Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/520

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learned after our visit, however, that one of my companions, a young, kind-hearted and sympathetic girl, had promised the General's wife, that if she had an opportunity she would give him the message of love and hope—love warm and true indeed, but hope, I fear, only delusive and empty—from her.

While we were in the castle the young lady went past his window near enough to speak to him. He was standing by the bars, and looking out, but the moment he saw us he turned away and concealed himself from our sight. I caught but a momentary glimpse of his blanched and haggard face, but that was quite enough. When I learned all the facts I was quite glad that the message was not delivered, under the circumstances, but I could not fail to honor the young girl for her sympathy and kindness of heart, however much it might have been impolitic and misdirected.

From the inner castle, we walked out upon the beach outside the eastern wall, and there in a small patch of cane-brake, saw the monument erected in memory of "the French who fell in the expedition to Mexico, in 1838-9." The monument is still perfect, but I saw several skulls and other human bones scattered all around it, and presume that the invaders have not been permitted to rest in peace, even in the silence of their lonely graves on the shore of the land they came to conquer.

The French, in the invasion which culminated in the "Empire," brought a large number of small steam launches of iron, for use in the harbor of Vera Cruz and vicinity. These are lying wrecked, with their bottoms stove in and machinery removed or ruined, and rapidly wasting away, all around the eastern side of the