Alexander K Macdonald.

Picturesque Paraguay, sport, pioneering, travel: a land of promise, stock-raising, plantation industries, forest products, commercial possibilities online

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Online LibraryAlexander K MacdonaldPicturesque Paraguay, sport, pioneering, travel: a land of promise, stock-raising, plantation industries, forest products, commercial possibilities → online text (page 1 of 21)
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II
III

IV

V

VI

VII



A South American Arcadia .
Economic Problems
Forest Products . . . •
Agriculture and Cattle-Raising .
A Modern * Mayflower ' Episode
Attempt to Realize Utopia .

What Shall we do with our Boys ?

A Week in the Woods

Fruit Ranching . . • •

Sport in Central South America.

Proposed South \merican Chartered

PANY . . . . •



PAGE
23

33
40

54
64

76

91
109

122

132

143
152
160

. 172
. 186'
. 204
. 217



An



COM-



238

253

269

282
294

306



14



CONTENTS



CHAPTER

XXIV.
XXV.



^



XVI.



XXVII.
XXVIII.

XXIX.

XXX.

^XXXI.

XXXII.
XXXIII.
XXXIV.

XXXV.



Health Notes for Hot Countries

A New Plantation Industry

A Romance of Jesuit Mission Work : An
Experiment in State Socialism and
Social Reform .....

A South American Revolution .

Backwoods Life ......

The Tropics or Temperate Zones

Historical Notes ...'...

Actualities and Possibilities of Commerce .

Geographical Features ....

Government Colonies .....

Unknown Animals in Paraguay and the Chaco

The Very Latest .....

Appendix . . . . ...



PAGE



352

377

388

405
421

436
446

458

474

486

499




List of lUustratiorvs



UDith Pictorial Notes



PARAGUAYAN CENTRAL RAILWAY STATION, ASUNCION

FAIR DAUGHTERS OF THE SOUTH

NEW RAILWAY BRIDGE, PIRAPO

RIVER SCENE, CHACO SIDE .

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, ASUNCION

THE CATHEDRAL, VILLA RICA

ON TREK ....

A FOREST ' PICADA '

RAFT ON THE TEBICUARY-MI .

DOM MIGUEL FARIA, A HERO OF THE WAR

WAITING AT THE FERRY

THE BANCO AGRICOLA, ASUNCION .

CEDAR LOGS FLOATING BY THE RAILWAY

CATTLE-BRANDING UPON AN ESTANCIA

A CONTRAST IN AGRICULTURAL METHODS

A VILLAGE BELLE

BANANA PLANTATION — EXTERIOR

A FRUIT RANCH, VILLA RICA

BANANA PLANTATION — INTERIOR

THE GUAYRA FALLS

A RIACHO IN THE CHACO

OLD JESUIT CHURCH, CANGO.

PARAGUAYAN ARTILLERY

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD

A MILKMAID IN THE TROPICS

A RAILWAY IN THE MAKING

settler's COTTAGE

A PLANTATION OF SUGAR-CANE

CENTRAL OFFICES OF THE * INDUSTRIAL PARAGUAYA *



BRIDGE, TEBICUARY-GUAZU



PAGE
II

21

52
62

74
107

120

130

141

150
170
184
202

215

236

267
280
292

304
318
338
350
375

403
419

434
456
472
484



ONE OF THE SEVEN FALLS OF THE IGUAZU . . .

GRAN HOTEL DEL PARAGUAY, VILLA EGUSQUIZA, ASUNCION

15



32

35



i6



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



PLAZA CONSTITUCION, ASUNCION

RIVER SCENE, CORRIENTES . . . .

COUNTING-HOUSE OF KRAUCH AND CO., IMPORTERS AND EXPORTERS

ASUNCION

THE ALTO-PARANA . . . . . " .

BRITISH CONSULATE, ASUNCION ......

LADIES IN ASUNCION

RIVER STEAMER AT THE CUSTOM-HOUSE, ASUNCION
MARKET-PLACE, ASUNCION .......

STREET IN ASUNCION .......

COUNCIL CHAMBER, BANCO AGRICOLA, ASUNCION

A COUNTRY STORE . . . . . .• .

GATHERING PARAGUAYAN TEA ......

SOUTH AMERICAN COWBOY . . . . .

CALLE PALMAS, ASUNCION .......

BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION, RIO PIRAPO .....

TIMBER-CARTS — ALL WOOD WHEELS .....

CRAMER AND WEYER, MERCHANTS, ASUNCION.

POLICE magistrate's OFFICE, CARAPEGUA ....

A WHOLESALE WAREHOUSE : BRUN AND CO., IMPORTERS AND EX

PORTERS, ASUNCION .......

LOCAL ENTERPRISE I PABLO MEILICKE's LEATHER AND SADDLERY

WAREHOUSE, ASUNCION .......

A PUBLIC SQUARE, ASUNCION

URRUTIA, UGARTE, AND CO., IMPORTERS AND EXPORTERS, ASUNCION

A BACKWATER ON THE RIO PARAGUAY

COLONEL ALBINO JARA

COOKING UPON A RAFT

INTERIOR OF A WAREHOUSE ! CENSI AND PIROTTA, IMPORTERS AND

EXPORTERS, ASUNCION

GROUP OF PARAGUAYAN LADIES, CARAPEGUA ....
LAPIERRE AND CO., GENERAL MERCHANTS AND CIGAR AND TOBACCO

EXPORTERS, ASUNCION

PEREZ AND SANJURJO, IMPORTERS AND EXPORTERS, ASUNCION.

PALM FOREST IN THE CHACO

OTTO ZINNERt's GUNSHOP, ASUNCION

CABRERA, BENITEZ, AND CO., GENERAL IMPORTERS AND EXPORTERS

VILLA CONCEPCION, ALTO-PARAGUAY ....

BANCO MERCANTIL DEL PARAGUAY, ASUNCION



PAGE

47

57

67

79

85
90

95

135
177

193
207

225

243
252

257
262

273
285

311

327

343
361

381

389

395
411

425
441

449
463

477
493



Ii\tpoductioi\

The eyes of the world to-day are upon South America.
After centuries of neglect she is at last beginning to
take her proper place as the natural outlet for the
seething populations of the old world. It comes as
a revelation to most English people that a cosmo-
politan population in the Argentine is surely building
up one of the greatest industrial nations of modern
times. Taking up a local newspaper — the Standard
— at random, I find on one page detailed notices of
twenty-three different lines of steamships trading out
to Buenos Ayres. This fact speaks for itself. If the
old picturesque pioneering element has vanished in
North America, or changed its type, it is interesting
to note that, in the South — as far as the white man is
concerned — the life has hardly yet begun. Primaeval
forests, untouched by the woodman's axe, still cover
the greatest area. Even in the most populous districts
of Central South America the woods have been merely
fringed for a couple of hundred yards or so with tiny,
microscopic clearings, to the extent of a few acres for
each homestead. The prairies also, although pretty
well stocked in the River Plate Republics, in many

17



i8 PICTURESQUE PARAGUAY

parts are the haunt of the red deer, the ostrich, and
guanaco. The wild Indian, in all his primitive sim-
phcity, roams these pathless sohtudes, mostly in happy
ignorance of the pale-face and fire-water. To the
credit of the dominant race, it must be said that large
populations have fairly assimilated our European
civilization. And the process is still going on. In the
case of the peasantry there has been no appreciable
admixture of foreign blood. Of all these countries,
perhaps the little Republic of Paraguay is the most
interesting, no less for its romantic and pathetic
history than for the beauties of its scenery and the
simple, ' lotus-eating ' lives of the people. Built
up by the untiring energy of the Jesuits and the
paternal — if despotic — rule of Drs. Francia and Lopez,
it was almost depopulated in the war of the ' Triple
Alhance,' owing to the folly and ambition of the
younger Lopez. At the conclusion of the war there
only remained old men and young boys unfit for
military service. Man-eating jaguars became so bold
that they even came into the streets at night, seeking
their human prey in the very towns.

In the way of scenery, the long vistas of silver and
green, the feathery bamboo and waving palm, the
lazy alligator, sleeping in the sun, and the rapid-
flowing river, form a picture essentially tropical and
fair to look upon. But the charm of the rivers — in



INTRODUCTION 19

the summer at least — is qualified by the presence of
the mosquito and sand-fly. The Alto-Parana has its
islands of floating vegetation like the upper course of
the White Nile, and affords the traveller a continuous
panorama of fine forest scenery and waterfalls unsur-
passed in its way in either the old world or the new.
In this hitherto undeveloped territory the man who
wants to do things will find unlimited scope for his
intelligence and energies, while the man who wants
to do nothing may swing his hammock in the shade of
a spreading tree and suck oranges until the crack of
doom.

In the way of business possibilities, the fact that
over £870,000,000 of British capital is already in-
vested in South American countries speaks for itself :
this being the value of the securities quoted on the
London Stock Exchange, irrespective of the private
wealth of the hundred thousand British scattered
over the length and breadth of the sub-continent,
many of whom rival the multi-millionaires of the
old world in the extent and productiveness of the
properties they have acquired in the land of their
adoption.



B






FAIR DAUGHTERS OF THE SOUTH

{See also pp. 85, 411).



^>4'44'^>4"^^ 20 4>4>4'4-^4"M>^>4'^4'




Sknora Maria Selva V. de Barkikh



Ska. Asuncion G. de Gonzalez.



Pictupesque Papaguay

CHAPTER I

THE VOYAGE OUT : THE CALL OF THE SEA

Why is it that a prolonged stay in any country, however
charming, eventually results in an irresistible longing
for a sea voyage ? Is it the recurrence of old-time
instincts — originating in the misty ages of past geolo-
gical periods — when all life came out of the sea ? This
theory accounts for the beneficial effects of bathing
in sea water — as also the increased vitality of the salty
breezes from over the mighty deep. However it be,
any one who has once tasted the charms of a life upon
the ocean wave must now and again repeat the
experience in order to blot out the worries and boredom
of a sedentary existence on shore, and to renew his
appreciation of the greater freedom of life upon solid
land. Ask the nomad why he loves the desert, or the
sailor why he loves the sea. Neither the one nor the
other can tell you, unless he happens to have been
both nomad and sailor. If so, he will have recognized
many things in common. The pure, exhilarating air,

undefiled by the exhalations of decaying vegetation,

23



24 PICTURESQUE PARAGUAY

or the smoke and noxious gases arising from the conges-
tion of humanity in crowded centres of population ;
and the measureless expanses of silent wastes and
solitude, stretching away to the distant horizon — and
beyond. So we go to the sea to inhale new life from the
limitless stores of Nature and to dissipate our mental
troubles — by cutting away for a time from the old
environment — so as to leave room for new thought,
new hopes, and new energy to enter into our souls,
and to enable us to face the problems of life upon the
solid basis of a sound mind in a sound body.

As these lines are being written, I feel the vibra-
tion and thumps of the propeller — as it were, the
beating of the heart of a great steamer. The motion
is restful and soothing, while, in a dreamy kind of way,
I hear the swish of the sea upon the vessel's sides,
while the waters swirl and boil up in our wake like the
flooded torrents of a rock-bound stream rushing away
from the fall of a mighty cataract. At night the many-
coloured phosphorescent particles held in suspension
in sea water — excited by the passing vessel — sparkle
and flicker like the jewels of mermaids or other fairy
inhabitants of the deep. From the days of Cleopatra
in her galley down to the twentieth century, how
many millions have gazed for hours spell-bound at
these wonderful phenomena of the deep ? But the pen
has yet to be forged which can do more than suggest



THE VOYAGE OUT 25

ideas to those who have been through the experience :
just as the faintest whiff of a long-forgotten scent
will, in a flash, carry us back to a past environment
in an Indian bazaar — or to an Arab divan in Jeddah,
or old Cairo. The sea is like a fair woman ; full of
moods and endless caprice : sometimes soft and loving,
every breath upon your cheek a caress, every ripple
upon the surface a smile to gladden the heart of a
lover ; often calm and placid, glittering like a silver
mirror ; sometimes, alas, expressing storm, and gloom,
and restless energy — seeking only to destroy.

Leaving English shores, it is usually a day before
we get quite clear of the turbid waters and misty
atmosphere of the Northern seas. Then day by day
— if the Fates are propitious in crossing the Bay of
Biscay — we sail away into warmer waters, where the
blue waves ripple and swell and break into foam as
they chase each other over the wastes of space.
Many outward-bound steamers call at Spanish and
Portuguese ports for the convenience of Continental
passengers, and there is generally an opportunity to
see something of Corunna, Oporto, Lisbon, and other
sunny towns on the coast of the Peninsula. In the
way of climate and scenery these old-fashioned cities
leave little to be desired. Running south, the Trade
winds — blowing over tropic seas — are soft and warm,
inspiring one with a love of life and hope and energy.



26 PICTURESQUE PARAGUAY

Under these influences people relax unconsciously,
and very little things interest grave philosophers.
There is decided evidence of rejuvenation. Old people
may be seen absorbed in childish games, and stately
matrons displaying the agility of girlhood, playing
skipping-rope, dancing, and promenading the decks.
A grimy old ' tramp ' steamer — passing in the distance —
is invested with a halo of romance, and gazed at by all
hands until it fades away — hull down — on the horizon.
A shoal of sportive porpoises, playing the somewhat
dangerous game of hide-and-seek in front of the cut-
water, or turning somersaults in a race of ' follow
your leader,' is sufficient to arouse the enthusiasm of
old and young alike. This member of the finny tribe
has certainly a high sense of humour, and suggests
the idea — to any one with a fine imagination — of being
the re-embodied spirit of a human being. Every one


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Online LibraryAlexander K MacdonaldPicturesque Paraguay, sport, pioneering, travel: a land of promise, stock-raising, plantation industries, forest products, commercial possibilities → online text (page 1 of 21)