The Pearl of Lima
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 regards.
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
This was the friend, the parasite of André Certa, a young mestizo of
swarthy complexion, whose thin beard gave a singular appearance to his
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 for nothing."
"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 mine."
"But why," asked some one, "do you not espouse some Spanish girl of high
"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
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
"Miserable Indian!" exclaimed the mestizo, raising his hand upon him.
His companions restrained him. Milleflores, whose face was pale with
"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
"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 neighborhood.
"In an hour, I must be at the house of Jew Samuel," said André.
"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
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
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
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 of confusion.
"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
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 Callao.
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
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 her follower.
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
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 ladies.
"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 this evening?"
"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 gaucho."
"Then the young man did wrong in defending me from the abuse of the
"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
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 beside him.
"Martin Paz," said one of them to him, "you ought this very evening to
meet our brethren in the mountains."
"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 your presence."
"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 you here."
"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 me."
"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 darkness.
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
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
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
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 contemplation?"
André Certa spoke angrily.
"Since the Indians have trodden the soil of their ancestors."
"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
André Certa became pale with anger; he advanced a step toward his
"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
"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
This man was the Jew Samuel; he had just recognized the betrothed of his
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,
"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 honor."
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 hand.
"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
"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 my daughter."
At this moment the door of the chamber opened, and the major-domo of the
Jew Samuel respectfully entered.
"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 André.
"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
"It is well," said the old man; "he has met with a just fate. Did you
recognize him in his flight?"
"Perfectly, sir; it was Martin Paz, the Indian of the mountains."
"Has this man been observing Sarah for some time past?"
"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
The duenna entered, and remained standing before her master.
"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
"Has this Indian often thrown himself in her way?"
"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
"Her assistance! how?"
The old woman related the scene with downcast head.
"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 wonders.
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 lips.
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 to her.
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
Liberta, clad like an Indian of the mountains, prepared to accompany his
"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 disgrace.
According to others, the schooner was simply a smuggler of European
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 Rimac.
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 grief.
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
"Wo! wo! They have killed the son of the Sambo! They have killed my
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 him.
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 Spanish aristocracy.
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
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 words:
"Señor, you have forgotten to take the diamonds which I had left on that
Martin Paz turned. A man of noble stature and of great pride of
countenance was pointing to a jewel-case.
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 the ground.
"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 emotion.
"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 peaceful security.
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
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 Spaniard.
"I must have thirty thousand piasters within an hour."
"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 falls."
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
"I do not know him, and I beg of you to send me this instant, the sum
agreed upon. Take away these jewels."
"Will you have a receipt for them?" asked the Jew.
Don Vegal passed into the adjoining room, without replying.
"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 mortification.
"What is the matter?" he asked affectionately.
"Señor, it is the daughter of the Jew whom I love."
"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 afterward!"
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
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 Paz.
"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 thither."
"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
Suddenly the glances of Don Vegal rested on a young girl, enveloped in a
black mantle, reclining in a calêche.
"Who is that beautiful person?" asked he of the father.
"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
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 parades.
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 them.
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 without danger.
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 eye
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
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 Indian.
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
"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
The Indians within, knowing themselves in safety, lent therefore close
attention to the words of the Sambo, in whom they placed entire
"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 the Indian.
"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 first?"
"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 Cordilleras."
"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 recoiled.
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 race."
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 the table."
"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 daily."
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
"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 will."
And the Sambo tore the billet in a rage.
"It must have been an Indian who brought this billet," observed
"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 surprised.
By these traits the reader will recognize the Jew Samuel.
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 thousand piasters.
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
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 society.
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 into imprecations.
"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 pale.
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, roughly.
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 your marriage."
"Eight thousand piasters!" resumed André Certa.
He lost again: the mestizo suppressed a curse and the banker
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, and said--
"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
"I have secrets of importance to communicate. Where can we converse in
"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
"Let us take a canoe," said André, "and go out into the open sea; the
sharks may, perhaps, show themselves discreet."
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
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 the Jew.
"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
"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
"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
"What does this mean?" asked Martin Paz of himself, still swimming in
"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 of
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 species.
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 to Lima.
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
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 toilet.
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
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
"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 words,
"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 empty.
"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 the house.
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
"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 him:
"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 terror.
"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
"Withdraw, friend," said Don Vegal to the young man; "withdraw."
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 Vegal.
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 enemies?"
Martin Paz replied neither to his father, nor to Manangani.
"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
"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 the Cordilleras.
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 him not.
"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 populace.
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 the Amancaës.
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
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, and vociferations.
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 miracle.
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
There was not a moment to lose; the battery must be seized before it
could be discharged.
"On!" cried Manangani, addressing himself to Martin Paz.
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 assassinating him!"
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 without mercy.
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
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
"Well done, my son, well done!" said Don Vegal to Martin Paz, pressing
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
Suddenly the ferocious Manangani, covered with blood, appeared beside
"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
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 mestizo.
"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
André Certa was intoxicated with rage. As soon as he perceived Martin
Paz, he rushed upon him.
"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
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 Madeira!--"
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 Vegal.
"My son," said the latter, "have you any hope in your heart?"
"As much as hatred and tenderness."
"The daughter of the Jew, in becoming my blood, has not ceased to be
"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 Lima.
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 terrific roar.
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
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 ones.
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 perils.
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
"But we must cross this river, and we cannot lose time in constructing a
"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
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
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
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
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 Indian.
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 clamor.
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
"Where is my husband?" said one; "it is thou who hast caused him to be
"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! Death! death!"
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
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 pebbly shore.
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 light.
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
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 Liberta.
"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 Vegal.
"My betrothed! my beloved!" cried Martin Paz.
"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 saved.
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 torrent.
Liberta bore off the Spaniard amid a cloud of arrows, and disappeared
Don Vegal regained Lima, where he died with grief and exhaustion.
The Sambo, who remained among his sanguinary tribes, was never heard of
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