Note: The Table of Contents and the list of illustrations were added by the transcriber.
LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE OF POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE
Volume XI, No. 22
IRON BRIDGES, AND THEIR CONSTRUCTION by EDWARD ROWLAND. SEARCHING FOR THE QUININE-PLANT IN PERU. PROBATIONER LEONHARD; OR, THREE NIGHTS IN THE HAPPY VALLEY by CAROLINE CHESEBRO'. CHAPTER I. OUR HERO. CHAPTER II. IN THE HAPPY VALLEY. CHAPTER III. HIGH ART. THE IRISH CAPITAL by REGINALD WYNFORD. THE MAESTRO'S CONFESSION (ANDREA DAL CASTAGNO—1460.) by MARGARET J. PRESTON. MONSIEUR FOURNIER'S EXPERIMENT by CORNELIUS DEWEES. A VISIT TO THE KING OF AURORA (FROM THE GERMAN OF THEODORE KIRSCHOFF.) by ELIZABETH SILL. GRAY EYES by ELLA WILLIAMS THOMPSON. REMINISCENCES OF FLORENCE by MARIE HOWLAND. THE SOUTHERN PLANTER by WILL WALLACE HARNEY. BABES IN THE WOOD by EDGAR FAWCETT. MY CHARGE ON THE LIFE-GUARDS by CHARLES L. NORTON. PAINTING AND A PAINTER. OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP. WILHELMINE VON HILLERN. HIS NAME? by M. J. P. UNPUBLISHED LETTER FROM LORD NELSON TO LADY HAMILTON. "WHITE-HAT" DAY by K. H. MR. SOTHERN AS GARRICK by M. M. NOTES. LITERATURE OF THE DAY. Forster, John—The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. II Gautier, Theophile—Emaux et Camees Alcott, A. Bronson—Concord Days Hanum, Melek—Thirty Years in the Harem Gale, Ethel C.—Hints on Dress Sketch Map of the Nile Sources and Lake Region of Central Africa, showing Dr. Livingstone's Discoveries and Mr. Stanley's Route Books Received
WILHELMINE VON HILLERN, Author of "Only a Girl," "By His Own Might," etc. [See Our Monthly Gossip.]
"ASSEMBLING" BRIDGE UNDER SHED.
THE LYMAN VIADUCT.
DUMPING ORE AND COAL INTO BLAST-FURNACES.
RUNNING METAL INTO PIGS.
CARRYING THE IRON BALLS.
RIVETING A COLUMN.
FURNACE AND HYDRAULIC DIE.
VIEW OF MACHINE-SHOP
NEW RIVER BRIDGE ON ITS STAGING.
BRIDGE AT ALBANY.
LA SALLE BRIDGE.
BRIDGE AT AUGUSTA, MAINE.
"THE FIRST FORD OF THE CCONI WAS PASSED JUST OUTSIDE THE TOWN."
"GENTLEMEN, I AM JUAN THE NEPHEW OF ARAGON."
"THE STRAW SHEDS AND GRASSY PLAZA OF CHILE-CHILE."
"CHAUPICHACA WAS MARKED WITH A SQUARE TERMINAL PILLAR."
"THE MAMABAMBA WAS CROSSED BY AN EXTEMPORIZED BRIDGE."
"THE EXAMINADOR AND THE COLONEL HOPPED VALIANTLY OVER THE MENDOZA".
"THE REPUTED GOLD-BEARING RIVER OR OUITUBAMBA ROLLED FROM ITS TUNNEL."
IRON BRIDGES, AND THEIR CONSTRUCTION.
In a graveyard in Watertown, a village near Boston, Massachusetts, there is a tombstone commemorating the claims of the departed worthy who lies below to the eternal gratitude of posterity. The inscription is dated in the early part of this century (about 1810), but the name of him who was thus immortalized has faded like the date of his death from my memory, while the deed for which he was distinguished, and which was recorded upon his tombstone, remains clear. "He built the famous bridge over the Charles River in this town," says the record. The Charles River is here a small stream, about twenty to thirty feet wide, and the bridge was a simple wooden structure.
Doubtless in its day this structure was considered an engineering feat worthy of such posthumous immortality as is gained by an epitaph, and afforded such convenience for transportation as was needed by the commercial activity of that era. From that time, however, to this, the changes which have occurred in our commercial and industrial methods are so fully indicated by the changes of our manner and method of bridge-building that it will not be a loss of time to investigate the present condition of our abilities in this most useful branch of engineering skill.
In the usual archaeological classification of eras the Stone Age precedes that of Iron, and in the history of bridge-building the same sequence has been preserved. Though the knowledge of working iron was acquired by many nations at a pre-historic period, yet in quite modern times—within this century, even—the invention of new processes and the experience gained of new methods have so completely revolutionized this branch of industry, and given us such a mastery over this material, enabling us to apply it to such new uses, that for the future the real Age of Iron will date from the present century.
The knowledge of the arch as a method of construction with stone or brick—both of them materials aptly fitted for resistance under pressure, but of comparatively no tensile strength—enabled the Romans to surpass all nations that had preceded them in the course of history in building bridges. The bridge across the Danube, erected by Apollodorus, the architect of Trajan's Column, was the largest bridge built by the Romans. It was more than three hundred feet in height, composed of twenty-one arches resting upon twenty piers, and was about eight hundred feet in length. It was after a few years destroyed by the emperor Adrian, lest it should afford a means of passage to the barbarians, and its ruins are still to be seen in Lower Hungary.
With the advent of railroads bridge-building became even a greater necessity than it had ever been before, and the use of iron has enabled engineers to grapple with and overcome difficulties which only fifty years ago would have been considered hopelessly insurmountable. In this modern use of iron advantage is taken of its great tensile strength, and many iron bridges, over which enormous trains of heavily-loaded cars pass hourly, look as though they were spun from gossamer threads, and yet are stronger than any structure of wood or stone would be.
Another great advantage of an iron bridge over one constructed of wood or stone is the greater ease with which it can, in every part of it, be constantly observed, and every failing part replaced. Whatever material may be used, every edifice is always subject to the slow disintegrating influence of time and the elements. In every such edifice as a bridge, use is a process of constant weakening, which, if not as constantly guarded against, must inevitably, in time, lead to its destruction.
In a wooden or stone bridge a beam affected by dry rot or a stone weakened by the effects of frost may lie hidden from the inspection of even the most vigilant observer until, when the process has gone far enough, the bridge suddenly gives way under a not unusual strain, and death and disaster shock the community into a sense of the inherent defects of these materials for such structures.
The introduction of the railroad has brought about also another change in the bridge-building of modern times, compared with that of all the ages which have preceded this nineteenth century. The chief bridges of ancient times were built as great public conveniences upon thoroughways over which there was a large amount of travel, and consequently were near the cities or commercial centres which attracted such travel, and were therefore placed where they were seen by great numbers. Now, however, the connection between the chief commercial centres is made by the railroads, and these penetrate immense distances, through comparatively unsettled districts, in order to bring about the needed distribution; and in consequence many of the great railroad bridges are built in the most unfrequented spots, and are unseen by the numerous passengers who traverse them, unconscious that they are thus easily passing over specimens of engineering skill which surpass, as objects of intelligent interest, many of the sights they may be traveling to see.
The various processes by which the iron is prepared to be used in bridge-building are many of them as new as is the use of this material for this purpose, and it will not be amiss to spend a few moments in examining them before presenting to our readers illustrations of some of the most remarkable structures of this kind. Taking a train by the Reading Railroad from Philadelphia, we arrive, in about an hour, at Phoenixville, in the Schuylkill Valley, where the Phoenix Iron-and Bridge-works are situated. In this establishment we can follow the iron from its original condition of ore to a finished bridge, and it is the only establishment in this country, and most probably in the world, where this can be seen.
These works were established in 1790. In 1827 they came into the possession of the late David Reeves, who by his energy and enterprise increased their capacity to meet the growing demands of the time, until they reached their present extent, employing constantly over fifteen hundred hands.
The first process is melting the ore in the blast-furnace. Here the ore, with coal and a flux of limestone, is piled in and subjected to the heat of the fires, driven by a hot blast and kept burning night and day. The iron, as it becomes melted, flows to the bottom of the furnace, and is drawn off below in a glowing stream. Into the top of the blast-furnaces the ore and coal are dumped, having been raised to the top by an elevator worked by a blast of air. It is curious to notice how slowly the experience was gathered from which has re suited the ability to work iron as it is done here. Though even at the first settlement of this country the forests of England had been so much thinned by their consumption in the form of charcoal in her iron industry as to make a demand for timber from this country a flourishing trade for the new settlers, yet it was not until 1612 that a patent was granted to Simon Sturtevant for smelting iron by the consumption of bituminous coal. Another patent for the same invention was granted to John Ravenson the next year, and in 1619 another to Lord Dudley; yet the process did not come into general use until nearly a hundred years later.
The blast for the furnace is driven by two enormous engines, each of three hundred horse-power. The blast used here is, as we have said, a hot one, the air being heated by the consumption of the gases evolved from the material itself. The gradual steps by which these successive modifications were introduced is an evidence of how slowly industrial processes have been perfected by the collective experience of generations, and shows us how much we of the present day owe to our predecessors. From the earliest times, as among the native smiths of Africa to-day, the blast of a bellows has been used in working iron to increase the heat of the combustion by a more plentiful supply of oxygen. The blast-furnace is supposed to have been first used in Belgium, and to have been introduced into England in 1558. Next came the use of bituminous coal, urged with a blast of cold air. But it was not until 1829 that Neilson, an Englishman, conceived the idea of heating the air of the blast, and carried it out at the Muirkirk furnaces. In that year he obtained a patent for this process, and found that he could from the same quantity of fuel make three times as much iron. His patent made him very rich: in one single case of infringement he received a cheque for damages for one hundred and fifty thousand pounds. In his method, however, he used an extra fire for heating the air of his blast. In 1837 the idea of heating the air for the blast by the gases generated in the process was first practically introduced by M. Faber Dufour at Wasseralfingen in the kingdom of Wuertemberg.
In this country, charcoal was at first used universally for smelting iron, anthracite coal being considered unfit for the purpose. In 1820 an unsuccessful attempt to use it was made at Mauch Chunk. In 1833, Frederick W. Geisenhainer of Schuylkill obtained a patent for the use of the hot blast with anthracite, and in 1835 produced the first iron made with this process. In 1841, C.E. Detmold adapted the consumption of the gases produced by the smelting to the use of anthracite; and since then it has become quite general, and has caused an almost incalculable saving to the community in the price of iron.
The view of the engines which pump the blast will give an idea of the immense power which the Phoenix company has at command. Twice every day the furnace is tapped, and the stream of liquid iron flows out into moulds formed in the sand, making the iron into pigs—so called from a fancied resemblance to the form of these animals. This makes the first process, and in many smelting-establishments this is all that is done, the iron in this form being sold and entering into the general consumption.
The next process is "boiling," which is a modification of "puddling," and is generally used in the best iron-works in this country. The process of puddling was invented by Henry Cort, an Englishman, and patented by him in 1783 and 1784 as a new process for "shingling, welding and manufacturing iron and steel into bars, plates and rods of purer quality and in larger quantity than heretofore, by a more effectual application of fire and machinery." For this invention Cort has been called "the father of the iron-trade of the British nation," and it is estimated that his invention has, during this century, given employment to six millions of persons, and increased the wealth of Great Britain by three thousand millions of dollars. In his experiments for perfecting his process Mr. Cort spent his fortune, and though it proved so valuable, he died poor, having been involved by the government in a lawsuit concerning his patent which beggared him. Six years before his death, the government, as an acknowledgment of their wrong, granted him a yearly pension of a thousand dollars, and at his death this miserly recompense was reduced to his widow to six hundred and twenty-five dollars.
When iron is simply melted and run into any mould, its texture is granular, and it is so brittle as to be quite unreliable for any use requiring much tensile strength. The process of puddling consisted in stirring the molten iron run out in a puddle, and had the effect of so changing its atomic arrangement as to render the process of rolling it more efficacious. The process of boiling is considered an improvement upon this. The boiling-furnace is an oven heated to an intense heat by a fire urged with a blast. The cast-iron sides are double, and a constant circulation of water is kept passing through the chamber thus made, in order to preserve the structure from fusion by the heat. The inside is lined with fire-brick covered with metallic ore and slag over the bottom and sides, and then, the oven being charged with the pigs of iron, the heat is let on. The pigs melt, and the oven is filled with molten iron. The puddler constantly stirs this mass with a bar let through a hole in the door, until the iron boils up, or "ferments," as it is called. This fermentation is caused by the combustion of a portion of the carbon in the iron, and as soon as the excess of this is consumed, the cinders and slag sink to the bottom of the oven, leaving the semi-fluid mass on the top. Stirring this about, the puddler forms it into balls of such a size as he can conveniently handle, which are taken out and carried on little cars, made to receive them, to "the squeezer."
To carry on this process properly requires great skill and judgment in the puddler. The heat necessarily generated by the operation is so great that very few persons have the physical endurance to stand it. So great is it that the clothes upon the person frequently catch fire. Such a strain upon the physical powers naturally leads those subjected to it to indulge in excesses. The perspiration which flows from the puddlers in streams while engaged in their work is caused by the natural effort of their bodies to preserve themselves from injury by keeping their normal temperature. Such a consumption of the fluids of the body causes great thirst, and the exhaustion of the labor, both bodily and mental, leads often to the excessive use of stimulants. In fact, the work is too laborious. Its conditions are such that no one should be subjected to them. The necessity, however, for judgment, experience and skill on the part of the operator has up to this time prevented the introduction of machinery to take the place of human labor in this process. The successful substitution in modern times of machines for performing various operations which formerly seemed to require the intelligence and dexterity of a living being for their execution, justifies the expectation that the study now being given to the organization of industry will lead to the invention of machines which will obviate the necessity for human suffering in the process of puddling. Such a consummation would be an advantage to all classes concerned. The attempts which have been made in this direction have not as yet proved entirely successful.
In the squeezer the glowing ball of white-hot iron is placed, and forced with a rotary motion through a spiral passage, the diameter of which is constantly diminishing. The effect of this operation is to squeeze all the slag and cinder out of the ball, and force the iron to assume the shape of a short thick cylinder, called "a bloom." This process was formerly performed by striking the ball of iron repeatedly with a tilt-hammer.
The bloom is now re-heated and subjected to the process of rolling. "The rolls" are heavy cylinders of cast iron placed almost in contact, and revolving rapidly by steam-power. The bloom is caught between these rollers, and passed backward and forward until it is pressed into a flat bar, averaging from four to six inches in width, and about an inch and a half thick. These bars are then cut into short lengths, piled, heated again in a furnace, and re-rolled. After going through this process they form the bar iron of commerce. From the iron reduced into this form the various parts used in the construction of iron bridges are made by being rolled into shape, the rolls through which the various parts pass having grooves of the form it is desired to give to the pieces.
These rolls, when they are driven by steam, obtain this generally from a boiler placed over the heating-or puddling-furnace, and heated by the waste gases from the furnace. This arrangement was first made by John Griffin, the superintendent of the Phoenix Iron-works, under whose direction the first rolled iron beams over nine inches thick that were ever made were produced at these works. The process of rolling toughens the iron, seeming to draw out its fibres; and iron that has been twice rolled is considered fit for ordinary uses. For the various parts of a bridge, however, where great toughness and tensile strength are necessary, as well as uniformity of texture, the iron is rolled a third time. The bars are therefore cut again into pieces, piled, re-heated and rolled again. A bar of iron which has been rolled twice is formed from a pile of fourteen separate pieces of iron that have been rolled only once, or "muck bar," as it is called; while the thrice-rolled bar is made from a pile of eight separate pieces of double-rolled iron. If, therefore, one of the original pieces of iron has any flaw or defect, it will form only a hundred and twelfth part of the thrice-rolled bar. The uniformity of texture and the toughness of the bars which have been thrice rolled are so great that they may be twisted, cold, into a knot without showing any signs of fracture. The bars of iron, whether hot or cold, are sawn to the various required lengths by the hot or cold saws shown in the illustrations, which revolve with great rapidity.
For the columns intended to sustain the compressive thrust of heavy weights a form is used in this establishment of their own design, and to which the name of the "Phoenix column" has been given. They are tubes made from four or from eight sections rolled in the usual way and riveted together at their flanges. When necessary, such columns are joined together by cast-iron joint-blocks, with circular tenons which fit into the hollows of each tube.
To join two bars to resist a strain of tension, links or eye-bars are used from three to six inches wide, and as long as may be needed. At each end is an enlargement with a hole to receive a pin. In this way any number of bars can be joined together, and the result of numerous experiments made at this establishment has shown that under sufficient strain they will part as often in the body of the bar as at the joint. The heads upon these bars are made by a process known as die-forging. The bar is heated to a white heat, and under a die worked by hydraulic pressure the head is shaped and the hole struck at one operation. This method of joining by pins is much more reliable than welding. The pins are made of cold-rolled shafting, and fit to a nicety.
The general view of the machine-shop, which covers more than an acre of ground, shows the various machines and tools by which iron is planed, turned, drilled and handled as though it were one of the softest of materials. Such a machine-shop is one of the wonders of this century. Most of the operations performed there, and all of the tools with which they are done, are due entirely to modern invention, many of them within the last ten years. By means of this application of machines great accuracy of work is obtained, and each part of an iron bridge can be exactly duplicated if necessary. This method of construction is entirely American, the English still building their iron bridges mostly with hand-labor. In consequence also of this method of working, American iron bridges, despite the higher price of our iron, can successfully compete in Canada with bridges of English or Belgian construction. The American iron bridges are lighter than those of other nations, but their absolute strength is as great, since the weight which is saved is all dead weight, and not necessary to the solidity of the structure. The same difference is displayed here that is seen in our carriages with their slender wheels, compared with the lumbering, heavy wagons of European construction.
Before any practical work upon the construction of a bridge is begun the data and specifications are made, and a plan of the structure is drawn, whether it is for a railroad or for ordinary travel, whether for a double or single track, whether the train is to pass on top or below, and so on. The calculations and plans are then made for the use of such dimensions of iron that the strain upon any part of the structure shall not exceed a certain maximum, usually fixed at ten thousand pounds to the square inch. As the weight of the iron is known, and its tensile strength is estimated at sixty thousand pounds per square inch, this estimate, which is technically called "a factor of safety" of six, is a very safe one. In other words, the bridge is planned and so constructed that in supporting its own weight, together with any load of locomotives or cars which can be placed upon it, it shall not be subjected to a strain over one-sixth of its estimated strength.
After the plan is made, working drawings are prepared and the process of manufacture commences. The eye-bars, when made, are tested in a testing-machine at double the strain which by any possibility they can be put to in the bridge itself. The elasticity of the iron is such that after being submitted to a tension of about thirty thousand pounds to the square inch it will return to its original dimensions; while it is so tough that the bars, as large as two inches in diameter, can be bent double, when cold, without showing any signs of fracture. Having stood these tests, the parts of the bridge are considered fit to be used.
When completed the parts are put together—or "assembled," as the technical phrase is—in order to see that they are right in length, etc. Then they are marked with letters or numbers, according to the working plan, and shipped to the spot where the bridge is to be permanently erected. Before the erection can be begun, however, a staging or scaffolding of wood, strong enough to support the iron structure until it is finished, has to be raised on the spot. When the bridge is a large one this staging is of necessity an important and costly structure. An illustration on another page shows the staging erected for the support of the New River bridge in West Virginia, on the line of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, near a romantic spot known as Hawksnest. About two hundred yards below this bridge is a waterfall, and while the staging was still in use for its construction, the river, which is very treacherous, suddenly rose about twenty feet in a few hours, and became a roaring torrent.
The method of making all the parts of a bridge to fit exactly, and securing the ties by pins, is peculiarly American. The plan still followed in Europe is that of using rivets, which makes the erection of a bridge take much more time, and cost, consequently, much more. A riveted lattice bridge one hundred and sixty feet in span would require ten or twelve days for its erection, while one of the Phoenixville bridges of this size has been erected in eight and a half hours.
The view of the Albany bridge will show the style which is technically called a "through" bridge, having the track at the level of the lower chords. This view of the bridge is taken from the west side of the Hudson, near the Delavan House in Albany. The curved portion crosses the Albany basin, or outlet of the Erie Canal, and consists of seven spans of seventy-three feet each, one of sixty-three, and one of one hundred and ten. That part of the bridge which crosses the river consists of four spans of one hundred and eighty-five feet each, and a draw two hundred and seventy-four feet wide. The iron-work in this bridge cost about three hundred and twenty thousand dollars.
The bridge over the Illinois River at La Salle, on the Illinois Central Railroad, shows the style of bridge technically called a "deck" bridge, in which the train is on the top. This bridge consists of eighteen spans of one hundred and sixty feet each, and cost one hundred and eighty thousand dollars. The bridge over the Kennebec River, on the line of the Maine Central Railroad, at Augusta, Maine, is another instance of a "through" bridge. It cost seventy-five thousand dollars, has five spans of one hundred and eighty-five feet each, and was built to replace a wooden deck bridge which was carried away by a freshet.
The bridge on the Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad which crosses the Saco River is a very general type of a through railway bridge. It consists of two spans of one hundred and eighty-five feet each, and cost twenty thousand dollars. The New River bridge in West Virginia consists of two spans of two hundred and fifty feet each, and two others of seventy-five feet each. Its cost was about seventy thousand dollars.
The Lyman Viaduct, on the Connecticut Air-line Railway, at East Hampton, Connecticut, is one hundred and thirty-five feet high and eleven thousand feet long.
These specimens will show the general character of the iron bridges erected in this country. When iron was first used in constructions of this kind, cast iron was employed, but its brittleness and unreliability have led to its rejection for the main portions of bridges. Experience has also led the best iron bridge-builders of America to quite generally employ girders with parallel top and bottom members, vertical posts (except at the ends, where they are made inclined toward the centre of the span), and tie-rods inclined at nearly forty-five degrees. This form takes the least material for the required strength.
The safety of a bridge depends quite as much upon the design and proportions of its details and connections as upon its general shape. The strain which will compress or extend the ties, chords and other parts can be calculated with mathematical exactness. But the strains coming upon the connections are very often indeterminate, and no mathematical formula has yet been found for them. They are like the strains which come upon the wheels, axles and moving parts of carriages, cars and machinery. Yet experience and judgment have led the best builders to a singular uniformity in their treatment of these parts. Each bridge has been an experiment, the lessons of which have been studied and turned to the best effect.
There is no doubt that iron bridges can be made perfectly safe. Their margin is greater than that of the boiler, the axles or the rail. To make them safe, European governments depend upon rigid rules, and careful inspection to see that they are carried out. In this country government inspection is not relied on with such certainty, and the spirit of our institutions leads us to depend more upon the action of self-interest and the inherent trustworthiness of mankind when indulged with freedom of action. Though at times this confidence may seem vain, and "rings" in industrial pursuits, as in politics, appear to corrupt the honesty which forms the very foundation of freedom, yet their influence is but temporary, and as soon as the best public sentiment becomes convinced of the need for their removal their influence is destroyed. Such evils are necessary incidents of our transitional movement toward an industrial, social and political organization in which the best intelligence and the most trustworthy honesty shall control these interests for the best advantage of society at large. In the mean time, the best security for the safety of iron bridges is to be found in the self-interest of the railway corporations, who certainly do not desire to waste their money or to render themselves liable to damages from the breaking of their bridges, and who consequently will employ for such constructions those whose reputation has been fairly earned, and whose character is such that reliance can be placed in the honesty of their work. Experience has given the world the knowledge needed to build bridges of iron which shall in all possible contingencies be safe, and there is no excuse for a penny-wise and pound-foolish policy when it leads to disaster.
* * * * *
SEARCHING FOR THE QUININE-PLANT IN PERU.
The crystal peaks of the Andes were behind our explorers: before, were their eastward-stretching spurs and their eastward-falling rivers. On the mountain-flanks, as the last landmark of Christian civilization, nestled the village of Marcapata, whose square, thatched belfry faded gradually from sight, reminding the travelers of the ghostly ministrations of the padre and the secular protection of the gobernador. Neither priest nor edile would they encounter until their return to the same church-tower. Their patron, Don Juan Sanz de Santo Domingo, was already picking his way along the snowy defiles of the mountains to attain again his luxurious home in Cuzco. Behind the adventurers lay companionship and society—represented by the dubious orgies of the House of Austria—and the security of civil government—represented by the mortal ennui of a Peruvian city. Before them lay difficulties and perhaps dangers, but also at least variety, novelty and possible wealth.
Colonel Perez, Marcoy and the examinador retained their horses, and a couple of the mozos their mules, the remainder of the beasts being kept at livery in Marcapata, and the muleteers volunteering to accompany the troupe as far as Chile-Chile: at this point the bridle-path came to an end, and the gentlemen would have to dismount, accompanying thenceforth their peons on a literal "footing" of equality.
Two torrents which fall in perpendicular cataracts from the mountains, the Kellunu ("yellow water") and the Cca-chi ("salt"), run together at the distance of a league from their place of precipitation. They enclose in their approach the hill on which Marcapata is perched, and they form by their confluence the considerable river which our travelers were about to trace, and which is called by the Indians Cconi ("warm"), but on the Spanish maps is termed the river of Marcapata.
The first ford of the Cconi was passed just outside the town, at a point where the right bank of the river, growing steeper and steeper, became impracticable, and necessitated a crossing to the left. The ford allowed the peons to stagger through at mid-leg on the uneven pavement afforded by the large pebbles of the bed. At this point the valley of the Cconi was seen stretching indefinitely outward toward the east, enclosed in two chains of conical peaks: their regular forms, running into each other at the middle of their height, clothed with interminable forests and bathed with light, melted regularly away into the perspective. Indian huts buried in gardens of the white lily which had seemed so beautiful in the chapel of Lauramarca, hedges of aloe menacing the intruder with their millions of steely-looking swords, slender bamboos daintily rocking themselves over the water, and enormous curtains of creepers hanging from the hillsides and waving to the wind in vast breadths of green, were the decorations of this Peruvian paradise.
The pretty lilies gradually disappeared, and the thatched cabins became more and more sparse, when from one of the latter, at a hundred paces from the caravan, issued a human figure. The man struck an attitude in the pathway of the travelers, his carbine on his shoulder, his fist on his hip and his nose saucily turned up in the air. Neither his Metamora-like posture nor his dress inspired confidence.
"He is evidently waiting for us," remarked Colonel Perez, an heroic yet prudent personage: "fortunately, it is broad day. I would not grant an interview to such a salteador (brigand) alone at night and in a desert."
The salteador wore a low broad felt, on whose ample brim the rain and sun had sketched a variety of vague designs. A gray sack buttoned to the throat and confined by a leathern belt, and trowsers of the same stuffed into his long coarse woolen stockings, completed his costume. He was shod, like an Indian, in ojotas, or sandals cut out of raw leather and laced to his legs with thongs. Two ox-horns hanging at his side contained his ammunition, and a light haversack was slung over his back. This mozo, who at a distance would have passed for a man of forty, appeared on examination to be under twenty-two years of age. It was likewise observable on a nearer view that his skin was brown and clear like a chestnut, and that his lively eye, perfect teeth and air of decision were calculated to please an Indian girl of his vicinity. To complete his rehabilitation in the eyes of the party, his introductory address was delivered with the grace of a Spanish cavalier.
"The gentlemen," said he, gracefully getting rid of his superabundant hat, "will voluntarily excuse me for having waited so long with my respects and offers of service. I should have gone to meet them at Marcapata, but my uncle the gobernador forbade me to do so for fear of displeasing the priest. Gentlemen, I am Juan the nephew of Aragon. It is by the advice of my uncle that I have come to place myself in your way, and ask if you will admit me to your company as mozo-assistant and interpreter."
The colonel, whose antipathy to the salteador did not yield on a closer acquaintance, roughly asked the youth what he meant by his assurance. Mr. Marcoy, however, was disposed to temporize.
"If you are Juan the nephew of Aragon," said he, "you must have already learned from your uncle that we have engaged an interpreter, Pepe Garcia of Chile-Chile."
"Precisely what he told me, senor," replied the young man; "but, for my part, I thought that if one interpreter would be useful to these gentlemen on their journey, two interpreters would be a good deal better, on account of the fact that we walk better with two legs than with one: that is the reason I have intercepted you, gentlemen."
This opinion made everybody laugh, and as Juan considered it his privilege to laugh five times louder than any one, a quasi engagement resulted from this sudden harmony of temper. Colonel Perez shrugged his shoulders: Marcoy, as literary man, took down the name of the new-comer. The nephew of Aragon was so delighted that he gave vent to a little cry of pleasure, at the same time cutting a pirouette. This harmless caper allowed the party to detect; tied to his haversack, the local banjo, or charango, an instrument which the Paganinis of the country make for themselves out of half a calabash and the unfeeling bowels of the cat.
The priest, who had recommended Pepe Garcia, had made mention of that person's fine voice, with which the church of Marcapata was edified every Sunday. The gobernador, while putting in a word for his nephew, and particularizing the beauty of his execution on the guitar, had insinuated doubts of the baritone favored by the padre. Happy land, whose disputes are like the disputes of an opera company, and where people are recommended for business on the strength of their musical execution!
Aragon quickly understood that his friend in the expedition was not Colonel Perez, who had insultingly dubbed him the Second Fiddle (or Charango). He attached himself therefore with the fidelity of a spaniel to Mr. Marcoy, walking alongside and resting his arm on the pommel of his saddle. After an hour's traverse of a comparatively desert plateau called the Pedregal, covered with rocks and smelling of the patchouli-scented flowers of the mimosa, Aragon pointed out the straw sheds and grassy plaza of Chile-Chile. This rustic metropolis is not indicated on many maps, but for the travelers it had a special importance, bearing upon the inca history and etymological roots of Peru, for it was the residence of their interpreter-in-chief, Pepe Garcia.
Introduced by the latter, our explorers made a kind of triumphal entry into the village. The old Indian women dropped their spinning, the naked children ceased to play with the pigs and began to play with the garments and equipage of the visitors, and a couple of blind men, who were leading each other, remarked that they were glad to see them.
Garcia the polyglot, radiant with importance, lost no time in dragging his guests toward his own residence, a large straw thatch surmounting walls of open-work, which took the fancy of the travelers from the singular trophy attached above the door. This trophy was composed of the heads of bucks and rams, with those of the fox and the ounce, where the shrunken skin displayed the pointed sierra of the teeth, while the horns of oxen and goats, set end to end around the borders, formed dark and rigid festoons: all vacancies were filled up with the forms of bats, spread-eagled and nailed fast, from the smallest variety to the large, man-attacking vespertilio. As a contrast to this exterior decoration, the inside was severely simple: it was even a little bare. A partition of bamboo divided the hut into kitchen and bed-room, and that was all. Into the latter of these apartments Pepe Garcia dragged the saddles of his guests, and in the former his two twin-daughters, melancholy little half-breeds in ragged petticoats, assisted their father to prepare for the wanderers a hunter's supper.
Every moment, in a dark corner or behind the backs of the company, Garcia was observed caressing these little girls in secret. Being rallied on his tenderness, he observed that the twins were the double pledge of a union "longer happy than was usual," and the only survivors of fifteen darlings whom he had given to the world in the various countries whither his wandering fortunes had led him. Still explaining and multiplying his caresses, the man of family went on with his exertions as cook, and in due time announced the meal.
This festival consisted of sweet potatoes baked in the ashes, and steaks of bear broiled over the coals. The latter viand was repulsed with horror by the colonel, who in the effeminacy of a city life at Cuzeo had never tasted anything more outlandish than monkey. Seeing his companions eating without scruple, however, the valiant warrior extended his tin plate with a silent gesture of application. The first mouthful appeared hard to swallow, but at the second, looking round at his fellow-travelers with surprise and joy, he gave up his prejudices, and marked off the remainder of his steak with wonderful swiftness. Standing behind his boarders, Pepe Garcia had been watching the play of jaws and expressions of face with some uneasiness, but when the colonel gave in his adhesion his doubts were removed, and he smiled agreeably, flattered in his double quality of hunter and cook.
The beds of the gentlemen-travelers were spread side by side in the adjoining room, and Garcia gravely assured them that they would sleep like the Three Wise Men of the East. Unable to see any personal analogy between themselves and the ancient Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar, the tired cavaliers turned in without remarking on the subject. They paused a moment, however, before taking up their candle, to set forth to Garcia in full the circumstances and nature of Juan of Aragon's engagement. This explanation, which the close quarters of the troop had made impossible during the journey, was received in excellent part by the interpreter-in-chief.
"Oh, I am not at all jealous of Aragon," said he, "and the gentlemen have done very well in taking him along. He will be of great use. He is a bright, capable mozo, who would walk twenty miles on his hands to gain a piastre. As an interpreter, I think he is almost as good as I am."
Having thus smoothed away all grounds of rivalry, the colonel, the examinador and Marcoy took possession of their sleeping-room. Here, long after their light was put out, they watched the scene going on in the apartment they had just left, whose interior, illuminated by a candle and a lingering fire, was perfectly visible through the partition of bamboo. The dark-skinned girls, on their knees in a corner, were gathering together the shirts and stockings destined for the parental traveling-bag. Garcia, for his part, was occupied in cleaning with a bit of rag a portentous, long-barreled carbine, apparently dating back to the time of Pizarro, which he had been exhibiting during the day as his hunting rifle, and which he intended to carry along with him.
The sleep under the thatched roof of Pepe Garcia, though somewhat less sound than that of the Three Magi in their tomb at Cologne, lasted until a ray of the morning sun had penetrated the open-work walls of the hut. The colonel rapidly dressed himself, and aroused the others. A disquieting silence reigned around the modest mansions of Chile-Chile. The interpreter was away, Juan of Aragon was away, the muleteers had returned, according to instructions received over-night, to Marcapata with the animals, and the peons were found dead-drunk behind the mud wall of the last house in the village.
After three hours of impatient waiting there appeared—not Garcia and Aragon, whose absence was inexplicable, but—the faithful Bolivian bark-hunters in a body. Not caring to stupefy themselves with the peons, they had gone out for a reconnoissance in the environs. Contemplating the nodding forms of their comrades, they now let out the discouraging fact that these tame Indians, madly afraid of their wild brothers the Chunchos, had been fortifying themselves steadily with brandy and chicha all the way from Marcapata. Disgusted and helpless, Perez and the examinador betook themselves to reading tattered newspapers issued at Lima a month before, and Marcoy to his note-book. Suddenly a ferocious wild-beast cry was heard coming from the woods, and while the Indian porters tried to run away, and the white men looked at each other with apprehension, Pepe Garcia and Aragon appeared in the distance. Their arms were interlaced in a brother-like manner, they were poising themselves with much care on their legs, and they were drunk. Well had the elder interpreter said that he was not jealous of Aragon. They rolled forward toward the party, repeating their outrageous duet, whose reception by the staring peons appeared to gratify them immensely.
The mozo, feeling his secondary position, had enervated himself slightly—the superior was magisterially tipsy. He wore a remarkable hat entirely without a brim, and patched all over the top with a lid of leather. His face, marked up to the eyes with the blue stubble of that beard which filled him with pride as a sign of European extraction, was swollen and hideous with drunkenness. He carried, besides the fearful blunder-buss of the night before, a belt full of pistols and hatchets. A short infantry-sword was banging away at his calves, and two long ox-horns rattled at his waist. The interpreters had been partaking of a little complimentary breakfast with the muleteers in whose care the animals had gone off to Marcapata.
A concentration of energy on the part of the chiefs of the expedition was required to set in movement this unpromising assemblage. The examinador undertook the peons: he rapped them smartly and repeatedly about the head and shoulders, until they staggered to their feet and declared that they were a match for whole hordes of Indians: this courage, borrowed from the flask, gave strong assurance that at the first alarm from genuine Chunchos they would take to their heels. Mr. Marcoy, feeling unable to do justice to the case of the nephew, turned him over to Perez, whose undisguised dislike made the work of correction at once grateful and thorough. Marcoy himself confronted the stolid and sullen Pepe Garcia, insisting upon the example he owed to the Indian porters and the responsibility of his Caucasian blood. The half-breed listened for a minute, his eyes fixed upon the ground: he then shook himself, looked an instant at his employer, and planted himself firmly on his legs. Then, determined to prove by a supreme effort that he was clear-headed and master of his motions, he suddenly drew his sword, hustled the Indians in a line by two and two, pointed out to Aragon his position as rear-guard, and cried with a voice of thunder, "Adelante!" The porters and peons staggered forward, knocking against each other's elbows and tottering on their stout legs. The three white men, burdenless, but regretting their horses, walked as they pleased, keeping the train in sight. And John the nephew of Aragon's guitar, dangling at his back, brought up the rear, with its suggestions of harmony and the amenities of life.
The first trait of aboriginal character (after this parenthetical alacrity at drunkenness) was shown after some hours of marching and the passage of a dozen streams. The porters, weakened by their drink and the extreme heat, squatted down on the side of a hill by their own consent and with a single impulse. With that lamb-like placidity and that mule-like obstinacy which characterize the antique race of Quechuas, they observed to the chief interpreter that they were weary of falling on their backs or their stomachs at every other step, and that they were resolved to go no farther. Pepe Garcia caused the remark to be repeated once more, as if he had not understood it: then, convinced that an incipient rebellion was brewing, he sprang upon the fellow who happened to be nearest, haled him up from the ground by the ears, and, shaking him vigorously, proceeded to do as much for the rest of the band. In the flash of an eye, much to their astonishment, they found themselves on their feet.
A judicious if not very discriminating award of blows from the sabre then followed, causing the Indians to change their resolve of remaining in that particular spot, and to show a lively determination to get away from it as quickly as possible. Each porter, forgetting his fatigue, and seeming never to have felt any, began to trot along, no longer languidly as before, but with a precision of step and a firmness in his round calves which surprised and charmed the travelers. Pepe Garcia, much refreshed by this exercise of discipline, and perspiring away his intoxication as he marched, began to give grounds for confidence from his steady and authoritative manner. By nightfall the whole troop was in harmony, and the strangers retired with hopeful hearts to the privacy of the hammocks which Juan of Aragon slung amongst the trees on the side of Mount Morayaca.
No effect could seem finer, to wanderers from another latitude, than this first night-bivouac in the absolute wilderness. The moon, seeming to race through the clouds, and the camp-fire flashing in the wind, appeared to give movement and animation to the landscape. The Indians, grouped around the flame, seemed like swarthy imps tending the furnace of some fantastic pandemonium. Meanwhile, amidst the constant murmurs of the trees, the nephew of Aragon was heard drawing the notes of some kind of amorous despair from the hollow of his melodious calabash. The examinador and Colonel Perez lulled themselves to sleep with a conversation about the beauties and beatitudes of their wives, now playing the part of Penelopes in their absence. To hear the eulogies of the examinador, an angel fallen perpendicularly from heaven could hardly have realized the physical and moral qualities of the spouse he had left in Sorata. The Castilian tongue lent wonderful pomp and magnificence to this portrait, and as the metaphors thickened and the superb phrases lost themselves in hyperbole, one would have thought the lady in question was about to fly back to her native stars on a pair of resplendent wings. Colonel Perez furnished an equally elaborate delineation of his own fair helpmate. As for the wife of Lorenzo, nobody knew what she was like, and the panegyric from the lips of her faithful lord rolled on in safety and success. But the personage called by Perez "his Theresa" was a female whom anybody who had passed through the small shopkeeping quarters of Cuzco might have seen every day, as well as heard designated by her common nickname (given no one knows why) of Malignant Quinsy; and, arguing in algebraic fashion from the known to the unknown, it was not difficult to be convinced that the poetic flights of the examinador were equally the work of fond flattery.
Surprised by a midnight storm, the camp was broken up before the early daylight, and our explorers' caravan moved on without breakfast. This necessary stop-gap was arranged for at the first pleasant spot on the route. An old clearing soon appeared, provided with the welcome accommodation of an ajoupa, or shed built upon four posts. At the command of Alto alli!—"Halt there!"—uttered by Perez in the tone he had formerly used in governing his troops, the whole band stopped as one person; the porters dumped their bales with a significant ugh! the Bolivian bark-hunters laid down their axes; and the gentlemen arranged themselves around the parallelogram of the hut, attending the commissariat developments of Colonel Perez. The site which hazard had so conveniently offered was named Chaupichaca. It was the scene of an ancient wood-cutting, around which the trunks of the antique forests showed themselves in a warm soft light, like the columns of a temple or the shafts of a mosque.
A detail which struck the travelers in arriving was very characteristic of these lands, filled so full of old traditions and inca customs. Chaupichaca was marked with a square terminal pillar, one of those boundaries of mud and stones, called apachectas, which Peruvian masonry lavishes over the country of Manco Capac. A rude cross of sticks surmounted this stone altar, on which some pious hand had laid a nosegay, now dried—signifying, in the language of flowers proper to masons and stone-cutters, that the work was finished and left. A little water and spirits spared from the travelers' meal gave a slight air of restoration to these mysterious offerings, and a couple of splendid butterflies, whether attracted by the flowers or the alcoholic perfume, commenced to waltz around the bouquet; but the corollas contained no honey for their diminutive trunks, and after a slight examination they danced contemptuously away.
At seven or eight miles' distance another streamlet was reached, named the Mamabamba. It is a slender affluent of the Cconi, to be called a rivulet in any country but South America, but here named a river with the same proud effrontery which designates as a city any collection of a dozen huts thrown into the ravine of a mountain. The Mamabamba was crossed by an extemporized bridge, constructed on the spot by the ingenuity of Garcia and his men. Strange and incalculable was the engineering of Pepe Garcia. Sometimes, across one of these continually-occurring streams, he would throw a hastily-felled tree, over which, glazed as it was by a night's rain or by the humidity of the forest, he would invite the travelers to pass. Sometimes, to a couple of logs rotting on the banks he would nail cross-strips like the rungs of a ladder, and, while the torrent boiled at a distance below, pass jauntily with his Indians, more sure-footed than goats. The wider the abyss the more insecure the causeway; and the terrible rope-bridges of South America, or the still more conjectural throw of a line of woven roots, would meet the travelers wherever the cleft was so wide as to render timbering an inconvenient trouble. Occasionally, on one of these damp and moss-grown ladders, a peon's foot would slip, and down he would go, the load strapped on his back catching him as he was passing through the aperture: then, using his hands to hold on by, he would compose, on the spur of the moment, a new and original language or telegraphy of the legs, kicking for assistance with all his might. Juan of Aragon was usually the hero to extricate these poor estrays from the false step they had taken, the other peons regarding the scene with their tranquil stolidity. A glass of brandy to the unfortunate would always compose his nerves again, and make him hope for a few more accidents of a like nature and bringing a like consolation.
The bridge of the Mamabamba conducted the party to a site of the same name, through an interval of forest where might be counted most of the varieties of tree proper to the equatorial highlands. Up to this point the vegetation everywhere abounding had not indicated the presence, or even the vicinage, of the cinchona. The only circumstance which brought it to the notice of the inexperienced leaders of the expedition would be a halt made from time to time by the Bolivian bark-hunters. The examinador and his cascarilleros, touching one tree or another with their hatchets, would exchange remarks full of meaning and mysteriousness; but when the colonel or Mr. Marcoy came to ask the significance of so many hints and signals, they got the invariable answer of Sister Anna to the wife of Bluebeard: "I see nothing but the forest turning green and the sun turning red." The most practical reminder of the quest of cinchona which the travelers found was an occasional ajoupa alone in the wilderness, with a broken pot and a rusted knife or axe beneath it—witness that some eager searcher had traveled the road before themselves. The cascarilleros are very avaricious and very brave, going out alone, setting up a hut in a probable-looking spot, and diverging from their head-quarters in every direction. If by any accident they get lost or their provisions are destroyed, they die of hunger. Doctor Weddell, on one occasion in Bolivia, landed on the beach of a river well shaded with trees. Here he found the cabin of a cascarillero, and near it a man stretched out upon the ground in the agonies of death. He was nearly naked, and covered with myriads of insects, whose stings had hastened his end. On the leaves which formed the roof of the hut were the remains of the unfortunate man's clothes, a straw hat and some rags, with a knife, an earthen pot containing the remains of his last meal, a little maize and two or three chunus. Such is the end to which their hazardous occupation exposes the bark-collectors—death in the midst of the forests, far from home; a death without help and without consolation.
It was not until after passing the elevated site of San Pedro, and clambering up the slippery shoulders of the hill called Huaynapata—the crossing of half a dozen intervening streamlets going for nothing—that the explorers were rewarded with a sight of their Canaan, the bark-producing region. To attain this summit of Huaynapata, however, the little tributary of Mendoza had to be first got over. This affluent of the Cconi, flowing in from the south-south-west, was very sluggish as far as it could be seen. Its banks, interrupted by large rocks clothed with moss, offered now and then promontories surrounded at the base with a bluish shade. At the end of the vista, a not very extensive one, a quantity of blocks of sandstone piled together resembled a crumbling wall. Other blocks were sprinkled over the bed of the stream; and by their aid the examinador and the colonel hopped valiantly over the Mendoza, leaving the peons, who were less afraid of rheumatism and more in danger of slipping, to ford the current at the depth of their suspender-buttons.
It was on the top of Huaynapata, while the interpreters built a fire and prepared for supper a peccary killed upon the road, that Marcoy observed the examinador holding with his Bolivians a conversation in the Aymara dialect, in which could be detected such words as anaranjada and morada. These were the well-known commercial names of two species of cinchona. The historiographer interrupted their conversation to ask if anything had yet been discovered.
"Nothing yet," replied the examinador; "and this valley of the Cconi must be bewitched, for with the course that we have taken we should long ago have discovered what we are after. But this place looks more favorable than any we have met. I shall beat up the woods to-morrow with my men, and may my patron, Saint Lorenzo, return again to his gridiron if we do not date our first success in quinine-hunting from this very hillock of Huaynapata!"
The above style of threatening the saints is thought very efficacious in all Spanish countries. Whether or not Saint Lawrence really dreaded another experience of broiling, at the end of certain hours the Bolivians reappeared, and their chief deposited in the hands of the colonel a few green and tender branches. At the joyful shout of Perez, the man of letters, who had been occupied in making a sketch, came running up. Two different species of cinchona were the trophy brought back by Lorenzo, like the olive-leaves in the beak of Noah's dove. One of these specimens was a variety of the Carua-carua, with large leaves heavily veined: the other was an individual resembling those quinquinas which the botanists Ruiz and Pavon have discriminated from the cinchonas, to make a separate family called the Quinquina cosmibuena. After all, the discovery was rather an indication than a conquest of value. The examinador admitted as much, but observed that the presence of these baser species always argued the neighborhood of genuine quinine-yielding plants near by.
In the presence of this first success on the part of the exploration set on foot by Don Juan Sanz de Santo Domingo, we may insert a few words on the nature of the wonderful plant toward which its researches were directed.
It is doubtful whether the aboriginal inhabitants of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador were acquainted with the virtues of the cinchona plant as a febrifuge. It seems probable, nevertheless, that the Indians of Loxa, two hundred and thirty miles south of Peru, were aware of the qualities of the bark, for there its use was first made known to Europeans. It was forty years after the pacification of Peru however, before any communication of the remedial secret was made to the Spaniards. Joseph de Jussieu reports that in 1600 a Jesuit, who had a fever at Malacotas, was cured by Peruvian bark. In 1638 the countess Ana of Chinchon was suffering from tertian fever and ague at Lima, whither she had accompanied the viceroy, her husband. The corregidor of Loxa, Don Juan Lopez de Canizares, sent a parcel of powdered quinquina bark to her physician, Juan de Vega, assuring him that it was a sovereign and infallible remedy for "tertiana." It was administered to the countess, who was sixty-two years of age, and effected a complete cure. This countess, returning with her husband to Spain in 1640, brought with her a quantity of the healing bark. Hence it was sometimes called "countess's bark" and "countess's powder." Her famous cure induced Linnaeus, long after, to name the whole genus of quinine-bearing trees, in her honor, Cinchona. By modern writers the first h has usually been dropped, and the word is now almost invariably spelled in that way, instead of the more etymological Chinchona. The Jesuits afterward made great and effective use of it in their missionary expeditions, and it was a ludicrous result of their patronage that its use should have been for a long time opposed by Protestants and favored by Catholics. In 1679, Louis XIV. bought the secret of preparing quinquina from Sir Robert Talbor, an English doctor, for two thousand louis-d'or, a large pension and a title. Under the Grand Monarch it was used at dessert, mingled with Spanish wine. The delay of its discovery until the seventeenth century has probably lost to the world numbers of valuable lives. Had Alexander the Great, who died of the common remittent fever of Babylon, been acquainted with cinchona bark, his death would have been averted and the partition of the Macedonian empire indefinitely postponed. Oliver Cromwell was carried off by an ague, which the administration of quinine would easily have cured. The bigotry of medical science, even after its efficacy was known and proved, for a long time retarded its dissemination. In 1726, La Fontaine, at the instance of a lady who owed her life to it, the countess of Bouillon, composed a poem in two cantos to celebrate its virtues; but the remarkable beauty of the leaves of the cinchona and the delicious fragrance of its flowers, with allusions to which he might have adorned his verses, were still unknown in Europe.
The cinchonas under favorable circumstances become large trees: at present, however, in any of the explored and exploited regions of their growth, the shoots or suckers of the plants are all that remain. Wherever they abound they form the handsomest foliage of the forest. The leaves are lanceolate, glossy and vividly green, traversed by rich crimson veins: the flowers hang in clustering pellicles, like lilacs, of deep rose-color, and fill the vicinity with rich perfume. Nineteen varieties of cinchonae have been established by Doctor Weddell. The cascarilleros of South America divide the species into a category of colors, according to the tinge of the bark: there are yellow, red, orange, violet, gray and white cinchonas. The yellow, among which figure the Cinchona calisaya, lancifolia, condaminea, micrantha, pubescens, etc., are placed in the first rank: the red, orange and gray are less esteemed. This arrangement is in proportion to the abundance of the alkaloid quinine, now used in medicine instead of the bark itself.
The specimens found by the examinador were carefully wrapped in blankets, and the march was resumed. After a slippery descent of the side of Huaynapata and the passage of a considerable number of babbling streams—each of which gave new occasion for the colonel to show his ingenuity in getting over dry shod, and so sparing his threatening rheumatism—the cry of "Sausipata!" was uttered by Pepe Garcia. Two neat mud cabins, each provided with a door furnished with the unusual luxury of a wooden latch, marked the plantation of Sausipata. The situation was level, and within the enclosing walls of the forest could be seen a plantation of bananas, a field of sugar-cane, with groves of coffee, orange-orchards and gardens of sweet potato and pineapple. The white visitors could not refrain from an exclamation of surprise at the neatness and civilization of such an Eden in the desert. At this point, Juan of Aragon, who had been going on ahead, turned around with an air of splendid welcome, and explained that the farm belonged to his uncle, the gobernador of Marcapata, who prayed them to make themselves at home. Introducing his guests into the largest of the houses, Juan presented them with some fine ripe fruit which he culled from the garden. Colonel Perez, who never lost occasion to give a sly stab to the mozo, asked, as he peeled a banana, if he was duly authorized to dispose so readily of the property of his uncle: the youth, without losing a particle of his magnificent adolescent courtesy, replied that as nephew and direct heir of the governor of Marcapata it was a right which he exercised in anticipation of inheritance; and that just as Pepe Garcia, the interpreter-in-chief, had regaled the party in his residence, he, Juan of Aragon, proposed to do in the family grange of Sausipata.
Meantime, the examinador, who had pushed forward with his men, returned with a couple more specimens of quinquina, which they had discovered close by in clambering amongst the forest. Neither had flowers, but the one was recognizable by its flat leaf as the species called by the Indians ichu-cascarilla, from the grain ichu amongst which it is usually found at the base of the Cordilleras; and the other, from its fruit-capsules two inches in length, as the Cinchona acutifolia of Ruiz and Pavon. To moderate the pleasures of this discovery, the examinador came up leaning upon the shoulder of his principal assistant, Eusebio, complaining of a frightful headache, and a weakness so extreme that he could not put one foot before the other.
The sudden illness of their botanist-in-chief cast a gloom upon the party, and utterly spoiled the festive intentions of young Aragon. Lorenzo was put to bed, from which retreat, at midnight, his fearful groans summoned the colonel to his side. The latter found him tossing and murmuring, but incapable of uttering a word. His faithful Eusebio, at the head of the bed, answered for him. The honest fellow feared lest his master might have caught again a touch of the old fever which had formerly attacked him in searching for cascarillas in the environs of Tipoani in Bolivia. These symptoms, recurring in the lower valleys of the Cconi, would make it impossible for the brave explorer safely to continue with the party. As the mestizo propounded this inconvenient theory, a new burst of groans from the examinador seemed to confirm it. The grave news brought all the party to the sick bed. Colonel Perez, whom the touching comparison of wives made in the hammocks of Morayaca had sensibly attached to Lorenzo, endeavored to feel his pulse; but the patient, drawing in his hand by a peevish movement, only rolled himself more tightly in his blanket, and increased his groans to roars. Presently, exhausted by so much agony, he fell into a slumber.
In the morning the examinador, in a dolorous voice, announced that he should be obliged to return to Cuzco. This resolution might have seemed the obstinate delirium of the fever but for the mournful and pathetic calmness of the victim. Eusebio, he said, should return with him as far as Chile-Chile, where a conveyance could be had; and he himself would give such explicit instructions to the cascarilleros that nothing would be lost by his absence to the purposes of the expedition. Yielding to pity and friendship, the colonel gave in his adhesion to the plan, and even proposed his own hammock as a sort of palanquin, and the loan of a pair of the peons for bearers. They could return with Eusebio to Sausipata, where the party would be obliged to wait for the three. After sketching out his plan, Colonel Perez looked for approval to Mr. Marcoy, and received an affirmative nod. The proposition seemed so agreeable to the sick man that already an alleviation of his misery appeared to be superinduced. He even smiled intelligently as he rolled into the hammock. In a very short time he made a sort of theatrical exit, borne in the hammock like an invalid princess, and fanned with a palm branch out of the garden by the faithful Eusebio.
"Poor devil!" said Perez as the mournful procession departed: "who knows if he will ever see his dear wife at Sorata, or if he will even live to reach Chile-Chile?"
"Do you really think him in any such danger?" asked the more suspicious Marcoy.
"Danger! Did you not see his miserable appearance as he left us?"
"I saw an appearance far from miserable, and therefore I am convinced that the man is no more sick than you or I."
On hearing such a heartless heresy the colonel stepped back from his comrade with a shocked expression, and asked what had given him such an idea.
"A number of things, of which I need only mention the principal. In the first place, the man's sickness falling on him like a thunder-clap; next, his haste in catching back his hand when you tried to feel his pulse; and then his smile, at once happy and mischievous, when you offered him the peons and he found his stratagem succeeding beyond his hopes."
"Why, now, to think of it!" said the colonel sadly; "but what could have been his motive?"
"This gentleman is too delicate to sustain our kind of life," suggested Marcoy. "He is tired of skinning his hands and legs in our service, and eating peccary, monkey and snails as we do. His Bolivians are perhaps quite as useful for our service, and while he is rioting at Cuzco we may be enriching ourselves with cinchonas."
In effect, on the return of the peons ten days after, the examinador was reported to have got quit of his fever shortly after leaving Sausipata, and to have borne the journey to Chile-Chile remarkably well. He charged his men to take back his compliments and the regrets he felt, at not being able to keep with the company.
Nothing detained the band longer at Sausipata. The ten days of hunting, botanizing, butterfly-catching and sketching had been an agreeable relief, and young Aragon had assumed, with sufficient grace, the task of attentive host and first player on the charango. The returning porters had scarcely enjoyed two hours of repose when the caravan took up its march once more.
As usual, the interpreters assumed the head of the command: the Indians followed pellmell. Observing that some of them lingered behind, Mr. Marcoy had the curiosity to return on his steps. What was his surprise to find these honest fellows running furiously through the farm, and devastating with all their might those plantations which were the pride and the hope of the nephew of Aragon! They had already laid low several cocoa groves, torn up the sugar-canes, broken down the bananas, and sliced off the green pineapples.
Indignant at such vandalism, Marcoy caught the first offender by the plaited tails at the back of the neck. "What are you doing?" he cried.
"I am neither crazy nor drunk, Taytachay" (dear little father), calmly explained the peon with his placid smile. "But my fellows and I don't want to be sent any more to work at Sausipata." As the white man regarded him with stupefaction, "Thou art strange here," pursued the Indian, "and canst know nothing about us. Promise not to tell Aragon, and I will make thee wise."
"Why Aragon more than anybody else?" asked Marcoy.
"Because Senor Aragon is nephew to Don Rebollido, the governor, and Sausipata belongs to Rebollido; and if he were to learn what we have done, we should be flogged and sent to prison to rot."
The explanation, drawn out with many threats when the Indians had been driven from their work of ruin and placed once more in line of march, was curious.
The able gobernador of Marcapata had had the sagacious idea of making the local penitentiary out of his farm of Sausipata! It was cultivated entirely by the labor of his culprits. When culprits were scarce, the chicha-drinkers, the corner-loungers, became criminals and disturbers of the peace, for whom a sojourn at Sausipata was the obvious cure. Aragon, the nephew, shared his uncle's ability, and visited the plantation month by month. But the life in this paradise was not relished by the convicts. The regimen was strict, the food everywhere abounding, was not for them, and the vicinity of the wild Chunchos was not reassuring. Often a peon would appear in the market-place of Marcapata wrapped merely in a banana leaf, which, cracking in the sun, reduced all pretence of decent covering to an irony. This evidence of the spoliation of a Chuncho would be received in the worst possible part by the gobernador, who would beat the complainant back to his servitude, remarking with ingenuity that Providence was more responsible for the acts of the savages than he was.
This strange history, told with profound earnestness, was enough to make any one laugh, but Marcoy could not be blind to its side of oppression and tyranny. This was the way, then, that the humble and primitive gobernador, who had presented himself to the travelers barefoot, was enriching himself by the knaveries of office! Marcoy could not take heart to inform Juan of Aragon of the devastation behind him, but on the other hand he resolved to correct the abuse on his return by appeal, if necessary, to the prefect of Cuzco.
A frightful night in a deserted hut on a site called Jimiro—where Marcoy had for mattress the legs of one of the porters, and for pillow the back of a bark-hunter—followed the exodus from Sausipata. The Guarapascana, the Saniaca, the Chuntapunco, flowing into the Cconi on opposite sides, were successively left behind our adventurers, and they bowed for an instant before the tomb of a stranger, "a German from Germany," as Pepe Garcia said, "who pretended to know the language of the Chunchos, and who interpreted for himself, but who starved in the wilderness near the heap of stones you see." Leaving this resting-place of an interpreter who had interpreted so little, the party attained a stream of rather unusual importance. The reputed gold-bearing river of Ouitubamba rolled from its tunnel before them, exciting the most visionary schemes in the mind of Colonel Perez, to whom its auriferous reputation was familiar. Nothing would do but that the California process of "panning" must be carried out in these Peruvian waters, and the peons, multum reluctantes, were summoned to the task, with all the crow-bars and shovels possessed by the expedition, supplemented by certain sauce-pans and dishes hypothecated from the culinary department. The issue of the stream from under a crown of indigenous growths was the site of this financial speculation. Pepe Garcia was placed at the head of the enterprise. A long ditch was dug, revealing milky quartz, ochres and clay. The deceptive hue of the yellow earth made the search a long and tantalizing one. At the moment when the colonel, attracted by something glistening in the large frying-pan which he was agitating at the edge of the stream, uttered an exclamation which drew all heads into the cavity of his receptacle, an answering sound from the heavens caused everybody suddenly to look up. An equatorial storm had gathered unnoticed over their heads. In a few minutes a solid sheet of warm rain, accompanied by a furious tornado sweeping through the valley, caused whites and Indians to scatter as if for their lives. The golden dream of Colonel Perez and the similar vision entertained by Pepe Garcia were dissipated promptly by this answer of the elements. On attaining the neighboring sheds of Maniri the gold—seekers abandoned their implements without remark to the services of the cooks, and betook themselves to wringing out their stockings as if they had never dreamed of walking in silver slippers through the streets of Cuzco. They made no further attempt to wring gold from the mouth of the Ouitubamba. As for Maniri, it was the last site or human resting-place of any, the very most trivial, kind before the opening of the utter wilderness which proceeded to accompany the course of the Cconi River.
The Bolivians imagined an exploration of a little stream on the left bank, the Chuntapunco, which they thought might issue from a quinine-bearing region. They built a little raft, and departed with provisions for three or four days. They returned, in fact, after a week's absence, with seven varieties of cinchona—the hirsuta, lanceolata, purpurea and ovata of Ruiz and Pavon, and three more of little value and unknown names.
During the absence of the cascarilleros a flat calm reigned in the ajoupa of Maniri. Garcia and the colonel, the day after their unproductive gold-hunt, betook themselves into the forest, ostensibly for game, but in reality to review their hopeful labors by the banks of the Ouitubamba. Aragon was detailed by Mr. Marcoy to accompany him in his botanical and entomological tours. On these excursions the acquaintance between the mozo and the senor was considerably developed. The youth had naturally a gay and confident disposition, and added not a little to the liveliness of the trips. Marcoy profited by their stricter connection to converse with him about the cultivation of the farm at Sausipata, making use of a venial deception to let him think that the plan of operations had been communicated by the governor himself. Aragon modestly replied that the plantation in question was only the first of a series of similar clearings contemplated by his uncle at various points in the valley. Arrangements made for this purpose with the governors of Ocongata and Asaroma, who were pledged with their support in return for heavy presents, would enable him soon to cultivate coffee and sugar and cocoa at once in a number of haciendas. The enterprise was a splendid one; and if God—Aragon pronounced the name without a particle of diffidence—deigned to bless it, the day was coming when the fortune of his uncle, solidly established, would make him the pride and the joy of the region.
It may as well be mentioned here that the subsequent career of the chest-nut-colored interpreter is not entirely unknown. In 1860, Mr. Clement Markham, collecting quinine-plants for the British government, came upon a splendid hacienda thirty miles from the village of Ayapata, in a valley of the Andes near the scene of this exploration. Here, on the sugar-cane estate named San Jose de Bellavista, he discovered "an intelligent and enterprising Peruvian" named Aragon, who appears to have been none other than our interpreter escaped from the chrysalis. His establishment was very large, and protected from the savages by two rivers, Aragon had made a mule-road of thirty miles to the village. He found the manufacture of spirits for the sugar-cane more profitable than digging for gold in the Ouitubamba or hunting for cascarillas along the Cconi. In 1860 he sent an expedition into the forest after wild cocoa-plants. An india-rubber manufactory had only failed for want of government assistance. He contemplated the establishment of a line of steamers on the neighboring rivers to carry off the commerce of his plantations. "Any scheme for developing the resources of the country is sure to receive his advocacy," says Mr. Markham: "it would be well for Peru if she contained many such men."
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
OR, THREE NIGHTS IN THE HAPPY VALLEY.
Young Mr. Leonhard Marten walked out on the promenade at the usual hour one afternoon, after a good deal of hesitation, for there was quite as little doubt in his mind as there is in mine that the thing to do was to remain within-doors and answer the letters—or rather the letter—lying on his table. The brief epistle which conveyed to him the regrets of the new female college building committee, that his plans were too elaborate and costly, and must therefore be declined, really demanded no reply, and would probably never have one. It was the hurried scrawl from his friend Wilberforce which claimed of his sense of honor an answer by the next mail. The letter from Wilberforce was dated Philadelphia, and ran thus:
"DEAR LENNY: Please deposit five thousand for me in some good bank of Pennsylvania or New York. I shall want it, maybe, within a week or so. I am talking hard about going abroad. Why can't you go along? Say we sail on the first of next month. Richards is going, and I shall make enough out of the trip to pay expenses for all hands. You'll never know anything about your business, Mart, till you have studied in one of those old towns. Answer. Thine,
When I say that Leonhard had, or had had, ten thousand dollars of Wilberforce's money, and that he was now about as unprepared to meet the demand recorded as he would have been if he had never seen a cent of the sum mentioned, the assertion, I think, is justified that his place was at his office-table, and not on the promenade. What if the town-clock had struck four? what if at this hour Miss Ayres usually rounded the corner of Granby street on her way home? But, poor fellow! he had tried to think his way through the difficulty. Every day for a week he had exercised himself in letter—writing: he had practiced every style, from the jocular to the gravely interrogative, and had succeeded pretty well as a stylist, but the point, the point, the bank deposit, remained still insurmountable and unapproachable.
Once or twice he had thought that probably the best thing to do was to go off on a long journey, and by and by, when things had righted themselves somehow, find out where Wilberforce was and acknowledge his letter with regrets and explanations. He was considering this course when he destroyed his last effort, and went out on the promenade to get rid of his thoughts and himself and to meet Miss Ayres. The present contained Miss Ayres; as to the future, it was dark as midnight; for the past, it was not in the least pleasant to think of it, and how it had come to pass that Wilberforce trusted him.
The days when he and Wilberforce were lads, poor, sad-hearted, all but homeless, returned upon him with their shadows. It was in those days that his friend formed so lofty an estimate of his exactness in figures and his skill in saving, and thus it had happened that when the engine constructed by Wilberforce began to pay him so past belief, he was really in the perplexity concerning places of deposit which he had expressed to Marten. Leonhard chanced to be with this young Croesus—who had begun life by dipping water for invalids at the springs—when the ten thousand dollars alluded to were paid him by a dealer; and the instant transfer of the money to his hands was one of those off-hand performances which, apparently trivial, in the end search a man to the foundations.
What had become of the money? Seven thousand dollars were swallowed up in a gulf which never gives back its treasure. And oh on the verge of that same gulf how the siren had sung! A chance of clearing five thousand dollars by investing that amount presented itself to Leonhard: it was one of those investments which will double a man's money for him within three months, or six months at latest. The best men of A—— were in the enterprise, and by going into it Leonhard would reap every sort of advantage. He might give up teaching music, and confine himself to the studies which as an architect he ought to pursue; and to be known among the A—- landers as a young gentleman who had money to invest would secure to him that social position which the music-lessons he gave did no doubt in some quarters embarrass.
It was while buoyed up by his "great expectations," and flattered by the attentions which strangely enough began to be extended toward him by some of the "best men"—who also were stockholders in the new sugar-refining process—that Leonhard took a room at the Granby House, and began to manifest a waning interest in his work as a music-master.
This display of himself, modest though it was, cost money. Before the letter quoted was written Leonhard had begun to feel a little troubled: he had been obliged to add two thousand dollars to his original investment, and the thought that possibly there might be a demand for a yet further sum—for some unforeseen difficulty had arisen in the matter of machinery—had fixed in his mind a misgiving to which at odd moments he returned with a flutter of spirits amounting almost to panic.
On the promenade he met Miss Ayres. She stood before the window of a music-dealer's shop, looking at the photograph of some celebrity—a tall and not too slightly-formed young lady, attired in a buff suit with brown trimmings, and a brown hat from which a pretty brown feather depended. On her round cheeks was a healthy glow, deepened perhaps by exercise on that warm afternoon, and a trifle in addition, it may be, by the sound of footsteps advancing. Yet as Leonhard approached, she, chancing to look around, did not seem surprised that he was so near. Not that she expected him! What reason had she for supposing that from his office-window he would see her the instant she turned the corner of Granby street and walked down the avenue fronting the parade-ground? No reason of course; but this had happened so many times that the meeting of the two somewhere in this vicinity was daily predicted by the wise prophets of the street.
A rumor was going about A—— in those days which occasioned the mother of our young lady a little uneasiness. When Leonhard came to A—— it was to live by his profession—music. He was an enthusiast in the science, and the best people patronized him. He might have all the pupils he pleased now, and at his own prices, thought Mrs. Washington Ayres, who had herself taught music: why doesn't he stick to his business? But then, she reminded herself, they say he has money; and he is so bewitched about architecture that he can't let it alone. Too many irons in the fire to please me! Perhaps, though, if he has money, it makes not so much difference. But I don't like to see a young man dabbling in too many things: it looks as if he would never do anything to speak of. It is the only thing I ever heard of against him; but if he can't make up his mind, I don't know as there could be anything much worse to tell of a man.
She was not far wrong in her thinking, and she had seen the great fault in the character of young Mr. Marten. It was his nature to take up and embrace cordially, as if for life, the objects that pleased him. Perhaps the tendency conduced to his popularity and reputation as a music-master, for his acquaintance with the works of composers was really vast; but the effect of it was not so hopeful when it set him to studying a difficult art almost without instruction, in the confidence that he should soon by his works take rank with Angelo, Wren and other great masters.
At the music-dealer's window Mr. Leonhard stood for a moment beside Miss Marion, and then said with a queer smile, "How cool it looks over yonder among the trees! I wish somebody would like to walk there with an escort."
"Anybody might, I should think," answered the young lady. "I have waded through hot dust, red-hot dust, all the afternoon. Besides, I want to ask you, Mr. Marten, what it means. Everybody is coming to me for lessons. Are you refusing instruction, or are you growing so unpopular of late? I have vexed myself trying to answer the question."
"They all come to you, do they? Yes, I think I am growing unpopular. And I am rather glad of it, on the whole," answered Leonhard, not quite clear as to her meaning, but not at all disturbed by it.
"I know they must all have gone to you first," she said. "Of course they all went to you first, and you wouldn't have them."
Leonhard smiled on. Her odd talk was pleasant to him, and to look at her bright face was to forget every disagreeable thing in the world. "You know I have been thinking that I would give up instruction altogether," said he; "but I suppose that unless I actually go away to get rid of my pupils, I shall have a few devoted followers to the last. The more you take off my hands the better I shall like it."
"But how should everybody know that you think of giving up instruction?" Miss Marion inquired.
"Oh, I dare say I have told everybody," he answered carelessly.
"Ah!" said she; and two or three thoughts passed through the mind of the young lady quite worthy the brain of her mother. "I am half sorry," she continued. "But at least you cannot forget what you know. That is a comfort. And I am sure you love music too well to let me go on committing barbarisms with my hands or voice without telling me."
Leonhard hesitated. How far might he take this dear girl into his secrets? "My friend Wilberforce is always saying that I ought to study abroad in the old European towns before I launch out in earnest," said he finally.
"As architect or musician?" asked the "dear girl."
"As architect, of course," he answered, without manifesting surprise at the question. "He is going himself now, and he wants me to go with him."
"Why don't you go?" The quick look with which he followed this question made Miss Marion add: "It would be the best thing in the world for—for a student, I should think. You said once that your indecision was the bane of your life. I beg your pardon for remembering it. When you have heard the best music and seen the best architecture, you can put an end to this 'thirty years' war,' and come back and settle down."