The Marshall Field Chilean Expedition of 1922-23
Volume 1: 16 Nov 1922-12 Apr 1923
Nov. 16. The Grace Line Steamer Santa Theresa left the Brooklyn docks promptly at 11 A.M. in fine clear weather. Two days in NY sufficed for tying ends of shopping, visiting, and official formalities. All our baggage (22 pieces) arrived on schedule and we have almost nothing of which to complain. The ship is relatively new and well arranged, the passengers look respectable and are not too numerous, our cabins with connecting bath are quite satisfactory, and the sea so smooth we scarcely knew when we got "outside."
Nov. 17-Friday-Fine weather continues and Cape Hatteras will have no terrors for us. Ship's run 321 miles. Four fulmars and a couple gulls following for a time. Noticed a land bird flying near the ship this morning and later it came aboard and proved to be a Pine Siskin. It flew about a
great deal, only occasionally alighting. Later two others appeared and their hunger was evident by their pecking at cracks in the deck and at every promising bit of waste. There was a smart offshore breeze yesterday but no storm and just why these birds should be here isn't clear, altho I don't know their full winter range.
Nov. 18-Saturday-Another beautiful day with a blue sea and slightly rising temperature. Read and walked the decks. Saw a few birds some distance from the ship, probably Tropic Birds, seen singly or in pairs flying near the water. Ship's run 328 miles. Total distance NY to Colon is 1870.
Nov. 19-Sunday-This morning we are some 300 miles off Jacksonville, Florida. It is noticeably warm and balmy and summer clothes have to come out, a good SE
wind all day. In the afternoon passed San Salvador on Watling's Island 5 or 6 miles off. It lies rather low and looks dry and hot. A lighthouse and a small village were visible and a schooner at anchor. Toward the south end was a detached sand spit on which scattered palms could be made out. In the evening entered the Windward Passage between Haiti and Cuba. Ship's run 309 miles.
Nov. 20-Monday-This morning at 7 we are coming out of the Passage and the SE end of Cuba is only a few miles away, a rather abrupt shore with mountains several thousand feet high in the distance. It looks dry also but there is considerable vegetation, and high up on a bluff I made out a large tile-roofed house and outbuildings in a small clearing. To the east dimly visible was a bit of mountainous Haiti. Saw a flying fish yesterday morning but no more through the day. As we enter the Caribbean they suddenly become numerous. No birds in the
Passage except a few Tropic Birds. Very warm and smooth sea. Later in the day the mountains of southern Haiti near Cape Tiberon were visible and towards night passed a small flat-topped island with a lighthouse (Navassa Id.?)
Nov. 21-Tuesday-Another bright warm day and scarcely any motion to the ship. Run until noon was 327 miles. Yesterday afternoon saw a number of gannets and a school of small porpoises, plain olivaceous in color and only 3-4 ft. long, not much bigger than good-sized salmon. Saw one or two Frigate-birds flying high in distance. Passengers include Charley Grande, an Italian boiler maker and prize fighter going down to take a job as bouncer in "Mamie Kelley's" saloon in Colon, a voluble Wop and as proud of himself as usual.
He sounds like Ring Lardner taken out verbatim.
A Mr. O'Grady, a young business man from Buenos Aires sits at our table and goes with us to Val'po [Valparaíso]. He is much interested in the Argentine and says [there are] good opportunities there for young Americans after about 10 yrs. residence to become well habituated to the ways of the language and the country.
Met Mr. Robt. H. Patchin, Mgr. Grace & Co. who gave me letters to their agencies in Val'po & Santiago.
This afternoon a barn swallow flew about the ship for a short time.
Nov. 22-Wednesday-This morning it is warm anywhere in the ship and even Palm Beach clothes seem too much. At 10 o'clock we can see the Darien Mts. lying in the mist to the south a little of our port bow. Saw one small petrel. At noon we
are nearly at the breakwater outside Colon which is on low ground but looks clean and neat. As we come in we look directly up the canal toward the Gatun locks. Docked about 1:30. Hired a Barbadian with a Dodge car @ $3.00 per hour for four of us and drove to the Gatun locks over a beautiful winding and undulating road mostly concrete and exceedingly well kept. The tropical vegetation seems fresh and the air tho warm has a sweet taste perhaps noticeable mainly from the change from the salt air at sea. Passed various government houses, baseball grounds, forts and garrisons of men. Vegetable gardens, terraced and worked by Chinese in big broad hats, might as well have been on the other side of the earth. Passed along part of the old French Canal which is now full of the
abandoned machinery with which it was littered when I was here before in 1912.
Parrakeets flew about shrieking shrilly, kingbirds twittered about posts and wires, and anis appeared and reappeared in the coarse cane grass by the roadside. Several hawks, many black vultures, one blue tanager, some seedeaters, a brilliant black and yellow oriole, and a pair of sparrow hawks were the principal birds seen. Returning, a few drops of rain fell but no regular shower although it looked threatening.
Conover's Sept camera refused to work the first time he tried it so after going from place to place found a tinker who thought he could fix it. Dined at the Washington Hotel which faces the sea and is new and fine. A very good
dinner for $1.25. After dinner spent a while at Mamie Kelley's cabaret in Colon where our sailor Grande was already on the job. Colon has few native Panamanians, but is almost entirely occupied by blacks, Jamaicans and Barbadians. A number of stores are kept by East Indians and display many of the fancy wares of those parts--carved ivory, silks, laces etc.
Returning from our drive, met a native hunter with a couple doves and wood rails. Said he killed a large deer yesterday.
Nov. 23-Thursday-This morning at 7 we slipped away from the dock and passed up the canal reaching the first lock while eating breakfast. Another good-sized ship followed us and the two
were passed thru the locks together. Everyone was on deck and the whole procedure was very interesting. After passing the three locks we steamed forward in Gatun Lake which has already taken an appearance of naturalness that in a few more years will be complete. In some of the bays many tops of submerged trees are still seen but they are evidently going fast.
The channel was marked by buoys or post on each one of which sat a solemn pelican, a small brown species with a white head. Passed dredges and barges working in the Culebra cut and after passing the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks soon reached Balboa at about 3 P.M. At Gatun
and at Miraflores are little 5-hole golf courses with sand greens. At the long Balboa docks were several steamers and a submarine. Passengers and mail came out to us in a launch and we were soon on our way in the calm Pacific.
Nov. 24-Friday-A cool southwest breeze today and much more agreeable temperature. Cloudy dull skies. Uneventful.
Nov. 25-Saturday-Still cool and breezy but a little brighter. Altho the wind blows there is no long swell and the ship is steady. Crossed the Equator some time this morning and early in the day notice was served to landlubbers who had never crossed the line to be ready for a visit from King Neptune at 3 P.M. Soon after sailors began building a tank on the after deck and there was
much speculation and nervousness among the passengers. At 3 o'clock Neptune and his wife and a half dozen policemen and assistants grotesquely costumed appeared and disposed themselves in seats in the hatch. By this time, most of the younger men on board including Conover and Sanborn, had put on old clothes or bathing suits and as their names were called out, presented themselves before the court.
Neptune asked them a few questions and then turned them over to the doctor and the barber or other assistants who gave them pills, pulled imaginary teeth with big nippers, shampooed them with bucketsful of vile-looking fluids, squirted hot paste-looking stuff down their backs, lathered their faces with big mops,
shaved them with big wooden razors etc. etc. and finally pitched them headlong into the tank of water. One young lady was called forth and gamely went down expecting to be ducked but was merely sentenced to dance on the hatch with Neptune himself and then to be kissed three times by the Captain of the ship who was brought down from the bridge for the purpose. When no further victims appeared, the ceremonies were declared ended but the dripping initiates had been organizing and they made a rush for the court and then threw several into the tank and finally after a good struggle in which Conover got his shins bashed, Neptune himself was thrown in with a great splash and
cheers from the gallery. It was most good-humored and very well done.
This evening it is quite cold and blankets are needed on the beds and heavy clothes on the decks. Not exactly what we expect on the Equator, but we are well into the Humboldt Current which is a very different matter from the Gulf Stream which we left a few days ago.
Nov. 26-Sunday-This morning at 7 we are at anchor off Talara, the Standard Oil Co's place in northern Peru. Just below it is Negritos where the oil derricks stand thickly along the beach for several miles. Four hours later we reached Paita and anchored
rather close in to transfer passengers, baggage, and a considerable quantity of mail from the interior cottage district of Piura. Paita is at
the head of a small bay where there is fairly good protection from the wind and weather. It has a bluff shore and no natural vegetation. Some hills, bare and brown, stand off well a little to the south, but although it is fairly clear, there is no sign of the great Sierra of the Andes. Saw a number of birds mainly pelicans, cormorants and gannets but only in flocks of a dozen or fifteen. Many Frigate Birds also seen and a few shearwaters. Saw a large flock of porpoises and Conover reports seeing a large "finback" whale very near the ship. At the ship's whistle, a half dozen native boats raced out and clustered at the foot of the gangway bargaining with passengers for Panama hats. They were not allowed on board which made it difficult. Conover finally got a fairly good hat at $8.99 after
beating down the price about half. Another passenger got a somewhat better hat for the same price. A boatload of Indian women came alongside with fruit, oranges, bananas, mangoes, and one big watermelon. This evening saw many birds flying, principally small gulls about the size of Ring Bills. With them were a number of gannets, a few pelicans and now and then a cormorant. The gulls were in great rafts and very pretty. As sunset came in a nearly clear sky the birds continued flying and in various lights presented many pretty sights. At one time a half dozen big seals, perhaps sea lions, began breaching in front of the ship, keeping pace with it for a time and then veering off to a safe distance
before pausing to raise their heads and take a look at us. Still cold.
Nov. 27-Monday-This morning we were approaching Salaverry and as I came on deck the view of the barren but bold clean-cut mountains stretching almost from Eten to Salaverry was striking. Trujillo was in front of us and the ruins of Chan Chan a little to the right were conspicuous. This attracted my attention only for a moment as I could not help but turn it at once to the myriads of gannets in the air. They were fishing and hovering in great flocks from which birds were dropping so fast the water looked as if it were receiving a continuous volley of shrapnel. They drop like rockets and when they hit the water the
splash is no loose spatter but a sharp perpendicular spurt. One can almost feel the chug as of high-flung pebbles playfully thrown by a boy. This continued for an hour or more and the number of birds engaged was incalculable although officers of our ship said "Poof. That's nothing, sometimes there's ten times as many."
Later a small line of low-flying cormorants started and gradually widening began passing until it stretched some two miles and contained perhaps 100,000 birds. It was about 30 minutes passing. It seemed to be only a local shift from one rafting place to another and the place where it settled as seen through the glasses was a seething mass of waterfowl. Gannets accompanied the cormorants but usually
a little higher and the effect of their white heads scattered through the dark
cormorants was pleasing. The whole
affair could be likened to the issuing of a huge swarm of bees from the
hive. Adding the cormorants to the
gannets and the straggling pelicans made the air full of birds clear to the
At Salaverry, a number of passengers came aboard including a Mr. Handforth Hope-Jones, an Anglo-Peruvian who is connected with the firm of Graham Roe & Co. and says he has been here 45 years. His card says F.R.G.S. and he knows much about the country. Says he met Mr. & Mrs. Heller.
the white summit of Huascaran pushed through the clouds and was clearly visible for a short time.
Nov. 28-Tuesday-This morning we are in the harbor of Callao anchored some 3/4 mile from the docks and the city. Between us and the docks is a flock of deep-bellied lighters bobbing at their moorings and a few small vessels at anchor. To the right of the docks is the residence section of Callao known as El Punto, a long spit in which large buildings of white, tan, blue etc. are gleaming in the sun.
To the south of us is San Lorenzo Id. where there is a penal colony and, on an outlying islet, a quarantine station. Here they say Leguia keeps his political prisoners and maintains his dictatorship in true So. American fashion. A mob of fleteros with numbered caps came aboard and one engaged
me to take us in at one sol each, the sol at present exchange being worth about 42 cents Am. gold. A number of birds not seen before were about the harbor; a large black-backed gull, perhaps Larus dominicanus, a dark whiskered tern, and brown cormorant with a white patch on the side of its neck. Small gulls which look something like Larus californicus also are common.
Our launch landed us at the long steps of the Muelle de Pasajeros and we passed into the streets and soon found a good Am. electric car to Lima. This took us there in some 20 minutes passing through a gently sloping plain cut up by mud walls into small chacras evidently not so fertile but growing corn, alfalfa, cane, and vegetables. It was dry and dusty and not very attractive, the only
bright thing being long beds of wild nasturtiums on the banks of irrigating ditches. Entering Lima we passed down a broad street with good residences two or three stories high and were landed at the Plaza San Martin which is in somewhat unfinished condition and aside from its heroic statue not especially pleasing. Hired a Ford jetney and drove to the Concepción Market, a large covered market well within the city. It was a little late in the day but the market was still busy. It was fairly clean but only from the standpoint of those who had seen worse. There were not wild animals. A few cages of guinea pigs gave a slight local flavor to the meat section. In the fish section the principal species seen was the Bonito. In the fruit section, the best thing was strawberries, beauties packed in
little round baskets. There were tropical fruits, including mangos of small size, a few avocados or paltas as they are called here, very good big yellow bananas, apples, small pears, etc. I inquired for chirimoyas but was told it was not the right season for them. Tomatoes were small and multicleft. There were great masses of flowers including many roses. Drove to the West Coast Leader where I met Mr. Ronnsevell, an American advertising mgr., Mr. Griffis being out. At his suggestion drove out to the Zoological Gardens and lunched al fresco in a very beautiful place with big trees, figs, royal palms, araucarias, and others in the gardens at our side. Went through the garden which covers several acres and has some beautiful trees but a poor collection of animals, mostly foreign, some scrawny
red deer, several good lions, camels, hyaenas, a couple small Indian Elephants, a Europ. brown bear, some jackals. The only South American mammals of interest were two Spectacled bears, one of which was a fine male with a wonderfully variegated black and buffy white face and neck. The condor cage contained about 6 good birds, one fully adult but the color of the head was rather a dull reddish. Perhaps they never get very bright. Other birds included some good hawks, one currassow and a few common herons.
Spent a little time at the Hotel Maury, which is old, uninviting, and high-priced. The Grande, where Sanborn had lunch with his friend Finley of the Nat. City-Bank, seems better. Went to Grace & Co. who have a very fine stone building really of and large metropolitan bank. Met
a Mr. Parker who showed some recent letters from Heller. Later met Griffis who had a very recent one and a telegram from Zimmer. Wrote letters to both of them. Dined at The Berlin, a restaurant where the English and American clerks eat regularly and discuss the various objections to life in Lima. The city is disappointing and not very attractive. Most of the streets are very narrow and fairly clean and the shops are good. The main streets, like La Union, are paved with asphalt and kept quite clean. They are full of traffic and there are many automobiles including besides the Ford jetneys, many large fine cars. Saw one Rolls-Royce, several Marmour etc. The Morris Bar is a resort for Americans. Returned to Callao and the ship at 10 P.M. in time to catch the company's launch.
Nov. 29-Wednesday-Another day in Lima. Lunch at the Grande Hotel which was very good. The chianti is certainly delightful. I wore a heavy suit but light underwear and was not uncomfortable. The mornings are misty and cool.
Took a trolley ride to Chorillos some 8-10 miles down the coast. Here were many new residences, many flowers and evidences of wealth. Some of the new houses had gable roofs and an English style of architecture.
Yesterday we saw the gov't museum in the Zoo. gardens. Mainly a historical museum with paintings and war relics but an archaeological section principally with pottery, mummies, and burial stuff. This afternoon went to the Universidad and found a Mr. Lello, anthropologist who opened up and showed us
some interesting pottery and a collection of stuffed birds and mammals said to have been recently mounted. Very badly done of course, but including many rare things, among them two Marila [=Chaetophractus] nationi. Mammals were one huemul, some weasels, opossums, etc. Saw some mastodon teeth from Pisco region. A case of bird skins were said to have been obtained by Raimmdi and labeled by Taczanowski. The labels had exact data in most cases. There were several hundred of them and the mtd. birds probably came mostly from this collection.
Walked out to see the Rimac River from the bridge. It had quite a flow of water divided into several small channels over a gravelly bed. The mountains back of Lima are brown and nude and give somewhat
the impression of California mountains but no vegetation whatever. Lima offers no wide prospects and everything seems crowded. The Cathedral is very large and clean looking but the Plaza de Armas on which it is found is no bigger than in some small towns. If it were several times as large, the effect would be wonderfully improved.
Nov. 30-Thursday-Much pleased to find Farabee of U. of Penn. on board last night bound for Mollendo and Arequipa. Stopped this morning at Pisco near which F. has been excavating at a place called Nasca. The Chincha Ids. are just outside and the harbor was full of birds. As we went out, they were all about us and many lines of cormorants crossed our bows. Conover taking movies of some with the camera which is now working again.
As we passed out, some small water birds like small auklets were about in small flocks diving or skittering away at the approach of the steamer.
Also saw some seals and whales. Later passed flocks of small terns and a few large sooty fulmars. Then great flocks of small dark shearwaters and a few small albatrosses with white heads and tails and grayish mantles looking something like large gulls. Quite a number of whales in the afternoon.
Farabee is recovering from a severe attack of dysentery which has seriously interfered with his plans. Still cold.
Friday December 1-Reached Mollendo about 11 A.M. For some time this morning we had rather a good view of Misti and Coropuno peaks which stood out fairly well in the distance. Coropuno is a beautiful cone
nearly 22,000 ft high and seems to carry several thousand feet of snow. Farabee was getting off at Mollendo and urged us to come ashore with him so we did so.
It's the poorest excuse for a harbor yet seen and altho it was fine weather the long swells were throwing great flashes of spray along the bluff shore in a wicked way. Our launch rode the swells into a little niche in the rocks partly walled with cement from which we were hoisted in a chair to the dock.
Had lunch and spent several hours in the town which is clean and orderly looking but dry and sandy. A few gardens about dwelling houses are quite pretty. The long sand beach to the south with white lines of breakers is very pretty. Saw some vicugua robes at about $50.00 each and small pieces made
from llama and alpaca were very cheap. The houses of the town are mostly made of wood and quite well built. From the ship the houses looked black and sooty lying like a burnt blotch on the hillside but near at hand they proved different. Conover & Sanborn went down the beach with a fox terrier which dug out some small crabs. Today it was decidedly warmer and I saw several flying fish of a larger species than those of the Caribbean. The water was warmer for bathing also and no doubt we are under the western bulge of the continent which causes an eddy in the Humboldt current.
Dec. 2-Saturday-Lying off the picturesque part of Arica this morning and all up early for examination by the Chilean Quarantine officer.
The Gibraltar of South America lies in front of us, a prominent bluff historical in the annals of Chile and Peru for it was here in 1880 that the Chileans defeated the Peruvians and the Peruvian Lieut. Uguarte, seeing the battle lost, saved the flag by spurring his horse over the cliff and into the sea.
The little town of Arica lies nestled on the north side of the cliff and there is considerable green about it although the surroundings are bare and sandy at a little distance. The harbor was full of gulls, mostly a gray species with a light head which I think must be Heermann's Gull. Went ashore in a fletero's launch and immediately contracted for a trip to Tacna by the iron-wheeled Ford which is provided for the purpose with a covered body seating eight people comfortably. We rumbled out over the desert and soon
left the green salt grass which for a time stretched along near the beach. Bare sandy desert was on either side and, as we proceeded, many beautiful mirages, as if lakes of water, appeared on all sides of us. A few miles out and several pretty snow-capped peaks appeared in the distance to the northeast. They looked to be 18,000-20,000 ft. high and lie just behind Tacna. One stop was made at a forlorn halfway station for water evidently carried and stored there. The trip took nearly two hours and is said to be about 38 miles. A turn to the eastward and we could see the green oasis of Tacna lying ahead of us near the foot of the mountains. We entered the town through small fields of sugar cane, clumps of eucalyptus trees, Washington palms, patches of Cana brava, and many flowering shrubs. Our party
consisted of Mr. M. Master, the Galveston newspaper man and his wife, Weaver the engineer for Duponts, Lacey the salesman of Firestone tires, O'Grady the B.A. insurance man, Miss Jutrice, the young lady visiting relatives at Beth. Steel plant, and ourselves.
Walked up the main street to the hotel and had lunch at 10 pesos each at which there was considerable fruit, some very good tomatoes, lettuce, some small rather insipid apricots, paltas, mangos, oranges etc. On the way passed a garrison of soldiers in German helmets and uniforms and with their German training very evident. Throughout the day we continued to see more of them and it was clear that the town is little more than a garrison. Ammunition wagons drawn by big fine horses rattled over the small cobbles of the streets. At one door we had a peep inside
a building crowded full of light artillery all ready to wheeled into action at a moment's notice. Elsewhere were big hay barns full of fodder and cavalry gear. On the street corners were soldiers in fatigue uniform loitering and on the outskirts of town were corrals and cavalry practice fields. It all seemed so incongruous for the town itself is a picture of peaceful things - flowers, sunshine, small houses and gardens, and all remote and isolated from the warring world.
We hired a "coche" and drove among the chacras in the outskirts and found them very beautiful. Cotton is one of the crops and grows on bushes 10 ft high. Sugar cane is also raised but there are many gardens devoted principally to flowers and vegetables and fruits including peaches and
small pears about the size of Seck'els. Bananas, mangos, etc. Hedges of bamboo and many of a sort of pomegranate with numerous attractive red flowers. Many houses entwined with bougainvillea and similar climbing plants.
Looked hard for birds but saw only few. The little Zonotrichia sparrow was the only common one. Saw a couple small doves, some wrens, and one hummer. Probably more would appear at early morning hours. Visited the cemetery which was interesting with its special section for babies and its P.O. box method of disposing of the dead. Returned to ship stopping a bit in Arica where there are two pretty little parks and saw a couple more doves and a green hummer with a rufescent rump.
Dec.3-Sunday-This morning we anchored off Iquique and as we're to
stay but a few hours did not go ashore. It looks more business-like than any city yet. It was the original nitrate port but is now smaller than Antofagasta. On the steep hills behind it we could see the lines scoring the sides where the switchback railroad runs to reach the plateau from which comes the "salitre." A number of ships were in the harbor and many lighters. Near the shore was the bottom of a good-sized ship overturned and washed ashore a few months ago.
Many Heermann's Gulls about the ship.
Dec. 4-Monday-Antofagasta today and all went ashore. The town was something of a surprise for it is quite modern with very wide streets many new buildings, and a general appearance which I haven't seen before in South America. This is due to its
rapid growth in the past 15 years and to the influence of the American and English mining interests. It is younger and less important than Iquique as a nitrate port but is larger and busier on account of other interests including its railroads to Bolivia and the interior. Went to the market which is a large enclosed building where stalls are provided on two floors. It was late in the day and there was little to be seen. A few of the long flabby fish called congrio were left and some fruit and vegetables. Cashed a check at 8 pesos to the dollar tho I learned that the actual rate of exchange was without commission 8.40. Back to the ship for lunch and sailed in afternoon.
Dec. 5-Tuesday-At sea all day which seems unusual as we've
been stopping nearly every day and travelling mostly at night. Met Mr. Walker, the Englishman of Duncan, Fox & Co., whom Conover & I met in Maracaibo three years ago. Played bridge with Mr. Houston, a Mr. Pickwood of the Antofagasta R.R., and Mr. Castro a Chilean member of the House of Deputies.
Late in afternoon found we were going in to Cruz Grande the port where Bethlehem Steel Co. has large works and brings ore right to bunkers which load it directly into ships.
Altho it was nearly dark, it was very interesting and refreshing to see some land which was not wholly parched. The place was desolate enough, but so different from the sand and smooth glaring slopes we've become accustomed to that we scarcely realized it until three rather boisterous well-dressed American
women came aboard and raided the smoking room, buying scoresful of candy, cigarettes, playing cards, etc. Meanwhile passing remarks about the jumping off place where they were quartered at the little place called [El] Tofo a few miles above the port works. The mountains are rough and the exposed rock look dark and blackish and with roughened irregular surfaces. Considerable low vegetation covered the lower slopes but of trees or well-defined bushes there were none. Sanenne asked me what it looked like and I said the "Aleutian Islands" but it wasn't so green as they are.
Dec. 6-Wednesday-This morning early we are anchored at Coquimbo, which is stretched around one side of a small bay and scattered up
the side of the yellowish rocky hills of a point of land on the farther side of which is another small bay. On the opposite side of the bay across from Coquimbo is La Serena at the mouth of a fertile valley and said to be a nicer town than Coquimbo with more residences and nice streets.
Went ashore looking for much evidence of the recent earthquake but found relatively little. The tidal wave did most of the damage and its path could still be seen. Evidently it came in with force enough to overturn locomotives as this was shown in photos taken by local people. The lighters of the harbor were carried from their moorings and washed ashore and since they are great heavy arks one of them would crash right through an ordinary house. Freight on shore was damaged a good
deal and Grace & Co. were said to have suffered about $40,000 loss in this way.
Coquimbo was a great contrast to Antofagasta. Its one long winding business street is narrow and traversed by the steam railroad which passes between the low buildings making a great to-do. The buildings seem small, cheap, and dirty, although there were some good ones. Small boys begged for coppers and cigarettes with an unusual persistence. On the slope above the main street were huts and shacks of all sorts of stone, of galvanized iron, of burlap and driftwood etc., etc., but the meanest of them usually had a few flowers growing somewhere. Up there I found almost everything consisted of marl and large shells could easily be picked out anywhere. Many species were included but most of them
looked like modern species. Across the bay I was told there is much more of the shell breccia.
Saw a few birds, including several English sparrows. One of these was seen first in the plaza at Antofagasta. Saw a good-sized yellowish green and black lizard and a smaller grayish mottled one. On some outlying rocks off the point beyond Coquimbo were small flocks of cormorants and a few gannets. The large white-bellied cormorant was there, the white-necked one and the black one. Black-backed gulls common in the harbor and in fine plumage.
Dec. 7-Thursday-A stiff southernly breeze last night and the ship tossed about considerable for the first time since we started.
At daylight we are anchored in the harbor of Valparaíso with other ships all about us and black lighters floating in rafts that remind of flocks of birds. The port doctor was on board by 7 o'clock which is unusual on this coast and the officers of the Luesa say this is the only port where the ship will be received before 8 or 9 o'clock.
It was bright and clear with only a slight haze hanging over the city which rises on the hills something as San Francisco. Although a west wind would blow right into the harbor, the strong south wind had no effect on it and the water was smooth for landing.
Mr. Houston Lindly facilitated our landing and one of his men Mr. Lennon gave us a good fletero and introduced us at the Aduana where after very little delay all our
baggage was passed with only a pro forma examination. Immediately transferred our baggage to the R.R. station nearby the Aduana and shipped it to Santiago paying the equivalent of about 2 cents a pound. There is no baggage allowance except for what can be carried by hand with the coaches and this also is limited. Our charge was $147.70 Chilean pesos for 767 kilos. Landing chgs. were only 3 pesos per bulto. First-class fare to Santiago $38.40 is about $5 Am. gold. Went to Astur Hotel where we secured connecting rooms with bath for 40 pesos daily for the 3.
Went to Grace & Co. and met Mr. J.J. Heavey, Mgr., who gave us letters to their office in Puerto Montt and in Santiago. He had helped out Beck when he was here and made several references to him.
At the dock met a Sr. Jorge M. Gompertz who introduced himself and spoken of having been in touch
with W.A. Bryan when he was here. Hired a flivver and drove out to Viña del Mar over a fine new asphalt road for about 4 miles. Viña has many beautiful homes and many flowers, palms, etc and several veritable castles by the sea. A pink flowered climbing vine like a rambler rose but evidently something else is very abundant in great banks which are very beautiful. Drove there and to the grounds of the race track which were very pretty. Near the club house were some men playing tennis and some young boys at cricket. Pines which looked like Norway pines bordered one side of the track. The hills lying behind have scattered low brush and some grass but no trees. Many of the streets in Valp'o are very wide and the parks spacious like those of an
American city. This was made possible by the rebuilding after the destructive earthquake of 1906. Along the road to Viña we saw a few cactuses and agaves. A common Lark bird is Diuca diuca a grayish bird with a white-throat and general appearance of a towhee. House wrens and swallows also seen. English sparrows fairly common. In one park saw several captive southern pintail duck and a beautiful male of the Chilean Widgeon.
Had some of the famous Juan Fernandez lobster for lunch. It is not a Homarus and has no large claws but it is very large and the meat from the tail makes a good plateful. It is fine grained and sweeter than our lobster and has a somewhat different flavor. Served cold with mayonnaise, it is very good. Also had some of the small
strawberries about the size of our wild strawberries but with a yellowish buff tinge inside although bright red on the outside.
Dec. 8-Friday-Took an early morning train for Santiago leaving in a grand rush in two small autos which tore thru the streets with us and our baggage to the station. The train passed thru Viña and then gradually climbed to a cumbre thru dry hills with scattered bushes in country such as one might see in some parts of Colorado or New Mexico. The distance to Santiago is about 180 kilometers and takes about 4 hours.
Coming down into the valley we find it perfectly flat but only 10 or 12 miles wide with a few hills here and there. Near Santiago are orchards and pastures, cattle, etc. In the mts. were some flocks of goats in typical goat country.
Failed to get rooms at the Savoy Hotel, which was full, so went to the Grand, an older place, where we got rooms for the three of us at 45 pesos a day "con desayuno."
Arrived on a "dia de fiesta," as usual, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, so everything was closed. Next day (9th) went to Am. Embassy in Parque Forestal. Met Mr. Collier, the Ambassador who was very cordial and arranged for us to meet the Sub. Sec. of Ministerios de Relaciones Exteriores who gave us a letter to the Sub. Sec. of Industria y Abras Publicas. A few days later I presented this and received a general letter which will doubtless help. I was shown right into the official's office which was full of others, evidently politicos talking and passing back and forth. Fishing laws are well worked out but there seem to be no federal laws on shooting and these are governed locally so we must see the little jefes.
The Embassy is a palatial residence purchased by U.S. last spring for $150,000 from a rich Chilean who had lost money after building it for about $700,000. Mr. Campbell, Collier's private Sec. showed us thru it from cellar to garret and it was about all through, with stairways of marble and railing of Italian marble, beautiful dining rooms etc. The garage outside was in use as an office and here we met Mr. Martin, 1st Sec. who introduced us at the Am. Club. Later we attended a luncheon here at which there were some 40 or 50 present all keen bright young Americans, engineers and business men that do credit to the country. The Ambassador was there and I was boosted into a short speech etc and we became well acquainted.
Visited the Cerro Santa Lucia which is well parked and offers good views of the city. Winding paths and driveways lead up and short cuts are
afforded by stairways. Many birds were singing principally diucas and chincoles - many flowers. A restaurant and dancing space near the top. Many students walking about repeating their tasks aloud. All studying to be "abogados."
Another day we made the much better trip in a Ford to the top of Cerro San Cristobal crossing the river and winding around the hill for several miles. Along the stone walls bordering the road saw many degus, Octodon degus, which seems to be diurnal and acts like a chipmunk, though it gen. appearance is different, its rather short tail being held in a curve. Coming down after dark a fox glided over a wall as we passed. Seems remarkable to find it in what is scarely more than a city park.
At the Museum in the Quinta Normal met Carlos Porter a
bustling little man who offered to help us as much as possible. In the Quinta many interesting trees mostly introduced European etc. a large sycamore is one of the finest. Many araucarias. The museum is well arranged and has large collections. Its representation of Chilean birds and mammals is excellent. The specimens of course are poorly prepared but average nearly as good as in many old European museums.
Engaged Luis Moreira, taxidermist of the museum to go with us. At the Gran Hotel met a Wm. Gibson who has a gold mine on Chiloe and invited us to come and stay there.
Dec. 15-Thursday-Left Santiago at 7:30 A.M. Ferrocarril Central del Estado from station at west end of Alameda. Regular fare to Concepcion 64.40 con "Necargo" $96.60, highest fares ever known in Chile. Decided to go via Concepcion and Valdivia.
First hour out of Santiago through green valley fenced off into small plots of 10-20 acres by mud walls or fences covered with vines giving the appearance of untrimmed hedges. Fields are often triangular and roads are marked by long lines of Lombardy poplars. A pale blue flower called Mallesa is very abundant and scattered thru whole fields as daisies are with us. A few vineyards, some alfalfa and some potatoes, scattered fruit trees and a few regular orchards of peaches. Irrigating ditches bordered by weeping willows. Farther south more peaches. In small towns adobe walls are almost hidden by vines. Crossed many small streams of fairly clear water. Larger ones are wide and muddy with numerous grand bars.
First important stop is at Rancagua where there is a good dining room. Natives along
platform selling cherries tied along twigs--cakes--dulces, etc. Valley rather narrow with hills only two or three miles away on each side. Wheat fields small and with many weeds. Many fine pastures with cattle. Better methods of agriculture would doubtless increase production greatly. It's a fine valley and well farmed but it really isn't quite up to Calif. The mountains are hazy, the nearer ones with low brush dotted all over them, but with no real trees. Distant ones with scattered patches of snow. In wilder parts where the valley narrows among the hills, many bushes called Espinos and resembling mesquites are seen. At San Fernando, where we stop a few minutes, there is a trainload of cattle bound for "la costa" on a branch line of R.R. The train is full of dust and very warm.
General appearance of valley more
like smaller California valleys, as Salinas, rather than San Joaquin. Very pretty and very productive but not as well kept as Calif.
Saw a few hawks (chimango), one white heron, small birds mostly swallows, chincols, and diucas. Nice snow mountains east of San Fernando. Eucalyptus trees here and there. Some blackberry vines along railroad.
In the region below San Fernando there is a slight change in the character of the country. It is less flat and with a few swamps and small dry grassy mounds. See many chimango hawks and flocks of large plover (Belohoptenes). The rivers run west with a good current and evidently the valley, altho much of it appears flat must have a good slope to the westward.
Below Curicó, the valley widens decidedly up to about 40 kilometers or 25 miles. The legua in use here is 2 1/2 kilometers.
A little farther down we come to the Rio Cururo which runs in a quebradita and the country is rolling and grassy and becomes more so later. All the way the pretty panorama of mountains stretches on the east. Many have snow and light clouds hanging about. Wheat is ripe but mostly still standing. The grass is brown.
Below Talca, crossed the Rio Maule, a good stream flowing over a wide gravel bed in country cut up into pastures with here and there truck gardens near houses. Mountains very distant and scarcely visible in west.
Near San Javier are swamps and pastures. R.R. tracks bordered by ditches with cattails on either side as so frequent in U.S.
Nearly opposite Linares is a fine peak well isolated and carrying considerable snow. From here on the country is obviously somewhat better watered although the species
of native plants are about the same and the fauna from Santiago to Concepción is supposed to be the same.
Broad roads lead in and out of the towns, very dusty, but otherwise not bad for wagons or light autos. Auto touring has not yet become popular. What a beautiful trip it would be from Santiago to Llanquihue if good road were available.
Beyond Cural it is again dry rather high ground where there is much espino. Beyond Monte Aguila we are in low hills as we approach the Bió Bió River. The hills are covered with brush and small trees much as in the foothills of the Calif. Sierra but there are no large trees. The Bío Bío is wide and has many large sandbars. The hills lightly wooded and dry. We swing down the north bank of the Bío Bío to Concepción, the last few miles quite pretty.
Dec. 16-Saturday-Stopped at Hotel Frances in Concepción opposite R.R. station. Very decent and rate $14 per day con comidas. Walked up street to plaza, but town looked very quiet at night. It looks old and South American and it scarcely seems possibly it has a population of 75,000 as reported.
Left at 5:30 A.M. about sunrise with a decidedly chilly atmosphere. Returned up Bío Bío to San Rozendo and took on "Dormitorio" from El Norte. Soon crossed the river on "La Frontera" as it is called on account of having been the last stand of the Indians and it seems well suited for this with many commanding hills and a broad current of water probably several feet deep.
Soon began to go up and got into rolling hills yellowish brown with dry grass and dotted with small thick-foliaged trees much like oaks but with very small leaves. Part of these are quite dry and only serving
as pasture land similar to that north of the Bío Bío. Passed down into quite a valley and then into more rolling country in much of which the hills were covered to the tops with growing wheat with trees scattered through and fairly good clumps of them in the small draws and canyons. The wheat is clear of weeds and looks much better than that seen farther north. With few breaks, it extends for miles. Nitrate is used as fertilizer. The long rows of Lombardy poplars which divided the fields about the Bío Bío and further north have disappeared. From Santiago to Concepción and some distance beyond, there was scarcely a time when poplars could not be seen. It is characteristic. They divided the land into fields like enclosed parks.
Later on it was evident the wheat was growing on cleared
land. Trees could be seen girdled and stumps piled up. Gradually in spots there is more and more evidence of moisture. Many green meadows covered with bright yellow flowers which are like rather small slender-stemmed dandelions but which, as seen from the train, remind much of buttercups.
Chimango hawks still common - altogether they are in remarkable numbers. Saw 2 ducks on the Bio Bio, one or two large gulls near Concepcion and a few more plover. At every station the cheerful little white-throated diuca is seen perched on a wire, a fence, or a house top singing a sweet song which reminds at times of a vireo magnified and at others of a robin reduced. Saw a couple sparrow hawks, some mockingbirds, peches, house wrens, and chincols. These are about all [we saw] and the bird life from the train doesn't seem very exciting.
Approaching Temuco we get out
of rolling country and into a sort of plateau which is mostly beyond Temuco. This is well wooded and only partly cleared and reminds very much of northern Wisconsin with dead stubs sticking up etc. but there are no conifers, altho introduced pines are often seen near the towns. Frequent swampy spots grown with Juncus. This alternates with country quite cleared and mostly planted to oats instead of wheat. The presence of various introduced weeds as dock, mullein, thistles, etc. helps to make thing look natural.
Begin to see a few Indians at the station, short-statured, swarthy and mostly old and wrinkled crones with colored bands of cloth across their foreheads.
A beautiful volcanic cone stands out to the eastward a little beyond Temuco. It carries an immense quantity of snow and is very symmetrical. Exceedingly fine.
All the people dress differently but we have seen little of the wooden shoes reported. At Temuco and for several stations before, the houses are wooden, but with galvanized roofs or occasionally with tiles. It is plain we are in an entirely different country. The train is crowded and people are continually getting on and off with porters tugging at miscellaneous baggage and stowing it in all parts of the train. Still hot and dusty scarcely any better than yesterday.
At a station called Gorbea about 25 miles beyond Temuco saw a pair of the large band-tailed pigeons or torcazas. Saw a large white hawk and some turkey vultures. Fences are made of great heavy logs that look like old railroad ties. Begin to see lumber piled up at every station and there seems to be a station almost every 5 miles.
Near the station of Lastarria there are good swamps and
forested hills something like Oregon and Washington. It would be a good place to work. The next place, Afquintue, a little lumbering place would do also - more hilly and fewer swamps.
From this we passed into a more or less flat valley partly cleared with nice streams running through like our trout streams. Chimangos following plow in flocks. Along Rio Cruces second growth of oak-like trees at a little distance look like thick hop vines on poles. Later we pass thru some quite heavy forest. The trees individually are unfamiliar in form and foliage but collectively they make me feel as if in our north woods. Several small forest fires. A thick cane underbrush is common. Other bushes remind of manzanita and Ceanothus. R.R. stations of galvanized iron. More Indians or with Indian blood, many wearing ponchos.
Approaching Valdivia, beyond the
junction of Antihue, we run along a fine river (San Pedro) where there are some rushes and flats that look ducky. The wooded hills on either side about 1,000 ft high are picturesque and there are some nice vistas up and down the river.
Arrived at Valdivia about 5 P.M. and drove in a dilapidated "coche" up a long street partly of wooden planks and partly cobble paved to the Gran Hotel Schuster. Passed a pretty plaza planted with lindens and then around a corner and down hill to the hotel which is near the muelle overlooking the river. One room is clean and when we open our windows we find a box of geraniums outside. Took a walk along the muelle where boats are landed near the market with sea goods and fruit. One boat has a load of crabs all cooked and selling at one "chaucha" or 20 cents "papel" each, about 2 1/2 cents Am. Another has a load of large shallow baskets full of strawberries thinly covered with ferns. They are large, but very white and quite a different fruit from ours. These are the frutillas.
Other boats are loaded with bales of seaweed and with bricks of seaweed pressed like peat. Vendors of cherries sit around the muelle and boats pass up and down and across the river where the brewery is. The muelle is well built of stone and cement and the whole scene is much like a European city.
Dec. 17-Sunday-No morning train for Puerto Montt today as expected, so took a walk to small hills near Valdivia, crossing a pasture full of long-stemmed dandelion-like composites and many of the pink and white foxgloves(?) which are so abundant in all waste places or burnt-over land. Found some speckle-bellied toads, many crayfish holes, fox track. Saw chimango, diuca, chincol, peches, sparrow hawk, very large hawk, etc. Luis said he heard a tinamou or perdiz. Forest quite dense, but everything very dry.
Left for Osorno at 3:30 retracing route to Antihue where a crowd came aboard from the northern express.
All the trains seem to be overcrowded and it is evident they should run more of them. Luis says rail employees haven't been paid for three months. Leaving Antihue, we pass thru a tunnel and along a river which runs thru a rocky gorge and is quite pretty. At a town called Los Lagos saw one English-looking man get off carrying a gun. Yesterday near Temuco saw one with a fishing rod. The fox gloves (?) are natives and appear in every waste spot, clearings in forest, pastures, etc. Instead of mulleins and thistles we have these stately beauties. At a distance they sometimes suggest Epilobium.
As we get on the towns are more and more wooden. Lumber is piled all along the tracks at the station - heavy paling fences almost like stockades - gables-roofed shacks with rough clapboard sides are the rule. Came out again into wheat country. Station at Rapoco is in open field region - high dry land - pastures and wheat
fields. Horses feeding in pastures all have docked tails. Seems to be the style in So. Chile.
La Union is also in open country fine wheat and hay fields, rolling country well cleared continues more or less to Osorno where we go to Hotel Osorno. This town not so neat and pretty as Valdivia. Rather slipshod and dirty and scarcely a vestige of Spanish style left. Wooden buildings run down. European style. Germans everywhere as in Valdivia. Drove to hotel in rickety hack. Autos scarce. Plaza not paved and street dirty.
Dec. 18-Monday-No train till afternoon so took a walk out of town to some pastures and thickets along the river. Saw flocks of parrots and torcazas. The latter are in great numbers all through this part of the country. Found a nest with one heavily incubated egg. Nest about 15 ft. up in thick shrubbery. The birds are the finest pigeons I've ever seen.
Saw but few small birds except chincols and diuca. A few robins, swallows etc. Visited the "stockyards" where a sale of horses and cattle was going on. Streets busy all day and full of people. Many oxen and horsemen wearing ponchos.
Took train in afternoon - very crowded dusty and hot but only some four hours run to Puerto Montt. Thus it has taken us four days to come from Santiago a distance less than 700 miles. From Osorno to P. Montt there is much new clearing and waste land, but cultivation continues. Passed Llanquihue and Puerto Varas where it is well cleared and has open grain fields and pastures. Might be in Nova Scotia, always excepting the absence of conifers. The lake is beautiful with grassy slopes rising from its shore. Mt. Osorno in the distance is tremendous and dominating even with its top in clouds as it was when we passed. Saw three tinamous during this
afternoon's ride. Descend rapidly and with a long curve into Puerto Montt which is picturesquely strung out around a curving beach. Low tide and many Chilotes mariscando. Went to Hotel Miramar and got settled by dark.
Dec. 19-Tuesday-After several trials found Mr. Hilker, Mgr. Puerto Montt Agencies Co. & Grace & Co. in his office and cashed a draft after waiting nearly all day for a telegram from Santiago. Ordered provisions for a month or more. Left letters of credit with Grace & Co., 3 suitcases, 2 trunks, 1 case ammunition, and a sack of tow. Got aboard the little steamer Arturo at 6 P.M. after a busy day with little time to get acquainted with Puerto Montt. A dirty little boat with scanty accommodations.
Dec. 20-Wednesday-Fleas and a close smelly room last night, stopping to load wood, whistling etc. On deck this morning somewhere between Achao and Castro to see our first penguins which are fairly common. They lie very flat in the
and at a distance is picturesque, but a walk thru the streets proved it to be rather slovenly.
At Chonchi, Conover & Luis disembarked for their trip to Pucao on the west coast via Lake Huillinco and we continued to Queilén where we anchored for the night. An exceedingly beautiful sunset and wonderful snow mountains on the far side of Corcovado Gulf. The town of Queilén is at the base of a sand spit in a well protected harbor. Houses strung along the beach, rather dirty looking--some on piles over the water.
Dec. 21-Thursday-Left early this morning and arrived at Quellón about noon. Established ourselves with Ruperto Vera who supplied us with a vacant house and gives us meals at his own table--not too good, but substantial. Tripe, sheepheads, kidneys, pigsfeets and other tidbits form a larger part of the menu than we would prefer. Got a few traps out before dark in some swampy places, a cleared ground
and in a bit of woodland. Saw a snipe and a number of small birds. Shot a fine Hylactes, my first tapacola, called here Wit Wit or Whet Whet on account of its loud, much-repeated call which is startling when it proceeds suddenly from a thicket only a few feet away. Found some small mottled toads under logs on a hillside.
Dec. 22-Friday-Caught several small mice which look like akodons. They are fairly common and seem to prefer cleared land altho they live also in el monte. Sanborn got a yg. house rat and they are common along the beach.
Dec 31-(Sunday)-A little over a week in Quellón gives us some idea of the fauna of Chiloé. Birds are very abundant but the number of species seen so far is only about 30, exclusive of waterbirds. The very common ones are the robin or zorzal, the diuca, chincol, house wren,
two tapacolas, a small Scytalopus, a small white crowned greenish flycatcher (Elainea), a hummer, and a Phrygilus. A fine Cinclodes is abundant on the shore which is mostly flat and gravelly or pebbly. It flits about the port street and lights on the fences, docks etc. At low tide it is pecking around under the piling of the docks & buildings. It also appears along streams in open meadows and there acts much like a water thrush and its appearance also suggest this bird. Chimangos are fairly common and often seen beach combing but they are distinctly less numerous than farther north. A flock of black-headed gulls and some pintail ducks stay around a grassy salt flat. Several Hudsonian curlew work around the bay. Large black-backed gulls are also seen. A couple small white
terns are about and perhaps are Arctic terns or some similar species. A few penguins appear now and then often near shore and one day a boy brought in a live one tied with a string to its foot. Two or three small porpoises amble along our waterfront nearly every day. A large white-bellied and white-necked cormorant is in small numbers and a few blacks ones also. According to indefinite reports, pelicans have been known to occur. Foxes seem to be practically unknown in this part of the island and many people here say there are none anywhere on the island, but some know of reports of them on the west coast. Near San Pedro Id., where Darwin saw the type of fulvipes none have been seen within any reliable memory. Deer are common apparently as soon as one gets away from clearings and cultivation.
The only other mammals mentioned by the natives are the coypu and the otters. They hunt these in the summer season when the fur is poor and of little value because they say it is easier to get them than in winter when the fur would be of more value. For coypu skins they get about 5 or 6 pesos, or less than $1 each.
The land is pretty well cleared near the shore and is pasture with stumps, patches of ferns, and small swampy areas grown to sphagnum-like moss and bunches of Juncus. The forest behind is not like a northern forest, but reminds of a tropical forest or more especially of the temperate forest of the Andes although it is less luxuriant than this. It is full of climbing bamboo which as usual [are] very difficult to get through. There are some air plants and much moss on the large trunks. A little red flower that looks like
a waxy fuchsia is abundant on mossy trunks and stubs everywhere. In the deep forest there is moss on the ground.
Conover and Moreira arrived on the 29th and established themselves with us in the old house. Began negotiations to get away. The chalupa are uncertain and don't travel except with a fair wind. The south wind here is for fair weather and the north for rain so when a chalupa could go it would be rainy.
Called on Victor Chiappa to ask for his steam tug, the Orion, but he put me off politely. A few days later he agreed to let us have her but at the appointed time she failed to show up and then it blew hard from the south and she wouldn't put out. Unable to do any trapping because daily expecting to leave. All packed up to leave several times. Xmas day and for three days there was rain but all the rest of the time it
has been very fine. New Years was celebrated more than Xmas, principally by a few drunks.
Jan. 2-Tuesday-Cloudy and very calm. Moon full and tides big. The Orion was to come for us tonight but after even rolling our beds and waiting till 10 o'clock she reported nothing doing.
Jan. 3-Wednesday-A beautiful clear day with a brisk south wind which puts light white caps on the bay. Shoot as many birds as possible and skinned them, meanwhile keeping outfit ready to start. Wind shifts to west late in afternoon but Orion doesn't care to start. We feel now like waiting for one of the passenger steamers which will be here in a day or two. Rio Inio, where we want to go, is only about 50 miles south but it seems hard to get there.
Jan. 4-Thursday-Bright and fine but still blowing from the south. Gave up hopes of Orion. New birds
are getting hard to find. Sanborn got a short-billed marsh wren yesterday and today I found our first Leptasthenura but we are mostly picking up common birds. Conover killed off the snipe and curlew promptly and a few pigeons and now finds little to interest him so we are all anxious to get away. Juan Vera, the cook-boy brought from Chonchi, is useful as errand boy etc. and Luis is learning to skin birds as we want them, but we all feel as if we were wasting time.
Had a fine lunch today. Fried fish called Pescado rey (pejerrey), a small fish but delicious, best yet. The robalo is the most common here and is fairly good but not as good as this. Then had a deviled crab, hot and mixed with sliced egg and raisins and other unusual combinations, but altogether very good. Last a little steak with onions and some strawberries swimming in claret.
Jan. 5-Friday-Another fine day "por tierra," but the breezes on the bay indicate fairly lively weather outside. The Huandad and Arturo are both expected tomorrow so we count on getting one of them to land us at Inio. Set some traps last night in the cleared land back of town under logs in little swampy spots. Caught 9 of the common mice. Shot a rail and snipe and some small birds. Spent the day skinning and packing specimens to be left here in Quellon.
At about 6:30, just as we were getting ready for dinner, a Chilote appeared at the door with a little Pudu deer alive and thrown across his saddle. After considerable talk he accepted 20 pesos for it and we took it into the house. It had been caught by small dogs and was bleeding slightly from a hind leg but the skin was only slightly broken.
It was in very worn pelage, the body being mostly brown and burnt looking but the head was gray and the legs and belly reddish ochraceous. It was badly scared and could stand well on its legs, but when it did stand the relative shortness of its front legs was evident. It had a pretty face with short round ears and a calm expression. It offered little resistance and soon lay down and we left it in a room alone.
up early expecting a steamer any time and hoping to take care of the deer
before moving. Took a number of photos,
but the poor little pudu hadn't much snap in him and his leg evidently was
pretty sore. Weighed on Vera's balance
scale and he tipped 21 lbs. Killed and
skinned him and found him in good condition but not fat.
He is a young adult male and has slender little "cachitos" 2 3/4 & 3 in. long.
Weather bright and fine and less wind but the expected steamers do not come and our patience is running low. This afternoon a boy brought a large cocoi heron and Sanborn tackled the job of skinning it. The Huandad came in and we engaged her to take us to Inio for 250 pesos, not expensive for five men, a big rowboat, and 31 pieces of baggage, not counting guns etc. Had dinner on shore and went aboard about 10 o'clock after trying again to swat the one or two small bats that fly up and down the street. The Huandad was filthy, crowded and uncomfortable, but we got the special privilege of sleeping or trying to alongside the Captain's cabin.
Jan. 7-Sunday-Got a little
sleep last night but not many did--horses, boats, Indians, all over the place and many seasick. At daylight we rolled a good deal as the Captain took the outside route and landed us about 7 o'clock, afraid to go in close so threw us off about a mile from shore with quite a swell running.
Made a good camp in a grove of large trees after clearing away much "quila" or bamboo. Fresh water from a spring. Big salt marshes around the north of the river. As we came in saw many gulls, cormorants, black oystercatchers, etc. Spent most of day making camp.
Jan. 8-Monday-Weather fine, bright and cloudless. Traps near beach yielded only common Akodon. There is a sort of yucca like plant, perhaps a screw pine growing on the rocky points about the beach and other plants not seen elsewhere.
Crossed the river and worked
around grassy slews but couldn't get far on account of tidal channels. Conover and Sanborn went up the beautiful long curving beach and Luis picked a good mess of wild strawberries, round and rather hard, not quite so well flavored and juicy as ours, but still very good indeed.
In afternoon found trail across to another beach east of us showing we are on a peninsula which forms the eastern boundary of the estero of the Inio. The country is very flat but some low hills can be seen up the river. Huapiquilan and various small islands are easily seen. The vegetation behind all the beaches having a south frontage is much influenced by wind and has a picturesque look. Found some fox tracks on beach and set steel traps.
Jan. 9-Tuesday-Again clear and bright. At my first trap found a cat
that at first glimpse didn't look very unlike a domestic pussy. Trap was baited with a pigeon. Later in day same trap caught a fox which was brought in by a fisherman whose dog smelled it out.
Jan. 10-Wednesday-Warm and fine. Went down to end of east beach and around several points of rock. Wonderful shell beaches, some of them of good sized shells still unbroken-pureshell and almost nothing else. Saw a couple deer tracks near a little water hole. There is very little fresh water here and our camp supply is limited and none too good. Caught a large eared Phyllotis and Sanborn got several and some Oryzomys around the old fishing shack across the river. Shot a large-eared bat perhaps an Eptesicus.
Jan. 11-Thursday-A few thin clouds this afternoon, but fine weather. Sanborn found a
Jan. 12-Friday-A little foggy this morning but bright later in the day. The fisherman, dog, etc. visit my little beach and spoil the trapping. Conover took an all-day hike up the beach and got some steamer ducks, kelp goose, and oystercatcher. Hudsonian curlews by the hundreds.
Jan. 13-Saturday-Quite cloudy till late in afternoon when
the sun appeared. Greatly pleased to find a Caenolestes in one of my mouse traps this morning. Evidently it ran across the trap as it was caught by one hind leg only. It is small and has a short much thickened tail. Its color is plain brown much like obscurus. The labial on the lower lip is set far back and is divided by an indentation. Its premolars are very peculiar and doubtless it is generically distinct from the northern forms. A little misty rain this evening and light west wind. Quite calm for last three days.
Jan. 14-Sunday-Set more traps last night in Caenolestes territory, but had a poor catch. The one speciman was caught in a dry runway under a log at edge of bamboo thicket. There is much bamboo or "quila" here and all dead or dying after fruiting which it is said to do every seven or eight years.
Jan. 15-Monday-Last night put fresh fish baits on all the steel traps on the east beach and was rewarded this morning with a nice male fox in fairly good pelage. This makes a pair from a locality only 15 to 20 miles from the region where Darwin got the type and settles the point as to whether the animal still occurs there. Several people in Quellón seemed to doubt its existence, perhaps because of an inclination to discredit Darwin if possible.
Mouse traps in the woods which I baited with bacon and meat failed to get more Caenolestes, but caught a couple of the short-tailed shrew mice (#5511) showing their preference for that kind of bait. Found a couple Darwin's frogs in a mossy place in deep woods after a rain.
Jan. 16-Tuesday- A party of four Chilotes came in today bringing another live Pudu which their dogs had put into the water on their way down from Quellón. This seems to be the common way of hunting the deer - in fact the only one, although it might be possible to jump them in a region where they were abundant. We have seen only a few tracks on the beaches
and it is evident they are not common here. Bought the deer for another 20 pesos and tied it in camp. It seemed to have been scarcely hurt by the dogs and tugged actively at its rope usually going to the end of its tether and then trying to break away by making a leap which resulted in it's going around in a circle with its back bowed up and its head jerked down at every jump. It showed no combativeness, but after becoming somewhat exhausted it lay down and sulked. When first brought in from the boat, it nibbled at some grass for a few minutes, but after that it refused to eat. Put it under the skinning tent when it rained and at night, and there it continued to alternate between jumping and thrashing around and lying prostrate as if half dead.
Jan. 17-Wednesday-Sanborn and I set out with the tide this morning to go up the Rio Inio with the boat, this being our last chance. It began
to rain shortly after we started and we had rather a wet trip. Passing the sand bars and shallows of the "estero," we came in about 2 miles to a river more or less confined between banks heavily forested. The tide helped us along and we went up some 8 or 10 miles, rowing for about 4 hours. The lower river is 50 to 100 ft. wide and runs thru heavy forest. Some narrow grassy "pajonales" continue up a couple miles from time to time and thereafter the banks were difficult to land on an account of the over hanging vegetation. Many trees and bushes seem to grow in the brackish water and some 4 miles up there were frequent places where the boat had to be pushed and eased thru branches. All along there was much "quila." Finally came to a place which seemed to require much work with the ax and as it was still raining decided to make camp. Managed to find a place where we could
land the boat and cut away enough "quila" to pitch the little fly we carried. Managed to get a fire started and while Sanborn took a nap I prospected around and ran into a little pool of fresh water which was something encouraging for we had only a little pailful and hadn't seen any side streams, the ground all being rather low and the banks obscured with vegetation.
After supper [we] sat on our cots under the fly in a drizzling rain and cleaned our guns and watched the tide go down and darkness come on. Trees and what seemed to be bushes came out of water and stood stark and muddy in the dusk. A coypu came swimming by when nearly dark and a hurried shot failed to get him because in reaching into a handful of shells lying on the cot, I picked the only load of no. 5 buckshot in the lot.
Jan. 18-Thursday-Rained very hard almost all night and this morning our little 20 sq. ft. of clearing was surrounded by dripping bamboos etc.
and the river was flowing bankful with a strong current, against which it was clear we could do nothing with our heavy boat and clumsy hand made oars. The tide was due to fall but the river continued to run at the same level and it was evident the waters had increased from the rains to such an extent that the tide from below would have no effect on them. The river water was found to be perfectly fresh. Our plan of going up and down stream on the tide, therefore, seemed hopeless and after an hour or two getting breakfast and fooling around, decided to move downstream and make another camp altho the prospect of getting more wet and clearing out more quila had no charms for us. The clouds lifted a little and we started. Sanborn in the bow and myself in the stern paddling quietly
with one of the short oars. A couple miles down, an otter, the so-called Huillin, was seen swimming near the bank and as we swung around it dove and came up near the boat lifting its head clear out of water giving Sanborn a fine shot and a load of sixes killed it. It floated on the water a moment as we turned the boat and then with a big splash disappeared and we thought we had lost it, but it soon came floating down about 6 in. below the surface and might have been missed if it had not passed close by my end of the boat within reach of my hand.
Went on down and cleared considerable brush out of the river, expecting to come back in the evening. In the wet and rush Sanborn threw his machete along with a piece of brush into the river. Cut our way into the bank and made another camp. Firewood still harder to find and rain continuing in little showers. Cleared a little and at 5 o'clock
started downstream looking for otter and coypu. Signs of otter are abundant and at half tide the dark caverns among the roots of the trees along the bank show where they run.
In two hours floating and paddling we saw three coypu swimming in midstream several hundred yard in front of us. Altho there was little light and no noise, each of these saw us and dove at a distance to come up with a tail slap under the bank near us as much as to say good by. Returning upstream, used the carbide lamp and jacked carefully all the way but failed to see anything. Reached camp about 11 o'clock somewhat disgusted. Sanborn took a couple shots at a big cocoi heron thinking it was a deer and we heard some large owls. Saw a small bat, smaller than the one we have taken.
Jan. 19-Friday-Up at 3 this morning to catch the ebb tide but even at that we were late and had to pull against the beginning flood before
reaching the main camp. The forest along the banks of the river is very beautiful and in many places suggested a stream in Wisconsin or Michigan. Saw a night heron, a small bittern, a pair of kingfishers, and many robins. The robins were along the muddy banks at the water's edge and at a little distance appeared like shore birds. On the salt marsh about the estero coming up saw a flock of white-rumped swallows congregated as if for migration. Saw more curlews, yellowlegs, oystercatchers, etc.
Reached camp about noon in good weather and found it a busy place. Conover had been to Huapiquilan yesterday where he got many Carrancas and half grown young. The deer had died yesterday, apparently of starvation and Conover had bought a couple coypus from the native hunters. They also had a Gato de Mar, but wanted 50 pesos for it which he refused to pay. Later 4 Chilotes from Rio Zorra appeared and I bought a couple more coypus from them.
In the afternoon, another bunch appeared and somewhat to our surprise announced that they were the ones commissioned to take us back to Quellón. We were too busy to do much for them but they pitched a camp on the shore near us.
Jan.20-Saturday-Took in all my traps which had been standing while we were away on the chance of something worth while. Many rotten mice and one fine male Caenolestes far gone and full of fly blows. It is essentially the same as the female but much larger. The tail is bluish-black and much thickened. The terminal 2/5 of the underside is white and the upper side of the same is speckled blackish and white, the tip being white all around. The feet are dusky with the toes abruptly white, especially on the front feet. The nasal plate seems rather long and has a well-marked longitudinal central furrow.
Our Chilotes complained of having no food, of losing time, and especially of not having been advised
of our boat to carry. This last they said they positively couldn't do and we believed them after our own experience with it. Arranged with Ignacio Chaura and party to take the little boat and we ourselves to start day after tomorrow weather permitting. A few showers today and wind shifty. Chaura went up river today and killed an otter which I bought for 40 pesos.
Jan. 21-Sunday-The fishermen left early this morning and also the men with our small boat. The weather looked good early in the morning but later was nasty and rainy and we didn't envy them their choice of a starting day. Put in the day finishing specimens, cleaning up and packing. Conover feeling seedy with slight chills and bad stomach.
Jan. 22-Monday-No wind this morning and we were out at 3 and got everything packed into the boat and away at 6:25. The four Chilotes, 2 middle-aged men and 2 young fellows of 20 or thereabouts took the great long oars and pulled
away cheerfully. As we rounded the first point, Sanborn and Conover saw an animal on shore which they thought was a deer. The oarsmen worked like machines and we made fairly good progress. Saw many shearwaters or Sardelas, many penguins, cormorants, etc. The cormorants are of three species, one all black, one black with white under parts, and one with black head, neck, and back and white belly. The last is the least numerous and perhaps is the common species of the Peruvian coast here near its southern limit. For several miles 4 or 5 porpoises played about our boat frequently rising within 20 ft. Passing Ayentema there was quite a heavy swell but the well-loaded chalupa rode the rollers easily and as the tide found us we made good progress. The chalupa is the boat of the country, made of native lumber, pointed at both ends, strong and seaworthy. They come in all sizes. A small
one is a chalupita and a large one a chalupon. They remind of a dory somewhat. Ours carried 9 men and 1,500 lbs. of baggage quite comfortably and four oars propelled it at a good rate.
Coming into San Pedro channel a little south breeze appeared and we hoisted sail for a mile or so. Stopped at a little cove on San Pedro Id. to boil coffee and eat a snack and then went on, the Chilotes again taking the oars and pulling with a steady inhuman machine-like perserverance against both wind and tide. In the canal the current was strong and it was necessary to follow the shore closely in order to take advantage of the eddies and backwaters. The island of San Pedro is higher ground than any we have seen heretofore and the canal is quite picturesque with high banks on both sides and occasionally a rock too steep for any vegetation
to maintain itself. Saw some peculiar red-faced grebes and some steamer ducks, one pair of which had a small brood of young which we failed to secure. They are said to make their nests at some distance from shore at the edge of the monte and their tracks on the adjacent beach give a clue to the situation. The young are now several weeks old. Our boy Juan says he has found nests with 6 eggs and once one with 12 which he thinks was due to 2 birds. At the east entrance to S.P. canal found a small whaling ship anchored. She hailed us and a motley crowd came to her side and asked if we had anything to sell such as fish or mariscos. Met a party from the lumber camp in the bay of Guandad and bought a spotted fawn pudu from them which they had just caught with their dogs. It was unhurt
and exceedingly pretty. It took readily to petting and I had it in my lap much of the time for the rest of the way. Stopped just beyond the canal and cooked a good supper. I supposed the men would want to spend the night and start again tomorrow for they had been rowing hard and almost continuously for 12 hours, but no, they said it might rain tomorrow and they would go on tonight. So we started on just as it was getting dark and dozed or peered ahead at the dim outlines of the land, while the oars clicked regularly for five hours more and the heavy boat gradually gained on the wind and tide. It was a wonderful exhibition of strength and endurance and when one stopped to think that the wage of these men was only 3 pesos per day or about 25 cents Am. gold his sense of the topsy-turviness of Chile
was further increased. It was one of those nights that one remembers - a little drizzling rain, dark and misty, the shore looming up occasionally and then disappearing, long pulls for a point that seemed always a little further on, then the crash of waves on rocks awash as we actually reach the point and the panting cry of the bow oarsman as, without missing a stroke, he cried to the steersman to head "mas a fuera" or "mas al orilla." We were crowded on a pile of baggage in the stern, curled up in various positions--Conover and Sanborn tried to sleep but most of the time I found it too interesting and half reclined. The little deer rattled his tiny hoofs on the canvas when he got uneasy and at other times would lie quietly in my arms. It was chilly and wet but with several coats and sweaters on we didn't suffer.
Jan. 23-Tuesday-Arrived about 2 A.M., roused Don Ruperto for the key to our "cottage by the sea," spurred our jaded oarsmen to assist in carrying the baggage ashore and all hit the hay. This morning I got up to have some coffee and a fried egg with Ruperto but the others slept late. My offers for live deer began to materialize at once and by night, in addition to the fawn, we had two more males, one fully adult and in dark coat, the other a younger male still shedding. A dead one came in also, a fine adult male and of this I saved both skin and skeleton. Misty and showery most of day.
Jan. 24-Wednesday-A busy day skinning deer etc. and trying to dry skins inside with charcoal fire. Wind in west and rain by spells. Sanborn divided the outfit and got ready to leave on the Arturo which is expected tomorrow.
Jan. 25-Thursday-Arturo failed
to appear. Succession of showers most of the day. Bought a young coypu and added him to the menagerie. He snaps at us and growls and at times has a humming sound apparently from his throat. He also clicks his teeth to threaten. He did this when approached by the innocent little fawn which is ready to make friends with any other animal. Gave him a cabbage leaf and put him in a box. He finally ate the cabbage but didn't seem to care much for it. Later we found he had a great fondness for potatoes and by taking advantage of this we got him a little tamer, so that with care we could touch him without causing a rumpus.
Jan. 26-Friday -The Arturo came in about noon and Sanborn and Luis were all ready to start even rolling their beds, but the captain didn't like the weather and said they wouldn't go to Melinka until
next trip. A little hail in one of several showers this afternoon.
Skinned the young male deer which we killed last night and sent the meat to Ruperto. He became quite tame yesterday and I even took off his rope to photograph him. He ate well and drank milk and milk and water from a basin after I rubbed his nose in it and convinced him it was good. His meat, the whole carcass wasted, was only fairly good and seemed rather like goat's meat. The people here often speak of the deer as the "cabra de Chiloé."
Young Ferenberg brought me the skin of a Dromiciops badly prepared and without skull. They are said to live in holes in trees and to be "muy escaso." A story is current of one found in the center of a big tree when split open etc. as per usual.
Jan. 27-Saturday-Sun and showers mixed today. Bought a chungungo or Gato de Mar today from some
Chilotes - who brought it in saying the negocio must be secret, evidently because they had been grub-staked by someone else. It is much smaller than the Huillin and darker in color. At night our livestock is hard to manage. The big deer gets tangled in his rope and thrashes around on the hard floor making a terrific racket. The first night the fawn was alone and slept peacefully on the burlap and towel which I gave him. The next night he was in with the young buck and wandered about all night now and then crying with a plaintive little squeal. When introduced to the yg. buck he immediately prostrated himself to be licked and later tried to nuzzle him. The young buck treated him kindly and I tied them out under the same tree, but in a short time the little fellow began a continuous crying and has been uneasy ever
since. It seemed as if the reintroduction to his kind reminded him of his mother. He is very nosy and curious and will poke about the room investigating everything and everybody. I can make him lie down by placing him on a mat and holding him down forcibly until he gives up and stops struggling and crying and then he lies quiet and lets me stroke him or leave him there. Today was very rainy and we kept him inside where we were working.
Jan. 28-Sunday-The little deer was sick this morning and after a while it was evident it was serious. We fed him a good deal of milk yesterday and played with him a lot. Once we caught him trying to eat an empty match box and very likely he got into something with arsenic on it. He was too weak to stand and we put him in the sun and he had a series of convulsions, kicking his little feet as if to be his end. Finally I had to kill him.
Weather a little better today.
Jan. 29-Monday-Sanborn and Luis took the Imperial this noon for Melincka on a nice calm sunny day. Wilson wires that he will be here in a few days and since we have so many skins partly dry Conover and I decided to wait for the next boat.
Jan. 31-Wednesday-More fine weather and it is evident the "tiempo esta fijo" finally. Writing and doing odd jobs most of the day. Yesterday a coypu was killed on the main waterfront of Quellón, a rare occurrence. It was wandering along the shore and only took to the water when someone started a hue and cry and it was disabled with an oar. Bought and skinned it and found [it to be] a fine old male.
Two chalupas of gateros came in yesterday after a month's trip in the south, Huapiquilan, Guaitecas, Tic Toc etc. They proceeded to get drunk and then to fight. The most popular drinking place is across the street from us and the excitement is nearby. They drink wine, whisky, and pure alcohol and water. Altho very quiet and shy when sober, they get noisy and quarrelsome when drunk. Took a few photos. Went for a walk this afternoon to the hills back of town to take pictures and perhaps pick up a scarce bird but had no luck. The appearance of the country is somewhat changed. The fox gloves have gone to seed and this makes a great difference. The grass is getting brown, berries are ripening and it is the beginning of fall. A large composite with yellow flowers is blooming and at a little distance one might suppose golden rod was here.
at low tide. These are 2-3 ft. long and must be formidable appearing alive in the water. In the afternoon a high S.W. wind broke the bay into white caps and chalupas under full canvas were scudding about. Most of the population of natives here is on the islands Coldita, Cailui, & Laitec where they were originally on account the better grounds for shellfish. Don Ruperto says the whole district of Quellón has nearly 3,000 people but this hardly seems possible. In Quellón itself there can't be more than 5-600.
In the evening a wonderful full moon. It seems like the tropic moon and much stronger than any northern moon.
Feb. 2-Friday-The Huandad came in at 11:30 P.M. last night and for a time we considered leaving on her, but she's such a lousy dirty tub, and we've still so many little things to do, decided to let her go and
take a chance on the Yates being here soon, with the possibility, also, of seeing Wilson. Another beautiful day, but a few clouds hanging about the southern and western horizon. Snow mountains in the east clear and distinct.
Spent the day packing and rearranging outfit. Found the lost cornmeal in the office of La Comunidad where it had been all the time.
Feb. 3-Saturday-More fine weather and nothing to do but sit and wait for the expected steamer. A rumor has it the Yates left Pt. Montt yesterday so she might get here today or tomorrow, but we believe nothing. Worked on accounts and wrote letters. A small boy brought in another of the big beetles known as "Cantarias" and I tried to kill it with tobacco smoke and later with buhach, but although these seemed to stupefy it so it was still, it revived after a time and clawed the inside of the cartridge
box in which it was confined. Many Chilotes in town looking for Wilson and again many drunks who got quarrelsome. They say there are not natives south of here except the few about the Guaitecas with headquarters at Melinka. Formerly there was a tribe in the Chonos which used to come up here raiding and carrying off the women and goods of the Chiloé natives. This tribe is now extinct or absorbed with the people here. Quellón is really the southernmost natural settlement in Chiloé, since Aysén is a recent development under a company concession. Sixteen years ago, there were only three houses on the present site of Quellón. Quellón Viejo, a little to the east is older and shows on older maps, but it amounted to very little. There are now about 200 families in the town and about the bay. The school for boys has about 100 kids and that for girls 70. From this dope, Chiappa thinks the population
must be about 2,000. La Comunidad is a combination of three companies which has a concession for lumbering over all of southern Chile from a point near Queilén, south indefinitely. They paid a lump sum to the gov't (3 million pesos?) and seem to have control of land titles and everything and cannot be ousted except on 10 years notice from the gov't.
Had dinner this evening with Don Victor M. Chiappa, manager of the Comunidad here. Among other things he served a very delicious cordial made from the berries of the luma tree and native aguadiente.
Feb 4-Sunday-A few clouds this morning but perfectly clear later with a brisk west wind. After almuerzo, accepted an invitation to go on a family picnic with the Veras after being assured we could see the steamer if she should come in. Rowed directly across the bay to a sandy beach and lay in the
shade of a flowering "Erryan" [=Arrayan]bush with the old folks while the younger ones went in bathing. Cooked a young lamb on spits and feasted on the the roast with bread and wine, beer, and Chicha etc. with coffee & tea etc. A Dutch picnic with a South American flavor and both enjoyable and interesting.
Still no steamer and patience nearly exhausted.
Feb. 5-Monday-Clear and warm again and more hopes for steamers. For awhile they came in here in flocks and now they seem never to come. Fleas are very bad here and we are hoping that Aysen may be too cold for them if we ever get there. Everyone tells us, the weather is very unusual, but it doesn't help us much, while we are sitting around waiting. The Huandad came in at noon looking dirtier and sloppier than ever after her trip to Aysen. At about 6 o'clock, the Arturo came again from Pt. Montt and left about midnight for Melincka.
Feb 6-Tuesday-Strong S.W. wind and a few clouds about and a little cooler this morning. Played with a yg. parrot Conover bought from a boy yesterday. The Yates is lost somewhere and now we are looking for the Imperial again. "Arturo" came in just after dinner bringing Sanborn & Luis back from Melincka. They came ashore and spent the evening with us, reporting good luck with birds but not much with mammals, Sanborn being able to catch only a half dozen of one species of mouse. They went aboard again at 11 to leave "bien temprano" for Puerto Montt.
Feb.7-Wednesday-Awakened at 5 this morning by whistling which I at first thought was the "Arturo" leaving but soon learned was the "Imperial" arriving in a great hurry. Piled out of bed and hustled things together for a quick get-away paying bills on the dock and leaving our house in charge of the parrot. Found the Imperial in charge of her
owner, Holmberg, a Chilean-born Swede of pleasant manner. Fortunate in finding as a passenger Alan Digby Murray, Administrator General of the Cia Industrial de Aysen, an Englishman of the right sort with whom we soon got well acquainted. Had a good crossing below San Pedro and reached Melinka a little after noon. Saw a few albatrosses and some flocks of small white-rumped petrels while crossing. Also noted a hummer flying high and evidently making the passage from Chiloe to the Guaitecas. Melincka is a very small place with a half dozen houses on one side of a pretty little bay and two or three on the other. The bay was full of steamer ducks and a great many kelp geese were scattered along the rocky shores.
Leaving Melinka we took a straight course down thru the Guaitecas instead of going inside in the wider channels. The sun
was shining brightly and the trip most picturesque among innumerable small islands. They are not all low and have considerable relief which gives many pretty vistas. They are all covered with vegetation but the soil is obviously shallow and the rocks near the surface. In some, the shape of the ledges is clearly outlined beneath the forest cover. Reminds of Alaska, but there's nothing quite like it there. Later turned more east with glimpses into the big channel near the mainland, with the mts. farther back snow-covered and nearer ones showing rocky tops too steep or too high to support vegetation. Few birds but occasionally some Queteres, carrancas & penquins. Passed one small rock covered with cormorants.
Feb. 8-Thursday-Slept last night on our own cots placed on the covered deck in the bow among the winches, all the few "camarrotes"
The vegetation on the banks includes many "Erryan" in flower and other shrubs familiar to us on Chiloe. Large trees stand near the bank and "quila" in new growth abounds. Much of this is quite new and stands like waving bunches of pampas grass in graceful clumps along the shore. Each branch is separate and distinct instead of being twisted and drooping.
Very few water birds and as we are some 40 miles inland from the main channel, probably the more marine types are left behind.
A few turns and we are in more definite banks and come to a clearing on a broad flat where the small cluster of roofs shows the new port of Aysen on a bank which might be on the Yukon River. Went ashore to the rough hotel, kept by an enterprising and bustling Chilote named Rudicindo Vera. Received much advice as to where we should go especially from passengers bound for a place called Balmaceda, about 3 or 4 days inland and only some 30 miles short of Lago Buenos Aires itself. Here they say there are great quantities of birds, huemules, guanacos, ostriches, etc. etc., but we don't care about going so far.
Mr. Murray hurried away advising us to call him up by telephone later. Vera recommended that we go to
Coihaique Alto about 80 miles inland. Arranged to ship our baggage at once by ox cart to Coihaique Bajo and got the stuff loaded this afternoon and sent Juan Vera with it. There were 15 ox carts each drawn by 3 pair of oxen, beasts of tremendous size and strength. Getting them hitched was quite an operation. Most of them seemed well trained and docile and became manageable when a loose rope was thrown over their necks. Some were malazos, bad actors and had to be roped and hauled in and pushed into position by horses which were ridden against them at full speed while their heads were drawn down to the yoke. When finally in, they seemed to submit. Took a walk near the town and saw a few birds almost all of which are represented on Chiloé. Phrygilus, Vio flycatchers, robins, house wrens, Chucaos, Tordos,
white-rumped swallows, one very long-tailed Leptasthenure, several snipes, some teal on the river banks, night herons, buzzards, sparrow hawks, Red-eyed kingbirds. Tucazan are said to here but we saw none.
Feb. 9-Friday-Fine weather still. Arranged with the mail carrier who runs to Balmaceda to get saddle horses to take us as far as Coihaique and planned to start with him this afternoon to get part way. The Imperial was loading cattle, sheep and horses and we joined the party watching the process, the steers being lifted by their horns, the sheep driven down a plank at great risk to their lives and the horse put over in slings. Mail carrier turned up late and had no suitable saddles after the other passenger had gone on. Managed to borrow a saddle from Vera and patched up another collection
of sheepskins, straps, and pieces of carpet which was supposed to be a saddle; but it was then too late to start, so decided to stay in the port another night. It's a picturesque place and a walk in the evening was very pleasant. Some of the lower wooded hills are rounded lomos separated by dipping saddles. Looking up the valley it seems several miles wide with mountains in the distance.
Feb. 10-Saturday-Our man was to show up at 5 but didn't get out till much later and we finally got away at 8:15, leaving him with two pack horses all ready to start. We thought he was right behind us but as we went on he didn't appear. Our horses were plugs and we had no spurs so it was more or less like working our passage. The road led out over the clearing and shortly entered a large swamp with much the appearance superficially of a northern
tamarack swamp. The road is built entirely of hewn logs and wide enough for 4 horsemen or for the big two-wheeled ox carts. Cypress trees are found in some of this swamp but much of it is different. Beyond this swamp we followed the river bank between pretty wooded hills, the road mostly planked but sometimes dirt. About 12 miles up came to the fork of the river and crossed the Manihuales on a bridge where we paid a toll of one peso each. Here the company has a house and a carabinero is stationed. Had a very nice lunch with Sr. Viga, the Co's agent there, and went on up the Simpson striking some stretches where the road was being gravelled. The scenery all along is very beautiful. The forest has many single stand of dark leaved trees. At Balseo and some distance beyond there are many very large trees, quite the largest
we've seen in Chile, some being at least 8 ft. in diameter. On the river a mile or two below Balseo saw a duck which seemed to be a Quetro or Steamer duck. Birds in general rather scarce, mostly robins and Phrygilus. Peaks with little patches of snow here and there and others with treeless summits rocky or sandy. Horses not good and saddles and bridles same--otherwise as pretty a ride as one could take. Much new growth bamboo always very pretty. Saw several steamer ducks in the river which gets quite ing. Began to climb somewhat and got up to 800 ft. early in afternoon. In the upper valley the big timber has been burned and the gray dead trunks stand as a hoary covering over the green bamboo which grows everywhere below. Expected to catch up with two ox carts and finally did so at 6 o'clock and decided to spend
the night with them. Juan was glad to see us and the Capataz was good natured. Juan said the ox drivers were "muy diablos" and inclined to be aloof until he bought them some strong liquor and thereafter they were nice to him. They made their camp easily, turning the oxen out on the back track and the men seeking their beds early.
I found a nest under some waving quila, out of the wind and with my poncho and some of the sheepskins from my saddle made a very comfortable bed which was welcome to my somewhat aching muscles. The Chilean saddle is wide and soft and altho it does not chafe it works on the muscles of the thigh to one unaccustomed to it and quickly makes them very sore. The tea provided by the ox drivers made me a bit wakeful for a time and I lay in my blankets looking up at a beautiful sky and listening
to the gurgling river. The Southern Cross came up from behind a hill across the river but it was such a brilliant night it showed out less than usual. The stars were most wonderful. Just below and just above the cross was one of the deep starless "coal sacks" of the southern heavens and a little to the left was quite a area of milkiness. Farther up toward the zenith were several milky blurs, mare's tails, or indistinct splotches as if one had tried to erase the stars there as on a boy's slate. Just above my eyes a few delicate fronds of bamboo new and delicate swayed gently back and forth.
Feb.11-Sunday-Out early and away at 6:30. Soon began quite steep zigzag climbing and reached 1,800 ft. Then descended to more expanded country and finally reached the estancia at Coihaique at 11:30. Mr. Murray received us
most cordially, showed us real rooms with real beds and sheets, a real bathroom and after a fine luncheon wearing coats loaned by our host we were invited into a billiard room to play billiards with Mr. M. and a German doctor who is part of the colony. We were pretty tired but had to keep up. Then there was tennis, and an inspection of the garden and grounds etc. and later a elaborate tea with a lot of people. After dinner, a game of bridge and finally we got into the soft clean beds after a delicious hot bath.
Feb 12-Monday-Our stuff came in on the ox carts and today we got it into a warehouse or bodega and overhauled it. Late in the afternoon Conover went down to the river and saw 4 spectacled ducks of which he killed 3 beauties. They seem to live in the pools and eddies of swift mountain streams. I went up the mt. side behind
the estancia to set a few traps but found it very dry and unpromising. Saw a few diucas, chincols, robins, and house wrens. Thought I heard a huet huet. Having a bad indigestion and not much ambish [=ambition].
Feb. 13-Tuesday-Clouded up last night and this morning it was raining. This continued most of the day and as I was feeling seedy, I stayed in the house and did some writing. Several mice in traps including at least three species all of which look like Patagonian types. House rats are common in the bodega and about the houses, evidently making the trip up from the Port in the ox carts with the freight. Saw some Diucas and Phrygilus in the garden. Heard parrots. The elevation here is about 1,200 ft. and we are some 3 miles above the junction of the Coihaique and the Simpson.
Feb. 14-Wednesday-More rain today and more indigestion so we make little or no progress. Conover went
out and shot 3 more Spectacled ducks. Juan looked at my traps and I managed to skin a few mice.
Feb. 15-Thursday-Showery today with signs of clearing. Air pretty chilly. Evidently raining hard in El Puerto. Mr. Anderson thinks we may start for Nirehuao tomorrow, so packed thing up, leaving a lot here and a lot to come up in a mule cart, only taking with us our guns and saddle bags. Mr. Murray engaged one Paulino Vera to go with us as Baquiano. Still feeling seedy.
Feb. 16-Friday-Got away at 8:30 with a tropilla of horses, a sulky with Mr. & Mrs. Anderson and their 3 mos. old baby, a nurse girl on caballo, Mr Monroe, capataz at Nirehuao, and Conover & myself, altogether quite a cavalcade. Went up the valley and crossed the wooded hills there at about 2,000 ft. and thence looked on to something like real pampa. Dropped into a big grassy flat where we passed a flock of 20,000 sheep. Reached Coihaique
Alto, where there is a little house and corrals, at noon and had a lunch there. Saw a flock of geese in a swamp and some small plover. A couple small Rheas tame at the house and strings of eggs decorating the walls. Guanaco said to be numerous nearby.
Going on we climbed gradually to 3,500 ft. whence we looked down on great expanse of valley broken by little buttes and rocky knobs, but mostly grassy and very pretty. To the east pampa but brush in the breaks. Looks like Wyoming and parts of eastern Colorado at the foot of the Rockies. Descended and turned northward up the Nirehuao. Saw some lapwings and a Condor. Passed a Tuco-tuco colony at a gallop without much chance to examine it. Arrived at the estancia, marked Casa Richards on our maps, at about 5:45 against a stiff cold N.W. wind coming from the Mts. which were storm swept. The distance of 18 leagues, supposedly
[p 54 miles, was covered almost all at a gallop and my insides, already discompuesto, got such a shaking up that I was unable to enjoy the trip very much. Our hosts, only married 18 mos. ago were very hospitable, and gave us a good room with clean warm beds into one of which I soon put myself.
Feb. 17-Saturday-Fine rest last night and feeling a little better, but the "poisoned pup" feeling hangs on. Went up the Rio Richards a short way and shot a few small birds in what might be the sagebrush county of Arizona. Principal brush is the dark green spiny bush called Calofert (or Calofate) and less common but present on the coast. The large trees are practically all of one kind, called Roble or nirre, but with a small angular seed something like a beechnut but much smaller. The leaves are very small and very numerous. The large trunks have rough bark, but the smaller branches
have smooth ticked bark like a cherry tree. The soil is loose and where cultivated produces well.
Conover went the other way down the Richards to the Nirehuao and out on the open grassy valley where he soon put up a pair of seed snipe and found a dowry young one with them. They fly like snipe and get up with similar cheep cheep. He also saw a lot of Spectacled ducks in the river, many doves, some teal and pintail.
Our host Anderson left at noon for 18 leagues gallop to Rio Verde where the company has its Argentine camp and where he has to settle a squabble between two of his men who got jealous of each other and pulled their guns. Everyone carries a gun here, usually in his belt on his belly in front. Anderson got his experience with sheep at Punta Arenas. He is second to Murray here now and practically has charge of the sheep. They have
about 150,000 sheep and a wool crop worth nearly or quite 3 million pesos per annum. Their land is a 30 yr. concession from the Chilean govt. and although English & Scotch are running it, the directors and owners are mostly Chileans. It was started by a man named Dunn who originally laid out the trail from Pt. Aysen and later started a similar one up the Rio Cisne. This isn't finished yet but promises well.
This evening we were at dinner with Mrs. A. when a Lieut. of Carabineros and some Aduana official arrived in a Ford from Rio Cisne, having made about 120 miles in the day. They came in for dinner and later went to sleep with Capataz Monroe, quite to Mrs. Anderson's relief. Shooting scrapes are common here although there isn't much liquor or drunkeness as compared to the coast. Yesterday there was a knifing at Coihaique Alto and the Carabineros were sent there.
On this side of the line things are much better than in Argentina and life and property are practically as safe as anywhere. Troubles mostly are between half-witted peones or jealous overseers only.
Feb. 18-Sunday-A furious wind last night which shook the house in spite of the protecting trees around it. This wind draws down the Mountains to the pampas and has been continuous since we arrived. The mts. are stormy and a little rain reaches us while farther east there is none. Our stuff hasn't come and word by telephone seems to indicate it may be hung up somewhere. Nothing to do but wait. The house is small and we sit in the dining room on the guanaco skin on the conch and listen to the whistling wind and read the Wide World Magazine and its blood & thunder tales. On one side of the room is a New House Sewing Machine and on the other
a Victor-talking machine. The house is of hewn or hand sawed boards but so well done that after painting it looks almost as good as if made of manufactured lumber. Several outbuildings are of galvanized iron. Along the front of the house is the low-floored but high posted veranda with its collection of saddles.
Feb. 28-The days have slipped rapidly by at Nirehuao, each are much like the other. The weather has been almost continuously bad with storm in the mts. N.W. of us and showers reaching us from time to time. High winds much of the time. This and the cordiality of our hosts has caused us to give up the idea of going into camp especially as we've been able to work from the estancia quite as well. Horses are provided when we want and we have a corner in a little galvanized outbuilding where there is a carpenter's bench
at one end and bales of wool at the other. Near us is the sheep dip or baño and while we work we listen to the excited barking of the dogs and cries of the men as the sheep are put thru the dip. I set a line of small traps up the Rio Richards and found mice of 7 or 8 kinds exceedingly abundant. I've scarcely ever been in a place where they were more so and each day I have much more than I can skin. Perhaps most common is an Akodon or Oxymycterus with a reddish back, gray sides, and white belly. This is found everywhere in low wet bog and in high dry rocky places. Next is a large rat-like Phyllotis-(amicus?) which is in brushy places less open. A soft silky Reithrodon with big ears and a rabbitlike countenance is rather scarce and seems to prefer dry places under the sagelike stuff which grows all over the open hillsides.
This stuff has a small yellow composite flower and slender leaves. It is less woody than sagebrush but reminds much of it in color and habit.
Caught a skunk early in the game and got two little ones from under a shed. The yg. ones were sweet as kittens while alive and evidently could not or would not use their offensive defense, but in skinning them I found they were already provided with it although they were sucklings with no sign of teeth. Up the Richards I saw torrent ducks several times, once to very good advantage when the river was swollen and muddy from rain and the current very swift. They are rather shy but make no attempt to fly and when frightened always make upstream against the current, frequently diving and swimming under water. I could not see that they used their wings except to give a start in diving or
sometimes in skittering. Their tails are some help as can be seen when they haul out on a rock in midstream surrounded by foaming waters. It is amazing the current against which they can make headway.
Foxes are said to be common but I've seen no certain signs and considerable effort to trap them has failed. There are said to be two kinds, one larger and redder, the other smaller and grayer. They call them monte fox or Zorro del monte and Zorro del Tampa. Some 40 or 50 miles east of us armadillos are said to occur and tinamous but if they get this far west it is only rarely. Tuco-tucos are somewhat localized and our nearest colony seems to be the one I saw on the way in. Went down there, about one hour's gallop, and succeeded in catching a hind foot with one of three steel traps. It is
evidently a large species. The holes are usually about bushes and open laterally rather than horizontally as is so common with pocket gophers. They throw out earth at the entrance but at one side and not in a big circular mound. They push loose dirt to partly close the entrance but not so completely as a pocket gopher and it is necessary to reach down inside to find whether a hole is closed or not. They do not like stock and people and are said to have become less numerous in the fenced areas perhaps because of the continual disturbance caused by sheep and cattle stepping in their holes. Paulino Vera continued to watch the traps and finally caught a fine large male. In the high ground they are more numerous than in the valleys and go up to 4,000 ft or more where they seem
to like to work in the loose earth where snowbanks have lain in winter. I haven't been able to hear their calling tuco tuc, tuco tuc. Probably they work during the day, but so far as I can observe they are most active morning and evening.
March 11-Sunday-Still at Nirehuao and still doing fairly well in spite of bad weather. In all the time we've been here, there've been only 4 or 5 days on which it didn't rain. With good food and careful handling, my insides are now in better condition. The diet, however, is rather limited and mutton in various forms is the standby. Fruits are not obtainable and vegetables from the garden are mainly cabbage, cauliflower, and turnips. The possibilities are much beyond this, however, and Mr. A. hopes to enlarge his garden next year. In spring he has very nice strawberries and apples, pears and plums do
well. Oats, barley, and wheat can be raised but development along these lines is mostly yet to come. This year, the exceptionally wet weather in February caught most such crops at harvest time and there was considerable loss. We are getting a lot of the atmosphere of the sheep business and of pioneer life in a country much like the finest parts of western U.S.
We've had two interesting visits from three of the directors of the Cisne Co., Sociedad Ganadera Rio Cisnes. These included Sr. Ismael Percira, Pres. of the Co., and a Chilean millionaire and Diputado or member of the camara in Santiago, a relative of his Agustin Baeza Espiñeira, and H.W. Briest, Gerente and father of Mrs. Anderson. They arrived in a clattering wheezy Ford car, preceded by a retinue of mozos in a light wagon and a tropilla of horses. Percira had considerable luggage and his mozo was so imposing I mistook him for a principal. They tried to go down
their Cisne trail to the mouth of the river where they had the steamer Yates chartered and waiting for them but were able to get only half way, being stopped by a bad crossing of the river which was swollen by the rains. They negotiated the purchase of 7,000 sheep from Anderson and later their head shepherd, a weathered old Scot named Bob Burns, came over to receive them. Burns has been in the country 40 years and 2 years ago went back to Scotland via Panama and New York, the big event of his life - but he was able to find few of his old friends and was glad to get back to the Argentina.
The Lieut. of Carabineros was here again with a party of Carabs. on his way to Cisnes to recover two of his men from the Argentine police. As reported by the Cisne directors, these two Carabs. were traveling on some police mission and one of their horses gave out, so they stopped at the place of a "poblador" or "shanty man" to ask for a fresh horse and as one of them
went to the door of the house, the occupant opened fire on him, evidently being guilty of something and supposing they were coming to arrest him. The other Carab. returned the fire and took the "bandido" prisoner. The Argentine police then came along, took the Carabs. prisoners and released the bandido, which had the appearance that the Arg. police were in league with the bandidos as they say has often been the case. The Chilean Lieut. went after his men with the intention of fighting for them if they were not released at once. This is a fair sample of "border trouble" which is going on all the time. The Chilean and Arg. police are permitted to cross each others frontiers in pursuit of prisoners but when one comes to another's station there must be report and cooperation. Stealing stock and running them over the line and down into Argentina is a favorite pastime. Mr. A. says
Asyén Co., in spite of Carabs. and all its own efforts, is robbed of at
least 5,000 sheep per annum. Just now
Capataz Monroe is out after a thief who was reported to be running off a
"point" of sheep and already well into the Argentine or
"outside" (afuera). He
started 4 days ago with a couple peones and his tropilla and
telephone to Coihaique made arrangements to have a couple carabineros meet him
on the way. One day Anderson and Monroe
set out with their rifles with the intention of killing a horse thief on sight,
but altho they thought they could find him, their information was false and
they came back soon with no blood on their hands. The Carabs. help a good deal and often make important
arrests, but prisoners have to be taken to Pt. Montt and frequently either
escape or buy off some official and get free, so the Co. men say they were
really better off without them. This is
probably not true
and the presence of the Carabs. undoubtedly has a good effect. Individually they are usually brave and willing and well trained. They do not mince matters with their prisoners and shoot at the slightest sign of resistance. In special cases, the Co. men still take the law into their own hands and as Mr. A. says, shooting a horse thief and letting his body lie on the pampa is one of the best things that can happen, but one "mustn't get found out." He tells interesting tales of the way Indians were killed farther south, especially in the Punta Arenas district. Some 2,000 Indians were killed in cold blood by the sheep men. This was within the last 20 years. The Indians would steal sheep and the sheep men started a war of extermination, offering 25 a head for their scalps and ears and altho the details of payment and disposal of the scalps were conducted with
March 20-Tuesday-Still at Nirehuao, but all packed ready to leave. Expected to go this morning but hard rain last night and the night before has swollen the rivers so it seemed hopeless to get our stuff thru even tho we ourselves might get down to Coihaoique on horseback. Last night the Richards overflowed its banks and flooded the gardens and drove some of the peones out of their houses. Conover went to Arroyo Verde a couple days ago to try for "martivetas" which are said to be
there in small numbers. He failed to find them, but was pleased at getting 4 flying steamer ducks from a lagoon on the way and some crested ducks, which were new to the collection. He also shot a guanaco and reported seeing many near the "track," where they were not very wild. A slender-billed plover also common. Cavies were seen in numbers running about under small brush and he brought in one specimen. Very windy out there. Sometimes they say it is practically impossible to go against it and stones are picked up and carried along with it. We can believe most anything of it from the samples we get here. We are well pleased with our results here, but didn't expect to stay so long and now the weather is so bad we'll probably have quite a time getting down to the coast for the "Port track"
down from Coihaique is said to be in very bad condition. Monroe came back a few days ago, having gotten his man, only 25 leagues this side of Comodoro Rivadavia. The man confessed and gave up a bogus bill of sale he had obtained thru collusion of an Argentine "juez" and now they expect to get him too. The Lieut. was here again after going as far as San Martin where he failed to secure the release of his wounded Carabinero from the Argentine police. It seems the Carab. had been drinking and probably was not blameless, but the Chilean gobierno will take the matter up. Mr. Murray was here for a few days for "cattle marking," but returned with the Lieut. in the Cisne Ford which got stuck on the hill at Punta del Monte this side of Coihaique Alto.
Some days ago, Jack Stockley the head shepherd guided me to another
colony of tuco tucos about 2 miles away and I caught two more using steel traps placed in the holes where the laterals connect with thru passages. They fight vigorously when pulled out, standing on the defensive and growling furiously. Heard them calling one evening and couldn't make Tuco tuc out of it although it might be interpreted as Tuk Tuk. There were never more than two syllables at once and these sounded like two hollow raps on a board. They were quite loud and easily heard at some distance although it was difficult to locate just where they came from. Perhaps different species make somewhat different noises. Conover has been several times to the "magín" just north of us on the other side of the narrow valley of the Nirehuao and generally comes back loaded down. I went over once. A "magín" is a green
grassy bog--any wet place that is green. This one is meandered by several ditchlike sluggish streams which narrow down until scarcely noticeable in the grass and therefore easy to step into and down out of sight. In other places they widen into lagoons of several acres extent. The first time Conover was out he fell into one of these ditches allover. Around them is grass growing in water 6 to 18 inches deep. We tied our horses to some tussocks of grass and within 50 ft. began to get among the birds. On the far side of the principal ditch (sanga) where the grass was short many cattle were feeding and among them were great flocks of geese--Aboutordis and Conquenas or Upland and Gray-headed geese. Four or five hundred were immediately in front of us but did not rise until a man was
sent around near them, then they got up and drifted off toward the hills against the brown color of which the white birds and flashing black and white wings made a pretty sight. I started along the ditch where I saw a diving duck or lake duck which I shot for H.B.C. [Conover], then some young widgeons, many yellow-billed and gray teal. A brood of half grown young swans with light grayish brown heads and necks swam excitedly up the ditch away from me and soon disappeared. Later as shooting began and Paulino began beating up birds, flocks of ducks began swinging over and a little later some swans. This was what I wanted to see and they were not lacking. Before the day was over I killed one and had another go by so close I felt as if I could reach
up and touch it. This was while I was crouched in some tall grass looking in the wrong direction when a sudden swish turned my eyes to the big body of a swan flying about 20 ft. from the ground directly over me. They are extremely conspicuous and their black heads and necks stretched out straight in front are sharply contrasted. The slenderness of the neck makes the body seem awkward and poorly shaped when they are flying, but sitting on the water is very different. Several were in a lagoon 200-300 yards from me making one of those beautiful sights not soon forgotten. Although they seem to fly heavily, they go at very great speed and rise from and alight on the water very easily. It is particularly pretty to see one alight with an easy swish and slide on a few feet with its wings slightly
arched and its head held high.
Also saw my first spectacled ducks at close range. As compared to the teal, pintails, and widgeons, they looked rather ornate and their call is most interesting, the resemblance to the bark of a dog being strikingly close. As they fly along, they say wow, wow, and wow-wow with only the slightest suggestion of a quack. When flying they seem short-necked and heavy-bodied.
After waiting for advice and good weather for a couple weeks I finally got away for a few days to hunt huemules and fortunately struck fairly good weather. Took Paulino and one pack horse and went to the foot of the Mt. shown on our maps as the Pico de Richards on the east side of the Richards nearly opposite its source and only some 10 miles from the Estancia although very wild
and little frequented. The Co. fence for a new camp just made this year, runs along the north base of the Mt. and we camped in the "monte alto" among large trees just inside this fence. The trip up occupied only 2 hours and was very enjoyable - the sense of freedom of going away from regular tracks with good horses and a neat little outfit on one pack horse was delicious. Sitting indoors now with dark clouds and continuous rain outside, the imagination is necessary to recount the joys of warm fine days on a pretty mountainside at present covered with fresh snow and swept by wind and clouds.
The first evening I climbed up the side of the Mt. just behind camp for a short hour and was unable to find the slightest sign of huemules and I came in with the feeling that I was in for disappointment with the
prospect of much hunting and no game. The next day with Paulino, however, only 50 yds. from where I had been the night before, we came on an old track and soon after a fresh one and with it the track of a "leon" evidently following it and perhaps actually having put it to flight. We followed this track upwards and then I left it and worked over the top and picked it up again. When I rejoined Paulino, he beckoned and calmly said "alli esta uno" as if it was what was to be expected. Sure enough, there was a huemul standing on the open side of the mountain below us a full quarter of mile from any adequate cover and standing as if on the alert. Paulino was sure it was the one chased by the lion and perhaps this was so. It seemed hopeless to get near it altho P. said they were "muy mansos" and
"nunca disparen," so I thought I'd try a long shot. I fired and it failed to move. I fired again and it continued standing still. Then I began to wonder if it really was a huemul and fancied it was only the shady side of a rock with deceiving outlines. It was so far the glasses helped but little, but shortly I distinguished a slight movement, so I left P. standing in full view and began sliding down the loose rock from one of the few trees to another until I got within about 300 yds. at the last tree between me and the game. I was exposed to view repeatedly and a mt. sheep certainly would have seen me and cleared out but the huemul remained standing almost motionless in the one spot. Taking a rest, I fired from the new position and the animal dropped and rolled over an embankment out of sight. We found it a few
minutes later with a clean shot thru the shoulders. It was a female of good size with pelage in fairly good condition. Perhaps it had just escaped the lion and was standing where it could see on all sides, but this wasn't certain. The lion of course runs very fast for a short distance and then quits if he fails to connect. Skinning the deer and getting it to camp etc. occupied us until 3 in the afternoon and then we set out again going along the open side of the mountain with the intention of working around a small detached hill at the north west end where P. thought there would be huemules. Saw few tracks on the N. side of the Mt. but began to find tracks of guanacos. Crossed on to the saddle connecting with the outlying hill and sat down to look over the country. The whole N. side of the Mt. was now visible and the beautiful valley
of the Richards below with the higher peak of Le Mano Negro in the distance. On the N. side of the Richards was a big monte solid forest covering a whole mountainside up to about 4,000 feet and then a top of sand and a few patches of snow.
Above the timber then seems to be only sand without vegetation. This is the case with most of the higher peaks and there is no paramo flora or fauna. With the glasses, I made out a huemul far down towards the other end of the Mt. feeding and walking in the open near a small bush. It was a long way off and it was late in the day but I wanted to try for it. P. was for going straight at it, but I couldn't see any chance there, doubtless influenced by my experience with Mt. sheep, so we dropped down the mt. to get in the cover of the monte and work along until we could come up the small quebrada on
the side of which the huemul was feeding. We hadn't gone far until we saw a second deer with the first and on the other side of the little draw were five guanacos scattered about. Seeing two kinds of big game at once is rather a rare experience nowadays outside of Africa and it was fascinating to me who had never seen either of these before. As we went on our huemul moved about a bit, but kept to the same general vicinity. We couldn't help exposing ourselves now and then and at half a mile away the guanacos saw us and started up the mt. The huemules were nearer, but if they saw us gave no signs of it. When we reached the small quebrada, our game was in full sight 500-600 yds. above us and nearer approach seemed difficult, but just then we saw 4 other huemules farther on where they were on a grassy
slope beyond an outcropping rocky butte to which I could crawl without being seen. So the first bunch was left and on crawling up to the rock I found myself still a good 250 yds. away. The animals were at peace, one lying down and three others feeding. I couldn't make out whether any had horns or not but picked the largest one and fired and missed, at which they turned and stood at attention. The second shot dropped one in its tracks, but the other three didn't run and stood about in a dazed sort of way. One of them sniffed at its dead companion and walked around it. The others stood some 50 ft away. I then showed myself and walked directly toward them across the completely open grassy slope, but they paid no attention to me. I continued, expecting them to run at any minute, but they
only walked about stiffly and the most that could be said was that they edged slightly up the hillside. Finally I reached the carcass of the dead one and tied a handkerchief on it and then turned to the live ones. They had their heads up and their eyes stared with looks of astonishment and curiosity, but they showed no fear or panic. The dead one was a very old female and probably their leader. The other three were 2 younger females and a young buck with small knobs of horns. Their nervousness was principally indicated by the stiffness with which they slowly stalked back and forth raising their legs slowly and deliberately almost with the effect of a goose step. I walked toward the nearest one and he flicked his tail quickly but would not retreat. I was within 30 ft. of him and picked up a pebble and threw or rather
On our way back we came to the first bunch of huemules sighted still in their original position and apparently not alarmed by the recent rifle shots certainly within their hearing scarcely more than a quarter of a mile away. The light was poor but I managed to make out horns on one of them so hurried it to get a shot at him. The horns of the huemel have no spread to speak of and few points so it is difficult to see them even in a good light. My buck started walking away and I couldn't get a broadside view of him so had to shoot at his hind quarters and in the poor light and the short range of 75 yds. I shot over him several times and then he got into the small trees and among the does from which I couldn't distinguish him and I got a bit nervous and shot away my remaining cartridges without getting him. Returned to camp a little after
dark at a good pace. My first day of real hunting and I had seen 8 and killed 2. The next day we started early to take the skin of the female killed the night before. The weather was fine. As we passed to the far side of the spur hill, four huemules started up and went around the side of the hill at a trot. This was the first time I'd seen one go faster than a walk and the first time they'd actually fled at sight of me. Going on, we passed the place where I'd done all the shooting at the male and only 100 yds. or so farther on I spied him lying down under a tree about 500 yds. directly above me. I was careless by this time and shouted to Paulino, who had pushed ahead. At this, the buck got up and started to move up the mt. side, but evidently didn't go far and I could still see two of the does acting not particularly alarmed. It was obviously the buck of the
night before and after all the shooting he had moved less than half a mile, mostly straight up the mountain. I left Paulino standing where the deer could see him and started around a point and up the very steep slope of loose rock and tufts of grass etc. It was a hard climb but I finally got a sight of my buck among some trees and moving on slowly. The badly sighted rifle failed me again, but the shot struck near and he made a quick jump and disappeared on the run as any proper deer should. As P. told me later, he and his does continued running well up into the pastures near the top of the mt. I didn't know this, however, and took his trail well-marked in the loose earth. A short distance on I saw a good buck again walking slowly and made good allowance for the high shooting of the rifle, aiming carefully
for just below his knees and altho he was partly hidden by trees, made a hit which staggered him and he ran toward me and then stood braced between a tree and a face of rock evidently badly hit. Another shot and he rolled down some 40 ft. until his hind leg caught in a dead tree and he stopped half suspended on a steep slide. He was a beauty in finer coat than I had expected and fat and strong with a good average four-pointed head. Heads of as many as 9 points are said to occur, but it is rare that there are more than 4. His weight might be 250 lbs., perhaps more. Certainly he was a big strong deer, very heavily built thruout. His haunches are especially well-rounded and in measuring him the hip joint required some search. Full rounded haunches seem to be characteristic. Skinning him took most of the forenoon
and the sun, which has shone so little, saw fit to blaze and during this time, while the female killed the night before was lying fully exposed to it. However, she seemed still in good condition when we reached her and took off the skin. The hdkf. tied to one of her legs had effectively kept off the condors altho several were soaring about evidently hoping for a clear coast. Got the skins into camp late in the afternoon, Paulino carrying the macho and I the female over the rough trail. A little real work seemed to agree with me.
Next day I left P. to work a little on the skins and get ready to leave while I went straight up to the top of the Mt. and around the farther side which we hadn't yet seen. I hoped to get a few new birds and perhaps
a photo of a huemul alive, but in both was disappointed. There is no paramo or puno fauna or flora here that is recognizable. The mt. tops are sandy or rocky and above the timber there is little or no vegetation. The only bird seen on this mt. was one something like a flycatcher or Cinclodes, but with a pure white tail. I think I've seen something like it in Peru. On the far side of the mt sighted several guanaco in a pretty glade beyond which was a shining round lagoon and thence farther on monte alto and snow-bedecked peaks. The combination was about as beautiful as could be wished. The guanaco were very light-colored and I suspect may really have been vicugnas altho the natives here insist there are none in the region. There were 4 adults and 2 small yg. One old one stood apart and had every indication
of acting as a lookout. They were feeding or lying down and once two of them left the glade to go to the hillside and roll in a sandy place. Another came down the mt. to join them making 7 in all and they mixed around. I could get no nearer than 500-600 yds in a small clump of stunted trees and even then they kept looking my way. They reminded of a small party of African antelopes according to my idea of this and I sat for nearly and hour watching them and enjoying the sight which was really one of the choicest possible. At my showing myself, they ran full tilt up the rocky slope to the very top of the mt. Later as I went across to the top of the ridge beyond them I spied one long neck and then several of them silhouetted against the sky on the tip top of everything. Back to camp and down to the estancia.
A couple days later went to Pampa Alta beyond Baño Nuevo to look for ostriches and guanacos.
Stopped a few hours to "part" sheep at B.N. and then rode in a brisk breeze out into "puro pampa," still hilly and broken but wholly devoid of trees or bushes - only the bunch grass. (--- started) a couple ostriches and by some chance which I didn't see, Juan & Jack Stockley ran one of them into a corral and there killed it with a club. It was "nuevo" or somewhat immature, not large, and exceedingly fat, so as I expected guanacos later, I didn't try to skin it but took only the wings and Jack took the skin of the neck to make a tobacco pouch. They look good to eat, but the natives here don't care much for them and at the most eat the wings. Farther on saw several more single birds and one bunch of 8 or 9 together. They run at a half a mile and get out of sight very fast. They sway slightly from side to side and are not very conspicuous until they start moving. They are said to nest in October and the macho has several females
and he himself does the incubating. Sighted 5 guanacos and after a long detour in which Juan & Jack tried to drive them toward Anderson and myself, I got a flying shot at their tails at 300-400 yds. and did no damage. They looked darker and heavier than the ones I saw on the mt. Later saw various scattered bunches of 4 or 5 but couldn't get a shot except at one single which jumped near us and offered a shot at 200 yds. but we had to shoot offhand standing crosswise to a gale of pampa wind and it is small wonder we both missed. Saw a beautiful flock of flamingoes in a open lagoon. These are common and said to be here all the year round but the oldest inhabitants say they've never met anyone who knew when they nest. A long hard ride home, arriving after dark.
March 17-Conover went to Arroyo Verde yesterday and back tonight. Got a guanaco and a cavy & (su ante)
March 21-Wednesday-Finally left Nirehuao and by good luck had a day without rain and got thru to Coihaique Bajo between 9 A.M. & 6:30 P.M. stopping 1 1/2 hrs in Coihaique Alto.
March 29-Thursday-A week in Coihaique at the Casa Major of Administrator Alan Digby Murray. Rain every day until yesterday and telephones to Port down and no news except general knowledge that bridges are washed out and fords impassable. Yesterday was partly clear and rivers dropped a bit and this morning Mr. M. started for the Balseo to learn how much damage has been done. A Carabinero got thru yesterday reporting very bad conditions. We are stuck, at least our baggage is, for we might get thru ourselves by swimming on horses across these rivers but there's no way to get our stuff down without wetting and ruining it.
March 31-Saturday-With best efforts couldn't get started till 9:45 this morning, but weather has cleared and we had a bright sunny day. Took one "carguero" with light collecting outfit and clothes and this held us back some. Much more snow in mts. then when we came up making many pretty views. Below the Caracoles or Bagnaules hills the trail had been completely washed out and the Simpson was running strong, but we were able to get around quite well. Conover got into one bad mudhole and his horse floundered badly but just did get out. Crossing the Coihaique, had to hold our feet out of stirrups as these went under and the water reached the horses' bellies. The Correntoso and Moro had gone down and offered no difficulty. The lower part of the trail was especially wet and bad, horses stumbling, sliding, and floundering. The Embarrillada or Corduroy is mean when it is dry but wet is worse and altho they gallop over it, the chances of injuring horses is great. Reached Balseo at 8 P.M. a little after dark with Juan & the carguero, Conover having gone ahead to arrive about 6:30.
April 1-Sunday-Established ourselves for work in the seccion house, Weather mild and slightly threatening.
April 6-Friday-Fairly good weather in "The Balseo" and able to keep out mouse traps, but "monte grande" difficult to get into. Mice seem to be fairly 3 or 4 species similar to common kinds on Chiloé. Birds also similar to those of Chiloé. The Vios seem to have gone and the Phrygilus very scarce. Saw two torcazas in the 5 days. Conover got a flying Steamer duck in an eddy in the river and some Spectacled ducks. Robins common and tordos or blackbirds are in flocks. Few house wrens and Scytelopus with much white on head. The little Aphrastura very common and in layer flocks. Very inquisitive and responsive to squeaks. Having head down like a titmouse or runs up trunks like other dendrocolaptids. Blk and Turkey vultures and Sparrows Hawks common. Many hummers about the Fuchsia bush which is still in flower. Hummers very abundant all along the trail more so than anywhere previously. While in Balseo the Lieut. and the dentist and Mr. Cleland came
thru and later a bunch came up from the port including two women and three small children--a pretty hard trip. Our host Prospero Vega was agreeable but apologized by saying "aqui hay poco comodidad" which was quite true. I've been living mostly on bread and milk and my stomach is slowly improving.
Yesterday we intended to leave to catch the Imperial but reports were mixed and we sent Juan hastily to the Port to try and hold her. Meanwhile word came that the Gerente Mr. Searle was coming and she would wait for him.
Got started at 11 this morning and found the first part of the trail fairly good or better said relatively good. Later on the old track which we took when we got to where the Carters were working on "The Pangal" we had several bad paseos when the horses floundered or fell about just getting-thru by an eyelash. In one place several dead horses were piled up and we dismounted and led our horses across. Reached the port about 2:30 and went to the
dirty Chilote infested hotel. The Gerente and Mr. Ross came in about dark and everything ready to start tomorrow.
April 7-Saturday-The Imperial loaded her cargo of 29 cattle, 10 horses, and 280 sheep and got away at 10 A.M. The poor cattle are handled brutally, packed in closely and have to remain so for 3 to 5 days without food or water. Slid down the river quickly with fog and clouds hanging about the mts. so we could see only glimpses of the small glaciers or ventisquieros on their tops. By noon the wind increased and blew a gale up the estero so the ship barely held its own. This bettered a little in the afternoon. Went to anchor in a little sheltered shore at 6 P.M.
April 8-Sunday-Weather improved at night and this morning we are approaching Melinka at noon with warm sunshine but surrounding clouds. Distance from Aysén to Pt. Montt said to be 180 miles. Crossed El Golfo in 6 hours and
passing outside of Quellón continued in the Gulf of Corcovado. Mt. Corcovado dimly visible and a good sunset in west but nothing equal to those of some weeks ago.
April 9-Monday-This morning early we are in Chonchi and an hour and a half later in Castro where Juan left us with his 3 mos. pay in his pocket. Had a wait in Castro for Juez to get up and hear testimony of our Capt. on a ------ from the ship last trip. Some of the buildings in Castro look big to us now. The barefooted straight-calved women in the street reminded again of Quellón. The little ponies with the short little saddles etc. Quite a number of good stores and many people in the streets.
Surrounding country well divided into plots like Old World. At a distance it looks neat and prosperous and if one didn't know the dirt and Indian shiftlessness really there he would think it one of the finest countries in the world. Continued in pretty canals well populated on both sides, houses every half mile and potato and grain patches above. Churches with small spires here and there
and occasional bunches of Lombardy poplar which are now yellow and help to make the country look old and settled instead of wild and new like the southern part of the island. Fine weather and reach Golfo at end of Chiloé before 5 P.M. with a smooth Pacific for the short crossing to Calbueo where the fabricas are of conservao and mariscos.
April 10-Tuesday-Reached Pt. Montt about 3 A.M. and got off at 7 paying two robbers 20 pesos to land us in the Hotel Hein, a typical German establishment where more Dutch than Castellano is spoken. Got mail which was disappointingly little in quantity except from Sanborn from whom there were no less than seven letters. Sent several telegrams cables etc. and stopped around the muddy streets in a steady rain buying milk bottles, nipples, sugar of milk and various other things for the Anderson baby in order to get them off on Imperial which is returning immediately. Went to movies in evening with Searle & Ross.
April 11-Wednesday-Not quite so much rain today, but showers every hour or two. Arranged for a place to work, to set traps, write, etc. Met a German jeweler who shoots and has a couple pointer dogs. Says there are scattered tinamou in this vicinity and near here a great many swans. Mr. Trim showed me some skins including the "Zorro colorado" from Aysén which is indeed red and very pretty.
April 12-Thursday-Better weather and the morning opens with a little sunshine after raining all night. Said good bye to the Gerente, Sr. Arturo Searle L., Casill 1423, Valp’o, or Av. Agua Santa, 382 Viña del Mar. Went out and set some mouse traps along the R.R. line going out thru upper end of town. Streets full of small dogs - half fox terriers and half dachshund - good index of the owners. Along R.R. is gravel and clay bank with thick brush - wild rhubarb, fuschsia, quila, great thickets of blackberries heavy with fruit but rather tasteless. Ground farther back mostly cleared and with scattered second growth. Passed a house and grounds labeled "Quinta Hindenburg." Much signs of house rats.