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vegetation andthemountainsinthedistanceformingapicturesquebackground.Theshipsan-
chor outside, and are only reached by launches and lighters, a circumstance that made me feel
very uneasy considering my horses had to be loaded. To put them aboard was no easy task. I
had to put them in crates built for the purpose, lower them from the wharf on to a lighter, and
then swing them on board; a very dangerous proceeding, with so many inexpert and excitable
half-castes yelling and fussing about.
Once on board the S.S. City of San Francisco , the horses were soon the pets of everybody.
The chief officer, Mr Wagner, who had formerly been in the U.S. cavalry, did his utmost to
make them happy and comfortable. There were several passengers on board, and among them
a couple of globe-trotters who had been on the ship all the way up from Panama. They were
'walking' around the world, but obviously preferred to avoid the nasty and uninhabited parts,
where I later heard that they had told people all about tigers and snakes in the Panamanian
jungles which they had seen in the distance from the ship. We called at Corinto, in Nicaragua,
a two hours' run took us to La Union where the horses were unloaded again.
San Salvador
In the Central American republics they seem to pick the darkest and most ignorant men to fill
the posts of port captains and officials, which is apt to give visitors a bad first impression of
the country. The only republic where difficulties were placed in my way by such people was
they tried to have their revenge by confiscating my firearms. Finally I thought the time had
come to put an end to all this nonsense, so I took the offensive, which proved to be the best
defence, and when the dusky officials realised that they had put their foot in it they tried to
make up for it by apologising in the most flowery lingo they could think of. I did not waste
much time in La Union, and with a bad first taste of the country I started the ride towards the
capital. Years ago a wagon road had existed, but since a rickety railroad has been constructed
this highway has been neglected and is useless today, except as a path for mules, burros and
After a journey in stifling and oppressive heat we halted in a small village. A child had
been buried that day, so I did not get much sleep, the mourners spending the night drinking,
dancing, fighting and howling like wolves on a moonlight night. I was told that this is the
custom among these people when a child or a spinster dies. When a joyful chord is struck on
the guitar, everybody dances and sings, and when the chord is a sad one this is the signal for
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