Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/317

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285
STILL SANTA ANNA.

government party through the defection of General Cortazar, who thought fit thus to show his grateful sense of having just received the rank of general of brigade, with the insignia of this new grade, which the President put on with his own hands. Another check to the President. Once begun, defection spread rapidly, and Paredes and Cortazar, having advanced upon Querétaro, found that the General there had pronounced just at the moment he was expected in Mexico to assist the government.

"Meanwhile General Valencia, pressed to declare his 'Plan,' has replied that he awaits the announcement of the intention of the Generals Paredes and Santa Anna, and for his own part he only desires the dismissal of Bustamente.

"This, then, is the position of the three pronounced chiefs, on this second day of September of the year of our Lord, 1841: Santa Anna in Perote, hesitating whether to advance or retreat, and in fact prevented from doing either; Paredes in Querétaro, with the other revolted generals; Valencia in the citadel of Mexico with his pronunciados; while Bustamente, the mark against which all these hostile operations are directed, is determined, it is said, to fight to the last.

"Mexico looks as if it had got a general holiday. Shops shut up and all business at a stand. The people with the utmost apathy are collected in groups talking quietly; officers are galloping about, generals in a somewhat party-colored dress, with large gray hats (sombreros), striped pantaloons, old coats, and generals' belts, fine horses, and crimson