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produces an immense quantity of small red berries in large bunches. The leaves, when crushed, have a strong aromatic smell; and many persons believe that it is certain death to sleep under its shade. Dr. Smith, in his book, called “Peru as it is,” says that “this tree is much prized for fuel. The sugar refiners of the interior use the ashes from it in preference to those from any other wood, on account of their higher alkaline properties, and consequent efficiency in purifying the cane-juice when being boiled down to a proper consistence to be cast into moulds.
“ The Inca tribe, as we learn from Garcilasso de la Vega, made a highly valuable and medicinal beer, which some of the Indians of the interior still occasionally prepare from the clusters of small-grained fruit that hang gracefully and abundantly from this pretty tree.”
We saw several cases of tertiana, or chills and fever, at Yanacoto. The people seem to have no remedy except drinking spirits just before the chill comes on, and using as a drink, during the fever, the juice of the bitter orange,
sugar and water. When the case is bad, those who can afford it-such as the mayordomos and tamberos (the keepers of the road-side inns called tambos)—send to Lima and get medical advice and physic. Our tambero killed a mutton for us, and (leaving out the lard, which is always abominable) made a good chupe. The roast was a failure ; but we got poultry and eggs, and had a very good time.
The elevation of Yanacoto is two thousand three hundred and thirtyseven feet, a little more than one thousand feet above Pacayar. The distance between them is about ten miles, showing a rise to the mile of about one hundred feet, which is very little greater than that between Callao and Lima.
May 24.-Had observation for time; breakfasted, and started at ten. Valley still narrowing; the hills becoming mountains, mostly of granite; rock piled upon rock for hundreds of feet, and in every variety of shape; no vegetation except where the hardy cactus finds aliment in the crevices of the rock.
About four and a half miles above Yanacoto, we passed the hacienda of Lachosita, and soon after the little village of San Pedro Mama, where the first bridge is thrown over the Rimac. Heavy, rough stonework is built on each side of the river, into which are inserted massive pieces of timber, standing out a few feet from the face of the masonry, and hewn flat on top. On their ends are laid trunks of trees, crossing the river, and securely lashed. Athwart these are laid sticks of wood, of some two or three inches diameter, lashed down, and covered over with bundles of reeds, mud, and stones.
After San Pedro, at about three miles of distance, comes the hacienda of Santa Ana, belonging to Señor Ximenes, an old gentleman of Lima, who had made a large fortune by mining. Just before reaching there we met a drove of one hundred and fifty mules belonging to him, in fine condition and well appointed, going to Lima, laden with small sticks of the willow and molle for fuel.
There is very little cultivation till near Cocachacra, where we saw well-tilled fields, green with alfalfa and Indian corn. We arrived at this place at half-past five, and pitched the tent in a meadow near the river and without the town, for the purpose of avoiding company and disagreeable curiosity.
Although we had seen fields of lucern before entering the village, we could get none for our mules after we got there; and to every inquiry for hay, fodder, or grain, the constant reply was “ No hay," (there is none.) Gibbon, however, persevered until some one told him, in an undertone, as if imparting a great secret, where a little corn was to be purchased, and he got a peck or two shelled. We were continually annoyed and put to inconvenience by the refusal of the people to sell to us.
I think it arose from one of two causes, or probably both—either that money was of less value to them than the things we wanted, or they feared to have it known that they had possessions, lest the hand of authority should be laid upon them, and they be compelled to give up their property without payment.
Cocachacra is a village of about one hundred inhabitants, and at present the residence of the sub-prefect or governor of the province, which is that of Huarochiri. This province, according to the “ Guia de Forasteros,” (a sort of official almanac published yearly at Lima,) is conterminous with that of Lima, and commences at eighteen miles from the city. It has ninety miles of length from N. W. to S. E., and seventy-two of breadth. There are fourteen thousand two hundred and fifty-eight native inhabitants; and its fiscal income is fourteen thousand two hundred and fifty-eight dollars and two reals; its municipal, one thousand one hundred and eighty-seven dollars. The inhabitants are generally engaged in mining, cultivating potatoes, and raising cattle, or as muleteers. The houses, like all those of the Sierra, are built either of stone or adobe, and thatched with wheat or barley straw.
We called on the sub-prefect and exhibited our Peruvian passports, asking, at the same time, that he would give us some assistance in obtaining food for our beasts. This he seemed lukewarm about, and I did not press him, for I had made up my mind that as far as it was possible I would avoid appealing to authority for the purpose of obtaining supplies, and go without what I could not buy or beg. He had in the house the semi-yearly contribution of his province towards the support of the government, which he was to send to Lima next day. A gentleman suggested that he might be robbed that night; but he said that his guns were loaded, (pointing to some muskets standing around the room,) and that he might count upon assistance from our party, which seemed well armed.
Very little help he would have had from us. He had shown no disposition to oblige us, and moreover I had no notion of interfering in other people's quarrels, or preventing the people from taking back their money if they wanted it. This contribution is a capitation tax of seven dollars a year, collected half-yearly from the Indian population between the
It is collected by the governors of the districts into which a province is divided, who receive two per centum on their collections, and pay over to the sub-prefect, who receives four per cent on the whole amount collected from the districts of his province. The prefects of the departments, which are made up of a number of provinces, receive a regular salary, according to the size and wealth of their departments, varying from three to five thousand dollars. We slept comfortably in the tent. Nights getting cool.
May 25.-Started at 10 a. m. Valley getting so narrow as not to allow room for the road, which is in many places cut from the rock on the side of the hill, very narrow, rough and precipitous, rising and falling as it crosses the spurs of the hills. The general character of the rock is a feldspar porphyry, succeeded, as the road ascends, by a very coarse-grained trachyte porphyry, reaching as far as Surco. Vegetation, willow, molle, and many varieties of the cactus. We passed on the road the ruins of an ancient Indian town; the houses had been small, and built of stone on terraces cut from the mountain side.
At two we passed through the village of Surco, the largest we have seen on the road.
It appears capable of holding five or six hundred people, but seemed deserted-nearly every house closed, and many falling into decay. We were told that the inhabitants were away over the hills, looking after their plantations and flocks, and that they returned at night. But if this is so, judging from the height of the mountains on each side of the village, I should say that half their time is lost in going and returning from their work.
Here we leave the district called the Coast and enter upon that called the Sierra. There is tertiana below, but none above this. Dr. Smith, speaking of the climate of this district, says, “ that it is neither