Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/27

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21
VOYAGE DOWN THE COAST OF CALIFORNIA.

work,—no noise, no loud talking, no confusion; Chinese sailors spread the awnings which are to shelter the passengers from the sun of the tropics, and Chinese waiters, clean, quiet, and orderly, with their list-soled slippers, move quietly about the cabin and state-rooms, keeping everything in order, and seeing that no wants of the passengers are left unattended to. On the whole, I think it must be conceded that John is the "coming man," and take him all in all, he is a pretty good fellow;" it is well for us that no worse man is to come in his place.

On the afternoon of the second day—Friday—we were passing the islands off the Santa Barbara Coast, having made two hundred and thirty-five miles during the first twenty-four hours. On Saturday we were out of sight of land all day, and the register showed a progress of two hundred and twenty-two miles for the last twenty-four hours. On Sunday afternoon we came in sight of the large barren island of Cerros, and its outlying rocks and lesser islands, and the whole of the afternoon and evening skirted along the treeless, red mountain shores of Mexican Lower California. No living thing was to be seen on these verdureless mountains. Sitting back far enough from the rail to hide the blue stretch of water, you might fancy yourself upon the Colorado or Mojave Desert, without any serious stretch of the imagination; the same saffron-hued horizon, pale blue sky, red, brown, and yellow, jagged, naked mountains; the same eternal silence of utter desolation. "Mother," said a little prattling child upon the steamer, "mother, do anybody live in that land?" "No my darling, I hope not," was the earnest reply. God is merciful, and I trust she was right.