Chapter IV. A Street Fray

"Now, senor," Dias said, "as we have settled the main point, let us talk over the arrangements. What is the weight of your baggage?"

"Not more than a mule could carry. Of course we shall sling our rifles over our shoulders. We have a good stock of ammunition for them and for our pistols. We shall each take two suits of clothes besides those we wear, and a case of spirits in the event of accident or illness. We shall each have three flannel shirts, stockings, and so on, but certainly everything belonging to us personally would not mount up to more than a hundred and fifty pounds. We should, of course, require a few cooking utensils, tin plates, mugs, and cups. What should we need besides these?"

"A tent and bedding, senor. We should only have, at the start, to carry such provisions as we could not buy. When we are beyond the range of villages in the forests we might often be weeks without being able to buy anything; still, we should probably be able to shoot game for food. We should find fruits, but flour we shall have to take with us from the last town we pass through before we strike into the mountains, and dried meat for an emergency; and it would be well to have a bag of grain, so that we could give a handful or so to each of the mules. I am glad you have brought some good spirits--we shall need it in the swamps by the rivers. Your tea and coffee will save your having to buy them here, but you will want some sugar. We must take two picks and a shovel, a hammer for breaking up ore, a small furnace, twenty crucibles and bellows, and a few other things for aiding to melt the ore. You would want for the journey five baggage mules, and, of course, three riding mules. I could hardly manage them, even with aid from you, in very bad places, and I would rather not take any strange man with me on such business as we have in hand. But some assistance I must have, and I will take with me my nephew Jose. He has lost his father, and I have taken him as my assistant, and shall train him to be a guide such as I am. He is but fifteen, but he already knows something of his business, and such an expedition will teach him more than he would learn in ten years on the roads."

"That would certainly be far better than having a muleteer whom you could not trust, Dias. My brother and myself will be ready to lend you a hand whenever you want help of any kind. We have not had any experience with mules, but sailors can generally turn their hands to anything. Now, how about the eight mules?"

"I have five of my own, as good mules as are to be found in the province; we shall have to buy the three others for riding. Of course I have saddles and ropes."

"But you will want four for riding."

"No, senor; yours and the one I ride will be enough. Jose at times will take my place, and can when he likes perch on one of the most lightly laden animals."

"How much will the riding mules cost?"

"I can get fair ones for about fifty dollars apiece; trade is slack at present owing to the troubles, and there are many who would be glad to get rid of one or two of their train."

"And now, Dias, we come to the very important question, what are we to pay you for yourself, your nephew, and the five mules--say by the month?"

"I have been thinking the matter over, senor--I have talked it over with my wife"--he paused for a moment, and then said: "She wishes to go with me, senor."

Harry opened his eyes in surprise. "But surely, Dias, you could not think of taking her on such an expedition, where, as you say yourself, you may meet with many grave dangers and difficulties?"

"A woman can support them as well as a man," Dias said quietly. "My wife has more than once accompanied me on journeys when I have been working on contract. We have been married for fifteen years, and she has no children to keep her at home. She is accustomed to my being away for weeks. This would be for months, perhaps for two years. I made no secret to her that we might meet with many dangers. She says they will be no greater for her than for me. At first she tried to dissuade me from going for so long a time; but when I told her that you were sent me by the gentleman who saved my life a year after I married her, and that he had recommended you to me as standing to him almost in the relation of a son, and I therefore felt bound to carry his wishes into effect, and so to pay the debt of gratitude that I owed him, she agreed at once that it was my duty to go and do all in my power for you, and she prayed me to take her with me. I said that I would put it before you, senor, and that I must abide by your decision."

"By all means bring her with you, Dias. If you and she are both willing to share the dangers we should meet with, surely we cannot object in any way."

"Thank you, senor; you will find her useful. You have already seen that she can cook well; and if we have Jose to look after the animals when we are searching among the hills, you will find it not unpleasant, when we return of an evening, to find a hot supper ready for us."

"That is quite true, and I am sure we shall find your wife a great acquisition to our party. The only difference will be, that instead of one large tent we must have two small ones--it does not matter how small, so long as we can crawl into them and they are long enough for us to lie down. And now about payment?"

"I shall not overcharge you," Dias said with a smile. "If my wife had remained behind I must have asked for money to maintain her while we were away. It would not have been much, for she has her garden and her house, and there is a bag hid away with my savings, so that if she had been widowed she could still live in the house until she chose someone else to share it with her; she is but thirty-two, and is as comely as when I first married her. However, as she is going with us, there will be no need to trouble about her. If misfortune comes upon us and I am killed, it is likely she will be killed also. We shall have no expenses on the journey, as you will pay for food for ourselves and the animals. You will remember, senor, that I make this journey not as a business matter--no money would buy from me any information that I may have as to hidden mines or treasures,--I do it to repay a debt of gratitude to my preserver, Don Henry Barnett, and partly because I am sure that I shall like you and your brother as I did him. I shall aid you as far as lies in my power in the object for which you are undertaking this journey. Therefore until it is finished there shall be no talk about payment. You may have many expenses beyond what you calculate upon. If we meet with no success, and return to Lima empty-handed, I shall have lost nothing. I shall have had no expenses at home, my wife and I will have fed at your expense, and Jose will have learned so much that he would be as good a guide as any in the country. You could then give me the three mules you will buy, to take the place of any of mine that may have perished on the journey, and should you have them to spare, I will take a hundred dollars as a bueno mano. If we succeed, and you discover a rich mine or a hidden treasure, you shall then pay me what it pleases you. Is it a bargain?"

"The bargain you propose is ridiculously one-sided, Dias, and I don't see how I could possibly accept the offer you make to me."

"Those are my terms, senor," Dias said simply, "to take or to leave."

"Then I cannot but accept them, and I thank you most heartily;" and he held out his hand to Dias, and the Indian grasped it warmly.

"When do you propose we shall start?"

"Will this day week suit you, senor? There are the mules to buy, and the tents to be made--they should be of vicuna skin with the wool still on, which, with the leather kept well oiled, will keep out water. We shall want them in the hills, but we shall sometimes find villages where we can sleep in shelter."

"Not for us, Dias. Mr. Barnett has told me that the houses are for the most part alive with fleas, and I should prefer to sleep in a tent, however small, rather than lie in a bed on the floor of any one of them. We don't want thick beds, you know--a couple of thicknesses of well- quilted cotton, say an inch thick each, and two feet wide. You can get these made for us, no doubt."

The Indian nodded.

"That would be the best for travel; the beds the Peruvian caballeros use are very thick and bulky."

"You will want two for yourself and your wife, and two for Jose. By the by, we shall want a tent for him."

Dias smiled. "It will not be necessary, senor; muleteers are accustomed to sleep in the open air, and with two thick blankets, and a leathern coverlet in case of rain, he will be more than comfortable. I shall have five leather bags made to hold the beds and blankets. But the making of the beds and tents will take some time--people do not hurry in Lima,--and there will be the riding saddles and bridles to get, and the provisions. I do not think we can be ready before another week. It will be well, then, that you should, before starting away, visit the ruins of Pachacamac. All travellers go there, and it will seem only natural that you should do so, for there you will see the style of the buildings, and also the explorations that were everywhere made by the Spaniards in search of treasure."

"Very well, Dias; then this day week we shall be ready to start. However, I suppose I shall see you every day, and learn how you are getting on with your preparations."

Bertie had been sitting at the window looking down into the street while this conversation was going on. "Well, what is it all about?" he asked, turning round as the Indian left the room. "Is it satisfactory?"

"More than satisfactory," his brother answered. "In the first place his nephew, a lad of fifteen, who is training as a mule-driver, is going with us, which is much better than getting an outsider; in the next place his wife is going with us." "Good gracious!" Bertie exclaimed, "what in the world shall we do with a woman?"

"Well, I think we shall do very well with her, Bertie; but well or ill she has to go. She will not let her husband go without her, which is natural enough, considering how long we shall be away, and that the journey will be a dangerous one. But really I think she will be an acquisition to the party. She is bright and pretty, as you no doubt noticed, and what is of more importance, she is a capital cook."

"She certainly gave us a good meal yesterday," Bertie said, "and though I could rough it on anything, it is decidedly pleasanter to have a well- cooked meal."

"Well, you see, that is all right."

"And how many mules are we to take?"

"Five for baggage, and three for riding. I have no doubt Dias's wife will ride behind him, and the boy, when he wants to ride, will perch himself on one of the baggage mules. Dias has five mules, and we shall only have to buy the three for riding."

"What is it all going to cost, Harry?" Bertie said when his brother had told him all the arrangements that had been made. "That is the most important point after all."

"Well, you will be astonished when I tell you, Bertie, that if we don't succeed in finding a treasure of any kind I shall only have to pay for the three riding mules, and the expenses of food and so on, and a hundred dollars."

"Twenty pounds!" Bertie said incredulously; "you are joking!"

"No, it is really so; the man said that he considered that in going with me he is only fulfilling the obligation he is under to Mr. Barnett. Of course I protested against the terms, and would have insisted upon paying the ordinary prices, whatever they might be, for his services and the use of his mules; but he simply said that those were the conditions on which he was willing to go with me, and that I could take them or leave them, so I had to accept. I can only hope that we may find some treasure, in which case only he consented to accept proper payment for his services."

"Well, it is awfully good of him," Bertie said; "though really it doesn't seem fair that we should be having the services of himself, his wife, his boy, and his mules for nothing. There is one thing, it will be an extra inducement to him to try and put us in the way of finding one of those mines."

"I don't think so, Bertie; he said that not for any sum of money whatever would he do what he is going to do, but simply from gratitude to Barnett. It is curious how the traditions, or superstitions, or whatever you like to call them, of the time of the Incas have continued to impress the Indians, and how they have preserved the secrets confided to their ancestors. No doubt fear that the Spaniards would force them to work in the mines till they died has had a great effect in inducing them to conceal the existence of these places from them. Now that the Spaniards have been cleared out there is no longer any ground for apprehension of that kind, but they may still feel that the Peruvians would get the giant's share in any mine or treasure that might be found, and that the Indians would, under one pretence or another, be defrauded out of any share of it. It is not wonderful that it should be so considering how these poor people have been treated by the whites, and it would really seem that the way in which Spain has gone to the dogs is a punishment for her cruelties in South America and the Islands. It may be said that from the very moment when the gold began to flow the descent of Spain commenced; in spite of the enormous wealth she acquired she fell gradually from her position as the greatest power in Europe.

"In 1525, after the battle of Pavia, Spain stood at the height of her power. Mexico was conquered by Cortez seven years before, Peru in 1531, and the wealth of those countries began to flow into Spain in enormous quantities, and yet her decline followed speedily. She was bearded by our bucaneers among the Islands and on the western coast; the Netherlands revolted, and after fierce fighting threw oft her yoke; the battle of Ivry and the accession of Henry of Navarre all but destroyed her influence in France; the defeat of the Armada and the capture of Cadiz struck a fatal blow both to her power on the sea and to her commerce, and within a century of the conquest of Peru, Spain was already an enfeebled and decaying power. It would almost seem that the discoveries of Columbus, from which such great things were hoped, proved in the long run the greatest misfortune that ever befell Spain."

"It does look like it, Harry; however, we must hope that whatever effect the discovery of America had upon Portugal or Spain, it will make your fortune."

Harry laughed.

"I hope so, Bertie, but it is as well not to be too hopeful. Still, I have great faith in Dias, at any rate I feel confident that he will do all he can; but he acknowledges that he knows nothing for certain. I am sure, however, that he will be a faithful guide, and that though we may have a rough time, it will not be an unpleasant one. Now, you must begin to turn to account what Spanish you have learned during the voyage; I know you have worked regularly at it while you have not been on duty."

"I have learned a good lot," Bertie said; "and I dare say I could ask for anything, but I should not understand the answers. I can make out a lot of that Spanish Don Quixote you got for me, but when Dias was talking to you I did not catch a word of what he was saying. I suppose it will all come in time."

"But you must begin at once. I warn you that when I am fairly off I shall always talk to you in Spanish, for it would look very unsociable if we were always talking together in English. If you ride or walk by the side of the boy you will soon get on; and there will be Donna Maria for you to chat away with, and from what we saw of her I should say she is sociably inclined. In three months I have no doubt you will talk Spanish as well as I do."

"It will be a horrid nuisance," Bertie grumbled; "but I suppose it has got to be done."

Three days later Dias said he thought they might as well start the next day to Pachacamac.

"We shall only want the three riding mules and one for baggage. Of course we shall not take Jose or my wife. By the time we return everything will be ready for us."

"I shall be very glad to be off, Dias. We know no one here except Senor Pasquez; and although he has been very civil and has begged us to consider his house as our own, he is of course busy during the day, and one can't do above a certain amount of walking about the streets. So by all means let us start to-morrow morning. We may as well go this time in the clothes we wear, it will be time enough to put on the things we have bought when we start in earnest."

Starting at sunrise, they rode for some distance through a fertile valley, and then crossed a sandy plain until they reached the little valley of Lurin, in which stand the ruins of Pachacamac. This was the sacred city of the natives of the coast before their conquest by the Incas. During their forty-mile ride Dias had told them something of the place they were about to visit. Pachacamac, meaning "the creator of the world," was the chief divinity of these early people, and here was the great temple dedicated to him. The Incas after their conquest erected a vast Temple of the Sun, but they did not attempt to suppress the worship of Pachacamac, and the two flourished side by side until the arrival of the Spaniards. The wealth of the temple was great; the Spaniards carried away among their spoils one thousand six hundred and eighty-seven pounds of gold and one thousand six hundred ounces of silver; but with all their efforts they failed to discover the main treasure, said to have been no less than twenty-four thousand eight hundred pounds of gold, which had been carried away and buried before their arrival.

"If the Spaniards could not succeed in getting at the hiding-place, although, no doubt, they tortured everyone connected with the temple to make them divulge the secret, it is evident there is no chance for us," Harry said.

"Yes, senor, they made every effort; thousands of natives were employed in driving passages through the terraces on which the temple stood. I believe that they did find much treasure, but certainly not the great one they were searching for. There is no tradition among our people as to the hiding-place, for so many of the natives perished that all to whom the secret was known must have died without revealing it to anybody. Had it not been so, the Spaniards would sooner or later have learned it, for although hundreds have died under torture rather than reveal any of the hiding-places, surely one more faint-hearted than the rest would have disclosed them. Certain it is that at Cuzco and other places they succeeded in obtaining almost all the treasures buried there, though they failed in discovering the still greater treasures that had been carried away to be hidden in different spots. But Pachacamac was a small one in comparison with Cuzco, and it was believed that the treasures had not been carried far. Tradition has it that they were buried somewhere between this town and Lima. Doubtless all concerned in the matter fled before the Spaniards arrived, at any rate with all their cruelty the invaders never discovered its position. The report that it was buried near may have been set about to prevent their hunting for it elsewhere, and the gold may be lying now somewhere in the heart of the mountains."

Harry Prendergast and his brother looked in astonishment at the massive walls that rose around the eminence on which the temple had stood. The latter had disappeared, but its situation could be traced on the plateau buttressed by the walls. These were of immense thickness, and formed of huge adobe bricks almost as hard as stone; even the long efforts of the Spaniards had caused but little damage to them. The plateau rose some five hundred feet above the sea, which almost washed one face of it. Half-way up the hill four series of these massive walls, whose tops formed terraces, stood in giant steps some fifty feet high. Here and there spots of red paint could be seen, showing that the whole surface was originally painted. The ascent was made by winding passages through the walls. On the side of the upper area facing the sea could be seen the remains of a sort of walk or esplanade, with traces of edifices of various kinds. On a hill a mile and a half away were the remains of the Incas' temple and nunnery, the style differing materially from that of the older building; it was still more damaged than the temple on the hill by the searchers for treasure.

Pachacamac was the most sacred spot in South America, vast numbers of pilgrims came here from all points. The city itself had entirely disappeared, covered deeply in sand, but for a long distance round, it had, like the neighbourhood of Jerusalem and Mecca, been a vast cemetery, and a small amount of excavation showed the tombs of the faithful, occupied in most cases by mummies.

"We will ride across to the Incas' temple. There is not much to see there, but it is as well that you should look at the vaults in which the treasures were hid. There are similar places at Cuzco and several of the other ruins."

"It may certainly be useful to see them," Harry agreed, and they rode across the plain. Leaving their mules outside they entered the ruins. The Indian led them into some underground chambers. He had brought a torch with him, and this he now lit.

"You have to be careful or you might otherwise tumble into one of these holes and break a limb; and in that case, if you were here by yourselves, you would certainly never get out again."

They came upon several of these places. The openings were sometimes square and sometimes circular, and had doubtless been covered with square stones. They were dug out of the solid ground. For about six feet the sides of the pit were perpendicular; in some it swelled out like a great vase with a broad shoulder, in others it became a square chamber of some size.

"Some of these places were no doubt meant to store grain and other provisions," the Indian said, "some were undoubtedly treasuries."

"Awkward places to find," Harry said; "one might spend a lifetime in searching for them in only one of these temples."

"They were the last places we should think of searching," Dias said. "For years the Spaniards kept thousands of men at work. I do not say that there may not be some few places that have escaped the searchers, but what they could not with their host of workers find certainly could not be found by four or five men. It is not in the temples that the Incas' wealth has been hidden, but in caves, in deep mountain gorges, and possibly in ruins on the other side of the mountains where even the Spaniards never penetrated. There are such places. I know of one to which I will take you if our search fails elsewhere. It is near the sea, and yet there are not half a dozen living men who have ever seen it, so strangely is it hidden. Tradition says that it was not the work of the Incas, but of the people before them. I have never seen it close. It is guarded, they say, by demons, and no native would go within miles of it. The traditions are that the Incas, when they conquered the land, found the place and searched it, after starving out the native chief who had fled there with his followers and family. Some say that they found great treasure there, others that they discovered nothing; all agree that a pestilence carried off nearly all those who had captured it. Others went, and they too died, and the place was abandoned as accursed, and in time its very existence became forgotten; though some say that members of the tribe have always kept watch there, and that those who carelessly or curiously approached it have always met with their death in strange ways. Although I am a Christian, and have been taught to disbelieve the superstitions of my countrymen, I would not enter it on any condition."

"If we happen to be near it I shall certainly take a close look at it," Harry said with a laugh. "I don't fancy we should see anything that our rifles and pistols would find invulnerable."

It was getting dark by the time they had finished their inspection of the rooms, so, riding two or three miles away, they encamped in a grove up the valley. Next morning they returned to Lima. Dias had given out that the two white senors intended to visit all the ruined temples of the Incas, and as other travellers had done the same their intention excited neither surprise nor comment.

On the following evening after dark Harry and his brother were returning from the house of Senor Pasquez.

"It is a pleasant house," Harry said; "the girls are pretty and nice, they play and sing well, and are really charming. But what a contrast it was the other morning when we went in there and accidentally ran against them when we were going upstairs with their father, utterly untidy, and, in fact, regular sluts--a maid of all work would look a picture of neatness beside them."

Bertie was about to answer, when there was an outburst of shouts from a wine-shop they were passing, and in a moment the door burst open and half a dozen men engaged in a fierce conflict rushed out. Knives were flashing, and it was evident that one man was being attacked by the rest. By the light that streamed out of the open door they saw that the man attacked was Dias. It flashed across Harry's mind that if this man was killed there was an end to all hope of success in their expedition.

"Dash in to his rescue, Bertie," he cried; "but whatever you do, mind their knives."

With a shout he sprang forward and struck to the ground a man who was dodging behind Dias with uplifted knife, while Bertie leapt on to the back of another, the shock throwing the man down face forward. Bertie was on his feet in a moment, and brought the stick he carried with all his force down on the man's head as he tried to rise. Then, springing forward again, he struck another man a heavy blow on the wrist. The knife dropped from the man's hand, and as he dashed with a fierce oath upon Bertie the stick descended again, this time on his head, and felled him to the ground. In the meantime one of the assailants had turned fiercely on Harry and aimed a blow at him with his knife; but with the ease of a practised boxer Harry stepped back, and before the man could again raise the knife he leaped in and struck him a tremendous blow on the point of his chin. The fifth man took to his heels immediately. The other four lay where they had fallen, evidently fearing they would be stabbed should they try to get on to their feet.

"Are you hurt, Dias?" Harry exclaimed.

"I have several cuts, senor, but none of them, I think, serious. You have saved my life."

"Never mind that now, Dias. What shall we do with these fellows--hand them over to the watch?"

"No, senor, that would be the last thing to do; we might be detained here for months. I will take all their knives and let them go."

"Here are two of them," Bertie said, picking up those of the men he had struck.

Dias stood over the man Harry had first knocked down, and with a fierce whisper ordered him to give up his knife, which he did at once. The other was still stupid from the effect of the blow and his fall, and Dias had only to take his knife from his relaxed fingers.

"Now, senor, let us be going before anyone comes along."

"What was it all about, Dias?" Harry asked as he walked away.

"Many of the muleteers are jealous, senor, because I always get what they consider the best jobs. I had gone into the wine-shop for a glass of pulque before going round to see that the mules were all right. As I was drinking, these men whispered together, and then one came up to me and began to abuse me, and directly I answered him the whole of them drew their knives and rushed at me. I was ready too, and wounded two of them as I fought my way to the door. As I opened it one of them stabbed me in the shoulder, but it was a slanting blow. Once out they all attacked me at once, and in another minute you would have had to look for another muleteer. 'Tis strange, senors, that you should have saved my life as Mr. Barnett did. It was a great deed to risk your lives with no weapons but your sticks against five ruffians with their knives."

"I did not use my stick," Harry said. "I am more accustomed to use my fists than a stick, and can hit as hard with them, as you saw. But my brother's stick turned out the most useful. He can box too, but cannot give as heavy a blow as I can. Still, it was very lucky that I followed your advice, and bought a couple of heavy sticks to carry with us if we should go out after dark. Now you had better come to the hotel, and I will send for a surgeon to dress your wound."

"It is not necessary, senor; my wife is waiting for me in my room, she arrived this afternoon. Knife cuts are not uncommon affairs here, and she knows quite enough to be able to bandage them."

"At any rate we shall have to put off our start for a few days."

"Not at all, senor; a bandage tonight and a few strips of plaster in the morning will do the business. I shall be stiff for a few days, but that will not interfere with my riding, and Jose will be able to load and unload the mules, if you will give him a little assistance. Adios! and a thousand thanks."

"That was a piece of luck, Bertie," Harry said when they had reached their room in the hotel. "In the first place, because neither of us got a scratch, and in the second, because it will bind Dias more closely to us. Before, he was willing to assist us for Barnett's sake, now it will be for our own also, and we may be quite sure that he will do his best for us."

"It is my first scrimmage," Bertie said, "and I must say that I thought, as we ran in, that it was going to be a pretty serious one. We have certainly come very well out of it."

"It was short and sharp," Harry laughed. "I have always held that the man who could box well was more than a match for one with a knife who knew nothing of boxing. One straight hit from the shoulder is sure to knock him out of time."

Next morning Dias and his wife came up early. The former had one arm in a sling. As they entered, the woman ran forward, and, throwing her arms round Bertie, she kissed him on both cheeks. The lad was too much surprised at this unexpected salute to return it, as his brother did when she did the same to him. Then, drawing back, she poured out her thanks volubly, the tears running down her cheeks.

"Maria asked me if she might kiss you," Dias said gravely when she stopped. "I said that it was right that she should do so, for do we not both owe you my life?"

"You must not make too much of the affair, Dias; four blows were struck, and there was an end to it."

"A small matter to you, senor, but a great one to us. A Peruvian would not interfere if he saw four armed men attacking one. He would be more likely to turn down the next street, so that he might not be called as a witness. It is only your countrymen who would do such things."

"And you still think that you will be ready to start the day after to- morrow?"

"Quite sure, senor. My shoulder will be stiff and my arm in a sling for a week, but muleteers think nothing of such trifles,--a kick from a mule would be a much more serious affair."

"You don't think those rascals are likely to waylay us on the road, and take their revenge?"

"Not they, senor. If you could do such things unarmed, what could you not do when you had rifles and pistols? The matter is settled. They have not been seriously hurt. If one of them had been killed I should be obliged to be careful the next time I came here; as it is, no more will be said about it. Except the two hurt in the wine-shop they will not even have a scar to remind them of it. In two years they will have other things to think about, if it is true that Colombia means to go to war with Chili."

"What is the quarrel about, Dias?"

"The Colombians helped us to get rid of the Spaniards, but ever since they have presumed a right to manage affairs here."

"Perhaps nothing will come of it."

"Well, it is quite certain that there is no very good feeling between Chili, Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru."

"I suppose they will be fighting all round some day?"

"Yes, and it will interfere with my business. Certainly we are better off than when the Spaniards were here; but the taxes are heavy, and things don't go as people expected they would when we got rid of the Spaniards. All the governments seem jealous of each other. I don't take any interest in these matters except so far as they interfere with trade. If every man would attend to his own affairs it would be better for us all."

"I suppose so, Dias; but one can hardly expect a country that has been so many years governed by a foreign power to get accustomed all at once to governing itself." "Now, senor, I shall be glad if you will go with me and look at the stores that are already collected. I think you will find that everything is ready."