Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/181

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167
NICARAGUA AND THE MOSQUITO COAST.

mahogany. This huge timber is cut by the Indians of the interior, and hauled and shoved toward a river in the immediate vicinity, thence floated in rafts of two or three logs, or often as a single tree, down to the coast. Most of the banana plantations are on the Bluefields or Escondido River. The mouth of the river is about a mile north of Bluefields, and the plantations begin about twenty miles above this point and thence cover its banks in almost unbroken continuity for some distance beyond the city of Rama, sixty miles up stream. To facilitate the handling and shipping of the fruit, the plantations are always close to the banks, and vary in depth from fifty to two thousand yards.

PSM V45 D181 El rama.jpg

Fig. 4. — Rama.

The steamer Hendy, an old Mississippi River boat, whose lightness of draught makes it well adapted for steaming about the shallow lagoons, plies regularly between Bluefields and Rama. Leaving the former place at seven, o'clock in the morning, the trip to Rama begins by rounding a point of land called "Old Bank," a place which for a short time was the home of a small German colony. This settlement was abandoned after repeated trials and disasters; the unfortunate colonists being finally compelled to return to their native land, greatly reduced in number and weakened by disease, and after being harassed by the Spaniards and Indians. At this point the boat enters the Escondido