Page:The Present State of Peru.djvu/482

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been partly explored by the licentiate Don Pedro Valverde, president of the Maynas missions.[1] A wish to tranquillize his flock, and to recover a few strayed sheep, had impelled him to engage valorously in an enterprise which did not present any idea to the imagination, beside that of the risk of becoming the victim of the barbarity of the ferocious Panos. Having ascended as high as Sarayacu, experience demonstrated to him the extent of what can be effected by a truly apostolical spirit. The savages humbled themselves in his presence; and, being desirous not to quit their ancient abodes, beseeched him to supply them with some one who should instruct them in their religious duties; thus expiating the death of the Franciscan monks, the particulars of which were given in the historical details relative to the missions of Caxamarquilla.

To gratify the wishes of the Panos Indians, the virtuous guardian of Ocopa stimulated father Girbal to set out with all promptitude, promising him his most cordial co-operation. His deeds proved the sincerity of his words, since, in concert with the generous Don Juan de Salinas, he afforded to the latter all the succour he could possibly administer. Having supplied him with agricultural implements, and whatever beside was necessary to distribute among the Indians, father Sobreviela took leave of his kind hosts, and on the above-mentioned 26th of August, at ten at night, set out on his return. In ascending the Huallaga, the canoes navigated at the rate of three-fourths of a league an hour. The voyage was in every part prosperous, and was concluded on the 27th of September, at the confluence of the river Monzon, and town of Playa-Grande, the port of embarkation. From Playa-Grande he travelled, by the broken ground of Monzon, to Chicoplaya, to execute an order of the supreme governor; and taking the new road constructed by Don Juan Bezares,[2] entered Chavin de Pariaca on the 9th of October. Thence directing his course to Tarma, he passed, on the 13th, the source of the Maranon, which is the lake Yauricocha, situated in the plains of Bombon, in 10 degrees 14 minutes: its length is about a league, and its breadth the one half. The Maranon, or Tunguragua,[3] where it originates, has an extension of twenty-five yards, with a proportionate depth, at the seasons when the waters diminish.

  1. In the prefatory matter, we mentioned that father Ricter, a Jesuit belonging to the Maynas conversions, had ascended by the Ucayali. Not any one would undertake this afterwards, until it was attempted by the above-mentioned president, whose MS. relation is lodged in the archives of our Society.
  2. See p. 344, under the head of Topography.—An itinerary from Chavin de Pariaca to Chicoplaya, will be given in the sequel.
  3. Those who will not allow that the river here cited is the real trunk of the Maranon, bestow on it the latter name.