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of eight millions of dollars, or one million,
six hundred and fifty thousand pounds;
but the returns now do not probably reach
half that sum. There is in the city a government
establishment, at which all the silver
is marked before being sent to Lima. It
is usually melted into large oblong flat bars,
some of which weigh from sixty to eighty
pounds. These are conveyed to the capital on
mules, commonly with no protection except
that of the mule-drivers, although the Sierra
maybe swarming with the bandit montoneros.
These gentlemen do not consider it convenient
to intercept the silver on its downward
passage, they preferring to wait for the coin
that is returned in payment. With this
upward freight a strong escort is always sent,
and when it is attacked, a fierce battle ensues,
that often ends in favour of the robbers.

The singular accoutrements of the horsemen
are among the first things that attract
the attention of the stranger in Peru. If the
rider be a rich man, the horse is almost
hidden by a multitude of straps and ornaments.
The saddle is made very high both
on pummel and crupper, leaving just room for
the rider to wedge himself into his seat
between them. Under the saddle is the
pillow, an alpaca or goat's skin, dyed black,
with the wool combed out or twisted with
silver wire into short curls, lengthened sometimes
with long fringes of dyed alpaca wool.
The stirrups are heavy and clumsy; each is
a solid piece of wood, often measuring twelve
inches square at the bottom, and gradually
tapering to a point where it is attached to the
saddle by a silver ring; on one side an
opening is scooped out for the foot: the other
three sides are all highly polished, often carved
beautifully and inlaid with silver. The bit is
very heavy; often of silver. The head-band
is adorned with a long fringe of plaited strips
of leather; and the reins, which are separate,
pass through a silver ring, one of them being
continued in a long lash. In addition to the
bridle, the horse's head is encumbered with a
leathern halter covered with silver ornaments.
The spurs are the most preposterous
part of the whole equipment. They are so
formed, that the wearer can walk only on his
toes. The stem of the spur is often twelve
inches long, and the rowel six inches in
diameter. Amongst the wealthier classes,
these spurs, also, are frequently of silver.
Every horseman wears the poncho; and
some ponchos, from their splendid colours
and fine texture, are a costly article of dress.
The horses that bear these encumbrances are
small, but they are well made and active;
they are not allowed to trot, but taught a sort
of amble which, when the rider becomes
used to it, is an easy kind of motion. It is
very rapid. Horses are but seldom used for
draught, as, even in the low country, asses are
the ordinary beasts of burden. These are
bred in vast numbers, and troops of them are
constantly passed by the traveller on all the
roads: they have no head-gear, but are driven
in the same manner as cattle, the driver
riding behind armed with a long whip. These
poor animals are most cruelly treated. Peru
has been called "the heaven of women, the
purgatory of husbands, and the hell of asses."
The last clause of the proverb cannot be
questioned.

The taste for gambling, so prevalent
throughout South America, is most strongly
developed at Ceno de Pasco. Public lotteries
are drawn every week, and sometimes every
day in the week. The streets are continually
infested by fellows crying "A thousand
dollars to-morrow! "These men carry
books, from which they tear, for each
customer, a ticket price one shilling, giving
him or her a chance in the next lottery. The
prize is sometimes as large as five thousand
dollars, with intermediate ones of smaller
amount. I believe that the strictest impartiality
and fairness characterise the drawing.
All these lotteries are under government
control.

The billiard and montero tables are in
constant request; dominoes is a favourite
game in the caf├ęs, but those games at cards
which are rapid in their results and depend
wholly upon chance, have irresistible attractions
for all classes. The shaven priest,
decorated with cross and rosary, may be
frequently seen playing with the ragged
Indian, and instances are told of the wealthy
mine proprietor losing, in a night, every
dollar he possessed, to one of his own ragged
men.

The cock-pit is a favourite amusement.
The combatants are armed with one spur
only; this is a flat, curved, two-edged blade,
very keen, and finely pointed. The first blow
commonly decides the battle, and both cocks
are often killed. Hundreds of dollars change
hands every minute; the excitement of the
bettors is intense, and, even here, on the
afternoon of the Sabbath, which is especially
appropriated to the cock-fight, the priest
hands round his begging box, or lays his
dollar on a favourite bird.

Ceno de Pasco, although so high up in the
world, and so close to the region of eternal
snow, has, nevertheless, a tolerable warmth
during the day. The nights are all frosty,
and a dense fog often envelopes the Puna.
Excessively heavy rain falls at certain periods
of the year. But the most sublime spectacle
on the Andes is a thunder-storm. It is an
event of frequent occurrence in the tablelands,
and I had the good fortune to witness
one of extraordinary grandeur. It is
impossible to convey any idea of the magnificence
of the spectacle.

The lightning plays round the summits of
the mountains in a constant succession of
brilliant flashes, whilst the thunder is
prolonged through the deep ravines and distant
valleys, until the echo of the one peal and
the crash of another blend together in one