26th November 1833

Mercedes on the River Negro
Began my return in a direct line to M. Video; went by an Estancia where there was a part, very perfect, of the head of a Megatherium. I purchased it for a few shillings. We had long gallop through a more rocky & hilly country than the coast road, to the R. Perdido, where we slept. One of the Post-houses was kept by a man, apparently of pure Indian blood; he was half intoxicated. My peon declares that he in my presence said I was a Gallego; an expression synonimous with saying he is worth murdering. His companions laughed oddly: & I believe what my Peon said was true; when I remonstrated with him on the absurdity, he only said, "you do not [know] the people of this country". The motive must have been to sound my Peon, who perhaps luckily for me was a trustworthy man. Your entire safety in this country depends upon your companion.

At night there were torrents of rain; as the Rancho made but little pretensions to keep out water or wind, we were soon wet through.

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