Page:A page of American history (1905).djvu/9

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come that when Pat and Chi heard of their fellow conspirator's capture, which they did with marvellous quickness by the means that the natives know so well how to use "the grapevine telegraph," they at once gave the signal and immediately wails of human suffering and despair rose all over the country. It is useless to go into detail; from now on, burned villages, outraged homes, and bloody work not wholly on the side of the Indians, make a long and evil list not good to look upon and one that I shall leave with pleasure.

The rebellious natives seemed for a while unconquerable; their savage ferocity and valor seemed irresistible. The long highway from Valladolid to Merida was thronged with constant streams of weary pilgrims striving to reach safety At times the natives would plunge with the ferocity of demons upon these throngs of panic-stricken pilgrims, and at other times they would most strangely refrain from bloody deeds when they might easily have worked a fiendish will had they so desired. It is supposed that Jacmto Tat, the most humane of the rebellious chiefs, held back his band from useless rapine and slaughter, while Cecilio Chi, a human tiger, lost no time to glut his appetite for outrage and bloodshed. For a time it seemed as if the rebellious natives would indeed make good their threats and drive the white men into the sea. Town after town, city after city, fell by the torch and mascab of the triumphant Mayas.

From bleeding Yucatan went up a bitter wail for succor. Commissioners were sent to Mexico, to the United States, and even to the island of Cuba, asking for aid. At last, in very desperation, she was willing to sacrifice her dear bought independence to save her actual existence, and the authorities of the United States were informally consulted on that delicate point, but the opinions given were so unanimously against the probabilities of success on that line that the project was given up.