A sort of glen surrounded it on every side, richly and beautifully wooded; behind, rose some of the most lofty of the Blue Mountains; on the right there was an opening, which admitted a fine view of Annotto Bay; whilst in the other direction, the hills sloping gradually upwards, presented an inclined plane, covered with fields of sugar-cane, and ending, at a considerable distance, in one abrupt and broken ridge.
The bush which provides it is called the annotto or annatto. It grows to the size of the quince tree. The leaves are heart-shaped; and the rosy flowers are followed by fuzzy red-and-yellow pods, something like chestnut burs. These small burs are filled with a crimson pulp containing many seeds. This pulp is immersed in water a few weeks, strained and boiled to a paste.
This was a famous plant Bixa orellana Roucou; and that pulp was the well-known annotto dye of commerce. In England and Holland it is used merely, I believe, to color cheeses, but in the Spanish Main to color human beings. The Indian of the Orinoco prefers paint to clothes; and when he has "roucoued" himself from head to foot, considers himself in full dress, whether for war or dancing.
To this I was additionally induced by an invitation from an old friend to visit him at Annotto bay; and as, along with his letter, he sent a horse for my own conveyance, and a mule for the conveyance of my baggage, no difficulty respecting a mode of being transported stood in the way to obstruct my design.
Maid could not show it, and came back bunless. Rosa came into the study to complain to her husband. "A Bath bun," said Staines. "Why, they are colored with annotto, to save an egg, and annotto is adulterated with chromates that are poison. Adulteration upon adulteration. I'll make you a real Bath bun." Off coat, and into the kitchen, and made her three, pure, but rather heavy.