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A WALL STREET FINANCIER FLEECED.
among the hats inside, but broke our axle. Our driver hacked down a sapling with his matchet, and soon had a new one, and was again under way.
Our driver was a decided genius in his way, and with a suitable pair of pantaloons, and a clean shirt, would have done honor to Wall-street. He would hide his oxen every opportunity, and then throw a native boy in our way, who would offer to find them for $5. I need not add that the reward was divided between them. One transaction of this kind we thought quite sufficient; and in his subsequent financial transactions he was not so successful, as the sequel will show. His entire wardrobe was a shirt, which he carried in his hat. Our muchacho, who attended to the wheels, was much less encumbered. We gave him a shirt, which he very judiciously rolled up and tied around his neck; I say judiciously, for when he arrived at Chinandega he had a clean shirt to put on.
The country from Realejo to Chinandega, is a continuous mudhole, and, together with the intense heat and our wretched conveyance, made our sufferings intolerable. The distance was but seven miles, still as night overtook us, and our team gave out, we were obliged to encamp before reaching the town. In the morning, our driver went out in search of the team, but soon returned, pronouncing them unfindable. This was most vexatious. We were almost in sight of Chinandega, but with the prospect of being detained for hours. Our driver was accompanied by a worthy, of about his own age and personal appear- . ance. We sent our driver out again in search, but his companion remained. After loitering for half an hour, he proposed going out in search of the team, thought he could find them for five dollars; we, as if wishing to drive the best bargain we could, asked him if he could not find them for less; he came down to. four, three, two, and one dollar, and finally to twenty-five cents. We took him, tied his hands behind him, then tied him to a tree; we then cut a half-dozen good sized saplings, designing to “put him through a course of sprouts.” He was almost frantic, and seemed to look upon this as a crisis in his affairs. We asked him where the oxen were, he said, "just over the hill;" we asked hirn if our driver knew it, he said, “Si, Señor.” We told him to call him, and in a moment he was at hand. He looked with apparent concern at the situation of his companion, and endeavored to keep beyond the orbit of our saplings. We ordered him to back up to a tree, he fell on his knees and said he would find the team in "una momento," and in a moment they were at the tongue of our cart; we now demanded his half of the five dollars already extorted, which he immediately paid over, and seemed to breathe more freely. We now released his compan. ion, in part, in order to give him an opportunity to escape, which we saw he was anxious to do. He improved the golden moment, for as we were making certain demonstrations with our saplings he made one tremendous leap and disappeared in the chaparrals. We were soon
We were soon at Chinandega, and did not forget to deduct the other two dollars and a half from our freight bill.
Chinandega is a beautiful town, well laid out, the streets running at right angles, and built upon compactly. In the suburbs, the streets are walled up, with the fluted cactus, with an occasional opening through which you enter into ornamented groves and arbors. Nothing can exceed the beauty and luxury of these retreats.
Fruits of the most delicious flavor grow spon. taneously, every vine blooms, and the air laden with incense, breathes through, whispering gently to the foliage; here are also innumerable tropical birds, lending their notes and plumage to the scene.
This town is celebrated for its beautiful women, , and never did I look upon such specimens of female grace and loveliness. Their eyes were dark and lustrous, and their countenances, like their native clime, always beaming with sunshine. The town numbers several churches and convents of great ex. tent, one of the former being surmounted by a spacious dome and spire, (see Plate,) and furnished with an organ and valuable scriptural paintings. Near the town is a stream and pool, the favorite bathing-places of the inhabitants. (See Plate.) In the pool are seen both sexes, the Señoritas displaying their graceful forms, without the least reserve or sense of impropriety. Water is obtained here for the use of the town; bathers fill the earthen jars, when the Señoritas place them upon their heads and walk gracefully away. Here are seen a party of females preparing corn for "tortillos;" they boil it in water into which is thrown a handful of ashes; it is then put into a basket and the hull removed, by getting in with their feet; it is then washed, dried,