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any popular commotion on the sudden change of authorities; and that if the latter chose to leave a piquet for the protection of private property, and the maintenance of order, that that piquet should be allowed to depart unmolested in any direction the governor might be pleased to point out. This ruse de guerre succeeded, for the royalists were fully persuaded that Miller's force was very considerable. The bishop and other adherents to the king began to pack up their valuables preparatory to flight. The hire of a baggage-mule to Cuzco rose suddenly from six to sixty dollars. The summons was sent by a peasant, who had served as guide to the prisoner Urdiminea, and who, upon being taken, had been ordered to prepare for the punishment due to a spy. It was contrived that this peasant should be confined where he could overhear orders given for the encampment of troops reported every half hour to have arrived. When the desired impression was made, a pardon was offered to him, on condition that he should deliver a letter to the governor of Arequipa, to which he readily consented. He was charged to tell the royalists that the independents were only few in number, and to say that he was not at liberty to divulge, even to the best patriots, that Miller had a force exceeding four hundred men, because his secret object was to take the royalists by surprise. The soldiers, together with some natives of the valley, were placed in conspicuous situations, keeping up blazing fires. The liberated guide placed the packet in his hat, and galloped off. At dusk of the same evening Miller set out for the valley of Vitor, eight
leagues in advance, accompanied by two chosen soldiers, a bugleman, three peasants, and an old black servant, each individual leading a spare horse. They galloped across the sandy desert, guided by the wind, which always blows in the same direction. Miller's object was to pick up a prisoner or two from the Spanish advanced post of seventeen men at Vitor; but the terrified bearer of the summons, on his way to Arequipa in the morning, having declared to the commanding officer (Captain Reyes) that he had seen with his own eyes eight hundred mounted patriots at Siguas, the prudent officer retired with his men. Upon Miller's arriving at midnight at the bold line of sandhills which overlooks and encloses the long valley of Vitor, an advanced party of unarmed Indians were taken half way down the descent. They informed Miller that the party of Reyes had decamped, but that another royalist officer and ten dragoons had just descended the hill, and might be then crossing the river, to which they immediately became guides; but the flood had so increased, that it was found to be impassable.
The patriot party then directed its course up the valley, and looked about among the straggling cottages. On entering one that had a patio, or inner court, Miller saw a negress, and asked her if the royalists were there. Misunderstanding the question, she answered "Si, señor," and pointed to a room. He gave a whistle, and his men in the rear rushed in. Miller's black servant caught hold of a man in bed by the throat, and flourished a long knife over his head. This was the alcalde of the valley, who,
awaking from his sleep, thought himself assailed by banditti, and roared lustily for mercy. Upon being apprised of their intentions, the affrighted alcalde dressed himself; got upon one of his own horses, and acted as guide in the further search. On proceeding up the valley, the party came suddenly upon a mounted sentinel. He was immediately secured; and, upon entering a hut, they found the royalist Lieutenant-Colonel Vidal drying his clothes by a fire, having been completely soaked in an attempt to ford the river. Five of his men were taken, but afterwards permitted to escape, as the others had been. Their horses and arms were however secured.
The alcalde was ordered to provide forage for five hundred horses, and he was compelled to write a letter, dictated by Miller, apprising the governor of Arequipa of the unexpected appearance of the "insurgents. "Lieutenant-Colonel Vidal was allowed to profit by the same opportunity to send to his friends for supplies of clothing and money. He confirmed the report made by the alcalde. Both believed the patriots were in considerable numbers, for the bugleman was kept on the alert all night sounding in different parts of the valley.
Vidal and Miller lay down together on the floor, and rested their heads on the same pillow (i. e. a saddle) till daybreak.
The forage cut in the course of the night was ordered to be conveyed up to the sand-hills, on the Siguas side of the valley, where the alcalde was made to believe the patriots were placed in ambuscade.
At ten A. M. Miller retired to Quilca, where he arrived on the 4th.
Carratalà, on the night of the 2d, entered Arequipa, where he halted for an hour only. Upon arriving at Vitor, he was some time before he could be induced to venture into the valley; because, from the confused information acquired from the alcalde, he was fearful of falling into an ambuscade.
In the meantime Miller proceeded to Ocoña, where he arrived on the 6th of January. The balsas in use on the river Camana, as far up as Majes, and those at Chorungas were destroyed. The bull-hides belonging to the balsas of Camana were taken away, after being rendered portable by letting out the wind. By these measures Carratalà was deprived of the means of passing the river. Colonel Flores had agreed with Miller that he would volunteer to Carratalà to make new balsas, but promised that he would delay the completion of the operation for two days, which he lengthened out to three, during which time he gave Miller daily advices by means of his major domo, who swam his horse across the river every night. Flores was a sincere patriot; and, like many others on the coast of the Puertos Intermedios, rendered Miller important services, which were frequently attended with considerable risk. But being never encouraged to compromise themselves unnecessarily, they, in most cases, made their peace with the royalists when Miller could no longer afford them protection.
Miller despatched communications from Ocoña
over-land to Lima on the 6th, it being easy for a messenger to avoid Ica, the only royalist garrison between Ocoña and the capital.
Miller calculated that the cautious Carratalà could not reach Оcoña in less than four days, on account of the length and difficulties of intervening deserts. He therefore determined upon reconnoitring Carabeli, a town thirty leagues north-east of Ocoña, to ascertain the truth or falsehood of reports that Colonel Manzanedo intended to advance from Parinacochas.
At ten P. M. on the 6th of January, Miller, accompanied by fifteen men, and half a dozen peasants as guides, set out. Major Lyra, left in command at Оcoña, was somewhat prone to believe in alarming reports; and no sooner was he left by himself than he was made uneasy. Miller had not proceeded more than four leagues over a very rugged road, when an express, from Lyra, overtook him, to beg that he would immediately return, as the enemy had crossed the river of Camana, and were fast approaching Ocoña. He disbelieved the information, and would not allow his party to halt, but rode back himself to prevent Lyra retiring to the little port called the Planchada, five leagues north of Ocoña, and where the Protector had been ordered to come to an anchor. When Miller got within a mile of Ocoña he received a second report, stating that the first originated in a false alarm. It seems that a black vagabond, influenced by the hope of some reward, imposed upon Lyra. Miller, having ascertained that all was safe, turned, without entering Ocoña; but, before