All the hamlet were Rito's friends, and he had soon a crowd about him talking and laughing. None of the lands around were enclosed all seemed to be common property; and every family had a few cows and two or three brood mares. A little maize was grown, but the climate was rather too bleak and wet for it.

We had a long day's journey before us, during which we should not be able to buy any provisions, so, over night, Rito's sister had cooked a fowl for us to take with us. She had married one of the settlers of Sontuli, and, although still young and fresh-looking, had already three lusty children.

The Rito's entire population is assembled, eagerly, at times almost devoutly, gazing and listening. The assemblage crowds the roofs and lines the walls below, all confusedly gathered together. There is every imaginable posture, costume, or lack of costume, men, women, children clothed in bright wraps or embroidered skins, scantily covered with dirty rags, or rejoicing in the freedom of undress.

We were glad when we got to a more sheltered spot, where some mountain oak trees protected us from the wind, and at four o'clock, reaching a small scattered settlement called Sontuli, we determined, although early in the day, to stay there, as it was Rito's birthplace, and his only sister, whom he had not seen for two years, lived there.

My straw-hat came off in the struggle, and was rolling merrily down the hill, when it was caught in a low bush, much to Rito's satisfaction, who was anticipating a long tramp after it. We had a fine view from the top of this range over a deep valley, bounded with precipitous cliffs and dark patches of forest.