The Death of a Friend

The people of this place procure their water from springs that are nine miles off, which is brought in every morning on asses in what are called callabashes, that hold from fifteen to twenty gallons each. After staying at this place five months, myself and two others started with one ass loaded with water and provisions for Peuro, situated one hundred miles south east from Payta. The country through which we passed was a sandy desert, without a shrub or spire of grass to cheer us on our way. At night we slept on the sand and had no other shelter than the canopy of the heavens afforded. We were five days on our journey. There was no water to be seen during our whole journey, nor a single house or cultivated spot. The sands drift as the snow does in the northern parts of America. When I arrived at the place of our destination, I engaged to work for a Spanish gentleman called Don Francisco. This man owned a distillery in which I labored two months. Then I went about 70 miles further into the country, to a place called Apputaria, which was situated on the Columbian mountains. Here I labored five months on a farm, for a man named Tarbury. The people in this vicinity are Spaniards, and are very hospitable to strangers. Here the people live by raising sweet potatoes, corn, cotton and sugar cane. Here I stayed six months and enjoyed myself very well. The religion of this people is the Catholic.

The only man with whom I had formed an acquaintance who was from the United States, was a Cape-Cod man. This man and myself had lived together from the time I landed at Payta. From Apputaria we started about the first of March, 1834, and went again to Peuro, where my companion died, far from home and friends, in a foreign land. He had no kind friend to close his eyes for the last time, except the writer of this narrative, who rendered him such assistance as was in his power to render, and when he slept in death, procured him such a burial as was in accordance with the custom of the country.


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