THE PEARL OF LIMA.
A STORY OF TRUE LOVE.
TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OF M. JULES VERNE.
BY ANNE T. WILBUR.
The sun had disappeared behind the snowy peaks
of the Cordilleras; but the beautiful Peruvian sky
long retains, through the transparent veil of night,
the reflection of his rays; the atmosphere is impregnated
with a refreshing coolness, which in these
burning latitudes affords freedom of breath; it is
the hour in which one can live a European life, and
seek without on the verandas some cooling gentle
zephyr; it seems as if a metallic roof was then interposed
between the sun and the earth, which, retaining
the heat and suffering only the light to pass,
offers beneath its shelter a reparative repose.
This much desired hour had at last sounded from
the clock of the cathedral. While the earliest stars
were rising above the horizon, the numerous promenaders
were traversing the streets of Lima, wrapped
in their light mantles, and conversing gravely on
the most trivial affairs. There was a great movement
of the populace on the Plaza-Mayor, that forum
of the ancient city of kings; artisans were profiting
by the coolness to quit their daily labors;
they circulated actively among the crowd, crying
their various merchandise; the ladies of Lima,
carefully enveloped in the mantillas which mask
their countenances, with the exception of the right
eye, darted stealthy glances on the surrounding
masses; they undulated through the groups of
smokers, like foam at the will of the waves; other
señoras, in ball costume, coiffed only with their
abundant hair or some natural flowers, passed in
large calêches, throwing on the caballeros nonchalant
But these glances were not bestowed indiscriminately
upon the young cavaliers; the thoughts of the
noble ladies could rest only on aristocratic heights.
The Indians passed without lifting their eyes upon
them, knowing themselves to be beneath their notice;
betraying by no gesture or word, the bitter
envy of their hearts. They contrasted strongly with
the half-breeds, or mestizoes, who, repulsed like the
former, vented their indignation in cries and protestations.
The proud descendants of Pizarro marched with
heads high, as in the times when their ancestors
founded the city of kings; their traditional scorn
rested alike on the Indians whom they had conquered,
and the mestizoes, born of their relations with
the natives of the New World. The Indians, on
the contrary, were constantly struggling to break
their chains, and cherished alike aversion toward
the conquerors of the ancient empire of the Incas
and their haughty and insolent descendants.
But the mestizoes, Spanish in their contempt for
the Indians, and Indian in their hatred which they
had vowed against the Spaniards, burned with both
these vivid and impassioned sentiments.
A group of these young people stood near the
pretty fountain in the centre of the Plaza-Mayor.
Clad in their poncho, a piece of cloth or cotton in
the form of a parallelogram, with an opening in the
middle to give passage to the head, in large pantaloons,
striped with a thousand colors, coiffed with
broad-brimmed hats of Guayaquil straw, they were
talking, declaiming, gesticulating.
"You are right, André," said a very obsequious
young man, whom they called Milleflores.
This was the friend, the parasite of André Certa,
a young mestizo of swarthy complexion, whose thin
beard gave a singular appearance to his countenance.
André Certa, the son of a rich merchant killed in
the last émeute of the conspirator Lafuente, had inherited
a large fortune; this he freely scattered
among his friends, whose humble salutations he demanded
in exchange for handfuls of gold.
"Of what use are these changes in government,
these eternal pronunciamentos which disturb Peru
to gratify private ambition?" resumed André, in a
loud voice; "what is it to me whether Gambarra
or Santa Cruz rule, if there is no equality."
"Well said," exclaimed Milleflores, who, under
the most republican government, could never have
been the equal of a man of sense.
"How is it," resumed André Certa, "that I, the
son of a merchant, can ride only in a calêche drawn
by mules? Have not my ships brought wealth and
prosperity to the country? Is not the aristocracy of
piasters worth all the titles of Spain?"
"It is a shame!" resumed the young mestizo.
"There is Don Fernand, who passes in his carriage
drawn by two horses! Don Fernand d'Aiquillo! He
has scarcely property enough to feed his coachman
and horses, and he must come to parade himself
proudly about the square. And, hold! here is another!
the Marquis Don Vegal!"
A magnificent carriage, drawn by four fine horses,
at that moment entered the Plaza-Mayor; its only
occupant was a man of proud mien, mingled with
sadness; he gazed, without seeming to see them, on
the multitude assembled to breathe the coolness of
the evening. This man was the Marquis Don Vegal,
knight of Alcantara, of Malta, and of Charles III.
He had a right to appear in this pompous equipage;
the viceroy and the archbishop could alone take precedence
of him; but this great nobleman came here
from ennui and not from ostentation; his thoughts
were not depicted on his countenance, they were
concentrated beneath his bent brow; he received no
impression from exterior objects, on which he bestowed
not a look, and heard not the envious reflections
of the mestizoes, when his four horses made
their way through the crowd.
"I hate that man," said André Certa.
"You will not hate him long."
"I know it! All these nobles are displaying the
last splendors of their luxury; I can tell where their
silver and their family jewels go."
"You have not your entrée with the Jew Samuel
"Certainly not! On his account-books are inscribed
aristocratic creditors; in his strong-box are
piled the wrecks of great fortunes; and in the day
when the Spaniards shall be as ragged as their Cæsar
de Bazan, we will have fine sport."
"Yes, we will have fine sport, dear André,
mounted on your millions, on a golden pedestal!
And you are about to double your fortune! When
are you to marry the beautiful young daughter of
old Samuel, a Limanienne to the end of her nails,
with nothing Jewish about her but her name of
"In a month," replied André Certa, proudly, "there
will be no fortune in Peru which can compete with
"But why," asked some one, "do you not espouse
some Spanish girl of high descent?"
"I despise these people as much as I hate them."
André Certa concealed the fact of his having been
repulsed by several noble families, into which he had
sought to introduce himself.
His interlocutor still wore an expression of doubt,
and the brow of the mestizo had contracted, when
the latter was rudely elbowed by a man of tall stature,
whose gray hairs proclaimed him to be at least
fifty, while the muscular force of his firmly knit
limbs seemed undiminished by age.
This man was clad in a brown vest, through which
appeared a coarse shirt with a broad collar; his
short breeches, striped with green, were fastened by
red garters to stockings of clay-color; on his feet
were sandals made of ojotas, ox-hide prepared for
this purpose; beneath his high-pointed hat gleamed
large ear-rings. His complexion was dark. After
having jostled André Certa, he looked at him fixedly,
but with no particular expression.
"Miserable Indian!" exclaimed the mestizo, raising
his hand upon him.
His companions restrained him. Milleflores, whose
face was pale with terror, exclaimed:
"André! André! take care."
"A vile slave! to presume to elbow me!"
"It is a madman! it is the Sambo!"
The Sambo, as the name indicated, was an Indian
of the mountains; he continued to fix his eyes
on the mestizo, whom he had intentionally jostled.
The latter, whose anger was unbounded, had seized
a poignard at his girdle, and was about to have
rushed on the impassable aggressor, when a guttural
cry, like that of the cilguero, (a kind of linnet of
Peru,) re-echoed in the midst of the tumult of promenaders,
and the Sambo disappeared.
"Brutal and cowardly!" exclaimed André.
"Control yourself," said Milleflores, softly. "Let
us leave the Plaza-Mayor; the Limanienne ladies
are too haughty here."
As he said these words, the brave Milleflores
looked cautiously around to see whether he was not
within reach of the foot or arm of some Indian in the
"In an hour, I must be at the house of Jew Samuel,"
"In an hour! we have time to pass to the Calle
del Peligro; you can offer some oranges or ananas
to the charming tapadas who promenade there.
Shall we go, gentlemen?"
The group directed their steps toward the extremity
of the square, and began to descend the
street of Danger, where Milleflores hoped his good
looks would be appreciated; but it was nightfall,
and the young Limaniennes merited better than ever
their name of tapadas (hidden), for they drew their
mantles more closely over their countenances.
The Plaza-Mayor was all alive; the cries and the
tumult were redoubled; the guards on horseback,
stationed before the central portico of the viceroy's
palace, situated on the north side of the square, could
scarcely maintain their position amid the shifting
crowd; there were merchants for all customers and
customers for all merchants. The greatest variety
of trades seemed to be congregated there, and from
the Portal de Escribanos to the Portal de Botoneros,
there was one immense display of articles of every
kind, the Plaza-Mayor serving at once as promenade,
bazaar, market and fair. The ground-floor of
the viceroy's palace is occupied by shops; along the
first story runs an immense gallery where the crowd
can promenade on days of public rejoicing; on the
east side of the square rises the cathedral, with its
steeples and light balustrades, proudly adorning its
two towers; the basement story of the edifice being
ten feet high, and containing warehouses full of the
products of tropical climates.
In the centre of this square is situated the beautiful
fountain, constructed in 1653, by the orders of the
viceroy, the Comte de Salvatierra. From the top of
the pillar, which rises in the middle of the fountain
and is surmounted with a statue of Fame, the water
falls in sheets, and is discharged into a basin beneath
through the mouths of lions. It is here that
the water-carriers (aguadores) load their mules with
barrels, attach a bell to a hoop, and mount behind
their liquid merchandise.
This square is therefore noisy from morning till
evening, and when the stars of night rise above the
snowy summits of the Cordilleras, the tumult of the
élite of Lima equals the matinal hubbub of the
Nevertheless, when the oracion (evening angelus)
sounds from the bell of the cathedral, all this noise
suddenly ceases; to the clamor of pleasure succeeds
the murmur of prayer; the women pause in their
walk and put their hands on their rosaries, invoking
the Virgin Mary. Then, not a merchant dares sell
his merchandise, not a customer thinks of buying,
and this square, so recently animated, seems to have
become a vast solitude.
While the Limanians paused and knelt at the sound
of the angelus, a young girl, carefully surrounded
by her discreet mantle, sought to pass through the
praying multitude; she was followed by a mestizo
woman, a sort of duenna, who watched every glance
and step. The duenna, as if she had not understood
the warning bell, continued her way through the devout
populace: to the general surprise succeeded
harsh epithets. The young girl would have stopped,
but the duenna kept on.
"Do you see that daughter of Satan?" said some
one near her.
"Who is that balarina—that impious dancer?"
"It is one of the Carcaman women." (A reproachful
name bestowed upon Europeans.)
The young girl at last stopped, blushing and confused.
Suddenly a gaucho, a merchant of mules, seized
her by the shoulder, and would have compelled her
to kneel; but he had scarcely laid his hand upon her
when a vigorous arm rudely felled him to the ground.
This scene, rapid as lightning, was followed by a moment
"Save yourself, miss," said a gentle and respectful
voice in the ear of the young girl.
The latter turned, pale with terror, and saw a
young Indian of tall stature, who, with his arms
tranquilly folded, was awaiting with firm foot the
attack of his adversary.
"We are lost!" exclaimed the duenna; "niña,
niña, let us go, for the love of God!" and she seized
the arm of the young girl, who disappeared, while
the crowd rose and dispersed.
The gaucho had risen, bruised with his fall, and
thinking it not prudent to seek revenge, rejoined his
mules, muttering threats.
EVENING IN THE STREETS OF LIMA.
Night had succeeded, almost without intervening
twilight, the glare of day. The two women quickened
their pace, for it was late; the young girl, still
under the influence of strong emotion, maintained silence,
while the duenna murmured some mysterious
paternosters—they walked rapidly through one of
the sloping streets leading from the Plaza-Mayor.
This place is situated more than four hundred feet
above the level of the sea, and about a hundred and
fifty rods from the bridge thrown over the river Rimac,
which forms the diameter of the city of Lima,
arranged in a semicircle.
The city of Lima lies in the valley of the Rimac,
nine leagues from its mouth; at the north and east
commence the first undulations of ground which
form a part of the great chain of the Andes: the valley
of Lungaucho, formed by the mountains of San
Cristoval and the Amancaës, which rise behind Lima,
terminates in its suburbs. The city lies on one
bank of the river; the other is occupied by the
suburb of San Lazaro, and is united to the city by a
bridge of five arches, the upper piers of which are
triangular to break the force of the current; while
the lower ones present to the promenaders circular
benches, on which the fashionables may lounge during
the summer evenings, and where they can contemplate
a pretty cascade.
The city is two miles long from east to west, and
only a mile and a quarter wide from the bridge to
the walls; the latter, twelve feet in height, ten feet
thick at their base, are built of adobes, a kind of
brick dried in the sun, and made of potter's clay
mingled with a great quantity of chopped straw:
these walls are calculated to resist earthquakes; the
enclosure, pierced with seven gates and three posterns,
terminates at its south-east extremity by the
little citadel of Santa Caterina.
Such is the ancient city of kings, founded in 1534
by Pizarro, on the day of Epiphany; it has been and
is still the theatre of constantly renewed revolutions.
Lima, situated three miles from the sea, was formerly
the principal storehouse of America on the
Pacific Ocean, thanks to its Port of Callao, built in
1779, in a singular manner. An old vessel, filled
with stones, sand, and rubbish of all sorts, was
wrecked on the shore; piles of the mangrove-tree,
brought from Guayaquil and impervious to water,
were driven around this as a centre, which became
the immovable base on which rose the mole of
The climate, milder and more temperate than that
of Carthagena or Bahia, situated on the opposite side
of America, makes Lima one of the most agreeable
cities of the New World: the wind has two directions
from which it never varies; either it blows
from the south-east, and becomes cool by crossing
the Pacific Ocean; or it comes from the south-west,
impregnated with the mild atmosphere of the forests
and the freshness which it has derived from the icy
summits of the Cordilleras.
The nights beneath tropical latitudes are very
beautiful and very clear; they mysteriously prepare
that beneficent dew which fertilizes a soil exposed
to the rays of a cloudless sky—so the inhabitants of
Lima prolong their nocturnal conversations and receptions;
household labors are quietly finished in the
dwellings refreshed by the shadows, and the streets
are soon deserted; scarcely is some pulperia still
haunted by the drinkers of chica or quarapo.
These, the young girl, whom we have seen, carefully
avoided; crossing in the middle of the numerous
squares scattered about the city, she arrived,
without interruption, at the bridge of the Rimac, listening
to catch the slightest sound—which her emotion
exaggerated, and hearing only the bells of a train
of mules conducted by its arriero, or the joyous stribillo
of some Indian.
This young girl was called Sarah, and was returning
to the house of the Jew Samuel, her father; she
was clad in a saya of satin—a kind of petticoat of a
dark color, plaited in elastic folds, and very narrow
at the bottom, which compelled her to take short
steps, and gave her that graceful delicacy peculiar to
the Limanienne ladies; this petticoat, ornamented
with lace and flowers, was in part covered with a silk
mantle, which was raised above the head and enveloped
it like a hood; stockings of exquisite fineness
and little satin shoes peeped out beneath the
graceful saya; bracelets of great value encircled the
arms of the young girl, whose rich toilet was of
exquisite taste, and her whole person redolent of
that charm so well expressed by the Spanish word
Milleflores might well say to André Certa that his
betrothed had nothing of the Jewess but the name,
for she was a faithful specimen of those admirable
señoras whose beauty is above all praise.
The duenna, an old Jewess, whose countenance
was expressive of avarice and cupidity, was a devoted
servant of Samuel, who paid her liberally.
At the moment when these two women entered the
suburb of San Lazaro, a man, clad in the robe of a
monk, and with his head covered with a cowl,
passed near them and looked at them attentively.
This man, of tall stature, possessed a countenance
expressive of gentleness and benevolence; it was
Padre Joachim de Camarones; he threw a glance
of intelligence on Sarah, who immediately looked at
The latter was still grumbling, muttering and
whining, which prevented her seeing any thing; the
young girl turned toward the good father and made a
graceful sign with her hand.
"Well, señora," said the old woman, sharply, "is it
not enough to have been insulted by these Christians,
that you should stop to look at a priest?"
Sarah did not reply.
"Shall we see you one day, with rosary in hand,
engaged in the ceremonies of the church?"
The ceremonies of the church—las funciones de
iglesia—are the great business of the Limanian
"You make strange suppositions," replied the
young girl, blushing.
"Strange as your conduct! What would my master
Samuel say, if he knew what had taken place
"Am I to blame because a brutal muleteer chose
to address me?"
"I understand, señora," said the old woman,
shaking her head, "and will not speak of the
"Then the young man did wrong in defending me
from the abuse of the populace?"
"Is it the first time the Indian has thrown himself
in your way?"
The countenance of the young girl was fortunately
sheltered by her mantle, for the darkness
would not have sufficed to conceal her emotion from
the inquisitive glance of the duenna.
"But let us leave the Indian where he is," resumed
the old woman, "it is not my business to
watch him. What I complain of is, that in order
not to disturb these Christians, you wished to remain
among them! Had you not some desire to kneel
with them? Ah, señora, your father would soon
dismiss me if I were guilty of such apostasy."
But the young girl no longer heard; the remark
of the old woman on the subject of the young Indian
had inspired her with sweeter thoughts; it
seemed to her that the intervention of this young
man was providential; and she turned several times
to see if he had not followed her in the shadow.
Sarah had in her heart a certain natural confidence
which became her wonderfully; she felt herself to
be the child of these warm latitudes, which the sun
decorates with surprising vegetation; proud as a
Spaniard, if she had fixed her regards on this man,
it was because he had stood proudly in the presence
of her pride, and had not begged a glance as a reward
of his protection.
In imagining that the Indian was near her, Sarah
was not mistaken; Martin Paz, after having come
to the assistance of the young girl, wished to ensure
her safe retreat; so when the promenaders had dispersed,
he followed her, without being perceived
by her, but without concealing himself; the darkness
alone favoring his pursuit.
This Martin Paz was a handsome young man,
wearing with unparalleled nobility the national costume
of the Indian of the mountains; from his broad-brimmed
straw hat escaped fine black hair, whose
curls harmonized with the bronze of his manly face.
His eyes shone with infinite sweetness, like the
transparent atmosphere of starry nights; his well-formed
nose surmounted a pretty mouth, unlike that
of most of his race. He was one of the noblest descendants
of Manco-Capac, and his veins were full
of that ardent blood which leads men to the accomplishment
of lofty deeds.
He was proudly draped in his poncho of brilliant
colors; at his girdle hung one of those Malay poignards,
so terrible in a practiced hand, for they seem
to be riveted to the arm which strikes. In North
America, on the shores of Lake Ontario, Martin
Paz would have been a great chief among those
wandering tribes which have fought with the English
so many heroic combats.
Martin Paz knew that Sarah was the daughter of
the wealthy Samuel; he knew her to be the most
charming woman in Lima; he knew her to be betrothed
to the opulent mestizo André Certa; he
knew that by her birth, her position and her wealth
she was beyond the reach of his heart; but he forgot
all these impossibilities in his all-absorbing passion.
It seemed to him that this beautiful young girl belonged
to him, as the llama to the Peruvian forests,
as the eagle to the depths of immensity.
Plunged in his reflections, Martin Paz hastened
his steps to see the saya of the young girl sweep
the threshold of the paternal dwelling; and Sarah
herself, half-opening then her mantilla, cast on him
a bewildering glance of gratitude.
He was quickly joined by two Indians of the
species of zambos, pillagers and robbers, who walked
"Martin Paz," said one of them to him, "you
ought this very evening to meet our brethren in the
"I shall be there," coldly replied the other.
"The schooner Annonciation has appeared in
sight from Callao, tacked for a few moments, then,
protected by the point, rapidly disappeared. She
will undoubtedly approach the land near the mouth
of the Rimac, and our bark canoes must be there to
relieve her of her merchandise. We shall need
"You are losing time by your observations.
Martin Paz knows his duty and he will do it."
"It is in the name of the Sambo that we speak to
"It is in my own name that I speak to you."
"Do you not fear that he will find your presence
in the suburb of San Lazaro at this hour unaccountable?"
"I am where my fancy and my will have brought
"Before the house of the Jew?"
"Those of my brethren who are disposed to find
fault can meet me to-night in the mountain."
The eyes of the three men sparkled, and this was
all. The zambos regained the bank of the Rimac,
and the sound of their footsteps died away in the
Martin Paz had hastily approached the house of
the Jew. This house, like all those of Lima, had
but two stories; the ground floor, built of bricks,
was surmounted with walls formed of canes tied
together and covered with plaster; all this part of
the building, constructed to resist earthquakes, imitated,
by a skillful painting, the bricks of the lower
story; the square roof, called asoetas, was covered
with flowers, and formed a terrace full of perfumes
and pretty points of view.
A vast gate, placed between two pavilions, gave
access to a court; but as usual, these pavilions had
no window opening upon the street.
The clock of the parish church was striking eleven
when Martin Paz stopped before the dwelling of
Sarah. Profound silence reigned around; a flickering
light within proved that the saloon of the Jew
Samuel was still occupied.
Why does the Indian stand motionless before
these silent walls? The cool atmosphere woos him
with its transparency and its perfumes; the radiant
stars send down upon the sleeping earth rays of diaphanous
mildness; the white constellations illumine
the darkness with their enchanting light; his heart
believes in those sympathetic communications which
brave time and distance.
A white form appears upon the terrace amid the
flowers to which night has only left a vague outline,
without diminishing their delicious perfumes; the
dahlias mingle with the mentzelias, with the helianthus,
and, beneath the occidental breeze, form a
waving basket which surrounds Sarah, the young
and beautiful Jewess.
Martin Paz involuntarily raises his hands and
clasps them with adoration. Suddenly the white
form sinks down, as if terrified.
Martin Paz turns, and finds himself face to face
with André Certa.
"Since when do the Indians pass their nights in
André Certa spoke angrily.
"Since the Indians have trodden the soil of their
"Have they no longer, on the mountain side,
some yaravis to chant, some boleros to dance with
the girls of their caste?"
"The cholos," replied the Indian, in a high voice,
"bestow their devotion where it is merited; the Indians
love according to their hearts."
André Certa became pale with anger; he advanced
a step toward his immovable rival.
"Wretch! will you quit this place?"
"Rather quit it yourself," shouted Martin Paz;
and two poignards gleamed in the two right hands of
the adversaries; they were of equal stature, they
seemed of equal strength, and the lightnings of their
eyes were reflected in the steel of their arms.
André Certa rapidly raised his arm, which he
dropped still more quickly. But his poignard had
encountered the Malay poignard of the Indian; at
the fire which flashed from this shock, André saw
the arm of Martin Paz suspended over his head, and
immediately rolled on the earth, his arm pierced
"Help, help!" he exclaimed.
The door of the Jew's house opened at his cries.
Some mestizoes ran from a neighboring house; some
pursued the Indian, who fled rapidly; others raised
the wounded man. He had swooned.
"Who is this man?" said one of them. "If he
is a sailor, take him to the hospital of Spiritu Santo;
if an Indian, to the hospital of Santa Anna."
An old man advanced toward the wounded youth;
he had scarcely looked upon him when he exclaimed:
"Let the poor young man be carried into my
house. This is a strange mischance."
This man was the Jew Samuel; he had just recognized
the betrothed of his daughter.
Martin Paz, thanks to the darkness and the rapidity
of his flight, may hope to escape his pursuers;
he has risked his life; an Indian assassin of a mestizo!
If he can gain the open country he is safe, but
he knows that the gates of the city are closed at
eleven o'clock in the evening, not to be re-opened
till four in the morning.
He reaches at last the stone bridge which he had
already crossed. The Indians, and some soldiers
who had joined them, pursue him closely; he springs
upon the bridge. Unfortunately a patrol appears at
the opposite extremity; Martin Paz can neither advance
nor retrace his steps; without hesitation he
clears the parapet and leaps into the rapid current
which breaks against the corners of the stones.
The pursuers spring upon the banks below the
bridge to seize the swimmer at his landing.
But it is in vain; Martin Paz does not re-appear.
THE JEW EVERY WHERE A JEW.
André Certa, once introduced into the house of
Samuel, and laid in a bed hastily prepared, recovered
his senses and pressed the hand of the old
Jew. The physician, summoned by one of the domestics,
was promptly in attendance. The wound
appeared to be a slight one; the shoulder of the
mestizo had been pierced in such a manner that
the steel had only glided among the flesh. In a
few days, André Certa might be once more upon his
When Samuel was left alone with André, the latter
said to him:
"You would do well to wall up the gate which
leads to your terrace, Master Samuel."
"What fear you, André?"
"I fear lest Sarah should present herself there to
the contemplation of the Indians. It was not a robber
who attacked me; it was a rival, from whom I
have escaped but by miracle!"
"By the holy tables, it is a task to bring up young
girls!" exclaimed the Jew. "But you are mistaken,
señor," he resumed, "Sarah will be a dutiful
spouse. I spare no pains that she may do you
André Certa half raised himself on his elbow.
"Master Samuel, there is one thing which you
do not enough remember, that I pay you for the
hand of Sarah a hundred thousand piasters."
"Señor," replied the Jew, with a miserly chuckle,
"I remember it so well, that I am ready now to exchange
this receipt for the money."
As he said this, Samuel drew from his pocket-book
a paper which André Certa repulsed with his
"The bargain is not complete until Sarah has become
my wife, and she will never be such if her
hand is to be disputed by such an adversary. You
know, Master Samuel, what is my object; in
espousing Sarah, I wish to be the equal of this nobility
which casts such scornful glances upon us."
"And you will, señor, for you see the proudest
grandees of Spain throng our saloons, around the
pearl of Lima."
"Where has Sarah been this evening?"
"To the Israelitish temple, with old Ammon."
"Why should Sarah attend your religious rites?"
"I am a Jew, señor," replied Samuel proudly,
"and would Sarah be my daughter if she did not
fulfill the duties of my religion?"
The old Jew remained sad and silent for several
minutes. His bent brow rested on one of his
withered hands. His face usually bronze, was now
almost pale; beneath a brown cap appeared locks
of an indescribable color. He was clad in a sort of
great-coat fastened around the waist.
This old man trafficked every where and in every
thing; he might have been a descendant of the Judas
who sold his Master for thirty pieces of silver. He
had been a resident of Lima ten years; his taste and
his economy had led him to choose his dwelling at
the extremity of the suburb of San Lazaro, and from
thence he entered into various speculations to make
money. By degrees, Samuel assumed a luxury uncommon
in misers; his house was sumptuously furnished;
his numerous domestics, his splendid equipages
betokened immense revenues. Sarah was then
eight years of age. Already graceful and charming,
she pleased all, and was the idol of the Jew. All
her inclinations were unhesitatingly gratified. Always
elegantly dressed, she attracted the eyes of the
most fastidious, of which her father seemed strangely
careless. It will readily be understood how the
mestizo, André Certa, became enamored of the
beautiful Jewess. What would have appeared inexplicable
to the public, was the hundred thousand
piasters, the price of her hand; but this bargain was
secret. And besides, Samuel trafficked in sentiments
as in native productions. A banker, usurer, merchant,
ship-owner, he had the talent to do business
with everybody. The schooner Annonciation, which
was hovering about the mouth of the Rimac, belonged
to the Jew Samuel.
Amid this life of business and speculation this
man fulfilled the duties of his religion with scrupulous
punctuality; his daughter had been carefully
instructed in the Israelitish faith and practices.
So, when the mestizo had manifested his displeasure
on this subject, the old man remained mute
and pensive, and André Certa broke the silence,
"Do you forget that the motive for which I
espouse Sarah will compel her to become a convert
to Catholicism? It is not my fault," added the mestizo;
"but in spite of you, in spite of me, in spite of
herself, it will be so."
"You are right," said the Jew sadly; "but, by
the Bible, Sarah shall be a Jewess as long as she is
At this moment the door of the chamber opened,
and the major-domo of the Jew Samuel respectfully
"Is the murderer arrested?" asked the old man.
"We have reason to believe he is dead!"
"Dead!" repeated André, with a joyful exclamation.
"Caught between us and a company of soldiers,"
replied the major-domo, "he was obliged to leap
over the parapet of the bridge."
"He has thrown himself into the Rimac!" exclaimed
"And how do you know that he has not reached
the shore?" asked Samuel.
"The melting of the snow has made the current
rapid at that spot; besides, we stationed ourselves
on each side of the river, and he did not re-appear.
I have left sentinels who will pass the night in
watching the banks."
"It is well," said the old man; "he has met
with a just fate. Did you recognize him in his
"Perfectly, sir; it was Martin Paz, the Indian of
"Has this man been observing Sarah for some
"I do not know," replied the servant.
"Summon old Ammon."
The major-domo withdrew.
"These Indians," said the old man, "have secret
understandings among themselves; I must know
whether the pursuit of this man dates from a distant
The duenna entered, and remained standing before
"Does my daughter," asked Samuel, "know any
thing of what has taken place this morning?"
"When the cries of your servants awoke me, I
ran to the chamber of the señora, and found her almost
motionless and of a mortal paleness."
"Fatality!" said Samuel; "continue," added he,
seeing that the mestizo was apparently asleep.
"To my urgent inquiries as to the cause of her
agitation, the señora would not reply; she retired
without accepting my services, and I withdrew."
"Has this Indian often thrown himself in her
"I do not know, master; nevertheless I have
often met him in the streets of San Lazaro."
"And you have told me nothing of this?"
"He came to her assistance this evening on the
Plaza-Mayor," added the old duenna.
"Her assistance! how?"
The old woman related the scene with downcast
"Ah! my daughter wish to kneel among these
Christians!" exclaimed the Jew, angrily; "and I
knew nothing of all this! You deserve that I should
The duenna went out of the room in confusion.
"Do you not see that the marriage should take
place soon?" said André Certa. "I am not asleep,
Master Samuel! But I need rest, now, and I will
dream of our espousals."
At these words, the old man slowly retired. Before
regaining his room, he wished to assure himself
of the condition of his daughter, and softly entered
the chamber of Sarah.
The young girl was in an agitated slumber, in the
midst of the rich silk drapery around her; a watch-lamp
of alabaster, suspended from the arabesques of
the ceiling, shed its soft light upon her beautiful countenance;
the half-open window admitted, through
lowered blinds, the quiet coolness of the air, impregnated
with the penetrating perfumes of the aloes
and magnolia; creole luxury was displayed in the
thousand objects of art which good taste and grace
had dispersed on richly carved étagères; and, beneath
the vague and placid rays of night, it seemed
as if the soul of the child was sporting amid these
The old man approached the bed of Sarah: he
bent over her to listen. The beautiful Jewess
seemed disturbed by sorrowful thoughts, and more
than once the name of Martin Paz escaped her
Samuel regained his chamber, uttering maledictions.
At the first rays of morning, Sarah hastily arose.
Liberta, a full-blooded Indian attached to her service,
hastened to her; and, in pursuance of her orders,
saddled a mule for his mistress and a horse for
Sarah was accustomed to take morning-rides, accompanied
by this Indian, who was entirely devoted
She was clad in a saya of a brown color, and a
mantle of cashmere with long tassels; her head was
not covered with the usual hood, but sheltered beneath
the broad brim of a straw hat, which left her
long black tresses to float over her shoulders; and to
conceal any unusual pre-occupation, she held between
her lips a cigarette of perfumed tobacco.
Liberta, clad like an Indian of the mountains, prepared
to accompany his mistress.
"Liberta," said the young girl to him, "remember
to be blind and dumb."
Once in the saddle, Sarah left the city as usual,
and began to ride through the country; she directed
her way toward Callao. The port was in full animation:
there had been a conflict during the night
between the revenue-officers and a schooner, whose
undecided movements betrayed a fraudulent speculation.
The Annonciation seemed to have been
awaiting some suspicious barks near the mouth
of the Rimac; but before the latter could reach her,
she had been compelled to flee before the custom-house
boats, which had boldly given her chase.
Various rumors were in circulation respecting the
destination of this vessel—which bore no name on
her stern. According to some, this schooner, laden
with Colombian troops, was seeking to seize the
principal vessels of Callao; for Bolivar had it in his
heart to revenge the affront given to the soldiers left
by him in Peru, and who had been driven from it in
According to others, the schooner was simply a
smuggler of European goods.
Without troubling herself about these rumors,
more or less important, Sarah, whose ride to the
port had been only a pretext, returned toward
Lima, which she reached near the banks of the
She ascended them toward the bridge: numbers
of soldiers, mestizoes, and Indians, were stationed at
various points on the shore.
Liberta had acquainted the young girl with the
events of the night. In compliance with her orders,
he interrogated some Indians leaning over the parapet,
and learned that although Martin Paz had been
undoubtedly drowned, his body had not yet been recovered.
Sarah was pale and almost fainting; it required
all her strength of soul not to abandon herself to her
Among the people wandering on the banks, she
remarked an Indian with ferocious features—the
Sambo! He was crouched on the bank, and seemed
a prey to despair.
As Sarah passed near the old mountaineer, she
heard these words, full of gloomy anger:
"Wo! wo! They have killed the son of the
Sambo! They have killed my son!"
The young girl resolutely drew herself up, made
a sign to Liberta to follow her; and this time, without
caring whether she was observed or not, went
directly to the church of Santa Anna; left her mule
in charge of the Indian, entered the Catholic temple,
and asking for the good Father Joachim, knelt on the
stone steps, praying to Jesus and Mary for the soul
of Martin Paz.
A SPANISH GRANDEE.
Any other than the Indian, Martin Paz, would
have, indeed, perished in the waters of the Rimac;
to escape death, his surprising strength, his insurmountable
will, and especially his sublime coolness,
one of the privileges of the free hordes of the pampas
of the New World, had all been found necessary.
Martin knew that his pursuers would concentrate
their efforts to seize him below the bridge; it seemed
impossible for him to overcome the current, and
that the Indian must be carried down; but by vigorous
strokes he succeeded in stemming the torrent;
he dived repeatedly, and finding the under-currents
less strong, at last ventured to land, and concealed
himself behind a thicket of mangrove-trees.
But what was to become of him? Retreat was
perilous; the soldiers might change their plans and
ascend the river; the Indian must then inevitably be
captured; he would lose his life, and, worse yet,
Sarah. His decision was rapidly made; through
the narrow streets and deserted squares he plunged
into the heart of the city; but it was important that
he should be supposed dead; he therefore avoided
being seen, since his garments, dripping with water
and covered with sea-weed, would have betrayed
To avoid the indiscreet glances of some belated
inhabitants, Martin Paz was obliged to pass through
one of the widest streets of the city; a house still brilliantly
illuminated presented itself: the port-cochere
was open to give passage to the elegant equipages
which were issuing from the court, and conveying
to their respective dwellings the nobles of the
The Indian adroitly glided into this magnificent
dwelling; he could not remain in the street, where
curious zambos were thronging around, attracted
by the carriages. The gates of the hotel were soon
carefully closed, and the Indian found flight impossible.
Some lacqueys were going to and fro in the court;
Martin Paz rapidly passed up a rich stairway of
cedar-wood, ornamented with valuable tapestry;
the saloons, still illuminated, presented no convenient
place of refuge; he crossed them with the
rapidity of lightning, and disappeared in a room
filled with protecting darkness.
The last lustres were quickly extinguished, and
the house became profoundly silent.
The Indian Paz, as a man of energy to whom moments
are precious, hastened to reconnoitre the
place, and to find the surest means of evasion; the
windows of this chamber opened on an interior
garden; flight was practicable, and Martin Paz was
about to spring from them, when he heard these
"Señor, you have forgotten to take the diamonds
which I had left on that table!"
Martin Paz turned. A man of noble stature and
of great pride of countenance was pointing to a
At this insult Martin Paz laid his hand on his
poignard. He approached the Spaniard, who stood
unmoved, and, in a first impulse of indignation,
raised his arm to strike him; but turning his weapon
against himself, said, in a deep tone,
"Señor, if you repeat such words, I will kill myself
at your feet."
The Spaniard, astonished, looked at the Indian
more attentively, and through his tangled and dripping
locks perceived so lofty a frankness, that he
felt a strange sympathy fill his heart. He went toward
the window, gently closed it, and returned
toward the Indian, whose poignard had fallen to
"Who are you?" said he to him.
"The Indian, Martin Paz. I am pursued by
soldiers for having defended myself against a mestizo
who attacked me, and levelled him to the ground
with a blow from my poignard. This mestizo is
the betrothed of a young girl whom I love. Now,
señor, you can deliver me to my enemies, if you
judge it noble and right."
"Sir," replied the Spaniard, gravely, "I depart
to-morrow for the Baths of Chorillos; if you please
to accompany me, you will be for the present safe
from pursuit, and will never have reason to complain
of the hospitality of the Marquis Don Vegal."
Martin Paz bent coldly without manifesting any
"You can rest until morning on this bed," resumed
Don Vegal; "no one here will suspect your
retreat. Good-night, señor!"
The Spaniard went out of the room, and left the
Indian, moved to tears by a confidence so generous;
he yielded himself entirely to the protection of the
marquis, and without thinking that his slumbers
might be taken advantage of to seize him, slept with
The next day, at sunrise, the marquis gave
the last orders for his departure, and summoned the
Jew Samuel to come to him; in the meantime he
attended the morning mass.
This was a custom generally observed by the
aristocracy. From its very foundation Lima had
been essentially Catholic. Besides its numerous
churches, it numbered twenty-two convents, seventeen
monasteries, and four beaterios, or houses of
retreat for females who did not take the vows.
Each of these establishments possessed a chapel,
so that there were at Lima more than a hundred
edifices for worship, where eight hundred secular or
regular priests, three hundred religieuses, lay-brothers
and sisters, performed the duties of religion.
As Don Vegal entered the church of Santa Anna,
he noticed a young girl kneeling in prayer and in
tears. There was so much of grief in her depression,
that the marquis could not look at her without
emotion; and he was preparing to console her by
some kind words, when Father Joachim de Camarones
approached him, saying in a low voice:
"Señor Don Vegal, pray do not approach her."
Then he made a sign to Sarah, who followed him
to an obscure and deserted chapel.
Don Vegal directed his steps to the altar and listened
to the mass; then, as he was returning, he
thought involuntarily of the deep sadness of the
kneeling maiden. Her image followed him to his
hotel, and remained deeply engraven in his soul.
Don Vegal found in his saloon the Jew Samuel,
who had come in compliance with his request.
Samuel seemed to have forgotten the events of the
night; the hope of gain animated his countenance
with a natural gayety.
"What is your lordship's will?" asked he of the
"I must have thirty thousand piasters within an
"Thirty thousand piasters! And who has them!
By the holy king David, my lord, I am far from being
able to furnish such a sum."
"Here are some jewels of great value," resumed
Don Vegal, without noticing the language of the
Jew; "besides I can sell you at a low price a considerable
estate near Cusco."
"Ah! señor, lands ruin us—we have not arms
enough left to cultivate them; the Indians have
withdrawn to the mountains, and our harvests do
not pay us for the trouble they cost."
"At what value do you estimate these diamonds?"
Samuel drew from his pocket a little pair of scales
and began to weigh the stones with scrupulous skill.
As he did this, he continued to talk, and, as was his
custom, depreciated the pledges offered him.
"Diamonds! a poor investment! What would
they bring? One might as well bury money! You
will notice, señor, that this is not of the purest water.
Do you know that I do not find a ready market for
these costly ornaments? I am obliged to send such
merchandise to the United Provinces! The Americans
would buy them, undoubtedly, but to give
them up to the sons of Albion. They wish besides,
and it is very just, to gain an honest per centage, so
that the depreciation falls upon me. I think that
ten thousand piasters should satisfy your lordship.
It is little, I know; but——"
"Have I not said," resumed the Spaniard, with a
sovereign air of scorn, "that ten thousand piasters
would not suffice?"
"Señor, I cannot give you a half real more!"
"Take away these caskets and bring me the sum I
ask for. To complete the thirty thousand piasters
which I need, you will take a mortgage on this
house. Does it seem to you to be solid?"
"Ah, señor, in this city, subject to earthquakes,
one knows not who lives or dies, who stands or
And, as he said this, Samuel let himself fall on his
heels several times to test the solidity of the floors.
"Well, to oblige your lordship, I will furnish you
with the required sum; although, at this moment I
ought not to part with money; for I am about to
marry my daughter to the caballero André Certa.
Do you know him, sir?"
"I do not know him, and I beg of you to send me
this instant, the sum agreed upon. Take away these
"Will you have a receipt for them?" asked the
Don Vegal passed into the adjoining room, without
"Proud Spaniard!" muttered Samuel, "I will
crush thy insolence, as I disperse thy riches! By
Solomon! I am a skillful man, since my interests
keep pace with my sentiments."
Don Vegal, on leaving the Jew, had found Martin
Paz in profound dejection of spirits, mingled with
"What is the matter?" he asked affectionately.
"Señor, it is the daughter of the Jew whom I
"A Jewess!" exclaimed Don Vegal, with disgust.
But seeing the sadness of the Indian, he added:
"Let us go, amigo, we will talk of these things
An hour later, Martin Paz, clad in Spanish costume,
left the city, accompanied by Don Vegal, who
took none of his people with him.
The Baths of Chorillos are situated at two leagues
from Lima. This Indian parish possesses a pretty
church; during the hot season it is the rendezvous
of the fashionable Limanian society. Public games,
interdicted at Lima, are permitted at Chorillos during
the whole summer. The señoras there display
unwonted ardor, and, in decorating himself for these
pretty partners, more than one rich cavalier has seen
his fortune dissipated in a few nights.
Chorillos was still little frequented; so Don Vegal
and Martin Paz retired to a pretty cottage, built on
the sea-shore, could live in quiet contemplation of
the vast plains of the Pacific Ocean.
The Marquis Don Vegal, belonging to one of the
most ancient families of Peru, saw about to terminate
in himself the noble line of which he was justly
proud; so his countenance bore the impress of profound
sadness. After having mingled for some time
in political affairs, he had felt an inexpressible disgust
for the incessant revolutions brought about to
gratify personal ambition; he had withdrawn into a
sort of solitude, interrupted only at rare intervals by
the duties of strict politeness.
His immense fortune was daily diminishing. The
neglect into which his vast domains had fallen for
want of laborers, had compelled him to borrow at a
disadvantage; but the prospect of approaching mediocrity
did not alarm him; that carelessness natural
to the Spanish race, joined to the ennui of a useless
existence, had rendered him insensible to the
menaces of the future. Formerly the husband of an
adored wife, the father of a charming little girl, he
had seen himself deprived, by a horrible event, of
both these objects of his love. Since then, no bond of
affection had attached him to earth, and he suffered
his life to float at the will of events.
Don Vegal had thought his heart to be indeed
dead, when he felt it palpitate at contact with that
of Martin Paz. This ardent nature awoke fire beneath
the ashes; the proud bearing of the Indian
suited the chivalric hidalgo; and then, weary of the
Spanish nobles, in whom he no longer had confidence,
disgusted with the selfish mestizoes, who
wished to aggrandize themselves at his expense, he
took a pleasure in turning to that primitive race, who
have disputed so valiantly the American soil with
the soldiers of Pizarro.
According to the intelligence received by the marquis,
the Indian passed for dead at Lima; but, looking
on his attachment for the Jewess as worse than
death itself, the Spaniard resolved doubly to save
his guest, by leaving the daughter of Samuel to
marry André Certa.
While Martin Paz felt an infinite sadness pervade
his heart, Don Vegal avoided all allusion to the past,
and conversed with the young Indian on indifferent
Meanwhile, one day, saddened by his gloomy preoccupations,
the Spaniard said to him:
"Why, my friend, do you lower the nobility of
your nature by a sentiment so much beneath you?
Was not that bold Manco-Capac, whom his patriotism
placed in the rank of heroes, your ancestor?
There is a noble part left for a valiant man, who will
not suffer himself to be overcome by an unworthy
passion. Have you no heart to regain your independence?"
"We are laboring for this, señor," said the Indian;
"and the day when my brethren shall rise en
masse is perhaps not far distant."
"I understand you; you allude to the war for
which your brethren are preparing among their
mountains; at a signal they will descend on the
city, arms in hand—and will be conquered as they
have always been! See how your interests will
disappear amid these perpetual revolutions of which
Peru is the theatre, and which will ruin it entirely,
Indians and Spaniards, to the profit of the mestizoes,
who are neither."
"We will save it ourselves," exclaimed Martin
"Yes, you will save it if you understand how to
play your part! Listen to me, Paz, you whom I
love from day to day as a son! I say it with grief;
but, we Spaniards, the degenerate sons of a powerful
race, no longer have the energy necessary to
elevate and govern a state. It is therefore yours to
triumph over that unhappy Americanism, which
tends to reject European colonization. Yes, know
that only European emigration can save the old Peruvian
empire. Instead of this intestine war which
tends to exclude all castes, with the exception of one,
frankly extend your hands to the industrious population
of the Old World."
"The Indians, señor, will always see in strangers
an enemy, and will never suffer them to breathe
with impunity the air of their mountains. The kind
of dominion which I exercise over them will be
without effect on the day when I do not swear
death to their oppressors, whoever they may be!
And, besides, what am I now?" added Martin Paz,
with great sadness; "a fugitive who would not
have three hours to live in the streets of Lima."
"Paz, you must promise me that you will not return
"How can I promise you this, Don Vegal? I
speak only the truth, and I should perjure myself
were I to take an oath to that effect."
Don Vegal was silent. The passion of the young
Indian increased from day to day; the marquis
trembled to see him incur certain death by re-appearing
at Lima. He hastened by all his desires, he
would have hastened by all his efforts, the marriage
of the Jewess!
To ascertain himself the state of things he quitted
Chorillos one morning, returned to the city, and
learned that André Certa had recovered from his
wound. His approaching marriage was the topic of
Don Vegal wished to see this woman whose image
troubled the mind of Martin Paz. He repaired, at
evening, to the Plaza-Mayor. The crowd was always
numerous there. There he met Father Joachim
de Camarones, his confessor and his oldest friend;
he acquainted him with his mode of life. What
was the astonishment of the good father to learn the
existence of Martin Paz. He promised Don Vegal
to watch also himself over the young Indian, and
to convey to the marquis any intelligence of importance.
Suddenly the glances of Don Vegal rested on a
young girl, enveloped in a black mantle, reclining in
"Who is that beautiful person?" asked he of the
"It is the betrothed of André Certa, the daughter
of the Jew Samuel."
"She! the daughter of the Jew!"
The marquis could hardly suppress his astonishment,
and, pressing the hand of Father Joachim, pensively
took the road to Chorillos.
He had just recognized in Sarah, the pretended
Jewess, the young girl whom he had seen praying
with such Christian fervor, at the church of Santa
THE HATRED OF THE INDIANS.
Since the Colombian troops, confided by Bolivar
to the orders of General Santa Cruz, had been driven
from lower Peru, this country, which had been incessantly
agitated by pronunciamentos, military revolts,
had recovered some calmness and tranquillity.
In fact, private ambition no longer had any thing
to expect; the president Gambarra seemed immovable
in his palace of the Plaza-Mayor. In this direction
there was nothing to fear; but the true danger,
concealed, imminent, was not from these rebellions,
as promptly extinguished as kindled, and which
seemed to flatter the taste of the Americans for military
This unknown peril escaped the eyes of the
Spaniards, too lofty to perceive it, and the attention
of the mestizoes, who never wished to look beneath
And yet there was an unusual agitation among
the Indians of the city; they often mingled with the
serranos, the inhabitants of the mountains; these
people seemed to have shaken off their natural apathy.
Instead of rolling themselves in their ponchos,
with their feet turned to the spring sun, they were
scattered throughout the country, stopping one another,
exchanging private signals, and haunting the
least frequented pulperias, in which they could converse
This movement was principally to be observed on
one of the squares remote from the centre of the
city. At the corner of a street stood a house, of only
one story, whose wretched appearance struck the
A tavern of the lowest order, a chingana, kept by
an old Indian woman, offered to the lowest zambos
the chica, beer of fermented maize, and the quarapo,
a beverage made of the sugar-cane.
The concourse of Indians on this square took
place only at certain hours, and principally when a
long pole was raised on the roof of the inn as a signal
of assemblage, then the zambos of every profession,
the capataz, the arrieros, muleteers, the carreteros,
carters, entered the chingana, one by one, and immediately
disappeared in the great hall; the padrona
(hostess) seemed very busy, and leaving to her servant
the care of the shop, hastened to serve herself
her usual customers.
A few days after the disappearance of Martin
Paz, there was a numerous assembly in the hall of
the inn; one could scarcely through the darkness,
rendered still more obscure by the tobacco-smoke,
distinguish the frequenters of this tavern. Fifty Indians
were ranged around a long table; some were
chewing the coca, a kind of tea-leaf, mingled with a
little piece of fragrant earth called manubi; others
were drinking from large pots of fermented maize;
but these occupations did not distract their attention,
and they were closely listening to the speech of an
This was the Sambo, whose fixed eyes were
strangely wild. He was clad as on the Plaza-Mayor.
After having carefully observed his auditors, the
Sambo commenced in these terms:
"The children of the Sun can converse on grave
affairs; there is no perfidious ear to hear them; on
the square, some of our friends, disguised as street-singers,
will attract the attention of the passers-by,
and we shall enjoy entire liberty."
In fact the tones of a mandoline and of a viguela
were echoing without.
The Indians within, knowing themselves in safety,
lent therefore close attention to the words of the
Sambo, in whom they placed entire confidence.
"What news can the Sambo give us of Martin
Paz?" asked an Indian.
"None—is he dead or not? The Great Spirit
only knows. I am expecting some of our brethren,
who have descended the river to its mouth, perhaps
they will have found the body of Martin Paz."
"He was a good chief," said Manangani, a ferocious
Indian, much dreaded; "but why was he not
at his post on the day when the schooner brought us
The Sambo cast down his head without reply.
"Did not my brethren know," resumed Manangani,
"that there was an exchange of shots between
the Annonciation and the custom-house officers, and
that the capture of the vessel would have ruined our
projects of conspiracy?"
A murmur of approbation received the words of
"Those of my brethren who will wait before they
judge will be the beloved of my heart," resumed the
Sambo; "who knows whether my son Martin Paz
will not one day re-appear? Listen now; the arms
which have been sent us from Sechura are in our
power; they are concealed in the mountains of the
Cordilleras, and ready to do their office when you
shall be prepared to do your duty."
"And what delays us?" said a young Indian;
"we have sharpened our knives and are waiting."
"Let the hour come," said the Sambo; "do my
brethren know what enemy their arms should strike
"Those mestizoes who treat us as slaves, and
strike us with the hand and whip, like restive mules."
"These are the monopolizers of the riches of the
soil, who will not suffer us to purchase a little comfort
for our old age."
"You are mistaken; and your first blows must be
struck elsewhere," said the Sambo, growing animated;
"these are not the men who have dared for
three hundred years past to tread the soil of our ancestors;
it is not these rich men gorged with gold
who have dragged to the tomb the sons of Manco-Capac;
no, it is these proud Spaniards whom Fate
has thrust on our independent shores! These are
the true conquerors of whom you are the true
slaves! If they have no longer wealth, they have authority;
and, in spite of Peruvian emancipation, they
crush and trample upon our natural rights. Let us
forget what we are, to remember what our fathers
"Anda! anda!" exclaimed the assembly, with
stamps of approbation.
After a few moments of silence, the Sambo assured
himself, by interrogating various conspirators,
that the friends of Cusco and of all Bolivia were
ready to strike as a single man.
Then, resuming with fire:
"And our brethren of the mountains, brave Manangani,
if they have all a heart of hatred equal to
thine, a courage equal to thine, they will fall on
Lima like an avalanche from the summit of the
"The Sambo shall not complain of their boldness
on the day appointed. Let the Indian leave the
city, he shall not go far without seeing throng around
him zambos burning for vengeance! In the gorges
of San Cristoval and the Amancaës, more than one
is couched on his poncho, with his poignard at his
girdle, waiting until a long carbine shall be confided
to his skillful hand. They also have not forgotten
that they have to revenge on the vain Spaniards the
defeat of Manco-Capac."
"Well said! Manangani; it is the god of hatred
who speaks from thy mouth. My brethren shall
know before long him whom their chiefs have
chosen to lead this great vengeance. President
Gambarra is seeking only to consolidate his power;
Bolivar is afar, Santa Cruz has been driven away;
we can act with certainty. In a few days, the fête
of the Amancaës will summon our oppressors to
pleasure; then, let each be ready to march, and let
the news be carried to the most remote villages of
At this moment three Indians entered the great
hall. The Sambo hastened to meet them.
"Well?" said he to them.
"The body of Martin Paz has not been recovered;
we have sounded the river in every direction;
our most skillful divers have explored it with religious
care, and the son of the Sambo cannot have
perished in the waters of the Rimac."
"Have they killed him? What has become of
him? Oh! wo, wo to them if they have killed my
son! Let my brethren separate in silence; let each
return to his post, look, watch and wait!"
The Indians went out and dispersed; the Sambo
alone remained with Manangani, who asked him:
"Does the Sambo know what sentiment conducted
his son to San Lazaro? The Sambo, I trust, is sure
of his son?"
The eyes of the Indian flashed, and the blood
mounted to his cheek. The ferocious Manangani
But the Indian controlled himself, and said:
"If Martin Paz has betrayed his brethren, I will
first kill all those to whom he has given his friendship,
all those to whom he has given his love! Then
I will kill him, and myself afterward, that nothing
may be left beneath the sun of an infamous, and dishonored
At this moment, the padrona opened the door of
the room, advanced toward the Sambo, and handed
him a billet directed to his address.
"Who gave you this?" said he.
"I do not know; this paper may have been designedly
forgotten by a chica-drinker. I found it on
"Have there been any but Indians here?"
"There have been none but Indians."
The padrona went out; the Sambo unfolded the
billet, and read aloud:
"A young girl has prayed for the return of Martin
Paz, for she has not forgotten that the young Indian
protected her and risked his life for her. If the
Sambo has any news of his poor son, or any hope
of finding him, let him surround his arm with a red
handkerchief; there are eyes which see him pass
The Sambo crushed the billet in his hand.
"The unhappy boy," said he, "has suffered himself
to be caught by the eyes of a woman."
"Who is this woman?" asked Manangani.
"It is not an Indian," replied the Sambo, observing
the billet; "it is some young girl of the other
classes. Martin Paz, I no longer know thee!"
"Shall you do what this woman requests?"
"No," replied the Indian, violently; "let her
lose all hope of seeing him again; let her die, if she
And the Sambo tore the billet in a rage.
"It must have been an Indian who brought this
billet," observed Manangani.
"Oh, it cannot have been one of ours! He must
have known that I often came to this inn, but I will
set my foot in it no more. We have occupied ourselves
long enough with trifling affairs," resumed
he, coldly; "let my brother return to the mountains;
I will remain to watch over the city. We shall see
whether the fête of the Amancaës will be joyous
for the oppressors or the oppressed!"
The two Indians separated.
The plan of the conspiracy was well conceived
and the hour of its execution well chosen. Peru,
almost depopulated, counted only a small number of
Spaniards and mestizoes. The invasion of the Indians,
gathered from every direction, from the forests
of Brazil, as well as the mountains of Chili and the
plains of La Plata, would cover the theatre of war
with a formidable army. The great cities, like
Lima, Cusco, Puña, might be utterly destroyed;
and it was not to be expected that the Colombian
troops, so recently driven away by the Peruvian
government, would come to the assistance of their
enemies in peril.
This social overturn might therefore have succeeded,
if the secret had remained buried in the
hearts of the Indians, and there surely could not be
traitors among them?
But they were ignorant that a man had obtained
private audience of the President Gambarra. This
man informed him that the schooner Annonciation
had been captured from him by Indian pirates!
That it had been laden with arms of all sorts; that
canoes had unloaded it at the mouth of the Rimac;
and he claimed a high indemnity for the service he
thus rendered to the Peruvian government.
And yet this man had let his vessel to the agents
of the Sambo; he had received for it a considerable
sum, and had come to sell the secret which he had
By these traits the reader will recognize the Jew
André Certa, entirely recovered, sure of the death
of Martin Paz, pressed his marriage: he was impatient
to parade the young and beautiful Jewess
through the streets of Lima.
Sarah constantly manifested toward him a haughty
indifference; but he cared not for it, considering her
as an article of sale, for which he had paid a hundred
And yet André Certa suspected the Jew, and with
good reason; if the contract was dishonorable, the
contractors were still more so. So the mestizo
wished to have a secret interview with Samuel, and
took him one day to the Baths of Chorillos.
He was not sorry, besides, to try the chances of
play before his wedding: public gaming, prohibited
at Lima, is perfectly tolerated elsewhere. The passion
of the Limanian ladies and gentlemen for this
hazardous amusement is singular and irresistible.
The games were open some days before the arrival
of the Marquis Don Vegal; thenceforth there was a
perpetual movement of the populace on the road from
Lima: some came on foot, who returned in carriages;
others were about to risk and lose the last
remnants of their fortunes.
Don Vegal and Martin Paz took no part in these
exciting pleasures. The reveries of the young Indian
had more noble causes; he was thinking of
Sarah and of his benefactor.
The concourse of the Limanians to the Baths of
Chorillos was without danger for him; little known
by the inhabitants of the city, like all the mountain
Indians he easily concealed himself from all eyes.
After his evening walk with the marquis, Martin
Paz would return to his room, and leaning his elbow
on the window, pass long hours in allowing his tumultuous
thoughts to wander over the Pacific Ocean.
Don Vegal lodged in a neighboring chamber, and
guarded him with paternal tenderness.
The Spaniard always remembered the daughter
of Samuel, whom he had so unexpectedly seen at
prayer in the Catholic temple. But he had not dared
to confide this important secret to Martin Paz while
instructing him by degrees in Christian truths; he
feared to re-animate sentiments which he wished to
extinguish—for the poor Indian, unknown and proscribed,
must renounce all hope of happiness!
Father Joachim kept Don Vegal informed of the
progress of affairs: the police had at last ceased to
trouble themselves about Martin Paz; and with
time and the influence of his protector, the Indian,
become a man of merit and capable of great things,
might one day take rank in the highest Peruvian
Weary of the uncertainty into which his incognito
plunged him, Paz resolved to know what had become
of the young Jewess. Thanks to his Spanish
costume, he could glide into a gaming-saloon, and
listen to the conversation of its various frequenters.
André Certa was a man of so much importance, that
his marriage, if it was approaching, would be the
subject of conversation.
One evening, instead of directing his steps toward
the sea, the Indian climbed over the high rocks on
which the principal habitations of Chorillos are built;
a house, fronted by broad stone steps, struck his eyes—he
entered it without noise.
The day had been hard for many of the wealthy
Limanians; some among them, exhausted with the
fatigues of the preceding night, were reposing on the
ground, wrapped in their ponchos.
Other players were seated before a large green
table, divided into four compartments by two lines,
which intersected each other at the centre in right
angles; on each of these compartments were the
first letters of the words azar and suerte, (chance
and fate,) A and S.
At this moment, the parties of the monte were
animated; a mestizo was pursuing the unfavorable
chance with feverish ardor.
"Two thousand piasters!" exclaimed he.
The banker shook the dice, and the player burst
"Four thousand piasters!" said he, again. And
he lost once more.
Martin Paz, protected by the obscurity of the saloon,
could look the player in the face, and he turned
It was André Certa!
Near him, was standing the Jew Samuel.
"You have played enough, Señor André," said
Samuel to him; "the luck is not for you."
"What business is it of yours?" replied the mestizo,
Samuel bent down to his ear.
"If it is not my business, it is your business to
break off these habits during the days which precede
"Eight thousand piasters!" resumed André
He lost again: the mestizo suppressed a curse
and the banker resumed—"Play on!"
André Certa, drawing from his pocket some bills,
was about to have hazarded a considerable sum; he
had even deposited it on one of the tables, and the
banker, shaking his dice, was about to have decided
its fate, when a sign from Samuel stopped him
short. The Jew bent again to the ear of the mestizo,
"If nothing remains to you to conclude our bargain,
it shall be broken off this evening!"
André Certa shrugged his shoulders, took up his
money, and went out.
"Continue now," said Samuel to the banker;
"you may ruin this gentleman after his marriage."
The banker bowed submissively. The Jew
Samuel was the founder and proprietor of the games
of Chorillos. Wherever there was a real to be made
this man was to be met with.
He followed the mestizo; and finding him on the
stone steps, said to him—
"I have secrets of importance to communicate.
Where can we converse in safety?"
"Wherever you please," replied Certa, roughly.
"Señor, let not your passions ruin your prospects.
I would neither confide my secret to the most carefully closed
chambers, nor the most lonely plains. If
you pay me dearly for it, it is because it is worth
telling and worth keeping."
As they spoke thus, these two men had reached
the sea, near the cabins destined for the use of the
bathers. They knew not that they were seen, heard
and watched by Martin Paz, who glided like a serpent
in the shadow.
"Let us take a canoe," said André, "and go out
into the open sea; the sharks may, perhaps, show
André detached from the shore a little boat, and
threw some money to its guardian. Samuel embarked
with him, and the mestizo pushed off. He
vigorously plied two flexible oars, which soon took
them a mile from the shore.
But as he saw the canoe put off, Martin Paz, concealed
in a crevice of the rock, hastily undressed,
and precipitating himself into the sea, swam vigorously
toward the boat.
The sun had just buried his last rays in the waves
of the ocean, and darkness hovered over the crests
of the waves.
Martin Paz had not once reflected that sharks of
the most dangerous species frequented these fatal
shores. He stopped not far from the boat of the
mestizo, and listened.
"But what proof of the identity of the daughter
shall I carry to the father?" asked André Certa of
"You will recall to him the circumstances under
which he lost her."
"What were these circumstances?"
Martin Paz, now scarcely above the waves, listened
without understanding. In a girdle attached
to his body, he had a poignard; he waited.
"Her father," said the Jew, "lived at Concencion,
in Chili: he was then the great nobleman he
is now; only his fortune equalled his nobility.
Obliged to come to Lima on business, he set out
alone, leaving at Concencion his wife, and child aged
fifteen months. The climate of Peru agreed with
him, and he sent for the marchioness to rejoin him.
She embarked on the San-José of Valparaiso, with
her confidential servants.
"I was going to Peru in the same ship. The
San-José was about to enter the harbor of Lima;
but, near Juan Fernandez, was struck by a terrific
hurricane, which disabled her and threw her on her
side—it was the affair of half an hour. The San-José
filled with water and was slowly sinking; the
passengers and crew took refuge in the boat, but at
sight of the furious waves, the marchioness refused
to enter it; she pressed her infant in her arms, and
remained in the ship. I remained with her—the
boat was swallowed up at a hundred fathoms from
the San-José, with all her crew. We were alone—the
tempest blew with increasing violence. As my
fortune was not on board, I had nothing to lose. The
San-José, having five feet of water in her hold,
drifted on the rocks of the shore, where she broke to
pieces. The young woman was thrown into the sea
with her daughter: fortunately, for me," said the
Jew, with a gloomy smile, "I could seize the child,
and reach the shore with it."
"All these details are exact?"
"Perfectly so. The father will recognize them.
I had done a good day's work, señor; since she is
worth to me the hundred thousand piasters which
you are about to pay me. Now, let the marriage
take place to-morrow."
"What does this mean?" asked Martin Paz of
himself, still swimming in the shadow.
"Here is my pocket-book, with the hundred thousand
piasters—take it, Master Samuel," replied André
Certa to the Jew.
"Thanks, Señor André," said the Israelite, seizing
the treasure; "take this receipt in exchange—I
pledge myself to restore you double this sum, if you
do not become a member of one of the proudest families
But the Indian had not heard this last sentence;
he had dived to avoid the approach of the boat, and
his eyes could see a shapeless mass gliding rapidly
toward him. He thought it was the canoe—he was
It was a tintorea; a shark of the most ferocious
Martin Paz did not quail, or he would have been
lost. The animal approached him—the Indian
dived; but he was obliged to come up, in order to
breathe.... He looked at the sky, as if he was
never to behold it again. The stars sparkled above
his head; the tintorea continued to approach. A
vigorous blow with his tail struck the swimmer;
Martin Paz felt his slimy scales brush his breast.
The shark, in order to snatch at him, turned on his
back and opened his jaws, armed with a triple row
of teeth. Martin Paz saw the white belly of the
animal gleam beneath the wave, and with a rapid
hand struck it with his poignard.
Suddenly he found the waters around him red with
blood. He dived—came up again at ten fathoms'
distance—thought of the daughter of Samuel; and
seeing nothing more of the boat of the mestizo, regained
the shore in a few strokes, already forgetting
that he had just escaped death.
He quickly rejoined Don Vegal. The latter, not
having found him on his return, was anxiously
awaiting him. Paz made no allusion to his recent
adventures; but seemed to take a lively pleasure
in his conversation.
But the next day Martin Paz had left Chorillos,
and Don Vegal, tortured with anxiety, hastily returned
The marriage of André Certa with the daughter
of the wealthy Samuel, was an important event. The
beautiful señoras had not given themselves a moment's
rest; they had exhausted their ingenuity to
invent some pretty corsage or novel head-dress;
they had wearied themselves in trying without cessation
the most varied toilets.
Numerous preparations were also going on in the
house of Samuel; it was a part of the Jew's plan to
give great publicity to the marriage of Sarah. The
frescoes which adorned his dwelling according to
the Spanish custom, had been newly painted; the
richest hangings fell in large folds at the windows
and doors of the habitation. Furniture carved in
the latest fashion, of precious or fragrant wood, was
crowded in vast saloons, impregnated with a delicious
coolness. Rare shrubs, the productions of
warm countries, seized the eye with their splendid
colors, and one would have thought Spring had
stolen along the balconies and terraces, to inundate
them with flowers and perfumes.
Meanwhile, amid these smiling marvels, the young
girl was weeping; Sarah no longer had hope, since the
Sambo had none; and the Sambo had no hope, since
he wore no sign of hope! The negro Liberta had
watched the steps of the old Indian; he had seen nothing.
Ah! if the poor child could have followed
the impulses of her heart, she would have immured
herself in one of those tranquil beaterios, to die
there amid tears and prayer.
Urged by an irresistible attraction to the doctrines
of Catholicism, the young Jewess had been secretly
converted; by the cares of the good Father Joachim,
she had been won over to a religion more in accordance
with her feelings than that in which she had
been educated. If Samuel had destined her for a
Jew, she would have avowed her faith; but, about
to espouse a Catholic, she reserved for her husband
the secret of her conversion.
Father Joachim, in order to avoid scandal, and
besides, better read in his breviary than in the human
heart, had suffered Sarah to believe in the death
of Martin Paz. The conversion of the young girl
was the most important thing to him; he saw it assured
by her union with André Certa, and he sought
to accustom her to the idea of this marriage, the
conditions of which he was far from respecting.
At last the day so joyous for some, so sad for
others, had arrived. André Certa had invited the
entire city to his nuptials; his invitations were refused
by the noble families, who excused themselves
on various pretexts. The mestizo, meanwhile,
proudly held up his head, and scarcely looked at
those of his own class. The little Milleflores in vain
essayed his humblest vows; but he consoled himself
with the idea that he was about to figure as an
active party in the repast which was to follow.
In the meantime, the young mestizoes were discoursing
with him in the brilliant saloons of the Jew,
and the crowd of guests thronged around André
Certa, who proudly displayed the splendors of his
The contract was soon to be signed; the sun had
long been set, and the young girl had not appeared.
Doubtless she was discussing with her duenna and
her maids the place of a ribbon or the choice of an
ornament. Perhaps, that enchanting timidity which
so beautifully adorns the cheeks of a young girl, detained
her still from their inquisitive regards.
The Jew Samuel seemed a prey to secret uneasiness;
André Certa bent his brow in an impatient
manner; a sort of embarrassment was depicted on
the countenance of more than one guest, while the
thousand of wax-lights, reflected by the mirrors,
filled the saloon with dazzling splendor.
Without, a man was wandering in mortal anxiety;
it was the Marquis Don Vegal.
ALL INTERESTS AT STAKE.
Meanwhile, Sarah was left alone, alone with her
anguish and her grief! She was about to give up her
whole life to a man whom she did not love! She
leaned over the perfumed balcony of her chamber,
which overlooked the interior gardens. Through
the green jalousies, her ear listened to the sounds of
the slumbering country. Her lace mantle, gliding
over her arms, revealed a profusion of diamonds
sparkling on her shoulders. Her sorrow, proud and
majestic, appeared through all her ornaments, and
she might have been taken for one of those beautiful
Greek slaves, nobly draped in their antique garments.
Suddenly her glance rested on a man who was
gliding silently among the avenues of the magnolia;
she recognized him; it was Liberta, her servant.
He seemed to be watching some invisible enemy,
now sheltering himself behind a statue, now crouching
on the ground.
Sarah was afraid, and looked around her. She was
alone, entirely alone. Her eyes rested on the gardens,
and she became pale, paler still! Before her
was transpiring a terrible scene. Liberta was in
the grasp of a man of tall stature, who had thrown
him down; stifled sighs proved that a robust hand
was pressing the lips of the Indian.
The young girl, summoning all her courage, was
about to cry out, when she saw the two men rise!
The negro was looking fixedly at his adversary.
"It is you, then! it is you!" exclaimed he.
And he followed this man in a strange stupefaction.
They arrived beneath the balcony of Sarah.
Suddenly, before she had time to utter a cry, Martin
Paz appeared to her, like a phantom from another
world; and, like the negro when overthrown by the
Indian, the young girl, bending before the glance of
Martin Paz, could in her turn only repeat these
"It is you, then! it is you!"
The young Indian fixed on her his motionless
eyes, and said:
"Does the betrothed hear the sound of the festival?
The guests are thronging into the saloons to
see happiness radiate from her countenance! Is it
then a victim, prepared for the sacrifice, who is
about to present herself to their impatient eyes?
Is it with these features, pale with sorrow, with
eyes in which sparkle bitter tears, that the young
girl is to appear herself before her betrothed?"
Martin Paz spoke thus, in a tone full of sympathizing
sadness, and Sarah listened vaguely as to
those harmonies which we hear in dreams!
The young Indian resumed with infinite sweetness:
"Since the soul of the young girl is in mourning,
let her look beyond the house of her father, beyond
the city where she suffers and weeps; beyond the
mountains, the palm-trees lift up their heads in freedom,
the birds strike the air with an independent
wing; men have immensity to live in, and the young
girls may unfold their spirits and their hearts!"
Sarah raised her head toward Martin Paz. The
Indian had drawn himself up to his full height, and
with his arm extended toward the summits of the
Cordilleras, was pointing out to the young girl the
path to liberty.
Sarah felt herself constrained by an irresistible
force. Already the sound of voices reached her;
they approached her chamber; her father was undoubtedly
about to enter; perhaps her lover would
accompany him! The Indian suddenly extinguished
the lamp suspended above his head. A whistling,
similar to the cry of the cilguero, and reminding
one of that heard on the Plaza-Mayor, pierced the
silent darkness of night; the young girl swooned.
The door opened hastily; Samuel and André
Certa entered. The darkness was profound; some
servants ran with torches. The chamber was
"Death and fury!" exclaimed the mestizo.
"Where is she?" asked Samuel.
"You are responsible for her," said André, brutally.
At these words, the Jew felt a cold sweat freeze
even his bones.
"Help! help!" he exclaimed.
And, followed by his domestics, he sprang out of
Martin Paz fled rapidly through the streets of the
city. The negro Liberta followed him; but did not
appear disposed to dispute with him the possession
of the young girl.
At two hundred paces from the dwelling of the
Jew, Paz found some Indians of his companions,
who had assembled at the whistle uttered by him.
"To our mountain ranchos!" exclaimed he.
"To the house of the Marquis Don Vegal!" said
another voice behind him.
Martin Paz turned; the Spaniard was at his side.
"Will you not confide this young girl to me?"
asked the marquis.
The Indian bent his head, and said in a low voice
to his companions:
"To the dwelling of the Marquis Don Vegal!"
They turned their steps in this direction.
An extreme confusion reigned then in the saloons
of the Jew. The news of Sarah's disappearance
was a thunderbolt; the friends of André hastened to
follow him. The faubourg of San Lazaro was explored,
hastily searched; but nothing could be discovered.
Samuel tore his hair in despair. During
the whole night the most active research was useless.
"Martin Paz is living!" exclaimed André Certa,
in a moment of fury.
And the presentiment quickly acquired confirmation.
The police were immediately informed of the
elopement; its most active agents bestirred themselves;
the Indians were closely watched, and if
the retreat of the young girl was not discovered, evident
proofs of an approaching revolt came to light,
which accorded with the denunciations of the Jew.
André Certa lavished gold freely, but could learn
nothing. Meanwhile, the gate-keepers declared that
they had seen no person leave Lima; the young girl
must therefore be concealed in the city.
Liberta, who returned to his master, was often
interrogated; but no person seemed more astonished
than himself at the elopement of Sarah.
Meanwhile, one man besides André Certa had
seen in the disappearance of the young Jewess, a
proof of the existence of Martin Paz; it was the
Sambo. He was wandering in the streets of Lima,
when the cry uttered by the Indian fixed his attention;
it was a signal of rally well known to him!
The Sambo was therefore a spectator of the capture
of the young girl, and followed her to the dwelling
of the marquis.
The Spaniard entered by a secret door, of which
he alone had the key; so that his domestics suspected
nothing. Martin Paz carried the young girl in his
arms and laid her on a bed.
When Don Vegal, who had returned to re-enter
by the principal door, reached the chamber where
Sarah was reposing, he found Martin Paz kneeling
beside her. The marquis was about to reproach the
Indian with his conduct, when the latter said to
"You see, my father, whether I love you! Ah!
why did you throw yourself in my way? We should
have been already free in our mountains. But how,
should I not have obeyed your words?"
Don Vegal knew not what to reply, his heart was
seized with a powerful emotion. He felt how much
he was beloved by Martin Paz.
"The day on which Sarah shall quit your dwelling
to be restored to her father and her betrothed,"
sighed the Indian, "you will have a son and a
friend less in the world."
As he said these last words, Paz moistened with
his tears the hand of Don Vegal. They were the
first tears this man had shed!
The reproaches of Don Vegal died away before
this respectful submission. The young girl had
become his guest; she was sacred! He could not
help admiring Sarah, still in a swoon; he was prepared
to love her, of whose conversion he had been
a witness, and whom he would have been pleased to
bestow as a companion upon the young Indian.
It was then that, on opening her eyes, Sarah
found herself in the presence of a stranger.
"Where am I?" said she, with a sentiment of
"With a generous man who has permitted me to
call him my father," replied Martin Paz, pointing
to the Spaniard.
The young girl, restored by the voice of the Indian
to a consciousness of her position, covered her
face with her trembling hands, and began to sob.
"Withdraw, friend," said Don Vegal to the young
Martin Paz slowly left the room, not without
having pressed the hand of the Spaniard, and cast
on Sarah a lingering look.
Then Don Vegal bestowed upon this poor child
consolations of exquisite delicacy; he conveyed in
suitable language his sentiments of nobility and
honor. Attentive and resigned, the young girl
comprehended what danger she had escaped; and
she confided her future happiness to the care of
the Spaniard. But amid phrases interrupted by
sighs and mingled with tears, Don Vegal perceived
the intense attachment of this simple heart for him
whom she called her deliverer. He induced Sarah
to take some repose, and watched over her with
the solicitude of a father.
Martin Paz comprehended the duties that honor
required of him, and, in spite of perils and dangers,
would not pass the night beneath the roof of Don
He therefore went out; his head was burning,
his blood was boiling with fever in his veins.
He had not gone a hundred paces in the street,
when five or six men threw themselves upon him,
and, notwithstanding his obstinate defense, succeeded
in binding him. Martin Paz uttered a cry
of despair, which was lost in the night. He believed
himself in the power of his enemies, and
gave a last thought to the young girl.
A short time afterward the Indian was deposited
in a room. The bandage which had covered his
eyes was taken off. He looked around him, and
saw himself in the lower hall of that tavern where
his brethren had organized their approaching revolt.
The Sambo, Manangani, and others, surrounded
him. A gleam of indignation flashed from his eyes,
which was reciprocated by his captors.
"My son had then no pity on my tears," said the
Sambo, "since he suffered me for so long a time to
believe in his death?"
"Is it on the eve before a revolt that Martin Paz,
our chief, should be found in the camp of our
Martin Paz replied neither to his father, nor to
"So our most important interests have been sacrificed
to a woman!"
As he spoke thus, Manangani had approached
Martin Paz; a poignard was gleaming in his hand.
Martin Paz did not even look at him.
"Let us first speak," said the Sambo; "we will
act afterward. If my son fails to conduct his
brethren to the combat, I shall know now on whom
to avenge his treason. Let him take care! the
daughter of the Jew Samuel is not so well concealed
that she can escape our hatred. My son
will reflect. Struck with a mortal condemnation,
proscribed, wandering among our masters, he will
not have a stone on which to rest his sorrows. If,
on the contrary, we resume our ancient country
and our ancient power, Martin Paz, the chief of
numerous tribes, may bestow upon his betrothed
both happiness and glory."
Martin Paz remained silent; but a terrific conflict
was going on within him. The Sambo had roused
the most sensitive chords of his proud nature to
vibrate; placed between a life of fatigues, of dangers,
of despair, and an existence happy, honored, illustrious,
he could not hesitate. But should he then
abandon the Marquis Don Vegal, whose noble
hopes destined him as the deliverer of Peru!
"Oh!" thought he, as he looked at his father,
"they will kill Sarah, if I forsake them."
"What does my son reply to us?" imperiously
demanded the Sambo.
"That Martin Paz is indispensable to your projects;
that he enjoys a supreme authority over the
Indians of the city; that he leads them at his will,
and, at a sign, could have them dragged to death.
He must therefore resume his place in the revolt,
in order to ensure victory."
The bonds which still enchained him were detached
by order of the Sambo; Martin Paz arose
free among his brethren.
"My son," said the Indian, who was observing
him attentively, "to-morrow, during the fête of the
Amancaës, our brethren will fall like an avalanche
on the unarmed Limanians. There is the road to
the Cordilleras, there is the road to the city; you
will go wherever your good pleasure shall lead you.
To-morrow! to-morrow! you will find more than
one mestizo breast to break your poignard against.
You are free."
"To the mountains!" exclaimed Martin Paz,
with a stern voice.
The Indian had again become an Indian amid the
hatred which surrounded him.
"To the mountains," repeated he, "and wo to
our enemies, wo!"
And the rising sun illumined with its earliest
rays the council of the Indian chiefs in the heart of
These rays were joyless to the heart of the poor
young girl, who wept and prayed. The marquis
had summoned Father Joachim; and the worthy
man had there met his beloved penitent. What
happiness was it for her to kneel at the feet of the
old priest, and to pour out her anguish and her
But Sarah could not longer remain in the dwelling
of the Spaniard. Father Joachim suggested
this to Don Vegal, who knew not what part to take,
for he was a prey to extreme anxiety. What had
become of Martin Paz? He had fled the house.
Was he in the power of his enemies? Oh! how
the Spaniard regretted having suffered him to leave
it during that night of alarms! He sought him with
the ardor, with the affection of a father; he found
"My old friend," said he to Joachim, "the
young girl is in safety near you; do not leave her
during this fatal night."
"But her father, who seeks her—her betrothed,
who awaits her?"
"One day—one single day! You know not whose
existence is bound to that of this child. One day—one
single day! at least until I find Martin Paz, he
whom my heart and God have named my son!"
Father Joachim returned to the young girl; Don
Vegal went out and traversed the streets of Lima.
The Spaniard was surprised at the noise, the
commotion, the agitation of the city. It was that
the great fête of the Amancaës, forgotten by him
alone, the 24th of June, the day of St. John, had
arrived. The neighboring mountains were covered
with verdure and flowers; the inhabitants, on foot,
on horseback, in carriages, were repairing to a
celebrated table-land, situated at half a league from
Lima, where the spectators enjoyed an admirable
prospect; mestizoes and Indians mingled in the common
fête; they walked gayly by groups of relatives
or friends; each group, calling itself by the name of
partida, carried its provisions, and was preceded by
a player on the guitar, who chanted, accompanying
himself, the most popular yaravis and llantos.
These joyous promenaders advanced with cries,
sports, endless jests, through the fields of maize and
of alfalfa, through the groves of banana, whose
fruits hung to the ground; they traversed those
beautiful alamedas, planted with willows, and forests
of citron, and orange-trees, whose intoxicating perfumes
were mingled with the wild fragrance from
the mountains. All along the road, traveling cabarets
offered to the promenaders the brandy of pisco and
the chica, whose copious libations excited to laughter
and clamor; cavaliers made their horses caracole
in the midst of the throng, and rivaled each other in
swiftness, address, and dexterity; all the dances in
vogue, from the loudon to the mismis, from the
boleros to the zamacuecas, agitated and hurried on
the caballeros and black-eyed sambas. The sounds
of the viguela were soon no longer sufficient for the
disordered movements of the dancers; the musicians
uttered wild cries, which stimulated them to delirium;
the spectators beat the measure with their
feet and hands, and the exhausted couples sunk one
after another to the ground.
There reigned in this fête, which derives its name
from the little mountain-flowers, an inconceivable
transport and freedom; and yet no private brawl
mingled among the cries of public rejoicing; a few
lancers on horseback, ornamented with their shining
cuirasses, maintained here and there order among
The various classes of Limanian society mingled
in these rejoicings, which are repeated every day
throughout the month of July. Pretty tapadas
laughingly elbow beautiful girls, who bravely come,
with uncovered faces, to meet joyous cavaliers;
and when at last this multitude arrive at the plateau
of the Amancaës, an immense clamor of admiration
is repeated by the mountain echoes.
At the feet of the spectators extends the ancient city
of kings, proudly lifting toward heaven its towers and
its steeples, whose bells are ringing joyous peals.
San Pedro, Saint Augustine, the Cathedral, attract
the eye to their roofs, resplendent with the rays of the
sun. San Domingo, the rich church, the Madonna
of which is never clad in the same garments two
days in succession, raises above her neighbors her
tapering spire; on the right, the vast plains of the
Pacific Ocean are undulating to the breath of the
occidental breeze, and the eye, as it roves from
Callao to Lima, rests on those funereal chulpas, the
last remains of the great dynasty of the Incas; at
the horizon, Cape Morro-Solar frames, with its
sloping hills, the wonderful splendors of this picture.
So the Limanians are never satisfied with these
admirable prospects, and their noisy approbation
deafens every year the echoes of San Cristoval and
Now, while they fearlessly enjoyed these picturesque
views, and were giving themselves up to an
irresistible delight, a gloomy bloody funereal drama
was preparing on the snowy summits of the Cordilleras.
CONQUERORS AND CONQUERED.
A prey to his blind grief, Don Vegal walked at
random. After having lost his daughter, the hope of
his race and of his love, was he about to see himself
also deprived of the child of his adoption whom
he had wrested from death? Don Vegal had forgotten
Sarah, to think only of Martin Paz.
He was struck with the great number of Indians,
of zambos, of chiños, who were wandering about
the streets; these men, who usually took an active
part in the sports of the Amancaës, were now
walking silently with singular pre-occupation. Often
some busy chief gave them a secret order, and went
on his way; and all, notwithstanding their detours,
were assembling by degrees in the wealthiest quarters
of Lima, in proportion as the Limanians were
scattered abroad in the country.
Don Vegal, absorbed in his own researches, soon
forgot this singular state of things. He traversed
San Lazaro throughout, saw André Certa there, enraged
and armed, and the Jew Samuel, in the extremity
of distress, not for the loss of his daughter,
but for the loss of his hundred thousand piasters;
but he found not Martin Paz, whom he was impatiently
seeking. He ran to the consistorial prison.
Nothing! He returned home. Nothing! He mounted
his horse and hastened to Chorillos. Nothing! He
returned at last, exhausted with fatigue, to Lima;
the clock of the cathedral was striking four.
Don Vegal remarked some groups of Indians before
his dwelling; but he could not, without compromising
the man of whom he was in search, ask
"Where is Martin Paz?"
He re-entered, more despairing than ever.
Immediately a man emerged from a neighboring
alley, and came directly to the Indians. This man
was the Sambo.
"The Spaniard has returned," said he to them;
"you know him now; he is one of the representatives
of the race which crushes us—wo to him!"
"And when shall we strike?"
"When five o'clock sounds, and the tocsin from
the mountain gives the signal of vengeance."
Then the Sambo marched with hasty steps to the
chingana, and rejoined the chief of the revolt.
Meanwhile the sun had begun to sink beneath the
horizon; it was the hour in which the Limanian
aristocracy went in its turn to the Amancaës; the
richest toilets shone in the equipages which defiled
to the right and left beneath the trees along the road;
there was an inextricable mêlée of foot-passengers,
carriages, horses; a confusion of cries, songs, instruments,
The clock on the tower of the cathedral suddenly
struck five! and a shrill funereal sound vibrated
through the air; the tocsin thundered over the
crowd, frozen in its delirium.
An immense cry resounded in the city. From
every square, every street, every house issued the
Indians, with arms in their hands, and fury in their
eyes. The principal places of the city were thronged
with these men, some of whom shook above their
heads burning torches!
"Death to the Spaniards! death to the oppressors!"
such was the watch-word of the rebels.
Those who attempted to return to Lima must
have recoiled before these masses; but the summits
of the hills were quickly covered with other
enemies, and all retreat was impossible; the zambos
precipitated themselves like a thunderbolt on this
crowd, exhausted with the fatigues of the festival,
while the mountain Indians cleared for themselves
a bloody path to rejoin their brethren of the city.
Imagine the aspect presented by Lima at this
terrible moment. The rebels had left the square of
the tavern, and were scattered in all quarters; at the
head of one of the columns, Martin Paz was waving
the black flag—the flag of independence; while the
Indians in the other streets were attacking the houses
appointed to ruin, Martin Paz took possession of the
Plaza-Mayor with his company; near him, Manangani
was uttering ferocious yells, and proudly displaying
his bloody arms.
But the soldiers of the government, forewarned of
the revolt, were ranged in battle array before the
palace of the president; a frightful fusillade greeted
the insurgents at their entrance on the square; surprised
by this unexpected discharge, which extended
a goodly number of them on the ground, they sprang
upon the troops with insurmountable impatience; a
horrible mêlée followed, in which men fought body
to body. Martin Paz and Manangani performed
prodigies of valor, and escaped death only by
It was necessary at all hazards that the palace
should be taken and occupied by their men.
"Forward!" cried Martin Paz, and his voice led
the Indians to the assault. Although they were
crushed in every direction, they succeeded in making
the body of troops around the palace recoil.
Already had Manangani sprang on the first steps;
but he suddenly stopped as the opening ranks of soldiers
unmasked two pieces of cannon ready to fire
on the assailants.
There was not a moment to lose; the battery
must be seized before it could be discharged.
"On!" cried Manangani, addressing himself to
But the young Indian had just stooped and no
longer heard him, for an Indian had whispered these
words in his ear:
"They are pillaging the house of Don Vegal, perhaps
At these words Martin Paz recoiled. Manangani
seized him by the arm; but, repulsing him with
a vigorous hand, the Indian darted toward the
"Traitor! infamous traitor!" exclaimed Manangani,
discharging his pistols at Martin Paz.
At this moment the cannons were fired, and the
grape swept the Indians on the steps.
"This way, brethren," cried Martin Paz, and a
few fugitives, his devoted companions, joined him;
with this little company he could make his way
through the soldiers.
This flight had all the consequences of treason;
the Indians believed themselves abandoned by their
chief. Manangani in vain attempted to bring them
back to the combat; a rapid fusillade sent among
them a shower of balls; thenceforth it was no longer
possible to rally them; the confusion was at its
height and the rout complete. The flames which
arose in certain quarters attracted some fugitives
to pillage; but the conquering soldiers pursued
them with the sword, and killed a great number
Meanwhile, Martin Paz had gained the house of
Don Vegal; it was the theatre of a bloody struggle,
headed by the Sambo himself; he had a double interest
in being there; while contending with the
Spanish noblemen, he wished to seize Sarah, as a
pledge of the fidelity of his son.
On seeing Martin Paz return, he no longer doubted
his treason, and turned his brethren against him.
The overthrown gate and walls of the court revealed
Don Vegal, sword in hand, surrounded by
his faithful servants, and contending with an invading
mass. This man's courage and pride were
sublime; he was the first to present himself to mortal
blows, and his formidable arm had surrounded
him with corpses.
But what could be done against this crowd of Indians,
which was then increasing with all the conquered
of the Plaza-Mayor. Don Vegal felt that
his defenders were becoming exhausted, and nothing
remained for him but death, when Martin Paz arrived,
rapid as the thunderbolt, charged the aggressors
from behind, forced them to turn against him,
and, amid balls, poignard-strokes and maledictions,
reached Don Vegal, to whom he made a rampart of
his body. Courage revived in the hearts of the besieged.
"Well done, my son, well done!" said Don Vegal
to Martin Paz, pressing his hand.
But the young Indian was gloomy.
"Well done! Martin Paz," exclaimed another
voice which went to his very soul; he recognized
Sarah, and his arm traced a bloody circle around
The company of Sambo gave way in its turn.
Twenty times had this modern Brutus directed his
blows against his son, without being able to reach
him, and twenty times Martin had turned away the
weapon about to strike his father.
Suddenly the ferocious Manangani, covered with
blood, appeared beside the Sambo.
"Thou hast sworn," said he, "to avenge the
treason of a wretch on his kindred, on his friends, on
himself. Well, it is time! the soldiers are coming;
the mestizo, André Certa, is with them."
"Come then," said the Sambo, with a ferocious
laugh: "come then, for our vengeance approaches."
And both abandoned the house of Don Vegal,
while their companions were being killed there.
They went directly to the company who were arriving.
The latter aimed at them; but without
being intimidated, the Sambo approached the
"You are André Certa," said he; "well, your
betrothed is in the house of Don Vegal, and Martin
Paz is about to carry her to the mountains."
This said, the Indians disappeared. Thus the
Sambo had put face to face two mortal enemies,
and, deceived by the presence of Martin Paz in the
house of Don Vegal, the soldiers rushed upon the
dwelling of the marquis.
André Certa was intoxicated with rage. As
soon as he perceived Martin Paz, he rushed upon
"Here!" exclaimed the young Indian, and quitting
the stone steps which he had so valiantly defended,
he joined the mestizo. Meanwhile the
companions of Martin Paz were repulsing the soldiers
body to body.
Martin Paz had seized André Certa with his
powerful hand, and clasped him so closely that the
mestizo could not use his pistols. They were there,
foot against foot, breast against breast, their faces
touched, and their glances mingled in a single gleam;
their movements became rapid, even invisible; neither
friends nor enemies could approach them; in this
terrible embrace respiration failed, both fell. André
Certa raised himself above Martin Paz, whose poignard
had escaped his grasp. The mestizo raised
his arm, but the Indian succeeded in seizing it before
it had struck. The moment was horrible.
André Certa in vain attempted to disengage himself;
Martin Paz, with supernatural strength, turned
against the mestizo the poignard and the arm which
held it, and plunged it into his heart.
Martin Paz arose all bloody. The place was free,
the soldiers flying in every direction. Martin
Paz might have conquered had he remained on the
Plaza-Mayor. He fell into the arms of Don Vegal.
"To the mountains, my son; flee to the mountains!
now I command it."
"Is my enemy indeed dead?" said Martin Paz,
returning to the corpse of André Certa.
A man was that moment searching it, and held a
pocket-book which he had taken from it. Martin
Paz sprang on this man and overthrew him; it was
the Jew Samuel.
The Indian picked up the pocket-book, opened it
hastily, searched it, uttered a cry of joy, and springing
toward the marquis, put in his hand a paper
on which were written these words:
"Received of the Señor André Certa the sum of
100,000 piasters; I pledge myself to restore this sum
doubled, if Sarah, whom I saved from the shipwreck
of the San-José
, and whom he is about to
espouse, is not the daughter and only heir of the
Marquis Don Vegal.
"My daughter! my daughter!" exclaimed the
Spaniard, and he fell into the arms of Martin Paz,
who carried him to the chamber of Sarah.
Alas! the young girl was no longer there; Father
Joachim, bathed in his own blood, could articulate
only these words:
"The Sambo!—carried off!—toward the river of
And he fainted.
THE CATARACTS OF THE MADEIRA.
"On! on!" Martin Paz had exclaimed. And without
saying a word, Don Vegal followed the Indian. His
daughter!—he must find again his daughter! Mules
were brought, prepared for a long journey among
the Cordilleras; the two men mounted them, wrapped
in their ponchos; large gaiters were attached by
thongs above their knees; immense stirrups, armed
with long spurs, surrounded their feet, and broad-brimmed
Guayaquil hats sheltered their heads.
Arms filled the holsters of each saddle; a carbine,
formidable in the hands of Don Vegal, was suspended
at his side. Martin Paz had encircled himself
with his lasso, one extremity of which was fixed
to the harness of his mule.
The Spaniard and the Indian spurred their horses
to their utmost speed. At the moment of leaving
the walls of the city they were joined by an Indian
equipped like themselves. It was Liberta—Don
Vegal recognized him; the faithful servant wished
to share in their pursuit.
Martin Paz knew all the plains, all the mountains,
which they were to traverse; he knew among what
savage tribes, into what desert country the Sambo
had conveyed his betrothed. His betrothed! he no
longer dared give this name to the daughter of Don
"My son," said the latter, "have you any hope in
"As much as hatred and tenderness."
"The daughter of the Jew, in becoming my blood,
has not ceased to be thine."
"Let us press on!" hastily replied Martin Paz.
On their way the travelers saw a great number of
Indians flying to regain their ranchos amid the mountains.
The defection of Martin Paz had been followed
by defeat. If the émeute had triumphed in
some places, it had received its death-blow at
The three cavaliers traveled rapidly, having but
one idea, one object. They soon buried themselves
among the almost impracticable passes of the Cordilleras.
Difficult pathways circulated through these
reddish masses, planted here and there with cocoanut
and pine trees; the cedars, cotton-trees, and
aloes were left behind them, with the plains covered
with maize and lucerne; some thorny cactuses sometimes
pricked their mules, and made them hesitate
on the verge of precipices.
It was a difficult task to traverse the Cordilleras
during these summer months; the melting of snows
beneath the sun of June often made unforeseen cataracts
spout from beneath the steps of the traveler;
often frightful masses, detaching themselves from
the summits of the peaks, were engulfed near them
in fathomless abysses!
But they continued their march, fearing neither
the hurricane nor the cold of these high solitudes;
they traveled day and night, finding neither cities
nor dwellings where they might for a moment repose;
happy if in some deserted hut they found a
mat of tortora upon which to extend their wearied
limbs, some pieces of meat dried in the sun, some
calabashes full of muddy water.
They reached at last the summit of the Andes,
14,000 feet above the level of the sea. There, no
more trees, no more vegetation; sometimes an oso
or ucuman, a sort of enormous black bear, came to
meet them. Often, during the afternoon, they were
enveloped in those formidable storms of the Cordilleras,
which raise whirlwinds of snow from the
loftiest summits. Don Vegal sometimes paused, unaccustomed
to these frightful perils. Martin Paz
then supported him in his arms, and sheltered him
against the drifting snow. And yet lightnings flashed
from the clouds, and thunders broke over these barren
peaks, and filled the mountain recesses with their
At this point, the most elevated of the Andes, the
travelers were seized with a malady called by the
Indians soroche, which deprives the most intrepid
man of his courage and his strength. A superhuman
will is then necessary to keep one from falling motionless
on the stones of the road, and being devoured
by those immense condors which display above
their vast wings! These three men spoke little;
each wrapped himself in the silence which these
vast deserts inspired.
On the eastern slope of the Cordilleras, they hoped
to find traces of their enemies; they therefore traveled
on, and were at last descending the chain of
mountains; but the Andes are composed of a great
number of salient peaks, so that inaccessible precipices
were constantly rising before them.
Nevertheless they soon found the trees of inferior
levels; the llamas, the vigonias, which feed on
the thin grass, announced the neighborhood of men.
Sometimes they met gauchos conducting their arias
of mules; and more than one capataz (leader of a
convoy) exchanged fresh animals for their exhausted
In this manner they reached the immense virgin
forests which cover the plains situated between
Peru and Brazil; they began thenceforth to recover
traces of the captors; and it was in the midst of
these inextricable woods that Martin Paz recovered
all his Indian sagacity.
Courage returned to the Spaniard, strength returned
to Liberta, when a half-extinct fire and prints
of footsteps proved the proximity of their enemies.
Martin Paz noted all and studied all, the breaking of
the little branches, the nature of the vestiges.
Don Vegal feared lest his unfortunate daughter
should have been dragged on foot through the stones
and thorns; but the Indian showed him some pebbles
strongly imbedded in the earth, which indicated the
pressure of an animal's foot; above, branches had
been pushed aside in the same direction, which
could have been reached only by a person on horseback.
The poor father comforted himself and recovered
life and hope, and then Martin Paz was so
confident, so skillful, so strong, that there were for
him neither impassable obstacles nor insurmountable
Nevertheless immense forests contracted the horizon
around them, and trees multiplied incessantly
before their fatigued eyes.
One evening, while the darkness was gathering
beneath the opaque foliage, Martin Paz, Liberta and
Don Vegal were compelled by fatigue to stop. They
had reached the banks of a river; it was the river
Madeira, which the Indian recognized perfectly;
immense mangrove trees bent above the sleeping
wave and were united to the trees on the opposite
shore by capricious lianes (vines), on which were
balancing the titipaying and the concoulies.
Had the captors ascended the banks? had they
descended the course of the river? had they crossed
it in a direct line? Such were the questions with
which Martin Paz puzzled himself. He stepped a
little aside from his companions, following with infinite
difficulty some fugitive tracks; these brought
him to a clearing a little less gloomy. Some footsteps
indicated that a company of men had, perhaps,
crossed the river at this spot, which was the opinion
of the Indian, although he found around him no proof
of the construction of a canoe; he knew that the
Sambo might have cut down some tree in the middle
of the forest, and having spoiled it of its bark, made
of it a boat, which could have been carried on the
arms of men to the shores of the Madeira. Nevertheless,
he was still hesitating, when he saw a sort
of black mass move near a thicket; he quickly prepared
his lasso and made ready for an attack; he
advanced a few paces, and perceived an animal lying
on the ground, a prey to the final convulsions—it was
a mule. The poor, expiring beast had been struck
at a distance from the spot whither it had been dragged,
leaving long traces of blood on its passage.
Martin Paz no longer doubted that the Indians, unable
to induce it to cross the river, had killed it with
the stroke of a poignard, as a deep wound indicated.
From this moment he felt certain of the direction of
his enemies; and returned to his companions, who
were already uneasy at his long absence.
"To-morrow, perhaps, we shall see the young
girl!" said he to them.
"My daughter! Oh! my son! let us set out this
instant," said the Spaniard; "I am no longer fatigued,
and strength returns with hope—let us go!"
"But we must cross this river, and we cannot lose
time in constructing a canoe."
"We will swim across."
"Courage, then, my father! Liberta and myself
will sustain you."
All three laid aside their garments, which Martin
Paz carried in a bundle upon his head; and all three
glided silently into the water, for fear of awakening
some of these dangerous caïmans so numerous in
the rivers of Brazil and Peru.
They arrived safely at the opposite shore: the
first care of Martin Paz was to recover traces of the
Indians; but in vain did he scrutinize the smallest
leaves, the smallest pebbles—he could discover nothing;
as the rapid current had carried them down
in crossing, he ascended the bank of the river to the
spot opposite that where he had found the mule, but
nothing indicated the direction taken by the captors.
It must have been that these, that their tracks might
be entirely lost, had descended the river for several
miles, in order to land far from the spot of their embarkation.
Martin Paz, that his companions might not be discouraged,
did not communicate to them his fears;
he said not even a word to Don Vegal respecting the
mule, for fear of saddening him still more with the
thought that his daughter must now be dragged
through these difficult passes.
When he returned to the Spaniard, he found him
asleep—fatigue had prevailed over grief and resolution;
Martin Paz was careful not to awaken him;
a little sleep might do him much good; but, while
he himself watched, resting the head of Don Vegal
on his knees and piercing with his quick glances the
surrounding shadows, he sent Liberta to seek below
on the river some trace which might guide them at
the first rays of the sun.
The Indian departed in the direction indicated,
gliding like a serpent between the high brush with
which the shores were bristling, and the sound of his
footsteps was soon lost in the distance.
Thenceforth Martin Paz remained alone amid
these gloomy solitudes: the Spaniard was sleeping
peacefully; the names of his daughter and the Indian
sometimes mingled in his dreams, and alone
disturbed the silence of these obscure forests.
The young Indian was not mistaken; the Sambo
had descended the Madeira three miles, then had
landed with the young girl and his numerous companions,
among whom might be numbered Manangani,
still covered with hideous wounds.
The company of Sambo had increased during the
journey. The Indians of the plains and the mountains
had awaited with impatience the triumph of
the revolt; on learning the failure of their brethren,
they fell a prey to a gloomy despair; hearing that
they had been betrayed by Martin Paz, they uttered
yells of rage; when they saw that they had a victim
to be sacrificed to their anger, they burst forth in
cries of joy and followed the company of the old
They marched thus to the approaching sacrifice,
devouring the young girl with sanguinary glances—it
was the betrothed, the beloved of Martin Paz
whom they were about to put to death; abuse was
heaped upon her, and more than once the Sambo,
who wished his revenge to be public, with difficulty
wrested Sarah from their fury.
The young girl, pale, languishing, was without
thought and almost without life amid this frightful
horde; she had no longer the sentiment of motion,
of will, of existence—she advanced, because bloody
hands urged her onward; they might have abandoned
her in the midst of these great solitudes—she
could not have taken a step to have escaped death.
Sometimes the remembrance of her father and of
the young Indian passed before her eyes, but like a
gleam of lightning bewildering her; then she fell
again an inert mass on the neck of the poor mule,
whose wounded feet could no longer sustain her.
When beyond the river she was compelled to follow
her captors on foot, two Indians taking her by the
arm dragged her rapidly along, and a trace of blood
marked on the sand and dead leaves her painful passage.
But the Sambo was no longer afraid of pursuit;
he cared little that this blood betrayed the direction
he had taken—he was approaching the termination
of his journey, and soon the cataracts which abound
in the currents of the great river sent up their deafening
The numerous company of Indians arrived at a
sort of village, composed of a hundred huts, made of
reeds interlaced and clay; at their approach, a multitude
of women and children darted toward them
with loud cries of joy—more than one found there
his anxious family—more than one wife missed the
father of her children!
These women soon learned the defeat of their
party; their sadness was transformed into rage on
learning the defection of Martin Paz, and on seeing
his betrothed devoted to death.
Sarah remained immovable before these enemies
and looked at them with a dim eye; all these hideous
faces were making grimaces around her, and the
most terrific threats were uttered in her ears—the
poor child might have thought herself delivered over
to the torturers of the infernal regions.
"Where is my husband?" said one; "it is thou
who hast caused him to be killed!"
"And my brother, who will never again return to
the cabin—what hast thou done with him? Death!
death! Let each of us have a piece of her flesh!
let each of us have a pain to make her suffer!
And these women, with dishevelled hair, brandishing
knives, waving flaming brands, bearing enormous
stones, approached the young girl, surrounded
her, pressed her, crushed her.
"Back!" cried the Sambo, "back! and let all
await the decision of their chiefs! This girl must
disarm the anger of the Great Spirit, which has
rested upon our arms; and she shall not serve for
private revenge alone!"
The women obeyed the words of the old Indian,
casting frightful glances on the young girl; the latter,
covered with blood, remained extended on the
Above this village, plunges, from a height of more
than a hundred feet, a foaming cataract, which
breaks against sharp rocks; the Madeira, contracted
into a deep bed, precipitates this dense mass of water
with frightful rapidity; a cloud of mist is eternally
suspended above this torrent, whose fall sends
its formidable and thundering roar afar.
It was in the midst of this foaming tempest that
the unfortunate young girl was destined to die; at
the first rays of the sun, exposed in a bark canoe
above the cataract, she was to be precipitated with
the mass of waters on the rude rocks against which
the Madeira broke.
So the council of chiefs had decided; and they
had delayed until the morrow the punishment of
their victim, to give her a night of anguish, of torment,
and of terror.
When the sentence was made known, cries of joy
welcomed it, and a furious delirium seized the Indians.
It was a night of orgies—a night of blood and of
horror; brandy increased the excitement of these
wild natives; dances, accompanied with perpetual
yells, surrounded the young girl, and wound their
fantastic chains about the stake to which she was
fastened. Sometimes the circle narrowed, and enlaced
her in its furious whirls: the Indians ran
through the uncultivated fields, brandishing blazing
pine-branches, and surrounding the victim with
And it was thus until sunrise, and worse yet when
its first rays illuminated the scene. The young girl
was detached from the stake, and a hundred arms
were stretched out to drag her to execution, when
the name of Martin Paz involuntarily escaped her
lips, and cries of hatred and of vengeance responded.
It was necessary to climb by steep paths the immense
pile of rocks which led to the upper level of
the river, and the victim arrived there all bloody; a
canoe of bark awaited her a hundred paces above
the fall; she was deposited in it, and fastened by
bonds which entered her flesh.
"Vengeance and death!" exclaimed the whole
tribe, with one voice.
The canoe was hurried on with increasing rapidity
and began to whirl.
Suddenly a man appeared on the opposite shore— It
is Martin Paz! Beside him, are Don Vegal and
"My daughter! my daughter!" exclaims the father,
kneeling on the shore.
"My father!" replied Sarah, raising herself up
with superhuman strength.
The scene was indescribable. The canoe was
rapidly hastening to the cataract, in whose foam it
was already enveloped.
Martin Paz, standing on a rock, balanced his lasso
which whistled around his head. At the instant the
boat was about to be precipitated, the long leathern
thong unfolded from above the head of the Indian,
and surrounded the canoe with its noose.
"My daughter! my daughter!" exclaimed Don
"My betrothed! my beloved!" cried Martin
"Death!" yelled the savage multitude.
Meanwhile Martin Paz redoubles his efforts; the
canoe remains suspended over the abyss; the current
cannot prevail over the strength of the young
Indian; the canoe is drawn to him; the enemies
are far on the opposite shore; the young girl is
Suddenly an arrow whistles through the air, and
pierces the heart of Martin Paz. He falls forward in
the bark of the victim; and, re-descending the current
of the river in her arms, is engulfed with Sarah
in the vortex of the cataract.
A yell of triumph is heard above the sound of the
Liberta bore off the Spaniard amid a cloud of arrows,
and disappeared with him.
Don Vegal regained Lima, where he died with
grief and exhaustion.
The Sambo, who remained among his sanguinary
tribes, was never heard of more.
The Jew Samuel kept the hundred thousand piasters
he had received, and continued his usuries at
the expense of the Limanian nobles.
Martin Paz and Sarah were, in their brief and
final re-union, betrothed for eternity.