Ramon went to the Morada, the chapter house of the penitentes, alone and late at night, for all of the whippings and initiations of the order, except those of Holy Week, are carried on in the utmost secrecy.
It was on the top of Huaynapata, while the interpreters built a fire and prepared for supper a peccary killed upon the road, that Marcoy observed the examinador holding with his Bolivians a conversation in the Aymara dialect, in which could be detected such words as anaranjada and morada. These were the well-known commercial names of two species of cinchona.
A veritable treasure which they had unearthed, worth all the others put together, was a line of those violet cinchonas which the native exporters call Cascarilla morada, and the botanists Cinchona Boliviana. The trees of this kind were grouped in threes and fours, and extended for half a mile.
The door opened and Ramon entered the chapel room of the Morada. It was lighted by a single candle, which revealed dimly the rough earthen walls, the low roof raftered with round pine logs, the wooden benches and the altar, covered with black cloth. This was decorated with figures of the skull and cross-bones cut from white cloth.
Indeed they were not the same, but were now merely units of this organization which held them in bondage of fear and awe. One of them took Ramon silently by the arm and led him through a low door into the other room which was the Morada proper. This room was supposed never to be entered except by a member of the order or by a candidate.
The Morada stood halfway up the slope north of the little town, at the elevation where the tall yellow pines of the mountains begin to replace the scrubby juniper and pinon of the mesas and foothills. It was a cool moonlit night of late summer. A light west wind breathed through the trees, making the massive black shadows of the juniper bushes faintly alive.
Some of the things he had learned had bored him and some had made him want to laugh, but none of them had impressed him, as they were intended to do, with the might and dignity of the ancient order. He was impressed now as he stood before this dark still house where a dozen ignorant fanatics waited to take his blood for what was to them a holy purpose. He knew that this Morada was a very old one.
As he toiled up the rocky path Ramon heard the faraway yap and yodel of a coyote, and the still more distant answer of another one. From the valley below came the intermittent bay of a cur, inspired by the moon and his wild kin, and now and then the tiny silver tinkle of a goat bell. The Morada stood in an open space. It was an oblong block of adobe, and gave forth neither light nor sound.
He had been informed that if he fell ill he would be taken to the Morada where his brothers in Christ would pray for him, and seek to drive the devil out of his body, and that if he died, they would send his shoes to his family as a notice of that event; and would bury him in consecrated ground.
Vaihi this attains a large size, and is considered of the best quality. It is said by the natives to have been introduced from the Sandwich Islands. Cana negra black sugar cane. " morada brown " " blancha white " of which the black or cana negra is considered the best, from its strength and the quantity of syrup contained in it. Mr. G.B.'s MS. Journal, 1829-30. and the Benefits it confers on Man.