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mile north of the town, and that he had destroyed the balsas to impede pursuit. The river flows in several streams through a very wide bed, the intervening banks being covered with tall shrubs; but although fords are always to be found, excepting during the season in which the snow melts upon the mountains, yet they are not easily hit upon; the height of the river being seldom the same for two days together; and the mode of ferrying across by balsas renders fordable places of less importance. Upon a reward being offered to any person who should discover one, some peasants galloped off. Their zeal was further stimulated by a promise that their cattle, carried off by the royalists, should be restored upon overtaking the runaways. At ten A.M. a peasant returned with the agreeable intelligence that he had been successful. Thirty soldiers and as many peasants, all well mounted, instantly went in pursuit. They found the royalists sleeping in a field eight leagues from Camaná, on the road to Majes. Twentyfive of them were made prisoners, together with the sub-delegate, and the rest dispersed. Seventy head of oxen, some mules, horses, and arms were taken.
Miller re-entered Camaná on a Sunday morning. Before going to the apartments prepared for him he attended mass. The inhabitants, upon his first arrival, were anxious to know what was his religion, and this little circumstance not only satisfied their curiosity, but stamped him throughout that line of country as "a good Christian," which important discovery spread rapidly through the district.
Camaná is situated in a semicircular savannah,
nearly two leagues in length from north to south, and about half that extent at its widest part from the sea-shore; the back ground being formed by the lomas or downs, which produce herbage for cattle in consequence of being moistened by the garuas, or heavy mists, that prevail during the greater part of the year. The town is half a league from the sea. There is a tremendous surf on the bar at the river's mouth, and no nearer place of embarkation than the caleta of Quilca.
Camaná is a remarkable instance of what can be effected by the application of capital in the hands of an individual of talent and perseverance. Fifty-six years before, it contained only half a dozen huts, and about thirty inhabitants, who drew their chief support from ferrying travellers and goods across the river on balsas. A Spanish gentleman, named Flores, who had lived rather extravagantly in Arequipa, devoted twenty thousand dollars, being part of the remnant of a shattered fortune, to the digging of large axequias, or channels, which diverted from the river a quantity of water, sufficient to give fertility to ground that now supports a population of five thousand souls, and which might be made capable of supporting ten times that number. Whoever chose to build a house on this property received the unconditional present of a moderate portion of land.
Flores continued to live in an expensive style, and when he died bequeathed ninety thousand dollars to each of his three children by a first marriage, and thirty thousand dollars to each of a numerous family by a second wife, who is still alive, and in the enjoy
ment of a very fine sugar estate. Another estate, equally valuable, is the property of the heir, Colonel Don José Maria Flores, who is as much distinguished by gentlemanly manners, liberal sentiments, and useful talent, as he is for opulence and hospitality. A third estate is occupied by a junior branch.
Colonel Flores has a sister who is so very deaf as not to be able to hear the loudest thunder. She understands all that is said by watching the motion of the lips of the speaker. In addressing her it is not necessary to articulate sounds, and this was proved in the presence of Miller, upon questions which he proposed, and to which she gave the readiest answers. The family affirm that she can, with almost equal facility, understand what is said by watching the shadow of the lips on a wall. She is married to a French gentleman, who, from his not speaking the Spanish language fluently, she does not so readily understand. Their children, therefore, often perform the office of interpreters, although none appeared to have been necessary previous to their tying the matrimonial knot.
This French gentleman had, during a residence of twenty-three years in Peru, forgotten his native language, of which he was not aware until he visited a French ship of war, which anchored off Quilca in 1823. Feeling a desire to become acquainted with his countrymen, he loaded a boat with fresh meat, poultry, fruit, and vegetables, and went off to pay his respects to the commander. On arriving on board, he unexpectedly found himself at a loss for words, and, although he understood all that was said to him,
he was unable to answer in French. He described the effect upon his own mind as distressingly mortifying; but the difficulty lasted no longer than the second day.
The following anecdote does not belong to this place, but it will show the possibility of a man losing his native language without acquiring any other.
A lad left Milan to seek his fortune, and resided two or three years in Paris. He passed three or four years in England, and then proceeded to Chile. He expresses himself imperfectly in French, English, and Spanish, but says he has altogether lost the knowledge of Italian. He is an honest, obliging, pains-taking man, and at one time had accumulated several thousand dollars, which he subsequently lost at play. At the time he related his story he was owner and navigator of a coasting vessel of fifty tons burden. On being asked what he intended to do if he made a second fortune, he answered: "If I make five hundred pounds a-year, I will go to London, and live like a gentleman. If I make only one hundred pounds ayear, I must go to my own country, where with that I can live like an Italian prince."
A new governor was named for the province of Camaná, and the patriot commander placed himself in communication with some inhabitants of Arequipa, known to be favourable to the cause. From these sources were obtained copies of official returns of the disposable force of Valdez, and information that Canterac had detached from Puno, ninety leagues northeast of Camaná, to oppose Miller's advance, the battalion of Partidarios, above nine hundred strong, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Cobos; a squadron
of cavalry, one hundred and eighty strong, Lieutenant-Colonel Ferraz; and two field-pieces, Colonel Cacho; all under the orders of General Carratalá. The battalion of Cazadores, six hundred strong, Colonel Manzanedo, was at the same time ordered to march against Miller from the province of Parinacochas. Thus the projected diversion completely succeeded; for nearly two thousand royalists were drawn from distant points, and prevented from acting against Alvarado at Torata and Moquegua.
Miller left Camaná on the 30th of December, accompanied by fourteen soldiers, and crossed the desert of Siguas, a valley eighteen leagues on the road to Arequipa, to reconnoitre. At Siguas, the royalist Captain Urdiminea, who had been sent from Arequipa to learn what troops had landed at Quilca, was made prisoner by the inhabitants, instigated by the distinguished patriot Colonel Romero, a highly respectable proprietor in the valley, and who now joined Miller with heart and hand. Urdiminea confirmed the intelligence of Carratalá's advance, and gave reason to suppose that the general was already at Arequipa, through which city he was described as likely to pass without halting, that he might the sooner pay his respects to the patriots.
Miller's force being so inferior in numbers, he had recourse to stratagem. He wrote to the governor of Arequipa, intimating that the independent troops were advancing, and would, shortly after his excellency received that communication, enter the city; that he considered it a duty, as it was hoped the governor of Arequipa would consider it his, to prevent