Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/44

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38
WILD FLOWERS, PARROTS AND ALLIGATORS.

working element of the country. Their oars all struck the water at once, and they sent the boats through the water at a high speed. Had they been selected instead of the Harvard crew, to row against the Oxfords, I would have staked my money on the American side, if I chanced to have any to risk.

On our arrival at Manzanillo from the steamer, at the house of Mr. Bartling, who most hospitably entertained our party during our stay, we were provided with six excellent camp bedsteads, with beautiful gilded frames and canopies, lace mosquito bars, and lace-covered pillows, rich crimson counterpanes, and fine soft matresses complete in every detail. While going up the lake we noticed, among the baggage, six neatly wrapped packages covered with matting and securely corded, and learned with surprise that each contained one of these beds packed for transportation, and that they had been purchased expressly for us at Colima, and were to be transported for our especial use from one side of Mexico to the other.

At one point we landed on the rocky shore of the Laguna, and gathered beautiful wild flowers, but the chaparral was so matted together with tangled vines and parasitic and climbing plants, that we could not travel ten rods in any direction, and after vainly endeavoring to get a shot at the flocks of gaudy parrots which filled the larger trees, we returned to the Laguna and were carried pick-a-back, to the boats again. The alligators, who fill the Laguna, are very cautious and shy, and it was only now and then that one would show the point of his dark snout above the surface. A volley of ill-directed pistol balls would send him down in an instant every time. On the whole I don't think the