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he resumed his journey, he wrote on a slip of paper that the black, whose bad character was well known, should be summarily examined, and, if found guilty, be immnediately shot. The sentence was carried into execution the next morning; an act of severity which gave universal satisfaction to the inhabitants of an extensive district. This wretch had killed a priest, and was said to have committed six other murders. He had escaped twice from capilla (the condemned cell). The assassin had secured a frightful impunity by murdering, or threatening to murder, those who had, in the early part of his career, appeared to bear witness to his guilt. To offend him was considered as courting destruction, and nobody of late had been bold enough to give evidence against him. Besides this, so defective and corrupt was the administration of justice under the Spanish rule, that the vilest criminal, with money, found few difficulties in evading punishment. One of the guides, at that time with Miller, had concealed himself for several weeks in the valley of Majes, to avoid the poniard of the murderer. His death was, therefore, spoken of as a public benefit, and produced for the patriots many advantages, besides discouraging others from giving false intelligence.
At midnight, on the 7th, Miller entered Carabeli. The Spanish authorities were displaced, and patriot successors named; decrees were published; despatches sent off to Lima, and various arrangements made. About noon of the 8th, Miller, nearly overcome by the fatigues of a long ride, and from continual mental exertion, threw himself on a bench covered with a
rug, to snatch a few hours' rest. But before he could close his eyes, which were swollen and inflamed by the effects of a scorching sun, want of sleep, and extreme bodily exhaustion, a third unwelcome express arrived, with information that the royalists were advancing, that Lyra had determined to retire to the Planchada, and that he recommended the colonel to make the best of his way to the same place, by the nearest road, and without re-entering Ocoña. The anxiety which this new alarm created induced Miller to order his escort to proceed direct to the Planchada, and, at the same time, to shape his own course, contrary to Lyra's advice, straight to Ocoña. In his exhausted state, it was not without some difficulty that he again got on horseback. The reflections which obtruded on his mind did not diminish the perplexities of this harassing ride. Besides the common chances of having his retreat cut off, there were other feelings which incited him to press on, in spite of the intimations of wearied nature. He had separated from General Alvarado in an uncordial manner. He had not been allowed to proceed from Arica to Tarapacá, and operate according to his own plans; but was sent where the probabilities of success were but few. He was well aware that slender allowances would be made for the failure of a junior officer, and a reverse, from whatever cause, might seriously affect his reputation. Miller, however, was determined not to shrink from responsibility, but to act with a decision proportioned to the emergency. He felt his spirits rise as his difficulties increased; yet unpleasing apprehensions would now and then intrude. He was
afraid that the party left at Оcoña might be attacked by a superior force, and be not only beaten, but annihilated. With a mind thus occupied by restless forebodings, Miller pursued his way across the desert, nearly one hundred miles in breadth, sleep not having visited his weary eyelids since he left Ocoña. He however observed, with much satisfaction, that a storm was breaking upon the lofty summits of the Andes. The lightning played vividly upon their towering pinnacles; he heard the distant thunder rumbling and re-echoing; and though upon the spot he was then standing rain had never fallen, he observed it descending in torrents on the mountain sides. This inspired the hope that the river of Ocoña would become swollen, and impassable to the royalists. For several leagues he kept himself awake by lashing his back with the bridle reins, and by rubbing his eyes with his own saliva; but at length nature gave way to an overpowering drowsiness, which caused him to drop from his saddle on the sand. Twisting the bridle round his arm, he fell into a sleep which kings might envy. At dawn he was roused by his guide, and, resuming his journey, reached the vicinity of Ocoña on the 9th.
He now found two of his men perched upon an eminence, to watch the approach of the expected enemy, and that Major Lyra had retired with the remainder of the detachment to the port. Miller ordered six soldiers and two bugles to return to Оcoña. He laid himself down on a high hill over, looking the valley, to await their arrival; but he could not go to sleep. All danger was over, and the
excitement had ceased; but, although his mind was now at ease, his nerves remained in a state of agitation that effectually prevented repose. When the party arrived from the Planchada, Miller descended to the village, and having placed his men on the right bank of the river, he returned to Ocoña. The inhabitants had been kindly treated by the soldiery, and were stanch supporters. The ferrymen had been punctually paid for previous services, and were particularly enthusiastic: they even applied for arms, and implored the patriot commander not to abandon them to their vindictive and implacable oppressors; but the royalists were coming on, greatly superior in numbers, with artillery as well as cavalry, and it would have been sacrificing his men uselessly to have made a stand. In refusing their request, the inhabitants were counselled to bend like the reed to the storm. Having made every arrangement, Miller took up his quarters in the house of the family of the Salazars, who, although attached to the royalist cause, were personally his firm friends. They had no spare bed, but they spread a rug on a long table, upon which Miller lay down. The interesting daughters brought him pillows, handed him mate and other refreshments, till at length he sunk into a profound sleep, from which he did not awake until the following morning, when he was aroused by intelligence that the royalists had appeared. The patriot videttes, placed at distances behind mounds of earth covered with brushwood, kept up a brisk fire whenever the enemy approached the river to discover a ford. The patriot bugles were not idle,
and Carratalà supposing his opponents to be in force, did not effect his passage until the following morning, by which time the independents were all safe on board ship. In the evening of the 11th, a detachment commanded by the royalist Colonel San Juangeno appeared at the Planchada. The Protector transport made sail for the caleta of Atico, twentyfive leagues to the north. Miller landed there on the 12th of January. On the 13th he ascertained that Carratalà had received orders to countermarch with all possible speed, to re-incorporate his division with Canterac's army, then advancing from Puno against Alvarado. A few men were immediately sent over-land from Atico to retake possession of Оcoña, and to act in concert with the patriotic inhabitants of that valley.
Carratalà, who had marched from Puno with upwards of 1000 men, entered Ocoña with only 600. Many of his men had died, and many more, being incapacitated by sickness from continuing their most harassing march, were left at Camana, Siguas, &c. The grapes and other fruits being ripe, were greedily devoured by the mountaineers, and produced very fatal effects.
On the 16th January a small detachment was sent to Carabeli from Atico, and on the 18th Miller sailed in the brig for the port of Chala, in consequence of communications received from Don Mariano Bejerrano, the curate of that place, informing him of the movements of Colonel Manzanedo, whom, from his apparent timidity, it was supposed an easy matter to frighten into the interior, or, at all events, to prevent