« AnteriorContinuar »
A HYMN OF THANKS.
bungo, when the lasso is slipped and the bullock beaten and booted until he jumps on board. Two passengers of this class will be seen cozily chewing their cuds in the midships of the two bungoes in the foreground, and one is just stepping on board that on the right. In the background is seen a party of natives, cooking and eating breakfast. They put rice and plantains together into an iron pot, and stew them into a chowder which is served out in small gourds. After spending an hour on shore, there was a simultaneous move to go on board ; the inexpressibles of some were rolled up, others pulled off. Before starting we saw one native moving towards the bungo, and one only; he was dressed in nature's garments, with a palm-leaf hat in his hand, and a bunch of stolen bananas on his shoulder. On arriving at the side of our bungo, we found the best apartments occupied by his bullockship, to which we immediately protested, as contrary to the rules of polite society; not that we wished to limit any one of the passengers in the number of legs used, but then his head-dress was “positively shocking," and might put us to great inconvenience in a case of emergency. Our first impulse was to show him the depth of water on our larboard quarter, but then he seemed quiet, and as he was engaged to appear at the table of nobility at San Juan, we resolved to submit to the inconvenience, and let him ride. We soon slipped our cables, and were under way in the direction of San Carlos. Nothing can exceed the magnificence and beauty of the scene that now surrounds us. Mountains are climbing one above the other, until the last is lost in the clouds; the lake is studded with islands, some reposing modestly in her bosom, others rearing their heads as if trying to vie with the surrounding mountains. Now night throws her sable mantle over the scene, and all is hushed as death; the surrounding volcanos light their watch fires, and loom up in the most terrific grandeur. In the morning our boatmen rose up from their seats, and, in a wild strain, chanted a hymn of praise to God for protection to themselves and “los Americanos."
In the course of the morning we passed in sight of a town, which was situated on the side of the mountain, at a great elevation, presenting a most picturesque appearance. We also saw miners at work in the gold mines, on the side of the mountain. As we
drew near San Carlos, we saw several volcanos rising, in pyra. midal form, from the bosom of the lake; one, that of Omotepeque, towering up to the height of six thousand feet. (See Plate.)
On our arrival at San Carlos we were required to submit to custom-house regulations, the officer insisting upon searching our trunks. To this we demurred, having passed through the entire country without submitting to such an ordeal. The officer seeming anxious to compromise the matter, demanded $5 in stead from each ; the Americans who had preceded us submitted to this extortion, but we were determined to resist. The officer became more moderate, coming down-down-down —to a real ; upon our refusing to pay this, he made a move in the direction of the cannon which was near; we, however, were first to possess it, and things for the moment wore a warlike appearance. The officer, not wishing to bring things to a crisis, held a consultation with our “Padrone,” and came to the conclusion that all was right, that as we were Americans he would treat us with due consideration. At the left, in the Plate, is seen the residence of this worthy officer, behind which is the village of San Carlos,