be served from the
same jar.

The lottery ticket sellers are the greatest nuisance. They used to
annoy Mr. Lane something fierce. Packer, a man named Brown, and I
noticed it so we put up several jobs on him.

There was a legless man who made the rounds of the cafés, being wheeled
from place to place in a perambulator by an individual who might easily
as to appearance be associated with the Black Hand. The cripple who
was a middle aged, unkempt ruffian had a multitude of lottery tickets
for sale, and was so persistent that he would absolutely refuse to go
away until he had displayed all his wares. He seemed to take particular
delight in tormenting persons who were anxious to have him move on. A
few seconds before he was ready to be wheeled away, he would open up
a torrent of abuse upon the person who refused to buy from him, and in
this propaganda he was ably seconded by his comrade of Black Hand mien.
Mr. Lane was of a nervous disposition and I do not believe the Canadian
Club highballs he occasionally indulged in were any amelioration
to this condition. He therefore was considerably annoyed with this
particular persistent vagabond and his equally villainous confrère.
They "got on his nerves." We, noticing his odium for this duo, one
day when Mr. Lane was absent, hired the two vagabonds to come to him
every time they saw him seated in front of the Tortoni and refuse to
leave until ordered to do so by the police or the waiters. A few days
afterwards while walking along the Avenida, I saw Mr. Lane seated in
front of the Café Madrid, which is a block from the Tortoni.

"What are you doing over here?" I asked.

"The Tortoni is getting too much for me; I never saw so many vagabonds
in my life as there, so I changed places. The service and the goods
are no good here; I've tried this place three days and can't stand it.
I prefer the Tortoni but if that legless hobo ever tries to sell me a
lottery ticket again, I am going to tip him out of his perambulator
into the street even if I hang for it. I believe I shall hire the
waiters at the Tortoni to give all the street peddlers a thrashing."

Mr. Lane did so. The waiters cuffed up several of the human pests, and
the policemen arrested a few others, so for about a week everybody was
free from molestation by the riffraff. Then they gradually came back to
their usual haunts.

There was a woman who continually made the rounds soliciting alms by
showing the bare stump of an arm severed about six inches from the
shoulder. This harridan would take delight in walking between the
tables of the restaurants while people were at dinner and expose this
gruesome sight spoiling appetites.

Another nuisance was a woman about thirty-five years old who had once
been comely. She sold lottery tickets and was also terribly persistent.
She carried in her arms a baby while a young child clung to her
skirt. Although this woman was a nuisance, I never thought her to be
disagreeable, but for some reason Mr. Lane took an aversion for her
which could be classified in the same category as the detest he had
for the legless ruffian. One day while being pestered by this woman,
he made a grab at her tickets, crumpled them up and slung the whole
outfit in the street. He was sorry for it afterwards and gave her a
peso to ease her. The next day, while Mr. Lane was absent, one of our
associates called the woman aside and gave her two pesos if she would
continue to display her lottery tickets to Mr. Lane. She accepted the
proposition and did so much to his annoyance. This woman had for a
husband a whiskered Irish bum. He would come several times a day to
the subway entrance and make her hand over the proceeds of her sales
to him. He had a staff of women selling tickets and his sole occupation
was to make the rounds collecting money from them.

There are many Irish bums in Buenos Aires, men past middle life who
years ago became stranded in Argentina having deserted sailing vessels
and who have never had the price nor the desire to return to the Old
Country. They are strong, powerful men physically, unkempt with long
beards; their clothes are a mass of rags and teem with vermin. Their
daily occupation is to walk along the Avenida begging alms which
goes for strong drink. At night they sleep in the doorways and in the
gutter. One such man made his rounds on the Avenida about nine o'clock
every night. Every time he passed our table at the Tortoni, Mr. Packer
would give him some money, on one occasion the sum being a peso. As
the man had begged in Spanish, we did not know his nationality until
a certain incident happened. One particular night, Mr. Packer was
without funds when this hobo came around, and told him so. The bum
sarcastically imitated Packer and then broke out into such a tirade
of profane and obscene invectives and abuse in the English language,
but with a strong brogue, that I am afraid the apostles turned over in
their graves.

The policemen of Buenos Aires are efficient. They are mostly of Indian
descent and come from the far provinces. They seldom make an arrest
for misdemeanors for there are but few street quarrels when compared
to the cities of the United States. They occasionally disperse a bunch
of young beggars who return to their posts as soon as the "cop" has
vanished. At night they make the drunken bums vacate the street benches
whither they have repaired to sleep off the fumes of Geneva gin, which
in Spanish goes by the name of _ginevra_. Quite a few incidents happen
in the lives of the Bonaerense police, of which here are a couple:

On the Calle Peru there is an old policeman, beloved by nearly
everybody. The storekeepers in the neighborhood of which he is the
guardian of the peace hold him in such high esteem that at every
Christmas they take up a collection for him. For some unknown reason, a
North American named Woody, who represented the Case Implement Company
"had it in" for him. Mr. Woody was accustomed to partake of too much
John Barleycorn and when in his cups always abused this man in strong
profane English. After awhile the old policeman caught on that he
was being made the target of abuse which he could not understand, so
one day changed beats with a big native Argentino policeman who was
of Irish extraction. At evening Mr. Woody came along, as usual, much
under the influence of liquor. The fumes of alcohol having dimmed his
eyesight, he was oblivious of the shift that had been made. Seeing the
policeman, he opened up with his tirade. The Irishman let him continue
until Woody was weak from lack of breath and exhausted vocabulary.

"Have yez finished?" the cop then asked him.

Woody astounded at hearing the policeman thus address him, stammered an
affirmative.

"Then, by Jaysus, come with me!"

Mr. Woody spent the next eight days in jail until his friends learned
of his predicament and bailed him out.

The other incident is this:

One of my friends was seated one evening in front of the Tortoni
when a policeman approached him and asked him in Spanish if he spoke
English. My friend answered in the affirmative and the policeman told
him to wait there a minute and walked away. Presently the guardian of
the law reappeared with a young Englishman who could speak no word of
Spanish. He said he was a sailor from a boat that sailed that midnight
and becoming lost did not know how to get to it. He came on an electric
car to the Avenida de Mayo and all that he knew about the line was
that it bore a board on which was printed the name "Cinzano." Now this
is the name of a vermouth which is widely advertised in Argentina,
and he mistook the vermouth sign for the name of the street. After
considerable difficulty, his ship was located.

One afternoon, while walking down the Avenida with Mr. Atwood Benton of
Antofagasta, Chile, we saw a crowd collected and on passing by noticed
that a grown man was slapping a little girl and dragging her around
by the hair. Not a man in the crowd had made any attempt to prevent
this outrageous scene, but all stood by with smiles of mirth on their
faces. Mr. Benton made a rush through them and grabbing the man by
the nape of the neck gave him a sound beating and held him while I
called a policeman. When the rabble saw what Benton did, they raised
an earsplitting cheer of "bravo" for him, yet none of the cowardly
bunch dared interfere for fear of a poignard stab. A newspaper reporter
chanced by, shook Mr. Benton by the hand, congratulated him upon his
bravery, and asked him for his card as he wished to put it in his
newspaper next day. Mr. Benton put his hand in his pocket and extended
him a card which he thought was his own, but when the newspaper article
came out in the _La Nacion_ the next day, it happened that Benton
had made a mistake and had handed the reporter a card of Mr. Percival
O'Reilley of Concepcion, Chile.

With the exception of the policemen, one sees but comparatively few
mestizos or people of mixed white and Indian blood in Buenos Aires,
when compared to the inhabitants of other Argentine cities, yet
there are plenty, many being in the employ of the government. Dark
complexions are not as popular in Argentina as light ones; therefore
many of the _criollos_ or natives whose facial characteristics
are those of the original inhabitants of the land, beseech the
photographers to put chemicals on the plates so as to make their
visages come out light in the photograph. The descendants of Indians
are called Indios; negroes are called Negros and Chinamen, Chinos.
Many of the mestizos are nicknamed Chinos. All these words are terms of
approbation and it is funny to hear an enraged descendant of an Indian
call a white person an Indio or a Chino.

There is in Buenos Aires a fine opera house, the Colon, and there are
many other theaters, but the most patronized by the male public are
the burlesque shows, the Casino and the Royal. The attraction for the
men in those places are the "pick ups" that abound in the foyer, making
these music halls clearing houses for loose moral femininity. There is
no more vice in Buenos Aires than in any other large city, but there is
a peculiar system in vogue there which is original.

A woman passes down the Avenida with a basket of flowers on her arm.
She approaches the boulevardier seated at a table and offers to sell
him a flower. He buys one and as he stretches out his hand to pay her,
she slips him a card bearing the address of a brothel but refuses the
money. These women are the hirelings of the brothel proprietresses.
Often the _dueñas_ as these proprietresses are called do the florista
act (flower selling). One night, while seated in front of the Tortoni,
a famous dueña named Carmen came along and pinned a tuberose on an
army officer. A minute later, a rival dueña named Matilda passed by and
seeing the tuberose on him, knew who pinned it there. She tore it off,
and pinned on him a carnation. Carmen now returning from a neighboring
table saw the trick and a battle royal like between two enraged tigers
ensued. When the police put a stop to it, the two dueñas, scratched up,
and with dishevelled hair, were obliged to make for the subway, holding
up the remnants of their torn clothing by the middle lest they should
drop off.

Among the fine buildings of Buenos Aires are the custom house and the
Central Argentine Railway station at Retiro. This mammoth building,
not yet completed, is the largest and finest railroad station in South
America. This honor was formerly held by the Luz station in São Paulo,
Brazil; that of Mapocho in Santiago, Chile, being second. The new
Central of Córdoba Railway station is also fine.

There are in Buenos Aires but few skyscrapers in the North American
sense of the word, a fifteen-story building being the tallest. It is
the new arcade on Calle Florida and is the largest in America. It ranks
fourth in the world in ground-floor area; those of Milan, Naples, and
Genoa being greater. There is a thirteen-story apartment house; the
Otto Wulf Building is twelve stories high, and there are probably a
dozen other buildings that exceed in height ten stories. There are any
number of seven-, eight-, and nine-story buildings.

In Buenos Aires there are a great number of so-called Brazilian
coffeehouses where about five o'clock afternoons people repair for
coffee and ice cream. _Casata_ ice creams are a favorite. They are a
mixture of flavors, and these coffeehouses specialize in two flavors
of coffee ice cream in the same brick. The best known of these
establishments are those of Huicque and of Bibondo.

The zoölogical garden is the finest that I have ever had the pleasure
of visiting, as far as the collection of animals is concerned, but the
botanical garden is much inferior to that of Rio de Janeiro. Palermo
Park, the great corso for automobiles, is well kept up but does not
take my fancy on account of the light shades of green common to all
trees of the Argentina flatlands. The brilliant and variegated greens
of the trees of the province of Tucumán are lacking.

As to manufacturing, Buenos Aires is nil. There is but one brewery
within the city limits, that of Palermo, whose product is vile. There
was a so-called automobile factory which bought parts and assembled
them, but it had to go out of business. There is not much future
for manufacturing unless iron ore is found in paying quantities in
Argentina. Without iron and without coal in Argentina, but little
can be done although there are several large oil fields in Northern
Patagonia. Rosario is a better commercial city than Buenos Aires,
but the latter will always keep on growing and retain its lead as the
metropolis of South America.

An institution of learning worthy of mention, and which I visited while
in the Argentine metropolis is the Colegio Nacional Mariano Moreno. It
is located at 3755 Calle Rivadavia, and is one of the best institutions
of secondary learning extant. The course comprises six years, the first
year corresponding to the ninth grade in North American schools, and
the last year being the same as the sophomore year in our universities.
It is therefore more like a German gymnasium than a North American
high school, although it differs from both in the election of courses.
Here no Latin nor ancient languages are taught, but other subjects
such as fencing and drawing are substituted. A good rule of the
institution which is under the able management of the rector, Dr.
Manuel Derqui, grandson of a former president of Argentina, is that no
students under fourteen years are allowed to enter, no matter how their
preparatory attainments are. This tends to set a better standard to
the instruction, although a younger one sometimes manages to slip in.
Their age upon graduation is at least twenty. A diploma will give the
graduate entrance to any of the Argentine universities of which there
are four besides that of Buenos Aires, the others being in La Plata,
Córdoba, Sante Fé, and Tucumán.

What would seem strange to us is that the Mariano Moreno College is a
government institution, having no connection at all with the state of
municipality. The interior of the building, with its unprepossessing
façade of four stories belies its external appearance. Its depth is
the whole length of the block. It has a swimming tank and baths both
for the instructors and students. The whole place is kept remarkably
clean. The spirit of competition and advance is very strong among the
students. Some of their mechanical drawings, the best ones which are on
display on the walls are like the work of experts. A student invented
an adjustable and movable drawing board which has been adopted by the
drawing classes all through the republic. The department of physics is
a marvel, although the chemical laboratory falls short of that of some
private schools in the United States, namely that of Hackley School,
Tarrytown, N. Y. I was informed, however, that the Mariano Moreno
College does not specialize in that science, for those that desire to
get a knowledge of chemistry go to the technical schools. A feature of
the college is a recreation room for the professors and instructors in
the basement. Its walls are hung with pictures painted or drawn by the
professors. The enrollment of students is about 1500 exclusive of 700
who are taking a university extension course. The faculty consists of
about 150 members.

While speaking about Buenos Aires, a few words must be said about its
inhabitants and their habits. The Porteños of the higher classes differ
but little from those of the same social sphere the whole world over,
excepting that they are more effeminate than the inhabitants of our
country. Many of the men have perfumed handkerchiefs, and affect the
Italian style of moustache. The men of the middle classes, in attire
ape the aristocracy, but their habits are infinitely more dirty. With
them a bath is an event. When these Argentinos take a bath they splash
water around and make a great noise about it so that the people the
other side of the partitions can hear them at their ablutions. They
also spout and snort and make a great noise every time they wash their
faces, especially if anybody is looking. This also applies to certain
men who mingle in the highest social circles. I know a man of great
prominence in Buenos Aires who every time he took a bath would tell
everybody he chanced to meet about it. He met me one day on the street
as I was coming out of the Majestic Hotel.

"How are you?" I asked as a customary form of greeting.

"I'm feeling fine," he replied. "I just had a nice cold bath."

A few minutes later as we were walking down the Avenida we met another
acquaintance.

"Good morning, Señor ----," quoth the third party. "You are looking
fine to-day."

"No wonder," answered the first Argentino, "for I have just gotten out
of the bath tub."

"How strange, I also have just had a bath."

The habits of the middle and lower classes throughout Argentina are
very filthy. Clean toilets are unknown outside of a few of the best
hotels and cafés of Buenos Aires and a few of the other large cities.
In the Hotel Colon in Buenos Aires, two men were hired constantly just
to keep the toilet clean and they did this job well.

The men of the lower classes bathe more frequently than those of the
upper and middle classes and some are really fine swimmers. These are
mostly Italians, Spaniards, and natives who do the work and are the
backbone of the Argentine nation as they have not become affected by
contact with those of the middle classes.

There are in Buenos Aires many Jews of Galician origin. Their ghetto
is on the streets, named Junin, Ayacucho, and Ombú, but they are
likewise scattered all over the city. Many wear corkscrew sideburns,
which they smear with grease and fondle lovingly as they converse
with you. These vile Kikes are mostly in the lottery ticket and retail
tobacco business. They have native employees whom they send out on the
street to hawk lottery tickets on commission. This lottery business
is overdone. There are too many drawings. One takes place every week
and it is only occasionally that there is a drawing with high enough
premiums to make it worth while purchasing them. Lottery is a good
institution if properly regulated, but the annoyance that everybody is
subjected to in Buenos Aires by the peddlers of the tickets soon makes
a person wish that such an institution did not exist. Not only are the
tickets of the Benificencia Nacional sold about the streets, but also
those of the Province of Buenos Aires which has drawings at La Plata,
those of the Province of Tucumán, those of Córdoba, San Juan, and even
of Montevideo.

These Buenos Aires Jews are the lowest class of riffraff. Their nasty
children peddle strings of garlic from door to door. The adults are
always gesticulating and trying to cheat the stranger.

Regarding the morals, the average Porteño of the middle class cannot be
called immoral. He is unmoral because he never had any morals to begin
with. His conversation invariably takes a lascivious turn which shows
how his thoughts runs. Seduction, feminine figures, adultery, etc., are
his favorite themes of conversation.

Many of the women of Buenos Aires are beautiful. Nowhere have I seen
such fine-looking women, excepting in Santiago, Chile, and in Budapest.
They carry themselves well and also know how to dress. Their figures
and taste are such that they can make the poorest material look well
on them. Their average stature is that of our North American women;
most of the young Porteñas are neither fat nor slim, but medium. They
have wonderful black eyes and well developed busts. It is rare to
see a poor figure. It really is a treat to sit in front of a café on
the Avenida and watch them walk by. There was one beautiful girl that
took the fancy of every man that saw her. She worked in an office and
every day at noon she would pass the Tortoni; she would repeat this
again about five o'clock in the evening. This girl was about nineteen
years old and the dainty way she tripped along absolutely unconscious
of her grace made the men rave about her. One noon as she walked by
bound for home, I followed her a quarter of a block behind her. My
intentions were to find out where she lived and try to arrange to get
an introduction because she quite fascinated me. I found out that she
lived with her parents on Calle Montevideo. I had a friend who lived
in the block beyond her in Calle Rodriguez Peña, but unfortunately
when I called on him to arrange for an introduction, I found out that
he was on a business trip to northern Argentina and was not expected
back for a month. As I intended leaving in a few weeks, I was doomed to
disappointment and had to swallow my chagrin and content myself with
gazing at her from the table in front of the Tortoni when she passed
by.

The amusements of Buenos Aires are few. Of course there are some
very high-class dance halls with restaurants in connection such as
Armenonville, but the hours are too late when life begins there.

The race track of the Jockey Club is the best in the world, and
races are held every Thursday and Sunday, but one soon gets tired of
continually going to the races. The betting is by mutuals. There are
some baseball and cricket teams in Buenos Aires which hold matches
and games on Sunday afternoons. The players are English, American,
and Canadian residents of Buenos Aires who clerk in the banks and in
the great importing houses. The article of baseball they put out is
ludicrous, and they draw no attendance. A good primary school at home
could trim them.

  [Illustration: Scene on the River at Tigre]

The pleasantest of all pastimes in and about Buenos Aires is boating
at Tigre. This little town, the Argentine Henley, is twenty-one miles
north of the capital and is reached by half-hourly service by the
Central Argentina Railway. Strange to say at this time of writing
(1917) no electric line has yet been built between the two places.
Tigre is on the Las Conchas River where it empties into the Lujan,
one of the tributaries of the La Plata. It is thronged on Sundays by
crowds from the city, who besides rowing and canoeing, also take in the
pageant from the awninged verandas of the Tigre Hotel.

Most Argentinos do not care much for North Americans although they are
invariably polite to them. It appears that there is a chord of jealousy
somewhere against our nation. Some of this gentry have the gall to
think that Argentina is the greatest nation on earth and these ideas
are taught them in school. I have known inhabitants of Buenos Aires who
believe that Argentina could whip the United States in a war, although
most of them have an unwholesome fear of Chile. The British nation
was not especially popular with Argentina because in 1833 it took
the Falkland Islands from them. In 1916 Great Britain seized a couple
of Argentine vessels which it claimed were taking contraband to the
Central Powers. An anti-British demonstration occurred on the streets
of Buenos Aires most of the participants in which were students.
Several were cut by sabers in the hands of the police but this affray
did not prevent roughnecks from yelling at Americans and calling them
names, mistaking them for Englishmen. I unfortunately was a victim of
these insults, as I was driving one night in the Plaza de Mayo. Even
though Great Britain was not popular, neither was Germany a favorite as
can be testified by the depredations on property of German ownership.
On the night of Saturday, April 14, 1917, a street mob attacked the
offices of two German newspapers, _La Union_ and _Deutsche La Plata
Zeitung_, and broke all the windows. This same mob also demolished the
delicatessen store of P. Warckmeister at 555 Calle Sarmiento. A few
months later, following Count Luxburg's iniquity, the mob wrecked the
Club Aleman, and tried to burn it.

Thirty miles south of Buenos Aires, is La Plata, the capital of the
Province of Buenos Aires and which has a population of about 120,000
inhabitants. Till 1880 the city of Buenos Aires was the capital of the
province of the same name, but in that year it detached itself from the
province and became the Federal Capital. The province, now lacking a
capital, decided to build one, and a site having been chosen and the
plans for the laying out of a city having been approved of, the city
of La Plata was formally founded and created capital of the Province
of Buenos Aires, November 29, 1882. In 1885 the population of the city
was 13,869. The census of 1909 gave it 95,126 inhabitants while that of
1916 gave it 111,401; the total for the commune being 136,026.

  [Illustration: Station of the Southern Railway, La Plata]

La Plata is a dull, sleepy city of broad streets and low houses of
light brown and cream-colored hues, with little shade. The sun's hot
rays scorch the pedestrian as he walks over the sizzling pavement of
the ultra-quiet and tomblike town. I have known people who, however,
prefer La Plata to Buenos Aires, but I cannot comprehend how a person
can live there and not die of ennui. It is laid out much on the order
of Washington with broad angling avenues cutting off slices of square
and rectangular blocks.

  [Illustration: Old Railway Station, La Plata]

The most artistic building in the city is the station of the Southern
Railway. It is an œuvre of M. Faure-Dujarric, the Frenchman who was the
architect for the grandstand of the Jockey Club at Palermo Park. It is
a long and narrow white edifice with an artistic façade surmounted by a
dome of bright green tiles. Its restaurant is said to be the best in La
Plata, although I cannot verify this statement. La Plata used to have
another railway station, even larger than the present one, and more
centrally located. Why it was abandoned I never knew, but it stands
downtown on one of the principal squares, absolutely deserted, its long
dun-colored façade an eyesore to passers-by.

  [Illustration: Bank of the Argentine Nation, La Plata]

Some of the largest and costliest edifices in the republic are in
this capital of the Province of Buenos Aires, but nearly all are
weather-beaten and appear much better in photograph than they do in the
original. In many cases the stucco has fallen off in places, exposing
the rough red bricks of poor quality. Some of the façades are stained
and blackened by exposure but nothing has been done to remedy them. The
whole city is evidently laid out on too grand a scale, and something
was started that is hard to finish. The Capitol, the governor's
residence, the city hall, the Argentine theater, the courthouse, and
many other buildings are far too large for the present need of the
city, and by the time La Plata has grown to a size where such buildings
will be adequate (it is doubtful if it ever will) they will have long
been out of style and antique.

  [Illustration: Bank of the Province of Buenos Aires, La Plata]

  [Illustration: Allegorical Statue of La Plata]

Even the cathedral, if completed, would be too grandiose. It was
started years ago, but is at present in the unfinished state as is
shown in the accompanying photograph. The money gave out, and to-day it
stands on an important plaza, a hideous frame of cheap brick, bearing
no similarity to the elegant place of worship it was intended to be.
This tendency to start to erect a fine building, get it half up, and
then neglect it, is characteristic of all countries where Spanish rule
has once dominated. For instance, in the same way is the Matriz church
in Chillán, Chile, the Oratory of Lopez in Asuncion, the church of the
Encarnacion at Asuncion, a church in Posadas, one in San Luis, and the
most striking example of all, the church of the Sagrada Familia in
Barcelona, Spain. In the plaza in front of the unfinished cathedral
are some marble statues, the best of which is that representing the
great Argentine river system and named La Plata. It is an allegorical
female figure with a horn of plenty from which are spilling fruit and
vegetables, while beneath her are bundles of wheat.

  [Illustration: Unfinished Cathedral, La Plata]

The diocese of La Plata, which comprises the Province of Buenos Aires
and the territory of the Pampa, is the richest in Argentina. It was
created in 1896, and has as a bishop, Dr. Juan N. Terreno, who has
held that office since 1900. This man is a great power in Argentine
politics.

There are numerous large banks in La Plata, the largest of which is
that of the Province of Buenos Aires. Regarding hotels, the best is the
Sportsman with good restaurant. The restaurant of the Hotel Argentina
is second class. The food is greasy and is sprinkled with flies which
become ensnared in the meshes of the oil in which the ragoûts and
filets literally float.

Outside of the Museum of Natural History which has an admirable
collection of fishes, the zoölogical garden, the wonderful eucalyptus
avenue, and a charming park, there is in La Plata nothing to interest
the stranger.

The city owes its importance to its port Ensenada, about five miles
distant and to which is dug a basin where ships laden with grain and
canned meats sail for North America and European ports. From here also
in order to avoid the congestion in the Darsenas and in the Riacheulo
at Buenos Aires, passenger ships sail, notably the Lamport & Holt Line,
which keeps up a direct passenger service between Buenos Aires and New
York. On this basin are two large beef-packing establishments, that of
Armour and that of Swift.



CHAPTER III

SAN LUIS


The average stranger coming to the United States to see the country
very seldom pays a visit to an obscure state capital. The very contrary
to this is what I did after I had been but little over a week in
Buenos Aires, as I maintain that the only way to see a foreign country
properly is to avoid the show places and get out among the people in
the smaller cities. Knowing that San Luis was but a short distance
from the main line of the Buenos Aires Pacific Railway between Buenos
Aires and Mendoza, and is reached by one through train daily in each
direction, I decided to stop off there.

I left Buenos Aires at three o'clock one afternoon when the thermometer
registered 100.4° Fahrenheit and was soon traversing the flat landscape
remindful of the valley of the River Po. The white, cream-colored
tile-roofed houses, the small vineyards and vegetable gardens, the
long rows of Lombardy poplars, and the oxen hitched to the wagons on
the country roads presented a picture that could just as well be that
of northern Italy as that of the Province of Buenos Aires. Nearly
everywhere in eastern Argentina where the country is well settled,
the landscape is decidedly Italian, due largely to the presence of
the trees indigenous to the Po Valley, originally brought there by
immigrants from that part of Europe.

  [Illustration: Plaza San Martin, Mercedes]

The train I was on was a very poor one, the first-class compartments
being no better than third-class ones in Germany. Thirty-four miles
out of Buenos Aires, we reached the town of Pilar, which lies a short
distance north of the railroad. Its station is the terminus of the
Buenos Aires suburban trains. Eight miles farther on is seen on the
crest of a rise of ground to the south, the insane asylum of Open
Door, a model of its kind. The method employed for the treatment of
the patients is freedom from restraint, with the privilege to do what
they please as long as they keep within bounds. The originator of this
method of handling the insane believes that by allowing them to follow
out their whims, they will eventually become tired of them, and that
the confinement of the demented prisoners tends to aggravate their
condition. This theory which he put into practice has had good results.

Mercedes, seventy miles from Buenos Aires, with a population of thirty
thousand inhabitants, is the junction of three railroads, the Central
of Buenos Aires, the Western, and the Buenos Aires Pacific. It is
one of the oldest cities in the republic and is the stamping ground
of Irish settlers who drifted in here a few generations ago and have
become rich. Unlike most Argentine cities, its streets are numbered.
Chacabuco, one hundred and thirty-one miles from the capital, was
reached about 7.30 P.M. It is a stock-breeding center and is in the
midst of a rich agricultural district. One hundred and seventy-nine
miles from Buenos Aires is Junin, an important small town from which
leads a branch of the Central Argentina Railway to Pergamino and
Rosario. The place was formerly called Fuerte Federacion from a fort
on the Salado River. As late as 1876 it was attacked by Indians, the
last attack having been made on December 10th of that year under the
leadership of Pincen. The Indians were badly defeated and fled, leaving
behind all the stock they had stolen on the way. A man from Junin who
sat directly across the table from me in the dining car informed me
that farm lands in the neighborhood of his city were selling at as
high as three hundred pesos a hectare. That would make common prairie
land worth there fifty dollars an acre. During the night we crossed a
corner of the Province of Santa Fé at Rufino where the dining car was
taken off. The train then traversed the southern part of the Province
of Córdoba and entered the Province of San Luis in the early morning.

  [Illustration: Street in San Luis]

Excepting the capital, Villa Mercedes, which was reached at 7 A.M.,
is the only place of importance in the Province of San Luis. It is a
well laid out little city with a fairly good hotel, the Marconi. It
was here that I was met by J. D. O'Brien of Detroit who remained with
me for some time in the capacity of servant. He had been gymnasium
steward on the _Vauban_, and not liking the British ship's officers,
took French leave at Buenos Aires, and decided to try his luck in
Argentina. I needed a servant as I had considerable baggage so decided
to hire him. He dropped his grip over the railing of the ship's deck
one night when nobody was watching, and fearing arrest because he had
quit the ship after signing a contract to make a round trip, thought
it would be better to get into the country until after the _Vauban_
had sailed. Therefore I had him precede me on the journey, he going
to Villa Mercedes the day before. Dr. M. de Iriondo, president of the
Bank of the Argentine Nation, had given me a letter to the manager of
its branch bank in Villa Mercedes, but unfortunately I did not stop off
there.

  [Illustration: Bank of the Argentine Nation, San Luis]

There was a remarkable change in temperature compared with the previous
day, because it was now cool and windy. The country that we now
traversed was very much like that of eastern Wyoming, only the soil was
better. There seemed to be a lack of water. Cattle grazed the endless
pampa; here and there buttes and mountains rose from the plains, their
sides covered with coarse grass and sagebrush. At the wayside stations
were halfbreeds in ponchos, strong, good-looking fellows. Presently the
mountains came down to the railroad track and we were in a sort of an
oasis watered by the Chorillo River.

San Luis, the capital of the thinly settled province of the same name,
is 493 miles west of Buenos Aires. It is a poor, unpretentious, and
uninteresting town of fifteen thousand inhabitants with nothing to
attract the ordinary tourist. Its buildings, with the exception of a
few on the main streets, seldom attain a height of over one story and
are for the most part built of coarse red brick, which here sell for 28
pesos ($11.96) a thousand. Many of these brick buildings are plastered
over, but most are not, giving them but a half finished appearance on
account of the poor masonry. The original idea of the man who builds a
house in most of the cities of the republic is to eventually have the
brick stuccoed over, but it is frequently the case that his money gives
out, before he gets that far, and he has to forego that luxury. There
is also a considerable number of adobe buildings. These are mostly
in the outskirts of the city. I also saw a few huts in the outlying
districts whose roofs were thatched.

There are no large fortunes in San Luis although my informants told me
that there might be one or two men who could boast of possessing the
equivalent of one million pesos paper ($427,000.00). There are only
seven automobiles in the city, two of them being Cases; two are Fords.
The only one that I saw was of the last-named manufacture. When asked
if the governor of the province, Señor Juan Daract, possessed one,
I was told he was too poor to own one, although his monthly salary
is 750 pesos paper ($320.25). This would make his yearly salary from
governmental sources $3843.00. I was surprised to see horses sell so
cheaply, mediocre hack ones bringing only thirteen dollars apiece. Good
mules averaged about thirty-two dollars each.

  [Illustration: Capitol, San Luis]

None of the streets of the city are paved. On the main one, San Martin,
there are several good buildings, the Bank of the Argentine Nation
being the best. It is the newest. The post office, the Federal Court,
and the custom house are also possible, although they are but one story
high. Nobody should overlook the Casa de Gobierno or Capitol, which is
in a class by itself. Its Renaissance façade, which faces the Plaza
San Martin, and its side which faces one of the main streets contain
sockets for nine thousand electric light bulbs. When the building is
lighted up in all its external brilliancy, the electric meter which
controls the other lights of the city has to be shut off because the
electrical plant has not power enough to keep them both going at the
same time. So much money was expended on the lavish decorations of the
Capitol that there was not enough left to furnish the building.

The two large plazas, Pringles and San Martin, each contain an
equestrian statue in bronze erected to the memory of the heroes of
their nomenclature. General Pringles, the popular local hero, was born
here. The square that bears his name is the handsomest in the city.
It is bordered by giant pepper trees whose fragrance perfumes the air.
Facing it is the huge unfinished brick basilica, the Matriz, the white
dome of which is a landmark for quite a distance, and is visible from
all parts of the city. By the side of the Matriz on the Calle Pringles
stands a small algorroba tree scarcely twenty feet high. It is enclosed
by an iron railing and is held in much reverence by the inhabitants
of San Luis, because to this tree, the Guerrero, General José de San
Martin, tied his horse in 1816 on his westward march to Chile, where he
overthrew the Spanish dominion at the battles of Chacabuco and Maipu.

There is an interesting old church in San Luis, that of Santo Domingo.
It is of Mission style of architecture, and in many respects is similar
to San Gabriel Mission near Pasadena, California. Taken as a whole, San
Luis differs much from most Argentine cities. Its buildings are of a
decided Spanish colonial type of architecture. The city has an antique
appearance and is nearly gravelike as to tranquillity.

  [Illustration: Matriz Church, San Luis

   The tree in the distance is an algorroba. To it San Martin tied his
   horse in 1816 on his westward march across the Andes to Chile]

When I stepped out of the fine spick and span, five-year-old depot, I
was in a dilemma regarding which hotel to go to. My guide book, which
I never trust, and which I only look at when I desire to kill time,
favored the Español; the landlord of the Marconi at Villa Mercedes
recommended to O'Brien the Royal; the sleeping-car conductor on the
train praised the Comercio; the cab driver extolled the Mitre, so
thither I went. The German photographer, Streich, whom I met later in
the day, boosted the Pringles, whose landlady is German.

The Mitre, which is owned by Perez and Iglesias, is leased to two
brothers whose prenomens are Pedro and Juan; nobody seems to know their
patronymics, although many persons seemed to be on intimate terms with
them. I later found out that their surname is Negera. When the fat,
loquacious cab driver stopped in front of their one-story hotel, he
announced my arrival by bawling out "Pedro!" The person addressed came
slouching out of the barroom, unkempt and unshaven, and despite the
earliness of the morning fairly drunk. He reeked of alcohol. I thought
he was the porter until differently informed. Several times in the
course of the morning he came into my room out of curiosity, each time
making an excuse. In the early afternoon he sobered up, shaved, and
donned a tuxedo. Drunk or sober, Pedro was a worker. He waited on the
table, tended bar, made the beds, swept the rooms, and assisted in the
cooking, besides doing errands for the guests. I never saw a better
hotel man. The rooms opened onto the patios and were kept scrupulously
clean, excepting the privy, and even that was much cleaner than in most
rural South American towns. The chickens had taken refuge in it to keep
away from the lean cats, which eyed them voraciously. Several times
I had to drive a yellow cat out of my bedroom. The food would hardly
remind an epicure of the menu of Oscar of the Waldorf-Astoria, but as
there were many people eating it in the long rectangular dining room
with its twenty-five-feet-high ceiling, I imagine it was wholesome.
Despite the coldness of the weather (the temperature was no more than
60° Fahrenheit, a drop of 40° from the temperature of Buenos Aires
the day before) flies abounded in my bedroom and in the country were
myriads of locusts.

Speaking of the yellow cat that persisted in occupying my bedroom,
Argentine and Chilean animals have a penchant for human society. They
seem to take delight in crawling under the beds and other furniture,
and no matter how often they are driven out they persist in returning.
A peculiar incident of this nature befell an acquaintance of mine, Mr.
Osmond of Rosario. Mr. Osmond has lived many years in Argentina and
his business frequently takes him into the Campo, as the flat, endless
pampa is called. On one occasion he stopped at an inn no different from
the general run of inns found in all the small towns of Argentina. A
fat sow entered his room from the patio as he sat writing. He drove
her out. Several times during the afternoon he had to repeat the
performance as the sow was bound to occupy his room. As he lay asleep
that night he was awakened by a rumpus beneath his bed, and lighting
a candle to find out the cause of the nocturnal disturbance of his
slumbers, discovered that the sow had crawled under his bed and had
given birth to a litter of pigs.

  [Illustration: Estancia near San Luis]

The country in the immediate neighborhood of San Luis is extremely
fertile, although sometimes it only rains once in a year. The Chorillos
River, which rises in the Sierra de San Luis, is dammed, and the water
is drawn off by conduits. The main dam is seven miles east of the
city and I drove out there to see it. The road passes by the barracks
and continues by fine fields of blue blossomed alfalfa in which fat
cattle and horses are grazing knee-high. There is a primitive park on
the left of the road in which is an artificial lake, on which swains
enjoy taking their innamoratas for rowboat rides. A crude attempt at
initiating a zoölogical garden is borne out by two pens, one of which
contains a three-footed hen, the other one being the prison of two
sabors, or Argentine lionesses from the Sierra de San Luis. A stranger
is surprised at the number of fine-looking saddle horses met on the
roads. Nearly everybody rides horseback, many with good grace and ease
of movements. The gentry use English saddles; the poorer classes use
those of Moorish type. The cab drivers as well as the horsemen gallop
their animals through the streets at a mad pace.

The air of San Luis is healthy and invigorating. I was surprised to
note the great number of old people to be seen in the city and its
environs. In this respect it is exactly the reverse of Buenos Aires.
The men and women are fine looking; the girls are beautiful with
their laughing black eyes, their faces brown from the sun and wind,
with a touch of rosiness to their cheeks; their figures are likewise
good. Argentinos and Spaniards alike call the native-born criollos
or criollas, according to sex, the word meaning Creoles. It is by no
means a word of contempt. There is quite a strain of Indian blood among
the inhabitants. Seeing some dark-skinned people by the roadside, I
asked my driver if they were Indians. He laughed as he answered: "Son
Criollos como yo. Son cristianos." ("They are natives like myself. They
are Christians.") The word Indio, meaning Indian, is one of contempt
and applies only to the members of the pagan and uncivilized tribes.

There is much natural wealth in the mountains of the province, gold,
silver, and sulphur, but nobody cares to take the initiative about
exploiting them. The unsettled country greatly resembles the unfertile
parts of California, it being a wilderness of mesquite, chaparral, wild
sage, and juniper. There is also much cactus, the varieties ranging
from the prickly pear to the Spanish bayonet. Everywhere that water
strikes the ground, wild flowers and vines spring up in rank confusion,
the wild cucumber being common. One of the native bushes has pods on
it like a bean, about the same size and shape, but rather oily. Of the
fruit trees, the apricot is cultivated; grape vines grow to a large
size, but their fruit is inferior to that of Mendoza.

Although the inhabitant of the central provinces of Argentina is
invariably of mixed blood, and is lacking in the culture of the
inhabitants of the cities, he is more of a gentleman than the majority
of those who belong to our select aristocracy. He is patient but by no
means humble. Expecting no money remuneration for extending a favor
or a courtesy to a stranger, he will willingly go out of his way to
do so, but spoken to gruffly, will have nothing more to do with him.
In San Luis I asked a cab driver where there was a good barber shop.
The one he pointed out was filled, so I went out in search of another
one. He saw me and driving down the street, overtook me, and offered
to drive me to another one. Arrived at my destination, he refused any
remuneration. The son of Pedro Nogera, the hotel proprietor, acted as
porter. Upon paying my bill, which was trivial when compared with the
services rendered, I offered the boy a small tip. He refused, saying
that I had paid for what I had received. Who is there in such stations
of life at home that would refuse a tip? Most would be angry if it was
not given, and if the sum was too small, would go off grumbling. One
of the peasants of San Luis that I consider a gentleman was my regular
cab driver. Born in San Luis, he had never been out of the province.
His name is Antonio L. Rójo. In appearance he is of large build,
somewhat coarse, and inclined to stoutness. For the sum of one and a
half pesos (61 c.) an hour, he agreed to drive me whenever and wherever
I wished to go. Although inclined to be loquacious, he showed none of
that grossness and vulgarity of character that our cab drivers are apt
to demonstrate. This man knew his position and was most attentive in
showing me the points of interest of the city and neighboring country.
He was also well read in politics but never knocked. Occasionally he
would stop and pick from the roadside fruit or flowers indigenous to
the country to show me what grew in the neighborhood of San Luis. Upon
leaving San Luis, I gave him a tip of five pesos ($2.14). This at first
he refused to accept and only took it finally by my literally forcing
it upon him. He was so delighted with the money that he took a railroad
trip to Balde, nine miles distant, to visit some relatives, and on the
way offered to spend some of it to treat me.

Shortly after leaving San Luis, westward on the railroad to Mendoza
there is seen to the south the large brackish Lake Bebedero; it keeps
in view a considerable distance. The short cut of the Buenos Aires
Pacific skirts its southern end. The second station west of San Luis
is Balde, a collection of straw and brushwood huts, the abodes of the
peasants. One well, which supplies the whole community, has been sunk,
water having been struck at a depth of 2119 feet. It is artesian.
Fifty-one miles west of San Luis, the Desaguadero River, muddy and
deep, lying in a chasm between high clay banks, is crossed. This river
forms the boundary line between the provinces of San Luis and Mendoza.
The country is a flat wilderness of mesquite which grows much larger
than in our southwestern States, probably on account of the superiority
of the soil, which here is a light clay. There is a considerable amount
of alkali, but not in so marked a degree as in the western plains of
North America. The mesquite, which grows to a great size, some of the
trees having veritable trunks, is chopped and is used as cord wood and
also as fuel on the freight and passenger trains.

La Paz, not to be confounded with the Bolivian metropolis, nor with
the Entrerieno town of the Paraná River, is reached shortly before
one o'clock in the afternoon on the daily passenger from San Luis to
Mendoza. It has two thousand inhabitants and is seventy-four miles west
of San Luis and eighty-eight miles east of Mendoza. It is important
for here begins the cultivated zone which extends as far as the Andes
and which is known as the Zona del Riego. The estancia limits and
the country roads are all bordered by Lombardy poplar trees, planted
closely together. Our North American farmer who plants his fence trees
a rod apart would be astonished to here behold them a yard apart.
Notwithstanding their proximity to one another, they here attain a
goodly height. Some pest seemed to have attacked many of these trees.
Many of the leaves were turning brown and the trees dying. It is
a curious fact that where this species of tree abounds, goiter is
prevalent among the inhabitants. In northern Italy, parts of Hungary
and Croatia, and in certain sections of the United States where there
are many Lombardy poplars, people are seen with this affliction.



CHAPTER IV

MENDOZA


From Dr. A. R. Davila, proprietor of _La Prensa_, South America's
largest newspaper, I received a letter of introduction to one of
Mendoza's best known and wealthiest men, Dr. Juan Carlos Serú, a lawyer
and country proprietor, who resides in a fine residence at 1055 Avenida
San Martin. I went to see him to pay my respects and from him obtained
some valuable information.

Up to the present time viticulture has been the staple industry of the
Province of Mendoza, the landscape being covered with vineyards as far
as the eye can see. This business has been on such an increase that it
has now reached its climax for Mendoza wines have not been exported out
of the country to any extent. With the opening up of Neuquen Territory,
which is likewise adapted to the growing of grapes, the market will be
more than flooded and there will not be much future in the business
unless there should be a large export trade. Steps have already been
taken to introduce Mendoza wines into Brazil which have so far met with
success. Since the European war, the price of grapes has dropped and
many of the small proprietors have been forced to the wall. The large
ones and old established firms have managed to reap the profits. The
value of the vineyards all depends on their proximity to a railroad
or to the city of Mendoza. Dr. Serú owns seventy hectares of vineyard
two stations distant from San Rafael, a wine producing district in the
southern part of the province, which he values at three thousand pesos
paper to the hectare; this would bring the value of a vineyard at the
height of its production to approximately $512.40 an acre.

One of the largest _bodegas_ (wineries) is that of Tomba y Sella in
Godoy Cruz, a suburb of Mendoza. It was originally a private concern
owned by Antonio Tomba. A scrap among the heirs caused a division
and it is now a stock company with Domingo Tomba as president and
the largest shareholder. The wine is kept in cement casks. The most
famous bodega, although not one of the largest, is that named Trapiche,
owned by the Benégas Brothers, situated about three miles southwest of
Mendoza. It has agencies in Buenos Aires, Rosario, Córdoba, Tucumán,
Bahia Blanca, and in Paraná. One of the brothers lives in Buenos Aires
where he conducts show rooms and a sales agency at 420 Calle Florida,
while the others live in Mendoza, supervising the manufacturing end.
I went to their bodega with Mr. Serú and was shown through the whole
institution by the manager. The vineyard comprises 538 acres. The
winery at the time of my visit was about filled and has the following
capacity:

  _Casks_                _Liters_             _Total liters_
   4                     100,000                 400,000
   2                      40,000                  80,000
  20                      30,000                 600,000
  60                      20,000               1,200,000
  44                      10,000                 440,000
  30                       8,000                 240,000
  20                       5,000                 100,000
 ---                     -------               ---------
 180                     213,000               3,060,000

To this must be added 9000 barrels of 200 liters, total 1,800,000
liters, which brings the grand total to 4,860,000 liters capacity.
These 9000 barrels mostly contain a brand of red wine named Reserva
which sells for $51.24 a barrel. The wine sold in the bottle is 7/10
of a liter for it takes 280 bottles to fill the barrel. Perkeo of
Heidelberg surely would have had a high old time if turned loose in the
Trapiche wine cellars. Seven-tenths bottle of ordinary Reservada which
retails in Mendoza at ninety-seven cents is selling now in Italy among
the Mendocino Italians, who have returned home on account of the war,
at $1.76. The Benégas Brothers manufacture seventeen brands of wine
and two brands of unfermented grape beverage. The manager, who showed
me around, must have thought I had a saintly countenance, for when I
left the institution, instead of handing me some wine to sample, he
poured out for me a tumbler of grape juice. I do not want the readers
of this book to draw the conclusion from this that I left Mendoza
without refreshing myself with some of the real article. The Tomba
is the largest of all the bodegas, and there are many larger than the
Trapiche; the Barra Quero being one of them.

Not only do the Benégas Brothers manufacture wine and grape juice, but
they have lately installed a cold-storage system at their plant for the
preservation of grapes which are sent to Buenos Aires and other parts
of the country to be eaten in the élite restaurants and in the homes
of the wealthy. One kilogram (2⅕ pounds) of table grapes from their
vineyards retails in Buenos Aires from 56 cts. to $2.14 according to
their quality.

Dr. Serú, seeing the results obtained from viticulture in this province
was one of the first men to conceive the idea of growing fruit for
canning as has been done in California. On his estate near San Rafael,
he had some canned which he sent to Buenos Aires to compete with some
articles from California. His product was found to be superior and
to-day he has one of the best fruit _fincas_ in the republic. Gath y
Chaves, the great department firm which has branches in every large
town in the republic have decided to accept, for their trade, no
other brands than his. This is a big feather in his cap because Gath
y Chaves is the largest firm of its kind in South America. Dr. Serú is
now endeavoring to get North American capital interested in Mendocino
lands for he is of the opinion that fruit will eventually supersede
viticulture. Fruit lands average about $51.24 an acre; orchards of
plums, apricots, peaches, and pears, six years old, will cost the
purchaser $683.20 an acre. These figures are nearly exact regarding
their present worth (1917), and if anybody who reads this book goes to
Mendoza, not knowing conditions there, they should not be bluffed by
other figures as these are nearly correct, they having been given to me
by viticulturists and fruit growers of repute.

Mendoza has been hit rather hardly in the question of labor for three
thousand Italians alone have emigrated from the province to return home
on account of the European war. Business is now at its lowest ebb, but
of all the provinces of the republic, it has undoubtedly the brightest
future. It is going to be a great granary, and wheat is going to play
an important part in its exports. Everything is grown by irrigation,
and it has been found that grain grown this way there doesn't rot or
soften as it does in other districts under similar conditions. Under
ordinary conditions, the wheat yield in Mendoza is fifty-two bushels
to the acre; that of the whole republic is only twenty-three. A man on
an experimental farm grew ten acres that averaged seventy-six bushels
to the acre; figures that I had hitherto thought impossible. There is
no flour mill in the province; neither is there one in the neighboring
province San Juan. Sr. Emilio Vogt, manager of the Molino del Rio de
la Plata, the largest flour mill in Argentina, which has a capital of
$14,945,000, tells me that a flour mill either in Tucumán or in Mendoza
would be a profitable investment. One with a daily capacity of 30 tons
would cost 300,000 pesos ($138,100.00). It would need 200,000 pesos
($85,400.00) extra for working capital, bringing the total to 500,000
pesos ($223,500.00). He says he would guarantee a mill like this to
make forty per cent. annually on the original investment. It would
have all it could do to supply Mendoza city alone. Vogt says that in
the flour business in Argentina, everything depends on the freight.
The grain belt at the present time is midway between Buenos Aires and
Mendoza. Wheat is shipped to Buenos Aires to be ground and the flour
then shipped back over the same rails and beyond to Mendoza. This cuts
a big hole in the profits. Since Mendoza is destined to be a great
wheat country, the grain won't have to be shipped far to the mill if
one is established there.

The city of Mendoza according to the census of 1916 had 59,117 human
inhabitants. Its neighbor, Godoy Cruz had a population of 16,021.
The canine population of both of these cities outnumbers that of the
human in a proportion of at least three to one. Only two dogs out of
this vast number are of any consequence and they are on exhibit in the
zoölogical gardens. The other dogs are not worth the powder to blow
them up.

With the exception of Buenos Aires, Mendoza is undoubtedly the finest
city in Argentina and is the liveliest of the provincial capitals. It
is a beautiful place with many broad avenues bordered by symmetrical
rows of sycamore, plane, and linden trees. All the streets of the
newer part of the town are well paved with rectangular cobble stones.
Between the road and the sidewalk are ditches paved with round polished
stones and spanned by bridges under which rivulets of muddy water flow.
I have been told that in this respect, Mendoza bears a similarity to
Guatemala. The sidewalks are paved with tile of various somber colors
and designs. The residences are mostly one story in height built of a
brownish brick or of adobe and stuccoed. The town presents an extremely
verdant and refreshing appearance largely due to the murmuring of the
running water that is everywhere.

The Plaza San Martin, the principal one, though to me not as charming
as the Plaza Pringles in San Luis, is the finest in the republic. In
its center is a large equestrian statue of the guerrero, San Martin,
looking towards the Andes. From its center, eight walks, the tile
paving of which cost the city forty thousand dollars, radiate, the four
center ones containing little islands of flowers. The corners of this
plaza which are sunk about two feet below the level of the street are
round. In this neighborhood much of the activity of the city centers
for here are the Grand Hotel, Hotel Bauer, the cathedral, the Spanish
Bank of the River Plate; the Bank of the Province of Mendoza (a huge
building in construction); the Bank of the Argentine Nation and the
Municipal Theater. Nearby is the post office.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is another plaza, that of Independencia, which is still in
an embryo state. It contains four city squares and when finished is
expected to be a masterpiece. Work of grading is now in progress but it
is being done so slowly that I conjecture the year 1920 may not witness
its completion. In the meantime horses graze on the tall grass and
alfalfa that will be eventually dug up to be planted to trees and lawn.
This is supposed to be the exact geographical center of New Mendoza and
on it faces the capitol and governor's residence. Both these edifices
are but one story in height; the former covering an entire block.

  [Illustration: Statue of San Martin, Mendoza]

The city is divided into nearly equal parts by a broad avenue, that of
San Martin, formerly the Alameda which runs north and south.

       *       *       *       *       *

These two parts are called by the distinctive names of Mendoza which
is the western section and Old Mendoza, the eastern one. Old Mendoza,
which I think contains the greatest population is in the form of a
trapezoid, while the new city is that of a square. The old city was the
part that existed before the earthquake of 1861. It was nearly totally
destroyed and has been rebuilt again. The best to do inhabitants
instead of repairing their ruined homes, laid out plans for a new and
better city with wide streets and spacious parks. It is this new part
that to-day is the most important. Old Mendoza with its one-story,
primitive adobe buildings, in some respects resembles San José de
Costa Rica, although it is not nearly as fine and clean a city. Its
streets are treeless and most of them are never paved. The poor element
lives here. The old plaza with its dirt walks, which was formerly the
center of the city, is a full mile from that of San Martin. The ancient
crumbling unstuccoed adobe pile which was the pristine city hall is
now an almshouse. There are no residences in Mendoza which can be
termed palatial, that of my acquaintance, Dr. Serú being the best. It
is a two-story structure on the wide and shadeless Avenida San Martin,
hemmed in on both sides by shops. The residence of Domingo Tomba at
Godoy Cruz is the finest house in the province, but it is in a poor
location, on the busy and dusty plaza of that small city.

  [Illustration: Avenida San Martin, Mendoza]

Regarding the earthquake in Mendoza, "Until 1861," writes Dr. Martin
de Moussy, "the Province of Mendoza was not aware of the terrors of
an earthquake. The violent shocks that had at different times agitated
the Chilean provinces seemed to lose their intensity on going over the
chain of the Andes. The inhabitants only knew slight tremblings of
the earth previous to then. March 20, 1861, one of the most violent
earthquakes ever recorded destroyed in a few seconds the city of
Mendoza and buried one-half of its inhabitants under its ruins."

At 8:30 P.M. that night, the town was totally destroyed by one of
the most violent earthquakes ever experienced. The sky was perfectly
clear; the atmosphere quiet; the greater part of its inhabitants at
home, although some of them were enjoying a walk in the Alameda and
on the plaza. Suddenly a subterranean noise was heard, and at the
same moment before there was time to escape, all the public buildings
and private houses were falling in with a tremendous crash. The walls
fell outward and all sides of the rooms and the roofs came down in
the center so that the inhabitants, both those who were inside the
houses and those who were on the streets were all buried beneath the
débris. The movement was first undulatory from northwest to southeast
and afterwards seemed to come from below upwards. Its violence was so
great that in the gardens many people fell down. In the Church of San
Augustin, where mass was being held, only one person escaped alive. He
was a drunken man asleep in the vestibule. The pillars fell in such
a way that he was uninjured. Fire started by broken lamps and from
kitchen braziers. The débris of the earthquake clogged the canals and
started a flood. Food ran short and the stench of the corpses which
could not be taken from the ruins was awful. The fire raged ten days.
When everything was normal again, it was estimated that at least ten
thousand people perished. The _Almanaque del Mensajero_ gives the total
number of victims at fifteen thousand. The shocks were continued at
frequent intervals until the end of May. There was a suggestion to
rebuild the city on some granite hills known as Las Tortugas but old
ties and affections pervaded so a new city was built directly west
of the Alameda which is now the Avenida San Martin. The ruins of the
churches of San Francisco and San Augustin should be visited.

The Parque Oeste (West Park) which its name indicates is in the western
part of the city. It is built on a scarcely perceptible general slope,
and to my idea out-rivals that of Palermo in Buenos Aires, it being
more natural and rustic. It is not yet entirely completed, but that
part of it which is, nearly attains a perfection. It is spacious and
its broad avenues, cross lawns planted to trees indigenous to the
country. There is a fine music pavilion and a zoölogical garden there.

Westward from this park and past the hospital in the course of
construction, a broad road bordered by year-old Carolina poplar trees
takes one to the mile distant Cerrito de la Gloria a 1300 foot hill
which rises abruptly from the desert Pampa. Its eastern slope is
planted to eucalyptus, various generi of cactus, pepperberry, and other
trees and shrubs. Dependent on water which is forced through a conduit
to the top of a hill, they have in the three years of their existence
here attained a marvelous growth on what was formerly a barren waste.
Serpentine automobile roads with no balustrades coil upwards around
the hill. It would be no place for a joy ride. A driver in very sober
senses drove off the road in broad daylight in August, 1915. The only
occupant of the victoria beside himself was a young girl. They both
saved their lives by jumping but both the horses rolled over into the
ravine and were killed.

  [Illustration: Monument to the Army of the Andes, Mendoza]

The summit of this hill is crowned by a gigantic monument of
granite and of bronze erected in 1914 by the Argentine Republic in
commemoration of the Army of the Andes which crossed that giant barrier
and defeated the Spaniards at Maipu and at Chacabuco in Chile. It was
unveiled on the centennial day on which the army left Mendoza. The
monument is a Goddess of Victory looking northward. (It was northward
through Villavicencio that San Martin's army went.) The granite
pedestal formed from three huge blocks of massive rock has embedded in
it a bronze bas relief, depicting the cavalry, artillery, and infantry
of that time with the famous general and his officers and also a
reception given to the liberators after their victory. On top of the
bas relief is shown the number of men comprising the conquering army,
classified as follows:

                _Superior Officers_      _Officers_      _Soldiers_
  Artillery      4                         16               241
  Infantry       9                        124             2,795
  Cavalry        4                         55               742
  Militia                                                 1,200
  Engineers                                                 120


Total 5310 men including 212 officers. There were 9191 mules and 1600
horses. The names of the heroes dear to the Argentine and Chilean
public are engraved on one bronze plate in order as follows:

     San Martin
     O'Higgins
     Las Heras
     de la Plaza
     Conde
     Cramer
     Alvardo
     Zapiola
     Beltran
     de la Quintana
     Condarco
     Cabot
     Paroisien
     Freire
     Mansilla
     Zentena
     Arcos
     Martinez
     Guiraldez
     Lavalle

As to hotels, Mendoza can boast of none that are first-class according
to the standard of those of the average European or North American city
of its size, although the Jewish hotel of Emilio Lévy which tries to
be international and neutral (but which is not), is the best. It is
named Grand Hotel San Martin but in colloquial conversation the suffix
San Martin is usually left out. Lévy is an Alsatian Jew as well as are
his immediate entourage of hirelings and some of the printed sheets
of German atrocities in this European conflagration that his clerks
distribute on the dining-room tables and in the corridor are evidence
to show the wandering Briton or Frenchman that his money is solicited
even though he may receive kosher food for it in return. The rooms are
large and clean, most of them opening on to a patio as is the custom
of the hotels in provincial Argentina. The food is good but I am sorry
to say that it is lacking in quantity as well as in variety. Three
years ago, while I was in Mendoza, this same hotel set a fine meal and
a large one but one must take into consideration that the greater the
variety of food as well as the quantity, the greater is the cost, and
Jews are always out for the money. The Apulian bartender knows how to
draw a nice schuper of Quilmes beer, but I am told that the barman of
the Hotel Bauer across the plaza on the Calle General Necochea keeps
his draught beer better. The only serious objection I have to the Grand
Hotel is its middle class Yiddish clientele of all nationalities who
stare rudely at the other guests and while eating, wave their forks and
knives as they loudly explain some anecdote.

The Hotel Bauer, patronized by Teutons, runs largely to café and
barroom which are the only departments of this institution in evidence
from the street. The dining room and the bedrooms are in the rear, but
the bedrooms are small. The Hotel Italia is "free and easy." They have
a regular rate but if a person brings a woman companion to his room who
is not his wife or of any consanguinity, he is charged double.

Mendoza is no smokers' paradise. Cigars dry up in the dry atmosphere
and become as crisp and brittle as tinder and as dry as powder. As to
amusements, there are none save a few cinematograph shows and a bagnio
named Petit Eden. One of these moving picture shows was showing films
of the Willard-Johnson fight. It was such an attraction that the place
was jammed. I had seen no moving pictures of the fight as yet, although
I wanted to, as I had witnessed the genuine article in Havana. I was
dumbfounded at the finale after the twenty-sixth round to see my visage
conspicuous in the foreground displayed upon the white canvas, as I did
not know that I had been within range of the camera while at the fight
in Havana.

The Province of Mendoza is rich in mineral springs due to the volcanic
Andes. The most famous of these springs is that of Villavicencio
about sixty miles northwest of the capital in the fastnesses of the
mountains. It was through here that San Martin marched his army on his
way to Chile. He came out at the point where the railroad now lies at
the farm of Uspallata. The Mendoza agents of the Argentine Brewery have
bought the spring and transport its waters in bulk to Mendoza where
they bottle it.

To the north of the Province of Mendoza lies the Province of San Juan
with an area of 33,715 square miles. It together with Mendoza and San
Luis, formerly formed the Province of Cuyo which belonged to that part
of the Spanish dependencies that were governed from Santiago, Chile. In
character, San Juan is much like Mendoza although it has less fertile
lands. This is due to the fact that while Mendoza has three rivers
which serve to irrigate it, San Juan has but one. San Juan is noted for
the superior quality of its figs which here thrive to perfection. Its
capital city is also named San Juan. It is ninety-eight miles north of
the city of Mendoza and is reached by the Buenos Aires Pacific Railway
which here has its terminus. It is a small town of 14,595 inhabitants
with shady streets and of ancient appearance. Most of its houses are of
adobe. It is also the seat of the bishopric of Cuyó. The bishop is José
Américo Orzali who has held this post since 1912.

Leaving Mendoza westward, the narrow gauge Transandine Railway runs
parallel to the canal of the Mendoza River and crosses it twice.
Several kilometers out, the snow-capped peaks of the Andes are
visible, among them Aconcagua, South America's highest mountain and
extinct volcano in Argentina near the Chilean line. This great height
of twenty-four thousand feet was first ascended by E. A. Fitz Gerald
after several efforts, but since then it has been scaled several times,
there being guides at Puente del Inca to take mountain climbers to the
summit.

  [Illustration: Waiting for the Train at Cacheuta]

Twenty miles from Mendoza, we enter the defile of the Mendoza River,
and are in the midst of the Andes. I left the train at Cacheuta,
where at that thermal resort, I put in forty-eight hours. There are
hot springs at Cacheuta and a small establishment was built as they
were found to contain qualities beneficial for rheumatism and kindred
ailments. The trade of the place increased until it became necessary
to drill holes into the ravine bottom to pump the hot water out for
baths. The patient is apt to get worse for the first five days after
the beginning of this treatment, but then gets better and improves
until the course is completed. The Gran Hotel Cacheuta is a sumptuous
and luxurious affair built on the style of which we are erroneously
led to believe is Cliff Dweller architecture like the Hotel El Tovar
at the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. I was not long there before I
found out that the main attraction of Cacheuta was not the baths but
instead roulette and nickel-in-the-slot machines. The first mentioned
game was in full swing; a separate building was given over to that
form of joy producer. Chips cost a peso apiece, except for the three
dozen, red and black, and odd and even, where a five-peso chip must be
thrown on the green cloth. Little girls not more than twelve years old
watch their beplumed and besapphired mammas win or lose. Long-robed
priests wander back and forth, occasionally placing a bet where their
holy inclination tells them to; vermouth glass in hand, they are seen
in the barroom to walk up to the products of Mills and of Caille and
to the tune of a twenty-centavo piece watch for their luck. In the way
of scenery and other attractions besides the bath there is nothing at
Cacheuta to divert one's time. It is a society place for gambling and
a place for rest for the tired business man. It is wonderful, however,
to see what man has done in a place not favored by nature. The barren
mountains obscure the view in all directions; the sandy soil can
bear no vegetation. Here and there are to be seen the corrugated iron
huts of the railroad workmen in front of whose doors their numerous
brown-skinned offspring are playing. Through the whole scene runs the
turbulent Mendoza River, muddy with silt and sand.

  [Illustration: On the Terrace at Cacheuta]

Not far above Cacheuta is Potrerillos, where it is pleasant to see a
speck of green. Steers graze in alfalfa fields enclosed by tall poplar
trees. A stock company was formed to bore a tunnel two kilometres
through the mountains to the plain, deviate the stream from its
course by running it through this tunnel and which once through, would
irrigate new lands. As it would also render waste the lands now under
cultivation, the wine growers and agriculturists served an injunction
on this company stopping them in their undertaking. The tunnel is
completed, but it is a hundred to one shot nothing will ever come of it
for the company tried to steal the river.

  [Illustration: Thermal Establishment at Cacheuta]

  [Illustration: One of the Diversions at Cacheuta that is Neither
   Bathing nor Gambling]

The whole trip to Santiago over the Andes so often described is one
of great scenic beauty on the Chilean side where the descent is very
abrupt and where one can look down the whole length of the valley
of the Aconcagua River which is cultivated where nature will allow.
That on the Argentina side is grand with the giant peaks in the
neighborhood, and also awe-inspiring, but it is apt to be tedious.
The last stop of importance in Argentina is Puente del Inca, where
there is a thermal establishment and electrical works. Here there is
a natural bridge under which the Mendoza River flows and which gives
the place its name. High up on the mountain side are curious groups
of rocks which from the valley appear like people praying. They are
named the Penitentes. The crest of the Andes is pierced by a tunnel at
an altitude of 10,364 feet. This tunnel is 9848 feet long, 5460 feet
of it being in Argentina and the remaining 4388 feet being in Chile.
It takes eight minutes to run through it on the train. In the winter
time when snow blocks the passes so it is impossible for trains to
run, travelers between Argentina and Chile ride through this tunnel on
horseback. About 1500 feet above the tunnel at the summit of the Cumbre
there is a statue of Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor), seen by me
on several occasions as I have crossed the mountains on horseback. It
was designed by the Argentine sculptor Matteo Alonso. It is of bronze
and is over twenty-nine feet in height. It was unveiled at a mass said
on the top of the Cumbre in March, 1904, as a monument of perpetual
peace between Argentina and Chile in the presence of the presidents of
the two republics. There had been a scrap over the boundary question
and both countries were on the verge of war. It was a case of one being
afraid and the other dare not, Chile probably holding the pole. Chile
was unable to obtain a loan and therefore war was averted. The image
of Christ with his arms extended is looking southward and the boundary
line of the two countries runs through His center. Since the traffic on
the Cumbre has greatly lessened on account of the tunnel, this bronze
Christ has fallen into neglect. Storms have knocked the cross out of
his hands, and in many ways have damaged it. The Chilean mozos who
cross the Andes to work in the electrical works at Puente del Inca, use
this statue as a target when they pass by it and when I saw it, it was
quite pock-marked with the bullets from their revolvers. One hundred
meters north and one hundred metres south of the statue are two iron
poles named "itos" which demark the boundary.

  [Illustration: Steps at Cacheuta Leading from the Railroad Station to
   the Hotel]

The poor travelers still go over the Cumbre. They hire mules for fifty
pesos Chileno apiece ($4.90) at Los Andes, leaving there early in the
morning long before daybreak and arriving at the Argentine station of
Las Cuevas in the afternoon in time to catch the afternoon train to
Mendoza.

At Santa Rosa de los Andes down the valley of the Aconcagua at an
altitude of 2698 feet, we changed trains for here we reached the broad
gauge of the Chilean State Railways. It is a pleasure to be able to
travel again in clean and comfortable cars. Those of Argentina are
terrible; they are dirty, old, and worn. The toilets are dirty and the
lavatories are generally lacking in towels. In Chile are Pullman cars
of American manufacture; the locomotives are local, or are made in
Germany. I came from Cacheuta on the special car sent by the Argentine
Government to convey the special ambassadors and envoys with their
distinguished guests to the inauguration ceremonies and installation
of the new President of Chile, Sr. Luis Sanfuentes, who succeeded
Sr. Ramon Barros Luco, whose term expired December 23, 1915. This
party included Romulo S. Naón, special ambassador, Colonel Carlos
S. Martinez, military attaché, Captain José Moneta, naval attaché,
Sr. Iriondo de Irigoyen and Sr. Albert d'Alkaine, secretaries to the
Embassy and myself. Brazil was represented by Senhor Luis Martins
de Souza Dantas, special ambassador. Portugal sent her minister
to Argentina, Colonel Botelho, a very quiet miniature old man and
his military attaché, Colonel Martin de Lima, a middle-aged small
gentleman. At Los Andes, we were met by the welcome committee of the
Chilean government, its units being the pick of the land politically,
socially, and from rank in military and naval affairs. After being
photographed and presented with flowers by comely maidens dressed in
white, who came to greet us and who sang a song especially composed for
our honor, we were escorted to a private train where we were dined and
wined on the way to Santiago.



CHAPTER V

SALTA AND TUCUMÁN


Mr. William Boyce, of the Chicago Saturday _Blade_, made a trip to
Tucumán and wrote a chapter about it in his book, _Illustrated South
America_. This book I read with pleasure and determined that I should
visit that city if ever an opportunity presented itself. One morning,
armed with credentials and letters of introduction to prominent
personages in the far provinces, I boarded the train for Tucumán. Two
railroads connect Buenos Aires with Tucumán, the Central of Córdoba
and the Central of Argentina. I traveled by a train that runs over the
rails of the latter.

Mariano Saavedra, 288 miles north of Buenos Aires is the town where the
River Plate scenery ends, and the vast, monotonous plains begin. Up to
here through the broad expanse of corn fields, whose limits are bounded
by the horizon; past funereal towns of unpointed red brick buildings,
the open doors and windows of which have the aspect of morgue entrances
and apertures; past mournful cemeteries of blackened crosses; and
past peasant houses embowered in groves of weeping willows, the dirty
tri-weekly express train sped us by in a cloud of stifling, blinding,
eye-smarting, ear-filling dust. At Mariano Saavedra we come to the
unbounded, limitless plain of coarse green grass on which myriads of
cattle graze. This, the province of Santa Fé, is the true plain of
Argentina. From history and from fiction we imagine the great plains
to be the central and the southern provinces, consisting of what is
geographically the western part of the province of Buenos Aires, the
Province of San Luis, and the territory of Pampa. This is not the
true fact. In all these geographical divisions are rolling hills, and
streams in deep-lying canyons. Here in Santa Fé, I doubt if there is a
single hill. A broad landscape, dry and dusty but by no means rainless,
and yet fruitful, meets the eye of the traveler. A dark cloud on the
horizon approaches, and when overhead breaks into a swarm of locusts,
which in many instances destroy in a single day the whole untiring
year's work of the farmers. They are not such a pest as they were in
former years, but yet a terrible scourge.

At 10:30 P.M. the town of Ceres is reached. This place, a railway
division point, is built at the corners of the provinces Santa Fé,
Córdoba, and Santiago del Estero, the last-named province being
that which the train now enters and which it takes all night to
cross. Do not imagine that this dusty, smoky town is named after the
Goddess of Agriculture. It is a synonym of all that is evil among
human inhabitants, namely overwhelming dust, locomotive smoke, and
locusts which dart through the empty windows of the coaches like hot
coals, and are pulled out of ones food, beer, hair, pockets, and even
underdrawers, of all sizes and shapes from three inches downwards,
never failing to expectorate a dark brown sputum, like tobacco juice
but purulent.

I sat in the dining car with a young dentist named Hallmann, of German
birth but who had an American diploma. He resides at Santiago del
Estero where he made twenty thousand dollars at his profession during
the last two years. There is only one other dentist in that city,
an American, but Hallmann says the latter has no trade because he is
drunken. He told me that in Santiago del Estero he was always obliged
to accept cash before he pulled a tooth on account of the swindling
tendency of the natives. Several months later, I accidentally met
Hallmann on the Avenida in Buenos Aires. He had made enough money in
Santiago del Estero and was on his way to Philadelphia, where he had
formerly practiced, to open up an office.

The Province of Santiago del Estero has an area of 39,764 square miles
and a population of 264,911. It is a plain varying from 450 to 550 feet
above sea level. Its climate is extremely hot. Most of the surface of
the soil is covered with a dense brush of mesquite and quebracho trees,
which are cut into cordwood and used as fuel on the locomotives. The
capital city is Santiago del Estero, frequently spoken of in Argentina
as Santiago. It is an antiquated city of seventeen thousand inhabitants
and is one of the oldest towns in the republic having been founded in
1553 by Francisco de Aguirre on the Dulce River. It is the seat of a
bishopric, which was created in 1908. The present incumbent is Dr. Juan
Martin de Yañiz y Paz. On account of its isolation, Santiago del Estero
has not prospered as it should have.

The inhabitants of the Province of Santiago del Estero are mostly
dependent for a livelihood on the sale of quebracho. This wood which
rarely attains a growth of thirty feet is of a deep red color and is
used as a dye wood. Its supply seems inexhaustible but its export is
now at a standstill on account of a slump in the market. It thrives
in dry climates for in this province where it frequently goes for
a stretch of seven months at a time without a rain, it attains its
perfection. The northern provinces of Argentina have it over its
southern neighbors in the fact that no matter how dry the country is,
if it lies within the proper altitudes it is forested.

I have heard the Province of Tucumán spoken of by Argentinos as having
a tropical climate. Such is not the truth, but it is, in climate,
the nearest approach to the tropics of any of the other Argentine
provinces, with the exception of the lowlands of Salta that lie
within the La Plata watershed. All nations are apt to exaggerate their
endowments of nature, therefore one should not too sharply criticize
the Argentinos when they speak of Tucumán as tropical. The Germans call
part of Saxony, "Sächische Schweiz," when it bears no more resemblance
to Switzerland than does a pot of ink to a bucket of milk. The
Uruguayans love to style their land "The Greenland of South America,"
and even the Paraguayans call their mountains the "Himalaya Mbaracayu."
The only similarity of Tucumán to the tropics is the excessive heat in
summer, and the prevalence of fevers, the most noteworthy being a form
of malaria, named _chuchu_ which is also in Santiago del Estero, Jujuy,
and Salta. A more fever-free country is hard to imagine from the lay
of the land, yet I am sorry to say that the Argentine Board of Health
statistics belie it. Malaria is one of the foremost death-causing
ailments in northwestern Argentina. I would, however, class these
provinces as being healthy, as there are no other epidemics excepting
an occasional sporadic outbreak of smallpox.

Entering Tucumán province from Santiago del Estero, the scenery
abruptly changes from the quebracho thicket to large open fields of
sugar cane. It was summer when I visited it and the cane was nowhere
near its growth. Compared with Cuba, the soil is poorer, the cane
sicklier, and the establishments smaller. It is a go-between Cuba and
the other islands of the West Indies.

From the city of Tucumán northward the scenery is beautiful. Seated
in the dining car of the narrow gauge Central Northern Railroad
with an overflowing glass of Rubia beer in front of me, and gazing
at the fleeting landscape, I was entranced by the works of God. An
endless forest of hardwood, with magnificent spreading tops, yet
too small to make saw timber, formed an excrescence on the reddish
clay thicker than bristles on Tamworth swine. The undergrowth is
thick like that of southern Chile, but here nature is like that of a
warmer clime. No towns and but few farmhouses are visible, yet this
is a populous country. The houses are hidden away in the forest, and
their owners make their living by stock raising, their herds roaming
at random in the woods. High green mountains grace the landscape,
their lower reaches wooded, while their tops uplifted above the tree
line are verdant with grasses. They are like the Paraguayan mountains
in contour, domed or serrated but never flat. The rainy season is
from December to April. Then the country looks its best. Under such
conditions I saw it. The seven months from May through November
constitute the dry season, and I was told that then the landscape has
a dreary appearance owing to its parched dryness. The cattle seem to
thrive even then. They are gaunt, rawboned creatures and even when fat,
a man can nearly hang his hat upon their haunches. They have great
endurance and are driven across the northern passes into Chile where
they sell for nineteen cents a pound live weight. Even with their great
shrinkage en route there is quite a profit to this. In the Province
of Salta where land cannot get irrigation, it is worthless except
for cattle raising owing to the seven months' drought, as water is
absolutely necessary for their crops.

To the stations, on the approach of the train, lean dogs and fat sows
come, and standing on the platform in front of the dining car, they
look longingly at the windows, and with barking and squealing let their
presence be known. These animals know exactly what time the trains
are scheduled to arrive and depart, where the dining car stops, and at
which end of the dining car the kitchen is. This sagacity comes from
intuition covering a long period. They are at every station and are
especially noticeable at the stop named Virgilio Tedin. The cook and
waiters never throw them anything, but instead occasionally douse them
with the contents of a bucket of dish water. The passengers are more
compassionate, and always throw a piece of biscuit or bone at these
animals who pounce upon the castings with squeals of delight. The
dogs are afraid of the sows, which although fat are of good fighting
material.

  [Illustration: Güemes

   A typical town of northern Argentina]

Güemes, a town of two thousand inhabitants is the junction for Salta
and for Jujuy. Although Salta is on a branch line and Jujuy is on
the main one, all through trains go to Salta for it is the largest
place. For Jujuy, you have to change. Jujuy, the capital of the
small province of the same name, is a miserable, squalid place of six
thousand inhabitants, in a hot but healthy valley. It used to have
twenty thousand people in the Colonial period, when it was the outpost
of Spanish civilization of the La Plata provinces; it then did a brisk
trade with Bolivia. The town has no future. Midway between Güemes and
Jujuy is the junction of Perico from which place a railroad extends
in a northeasterly direction to Oran, in the province of Salta. This
is also an old place with many houses in ruins. It has but twenty-five
hundred inhabitants and is a shell of its former opulence. It now has
a good future because a railroad is being built to connect it with
Formosa on the Paraguay River, and much timber and tropical products
will be brought in to be exported. Now Oran exports oranges and
bananas. Another old Colonial town of crumbling houses is Santiago del
Esteca near Metan, a station of the Central Northern Railroad south
of Güemes. Santiago del Esteca lies in the midst of a thick forest and
communication with the outside world is carried on over a rough wagon
road. The Central Northern Railroad ends at La Quiaca, the frontier
station at the Bolivian boundary line. From Jujuy northward it is
a gradual climb to Abrapampa, over thirteen thousand feet above sea
level and then a drop of about three thousand feet to the terminus.
The railroad is in some places rack and pinion but the trip for scenic
beauty affords but little interest to the tourist for it is over bleak
and barren mountains. The trip from Buenos Aires to La Paz, Bolivia,
can be made in one week, owing to the excellent stage-coach service of
a Bolivian company connecting La Quiaca with Uyuni on the Antofagasta
to Bolivia Railroad.

Live hogs in northern Argentina are shipped in the baggage cars of
passenger trains, although there seems to be plenty of empty swine
wagons. The animals are trussed up by a noose slipped over their
snouts, drawn tightly and slipped around their front feet which are
bound; the rope is then extended to their hind feet which are already
hobbled. I saw half a dozen of these creatures bound this way being
taken from the baggage car at Güemes and laid in the sun on the depot
platform, when the thermometer stood at 108° Fahrenheit in the shade.

On the spur to Salta the first stop is Campo Santo, meaning "holy
ground" or "cemetery." I am told that it is very appropriately named as
the fevers here are exceedingly common and are of great virulence.

He who has been to Argentina and has failed to see the Lerma Valley
is to be pitied. I have been told that the Cauca Valley in Colombia
is one of nature's rare masterpieces, and I would like to have it
compared with that of the Lerma by somebody who has seen both. Midway
between Güemes and Salta we reach the Lerma River, and the high wooded
hills narrow down to a defile, coming to the water's edge in some
places which necessitates the train in some places to pass through
tunnels. An occasional charcoal burner's hut is seen, but no other
habitations. Suddenly the defile ends, the river is crossed, and a
long valley several miles wide is entered, its whole floor in a high
state of cultivation and dotted with farmhouses. Near at hand are green
foothills, which afford pasture for stock. Behind are wooded mountains.
The whole panorama is beautified by the high Andes to the west and
north whose summits are capped with perpetual snow. The city of Salta
is approached; its many towers and Gothic spires, together with its
setting at the base of wooded mountains, brings to one's mind visions
of cities of Central Europe.

  [Illustration: Cathedral and Bishop's Palace, Salta]

The Province of Salta has an area of 62,184 square miles and had
185,643 inhabitants according to the last census, that of 1914. It is
divided into twenty-one departments which are analogous to the counties
of our states. There is a great variation of soil and climate ranging
from barrenness and frigidity in the high Andes to exuberant vegetation
and torrid heats in the department of Oran. The principal industry
is the exportation of stock into Chile. A railroad to Chile seems to
be the want of the inhabitants. They say that if one were built to
Antofagasta, they would need no trade with the rest of Argentina for
then all their exports would be sent north by the Pacific boats, and
their imports from the United States would be brought in that way,
saving a great expense in freight. This is only too true. Argentina
is willing that such a railroad should be built, but the Chilean
Government has refused permission on the grounds that there would be
a great exodus of population from their barren northern provinces to
the fruitful country across the Andes, namely Salta and Jujuy. There
has always been more or less enmity between Argentina and Chile over
a national boundary dispute regarding the limits of the Province of
Salta, whose productive soil the first-mentioned country is jealous
of. The question once nearly precipitated a war and the statue of the
Cristo Redentor is a monument of the pact of peace.

Whenever nature bestows opulence on a country, it invariably endows it
with setbacks. This it did in Salta by giving it fevers and venomous
snakes. The chuchu fever is the commonest disease and although not
so prevalent as in the Province of Tucumán, it is here in a more
malignant form. It is conveyed by the bite of the mosquito and much
resembles ague, excepting that the body is racked by pains, each day in
a different place. It is supposed never to leave the system, quinine
availing but little. It weakens the heart and in this way death is
caused, but only after several or more years. Some people never have
it, and, by the healthy looks of the inhabitants and by the number of
aged people to be seen in Salta, I do not believe its effects are as
dangerous as is claimed. Among the snake family there are some venomous
species, notably the viper and the cascabel. The bite of the latter is
synonymous with sure death.

The city of Salta, whose population is estimated at twenty-eight
thousand exclusive of a garrison of two thousand soldiers, is one of
the best built cities and, for its size, one of the liveliest towns
in Argentina. Its streets are paved with creosote blocks as in Paris;
it has an electric car system and all the progressive improvements.
Its buildings are modern two-story structures, and old houses of the
Colonial period with ornate carved wood entrances. On February 20,
1813, General Arenales defeated the Spaniards on a plain north of the
town, and a few years ago at a Centennial to celebrate the event, a
handsome monument of stone with bronze martial bas-reliefs, surmounted
by a female statue of Liberty holding aloft a cross, was unveiled on
the battle ground and is regarded by the Saltenos as the pride of their
town. The principal plaza of the city is named in honor of the hero,
Arenales, and a monument is soon to be placed on the brick base in the
center of this square which formerly was graced by a squat obelisk. The
principal club of the city is likewise named after the victory, its
nomenclature being the 20th of February Club. This edifice faces the
plaza and is by far the most modern building in Salta; it is the only
building in the city that is three stories high. Many cities of half a
million inhabitants cannot boast of so fine a club regarding interior
furnishings. The wood carving, which is of Salta oak and cedar is of
native workmanship; the Saltenos are famous in that art and I doubt
if anywhere woodcarving by hand is done better. The parquet flooring
of the club ballroom makes the visitor gasp with amazement when he
is told that the work and the wood are all local. On the furniture of
this club, which is even equipped with a gymnasium, no expense has been
spared. The ballroom chairs of Marie Antoinette style are upholstered
with silk, and the massive candelabra are of the choicest Venetian
glass. The toilet room, I am pleased to relate, is one of the very few
that I visited in Argentina that is kept clean.

The buildings around the Plaza Arenales are all arcaded, but the only
one of architectural interest is the old Cabildo, or city hall, of
Spanish times. It is a low, squat, long structure of massive walls
and with rounded arches forming the arcades. A low, pointed tower
rises above the center. The lower floor of this building is now given
up entirely to stores while the upper ones are leased for dwelling
purposes.

  [Illustration: Tomb in Cemetery, Salta]

The Hotel Plaza of Ramon Terres is a two-story building at the
northeast corner of the square and, although it is by no means a St.
Regis, it is good enough for Salta. Unfortunately most of the bedrooms
face a glass-roofed courtyard, which besides making them dark, does
not allow the entry of much fresh air. The pillows are so hard that
the guests are apt to wonder if they are stuffed with brickbats. One of
the curious figures that haunted the hotel café was a very old, tall,
and thin gentleman of a decidedly noble and dignified appearance. His
hair which was abundant, and his well-trimmed beard were silvery white.
His clean features, neat black clothes, and derby hat would deceive a
person into believing that this old man was a retired Scots professor
or German scientist. There was something uncanny about his appearance,
for I had never before seen so well-groomed and active a man of an age
that I imagined him to be; it was as if he had long ago passed the age
limit in which old men die, and yet decided that he would remain on
earth a good spell yet. He was always one of the last persons to leave
the cafés nights, and the first to enter them mornings; he made the
rounds with regularity, and always had a drink before him. I asked the
Spanish bartender who he was:

"He was once a very rich man who made his money by cattle dealing
in Chile. He spent most of it and now is on an allowance from his
relations. He has been in Chile over one hundred times trading stock,
and is thinking of going again soon. He is an expert horseman. He is
over one hundred years old, and," said the waiter in a confidential
undertone, "he is a devil with the women. He chases after all
the servant girls and has lewd designs on the chambermaid." This
chambermaid, by the way, was terribly good-looking, with dark brown
eyes, and rosy red cheeks. I admired the old man's choice.

Salta has some remarkable religious edifices. It is the see of a
bishop, who has a palace adjoining the cathedral. The diocese was
created in 1806 and comprises the provinces of Salta and Jujuy. The
present bishop, José Gregorio Romero, has been the incumbent only
since 1915. The inhabitants have the reputation of being very devout,
although I observed that all the Catholics with whom I was brought into
contact with in Salta, ate meat on Friday. This also applies to the
clergy. In the rich, cool, and lofty cathedral, there is a shrine with
an image of the crucified Savior, which has a most peculiar history.
Years ago there was found on a lonely beach in Chile, two boxes, which
had evidently been washed ashore from an unknown shipwreck. One was
labeled with the address of a person in Córdoba, and the other was
addressed to a Señor del Milagro in Salta. On being opened, the box
destined for Córdoba was found to contain an image of the Virgin, while
that for Salta contained the Christ. His halo is of wrought gold, and
the cross on which He is nailed is of iron. As there was no such person
in Salta as "del Milagro," the church appropriated the image which is
known as the Cristo del Milagro, and is shown by the sexton.

Two of the oldest churches are those of Merced and of San Bernardo.
The church of the Candelaria has the finest façade with a detached
campanile, but the most interesting of all is the church and monastery
of San Francisco. The cloister has massive walls, seven feet thick.
It houses fourteen brown-robed monks of the Franciscan order. Most of
them were an unwashed, unkempt lot; the quantity of empty wine and beer
bottles in the kitchen yard bore testimony to many libations on their
part. The whole monastery is a maze of halls, porches, passageways,
staircases, cupolas, belfries, cells, courtyards, and gardens. This
confusion arose because a new part was added each time the growth of
the monastery warranted it. Into the large garden is turned nightly
a large bloodhound, kept ugly by being constantly fed on raw meat.
This is to prevent the townspeople from scaling the walls to steal the
luscious fruit and grapes which the monks cultivate. In the daytime
the dog is kept chained up, but only two or three of the inmates are
on friendly enough terms with this modern Cerberus to approach it.
The tall campanile of San Francisco is the highest church tower in
Argentina.

  [Illustration: Calle Mitre, Salta

   This is the main street of the city]

I had a letter of introduction from Dr. Manuel de Iriondo, president
of the Bank of the Argentine Nation and one of the most prominent men
in the republic, to the manager of the Salta branch, Señor Francisco
Pereyra. I have never met a finer gentleman that Señor Pereyra. Not
only did he wine and dine me at his own residence, but he went at
great length to entertain me, introduce me to his friends, to the
mayor of the city, to the governor of the province, took me out for
automobile rides, and when I left Salta loaded me with literature, both
statistical and historical of the province and city. Señor Pereyra made
me a present of a hardwood cane, the tree from which it is made being
indigenous to the Province of Salta, and named San Antonio. Mariano
Posse is the name of Pereyra's eighteen-year-old brother-in-law who is
going to Buenos Aires in a year to study medicine. I tried to persuade
the young man to come to the United States to take a course in one
of our universities, which I think will eventually materialize. At
the time of this writing, Señor Pereyra has left Salta and is manager
of the Bank of the Argentine Nation at Catamarca, the capital of the
Andean province of the same name. He had recently, shortly before
leaving Salta, the misfortune to lose by death, his wife, an estimable
lady. I met Dr. Waldino Riarte, a friend of Señor Pereyra's. Both men
were originally from Tucumán. Dr. Riarte is one of the wealthiest and
highest standing men in the province, to which position he rose through
his own efforts. One of the Salteno's with whom I became acquainted
was Dr. Sola, a graduate of the Ohio State University, class of 1904.
He has not been in the United States since he graduated. He was sent
there to study, by the Argentine Government, and liked it so well that
he wants to go back to the United States. He was anxious to hear the
results of the collegiate football games for the past few years, as he
played on the 'varsity while attending Ohio State.

"Chopp" (pronounced _schop_) is a coined word supposed to be the
Spanish translation of the German word _schoppen_. Its nearest English
equivalent is our coined word "schuper." Under the arcades of the
old Cabildo, a German has established a saloon which he has named "El
Bueno Chopp," meaning "The Good Schuper." A native seeing the volume of
business which came to the thrifty German, thinking that it all came
from the name he gave his place, hung out a sign styling his liquid
refreshment emporium, "El Mejor Chopp," which means "The Best Schuper."
It happens that in this latter resort, it is impossible to get draught
beer in schupers, as the proprietor deals only in bottled goods. He
does a poor business compared to that of the German.

In the Bueno Chopp saloon where I would occasionally go for a libation,
I met a Dantziger named Holzmann. He inquired of me the names of
the North American magazines most widely read by the higher classes
of women, whereupon I told him the _Ladies' Home Journal_, Harper's
_Bazaar_, and others, giving him their addresses. He later confided
to me that the reason for his asking was that he wished through their
columns to make an announcement that he intended to get married and
he wanted a North American woman for his wife. He said he had taken a
passion for women of that nationality, and would accept no others. This
passion, I found, had developed from his having become enamored of the
photograph of one of our well-known society queens that is frequently
flaunted before our eyes in the newspaper columns of the Sunday
supplements. Holzmann told me that when he resided in East Africa, he
occasionally gave his former wife, when she was unruly, a beating with
a hippopotamus hide whip; so I see what sort of fate is in store for
his American bride.

Salta years ago had a brewery owned by a man named Glueck. Through
mismanagement it failed. The city has 120 automobiles which speaks well
for a town of its size and isolation in South America. The wine grown
there is supposed to be the best in Argentina, although there has been
little done towards putting it on the market.

While I was a guest of the Pereyras' I witnessed a novel sight. After
dinner a bat was turned loose in the dining room. This phyllostome
Señor Pereyra kept in a large cage and occasionally turned it loose to
eat the mosquitoes which are a curse to Salta.

Midway between Salta and Tucumán is the station of Rosario de la
Frontera near which are some famous mineral baths. It is quite a winter
resort and its waters are bottled and sold all over the republic. Palau
is the name of the most widely distributed brand. These waters are
naturally carbonated, but are not as strong as Apollinaris or White
Rock. One of the finest waters in Argentina is that of Ghino from
Tucumán province. It is somewhat like Vichy in taste but is slightly
medicated. Its sale, however, is unfortunately local.

The Province of Tucumán derives its name from a legendary Indian
cacique named Tucuma, who is supposed to have lived in the plain of
the Rio Monteros which flows through the province and which joins
the Rio Salí near the city of Tucumán. It is the smallest province of
Argentina, having an area of only 8926 square miles. Three-quarters
of its surface is level, the remaining quarter which is the western
part being hilly and mountainous. Tucumán is the most densely settled
portion of Argentina, its population being, according to the census of
1914, 373,073. On account of this density of population the Tucumános
like to call their province "The Europe of Argentina." In most of the
republic the railroads preceded the settlers; here and also in Salta
this is the reverse, for the settlers in these provinces came first. In
1560 the Viceroy of Peru, to whose dominions this part of the country
had belonged, declared Tucumán an independent state. It then comprised
what are now the geographical divisions of Santiago del Estero,
Tucumán, Catamarca, Salta, Jujuy, and Córdoba. In 1782 Salta, Jujuy,
and Córdoba were separated from it. In 1821 Catamarca and Santiago del
Estero followed suit.

The capital city, also named Tucumán, was founded September 29, 1565,
by Diego de Villarroel at the confluence of the Salí and Monteros
rivers. In 1585 it was moved to the site that it now occupies. It
is situated near the middle of the province, at an elevation of 1453
feet above sea level. The city itself has a population of about one
hundred thousand inhabitants, but it is a distributing point for a
much greater population for at no great distance from it are numerous
towns, large sugar factories with their colonies of workmen. In shape
the city is nearly square. It is eighteen blocks long from north to
south and fourteen blocks wide from east to west. The streets are wide,
and the newer ones, especially the boulevards which bound the limits,
are lined with trees, sycamores being in the majority. Four blocks
west of the eastern city limits is the Plaza Independencia, the center
of mercantile, religious, and diverting activity. On it stands the
cathedral, another church, the capitol, at least ten large cafés, and
a couple of moving picture shows, while in the neighborhood on a street
named Las Heras are the best shops.

Las Heras, an east and west intersector, is the main business street,
although the one which parallels it one block to the south, and
which is named Calle 24 de Setiembre, is the street which divides its
intersectors into different nomenclatures in the manner of the Calle
Rivadavia in Buenos Aires. South of Calle 24 de Setiembre, the streets
that cross it have different names than the elongations of them that
run north of it. On Calle Las Heras are the important banks. The next
business streets in order according to their commercial worth are
Mendoza, which parallels Las Heras one block north of it, Laprida, and
Maipu, the two last named being cross streets. Calle Maipu is devoted
to second class-shops; the third-class shops and the slums, which are
vile, although not so vile as the slums of Córdoba, are at the extreme
western end of Las Heras near the Central of Córdoba Railroad station.

The religious edifices, although their external appearances are
imposing and have double towers and domes of light blue porcelain tile,
are not worth visiting unless to pray in, as their interiors offer no
more artistic attractions than thousands of their kind elsewhere.

The capitol is by far the finest building in the city. It is
three stories high on the outside, and four on the inside (for the
courtyards are sunk one story below the street level), and occupies a
considerable area. It is by no means the finest capitol building that
I have visited, but as it is the newest, having been just completed,
it is probably the best equipped. Though it is built in the business
section of the city where it cannot show off to its best advantage, it
however, makes the capitol at Lansing, Michigan, look like 30 cents. In
Argentine, as it is almost impossible to get marble, all the provincial
capitols are built of brick, solidly, so as to stand forever. The
Argentine brick is not pleasing to the eyes, as it is rough. To
embellish the buildings of this material they are given a coating of
drab stucco cement.

  [Illustration: Capitol, Tucumán]

I visited the Governor, Dr. Ernesto Padilla, a tall, handsome, affable
man about forty years old. He is quite an archeologist, and in a
room adjoining his private office in the capitol he has installed
his private collection of Indian antiquities of the province. It is
a most remarkable collection of pottery, ornaments, etc. Near Tafí
a large stone has been recently discovered with Indian scrolls,
hieroglyphics, and drawings. A North American photographer residing in
Tucumán went out to see this stone. With chalk, he outlined the rather
indistinct drawings and then took a photograph of it. This photograph
is reproduced on pages 635 and 637 of my previous work, _Illustrated,
Descriptive Argentina_.

Dr. Padilla introduced me to General O'Donnell, the military commander
of the province. A curious fact is that this general cannot speak the
English language, having been born in Argentina. I held a letter of
introduction to Señor S. A. Wyss, manager of the Hilaret y Cia sugar
mill at Santa Ana, the largest in South America, and also one to Mr.
Stewart Shipton, manager of the Corona mill at Concepción. Both mills
are several hours' distant from Tucumán, and in trying to catch the
train for Concepción, I went to the wrong depot. Dr. Padilla afterwards
told me that it would have been useless for me to have gone to either
of those places, because there were sugar mills much nearer to the
city. He wrote me a letter of introduction to Señor Alfredo Guzman,
the richest man in the province, who has a mill at a town also named
Concepción, which is only a twenty minutes' drive from the capital. He
likewise wrote me a letter to Dr. Juan C. Nougués, who has a mill at
San Pablo, which I visited. There are two kinds of sugar districts in
the Province of Tucumán, one on the plains like that of Señor Guzman's
estate, and one in the hills like the one at San Pablo.

Tucumán is a hot place, both climatically and morally. In the latter
line are the Crystal Palace and the Moulin Rouge, while in the former
line, the thermometer often rises above the comfortable point. The
night I arrived it registered 106° Fahrenheit in the shade. It was so
hot that I thought I would cool off by walking down the Calle Laprida.
The one-story houses are so constructed that in front of each window
an iron balcony extends to the sidewalk; the railings of these are
of wrought iron, or marble. Here sit the belles on hot summer nights
airing themselves. They certainly need to, for as I strolled down
the street the stench that was wafted from them to me was nearly
asphyxiating. It is the odor that is present in the summer when the
human body is unfriendly to soap, water, and the scrub brush. Some of
these beauties sat behind shutters in the darkness, but I was aware of
their presence, although I could not see them.

  [Illustration: Calle Laprida, Tucumán

   Behind the iron balconies, such as has the house on the left, the women
   of Tucumán are seated on hot summer evenings airing themselves]

In 1914, there was founded in Tucumán a university, at the head of
which is Dr. Juan B. Teran. So far, the university is incomplete,
for of the five departments of instruction which it will have when
completed, only two are at present running. These are the pedagogical
department, and that of mechanics, agriculture, and chemistry. The
latter has an agricultural experimental station near the city, at
present in charge of a North American, Dr. William E. Cross. Its
chemical and bacteriological laboratory is the best in the republic.
The University of Tucumán to-day is more like a polytechnical institute
and agricultural combined than that which we generally think of by the
word "university."

As to hotels, Tucumán has one of the best in South America, the Savoy.
It, together with two separate buildings, one a roulette casino, and
the other a large theater, is the property of the Da Rossa Company,
a Portuguese syndicate. The Savoy is leased to a Frenchman, R.
Eluchand, and is managed by Señor Scheindl formerly of Vienna. It is
Mr. Scheindl's sister whose portrait appears on the Austrian twenty
crown note; she was supposed to be the most beautiful girl in Austria.
The Savoy is a large affair of 116 rooms, most of which have a bath
in connection. It is on the Boulevard Sarmiento in an excellent but
not central location. It is finely equipped, and is like a palace with
its large courtyard enclosed by pillared balconies. The hotel has been
a "white elephant" because it is too fine for the city. Mr. Scheindl
tells me that in the hotel line, the Tucumános always want something
for nothing, and when the inhabitants give their big balls at the
Savoy, he either runs behind or else only breaks even; otherwise, if
he insisted that they pay what he thought would be just, they would
boycott him in the future. The other hotels which are in the central
part of the city are the Europe, the Paris, and the Frascati, the
first mentioned being the best. The Frascati is owned by the Palladini
brothers, one of them, Attilio, having been former manager of the
Savoy. When I knew Attilio Palladini several years ago, he was the
courier of the Parque Hotel in Montevideo, and quit it to be head
portier of the Hotel Savoy in Buenos Aires.

In Tucumán itself, there is nothing of interest for the sightseer.
It is only a large commercial town in a fine agricultural district
dependent on the sugar industry. Contrary to the fabrications the
stranger will hear elsewhere in Argentina knocking it, saying that it
is a fever hotbed, it is a sanitary place for the person that has the
price to indulge in mineral waters as beverages, for its own water is
not potable, owing to the sediment and dust that it contains. Talking
with business men about investment of capital in Tucumán, there does
not seem to be much encouragement in the manufacturing line. A flour
mill would undoubtedly pay, and there is a splendid opportunity to
start a steam laundry, as there is a constant complaint about the
present one. It does its work poorly and charges exorbitant prices. It
is said that a small ice plant in one of the neighboring towns, which
would supply the wants of the inhabitants of the thickly inhabited
districts, would also pay. A brewery has started in Tucumán, named
the Cerveceria del Norte (Northern Brewery). It is controlled by
the Quilmes people and has a large enough capacity to supply entire
Argentina if necessary. Its brands of beer from light to dark are
Rubia, Tucma, and Oran. Rubia is very palatable.

I became acquainted with a photographer in Tucumán, Mr. Henry A. Kirwin
of New York. He came down here as a photographer eight years ago, and
wants to get back home. He says it is much easier for a man to get down
there than to get back. He seems to have a fair business, photographing
machinery at the different mills and at the railroad yards at Tafí
Viejo. Many of his photographs of family groups have yellow chemicals
smeared over the faces of the clients on the plates. I asked him why
this was.

"You see," said he, "most of the natives have Indian blood. It is
supposed to be much nicer if this origin would be unknown, therefore
I have to put this chemical on the plates so their faces will have a
decidedly European cast in the photograph."

It is customary for the relatives of dead persons to have photographs
taken of their once beloved. Mr. Kirwin had a choice collection of
these local corpses which he insisted on showing me; there were over
sixty. Among them were some "tasty" specimens, some being victims of
the bubonic plague in 1913. Some were unrecognizable, charred masses
of flesh that had been human before the subjects perished in a fire,
while others were the gruesome countenances of cadavers whose faces
were partially eaten away by cancer.

While in Mendoza, I thought the canine population was excessive. It is
small compared with that of Tucumán. In this city every criolla has
two or more Mexican hairless dogs, and the number of hybrids between
bulldog, Great Dane, whiffet, and old hound is appalling. Three hundred
thousand dogs is, I think, a low estimate of the canine inhabitants
of the city. None are muzzled; but few are fed; and all run after
bicycles, automobiles, and wagons. They make night hideous by howling,
and fighting about the possession of putrid bones, mule dung, and
garbage.

From Tucumán there is a trip that the visitor should not fail to
miss. This is the twenty-mile automobile ride to the settlement and
summer resort of Villa Nougués, 4225 feet above the plain on which
the city is built. Nougués is situated not far from the summit of the
wooded mountains southwest of Tucumán. The road leads due west, and
then swerves to the south past populous farming country and through
the village of Yerba Buena to the sugar mill and colony of San Pablo,
where Dr. Nougués has his palatial mansion, and private church. His
beautiful estate lies on gently sloping ground two miles east of the
wooded mountains. All provisions for the summer colony and hotel at
Villa Nougués must be taken up by wagon or by automobile from Tucumán.
Most of the heavy trucking is done by means of ox carts. Early in the
morning we met at San Pablo several of these oxcarts plodding slowly
up the country road, and at night on our return to the city we met
these same teams only halfway up the mountain, so hard is the pull on
the beasts. When the road reaches the mountains it makes a serpentine,
and then zigzags upward through the semi-tropical forest abounding
with orange and crimson cannas. Every so often through the umbrageous
trees and giant ferns, a panorama is to be had of the plain of Tucumán
with its rectangular fields of sugar cane and small towns with their
_usines_.

  [Illustration: Residence of Dr. Juan C. Nougués, San Pablo

   The gentleman in the foreground is Señor Scheindl, manager of the Hotel
   Savoy in Tucumán]

  [Illustration: Country House at Villa Nougués]

Arrived at the settlement of Villa Nougués is the hotel where parties
from the city come up on hot days to enjoy the cool invigorating air.
Seated on the porch of Dr. Teran's house, which is near the hotel, in
company of Dr. Teran, Governor Padilla, Señor Scheindl, and a rich
sugar planter named Rouges, we looked across the broad long plain,
styled the "Europe of Argentina," and I learned many interesting facts.
The valley of the Rio Salí which crosses the province from north to
south, is fed by twenty-five rivers which flow into it from the west
to the east. The Salí flows southward and is finally lost in a large
brackish lake, the Mar Chiquita in the Province of Córdoba. The great
industrial and agricultural plain, with its sugar mills among which are
the usines of San José, San Antonio, San Pablo, Paraiso, and countless
others and its railroad workshops at Tafí Viejo, has a cultivated area
of two hundred and fifty thousand acres. It was originally thickly
forested as can be testified by occasional uncleared patches. Here
civilization preceded the railroad, and only in the poorer part of
the province in the direction of Santiago del Estero did the railroad
come first. This valley is the cradle of Argentine liberty, for here
the Spaniards having gone through the country like a steam mower, were
finally decisively beaten in battle, and July 9, 1816, at Tucumán, the
Argentine Confederation was born.

Three kilometers west of Villa Nougués is the summit of the foothills.
Looking west from this summit, the vista of the San Javier Valley, with
its forested mountains, and with its wooded detached hills rising from
the midst of cultivated river bottoms, Alpine pastures, and numerous
streams, is like that of the Inn in Tirol, although it is here even
more beautiful. The Catamarca mountains, snow-capped domed Aconquija,
and the bleak Andes form the western background, behind which the sun
sinks in the aureate splendor of a fireball. This is one of the finest
views in the world and should be seen in the late afternoon.



CHAPTER VI

CÓRDOBA


Córdoba is the third province of Argentina in population, it having had
in 1914, 732,727 inhabitants. In area it contains 62,160 square miles.
It is the heart of Argentina, being situated in the center of the
republic. The eastern part is pampa while the western part is a high,
dry plateau, traversed from north to south by mountain ranges notably
among which are chains of Pocho and Ischilin. These mountain ranges
which are two hundred miles in length are isolated from the Andean
system; their southernmost extremities are named the Sierra de Córdoba
and are a veritable karst like the Kuestenlande of Austria, gray
granite boulders being everywhere. The eastern slopes of this karst
are covered with a thick vegetation of mesquite and other shrubs due
to the moist Atlantic winds, while their western slopes are destitute
of vegetation. The air here is dry and refreshing and the Sierra de
Córdoba enjoys the same rôle in Argentina that Colorado does in the
United States, being the haunt of consumptives. Likewise the Sierra
is the playground of many wealthy Buenos Aires families, for it is a
treat to them to get away from the level monotonous plain upon which
their city is built. West and northwest of the isolated mountain chain
is a vast barren desert, part of it being called the Salinas Grandes
on account of the white surface of the soil due to saline deposits.
Córdoba is watered by five rivers named the Primero, Segundo, Tercero,
Quarto, and Quinto (which means First, Second, Third, Fourth, and
Fifth). These rivers are used for irrigating purposes, for water power,
and for electricity. The whole province is noted for the pureness of
its well water, artesian wells abounding. Every few years the locust or
grasshopper plague hits Argentina, and when it comes it strikes Córdoba
unusually hard. One of the frontispiece photographs shows a locust trap
on a Córdoba farm. This is the catch of two days, the corrugated iron
plates having been spread with honey mixed with poison. I consider this
one of the most remarkable photographs ever published.

The trip from Tucumán to Córdoba is an 11 hours' trip of 340 miles
by the Central of Córdoba Railroad. The track is narrow gauge, but
the sleepers, dining car, and service are the best that I have ever
chanced on in Argentina. All trains between the two cities make the
trip by night, for in the daytime the heat and glare of the sun on the
Salinas Grandes, a great salt desert midway between the two cities, is
unbearable. This desert abounds with rattlesnakes, called "cascabel."
I met a tramp who walked from Tucumán to Córdoba; he was afraid to lie
down by the wayside to rest on account of these reptiles. In one day he
killed over fifty of them.

The first eighty miles of the journey crosses about as pleasant a
country as can be found anywhere, passing through the cities of Bella
Vista, La Madrid, and San Pedro. At the latter place, the first town
in the Province of Catamarca, desolation begins and continues until
daylight the next morning when the traveler awakes at the large town of
Dean Funes, the junction for San Juan, capital of the province of the
same name. Low rocky hills now rise in every direction; the soil, dry,
parched, and somewhat stony is overrun with pampa grass. It is cool and
a wind is invariably blowing. The nature of the country continues this
way almost to Córdoba, although before reaching that city, the hills to
the southwest take the form and acquire the height of mountains.

Córdoba, the third city of Argentina, has a population, exclusive of
its suburbs, of one hundred and sixty thousand inhabitants. It was
founded in 1573 by Luis Geronimo de Cabrera, and has always been noted
as a seat of learning and of religion. Its university, which vies
with that of San Marcos in Lima in being the oldest in the Western
Hemisphere, was founded June 19, 1613, by a Jesuit father, Fernando de
Trejo y Sanabria. The first printing press in Argentina was brought
to this university from Lima in 1765. Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia,
Paraguay's able dictator, was a graduate of Córdoba's university. The
churches, cloisters, convents, and religious institutions of the city
are innumerable, and it is estimated that over six thousand of its
inhabitants are connected with the religious orders and organizations.
Córdoba is one of the cleanest cities in America, and it is difficult
to find a place where civic pride, park system, cleanliness of house
exteriors, public buildings, pavement, hotels, cafés, department
stores, banks, residences, religious edifices, and water supply taken
as a whole can equal that of it. Many cities may excel it in one or
two of the above mentioned institutions but not in the majority.
Personally I would not care to live there unless engaged in some
business, as there are too many "lungers," and the surrounding country
is but a dry and rocky karst; the diversion of street life would soon
become irksome, for with the exception of cafés, moving picture shows,
theaters, and an occasional horse race, no Argentine city possesses any
real live amusement places, excepting those that are synonymous with
lights seen through carmine transoms, and they happily are not in my
line.

  [Illustration: Northern Market, Córdoba]

I can see no reason for Córdoba's existence and growth. The soil of
the country is poor and rocky, while the rainfall is slight. In the
year 1915, seven months elapsed without a drop falling. The city is
situated to the west of the productive part of the province, and from
it westward to San Juan at the foot of the Andes, the country is the
poorest in the republic. Yet Córdoba has had a rapid growth recently.
In the manufacturing line, it has three breweries, that of Pollak and
Brueck, generally called the Córdoba Brewery; that of the Ahrens, and
the main brewery of the Rio Segundo Company. There is a large flour
mill owned by Minetti, an Italian, and several brickyards. Here are
also located the shops of the Central of Córdoba Railroad.

The chief industry of Córdoba is brewing, this being largely due to the
remarkable pureness of its well water which is artesian. Señor Nicolas
J. Oderigo, manager of the bank of the Argentine nation, wrote me a
letter of introduction to Mr. C. Davis, president of the Rio Segundo
Brewing Company, which I visited in the company of Señor Stange, an
employee of Oderigo's bank, and whom he had the kindness to send with
me to accompany me. This large brewery has a branch at the town of
Rio Segundo, which was the original brewery. The Rio II. Brewery is
an independent brewery, not being allied to the Quilmes outfit as is
generally supposed. Mr. Davis received me courteously and after having
shown me the establishment invited Stange and myself to his house where
he entertained us at dinner. Señor Stange is either a German or of
German descent, but when I asked him about it he denied it, and also
told me he could not speak a word of that language. A day or two later
I passed by him while he was seated in animated conversation in a café
with two other men, and the language he was conversing in was German.
As Mr. Davis is an Englishman, Stange evidently had private reasons
to cover his nationality. The brewmaster of the Rio II. Brewery told
me that brewing was not a profitable industry in Argentina, because
the Quilmes company was a trust and its members being affiliated
with the political party that is in power, it has the capital and
the means to drive the smaller breweries to the wall, by stringent
legislation and usurious taxation. This Rio II. Brewery is smaller than
the large breweries of Detroit, yet it pays more taxes than does the
Anheuser-Busch Brewery or the Pabst or Schlitz breweries.

The Córdoba Brewery as I have mentioned is owned by Pollak and Brueck.
Pollak is an Austrian Jew who married a Córdoba woman, and who turned
Roman Catholic to get prestige, but like most people who are members of
the race he abjured, his business methods are not considered synonymous
with good faith.

His beer, to my idea, is the most palatable of any of the Córdobese
beers. Amber is the name of his light product, while Muenchen is that
of his dark. With the townspeople his product is the most popular,
notwithstanding his personal unpopularity.

The approach to Córdoba by rail is similar on a small scale to that
of La Paz, Bolivia, for both cities lie in a pocket in the hills and
their presence is not visible until the ground of the plain above them
drops away, and they are seen below you. The pocket which contains La
Paz is ten times deeper, the surprise of the traveler on first viewing
the city being that of astonishment; but here in Córdoba, although
the scale is exceedingly miniature, the conditions are analogous. The
growth of Córdoba has been such that there is no more room left for
building in the pocket, so now the new resident who wishes to build
a home of his own is obliged to do so on the plain above the city.
Several suburbs have sprung up and go by the names of Alta Córdoba,
Alberdi, and Nueva Córdoba.

Alta Córdoba can be likened to the station Alto de La Paz, although
here there is quite a large town. Here is situated the Central of
Córdoba railroad station with the railroad workshops, and a market
named Mercado del Norte. A fine, broad avenue winds from Alta Córdoba
in big curves, down a cleft in the hillside, passes under a stone
railroad bridge, and reaches the river bottom at the beautiful shady
park of Las Heras. It now crosses the Rio Primero over a new stone
bridge, named the Centenario, at whose end is the Avenue General Paz.
This is where begins the city proper, which on the floor of the valley
is twenty-one blocks wide by thirty-one blocks long, and which does not
include the other suburbs in the pocket which are named San Vicente at
the eastern and Villa Paez at the western ends of the original town.

The Plaza San Martin is in the center of Córdoba and is the nucleus of
the city life. From here run straight streets east and west, and north
and south which are the busy ones of the capital. On the plaza is the
cathedral, two of the leading banks, and the best hotels. The business
arrangement of this particular section is like that of Tucumán. The
great show street is the aristocratic and superbly beautiful Avenida
General Paz, beginning at the plaza of the same name at the Centenario
Bridge and continuing ten blocks southward to the Plaza Velez
Sarsfield. This street is the handsomest in Argentina. From the Plaza
Velez Sarsfield there is a continuation of it to the heights beyond the
city proper, and which is here named the Avenida Velez Sarsfield.

  [Illustration: Cathedral of Córdoba]

From the Plaza Velez Sarsfield the new Avenida Argentina, destined to
become the most exclusive residential street of the city on account of
the high price of the terrain, ascends to the plazas Centenario and
Dean Funes at the entrance of Sormiento Park, Córdoba's playground.
Halfway up the Avenida Argentina on the left-hand side stands a
magnificent and imposing mansion, that of Señor Martin Ferreyra. It is
a landmark, and seen from the plain at the opposite end of the city,
it looms up as if it dominates over the city and no other building
seems as large. It has already cost its owner over three million pesos
($1,281,000) and is not yet completed.

"How did Señor Ferreyra make his money?" I asked the chauffeur.

"His father left a large sum of money which had been handed down from
several generations. Martin Ferreyra was made administrator of his
father's estate and cheated the other heirs out of their share," was
his answer.

  [Illustration: Residence of Martin Ferreyra, Córdoba]

The zoölogical garden at the Parque Sarmiento lies in a cleft of the
ridge and was laid out in 1914 by a German engineer. It is open to
the public Thursdays and Sundays and is entered by descending in a
funicular or by a circuitous way on foot. Although it is planned to
house many animals, the only large mammals there at present are some
seals which sport beneath the spray of an artificial cascade, and a
pair of lions which a Montevideo gentleman presented to an ex-governor
of Córdoba, who has loaned them to the city, probably at the expense of
the latter.

  [Illustration: Church of Santa Teresa, Córdoba]

Debreczen, Hungary, is nicknamed locally, "Rome of the Protestants";
Córdoba is nicknamed "Rome of Argentina" on account of its numerous
churches, convents, monasteries, other religious institutions, and
multitude of priests. There are several thousand of the latter body of
men; they and the soldiers are not reckoned in the national census of
urban population for they are constantly moving from place to place.
There are fourteen large churches including the cathedral, and sixteen
other Catholic Houses of God which would be considered large in the
United States, but which are here classed as mediocre. In contrast
with the churches of all the rest of South America, excepting those
of Brazil, those of Northern Argentina are much more beautiful with
their splendid façades, domes, and towers, the latter being roofed with
variegated porcelain tiles; blues predominating. Córdoba, Tucumán, and
Salta are especially rich in the appearance of their churches, Tucumán
taking the lead in the ornateness of the tiles. In Córdoba are the
large churches of Merced, Jesuit Fathers, and Santo Domingo, but by far
the largest and finest church in all Argentina is the cathedral, three
centuries old, its architecture being that of the current Spanish style
that was in vogue at the time it was built. There are a few cathedrals
in America larger, those of Montreal, Mexico City, Lima, New York,
Santiago, Bahia, Montevideo, and Rio de Janeiro in order of their size,
but none excel that of Córdoba in proud richness.

It is one of the finest churches in America with the best mural
paintings of any. In this latter respect it is only exceeded by those
of Italy. Its towers and dome are not tiled, as that art was copied
from the Portuguese and Brazilians only during the last century.
Decadent Romanesque, it has a solemn dignity of its own.

  [Illustration: Zoölogical Garden, Córdoba]

Of the hotels, the Plaza is the best. It is on the northeast corner of
the Plaza San Martin, and is new. It is a solid four-story structure,
with good rooms, and is well furnished but poorly managed. There is
a sunparlor on the second floor. The manager told me that most of
the rooms have baths in connection, but in this he lied. I do not
believe that any of the rooms have a private bath. This same manager,
an Engadine Swiss, was formerly the head portier of the Hotel Savoy
in Rosario. I knew him of old, and crookedness is, with him, second
nature. The restaurant of the Plaza Hotel is the best in the city. It
is on the ground floor and has a street entrance; in connection with it
is a café and a confectionery store. The meals are _à la carte_, but
I understand that people staying at the Plaza for any length of time
may get _pension_. The café is a large one, on the Viennese style, and
connects with the restaurant by a passageway under a platform on top of
which are stationed the orchestra, so that the musical wants of both
the eaters and drinkers can be satisfied at the same time. The bar is
on the United States style, and as is seldom the case in South America
and not frequent enough in North America, the back bar is deep enough
to give the bartenders working space, and allows them enough room to
reach for a bottle without getting into each other's way.

  [Illustration: Corner of Plaza San Martin, Córdoba]

Across Calle San Geronimo from the Hotel Plaza is the Hotel San Martin,
a good house, and managed by the former manager of the Plaza. This
manager holds the unenviable reputation of cheating his foreign help.
In Argentina, a native or a naturalized citizen always wins out in a
lawsuit. When I asked some of the ex-employees of the San Martin why
they did not sue the manager for their back wages which they claimed
were deliberately withheld, they said:

"We would look fine as Spaniards and Austrians going up against an
Argentino in court here. The manager would trump up some lie, and have
us arrested on some false charge and it would work."

Another good hotel is the Roma, two stories high and built on the patio
system.

The Central Argentina Railroad and the Central of Córdoba both print
luxurious illustrated folders and do much advertising relative to the
beauties and charming mountain scenery of the Sierra de Córdoba, an
uninteresting range of quasi barren hills in the neighborhood of the
city. My advice to strangers is to pay no attention to these deceptive
advertisements and not to go there, for the person that "bites" feels
afterwards like "the fool with his money parted." This last might apply
to pecuniary losses that are apt to befall him at the green cloth
tables in Alta Gracia. This Sierra de Córdoba is an irregular mass
of rocky hills, which in some places attains the form of mountains.
The summits are over four thousand feet high and where this altitude
is reached in the mountains to the west, the Córdobese call them Los
Gigantes (The Giants) for they have never seen any mountains that are
greater. They are covered with brush, while here and there is a small
tree. As for scenic beauty they are not worth three cents.

Alta Gracia is a great gambling establishment licensed by the
provincial authorities, and as these railroad companies know the bend
of the native mind, advertise this place which besides the gambling
house is nothing but a large hotel, a hamlet, and an old mission
church. I visited all the advertised places which include Dique San
Roque, Cosquin, La Falda, Tanti, and Capilla de Monte and found none
worth the while. Dique San Roque is a dam somewhat similar to the
Sweetwater Dam near San Diego, California, where a greenish lake
empties its waters into the Calera River to supply electrical power. It
is twenty miles from Córdoba, the last five being the only part of the
trip that can come anywhere near to being classified under the title
scenery. The hills here are wooded with small trees, and the dangerous
automobile road runs around promontories on ledges where the slightest
mishap with the steering would shoot both passenger and chauffeur into
eternity.

  [Illustration: Bridge on Road to Dique San Roque

   Beneath the arch of this bridge some gipsy families have taken their
   abode]

To go to Cosquin, thirty-seven miles from Córdoba, keep straight ahead
until you reach the stone marked kilometro 28, which is the turning-off
place for Dique San Roque. Keep straight ahead and you will come to
the hamlet of San Roque where is a church and the residence of the
jefe politico. A road to the left leads to Alta Gracia, but that to
the right goes to Cosquin. After a long drive over the rocky karst, the
village of Villa Bialet Masset is reached. It consists of a long dusty
street flanked by sordid one-story houses. A National Consumptives Home
on a grandiose scale is here. The scenery has become better as there is
a green, although dusty valley watered by the Cosquin River. Cosquin is
an unattractive town of three thousand inhabitants. The Hotel Mundial
serves good meals but there is no diversion for its guests, who pass
the time of day reading novels on the veranda or slumber in the garden.

The inhabitants of the Province of Córdoba talk in a sing song manner
and are known by their fashion of articulation in any part of the
republic they may chance to find themselves in.

It is a ten hours' ride on the accommodation train from Córdoba to
Rosario, although the express trains which run by night only shorten
the time by a couple of hours. The country is a dry but productive
plain, and is fairly thickly settled; every few miles there is a town.
These range from a few hundred to a few thousand inhabitants. In the
summer of 1916 the whole region had been planted to corn, but the
locust pest had been so busy that there was nothing left but the bare
stalks. This disaster reached to the outskirts of Rosario. The locusts
had even eaten all the leaves off the trees, their naked branches
having the appearance of their winter garb. Millions of dollars had
gone to waste on account of them, and I know an _estanciero_ in the
Province of Buenos Aires who in a single year had destroyed by them
sixty-five thousand dollars' worth of crops. They attack everything but
the garden truck, and by their sputum poison the streams. A man should
never buy land for crops in Argentina without reckoning on this plague.

The Province of Santa Fé had, according to the last census, a
population of 1,111,426, ranking in this line the second of the
Argentine provinces. Its area is 50,916 square miles and has as its
capital city, Santa Fé, which has a population of 91,636. Rosario,
frequently called Rosario de Santa Fé to distinguish it from Rosario
de La Frontera in the Province of Salta, is the largest city. Its
population is 316,914, it being the second city of Argentina, and the
sixth in South America, those larger in order being Buenos Aires, Rio
de Janeiro, São Paulo, Santiago, and Montevideo.

Rosario was founded by Francisco Godoy in 1725, but its growth dates
from recent years. Although its aspect was practically the same as
when I saw it three years previously, I could not help noticing that
now there were much greater crowds on the streets than formerly, and
that the principal business street had changed from the Calle General
San Martin to its intersector, Calle Córdoba. It is the outlet to a
grain country superior to that behind Buenos Aires, and is the livest
commercial city in Argentina. There are quite a few local industries
such as car shops, a sugar refinery, grain elevators, flour mills, and
breweries. The largest importing house in Argentina, that of Chiesa
Brothers, is located here as well as the largest drug firm. The city is
essentially Italian, its influence predominating, although numerically
the other foreigners and natives together have a larger population than
the immigrants from the Lavinian shores. Rosario is also a center for
artisans, their sculptors vying with those of Genoa in the chiseling
of marble for tombs and statuary in Buenos Aires and in different
parts of South America. The city is by no means beautiful nor can it
ever be on account of the flatness of its location. There are eight
small plazas but none of them are near the center of business. The
streets are narrow, and are solidly lined with buildings many of which
are imposing. This with the absence of plazas as breathing spaces,
together with the street crowds give to Rosario an entirely commercial
atmosphere. The courthouse is a large, long pile with a high domed
tower surmounting the center, and is one of the most imposing buildings
in Argentina. It is on the north side of the Plaza San Martin about
a mile from the hub of activity of the city. On the east side of the
same plaza, and just completed, is the Police Headquarters covering an
entire block and undoubtedly the most modern and largest of its kind in
the world. Two other fine buildings are the Jockey Club and the Centro
Español, both also recently completed.

  [Illustration: Courthouse, Rosario]

  [Illustration: Street Scene, Rosario]

The Hotel Italia is the best, although its situation on a side street,
the Calle Maipu, between Calles Rioja and San Luis is poor. The Savoy
where I stopped, was formerly Rosario's Blackstone, but it has greatly
deteriorated in all respects. The only thing attractive about it is the
chambermaid on the second floor, a pretty giggling Spanish damsel. The
Hotel de Mayo is a good second-class house and serves the best meals
of any of the hotels, its restaurant rivaling that of the Rôtisserie
Sportsman which is above the Bar Victoria. This Bar Victoria is the
finest refreshment parlor in South America. Its walls are decorated
with tapestry, its furniture is of mahogany, and its fixtures are of
brass, kept well-polished. It gave one of the Catalan waiters great
pleasure to see me cross its threshold after an absence of three years
and enjoy a glass of foaming Germania in the dull cathedral light of a
waning day.

  [Illustration: Plaza 25 de Mayo, Rosario]

  [Illustration: Street Scene, Rosario]

Tributary to Rosario, which is their shopping center, and inland
some distance in the heart of good farming lands, are three towns:
Pergamino, seventy miles to the south, Casilda, thirty-three miles
to the southwest, and Cañada de Gomez, forty-one miles to the west.
Pergamino, the largest of all, is in the Province of Buenos Aires,
being directly across the provincial line and is a railroad town. It
is the junction of several branch lines of the Central of Argentina
Railroad and is on the main line of the narrow gauge General Railroads
of the Province of Buenos Aires. It has a population of twenty-eight
thousand inhabitants and owes its prosperity to stock raising and corn
growing.

  [Illustration: Calle San Nicolas, Pergamino

   The building at the right is the Hotel Roma]

This city I visited, choosing it as a good example of _campo_ town
for such is styled the Argentine prairie, and stopped over night at
the excellent Hotel Roma, which is not only remarkable as being one
of the finest buildings in the city, but strange to say is one of the
few hotels in Argentina, excluding Buenos Aires, Rosario, and Tucumán,
which has private baths in connection with the sleeping-rooms.

  [Illustration: Plaza 25 de Mayo, Pergamino]

Viewed from the housetops, Pergamino appears a city of windmills; they
rise everywhere. Water being scarce makes them a necessity. The city
which is compactly built is fundamentally Italian. It is compactly
built but has only one main street, that named San Nicolás, which
is paved with wooden creosote blocks. The buildings are mostly but a
single story high, and the nomenclatures over the store entrances savor
of the River Po or the Etruscan Hills. With the exception of Calle
San Nicolás, the other thoroughfares are unpaved. The edifices that
flank them are of reddish brown brick with a minimum of mortar or lime
between the cracks. Like the outskirts and side streets of most of the
small towns of Argentina, the aspect is hideous and dismal, for the
edifices are mere brick hovels bordering dusty lanes, abounding with
mongrel curs that munch offal and garbage thrown from the front windows
of the morgue-like habitations. There is in Pergamino a plaza, named
25 de Mayo, several blocks from the business section. It is large and
poorly kept up, and is bordered on all sides by double rows of pine
trees, which have attained a tall but slender growth, large enough
however to make saw timber. These trees were planted thirty years ago;
at home it would take them one hundred years to have attained the same
proportions.

  [Illustration: Street in Mercedes]

From Pergamino to Buenos Aires, 166 miles by the General Railroad of
the Province of Buenos Aires, only two towns are passed that have
any pretext for importance. They are Salto, thirty-six miles from
Pergamino, and Mercedes, sixty-nine miles from Buenos Aires. Mercedes
has a population of more than thirty thousand inhabitants, and strange
to say its streets are numbered instead of being named. This system
is different from ours for 1st Street crosses 25th Street, and 34th
Street crosses 16th Street, and so forth. It is so arranged that
the high-numbered streets are in the center of the town while the
low-numbered ones are on the outskirts. When the trains make their
first stop it is at the 25th Street station. The stranger traveling
through is apt to say: "Gee, but this is quite a town," judging by
the high numbers of its streets, while in reality 1st Street is way
out in the meadows far from the activity of central life. Mercedes
was formerly the stamping ground of Irish immigrants. Many of these
have become rich and powerful, and to-day retain their Hibernian names
without speaking a word of English. I met a girl in Buenos Aires whose
patronymic was O'Grady, yet she was conversant in no language but
Spanish. Some of the Irish settlers did not prosper as well as the
minority of the rich landed proprietors of Mercedes; this is testified
by the native born whiskered Irish bums who immigrated from Mercedes to
Buenos Aires who are seen wandering about the streets of the Argentine
capital, garbed in rags and invariably drunk on ginevra, a low-grade
gin.



CHAPTER VII

ASUNCIÓN


Overeating, oversleeping, and overindulgence in liquid refreshments
(this applies to soft drinks as well as to others) constitute the
whole time of the stranger in Buenos Aires, who has nothing else to do,
than, seated at a table in front of one of the cafés on the Avenida de
Mayo, to study human nature, and watch the endless stream of humanity,
horses, cabs, and automobiles pass by. Tiring of this I thought of
going to Mar del Plata and from some good point of vantage gaze in
admiration at the attractions of that spa, and look with pleasure at
the latest Parisian and Bonaerense creations that bedecked and showed
off to advantage the well-molded female forms of the high aristocracy
as they pass in parade in front of the Hotel Bristol and the Casino.

Quite suddenly, and very unusual for this time of the year, for it
was late in February, a great climatic change took place and the
temperature which had been hovering around the 100° mark dropped into
the fifties. One gloomy morning, as I stood gazing from the balcony
of my room into the Avenida de Mayo, watching the boulevardiers being
hurried along by the strong wind, I decided that Mar del Plata would
be no place for me. My thoughts diverted to warmer climes, Paraguay
and Brazil. There is a Paraguayan store on the Avenida, a favorite
shopping place for ladies and curio seekers. It has displays of egrets,
feathers, stuffed birds, stuffed toads, crocodiles, iguanos, armadillo
shells, yerba maté leaves, native headdresses of parrot wings, and
beetles. But by far the most attractive of anything in the store is
the fine Paraguayan girl, about twenty years old, who waits on the
customers. I cannot call her beautiful, yet there is something so
hypnotically fascinating about her that, after I first saw her, I was
always returning to the store again to feast my eyes on her with the
pretense of making some trivial purchase. Whether it was her eyes,
her face, her voice, her figure or her natural complexion, or all
these attractions combined that charmed me, I am unable to say, and my
friends whom I called in to look at her all said that she exerted over
them the same spell. Every time I saw this girl I had the longing to
revisit Paraguay, and this, combined with the horrid weather, decided
me at once to visit the land where San Martin, Francia, and Francisco
Solano Lopez first saw the light of day.

I had been in Paraguay before, once when Asuncion was under martial
law, and although I now knew that I would see nothing new in visiting
the country, there are always some places that the traveler enjoys
seeing more than once. Upon my leaving there before, great was my
rejoicing when I saw the blue, white, and blue flag of Argentina
floating from the flagstaff over the custom-house at Corrientes, for I
knew that I was once more in a country of law and order. At that time
Paraguay was at the height of one of the many revolutions that have
continuously stained her history for the last forty-five years, and
Asuncion was like a tomb. Now since everything was tranquil I would
enjoy myself more.

It is now possible to travel from Buenos Aires to Asuncion without
changing cars on a through vestibuled train with sleeping cars and a
dining car. The time en route is but fifty-three hours, for the train
leaves Buenos Aires thrice weekly at 3 P.M., and arrives at Asuncion
two days afterwards at 8 P.M. Formerly Posadas was the terminus of the
trains from Buenos Aires, and the travelers were obliged to wait in
that stamping ground of Heidecker, Rohrsetzer, and Barthe anywhere from
two to five days in order to make connection with the Paraguay Central
Railroad, which ran at irregular intervals of time to Asuncion from
Villa Encarnacion, the Paraguayan river port about two miles across
the Alto Paraná River from Posadas. The through train is now taken on a
ferry-boat a short distance above Posadas and is steamed across to the
Paraguayan railway terminus at Pacu Cua.

Three hours after leaving the Chacarita Station at Buenos Aires, the
lonesome town of Zarate is reached, where the train is transferred
onto a car ferry that plies to Ibicui, a trip of nearly five hours
through the estuaries that form the delta of the Paraná River, past
marshes abounding in wild fowl who have their nests on the swampy
islands. Although this delta is but three hours from Buenos Aires, it
might as well be in the center of the continent as far as civilization
is concerned. The crossing of this delta is always made obnoxious on
account of the mosquitoes which abound here. In making this crossing
most of the passengers were in the dining car. Here one could observe
types. Most were Paraguayans of the upper classes returning home after
a week's visit in the Argentine metropolis. Although all had just
left Buenos Aires that name was but infrequently mentioned. In every
sentence of their conversation was heard the word "Asuncion," a name
which to the true Paraguayan means much more to them than does New York
to us, or Paris to the Frenchman. It is the focus of all Paraguayan
life, and although it would be but a mediocre city in this country, it
is the only one of size in Paraguay.

There are two distinct types of Paraguayans. The first type of men
are good sized, fairly stout, with round faces. Their eyebrows and
moustaches are straight and have the appearance of being penciled.
The noses of these people are Roman and their facial characteristics
are strong and sensual. This type is only met with among the very
highest social classes such as were the occupants of the dining car the
night we crossed the delta. One of these men has one of the largest
importing and general merchandise stores in Asuncion. His surname is
Angulo. The other type of Paraguayan, which comprises the masses,
and with whom one does not come into contact in a casual way, are
swarthy, flat-chested, and narrow-shouldered. They have large ears
and low foreheads, bushy eyebrows and thin noses. The middle class
is not native. It is composed of Spanish, German, Italian, and French
merchants. Mr. James Bryce in his book, _South America: Observations
and Impressions_, said in speaking of La Paz Bolivia: "It has probably
a larger aboriginal population than any other city in the New World,
although the percentage of Indians may be somewhat greater in Asuncion,
the capital of Paraguay." There are no Indians, and there is but little
mixed blood in Asuncion. The early settlers originally married with the
natives but the taint of miscegenation has long run out. The Asuncenos
are a white folk in every respect. Indians predominate in the Bolivian
capital and Bryce has never been in Asuncion.

During our evening meal on the dining car, a large beetle or bug, in
circumference the size of a tea cup, flew in through the open window
and made a terrific buzzing, the noise being equal to that of those
toys for children which one winds up and then lets go. It flew all over
the room and as its bite would undoubtedly be poisonous, it put all the
occupants of the car in a pandemonium as each one was trying to get out
of the way of it. It seemed to be in several different places at the
same time.

It was near midnight when we reached the Entre Rios shore. The
Entrerrieno landscape as far as Concordia is gently undulating, and
the soil which is sandy is given over to the pasturing of herds of
horses. There is not much grain grown and it is just as well, for
occasionally a dark cloud was seen approaching on the horizon, which,
when it broke, it was seen to be billions on billions of locusts on
their way to Uruguay. They flew into the train windows, into the food,
into the dining car, up one's trouser legs and coat sleeves. The noise
of their crunching was most disgusting as one trod upon them while they
littered the aisles of the cars. When seized, they expectorate a dark
brown fluid of a most nauseating odor. They fly into the streams and
wells, poisoning the water. Before arriving at Concordia, we crossed a
palmetto wilderness called, in this part of the country, a _palmar_.
Concordia, although not the capital, is the largest city of Entre
Rios. It has passed in population Paraná and now has 48,500 inhabitants
according to the latest estimate. It is the largest and liveliest town
in Argentina east of the Paraná River and is connected by a bridge over
the Uruguay River to Salto in Uruguay, which was only contemplated at
the time of my visit to these cities three years before. A street-car
line has been recently built and with its beef-canning establishments
and as the center of a wine producing region, Concordia has some
future, although the soil is sandy. This soil is much better adapted
for fruit than for grain. Oranges, apples, and olives are grown.

From Concordia the train ceases to run over the rails of the Entre Rios
Railroad but runs on the track of the Northeastern Argentine Railroad
as far as Posadas. After leaving Chajari, the Province of Corrientes
is entered and the landscape immediately changes. The country is still
undulating, but the soil is rich and even soggy in places from frequent
rains which are prevalent here. Everything is green and as far as
the eye can see, horses and cattle graze on the short grass. Water is
everywhere. There are puddles in the fields; there are small lakes;
numerous streams are crossed. The blue water of the Uruguay River is at
one's right beyond which, so near that you feel as if you could reach
out your hand and grab them, are the rolling green hills of Brazil.
Monte Caseros is reached at 4:20 P.M., a town of about eight thousand
inhabitants which contains the head offices of the Northeastern
Argentine Railroad. Paso de los Libres is reached at 7:18 P.M., whence
one can cross by ferry to Uruguayana, a Brazilian city in the State of
Rio Grande do Sul on which Francisco Solano Lopez, Paraguayan dictator,
tried to march his army in 1866. This town has its name handed down to
posterity by the _cepo uruguayana_, a barbaric method of torture which
originated there and which was frequently employed by Artigas, Rosas,
Lopez, and by other tyrants of a similar caliber. At bedtime the train
stops at Alvear, an important livestock town.

The peasants are now Indians. They live in adobe and cane huts in
the fields and are a peaceable, pastoral people. The men, both whites
and Indians, wear great baggy trousers, not unlike a couple of potato
sacks; these are tied to the leg above the shoe by a leather strap or
cord. From the discoloration of some of these trousers, I would not be
surprised to hear that they came over with the Spanish Conquistadores.

At daybreak of the second day, a train was ferried across the Alto
Paraná River to Pacu Cua. The only change that I noticed relative
to the train, and this was only a detail, was that the beer now
served was not the vile concoction brewed in Buenos Aires but a clear
amber liquid, purer in substance and fresh from the brewery of Villa
Encarnacion.

The Paraguayan landscape, until the half-way station of Borja is
reached, is a great semi-swampy plain with low hills and ridges covered
with tropical undergrowth, here known as "islands." By speaking of
this plain as swampy, I do not mean that it is under water, for such
is not the case; some seasons of the year it is quite dry and after
heavy rains only it is soggy. It is always passable, but is overgrown
with swamp grass. Countless herds of cattle pasture here; otherwise it
is uninhabitable. It contains many lakes and lagoons alive with wild
ducks, plover, curlew, herons, and other water fowl; wild geese fly
overhead, and when a clump of bushes is passed it is a common sight to
see the dark plumed, heavy limbed _ñandú_, the native ostrich, shading
itself under a bough on these wooded islets. Rising from the plain are
many huts, the estancias of the natives, half hidden by the foliage.
They are built of cane, plastered over, and with thatched roofs.

At Borja the junction for the village of Charara, the scenery changes.
The land now high and dry is intersected by numerous rivers. Mountains
appear to the north, and from here to Asuncion the country has a
well-settled character with numerous well-built villages. Civilization
in Paraguay started from Asuncion and followed the high ridge of land
eastward. The railroad built from Asuncion to Paraguari is one of the
oldest in South America. From Paraguari onward to Borja, civilization
preceded the railroad.

Villa Rica has 34,297 inhabitants according to a Paraguayan estimate.
Personally I think that this should be cut in two. It is a mile
northeast of the depot. At a station named Tebicuary is a sugar mill;
at Caballero are the railroad shops.

  [Illustration: Scene from Railroad Station at Villa Rica]

Paraguari, the anti-bellum terminus of the Central Paraguay Railroad,
has, according to the census 11,328 inhabitants, although I am doubtful
if its population exceeds five thousand. It is situated in the extreme
eastern end of the Pirayu valley. This valley is bound by great
basaltic hills, some of which are mountains. Some are conical in shape,
but the majority are huge hills, whose tops are great stone outcrops.
The floor of the valley is high and a cool breeze is generally blowing.
The clover and grain, together with the mountains and the church
steeples, remind one of the scenery in Central Europe. Paraguari would
be the best situated city in Paraguay for its capital, both from a
natural location and from a military point of view. It was the camping
ground of the Argentine army under General Belgrano in 1811. Formerly
the Jesuits had a large stock ranch here.

The railroad, formerly owned by the government, but now controlled
by a Portuguese, had originally a six-foot gauge. The depots in the
villages from Paraguari to Asuncion are large and old-fashioned like
the pictures of those stations depicted in _Harper's Weekly_ Civil War
Scenes. Their mere duplicates to-day are to be seen in some European
cities such as those at Caen, Bar-le-Duc, Vicenza, the old station
at Strassburg, and in the American cities of Savannah and Macon.
The English company which had control of the railroad before this
Portuguese got it narrowed the gauge down to the regulation broad
gauge standard which is narrower than that of the Central Argentina and
several other lines in that republic.

The Republic of Paraguay is divided into twenty districts exclusive of
Asuncion. I am giving their names and population together with those
of their capitals and their population according to the estimate of
1917 in Héctor F. Decoud's _Geografia de la Republica del Paraguay,
Asuncion, 1917_. The population of these district capitals includes
the commune as well as the town, for with the exception of six cities,
Asuncion, Villa Rica, Caazapá, Villa Encarnacion, Villa Concepcion, and
Villa del Pilar there are no incorporated places in the republic:--

                 _Population_         _Capital_         _Population_
  1st District      38,580          Villa Concepcion      15,600
  2d District       46,425          Villa de San Pedro     9,926
  3d District       43,195          Altos                  9,715
  4th District      34,764          Barrero Grande        10,643
  5th District      35,182          San José               9,120
  6th District      22,274          Ajos                   7,283
  7th District      34,297          Villa Rica            34,297
  8th District      29,886          Hiaty                  8,096
  9th District      31,531          Caazapá               17,531
  10th District     32,418          Yuti                  11,953
  11th District     26,978          Villa Encarnacion     13,496
  12th District     37,965          San Ignacio            6,621
  13th District     24,535          Ibicui                11,203
  14th District     33,454          Quiindy               12,943
  15th District     46,822          Paraguari             11,328
  16th District     32,720          Itagoá                 9,932
  17th District     41,435          Luque                 17,996
  18th District     43,633          Itá                   13,429
  19th District     20,843          Villa Oliva            4,504
  20th District     48,193          Villa del Pilar        7,229
  Asuncion (est)   125,000

Total population, 828,130 inhabitants exclusive of about 50,000 wild
Indians living in the Gran Chaco.

The population of Asuncion has been estimated from 80,000 to 125,000
inhabitants. Personally I think that 100,000 would be more nearly
correct. Asuncion of 1918 is an entirely different city from Asuncion
in 1913, so great has been the visible improvement. This is largely
due to the enlightened ideas of the ex-dictator, Don Eduardo Schaerer,
a Swiss by birth, and who has infused European progressiveness into
the Paraguayan nation, whose population was rapidly being exterminated
by forty-five years of incessant revolutions on top of a five years'
war which cost Paraguay five hundred thousand lives. Schaerer has
showed that he is the man for the job. His rule has been benign but
firm. No sooner had he assumed the executive power than some of his
dissatisfied opponents tried the tricks on him that have been tried
on other dictators. This time they failed. The bomb that they touched
off underneath his residence failed to explode. The conspirators and
other suspects were immediately clapped into jail. January 1, 1915,
witnessed the close of two years' peace; it was too much of a good
thing for the fire-eating populace so they started another revolution.
This lasted but one day, the revolutionists losing over three hundred
men in a street fight in Asuncion. No more tricks have been tried on
Señor Schaerer.

In Asuncion there live numerous ex-presidents, ex-dictators, and
their political henchmen. No matter who is president of any country,
there are always a number of people who have grievances against the
administration, but I have only heard one person express anything
derogatory against Schaerer. This man, very prominent in Asuncion, and
the son of an ex-president, said that Schaerer owed his power as Chief
Executive to the Farquhar Syndicate whose money placed him there in
order for them to obtain in return valuable concessions. He said that
Schaerer was not president for his health, but was amassing a fortune
on the side. If this is true, it is nothing extraordinary, but as far
as I can glean, he is one of the most able presidents the country has
ever had. Results show it. Paraguay has a good constitution, but it
is never used. Changes have been constantly made to suit the whims of
each dictator. The presidential term is for three years. Schaerer's
term should have expired November 25, 1915, but he saw to it that there
would be no elections and two years after that date he retained his
office.

Since Señor Schaerer became president, there have been many changes
for the better in Asuncion. Formerly one had to go to the post office
to mail a letter; now letter-boxes are on nearly every corner. The
stranger is no longer subjected to surveillance, neither are his
valises searched in the hotels, nor are his letters opened and read
in the post office before transmission. The police have new crash
uniforms as well as many of the soldiers; previously their garments
were nondescript. It is necessary in Paraguay to maintain a semblance
of an army, for otherwise a dictator's life would hang on the thread of
Damocles. In order to pay this army, the present government was obliged
to sell their two gunboats, as the country is in a bad financial
condition. Its unit, the _peso fuerte_ is worth only 2½ cents American
currency. Five years ago it was worth 7 cents. This depreciation of
money is current all over the southern republics of South America with
the exception of Uruguay and Argentina. The Chilean peso was worth 23
cents in 1913; now it is worth 17 cents; the Brazilian milreis which
was then worth 33⅓ cents is worth now only 25 cents. In Brazil, and in
Chile although the currency depreciated, the price of articles dropped
in ratio, so that now in those countries the articles for sale can be
bought cheaper than formerly. Not so in Paraguay. When the peso fuerte
took a drop, the staple goods remained the same in price, so now a
person has to pay three pesos for what formerly cost him but one.

The electric lighting system of Asuncion is excellent, and it now
has the best trolley car service of any South American city. Every
principal street has car tracks and the tramcars run in the daytime
every five minutes. There is also a suburban system. Before Schaerer's
ascendancy, the city had mule cars, and a suburban steam road that ran
through the streets of the city, as in Debreczen, Hungary, the engine
of which puffed and emitted much smoke to the tune of squeaks and much
whistling. The lawn is kept up in front of the Capitol; new streets
have been opened and paved; statues have been unveiled in public
places, and there has been considerable building done.

  [Illustration: Casa de Gobierno, or Capitol, Asuncion]

At first sight, Asuncion seems small. This is due to the grass that
grows between the stones of the street pavement, and to the fact
that cows graze in the plazas. On account of the richness of the
soil and the frequent rains it is impossible to keep vegetation down.
Unfortunately the plazas are not well kept up, and have gone to waste
and ruin. The city is compactly built, and covers considerable ground.
Like Belgrade, Servia, it is built on the side of a hill; like Belgrade
the stores are similar in window decorations, for their proprietors
specialize in displaying there articles that are favorite to the
Paraguayan mind as well as to the Servian: firearms and knives. There
are a few large buildings of modern construction, but what is most
observant are the colonnades of pillars and piers which support the
roofs. If a building has no colonnade along the street, it is sure
to have one around the patio. These colonnades are built thus (see
drawing).

  [Illustration: Drawing Showing Construction of Colonnades on a
   Paraguayan Building

   a. Side wall; b. Pillar; c. Beam; d. Rafter; e. Stringer; f. Tile]

Pillars (fig. b) lower than the main wall (fig. a) are erected about
twelve feet or less in front of it. Across the tops of these pillars
and connecting them lies a beam (fig. c) from which rafters (fig. d)
at regular intervals slant up to the top of the wall of the building.
Horizontally across these rafters are laid stringers (fig. e) about a
foot apart. On top of these stringers are laid tiles (fig. f). In many
cases a thin layer of bricks is laid across the stringers, above which
are laid the tiles.

The worst feature of Asuncion is the paving of the streets. Black flint
stones of all sizes and shape are pounded tightly into the ground, and
their crevices are filled with the red earth of the country; they are
then treated with a coating of dirt. For the first three months this
pavement makes excellent driving. Then when the copious rains have
washed the dirt out, the stones settle or are loosened. An occasional
wagon-wheel knocks one out of place, and it is seldom replaced.
Incessant wear now makes ruts among the loosened stones, and in the
part of the road where there is not much traffic, vegetation grows
up, likewise forcing the stones up. The city is built on the side of
a hill sloping down to a lagoon which is separated from the Paraguay
River by a swamp. There are no conduits to carry away the rain water,
nor any ditches at the sides of the streets. Accordingly when it rains,
the water runs down the hill through the crevices between the paving
stones, and by the time it reaches the main street, Calle Palmas, the
side streets are turned into rivers. Eave troughs project horizontally
from the roofs over the streets, and the pedestrians have a choice
between two evils, walking in the flowing road or getting a dousing
from many hydrants.

With the exception of an English church in the suburbs and a German
Lutheran one in the city, both of which are so small that it seems
a shame to rank them under the title of church, there are only three
Houses of God in Asuncion, the cathedral, San Roque, and that of the
Church of the Encarnacion. The cathedral is an old, weather-beaten
affair facing the lagoon. San Roque is very old and faces a small plaza
of the same name behind the railway station. The most imposing building
in the city is the mammoth unfinished red brick pile which goes by the
name of the Church of the Encarnacion. If ever completed it will hold
a place among the world's great religious edifices. It is built on
the summit of the hill above the business section of the city and is
a landmark for many miles. It is reached by a double flight of steps
from the street. It was started during the reign of Francia, and the
money having long since given out, it is left but half completed. It is
built very solidly of tightly fitting red brick, and was intended to be
stuccoed over. A place is left for a tower each side of the main door
but they have never been commenced. The interior is plain, has been
given a fresh coat of plaster, and exudes the funereal tuberose smell
which is present in the casino at Monte Carlo to counteract the aroma
of corpses in the private morgue beneath the roulette room of that
establishment. As matters now stand the Church of the Encarnacion is a
hideous pile. The earthly remains of Dr. Gaspar Rodrigues de Francia,
Paraguay's most famous dictator, 1816-1840, were buried beneath
the vestibule of this church. The relatives of a person whom he had
executed had his bones dug up and desecrated them by flinging them into
the lagoon.

The plazas of Asuncion are a disgrace to the city. The Plaza Uruguaya
is the largest. It is planted with trees which are scattered at random.
A brick wall separates one side of it from the street. At the opposite
side is the large, graceful, colonnaded, battle-scarred railway station
with its illuminated clock tower. Pedestrians avoid traversing this
plaza after nightfall on account of footpads, many of whom would
commit murder for a paper peso. In the center of the plaza stand the
fragments of a marble statue shot to pieces in the revolution of 1904.
The Plaza de la Republica is on top of the high banks that skirt the
swampy ground that forms the shores of the lagoon. In some places it is
like a big field, especially that part of it in front of the artillery
barracks where it is the dumping ground of tin cans and refuse, and
is traversed by cattle paths. Near the House of Congress, a morbid
appearing porticoed edifice, it assumes the nature of a lawn which in
turn becomes a park in front of the ancient cathedral. In this plaza is
a cheap looking brick column named the Statue of Liberty. This monument
is surmounted by the image of San Blas, the patron saint of Paraguay,
in whose honor is celebrated on February 3d of each year an orgy that
beggars description. The base of the statue has the dates of different
events and revolutions painted in black letters on each of its four
faces. One of these dates tells the reader that Asuncion was founded
August 15, 1536. Another date tells of the ousting of the Spanish
domination. A third one informs us of the end of Francia's rule, while
the fourth bears testimony of the end of the reign of Lopez II.

  [Illustration: Cabildo, or City Hall, Asuncion

   This building was formerly the capitol]

One of the features that attracts the eyes of strangers is that there
is scarcely a building in the downtown district that is not pitted with
holes from a Gatling gun. In some sections whole walls have been shot
away by cannon balls. One of the beautiful trees common to Paraguay is
the dark fern-leaved _paraiso_ tree. There are a great many of these in
Asuncion, especially in the Plaza San Roque. Their foliage is thick and
gives delightful shade.

  [Illustration: Plazoleta del Puerto, Asuncion]

One of the landmarks is the brick domed basilica on the Calle Palmas
called the Oratory of Lopez. The tyrant had it built for the receptacle
of the image of the Virgin of the Assumption (Asuncion). The Five
Years' War came on, and the oratory was never completed. It stands
to-day without a coat of stucco, with the carpenters' scantling around
its dome in the same condition now as when work suddenly ceased in
1865. It is owned by the government which is too poor to complete it;
its floor is used for the storage of municipal timber, brick, plaster,
and so forth, in charge of an ancient pensioner. Bats roost beneath its
dome, and the _amberé_ lizards crawl between the cracks of the bricks.
The oratory is surrounded by a wall over which projects a papaya tree
whose luscious golden fruit, shaped like a woman's teat, hangs in
pendulent clusters from its crown. This fruit is known in Paraguay as
_mamon_ which in the Guarani language means tit.

  [Illustration: Calle Palmas, Asuncion

   The dome in the background is that of the Oratory of Lopez]

The Asuncenos are early risers. The stores open at 6 A.M., and an hour
later is when the greatest crowds are to be found on the streets. The
stores close again at 11 A.M., and remain so till 2 P.M. They close
for the day at 7 P.M., and remain shut all day Sunday as well as on
the numerous holidays. During the three midday hours there is hardly a
person to be seen on the streets. Asuncion is never activity, excepting
during periods of revolution and at the annual yearly carnival; on
Sundays the liveliness of the streets can be compared with that of
the interior of a cemetery receiving vault. It is a trifle better than
Valparaiso, Chile, or Detroit, Michigan, on those days because at least
the cafés are open. The amusements of the city are paltry, the main one
being to sit evenings in one's shirt-sleeves on a chair placed on the
sidewalk in front of one's residence and by the illumination of the
electric lights watch the great _cucurús_ (large, disgusting looking
native toads) hop along the sidewalk in search of bugs. The other
amusements are two moving picture shows, one at Belvedere and the other
at the Café Bolsa.

  [Illustration: Calle 15 de Agosto, Asuncion

   This is a typical side street. The photograph was taken from the
   balcony of the second story of the Hotel Hispano-Americano]

  [Illustration: Street Scene, outskirts of Asuncion]

The climate of Asuncion is hot, terribly so, and damp. In heat it
compares very favorably with Panama. It is enervating and gives the
people amorous inclinations, especially when it blows from the north
and east. Many foreigners cannot become acclimated on account of
their inability in adapting themselves to a change in their mode of
life, and many of the wives of foreign diplomats have to return home
on account of the heat. Many people have red spots on their faces and
bodies caused by the heat. The hottest month is December. The rainfall
is heavy, and in Asuncion it is regular. March is the wettest month,
with April and October following in order. July is the driest month.
The average annual rainfall is 60.2 inches. (The average for Detroit
is 37 inches.) The driest year recorded in Asuncion was 1883 when 44.7
inches fell and the wettest year was 1878 with a precipitation of 101.9
inches. The rains are of short duration, but several are apt to occur
in one day. They are tropical and come straight down in sheets as if a
bucket of water had been turned upside down in the sky. These rains,
which are heaviest in summer, come up suddenly, and if there are any
clouds to be seen, it is advisable to carry an umbrella for it often
happens that these showers are local, there being a great downpour in
one part of the town and no rainfall at all in the other. After and
between rains, the sun comes out and steam arises from the earth. Many
a hacking cough heard from behind the shutters of a window and many
a gob of phlegm seen on the street sidewalk has its origin from this
climatic change. Hurricanes are unknown although water spouts are an
occasional phenomenon. The thunder makes terrific crashings, and at
each loud blast, the inhabitants make the sign of the cross. Even on
days when it does not rain, the sky is frequently overcast and the
atmosphere has the muggy feeling that is always present before a storm.

Perspiration runs from one in streams, not like the heavy sweat of
the hard-working laborer but a malodorous vitality sapping sweat
which takes the place of urine, making it necessary to change one's
under-clothing several times daily and to indulge in frequent shower
or sponge baths. For the omnipresent prickly heat, one should never
besmear himself with ointment nor take cold baths; these have the
tendency to augment it. One should bathe in warm or lukewarm water.
Clothes sent to the laundry come back damp and the bed linen seldom
dries. The houses are covered with a black mold which no amount of
frequent painting can stop coming back. During the summer if you draw
your finger across the wall of a church interior it will leave a streak
on the dampness. Regardless of the heat, for sanitation's sake, hot air
furnaces should be installed in the hotels and residences and a drying
out should be given them once a week.

With the rains come myriads of bugs and beetles. A black-winged
one, half as big as a saucer, whose aviation produced a noise
like a rip-saw, assailed me one night while at dinner in the Hotel
Hispano-Americano. It flew on my coat, and as I tried to brush it
away it implanted a sting on the back of my hand that made me wince in
agony. A lady, at a neighboring table, thought it was funny, for she
smiled at my discomfiture. God punished her, for presently a huge green
darning-needle shaped bug lighted on her neck and the sting it gave her
made her emit squawks that rivaled in rancorousness those of a carrion
crow. Bugs, beetles, reptiles, etc., the Paraguayans and Correntinos
call _bich_ and the large ones they call _gran bich_ without any
distinction as to their specie. A person cannot fondle with impunity
the cucurú as one can the common American garden toad. The cucurú will
bite you and then close its jaws. It has to be killed to pry its mouth
apart and its bite is said to be poisonous. The suburban sidewalks of
Asuncion teem with them evenings. The village of Areguá near Asuncion
is especially prolific in this variety of amphibian. It would not take
many of them to fill a bushel basket. I got about a dozen of these by
dropping my hat over them and chloroforming them. I had them stuffed
and brought them home as mantelpiece presents for my friends. Paraguay
is also abundant in ophidians; the nasty, poisonous _mboy-chumbé_ or
black, white, and red-ringed coral snakes being the most common. There
is _mboy-jhoby_, a green snake; the _ñuazo_, a dark brown snake; the
viper; the _ñandurié_, a small stick-like snake and the rattlesnake
are common venomous species, while the huge boa, or _curiyu_, and the
_mboy-yaguá_, or water snake, belong to the unpoisonous kind. The great
viper called _ñacaniná_ is semi-poisonous. Among the quelonians is
the _carumbé_ a Brobdingnagian snapping turtle and in the hydrosaurian
class is the crocodile, cayman alligator, and the iguana or _teyú_, the
latter being esteemed for its white meat not unlike spring chicken in
taste.

There are two species of jaguar called tiger by the natives, the
_aguareté_ and the _yaguareté-popé_. The word jaguar is derived from
the Guarani _yaguareté_. There are several kinds of wild-cat, misnamed
by the natives "lions," plenty of tapirs or _mborevi_, ant-eaters, wild
pigs, armadillos, deer, monkeys, besides many species of phlebotomists
such as the vampire-bat and the common belfry-bat. The trees are
alive with owls, macaws, parrots, toucans, zorzals, and wild-pigeons,
while in the swamps and clearings are found egrets, martinets, sarias,
cassowaries, flamingoes, herons, and ibises.

Asuncion has several fair hotels; the best in my estimation being the
Hotel Hispano-Americano, the property of the firm of Rius & Jorba
which is rented to the present proprietors, the Grau Brothers, two
Spaniards, to the tune of ten dollars a day, which, for Asuncion, is
an exorbitant sum. This hotel is not recommended to strangers by the
natives for the innate jealousy that the average South American has for
the Spaniard, who is his business superior, is not lacking in Paraguay.
The foreigners recommend to the stranger the Hotel Saint-Pierre, a
French hotel, or the Cancha (formerly the Gran Hotel del Paraguay), a
stock company hotel under German management.

The Hispano-Americano was built by the dictator, Francisco Solano Lopez
for his mistress, Madame Elisa Lynch, and here he lived with her and
here were his offsprings by her brought up. As I lay in my bed, or
walked the arched galleries of this edifice, I could nearly see the
festivities, banquets, and parties that took place in the great salon
(now the dining room) fifty-three years ago, hear the laughter of the
beautiful women in hoop skirts and the popping of corks of champagne
bottles, and smell the somniferous perfume of the _ñandeyara-guazús_
(high grade Paraguayan cigars) as their aroma was wafted upwards with
the smoke. Visions came to me of officers, their uniforms resplendent
with epaulettes and gold braid, brave men who met valiant deaths on the
field of battle or through exposure in the soggy palmetto and mangrove
swamps of the interior, of foreign diplomats, of dark, beautiful women
wearing delicate, luxuriant _ñanduti_ lace shawls, of the short and
corpulent bearded dictator with the perpetual strong cigar between his
lips, and of the Irish asp, his mistress, whose power and influence
upon her naturally progressive and ambitious paramour was greater than
that of Theodora on Justinian. J. F. Masterman in his _Seven Years'
Adventures in Paraguay_ states that Madame Lynch could drink more
champagne than any person he ever knew and not seem to feel any effects
therefrom. I would like to have matched her in a contest with a friend
of mine, now dead, whom I saw drink six quarts of champagne one after
another standing at a bar in San Francisco one evening in September,
1910.

The Hispano-Americano is a large structure two stories high of imposing
appearance on a corner of Calle Palmas, the main street. It is well
situated for it is near all the banks, business houses, and government
buildings. It has a large patio paved with black and white tiles,
where the dining tables are placed. Bedrooms open off from this patio.
On each side of the entrance thirty-four marble steps lead up to the
second story which has a balcony surrounding the patio, the arches
of which are supported by stone Doric columns. Onto this balcony open
tile-floored, high, and cool bedrooms. The balcony is paved with brick
and from it rise more Doric columns surmounted by arches which support
the roof. There is a second patio, this one open, which is reached by
a short hall behind the first patio. On this are the cheaper rooms. On
my former visit this hotel was not well kept up nor overclean, but now
it was all that could be desired and the Paraguayan cooking, with its
abundance of oil, peppers, tomatoes, and hot sauces, was excellent.

The proprietors own two Case automobiles, and one evening as I sat in
conversation with the Señor Grau, who assumes the active management
of the hotel, he suggested that I should take a ride with him for a
couple of hours. This was fine and I hastened to accept. The machine
was brought in front of the door, Grau and myself had got into it, when
the assistant manager came out and said something in an undertone to
Grau. The latter replied in a loud voice:

"Give everybody a room that asks for one except the Spanish consul.
Give him nothing."

I thought this was queer but said nothing, thinking that later on
Grau would explain what was up. He did not do so, however, until we
returned which was about ten o'clock at night. There were about a dozen
people in front of the hotel; on the threshold stood a tall, thin,
good-looking man about thirty-five years old, dressed in black. When
Grau got out this man approached him and said:

"What is the matter with this fellow?" pointing at the assistant
manager. "He refuses to give me a room."

"My instructions!" bellowed Grau. "You can get nothing here!"

A small crowd began to collect. The Spanish consul, for he was the tall
man in black, asked Grau to explain.

"Explain nothing!" yelled Grau. "You can get no more service here. You
have come to this hotel three or four different times, each time with a
different woman, and each time you have registered as man and wife. How
many wives have you anyway? I am not running a house of prostitution.
What do you take me for? Get out!"

There was a general peal of laughter from the crowd at this. The
Spanish consul, unabashed, with a smile walked away, stating that there
were other hotels in the town, where he could take his women, that were
just as good as Grau's and that he would do so now.

The Hotel Saint-Pierre is near the harbor on the Calle Colon, a cheap
business street. Many people prefer it for their sojourn in Asuncion
as it has the reputation for having the best cooking. In this respect
I found it lacking in the abundance and in the variety of that of
the Hispano-Americano. There is no bar; the rooms are small, and the
proprietor frequently tells the guests to retire to their rooms by a
side entrance as he is engaged entertaining friends in the hotel parlor
and main entrance. The proprietor is named Saint-Pierre, hence the name
of the hotel. He claims to be a French count, but the consensus of most
people is that he is crazy. He is a little, bald-headed old man about
sixty-five years old, with a gray moustache and imperial. He orders
the guests around as if he was bestowing upon them a favor for allowing
them to get lodging there. Many people desiring to obtain rooms there
are expected to furnish a pedigree. Colonel David Brainard, U. S.
A., military attaché to the United States Embassy at Buenos Aires, a
very distinguished man and one of the survivors of the famous Greely
expedition that attempted to discover the North Pole some time ago, was
on an extended trip through Paraguay with his friends. From Villa Rica
he telegraphed to Monsieur le comte de Saint-Pierre engaging rooms. The
latter worthy before he would allow his distinguished guests-to-be to
take up their domicile at his establishment looked up their character
and antecedents much to the amusement and disgust of Colonel Brainard
and friends.

The Gran Hotel del Paraguay occupies several single story buildings in
a large lawn on a hill, a twenty minutes' ride by cab from the business
section of Asuncion. For a man it is too far away to be handy, but
it is an ideal place for ladies with yarn to knit and novels to read.
The American consul rooms there. The bad feature of this hotel is that
the pedestrian at night in walking or driving there should never take
his finger from the trigger of his Derringer, for thieves often lurk
behind the giant locust trees on the Avenida España. After 2 A.M. the
street lights go out; walking then up the umbrageous road is nearly
impossible.

Natives stop at the Hotels Kosmos, Español, Palermo, and other similar
dumps conducive to vermin, mosquitoes, and malodorous toilets.

A Dutchman runs an excellent high-class pension named Villa Colombia,
where Argentine highbrows such as Don Nicolas Mihanovich sojourn while
visiting the city. This is in a large lawn across the street from the
Belvedere gardens. While I was in Asuncion, there was a big hullabaloo
because some thief stole eleven thousand dollars which the Dutchman had
hidden in an envelope in his residence.

The Capitol is a large barnlike rambling building with broad verandas
and is crowned with a square cupola. It was built by Carlos Antonio
Lopez and is the pride of the inhabitants; its picture adorns the
postage stamps of high denominations and also the two peso paper
currency.

Asuncion is the only South American city which has stone sidewalks.
They were originally built during the regime of Lopez I., who was the
patron of modernity. Asuncion as well as Villa Encarnacion has brick
sidewalks like the Massachusetts towns. The bricks and tile are of good
quality and shape. The brick layers and stone masons do better work
here than in Argentina and the rough brick buildings do not look as
dilapidated as in the last named republic. The red soil of Paraguay is
adapted to the manufacture of good bricks and a specie is turned out
akin to Bradford red.

There are three breweries in Paraguay: the one owned by Bosio Brothers
being the large fine one at the port. There is a branch brewery at a
suburb named Puerto Sanjonia which is now closed down. This brewery and
that of the Cerveceria Montevideana at Montevideo, Uruguay, brew the
best beer in South America. The 14 de Mayo brewery at Villa Encarnacion
likewise turns out a good product and there is a small German brewery
at San Bernardino in whose beer spring water is used. This last
mentioned brewery caters solely to family and local trade like that
of Ahrens in Córdoba and those of Peters and of Degen in San Antonio,
Texas. The Asuncion drinking water of the hotels is the limit. They
have no wells but instead they have tanks on their roofs to catch the
rain water. These tanks are never cleaned and the sides are covered
with green fungus. A dead cat bloated beyond recognition was found in
the tank of the Hispano-Americano. I drank the water without knowing
it. At home we eat frog's legs. The Asuncenos delight in eating the
body of the cucurús, the great garden toad. The Chaco Indians rejoice
in stewed monkey and fried slices of _gran vibora_, a snake peculiar to
that swamp, while the iguana is held in edible estimation by the white
population. Locust pies and boiled parrot also find their way down the
alimentary canals of the aborigines.

The two places of the greatest interest to the stranger in Asuncion are
the cemetery of Mangrullo and the market-place. The former is located
beyond the city limits on the road to Puerto Sajonia. It is on a
high-road hill from which an excellent panorama can be had of the city,
the river, and the Chaco beyond. The origin of the name is unknown,
but the word "Mangrullo" is always used to denote the military lookout
tower.

This cemetery is redolent with the thoughts of spooks, banshee,
ghosts, and other phantomic gentry of like species. In daytime it
is a lugubrious place nearly surrounded by high walls, from above
which tower slender cypress trees, and at night it must be doubly so,
especially when the moon plays on the mortuary chapel from the tree
limbs. This cemetery is where the poor people are buried; the wealthy
are interred in the aristocratic Recoleta.

  [Illustration: Mangrullo Cemetery, Asuncion]

On the path, long before reaching Mangrullo, wailing is heard coming
from within the enclosure. At the entrance seated on the ground are
aged women selling fruit with _poguazú_ cigars in their mouths. A
leper or two adds charm to the scene. They are not begging, but expect
everyone waiting for somebody to slip a peso bill (2½ c.) into their
spotted hands. From the iron entrance, the only road in the cemetery
leads to the chapel in the center. Black clothed persons wander
ghoulishly among the tombstones, their hats in their hands. A concourse
of people is assembled in front of the building. Nearby is a wooden
tower, and on a platform underneath its roof a hunchback is ringing the
bell, making it peal at slow intervals. The bell stops and the wailing
of the bare-headed assembly begins. This lasts about five minutes; the
hunchback then tolls the bell anew, this time in a rapid succession of
clangs. The men lift up the rude box containing the dead person from
which the olfactory aroma of putrid flesh arises and carrying it to the
shallow grave, they bury it to the tune of the great bell which has
again started ringing. When the bell stops, the women start wailing
again and the men stand aside to smoke, talk politics, and watch the
scene. The wailing is not caused so much through grief as it is to see
who can make the loudest noise.

A woman had lost her two weeks' old baby and her relations as far
removed as the fourth generation of cousin had come to mourn. The
shrieks emitted were not human. They sounded more like the snarling
and growling of animals, the howling of hyenas and ululations of
owls. The women worked themselves into a frenzy of hysteria, and the
bereaved mother threw herself on the grave and, lying on her back,
kicked, struggled, and writhed until she became unconscious through
her own emotions. One of these wailing fests that I witnessed came to a
sudden and untimely end. While the family and relatives of a murdered
man had reached a soprano in the shrieking test, a ñacaniná (large
viper) crawled from a hole beneath a tombstone and, frightened at the
lugubrious wails, attempted to escape by safely crawling away. It took
its course among the mourners, and the hurried scamper of footsteps
to the tune of blasphemous and ungodly oaths was now the order of the
funeral aftermath.

The graves in the Mangrullo cemetery are so multitudinous and so close
together that it is impossible for a funeral procession to reach the
newly dug grave without crossing numerous mounds. There are but few
monuments, iron crosses painted black taking their places. Iron fences
surround the graves of those who have well-to-do relatives. But few
inscriptions tell the age of the beloved deceased; instead there hangs
at each cross a photograph likeness of the dead.

The market-place of Asuncion probably offers more attractions to
the stranger than in any other city. It is situated in the middle
of the town and has a large covered frame building where meats are
hung. Making a circumvallation of the butcher shop are benches where
sit women, white, black, Indian, and mixed breed, offering for sale
cigars of their own manufacture. Outside on the ground squat the
rabble who cannot afford a chair at the benches. They sell parrakeets,
divers song-birds, the succulent stubby native banana, curiously
shaped peppers, avocados, herbs, pineapples, and cooked viands. At
the entrance to the market are kiosks where caña or native rum is
dispensed. At 8:00 A.M. the market-place represents great animation.
Lazy, fat lousy dogs, hundreds in number, their bellies gorged with
rare meat and offal, lie in glutinous stupor in the aisles and under
the shade of large stationary umbrellas. They lick the grease from the
roasted meat for sale and urinate in the frying pans. Ignorant natives
purchase these meat roasts and greedily devour it, unconscious of
its flavoring. This is the one place in Asuncion where meat and fresh
vegetables are for sale, and the private families and hotel guests are
obliged to partake of it or starve.

But few foreign women visit Asuncion; it should be their paradise
because here for a song can be purchased the ñanduti, the most delicate
silk and cotton embroidery in existence woven by the native women. This
wonderful texture represents much labor and is in great demand. The
_guayaba_ flower is a popular design, a round blossom with a starlike
center. Stuffed alligators and cucurús adorn the store windows and live
parrots sell for a few cents apiece. In buying a parrot, one should
previously enlist the services of a native. Birds under one year are
most precious and those with the yellow head command the highest price.
In order to make the old birds appear wild and hearty, the natives feed
them with rum. This makes them flutter and their antics then create a
grand show off. En voyage a few days later they die of old age and the
innocent purchaser is unaware that rum was used to produce unnatural
activity. It is better to purchase parrakeets in Buenos Aires because
the pick of Paraguay is exported to the bird stores on the Calle
Moreno. At San Bernardino can be bought lovely egrets and butterfly
wings. Monkeys cannot stand transportation and soon die.

The physicians of Asuncion are poor and but few hold genuine degrees.
Every bowel or stomach complaint that the patient gets, they are likely
to diagnose as appendicitis, and they are anxious to operate with dirty
instruments which they carry loosely in their pockets. I know of a
case of a woman having a dull pain high up on her left side which they
claimed was appendicitis and they wanted to operate on her for it,
telling her it was a reflex pain, when in reality it was nothing but a
common fatty tumor.

One of the curses in Asuncion and so acknowledged by the English
residents are the missionaries from Australia classed as the
Plymouth Brethren, which belief is akin to that of the Methodists.
No missionaries are needed in Paraguay. These Plymouth Brethren,
numbering two families, were sent to Asuncion with free transportation
and a monthly salary of twenty pounds to teach religion to the poor
benighted heathen which there does not exist. They hold services
at their pleasure in a room in their houses to a congregation that
scarcely reaches six in number. The remainder of their time they spend
in indolent ease, for a person in Asuncion can live like a king on
one hundred dollars per month. One of the chief Paraguayan industries
is the manufacture of cigars. The native women make two classes, the
_poguazú_ and _pohí_. The first mentioned are long, large, strong
cigars which sell at 2½ c. per half dozen. This is a favorite one with
the native women who invariably have one poked half-way down their
muzzle, the ashy end just protruding. The pohís are small cigars with
outside wrapper grown from Havana seed. They are more aromatic and sell
for 2½ c. a dozen. The factories made five cigars, that of La Veguera
turning out one named "Don Alfonso" which sells for 120 pesos ($3) for
twenty-five, or 12 c. apiece. This same brand sells in Buenos Aires for
50 c. apiece and is equal to the best Havanas that sell in the United
States for $1 apiece. The ñandeyara guazú is a fine cigar that sells
for 30 pesos (75 c.) a hundred. Paraguay is a smoker's paradise and
the advantage of the tobacco is that it never causes sore spots on the
tongue nor any other vocal irritation.

The inhabitants are extremely lazy, and on the estancias the men
live in indolent ease, their many concubines doing the real labor.
Strangers living in Paraguay become in time like the natives, taking
their siesta at noon and putting off all work until the morrow. The
business is in the hands of the Spaniards, Germans, and Italians. There
are over five thousand Germans in the republic but like the Spaniard
they are unpopular with the natives. There is much wealth in Asuncion
according to the Paraguayan standard but very little according to the
European standard. The town teems with millionaires but a million pesos
Paraguayan amounts to only twenty-five thousand dollars. These people
can make a great splurge and live in great style in Asuncion where food
is plentiful and good, qualifying a luxury. The women of these people
assume great airs. There are only two real millionaires according to
their wealth in North American currency. One is Saccarello, an Italian
estanciero and the other is Jorba, a Spaniard, who has a general store
and who is an extensive exporter with an office in Barcelona. Angulo,
another exporter and storekeeper, is wealthy as well as Urrutia and
Uguarte, bankers; but these last named people are not millionaires.
For $7500 can be built a palace of a house. Land is cheap all over the
republic. There is a market for all native products which are lumber,
cattle, mandioca, sugar cane, tobacco, yerba maté, and tannic acid. But
little is exported on account of the scarcity of labor for the men will
not work. What labor there is, is cheap. For example, the old Spaniard
who is bartender, table waiter, floor sweeper, and general factotum of
the Hotel Hispano-Americano only receives $10 a month, with practically
no income from tips. With this, he supports his English wife and four
children. Poverty in Paraguay is unknown. About 5000 acres of rich soil
can be purchased for $10,000.

Paraguay is one of the few South American countries which has iron but
as yet it is not exploited, although in the period of the Five Years'
War it furnished material from which the cannon were manufactured in
Asuncion. The language of the country is Guarani, phonetic, expressive
and rich in vowels. Foreigners learn it easily and it is the vernacular
of all excepting those people dealing with strangers. The newspaper
was formerly published in it and Lopez was at one time thinking
seriously of making it the official language of the country. Outside of
Asuncion it is essentially spoken throughout the country and in certain
districts Spanish is of no avail.

Some of the Asuncenas are gems. If the reader of this work has
previously read my _South American Travels_ he may remember of my
stating that I saw in the telegraph office in Asuncion, working
as clerks, two of the most beautiful girls that I have ever gazed
upon. This time while in the city I returned to the telegraph office
ostensibly to send a message, but in reality to see if the same maidens
were still on the job. The youngest was there, a marvelous work of
God, but three years' lapse of time had slightly undermined her beauty.
Although we had seen each other but one brief moment before and had met
thousands of people in the interval, recognition was at once mutual. I
told her how beautiful she was, how she attracted me and how I longed
to make her acquaintance. She reciprocated my attentions, told me that
her name was Marcelina Espinosa and that I had permission to call on
her. This happened on the eve of my departure for Motto Grosso, and
I assured her that when I returned to Asuncion in the course of two
months that I certainly should avail myself of the pleasure of her kind
invitation.

Not wishing to seem egotistical in making this statement, I was not
long in Asuncion, before I discovered that I appealed to Paraguayan
womanhood. Oftentimes of an evening while passing along the residential
streets I would notice women in the act of closing the doors or the
shutters. On seeing me they would desist from this occupation and
regard me longingly and sympathetically until I had disappeared from
sight. At a printing establishment which had picture postal cards for
sale, a fine looking woman on whose face was depicted latent passions
which only needed encouragement to become a reality, waited on me.
As I paid her for a trivial purchase, she let her hand linger in mine
looking at me appealingly for reciprocation.

An old native woman in the market-place admired a gold ring with jade
setting which I always wear as a lucky stone. She was not content only
in admiring it, but she went through the market and got her friends to
come and look at it. Many of these were comely girls. They not knowing
that I understood a word of Guarani remarked on its beauty, and then
fell to discussing me in most charming terms.

Although most Paraguayans are born out of wedlock, the inhabitants
are not immoral. Like the majority of Latin Americans they are unmoral
because they never had any morals to begin with. It is quite the thing
in Asuncion for men forty years old and more to have lustful intentions
on twelve-year old girls. Women frequently marry at fourteen years
of age, but men seldom do so before they are thirty years old. Many
women remain single for there are nine women to every man in Paraguay,
owing to the decimation of the latter in the numerous revolutions
that have taken place, and with such a disproportionate ratio on the
side of the women, it is easy for the men to satisfy their desires
without marriage. Excepting among the highest social classes virtue
among women has no value and men who are old enough to be grandfathers
lasciviously ogle girls that have scarcely reached the age of puberty.
This great disparity of ages does not have the evil results that are
often the case in colder countries. The women soon lose their good
looks while the men seldom change until they reach old age. The girls
for generations have been taught to marry men considerably older
than themselves; thus the caned and bespatted young fops that haunt
the cafés and moving picture shows are obliged to form mesalliances
with young half-breed girls. The latter are too ignorant to make any
objection to being seduced as they have been taught that it is the
natural state of affairs. No matter how unmoral the people are, a
Paraguayan girl is rarely to be found in a brothel. Many men going
by different names are half brothers, having had the same mother but
different fathers. As in all countries of lax morals, syphilis is rife.
But very few of the inhabitants show outward symptoms of it, for it is
so much inbred in the people that it has lost its virulence.

I had met on the train coming from Buenos Aires a man who was so
Teutonic in appearance and in style of his clothes that I had supposed
him to be fresh from Germany. He sat across from me at the table in
the dining car after leaving Villa Encarnacion, and I was surprised to
hear him answer "Chileno" when the Paraguayan immigration inspector
asked him his nationality. He was the grandson of a German who had
settled in Southern Chile. This man that I met was about forty years
old and is so prominent in financial circles that his name is famous
all over Southern Chile. He was now on his way to Asuncion to look
over one of the two Paraguayan gunboats which the government wished
to sell in order to obtain sufficient funds to pay off the army with.
If the gunboat suited him he could have it shipped to Chile and have
it remodeled as a freighter or a passenger ship. His name for obvious
reasons I shall designate as M----.

Señor M---- was a very entertaining man, had traveled all over the
world, and appeared to have a good knowledge of sociology. I invited
him to the Hispano-Americano to have dinner with me and he in turn
invited me to dine with him at the Saint-Pierre where he sojourned. We
went a couple of times to the moving picture shows and to the Belvedere
gardens. His discourse was always of the most moral and elevating
character which was a marked contrast to that of the natives. One
night I suggested that we should take in a vaudeville entertainment
that was being staged at the Belvedere. He agreed and I went to the
Hotel Saint-Pierre to meet him. As it was a nice evening he suggested
that we should walk, although it was nearly two miles there. Soon
after starting out, a tropical thunder storm, so common to southern
latitudes, came up, and rain fell in such a deluge that we were obliged
to take shelter in a doorway. The street became a veritable river and
owing to the violence of the downpour the street cars stopped running.
Just as suddenly as the storm had broken, it stopped. It was too wet
to continue walking and as we were trying to arrive at a decision as to
how we could best get to Belvedere, a little girl about fourteen years
walked by. M---- noticed her and straightway walked out of the shelter
where we were standing to say something to her. I supposed that he
had gone to question her about the car service, but as they conversed
at length and as I saw her smile, I thought I would walk up to see
what the joke was. Imagine my astonishment when I heard M----, whom I
had supposed to be so moral and before whom I was always choosing my
language, in conversation with this child inducing her to allow him
to seduce her. My astonishment was still greater when she accepted
his approaches and walked off with him in the direction of the Hotel
Saint-Pierre where we had just come from.

About two o'clock the next afternoon as I was returning to my hotel
from a walk, I saw M---- on the marble stairs of the Hispano-Americano
offering pecuniary inducements to any of the old women (none were
under fifty) who daily sat on the bottom steps displaying _ñanduti_
embroidery for sale, if one would come up to a bedroom for a half hour.
M---- did not make such a hit with these _ñanduti_ women as he did with
the little native girl, for none would accept his terms.

I upbraided M---- roundly for his actions telling him that he should
be ashamed of himself for making such propositions to young girls.
"Es costumbre" ("It's the custom") he would answer, and that was all
the excuse he could give for his actions. He informed me that he had
discovered that the Paraguayan native was much like the Chilean of the
lower stratum, and that for a few pesos he could "fix" any policeman or
irate parent in Asuncion the same way as he could at his home town in
Chile. This man thought he was doing nothing unnatural or to be ashamed
of. I later found out that M---- was telling the truth as far as it
was "costumbre," for Chile and Paraguay have among their respected
citizens, men who emulate the same acts as M---- and are not arrested
for them, while here in North America they would be safely behind the
bars of some institution for doing the same thing.

About twenty miles northwest of Asuncion is the entrancing Lake
Ypacara-i, twelve miles long by five broad. Its shores are dotted with
the summer residences of the Asuncene aristocracy. San Bernardino is a
German colony and is the most delectable place in all Paraguay. It is
reached by train from Asuncion to Areguá, another summer resort where
cars are changed. A couple of miles from Areguá is a station named
Kendall, whence one can cross by launch to San Bernardino, where are
located the Hotel del Lago and the Hotel Rasmussen, the first mentioned
being the best. The scenery is beautifully pastoral and brings to one's
mind Virgil's _Bucolics_, for here like the scenery he described in his
immortal work, shepherd boys watch their ovine flocks playing melodies
on slender reeds.



CHAPTER VIII

TO THE SOURCE OF THE PARAGUAY RIVER


Strolling down to the dock one day I saw a sign stating that the
steamer _Asuncion_ would be sailing for Corumbá, Brazil that same
evening at six o'clock. I inquired how long it took to reach its
destination, and upon being told four days, bought a ticket. I once
had the misfortune of being a passenger on the S. S. _Asuncion_
when it ran aground on a mud bank in the Paraná River and was moored
twenty-six hours in midstream. It is one of the older ships of the
Mihanovich Line and formerly plied between Buenos Aires and Asuncion.
It has no salon and the guests are obliged to sit in the dining room.
Two other steamship companies run to Corumbá. The Brazilian Lloyd with
fortnightly service and the Vierci Line owned in Asuncion. The latter
boats and those of the Mihanovich Line touch at all the river ports,
while the only stop besides Asuncion that the Brazilian Lloyd makes in
Paraguay is Villa Concepcion.

It became dark soon after sailing, and at nine o'clock we tied up to
the dock at Villa Hayes, a small town on the Chaco side of the river
and named in honor of Rutherford Hayes, ex-president of the United
States, who was the arbiter in a boundary dispute between Argentina and
Paraguay. He rendered a decision in favor of the latter country. A high
wind blew all night, and without it the heat would have been nearly
unbearable.

The next morning when I awoke I saw that the sides of the river were
bounded by a tropical forest. The steamer hugged the east bank for
here, the river a mile wide at this point, was the deepest. Beautiful
racemose clusters of red lilies grew from tall slender stalks; from
water oaks were suspended air plants and purple orchids; lianas
ropelike, hung from the tree tops to the ground. At ten o'clock the
steamer anchored off the mouth of a small stream named the Cuarepoti
up which, a mile or so, is the settlement of Rosario. Several rowboats
came up with passengers. About two o'clock in the afternoon, the
wide and swiftly flowing Jejuy River is reached on which is the now
dismantled fort of San Pedro. The Paraguay River widens out and is
filled with many islets, some of them large. The forest had receded
and the swampy land was flooded; from the islets in the marshes rose
groves of hiaty palms and the lagoons were covered by the wonderful
aquatic plant, the Victoria Regia. The leaves of this plant are round
and flat, and they resemble huge floating dishes. Where the edges are
turned, turtles crawl up on the leaves and bask in the sun. Besides
the Victoria Regia there are lotus plants and I saw a reed resembling
papyrus. As the steamer passes, crocodiles flop in the river with a
heavy thud and hissing ñacaninás crawl into the dank undergrowth.

At ten o'clock that night, Villa Concepcion was reached where we
remained nearly two hours. I stopped at that hellfire town for three
days on my return trip and regretted it. I imagine that in the winter
it is a pleasant enough place as far as climate goes, but at the time
of my visit it was fierce. The rains had swollen the river, which
had overflowed its banks and practically left the town an island in a
fresh water sea from which emerged tree trunks. It was hotter than the
fictitious Hades and a low gray vapor shrouded everything from sight
mornings and evenings. The sun came out torrid several times a day,
alternated by thunder showers. Bugs, reptiles, and insects were galore.

Villa Concepcion is the fourth city in Paraguay in population, although
the unincorporated place of Luque is larger. Its estimated population
is 15,600 although I think one half these figures would be nearer the
mark. In importance, it is the second town in the republic for in the
hinterland are sugar mills to which a railroad extends. The terminus
is Horqueta, about forty miles inland. Concepcion is built on the left
bank of the Paraguay River which here is a mile wide, and facing the
town is an island. A few miles south of it, the Ipané River empties
into the Paraguay.

The Ipané gives the name to Concepcion's main street, a miserable
thoroughfare of one story brick and wood buildings plastered over.
There are, however, a few buildings of size on this street and on the
other principal street, whose name is Aquidabán. A ditch runs along
each side of Calle Ipané, and there is one in the middle of Calle
Aquidabán. These are crossed by planks being thrown across them.
The water had washed some of the planks away which made the streets
impassable. Strange to say, Villa Concepcion boasts of one automobile,
a Ford. As in Asuncion the market-place is of interest, although it is
on a much smaller scale than that of the capital. The main breathing
place is named Plaza de Libertad from the Statue of Liberty which
graces its center. It stands on an octagonal base with funeral wreaths
in bas-relief, while on a ledge on top of the base are perched eight
cement lions. The allegorical goddess reposes her hand upon a shield.
Her picture, taken from this statue adorns the Paraguayan jubilee
postage stamps of a few years back.

Sometime during the night that we left Villa Concepcion, we passed by
the mouth of the Aquidabán River. It was up its valley that Francisco
Solano Lopez retreated with the remnants of his brave army in 1870
closely pursued by the Brazilian cavalry, and it was at the base of
a mountain named Cerro Corá at the headwaters of the Aquidabán, many
miles distant in the tropical forest that he met his death, being
pierced through the body by the lances of the enemy. Among his retinue
was his mistress, Madame Lynch and some of her henchwomen. Strange to
say when they were captured they were found clad in silken dresses of
the latest Parisian creation and wearing low ballroom slippers, and
this in the midst of the deepest imaginable water-soaked jungle miles
away from civilization.

Early in the morning we reached the village of San Salvador with its
beef-packing plant. The _saladero_ is a stock company composed of
North American and German capital. They slaughter the long-horned
native cattle, which are cheap here. At the outbreak of the World
War, the British Government ordered from them $240,000 worth of canned
beef which was delivered and consumed by the British Army. This beef
is still unpaid for. Great Britain refuses to pay on account of the
majority of the shares of stock being held by Germans. By this refusal
it is also hurting the interests of the North Americans who have stock
in the company, which amounts to nearly one half. This defalcation of
payment has put the saladeria on the hummer and it is now in the hands
of a receiver.

At the time of my visit, the whole town of San Salvador was wrought up
by an incident that had occurred the day before, and which was the only
topic of conversation. The foremen of the saladero pay off the laborers
with time checks which they present at the company office for currency.
A native forged one of these checks and made such a poor job of it that
he was refused payment and threatened with arrest. Angered, he whipped
out a big knife, long and thin with a razor edge, with the intentions
of annihilating the manager, a North American. The latter grabbed a
revolver which scared the Paraguayan, who started to run down the road.

Leaning against a fence post, with his hand on the rail, stood another
North American, a mere boy, and a friend of the manager who had arrived
from the United States, but three days before on a visit, and not
at all connected with the company. The route of the fleeing native
led by this young chap, and as he ran by him, he raised his arm and
aimed a blow with his knife at the young fellow's hand, which was so
powerful that it completely severed it at the wrist. The Paraguayan
was caught and lodged in a temporary jail. The next morning, the day of
my arrival, he was to be taken in a rowboat to Villa Concepcion to be
tried.

The sequel to this event which I heard on my return trip was as
follows: His guards not relishing the long rowboat trip to Concepcion,
for it would take them several hard days rowing upstream on the return
journey, pitched the native overboard in midstream. A few bubbles came
up as a _saurian_ closed its jaws upon him, and a red tinge rose to the
surface of the river.

From San Salvador northward, occasional round hills are met. The first
of these is Itapucumi (sleeping giant), two hours above the settlement.
Here the Paraguay River makes a great bend and narrows to one-half
mile in width. It is studded with green islands, some of them floating.
Puerto Max, where there is another saladeria, is stopped at and farther
on, we passed the stockade of an old penal settlement. At dusk we
passed another cluster of isolated hills on the east bank; the west
bank is now a great dismal swamp. The River Apá is reached which is the
boundary line between Paraguay and the Brazilian state of Matto Grosso.
We now have Brazil on the right and the Paraguayan Chaco on the left.

Next to Amazonas, Matto Grosso is the largest state in Brazil. Its
area is 539,092 square miles and its population is estimated at about
245,000. Only three South American republics (excepting Brazil, of
which this state is a part), Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru have a larger
area than Matto Grosso. It occupies the very center of South America
and its capital, Cuyabá, is more geographically situated in the center
of that continent than any other town. The main industry of Matto
Grosso is stock raising, there being over 2,500,000 head of cattle
within its confines. In this respect it is third among the Brazilian
states, Rio Grande do Sul and Minas Geraes outranking it. The name
given to the native cattle is _cuyabára_; they are noted for their
viciousness, are red and unlike the Paraguayan breed, are short-horned.
A saladero or saladeria (the name for the whole establishment), is in
Brazil named a _charqueada_ and there are several of these in the state
besides a factory where beef extract is made at São Luiz. The eastern
part of the state is a plateau with several high ranges of hills; the
western part is a forest; great areas being flooded at certain seasons
on account of poor drainage. The word Matto Grosso means "big forest,"
_matto_ being a covering of trees and bushes. Besides stock raising,
rubber plays an important part of the state's industries but this
latter is confined to the northwestern region where is located the
Madeira-Mamoré Railroad. The only other railroad in the state is a few
miles of track outside of Corumbá. It will form part of the Mogyana
system when completed, as the present intentions are to connect Corumbá
with São Paulo. There was a telegraph line to Cuyabá and to Corumbá,
via Goyaz but it is frequently out of commission. It takes three weeks
of travel to reach Cuyabá from Rio de Janeiro and this trip is made by
the Paraná and Paraguay rivers.

On the third morning we reached an estancia, the settlement of Porto
Murtinho with its swampy background. There were numerous wild ducks and
plover to be seen. This is the starting place for egret hunters; many
of these birds abounding in the back country. Shortly after leaving
the place, two hills rise on each side of the river. The one on the
right being so much higher that the eminence on the left appears low.
These are respectively Pao d'Assucar and Fecho dos Morras. Further
up and on another hill is the Brazilian Fort Barranco-branco and
beyond it on an eminence on the Paraguayan side is Fort Olimpo. In
the afternoon, we stop at Puerto Ledo, Puerto Esperanza, Puerto 14 de
Mayo, and Puerto Boggiani, all in Paraguay, and at dark reach a place
where the river widens into a lake which is named Bahia Negra. This
is formed by the junction of the Paraguay and the Otuquis rivers. The
last mentioned stream being commonly called Rio Negro. We here left
Paraguayan territory as the Brazilian boundary line is arrived at on
the left bank. In the night we passed Fort Coimbra and when I awoke
the following morning there were hills on the west bank. The river
had narrowed down to one quarter of a mile. In the afternoon we passed
Fort Albuquerque and late at night arrived at the wretched but lively
city of Corumbá, commercial center of Matto Grosso and the synonym of
lawlessness and disorder.

This vile town with its diseased population and a jumping-off place
of commercial riffraff, has a population of nearly twenty thousand
inhabitants. It is built on the high banks of the west shore of the
Paraguay River. The water is six feet deep at the docks when the river
is low but the project has long been contemplated of deepening the
channel so that vessels drawing twenty feet can anchor there. Nineteen
hundred and eighty-six miles from the mouth of the La Plata River,
it is the head of navigation for large boats and it has an immense
trade, considering the size of the place, on account of its being
the sole distributing point for southern Matto Grosso. The tortuous
muddy road leads up the bank to the town which is well built with
morgue-like edifices. The structures are mostly of one story and many
have semicircular round-top windows, which are uncommon in all South
American countries excepting Brazil, where they are characteristic.
The Hotel Paris, where I stopped, was nothing at all like Paris and the
slovenly waiters had a cutthroat appearance.

Corumbá has a widely established reputation for disorder. It is so far
from the Federal capital of Brazil that it might be anywhere else in
the world as far as the inhabitants having any fear from that quarter
of punishments for their misdeeds. Matto Grosso is run very much as if
it were an independent country, and on account of the low caliber of
the native potentates and politicians, lawlessness is rampant. Nearly
every man in the city carries a long thin razor-edged knife and many
of the population give testimony of a one-time fight with this kind of
weapon by the scars to be seen on their visages. There are some whose
nose has been severed and others who are minus an ear. There is but
little public safety there from murder or robbery or both on the back
streets after nightfall. The natives like to pretend that they are
atheists but I have noticed that this same tribe either slink away in
a hangdog fashion when they see a priest approaching or else are quick
to drop on their knees and make the sign of the cross.

As to industry, besides having a charqueada, Corumbá has a brewery
and the Ladario naval arsenal. The town, I think, has a good future
on account of its central location. The surrounding country is swampy
so there is apt to be malaria but otherwise it is fairly free from
epidemics. Most of the inhabitants are syphilitic or are afflicted with
other diseases due to lax morals. The climate, though hot, is better
than that of Villa Concepcion, and it is doubtful if in the summer
months the thermometer rises as high as it does in Asuncion.

The 280-mile trip from Corumbá to Cuyabá is made in anywheres from
four days to a week and one half on small steamers of fifty tons. At
their very best, they make an average of seventy miles a day of twelve
hours as they tie up to the bank at night. These boats, owned locally
and also by the Vierci Brothers of Asuncion, carry twenty first-class
and fifty third-class passengers. Since the traffic is heavy, it is
necessary for the traveler to board the steamer the day before to
obtain a convenient place to sling his hammock and then hire some
roustabout to watch it for him. Otherwise somebody else would be apt
to remove it. If a person waited until the morning of departure before
slinging his hammock, he would find all the suitable places occupied.
It is impossible to sleep in one of the few cabins which have bunks on
account of the heat from the ship's engines combined with that of the
atmosphere.

Corumbá is 384 feet above the sea level; Cuyabá is 401; thus the drop
in 280 miles is only 17 feet or 7/10 of an inch to a mile. The swampy
pasture which is entered and which continues until the day Cuyabá is
reached is one of the hell holes of this earth. This immense marsh,
which is 350 miles across in an east to west line, extends into Bolivia
and is a flat piece of ground grown to marsh grass in which countless
herds of semi-wild cattle fatten. There are occasional stunted trees
whose penurious shade affords the sole protection against the powerful
sun and blinding rays. In the afternoon of the first day, we passed a
few huts named Tres Barras and at night pulled up to shore at a cape
formed by the confluence of the Cuyabá and Paraguay rivers. On account
of the low drop in altitudes, there is such poor drainage that branches
of the Paraguay and Cuyabá shoot out in all directions, forming
numerous channels in a great delta. The Paraguay is considerably wider
than the Cuyabá and has a much greater volume of water as well as a
swifter current. It is navigable for small vessels as far as São Luiz
de Caceres about 250 miles farther up.

The whole trip was uneventful through a most monotonous country. About
a day and one half before we reached the capital, another river flowing
from the northeast and about the same size as the Cuyabá entered it.
This river was named the São Lourenço although I understand that the
natives are in the habit of giving this same name even to the Cuyabá
River below its confluence. The heat was fierce but strange to say
there were but few mosquitoes. It is most peculiar that of the whole
La Plata river system mosquitoes are most abundant in the delta of
the Paraná River between Rosario and Buenos Aires, and that up in the
tropics of northern Paraguay and Matto Grosso where one would think
they would be most likely to be found, they are noticeable by their
absence. In other parts of Matto Grosso where the rivers belong to the
Amazonian watershed, I understand they are legion. At night fireflies
came out in bunches and the swampy plain was resonant with the croaking
of frogs. One afternoon nearly a week after leaving Corumbá, hills
appeared on the right which took on the form of low mountains and these
continued in view until the capital in the midst of a thickly settled
country was approached.

  [Illustration: Street Scene, Cuyabá]

Cuyabá is an old city of one-story houses, strongly built, and boasts
of wide grass-grown streets, and a spacious shadeless plaza on which
faces the cathedral. It is said to have been founded a couple of
hundred years ago by Portuguese prospectors who started out from São
Paulo. During the eighteenth century it was the center of the placer
district and the headquarters of the miners who equipped themselves
here for their trips to the remote parts of Brazil and what is now
Bolivia. It was a lively place in those days, but a hundred years
ago became decadent until recently when the cattle industry took a
boom. In the last decade it has picked up, and its population to-day
numbers not far from twenty thousand. It is the seat of a bishopric,
is electric lighted (on the main street), and is in telegraphic
communication (sometimes) with Rio de Janeiro. The Mogyana Railroad
system from São Paulo is expected to extend here shortly which will
be a great benefit to the place, as well as facilitate exportation.
In many respects Cuyabá is a fine city although it falls far below
the standard of a North American city of the same size. It has many
fine residences, and an air of proudness and of aristocracy enthralls
it. It is the residence of quite a few persons of wealth, and I am
told that among its inhabitants are three millionaires, who by the way
prefer to live in Paris and in Lisbon rather than in the stagnant town
where they first saw the light of day. Cuyabá is very nearly in the
center of South America and it seems incredible that in this region so
little known, the surrounding country is so thickly populated and well
cultivated. It is said that three quarters of the entire population of
the tremendously large State of Matto Grosso inhabit a radius of fifty
miles from Cuyabá as the center. The Chapada Mountains to the east
rise to a height of 2733 feet. Cool breezes blow from the plateau of
which they form the western barriers, causing the temperature not to be
over-oppressive. There is but little malaria away from the river; the
diseases common to the country seem to be beri-beri and leprosy. Many
people afflicted with the last-named malady are found in all parts of
Matto Grosso, but not so much so in the cities as in the country. This
form of leprosy is not supposed to be contagious. Many of its victims
also have elephantiasis.

  [Illustration: Street Scene, Outskirts of Cuyabá]

I was told that the springs that form the source of the Paraguay River
were about four days' horseback ride distant, and as it has always been
my ambition to gaze upon them, I decided to visit them. I had already
seen the source of the Amazon, and considered that my travels in South
America would be far from complete if I failed to also see the place
whence the second greatest water system in that continent took its
source. I had seen ancient woodcuts of the source of the river, the one
which defined itself in my mind being from a drawing in the works of
Dr. Martius, 1832. It depicts a flat, grassy plain in which is a pool,
of irregular shape, about a stone's throw wide by the same dimension
long, encircled by sixty-three hiaty palms with slender trunks.
Martius' works are long out of print but a copy of his woodcut is
reproduced on page 60 of _Album Gráfico de la República del Paraguay_
by Arsenio Lopez Decoud, Buenos Aires, 1911. Many times during the
long winter nights in my Northern Michigan home I have sat in front of
the fireplace and gazed at this woodcut, always hoping that it would
be my fortune to gaze upon the original. I became obsessed with this
fixed idea in Buenos Aires, which was augmented in Asuncion, and it
was solely for this reason that I went first to Corumbá and thence to
Cuyabá, getting nearer and nearer the goal of my quest. In Cuyabá I
was told that the source lay not many kilometers from the main traveled
road from there to Diamantino, and was easily accessible. Little did I
think that in seeing it, the trip would be responsible for the loss of
a life.

The second day after my arrival in Cuyabá I met a German commercial
traveler named Huber who represented a Rosario importing house of
harvesting machinery. He was bound to Diamantino and having heard that
I had the same destination, suggested that we should make the trip
together as he had but little use for the natives, thinking that they
might murder and rob him en route. I agreed but said that in case he
accompanied me he would have to deviate from his route for a day to see
the source of the Paraguay. He said that it was a lot of nonsense and
that I could see these springs on my way back. I replied that I had no
object to go to Diamantino excepting to rest a day or so after having
seen the springs, and that having come so far to see them I would do
so anyhow, regardless of whether he would accompany me or not. Huber
became disgruntled and told me he would let me know that night whether
he would go to the unnecessary trouble to view this "dummheit" as he
called it. He spent most of the day interviewing the foreign element
of Cuyabá inquiring if anyone else in the place had the intention
of setting out for Diamantino within the next couple of days. His
inquiries evidently were met with negative answers for as I was about
to retire he came to my room and stated that he was ready to set out
with me the following morning.

Early in the morning we set out with two guides which we had engaged
through the medium of the Italian consular agent and followed a cart
road along the east bank of the Cuyabá River, which was becoming so
narrow that one could easily heave a good-sized stone across it. At
noon we stopped at a miserable leper-infested place named Guia, the
center of a stock country, and by nightfall reached the hamlet of
Brotas. Not wishing to share my bed with the vermin that infested the
_botequim_ which went by the name of hotel, I hung my hammock between
two trees in the rear of the establishment.

At the end of the second day we arrived at dusk at the large village
of Rosario da Cuyabá, finely situated on a height of land on the west
bank of the Cuyabá River which we forded below the town. This Rosario
is at the foot of some low mountains and is a pleasant place although
but a wreck of its former self. It was once quite a placer center, and
some diamonds were found here that are now among the crown jewels of
Austria. There is a fairly comfortable four-bedroom hotel where I spent
the night, but got but little sleep on account of the hooting of an
owl in a nearby bush. The hotel is owned by a Spaniard who has resided
for over thirty years in the country. In the meantime he took one trip
back to Spain but returned as he preferred Matto Grosso. Rosario is 998
feet above sea level, being 597 feet higher than Cuyabá. I think its
population is in excess of two thousand. There is a project on hand to
inaugurate an electric lighting plant and to build a charqueada.

From here to Diamantino it is a hard two days' ride if one wishes
to visit the source of the Paraguay owing to the detour of about six
hours. The road that wound up the low mountains named the Serra Azul
is no better than a cow path, and was extremely rocky and slippery. The
shrubbery is very thick and is covered with thorns, although there are
no large trees. Occasionally a clearing is met where languid natives
have attempted to grow enough legumes for their meager wants, together
with the omnipresent sugarcane patch which supplies them with enough
_cachaca_ for their frequent debauches. Their huts are painted pink
or white and can be seen from a great distance, at which point of
vantage they always appear at their best. At one of these fazendas, as
the farms are called, we stopped for the night. A small stream but a
couple of inches deep, filled with pebbles and where pools were formed
with watercress, trickled through the fazenda. It served the farmer
with his supply of drinking water, water for his stock, the washing
place of his clothes, as well as the washing place for the feet of his
numerous offspring. On each side of the rivulet were trees and from
them we slung our hammocks. One end of my hammock was tied to a tree
on the left bank, the other end to a tree on the right bank; if the
rope had broken or come loose, I would have dropped into the creek. The
hospitality of the inhabitants of the tropics of South America is in
marked contrast to the stinginess and mean actions of those people that
inhabit the Andean uplands. Nowhere in Paraguay or Brazil have I been
subjected to the discourtesy and suspicion that greet every traveler
in the mountains of Peru or Bolivia. This particular fazendado not
only insisted upon helping our guides cook the meals, but also added
canned goods which he had bought in Cuyabá, and refused to accept any
pecuniary remuneration therefor. The next morning he accompanied us for
a few miles on his pony and also went to much trouble to point out to
us where the best paths were.

From the top of the Serra Azul near where the fazenda was situated,
a broad valley was seen to open out at our feet. It was swampy, and
was carpeted with marsh grasses and rushes which were yellow. To the
northwest the sun reflected on a tortuous silver thread which was
the river. In several places the stream lost itself behind islets of
mangrove while in front of us it was barely perceptible on account of
the tules in the bog which screened it from view. Our guides pointed
out what seemed to be a group of palmettos several kilometers to
the east and informed us that there were the springs from which the
Paraguay had its source. Leaving the cart track we galloped over the
oozing sod of black muck at the risk of getting our horses stalled
in the mire. Great blue herons, startled at our approach, rose from
the tules, emitting shrill cries, and flew away to a place of safety,
the noise of their flapping wings sounding like that made by a person
beating a rug. Near the tops of some trees resembling water oaks
we observed some egrets, but unfortunately they were at too great a
distance to bring down with a revolver shot.

The appearance of the source of the Paraguay River was much different
in details from Dr. Martius' woodcut, yet in general aspects it had
quite a resemblance. The drawing that I saw was made nearly a century
ago, and during that lapse of time the features of the immediate
landscape may have changed. It may have been that the drawing in
Martius' work was made from memory, away from the spot, and that not
being present at the pool when the drawing was made, his memory was
not accurate. Some of the hiaty palms may in the meantime have died
and rotted. It was impossible for me to photograph it on account of
the noonday shadowless sun, but I made a rough pencil sketch of the
scenery.

Picture to yourself a great bog of yellow rushes waving in the
sweltering noonday heat with no trees in sight, excepting a nearly
perfect circle of eleven hiaty palms; inscribe in this circle a pool
of dark steel-blue transparent water. This pool is about 150 feet in
diameter, and on its surface float several gigantic pan-like leaves
of Victoria Regia. From where I stood I saw that the pool abounded
with small fishes. Looking into the water, I saw several feet beneath
the surface something that appeared to be a rocky ledge. At its side
and beneath it from which bubbles constantly rose was a black hole of
Stygian darkness. This I conjectured was the main spring. On a branch
of one of the palm trees perched an owl, the only living thing in
sight excepting ourselves and our horses. I was seized with a desire
to take a plunge and a swim in this pond, the zenith of my quest and
the goal of many years' thoughts. Yet I had the feeling that this
harmless-looking water might conceal some reptile, an alligator or
giant turtle, so I quickly gave up the idea, but lying on my belly I
gulped down several large swallows of the water, which sad to relate
was not as cool as I had imagined it to be and also had a rank taste as
of decaying vegetable matter.

The water flowing from the pool does not take any definite bed, but at
first spreads out over quite an area, a few inches deep, between the
thousands of marshy islets, mere detached tufts of sod but a few feet
wide. A quarter of a mile below the pool the numerous channels unite
into two watercourses, which at a short distance farther converge into
a single creek. This creek is but a few feet wide, and is clear and
clean, a remarkable phenomenon on account of the muddy swamp which it
traverses.

Leaving the pool we made for the northern horizon defined by a height
of land resembling low hills, but had some difficulty on account of
the horses continually stumbling and tripping themselves on the roots
of a species of creeper that had white blossoms and which covered the
landscape at the edge of the marsh. After an hour's ride we reached the
hills and came upon a distinct cattle path which wound through a jungle
and finally brought us out on a cart road.

  [Illustration: Source of the Paraguay River]

At the pool Huber never dismounted from his pony, but sat leaning over
in his saddle resting his head on his hand. I asked him why he did
not get down but beyond muttering a few words about "such nonsense" he
neither said nor did anything. Several times on the ride from the pool
to the hills he complained of having a headache, and although I gave
him a couple of acetphenetidin tablets they did him no good. He became
feverish and said he felt as if he were burning up. He gradually became
worse, and his pupils narrowed down to the size of a pin head while
his eyes began to shine like coals. It was with difficulty that he kept
his saddle, and the last few miles into Diamantino he had to be propped
into position by his guide.

Diamantino, whose name should not be confused with the flourishing
mining-center of Diamantina in the state of Minas Geraes, is a town
of about three thousand inhabitants built on the side of a red earth
hill but a short distance to the north of the Paraguay River, here
a few rods wide. From a distance it resembles Tallahassee on account
of the red color of the soil, and the similarity of their respective
townsites. It is one of the oldest towns in central Brazil. Formerly it
was important in the mining annals of the country on account of gold
and diamonds having been discovered in its vicinity, but mining has
long since played out, and it is only important commercially at the
present time through the exportation of vanilla beans. It is also the
starting place for laborers to the rubber district in the forests of
the north and northwest. Diamantino is at the base of the great central
plateau of Brazil, which extends eastward into Goyaz, its limits being
defined by the Serra Azul. The latter is the watershed between the
Amazon and the La Plata river systems. Beyond these mountains is a vast
impenetrable forest inhabited by Indians. The proximity is evident
by the great number of members of this race, which I believe exceeds
the white population of the village. But a day's journey northward,
I understand, is the town of Porto Velho on the Arinos River which
farther on becomes the Tapajos, the latter being the boundary line of
the extensive States of Amazonas and Para; the Tapajos finally flows
into the Amazon at Santarem.

Diamantino is one of the most funereal towns imaginable. Its houses
are neatly whitewashed, but the absence of panes in the windows gives
the impression of tombs. The doors are like black holes in a vault.
The streets are wide and are grown to grass on which horses graze; the
lawns of the better-class houses are set back in rank gardens enclosed
by walls which have pillars at the gates. The whole impression is that
of a country cemetery.

The three inns of the place, if such they can be called, run more to
botequim (barroom) than to looking after the culinary welfare and
lodging of their guests. A rubber train had just entered the town;
the laborers had just been paid off and were now riotously and in good
humor making the streets and botequims resound with their merriment.
They were fast filling up on _piraty cachaca_, a fiery rumlike liquid
made from sugar cane. A glass of this beverage will make an ordinary
man "fall under the table" and it is so cheap that it is within the
reach of all. On it a man can get one of the cheapest jags known,
and like a few other intoxicants it goes down like oil. Only the
peasants indulge in it, although it can be obtained in the better-class
botequims of Rio de Janeiro. If a well-dressed stranger should stroll
into a café in Rio and ask for some of it, the waiter would be apt to
look at him in astonishment, wondering what sort of a common fellow he
was and how he got his fine clothes, for it is the drink of the lower
stratum of society. It is kept on the boats of the Brazilian Lloyd; at
Montevideo Brazilian roustabouts swim out to them, buy the beverage,
and in a drunken stupor have to be rowed ashore.

At the mediocre and filthy inn which was the best of the three at
Diamantino, where I obtained a lodging no better than a hen coop,
I tried to get the best room in the place for Huber who was now so
sick that he could not stand. The landlord gruffly remarked that his
place was no hospital, and would not take him in. Watching over him,
I sent the guides to the other two places but they likewise refused to
shelter him. Somebody suggested that the priest might find a habitation
for him, and upon my instructions set out to find that worthy, who
presently arrived in a semi-state of inebriation. The holy man, with
filthy robes and an unshaven countenance, scrutinized Huber minutely
through his bleary eyes, and in a sottish voice said he could be taken
to the end house in the village where upon his recommendation and
for about thirty thousand reis ($7.50) he would receive "everything
that was to be desired." The price was terribly exorbitant, but
owing to the condition the commercial traveler was in, there was no
time to argue, so we set off to the place indicated, the two guides
carrying him, while the drunken priest, myself, and what seemed to
be half of the male population of Diamantino followed. An old woman,
toothless and humped, with the eternal black cigar between her lips,
discolored with nicotine, came to an aperture which served as the door
and gesticulating frantically refused admission. The priest called
her aside, and said something to her which we could not hear, but it
evidently appeased her for she came back saying that it would be all
right for him to stay there provided she was paid in advance. I was on
the point of accepting the offer when a tall, handsome man in uniform
appeared, and asked what the rumpus was about. A hundred voices tried
to answer at the same time. He motioned them to be silent, and heard
me out. No sooner had I stopped speaking than the crowd again began to
speak. He ordered them to stop, and addressing me said that he was the
chief of police as well as the mayor of the town, and that his house
was at our disposal gratis. I accepted his kind offer, much to the
dismay of the priest and toothless hag who were now begging me to let
Huber stay with them.

The two guides, who had laid the German down with a coat under his head
as a pillow in the shade of a wall, picked him up and we set out toward
the mayor's residence, but a short distance away. The crowd started to
follow, but the mayor with some harsh oaths ordered them away. They
all dispersed excepting a curious few who eyed us from a distance.
The mayor's house was a long one-story building facing a common grown
to grass and milkweed. It had in front a wide tile-paved veranda
whose heavy roof was supported by square pillars. On this veranda
were benches where the family sat evenings, and where the functionary
entertained his guests. The room in which he ordered Huber placed was
tile paved, high, and cool, with two windows, one of them at the side
nearly covered with vines. In it was an iron bedstead, a couple of
chairs, a table, and a wash basin. All the front windows of the house
had vertical iron bars. The mayor, a perfect gentleman, sent a boy whom
I imagined to be his son for a doctor while he invited me to be seated
on a bench and chat with him till the medico arrived. He was particular
to inquire when and how Huber had been taken sick, as he said he did
not care to have anybody in his place who had a contagious disease.

The doctor was slow in coming, so slow that in the meantime Huber had
become delirious. He took his temperature, looked grave, and sent a
halfbreed servant away to soak some towels and rags in cold water,
which when she returned he ordered her to place on Huber's head and
change every few minutes for fresh ones. There is no ice in Diamantino,
and the _olla_ from which the water had been poured had been standing
all the afternoon in the sun, consequently it was not cool enough to
suit the physician. He gave instructions for more ollas to be filled,
and as night had come on, to be left on the porch in front of the room
in which the patient lay.

When the doctor came out, he sat on the bench between the mayor and me,
and informed us that Huber had a sunstroke, and that it was doubtful
if he would live. "Anyhow," he said, "if he recovers, he will have to
remain here for weeks before he is well. He shouldn't have come here in
the first place. My opinion is that he won't survive twenty-four hours
longer." I returned to the botequim where I lodged for dinner, although
the mayor was insistent that I should dine with him. I excused myself;
saying that I had things to attend to and that I would return later on
to see how Huber was getting on. "He will get on all right if human
agencies can help, but in this case they are of little avail. I have
seen such cases before," were his parting words to me, as I turned up
the moonlit street towards the middle of the town from which shouts and
ribald laughter emanating from the drunken rubber men were audible in
the otherwise sleepy town.

At the botequim where I roomed there was an orgy going on. Most of the
rubber men were soused and our two guides were rapidly filling up.
Rum, gin, and brandy were spilled all over the room, on the tables,
on the chairs, and on the floor. A couple of bums lay in a corner of
the room and one on a soap box, his feet dangling over it into space.
The brutal-appearing ruffian who was the landlord was his own best
customer yet he was intent enough on business to charge two prices, one
to the badly drunk individuals, and a cheaper one to those in a lesser
maudlin state. I was hungry but as it was impossible to eat in this
barroom, in which on other occasions meals were served, I repaired to
the shed which served as a kitchen and asked if anything to eat could
be had. Two slatternly halfbreed female servants informed me that in
a few minutes dinner would be served. I waited for over half an hour
and was so impatient with hunger that I was at my wits' end, when the
youngest of the two approached me and whispered that the proprietor
had the keys to the storeroom in his pocket and that he would beat her
if she disturbed him. Disgusted I set out to buy some canned goods to
sup on at one of the stores which combine the selling of groceries with
that of light hardware and dry goods, when I felt a pull at my sleeve
and looking around saw the same halfbreed standing there as if she had
something to tell me.

"I hope the _senhor_ does not want me to sleep with him to-night," she
whispered to my great astonishment; "Manoel is here from the rubber
country, and if he finds it out he will kill me. Manoel is my fellow
and he is crazy jealous over me."

This was the first time that I was apprised of the fact that the custom
of Bohemia was likewise prevalent in Matto Grosso.

For an exorbitant price, I bought two cans of salmon which I washed
down with a bottle of warm beer. I had been counting for the past
three days on a square meal at Diamantino. I returned to the mayor's
house and found that Huber had steadily become worse, and at times was
so violent that he had to be held down on the bed. Late that night he
took a turn to the better, so the doctor said, which lasted about seven
hours. About five o'clock in the morning he steadily grew worse and at
eight-thirty died in the presence of the mayor, his family, the doctor,
the priest, one of the guides, and myself. He had only been sick twenty
hours. Although the mayor had said he had seen cases of sunstroke
before, I had never seen one in the tropics. Moreover as sunstroke is
most frequent in the first hours after sunrise and in those preceding
sundown, it must have been that he was exposed in the morning of the
day before, even before we reached the pool, for it was then that the
hot rays shone on his head.

  [Illustration: House in Diamantino where Huber Died]

At about eleven o'clock in the morning of the day on which he died,
Huber's lich was interred in the gruesome cemetery of plain black
crosses on the hillside, a mile beyond the town, I officiating by
throwing the last few shovelfuls of dirt on his eternal resting place.
The town authorities took charge of his possessions and notified his
employers who knew the address of his relations in Stettin. The mayor
would accept no pay, but expressed the desire that he would like
Huber's revolver, belt, and cartridges. I could not very well refuse
seeing that he and the officials already had possession of all the
deceased man's articles; I would not have refused anyway on account
of the courtesy he showed. I paid the doctor and the priest, but I
also have no doubt that they got their share for their services from
the money that Huber had in a wallet as well. I stayed that night at
the mayor's house, but the morbidity of the affair depressed me so
much that I left Diamantino early the following morning for my return
trip, being accompanied by Huber's guide as well as my own to Cuyabá.
I saved a day by traveling the regular track and leaving the source of
the Paraguay River a six hours' ride to the east. I stopped a day at
Cuyabá, another one at Corumbá, and three weeks later left Asuncion.

Four passenger steamers of the Mihanovich line now ply weekly between
Asuncion and Buenos Aires. They are the _Bruselas_, the _Berna_, and
the two smaller ships, the _Lambary_ and the _Guarany_. The downstream
trip takes over three days. I left Asuncion a Sunday morning on the
_Bruselas_. The scenery is intensely tropical, but after the first few
miles flat. On the left bank soon after leaving Asuncion are passed the
tumulus of Tucumbú and the conical-shaped hill, Lambary, the latter
a landmark. Soon on the right we reached the Argentine frontier post
of Pilcomayo, on the long and narrow river of that name. It rises
in the high and bleak plateau of Bolivia and flows through the Gran
Chaco, where for a long space it loses itself in the marshes only to
reappear broader, lower down. From now on we have Paraguay on the left
and the Argentine territory of Formosa on the right. The only stops of
any importance the first day are Villeta, Formosa, Villa Oliva, Villa
del Pilar, and Humaita. All are Paraguayan, except Formosa which is
the capital of the Argentine territory of the same name. At Villeta,
small boats laden with cigars, plants, and fruits are rowed out to the
steamers, and the leprous hags to whom these mixed cargoes belong drive
bargains with the sailors, who are crazy to buy pineapples. Before
reaching Villa Oliva, a palmetto swamp is passed on the Paraguayan side
which stretches backward as far as the eye can see. Villa del Pilar
is the most important Paraguayan town stopped at. A railroad track on
which are flat cars drawn by horses leads from the town to the dock;
these cars are usually laden with tobacco leaf to be exported to Buenos
Aires. A crowd was at the dock and it much resembled the crowds seen on
the docks of the Great Lakes ports, with the exception that among its
members were sportily attired youths with high collars, roaring ties,
Panama hats, and patent-leather shoes. It was ludicrous to see such
people in such out-of-the-way places.

On the second day out, the broad Paraná River is entered; the water
unlike the blue Paraguay is muddy, and it is so wide that it is much
like an inland sea. Numerous islands are passed. The shores on the
Correntine side are high and there is no luxuriance of vegetation
like in Paraguay, which republic was left behind when the Paraná was
entered. The aspect is drier and the vast plains extend back to the
eastern horizon. The Chaco and Santa Fé side is a vast wilderness
of cane and brush. The city of Corrientes, famous for internecine
strife, and the birthplace of Sergeant Cabral, a hero of the War of the
Liberation, was reached in the early hours of the morning of the second
day. The rocks in the quiet water of the roadstead, overhung with trees
above which appeared church steeples and the domes of the government
buildings, made a fine picture. Soon after leaving Corrientes the boat
anchored at Barranqueras, the port for Resistencia, capital of the
territory of Chaco, and at nightfall in a pouring rain it anchored
again off Puerto Goya, from which a railroad runs to Goya and to San
Diego. On the third day the boat stopped in the morning at the ancient
capital of Argentina, Paraná, built high on the left bank of the river,
and at night at Rosario. Buenos Aires was reached on the morning of the
fourth day.

Another line of steamships plies also between Asuncion and Buenos
Aires, that named the Empresa Domingo Barthe, but the Mihanovich Line
is the best. Domingo Barthe, the controller of the rival line, is a
French adventurer who made a fortune in Argentina and in Paraguay. He
acquired a large _yerba maté_ concession from the Paraguayan government
which has made him rich. The trademark of the tea from his _yerbales_
bears the name Asuncion. Another large firm competed with him, putting
out yerba maté with a different trademark. Barthe then had some of his
tea put up in similar packages to theirs, and stealing their trademark
had it sold widely in Argentina under their name. The rival company
brought suit against Barthe which went against him. A heavy fine was
imposed upon him with the alternative of a year in jail. Barthe neither
paid the fine nor went to jail. He has simply kept out of Argentina.
Nevertheless Barthe is a man who has done a lot for Argentina, and the
court may have in view of this fact been too stiff with him; anyhow
that is what the public thinks. Not only has Barthe been the means of
facilitating transportation between these two countries but he has
opened much of the waste lands of the territory of Misiones and put
them under production, besides being in a large way responsible for the
growth of Posadas, his home town.

It is pleasant to make the return trip to Buenos Aires from Asuncion
by water after having seen the fields of Entre Rios and Corrientes
from the car window. The study of faces, the stops at the small towns,
the unloading and loading of cargo make the river trip extremely
interesting. The cargo of the passenger boats is worth inspection but
the odor of the poultry and of the parrot cages is nauseating. The main
deck becomes a storage room for sacks of yerba maté, the vile tea that
the Argentine natives are crazy about. Much of this on passenger boats
goes to Goya for consumption by the poor _chinos_, as the civilized
Indians and halfbreeds of the Correntine hinterland as well as in the
rest of the republic are called. The freight boats handle the Buenos
Aires and Rosario supply. Besides the maté there are numerous pails,
tin cans, and molasses tins filled with plants from Matto Grosso
and the Paraguayan Chaco, mild-eyed deer for the museum at La Plata,
mangy sarias, martinets in cages, a bedlam of parrots, and bottles of
home-made _cana_, which gives the imbibers murderous intentions.

I sat between two Spaniards at the dining room table. One had become
involved in a domestic scandal, the day before we left Asuncion, and
the wronged husband was looking for him with a gun, besides having
invoked the aid of the police to find him. The foxy Spaniard, a
middle-aged aristocrat, escaped across the river to Pilcomayo at
night, and as there is no extradition treaty with Argentina, he was
safe. He boarded the _Bruselas_ at that stop. Both the Spaniards fell
to discussing the charms of the various lady passengers and would
occasionally ask me my opinion. I could not agree with them as they
would pick out some fat type of woman and exclaim: "Que linda mujer"
("Oh, what a beautiful woman!"). I was fascinated by the looks of the
recently married Brazilian woman who with her groom sat across the
table from us. She was of that dark type of beauty so common in Matto
Grosso where one meets women of dark complexion, black gorse-like hair,
black flashing eyes, with strong virile mouths and chins.

In South America it is not considered a breach of table etiquette to
be continually picking one's teeth and no sooner did the meals on the
_Bruselas_ begin than the snapping of wooden toothpicks rent the air.
Some of the guests were ambidextrous as to the use of forks and knives,
the latter especially; they would shovel so much food into their mouths
that they could not contain it all, and consequently goulash would
drop from their mouths onto the tablecloth. One young barbarian, when
passed the menu, kept it, and instead of passing it on, amused himself
by reading the advertisements on the reverse. He had never seen one
before.



CHAPTER IX

SANTIAGO


It is not the intention of the writer in these pages to go into
a detailed and minute historical, geographical, and statistical
description of Chile. This will appear in a later work. Therefore
here will be taken up only those statistics, political conditions, and
geography that the reader should digest in following me on my trips.

The Republic of Chile, whose total length of 2660 miles is included
between latitudes 18° and 56° south, averages in width but 150 miles
which is the territory embraced between the summits of the Andes on the
east and the Pacific Ocean on the west. It is divided into twenty-four
provinces and one territory. Each of these provinces is in turn divided
into departments. Each of the provinces has its own governor and each
has its own representation in the national government at Santiago.
Of the twenty-four provinces, fifteen are latitudinal, stretching
the whole width of the country. From north to south these are Tacna,
Tarapacá, Antofagasta, Atacama, Coquimbo, Choapa, Aconcagua, Santiago,
Colchagua, Curico, Talca, Concepcion, Cautin, Valdivia, and Llanquihue.
Four provinces are maritime, Valparaiso, Maule, Arauco, and Chiloé;
their eastern limits are defined by the summits of the Coast Range and
do not extend to the central valley. Chiloé is an archipelago. In the
littoral provinces the climate is cooler than in others whose latitude
is farther south owing to the breezes that blow from the Pacific. Four
provinces are Andean, O'Higgins, Linares, Ñuble, and Bio-Bio. These
extend from the Argentine frontier westward to the central valley but
in no part do they ever reach the coast. There is only one interior
province, Malleco; it is absolutely surrounded by other provinces, and
neither extends to the ocean on the west nor to the mountain peaks on
the east.

  [Illustration: Diagram Showing Idea of Central Valley of Chile in
   Relationship to the Andes Mountains and the Coast Range, with Course of
   Streams]

From Santiago southward 350 miles to the Bio-Bio River there is what
is known as the central valley; here in the cities, villages, and
country between the Andes and the Coast Range live two thirds of the
entire population of the republic. Although this central valley is
but one long valley and traversing it longitudinally from Santiago
to the Bio-Bio there is no marked difference in elevation, yet it is
not the valley of one single river, nor do any rivers run through it
lengthwise as do the San Joaquin and the Sacramento in California. This
valley is formed by the valleys of countless small rivers which cross
it and widening out midway between their sources and their mouths form
one large valley which has an average width of about sixty miles. The
geological theory is that in the pre-glacial period the small rivers
like to-day rushed headlong from the Andes into the ocean. The Coast
Range sprang up, but the rivers worked faster than the mountains grew,
so that their courses were not altered, and the Coast Range instead of
being one continuous range of mountains, even though it is a mountain
chain, became bunches of land islets, separated from one another by
streams.

Of the thirteen largest cities of Chile, only four are found in this
valley, Santiago, the metropolis, Talca, the sixth city in population,
Chillán, the seventh, and Curico, the twelfth. This signifies nothing
for although less than one third of the large towns are situated
here, yet the valley teems with towns that have between 1500 and
4000 inhabitants. The central valley is of remarkable fertility, but
although the soil is highly productive, irrigation is resorted to for
it seldom rains during the summer months. In the winter there is plenty
of rainfall. Owing to the great number of streams, most of which,
however, are unnavigable and all of which rise in the Andes, there
is plenty of water for irrigation. In their course to the ocean they
bring much silt which gives them a muddy color. In contrast to them
are the clear streams of transparent water which feed them. The latter
are mostly from springs in the foothills, and not having to cut their
way for any great distance carry no silt. The products of the central
valley are wine, fruits, cereals, and stock. A Californian whom I met
in Santiago said to me: "This central valley of Chile reminds me of
California, but it is more productive, and in a much more advanced
state of cultivation."

Southern Chile, as that part of the republic south of the Bio-Bio is
termed, is a rolling and mountainous land, originally forested and
still so in some sections. The altitude of perpetual snow is lower
here than farther north, and some of the mountain scenery excels that
of Switzerland. It has an abundance of rainfall not restricted to
seasons so irrigation is unnecessary. The country is largely devoted to
the growing of cereals, especially barley, and to dairy farming. The
climate, never too warm in summer, is in winter that of the Central
States of the Union. No tropical fruits and plants grow there, but
many apples are grown. The farmers are mostly Germans who have lived
there for three generations and have still retained the customs of the
fatherland.

  [Illustration: Scenery, Central Valley of Chile]

Of northern Chile, nothing much needs to be said. From La Serena
northward it is one large sterile tract of land, with the exception
of a few river valleys where there is verdure and vegetation, such as
at Tacna, Copiapó, and Vallenar. It is one large desert and ranges of
barren mountains rising to a great height, and on whose lower slopes
on plateaus is found most of the world's nitrate of sodium supply. In
the higher altitudes are borax fields and great mineral deposits of
copper, silver, and gold. The coast is absolutely rainless and water is
unobtainable by wells. It seldom rains even in the interior. The small
rivers formed by the melting of the snow on high mountain peaks lose
themselves in the sands and seldom reach the ocean. Near their upper
reaches water is piped from them to the coast towns, which are at a
great distance. It is thus that Iquique, Tocopilla, and the thriving
port of Antofagasta get their water supply.

  [Illustration: Village Scene, Central Chile.]

The area of Chile is 289,829 square miles, about the size of the
States of Texas and Arkansas combined, but the opposite to them in
geographical contour. The population December 31, 1915, was 3,641,477
or 12.57 inhabitants to the square mile.

Each locality in Chile is famous for some special natural production
or manufacture. Bywords denote the superiority of one article over
others of a like species such as: Black pottery from Chillán, reed
baskets from Linares, beer from Valdivia, marble from Valparaiso, cider
and butter from Osorno, figs from Huasco, and frutillas from Puerto
Varas. (Frutilla is the name given to a diminutive and highly flavored
strawberry that grows both wild and in the domestic state.)

Chile has a system of longitudinal railways, nearly completed, which
are of the greatest military value. Nearly two thousand miles from
Puerto Montt in the south to Tacna in the north, with the exception
of a short stretch between Pisagua and Arica, are open to traffic,
and at no place do they touch the sea excepting at Coquimbo and their
terminals. In quick time troops and ammunition can be moved to any
part of the republic. There are many spurs and branch lines that run
to the coast, to the mining centers, and to the numerous inland towns.
Most of the railroads are broad gauge; some are both broad and narrow;
others are narrow, while in the central valley there are a few light
railways, for example the one between Linares and Panimávida, and
the coöperative railway in the Province of Ñuble. There is a heavy
traffic both in freight and in passengers, but sad to relate, most of
the railways owned by the government, which constitute the majority,
are run at a loss. This is caused in a great measure by the large
personnel employed, most of whom are the henchmen of the politicians
in power in Santiago. To overcome the monetary loss, one half of
the regular number of trains have been taken off from the service
schedule so that at the time of this writing one cannot enjoy a ride
from Santiago to Concepcion on an express train or in a Pullman car as
previously. The only express trains are those that run between Santiago
and Valparaiso and vice versa. Even though but one half of the trains
are still in operation, the State lines are still showing a deficit,
and there is talk of leasing them to private corporations. The cars
are mostly of American manufacture although some of the sleeping cars
are English. The locomotives, formerly German, are now for the most
part manufactured in Valparaiso. The narrow gauge lines in the north,
which are in the nitrate regions, all pay for they are of private
ownership and there is no chance of giving unnecessary employment. The
Transandine Railroad, narrow gauge, which formerly had trains running
thrice a week from Los Andes to Mendoza, Argentina, now has through
trains only once a week, and the trip is made in the daytime on account
of dangerous curves.

  [Illustration: The Valdivia Breweries Company, Valdivia

   Formerly the Anwandter Brewery]

There is but little manufacturing in Chile, most of it being
centralized in Valparaiso. The great drawback is on account of the lack
of iron; some of this mineral has been discovered in the Province of
Coquimbo, and I understand that the property known as La Higuera is on
a paying basis. There is plenty of coal, the mines at Lota being the
largest, but it is of an inferior quality. Outside of Valparaiso, the
only manufactures of importance are those of beer and flour. In this
respect the manufacturing conditions are similar to those of Argentina.
Nearly every small town in the grain belt, the country lying south of
the Bio-Bio, has its flour mills; as the brewing business is in the
hands of a trust, there is but a small opportunity in this field unless
one starts with considerable capital. The beer trust, capitalized at
18,000,000 pesos ($3,070,800) paid in, includes all the large breweries
in Chile excepting two firms, that of Aubel in Osorno which is
flourishing as an independent brewery and that of Keller which has two
breweries, one in Concepcion and the other in Talca. Those belonging
to the trust are the United Breweries Company in Limache-Cousiño, the
Valdivia Breweries Company in Valdivia, the Andres Ebner Brewery in
Santiago, the Calera Brewery in Calera, and the Floto Brewery in La
Serena, the last named being a small one. Scattered through Chile are
a good number of independent breweries all run on a small scale and
catering only to local trade such as Horstmann's Brewery in Santiago, a
brewery in San Felipe, one in Chillán, one in La Union, one in Puerto
Montt, and two in Punta Arenas. Since the Anwandter firm in Valdivia
sold out to the trust their successors brew a much better beer than
previously was brewed there, but I am sorry to say that the product of
one of the trust breweries, that of Calera, is vileness incarnate. Beer
is cheap in Chile, three cents buying a schuper, but it likewise is
apt to go to the head and make the imbiber see double lamp-posts. The
German residents claim that it is mild, yet I have seen many of them
unable to pace a crack in the floor after imbibing a few libations of
it. The saloons in Santiago do a big business but they have to pay a
high rent which cuts into their profits.

Regarding the inhabitants, the Chileno is called the Yankee of South
America. He is not afraid of work, consequently steamship companies
like to employ him, because for less pay he will do more work than
any person of any nationality will do, including North Americans. He
is the only native south of Texas who if hit will come back at his
aggressor. In behavior he is apt to be rough and coarse (this does not
apply to the aristocracy), but rarely is he uncivil. Many Chilenos ape
the tonsorial adornment of a man who died in the year 33 A.D., but I do
not believe their actions jibe with his if what we read in history is
true. The women are beautiful; they have no comparison anywhere else in
the whole world. They have dark complexions, are finely featured, and
are voluptuous. A poor figure is unknown among them. If a man prefers
a different type than the average he can go to southern Chile and have
the choice of a dark red-cheeked Araucanian maiden or a native girl
of German extraction, whose eyes are like the still deep water of a
pool, and whose cheeks have that rosy tinge of a ripening apple. In
the railway eating-house in Rancagua, I met a man from Thomasville,
Georgia, who said that on account of the looks of the Chilean women, he
would lose his religion if he remained much longer in the country. I do
not know what his religion was, but their beauty is enough to affect a
man's head.

One of the Chilean institutions that bears comment is that of the table
waiters in the hotels and restaurants. It needs serious improvement.
The waiters are a white-aproned, moustached, whiskered set who go
after and bring back food on the run. They never walk and vie with
one another to make the most noise and bring their feet down heaviest
after taking orders. The waiter takes your order on the run, slams the
food in front of you on the run, takes your money on the run, accepts
his tip and thanks you on the run. In Europe and in the United States,
these actions would not be tolerated in a first-class café. In Chile,
however, these are the instructions given to the waiters when they seek
employment.

In the larger towns, especially in Santiago and in Valparaiso, there
is a great illegitimacy of births among the lower classes. This is
due to the inconstant actions of the men. For instance a poor laborer
will marry a girl and live with her several years, during which time
she will become the mother of several children. The husband in the
meantime finding that the support of a family leaves him with no
pocket money to indulge in his periodical debauches, all of a sudden,
without saying anything to his wife, deserts her and strikes out for
the country where he obtains employment. He rarely comes back. The
poor wife, left destitute with several offspring, has a hard time
making a living. Other young women, cognizant of the fickle actions of
the men, prefer living with them outside of wedlock, for if the man
deserts her a woman still has a chance of getting married, while if
she was once married, it would be impossible for her to marry again,
because there is no divorce law in Chile. I have known of people in
Chile who desired a divorce being obliged to go to Uruguay to live as
I understand that is the only republic in South America where divorces
are granted. As to morals I imagine Chile is no worse off than any
other country, excepting among the lower element. Speaking of them to a
friend of mine, one of the most prominent men in Valparaiso and a high
official of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company, he said: "Among the
lower class there is but little distinction between the women who are
virtuous and those who are not. The former are always on the _qui vive_
to increase their income providing they do not get caught at it."

Among this stratum the Fiesta of the Angelito (Feast of the Little
Angel) plays an important rôle. They maintain that if a child dies it
becomes a little angel, and many of the poor to whom the expense of
rearing a superfluous child is a burden welcome its decease although
they do much wailing at the funeral. They welcome it for they have a
chance to make some money and also indulge in an alcoholic debauch.
When the child dies the parents invite all their friends to their
home. Great quantities of cheap wine are ordered and consumed. Each
friend gives as much money as he can afford toward the burial expenses
and towards the purchase of the liquid refreshments. A drunken orgy
lasting all night takes place. After it is over and the body is buried,
the parents have money left over. Owing to the high mortality among
infants, on account of neglect, malnutrition, and ever present typhoid
fever, these Fiestas of the Angelito are of frequent occurrence in
every neighborhood.

Chile is the only country in South America which has strict prohibition
laws. There are quite a few localities that are "dry." Saloons are
closed all day Sundays; bars also close early at night. The penalties
for breaking these laws are heavy, yet in no other country in South
America, with the exception of Peru, is there as much drunkenness as
in Chile, and all these other countries have no prohibition laws, and
their towns are wide open.

The reception given at Santiago to the occupants of the private train
from Buenos Aires bearing the special ambassadors and their staff to
the installation of Chile's president was tremendous. As the train
rolled into the great and high vaulted Mapocho station amid the
fanfare and beating of drums, martial music broke out and rent the
air with the national march. Great sturdy, powerfully built blonde
officers, helmeted, in their full dress uniforms, exact replicas of
the German army of a decade ago, grouped themselves on the platform
to greet the guests. Their subordinates stood at attention until the
last of the officers who had boarded the train at Los Andes left
the train. In the background stood symmetrical rows of policemen
parting a human aisle down which we passed to the vigorous blasts
of a band. Thousands of people cried "Hurrah" which was echoed and
reëchoed through the lofty waiting room of the great building. At the
windows and on the street behind the iron grating of the train shed
were squeezed myriads of faces endeavoring to catch a view of the
impressive spectacle. At the curb outside the station doors, to where
the guests had already advanced, stood dignified statesmen in Prince
Alberts awaiting the arrival of the automobiles from the Ministries
of Brazil and of Argentina which were to drive the envoys of those
two respective countries away. Soon several limousines arrived, their
chauffeurs decorated with large rosettes of green and yellow, and blue
and white, the symbolical colors of those two large South American
republics. There was no car whose driver was adorned with red, the
color of Portugal, for that last-named country has no minister to Chile
solely (their representative to Buenos Aires looks after the affairs
of Portuguese in Chile), so little Botelho was obliged to take a
non-decorated automobile which drove him and de Lima to the Hotel Oddo,
to which place Mr. Alexander and myself also went.

The military pageant which continued throughout the ensuing week
was most impressive. The Chilean army, trained by German officers,
and their navy by British officers, are always prepared and on the
alert for any infringements on their national rights. Chile is the
strongest fighting power in South America, and has the best military
organization. Its men are born fighters who have the advantage of
superior training. The whole personnel and equipment of their army can
undoubtedly put in the background any country in the world which has a
population double that of Chile. The Brazilian and Argentine officers
and soldiers taken as a whole show up mighty poorly compared to those
of Chile. Here we have a reproduction of the German army on a small
scale. The uniforms are similar to those that Germany had before the
latter country adapted the gray color. It is interesting to note that
von der Goltz, who reorganized the Turkish army at the time of the
Balkan War, had been once loaned by Germany to Chile to bring its army
to a state of efficiency.

  [Illustration: Santa Lucia Hill, Santiago

   This is a veritable land mountain. It rises abruptly about 200 feet
   from the floor of the Mapocho Valley, the latter being as flat as a
   table top. Its area in size of a few city blocks has been transformed
   into a park. From the summit the vista is superb.]

The city of Santiago is compactly and massively built within the
small area which constitutes that part of terrain included within
the city limits. The streets are invariably straight, forming square
and rectangular blocks of houses whose average height of two stories
forms an even sky line. Although there are several different styles
of architecture prevailing in the residences, the old Spanish type
predominating, yet there is a great and unmistakable similarity as
to the appearance of the streets. The business section is a direct
contradiction to the residential part in so far that it is modern and
is becoming more so. Here the buildings are three and four stories in
height and a look down either of the streets that are named Ahumada and
Estado leaves an impression of Vienna although it is a concrete instead
of a stone one. In several other parts of the city this similarity
is present for the long fronts of divers beneficial societies and the
towers of churches and convents present a scene very much like that of
the Austrian capital.

The population of Santiago is slightly over four hundred thousand.
The growth of the city as well as of the other towns of the central
valley is imperceptible. It has been this way for ages. There is little
immigration to Chile, and that which does come in, goes either to the
northern or southern provinces of the republic where labor conditions
are better. With the exception of the business section, Santiago is
an extremely reserved, conservative, and quiet old place. It can also
be called serious. After nine o'clock at night, even on the Ahumada,
all is quiet, a pleasant contrast to the din and racket of Buenos
Aires, which murders the darkness, making sleep impossible. There is
but little gayety about the Chilean metropolis; the aristocracy of
the city, which can boast of the purest white blood of any American
capital, form a society into which a foreigner, no matter how prominent
his antecedents are, is seldom admitted. This dignified aristocracy
constitute the brains of the country and control the politics.
Prominent in the affairs of state, finance, and daily doings are the
names Vergara, Edwards, Sanfuentes, Subercaseaux, Sotomayor, Balmaceda,
Montt, Tocornal, and Luco. Their mansions, the pride of Chile, are not
located on show places like the Alameda or in what we would call the
fashionable suburbs, but are situated on those downtown streets which
fringe the business section. Their stateliness seems to exhale an air
of their own. Excepting Buenos Aires no South American city has as fine
a collection of private residences.

  [Illustration: General View of Santiago from Santa Lucia Hill]

  [Illustration: Alameda, Santiago]

  [Illustration: Calle Huerfanos, Santiago

   This is one of the principal side streets of the Chilean metropolis. It
   crosses the two main streets, Ahumada and Estado, and after these two
   is the principal retail street of the city]

The Avenida de las Delicias, called the Alameda, runs east and west,
and divides Santiago into two nearly equal parts. The quarter of the
city lying north of it is the mercantile part, while that south of it
is the residential district. This broad avenue, which inside the city
limits is two miles long, is in some places at least one hundred yards
wide. Its center is a broad unpaved parkway, bordered by ancient trees;
its hard dirt walks constitute the rambla of the inhabitants evenings.
At short intervals are statues, some of them being very fine. Vendors
of cigars, cakes, soft drinks, and magazines have established booths
here, and it is a very common sight to see men freezing ice cream under
the trees. The benches are of concrete and are plastered over; when a
person with a dark suit sits on one of them he generally departs with a
white daub on the seat of his trousers. Along both sides of the parkway
are wide carriage roads, the paving of which is full of holes and ruts,
making driving uncomfortable. On the whole the Alameda falls short of
what can be called beautiful for although it is flanked by some very
handsome residences yet between them are sandwiched many second-class
shops. This avenue is essential for Santiago for it affords a breathing
space for the overpopulated city as the parks are quite a distance
from downtown and the Plaza de Armas is nearly always crowded during
the heat of the day. At the western city limits where the name of
the Alameda changes from that of Avenida de las Delicias to Avenida
Latorre is the large glass-roofed train shed and station of Alameda,
the principal one of Santiago, whence all passengers for southern Chile
depart. Near the eastern city limits the Alameda becomes the Avenida de
la Providencia. It here reaches the muddy Mapocho River, whose southern
bank it skirts, and continuing into the country enters the defile of
its headwaters.

  [Illustration: Calle Ejercito Liberador, Santiago

   This is one of the main residence streets. The residence on the right
   is that of Don Luis Tocornal]

  [Illustration: Modern Residence on the Alameda, Santiago]

One of the most curious freaks to be found anywhere is the Cerro de
Santa Lucia which rises abruptly about two hundred feet from the very
center of the plain on which Santiago stands, and is well within the
city limits. This hill has been created into a beautiful park with
every imaginable species of native tree, and has within its confines
grottoes, groups of rocks, lookout towers, and statues, those of
Caupolican and of Valdivia being the best. No stranger to Santiago
should fail to walk to its summit, especially at evening when the sun
casts its rays on the high Andes in the background. There is a small
admission fee to be paid on entering the park at the Cerro de Santa
Lucia, but it is well worth it. On the hill is a restaurant café which
is popular with the public on summer nights, for on its terrace one can
take meals out-of-doors.

I was specially fortunate in being able to see the ceremonies
pertaining to the installation of the new President, Señor Don Juan
Luis Sanfuentes, having obtained an excellent seat through the kindness
of the American Ambassador, Honorable Henry Prather Fletcher. I
acquired a reserved seat in the Capitol in close proximity to the whole
proceedings. There is no inauguration like in Washington. In a lofty
rectangular hall of the Capitol, called the Camara de Diputados, there
are arranged, on both sides of a carpeted open space, seats in order,
which during the sessions of Congress are occupied by deputies. These
seats on December 23, 1915, were occupied by their proper holders.
In seats of honor near the west end of the hall sat the ambassadors,
ministers, and attachés of the foreign powers. At the extreme west end
was a platform with several arm-chairs. On all four sides of this high
room rose balconies, those on the north and south having two tiers
while those on the east and west had one tier. They were packed to
overcrowding with the invited guests of the deputies and statesmen,
many of the occupants of the seats being ladies. At two o'clock sharp
there was a sudden hush to the conversations of those present. The
ranks at the north door stood aside, and through their opening tottered
the aged Ramon Barros Luco in dress suit, the red, white, and blue
tricolor of Chile fastened obliquely on his white stiff bosomed shirt.
The applause was great. Following quickly in his footsteps came several
members of his cabinet; all crossed the carpeted room and seated
themselves on the platform.

  [Illustration: Fountain in Santiago

   The magnificent residence on the left is that of the Subercaseaux
   family]

  [Illustration: President Don Juan Luis Sanfuentes of Chile with Cabinet]

The applause started again and amidst yells, cheers, and the stamping
of hundreds of feet there came through the again opened ranks of the
crowd at the north door a large, stout, red-faced man past middle
age with gray hair and moustache of the same color, Don Juan Luis
Sanfuentes, followed by his new cabinet, a mitered archbishop in robes
of purple and red, and several purple-robed bishops. Sanfuentes took
his seat on the platform to the right of Luco. Two short speeches were
made by statesmen; Luco then rose and taking off his tricolor handed
it to Sanfuentes who pinned it on himself and changed seats with the
former President. Thus at this transmission of command which takes the
place of our presidential inauguration, Sanfuentes became President
of Chile; his term does not expire until December 23, 1920. The whole
ceremony lasted less than twenty minutes.

  [Illustration: Monument of Don Pedro Montt, Cementerio Jeneral,
   Santiago]

From the Capitol the procession went to the cathedral where the
archbishop held mass and delivered his blessing, for Chile is still
allied to the Roman Catholic Church. There was a great street parade
after this ceremony. I viewed it from a balcony on the Ahumada down
which street it marched. It was really very good. Helmeted German
officers galloped back and forth giving orders, while a cordon of
blue-jacketed, white-trousered policemen held the sidewalk mob back
by means of ropes strung lengthwise the whole block. No procession
ever lacks something of the ridiculous. It was in evidence this
day. Scarcely had the presidential victoria passed when a limousine
automobile containing high officials appeared. To its running board
clung a large, middle-aged, drunken monk, his black and white garments
tied together by a cord, flowing in the breeze. This hideous spectacle
had reached a spot underneath the balcony where I was standing, when
a dignified man wearing a silk hat stepped from the crowd and grabbed
the inebriated fool, dragging him from the running board. A good-sized
crowd hissed the monk as with staggering steps he betook himself to the
sidelines.

  [Illustration: View Looking West on Compañia Street from Estado at the
   Plaza de Armas, Santiago

   The large building prominent in this picture is the Portal Fernans.
   Its ground floor beneath the arcades is given up to small shops
   and vendors' booths. It faces the south side of the Plaza de Armas,
   Santiago's most prominent square]

With the exception of two military parades which I had previously seen
in Europe, that which took place at 6 P.M. the next day at the Parque
Cousiño in front of the temporary grandstand and which was reviewed
by the President was the finest that I had ever witnessed. Picture
to yourself a large hard dirt oval parade ground, half a mile long
by nearly as wide; imagine this oval to be bristling with the lances
of cavalry and glittering with the bright light of polished weapons.
Picture in the foreground a small grandstand of lumber draped with the
red, white, and blue Chilean flags; imagine this grandstand filled with
beautiful ladies in gowns of the latest creations, whiskered gentlemen
in silk hats, and army officers in full dress uniform. Behind this
scene imagine a forest of pine and eucalyptus above whose dark green
crests tower high brown, barren, snow-capped mountains. This is the
scene that unfolded itself to the spectator of that memorable military
review.

  [Illustration: Cathedral Street, Santiago

   This view is looking west from the Plaza de Armas. The edifice with the
   twin towers is the cathedral; that in the immediate foreground on the
   right is the city hall; the building beyond it with the clock tower is
   the post office.]

Long before the President drove up in his victoria, the buzzing of
airships caused one to look up and there at a height of two thousand
feet five of these mechanical birds were disporting themselves. All
hats came off, and there was a great clapping of hands when Sanfuentes
arrived. He drove twice around the parade ground and finally stopped in
front of the grandstand. First came in review before him four companies
of the military school in uniform of light blue coats with white
trousers and white horsehair high hats; next came innumerable infantry
companies each preceded by a brass band which stood to one side as the
columns marched by. The infantry was followed by the artillery which
came by at a gallop, smothering the field in a cloud of dust. This
and the cavalry which followed seemed to be the most admired by the
spectators, judging from the cheers which greeted them.

I wish to state that in the choice of Honorable Henry Prather Fletcher,
who at the time of this writing is United States Ambassador to Mexico,
he having left Chile in 1916, our government should be credited with
having made such an admirable selection. He is as fine a representative
of man as exists in the diplomatic service of any country. When I was
in Chile in 1912, a certain gossiping old woman, the daughter of one of
Chile's former presidents, knocked him to me, and I being a stranger
was fool enough to believe her. At my first meeting with Mr. Fletcher
in December, 1915, I at once saw what caliber of man he is, and have
felt like kicking myself ever since for believing Doña Anna Swinburne
de Jordan. I came to Santiago in 1915 absolutely unknown to Mr.
Fletcher, and he showed me great kindness in procuring for me admission
to the different ceremonies pertinent to the installation of the new
President besides entertaining me at his own residence.

I met two of his secretaries to the embassy, a Mr. Martin, who seemed
to be a fine clean-cut young man, and a fellow named Johnston or
Johnson, I being mixed in his surname because I never took the trouble
to recall it. This Johnston was the worst snob that I ever recollect to
have met. While I was at the embassy in the presence of Mr. Fletcher
he was extremely cordial and agreeable, and even invited me to dine
with him at his club to which he was going to procure me a card. The
next day Mr. Henry Alexander of Philadelphia and I were walking along
Bandera Street near the Capitol when we happened accidentally to meet
Johnston who was approaching us from the direction we were walking in.
He was dressed in a Prince Albert and a high silk hat crowned his tall,
slim figure. We greeted him but he returned our salutations with the
curtest imitation of a nod possible. I met him a dozen times afterwards
by accident, sometimes on the street and sometimes at the Grand Hotel
where he generally dined at noon. All these times he cut me dead as if
he had never seen me before. Later I had the next seat to him on the
Pullman car on a train but he did not deign to recognize my presence,
even though he had been most affable in his treatment of me while I was
a guest of Mr. Fletcher.

Santiago, although it is a pleasant and agreeable place with a most
benign climate, I am sorry to say is none too clean nor are its streets
well kept up. In the Alameda there are big holes in the asphalt, and
the cobblestones on the side streets are uneven and out of place. Many
of the streets are not paved. There are holes in some of the sidewalks
where a pedestrian is apt to sprain his ankle, and there is much refuse
dirt and filth accumulated along the curbs. There are no alleys in the
city so the inhabitants deposit the swill in iron pails. The garbage
man comes along with his wagon every morning and stopping in front of
every house rings a bell to let the inmates know of his presence so
that they can bring out the pails. On the poorer lighted side streets
inhabitants perform the calls of Nature on the sidewalks, in the middle
of the road, and against the sides of the buildings, which besides
being unsanitary causes hideous stenches. There is always a good
complement of typhoid fever in the Chilean and Peruvian towns so while
on my visit at the time of the presidential installation I warned my
servant, O'Brien, to drink mineral water instead of that of the city
supply. The latter evidently interpreted other drinks in the clause for
when I came to settle my bill at the Hotel Oddo, I found that he had
run up a considerable wine bill which necessitated me to dispense with
his services.

The stature of the Santiaguinos is much greater than that of the
inhabitants of Buenos Aires. It is in every respect equal to the North
American standard. The _profanum vulgus_ are apt to be rough, showing
their independence. One observes quite a few red-haired natives, which
denotes that in the course of genealogy one or more of their maternal
ancestors have been chased by Irishmen. The women outnumber the men and
are well formed and comely, many being beautiful. I prefer the looks
of the Chilenas to those of any other women in South America. In 1912
in Santiago there were but few Germans and the number of foreigners
was exceedingly small. In 1916 the city was teeming with Germans and
they outnumbered all the other foreigners put together. In Valparaiso
in 1915 the English and German residents of that port had a street
fight. The tram company was a German syndicate and the natives, angered
by the car fare rates, which they thought were excessive, sided with
the English and rose against the Teutonic element. A riot followed in
which some windows were broken and there was a certain local sentiment
against the Germans which became so strong that it caused an exodus
of a great many of them to Santiago. Also many of the crews of the
interned German merchantmen left their ships and came to Santiago and
other towns of the interior where they have established themselves
in business, many of them having become proprietors of hotels,
restaurants, and beer saloons. They have prospered and have taken out
citizenship papers, preferring to remain in Chile than in their own
country.

  [Illustration: Mapocho River near Santiago]

There was a German immigration to Chile in 1848, and another one in
1866. Both of these exoduses were due to the oppression of the military
system in the old country and it is safe to surmise that there will be
another such exodus to Chile at the end of the present war. I have read
statements that one quarter of Chile's population is either German or
of direct German extraction. This seems to be an exaggeration, although
I believe that one fourth of the population has some German blood.

The Grand Hotel, which is on Calle Huerfanos, not far from the main
business section is the only first-class hotel in Santiago. It is owned
by Emil Kehle, an American. He and his sister have the Hotel Royal in
Valparaiso which is the best hotel in that port. This Grand Hotel which
is comfortable has good rooms, and board and is homelike in atmosphere.
I liked it so well that in the spring of 1916, I stopped there two
months. The Willard party, which was the family of our ambassador to
Spain, and Kermit Roosevelt, arrived in Santiago while I was there and
likewise stopped at Mr. Kehle's hostelry.

On my trip to Santiago in 1915, I was not aware that Mr. Kehle had a
hotel in that city, so I went to the Oddo where I had previously stayed
on a former visit. The rooms in the Oddo were good but I am sorry to
say that the cuisine and dining room service was execrable. Unkempt
and unshaven waiters dropped food from the platters onto the floor,
and clumsily running to serve a guest would slip in the spilled soup
and drop plates of unsavory and indescribable edibles to the din of
broken dishes. For seventy years this hotel had been in existence, the
last twenty-five of them under the proprietorship of the French family
of Girard. The bung-eyed but accommodating daughter told me that on
January 3, 1916, this hotel would close its doors for good. "We are
returning to France to live as we have worked long enough," she said.
Yet, however, when I came back to Santiago in March, 1916, they hadn't
returned to France and the Oddo was still running, though minus its
dining room. The other hotels are the Milan, well spoken of, and the
Melossi near the Alameda Station, poorly located as it is too far from
the center of activity.

The restaurants are fair, that named the Club Santiago being good.
The Restaurant Niza is fair. It is owned by a Spaniard who, if the
guest does not understand the local name of the meat on the menu,
will demonstrate on his own fat physiology that part from which the
succulent morsel is taken. There is a good restaurant in the Palacio
Urmaneta. It must be taken under consideration that ladies do not
frequent these places unaccompanied for no other reason solely than
that it is the custom of the country. They generally take their meals
in the hotel dining rooms.

I met a North American university professor in Santiago who was always
kicking because he did not know enough Spanish to order what he wanted
to eat. He was stopping at the Oddo and the food there was so vile that
he could not digest it. He was wishing that there was an American hotel
in the city and this being in 1915, and I not knowing that Mr. Kehle
had the Grand Hotel, knew of no place where I could recommend him to
go. One morning, however, he burst into my room and proffering me a
card told me to read it.

"See what I've got," he cried in glee; "a nice-looking woman handed it
to me on the street."

I took the piece of pasteboard that he so eagerly extended to me. It
was about an inch long and half as wide. The printed inscription on it
read: "Pension Norte Americana" giving street name and number. I turned
to the professor and said: "It reads, North American boarding-house
with the number of the street."

"Just what I thought," he said. "It's the very thing I want. I
certainly would like to be among my fellow countrymen again, and
now that the Oddo is closing its doors, I shall go there at once and
inquire about the terms." He did, and immediately upon admittance was
pounced upon by four ladies of pleasure.

This is an example of one of the means by which brothels are touted in
Santiago.

The Chilean capital is a rat warren; rodents abound everywhere. Most
of the buildings being adobe, these animals have bored holes all
through the walls and have perforated the foundations. I do not believe
that New Orleans in its rattiest days ever had anywhere near such a
large population of the family Muridæ as Santiago at the present time
possesses. Lying in bed nights one is kept awake by the patter of their
little feet as they run across the corrugated iron roofs mingled with
their sharp squeals. Oftentimes looking out of the window at night,
their long tails can be seen silhouetted in the moonlight hanging over
the window-tops.

The death rate of Santiago is high, excessively so in infantile
diseases which cause the largest mortality toll. The rate for all Chile
is 29.4 per thousand inhabitants, while that of Santiago alone is 36.7.
Only one South American city of which any record is kept surpasses it
in this negligible respect, that being Lima, Peru, with a death rate of
51 per thousand inhabitants. Even Guayaquil, notorious for yellow fever
and bubonic plague, has a better record than these two last-mentioned
cities, which have no yellow fever, and Santiago minus bubonic plague.
Typhoid fever is always prevalent in the Chilean capital, but I doubt
if it is as malignant as in North America, on account of its being so
common. This large death rate is mostly among the lower classes who are
ignorant and have no knowledge of sanitation. Longevity is more common
than in any other South American capital with the possible exception of
Rio de Janeiro which is testimony that if a person survives childhood,
a healthy old age is allotted him.

The cemetery named the Cementerio Jeneral is the largest in
Christendom, not in area but in the number of bodies interred. It is
exceeded in size by only one other cemetery in the world, that one
being the Mohammedan cemetery in Scutari in Asia across the Bosporus
from Constantinople. In fineness of its monuments it is only surpassed
by the Campo Santo in Genoa and the Recoleta in Buenos Aires. The
nature of the Santiago cemetery is entirely different from these
last-mentioned two. It is not a rivalry between the grave lot owners
who shall have the most expensive allegorical marble sculpture as in
Genoa, but is a vast conglomeration of brick tombs, some of them being
veritable mausoleums. Here are buried the most famous families of
Chile. The Chilenos make a great deal of ceremony about their dead. A
poor family will stint itself for years to accumulate enough lucre to
erect a proper sepulchre. It will spend $10,000 to build a monument,
while for $1000 it could place in their dwelling a modern sanitary
system, which when installed would do away with the cause that would
lead the person to be buried beneath the monument. This cemetery is
divided by straight walks into square blocks; at the intersection
of each of these walks is a cross or a fountain. Cedars, pines,
eucalyptus, cypresses, boxwood, and other funereal trees abound; there
are also beds of brilliant flowers. The tomb of ex-president Don Pedro
Montt who died in Bremen, August, 1910, is here; it is a tall monolith
with a glazed green and brown tile frieze. There is a morgue near the
left entrance to the cemetery and the stench of the ripe corpses is
decidedly odoriferous.

About ten miles northeast of Santiago on the slopes of the Andes
are the springs of Apoquindo, visited much by the inhabitants of
the capital Sunday afternoons. The trip is worth while making once,
but that is sufficient, for the poor condition of the country roads
together with the dust take away much of the pleasure of the drive.
The best road leads through the city of Providencia, which adjoins
Santiago on the east and which is so much like a continuation of the
capital that it is impossible to tell without looking at a map where
the boundary line between the two cities is. At the Avenida Pedro de
Valdivia, a broad boulevard on which are magnificent villas and the
summer homes of the wealthy Santiaguinos one turns to the right and
keeps straight ahead until the main street of Nuñoa is reached. Nuñoa
is a town of nine thousand inhabitants, a mixture of wealth and poverty
with well shaded streets, poor shops, and adobe buildings.

  [Illustration: Street in Nuñoa, Chile]

A few miles beyond Nuñoa is a roadhouse named the Quinta Roma, which
was formerly the mansion of an estanciero but is now the terminus for
joy-riders, many of whom are to be met with returning to the capital
late afternoons in a highly hilarious condition. To the credit of the
Chileno joy-rider, he does not hit up the great speed of his North
American brethren; thus there are but few automobile accidents. The
roadhouse stands in a garden of flowers well back from the thoroughfare
in a nicely kept lawn. Here is a liquid refreshment dispensary where
I have seen gay youths hoist comely maidens upon the bar, and seated
there clink glasses with their standing male affinities whose arms
encircle their waists to the tune of popping corks and the metallic
ring of beer caps as the latter fall to the floor. In the garden behind
the bar is a bamboo thicket planted in the form of room partitions. It
is so dense that no peeker can look through its foliage to observe the
love affairs being enacted in these natural chambers which correspond
to the European "separées" or the so-called "private dining rooms" of
the North American roadhouses.

At Apoquindo there are several soda springs with baths and a swimming
pool all of which are kept in a filthy condition. Like at Cacheuta and
at Cauquenes but few people come to take the baths and none to drink
the water. Most everybody congregates at the bar in the hotel across
the street--the baths are but the name of an excuse.



CHAPTER X

BATHS OF CAUQUENES. CHILOÉ ISLAND. LAKE NAHUEL HUAPI


In Lady Anne Brassey's nonpareil book, _Around the World in the Yacht
Sunbeam_, published by Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1882, she
describes on pages 159-161 her visit to the Baths of Cauquenes where
she sojourned two days, October 23-25, 1876. When I was in Chile in
1913, I never heard of these baths and returned home ignorant of their
existence. In the interim I thoroughly read Lady Brassey's book and
determined that if the opportunity ever presented itself that I would
likewise visit them. Darwin visited them in 1836. While in Santiago
in 1915, on looking at a map, I found that there was a city named
Cauquenes in the Province of Maule in south-central Chile, it being the
provincial capital. I had made up my mind to go to that place, when
the bung-eyed girl who managed the Hotel Oddo showed me my error and
informed me that the Cauquenes I was seeking, was not a great distance
from Santiago and was reached by train from Rancagua.

One morning I left the Alameda Station at 9.30 and two hours later
arrived at Rancagua. The ride was through a fertile country, well
tilled and with great vineyards. Only two towns of importance were
passed, San Bernardo with 8269 inhabitants which also has street-car
connection with Santiago and Buin whose population is 2713 inhabitants
and is the county seat of the Department of Maipo in the Province of
O'Higgins. The Andean and wine-producing province of O'Higgins, named
in honor of the father of Chilean independence lies directly south
of the rather large Province of Santiago, its boundary line being the
Maipo River. Its population is 92,339.

  [Illustration: Plaza O'Higgins, Rancagua]

  [Illustration: Calle Brazil, Rancagua]

Rancagua, the provincial capital, is a dirty, odoriferous, dilapidated
adobe city of 10,380 people with the outward appearance of decay. A
walk down the main street which is named Brazil belies the general
appearance of the town for its sidewalks throng with peasants from
whose shoulders hang multicolored shawls. Horsemen wearing red ponchos,
their spurs clanking, trot down the pebble-paved street that is lined
with squalid one-story shops. Although only fifty-four miles south
of Santiago, the place is a good market town; of the numerous shops
those that deal in dry goods, draperies, and saddles appear to do the
most lucrative trade. There is only one respectable appearing spot
in the city, and that is the small plaza in the urban center which
is embellished by a bronze equestrian statue of O'Higgins, his horse
trampling a Spaniard. Of the several apologies for hotels, none were
inviting and rather than to eat at one of their restaurants, it is best
to go hungry. The only decent place to eat is at the railroad station.
One of the taverns is named "The North American" with a proprietor of
our own nationality but its business is mostly bar trade, catering to
the incoming and outgoing trade of the miners at El Teniente Mine. The
day I was at Rancagua was Sunday which I was told was the day on which
the prisoners of the jail were allowed to receive guests. I imagine
that nearly everybody in the town either had relatives or friends in
jail for in front of the building which is on the main street a mob had
collected to await admittance.

  [Illustration: Street in Rancagua]

The inhabitants of the town are tanned dark brown, and although
strongly built and powerful I noticed several who were afflicted with
the same malignant blood disease which the Swiss guards imported into
France from Italy during the Middle Ages. I was also surprised to see
a little girl about twelve years old on the street who had the leprosy,
the only case I have ever seen in Chile.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Braden Copper Company of North American ownership has a 2½-foot
gauge railroad that runs up to their copper mine, El Teniente, which
is about forty-five miles up the Cachapoal River above Rancagua; the
Baths of Cauquenes is one of their stations. This mine which was opened
in 1907 now has six hundred employees, many of whom are from the United
States and Canada.

From Rancagua the train ride of an hour and a half first crosses the
Plain where fat cattle graze in knee high clover, and then skirts along
the ledge of the mountains overlooking the broad terraces or selvas
of the Cachapoal River, winding around promontories on a roadbed no
wider than the coaches; any mishap would be sufficient to send the
train rolling down the mountainside killing all the occupants of the
cars. The station of Baños, (meaning Baths) is high above the gorge
of the river. Across the canyon on a ledge of rocks can be seen the
buildings of the thermal establishment, but before the pedestrian gets
there he must walk a good half-mile. A foot path zigzags to the canyon
bottom and an arm of the river is crossed by a cement bridge to a
rocky islet. Another bridge, this one a swinging one, suspended above
a whirlpool brings one again to terra firma on the left bank. One now
ascends another zigzag path to a forest of elm, ash, and locust, the
foliage being so thick that the sun's rays never penetrate it. Another
suspension bridge which spans a silvery cascade is reached and beyond
it is the hotel, a low, squat adobe building painted red, whose many
rooms open onto two patios.

The name Cauquenes is Araucanian meaning _wild pigeon_. This bird, the
_ectopistes migratorius_, sometimes called the voyager pigeon or the
wood pigeon originally had its range from Labrador to the Straits of
Magellan. Half a century ago they were numerous in the United States,
but in this country they have been absolutely exterminated due to their
having been killed off by hunters; great numbers which escaped the gun
were burned in the Arkansas forest fires four decades ago. Chile is the
only country on the face of this earth where they still exist, and it
is probable that they will continue to live there as the inhabitants
are extremely averse to killing them, the ignorant classes believing
that they bring good luck and that it is an ill omen to kill them.
At the present time they are not found in Chile north of Cauquenes;
formerly there were great numbers in the vicinity of the Cachapoal
hence the name of the baths.

  [Illustration: Gorge of the Cachapoal at Baños de Cauquenes]

The Baths of Cauquenes are situated in the Department of Caupolican in
the Province of Colchagua on the south or left bank of the Cachapoal
River in Latitude 34° 14´ 17´´ south and in Longitude 70° 34´ 5´´ west
of Greenwich. The altitude of the place above sea level has been a
matter of argument. Eight different professors claim its altitude in
different figures from 2200 feet which is the lowest and which is said
by Domeyko to be correct, to 2762 feet which is the highest and is
said by Gillis to be correct. 2490 feet which is the altitude claimed
by Guessfelt seems to be the most exact and is the figure accepted by
Dr. Louis Darapsky in his book, _Mineral Waters of Chile_. The season
for the baths is from September 15th to May 31st, and in midsummer the
place is generally crowded. Describing the scenery, Don José Victorino
Lastarria, an illustrious newspaper man of Santiago, says:

"I have never seen a more impressing, and at the same time, a more
charming landscape than that of the Baths of Cauquenes, nor have I
ever seen in so small a space so many different kinds of views nor
such surprising details. Nature has grouped there her most beautiful
accidents. In sight of the snowy Andes, here rise in the foreground
rounded hills covered with vegetation; there rise barren rocks through
whose clefts rushes the turbulent Cachapoal. Here are gardens filled
with flowers; there are impenetrable thickets. Light and shadows
everywhere, colors without end, harmony and contrast which reflect or
darken the rays of the sun."

The temperature is consistent and the variation during the day is
neither rapid nor extreme although the mornings and evenings are cool
and it is warm at midday. Even in the hottest months the heat is not
irksome, due to the fresh breezes which blow down the valley from
the cordilleras. In winter there is snow; the cold, however, is not
excessive.

The baths have been known since 1646, and were described by Padre
Ovalle in his _History of the Kingdom of Chile_. There are three
hot springs issuing from the porous and shaly rock, named Pelambre,
Solitario, and Corrimiento. Their temperatures are 122°, 113°, and
107°6' Fahrenheit respectively. They are walled up and the waters of
the first-mentioned two are run by pipes into a swimming tank and
into tubs in the thermal establishment. During their course in the
pipes Pelambre loses 3°6' Fahrenheit of its heat and Solitario 5°4'.
Their waters more than supply their use so the water of Corrimiento is
allowed to go to waste. The thermal establishment, though by no means
primitive, is rather old-fashioned. I was surprised to see such an
attractive place as the Baños de Cauquenes not made more of for in hot
springs and natural scenery it is the zenith of God's works. Man also
has done his share well but much improvement can be made, all of which
requires capital. The natural lay out of the place is a paradise. It is
something like the Cserna Valley in southeastern Hungary, but wilder
and grander with also a soft touch of nature. The hills covered with
live oak, laurel, and mesquite resemble those of California, yet are
more fertile. A shaded walk leads from the hotel to an artificial lake
bordered by fifty-five of the largest eucalyptus trees that I have ever
seen. In its center rising from the water stand two willows. One is
never absent from the swiftly flowing Cachapoal which murmurs like the
Tepl at Carlsbad, only louder.

The baths are supposed to be beneficial in cases of gout, diuretics,
rheumatism, anemia, and so forth, although one of the guests of the
hotel evidently came there for relief for consumption. He was a bearded
man about sixty years old and he made an unholy spectacle of himself
by coughing and expectorating on the floor of the dining room while the
other guests were eating dinner.

When I arrived at the place I was met at the door by a young man
wearing white duck trousers and a blue double-breasted yachting coat.
With the exception of his large yellow moustache he had a most cherubic
countenance with a smooth, pink, babylike face without a wrinkle or
blemish. I afterwards discovered that this cherubic individual had an
inordinately strong passion for whiskey, gin, and beer as well as for
any drink which had as a fundamental principle among its ingredients,
alcohol. On several trips which I made later to the Baños de Cauquenes
in 1916 I became fairly well acquainted with this Señor Hermann
Manthey. He had arrived two years previously on one of the German
merchantmen on which he was a steward. The ship was interned and he
struck up-country to make a living and finally evolved in becoming
manager of this hotel, as the proprietor, an old doctor had leased
it for a few years and was too wrapped up in his own private affairs
and also too lazy to give it his attention. Señor Manthey was doing
well on the small salary and large tips he was getting but was not
without ambitions. A few months afterwards I ran across him on a few
days' vacation in Santiago, and he then was planning to get the owner
to lease the establishment to him upon the expiration of the present
lease to the doctor. The hotel with its grounds, fine fruit orchard,
springs, lake, and six thousand acres of hilly grazing land, across
which several rushing streams of transparent water flow headlong into
the Cachapoal is owned by a gentleman in Santiago who leases it out
as he has several other large properties. He will sell it for eighty
thousand dollars which is dirt cheap. Some day I expect to buy it and
make it my home.

At the hotel there are horses to let. On one of these I rode up a
narrow valley and discovered that with nothing but mere bridle paths
leading to them, and miles from the nearest houses, were lonely
thatched and adobe huts, the homes of poor people and charcoal burners
situated in mountain wheat fields or in clearings of a few acres. All
of a sudden while riding I had a sensation as if the horse was trying
to squat on its haunches. I reached for a stick from a nearby limb
to put life into it and nearly lost my balance. A noise like distant
thunder that I had already heard twice that afternoon, although the
sky was cloudless, was audible, and in all directions stones and
small boulders came rolling down the mountain side. It was a slight
earthquake which the natives call _temblor_ in order to distinguish it
from the great ones which they call _terramoto_.

In the center of one of the myrtle-carpeted patios at the hotel
is a fountain encircled by an ivy-covered wall. Here evenings bats
congregate and flap their wings in the vicinity of the faces of the
guests. A party of Canadians, employees of El Teniente Mine, were
stopping at the Baths when I was there. They filled up on liquor
and made sleep impossible for the other guests by their sacrilegious
bawling of _Onward Christian Soldiers_ and other hymns of the Episcopal
Church.

On leaving Baños de Cauquenes I decided to take the twenty-three-mile
horseback ride to the station of Los Lirios and from there take the
train to southern Chile. The country road was very stony; in some
places it was a mere cart track, while in others it was a broad avenue.
During the first part of the ride it windingly followed the south
bank of the Cachapoal and crossed two streams of transparent water,
each known by the same name, Rio Claro. This means Clear River, and
evidently the natives thought that if the name would do for one, it
would be appropriate for the other. At every turn of the road a small
freshet was crossed, for out of every cleft or dent in a hill gushed
forth a spring. These small streams the peasants deviated from their
courses by turning them into their gardens for irrigating purposes.
The natives were very poor all living in adobe hovels with thatched
roofs. A few acres of cattle, a dog or two, two acres of cultivated
land, and some pear trees represented all their worldly belongings; yet
they seemed very content. These peasants as a class were the poorest
people that I have ever seen as far as worldly possessions go, yet
every one of them always had a full meal at dinner time. They ate what
they raised, and where they grew crops they worked them with infinite
care. As they were too poor to buy fertilizer, they worked a new piece
of land each year, coming back to the original piece after five years'
time, because it had then enriched itself by remaining idle. There were
many wheat fields, ripe and yellow, the sixty bushels to an acre kind.
Central Chile gets plenty of rain but as it gets it only in the winter
months, irrigation has to be resorted to in the summer.

Halfway to Los Lirios I arrived at the hamlet of Colihue (mispronounced
by the natives Collegua) with its adobe hovels bordering the now
broad and extremely dusty road. Everybody in rural Chile travels on
horseback, and the people I met riding were many. A man loses caste if
he journeys on foot. At Colihue another road turns off to the left to
the Lake of Cauquenes in the mountains and which teems with fish. The
road now left the Cachapoal and after skirting some barren hills on
the right-hand side for a couple of miles it reaches the settlement of
Cauquenes a most queer place. It consists of a great square compound
of dirt which is surrounded on all four sides by a five-foot-high adobe
wall excepting where there is a church on the west side and a few open
sheds on its east side. An estancia house stood beyond the wall on the
south side and there were some buildings beyond the wall on the north
side where the priest and his servants lived. The highroad both entered
and left this compound by openings rent in the adobe wall. It may be
possible that this place once held a Spanish garrison, and that the
compound was the parade ground, and that the open sheds were former
stables. Everybody that I asked knew nothing about the early history of
the place.

A broad avenue one mile long bordered by giant plane trees led westward
from here. Their foliage was so thick that it made the road dark,
and not seeing my way well I rode my horse onto a pile of bricks, the
impact being so great that it nearly brought us both down. The road
emerged to a pebble river bed, then forded a river, and wound around
the sides of some high hills. Every horseman in Chile takes a slight
upward grade at a gallop and I saw ahead of me a group of horsemen
doing the same; behind us came galloping around the curves six horses
pulling a carriage. These horses were three abreast and on each outside
leader two lackeys were mounted. It was the doctor's wife from the
Baños en route to Los Lirios where her sister has a post station.
Chileans frequently travel on horseback, accompanied by their servants
who follow a couple of horse lengths behind mounted on inferior
animals. When the master stops, the servant likewise does so, but with
the same distance between the two.

Los Lirios consists only of a small wooden railway station, a
warehouse, a large open horseshed around a yard filled with wagons
which is the post station, a small store, and a saloon. To this latter
place I repaired, after dismounting, to get a glass of water after the
hot dusty trip. The building and its stock of goods were poorer than
the poorest backwoods blind pig, and yet for a third-class license the
congenial and friendly proprietor, who was likewise barber and plied
that trade in an adjacent room in the same building, had to pay yearly
two hundred pesos ($34.12). From the appearance of the shack it did not
look as if he took in that much money a year. Some of the moustached
clientele that happened along, I called up to the bar to have a treat
on me. The proprietor brought forth two goblets, each one being of
a quart capacity, and filled them to the brim with red wine which
he poured from a big jar. The contents of one of these goblets sells
for 8½ cents, the cheapest wine that I have ever seen. If my surprise
was great in seeing men take a quart of wine for one drink, it was
even greater when I saw them drink it in nearly one gulp and put the
goblet back on the bar in anticipation of a duplicate. I treated them
two or three times and never once did they renege. I know what would
have happened to me if I had followed suit, yet it seems incredible
when I must state that it had absolutely no effect on the imbibers.
It is inconceivable why a man in that part of Chile need ever touch an
intoxicant, for the sweet, balmy air and the voluptuous appearance of
Chile's maidens are sufficient to intoxicate any normal, healthy man.

An hour after leaving Los Lirios the train arrived at San Fernando,
population 9150, the capital of the Province of Colchagua where we had
lunch. Colchagua which has a population of 159,030 is one of the most
productive provinces of Chile, but the next two provinces south of
it, Curicó and Talca are not. It is a sorry sight after having passed
through the well-tilled, highly productive country ever since leaving
Santiago, to come suddenly upon land that is going to waste on account
of lack of settlement. With the exception of the six northernmost
provinces of Chile, Curicó and Talca are to me the least attractive of
any of the republic. South of San Fernando the first town of importance
is Curicó, its name meaning "Black Water" in the language of the
aborigines; then are reached Molina, population 4327; Talca, the sixth
city of Chile with a population of 42,088 inhabitants, and San Javier
in the Province of Linares which has 4898 people. This town lies about
three miles east of the railroad track but is connected to the depot by
horse cars and to Villa Alegre, the next town south of it, by trolley.

The Andean Province of Linares and its southern neighbor Ñuble are very
important agriculturally, both being two of the best in the republic.
Their crops are diversified, run high in percentage of measure to the
hectare and are of good quality. The capital of the Province of Linares
is the city of Linares with a population of 11,122. It has good stores
and buildings most of which are painted pink. Like in Rancagua the
samples of merchandise on display in the shops are cloth, ponchos,
and drygoods. Although but slightly larger than Rancagua it is a much
finer town, and even though its streets are none too clean they are
far superior to those of the capital of the Province of O'Higgins.
In comparing the two cities it is fair to say that Rancagua presents
more activity in street life and in business. There is one hotel
which is fair, the Comercio. A peculiarity about Linares is that on
the streets, especially that one on which the railroad station faces,
native women are seated in front of portable stoves offering for sale
cooked edibles which should be eaten on the spot. I saw one man who,
when he had finished eating, left the spoon on the table near the
stove. The woman who owned it licked it dry, and after having wiped
it on her undershirt, replaced it in a dish that would be sold to the
next customer. The native women have an art peculiar to Linares and
nonexistent anywhere else in the world of weaving a certain delicate
fiber into small baskets, jugs, and ornaments. These woven wares are
very diminutive and are valuable only as ornaments and curiosities.
They are multicolored and are in much demand by strangers. It is
possible to buy them in Santiago but at an exorbitant price for all
that are on sale there are imported from Linares.

A two-and-a-half-foot gauge railroad runs from a station a block and a
half north of the main depot to the springs of Panimávida, two hours
distant to the northeast. Having seen those of Cauquenes, in order
to augment my education along thermal lines, it was up to me to see
Panimávida and to especially sample its mineral waters, as its bottled
water is the most widely drunk of any mineral water in Chile. It
corresponds to White Rock and to Still Rock.

  [Illustration: Main Street of Linares]

The place Panimávida is nothing. It is just as if somebody had erected
a big hotel in the middle of an Illinois or a Wisconsin landscape. The
attractions are absolutely nil. There are six practically tasteless
lukewarm springs covered over with glass tops which supply the popular
table water of Chile. These springs are the property of the Sociedad
Vinos de Santiago (Santiago Wine Company), and as that stock company
is well capitalized the Panimávida waters are well advertised by
them. As people like to dilute their wine with seltzer, this company
has installed a carbonizing plant here, which changes the still water
into a sparkling one. The plant with hotel is leased to a man named
Hernandez, a fine, fat, young fellow with a flowing beard. He is a good
and accommodating hotel man and gets the trade, even having his runners
meet the trains at Linares. Panimávida is an excellent old-maids'
paradise. Under the shady roof of the patio porch they can sit, gossip,
and knit. The proverbial parrot is present and a black cat could be
easily imported. President Sanfuentes arrived during my visit to rest
up after the strenuous strain connected with his installation. It was
an ideal place for this with nothing to distract his attention except
the broad meadows and the corrugated-iron, yellow-painted Catholic
chapel.

  [Illustration: Panimávida]

Said His Excellency to me: "What Chile needs is population. Here we
have thousands upon thousands of acres of the richest land in the world
lying idle, because there is nobody to cultivate it. Until we have the
proper number of inhabitants there is no use to cultivate these lands,
because Chile produces four times more of an abundance of fruit than
she can consume. You see how cheap fruit and wine is; there is an over
production. Every year a million tons go to waste because there is no
market. She cannot export them because the United States and Argentina
are nearer to the European markets and the freight rates would eat up
the profits. As there is a great demand for grain, people have gone
more and more into the growing of cereals but as yet this industry is
in its infancy. It should be encouraged for now there is grown just
enough wheat to meet the internal demand."

"Supposing," I asked, "that Chile had four times more population than
she now has, would she not have to import her wheat?"

"Never," he replied, "as there are here millions of hectares of the
best wheat lands in the world that can be bought for a song. They are
now lying idle. Something has to take the place of the timber of the
southern provinces. When it is gone it will have to be cereals."

"I believe," he continued, "in encouraging a large immigration,
chiefly from the northern countries--the United States, Germany,
Scandinavia, and Great Britain. Their inhabitants have more initiative
than the Latins and intermarried with the natives make a strong
blood. Our people and those of all the Latin countries excepting the
Frenchmen lack initiative and that is what we need. The Chilenos are
content to live as they have lived for decades, which is all very
well but it is unprogressive. Thanks to the British we now have a
fairly large merchant marine; to the Germans is due the credit of the
prosperous condition of the southern provinces. The only drawback to
the foreigners here is that they run too much to cliques. They should
scatter more. We should also have more capital to start factories, but
I do not believe in, nor shall I encourage, any industry that will reap
the profits here to spend outside of the country."

A couple of hours south of Panimávida are the springs of Quinamávida.
They are said to be equally as good as those of Panimávida, but the
hotel there is poorly managed and there is a lack of capital to well
advertise its waters.

On the return to Linares something went wrong with the locomotive,
which in appearance was similar to the dinky engines one sees in the
lumber plants at home used in hauling lumber through the yards. A
priest on the train who had a mechanical turn of mind got out of the
car, and jumping into the engine cab soon had the locomotive in running
order, much to the amazement of the train crew.

Southward from Linares the main line of the railroad passes through
Parral, population 10,047, San Carlos, population 8499, Chillán,
and Bulnes, population 3689. San Carlos is famous for its melons and
Bulnes is likewise so for its wines. At San Rosendo, 315 miles south
of Santiago, the train crosses a branch of the Bio-Bio River, which is
named the Rio Claro in want of another name and Araucania is entered.

By the name Araucania is known that part of Chile bounded on the north
by the Bio-Bio River and on the south by the Calle-Calle River. Its
eastern limit is the peaks of the Andes and its western one is the
Pacific Ocean. In area it is about the size of the State of Maine
and comprises the provinces of Arauco, Malleco, Cautin, and portions
of those of Bio-Bio and Valdivia. The Spaniards always spoke of this
region as the _frontera_, meaning frontier, and so to-day all Chile
lying south of the Bio-Bio is spoken thus of.

The original inhabitants of this country, the Araucanian Indians were
the bravest and most warlike of any of the South American tribes, and
it was not until 1883 that they were finally subdued after 340 years
of warfare. Caupólican, Lautaro, and Colo-Colo, their great warriors
have been immortalized in the poem "La Araucana" by Alonso de Ercilla.
The Araucanians have intermarried so much with the whites that their
race is fast becoming extinct although their facial characteristics and
figures are prevalent in a multitude of South Chileans. Their political
organization was as follows:

A large geographical division was called an _aillarehue_. These
aillarehues were divided into nine smaller parts, each part being named
a _rehue_. Ruling over each rehue were two _toquis_ or caciques who
were responsible to the two _gulmens_ who ruled over the aillarehues.
One gulmen ruled in wartime, the other in times of peace. So also with
each toqui. The office of toqui was hereditary and many became famous
through warfare or by their wealth, for example Colipí, Mariluán,
Catrileo, and Huinca Pinoleví.

The Araucanians had no gods with anything definite attributed to
them, nor did they have temples and idols, but they were exceptionally
superstitious. Their principal god was Pillan, god of thunder, light,
and destruction. He lived in the highest peaks of the Andes and in the
volcanos. Dependent upon him were the Huécuvus, malignant spirits.
Epunamun was the god of war. They also practised the cult of stone
worship. Their most superstitious ceremony was Machitun or cure of the
sick. The Araucanian does not believe that a man should die unless he
is killed in battle, and when he dies a natural death through old age
or sickness they believe that some of their own people inimicable to
the deceased caused him to die. In order to discover the malefactor,
they consult a witch doctor, generally an old hag named a _machi_.
After having indulged in a number of ridiculous contortions and jumps
she names the supposedly guilty party. Without any further ceremony
they pounce on him and amidst a great drunken orgy and libations of
_chicha_ (a native intoxicant) dedicated to Pillan they torture the
innocent victim to death. When a man dies they generally perform
a post-mortem examination upon the corpse to endeavor to extract
the poison from it which caused death. The burial takes place with
great lamentation and imbibitions of oceans of chicha to the tune
of a lugubrious musical instrument somewhat like a drum and named a
_trutruca_. They believe in an everlasting future devoted to earthly
pleasures. They formerly believed that the deceased came to life again
and dwelt on the island of Mocha off the coast, but they changed their
thought when they discovered that the Spanish pirates formerly used
that island as their base for excursions on the mainland. Marriage
among the Araucanians has for some time past been a true compact, the
father of the bride having to give his consent. It is not necessary for
any other members of the family to be consulted, but it often happens
that after the marriage has taken place, fights arise between the groom
and the brothers-in-law who objected, several parties being severely
wounded in these affrays. The plight of woman is miserable; she is
practically a slave and the husband enjoys the fruits of her labor.
Polygamy exists among them.

  [Illustration: Bridge over the Malleco River at Collipulli]

South of the Bio-Bio the landscape changes nearly entirely. The flat,
cultivated plains of the river pockets which form the great central
valley now give place to rolling hills intersected by small streams
which lie deep in canyons spanned by bridges. At first there are
evidences of viticulture on the side hills but these soon disappear
as well as the trees, which now only are seen near the river beds.
This absolutely treeless country of rounded hills swelters in the hot
sun as it beats down upon the infinite miles of yellow wheat fields.
In the villages frame houses take the place of adobe ones. There are
numerous small lumber yards and sawmills which bear testimony that in
the distant mountains there is still timber. Occasionally a deserted
sawmill is passed which shows that the lumbermen are in the same fix as
those at home, namely that a new location must be found.

At Santa Fé, the junction of a branch railway that runs to Los Angeles,
of typhoid-fever fame, and the capital of the Province of Bio-Bio,
a curious incident happened. A coffin had been taken off an incoming
train to be put in our baggage car. Coffins in Chile are kite shaped
and are not placed in boxes when transported. The top is not nailed but
is fitted into a groove. I stood a couple of yards away watching the
train crew lift this coffin into the baggage car. They had to lift it
slantingly as some baggage stood in the way. Suddenly the train gave a
jolt causing one of the baggage men to lose his footing. Since there
was nobody now at the head of the coffin it fell onto the platform,
the lid came off, and the malodorous and semi-decomposed cadaver
rolled on top of the baggage man who emitted awful shrieks and howls.
The two other men helping him immediately took to their heels. Women
screamed, men ran, natives crossed themselves, and Germans laughed. The
pinned-down baggage man howlingly extricated himself from beneath the
corpse and made all haste to jump on the train which had now started,
leaving the lich on the platform since nobody would go near it.

At Renaico where there is a large frame depot and restaurant, a branch
line runs southwest to Angol, capital of the Province of Malleco and
continues to Traiguén. At Collipulli, meaning "Red Earth" which has
3005 inhabitants, the train crosses the great viaduct over the Malleco
River which lies deep at our feet, bordered by a dark fringe of oaks.
This is the most beautiful vale in Chile. The clear, narrow, foaming
river is a refreshing sight. A rich man has built a villa on the rise
of ground overlooking the stream which gives the scenery a touch of the
Rhein.

The landscape now changes again. Oak, laurel, and _lingue_ appear, at
first scattered, then in groves, and later in forests, while everywhere
possible in clearings are oat fields, the grain just turning color. The
farther south we go the greener the grain is, until we reach Victoria,
population 9840, where the grain has not begun to change color. Every
three years the farmers cut off the branches from the laurels; these
they scatter over their fields and set fire to. Among the ashes they
drag the grain into the ground for by this procedure they are supposed
to harvest better crops. Land here is worth eighty dollars an acre.
The landscape is decidedly like that of our Northern States, and
the climate is much the same as that of Oregon and Washington. At
dusk Lautaro in the Province of Cautin was reached. This town has a
population of 5968 and is named after Valdivia's Araucanian horse boy
who murdered him and as tradition says ate him. As I mentioned before
all the towns that we passed through south of the Bio-Bio are built of
wood, but up to here their roofs were of tile, with a few exceptions
of corrugated iron, tin, and shingles. The tile roofs now entirely
disappear and their place is taken by those of shingles or slabs of
lumber. The houses are unpainted and as to external appearances are
veritable hovels. They resemble those dilapidated structures of the
nigger villages in our Gulf States. Many towns resemble the one-time
lumber settlements of the upper peninsula of Michigan.

On the train I became acquainted with the Reverend Steerer, a divine of
the Church of England who had resided for twenty-six years in Temuco
and who gave me valuable information about the country. He had just
returned from a trip to the mountains at the request of the British
Consul in Concepcion who had sent him there to inquire into the mystery
surrounding the murder of an Englishman who was stabbed to death in bed
by some natives who wanted the money he had on him.

At Temuco the Cautin River is reached. The country around here has
had a troubled history in the wars between the Araucanians and the
whites. One of the anecdotes is that on July 31, 1849, the bark
_Joven Daniel_ ran into some rocks near the mouth of the river and was
shipwrecked. The cacique Curin lived near the spot and with the help of
his tribesmen they saved the lives of the crew and passengers together
with the cargo which was given to them out of gratitude. In the cargo
was liquor which they immediately attacked. Under its influence they
murdered every survivor except an eighteen-year-old girl, Elisa Bravo
of Valparaiso, whom Curin selected to be one of his wives. She was
betrothed to a Ramón Bañados of Valparaiso. His family immediately took
up the matter with the government which immediately got into action to
chastise the Araucanians. Dissentions had in the meantime arisen among
the Indians, and two caciques, Loncomilla and Huaquinpan took the side
of the whites. The Araucanians were beaten but no trace of Elisa Bravo
was ever found as it was supposed that Curin married her and took her
to a place of safety.

Another incident happened in 1861. A French adventurer named Aurelie de
Tournes proclaimed himself King of Araucania under the title of Orelie
I. He promised to free the Indians from the Chilean rule and had the
ability to get the aid of several caciques and quite a large following.
In a battle he was taken prisoner; he was tried for menacing public
safety and would likely have been executed if it had not been for the
intercession of the members of the French colony in Santiago, and of a
judge who has previously declared him to be insane.

  [Illustration: Street in Temuco]

Temuco is the capital of the Province of Cautin and is the geographical
capital of Araucania. It is the largest city of Chile south of the
Bio-Bio and has a population of 29,557, ranking ninth in the republic.
It is 422 miles south of Santiago, and owes its origin to a fort
which was built here in 1881. In recent years its growth has been
rapid. The city is situated west of the mainline of the longitudinal
railroad, and is the junction for a branch line that runs to the
town of Imperial. There is a considerable English colony which has
a church and two schools, but like all over in southern Chile, the
Teutonic element outnumbers all the rest of foreigners in a ratio of
ten to one. The business is mostly in the hands of the Germans as can
be seen by the names over the stores. Somebody with a Yiddish streak
must have strolled in from somewhere because I noticed the sign of
Benjamin Goldenberg over the door of a second-hand clothing shop. The
city is a long-strung-out place of frame unpainted buildings presenting
a most unattractive appearance; only in the center of the town one
gets away from these eyesores for there brick and cement structures
abound, especially in the neighborhood of the Plaza Anibal Pinto. The
principal streets, Jeneral Bulnes, Arturo Prat, and several others are
well paved with cobblestones over which horse cars rattle in the long
ride to the railroad station. Driving from this station to the town the
hotel omnibuses race each other much to the fright of the uninitiated
stranger. Temuco boasts of an excellent hotel, the Central, owned by a
large, fat German named Finsterbusch, whose facial adornment is a big
aureate moustache. Like most of the Chilean hotels owned by Germans the
place is clean, the beer good, and the cuisine excellent.

The 109-mile train ride from Temuco to Valdivia is made in four and
a quarter hours through a country entirely different from any that
is passed through from Santiago to this point. The low mountains come
in such close proximity to the railroad track that one is pierced by
a tunnel. They are heavily timbered with trees of good saw-log size,
laurel and oak abounding. The only place of importance on the stretch
is the sawmill town of Loncoche. The valley bottoms are impenetrable
jungles of vines, bushes, thorns, and berry plants which reach a height
of about twenty-five feet. It took the pioneers a month to traverse ten
miles of this wilderness whose bottom is soggy muck, the average day's
penetration being but one third of a mile. Antilhue is the junction for
trains running south. The Calle-Calle River is crossed and its south
bank is followed into Valdivia through a fragrant country covered with
scarlet wild fuchsias, honeysuckles, snapdragons, and morning-glories.
On all sides are the green mountains covered with primeval forests.

  [Illustration: Plaza de la Republica, Valdivia]

Valdivia has had its share of the world's vicissitudes and calamities.
It was founded in 1552 by Pedro de Valdivia and was abandoned in
1554 on account of the attacks on it by the Araucanians who captured
its founder and put him to death by torture. It was destroyed by an
earthquake in 1575, and when rebuilt was sacked by Elias Harckmans, a
Dutchman who fortified it. In 1645 the Dutch were worsted in a fight
with the troops of the Peruvian viceroy, the Marquis de Mancera who
drove them out. There was another earthquake in 1737 which again
destroyed the place. Rebuilt, it was burned in 1748. In 1837 a third
earthquake destroyed it. Since then it has burned down three times, in
1840, in 1885, and in 1911, the last one being an especially bad fire,
wiping out the entire city. Thus it has been destroyed by earthquakes
three times and burned four times.

It is beautifully situated on the south bank of the Calle-Calle which
is navigable for small boats. The city is uninteresting as it is
absolutely modern. In character it is German, for it is the leading
German center in Chile. No other language is heard spoken on the main
streets. The natives who slightly outnumber the Teutons and also speak
German are to be found mostly on the back streets; they are employed
by the Germans in the different industries. The population of Valdivia
which is the tenth city in Chile is 24,743.

When one alights at the railroad station, it is better to take a launch
to the city to the tune of sixty centavos (10 cents) than by the more
arduous and long trip by cab over rough plank pavements. These launches
owned by a man named Oettinger give the stranger a pleasant ride down
the river and disembark him at a new cement quay near the center of the
city from which place boys carry the grips to the various hotels. One
is immediately impressed by the cleanliness of the cobble stone-paved
streets of the business section and by the handsome though inexpensive
structures. It is by far the cleanest city in Chile. With the exception
of the buildings on the streets near the Plaza de la Republica, which
are of cement construction, all the other buildings are of frame or
corrugated iron, or of both, but painted freshly over. The side streets
are paved with wooden planks, and in some places with wooden beams,
six by sixes. The main industry is brewing. The colossal brewery named
Compañia Cerveceria Valdivia, formerly that of Anwandter Brothers,
one of the largest in Chile, looms up majestically on the water front
across the narrow river opposite the landing quay. The storerooms for
this amber and nut-brown beverage are on the city side of the river at
the dock. The best hotel in Valdivia is the Carlos Bussenius, named
after the host who in appearance could pass as a twin brother of
Finsterbusch in Temuco.

  [Illustration: Calle-Calle River at Valdivia, Showing Flour Mills]

A pleasant trip from Valdivia is the two hours' ride down the river to
Corral but another and far grander is that to Lake Riñihue and across
the mountains to the wretched hamlet of San Martin de los Andes in the
greatly overrated southern part of Argentina known as Patagonia.

  [Illustration: Street in Valdivia]

I left Valdivia about the middle of an afternoon and got off the train
an hour and a half later at the station of Collilelfu where I put up
for the night at a wooden shack with a tin roof which was an apology
for a hotel. Early the next morning I arose to catch the seven-thirty
train for Huidif, the railroad terminus of the branch line which
will in time be continued to Lake Riñihue. The ride of an hour only
brought the train to its destination where the passengers alighted to
change into carriages which cover the six remaining miles to the lake
in three quarters of the time. The whole landscape is rolling and is
semiforested, and as the lake is approached vast marshes abounding in
wild fowl are traversed. Lake Riñihue is about fifteen miles long by
four miles broad and is a favorite summer resort for the inhabitants
of Valdivia. The landscape is beautified by vistas of the snow-capped
volcanos, Choshuenco and Mocho.

  [Illustration: Riñihue Landscape, Southern Chile]

The seventy-five-mile trip to Osorno from Valdivia consumes four hours
and lies through a smiling farming country with villages, farms,
and soils characteristic to those of the best part of Wisconsin.
It was dusk when I arrived at Osorno, metropolis of the Province
of Llanquihue. The city has a population of about 12,000 and is 601
miles south of Santiago. A daily train makes the entire distance in 25
hours and 40 minutes, a sleeper being attached to the train as far as
Renaico. Osorno is a miserable-looking place of frame buildings built
close together as is the custom in all the towns of southern Chile
where lumber plays the main rôle in the erection of edifices; but few
of the houses and stores are painted. Valdivia is the only place in
this section of the country where the inhabitants take enough pride in
the appearance of their town to give the houses a fresh coat of paint.
I was told by Bussenius to go to a German hotel which had just been
opened by a former chef of one of the interned Kosmos Line steamers.
I did not go there, however, because Americans do not stand in good
repute with the Germans and Chilenos of German descent in southern
Chile. Although the United States was not at war with Germany at the
time of my visit, nevertheless the Teutonic inhabitants of that section
took pains to show their dislike of North Americans. Although I was
subjected to no personal discourtesy at either Temuco or Valdivia,
but on the contrary was treated well, I was obliged to listen to much
tirade against the United States and the inhabitants of our country
in general. The Germans were angered because North American firms
were supplying the Entente with munitions of war and it was a current
topic of conversation among them that the United States was afraid to
declare war upon Germany, saying that if it did so there would be an
uprising there against its Government by the great number of Germans
and Americans of German extraction. They anticipated a Bürgerkrieg or
Civil War in the United States if the latter joined sides with Great
Britain.

As there were a couple of spruce-looking runners at the railway
station for the Hotel Royal, a native hostelry, I gave them my grips
and was driven through the unprepossessing streets of the city. The
cab eventually stopped in front of a building that has the outward
appearance of a certain large residence on the outskirts of Ashland,
Wisconsin, where lumberjacks and sailors were wont to congregate after
pay days and sojourn until their savings were gone. I was wondering
whether this establishment was of the same nature. Fortunately it
turned out to be a very good and comfortable hotel, absolutely Chilean.
Osorno has several other hotels, all German. Osorno has more Teutons
in proportion to its size than any city in Chile. In numbers, Valdivia
has a larger German population, but the ratio is smaller for Valdivia
is the larger place. Three-quarters of Osorno's population is German,
their numbers here being in excess of nine thousand. In southern
Chile where most of the hotel-keepers are German, the inns all have
the Gastzimmer or Bürgerzimmer as in Germany, where the merchants and
clerks assemble nights to discuss news and the events of the day over
large schupers of health-giving beer. A non-trust brewery has recently
been inaugurated in Osorno by a man named Aubel and his wet goods
certainly hit the right spot when partaken of. Outside of his brewery
there is no manufacturing in the town excepting the large flour mill of
Williamson and Balfour. Both these enterprises were born in 1914.

  [Illustration: Osorno]

While standing on the plaza one night listening to the military band,
all at once was heard the pealing of bells and booming of gongs.
Everybody started to run in all directions and not knowing what was
taking place, thinking it was either an earthquake or a revolution,
I followed suit and hid behind a maple tree. This scare turned out to
be a fire alarm. The whole crowd now raced and tore down a street that
leads across the railroad track, and I presently saw by the blaze that
the fire was of no small importance. Slipping up to my room I took my
valuables from my valise, and putting them in my pocket joined the
crowd. Above the din of conversations, orders from the police, and
the noise from the fire pumps, could be heard the agonizing screams
of four victims that were being burned to death at the windows of
the second story of a dwelling. They were caught like rats in a trap
while asleep, and when aid came they were beyond all mortal help. The
policemen standing in the road with drawn sabers suddenly ordered the
crowd to run for their lives, which they did in all directions. An
intonation like the sound of a cannon boomed, followed by two or three
sharper reports. Impossible for the firemen to stop the fire which was
spreading to all the neighboring closely packed frame dwellings, the
police had started dynamiting. This last process which was successful
claimed another victim and blinded another person. I saw the remains
of the dynamite victim; what remained of him resembled a pudding. No
vestige of either teeth or bones was found of the four persons who
perished in the fire and whose heart-rending screams are now ringing in
my ears.

  [Illustration: Scenery on the Railroad Between Osorno and Puerto Montt]

All the small towns of southern Chile have flour mills and grain
elevators; throughout the countryside on the farms and in the towns are
seen tall block houses, reminiscenses of the days of Indian warfare.
From Osorno the railroad continues ninety-three miles southward to
Puerto Montt, the terminus of the longitudinal railroad southward.
Puerto Montt, with 5408 inhabitants, is the capital of the Province
of Llanquihue. It lies on the north end of Reloncaví Bay, 694 miles
south of Santiago, and is an uninteresting modern frame town, inhabited
mainly by Germans. When a southeaster blows the breakers beat with
terrific force against the docks.

Small vessels belonging to a local navigation firm ply thrice weekly
between Puerto Montt and Ancud, the capital of the Province and the
Island of Chiloé which lies eighty miles to the southwest on the
extreme northern end of the Chiloé archipelago, on the Bay of Ancud.
Large ships of the Compañia Sud-Americana de Vapores, generally known
as the Chilean Line, also make both Puerto Montt and Ancud weekly,
while those of intermediate size sail from Puerto Montt and make all
the small ports on the Gulf of Corcovado en route to Punta Arenas. At
eight o'clock in the morning following the day that I arrived in Puerto
Montt, I boarded the steamer _Chacao_ in a blinding downpour of rain
with a ticket for Ancud which cost about $1.20 in the equivalent of
our currency. The sea was not rough but was rather choppy, while the
rain prevented the passengers from remaining on deck. Unfortunately the
clouds hung too low to permit me to get a good view of the mainland.
The islands of Maillen and Guar were skirted and three hours out we
anchored off the port of Calbuco, county seat of the Department of
Carelmapu in the Province of Llanquihue. This town is situated on a
peninsula at the south end of the Bay of Reloncaví and from the steamer
deck resembled the lumber villages of Puget Sound. It is connected
with Puerto Montt by a rough wagon road and there is talk of extending
the railroad here, although I can see no reason for its necessity,
excepting that the harbor at Calbuco is sheltered while that of
Puerto Montt is not. The difficulties of engineering and the cost of
construction, I imagine, would never make it pay. Shortly after leaving
Calbuco we entered the Gulf of Ancud and after skirting the south end
of Llanquihue entered the narrow roadstead of Chacao, and arrived at
the hamlet of that name about two o'clock in the afternoon. Chacao was
founded in 1567 and until about fifty years ago was the principal port
of Chiloé when it was practically deserted in favor of Ancud whose
growth at that time had been rapid, and which owing to its being a port
on the Pacific Ocean was fast getting the commerce.

Ancud was reached about four o'clock in the afternoon after a trip that
consumed eight hours. It lies at the south end of the bay of the same
name, an indentation of the ocean, and is protected from the dreaded
southeasters by a mountainous headland named Lacui. The bay is filling
up so fast with mud which is washed into it by the rains, that vessels
of large draught have to anchor from one to two miles out. Our ship
anchored about half a mile out and we were transferred to terra firma
by gasoline launches. The village has 3424 inhabitants and is a dirty
settlement smelling of dried fish, built on the side of a hill. It is
the seat of a bishopric, the frame cathedral being the best building
in the town. There is absolutely nothing to do in the place which for
amusement has but one moving picture theater. Numbers of mixed bloods
and Indians are in evidence seemingly outnumbering the whites, many of
the latter being Germans.

Chiloé has an area of 8593 square miles, being larger than the State of
Massachusetts; its population is slightly in excess of eighty thousand
inhabitants many of whom are Indians. These Indians are not warlike
like the Araucanians nor are their physiques as good. Their numbers are
on the decrease owing to alcoholism and to diseases which always follow
in the wake of the advent of the white men. A continuation of the Coast
Range, the Cordillera de Pinchué runs the extreme length of Chiloé from
north to south, its summits from 1500 to 2000 feet in altitude being
near the Pacific Coast which is inhospitable and has no harbors. The
east coast of the island, separated by the thirty-five-mile-wide Gulfs
of Ancud and Corcovado abounds in good harbors and it is here that the
settlements are. These gulfs teem with small mountainous islands, most
of them being uninhabited.

A railroad runs southward from Ancud sixty-five miles to Castro, the
distance being made in four hours. There are no towns on the route
but numerous stops are made at small settlements such as Quichitue,
Puntra, Quildico, and Dalcahue. Midway between Ancud and Castro are
the Puntra and Putalcura River valleys of great fertility. Here are
many farmhouses with fields of green oats and with pastures of clover
in which feed droves of cattle and swine. Hides are one of the chief
exports of the island. Where there are no clearings the forests are
primeval and are beautiful in their green coloring. It is a dripping
forest of moisture with lianas, giant ferns, purple and crimson
fuchsias, and species of orchids. The bark of the tree trunks and
of the windfalls are covered with inch-deep moss. The density of the
woods and the exuberance of plant growth is the nearest approach to a
tropical forest imaginable in a temperate zone for the whole island of
Chiloé lies south of Latitude 42° South.

  [Illustration: Indian Belles, Chiloé Island, Chile]

Next to Ancud, the most important place on the island is Castro which
was the capital until 1834. It is the oldest town on Chiloé and here
the Spaniards made their last stand. It is a well-built village of 1243
inhabitants, situated on the west side of the long and narrow Putemun
Bay, and is well sheltered from the winds by the ten-mile-distant
mountains to the west. It consists of several parallel streets running
lengthwise along the bay. A wagon road runs southeastward from here
about thirty miles to the settlement of Ahoni. I only remained a
few hours in Castro because there arrived in the afternoon a steamer
from Punta Arenas on its way to Puerto Montt. Its route lay through
the channel which separates the large island of Lemui from Chiloé,
and then took a course eastward between several islands and rounded
Cape Chegian at the southeastern extremity of Quinchao Island. This
last mentioned island is about twenty miles long and is very narrow
excepting at its northwestern end where it broadens out, and is
separated from Chiloé by the Strait of Quinchao. It and an archipelago
of smaller islands form a political department of which the town of
Achao, where we anchored at dusk, is the county seat. Achao has a
population of 1571 inhabitants and has taken away much of Castro's
former trade. It is a long-strung-out fishing village on the side of a
hill, the forest on which comes down to the water's edge. Shortly after
leaving Achao, the ship sailed westward to Chiloé again and stopped at
Dalcahue on the Strait of Quinchao. Dalcahue has a road leading to a
three-miles-distant railroad station on the Ancud-Castro line. During
the night, Quincavi was touched at and after a steam through the Gulf
of Ancud and the Bay of Reloncaví, Puerto Montt was again reached at
11 A.M. It was a nice clear morning and the snow-capped Andes on the
unexplored mainland were resplendent in sunlit brilliancy.

On the mainland southeast of the Island of Chiloé is Chile's largest
river, the Palena. It rises from Lake General Paz, whose waters are
traversed by the international boundary line of Argentina and Chile; it
flows northward through western Patagonia and bending to the west after
a course of about thirty miles finally empties itself into the Gulf of
Corcovado. North of the Palena and at its source, separated from it by
a low range of hills in Patagonia, is the Futaleufu River whose origin
is in the Argentine Valley of the 16th of October. It flows westward
through the Andes into Lake Yelcho which in turn empties into the
Yelcho River. This river finds its way into the Gulf of Corcovado south
of the Quinchao Archipelago.

The person who visits Chile and returns home without having seen the
Llanquihue lake region has made his trip in vain. Here is a country as
grand as Switzerland, which although its mountains are not quite so
high, they seem higher and are better for vistas for the valleys are
lower. Moreover the snow line is here lower. In Switzerland one gets
the best views of the giant peaks from altitudes of valley bottoms
that are themselves six thousand feet and over above sea level; here
one gets the same view from low-lying rivers and lakes which makes
the sheer abruptness grander. There are no great thick forests in
Switzerland which are here omnipresent, garbing the mountain sides
from the barren, snow-capped peaks down to the very water's edge. This
Llanquihue country is beginning to become popular with excursionists
and it will not be long before it will be one of the world's famous
playgrounds.

Twenty-one miles north of Puerto Montt on the railroad to Osorno is the
large triangular Lake Llanquihue, much indented with bays and coves
on its western shore. Its breadth is over thirty miles, and it is
the largest freshwater lake in Chile. Its outlet is the Maullin River
which flows in a southwesterly direction into the ocean to the north
of the Bay of Ancud. The scenery in the neighborhood of the lake is
most charming. The west and north shores is a rolling country much of
which is cleared into farms, well kept up and showing a high degree of
prosperity. From the south shore rises a steep incline tapering towards
the top into the conical snow-capped volcano, Calbuco, whose lower
reaches are embowered in forests of hardwood. Many small streams rush
from its sides and pour into the lake. At the eastern extremity rises
the mighty, majestic dome of the volcano, Osorno, rising 8645 feet,
nearly perpendicularly from the clear waters.

  [Illustration: Lake Todos Santos from Petrohué]

Puerto Varas at the southwestern end of the lake is the summer resort
where the travellers leave the train. It is a clean little village of
frame houses in the heart of a country renowned for its frutillas, or
diminutive wild strawberry which grows here in abundance, and whose
name should not be confounded with _fresas_, which is the name for
the strawberry of larger size which we are acquainted with. The whole
region is a German settlement, and this is especially true at Puerto
Varas where scarcely anybody of any other nationality is seen excepting
some of the laborers. The Bellavista is the best hotel. It is a clean,
comfortable house where the proprietor is a professional landscape
photographer. Transportation of passengers to San Carlos de Bariloche
in Argentina is effected thrice weekly during the summer season and
once a week the remainder of the year. A little steamer belonging
to the South Andes Transportation Company leaves Puerto Varas at 8
A.M., and after a four hours' steam across the placid waters of Lake
Llanquihue brings one at Ensenada at the base of Mount Osorno in time
for luncheon. Here one now has the choice of a carriage or horseback
ride to the twelve-mile-distant Lake of Todos Santos (All Saints). This
short journey crosses a saddle of the divide between Lake Llanquihue
and the valley of the Petrohué River, of which Lake Todos Santos and
its tributaries are its source. This ride is over a road which in wet
seasons is poor and full of ruts but is decidedly charming on account
of the darkness of the forest which comes down to both sides of it. The
Petrohué River of unsurpassing beauty winds in a gorge between the high
Santo Domingo Mountain and the Calbuco Volcano, and empties itself into
the fiord like Reloncaví River. Behind a mountain chain to the west of
which Calbuco is the culminating pinnacle, is the large and beautiful
Lake Chapo, nearly inaccessible owing to the steepness of the mountain
sides which have to be climbed first in order to get a view of it.

  [Illustration: Puella]

At Petrochué which is reached at 3 P.M. there is nothing but a dock
from which one embarks on another small steamer that takes one in
four hours more to Puella at the eastern end of Todos Santos Lake.
The lake is long and narrow with several arms running like the legs
of a spider up into the pockets of the mountains which are formed as
their sides dip to unite with one another. The verdure of the forests
is dark and primeval, while the water itself is dark blue with barely
a ripple on its surface. The appearance of the entire landscape is
somber and mysterious. A small round island, named Isla de las Cabras,
rises precipitously in woodland glory from the center of the lake.
Ever present in the distance are snow-crowned domes, those of Osorno
and Santo Domingo behind us to the west, while in front of us rises
the awe-inspiring rugged peak of El Tronador (the Thunderer) white in
its icy altitude of glaciers. At Puella is a primitive hotel where the
traveller stops for the night. This place is at the very foot of the
Thunderer, so named from the loud intonations caused by the glaciers
breaking off at their edges and falling with roars into the ravines.
El Tronador is 11,278 feet high; its summit is only ten miles from
the deep-lying lake. Thus one can imagine its great perpendicular
steepness. This continues downward for an infinite depth in the lake,
whose banks are so sheer in many places that it is impossible to
obtain a foothold. The bottom of Todos Santos Lake has never been found
although it is believed to exceed a thousand feet in depth. The water
made by mountain springs and eternal snows is so cold that swimming is
impossible. About a third of a mile from the hotel at Puella is a large
waterfall, while at frequent intervals throughout the sublime landscape
are numerous falls and cascades.

Taking an early start from Puella, one arrives by carriage or mules
in two and a half hours' time at Casa-Pangue, a small frame chalet
where are stationed the Chilean custom-house officers. From here to
the international boundary at the top of the divide is an ascent of
about two thousand feet, the road lying through a thick forest. It
takes two hours to reach the summit where there is an iron post with
a sign on one side of which is the word Chile while on the other side
is Argentina. The divide is covered with snow from May till September
which on the hillsides reaches a great depth. Not far from the
international boundary marker on the descent is a crude wooden cross,
which denotes the burial place of workmen who died in a snowstorm while
constructing the road.

About halfway down the descent one suddenly perceives through the
thick foliage the turquoise blue of Lake Frio. This lake fed by the
torrential Frio River derives its name from the frigidity of its waters
whose origin is the glacier on the east slopes of El Tronador. A launch
is waiting at a pier to ferry passengers across it which takes about
twenty minutes. A road follows the left bank of the lake, but it is
not passable for carriages; it is used now for freight only. Rounded
rails lie on it parallel to each other and over them pass the concave
surfaces of bullock carts. All passengers were formerly transported
this way. A couple of miles beyond Lake Frio the western extremity of
Lake Nahuel Huapi, Argentina's largest lake is reached at the hamlet of
Puerto Blest by means of a mule-back ride.

  [Illustration: El Tronador, Chile

   As seen from Casa-Pangue]

Puerto Blest consists only of a dock and a frame building which is
the rest house for travelers and which is owned by the South Andes
Transportation Company. Here one stops for the night to continue
on the following morning the four-hours' steamer trip to the
thirty-mile-distant Argentine town of San Carlos de Bariloche. Lake
Nahuel Huapi is over fifty miles long by seven miles wide at its
broadest place, and is very irregular in shape, having many antennæ
or arms which reach into the mountain depressions. In its center is a
large island whose proper name is Victoria Island. It is long, wooded,
and mountainous and comprises about ten thousand acres. The Chileans
call it Menendez Island after the wealthy family of Menendez whose
seat is in Punta Arenas, and who formerly owned much property across
the Chilean frontier not far from the lake. The Argentine government
made a present of this island to a Señor Anchorena of Buenos Aires upon
condition that in ten years time he would expend on it for improvements
eighty-eight thousand dollars which was the amount that they considered
it worth. His own idea, which he has carried out, was to make Victoria
Island a private game reservation and to this end he has imported
wild animals from the north of Europe which have here thrived and
propagated. It abounds in deer, huanacos, and pheasants, but so far he
has not improved it commercially.

The farther eastward that one goes on Lake Nahuel Huapi, the less
beautiful and interesting the scenery becomes. The mountains become
lower, rockier, and more treeless, until the trees become stunted
and finally disappear so that the eastern end of the lake instead of
having the beautiful sylvan nature that was omnipresent in Chile has
now the sterile aspect of the west end of the Argentina pampa with
barren mountains and plains of dried grass. San Carlos de Bariloche
is a lonesome, God-forsaken village of about five hundred inhabitants
on the south shore of the lake. On the wide semblance of a street are
rough brick, adobe, and frame buildings with two churches, a parochial
school, a bank, and a government office. The inn which goes by the
name of Hotel Perito-Moreno is as much a disgrace to a hostelry as San
Carlos de Bariloche is to the name town. The paper was falling off the
walls and the broken windowpanes were repaired by having newspapers
pasted over the apertures. Straw mattresses with blankets, which I
imagine teemed with vermin, took the place of regular beds, while the
food was so execrable that it was nauseating. As the place is rarely
visited by anybody excepting cattle-buyers, it is not supposed to be up
to date.

The inhabitants of wind-swept San Carlos, however, are not complaining.
They have passed that stage and have resigned themselves to face
whatever misery might present itself to them. There is talk of
the Southern Railroad continuing from Neuquen to make the town its
terminus. This would effect another Transadine route and open up the
country to civilization. Not far from San Carlos de Bariloche the
Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe has an eighty-thousand-acre ranch. It is
said that he bought this to make his home on in case he should be
deposed in Germany. For manager he has Baron von Bülow, the nephew of
the former Chancellor of the German Empire.

  [Illustration: San Carlos de Bariloche]



CHAPTER XI

CHILLÁN. ASCENT OF VOLCANO CHILLÁN


While in Santiago in 1915 I met at the Hotel Oddo, a Señor Hugo
Gumprecht who was a guest there. He is a German by birth, but in his
youth emigrated to Australia where he married, became a naturalized
British subject, and lived there for some time. He then went to South
Africa and at the time of the Boer War enlisted in the British Army,
became an officer, and received the Victoria Cross. When the war was
over he went to Argentina and in the village of General Alvear in
the Province of Mendoza, started a hardware store. Here he became
naturalized as a citizen of the Argentine Republic and lived there
up to a few days previous to my meeting him. Business had become dull
in Argentina and as he is an experienced engineer he went to Chile to
see if there was an opening for him there in his line, in the meantime
leaving his family in Argentina until he would establish himself. He is
an educated man about forty-eight years old, is comfortably well off,
and in appearance is a double of Lloyd George, or rather looks like the
pictures of Lloyd George that were taken ten years ago. When I returned
to Santiago in 1916, Gumprecht was still in Santiago but living in a
private house. As he had not yet found anything to his liking, he was
about to make some trips to different parts of the republic to see
what there was doing. I intended visiting the baths of Chillán out of
curiosity and invited him to join me, which he did. I have never yet
found a person that I have cared more to travel with than with him.

One morning we left Santiago and eleven hours later found ourselves in
the 253-miles-distant Ñuble metropolis. Owing to an excess of traffic
the train was two hours late. From the train in the afternoon we saw
the irregular peak of the volcano Yeguas, 11,885 feet high, in the
Linares Andes on the eastern horizon; soon afterwards appeared in
the hazy background the volcano Chillán, 9438 feet high, whose whole
conical contour is perpetually covered with snow. Seen at the setting
of the autumn sun the central valley of Chile presents a view so
pastorally charming that its replica is difficult to be conjured by the
imagination. Broad fields of melons, intermingled with vineyards and
separated from each other by rows of Lombardy poplars and blackberry
hedges, decked the valley floor. On the western horizon rises a chain
of hills, which occasionally has an outcrop in the form of an isolated
mountain. The sun, which had just sunk behind them, made the sky
saffron, as its rays, invisible behind the western peaks, played upon
the snowy summits of the Andes to the east.

The crowd on the platform at the covered train shed of the Chillán
station is the most animated to be found at any railroad station in
Chile with the possible exception of that at Llai-Llai. Landscape
gardeners have endeavored to enhance the depot approach by planting
cedar trees in square holes in the middle of the sidewalk. These trees
have attained the growth of three feet. Leaving the depot, Gumprecht
was walking on my left. Presently he uttered an oath and upon my
looking around I was just in time to see his carcass take a plunge
and land on his belly in front of the astonished crowd. When he picked
himself up, he said:

"I felt something rise between my legs and I jumped, but it was this
_verdammter_ tree."

  [Illustration: Plaza O'Higgins, Chillán]

Chillán is the capital of the Province of Ñuble, and has a population
of 39,113, being the seventh city of Chile. Next to Santiago and Talca
it is the largest city in the central valley. It would be larger than
Talca if it took in its suburb, Chillán Viejo. But although a paucity
of manufacturing is done, it owes its existence as a market town to
its being the center of an agricultural district to which it is the
distributing point. There are but few foreigners, unlike the towns
farther south, so that the city is essentially Chilean and here native
life and customs can be seen and studied at their best. There are
several specialties of home-made manufacture that owe their origin to
Chillán, preëminent among which are untanned leather accoutrements and
caparisons for the equine and muline genera, such as bridles, whips,
and spur leathers. Chillán pottery is famous throughout the republic.
It is black, thin, and brittle, and is invariably adorned with scroll
work of pink, lemon, or white. Last in importance is the charcoal fan,
woven by natives from corn husks. The brewery of Julius Jenson is not
large enough to play a rôle in the financial equilibrium of the place
for its proprietor brews but an ordinary beer for local trade.

  [Illustration: Calle Roble, Chillán, Looking East from Calle Arauco]

Although the city has no electrified street car system, its horse cars
are a duplicate of the Santiago and Valparaiso trolley cars. They have
double decks, the top being reserved for those who prefer to travel
second class. In other means of transit there is nothing to boast of.
The hacks are antiquated, closed black wooden boxes, while the saddle
horses at the livery stables are of the antediluvian variety.

The main streets are well paved with cobblestones, but the side ones
are poorly paved with small smooth stones, very distressing to walk
upon with thin-soled shoes. The buildings are well built and red
brick is more common than in the cities farther north. However, there
are in Chillán frame houses, which in the neighborhood of Santiago
are conspicuous by their absence. There are several plazas, but the
principal one, O'Higgins, is the best, and in my estimation is the
loveliest in Chile. It has no grassy sward but its great trees give
a delightful umbrage that is refreshing during the heat of a summer
day. In this respect it is not unlike the Plaza Pringles in San Luis,
Argentina. A military band plays here thrice weekly at night and it is
then a treat for tired eyes to watch from a bench the procession of
well-formed girls in the latest creations pass by in review on their
_corso_ around the octagonal park.

  [Illustration: Street in Chillán]

The market place, paved with pebbles, is a broad area, bustling with
life. Nearly every known variety of vegetable is represented, and of
such a quality that I know nowhere else where they are excelled unless
it is at the market at Belgrade, Servia. Chillán is the greatest
onion mart in South America, and here are seen cartloads of that
nerve-soothing vegetable heaped on the ground. Many marketeers come
to town Sunday afternoon and sleep that night in their stalls so as
to be alert with their wares and produce at daybreak on Monday, on
which day the place is thronged. On the fringe of the area are canvas
booths. Here sit toothless hags and buxom virgins offering for sale at
fabulously low prices, quirts, riatas, hobbles, spur-straps, and other
leathern productions of their deft fingers.

  [Illustration: Market Place, Chillán]

Regarding hotels, Chillán has some good ones, but unless the
prospective lodger telegraphs beforehand, he is likely to find shelter
beneath a shade tree for the rooms are in constant demand. This speaks
well of the city. In the summer the natural trade is augmented by
the tourists en route to and en retour from the Termas de Chillán
(Baths of Chillán), a watering place, who spend a night or two in the
Ñuble metropolis in transit. At the exit of the old-fashioned railway
station, a runner meets the stranger and touts for the Hotel Central,
a large new building, a block from the center of the city.

I prefer the Hotel de France and believe it is the best in the central
valley. Its proprietor, Monsieur Pierre Heguy, is the super-bantam
cock. This handsome little man with his coal-black beard trimmed to
a goatee meets you at the door with a smile and a bow. "_Voilà_,
monsieur," he says, and with a stately sweeping gesture he stands
aside to allow you to inspect the best hotel bedroom in Chile. His
single-story hotel is of frame and adobe. "But what does that matter?"
he inquires and then concludes: "In case of fire or earthquake it is
much safer than the stupendous Hotel Central. Moreover, do water colors
and oil paintings of landscapes adorn the walls of the bedrooms at
the Central the same as in the Hotel de France? Have the Jews at the
Central any knowledge of liqueurs and champagne? _Sapristi_, no!" and
then he spat.

My bedroom on the street corner was grand and large enough to house the
august presence of an emperor and for it I paid the equivalent of $3.40
a day, which included meals. The carpet was of the old-fashioned kind
with pink roses whose replicas are only found to-day in the farmhouses
and in the old residences of the country towns whose furnishing dates
back two generations. The massive wooden washstand with mirror, chest
of drawers, and the bedstand were all crowned with marble slabs. The
bed was a four-poster and the "crazy quilt" was that of bygone days.
The same bed that I occupied probably once creaked under the weight of
Lady Brassey's expatriated figure when she visited Chillán, having left
the yacht _Sunbeam_ at Talcahuano.

The cuisine is perfect and the liquid refreshments are of the finest
quality. Monsieur Heguy is a connoisseur of those substances which
tickle the palate. He does not indulge in liquid refreshment. He did so
when I first made his acquaintance in 1913 but had to quit as it was
injuring his health. At the time of my previous acquaintance with him
he would drink everything on the bill of fare as long as somebody else
was paying for it, but he never treated when it came his turn.

One night while I was at the Hotel de France there was a temblor or
slight earthquake. I was awakened from a sound sleep a quarter of an
hour before midnight by a noise at my door as if somebody was trying
to break into my room. Lighting a candle I saw that the key tag was
rattling. I yelled out, "Who's there?" and opened the door but saw
nobody. I jumped back into the bed again but no sooner had I done so
than I saw a streak of light underneath the door to my right, and I
heard through the open transom of the door that opened onto the patio
the patter of feet as they crossed the tiled walk and the voice of
the young Englishwoman who occupied the adjoining room talking to her
brother and brother-in-law whose room adjoined mine on the left.

"I think the man next door" (meaning me) "is trying to enter my room,"
she said.

"Really, Mary, you don't say so," I heard a male voice reply.

"What do you think he would do to me if he entered my room?" asked Mary.

"I am sure I do not know," the male voice replied.

"Do you think he would murder me?"

"Hardly that," was the reply. There was a continuance of the
conversation which I could not distinctly understand, then the same
voice continued: "Take this revolver, and if you hear any further
disturbance, shoot through his door."

Now this was a pretty pickle. My bed was in range of a revolver shot.
I thought that some sneak thief had tried to get into both bedrooms
and had tried her door as well as mine. Mary had supposed that it was I
who wanted to enter her room. It happened that Mary was not good enough
looking for me to have any such designs towards her. She was slim and
angular, highly colored and commonplace, with a pointed nose and little
eyes like those of a pig. I moved my bed out of revolver range and went
to bed again. The next morning there was considerable excitement in the
town about the temblor, for it was this that caused the rattling noise
at the doors. I approached Mary and her male relatives while they were
sitting in the patio, and telling them that I heard their conversation
of the previous night, roundly upbraided them for their conduct, but
like most unmannered persons they were too ill-bred to apologize.

Besides the Plaza O'Higgins, another beautiful one is that named
Victoria or Santo Aldea. It is not well kept up because the irrigation
ditch which runs along the side of an adjacent street often overflows
and causes the walks of the plaza to receive a deluge.

An interesting excursion on foot is a visit to the less than a league
distant suburb of Chillán Viejo (Old Chillán). This foul village of
five thousand inhabitants was the original city before the earthquake
of 1833 which caused the survivors of the catastrophe to build on
the present townsite. There was an Indian settlement here before the
advent of the Spaniards. The name of their cacique was Chiquillanes,
from which the name Chillán is derived. At Las Toscas Creek at the
southern city limits of Chillán the broad Avenida O'Higgins, which
is no more than a dusty turnpike, leads in a southwesterly direction
to another creek, that of Paso Hondo, on whose filthy banks repose
adobe reconstructions of the original town. This place on the whole is
the most poverty-stricken and squalid town that I have ever visited,
although in this respect and in filth, it cannot compare with certain
sections and suburbs of stately Santiago. It is nine blocks wide with
an average of ten blocks long, has narrow streets paved with sharp
stones on which face tumbledown adobe hovels. Its inhabitants are
drunken, and many possess loathsome sores on their faces. The odors
rising from the decaying matter thrown from the house doors, the swarms
of flies, and the full-bellied whippets basking in the sun-baked offal
make a person ask, "Can such things be possible?" In those parts of the
town where such pleasantries are in the minimum, the air is redolent
with the fragrant odor of rats.

Yet Chillán Viejo is a place of reverence in the hearts of loyal and
patriotic Chilenos, for in this old town was born the father of Chilean
independence, Bernardo O'Higgins, who with the aid of San Martin broke
the Spanish dominion in Chile. A school has been built where stood his
house, but a room of the old building has been preserved with some of
his furniture and keepsakes. A marble tablet on the wall of the school
has the following inscription which translated into English reads:

"This house entombs a sublime echo, the whining of a little child which
was transformed into the yells of victory at Chacabuco and Maipo.

"Here was born the father of our Independence, Don Bernardo O'Higgins,
August 20, 1778.

"Chileans, honor his memory!

"Strangers, remember our history!"

In the center of the dusty ill-kept plaza of the town, abundant with
giant ash and pepper trees, is another memorial to this hero in the
form of a bust on a pedestal erected by a loving populace. Let it be
known that Bernard O'Higgins was one of the most unselfish and lovable
characters in military history. Born of Irish parentage in the squalid
village of Chillán Viejo, he donated his whole career for the welfare
of his country. After whipping the Spaniards he was made Supreme
Dictator. Unlike most other dictators he was not vainglorious nor was
he personally ambitious for power or wealth.

The church on the plaza of Chillán Viejo is said to be 285 years old.

  [Illustration: Scene at the Station at Pinto]

The Province of Ñuble, of which Chillán is the capital, has an area of
3407 square miles and a population of 166,245, being the fifth in Chile
as to the number of its inhabitants. Its eastern part is mountainous
and very sparsely settled, the great bulk of its population living in
the highly cultivated central valley. Its level lands are a fine rich
country given up to the growing of cereals, principally wheat, and to
all the vegetables known to the temperate zone. There are also many
vineyards.

The Baths of Chillán, as those hot springs are known, are fifty-seven
miles east of the city Chillán at the headwaters of Renegado Creek
on the slopes of the volcano Chillán, 5850 feet above sea level. One
leaves Chillán at 5.30 A.M. and rides for two hours on a light railway
which runs in a sort of a semicircle eastward to the station of Pinto,
a distance of but twenty-two miles. At Coihueco, six miles before
reaching Pinto, the farmers are building a mutual railway which will be
a branch of the narrow gauge, the government furnishing the rails. This
is being done so that the farmers may get their crops into Chillán.
Pinto is a large village lying about a league south of the railroad
station of the same name across the Chillán River.

  [Illustration: Post Station at La Dehesa]

  [Illustration: Harvesting Scene at La Dehesa]

At Pinto passengers change from the train into carriages and are driven
to the three-miles-distant post station of La Dehesa, where one can
either continue optionally by a seven-hour carriage drive to Las Termas
(The Baths) or by a continuation of the light railway to the hamlet
of Resinto and thence by carriage four hours to Las Termas. The round
trip by carriage costs $11.05; by train it is $1.36 extra. I went by
train which took nearly four hours on account of the presence on board
of two inspectors who had the locomotive stop every few minutes to
give instructions to construction gangs; from Resinto I went to Las
Termas by coach. The railroad followed the north bank of the Chillán
River until the station of Esperanza was reached where a fine view of
the smoking volcano ahead of us was to be had; it then crossed the
river and wound along a precipice up the west bank of the Renegado
Creek, which lay below us in a forest of oak. I rode on a flat car
which by means of hay wire was coupled to the box which served as the
train coach. Resinto, formerly named Posada, on account of the former
saloon and rest house (which in Spanish is _posada_), is the present
terminus of the light railway although it is being continued so that
in this year (1918) it is expected that it will be opened to traffic
as far as the corral of Las Trancas. The carriage road is very rough,
stony, and steep, and in some places extremely dangerous where it winds
around promontories. For the first few miles after leaving Resinto it
follows the creek bed; at a ranch house where guides are to be obtained
for mountain excursions, a trail leads off to the south, which if one
follows it for a day and a half will bring the traveler into Argentina
over the Buraico Pass. It is only advisable to cross the divide on mule
back on account of the steepness. From the boundary a few days' ride
will bring one to the wretched God-forsaken Patagonian settlement of
Chos Malal, in the Argentine Territory of Neuquen.

  [Illustration: Mountain in the Renegado Canyon, Chile

   This mountain has its double in the Martinswand, near Zirl, in Tirol]

The first stage of the drive is monotonous although the scenery is
good. There are a few scattered ranch houses in openings in the oak
woods; the country could scarcely be called a forest, nor is it an open
country. Mountains come down abruptly to the canyon and one of them
is a double of the Martinswand near Zirl in Tirol. The whole trip is
dusty in summer, which is the only season in which it is possible to
visit Las Termas. After leaving Las Trancas, the station where the five
horses are changed, and from which is seen a silvery waterfall several
hundred feet high, the road enters the primeval forest of oak, elm, and
laurel, decidedly beautiful, and then winds up the cool but dusty glen
of the Renegado, which is fed by numerous trout streams. The roaring of
many cascades and waterfalls is heard, the double one of The Lions, an
hour's ride before Las Termas is reached, being the most beautiful.

  [Illustration: Corral of Las Trancas]

The springs, bathing establishment, and hotel known as the Termas de
Chillán are at the highest limit of the tree line. They are owned by
the municipality of Chillán, and at the present time are leased to
a Basque, Monsieur Bernard Paguéguy, the French consul at Chillán,
for the sum of $12,240 for the season of four months, which is at
the rate of $3060 a month. In order to make a profit Paguéguy runs a
gambling establishment in conjunction with the hostelry. People are
not desired as guests who have no lust for the green baize. Baccarat,
petits chevaux, and slot machines operate at full swing regardless
of the strict anti-gambling laws of the country. A policeman recently
lost $204, his whole worldly possessions, and had to borrow $17.50 to
get away. While I was at Las Termas a man dropped $2040 in one evening
which though not much to lose at either Montevideo or at Mar del Plata
is a fortune to lose in Chile.

  [Illustration: Forest in the Province of Ñuble, Chile]

At Las Termas there is a main building and about thirty huts called
_casuchas_, where lodgers room _en famille_. There are stables and a
long barrack where the peons live. The bathhouses are about a quarter
of a mile up the ravine.

The main building is of stone and is three stories high in front and
two stories high in the rear as it is built on the slope of the hill.
Besides the dining room and the coffee room, it has a barber shop,
telegraph office, doctor's office, and rooms for guests. To one side is
the administration office, bar, two gambling rooms, writing room, and
kitchen. The ladies congregate evenings in a well-furnished hut which
has for furniture red cloth covered chairs, a sofa, and a pianoforte.

  [Illustration: Scene on the Road to Termas de Chillán]

The casuchas all have at least three connecting rooms and are
preferable to the main building. There has been considerable criticism
in the Chillán newspapers about the treatment of the peons at the
barrack. These poor people, afflicted with rheumatism and other
ailments, and too poor to afford to pay the regular price for food and
lodging, walk to Las Termas or come a whole family in an ox-cart or on
mule back. They tether their animals in the woods or turn them loose
in a corral. They bring their own food and bedclothing with them and
pay eighty-five cents a day for the privilege of shelter. Sometimes a
hundred of them are jammed nondescriptly into the dirty barrack which
serves as a dining room, kitchen, and bedroom for dirty and diseased
humanity of both sexes. Some of these poor fellows are seen nightly
sleeping hunched up on the floor against the walls of the buildings
near the kitchen and huddled close against one another for warmth, for
the nights are apt to be frightfully cold. They are unwelcome to the
host because they do not gamble.

  [Illustration: Termas de Chillán]

A steep climb takes one to the bathing establishment. These are two
houses, one for a steam bath and the other for a tub bath. The price
of an ordinary bath is seventeen cents, but there are some private tub
baths where it costs double. The waters are iron, manganese, sulphur,
mercury, and potassium, such a variety as these being hard to find
in so small a radius. Although the waters are good for rheumatism and
gastric troubles they are supposed to cure syphilis as effectively as
salvarsan. Many guests were here for this last-named ailment, although
they showed no visible outward signs. An acquaintance, a doctor from
Rancagua, was constantly urging me to take a mineral bath, which I
refused at first to do as I thought it best to let well enough alone.
By mountain climbing I soon got so dirty that I was obliged to indulge
in one for the sake of cleanliness. As I passed with a towel over
my arm by the tennis court where a match was in progress in front
of a crowd of lady spectators, the doctor saw me. With a roar that
temporarily stopped the game and which made me the cynosure of all
eyes, he bellowed:

  [Illustration: Casuchas at Termas de Chillán]

"Ha! Ha! Stephens is going to take a bath, although he advises against
it."

"Yes, doctor," I answered, "I am taking a bath for cleanliness sake.
Fortunately I am not afflicted with----"

"Syphilis," roared the doctor, cutting me short, which brought screams
of mirth from the spectators, more than half of whom were ladies. I was
going to terminate my sentence with "any malady" but the doctor did not
give me time.

On the mountain above the bathhouses are some mud volcanoes and steam
spouts named fumiroles, but they cannot compare with those of the
Yellowstone.

On the day of my arrival, I had not been more than ten minutes at the
hotel when an Englishman and a Frenchman approached me and said that
they intended making the ascent of the volcano Chillán the next day,
and having heard that Gumprecht and I intended doing the same thing
thought that it would be best to arrange a party as there was but one
guide at the establishment. I said that I would decide later on and let
them know. I did not relish the appearance of the Frenchman, who had
a tough face, and would have preferred to make the ascent without his
company, so I went to Monsieur Paguéguy, the lessee and administrator,
and asked him if there were more guides than one. He told me that there
were several. This settled the question, for I would not be obliged
then to make the ascent in company with the "butters in."

"Why do you not wish to go with the two gentlemen?" inquired Paguéguy.

"I am not accustomed to forming acquaintances with strangers who force
themselves upon me," I answered. "Moreover that Frenchman has a bad
look. He looks as if he would kill a man for a five-peso (87½ c.)
note."

"Sacré! Sacré!" yelled Paguéguy, "he is my brother. Sacré! Sacré!"

The administrator raved around like a madman. I told him that it made
no difference whether it was his brother or not, and that the proper
thing for him to have done would have been for him to have introduced
himself in the first place; that the Termas had a bad reputation for
being a rendezvous for card sharps, and that since his brother had the
appearance of one, how was I to know the difference?

Paguéguy told his brother and the Englishman about it. They caught me
alone that evening and tried to pick a quarrel with me. The odds were
against me for the Englishman was much larger than I, and the Frenchman
was also a strong, powerfully built man. The loud altercation attracted
the attention of Gumprecht and a Barcelona friend of mine named
Florencio Prat, who both came running up. The tables were now turned in
my favor, so my two antagonists prudently walked away.

"I think they mean to make trouble; let's follow them and hear what
they say?" suggested Prat.

The duo walked to a casucha and after entering it closed the door. We
three walked around the building and getting below an open window did
some necessary eavesdropping. It was well that we did so for we heard
them planning to catch one of us alone and give the prospective victim
a beating up. It was now time to show our teeth, which we did. Without
knocking we entered the casucha much to the astonishment of the duo and
told them that if they tried any funny business we would shoot them
like dogs regardless of the consequences, and for them to mind their
own business as we intended minding ours, otherwise something would
happen. We also showed them our revolvers. Nothing more developed.

  [Illustration: Mr. Henry Stephens]

  [Illustration: Mr. Hugo Gumprecht]

When Gumprecht, Prat, and myself left early the next morning to make
the ascent of the volcano Chillán we took as a guide a native named
Savedra. The hotel servants lied to us, telling us that there was no
water to be had en route and that we had better take along plenty of
liquid refreshments. This is their old trick of trying to sell a lot
of beer and whiskey. When Gumprecht told the head-waiter to put in two
drinks of whiskey for himself, the knight of the apron put in twelve.
I saw it and did not like the idea for I thought that Gumprecht really
had ordered twelve shots of whiskey and was going to go on a drunk on
top of the volcano, which could cause a mishap. As neither Prat nor
myself drink whiskey and since I would not permit Savedra to drink
any, I was horrified at Gumprecht, for the amount of spiritus frumenti
exceeded a quart. I approached him and said:

  [Illustration: View towards the Argentine Frontier from the Slopes of
   Volcano Chillán]

"What in hell are you going to drink those twelve shots of whiskey for?
I think it's a bad scheme."

"I only ordered two drinks," he replied.

"The waiter put in twelve."

"Impossible."

"It's the truth," I replied.

A search of Savedra's saddlebag testified to my statement. The
head-waiter was brought.

"I thought you ordered twelve drinks," he said. Spanish for twelve is
"_doce_" and for two is "_dos_," the pronunciation being near enough
for a man to misunderstand purposely. The head-waiter did this trick.

We left the hotel on horseback and for the first few kilometers it was
the steepest climb that I have ever made on the back of an animal. The
narrow path zigzagged up the nose of a mountain, exceedingly dangerous,
and as my beast had an English saddle, I several times slid off onto
his rump while making the ascent. I did not know that it was possible
for horses to climb like that, and I thought that I had previously been
in very steep places in California.

  [Illustration: Glacier Covered with Fresh Snow on the Volcano]

After riding some distance we came to a small glacier, and dismounted
to cross a creek at its mouth. The horses were panting, puffing, and
sweating but when we came to the creek Savedra let them drink all they
wanted of the cold ice water. This astonished me, but he said that
they were used to it. This glacier was cavernous for the stream flowed
out of a hole at its mouth. Soon another glacier was reached, this one
fairly long, which we crossed and then came out upon a lava field. We
had to dismount before coming to the lava field and feel our way, for
some fresh snow had fallen on the glacier, which was in some places up
to the horses' bellies. From the lava field we got our first good view
of the volcano summit. It was several miles off in front of us up a
direct steep ascent over glaciers, snow fields, lava, and ashes. It was
in eruption and was making a terrible noise. A great column of white
smoke rose to half a kilometer high until the air currents caused it to
be borne horizontally away in white cloud patches. I was frightened and
expressed my thoughts that we were near enough to the crater.

"It is nothing," said Savedra.

"I am afraid of nothing," said Prat.

A league-wide glacier stretched in front of us; we crossed it, keeping
near the edge of some lava fields. Three long crevasses crossed the
glacier, one of which was dangerous so we dismounted and jumped it,
holding the horses by the bridle to let them jump it. Prat's horse
was the only animal that jumped it without either falling with its
fore feet or hind feet into it. My beast fared the worst and I thought
that it was a "goner." The crevasse seemed bottomless and to extend
to infinity. The glare of the sun on the fresh snow was terrific
and caused us all to have sore eyes which lasted several days not to
mention that our faces were burned so much that the skin peeled off.
The sky appeared to be indigo instead of azure. Since leaving the
lava fields there had been several volcanic eruptions of five minutes'
duration, each one louder as we approached. I had now become used to
them and was no longer afraid.

  [Illustration: Rim of the Crater of Volcano Chillán During Eruption]

  [Illustration: Snow Fields of Volcano Chillán]

Looking in any direction the scene was enough to imbue any mortal with
a wholesome fear of God. Grand is not the word for the description; it
was superlatively wild, lonesome, and awful. It is nearly impossible to
realize the terrible loneliness and awesomeness of the great peaks of
the Andes, uninhabited by man or beast or bird which mark the boundary
between Central Chile and Northern Patagonia, their great snow-clad
serrated or conical summits towering thousands of feet into the
cloudless ether. The terrible view makes a man feel his insignificance.
I have been to the top of Misti, Ararat, and Mont Blanc, the first
mentioned two having an altitude double that of Chillán, but from their
summits the view is incomparable with that seen from the mountain on
whose slopes I now was. To the southeast probably fifty miles as a
crow flies rose the conical snow-capped extinct volcano of San José,
and beyond it the precipitous anvil top of twenty thousand feet high
Quemazones (Burnt Places) inaccessible, both lying in Argentina.

Early that morning a certain Carlos Michaelis from Punta Arenas had
left the Termas on foot for the summit of the volcano, so after we had
gazed with astonishment upon the awe inspiring works of Nature just
described, we turned our attention to the higher slopes of Chillán to
see if we could see him, for up to now we had seen no sign of him. We
finally saw a black spot high up on a snow-field which with binoculars
proved to be a man. He was plodding upward through the thick snow
laboriously, and at every few steps he would stop.

The glacier now became so steep that the slightest stumble of one of
the horses could have easily sent us rolling hundreds of feet down its
icy slopes to eternity. We had to dismount twice again and feel our
way on account of the deep snow before we reached the final lava field
where equestrian ambulation had to cease.

  [Illustration: From the Slopes of Volcano Chillán]

  [Illustration: Savedra, Gumprecht, and Prat on Lava Fields of Volcano
   Chillán]

Arrived at the end of the trail, a kilometer below the crater, a
whistling noise accompanied by steam rose again from the summit; then
there came sounds as of a mighty priming followed by a fierce eruption
which threw rocks as big as bath tubs in all directions. Fortunately
they did not go far, but their bombardment was enough to scare Prat who
was "afraid of nothing" and also Savedra who had previously said "It is
nothing." These two men brave at a distance now refused to go on, so
Gumprecht and I alone started on the ascent with difficulty, picking
our way among the multitude of rocks and shoe high ashes. Finally
tired we sat on a bowlder and waited for Michaelis whom we could see
a short distance below us. When he came up, throwing his weight on his
alpenstock, we ascended to the crater.

It happens that this crater has changed three times during the past
year, and that the present explosions do not rise from the crater,
but from some holes and fissures of rocks that form the north wall
and which are above it. A new crater is forming here, and although
considerable smoke issues from the regular one, the danger lies higher
up. At any time there is liable to be a violent eruption and the whole
north wall will then be torn asunder.

The crater is about an eighth of a mile across with precipitous sides.
I could not see its bottom on account of the vapors, but the ledges
of its interior were piled high with rocks. Michaelis planted some
trigonometrical instruments to take observations here, while Gumprecht
and I tried to climb the north wall. We could now see the country to
the north. The high volcanos Yeguas, Descabezado, and Peteroa were
visible in the blue distance while near at hand the detached white peak
of the Nevado de Chillán, so called from its crown of perpetual snow,
higher than the volcano soared its lofty dome into the heavens. This
is the peak that is seen from the floor of the Central Valley and from
that distance it appears as if the smoke were issuing from it.

As Gumprecht and I neared the apex, he was overcome by sulphur fumes
which issued from holes all about us, and was obliged to lie down. I
tried the ascent alone, and it took me nearly twenty minutes to climb
twenty meters, an average of approximately six feet to the minute.
This slowness was due to the slippery dampness of the ground which
was here covered with a greenish mold caused by its constant wetting
by the steam. This ground was so hot that it was nearly impossible to
touch it with the hands and the intensity of the heat soon made itself
felt through the soles of my shoes. I was obliged to crawl from rock
to rock. Eventually I arrived at a sort of natural platform where some
previous explorers had placed a few rocks denoting the limit of safety.
This place was about eight yards from the rock pile from which the
explosions took place. The whole ground was soft. The explorers might
just as well have placed their small stone pile half a mile down the
mountain side because it is dangerous anywhere near the summit. A few
years ago some people were badly hurt on account of flying rocks.

There had been no explosion for several minutes, so thinking I was safe
I sat down to rest. Suddenly without the slightest warning, and with
the most horrible roar that I have ever heard, like a mighty geyser,
the sulphur fumes shot upwards followed by a gush of fire combined
with a pelting of large stones which shot out of a large hole with the
impetus of a catapult. The air sang with inflammable material which
sizzled as it struck the wet rocks. I tried to run, but fell and slid
on my bottom ripping off the seat of my trousers. A rock hit me on
my right foot which, although I did not feel much pain from it at the
time, later on developed into an ailment which several times during the
two following years kept me confined in bed for at least three weeks
each time. In less than a few seconds I covered the distance to where
Gumprecht was lying. I yelled to him to hurry down the mountain to save
himself.

"Vait a minute," he yelled, "I can't breath this Gott damn schmoke."

When he got up we hurried down the mountain in quick time, stopping at
the old crater where Michaelis was taking observations. That man did
not return with us, but waited two hours until the explosions stopped;
he then ascended to the stone pile, but no sooner had he arrived there
than an explosion took place followed by such a pelting that he had
to remain until dark behind some cliffs, waiting for the violence to
diminish.

When we had descended to where the horses were, Prat and Savedra
rejoiced upon seeing us return alive, for they had a fright on seeing
me do the slide, and later both Gumprecht and I running, thinking
that we were done for. This did not prevent Savedra from drinking
Gumprecht's whiskey after we had left them to make the ascent. We
chided them for their cowardice in not coming any farther.

"I am too young to die," was Prat's excuse. Savedra said nothing; he
evidently could see no reason why he should undergo strenuous exercise
besides running the risk of getting blown up, when he could see the
explosions from where he was. It was hot when we had left Las Termas in
the morning and I wore a summer suit of clothes and a straw hat. Near
the summit of the volcano in snowy defiles where the sun never reaches
it was around the zero mark which I keenly felt if I stood still a
minute. When we arrived back at the hotel, the crowd gathered around us
and asked us all about the trip. The Englishman and the Frenchman with
whom we had quarreled started out the next day to make the ascent, but
overcome with a "streak of yellow" went only as far as the end of the
glacier. Their game was ping-pong.

  [Illustration: Mountain Scenery and Waterfall at Las Trancas]

When we finally left Las Termas we walked to Resinto, a distance of
twenty miles, and drove to La Dehesa stopping en route a few minutes
at the post house of La Quila to change horses. The road is rocky and
is bordered by blackberry bushes whose vines grow to a prodigious size.
The Chilean blackberry, named _sarsamorra_, is different from our wild
blackberry in the fact that it is sweeter, has a milder flavor and in
shape is wider, shorter, and rounder. When I made this trip, the bushes
were bent down with the weight of this succulent fruit which was now
ripe. The sarsamorra is a pest in Chile, as it springs up everywhere,
and spreading over the fields is hard to stamp out. It forms natural
hedges for estate boundaries and field limits.

In all this Ñuble country overcoats and thick underwear come in handy.
The nights are cool in summer while in winter there is snow in the
hills. I saw people in the plaza in Chillán in March, which corresponds
to September in countries north of the Tropic of Cancer, wearing
overcoats. Not that it was really cold enough to wear them, but it is a
fad with South Americans to don overcoats upon the slightest occasion.

I was obliged to stop a day at the Hotel Central on my return to
Chillán owing to the failure of the administration of the Termas to
telephone to Monsieur Heguy reserving me a room at the Hotel de France.
The Central is not bad, but it seems to have no proper management; it
is a costly establishment but is not as clean as the Hotel de France.
As the hotel was filled, I was obliged to sleep in a sample room.
Because I presented an uncouth appearance upon my arrival, due to a
week's "roughing it," the obsequious boy who acts as head push, hotel
runner, etc., thought that I was a bum and intended giving me a cot
in a room with a couple of "drunks" on the top floor, to which I made
serious objections. At the Central the better a person is dressed upon
arrival, the better a room he gets. The size of a piece of meat served
in the dining-room is equal to that of a walnut.

At Pinto I met Don Vicente Mendez U, governor of the Province of Ñuble.
He was returning from a tour of inspection of the farmers' mutual
railway. He was very much interested in North American customs which he
wanted to see introduced in Chile especially in his province, chiefly
the prohibition propaganda of which he had read much. He thought that
it would be a good thing to have the Province of Ñuble go dry and
advocated it strongly. Later on in conversation with him when I told
him that I was in Chile to look the country over in view of starting
up a new industry, stating that I thought that a brewery would pay in
Chillán, he changed his views and said that it would be quite the thing
because the Julius Jenson brewery did not do a big enough business to
satisfy the wants of the inhabitants, and that the inhabitants of the
city had to import beer from Valdivia and Talca. He made an appointment
to meet me the next day and brought with him the mayor of the city
and some of the important officials. There was proposed to me that if
I would build a brewery in Chillán, I should receive as a concession
a track of land on the railroad besides an exemption from taxes for a
number of years. They were very enthusiastic about the proposition. The
governor also said that it would pay in Chillán to found a hypothecary
agricultural bank. I doubt the feasibility of this because crops often
go to waste on account of no market. My friend the doctor from Rancagua
grew twenty thousand bushels of barley in 1916; of this he was only
able to dispose of one carload.

In 1916 there was a great railroad strike on the State Railroads of
Chile; owing to it trains were invariably late and did not run nights.
I was therefore obliged to stop off overnight at Curicó en route to
Santiago. At the stations of San Carlos and Villa Alegre there were
enough watermelons, here called _sandias_, piled up to supply the
entire republic. There are no freight sheds at the stations large
enough to store the crops about to be exported, so it is not uncommon
for a farmer to have his whole grain crop spoiled by rain as it lies in
sacks near the platforms.

We arrived at Curicó at night and stopped at the Hotel Curicó, which
is run in connection with the eating-house at the depot. It is a large
brick old-fashioned building. The daughter of the landlady is one of
the most attractive girls I have ever had the fortune of meeting, and
in the two days that I was there I had a feeling for her that can be
described as infatuation. She was rather tall and slender but well
built, a brunette, and about twenty-two years old. She was also refined
and possessed good sense. I did not try to become well acquainted with
her as I had no desire to play with fire, but these attractions of hers
I was able to perceive without intimate acquaintanceship.

Curicó is the capital of the province of the same name. This province
and that of Talca are the two poorest in Central Chile in agriculture,
although the land is fertile and in some parts is highly cultivated.
The city lies in the center of the Central Valley and owing to its
geographical situation it has become quite a busy town. Its population
in 1917 was 22,452 inhabitants against 17,573 in 1907. It is the
twelfth city of Chile. Curicó has far better government, public and
private buildings than Chillán, and its main streets teem with life.
The streets are narrow and are paved with small sharp stones. The Calle
Prat is the street that leads to the railroad station and is one of the
main ones. Four blocks east of the station it is intersected by another
main street which runs north and south. Following this street south
one arrives at a beautiful plaza, on which is the severe but stately
Capitol and several other large buildings which are of the Georgian
type of architecture. Besides the Hotel Curicó, there are six or seven
other hotels, the Central, the Comercio, etc. Of these the Central is
the best. It has two patios above one of which is a grape trellis from
which, when I saw it, dangled bunches of fruit, blue, red, and green.



CHAPTER XII

NORTHWARD TO ANTOFAGASTA BY RAIL. COPIAPÓ, ANTOFAGASTA, AND IQUIQUE


I remained a couple of months in Santiago after returning from Chillán
which I put in profitably by making excursions and foot tours to the
nearby mountain canyons, visiting the small towns in the neighborhood
and studying the business possibilities of the future as applied to the
Chilean capital.

One night as I sat having my shoes shined in a bootblack stand
underneath the Portal Fernans on the south side of the Plaza de Armas,
I noticed passing by an Englishman named Greenberg, an old acquaintance
whom I last saw in Arequipa, Peru, in 1913. Greenberg was a salesman
for the Browning Arms Company, originally hailing from Liverpool but
had been quite a few years on the West Coast. In Arequipa we were
introduced to a wealthy family named Larramendi and were frequent
guests at their house. They had three charming daughters. One night
while Greenberg and I were calling on the Larramendi girls, I overheard
him proposing marriage to the oldest one, Felipa. I was considerably
annoyed at this because Greenberg had already a wife and children in
the old country. I upbraided him for his actions but was surprised when
he answered me that he was sincere in his proposal and that since he
and his wife did not get along very well together, he intended marrying
Felipa and settling down in Arequipa. I knew that sooner or later he
would be found out and as I did not care to be a witness of such an
act towards a family that had shown me so much consideration, I quietly
left Arequipa saying nothing to Greenberg about my departure.

  [Illustration: Church in San Felipe]

Now after an elapse of three years without having heard anything about
the outcome, curiosity got the best of me so I hailed Greenberg. I
invited him to a quiet café and heard his story.

  [Illustration: City Hall, San Felipe]

Greenberg married Felipa and shortly after the marriage, old Larramendi
sent him with his bride to live on an upland estancia about fifty
miles east of Arequipa in the high Andes, which estancia Greenberg
became the manager of. He had lived there for two years rarely coming
to Arequipa and had become the father of a child by this new union. He
made considerable money for his father-in-law, who in turn gave him no
salary nor wages, and this latter fact coupled with the life of ennui
that he was leading caused him to have a talk with the old man about
his future. He demanded a salary but this Larramendi refused to give
him saying that he himself was an old man and would not live for more
than fifteen years more, and that when he died Greenberg would inherit
the bulk of his fortune on account of his business ability, so what
more could he ask for?

Greenberg than told Larramendi that if a change did not immediately
forthcome, he would quit the managership of the estancia and would
leave there with his wife to resume his old calling of salesman which
paid him well.

"If you do," said Larramendi, "I shall have you arrested for bigamy."

"What is that you said?" yelled Greenberg, scarcely believing his own
ears.

Larramendi then went on and told him that he had carefully looked
him up before inviting him to his house and had found out that he
was married and had a wife and children in Liverpool whose address he
had. He said that he did not care a rap for that part of the business
for he wanted to see his daughters married to Anglo-Saxon stock. "It
will improve the race," he said, "especially that of my own immediate
family." He told Greenberg that for this reason and also for the fact
that he knew him to be a good business man he had urged the marriage
and was willing to keep his mouth shut provided Greenberg would keep
on living as he had the past two years, but that if he attempted to
run away he would have him arrested for bigamy. Greenberg returned
home to the bleak mountain estancia and confessed the whole thing to
Felipa. She stood by him and both thought out a scheme to get away. A
year afterwards their plan matured when Larramendi was on a business
trip to Lima. They went to Bolivia and thence to Chile where Greenberg
obtained a position as manager of a mercantile house in Valparaiso.
Fortunately for him, his first wife not having heard from him in over
three years had divorced him on grounds of desertion and had married
another man. Greenberg communicated this news by letter to Larramendi
who was now inducing him by offers of a most lucrative salary to return
to Arequipa. This Greenberg had so far refused to consider because he
did not know what new trick Larramendi had in store for him.

"You were lucky, Stephens," he said, "to have left Arequipa when you
did. Larramendi was planning to catch you for his youngest daughter,
and likewise had you looked up. He thought you would have made a good
match for her and has many times deplored that you went away. He was
very fond of you and I honestly believe Anastasia loved you and still
hopes you will return. However if you married her, you would be in the
same mess that I was in. Larramendi is not so old as he likes to make
out and I doubt if he will cash in his checks for twenty-five years
yet. That is a long time waiting for dead men's shoes. I am satisfied
where I am and when I reached Chile I knew that I was safe for even if
my first wife hadn't obtained a divorce the Peruvian extradition laws
are a joke and the Chilean government would never have given me up to
be sent back to Peru to stand trial for bigamy there."

  [Illustration: Street in San Felipe]

The time was approaching when I had to return to the United States;
Prat was just as anxious to return to Barcelona, and Gumprecht
was getting restless in Santiago and wanted to see more of Chile,
especially the northern part. We accordingly made arrangements to go
north by rail taking our time to the trip stopping off at different
places. Prat and I had a great impedimenta of baggage constituting
curiosities that we had collected on our travels besides live parrots,
toads, turtles, etc. indigenous to South America not to mention a
couple of trunks full of bulbs and seeds which I intended to experiment
with by planting at home. We also had baskets, pottery, and Indian
blankets. We did not care to be encumbered with them and as we met a
roustabout in Santiago who was recommended to us for his honesty, and
who was anxious to get to Lima to accept a position that was offered
him there, but could not make the grade through lack of funds, we
told him we would pay his passage to that port if he would take our
baggage with him. This proposition he jumped at so we made arrangements
for him to sail on a boat that was to leave Valparaiso the following
month. That would make him reach Lima about the same time Prat and I
would arrive. This roustabout's name was Angel Larrain. He was a tough
looking customer about thirty-eight years old, was broad shouldered,
and wore a full beard which he seldom kept trimmed. His facial
appearance was adorned by an ugly scar on his right temple which he
received in a saloon brawl some years previously in one of Valparaiso's
waterfront dives.

Not far out of our route northward are the Springs of Jahuel which are
so well known that we determined to take them in. To reach them it is
first necessary to take the train to San Felipe, three hours distant
from either Santiago or Valparaiso, and then drive twelve and a half
miles.

  [Illustration: Street in Almendraz]

San Felipe, with a population of 14,426 inhabitants, is the capital and
largest city of the Province of Aconcagua which lies directly north of
the Province of Santiago. This large province is Andine in character
although it extends to the ocean and in its confines are the highest
mountains in Chile. It is semi-arid although in its narrow valleys the
largest vineyards in the republic are located. It is famous for its
wines and its chicha. This last is a sort of grape cider, muddy brown
in color, sweet and heavy and is apt to give the partaker indigestion.
It should not be confused with the chicha of Peru. Peruvian chicha is
an alcoholic beverage made from cereals and is akin to moonshine or
corn whiskey.

San Felipe is a dull, old-fashioned town with a good hotel, the Europa.
A couple of hours is sufficient to see all the attractions of the city
unless the visitor is religiously bent for the city boasts of several
large churches. The original city was square, its sides being about
three-quarters of a mile long and was bounded by an alameda with a
double drive on each side of a pedestrian promenade in the center. The
trees between the roads and the walk are giant elms and maples. The
city has outgrown its original boundary and extends some distance on
the outward sides of the alameda; this growth has not been recent as
can be testified by the crumbling appearance of the houses which are
of adobe and have a height of but a single story. The appearance of the
place is that of stagnation; a small brewery is the only manufacturing
interest but like that of Julius Jenson in Chillán, its product does
not meet the wants of the local trade.

The plaza is lovely and cool which is a great contrast to the alameda
where the dust is insupportable. In it are statues of mythological
goddesses which are of Carrara marble. In its center is a fountain
surrounded by a large round pool while in the plots of earth grows a
profusion of calla lilies. There are also some fine palms and a great
trumpet vine. Situated on the plaza is a big church. It is adobe and
has a frame top and steeple. It is painted pink, and on its façade
cracks caused by an earthquake are in evidence. The interior is poor
and on its walls hang cheap paintings. When any prominent citizen dies
a marble slab is mounted in the church for his memory. At the eastern
end of the city is a papier maché imitation Grotto of Lourdes, the alms
box at its gates being the most visible of its sights.

The drive to Jahuel is devoid of interest. For a couple of miles the
road runs eastward along a turnpike bordered by mud walls so high
that it is impossible to see over them. The dust is terrible. Soon
the village of Almendraz is reached with its narrow streets, ancient
yellow church with a clock tower surmounted by a dome, and a Calvary
on a high rock at the end of the main street. The turnpike has swung
to the north and continues in this direction all the way to Jahuel. A
large village named Santa Marta is traversed and the dry bed of a river
is followed. Although there are plenty of small farms and the land is
thickly settled, it is nevertheless a much poorer country than in the
Central Valley. The mountains are devoid of all vegetation excepting
a few sage bushes here and there. In the valley cactuses are abundant,
but everything has a dry, parched look.

Jahuel, which is the name given to the hotel, bathing establishment,
and water is the property of Delano and Weinstein of Valparaiso.
The place is sadly overrated. The hotel building is good and modern
although the food at the meals is scarcely enough for a mouse; the
rooms are small and plain, but clean. I remarked about the scantiness
of the meals to the manager. "We can't have such luxuries as chicken
every meal," he replied. "Nobody said anything about chicken," I
retaliated; "anyhow who considers that a luxury in Chile when it is
the commonest of meat? What I was kicking about is why you don't serve
a square meal." A splendid vista of the Aconcagua Valley at one's feet
can be had from the terrace and the verandas.

The altitude of Jahuel is 3835 feet above sea level, but strange to say
the nights are not cool. The water comes from the near by Los Pajaritos
Springs and its bottled carbonated adulteration is shipped all over
Chile. There is a swimming tank and a sun bath at the establishment. A
South American sun bath is a boarded-in yard with some wooden benches
on which people recline in the Garden of Eden garb. A partition divides
the sun bath into spaces for both sexes, the men being on one side of
the wall and the women on the other. Some young Actæons had placed a
ladder against the partition on the men's side at Jahuel in order to
gaze upon the contours of female figures on the women's side.

  [Illustration: Jahuel]

At the present time there is nothing to see at Jahuel. In ten years'
time it may develop into a lovely park. The trees are too young yet to
afford shade. The lawn and flower beds are well arranged but they are
now in the transition stage between a desert and a garden spot. Many
of the famous California health and society spots to which thousands
of tourists make their invernal hegira were worse twenty years ago
than Jahuel is to-day. The establishment savors of Teutonic cliques.
The majority of guests are of German extraction and pair off into
groups. Some of the maidens that nightly promenade the terrace are such
past mistresses in the art of cigarette smoking that their bodies and
clothes reek with the odor of nicotine. This does not appear to have
the effect of depreciating their charms for on several occasions in the
_bosque_ I inadvertently caught amorous swains clandestinely exchanging
kisses with these foul-breathed virgins.

One of the great advertised sights is the bosque. The word bosque
means jungle of small trees. Trees are so scarce in that part of the
country that when there is a similacrum of one it becomes famous and is
advertised. This bosque is no better than a brush heap but it attracts
visitors by a well-kept trail and painted signs. It is distant from
the hotel by a seven and a half minutes' walk; nonagenarians walk it in
fifteen minutes. The signs, therefore, read "To the Bosque of Quillayé,
15 minutes." Nonagenarians leave more money at Jahuel than young people
because the former are so old that they spend at least two weeks there,
while the latter, driven to distraction by ennui rarely remain more
than a day, unless to enjoy the attractions of the cigarette-smoking
German maidens.

It is possible to make the trip from Santiago to Pisagua, one of the
northernmost ports of Chile by rail. Through trains run only as far
as Iquique. It takes four days this way from Santiago to Iquique which
includes a stop of one and a half hours at Illapel, a half hour's stop
at La Serena, two and a half hours at Vallenar, one and a half hours at
Copiapó, nine hours at Catalina, and four hours at Baquedano. Nineteen
and a half hours are wasted at these stations yet the travel consumes
less time than that by ocean steamer from Valparaiso to Iquique. I
think that I am the first North American not officially connected with
the railroad that made the trip as far as Antofagasta. The through
train runs every Friday, and after the first day out the journey is
most tedious and enervating, hot and dusty with vistas of the most
desolate desert imaginable. I broke the journey at Copiapó, continuing
thence by local trains.

The Northern Longitudinal Railway begins at the town of La Calera
which is on the Santiago-Valparaiso Railroad. As far as Copiapó it is
a narrow gauge but after leaving that town it has three rails for some
distance in order to carry both broad gauge and narrow gauge traffic.
The original railroads of Chile which ran from the interior to the
coast towns were all broad gauge and as it is cheaper to lay another
rail inside the already existing two rails to accommodate narrow
gauge traffic than to lay a new roadbed this triple rail phenomenon
is met with in many places in Northern Chile. The train composed of
two sleepers and other coaches leaves La Calera upon the arrival of
the Santiago-Valparaiso express. To reach La Calera from San Felipe
I was obliged to change cars at Llai-Llai midway between Santiago and
Valparaiso. The first day's ride is interesting, although the country
is sparsely populated and semi-arid. It is a continuous slowly winding
up the canyons, passing through tunnels at the Coast Range summits,
and a mad race around curves down other canyons. The first summit
is reached an hour after leaving La Calera; the train goes through a
tunnel under the pass of Palos Quemados and enters the Valley of La
Ligua. This is followed upward to Cabildo where the river is crossed.
Then by means of sharp zigzags another summit is reached and we descend
into the fertile but narrow Valley of Petorca. The small city of
Petorca lies about fifteen miles up the river of the same name beyond
where we turn up the Estero de las Palmas (Palm Creek). This brook
gets its name from the great abundance of palms which grow wild all
over the sides of the mountains at its source. There are several of
these palmares in Chile, which are botanical freaks for this particular
mountain specie is found in their natural state nowhere else in South
America. The largest of these palmares is that of Ocoa near La Calera;
another one is at Concon, at the mouth of the Aconcagua River. They
are valuable for their honey. A hole is drilled into the tree near its
base, a tube is inserted and the sap is extracted which is made into
honey.

  [Illustration: Ocoa]

Across the mountains north of the Estero de las Palmas is the mournful
desolate mountain pocket of Tilama, the headwaters of the Quilimari
River. The Indians hereabouts weave rugs, blankets, and table-cloths
of a fine durable texture which are in great demand. They are red with
white flower designs. The Tilama ridge is crossed and finally two more,
one to the Pupio River and one to the Choapa River before darkness sets
in.

The Choapa is a fertile valley and the river of the same name forms
the boundary line between the provinces of Aconcagua and Choapa. The
Province of Choapa was created by an Act of Congress in December 1915,
and to define it a large area of land was taken from the southern part
of the Province of Coquimbo. Up to the time of this writing (1918)
the limits of its various departments have not been defined. Illapel,
the new capital, on a river of the same name was reached about 8 P.M.
It has a population of about five thousand inhabitants and is filled
with life owing to its sudden acquisition of importance. Salamanca
and Combarbalá are the only other towns worthy of mention in the new
province. Los Vilos in the Province of Aconcagua is the seaport of
Illapel with which it is connected by railroad. I took a walk up the
main street of Illapel. It is an old-fashioned town, very long and
narrow. Its houses, mostly one story in height, are painted white. The
streets were crowded and a band was playing.

I awoke the next morning at Ovalle, a growing stock town in the
southern part of the Province of Coquimbo. It had by the census
of 1907, 6998 inhabitants but I understand that it has increased
considerably in population since then. It lies on the Limari River
just below the junctions of the Grande and the Hurtado rivers which
uniting form the Limari. For its port it has Tongoi on the bay of the
same name to which place it is connected by rail, but now much of the
freight goes to Coquimbo. At Coquimbo, which was reached a couple of
hours later, I obtained my first unhindered view of the Pacific Ocean
on this South American trip. From Ancud on the Island of Chiloé, I
could look across the great expanse of bay to the headlands which
formed the promontories beyond which the ocean was, but owing to the
rain the ocean proper there was invisible. Coquimbo is a busy and dirty
port of 12,106 inhabitants and has no attractions such as possesses the
eight miles distant city of La Serena, the capital of the Province of
Coquimbo.

La Serena is named in honor of the last viceroy of Peru. His name
means serene. The city is also serene. It is one of the oldest towns
in Chile, has 15,966 inhabitants and is admirably situated on a
height of land overlooking the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Elqui
River to the north. It is a quiet town of handsome buildings and is
the residence of many retired men of wealth and of intellectuals. In
this respect it can be compared with Paraná in Argentina and Graz in
Austria. Its population has decreased slightly in recent years yet
the city is stable and will always remain so. Its only industry is
the Floto Brewery. To any Michiganders reading this book, I wish to
call attention to the fact that it was visited in 1906 by Hon. Chase
S. Osborn. The level country about La Serena and Coquimbo and the
neighboring valleys are fertile and well-watered. Fields are given
up to the cultivation of grain and vineyards abound. A native fruit
named the pepina, akin to the papaya is grown and from it a soft
drink is made which although palatable is rather insipid. About twenty
miles south of the city among the foothills is the mineral spring of
Andacollo famed locally, while thirty miles north of La Serena are the
newly opened iron mines of La Higuera, controlled by North American
capital.

After leaving La Serena, the all-day ride northward to Vallenar is
for the main part uninteresting although it has a recompense in the
wild mountain scenery when the train winds up the canyon known as the
Quebrada del Potrerillos. At nine o'clock at night, Vallenar the second
city of the Province of Atacama was arrived at. The train was scheduled
to remain here for two and a half hours but there was some trouble
with the locomotive which kept us here all night and part of the next
morning. It happened that a telegram had to be sent to Coquimbo for an
extra locomotive to be sent up to Vallenar.

  [Illustration: Street in Vallenar]

Vallenar is the original home of the patio process for the extraction
of silver from the ore by means of crushing. Mercury is added forming
an amalgam and the silver is obtained by heating the amalgam, which
evaporates the mercury leaving as a residue the crude silver. It is
no longer a mining-town but is the center of the fruit growing Huasco
district. Figs of Huasco are famous. Quite a trade is carried on by
the exportation of raisins, here named _tapas_. Vallenar has 5561
inhabitants. It is on the Huasco River and is connected by rail with
Freirina and the seaport, Huasco. It was pleasant to again see trees.
It seldom rains in this region. When I alighted from the train at the
railroad station there was such a heavy mist it resembled rain. It
accumulated into drops where it had fallen on the leaves and as such
fell onto the sidewalks. Near the depot is a large finca surrounded
by gum and poplar trees, and the sound of running water in the
irrigation ditches behind the high adobe walls was refreshing. It takes
thirty-five minutes to walk the length of the main street, but the city
is only six blocks wide. A half mile up this street is a plaza with a
stagnant pool in its center where are gold fishes. A miniature Eiffel
Tower whose top is crowned by an illuminated clock that does not keep
time soars above a stand where an infantry band was playing. When a
crowd had collected to listen to the music the band moved off up the
street until it came to a moving picture show, whose proprietor had
hired it for the evening as an advertisement. Nowhere in my travels
have I seen so many bands both military and private as in Chile.

  [Illustration: Alameda in Copiapó]

  [Illustration: Monument Erected in Honor of Atacama's Illustrious Dead,
   Copiapó]

The streets of Vallenar are narrow, and although lighted with
electricity, they are dark. The city is ancient in appearance and as
one passes by the gloomy structures in the misty night, a feeling is
present that one of the doors leading into the adobe hovels might open
and that the pedestrian will be yanked by unknown hands inside, where
he will be robbed and murdered by disembowelment which is the favorite
trick among Chileno thugs. Vallenar has not the street life of Illapel,
yet I must say in its favor that never elsewhere in a town of its size
have I seen so much beauty among women.

  [Illustration: Main Street of Copiapó

   The building at the left is the city hall. It is also used for
   moving-picture shows]

At Copiapó I stayed four days. It is the capital of the Province
of Atacama and has a population of 10,287 inhabitants although it
looks considerably larger. Fifty years ago it had fourteen thousand
inhabitants. At that time it was a mining center, and much of the
wealth among the leading families of Santiago to-day has its origin
from mines formerly located here. The railroad to the fifty-two miles
distant seaport of Caldera was opened to traffic in 1850 and is one of
the oldest in South America. The original locomotive used is now to be
seen in the National Museum at Santiago.

The city is situated in an oasis in the desert; this oasis is
twenty-five miles long by two miles broad and is cultivated to an
amazing degree. It is traversed by the turbulent muddy and narrow
Copiapó River which furnishes irrigation to the many _quintas_.
Peaches, figs, grapes, and apricots grow in profusion as do also
loquats and other local fruits whose names are unfamiliar to me. A
specie of willow is indigenous to the valley which in form is not
unlike a Lombardy poplar and from a distance is often mistaken for one
of them.

The environs of the city have a decidedly oriental appearance due to
the high mud garden walls which shut off from the passer-by the rich
verdure of the enclosed terrain, making the only objects visible to
him the dusty windowless backs of sheds with an occasional tree rising
above an adobe wall.

  [Illustration: Main Street of Copiapó]

Copiapó is retrogressant and will become even more so. Work has
long since stopped at the mines and the only thing that keeps the
place alive is that it is the capital of a province. If asked for a
description of the city, I would say that it is an old adobe town in
an oasis surrounded by barren mountains, with a broad alameda bordered
with giant pepper trees. This brief description is accurate. The pepper
trees are the largest I have ever seen and some of them are nearly
eight feet in diameter. The alameda has an abundance of statues to
Atacama heroes with a soldiers' monument to the illustrious Atacama
dead. The house roofs rise to a slight gable and nearly all are of
adobe. This mode of construction could not be possible in a country
where rain falls frequently, because in 1915 when there was a hard
rainfall in Copiapó, the first time that it had rained in eight years,
many of the roofs became mud puddles and were washed in.

  [Illustration: Outskirts of Copiapó

   Note the Oriental setting]

There are only two hotels in the Atacama metropolis, the Atacama and
the Ingles. I stopped at the former which is the best. It is owned by
a Boer named Bosman who married a native woman. Since the proprietor
finds mining more profitable than hotel business, he leaves the
management of his inn in the charge of his younger son. The hotel
is fair as well as the meals, although it has none of the modern
conveniences. The primitive privy is reached by crossing a barnyard
and is a favorite place for poultry which roost here. I discovered a
tarantula on the seat. To reach this place one has to run the gauntlet
of semi wild swine some of which were ugly. The Ingles is owned by
a native who is the son of a once famous Spanish opera singer. This
man thinks well of himself although his only claim for distinction is
evidenced by a disgusting ringworm on his right cheek which is larger
than a dollar. In his emporium coarse obscene jests and loud words are
the order of the day. There are only two bars in Copiapó and these are
in each of the hotels. It is needless to say that the proprietor of the
Ingles does the most business in that line because he consumes half of
his sales. Copiapó is a poor saloon town because the natives make their
own wine and chicha. They often repair to a section of the oasis named
the Chimba, where they roast a lamb, hog or an ox and there amidst a
copious supply of fermented beverages indulge in an orgy that baffles
description.

  [Illustration: Hovels on the Outskirts of Copiapó]

Some of the hovels near the river bank are the extremity of poverty.
Any self-respecting sow in the United States would shun these shanties
of mud, straw, and tin cans which here house Atacama's humblest
natives. The open space in front of these hovels are littered with
bones, garbage, dead rats, and excrement.

  [Illustration: Cemetery, Copiapó]

The cemetery is lugubrious, and in many a grave there is a cavity
beneath the tombstone where can be seen the grinning skull of its
occupant. It was founded in 1848 and a motto over the entrance denotes
it as a place of peace. I cannot realize how this motto is appropriate
because visitors are constantly perturbing the bones with their canes.
The hook and ladder and fire engine date from 1868 but the Matriz or
large church on the Plaza Arturo Prat antedates it fifty years. It is a
large edifice with a square tower of New England colonial architecture.
The church of San Francisco is after the style of the French Cathedral
at New Orleans. Although the city has but a population of slightly
over ten thousand inhabitants, it nevertheless boasts of five daily
newspapers, none of which by the way are worth reading as their columns
deal solely with local events such as a man stumbling on a toad and
spraining his ankle, etc.

Taking a walk with Gumprecht down the railroad track we saw behind a
wall a large tree laden with luscious purple figs. We climbed upon the
wall to reach some when I noticed a girl driving some sheep across a
trestle. I called Gumprecht's attention. He was startled thinking the
owner of the quinta was coming and fell from the wall into the garden.
In falling he accidentally tripped me up and I took a header in the
opposite direction landing me into a bush which had prickly burrs
which littered my clothing, clinging tenaciously to them. In extracting
them I got my hands full of the barbed nettles which these burrs were
composed of. As I fell I heard a yell from the other side of the wall
and upon climbing it again saw that Gumprecht was having a lively
fight with an enraged bull dog which had bitten him a couple of times.
I came to his rescue with my revolver. In the meantime Gumprecht had
drawn his revolver and between us we made short work with the bull dog.
The shooting aroused the neighborhood and we could see farm laborers
running to the scene with pitchforks. We took to our heels and finally
hid by lying down in a dry irrigation ditch where we remained half an
hour. When the hunt had somewhat subsided we struck out for the town by
a detour but lost ourselves at a river which we forded. We started up
a trail between some Kaffir corn when we suddenly came to another fig
tree. When we were devouring this fruit we were caught by the owner of
this quinta which was a full mile from the one where the bull dog was.
We offered to pay him for it, but in excellent English he told us to
help ourselves.

This man was Professor Platner, president of the Chile College of Mines
whose three-story yellow institution we could see through the trees.
He was a German, had lost a fortune in mining, owned a fine quinta,
had lived in Copiapó for twenty-five years and was anxious to sell out
and get away on account of being tired of the place. He showed us his
quinta, gave us all the fruit we could eat, and revealed to us much
information about the mining past and present in the province. He had
installed an ore crusher on his place which he rented to miners on
the percentage system. It was the Chilean process of gold extracting
originated at Copiapó. There were several stone bottom tubs each
holding a wheel perpendicular to the base and which is revolved by
means of a large horizontal wheel which fits into grooves. The large
wheel is set into motion by water power from the river. The tubs are
filled with a layer of ore and the crushing begins; mercury and water
are then added. The mercury and the gold form an amalgam which is
carried off by a pipe into another tub along with the water. After
straining, the amalgam is put into a retort which is heated at its
base. The mercury escapes through a tube and is caught in a pail of
water to be used again. Platner said that either gold or copper was
mined according to the value of copper. When copper falls below fifty
pesos a ton, gold is mined. At the time of my visit, copper was worth
112 pesos a ton.

During the colonial times the silver mines in the neighborhood of
Copiapó were worked by the Spaniards, and it is said that more than
twenty thousand Indians were exterminated through overwork in these
mines. About four generations ago these mines became the properties of
about a dozen individuals, most of whom lived in Santiago. They were
worked successfully until they died. The mineral property was then
divided among their heirs and when these heirs died, there were other
divisions among new heirs. On account of these divisions work soon
ceased. Now in order for a man to get a clean title to any of this
mineral property all the heirs have to agree to the sale and there
are a multitude scattered all over the world which makes getting a
deed nearly impossible. There have been instances when nearly all the
heirs were found and agreed to a sale only to have it held up at the
last minute by one or more parties backing out. A bill is before the
Chilean senate for the state to take over all mineral lands that have
not been worked for fifty years; if it passes these mines will again be
in operation.

Copiapó boasts of one millionaire. He lives in a ramshackle
salmon-colored house of stuccoed adobe which has been cracked by
an earthquake. The city is also the birthplace of Martin Rivas, the
hero of Blest-Gana's novel _Martin Rivas_ which is considered to be a
classic of Spanish literature.

From Copiapó northward the longitudinal railroad to Iquique runs over
a great arid desert winding its way across sandy plateaus hemmed in
by barren mountains. The southern part of this desolation is named the
Atacama Desert and here on the high mountainsides are seen the shafts
and settlements of the gold and copper mines. Dulcinea is the first
large mine reached. San Pedro is reached in the afternoon and later
on Pueblo Hundido, the junction for Chañaral, and the headquarters
of the Andes Copper Company. The next morning the train arrives at
Catalina, the junction for Taltal and now enters the nitrate country.
The same day it stops at Aguas Blancas, the junction for Antofagasta,
Chuquicamata, the newly opened copper mining town of the Guggenheim
interests, and Bolivia. The railroad from Catalina northward goes
through the center of the nitrate country and has several branches
running down to the seaports such as that from Toco to Tocopilla. Toco
is passed in the middle of the night as well as Quillagua, the last
mentioned place being an oasis in the Desert of Tararugal. Pintados
which is reached forty-eight hours after leaving Copiapó is the
terminus of the longitudinal railway and here trains must be changed
for Iquique and Pisagua, the northernmost nitrate port.

Although my ticket was bought for Iquique, I was obliged to leave
the train at Aguas Blancas and go direct to Antofagasta. I had the
misfortune to break a blood vessel in my right foot in Copiapó shortly
before boarding the train, which dolorous accident was due to the
injury I received when a rock hit my foot as I was trying to escape
from the catapult of stones that were shot from the crater of Volcano
Chillán. I consider that my quickness in reaching Antofagasta was what
saved me from crossing the River Lethe. I was flat on my back in that
prosperous seaport for three weeks.

Antofagasta, the commercial metropolis of Northern Chile has a
population of 60,297 inhabitants although it does not look nearly so
large. It is the fourth city of Chile and has in recent years taken
away much of Iquique's trade, although the latter place does not appear
to be dull. The downtown business streets of Antofagasta are paved
with asphalt and work is now under way to pave the whole city. Sewers
have been extended and the mule power street cars have been discarded
for autobuses; a man named Yankovich having obtained the concession
for this means of passenger traffic. The old buildings of adobe,
wood, corrugated iron, and stuccoed cane are fast being replaced with
metropolitan structures of brick and cement. Among these new edifices
can be mentioned the city hall, the fire department, the Mercantile
Bank of Bolivia, the Victoria Theater, and Luksic's Hotel Belmont.

The city from being a pestilential port in the past is now scrupulously
clean, although in its suburbs improvements can be made. The
municipality has waged war against the butchers and vegetable dealers
compelling them to screen their goods from the flies. Protesting mass
meetings were of no avail. A new railroad station has been built on
the heights above the city and the old ramshackle wooden structure
which is an eyesore to the city will be torn down to make way for the
opening of a new street. Antofagasta is proud of its cemetery. To me
it is a nightmare. Most of the graves are marked with wooden crosses
painted white, many of them being enclosed by picket fences. The bodies
of the poor are thrown naked into a pit and covered with quicklime.
The stench emanating from this spot is appalling and the litters for
the transportation of the cadavers which are much in evidence in this
neighborhood do not add any attraction to the scene.

  [Illustration: Plaza Colon, Antofagasta]

In 1910 a mania struck each resident foreign colony to donate to the
city a reminder of themselves. The British colony erected an ornate and
useful clock tower in the Plaza Colon; in the same park the Spaniards
built a bronze monument signifying the Union of the Waters; the Slavs
built a bandstand. In the Plaza Sotomayor the Germans erected a column
to Germania, and the Greeks gave a statue of a couple of wrestlers. The
Chinamen donated the expensive entrance to the cemetery while the Turks
gave the city the benches which are in the parks. The North Americans
are not represented in these donations, because at that time the city
had only one of our countrymen as a resident, Mr. William Stevenson,
and it could not be expected that he himself would pay out of his own
pocket a sum of money equivalent to what a whole colony did out of
theirs.

  [Illustration: Provincial Capitol Building, Antofagasta]

The best hotel in Antofagasta is that named the Francia y Inglaterra
of Nowick and Dutrey; the Grand and the Belmont are also good. On
Sunday Antofagasta is drier than a powder horn; at least it is supposed
to be. But like in most towns where unwelcome laws are imposed on
the people, they are made to be broken. I judged this to be the case
here from the number of Sunday "drunks" that I saw being led off to
jail, or else encumbering the sidewalks of the suburbs by reclining
on them in a horizontal position. The lid goes on promptly at five
o'clock Saturday afternoon and the clamp is not taken off until eight
o'clock Monday morning. For violations of the liquor law the names of
those men arrested for being drunk during this period of drought are
published in the Monday newspapers and stiff fines are imposed upon the
vendors of liquid refreshments that contain an alcoholic percentage. On
Sunday, April 30, 1916, 120 saloon proprietors were fined for selling
drinks. The Quinta Casale proprietor was fined 1000 pesos (about
$200.00), the proprietor of the Hotel Maury was fined 500 pesos and
another saloon-keeper the same amount. One Saturday night during this
enforcement while I was a guest at the Hotel Francia y Inglaterra,
the three _mozos_ of the second floor of the hotel got hold of a case
of Guinness' stout to which they proceeded to make short shift of. In
their inebriated condition they started a fight which at first was as
near to the Marquis of Queensbury rules as a triangular affair of its
kind could be. It soon developed into a rough and tumble and all the
participants were put _hors de combat_. This occurred during the dinner
hour and the unedifying expletives used which generally accompany such
a fracas were audible to the diners much to the mortification of Nowick
and Dutrey. One of the combatants repaired home where he attempted
to assail his better half with his fist; she retaliated by seizing a
chair and breaking his head. I related this affair to a North American,
a Mr. Rowe, a resident of Antofagasta. Rowe then told me that a year
previous in La Paz, Bolivia, he was stopping at the Hotel Guibert. Mr.
Guibert did him a trick that angered him, so he in turn filled up all
the servants of Guibert's hotel to get even. For a whole day there was
no service at the Hotel Guibert for all the domestics from the manager
to the cook were roaring drunk and all the guests were forced to seek
other quarters.

One of the famous characters of Northern Chile and Bolivia was a brutal
bully named McAdoo who was continuously quarreling with everybody. He
died in 1915, and on his tombstone in Antofagasta his acquaintances had
the inscription carved: "May he rest in peace."

  [Illustration: Street in Antofagasta]

In 1916 the Antofagasta public was indignant at the way some of its
indigent dead were handled. When an unknown man or a pauper died, he
was dumped into a sack and a carter was hired to carry the bundle to
the cemetery. These carts are two-wheeled open affairs. If the cemetery
happened to be closed, the carter was apt to drop his unwholesome
burden anywhere. Two or three of these lichs were found tied up in
sacks in different parts of the city during my sojourn in Antofagasta,
which perpetration was severely excoriated by the newspapers. Speaking
of it to Captain Rowlands of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company's
steamship _Guatemala_, he related to me an incident which happened on
his ship.

A man died of bubonic plague in one of the nitrate ports but before
dying he told a relative that he wished to be buried in Santiago.
This relative was returning to that city so he tied the corpse in a
sack and carried it on shipboard. As the lower-class Chilenos all
carry their possessions in burlap sacks slung across their backs
while traveling, he managed to get his burden on board unnoticed. He
stowed it underneath his berth, but the odor was such that he could
not sleep so he made friends with the bartender and hired him to hide
it until the ship reached Valparaiso. The bartender placed the cadaver
underneath the sink in the service bar. The next day Captain Rowlands
smelt a stench while he was making the inspection, and opening the door
of the sink discovered the body, which he had thrown overboard. The
frightened bartender owned up to his part of the transaction but the
passenger, the relative of the defunct when taken to task retaliated
by threatening the captain with arrest upon the ship's arrival at
Valparaiso. Rowlands told him that he could start anything he wanted
to, but if any arresting was to be done, it would be the passenger who
would be arrested for breaking Chile's sanitary law.

The harbor of Antofagasta is never quiet owing to a heavy swell and a
project is now on hand to build a breakwater. I boarded the _Guatemala_
at that port with a ticket for Iquique. It had been over three years
since I was a passenger on that boat and the great improvement on
it was marvelous. In 1913 the food, service, and filth on it were so
abominable, combined with the slipshod actions of the officers, that I
made up my mind never to embark upon it again. Since Captain Rowlands
has been its skipper everything has changed, and it is now one of the
cleanest and most comfortable steamers on the coast. The food cannot
be beaten. One of the passengers on board I found to be Angel Larrain,
the efficient but villainous looking bearded roustabout whom Prat and
I had delegated to bring our baggage to Lima upon consideration of his
passage.

The morning after leaving Antofagasta we arrived at Gatico, a copper
port, where the mountains came down to the ocean. About a league south
of it was seen the small village of Copoapa on a narrow sandy plain
at the foot of the barren cliffs. Gatico and Tocopilla are the only
towns on the Pacific Coast of South America where copper is found near
to the ocean. There is a smelter at Gatico and it is up a canyon here
that run the wires of the electrical power plant at Tocopilla to the
Chuquicamata mines.

Tocopilla is a two hours' run north of Gatico. We reached it in the
early afternoon and remained there all night taking on cargo. According
to the last census it had 5366 inhabitants, although it does not appear
to have half that number of people. Next to Salaverry and Mollendo it
is the vilest hole that I have ever stepped foot into, although I am
told that it is a paradise compared to Pisagua. It is a long, narrow
place, built on a sandy fringe between the mountains and the sea. Its
houses are mostly one-story frame shacks, the majority unpainted.
A point juts into the ocean off which are two small guano islands.
Near the end of the point is the large electrical power plant of the
Chuquicamata mines. It gets its power from the ocean, a tunnel having
been dug out under the water and thence upwards so as to cause great
pressure. There has been much trouble on account of the tunnel getting
clogged with seaweed. The Siemens-Schukert Company of Germany installed
the machinery, which has given such poor satisfaction that I understand
the Chuquicamata Mining Company (Guggenheim interests) have taken it
over under protest.

Tocopilla has a comparatively large German element, most of the male
members being employees of the Sloman Copper Smelter. This plant is on
the side of a mountain and some of its mines are visible from the port.

  [Illustration: Street in Tocopilla]

The town is not only exceedingly wretched in appearance but also has
the reputation of being pestilential. The captain of the Chilean
vessel _Condor_ landed here in 1912 sick with the yellow fever.
He recovered but this pestilence nearly wiped out the whole town.
There is no verdure of any description hereabouts with the exception
of a few plants in front of the houses, the country being a sandy
and a stony waste; the same is true about Antofagasta, yet in both
places mosquitoes thrive. This yellow fever epidemic was singular
because south of Lima the West Coast of South America has always been
absolutely free from it. In 1915 Tocopilla was a closed port for four
months on account of bubonic plague, which is ever present in the
seaport towns from La Serena northward to Panama.

In company with Mr. B. Brice of Valparaiso, accountant for the Pacific
Steam Navigation Company, I took a walk to the cemetery. The two gates
were locked so we started to walk around it to see if there was another
entrance. Since walking was obnoxious in its neighborhood on account
of tin cans and nondescript rubbish, we made a detour by going out
onto the plain. Suddenly our nostrils were assailed by a disgusting
odor which caused us to hold our breath. "Look here," said Mr. Brice,
pointing to a myriad of mounds which we had previously taken to be
rubbish piles; we found that they were graves for at the head of some
were wooden crosses and desiccated bouquets.

"I believe that we are in the yellow fever burial ground," I said.

"Possibly," answered Mr. Brice. "Let us ask that individual,"
indicating a man in the distance who was scraping with a stick among
the mounds and whose actions savored of those of a ghoul.

Upon asking the "individual," whose appearance was that of a
degenerate, we were informed that we were in the bubonic plague
graveyard.

"The yellow fever cemetery is there," he exclaimed, pointing with
evident pride to a large square enclosure bristling with white crosses.

The degenerate creature was carrying a burlap sack which he dragged
on the ground. Through a large hole in it, we saw red meat and the
knee-cap of some animal.

"What have you got there?" I asked.

The degenerate pointed to the distant carcasses of mules rotting in the
sun and above which soared carrion. Said he:

"I have just cut off a hock of mule."

"What for?"

"To eat. One must live, of course."

This disgusting habit of feeding on the carcasses of animals that
have died a natural death or through disease is prevalent among
the inhabitants of the arid zones of Peru and Northern Chile; where
probably nowhere else on earth is the human race so degraded.

  [Illustration: Cemeteries at Tocopilla

The mounds in the foreground are the graves of the victims of bubonic
plague. The white wall in the distance encloses the burial ground of
the people who died of yellow fever in the epidemic of 1912. These
gruesome cemeteries are the pride of the natives of the wretched town
of Tocopilla.]

Shortly after leaving Tocopilla, I chancing to be on the starboard
deck of the _Guatemala_ ran into the bearded ruffian Angel in deep
conversation with an English divine. He was gesticulating during his
conversation and would occasionally point towards land in the direction
of the cemeteries fast vanishing in the distance. I walked up to the
pair, and after turning the topic of conversation to things commonplace
when I approached, Angel made some excuse and disappeared.

"A real brilliant man that," said the Anglican, turning to me. "It is
curious how often a rough exterior reveals great brains."

"How do you mean?" I inquired.

"You noticed that uncouth bearded man in conversation with me when you
approached. A person unacquainted with him would imagine him to be one
of the great number of vagabonds that abound on this coast. He belies
his appearance for he is a distinguished professor of the University of
Buenos Aires. He is making a tour of the West Coast towns studying the
causes of bubonic plague. He is a member of the Argentine Commission
on Bubonic Plague and many interesting things he has told me about this
malady that I have never heard of before."

I did not spoil Angel's story by revealing to the Anglican his real
nature. The roustabout had been listening to a conversation the
previous evening between Captain Rowlands, Mr. Brice, an English
army officer, and myself about bubonic plague and had remembered
everything he heard. Owing to this knowledge he was able to carry on a
fairly intellectual exchange of words on the subject with the English
minister.

The so-called harbor of Iquique is no more than a roadstead with a
barrier of rocks jutting into the ocean, which breaks in two places
forming narrow entrances to a natural basin. The waves beat with
violence against the rocks so the _fleteros_, as the boatmen are
called, are obliged to wait until a wave has broken and then by quick
rowing speed past the entrances before another wave has the chance to
dash against the barrier.

Iquique's population numbers 46,216. In 1907 its population was 40,171,
which shows that although Antofagasta has taken away a great deal of
its trade, yet the city has had a slight increase. There is a great
rivalry between the two cities which is soon bound to cease on account
of Antofagasta having a good commercial future ahead of it. The nitrate
industry of Iquique is on the wane, and is now confined to the Iquique
and the Pisagua pampas while that of Antofagasta is in its prime.
As a residential place most people prefer Iquique; there is a large
British colony here and the foreigners are of a better class; among the
foreigners in Antofagasta the Slavs (mostly from Croatia and Dalmatia)
predominate and these were originally the scum of their countries. In
Iquique's favor also are better residences, pretty plazas, and a fine
_malecon_ or sea boulevard with a nice beach. Nevertheless I prefer
Antofagasta because it is cleaner, its streets are paved, its buildings
are more substantial, and it does not seem so remote, having better
railroad facilities.

  [Illustration: Street in Iquique]

Iquique is built in the form of a square on a sandy point of land.
All of its buildings are frame, many of them being painted brown or
dark red. Quite a few have ornamental balconies, some being of Moorish
design. The streets, on some of which run horse cars, are narrow and
straight. Many have irregularities for some buildings are set farther
back than others and the curbs in these places likewise recede. The
main street is named Tarapacá from the province of which Iquique is
the capital, while the next important commercial street is that named
Anibal Pinto. Ordinarily the dust on these thoroughfares would be
insupportable, but the municipality has inaugurated the sprinkling of
the streets with sea water. This causes much dampness in places where
the sun does not reach.

  [Illustration: Street in Iquique]

Like most of the West Coast towns of the arid zone, Iquique is devoid
of edificial interest. It has, however, an imposing opera house, a good
city hall, a Moorish tower in the center of the plaza, and a rather
pretty cemetery, besides some good residences, that of the governor
with broad verandas and large plate glass windows being the finest.
The Hotel Phœnix, owned by an Italian, Sorbini, is not at all bad. Here
and in Tacna no fruit is served with the meals provided by the hotel,
but native women perambulate between the tables carrying baskets from
which they sell fruit to the diners. Sometimes these greasy hags become
insulting when a guest refuses to buy from them.

  [Illustration: Cemetery, Iquique]

Late at night of the evening after leaving Iquique the lights of
two towns close together were visible on shore. These were Junin and
Pisagua, the last mentioned being a few miles north of its neighbor.
Pisagua is a nitrate port with 4089 inhabitants. Bubonic plague was
formerly so bad there that the town had to be burned down twice.



CHAPTER XIII

ARICA TO ILO OVERLAND, VIA TACNA, TARATA, AND MOQUEGUA


Arica is seven hours north of Pisagua. Its population is 4886. It is
the pleasantest port on the rainless coast for in its neighborhood is
verdure due to irrigation from the Lluta River. It looks nice from the
steamer's deck, which appearance is not belied by a visit to the lower
town. The upper town, which extends to the desert, is a compactly built
place of low buildings, but is far superior to the other coast towns
of its size. In the lower town are the banks, shipping offices, and
government buildings. Its streets are bordered with pepper trees and it
has two cool and pleasant plazas in one of which the Italian residents
have erected a bust to Columbus. Arica is the port of the provincial
capital, Tacna, but its present importance is due to the opening in
1913 of a railroad to La Paz, Bolivia, of which city it is also a port.
A traveler is carried to the Bolivian metropolis in twenty-four hours
over a pass thirteen thousand feet high.

One of the first things that I did when I arrived in Arica was to go to
the steamship office to find out about the sailings of the ships on the
Chilean Line and of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company. The agent for
both these lines was the American consul, a man whose name I believe
was Smith. As I was waiting for information, Smith himself appeared and
he was in an ugly mood. He was a thin blonde man about fifty years old,
bespectacled, and had red blotches on his face which showed that he was
a heavy drinker. In fact he stunk of liquor. He was an Englishman and
was acting as representative for the United States.

  [Illustration: Custom House, Arica

   This building was designed and built by Eiffel, who built the tower
   named after him in Paris.]

  [Illustration: Street in Arica

   This is in the upper town.]

"Can't you read the schedule?" he inquired, indicating a time card
which hung on the wall of the outer office.

"Yes, but owing to the ships being overcrowded, I want to make
reservations."

"Wait until the ship arrives, then we will sell you a ticket," he
answered hastily and then left the room. This was a nice fix because if
I returned to Arica a few hours before sailing, it might happen that
there would be so much loading and unloading of merchandise that it
would be too late for me to buy my ticket after getting my passports
viséd. There was no use of arguing with such self-important and
gin-soaked individuals as Smith so I went away trusting to chance. It
turned out that I did not return to Arica to catch the steamer because
I traveled overland to Ilo, the port of Moquegua in Peru. A half hour
after leaving the shipping office I saw Smith coming out of a _cantina_
or saloon in the lower town and after walking for about a block he
entered another one. Later on in the afternoon, happening to be in the
barroom of the Hotel Francia, I arrived in time to see him gulp down
a tumbler of gin and follow it up with a brandy chaser. I stepped up
to him and offered to treat him, mainly to see what mood he would be
in, and was surprised to hear him acquiesce by ordering a half pint of
Guinness' stout. This performance he kept up all day and I was told by
the brother of the hotel proprietress that it was a daily trick of his.

When the _Guatemala_ anchored at Arica a French Calvinist minister,
Dr. Petit, came on board to visit one of the passengers, the Reverend
McLaughlin, a Methodist Episcopal minister from Buenos Aires.
McLaughlin introduced me to Petit and during the following days at
both Arica and Tacna I became fairly well acquainted with him. Petit
had a degree as a physician but changed his profession to that of
minister of the gospel. He had done considerable missionary work in
South America and had a church in Arica where he preached. He did not
believe in war but was a strong advocate for divorce; in fact he was
contemplating divorcing his wife whom he claimed was unfaithful. He was
at the present prevented from doing so because there is no divorce law
in South America excepting Uruguay, and he did not have enough money
to go to Montevideo to start proceedings. He also informed me that if
the husband of the proprietress of the Hotel Francia was onto his job
he would divorce her because that woman had driven him to distraction
by her amours and her extravagances, so that to avoid domestic scenes
the poor fellow had returned to France, hoping to be killed in battle
to relieve him of his mental anguish. The husband I understand is an
officer. Petit was a truly conscientious man and was wrapped in his
work as missionary; he did not practice religion as a cloak to cover
his sins. In build he was an athlete.

None of Arica's hotels are highly recommendable although the Hotel
de France, or Francia as the natives call it, is the best. It is run
by an accommodating peroxide or lemon juice blonde Frenchwoman about
forty years old who is heartily sick of Arica and is anxious to sell
out. This is the woman whom Dr. Petit had no respect for. The real
manager of the hotel is her brother, a good-for-nothing, powerfully
built creature about her age whose chief pleasure is to emulate Smith's
example by overindulgence in alcoholic refreshments and to argue and
quarrel with the guests.

A landmark for miles around is the solitary rock named the Morro de
Arica which towers above the town. It is a duplicate of Gibraltar,
and was one of Peru's last strongholds during the Pacific War. It was
defended in 1880 by a regiment of Bolognesi's troops under Colonel
Uguarte. In the face of a violent storm of rifle bullets, the Chilenos
took the Morro by landing a short distance down the coast and climbing
it from behind. When Uguarte saw that he had lost he spurred his horse
to the brink of the precipice and jumped to his death several hundred
feet below. Many of his followers did likewise because the Chilenos
had the reputation of taking no captives. The Morro is now strongly
fortified. People are forbidden to make its ascent and the day before
I arrived two men were thrown into jail for attempting it. In front
of the Morro is a small, low guano island. It is used as a fort and is
honeycombed so that it can hold a force of five hundred men.

The day after we arrived a northbound Chilean steamer put into the
harbor of Arica. On it was Kermit Roosevelt returning to the United
States after having spent some time in the employ of the National City
Bank at Buenos Aires. We did not know he was on the ship until walking
down one of the streets a man breathlessly hurried towards us and asked
us if either one of us were Señor Roosevelt. Thinking that some wag had
told the gentleman one of us was Teddy, Prat answered saying that he
was Colonel Roosevelt. Now Prat is a slender, medium-sized man about
thirty years old and clean shaven and I cannot understand what kind of
an ass that Arica gentleman was when he accepted Prat's statement and
believed him. He stated that there was a delegation already to meet
him and that he himself would accompany him to the _cabildo_ where a
banquet was being arranged. A crowd gathered around Prat and would have
carried him off by force if an Italian blacksmith had not appeared on
the scene who had seen Colonel Roosevelt and told the natives that a
joke was being played on them.

  [Illustration: Capitol Building at Tacna]

The province of Tacna, the most northern in Chile, formerly belonged
to Peru. At the close of the Pacific War in 1880, Chile, the victor
over Peru and Bolivia, annexed to her already long seacoast the
Bolivian province Antofagasta and the Peruvian province Tarapaca;
Tacna it was only supposed to annex temporarily. Chile was to occupy
it for twenty years; a vote of the inhabitants was then to be taken
to determine which country it should go to. Thirty-eight years have
passed by and still no vote has been taken. The chances are that it
will always remain Chilean. To keep it so, Chile has seven regiments in
the province, five of which are stationed at Tacna, the capital city.
The present government has tried to Chilenize the province by planting
within its confines men from the south of the republic so that even in
the event of a vote, which is doubtful, the majority will be in favor
of the present ownership. It is another Alsace and Lorraine question
because Peru is always thinking of the day when it will get it back and
its inhabitants are Peruvian sympathizers. Peru even goes through the
sham of having Tacna and Arica represented in its congress at Lima.

  [Illustration: Street in Tacna Showing Earthquake Proof Houses]

Tacna is thirty-eight miles north of Arica. The connecting railroad is
the oldest in South America having been completed in 1844. The railroad
at first skirts a fertile fringe near the seashore and then crosses a
sandy desert until within a few kilometers of Tacna when it enters an
oasis caused by irrigation from the Caplina River, all of whose water
is drawn off for the gardens so that none of it empties into the ocean.

Tacna lies at an altitude of 2820 feet above sea level but so
imperceptible is the rise that one can imagine it to be on the same
level plain as Arica. The population is 14,176, including five thousand
soldiers. The city appears much larger. The ordinary transient would
carry the impression that it is a town of twenty-five thousand people.
It is a healthy place yet the death rate exceeds the birth rate, which
state of affairs is true in many old settled towns all over the world.

  [Illustration: Calle Bolivar, Tacna]

Tacna is a beautiful place and is well worth a visit. It is the best
built city in Chile and is the only one where the buildings are of
stone. It is opulent,--a rarity in Chile,--its inhabitants are refined,
educated, and wealthy. There are handsome public buildings, large
stores, and spacious houses. In many respects Tacna has a European
appearance. The most noticeable object that strikes one's vision in
the city is a large stone shell of an incompleted cathedral with two
massive stone towers. The square trimming stones are of a pinkish hue
while the ordinary ones are the dun-colored ones of the country. This
huge shell will never be completed. It was built from the plans of
the French architect, Charles Pitaud, when Tacna was a Peruvian city.
Then came the Pacific War and the money for its completion was turned
into other channels. Monsieur Pitaud returned to France; Chile took
Tacna, and used much of the iron for the framework of the cathedral
for military purposes. When everything again became normal, the people
wished again to complete the cathedral. Pitaud in the meantime had died
and his drawings were never found so it was impossible to complete the
building. In design it was to be much like the Duomo in Florence.

  [Illustration: Fountain in Tacna

   Built by Pitaud.]

Another of Pitaud's works of art is the bronze fountain in the Plaza
Colon. It was cast in 1868 and is the finest in the Western Hemisphere.
There are more expensive ones, elaborate sculptures of marble, but none
its equal artistically.

  [Illustration: Unfinished Cathedral in Tacna

   This building was designed by the French architect Pitaud, when Tacna
   was Peruvian. The Chilean War came on, Pitaud died and the cathedral
   was never finished.]

The streets of Tacna are paved, most of them with round polished
stones, and many are bordered with trees planted along the curbs. There
is much verdure and the city has several shady plazas with statues.
There is a marble one to Columbus in the plaza of the same name. The
Alameda Anibal Pinto is a garden spot. It is a well-kept-up lovely
parkway. A peculiarity of Tacna is the architecture of many of its
residences. These are gabled, but by far the most have "sawed off"
gables. In these the sides slope upwards as if to form a gable, but
about a yard or more below the imaginary peak, they terminate in a flat
roof. This style is supposed to make them earthquake resisting.

[Illustration: STYLE OF TACNA ARCHITECTURE.

 HOUSES WITH SAWED OFF GABLES, SUPPOSED TO BE EARTHQUAKE PROOF]

Of the six Courts of Appeals in the republic, one is at Tacna. Both
Antofagasta and Iquique for a long time have been trying to get it
away for themselves, but so far have been unsuccessful. Of the five
regiments stationed at Tacna, two are artillery, two are infantry, and
one is cavalry. There was an engineer corps but it has been moved to
Copiapó.

Tacna has a good hotel, the Raiteri, owned by an Italian of the same
name. His business, which has somewhat fallen off since the Arica-La
Paz railroad has been completed, is large enough, however, for him to
keep two annexes running. His hotel is one of the best in rural Chile.
The coffee is the best I have had served to me in South America. There
is another hotel named the Tibios Baños (Warm Baths). It is of the
free and easy sort where when you engage a room the landlord asks you,
"With or without?" and governs the price accordingly. It has a cool
grape arbor where it is pleasant to repair hot Sunday afternoons for a
schuper of beer.

In an obscure corner of the province not far from the Peruvian line
lies the high, broad mountain valley of the Ticalco River, hemmed in
on all sides by snow-capped mountains, the lowest of which is higher
than the highest mountains of North America save McKinley, St. Elias,
and Popocatepetl. The Ticalco is joined by numerous freshets from the
melting snow and like a silver thread flows through this valley and by
great jumps cuts its way through a gorge before it finally joins with
the Salado at Talapalco to form the Sama, the national boundary with
Peru. Although very high, of all the valleys of the Province of Tacna,
the Ticalco is the most fertile. It is cold; no fruit excepting the
apple thrives, but as a recompense it is rich in oats and in alfalfa.
In this valley and on a small stream about a mile above where it flows
into the Ticalco River lies the town of Tarata, 9919 feet above sea
level. Its population probably numbers five hundred souls. It is the
third town in size in the Province of Tacna. It is the capital of a
department, newly created, has a court house and a barracks.

  [Illustration: Old Residence, Tacna]

  [Illustration: Street in Tacna]

To Tarata I went. Don Santiago Carmona, a rich _haciendero_ of Tarata,
was in Tacna with a caravan of thirty-one mules and six horses.
Accompanying him were five muleteers. One of the horses he himself
rode. Several times a year he made these trips. He would drive a herd
of cattle the two days' trip into Tacna, sell them, and return with his
mules laden with flour, oil stoves, kerosene, beans, onions, beds, and
blankets. On the narrow streets of Tacna his caravan made a picturesque
sight. I expressed a desire to see Tarata, and the man to whom I
expressed it, a resident of Tacna but a stranger to me whom I stopped
in front of his residence to inquire into the history of the unfinished
cathedral and with whom I entered into a general conversation, said
that he would speak to Señor Carmona asking his permission for me to
accompany him on his return trip. He would let me know the result later
at my hotel. True to his word, late in the afternoon he appeared at
the hotel bar (the place where most business is transacted in Chilean
small towns) bringing with him a tall, wind-tanned, thin man of about
fifty-five years of age who wore a straggling grayish beard and a
moustache of the Don Quixote type. This man was Don Santiago Carmona.
He said that he was returning home the next morning and with great
politeness and dignity invited me to accompany him as his guest. This
invitation I gladly accepted and for their kindness I treated both
gentlemen to as much Fernet Branca and vermouth as they could handle,
and then some.

  [Illustration: Calle Miller, Tacna]

I made arrangements with Signor Raiteri for three horses, a mozo,
provisions, and blankets. It is certain that Señor Carmona would have
shared blankets with Prat and myself, but since I did not care to
impose upon him we brought our own equipment which in reality belonged
to Raiteri. As it was Carmona refused to allow me to use any of the
provisions I brought along, but made me eat from his larder, his mozos
doing the cooking.

  [Illustration: Alameda, Tacna]

At eight o'clock in the morning we started from a courtyard across
the street from the market. Now the direct way out of the city was
to follow the Alameda, but Carmona evidently wishing to inspire the
inhabitants with a reverence for his own importance had his caravan
of mules cross the Alameda and turn up the main street, which indeed
created a general diversion for all the clerks ran to the sidewalk and
the pedestrians halted to view this extraordinary cavalcade. At the
parochial church we again turned into the Alameda and followed that
avenue the length of the extremely long town.

The valley of the Caplina is narrow, fertile, and is a veritable
garden. One thing I noticed as we left the city behind. We would come
to fields in the height of production with irrigation ditches full of
water. Adjoining them we would see parched fields of bushes trying to
eke out a meager existence. The flow of water from the Caplina is not
sufficient to supply all the arable land in the valley. A farmer will
raise crops for several years in one field; then when the soil has run
out he will cultivate an adjoining field, neglecting the first one,
and will deviate the water to the new one. After a few years he will
give up the new field and return to the first one which in the meantime
has been fertilized by nitrate. Since there are but few cattle on the
coastal plain, no manure is used to bring up the land, but nitrates
are easily imported from Pisagua. On account of nitrates washing away
they are put on the uncultivated land during the period that the fields
are not in use. The road follows the right bank of the stony river bed
whose water has been turned aside to water the quintas as the small
gardens are called. In some spots there is an intermission of the
cultivation where the sandy desert comes down to the river bed, but the
trees and green gardens always begin again. From this valley Iquique
receives most of its fruits and vegetables.

Calientes which we reached after six hours' travel but which can be
reached in one and a half hours by automobile and in two and a half
by carriage, is the place where we left the road. On our way there we
passed through three hamlets--Calana, La Vilca, and Pachia. Each has a
cantina and thither Don Santiago, Prat, and myself repaired to moisten
our dusty throats with native red wine while the mules took a breathing
spell. The thirsty mozos stood humbly at one end of the cantina
drinking their wine in silence while we stood at the counter which
served as a bar. Calientes is so named from some hot springs which here
gush forth from the sides of a barren mountain. They are sulphurous and
when the rivulet which springs from them enters the Caplina, the water
is turned black caused by the precipitate the sulphur of the rivulet
makes with the copper properties of the Caplina. There are at Calientes
but a few huts. Here we unsaddled the beasts and in the hour's rest the
mozos cooked a stew which served as a midday repast.

An hour after leaving Calientes we arrived at a couple of huts which
are called Tacuco and two hours later in the dim light of the waning
day reached the end of the first day's ride at the hamlet of Challata
deep down in the valley at the foot of Mount Pallagua. The night was
cool and the bountiful meal of cazuela, stew, and vegetables eaten
before a roaring camp-fire with the murmuring of the rapidly flowing
stream at our feet made me rejoice that I was far away from the sham
and inane conventions of modern city life. A peon offered us his only
bed in his hut but Don Santiago and myself spread our blankets on some
straw pallets in an open shed with the starlit sky for a canopy, and
there we slept until awakened by the sonorous grunting of sows at dawn.

"We have a hard day ahead of us," remarked Señor Carmona after we
forded the Caplina and started the steep ascent up the sandy side of
Pallagua. A high mountain range to the right had shut off a vista of
the snow peaks of the Cordillera, but upon reaching a stony plateau,
suddenly the high dome of the extinct volcano Tacora, 19,338 feet high
reared its lofty summit above the whole eastern mountain chain. To the
northeast appeared Uchusuma, 18,023 feet high, while near at hand were
the ice fields of the Cordillera del Baroso. These high mountains are
visible from Arica, at which port the Andes come nearer the ocean than
at any other place on the South American continent except Puerto Montt.
After two hours' climb up the barren ridge we reached a spine and then
descended by zigzags to the canyon formed by the Quebracho de Chero in
which grew a few mountain shrubs not unlike chaparral. In Indian file
we followed the narrow trail between the mountains Pallagua (altitude
13,065 feet) on the right and Palquilla (altitude 12,415 feet) on
the left and arrived at midday at the Pass of Caquilluca about 12,000
feet above the sea level where we rested a couple of hours and had our
dinner.

Behind us all was desert and as we looked westward past the numerous
creases of the earth's surface which were arid canyons and valleys we
could see the limitless expanse of the blue Pacific Ocean. At our feet
to the north and west lay a valley as green as an emerald traversed by
silvery streams, and dotted with light blue farmhouses. In the distance
was a cluster of buildings which I was told was Tarata. Hemming in the
whole valley were the mountains whose snowy bulwarks formed a circle
leaving only one gap that in the northwest through which the Ticalco
flowed. These mountains from west to east were Cumaile (altitude 17,095
feet), Vivini (altitude 17,733 feet), Chilicolpa (altitude 18,303
feet), Chiliculco (altitude, 16,835 feet), Barroso, and Uchusuma.

It was six o'clock in the evening when the caravan, having clattered
over the narrow pebbly streets of Tarata, pulled up at the Casa de
Huespedes (Guests' House) where I was to spend the night. Señor Carmona
made me acquainted with the fat mixed-breed Vargas who owns the tambo,
and after admonishing him to take good care of me, he galloped off to
his three-league-distant ranch saying that he would look me up the next
afternoon.

Tarata does not lie on level ground as it appears from the mountains
above the town. The streets slope steeply down to the Ticalco which
is no more than a creek. Near its banks is a narrow level stretch of
land where the plaza, town hall, and church stand. This stream not only
serves for irrigating purposes but it is likewise the sole supply for
potable water and for washing purposes. Every morning its banks are
cluttered with half-breed and Indian women who lay their laundry on
the stony slopes of the stream to dry. On the plaza which is bordered
by Lombardy poplars is a bandstand where twice a week a six-piece band
plays. Beneath these trees is a fringe of alfalfa where the village
cows graze. Like in Tacna the houses have the same sawed-off gables,
and like in that city they are painted tones of salmon and blue. The
town hall is the only two-story building in the place and with the
exception of the church belfry it is the tallest. The church is a
cream-colored affair with a domed steeple rising from the center of its
façade. On it painted in red is the inscription "Anno 1808," the date
of its founding.

Strolling about the village I was surprised to see, through the windows
of the residences, pianos, and one saloon had a billiard table. It
required much labor to bring them here for all transportation of
merchandise is done by mule back. In the fields were many llamas.
They are never used in carrying burdens to the low altitudes because
they sicken while at work below six thousand feet elevation. In the
high altitudes both llamas and mules are used for beasts of burden.
Horses are employed only for pleasure riding as they cannot stand the
lightness of the atmosphere to work in. Llamas refuse to carry more
than one hundred pounds burden, and no matter how much beating they
receive, are persistent in their refusal to be laden with more. They
are not so docile as they look. Their method of fighting is to run
up and strike one with their forefeet; they also spit a nauseating
substance at a stranger if he approaches too close to one of them. One
of them did this trick on me and when I assailed it with my riding
crop it struck at me with its forefeet. A kick from me in its belly
only gave me the satisfaction of making it grunt. Its disgusting saliva
nearly ruined a suit of my clothes.

  [Illustration: Street in Tarata]

In the afternoon on the day after my arrival in Tarata, Señor Carmona
came to the Casa de Huespedes and asked me to call on the priest with
him. The latter, Padre Albarracin lived in an adobe house which had a
broad verandah adjoining the cream-colored church. When we entered he
was sitting in the patio behind a morning-glory vine talking with two
officers of the Chilean army, Captain Frias and Lieutenant Guzman. They
had evidently been "hitting it up" as was evidenced by several empty
quart bottles of chicha (grape cider) lying about, and also for the
fact that each of the trio held a glass half-filled. We were invited
to join with them in the libation and I discovered that this drink,
ordinarily a temperance beverage, had fermented to such an extent as to
make the imbiber feel as if he were walking on wires. Shortly after we
arrived the two officers left and the priest invited us to remain for
dinner.

He clapped his hands to which a chola girl appeared.

"Kill the two game cocks that got whipped last week, and throw them in
the kettle," he commanded.

Our conversation turned to hidden treasure and antiquities which the
neighboring mountains are said to be full of if we can believe legend.
Tarata is in the heart of what once was the great Inca Empire. Upon the
advent of the Spaniards the Incas hid from them the greater part of
their ornaments of silver and gold where they remain undiscovered to
this day. The Spaniards worked the mines of Peru, Chile, and Bolivia,
but they in turn for three centuries were a prey to the pirates
which ravaged the coast and many of the inhabitants were obliged to
bury their wealth to keep it from them. The Catholic Church in South
America was always wealthy in its amount of gold ornaments, so when
the Inquisition was overthrown, it was in vogue for the citizens to
loot the churches. In order to save its wealth from rapinous hands,
the clergy sequestered much of its treasure in the mountains. Priests
were murdered by pillaging bands of Indians and with their death was
lost the cue to the hiding-places. Enough treasure has been found,
practically stumbled upon, to give authenticity that vast amounts have
been hidden, but the only person in modern times that made a fabulously
rich haul was Valverde in Ecuador, who was wise enough when he found
his treasure to return to Spain and die in opulence.

Padre Albarracin excused himself and soon returned bringing with him
two images several inches long which he said were Inca idols of silver.
He also stated that they were in good hands because the pagans could
not get them as long as they were in his possession; the drunker he
got the oftener he would repeat this and utter quotations from the
Scripture such as this: "Their idols are of silver and gold, the
work of men's hands. Eyes have they, but they see not," etc. When he
finished he would ask me: "It applies, does it not? These idols are of
silver."

Then with a sweep he would send them flying from the table. Once I
ran to pick them up. "Do they please you?" he asked. I answered in the
affirmative. "Then you may have them," he said. He then expounded on
the great sacrifice he was making saying that these two manikins were
the identical ones Holy Writ referred to and that they were priceless
on account of it.

After supper when I was examining one he grabbed it away from me,
climbed on a chair, and placed it on top of a wardrobe. When I asked
him why he did that he replied that he was hiding it because he feared
that I would worship it. I told him that there was little chance, which
made him quote more Scripture such as: "Let the heathen rage, and the
people imagine a vain thing."

When he went to get another bottle of chicha, I removed the idol
from the wardrobe. The other one was lying on the mantlepiece and I
took them both because he gave them to me. I have shown these idols
to many people and although I have had them stolen several times by
acquaintances, I have always got them back. Regarding antiquities Señor
Carmona made me a present of a plate of solid silver hand wrought
in Cuzco in the end of the sixteenth century. On its face are the
portraits of Pizarro and of Atahulapa carved in silver. Although it was
of no value to Carmona, who would have been unable to sell it for more
than its intrinsic value of metal, I have been offered three thousand
dollars for it which I refused to consider.

Padre Albarracin was getting so drunk that both Don Santiago and myself
excused ourselves soon after supper. Coming out of the house, Prat
stumbled over something lying in the garden. It was Lieutenant Guzman
in full dress uniform, soused and dead to the world. Things were just
as bad at the Casa de Huespedes. Captain Frias was asleep with his
head on the dining room table, and Vargas fell down the stairs trying
to show Carmona his room. The cause of the debauch was due to the fact
that Don Santiago brought up much wine, gin, vermouth, and grape chicha
with his mule caravan. The shaking the chicha got en route augmented
its fermentation which made it as bad as hard cider. The night before
when we arrived he had left six cases to be distributed to the priest,
the alcalde, the intendente, Captain Frias, Vargas, and the notary.

The next day I rode to Carmona's hacienda which is located about nine
miles up the Ticalco River on a level expanse of land which stretches
northward to the stony slopes of the barren mountain Cumaile. The
house itself is a long, low, rambling affair of adobe which was once
whitewashed, but that so long ago that but little of the white color
is left on its sides. It rains in this region and the broad tiles of
the roof are the only things, I take it, which prevented the building
from being melted by the rains. A compound originally enclosed the
whole building, flower garden, and adjacent peon and work sheds, but
at the present time only pieces of wall of this compound remain. It
was destroyed in 1881 by the Chilean soldiers who here besieged the
Peruvian landlord who had fortified himself and held out behind the
walls. Everywhere on the landscape steers grazed in tall alfalfa,
fattening themselves for the butcher shops of the coast towns.

Most of the civil inhabitants of Tacna and Tarata are of Peruvian
origin having either been born there when the Chilean Province of Tacna
formed part of the Peruvian Province of Moquegua, or are descendants
of people born before the Pacific War. Tacna is an old town of stone
buildings, not at all Chilean in character, but very much like the
larger towns of south central Peru. The natives have strong Peruvian
sympathies and are always living in hope that some day or other
Tacna and Arica will be returned to Peru. Now this is ridiculous
because Chile has no intention of giving these places up, although
the resources of the Province of Tacna are small. The most important
feature is that Arica is the seaport of La Paz, Bolivia, and it is well
for Chile to retain possession of it. Tacna was a poor town when it
was Peruvian; the majority of its inhabitants lived in poverty. Since
it has become Chilean, it has prospered and is to-day very wealthy.
This is largely due to live regiments which are stationed there and
which bring money into the town. For the past thirty years Peru has
passed through many changes of governments, and revolutions have been
frequent; it has been misgoverned and unprogressive. Chile, although it
cannot be called progressive has aims that way but has been handicapped
from the want of money and immigration. It has only had one revolution;
that a small civil war started by Balmaceda, but in government,
progress, and in everything else is so far ahead of Peru that it seems
incredible that the natives of the Province of Tacna are desirous of
again returning to Peru's revolutionary and mediæval yoke.

Don Santiago Carmona was an exceptional haciendero in so far that he
is a native Chileno. He left his birthplace, La Serena, forty years
ago and never once has he returned. His military service was spent
not far from Temuco where his regiment was quartered as a protection
to the settlers against the Araucanian invasions. For this reason he
took no part in the Pacific War. His father died when he was in the
service and he was left with a small fortune. With this money he bought
from the Chilean Government the hacienda that he now resides upon. The
latter had originally confiscated it from the Peruvian landlord who had
fortified himself there against him. Carmona married a Peruvian girl
from Tacna who had long since died after having borne two sons. One
of these sons is a haciendero in Ovalle and the other is a priest in
Spain. The latter is figuring on returning shortly to Chile because he
has been offered a sacerdotal office in Santiago. Carmona has become
wealthy and is thinking of making a a trip for a half-year's duration
to his birthplace, thence to Ovalle, Santiago, and Araucania. He also
has a desire to see Punta Arenas.

Prat suggested that since we had come thus far towards Peru by land
that it would be as well to continue it this way. He had a mortal fear
of seasickness to which malady he was a prey every time he put foot
upon a ship no matter how calm the water was. Now I had no maps with
me and did not know how to get to Peru, although I knew that Tacna
was the northernmost province of Chile and the boundary line was no
great distance away. To get information on the subject I went to Don
Santiago who told me that Moquegua was the nearest Peruvian city, but
that it was a week distant over a hot, sandy desert, and that the best
way would be for me to return to Arica and go up the coast by steamer.
He said that in Tarata there were people who had made the horseback
ride to Moquegua and that it would be possible for me to hire a _cholo_
to accompany us. I had heard about bandits in the interior and asked
him about it. He answered that highwaymen existed only in the high
mountains near the Bolivian frontier, and that I would find the few
inhabitants in the country I was contemplating traveling through very
docile. Beyond the Sama River which was Peru, he knew nothing about
the inhabitants but imagined them to be much the same as on the Chilean
side of it. The Peruvian boundary was not fifteen miles away, yet the
hacienderos of the neighborhood seldom crossed it, and it was as much
of a _tierra incognita_ with them as is the interior of Chihuahua to
the ordinary citizen of El Paso, Texas.

At Tarata, through the services of the notary who was an intimate of
Don Santiago, we procured an overgrown boy of the cholo variety who,
after considerable haggling, proposed to take us to Moquegua for the
sum of one hundred pesos Chileno (less than $20.00). He was to fetch
back the beasts that we were to procure as a loan from Don Santiago.
Having shipped my valise to Lima from Tacna, I was unencumbered save
for the blankets and a few edibles which I carried. Prat was attired in
a Palm Beach suit and wore a straw sailor hat which looked as much out
of place in this part of the country, where everybody rode in spurred
boots, were clad in ponchos, and wore as head gear broad-brimmed
pointed felt hats, as a snowball in hell.

We descended the valley formed by the Ticalco, and after riding for
over an hour came to a place where a stream from the north, named the
Ticaco, joined the Ticalco and formed the Pistala River. The valley
narrowed in and presently the mountains came down to the stream so
closely that one could with ease throw a stone across the canyon. A
rocky promontory on the left was rounded and the green, fertile pocket
in which Tarata nestles was shut from view. A half-score of adobe
huts with red-tile roofs were arrived at. These constitute the hamlet
of Pistala, all of whose inhabitants are Indians. The horse trail,
instead of descending with the river, keeps on an even altitude so
that it is soon a sheer height of several hundred feet about it, its
way having been dug out of the shaly rock that constitutes the side
of the mountains. Around a bend is a narrow canyon and down this it
zigzags for half a mile and finally crosses a tiny stream named the
Jaruma, which a mile farther down, jumps into the Pistala forming a
new river--the Tala. At the ford of the Jaruma is a primitive mill
with a huge water wheel. From here on to the Sama River is a very
steep descent by a narrow bridle path and very dangerous on account
of the precipices which form a gorge through which the waters of the
Tala rush from shelf to shelf with a roar. On the narrow mountain
path we met a troop of llamas laden with sugar cane and tubers in
charge of three _arrieros_. At our approach they leaped onto the rocks
above as nimbly as goats. The arrieros and ourselves had to dismount;
they backed their horses to a ledge and we led ours past them before
mounting again. Where the Tala joins the Sama it must be two thousand
feet lower than Tarata. This is in a broad valley well cultivated to
corn, potatoes, and alfalfa in which are many mud huts of the natives
and an occasional chapel. The river bed is wide but the stream itself
is narrow and forks out in many channels which every little way unite
again. The Chilean or south side slopes gently down to the stream in
some places leaving a plain of a mile wide at the water's edge, while
the Peruvian side is mountainous, precipitous, and uncultivated. The
mountains are absolutely destitute of any cultivation. We continued
all day down this river, following the Chilean side, and camped at
night beside a ruined stone wall across the stream from the Peruvian
hamlet of Sambalai Grande, at an altitude of 3025 feet. During the
afternoon the mountains had receded and their places were taken by
high sandy hills the essence of lonesome desolation. The water in the
river had much diminished having been used largely for irrigation. I
was told that what little there is left is used for the cane-fields
which are plenty about twenty-five miles farther down. This cane is
not made into sugar but into rum; also much of the cane is cut and is
sent up on mule back to the high country where the natives themselves
ferment it, using the pulp as fodder. Estevan, the cholo guide,
although polite and humble, would never talk unless spoken to and
then he would answer in monosyllables. Prat and I had no idea how far
Moquegua was for we had no map; Carmona said it would take a week, but
he had never been there. I knew it could not be that far because Ilo,
its port, is only a half-day's steam north of Arica, and we were now
considerably north of that last-mentioned place. I several times asked
Estevan how far Moquegua was, but to each query he would answer the
highly unintelligent reply of "muy lejo," which translated into English
means "very far," but fails to designate whether the distance is two
kilometers or two thousand miles. This is an example of a conversation
between Estevan and myself.

"How far is Moquegua?" I asked him.

"Muy lejo" (very far), he answered.

"How far?"

"Lejo" (far), was his brilliant answer.

"Is it a week's journey?"

"Quien sabe" (who knows).

"Is it three days away?"

"Dios sabe" (God knows).

"Can we make it in one day?"

"No, señor."

"Can we make it in two days?"

"I do not know, señor."

"Can we make it in three days?"

"I do not know, señor."

"You have made the trip to Moquegua before?"

"Si, si, señor" (yes, yes, sir).

"And yet you don't remember how long it took you to make it?"

"I have forgotten, señor."

The country across the river did not look very inviting to us
and it was decidedly exasperating to be met with answers of such
unintelligence especially as we had to cross what appeared to be a
duplicate of the Mohave Desert. We forded the shallow Sama to some
mud huts in a field of alfalfa, from one of which waved the washed-out
and dirty cloth which once was the red, white, and red flag of Peru.
No sooner had we reached high ground than a fat, dirty half-breed,
barefooted and wearing filthy linen trousers beneath a faded blue
military coat on the shoulders of which were red epaulettes, planted
himself in our way and assuming a grandiose air of mock dignity
inquired our business.

"We are travelers for Moquegua," I told him.

"What is your business there?" he asked insolently.

"To visit the town."

This reply took some time to penetrate his thick skull. He pondered
over it and then a gleam of intelligence spread over his fat
countenance which, by the way, was smeared yellow with the yoke of an
egg he had just been eating, as he replied in an interrogative kind of
a way:

"Ah, Ustedes son Judios!" (Ah, you are Jews!)

This fat guardian of the frontier had taken Prat and myself for
itinerant Jews. This gentry as well as Turks and Armenians occasionally
make the rounds of the remote towns peddling their wares, such as cheap
finery, pencils, looking-glasses, buttons, and so forth. To be called
a Jew without an inflection of the voice is, in Catholic South America,
the height of insult, because it is considered the vilest reproach one
man can give another in the heat of an argument. The manner in which
this officer put the question to us was meant in the form of a query.
Prat, however, being a Spaniard and a none too amiable one at that when
dealing with the cholos and other mixed breeds, went into a towering
rage and upbraided the official in the purest and most blasphemous
Castillian that he ever before heard and which caused his overbearing,
insolent, and stupid countenance to change to one of servility.

"A thousand pardons, señor," he cringingly broke in, "but you must
understand that I have received my commands to interrogate strangers
entering Peru. Not that I am in the least interested myself, but the
government, alas----"

"We will pardon you this time but not the next," interposed Prat,
curtly starting to ride off.

"Señor, señor," pleaded the official calling to him. Prat paid no
attention. I swung around in my saddle asking him what he wanted.

"Your papers," answered the official. "I would lose my position if I
let you pass without seeing them. The pay is very small and it is my
sole income; the illustrious señores would not be so ungracious as to
wish to see me lose that?" he entreated.

I showed him my passport which he looked at, then turned upside down,
frowningly trying to figure out what it was.

"What nationality are you?" he inquired.

"North American."

"What language is this paper written in?"

"English," I replied.

A puzzled look spread over the stupid face of my interlocutor.

"How is it then that you have an English passport since you are a North
American?"

"English is the language of North America."

The official was astounded. "Pardon, señor, but I thought Spanish was
the language of entire America."

"You are mistaken," I replied.

"How is it then that you gentlemen speak such good Castillian. You
speak it much better than I do."

"I learned it in Spain," I answered. "The señor with me is a Spaniard."

"Ah, I understand," answered the official. I could see by his amazed
and ignorant look that he did not understand but was unwilling to have
us know the extent of his ignorance.

"We are in a hurry to be on our journey to Moquegua; you had better
return the passport," I said as I tendered him two silver pieces of
the one sol denomination, the standard monetary unit of Peru. A sol is
worth fifty cents.

"Mil gracias, señor, mil gracias," answered the official thanking me
profoundly. Prat, who had ridden on, now turned back and wanted to know
what was delaying me. He was on the point of letting off steam anew
at the cholo, but upon seeing me give him a tip, he threw a piece of
silver on the ground at the fat official's feet. It was comical to see
the latter grovel in the dust to pick it up.

"Adios, señores," he yelled after us as we spurred our horses into a
gallop and were soon lost to sight.

Upon our reaching the top of a high, barren hill, a vista of a
parched and sandy, barren imitation of the Sahara unveiled itself
before us. Everywhere lay the bones of oxen and mules. This was the
horrible desert of Pampa Zorra about twenty miles wide, which it
took us over four hours to cross, in a hot, desiccating, blazing sun.
The thermometer must have been in excess of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
With our eyes smarting with dust and our throats parched (we partook
sparingly of the water from our canteens), we arrived shortly after
midday at a dry ravine named the Coari. Following this downwards
between high hills of shale rock we came in half an hour to the
Curibaya River at the cluster of mud huts and ranch house of Coari.
Here were some green fields of alfalfa surrounded by eucalyptus trees.

The Curibaya River is much like the Sama, only its river bed is
narrower. It also has more water, there being plenty to wet one's feet
in. The reason for this is that cultivation does not extend as high in
its bottom as in the Sama so less is drawn off for irrigation. About
twenty miles below Coari it widens out into a broad valley of great
fertility; most of its water is used at that point to supply the large
vineyards in that neighborhood. The small remainder loses itself in the
sand and never reaches the ocean excepting during times of cloudbursts
in the mountains. In the fertile valley is the small city of Locumba,
which is famous for its grapes and wines said to be the best in Peru.
We forded Curibaya before we reached Coari and then turned eastward
again, ascending the valley. This soon forked the Ilabaya joining it
from the north. The latter is a swiftly rushing and jumping rivulet;
our trail lay up its defile and we must have crossed it two dozen times
in the eight miles that it took us to reach the town of the same name
which is situated in a high open valley, surrounded on all sides with
hills not entirely devoid of vegetation. The landscape instead of being
sandy was rocky and abounded with gray boulders. There were several
varieties of cactus and a plant not unlike the yucca.

Ilabaya is a typical town of the coastal region of Peru, differing
greatly from Andean cities in so far that the houses were all built of
adobe. The roofs instead of being of mud, were tiled, because it rains
several times a year in the summer months and the mud roofs would be
washed away. In Copiapó, where it rains only once in a decade, and
in Tacna where it never rains, the roofs are of mud, but in Tarata
and here, tiles were in evidence. Ilabaya is a larger place than
Tarata, but is a dirtier, and more poverty-stricken place. It is also
a terribly hot place, and swarmed with flies and vermin; mangy curs
abounded and the odor of the streets abounding with house slops and
garbage was disgusting. There were numerous street stands in front of
which Indian women sat offering for sale melons, oranges, and pears,
but not once during the part of the afternoon that I was there, did I
see any purchaser.

Arrived at Ilabaya, Estevan said that we had better spend the night
there because he thought there would be no water the next stage. We
dismounted at a primitive blacksmith shop where the cholo boy was
apparently known, and carried our grips inside. Our arrival excited
considerable curiosity because much of the male populace soon arrived
on the scene, and at a respective distance looked us over, and then
began to become interested in our grips and saddlebags. One urchin
tried to undo the straps of my suit case but a threatening blow with
my stick made him desist and seek shelter behind one of the grownup
half-breeds. The usual questions were asked to which Prat and myself
deigned to reply, but strange to say Estevan found his tongue among
those of his own breed and there was let loose a volume of Babel in
the Quichua language which was surprising to me since I did not realize
that language had such a large vocabulary. I had forgotten temporarily
that the early padres had translated the Bible in Quichua and had them
printed in that language. I saw one of these books among the church
relics in Cuzco.

I interrupted Estevan's garrulity with a prod of my stick, and asked
him where we were to find lodging.

"Quien sabe" (who knows), he whiningly replied in the singsong tones
used by all cholos in their conversation with their superiors. If a
stupid cholo or Indian does not know what answer to give he invariably
says "quien sabe" and lets it go at that. I expostulated with him
telling him that he must procure for us lodging. This he translated
into his native language to the crowd of spectators. A small boy in the
group said that he thought that a certain old woman who lived at the
end of the town would take in lodgers and offered to direct us there
and carry our grips. We set out down the long straggling street of
adobe hovels and arriving at our destination found the door was shut.
The boy knocked but no response came. I then banged on the door with my
stick. Presently the head of a withered hag appeared at a shutter and
asked what we wanted.

"We want lodging for the night," I answered.

"Ah, señores, but I am too old," she said. "At the next street to the
right in the second house lives Carmen Vargas. She is young and makes a
business of it!" The old woman was on the point of closing the shutters
when I called to her again.

"You do not understand. We are travelers on our way to Moquegua and
wanted to pay for a room to sleep in to-night." I then held up a couple
of silver soles.

"I see. A thousand pardons, señores. I thought that you were looking
for some pleasure with the _muchachas_. How much will you pay for a
room?

"One sol apiece."

"It is not enough."

"We will make it two, if it includes meals."

"Ah, señores, but I am a poor woman and must live. For three soles I
can accommodate you."

"We agree, but it is expensive."

"Look at your room," she said, as she opened the door. "It is fit for
a king." She ushered us into a chamber which was semi-storeroom and
sleeping quarters. Boxes and dusty bottles littered one side of the
floorless apartment, and spider webs hung from the rafters. There was
an iron cot in the corner on which was a straw pallet but there were no
sheets nor blankets. I spoke to her about getting another cot and she
said she would procure one. As for blankets, she had none, but since
the señores must have their own, having come from some distance, we
could naturally spread ours on the cots. In the meantime if we would
return about seven she would have for us an excellent _comida_.

The comida turned out to be a thin soup whose ingredients were unknown
to us and in which floated chicken feathers. This was followed by a
disgusting stew and some meat of an unknown quality, highly seasoned,
which might have been a camouflage for one of the mangy curs that
abounded in the village.

There were plenty of cantinas in the small town and I assume that
they were well patronized from the number of intoxicated Indians that
I counted. Bottled beer from the Cerveceria Alemana at Arequipa here
sold for fifty centavos (25 cents) a bottle and was drunk warm. Strong
liquor was much cheaper than beer and was likewise more favored.
There were quite a few young dudes in the village and at evening
they appeared togged up to what they considered perfection, wearing
carefully polished patent leather shoes, high stiff collars, flowing
black ties; all carried canes. This stylish dressing among the males
is in vogue all over South America. It is a sign of caste or class
distinction. It is the ambition of all young men to be dressed in the
height of fashion no matter how remote their village is from the beaten
road of civilization. I have seen this same class of dudes everywhere
south of Panama, from the isolated mountain towns of Colombia to
the mosquito-infested hamlets of Paraguay. There is also a class
distinction in traveling. A man who rides on horseback is superior to
one who rides on a mule; he who rides on a mule is superior to the one
who travels on the back of a donkey. But beware not to travel on foot
in the Andean countries, even though it be a pleasure jaunt for a short
distance in the country. The pedestrian is looked down upon by the
lowliest peons and is held by them in greater odium than the hobo is
held by us at home. Good clothes and high collars cease to show caste
when applied to the person who makes a foot tour. He will invariably be
turned down when asking for lodging or meals en route. It is also wise
not to travel on foot on account of the ferocious dogs to be met with,
which never run out and bark at the equestrian.

  [Illustration: Street in Ilabaya, Peru]

About nine o'clock that night while walking down the only thoroughfare
that could go by the name of street, I met Prat at a corner conversing
with a dandy, who like Prat wore a straw hat and sported a slender
cane. "This is my compatriot," said he; "allow me to introduce you to
my friend, Señor Güell." The dude bowed and Prat went on to explain
that his new acquaintance was a Catalonian from Gerona and had been in
Peru for four years, the last two of which he had spent in the employ
of a wine merchant of Locumba. Güell said that Moquegua was but a
short day's ride which was not at all tiresome. He had made the trip
dozens of times for his firm and was thinking of doing so again in a
few days. He was at present in Ilabaya collecting some debts for his
employer. I left the Spaniards on the corner conversing and strode off
to the hut where I was rooming. I went into the room assigned to us,
and although there was another cot there, there were no blankets. The
cholo, Estevan, had evidently forgotten to bring them although at six
o'clock he had promised faithfully to do so in "un momentito, señor."
I walked back to the blacksmith shop where we had unsaddled but found
that like all the other buildings closed for the night. As it would
have been impossible to find Estevan, I returned to the dingy hut and
throwing my coat on the cot in the place of a pillow I lay down on the
iron springs and tried to sleep. This was impossible. At midnight Prat
had not returned nor had he come back by five o'clock in the morning.
There was no need worrying about him because he was perfectly capable
of taking care of himself, but I was at the same time at a loss to
conjecture where he was. At six o'clock, finding that any attempt to
slumber would be futile, I went out into the street and walked about.

I went to the blacksmith shop which was about to open for the day to
inquire about the horses. The blacksmith was already there and when
questioned about Estevan merely answered, "Quien sabe," and then went
on about his work. Presently the same boy that had conducted me to the
house where I obtained lodging appeared and asked me if I was looking
for my arriero. I replied that I was, whereupon the urchin said in his
patois, "Se scapo," which in Castillian would be "e scapado," meaning
"he has escaped."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"He has run away."

"He has run away? What do you mean by that?"

"He sold the horses and has run away."

At that encouraging piece of intelligence, several other boys appeared
and from their conversation I gathered that Estevan the previous night
had sold the horses with blankets to a mountaineer and that he had
then taken French leave. You may imagine my anger, especially since the
horses were but a loan to us from Don Santiago Carmona and were worth
at least seventy-five dollars apiece in North American money. When I
asked if anybody knew where Prat was, they volunteered the information
that he and a friend of his were visiting some young ladies. This was a
new one on me since Prat was absolutely unknown in Ilabaya and no young
ladies that I knew of would entertain two guests so late as this.

"Which young ladies is he calling on?" I inquired, mystified.

"On la Carmen; she lives near the end of the village."

It now dawned upon me that Prat was at the bagnio of Carmen Vargas and
that accounted for him not showing up at the hut. I proceeded down the
street to rout him out but had not gone far before I ran into him and
Güell, both in a state of intoxication. Prat was just emerging from the
jovial stage and was entering upon an ugly mood. Save for his bloodshot
eyes and the reek of alcohol, he was as immaculate as ever, but the
dude was a sight to behold. His side and back were covered with dust;
only one flap of his collar was buttoned, the other flying in the air;
his hair was unkempt, and his hat was awry. He could hardly steady
himself on his feet and was leaning on Prat to keep his balance. At the
same time he was trying to sing a stanza from the Cid.

"Hail to the glorious Carmen, the light of Peru!" he yelled upon
espying me.

I told Prat immediately what had happened. At first he did not
understand, but when I repeated that Estevan had sold our horses and
run away, great was his rage. He drew out his knife and shrieked what
he would do to the cholo when he caught him. The news sobered him up
considerably, so much so that when Güell burst out again in another
stanza, he told him to shut up and cease his idiotic prattle in case
he himself did not care to feel the knife between his ribs instead of
between Estevan's. We went again to the blacksmith shop where Prat
started upbraiding the blacksmith, and then went to the alcalde's
residence. That official was asleep but Prat insisted on having him
wakened. Presently he appeared attired in his pajamas. He wanted to
know the meaning of this disturbance and was on the point of telling
us to go to the infernal regions when he suddenly realized that we were
foreigners of distinction, due to the stiff collars and quality of our
wearing apparel. His demeanor changed and he invited us inside, saying
that he would dress and talk with us directly. He ushered us into a
well furnished apartment and left us. We heard him ordering breakfast,
yelling to a servant to prepare three places as he had as guests two
"milords ingleses."

  [Illustration: Alameda, Moquegua]

During the meal, which was spread on a table beneath a vine trellis
in the patio, the alcalde, Don José Vergara, asked us the nature of
our visit, to which narrative he did not reply, stating that he would
take the matter up with us again after breakfast. In the meantime he
plied us with many questions about North America, most of which Prat
answered--wrong. The latter had never been there nor could he speak
English well, the extent of his vocabulary being "bulldog," "dollars,"
"all right," "good-night," etc. He now converses fluently in English.
His ignorance of that language was not known to the mayor, who himself
spoke an execrable patois although he was a pure-blooded white man.
When we said that we wanted to start as soon as possible for Moquegua,
the alcalde implored us to remain a few days in Ilabaya as his guests.
When we told him it was imperative for us to continue, he promised us
horses and a man from his stable who would accompany us. He also said
that he would apprehend Estevan and see that he would be sent to prison
if he had not already escaped to Chile.

"What will he get?" I inquired.

"At least twenty years," he answered. "I shall see to it."

"Is not that pretty severe?"

"Severe, nothing. One of my friends has an estancia where labor is
badly needed. You see that he will be put to work profitably."

Don José ordered the blacksmith summoned to his presence, and when that
individual presently was brought before him, the alcalde, threatening
him with all sorts of physical evils, elucidated from him that the
previous night Estevan had called for the horses which were corralled
behind the shop stating that the "señores ingleses" were about to
continue to Moquegua, saying they preferred to travel at night instead
of during the heat of the day. Not long afterwards his boy had seen
a mountaineer driving them laden with goods up a road that leads into
the Andes. The boy asked him what he was doing with the horses since
they belonged to the "señores ingleses," whereupon the mountaineer
answered that he had bought them from the mozo Estevan for fifteen
soles each. The mountaineer the blacksmith added was well known to
him, was an honest man, and frequently came to Ilabaya. The next time
he came he would inform Don José of his presence so that the latter
could deal with him. I have always believed that the blacksmith had a
hand in this deal and that he was hiding Estevan who had mysteriously
disappeared after the transaction. At Moquegua I wrote Don Santiago
Carmona telling him what happened. Six months later I received a reply
when at home in the United States saying that he had never heard a word
about Estevan and the horses, although he had heard rumors that the
alcalde of Ilabaya was riding one of them. Since Ilabaya was in Peru it
was useless to go there for he would receive no justice.

  [Illustration: Street in Moquegua]

Although Don José Vergara said that he would loan us the horses, when
we were about to depart he came to me and said that it would cost us
twenty-five soles ($12.50) for their rent. This was reasonable enough
according to the standards of civilization but was exorbitant for that
locality. It was after ten o'clock in the morning before we got away.
For about ten miles the trail led over a rocky plateau and then came
to the edge of a precipice at the bottom of which was the bed of the
Cinto River, here dry. Here were three mud huts and a cistern half
full of water, which was drawn from some springs a few miles up the
valley. We remained here about an hour during which we cooked some
meat and potatoes that we had brought with us; we pushed on again
across another plateau similar to the one which we had just traversed
excepting that it was sandier and smoother riding. At nightfall we came
out on a nose of a hill and saw below us in the distance the lights of
a city which we knew was Moquegua. An hour later we clattered over the
flinty pavement of the narrow streets and pulled up at the portals of
the Hotel Lima, one of the best in rural Peru. A large well-ventilated
room, electric lights, and the noise of locomotive whistles made us
feel that we had again reached civilization.

  [Illustration: Street in Moquegua]

Moquegua is a fine old town on a river of the same name and capital of
the province of Moquegua, lying at an altitude of over four thousand
feet above sea level in the center of a rich agricultural district,
abounding in olives. These and raisins are the chief exports of the
district.

The city has a population of nine thousand and much resembles Tacna on
account of the substantial buildings; it is not as lively as Tacna,
due to the former place having stationed there five regiments, but
otherwise it is a pleasanter town. It is higher, cooler, and there is
more verdure. The valley itself is a long, broad ribbon of cultivation,
mostly devoted to the growing of grapes. Moquegua is connected to its
port, Ilo, by a railroad sixty-five miles long.

Before the Pacific War, Moquegua was a wealthy town and larger than at
the present time; since then many of the inhabitants emigrated, many
going to Arequipa and to Lima. The alameda, though much neglected,
shows signs of former grandeur, which is testified by the broken
statues and cracked stone benches which formerly were the pride of the
city. Moquegua has the name of being a very religious place; it has
many churches and its streets swarm with priests, in this respect being
much different from the Chilean towns that I had just visited.

Ilo is a small port of about two thousand inhabitants, very poor and
squalid but not so much so as Mollendo. In both these places bubonic
plague is rife, but strange to say that malady has never mounted as
high as Arequipa or Moquegua. At Ilo I boarded a small postal steamer
of the Peruvian Line and after a few hours' steam we anchored off the
cliffs of Mollendo, the most dangerous landing place on the Pacific
Ocean. The swell is so great here that sometimes passengers have to
wait two weeks before it has subsided enough to permit them to embark
on the steamers. I had to transfer to another ship here because the
one I was on touched at all the small ports and took a week to reach
Callao.

Mollendo is one of the dirtiest towns that I have ever visited and I
have visited some "hot" ones. It is a bubonic stricken place of about
five thousand inhabitants, according to the census reports, although I
doubt if its population is in excess of three thousand. A steep incline
up a cliff leads from the dock past the custom house to the stinking
Hotel Ferrocarril, the only hostelry in the town. This ramshackle old
building, painted dark green, is situated on an eminence at the extreme
southwest corner of the town, at a street corner. A veranda runs around
the street sides of it, onto which the rooms open. Beggars, hobos,
cripples, bums, and dogs bask on the sun-warped boards of its floor,
and sneak-thieves are ever watching for an opportunity of entering
the dirty holes which are the guests' rooms. The dining room and the
barroom are the only adjuncts of the institution which are kept clean,
and the latter is the most lucrative enterprise to its owners of any
business establishment in the town. It has several billiard tables of
doubtful cues and cushions and to them at the noon hour repair all the
German clerks of the mercantile establishments. There is much liquor
sold and much drunkenness to be observed. At one corner of the room
sat a well-dressed aged man. He had the palsy so badly that he could
not lift a glass to his mouth so he sat there imbibing whiskey and
soda through a rubber tube that extended from his mouth to the glass.
The Hotel Ferrocarril is owned by a couple of Italians who are fast
waxing wealthy. It is hell to stay in Mollendo even for an hour and
the travelers are to be pitied who stop here days at a time waiting for
their steamers which run on uncertain schedules.

The place owes its importance to the fact that it is the port of
the large and prosperous city of Arequipa about seventy-five miles
inland, and that it is the outlet and port of entry of the Lake
Titicaca basin, and of the historic and interesting old city of
Cuzco, the pristine capital of the Inca Empire, three days distant by
rail. Formerly Mollendo was the seaport of La Paz, Bolivia's quaint
metropolis, but now traffic has been changed from that city, so that
Arica and Antofagasta get the bulk of its trade. There has been much
talk of transferring the port of Arequipa to Islay, a settlement a few
miles north of Mollendo in a sheltered location, but the merchants at
Mollendo made a strong kick about it, and bribed the politicians at
Lima, so that the scheme never matured. At Mollendo, my Peruvian money
ran out because I did not get enough Chilean money changed at Arica,
and I had a hard job getting change here. Some Italian bankers to whom
I applied knew how badly I wanted Peruvian currency, so accordingly
discounted my Chilean money so much that I must have lost twenty-five
dollars by the transaction.

As I said before, Mollendo is a hotbed for bubonic plague. Several
people die daily of it here, but its mention is suppressed by the
health authorities so as not to give a black eye to the town. When a
person dies of it, it is kept quiet and the victim is buried at night.
Northeast of the town is the potter's field. Here graves eighteen
inches deep are dug. The cadaver is trussed up by having its feet drawn
back to its haunches by means of a cord tied around the shoulders and
is thrown into the impromptu grave. I was told by several people that
so poorly is the job done that sometimes the toes protrude above the
ground and are nibbled at by buzzards and by starving dogs.

From Mollendo, I went to Callao on the Chilean steamship _Limari_. It
was a good ship but rolled considerably even in a calm sea. It took
three days to make Lima's busy port, no stops being made, but from the
deck I could see the dim outlines of the towns Lobos, Chala, and Pisco.
An acquaintance of mine, Mr. Kurt Waldemar Linn, of New York, a German
by birth but a naturalized American citizen, who is connected with the
International Film Company, told me in Santiago that he expected to be
on this boat and arrive in Lima at the same time I would. I failed to
find his name on the passenger list and when I arrived in Lima, he had
not yet shown up. The next day he appeared, having disembarked from
the Pacific Steam Navigation Company's steamship _Mexico_. He said he
was sorry that he had not made the trip on the _Limari_, and that never
again would he make a trip on any ship of the Pacific Steam Navigation
Company if he could help it. He said that the service and food on
the _Mexico_ were vile but to crown his discomfiture one morning at
breakfast the first officer who sat next to him asked him how he slept
the previous night.

"I didn't sleep very well," answered Mr. Linn. "There was too much
noise going on."

"Oh, yes, there was a good bit of noise on board. We caught a German
spy last night and that caused the racket." At this witty remark the
officer looked at Linn and winked. The latter did not relish this sort
of pleasantry even though it was meant in fun.

At Callao the custom house officials are careful to ransack all one's
belongings looking for things dutiable and those non-dutiable as well;
on the latter they levy private duties for their own pockets. There is
much red tape and tipping to be done and nowhere else in my travels
have I been subjected to so much annoyance at a custom house unless
it was at Belgrade, Servia. Hotel couriers meet the steamers and it is
advisable for the traveler to give his possessions in charge of one of
these men who will relieve him of the trouble connected with the custom
house and transferal of baggage to Lima. The courier expects a large
tip, but it is more convenient to give it in one lump sum to him than
to have to run the gauntlet.



CHAPTER XIV

LIMA


Although the chapters of this book are supposed to treat only of the
southern republics of South America, it would nevertheless be a shame
not to mention Lima and the Peruvian hinterland, therefore this and the
following chapter.

Callao, the port of Lima, where the ships anchor, has a population of
forty-five thousand. It is here that one first gets an idea of genuine
Peruvian architecture. The two and three storied houses, many of which
are adorned by steeples and towers, invariably have enclosed wooden
balconies projecting from the second floor over the street, giving
the touch of old Stamboul or other oriental cities. It is difficult
to conjecture the origin of these balconies. The Moorish style of
architecture which the Spaniards copied and brought to their colonies
was plain, with bare outside walls and few windows. This Turkish style
seen by many tourists for the first time in their lives at Callao is
that which predominates in Central Peru and is also prevalent to a
certain extent as far south as Tacna.

In Callao there is but little to interest the stranger. As in most
seaports, tough characters abound, and there is a bevy of saloons; but
unlike most seaports, Callao is comparatively clean, especially the
show places. It has a large church, a few pleasant plazas, and some
marble statues. In reputation it is one of the toughest towns in the
world; it formerly was the jumping-off place for criminals and the
tales of shanghaiing and murders that took place here not so many years
back would fill volumes.

  [Illustration: Callao Harbor]

The harbor is landlocked by the mainland, a sandy point, and the
mountainous island of San Lorenzo. The port works of stone are the best
on the whole Pacific Coast but at the present time no ships anchor at
them. This is due to the prevalence of bubonic plague (occasionally
a few sporadic cases) which can be transmitted to the passengers
and crews through the medium of rats. A reason more vital to the
municipality for not allowing the ships to anchor at the docks is that
of providing employment for the _fleteros_, or boatmen, who earn a few
soles by rowing people and baggage to and from the ships. In the harbor
are two Peruvian men-of-war. They have lain there several years. Their
boilers are defective and their machinery needs repairing, but nothing
is ever done to make them seaworthy. I saw the admiral in a street car.
He is a big, fat fellow with about a fifty-three inch waist line, and
resplendent with gold braid. From the servile humility of the conductor
and the passengers towards him, one might judge that he ranked with von
Tirpitz and I have no doubt but that he entertained the same opinion of
himself.

Lima is about five miles distant inland from Callao, to which city
it is connected by a trolley and two railway lines. The former,
double-tracked, runs in a straight line through a decidedly Athenian
landscape. On all sides are green fields, olive groves, black hills,
and whitish soil. The air, odor, and decisive clearness of the
atmosphere is Attic; the style of the country houses, nature of the
crops, and appearance of the live stock is analogous to that of Attica.
On the south side of the main road are two large country seats that
would grace any rural scene; they are the residences of the Italian
families Castagnone and Nosiglia, and are set back at some distance
from the turnpike.

The population of Lima, Callao, and many of the seaboard Peruvian
towns is composed of Aryans, Indians, Hamitics, and Mongolians, with
a conglomerate mixture of all four races. In Lima, people with mixed
white and Indian blood predominate; those of mixed white and negro
blood are a close second. The aristocracy and better-to-do classes are
white and are descended from the Spaniards. They do not marry outside
of their own race and constitute the ruling element. There is a large
Italian colony, many of whose male members are leading merchants and
professional men. Far outnumbering the whites are the various hues of
mixed breeds, Indians, negroes, and Chinese, which form the rabble. The
cholo is a scion of an Indian and a white person, while a _chino-cholo_
is the offspring of a Chinaman and an Indian. To get a good idea
of Peruvian mixture as applied to the lower walks of society (which
constitute all the classes not belonging to the white race, and which
greatly predominate), one can take the following genealogical tree as
an example. A white man marries a squaw which we can designate as union
A. A Chinaman marries a negress; we can call this union B. The progeny
of union A marries the progeny of union B, which is union C. The result
is a child which has blood one fourth white, one fourth black, one
fourth Indian, and one fourth Chinese. Although mixtures like this are
uncommon, they nevertheless exist, but it is of great commonness for a
person to have the blood of three of these races.

These mixtures diminish the intellect and decrease the vitality of the
offspring, who are invariably inferior to the pure bloods, even if the
pure blood is Indian or negro. The children of these marriages inherit
few of the good qualities of their parents, but all of their vices. The
cholos, proud of their white blood, tyrannize over the poor Indians and
subject them to indignities and cruelties such as were never practiced
in slavery times by their Spanish masters. These same cholos cringe
like curs before the white man. Their natural disposition is good,
excepting that they have the trait of dreadfully abusing and misusing
the poor Indians. The Chinese, of which there are thirty thousand in
the provinces of Callao and Lima, have not intermarried with the other
races so much as the other three mentioned ones. They are lawabiding
and quiet, but the mixed offspring from them is deficient in good
qualities. The worst of all races in Peru is the offspring of the negro
and the cholo. The result is a progeny that is downright bad. It is
these that constitute the riotous mobs that murder and hurl missiles
every time there is an abortive or a genuine revolution. They do not
know what the row is about, yet they want to participate in it for
the main love of wickedness. I saw a crowd of this degenerate gentry,
evidently "egged on" by some political opponent, hurl legumes and
bricks at the brother of ex-President Leguia when he was leaving the
Doric-columned Senate Building. One of these bricks severely injured
a stranger, and I, an unconscious spectator, had a white duck suit
discolored by unsavory hen fruit. The Limeno bootblacks are recruited
from this class, and as a rule when they are not shining shoes or
up to some deviltry, they stand around the booths singing in an
undertone obscene stanzas of their own composition to attentive dregs
of humanity. The "buck-niggers" and their families, of untarnished
ebony hue, originally migrated into Peru from Jamaica. They do not make
bad citizens, but their population is fast diminishing, their numbers
becoming assimilated with the other races.

  [Illustration: Puente Vieja, Lima, as Seen from the Bed of the Rimac]

There is considerable material for argument relative to the origin
of the name of the Peruvian metropolis, which nobody seems to have
taken the pains to unravel. Lima was founded January 18, 1535, by Don
Francisco Pizarro. It was granted its charter and received its seal by
a royal decree of Charles V. of Spain, December 7, 1537, under the name
of the Most Noble and Very Loyal City of Kings. The name Lima, which
the stranger is erroneously told is a corruption of the word Rimac
(the name of the river which divides the modern city), was said to be
the name of the Indian village which had its center where the capitol
building now stands; owing to the shortness of its name, it superceded
the longer title given to it by the Spanish king. Many of the Spanish
conquistadores named cities which they founded in the new world after
cities in Spain from which they hailed. Thus Trujillo in Peru is named
after Trujillo in Spain, Pizarro's birthplace. There is a town named
Valladolid in Yucatan, a city named Cartagena in Colombia, a Cordóba
in Argentina, and a Linares in Chile. All of these places were named
after places of the same name in the Iberian Peninsula. Likewise there
is a Lima in Spain. It may be that the capital of Peru was named after
it, and that the name of the Indian village is legend. To substantiate
this theory, there is a city in central Brazil named Lima which is an
old town. This Brazilian city would undoubtedly owe the origin of its
name to the same source as would Lima, Peru. There is a theory however
which would knock this out and that is one of my own. Lima, Spain, only
appears on the modern maps of that country. It is a small town in Leon.
I have examined many maps and ancient geographies of Spain and do not
find it there, yet it is inconceivable that Lima, Spain, would be named
after Lima, Peru.

  [Illustration: Calle Huallaga, Lima]

The variety of large bean which at home we are accustomed to call the
Lima bean is not a native of this place. Their origin is a town named
Ica, which is about a hundred miles southeast of Lima, and in Peru it
is called the Ica bean.

Lima is divided into two uneven parts by the Rimac River, which is
spanned by two traffic bridges, the Puente Vieja, commonly known as
the Stone Bridge, and the Puente Balta, by a railroad bridge, and by
a temporary footbridge. The Rimac is a swiftly flowing, transparent
stream, which jumps over cascades and has a considerable volume of
water for a mountain stream. Its bed is not well defined as it contains
many small islands and gravel bars. At the stone bridge it is kept
within bounds. The river furnishes irrigation for the whole valley in
which the capital is situated and could even be made to furnish more
since much of its volume of water goes to waste. This is a crime on
account of its scarcity.

  [Illustration: Plaza Italia, Lima. Vendors of Bread]

Lima should not be passed without a week's sojourn by any visitor
to the west coast of South America, whether he is a professor,
antiquarian, commercial traveler, or ordinary tourist. No other city in
the Western Hemisphere retains in so marked a degree its medievalism,
yet no other city on the west coast of South America is so advanced
in modernity. Luxury rubs shoulders with poverty; there are numerous
palaces and also countless hovels. The great churches, all Roman
Catholic, bear testimony by their superb interiors to the lavishness of
devotion. In the shop windows are displayed the silver ornaments and
utensils of Cuzco and Cajamarca; next door to them are presented the
baubles and gewgaws of New York and Paris.

  [Illustration: Plazuela de la Inquisicion, Lima]

The population is estimated at two hundred thousand which is probably
nearly correct. The city is very compactly built and centered so that
its streets teem with more life than an ordinary city of the same
number of inhabitants. Although its population is but half that of
Santiago, this centralization makes it appear to be a larger place.
The buildings, two, three, and four stories in height, are massive,
although many are built of adobe, plastered and painted over, and give
the city a metropolitan appearance. In Santiago many of the merchants
and well-to-do inhabitants live in the suburbs; in Lima they reside
near the center of the city. During the past few years, the Peruvian
capital has made great strides in civic improvement. The main streets
are now paved with stone; they were formerly paved with sharp pebbles.
They are kept clean, which is a great contrast to the dusty offal which
formerly littered them and which in powdered form assailed the eyes
and nostrils of the pedestrians every time a gust of wind arose. The
equipages for the transportation of passengers are superior to those
of Santiago and the street car service, although not frequent enough,
is better than that of the Chilean capital. There has also been much
recent building going on, the new edifices being of modern European
design.

Standing in the Hotel Maury one day I was introduced to a prominent
Lima business man named Arthur Field, who was born there. He kindly
offered to show me the city in his automobile. I told him that I was
already acquainted with Lima, having made previous visits there.

"I am so glad," said he; "most tourists go away with such a poor
impression of Lima, and some go away after a short sojourn and write
most uncomplimentary things about it, which hurts it. Ambassador Bryce
spoke very illy of Lima, and he was only here for a few days. There
is to my knowledge only one book written recently which gives a true
description of the city. It was written by a namesake of yours, a
man named Stephens. My wife and my friends have read it, and they all
pronounce it as true."

I did not tell him that I wrote the book, but another man in the group,
an American, spotted me for its author from the frontispiece in it,
which has my likeness. This last-mentioned man went home that noon,
and verified his suspicions by again looking at the frontispiece. That
afternoon he procured his copy of the book and started to the Hotel
Maury to congratulate me. On the way he got gloriously drunk, and in
an inebriated condition he showed the paragraph where I mentioned the
Hotel Maury to one of its proprietors. Since I had spoken poorly of
the establishment in it (it had improved decidedly since I was there
before) I thought the result would be a request for me to change
quarters. The proprietor could speak no English and judging that the
talk of the American was due to an excess of _batida_ bitters and John
de Kuyper paid no attention to the subject.

  [Illustration: Boulevard in Lima]

A bad feature about Lima is that the same street has a different
name for each block. This was the old Spanish custom and it makes it
necessary for the visitor to buy a plan of the city to memorize the
nomenclatures of the principal blocks. In recent years the municipality
has tried to remedy this custom by giving a street one single name, but
the old appellations still cling and probably always will. The Calle
Union, Lima's main street, is not so called by the ordinary native,
and its different blocks are known as Palacio, Portal de Escribanos,
Mercaderes, Espaderos, Merced, Baquijano, Boza, San Juan de Dios,
Belen, Juan Simon, and so forth. Its principal sector, Calle Huallaga,
is known respectively as Judios, Melchormalo, Virreina, Concepcion,
Presa, Lechugal, and San Andres.

Calle Union presents much life. It begins at the Plaza de Armas and
is about a mile long, terminating at the Zoölogical Gardens. On it is
the city hall, several theaters, the Merced church, the Forero palace,
and the penitentiary. It is the main retail street and is always much
crowded. Huallaga is a busy street with antiquarian shops, banks, and
wholesale offices. On it is the Hotel Central, the Bank of Peru and
London, the Concepcion market, the Concepcion church, and the police
headquarters.

The Concepcion market is the largest that I have ever seen. Its ground
area, covering a whole block, is about the same size as the Tacon
market in Havana, but it is higher. There are many queer vegetables,
herbs, and fruits offered for sale which are unknown in Europe or
in North America. The potato, whose origin is Peru, is sold in this
market, not in the raw state as in our markets, but desiccated. The
natives soak them in water, sun dry them, and put them for sale in
this fashion, for this way they will keep indefinitely. In the meat
department cats crawl over the loins and spare ribs while whippets
snap at fly-bedizened bones. I attempted to take a time exposure of the
place but a gawky overgrown boy walked in front of the camera, spoiling
the picture. A cuff on the ears from me which sent him spinning against
a basket of eggs nearly caused a small riot.

The Bank of Peru and London is the largest bank building in South
America. It is a three-story white structure built in a classical style
of architecture. There are several other large banks.

The Plaza de Armas lacks much of the charm of the plazas in the Chilean
cities. It is planted to palmetto trees, which I think always look out
of place outside of their wild native state. On the north side of this
square is the one-story-high capitol building. Somewhere in its patio
is the spot where Pizarro was murdered. The exact place is not known on
account of the many alterations that have taken place in the building.
His skeleton rests in a white marble sarcophagus in the cathedral.

This cathedral, whose stately and magnificent pile was described by
me in a previous book on South America, ranks as one of the largest
religious edifices in the world. Its twin towers, one at each side
of a broad façade, rise majestically into the heavens and are visible
from a great distance. Its spacious nave and aisles are crowned by a
ribbed roof, whose ceiling is painted in symmetrical designs in pink
and azure. Many mendicants loiter about the interior, and when the
sexton shows you Pizarro's skeleton, they all solicit alms for such
trivialities as holding the candle to view the remains, opening the
door of the chapel, and so forth. In the chapel where his remains
repose is an altar of pure silver brought from Cuzco.

  [Illustration: Façade of San Augustin Church, Lima]

Lima, always the capital of the Spanish dominion in the New World,
and the seat of the Inquisition in South America, was and is still a
pillar of Catholicism. The plaza where the Senate building is located
is named the Plazuela de la Inquisicion; in its neighborhood were
perpetrated the barbarous tortures on heretics, written about in Vicuña
Mackenna's books. Joints were stretched by screws; ear holes were
filled with molten metal; writhing bodies to whose feet was tied an
iron hundredweight were hoisted by outstretched arms to the ceiling
by means of pulleys, the weight causing the body to tear in two at the
abdomen. The last of these barbarities took place in 1820. In Peru no
other religion but the Roman Catholic is recognized, although others
are tolerated. Watching a religious procession one day as it passed
through the streets of the city, a thirty-second-degree Mason turned to
me and said:

"A Mason has no more show in this town than a fly on fly-paper."

There are forty-eight large churches in Lima and twenty-two chapels.
The latter are large enough to be fair-sized churches in the United
States. The most aristocratic church is that of La Merced adjoining
the convent of the same name on the Calle Union. It has an opulent
interior. The nave is high and airy, and the air is laden with
frankincense. It is my favorite of all the Lima churches and I often
repaired thither to attend mass or for pious meditation. San Francisco
church is very rich; its architecture is Saracenic. Another fine church
is San Augustin. It has a marvelous sculptured façade. According
to the original plan, it was to have two towers but they have never
been added. It is here that the president takes his oath of office.
Other fine churches worthy of visit are San Domingo, San Pedro, and
Nazarenas, although many others present great interest.

  [Illustration: Procession of the Milagro, Lima]

Easter week in Lima is an unforgettable event. Penitents, carrying
holy images, processions, and throngs of religious devotees fill the
streets. One of the pageants which has a touch of barbaric mingled
with Christianity is that of the Milagro. What gives it a touch of the
barbaric is the majority of negroes who take part in it. The trail of
the Milagro lies through the squalid streets in the part of the city
north of the Rimac. All the people officiating are garbed in purple
tunics. It is preceded by youths carrying gaudy lamps. Then follow
negro women, chanting dirges. A stranger looking at it for the first
time is apt to believe that it is a procession exorcising against the
plague for after the cantors come black Mary Magdalene's carrying
lighted hand braziers from which they blow great fumes of incense
smoke on the onlookers, nearly suffocating many by the intoxicating
fragrance. There is a brass band of purple-robed devotees playing
weird music followed by an image of the Saviour in an upright position
mounted on a metal platform. This image is adorned with wreaths,
flowers, and ribbons; before it is an altar with lighted candles. The
platform is very heavy and is borne by sixteen men, four on each side,
four in front, and four in back, who support its weight on their padded
shoulders on which rest beams. The procession is very slow, moving at
a snail's pace, and as it proceeds, the pageant sways with a peculiar
serpentine rhythm. On account of the weight of the image and its
accouterments, at every few yards the procession stops and the carriers
are relayed. Some of them faint under the strain. The expression on
the faces of the carriers is that of most reverend devotion; the light
of sanctity is in their eyes, and they walk as if in a trance. This
carrying of the image is a great honor, and the fortunate ones look
forward to it for a whole year. Following the image walked a priest,
his well-fed form protected from the sun by a canopy of cloth of gold
upheld on poles by six purple-clad boys. His expression was far from
being that of sanctity. Merciless and unrelentless, his face wore a
heartless and cold-blooded mien as if he were a graven image of stone.
Smug and self-centered, he appeared to be greatly contented with the
position he occupied, the cynosure of all eyes. When the procession
passed the Calle Trujillo, the main street of the section of Lima north
of the Rimac, street car and pedestrian traffic was stopped for half
an hour. As in all places, there was a crowd of procession followers.
As the pageant merely crawled along, many youths of this class regaled
themselves with libations of _pisco_ which is offered for sale every
few doors in that neighborhood. The consequence was that there were
many staggering steps among the spectators.

Lima is seen to its greatest advantage from the middle of the stone
bridge at dusk when the electric lights are being turned on or after
dark on a moonlight night from the same spot. The view is far superior
to that of Florence as seen from the Arno bridge. In the daytime the
masses of chrome-colored houses, churches, and towers, the teeming
street life, the trains arriving at and leaving Desamparados station
present the aspect of a metropolis both medieval and modern. At night
when the white moon rising above San Cristobal hill plays on the
ripples of the Rimac, and reflects on them the myriads of lights from
the windows, while in the distance the trees along the river bank cause
an inky blackness, is seen a picture beyond the scope of the greatest
artists.

The part of Lima north of the Rimac is much the smallest, but it is
the most thickly settled. It is the dirtiest part and is the favorite
abode of negroes and Chinamen; here street dogs of all descriptions
constantinopolize the thoroughfares, and when not basking on their
bellies on the sidewalks, they devour mule manure and snap at fleas.
This is the section of the city where the bubonic plague cases
sporadically occur, as well as being the section most poignant in
crime. It has a handsome parkway with statues, the Alameda de los
Descalzos, though it would be better located if it were south of
the river. On the north side are the two breweries, which with the
exception of two flour mills are Lima's sole factories. The breweries
are Backus & Johnston Company, Ltd., and Eduardo Harster's Piedra
Liza Brewery. Above the suburb of Piedra Liza rises San Cristobal hill
(altitude 1300 feet) which is 179 feet higher than the hill of the same
name at Santiago, Chile. Its summit is crowned by a wireless station of
the Telefunken.

In Lima there is only one hotel at which a North American or a European
can stop in comfort, the Maury. This hotel, owned by Angel Bertolotto
and leased to Visconti & Velasquez, is with the exception of some of
the Buenos Aires hotels the best in South America. Many of the rooms
have baths and are sumptuously furnished. The prices are high. This
Hotel Maury started with one building on the corner of Bodegones and
Villalta but when trade increased, it was necessary to acquire the
adjoining buildings, so that at the present time the caravanserai
extends the length of the whole block as far as the cathedral. It is
as intricate as a maze to find one's way about the upstairs corridors.
The ground floor is occupied with several tile-paved dining rooms, and
a large bar where congregate many of the foreign residents to enjoy
libations. The bartenders are good mixologists, but devote too much
of their time selling to tourists at usurious prices guide books and
views of Peru that they obtained for a song. When they are not doing
this they are busily engaged in drying orange peels that they fished
out of somebody's already consumed cocktail in order to have it in
proper condition to put into a cocktail ordered by the next customer.
The other hotels in Lima, impossible for the foreigner, are the delight
of the native-born population, as the Maury is too expensive for their
pocketbooks. There are many pastry and confectionery stores in Lima,
some being very good ones. These all sell ice cream and specialize
in preparing banquets. Many have ice manufacturing establishments in
connection with them. The best known are those named Arturo Field,
Broggi, Marron, and Parisienne.

The finest café on the west coast of America is the one in Lima named
Palais Concert and is owned by the Maury proprietors. It is modern
European, and is supposed to have a Viennese orchestra, none of whom,
however, hail from Austria. A popular restaurant is the Estrasburgo.
The peculiarity about it is the sacrilegious mural painting in it,
which strange to say is tolerated in this most fanatically religious
country. The painting is an advertisement of a French brandy firm. The
hideous corpse of Lazarus, with pointed chin and ears, coming to life,
is rising from a coffin, and with a sardonic grin on his face he is
eagerly stretching out his hand for a tumbler of brandy which is being
handed him by a bleached-out Christ, garbed in red, and with glistening
ringlets of peroxide colored hair. Christ is saying: "Arise, O Lazarus,
and drink this brandy!" This Estrasburgo is a favorite resort of Jews
in transit. They go there to view this picture, and when they see that
no Christian is present, nudge each other and say: "This is fine." The
Restaurant Berlin is a well furnished place on the Plateros de San
Pedro. This is all. There is no Berlin about it excepting the name,
although I understand that the proprietor is a German. The uncouth
waiters, some with repulsive boils on their faces, shuffle across
the unswept floor, which is overrun with cockroaches, and slop down
vile concoctions in front of you, spilling the sticky liquid on the
fly-infested table. One night while sitting there with a friend, I
was given a curaçao flavored with turpentine, while he drew a cocktail
savored with the cholo waiter's dirty thumb.

One of Lima's institutions is drink. Being almost a teetotaler, I
can give no more information than what I observed. Saloons exist
everywhere; there are over six thousand of them, some of which are
really high class. Also there are clubs where liquid refreshments are
sold. There are no days when the saloons are compelled to close; they
generally close their doors at night only when business becomes slack.
Besides the two breweries in Lima there is one in Callao, and although
there is much beer sold, the predominance of mixed drinks is so much
greater that the former is put into the background. The beer is vile
and I was advised not to drink any of it. In the winter of 1916 two
mozos of the Hotel Maury drank a bottle of Nacional Pilsen (Callao)
behind a door when the boss was not looking. Five minutes afterwards
one mozo died from the effects, and the life of the other was
barely saved. Another man drank some Backus & Johnston beer. Shortly
afterwards his teeth and tongue turned black. In both these cases it
was found that the beer was mixed with powerful acids. The reason for
this has not yet been discovered. It is believed by some people that
the preparation was faulty; by others that it was the work of a rival
brewery. Most of the confectionery stores have bars. Broggi invented
a drink which goes by his name. It is called Broggi bitters. This is
the recipe:--Aperitàl, cane syrup, and a dash of Angostura. To this is
added a lemon rind that has been soaked in alcohol. Add cracked ice
and fill the glass with syphon water. Shake well and pour the liquid
through a strainer. Broggi bitters may be obtained anywhere in Lima but
they do not taste like the ones served at the original place. The Maury
specializes in Peruvian cocktails. This drink is pisco, lemon juice,
and a teaspoonful of sugar. To it is added a few drops of Angostura;
it is then shaken with cracked ice, strained, and served with an orange
rind.

Pisco is a terribly strong native drink and is indulged in by the
lower classes. It is grape alcohol, and is flavored with pineapple,
or raspberry, or orange, or prunes. It is seen in the cheap saloons,
standing in large glass jars, yellow, red, orange, or brown according
to the flavor of the ingredient syrup. Chicha, far from being like the
grape cider of Chile, is here a corn alcohol and is indulged in by the
scum for their debauches.

I was once in Lima when there was much money in circulation. The crowds
of foreign residents of the mining towns in the Cordillera and the
floating population used to hie to the Maury bar twice a day to spend
it, and great orgies were pulled off. This has changed materially,
for now with less money in circulation, there are no more of these
parties. Formerly one never saw any paper currency. Now one never sees
any gold. Several of the banks in consolidation have issued circular
checks which are considered by the government as legal. They are the
best looking bills in South America. Their denominations are half
pound, one pound, five and ten pound notes. The merchants grab all the
silver soles that fall into their hands, so that it is impossible many
times to change these circular checks when change is most needed. Some
merchants place signs in their stores saying that this paper currency
will not be accepted as tender unless the purchases amount to two
soles. I was told by the cashier of the Bank of Peru and London that if
I went into a café, bought and drank a bottle of beer, and offered one
of these checks in payment, the proprietors would be obliged to change
it even though they had signs posted to the contrary. He said that if
they refused to make change for me to walk off without paying and the
law would be on my side. I told this to a chance acquaintance from
Montana who had a perpetual thirst. He tried it out by making diurnal
rounds of many saloons, drinking two or three potations in each place,
always tendering a circular check of one of the higher values, which he
invariably found unchangeable.

Lima has the only ice-cream soda fountains that I have discovered south
of the Equator although I am told that one exists in Buenos Aires. It
also has a soft drink parlor, Leonard's, called the Hemaglobino, where
ordinary soda water with the standard, and to us exotic, syrups, such
as tamarind, are dispensed. As to money making, it is a mint, and as
Prat remarked to me, in Buenos Aires it would be a veritable gold mine.

A Lima institution that needs to be ameliorated is the post office
department. None of the South American post offices are any too
reliable but that of Lima is the limit. A few instances of post office
irregularities in the Latin republics will serve as an introduction
before that of Lima is dealt with.

In Paraguay it happens that the post offices frequently run shy of
stamps. A person in Asuncion would like to mail a letter. He takes
it to the post office and is told that there are no stamps but that
if he will pay the money equivalent to the postage the letter will
be forwarded. He does so, and it is the last he or anybody else ever
sees of the letter. It is opened by the post office clerk to see if it
contains money. If it does, the money finds its way into the clerk's
pocket. In any case the letter is thrown into the waste-paper basket.

In enlightened Argentina, there is also much thievery of mail. A mail
car was recently wrecked on the Central Argentine Railroad. Between the
lining of the car and the outside boards hundreds of opened registered
letters were found. A postmaster in a small Argentine village died
recently. In remodeling the building which was used as the post office
there were found in the basement four thousand opened letters.

In Santiago I was advised by my friends to send them no registered
mail. They told me if I did, they would probably never receive it
because it was common for the post office clerks to open registered
mail to see if it contained money. In Argentina and in Bolivia the post
office clerks are discourteous and hate to make change. They gossip
with their friends, keeping a row of people waiting indefinitely for
service. Oftentimes they are busily engaged in reading a newspaper
and will not look up until the article is read. In Ecuador with the
exception of the city of Guayaquil there is no money order service, and
letters are not forwarded if the addressee changes his residence. In
Peru there is no money order service between Lima and the mining towns
such as Cerro de Pasco. Many foreigners live in this last-mentioned
town and it is often necessary for people in the capital to remit money
to them. In order to do so, it is necessary for the remitter to go to
a bank and purchase a draft.

Regarding the Lima post office, thievery is rampant. I bought some
Panama hats in Paita and had them sewed up neatly in several parcels
which I mailed to friends in the United States. The parcels arrived
with practically the identical sewing that I had done, but when they
were opened they were found to contain newspapers. A letter to the
United States from Lima requires twelve centavos postage and a postal
card four centavos. When a foreigner goes to this post office and
looks around for the stamp window he is invariably accosted by several
individuals who inquire if he wishes to buy any stamps. Upon their
being answered in the affirmative, they inquire what denomination he
wants. If he should tell them that he wants to buy some twelve centavo
stamps they will produce a bunch of them which they will sell him for
eight centavos. They also sell four centavo stamps for two and three
centavos. Many of these stamps are minus gum. This shows that the post
office clerks are in league with these touts. They take off the new
stamps, throw the letters in the waste-paper basket, hand the stamps to
their understudies, who whack up the profits with them. These clerks
also steal new stamps from the drawers and peddle them out the same
way.

In Lima, Montevideo, and Asuncion, the post office clerks also do a
lucrative business in selling canceled stamps to collectors. They will
invariably ask the foreigner if he wishes to buy a set of the current
issue canceled. If he refuses they are offended.

Peru is very fertile in the stamp issues that it has put forth ever
since postage stamps have been invented. Fortunately for collectors,
Peru is considered a good country, as many of its stamps bring high
prices in London, New York, and Paris. The natives know this and
there is not to be found a booth in Lima which sells stationery, lead
pencils, cigars, and lottery tickets which does not also sell canceled
postage stamps of the past issues of the country. These can be bought
very cheaply, and can be resold in the United States at fancy prices.

Peru can be called a lawless country. It has a good code but its laws
are not lived up to. There have been many revolutions and there will
be a continuance of them due to its lawless, heterogeneous population,
and the political rivalry between different factions. Most of the
inhabitants have political ambitions on account of the graft connected
with the appointments. Although this is true all over the world, it is
especially true in Peru. The cholo maltreats the Indian, and the white
man bullies the cholo. The Lima police very seldom arrest a foreigner
because they can work him for money. I know of an American in Lima who
through some act of his got into conflict with the police. They led
him off ostensibly to jail, but when they reached a dark street they
asked him how much he would give if they let him go. They willingly
accepted ten pesos. One night I made a purchase in one of the stores.
After having paid for it, I took my purchase and walked out into the
street. I had scarcely taken a few steps before the proprietor ran out
of his store and told me that I had not paid him enough because he had
discovered that what he sold me was worth more than he charged me. This
is a favorite South American dodge and is perpetrated by storekeepers
when they think they can get more for their goods than what they
sold them for. Even the proprietor of a large importing drug firm in
Arequipa tried this on me once, and he was a man worth over one hundred
thousand dollars. I declined to pay the Lima storekeeper any more money
and also declined to give up my purchase. A half block away stood
several policemen and he sent a friend after one of these. The cops
soon appeared on the scene and started to make a big fuss. Ordinarily I
would have returned the purchase but this happened to be something that
I wanted. When the policemen, storekeeper, and bystanders were at the
pitch of excitement, I managed to slip a couple of pesos into the hands
of the former. They immediately changed their attitude, threatened the
storekeeper and his friend with arrest, espoused my cause, and even
went with me as far as the door of the Hotel Maury to "protect me from
molestation" as they called it.

A certain Lima senator not long ago caught his wife in a compromising
act with a stranger. He had them both arrested on a charge of adultery.
He hired the police to castrate the stranger, which was done in the
jail. No proceedings were ever taken against the senator and the
stranger was given short notice to leave the city.

  [Illustration: Cercado Church, Lima]

The General Cemetery of Lima is worthy of a visit. It is situated
outside of the city limits, east of a suburb named Cercado. From the
Plaza Santa Ana, the best way to reach it is by the long, populous,
and none too straight Calle Junin on which is passed the ancient
salmon-colored church of Carmen in front of a shady plazuela. I once
saw a vulture the size of an eagle perched on the top of one of the
iron framework crosses that ennoble its exterior. Several long blocks
beyond it is Cercado, now inside the corporation of Lima but formerly
a separate village, founded in 1586, and given the name Santiago. Its
present name, Cercado, is derived from the Spanish _circuido_ meaning
"surrounded," because the town was formerly surrounded with walls. At
the end of one of its tortuous streets is an insane asylum of such a
forbidding character that the epithet over its gate, "Let all who enter
leave hope behind," can be properly applied. In its garden is a well
where the attendants duck the refractory imbeciles till bubbles come
up. Behind the asylum is the Plaza de Cercado, treeless, and traversed
by an open sewer. Here is situated the ancient, dull drab, towered
church, also named Cercado. A prolongation of the Calle Ancahs, here a
broad avenue, bordered on both sides by large trees, leads directly to
the cemetery.

  [Illustration: Tomb of the Goyeneche Family, in the General Cemetery,
   Lima]

  [Illustration: Mr. Kurt Waldemar Linn of New York

   This photograph was taken in the General Cemetery in Lima]

The General Cemetery possesses some of the finest works of marble
monumental sculpture in South America. These masterpieces were done
before the Pacific War in 1879 when Peru was an opulent country, and
was not in the decadent and revolutionary state that it is in at the
present time. Personally I do not like this cemetery because it is
enclosed with high walls into which are set thousands of niches, a
true Roman columbarium. Even in sunny daylight, it presents an ultra
mournful appearance, no doubt due to congestion of room. If ever
there was a City of the Dead, this is one. Near the main entrance is
a pantheon, which must be passed through before reaching the cemetery
proper. In front of it is a semi-rotunda bordered by exquisite marble
busts and likenesses of Peru's famous dead of more than a half century
ago. These are finely chiselled masterpieces of soft white gypsum-like
marble, preserving to the present time their original aspects. These
unblemished, untarnished sculptural likenesses are of statesmen,
professors, and so forth, dignified, with nothing in common with the
uncouth rabble of Lima to-day. It is just as well that the men whose
remains are interred beneath these pedestals have long since died for
they have not witnessed the humiliating defeat of their fatherland and
the surrender of the nitrate fields of Iquique, together with the loss
of Tacna and Arica, nor did they hear the tramp through Lima's streets
of the Chilean conquerors.

  [Illustration: Mr. Linn of New York Rising out of the Tomb Erected in
   Honor of the Peruvian Heroes of the Pacific War, 1879-1882]

  [Illustration: Corpse Bearer, General Cemetery, Lima]

Beyond the pantheon are some fine mausoleums, that of the Goyeneche
being remarkable. The cadavers are not sequestered in the tombs, but in
niches in vaults underneath reached by a descending flight of stairs.
The niches rent for six soles for two years ($1.50 a year) and in them
are deposited the remains of those whose means are limited. A white
marble slab generally covers the front of the niche. On these slabs
are designs, differing but little from each other in originality. The
paintings on the slabs are black and depict a willow tree on one of
whose branches sits an owl. Beneath the tree in attitudes of prayer and
mourning are shown several human beings grouped about a corpse lying on
a couch. The infant mortality in Lima must be great as is evidenced by
the number of fresh cement fillings over the niches that are just large
enough to permit the coffin of a child to be placed in the aperture.
I witnessed several burials of poor children. The father, mother,
and a few relatives appear at the cemetery carrying a coffin, smoking
cigarettes, and apparently no more absorbed with grief than if a pet
dog or cat had died. A cemetery employee relieves them of their load
and finds a niche. He climbs upon some boards stretched across a pair
of wooden carpenter's horses and slides into the hole that which had
once been human. He then seizes a cement slab, many of which are lying
about, having been especially manufactured for the cemetery to be used
on such occasions, fits it in the niche end, and slaps over it a few
trowelfuls of wet cement. A scratch on the cement with a pointed stick
writes the name of the deceased infant and the date of its succumbing.
The work of interring is so slipshodly done that swarms of insects,
which delight in making repasts on the putrefying entrails of corpses,
crawl through the cracks of the cement and seethe on the faces of
the slabs. Some of these bit me and caused festering sores by their
undetectable inoculation.

  [Illustration: Putting a Coffin into a Niche, General Cemetery, Lima]

In the west end of this cemetery is another pantheon, this one superb.
In it are the sarcophagi of General Bolognesi, Admiral Grau, and other
heroes of the Pacific War. It also contains the bones of the former
presidents. Protestants, pagans, and freemasons are not interred in
this cemetery.

Lima has a patron saint, Santa Rosa. She is also the patron saint of
Callao. She was born in Lima, April 30, 1536, and devoted a life of
purity to God. She died at the age of thirty-one years, August 23,
1567. She was canonized by Pope Clement X. in 1671.

There are many legends printed in book form about the city of Mexico,
but none that I know of about this much more interesting city, Lima.
Anecdotes and tales of the early history of Buenos Aires and Bahia
would be worth reading, but I doubt if there is any city of the Western
Hemisphere which is as rich in romance as Peru's capital. Some of the
old houses here could tell many interesting tales if walls could speak,
especially that one still existing called the Torre-Tagle house, where
the Spanish viceroys formerly resided. It has a beautiful mahogany
ceiling and balustrades and is the home of the Zevallos family.

No modern book on Peru has the names of the viceroys tabulated. I have
therefore gathered the names of the best known ones.

1. Blassco Nuñez de Vela. 1544-1551.

2. Antonio de Mendoza. Sept. 23, 1551-July 21,1556.

He founded the University of San Marcos at Lima.

3. Andrés Hurtado de Mendoza. July 21, 1556-March 30, 1561.

4. Diego Lopez de Zuñiga, Count of Nieva. April 17, 1561-Feb. 20, 1564.

5. Francisco de Toledo. November 26, 1569-Sept. 23, 1581.

He is called the Solon of Peru. He established the Inquisition.

6. Martin Enriquez de Almanza. Sept. 23, 1581-March 15, 1583.

7. Fernando de Torres y Portugal, Count del Villar de Pardo. 1586-Jan.
6, 1590.

8. Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza, Marquis of Cañete. Jan. 6, 1590-July 26,
1596.

9. Luis de Velazco. July 26, 1596-Jan. 28, 1604.

He established free schools. He had the first census of Lima taken
January 1, 1600. Its population then was 14,262.

10. Gaspar de Zuñiga y Acevedo, Count of Monterrey. Jan. 28, 1604-Feb.
16, 1606.

11. Juan de Mendoza y Lima, Marquis of Montesclaros. Feb. 16, 1606-Dec.
18, 1615.

He built the stone bridge at Lima which is called the Puente Vieja and
laid out the Alameda de los Descalzos.

12. Francisco de Borja y Aragon, Prince of Esquilache. Dec. 18,
1615-July 25, 1622.

13. Diego Fernandez de Córdoba, Marquis of Guadalcázar. July 25,
1622-Jan. 14, 1629.

14. Luis Geronimo Fernandez de Cabrera, Count of Chinchón. Jan. 14,
1629-Dec. 15, 1639.

During his viceroyalty, the medicinal properties of quinine were
discovered at Lima.

15. Pedro de Toledo y Leyta, Marquis of Mancero. Dec. 15, 1639-.

16. Garcia Sarmiento de Sotomayor, Count of Salvatierra. -June 26, 1659.

17. Luis Enrique de Guzman, Count of Alba de Liste. June 26, 1659-.

18. Diego Benavides y de la Cueva, Count of Santisteban. -1666.

19. Pedro Fernandez de Castro, Count of Lemu. 1666-1672.

20. Baltazar de la Cueva Enriquez. 1672-.

21. Archbishop Melchor Liñan y Cisneros.

22. Melchor de Navarra y Rocaful.

23. Melchor Portocarrero, Count de la Monclova. -Sept. 22, 1705.

He had a census of Lima taken, Jan. 1, 1700. Its population was 37,234.

24. Manuel de Oms y Santa Pau, Marquis of Castel Dos Rios. Sept. 22,
1705-Apr. 22, 1710.

25. Diego Ladron de Guevara, Bishop of Quito. Apr. 22, 1710-.

27. Diego de Morcillo, Archbishop of Charcas. -Jan. 11, 1730.

28. José de Almendariz, Marquis of Castel Fuerte. Jan. 11, 1730-.

30. José Antonio Manso de Velasco, Count of Superunda. July 12,
1745-Nov. 13, 1762.

31. Manuel de Amat. Nov. 13, 1762-. He expelled the Jesuits from Peru.

35. Francisco Gil de Taboada, Lemus y Villamarin.

36. Ambrosio O'Higgins, Marquis of Osorno. -Mar. 18, 1801.

He built the road from Lima to Callao.

37. Gabriel de Avilés y del Fierro, Marquis of Avilés, Nov. 6,
1801-July 26, 1806.

38. Jose Fernando Abascal. July 26, 1806-.

39. Joaquim de la Pezuela.

He was the last Viceroy of Peru.



CHAPTER XV

ACROSS THE CORDILLERA TO THE RIO TAMBO


Professor Edward Alsworth Ross in his book _South of Panama_ says of
Peru:

"Were I to be exiled, and confined the rest of my life to one country,
I should choose Peru. Here is every altitude, every climate, every
scene. The lifeless desert and the teeming jungle, the hottest lowlands
and the bleakest highlands, heaven-piercing peaks and rivers raving
through canyons--all in Peru. The crassest heathenism flourishes two
days in the saddle from noble cathedrals, and the bustling ports are
counterpoised by secluded inland towns where the past lies miraculously
preserved like the mummy of the saint in a crypt."

The greatest part of Peru lies east of the Andes. It is also the least
known part of Peru for it is rarely visited by strangers or mining men
or commercial travelers. The part they see is the desert coast line
with its dirty, poverty-stricken towns, the bleak barren peaks that
fringe the Pacific littoral, here and there a spot of verdure at the
mouth of a river, and Lima, the capital. A few others, mostly mining
men and engineers, take a trip to the summit of nearby mountains on
the Oroya railroad, sojourn in the mining towns, suffer from cold and
lonesomeness, and swear that Peru is the damnedest country on the face
of the globe, and are heartily glad when the time comes for them to
leave, vowing never to return again. Barely a handful of these people
ever cross the passes of the eastern cordillera, and descend the banks
of the rivulets formed from the melting of the perpetual snows until
these rivulets become streams, the country opens out, and the climate
changes from that of the arctic regions to that of the temperate
zone and finally changes again to that of the tropics. If the tourist
journeyed farther he would find himself in a vast forest of tropical
trees, impenetrable, and the home of wild Indians of the blowpipe
variety, who roam the great swamps and jungles clad not even in a loin
cloth. He would meet mighty rivers as wide as our widest ones, would
observe flora such as is only seen in our hothouses, and would see many
species of fauna which he has never seen except at a zoo. This great,
and for the most part unexplored, section of Peru is part of the Amazon
watershed and forms a wilderness of forest which is the continuation
of that of Brazil. The Amazon and many of its tributaries rise near
the summits of the Andes, and cutting their passage in deep gorges and
canyons ever widening in their descent down the eastern slope of the
great barrier range of mountains, finally reach the lowlands and flow
peacefully in the direction of the Atlantic Ocean, their volume of
water being continually augmented by an inpour of thousands of similar
smaller streams.

A person who is at the mouth of a great river longs to follow it up to
its source, likewise a person standing at the source or at the side
of a little stream which he can step across and know that thousands
of miles away it flows into the ocean as a mighty river, is fascinated
and a longing comes over him to descend it and follow it to its outlet,
especially if it happens to be in a country that is new to him and the
course of the flowing road lies through a stretch of the universe that
to him is an unsolved mystery. Twice before I have stood at the sources
of tributaries to the Amazon, and each time I could hardly resist the
temptation of following them downward. Once was at Huancayo on the
Mantaro. This river flows eastward and joins the Apurimac, forming
the Rio Tambo. The latter joins the Urubamba, forming the Ucayali.
The Ucayali joins the Maranon, forming the main stream of the Amazon.
The other time was at La Paz at the headwaters of the Chuquillampo.
This river descends very steeply through a wild gorge named the Yungas
and flows into the Altamachi. The latter flows into the Beni which in
turn empties into the Madeira. The Madeira flows into the Amazon. As
I was limited for time on each of these previous occasions I had to
forego the pleasure and excitement of such a thrilling expedition. Also
the descent of either of these rivers would have been impracticable
without a large expedition because their courses lie through a country
inhabited by savage Indians which would make traveling extremely
dangerous.

In Lima this time the idea occurred to me, since I had been twice
thwarted in my desire to descend the length of the Amazon basin and
might never have another chance if not at present, that it would be a
good stunt to obtain all possible information about what route to take,
and if feasible to make another attempt. I spoke about it to Prat who
did not fall in with the idea very well as he had a wholesome fear of
the wild tribes which he was told infested the whole forest region of
Amazonian Peru. After a considerable palaver he finally agreed to take
a chance and since we were told at the American consulate that the best
way to make the trip would be by the way of the Chanchamayo and the
Perene Rivers, we determined upon this last-mentioned route and then
started to make preparations.

There lives in Lima one of the best fellows that I have ever become
a chance acquaintance of. His name is Tomas de Mandalangoitia and
by occupation he is an official of the Peruvian line of steamers
plying between Ilo and Panama. He gave me much information about my
prospective trip and as his intentions were to sail the next week
for Panama on business for his company, he offered to see that all
our baggage would get through safely to that port. This he did, and
to him I am extremely thankful as otherwise I would have never been
able to make the trip. I left the details of the first stages of the
trip to Signor Francesco Sansoni, the courier of the Hotel Maury, who
telegraphed to the different stopping places en route as far as the
Perene Colony, making reservations for me for horses, and accommodation
for me, with guides. He arranged my itinerary and also made in Lima
what necessary purchases we would require. The latter consisted of
a portable stove, tent, blankets, rifles, revolvers, sack of beans,
salt, sugar, molasses, and buckskin shoes. I also carried a camera
and medicine chest. I might as well mention that I went to all this
expense for nothing because on the Rio Tambo our boat upset and we
lost everything in the water excepting the clothes we had on, our
money which with our letters of credit we had tied around our persons
in a belt, and our revolvers with a box of cartridges which we had in
our pockets. Prat even lost his hat and was obliged to buy an Indian
piece of headgear from a native boatman which he wore until we reached
Iquitos a month later.

  [Illustration: Llamas at Casapalca

   Casapalca is about 14,000 feet above sea level]

The railroad to Oroya, the highest in the world, has been described
so many times that it is unnecessary to do so now. In even hours one
is taken from Lima to an altitude of 15,865 feet and then dropped
down 3686 feet to the junction town of Oroya, from which place a
railroad runs northward to Cerro de Pasco, and another one southward
to Huancayo. At Casapalca near to the summit of the Andes west of the
divide there was a herd of llamas numbering about three hundred behind
the railroad sheds. I obtained a good photograph of them which is here
reproduced. Most of the people on the train suffered from _soroche_, a
mountain sickness akin to vertigo and nausea which is due to the rapid
change in atmosphere that the traveler undergoes when he is whisked
into the high, nitrogenous altitudes. It commonly takes several days
before the unaccustomed person feels all right again. At Oroya there
is a fair hotel, the Junin, where I was obliged to stop over night and
where the raw air nearly chilled me through on account of my previous
sojourn in the sub-tropics. Oroya is 12,179 feet above sea level and is
a bleak, dismal place at its best. The wind blows something fierce and
chills one's very marrow. I told Prat that he had better dress warmly
but the Spaniard said that since we were only to endure a few days'
frigidity he could stand it. It was laughable to see him shiver in his
Palm Beach suit and watch him chase his straw sailor hat which a gust
of wind would occasionally blow off. Even though I was warmly clad, I
was obliged to crawl under four blankets with all my clothes on when I
retired that night.

At six o'clock the next morning we were awakened and upon emerging
from the front door found a cholo guide, who Francesco Sansoni had
telegraphed for, awaiting us with four mules, one for the baggage. We
had so much paraphernalia with us that it would have been impossible to
load it all upon one mule, so I had it divided somewhat in order that
the three mules which we were to ride would bear some of the burden. We
were ready to start out at any time after breakfast was served, which
we had ordered for 6.30 A.M., but seven o'clock slipped by without
any of the servants having prepared any. I went into the kitchen and
asked the cook to hurry with it, but he said that the proprietor was
asleep and had the keys of the pantry. I told him to awaken him, but
the cholo cook was evidently afraid to disturb the sleep of his Italian
master. It was nearly nine o'clock before we got away after we had
partaken of some stale rolls and several cups of poor coffee. For an
hour and a half after starting we climbed a broad, well-traveled path
up the western slopes of the barren mountains, until we reached the
summit where there was a pass at an altitude of 13,975 feet above sea
level. This pass is the dividing line between the Mantaro and the Palca
watersheds, both of which belong to the Amazon basin. The Mantaro flows
in a southeasterly direction out of Lake Junin and as a creek flows
past the towns of Oroya and Jauja, ever increasing in volume so that
it is quite respectable in size at Huancayo. Beyond the summit was a
large uneven plain from which rose many rounded hills and stony buttes
and which was sprinkled here and there with coarse tufts of bunch
grass at which we saw llamas grazing. These mountain plateaus are in
Chile called pampas, in Bolivia and Southern Peru, _punos_, but here
and farther north as far as Colombia, _paramos_. It took us an hour to
cross this plain which sloped gently to the east; then began a rough
descent over stony ground on the eastern slopes of the mountain till
we reached a formation where a depression of the ground showed us was
the beginning of a valley. The grasses became more abundant and a few
shrubs appeared. The lower we descended, the more these shrubs took on
the appearance of trees so that now the country had a totally different
aspect from the barrenness of Oroya and the high plateau. The path had
broadened considerably so that it nearly assumed a road-like width, and
we met many droves of llamas followed up by drivers on muleback. All
were carrying merchandise to the railroad. In a few days they would
return with the products of the civilized world imported from North
America and Europe. We now came upon the south bank of a fastly flowing
stream and followed this for about five hours, riding very slowly and
taking in the landscape which was becoming less wild all the time. A
few miles before reaching Tarma the banks of the creek were clothed
with patches of calla lilies, growing wild, in their original native
state, the dark green of their arrow-shaped leaves forming a brilliant
color contrast with the creamy whiteness of their blossoms and the
golden yellow of their petals. A cleft in the mountains was seen ahead,
which showed us that our creek here joined another river, which was
true for here the Acomayo was reached. Presently the red tile roofs of
Tarma were seen among the eucalyptus groves and soon we clattered down
an avenue bordered by trees and on each side of which ran irrigation
ditches. At the end of this avenue was an ornamental gate built into
the solid walls of the buildings and which looked like a triumphal
arch. Under this we passed and then entered the narrow streets of the
city, drawing up at the Hotel Roma on the plaza, where rooms reserved
for us by Sansoni were awaiting our occupancy.

  [Illustration: Tarma, Peru]

Tarma is a very pleasant town of five thousand inhabitants in an ideal
location in a narrow valley which it seems to fill at the base of high
mountains. Its altitude is 10,010 feet above sea level but it lacks the
chill of such highly situated towns east of the cordillera. Here the
cold winds from the high paramos and ice peaks do not reach owing to
its sheltered position. The air is fresh, but not raw and reminds one
of the first breezes of spring. I was told by the accommodating Italian
hotel proprietor that the climate is that of a perpetual spring.

The city is compactly built with one- and two-story adobe houses, those
on the main streets being painted light colors or whitewashed. In the
center of the town is a treeless plaza but beautified with shrubs in
which is a round cement fountain and an octagonal frame bandstand. At
one side of this plaza is the parish church in charge of an amiable
fat priest, a cholo who has but a slight strain of white blood as can
be observed by his dark, heavy jowled features. He was clad in a white
robe of coarse wool over which hung a dark cape. He seemed very much
interested in us and gave us letters of introduction to other priests
along the road which we would follow. These he handed to Prat who
accidentally lost them on purpose; the Catalonian in his heart was an
agnostic, and a Roman Catholic only in his bringing up. He would walk
a block out of his way to avoid meeting a priest, yet when he was sick
would always want to have one about him. He would never enter a church
and would make sacrilegious remarks, yet when a thunderstorm would
come up, he would cross himself and mumble prayers only to forget them
as soon as the sky became clear again. Padre Troncoso was the name of
the Tarma priest and he delighted in having me take his photograph.
He teaches in the parish school and asked me to take a picture of his
highest class which consisted of sixteen boys, most of whom were white.

The Hotel Roma is a two-story structure with a carved wooden balcony on
its second floor; its exterior is much like many buildings in Stamboul.
It is a very comfortable and clean place with good food. There is
another hotel in Tarma, the Umberto, which is well spoken of. The most
curious sight in the small city is the cemetery. It reminds one of a
Chinese burying ground. It is filled with many grotesque monuments,
some of them having tiled roofs. These individual tombstones are of
adobe, and are whitewashed over. They contain several niches into which
the coffins are placed and they are so narrow that the gruesome burdens
may be put in them at either end.

  [Illustration: Cemetery, Tarma]

We left Tarma early in the morning and followed the Acomayo River
a couple of hours to the town of Acobamba, a pretty village much
resembling Tarma only smaller. We watered our mules here, tarried about
an hour, and then continued for another two hours to the city of Palca
which is very much like both Tarma and Acobamba, although smaller than
the first-mentioned place and larger than the last-mentioned one. It is
a poorer place than Tarma, but it has a larger church. This building
is several hundred years old; it is of adobe, and has a broad façade
from one side of which rises a four-story belfry capped with a steeple.
The valley is here very narrow but beyond Palca there is a widening
where the Acomayo flows into the Rio Palca. This river we followed
the rest of the day. The scenery between Tarma and Palca is much the
same, and is distinguished by the number of century plants along the
roadside and the abundance of calla lilies along the river bed. Some
of these lilies were spotted and likewise had light spots on their
leaves. Leaving Palca there was a much more varied vegetation. This
was noticeable when we crossed the river and we proceeded along its
south bank. The mountains were still barren but were beginning to show
unmistakable signs by the increased number of bushes on their slopes
that we were approaching a wetter climate. The river itself had all
the attractions of a clear, rushing mountain torrent working its way
among the rocks and bowlders; its banks of shale rock were steep and
thickly clothed with vegetable life of many species. Among the latter
were wild verbenas of the brightest scarlet, purple begonias, several
varieties of fern, wild tobacco plants, and a creeper much like the
wild cucumber. An hour beyond Palca we arrived at the hill of Carpapata
down whose sides the road zigzagged in many windings. The natives have
made a short cut between the zigzags which saves a couple of kilometers
but which is too steep to be descended in comfort. Up and down this
short cut they drive their llamas which take readily to its steepness
like mountain sheep. Arrived near the bottom of the hill the road leads
along the ledge of a cliff high above the turbulent river. To look
down or up is apt to cause giddiness. This is the famous scene that
is portrayed in the geographies of half a century ago where a llama
train is meeting a mule train on a curve at the side of a precipice.
The view with the river flowing at the bottom of the gorge is truly
impressive. The mountains on either side are sheer and rocky, their
upper slopes covered only with grass, their bases clothed with shrubs.
Straight before us leading to a veritable land of promise lay the road,
threading its way on a gentle downward grade, perpetually alternating
from the convex to the concave on the ledge of the mountains. Ahead of
us on the other side of the canyon a single mountain appeared clad with
forest trees up to its very summit, the first that I had seen in Peru.
As we drew nearer it became a scene of enchanting beauty, with its
colorings of light green and gray. From the underbrush near its summit
there was poured forth a large waterfall, which dashed down its entire
height in three separate cascades for several hundred feet.

Towards evening we reached the rest house named the Huacapistana Hotel,
at an exact altitude of 5600 feet above sea level. This is the real
gateway to the tropics. The hotel, owned by an Italian, is built on
a narrow shelf of land in a flowery meadow above the river and below
the road. It is a clean well-kept two-story building with half a dozen
guests' rooms. Adjoining it and separated from the meadow by a stone
wall is a barn and a corral for horses and llamas. The climate is fresh
but it is much warmer than at Tarma. A mist gathered over the river
that night which made the atmosphere rather chilly. This is frequently
the case and it does not lift until the sun is well out the next
morning.

We got an early start the next day and found the road, which was now
smooth, wet, and slippery from the mist. The tree trunks and branches
were rich in symbiotic life, with ferns, lianas, and orchidaceous
plants of many species. The wild cotton trees were laden with festoons
of roseate blossoms, and from the extremities of their slender branches
would be seen hanging large wasps' nests. Other nests such as those of
bees and ants of a gray color spotted the rocks or any available bare
space on the smooth bark of a tree. The effect of the giant tree fern
spreading its graceful fronds over the path was enchanting; beneath
its shade grew seemingly every other species of fern which one has
ever noticed in hothouses at home. We passed several small coffee
plantations; in the clearings near the houses were banana, orange, and
papaya trees. The tit-shaped fruit of the latter is so common that it
is left unpicked for the birds to feed on. The pods attain maturity
in regular sequence from the lowest to the highest, swelling in size,
changing from green to yellow, and becoming soft and possessing an
insipid sweetish odor. In the matter of vegetation generally, the
above description may be fairly said to characterize the whole region;
orchids, scarlet cannas, the broad-leafed caladium or elephant's ear,
purple, white, and pink begonias, scarlet verbenas; creepers, ferns,
and mosses; forest trees, reeds, grasses, and plant life generally,
interspersed with huge bowlders and masses of weatherbeaten rock of a
chalky whiteness, all contributing to the formation of the most perfect
fairy scene imaginable.

Occasionally one would meet with a blaze of color from some wild cotton
trees, laden with flowers, pink, yellow, and even blue; and equally
striking was the effect of a species of wild runner bean with dark
green leaves and thick bunches of vermilion flowers hanging in tresses,
and appearing to nearly smother the tree which gave it support.

The road made a sudden double turn to reach a lower level by the side
of the river, and then became a low-roofed passage cut beneath an
immense wall of overhanging rock, open and unsupported on the river
side, and in plain view of the turbulent stream below. The softest and
most luxuriant vegetation covers this rock, and it is overhung in many
places with the graceful tape fern, and the snakelike roots of trees.
Here I saw a large toucan fly across the ravine and its brilliant
plumage of scarlet and black added a still further charm to the scene.
The next view after passing beneath the rocky projection is one which
can never fail to arrest the attention. At a distance ahead, sufficient
to enable one to take in the whole picture, rises the Pan de Azucar
(Sugar Loaf), a mountain in the middle of the now broadened river bed.
Its marvelous shape and mantle of green forest trees, which extend to
its summit, remind one of the Pitons at Castries, St. Lucia, although
on a much smaller scale. We came to a place where there used to be a
swinging bridge but which was some time ago abandoned because the road
crosses the river by a new stone one farther down. Here on turning
around in our saddles is a view different in character but equally
impressive and grand. This is a great perpendicular patch of white rock
regularly stratified but wrinkled and most strangely contorted into the
form of an elliptical curve.

The bridges over the river which we had to cross at different stages of
the journey deserve a word of praise for their construction, combining
lightness with strength. They are of the suspension type, built of
strong cables with plank footboards, and sufficient to meet the needs
of the present light and limited mule traffic. When crossing, it is
advisable to dismount and walk, because they sway considerably and are
open at the sides. One such bridge some twelve miles below Huacapistana
leads to the hacienda of Naranjal, a sugar plantation. The only bridge
that I know of in North America similar to these swinging bridges of
Peru spans Capilano Canyon near North Vancouver, in British Columbia.
Naranjal has an old-fashioned garden with a fountain surrounded with
mango and orange trees, the latter giving the name to the place. Three
miles below Naranjal is the ranch house of Milagro, belonging to a man
named Horquiera.

San Ramon is a little village situated in the heart of the Chanchamayo
district. The country is here more open and is surrounded at varying
distances by undulations and rounded hills, thickly covered with virgin
forest; their lower slopes were, however, cleared for sugar, coffee,
and cocoa plantations. After the mist had cleared in the early morning,
the day had been hot, but full of novel interest, and although we had
made an early start we had progressed at a speed not exceeding three
miles an hour and had now only completed fifteen miles. The settlement
of San Ramon although somewhat scattered consists chiefly of one
street, the houses on which are no more than huts. They are built of
wood and have thatched roofs, the latter slanting downward in front
from the ridge of the pole. The hotel is the only substantial building
of the village. It is a two-story stone and adobe building set back
from the road in a field which is somewhat overrun with castor beans.

The six miles between San Ramon and La Merced was over fairly level
ground and through less imposing scenery. On the way we passed through
several hamlets inhabited by Chinamen and cholos, and small _chacras_
on which grew papayas and other fruits. All the buildings were of
mud or cane, thatched and of that rustic and simple character which
not only harmonizes with a natural environment, but suits the country
and climate and seems in every way to meet the needs of a primitive
population. Over the door of one such edifice was the sign which
denoted that it was used as a school. At the time of our passing, the
only scholars visible were a boy and a girl, who with their backs to
the open door, sat at a desk gazing at a monstrous colored diagram
demonstrating the evil effects of alcohol upon the human system. We
crossed the very fine Herreria suspension bridge and two hours after
leaving San Ramon entered La Merced.

La Merced is situated on a flat-topped eminence and commands a good
view of the surrounding country, but in itself it does not seem to
possess any characteristics of special interest. It is merely a small
country town with typical parish church and plaza and is in telegraphic
communication with the outside world. The inhabitants of the town have
suffered considerably from malaria which is visible on their wasted
and parchment-colored countenances. Leaving La Merced it took us three
hours to reach the Peruvian Corporation's headquarters. This is located
at the junction of the rivers Paucartambo and Chanchamayo, the combined
river taking the name of Perené. The road, which was fair, wound
around the left bank of the Chanchamayo, now a river of considerable
breadth, and the scenery once more became increasingly beautiful. Tree
ferns and tree palms of different kinds were again abundant; from one
of these species, fanlike in leaf, is made the local straw hat, but
little inferior to the so-called Panama variety. Butterflies, both
large and small, were omnipresent. The whole distance from La Merced
to the Peruvian Corporation's headquarters is about fifteen miles. The
bridge over the Colorado River, a tributary stream, was under repair,
so leaving the path we saved time and distance by fording it. In the
rainy season this would have been an impossibility, for it becomes a
raging torrent, as evidenced by the huge rounded boulders, and width of
its bed, along which we had to ride. This part, bordered by tall reeds,
towering above our heads, was now dry and led us to another arm of the
river, where a fairly strong flow of water wet our mules up to their
bellies. Regaining our path, we eventually regained the Paucartambo,
which we crossed by the means of a primitive log raft, while the guide
took the mules across by a bridge a mile down the river.

Here among the clean-washed stones of the river bed, I got my first
view of the uncivilized Indian. This was a male Chuncho native,
rifle in hand, returning from an unsuccessful hunt. At first he hid
behind some brushwood but was finally induced to come out. He was a
well-built, sturdy fellow of medium height, attired in a loose brown
robe of native manufacture. His skin was of the same hue, and his head
of thick black hair was encircled and held in place by a plain band of
cane. Sunday is a market day at the Peruvian Corporation's camp; it was
then that I saw more of these Indians. From them I obtained for a few
centavos several of their chains of colored seeds, and monkey teeth,
and ultimately procured a complete outfit, headband, more aboriginal
ornamental finery, parrots' wings with feathers attached which serve as
a loin cloth, bows and arrows. They are painted with a facial adornment
of vermilion, with the occasional addition of grease to keep the flies
and insects off. This red paint is found ready made in the seeds of
the achote, a bush of two varieties which produces maroon-colored
pods and which grows wild in the chacra clearings. These Indians who
live in the neighborhood of the settlements are mild, peaceful, and
intelligent, skilled in domestic industries which is the manufacture
of bows and arrows. They are excellent marksmen. They are somewhat
small in stature but well built. They take readily to the water and
learn to swim, and are cleaner in their habits and customs than the
cholos and mountain Indians. Filial affection is a not deeply implanted
instinct with them, and among them human life is but lightly esteemed.
While few serious crimes are committed among them, murder is accounted
as nothing. If a widow with a young family remarries, it is the all
but universal practice for the second husband to kill her children
by a previous marriage. It is also a common occurrence for a family
to throw their parents into the river when, through the infirmity of
advancing years, life becomes a burden, either to themselves, or to
those on whom they should look for support. The manager of the Peruvian
Corporation's headquarters told me that on one occasion he had the
greatest difficulty in restraining some Chunchos from throwing into
the Perené, a man who was suffering from a bad abscess, and who was
eventually cured by having it lanced. This is the fate they mete out to
all members of their tribe who are suffering from diseases which they
consider incurable.

Eighty miles below the camp, where the rivers Perené and Ené unite
to form the Tambo, dwell a colony of Campas Indians known as the
Ungoninos. Owing to the outrages perpetrated upon them by the rubber
gatherers, they offer a stout resistance to the approach of a stranger,
for they have learned not to trust the white man. Though they are not
cannibals, it is impossible to enter their territory, and in making the
cross-country journey to Iquitos, it is necessary to go by the way of
Puerto Jessup and Puerto Bermudez if one wishes to escape with one's
life. The Cashibos, on the other hand, are a distinct race of Indians
who inhabit the plains on the left bank of the Pachitea. They are
cannibals. These people wear no clothes, shave their heads, and wage
continual warfare on all the surrounding tribes. Their cannibalistic
propensities have been explained in the attempt on the part of the
Cashibo to absorb into his system qualities of the white man which
he considers to be superior to his own. They, like other tribes,
have undoubtedly been made worse by the shocking treatment they have
received at the hands of the caucheros (rubber gatherers), some of whom
are the lawless descendants of European immigrants whose ostensible
occupation is the gathering of rubber, but who, at the same time,
carry on a lucrative trade in the sale of human beings. From what I
have heard, there prevails a state of affairs which in its recorded
and unrecorded atrocities, falls nothing short of the darkest page
of slavery practiced in the days of Leopold II. in Belgian Congo. The
Cashibos have been a fierce and warlike tribe; now they have learned
what the crack of the carbine means and quickly get out of the way when
they hear it. They are, however, very treacherous, and a small party
traveling through their country would run a great risk of serving as a
banquet for them. They kill off all the men of the other tribes down
the Ucayali and sell the women and children whenever they can get a
market for them. The method may not be humanitarian but it is at least
practical and remunerative to them.

Coffee does not grow at the Peruvian Corporation's headquarters camp
but at a half-dozen different chacras some distance from it. This plan
was adopted to obviate the possible exigencies of blight, but it is
an unfortunate one, because not only does it augment the difficulties
of transport but militates against anything like direct personal
supervision. These haciendas, which produce the most excellent coffee
and cocoa, are known as La Magdalena, La Margarita, and San Juan.
These are the largest and most important as well as being the farthest
away. The difficulties of intercommunication are increased by the
character of the roads which in the rainy season are nearly impassable
on account of the mud. The road to La Magdalena needs constant clearing
to prevent it from becoming an overgrown track; those leading to La
Margarita and to San Juan are toilsome zigzagging ascents which after
heavy rains furnish stretches of mire and clay knee deep. In addition
to this, streams cross the road in many places, and when swollen
frequently wash it entirely away. All the haciendas are in the Perené
division of the country, bounded on the south by the main river and
on the west separated from the Chanchamayo region by the Paucartambo.
From here eastward stretches two hundred miles of hilly land before
the general level of the Brazilian plains is reached, and the whole is
covered with a dense forest, uninhabited excepting by wild Indians.
It is a wonderful country, stored with natural wealth and capable of
immense development when it will be opened up. Its climate and general
conditions are, with the exception of malaria and blackwater fever,
healthy, and there are but few drawbacks in the way of insect pests.

For four solid days, after arriving at the headquarters' camp, it
rained, which kept us indoors or near the shelter of the buildings. The
fifth day broke cloudless with the sun shining, and as we had spent
enough time loafing about the buildings of the Peruvian Corporation,
we decided to start out, and try to make the mission station of Jesus
Maria at the junction of the Perené and the Pangoa Rivers in three
days' time. From there we could hire some natives to take us in a canoe
in three more days to Puerto Raimondi, a settlement on the Ucayali
River at which place we thought it would be possible to board a steam
launch to take us down the stream to Iquitos. We later on discovered
that we were wrong because we had to canoe down the Ucayali as far
as Cumaria a distance of one hundred miles below Puerto Raimondi.
The trail down the Perené lay through level country, the mountains
having somewhat receded from the river. Sometimes a spur would extend
to the banks, but after the first day out they were for the most part
several miles off to the north. They were diminishing in height, and
those to the north were called the Cerros de la Sal. The guide that
had come with us from Oroya returned home from the Perené Colony, but
the manager at headquarters' camp, Señor Villalta, provided us with
horses, and sent along with us as far as Jesus Maria, a half-breed and
two native Indians. He did this because these Indians belonged to the
tribe that lives beyond Jesus Maria, and through them we would be able
to continue our journey in safety since they would procure for us at
the mission station an escort which would see us through to the place
where we were to board the launch. There were quite a few small chacras
on the first two days' trip and both nights we managed to find lodging
at one of them. The first night out, I noticed that the bag of Ica
beans and most of the canned stuff which Sansoni had bought for us in
Lima was missing. I spoke to Prat about this because he had carried the
sack of beans with him on his mount. He professed surprise and gave out
his theory that the cholo guide from Oroya had stolen them and had gone
back home with them. I had my doubts about this because the Spaniard
had been complaining a dozen times every day about the load that he
had to lug along with him. I said nothing about it until five weeks
later when we were in the hotel in Manaos awaiting a Brazilian Lloyd
steamer to take us to Para. Prat was in the barroom slightly under
the influence of vermouth and bitters, relating to Colonel Constantino
Nery, governor of the State of Amazonas, our adventures in crossing the
continent. The governor asked him how we had fared for food, to which
Prat answered that we had done well considering that we were obliged to
eat Indian concoctions that the ordinary white man would not sniff at.
I added that we might have lived better if Prat had not left behind at
the Perené Colony the sack of beans and the canned goods. The latter
then went on to relate that the cholo guide from Oroya stole them. I
interrupted saying that since the trip was now over and we had reached
civilization safely that it did not matter what had become of them,
but that I believed Prat had left them behind because he did not want
to be bothered with them. The Spaniard called for another vermouth
and then laughingly owned up that he had left them behind saying that
the temperature was hot enough the way it was without being hampered
with any burdens. Nery told him that he was quite right and that he
would have done the same had he been there. This trick of leaving our
provisions behind has always since appealed to Prat as a huge joke.

Our water trip from Jesus Maria to Para, thence to Cayenne, Paramaribo,
Georgetown, Bridgetown, Willemstedt, and to Colon is full of enough
material to fill another book which will appear in the near future.
This book is only meant to deal with the southern countries of South
America such as Chile, Argentina, and Paraguay. I have added to
it a few chapters not dealing on the original subject, but which I
refrained from leaving out as they were a series of consecutive travel.
At Jesus Maria we hired a canoe which took us down the Rio Tambo to
Puerto Raimondi which is situated on the west bank of that stream at
its junction with the Urubamba which here forms the Ucayali. Behind
us inland was the Cashobi country so in continuing our canoe trip
to Cumaria we always camped on the right bank of the river. It took
us one week of stiff paddling to reach Cumaria. One day our canoe
capsized, making us lose everything we had with us, necessitating us
to partake of such delicacies as stewed monkey and parrot which the
Indian stomach craves for and which are nearly always to be purchased
at the Indian encampments on the right bank of the Ucayali. Cumaria is
the head of river navigation. It is an Indian settlement at which a few
_caucheros_, or rubber gatherers, live. Here we were fortunate enough
to become passengers of a gasoline launch which took us in a week to
Contamana. We had been told at Jesus Maria that the launches were steam
power, but were surprised when we arrived at Cumaria to find that they
were gasoline ones, and this in the wilderness, many hundred miles from
civilization. At Contamana we changed into another gasoline launch.
Here we entered that part of the river which is called the Bajo or
Lower Ucayali. It differs much from the Alto or Upper Ucayali in so far
that the distant mountains have altogether disappeared, the stream is
much broader, has many channels, and is filled with large islands some
of them being fifty miles long. Also settlements are more plentiful,
and at the docks near the hamlets crude rubber in balls is waiting
for exportation. Two days before reaching Iquitos the Bajo Ucayali is
joined by the Maranon and the Amazon itself is entered.

Iquitos is a fever-stricken port of twelve thousand inhabitants on
the left bank of the Amazon. It is built on the high banks above the
river opposite to some islands of the same name, and not far above the
confluence of the Nanay and the Amazon. Above the town is a fair-sized
stream, the Itaya, which makes the city located on a peninsula. It
is the capital of the Province of Loreto, which comprises the entire
Peruvian Amazonian lowlands, and has a wireless telegraph communication
with Puerto Bermudez (which is only a three days' trip from the
Perené Colony). From Puerto Bermudez telegraph wires run to Lima via
La Merced. Iquitos is the center of the rubber industry of the Upper
Amazon and is a booming town in spite of the yellow fever which is
nearly always prevalent. It has steamship communication with Manaos,
Para, and the outside world.

Up to a decade ago, if a man in Lima had business in Iquitos, he was
obliged to take a steamer to England, tranship to Para, and there
tranship again to Iquitos. He had the alternative of going to Panama,
across the isthmus to Colon and thence take a steamer to Barbadoes.
From Barbadoes he would go to Para, and thence to Iquitos. These were
long trips, several months being endured in the passage. Now Iquitos is
reached across country from Lima; the trip takes anywhere from three
weeks to six months, according to which route the traveler chooses.
It has been done in sixteen days, but from four to five weeks is the
average allowing time for misconnections. I believe that the shortest
way to reach Iquitos from Lima is to take a steamer to Pacasmayo,
which is a day and a half north of the capital. Thence go by rail and
horseback to Cajamarca. From there go by horseback via Chachapoyas to
Moyobamba. From Moyobamba one can go in two to three days to Yurimaguas
on the Huallaga River, whence one can go by launch to Iquitos in a week
and a half. I know a person who went from Cerro de Pasco to Iquitos.
He followed the Huallaga to its mouth and it took him six months.
The common way of reaching Iquitos from Lima is to go to La Merced;
thence overland through Puerto Bermudez to Puerto Victoria on the
Sampoya River down which one descends on a canoe to the Ucayali, taking
a chance of making connection with the launch at Santa Rosa de los
Canivos, which is about one third of the way downstream between Cumaria
and Contamana. There is also a northern route which takes about five
weeks. The eastbound traveler goes from Paita to Piura by rail; thence
via Huancabamba to Jaen by horseback. Jaen is a day's stage from the
Maranon which one must descend by canoe.

In the night after the day on which the steamer left Iquitos, the
Napo River was passed. It flows into the Amazon from a northwesterly
direction. One of its tributaries is the Curaray which rises in
the Andes of Ecuador. Along its course live a tribe of head-hunting
Indians. These savages after they capture a white man or an Indian of
another tribe, behead them. They boil the head in a concoction which
loosens the bones. These they take out and fill the cavity with hot
stones. By some process of their own, they shrink the head until it
becomes no larger than a large orange, yet retaining the features
that the victim possessed during life. These they offer for sale, and
are to be purchased in the curiosity shops of Lima and Guayaquil on
the Pacific Coast, and even in Para at the mouth of the Amazon. From
the savage to the curiosity shop proprietor they pass through many
hands so that it is impossible to arrive at the source of the murder.
A certain Swede once left Guayaquil for the interior on an exploring
expedition. A year afterwards a head was purchased in that city which
was found to be that of the Scandinavian. Since he was never heard
of after he crossed the Cordillera, it is assumed that his party was
beset by savages and he was murdered, his skull boiled down, and hawked
about until it reached the hands of a Guayaquil dealer. The September,
1918, number of the _South American Magazine_ published in New York,
has an article which says that there is believed to be a head factory
in Guayaquil. The dealer in this sketch is undoubtedly in league with
body-snatchers who supply him with corpses, which he beheads and boils
down, having obtained the recipe from the Indians. These heads he
places on sale. One of his relics was the head of an employee of the
Quito-Guayaquil Railroad who had died the previous year of yellow fever
in Guayaquil and was supposed to have been given a decent funeral. This
horrid trick of the Indians cannot be eradicated until the law puts a
stop to the purchase of these heads. By punishing the dealers and the
middle-men, the Indians will cease to find a market for these gruesome
souvenirs.



CHAPTER XVI

BUSINESS PROSPECTS IN ARGENTINA, PARAGUAY, AND CHILE


The object of these travels was not to see the country dealt with
as much as it was to study the business conditions and future
possibilities in those lines in Chile, Argentina, and Paraguay.

Although there are undoubtedly great opportunities at the present time
and in the future to enter into business enterprises in the northern
republics of South America, which as yet, only have their surface
towards development, the republics farther south which are partially
developed, offer better inducements owing to their forms of government,
the character of the races who inhabit them, and the incentives which
are offered to the foreigner who wishes to start a new industry.
With the exception of Argentina and Uruguay there is practically no
manufacturing done on a large scale, such as we are accustomed to see
on all sides in the United States and in Europe. There are many small
industries employing from three to twenty men, providing the employers
with not much more than a good living, and the employees with a mere
subsistence, but there are no really large ones which are a credit to
their country.

To start anything in any of these countries, the matter of prime
importance is for the proprietor and his foreign employees to be able
to converse fluently, read, and write in Spanish. Next he should
understand the character of the Latin races which is not at all
easy if he is prejudiced. Their ways of doing business are totally
different from ours. Also owing to the scarcity of money in some of
these republics, the new firm should have plenty of ready capital, and
should never organize with a limited amount, the outstanding balance
being made up of notes. To sell preferred stock to the natives would be
nearly impossible, because no Latin would buy any unless he is "shown"
first, and this "showing" would have to cover a period of a great
many years, so susceptible are they of making investments. The company
should be entirely capitalized with the cash paid in before the first
stroke of business is begun. Many firms in South America have come to
grief by being only partially capitalized, and their example is always
before the native mind. Competing trusts and grafting politicians
should be reckoned with. Many large firms give as a present to the
governor of a province, or to the deputy in congress, a few shares of
their stock. These men in turn make laws which benefit their company,
and make it impossible for competitors to transact a legitimate
business.

As Argentina offers less opportunities in the manufacturing line than
its neighboring sister republics, it is best to deal with it first. To
begin with, the country is a great expanse of land, for the most part
in appearance a level plain, gradually rising as one travels westward.
This rise is but two feet to the mile and is imperceptible. This plain
is traversed by quite a few rivers, but so slowly does the land rise,
that these streams are nothing more than sluggish watercourses, muddy,
and affording no drainage. They often overflow their banks, forming
muddy ponds and lakes a few inches deep. On account of the slowness
of their flow they are valueless for waterpower. This part of the
country is therefore not adaptable for factories; its sole use is for
the growing of grain and stock-raising. Although this is one of the
greatest wheat belts in the world, it has no flour mills, and but few
grain elevators. The wheat is shipped a long distance by rail to the
seaport towns, whence it is exported to Europe. That which is needed
for local consumption is ground into flour in the seaports which have
mills; much of it is shipped back over the same road that it went out
on to be distributed over the sections where the grain was grown. The
towns here are small and far apart. Their only excuse for an existence
is that they are the distributing points for an agricultural section
and to them the necessities of life are shipped which eventually find
their way to the large estancias as the farms are called. To these
towns grain is hauled to be shipped out by the railroad. Stores spring
up, a hotel or two is built, a few professional men such as doctors
and lawyers establish themselves, but nobody ever thinks of starting a
factory. It would be folly to do so, because there is no future besides
agriculture and stock. There is no fuel, no iron, and no waterpower.

West of the great Argentine plain we reach the mountains. The Andes
here are the highest peaks in all America. They rise abruptly from
the plain like a barrier and have no foothills. There are but few
rivers in this section, and those which do exist are swiftly flowing,
turbulent streams. They can furnish waterpower and some of them do
for electricity. Yet there are no factories. It is again the question
of the scarcity of fuel. So poor is Argentina in her fuel supply that
most of the locomotives burn wood. The coal used for those which run in
the eastern provinces is imported from Europe and the United States.
Oil fields have been opened in Patagonia with a view of decreasing
the price of fuel, but as yet they are in the embryo stage. It is not
known whether they will ever be made an economic asset, because the
quality of the oil is said to be poor. The country at the foot of the
Andes near the latitudinal center of Argentina which is watered by
the mountain streams is called the Zona del Riego. It is here that
are located the extensive vineyards and fruit orchards. There are
three separate belts each of which is fed by its own river. The two
southernmost of these are in the Province of Mendoza, at San Rafael
and Mendoza respectively, while the northern one, is at San Juan in the
province of the same name. Factories which do not require an excessive
amount of fuel could be started, but nobody has ever turned over their
hands in that direction excepting in fruit-canning plants, which have
not paid well.

In the city of Mendoza a flour mill could be made to pay. There are
immense flour mills in Argentina, but with the exception of a few
small ones of no importance and the large one of the Minetti Brothers
at Córdoba, all are located on the seaboard. The Molino del Rio de la
Plata at Buenos Aires has a capital of $14,945,000. It is the largest
in South America. Nearly as large are two flour mills in Bahia Blanca;
Rosario also has a couple of large mills. For a quarter of a million
dollars a flour mill could be established at Mendoza, which the manager
of the Molino del Rio de la Plata, told me would pay forty per cent.
on the capital from the start, and which would be dependent on no other
trade than that of the city of Mendoza. At San Juan, one hundred miles
north of Mendoza, there is a small flour mill which is a lucrative
investment. The beauty of having a mill in Mendoza is the fact that
the wheat grown there, although inferior to that which is grown on the
plains on account of its having to be irrigated, runs forty bushels to
the acre and would be in close proximity to the mill, thereby saving
freight. People in the Province of Mendoza who grow wheat ship their
product to Buenos Aires where it is ground. The flour is then shipped
back seven hundred miles to Mendoza where it sells for a high price,
the freight rate being enormous. Tucumán is a city of over one hundred
thousand inhabitants but has no flour mill worthy of the name. One
would pay in that city but it would require much more capital both on
account of the size of the city and its distance from the wheat fields.
Mercedes, Bragado, Olavarría, Junin, and many other towns of their size
(twenty thousand population and upwards) could all support flour mills.
They have none and are in the heart of the grain belt. Wood would
have to be used for fuel which would be expensive, but the profits
derived from the flour would offset it. Pergamino is a growing town in
the grain belt between Buenos Aires and Rosario, with good railroad
facilities, yet it has not a single manufacturing enterprise. It has
a population of forty-three thousand inhabitants. Personally I think
that the flour mill proposition would be the best paying enterprise in
Argentina. It would pay at all times, war or no war.

One of the leading manufacturing industries in Argentina is that of
the beef-canning factories, here called saladerias. This is the chief
industry of Uruguay, and the second in importance in Paraguay, and
the state of Matto Grosso, Brazil. These saladerias not only can beef,
but they manufacture beef extract, tallow, and the by-products of the
hides and fat. They likewise ship cold-storage beef to Europe and even
to the United States. The River Plate basin is where these factories
are situated, and in no other parts of South America are they to be
found. Armour & Company, and Swift have large ones at La Plata. At
Fray Bentos, in Uruguay, on the Uruguay River a short distance above
where it flows into the River Plate is the great establishment and
headquarters of the Liebig Company, the largest of its kind in South
America and one of the largest in the world. There are beef-canning
plants at Montevideo, at Colon, Argentina, and at many of the ports
on the Uruguay, Paraná, and Paraguay Rivers. These plants require much
capital, especially in Argentina, because here the river is at quite a
distance from the stock country, necessitating the shipment of cattle
by rail. It would be prohibitory as far as expense goes to establish
a beef-canning enterprise inland; by having them at the seaports,
ocean-going freighters can anchor at the docks and be loaded there.
This is true about many of the river ports owing to the depth of the
water which permits ocean steamers to reach them. None of the Argentina
and Uruguayan saladerias are far enough up the rivers to be beyond
ocean navigation. The Uruguayan plants have it on those of Argentina,
because the stock country of the former republic lies directly behind
the saladerias and is contingent to the river. In Argentina the stock
have to be transported to the seaboard upwards of one hundred miles,
and in most cases from two to four hundred miles.

Regarding stock-raising, it is done in Argentina on a large scale.
The large estancias are owned by people who have inherited their lands
through several generations and have in the past decades accumulated
great fortunes which have been sufficient to well stock their estates
with cattle, sheep, and other live stock. The stock roam the prairies
the year around, are not winter fed, and require but little care.
As many of these estancias are forty miles square, the only expense
incurred are the wages of the herders. Land is held high in Argentina,
from $15 an acre upwards in the stock country, the average being
$35 an acre. It would require much capital to buy enough of it for a
fair-sized ranch. Fifteen hundred acres would cost $45,000. If he put
1000 head of stock on it, which would be a small ranch, his outlay
for the investment would be about $90,000. A drought would be likely
to occur and he would be up against it. The man, however, who has a
50,000-acre ranch could make money. He could have 10,000 head of cattle
and if there was a drought he could keep moving them about. Twenty
thousand acres is but a medium-sized ranch in Argentina and Uruguay.
It is not uncommon for a man to have 100,000 acres, while in Patagonia
there are ranches of 1,000,000 acres. Stock-raising is the most
important industry in Argentina, but the men who have made a success
of it and those at present engaged in it, started this business years
ago. Excepting in the Province of Salta, it is well for a company or an
individual to keep out of this line of business unless he has enough
money to buy a large tract of land. The figures here are the average
for estancias contiguous to the average plains towns.

  -----------------+---------------+-------+---------+-------+--------
        _Town_     |     _Ranch_   |_Acres_| _Horses_|_Sheep_|_Cattle_
  -----------------+---------------+-------+---------+-------+--------
  Olavarría        |Santo Domingo  | 12,500|  1,000  | 3,000 |    700
                   |La Victoria    | 18,375|  1,700  |17,000 |  6,000
                   |San Antonio    | 12,500|    700  | 2,500 |  1,500
                   |               |       |         |       |
  Coronel Suarez   |La Curamalan   | 43,750|  4,000  | 8,000 |  5,000
                   |San Jose       | 25,000|    400  |10,000 |    300
                   |               |       |         |       |
  General La Madrid|La Colina      | 80,000|    400  |60,000 | 20,000
                   |El Huascar     | 31,250|    200  | 5,000 |  3,000
                   |La Fe          | 31,250|    300  | 6,000 | 15,000
                   |               |       |         |       |
  Saavedra         |La Turigueta   | 30,000|         | 5,000 |
                   |La Landade     | 12,500|         | 2,000 |
                   |               |       |         |       |
  Dorrego          |Tres de Febrero| 37,500|         |16,000 |  3,000
                   |Las Cortaderas | 52,500|         |13,500 | 15,000
                   |La Sirena      | 50,000|         |20,000 | 16,000
                   |               |       |         |       |
  Lobos            |La Florida     |  3,750|         | 3,000 |  1,000
                   |La Morada      | 18,750|         | 7,000 |  3,000
                   |               |       |         |       |
  25 de Mayo       |Huetel         |162,500|  2,000  |10,000 | 15,000
                   |Santa Clara    |100,000|  1,000  |10,000 |  1,500
                   |               |       |         |       |
  Bolivar          |La Carmelita   | 87,500|     80  |17,000 | 14,000
                   |La Florida     | 43,750|  1,000  |12,000 |  5,000
                   |Miramar        | 25,000|    150  | 2,000 |    600
                   |El Cardon      | 18,750|    250  | 7,000 |  3,000
                   |Bella Vista    | 12,500|    300  | 5,000 |  2,000
                   |               |       |         |       |
  Junin            |La Pastoril    | 37,500|         |       | 15,000
                   |El Cisne       | 75,000|         |       | 25,000
                   |Las Dos Marias |  6,250|         |       |  4,000

The Province of Salta is about one thousand miles from Buenos Aires and
the seaport towns. On account of its distance and nature of its land it
has nothing in common with the provinces farther south. It is a hilly
and mountainous region bordering on the tropics abounding in forests
which have a thick matting of grasses. The cattle are large and lean,
and although their beef is rather tough, there is plenty of it, and
there is but little shrinkage in transportation. The market for this
stock is the nitrate region of Chile. The cattle are driven across the
Andes and lose but little weight on the way. In Antofagasta they bring
a good price. There are no large ranches in the province and there is
not much capital. Here a man with moderate means could raise stock at
a profit, if he dealt only with the Chilean market. If he shipped them
to the saladerias in the Province of Buenos Aires he would lose money
on account of the freight.

An embryo industry in Argentina is that of tannin or tannic acid, used
for dyeing and tanning. The northern part of the provinces of Santiago
del Estero and Santa Fé, and the greater part of the territories
of Formosa and the Chaco, are covered with a forest of small trees,
named _quebracho_. They are too small for saw logs, their wood is hard
and is used for fuel on the railroads, and they have a reddish bark.
This bark before the European War was shipped to Germany in great
quantities where its extract was used in dye stuffs. Unfortunately but
little of it was exported to other countries. Some tannin factories
were inaugurated in the Province of Santa Fé, but those controlled
by foreign capital went haywire. This was due mainly to grafting
provincial officials who put these companies out of commission by
their annoyances. A tannin factory would pay in Argentina if the
government would give it protection. It is a deplorable fact that in
many new industries in Argentina, they are induced to locate there.
Once established, the manufacturer is subjected to a burdening taxation
from the federal government, the province, and the district. There
is a continuous drain of contributions which have to be handed to
congressmen, and their henchmen; titles are found to be imperfect; law
suits are started; the outcome is that the company is apt to go into
insolvency. This once happened to a large tannin factory that started
in the Province of Santa Fé. A Buenos Aires bank loaned them money; but
the owners ran up against so many snags when they started to operate,
that they were unable to pay their indebtedness and the bank had to
foreclose. It would be a different story if the company was Argentine
owned. The Argentino from the highest to the lowest looks upon the
North American as a person to exploit from. They welcome him mainly to
relieve him of his money. When we talk about grafting in our American
cities we do not know what grafting is; one must come to Latin America
to get the interpretation. George W. Crichfield in his two volumes,
_American Supremacy_ (Brentano's 1908), gives the true version. He says
that our best diplomats are to the South American ones in comparison as
what jackasses are to foxes. This is particularly true about Argentina
and could apply to the grafting officials as well. Although under
proper government protection, a tannin factory in Argentina would
pay, it would be useless to wait for that protection to come, and the
manufacturer would be far better off if he would start his factory in
poor, benighted Paraguay where the grafting would be much less than in
Argentina.

In Argentina there is no such thing as prohibition and local option,
and there probably never will be. Such issues are not in common with
the Latin make-up, and the long-haired stump orators and hypocrites
who advocate this question in the United States for their own personal
enrichment, would undoubtedly land in insane asylums if they started
this propaganda anywhere in South America. One might think it strange
that there is no whiskey distillery there, yet such is the fact, and
I do not know of any in entire South America. Whiskey is not consumed
there in anywhere near the quantity that it is consumed in the United
States and Great Britain, yet enough is indulged in by the higher
stratum of society who ape the North Americans and the British to
warrant the establishment of one. There is plenty of grain and there is
no competition. There are several liqueur factories which seem to pay,
one of which at Buenos Aires puts out a cordial named Aperital, which
has a great sale.

There are thirteen breweries in the republic, but lest a person
should think of starting another one, he should forget the idea at
the same time that he conceives it. There is a brewery trust heavily
capitalized, composed of Argentine and British stockholders. Much of
this stock is in the hands of senators and congressmen, who see to
it that laws are made which protect them and work to the detriment of
their competitors. The Argentine Brewing Company at Quilmes, a suburb
of Buenos Aires, heads this trust, the other members of which are the
Bieckert Brewing Company at Llavallol, another suburb of Buenos Aires,
the Palermo Brewery at Buenos Aires, the San Carlos Brewery at San
Carlos, and the Del Norte Brewery at Tucumán. Those not belonging to
the trust are the Córdoba Brewing Company at Córdoba, the Rio Segundo
Brewing Company with breweries both at Córdoba and at Rio Segundo, the
Ahrens Brewery at Córdoba, the Santa Fé Brewing Company at Santa Fé,
the Schlau and the Germania Brewery at Rosario, and the Correntino
Brewery at Corrientes. Both the Ahrens and the Correntino breweries
are small establishments and only cater to local and family trade and
therefore have not fell foul of the trust.

Since much beer is drunk in Argentina I have often wondered why there
were no more breweries. I wondered why Mendoza, Salta, Bahia Blanca,
Mercedes, Pergamino, Paraná, Concordia, and other towns did not have
any. I mentioned this fact to the mayor of Salta. "It would not pay,"
said he. "An old German named Glueck once had a brewery in this town,
whose product took well with the public. His was a small brewery with
limited capital. The Quilmes Company, through their representatives in
congress, had taxes formulated so that only those breweries with much
capital could stand up under them. Glueck had to go out of business.
The trust then built the Del Norte Brewery in Tucumán which is so large
that if all the other breweries in Argentina should shut down, it could
supply the whole republic with beer. The trust also bought a piece of
property in Salta and threaten if another brewery starts up in this
city to put up one that will swamp it. The trust has millions of pesos
capital, so what can one do?"

While in Córdoba I was a guest of Mr. Douglas, president of the Rio
Segundo Brewing Company. This company started a brewery on a small
scale at the town of Rio Segundo, hence the name. The water used for
the manufacture of its beer came from an artesian well, and the product
was so superior to that of the other breweries that it was necessary
to build another brewery, which was done at Córdoba, twenty-three miles
away. The water in this is also artesian. The output of the Rio Segundo
Brewery at Córdoba is only sixty thousand barrels a year, but it is
taxed more than those whose output is six hundred thousand barrels
in the United States. It has kept its head above water on account of
the quality of the beer. A former brewmaster of this company started
a small brewery in Corrientes, the Correntino, but this like that of
Ahrens at Córdoba have not been molested by the trust because they
are too small to interfere with the business of the Quilmes Company.
With the exception of the output of the Rio Segundo breweries, all the
Argentine beer is vile and not fit to drink. Hops are difficult to get,
and injurious chemicals are used for its preservation.

Two automobile factories have been started in Buenos Aires but their
existence was of but a short duration. The parts were shipped there
to be assembled, but the stockholders thought that it would be more
lucrative if they manufactured their own parts. Since there is no iron
in the republic, it was found that its importation was too expensive to
allow the companies to ship it in, therefore they went out of business.

Hides are not expensive. There are many small so-called shoe factories
which in reality are but shops; the shoes manufactured in them are
good and cheap, and are made by hand. They likewise have class, and
a shoeman from Toronto told me that the shoes manufactured there were
superior to ours, and the United States has the reputation of making
the best shoes in the world. This Canadian said that he could see no
reason why a fair-sized shoe factory would not pay in Buenos Aires and
was very optimistic about the idea.

In the Province of Tucumán there are considerable sugar factories, some
of them large ones. The cane is inferior to that of Cuba and the West
Indies; most of the available land for its growing is taken up, and
the sugar market is often poor. None of the sugar is refined in the
district where it grows, there being only one refinery in Argentina
and that is at Rosario. The product is shipped to England and France
to be refined. It is doubtful if another mill would pay, but another
refinery and that in the city of Tucumán might be profitable. There
are no beet-sugar factories, but much of the land, especially that in
Entre Rios and Corrientes, is adaptable for beet culture, so there is
no reason why an establishment of that kind could not be made to pay.

Although Argentina has a great network of railways running throughout
the republic so that practically no place of any importance is in
lack of transportation facilities, yet interurban street-car lines
are nonexistent. The only one in operation is that which runs between
Buenos Aires and Quilmes, a distance of fourteen miles. One is being
built to Tigre, twenty-two miles from Buenos Aires, but is not yet in
operation. There should be electric lines between Buenos Aires and La
Plata, Buenos Aires and Rosario, either via San Nicolás or Pergamino,
Buenos Aires and Mercedes, Bahia Blanca and Puerto Belgrano, Mendoza
and San Rafael, Tucumán and Tafí Viejo, and also a network of lines of
which Tucumán should be the center of the hub.

There are quite a few cigarette and a few cigar factories. The
cigarettes manufactured are vile, likewise the cigars. This trade is
in the hands of Turks, Spaniards, and Italians, and the tobacco used
is grown in Brazil. There are good tobacco lands in the provinces of
Salta, Jujuy, Corrientes, and in the Territory of Misiones, but none is
grown excepting in gardens from which the owner makes cigars for his
own personal use. The price paid for cigars is exorbitant and a good
live factory well capitalized might pay. Nobody smokes a pipe nor chews
tobacco, therefore a tobacco factory would be unsuitable.

There is no field in the newspaper or periodical line in all South
America. This and the publishing business is overdone. Some towns of
ten thousand people have four or five daily papers. Every politician
that can afford it is the proprietor of his own newspaper, in whose
columns he attacks everybody who does not hold his own political views.
These newspapers often run foul of the government and wind up by having
their publications suppressed and the editor thrown in jail.

Paraguay, on account of its small population and scarcity of money,
offers a much less diversified variety for future enterprises than
does Argentina. The leading industry is the culture of yerba maté,
and the exportation of its leaves. This republic lies close to the
tropics and is covered with a dense vegetation. In the southeastern
part of the country in the neighborhood of the Alto Paraná River, there
grows in its native state the plant yerba maté, from whose leaves from
time immemorial the Indians brewed a tea. The leaves are first dried,
and then steeped in a kettle or pot. Calabash gourds grow wild in
abundance. These are dried, the top is cut off, and the insides scooped
out. The hot tea is poured into these gourds which every individual
possesses, and the infusion is sucked from them by means of straws and
reeds, by the poorer classes, and by bombillas by the upper and middle
classes. A bombilla is a metal tube with a small covered spoonlike head
which is perforated with small holes. This maté drinking habit, which
is considered beneficial, is indulged in universally by everybody in
Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, and southern Brazil. There are several
different varieties of yerba maté, and it has been found that that
which is cultivated is better than that which grows wild. Hence there
are enormous plantations for its culture which are called yerbales.
Large companies have been formed for its production and exportation,
that of Domingo Barthe being the best known. His brand is named
Asuncion. The next best-known firm is the Industriel Paraguaya. Both
are capitalized heavily and have their main offices in Asuncion and
Villa Encarnacion with branch offices throughout Argentina. Barthe is
a very wealthy man; he was formerly a French adventurer who struck it
rich through none too scrupulous means. His latest trick was to sell
a lot of his maté under the trademark of the Industriel Paraguaya.
This was done at Rosario. He was tried there and found guilty. He
was sentenced to one year in jail and to pay a fine of two hundred
thousand dollars. Before they could get him, he got into Paraguay
where he is immune from the Argentine law. He owns a fleet of steamers
plying between Montevideo and Asuncion which touch at Argentine ports.
On these he is safe since his steamship line is not incorporated
in Argentina. Nevertheless Barthe has helped advance progress and
industry in Argentina and this should not have been overlooked when
sentence was pronounced upon him. At that time he was about to build a
million-dollar hotel at Posadas. Although what he did was unprincipled,
his sentence was twenty-fold too severe, and shows plainly that the
Argentine bloodsuckers are out to exploit the foreigners for every cent
they can get out of them.

There are in Paraguay boundless tracks of virgin soil suitable for
yerbales. It requires but little expense to work them and there is
an unlimited market for Paraguayan tea. It is said that the Argentine
army is going to adopt yerba maté to be distributed among the soldiers
for their daily rations. This tea-drinking craze among the natives
is uncanny. To many of them it is life; the foreigner, however,
rarely acquires the habit, although he partakes of it for the sake of
sociability while in Paraguay.

Next in line among Paraguay's industries is the saladerias. The
whole country covered with a thick matting of grasses is a paradise
for cattle. Land is inexpensive, the pasturage is better than in
Argentina, and more stock can be raised to the acre. Here and in
Matto Grosso, a future stock country, the grazing lands come down to
the great waterways, and although the river boats are of low draught
necessitating a rehandling at the seaport towns, canned beef can be
shipped direct from the saladerias in the stock country.

Tannin is a more staple industry than in Argentina although it is still
in embryo. The writer had an opportunity to engage in this manufacture,
which he nearly took up; in ordinary times it would have been all
right, but at this particular time there was a change in Paraguayan
politics and the manufacture of tannic acid was handicapped by the
European War. A Barcelona Spaniard, Señor Andres Pujol, president of
the Banco Constructador del Paraguay and a friend of the writer, was
held in high esteem by the then dictator, Señor Eduardo Schaerer.
One of the large brick buildings owned by the Hernandarias and Frias
Brewery at Puerto Sajonia, on the outskirts of Asuncion, was vacated
in favor of a modern brewery plant in the city. Its machinery could be
used in the manufacture of tannic acid and the plant could have been
bought for a song. It was the idea of Señor Pujol for he and myself to
buy this building and erect, in connection with it, a sawmill. We were
to pay for quebracho logs delivered at the plant from which we were
to strip the bark, from which we were to extract the tannin. At that
time Asuncion was having most of its new streets paved with quebracho
blocks. We were to give Señor Schaerer stock in the company and in
return he was to give us a franchise to furnish the paving material
which we would manufacture by cutting up the logs at the sawmill. We
were also to be exempt from taxes for a number of years. Soon after
this Schaerer was succeeded in the presidency by Dr. Manuel Franco, a
native, and it was likely that he would undo everything that Schaerer
did, in which case our franchise would not amount to a picayune. This
combined with the present prospects of no shipment of tannic acid to
foreign parts caused me not to inaugurate this enterprise, which will
still be open to anybody. The best time to start this is soon after
the election of a popular president, because in the four years during
which he will hold office, there will be plenty of time in which to
accumulate a fortune.

The future manufacturing and commercial opportunities in Chile is
utterly different and far brighter than in any other South American
country. Chile has a decidedly bright future and at the present time
only lacks capital to develop her resources. Business conditions are
much better; there is more snap to her people; there is less graft
and it is a cheaper country to live in. To this is added the fact that
the climate is good. Topographically and geographically this republic
can be divided into three distinct zones. Beginning at its extreme
north and running down the coast one-third of its whole longitude is
the rainless zone. This is a vast forbidding desert, interspersed at
varying distances by a few oases. The mountains begin at the ocean
and gradually rise in steep ranges until a maximum of twenty thousand
feet is attained in a hundred and fifty miles at the eastern boundary
which is the Argentine frontier. Twenty miles back from the ocean are
plateaus averaging from two thousand to five thousand feet high which
furnish most of the world's nitrate supply. This nitrate is from two
to six feet underneath the surface of the soil and is supposed to be
the manure of birds that infested this region in pre-glacial periods.
From these fields is derived much of the wealth of the country. Many
of the older nitrate fields have become exhausted, especially those
farthest north on the Iquique Pampa, but new ones are constantly being
opened up to the south of the old workings and from them is due the
importance of Antofagasta. It was to acquire these nitrate deposits
that Chile declared war upon Bolivia and Peru in 1879 which caused them
to change hands. It is a blessing to that part of the country that it
never rains, because if it did, the nitrate deposits would be washed
away. This zone is hot.

The second zone is that which begins immediately south of the rainless
one and which extends another third of the length of the country down
the coast. It consists of a coast range of mountains timbered with
conifers and small hardwood trees, the mountain peaks rarely rising
above three thousand feet in altitude. Beyond them is the great
longitudinal valley from thirty to fifty miles in width. Here are
situated most of the towns and two thirds of the country's population.
This is the granary of the republic, and it is here that are located
the great vineyards, the fruit farms, and the small manufacturing
industries. This zone has a sufficiency of annual precipitation but
climatically is divided into two seasons, the dry and the rainy one.
During the winter months from May to October there are frequent rains
while the rest of the year it seldom rains, although showers are likely
to occur at any time, these being of more frequent prevalence the
farther south one goes.

The remaining zone which reaches the remaining distance of the coast
line as far as Cape Horn is an archipelago and a narrow strip of land
extending inland about fifty miles to the Argentine frontier. This
district is a mountainous mass, indented by many bays and fiords, well
timbered, but so steep are the mountains that come down to the water's
edge that there are no towns and but few places where habitations can
be built. A great part of this region is unexplored. It undoubtedly is
rich in mineral deposits but its inaccessibility has kept it from being
developed. The annual rainfall is great but this diminishes towards the
southern apex. In winter there are heavy snowfalls, while the tops of
the mountains possess innumerable glaciers.

Chile is rich in minerals. Some of its mines have been worked ever
since the Spanish conquest and new fields are constantly being opened.
In the arid north copper is found behind Gatico and at Chuquicamata,
the Guggenheim interests being at the latter place. There are copper
mines in the provinces of Atacama, and Coquimbo, and at the headwaters
of the Cauquenes River in the Province of Colchagua is the large
productive mine of the Braden Copper Company. There are iron mines at
La Higuera in the Province of Coquimbo and coal mines at Lota, in the
Province of Concepcion. Silver and gold is found throughout the whole
republic in paying quantities. Next to nitrate and minerals, vineyards
play the most important part. From the Province of Aconcagua southward
250 miles, grapes play a great rôle, yet but little wine is exported.
The southern provinces and the Central Valley produce an abundance
of wheat, rye, and barley, but owing to an inadequate market, it is a
gamble whether the farmer will lose or make a profit on his crops.

What Chile needs more than capital is immigration. Her increase in
population has been small, likewise her immigration. The European
immigrant lands at Buenos Aires and seeks employment in Argentina,
while if he crossed the Andes into Chile, he would find a land where
he could make a better living for himself and buy some of the most
fertile land in this universe for a cheap price. Southern Chile has a
large population of German descent who have done remarkably well, but
the great number of Spaniards and Italians who yearly immigrate to the
republics of South America's eastern littoral are here conspicuous by
their absence.

In manufactures, the breweries are Chile's largest industry. There
is a brewery trust in Chile, like in Argentina, but it is nowhere
near so strong nor so well capitalized. It consists of La Calera
Brewery at La Calera, the Valdivia Breweries Company at Valdivia,
the Andres Ebner Brewery at Santiago, the Floto Brewery at La Serena
and the Limache-Cousiño Brewery at Limache, which is the largest in
Chile. A fact which shows that the trust is not strong is that all
the independent breweries have done well. Aubel's Brewery at Osorno,
and Keller's Breweries at Concepcion and Talca are large ones. There
are many small breweries such as Petersen's at Punta Arenas, Julius
Jenson's at Chillán, and Horstmann's at Santiago. Much beer is drunk
in Chile, and there is plenty of grain, so after the war there will be
an excellent opportunity of starting a brewery. The only drawback has
been the supply of malt and hops which comes from foreign countries and
which the brewers have been unable to procure in sufficient quantities
in recent years owing to the freight shortage.

Santiago is a city of over four hundred thousand inhabitants yet only
has two breweries, that of Ebner which belongs to the trust and that
of Horstmann which does not. Horstmann before the war got a supply of
hops large enough to last him six years if his brewery ran at its full
capacity. He is an old man who has amassed all the money he wants,
and his heirs have no inclination to continue the business. In 1917 he
could have been bought out at a very reasonable price and I believe the
same holds true to-day. His business has been a family trade and his
beer is said to be the best in Chile. Since there is small likelihood
of Chile ever going prohibition, here is a chance for somebody.
Valparaiso has no brewery on account of its water being too hard. I
have no doubt but that a brewery at either Chillán, which has only one
small brewery, or at Curicó which has no brewery, would pay. Temuco,
Los Angeles, San Fernando, and Linares could support breweries. In
northern Chile there are no breweries excepting one at La Serena, yet
either Antofagasta or Iquique would be ideal spots for one. The water
in these cities has to be piped in from a distance of 150 miles, yet
since there is sufficient to supply other establishments there would
be enough to supply breweries. Copiapó is likewise well situated for
a brewery. It could be made the central distributing point for other
towns such as Antofagasta, Taltal, Chañaral, Vallenar, and Huasco.
The output could be shipped to its seaport Caldera, and thence along
the coast to the other towns in case of a shortage of freight cars. In
Chile as in the United States the breweries buy saloon licenses to put
into business men who handle only their goods, but unlike in the United
States, saloons play no part in politics, and with the exception of the
sailors' dives in the seaports they are run in strict accordance with
the law. The violations that I have mentioned in this book occurred in
Antofagasta which has the reputation of being a notoriously tough town.

A business with a future and which could be made profitable is an
enamel works and tin-ware factory. In all South America, business
signs, doctors' signs, street names, and house numbers are of enamelled
tin. Most of the kitchen ware, bathtubs, and chamber sets are of the
same article. There is an enamel ware works at Valparaiso and another
one at Santiago. The latter is the Esmaltadera Chilena, managed by Don
Federigo Reddoehl. This would be a paying proposition but so far lacks
capital. The heaviest interest is owned by a senator named Charme, but
the other stockholders could be bought out at par. Chile is dependent
upon the United States for its sheet-iron and tin supply; the war
has put a damper on this, but as soon as shipments can be renewed,
there is no reason why an enterprise of this kind would not be a good
investment.

Unfortunately Chile's timber is hardwood, so lumber mills would not
pay. It is dependent on its lumber for building purposes from the
United States. Although there is much hardwood, the floors are tile or
cement, which is much cheaper there than oak or maple, and since the
ordinary pocket-book cannot afford to pay the price of the latter, a
hardwood flooring plant would be negative.

In the south there are plenty of small flour mills but there are but
few in the Central Valley. Since much grain goes to waste and since
flour is in demand, more of these small mills could be started, but
none of the cities near to the grain supply are large enough to warrant
large mills.

Chile is not a stock country. Cattle are dear, likewise the hides.
Therefore a shoe factory would not pay.

The railroads of the Central Valley are owned by the state and do
not pay on account of it. The personnel is large and is made up
entirely of political henchmen of the senators and congressmen. The
government realizes this and there has been talk of renting the lines
or selling them to private companies. This would be good sense. This
Central Valley is crossed lengthwise by one main trunk-line touching
at the important towns. From these at right angles run branch lines
to places of minor importance. Yet so thickly settled is this valley,
and so productive is it, that another parallel line from Santiago
to Concepcion, touching points not on the government railway, could
possibly be made to pay a profit. From Talca it could run southwestward
through San Javier, and Cauquenes crossing the coast range between
Quirihue and Coelemu at no perceptibly steep grade, opening up a
new country, and saving a distance of seventy-five miles between the
terminals. The country is mostly level and there would be no difficult
engineering feats. The railroad from Santiago to Valparaiso is a
roundabout one and crosses the steep mountain pass of Tiltil. For years
it has been talked of to shorten this line making it go through Casa
Blanca, but the government has had no money for expenditures of such
a sort. I have no doubt but that it would give a private company a
concession if it meant business. An interurban electric line between
these two large cities might pay. It would be eighty-five miles long
and would also open up a new country.

Chile is in need of many first-class modern hotels built on the North
American style, but not cramped for room like in the United States, and
with the guests' rooms large enough for comfort. Santiago, Valparaiso,
and Concepcion have good hotels, but in the other cities they are
poor. It would not pay a North American to build a hotel south of
Concepcion because in that region German influence predominates, and
in many places the German population outnumbers that of the native.
For years to come after the war the North American would be boycotted
there. Antofagasta opens an excellent field in the hotel line. There
are four hotels there where it is possible to sleep and eat, but they
fall much below the standard for such a busy port. The trade is evenly
divided between them, but an up-to-date hostelry could easily shift
that to themselves. Arica is badly off in the hotel line. This is the
port of La Paz, Bolivia, and traveling men to and from that city are
often obliged to put in a few days in this most northern seaport of
Chile while waiting for their steamer. Coquimbo, Talca, and Chillán
need modern hotels, as well as Los Andes. The latter town which has a
population of 8097 is important because it is the jumping-off place for
Argentina. The narrow-gauge railroad from there to Mendoza is of such a
nature that the trip has to be made in daylight on account of curves,
bridges, and steep gradients which would be dangerous to traverse at
night. Passengers en route for Argentina leave Santiago and Valparaiso
in the evening arriving at Los Andes at night where they stop over,
and continue the next morning. The train coming from Argentina arrives
at Los Andes at night and as it is sometimes late, passengers prefer
to stop over there, continuing to Santiago in the morning, rather
than to change trains and arrive at Santiago at an unseemly hour.
The only hotel fit to stop at in Los Andes is the poor one owned by
the Transandine Railway, and it is nearly always overcrowded. It is
a flimsy frame structure, dirty, and with poor service. It is some
distance from the main part of the city, but another hotel built in
its neighborhood would catch all the transient trade, because most
of it focuses there instead of in the town. Rancagua has a floating
population comprised of the mining element from the Braden Copper
Company. Many of these are North Americans and Canadians, and every day
some of them are obliged to stop overnight at Rancagua to get a train
out the following day. Also Rancagua is the station for the Baths of
Cauquenes to which there is constant journeying to and fro during the
summer season. The city has a population of 10,380 irrespective of
transient trade with no hotel fit to stop at.

  [Illustration: ARGENTINE PLAZAS DRAFTED BY HENRY J. STEPHENS

   PLAZA PRINGLES SAN LUIS

   PLAZA SAN MARTIN MENDOZA

   PLAZA ARENALES SALTA

   PLAZA INDEPENDENCIA TUCUMÁN

   PLAZA SAN MARTIN CÓRDOBA]

  [Illustration: CHILEAN PLAZAS DRAFTED BY HENRY J. STEPHENS

   PLAZA O'HIGGINS CHILLÁN

   PLAZA SANTO ALDEA CHILLÁN

   PLAZA IN SAN FELIPE

   SMALL PLAZA IN TACNA]

  [Illustration: SOUTH AMERICA]

  [Illustration: CHILE]



      *      *      *      *      *      *



Transcriber's note:

  Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have
  been preserved.

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

  On page 407, "cue" should possibly be "clue."





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