Page:Incidents of travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan.djvu/39

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11
EVERY ONE FOR HIMSELF

CHAPTER II.


EVERY ONE FOR HIMSELF—TRAVELLER'S TRICKS—PUNTA GORDA—A VISIT TO THE CARIB INDIANS—A CARIB CRONE—A BAPTISM—RIO DOLCE—BEAUTIFUL SCENERY—YZABAL—RECEPTION OF THE PADRE—A BARBER IN OFFICE—A BAND OF "INVINCIBLES"—PARTIES IN CENTRAL AMERICA—A COMPATRIOT—A GRAVE IN A FOREIGN LAND—PREPARATIONS FOR THE PASSAGE OF "THE MOUNTAIN"—A ROAD NOT MACADAMISED—PETILS BY THE WAY— A WELL-SPICED LUNCH— THE MOUNTAIN PASSED.

We had engaged a servant, a French Spaniard, St. Domingo born and Omoa bred, bearing the name of Augustin; young, and, as we at first thought, not very sharp. Early in the morning he asked us what we would have for breakfast, naming eggs, chickens, &c. We gave him directions, and in due time sat down to breakfast. During the meal, something occurred to put us on inquiry, and we learned that everything on the table, excepting the tea and coffee, belonged to the padre. Without asking any questions, or thinking of the subject at all, we had taken for granted that the steamboat made all necessary provisions for passengers; but, to our surprise, learned that the boat furnished nothing, and that passengers were expected to take care of themselves. The padre had been as ignorant and as improvident as we; but some good Catholic friends, whom he had married, or whose children he had baptized, had sent on board contributions of various kinds, and, among other things—odd luggage for a traveller—a coop full of chickens. We congratulated the padre upon his good fortune in having us with him, and ourselves upon such a treasure as Augustin. I may mention, by-the-way, that, in the midst of Colonel M'Donald's hospitalities, Mr. Catherwood and I exhibited rather too much of the old traveller. When at dinner the last day, Mr. C. was called from table to superintend the removal of some luggage, and shortly after I was called out; and, fortunately for Colonel M'Donald and the credit of my country, I found Mr. C. quietly rolling up, to send back to New York, a large blue cloak belonging to the colonel, supposing it to be mine. I returned to the table, and mentioned to our host his narrow escape, adding that I had some doubt about a large canvas sack for bedding which I had found in my room, and, presuming it was one that had been promised me by Captain Hampton, had put on board the steamboat; but this, too, it appeared, belonged to Colonel M'Donald, and for many years had carried his camp bed. The result