Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/48

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arrive on the other shore, and the boats commence to take it over. We started at night-fall for La Calera, three leagues further on, and were whirled along over the heavy road at good speed, by the smart little mules furnished us by Don Ignacio. Up to this point the country, except for the densely wooded mountains in the background, might have been mistaken for the Bayou Teche country in Louisiana, though the vegetation was more abundant, and the soil richer and softer—a fine country for cultivation. Now, we crossed the; Llano de San Bartolo, a more open country, with occasional Indian villages. On this plain, the Spaniards were defeated with great loss, and driven back to their ships, in the time of the conquest by Cortez; but a second battle resulted in their favor, and the Indian power in Colima was forever broken. Passing in the moonlight an immense hacienda, with solid stone walls on all sides, now partially deserted, we arrived at La Calera at 10 o'clock, and were warmly welcomed.

When we arose at day-break on Sunday and walked out upon the broad verandah, which surrounds the great house at the hacienda of Don Juan Firmin Huarte, the scene before us was entrancingly beautiful. The estate occupies a broad valley, through which runs a small river, and is surrounded on all sides by mountains as high as the highest peaks of the Coast Range of California These mountains are covered from base to summit with low timber, as thick as it can stand on the ground, and all covered with a brilliant green foliage, save where the beautiful primavera, which bears great loads of white, red, pink, and blue blossoms, gives variety to the scene. This wood is all crooked, and mainly worthless for building purposes, though the