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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-12-17 15:01:22
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Turning abruptly as he spoke, the man mounted his mule and rode briskly up the winding road, followed by the Indian girl and our Englishman.

Das am mug-nifercent!” exclaimed Quashy, as his horse put his foot into a biscacho-hole, and only escaped a fall by making a splendid bound, where by its haunch, striking the negro’s back, sent him plunging on to its neck.

No alderman in London city ever equalled—much less excelled—a South American savage of that region in his love of turtle, or in his capacity for devouring it. But the savage goes immeasurably further than the alderman! He occupies altogether a higher and more noble position in regard to the turtle, for he not only studies, with prolonged care and deep interest, its habits and manners, but follows it, watches it, catches it, kills it, and, finally, cooks it with his own hands, before arriving at the alderman’s comparatively simple and undignified act of eating it.

But in this he was mistaken, at least as regarded banditti, though in some other respects the journey was not quite devoid of stirring incidents—as we shall see.

But there was method in their madness. To have run between the shelly host and the river, so as to cut off its retreat, would have been sheer lunacy, at which Luna herself—by that time shining superbly—would have paled with horror, for the men would have certainly been overthrown and trampled under foot by the charging squadrons. What the Indians did was to rush upon the flanks of the host, seize the animals’ tail, and hurl them over on their backs, in which position they lay flapping helplessly. Before the retreating miserables” reached the river, hundreds of captives were thus obtained.

The party now drew near, and very striking was their appearance—the variously coloured mules, following the bell-mare which went in advance as a leader, winding slowly down the crooked path, and the peons in their picturesque costumes shouting, laughing, or singing wild snatches of song as they were moved by fury, fun, or fancy.


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