The Project Gutenberg eBook, Journeys and Experiences in Argentina, Paraguay, and Chile, by Henry Stephens

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at

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: Henry Stephens

Release Date: January 18, 2014 [eBook #44692]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8



E-text prepared by Melissa McDaniel
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team
from page images generously made available by
Internet Archive


Note: Images of the original pages are available through Internet Archive. See



Henry Stephens, Ph.D.

Locust Pest in Argentina

Estancia, Santa Isabel, Province Buenos Aires

Snow in the Tropics

Plaza Pringlés, San Luis, July, 1913

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
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

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




The Knickerbocker Press
New York




Montevideo 1
Experience in landing. Population of the city. Conservativeness of the inhabitants. Gambling establishment at Playa Ramirez. Train ride to Colonia.
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.
San Luis 62
Appearance of the city. Capitol. Plazas. Hotels. Neighboring country. Character of the natives. Train ride to Mendoza.
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.
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. [vi] Population of the city of Tucumán. Capitol. Governor Padilla. Heat of the city. Hotel Savoy. Kirwin the photographer. Villa Nougués.
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.
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.
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.
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. [vii]
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.
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.
Northward to Antofagasta by Rail. Copiapó, Antofagasta, and Iquique 347
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.
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 [viii] jefe politico. Ilabaya. Dishonest cholo and Prat's spree. Don José Vergara. Moquegua. Ilo. Stinking Mollendo. Arrival at Callao.
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.
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.
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.



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


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 [2] 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 [3] 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 [4] 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 [5] 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 [6] 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 [7] 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. [8] 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. [9]

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 [10] 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 [11] 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. [12] 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 [13] 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 [14] 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. [15]

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 [16] 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 [17] 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 [18] 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.

Colonia, Uruguay

A syndicate was formed with $800,000 capital to start [20] 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. [21]


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. [22]

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.

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 [23] 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. [25]

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 [26] 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. [27]

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 [29] for forty-three cents, while in the almazens it can be bought for twenty-six cents.

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 [30] 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.

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 [31] 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.

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 [33] 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. [35]

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.

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 [36] 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 [37] 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 [38] 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 [39] 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 [40] 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 [41] 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 [42] 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 [43] 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. [44]

"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. [45] 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. [46]

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 [47] 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 [48] 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 [49] 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. [50]

"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 [51] 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 [52] 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.

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 [53] 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, [55] 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.

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 [56] 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.

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, [57] but it stands downtown on one of the principal squares, absolutely deserted, its long dun-colored façade an eyesore to passers-by.

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, [58] 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.

Bank of the Province of Buenos Aires, La Plata

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 [59] 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 [60] female figure with a horn of plenty from which are spilling fruit and vegetables, while beneath her are bundles of wheat.

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, [61] 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. [62]


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. [63]

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 [65] 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.

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 [66] 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 [67] me a letter to the manager of its branch bank in Villa Mercedes, but unfortunately I did not stop off there.

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 [68] 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.

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 [70] 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.

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 [71] 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 [72] 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.

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. [73] 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 [74] 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 [75] 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 [76] 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 [77] 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. [78]


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 [79] 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 [81] 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. [82] 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 [83] 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 [84] 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.

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 [85] 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.

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. [87] 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 [88] 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.

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 [89] 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:


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 [92] 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 [93] 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.

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 [94] 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. [95] 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.

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 [96] 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.

Thermal Establishment at Cacheuta

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 [97] 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 [99] 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.

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 [100] 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. [101]


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 [102] 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 [103] 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 [104] 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. [105]

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 [106] 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.


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 [107] 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. [108]

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 [109] wooded mountains, brings to one's mind visions of cities of Central Europe.

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 [111] 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 [112] 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.

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 [113] 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 [114] 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 [115] 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.

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 [116] 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 [117] 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 [118] 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, [119] 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 [120] 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, [121] 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.

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 [122] 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 [123] 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.

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. [124] 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. [125] 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." [126]

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 [127] 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.

Residence of Dr. Juan C. Nougués, San Pablo

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

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. [128] 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 [129] 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. [130]


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 [131] 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 [132] 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 [133] places, excepting those that are synonymous with lights seen through carmine transoms, and they happily are not in my line.

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 [135] 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 [136] 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. [137]

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. [138]

"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.

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.

Church of Santa Teresa, Córdoba

Debreczen, Hungary, is nicknamed locally, "Rome of [139] 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.

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 [141] 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, [142] 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.

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." [143]

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 [144] 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.

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 [145] 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 [146] 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 [147] 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.

Courthouse, Rosario

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 [149] 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.

Plaza 25 de Mayo, Rosario

Street Scene, Rosario

Tributary to Rosario, which is their shopping center, and inland some distance in the heart of good farming [151] 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.

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, [152] which has private baths in connection with the sleeping-rooms.

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 [153] 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.

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 [154] 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. [155]


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 [156] 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 [157] 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, [158] 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 [159] 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 [160] 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 [161] 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. [162]

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.

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 [163] 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[164]
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 [165] 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 [166] 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 [167] in public places, and there has been considerable building done.

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 [168] has no colonnade along the street, it is sure to have one around the patio. These colonnades are built thus (see drawing).

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. [169]

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 [170] 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 [171] 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.

Cabildo, or City Hall, Asuncion

This building was formerly the capitol

One of the features that attracts the eyes of strangers [172] 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.

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 [173] 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.

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 [174] 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.

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

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 [175] 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 [176] 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 [177] 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. [178]

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 [179] 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 [180] 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 [181] 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 [182] 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, [183] 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 [184] tree limbs. This cemetery is where the poor people are buried; the wealthy are interred in the aristocratic Recoleta.

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 [185] 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. [186] 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 [187] 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 [188] 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 [189] 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. [190]

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. [191]

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 [192] 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 [193] 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. [194]

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. [195]


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. [196]

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 [197] 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. [198]

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 [199] 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 [200] 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 [201] 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 [202] 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 [203] 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 [204] 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 [205] 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.

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 [206] 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 [207] 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.

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. [208] 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 [209] 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 [210] 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 [211] 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 [212] 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. [213]

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 [215] 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 [216] 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 [217] 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 [218] 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 [219] 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 [220] 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.

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 [221] 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, [222] 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, [223] 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. [224]

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 [225] 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. [226]


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 [227] 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.

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 [228] 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 [229] 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.

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.

Village Scene, Central Chile.

The area of Chile is 289,829 square miles, about the size [231] 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 [232] 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.

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 [233] 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 [234] 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. [235]

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 [236] 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 [237] 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 [238] 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.

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. [239] 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. [241] Excepting Buenos Aires no South American city has as fine a collection of private residences.

General View of Santiago from Santa Lucia Hill

Alameda, Santiago

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 [243] 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 [245] 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, [246] whose southern bank it skirts, and continuing into the country enters the defile of its headwaters.

Modern Residence on the Alameda, Santiago

Calle Ejercito Liberador, Santiago

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

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 [247] 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.

Fountain in Santiago

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

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 [249] 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 [250] 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.

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.

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 [251] 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.

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 [253] 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 [254] 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 [255] 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 [256] 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.

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 [257] 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 [258] 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 [259] 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 [260] 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 [261] 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.

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. [263]


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 [264] 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.

Plaza O'Higgins, Rancagua

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 [265] 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 [266] 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.

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 [267] 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 [268] 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.

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 [269] 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 [270] 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 [271] 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 [272] 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 [273] 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. [274]

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, [275] 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 [276] 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. [277]

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.

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, [278] 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.


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 [279] 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." [280]

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 [281] 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 [282] 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.

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 [283] 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 [285] 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 [286] 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 [287] 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.

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 [288] 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 [289] 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.

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 [290] 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 [291] 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.

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.

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 [292] 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 [293] resort for the inhabitants of Valdivia. The landscape is beautified by vistas of the snow-capped volcanos, Choshuenco and Mocho.

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 [294] 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 [295] 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.


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 [297] 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.

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 [298] 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 [299] 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 [300] 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.

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 [301] 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 [303] 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 [304] 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.

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 [305] 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.


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 [306] 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 [307] 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 [308] 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.

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. [309] 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 [310] 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. [311]

San Carlos de Bariloche



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 [313] 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 [314] 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."

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 [315] 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.

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 [316] 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.

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 [317] 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.

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 [318] 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 [319] 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 [320] 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 [321] 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 [322] 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.

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, [323] 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.

Post Station at La Dehesa

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 [324] 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 [325] 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.

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 [326] 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.

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 [327] 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.

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 [328] 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.

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 [329] 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.

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 [330] 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:

"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 [331] sentence with "any malady" but the doctor did not give me time.

Casuchas at Termas de Chillán

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 [332] 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.

Mr. Henry Stephens

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, [333] 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:

"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."


"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. [335]

View towards the Argentine Frontier from the Slopes of Volcano Chillán

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.

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 [336] 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.

Rim of the Crater of Volcano Chillán During Eruption

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 [337] 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.

From the Slopes of Volcano Chillán

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 [339] 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. [341]

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 [342] 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 [343] of yellow" went only as far as the end of the glacier. Their game was ping-pong.

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. [344]

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 [345] 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 [346] 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. [347]


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 [348] 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.

Church in San Felipe

Now after an elapse of three years without having heard anything about the outcome, curiosity got the best of me [349] so I hailed Greenberg. I invited him to a quiet café and heard his story.

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 [350] 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 [351] 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."

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 [352] 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 [353] 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.

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 [354] 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. [355]

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 [356] 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.


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 [357] 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 [358] 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 [359] (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.


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 [360] 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 [361] 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 [362] 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.

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 [363] 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.

Alameda in Copiapó


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 [365] that never elsewhere in a town of its size have I seen so much beauty among women.

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 [366] 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.

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 [367] 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.

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 [368] 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.

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 [369] which here house Atacama's humblest natives. The open space in front of these hovels are littered with bones, garbage, dead rats, and excrement.

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 [370] 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 [371] 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. [372] 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 [373] 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 [374] 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.

Plaza Colon, Antofagasta

In 1910 a mania struck each resident foreign colony to donate to the city a reminder of themselves. The British [375] 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.

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 [376] 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 [377] 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."

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 [378] 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 [379] 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 [380] 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.

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 [381] 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 [382] 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.

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 [383] 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 [384] 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.

Street in Iquique

Iquique is built in the form of a square on a sandy point [385] 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.

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 [386] 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.

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. [387]


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 [388] 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.

Custom House, Arica

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

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 [389] 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 [390] 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. [391] 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 [392] 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.

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 [393] 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.

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 [394] 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.

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 [395] 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.

Fountain in Tacna

Built by Pitaud.

Another of Pitaud's works of art is the bronze fountain [396] 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.

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.




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. [398]

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.

Old Residence, Tacna


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 [400] 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 [401] 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.

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.

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 [402] 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 [403] 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, [404] 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, [405] 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 [406] 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.

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 [407] 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. [408]

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 [409] 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 [410] 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 [411] 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 [412] 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 [413] 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 [414] 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?" [415]

"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 [416] 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." [417]

"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 [418] 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 [419] 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 [420] 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? [421]

"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 [422] 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.

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 [423] 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, [424] 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." [425]

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 [426] 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."

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 [427] 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 [428] 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.

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 [429] 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.

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 [430] 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 [431] 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, [432] 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. [433] 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. [434]


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 [435] 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.

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 [436] 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 [437] 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 [438] 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 [439] 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.

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 [440] 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.

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 [441] 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.

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 [442] 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.

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 [443] 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 [444] 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.

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 [445] 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, [446] 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.

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 [447] 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.

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 [449] 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 [451] 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 [452] 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 [453] 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 [454] 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 [455] 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. [456] 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 [457] 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 [458] 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 [459] 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. [460]

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.

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, [461] 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.

Tomb of the Goyeneche Family, in the General Cemetery, Lima


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 [463] 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.

Mr. Linn of New York Rising out of the Tomb Erected in Honor of the Peruvian Heroes of the Pacific War, 1879-1882


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 [465] 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 [466] 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.

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. [467]

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. [468]

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. [469]

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. [470]


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 [471] 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. [472] 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 [473] 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.

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 [474] 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 [475] 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 [476] 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 [477] 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.

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 [478] 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 [479] 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.

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 [480] 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 [481] 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. [482] 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, [483] 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 [484] 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 [485] 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. [486] 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 [487] 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 [488] 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 [489] 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 [490] 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 [491] 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, [492] 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 [493] 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 [494] 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 [495] 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. [496]


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 [497] 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 [498] 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 [499] 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 [500] 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 [501] 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 [502] 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 [503] 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 [504] 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 [505] 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 [506] 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 [507] 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 [508] 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. [509] 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 [510] 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. [511]

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 [512] 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, [513] 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 [514] 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 [515] 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 [516] 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 [517] 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. [518]

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 [519] 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 [520] 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. [521]























View larger image



View larger image (top)

View larger image (bottom)



Transcriber's Note:

Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation in the original document have been preserved.

On page 407, "cue" should possibly be "clue."


******* This file should be named 44692-h.txt or *******

This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:

Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions will be renamed.

Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without permission and without paying copyright royalties. Special rules, set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark. Project Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission. If you do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the rules is very easy. You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and research. They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks. Redistribution is subject to the trademark license, especially commercial redistribution.


To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work (or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project Gutenberg-tm License available with this file or online at

Section 1. General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works

1.A. By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property (trademark/copyright) agreement. If you do not agree to abide by all the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession. If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B. "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark. It may only be used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. There are a few things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works even without complying with the full terms of this agreement. See paragraph 1.C below. There are a lot of things you can do with Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works. See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C. The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation" or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works. Nearly all the individual works in the collection are in the public domain in the United States. If an individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg are removed. Of course, we hope that you will support the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with the work. You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.

1.D. The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern what you can do with this work. Copyright laws in most countries are in a constant state of change. If you are outside the United States, check the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project Gutenberg-tm work. The Foundation makes no representations concerning the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United States.

1.E. Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1. The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed, copied or distributed:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at

1.E.2. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees or charges. If you are redistributing or providing access to a work with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.3. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional terms imposed by the copyright holder. Additional terms will be linked to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.

1.E.4. Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5. Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6. You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary, compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any word processing or hypertext form. However, if you provide access to or distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (, you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other form. Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7. Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying, performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8. You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided that

1.E.9. If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael Hart, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark. Contact the Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1. Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm collection. Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain "Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by your equipment.

1.F.2. LIMITED WARRANTY, DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES - Except for the "Right of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal fees. YOU AGREE THAT YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY, BREACH OF WARRANTY OR BREACH OF CONTRACT EXCEPT THOSE PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH 1.F.3. YOU AGREE THAT THE FOUNDATION, THE TRADEMARK OWNER, AND ANY DISTRIBUTOR UNDER THIS AGREEMENT WILL NOT BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ACTUAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

1.F.3. LIMITED RIGHT OF REPLACEMENT OR REFUND - If you discover a defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a written explanation to the person you received the work from. If you received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with your written explanation. The person or entity that provided you with the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a refund. If you received the work electronically, the person or entity providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund. If the second copy is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4. Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS', WITH NO OTHER WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PURPOSE.

1.F.5. Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages. If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by the applicable state law. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.

1.F.6. INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production, promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works, harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect you cause.

Section 2. Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers. It exists because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the assistance they need are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will remain freely available for generations to come. In 2001, the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations. To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4 and the Foundation information page at

Section 3. Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit 501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service. The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification number is 64-6221541. Contributions to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S. Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered throughout numerous locations. Its business office is located at 809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887. Email contact links and up to date contact information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official page at

For additional contact information:
Dr. Gregory B. Newby
Chief Executive and Director

Section 4. Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest array of equipment including outdated equipment. Many small donations ($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United States. Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up with these requirements. We do not solicit donations in locations where we have not received written confirmation of compliance. To SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any particular state visit

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from outside the United States. U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation methods and addresses. Donations are accepted in a number of other ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations. To donate, please visit:

Section 5. General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works.

Professor Michael S. Hart was the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared with anyone. For forty years, he produced and distributed Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S. unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we do not necessarily keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.

Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm, including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.