and rarely go out without a machete in their hands or hanging from their waists, like swords,
in leather sheaths.
We passed several groups of prisoners who were chained together in twos, mending the
road under the supervision of armed guards.
In the towns and villages I usually kept the horses in the hotel (?) backyard, and paid some
man to bring the fodder there. I had several reasons for doing this, one being that this kept
them free from ticks and other parasites which immediately covered them when out in the
Traversing quite pretty and hilly country we came to the river Lempa which is the biggest
in San Salvador, and there we had the luck to find a ferry-boat, the first and only one we used
on the whole trip. The experience being a new one to the horses, the loading and unloading
of them were none too easy, but once on the primitive craft, which was manned by two men
rowing in front and one steering behind, the animals seemed quite unconcerned.
I had unloaded Mancha and took him up the bank where I put him under a shady tree and
then, whilst I was busy coaxing Gato off the boat, I noticed that Mancha was snorting and
nervously looking around. When I had taken the other horse up the bank, I went to investigate
the cause of the trouble and soon found a big snake curled up in the grass near Mancha. When
I had killed it we proceeded to a little town called Cojutepeque.
Here I was kept awake all night by the noise of bands, rockets and drunkards. A religious
fiesta was on, and in addition to this a group of 'distinguished' young caballeros were celeb-
rating the occasion of having received their doctors' degrees, a natural event in most young
men's lives here, provided they are of buena familia , wear boots, collars, and maybe a neck-
tie. The celebration was held in the courtyard of the dirty hotel where I had taken quarters.
The stupendous scholars were making interminable speeches in turn, thunderous cheers and
applause acknowledging the hearers' appreciation of any particularly clever twist of ultra-
flowery lingo, of which even the most humble peon (worker) is very fond.
ruins. Not a soul was to be seen, and only the drumming of the horses' hoofs on the rough
cobblestones disturbed the almost uncanny silence. The heat rose in waves, and sometimes I
ing their sleepy eyes at the glare of the sun. They stretch their stiff limbs, yawn, and scratch
themselves, while the women go to fetch water, balancing big calabashes or round water-jugs
on their heads.
Shortly before we arrived at San Salvador City we passed close to Lake Itopango, which
looks exceedingly pretty, entirely surrounded as it is by mountains.
The outskirts of the capital are inhabited by the poor. The roads are made of very rough
cobblestones, andthefilth lyingaboutissomething indescribable. Peels andskinsoffruit,old