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voyage of about 600 miles up the river to Las Yaguas, where it is discharged into another warehouse to await its turn for shipment by rail to Honda. At Honda it is again discharged into a warehouse to await its turn for shipment by railway some five or six miles to Arranca-Plumas. Here it is taken from the car and portaged on the backs of peons down a steep bank of the river, placed on a ferry barge, and rowed across to the opposite side. It is then portaged on the backs of peons up another steep bank and placed in another warehouse, where it awaits its turn (some days, or possibly as many weeks) to begin the tedious and toilsome journey on muleback to Las Manzanas, on the western edge of the great plateau. Here it finds still another warehouse, and has another resting spell before it is transported in ox-carts across the plain to Bogotá. It has been perhaps three months or more in making the transit from the port of original departure to the place of final destination, and the freight, insurance, storage, and commissions of middlemen and forwarding agents, and the mountain road-tax, amount in the aggregate to more than its original cost in New York.
1 Quite recently by railroad.
THE ISLAND OF CURAÇÃO
NE of the commercial outposts of the old
Spanish main is the little Dutch island of I Curação. It is situated just off the Venezuelan coast, a few leagues from Puerto Cabello and Maracaybo, less than twelve hours' sail from La Guayra, and about eighteen from Carthagena and Savanilla. Being so near these ports, and in constant communication with them for nearly three centuries, one would naturally suppose that the Curaçaons and Spanish-Americans would have become more or less indentified in character, language, and habits of life; but so far from this being the case, the two peoples are about as dissimilar as those of Holland and Spain. In the one, we have the rudiments of the old Spanish civilization, with much of its mediæval romance, sentimental chivalry, stilted pride, and visionary conceptions of life. In the other, we have a mere fragment of old Amsterdam transplanted on a barren island of the Caribbean; a dull, plain, and prosy, but practical people, who retain much of the stolid conservatism and “wooden-shoe-oddities" of the Fatherland.
The chief port and political capital of the island is Willemstad, more generally known abroad by the name of the island itself. The city, as Mr. William E. Curtis has somewhere said, “ has all the appearances of a finished town, though none of the evidences of dilapida
tion and decay usually seen in cities that have stopped growing." As first seen from the upper deck of the steamer, at a distance of some miles, its general aspect suggests the idea of a conspicuously clean but somewhat ill-arranged oriental toy-shop. The houses are a confused jumble of adobe and red tile. You perceive no open spaces, and wonder whether there are really any streets. The little blocks of houses appear to have been set up at random, and painted in all the varied colors of the rainbow, though yellow seems to be the favorite. There is not the slightest pretension to architectural proportion or beauty, and nothing like harmony or uniformity. “Great dormer-windows peer out upon the most unexpected places, and gloomy-looking warehouses raise three and four stories beside little flatroofed shops and cottages that remind you of antiquated Dutch ovens.” Crow-step gables and tallill-proportioned towers shoot up into the air like inverted stairways, and massive tile-covered enclosures of stone or adobe often rise to the very eaves of the little flat cottages.
The streets, when you get near enough to see them, are quite a study. Mr. Curtis has described them as “ beginning anywhere and leading nowhere." As you traverse them, "you can never be quite sure whether you are making a circuit of the town or are going to be suddenly headed off by some high adobe wall." You start out for a stroll on what appears to be one of the principal thoroughfares, and the first thing you know you are hemmed in between high walls in some gentleman's back lot. If you start in almost any given direction, you are liable to become bewildered in the maze of narrow lanes and alleys, and after a walk of a few minutes to find yourself near the place whence you started. But there is one redeeming quality: these tortuous little