Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/484

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468
THE GREAT CONDUCTA.

monstrate that the escort itself, is, sometimes, not wholly trustworthy and incorruptible. When we were journeying towards the coast, the state of affairs along the route gave additional interest to the movements of the conductas.

For some weeks, the departure of the conducta from Mexico with treasure for Europe and the United States, had been the theme of much conversation all along the road. It was known that the pronunciados in the State of Puebla had their eyes upon this conducta, and would certainly attack it if they found themselves strong enough, or the guard weak enough, to warrant them in the attempt. Then it was further known, that Gen. Negrete had been in Mexico in disguise, and it was feared that his clandestine visit had some connection with a project to attack this conducta; and therefore the Government had made extraordinary arrangements for its protection.

From the hour of its starting from the Capital, down to the end of the trip, the bulletin-board at the Lonja at Vera Cruz, had shown the daily progress of the conducta, adding "all safe" at each new announcement. The precautions taken had proved all-sufficient, and the most dangerous portion of the road was passed or would be passed in a day or two. The silver was expected to reach Vera Cruz in season for the American steamer Cleopatra on the 10th of January.

On Monday, January 3d, the long looked for conducta came filing into the City of Orizaba, and the whole of the irregular, wide, main street of the town was filled with it. There were two million seven hundred thousand dollars in this conducta, and the entire train resembled a division of a grand army in appear-