Travel Reference
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from flower to flower, and where parrots frolicked and screeched on the tree tops. Up in the
desolate regions we saw some condors majestically circling in the clear, blue sky. Probably
these Andean kings were on the look-out for the carcass of some unfortunate beast of burden.
My friend's condition was getting worse and worse, and with it his temper. I took good
care not to let him notice that I was beginning to feel alarmed about him, and thus he more or
less kept up his spirits.
About eighty miles before we reached the town of Ayacucho we struck a hacienda (farm)
where we were invited to unsaddle. After dinner we started chatting, and during the course of
conversation we discussed the marvellous resistance of the Indians. Our hosts told us that a
seriousaccidenthadhappenedtooneoftheirmennotlongbefore,andasadoctorhappenedto
be staying on the place at the time, he sent an elderly Indian to the distant town to fetch some
chloroform he needed to enable him to operate on the victim. The distance from that place to
Ayacucho and back is roughly one hundred and fifty miles, and the rough trail leads over sev-
eral mountains. According to several witnesses the Indian was back in seventeen hours, and
after he had eaten something he carried on with his usual work until evening. True, natives on
foot make short cuts, and thus save many miles, but on the other hand these foot trails lead
over places where white men would hardly make any progress.
Civilisation Again
InAyacucho a doctor immediately attended to my friend, and high time it was, forthe flesh of
his hands had positively begun to rot. From here, Mr W. could reach the railway terminus by
automobile, and the train would take him over the last range down to Lima. The best hotel in
the town was dirty and lacking in many respects, but we were happy to be in it, and once the
animals had been accommodated and fed we sat down to a hearty meal, and shortly after we
were making up for some of our lost sleep.
ThesecondmainrangeoftheAndeswasbehindusnow,andthehorseswereinsuchexcel-
lent condition that I had no doubt that only an accident could prevent us from reaching Lima
and the Pacific Ocean.
After a few days Mr W. was well enough to travel without running a risk, and accordingly
he arranged to leave on a lorry that was about to make the trip to the railway terminus.
Likemosttourists,hewasakeensouvenirhunterandadmirerofantiques,andashehoped
to find some bargains on his way to Lima, he changed all his remaining banknotes for silver
coins. When the lorry arrived he was ready to depart. His hands were wrapped up in bandages
and his face was still in a terrible mess. He had obviously forgotten that one of the handbags
was filled with coins for, in spite of his infected hands, he tried to lift it as if it only contained
a few articles of clothing. When he felt the weight of it he let go a stream of language that
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