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silver Crucifix and a wooden St. Anthony. He thinks a priest next of kin to a saint, and a saint perfection. He said to me, as his wife was combing her hair in the canoe, "A bald woman, Don Luis, must be a very ugly thing: not so a bald man, because St. Peter, you know, was bald ;" and I verily believe that, although he is very vain of his black curls, were he to lose them, he would find consolation in the reflection that he had made an approach, in appearance at least, towards his great exemplar.
We shoved off from Sta. Cruz at sunset, and camped on the beach a mile lower down. It is very well to do this, for the canoe-men are taken away from the temptation of the villages, and are sober and ready for an early start next morning.
August 31.-Started at 6 a. m.; camped on the beach at a quarterpast 5 p. m.
September 1.-Heavy clouds and rains both to the northward and eastward and southward and westward, with an occasional spit at us; but we set the rain at defiance under the palm-thatched roof of Antonio. At half-past 3 p. m. we arrived at Laguna. This town, the principal one of the district, and the residence of the governor, is one and a half mile from the port. The walk is a pleasant one through the forest at this season, but is probably mud to the knees in the rains. It contains one thousand and forty-four inhabitants; and the productions of the neighborhood are wax, sarsaparilla, copal, copaiba, and salt fish. I have seen all these in the hands of the Indians, but in small quantities; there being so little demand for them.
The Cocamillas, who form the largest part of the population of Laguna, are lazy and drunken. They are capital boatmen, however, when they have no liquor; and I had more comfort with them than with any other Indians except those of Tingo Maria.
September 2.-Waiting for boats and boatmen. There are no large canoes, and we are again compelled to take two. I was surprised at this, as I was led to believe-and I thought it probable—that the nearer we got to the Marañon the larger we should find the boats, and the means of navigation more complete. But I have met with nothing but misstatements in my whole course. The impression I received in Lima of the Montaña was, that it was a country abounding not only with the necessaries, but with the luxuries of life, so far as eating was concerned. Yet I am now satisfied that if one hundred men were to start without provisions, on the route I have travelled, the half must inevitably perish for want of food. Of meat there is almost none; and even salt fish, yuccas, and plantains are scarce, and often not. to be had; game is
shy; and the fish, of which there are a great number, do not readily take the hook; of fruit I have seen literally none edible since leaving Huanuco.
At Chasuta I was assured that I should find at Yurimaguas every facility for the prosecution of my journey; yet I could get neither a boat nor a man, and had to persuade my Chasuta boatmen to carry me on to Sta. Cruz, where the Yurimaguas people said there would be no further difficulty. At Sta. Cruz I could get but two small and rotten canoes, with three men to each, for Laguna, which, being the great port of the river, could, in the estimation of the people at Sta. Cruz, furnish me with the means of crossing the Atlantic if necessary. I had been always assured that I could get at Laguna one hundred Cocamillas, if I wanted them, as a force to enter among the savages of the Ucayali; but here, too, I could with difficulty get six men and two small canoes to pass me on to Nauta, which I expected to find, from the description of the people above, a small New York. Had it not been that Senhor Cauper, at that place, had just then a boat unemployed, which he was willing to sell, I should have had to abandon my expedition up the Ucayali, and built me a raft to float down the Marañon.
We found at the port of Laguna two travelling merchants, a Portuguese and a Brazilian. They had four large boats of about eight tons each, and two or three canoes. Their cargo consisted of iron, steel, iron implements, crockery-ware, wine, brandy, copper kettles, coarse, short swords, (a very common implement of the Indians,) guns, ammunition, salt fish, &c., which they expected to exchange in Moyobamba and Chachapoyas for straw-hats, tocuyo, sugar, coffee, and money. They were also buying up all the sarsaparilla they could find, and despatching it back in canoes. They gave for the arroba, of twentyfive pounds, three dollars and fifty cents in goods, which probably cost in Pará one dollar. They estimated the value of their cargoes at five thousand dollars. I have no doubt that two thousand dollars in money would have bought the whole concern, boats and all; and that with this the traders would have drifted joyfully down the river, well satisfied with their year's work. They invited us to breakfast off roast pig; and I thought that I never tasted anything better than the farinha, which I saw for the first time.
Farinha is a general substitute for bread in all the course of the Amazon below the Brazilian frontier. It is used by all classes, and in immense quantities by the Indians and laborers. Our boatmen in Brazil were always contented with plenty of salt fish and farinha. Every two or three hours of the day, whilst travelling, they would stop
rowing, pour a little water upon a large gourd-full of farinha, and pass around the mass (which they called pirão) as if it were a delicacy.
The women generally make the farinha. They soak the root of the mandioc (Iatropha Manihot) in water till it is softened a little, when they scrape off the skin, and grate it upon a board smeared with some of the adhesive gums of the forest, and sprinkled with pebbles. The white grated mass is put into a conical-shaped bag, made of the coarse fibres of a palm, and called tapiti. The bag is hung up to a peg driven into a tree, or a post of the shed; a lever is put through a loop at the bottom of the bag; the short end of the lever is placed under a chock nailed to the post below, and the woman hangs her weight on the long end. This elongates the bag, and brings a heavy pressure upon the mass within, causing all the juice to ooze out through the interstices of the wicker-work of the bag. When sufficiently pressed the mass is put on the floor of a mud oven; heat is applied, and it is stirred with a stick till it granulates in very irregular grains, (the largest about the size of our No. 2 shot,) and is sufficiently toasted to drive off all the poisonous qualities which it has in a crude state. It is then packed in baskets (lined and covered with palm-leaves) of about sixty-four pounds weight, which are generally sold, all along the river, at from seventy-five cents to one dollar. The sediment of the juice which runs from the tapiti is tapioca, and is used to make custards, puddings, starch, &c.
September 3.—Our boatmen came down to the port at 8 a. m. They were accompanied, as usual, by their wives, carrying their bedding, their jars of masato, and even their paddles; for these fellows are too lazy, when on shore, to do a hand's turn; though when embarked they work freely, (these Cocamillas,) and are gay, cheerful, ready, and obedient. The dress of the women is nothing more than a piece of cotton cloth, generally dark brown in color, wrapped around the loins and reaching to the knee. I was struck with the appearance of one, the only pretty Indian girl I have seen. She appeared to be about thirteen years of age, and was the wife of one of our boatmen. It was amusing to see the slavish respect with which she waited upon the young savage, (himself about nineteen,) and the lordly indifference with which he received her attentions. She was as straight as an arrow, delicately and elegantly formed, and had a free, wild, Indian look, that was quite taking.
We got off at a quarter past nine; the merchants at the same time; and the padre also returns to-day to Yurimaguas; so that we make a haul upon the population of Laguna, and carry off about seventy of its