Page:Narrative of an Official Visit to Guatemala.djvu/85

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CH. V.]

kindly offered me their advice and assistance on the journey, I set off with them, about five o'clock in the evening.

There is a carriage-road the whole way from the port to the town, principally over a fine green sod, and through avenues intersecting a thick wood, which, in the summer time, is so umbrageous as hardly to leave the route, where the road should be, distinguishable. This wood is infested by a small tiger, which is very fierce, but seldom attacks a man, unless affronted: he does not require the same provocation to assault the herds, especially the calves and young mules. The bulls are so well acquainted with his malicious intentions that, forgetting their mutual animosities, they sometimes congregate for the general protection, in which case the tiger frequently gets the worst of the battle.

The guaco, with its parasitical tendrils, clinging to the gigantic trees which girt the path, assures us of the presence of the most noxious serpents; for, where-