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Nov. 1998 




South American Butterflies. 








1. Morpho achillcBna (Hiibner). 

2. Ageronia velutina Bates. 

3. Heliconius phyllis (Fabricius). 

4. Catagramma cynosura Doubleday & Hewitson. 


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5. Stalachhs phlegia (Cramer). 


6. A grias sardanapahis Bates. 

7. Cotaw /e5^'a (Fabricius). 

8. Catoblepia berecynthus (Cramer). 

9. Cattithea hewitsoni Staudinger. 

10. Heliconius narccea Godart. 

1 1 . Eresia simois Hewitson. 

12. Eresia anieta Hewitson. 



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SOME who are now engaged in literary pursuits 
would no doubt be far more profitably engaged 
in growing corn. 'The first call' belongs to the 
stomach. There is always a market for breadstuff s. 
" Literary wares," on the other hand, often go a-begging. 
I have a friend who is a poet. For the last twenty 
years or more he has every day composed for the news- 
papers from four to ten stanzas of humorous verse. 
I complimented him recently upon the fecundity of 
his muse. 'Oh, that is nothing!" he replied. "There 
is a man in Kansas who advertises that he will write 
poems in exchange for garden-truck." Even poets 
have stomachs, and call for food. Corn may be traded 
for culture. 

Happy then the lot of the farmer! He needs but 

to carry his eggs to the market, and, if they be only 

'tolerably fresh," he is sure to return with his pockets 

filled with jingling dollars or poems, if he lives in 


In view of the foregoing reflections it may appear to 
be a daring act for the writer to venture to add another 
to the long and ever-growing list of books; more espe- 
cially to add another tale to the many which have been 
told by travelers. At first I hesitated, but finally 
yielded to the persuasions of certain of my friends, 
justly held in esteem by the literary world, who have 

vi Preface 

urged me to set down my impressions of a journey which 
at all events was pleasurable to me. 

I brought back with me from South America a large 
series of photographs, some of them made by my 
assistant, Air. Arthur S. Coggeshall, others obtained in 
places visited by us. During my journey, at such 
few moments of leisure as I could command, I made a 
number of sketches both in oil and water-colors. Some 
of these photographs and sketches I have used in 
illustrating the book. 

This book is not a manual of statistics; it does not 
touch, except incidentally, upon the history of the 
great republics of the south; it is not intended to be 
in any sense didactic; it is simply the record of a 
pleasant journey, during which I saw much and learned 
much which was of interest to me, and may also be of 
interest to my readers. If they derive half as much 
satisfaction from my pages as I had in my pilgrimage 
to the " Silver River " I shall feel repaid. 

W. J. H. 

September, 1913. 



I. --THE DIPLODOCUS . . . . . i 

II. AT SEA . . . . . . .16 



V. A DAY IN BAHIA ..... 43 

VI. Rio DE JANEIRO ..... 57 




X. LA PLATA ...... 108 

XI. ARGENTINA . . . . . .128 

XII. BUENOS AIRES ..... 147 




viii Contents 





XX. SAO PAULO ...... 302 

XXI. TRINIDAD . . . . . . 3 ir -> 



INDEX ...... 373 


(In Color) 





SUNSET AT SEA ....... 88 




(In Half -Tone) 


Photograph of the Skeleton Mounted in the 
Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh. Total Length 
84^ feet; Height at Hips, 13 feet. 



1. Some of Father Neptune's Minions. 

2. The Chief Steward is Tumbled into the 

Bathing Tank 


x Illustrations 


VIEWS ix BAHIA. . .... 52 

1. View, Looking down from the Balcony of the 

Elevator in the Upper City. 

2. Interior of Church of San Antonio, Bahia. 

DEN, Rio DE JANEIRO ..... 66 



1. Vegetable Dealer 


2. Poultry Vender 



1. View of the Harbor. 

2. Loading Coffee at Santos. Bananas Piled on 

Forward Deck 


1. The Cathedral. 

2. The Presidential Mansion 





Illustrations xi 



AIRES ........ 146 

VIEWS ON THE PAMPAS . . . . 152 

1. Herd of Blooded Cattle. 

2. Sheep. The Meat of the Country. 


1. Guanacos in the Zoological Garden. 

2. The Dairyman. 



1. Colon Theatre. 

2. Humble Home. 


1. A Guacho. 

2. A Country Market-place. 

MAR DEL PLATA ....... 186 

1. The Beach. 

2. Lodging House of the Hotel Bristol. 

HANDLING GRAIN . . . . . .210 

1. Hauling Wheat to Market. Seven Horses 

Harnessed Abreast. 

2. Grain Elevators, Buenos Aires. 

FARM-LIFE ....... 238 

1. Wheat Sacked and Piled after Threshing on 

an Argentinian Ranch. 

2. Argentinian Farm- wagon, Used for Heavy 


xii Illustrations 


OF ARGENTINA ....... 248 


1. El Tigre. A Favorite Pleasure Resort near 

Buenos Aires. 

2. Tucuman, the Ancient Capital. 

BUENOS AIRES. ....... 286 

1. Monument of San Martin. 

2. Glimpse into the Cemeterio del Norte 





1. View of Mont Pelee. 

2. Negro Boy Diving for a Penny, Barbados 


1 . Diagram Showing the Succession of the Geologic 

Ages, and the Origin in Time of Animals and 
Plants ....... 4 

2. Two caudal vertebras of Diplodocus . . 7 

3. Breadfruit ....... 47 

4. Jackfruit ....... 47 

5. Eudcemonia semiramis ..... 74 

6. Macro pus longimanus . . . . - 75 

7. Dynastes hercules . . . . .78 

8. Coffee in bloom ...... 86 

9. Coffee in fruit . .86 

Illustrations xiii 


10. Skull of Sabre-toothed Tiger . . .115 

11. Skull of "pug-faced" or Niata cow . 117 

12. Group of skeletons of Pigmy Camels (Steno- 

mylus hitchcocki) . . . . .158 

13. Carpinchos (Hydrochcems capybard) . .180 

14. Crested Screamer (Chaunia chavaria) . .183 

15. Silver-mounted Mate-gourd and Bombilla . 190 

16. Vizcacha ....... 195 

17. Mylodon robustus Owen .... 200 

18. D&dicurus davicaudatus Owen . . . 203 

19. Macrauchenia patachonica Owen . . . 208 

20. Skeleton of Toxodon burmeisteri Giebel . . 209 

21. Skin of Grypotherium domesticum Roth . .213 

22. Ordure of Grypotherium domesticum Roth . 220 

23. Cocoon of (Eketicus platensis . . .229 

24. Head of Everglade Kite (Rostrhamus socia- 

bilis) ........ 233 

25. Shell of Ampullaria canaliculate, . . . 233 

26. Scissor-tailed Fly-catcher (Milvulus tyrannus) 263 

27. Carancho (Polyborus tharus) . . .284 

28. Nine-banded Armadillo .... 287 

29. Armadillo-basket ...... 287 

30. Pod of Cacao (Theobroma cacao) . . .327 

31. Guacharo (Steatornis steatornis) . c . 332 

32. Caricature from Caras y Car etas . . . 364 






o ^ 


w s 






















To the River Plate and Back 



"I wish I were an ichthyosaurus 
And could swim the Lias ocean, 
And eat fish. But, oh! I am not. 
Alas! I cannot be an ichthyo- 
Ichthyosaurus ; for I 'm a diplo- 
Diplodo-do-docus. I can tie 
My rubber neck into a knot." 

SONG-BOOK of the Geological Society of America. 

ON November n, 1911, Mr. Andrew Carnegie 
dictated a note to the writer, in which he stated 
that he had received from Dr. Roque Saenz Pena, the 
President of the Argentine Republic, a letter suggesting, 
that, inasmuch as replicas of the skeleton of Diplodocus 
carnegiei had been presented to the national museums 
of various European countries, a like donation to the 
National Museum of Argentina would be greatly 
appreciated. Mr. Carnegie went on to say in his note 
that the expression of the wish of a king or president 
is not to be lightly set aside, and accordingly instructed 
me to prepare such a replica, as soon as it could be 
conveniently done, and to arrange for its installation 

2 To the River Plate and Back 

in such museum as might be designated by the proper 

At this point the reader, unless he is well versed in 
the recent progress of paleontological research, may 
well ask: "What is a Diplodocus?'' He will find him- 
self in the same frame of mind as the French Secretary 
of Legation who was being entertained in Philadelphia, 
and came to his host with a troubled countenance 
saying: 'I have been here for some days and I hear 
everybody speaking about ze Biddies. Vat ees a 
Biddle? Je ne comprends pas." 

Before answering the question, a little preliminary 
discourse of a semi-scientific nature is required for 
the enlightenment of the uninitiated. Should any one 
of my brethren of the Geological Society of America 
chance upon this book, he is at liberty to omit the 
perusal of what follows on the immediately succeeding 

The world in which we live is a very old world. 
Many things have happened during its long existence, 
and one of these, which is of interest to all of us, is the 
evolution upon its surface of plants and animals. No 
recording angel has written down the story of this 
process, and we are left to decipher it, as well as we 
may, from the records, more or less confused and frag- 
mentary, which we find in the sedimentary rocks. 
These are the rocks, which once were mud and beds of 
sand, in which were buried bits of wood, leaves, shells, 
and the bones of various animals. In the lapse of 
ages the mud and the sand became cemented together 
and hardened, carrying with them as integral parts of 
their substance the remains which were included in 
them. These sedimentary rocks in the aggregate are 
very thick. It has been estimated that they have a 

The Diplodocus 3 

perpendicular depth of fifteen miles or more ; not in one 
place, but when they are arranged in chronological 
order according to the times of their deposition. Their 
strata have been studied carefully, have been classified, 
and many of them named. 

Lying on the crystalline rocks, which do not appear 
to have been laid down in water, there are great series 
of strata, consisting at first of the debris of eroded 
igneous rocks, which are known as Archean, in which 
the evidence of the existence of life is mostly inferential, 
based upon the fact that graphite and limestone occur 
in these beds. Upon these were subsequently deposited 
layers of mud, which settled down, when the world 
was young, at the bottom of ancient seas and oceans. 
In these are found here and there the remains of marine 
animals and plants, mostly of a lowly organization. 
To these very old strata geologists have applied the 
name Paleozoic, because they contain relics of the most 
ancient forms of life, the word ''paleozoic' being com- 
posed of two Greek words which mean ; ' ancient" and 
; 'life." Superimposed upon these older formations 
is another great series of rocky layers, some of which 
were laid down in the seas, others of which were formed 
on low-lying swampy lands, and still others in the beds 
of rivers and estuaries. These strata geologists are 
accustomed to call Mesozoic, the word being again 
formed from two Greek vocables meaning "middle' 
and "life." Still higher up in the ascending series is a 
third great aggregation of stony beds, to which geolo- 
gists have given the name Cenozoic, compounded of 
Greek words which signify "new' and "life." These 
beds are often called Tertiary. 

In the Paleozoic sandstones and limestones, as has 
been intimated, we have the remains of creatures which 

4 To the River Plate and Back 

lived in the seas; such as corals, shell-fish, trilobites, 
and in the upper strata curious fishes, mostly long since 
extinct. In the Mesozoic beds, which are of marine 
















Fig. i. Diagram showing the succession of the geologic ages 
and the origin in time of animals and plants. (Modified after 

origin, we find the remains of marine life, but we also 
find in some of the strata great beds of coal, formed no 
doubt on swampy land raised above the level of the 
sea; and we find further fishes and reptiles in great 
numbers, curious birds with teeth, and in the upper 

The Diplodocus 5 

strata a few very primitive mammals. In the Ceno 
zoic rocks occur plants, fishes, reptiles, birds, and mam- 
mals, gradually becoming, as we approach the top of 
the series, more like the creatures which to-day exist 
upon the globe. Finally on top of the Tertiary we 
find the soil and gravel in which man of to-day plays 
his part. 

The reptiles, which most concern us in this narrative, 
reached their highest development in Mesozoic times 
in point of numbers and variety of species. The Meso- 
zoic age has been called 'the age of reptiles," as the 
Cenozoic has been called 'the age of mammals." 
But many of the reptiles of the Mesozoic were not like 
the reptiles of to-day. There were great groups of 
them which have become totally extinct, leaving no 
survivors at the present time. Among these were the 
dinosaurs. Towards the close of the Mesozoic age 
they attained their greatest development, and then in 
early Cenozoic times gradually died out. There were 
probably hundreds, even thousands, of different kinds 
of dinosaurs, which at one time lived upon the globe. 
We know that some of these were quite small; others 
were the hugest animals which have walked on four 
feet upon the surface of the globe. It was the discovery 
of fragments of some of these larger reptiles which led 
Sir Richard Owen, the great English naturalist, to 
coin a name for them, compounded of two Greek 
words, oeivoq (deinos), meaning 'terrible," and aaupos 
(saurus), meaning 'lizard." Dinosaurs are reptiles, 
which lived in the Mesozoic and at the beginning of the 
Cenozoic ages, millions of years ago. As I have inti- 
mated, not all of them were "terrible." Some of them 
were quite small. And these smaller reptiles are only 
called dinosaurs, because they belong to the same natural 

6 To the River Plate and Baek 

order to which the huger beasts of which I have spoken 
have been assigned by systematists. 

One of the great formations of rock belonging to the 
Mesozoic age is known by geologists as the Jurassic, 
so called because it is finely developed in the Jura 
Mountains. But this formation is not confined to 
Europe. Jurassic rocks occur in all parts of the globe. 
They have become the hunting-ground of those who 
desire to obtain well-preserved specimens of dinosaurs. 
There are great exposures of the Jurassic among the 
Rocky Mountains in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and 
other States. 

One of the most indefatigable students of the extinct 
life of the North American continent was the late 
Professor Othniel C. Marsh of Yale University. He 
consecrated his life and the fortune bequeathed to him 
by his uncle, the celebrated philanthropist, George 
Peabody, to the task of elucidating the story buried in 
the strata. He died a poor man, before the work he 
had undertaken had been completed. Generations 
of men are likely to follow him to the grave before the 
whole story is rescued. Among the strange forms, 
fragments of which were obtained for Professor Marsh 
by his assistants working in the Jurassic strata of 
Wyoming, was that of a dinosaur, to which he gave the 
name of Diplodocus. The word is compounded from 
the Greek words CITAOCX; (diploos), meaning ''double," 
and co/.6<; (dokos), meaning "beam," or " rafter." 
In the Sermon on the Mount the word dokos occurs in 
the well-known passage where The Great Teacher says, 
' First cast out the beam [rafter] out of thine own eye ; 
and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out 
of thy brother's eye." The reason Professor Marsh 
chose these words in coining a name for the newly 

The Diplodocus 


Fig. 2. a, b, Two caudal 
vertebras of Diplodocus; c. 
chevrons on under side of 

discovered beast was the fact that on the lower side 
of the tail of the animal, where the vertebras come 
together, there are little bones known to anatomists as 
chevrons, which in the case of these particular animals 
look like little rafters, and which are arranged in pairs. 
This arrangement, it has 
since been discovered, is not 
altogether peculiar to the 
species of the genus Diplo- 
docus, but occurs in other al- 
lied dinosaurs; nevertheless, 
the name having been orig- 
inally given to this form, 
according to the laws of 
scientific nomenclature it 

cannot be changed. Professor Marsh obtained 
through his assistants, principally through the labors 
of Dr. S. W. Williston, now the Professor of Paleon- 
tology in the University of Chicago, some of the limb- 
bones, two somewhat fragmentary skulls, various 
vertebras, and other parts of the animal, sufficient to 
enable him to form an approximate idea of what it 
may have been like. The question of its form and 
structure was nevertheless left for want of more 
material in a somewhat uncertain state. Subsequently 
Professor Henry Fairfield Osborn obtained a pelvis 
and the greater part of the tail of a diplodocus, and 
published a paper enlarging our knowledge of the 
framework of the animal. 

Shortly after the death of Professor Marsh, Mr. 
Andrew Carnegie expressed to the writer his wish that 
the Museum of the Institute which he had founded in 
Pittsburgh should undertake the task of prosecuting 
scientific researches along the same lines which had 

8 To the River Plate and Back 

been followed by his lamented friend, Dr. Marsh, and 
added the promise that he would provide for this 
purpose the necessary funds. It was a noble sugges- 
tion and a noble promise. Work was immediately 
begun and success speedily crowned the efforts of the 
talented assistants whom the writer was able to gather 
about him. Early in July, 1899, a telegram was re- 
ceived from an exploring party in Wyoming announcing 
the discovery not far from the banks of Sheep Creek 
in Albany County of the remains of a diplodocus more 
perfect than had thus far been discovered anywhere. 
The discovery had been made on July 4, 1899. During 
the summer and fall of that year, Dr. Jacob L. Wort- 
man and his assistants, chief among them Mr. Arthur 
S. Coggeshall, labored continuously, and quarried out 
a large quantity of pieces of rock containing the bones 
of the monster. In the autumn these were brought to 
the laboratory of the Museum and the bones were extri- 
cated from the matrix. In the following spring the 
work was resumed under the care of that admirable and 
indefatigable collector, Mr. John Bell Hatcher. The 
remains of another specimen of the same species and 
of nearly the same size were found in the same deposit 
quite near by. The second skeleton supplied some 
parts which the first failed to yield. In the end it 
was discovered that by combining the two specimens 
a complete skeleton could be assembled. 

Meanwhile, the writer, using the material secured, 
endeavored to reconstruct the skeleton in outline, and 
drew a rough preliminary sketch which he sent to Mr. 
Carnegie, who was sojourning at his summer home in 
Scotland. The drawing was hung upon the wall of 
one of the pleasant rooms of the castle. Some time 
afterward King Edward VII. called upon Mr. Carnegie 

The Diplodocus 9 

at Skibo. While there his eye chanced to rest upon 
the sketch and his curiosity was excited. 'What is 
this, Mr. Carnegie?" he said. "Ah!" replied Mr. 
Carnegie, "a namesake of mine, one of the biggest 
quadrupeds which ever walked the earth." The King, 
who, as the Prince of Wales, had long served as a 
member of the Board of Trustees of the British Museum 
at once replied: 'We must have one of these in the 
British Museum. Do not fail to secure us a specimen." 
Shortly afterward Mr. Carnegie wrote a letter to the 
narrator, and, after telling about the visit of the King, 
concluded by expressing the hope that the wish of His 
Majesty might be gratified, also suggesting that another 
specimen should at once be sought, and, if found, 
turned over to the British Museum. The writer knew 
that, aided by the best of prospectors, he might search 
for months and for years without obtaining another 
specimen so perfect as the one which had been dis- 
covered, and which was about to be set up in the Museum 
in Pittsburgh. Accordingly he wrote to Mr. Carnegie 
explaining the extreme improbability of promptly 
complying with His Majesty's wishes, and suggesting 
that a replica, an exact facsimile of the existing speci- 
men, might be made; and that for purposes of study 
and exhibition such a replica might serve almost as 
well as the original. The fact that the making of such 
a replica would involve a great deal of care and inge- 
nuity, and considerable expenditure of time and money, 
was made clear. After a month had passed a reply 
was received expressing doubt as to whether the 
Trustees of the British Museum would care to accept 
a replica, but at the same time expressing entire 
willingness, should this be the case, to defray whatever 
cost might be incurred. The writer at once addressed 

io To the River Plate and Back 

a letter to Professor Edwin Ray Lankester explaining 
the matter, and not long afterwards received through 
Dr. Lankester from the Trustees of the Museum in 
London a communication, in which they expressed their 
cordial appreciation of the generous thought of Mr. 
Carnegie, further stating that a suitable place for the 
display of the specimen would be found, and requesting 
the writer to immediately proceed with the undertaking. 
Never before had just such a task as this been 
attempted. The skeleton measured eighty-four and 
a half feet in length. The bones, though hard, were 
in places delicate and extremely fragile. Difficulties 
in the use of materials were encountered. The great 
vertebrae, full of deep pits and crowded with slender 
projections, presented many problems in treatment 
which were vexatious. When at last the molds had 
been made, and casts of the more than two hundred 
bones had been secured, there remained the work of 
designing a steel frame upon which they might be 
assembled in their relative positions, and of providing 
plans for a base upon which the whole structure might 
rest. Professor J. B. Hatcher, Mr. A. S. Coggeshall, 
and their assistants were tireless. At last the greatest 
difficulties were surmounted. At that time there was 
no unoccupied room in the building of the Institute 
sufficiently large to permit us to erect the specimen 
within its walls. With great courtesy the managers 
of the Western Pennsylvania Exposition Society allowed 
us the use of one of their vacant halls, and there we set 
up the great skeleton preparatory to taking it down 
again and shipping it to London. Before the work 
was quite completed Professor Hatcher was suddenly 
seized by a fatal illness and passed over into the endless 
silence. It fell to the writer, who had taken an active 

The Diplodocus n 

part in the work, to carry it to completion. When it 
was finished a few friends were invited to view the 
restoration before it was made ready for shipment to 
London. Some years afterward, in the city of Paris, 
I met Emmanuel Fremiet, the veteran sculptor. We 
were introduced to each other in the Museum of Natural 
History in the Jardin des Plantes, where one of the 
replicas of the Diplodocus had just been installed. 
Standing opposite the skeleton, Fremiet said to me: 
"I am not a paleontologist, and no doubt there is 
much about this thing which is interesting, which I do 
not understand ; but I marvel at it as a piece of work- 
manship. From the standpoint of the sculptor, and 
more particularly as a sculptor of animals, I wish to 
express my admiration and my astonishment. How 
did you do it?' Coming from a man who perhaps 
was better able than any other to appreciate the 
technical difficulties which had been overcome, I have 
always felt that his words were cause for congratulation, 
and I have often with pleasure repeated them to my 
assistants. Our final success was largely due to these 
faithful men. 

On May 12, 1905, in the presence of a brilliant as- 
semblage composed of men in all walks of life, princi- 
pally men of science, Mr. Carnegie presented the first 
replica we had made to the Trustees of the British 
Museum. The gift was accepted on their behalf by 
Lord Avebury, and pleasant words were spoken by a 
number of those who were present. The Diplodocus 
was the sensation of the hour in London, and the 
attendance at the Natural History Museum was 
reported to be the largest on any day since those 
which had immediately succeeded the opening of the 
doors of that great treasure-house of knowledge. 

12 To the River Plate and Back 

During the second week of April in the year 1907 
the greatly enlarged buildings of the Carnegie Library 
and Institute in Pittsburgh were formally rededicated. 
From many lands came delegations of learned men 
bearing felicitations. Among these visitors was a 
company of eminent Germans, the representatives of 
His Majesty, the German Emperor, and also a company 
of distinguished Frenchmen representing their country. 
They did not come with empty hands. The German 
Emperor sent a right royal gift, consisting of books, 
engravings, and photographs, illustrating the arts and 
material progress of the Empire. The representatives 
of France likewise were the bearers of choice volumes, 
appropriately dedicated, and thus destined to be memo- 
rials of their visit. Upon the morning of the second 
day of the celebration the writer was summoned to the 
telephone by Mr. Carnegie, who said: 'Did you not 
once tell me that when you were making the replica 
of the Diplodocus for the British Museum you had 
made a couple of additional castings?' The answer 
was in the affirmative. Then came the reply: 'The 
kindness of our German and French friends on the 
present occasion prompts me to do something in return. 
If it should be thought appropriate to tender to the 
museums in Berlin and Paris the same gift we made to 
London, please take up the matter with the gentlemen 
who represent Germany and France, and arrange to 
do so." It did not take long to act. The German 
Minister of State, Herr Theodor von Moeller, and 
General von Loewenfeld were in a few moments in the 
office of the Director and a statement of Mr. Carnegie's 
thoughts was made to them. They appeared greatly 
pleased. Baron d'Estournelles de Constant and Mon- 
sieur Paul Doumer were shortly afterward apprised in 














<U j 


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-4-> --5 



H <5 














The Diplodocus 13 

like manner of the desire of the founder of the Institute, 
and they also expressed satisfaction. General von 
Loewenfeld with soldierly promptness resorted to the 
use of the cable, and on the morning of the following 
day presented a reply from His Majesty, the Kaiser, 
which was as follows: 


Carnegie Institute, 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

Sprechen Sie Mr. Carnegie fur seine Darbietung, die ich 
gerne annehmen will, und fur die mir durch das Geschenk 
erwiesene Aufmerksamkeit, meinen warmsten Dank aus. 1 


From President Fallieres, at a later date, there came 
in response to the personal representations made to 
him by the French delegates, a graceful acceptance of 
Mr. Carnegie's offer. 

As a result of the events just narrated it came about 
that at the end of April in the year 1908 the writer, 
accompanied by Mr. Arthur S. Coggeshall, repaired 
to Berlin and there installed in the Royal Museum a 
replica of the Diplodocus, following that act in June 
by rendering the same service in the Musee d'Histoire 
Naturelle in Paris. 

Meanwhile the Imperial Museum in Austria and the 
Italian Museum of Paleontology in Bologna had re- 
quested and been promised the same gift. The replica 
presented to the Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria 
was installed in the Kaiserliches Konigliches Natur- 
historisches Hofmuseum in September, 1909, and 

1 Translation: "Please express to Mr. Carnegie my warmest thanks 
for his offer, which I am happy to accept, and for the attention shown 
me by his gift. WILLIAM." 

14 To the River Plate and Back 

accepted in person by the Emperor; and the replica 
presented to the King of Italy was installed at Bologna 
in October of the same year. 

While the writer was in Paris in 1908, he made the 
acquaintance of the Grand Duke Wladimir, the uncle 
of His Majesty, the Czar of Russia. The Grand Duke 
spent some time in the company of the narrator exam- 
ining the replica, which was in process of being set up 
at the Jardin des Plantes, and in conversation about 
its discovery. Before taking leave he turned and said: 
'In view of the fact that Mr. Carnegie in his great 
generosity has been presenting these remarkable things 
to various countries in Europe, tell him from me that 
he must not overlook Russia." In due course of time 
I mentioned the incident to our Maecenas, and he at 
once expressed himself as glad to act upon the sugges- 
tion. In the spring of the year 1910 a replica was 
installed in the Imperial Academy of Sciences at St. 
Petersburg. On all of these occasions the liveliest interest 
was shown not only by the learned, but by those in the 
ordinary walks of life. The Diplodocus has been called 
"the beast which has made paleontology popular." 

The reader now understands why the long journey to 
the southernmost of the American republics was 
undertaken. It was for the purpose of setting up in 
the museum at La Plata the seventh reproduction of 
the colossal mesozoic reptile, the bones of which had 
been quarried from the Jurassic beds of Wyoming in 
the summer of the year 1899. 

For various reasons the writer shrank from the 
journey. A multitude of uncompleted tasks stared 
him in the face; he feared the loss of the time which 
would necessarily be consumed; he was not in the best 
of health, and was in very low spirits. He endeavored 

The Diplodocus 15 

to draw back and to substitute another in his place, 
but failed. Finally, summoning his resolution to the 
task, he went, and now he is glad that he acted upon 
the promptings of his kind friend, Mr. Carnegie, who 
repeatedly urged him to go. The voyage acted as a 
restorative. For a tired man, suffering from mental 
and physical exhaustion, there is no journey which 
can be made from the port of New York which is more 
likely than this to prove beneficial. The run across 
the Atlantic to Europe is now made all too quickly. 
The traveler is no sooner installed in his cabin than he 
must begin to make preparations to disembark. The 
voyage to Argentina, occupying nearly thirty days, 
over calm summer seas, in comfortable ships, which 
from time to time call at points which are full of interest, 
is to be recommended to any one as tending in the 
highest degree to recuperate exhausted energy. Of 
the pleasures of this voyage, of the thoughts which it 
awakened, and the impressions which it made, the 
succeeding pages will tell. 



"Thou boundless, shining, glorious sea; 
With ecstasy I gaze on thee." 

Friedrich Leopold, Graf Stolberg. 

PROMPTLY at half-past nine on the morning of 
August 2Oth the cables of the ship Vasari were 
slipped, and she made her way from her berth at Pier 8, 
Brooklyn, to the lower harbor and cast anchor opposite 
the Statue of Liberty. Large steamers docking in 
Brooklyn are forced to quit their berths before the tide 
begins to set toward Long Island Sound, as, otherwise, 
they might be driven against the abutments of the 
narrow channel before they could be pointed and 
brought into position to use their full power against 
the stream. An inspection revealed the fact that none 
of the luggage belonging to the writer and his assistant 
was on board. Appeal was made to the purser. 
"Were your things on the dock?' he said. 'They 
were. We brought them ourselves. Here is the 
receipt of the baggage-master.' 'Well, make your- 
selves comfortable! They will be found when we get 
under way. I have often met people like you, who 
raise a fuss because things are not in sight. Your 
stuff is on board. Go and get your lunch and keep 
cool. I will bet you ten dollars the things are on the 
ship!' The prospect of making the voyage to Argen- 


At Sea 17 

tina, lasting a month, with only two collars and a 
toothpick as a wardrobe was appalling. We did not 
' make ourselves comfortable, " we did not "keep cool. ' 
We rummaged the ship and visited every stateroom. 
We had the baggage-room unlocked and inspected its 
contents. We went down into the hold. We 'raised 
Cain.' Our baggage was not on board. Resort was 
had to the wireless telegraph, and the tug, which came 
to take the agent of the company ashore, finally brought 
our trunks. The jolly purser confided to me after- 
wards that when the tug came alongside he overheard 
me say "There are my things!" and that he forthwith 
' took a sneak. ' We sailed in peace. 

The pilot was dropped. The ship was pointed for 
Cape St. Roque, the easternmost projection of the 
South American continent, and we steamed away. 
A few sails were dimly seen at sunset under the shadow 
of a thunder-storm, which was hanging over the coast 
of New Jersey. These were the last sails to greet our 
eyes for fourteen days until we came in sight of the 
harbor of Bahia in Brazil. 

The path of the ship led immediately into the Gulf 
Stream, the eastern edge of which we crossed after we 
had been out three days. These were the hottest days 
of the entire voyage. After we had traversed the 
Gulf Stream we presently came into the region of the 
northeast trade-winds, and a refreshing breeze blew 
day after day, imparting coolness to the staterooms. 
In the region of the " doldrums ' ; or equatorial calms, 
there was, contrary to expectation, a pleasant wind, 
and after we had doubled the eastern point of South 
America we came into the region of the southeast 
trade-winds, and leaving the sun behind us to the 
north, reached away during the last days of our jour- 

To the River Plate and Back 

ney into the waters of the South Temperate Zone. 
We faced no stormy weather during the voyage. Not 
a single person, man, woman, or child, in a company 
of over one hundred and fifty first-class passengers, 
complained of sea-sickness. The 'fiddles'' or table- 
racks were never used in the saloon, and the purser 
informed me that only once during the past three years 
have they been called into requisition, and then it was on 
a midwinter trip, as the ship was approaching New York. 
' I was afraid, ' he said, ' that we could not find the 
fiddles on that occasion, as they had been so long stowed 
away, but they turned up after we had made a hunt for 
them, and were in use for two meals. ' It is impossible 
to choose any route out of New York harbor which is 
more certain than this to lead into pleasant weather. 

The life on our steamer in most respects was like 
that on any other great liner, with certain exceptions. 
On the North Atlantic, between New York and Europe, 
in the middle of the morning passengers are offered 
hot broths and tea and coffee, and in the middle of the 
afternoon are served with warm drinks, even in summer. 
On the Vasari clam-broth and bouillon were replaced 
by ice-cream; the tea was iced; and most passengers 
elected lemonade instead of coffee. On the North 
Atlantic, even in July and August, rugs and heavy 
wraps are much in evidence; on the Vasari the ladies 
toyed with their fans and danced at night in airy 
costumes. Nobody thought of closing the ports until 
we had passed the equator, when it began to be cool at 

The first day out a huge canvas tank was set up on 
the forward deck and from time to time was filled with 
fresh water from the sea. Here every morning many 
of the passengers, arrayed in bathing suits, came for a 

At Sea 19 

grateful and refreshing plunge. The tank every after- 
noon was a welcome resort for the boys and girls on 

Of children the ship had its full quota. There were 
five baby-carriages on board and five jolly babies were 
daily trundled to and fro, cooing, laughing, and kicking 
their legs in the air. Of larger children there were 
about thirty, who had many a game, and many a romp. 
One of the pleasant incidents was a dinner for the chil- 
dren, which was given the day before we reached Rio de 
Janeiro. On that occasion it fell to the lot of the writer 
to award to the young people the prizes which they had 
won in the "potato races, " the " egg-and-spoon races, ' 
and the games of ring-toss and shuffle-board, which 
had been played on deck. On the evening of the same 
day awards were made to their elders, who had joined 
in like sports, or who had won prizes in the 'bridge 
tournaments" and in the masquerades which had taken 
place. There was not a little musical talent on board; 
and a couple of enjoyable concerts were given in which 
professional and amateur performers joined amicably, 
and won the gratitude of their fellow-travelers. 

The company in the first cabin included a large num- 
ber of men belonging to the different branches of the 
engineering profession. They w r ere either going out 
for the first time, or else returning, to take charge of 
work upon the railways, or the great electrical enter- 
prises which are being developed in South America. 
A still larger number of the passengers were representa- 
tives of firms engaged in the manufacture and sale of 
agricultural machinery. One of these men was a veteran, 
and repeatedly had visited the interior of South America, 
going from ranch to ranch giving instruction in the 
use of American mowers, reapers, and steam-plows. 

20 To the River Plate and Back 

Originally beginning life as a jeweler in a small town in 
western New York, he had drifted to Chicago and 
found employment with a firm engaged in making agri- 
cultural implements, and years ago had been sent to 
Argentina as a demonstrator. He was a typical "New 
York Yankee, ' ' and the recital of his experiences, told 
in his drawling vernacular, interlarded with Spanish 
expressions, was infinitely quaint and droll. The 
learned professions were represented by several physi- 
cians, lawyers, and clergymen, the latter missionaries 
returning to their charges after their furloughs. All 
were men of culture and refinement with whom it was 
a pleasure to converse. 

The " Crossing of the Line" occurred on August 3ist. 
The event had been anticipated by many with interest 
and curiosity. One gentleman, speaking about the 
matter, remarked: 'We shall no doubt feel it an hour 
or two before we get there, and probably an hour or 
two afterward. ' As the equator is an imaginary line, 
what my friend expected to feel I am at a loss to imagine. 
Another fellow-voyager approached me and seriously 
inquired ' how long I thought it would take us to get 
over the line." When I told him the feat might be 
accomplished in about a second of time he looked mysti- 
fied and even disappointed. I did not press him to 
explain himself. It would hardly have been polite to 
do so. To what sort of nautical acrobatics he was 
looking forward will ever remain a puzzle to me. On 
the morning of the eventful day a proclamation was 
read at breakfast, announcing that Father Neptune 
and his daughter, attended by their court, would appear 
on board at two o'clock in the afternoon, and then pro- 
ceed to initiate into the mysterious rites of his realm 
all those who were for the first time invading his do- 

At Sea 21 

mains south of the equator. During the forenoon of 
the day there were many conferences between the "com- 
mittee of arrangements" and the proprietors of a circus, 
who were traveling as second-class passengers. At the 
appointed hour a procession took place upon the upper 
deck. It was headed by Neptune and his daughter. 
Neptune was clothed in a sea-green robe, held his 
trident, wore a crown of gilded pasteboard, surmount- 
ing his flowing locks which were composed of strands 
of oakum. The discerning eye detected under the 
disguise the rotund outlines of the purser; and under 
that of his daughter the somewhat diminutive form 
of the second steward. 

The reason for the frequent conferences, which had 
been held with the owners of the side-show in the morn- 
ing, now became plain. The theatrical properties of 
the troupe had been brought into requisition. The 
chief steward arrayed as a ballet dancer, and the barber, 
wearing the mask of a clown, on his head a fiery red 
wig and in his hands a razor three feet long made of 
gilded wood were prominent among the merrymakers. 
A motley company composed of the ringleaders in 
'the smoking-room crowd" wearing masks and strange 
disguises followed. A platform had been erected in 
front of the swimming tank. On it the chief steward, 
provided with a whitewash brush and a big bucket of 
paste, took his place. Beside him stood the barber, 
stropping his gigantic razor upon a yard of burlap tied 
to a derrick-boom. The first victim was a young lady 
who seemed to feel that it was her duty to be initiated. 
She came forward smiling, wearing a silk gown. She 
seated herself upon the barber's stool. Her head was 
anointed with paste, the barber made a few passes 
with his mimic razor, and then in a twinkling, heels 

22 To the River Plate and Back 

over head, she was flung backward and soused in the 
tank by the minions of Neptune. The ship's surgeon 
and the fourth officer were the next victims. They were 
followed by others until the tank was full. Those who 
were floundering in the bath now resolved upon reprisals. 
The first attack was made upon the chief steward. He 
was seized from behind and waltzed into the tub, from 
which he emerged looking like a drowned rat. After 
him came the barber, from whose pockets, crammed 
with colored papers, oozed bright green, pink, and 
yellow dye-stuff. 'Beau-ti-ful as the rainbow!' he 
exclaimed, as he crawled out of the tank and again 
took his place on the platform, and began to strop his 
razor. The fun now rose to its height. One by one 
the company of merrymakers were caught and pro- 
testing, struggling, kicking, rolling, were brought to 
the tank and flung over its sides. It no longer contained 
sparkling water, but a broth of paste, paint, floating 
wigs, and other accoutrements. Those who had met 
their baptism in it had an hour's w^ork before them in 
their private baths to remove the stains of their experi- 
ence. Each reveler received a diploma, properly 
signed and sealed by Neptune, attesting the fitness of 
the recipient to sail ' the seven seas. ' 

The ocean is glorious, but nowhere more so than in 
the equatorial regions. Each day of the voyage pre- 
sented a panorama of sea and sky in which the play of 
color and of shifting lights was dazzling. The water 
of the deeps of the tropical Atlantic, when seen from 
the prow of the ship, glows with color like the breast 
of a bird of paradise. Dark purples, lapis lazuli, re- 
splendent greens, soft reds, and rich bronzy tints melt 
into each other and shift and change with every passing 
cloud and every motion of the waves. The depth 

Crossing the Line. 

Some of Father Neptune 's Minions. The Chief Steward Arrayed as a 

Ballet Dancer. 

Crossing the Line. 

The Chief Steward is Tumbled into the Bathing- Tank. 

At Sea 23 

and intensity of the blue tints of the tropical ocean 
provoked comment from even those who otherwise 
appeared indifferent to the charms of nature. At night 
under a full moon the reflection of the clouds on the 
dark sea was infinitely tender and pleasing. During 
the period we were on the Gulf Stream and until we were 
beyond the mouth of the Amazon the clouds were a 
splendid study. They are prevalently of the stratus or 
cirro-stratus form on the North Atlantic, but over the 
warm seas through which we passed there hung great 
masses of cumulus, ' thunderheads, ' as I have often 
heard them called, like those which rise over the land 
in hot midsummer days. The long cold streamers of 
the North were replaced by huge columns of soaring 
vapor, over which the sun cast a robe of splendor. 
Below them like a purple veil often hung the rain, 
showing that they were being forced to return a part of 
the burden of moisture which they were trying to carry 
away. I had looked for fine displays of electricity 
in tropical latitudes. Strange to say the only lightning 
I saw during the outward voyage appeared over the 
coast of New Jersey. 'Jersey lightning" 1 is famous. 
However, upon the return voyage we witnessed a 
magnificent electrical storm as we were approaching 
Bahia. We were close to the land and the night 
was very dark. The sea was calm. All at once a 
flash of lightning illumined the sky and revealed for an 
instant the hills, the beach, the palm-trees on the shore ; 
and then instantly the pall of darkness was thrown over 
the whole enchanting scene. We waited for a minute 

1 This allusion should be explained for the benefit of those who have 
not pursued their studies in the Princeton Theological Seminary. In 
the Neo-caesarian dialect "Jersey lightning" is a synonym for "bad 
whisky. " 

24 To the River Plate and Back 

and then again the fires of the sky lit up the sea and the 
land. It was an amazing and a charming sight, to see 
the world, bathed as in sunshine, rush into view out 
of the darkness and then disappear. It was as if a 
series of magnificent views were being projected upon a 
dark screen by the hand of a celestial worker of wonders. 

The writer found his favorite perch at the prow of the 
ship. There, either standing or sitting, he passed 
many hours watching the waves and scanning the skies. 
He was not without pleasant company. Many of his 
shipmates discovered the same point of vantage, and 
we discussed together many things which were suggested. 

The ocean is the gift of the nebula out of which the 
earth was formed. There was a time when it did not 
exist, except as an immense mass of heated vapor, 
which the hot ball of matter, about which it clung, re- 
fused to allow to rest upon its surface. But the earth 
slowly grew cold; the raindrops which fell upon it 
ceased to hiss and sizzle on its red-hot rocks. They 
drenched the mountain tops; and after a while formed 
brooks and rivers, seeking lower levels in obedience to 
the law of gravity. Ponds, lakes, seas, and oceans 
were accumulated in the hollows. It was a long pro- 
cess. Millions of years passed before it was consum- 
mated. As the water fell, it leached their salts from 
the slowly disintegrating rocks, and carried them into 
the seas. The ocean is a great dripping-pan, the 
ultimate receptacle of the waste of the land. The ocean 
is a grave ; at its bottom rest the remains of unnumbered 
and innumerable things which once lived in its waters. 
Much of the land to-day is sea-bottom from which the 
water has been withdrawn. The marbles, the lime- 
stones, and the chalks consist of the consolidated re- 
mains of the dead which once tenanted the seas. 

At Sea 25 

The ocean is the mother of life. The destroyer has 
also been the nurse. Without water there can be no 
life Lean over the prow and listen to the sound of the 
rushing waves. It recalls the noise of the leaves in the 
forests when the winds are passing over them. I like 
to imagine, as I listen, that the sea is prophesying, and 
declaring that her gift to the earth is to be the wood- 
lands and the groves. The sun kisses the sea, and the 
spirits of the waters rise like Aphrodite from the foam, 
and, veiled in fleecy clouds, flee to the land, sprinkling 
the sweet distillations of a million leagues of purple 
water over the thirsty soil, and forthwith Flora awakens 
and weaves her woodland temples garlanded with 
blossoms. The lowly mosses of the North, the pines 
of New England-, and the palms of Brazil are the gift 
of old ocean. 

Sir John Hunter once said: !< A man is compounded 
of about twelve pounds of mineral salts and two buckets 
of water. ' The statement is chemically correct. Every 
one of us contains in his body a part of the sea, loaned 
to us for the time being and brought to us as a gift 
by the clouds and the rain. The earliest forms of 
animal life upon our planet were marine. From out of 
the seas came the first ; ' swarms of living creatures"; 
they were followed in due time by the 'fowls of the 
air " ; and later by the "beasts of the field. ' The final 
product of evolution is man. How recent, when studied 
from the standpoint of the geologist is the history of 
our race! I stood under the Arch of Titus in Rome a 
few years ago. I looked up and read the inscription. I 
said to myself, 'How modern! This arch was built 
less than two thousand years ago; the great reptile, the 
reproduction of which I am bringing as a gift to the 
King of Italy, lived fifteen millions of years ago; but 

26 To the River Plate and Back 

he was even then a comparatively modern form of life, 
the product of an evolution which had been going on 
for aeons before his advent!' 

Will there ever come a time when the prophetic 
declaration, There shall be no more sea,' shall be 
fulfilled? It is possible. Swinging out there in the 
night is the full-orbed moon. There are no seas or 
oceans upon it, but it is literally covered with volcanoes. 
A glass of only moderate power reveals the peaks and 
the craters. These volcanoes are the best proof pos- 
sible that at one time there must have been an abun- 
dance of water on the surface of the moon. We know 
how volcanoes are formed. Water sinking down into 
the earth, which is still hot in its interior, is gradually 
heated and becomes steam. When the pressure of the 
steam reaches a certain point there is an explosion 
and a pyramid of mud or of lava is thrown up. We 
know that water is necessary to the formation of lava. 
The constituent minerals in the primitive rocks in the 
presence of water may be converted into lava at com- 
paratively low temperatures. The volcanoes on the 
moon show that this little attendant globe was once 
covered by seas. They are invisible now. What has 
become of them? They have been simply sucked down 
into the rocks as the moon grew colder and colder, 
just as water is sucked up by a sponge. The same thing 
may happen to our old world in future ages. And the 
air may at last go the way of the water, as it apparently 
has gone in the moon, which has no atmosphere. 






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" In the seas and fountains that shine with mom 
See, Love is waking, and Life is born, 
And breathing myriads are breaking from night 
To rejoice, like us, in motion and light." -Bryant. 

WE saw but little life during the voyage. Now and 
then we caught sight of a school of porpoises in 
the distance, and on several occasions as I stood at the 
bow of the ship I observed these creatures racing with 
the great vessel as it forged through the waves. Once 
there were ten of them, five on each side, and they kept 
up with the steamer for twenty minutes, although she 
was going at fourteen knots an hour. They hardly 
seemed to move their bodies as they made their onward 
rush, except when they took a plunge. Just before they 
rose for their leap out of the water they made three or 
four rapid strokes of the tail from side to side, and thus 
propelled shot forth from the wave into the air and de- 
scended at a steep slant, only immediately to rise again. 
The open nostril or blow-hole was conspicuous as they 
emerged. The bodies of the two biggest specimens ap- 
peared to be scratched or scarred, as if they had been 
fighting. The race they made with the ship was quite 
exciting but at last they apparently became tired, and, 
shooting away to the right and to the left, disappeared. 


28 To the River Plate and Back 

Hearts of muscle could not keep up in the race against 
the tireless heart of steel, which unceasingly pulsed 
within the great ship. 

For two days before we reached Bahia whales were 
rather numerous. We often saw them spouting. The 
water driven from their nostrils looks like a puff of 
rifle-smoke. None of those which I happened to see 
was very near to the ship, but an excitable gentleman 
informed me one day that in the morning, while I 
was at breakfast, a whale had been seen alongside, 
" and, " he said, " he stood up on his hind legs and looked 
me full in the face.' I naturally regretted having 
missed so marvelous a spectacle. In my wanderings 
to and fro upon many seas I have often seen whales. 
The largest number which I ever saw at one time was off 
the Banks of Newfoundland, in the fall of the year 1877. 
We fell in with a school of sixteen finbacks. Some of 
them were huge fellows. Having ' ' the freedom of the 
rigging,' I went aloft, and from my lookout near the 
masthead I had a fine opportunity to observe them. 
They came quite close to the vessel, and one of them, 
when within half a cable's length, breached, throwing 
himself almost entirely out of the water. The sea was 
quite calm, and it was exceedingly interesting to look 
down into its glassy depths and follow the movements 
of the monsters as they raced with the ship. The 
racing instinct appears to be almost universal among 
animals. I have observed it in the case of dolphins, 
porpoises, and whales. It is common in dogs, as every- 
body knows. I have even observed it in the case of 
butterflies. Riding with a friend one afternoon from 
La Plata to Ensenada, I noticed that specimens of 
the common Thistle-butterfly (Pyrameis) frequently 
rose from beside the road and flew along, racing with 

Living Things in the Waters 29 

the carriage. I had my butterfly-net with me, and 
succeeded in bagging several specimens. If they had 
not pursued us, they would not have been caught. 
The small boy who runs along the pavement trying 
in a burst of speed to keep up with a passing automobile 
reveals the survival in him of the same instinct which 
is shown by the lower animals. This racing habit is 

But we were speaking of whales. Bahia is a whaling 
station, and we were told there that the catch made by 
the whalers at that port during the past summer had 
been exceptionally good, and that over forty large 
whales, each yielding five hundred dollars' worth of oil, 
had been taken by the local fishermen. They go out 
in small craft, harpoon their mighty quarry, and then 
tow the carcasses to the shore, where the blubber is 
flaked and tried out. 

The only other mammals which we observed during 
the voyage were seals. These w r e saw in considerable 
numbers at the mouth of the Rio de la Plata. On our 
way from Montevideo to Buenos Aires at intervals the 
shy creatures would raise their heads from the muddy 
water, gaze for a moment, and then dive out of 

There was a remarkable absence of birds during the 
early part of our voyage. I do not recall having seen 
a single bird upon the Gulf Stream. Now and then as 
we approached the southern continent we saw a few 
petrels, but it was not until we came close to the shore 
that birds became numerous. During the last days of 
the voyage, after we had left the tropics behind us, 
several species of gulls appeared in numbers straggling 
in the wake of the ship, and also numerous Cape- 
pigeons (Daption capense, Linn.), the elegant black and 

30 To the River Plate and Back 

white plumage of which made them very conspicuous 
as they pattered to and fro over the waves, or rose and 
came circling about the ship. In the muddy waters 
of the Rio de la Plata cormorants were common. 

Shortly after entering the Gulf Stream, and there- 
after until we reached the Tropic of Capricorn, flying- 
fishes were exceedingly numerous. They ran in great 
schools. Standing at the prow it was highly interesting 
to watch them as they rose from the bow-waves and 
fled from the advancing ship. Some were less than an 
inch in length and when on the wing looked like small 
dragon-flies darting out of the water; others were as 
large as a mackerel. Occasionally hundreds of them 
would rise up together and shoot away. Their flight 
suggested that of a covey of quails. They often flew 
to a great distance. Now and then I noted individuals 
which must have flown a hundred yards, and sometimes, 
I think it is no exaggeration to say, twice that distance. 
Everything seemed to depend upon the way in which 
they met the wind on rising from the water. I observed 
them very carefully to detect whether in their flight 
they vibrate their fins, but they apparently never did 
this, except just at the instant when they emerged from 
the water, when the great pectorals seemed to quiver 
for an instant as they met the air. It looked as if they 
were trying to shake off the drops still adhering to them. 
The tail is used to give direction and to maintain 
proper poise. A hundred times I noted that, as they flew, 
they just touched the tops of the waves with their tails, 
thus keeping themselves pointed at the proper angle 
to the wind. One fine big fish as he came out of the 
water rose perpendicularly into the air like a kite against 
the breeze. It looked for an instant as if the wind, 
which was very strong, would blow him over backward, 

Living Things in the Waters 31 

but a big sea passed under him; his tail touched the 
crest of the wave, and he was thrown forward into the 
proper angle toward the wind, and then, rising like an 
aeroplane, started off, making the longest flight I saw 
on the whole voyage, almost disappearing in the distance 
before he dropped, head on, into the side of a big roller. 
Flying-fishes are very good to eat. The flesh is firm 
and tastes like that of a Spanish mackerel. On the 
return voyage we took on a supply of flying-fishes ob- 
tained in the market of Bridgetown, Barbadoes, and 
for several days the bill of fare at dinner enumerated 
among other comestibles " filet of flying-fish. ' 

Standing at the prow of the ship we now and then 
saw sea-pens (Pennatula) floating in the water. They 
were deep purplish red in color, but were not very 
numerous. Occasionally we saw ' Portuguese men-of- 
war" (Physalid), their white floats followed by their 
long purple processes streaming behind them. Ugly 
things they are to handle, and the first officer told us a 
story about one of his inexperienced shipmates who 
some years ago had seen one of the things in the harbor 
of Bahia and seized it with his naked hands. The terri- 
ble nettle-like stings infected his right hand and arm, 
which became inflamed and swollen so that for over a 
week he was incapacitated for duty. Now and then 
we saw masses of Vellellidcz, which are closely related to 
the Portuguese men-of-war. They were not, however, 
nearly as numerous as I have seen them on the Pacific, 
between Vancouver and Yokohama, where untold 
millions of them at times cover the sea for miles. They 
are quite small, not more than an inch in diameter. 
Their short tentacular processes when examined near 
at hand are of a beautiful blue color, but as they appear 
against the white foam of the bow-wave they resemble 

32 To the River Plate and Back 

bits of charcoal churned about and rolling over in the 

One phenomenon which awakened my astonishment 
as we went along the coast south of Santos deserves 
mention. When over thirty miles from the land spider- 
webs came floating through the air. These spider- 
webs were snowy white and were easily seen. I called 
attention to them at the time, and afterwards when on 
land I found that they were quite numerous. I did 
not secure any of the spiders which make them. But 
I saw them floating in the air over the pampas just as 
I had seen them floating over the ocean. Butterflies 
and other insects have frequently been noticed at great 
distances from the shore. Carried into the upper regions 
of the air they may be blown far out to sea. I have in 
my possession a hawk-moth, which flew on board a 
ship and was captured four hundred miles from the 

Only once did we witness a display of the phosphores- 
cence of which so much has been written by those who 
have sailed in the tropics. The night was intensely 
dark, the moon having not as yet risen. About the 
prow of the ship and along its sides there appeared to be 
great balls of fire flashing in the water. The top of every 
wave was illuminated, and far away toward the hori- 
zon every whitecap seemed to be twinkling with stars. 
The light is emitted by various forms of marine life. 
In this case it was of course impossible to decide what 
creatures they were which were giving forth this wonder- 
ful light, but it is quite likely that we were plowing 
our way through swarms of large jelly-fishes, or medusae, 
some of which emit phosphorescent light. 



" A million torches lighted by Thy hand 

Wander unwearied through the blue abyss; 
They own Thy power, accomplish Thy command, 
All gay with life, all eloquent with bliss." -Derzhavin. 

AT night, when we were not watching the clouds 
and the sea, we gazed at the stars. Less than a 
week after sailing the Polestar sank so low toward the 
misty horizon behind us that we could no longer see it. 
One by one the familiar constellations of the north 
disappeared from view. We began to look for the 
appearance of the Southern Cross. One evening just 
after sunset we saw * the pointers, ' Alpha and Beta 
Centauri, but the Cross had already set. On the 
following evening we made out the Cross just above the 
horizon. It was a distinct disappointment to many 
who beheld it for the first time. ; The flaming Southern 
Cross, " about which so much has been said and written, 
cuts a rather sorry figure in the sky. The captain of 
the ship said to me as we stood looking at the constella- 
tion : ' It is not a true cross. ' The stars are not located 
in relation to each other in such a way as at first glance 
to suggest the outline of a symmetrical cross; and 
furthermore they are too widely separated from each 
other to make the constellation impressive. In fact 
there are a couple of other groups of stars in the south- 
3 33 

34 To the River Plate and Back 

ern heavens which come much nearer forming " crosses," 
and one of these groups is known as the "False Cross. ' 
Only one of the stars of the four composing the Southern 
Cross is of the first magnitude; two are of the second 
magnitude, and the fourth is a star so small that it is 
scarcely visible except on very clear nights. During 
the greater part of our time at sea only three of the 
stars could be seen without a glass, and the constellation 
suggested a 'triangle' rather than a 'cross.' We 
soon grew tired of looking at Crux australis. 

But if the Southern Cross was a disappointment, the 
heavens above us were not. There were remarkably 
fine displays of the zodiacal light just after sunset; 
and when the afterglow had faded, the skies seemed to be 
fairly palpitating with stars. Some of these are ex- 
tremely brilliant. Alpha Centauri, one of the " pointers ' 
of the Southern Cross, is the fixed star which is nearest 
to our solar system. It is four and four-tenths "light- 
years" distant from us. That is to say, it takes light, 
traveling at the rate of 186,327 miles a second, four 
and four-tenths of a year to come to us from it. Sirius, 
the Dog-star, is approximately eight and eight-tenths 
"light-years" distant from us, almost exactly twice as 
far away. Alpha Centauri is twenty-five and a half 
trillions of miles from our sun. It would take a rail- 
way train, traveling with the speed of the Twentieth 
Century Limited, and making no stops, fifty-two mil- 
lions of years to go from our sun to Alpha Centauri. 
There does not appear to be any danger of an immediate 
collision with the nearest fixed star. I am glad I have 
seen it. The outlook is reassuring, and I can go to 
bed at night and sleep peacefully. 

'The Clouds of Magellan,' stray universes, widely 
separated from the Milky Way, which they resemble, 

The Southern Heavens 35 

though much smaller in extent as seen from our earth, 
attracted our attention. Detached groups of suns, so 
far away that they seem to be drawn together and melt 
into a pale haze in the midnight sky, they teach impres- 
sively the vastness of that immeasurable domain 
through which run the unchanging laws of Him who 
said, "Let there be light.' How infinitely little man 
appears when we contemplate the heavens in full view 
of the teachings of modern astronomy. If the Psalmist 
could say as he gazed at the sun, moon, and stars: 
'What is man that Thou art mindful of him?' how 
much more reverent ought we to be as with bared 
foreheads we look up into the purple vault above 
us and reflect upon the illimitable distances, the tre- 
mendous velocities, and the prodigious momenta 
of the uncounted suns and worlds which are threading 
the mazes of space! 

Standing under the stars the paleontologist cannot 
fail to recall that his astronomical brethren in a certain 
sense are also paleontologists, ' l students of ancient 
things.' We have been told that some of the light 
which touches the human retina, as we stand at the 
eyepiece of a telescope, must have started on its earth- 
ward journey from the remoter points of the universe 
millions of years ago. In other words, when we peer 
through a powerful telescope directed toward the more 
distant parts of that great complex of which we are 
ourselves an insignificant portion, we do not see things 
as they now are, but as they were long ago. Could we 
behold the Clouds of Magellan exactly as they are at the 
present instant of time we might discover, because 
light is so laggard and has so far to come, that changes 
have occurred of which we as yet have no intimation, 
and concerning which information will only be received 

36 To the River Plate and Back 

in our world in future ages. The remoter heavens 
at which we gaze are not the heavens which now are, 
but the heavens which once were. The astronomer, 
like the geologist, is to a certain extent the student 
of an ancient history. 

Certain stars attracted immediate attention by their 
brightness. One of my fellow passengers, who, like 
myself, was fond of : 'star-gazing,' approached me 
one evening with the request to give him the name of 
the 'planet'' to which he pointed. Its steady and 
brilliant light justified his momentary belief that he 
was looking at one of the planets, but it was Sinus. 
Even more wonderful to me than Sinus was Canopus, 
that mountain of blue fire, which after midnight 
glowed in the sky with a splendor second only to that 
of the planet Jupiter. If anywhere there be a central 
fountain of fire before which other suns pale into 
insignificance, surely this is it. Although it shines 
so resplendently, astronomers have not as yet been 
able to compute its distance from our solar system. 

We saw a number of meteors. None of them were 
very brilliant. It is really surprising how few of these 
things ever reach the surface of the earth. Most of 
them cannot be more than a few grains in weight. 
They come flying out of the deeps of space, are caught 
by the attraction of the earth, rush down toward its 
surface but the friction generated as they move 
through the air produces such a heat, that they ignite 
in the presence of the oxygen of the atmosphere and 
burn up before they reach the lower layers of the all- 
enveloping air. My dear old friend, the late Henry 
Ward, scoured the world in quest of meteorites. I 
loved him very much. I have on my desk a paper- 
knife made out of a sliver of a meteorite, which fell 

The Southern Heavens 37 

at Toluca in Mexico, and which he presented to me. 
I do not know whether there is anybody else who cuts 
open his magazines with a piece of a star. The Ward- 
Coonley collection, which was the result of a great 
expenditure of time, effort, and money, contains speci- 
mens representing several thousand "falls.' It is one 
of the most complete collections of its kind now in 
existence. Ward often visited South America in quest 
of specimens about which he had heard. He used to 
tell amusing stories concerning his adventures. No 
hardship was too great for him to encounter if thereby 
he could only add another specimen to his collection. 
A great many meteorites have been found in South 
America. There is a big one in the museum at Rio de 
Janeiro, which came from near Bahia. When I was a 
student, the place which Ward occupied in later years as 
a collector of meteorites was held by my teacher, Pro- 
fessor Charles Upham Shepard of Amherst College. 
He was running a race with Professor Maskelyne of 
England in an effort to make the most complete col- 
lection of meteorites in the world, and before his 
death claimed w r ith apparent justice that the only 
collection exceeding his own was that preserved in the 
Imperial Museum in Vienna, The dear old doctor 
used to lecture most entertainingly and instructively 
upon the composition of these fragments of stellar 
matter which he had gathered. Among them, I recall, 
was a small meteorite which he obtained in a curious 
way. It fell one afternoon in the fall of the year and 
struck the roof of a barn, where two men were engaged 
in flailing buckwheat. It tore away a number of shin- 
gles from the roof, bounded off, and fell into a field near 
by. A small dog saw it fall and rushed out into the 
field and began pawing about the hole. The men, 

38 To the River Plate and Back 

alarmed by the loud report, rushed out, and, attracted 
by the peculiar actions of the dog, went to the spot, 
and after a while succeeded in digging out the stone, 
which Professor Shepard subsequently bought. Upon 
concluding the recital of this story, the Professor was 
accustomed to remove his spectacles, and, wiping 
them with his handkerchief, remark: 'That was a 
wise dog; he recognized the Dog Star as soon as he saw 
it. ' The feat performed by the dog in this case was, 
however, surpassed by my friend, Professor O. C. 
Farrington of the Field Museum in Chicago. A few 
years ago hearing of a fall, which had taken place in one 
of the Western States, he made a series of computations 
which led him to infer that the aerolite must be lying 
approximately in a certain position upon the earth's 
surface, and then taking a train from Chicago, he went 
out upon the prairies of Kansas, and after tramping 
around for a time, found the very spot and dug it out 
of the ground. An equally curious case is that of the 
Saline Township meteorite, as it is called. Mr. S. A. 
Sutton of Hoxie, Kansas, was frightened one night by a 
blinding light and a loud noise, and thought the lamp 
was exploding in the front hall of his house. He 
sprang to his feet, and then saw through the window a 
great trail of dazzling light in the sky and realized that 
it was a meteorite which had passed overhead. Being 
a surveyor and mathematician he made computations, 
and at last by their help succeeded in locating the stone, 
which is now in the Field Museum. It weighs more 
than sixty-eight pounds. 

It is fortunate for the inhabitants of the earth that 
there is so little flotsam and jetsam in space and that 
meteoric bodies are as rare as they are. It would not 
be a pleasant thing to be perpetually colliding with the 

The Southern Heavens 39 

remnants of smashed worlds. In 1827 a man was 
killed at Mhow in India by a falling meteorite. Strange 
things are always happening in India. Where people 
starve to death by tens of thousands, and thousands are 
annually devoured by tigers and killed by snake-bites, 
it would be singular if some one were not now and then 
knocked down by a falling star. The population in 
India is crowded, you know. 

When we had crossed the Tropic of Capricorn the 
fact that we were in another hemisphere began forcibly 
to impress itself upon us, as we looked at the heavens. 
Orion in September stood in the south with his heels 
toward the zenith and his head toward the horizon, 
just the reverse of what is true in the north when 
this constellation is visible. The tail of the Scorpion 
pointed upward. The ' Man in the Moon ' likewise 
had changed his apparent position. His eyes appeared 
to be toward the eastern horizon, as if he were lying 
on the side of his face. The sun shone in the north 
and our shadows pointed toward the south. Every- 
thing was topsy-turvy. But we were on the underside 
of the world, and seeing things as we might see them at 
home if we always walked on our heads. 

I have a friend who has a telescope with which he 
beguiles his evening hours. One summer night the 
man-of -all- work, a German, who had been a couple of 
years in America, having put the lawn-mower into the 
tool-house, came and stood near by, evidently filled 
with curiosity as he saw his employer training his glass 
at the skies. He was invited to take a peep, and 
explanations were given. Presently he turned and with 
evident amazement and pleasure exclaimed: 'Mein 
Gott! dose vas de same shtars I used to see in Tscher- 
many!' Of course! Both Germany and the United 

40 To the River Plate and Back 

States lie north of the equator. But when one arrives 
below the equator one sees constellations different 
from those which fill the northern heavens. Many of 
them have been defined and named in comparatively 
recent times, and bear designations which are quite 
unfamiliar to us who have always done our star-gazing 
" north of the line. ' We are familiar with the Greater 
Bear and the Lesser Bear, with Cassiopeia and Androm- 
eda; we know Orion and the Greater and the Lesser 
Dog; but we have never seen Pavo, the Peacock; 
A pus, the Bird of Paradise; Horologium, the Clock; 
and Equus Pictorius, the Painter's Easel. The Air- 
pump, the Sculptor's Workshop, the Telescope, and the 
Microscope are constellations new to us. We do not 
see these and twenty other constellations either in 
Germany or the United States. 

The progress made in astronomical science during the 
last century has been as great as that which has been 
made in any other department of science. Much of 
this progress is due to the refinements in instrumental 
equipment which have been made possible by the 
ingenuity of men who have had at their command the 
mechanical devices of the nineteenth century. The 
huge telescopes which are used to-day could not have 
been constructed in those ages which lacked the steam- 
engines, the lathes, the screw-cutting machinery, and 
other appliances which are found in modern workshops. 
The science of astronomy owes a great debt to such 
consummately skilled mechanics as Alvan Clark of 
Cambridge and others. The invention of the spectro- 
scope and the application of the knowledge acquired 
through its medium has vastly extended our acquaint- 
ance with the physical composition of the sun and other 
celestial bodies. Many of the secrets of the skies 

The Southern Heavens 41 

have been wrested from the darkness by the help of 
photography. In fact the greater part of the work 
which is being done to-day in the field of astronomical 
research is being accomplished by means of specially 
adapted photographic cameras. Photographic nega- 
tives are more sensitive to the action of light than the 
human retina, and the records which they furnish are 
more correct, and are of course permanent. "The 
personal equation' is to a certain extent eliminated 
in photographic records. No two men see things 
exactly in the same way; in fact, no two pairs of 
eyes are exactly alike. The testimony given by as- 
tronomers who have reported what they have seen, 
when standing at the visual end of the telescope, is as 
variant as the- testimony given by witnesses in law- 
suits. The camera, on the other hand, if properly 
adjusted and properly handled, gives sure results. 
Astronomical research in these days has resolved itself 
very largely into a quest for good photographic nega- 
tives of the heavens. The popular conception of the 
astronomer as sitting at the eye-piece of a great tele- 
scope, sweeping the depths of space with eagle eye, is 
reflected in the well-known lines of Keats: 

" Then felt I like some watcher of the skies, 
When a new planet swims into his ken." 

''The watcher of the skies" nowadays is represented 
by a small piece of glass, coated with a properly pre- 
pared emulsion, upon which the distant heavens are 
focussed, and which is exposed for minutes or hours at 
a time to the starlight. The final result is a negative, 
which presents the appearance of an assemblage of white 
fly specks upon a dark ground. When one of these fly- 
specks is discovered to have become a little elongated 

42 To the River Plate and Back 

the suspicion arises that it may be a moving body, 
its orbit traceable upon the background of the ap- 
parently motionless fixed stars; and when it is found 
after successive exposures to have changed its relative 
position from night to night and week to week, it is 
finally announced to be an asteroid, or the satellite of 
one of the larger planets, as the case may be. There 
is then proper joy in the astronomical world, the news- 
papers herald the discovery in large head-lines, the 
lucky finder is made a Doctor of Science, and has his 
name enrolled among the immortals. The negatives 
meanwhile are stored away in the vault of the obser- 
vatory, and common men go on toiling and moiling as 
before. It has been my pleasure to be personally 
acquainted with a great many of the leading astrono- 
mers of the past and present generation on both sides 
of the Atlantic. With some of them I have been 
intimately associated, and I have learned to entertain 
for them and their work the highest admiration. 
No study is more elevating and inspiring than astron- 
omy. It may, however, be questioned whether, viewed 
from the utilitarian standpoint, the results which are 
being achieved by it are as valuable to mankind as those 
which are being achieved in some other branches of re- 
search. In proportion to the large expense which is 
necessary in order to add a little to our knowledge of 
the distant universe what may be learned seems to be of 
less importance to humanity than the knowledge which 
remains to be secured nearer at hand by the physicist, 
the chemist, the geologist, the botanist, and the zoologist. 
But it is eight bells and time to turn in! 














" Yon deep bark goes 

Where traffic blows, 
From lands of sun to lands of snows; 

This happier one 

Its course is run 
From lands of snow to lands of sun." 

T. Buchanan Read. 

ON the morning of September 4th, after having 
been at sea for fourteen days, we found ourselves 
approaching the broad harbor of Bahia. A long low 
point of land, at its extremity a tall lighthouse, jutted 
out into the sea on the northern side of the entrance. 
Over this we got a glimpse of the roofs and towers of 
the city. On the far-off southern side of the harbor 
were ranges of verdurous hills, which gleamed brightly 
in the sunrise. Rounding the point upon which the 
lighthouse stands, we made our way westward and 
cast anchor before the town. A couple of forts, one of 
which was originally built by the Dutch during their 
occupation of the country, guard the roadstead. The 
city stretches for a couple of miles along the curving 
shore of the bay, and is divided into upper and lower 
sections. The lower section occupies a narrow stretch 
along the water-front and is raised only a few feet 
above the level of the sea. Large docks are in process 
of construction. Behind these rise warehouses, banks, 


44 To the River Plate and Back 

and office-buildings, in which various commercial 
firms have their headquarters. Towering above the 
lower city along the whole front of the harbor is a steep 
escarpment several hundred feet in height. On the 
upper plateau, separated by this high bluff from the 
lower town, is the residential section. Here are the 
homes of the affluent, and also of many of the poor. 
Here is the cathedral, and here are many churches, 
numerous convents, a great theater, the mint, the 
palace of the Governor, the medical college, and 
beautifully arranged parks. Here, too, are located 
many of the better shops, where goods are sold at retail. 
Access to the upper city is gained by circuitous routes 
leading around the great wall of rock which faces the 
harbor, or through a couple of deep depressions which 
interrupt its face. These longer routes, which must be 
employed for vehicular traffic, have been supplemented 
by inclined planes and a great double elevator, or " lift, ' 
which runs both by day and by night. 

We went ashore in small boats. A shower of rain 
swept over the bay as we left the ship, but was instantly 
succeeded by bright sunshine. The oarsmen hoisted 
a rude sail and we were not long in reaching the land. 
As we approached the dock we were impressed with the 
scenic charm of the place. The great cliffs over- 
hanging the red roofs of the lower city w r ere draped 
with the richest tropical verdure. The architecture of 
the houses recalls that of Lisbon and other cities of 
southern Europe. The buildings are tall and narrow, 
five, six, and even seven stories high, roofed with tiles. 
Across the water came the sound of church-bells, for it 
was a day of festival. 

After landing, my first errand was at the bank, for as 
yet I had none of the money of the country in my pos- 

A Day in Bahia 45 

session, and without money the path of the traveler 
may be hard, even if interesting. It is pleasant to 
read books describing the adventures of tramps abroad, 
but it is preferable when in a strange land to have 
enough change to enable one to buy a banana, if de- 
sired. Brazilian money is somewhat anomalous, though 
quite logical. The unit is the real, which is equivalent 
in value to about iVo of a mill in the coinage of the 
United States. The principal coin of Brazil is the 
milreis (a thousand reis), a piece of silver worth in 
exchange thirty-one cents of the money minted in 
Philadelphia. Five hundred reis is equivalent to 15^2 
cents, 100 reis to 3^ cents of our coinage. I drew ten 
pounds sterling on my letter of credit and found myself 
the proud possessor of 158,790 reis. Here appeared 
to be a sudden and marvelous accession of wealth, but 
"riches soon take to themselves w r ings and fly away.' 
There is another side to the story. The charge for 
sending a cable message to the loved ones at home, 
consisting of but three words, was 9000 reis; a ticket 
in the elevator which took me to the upper city was 
100 reis; and the conductor of the tram-car charged 
me the same amount for carrying me about ten squares, 
when I got to the top ; my lunch cost me 5000 reis, and 
it was very simple and not particularly good, consisting 
of fruit, a leathery omelet, rolls, and coffee. If I had 
grown suddenly rich, I began to grow as suddenly poor. 
In the United States it is said that people have in re- 
cent years come "to think in millions"; in Brazil they 
think in milreis. The sign for the milreis is the well- 
known mark of the dollar, $. It is at first blush start- 
ling to have a memorandum presented to you in your 
hotel after breakfast, stating that you owe for your 
eggs and coffee the sum of 3$ooo; and it is positively 

46 To the River Plate and Back 

alarming after a stay of five days to have a bill presented 
to you on leaving for ioo$ooo. But it is not so bad as 
it looks. 

While attending to my small affairs at the bank and 
in the telegraph office, I became separated from my 
friends who had come on shore with me. They told 
me that they were going to the upper city and would 
proceed slowly, so that I could overtake them. But 
they had vanished, and I was left alone "a stranger in 
a strange land. ' Solitude, however, is not necessarily 
misery. A man who is alone can often learn as much 
as one who is attended by companions. Making sure 
that I had lost my comrades, I boarded the street-car 
going east, and resigned myself to my fate. I did not 
know the amount of the fare, but selected the smallest 
piece of coin I had, 400 reis, and gave it to the conductor, 
and he gave me back 300 reis as change. How far the 
fare would have carried me I do not know, but we had 
only gone a short distance when I spied the entrance 
to a park. I beckoned to the conductor; he rang the 
bell; the car stopped. As I had been riding along the 
street my attention was attracted, as it had been before, 
to the fact that most of the people appeared to be of 
African descent. Bahia is in fact the capital of the 
"Black Belt" of Brazil. It is said that in the interior 
of the state of Bahia there are colonies of blacks who 
have reverted to the ways of 'darkest Africa.' The 
streets, filled with gaudily clad negresses carrying 
their burdens upon their heads, the tropical sunlight 
glowing upon the walls, the rich, luxuriant vegeta- 
tion in the gardens, brought back to me memories 
of northern Africa. Bahia would furnish splendid 
studies for an artist who revels in color. From this 
point of view it seemed to me quite as attractive as 

A Day in Bahia 


Tangier and similar places now greatly frequented by 

But I was at the entrance of the park adjoining the 
Governor's palace. It is located on the very edge of a 
steep bluff overlooking the city and the bay. The 
panorama is imposing. After wandering along the 
paved walk, protected on its outer edge by a balustrade 
of stone, and feasting my eyes upon the prospect, I 
turned to more nearly examine the various growths 

Fig. 3. Breadfruit (ro nat. size). Fig. 4. Jack fruit ( 2 - nat. size). 

about me and to observe what I could discover of 
tropical life. At the lower end of the walk stood a 
number of fine specimens of the royal palm (Oreodoxa 
regia) ; mimosas overhung the path with their delicate 
foliage, decked with blossoms looking like pompons 
of yellow silk. There were parterres of flowers and 
hedges of roses in full bloom. Here and there a yellow 
butterfly (Catopsilia eubule) fluttered about. I had, 
alas! forgotten to bring my butterfly -net with me, but 
consoled myself with the reflection that the species 
is common, and occurs, though rarely, even in Pennsyl- 
vania. Among the trees which shaded the entrance 

48 To the River Plate and Back 

to the park were a number of large specimens of the 
jack tree (Artocarpus integrifolia). The species has 
been introduced into the American tropics from the 
East Indies. It is closely related to the breadfruit 
(Artocarpus incisa), which was introduced from the 
South Sea Islands, and has become universally diffused 
in the West Indies and the northern parts of South 
America. The leaves of the breadfruit are very broad 
and palmately incised, the leaves of the jack are much 
smaller and entire. The fruit of Artocarpus incisa 
is about the size of the head of a child, while the fruit 
of Artocarpus integrifolia, which grows out of the side 
of the trunk or the larger branches, is a huge thing, as 
big as a large watermelon, weighing thirty or forty 
pounds. The flesh of the jack fruit is coarser and more 
woody than that of the breadfruit, and not so palatable, 
though I must confess after eating roasted breadfruit 
that I do not regard it as a very choice viand. I have 
eaten things I liked better. From the trunks of the 
jack trees in the park in Bahia were hanging several 
large specimens of the fruit, at which I gazed with 
interest. It was the first time I had ever seen the 
plant in life. In a fountain in the park were a couple 
of small alligators and a big turtle, which a little 
mulatto boy was teasing with a long stick. 

As I was going out of the park a well-dressed gentle- 
man came toward me, and I ventured to accost him in the 
French language and inquire whether I was correct in 
my surmise that the stately building at the entrance was 
the palace of the Governor. He responded courteously 
in the affirmative and volunteered the information 
that he himself was the private secretary of the Gover- 
nor. We stood and chatted for a few moments. 
I told him that I wished to improve my few hours on 

A Day in Bahia 49 

shore by seeing something of tropical nature. He ad- 
vised me to take a certain street-car, the directions 
for reaching which he kindly gave me, and by that 
means to go to the Vermilion River, a favorite bath- 
ing-resort by the side of the sea. I thanked him, took 
his advice, and was well repaid for so doing. 

Leaving the upper plateau covered with buildings, 
the electric tramway descends by a number of sharp 
turns into a narrow valley, where I found myself 
journeying along rapidly under a growth of fine tropi- 
cal trees. After a while we emerged from the shadow 
of the woodland and came out to the beach. Here 
the vermilion-colored cliffs were bordered by a strip of 
clean white sand, through which protruded great rocks 
clothed with seaweed where the tide reaches them. The 
blue ocean was full of dancing waves, which came roll- 
ing ashore, throwing up great clouds of spray. A 
headland covered with stately palms jutted out to the 
right, its red cliffs circled below with a wreath of white 
spume. Hawks and vultures were lazily sailing in the 
air. A fisherman on a catamaran was plying his 
calling amidst the surf. At intervals of about ten 
minutes he would venture out, cast his throwing-net, 
and then ride in on the top of the rollers, bringing in his 
catch of fishes, which glittered in the sunlight as if 
they had been made of burnished silver. As he hauled 
his rude craft ashore, an old negro crone, only a little 
less naked than the man, and a couple of children 
went down and helped him to disentangle the fishes 
from the net. They had already filled several large 
baskets. The fishes seemed all to be of one species, 
allied to the herrings of our northern waters. But 
what interested me most was to find the beach behind 
the sandy reaches full of flowering plants, upon which 

50 To the River Plate and Back 

there were swarms of butterflies and other insects, 
many of them long known to me through specimens 
preserved in my cabinets, but which I here for the first 
time saw upon the wing. The hour I had at my com- 
mand was all too short. I could have spent days here 
content to observe the ways of plants and insects, 
birds, beasts, and men. 

I returned to the city as I had come, glad that I had 
at last seen a little of that tropical life in the midst of 
which I first saw the light of day, but which until that 
moment had been for me little more than a tradition 
handed down to me in my early boyhood by my father 
and my mother. Here everything recalled to me the 
tales told to me when I was a child of life lived in an 
Antillean Eden. I remembered that I had been told 
when a child that my nurse, bearing me in her strong 
arms, used to take me into the cane-field and pare for 
me a joint of cane that I might enjoy it. More than 
threescore years have passed since then, but I could 
not resist the temptation to purchase a stick of cane 
from a passing vender, and, paring it, I tried to conjure 
up a vision of my infancy when I was ' ' little massa. ' 

Alighting from the car which brought me back from 
Vermilion River I spied a party of my shipmates at 
luncheon in one of the hotels ; they beckoned to me and 
I joined them. After luncheon we undertook a round 
of the churches. There are eighty-four of these, most 
of them in the upper city. The Church of San Antonio 
first claimed our attention. It is a large building 
the interior of which is elaborately ornamented by 
carvings in wood, which have been gilded. They are 
said to have been made by resident monks, who spent 
a vast amount of time in planning and carrying out 
the designs. The effect is gorgeous, but not otherwise 

A Day in Bahia 51 

impressive. I succeeded in gaining admission to the 
private quarters occupied as offices, meeting-rooms, 
and library by the resident clergy. Here were some 
interesting old books, pictures, and historical relics 
which appealed to my fancy more than did the heavily 
ornate decorations of the nave and chapels. The 
minor ecclesiastic who showed me around and explained 
everything in Portuguese was very polite and obliging. 
I spent half an hour with him and regretted that I 
could not have stayed longer. The views from the 
windows of this part of the complex of buildings are 
very charming, and I sat down at one of them and for 
a few moments feasted my eyes with the sight of the 
city and the distant hills. 

On returning from the little tour of exploration in the 
hidden parts of the church, I again found that I had 
lost my companions, and forthwith proceeded to visit 
one or two other churches, which were said to be worthy 
of inspection. But to one who is familiar with the 
ecclesiastical architecture of Europe, who has studied 
the cathedrals of England, Germany, France, and 
Spain, who has seen St. Peter's in Rome, and the gor- 
geous basilicas of Moscow and St. Petersburg, the 
impression left upon the mind by the churches of Bahia, 
some of which date back for a couple of centuries, 
is upon the whole quite disappointing. Their white- 
washed exteriors, standing forth with dazzling clearness 
against the deep blue sky of the tropics, are certainly 
more effective from an artistic standpoint than their 

Forsaking the task of exploring churches, I betook 
myself to the shops, the market-places, the streets, 
and lanes. There was little here which was attractive, 
but much to interest. The goods displayed were 

52 To the River Plate and Back 

principally, if not entirely, of European or American 
manufacture. The great majority of the stores or 
shops consist of a single room with a high ceiling, open- 
ing out to the street, as do the shops in Spain and 
North Africa. At times I could almost imagine myself 
back again in Granada or Tangier. The merchants 
sit surrounded by their wares at their elbows; the 
artisans, the cobbler, the cabinet-maker, the book- 
binder, the printer, work in full view of the passers-by, 
and exchange greetings and carry on conversations 
with the people who loiter past the open front of the 
little rooms which they occupy. Some of the lanes are 
almost as narrow as in an old Moorish town, and once 
I had to step aside as a street peddler came along 
with his donkey bearing a pair of panniers contain- 
ing the wares which he was retailing. The incident 
suggested the Orient. 

I noted the fact that there was nothing in the way of 
manufactured articles which might be regarded as 
characteristic of the country, and used as souvenirs 
of my visit. The absence of artistic instincts among 
the craftsmen struck me. It is so totally unlike what 
is seen under like conditions, in many similar places 
in Italy, France, and more particularly in Japan. It 
might be imagined that in a land which is rich in its 
products, and where the necessities of life are easily 
supplied, the consequent leisure would lead to activities 
along artistic lines, but the impulse is apparently 
lacking. Something more than idleness and pictur- 
esque surroundings is necessary to awaken artistic 
yearnings and activities. The decorative, imitative, and 
interpreting spirit must exist in the blood of a people. 
Environment alone will not produce them. Africa 
since the days of the Pharaohs has not shone resplen- 

View of Bahia Looking down from the Balcony of the Elevator in the 

Upper City. 

Interior of Church of San Antonio, Bahia. 

A Day in Bahia 53 

deritly in the annals of art. Portugal has produced few 
painters and sculptors ; you could count them on your 
fingers. The people of Bahia, representing in great 
part the blood of Angola, or other West African coun- 
tries, or the commingling of African blood with that 
of Portuguese sailors and adventurers, is qualified for 
exertion along many useful lines, but the imitative 
arts have not up to the present time taken deep root. 
There may come a change in the future; but it will 
be by a process of instillation, rather than education, 
and the result in the event will probably not be epoch- 

There are no arrangements in Bahia for warming the 
houses. None are needed. It is always summer in 
Bahia. The kitchen is the only place where fire is 
required, and the furniture for cooking in the homes 
of the common people is very primitive. Wood and 
charcoal are the fuel employed. I saw negroes carry- 
ing fagots of firewood tied in bundles and fixed as huge 
loads upon their backs, just as they do in Morocco, or 
as I have seen poor peasants in the south of France 
performing the same service. 

As there is little need of fire, so there is little need of 
clothing, except for purposes of ornament. In the 
case of the juvenile population among the poorer 
classes the necessity for other apparel than that pro- 
vided by kindly Nature is apparently not recognized. 
I passed a number of houses, where the younger chil- 
dren were playing in puris naturalibus . Thus arrayed 
they even appeared upon the streets, and I saw one 
fond mother leading along the sidewalk two little 
figures in bronze, which might have served as models 
for Cupids. 

The discovery of Brazil was made by Pedro Alvarez 

54 To the River Plate and Back 

Cabral on March 9, 1500, although Pinzon in January 
of the same year had sighted land in the neighborhood 
of Cape St. Roque. Cabral made his landfall at a 
point which is now included in the southern part of the 
Province of Bahia. He thought the land to be an 
island and called it the Island of the True Cross, a name 
which did not stick. Cabral' s discovery was quickly 
followed by the sending of fleets to possess the country, 
but, as no gold was found, there ensued disappointment. 
The only thing of apparent value which was discovered 
was dye-wood, known then and now as "brazil-wood, ' 
and this wood gave its name to the country. Vessels 
were sent out to get brazil-wood and the 'Brazil- 
coast' soon became known. The first European 
settler was Diego Alvarez, who was a deserter from one 
of the ships which had gone out to get dye-wood. He 
established himself in 1509 at Bahia, and saved him- 
self from being eaten by the cannibal Indians by the use 
of his musket. The Indians nicknamed him 'Cara- 
muru " or " the lightning man. ' Eventually he married 
the daughter of a chief and had a brood of mestizos by 
her. Forty years afterwards the first real colonists 
of Bahia appeared and the half-breed descendants of 
Alvarez were of great service to them in dealing with 
the Indians. 

Founded in 1549, until 1763 Bahia was the capital 
of Brazil. Not long ago it was regarded as the second 
city of the country in commercial importance; but 
during the past three decades it has been outstripped 
by Sao Paulo. The population of Bahia has more 
than doubled since 1890 and is said to exceed two hun- 
dred thousand ; but that of Sao Paulo in the same time 
has quintupled and is now over four hundred thousand. 
The growth of these South American cities in recent 

A Day in Bahia 55 

years has been quite as rapid as that of the cities of 
the United States. 

Bahia during the more than three hundred and fifty 
years of its existence has witnessed many stirring scenes. 
On May 9, 1624, Piet Heyn, "the Dutch Sir Francis 
Drake, ' took Bahia from the Spaniards, who, having 
annexed Portugal, claimed and held the place at that 
time. The capture of Bahia was a daring exploit, and 
was accomplished by Heyn in a hand-to-hand conflict 
against apparently overwhelming odds. The following 
year a combined fleet of Spanish and Portuguese 
ships, fifty-two in number, armed with eleven hundred 
and eighty-five guns and carrying twelve thousand 
five hundred men, was sent to recapture the place, and 
succeeded. The fleet was the most formidable sent 
out by Spain since the days of the Grand Armada. The 
valiant Dutch commander of the garrison, Jan van 
Dorth, had been killed in a skirmish before the arrival 
of the Spaniards. His successors were incapable, and 
though a strong Dutch fleet was on the way to rein- 
force Bahia, they came too late, for the garrison had 
already surrendered. Then in 1627 Piet Heyn came 
back. He had a vastly inferior force, but he was a man 
who did not know fear. He sailed into the harbor 
in the teeth of the forts. He ran his ship between the 
two biggest Portuguese men-of-war, and when the gun- 
ners on shore slacked their fire for fear of hurting their 
own countrymen, the intrepid Dutchman proceeded 
then and there to sink the flagship of the Admiral, and 
captured the rest of the fleet of twenty-seven sail 
lying under the guns of the place. For a while he 
roamed up and down the coast destroying or capturing 
every craft which flew the Spanish or Portuguese flag, 
and then returned to Holland with so much bootv in 

56 To the River Plate and Back 

the form of thousands of hogsheads of sugar and ship- 
loads of hides that the coffers of the Dutch West 
India Company were enriched, and the Directors were 
able to send him out on an expedition to the Caribbean. 
In the fall of the year 1628 he captured in the Bay of 
Matanzas the great treasure-fleet of Spain carrying 
cargoes appraised at nearly fifteen millions of florins, 
and dealt a deadly blow to the sea-power of that country, 
which so long had been trying to strangle the liberties 
of the Dutch. 

From 1623 until 1647 the Dutch were more or less 
securely intrenched at various points along the Brazilian 
coast from Cape St. Roque to Bahia, and at one time 
it seemed that they would be left the masters of the 
situation; but political changes in Europe, mistakes in 
the administration of the Dutch West India Company, 
and the revival of the power of Portugal, led to their 
final overthrow. There are still many people who 
to-day express regret that the Dutch did not perma- 
nently occupy the country, and a prominent citizen of 
Bahia, with whom I conversed, said to me that in his 
judgment it would have been a great blessing for the 
land had the States General of Holland been by a 
kindly Providence assigned the task of developing the 
region and its institutions. It was, however, ordained 





e g 












v* 4 i < . * - 

































Hail ! City of the tropic seas, 

Queen of the headlands, veiled in light, 
Pillowed among thy purpling peaks, 

Sun-decked, and robed in white! 
Thy feet are laved by Ocean old. 

Thy head is crowned with bloom, 
And Flora from her cups of gold 

Pours o'er thee rich perfume. 

ON the morning of September the 7th we came in 
sight of the mountains which guard the coast 
just north of Rio de Janeiro. They are bold in outline 
and their precipitous walls of rock in places rise up 
grandly from the ocean. At the openings of valleys 
were narrow strips of level land covered with forests. 
Occasionally a clearing and human habitations could 
be seen, and here and there were white beaches against 
which the surf lazily rolled. Fishermen in small 
boats were plying their business on the smooth waters. 
A monastery on a little rocky islet not far from the 
shore attracted attention. The forests of palms 
crowding to the edge of the water reminded us that 
we were still in the heart of the tropics. At last we 
turned in nearer to the coast. A crag, so steep that it 
looked as if a goat would have difficulty in obtaining 
a foothold upon its lower slopes, rose above us. Beyond 


58 To the River Plate and Back 

it was a small island topped with palms. Still farther 
south, above the blue horizon, serried peaks guarded the 
dim distance. The bow of the great ship swung closer 
in shore, and was pointed toward the spot where the 
palm-clad island and the tall crag seemed to meet. 
It almost looked as if we were going to run ashore, but 
the big man with the kindly face up on the bridge knows 
the coast. He has brought ships in and out of these 
rocky inlets for forty years, and understands his 
business. The ship does not slacken her speed, but 
rounding the foot of the crag, passes through a narrow 
entrance, coming so close to the island that the waves 
which she throws up chase after each other and dash 
in long lines against the rocks. We are so near that we 
can do a little botanizing and with the naked eye can 
make out the species of the trees before us. Suddenly 
a noble panorama is disclosed. Tall hills on the right 
are topped in the distance by taller mountains. Dead 
ahead is Sugar Loaf, a huge cone of granite, rising, a 
great monolith, from the quiet water. Back of it in 
the blue distance are Corcovado and Tijuca, their 
slender peaks pointing into the sky, "the fingers of 
God,' as the natives call them. A rock which looks 
like the hull of a ship which has " turned turtle ' lies 
on the port bow. Ahead of us is a city, its towers and 
palaces showing white in the sunlight against the dark 
green of the mountains behind it. Scores of steamers 
are lying at anchor, among them, clad in mail, two 
huge dreadnoughts. We are in the harbor of Rio de 
Janeiro, the most beautiful harbor in all the world. 
As we came up through the narrow entrance a puff 
of white smoke rolled from the embrasure of a fort at 
the right, and was followed by a hollow boom, which 
reechoed from the cliffs. The discharge was repeated 

Rio de Janeiro 59 

again and again. And then we saw that over the low 
rock ahead a flag was flying, and we made out openings 
in its sides, and presently from these the fire spat and 
the smoke poured. Other forts, here, there, every- 
where began to thunder. It was exactly noon. What 
did this cannonading mean? Oh! it was only the sign 
of popular rejoicing. The yth of September is the 
national holiday of Brazil and corresponds to the 
4th of July in the United States. It was Independ- 
ence Day. We were running the forts at the entrance 
without being 'stormed at by shot and shell.' The 
smoke of the cannonade drifted out over the channel 
and became so thick that it partly hid from view the 
city and the shipping in the distance. We had chosen 
a fine day on which to make our landing. Rio de 
Janeiro was en fete, and as we emerged from the veil 
of the powder-smoke we saw that the men-of-war were 
gaily dressed with flags ; we saw that every ship at an- 
chor was flying the colors of Brazil ; we heard the sound 
of martial music coming from the shore; bands were 
playing; rockets were banging; and firecrackers were 
snapping everywhere. These Brazilians celebrate their 
"Seventh' with as much noise as we celebrate our 
"Fourth. ' And now the screw has stopped ; we begin 
to move slowly and more slowly still. As we hang over 
the rail we can at last scarcely detect any motion. 
11 Let go ! ' comes the command. A hoarse roar of chains 
at the bow! a splash! we are at anchor! Before us lies 
the capital of Brazil. 

Owing to the fact that the stevedores at Santos were 
on a strike our captain had received instructions to 
discharge the cargo intended for Santos at Rio. We 
were accordingly informed that we would make a stay 
of from four to five days, and I therefore determined to 

60 To the River Plate and Back 

leave the ship and go ashore. A strong argument for 
this course was the fact that I had discovered at Bahia 
that immediately over my cabin there was a steam- 
winch, which would be in operation both by day and 
by night. Proximity to this noisy monster would make 
sleep on board impossible. When selecting cabins for 
a coasting cruise, let me recommend fellow-travelers 
to look out well for the location of the winches. A 
winch overhead is worse than nightmare. 

We had scarcely come to anchor when we were sur- 
rounded on all sides by small rowboats and lighters. 
One of them brought a man who ran up the ladder, and 
called out my name. It was startling. Fancy at 
once conjured up visions. Could he have some dread 
message to convey to me which had come from far off, 
under the seas? I was speedily relieved and reminded 
that two days before I had sent from the ship a Marconi- 
gram asking that a room be reserved for me at one of 
the hotels. The man who sought me was the messenger 
of the house, who came to inform me that the only 
vacant room was at my disposal, and to help me on 
shore with my luggage. I was glad that I had sent 
my message. There are numerous excellent hotels in 
the city of Rio de Janeiro, located on the main avenues, 
but, as a naturalist, I wished to be a little nearer 
Nature's heart than I could be in these, and therefore, 
on the advice of friends, had selected a hotel which 
was in the outskirts of the city, half-way up the flank 
of Corcovado and embowered among the rich forests 
of its slopes. It was for me a happy choice, and a happy 
chance that my message had found its way through 
the air when it did. 

Leaving the care of my luggage to the courier of the 
hotel, I joined a large company of my fellow-passengers 

Rio de Janeiro 61 

in boarding a steam-launch, which quickly put us 
ashore. A tram-car conveyed us to the terminal station 
of the electric railway, which ascends the slopes of the 
mountain and by which my destination could be most 
speedily reached. The cars are open, permitting the 
passengers to see everything. After a little delay we 
were off. The road rises rapidly. In half a minute 
we were flying along on a level with the roof of the 
great opera-house and many of the most imposing 
edifices of the lower city. Then we sped over the arches 
of the old aqueduct built by the Jesuit Fathers more 
than one hundred years ago. Under us were busy 
streets and flat-roofed houses which fill a narrow but 
densely populated valley. The tops of four or five 
lordly palms rise to the level of the tracks, and we were 
almost near enough to touch their feathery fronds 
waving in the sunlight. Having crossed the aqueduct, 
the road ascends the hillside and winds upward, past 
beautiful villas embowered in gardens, rich in flowers. 
The poinsettia flaunts its crimson bracts over the walls ; 
bougainvilleas in sheeted masses of purple blossoms, 
more splendid than the robes of an emperor, cover 
arched gateways; a score of species of palms, conspicu- 
ous among them the royal palm, raise their stately 
columns, fifty, seventy, and one hundred feet into the 
warm air; the perfume of blooming orange-groves 
invades the senses. The road winds to the right and 
to the left, at each turn disclosing a new outlook over 
the harbor, the tree-clad hills, the mountains encircling 
the horizon. Every view is a picture of transcendent 
loveliness. Higher and higher we rise. At last we 
plunge under the shadow of great trees loaded with 
orchids and freighted with pendant lianes. We are 
in the midst of the tropical forest. We look down into 

62 To the River Plate and Back 

deep ravines where the sunlight glimmers on the tops 
of tree-ferns and feathery bamboos, where the monarchs 
of the forest have clothed themselves in bloom, white, 
purple, yellow; where birds of gorgeous plumage flash 
from branch to branch ; where great blue morphos, the 
jewels of the world of butterflies, gleam like huge 
sapphires as they lazily float upward and downward 
and are then lost to view in the deep umbrageous 
recesses. A glimpse at this world of wonders and the 
car stops at the entrance to the elevator, which quickly 
raises us to the outer courtyard of the hotel, which is to 
be our home for four memorable days. We find our- 
selves in an abode of comfort, with the forest all about 
us, but through the setting of its walls of green disclos- 
ing magnificent views of the distant city, the bay, and 
the mountains. Here I rejoice at the thought of 
1 taking mine ease in my inn, ' and here I am happy 
to find a place from which to sally forth into the 
tropical "Urwald. ' 

It only took me a minute or two to deposit my 
impedimenta in my room, to fling open the shutters, 
and to see that the windows commanded a most noble 
view, and then to unpack my insect-nets and other 
paraphernalia of the entomological chase. It was near 
the middle of the afternoon and rather late for an ento- 
mological foray, but the temptation could not be resisted. 
My path led me upward through the grounds of the 
hotel, amid gardens and orange-groves ; upward through 
copses and thickets; upward by a path at the end of 
which I found that an observation-tower had been 
kindly built ; and climbing its stairway I seated myself, 
tired of the stiff climb and ready in the warm light of 
the declining day to yield myself to the enchanting 
influences of my surroundings. Overhead soared a 


-^i'y " ^*. MJ 

-"-"fr , -^ 'J- JB *^gB 

" Jg^J^" '^ , 3> ^f 

4 * 










Rio de Janeiro 63 

score of vultures; near by in the trees several species 
of cicadas were singing their vespers ; that gaudy, noisy, 
and popular South American songster, the Bienteveo 
(Pitangus bolivianus) was calling from tree to tree; a 
dozen birds, all of them strangers to me in life, were 
flitting about and making the gardens vocal with song. 
Far away was the blue horizon of the ocean ; the shining 
roadstead of the harbor gleamed brightly under the 
westering sun; all around the strange huge bulks of 
the mighty cliffs and escarpments, recalling the bold 
faces of the mountains which encircle the Valley of the 
Yosemite, loomed skyward. The distant booming cf 
cannon, the faint jangling of bells, the noises of rejoicing 
in the city came softly to the ear. It was delightful 
to sit in the waning light of a lovely sunset, amidst the 
languorous tropical air, and in solitude drink in deeply 
the impressions of the hour. 

I was roused from my reveries by a droning beetle, 
which wavered a moment in its flight, and fell a victim 
to my net. I realized that out of the herbage around 
me were issuing the swarms of insects which emerge 
at dusk. The electric lights about the hotel were already 
beginning to twinkle. I made my way downward by the 
path I had come, and found myself presently under the 
electric lamps busily engaged in sweeping into my net 
beautiful creatures, large and small, some of which I 
knew at a glance as old friends and others I recognized 
as forms which were strange to me. At the dinner 
table the attention of the throng of fashionably dressed 
ladies and gentlemen was attracted to a large moth, 
brilliantly colored, which came fluttering about the 
tables. I slipped into the hall and seized my net, and 
as the gay insect came by, with a quick stroke captured 
it; I was greeted with a salvo of applause from the 

64 To the River Plate and Back 

assembled guests, and immediately found them all to 
be most kindly interested in my entomological pursuits. 
One lady came to me and informed me that if I would 
go to one of the upper corridors I would find a large 
moth resting in a corner where she had observed it 
before coming down to dinner. Two little misses 
tripped up to me and told me that I must go to the big 
electric lamp at the corner of the hotel, where I would 
find a half-dozen moths resting on the wall. The 
manager and the waiters came to my assistance and 
informed me of discoveries which they had made, and 
from nine until eleven o'clock I worked industriously, 
accumulating a large number of specimens of beautiful 
tropical lepidoptera, which it took me until midnight 
to put into papers for safe-keeping. It certainly was 
for a veteran entomologist an evening of unalloyed 
pleasure. And like it were all the evenings of my brief 
stay in this interesting spot. 

On the morning of the next day when I awoke after 
a refreshing sleep I lay for a few moments gazing out of 
the tall windows, which reached from the floor to the 
ceiling. In the far distance I heard the tooting of 
locomotives and the deep growl of a big steamer 
signaling her departure; near at hand I heard the 
twittering of sparrows about the eaves, the sharp 
eager notes of swallows circling through the air, the 
call of the Bienteveo, and the warbling of a thrush. 
Light fleecy clouds were hovering about the wooded 
peaks. I sprang up and looked down with delight upon 
the world robed in green. It was Amerigo Vespucci 
who said that " if Paradise exists on this planet it must 
be near the Brazilian coasts." Of all that coast the 
most beautiful portion lies around the great estuary on 
which Rio de Janeiro stands. 

Rio de Janeiro 65 

I had set apart this day for a visit to the city. I 
resolved that I would begin by calling upon Dr. Orville 
A. Derby, the Director of the Geological Survey of 
the country. Dr. Derby holds an enviable position 
among the citizens of the Brazilian metropolis, where 
he has resided for forty years. He was one of the trusted 
scientific advisers of the late Emperor, Dom Pedro II., 
and has been active both under the empire and the 
republic in developing the resources of the land, 
which he has made his home. His unfailing kindness 
to men of science who visit Brazil, and his great learning 
have won for him a host of admiring friends, and I 
felt that it was a privilege as well as a duty to call upon 
him to express in person my cordial appreciation of 
the services he had rendered to Mr. John D. Haseman, 
whom the Carnegie Institute sent to Brazil in 1908, 
and who for nearly three years had served us there as 
a field naturalist, making many interesting discoveries. 

I found Dr. Derby at the hotel where he resides, 
and at leisure for the day. We lunched together, 
and my host exerted himself to select from the volumin- 
ous bill of fare viands characteristic of the country. 
Among other things we had some delicious shrimps 
fresh from the sea, quite equal in flavor to the best 
New England lobsters. We had boiled cabbage-palm 
and fried plantains, dishes not known outside of the 
tropics. The Brazilian cheese was very good, and I 
was informed that dairy products are beginning to be 
exported in considerable quantities from Rio de Janeiro. 
The coffee was veritable nectar. Three-fourths of the 
coffee consumed by mankind comes from Brazil, and 
the art of brewing a good cup of coffee is certainly 
understood in Rio. 

After luncheon we repaired to the Geological Museum, 

66 To the River Plate and Back 

where my learned companion showed me the collections 
representing the minerals and fossils of the various 
formations which he has been assembling for many 
years. He conducted me through the laboratories; 
and I was deeply interested in a number of fine relief 
maps which he has prepared or has in process of pre- 
paration. An unfinished relief of very large size, 
showing the whole of Brazil, adjusted to the curvature 
of a globe of immense size, particularly attracted me. 
I was also very glad to see a relief map of Rio de Janeiro 
and its environs and to receive from Dr. Derby a most 
interesting and instructive account of the geology of the 
district. We talked about the mines, of precious 
stones and metals, and of the coal-fields of Brazil. 
The question of a fuel supply is one of great importance 
in all of the South American countries. The coal at 
present used is imported from overseas. The deposits 
of coal in Brazil thus far discovered are not extensive 
in area and are of inferior quality, though by proper 
treatment it is believed that these Brazilian coals may 
be utilized to advantage. However, the development 
of railways is likely to be much retarded by the lack 
of cheap fuel. To sacrifice the great forests of valuable 
woods to the devouring maws of steam-engines would 
be a frightful act of vandalism. Fortunately, in the 
vicinity of Rio de Janeiro and other cities in Brazil 
there are fine waterfalls, and these are being harnessed 
and used in the service of the electric railways. On the 
broad plains of the south and the interior such sources 
of power are of course lacking. There are reported to 
be extensive beds of coal in Bolivia, but as yet they are 
wholly inaccessible, though the problem of reaching 
them is attracting attention. 

After leaving the Museum of Geology we repaired to 

The Avenue of Royal Palms in the Botanical Garden, Rio de Janeiro. 

Rio de Janeiro 67 

the Botanical Garden. Calling at the house of the 
Director we learned to our regret that he was not at 
home, and proceeded in a leisurely manner to walk 
through the park, in which is gathered one of the most 
superb collections of tropical vegetation which exists. 
The chief glory of this wonderful garden is found in the 
avenues of royal palms, some of which have survived 
the vicissitudes of a century and still are apparently 
filled with pristine vigor, sending their columns aloft 
into the air, great rounded shafts of supple wood, 
crowned with huge coronets of exquisite foliage. We 
lingered in the garden until it was nearly dusk, and 
then repaired in company to my hotel upon the moun- 
tain side, and until nearly midnight sat and talked of 
mutual friends who are leaders in scientific research, and 
of the great future that lies before Brazil, destined with- 
in the next two hundred years to be the home of one of 
the greatest nations upon the globe. We parted with 
the promise that on the evening of the morrow we would 
go together and visit the house of a friend who has the 
largest collection of butterflies in tropical America. 



"Father, thy hand 

Hath reared these venerable columns. Thou 
Didst weave this verdant roof. Thou didst look down 
Upon the naked earth, and forthwith rose 
All these fair ranks of trees." 

W. C. Bryant. 

THE days of my stay in Rio de Janeiro, which suc- 
ceeded that first day, passed so pleasantly in the 
company of Dr. Derby, were devoted in part to sight- 
seeing in the town, and in part to long rambles among 
the tropical woodlands and mountains. 

Accompanied by friends I visited the Annual Exposi- 
tion in the Academy of Fine Arts. There were a few 
good pictures by Brazilian artists, but most of the 
canvases were not such as to attract prolonged attention. 
Art is still in its infancy in Brazil; nevertheless several 
of the pictures showed a fine sense of color and vigorous 
handling. There is some talent in the land which is 
worthy of being encouraged. 

The impression made upon the traveler by the life 
of the streets in Rio de Janeiro, in fact in all South 
American cities, is such as to recall the lands of the 
Mediterranean, rather than those of northern Europe, 
or the United States of North America. The manners 
and customs are those of southern Europe. The 
street-merchants and market-women, the porters and 












Rambles about Rio de Janeiro 69 

cabmen, the crowds on the side-walks reveal by a hun- 
dred little traits in action and address that they belong 
to the Latin rather than the Teutonic races. Who in 
England or the United States has seen men carrying 
their stock of vegetables about from house to house in 
baskets slung at the ends of a yoke-pole? But in Italy 
and Spain and North Africa such sights are common, 
and everywhere in Rio de Janeiro we encountered 

Many of the public buildings of Rio de Janeiro are 
excellent in design and appearance. The influence 
of French taste is conspicuous in many of them. 
The Opera House, modeled after that of Paris, is as 
fine a building as its prototype. The Monroe Palace 
is recognized at once as the Brazilian Building which 
graced the Exposition at St. Louis, and which, trans- 
ported to Rio, now adorns the Avenida. There are 
numerous streets which compare favorably with similar 
streets in any of the great European capitals. The 
most attractive feature of Rio is the system of boulevards 
intersecting the lower portion and bordering the water- 
front. Nowhere in the world is there a more beautiful 
drive than that afforded by the Avenida Beira-Mar. 
The road-bed is perfection, and the exquisitely beauti- 
ful views of the bay and the mountains, which it offers 
at every turn, cause all other great municipal thorough- 
fares to suffer by comparison. The Riverside Drive 
in New York, the Thames Embankment in London, 
the Avenue des Champs Elysees in Paris lack alto- 
gether the elements which combine to make the 
great Brazilian avenue the magnificent promenade 
which it is. The Hudson is a noble stream, and the 
Palisades are striking; but to produce in New York 
the effect of the view at Rio it would be necessary to 

70 To the River Plate and Back 

bring down the White Mountains from New Hampshire 
and set them up in the New Jersey marshes, put the 
cliffs and mountains of the Yosemite into the regions 
of the Bronx, and build a section of the maritime Alps 
of Italy from the Atlantic Highlands to Newark. After 
all this had been done there would still be lacking the 
sun and riant vegetation of the tropics. 

At various points there are small parks exquisitely 
kept, and numerous monuments commemorating his- 
toric events and personages. Mons. Georges Clemen- 
ceau in his recent book entitled South America of To-day 
criticizes in a good-natured manner the tendency 
which is so apparent in South America to embellish 
open places with monuments and groups of statuary 
commemorating men of less than world-wide fame. 
For my part I rather like the evident loyalty of the 
people of these countries to the memory of those who 
have been their leaders and benefactors. Granting 
that their names are little known in Europe or the 
United States, they were the men who laid the foun- 
dations of the institutions and the laws which to-day 
bless the nations whom they served, and it is fitting 
that those who come after them should remember them. 
There is quite too much haste in these times to bury 
our dead in forget fulness. Republics are proverbially 
ungrateful, and I esteem it a hopeful and pleasant sign 
that here in these southern lands the duty of the present 
to remember the benefactors of the past is being felt. 

But "God made the country, man made the town.' 
I prefer the country. The result was that I devoted 
less of my time to rambling about the streets and market- 
places of Rio, and more to the woodlands and mountain- 
tops. Two afternoons were given to pedestrian ex- 
cursions along the route of an abandoned railway 

Rambles about Rio de Janeiro 71 

leading through the forest beyond the hotel. The track 
goes around the jutting shoulders of the hills, and rich 
tropical forests overhang it. Great tree- trunks veiled 
by creeping aroids, covered with parasitic growths, 
rise on all sides. Orchids were abundant. For part 
of the way the track runs alongside a section of the 
old Jesuit aqueduct built of massive masonry, which 
still in part provides a supply of water to the city. 
The masonry was covered with a thick coat of green 
mosses, and in the chinks grew delicate ferns. In the 
narrow ravines, through which the streamlets came 
bounding from the hills, tree-ferns were abundant. The 
great variety of families and genera represented in 
these hillside growths was one of the things which 
attracted immediate attention. In our northern wood- 
lands there generally appear to be certain dominant 
forms in a given locality; in one place the hills are 
covered by oaks and chestnuts ; in another by pines and 
birches; in still another by beeches and poplars. It 
was not so on the mountains about Rio de Janeiro. 
There were indeed certain species, individuals of which 
were more numerous than others, but there was every- 
where a bewildering variety of species. The larger 
trees within a radius of a quarter of a mile belonged to 
at least twenty families and forty genera, and I have 
no doubt, taking into account the woody shrubs, these 
numbers would be doubled. Brazil is the metropolis 
of the Melastomacecz, and if any family appeared more 
prominent than another it was these. There were 
many species of palms. It was just the period of the 
springtime, if there can be said to be a vernal period 
in a land where "everlasting spring abides, " and many 
of the larger trees were in bloom. It was an impressive 
sight to stand on a jutting eminence and look down over 

72 To the River Plate and Back 

a densely wooded slope reaching like a robe of emerald 
into the valley, and here and there to see lordly trees 
veiled to their outermost branches with blossoms, 
white, yellow, purple, scarlet, or blue, giant bouquets 
set here and there in the midst of perennial green. The 
comparative absence of lowly composite flowers, which 
are so common in northern latitudes, was noticeable. 
They were not altogether wanting, but their place 
seemed to be largely usurped by verbenas, begonias, 
caladiums, and cannas. Convolvulaceous and legumi- 
nous plants, large and small, were abundant. A 
species of xanthoxylon with great yellow spikes of 
bloom grew abundantly in spots. The brambles of 
our northern woods were replaced by lantanas. Among 
the herbage I noticed some species evidently escaped 
from cultivation, for instance, here and there a stray 
coffee-plant in full blossom. This child of the Abys- 
sinian highlands has found a congenial home in the 
American tropics. 

But even far more interesting to me on some accounts 
than the magnificent vegetation was the wealth of 
insect life. Here I had an opportunity to observe 
close at hand those most magnificent of all South 
American butterflies, the morphos, numbers of which I 
found flitting by the pathway. Nothing in all nature 
exceeds the brilliancy of these huge blue insects, as they 
flutter into the sunlight, suddenly disappearing as they 
pitch upon the ground or a twig, closing their wings 
the under sides of which, through adaptation to their 
environment, cause them to be instantly invisible, 
except to one who is keenly watching them. I came 
upon them seated upon the ground, and was unaware 
of their presence until suddenly, like a gleam of burn- 
ished metal, their wings flashed open and they flew 

Vegetable Dealer, Rio de Janeiro. 

Poultry Vender, Rio de Janeiro. 

Rambles about Rio de Janeiro 73 

away. Here, too, I had the great pleasure of observing 
the curious habits of the butterflies belonging to the 
genus Ageronia, which invariably light head downward 
upon the trunks of the trees, with their wings expanded ; 
and here I heard them as they circled about emitting 
that curious sound concerning which Bates, in his 
A Naturalist on the Amazon, has written. Just how 
these frail little creatures produce a loud clicking 
noise as they dash about in the air is an unsolved 
mystery. Here also for the first time I encountered 
in life the curious butterflies belonging to the genus 
Ithomia and allied forms. They seemed to be the 
ghosts of living things, so thoroughly transparent are 
their wings, and it was only by sharply noting the few 
bright spots upon them that I was able to follow them 
in their flight. Their pursuit seemed to be the chase 
of the invisible. Besides the butterflies, which were 
numerous when the sun was bright, there were many 
species of gaily colored moths, which are diurnal in 
their flight, and which hovered over flowers or flitted 
up from among the herbage. Some of these moths 
have a wonderful resemblance both in the form of their 
bodies and their wings to the bees and wasps, among 
which they feed upon the same food-plants. One of 
the marvels of the insect world is the great moth 
which is occasionally found about Rio de Janeiro, and 
which is characterized by its remarkably prolonged 
hind-wings, as well as by the beauty of its colors. It 
is known by the scientific name of Eudcemonia semi- 

Of the Hymenoptera there were many species. A 
great black wasp (Pepsis) three inches in length was 
quite common and very conspicuous when feeding on 
the spikes of the blooming xanthoxylon. I captured a 

74 To the River Plate and Back 

couple of fine specimens. A large bumble-bee with black 
wings and reddish body was at work everywhere. Ants 
of various kinds appeared to be numerous. Dragon- 
flies were abundant, but proved difficult to capture. 
The beetles of Brazil, especially those the larvae of 
which feed upon wood and leaves, constitute a mighty 

Fig. 5. Eudtemonia semiramis. 
| natural size. 

host. It is probable that only a small part of them 
have as yet been named and described. We know com- 
paratively little of their habits and life-history. The 
Cerambycidce, or Long-horn Beetles of Brazil, include 
many thousands of species as yet unnamed. There is 
in my custody a collection of these interesting insects 
in which I am told by one of my assistants that there 
are certainly twelve thousand species, the greater 

Rambles about Rio de Janeiro 75 

part of which he has been unable thus far to identify. 
They all came from Brazil. To name and describe 
them is in itself a life-work, which awaits at this moment 
the proper man. Among the Cerambycidce of Brazil 
are many most singular forms. Perhaps the most 
remarkable insect of the group is the great beetle which 
bears the scientific name 
of Macro pus longimanus. 
Its back is marked with 
curious hieroglyphic de- 
vices. The Dynastidce, an- 
other family of showy bee- 
tles, is also well developed 
in Brazil. The most strik- 
ing of all is the Hercules 
Beetle, which ranges from 
the Island of Guadaloupe 
to Uruguay. 

Birds appeared to be nu- 
merous, and to my great de- 
light I heard the call of the 
Bell-bird, though I did not 

rig. o. Macropus longimanus. 

see the beautiful creature. i natural size. 

I do not think it possible 

that I was mistaken in this. Some years ago in the 
Zoological Garden in London there was a captive 
specimen of the bird, which constantly emitted its 
strange metallic note, and I studied and listened to it 
for half an hour. The same sound rang out again and 
again from one of the lonely dells on the face of Corco- 
vado. I attempted to locate the bird, but it appeared to 
be hidden in the deep foliage. 

The afternoon of an almost cloudless day was given 
to the ascent of Corcovado. This is made easy by the 

76 To the River Plate and Back 

railway, which has been built almost to the summit. 
It is operated in the same manner as many of the rail- 
ways which have been built in Switzerland to enable 
tourists to gain peaks, which a few years ago were only 
to be reached by vigorous effort. Under the skies 
of Brazil the most devoted worshiper of the alpenstock 
is justified in substituting for the toil of his muscles a 
small contribution of cash from his pocket and for- 
getting the glory he won in his youth by many a reckless 
ascent. The railway climbs up by way of a gorge in 
the steep mountain-side, through which a brook comes 
foaming downward. Great trees overhang the track 
and through their tops are caught glimpses of the land- 
scapes below. The last one hundred or more feet of 
the ascent are made by flights of steps cut in the solid 
rock, up which the tourist must go as a pedestrian. 
On the summit have been built a small pavilion, and just 
below it on the narrow edge of the mountain a platform 
about five feet wide, protected on both sides by balus- 
trades. Walking to the end of this platform the 
observer looks out and down upon the world below him, 
as a man looks down from the basket of a balloon. 
Were he to leap over the balustrade he would drop 
nearly a thousand feet. The view is magnificent. On 
the east lies the Atlantic Ocean, a mass of sapphire, 
over which white fleecy cloudlets wander landward; 
to the north and the west is the bay, sprinkled with 
green islands, a sheet of lapis lazuli inlaid with emeralds ; 
in the further distance to the north and west are the 
Organ Mountains, some of which lift their heads seven 
thousand feet above the sea; to the south are Tijuca 
and a hundred green hills; immediately below lies the 
city, spread out as upon a map, every avenue, every 
building in full view. Along the white roadways the 



























Rambles about Rio de Janeiro 77 

street-cars move to and fro looking like ants, and 
human beings are mere specks of black, scarcely dis- 
tinguishable except with an opera-glass. We staid 
a half -hour upon the summit feasting our eyes, and then 
the writer walked down the mountain botanizing and 
entomologizing as he went. The walk was hot, but 
it is never to be forgotten. What pleasure to be alone 
in the woods, with no sounds but those of the wind, the 
brooks, and the birds ! What exquisite delight to ram- 
ble free of foot along pathways lined with plants, 
known hitherto only by carefully nourished specimens 
grown in conservatories, or preserved in herbaria. 
If a visit to the palm-house at Kew is a delight, what 
a delight it is to have the whole wide world apparently 
transformed into a colossal conservatory, and to be free 
to go up and down in it, gathering flowers everywhere. 

The five days at Rio de Janeiro came all too quickly 
to an end. I promised myself as the anchor came up and 
we stood out to sea that, if life and health should be 
spared to me, I would again some day renew my ac- 
quaintance with this fascinating region, of the charms of 
which I had only had a taste. 

As we made our way out of the bay I recalled what I 
had read of the history of the spot. Here the Huguenots 
of France once assayed settlement, and the memory of 
their occupation is perpetuated in the name of the 
fortified island which still bears the name of Villegagnon, 
the commander of the company of French Protestants 
who made the first attempt to colonize the region in 
: 555- They were driven out a few years later by Mem 
da Sa, the Portuguese Governor of Brazil, who laid out 
and effected the settlement of what is now the busi- 
ness quarter of Rio, and remained as Governor until 
his death in 1572. It is as idle to speculate as to what 

7* To the River Plate and Hack 

might have been the issue of a French occupation of 
Rio dc Janeiro as it is to imagine what might have been 
the result of a permanent occupation of the coast to 
the north by the Dutch. Rio de Janeiro during the 
period of the Napoleonic wars became the refuge of 
the Portuguese King and court. King John VI. of 
Portugal fled before the advance of Marshal Junot and 
his army and on November 27, 1807, accompanied by 
fifteen thousand people, carrying with them fifty mil- 
lions of dollars in treasure, sailed away for Brazil, arriv- 
ing at Rio on March 7, 1808. From that day to this 
Brazil has been the principal home of the Portuguese 
race. Brazil is greater Portugal, in the same way that 
North America is greater England. 

Between the little town upon which Mem da Sa 
closed his eyes and the great city of to-day with its 
million of inhabitants there lie nearly three centuries 
and a half of human history. What changes have 
taken place in the world during these three hundred 
and fifty years! London, to-day the largest city on the 
globe, had in 1560 less than one-fifth the population of 
the Rio de Janeiro of the present. New York did not 
exist, and it was not until fifty years after the city of 
Rio de Janeiro was laid out that Hendrik Hudson in 
his Half Moon entered the river which bears his name. 
But in reality everything which makes life worth living 
to-day seems to have taken place since the discovery 
of the New World. 

Fig. 7. Dynastes Hercules. 
i natural size. 



' Town, tower, 
Shore, deep, 
Where lower 
Clouds steep; 
Waves gray 
Where play 
Winds gay 
All asleep. " Victor Hugo. 

WE left Rio about noon on September I2th, and 
made our next call at Santos. The approach 
to the city is by a narrow tidal river which threads its 
way inland amidst mangrove-swamps, beyond which on 
all sides rise high mountains. We took on a pilot as 
we crossed the bar. He was a tall African from the 
Cape Verde Islands. His ebony complexion was 
matched by a rather natty uniform. I ventured later 
to express to the captain my wonder at his being com- 
pelled to entrust his responsibilities to the gentleman. 
He laughingly responded, "You should see how I do 
that. I give the orders, and he stands by and approves 
and confirms them. No, sir; I do not resign my 
responsibilities to black boys on this coast. I know 
the coast better than they do. I have been on this run 
for a lifetime. ' 

Santos used to be regarded as the most unhealthy 
port in the American tropics. On the banks of the 


8o To the River Plate and Back 

tortuous stream, as we slowly made our way to the 
docks, we saw the ribs of a number of American ships 
rotting in the sluggish ooze, and I was told by the cap- 
tain that these were ships which had been abandoned, 
crew after crew having died on them from yellow fever, 
and that they had been finally towed to the shore and 
deliberately burned, because they were veritable 
plague-ships and could not be taken away. Now all 
is changed at Santos. The building of the new docks, 
the consequent filling up of the low, marshy land on 
the river-front, and the adoption of proper sanitary 
precautions have led to the almost total extermination 
of the mosquito, which bred the yellow fever. Prop- 
erty values in Santos have risen within recent years 
in a manner truly marvelous. The town is the port 
of Sao Paulo, the capital of the state of the same name, 
which is built on the uplands twenty-five hundred feet 
above sea-level at a remove of two hours by rail from 
Santos. The latter city has about seventy thousand 
inhabitants; Sao Paulo about four hundred and fifty 
thousand, more than half of whom are Italians. 

The river-front of Santos for more than a mile is 
faced by docks and warehouses of modern construction, 
and these are being rapidly extended. The town is 
compactly built. There is an extensive system of 
street-railways, the service upon which is excellent. 
By means of these access may be had not only to every 
quarter of the city but also to the suburbs. Of these 
the most attractive is Guaruja, where there is a noble 
beach of pure white sand, much resorted to by sea- 
bathers, and a number of fine hotels. Sao Vicente, 
located about six miles from Santos, is the site of the 
first permanent colony established by the Portuguese 
in Brazil. Here in January, 1532, Martim Affonso da 

Santos 81 

Souza founded a little settlement, from which the way 
was speedily discovered to the more healthful and 
equally fertile highlands separated from the coastal 
plains by the lofty escarpments which rise to a height 
of from twenty-five hundred to three thousand feet 
along the ocean. Da Souza was not, however, the 
first Portuguese to establish himself in this place. 
In the year 1511 Joao Ramalho, a Portuguese deserter, 
had settled here, as had Diego Alvarez at Bahia two 
years before. He too, like Alvarez, took to himself 
an Indian wife, and when Da Souza arrived he was 
glad to welcome his fellow-countryman, and his dusky 
sons and daughters played an important role in en- 
abling the Portuguese colonists to enter into friendly 
relations with the surrounding Indian tribes. The 
occupation of the highlands by the colonists speedily 
cut them off more or less from communication with the 
world and forced the Paulistas to become more and 
more self-reliant. They developed energy and daring 
in their new surroundings, and, as the colony grew, 
they acquired an independent spirit. With courage, 
boldness, and the hospitality of the frontier, they min- 
gled ignorance and cruelty. The story of the colony, 
about which centers the early history of the develop- 
ment of the power of Portugal in Brazil, is in many of 
its features not unlike the story of the winning of our 
Middle West. Tales of hardship and privation, of 
encounters with hostile Indian tribes, of restless migra- 
tions westward in quest of lands and gold fill the pages 
of the historian of Sao Paulo, as they fill the pages of 
those who narrate the history of the Mississippi Valley. 
The Jesuits played an important part in the movement 
at first, but the people of Sao Paulo discovered after a 
while that the theocratic ideas of these representatives 

82 To the River Plate and Back 

of ecclesiastical power were in conflict with their liber- 
ties, and they hunted the Jesuits out of the country as 
diligently as they hunted out the savages who refused 
submission. The whole story has not as yet been told 
as it deserves to be. The genius of some Brazilian 
having the historical power of an Irving or a Parkman 
should be summoned to the task of giving to the world 
a complete record of this really wonderful chapter in 
American development. 

The city of Santos is dominated by a hill rising above 
the town, on the summit of which is a shrine resorted 
to by the sick, who are reported to derive great benefit 
from the visit. A rather remarkable collection of wax 
models such as are generally displayed in medical 
museums, showing the nature of various diseases, is a 
part of the furniture of this holy place. The small 
parks of Santos, of which there are several, are well 
kept, and contain fine specimens of tropical plants. 
In one of the parks in the center of the city the muni- 
cipal authorities have placed a colony of sloths. Some 
twenty or more of these animals live among the branches, 
and it was highly interesting, seated under the shadows 
of the trees, to look upward and watch the slow and 
deliberate movements of the creatures as they migrated 
from bough to bough feeding upon the foliage as they 

That this is a very small world impressed itself 
forcibly upon me in Santos. Upon the first occasion 
on which I took a seat in one of the street-cars to ride 
from the city to the dock, where the steamer was lying, 
I ventured to ask of a gentleman, beside whom I 
was sitting, whether the car I had taken would 
convey me to my destination. I addressed him in 
French, and he answered me in that language, but 

View of the Harbor of Santos. 


Loading Coffee at Santos. Bananas Piled on Forward Deck. 

Santos 83 

quickly said in excellent English, ' ' You are an American, 
not so?' I answered in the affirmative, and he went 
on to tell me that he was a graduate of Cornell Univers- 
ity, had married in the United States, and we presently 
discovered that we had a score of mutual acquaintances, 
among them one of my own classmates, who for years 
has been the honored professor of the German language 
and literature in Cornell. 

The State of Sao Paulo produces from its fertile 
acres more than one-half of the coffee which is annually 
consumed in the world. While our steamer lay at the 
wharf we took on board five thousand bags intended for 
the coffee-market of Buenos Aires. There were twenty 
or more large steamers engaged in loading coffee. The 
sacks of coffee, which each weigh one hundred and twenty 
pounds, were carried on board on the backs of men. 
The bearers as they came to the hatch let the sacks fall 
upon a chute, and they disappeared into the hold, where 
a crowd of men were engaged in piling them. As soon 
as each bearer had dropped his burden he returned at a 
trot for another. The procession formed an endless 
chain of carriers, one half loaded with sacks, the others 
hurrying back for a new load. Their movements 
were quick and agile. There was little suggestion of 
" the land of manana. ' The gang seemed to represent 
many nationalities. It was composed mainly of negroes, 
but I recognized Italians, Portuguese, East Indian 
coolies, and a couple of Japanese. They were all 
bareheaded, many of them barefooted, and all quite 
lightly clad. The perspiration fairly dripped from them 
as they dashed up and down the gang-planks. They 
earn from four to five dollars a day when engaged in 
loading, but employment is not constant. An attempt 
is being made to dispense with the service of men in 

84 To the River Plate and Back 

loading, and some of the warehouses are being 
fitted up with conveyors which are intended to carry 
the coffee-sacks from the storage rooms to the hold 
of the steamers as they lie alongside. None of these 
conveyors seemed to be in operation at the time we 
were there. The fact that Santos is a coffee-port was 
not only taught us by our eyes, but also by our noses. 
There is an all-pervasive smell of raw coffee on the 
docks; one detects it as one walks the streets. 

The use of coffee as a beverage is quite modern. The 
ancient Greeks and Romans knew nothing of the fra- 
grant bean. The native home of the plant is Africa, 
and Coffea arabica, which is the species generally 
cultivated, grows wild in Abyssinia. There are several 
other species, one of which, known as Coffea liberica, 
is very common on the western coast of Africa. The 
first references to the plant occur in Arab literature. 
There are a number of curious legends as to the manner 
in which the use of coffee arose. One tale, which I 
remember to have read somewhere, assigns the first 
use of coffee to the monks of the Convent of St. Cather- 
ine at the foot of Jebel Musa in the Sinaitic Peninsula. 
The abbot had long been vexed by his inability to get 
some of his monks to observe their vigils. They per- 
sisted in sleeping, when they should have kept awake. 
One day the goatherd of the convent complained to the 
abbot that he was having trouble with his flock; that 
they would not sleep; and kept him up all the night 
by their ungoatlike conduct, being apparently cursed 
by insomnia. The abbot made inquiries and discovered 
that this conduct was most noticeable when they fed 
in one of the ravines where there grew a shrub with red 
berries, upon which they browsed. He ordered the 
goatherd to bring him some of the leaves and berries 

Santos 85 

of the plant. This was done, and the abbot caused an 
infusion to be made, which he administered to certain 
of his most notoriously lazy monks. The potion had 
the desired effect, and they staid awake at night, after 
it had been given them. After awhile they came to 
relish it, and as the result of an accident, by which some 
of the coffee-seeds were scorched in a fire, the fact that 
the beans were improved by roasting and the infusion 
made more palatable, was discovered. Probably this 
story is a fiction. The use of coffee as a beverage 
was, however, confined to the region about the Red Sea 
until quite modern times. It first spread into Persia 
and Arabia. The pilgrims to Mecca learned to use it 
at Aden. The Hadjis brought a knowledge of the 
beverage back with them to Cairo and Constantinople. 
At first there was a great deal of opposition to its use 
by the Mohammedan rulers, and it was declared to be 
intoxicating, and therefore forbidden by the Koran. 
But the opposition proved ineffectual and the Syrians 
and Turks became confirmed drinkers of coffee. Its 
use was introduced into England in 1652 by a merchant 
named Edwards, who traded with Smyrna. At the 
end of the seventeenth century the Dutch began to 
grow it in Java, and early in the eighteenth century 
introduced the plant into their West Indian colonies 
and Dutch Guiana. A Franciscan monk, by the name 
of Villaso, is said to have taken the first coffee-plant 
to Rio de Janeiro in 1754, an d from the little sapling, 
which he carried across seas, all the millions of coffee- 
plants in Brazil are descended. 

The coffee-plant is a low shrub or tree with long, 
shining, dark green leaves. The blossoms, which are 
formed in the axils of the leaves, are pure white and 
fragrant. A coffee-plantation in full bloom is a beauti- 


To the River Plate and Back 

ful sight. The blossoms are succeeded by the berries, 
which, when ripe, are bright red. Each berry contains 
two seeds, or "beans," which are placed in the shell 
with their flat sides face to face. The gathering and 
hulling of the coffee employs a great many people in the 
season. The trees are pruned back, or pollarded, to en- 

Fig. 8. Coffee in bloom. Fig. 9. Coffee in fruit. 

From drawings made by the mother of the writer in Jamaica, West 
Indies, 1846. 

able the pickers to reach the branches. Little cultiva- 
tion is required, except to weed the ground in which the 
trees grow and keep it mulched with rotten leaves and 
vegetable compost. In a coffee-plantation the shrubs 
are set out quite thickly, about five hundred to the acre. 
There are hundreds of thousands of acres planted with 
coffee in Santos, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and the ad- 
jacent provinces. The cultivation has grown to such an 
extent that there has been a decline in prices, which the 
Brazilians have sought in part to overcome by restricting 

Santos 87 

planting. The coffee-growers of Brazil are resorting 
to the same tactics which have been used by agricultur- 
ists in other lands, which produce different crops. The 
consumer is being made to pay tribute. Soil and sun 
are ready to do their work, but the human agent is 
bent on keeping up prices, or forcing them to higher 

While thousands of sacks of coffee were being put 
into the hold, the forward decks were being piled high 
with thousands upon thousands of bunches of bananas. 
They were brought alongside in lighters, and then taken 
on board in slings lowered from the derrick-booms. 
The bananas were of the common variety, which is 
now known everywhere. But there are a great many 
varieties of the Musa sapientium, as there are of other 
cultivated fruits. There is a little banana not bigger 
than the thumb of a man, which grows in bunches not 
more than a foot in length, and which is called dominico 
by the Spanish-speaking people of South America. 
This variety is far superior in delicacy of flavor to the 
larger kinds, and is well adapted to be a dessert-fruit. 
I wonder why we do not find it in our northern markets. 
The fruit of the plantain, which by some botanists is 
regarded as a mere variety of Musa sapientium, by 
others as a distinct species, Musa paradisiaca, is general- 
ally cooked when green. Plantains are larger than 
bananas, coarser in flesh, and with less flavor. They 
are sliced like potatoes and then fried until thoroughly, 
brown and crisp. Thus prepared they not only look 
like fried potatoes, but taste not unlike them. The 
banana and the plantain were most probably introduced 
into South America from the far East. They do not 
appear to grow wild in the American tropics. The 
clearings on the hillsides and in the valleys about Santos 

88 To the River Plate and Back 

are covered everywhere with dense growths of bananas 
and plantains. The greenness of a hill covered with 
bananas can only be likened in its intensity to the 
greenness of the Irish hillslopes in springtime. 

We did not make a long stay at Santos. Arriving a 
little after noon on September I3th we sailed just before 
nightfall on the evening of the day following. The 
forenoon of the latter day was devoted to sight-seeing 
and the futile quest of butterflies. The morning was 
cloudy and there were showers, so that my winged 
friends of the fields and gardens did not appear in any 
numbers and I was disappointed. Butterflies love 
sunshine. They are part of the world of light and cheer. 
I do not believe that in that old world of darkness, which 
existed under the fog-laden skies of Mesozoic times, 
there were many butterflies. That was the age of 
cockroaches. When our coal-beds were in the process 
of formation cockroaches were numerous and big, 
but I doubt if there were many butterflies. 

The night was cloudy as we slipped out of the river 
and faced the sea. The wind was from the south, and 
there was a chill in the air. The lights of the shore 
quickly receded, and we went below to get our dinners, 
and pass the evening playing bridge- whist. The 
brilliantly illuminated and cosy cabin was in agreeable 
contrast to the dark, cold exterior. We knew we were 
approaching the south temperate zone, and began 
to think of getting out warmer clothing than we had 
hitherto worn. 






0) X 

a ^ 

d A 

CO = 




The Cathedral, Montevideo. 



The Presidential Mansion, Montevideo. 



"By the rushy-fringed bank, 
Where grows the willow, and the osier dank, 
My sliding chariot stays. " Milton. 

FOR two days we steamed southward at full speed. 
Now and then during the first day we saw on the 
western horizon the distant mountains which guard the 
eastern coast of the Province of Santa Catharina in 
Brazil. They were often lost among pale purple clouds, 
which they so closely resembled that it was only pos- 
sible to distinguish them by their serrated outlines. 
During the second day we knew that the great Province 
of Rio Grande do Sul lay on our starboard beam. Our 
Captain, however, had plotted his course far off from 
the coast, and we vainly searched for a glimpse of the 
land. The shore is low like that of Uruguay and Argen- 
tina, and it is only by keeping close to it that it becomes 
visible from the deck of a steamer. The air grew 
colder day by day. The wind was from the south and 
seemed to have in it the tang of frost. The Captain 
said: "If I were to hold away to the southeast at the 
rate we are steaming it would not be very long before 
I should be able to show you icebergs. ' 

On the morning of the third day after leaving Santos 
we found that we were steering to the southwest, and 


90 To the River Plate and Back 

shortly afterwards the prow of the ship came around and 
pointed due west. The color of the water began to 
change; it passed from deep blue into green, and then 
became yellow, and presently plainly showed that it was 
full of mud. We were approaching Maldonado, the 
southeastern port of Uruguay at the entrance of the 
Rio de la Plata. This mighty estuary is one hundred 
and eighty miles wide at its mouth. The drainage of 
the greater part of the southern half of the continent 
pours through it into the ocean. It is the widest river- 
mouth in the world. Its navigation is dangerous. In 
every direction there are shallows and treacherous 
sandbars. The navigable channels are subject to 
shifts and changes, and many a good ship has in times 
past stumbled upon the shoals and been hopelessly 
wrecked. The banks on either side are low, and but for 
the muddiness of the water, the seaman might not 
know that he had left the high seas behind him. When 
we entered the stream the wind was blowing from the 
southeast and the waves were choppy. The upper 
regions of the air were filled with a thin haze, through 
which the sun shed a pale light. A silvery sheen was 
imparted to the water. One of my shipmates, noting 
this phenomenon, remarked: "I now know why the 
name Rio de la Plata River of Silver was given to 
this body of water. It looks just like molten silver. ' 
Unfortunately history contradicts the pleasant fancy 
of my observant fellow-traveler. The early Spanish 
voyagers to South America had only one motive for 
coming to these far-off lands, and that was to acquire 
a store of the precious metals. The auri sacra fames 
reigned in the breasts of the conquist adores. The 
discovery by Sebastian Cabot and his comrades of a few 
silver trinkets in the possession of the aborigines who 

Montevideo and the River Plate 91 

lived on the banks of the river, and which they had 
obtained in barter from the distant tribes of the Andean 
region, caused the first visitors to the country to give to 
the stream the name by which it has since been known. 
In this connection it may be worthy of note that there is 
a widely spread belief that the name "Buenos Aires' 
was bestowed by the first settlers because they were 
pleased with the climate. But this is an historical 
error. The first settlers on their outward voyage had 
set up in the cabin of their ship a shrine to "Our Lady 
of the Favoring Breezes,' and, borne by prospering 
gales to the spot, their leader, Mendoza, gave it the 
name Puerto Santa Maria de Buenos Aires. The airs 
of the Argentine capital are at times something like 
those of Chicago. Buenos Aires at certain seasons is 
a very windy city, and the pamperos which come from 
the southwest with almost cyclonic force are anything 
but agreeable. 

We gathered at the rail and strained our eyes to 
catch a first glimpse of the land toward which we were 
heading. The first thing to appear above the horizon 
was the tall lighthouse on Lobos Island. Then on the 
starboard we made out the low coast of Uruguay. A 
little before noon we descried the eminence which 
dominates the site of the capital, and could say, as did 
the first explorer, ''I see a mountain' -Montem video. 
At the foot of the hill, or Cerro, which is only 486 feet 
above sea-level, there presently appeared, rising like 
a mirage from the water, the roofs and towers, the 
houses and gardens of the metropolis of Uruguay. 

The natural advantages of the port are not great. 
They are as small as those of Buenos Aires. But, just 
as the art of man has atoned for the failures of nature 
at Buenos Aires, so at Montevideo steps have been 

92 To the River Plate and Back 

taken at large expense to provide a system of break- 
waters, enclosing a great area in which ships may safely 
ride at anchor. We steamed slowly and carefully to the 
entrance and slipped through the narrow passage which 
has been left where the breakwaters, lying at right 
angles to each other, nearly meet. The spume, driven 
by the southeaster which was blowing, fell in great 
sheets over the walls, on which, nevertheless, here and 
there were standing groups of men and boys casting 
their fishing-lines into the waves, and now and then 
bringing up a fish, which flashed white in the sunshine. 
The anchors went down and we waited impatiently for 
the officers of the port to come on board and grant us 
pratique. After an hour had passed the formalities 
were completed and we were informed that we might go 
ashore, but that we must be on board again at eleven 
o'clock, because the voyage would be resumed at mid- 
night. It was nearly three o'clock in the afternoon 
when we found ourselves on terra firma. 

The older portion of Montevideo is located on a ridge 
which juts out westward in the form of a low promon- 
tory, north and west of which is a shallow semicircular 
bay, at the western extremity of which stands the Cerro, 
surmounted by fortifications over which rise the tall 
masts of the wireless signaling station. On the eastern 
side the promontory faces the open waters of the ap- 
parently boundless estuary, the left bank of which 
trends to the northeast. On this side beyond the city 
limits are low shelving beaches, on which in recent years 
have arisen numerous bathing resorts. One of the most 
frequented beaches is the Playa Ramirez, behind which 
on higher ground is a great park (Parque Urbano), 
Farther to the east on the low shore are Pocitos and 
Capurro with beautifully arranged gardens and drive- 

Montevideo and the River Plate 93 

ways and a multitude of hotels, many of which compare 
favorably with the finest establishments of their kind 
in any part of the world. Montevideo is in fact not 
merely a great commercial port, but a seaside resort, 
to which the wealth and fashion of South America 
repair in the hot season. The municipality is growing 
rapidly and the numerous suburban towns and villages, 
which are connected with the older city by an excellent 
system of electric tramways, are increasing in size, as 
shown by the large number of new and unfinished 
buildings, about which workmen were swarming at the 
time of our visit. The population of the main city 
and its suburbs amounts at present to over three 
hundred thousand inhabitants, and it is therefore 
reckoned as fourth in the list of great South American 
municipalities, being only outranked by Buenos Aires, 
Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo. 

To " do " a great city in a few hours is easier now than 
it was fifty years ago. Then there were no electric 
tram-cars and automobiles with the help of which to 
annihilate space and save time. It may well be 
doubted, however, whether with the modern inventions 
we derive more pleasure from a tour of sightseeing 
than we did when we had to repose our trust in our own 
sturdy legs or those of a horse. We determined at all 
events to make the most of our brief stay in the capital 
of Uruguay. We resolved to keep our eyes and ears 
open, and to see and hear all we could in the time at 
our disposal, and to this end to employ an automobile 
for at least a part of our time. 

The first thing which impressed us was the substantial 
nature of the improvements made upon the water- 
front and the solidity of the warehouses and other 
buildings about the wharves. The next thing was the 

94 To the River Plate and Back 

order and cleanliness which appeared to prevail every- 
where. The third matter of remark was the absence 
of negroes. Coming from Brazil we at once noted the 
fact, that, though many of the people about us were 
swarthy in complexion, showing their Spanish and 
Italian descent, or even the admixture of Indian blood 
in their veins, there were no people of the African 
races visible. There are in fact few Africans in Uruguay 
and not many of these are domiciled in the capital. 
Uruguay is the last of the South American countries to 
have been settled. Its original colonists were poor, 
and did not indulge in the luxury of slaveholding to 
any great extent. The policy of excluding the blacks 
has since been followed, and the main immigration in 
recent years has been from southern Europe. The 
Uruguayans pride themselves upon the fact that racial 
questions are not likely to trouble their republic in 
the future. "Ours, ' they say, 'is a white man's 
country. ' 

We began our tour on foot. At the gates of the dock- 
yard we passed the officers of the customs, who, seeing 
that we carried nothing more suspicious than umbrellas 
and cameras, saluted us in friendly manner and allowed 
us to pass on. Strolling upward into the town we 
came to the shop of a money-changer and converted 
a few English sovereigns into the coin of the country. 
The currency of Uruguay is on a gold basis and an 
Uruguayan dollar, or peso, is worth $1.035 in American 
gold. The contrast between values as expressed in the 
coinage of Brazil, from which we had just come, pro- 
voked comment. Instead of paying two hundred 
milreis for an afternoon paper, the newsboy demanded 
four centesimos. It certainly was a liberal price for that 
which we received and four times what would be asked 

Montevideo and the River Plate 95 

for a larger and better printed sheet in any North 
American city, but the price did not appear quite as 
startling as that demanded in Rio de Janeiro. 

We presently came to the summit of the ridge upon 
which the city is built, and along the top of which 
is the main thoroughfare, the Avenida 18 de Julio. 
At intervals this avenue leads into small plazas or 
parks, about which stand the principal public edifices. 
The lines of tramways running east and west do not 
traverse these plazas, but pass around them, leaving the 
broad, well-made pavement, which intersects them, as a 
promenade for pedestrians. The first of these plazas 
which we reached was the Plaza Constitucion. The 
open doors of the Cathedral attracted us, and we took 
a peep into the interior, which we found less interesting 
than its quaint exterior. We soon turned eastward and 
quickly walked through the tastefully arranged Plazas 
Independencia and Libertad. Facing the former is the 
Palacio de Gobierno, or Executive Mansion, over which 
the flag of the country was flying ; on the latter stands 
the City Hall, a building of imposing size, but not 
especially attractive from an architectural point of view. 
Farther out the Avenida we were greatly impressed with 
the fine appearance of the new buildings of the Univer- 
sity and the National Library. These would be an 
ornament to any city. The University is prosperous 
and well attended, especially by those who are desirous 
of studying law and thus indirectly of qualifying them- 
selves for the service of the state. 

We were struck by the marked difference between 
the domestic architecture of Montevideo and that of 
Rio de Janeiro. The residences are low and almost 
invariably provided with a patio, or inner court, as in 
Spain and North Africa. Of this inner court, adorned 

96 To the River Plate and Back 

with blooming plants, cither growing in pots or urns, 
or else in beds, often surrounding a miniature fountain, 
it is possible to catch a glimpse through the glazed 
doors leading from the vestibule. The effect is alto- 
gether charming. 

Our timepieces now suggested that we should adopt 
some method of more rapid transit, if the task of seeing 
the city was to be accomplished, and we first resorted 
to a tram-car and went out to the end of the line. We 
struck up an acquaintance with an elderly French 
gentleman. He informed us that he had long been a 
resident of Montevideo, and showed that he had pros- 
pered, if prosperity can be deduced from a well-groomed 
exterior, a happy air, and respectful recognition 
accorded to him by his fellow-citizens as they boarded 
and left the car. He was very affable and volunteered 
interesting information as to the uses of various public 
edifices which we passed and the names of the owners 
of many beautiful villas which appeared as we entered 
into the less densely populated portions of the town. 
He professed sincere affection for his adopted country, 
told us in glowing terms of the progress made in recent 
years, spoke of its vast pastoral wealth, and of its 
increasing commerce. It is not often that one meets 
an expatriated Frenchman who views with such com- 
placent eyes the new land in which he has settled, and 
who does not very quickly announce himself as full of 
longing for a return to the banks of the Seine. At last 
he left us with a polite Bon voyage, Messieurs. 

Near the end of the electric railway we were attracted 
by the rather imposing buildings of the Italian Hospital, 
which testified not merely to the benevolence of the 
Italian residents of the city, but to their devotion 
to the traditions of the land whence they have come. 

Montevideo and the River Plate 97 

The statues at the entrance bespoke an affectionate 
regard for the family which reigns to-day in the oldest 
of the Latin lands. The love still cherished for Italy 
by Italians who have embraced citizenship in the South 
American republics revealed itself to me on frequent 
occasions in interesting and pleasing ways. When the 
theme of conversation happened to be the land of the 
Caesars it was sometimes amusing to observe with what 
enthusiasm and animation these exiles spoke of "our 
country' and "our king.' For a moment the fact 
that they had forsworn allegiance to that king and had 
adopted citizenship in a cis- Atlantic republic seemed to 
be forgotten, as memory recalled the land of their 
birth. They love no less the land in which they were 
born because they have learned to love the land in which 
they live. It is natural and well that it should be so. 
It makes for the peace of the world. The sons and 
daughters of Italy, Spain, and Portugal, living in the 
republics of the south, appear to have a deeper affection 
for the lands which they have left behind them than is 
cherished by Anglo-Saxons and Germans in the great 
republic of the North. I smile as I recall the worship- 
ful reverence displayed by an old Italian woman who 
was thefemme de chambre in a house where I was a visitor, 
and who happened to spy upon the dressing-case an 
Italian decoration which I had left there after a festal 
occasion on the night before, when I had worn it. She 
eyed it for a moment, recognized what it was, and taking 
it up reverently, kissed it, saying : ' How happy you 
must be to have received such an honor from our king." 
It now became plain that if the remaining hours be- 
fore sunset were to be employed to advantage we must 
secure an automobile. The chauffeur was instructed 
to take us to Pocitos. We had a peep at this resort 


98 To the River Plate and Back 

and saw some of the prettier suburbs of the city to the 
northeast. We came back in the last glow of the even- 
ing, while the stars began to twinkle above and the 
brilliant electric lights of the avenues responded below. 
It was time to think of dining. We found a good hotel 
and enough to refresh the inner man. The service was 
excellent, the viands palatable, and after our rather 
strenuous efforts to obtain a general idea of the city 
and its principal attractions it was good to rest. After 
dinner we peeped into a theater, where we did not tarry, 
as my companions confessed that they were not suffi- 
ciently 'long on Spanish' to enjoy the play. One of 
them suggested that he preferred billiards, and the 
second of the two assenting, we went to a place where 
the game was being played. It was a large hall with 
a score or more of tables. I obtained a comfortable 
chair and an evening paper, and while my comrades 
punched the ivory balls, I read the news, puffed my 
cigar, watched the crowd of players, and kept my eye 
upon the clock. Everything was orderly. There 
appeared to be no betting, but of this I cannot be 
absolutely certain. Beer was being dispensed to the 
thirsty at small tables. The people in the room were 
genteel in dress, looking no different from similar gath- 
erings in New York and Paris, save that here and there 
was a man whose costume showed that he was a gaucho 
from the country. My shipmate who had proposed 
this diversion was an Australian. He said that he had 
been a sheep-rancher in that land of the antipodes, and 
now struck up an acquaintance with a man who was 
engaged in the same business in Uruguay. His pleasure 
was apparently unbounded. ' I tell you this is a great 
country!' he exclaimed. "This is a sheep country, 
and sheep countries are all right. That man I was talk- 

Montevideo and the River Plate 99 

ing to smelt of wool. It made me feel good to meet 
him. ' As my acquaintance had already confided to 
me that he originally was a veterinary surgeon, I 
ventured to ask whether, if his newly found friend had 

'smelt of the stable, " he would have enjoyed his com- 
pany as much. He cast a withering glance at me. 

' Naw ! a horseman is not for one moment to be com- 
pared with a sheepman. ' 

The clock marked half -past ten, and I told my ship- 
mates that it was time for them to put up their cues and 
go to the dock. They assented, and in the moonlight 
we strolled down to the wharf. 

The next morning our steamer was ploughing its way 
through the muddy waters of the Rio de la Plata. On 
the surface everywhere were dead fishes. As we after- 
wards learned, a strange and unknown disease had 
seized the finny tribes of the great river and millions 
of fishes had died. They were of all sizes and of many 
species. In places their bodies were lying thick upon 
the water, hundreds being visible at one time. The 
disease was not confined to the area of water below 
the city of Buenos Aires, but was prevalent throughout 
the length of the river. Had the destruction been con- 
fined to the lower reaches a suspicion that it was due to 
the pollution of the stream by the sewage of the city 
might have been entertained. But this was not the 
case. Many years ago after the building of the great 
Davis Island Dam on the Ohio River below the city of 
Pittsburgh there came a dry season, and the fishes in 
the harbor, poisoned by the contaminated waters, full 
of chemical matter and the drainage of the mines along 
the Monongahela, died and covered the water as they 
did the Rio de la Plata. But, as I had occasion to 
observe on an excursion made subsequently through the 

ioo To the River Plate and Back 

delta of the Parana lying far above the city of Buenos 
Aires, the fishes in the upper part of the stream were 
infected as much as in the lower portions. 

About nine o'clock in the morning we began to dis- 
cern the groves of eucalyptus-trees, the tall chimneys, 
and the roofs of the loftier buildings of Ensenada, the 
port of the city of La Plata; and then the still taller 
eucalyptus-trees which fill the parks and line the 
avenues of the city of La Plata itself. It was all very 
distant and indistinct. Even a powerful glass failed to 
reveal much. Ahead of us several small Argentinian 
war- vessels were manceuvering. The larger men-of-war 
of the Argentine fleet have their rendezvous much 
farther to the south, at Bahia Blanca. 

About noon we entered the channel, which has been 
dredged through the muddy bottom of the river for 
many miles, and which leads to the entrance of the 
docks at Buenos Aires. The city like a low grey cloud 
hung along the horizon, its features as yet scarcely 
distinguishable. So recently as twenty years ago large 
vessels coming to Buenos Aires were compelled to 
anchor in the stream six or seven miles from the city. 
Passengers and goods were carried in small lighters and 
boats to the shore, and final landing was often effected 
by means of carts with high wheels, which were driven 
out into the water alongside of the boats, which, unless 
quite small, could not reach the bank. This state of 
affairs was adjudged to be no longer tolerable, and 
accordingly a large loan was effected, and at an expense 
of more than $70,000,000 the present North and South 
Docks were constructed, and the channel through which 
we were slowly steaming was dug. It is just wide 
enough to allow two vessels to pass each other. Its 
course is a mathematically straight line until, as it 











Montevideo and the River Plate 101 

approaches the city, it bifurcates, one channel leading 
to the entrance of the South Docks, and the other to 
the entrance of the North Docks. The channels are 
marked on either side by upright stakes, at the top of 
which electric lights are displayed at night. The cur- 
rent of the river throws the vast volume of mud, which 
is always being brought down, toward the right bank, 
on which Buenos Aires stands, and the operation of 
keeping the channel open by dredging goes on continu- 
ously throughout the year, and entails great expense. 
We passed a number of dredgeboats hard at work as 
we went up. 

As we drew nearer and nearer to the city, several of 
my fellow-passengers, whose homes are in Buenos Aires, 
kindly pointed out to me certain buildings which are of 
interest. There is only one " sky-scraper" in the capi- 
tal, and it does not loom up imposingly. The dome of 
the Capitol, recalling that at Washington, but smaller, 
was easily recognized. The great Plaza Hotel, standing 
on higher ground, presents its rather unbeautiful rear 
facade to the river; its imposing front faces the Plaza 
San Martin. The Palace of the President and various 
other public buildings were visible in part from the deck 
of the steamer. In the immediate foreground were the 
dock-walls, back of which lay scores of ocean-going 
vessels, their masts and funnels indicating the rendez- 
vous in this port of the ships of many different merchant 
fleets. Behind them ranged in monotonous succession 
a long array of grain-elevators and warehouses. 

The outward voyage had come to its end. The 
great ship, which had carried us to the willow-lined 
banks of the Plate, was slowly warped to her moorings 
at the custom-house landing. But there were port 
formalities to be arranged, and for nearly half an hour 

102 To the River Plate and Back 

we stood at the rail, looking down at the crowd, who 
were waving handkerchiefs and calling out words of 
welcome to the incoming passengers. I expected no one 
to meet me. One of my fellow-passengers, accompanied 
by his wife, was going to La Plata to assist in installing 
some of the astronomical equipment of the National 
Observatory, which has recently been placed under the 
charge of Dr. W. J. Hussey, the celebrated astronomer, 
whose achievements at the University of Michigan have 
given him international reputation. They told me that 
they had been informed by telegram that Dr. Hussey 
would be at the dock to greet them. They presently 
recognized him in the crowd ; and I had the honor of an 
introduction at long range. The Professor informed 
me that a deputation of gentlemen from the National 
Museum at La Plata were on hand to welcome me. He 
quickly found them, and introductions, also at long 
range, took place, with waving of handkerchiefs and 
lifting of hats in salutation. The leader of the party 
was Dr. Santiago Roth, whose work is well known to all 
students of South American geography and geology. 
He was accompanied by Dr. F. Herrero-Ducloux, the 
brother of the Assistant Director of the Museum, Dr. 
Ernesto Herrero-Ducloux, who was prevented by illness 
from appearing, by Senor Miguel Fernandez, and Senor 
Debenedetti of the Museum. After all it appeared that 
I was not to find myself a stranger in a strange land. 

At last the word was given, and we descended the 
gangplank. My newly made friends greeted me with 
the cordial warmth which characterizes the hospitable 
people of southern lands. Our baggage was found and 
a polite officer of the customs quickly :< chalked' 1 the 
pieces. We were hurried to a couple of waiting auto- 
mobiles and whirled through the streets to the station 

Montevideo and the River Plate 103 

of the Ferrocarril del Sud on the Plaza Constitucion. 
We were informed that by an arrangement kindly made 
by the authorities of the National University of La 
Plata we would have our home in the residence of the 
Director of the Observatory, which is very near the 
National Museum, and instead of making Buenos Aires 
our place of stay we would presently go to La Plata. 
A cup of tea in the handsome restaurant of the railway 
station was proposed, and, as the hour was early, Dr. 
Roth suggested that the journey to La Plata be deferred 
until about five o'clock, and that we should together 
take a little stroll through some of the more interesting 
parts of the great city. We went by tramcar to the 
Avenida de Mayo, the 'Broadway' of the Argentine 
metropolis, recalling in many of its features the avenues 
of Paris. Seated in front of the restaurants were groups 
of well-attired men puffing cigarettes and drinking coffee, 
as they may be seen in the summer upon the boulevards 
of the French capital. The waiters, clad in white, 
looked as if they might have stepped out of the Cafe 
de la Paix. We felt as if we were not on American soil, 
but in France. We turned into the Calle Florida, the 
fashionable street for shopping, in which at that hour 
of the afternoon vehicular traffic is prohibited, and 
which was filled with a crowd of people bent either on 
business or pleasure. Gowns in the latest Parisian 
style were everywhere in evidence. Gentlemen in cor- 
rect walking costumes passed along, bowing to acquaint- 
ances. At the corners young dandies congregated. 
The street, like most of the older streets of the city, is 
narrow. The shop fronts are imposing, and behind the 
plate-glass windows, the choicest products of European 
and North American skill were displayed. 

We had not gone far when the writer recognized in 

To the River Plate and Back 

the throng his friend Dr. Bailey Willis, the son of one 
of the famous poets of America, himself a famous geolo- 
gist. We had not met since some years before we had 
spent a pleasant evening together at the Cosmos Club 
in Washington. ' ' You here ? ' ' and ' ' You ? ' Explana- 
tions followed. Dr. Willis informed me that he was 
under engagement by the Argentine Government to 
carry on certain work in connection with the develop- 
ment of a great territory in the western interior, which 
it is desired to throw open to colonization. I explained 
my errand, and with the promise soon to meet again we 
parted company. Farther down the street we repaired 
to the principal depot for photographic supplies to pick 
up a few necessary articles. Then we wandered back to 
the Avenida de Mayo, and by tramcar returned to the 
railway station and boarded our train. 

The railways in Argentina are largely under English 
control, they having been built by English capitalists. 
Some of the newer lines are the property of the State. 
The railroad mileage of Argentina at the present time 
exceeds that of all other South American countries 
combined. At the close of the year 1912 there were 
over twenty-six thousand kilometers of railway in opera- 
tion in the country. The tracks are broad-gauge and 
the railway carriages are commodious. The appoint- 
ments of the train which bore us out of the station in 
Buenos Aires to La Plata were sufficiently good to satisfy 
the taste of the most exacting traveler. The distance 
to La Plata is about thirty-one miles, and the run is 
made in less than an hour. 

The sun was just setting as we left the railway ter- 
minal. The sky was overcast, but through a rift in the 
west a flood of sunset glory was poured across the world, 
reddening the lower surfaces of the clouds with crimson 

Montevideo and the River Plate 105 

and lighting up the white walls of the surburbs through 
which we quickly passed. To the east we caught 
glimpses of the river, now dark purple in the waning 
light. The sky-line toward the sunset was interrupted 
by buildings and by dark groves of eucalyptus. There 
had been a few showers during the day and the country 
roads along which we passed appeared to be veritable 
sloughs. From the Atlantic far into the interior there 
are no stones to be found in Argentina. The level prov- 
ince of Buenos Aires, when first discovered, was as free 
from stones as are the rich alluvial prairies of central 
Illinois. It has been said that from the borders of the k 
River Plate for two hundred miles inland it would have 
been in the early days impossible to find a piece of stone 
as big as a cherry. The making of good country roads 
under such circumstances has been almost impossible. 
The streets of Buenos Aires and La Plata, where stone 
is used for paving purposes, have been paved with 
Belgian block brought as ballast in ships coming from 
Norway and Sweden. I was told that the curbstones in 
the city of La Plata had all been imported from Euro- 
pean lands. The country roads throughout Argentina 
are very wide, having been given a breadth of forty 
meters, or more than one hundred and thirty feet. 
The motive for making the roads so wide was the fact 
that in former times, before the introduction of railways, 
the herders were compelled to drive their cattle and 
sheep for long distances to the ports, and they were 
forced to subsist on the way upon the herbage which 
these broad roadways afforded. They cropped and 
grazed as they went. The roads were intended to be 
broad strips of pasturage, as much as lines upon which 
traffic might be carried on by vehicles. In the rainy 
season the highways of Argentina outside of the cities 

loo To the River Plate and Back 

are little better than unploughed grazing land full of 
swampy pools. Here and there attempts have been 
made to throw up the soil in the middle in the form of a 
ridge and to dig alongside of this channels through which 
the water may be drained away. But the era of good 
roads has not as yet arrived in Argentina. Though 
there are thousands of automobiles in the capital, I 
suspect it would be rather a doleful undertaking at 
the present time to make an automobile tour through 
the country districts. 

We passed through several large towns on the way to 
La Plata. The most important is Quilmes, where is 
located an important brewing establishment, said to be 
one of the largest breweries in the world. Quilmes beer 
is sold everywhere throughout Argentina and Uruguay. 
In the southeastern suburbs of the same town, near 
the railway, is a large glass-factory, engaged princi- 
pally in making beer-bottles, hundreds of thousands 
of which, piled up in the yards, covered acres of the 
surface. The materials of manufacture are largely 
imported from Europe. 

The night fell quickly over the landscape. We 
reached La Plata without having made a stop. On 
alighting from the train I was struck with the grandiose 
proportions of the railway terminal. It recalled Char- 
ing Cross or Waterloo. I said to Professor Roth: 

; The blood of a great many beeves must have paid for 
this structure.' He laughingly assented, and said: 

'Yes; everything in this country is made of 'beef or 
'wheat/ We stepped out of the depot upon a bril- 
liantly lighted avenue. The carriage of the good doctor 
was awaiting us, and we were quickly conveyed to his 
residence, where from his charming family we received 
a welcome full of Teutonic warmth, and presently sat 









Montevideo and the River Plate 107 

down to a table abounding in good cheer. After dinner 
we were driven in the darkness to the residence of the 
Director of the Observatory, where we received another 
cordial welcome. The air was chilly, and it was pleas- 
ant to gather in the cosy sitting-room before the grate in 
which glowed a cheerful fire of Welsh anthracite. The 
fuel of Argentina as well as the pavements come from 
across the seas. We talked about the far-away land in 
the north which we had recently left. We discovered 
that we had many mutual friends. And then at last I 
was ushered into my bed-room, a chamber recalling in 
its appointments and lordly size the stately homes of 
Spain. Adjoining it was a handsomely furnished salon, 
which my host informed me I was free to use as a place 
in which to receive visitors. 

The silence of the night was unbroken save by the 
voice of a small owl in the tree-tops, and I fell asleep 
dreaming that I was still being ' ' rocked in the cradle of 
the deep, " on which for nearly a month my nights had 
been passed. 



"Ampie salle, ampie loggie, ampio cortile 
E stanze ornate con gentil pitturc, 
Trovai giungendo, e nobili sculture 
Di marmo fatte, da scalpel non vile. 
Nobil giardin con un perpetuo Aprile 
Di varij fior, di frutti, e di verdure, 
Ombre soavi, acque a temprar 1'arsure 
E strade di belta non dissimile." 

Francesco Turina Bufalini. 

HPHE city of La Plata was called into being in the year 
1882 as the result of political events. The com- 
bined influence of the province and city of Buenos 
Aires had so preponderated in the halls of national 
legislation as to have provoked the jealousy of the 
other provinces in the confederacy. It was there- 
fore resolved to 'federalize' the city, separating it 
from the province, and to give to the latter a new 
capital. The site for this was selected on the pampa, 
a few miles from Ensenada, which until the develop- 
ment of the system of docks at Buenos Aires had 
been the main port of entry for larger vessels com- 
ing to the River Plate. The spot selected was an 
expanse of treeless grazing land. A small arroyo, or 
brook, discharged its sluggish waters, drained from the 
prairie, into the inlet. This channel was forthwith 

deepened and converted into a canal, and a basin, 


Ti ; 








La Plata 109 

capable of holding vessels drawing twenty feet, was 
constructed at the upper end of the channel within the 
limits of the proposed city. Plans for the latter were 
drawn after the model of Washington. The streets 
were staked out and an army of workmen was employed 
to grade and pave them. The necessary funds to con- 
struct public buildings were secured by the issue of 
bonds, the credit of the province being pledged for their 
payment, and their erection was commenced at once. 
No detail was omitted. In addition to the buildings 
necessary to house the government offices, provision 
was made for a theater, for a zoological garden, a 
system of parks, an astronomical observatory, a uni- 
versity, a museum, a cathedral, in short everything 
deemed requisite to the life of a large urban community. 
Rapidly growing trees were planted along the newly 
planned streets and avenues. The officials of the 
province were informed that they must make the new 
city their home. The work was quickly done, and the 
town sprang up like a mushroom over night. During 
the early years of its existence there was a great deal of 
criticism. Many of the officials preferred to live in 
Buenos Aires, and only stayed in La Plata during office- 
hours. The growth of population was slow at first. 
Grass grew up in the streets. Visitors to Argentina in 
recording their impressions of the country slyly derided 
the "fiat city," and contrasted it unfavorably with the 
great metropolis with its hundreds of thousands of 
inhabitants a few miles away. One of my good friends, 
a Professor in Princeton University, when he learned 
that I was going to La Plata, where he had spent six 
months about ten years ago, informed me that I had a 
novel experience before me. 'You will find a city 
with enough grass growing in its thoroughfares to feed 

no To, the River Plate and Back 

all the horses in Monmouth County. You will see an 
array of splendid buildings erected at vast expense, 
standing in almost deserted streets. ' 

I had arrived in this city in the darkness of the night. 
I had detected no grass on the avenues over which the 
carriage which had brought me to my new home had 
rumbled. When I awoke I was filled with a strong 
curiosity to see the place by the light of day. I arose 
and looked from the window. I saw a beautiful garden 
in which spring flowers were blooming. The peach 
and apple trees were robed in pink and white. The 
song of birds was in the air. The fragrance of freesias, 
which bordered the parterres in great masses, was 
wafted to me, and the odor of the eucalyptus-groves 
which formed the background of the picture and over- 
hung the house was gratefully pungent. After a bath 
I strolled into the garden, and found on every hand 
evidence that I was indeed installed in the midst of 
astronomical surroundings. There came back to me 
happy memories of pleasant times passed amidst like 
environment among my brethren of the astronomical 
cult at various places in the United States, in Tokyo, 
on the banks of the Cam in England, in Paris, and where 
upon the shoulders of the Glint the great domes of 
Pulkova are lifted above the broad river-meadows of the 
Neva. I was presently joined by my kind host, Dr. 
Hussey, and he pointed out to me the various edifices, 
and told me something of his plans and purposes to 
employ the equipment of the observatory in such a way 
as to make it useful. 

The province of Buenos Aires has expended a large 
sum of money in providing instruments, but until 
recently has not always been successful in obtaining 
the services of an eminently competent astronomer to 

La Plata in 

take charge of them. The observatory connected with 
the old university at Cordoba, the capital of the adjoin- 
ing province of the same name, though possessing less 
costly equipment than that in La Plata, has achieved 
notable results in the sphere of astronomical research. 
The observatory at Cordoba was organized in 1870 
under the direction of Dr. Benjamin A. Gould, who for 
fifteen years continued the work, during which time 
the observatory published a number of very important 
papers. Dr. Gould was succeeded by his associate, 
Juan M. Thome, from Pennsylvania, and lately the 
direction of the observatory has been given to Professor 
Charles D. Perrine, whose work at the Lick Observatory 
had made him famous. 

In April, 1887, fifty-six delegates, representing seven- 
teen nations, met for the purpose of discussing plans 
for forming a great catalogue of the stars. Stars to the 
fourteenth magnitude were to be obtained on photo- 
graphic plates. Each of the plates covers four square 
degrees. It was estimated that it would require eleven 
thousand plates to cover the entire visible heavens, and 
that upon these plates there would appear, as small 
white points, about thirty millions of stars. Out of 
these it was determined to select for the permanent 
catalogue the stars ranging from the first to the eleventh 
magnitude, estimated to be more than a million in 
number. Dr. Gould, of the Cordoba University, was 
one of the leading spirits in organizing this great under- 
taking. He, however, was unable to prosecute it very 
far, owing to his removal to America, and the work in the 
zones assigned to the observatory at Cordoba was largely 
carried on by Professor Thome and his assistants. The 
Uranometria Argentina up to date gives the magni- 
tude of about eight thousand stars. In the Cordoba 

ii2 To the River Plate and Hack 

Durchniusterung there are about half a million stars. 
In this work of photographing the southern heavens the 
observatory at La Plata was intended to take a very 
active part, but for various reasons very little has up 
to the present time been done. Now, however, the 
observatory has a most skillful astronomer at its head, 
and it may be anticipated that it, as well as the observa- 
tory at Cordoba, will begin to give a good account of 
itself. It is true in all scientific effort that something 
more is needed to achieve success than mere machinery. 
Of what use are the most advanced appliances if there 
be lacking the power to use them? The importance of 
the human element dare never be overlooked. Some 
very worthy people are obsessed with the idea that 
power is secured by the multiplication of machines, 
forgetting the fact that after all it is "the man behind 
the gun' 1 who should be the supreme concern. Here I 
was standing in the morning sunshine, on the broad 
grounds of an observatory where hundreds of thousands 
of dollars have been spent in securing the very latest 
and best appliances for discovering the secrets of the 
skies, and yet where until this moment practically little 
has been done, except to supply time-signals to the naval 
stations of the republic, a service which could be ren- 
dered at an outlay of a fraction of that which this great 
establishment has cost. It is much easier to purchase 
a supply of scientific tools than to find a man with the 
genius to use them well. 

It was with such reflections that I went with my kind 
host on a stroll through the grounds of the Observatory. 
He showed me the dome under which is the large refract- 
ing telescope, the almost equally large dome under 
which are the photographic telescopes. He pointed out 
a dozen other buildings large and small, all prepared 

La Plata 113 

for use. He said: 'There is here enough scientific 
apparatus to fully occupy the time of half a dozen 
astronomers." We returned to the residence. It is a 
large building, one story in height. In the middle are 
two open courts or patios. Surrounding them are the 
living apartments of the Director and certain members 
of his Staff; the library, containing a fine collection of 
books relating to astronomy and physics ; and a number 
of offices and laboratories. The style of the building, as 
that of most of the homes in La Plata, recalls Granada 
and Seville. It was time for breakfast, which we 
enjoyed all the more for our little promenade through 
the grounds of the establishment. 

We had not finished our meal when Professor Roth 
was announced. " He appeared with smiling face, an- 
nouncing that he had come to guide us to the Museum, 
which is situated in the park facing the Zoological 
Gardens, only a few steps from the Observatory. As 
the Museum was the objective point of our long journey, 
I was glad to immediately go with the genial Doctor, 
and confess that when I first saw its exterior and entered 
the building, I felt astonishment at finding so noble an 
edifice, so well adapted to its purposes, in this far-off 
land. The National Museum in La Plata owes its 
existence very largely to Dr. Francisco P. Moreno, 
naturalist, geographer, and statesman, who enjoys 
the reputation of being one of the leading citizens of 
Argentina. He devoted the earlier years of his life to 
the exploration of southwestern Argentina and Pata- 
gonia, and applied himself with unremitting assiduity 
to researches in various departments of the natural 
sciences. He thus laid broad and deep the foundations 
of the knowledge of his country which subsequently 
enabled him, as the High Commissioner of Argentina, 

H4 To the River Plate and Back 

to successfully guide the negotiations which led to the 
adjustment of the boundary dispute between Argentina 
and Chili. He ably represented his country in the 
arbitration proceedings which were held in London and 
concluded before the late King Edward VII. A war 
between the two southern republics was thus happily 
averted. Dr. Moreno is undoubtedly one of the most 
learned men at the present time in South America, and 
a true patriot. When the plan of creating the new 
capital at La Plata was formed, he determined to 
give to the Museum the large collections which he 
had already made, and to consecrate to it his efforts 
and a large sum from his private resources. This 
great national institution may be regarded as a lasting 
memorial of the intelligent and self-sacrificing labors 
of this great man, whose best efforts were consecrated 
to its foundation, and of which he was the first Director. 
At either side of the main staircase leading to the 
entrance of the museum are large models of the sabre- 
toothed tiger, a huge cat which once roamed the 
pampas, and which must have been more formidable 
than the jaguar of the present day. To meet the archi- 
tectural requirements of their position, the figures are of 
colossal size, like the lions which are grouped about 
Nelson's Monument in Trafalgar Square. They very 
appropriately guard the entrance to this institution, 
in which is assembled one of the finest collections 
representing the animal life of the past in South America. 
The rotunda of the Museum, which the visitor first 
enters, is surmounted by a glazed dome and surrounded 
by a circular gallery on the second floor. The walls of 
the rotunda are decorated with large paintings repre- 
senting the life of prehistoric man in the New World, 
the customs of the Indians of the pampas, who until 







La Plata 

yesterday continued to make a bold stand against the 
encroachments of the white settlers, and the landscapes 
of the Andean region. These paintings were executed 
by well-known German and French artists brought from 
Europe for the purpose. The view of El Tronador, the 
great alpine peak which dominates one of the valleys 
in the lake-region of Argentina, is particularly impres- 
sive. On the first floor of the rotunda, confronting the 

Fig 10. Skull of Sabre- toothed Tiger, Smilodon 

neogczus Lund. | natural size. 
Drawn from specimens in the Carnegie Museum 

entrance, is the skull of an enormous whale. The col- 
lection of skeletons of the Cetacea in the possession of 
the museum is singularly large and fine. Many species, 
great and small, are represented. With the exception 
of the great collection of whales in the British Museum 
of Natural History made by the late Sir William H. 
Flower, this appears to me to be the finest assemblage 
of its kind in existence, and surpasses the British col- 
lection in the fact that it is odorless. Every one who 
has visited the "Whaleroom" at South Kensington 
carries away a memory of the disagreeable smell of 
whale-oil which pervades it. Here in La Plata they 

n6 To the River Plate and Back 

have succeeded in so thoroughly bleaching the bones 
and removing the grease that no odor is perceptible. 
I asked how this had been accomplished and was shown 
a large tank in one of the courts, in which I was told 
that a skilful German preparator had carefully boiled 
the skeletons in a moderately strong solution of lye, 
which he diluted from time to time as evaporation took 
place. He certainly succeeded in performing his task 
most successfully. 

In the same gallery to the left of the entrance, in 
which the skeletons of the whales hang from the ceiling, 
there is a considerable collection of mounted skeletons 
of recent vertebrates arranged upon the floor. Among 
them I noted with almost covetous eyes the skeleton of 
one of the strange niata race of cattle. In these crea- 
tures there has occurred the same modification of the 
bones of the cranium and the jaws which has taken 
place in the bulldog. The bones of the nose and face 
have become shortened, and the bones of the lower jaw 
have assumed an upward curve. Charles Darwin in 
The Voyage of H. M. S. Beagle speaks of having seen 
living specimens of these animals. He says : 

Their forehead is very short and broad, with the nasal 
end turned up, and the upper lip much drawn back; their 
lower jaws project beyond the upper, and have a corre- 
sponding upward curve; hence their teeth are always 
exposed. Their nostrils are situated high up and are very 
open; their eyes project outwards. When walking they 
carry their heads low, on a short neck; and their hinder 
legs are rather longer compared with the front legs than is 
usual. Their bare teeth, their short heads, and upturned 
nostrils give them the most ludicrous self-confident air of 
defiance imaginable. 

According to information obtained by Darwin the 

La Plata 

breed originated about the middle of the eighteenth 

century among the cattle belonging to the Indian tribes 

living to the south 

of the River Plate. 

When Darwin 

wrote, they were 

reported to be the 

commonest breed 

in the possession 

of the Indians, but 

in the vicinity of 

Buenos Aires were 

kept as curiosities. 

Dr. Bruch, the 

learned Curator" of 

Fig. 1 1 . Skull of " pug -faced 
or Niata cow. 

Zoology at the Museum of La Plata, informs me that 
the race is either verging upon extinction, or has 
already become totally extinct. Although it is still 
reported to survive in the Province of Catamarca, Dr. 
Bruch told me that a German naturalist, who recently 
visited Argentina for the express purpose of studying 
these creatures and traveled widely in quest of them, 
was unable to see or secure a single specimen. 

In the semicircular gallery beyond the collection of 
skeletons is arranged a large assemblage of mounted 
mammals, and still farther on the visitor comes to 
the collection of birds. I was naturally interested in 
closely examining everything presented to view, and 
although upon the occasion of my first visit to the 
Museum I was only able to give a passing glance to 
the collections, I often returned at later times to study 
the specimens. In the center of the building and 
opening from the rotunda is the Gallery of Mineralogy, 
in charge of Dr. Walther Schiller. The very extensive 

ii8 To the River Plate and Back 

archeological and ethnological collections are in part 
lodged upon the first floor, but the greater portion are 
displayed in the galleries upon the second floor. The 
Curator of these collections is Dr. Robert Lehmann- 
Nitsche. Both Dr. Schiller and Dr. Lehmann-Nitsche 
are men of the highest scientific attainments, and their 
contributions to those branches of science, which they 
have made their special study, have given them inter- 
national reputation. To the right of the rotunda we 
were ushered into a gallery, at the moment vacant, 
except for the wall-cases lining it and the presence on 
the floor of the still unfinished bases upon which the 
skeleton of the Diplodocus was to be set up. Here the 
Staff of the Museum, so far as able to be present, met 
us. We were told that Dr. Samuel Lafone-Quevedo, 
the Director of the Museum, was on the seas, hastening 
homeward after a vacation spent in Europe, and that 
Dr. Ernesto Herrero-Ducloux, the Assistant Director, 
who had been ordered by his physician to a health- 
resort, would be back in a few days, and I was handed 
a polite telegram from him, bidding me welcome in his 
absence. Dr. Santiago Roth, as Acting Director, 
informed us that the instructions sent by letter had all 
been carried out, and that the force of laborers con- 
nected with the institution was at our command. It 
was not long before we discovered that there were differ- 
ences of opinion among the learned gentlemen present 
as to which would be the most effective way in which 
to display the great specimen. One advocated putting 
the head toward the rotunda, another advocated the 
reverse. One thought the tail should be stretched out 
to its full length, another thought that it should be 
mounted, as he had seen it displayed in Paris, with its 
tail curved forward toward the head. The discussion 

La Plata 119 

was amusing and was volubly carried on in French, 
German, and Spanish, the disputants on the impulse 
of the moment passing from the use of one language 
to that of another. The ludicrous character of the 
debate finally provoked a burst of laughter, and at 
the suggestion of the writer it was decided that upon the 
whole it would be best to defer the settlement of the 
questions at issue until the return in a few days of 
the Assistant Director, who would have plenary power to 
decide them. It was pointed out that it would require 
several days to carefully unpack the thirty-four large 
boxes in the basement in which the replica had been 
brought from Pittsburgh, and possibly to repair some 
minor defects, should any breakage have occurred, and 
that no time would be lost by letting the matter go over 
until Dr. Herrero-Ducloux should resume his post. 
Orders were at once given to begin the work of unpack- 
ing. Thereupon Dr. Roth hurried me into the great 
halls of paleontology, which are his special domain, and 
pointed out to me the truly wonderful collection of 
skeletons of the extinct animals of Argentina which has 
been brought together. It was only a rapid glance 
which could at the moment be given to these things, but 
it was most illuminating and interesting. No collec- 
tion in any museum is complete, but here I found what 
I think must be admitted to be upon the whole the best 
representation of the strange forms of mammalian 
life which once existed upon the pampas. Many of the 
specimens are singularly perfect, and all are well dis- 
played and mounted. From the first floor we ascended 
to the second, and were introduced to the Librarian. 
We visited the Art Galleries in a hurried way, and the 
rooms in which the students of art in the University 
were pursuing their studies. Our round of these apart- 

120 To the River Plate and Back 

ments was merely preliminary, and was intended to 
enable us hereafter to be able to get our bearings. Then 
we descended to the basement and the laboratories and 
the work of opening boxes began. Thanks to the skill 
of the operatives in the Carnegie Museum and the good 
judgment employed in packing the specimens we found 
that there had been no breakage of consequence in 
anything which we took out that morning, and this 
experience was renewed on following days. Although 
our boxes had traveled farther than ever on similar 
occasions, the damage sustained in transport was less. 
But thus far we had not seen anything of the "grass- 
grown ' ' streets of La Plata. We were told that a stand- 
ing invitation to lunch and dine at the Colegio Nacional 
of the University had been extended to us, and the 
Principal, Dr. Ernesto Nelson, came in person to rein- 
force the kind invitation. It was the noon-hour, and 
accordingly we quitted our work in the Museum, and 
repaired in company with Dr. Hussey and Dr. Nelson 
to the residence of the latter. Our walk led us by an 
avenue, lined with stately eucalyptus-trees, to the 
plaza, upon which stands the rather imposing building 
of the municipal court, then to the right, past the main 
buildings of the University to the buildings of the 
Internada, or students' lodging-house. But we found 
no grass in the streets. In fact the day of grassy streets 
in La Plata has passed. It has survived the days of 
its infancy. It is to-day a city of nearly one hundred 
thousand inhabitants, and is fulfilling the hopes of its 
founders. It is growing rapidly, and the fact of its 
advancement is most plainly revealed in the increase 
in the value of real estate which has taken place in 
recent years. Listening to the accounts given me by 
my friends, it was easy to understand that La Plata has 

La Plata 121 

had, as we say in the United States, a very substantial 
1 boom, ' which is not yet over. 

From Madame Nelson, the charming and accom- 
plished wife of the Professor, and from various members 
of the Faculty of the College, we received a pleasant 
welcome, and soon found ourselves at table surrounded 
by groups of manly young fellows, whose faces recalled 
days long gone, when we were students, and had lunched 
and dined in just such comradeship. If youth derives 
a quickening impulse from contact with those of maturer 
years, it is equally true that those of advancing years 
find pleasure and profit from mingling with those who 
are young. It was an inspiring sight to sit at table and 
look around over the company of fine young men which 
was gathered in- the dining-hall. They represented the 
hopes of the best families in the republic. The com- 
posite nature of the population of Argentina revealed 
itself in the study of the faces before me. The lan- 
guage in use was Spanish, but the blood of all races 
showed itself in the countenances of the company. 
One young fellow with ruddy complexion and flaxen 
hair showed at first glance that he traced his descent 
back to " Merrie England " ; another, of even fairer face, 
that his forbears had come from Sweden; there was no 
mistaking the Teutonic ancestry of a round- visaged, 
sturdy lad who sat opposite me ; others showed by their 
darker complexion and their glorious black eyes that 
they were the inheritors of the traditions of the Latin 
races. In some of the faces there was an even darker 
tint, not unlovely, but attractive, which hinted at the 
fact, that, when the land was first settled, an Indian 
maid had consented to be wooed and won by some strong 
man of European lineage, and had been a mother to his 
sons. After luncheon many of these lads were intro- 

122 To the River Plate and Back 

duced to me. Their manly frankness and poise was 
delightful. They were indeed 'young gentlemen.' 
One of them confided to me that he was deeply inter- 
ested in the study of geology and paleontology, and of 
course he was cordially invited to come to the Museum , 
and learn a few things which might possibly interest 
him. Another told me that it was his ambition, when 
he had completed his course of study in La Plata, to 
take a post-graduate course in North America, and 
asked me to tell him about the great institutions of my 
own land. We soon made friends. On this and sub- 
sequently on frequent occasions the writer had oppor- 
tunity to observe with pleasure the manner in which 
Dr. Nelson and his associates, as the guardians of the 
social life of the students in the college of the University, 
are endeavoring to create in their minds a respect for 
the higher ideals of a true democracy. The mainten- 
ance of discipline and order is relegated very largely to 
the students themselves, who constitute a miniature 
republic, choosing their own officers, and laying down 
their own laws, subject to the friendly advice and sug- 
gestion of the Faculty. Dr. and Mrs. Nelson have both 
lived and studied in the United States, and are endeav- 
oring to apply the principles of advanced pedagogic 
science to the practical problems before them. That 
they are succeeding cannot be doubted, and in years to 
come they will reap their reward in the gratitude of a 
generation of men, upon whose shoulders the govern- 
ment of the nation will then rest, and who will rise up 
and bless them for the loving sympathy and inspiring 
guidance which they received in their youth. 

A few days later we were invited to attend the Com- 
mencement-exercises of the University. They recalled 
those of similar institutions in our own land three or 

La Plata 123 

four decades ago, before academic costumes had come 
into vogue, and the pomp and ceremony which now 
characterize such occasions had been initiated. It all 
took me back to the days of my boyhood. There was 
a great gathering of the friends and kinsfolk of the 
young men. As a guest of the University I was invited 
to a place upon the platform, and from this point of 
vantage was able to scan the audience in which grave 
fathers, fond mothers, and smiling senoritas composed a 
picture upon which it was pleasant to look. It was not 
unlike similar audiences on Commencement-day in any 
North American college-town. There were depicted 
in the faces before me the same anxieties, the same 
hopes, the same pleasurable emotions, which I have seen 
again and again on like occasions at home. All the 
world is kin. 

The President of the University of La Plata, Dr. Joa- 
quin V. Gonzalez, who held the position of Minister of 
Justice and Education during the Presidency of Dr. 
Jose Figueroa Alcorta, the immediate predecessor of 
President Roque Saenz Pena, I discovered to be a man 
of lofty ideals and great personal charm. He lectures 
upon international law and diplomacy. Associated 
with him in the Faculty is Serior Don Agustin Alvarez, 
who likewise has held high positions in the government, 
and lectures upon the history of public institutions. 
For Dr. Alvarez I conceived great admiration. He is 
a diligent student of the institutions and the literature 
of the English-speaking peoples of to-day, as well as 
familiar with the best thought of continental Europe 
and his own land. I found him as ready to talk about 
Bernard Shaw as about Shakespeare, and as thoroughly 
acquainted with the writings of Theodore Roosevelt 
as with those of Alexander Hamilton. He has fine 

124 To the River Plate and Back 

command of the English language, and is keenly alive 
to the play of wit and humor. Seated beside me at 
table on the occasion of our first meeting, he began to 
apologize for his defective English. "My dear Doctor 
Alvarez,' I ventured to say, "you should make no 
apologies. You speak English perfectly. But should 
you even now and then make a slip, what would that 
signify? Water in a cracked glass tastes as sweet to 
the thirsty as if proffered in one without a flaw. The 
purpose of language is to convey ideas/ He turned 
and said: "Experience teaches me that language is 
not always a vehicle for ideas. Some men, who have 
a vast command of language, fail altogether to impart 
ideas. Loquacity without sense is a common phe- 
nomenon. ' I shall always remember this keen, quick- 
witted gentleman. It is a goodly company of brainy, 
high-minded men who have been brought together to 
form the Faculty of this new university of the south. 
I had the pleasure of meeting them all, and was greatly 
impressed with their attainments and their earnestness. 
It augurs well for Argentina that such men are in 
charge of the education of her youth. 

I had been but a few days in La Plata when my kind 
host, Dr. Hussey, informed me that he had been in- 
structed to repair to Rio de Janeiro to observe, on 
October loth, a total eclipse of the sun, and insisted that 
I should remain where I was. In effect he turned over 
the residence of the Observatory to my care, bidding me 
make myself at home during his absence. I am sure 
he will testify that I did not interfere with the instru- 
ments, or meddle with the signal -service, which he 
left under the care of his assistant, Senor Chaves. His 
major domo cared for my wants, which were not many, 
and Mrs. Colliau with unfailing kindness attended to 

La Plata 125 

having my eggs and coffee prepared for me in the 
morning. When occasionally of evenings I wearied of 
solitude, I had the pleasure of enjoying the kind hospi- 
tality of my friends of the Faculty, who invited me to 
their homes, or I now and then betook myself to the 
Sportman's Hotel, the leading establishment of its 
kind in the place, where I was almost sure to find certain 
'unattached" gentlemen of the Faculty, who were in 
the habit of dining there. The Sportman's Hotel is an 
institution of which I can only speak well, but it would 
hardly be double-starred by Baedeker. Why it bears 
its name is for me an insoluble riddle. The " ts " in the 
word Sportsman being unpronounceable by those who 
speak Spanish, it is called 'Spormans Hotel' by the 
educated natives, and 'Pormans' by the cocheros. 
There was a suggestion of propriety in the latter pro- 
nunciation in view of some things. But I passed 
some pleasant evenings there, and picked up a few 
acquaintances who amused me. One evening I came 
in a little early and found that I was the first person 
to seat myself except a tall handsome man of alert 
countenance, who was sitting at a small table next to 
that at which I had placed myself. He presently 
accosted me in pleasant tones and said, "You are a 
fellow-countryman of mine, I judge, why should we not 
take seats together? ' An exchange of cards was made. 
I found that my acquaintance was a salesman, repre- 
senting the largest firm in the United States engaged in 
the manufacture of firearms. For nearly a lifetime 
he had been engaged in furnishing weapons to the 
Central or South American states, now dealing with the 
governments in power, now furnishing the parties 
essaying to get into power with the munitions of war. 
I sat until near midnight listening with unabated 

126 To the River Plate and Back 

attention to the tales my newly-found acquaintance 
told, realizing that in his graphic recitals of adventure 
there was material for many a romance as stirring as 
any which have made the reputations of noted writers, 
whom I might name. During the long years that he 
has been following his calling as a merchant of arms he 
has seen the inside of many stirring movements. He 
told me of the genuine patriotism and self-denial shown 
by some of the men with whom he had had dealings in 
the past, and he told me of some things which show that 
the devil still has his servants on this earth. I cannot 
repeat the tales he told me as they deserve to be nar- 
rated, and, even if I could, it would perhaps not be 
wise to do so. There is one, however, which I am 
tempted to outline, omitting the names, which I still 
recall. It is the tale of a railway which was stolen and 
sold as junk. In the northern part of the continent of 
South America there is a republic over which there 
ruled many years ago a President who had a worthless 
nephew. When the President came into power he 
provided for this nephew by putting him at the head of 
a railway belonging to the government. It was not 
much of a road. It ran from a small harbor on the 
coast about thirty kilometers into the interior and ended 
there. The salary of the scapegrace nephew was con- 
siderable, and was paid from the public treasury, irre- 
spective of the earnings of the line. But although 
his salary was regularly forthcoming, the nephew had 
expensive and extravagant habits, and was always 
looking about for means to lay his hands upon more 
money than he received. It happened presently that 

Captain P , an unscrupulous rover of the seas, who 

owned and commanded a couple of large schooners, 
with which he tramped from port to port, picking up 

La Plata 127 

odd jobs, drifted into the harbor and struck up an 
acquaintance with the young man. After a while the 
Captain approached him, saying : ' You are not making 
enough money on your line. Do you wish to know how 
you could make it pay you handsomely?' The 
Captain found a ready listener. "The thing is simple. 
Wreck it! Beginning up there in the country, take up 
the rails, and bring them down to the port. I will load 
them and sell them in New Orleans as junk. We can 
get about $100,000 for the stuff. I will accept one 
half as my share; you can have the other.' Under 
pretense that the old rails were to be immediately 
replaced by new metal, the thing was done, slyly, 
quickly. When the storm broke, the Captain was 
across seas, and the nephew was in Paris. Both are 
dead now, and so is the President. Railways have 
frequently been stolen in the United States, but the 
thieves generally leave the rails upon the ground. 



" English and Irish, French and Spanish, 
Germans, Italians, Dutch and Danish, 
Crossing their veins until they \ 7 anish 
In one conglomeration." Saxe. 

IF an outline map of Argentina were to be superimposed 
upon a map of North America, drawn to the same 
scale, with its southern extremity resting upon the 
southern tip of Florida, the northern part of Argentina 
would overlap the greater part of Labrador. The 
territory of the Argentine Republic extends from south 
to north almost as far as it is from Key West to Davis 
Strait. The area covered by the republic is equal in 
size to all of the territory of the United States east of a 
meridian drawn through St. Joseph, Missouri. As 
great a range of climate as that which prevails between 
Cuba and Labrador exists in Argentina. Tierra del 
Fuego has a climate like that of northern Norway and 
Sweden, but moister, and therefore less agreeable; 
while the Territory of Chaco in northern Argentina 
reaches into the tropics and has a very hot climate. 
The greater part of Argentina lies within the South 
Temperate Zone. Buenos Aires, the capital, is located 
on almost the same parallel of latitude as Capetown, 
the metropolis of South Africa, and the republic 

extends twelve hundred miles south of this point, so 


Argentina 129 

that its southern extremity is as near the South Pole 
as Sitka in Alaska is to the North Pole. The climatic 
conditions are favorable to the Caucasian race, except 
in the extreme south and the extreme north. The 
people of Argentina, like the people of Uruguay, are 
fond of boasting that theirs is a ''white man's country. ' 
The climate of Buenos Aires is not unlike that of 
Jacksonville, Florida. In midwinter, that is to say, 
in the months of July and August, a little hoar-frost is 
reported occasionally to have been seen in the suburbs 
after a cold night, and now and then a few needles of 
ice form upon shallow pools, but this is very uncommon. 
Farther south the winters are colder, and the tempera- 
ture, throughout extensive areas, is much like that of 
New England and the Middle States, but, owing to 
the arid nature of much of this region, there has as yet 
been little effort made to effect settlement, and it is 
given over almost exclusively to sheep-herders and 
cattlemen, who wander about from place to place in 
quest of pasture for their animals. Still farther south, 
in the region of the Straits of Magellan, the winters are 
severe, although owing to the proximity of the ocean 
and the direction of the air-currents, they are not as 
rigorous as in northern Ontario, and southern Labrador, 
with which the latitude corresponds. There is an 
enormous precipitation of moisture in the southernmost 
part of the land. Snow falls in Tierra del Fuego in 
every month of the year, and when it is not snowing, 
it is raining. The skies leak perpetually. This fact 
has not deterred a few Scotchmen from taking up their 
abode there, and they are engaged amidst the mists, 
denser even than those of their own native highlands, 
in raising sheep, which are reported to do well. 

Topographically Argentina is divided into three 

130 To the River Plate and Back 

regions. The first includes the plains of the eastern 
and northern parts of the country ; the second embraces 
the Andean ranges and the high plateaus between 
them ; the third is the elevated, more or less broken, and 
arid plateau of Patagonia. 

The eastern portion of the country from the Rio 
Negro to the Pilcomayo is a vast plain raised but little 
above the level of the sea along the Atlantic, but grad- 
ually sloping upward toward the Andes and the north- 
ern interior. This is the region of the pampas. The 
word 'pampa, ' which is of Indian origin and means 
' flat land, " is used in Argentina very much in the same 
sense that the people of the Mississippi Valley employ 
the word ' ' prairie. ' It designates a broad, level expanse 
of country more or less densely clothed with low vegeta- 
tion. The character of the vegetation varies according 
to latitude. In the Provinces of Buenos Aires, Cordoba, 
Santa Fe, Entre Rios, and the Territory of Pampa, the 
prairies are absolutely treeless, except where in recent 
years groves have been planted ; in the north they are 
more or less densely covered with palms and other trop- 
ical vegetation. These growths in the hot regions do 
not, however, form unbroken and continuous masses of 
forest, but are interspersed with open spaces, as was 
the case in the semi- wooded prairies of Illinois, when 
the land was first occupied. The appearance of the 
country is in certain localities park-like, and those who 
have visited the Gran Chaco dwell upon the fact that 
the forest-masses often display such regular lines as to 
suggest that they might have been planted by the hand 
of man, which, however, is not the case. 

Along the entire western boundary of the republic 
rise the lofty ranges of the Andes, some of the peaks, as 
that of Aconcagua, reaching a height far exceeding that 

Argentina 131 

of the highest Alps in Europe and like the latter covered 
with snow-fields and glaciers. From the main ranges 
in the northwestern part of the country there run out 
toward the southeast longer spurs, and in the western 
and southwestern portions many shorter spurs project 
nearly at right angles from the main range. Between 
the longer ranges in the northwest are high plateaus on 
which but little rain falls. Between the shorter spurs 
of the mountain masses in the west and south at the 
headwaters of the rivers, some of which discharge into 
the Atlantic, others of which in the extreme south send 
their streams into the Pacific through narrow gorges 
between the great peaks, nestle many beautiful lakes, 
filled with limpid water derived from the melting snows 
of the alpine summits which tower above them. The 
lake-region of Argentina is a realm of scenic splendor 
the beauties of which are only beginning to be known. 
Hitherto this part of the great land has been almost 
inaccessible, but those who have visited it are eloquent 
in their description of the wonderful magnificence of the 
scenery. In one of the lakes of this fairy-land Dr. 
Walter G. Davis a few years ago planted between two 
and three millions of the fry of the Speckled Brook- 
trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) of New England. The 
transportation of the eggs from Buenos Aires to Lake 
Nahuel-Huapi required twelve days and the use of six 
tons of ice. The ice lasted just long enough to enable 
the Doctor to reach the lake with his delicate charge 
uninjured. Had the journey required another day in 
which to complete it, the venture would have failed; 
but, as it was, the eggs were brought to their destina- 
tion with little loss. Ninety per cent of them were 
hatched, and on March 14, 1904, the fry were put into 
the lake. Five years later to the day, on March 14, 

132 To the River Plate and Back 

1909, Dr. Davis caught three specimens, each weighing 
five pounds, twelve and one-half ounces, which he has 
now preserved in jars of alcohol in his office in Buenos 
Aires, where I had the pleasure of examining them. 
In a few years the western lakes of Argentina will be 
resorted to not only by those who are lovers of beauti- 
ful scenery, but by those also who are fond disciples 
of Isaak Walton. 

Between the high mountain ranges and plateaus of 
the west and the wide eastern plains is a region of vary- 
ing breadth and elevation, which is more or less arid, 
save where irrigated by streams flowing from the cordil- 
leras. The soil in this region is in places strongly 
impregnated with saline and alkaline matter, and 
there are depressions in which brackish ponds and 
lakes have accumulated, and extensive areas in which 
the alkali reveals itself in the form of white incrustations 
such as are common in the 'bad-lands' of Wyoming 
and Utah. The aridity of this tract is due to the fact 
that the high mountains of the west intercept the cur- 
rents of air laden with moisture which come from the 
Pacific, while at the same time the winds from the 
Atlantic are met and checked in their onward westward 
flow by the downward currents of cold and dry air 
which flow eastward from the Andes. The southern 
part of Chili, unlike northern Chili which is almost 
rainless and barren, is a region where the rainfall is 
heavy and where dense and luxuriant forests of hard 
woods cover the land. But as soon as the traveler 
coming from the west has crossed the lofty snow-clad 
ranges and has reached the eastern slopes of the Andes 
and the plains at their feet, he discerns that the forests 
of beech and other woods have disappeared and that 
their place has been taken by cacti and crassulaceous 

Argentina 133 

plants characteristic of dry soil. There are only a few 
localities, and these well toward the south, where the 
mountain wall is low enough to allow the rain-clouds 
to pass over, or where the chain is interrupted by valleys 
coming down to sea-level, forming gateways for the 
showers. Opposite these inlets on the eastern side of 
the Andes are limited tracts where rain falls in sufficient 
abundance to permit the growth of trees and rich pas- 
turage. Such spots are, however, infrequent. Almost 
the whole of northern and central Patagonia is dry, and 
receives so little moisture that except in a few favored 
places there is no temptation offered to the agriculturist 
to settle. On the eastern coast in the Territories of 
Chubut and Santa Cruz, there are colonies of Boers from 
South Africa and of Welsh and Scotch, who are earning 
a somewhat precarious livelihood as sheep-ranchers, 
and about Punta Arenas there are extensive sheep, 
ranges, but otherwise Patagonia is a land of desolation, 
which will require a great deal of effort to make it 
productive. ' Dry-farming, " as practised in our West- 
ern States, may succeed to a limited extent; but the 
higher levels must always remain more or less barren for 
lack of water, though the lower levels are capable of 
being irrigated by the rivers which traverse them. 
Irrigation has been practised for a long time in some of 
the older settlements. This is especially true about 
Mendoza, where there are great vineyards and orchards. 
At Mendoza the water flowing from the mountains is 
distributed by an extensive system of canals and ditches 
over the lower hillsides and levels, and the ground, 
w r hich once produced little but cacti, has been made to 
yield rich returns. The population of the country is 
not at present so dense as to make the reclamation of 
the arid lands a question of burning importance, except 

134 To the River Plate and Back 

here and there; nevertheless the far-seeing men at the 
head of the government are already beginning to give 
the matter careful consideration. With an area equal 
to that of half the United States, Alaska excepted, 
there are in Argentina only about seven and a half 
millions of inhabitants, less than the population of 
Pennsylvania. There is still 'elbow-room' for multi- 
tudes of people. Exclusive of the great Province of 
Buenos Aires, the country as a whole is still sparsely set- 
tled, and even in Buenos Aires there are wide stretches 
of land which are very thinly inhabited. To develop 
the country and attract population is one of the aims 
of the government. It was my pleasant privilege a few 
days after my arrival to receive an invitation from 
Dr. Bailey Willis to dine with him and to meet a number 
of his friends. Dr. Willis has been selected by the 
authorities of Argentina to conduct the survey of the 
region about Lake Nahuel-Huapi and to aid in opening 
it to settlers. The dinner took place at Charpentier's, 
a famous resort, which is the Argentinian equivalent of 
Sherry's in New York. Among those who were present 
at the dinner were Senor Ramos Mejia, the Minister of 
Public Works (obras publicas), Hon. John W. Garrett, 
the Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States, 
Dr. Francisco P. Moreno, of whom I have spoken in a 
previous chapter, Dr. Walter G. Davis, who for nearly 
two-score years has been at the head of the Oficina 
Meteorologica, Dr. Rollin D. Salisbury, the Dean of the 
Faculty of Science in the University of Chicago, and a 
number of other gentlemen of eminence representing 
both Argentina and the United States. The room was 
decorated with the entwining flags of the United States 
and of Argentina, and around the walls were large 
photographs showing Lake Nahuel-Huapi guarded by 

Argentina 135 

mountains rivaling those of Switzerland in their massive 
uplift and beauty. Much of the time at this dinner 
was taken up in discussing the wonders of this region. 
The Minister of Public Works explained that the new 
railroad running from Port Antonio westward to the 
lake has already been completed for more than half of 
its length, and turning to Dr. Willis he said: "The 
remainder of the road I look to you, my dear Doctor, 
to see completed by the spring of 1914. The money to 
build the remaining miles is in the treasury.' When 
this railway is completed it will open up a region as large 
as the State of Massachusetts ; a country full of streams 
fed from the snow-clad mountains, having numerous 
waterfalls capable of driving as many spindles as are 
now driven by the Connecticut and the Merrimac. 
Into this region, Serior Mejia explained, it is the desire 
of the government to bring hardy and thrifty people 
capable of enduring the cold of winter. These people 
will become the pioneers in the development of a great 
state from the standpoint of the agriculturist and the 
manufacturer. Those whom we wish to interest," 
said Dr. Mejia, 'are your thrifty Yankees of New 
England and the industrious and hardy people of 
Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland. For such people 
we shall be able to hold out the inducement of farms 
at comparatively small cost, and opportunities for en- 
gaging in a multitude of industrial pursuits, for which 
unlimited electrical power derived from the waterfalls 
will open the way. ' 

The republic of Argentina is advancing by leaps and 
bounds. Statements published as to population, re- 
sources, railroad mileage, and the production of various 
crops made only a year or two ago, are antiquated to- 
day. The people have tacitly concluded that revolu- 

136 To the River Plate and Back 

tions are not profitable. In the last century they were 
plagued with revolutions and counter-revolutions. 
To-day they have settled down to the conviction that 
an orderly government, well administered, affords the 
best opportunity for development. The spirit of com- 
mercialism and industrialism reigns supreme. The 
Argentine has ceased to be a politician in the sense in 
which he was a politician a few years ago, and has be- 
come, like the people of our own country, keen in the 
pursuit of the dollar. After all it is better that men 
should chase dollars than that they should chase each 
other with swords and bayonets. 

In the development which has taken place in Argen- 
tina during the past three centuries the foremost part 
has been played by the Province of Buenos Aires. The 
first Europeans to sight the land were a party of Spanish 
explorers, who had set out under the leadership of Juan 
Diaz de Solis to find a southwest passage to the East 
Indies. Arriving in 1516, they landed, were attacked 
by the Indians, and their leader was killed. Disheart- 
ened they returned to Europe. De Solis was followed 
four years later by the illustrious Ferdinand Magellan, 
who on his voyage around the world entered the estuary 
and sailed for some distance up the River Plate, then 
turned, and went south without attempting to effect 
a landing. In 1527 Sebastian Cabot explored the rivers 
Parana, Paraguay, and Uruguay for considerable dis- 
tances, building a fort near the mouth of the Uruguay 
River and attempting a settlement not far from the 
present city of Santa Fe. Nothing came of these efforts 
except an increased knowledge of the geography of the 
region. Cabot was followed in 1535 by Pedro de 
Mendoza, a Basque of noble lineage, who had received 
from the Emperor Charles V. a grant of all of what is 

Argentina 137 

now the most fertile and densely populated portion of 
Argentina, upon condition that he would conquer the 
country at his own expense and thereafter pay certain 
profits to the crown. He entered the river and sailed 
along the northern shore as far as the island of San 
Gabriel, and then crossed to the south shore, landing at 
the mouth of a small stream still known as the Riachuelo 
or " rivulet. ' He gave to the spot the name of Buenos 
Aires. The attempt to make a settlement proved a 
disastrous failure in the end, because of the hostility of 
the Indians. A permanent settlement in the region was, 
however, effected in the following year (1536) by a 
remnant of Mendoza's followers, who established them- 
selves on the site of what is now the city of Asuncion, 
the capital of- Paraguay. An attempt to renew the 
settlement at Buenos Aires, made in 1542, failed, and it 
was not until 1580 that Juan de Garay, a Basque, com- 
ing down the river from Asuncion, succeeded in taking 
the spot after a bloody conflict with the Querendi 
Indians, whom he conquered and forced to serve as 
laborers upon the farms which he allotted to his victori- 
ous followers. Four years afterwards De Garay was 
killed near Santa Fe by the Indians, who fell upon him 
at night while he was in camp on his way back to 

During the thirty-eight years which had passed 
between the first attempt to settle Buenos Aires and the 
successful occupation of the spot by Juan de Garay, 
a wave of Spanish colonization had swept into what is 
now Argentina from the west. The conquest of Peru 
by Pizarro and the Spanish occupation of northern Chili 
was quickly followed by a movement from the Pacific 
across the Andes. Expeditions from Peru established 
settlements at Santiago del Estero in 1555, at Tucuman 

138 To the River Plate and Back 

in 1565, and at Cordoba in 1573. An expedition from 
Chili in 1559 established a settlement at Mendoza, the 
name being given in honor of the leader, who must not 
be confounded with Pedro de Mendoza who had so 
signally failed in colonizing the region about Buenos 

The occupation of South America by the Spanish 
was effected by expeditions which in going out from 
Spain very naturally followed the routes originally 
pursued by Columbus and his successors. Nombre-de- 
Dios on the northern shore of the Isthmus of Panama 
became the rendezvous of the Spanish fleets, and all 
commerce between Spain and Peru took place through 
that port. The region now known as Argentina was in 
the early days subject to the control of the Governor- 
General of Peru. Spanish commerce with South 
America was in the hands of a clique of wealthy mer- 
chants in the city of Cadiz, who by reason of their ability 
to influence the court had secured for themselves a 
monopoly of the carrying trade. They succeeded in 
effecting the passage of laws prohibiting all importation 
and exportation of goods directly by sea from the region 
of the River Plate and compelled all intercourse with 
the valley of the Plate to follow the route by Panama 
along the west coast and across the Andes. They even 
went so far as to cause regulations to be passed making 
it an offense punishable by death to ship in or out of the 
River Plate by direct ocean routes any goods whatever. 
Human governments have often been induced for self- 
ish ends to violate the laws of nature. It may well, 
however, be called into question whether any more 
atrocious perversion of fundamental economical prin- 
ciples was ever enacted than in this case, where a com- 
munity, with nothing between it and the mother 

Argentina 139 

country except the broad highway of the seas, was 
compelled by law to transport its exports and imports 
across a continent, over a range of mountains from 
twelve to fifteen thousand feet high, for thousands of 
miles up the western coast, across the isthmus, and 
thence to Cadiz by a sea-route as long, if not longer, 
than that which lay between their ports and the home 
country. The little settlements on the River Plate by 
force of circumstances were compelled to become colo- 
nies of smugglers, and even the officials sent out from 
Spain to enforce the iniquitous regulations enacted at 
the suggestion of "the gang' in Cadiz, themselves 
became smugglers. In course of time the English and 
Dutch sea-rovers made sport of the sea-power of Spain, 
and English, Dutch, and French captains began to 
trade, in spite of Spanish prohibitions, with the colonies 
on the River Plate. Although the merchants of Cadiz 
protested, and threatened dire vengeance, sometimes 
even executed it, the shipmasters of the world began 
to find out that hides could be bought cheaply at 
Buenos Aires and that there was a ready market there 
for European goods. For nearly two hundred years 
the commerce originating on the great internal water- 
ways which lead to and from what are now the republics 
of Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay was 
subjected to restrictions by the Spanish government 
which simply appear amazing in the light of modern 
progress, and even trade with Peru was after a while 
only allowed to be carried on subject to a duty of fifty 
per cent, ad valorem upon all goods either exported 
or imported. The Portuguese, who established them- 
selves directly opposite Buenos Aires, at Colonia, carried 
on a very profitable contraband traffic. The people of 
Buenos Aires after a time became accustomed to buying 

140 To the River Plate and Back 

and selling on the other side of the river, in spite of 
governmental interdicts. The exactions of the Spanish 
rulers continued even after Buenos Aires had been in the 
year 1776 made the seat of a viceroyalty. Under such 
circumstances it is no wonder that there finally grew 
up throughout all the region a spirit of determined 
opposition to Spanish control. If the people living in 
the English colonies of North America resisted taxation 
without representation, and found the Stamp-act intol- 
erable, it is no wonder that the Spanish colonists in 
South America, having patiently endured for over two 
hundred years a system of exaction and repression, the 
most astounding in the annals of government, should 
have finally resolved to revolt. Following the example 
of the Thirteen Colonies in North America, and strongly 
imbued with the doctrines announced by the leaders of 
the French Revolution, near the beginning of the last 
century they threw off the yoke of Spain. The story 
of that revolution is too long to be told here. 

Trained in the school of despotism, it is not singular 
that the people of these southern republics should have 
encountered great difficulties in establishing govern- 
ments strictly republican in their nature. Though 
republican in name, most of the governments of Central 
and South America have been more or less oligarchical 
in their practical working. The nearest approach to 
true republicanism exists to-day in Argentina, where 
with great wisdom popular education has been made 
compulsory, and where the youth of the nation are 
being taught in the common-schools those things which 
are fundamentally true in the life of a democracy. 

It was the good fortune of the Province of Buenos 
Aires to have reckoned among her citizens such a man 
as San Martin, one of the purest-minded patriots whom 

Argentina 141 

any land has produced, and who as the years go by 
grows more and more in the esteem of men. Although 
in his old age he was treated with gross ingratitude and 
suffered exile and penury, his noble example, like that 
of Washington, has become an inspiration to the people 
of his country. Bolivar has been called 'the Liber- 
ator,' but the impartial student of South American 
history realizes that the exalted character of San Martin 
exceeds in rugged grandeur that of Bolivar as the sun 
outshines the moon. He it was who freed the southern 
half of South America from the yoke of Spain. The 
Argentine Republic also owes a great debt of gratitude 
to a man whom many now living recall as a friend and 
acquaintance, Sarmiento, 'the Schoolmaster Presi- 
dent, "as he has been called. He realized that the 
greatness of a people depends not merely upon material 
resources and wealth, but upon the quality of its man- 
hood; and he it was who set about founding schools 
for the common people and reorganizing the colleges and 
universities throughout the land. The work which he 
planned and began is now just beginning to bear rich 

Without attempting to outline the long story of the 
evolution of existing governmental institutions in 
Argentina, it may be said that underlying all the various 
movements was an impulse toward the establishment of 
a national life and consciousness. There were unfor- 
tunate episodes ; many mistakes were made ; unscrupu- 
lous and incompetent men at times essayed leadership 
and grasped the reins of power with attendant misfor- 
tune to the state; but through the maze of conflicting 
policies and varying experiments there emerged clearly 
and ever more clearly the purpose of a free people to 
secure for themselves the rights which belong to men 

142 To the River Plate and Back 

in virtue of their manhood. To-day Argentina is on the 
highroad of national prosperity, having nothing to 
fear except the dangers which arise from prosperity 
itself. After having read everything available, and 
having with my own eyes seen the results of the long 
struggles which have taken place, and having had 
the opportunity to learn from those who are to-day the 
leaders of public thought and sentiment, what are the 
aims and ambitions which they cherish, I cannot fail 
to entertain a deep and sympathetic interest in the 
people of this growing nation, who are surely unfolding 
a character which is destined to give them a high place 
in the future annals of civilization. 

The population of the country is exceedingly com- 
posite. Argentina, like the United States, has become 
a melting-pot for the nations. Colonized originally by 
Basques, many of the names of the older families recall 
that fact, but all of Spain was ultimately represented 
upon the soil. During the past century there came into 
the land not a few people of English, Irish, and Scotch 
extraction. The Germans are well represented and so 
are the French. From Southern Russia in quite recent 
years, there has taken place a large influx. During the 
past forty years there has been a very great immigration 
of Italians. It is a curious fact that owing to the 
cheapness of steerage-passage from Naples and Genoa 
there occurs every year in Argentina just before the 
planting time and before harvest, a mighty inflow of 
Italian laborers, who help to sow and garner the crops, 
and then quietly take ship again and return to Italy, 
where they arrive in time to render the same service 
in their own country. Great groups of laboring men 
make the annual pilgrimage from southern Italy to 
the Plate, and sell their services for the busy months 

Argentina 143 

of the year in the wheat-fields, and then go back to their 
homes. Some, who come with the expectation of re- 
turning, settle down in the land, and thus a very large 
part of the more recent additions to the population have 
been Italians. The study of the railway maps and of 
the names of stations and towns reveals in an interesting 
manner how exceedingly various have been the nation- 
alities of those who have occupied the soil. Temperley, 
Claypole, Nelson, and Lincoln are towns with English 
names. Rauch and Lehmann are places concerning 
which it does not require a linguist to decide that they 
were settled by Germans. Names like these are 
sprinkled all over the map of the country, as well as 
names which are purely Spanish and Italian. 

Buenos Aires, the capital, is a cosmopolitan city. 
The tendency of populations to concentrate in cities, 
which is characteristic of modern times, is illustrated 
forcibly in the case of this great community. There 
are about one million and a quarter of people in Bucros 
Aires. Rosario, the next city in size, has about two 
hundred thousand. More than one-fifth of the popula- 
tion of Argentina is gathered into its cities. There are 
thoughtful men, with whom I conversed, who deprecate 
this fact, as there are men in our own country who dep: e- 
cate the tendency of the masses to congregate in the 
towns. The cry ' back to the soil ' ' is being heard in 
Argentina, as in the United States. Many of the wealthy 
citizens of the Argentine metropolis are in fact agricul- 
turists and great landowners. Their presence on their 
estates being only required at certain seasons of the year, 
they have elected to live in the city and to enjoy the 
conveniences and social intercourse which are afforded 
by urban life. They may be pardoned for their choice, 
but for every millionaire who lives in the city there are, 

144 To the River Plate and Back 

as in our own crowded municipalities, hundreds and 
thousands of people who are packed together in narrow 
quarters eking out a miserable existence under circum- 
stances decidedly unpropitious. Buenos Aires, like 
New York and London, has its slums and squalid 
tenement districts, many of the inhabitants of which 
would be far better off if deported to the pampas and 
made to take part in the healthful toil which falls to 
him who is a tiller of the ground. It is hard, however, 
to induce people who have lived in towns and cities in 
Europe, when coming to America, to adopt the larger 
and freer life of the open country. Farmers, like poets, 
are born, not made. To induce a man who has been 
trained to be a baker or small tradesman to become a 
herder or a plowman is as difficult as to transform 
a blacksmith into a sculptor, or a lawyer into a glass- 
cutter. It can be done now and then, but only in 
exceptional cases. The trouble in Argentina, as in the 
United States, is that a great deal of the recent immigra- 
tion has not proceeded from the agricultural regions of 
Europe. Argentina, like North America, needs more 
farmers and fewer hotel-waiters, bartenders, petty shop- 
keepers, and people who live by their wits, without 
having any trade in which they excel. 

Though there has been a rapid growth in population 
in Argentina in recent years, there is a comparative 
dearth of labor, and wages are very high. The pro- 
tective tariff which has been applied to a number of the 
industries of the country has also had its effect in 
raising the price of labor and commodities. The cost 
of living in Argentina, as in almost all South American 
countries, is great. The increase in the value of land 
has been the main factor underlying the princely for- 
tunes possessed by many Argentinian families. A few 

Argentina 145 

years ago the government sold off at auction large 
tracts of land at little more than the cost of surveying 
it. The reserve price was about $400 per square league. 
A square league contains 6669 acres. Much of the land 
thus thrown upon the market was very fertile and 
admirably adapted both to grazing and agricultural 
purposes. While the number of human beings in the 
world is steadily increasing, the number of fertile acres 
is stationary. The hungry millions of Europe were 
calling for food ; the men of Argentina discovered that 
they were in a position to supply it. They began to 
grow wheat and corn in a large way. They took to 
improving their live stock by importing the best strains 
of cattle and sheep and horses from Europe and North 
America. They discovered that by plowing under the 
rough grasses of the pampa and sewing alfalfa or lucerne 
they could secure perennial pasturage for their animals. 
Farming became profitable and the value of the land 
gradually began to enhance. Men who had bought 
great tracts for a few cents an acre awoke to find pur- 
chasers who were willing to pay anything from fifty to 
one hundred dollars per acre for their holdings. Many 
men who had bought a square league for $400 hold it 
to-day at $300,000. Men who bought, as multitudes 
did, from ten to twenty square leagues, are multi- 
millionaires at the present moment. Some men ac- 
quired great bodies of land, hundreds of thousands of 
acres, for a song ; to-day they live in palaces, surrounded 
with luxury. As the result of this sudden and enor- 
mous increase in wealth there has been developed 
in many cases extravagance. There are not a few 
thoughtful men in Argentina who shake their heads as 
they observe this tendency, and the comments they 
made reminded me, as I heard them, of what I had 

146 To the River Plate and Hack 

heard falling from the lips of careful students of affairs 
in our own land. It is a wise man indeed who knows 
rightly how to use prosperity. 

The development of luxury, ostentation, and reckless 
extravagance on the part of the rich begets discontent 
among the poor. The result is reflected in envy, strife, 
and social disorder. This has been the teaching of his- 
tory through all the centuries. The lands of the West 
need not expect to be exempted from the operation of 
those forces which have wrought in the human mind in 
all past ages. Human nature has not greatly changed 
since the days of Babylon and Rome. The injunction 
of the Apostle 'not to trust in uncertain riches' is as 
applicable to nations as to individuals. The secret of 
true national greatness is found not so much in wealth 
as in moral character. 

' ' What constitutes a State ? 
Not high-raised battlement or laboured mound, 

Thick wall or moated gate; 
Not cities proud with spires and turrets crowned; 

Not bays and broad-armed ports, 
Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride; 

Not starred and spangled courts, 
Where low-browed baseness wafts perfume to pride, 

No; Men, high-minded Men, 

* * 

Men who their duties know, 
But know their rights, and, knowing, dare maintain, 

Prevent the long-aimed blow, 
And crush the tyrant while they rend the chain; 

These constitute a State." 1 

1 Alcseus, Paraphrased by Sir William Jones. 












"Ships, towers, domes, theaters, and temples lie, 
Open unto the fields, and to the sky, 
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air." Wordsworth. 

SIGNOR NEGRI, who was born in Elba, stood at 
the entrance of the grounds of the Observatory, 
looking up at the sky, a vault of brilliant blue flecked 
here and there with white clouds. "Pah!' he ex- 
claimed, 'the sight makes me sick. Look, Monsieur 
le Docteur, at that sky blue and white the national 
colors of Argentina blue and white eternally that 
blue and white sky! I was born where the fogs often 
came up from the sea. I adore fog. I am happiest 
when it drizzles. But look at that audaciously blue 
and white sky ! The sight fills me with bitterness. It 
will not rain to-day; it will not rain to-morrow. We 
are in for a long period of dry weather. I shall have to 
bury myself indoors to escape the depressing effects 
of that blue sky!" "But," I protested, "the sky 
appears beautiful to me. I do not wish it to rain to- 
day; I am going to Buenos Aires to see the Cattle 
Show, and the Botanical and Zoological Gardens. ' 
'All! Monsieur le Docteur, there is no accounting for 
tastes. You think that shamelessly blue sky beautiful? 
I do not!' We got into the fiacre, for which we had 
telephoned and which was awaiting us. The cochero 

148 To the River Plate and Back 

set us down in a few minutes at the railway station. It 
was a holiday. The workshops of the Museum were 
closed, and the men who were helping us had leave of 
absence. We had determined that it would be well to 
embrace the opportunity to see something of the 
Capital. We had reached La Plata in the dusk of 
evening. Now we would for the first time see the 
country between the two cities in the light of a 
glorious spring morning. One of the professors of the 
University met us at the station and kindly acted as 
guide, philosopher, and friend. 

Shortly after leaving La Plata our attention was 
called to the fact that the road for a distance of nine 
miles traverses one of the great estates belonging 
to a wealthy family, the country residence of which, 
surrounded by a park and beautiful gardens, we passed 
shortly afterwards. Presently we were delighted to 
see on the right of the train scattered groups of Amer- 
ican ostriches ranging in the fields. Some of them stood 
and looked at the cars, as they went by, others appeared 
to be more intent upon feeding and did not raise their 
heads. The Professor told us that these birds are 
preserved upon the estate, and that its owner is one of 
a number of gentlemen who are making an effort to 
save the species from extinction. The South American 
ostrich, as it is called, is more properly known as the 
rhea (Rhea Americana (Linnaeus) ). It is not a true 
ostrich, and is a much smaller bird than that of Africa. 
Its plumes have been extensively used for making 
feather-dusters, their principal use. But the supply 
will soon be exhausted, unless the poor creatures receive 
better protection than is now given them. On the 
Pereyra estate there are about one hundred and fifty 
specimens; on various other estates in the different 

Buenos Aires 149 

provinces there are a few; but, although there once 
were millions of them in the country, there are at most 
only a few thousands left. They are going the way of 
all wild creatures in the New World, and will soon 
become extinct, unless measures are taken to stay the 
hands of their persecutors. The smaller species named 
after Darwin (Rhea darwini Gould) is still not un- 
common upon the Patagonian pampas, but they also 
are rapidly decreasing in numbers with each succeeding 
year. To the left of the train we saw a large herd of 
English deer feeding in an open space between two 
groves of eucalyptus-trees. In the grass a little farther 
on we noticed some Belgian hares. They have been 
introduced into the country and are multiplying rapidly, 
and are reported to be doing considerable damage to 
the crops in certain localities. As the train swept by 
the hamlet of Conchitas we spied two llamas feeding 
in an enclosure ; one was dark brown in color, the other 
was w T hite. The llama is not a creature of the pampas, 
but of the Andean region, and, like the camel, is only 
known in a state of domestication. The guanaco, a 
much smaller animal, which is closely related to the 
llama, still exists in considerable numbers in a wild 
state upon the less frequented pampas of Patagonia 
and among the foothills of the great mountains in the 
northern part of Argentina. As we came near the city 
we caught glimpses of the great river with its sky-line 
like that of the ocean. In the offing there were many 
sailing-ships and steamers. The number of full- 
rigged ships in these waters proves that steamers have 
not yet entirely monopolized the carrying-trade of the 

On arriving in Buenos Aires my first errand was to the 
American Legation, to pay my respects to my honored 

150 To the River Plate and Back 

friend, Air. John W. Garrett, the Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary of the United States. I shall never forget his 
hearty words of welcome. ' I love this old Diplodocus, ' 
he said. 'It brought us together in Berlin, and then in 
Rome, and now brings us together again in far-off 
Argentina. ' Sitting in his pleasant office, about which 
hung pictures of many of the great men of our land, I 
felt as if the seven thousand miles which separated me 
from home had been for the moment annihilated. I 
should be recusant to the promptings of my heart if I 
failed to here record my sense of indebtedness to Mr. 
Garrett and his charming wife for the gracious hos- 
pitality which they showed me during my stay in the 
country. The American Legation faces the Plaza San 
Martin. Nearby the Plaza Hotel raises its front. 
There are many hotels in the capital, but the Plaza is 
reputed at present to be the most modern and the most 
luxurious in its appointments, a house worthy to be 
compared with the best in any city of the world. 

On the outward voyage I had been told that I might 
count myself fortunate in view of the fact that I should 
have an opportunity to see the great annual Cattle 
Show in Buenos Aires. I heard a great deal from certain 
of my fellow-passengers, whose homes are in Argentina, 
about the marvelous progress which has been made 
during the last forty years in raising blooded stock upon 
the pampas, and, as but one or two days remained in 
which to -visit the exposition, I went to the grounds, 
which are located in the beautiful suburban district 
known as Palermo. The display takes place under the 
auspices of the Sociedad Rural Argentina, which many 
years ago purchased the site and has erected upon it 
the extensive series of buildings which now adorn it. 
After passing through the main entrance leading from 

Buenos Aires 151 

the Avenida Sarmiento, we found ourselves in a large 
enclosure, tastefully laid out with broad walks and 
driveways. In the spaces between these were parterres 
of flowers and blooming shrubs. A large restaurant 
stands at the left of the entrance. In front of it there 
is a band-stand occupied every afternoon by musicians. 
The restaurant is surrounded by a broad tiled pavement 
raised above the level of the grounds and enclosed by a 
balustrade. Here refreshments are served in the open 
air for those who prefer the sky as a canopy and at the 
same time desire to listen to the music. Located in 
the extensive enclosure are many pavilions for the 
display of the animals which are here brought together. 
Facing the main entrance is the race-track, on either 
side of which are two very large buildings with two 
hundred and twenty-four box-stalls for horses. On the 
northern or shady side of the race-track are the stands 
(tribunas) for the public, on the southern side the stands 
reserved for the members of the Society and their friends. 
There is in the northern part of the grounds another 
large building for horses, containing one hundred and 
sixteen box-stalls. Three hundred and forty horses 
can be stabled upon the grounds. The largest pavilions 
are those for cattle. There are four of these in all, with 
accommodation for nearly a thousand head. There is 
a pavilion of great size for the display of sheep, another 
for swine, another for poultry. Toward the south is a 
large space for the exposition of agricultural machinery ; 
and at the extreme southern end of the grounds is the 
Agricultural Museum. There are barns and granaries 
for the storage of food-supplies, a veterinary hospital, 
quarters for the officials and the retinue of attendants, 
arid kiosks in which display is made of cereals, vege- 
tables, fruits, hair, wool, hides, tallow, fats, oils, ex- 

i5 2 To the River Plate and Back 

tracts, preserved meats, dairy products, everything 
in fact which is the product of the industries represented 
by the farmer and the stockman. 

We first went to the Central Pavilion, in which some 
of the bulls were on exhibition. There were about two 
hundred of them here, representing the Shorthorn, 
Hereford, Holstein, Jersey, and Aberdeen-Angus breeds. 
The animals were all of registered pedigree, and among 
them were some superb specimens. In addition to the 
animals in the Central Pavilion there were in the va- 
rious pavilions for the cattle many hundreds more, bring- 
ing the total up to over nine hundred bulls and cows. 
As they lay at ease upon their beds of clean straw, 
chewing the cud, or following with their lustrous eyes 
the crowds of those who came and went, we were 
impressed by the fact that we were indeed in the pres- 
ence of bovine aristocracy. Some of the beasts were 
truly enormous in size, and all were well groomed and 
sleek. I doubt whether anywhere in the world at the 
present time a more impressive exhibition of this sort 
is to be seen. The pavilions are open on all sides, 
admitting a free circulation of air, the roofs are high, 
and there is good light. The names of the animals 
were all displayed upon neat labels, some of which also 
gave an account of the pedigree of the individual. 
The vast majority of the names of the Shorthorns were 
English and attested their British ancestry. 'Fire- 
King," "Baron Oxford/' "Iron Duke," "Druid," 
"Waterloo Victor," "Shenley," "Cameronian," "Lucky 
Jim," "Sunny Jim," "Polar Beauty," "Lincoln," and 
'Roosevelt' were names which caught the eye. 
"Queen Victoria," "Lady Alice," "Diana," "Red 
Rose,' and 'Blossom' were queenly animals. It 
was amusing to listen to the pronunciation given to 

A Herd of Blooded Cattle on the Pampas. 

The Meat of the Country. 

Buenos Aires 153 

these names by the attendants who spoke Spanish or 

We next inspected the stables. Some fine horses 
were on view. Arabian, Clydesdale, Percheron, Shire, 
Suffolk-Punch, Boulonnais, Anglo-Norman, and Hack- 
ney stock were represented. But I hardly found the 
display of horses as interesting as that of the cattle. 
There were only two hundred and eighty-eight horses 
and one ass on exhibition ; before the nine hundred bulls 
and cows, the equine cohorts seemed small. Further- 
more, the box-stalls surrounded by gratings, through 
which it was necessary to peer, and the rather dim light 
of the pavilions did not allow the horses to be seen 
to the same advantage as the cattle, which were dis- 
played in open stalls under a better light. 

The sheep were interesting. The animals exhibited 
belonged mainly to the various well-known English 
breeds, and they all seemed to be in remarkably good 
condition. To allow them to carry the fleeces they 
bore in a subtropical climate almost appeared cruel, 
but they apparently gave no evidence of suffering, 
though the place at the noon-hour was hot. We 
glanced at the exhibit of poultry, which was good, and 
then went to the Agricultural Museum. It is well 
arranged, the exhibits are carefully labelled, and the 
display is upon the whole instructive, enabling the 
student at a glance to gain a good idea of the agricul- 
tural resources of Argentina as a whole and of the sepa- 
rate provinces in particular. Whoever is in charge of 
the institution has correct ideas as to administration 
and the manner in which to convey instruction to the 

The early settlers of South American lands brought 
with them cattle and horses of the races which at that 

154 To the River Plate and Back 

time were common in Spain and Portugal. Some of 
them escaped, and finding upon the pampas sufficient 
pasturage, rapidly multiplied, until wild cattle and 
horses became numerous in Uruguay and in the prov- 
inces south of the Rio de la Plata. The Indians 
learned to utilize the cattle and became horsemen, as did 
the aborigines of the Western plains of North America. 
The cattle were long-horned, shaggy, and of medium 
size, closely resembling the semi-domesticated cattle 
of Texas. The horses were stocky creatures like the 
bronchos of our own Western States. As the country 
began to be more thickly settled and divided into estates, 
the range-cattle were brought within enclosures, and 
the herds came to be recognized as belonging to certain 
owners. They were branded or marked. For a long 
time hides, hair, tallow, hoofs, and horns were the 
principal exports, though 'jerked beef salted and 
dried in the open air was shipped in considerable 
quantities to the lands to the north nearer the equator. 
Meat thus prepared is still exported, and in Bahia and 
Rio de Janeiro I saw slabs of salted beef half an inch 
thick, a foot wide, and from two to three feet long, 
hanging at the doors of the grocery shops alongside 
of dried codfishes and bunches of smoked herrings. It 
did not look appetizing to me, but it is extensively used 
by the poorer classes in Brazil, and, when cut up and 
boiled with vegetables, may serve to add some nutri- 
ment and flavor to the mess. In the year 1889 the 
exportation of live cattle to England was begun, but 
the animals were so poor in quality that the experiment 
was not profitable. This led to the importation of 
blooded stock, and to-day throughout the older and 
more thickly settled provinces the long-horned Spanish 
cattle have almost entirely disappeared. The owners 

Buenos Aires 155 

of great estates spent fabulous sums in acquiring breed- 
ing animals of the best strain. As much as $35,000 
was paid for single bulls. Three-quarter bred cattle 
mainly of the Hereford and Shorthorn type are found 
everywhere, and on some estates the herds are pure- 
bred Shorthorns. Owing to the foot-and-mouth disease 
the shipment of live cattle, which rose to great propor- 
tions about the middle of the first decade of this century, 
has latterly fallen off. The shipment of frozen meats 
has, however, steadily increased, and a large amount of 
British and North American capital is being invested 
in this business. One of the reasons for the prosperity 
of the stock-raisers of Argentina has been the intro- 
duction of alfalfa. The pampas have been plowed 
over and seeded with this useful forage plant; the 
rough harsh grasses have disappeared from wide areas; 
and through the entire year the perennial alfalfa, 
which sends its roots deep down in quest of water, 
continues to supply an unfailing yield of rich, nutritious 
food. The grazing lands between Buenos Aires and 
La Plata covered with numerous herds of sleek cattle 
are an impressive sight. 

After having rested awhile and partaken of some light 
refreshments, we went across the Avenida Sarmiento 
co the Botanical Garden. It is not very extensive, 
but is well-arranged, and the plants are set out in such 
a way as to illustrate to some extent the sequence of 
the natural orders and their genera. It apparently is 
designed to be a living manual of botany. The flora 
of Argentina, so far as represented, naturally riveted 
our attention; but there were not as many Argentine 
species as I should like to have found. Exotic and 
naturalized plants seemed to preponderate, especially 
trees representing the flora of Australia. Over thirty 

156 To the River Plate and Back 

species belonging to the genus Eucalyptus^ or closely 
related thereto, are growing upon the grounds. The 
eucalyptus has become the popular shade-tree in 
subtropical South America, and is grown everywhere. 
I was informed, however, by Dr. Roth, that it does not 
propagate itself by seed sown naturally. In the parks 
at La Plata and upon the grounds of the Observatory 
I searched in vain to find young eucalyptus-trees 
growing where seed had fallen. I am told that special 
precautions must be taken to propagate the young 
plants, and that wind-sown seeds do not appear to 
germinate, or, if they do, the plants die. Whether this 
is due to soil or climate, I was unable to learn. 

The Zoological Garden, which is under the care of 
Dr. Clemente Onelli, is large and attractively arranged. 
It appears to be a favorite resort of the people, and was 
thronged with visitors when we reached it about three 
o'clock in the afternoon. It is true the day was a holi- 
day, but on the occasion of a subsequent visit I found, 
though it was not a holiday, a great gathering of young 
and old people filling the grounds. The collection of an- 
imals is extensive and they are evidently well fed. The 
jaguars were particularly fine. There were a number of 
them, some of which were very large and powerful brutes. 
At one time the jaguars did a great deal of mischief 
among the cattle in the northern provinces of Argen- 
tina, but their numbers have steadily decreased in 
recent years, and in the immediate vicinity of Buenos 
Aires they have become totally extinct, and it is only 
when a great freshet occurs in the river, and floating 
islands of driftwood are brought down from the tropical 
north, that stray specimens now and then appear. 
On the occasion of a great flood in the Rio de la Plata 
which took place a few years ago, I was informed that 

Guanacos in the Zoological Garden at Buenos Aires. 

i'^r: ^.~: -- 


The Dairyman. 

Buenos Aires 157 


two jaguars, which had been brought down by the 
stream, came ashore near Montevideo and were killed in 
the outskirts of the city. At the time of these great 
floods multitudes of snakes and other living things are 
brought down from the tropical jungles, and species 
not known to occur in the vicinity of Buenos Aires are 
found at such times in considerable numbers even in 
the streets of the city. At the time of the last freshet 
a couple of boa-constrictors were discovered upon the 

We were much interested in observing the guanacos, 
a small herd of which are kept within an enclosure. 
They are survivors of the camel-like animals, which 
originated in the region of the Rocky Mountains in 
early Tertiary times, and migrated to the south after 
the Isthmus of Panama was formed, and a land con- 
nection between North and South America had thus 
been provided. The tribe died out in North America, 
but survived in South America. The true camels also 
originated in North America and passed over into Asia 
by way of the land-bridge, which once united the northern 
portions of North America with Asia. They survived 
in the eastern after they had become extinct in the 
western hemisphere. No fossil remains of camels have 
been found in the Old World, except the bones of the 
existing species found in the uppermost gravels, but 
in North America the remains of many species of camels 
and camel oid creatures are very abundant. Only a 
few years ago one of my associates in the Carnegie 
Museum discovered more than twenty skeletons of a 
very small camel buried in close proximity to each 
other, and took them up. The skeletons of three of 
them, a male, a female, and a half-grown individual, 
have been mounted and are displayed in the Carnegie 


To the Ki\\T Plate and Bark 

Museum. In certain respects they are not unlike 
the guanaco of to-day, though very much smaller, not 
larger than a small Italian greyhound, and revealing 
greater specialization in certain features of anatomical 
structure than occurs in existing species. The guanaco 
has not been domesticated as was its larger cousin, the 
llama. The latter was the only beast of burden known 

I t-~ W^^r^^- 

Wt ^ I 'Gr4~*3?^ * V 

Fig. 12. Group of skeletons of Pigmy Camels (Stenomylus hitchcocki 
Loomis) mounted in the Carnegie Museum. ^ natural size. 

by the natives in all South America at the time of the 
Conquest, and is still used as such in the Andean region. 
It was interesting to find in the Zoological Garden in 
Buenos Aires a guanaco which had been broken to the 
saddle and upon which children were riding at the time 
of our visit. Why should not an animal like the guan- 
aco be domesticated? Simply because the Indians 
apparently did not make the attempt, should no effort 
now be made to perpetuate the species in domestication? 
Robes made of guanaco-skin are very soft and warm 

Buenos Aires 

and beautiful ; and the flesh is palatable, quite as good 
as mutton, so I am told. Why in fact should not a 
multitude of other creatures, which now only exist in 
a wild state, be domesticated instead of being simply 
exterminated? What a dreary world this is going to be 
a thousand years from now, when, at the present rate 
of destruction, the only things left upon the surface of 
the globe capable of motion will be machines, bugs, 
chickens, cows, sheep, and asses the latter principally 
of the two-legged variety ! 

The aviaries in the Zoological Garden at Buenos 
Aires are especially worthy of remark. I have visited 
every zoological garden in Europe and North America, 
and I am certain that in none of them are there any 
larger enclosures for birds than those which have been 
provided by Serior Onelli. This is as it should be. 
The largest of all the raptorial birds is the condor, and 
captive specimens in their own broad land should have 
an opportunity to stretch their great wings, and al- 
though unable to soar into the blue as they do in their 
native Andes, they should not be cooped up and con- 
fined in the narrow bounds usually allotted to such 
creatures elsewhere. It seems that the learned Director 
of the Garden in Buenos Aires has felt this fact, and 
the vultures, eagles, and hawks in his collection have 
a chance to fly, not merely to flap their wings. One of 
the birds which I was especially glad to see was a 
specimen of the harpy-eagle, a magnificent fowl, in 
splendid plumage, with great startling eyes. Its 
crested head gives it a regal appearance, and of all the 
birds of prey it is the most truly imperatorial in mien. 
The white-headed eagle which we have adopted as our 
'national bird" is not for a moment to be compared in 
grace and nobility of appearance with this fierce robber 

160 To the River Plate and Back 

of the South American wilds. Benjamin Franklin ex- 
pressed a preference for the turkey as a "national bird, ' 
but, as the fowls used on national emblems according to 
the bellicose spirit of the past and Roman traditions 
have always been eagles, we chose an eagle to scream for 
us, but I do not know why our forefathers should have 
selected and placed upon our escutcheon the miserable 
'bald-head, " which is at best but a cowardly thief and 
robber. If they had selected the golden-eagle it 
would not have been so bad. The harpy-eagle is a 
still finer bird. Of all the eagles I admire him most from 
the artistic standpoint. 

Not very far from the grounds of the Zoological 
Garden is the Hippodrome, or Race-course, which is 
maintained by the Jockey Club. Horse-racing is a 
popular pastime in Argentina and the Hippodrome is 
one of the sights of the city. The fashionable and the 
unfashionable, the wealthy and the poor patronize the 
races, as they do in France, and Sunday, as in all Latin 
lands, is the day chosen for the sport. Large sums of 
money are won and lost at the races. The Argentines, 
like the French, are given to gambling and games of 
chance. The lottery flourishes among them, and on 
the railway-trains, at the street-corners, and in the 
shops and stores we were constantly approached by 
venders of lottery-tickets, soliciting us to take a chance. 

We lingered long in the Zoological Garden, finding 
much to interest us, but at last the sun began to sink 
toward the western horizon, and we were reminded that 
it behooved us to return to La Plata. We boarded a 
tram-car, warranted to take us to the Plaza Constitu- 
cion. The route lay through narrow streets lined by 
the low houses which prevail in the residential sections 
of the metropolis. Let not the reader imagine that the 



















Buenos Aires 161 

whole of this great city, which nearly equals Philadel- 
phia in the number of its inhabitants, is laid out with 
magnificent boulevards such as the Avenida de Mayo. 
By far the greater number of the streets of Buenos 
Aires are narrow, conformed to its original plan, run- 
ning at right angles to each other and closely built up 
with houses of the Spanish type one or two stories in 
height. Avenues such as the great central thoroughfare 
leading from the Presidential Mansion to the Capitol, 
and the splendid Avenida Alvear, on which are gathered 
the homes of many of the wealthy, are the exception, 
not the rule. Buenos Aires, as we saw it on our ride 
from the Zoological Garden to the station of the Ferro 
Carril du Sud, conveys to the mind an impression of 
flatness and dull uniformity. Still there were things to 
arrest attention. We caught the milkman serving his 
customers rather late in the day. It was not after the 
manner of New York or Pittsburgh, with an automobile 
loaded with milk-cans, but after the good old Italian 
fashion. Two cows accompanied by a calf, the latter 
with a bag tied over its hungry mouth, so that it might 
not invade the fluid stores, had been led by the milk- 
man and his boy through the streets. At the door of a 
customer they had stopped, and, while the children of 
the house stood by to watch the operation, the milk- 
man milked the cows and filled the vessels which the 
children had brought out. The milk thus furnished is 
certainly pure, provided the cows have been fed upon 
pure food and not allowed to drink water infected by 
the germs of typhoid fever. 

On a number of subsequent occasions we visited 
Buenos Aires either for business or for pleasure, and for 
nearly a week before sailing for home I made my resi- 
dence in the capital and came to feel that I knew some- 

1 62 To the River I 'kite and Back 

thing of it. It is full of contrasts such as arc found in 
every metropolitan center. The architecture in those 
portions which are not devoted to business and traffic is 
somewhat monotonous, as I have already intimated, 
but there are multitudes of imposing buildings pos- 
sessing architectural charm. There are many parks 
both large and small, and care has been taken to plant 
in them such trees and shrubs as are adapted to the 
soil and climate. Palms imported from the north and 
from the region of the Mediterranean appear to do' well. 
The suburbs of Palermo and Belgrano are very attrac- 
tive and are adorned by many beautiful and costly 
villas surrounded by well-kept lawns and tasteful 

The Argentines are a pleasure-loving people, as is 
attested by the number of places of amusement which 
are to be found. The Colon Theater is the largest 
opera-house in South America and in fact in the world, 
surpassing in size and in the splendor of its interior 
decoration the great Opera-house in Paris. To it come 
most of the great operatic artists of the day, and to suc- 
ceed upon the stage in Buenos Aires is a passport to suc- 
cess in Madrid, London, and New York. In contrast 
with the Colon Theatre may be put a hut which was 
found in the suburbs made out of old oil-cans, rescued 
from a dumping-place close at hand. The cans had been 
filled with earth and then piled up one upon the other 
to form four low walls. The edifice was then covered 
over with old roofing-tin, which likewise had been 
picked up upon the dump. The structure formed the 
sleeping apartment of an immigrant laborer, whose 
resourcefulness exceeded his resources. His kitchen 
had the sky for a roof ; his pantry consisted of a couple 
of pails covered with pieces of board. Who can pre- 

Buenos Aires 163 

diet the future of this new citizen? Argentina is a 
land of opportunity. This man had at least found what 
the old Greek philosopher demanded, a ~ou CTTW, a place 
on which to stand, if only for the time being. I have 
no doubt he is saving his pennies. He may have an 
account in bank, or in his stocking. His grandchildren 
may come to live in a palace on the Avenida Alvear. 
Stranger things than this have happened. The Vander- 
bilt of Argentina is a young man who came to that 
country a few years ago as a poor lad from Russia. 
His first employment was as a boatman. He rowed 
people to and fro from the water-front to the steamers, 
and saved his earnings, as did his North American pro- 
totype, the young Staten Island ferryman. To-day 
he is the ow r ner of a great fleet of handsome passenger 
and freight steamers. Miguel Mihanovitch is a power 
to be reckoned with in Argentina, when the transporta- 
tion question comes up for consideration. 

The life of Buenos Aires is pervaded by restless ac- 
tivity. There appears to be as much hurry and bustle 
in the streets as in any of the larger cities of the world, 
more in fact than in some which are not accounted dull. 
Along the main thoroughfares there pours a constant 
stream of vehicles all through the day and deep into the 
night. The rush in busy hours is as great as on Broad- 
way or Regent Street. I made my home in Buenos 
Aires at one of the quieter hotels on the Avenida de 
Mayo. The room assigned me on my arrival was at 
the front of the house, but the noise of the automobiles 
and the carriages on the street was so great and so 
continuous, only dying down from about two until 
five o 'clock in the morning, that I was unable to sleep 
with comfort, and was glad to have my landlord assign 
me a room in the rear of the building, where the racket 

164 To the River Plate and Back 

and clamor of the street were less obtrusive and less 
disturbing. The policing of the streets is admirable, 
and though the traffic is heavy, the mounted policemen, 
who appear to be mainly Indians or half-breeds, seem 
to understand their business thoroughly and keep the 
currents of vehicles flowing as they should. Street- 
blockades are infrequent. Traffic holds to the left, as 
in England, and not to the right as in the United States. 
Cabs and automobiles for hire are almost all supplied 
with meters, recording the fare. The tariff is very 
nearly the same as in European cities, and less than 
in the United States ; in fact a taxicab in Buenos Aires 
will render service for about half of what is charged for 
the same service in New York or Chicago. 

The tendency to imitate the customs of Europe is in 
nothing more evident than in the uniforms of the police, 
the soldiery, and the employees of the railways. In the 
United States, even in our large cities, the military 
are little in evidence. It is not so in Argentina. 
Though the standing army is small, and in fact there is 
little need for an army, in every city of considerable 
size the military are to be seen. The bugle is heard, 
and the regiments march from their barracks to the 
parade-grounds just as they do in Paris or Berlin. 
The uniforms are showy. This is especially true in 
the case of one of the crack regiments of lancers, which 
still wears the garb in use at the beginning of the Nine- 
teenth Century, at the time of the War of Independ- 
ence. The infantry are uniformed more or less after 
the fashion of Germany, and so also are the mounted 
police. There is a decidedly "old world' look about 
these things, which does not fail to attract the attention 
of a visitor from the United States. 

The semi-seclusion of the fair sex, which holds good 

The Colon Theater, Buenos Aires. 

Humble Home. 

Built of Old Oil-Cans Filled with Earth; Roofed with Discarded Tin. 

Cooking is Done Outside. 

Buenos Aires 165 

in Spain, prevails in all South American lands, which 
have inherited their customs and traditions from Spain. 
Ladies appear upon the streets more or less closely 
veiled, very rarely without escort, and never unescorted 
after sunset. For a woman to appear alone upon the 
streets, or to travel without escort, is sooner or later 
to subject herself to embarrassment. The free yet 
respectful intermingling of the sexes which occurs in 
northern lands is unknown here. The habiliments of 
mourning seem to be much affected by the women 
in Latin-American countries. I said to one of my 
acquaintances as we sat and watched the throngs of 
passers-by on one of the crowded thoroughfares : ' ' There 
must be a frightful mortality in this city, judging from 
the number of people in deep mourning. ' He smiled 
and replied: "The women regard black garments with 
favor as setting off their charms, and rush into mourn- 
ing on the slightest pretext. The town is reasonably 
healthy. Do not deceive yourself. ' 



"Wenn du am breiten Flusse wohnst, 
L Seicht stockt er manchmal auch vorbei; 
Dann, wenn du deine Wiesen schonst, 
Heruber schlemmt er, es ist ein Brei. " Goethe. 


If you live on the broad river's brim, 
It often runs shallow where once was a flood; 
Then when you Ve planted your meadows so trim, 
The river comes up and smears them with mud. 

'"PHE morning of the second day of October dawned 
clear and bright. Dr. Santiago Roth had in- 
formed me on the previous evening that he had com- 
pleted all the arrangements for an excursion to the 
delta of the Parana, and had requested me to meet him 
at the railway-station in La Plata at an early hour, 
which he named. I was promptly on hand and we 
were soon in Buenos Aires. We rattled across the city 
in a cab and reached the Retire Station, where we 
were joined by Dr. Bade and Professor Lucien Hau- 
mann-Merck, both of the Faculty of the University 
of Buenos Aires, both young, learned, and enthusiastic, 
the one a chemist, the other a biologist. With Dr. 
Roth, the head of the Geographical and Geological 
Survey of the Province, to act as chaperon, and with 
two such good fellows, full of information, to help 
make up the party, I was sure that I should learn much 

1 66 

A Guacho. 

A Country Market-Place. 

The Delta of the Parana 167 

of interest. We boarded our train, and passing Palermo, 
the Hippodrome, and Belgrano with its pretty villas 
perched upon the slightly rising river-terrace, we came 
in less than an hour to San Fernando, a village tenanted 
by fishermen, longshoremen, and sailors. The popula- 
tion gains a livelihood from the waters, or, as boatmen, 
by serving the throngs of people who frequent El Tigre, 
the adjacent summer resort, which is to Buenos Aires 
what Coney Island is to New York. We alighted and 
were quickly driven to the dock, where a steam-yacht, 
which had been put at our disposal by the authorities, 
was lying at the landing. The captain was awaiting 
our coming, the steward kindly took charge of our 
luggage, and in less time than it takes to tell it, the 
screw was in motion and we were backing out into the 
stream. The vessel was provided with a cabin capable of 
furnishing comfortable accommodations for the party, 
and the larder was well stocked. The crew consisted 
of six men, including the captain, who was a Scandina- 
vian. Dr. Roth informed us that our objective point was 
a gas-well which had been reported to him as having 
been recently discovered, and which he wished to see. 
The channel in which we found ourselves was narrow , 
the water was muddy, the banks were lined with willows 
and small poplars, shading a very miscellaneous col- 
lection of boat-houses and shanties, having a rather 
dilapidated and tumble-down appearance. We soon 
left them behind us and began to thread our passage 
through the maze of waterways, which are the only 
roads in the delta. The day was bright and sunny, the 
breeze which was created as we swiftly went along 
blew refreshingly in our faces. Seated on the deck 
just before the wheel-house, we asked questions of the 
captain and received his replies. 

168 To the River Plate and Back 

The delta of the Parana is made up of a series of 
islands, large and small, separated by a multitude of 
channels, the branching arms of the river, some of which 
in recent years have been deepened by the Govern- 
ment and made navigable for vessels of light draught. 
Here and there canals have been dug to furnish short- 
cuts from one point to another. Islands are strung 
in a continuous series on either side of the river from 
the delta as far north as Rosario and even beyond, but 
there are rather more of them on the right than on the 
left side of the stream. The Parana discharges by two 
main channels, the larger lying to the north and receiv- 
ing the Uruguay River just before entering the estuary, 
the smaller lying to the south. Both are navigable for 
ocean-going craft. Between these two main channels 
and on either side of them are countless islands forming 
the delta, which has an area nearly as great as that of the 
State of Delaware. These islands are low and flat, their 
surface raised at most only a few feet above the level 
of the water. All are subject to more or less complete 
inundation at the time of floods. The houses built 
upon them are raised upon piles, the lower floors being 
from eight to ten feet higher than the surface of the 
ground. Were not this precaution taken, the people 
would find everything afloat in their dwellings at least 
once or twice a year. There was a time not very 
long ago when these lands were regarded as more or 
less worthless. The inhabitants were squatters, who 
subsisted by hunting and fishing. Their chief source 
of revenue was derived from the sale of the pelts of the 
' Nutria " (Myopotamus coypus), a large rodent, the 
fur of which resembles that of the beaver. After a 
time some of them betook themselves to growing 
peaches and other fruits, which were found to thrive, 

The Delta of the Parana 169 

and for which a market sprang up in Buenos Aires. 
A number of years ago blight invaded the peach-groves 
and their cultivation was gradually abandoned. The 
peach trees were cut down and sold as firewood in the 
city markets. The demand for firewood, as Buenos 
Aires increased in size, became insistent, and the people 
of the swamps took to planting willows and poplars, 
which mature quickly. The business proved profitable. 
The original forest-growth consisted mainly of the 
Erythrina crista-galli, a low papilionaceous tree, which 
in the springtime throws out from its gnarled and 
knotted branches great masses of purplish-red bloom. 
As these trees were cut down, they were replaced in 
every direction with plantations of Italian poplars 
and European willows. The native willow' (Salix chil- 
ensis), which grows here and there, does not seem to 
make wood as rapidly as the imported European species, 
and it was only occasionally that we saw specimens of 
this beautiful tree. The weeping willow (Salix baby- 
lonica) is extensively planted and very common. As 
soon as the willows and poplars acquire a diameter of 
from six to ten inches, they are cut down and sawn 
into short lengths for firewood and carried to the 
market. We met scores of lighters towed by tugs, 
piled high with wood which was being taken to the 
wharves of the city. Though peaches are still grown 
to a limited extent, oranges have proved more profitable, 
and many of the islands are now covered with extensive 
groves of lemon and orange trees. The quince also 
does well, and, escaping from cultivation, it has taken 
possession of many tracts, completely covering them. 
The bushes, were arrayed in white bloom as we 
passed through the canals. The fruit when ripe is 
gathered, and quince-jelly in flat tin cans, like those in 

1 70 To the River Plate and Back 

which guava-jelly is put up, is one of the staple sweet- 
meats which is sold in great quantities in the markets 
and grocery shops of Buenos Aires. The value of these 
lands has appreciated, and men of wealth have pur- 
chased large holdings in the delta, and from the sale 
of firewood and fruits are receiving handsome returns 
upon their investments. Some of the wealthier owners 
have built for themselves summer homes on the islands, 
about which they have planted groves of eucalyptus 
and other ornamental trees. 

After leaving San Fernando our course led us for a 
short time through narrow canals, and we then reached 
the great southern arm of the river, which we crossed. 
Looking north and looking south the water seemed to 
meet the sky. On either side the low banks of this 
channel are clothed with tall reeds and rushes (Scirpus) 
forming prairie-like expanses of blue-green marshland, 
back of which, on the slightly higher ground, were low 
fringes of taller and darker green growths. A number 
of large ocean-going vessels were in sight, either going 
up toward Rosario, or coming down. We made our 
way diagonally across the river to the entrance of 
another canal, through which we passed, reaching at 
length a larger stream on the banks of which was the 
station of the island-police, where we took on board a 
soldier in uniform. It seems that in this interminable 
tangle of islands and waterways travel is not always 
safe. River- thieves and desperadoes have found hiding- 
places, where they watch for opportunities to rob the 
unwary, and although our yacht was a government 
vessel, the additional precaution was taken of having 
on board a man clothed with authority to make arrests 
and handle a gun should occasion arise. 

I was happy in the company of Dr. Haumann-Merck, 

The Delta of the Parana 171 

who from the stores of his botanical knowledge brought 
forth much for my information, and was able to answer 
the questions which were prompted at every turn by the 
vegetation upon the banks. He drew my attention to 
the fact that on the sides of the canals there were vast 
masses of a Japanese honeysuckle, which has escaped 
from cultivation and become a veritable weed, covering 
large areas and suffocating all other growths. The 
commonest plants representing the primitive flora of 
the region are Senecio bonariensis, Eryngium panicula- 
tum, and Solanum bonariense. The Senecio grows 
abundantly in the marshes and sends up a cluster of 
large dock-like leaves from the center of which a stem 
from six to eight feet in height shoots up, surmounted 
by a great loose spike of white blossoms. The Eryn- 
gium has leaves which somewhat resemble those of the 
century-plant, but much thinner, not more than two 
inches thick at the base, and relatively longer, as much 
as four or five feet in length, with the edges protected by 
prickly serrations. It grows in great tangles upon the 
sides of the streams, forming almost impenetrable 
thickets. I could scarcely bring myself to believe at 
first that this plant, so closely resembling the agave 
in the form of its foliage, belongs to the Umbelliferce. 
However, at our first landing-place my botanical friend 
speedily dispelled my doubts. He pulled off one of the 
leaves of the plant, and bade me smell its broken end. 
I at once recognized the familiar carroty odor of the 
umbel-bearing plants. The Eryngium unfortunately 
was not in blossom. The Solanum, which is a scandent 
or climbing species, was in flower, and displayed great 
masses of white bloom as it trailed over everything 
within reach. Occasionally we saw palms, but they 
were not numerous, and their proximity to dwellings 

172 To the River Plate and Back 

suggested that they might have been planted. In the 
canals and bayous there were abundant growths of 
aquatic plants, among them a natant Pontederia. 

Birds were not as numerous as I had expected to find 
them. A few herons were seen on the wing. Cor- 
morants (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) abounded. They 
hardly took the trouble to get out of the way of the 
vessel as it came toward them. Sometimes they rose 
and made a short flight, but frequently only dove to 
the right or the left and came up again a few feet away. 
The birds seem to be silent, and I never heard them 
utter any cry, but W. H. Hudson, who has written 
most charmingly about the birds of Argentina, says: 
"When many individuals congregate to roost on the 
branches of a dead tree overhanging the water they 
keep up a concert of deep, harsh, powerful notes all 
night long, which would cause any person not ac- 
quainted with their language to imagine that numerous 
pigs or peccaries were moving about with incessant 
gruntings in his neighborhood. ' 

On the wider reaches of the river we saw a few gulls 
(Larus maculipennis) . The gaviotas, as the natives 
call them, have the habit, which I have observed to 
belong also to the gulls of Scotland and Scandinavia, 
of following the plowman in the furrows to pick up 
grubs and worms. In Argentina they are viewed with 
favor by the country-folk. Hudson says: 

If the weather is dry the gulls disappear altogether; and 
if grasshoppers become abundant the country people wish 
for rain to bring the gulls. When it rains, then the birds 
quickly appear, literally from the clouds, and often in such 
numbers as to free the earth from the plague of devastating 
insects. It is a fine and welcome sight to see a white cloud 
of birds settle on the afflicted district; and at such times 

The Delta of the Parana 173 

their mode of proceeding is so regular that the flock well 
deserves the appellation of an army. They sweep down 
with a swift graceful flight and settle on the ground with 
loud joyful cries, but do not abandon the order of attack 
when the work of devouring has begun. The flock often 
presents a front of over a thousand feet, with a depth of 
sixty or seventy feet ; all along this line of battle the excited 
cries of the birds produce a loud continuous noise ; all the 
birds are incessantly on the move, some skimming along 
the surface with expanded wings, others pursuing the 
fugitives through the air, while all the time the hindmost 
birds are flying over the flock to alight in the front ranks, 
so that the whole body is steadily advancing, devouring the 
grasshoppers as it proceeds. When they first arrive they 
seem ravenously hungry, and after gorging themselves they 
fly to the water, where after drinking they cast up their 
food, and then go back to renew the battle. 

I saw a number of the Yellow-shouldered Marsh- 
birds (AgelcEus thilius), resembling our Red- winged 
Blackbirds, from which they differ apparently in being 
a little smaller, and having the shoulders of the male 
bright yellow, instead of red as in the case of our 
species. The female is somber in plumage and lacks 
the gay epaulets of her mate. There were many of 
these birds among the rushes as we entered the canal 
after we had crossed the river. Here I also caught 
sight of the Scarlet-headed Marsh-bird (A mblyrhamphiis 
holosericeus) . They were conspicuous objects as they 
clung to the tops of the tall rushes. I was happy to 
see the Cardinal Finch (Paroaria cucullata) alighting 
in a thicket. Its crested head recalls our own Virginian 
Cardinal, but the markings are different, the lower 
parts of the body being white, the back and wings gray, 
while the crested head and throat are brilliant scarlet. 

i/4 To the River Plate and Back 

This appears to be a common cage-bird in Buenos Aires, 
and many of them were exposed for sale in the markets. 
The vessel steadily pushed forward hour by hour 
through the canals and wider reaches of open water. 
We maintained a speed of from twelve to fourteen 
knots. At last we came to a region where human activ- 
ities were less apparent and the plantations of poplars 
and willows were less frequent. Here and there were 
tracts still covered with the gray, gnarled trunks of the 
Erythrina, the native forest-tree of the region, just 
beginning to put out shoots of green and preparing for 
the period of blossoms. Tufts of pampas-grass held up 
the dried feathery plumes of the former year. This 
plant, familiar to us from our lawns and gardens, is more 
frequent in the marshes than on the broad dry prairies, 
which most of us have imagined to be covered by it. It 
is a plant of the lowlands and swamps. The sun began 
to sink toward the western horizon. Clouds in long 
bars stretched across the sky. As the day waned they 
were lit up with the glory of the sunset. The breezes 
had died down, the bayous and streams became still 
and mirror-like. Not a dimple could be seen upon their 
wide expanses, save here and there where a fish leaped 
at an insect. The glory of the sunset grew and in- 
creased, the clouds became purple and crimson and 
then in the west melted into gold. The waters gave 
back in brilliant reflections the splendors of the sky. 
We seemed to be pushing our way forward with the 
sky above us and the sky below us, the two only parted 
by the low long fringe of trees on the distant bank, clad 
in the tender green of the springtime, reflected in darker 
greeris from the bosom of the wide lake-like waterway 
through which we were going. At last the sun went 
down. The night comes quickly in these regions, and 

The Delta of the Parana 175 

our captain turned the prow to a narrow creek into 
which we ran, and where we presently came to a rude 
dock and a house perched high on piles. Here we 
made fast, and here we were to stay for the night, for to 
navigate these waters in the darkness is dangerous. 
We clambered out upon the dock and up a rickety flight 
of stairs, and found that we were in a country-store 
where everything imaginable was for sale and where 
everything potable from Quilmes beer to Italian 
vermouth and Scotch whiskey could be purchased. 
Perched on the edge of a swamp, the ground beneath the 
building was so wet that botanizing was quickly given 
up as certain to involve the risk of being buried in the 
quagmire. We wondered how any human being could 
have chosen such a place as a likely spot upon which to 
carry on trade. But during the evening boats came and 
went and customers slipped in from the starlit water 
with lanterns at the prows of their craft and gathered 
at the bar to drink, or made their purchases and then 
silently rowed off into the darkness as they had come. 
We dined on board and had occasion to compliment 
the cook upon the excellent meal which he served. We 
smoked our cigars upon deck; watched the brilliant 
reflections of the full-orbed planets in the mirror of the 
stream ; told tales both grave and gay ; and then turned 
in. How still it was! The only sound was that of the 
toads in the marsh. In the United States we welcome 
the sound of the "frogs" in the meadows as a harbin- 
ger of the springtime. Our "frogs, ' to be exact, are 
toads. The note of Bufo americanus, the common toad 
of New England and the Middle States, in the mating- 
season is a succession of chirps, quickly succeeding each 
other "peep-peep-peep' -or a trilling note in a high 
key; the note of the Argentine toad exactly resembles 

176 To the River Plate and Back 

the sound of a Castanet. I recall that on one of the 
first nights of my stay in La Plata I wandered out into 
the park, where my attention was attracted to the 
tinkling castanets of the little creatures which thronged 
the borders of the artificial lakelet near the Zoological 
Garden. It seemed as if a hundred fairy Spanish 
dancers were celebrating the advent of spring. In 
the darkness of the early evening in our own country the 
croaking of the toads in the marshes sometimes conveys 
a mournful impression, but in Argentina there is a 
merry tone and a note of gayety about their concerts 
quite consonant with the Latin surroundings. To the 
sound of these tinkling castanets, which were ceaselessly 
being played on the margin of the quiet river, I at last 
fell into a dreamless sleep. 

When I awoke the light of the dawn was already 
shining through the port-holes. I heard the tramp of 
feet upon the deck and realized that my companions 
were already astir. Quickly dressing, I joined them. 
The morning was warm and as still as the night had 
been. Little wreaths of vapor were curling up here and 
there from the smooth surface of the water. The sun 
came up into a cloudless sky. Breakfast was soon 
served, and, while we were eating it, the screw again 
began to turn and we went on as we had gone the day 
before. We were now near the great main arm of the 
Parana where it is joined by the mighty stream of 
the Uruguay coming out of the tropical woodlands of the 
north. Dr. Roth pointed across the wide river to the 
far-off shore and told me that I was looking upon 
the borders of the Republica Oriental, as Uruguay is 
called. On the horizon was the smoke of an ocean-liner 
steaming away into the pale haze of the morning. 

At last we reached our destination, the home of an 

The Delta of the Parana 177 

Italian, who had purchased a place for himself in the 
lowlands, which he had improved by building a house 
and outbuildings, and where he had sunk an artesian 
well to get a supply of good drinking-water. To his 
amazement when the well began to flow it yielded water 
full of gas. We went to the well, which was discharging 
a constant stream of clear water through a bent iron 
pipe. The water was running through a number of tin 
gutters into the river. Dr. Roth struck a match and 
held it above the water. Flames instantly arose and 
for twenty feet the stream was covered with coruscating, 
lambent tongues of fire. To one familiar with the great 
gas-wells of western Pennsylvania it appeared a very 
tame little affair, but it was interesting to see how steady 
was the flow of the gas. It undoubtedly was marsh-gas, 
which had accumulated in the ground. The soil of 
these alluvial islands is rich in decomposing vegetable 
matter, and in places is almost as black as peat. The 
formation of marsh-gas in great volume is what might 
be anticipated from existing conditions. Dr. Bade 
collected a number of samples of the gas for analysis. 
Samples of the water were also taken. While the chem- 
ist and the geologist were attending to these matters, 
the botanist and the entomologist started out for a tour 
of exploration through the clearing, which showed the 
marks of having quite recently been overflowed. Deep 
drainage ditches had been run in different directions. 
Between them on the land which had thus been partially 
dried young orange and lemon trees had been planted, 
and an extensive vegetable garden had been laid out. 
The small son of the owner accompanied us. Butter- 
flies were not numerous, though the sun was warm 
enough to entice them from their hiding-places. We 
caught some specimens of Eresia anieta and Eresia 


1/8 To the River PUlc and Kuk 

(Frontispiece, Figs. i i and 12) ; we obtained a few 
moths and dragonflies. Then at the suggestion of the 
boy we got into a boat and crossed over to the low shore 
on the opposite side of a creek which runs through the 
land. Here we saw in the water a number of large 
fishes known by the natives as the Dorado, golden in 
color, swimming about in circles just under the surface, 
and evidently in distress. Dead fishes of this and other 
species were everywhere visible. The strange disease 
of which I have already spoken in a previous chapter 
was doing its deadly work among the finny denizens 
of these streams. Just as we landed a flock of birds 
came circling through the air and alighted upon a tall 
dead tree not far off. My companion at once called 
my attention to them and told me that they were 
green parrakeets (Bolborhynchus monachus). The cor- 
rectness of the determination was quickly confirmed 
by my opera-glasses. It was interesting to watch them 
as they climbed about among the branches using their 
bills as well as their feet. They were noisy and quick 
and restless in their movements. These birds once 
were very numerous in Argentina, but have been very 
cruelly persecuted in recent years, so that their numbers 
have greatly diminished. The squabs when about 
ready to fly are esteemed a delicacy, and, as the birds 
nest in colonies, they are meeting the same fate which 
has already befallen the beautiful Carolina parrakeet, 
which once was common in the valley of the Ohio and 
southward, but which is now extinct. Hudson in de- 
scribing the nesting-habits of these birds says : 

The nests are suspended from the extremities of the 
branches, to which they are firmly woven. New nests con- 
sist of only two chambers, the porch and the nest proper, 

The Delta of the Parana 179 

and are inhabited by a single pair of birds. Successive nests 
are added, until some of them come to weigh a quarter of a 
ton, and contain enough material to fill a large cart. Thorny 
twigs, firmly interwoven, form the only material, and there 
is no lining in the breeding-chambers, even in the breeding 
season. Some old forest-trees have seven or eight of these 
huge structures suspended from the branches, while the 
ground underneath is covered with twigs and remains of 
fallen nests. The entrance to the chamber is generally 
underneath, or, if at the side, is protected by an overhanging 
eave to prevent the intrusion of opossums. . . . Repairs 
are carried on all the year round, but new nests are only 
added at the approach of spring. Opossums are frequently 
found in one of the higher chambers when the entrance has 
been made too high, but, though they take up their abode 
there, they cannot reach the other chambers, and the 
parrakeets refuse to go away. 

I attempted to get nearer to the flock and cautiously 
made my way toward the tree upon which they were 
climbing about, but they did not fancy my approach, 
though I had no evil purpose in wishing to get nearer 
to them. No doubt taught by sad experience that men 
are to be feared, they suddenly with loud cries rose into 
the air and wheeling in their flight betook themselves to 
another dead tree, which stood far off in the clearing and 
to which it would have been vain for me to attempt to 
follow them across muddy ditches and through thorny 
tangles. While I was engaged in stalking the parra- 
keets and chasing insects, the botanist was happy to 
discover upon the mossy trunks of some half-dead 
trees colonies of curious epiphytes. He found several 
orchids, of which he possessed himself, removing them 
together with the damp bark to which they were 
adherent. I hope that they lived, and have since then 


To the River Plate and Back 

The evening before Dr. Roth had entertained us with 
an account of the habits of the carpincho (Ilydrochoerus 
capybara) , the huge rodent of these regions, which is still 
not uncommon in the delta. It is as large as a pig, the 
biggest rodent now known to exist, though once there 
were animals (Diprotodon) belonging to the Roden- 
tia as large as oxen. The carpincho is nocturnal in 

aaew-'-RMtiKV' i'-jtmt,. w ',. -v, 'JJt . 

Fig. 13 Carpinchos (Hydrochasrus capybara). ^ nat. size. 

its habits. The good Doctor told us that when engaged 
in surveying the country he had at one time in his 
employment a man whose highest delight was to hunt 
carpinchos at night. He was " carpincho-crazy, ' and 
after having worked hard all day, would hurriedly eat 
his supper, and then sneak off in a rowboat and spend 
the whole night waiting in the darkness at some likely 
spot to get a shot at the animals. The flesh is said not 
to be very palatable, and the hides have comparatively 
small value, being chiefly used in making the under sides 
of the native saddles, or straps in harness. 'Keep 
your eyes open for carpinchos," said the Doctor, "you 
may catch sight of the animals hereabouts. ' As luck 
would have it we did not see any of the beasts, but 
within a hundred yards of the farmhouse we came 

The Delta of the Parana 181 

upon the tracks and the ordure of a herd, which had 
evidently been at work in the vegetable patch of our 
Italian acquaintance during the night. 

But the whistle of the steam-yacht blew, a signal 
that the time for leaving had come. We returned to 
the landing, and in exchange for the red roses which the 
pretty black-eyed children of our Italian friend brought 
us, gave them a box of bon-bons, at sight of which 
their eyes fairly sparkled. With many an "Adios" we 
parted company, and the swift little craft swung out 
into the stream and turning began to head back again 
through the channels toward Buenos Aires. 

The day was still young when we got under way and 
we were informed that we would have a chance to loiter 
on our return and that we would make several stops. 
Our first place of call was a landing where the captain 
had an acquaintance with whom he wished to speak. 
His friend was evidently possessed of floricultural 
tastes. The house stood on piles only about ten feet 
from the edge of the stream. Back of the house there 
appeared to be an almost impenetrable growth of jungle, 
and in the narrow open strip between the water and the 
house was a curiously commingled growth of all sorts 
of flowering plants and shrubs. Pansies and migno- 
nette, verbenas and calla-lillies, roses and heliotropes, 
geraniums, fuchsias, and almond bushes were all 
blossoming together. On the stumps of two or three 
half-decayed trees orchids had been fastened and seemed 
to be thriving. Petunias and sweet alyssum were 
growing in boxes. The little garden, raised by only a 
foot or two above the river, the slime of which must 
often invade the spot, looked bright against the back- 
ground of the dreary uncultivated waste in which the 
building is located. The owner was a store-keeper like 

1 82 To the River Plate and Back 

the one at whose landing we had tied up during the 
previous night, and the same array of merchandise 
which had graced the one place graced the other. 
Boxes containing Huntley and Palmer's Biscuits, Epps' 
Cocoa, Lipton's Teas, and Heinz's Tomato Catsup 
grinned at us like old familiar friends encountered in 
a strange place. There were cans of petroleum bearing 
the familiar marks of the Standard Oil Company. 
Cones of sugar wrapped in blue paper were hanging 
from the roof over the counter. Bolts of muslin and 
calico, nails and hatchets, corrugated sheet-iron and 
ditching-shovels, candy in jars, cigarettes, shoes and 
sewing- thread, cheap jewelry and stationery, tinware 
and pottery all things under the sun were jumbled 
together under the shingled roof. It reminded me of 
similar places which I have found in our own Western 
country. It was a typical "country-store.' Men are 
the same everywhere, and their wants are the same the 
world over. Humanity in the swamps of the Parana is 
not essentially different from humanity on the banks 
of the Green River in Utah, or on the banks of the 
Thames and the Hudson. 

Our next stop was made at one of the plantations 
belonging to Senor Gnecco, a friend of Dr. Roth, who 
had told him not to fail to call as he passed by and get 
a basket of oranges. The house is built upon a slight 
elevation or hummock, sufficiently elevated to insure 
against its being flooded, except when the waters attain 
an unusual height. The orange-trees were loaded with 
golden fruit, quinces, pear-trees, and apple-trees were 
white with bloom, the orchards resounded with the 
hum of bees, and butterflies were fluttering here and 
there among the flowers. While the Doctor, assisted 
by the attendants of the place, who welcomed him with 

The Delta of the Parana 


cordiality, was getting his oranges, I wandered away 

among the trees. I was delighted while doing so to 

come upon a domesticated pair of the Crested Screamer 

(Chaunia chavaria), known by the natives under the 

vernacular name of chaja. This great bird, as large as 

a swan, is remarkable because of the fact that the wings 

are each armed with two large spurs, and it is therefore 

sometimes called the " Spur- 

winged Goose.' It used to 

be until quite recently very 

common on the pampas south 

of Buenos Aires, and, though 

the flesh is excellent, it was 

rarely killed by the people 

of Spanish descent, who, unlike 

their cousins, the Italians, are 

not given to the wholesale de- 

struction of birds. The rapid 

increase of Italian immigra- 

tion into Argentina bodes ill 

for the preservationof its splen- Fig I4 ._ 

did avifauna, and the Crested (Chaunia chavaria). 

Screamer is doomed to exter- siz e- 
mination unless it is speedily 

domesticated, which can easily be done. It lends 
itself to domestication more readily than most water- 
fowls, and it ought to be preserved in this way. The 
bird is one of the most remarkable of the anserine 
group on account of its singular habits. These have 
been described by Hudson, and I cannot forbear giving 
a brief extract from his interesting account. He says: 


& nat. 

The screamer is a very heavy bird, and rises from the ground 
laboriously, the wings, as in the case of the swan, making a 

184 To the River Plate and Back 

loud noise. Nevertheless it loves soaring, and will rise in 
an immense spiral until it wholly disappears from sight in 
the zenith, even in the brightest weather; and considering 
its great bulk and dark color, the height it ultimately attains 
must be very great. On sunny windless days, especially in 
winter and spring, they often spend hours at a time in these 
sublime aerial exercises, slowly floating around and around 
in vast circles and singing at intervals. How so heavy and 
comparatively short-winged a bird can sustain itself for 
such long periods in the thin upper air to which it rises has 
not yet been explained. 

The voice is very powerful. When disturbed, or when 
the nest is approached, both birds utter at intervals a loud 
alarm-cry, resembling in sound the anger-cry of the peacock 
but twice as loud. At other times its voice is exercised in a 
kind of singing performance, in which male and female join 
and which produces the effect of harmony. The male 
begins, the female takes up her part, and then with mar- 
velous strength and spirit they pour forth a torrent of 
strangely-contrasted sounds some bassoon-like in their 
depth and volume, some like drumbeats, and others long, 
clear, and ringing. It is the loudest animal sound of the 
pampas, and its jubilant martial character strongly affects 
the mind in that silent melancholy wilderness. 

The Screamers, like good Christians, mate for life, 
and though they at times congregate in great numbers, 
it has been observed that these flocks are always 
methodically arranged in pairs. Although the spurs 
on their wings are formidable weapons, they are peace- 
fully disposed, and it is only the naughty gauchos who 
now and then teach them degenerate ways and pit 
them against each other in the ring. 

Leaving the orange-groves behind us, we proceeded to 
a spot where the botanist of the party insisted that he 
must go ashore to investigate the flora of a bit of primi- 

The Delta of the Parana 185 

tive woodland. A boat was lowered and we were rowed 
to the bank. It was no easy task to fight our way 
through the thorny growths of Eryngium and rough 
thickets which edged the stream. Getting through 
these, the ground became more open, and it was possible 
to find our way among the trees and bushes without 
much exertion. A few moths, a butterfly or two, and 
a small snake of a harmless species were the only 
trophies which fell to the writer during the half-hour 
on shore. The snake was put into a bag improvised 
out of a handkerchief, and thus safely brought alive in 
his pocket to La Plata, where it was put into a jar of 
alcohol to be sent home to the Carnegie Museum. 
That was the only snake I saw in Argentina. It was 
a real snake. 

A little farther on we went ashore at another planta- 
tion, also belonging to Senor Gnecco. Here the ground 
in proximity to the landing was in a highly cultivated 
condition. There were many flowering shrubs and 
trees and much grass. Butterflies and insects appeared 
to be common, and I succeeded with the help of Dr. 
Roth, who also was provided with a net, in making a 
large catch of diptera, hymenoptera, and small cole- 
optera, principally obtained by " sweeping' 1 with the 
nets among the low-growing herbage. By the time 
we had thoroughly gone over the ground, the sun 
admonished us that it was time to be again moving. 
We got under way; at last reached the landing, where 
our armed escort left us with a polite salute; then we 
crossed the wide river, pushed on through the canals, 
and finally arrived at El Tigre in the dusk. We took 
a train which brought us to the Capital in time for a late 
dinner. By ten o'clock we were safely back again in 
La Plata. 

i86 To the River Plate and Back 

The delta of the Parana represents pampas in the 
process of formation. The wide level plains of Argen- 
tina were no doubt originally laid down by the streams, 
just as the islands at the head of the estuary are being 
formed to-day. The evolution of the western cor- 
dilleras in recent geologic time has been accompanied 
by a lifting up of the whole continental mass, more 
particularly in the west, but there seems no reason to 
question that the vast pampean region stretching from 
Paraguay to Patagonia represents the deposition of 
eroded soil derived from the mountain masses to the 
east and the west and to some extent to the south of 
the prairie-lands of the northern and central provinces 
of Argentina. The winds, it is true, have also played 
their part, but the chief constructive agency w r as water. 

Here and there in the delta a beginning has already 
been made in a small way to protect certain of the lesser 
islands from inundation by throwing up dikes around 
them. While it would be a very expensive undertaking 
to construct dikes or levees about all of them, and to 
install, as has been done in Holland, windmills to pump 
the water from the land, I have no doubt that in the 
lapse of years, with the enhancement of land values 
and the increase of population, this will ultimately be 
done, and the entire expanse of wonderfully fertile 
soil will be made to blossom and bear fruit like a veri- 
table Eden. The time for this, however, has not yet 

The Beach at Mar del Plata. 

Lodging House of the Hotel Bristol, Mar del Plata. 



"The great gray waves with an angry- moan, 

Rush in on the patient sand. 
The spray from their crests is backward blown 
By the strong wind from the land. 

As curls are blown from a maiden's face 

And flutter behind her free, 
The spindrift blows from the waves which race 

From the stress of the outer sea." Laurence Hope. 

I DO not wish you to leave Argentina without having 
had an opportunity to see the Pampean beds at 
some point where you can form a good idea of their 
structure, " said Dr. Roth. ' I have therefore arranged 
that we shall go together to Mar del Plata, where you 
will see the barrancas and have a chance with your 
own hands to collect some of the characteristic pam- 
pean fossils. ' 

Accordingly we went to Buenos Aires and took our 
places on the night-express, which makes the run of 
two hundred and fifty miles to Mar del Plata in twelve 
hours. After placing our luggage in charge of the 
porter on the sleeping-car, or dormitorio, we went 
forward to the dining-car, or comedor. Here a num- 
ber of the higher officials of the Government of the 
Province were already seated at table. They were 

going on a tour of inspection to examine some work be- 


1 88 To the River Plate and Back 

ing done for the state. Introductions took place. I 
found myself in very pleasant and intelligent company 
for the rest of the evening. Let me in passing observe 
that I think that those in charge of the service on the 
dining-cars in the United States might with advantage 
to themselves and to the traveling public take a few 
lessons from the officials of the Argentine railways, or 
from those who control this branch of the service on 
the "trains de luxe' : in Europe, whose methods are 
strictly imitated in Argentina. Our dining-cars are 
more commodious than those in Europe, the linen and 
tableware are generally somewhat better, but the 
viands are not as well prepared and served. In con- 
trast with the existing crudities in the service of our 
most famous trains are the delightful and appetizing 
little luncheons and dinners which are served on the 
Cote d'Or and Orient expresses in Europe and on 
the fast trains in Argentina. The dinner served on 
the evening express between Buenos Aires and Mar del 
Plata was at all events excellent in fact surprisingly 

And now that allusion has been made to the table, 
its pleasures and its pains, let it be understood that 
the rank and file of the people in Argentina do not sub- 
sist upon such fare as is supplied to first-class passengers 
on the express trains to Mar del Plata, or the Tucuman 
Limited. The herdsmen or gauchos on the cattle- 
ranges, the peons on the great estancias, do not possess 
the means to have, nor do they require, the services of 
French chefs, any more than do the rank and file of the 
citizens of the United States. In the shacks and 
shanties of the cattle-herders and the plowmen the 
cuisine is not always such as would call forth the 
approval of a connoisseur. There is, however, plenty 

A Trip to Mar del Plata 189 

in the land. The Argentines are meat-eaters, like 
the Britons and like the people of the United States. 
Meat is abundant and cheap. According to recent 
statistics there are in the country for every man, woman, 
and child four beeves, eleven sheep, and one pig, not 
to speak of poultry. The crops of grain are heavy. 
In 1878 only enough wheat and corn was produced to 
supply domestic necessities. To-day Buenos Aires is 
one of the greatest wheat-markets in the world. Fruits 
and vegetables can be grown in perfection, but market- 
gardening, except in the immediate vicinity of the 
larger municipalities, has not been hitherto pursued 
so extensively as will no doubt be the case in the future. 
A great deal of the fruit on sale in the fruit-shops in 
Buenos Aires at the time I was there had been imported 
from Italy, Portugal, and Spain. There is no good 
reason for this. The fare of the laboring classes in the 
country is simply prepared, and there is more boiling 
than baking. One of the favorite dishes common in 
all Spanish-speaking lands is the pucker o, consisting 
of boiled meat and vegetables, corresponding to what 
in New England I have heard called a "boiled dinner.' 
It is not half-bad even from the standpoint of a culinary 
critic. Beans, frijoles, as in Central America, play an 
important role in Argentina, as they do also in Boston. 
Bread is baked as in southern Europe, and there is 
always more crust in proportion to the sponge in the loaf 
than is the case in England or the United States. This 
is healthy, as it ought to be. Boiled Indian meal, 
good old-fashioned 'mush,' or 'hasty pudding,' is 
a standard dish. In the matter of drinks the inhabitants 
of the states of Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina are 
singular in their addiction to the yerba mate or Para- 
guay-tea. The plant is the Ilex paraguayensis, a low 


To tlir Ki\ er Plate .m<l B.ii k 

growth indigenous to the tropical forests of the southern 
half of the continent. The young leaves and terminal 
buds are collected, and when dried and packed in bales 
are extensively exported from the regions where the 
plant is common to the southern parts of the country, 

where it does not occur. The 
principal supply is derived from 
Paraguay, northern Uruguay, 
and southern Brazil. The primi- 
tive method of preparing the 
infusion is to put a few of the 
leaves in the bottom of a small 
gourd, in which the bombilla is 
then placed. In its crudest form 
the bombilla is a reed or thin 
joint of bamboo, over the lower 
end of which a few horsehairs 
have been woven, or a small bit 
of loose cloth has been tied. In 
its more advanced and mechani- 
cally perfect form it is a tube 
closed at the lower end except 
for a number of small perfora- 
tions. Its latest development, 
represented in the accompanying 
cut (Fig. 15), is the product of 
the art of the silversmith, and 

Fig. 15. Silver-mounted . , t_- i. t. 

and carved ,*.*-goiird and COI1S1StS f a tube > whlch haS at 

bombilla. nat. size. the bottom a spoon-like expan- 

sion, covered with a little lid, 

which is perforated by numerous small openings. The 
bombilla corresponds in its use to the straws which are 
employed in the act of imbibing mint-juleps and 
similar drinks. After the bombilla has been placed 

A Trip to Mar ild Plata 191 

in the gourd, a few more leaves of the herb are added 
with a little sugar, and then water which has been 
heated almost to the boiling-point is poured into the 
gourd, and after a few seconds the drink is ready to be 
drawn up into the mouth through the tube. From time 
to time as the tea is exhausted more hot water may be 
supplied, and the process of imbibition goes on. In 
the rural districts the drinking of mate is universal 
among the Creoles. The gourd is passed from hand to 
hand, and each one who receives it takes a draught from 
the bombilla, which must not be unduly disturbed, as 
it is thought that the stirring of the mixture impairs 
its quality. The fear of the deadly microbe has only 
recently been implanted in the minds of men, and has 
not as yet thoroughly invaded the remoter districts 
of South America. To those who possess this whole- 
some horror the custom of passing the bombilla from 
mouth to mouth does not commend itself. In recent 
years the preparation of Paraguay-tea for the table to 
be used in the same way as oriental tea has been under- 
taken. I purchased a box of the preparation, which is 
branded as ' ' Mateina, ' ' and is put up in an enameled 
caddy, which has upon its lid a rather gorgeously 
executed picture of several gentlemen in evening-dress 
and a number of ladies in decollete attire seated under 
the glow of the lamplight about a table holding or- 
dinary teacups in their hands or to their lips. This 
preparation, which is extensively sold by all grocers in 
the larger cities, is, according to the information sup- 
plied upon the caddy, warranted to be Hygienico, 
agradable, y confortante. The drinking of mate does not 
obtrude itself upon the eye in Buenos Aires and other 
large cities, where the population is largely of foreign 
origin, but among the inhabitants of smaller towns 

192 To the River Plate and Back 

and villages, where the foreign influence is not strong, 
it is almost universal, and a great deal of time is reported 
to be wasted in mate-drinking, which goes on at all 
hours. My friend J. B. Hatcher, who spent a number 
of years in the geological exploration of Patagonia, was 
accustomed to speak in terms of reprobation of the 
habit of drinking mate, as he had observed it in the 
course of his travels in the remoter districts. I have 
tried the drink only on one or two occasions, but did 
not find it seductive. The infusion is said to be rich 
in theine, in fact much stronger than the tea of China 
and Japan. It certainly tastes as if this were the case. 
I enjoyed a good rest after having retired to my com- 
partment, but awoke very early, and after dressing 
went forward to the dining-car, where I obtained my 
breakfast, and was soon joined by Dr. Roth. The 
morning was beautifully clear. The train was passing 
over the pampas. In many places there appeared small 
ponds and lakelets. About these there were a great 
many wild ducks of several species. Here and there 
I caught sight of storks standing in the meadows. The 
great maguari stork (Euxenura maguari) of South 
America passes the winters in the tropics of Brazil 
and then migrates southward into Argentina, just as 
the stork of Europe spends its winters in the tropics 
of Africa, and migrates northward across the Mediter- 
ranean in the spring of the year. The South American 
stork has not acquired the habit of building its nests 
upon the roofs of houses, as has its cousin of the Old 
World. It is a very stately bird, snow-white in color, 
except for the wings and upper tail-coverts, which are 
black, and the lores, the legs, and feet, which are red. 
Their principal food is mice, toads, and snakes. Most 
of those which I saw did not appear to pay any attention 

A Trip to Mar del Plata 193 

to the passing train, but two, which were quite near the 
track, just as we came alongside gave a couple of quick 
jumps, flapped their wings, and then rose and majesti- 
cally soared away. I was much interested to see at one 
place a company of a dozen or more white-faced ibises 
(Plegadis guarauna) wading about among the aquatic 
grasses at the edge of a lagoon. This bird is said to be 
quite abundant upon the pampas. Those I saw seemed 
to be intent upon feeding, and were stalking about, their 
heads down, probing with their long beaks in the mud. 
Hudson says of them: 

Their flight is singularly graceful ; and during migration the 
flocks are seen to follow each other in rapid succession, 
each flock being usually composed of from fifty to a hundred 
individuals, sometimes of a much larger number. It is 
most interesting to watch them at such times, now soaring 
high in the air, displaying the deep chestnut hue of their 
breasts, then descending with a graceful curve toward the 
earth as if to exhibit the dark metallic green and purple 
reflexions of their upper plumage. The flock is meanwhile 
continually changing its form or disposition, as if at the 
signal of a leader. One moment it spreads out in a long 
straight line; suddenly the birds scatter in disorder, or 
throw themselves together like a cloud of starlings; as 
ruddenly they again reform to continue their journey in the 
figure of a phalanx, half- moon, or triangle. The fanciful 
notion can scarcely fail to suggest itself to the spectator 
that these birds go through these unnecessary evolutions 
intelligently in order to gain a greater proficiency in them 
by practice, or, perhaps, merely to make a display of their 
aerial accomplishments. The glossy ibis has another 
remarkable habit when on the wing. At times the flock 
appears as if suddenly seized with frenzy of panic, every 
bird rushing wildly away from its fellows, and descending 

with a violent zigzag flight; in a few moments the mad fit 

194 To the River Plate and Back 

leaves them, they rise again, reassemble in the air, and 
resume their journey. 

Everywhere the Teru-Teru' or spur- winged lap- 
wing (Belenopterus cayennensis) was to be seen. This 
is one of the characteristic birds of the flatlands. It 
is somewhat larger than the European lapwing, the 
'Kibitz' of Germany (Vanellus cristatus), with which 
all who have traveled in the low-countries are familiar, 
and the eggs of which, marketed in London as "plovers' 
eggs, " are esteemed a great delicacy. In its appearance 
and carriage it closely resembles the European lap- 
wing, but the presence on the shoulder of a spur at once 
marks it as being a bird, which, like the screamer, has 
preserved in this organ a trace of relationship to the 
birds of a former age. The name ' Teru-Teru," like the 
German "Kibitz," is a name bestowed by the natives in 
imitation of the call. Hudson says: 'In size, beauty, 
and spirit it is a king among the plovers. ' It is said 
to be exceedingly tenacious of the spot upon which 
it has made its breeding-place and range. It there 
defends itself as well as it can against intrusion and 
attack, and even when the land is plowed up by the 
farmer refuses to forsake it. There is a great deal of 
interesting information about this bird embodied in 
literature, and many curious tales are told about it by 
the people of the country who are familiar with its ways. 
A little while before reaching our destination I was 
pleased to observe a number of rheas with rapid strides 
making away over the prairie. 

Of mammalian life little was to be seen. A few 
vizcachas (Lagostomus trichodactylus) scuttled away 
from the side of the track, their brown backs just visible 
for a moment and the line of their further flight marked 

A Trip to Mar del Plata 195 

by the waving of the grasses among which they swiftly 

made off. The vizcacha in its habits is not unlike our 

woodchuck, or the prairie-dog (Arctomys) of our Western 

plains. It is, however, a much larger animal, approxi- 

mating a large hare in size. The eyes are lustrous 

and relatively very large. It has, like our prairie-dogs, 

the habit of living in colonies, and digs deep burrows in 

the ground. These 

burrows when disused 

are sometimes tenanted 

by the burrowing-owl 

(Speotyto cunicularia) ; 

and I saw a couple of Fig l6 ._ vizcacha . 

these birds alighting on 

the prairies as we went along. 

We reached Mar del Plata early in the morning. 
Scores of cabmen and long lines of omnibuses were 
ranged about the entrance to the railway-station. 
Dr. Roth selected a Jehu, who drove us to the hotel 
of his choice, the oldest establishment of its kind in 
the place, covering a whole block. It is only one 
story in height. There are a great many inner courts 
in the middle of which are planted palms and 
flowers. Surrounding the courts are tiled pavements, 
from which entrance is given to the rooms, which 
have tall ceilings and latticed windows. The dining- 
room is very large, airy, and rather imposingly 
decorated. There are many other hotels in the 
place, some of which have been built quite recently, 
and all have an air of luxury and magnificence 
which is consonant with the traditions of the lo- 
cality. Mar del Plata is in fact the Newport of 
Argentina. A number of years ago a few of the 
older and wealthier families of Buenos Aires selected 

196 To the River Plate and Back 

the spot as a pleasant place in which to spend the hot 
summer months within reach of the sea-breezes. There 
is a superb beach, though the undertow is said at times 
to be a little dangerous. The cliffs, or barrancas, rise 
back of the beach to the height of about sixty or seventy 
feet, and afford pleasant views over the ocean. Here the 
first families who resorted to the spot built comfortable 
homes for themselves. It was not long, however, before 
their example became contagious, and all the world came 
to regard it as 'the correct thing' to possess a villa 
at Mar del Plata. The front of the cliffs is protected 
by a low stone wall, back of which is a wide pavement 
for pedestrians, and alongside of it a broad driveway, 
which is well-paved and wilich is at the present time 
being greatly extended toward the north. This is 
known as the 'Rambla, ' and it was to inspect the 
manner in which its construction was being carried out 
by the contractors that my friends, the Minister of 
Public Works and the Treasurer of the Province, had 
come down upon the train. 

Having settled in our room at the hotel, Dr. Roth 
disappeared and presently returned with a stout boy 
bearing a big basket. The boy had been hired to act 
as our porter, and the basket was to be used as a 
receptacle for the fossils we might collect. Armed 
with our picks and attended by the lad we left the 
hotel and went to the beach. Our walk led us past 
the bathing-houses, of which there are many just 
at the foot of the cliffs, raised on high piles above 
the level of the flood-tide. It was the time of ebb, and 
the beach was exposed for miles to the north. There 
was a fine sw r ell on the sea, and the rollers were coming 
in grandly and breaking upon the sand, their foaming 
crests being cut off by the stiff breeze which was blow- 

A Trip to Mar del Plata 197 

ing from off shore. We walked a short distance beyond 
the bath-houses, and then began a minute and careful 
examination of the surface of the barrancas, which gave 
evidence of having been deeply worn and cut by the 
waves during the past winter. The exposures of the 
strata at this point represent the Upper and Middle 
Pampean beds, as they have been called by Roth. The 
Upper beds are light in color, having a yellowish 
gray tint of varying shades of intensity; the Middle 
beds are dark chocolate-brown. The Lower Pampean 
beds, which are said to be red, are not exposed to view 
at Mar del Plata, and Dr. Roth told me that to see them 
it would be necessary to take a journey some twenty- 
five miles to the south, for which unfortunately we did 
not have the time. The material of which the Pampean 
beds are composed is known by geologists as loess. 
Loess is fine alluvium, which gives little evidence of 
horizontal stratification, and which is therefore re- 
garded by most authorities as having been to a very 
considerable extent deposited by aerial agencies. The 
fine dust originally brought down by the streams was 
distributed by the winds, and the plants growing over 
the region held the mass in place, and as the deposit 
grew thicker, continued to hold it. Loess is everywhere 
characterized by the presence of perforations more or 
less perpendicular, these holes marking the place of 
grass-roots and the stems of plants which long ago died 
and vanished, leaving their molds in the fine material. 
Into the openings thus left after a while limy and 
silicious deposits were often carried by the water as the 
rains percolated through the soil. At Mar del Plata 
the loess is everywhere full of limy concretions, to 
which the people of Argentina have given the name of 
tosca. When these concretions occur in the soil of 

198 To the River Plate and Back 

the pampas the estancieros are in the habit of saying 
that the land is not good, and it is said in praise of a 
tract offered for sale that it is sin to sea, free from con- 
cretionary beds. To some extent this lime is no doubt 
due in its origin to the solution and redeposition of 
particles of the fine alluvium derived from the erosion 
of limestone rocks; to some extent it is also no doubt 
due to the gradual solution and redeposition of the lime 
from shells, bones, and other organic remains, which 
were left upon the surface as generation after generation 
of living things laid down and died. In Switzerland 
the small concretions in the loess are known by the 
peasants as ' Loess-kindl ' -loess-babies because of 
their curious forms, sometimes suggesting those of 
human beings. In the Mississippi Valley in places 
there are considerable deposits of loess, and the concre- 
tions found in them are often spoken of as ;< fossil 
potatoes' because of their resemblance to the tubers. 
The pampas are overlaid by loess, and, except along 
some of the great rivers of China, there is no such 
extensive deposit of loess anywhere else in the world. 
The thickness of the loess in Argentina is very remark- 
able. It varies of course, but Dr. Roth tells me borings 
show that in some places it is many hundreds of feet in 
depth. The time necessary for the slow deposition of 
such beds by eolian agencies must have been very 
great. Dr. Roth is of the opinion that all periods of the 
Tertiary may be represented in these beds from the 
Eocene up to the latest Pleistocene, and in fact that 
they have been in process of formation in South America 
from the dawn of mammalian life to the present time. 
I am not prepared to either affirm or deny this view. 
The observations made in a day or two do not suffice 
to enable anv man to reach conclusions upon such a 

A Trip to Mar del Plata 199 

subject. There was nothing, however, in the Upper 
and Middle Pampean as displayed in cross-sections at 
Mar del Plata which would lead me to think of the 
deposits as possessing the relatively great antiquity 
which would be implied in the reference of these beds 
to the Eocene, or even to the Miocene. I saw nothing 
which would incline me to believe these beds to be of 
earlier age than the Pleistocene, or possibly the late 

After having taken a look at the formation, as -it 
first presented itself to view, we set about searching for 
fossils. The Doctor presently called to me, and pointed 
out one of the scutes, or thick bony plates, which had 
once been a part of the armor of a Glyptodon, which was 
embedded in the matrix. It only took a minute to 
secure the specimen. Presently we found a place where 
some ribs of a Megatherium were protruding from the 
surface of the cliff. We dug these out. Then we found 
some fragmentary remains of a Mylodon. The lower 
jaw of a small rodent, beautifully preserved, was the 
next discovery. A little farther on I found a well-pre- 
served shoulder-blade of Paleolama, an animal which 
was related to the guanaco. While I was finishing the 
task of cutting this bone out of the matrix, my com- 
panion called to me excitedly and beckoned me to come 
to him. When I arrived at the spot he pointed to a 
piece of what evidently was a potsherd projecting 
from the dark chocolate-colored mass of the matrix 
in which it was imbedded. This is worth all the cost 
of this excursion!' he said. 'I have not touched the 
thing. Look at it attentively. Tell me, has that thing 
become recently imbedded where it is, or is it where it 
has been for ages, until the waves ate their way into its 
resting-place?' I knelt down and critically examined 


To the River Plate and Back 

the object. 'I am able unqualifiedly to affirm that 
this piece of pottery, for such it appears to me to be, 
is imbedded in the matrix, and has not been disturbed 
by the hands of man . ' " Good ! ' ' replied my companion , 
' I am glad to have had you with me, and to have had 

Fig. 17 Mylodon robustus Owen. , nat. size. (After Owen.) 

you see the thing in situ. Years ago I was digging up 
the bones of a Scelidotherium, and, as I was doing so, I 
came upon a flint arrowhead buried in the soil along- 
side of the bones. I took the flint with the bones to 
Burmeister, who was then the Director of the Museum 
at Buenos Aires, and under whom I was working. I 

A Trip to Mar del Plata 201 

explained to him how and where I had found the things. 
He was quite incredulous, and maintained that in some 
way or other I had fallen into error. What became of 
the flint I do not know. It has disappeared, and al- 
though I have had a careful search made in the Museum 
and have endeavored in every way to trace it, it can- 
not now be found. Several times before, in this very 
neighborhood, I have found bits of pottery imbedded 
in the Middle Pampean beds. People are incredulous. 
They do not absolutely contradict, but they shake their 
heads. Now you are with me, a witness to the fact 
that this bit of a human artefact is a part of the soil 
from which we have been digging up to-day the remains 
of these extinct old animals. Take it up carefully. 
Take it to the Carnegie Museum. Preserve it, as a 
proof that at the time when the strange Pampean 
fauna existed in this land, man also existed here.' 
I took my pick and beginning far back I endeavored 
to cut out a block of the loess with the potsherd still 
embedded in it, as we had found it. I had cut away 
on the four sides until it seemed to me that I might now 
venture to under-cut and bring the block away, but 
just as I was at the end of my task, the friable material 
yielded, and broke, and unfortunately the potsherd fell 
out of its place, the main crack having run through the 
spot where it was lodged. I saved the pieces and the 
sherd, anathematizing my misfortune in not having 
had with me a solution of shellac with which to have 
first soaked the mass, so that it would not have fallen 
apart. But the fact is incontestable that the piece of 
baked clay, evidently a bit of a broken earthen vessel, 
was found undisturbed in the lower part of the Middle 
Pampean, only a short distance from places where we 
had found the remains of Mylodon and Megatherium. 

202 To the River Plate and Back 

The reader may wonder why I go thus minutely into 
these details. But if he will reflect for a moment he 
will realize what great interest attaches to such a dis- 
covery. The presence of this bit of pottery in this 
deposit can lead to only one or the other of two con- 
clusions, either that these beds are comparatively 
modern from the standpoint of the geologist, or that 
man must have existed at a very remote period in 
South America. If the beds are modern then the great 
ground-sloths, and their huge armadillo-like contempo- 
raries, have only recently become extinct, and must 
have been coeval with man as was the mammoth in 
Europe. If the beds are not modern, but ancient, then 
the antiquity of the human race is carried far back into 
the past. That bit of a broken pot found embedded 
in the loess thirty feet below the surface of the soil 
as it is to-day, has a story to tell, and awakens a whole 
world of inquiries. For my part I believe that the 
Middle Pampean is a Pleistocene formation, from a 
geological standpoint comparatively modern, possibly 
laid down not more than fifty thousand years ago, and 
that man was the contemporary of many of the strange 
animals which tenanted South America at that time. 

Until noon we wandered along the barrancas, here 
and there finding bits of bone, each having a story to 
tell of the life of the past. At last we concluded that 
the time had come for us to return to the hotel and 
get our luncheon. No matter how interesting fossil 
bones may be, there come moments in the experience 
of the most ardent paleontologist when he feels that he 
would prefer bones with a little muscular tissue and 
fat still adherent to them. After luncheon my com- 
panion, according to the custom of the country, indulged 
in a siesta. Not being accustomed to taking a nap after 

A Trip to Mar del Plata 


my midday meal, I told him that I would return to the 
beach and that he would find me there later. I amused 
myself by collecting insects, which I found abundant 
along the beach under piles of half-dried seaweed, 
among them one or two beautiful carabid beetles, over 
which since my return one of my assistants has gloated, 

Fig. 18. Dcedicurus clavicaudatus Owen. 4 - e nat. size. 

because they represent a species hitherto unknown to 
him, and said to be still very rare in collections. I 
beguiled myself with making one or two water-color 
sketches, and then, being rejoined by Dr. Roth, we 
pushed up along the cliffs to points which we had not 
examined during our rambles in the forenoon. We were 
again repaid by finding a number of fossils, among them 
part of an antler of an extinct deer, which I had a great 
deal of trouble in cutting out of the matrix, which was 
almost as hard as rock. Bits of the cuirass of Glyptodon 
and of Dcedicurus were found, together with one of the 
spike-like bony plates with which the end of the tail of 
the latter enormous animal was armed. The Dcedi- 
curus had a body as large as that of an ox. He belonged, 
like the Glyptodon, to that great group of animals, now 

204 To the River Plate and Back 

mostly extinct, which is represented in part by the 
armadillos of the present day. The great bony cara- 
paces of Glyptodon, Dcedicurus, and their allies are not 
altogether uncommon in the Pampean beds, and my 
friend Hatcher used to tell how at the house of a 
gaucho, with whom he once stayed overnight, one of 
these fossils had been utilized as a bathtub, in which 
Hatcher himself had the pleasure of " taking a swim. ' 
Talk about luxury! 

Our long walk had taken us far from Mar del Plata, 
and, as the tide had turned, and the sea was rolling in 
upon the beach, we climbed up to the top of the cliffs 
and walked home in the sunset. Below us, where a 
few hours before we had strolled along upon the sand, 
great breakers were casting up their foam along the 
foot of the cliffs, with a roar which was majestic. As 
the night was falling, we reached the hotel, very tired 
and a little footsore; and were glad to bathe and dine 
in comfort. At half -past nine we again boarded the 
train for Buenos Aires, and on the following morning 
arrived in safety at La Plata. 

My inspection of the fossil-bearing strata heightened 
the interest with which day after day I had been regard- 
ing the noble collection of extinct animals in the 
Museum. The former mammalian fauna of South 
America, especially that portion of it represented in the 
early Tertiary formations, is very remarkable, and dur- 
ing the past three quarters of a century has become 
the subject of ever deepening interest to paleontologists. 
It is so entirely unlike that which occurs in other parts 
of the world as to prove beyond doubt that it repre- 
sents an evolution which must have taken place in 
geographical isolation from all other regions, except 
possibly the ancient Antarctic continent, through which 

A Trip to Mar del Plata 205 

there may have been a connection with Australia. 
The fact that fossil marsupial animals are very numer- 
ous in these early strata, and further the fact that there 
are still comparatively numerous marsupial animals 
living in South America, supports the view that South 
America may in the distant past have been in some way 
connected with the Australian regions, which are, as 
everybody knows, the present metropolis of the mar- 
supials. There may also have been a time, when, for 
a longer or shorter period, the southern extremity of 
Africa was also linked to that old Antarctic continent. 
The fact that certain families of shells, insects, fishes, 
birds, and mammals occur in regions now separated 
from each other by wide seas, is regarded by students 
as showing the probability that these regions were once 
more closely connected with each other than they now 
are. A multitude of facts in the geographical distribu- 
tion of living things, which it would require a volume 
to recite, tends to confirm the opinion, now almost 
universally accepted by naturalists, that the land- 
masses about the South Pole once had a much greater 
northward extension than is the case to-day, and that 
Australia and the southern extremities of South Amer- 
ica and of Africa may have been connected at times with 
Antarctica, and thus with each other. At the times 
when these parts of the earth were being populated by 
living things, these regions were completely isolated 
from the lands in the northern hemisphere. The 
great land-mass forming Europe and Asia (the Eurasian 
continent) was at different times connected with North 
America. There is every reason to believe that North 
America and eastern Asia were once united with each 
other by a land-bridge, which was located in the region 
of Bering Sea, and that animals freely migrated from 

206 To the River Plate and Back 

North America into Asia and from Asia into North 
America. While this was going on the two Americas 
had no connection with each other at all. Subsequently, 
however, a connection between North and South 
America was established. This union of the two western 
continents appears to have taken place long after a 
connection between South America and the Antarctic 
continent had ceased to exist. When North and South 
America became united there took place an invasion 
of South America by animals from North America 
and a return wave of emigration from South America 
into North America swept upward. From North 
America there passed into South America the camel- 
like animals, which had come into being on the plains 
of what are now the regions of the Rocky Mountains. 
The peccaries, the deer, the cats, the tapirs, emigrated 
from North America, as did also the mastodon, the 
latter animal representing an invasion from far-away 
Asia by way of the Bering Sea land-bridge. From 
South America there traveled northward the ground- 
sloths, the opossums, the armadillos, the toxodonts, 
and other creatures which had their origin upon South 
American soil. These reciprocal movements probably 
did not take place much before the close of the Pliocene, 
and during the early Pleistocene. In caves in Pennsyl- 
vania we have quite recently found the remains of a 
number of animals, the nearest relatives of which occur 
in the Pampean beds of Argentina. 

Certain of the friends of the writer have rather strenu- 
ously advocated the view that the continent of South 
America was at one time linked to the continent of 
Africa by a land-bridge which reached across the 
Atlantic Ocean from eastern and northern Brazil to 
the nearest point of the African continent. This view 

A Trip to Mar del Plata 207 

has been controverted, and while the existence of such 
a land connection might account for certain facts in 
the distribution of animals, and more particularly of the 
fishes of the two continents, the writer is very skeptical, 
and is more inclined to believe that the occurrence of 
related genera and species in Africa and South America 
will prove ultimately to have arisen through the land 
connection effected by union with the Antarctic con- 
tinent, of w^hich mention has been made. 

Sir Richard Owen was one of the first to name and 
describe some of the more striking fossil mammals the 
remains of which have been recovered in the Pampean 
beds. The material obtained by Darwin on his famous 
voyage in H. M. S. Beagle was submitted to Owen 
for study. Since that time a multitude of very able 
men have devoted a great deal of time to a careful 
examination of the fossil fauna of South America, and 
thus our knowledge has been greatly enlarged. Dr. 
Burmeister, who was the Director of the Museum in 
Buenos Aires for many years, accomplished much. A 
number of years ago Senor Florentine Ameghino, and 
his brother, Carlos Ameghino, began diligently to collect 
fossil remains which they encountered in various parts 
of Argentina, and more particularly in Patagonia. 
Florentine Ameghino began to describe them, and sub- 
sequently gave to the world descriptions of an enormous 
number of new genera and species, attributing to the 
strata in which they were found various geological 
ages, in such a manner as to provoke the astonishment 
of students in other parts of the world. Princeton 
University was enabled through the generosity of 
certain friends to send several expeditions to South 
America. Two of these were conducted by Mr. John 
Bell Hatcher. Other expeditions by other institutions 


To the River Plate and Rack 

have gone out, and numerous eminent paleontologists 
have personally visited the region. Meanwhile those 
upon the ground have continued to explore it. The 
result has been a great access of information which 
tends to prove that Ameghino was not always quite 
correct in his interpretations, though he deserves the 

Fig. 19. Macrauchenia patachonica Owen. ^ nat. size. 

very highest praise for his diligence and for many noble 
discoveries. I had the great pleasure while in La Plata 
of visiting Sefior Carlos Ameghino, who survives his 
brother, and of seeing the collections which have been 
accumulated and which contain many of the types of 
the species described by Florentino Ameghino. While 
of the highest scientific interest, this assemblage of 
material does not contain nearly as many finely pre- 
served specimens of the fossils of the pampas as are 
found in the National Museum at La Plata, or in the 
Museum in Buenos Aires, where are the collections 

A Trip to Mar del Plata 


brought together during the time in which those 
eminent scholars, Dr. Burmeister and Dr. Carlos Berg, 
were the directors of that museum. The mounted 
skeletons of the great armadillo-like mammals of the 
Pampean beds, of the huge ground-sloths, of Toxodon, 
Macrauchenia, and other beasts, which once inhabited 

Fig. 20. Skeleton of Toxodon burmeisteri Giebel. 3 - nat. size. 

Argentina, constitute a very imposing display as they 
are exhibited in the halls at La Plata. One of the most 
interesting of these creatures was the Macrauchenia, an 
animal which combined in itself many curious anatomi- 
cal features, not to say inconsistencies. I was particu- 
larly interested in examining the collection of the 
remains of various species of Toxodon. On the out- 
ward voyage a young American man of science, who is 
in the employment of the Brazilian government, came 
on board at Bahia, being on his way to Rio de Janeiro. 
We struck up an acquaintance, and he reported to me 
that he had found in the interior of the Province of 
Bahia a large quantity of the fossil remains of a number 
of extinct animals. They had been dug up at a water- 
hole, which was being cleaned out by workmen, and he 

210 To the River Plate and Back 

told me he had some of them with him on board. They 
were produced by him, and very kindly presented by 
him to me. Since then he has forwarded to the Car- 
negie Museum a large assemblage of the remains ob- 
tained at the same locality. Among the things put 
into my hands on shipboard was a fragment of the tusk 
of a mastodon, the tooth of a fossil horse, and the tooth 
of a Toxodon. Availing myself of the courteous assist- 
ance of Dr. Roth a comparison of the latter specimen 
was made with the abundant material in the Museum 
at La Plata, with the result that we came to the con- 
clusion that the tooth belongs to Toxodon burmeisteri, 
the giant of the family. The late Professor E. D. Cope 
founded a species of Toxodon upon a single tooth com- 
ing from the Province of Bahia, the only case in which 
such animals have hitherto been reported from that part 
of the continent, but I have no hesitation in saying that 
the specimen presented to me by Mr. G. A. Waring repre- 
sents the species I have mentioned. The range of this 
huge animal is thus extended far to the north. Re- 
mains of Toxodon have been reported from Central 
America, but thus far no record of their occurrence upon 
the soil of the United States has been made, and save 
for the case cited by Cope there has been no prior 
account of their occurrence in northern Brazil. 

From the authorities of the Museum in La Plata I 
received replicas of many of the fine specimens con- 
tained in their Museum as a gift for the Carnegie 
Institute. I also received a piece of the skin, some hair, 
and some of the ordure of Grypotherium obtained at 
Last Hope Inlet. "Thereby hangs a tale,' which I 
will proceed to unfold in the next chapter. For these 
acts of great kindness on the part of the Faculty of the 
Museum in La Plata, I desire here to renew my thanks. 

Hauling Wheat to the Market in Big Two-Wheeled Carts. Seven Horses 

Harnessed Abreast. 

The Grain-Elevators at Buenos Aires, 



"Then Brown he read a paper, and he reconstructed there, 
From those same bones an animal, that was extremely rare." 

Bret Harte. 

FOR many years it had been rumored in Argentina 
that there existed in the unexplored wilds a strange 
animal, to which the Indians gave the name of Yemisch. 
It was said to haunt the margins of streams, to have 
webbed feet, a long tail, and to be endowed with incred- 
ible ferocity. It was reported to attack men and cattle 
when they were crossing streams. It had, so it was 
affirmed, the habit of eviscerating its prey, and the 
narrators told how after the fearful act the entrails of 
its victims might be seen rising from the bloody water 
and floating on the surface. Certain spots were pointed 
out as being dangerous, because the brute was said to 
have its lair in their neighborhood, and these places 
were shunned by the natives. Nobody could be found 
who had ever seen it, but many averred that they had 
heard of it from those who had seen it. The eye- 
witnesses of its atrocities were Indians, or deceased 
wives* uncles, or maternal grandparents- 'the dear 
departed. ' Nobody had ever succeeded in running 
the beast to cover, or in the spirit of a modern Hercules 
slain it in combat; but by camp fires, at the meetings 
of sportsmen in their clubs, and in the homes of the 


212 To the River Plate and Hack 

guachos, as they sat and guzzled mate, or smoked the 
weed, men talked about the Yemisch. 

In the month of January, 1895, a party of gentlemen 
who were taking an outing near Consuelo Cove on Last 
Hope Inlet discovered a cave about six kilometers 
distant from Consuelo. In a little mound near the 
entrance they found a remarkable piece of skin. It 
was between four and five feet long and about three 
feet wide. The skin of the head and legs of the animal 
had apparently been trimmed off. The hide in places 
was over half an inch thick. Its outer surface was 
covered more or less densely with coarse yellowish 
brown hairs, varying in length from an inch and a half 
to three inches. On the inner side were multitudes of 
little ossicles, or bonelets, firmly imbedded in the tissue. 
These bonelets had the size and shape of small white 
beans, some being larger, others smaller. The excur- 
sionists took the skin away with them, but though a 
number of pieces were cut off from it, and became scat- 
tered among different members of the party, the greater 
portion remained in the possession of Captain Eber- 
hard, the owner of an estate in the vicinity, who had 
been the leader of the company. The next year Dr. 
Otto Nordenskjold, the commander of a Swedish expedi- 
tion, which had gone out for the purpose of making a 
scientific exploration of the regions about the Straits 
of Magellan, visited the cave, and he too found a piece 
of the same kind of skin, some bones, and tufts of hair, 
which he took home with him to Stockholm. These 
things were subsequently described and figured by 
Dr. Lonnberg in the second volume of the report 
which was published by the Swedish Expedition. In 
November, 1897, Dr. F. P. Moreno, the Director of the 
Museum in La Plata, Dr. Racowitza, the Zoologist of 

A Mysterious Beast 


the Expedition which had come out in the S.S. Bel- 
gica, Senor Don Luis A. Alvarez, an engineer, and 
Dr. Rodolfo Hauthal, the Curator of the Section of 
Geology in the Museum in La Plata, visited the region, 
and Dr. Moreno succeeded in obtaining from Captain 
Eberhard the large piece of the hide, which the latter 

Fig. 21 Skin of Grypotkerium domesticum Roth, a, Under side 

of skin from a fragment in the Carnegie Museum, b, Section of 

skin showing ossicles and outer hairs, j nat. size. (After Arthur 
Smith Woodward.) 

still retained in his possession. This specimen together 
with other remains, evidently belonging to the same 
species, was taken by Dr. Moreno to London, and by 
him presented to the British Museum. In the year 
1899 these things were made the subject of an address 
delivered by Dr. Moreno before the Zoological vSociety 
of London, which in their Proceedings for that year 

214 To the River Plate and Back 

published a fully illustrated account of the various ob- 
jects thus far found in the cave, the paper having been 
prepared by Dr. Arthur Smith Woodward in collabora- 
tion with Dr. Moreno. Dr. Woodward referred the 
specimens to the genus Grypotherium, originally set up 
by Reinhardt in 1879 in the twelfth volume of the 
Proceedings of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences, 
for the reception of some fragments, which had been 
discovered in another locality. The relationship of 
Grypotherium to Mylodon and the other long extinct 
gravigrade edentates of South America was pointed out 
and explained. 

But before the appearance of Dr. Woodward's 
scholarly paper, the reading public not only of Argentina 
but of the entire world had been regaled with a series 
of sensational accounts, affirming that in the remote 
regions of Argentina or southern Chili there still existed 
a surviving representative of the family of the ground- 
sloths, of which the colossal Megatherium is the species 
best known to the public. The animal said to be 
roaming in the wilds was identified with the Yemisch, of 
which everybody in Argentina had heard at some time 
or other. The authority for these tales was none other 
than Sefior Florentino Ameghino. He set the ball 
rolling by privately printing and circulating a paper 
under date of August 2, 1898, entitled "Premiere Notice 
sur le Neomylodon listai, un Representant vivant des 
anciens Edentes Gravigrades fossiles de r Argentina.' 
In November of the same year this article appeared in 
the form of an English translation, which was published 
in Natural Science, volume xiii., pp. 324-326. In 
this paper Ameghino recounts that a deceased friend of 
his, the late Ramon Lista, had once told him that he 
had come across an animal, which he had failed to get, 

A Mysterious Beast 215 

though he had shot at it a couple of times, which re- 
sembled a pangolin, except that instead of being covered 
with scales it was covered with hair. Lista had 
expressed the opinion that, 'if not a pangolin, it was 
certainly an edentate nearly allied to it. ' Ameghino 
then went on to say: 

In spite of the authority of Lista, who, besides being a 
learned traveler, was also a skillful observer, I have always 
considered that he was mistaken, the victim of an illusion. 
Still, although I have several times tried to find out what 
animal might have given him the illusion of the pangolin, 
I was never able to guess. 

It was not an illusion. Although extremely rare and 
almost extinct-, the mysterious animal exists, with the sole 
difference, that instead of being a pangolin, it is the last 
representative of a group which was believed to be quite 
extinct, a gravigrade edentate related to Mylodon and 

. * 

Lately, several little ossicles have been brought to me 
from Southern Patagonia, and I have been asked to what 
animal they could belong. What was my surprise on seeing 
in my hand these ossicles in a fresh state, and, notwithstand- 
ing that, absolutely similar to the fossil dermal ossicles of 
the genus Mylodon, except only that they are of smaller 
size, varying from nine to thirteen or fourteen millimeters 
across. I have carefully studied these little bones from 
every point of view without being able to discern any 
essential difference from those found in a fossil state. 

These ossicles were taken from a skin, which was unfor- 
tunately incomplete, and without any trace of the extremi- 
ties. The skin, which was found on the surface of the 
ground, and showed signs of being exposed for several 
months to the action of the air, is in part discolored. It 
has a thickness of about two centimeters, and is so tough 

216 To the River Plate and Back 

that it is necessary to employ an axe or a saw in order to 
cut it. The thickest part of the skin is filled by the little 
ossicles referred to, pressed one against the other, present- 
ing on the inner surface of the skin an arrangement similar 
to the pavement of a street. The exterior surface shows 
a continuous epidermis, not scaly, covered with coarse 
hair, hard and stiff, having a length of four to five centi- 
meters and a reddish tint turning toward gray. 

The skin indeed belongs to the pangolin which Lista saw 
living. This unfortunate traveler lost his life, like Crevaux, 
in his attempt to explore the Pilcomayo, and until the 
present time he is the only civilized person who has seen 
the mysterious edentate of Southern Patagonia alive; and 
to attach his name appropriately to the discovery, I call 
this surviving representative of the family Mylodontidae 
Neomylodon listai. 

Now that there are certain proofs of its existence, we 
hope that the hunt for it will not be delayed, and that 
before long we may be able to present to the scientific 
world a detailed description of this last representative of a 
group which has of old played a preponderating part in the 
terrestrial faunas which have succeeded each other on 
South American soil. 

Ameghino followed his account of Neomylodon listai, 
which he had printed and widely distributed in Europe 
and the United States among scientific men and periodi- 
cals, by an article which appeared in La Pirdmide 
of Buenos Aires, under date of June 15, 1899, under the 
title Un sobriviviente actual de los Megaterios de la 
antigua Pampa. Among other things he says: 

Recently my brother, Carlos Ameghino, who for the past 
twelve years has been making collections and carrying on 
geological investigations in the Patagonian regions, suc- 
ceeded in somewhat lifting the veil of darkness, which until 

A Mysterious Beast 217 

the present has shadowed the existence of this mysterious 

About the middle of last year he sent me from Santa Cruz 
some remains accompanied by the following lines : ' I have 
succeeded at last in obtaining from the Tehuelche Indians 
some valuable data in regard to the famous Yemisch, which 
is not a myth or creation of the fancy, as we have believed, 
but which really exists. I have seen in the possession of an 
Indian a piece of the skin of the Yemisch, in which were 
imbedded the little ossicles, which I send you, just like 
those which we find in a fossil state with the skeletons of 
Mylodonts. Hompen, another Tehuelche Indian, has 
informed me that when coming from Senguer to Santa 
Cruz he encountered a Yemisch, which blocked his path, 
and with which he had a fight, succeeding in killing him by 
blows. According to these people the creature is amphibi- 
ous, and can walk on land as well as it swims in the water. 
It is confined in its range to-day to the central parts of 
Patagonia, living in caves and sheltered retreats on the 
banks of lakes Colhue, Fontana, and Buenos Aires, and of 
the Senguer, Aysen, and Huemules rivers; but according 
to tradition it ranged in former times as far as the Rio Negro 
in the north, and far south, so the older Indians say, to all 
of the lakes on the eastern slope of the Andes, and even to 
the Straits of Magellan. It happened about the middle 
of this century that a Yemisch which was coming down from 
the lakes of the Andes to the Santa Cruz River came on 
shore on the north bank of this stream in the neighborhood 
of Pavon Island; the Indians fled in terror into the back 
country, and ever since then, in memory of the unlocked for 
apparition, have given the spot which they abandoned the 
name of Yemisch-Aiken (the place, or haunt, of the 
Yemisch). It is nocturnal in its habits, and is said to be so 
strong that it will seize horses and drag them down into 
deep water. According to the description given me it has 
a short head, with great canine teeth, and small ears, 
short, flat (plantigrade) feet, with three toes on the front 

2i8 To the River Plato and Back 

fed, and four on the hind feet, joined by a web fitting them 
for swimming, while at the same time they are armed with 
formidable claws. The body is covered with short, harsh, 
and stiff hair, uniformly bay in color. In size, I am told, 
the animal is larger than the puma, with shorter legs, and 
a much thicker body. 

The result of these publications by Ameghino was 
amusing. The minds of the curious were inflamed. 
The reputed existence in life of a relative of the extinct 
Megatherium naturally attracted wide attention. To 
find such an animal in Patagonia seemed as remarkable 
as it might have been to have found a living mammoth 
straying about in Alaska or the Lena Delta in Siberia. 

The subject was "nuts" for the reporters of the news- 
papers in Buenos Aires. These gentlemen are quite 
as wide-aw r ake and active as their brethren in New York 
and London. Hardly a day passed without reference 
to the theme. The fact that "our distinguished fellow- 
citizen, the eminent scientist,' etc., had declared for 
the actual existence of the beast was enough in the 
minds of the scribes to put the whole question beyond 
controversy. With screaming headlines it was from 
time to time announced that various persons had found 
and followed the tracks of the " mammifero misterioso, ' 
but unfortunately without reaching its lair. Among 
those reported in the papers as having trailed the 
Yemisch was Lord Cavendish, who w^as taking an outing 
in Patagonia, and his adventures w-ere retailed with 
particularity, although the gentleman afterwards was 
greatly amazed upon his return to civilization to dis- 
cover w r hat had been w r ritten and printed about occur- 
rences of which he had no knowledge or recollection. 
The excitement was not confined to Argentina. Hardly 
a newspaper, or scientific journal in the world, failed 

A Mysterious Beast 219 

to devote at least a paragraph to the remarkable 
discovery. In a lecture before the Zoological Society 
Dr. (now Sir) Edwin Ray Lankester said, "It is quite 
possible that the Mylodon still exists in some of the 
mountainous regions of Patagonia. ' Thereupon Mr. 
Pearson, the proprietor of the Daily Express of London, 
promptly provided the necessary funds for equipping 
an expedition to go and search for the beast, and Mr. 
Hesketh Prichard was sent out to find it. The result 
was a beautifully-illustrated work upon Patagonia by 
Mr. Prichard, but no Mylodon, no Yemisch was re- 
turned to the London Zoo. 

Meanwhile the little group of hard-headed scientific 
men at the Museum in La Plata and their correspond- 
ents elsewhere took the matter in hand and addressed 
in public some very embarrassing questions to Serior 
Ameghino, whose enthusiasm appeared to them to 
have rather gotten the better of his judgment. The 
paleontological teapot began to simmer and then to 
boil. It was a good deal like the "row,' which broke 
up the "camp on the Stanislaw, ' though there was no 
' heaving of rocks. ' Dr. Rodolfo Hauthal went back 
to Consuelo Cove and made a careful reexamination 
of the cave. His published report, which appeared in 
the Revista of the Museum in La Plata, is most interest- 
ing and illuminating. He shows that the cave had no 
doubt at one time been used as a human habitation, 
and that its occupants, if they had not domesticated 
the great and thoroughly inoffensive ground-sloth, had 
at least held it in captivity. He found that part of the 
cave had been used as a stable for the brutes, and that 
in one place there was a deposit of the dried dung of 
the animals about four feet in depth, showing that the 
spot must have been used for a long time. He found a 


To the River Hate and Baek 

Fig 22. Dried ordure of Grypotherium 
do me stic um Roth. Specimens in Carnegie 
Museum, i nat. size. 

stack of ha}' which had been employed as fodder. He 
found more pieces of the strange skin and numerous 
bones. The skulls of the specimens, which he and 
others before him had found, showed that the animals 
had been killed by knocking them on the head by a 
weapon, possibly a stone ax. He found various arte- 
facts representing a primitive race of men. Dr. 
Santiago Roth described the material brought back 

by Hauthal and 
others, and gave 
the animal the 
name of Grypothe- 
rium domesticum , 
holding that the 
specific name lis- 
tai, applied by 
Ameghino, related 
not to the remains 

discovered at Last Hope Inlet, but to an imagi- 
nary creature. It was pointed out by several 
critics, among them Professor J. B. Hatcher, that in 
truth the type of Ameghino's Neomylodon listai, if 
type it could be called, was a lot of hearsay, a rumor, a 
tale told by an Indian. Florentine Ameghino had in 
fact heard in some way a report of the finding of the 
skin at Last Hope Inlet. The story had passed from 
mouth to mouth, though nothing had as yet been 
printed about the matter. A few of the bonelets had 
also probably been passed from hand to hand as 
"curios.' They had fallen apparently into the pos- 
session of Carlos Ameghino, who sent them to his 
brother. Without any more definite knowledge than 
he had thus acquired Ameghino rushed into print with 
his new generic and specific names. There are men who 

A Mysterious Beast 221 

are affected by a fondness for claiming the first place 
as the disseminators of scientific information, and there 
is a weakness now and then manifested by systematists 
which induces them to attach their names to new genera 
and species upon slight provocation. I had a friend 
in the ranks of my entomological correspondents a 
number of years ago who was thus afflicted. On 
one occasion it happened that I named and described 
a new and very beautiful butterfly from Mexico, and 
when my friend came across the description he turned 
to a mutual acquaintance and said: 'Thunder! If 
I had only imagined that there existed such a thing, I 
should have gone to work at once and named it and pub- 
lished a description of it, even without seeing it, rather 
than have let Holland have the credit of doing so.' 
It is an odd thing that in the calm realms of science the 
play of human passions should sometimes thus reveal 
itself. Dr. R. Lehmann-Nitsche from the standpoint of 
an anthropologist and student of folk-lore came forward 
and punctured the myth of the so-called Yemisch, 
showing that the big otter of South America (Lutra 
felina) and the jaguar had been brought together and 
made to render joint service in the fabrication of a 
monster as real as some of the beasts of ancient 
mythology. The jaguar, "El jaguar del agua r as 
the animal was called by the Indians, because it has 
the habit of frequenting the pools where the animals 
it preys upon come down to drink, was the creature 
to which most of the tales told by the Indians referred, 
and Carlos Ameghino had been unfortunate in linking 
their legends relating to the great cat with the harmless 
edentate, which was a vegetarian, and had been fed 
upon hay. It was quite a "merry war, " while it lasted. 
The literature provoked by the discussion is printed in 

222 To the River Plate and Back 

six or seven languages, and would fill a large volume, if 
brought together. 

Out of the affair came a better knowledge of Pata- 
gonian lands and the perception of the fact that the 
fauna of the Pampean beds had survived to some extent 
to quite recent times ; at all events that one of the near 
relatives of the Megatherium and the Mylodon had at 
some remote period, perhaps within the Christian era, 
been held in captivity, kept in corrals, fed with hay, and 
used for food. In the case of the writer the most 
interesting result was the acquisition for the Carnegie 
Museum of a piece of the hide from the cave at Last 
Hope Inlet, together with a lot of the hair and the dried 
ordure of the "Mysterious Beast/ 


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O "j_ 
'*3 O 
oJ 4H 




"I do not own an inch of land, 

But all I see is mine, 
The orchard and the mowing-fields 

The lawns and gardens fine. 
The winds my tax-collectors are 

They bring me tithes divine, 
Wild scents and subtle essences, 

A tribute rare and free 
And more magnificent than all, 

My window keeps for me 
A glimpse of blue immensity, 

A little Strip of sea. " Lucy Larcom. 

THE greater part of the time which we spent in La 
Plata was necessarily devoted to our tasks in the 
Museum. But there were a number of holidays and 
holy days when our labors were interrupted. As in all 
Latin lands the calendar of the Church is observed. 
Interruptions due to this cause and the comparatively 
short hours at the Museum gave opportunity now and 
then to take long walks. The extreme flatness of the 
region did not at first glance hold out promise of enter- 
tainment, but there are other things besides hills and 
mountains which lend interest to a stroll in the country. 
Flat lands are not without their attractive features. 
Some of the most delightful pedestrian excursions I have 
ever made were along the dikes and ditches of Holland. 

When I was a lad and lived for a few months in In- 


224 To the River Plate and Back 

diana, although I missed the mountains and the hills, 
among which I had passed my earlier years, I neverthe- 
less derived great pleasure from rambling through the 
fields. So it was also here in this flattest of all flat 
lands, the Province of Buenos Aires. The sky in level 
countries, as boundless as that which lifts its vault 
over the ocean, possesses a charm which partly compen- 
sates for the lack of variety due to the absence of broken 
or rugged surfaces. Though so broad, the sky over 
prairie-lands always seems to possess a different quality 
from the sky above the sea, whether because of reflec- 
tions from the surface or the presence of minute par- 
ticles of dust in the lower regions of the air. This 
difference is noticeable at the coast, where in looking in 
one direction the observer sees the sky above the water, 
and in the other the sky above the land. This differ- 
ence is most plainly discernible just above the horizon- 
line. The vegetation of flat lands always differs from 
that of hilly countries, and in consequence foregrounds 
as well as backgrounds vary in the two cases. Not 
only from the standpoint of the artist, who sees the 
surface of things, and notes forms and colors, but also 
from that of the naturalist there is much of interest to 
be observed in level countries. Such lands generally 
are fertile, and even if there be no great variety, there 
is luxuriance and richness of color in their vegetable 
growths. There are no lusher greens than those of the 
New Jersey flats or of the pasture-lands of Zeeland in 
early summer. And so it was in the environs of La 
Plata. The pampas 'arrayed in living green,' over 
which was bent the blue dome of the sky, proved 
attractive enough to me to invite me to repeat on several 
occasions the first stroll which I had taken into el 
campo. At such times I found it most agreeable to 

Life in La Plata 225 

employ the services of a cochero to drive me out through 
the city and its immediate suburbs, setting me down at a 
given point, to which he received instructions to return 
several hours afterwards, and from which he brought 
me back to the Observatory. Once I went to Ensenada, 
cutting across the fields ; once I took a long stroll north- 
ward in the direction of Buenos Aires, and a number of 
times I walked out to the south and the west of the city. 
It was a pleasure to escape from paved streets, to feel 
under foot the green sod of the country roads, to observe 
the growing things, in which the pulses of springtime 
were asserting themselves, to listen to the voices of 
nature, overhead the sky, ' that shameless blue sky, ' 
which Signer Negri said he loathed, but which always 
seemed beautiful to me, and which did not always 
retain its blue tint, being sometimes overcast with the 
clouds of an approaching storm or sometimes in the 
evening just before sunset breaking into a veritable 
riot of color. 

In my rambles about La Plata I was struck by the 
fact that many of the plants by the roadsides and in 
the fields were old acquaintances. The same process 
which has gone on in the United States is going on here. 
As European weeds have taken possession of the whole 
Atlantic seaboard in North America, so they are taking 
possession of the littoral of Argentina. Seventy-five 
years ago Charles Darwin called attention to the fact 
that the European fennel had escaped from cultivation, 
and noted that 'in great profusion' it covered "the 
ditch-banks in the neighborhood of Buenos Aires, 
Montevideo, and other towns.' 1 It certainly has not 
ceased to propagate itself since his day and is every- 
where in evidence. Darwin also called attention to the 
abundance of the cardoon (Cynara cardnnculus) and 

226 To the River Plate and Back 

the mottled-leaved thistle of the pampas. Both are 
immigrant from Europe. The cardoon, its silvery 
bluish green multifid leaves strongly contrasting with 
the darker green of the grasses, covers wide tracts in 
the fields and by the roadsides, and in spots has taken 
complete possession of the slopes of the railway em- 
bankments. It is the wild form of the artichoke, and 
its buds are used as food, the fleshy base being pared, 
boiled, and served as a vegetable. It grows every- 
where except in the very hot lands of the tropical 
north. Associated with it is the plant which Darwin 
speaks of as the "giant thistle of the pampas. ' This is 
also an adventitious plant, which has found its way into 
the country from the southern parts of Europe. It is 
known as 'Milk-Thistle' (Silybitm marianum) and 
has large wavy spinous leaves, of which those growing 
near the ground are dark green, mottled with white, 
recalling in their color-scheme the leaves of the Asarum 
caulescens, the Kamo-awoi of Japan, which was used 
as the crest of the Tokugawa shoguns. The white stain 
on the rosette-leaves of this thistle according to a 
legend current in southern Europe was caused by the 
falling of a drop of the milk of the Virgin Mary, and it 
was in allusion to this legend that it received the speci- 
fic name marianum. The French call the plant Char- 
don Marie. In the lands of the Mediterranean it is 
cultivated to some extent; its young leaves being used 
as a spring salad, its roots employed as pot-herbs, and 
the heads being treated like those of the artichoke. 
These two species of thistle have literally taken posses- 
sion of the land about the River Plate. They had done 
so already a century ago, and Darwin in speaking of the 
cardoon says, " I doubt whether any case is on record of 
an invasion on so grand a scale of one plant over the 

Life in La Plata 227 

aborigines. ' In speaking of the matter to one of my 
friends he informed me that the advent of these thistles 
is not altogether to be regarded as having been a curse. 
"If it had not been for the thistles," he said, ;< a few 
years ago, when we had a terrible drought, a great deal 
more of the live stock would have been lost than actually 
was the case. The cattle, which ordinarily refuse to 
eat the leaves, took to them, and their lives were 
saved. ' 

I was astonished to see the hemlock (Conium macu- 
latum), recalling the tragic death of Socrates, growing 
everywhere in the rankest profusion. As this plant is 
said to be fatal to philosophers and cattle, though it 
may be eaten by asses and goats, I was surprised to see 
thickets of it springing up on the grazing lands on which 
is kept some of the finest blooded stock in Argentina. 
Various European grasses are common. The white 
clover (Trifolium repens) is found everywhere as with 
us, and so are various other species of the same genus, 
all adventitious from southern Europe. Chickweed, 
bed-straw, purslane, shepherd's-purse, and ragweed 
were found growing by the road. I was impressed by 
the fact that not only these, but scores of other Euro- 
pean and North American weeds, the 'tramps" of the 
vegetable world, have found congenial soil in these lands 
of the South Temperate Zone, and are apparently 
slowly replacing the native flora. Just as the people 
of Europe have exterminated the aborigines, so the weeds 
of Europe are exterminating the lowly plants of the 
region, and are surely taking possession of the soil. 

As I have already remarked elsewhere the inhabitants 
of Argentina manifest a preference for the eucalyptus 
as a shade-tree, and it appears about almost all farm- 
houses. The Araucaria is also frequently planted. 

228 To the River Plate and Back 

The genus Araucaria, which is related to the pines of the 
northern hemisphere, but differs from them strikingly 
in general appearance, is represented by several South 
American species, one of which known as the " Monkey- 
puzzle' 1 or 'Chili pine" (Araucaria imbricata) forms 
great forests in the southern part of the Andean regions. 
It apparently thrives well in the latitude of Buenos 
Aires. Its stately relative, the Norfolk pine (Araucaria 
excelsa), which in its native haunts often grows to the 
height of two hundred feet, is also to be occasionally 
seen in plantations in the vicinity of La Plata. Two 
or three species of Casuarina are also extensively 
planted. The 'Pride-of -India" (Melia azedarach) is 
another tree which seems to enjoy popularity, and is 
of ten seen along the highways and about rail way stations. 
Every one who has visited Spain or Morocco has learned 
to know the ' Bellasombra-tree " (Phytolacca dioica). 
This great tree, related to the pokeberry of our way- 
sides and waste places, is not uncommon about the 
estancias in the vicinity of Buenos Aires. Its huge 
fleshy roots, which grow on the surface of the soil, 
covering an area almost as great as the branches, look 
like great coiled and twisted serpents upon the ground, 
but, although the tree attains goodly proportions, and 
the broad leaves afford a grateful shade, I have con- 
ceived a prejudice against it, on account of its tendency 
like a great vegetable cancer to cover the soil with its 
spongy and unsightly roots. I imagine that it was 
introduced from Spain, and the specimens I saw about 
La Plata appear to indicate that they must have been 
planted long ago. All of the trees of this species which 
I saw were mature. The largest specimen I observed 
stood in the courtyard of a dilapidated farmhouse, 
and I should say that it must be fully fifty years old, 

Life in La Plata 


being at least four feet in diameter five feet from the 
ground. Various species of acacia are grown, and seem to 
propagate themselves as freely as does our locust-tree 
(Robinia pseudacacia) . These plants seemed to be 
particularly liable to the attack of a species of bag- 
worm (GELketicus platensis) , innumerable cocoons of which 
were pendent upon their branches. This same insect 
appears to ravage the poplars and willows. The euca- 
lyptus escapes from their at- 
tacks, but I observed that a 
great many species of decidu- 
ous trees were infested by 
these curious insects. The fe- 
male is wingless, as is the case 
with all of the species of the 
genus; the male is able to fly. 
The female remains in the co- 
coon, and is little more than a 
living mass of eggs. After fer- 
tilization has occurred the eggs Fi - 23. Cocoon of (Eketi- 
hatch, and, emerging from the cus platensis ' Nat ' size " 
silken sack which has been the nuptial couch and then 
the coffin of the mother, the little caterpillars crawl forth 
and the cycle of life is renewed. The small water- 
courses and shallow ponds which abound in the neigh- 
borhood of La Plata are all beginning to be lined with 
willows and osiers. In such places I also found Arundo 
donax, the common reed of southern Europe. I saw a 
couple of fields in the outskirts of La Plata where this 
plant was being cultivated, but I observed that it had 
also escaped in spots and was propagating itself. 
According to Otto Kunze seventy-five per cent, of the 
plants growing in the immediate vicinity of Buenos 
Aires and La Plata are introduced species, the majority 

230 To the River Plate and Back 

of which have come from Mediterranean lands. It is 
odd to think how thoroughly the region is becoming 
affiliated with the region from which its early European 
settlers came, and that not only its human inhabitants, 
but its shrubs and grasses, its flowers and its fruits, 
should be Iberian or Italian in their origin. To the 
north under the hot sun of the tropics this is not the 
case. There the men and the plants of the Temperate 
Zone have a struggle for existence, in which the odds 
appear to be against them. 

On my tramps I naturally was much interested in 
studying the habits of the birds. In a grove of willows 
which I found about a mile and a half north of La Plata 
I discovered hundreds of the Seed-finch (Sycalis luteola) , 
congregating among the branches and filling the air 
with incessant twitterings and low warblings, which 
reminded me of that passage in Holy Writ, which 
likens the sound of the voices of the multitude before the 
Throne to "the voice of many w r aters. ' It was an un- 
interrupted stream of tiny bird-voices, which gathered 
and swelled into a great volume of sound, resembling 
that of a brook or small river tinkling over the stones 
and pebbles. The little creatures seemed to be so intent 
upon their chorus that they allowed me to creep in 
among the trees without at first being disturbed or 
ceasing their music. They are about as large as a 
canary bird, olive-green above, yellowish below, and 
admirably adapted by their coloration to concealment 
among the foliage of the willows, which were in their 
vernal dress. I was able to study them closely with the 
help of my opera-glasses, but after a while they seemed 
suddenly to take fright, and with a great rush of wings 
flew away in a cloud to an adjoining field, where there 
were otner willows, and whither I did not try to follow 

Life in La Plata 231 

them, as to have done so would have led me through a 
lot of deep mire. I am sure their fright was occasioned 
by a hawk, which was prowling around, and which I 
saw afterwards alighting upon a stake with one of the 
songsters in his talons, which he proceeded to tear up 
and devour after the manner of hawks. 

While I was engaged in studying the ways of the 
Seed-finches, my attention was attracted to the per- 
formances of a couple of Guiras (Guira guira). These 
birds, which belong to the family of the cuckoos, are 
about sixteen inches in length, ten of the sixteen inches 
being composed of the tail, which when the bird is on 
the wing is spread out like a fan. The tail-feathers are 
conspicuously colored, the two in the middle being 
dark brown, while the others are yellow at the base, 
glossy green in the middle, and white at the end. 
Their bills are red and they have a crest of reddish 
brown feathers upon their heads. The back and rump 
are white, as is also the breast, save for a few blackish 
streaks; the wings are blackish, marked with white. 
Altogether the bird is rather conspicuously colored. 
It is a very noisy fowl. It seems to have the habit of 
flying about and pitching on the tops of trees and hang- 
ing on the ends of branches uttering a succession of 
harsh cries and curious discordant notes, which suggest 
unhappiness and general discontent. There were some 
of these birds which haunted the grove about the Ob- 
servatory, and at sunrise they used to make a great 
racket, but though I got a good view of them once or 
twice, and often heard their cries, I had my best chance 
to watch them in the willow-grove, where the two of 
w r hich I have spoken remained after the Seed-finches 
took their flight. Hudson tells us that Azara, who 
wrote more than a hundred years ago, said these 

232 To the River Plate and Back 

birds were at that time common in Paraguay, but 
scarce in the neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Times 
have changed, and they are now quite common about 
La Plata, but there is reason to think that they are 
tropical birds, which for some cause are trying to adapt 
themselves to the more temperate climate of the south, 
for which nature has not quite prepared them, as they 
lack plumage with which to resist the cold. Hudson 
says that they often die of cold in the winter, in spite 
of the fact that at that time of the year they have the 
habit of congregating in flocks and roosting huddled to- 
gether upon the branches in order to keep warm. They 
are said to be somewhat foul in their habits, and to be 
very prolific. The latter fact, and the fact that they 
find with the advent of civilized man into the region a 
greater supply of food than was formerly the case, 
seems to account for their survival and their increase 
in a part of the country which they have only recently 

About the roots of the willow-grove there ran a small 
brooklet, not more than a foot or two wide. What was 
my surprise to discover that this tiny stream of water 
was full of mussel-shells and of great fresh-water snails 
belonging to the genus Ampullaria. I obtained speci- 
mens of the latter, which my colleague, Dr. Arnold E. 
Ortmann, since my return has determined to be Am- 
pullaria canaliculata D'Orbigny. A number of these 
shells were lying about on the greensward under the 
trees, evidently recently having been robbed of their 
content, consisting of the animal which tenanted them 
in life. Empty shells of the same species were found 
here and there under telegraph poles and along the 
fences. The explanation of this fact is found in the 
habits of the commonest hawk of the region, the Ever- 

Life in La Plata 


glade Kite, as it is called in Florida (Rostrhamus socia- 
bilis), rather a rare bird in North America, but the 
commonest of all the hawks in the meadow-lands about 
La Plata. This bird has a very strongly curved beak; 
in fact its beak is more strongly curved than is the case 
in any other bird of the group to which it belongs. The 
purpose of this strong curvature of the beak is realized 
when we learn that its staple food consists of the snails 
which it finds in the arroyos and shallow pools of the 
pampas, and which it extracts from their shells. When 

Fig. 24. Head of Everglade 
Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis}. | 

Fig. 25. Shell of Ampnllaria 
canaliculata. | nat. size. 

nat. size. 

I was a small boy I was set by my father, who was a 
conchologist, at the task of collecting the land-shells of 
the neighborhood where we lived. In order to remove 
the animals from the shells and prepare them for the 
cabinet I was taught to scald them in hot water, and 
then with a crooked pin to pull out the snails. The 
crooked pin which I employed served exactly the same 
purpose as the very crooked beak of these Everglade 
Kites. The birds in great numbers frequent the swampy 
lands and the borders of the small streams. Having 
found a snail-shell, an Ampullaria, they carry it to the 
top of a stake or a telegraph pole, and then, holding it 

234 To the River Plate and Back 

in their talons, insert their long curved beaks, and with 
a quick movement pull out the snail, which they devour, 
w r hile letting the shell fall to the ground. No owner of 
an oyster-stand in Fulton Market could be quicker 
or more adroit in getting the fish out of the shell than 
these small cousins of the eagle. 

On all occasions when going into the country I took 
with me my nets and other material for collecting in- 
sects. Of these I obtained a number, but the season was 
still too early for many species. Just as April is not the 
best time in the Middle States to collect our most 
interesting insects, so in the vicinity of Buenos Aires, 
October is not the most favorable month for the ento- 
mologist. The collecting grew better as the weeks 
passed by, and just before I left it seemed that many of 
the more showy insects were taking wing. Butterflies 
and moths were scarce even on sunny days, and but 
few species appeared. Insects of other orders were more 
numerous, but most of my captures represented the 
smaller diptera, hymenoptera, and coleoptera. Dr. 
Carlos Bruch has in his possession a wonderful collec- 
tion of the beetles of Argentina, most beautifully 
arranged, and accurately determined. I spent a part 
of an afternoon, after the Museum had closed, in look- 
ing at his treasures. He has published a number of very 
valuable papers upon the beetles of the country and has 
illustrated them with fine drawings executed by himself. 
The good Doctor is not only a scientist, but also an 
artist. He has latterly taken up the work of studying 
the ants of the region. Of these there are a great many 
species, which have very curious habits, and are 
endowed with wonderful intelligence. The hymenop- 
tera the ants, bees, and wasps constitute the aristoc- 
racy of learning in the insect world. They appear to 

Life in La Plata 235 

have more intelligence on the average than any other 
order of insects. Ever since the days of Solomon this 
fact has been recognized. It would require a large 
volume to relate what has already been learned as to 
the habits of these tiny creatures in South American 
lands, and the field has only been partially investigated. 
I was much interested in the ways of one species of ant, 
which is quite common in Argentina, and which has for 
ages been engaged in growing mushrooms. They are 
commonly known as 'leaf -cutting ants.' On a num- 
ber of occasions I found them at work. They construct 
great underground galleries or cellars deep in the earth. 
Into these they carry masses of bits of green foliage, 
which they pile up in thick layers. In the beds of 
vegetable compost, which they thus construct, are 
implanted the spawn of certain fungi, which in the 
heat and moisture of these pits develop and grow and 
furnish an abundant supply of food, when other food 
is not easily available. It was a truly wonderful sight 
to watch the little creatures engaged in their labors. 
There was a nest or burrow of these ants under a pile 
of old rails, which was lying and rusting beside the 
railway track between La Plata and Ensenada. The 
entrance was at one side of the pile of rails, and could 
be seen plainly by stooping down and peering between 
the rails. The ants in a double stream were constantly 
pouring into this and emerging. Every ant which went 
in had a bit of a green leaf, which he had cut from the 
border of a leaf of alfalfa, which he carried between 
his mandibles in such a way that its thin edge was 
forward, and its mass was over the back of the ant. 
Those that came out had nothing. Along the path 
which they pursued were a number of soldiers which 
looked after the workers. The soldier ants are bigger 

236 To the River Plate and Back 

than the workers. They act as policemen along the 
line, preserve the ranks, hurry up the workers, and if 
any of them get into trouble come to their assistance, 
aiding them in adjusting their loads. There seemed to 
be the utmost order, and the workers appeared to be 
in a perfect rush of haste to accomplish their tasks. 
The line of march from the nest to the alfalfa field, 
where the leaf -cutting was going on, was more than 
four hundred feet long. In proportion to the size of 
the animals the distance was greater than it is from the 
Battery to Harlem. I measured off a foot along the 
line of march and timed the little creatures as they 
went by. It took them about ten seconds to get over a 
foot of ground. At that rate they made the run from 
the field to the nest in something more than an hour. 
The insects returning to the field for a load went more 
quickly. They seemed to scamper by in much less time. 
All, whether going or coming, apparently were on a dead 
run, moving as fast as their legs could carry them. A 
few of them which had heavier loads seemed to have 
trouble, and would stumble and run against little 
obstacles, and have difficulty in keeping their loads 
properly adjusted. When this happened the soldiers 
would hurry up to them, set them on their feet, and 
get them going again. The soldiers can always be 
distinguished from the others by their larger heads and 
bigger mandibles. I watched them quite a long time, 
and remarked to myself, that, if errand boys in New 
York could be found who would on foot carry parcels 
from the Battery to Harlem in an hour, and then start 
back again, and make the trip five times a day, there 
would be a revolution in the parcel-post. The muscular 
power of insects in proportion to their size is immense. 
Their endurance is incredible. 

Life in La Plata 237 

The rambles I took about La Plata afforded me the 
only opportunity I had during my stay in Argentina to 
come into touch with the life of the "Camp.' Other- 
wise my observations were confined to such glimpses as 
are given from the windows of express- trains. The word 
'camp' is a simple abbreviation of the word campo, 
the Spanish equivalent of the English word "country." 
It is applied by the denizens of the towns to every- 
thing lying beyond their outskirts. The people of 
Buenos Aires, the Portenos, as they call themselves, 
with that self-complacency which is characteristic of 
the inhabitants of all large municipalities, are in the 
habit of thinking and speaking of everything beyond 
their limits as being a part of the camp. The word is 
also used in a more restricted sense to designate a large 
holding of agricultural land. On my way home from 
Mar del Plata I was introduced to a German gentleman, 
who informed me that he was returning to Buenos Aires 
after having paid a visit to "his camp." He said to me : 
u lch habe einen Kamp nicht sehr weit von Cafiuelas. ' 
A recent writer has said : ' ' The Camp is the mainspring 
of Argentine prosperity. The marble palace of the 
millionaire, as well as the rnud hovel of the immigrant, 
has to thank this rich soil of the campo for its founda- 
tion. " x At the time of my arrival in Argentina spring- 
plowing was being carried on. In every direction men 
could be seen, generally with three or even four horses 
abreast, engaged in the work of breaking up the soil. 
Steam-plows are also used. The absolute flatness of the 
land, and its freedom from all stones, makes the use of 
modern agricultural machinery easy. The plowing 
which was going on was mainly for the corn, or maize, 
which is planted in September or early October. Wheat 

T Nevin O. Winter, Argentina and her People of To-day, p. 48. 

238 To the River Plate and Back 

is generally planted in the fall, that is to say in March or 
April. So also is flax, which is an important crop in 
the republic. It gave me pleasure to watch the plow- 
men, and to see the rich black soil coming up and rolling 
over before their shares, as the bow-wave rolls up and 
turns over before the prow of a boat. The soil is a deep 
humus. It is so rich that up to the present time little 
care has been taken to return to it any of the wealth 
which is annually being extracted from it. I spoke of 
this to the owner of a large place, whose acquaintance I 
happened to make. He told me that thus far he had 
not felt the necessity of employing fertilizers to any 
extent. ' I have been cultivating this land for many 
years, and my father did the same before me, " he said, 
'but all that seems to be necessary is to get deeper 
plows, and go down a little further, and bring up a 
little more of the rich subsoil. ' It is the story of our 
rich western prairie-lands over again, but there will 
inevitably come an end to this process of robbing the 
land. The rotation of crops is followed to a consider- 
able extent, and this has a conserving effect. The 
favorite grazing crop is alfalfa, as I have elsewhere 
observed. Such alfalfa fields I have never seen any- 
where else in the world. Four crops of alfalfa hay are 
annually taken from the soil, and on the cattle-ranges 
the plant grows up as fast as the cattle eat it down. 
The yield of wheat is enormous. The best wheat -lands 
are not in the immediate vicinity of Buenos Aires, but 
more to the west and southwest, nevertheless a great 
deal of wheat is grown quite near the capital. 

I was interested in studying the ways of the guachos, 
the 'cowboys'' of the country. They are mainly 
half-breeds, and adhere to the picturesque costume of 
their forefathers. They are expert riders, and use the 

Wheat Sacked and Piled after Threshing on an Argentinian Ranch. 

An Argentinian Farm- Wagon Used for Heavy Hauling. 

Life in La Plata 239 

rope as do the cattlemen on our western plains. As, 
now and then, a party of them came by me on a lope, 
my mind involuntarily carried me back to the plains of 
western Nebraska and of Wyoming, and the mesas of 
our southwestern states, where just such riders, on just 
such errands bent, used to be a few years ago a daily 
sight. The days of the cowboy on our plains are 
numbered, but the guacho of Argentina still has a 
future before him, as the day of the small farmer has 
not yet dawned in the land. The "small farmer" in 
Argentina is to-day a man with only about five thou- 
sand acres in his possession. One ranch of which I 
heard is larger than the State of Rhode Island. 

The transportation of crops from the land to the 
railways is effected by means of peculiar wagons, the 
like of which I have observed nowhere else. They have 
but two wheels, about eight feet in diameter, and are 
drawn by seven or eight horses harnessed abreast, or 
by three or four yokes of oxen. In such vehicles, very 
different in appearance from our 'prairie-schooners,' 
the grain is brought to the railways, thence to be trans- 
ferred to the great elevators at the ports, whence it is 
carried to the markets of the world. 

Just as in our western country, so here in the camp 
the store at the cross-roads is a place of concourse. I 
have already spoken of the store which we found in the 
swamps of the Parana, and save that the buildings 
were not perched upon piles, and the customers did not 
come to them in boats, the stores which I found scattered 
here and there on the pampa were just like it in the 
medley of wares represented upon the shelves and in 
the character of the goods displayed for sale. 

A pleasant incident during my stay in La Plata was 
to be invited to join a party of students and their 

240 To the River Plate and Back 

friends, who picnicked in a grove near the Museum, and 
who on that occasion welcomed a number of visiting 
acquaintances from Montevideo, who had come over 
on the boat the night before to spend a day in La Plata. 
After we had had our luncheon under the shadow of the 
trees, they informed me that they would like to accom- 
pany me to the Museum and take a peep at the replica 
of the big skeleton. This was done, and I had the 
pleasure of attempting to explain in very bad Spanish 
the anatomy of the beast to a number of highly inter- 
esting young people, who graciously condoned the 
blunders which I am certain I must have made. To be 
able to speak in unknown tongues was in apostolic 
times regarded as a proof of inspiration, but in modern 
times to essay to use a language other than that known 
from childhood sometimes implies more courage than 
inspiration. The results are at times comical. The 
tendency to translate literally from one language into 
another leads to embarrassment, and at moments to 
hilarity. I was told a comical story by one of my 
friends about one of his German acquaintances, who 
was trying to make his way about Argentina with the 
help of a pocket-dictionary and a phrase-book. He 
went into a hotel, and by signs succeeded in getting a 
good dinner set before him. When the meal was con- 
cluded, he took out his pocket-dictionary and opposite 
the word 'how' found the Spanish word como, 
which in certain cases may mean "how,' or "I eat." 
He then turned to the dictionary, and looking at the 
word 'much,' found its Spanish equivalent, mucho. 
He put the two together, and, turning to the waiter, 
remarked, 'Como mucho?' The waiter politely 
bowed his assent and said, "Si, senor," being perfectly 
assured that the gentleman was correct in his statement 

Life in La Plata 241 

by looking at his empty plate. Thinking that the 
waiter might be deaf, the German repeated the obser- 
vation in a louder tone, only to receive the same reply, 

' Si, senor. ' Then he fairly shouted the words at the 
waiter, who rushed off, and returned with a tray covered 
with a second instalment of steaming viands, duplicat- 
ing the first order. By this time the German gentleman 
was beside himself. Holding the pocket-dictionary 
in his hand and shaking it in the face of the waiter, and 
looking in disdain at the table, he roared the words, 

' Como mucho ? ' The waiter ran to the manager, in- 
forming him that the German gentleman at the table 
which he was serving was undoubtedly insane. The 
manager, who fortunately spoke the German language, 
came up and asked the cause of the trouble. An explana- 
tion followed. 'Ah, but,' said the manager, "you 
should not have said 'Como mucho? '\ you should have 
said ' Cuanto ? ' and it would have been all right. After 
telling my waiter three times that you are a heavy feeder 
he naturally supposed you wished to be helped to a 
second portion. * One of my friends, who some years 
ago visited the United States, provoked my mirth by 
telling me a story at his own expense of a little blunder 
which he unconsciously made upon his arrival in 
New York. Presenting a letter of introduction to one 
of the prominent citizens of Gotham, the latter cor- 
dially invited him to dine at his home on the following 
evening. After accepting the invitation he said, 'I 
suppose it will be in order for me to come in my night- 
clothes. ' The amused look on the face of his ac- 
quaintance prompted him to ask questions, and he 
discovered the idiomatic difference between 'night- 
clothes' and "evening dress.' As these tales were 
told me after my attempt to discourse upon paleon- 


242 To the River Plate and Back 

tology in Spanish to the small circle before me, I have 
a latent and horrible suspicion that I may have inno- 
cently said something dreadful, without meaning to 
do so. 

A pleasant afternoon was spent in the company of 
Professor Rollin D. Salisbury, who accompanied by a 
friend paid a visit to the Museum ; and on the afternoon 
of October the I2th we had the pleasure of welcoming 
at the Museum, Mr. John W. Garrett, the American 
Minister, together with Mrs. Garrett, her mother, Mrs. 
Warder, and Sir Reginald Tower, the British Minister. 
They arrived about one o'clock, and, after spending a 
couple of hours in the Museum, visited the Observatory, 
where they took tea and met a number of the members 
of the Faculty of the University and their wives. It 
was the first visit which the American Minister had 
paid to La Plata and it was a pleasure to present him 
and his distinguished companion together with the 
charming ladies of the party to my kind friends, who 
were greatly pleased with the intelligent interest which 
they took in the work of the Museum. It was through 
the kindness of Mr. John W. Garrett, among others, 
that Professor John B. Hatcher was enabled to make his 
now classic journeys of exploration into the interior 
of Patagonia on behalf of Princeton University, and 
our eminent visitor showed that he was well acquainted 
with the scientific importance and value of the noble 
collections w r hich are housed under the roof of the 
Argentine Museum. 

One of the daily sights was the drilling of the 
troops, who marched from their barracks and paraded 
on the avenue immediately in front of the Obser- 
vatory. They appeared to be stalwart and well- 
trained men, comparing favorably in appearance with 

Life in La Plata 243 

similar bodies of soldiery in other parts of the 

In the parks and about the public buildings we often 
observed prisoners, dressed in striped clothing and 
strongly guarded by soldiers, employed in doing work 
upon the grounds. A number of new walks and 
driveways were in process of construction around the 
Museum. In front of the building, as I went to and 
fro, I daily saw the convicts at work. A number of 
them appeared to be half-breeds, with a strong infusion 
of Indian blood. One of these was a singularly tall, 
handsome, and even intelligent-looking young man, 
I had passed him so often, that I almost felt as if he 
were an acquaintance; and one day, as I went by while 
he was hard at work, I ventured in a pleasant way to 
say to him "Buenos dias! 1 I shall never forget the 
wicked, angry scowl, which met my salutation. I never 
repeated the experiment. The look he gave me con- 
vinced me that he probably was where he was for good 
cause. It was as if I had spoken to some wild animal 
held in captivity, a caged leopard, or a wolf behind the 
bars. Oh ! the pitiful sadness of it ! I inquired of one 
who knew, what were the offenses for which these men 
were paying the penalty. I was informed that their 
crimes were principally theft and homicide. Whatever 
may have been their offenses, it seemed to me to be 
good that they should be laboring in the sunlight, and 
doing something to make the world more beautiful, 
rather than that they should be languishing and pining 
away behind the blank walls of a dungeon. There is 
little to be said in favor of the policy, which under 
the plea of protecting "honest labor,' lays the bur- 
den of endless idleness upon those who have fallen 
into criminal ways. The policy is cruel to the indi- 

244 To the River Plate and Back 

vidual and wasteful from the standpoint of the 

Pleasant memories are associated with a visit which 
I paid to the Director of the Museum in Buenos Aires, 
Dr. Angel Gallardo, the distinguished successor of the 
late Florentine Ameghino. According to appointment 
I met Dr. Herrero-Ducloux at lunch-time at his club, 
and having passed a very pleasant hour with him, we 
went together to call upon Professor Gallardo at his 
residence. We were cordially received in his beautiful 
home, and after chatting for a while, and enjoying a 
peep at the art-treasures by which he has surrounded 
himself, we repaired together to the Museum. The 
Museum at the present time is not open to the public, 
the building in which the collections are housed having 
been pronounced unsafe. Plans have been prepared for 
the erection of a new and worthy structure, and the 
Congress has made an appropriation of a million of 
dollars with which to begin the work. The Museum in 
Buenos Aires in its origin long antedates the Museum 
in La Plata, and is associated in the minds of scientific 
men with the labors of a number of most distinguished 
investigators, who in former years have been connected 
with it. Among the famous men who took part in its 
work in early years must be mentioned Aime Bonpland, 
the eminent botanist, who was the friend and associate 
of Humboldt during his journeys in South America 
from 1798-1804. After the return of Humboldt and 
Bonpland from their long and adventurous undertakings 
in the New World, Bonpland settled himself down in 
Paris and began the publication of the series of works 
relating to the flora of Mexico and South America 
which have given him an imperishable fame. He en- 
joyed the patronage of Napoleon, who made him a 

Life in La Plata 245 

pensioner of the state in recognition of his learning and 
achievements, and he was a prime favorite of the Em- 
press Josephine, who in her retirement amused herself 
by endeavoring to grow the plants of the tropics from 
seeds which Bonpland had brought back with him. 
At the Restoration he forsook France, and, having 
been offered the Chair of the Natural Sciences in the 
University of Buenos Aires in 1816, he took up his 
home in the latter city. While conducting a scientific 
expedition on the upper waters of the Rio Parana he 
was seized by the Dictator Francia, who at that time 
was the supreme ruler of Paraguay, and held in captiv- 
ity for over ten years. When finally released in 1831 
he returned to Buenos Aires, and subsequently, after 
having resided in various places for brief periods both 
in Uruguay and Argentina, died in Corrientes, where his 
remains rest until this day. One of those who came 
after Bonpland was the great German, naturalist, 
Hermann Burmeister. After having filled professorships 
in the Universities of Berlin and Halle, and having 
represented the latter University in the first National 
Assembly in 1848, and served as a member of the first 
Prussian Reichstag, he went to South America to study 
and explore. Having spent a couple of years in Brazil, 
he returned to Germany and published a work in two 
volumes upon the fauna of that empire. In 1861 he 
accepted the Directorship of the Museum in Buenos 
Aires, and continued to hold the office until his death 
in 1891. To him we owe a great deal of our knowledge 
of the natural history of Argentina, and he was one of 
the first to write extensively upon the extinct fauna of 
the Tertiary and Quaternary ages in South America. 
His associate and successor was Dr. Carlos Berg, a man 
of great attainments, who was particularly well k 

246 To the River Plate and Back 

as an entomologist. At his death the Directorship fell 
to Florentino Ameghino, the famous, but somewhat 
visionary, paleontologist. He belonged to the numer- 
ous class of "self-made" scientists, possessing all their 
virtues, and some of their faults. His almost incredible 
industry, and the many contributions made by him to 
the literature of paleontology, will serve to keep his 
memory forever green, though the conclusions which he 
announced, often of a very startling nature, will in 
many instances not stand the test of more careful in- 
vestigation ; in fact many of them even before his death 
had been rejected by his contemporaries as invalid, 
not a little to his annoyance. The present Director of 
the Museum in Buenos Aires is a gentleman born to the 
purple. Possessed of an ample fortune, moving in the 
highest social circles, educated in the best schools of his 
native country and of Europe, he has already filled with 
distinction the Chair of Zoology in the University of 
Buenos Aires, and has made important contributions 
to the literature of the natural sciences. In speaking 
of him one of the leading men of the country said 
that he represented la fleur de noire jeunesse doree. 
Under his guidance, supported adequately by the 
state, there is a brilliant future before the institution 
at the head of which he stands. At present the Museum 
is at a transitional point in its history. With new and 
well-designed buildings at its command, with the wealth 
of classic material already in its possession, it is des- 
tined under the guidance of its accomplished Director 
to take a very important place among the great mu- 
seums of the world. The library of scientific literature 
under its roof is very large and rich. In fact it compares 
most favorably with the best libraries of its kind any- 
where. Scientific men require access to books in order 

Life in La Plata 247 

to the prosecution of their researches, and the Museum 
in Buenos Aires has a very remarkable collection, 
acquired in large part through the labors of the in- 
defatigable Burmeister, whose private library he also 
bequeathed to the institution. 



" Crowned heads of Europe 

All make a royal fuss 
Over Uncle Andy 

And his old diplodocus." College Song. 

THE work of setting up the replica in the Museum 
went forward from week to week quietly and 
steadily. It is not altogether an easy task to assemble 
such a specimen, and get everything into place without 
breakage. It requires as much knowledge and expert- 
ness as would be called for in setting up a large and very 
complicated machine. There are tricks in all trades' 
and the trade of making and installing dinosaurs eighty 
and more feet in length is one which at the present time 
is known and understood thoroughly by only three 
persons, two of whom are the writer and his assistant, 
Mr. Coggeshall, both of whom have had more experi- 
ence in this novel kind of work than it has fallen to any 
other mortals to acquire. The task not only has its 
difficulties, but also its dangers. The replica, although 
not nearly as heavy as the original, weighs several 
tons. The first thing which must be undertaken is to 
erect a strong scaffolding, and to provide in its upper 
part a support capable of carrying a heavy weight. 
Directly under this the central platform or base is 
placed. The top of this base dare not be put into 


President Pena. 

The Presentation of the Diplodocus 249 

position until the skeleton has been assembled, because 
there must be room left to get under the cross-beams, so 
that the supports which are destined to finally bear 
the specimen may be adjusted from time to time and 
the bolts which hold them may be tightened. Upon the 
central base planking is laid, and on this the vertebrae 
of the body, or barrel, are carefully assembled and put 
into position upon two more or less horizontal steel 
rods. When all has been carefully adjusted a steel 
rope is bent underneath the mass in such a way as 
to catch the temporary supports which hold the 
vertebrae, and the whole thing is tied together. The 
arrangement of the details is too complicated to make 
it worth while to attempt to describe it here. The next 
step is to slowly and carefully lift the mass into the air 
to the height of about fifteen feet. This is accomplished 
by means of blocks and tackles lowered from a beam, 
which generally forms a part of the scaffold put up at 
the outset, and is strong enough to carry a load of two 
or three tons. In La Plata we were fortunate in finding 
that we could make use of the iron beams which support 
the ceiling of the room. After the backbone of the 
monster has been lifted high into the air, the next step 
is to screw into place the tall supports of steel, which 
enter sockets provided at the pelvis and at the shoulders. 
When this has been accomplished, the next step is slowly 
to lower the mass until the steel uprights drop into the 
sockets prepared in the base to receive them, where 
they are at last firmly secured by nuts and washers. 
The whole operation is delicate and not without its 
dangers, as we learned at St. Petersburg. Our ex- 
perience there is never to be forgotten, and I trust 
may never be repeated. We had raised the vertebra? 
of the backbone into the air. Six moujiks, or ordinary 

250 To the River Plate and Back 

laborers, were stationed at intervals holding in their 
hands the guy-ropes, which were intended to steady 
the mass as it hung in its proper position above the 
base. Mounted on a tall step-ladder at the front end 
of the thing stood my assistant, ready to help me in 
the task of screwing the forward upright into position. 
I had lifted the heavy steel rod from the floor and was 
carrying it forward to put it into place, when the door 
of the room opened and a company of distinguished 
visitors, members of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, 
entered the room. I turned at the instant to bow to 
them, still holding the tall bar of metal in my hand, 
when something happened, I cannot tell what. My 
belief is that one or the other of the laborers, who had 
been cautioned neither to relax his hold, or to give a 
pull, forgot his instructions on seeing the distinguished 
gentlemen enter the room, and unconsciously gave a 
jerk to the guy-rope he was holding, or else let go. The 
mass turned turtle in the air, the forward end wrenched 
away from the tackle-hook, and the whole thing came 
down to the floor with a crash, which shook the building, 
and made the portraits of the Czars and Czarinas 
which hung about the walls rattle, as if there had been 
a small earthquake. The company of visitors dis- 
appeared instantly, looking, as they fled, as they might 
have looked had a bomb been exploded in the hall. 
Their precipitate exit almost provoked a smile, but 
the temptation to laugh was instantly overcome by the 
sight of the ruin which confronted me. My assistant 
came to my side, and I said to him: 'This calamity 
is irreparable! Here we are six thousand miles from 
our base of supplies. There are no duplicates of these 
pieces at home. Even if there were, it would take six 
weeks to get them. To make a new set, and send them 

The Presentation of the Diplodocus 251 

over here will take three months. We cannot spend 
half a year waiting in this country." 'Never mind, 
Doctor!' came the cheering reply. 'I cannot tell 
you how I am relieved to have you standing here alive 
and well. I thought you had already gone in under 
the thing ; being intent upon watching my part of the 
job. When the thing fell, I thought you were under 
it, and probably crushed to death. It nearly sickened 
me, but here you are, thank God ! Drive these people 
out of the room, all of them, except Petz, the prepara- 
tor, who can help us. Let us take account of stock. 
You and I can patch up the d d thing, so that 
nobody will know that anything has happened.' I 
confess that at the moment I had little faith in the pre- 
diction. Before us laid a mass of shattered fragments. 
A step-ladder had been splintered into kindling-wood. 
The cross-ties of the base, though made of oak, had 
been broken, as if chopped through with an ax. I al- 
most shuddered to think what would have happened to 
me had I taken my place upon them, as I was just on 
the point of doing, before the crash came. But small 
as was my faith as to the outcome, it w r as at all events 
only right to make an attempt to repair the damage. 
It was the middle of the month of June, and at that 
time of year St. Petersburg is like heaven- 'there is 
no night there.' We could work from early morning 
until ten o'clock at night without artificial light, - 
and we did. We gathered up the pieces large and small ; 
we searched for contacts, and, as we found them, put 
the bits together with that strong cement, which we 
know how to prepare. It was a most tedious under- 
taking. But all things at last have an end. When our 
task was completed, after a week had been consumed 
in performing it, there remained only as many tiny 

252 To the River Plate and Back 

fragments as would have filled the hollow of a man's 
hand which had not been restored to their places, and 
almost all of these were inside pieces, the omission of 
which would not be noticed, and which in fact were 
already replaced by cement. When the work was done 
we invited Dr. Tschernychew, the Director of the 
Museum, to examine it, and he expressed his entire 
satisfaction. The next time we went through with the 
task of swinging the big thing into place we took the 
precaution to lock the doors, and to ask some of 
the higher officials of the Museum to stand by the 
ropes. Since then we have invented a contrivance, 
which enables us to dispense with the assistance of 
helpers, and makes the repetition of such an occurrence 
impossible, as we believe. 

Everything went well in Argentina. At last the 
replica stood in place, its head pointing to the rotunda, 
and we were able to tell the cabinet-makers to apply 
the finishing touches to the beautiful bases. These were 
made of the wood of the southern walnut (Juglans 
australis) which resembles the lumber of our own black 
walnut, but appears to be somewhat denser, finer 
grained, and not quite as dark in color. The tree 
grows on the foot-hills of the Andes. 

Having completed the work of installing the speci- 
men, it became my duty, as the representative of Mr. 
Carnegie, to report to the President the accomplish- 
ment of the errand upon which I had been sent. I 
had received through Mr. Garrett, the Minister of the 
United States, an intimation that it would be the 
pleasure of the President to receive me on the after- 
noon of October I5th, at three o'clock. In company 
with Mr. Garrett, I repaired to the Executive Mansion 
at the appointed hour. We were cordially welcomed 

The Presentation of the Diplodocus 253 

by the Secretary of the President, who bade us be 
seated. The audience-room is a fine apartment, about 
which hung portraits of former Presidents of the Re- 
public. President Peria immediately entered the room, 
and extended cordial salutations to Mr. Garrett, who 
in turn presented me. The President gave me a hearty 
grasp of the hand, and expressed his pleasure at seeing 
a friend of his own cherished friend, Mr. Carnegie, 
whom with evident pleasure he recalled as having been 
one of his colleagues at the time when the first Pan- 
American Congress met in Washington in the years 
i889~'9O, and of whom he spoke in terms of regard and 
warm admiration. The conversation turned upon the 
nature of my errand; the story of the specimen had to 
be briefly told; and the fact that it had been duly 
installed in the National Museum at La Plata was 
mentioned. The President called my attention to the 
fact that under the constitution he is forbidden to 
leave the capital, without going through the formality 
of turning over the reins of government for the time 
being to the Vice- President, even for so short a journey 
as that to La Plata, and stated, that, had it not been 
for this, he would have gone down to the Museum in 
person to accept Mr. Carnegie's gift, as he understood 
had been done by the President of France, the Emperor 
of Austria, and others. He asked me a number of 
questions as to my impressions of Argentina, and said 
he hoped that my stay might be extended long enough 
to enable me to see more of the country than I had as 
yet seen. He inquired as to the prospects of the coming 
November election in the United States, without expres- 
sing partiality for any of the candidates for the Presi- 
dency. He spoke of the Republic of the North in terms 
of good-will and generous appreciation. He told me it 

254 To the River Plate and Back 

was his intention to immediately write to Mr. Car- 
negie, thanking him for his present to the Museum, 
which he was pleased to accept on behalf of the people 
of Argentina. The interview, which naturally was not 
protracted, was marked by the interchange of pleasant 
compliments and a little merriment due to the fact 
that while the President spoke in Spanish, I was with 
his gracious consent allowed to use the French lan- 
guage, which the President understands perfectly, but 
which he does not care to employ when he knows that 
his hearers understand the language of Castile. 

It was pleasant after we had withdrawn to hear Mr. 
Garrett remark that the President had plainly mani- 
fested greater pleasure and interest in the meeting than 
he had known him to show on any similar occasion. 

President Pefia is a man of fine appearance, tall, and 
dignified in his bearing. He had gained wide experience 
in the service of his country as a diplomat before his 
election to the Presidency. Throughout his administra- 
tion thus far he has proved himself to be a most capable 
and efficient head of the Government. His father 
before him was President of Argentina from the years 
1892-1895. He therefore came to his present exalted 
position possessed of an inherited acquaintance with 
the requirements of the office. 

Before the installation of the replica had been com- 
pleted we were informed one bright morning as we 
entered the Museum that Dr. Samuel A. Lafone- 
Quevedo, the Director, had returned from his lengthy 
absence in Europe. We found him standing with a 
group of his friends in the rotunda of the Museum, and 
were delighted to receive from him such a cordial and 
unaffectedly hearty greeting as only he knows how to 
give. "Don Samuel," as he is affectionately called by 

The Presentation of the Diplodocus 255 

the Staff of the institution, is of English extraction, 
and a graduate of the University of Cambridge. In 
spite of the fact that he has seen many a winter pass 
over his head, he has lost none of the spirit of the boy, 
and his cheerful humor and merry laugh are contagious. 
There was no stiff formality accompanying our intro- 
duction, but we instantly were made to feel that we 
were friends, and as such taken at once to his heart. 
Nothing could have been more delightfully frank and 
free than his reception of the two strangers, who, like the 
Greeks of old, had invaded his domain, bearing not a 
wooden horse, but the skeleton of a still more fearsome 
beast; a beast, nevertheless, which concealed no danger 
lurking behind .its ribs. A few days after the return of 
the good Doctor, I was approached by one of the mem- 
bers of the Academy of Science, who requested me to 
make no engagements for the evening of the I5th 
of October, because at that time the Academy had 
resolved to have me as their guest at a function to which 
I might expect shortly to receive a formal invitation. 
This in due time came to hand. On the evening of the 
same day upon which I had the pleasure of meeting 
the President in Buenos Aires, I repaired according to 
the invitation to the Sportsman's Hotel in La Plata, 
where the large dining-room on the upper floor had been 
made ready, and where were gathered the members of 
the Academy of Science, including the entire Faculty 
of the Museum. Greetings were exchanged with the 
company of distinguished men, all of whom I had 
already come to cherish in my thought as true friends. 
Then we found our places at the table, the decorations 
of which were at once beautiful and provocative of 
mirth. There were flowers, beautiful flowers, and in 
the center of the table was a model of the Diplodocus, 

256 To the River Plate and Back 

fully five feet in length, which 1 had already seen in the 
Museum. Little did my friend, the artist, Charles R. 
Knight, imagine, when he was making this model, that 
it was to serve as the center-piece at a banquet to be 
given to one of his acquaintances in far-away Argentina. 
There were two menus beside each cover, one intended 
to be taken seriously, not so the other. The latter 
claimed the most attention. It is worthy of being here 
reproduced, as it was the next day in all the papers of 
the Capital. 





Canape Multimillionaire. 


Creme loess pampeano. 

Filet de Lepidosiren a la Papa Roth. 

Petites bouchees a la Don Samuel. 


Grande piece Diplodocus a la Holland. 


Calamites Sauce Nagelschmied. 1 

Phororhacus Bruche 2 au cresson. 



Carte blanche. Pudding diplomatique See groseille. 

Bavaroise Panachee. 

Moka. Cigarres. 

1 Nagelschmied =Herrero-Ducloux, a pun for which the author should 
be compelled to do long penance. 

2 A veiled reference to Professor Carlos Bruch, an equally horrible pun. 

The Presentation of the Diplodocus 257 

Unfortunately the illustration at the head of the menu 
and which represented the features of the Founder of the 
Carnegie Institute, surrounded by a wreath constructed 
of the bones of the Diplodocus, I must omit, because 
of the limitations of space. 

We were a merry and a very cosmopolitan company. 
The scholarship of Argentina, of England, Germany, 
France, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy was represented 
at the table by men, some of whom had been born in 
these countries, and all of whom had received their 
early training in the universities of one or the other of 
these lands. All, except the writer, were citizens of the 
Republic which floats the white and blue flag. All 
were men who had done things worth the doing. The 
dinner was excellent; mine host Salvadori had excelled 
himself. When we came to the cigars Dr. Lafone- 
Quevedo rose and in a graceful speech expressed the 
gratitude which was felt by the Academy of Science 
of the University of La Plata, which is charged with 
the administration of the affairs of the National Mu- 
seum, for the recent gift of Mr. Carnegie, and proposed 
the health of that generous citizen of the United States 
of North America and his representative, the guest of 
the evening. When this had been done, the speaker 
announced that he had still another duty to perform 
before he took his seat, and that was to welcome the 
guest of the evening into the ranks of the Honorary 
Membership of the Academy of Science of La Plata, 
and handed to the writer a diploma certifying to his 
election. The writer replied by expressing his deep 
sense of the distinguished and altogether unexpected 
honor which had been conferred upon him, and which 
he accepted as a highly prized token of good-will, but 
much more as a token of esteem for his distinguished 

258 To the River Plate and Back 

fellow-countryman, whom he had the honor of repre- 
senting. Allusion was made to the bonds of friendship, 
ever increasing in number, which unite the men of the 
two Americas, and the writer concluded by proposing 
the health of the President of Argentina, the long 
life and prosperity of the Academy of Science, and 
sempiternal success to the honest efforts of thinking 
men in all lands and under all skies to bring about the 
reign of peace and friendship among men. 

As the first steamer for New York, upon which we 
were able to secure accommodations for our return, 
would not sail until October 26th, leaving a period of 
ten days at my disposal in which to make an attempt 
to see a little more of the country, I resolved to make 
an excursion westward and obtain a glimpse of the 
Andes. Mr. Garrett invited me to accompany him on 
an excursion, which he had already arranged to take 
from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso and thence southward, 
returning by way of the Strait of Magellan. Nothing 
would have given me greater pleasure than to have 
accepted the opportunity to make this tour in such 
pleasant company, but I decided that it would be 
inexpedient for me to undertake the journey, as my 
return to New York would thus be delayed for a 
month. Meanwhile I received an invitation to partake 
of the hospitality of the University of La Plata at a 
banquet to be tendered to me at the Jockey Club in 
Buenos Aires on the evening of October 24th, at which 
I was informed that the Faculties of the two Universi- 
ties of La Plata and Buenos Aires would unite in 
recognizing in this way the kindness of Mr. Carnegie 
to the nation. I resolved after careful consideration to 
content myself with an excursion to Tucuman. This 
would give me an opportunity to see a wide extent of 

The Presentation of the Diplodocus 259 

the country, take me to a spot of great historic interest, 
and give me a glimpse of the Cordilleras. I left to my 
obliging assistant the task of packing up the specimens 
intended for the Carnegie Museum, which had been 
presented to us by the authorities of the University, 
and betaking myself to Buenos Aires, made my arrange- 
ments for the journey. 



"Then we gather as we travel 

Bits of moss and dirty gravel, 
And we chip off little specimens of stone, 
And we carry home as prizes 
Funny bugs of handy sizes, 
Just to give the day a scientific tone." C. E. Carryl. 

"Tucuman Limited' leaves the Retire Station 
1 in Buenos Aires at ten o'clock in the morning. 
A few minutes before the time of departure I boarded 
the train and settled myself in my compartment. The 
day was bright and cool. There were many people 
upon the platform, some of whom had evidently come 
to say farewell to their friends; newsboys were crying 
their wares ; venders of sweetmeats and fruits sauntered 
along under the windows of the cars, displaying the 
contents of their baskets, and soliciting purchases; 
officials in uniform were bustling hither and thither; 
workmen in blue overalls were opening and shutting 
the axle-boxes, and were followed by men with hammers 
who tested the wheels with resounding taps. It was 
evident that the departure of the "Limited " was a more 
or less important event in the daily routine of the little 
railway world, which held the stage for the moment. 
At last the conductor took his whistle from his pocket 

and blew shrilly, then called out, "Aboard!" The 


El Tigre. A Favorite Pleasure Resort near Buenos Aires. 

Tucuman. The Ancient Capital. 

A Trip to Tucuman 261 

train began to move, there were waving handkerchiefs, 
parting salutations, and in the eyes of a few of those who 
were left behind there were tears, the cause of which it 
was left to fancy to surmise. 

As the run from Buenos Aires to Tucuman of eleven 
hundred and fifty-six kilometers, equivalent to seven 
hundred and twelve miles, is scheduled to be made in a 
little more than twenty-four hours, the motion of the 
train was not laggard. We quickly passed through the 
crowded yards of the terminal, made a short stop at 
Belgrano, the fashionable northern suburb, and then 
settled down to a steady gait of forty-five miles an 
hour. The train was vestibuled, made up of four 
sleeping-cars, a dining-car, a mail-car, and a baggage- 
car. The cars were almost as large as those in use in 
the United States, and precisely similar in their appoint- 
ments to the wagon-lits in vogue on the International 
Expresses in Europe. 

We glided by villas and gardens sloping toward the 
river ; we slipped past the Junction leading to El Tigre ; 
and then found ourselves out upon the wide pampas. 
To the right in the distance a low fringe of willows 
and poplars along the horizon indicated the bank of the 
River Parana, which the railway more or less closely 
parallels from Buenos Aires to Rosario. There are 
four tracks on the road-bed between the two cities, and 
the time made over this stretch was quicker than on any 
other portion of our journey. The track is level, for 
long distances straight, and very well laid, so that fast 
running was in order. On either side of the track were 
fields of grain, and expanses of pasture-land. The 
country gave the impression of being carefully tilled. 
The fields were neat, the fencing in good order. The 
corn, or maize, which was just appearing above the 

262 To the River Plate and Back 

soil, had been regularly planted, and looked flourishing. 
There were square leagues devoted to alfalfa. Finer 
fields of this useful plant are not to be seen anywhere. 
Now and then we caught sight of ranch-houses, their 
white walls peeping out from among the dark green of 
the eucalyptus-groves, by which they were surrounded. 
The whole landscape was dotted with herds of short- 
horns, and great flocks of sheep. As we came nearer to 
Rosario wheat-fields became more numerous. On the 
right, as we went along, we occasionally saw towering 
above the fringe of willows the masts of ships or the 
funnels of steamers going or coming on the way to 
Rosario. Now and then tall chimneys and high roofs 
indicated the location on the banks of the stream of 
some great packing-house, or frigorifico, where meat is 
frozen for export to the European markets. 

Our first stop was made at Campana, where the 
locomotive-driver replenished his water-tank. The 
system of taking water while the train is in flight, long 
in use upon some of the North American railways, does 
not appear as yet to have been introduced into Argen- 
tina. At all events I did not observe that it is employed 
on any of the roads upon which I traveled. 

In the ditches which we crossed as the train dashed 
forward I caught glimpses now and then of cormorants 
fishing in the shallow pools. Here and there a heron 
sailed away into the skies. I was interested in observ- 
ing that the Scissor-tailed Fly-catcher (Mifaulus 
tyrannus) was quite common in the region. This bird, 
which is related to our common King-bird, differs from 
the latter in having a long forked tail, the two outer 
feathers of which trail behind like ribbons as it flies. 
Just as it alights upon the top of the thistles or the 
fence-posts it appears to have the habit of spreading its 

A Trip to Tucuman 


tail in the form of the letter V. Its singular appear- 
ance at once attracted attention. It is said to possess 
the same intrepid and pugnacious disposition which 
characterizes the King-bird, and will fearlessly attack 
hawks, or other predaceous birds, and harry them, 
until they fly away, screaming for mercy. The Teru- 
teru, or Argentine Lapwing, was everywhere to be 
seen, standing in quiet 
contemplation upon 
one leg, or else rapidly 
running about, or 
standing and flapping 
its black and white 
wings, much as a hack- 
man on a cold winter 
day will wave his arms 
and beat his shoulders 
to restore circulation. 
What the object of this 
action on the part of 
the bird may be I do 
not know. 

The train was mov- 
ing too rapidly most of 
the time to allow me, 
though I strained my eyes, to make out the flower- 
ing plants which here and there were blooming along- 
side of the track. I noted thickets of fennel, 
cardoon, and poison hemlock completely filling for 
long distances the right-of-way between the ends of the 
ties, and the wire-fences which separate the property of 
the railroad from the adjoining land. A few miserable 
specimens of Erythrina cristagalli, which survived on 
the edge of a pool, which the railway at one point 

Fig. 26 Scissor - tailed Fly - catcher 
(Milvulus tyrannus) . i nat. size. 

264 To the River Plate and Back 

skirted, were in blossom; and I could imagine how fine 
must be the appearance of the great river-marshes, 
where this plant still survives, when they are covered 
by its bloom. 

As the sun mounted toward the zenith, and the 
noonday heat became intense, I noticed that mirages 
sprang up in the distance. Ranch-houses and groves 
appeared above the horizon-line with reversed outlines, 
as if reflected from the borders of a lake. Great 
shining sheets of water seemed to spread over the land- 
scape. The illusion was perfect. My attention was 
called to another optical illusion, which for an instant 
puzzled me. In the middle distance, and in fact quite 
near at hand ahead of the train, I observed what ap- 
peared to be broad reaches of blue water, filled with 
low marsh-plants. When I first saw this, I did not 
think anything about the matter, believing that what 
I beheld was what my eyes taught me to see, but when 
the train reached the spot where I had seen the water, 
and where from appearances we ought to have been 
running over piles through a marsh, I discovered that 
the ground was solid. A little reflection revealed the 
cause of the illusion. The land for square leagues was 
sown with flax, and it was in flower. The lines of 
Longfellow came back to memory: 

"Blue were her eyes as the fairy flax." 

The great sheets of water, which I had seen, were the 
pampas covered with the bloom of the lowly plant, 
millions of acres of which are annually sown in Ar- 
gentina, not for the sake of the fiber, but for the sake of 
the seed. Linseed is a standard article of export. 
Such fields of flax I had never seen before, and unless it 

A Trip to Tucuman 265 

be in our own northwest, or upon the steppes of Russia, 
such fields of this plant do not occur elsewhere upon our 
globe. One field of flax I saw was said to cover over 
fifteen thousand acres. 

At lunch-time I went forward to the dining-car, and 
found that I had been assigned a seat at table with 
three young gentlemen, who informed me that they 
were students in the University of Buenos Aires, and 
were on their way to their home in the city of Salta, 
having been suddenly summoned thither by the death 
of a relative. They proved to be intelligent and 
agreeable young men, with whom it was a pleasure to 
converse during and after luncheon, and who told me 
much which interested me concerning that part of the 
country in which they lived. The elder of the three was 
evidently responsible to some extent for the care of his 
two younger companions, and the sensible and fraternal 
way in which he discharged his duties attracted me to 

We made a short stay at San Nicolas about half- 
past two in the afternoon. The place is the point of 
junction of a branch-line of the railway, and the site of 
packing-houses and grain-elevators. There were several 
large vessels alongside of the latter. 

We reached Rosario at a quarter before four o'clock 
in the afternoon, and remained fifteen minutes, during 
which a change of engines was made. The railway- 
terminal is at some remove from the more densely built- 
up portions of the city. I walked out into the open 
space in front of the station, where tram-cars and cab- 
men were congregated. As the sunlight fell upon the 
walls and towers of the central portions of the town, I 
realized that it perhaps had been a mistake on my part 
not to have included it in my list of stopping-places, 

266 To the River Plate and Back 

and subsequently, when I met on the train an en- 
thusiastic resident of the town and fell into conversation 
with him, I had the sin of my omission more vividly 
impressed upon me. He is a banker in Rosario and 
did not hesitate to inform me in a good-natured way 
that for a gentleman from North America to have 
come so near one of the really great commercial centers 
of South America, and only to have peeped at it from 
the railway-station, was a very singular procedure. 
I could only retort by saying, "Eh bien! I have been in 
Paris four times during the past three years, and each 
time only stayed long enough to get breakfast and 
change cars. ' 

When leaving Rosario the locomotive was attached to 
what had been the rear of our train in coming up from 
Buenos Aires, and the window of my compartment 
henceforth faced to the east and not to the west, as it 
had up to this time. As the sun gradually declined I 
watched the shadow of the train creep out over the 
level plain. I have crossed the prairies of Minnesota 
and the Dakotas, of Kansas and Nebraska, of Manitoba 
and Alberta ; I have traveled over the steppes of Russia ; 
but in none of them have I seen such absolutely level 
lands as those which lie between Rosario and Irigoyen. 
The horizon is that of the ocean; an upturned clod 
attracts attention; a hut looks like a house; a tree 
looms up like a hill. After leaving Rosario stops became 
more frequent. Just after one of these, as the train 
was slowly beginning to get under way again, we came 
up to a herd of cattle on the road alongside of the rail- 
way track; a young woman on horseback was trying 
to drive them toward the village we were leaving. For 
some reason or other the horse she was riding took 
fright. He reared and plunged and began to buck, but 

A Trip to Tucuman 267 

the girl sat her saddle. I leaned out of the window to 
watch the exciting scene, and when I caught the last 
glimpse of her she was evidently getting the mastery 
of her unwilling mount. Her skill and pluck were 
equal to those of any guacho. 

The sunset came with a glory too rich for words or 
palette to depict. Huge clouds hung in the eastern 
sky above the dark emerald green of the horizon. As 
the sun went down all the colors of the spectrum were 
revealed in the heavens. The clouds which had been 
white became yellow, then pink, then orange, then 
crimson; between their soaring masses the sky ranged 
from apple-green near the horizon to the deepest cobalt 
in the vault above. The glory of the sky was reflected 
upon the land. The green of the leagues of growing 
grain was reddened and transformed into a rich olive 
tint, the plowed fields became russet touched with 
gold. The dull uniformity of the landscape seemed to 
be lost in the weltering splendor of the dying day, and 
when the sun had set, and the world below grew dark, 
the glory still lingered among the pinnacles of the 
clouds high overhead. When at last deep night had 
fallen, from the damp herbage rose the fire-flies. In 
places they fairly swarmed, and appeared to be larger 
and to emit a stronger light than the species we know 
in the United States. From their flight I judged them 
to be true Lampyrids, belonging to the same group of 
insects which we know in the United States, not the 
Elater noctilucus of the tropics, the "mooney' of the 
Jamaican negroes, which I subsequently saw on my 
journey, and which gives forth a different glow. 

Having been reminded that the dinner hour had come, 
I repaired to the dining-car and found myself placed 
opposite to a young lady, beside whom a stout gentle- 

268 To the River Plate and Back 

man, who came in a few moments later, seated himself. 
I ventured to converse with the latter, and he informed 
me that he was a Bolivian on his way home to La Paz 
by way of Salta and Jujuy. While we sat and talked 
the lady never uttered a sound, and accepted what was 
placed before her, as course followed course, without 
note or comment. She seemed to me to be in trouble, 
but I did not venture to speak to her. At last my 
Bolivian acquaintance rose to leave the table, and I 
was about to follow his example, when the young lady 
broke her silence by saying to me, ' Dear sir, are you 
an Englishman?' I replied, "Not exactly, but I come 
very near to being one. I am an American a North 
American.' "Oh!' she said, 'I have always heard 
that your people are horrid. They teach us that in 
Argentina, among the circles in which I move; but you 
do not look as if you could be unkind. ' With that she 
handed me a card, telling me that it was her father's 
card. I glanced at it and recognized that it was the 
card of a man who held a responsible position in a great 
firm in Buenos Aires. 'I am in deep trouble,' she 
went on to say. "My father, whose card I have given 
you, brought me to the train this morning and saw me 
off. I had a compartment, which I supposed I would 
occupy alone on my journey to Tucuman, whither I am 
going without escort, to meet friends who live there. 
I do not speak a word of Spanish. After we were under 
way a woman was brought and put into the compart- 
ment with me. I did not object, but presently she 
produced a bottle or two from her belongings, and since 
the middle of the afternoon she has been in a state of 
complete intoxication. At Rosario they put two other 
women into the compartment to occupy the upper 
berths. Of these women I cannot tell you what I 

A Trip to Tucuman. 269 

think, but they evidently are not ladies, and their 
conduct since they came on board has been simply 
shocking. I tried to explain to the conductor that he 
must provide me a place away from this dreadful 
company in which I find myself, but he does not under- 
stand English or French. Will you not help me?' 
I at once sent for the conductor and told him that he 
must promptly make arrangements to give the young 
woman a place in a compartment where she would not 
be annoyed. I explained to him the circumstances, and 
told him that unless something was done immediately 
I would report the matter to the railway authorities. 
He presently came back to the dining-car and informed 
me that the wife of one of the inspectors of the railway, 
who occupied a compartment by herself, a senora muy 
respetable, was willing to give shelter to my acquain- 
tance, and allow her to occupy the upper berth. I 
went back to the car in which she was, in order to act 
as interpreter in case of necessity, and being confronted 
by her three companions, who were holding a levee in 
the compartment with half a dozen male acquaintances, 
I realized that she had only too good reason for appeal- 
ing to me. I said a few stern words to the disorderly 
crowd, which caused the men to slink away for the 
moment. The moral of the incident is simply this: 
that it is inadvisable and may be inexpressibly uncom- 
fortable for a woman to travel in these lands without 
escort, and particularly when unacquainted -with the 
language. I did not see the young Englishwoman until 
about noon the next day, when, as I was alighting from 
the train, she came up to me on the platform of the 
railway station at Tucuman, and thanked me for having 
intervened on her behalf. 

When the dawn came on the following morning a 

270 To the River Plate and Back 

change had taken place in the landscape. The country 
was no longer as flat as it had seemed throughout the 
whole of the preceding day, but was gently undulating. 
The vegetation was different. There were on all sides 
thorny thickets, and low forest growths. I recognized 
various species of acacia and mimosa. Prosopis alba, 
with its feathery leaves, and the "chanar"-tree (Gour- 
liea decorticans) were common. Here and there a few 
specimens of the quebracho-tree had escaped the 
clutches of the 'wood-butchers,' in spite of the fact 
that they were growing near the line of the railway. 
The quebracho Colorado (Schinopsis Lorentzii) is one 
of the notable trees of the country. Out of its almost 
imperishable wood, which is nearly as hard as ebony, 
are made the railroad-ties for the various lines, which 
are gridironing the southern continent. Latterly it is 
being used for the manufacture of tannin. About 
twenty-five per cent, of the substance of the tree is 
tannin, and this is being extracted in huge quantities, 
and the noble trees are disappearing as fast as they can 
be cut down and their wood chewed up by powerful 
machinery and the tannin separated. The bulk of the 
extract is exported to the United States, though Ger- 
many and Great Britain are also large consumers 
of the product. The name quebracho- 'break-ax" 
was given to the tree because of the hardness of its 
wood. There are other trees to which the same name 
has been given by the natives, and one of these the 
quebracho bianco (Aspidosperma quebracho), the bark 
of which contains certain alkaloids reputed to possess 
medicinal properties, is also one of the common trees of 
the semi-forested belt through which our train was 
passing. But more striking than any of the growths I 
have mentioned were the giant cacti. Many of these 

A Trip to Tucuman 271 

were fully forty or more feet in height. At the ground 
they appeared to be from two to three feet in diameter, 
and then rapidly branching, sent up huge candelabra- 
like tops, which were covered with large starry flowers, 
some white, some yellow, some crimson. There were 
evidently a number of species. These growths were 
in many places being cut down and burned up to make 
way for the planting of alfalfa. I saw the Italian 
laborers at work in the clearings, and here, there, 
everywhere, columns of smoke could be seen ascending 
from the midst of the forest just as I used to see them 
when I was a child in the Middle West of our own 
country. What would not the people of Ohio, Indiana, 
and Kentucky now give if they could only recall to the 
land the growths of trees which once covered it? The 
sight of these giants of their race being hacked down and 
destroyed impelled me on my return to Buenos Aires 
to suggest to Sefior Ramos Mejia, the Minister of 
Public Works, that there ought to be steps taken to 
make a reservation of a large tract of this interesting 
region, easily accessible from the railway, so that future 
generations of Argentines might know what the land 
was like when the fathers first invaded it. He admitted 
the desirability of such a step, but said, The General 
Government possesses no claim to the lands within the 
limits of the organized Provinces. We have followed 
the example of your country. The United States of 
North America cannot set up 'forest reservations' in 
Pennsylvania. If such reservations are made it must 
be by the Province. ' Thus the matter rests. I hope, 
however, that the Provinces, if not the General Govern- 
ment of Argentina, may not fail in the near future to 
take steps to preserve at least some small portions of the 
primaeval forests in their native wildness. 

272 To the River Plate and Back 

At La Banda there was a short stay made. This is 
the point where passengers bound for Santiago, the 
capital of the Province of Santiago del Estero, change 
cars. Here there were extensive irrigation ditches, and 
the work of reclaiming the land in the neighborhood 
appears to be progressing. The soil is very red, and 
seemed to be somewhat impregnated with iron. It did 
not appear very fertile to me, but I observed that along 
the irrigation canals a rank growth of vegetation oc- 
curred, so that it no doubt possesses more agricultural 
value than at first sight it suggests. The ride during the 
remainder of the forenoon was hot and rather dusty. 
We were behind time, owing to some detention which 
had taken place during the night, and we did not reach 
Tucuman until noon. The approach was interesting. 
We left the thorny forests behind us, and found our- 
selves in a wide and evidently very fertile plain, given 
over almost entirely to the cultivation of sugar-cane, 
which was just springing up. The fields seemed to be very 
carefully tilled and the young canes were in fine condition. 
Ahead of us were the blue slopes of the Cordilleras, their 
tops veiled in clouds. Just at their feet rose the towers 
and white walls of Tucuman. The tall chimneys of the 
sugar-factories are a striking feature of the landscape. 

I had taken pains to make inquiries of several 
persons on the train in regard to hotel accommodations 
in Tucuman, and found that all agreed that the best 
hotel in the city was one which had only recently been 
built, and which I was informed represented the last 
word in the architecture and furnishing of such a house. 
At the station I promptly surrendered my valise to the 
custody of a young man, who wore a cap upon the band 
of which the name of this hotel appeared. He did not 
seem averse to taking charge of my luggage, but rather 

A Trip to Tucuman 273 

startled me by telling me, that, while I could get a room 
in the house, I would have to go elsewhere for my meals, 
as the hotel was closed in part, and the chef and the 
waiters had all been dismissed the week before. I 
resolved, nevertheless, to inspect the house. I found 
I had not been misinformed as to its character. The 
building is large, the room offered me was as good as I 
could have obtained in the best hotel in New York, and 
there was a fine bath-room connected with it, which in 
view of the heat and the dust which had settled into 
every pore, led me promptly to decide that wherever 
I might take my meals, this was the place for me. The 
sight of a neatly tiled bath-room, and an immaculate 
porcelain tub resolved all doubts on the instant. When 
the dust of the journey had been washed away, I felt as 
I imagine King Naaman must have felt after he had 
obeyed the prophet and taken his plunge into the Jor- 
dan. The owner of this fine new hotel in Tucuman is 
the owner of two large and successful hotels in Mon- 
tevideo. His reason for closing the house in the north 
is probably the same which leads the proprietors of 
hotels in Florida not to keep them open in the summer 
season. The people about the hotel had no reason to 
assign for the closing of the dining-room, except that 
they had received orders to do so. A relative of the 
proprietor who seemed to be in charge, and who is an 
English lady, said to me of the owner, 'E is makin' 
lots o' money in Montevideo, but I don't know 'ow it 
is up 'ere, tambien; it 's not for the loikes o' us to be 
givin' 'im adwice, tambien; 'e knows 'is hown biznis, 
tambien.' Her use of the Spanish word "tambien" to 
interlard her sentences very much as "Selah" is employed 
in the Psalms, was delicious. 

I discovered that I would have to take my meals at a 


274 To the River Plate and Back 

hotel located in the central part of the city, on the Plaza 
Independencia, and as the sun was scorching and this 
hotel was located fully half a mile from my bath-tub, 
I formed an acquaintance with Antonio, the owner 
of a fiacre and a sound horse, with whom I made a 
bargain that he would enter into my service, accept- 
ing wages for the day instead of for the trip, and he 
became my fidus Achates. He seemed pleased to 
enter into the arrangement, and I had no occasion 
during my stay to regret the fact that I had made it. 
The hotel, to which I resorted for my luncheon, was a 
low structure, two stories in height, very deep, and 
traversed through its entire length by a long, narrow 
patio over which was a glazed roof. At the extreme 
rear of this cool passageway, nearly two hundred feet 
long, was the dining-room. On either side of the 
passageway were offices, and bed-rooms for guests, 
though most of the guests have their bed-rooms on the 
second floor, with their doors opening out upon a 
balcony. The place had a somewhat rusty and antique 
appearance, but the viands were good and the service 
was prompt. After luncheon I informed Antonio that 
I wished to make a round of the city and see the princi- 
pal sights. We first repaired to the "Casa Historica. ' 
This is the building in which on the 9th day of July, 
in the year 1816 the representatives of the Spanish 
colonies in the southern part of the continent of South 
America assembled, and where they formulated and 
adopted their declaration of independence from Spain. 
The building is about twenty feet wide and sixty feet 
long, roofed with tiles. The interior forms a single 
room, floored with rough red tiles about a foot square, 
somewhat irregularly laid. The walls are whitewashed, 
and the ceiling, which is built of rough planking, is also 

A Trip to Tucuman 275 

whitewashed. At one end of the room is a large rudely 
carved arm-chair, in front of which is a low table. 
The arm-chair is the one which was used by the Presi- 
dent of the first Congress, and the table is said to be the 
same which was. used at that time. There are a few 
other chairs which range along the sides of the room; 
otherwise there is no furniture. Upon the walls hang 
a framed copy of the Declaration of Independence, and 
portraits of a number of those who were the signers of 
the same. Let into the walls are a number of commemo- 
rative tablets. This lowly structure is preserved and 
protected from decay by having built over it an outer 
structure surmounted by a great dome of glass, under 
the middle of which it stands. In the courtyard in 
front of this handsome outer edifice on either side are 
two great bronzes commemorating the passage of the 
act by which the people of the South American Colonies 
declared their freedom from the yoke of Spain. The 
one on the left, as the courtyard is entered, represents 
the members of the Congress gathering about the table 
in the Casa Historica to affix their signatures to the 
immortal document. The one on the right represents 
the reading of the Declaration to the assembled people. 
These tablets are about twenty-five feet long and ten 
feet high, and the figures are life-size. In the center 
of the outer court are planted a number of palms, which 
are growing vigorously and afford a grateful shade. I 
lingered for some time at this spot, stirred by 
emotions kindred to those which might be felt by a 
stranger who for the first time visits Independence 
Hall in Philadelphia. Great are the changes not only 
in South America, but throughout the whole world, 
which have taken place since the first deliberative 
assembly met under the lowly roof of the humble 

276 To the River Plate and Back 

building which patriotic pride is preserving. The men 
who gathered here came across the pampas, the 
snowy mountains of the West, and through the hot 
tropical jungles, enduring such hardships in travel 
as none in this generation is called upon to under- 
go. Life in these regions a hundred years ago had in it 
no touch of luxury; the conditions were even sterner 
than in the great Republic of the North. The heroism 
displayed by the patriots who met at Tucuman was not 
less than that displayed by the men who had gathered 
for the same purpose in Philadelphia in 1776. 

It is possible, however, for a traveler to surfeit him- 
self with sight-seeing. Too much of anything palls. 
There comes a time in European travel unless you 
have great endurance when the sight of a cathedral 
disgusts, and the thought of an art-gallery provokes 
a yawn. After having spent half an hour in cudgeling 
from the dark chambers of memory what little I knew 
of South American history, I began to feel exhaustion. 
Strained by this form of mental exercise, I resolved that 
I would follow the advice of Antonio, who informed me 
that he knew a brickyard in the outskirts of the city 
where there were butterflies mariposas in abundance. 
He had been examining my butterfly-net, which I had 
left on the seat of the fiacre, while I was exploring the 
Casa Historica. "Very well, then, good Antonio, we 
will go to the outskirts, stopping on the way to see 
anything which may be of interest. ' We halted at two 
of the churches, which I entered, but, not having letters 
of introduction to the Roman Catholic bishop of the 
diocese, failed to detect anything which was profoundly 
interesting in their interiors, though no doubt with a 
competent guide, such as a bishop might be, the tourist 
could obtain some satisfaction by a visit to these old 

A Trip to Tucuman 277 

edifices. I have no doubt that each one of them has a 
story to tell, which, however, is not revealed by gilded 
Madonnas and altar furniture, which appears to be all 
t hat is visible. I am not much interested in such things, 
and if I wish to see them, can see them better at home in 
the factory which is run by my Italian friend who makes 
the reproductions of the bones of the Diplodocus for 
me, and who, as a side issue, runs a shop in which 
he sells virgins and apostles used to decorate the sanc- 
tuaries of the faithful. From appearances the making 
of plaster of Paris images must be a good business in 
South America for the enterprising Italians who have it 
in hand. Two days afterwards, on Sunday, I witnessed 
a solemn religious procession, in w r hich one of these 
gilded images of the Virgin covered by a canopy was 
paraded through the streets borne on the shoulders of 
men, preceded and followed by ecclesiastics and great 
numbers of people with bared heads, while the military 
had turned out, and bands played, and there was a 
general sensation throughout the town. This kind of 
mummery is characteristic to some extent of Spain, as it- 
used also formerly to be of Italy and France. Its per- 
petuation in South America is interesting, as showing 
the survival of curious religious customs, which have 
become obsolete in other parts of the world with the 
advance of knowledge. 

Antonio's brickyard, although it was full of thistles, 
the blossoms of which the butterflies frequent, did not 
yield as many specimens as an adjoining alfalfa-field, 
which was in bloom. But it did yield me a very beauti- 
ful view of the Cordilleras, and it was these which I had 
come to Tucuman to see. Alas ! however, during all the 
days that I was there the obstinate clouds refused to 
roll away from the summits, and the deep purple slopes 

278 To the River Plate and Back 

were the most that I generally saw. Now and then, as 
the clouds twisted about higher up, an aggravating and 
unsatisfying glimpse of peaks and pinnacles was ob- 
tained. Early one morning, about four o'clock, upon 
waking and looking toward the west, I caught a glimpse 
of the more distant summits; but it quickly vanished. 
For weeks at a time the great Andean uplifts are 
wrapped in fog. In consequence of this there is 
wonderful vegetation upon the lower slopes. Antonio 
drove me over by a very rough road, full of ruts, to the 
edge of the tropical forest, which comes down to meet 
the clearings in which sugar-canes grow. It was only 
a glimpse I had of a world in which I would like to 
have spent weeks. What I saw reminded me of the 
forest-clad mountains about Rio de Janeiro the same 
splendid growths of huge umbrageous trees; the same 
intermingling of genera and species; the same wealth 
of epiphytic plants. 

It was dinner-time and already dark when Antonio 
brought me back at the end of my first day's experience 
in Tucuman. I was glad to retreat to my bath-tub, and 
at an early hour to 'woo the drowsy god,' safely 
ensconced under the cover of the mosquito-net, which I 
took pains to adjust in such a manner as to prevent 
attacks by Stegomya, that insidious dipteron, which 
conveys the germs of yellow fever. It had not been 
reassuring at dinner to have the head-waiter inform me 
that there were a good many cases of vomito in town. 

On the morning of the following day, at an early 
hour, I was driven by Antonio into the country. We 
went first to the Aguas Corrientes, the water- works, 
where Antonio had informed me that I would see 
something, and have a chance to make a good collection 
of the small creatures which I wished to obtain. The 

A Trip to Tucuman 279 

result of the expedition was not wholly satisfactory so 
far as the number of specimens was concerned. I had 
an opportunity, however, to observe some things which 
w r ere not devoid of interest. A great swarm of grass- 
hoppers were at work in a field through which I rambled. 
The langustos, as the natives call them, were fully 
mature, and were busy devouring the herbage. The 
day was quite still, and it was a novel thing to hear the 
sound which they produced as they fed upon the grasses 
and foliage. The working of thousands upon thousands 
of small jaws and the rustling of wings, and the stir 
they made as they crawled over the ground, filled the 
air with a low but continuous murmur, unlike anything 
else I have heard. It became impressive as evidence 
of the fact that so small and insignificant a thing as a 
grasshopper may indeed become : 'a burden,' and a 
great burden, too, to the land. The species (Schisto- 
cerca paranensis) is at times a veritable scourge, as 
great as that of the locusts of the Orient, even more 
so than the common Melanoplus spretus, the Rocky 
Mountain Locust, to which it is not distantly related. 
The insects were being greedily devoured by birds, and 
I noted that the Guira was doing its part in destroying 
them. By the roadside I had a good opportunity to 
examine the nest of an Oven-bird (Furnarius rufus) . It 
was built low down on the branch of a tree, so that by 
standing up in the carriage I could get a very good view 
of it. I had seen the birds on the grounds of the Obser- 
vatory at La Plata, and had often observed their nests 
at a distance, but here was a chance to carefully study 
one near at hand. The structure is almost globular in 
outline, built of clay, about a foot in diameter, with an 
entrance at one side. It is said that this entrance is 
always placed by the bird toward the rising sun. 

280 To the River Plate and Back 

Whether this is true in all cases it is, of course, impossible 
for me to affirm, but it was certainly true in the case 
of the nest which I examined. I note, however, that 
Hudson, who ought to know, says that the opening is 
always made on that side of the nest from which danger 
might be apprehended. Inside the nest is divided into 
two compartments, a small ante-chamber and a larger 
inner chamber, the entrance to which is higher up than 
the outer entrance, so that it cannot well be reached 
from the outer entrance with the ringers. The bird is 
very common in the Province of Buenos Aires and else- 
where; and there are a number of other species of the 
same genus in other parts of South America which have 
similar habits. The bird is known by the common peo- 
ple under the name of el Hornero, l the Baker, " because 
of the oven-like structure which it builds. Antonio said 
to me: U EI Hornero es el mas inteligente de todos los 
pajaros; es arquitecto.' There is a great deal of folk- 
lore and tradition in reference to the Oven-bird current 
throughout Argentina. The birds are never molested, 
and it is regarded as a sign of good luck to have the 
Hornero build its nest in proximity to a house. The 
bird in size is a little smaller than the common robin of 
our North American lawns, the plumage of its back, 
tail, and wings bright reddish brown, the breast paler 
in color. It may frequently be seen running and 
hopping about on pathways in gardens. 

The reservoirs and pumping stations at the water- 
works did not interest me as much as my cochero 
thought they would. I have seen in my time more 
impressive establishments. Butterflies of various 
species were reasonably common, but I found the heat 
so oppressive, that, after I had spent an hour or two 
chasing and collecting insects, I was ready to seek other 

A Trip to Tucuman 281 

pastures. We drove at my command to the river- 
el rio. i had anticipated from the map that I would 
find myself on the banks of a considerable stream. In 
the rainy season there was every evidence that it must 
be a great body of water which flows down through its 
bed; but to my horror, when I arrived, where I had 
expected to see a broad shining river, I discovered 
nothing but cobblestones and stretches of sand in which 
dwarfed willows were growing; through the middle of 
the channel there flowed a highly malodorous stream of 
sewage about four feet wide, from which I fled incon- 
tinently. The carcasses of dead animals had been 
apparently hauled out of town and deposited along the 
bed of the river, there to decay, and ultimately to be 
washed away by freshets, which fill the channel in the 
rainy season. El rio left upon me no memories save 
that of its extreme putridity. The sanitary condition 
of Tucuman would be improved by resorting to some 
more modern method of disposing of the sewage and the 
carcasses of dead horses and dogs, which are now left to 
fester under a torrid sun. 

The Province of Tucuman is the center of the sugar 
industry of Argentina. Under a protective tariff the 
business has increased greatly in recent years. The 
area under cultivation has grown since 1872, when it 
was 2453 hectares, to 72,000 hectares in 1910, of which 
62,500 equal to about 155,000 acres were planted in 
the immediate vicinity of Tucuman. The level plain 
in which Tucuman is located is criss-crossed in various 
directions by railways, to which the canes are brought 
when ripe and transported to the factories, where the 
whole process of making sugar is completed, from the 
crushing of the canes by powerful machinery, thereby 
extracting the sap, to the final process of refining. 

282 To the River Plate and Back 

German and French capital and brains have been 
utilized to bring about the greatest economy in manufac- 
ture. A number of the establishments are truly impres- 
sive in their size and the perfection of their equipment. 
To find here within sight of the Andes great estab- 
lishments covering an area as large as is covered by 
some of the larger steel-mills in the United States, 
devoted to the production of sugar, was to me at first 
sight a matter of astonishment. I had the pleasure 
of meeting several German chemists, who are charged 
with the conduct of one of these great concerns. I 
found them to be men of scientific training, thorough 
masters of the subject. While the industry has as- 
sumed large proportions, the product at the present 
time is only about equal to the domestic demand, and 
Argentina has not yet come to the point where it can 
export sugar profitably and in quantity. Not all of the 
refining is done on the ground at Tucuman. A certain 
proportion of the raw sugar is shipped to Rosario, where 
there are extensive refineries. 

The population of Tucuman reveals a considerable 
infusion of Indian blood, much more than is the case in 
Buenos Aires. Not a few of the people I saw were 
evidently pure-blooded Indians. One old woman, w r ho 
daily sat at the entrance of the hotel where I took my 
luncheon and dinner, told me with evident pride that 
she was an Indian. She was engaged in selling cheap 
embroideries of native workmanship. I saw many 
others whose features indicated that they belonged to 
the same race. Some of the children and girls were 
decidedly pretty. As a class these people did not 
impress me as being very robust, and some of them 
appeared to be more or less under-sized and under-fed. 
Pulmonary disease is reported to be very prevalent 

A Trip to Tucuman 283 

among them, and likewise syphilis. The latter disease 
is very prevalent in South America, and according to 
the opinion of some learned authors the disease was 
originally imported into Europe from South America. 
Whatever may have been the point of its origin, it is, 
according to the opinion of those most competent to 
express themselves upon the subject, unfortunately 
very common in the southern continent. 

The days I had allowed myself for my visit to Tucu- 
man came all too quickly to an end. I would gladly 
have stayed longer, and pushed on to Salta and Jujuy, 
and thence invaded Bolivia, and paid a call in passing 
to a young friend of mine, who has for many years past 
been sending me the birds and insects of the latter 
country. But I knew I had gone as far as I dared to go 
with the time at my command, and therefore on the 
night of October 2Oth boarded the train for my return 
to Buenos Aires. By doing this I was enabled to see 
by the light of day that part of the country through 
which I had passed in the night on coming up. The 
clear division between the different vegetational zones 
through which we passed was most interesting. When 
I awoke on the morning of the 2ist we were still in the 
region of the giant cacti and the thorny undergrowths 
of the semi-arid belt. We soon passed beyond this into 
a tract which still retains much of the primitive vegeta- 
tion of the pampas. It was characterized by growths of 
tall, harsh grasses, growing in tufts, with bare open 
spaces between them. Some of these spots between 
the grass-tufts were filled with blooming plants of 
different species, among them I was delighted to see 
the scarlet verbena blossoming in a way which would 
delight the heart of a florist at home. Wide patches of 
the soil were all ablaze with the brilliant red of this 

To the River Plate and Back 

beautiful flower. A little farther alon^ between the 
railway stations known as Pinta and Selva there 
occurred palms and palmettos, scattered in clumps 
among the rank grasses, which covered the ground. 

In the neighborhood of Palacios I observed that the 
land for leagues was covered with tall ant-hills, from 
eighteen inches to two feet in height. There were 
literally millions of them crowded together in such 
proximity to each other that they seemed to occupy 
almost the entire surface. I should much have liked 

Fig. 27 Carancho. i nat. size. 

to have given them a near inspection. The ants of the 
tropics have had an important part in the past in form- 
ing the soil, having performed a service analogous to 
that which has been rendered in the temperate regions 
of the north by the earth-worms. 

Everywhere during the long ride I took notice of the 
fact that birds seemed to be numerous. The nests of 
the Hornero were frequently seen upon the telegraph- 
poles beside the tracks. Hawks and burrowing owls were 
common. I saw a number of specimens of the Caran- 
cho, (Polyborus tharus) or Caracara, as it is called in 
Central America, and the northern parts of South 

A Trip to Tucuman 285 

America. This most interesting bird is said to be a 
scavenger, and to prey upon carrion, but, while it may 
do so when pressed by great hunger, it is claimed by 
those who have most closely studied its habits that it 
generally feeds upon the weak and the wounded, 
whether birds or mammals. It is the torment of the 
hunter, from whom it snatches the birds which he may 
have brought down before he is able to retrieve them. 
Hudson devotes many pages to accounts of the habits 
of this rather fine-looking hawk and I was very glad to 
see it in its native haunts. 

After leaving Selva the land became more and more 
cultivated, until at Valdez we reached a region, which is 
one of the garden-spots of the world. Finer fields of 
wheat and clover, of flax and maize, are not to be seen 
anywhere upon the globe. Shortly after leaving Valdez 
the night came on, and the next morning I found myself 
in Buenos Aires ready for breakfast, and glad soon 
afterwards to meet some of my friends, who called 
upon me, and congratulated me upon my safe return 
from my little excursion, in which I had in one way or 
another covered nearly fifteen hundred miles of travel. 



'All places that the eye of heaven visits 
Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.' 


THE few days which remained before beginning my 
voyage to the north were partly consumed by 
visits to La P ata, where I renewed my acquaintance 
with my friends, and looked after matters which re- 
quired my personal attention. I was glad to meet Dr. 
Hussey, who had returned from his expedition to 
Brazil, and was able to sympathize with him, as he 
told me of the unsuccessful results of the undertaking. 
Had I not myself, in 1887, gone all the way to Japan 
on a similar errand, and failed? 

The time which was not given to business and social 
duties was devoted to sight-seeing in Buenos Aires. 
The capitol, the various parks, the cemeteries, the 
latter remarkable because of the many noble monu- 
ments and finely executed pieces of statuary found 
there, were visited. A certain amount of time was 
spent in endeavoring to pick up souvenirs. As at 
Bahia, so in Buenos Aires, I found this difficult. While 
there was displayed in the shops an abundance of 
beautiful silverware, bronzes, glassware, porcelain, and 
articles de luxe, which were at once useful and attractive 

to the eye, all of these were things made in Europe or 


Monument of San Martin, Buenos Aires. 

A Glimpse into the Cemeterio del Norte, Buenos Aires. 

Last Days in Argentina 


North America, and could be purchased far more 
cheaply in Pittsburgh, or even in New York. A friend 
bent upon the same errand, who had the same thought, 
informed me that all which he had succeeded in finding, 
which in any sense might be regarded as characteristic 
of the country, and therefore fit to be souvenirs of a 
visit, were photo- 
graphs, mate- 
gourds, armadillo- 
baskets, and jag- 
uar-skins. He 
had discovered a 

place where these ^ g - 28- Nine-banded Armadillo. nat. size. 

things were for sale, and he guided me to the spot. The 
poor little armadillos, small successors of the huge 
glyptodons and other allied beasts which formerly 
tenanted the pampas, are being somewhat rapidly ex- 
terminated, and are sold in the markets as food. There 
is not much flesh on an armadillo. The favorite method 
of cooking them is to stuff them with bread-crumbs 
and roast them. The fat imparts a certain richness 

to the bread-crumbs, 
but to eat roasted arm- 
adillo is very much 
like eating the stuffing 
of a bony and fleshless 
turkey without getting 
any of the turkey. The 
most curious use to 
which these poor crea- 
tures are put is to con- 
Fig. 29. Armadillo Basket. V ert their carapaces 

into baskets. The mouth is opened and the end of the 
tail is inserted into it, thus forming the handle of the 

288 To the River Plate and Back 

basket, while the hollow carapace serves as a receptacle. 
The carapace is lined with silk. I bought several 
as souvenirs. In a shop on the Avenida de Mayo I 
found a few spec'mens of Paraguayan lace, which are 
rather pretty. The lace is made by the Indians. While 
the designs are artistic, the fabric does not appear to 
be very durable. The lace is made of thread spun in 

On the evening of October 24th I repaired according 
to invitation to the Jockey Club , where I had the honor 
of being the guest at a banquet given by the University 
of La Plata, at which the Rector of the University of 
Buenos Aires, the Deans of the Faculties, and the 
leading professors of both institutions were present, as 
well as the Ministry of the Province of Buenos Aires. 
The banquet was given in the Empire-Room of the Club, 
said to be the most beautiful room of its kind in the 
city, and I very much doubt whether in any club in any 
part of the world there is a more beautiful banqueting 
chamber than this. It is circular in form, of large 
dimensions. The dome surmounting it is supported on 
tall pilasters, and is decorated with beautiful allegorical 
designs executed by French artists. The banquet- 
table extends around the entire room in the form of a 
hollow circle, the central space being reserved for 
floral displays. Dr. Joaquin V. Gonzales, the Rector 
of the University of La Plata, presided. Being seated 
at his right hand, I found at my right hand Dr. Euf emio 
Uballes, the Rector of the University of Buenos Aires. 
Sixty gentlemen were present. It certainly was a very 
distinguished honor which in the kindness of their 
hearts these learned and eminent men accorded to me, 
and I accepted it as a tribute of good-will to the 
Founder of the Institute, whom I had the honor of 

Last Days in Argentina 289 

representing, and to my own country. Dr. Gonzales 
after dinner rose and made a very beautiful and elo- 
quent address, in which he spoke gratefully of the 
generosity of Mr. Carnegie, whose health he proposed, 
as well as that of his representative. He alluded to the 
bonds of sincere amity which exist between Argentina 
and the great Republic of the North, from which the 
guest of the evening had come. It was a pleasure for 
the writer to acknowledge with heartfelt gratitude 
the many distinguished courtesies which had been 
extended to him during his brief stay in the country, 
and his appreciation of the hospitality which he had 
received, destined to leave an indelible impression upon 
his memory, and cause him always to think of the 
people of Argentina as his friends. The fact that the 
constitution of Argentina is identical with that of the 
United States, that its government is founded upon 
the same principles which were enunciated by those 
who framed the organic law of the Republic of the 
North, was alluded to; and on behalf of the scientific 
men and educators of my own land, I ventured to 
express my appreciation of what I had observed of 
the efforts which are being made by men of learning 
and of science in the great Republic of the South to 
advance knowledge, to train men for the highest useful- 
ness, and to hasten the coming of that good time 
foretold by the seer, when ' swords shall be beaten 
into ploughshares and spears converted into pruning- 
hooks. ' As to the relations which subsist between 
the two republics, I ventured to express the confident 
belief that these would forever be relations of fraternity 
and of mutual helpfulness. ' We of the North and you 
of the South are all of us Americans, and though the 
Pole-star lights our northern sky, and the Southern 

290 To the River Plate and Back 

Cross sheds its radiance over your fair land, the heavens 
in which they shine unite to form but one unbroken 
sphere from which light, the gift of Him who is 'the 
Father of lights,' is poured upon all the sons of men. 
' If we walk in the light ... we have fellowship one 
with another' and error and misconception pass away. 
National misunderstandings and antagonisms are al- 
ways the result of ignorance. When the nations 
come to understand each other, as do the gentlemen 
gathered about this table, there will be no occasion 
for ill-will." 

At the conclusion of the festivities I had an opportun- 
ity to take those who were present by the hand and to 
exchange hearty farewell greetings with them. 

In passing it may be observed that the Jockey Club 
is a power in Argentina. It is composed of the leading 
men of the country, one of the indispensable conditions 
of membership being citizenship. It gathers all the 
great land-owners into its ranks, and the agricultural 
interests of the nation, which are most important, are 
attended to and in various ways promoted by the Club. 
It is said that the Jockey Club practically rules Argen- 
tina, and that no measure of state can succeed unless 
approved by this influential organization, made up of 
the leaders of public opinion throughout the land. The 
club-house is one of the most luxuriously appointed 
buildings of its kind in existence. One of its beautiful 
architectural features is a staircase of Argentinian 
onyx leading from the vestibule to the second floor. 

It was a matter of regret to me that my brief stay 
prevented me from visiting certain localities which I 
have always fancied that I should like to see. The 
Argentina with which the tourist ordinarily becomes 
acquainted is the Argentina immediately adjacent to 














Last Days in Argentina 291 

the Capital, a region which the reader by this time 
realizes is interminably flat. Very different from this 
is the western country traversed by the Andean Alps. 
The loftiest peak is that of Aconcagua, which rises 
more than twenty-three thousand feet into the air. 
Several of my friends in the Academy of Sciences of La 
Plata have devoted a great deal of time to the system- 
atic exploration of Aconcagua, and one of them 
presented me with an extensive collection of photo- 
graphic views of this noble mountain which he made a 
couple of years ago. There are in the southern Andes 
scores of other peaks, scarcely less impressive than Acon- 
cagua, which remain to be conquered by the members 
of some future Alpine Club, which awaits organization 
in Argentina. There is a whole world of as yet unseen 
wonders to be investigated in the southern portions of 
the cordilleran ranges. Not only the mountain-climber 
and the artist, but the geologist and the mineralogist, 
have still before them a rich field in which to exert their 
powers in this territory, which remains almost virgin soil 
for the explorer. I should have liked very much to have 
visited the region of the Strait of Magellan, which, 
richly dowered with fiords, glaciers, and snow-peaks, 
rivals Norway in the magnificence of its scenery. But 
even more than all these would I have liked to have 
seen the Falls of the Iguassu. This mighty cataract, 
far exceeding in size and height our own Niagara, is 
one of the wonders of the world, which has as yet been 
visited by but few persons. I made diligent inquiry to 
ascertain whether it would be possible for me to pene- 
trate so far and return within a reasonable length of 
time, but discovered that in order to make the journey 
at least three weeks would be required, and therefore 
abandoned the thought of the undertaking. 

292 To the River Plate and Back 

The Falls of the Iguassu are located in the midst of 
dense tropical forests at the eastern border of the 
central lowlands, where the river makes its final bold 
leap from the eastern highlands, about twelve miles 
from its point of junction with the Alta Parana, and 
near the point where the States of Brazil, Paraguay, 
and Argentina come together. The Iguassu takes its 
rise in the Province of Santa Catharina in Brazil, not 
more than thirty miles from the Atlantic coast. The 
waters, which begin their journey there, flow westward 
and southward, and only again find rest in the ocean 
after they have gone two thousand miles from their 
source. The river just before reaching the cataract 
pursues a very devious course. The fall is divided into 
two main portions by a large island. The cataract on 
the Brazilian side descends by an unbroken leap of 
about two hundred and thirty feet. The cataract 
on the Argentinian side descends by two leaps, each 
over a hundred feet in height, the total fall at this point 
being about two hundred and ten feet. The fall on the 
Brazilian side has the form of a horseshoe, like that at 
Niagara. But between the large Brazilian and the 
great Argentine falls there are a number of smaller 
falls through which the water spills over the cliff be- 
tween small islands. In the dry season there is a succes- 
sion of cataracts presented to view from the Brazilian 
side of the river; but, when the stream is in flood, these 
small dividing islets are submerged, and the whole face 
of the high wall of rock is one immense torrent, save 
where it is broken by the great central island. The 
total contour of the fall is about ten thousand feet, or 
nearly two miles in length, and at the lowest point the 
fall is forty feet higher than Niagara. Below the fall 
the stream suddenly narrows, and the tremendous dis- 





Last Days in Argentina 293 

charge of water passes away through a gorge about 
four hundred feet wide, to which the Indians have given 
the name El Golfo del Diabolo, in comparison with which 
it is said that the Whirlpool Rapids below Niagara are 
a very tame little affair. Between low water in the dry 
season and high water in the rainy season there is a 
difference of one hundred and forty feet in the depth 
of the stream passing through the Devil's Gulf. The 
thunder of the cataract is heard for miles ; the cloud of 
mist which rises above it is a landmark visible for many 

Access to the spot is now obtained by going either by 
boat or rail to Corrientes, thence by steamer up the 
Alta Parana to the junction of the Rio Iguassu with the 
former river. At this point the tourist must complete 
the remainder of his journey either on foot or mule- 
back. The journey in going consumes from twelve to 
fifteen days, and in returning somewhat less. There is 
as yet no hotel at the falls for the accommodation of 
travelers, and those who visit the spot must make 
arrangements to camp out during their stay. The 
forests in the neighborhood of the falls are dense, 
luxuriantly tropical, and the place is said to abound 
not only with gorgeous butterflies, such as the splendid 
Morphos, and various species of the genera Agrias and 
Callithea (Frontispiece, figs, i, 6, and 9), but with 
other insects not so charming to the eye, which make a 
visit to the falls somewhat of a trial to the "faith and 
patience of the saints. ' When discussing the possibil- 
ity of going to the cataract of the Iguassu, one of my 
friends, who had been there, said to me: 'Don't go. 
You will be eaten up by bichos. ' The word bicho is 
used in South America very much as the word bug is 
used in English, to designate all sorts of insect-pests 

294 To the River Plate and Back 

and crawling vermin. Speaking of bichos I am reminded 
of a tale told me a number of years ago by the wife of a 
former American Consul in Buenos Aires, who related 
with laughter her experiences at a somewhat primitive 
summer-resort, since grown fine and fashionable, at 
which she and her husband, in its early days, once 
passed their vacation in the hot months. Flies were 
exceedingly numerous, and, as she sat down at table, 
the waiter placed before her a plate of soup in which 
she counted no less than half a dozen of the odious 
things. She was properly indignant, and ordered 
him to bring her another plate of soup without such 
garniture. He removed the plate and stationing 
himself where he evidently thought she could not 
see him, with his back turned towards her, picked the 
flies out of the soup with his greasy fingers, and then 
advancing with an air of triumph on his face, smilingly 
set the plate down again before her, exclaiming as he 
straightened himself up: 'Sopa sin bichos!' Soup 
without bugs! 

The steamer Vestris was to make her maiden voyage 
from Buenos Aires to New York, sailing on the morning 
of October 26th. I had engaged passage upon her, and 
accordingly on the evening before sailing we went to the 
dock, hunted up the chief steward, and arranged to have 
our effects put into our staterooms and the doors 
locked, so that at the time of departure in the morning 
we would not be annoyed by petty cares and anxieties. 
The last evening was spent at the hotel in the society 
of friends, who came one after the other to wish us a 
safe and prosperous voyage. 

In the morning we were off betimes, and, as we rode 
down the Avenida de Mayo, a sturdy fellow, springing 
out from the sidewalk, began to race alongside of the 

Last Days in Argentina 295 

vehicle, holding up to view a brass tag, with a number 
upon it. I knew who he was and what he wished. He 
was a licensed porter (all persons, even porters, have to 
be licensed before doing business in Argentina) and he 
desired to earn a fee for carrying our hand-luggage on 
board the steamer. I ordered the coachman to let him 
sit in front with him. Had I not done this, he would 
have run the two miles to the dock, and claimed the right 
to carry our things on board. I resolved not to ' ' give 
him a run for his money, ' ' and bade him hop into the 
rig. This is a common sight in Buenos Aires, and 
having witnessed it both on going to the trains and to 
the boat, it banished completely from my mind the 
thought, that,, at least when in Buenos Aires, I was in 
the sleepy "land of manana." A man, who on a hot 
day will run alongside of a fast-trotting horse for two 
miles for the sake of picking up a small fee at the end 
of the trip, is certainly not afflicted with laziness. 

When we reached the ship we found ourselves sur- 
rounded by friends, some of whom had come in from 
La Plata, others from different parts of Buenos Aires 
to bid us farewell. There was my witty friend Senor 
Don Agustin Alvarez, who confided to me aside that 
he had upon due reflection made a discovery. 'We 
hold it a truth in mathematics,' he said, 'that the 
product of two or more factors is the same, no matter 
how they may be arranged. It is not so in language. 
I come to say 'Good-by' to you. I put the word by 
after the word Good, which in this case is the old 
Anglo-Saxon word for God. I express the hope that 
God may be by or with you wherever you go. But were 
I to prefix the word by to the noun- Well ! it would be 
different." There was smiling Dr. Roth, who had been 
my guide through the swamps of the Parana and 

296 To the River Plate and Baek 

about the barrancas of Mar del Plata. There was 
Dr. Walter G. Davis, whom everybody loves for what 
he is and for what he does. There was my amiable 
host, Dr. Hussey, who had come to bid Godspeed to 
his parting guest. There were scores of others, friends 
who had been made on the outward voyage, or whom 
we had learned to know since we had come into the 
land. I confess that after such display of cordiality I 
felt a little tugging at the heart-strings, even though 
I knew I was " going home.' 

At last the bugle sounded. The visitors on board 
slo\vly departed, passing in a long stream down the gang- 
plank. The hawsers which bound her were one by one 
cast off. Slowly and carefully she was jockeyed in her 
narrow berth, now going aside, now astern, now creep- 
ing this way and that, until at last her prow pointed 
straight for the open gateway of the dock, when she 
began majestically to glide away into the broad river, 
which is the gateway to the ocean. As I looked back 
Dr. Hussey and Dr. Alvarez were still standing on the 
pier waving their handkerchiefs. 

The morning of the following day found us lying 
at anchor at Montevideo. The swift Mihanovitch 
steamer, which had left Buenos Aires eight hours after 
we had sailed, came gliding into the harbor, and from 
it were brought to us letters and newspapers sent by 
friends from whom we had parted the morning before. 
At Montevideo the passenger-list received a number 
of recruits. The day was cloudy and rainy and we 
resolved not to attempt to go ashore. As we looked 
about us at the busy harbor and the noble city the 
reflection could not fail to arise that time has wrought 
wonderful changes here as elsewhere. The story of the 
metropolis of Uruguay is a long one, full of elements 

Last Days in Argentina 297 

which are thrilling. The ground before us has had its 
full baptism of blood; the smooth gray waters of the 
harbor, dimpled to-day by the rain, have been spattered 
more than once with shot and shell. Belgium has been 
styled "the cockpit of Europe," and Uruguay for like 
reasons may well be called the cockpit of South 

The fighting began when the Spaniards first at- 
tempted to wrest the land from the Ind'ans, who in- 
habited it. These were the Charruas, a tribe who 
combined with great personal bravery an instinct for 
organization and regular resistance, which made them 
the terror of the whites. For nearly two centuries they 
held out against the European colonists, who came to 
regard the region as a bloody land, upon the soil of 
which it was not well to try to tread. Buenos Aires 
had been in existence for nearly one hundred and fifty 
years on the other side of the river before white men 
succeeded in obtaining a permanent foothold on the 
opposite north bank. Both Portugal and Spain laid 
claim to the country. The Portuguese maintained that 
the territory of Brazil extended to the south as far 
as the banks of the Rio de la Plata ; Spain on the other 
hand asserted that the whole region as far north as 
Santos belonged to her. Neither had made any attempt 
of consequence to occupy the country because of the 
hostility of the Charruas. 

In 1680 the first decisive step was taken by the 
Portuguese who sent an expedition to the River Plate 
and commenced a settlement directly opposite Buenos 
Aires, to which they gave the name of Co'onia. The 
river is too wide at Buenos Aires to see what is going on 
upon the other side, and the Portuguese therefore had 
time to begin laying out their town, to erect earth- 

298 To the River Plate and Back 

works about it, and prepare it for defence, before the 
Spaniards in Buenos Aires had gotten wind of what was 
taking place. When at last the Commandant at Buenos 
Aires received intelligence of what had been done 
across the river, he gathered a small army and, crossing 
the stream, overpowered the Portuguese, drove them 
from the settlement, and razed their defences. Portu- 
gal formally protested against this act, and the 
authorities at Madrid disavowed it, without, however, 
retracting their claim to the territory north of the river. 
In 1683 the Portuguese resumed possession of Colonia. 
Thereafter for many years the place became the center 
of a great contraband trade with the Spanish colonies 
on the River Plate. In 1705 war having broken out 
between Spain and Portugal, the Spanish troops in 
Buenos Aires were again sent over the river and took 
possession of Colonia and held it for eleven years until 
at the end of the war it was restored to the Portuguese 
by the Treaty of Utrecht. 

In 1723 the Portuguese decided upon a further occu- 
pation of the country, and seizing the site of Monte- 
video, began to entrench themselves there. When 
information of the fact reached Buenos Aires, the Gov- 
ernor dispatched a strong force to the place, compelled 
the Portuguese to withdraw, took possession of their 
uncompleted works, strengthened them, and prepared 
himself to hold the place against all comers. In 1726 
the town of Montevideo was laid out and five years 
afterward it had a population of one thousand souls. 
In 1730 Maldonado was settled by the Spanish. Soon 
after this a Portuguese expedition arrived, and made 
an attempt to dislodge the Spanish, but, fail ng in this, 
established themselves in what is now the Brazilian 
State of Rio Grande do Sul. For the next fifty years 


Last Days in Argentina 299 

the story of Uruguay is the history of constant struggles 
between the two Powers to gain the mastery of the 
territory. It was not until the signing of the Treaty of 
San Ildefonso in 1777 that these conflicts came nomi- 
nally to an end. By this treaty the power of Spa n, 
which had occupied the land with a great army, rein- 
forced by a powerful fleet, was recognized as extending 
over the whole of what is now the modern State of 
Uruguay, the settlement of Colonia was transferred to 
the Spanish Crown, and Portugal was given the terri- 
tory on the Atlantic seaboard comprised within the 
States of Santa Catharina and Rio Grande do Sul, 
almost as they appear upon the maps of the present 

From the date of the settlement effected by the 
Treaty of San Ildefonso, Uruguay began to assume 
importance as a Spanish province. A considerable 
influx of Spanish immigrants arrived at Montevideo. 
Many of these belonged to old and influential Castilian 
families, and the town put on aristocratic airs, while 
what our American forefathers designated as the "back- 
woods, ' were tenanted by the Creole element, partly 
of mixed blood, a marauding, beef-eating, bellicose 
swarm of rough-riders and swashbucklers, who carried 
on a perpetual guerrilla with the Indians and with the 
Portuguese inhabitants of Rio Grande do Sul, who in 
turn retaliated in quite as savage a fashion. 

In 1 806 the English took Buenos Aires and many of the 
Spanish people fled to Montevideo, where an expedition 
against the British was organized which resulted in their 
expulsion from Buenos Aires. In January, 1807, the 
English sent an expedition by way of the Cape of Good 
Hope which bombarded Montevideo and took the place 
by assault with frightful loss of life on both sides. The 

3oo To the River Plate and Back 

attempt of the English to take Buenos Aires failed a little 
later, and the English then withdrew from Buenos Aires 
and Montevideo, leaving behind them a lot of merchants 
who found trade with the natives profitable. This 
marked the beginning of English commercial relation- 
ships with the country which have grown increasingly 
important with the lapse of years. To tell the story of 
the civil wars, the revolutions, and conflicts with Argen- 
tina, Paraguay, and Brazil which took place during the 
Nineteenth Century would require many chapters. The 
land was not free from turmoil during nearly the whole of 
the last century, and it is only within the last fifteen years 
that the country has known the blessings of peace. In 
spite of the turbulence, the restlessness, and the war- 
like disposition of its people, the land seems to have 
prospered and Montevideo, as we looked at it from the 
deck of the steamer while we rode at anchor, seemed, 
as it is indeed, a beautiful and pleasant city. 

One of those who took passage at Montevideo was 
Senor Don Carlos Blixen, the Minister Plenipotentiary 
of Uruguay going by way of New York and Washing- 
ton to represent his country in Venezuela. He was 
assigned a seat opposite to me at the Captain's table, 
and we soon discovered that because of early training 
and tastes we were congenial spirits. Senor Blixen, 
on his father's side of Scandinavian descent, on his 
mother's side Spanish and a kinsman of the ex- Empress 
Eugenie, is a fine linguist, a devoted student of the 
ancient classics, a lover of nature, and a man who has 
mingled much with men, and endured hardship and 
danger as a soldier in the service of his country. He 
was not the only choice spirit with whom I became 
acquainted on the voyage. The Captain, wise man, had 
seated on either side of him two charming ladies. It 

Last Days in Argentina 301 

fell to my lot to be placed beside the one at the Cap- 
tain's right. I soon discovered that we had mutual 
friends in our home-land. To my right was another 
fair lady, the wife of the First Vice-President of the 
Bethlehem Steel Company, whose father and mother 
had belonged to the circle of my friends in youth. 
Again let me remark that this is a very small world, 
and, travel where we may, we are certain to find those 
who know us, or know those by whom we are known. 
It was a delightful company which assembled for the 
long voyage which was before us, and those of us who 
met will never cease to remember it with pleasure. 



"Ne care ne feare I how the wind do blow, 
Or whether swift I wend or whether slow: 
Both slow and swift alike do serve my tourne; 
Ne swelling Neptune ne lowd-thundring Jove 
Can chaunge my cheare, or make me ever mourne." 

SPENSER, The Faerie Queene. 

JUST before we docked at Santos I packed a small 
hand-satchel with such things as I might need 
during a brief stay on shore, and came on deck with my 
rain-coat over my arm and the satchel in my hand. 
"Where are you going?*' said the Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary. "I am going to take the first train I can catch 
for Sao Paulo. I shall spend the afternoon and the 
evening of to-day in that city, and then to-night I am 
going by the fast express to Rio de Janeiro, and will 
rejoin the steamer to-morrow, or next day.' 'I am 
going with you, if I may, " came the reply. The matter 
was quickly arranged. His Excellency in a few minutes 
gathered together the things needed for his trip, and 
reappeared upon deck. We were the first to go over 
the side of the ship. We found out that we would have 
time to draw some money, and also to take an early 
luncheon, before the train started. We not only did 
this, but had time to go to the park and have a look at 

the sloths crawling about in the tree-tops. 


Sao Paulo 303 

By the advice of friends we took our seats on the 
left-hand side of the railway carriage. We were told 
that this would enable us to get the best views as we 
climbed the mountains. The railway for the first few 
minutes after leaving Sao Paulo traverses a low swampy 
plain overgrown with mangroves, and intersected with 
tidal creeks. Here and there were clumps of various 
larger tropical trees, some of them in bloom. One 
species greatly awakened my admiration, but I am not 
able to identify it. It was a tree from fifteen to twenty- 
five feet in height, having a pyramidal growth. All of 
these trees were a glorious mass of large pale lilac 
blossoms, with darker purple throats. Each blossom 
appeared to be from three to four inches in diameter 
across the corolla. The train was moving too rapidly 
to allow me more than to grasp the singular beauty of 
these great pyramids of bloom, which here and there 
rose up out of the surrounding swamps. Some of my 
botanical friends may perhaps smile at my failure 
to recognize the genus, but botanizing on a railway 
train going thirty-five miles an hour is not easy. Ahead 
of us were the dark verdurous flanks of the mountains, 
which rise all along the seacoast a few miles from the 
beach, and reach an elevation of from twenty-five 
hundred to three thousand feet above the level of the 
sea. Their tops were covered with dark clouds. We 
rapidly approached them, and as we came to the foot 
of a steep spur jutting out into the low-lying plain, we 
saw that up its ridge went the shining double track of 
the railway. The locomotive which had drawn us to 
the foot of the incline was shunted to a side-track, and 
another was made fast behind to push the train up the 
slope. We went at the heavy grade slowly, but the 
snorting of the engine behind us proved that it required 

304 To the River Plate and Back 

all the energy it could develop in order to overcome the 
resistance. We rose from the flat swamp lands and 
found ourselves after a few moments traveling along 
the side of a deep ravine, below us the railway terminal 
and the cottages of the operatives clustered about it. 
On the opposite side the flanks of the mountains were 
covered with plantations of bananas. Looking back- 
ward, we saw the city of Santos, the harbor, the streams 
which traverse the swamps, all mapped out below 
us. Overhead were the lowering clouds, gloomy and 
threatening rain. In every chink and cranny of the 
rocky walls ferns and mosses were growing, save where 
the faces of the cuts had been covered with asphalt, no 
doubt to keep the vegetation from taking hold. Higher 
and ever higher we rose. Now we ran through a short 
tunnel and looking down, as we emerged again into the 
light, we saw that the track was skirting the edge of a 
steep precipice. We ran through one tunnel after the 
other ; there must have been a dozen of them before we 
reached the top of the ascent. We crawled around the 
jutting shoulders of the mountain. We felt the air 
grow cooler. Wisps of fog began to float below us in 
the deep green abyss into which we gazed. We saw 
that we were rising nearer and ever nearer to the great 
billowing masses of cloud which hung overhead. We 
came to them. We entered them. It was dark and the 
air grew clammy. The fog streamed Into the windows 
of the train. The landscape was blotted out of sight. 
Still upward we went, the engine behind us with quick 
pulsations beating the time of our skyward march. 
At last it began to grow lighter. Ahead of us the mists 
seemed to be becoming thinner. The speed of the 
train was accelerated. We were beginning to run on 
more level ground. Presently out of the fog loomed up 

Sao Paulo 305 

a collection of buildings, and we ran into the terminal 
on the top of the mountain, half a mile higher than 
Santos, where we had left our shipmates sweltering in 
the heat. A cool wind from the west began to blow in 
our faces. The clouds began to disappear. Another 
locomotive was backed down and attached to the front 
of the train. We started off at a merry gait, and were 
presently winding our way across the great upland 
plateau, upon which the city of Sao Paulo is seated. 
It does not take long to make the run from the top of 
the great mountain wall to the city. The sun came out 
in splendor. The land is rolling. Most of it has been 
denuded of its original forest growths. Low scrubby 
thickets and clumps of second growth prevail. The 
soil is red. The vegetation is very different from that 
of the tidal plain which we had traversed as we came 
out of Santos. Everywhere there appeared fields in 
which cattle and horses were grazing. An occasional 
palm served to remind us that we were in the tropics. 
Had it not been for this, and the curious ant-nests, 
which appeared upon the trees and the sides of the 
railway cuts and embankments, I might have thought 
that I was traveling in the western parts of the Caro- 
linas. Could the blackjack oaks of the Carolinian 
foothills have been thrown into the picture, the illusion 
would have been perfect. 

We soon began to realize that we were approaching 
a large city. Standing on a hill to the left we saw a 
stately building, which I at once recognized as the 
Palace of Ypiranga. I knew it from pictures which I 
recalled having seen. This was my destination, and it 
was to pay my respects to my friend and correspondent 
of many years, Dr. Hermann von Ihering, the most 
famous naturalist in Brazil, who is the Custodian of 


306 To the River Plate and Back 

the noble edifice, that I had planned my trip to Sao 
Paulo. The Ypiranga Palace, or Monument, as it is 
often called, was erected to commemorate the inde- 
pendence of Brazil, and it houses to-day the valuable 
collections of the Museu Paulista of which Dr. von 
Ihering is the Director. 

We arrived at the imposing railway station on time. 
The building was a mass of bunting and of flags, among 
which were many religious emblems. Inquiry elicited 
the fact that the Roman Catholic bishop had just 
returned from a visit to Europe, and that the city was 
preparing to give him a hearty welcome upon his 
arrival, which would take place a little later in the day. 
The bishop evidently is a popular person, or else his 
followers are infected with great zeal for the cause he 
represents. Our first step was to go to the booking- 
office and secure sleeping accommodations on the night 
train for Rio de Janeiro. We were met with the familiar 
statement : ' ' Lower berths all sold ; nothing but uppers 
left. ' Inasmuch as neither his Excellency nor I cared 
to miss our steamer at Rio de Janeiro, and the Captain 
had not given us positive assurance that he would stay 
more than the day at Rio, and might sail on the evening 
of the morrow, we resolved to invest in upper berths. 
Then we found our way to the nearest hotel, told the 
landlord to send for an automobile, and to call up Dr. 
von Ihering at Ypiranga. In a minute or two the land- 
lord announced that Dr. von Ihering 'was at the 
telephone.' u Hola! spreche ich mit dem Herrn Dr. 
von Ihering?" "Ja, wer sind Sie?' "Ich bin der Dr. 
Holland." "Der Dr. Holland von Pittsburgh?" "Ja, 
derselbe, " and amidst protestations of astonishment at 
hearing my voice, and discovering that I was in town, 
my friend quickly told me what directions to give to 

Sao Paulo 307 

the chauffeur to bring us most expeditiously to the 
Museum, where he told me he would be delighted to 
await our arrival. 

The ride to Ypiranga consumed half an hour. The 
Palace is built upon the top of an eminence from 
which there is obtained a view over a wide expanse of 
country, with the city lying below in the middle dis- 
tance. The surrounding grounds are laid out with 
taste, and there were great parterres of beautiful 
flowers blooming along the walks and driveways, which 
lead to the entrance of the edifice. Leaving the car 
with the chauffeur at the outer gate of the grounds we 
walked toward the building. Not a soul was in sight, 
and all the doors of the huge pile seemed to be closed. 
My companion suggested that instead of going straight 
up to the main entrance, we perhaps would have done 
better to have asked a man whom we had passed, as 
we came through the gates, to guide us. I ventured 
to dissent, saying that from one or the other of the many 
windows no doubt Dr. von Ihering had commanded 
some one to look out for us, and that our approach 
through the grounds had already been noted. " Front 
doors for me always, Mr. Minister ! The Great Teacher, 
you will recall, had some tart things to say about 
people who try to get in by back doors and over walls. ' 
So we went up the great flight of stone steps, and as we 
approached the entrance a servant in livery swung it 
open, bowed, and said, ' You are the gentlemen whom 
the Doctor is expecting, not so?' Our reply being in 
the affirmative, he bade us enter, and in a moment the 
Doctor himself came to greet us. It was a delightful 
meeting. After two men have corresponded with each 
other for years, and have learned to thus know each 
other, it is a great pleasure to meet face to face, and to 

3o8 To the River Plate and Back 

clasp hands. Of course we desired to see the building 
and to have a good look at the contents of the various 
rooms. The first chamber into which we were con- 
ducted was a sumptuous apartment one of the chief 
adornments of which is a great painting representing 
Dom Pedro I. on the heights of Ypiranga, surrounded 
by his loyal retainers and adherents, proclaiming the 
independence of Brazil from Portugal. The story of 
the separation between the two countries in some 
respects is like that of the separation which took place 
between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies. The 
old question of legislation without proper representa- 
tion lay at the bottom of the conflict. It is true that 
Portugal had given Brazil representation in the Cortes, 
but the Cortes did not always wait for the delegates 
from Brazil to arrive and take part in the sessions. In 
the spring of 1822, the Cortes proceeded in the absence 
of the Brazilians to legislate for them in such a manner 
as to arouse deep resentment. Pedro, the Prince 
Regent, who had already proclaimed himself " Perpetual 
Defender and Protector of Brazil,' on September 7, 
1822, hearing of still further v olent measures which 
had been adopted by the Cortes, drew his sword, and 
in the presence of the generals of the army and the 
officers of the government uttered the memorable 
words, " Independencia ou Morte!' These words are 
inscribed under the great painting before which we 
were standing in the Palace. Not long after this 
utterance he was proclaimed Constitutional Emperor 
of Brazil. It is worth remembering that Dom Pedro L, 
in taking the step he took on September 7, 1822, was in 
fact only carrying out the advice of his father, the 
King of Portugal, who had suggested to him that in the 
event of a separation between Portugal and Brazil 

Sao Paulo 309 

which King John foresaw might occur, rather than have 
the government fall into strange hands, Pedro had bet- 
ter assume the reins of control himself, and keep the 
sovereignty of Brazil in the family. It remained in the 
hands of the house of Braganza until the middle of 
November, 1889, when the Emperor, Dom Pedro II., 
was forced to abdicate, and the republic was declared. 
From the large salon in which the collection of 
historical paintings is preserved, we went to the various 
rooms in which the mineralogical, botanical, zoological, 
ethnological, and archeological collections are arranged. 
I was particularly interested in the collection of nests 
of ants, bees, and wasps, which Dr. von Ihering has 
assembled. These "homes made without hands' are 
very curious, and display a wonderful diversity in form 
and interior arrangement. The intelligence manifested 
by the tiny architects of these structures is most 
extraordinary. The great assemblage of insects, shells, 
fishes, reptiles, birds, and mammals deserved for its 
inspection much more time than we had at our com- 
mand. We could at best only take a general view of 
the treasures gathered in the halls of the institution, 
pausing here and there before those things which were 
especially interesting, asking questions, and receiving 
answers. We were impressed with the fact brought out 
in our conversation with Dr. von Ihering that many 
forms of wild life are rapidly disappearing. The mon- 
keys are fast becoming extinct. Species which a few 
years ago were quite common have vanished from the 
territories in which they abounded. The same thing 
is true of a number of the other mammalia, and is also 
true of the birds. Conversation turned upon the Golden 
Plover, which used in comparatively recent years to be 
a common bird in the eastern portions of North Amer- 

3io To the River Plate and Back 

ica, whence in the fall of the year it migrated to the 
uplands of Sao Paulo and to the pampas of Argentina. 
It has become almost totally extinct. Breeding at one 
time in immen e numbers in the region of Hudson Bay, 
it passed southward along the Atlantic seaboard and 
by way of the West Indies to the southern portions of 
South America. Both on its way south and on its way 
north, and on the plains where it sought its winter 
home, it was shot for the table, and to-day has dis- 
appeared from the face of the earth almost as com- 
pletely as the passenger pigeon. A few still survive, but 
very few. The destruction of living things within the 
past fifty years has been going on at such a rate, that it 
is the highest time to seek concerted action on the part 
of the various governments to stay the slaughter, and 
conserve what is left. Many of the birds of North 
America spend the winter in the lands of Central and 
South America, and it is to the interest of the two 
Americas that steps should be taken to protect the 
bird-life of the two continents. The most reprehensible 
use to which birds are put is as articles of millinery. 
Brazilian humming-birds are sold as hat-trimmings in 
the London markets by the hundreds of thousands, and 
millions of other bright-plumaged birds are annually 
disposed of in this way, so that whole tribes and races 
of feathered songsters are almost gone from the face 
of the globe. The wickedness of this slaughter of the 
innocents will bring to this world a sad recompense of 
evil, for the result is a destruction of the balance of 
nature, and an enormous increase of insect-life. Kill 
the birds, and the result is a multiplication of insect- 
pests, which ravage the fields and the orchards. The 
present high cost of living, of which complaint is be- 
ing made in all lands, is partly attributable to the 

Sao Paulo 3 11 

wanton slaughter of the birds, the best friends of the 

The sun was sinking toward the west, when we took 
leave of the genial Director of the Museu Paulista. 
He walked down with us to the entrance of the grounds, 
and there bade us farewell. We instructed the chauffeur 
to drive us into the city and to give us a chance at 
least to see the exterior of its more notable buildings be- 
fore the darkness should come on. We had a glimpse 
of the Municipal Theater, which has recently been 
erected, and which is not surpassed by any building 
of its kind in the cities of North America. We saw the 
various public buildings used by the Government of 
the State and by the Municipal Authorities; we hur- 
riedly looked at the Law School, the Public Library, 
the Polytechnic School, and had the location of Mc- 
Kenzie College pointed out to us. The latter institu- 
tion, which owes its origin and development to the 
self-denying efforts of philanthropic citizens of the 
United States of North America, is doing a noble work 
in providing the means of thorough education for the 
youth of both sexes in the land. We were driven 
through long avenues, on either side of which were 
ranged homes of beauty and comfort. The impression 
left upon our minds was altogether pleasing. It is "no 
mean city' -this city of Sao Paulo with its thou- 
sands of delightful residences, its more than six hundred 
streets and avenues, its fine public edifices, its hand- 
some parks, and its multitude of shops, warehouses, 
and manufacturing establishments. At last it began 
to grow dark. The air was chilly, almost cold. We 
betook ourselves to the hotel, and had our evening 

About nine o'clock we boarded the train which was 

3\2 To the River Plate and Back 

to take us to Rio de Janeiro. We were presently under 
way. The inspection of the upper berths, to the occu- 
pancy of which we were apparently doomed, was dis- 
heartening. I tried to effect a change, but met with no 
encouragement from the official to whom I addressed 
myself. He told me he could do nothing. I made up 
my mind not to go to bed at all, but pass the night in 
solitary vigil at an open car window r in the corridor. 
His Excellency disappeared in the direction of the 
compartment to which he had been assigned. I thought 
he had retired for the n'ght, but he presently came to 
me remarking: 'Great is diplomacy! I have made a 
diplomatic stroke, and you can do the same thing. 
There is an empty sleeping-car just behind the one in 
which we now are. I discovered that the porter is 
willing to give me a compartment to myself upon pay- 
ment to him of five thousand reis. As we have already 
each of us paid twenty thousand reis for an upper 
berth, it seems a small matter to spend another five 
thousand, or an increase of twenty per cent., to get a 
lower in an unoccupied compartment. Get your things 
and follow me. ' ' I thank thee, most excellent Minis- 
ter, for this information. I gladly and at once enroll 
myself in the corps diplomatique. ' And so it came 
to pass that we both obtained what we had despaired 
of getting a place in which to sleep, without having 
underneath us in the lower berth a fellow-mortal, who 
might drive us to the verge of insanity by snoring 
through all the long hours of the night. 

But I could not sleep. I turned the pillows to the 
other end of the bed next the window, and placed my- 
self so that I could look out upon the moonlit 1 andscape. 
I watched the outlines of the hills. I saw the fireflies 
as they flashed forth in the shadows. I observed the 

Sao Paulo 313 

people who were gathered about the stations, where 
now and then we stopped; many of them were negroes, 
or half-breed Indians. All at once I was startled by a 
terrific noise under my compartment. There was a 
rapid succession of thundering blows, and crashing, 
tearing sounds. I quickly turned on the electric light, 
and pulled the cord which conveys the danger-signal 
forward to the engine. The train stopped. Men came 
running back. I told them that underneath the car 
something had gone wrong. They lowered their lan- 
terns and made an inspection. After a hurried con- 
sultation, one of them ran forward to the engine, and 
came back with a lot of tools. Then they crawled 
under the car and there was hammering and pound- 
ing, resulting finally in their dragging forth a large 
iron tank, which it appeared had broken loose from 
its fastenings behind, and had been dragging along, 
hitting and hammering the ties as we flew over the 
track. The offending tank was rolled to one side, the 
men disappeared, and the train went on. I was now 
wide awake. 

I lay and watched the dusky landscape, as it seemed 
to rush by in the night, the dark groves, the palm- 
trees, the open fields in which cattle were grazing, the 
cottages and farmhouses gleaming white in the moon- 
light, the distant hills which presently grew nearer, and 
bolder, and blacker. The train began to wind down 
into deep dark ravines, where I caught glimpses of the 
moonlight glittering upon the mirror of quiet pools, or 
scintillating from the confused waves of swiftly flowing 
rapids. Toward morning when the flush of dawn 
already began to creep over the sky, I fell into an 
uneasy sleep. I was roused by the porter coming to 
tender me a cup of coffee. The bright sunlight was 

314 To the River Plate and Back 

streaming in through the windows of the car. I dressed 
and resumed my contemplation of the fleeting pano- 
rama. We were now among the mountains of the 
eastern coast. The scenery was beautiful, the vegeta- 
tion in the ravines and on the hills was fascinating. 
Everywhere there was a wealth of blooming things. 
Soon to our right we descried the peaks of Tijuca and 
Corcovado. There was now no doubt that our journey 
was nearing its end. We presently rolled through the 
suburbs of Rio de Janeiro, and a little after eight o'clock 
seated ourselves at breakfast in one of the hotels on the 
Avenida. We learned that the Vestris had just dropped 
anchor. In less than an hour we began to welcome our 
fellow-passengers, who had come ashore for the day, 
and strolled into the hotel. 

The morning was spent in making calls, and in 
attending to the selection of a few photographs, which 
I found I needed. At the noon-hour I repaired to the 
hotel on the mountain-slope, and had a most enjoyable 
luncheon. Then I again ascended Corcovado, and, 
as the day was almost cloudless, had a better view than 
it often falls to the lot of the tourist to obtain. I 
walked down the mountain, collecting butterflies as I 
descended. They were far more numerous than they 
had been in the same place five weeks before. When 
I reached the bottom of the long downward path, I 
began to feel that I would be more comfortable in my 
stateroom on the ship, riding far out on the cool 
waters of the bay. So I hired a boatman, and just as 
the sun was setting he brought me alongs'de of the 
steamer, which I already had come to think of as my 
home. It was pleasant to be welcomed by the cheery 
Captain, who was leaning over the rail as I came up the 
ladder. It was good to get into a bathtub, and efface 

Sao Paulo 315 

the memories of the hot dusty night which had been 
spent upon the train. It was good to go early to 
bed, with Sancho Panza saying: 'Bien haya el que 
invento el sueno!' God bless the man who first invented 



' The sullen passage of thy weary steps 
Esteem a foil, wherein thou art to set 
The precious jewel of thy home-return." Shakespeare. 

EARLY on the morning of the first day of November 
the anchors came up, and we were taken to the 
sea-wall at the foot of the Avenida and there made fast. 
We were told that the ship would not sail until noon. 
An automobile was therefore brought into requisition, 
and a jolly party, made up of little people and their 
elders, the latter forming part of the company at the 
Captain's table, went under the guidance of the writer 
for a short excursion through the city. We drove out 
to the end of the Avenida Beira. We were interested 
in seeing people being conveyed to the top of Sugar Loaf 
Mountain in a basket-car hanging from a steel cable, 
stretched from sea-level to the summit, just as people are 
conveyed to the top of The Rock at Gibraltar. We 
took a peep at the Botanical Gardens. We traversed 
various streets of the city, looking at the sights, and 
finally came back to the Avenida, at the lower end of 
which we saw the blue and white funnels of our floating 
hotel. The youngsters having declared themselves to 
be thirsty, it was proposed that we all should indulge in 
the mild luxury of caldo da cana. This is simply the 
freshly expressed juice of sugar-cane. In the fruit-shop 

which we entered, there was a small mountain of canes 





e I 

3 w 

a w. 

GO .5 

"S ? 


- 3 

O rt 


Trinidad 317 

piled up beside a crushing-mill driven by an electric 
motor. A bunch of canes was quickly sent through the 
rollers, the juice was collected in a receptacle beneath, 
strained, emptied into a large glass pitcher, and then 
served to us in tall tumblers, into which small lumps of 
ice had first been put. The juice has a very pale 
greenish tint. The juvenile members of the party 
unqualifiedly pronounced the beverage 'good," and 
called for more, as also did their elders, who at first 
seemed to be dubious, and inclined to question the 
statement of the writer that the fluid is palatable, and 
far less likely to be injurious to the stomach than in the 
condensed form of candy. We purchased a basket of 
tropical fruits, - custard-apples, sapodillas, papaws, 
avocado-pears, and oranges. The best oranges pro- 
duced in South America are said to be grown at Bahia. 
The seedless orange, now so extensively cultivated in 
the United States, originated in the neighborhood of 
that place, and the first plants were imported thence 
into North America. Leaving the fruit-store the 
ladies of the party did a little shopping, after which we 
found our way back to the steamer, which soon began 
to plow her way out into the ocean. 

We called at Bahia two days later, arriving about ten 
o'clock at night. We sailed early on the morning of the 
following day. None of the passengers went on shore. 

The voyage from Bahia to Trinidad was said to be 
likely to consume from eight to nine days. We there- 
fore settled down to the routine of an easy life on board, 
the program of which was made up of eating, sleeping, 
bathing in the big canvas tank, conversation, reading, 
games on the deck during the daytime, whist, music, 
and dancing at night. We kept nearer the coast, as we 
came up, than we had as we went down on the outward 

318 To the River Plate and Back 

voyage. From the time we left Rio de Janeiro until 
we had passed Pernambuco the land was always in 
sight. Sometimes we were quite close to it, and with 
the aid of our glasses could observe what was taking 
place on shore. The mountain scenery for some dis- 
tance north of Rio de Janeiro was very attractive. 
Farther north the mountains were replaced by low 
hills. The whole coast is skirted by coral-reefs, over 
which the white surf tumbled. Back of the still water 
behind the reefs w r ere broad, sandy beaches. Along the 
shore are endless groves of coco-palms. Under the sha- 
dow of these we could see the thatched huts of the fish- 
ermen, sometimes closely clustered together and forming 
extensive villages. Now and then a lighthouse appeared, 
but the lighthouses on this coast are not numerous, 
and but very few of them are powerfully equipped. 
Fishermen were constantly seen in the daytime ply- 
ing their calling upon the water. We passed a number 
of them below Pernambuco far out from the shore, and 
near enough to hail them from the deck. The craft 
they use are exceedingly primitive. They are known 
by the native name of " xangadas." In reality they are 
simply rafts, not more than from twelve to fourteen feet 
long and from five to six feet wide, made of bamboos 
and other light woods, the pieces lashed and clamped 
together. They carry a shoulder-of-mutton sail raised 
on a jury-mast, which is usually a stout bamboo pole, 
sunk in a socket, out of which it can be jerked in an 
instant, if necessary. Both fore and aft there is a rude 
seat, or bench, made of bamboo, with rowlocks at the 
ends. The vessels carry a couple of sweeps, which may 
be used as oars or rudders. Just aft of the mast, 
lashed in place, is always a barrel, which serves as hold 
for cargo, and into which the fish are put as they are 

Trinidad 319 

taken. The rafts have no rail and seemed always to be 
awash, and the waves, as they were crossed, sent their 
spray over the sail and over the men, of whom each 
craft carried two. The xangadas are practically un- 
sinkable, and their occupants, who seemed to be jolly, 
round-faced negroes, appeared not to fear the dangers 
of the deep, but to be having a nice cool time out on the 
water. The sea, however, was only moderately stirred 
by the winds as we came up the coast. There must be 
times when no one would dare to venture forth upon it 
in such flimsy constructions as these rafts. That the 
ocean is able to take, and does take, toll of the shipping 
in these waters, was testified by the sight here and there 
upon the reefs -of the wrecks of sailing vessels and of 
steamers, from the rotting and rusting remains of which 
the green sea-weeds flaunted their growths. 

We did not call at Pernambuco, but our steamer 
passed close enough to the shore to enable us to get a 
very good view of the water-front of the city. The 
roadstead is quite open to the sea, and only recently has 
the construction of breakwaters and docks been begun. 
There appear to be many large warehouses in the 
place, and some manufacturing plants, from the tall 
chimneys of which clouds of black smoke were streaming 
away before the south-wind. A large steamer put out 
of the harbor just ahead of us and stood away to the 
northeast, evidently bound toward Europe. There is 
a very extensive trade carried on at Pernambuco, the 
principal exports being sugar, molasses, and cotton, in 
the order named. 

After rounding Cape St. Roque we stood away to the 
northwest, heading directly for Trinidad. From this 
time forth we were out of sight of land until shortly 
before we dropped anchor in the harbor of Port of Spain. 

To the River Plate and Back 

Our course lay so far out at sea that we did not detect 
the fact that we were crossing the mouth of the Amazon, 
which like the Rio de la Plata discharges a vast mass of 
muddy fresh water into the ocean. For the same rea- 
son we detected little of the influence of the Orinoco 
upon the sea, into which it pours its waves, except a 
certain dulling of the tone of the blues. Each day was 
like the other, but the temperature on board was never 
distressingly hot. The mercury during the entire 
voyage never rose much above 80 Fahrenheit in the 
hottest part of the day, and at night generally fell to 
about 75, or even lower. The rapid movement of the 
steamer created a breeze on deck, so that it was always 
possible to find places in which to sit and read and chat 
in comfort. The cabins were unusually well ventilated. 
The one I occupied had two large windows, which I kept 
open all night. Sleep under these conditions was 

We were off the coast of French Guiana on November 
5th, the day upon which, had we been at home, we 
would have taken part in electing a President of the 
United States. A ballot-box was improvised from a 
cracker-box, inspectors and judges of election were 
appointed, and all citizens of the United States, including 
the ladies, were requested to repair to the palm-garden 
on the after-deck at the time of the afternoon tea, and 
there cast their ballots. The result of the balloting 
showed that the respective candidates had received 
the following votes: 

Woodrow Wilson . . .24 

Theodore Roosevelt . . .18 

William H. Taft . . . 12 

Total . 54 

Trinidad 321 

On the morning of the following day the Captain kindly 
undertook to get into wireless communication with 
Georgetown, the capital of British Guiana, and we 
learned that the people of the United States of North 
America had settled matters very much in the same 
way we had, revealing the fact that the company on 
board who claimed American citizenship quite fairly 
represented the general sentiment of the nation. 

On November loth it was announced that, if all 
went well, we would early on the morrow reach Port of 
Spain. About ten o'clock at night I noticed great 
banks of clouds to the south and west in which lightning 
was playing. While I was watching these one of the 
officers came to. the rail and stood and chatted with me 
for a while. He told me that about midnight we ought 
to "pick up' the light at the eastern end of the island 
of Trinidad. I resolved not to turn in until I had seen 
it. After a while the thunderstorm in the west died 
down and the lightning ceased to flash. The sky was 
very dark and overhung with low clouds. A little 
before twelve on the under surface of the clouds I saw a 
faint glow, which instantly vanished. I felt that it 
could not have been caused by a flash of lightning, 
because it was too faint and not widely enough diffused. 
I fixed my eyes upon the spot and saw that the faint 
glow was repeated. "That is no doubt the reflection of 
the flash-light of the beacon on the lower surface of the 
clouds," I said to myself. I was so sleepy by this time 
that I resolved to accept the reflection for the substance, 
and gave up my vigil and went below. Next morning 
the Captain told me at breakfast that for a long time 
before the light itself became visible, they had seen its 
reflection in the sky above the spot where it finally 
came into view. 



22 To the River Plate and Back 

At sunrise on the morning of the nth of November 
we were steaming into the harbor of Port of Spain. 
The scenery, the cloud-effects, the wealth of color in 
sky, on land, on water, produced a charming impression. 
The luxuriance and density of the vegetation attracted 
attention even from the deck of the steamer. Sir 
Frederick Treves, in his charming book, The Cradle of 
the Deep, says of the island : 

Seen across the gulf, Trinidad is an island of a thousand 
hills, of incessant peaks and ridges, and of a maze of winding 
valleys. From the sea-margin to the sky-line it is one blaze 
of green, the green not of grass, but of trees. . . . Here is a 
very revel of green, clamoring and unrestrained, a "bravery" 
of green, as the ancients would call it, a green that deepens 
into blue and purple, or that brightens into tints of old gold 
and primrose yellow. Here are the dull green of wet moss, 
the clear green of the parrot's wing, the green tints of old 
copper, of malachite, of the wild apple, the bronze green of 
the beetle's back, the dead green of the autumn Nile. 

Trinidad was discovered by Christopher Columbus on 
his third voyage on July 31, 1498. He and his com- 
panions had endured great discouragements and hard- 
ships. The winds had either been contrary, or had 
failed them. For a long time they had been becalmed, 
drifting, always drifting, in that mighty equatorial 
current which, sweeping up along the northern coast of 
South America, whirls around in the Gulf of Mexico, 
and then pours out around the southern tip of Florida, 
and spreads itself over the North Atlantic to give 
warmth to the people of Europe, and make their lands 
habitable. Christopher Columbus knew nothing of all 
this, however. He really did not know where he was. 
Drifting, hoping, despairing, at last the cry came from 

Trinidad 323 

the lookout aloft that land was in sight. Straining 
their eyes westward they saw three peaks rising from 
the sea. They deemed the vision an answer to prayer, 
for the expedition had been undertaken in the name of 
The Holy Trinity, and here were three mountains 
joined in one at their roots rising out of the ocean before 
them. They called the land "The Island of the Holy 
Trinity,' which is perpetuated in the name it bears 
to-day. The mountains upon which the eyes of 
Columbus and his comrades rested are known to-day 
as "The Three Sisters." They are landmarks for the 
seaman who enters the Gulf of Paria from the south, by 
way of the Serpent's Mouth, the narrow strait which 
separates Trinidad from the Venezuelan mainland. 
Columbus had become so accustomed to finding islands, 
that it did not enter into his head that the land he saw 
to the south was continental in its vastness. He called 
it Isla Sancta, the Holy Island. That was the first 
name given to America. Columbus and his shipmates 
had the misfortune to be caught in the bore, or tidal 
wave, which to this day rushes through the Serpent's 
Mouth, and one of the ships lost an anchor in con- 
sequence. About fifty years ago an old Spanish anchor 
was fished up by a dredger near the spot where this 
mishap is said to have occurred, and to-day it is treas- 
ured at the Victoria Institute in Port of Spain, and is 
shown to visitors as the anchor of the immortal explorer. 
Perhaps it is, Quien sabe ? Columbus did not find gold. 
The natives were not friendly. The explorer was sick 
in body and sick at heart. The beauty of the region 
fascinated him, nevertheless. He likened it in his 
thoughts to the Garden of Eden, and reported to Queen 
Isabella that at last he had found Paradise. Like 
Paradise the island looked on the morning of the nth 

324 To the River Plate and Back 

of November, as the sun came up, and I stood and 
watched the glory of his rising beams flooding the 
mountains, the hillsides, and the valley. 

Columbus never knew that his eyes had rested upon 
"a new world." The names he gave to many of the 
places he found did not stick. The Holy Island a few 
years later was discovered to be a continent, and to it 
was given the name of an Italian, Amerigo Vespucci, 
who sailed with Alonso de Ojeda, an old comrade of 
Columbus, to try to get some of the pearls which the 
great discoverer in his dispatches had said were to be 
obtained at Paria. The story of Columbus is in many 
respects a tragedy. He sowed and other men reaped. 
But that after all is true of most successful men. The 
path-finders and leaders rarely profit from their dis- 
coveries and exploits. It is generally left to second-rate 
men who come after them to make the profits. 

While I was hurriedly eating my breakfast prepara- 
tory to going ashore, my table-steward handed me a 
cablegram announcing that the home of my younger 
son had been gladdened by the advent of a little 
daughter. My companions at table tendered me their 
congratulations. Like nerves the wires bind the lands 
together. The whole globe is fast becoming a great 
sensitive organism. Our loved ones speak to us out of 
the deeps and across oceans. Nothing is hidden. 
Individuals and nations commune with each other 
daily, regardless of the barriers erected by seas and 
mountains. I have in my custody a letter written in 
October, 1799, by Alexander von Humboldt from a spot 
not far from Port of Spain to a friend of his, who lived 
and died in Pittsburgh. The postage on that letter 
cost nearly thirty shillings sterling ($7.50), far more 
than the cablegram which was handed to me at break- 

Trinidad 325 

fast, and the friend of Humboldt did not receive it until 
more than eight months had elapsed after it had been 
written. It first was carried by a sailing ship to Europe, 
thence taken to Boston in another sailing ship, then by 
mail-coach to New r York, and then by mail-coach across 
the Alleghenies until it finally reached the person for 
whom it was intended. What miracles have been 
achieved by human ingenuity since Columbus first 
anchored where we are lying, and more particularly 
since Alexander von Humboldt came to visit the 
regions about the Gulf of Paria ! By the way, Humboldt 
on his mother's side was descended from a family 
bearing the name of Colomb. Some of his biographers 
claim that he was of the same race as the great Cristo 
fero. However that may be, in a certain sense he was 
the re-discoverer of South America. He was the first 
really scientific observer to resort to these lands. His 
writings quickened interest in them, not from a political 
and mercenary point of view, but from the standpoint 
of the student of natural phenomena. All works deal- 
ing with the natural sciences relating to South America 
and published before the day of Humboldt are full of 
errors and crudities. He was followed by a host of 
successors, whose training was largely received by 
communion with nature on the virgin soil of this noble 
continent. The list is portentous, and includes the 
names of some of the greatest scientific men of the past 
eleven decades, such as Bonpland, D'Orbigny, Darwin, 
Spix, Louis Agassiz, Bates, and Burmeister. One of 
the greatest of them all, Alfred Russel Wallace, still 
survives at a green old age, the representative of a 
generation which has almost entirely passed from the 

We went ashore in the Company's launch. As we 

326 To the River Plate and Back 

approached the landing-stage our attention was called 
to the fact that several vessels had sunk near the shore, 
only their masts being visible above the water. Men 
in small boats were working about them. Inquiry 
elicited the fact that the day before the place had been 
visited by a hurricane, and that half a dozen small craft 
had been swamped along the landing, and some houses 
unroofed. Those who spoke of the matter did so in 
a way which seemed to imply that it was quite an 
ordinary occurrence. 

The architecture of Port of Spain is conformed to the 
requirements of life in a perpetual summer. Every- 
thing is open to the air, and devices to shelter from the 
heat of the sun in the form of broad verandas and 
awnings built over doors and windows are common 
features in residences of the better class. The streets 
and roads are well-paved and clean. The open spaces 
in the parks look smooth and green like English lawns. 
The sides of the roads are adorned by trees, many of 
them of huge size, upon the branches of which grow 
great colonies of epiphytic plants, bromelias and 
orchids of various genera. We first drove out to the 
waterworks. The water from a number of clear 
mountain-streams is collected in large reservoirs and is 
then conveyed by pipes into the city. On reaching our 
destination we alighted from our conveyance and went 
in and examined the place. An attendant came for- 
ward and dipped up some of the sparkling water for us 
to drink. It seemed to be very pure, but it would have 
been somewhat more palatable had it been cooler. 

The reservoir is located in a deep valley, about which 
under the shade of great trees cacao-bushes were grow- 
ing. While we were inspecting the reservoirs the 
chauffeur had pulled one of the ripe cacao-pods, and 



handed it to me as we came out. It was about ten 
inches long. The cacao (Theobroma cacao) is the plant 
from the seeds of which chocolate is produced. The 
pod is long, cylindrical, tapering at either end, and fluted. 
When ripe it is greenish yellow in color striped with dull 
pink. The bush or small tree, from the branches of 
w^hich the pods hang singly here and there, loves the 
shade of deep forests, growing in rich moist soil. In its 
form it somewhat recalls the papaw (Asimina triloba) 
of the Indiana and Kentucky woodlands, which also 
loves the shade. Cocoa is one of 
the staple exports of Trinidad. On 
our rides both to and from the reser- 
voirs we noticed that ferns, and 
especially tree-ferns, were not un- 
common. Various aroids, belonging 
to the genera Philodendron, Anthu- 
rium, and their allies, were conspicu- 
ous. Liverworts of several genera 
and species were seen by me as I 
wandered about in the shady woods 
in quest of moths, of which I caught 
a few. In the open spaces by the wayside butterflies 
were quite numerous. I succeeded in capturing a num- 
ber of Hesperids and Lycsenids. Didonis biblis with 
its black wings margined with vermilion was very 
common among the bushes and in half -shaded places, 
while Anartia jatrophce and Anartia amalthea literally 
swarmed in the low grasses and weeds by the wayside. 
Two species of Catopsilia were congregated in damp 
spots on the road, just as the common Clover-butterfly 
(Colias) gathers in similar places in the summer-time at 

The view of the rich tropical vegetation of the island 

Fig. 30. Pod of 
Cacao, ii) nat. size. 

328 To the River Plate and Back 

which we had obtained in the course of our short ride 
led us to desire to visit the Botanical Garden, said to be 
the finest in the West Indies. It has been long in exist- 
ence, and some parts of it are in reality the native 
forest, in which no attempt has been made to put a 
curbing hand upon the forces of nature. An attendant 
in uniform, with ebony face, seeing me engaged in 
collecting butterflies soon after I had entered the gate, 
approached me and with a smile upon his face said: 
'I shall have to fine you for collecting insects on these 
grounds." I looked him in the face and said: "Fine a 
Fellow of the Entomological Society of London for 
collecting butterflies on English territory? Indeed!' 
I then handed him a shilling, and said : " Now come and 
show me where I am likely to find the best specimens." 
He accepted the shilling with a grin, and thereafter 
accompanied us and was our willing guide. The first 
place to which he conducted us was to the top of a small 
eminence from which we had an extensive view over 
parts of the town and the wide gulf beyond. That 
little climb became memorable, not because of the 
exertion it involved, but because of the oppressive heat. 
The distance was not great, but the hot, humid at- 
mosphere made it exhausting. After staying a while 
upon the hill-top seated under a rude arbor and en- 
deavoring to recover a normal temperature, incidentally 
to collect some interesting specimens of various orders 
of insects, we slowly descended by a circuitous path 
under the shadow of the overhanging foliage. There 
are many noble tropical trees, both native and exotic, 
in the garden. We were particularly interested in 
observing the numerous varieties of palms, and the 
profusion of orchids and bromeliads clustered as para- 
sites upon the branches. Several species of bamboos 

Trinidad 329 

formed great clumps, the feathery masses of which 
contrasted beautifully with the darker and more solid 
foliage of the great rounded tree-tops which formed the 
background. One of these growths of bamboo was 
being cut down and a man was sawing up the joints 
'to make flower-pots," as he informed us. The joints 
were five or six inches in diameter, and no doubt may 
well serve as receptacles for growing plants. Our 
faithful guide obtained a couple of the things for the 
use of the ladies, who fancied them, and I took one as a 
receptacle for paint-brushes, for which it is admirably 

We could have lingered much longer in the Botanical 
Garden, but there were other places to be seen, and we 
therefore beat a retreat to our automobile, and went into 
the town itself. The city has witnessed many vicissi- 
tudes since its first settlement by the Spaniards in 1532. 
For nearly two hundred and fifty years the banner of 
Spain floated over the island ; then there was an attempt 
by the French to possess it, and finally the English took 
it, and English it has remained since 1797. The older 
parts have been remodeled and rebuilt since the days 
of the early settlement. The streets are laid out at 
right angles, which was not originally the case. The 
business portion has a rather seedy and forlorn look. 
The residential parts occupied by the wealthier classes 
are attractive, even beautiful. Some of the houses are 
well built, and the gardens with their wealth of flower- 
ing shrubbery and fine trees are charming. After 
having seen the main thoroughfares, and visited the 
principal points of interest, we decided that it was time 
for luncheon, We went to the Queen's Hotel, and fared 
very well. The fish which was served, and which we 
were told had come fresh from the sea that morning, 

33 To the River Plate and Back 

was excellent. Trinidad has in recent years come to 
be a resort for English gentlemen who are lovers of 
piscatorial sport. A very readable book has been 
written by a member of the fraternity, who describes 
the adventures he had in successive seasons while 
fishing in the Bocas for tarpon and other denizens of 
these seas. The devil-fish, that colossal batlike mon- 
ster, which haunts the reefs, and sometimes towards 
dusk rises with a great flying leap from the surface of the 
water, is graphically described by the writer of the 

After luncheon we visited the market-place and a 
number of the shops. Port of Spain is a very cosmo- 
politan town, as much so as any in the West Indies. We 
found that many languages are spoken by the people, 
though English is universally understood. There are 
many there who still employ Spanish, the lingua franca 
of South America; others speak French. The negroes 
speak the English of the West Indies with its peculiar 
drawling accent. There is a lingering suggestion of the 
old days of slavery in the constant use of the terms 
'Master" and "My Lady," employed by the blacks in 
addressing the whites. Multitudes of East Indians, 
young and old, were encountered. These people retain 
the garb and the customs of the Orient, from which they 
have come. One section of Port of Spain is known as 
'Coolie-town." We encountered ' Bombay-wallas" 
and 'Calcutta-wallas" everywhere. 

But it was time to be making our way to the landing- 
stage. We had barely arrived there, when it began to 
rain as it only rains in the tropics. We huddled 
together under the narrow roof of the shelter which is 
provided at the landing-stage. Fortunately the Cap- 
tain was one of the waiting company, and we felt at ease. 

Trinidad 331 

Ships do not sail without their captains. The wind 
came up and our departure was delayed until the squall 
had died dow r n. We reached our floating home about 
three o'clock. As we came out over the bay it was 
interesting to see perched on the tops of the buoys in the 
harbor a number of brow r n pelicans. Man-o-war birds 
were also numerous, hawking about the stern of the 

The glimpse we had of this southernmost of the West 
Indian islands provoked in our minds a desire to visit 
it again and make a longer stay. It is well worthy of a 
protracted sojourn. The roads through the island are 
said to be good, and there are many places which are 
full of interest to the student of nature as well as to the 
lover of the beautiful and curious. We would have 
liked to have visited the famous Asphalt Lake , we would 
have enjoyed exploring the Cave, which is haunted by 
the Guacharo, the Steatornis steatornis of ornithologists. 
This very remarkable bird was first described by 
Humboldt. It was first found by him near Cumana 
and referred by him to the Goatsucker Family, sub- 
sequently the bird was found to frequent caverns in 
other parts of the country, especially Trinidad, where 
the people called it the ' ' Diablo tin. ' ' Students since then 
have very carefully studied its anatomy, and it has 
been separated from the Goatsucker Family, or Capri - 
mulgidce, and placed in a separate family, the Steator- 
nithidce. The bird, while it possesses many of the 
characteristics of the Nightjar and Whippoorwill, 
shows also certain strong affinities to the Owls, and is 
regarded as perhaps giving evidence pointing to the 
fact that the Goatsuckers and the Owls may have 
sprung from a common ancestry, the characteristics of 
which in part survive in this curious bird. It is about 

332 To the River Plate and Back 

as large as a crow. It is noctural, slumbering all day 
in dark caves, whence it issues at dusk, going forth in 
search of its food which consists of the oily fruits of 
various tropical trees. In quest of this food it travels 
enormous distances, being very swift of wing; and one 
writer, who studied its habits, states that he found in 
the stomach of a specimen which he obtained at Caripe a 

Fig. 31 Guacharo (Steatornis steatornis] \ nat. size. 

nut of a tree which he was quite sure does not grow 
nearer the cavern than eighty leagues, or two hundred 
and forty miles away. The indigestible seeds are 
voided upon the floor of the caves in which these birds 
congregate, and here they sprout up, and being de- 
prived of light, cover the floor of the cave with a curious 
mass of bleached vegetation like the shoots of potatoes 
which have sprouted in a cellar. The young birds soon 
after they are hatched become a mass of animate fat; 
at this time the Indians resort to the caves and slaughter 
the young by the thousands, melt the fat in pots at the 
mouth of the cavern, and preserve it for use both in 
cooking and in lighting lamps. This fat is said not to 

Trinidad 333 

turn rancid, and is capable of being kept for a year or 
more in limpid purity. Some people say that the 
squabs are delicate eating. It is, however, reported 
by others that they have the taste of cockroaches. It 
is singular that the odor of cockroaches is found in many 
birds. I have noted it especially in the case of Petrels. 
A Petrel flew on board the S.S. Carpathia, on which I 
was crossing from the Mediterranean, not very long 
before her memorable rescue of the shipwrecked passen- 
gers of the Titanic. The bird was brought to me. I 
afterwards released it, and it flew away ; but for a couple 
of hours afterwards, though I washed my hands a 
number of times, I could not get rid of a mild odor of 
cockroaches which seemed to cling to my fingers after 
handling the bird. 



"Where first his drooping sails Columbus furl'd 
And sweetly rested in another world, 
Amidst the heaven-reflecting ocean, smiles 
A constellation of elysian isles, 
Fair as Orion when he mounts on high, 
Sparkling with midnight splendor from the sky; 
They bask beneath the sun's meridian rays, 
Where not a shadow breaks the boundless blaze; 
The breath of ocean wanders through their vales, 
In morning breezes and in evening gales; 
Earth from her lap perennial verdure pours, 
Ambrosial fruits and amaranthine flowers; 
O'er the wild mountains and luxuriant plains, 
Nature in all the pomp of beauty reigns." Montgomery. 

WE left Port of Spain about four o'clock in the 
afternoon. The thunderstorm which had passed 
over the town still clung in the distance about 
the tops of the mountains. We passed out to sea 
through the Dragon's Mouths (Las Bocas de Dragos), 
the triple strait, seeded with jutting islands and tower- 
ing rocks, which connects the Gulf of Paria on the north 
with the waters of the Caribbean. The scenery com- 
pelled the admiration of the most indifferent. In the 
blue distance rose the high peaks of Paria, one of them 
thirty -five hundred feet in height, lofty sentinels on the 
Venezuelan mainland, which here juts out eastward as a 
narrow peninsula, forming the northern boundary of 


0) O 

C *""" 




-i i 







The Lesser Antilles 335 

the gulf. At the prow of the ship we could see how the 
water is racked as it pours between the islands. Its 
surface was free from waves, but broken by tide-rips. 
Many porpoises raced with the ship as she stood* out to 
sea. I strained my eyes to see whether by some lucky 
chance I might not catch a glimpse of one of the huge 
devil-fishes which are said now and then toward evening 
to leap up from the water, but none of these darlings of 
the deep obliged me by letting me have a peep at him. 

A number of additions had been made to our ship's 
company at Port of Spain. Some of these were to 
remain with us to the end of the voyage, others were 
only to bear us company as far as Barbados, where 
they would reembark on vessels going to Europe, or to 
other parts of the West Indies and South America. 
Among the latter was an English gentleman, who 
informed me that he had come out to the West Indies 
u to escape the beastly winter-climate of London," 
and that, after having visited in succession all of the 
Lesser Antilles, it was his purpose to go to Para and 
ascend the Amazon as far as possible. He was arrayed 
in an immaculate suit of white duck, a solar topee, and a 
formidable monocle, so that it was evident he was fully 
equipped for life in the tropics. 

With a good motor-boat it would be possible to go 
from Trinidad to Florida by way of the Antilles, sleep 
on shore every night, and never be out of sight of land 
for more than an hour or two at any time. The Lesser 
Antilles, or Caribbees, form a semicircle which extends 
from near the coast of Trinidad eastward and northward 
nearly as far as Puerto Rico. The Greater Antilles 
continue the chain of islands, stretching westward in the 
direction of Honduras. The Caribbean Sea is thus 
partially enclosed on the east and the north by a long 

336 To the River Plate and Back 

succession of islands, large and small, lying like a great 
wreath upon the blue expanse of ocean. The Caribbees 
are disposed in two more or less parallel lines, the outer 
islands on the Atlantic side being generally low, or with 
but slight elevations upon them; the inner series is 
composed of islands which are mostly volcanic in their 
origin and adorned with peaks and high rugged cliffs. 
With but one or two exceptions, all are covered with 
luxuriant vegetation from sea-level to the tops of the 
mountains. Alongside of them are some mighty deeps in 
the floor of the ocean. If the water were to be drained 
away from about them they would stand up from the 
sea-floor as the Himalayas stand up above the plains of 
India. What the traveler really sees as he journeys 
among these islands are only the summits of a colossal 
mountain range jutting up out of the waters. These 
islands lie along what geologists call a fault in the sur- 
face of the earth, which, as it has been cooling and 
contracting, has been cracked and wrinkled and folded. 
On such lines the water of the ocean, creeping down into 
the heated interior, has been converted into steam and 
volcanoes have been formed. Many of these islands, 
the summits of which are evidently old volcanic peaks, 
are quiet enough to-day, save that now and then they 
are jarred by earthquakes, but nowhere in the world has 
more awful destruction been wrought since the days of 
Herculaneum and Pompeii than was brought about by 
the explosion of Mt. Pelee on Martinique in 1902. 

Leaving Trinidad behind us we headed away to the 
northeast. Tobago was passed during the night. 
Morning found us at Bridgetown, the port and capital 
of Barbados, the easternmost of the Caribbees. The 
only other large vessel in the harbor was a Russian man- 
of-war. As soon as we had cast anchor, the ship was 

The Lesser Antilles 337 

surrounded by small boats, each of which carried two 
boys. As they came alongside they began to clamor for 
the privilege of showing their skill as divers: 'Throw 
me a penny, master! Watch me dive and get it!' 
' Throw me a shilling, master ! and I will bring it up on 
the other side of the steamer ! ' The passengers stand- 
ing at the rail began to toss small coins into the water. 
The coin had scarcely left the hand of the thrower, 
before sixteen or seventeen lithe black bodies disap- 
peared under the water and then came up, the one who 
had captured the coin displaying it for an instant in his 
fingers, and then transferring it to his mouth, which 
served the purpose of a purse. One of their number 
who was designated as the ' ;< deaf fellow" seemed to be 
particularly expert. All of the boys were negroes, 
except one, who was a fair-haired English lad. While 
one of the occupants of a boat was engaged in making 
his natatorial displays, his comrade managed the craft. 
Then, when the swimmer became tired he crawled into 
his boat and took charge of the oars, while the other 
fellow took his turn in the water. All of them swam 
with great ease and strength and showed fine muscular 

Our anchorage was far out. We were to take on 
seven hundred tons of coal, and accordingly were told 
that the entire day and evening might be passed upon 
shore. After breakfast we called a small boat alongside, 
and soon found ourselves walking up one of the streets of 
the town, which is said to derive its name from the fact 
that the first settlers of the spot found there a bridge, 
which the Indians had built over a small creek dis- 
charging its waters into the bay. The first settlement 
was made at Holetown, a point about seven miles north 
of Bridgetown on the western side of the island. Here 

338 To the River Plate and Back 

in 1605 a party of Englishmen on their way to the 
Spanish Main effected a landing and took possession in 
the name of their king, the ceremony consisting of 
setting up a rude wooden cross and carving upon the 
bark of a tree a declaration that the island was the 
property of King James. They then sailed away. At 
that time the only foothold which England had in 
the New World was this little island and the rocky 
coast of Newfoundland. Spain, Portugal, France, and 
Holland claimed everything on this side of the Atlantic. 
Twenty years passed before a few of these Englishmen 
accompanied by some of their friends returned, and 
began a formal settlement at Holetown. They were 
quickly followed by a party sent out by the Earl of 
Carlisle, who established themselves in 1628 at Bridge- 
town, which, because of the better anchorage, soon 
became the principal port of the island, in fact the only 
one now resorted to by ocean-going vessels. 

Barbados has been continuously in the hands of the 
English since the days of its first occupation, and is one 
of the very oldest of the colonial possessions of Great 
Britain. It has an extreme length of twenty-one miles 
and an extreme breadth of fourteen miles. It contains 
an area of one hundred and sixty- three square miles. 
It has a population of more than two hundred thousand, 
and therefore, with the exception of Manhattan Island, 
is the most densely inhabited island on the face of the 
globe. The population is composed principally of 

The style of architecture of the older mansions is 
Colonial, recalling the old manor-houses of Virginia 
and the Carolinas. In this connection it is worth 
remembering that the only time George Washington 
left the soil of North America was on the occasion of a 

The Lesser Antilles 339 

visit to some of these hospitable mansions, when he 
accompanied his invalid brother to the South. The 
streets of the business portion of Bridgetown are filled 
with buildings of a substantial character built from 
coral-rock. There is an air of English solidity about 
the banks and warehouses. The residential portions 
of the city contain many pleasant homes surrounded by 
beautiful gardens full of blooming shrubs and flowers. 
Fine trees shade most of the thoroughfares. Among 
the shade-trees I noticed some magnificent specimens of 
the mahogany-tree (Swietenia) and the silk-cottonwood 
(Bombax ceiba), the latter with their trunks sur- 
rounded by wide and thin buttresses of wood which 
nature provides to serve the purpose of flying-arches 
with which to support their mighty columns. 

Taking a vehicle we started out on a tour of explora- 
tion. We visited the markets. Naturalists generally 
find the vegetable and fish-markets in strange lands 
instructive. My friends, Dr. D. Starr Jordan and Dr. 
C. H. Eigenmann, who are two of the leading ichthy- 
ologists of the world, have told me that they make it a 
point to visit the fish-markets on their travels, and many 
species new to science have been found by them in 
fish-stalls, by the former in the Orient, by the latter in 
South America. The venders of fish in the West 
Indian Islands have a large number of fine species of 
food-fishes at their command. Spanish mackerel, 
snappers of various species, pompanos, and flying-fish 
were on sale at Bridgetown. In the fruit-stalls were 
various kinds of tropical vegetables and fruits which 
interested. There were three species of anonaceous 
fruits, the Sour-sop (Anona muricata), the Sweet-sop 
(Anona squamosa), and the Custard-apple (Anona 
reticulata). With the latter we had already formed 

34 To the River Plate and Back 

acquaintance in Brazil. Breadfruits were abundant. 
So were Golden-apples, as they are called, pleasant to 
the eye, and delightful to the palate, but the inner 
seed armed with wiry, projecting, wooden spines, which 
compel the eater, when devouring the juicy pulp, to 
proceed as circumspectly as one who is eating shad. 
There were yams, and cassava-meal, fresh ginger in 
short a multitude of things which we all have read 
about, but which it was pleasant to see as they came 
from the fields and gardens. 

In the northeastern part of Barbados there exists a 
small colony of a little green African monkey, the mem- 
bers of which are protected. The species (Lasiopyga 
callitrichus) is one of the commonest in captivity, and 
the usual attendant of the Italian organ-grinder. It 
has become naturalized not only in Barbados, but also 
in St. Kitts and Nevis. It is a remarkable fact that 
no monkeys allied to those of the South American main- 
land exist to-day in any of the West Indian Islands, 
except Trinidad, where a species of Howling Monkey 
(Alouatta insulanus) occurs. Whether the monkeys, 
which may have existed in the West Indies, were long 
ago exterminated, as have been the Indians, is a ques- 
tion which it is difficult at this late date to determine. 
Both the geological and the written records relating to 
the mammalian fauna of the Antilles are very defective. 
Many facts tend to show quite conclusively that the 
Greater Antilles must have had at one time a connec- 
tion with the American mainland. The recent dis- 
covery in Cuba by Mr. Barnum Brown of the American 
Museum of Natural History of the remains of at least 
two species of sloths in the bottom of a pool from which 
he pumped away the water, and the discovery in the 
Isle of Pines by Mr. G. A. Link of the Carnegie Museum 

The Lesser Antilles 341 

of the remains of a peccary, which he found in 1912, 
show conclusively that in quite recent times the fauna 
of Cuba, at least, was allied to that of the not distant 
mainland. A hundred other facts might be cited which 
point to the same conclusion. Very probably long- 
tailed monkeys, related to those of South and Central 
America, once existed in the Antilles, but have gone 
the way of all the living. Many species of West Indian 
birds are now totally extinct. The introduction of the 
mongoose into Jamaica led to the total destruction in 
that island of many species of birds, which nested on 
the ground. The parrots of Cuba are going rapidly. 
The destroyer in this case is a human mongoose. He 
is a dealer in "parrots, and during the past year he has 
shipped to New York City many thousands of living 
parrots. The poor birds live a year or two in the court- 
yards of New York homes, being taught to plead the 
needs of 'Pretty Poll." In vain they squawk forth 
their woes, as they shiver in the frosty air, and then find 
their last resting places in garbage-cans. ' Parrots are 
getting to be scarce in Cuba," says my assistant, "in the 
next ten years they will all be gone/' A fine business, 
this! Why should any man be allowed to strip an 
island of its bird-life, just to put a few dollars, all of 
which is "blood-money," into his filthy pockets? 

We left the market-place and drove through the out- 
skirts of the town into the country. We were struck 
by the diminutive size of the gray weather-boarded 
houses of the people. They are toy-houses. In fact 
they are only sleeping apartments. They could be 
picked up and hauled away on a cart. There were 
hundreds of them lining the roads in the suburbs. 
None of them had chimneys. The cooking is all done 
in the open air in their rear. Cane-fields cover 

34 2 To the River Plate and Back 

the land back of Bridgetown. The island produces 
annually about ninety thousand hogsheads of sugar. 
Along the roads barefooted women and girls were 
trooping into the town, carrying small quantities of 
fruits and vegetables to market in trays and baskets 
balanced upon their heads. At most their burdens were 
of little value measured in coin. We stopped and 
priced the articles they had for sale. A few pennies, 
a shilling, would have bought what the most heavily 
laden of their number was carrying over the hot roads. 
The poverty of the swarming multitude impressed itself 
upon us. The island is indeed over-populated, and the 
struggle for existence is acute, leading to a great emi- 
gration of laborers to other parts. Many of the men 
have in recent years found employment at Panama, 
where they have been helping to dig the big ditch which 
is to link the waters of the Caribbean with the Pacific. 

On the way we passed a clergyman. The driver 
told us it was 'the Moravian minister." A flood of 
memories was awakened. My father was a Moravian 
missionary in the West Indies when I first saw the 
light of day. My mother's grandfather was a Moravian 
missionary in the West Indies, the colleague and friend 
of another Moravian missionary, John Montgomery, 
the father of James Montgomery, the poet. John 
Montgomery served in Barbados, and he and his wife 
are buried on Tobago. My mother's father was born 
at a Moravian mission-station in the West Indies, and 
with his brothers was sent more than a hundred years 
ago, while they were still little children, to Bethlehem 
in Pennsylvania to be educated. There they lived and 
died, and there their descendants after them lived, some 
of them helping to make history. One of them was 
the founder of the great Bethlehem Steel Company, the 

The Lesser Antilles 343 

present controlling spirit in which is my friend of many 
years, Charles M. Schwab, and the First Vice-president 
of which w r as one of my table-mates on the voyage from 
Buenos Aires to New York. I told the coachman to 
stop, and, alighting, I set out to seek the missionary, and 
wish him Godspeed; but he had gone into one of the 
houses to minister at the bedside of a sick and dying 
man, and I felt I ought not to intrude, and came away. 
No body of men have ever shown more real heroism 
than the missionaries of the Moravian Church, who 
were the pioneers of Protestant Christendom in the 
effort to evangelize the neglected and helpless, not as 
was done by the emissaries of Spain in these islands, 
where the people were baptized and then barbarously 
exterminated, but as it is being done to-day by good 
men the world over, by teaching the ignorant to culti- 
vate habits of industry, self-help, and self-respect, and 
reverence for things which are excellent, and pure, and 
of good report. The story of the Moravian missions 
in the West Indies is the story of a self-sacrificing 
devotion, which, beginning with the act of Leonard 
Dober, who offered to sell himself into slavery that he 
might reach and teach the slaves, has been one long and 
consistent effort of kind-hearted and wise men to carry 
light and truth into the dark places of the earth. 

We left Barbados on the morning of November I3th, 
and passed northward along the western coast of the 
island, taking what the seamen call the "inner passage." 
We caught sight of St. Vincent and St. Lucia, their blue 
peaks rising above the western horizon. Early in the 
afternoon we were just off the southern shore of Mar- 
tinique. The Captain pointed out with the pride of a 
true British sailor the " Stone Ship," as it has been called. 
Towering nearly six hundred feet above the water is a 

344 T the River Plate and Back 

great pinnacle of reddish rock, with sides so steep that 
it looks as if nothing but a sea-gull could reach its top. 
In the troublous times of the Napoleonic Wars when 
England and France were fighting with each other on 
land and sea, Admiral Hood of the British Navy re- 
solved to take possession of this rock, which commands 
a narrow passage through which from time to time he 
discovered that French ships were escaping him. 
Somehow or other the brave sailors under his command 
found a w r ay up the steep sides of the rock and anchoring 
one of his ships at the very foot of the clifT, he caused 
five cannon to be hoisted from her deck by ropes let 
down from the summit. He landed one hundred and 
twenty men as a garrison, and the fort was entered on 
the Admiralty lists as 'H. M. Ship, Diamond Rock." 
For a long while the British sailor-soldiers held the place 
and gave the French no end of trouble. At last when 
they had shot away their last cannon-ball, and the 
drinking water had given out, they surrendered to a 
French fleet of sixteen sail, which had been for some 
time hammering away at them. These islands are full 
of memories which stir the blood. The story of the 
rise of the naval power of England is largely laid in West 
Indian waters. Here were the haunts of the buccaneers. 
Here Sir Walter Raleigh, Drake and Hawidns, Rodney 
and Nelson, won many of their laurels. There is not an 
island, not a strait, to which does not attach some 
legend, or story of historic interest. The blood of the 
sea-rovers and sea-fighters of the past has dyed these 
waters and crimsoned the soil of these islands. 

The panorama of the western coast of Martinique 
was slowly unfolded before us in the light of a beautiful 
summery afternoon. We stood in close to the shore. 
We could see the hills rising above Trois Islets, and 

The Lesser Antilles 345 

recalled the fact that here was the birthplace of Marie 
Joseph Rose de Tascher de La Pagerie, and of her first 
husband, Alexandre, Vicomte de Beauharnais, whose 
father was the Governor of the island. Of that union 
were born a son and a daughter, Eugene and Hortense. 
Alexandre de Beauharnais was a brave soldier and a 
statesman, twice the President of the National Assembly 
of France. After his tragic death his widow married 
Napoleon, and this daughter of the West Indies be- 
came the first Empress of the French, her daughter 
the mother of Napoleon III, her son Viceroy of 
Italy, son-in-law of the King of Bavaria, and his 
son the Consort of Dona Maria, Queen of Portugal. 
They have all passed into the realm of shadows; but, 
as we looked in at the entrance of Fort of France, 
with its towers and houses gleaming white in the 
sunshine above the deep purple of the sea, we could 
not but think of the wonderful mutations which take 
place in human lives. Little did the smiling girl w r ho 
set sail from this beautiful harbor among the hills to be 
wedded in France to the young man to whom she had 
been betrothed in her childhood dream that the crown 
of an Empress was to rest upon her head, and that she 
was going forth to play a role in one of the mightiest 
dramas of history. 

And now we crept a little closer to the shore. The 
land began to rise in great folds of dazzling green. 
Behind the hills loomed up a mountain capped with 
clouds. We came still nearer. The top of the moun- 
tain was desolate. Down its steep slope ran a great 
wide gash of dull gray, spreading out like an inverted 
fan as it approached the border of the violet sea. In 
the lower reaches of that gray expanse stood, silent and 
deserted, a few crumbling arches and walls, all that 

346 To the River Plate and Back 

remains of what ten years ago was said to be the most 
enchanting of the cities of the West Indies, a diminutive 
Paris, set in the midst of tropical verdure and beauty. 
The gray mountain with the steam pouring out of the 
rents in its top and forming clouds about its summit is 
Pelee, the Destroyer ; the ruins in the foreground are all 
that is left of the gay little city of St. Pierre. The 
Captain, who was standing beside me, told me of the 
awful scene, as he had looked upon it a few days after 
the holocaust in which forty thousand human lives 
were snuffed out in an instant. The details of the 
eruption have been fully told by the late Dr. Angelo 
Heilprin in his book entitled Mont Pelee, and the Tragedy 
of Martinique. The only consoling thought which 
arises in the mind is the reflection that the poor victims 
were not left to suffer long. Death in a most appalling 
form overwhelmed them, but it W 7 as " in a moment, in the 
twinkling of an eye." With one fierce burst the hot, 
burning sulphur-fumes, pouring from the bowels of the 
earth, swept down the flanks of the mountain with the 
speed of a hurricane, and all was over. But one man, a 
prisoner immured in a deep dungeon, survived out of the 
multitude. Of the heat and corroding power of that 
sulphur blast I saw a singular proof a few years ago in 
the city of Paris. Mons. Alfred Lacroix, the Curator 
of the collection of minerals at the National Museum in 
the Jardin des Plantes, showed me a keg of nails which he 
had found among the ruins at St. Pierre on the site of a 
hardware-store. The keg had been standing open when 
the death-dealing storm descended. The learned 
doctor has removed a stave in the side of the keg to 
permit the examination of the contents from the top 
to the bottom. At the bottom of the keg the nails are 
bright, new, and clean ; but the nails in the upper half of 

View of Mount Pelee from the Steamer. 

A Negro Boy Diving for a Penny. Barbados. 

The Lesser Antilles 347 

the keg have been turned by the hot sulphur blast of 
that day of terror into iron pyrites, iron sulphide, many 
of them having assumed crystalline forms. The 
chemical action which turned nails into crystals of iron 
sulphide was too great to be resisted by poor human 
flesh and blood, which shriveled into ashes before it. 
I can faintly imagine what must have been the agony of 
the moment. On the first day of August in the year 
1887 I made the ascent of Asama-yama, one of the 
huge volcanoes of Japan, rising over eight thousand feet 
above the plains of the Kwanto. I was accompanied 
by a small troop of faithful Japanese attendants. The 
column of steam and sulphur-smoke rising from the 
crater was ascending in a perpendicular column a mile 
in height above the mountain-top, and then spreading 
out like a huge umbrella in the upper air. The day 
was still ; not a breath of air was stirring. I undertook 
to measure the circumference of the crater, and had 
almost completed the task, when the servant who was 
standing nearest to me rushed toward me, seized me by 
the arm, and pointing upward exclaimed: 'The cloud! 
Quick! run! ' Before I had time to even reflect, I in- 
haled a breath of the excoriating sulphur-fumes. It was 
as if I had been stabbed in the vitals. I held my nose. 
I shut my mouth. I tried to run. I was forced again 
to open my mouth; again I was stabbed in the lungs. 
I stumbled, I fell, I rolled down a slope of lava-ashes. 
I gathered myself up, and again I ran, and at last 
beyond the reach of the white cloud which now was 
pouring in dense folds over the very spot where I had 
been standing a few moments before, I sank down 
exhausted. A wind suddenly rising was driving the 
fumes away to the west. For days afterwards it was 
painful to take a long breath and my mouth and throat 

34 8 To the River Plate and Back 

were sore. The cloud which overwhelmed St. Pierre 
was denser, hotter, more heavily charged with acid 
fumes than the one a taste or two of which I had on 
Asama-yama, but I can imagine the awful agony of the 
death which overtook the people of the ill-fated city on 
the 8th of May, 1902; I have tasted it just for an 
instant, and the memory of that little taste is enough. 

As the afternoon wore by we came under the tower- 
ing cliffs which guard the southern coast of Dominica. 
A silvery waterfall of great height was pouring directly 
into the sea from a dark precipice at the very end of the 
island. There is an air of rugged grandeur about the 
mountains of Dominica which is most impressive. The 
story is told that a British naval officer was once asked 
at his Club to describe the surface of this island. He 
took a piece of writing paper, crumpled it up, tossed it 
upon the table, and said: There you see just how the 
surface of the island looks." It is the most mountain- 
ous and roughest of all the Lesser Antilles. Guadeloupe, 
the next island in the long chain, has one peak, the 
Soufriere, which is a little higher than the Morne 
Diablotin on Dominica, just falling short of being five 
thousand feet in height; but Dominica has two such 
peaks, each of which exceed four thousand feet in 
height above the level of the sea, one of them being 
only a little lower than the high peak on Guadeloupe. 
Unfortunately the darkness of night prevented us from 
seeing much of the latter island though we passed 
immediately under the cliffs. 

On the following morning the Captain kindly sent a 
messenger to call me early. When I flung back the 
curtains at the windows of my cabin the dawn was just 
breaking over the sea. I hurriedly dressed, and went on 
deck. The sight was calculated to awaken wonder. 

The Lesser Antilles 349 

To the south the peaks on Guadeloupe were just dimly 
visible as points above the horizon. Nearer at hand, 
silhouetted against the glory of the coming day, were 
the outlines of Montserrat, Nevis, St. Kitts, and St. 
Eustatius. The first three islands belong to Great 
Britain, the latter to the Dutch. On Nevis Alexander 
Hamilton was born on January u, 1757, and a little 
more than thirty years afterwards a young English 
captain by the name of Horatio Nelson yielded to the 
charms of a bright young widow, Mistress Fanny Nisbet, 
whose husband, a physician, had not long before gone 
to the better world. They were married on March 
n, 1787, very quietly. As little as Josephine de La 
Pagerie thought- of playing a part in the history of the 
w r orld when she married Alexandre Beauharnais, so 
little thought the widow of Dr. Nisbet, when she married 
the slight and boyish English captain, that she was 
wedding one of the heroes of all time. And neither she 
nor Josephine on their wedding day suspected the 
domestic infelicity and the terrible heartaches which 
awaited them. Napoleon had, as he thought, reasons 
of state for deserting the noble woman who had been his 
guiding star in the early years of his success. Nelson 
had no reason for conjugal infidelity. It is a foul blot 
upon his career. Great as were his achievements, his 
personal character was not such as to make him worthy 
to be held up as an example to his fellow-men. 

Dead ahead of us was Saba, and we soon came along- 
side of it. This island, which is almost circular in out- 
line and scarcely three miles in diameter, rises more than 
half a mile in height above the ocean. There is no 
anchorage, except at the very foot of the tall rocky 
steeps which guard it on all sides. The Admiralty 
chart shows three hundred and seventv-five fathoms of 

35 To the River Plate and Back 

water within half a mile of the shore. Access to the 
island is up a narrow cleft in the rocks on the southern 
side. The island belongs to the Dutch. The inhabi- 
tants are few, and are fair-haired descendants of the 
original settlers from Holland. There is a small village 
in the interior high up on the mountain. The people 
enjoy the reputation of being skilled as builders of boats. 
The sole spot on the island fitted for such work is a low 
narrow platform of rock at the foot of the defile down 
which they travel to reach the edge of the water. Here 
they build and launch the craft, which they sell to the 
people of the adjacent islands. As we passed Saba, 
the Captain handed me a fine glass and bade me look. 
There in the morning sunlight high up on the edge of a 
cliff was a tiny house. A man in his shirt-sleeves was 
leaning against the doorpost; a woman in the little 
enclosure near by was milking a cow. Children came 
and stood and watched the steamer as she went by and 
waved their hands. We responded by waving our 
handkerchiefs. To the southwest is the great Saba 
Bank, a broad meadow of coral under the sea, which, in 
spite of the great depth of the water close to the island, 
shoals in places to six or seven fathoms, so that the 
chart says, " rocks can be distinctly seen when over it." 
We left it on our port side. 

Until noon of the I4th of November we were still in 
sight of land. The last of the Antilles to sink below the 
horizon was Sombrero, the Spanish Hat, a low, flat, 
sun-baked expanse of coral-rock, topped by a small 
lighthouse. We had caught our last glimpse for the 
time of "lands of sun." We were now steaming quickly 
north toward the cold and darkness of winter. Never- 
theless the air was mild and balmy and remained so 
until the end of the voyage had almost been reached. 

The Lesser Antilles 351 

On the afternoon of the i8th of November about 
three o'clock, as I happened to hold the "dummy-hand," 
I rose from the table, walked to the window of the 
reading-room, where we were playing, and looked out. 
There before me was Atlantic City, the boardwalk, and 
the long unsightly row of huge caravansaries which are 
ranged along the beach. Later when it grew dusk I 
chanced to look up and on our port side saw a light 
suddenly flash forth not like the lights which we 
had generally seen along the coast of South America, 
and among the islands of the West Indies, shedding a 
feeble radiance into the darkness, but a light, great, 
strong, furious. Handfuls, armfuls, great heaped-up 
piles of light, that beacon tossed out toward the sea, 
and then for a moment all was dark. Again in surges of 
glory the great flashing lantern scattered its rays over 
the waters. It can be seen for miles and miles. I 
know that light well. It stands upon the Atlantic 
Highlands and tells the traveler coming from off the seas 
that he is approaching the harbor of one of the greatest 
cities of the world, the doorway of North America. 
When dinner was over we went on deck and found that 
we were quietly riding at anchor off Quarantine. The 
air was cool and frosty. The journey begun in August 
heats was over. Nearly twenty thousand miles by 
sea and by land had been covered. We were home 



"Zar de tres tintas, indio, bianco, y negro, 
Que rige el continente americano 
Y que se llama Pueblo Soberano." Felipe Pardo. 

r "PHE discovery of the New World added to the 
resources of mankind a number of things, which 
before that event were unknown to the inhabitants of 
the Eurasian Continent and Africa. It is interesting 
to observe how many of the food-plants and vegetables, 
now in common use all over the world, had their origin 
in Central and South America. Perhaps the most 
important of these is maize, or Indian corn (Zea mais). 
The word maize is Haytian in its origin. It was the 
name which the Spanish conquerors of Hispaniola 
received from the Indians and which they carried with 
the grain to Europe, where it became incorporated into 
all the modern languages. The cultivation of the 
plant has extended throughout southern Europe, 
Africa, Asia, and Oceanica. It is one of the principal 
grain crops of the world to-day, and millions of human 
beings and tens of millions of domesticated animals 
depend upon it in whole or in part for their sustenance. 
The potato is another American plant, which plays an 
important part in the domestic economy of mankind. 
It grows wild on the western side of South America. 
Improved by cultivation and developed in countless 


Observations and Reflections 353 

varieties, it is an important factor in the food supply of 
the nations of the earth. The tomato, the egg-plant, 
and the various varieties of green and red peppers are 
the gift of the American tropics to the tables of civil- 
ized men. The cacao is a strictly South American plant, 
the cultivation of which has been carried into the hot 
lands of the Orient. Chocolate is a Mexican word. In 
its original form it was choco-latl, the first word in the 
compound being the Aztec name for cacao, the second 
syllable being the Aztec word for water. Long before the 
conquistadores made their invasion, the people of the 
hot lands of South America had practised the art of 
grinding up the seeds of the cacao, and mixing sugar 
and the fragrant extract derived from the pod of the 
vanilla, which grows in the hot American woods, with 
the paste, thus forming the material for a refreshing 
drink. The work done on Indian metates is now prin- 
cipally carried on in European and North American 
factories, the Indian matrons and maids, who wielded 
the mealing-stones, being replaced by machines driven 
by steam or electricity. A recent study of the literature 
of the subject made by the writer shows that over one 
hundred well-known plants of the forest, field, and 
garden, yielding food or medicine to man, have been 
derived from the flora of the Americas, and principally 
the floras of Middle and South America. 

The fauna of America has added but few species to 
those in domestication. The most notable addition 
is the noble fowl which graces the tables of Christendom 
on festal occasions. The bird was imported into Spain 
from Mexico by the early Spanish explorers. It had 
been domesticated by the Indians, and also ranged in 
its wild state from the highlands of Mexico as far 
north as New England. Its English name, turkey, 

354 To the River Plate and Back 

points to its introduction into Great Britain from 
Mediterranean lands. 

The gifts of the fauna and flora of these lands to the 
world in the last analysis have been more valuable 
than the gifts of the mines, for which these countries 
are famous. The value of the annual crop of maize 
alone exceeds by far in its aggregate amount all the 
treasure which is being annually extracted from the 
mines of silver and gold which are found in Central 
and South America. The amount which the poultry- 
men of Christendom will receive next Thanksgiving 
Day and Christmas for the turkeys sold from their 
stalls will exceed in the total all that will be paid out 
during this year of grace by those who purchase dia- 
monds and pearls. As permanent sources of wealth 
corn-fields and poultry-yards are to be preferred to 
mines of the precious metals and of gems. They pay 
better in the long run. 

The undeveloped agricultural resources of South 
America are enormous. Not only has the continent 
given much to the stock of those things which make 
life possible and enjoyable, but, as a territory capable 
of being subdued and made productive, it offers a wide 
field for coming generations of men who shall be willing 
to obey the primal command to till the soil and cause 
it to yield its increase. Of the great fertility of the 
plains of Argentina I have already said enough; but 
there are other vast regions in South America which 
are capable of being cultivated and made to minister 
to the wants of humanity. 

The mineral resources are very great. There is an 
abundance of iron and copper in various places. The 
ores of the precious and certain of the rarer metals are 
abundant in the cordilleran region. There is evidence 

Observations and Reflections 355 

that petroleum and natural gas exist, but the localities 
where these occur are as yet difficult of access, and no 
development of consequence has taken place. Coal is 
conspicuous by its absence from most of the geological 
formations of South America, and, where it does occur, 
it is of inferior quality. It must, however, be remarked 
that there are great areas in which no thorough^exami- 
nation has as yet been made to ascertain whether coal 
is present or not. The tropical sun atones for the lack 
of coal over the greater part of the region, so far as 
the need of securing warmth for human habitations is 
concerned, and the abundance of available water- 
power compensates in part for the lack of mineral fuel 
as a source of motive power. Along the Andes, in 
eastern Brazil, and in southern Argentina there are 
rapids and falls enough to drive all the engines now at 
work in the world. 

The greater part of the continent lies within the 
tropics, and therefore the climatic conditions are not 
generally regarded as favorable to the Caucasian. 
There are, however, parts of the continent w T hich are 
extremely favorable to this race. Uruguay, Argentina, 
Chili, and the highlands, both of the east and the west, 
reveal conditions which are quite equal to those which 
are found in Europe and North America where the 
Caucasian has been evolved at his best. The hot 
lands of Brazil, the Guianas, Venezuela, and Colombia 
are enervating. The diseases, which have hitherto 
made life in tropical countries dangerous, bid fair with 
the advance of knowledge to be brought under control. 
Even in the low-lying river-valleys, with the draining 
of the swamps and the extermination of insect plagues, 
the conditions of life will become more favorable. 
Many of the valleys of our own western States at the 

356 To the River Plate and Back 

time of their first settlement were highly malarious. 
I can remember as a child hearing the remark made 
that in the valley of the Tuscarawas in Ohio the cost 
of the quinine needed to keep the family in health 
exceeded the cost of the flour which was consumed. 
The remark was intended to be a somewhat playful 
exaggeration, but sixty years ago it had foundation 
in truth. It would not be made to-day. Just as the 
reclamation of the swampy lands in the Middle West 
of our own country has led to the disappearance of 
malarial fevers in places which half a century ago were 
haunted by them, so also will it be in South America. 
The city of Santos is a notable example of this (see 
p. 80). 

But something more is needed to constitute a state 
than the existence of large material resources and 
favorable climatic conditions. The human element is 
the most important. If Greece in the days of Socrates 
had been inhabited by Maoris, and Rome at the time 
of the Caesars had been populated by Berbers, the story 
of those days would have been very different. Man is 
the highest of the animals, but, being an animal, a 
good deal depends upon the breed. From the stand- 
point of ethics we justly claim that all men, so far as 
their rights are concerned, are born free and equal; but 
they are not born equal in the matter of their talents 
and capacities. In physical, mental, and moral respects 
there are great and obvious differences between indi- 
viduals of the same race, and between races themselves. 
In studying the present condition of the states of the 
south the student is naturally impressed by the fact 
that there has occurred in these lands a great inter- 
mingling of racial elements. In fact the commence- 
ment of the amalgamation of races began upon the 

Observations and Reflections 357 

soil of the Iberian Peninsula prior to the occupation 
of the South American continent. 

The lands of Central and South America, colonized 
originally by the Spanish and Portuguese, are often 
denominated 'Latin America/' The appellation is 
not strictly scientific, and in many respects is mis- 
leading. The people of Spain and Portugal, although 
the languages they speak are strict derivatives from 
the tongue of old Latium, have in their veins very 
nearly as little Latin blood as the people of Great 
Britain and Ireland. The student of ethnology 
knows well that the Basques, who were the leaders in 
the colonization of Chili and Argentina, are as little 
Latin as the men of Cork or Tipperary. They are a 
remnant of the old Iberian race, which tenanted the 
peninsula before the days of Hannibal, before the days 
of Caesar. They have perdured through the centuries 
in their home about the head of the Bay of Biscay, 
while the surges of conquest and colonization have 
rolled hither and thither through Europe, just as the 
Welsh have survived in their mountains, and the High- 
landers of Scotland have survived in their fastnesses. 
They came in contact with the various peoples who 
from time to time overran the Peninsula, but they 
were neither Africanized nor Romanized. They re- 
main to this day a peculiar people. It is an ethno- 
logical error to speak of them as representing the Latin 
race. Neither is the Spaniard nor the Portuguese, 
strictly speaking, Latin. For that matter it is doubtful 
whether there are any true survivals of the old Latins, 
in all of southern Europe, who have preserved in its 
purity the blood of ancient Rome. The Latin races 
of Europe are such in sentiment, but not in physio- 
logical fact. Even in Italy the modern Italian repre- 

To the River Plate and Back 

sents in his veins Gallic and Teuton rather than Roman 
descent. Omniscience alone could disentangle from 
the skein of life in southern Europe the thread of Latin 
humanity which is woven into the blood of these 
peoples. This is preeminently true in Spain and 
Portugal. No population in Europe represents a more 
complex synthesis of racial elements than the popula- 
tion of the Peninsula. One of the latest writers upon 
this subject, himself of Spanish lineage, says: 

Spain is African, even from prehistoric ages. The 
Iberian is like the men of the Atlas ; like them he is brown 
and dolichocephalous. The Kabyle douar and the Spanish 
village represent remarkable analogies. An early geological 
change separates by a narrow strait two similar countries; 
two successive invasions spread an infusion of African blood 
throughout the Peninsula. Phoenicians and Carthaginians 
found colonies in maritime Spain; in 711 seven thousand 
Berbers establish themselves in the south; and the invasion 
of the Almohades in 1145 still further unites Iberians and 
Africans. During the long centuries of conflict between 
Christians and Arabs the two races intermingle under the 
cultivated tolerance of the Khalifs. The Gothic kings seek 
the aid of Arab chieftains in their quarrels; the Cid is a 
condottiere who fights alternately in the Mussulman and 
Christian armies, serving with his troop of heroes under the 
highest bidder. The Spanish monarchs in turn intervene 
in the quarrels of the Khalifs, and Alfonso VI. in 1 185 allies 
himself with the Moorish king of Seville in order to conquer 
Toledo. The Arabs study under the masters of the Spanish 
capitals, while the Spaniards study Arabic, and are initiated 
into Oriental science. I 

The Peninsula formed not only a bridge from which 
Africa sought entrance into Europe, and indeed found 

F. Garcia Calderon, Latin America (New York, 1913), p. 41. 

Observations and Reflections 359 

it, but a cul-de-sac in which the spent invasions of 
Europe from the north and the east found a final rest- 
ing place. Across the narrow strait swarmed Phoeni- 
cians, Carthaginians, Berbers, Arabs, Copts, Touaregs, 
Syrians; from the north and the east came Romans, 
Franks, Goths, Visigoths, and Vandals. All mingled 
in time with the old Iberian stock; except where, in 
the mountain fastnesses of the Pyrenees, the ancient 
people, to-day known as the Basques, kept themselves 
more or less aloof from the invaders. 

The discovery of the New World evoked in this 
exceedingly complex people the spirit of adventure and 
daring. They found their way across the Atlantic and 
took possession of the newly found lands. They in- 
termarried with the conquered races. Their leaders 
in Mexico and Peru took to themselves as wives the 
daughters of Indian princes. The soldiery were con- 
tent with less exalted unions. In time there took 
place an importation of Africans to till the soil. The 
process of racial amalgamation went further. The 
result is something unlike what has occurred in any 
other region of the globe. To quote again from the 
same author who has just been cited : 

From the negro bozal recently imported from Africa to 
the quinteron, the offspring of slaves purified by successive 
unions with the whites; from the Indian who mourned his 
monotonous servitude in the solitude of the mountains, to 
the colored student of the universities, we find in the 
Seventeenth Century as in the Twentieth, in the colonies as 
in the republics, every variety of this mixture of Iberians, 
Indians, and Africans. 1 

The result of this great fusion of bloods represents 

'Calderon, /. c., p. 50. 

360 To the River Plate and Back 

only in small degree the perpetuation of the Latin 
race. It would be far more correct from the stand- 
point of the ethnologist to speak of these peoples 
as Iberian Americans, if some comprehensive term, 
pointing back to their origin, is required. 

But while the process of racial amalgamation has 
been going on, there has also been going on a process of 
differentiation. The population of South America is 
not homogeneous. There are distinctions observable, 
which have their root in the past. There are racial 
distinctions which make themselves manifest. There 
are historical traditions and points of view which are 
radically different. These republics are, as they claim 
to be, nations, and not states, such as those of the 
American Union in North America. The provinces of 
the South American republics correspond to our states. 
In each of these Iberian American republics a distinct 
national consciousness has been evolved. The Argen- 
tine is proud that he is an Argentine, the Chileno that 
he is a Chileno, the Brazilian that he is a Brazilian. 
With the lapse of time this national consciousness will 
be deepened and intensified, and in the lapse of time 
the commingling of blood will go further than it has 
yet gone. To-day in Argentina the population is 
becoming most complex, every race and people under 
the sun is being melted into the human mass. But is 
not this precisely what is taking place in the United 
States of North America? 

The reader must be cautioned not to conclude from 
what has been said that the process of racial amalgama- 
tion has been absolutely universal, and that there is 
no remnant left among the descendants of the early 
settlers who are of pure Spanish or Portuguese extrac- 
tion. Just as in the United States there survives an 

Observations and Reflections 361 

element in the population who recall the fact that they 
are the descendants of those who were the first to lay 
the foundation of the States along the Atlantic sea- 
board, and who pride themselves upon the mainten- 
ance of pure Caucasian pedigree, even if they do marry 
outside of the charmed circle of the Sons and Daughters 
of the American Revolution, so in every one of the 
South American republics there is to be found a cer- 
tain relatively small percentage of the population which 
has carefully avoided intermarriage with others than 
Caucasians. These old South American families, 
strengthened by unions with those of Caucasian stock 
who have more recently come into the countries where 
they live, constitute an aristocracy of talent and of 
wealth, w r hich has been potent both in the political 
and social life of the South American nations. This is 
especially true in Argentina, Uruguay, Chili, and Brazil, 
to a somewhat lesser extent in the northwest, in Cen- 
tral America, and in Mexico. This old landed aris- 
tocracy has exercised oligarchical prerogatives, and up 
to the present time has largely ruled these lands. 
From this comparatively limited body of the citizen- 
ship have been drawn the leaders in the church and 
the state. 

The writer as a student of ethnic conditions must 
also utter a warning against the conclusion, which 
might erroneously be drawn from what has been said, 
that the invariable result of a mingling of the old 
Iberian stock with the native races tended to a lowering 
of vitality and mentality. This is perhaps true in 
general, but there have been notable exceptions. It 
is not by any means to be accepted as a law that the 
offspring of unions between Caucasians and Indians . 
and negroes is devoid of intellectual and moral vigor. 

362 To the River Plate and Back 

Rivadavia, the first President of the Argentine Repub- 
lic, was a mulatto; but he was a man of great mental 
capacity and high moral power, a far-seeing statesman, 
and a true patriot. Measured in every way he was 
truly a great man, of whom his nation may well be 
proud. Santa-Cruz, the great caudillo, who for twenty 
years shaped the destinies of the infant republic of 
Bolivia, was the son of an Indian princess, the Cacica 
of Guarina. No student of his career can call in 
question the fact that he was a man of signal ability. 
Many other cases might be cited which tend to show 
that the union of the bloods of the different races is 
not necessarily followed by retrogression in physical 
and mental power. Nevertheless these cases are 
unusual and sporadic. The general result of such 
unions has been to level downward rather than upward. 
To-day in South America social standing is determined, 
as it was in the time of Humboldt, by the degree of 
the whiteness of the skin. 

From a broad survey of the human conditions which 
exist in South America there is a great deal to create 
hopefulness as to the future of these nascent nations. 
There is in them enough genuine virility to create 
peoples capable of performing their part with distinc- 
tion upon the arena of the world. There is intellec- 
tual capacity, there is no lack of high ideals and pure 
purposes, there is physical energy. These lands of the 
Southern Cross, the story of which in the past has had 
in it so much of the painful and the tragic, are certainly 
destined in the process of the years to be the scene of 
much which shall glorify humanity. 

Since my return I have been frequently asked what 
is the attitude of these peoples toward the people of 
the United States of North America. To answer such 

Observations and Reflections 363 

a question a broader induction of facts is necessary 
than it is possible for a man to make who has only 
paid a fleeting visit to the south, and has only touched 
it at a few points. I can only record my impressions. 
I may however say truthfully that so far as my individ- 
ual experience is concerned I discovered nothing which 
would not imply genuine friendship for the United 
States in the circles with which I was brought into 
contact. It is true that it was my happy lot to be 
thrown during my brief stay into the society of educated 
and broad-minded men, who in all lands are very much 
the same. There is an international brotherhood of 
scientific and literary men, which lives above the at- 
mosphere of common strife, and which, bound together 
by mutual sympathies and purposes, sees in all men 
friends. It was with such men that I was associated. 
There is reason, however, to think that not all of the 
people of these lands are as intelligent and far-seeing 
as the cultivated gentlemen with whom I was brought 
into contact. I noted not without surprise as I read 
the daily papers that a feeling of suspicion and distrust 
as to the integrity of the purposes of the citizens of the 
United States in their dealings with the peoples of 
South America was occasionally expressed. It was 
particularly surprising to note the evident hostility 
of the only English newspaper printed in Buenos 
Aires to all things "American," using this term in the 
sense in which we are in the habit of employing it 
among ourselves. It was at once amusing and a 
trifling disconcerting to find one morning on the front 
page of Car as y Caretas, the weekly magazine published 
in Buenos Aires, which corresponds to our Puck and 
Judge, a caricature representing " Uncle Sam' as a 
big black spider in the middle of his web, about 


To the River Plate and Back 

him a number of victims labeled Texas, Puerto Rico, 
Panama, Ilabana, and Nicaragua, while in the fore- 
ground are three 'dreadnoughts' flying the flags of 
Argentina, Brazil, and Chili, the Presidents of the first 
and last of which are looking up with evident apprehen- 

sion towards the spider-web, which fills the sky. The 
title of the caricature is, "El A. B. C. de la cuestion"; 
the legend below is, "Hay que completar el alfabeto, si 
no queremos ser cazados como moscas" The alphabet 
must be filled out, if we do not wish to be trapped like 

Observations and Reflections 365 

flics. In speaking about the matter to one of my 
Argentine acquaintances I ventured to plumply ask 
him the question why Argentina should be apparently 
venturing upon the very costly and burdensome under- 
taking of purchasing and maintaining a fleet of war- 
vessels. He answered, "We are doing it because we 
are afraid of you." I replied, "But what reason have 
you to fear the United States? Do you not realize 
that there is not a rifle in our navy which would ever 
be used except to protect and shield you in the event 
that some grave national peril should threaten you? 
We are your friends and not by any possibility capable 
of becoming your enemies." To this remark he made 
no reply. 

It was disconcerting to now and then overhear men 
speaking of the "Yankee peril." The latter I suspect 
is more keenly apprehended, not by the people of the 
country themselves and their intelligent rulers, but 
by the mercantile classes of foreign lands, temporarily 
resident in South America, and doing business in the 
markets. The gradual increase of the commerce of the 
United States with these countries has to a certain ex- 
tent aroused the jealousyand provoked the apprehension 
of a certain element, which has long been entrenched 
in these republics and has come to believe that it 
possesses a rightful monopoly of their trade. But the 
South American of Portuguese or Spanish extraction, 
who has been for many years compelled to pay heavily 
for the satisfaction of his w r ants, is not disposed upon 
the discovery of the fact that he can obtain his wares 
of equal quality at lower prices to denounce the man 
who is thus purveying to his wants as a public enemy. 

There are other "perils," which the gentlemen of 
the newspaper fraternity and essayists detect upon the 

366 To the River Plate and Back 

world-horizons, as they scan them from the quiet of 
their sanctums, and which, as they portray them, help 
them to work off editions of their writings. One of 
these, scarcely less terrific in its proportions than the 
so-called "Yankee peril," is the "German peril." This 
is regarded as being particularly insidious in its nature. 
Its ravages are noticeable especially in southern Brazil, 
where it has been accompanied by the reclamation of 
large tracts of hitherto uncultivated lands, the establish- 
ment of schools, churches, and the institutions of 
civilized life. It is remarkable for the importation 
into the regions where it has fastened itself of habits 
of order, thrift, and industry. It is also characterized 
by a certain persistence in the use of the language of 
the Fatherland, an addiction to beer and to sauer- 
kraut. In North America we have so long been ac- 
quainted with this 'peril," that in a measure it has 
lost its terrors. It gave us the Astors in New York, 
and the Wistars in Philadelphia. It invaded Penn- 
sylvania early in the eighteenth century. It gave 
us the Muhlenbergs, the Shunks, the Snyders, the 
DeSchweinitzes, the Wolles, the Haldemans, and the 
Rothermels. At the time of the Revolution it was re- 
presented by a Steuben and a DeKalb ; at the time of 
the Civil War by such men as Carl Schurz, Siegel, Rose- 
crans, and Schimmelpfennig. It transformed the central 
part of Pennsylvania into a veritable 'Garden of the 
Lord," and to-day is relied upon to do good work 
wherever good work is required. It is useful in schools, 
colleges, libraries, museums, and studios. It works won- 
ders in mills, stores, and shops. It is especially useful 
in fields and forests. The experience which the people 
of the United States of North America have had with 
the "German peril' 1 inclines them to take it to their 

Observations and Reflections 367 

bosoms. As a student of history and human develop- 
ment the writer is inclined to think that this dark cloud 
should not be felt by South American statesmen to be 
as thoroughly charged with mischief as some of the 
newspaper writers in the southern cities apparently 
think it to be. The lines of Cowper are appropriate 
in this connection, and the writer, as a ''Pennsylvania 
Dutchman,' commends them to those of his South 
American friends who are at present afflicted with 
Teutonophobia : 

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,- 

The clouds ye so much dread 
Are big with mercy, and shall break 

In blessings on your head. 

There is still another 'peril," which the wise men 
have discovered in South America as in North America, 
and that is the ;< Japanese peril." This is like the 

'German peril' characterized by industry and adapt- 
ability to circumstances. It is frugal, turns deserts 
into gardens, and with plodding zeal accomplishes the 
world's work, wherever it gets a chance to address 
itself to it. Withal it is artistic in the effects it pro- 
duces. But of all these bug-a-boos none at the present 
time in certain circles is taken quite as seriously as the 

'Yankee peril." While expressing grave concern for 
the darkness of the cloud in the northern sky these 
sapient gentlemen do not fail to recognize the fact that 
the Monroe Doctrine has been the Palladium of their 
liberties in the past. As they contemplate with excite- 
ment the 'German peril' and the "Japanese terror," 
they lay to their hearts the consolation that things 
might be much worse than they seem, since the great 
Republic of the North has said that it "could not view 

368 To the River Plate and Back 

any interposition for the purpose of oppressing the 
states of South America or controlling in any other 
manner their destiny by any European power in any 
other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly 
disposition toward the United States." This whole 
matter of 'perils," which is consuming so much space 
in the columns of the sensational journalism of the 
day, is beginning to be monotonous to intelligent 
readers, who know their world. It might be dismissed 
with laughter, were it not for the fact that its endless 
reiteration has a tendency to provoke genuine irritation, 
which is not pleasant. 

Our French friends, since the eclipse of Spain as a 
world-power, have in recent years come to feel that 
they in a certain sense hold the hegemony among the 
so-called Latin nations, and there has been a great deal 
of friendly camaraderie and pleasant interchange of 
compliments between them and the politicians of the 
South American republics. It is all very delightful 
and in certain aspects it is amusing. The prediction 
made by a recent writer that the day may come when 
the center of Latin culture will be removed from the 
banks of the Seine to the banks of the Rio de la Plata, 
and that Buenos Aires will become the home of the 
arts, as Paris and Rome have been in the past, involves 
a rather bold flight of the imagination. Among culti- 
vated circles in South American lands the representative 
arts are indeed appreciated; but, so far as the writer 
could ascertain, on the practical side there is as yet 
very little effort being made to cultivate these arts. 
The statuary and pictures to be found in galleries and 
the homes of the wealthy are principally importations, 
as they are to a very large degree also in the United 
States of America. The number of sculptors and 

Observations and Reflections 369 

painters born on the soil of the South American states 
is very small, and the works of art produced by them 
up to the present time are a negligible quantity. Still, 
as I have remarked, art is appreciated, and I had 
evidence of that fact as I went to and fro between La 
Plata and Buenos Aires and saw beside the railway 
track, in the middle of a muddy and neglected pond, 
a plaster cast of the Venus de Milo, at sight of which 
the gentlemen on the train looked forth with pleasure 
and the senoras and senoritas held their fans before 
their faces. What can have induced the implantation 
of this effigy, recalling the Louvre, in the midst of a 
frog-pond, except the rising and budding impulses of 
aesthetic sentiment? There must be a future for art 
in this New World. 

Since his return from South America the writer has 
frequently been asked what is likely to be the result of 
the opening of the Panama Canal, and particularly 
whether it is going to result in the cheapening of food- 
supplies in the United States. The canal will not bring 
the meat and grain of Argentina and Uruguay, the 
coffee and sugar of Brazil nearer to us than they now 
are. The agriculturally productive regions of South 
America lie on the eastern side of the Andes. There 
is only a narrow strip of productive land on the 
western coast of the South American continent, and 
the crops of the region are not much more than 
adequate at the present time to supply local wants. 
The only railway which at present connects the rich 
plains of the Atlantic side of the continent with the 
ports on the western coast is not likely to be used 
to any great extent for the transportation of grain and 
cattle. The Trans-Andine Railway, which links 
Buenos Aires with Valparaiso, has some very steep 

370 To the River Plate and Back 

grades, and is partly narrow gauge at present; traffic 
upon it in the winter months, June, July, and August, 
has been much interrupted by landslides and snow-falls, 
and up to the present has been more or less irregular. 
It is extremely improbable that this road under ex- 
isting conditions could be made the vehicle of a large 
traffic in cereals and meats, destined to be sent north- 
ward up the coast by the canal to North American 
ports. The ocean-mileage from Valparaiso to the 
Atlantic ports of the United States is two thousand 
miles less than from Buenos Aires to the same ports, 
but the land-carriage from sea to sea would more than 
consume any slight reduction in cost on account of the 
shorter distance by water. 

The new canal will give easy access from Atlantic 
ports to the ports of Ecuador, Peru, and Chili, but the 
exports of food-stuffs from these states are certain to 
be relatively small. Ores, nitrates, and hides may be 
shipped in increased quantities from these regions, but 
the Panama Canal does not reach out to the great food- 
making centers of the southern continent, and the 
result of its opening to commerce will not in all 
probability reduce the cost of bread and meat in the 
United States. If half of what the canal has cost the 
nation had been devoted to a systematic upbuilding of 
the shipping industries of the United States, the result, 
so far as the development of commerce and the low- 
ering of prices for staple commodities is concerned, 
would have been much greater. But the building 
of the canal was not undertaken for the purpose of 
reaching South America, rather or the purpose of 
reaching quickly and cheaply our own empire on the 
Pacific coast. 

I would like to revisit South America in the year 

Observations and Reflections 371 

A.D. 20 12. What a garden of delight the land will then 
present to view! What a noble group of happy and 
prosperous nations will then exist, covering the con- 
tinent, the wastes redeemed, the spirit of unhallowed 
rivalry and jealousy abolished, and the blessings of 
world-peace prevailing! If men are wise and good- 
natured, as they may be; if they come to know each 
other, as they can; the Millennium need not long be 


Abyssinia, home of coffee-plant, 


Acacia, 229, 270 

Academy of Fine Arts, Rio de 
Janeiro, 68 

Academy of Science, La Plata, 255, 
257: St. Petersburg, 14 

Accident to Diplodocus, St. Pe- 
tersburg, 250; on railway, 313 

Aconcagua, 130, 291 

Africans in Brazil, 46; in Uruguay, 

Agassiz, Louis, 325 

"Age of reptiles," 5 
AgelfBus thilius, 173 
Ageronia, the clicking noise made 

by, 73 
A grids, 293 
Agricultural resources of South 

America, 354 
Alcaeus paraphrased by Sir William 

Jones, 146 

Alcorta, Dr. Jos6 Figueroa, 123 
Alfalfa, 145, 155, 238 
Alfonso VI., 358 
Alkaline soil, 132 
Alligator, 48 
Almohades, the, 358 
Alpha Centauri, 33, 34 
Alvarez, Diego, first settler of 

Brazil, 54, 81 
Alvarez, Senor Don Agustin, 123, 

124, 295 

Alvarez, Senor Don Luis A., 213 
Amazon, mouth of, 320 
Amblyrhamphus holoseriteus, 173 
Ameghino, Carlos, 207, 208, 220 
Ameghino, Senor Florentine, 207, 

208, 214, 215, 218, 244, 246 
americana, Rhea, 148 
Ampullaria canaliculata 

D'Orbigny, 232 

A nartia jatropha, amalthea, 327 

Anchor of Columbus, 323 

Andes, 130-132, 278, 290 

Animals, migration of, from dif- 
ferent continents, 206 

Anona muricata, reticulate, squa- 
mosa, 339 

Antarctica connected with Aus- 
tralia, South America, and 
Africa, 205 

Anthurium, 327 

Antilles, the Lesser, 334-351 

Ant-nests, 284, 304 

Antonio, 274, 277 

Ants, 74,235,284,308 

Apostrophe to Rio de Janeiro, 57 

Apple-trees, 182 

Aqueduct, built by Jesuits, Rio 
de Janeiro, 61, 71 

Arabs, 358, 359 

Arauearia, 227; excelsa, 228; im- 
bricata, 228 

Arch of Titus, 25 

Archean rocks, 3, 4 

Arctomys, 195 

Argentina, I, 15, 16, 100-107,128- 
146. 355: arid lands, 132-133; 
blue sky of, 147; colonization, 
136, 138; composite population, 
121, 142, 359: compulsory edu- 
cation, 140: cost of living in. 
144: country of beef and wheat, 
107; dimensions, 128; dry- 
farming in, 133; English in, 142, 
299; flora, 155; food-supplies, 
189, ^54; French in, 142; fuel, 
107; importation of cattle into, 
145; Irish in, 142; lake region, 
115, 131; new railroads, 135; 
President, 254; price of labor, 
145; price of land, 144; protec- 
tive tariff, 144; republicanism 
140; Russians in, 142; Scotch 
in, 142; soil, 238; sugar industry, 




Argentina Continued 

281; topography, 129; towns 
with English names, 143; war 
vessels, 100; waterfalls, 135, 291 

Argentines, meat-eaters, 189; poli- 
ticians, 136; proud of nation- 
ality, 360 

Arid lands. 132-133 

Armadillos, 206, 287 

Armadillo-baskets, 287 

Arms, merchant of, 126 

Artisans in Bahia, 52 

Artistic sense, lack of, 52 

Artocarpus incisa, 48; integrifolia, 

Arundo donax, 229 

Asama-yama, ascent of, by author, 

Asarum caulescens, 226 

Asimina triloba, 327 

Asphalt Lake, Trinidad, 331 

Aspidosperma quebracho, 270 

Astronomers, 35, 42, in, 112 

Astronomy, the study of, 42 

Asuncion, Paraguay, 137 

Atlantic City, 351 

Attitude of South Americans to 
North Americans, 362 

Australia, flora of, 155 

Australian shipmate, 98 

Automobiles, 106 

Avebury, Lord, n 

Avenida Beira-Mar, Rio de Jan- 
eiro, 69, 316; de Mayo, Buenos 
Aires, 103, 104, 287, 294 

Avocado-pears, 317 

Azoic rocks, 4 


"Back to the soil," 143 

Bade, Dr., 166 

Baedeker, 125 

Baggage lost, 16 

Bag- worm (CEketicus platensis), 

Bahia, 17, 29, 31, 37, 43~56, 60, 81, 

317; churches, 50-51; forts at, 

43? parks, 48 
Bamboo, 62, 318, 329 
Bananas, 45, 87, 304 
Banquet at Jockey Club, Buenos 

Aires, 287: at La Plata, 255 
Barbados, 336-343 
Barrancas at Mar del Plata, 196 
Basques, 137, 357 

Bates, H. W., 73, 325 

Bathing on deck, 18 

Bath-room, 273 

Beach at Mar del Plata, 196 

Beagle, the Voyage of H. M. S., 
116, 207 

Beans, frijoles, 189 

''Beast, mysterious," 222 

Beauharnais, Alexandre, Vicomte 
de, 345, 349 

Bed-straw, 227 

Bees, 182, 308 

Beetles, 63, 74, 234 

Belenopterus cayennensis, 194 

Belgian hares, 149 

Belgrano, 167, 261 

" Bellasombra-tree, " 228 

Bell-bird, 75 

Berbers, 357, 358, 359 

Berg, Dr. Carlos, 209, 245 

Beta Centauri, 33 

Bethlehem Steel Company, foun- 
der of, 342; vice-president of, 

Bichos, 293 

Biddies, the, 2 

Bienteveo, 63, 64 

Billiards, 98 

Birds, 62, 64, 75; at sea, 29; in 
Museum, La Plata, 117; whole- 
sale destruction of, 309, 341 

Bird-voices, 230 

:< Black Belt" of Brazil, 46 

Bleaching bones in Museum at La 
Plata, 116 

Blixen, Senor Don Carlos, 300 

Blue sky of Argentina, 147 

Boa-constrictors, 157 

Bocas de Dragos, Las, 334 

Bolborhynchus monachus, 178 

Bolivar, "the Liberator," 141 

Bolivia, 283, 362 

Bombay, ceiba, 339 

Bombay-wallas, 330 

Bombilla, use of, 190 

Bonpland, Aime, 244, 325 

Botanical Garden, Buenos Aires, 
155; Rio de Janeiro, 67; Trini- 
dad, 328 

Boundary dispute between Argen- 
tina and Chili, 114 

Braganza, the House of, 309 

Brain, the, vs. the stomach, v 

Brazil, National holiday of, 59; 
"Greater Portugal," 78 



Brazil-wood, 54 

Breadfruit, 47, 340 

Bridgetown, Barbados, 336 

Bridge-whist, 88, 351 

British Guiana, 321 

British Museum, Trustees of, 9,11 

Bromelias, 326 

Bronchos, 154 

Brown, Barnum, 340 

Bruch, Dr. Carlos, 117, 234, 256 

Bryant, W. C., quoted, 27, 68 

Buccaneers, the, 344 

Buenos Aires: Agricultural Mu- 
seum, 150, 153; arrival in, 101; 
automobiles, 164; Avenida Al- 
vear, 163; Avenida de Mayo, 
161, 163; Botanical Garden, 147, 
155; Capitol, 101, 286; cattle- 
show, 150-155; cemeteries, 286; 
climate, 91 ; Colon Theatre, 162; 
docks, 100; hut in suburbs, 162; 
Jockey Club, 290; milkman, 161 ; 
millionaires, 143; mounted po- 
lice, 164; Museum, 208, 244; 
origin of name, 91; Presidential 
Mansion, 101; parks, 162; Plaza 
Hotel, 150; Plaza San Martin, 
IOT, 150; slums, 144; Sociedad 
Rural Argentina, 150; streets, 
105, 161; taken by British, 299; 
taxicabs, 164; uniforms, 164; 
University, 265; Zoological Gar- 
den, 156 

Bufalini, Francesca Turina, 
quoted. 108 

Bufo americanus, 175 

Bumble-bees, 73 

Burmeister, Dr. Karl Hermann 
Conrad, 200, 207, 209, 245, 325 

Burrowing-owl (Speotyto cunicu- 
laria), 195, 284 

Butterflies, 32, 50, 62, 67, 73, 88, 
177, 182, 185, 234, 276, 280, 
293, 314, 327, 328 


Cabbage-palm, 65 

Cabot, Sebastian, 90, 136 

Cabral, Pedro Alvarez, 53, 54 

Cacao (Theobroma cacao], 327, 353 

Cacao-pod, 327 

Cacica of Guarina, the, 362 

Cacti, giant, 283 

Cadiz, merchants of, 139 

Caesar, 257 

Calderon, F. Garcia, quoted, 358, 


Caldo da cana, 316 

Callithea, 293 

Camels, true, originated in North 

America, 157 

"Camp," the, in Argentina, 237 
Campo, 237 
Cannas, 72 
Canopus, 36 
Cape-Pigeons, 29 
Cape St. Roque, 17, 54, 56, 319 
Capetown, South Africa, 128 
Cape Verde Islands, negro from, 


Capricorn, Tropic of, 39 
CaprimulgidfE, 331 
Captain of S. S. Vasari, 33, 58, 79 
Captain of S. S. Vestris, 300, 314, 

Carabid beetles, 203 
Caracara, 284 

Carancho (Polyborus tharus), 284 
Carapace of Glyptodon utilized as 

a bathtub, 204 
Cardinal Finch, 173 
Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus] , 


Caribbean Sea, 334 
Caribbees, 335-6 
Caricature from Caras y Caretas, 


Carnegie, Andrew, i, 7-9, 11-13, 
15, 252, 253, 254, 259, 289 

Carpathia, S. S., 333 

Carpincho (Hydroch&rus capy- 
bara], 180 

Carryl, C. E., quoted, 260 

Carthaginians, 358, 359 

"Casa Historica," 274, 275 

Cassava-meal, 340 

Casuarina, 228 

Cathedral, Bahia, 44; European, 
51; La Plata, 109 

Catopsilia, species, 327; eubule, 47 

Cattle driven by woman, 266; ex- 
portation of, 154; native race 
of, 116 

Cattle-herders, cuisine of, 188 

Caucasians, 355 

Cave at Consuelo, 212 

Cavendish, Lord, 218 

Cemeteries in Buenos Aires, 286 

Cenozoic rocks, 3-4, 6 



Cerambycidce, or "long-horn bee- 
tles, "'74 

Cetacea in National Museum at 
La Plata, 115 

Chaco, Territory of, 128 

Chaja, 183 

"Chanar"-tree, 270 

Chardon Marie, 226 

Charpentier's, 134 

Charruas, a tribe of Indians, 297 

Chaunia chavaria, 183 

Chaves, Senor, 124 

Chemists, German, at Tucuman, 

Chickweed, 227 

Chilenos, 360 

Chili, 355, 370 

"Chili pine" (Araucaria imbri- 
cate), 228 

Chocolate, origin of word, 353 

Chubut, Welsh and Scotch col- 
onies in, 133 

Churches: Bahia, 51; of Europe, 
51; Santos, 82 

Cid, the, 358 

Clark, Alvan, 40 

Clemenceau, Georges, 70 

Clouds at sea, 23 

Clouds of Magellan, the, 34-35 

Clover, 285 

Coal, 66, 355 

"Cockpit of South America," 296 

Cockroaches, 88, 333 

Cocoa, 327 

Coco-palms, 318 

Coffea arabica, 84; liberica, 84 

Coffee, 65; cultivation, 86; intro- 
duction into Brazil, 85; loading, 
at Santos, 83; origin of its use, 

Coggeshall, Arthur S., vi, 5, 8, 10, 

13, 248, 250, 259 
Coleoptera, 185, 234 
Colias, 327 

Collecting land-shells, 233 
Colliau, Mrs., 124 
Colomb, family name of mother of 

Humboldt, 324 

Colonia, Portuguese in, 139, 297 
Colonization of Sao Paulo, 81; of 

Argentina, 137; of Uruguay, 297 
Colors, changeable, of the ocean, 

Columbus, Christopher, 322, 323, 


Commencement exercises of the 
University of La Plata, 122 

Congress, first Pan-American, 253 

Conium maculalum, 227 

Constant, Baron d 'Estournelles 
de, 12 

Constellations, southern, 40 

Convent of St. Catharine, near 
Sinai, 84 

Convict labor in La Plata, 243 

Coolies, 83, 330 

Coolie- town, Port of Spain, 330 

Cope, Professor E. D., 210 

Copper, 354 

Coral-reefs, 318, 350 

Corals, 4 

Corcovado, 58, 60, 75-76, 314 

Cordilleras, 259, 277 

C6rdoba, 130, 138 

Cordoba Durchmustening, 112 

Cormorants, 30, 172, 262 

Corn, traded for culture, v; plant- 
^ ing, 237 

Cornell University, graduate of, 

Cosmos Club, Washington, 104 

Cost of living increased by de- 
struction of balance of nature, 

C6te d'Or Express, 188 

Country store, in swamp, 175; 
typical, 182 

Cowboys, 238 

Cowper quoted, 367 

Creoles, 299 

Crested screamer (Chaunia cha- 
varia}, 183, 184 

Crops, rotation of, 238; transporta- 
tion, 239 

" Crossing of the line, " 20 

Crux auslralis, 34 

Cuba, 340 

Cuckoos, 231 

Custard-apple (Anona reticulata], 

317, 339 
Customs officer at Buenos Aires, 

1 02 
Cynara cardunculus, 225 


Daily Express, of London, 219 
Daption capense, 29 
" Darkest Africa, " 46 
Darwin, Charles, 116, 207, 325 



darwini, Rhea, 149 

Davis, Dr Walter G., 131, 132, 

134, 296 

Davis Island Dam, 99 
Debenedetti, Senor, 102 
Declaration of Independence, 275 
Deeps, great, in Caribbean Sea, 


De Garay, Juan, 137 

Delta of the Parana, 166, 168, 186 

Democracy, ideals of a true, 122 

Derby, Dr. Orville A., 65, 68 

Derzhavin, quoted, 33 

De Solis, Juan Diaz, 136 

D 'Estournelles de Constant, 
Baron, 12 

Devil-fish, 330, 335 

Devotion to the "mother coun- 
try," 97 

'' Diablotin," name of Steatornis, 

Diamond Rock, 344 

Dictator Francia, 245 

Didonis biblis, 327 

Difficulty, linguistic, 240 

Dikes being built in delta of the 
Parana, 186 

Dining-car, 187 

Dining in commons at University 
of La Plata, 121 

Dinner served on express, 188 

Dinosaurs, 5 

Diplodocus, 1-15, 118, 148-159, 
249. 250, 256 

Diplomatic stroke, 312 

Diprotodon, 180 

Diptera, 185, 234 

Disease, of fishes, 99, 178; tropi- 
cal, 355 

Diving for coins, 339 

Dober, Leonard, 343 

D&dicurus clavicaudatus Owen, 

Dog discovers meteorite, 38 

Dog-star, 38 

"Doing" a city, 93 

Dominica, 348 

Dominico, small variety of ba- 
nana, 87 

Dom Pedro I, 307 

Dom Pedro II, 65, 308 

"Don Samuel," 255 

Dorado, a species of fish, 178 

D'Orbigny, 325 

Dorth, Jan van, 55 

Doumer, Mons. Paul, 12 
Dragonflies, 73 
Dragon's Mouths, 334 
Drilling of troops, 242 
Dry-farming in Argentina, 133 
Dutch, the, 43, 55, 56, 78 
Dynastes hercules, 78 
DynastidcB, 75 


Eagles, 159 

Earthquakes, 336 

East Indians in Trinidad, 330 

Eberhard, Captain, 212 

Eclipse Expedition to Brazil, 286 

Ecuador, 370 

Education, compulsory in Argen- 
tina, 140 

Edward VII., King of England, 8, 

Eggs, tolerably fresh, v 

Eigenmann, Dr. C. H., 339 

Elater noctilucus, 267 

El Tigre, 185, 261 

El Tronador, Argentina, 115 

Emperor Charles V, 136 

Emperor of Austria, 253 

Empress Josephine, 245, 345, 349 

English, deer, 149; newspaper, 
263; occupation of Trinidad, 


Ensenada, 28, 100, 225 

Entomology, 62 

Entre Rios, Argentina, 130 

Eozoic rocks, 4 

Epiphytes, 179, 278, 326 

Epps Cocoa, 182 

Equality, human, 356 

Eresia aniela, 177; simois, 178 

Eryngium, 185 

Erythrina crista-galli, 169, 174, 


Eucalyptus, no, 120, 156, 227 
Eudcemonia semiramis, 73 
Eugenie, ex-Empress, 300 
European fennel, 225; grasses, 227; 

weeds, 225 

Euxenura magauri, 192 
Everglade Kite, 233 
Evolution, 2; of institutions in 

Argentina, 141 
Express trains, 188, 261 
Extinction of wild life, 309 



Faculty of University of Buenos 
Aires, 287; of University of La 
Plata, 242, 287; of National 
Museum, La Plata, 255 

Fallieres, President, 13 

Farmers, 144 

Farmer, small, in Argentina, 239 

Farrington, O. C., 38 

Fauna (mammalian) of Antilles, 
340; of South America, 204, 353 

Fennel, European, 225 

Fernandez, Serior Miguel, 102 

Ferns, 71, 303 (see Tree-ferns) 

Ferrocarril del Sud, 103 

"Fiddles," 18 

Fields, 261 

Finback whales, 28 

Fire-arms, merchant of, 25 

Fire-flies, 267, 312 

First-class passengers, 19 

First Pan- American Congress, 253 

Fishermen, 318 

Fishes, 30, 49; disease of, 99, 178 

Fish-markets, 339 

Flat lands, attractive features, 
223; vegetation of, 224 

Flax, 264, 285 

Flocks of sheep, 262 

Flora, of Argentina, 155; of Aus- 
tralia, 155; of South America, 


Flower, Sir William H., 115 

Flying-fishes, 30, 3 1, 339 

Fog, adored, 147; on mountains, 

277, 304 

Food-supplies in Argentina, 189 

Foot-and-mouth disease, 155 

Forest reservations, 271 

Forests, thorny, 272; tropical, 71 

Fossil mammals, 119; horse, 210; 
"potatoes," 198 

Fossils from Brazil, 209 

Francia, Dictator, 245 

Francis Joseph, Emperor of Aus- 
tria, 13 

Freesias, no 

Fremiet, Emmanuel, n 

French Guiana, 320 

French influence in South America, 

French Revolution, 140 

French in Trinidad, 329 

Fresh- water snails, 232 

Kricdrich Leopold, Graf Stolberg, 

quoted, 16 

Fruit imported from Europe, 189 
Fuel, 53, 66, 169 
Furnarius rufus, 279 

Gallardo, Dr. Angel, 244 
Garden-truck, poems in exchange 

for, v 

Garden, in swamp, 181 
Garrett, Hon. John W., 134, 150, 

242, 252, 258 
Gas-well in delta of Parana, 167, 


Gaviotas, 172 
Geologic ages, 3, 4 
Geological Society of America, i, 


Georgetown, British Guiana, 321 

German Emperor, 12, 13 

''German peril," 366, 367 

Giant cacti, 270 

Gibraltar, 316 

Ginger, 340 

Glyptodon, 199, 203; carapace of, 
utilized as a bathtub, 204 

Gnecco, Sefior, 182, 185 

Goats, 84 

Goatsuckers, 331 

Goethe, quoted, 166 

Golden apples, 340 

Golfo del Diabolo, 293 

Gonzalez, Dr. Joaquin V., Presi- 
dent of University of La Plata, 
123, 288 

Gould, Dr. Benjamin A., in 

Gourliea decor ticans, 270 

Grain elevators at Buenos Aires, 
101 ; San Nicolas, 265 

Granada, 52 

Grasses, European, 227 

Grasshoppers, swarm of, 279 

Greece, 356 

Green, brilliant display of, at 
Trinidad, 322 

Ground-sloths, 206 

Grypotherium, 213-220 

Guacharo (Stealornis steatornis), 


Guachos, 238 

Guadeloupe, 348 
Guanaco, 149 
Guaruja, 80 



Guiana (British), 321; (Dutch), 
coffee introduced, 85; (French), 

Guira (Guira guira) 231; destroy- 
ing locusts, 279 

Gulf of Paria, 334 

Gulf Stream, 17, 29, 322 

Gulls (Larus maculipennis) , 172 


Hadjis, 85 

Hamilton, Alexander, 123, 349 

Hannibal, 357 

Harbor of Rio Janeiro, 58 

Harte, Bret, quoted, 211 

Haseman, John D., 65 

Hatcher, John Bell, 8, 10, 192, 207, 

220, 242 
Haumann-Merck, Professor Lu- 

cien, 1 66, 170 
Hauthal, Dr. Rodolfo, 213, 219, 


Hawks, 49, 231, 284 
Hawk-moth, 32 
Heilprin, Angelo, 346 
Heinz's Tomato Catsup, 182 
Hemlock (Conium maculatum) , 


Herculaneum, 336 
Hercules Beetle, 75 
Herons, 172 
Herrero-Ducloux, Dr. Ernesto, 

102, 118, 119, 224 
Herrings, 49 
Heyn, Piet, "the Dutch Sir 

Francis Drake," 55 
Hippodrome, 167 
H. M. S. Beagle, 207 
Holetown, Barbados, 337, 338 
Holland, States General of, 56 
Honduras, 335 
Honeysuckle, Japanese, 171 
Hope, Laurence, quoted, 187 
Hornero, 280; nest of, 284 
Horsemanship of young woman 

driving cattle, 266 
Horses, 145 
Hospital, Italian, in Montevideo, 

Hotel, Bahia, 50; Buenos Aires, 

101, 150, 163; La Plata, 125, 

255; Mar del Plata, 195; Riode 

Janeiro, 60, 62, 65; Tucuman, 

273, 274 

Houses, in Bahia, 44; Barbados, 
338, 341; Montevideo, 95; on 
piles, 168; Saba, 350; Trinidad, 

Howling Monkey (Alouatta insu- 
lanus), 340 

Hudson, Hendrik, 78 

Hudson, W. H., quoted, 172, 178, 
183, 193, 232 

Hugo, Victor, 79 

Huguenots, 77 

Humboldt, Alexander von, 244, 

324.33I, 362 

Humming-birds, wantonly de- 
stroyed, 310 

Hunter, Sir John, 25 

Huntley and Palmer's Biscuits, 

Hurricane at Trinidad, 326 

Hussey, Dr. W. J., 102, no, 286, 

Hydrochcerus capybara, 180 

Hymenoptera, 73, 185, 234 

Iberian Americans, 360 

Iberians, 357, 358, 360 

Ibis, White-faced, 193 

Icebergs, 89 

Ichthyosaurus, I 

Igneous rocks, 4 

Iguassu, Falls of, 292 

Ilex Paraguay ensis, 189 

Imperial Academy of Sciences, St. 
Petersburg, 14 

Independence Day in Brazil, 59 

Independence, Declaration of, 275 

Indians, of the pampas, 114; 
Querendi, 137; become horse- 
men, 154; of Tucuma'n, 282; 
Charrua, 296 

Insect architecture, 309; plagues, 


Insects, scarce in October, 234 

Institutions, evolution of, in Argen- 
tina, 141 

Intermarriage of races, 359, 361 

Iron, 354 

Irrigation, 133, 272 

Isla Sancta, the first name of 
America, 323 

Island of the True Cross, 54 

Isle of Pines, 340 

Italian Hospital, Montevideo, 96 

3 8o 


Italians, 97 
Ithomia, 73 

Jackf ruit, 47 

Jacksonville, Florida, 129 

Jack-tree, 48 

jaguars, 156, 221; jaguar-skins, 


Jamaica, 341 
Japanese, 83 
'Japanese peril," 367 
Java, coffee introduced into, 85 
Jebel Mousa, 84 
Jelly-fishes, 32 
Jerked beef, 154 
'Jersey lightning," 23 
Jesuits, 61, 8 1 
Jockey Club, Buenos Aires, 258, 

288, 290 

John VI., King of Portugal, 78 
Jones, Sir William, paraphrase of 

Alcaeus, 146 

Jordan, Dr. D. Starr, 339 
Josephine, Empress, 245, 345, 349 
Jujuy, 283 
Junpt, Marshal, 78 
Jupiter, the planet, 36 
Jurassic rocks, 6 


Kaiser Wilhelm II., 13 
Keats, quoted, 41 
Kew, palm-house at, 77 
Kibitz, 194 
King -bird, 262, 263 
King Edward VI L, 114 
King Xaaman, 273 
Kite, Everglade, 233 
Knight, Charles R., 256 

La Banda, 272 

Labor, price of, 144 . 

Laborers, Italian, 271 

Laborers, on wharves at Santos, 

Lace, Paraguayan, 287 

Lacroix, Mons. Alfred, 346 
Lady, young, extricated from 
trouble, 268 

Lafone-Quevedo, Dr. Samuel A., 
118, 254 

Lagos tomus trichodactylus, 194 

Lake-region of Argentina, 115, 131 

Lampyrids, 267 

Land-bridge, connecting North 
America with Asia, 205; con- 
necting South America with 
Africa, 206 

"Land of mariana, " 83, 295 

Land, price of, 145 

Land-shells, collecting, 233 

Langustos, 279 

Lankester, Sir Edwin Ray, 10, 

La Plata, 102, 103, 106, 108-127, 
223-247, 285; art-gallery, 119; 
canal, 108; grass in streets of, 
109,120; National Museum, 1 13, 
114, 208; National University, 
103, 258; Observatory, no, 113; 
Railway Terminal, 106; real 
estate, 120; Zoological Garden, 

Larcom, Lucy, quoted, 223 

Larus maculipennis, 172 

Lasiopyga callitrichus, 340 

Latin America, 357 

Latin culture, 368 

Latin races, 357 

" Leaf -cutting ants," 235 

Lehmann-Nitsche, Dr. Robert, 

118, 221 
Lemons, 169 

Level lands, 130, 233, 266 
Licensed porter, 295 
Life on shipboard, 18, 317 
Lighthouse, 318, 321, 351 
Link, G. A., 340 
Lipton's teas, 182 
Lisbon, 44 
Lista, Ramon, 214 
Literary wares, v 
Liverworts, 327 
Living, cost of, in South America, 


Living things in the waters, 27-32 
Llamas, 149 
Lobos Island, 91 
Locust, Rocky Mountain, 279 
Locust-tree (Robinia pseudacacia), 


Lonnberg, Dr., 212 
Loess, material of Pampean beds, 

197; thickness, 198 


Loess-kindl, 198 

Loewenfeld, General von, 12, 13 

London, 78 

Longfellow, Henry W., quoted, 


lorentzii, Schinopsis, 270 
Lutra felina, 221 


McKenzie College, Sao Paulo, 311 

Mackerel, Spanish, 31, 339 

Macrauchenia patachonica, Owen, 
208, 209 

Macropus longimanus, 75 

Madonnas in churches at Tucu- 
man, 277 

Magellan, 136; Clouds of, 34, 35; 
Strait of, 212, 291 

Maguari stork ( Eux e n u r a 
maguari), 192 

Mahogany-tree (Swietenia) , 339 

Maize, 285, 352 

Malaria, 356 

Maldonado, 90, 298 

Mammalian fauna, South Amer- 
ican, 204; of Antilles, 340 

Mammals, 4; Age of, 4; in Nation- 
al Museum at La Plata, 117, 
204, 340 

"Mammifero misterioso, " 218 

Man, Age of, 4 

Mariana, the land of, 83, 295 

Mangrove-swamps, 302 

Man in the moon, 39 

Manners and customs of South 
American peoples, 68 

Man-o'-war birds, 331 

Mar del Plata, 187-210 

Market-places, 51, 339 

Marsh, Othniel C., 6-8. 

Marsh-gas, 177 

Martinique, 344-347 

Mastodon, 210 

Mate", 189 

Mat-gourds, 190, 287 

Mateina, 191 

Meals on express-trains, 188 

Medusas, 32 

Megatherium, 199, 201, 214, 218, 

Mejia, Senor Ramos, 134, 135, 271 

Melanoplus spretus, 279 

Melastomacea, 71 

Melia azedarach, 228 

Mem da Sa, 77 

Mendoza, Pedro de, 91, 136, 138 

Mendoza, vineyards and orchards 

of, 133 

Menu of banquet at La Plata, 256 
Merchant of firearms, 126 
Mesozoic rocks, 3-4, 6 
Metals, 354 
Metates, Indian mealing stones, 


Meteorites, 36-39; Saline Town- 
ship, 38; man killed at Mhow 

by, 39 

Meteors, 36-38 

Mexico, 359 

Migration of animals from differ- 
ent continents, 206 

Mihanovitch, Miguel, 163 

Milk peddling in Buenos Aires, 

"Milk Thistle" (SUybum mari- 
anum), 226 

Milky Way, 34 

Millennium, the, 371 

Milton, John, quoted, 89 

Milvulus tyrannus, 262 

Mimosa, 47 

Mineral resources of South Amer- 
ica, 354 

Mirages, 264 

Moeller, Theodor von, 12 

Money, Brazilian, 45; Uruguay- 
an, 94, 

Mongoose, 341 

"Monkey-puzzle," 228 

Monkeys, African, introduced in- 
to the West Indies, 340; becom- 
ing extinct in South America, 


Monroe Doctrine, 367 

Monroe Palace, Rio de Janeiro, 69 
Montevideo: Avenida 18 de Julio, 
95; breakwaters, 92; captured 
by English, 299; Capurro, 92; 
Cathedral, 95; Cerro, 91; City 
Hall, 95; domestic architecture, 
95; first settlement, 298; French 
immigrants,96; Italian residents, 
96; National Library, 95; ne- 
groes, absence of, 94; Palacio 
de Gobierno,95 ; Parque Urbano, 
92; Playa Ramirez, 92; Plazas, 
95; Pocitos, 92; population, 
93; theaters, 98; University, 


3 82 


Montgomery, James, quoted, 334; 
father of, 342 

Montgomery, John, 342 

Montserrat, 349 

Monuments, 70 

Moon, the, devoid of water and 
air, 26; volcanoes of, 26 

Moravian Missions in the West 
Indies, 343 

Moreno, Dr. Francisco P., 113, 
134, 212, 214 

Morphos, 62, 72, 293 

Mosquito, cause of yellow fever, 

Mosses, 303 

Moths, 63, 64, 73, 234; mimicking 
bees and wasps, 73 

Motor-boat trip from Trinidad 
to Florida, 335 

Mourning, black garments of 
women in South America, 165 

Municipal Theatre, Sao Paulo, 310 

Musa sapientium, paradisiaca, 87 

Museums: Agricultural, Buenos 
Aires, 150, 153; American, of 
Natural History, New York, 
340; Buenos Aires (National) 
208, 224; British (Natural His- 
tory), 11-12; Carnegie, Pitts- 
burgh, 7, 12; d'Histoire Natur- 
elle, Paris, II, 13; Field (Na- 
tural History), Chicago, 38; 
Geological, Rio de Janeiro, 65; 
Imperial, St. Petersburg, 249; 
Imperial, Vienna, 13; Italian, of 
Paleontology, Bologna, 13; Na- 
tional, La Plata, 14, 113, 114, 
208; Paulista, Sao Paulo, 305- 
311; Royal, of Berlin, 13 

"Mush" or "hasty pudding," 
standard dish in Argentina, 189 

Mussel-shells, 232 

Mylodon, 199, 201, 214, 215, 222 

Mylodon robustus Owen, 200 

"Mysterious Beast," 222 


Naaman, King, 273 

Nahuel-Huapi, Lake, 131, 134 

Nails turned into iron pyrites, 346 

Napoleon, 244, 345 

Napoleon III., 345 

National Museum at La Plata, 208 

Negri, Signer, 147, 225 

Negro attendant in Botanical 

Garden, Trinidad, 328 
Negroes, 46, 53, 83, 94, 313, 330, 

337, 338 

Nelson, Dr. Ernesto, 120; Madam 
Nelson, 121 

Nelson, Horatio, 344, 349 

Neomylodon listai, 214, 216, 220 

Neptune, 21 

Nest of Oven-bird, 279 

Nevis, 340, 349 

Newport, the, of Argentina, 195 

Newspapers, reporters of, in Buenos 
Aires, 218 

' New York Yankee," 20 

Niata race of cattle, 116 

Night-clothes vs. evening dress, 

Nisbet, Fanny, wife of Lord Nel- 
son, 349 

Nombre-de-Dios, 138 

Nordenskjold, Dr. Otto, 212 

Norfolk pine (Araucaria excelsa), 

North America, true camels orig- 
inated in, 157 

Nudity, juvenile, 53 

Nutria (Myopotamus coy pus), 168 


Observatory, C6rdoba, in; La 

Plata, no, 113, 225 
Ocean, changeable colors of, 22; 

mother of life, 25; origin, 24 
Ojeda, Alonso de, 324 
Onelli, Dr. Clemente, 156 
Opera House, Rio de Janeiro, 69 
Opossums, 206 
Oranges, 317; orange-trees, 169, 


Orchids, 61, 71, 179, 326, 328 
Oreodoxa regia, 47 
Organ mountains, 76 
Orient expresses, 188 
Orinoco, 320 
Orion, 39 

Ortmann, Dr. Arnold E., 232 
Osborn, Henry F., 7 
Ostrich, South American, 148 
Otter, South American, 221 
Oven-bird, nest of, 279 
Owen, Sir Richard, 5, 207 
Owls, 107, 195, 331 



Packing-houses at San Nicolas, 


Paleolama, 199 

Paleozoic rocks, 3-4 

Palms, 47, 57, 58, 61 , 284, 304, 3 13 , 


'Pampa," origin of word, 130 
Pampa, Territory of, 130 
Pampas, the, 224, 267 
Pampean beds, 197, 199, 202 
Pamperos, 91 

Panama Canal, 342, 369, 370 
Pan-American Congress, 253 
Papaw (Asimina triloba}, 327 
Paraguay, 137, 299 
Parana, delta of the, 166-186 
Pardo, Felipe, quoted, 352 
Paria, 334; Gulf of, 323 
Park-like lands, Argentina, 130 
Paroaria cucullata, 173 
Parrakeets, green, 178 
Parrots being exterminated in 

Cuba, 341 
Paulistas, the, 81 
Peaches, 168 
Pear-trees, 182 
Peccary, fossil, 341 
Pedro I., Dom, 308; II., Dom, 65, 


Pel6e, Mt., 346 

Pelicans, brown, 331 

Pena, President, I, 254 

Peninsula, the Spanish, 358 

Pennatula, 31 

Peoples differentiated in South 
America, 360 

Pepsis, a great wasp, 73 

"Perils": Yankee, 365, 367; Ger- 
man, 366, 367; Japanese, 367 

Pernambuco, 318, 319 

Perrine, Charles D., in 

Peru, 359, 370; conquest of, 137 

Petrel, 29, 333 

Petroleum, cans of, 182 

Philodendron, 327 

Phoenicians, 358 

Phosphorescence at sea, 32 

Photography, its astronomical 
uses, 41 

Physalia, 31 

Phytolacca dioica, 228 

Pilot at Santos, 79 

Pinta, 284 

Pinzon, 54 

Pitangus bolivianus, 63 

Pizarro, 137 

Plague-ships, 80 

Plantains, 65, 87, 88 

Plants, introduced species of, 229 

Playa Ramirez, 92 

Plaza Constitucion, Montevideo, 
95; Buenos Aires, 103; Inde- 
pendencia, Montevideo, 95; Tu- 
cuman, 274; Libertad, Monte- 
video, 95; San Martin, Buenos 
Aires, 150 

Plegadis guarauna, 193 

Pleistocene formation, 202 

Plover, Argentine, 194, 265; Gol- 
den, 309 

Plowmen, cuisine of, 188 

Pocitos, 97 

Poems in exchange for garden- 
truck, v 

Poinsettia, 61 

Pole-star, 33 

Police, Buenos Aires, 164 

Politician, Argentine, 136 

Polyborus thariis, 284 

Pompanos, 339 

Population, of Argentina, 121; 
of Barbados, 338; of Tucuman, 

Porpoises, 27, 335 

Portefios, 237 

Port of Spain, 319, 321, 322, 334 

Portugal, 78 

Portuguese, 53, 139, 297, 357 

Portuguese man-o'-war, 31 

Potato, 352 

Potato-races, 19 

Pottery, piece of, in Middle 
Pampean beds, 200, 201 

Prairie-dog (A rctomys} , 195 

" Prairie-schooners, " 239 

Presentation of Diplodocus to the 
British Museum, n; to Impe- 
rial Academy of Sciences, St. 
Petersburg, 14; to Imperial Mu- 
seum in Vienna, 13; to Musee 
d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, 13; 
to Museum in Bologna, Italy, 
13; to National Museum, La 
Plata, 14, 248-259 

President of France, 253 

President Pefia, I, 253 

Presidential election, Nov. 5, 
1912, 320 


Prichard, Hesketh, 219 
" Pride-of -India, " the, 228 
Princeton University, 207 
Prosopis alba, 270 
Province of Tucuman, 281 
Pseudolestodon, 215 
Puchero, favorite dish in Spanish- 
speaking lands, 189 
Puerto Rico, 335 
Pulmonary disease, 282 
Punta Arenas, 133 
Purser, the jolly, 17 
Purslane, 227 
Pyrameis, 28 


Quaternary Age, 4 

Quebracho bianco (Aspidosperma 

quebracho), 270; Colorado (Schin- 

opsis Lorentzii}, 270 
Queen's Hotel, Port of Spain, 329 
Querendi Indians, 137 
Quilmes, 106, 175 
Quince- jelly, 169 


Race purity maintained, 361 
Races, fused, in Spain, 358; in 

South America, 359 
Racing instinct in animals, 28 
Racowitza, Dr., 212 
Ragweed, 227 
Railways, 49, 61, 66, 70, 76, 80, 95, 

96, 104, 106, 126, 135, 148, 166, 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, 344 
Ramalho, Joao, 81 
Rambla, the, at Mar del Plata, 196 
Ranch-houses, 264 
Read, T. Buchanan, quoted, 43 
Red- winged Blackbird, 173 
Relief -map of Brazil, 66 
Reporters of newspapers in Buenos 

Aires, 218 

Reptiles, fossil, 4; Age of, 4 
Republica Oriental, 176 
Republicanism in Argentina, 140 
Rhea americana, 148; darwini, 149; 

on prairies, 194 
Riachuelo, 137 

Rio de Janeiro, 57-78, 3H-3I6 
Rio de la Plata, 90, 99, 105, 136, 

138, 142, 149, 296, 320 

Rio Grande do Sul, 89, 298 
Rivadavia, the first President of 

Argentina, 362 
River, the, at Tucuman, 281 
Riverside Drive, 69 
River-thieves, 170 
Roads in Argentina, width of, 105 
Rocky Mountain locust, 279 
Rome, 356 

Roosevelt, Theodore, 123, 320 
Rosario, 261, 266, 269 
Rostrhamus sociabilis, 233 
Roth, Dr. Santiago, 102, 113, 166, 

176, 180, 182, 192, 195, 196, 198, 

203, 210, 220, 295 

Royal Palm, 47, 61, 67 

Saba, 349 

Sabre-toothed Tiger, 1 14 

Sailing-ships, 149 

St. Eustatius, 349 

St. Kitts, 340, 349 

St. Lucia, 343 

St. Petersburg, 251 

St. Pierre, Martinique, 346 

St. Vincent, 343 

Salisbury, Dr. Rollin D., 134, 242 

Salix babylonica, 169; chilensis, 


Salta, 283 

Salvelinus fontinalis, 131 
Sancho Panza, 315 
San Fernando, 167, 170 
San Gabriel, Island of, 137 
San Martin, 140 
San Nicolas, 265 
Santa Catharina, Province of, 89, 


Santa-Cruz, the great caudillo, 362 
Santa Cruz, colonies of Boers, 

Welsh, and Scotch in, 133 
Santa F6, Argentina, 130 
Santiago del Estero, 137, 272 
Santos, 59, 79-88 
Sao Paulo, 54, 80, 93, 301-311 
Sao Vicente, 80 
Sapodillas, 317 
Sarmiento, "the Schoolmaster 

President," 141 
Saxe, John G., quoted, 128 
Scarlet-headed Marsh-bird, 173 
Scarlet verbena, 283 
Scelidotherium, 200 



Schiller, Dr. Walther, 117 
Schistocerca paranensis, 279 
Scholarship of Argentina, 257 
Schwab, Charles M., 343 
Scirpus, 170 
Scissor-tailed Fly-catcher (Mil- 

vulus tyrannus), 262 
Scorpio, the Constellation, 39 
Scotch whiskey, 175 
Scotchmen, in Chubut and Santa 

Cruz, 133; in Tierra del Fuego, 


Screamer, Crested, 184 
Seals, 29 
Sea-pens, 31 
Seed-finch (Sycalis luteola], 230, 


Selva, 284 
Semi-arid belt, 283 
Semi-forested belt near Tucuman, 


Serpent's Mouth, 323 
Setting sail, 17 
Setting up Diplodocus in La Plata, 


"Seventh of September" in Bra- 
zil, 5? 
Sexes, intermingling of, in South 

America, 165 

Shakespeare, quoted, 286, 316 
Shaw, Bernard, 123 
Sheep, 133 

Sheep-rancher from Australia, 98 
Shepard, Charles Upham, 37-38 
Shepherd's purse, 227 
Shipmasters, early, 139 
Shops in Bahia, 52 
Short-horns, 152, 262 
Siesta, 202 

Sightseeing surfeiting, 276 
Silk-cottonwood tree (Bombax cei- 

ba), 339 

" Silver River, " vi 
Silybum marianum, 226 
Sirius, 34, 36 
Sisters, the Three, 323 
Sky, the, in level countries, 224 
"Sky scraper" in Buenos Aires, 


Sleep, its inventor blessed, 351 
Sleeping-car, 187, 312 
Sleepless night on train, 312 
Sloths. 82, 302, 341 
Slums of Buenos Aires, 144 
" Small farmer " in Argentina, 239 


Smugglers on River Plate, 139 

Snake, 185 

Snappers, 339 

Snow-fall in Tierra del Fuego, 129 

Socrates, death of, 227 

Soil of Argentina, 238 

Solanum, 171 

Soldiery, 164 

Sombrero, the Spanish Hat, 350 

Song Book, Geological Society of 

America, quoted, i 
"Sopa sin bichos, " 294 
Sour-sop (Anona muricata), 339 
South American ostrich, 148 
Southern Cross, the, 33-34 
Southern heavens, appearance of, 

33-42, 112 

South Kensington, Whaleroom at, 


Souvenirs, scarcity of, 286 
Souza, Martim Affonso da, 80 
Spain is African, 358 
Spaniards, 357; in Trinidad, 229 
Spanish mackerel, 339 
Spanish repression of trade, 138 
Sparrows, 64 

Speckled Brook- trout, 131 
Spenser's Faerie Queene, quoted, 


Speotyto cunicularia, 195 
Spider-webs at sea, 32 
Spix, 325 

Sports on deck, 19 
Sportsman's Hotel, La Plata, 125, 


Spring-plowing in Argentina, 237 

Spur-winged Goose, 183 
Spur-winged Lapwing (Belenop- 

terus cayennensis) , 194 
Star Catalogue, in 
Stars, 33, 39, 42, in 
Steatornithid<z, 331 
Stegomyia guarding against attacks 

of, 278 

"Stone Ship," the, 343 
Store at the cross-roads, 239 
Strait of Magellan, 212, 291 
Street-merchants, 68 
Street traffic, 164 
Streets, 51, 95, 103, 120, 161, 164, 


Students picnicking, 240 
Sugar-cane, 50, 316 
Sugar industry of Argentina, 281; 
of Barbados, 342 

3 86 


Sugar-loaf Mountain, Rio de 

Janeiro, 58, 316 
Sun, total eclipse of, October loth, 

Sunset on Parana, 174; on pampas, 


Sutton, S. A., 38 
Swallows, 64 

Sweet-sop (Anona squamosa), 339 
Swietenia, 339 
Sycalis luteola, 230 
Syphilis, 283 

Taft, William H., 320 

Taking water on train, 262 

Tangier, 52 

Tannin manufacture, 270 

Tarpon, 330 

Temperature, daily, on shipboard, 

Territory of Chaco, 128; Chubut, 

133; Pampa, 130; Santa Cruz, 


Tertiary, 3, 4 

Teru-Teru, 194-263 

Thistle Butterfly, 28 

Thistles, 227 

Thome, Juan M., in 

Tide-rips, 335 

Tierra del Fuego, 129 

Tigre, El, 167, 185, 261 

Tijuca, 58, 314 

Titanic, S. S., 333 

Toads, 175 

Tobago, 336, 342 

Toluca, Mexico, 37 

Tomato, 352 

Topography of Argentina, 129 

Tosca, limy concretion in loess, 

Total eclipse of the sun, October 

loth, 124 

Tourist, English, in Tropics, 335 
Tower, Sir Reginald, 242 
Toxodon burmeisteri Giebel, 209, 


Toxodonts, 206 

Trade, Spanish repression of, 138 
Trains de luxe, 188 
'Tramps" of the vegetable world, 

Trans-Andine Railway, 369 

Treaty of Utrecht, 298; of San 
Ildefonso, 299 

Tree-ferns, 62, 71, 327 

Trees, 47, 49, 57, 58, 76, 303, 326, 
339; blossoming, 72; in Middle 
West of United States, 271; 
variety of, in Tropics, 71 

Treves, Sir Frederick, quoted, 322 

Trifolium repens, 227 

Tnlobites, 4 

Trinidad, 316-333 

Troops, drilling of, 242 

True Cross, Island of the, 54 

Tschernychew, Director of Mu- 
seum in St. Petersburg, 252 

Tucuman, 137, 260, 269, 273; Pro- 
vince of, 281 

Turkeys, 160, 353, 354 


Uballes, Dr. Eufemio, 288 

Umbelliferae, 171 

"Uncle Sam, "364 

Union of North and South Amer- 
ica, 206 

University of La Plata, 258; 
Faculty of, 242 

Uranometria Argentina, 1 1 1 

Uruguay, 90, 91, 94, 296-300, 355 


Valdez, 285 

Values, increase of, at Santos, 80 

Vanderbilt, the, of Argentina, 163 

Vanellus cristatus, 194 

Vanilla, 353 

Vasari, S. S., 16, 18 

Vegetable-markets, 340 

Vegetational zones, 283 

Vellellidce, 31 

Venezuela, 334 

Venus de Milo in frog-pond, 369 

Verbena, scarlet, 283 

Verbenas, 72 

Vermilion River, 49-50 

Vermouth, Italian, 175 

Vespucci, Amerigo, 324; quoted, 


Vestris, S. S., 294, 313 
Victor Hugo, quoted, 79 
Victoria Institute, Port of Spain, 




Villaso introduces coffee into 

Brazil, 85 

Villegagnon, Island of, 77 
Virginia cardinal, 173 
Virility of southern nations, 362 
Vizcachas (Lagostomus trichodac- 

tylus), 194 

Volcanoes, 26, 336, 346 
Vomito, 278 
Von Ihering, Dr. Hermann, 305, 


Von Loewenfeld, General, 12 
Von Moeller, Staatsminister Herr 

Theodor, 12 
Vultures, 49 


Wallace, Alfred Russel, 325 

Walton, Isaak, 132 

Ward, Henry, 36 

Warder, Mrs., 242 

Waring, G. A., 210 ' 

War- vessels, Argentinian, 100 

Washington, George, visited Bar- 
bados, 338 

Wasps, 73, 308 

Waterfalls, 66, 135, 291 

Water-power, 355 

Water-works, Trinidad, 326 

Wax models of diseases displayed 
in church, 82 

Weeds, European, 225, 227 

Whaleroom at South Kensington, 


Whales, 28, 29 

Whale skull, Museum of La Plata, 


Wheat, 285 

Wheat-fields, 238, 262 
Whippoorwill, 331 

White clover (Trifolium repens\ 

White-faced ibises (Plegadis gua- 

rauna), 193 

Willis, Dr. Bailey, 104, 134 
Williston, S. W., 7 
Willows, 169 
Wilson, Woodrow, 320 
Wireless messages, 17, 60, 321 
Wires bind lands together, 324 
Wladimir, Grand Duke, 14 
Woman driving cattle, 266 
Women, black garments of, in 

South America, 165 
Woodward, Dr. Arthur Smith, 214 
Wordsworth quoted, 147 
World, the, is small, 82, 301 
Wortman, Jacob L., 8 
Wrecks, 319 

Xangadas, 318 
Xanthoxylon, 72, 73 

Yams, 340 

'Yankee peril," 365, 367 
Yellow -fever, 80 
Yellow-shouldered marsh-birds 

(Agelaus thilius}, 173 
Yemisch, 211, 217, 221 
Yerba mate or Paraguay-tea, 189 
Ypiranga, Palace of, 305, 307-311 

Zodiacal light, 34 
Zoological Garden, Buenos Aires, 
156; La Plata, 113; London, 75 

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Adventures in a Remote Part of the Upper 

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among the Cannibal Indians 

$y Algot Lange 

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. With 86 Illustrations from Original Photo* 

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New York London 

The Southland of 
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Rambles and Observations in Central America 
during the Year 1912 

By George Palmer Putnam 

6, With nearly 100 Illustrations and a Map 
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