Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/81

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75
MAGNIFICENT SCENERY.

head crowned with a turban of sulphurous smoke, in the background. Surely, I mused, I must have been here before, the scene is so wonderfully familiar.

At last it occurred to me, this is the perfect counterpart of "the Heart of the Andes," as Church painted it. Even the trees covered with parrots, and the rushing waters, were all there. On that day, and again the next day, we saw the picture repeated in a thousand varied forms, and each more "beautiful and wonderful than the last.

At noon, we reached Tornila, and were warmly received at the hospitable residence of Senor Don Ramon de la Vega, the elected Governor of Colima. Tornila is just over the line, in the State of Jalisco, and Señor Vega is residing there by permission of President Juarez, while Gov. Cueva acts in his place. He was driven out by the French, and was compelled to flee to San Francisco, but immediately returned on the restoration of the republic. He has served several years, and will decline another re-election, as he is old, and desires to devote himself to his private affairs. His mansion overlooks on one side, a broad and beautifully irregular valley, with ranges of low hills, and the Sierra del Tigre rising to the clouds in the southern background. Nearer, are gardens filled with fruits and flowers in endless profusion.

From the northern front of Gov. Vega's residence a magnificent view of the great Volcano of Colima may be obtained. The western peak of this great mountain is a perfect truncated cone, very beautiful, and majestic in proportions. It is estimated to be from twelve thousand to fourteen thousand feet above the sea—no two estimates agree by hundreds of feet—and is wooded