Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Lima, the Stately Old City of Kings
feel the heat doubly. My face was so badly chapped with the cold winds of the high regions
that I had not been able to shave for some days, and my appearance was such that even the
street urchins on the outskirts of Lima shouted bandolero after me. The three of us were
covered with dust, and perspiration fairly dripped off us, so I could hardly blame the gutter-
In the morning I had telephonically advised the Argentine minister that I would arrive in
the capital at four p.m., but as I had timed it badly I was in the centre of the town over one
hour before time. I dismounted in front of an hotel in the centre of the town, where we had
his way through the bystanders to see what was happening, and when he saw me he stared
as if he were looking at the Wild Man of Borneo. When I explained who I was he gave me a
broad smile, and kindly offered to look after the horses whilst I went into the hotel to see if
anybody had arrived. When I walked into the lobby, the employees' looks were real studies,
for they had probably never seen such a rough-looking specimen of humanity before.
I suddenly remembered that I still had my guns on me, and when I saw that nobody was
there to greet me I thought it would be entertaining to have a little joke to pass away time. It
was obvious that nobody suspected who I was, and so I walked to the room clerk's desk and
askedhimforaroomwithabath,butinstead ofanswering herushedawaytoconsult withthe
manager, and I was not at all surprised when he returned and very apologetically informed me
that all the rooms were occupied but that there was a quite good hotel not far from there.
Instead of leaving I returned to the lobby where I sat down and ordered a bottle of beer,
acting something like a performing dog running back to his stool after having gone through
his repertoire of tricks.
arrived, and when the hotel people saw that they had come to greet me, they looked as embar-
rassed as if they had suddenly lost their trousers. An Argentine sportsman who owned several
racehorses immediately offered me his stables, and soon after Mancha and Gato were trying
to make up for what they had missed in the mountains.
I bought myself some suitable clothes for city wear, and next morning, after having bathed
and shaved, and generally 'dolled up', I sat down at my table to have breakfast. My appear-
ancewasnowsodifferentthatthewaiter askedmekindlytomovetoanothertable, telling me
that the one I was sitting at was reserved for 'the Argentine rider.
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