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the Indians the fruit is generally cut groen and roasted. It is propagated from suckers or young bulbs, and gives fruit with such facility and abundance as to foster and minister to the laziness of the people, who won't work when they can get anything so good without it.
I have frequently thought that a governor would do a good act, and improve the condition, or at least the character, of the governed, who would set fire to, or grub up every “platanal” in his district, and thus compel the people to labor a little for their bread.
The other fruits are pine-apples, of tolerable quality, which doubtless would be very fine with care and attention; sour sop, a kind of bastard chirimoya; and papayo, a large fruit, about the size of a common muskmelon, with a green skin and yellow pulp, which is eaten, and is very sweet and of delicate flavor. It has seed like the musk-melon, and grows under the leaves of a kind of palm in clusters like the cocoanut. There are a few orange trees, but no fruit. An orange tree does not give good fruit under six years, and most of the haciendas have been under cultivation but three.
The only farming utensils used in Chanchamayo are short coarse sabres, with which weeds are cut up, and holes dug in the earth in which to plant the seed.
This is not a good grazing country, though there were some cattle belonging to the fort which seemed in good condition. All the meat used is brought from the Sierra. It seems difficult to propagate cattle in this country. All the calves are born dead, or die soon after birth with a goitre or swelling in the neck. I had no opportunity of investigating this; but I saw afterwards, in an account of a missionary expedition made by an Italian friar, Father Castrucci de Vernazza, to the Indians of the Pastaza, in 1846, “that cattle were raised with great difficulty about Moyobamba, on account of the “subyacuro,' a species of worm, which introduces itself between the cuticle and cellular tissue, producing large tumors, which destroy the animal.”
The houses on the haciendas are built of small, rough-hewn, upright posts, with rafters of the same forming the frame, which is filled in with wild cane, (caña brava,) and thatched with a species of narrow-leafed palm, which is plaited over a long pole and laid athwart the rafters. The leaves lie, one set over the other, like shingles, and form an effectual protection against the rain and sun; though I should think the rain would beat in through the cane of the sides, as few of the houses are plastered. The commandant of the fort was anxious to have his build ings tiled, as this palm thatch, when dry, is exceedingly inflammable; and he felt that the buildings of the fort were in constant danger from
the not distant fires of the Savages. Señor Zapatero told me that he had contracted with a workman to build him a large adobe house on his hacienda, well fitted with doors and windows of good wood, and tiled, to make it fire-proof, for eight hundred dollars. The same house in Tarma would cost him between three and four thousand, on account of the exceeding difficulty of getting the wood from the Montaña. He is a Catalan, and seems a resolute fellow. He thinks that the government may withdraw the troops from the fort at any time; but says that he has four swivels, which he means to mount around his house; and, as he has expended much labor and money on his hacienda, he will hold on to the last extremity, and not give up his property without a tussle.
It is a pity that there are not more like him, for many acres of fine land are lying uncultivated in Chanchamayo on account of this fear; and several of our Tarma friends offered us title deeds to large tracts of land there, because a feeling of insecurity regarding the stability of the government prevented them from expending time and money in the cultivation of them. Another such administration as that just closed under President Castilla will dissipate this apprehension; and then, if the Peruvian government would invite settlers, giving them the means of reaching there, and appropriating a very small sum for their maintenance till they could clear the forest and gather their first fruits, I have no doubt that fifty years would see settlements pushed to the navigable head-waters of the Ucayali, and the colonists would find purchasers for the rich and varied products of their lands at their very doors.
June 23.—We started on the return to Tarma, accompanied by the commandant and his servant. We walked up a part of the hill at Rio Seco. This is very hard work. I could not stand it more than half way, and made the mule carry me over the rest. It takes one hour to ascend, and an hour and a quarter to descend. Camped at Utcuyacu.
June 24.—Missing my saddle-bags, which had some money in them, we sent Mariano, (our Tarma servant,) accompanied by the servant of the commandant, back to a place some distance the other side of the big hill, where the saddle-bags had been taken off to adjust the saddle. He started at six; we at eight, following our return track. We made the longest and hardest day's ride we had yet made; and were much surprised at being joined by the servants with the saddle-bags by nine p. m. They must have travelled at least thirty-six miles over these terrible roads, crossing the big hill twice, and ascending quite two thousand feet. Gibbon did not believe it. He thought-and with much probability—that the boy had hid the saddle-bags at Utcuyacu, and after we left there had produced them and followed in our track, persuading or bribing the soldier to keep the secret. The commandant, however, thought his servant incorruptible, and that this was no great feat for these people.
One of our peons carried on his back, for a whole day, (fifteen miles) a bundle of alfalfa that Gibbon could not lift with ease, and pronounced, upon trial, to be heavier than I am, or upwards of one hundred and twenty-five pounds.
June 26.—Discharged Mariano because we could not trust him. Though clever and active, he is neglectful and dishonest. We thought it rather hard that the “ Cura” should have recommended him to us, as his character was notorious in the town. We believed that the “ Cura,” with the people generally, was glad to get rid of him, and was disposed to palm him off on any body.
We delighted the Tarma people with our favorable reports of the Chanchamayo, and they loaded us with civilities and kindness. They did not like the idea of my visiting the Montaña of Pozuzu and Mayro; and seemed to fear that I might find there a better communication with the Amazon.
Division of the party—Acobamba-Plain of Junin-Lako Chinchaycocha-Pres
ervation of potatoes-Cerro Pasco-Drainage of the mines-Boliches.
Gibbon and I had long and earnest consultations about the propriety of dividing the party; and I now determined to do so, giving to him the task of exploring the Bolivian tributaries, while I took the head-waters and main trunk of the Amazon. It was a bold, almost a rash determination, for the party seemed small enough as it was; and we might readily encounter difficulties on our route which would require our united exertions to overcome. I had many misgivings, and told Gibbon at first that it seemed midsummer madness ; but the prospect of covering such an extent of territory; of being enabled to give an account of countries and rivers so little known; and the reflection that I need not abandon routes that I had looked upon with a longing eye, were so tempting that they overrode all objections; and we set about making our preparations for the separation.
We divided the equipage, the tocuyo, or cotton cloth, (which we had not yet touched,) the hatchets, the knives, the beads, the mirrors, the arms and ammunition. I gave Gibbon fifteen hundred dollars in money, and all the instruments, except some thermometers and the boiling-point apparatus, because I was to travel a route over which sextants and chronometers had been already carried; and he might go where these had never been. I directed him to hire a guide in Tarma, and, so soon as Richards (who was still sick) should be able to travel, to start for Cuzco, and search for the head-waters of the “Madre de Dios."
On the 29th, we dined with General Otero, this being his wife's birthday and festival of St. Peter. The General, being an Argentine born, gave us the national dish—the celebrated carne con cuero, or beef, seasoned with spices, and roasted under ground in the hide, which is said to preserve its juices, and make it more palatable. I observed that the soups and the stews were colored with “achote.” This is the urucu of the Brazilians, of which the dye called annatto is made. It grows wild in great abundance all over the Montaña, and is extensively used by the Indians for painting their bodies and dyeing their cotton cloths. It is a bush of eight or ten feet in height, and bears a prickly burr like
our chincapin. This burr contains a number of small red seeds, the skin or covering of which contains the coloring matter.
The General gave us some “quinua,” the seed of a broom-like bush, which, boiled in milk, makes a pleasant and nutritious article of food. The grains are something like rice, though smaller, and contain a sort of mucilaginous matter. He also gave us some flower seeds, and valuable specimens of silver ore from his mines at Cerro Pasco. He has large flocks of sheep, the wool of which he sends to Lima; and has introduced the Merino, which thrives, He gave us some asbestos from Cuzco, and stalactites from a cave on a sheep farm, which, he says, the sheep are fond of licking, and which Von Tschudi pronounced to contain Epsom salts. I could detect no taste, and thought it a kind of magnesia. We parted from our agreeable host and kind friend with regret.
July 1.-I started at noon with Ijurra and Mauricio, accompanied by Gibbon and Captain Noel, with one of the Señores, Sta. Marias. At General Otero's gate, Noel left us. A very pleasant gentleman this; and I shall long remember his kindness. Soon after, Gibbon and I lingered behind the company; and at the entrance of the valley of the Acobamba, which route I was to take, we shook hands and parted. I had deliberated long and painfully on the propriety of this separation ; I felt that I was exposing him to unknown perils; and I knew that I was depriving myself of a pleasant companion and a most efficient auxiliary. My manhood, under the depressing influence of these feelings, fairly gave way, and I felt again that "hysterica passio," that swelling of the heart and filling of the eyes, that I have so often been called upon to endure in parting from my gallant and generous comrades of the navy.
He returned to make the necessary arrangements for his expedition. We crossed the Chanchamayo by a stone bridge, and passed through the village of Acobamba. This town contains about fifteen hundred or two thousand inhabitants; but, like all the towns in the Sierra at this season,
appears deserted—no one in the streets, and most of the doors closed. The road is a steady and tolerably smooth ascent of the valley, which is narrow, pretty, and well cultivated. As usual, the hills facing the north are bare and rugged; those facing the south present more vegetation, but this is scant. Cactus and long clump grass run to within two-thirds of the top, and then the rock shoots perpendicularly up in naked majesty.
Three miles above Acobamba we passed the village of Picoi, which has its plaza, church, and cemetery, with about one hundred houses.
Six miles further brought us to Palcamayo, a village of one thousand