Through Five Republics On Horseback Being An Account Of Many Wanderings In South America By G. Whitfield Ray
 -  I departed on horseback to inspect a
tract of land on another frontier of Bolivia 1,300 miles distant.




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I Departed On Horseback To Inspect A Tract Of Land On Another Frontier Of Bolivia 1,300 Miles Distant.

PART III.

PARAGUAY

[Illustration: AN INDIAN AND HIS GOD NANDEYARA]

"I need not follow the beaten path; I do not hunt for any path; I will go where there is no path, And leave a trail."

PARAGUAY

Paraguay, though one of the most isolated republics of South America, is one of the oldest. A hundred years before the "Mayflower" sailed from old Plymouth there was a permanent settlement of Spaniards near the present capital. The country has 98,000 square miles of territory, but a population of only 800,000. Paraguay may almost be called an Indian republic, for the traveller hears nothing but the soft Guarani language spoken all over the country. It is in this republic that the yerba mate grows. That is the chief article of commerce, for at least fifteen millions of South Americans drink this tea, already frequently referred to. Thousands of tons of the best oranges are grown, and its orange groves are world-famed.

The old capital, founded in 1537, was built without regularity of plan, but the present city, owing to the despotic sway of Francia, is most symmetrical. That South American Nero issued orders for all houses that were out of his lines to be demolished by their owners. "One poor man applied to know what remuneration he was to have, and the dictator's answer was: 'A lodgment gratis in the public prison.' Another asked where he was to go, and the answer was, 'To a state dungeon.' Both culprits were forthwith lodged in their respective new residences, and their houses were levelled to the ground."

"Such was the terror inspired by the man that the news that he was out would clear the streets.

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