Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/42

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36
EMBARKATION AND DEPARTURE.

time this will be all different. Already, a telegraph line is in operation from the City of Mexico to this place, and Mr. Seward was met by congratulatory dispatches direct from President Juarez and Cabinet. Stage-coaches and steamboats will come next, and then railroads and a higher civilization.

After two days' waiting at Manzanillo the rain suddenly ceased, and a clear sunset gave promise of fine weather to follow. At day-break on the 9th of October, all Manzanillo was astir, and our party prepared to leave for Colima. By arrangement, the entire company, "bag and baggage," was to be transported by boats up the Laguna de Cayutlan thirty miles, then across the divide of three leagues, between the end of the lake and the Rio Maria, in Concord coaches sent down by Don Juan Firmin Huarte, the hospitable proprietor of the immense estate formerly known as "Los Chinos," now as "La Calera," and thence over the river and the succeeding three leagues to that place, as could be best arranged under the circumstances.

As the party left the house and walked out through the straggling, crooked street, lined with low, thatched huts half of which were flooded from the rains and vacated by the owners, the people stood hats in hands all along the way, to give Mr. Seward a kindly parting salutation. All was bustle and confusion at the landing. Men were wading back and forth in the muddy water, carrying packages, or altering and arranging the boats. Five light, strong boats, each painted white, red and green—the national colors of Mexico—had been provided. Two boats carried the "Seward Party," Gov. Cueva and Señor Rendon; a third the promiscuous escort, and the fourth and fifth were loaded down with our luggage, provisions, etc., etc.