Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/29

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23
A DESOLATE REGION.

for the dear ones far away. Then a stream of flame shot far out across the waters from either steamer's deck, the loud roar of the signal guns filled the startled air, and the two great black masses moved away swiftly into the darkness again, and each was lost to the sight of those on board the other.

I know of no scene which one may witness in all one's life, more full of unwritten poetry, unenacted romance, more dreamily suggestive of "what might have been," than this meeting and parting of two great steamers on the pathless sea. Who were they, who crowded the decks and wonderingly watched us as we watched them? In what mysterious way were their lives linked with ours? Were there any there who might have loved us, any we might have loved? What stories of love and hatred, and all the thousand emotions which distract the human mind, and affect for good or ill a human life, were spoiled, when the thousand souls which those two steamers bore, came thus near together, almost within touching distance, as it were, and then parted again, and for the most part forever? Had we met and mingled, how the whole story Of this life, or that, might have been affected, and changed it may be for all time. There is food for conjecture and speculation without end in all this, but it is only vague unsatisfying speculation after all, and the questions suggested to each of us, must remain unanswered to all, forever.

Daybreak on Tuesday, October 5th, found us passing Cape St. Lucas, and within the tropics. Still the same dreary, barren, mountain shore; not a sign of human life have we seen while skirting along the Lower California coast for nearly a thousand miles; not a tree, not;