The Questions, "Where Have You Come From?"
"Why Have You Come?" Were Asked And Answered, And I, In Return,
Learned Much Of This Strange Tribe.
Mate was served, but whereas in
the outside world a rusty tin tube to suck it through is in
possession of even the poorest, here they used only a reed.
astonished to find the mate sweetened. Knowing that they could not
possibly have any of the luxuries of civilization, I made enquiries
regarding this, and was told that they used a herb which grew in the
valley, to which they gave the name of ca-ha he-he (sweet herb).
This plant, which is not unlike clover, is sweet as sugar, whether
eaten green or in a dried state.
There was not a seat of any description in the hut, but the king
said, "Eguapu" ("Sit down"), so I squatted on the earthen floor. A
broom is not to be found in the kingdom, and the house had never been
A curiosity I noticed was the calabash which the king carried
attached to his belt. This relic was regarded with great reverence,
and at first His Majesty declined to reveal its character; but after
I had won his confidence by gifts of beads and mirrors, he became
more communicative. One day, in a burst of pride, he told me that the
gourd contained the ashes of his ancestors, who were the ancient
kings. Though the Spaniards sought to carefully rout out and destroy
all direct descendants of the royal family of the Incas, their
historians tell us that some remote connections escaped.
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