17th September 1834

In Mr Nixons house a German collector Renous was staying. I was amused by a conversation which ensued between Renous (who is taken for a Chilian) & an old Spanish lawyer. Renous asked him what he thought of the King of England sending out me to their country to collect Lizards & beetles & to break rocks. The old Gentleman thought for some time & said, "it is not well, hay un gato encerrado aqui" "there is a cat shut up here"; no man is so rich as to send persons to pick up such rubbish; I do not like it; if one of us was to go & do such things in England, the King would very soon send us out of the country". And this old gentleman, from his profession is of course one of the more intelligent classes! Renous himself, two or three years ago, left some Caterpillars in a house in S. Fernando under charge of a girl to turn into Butterflies. This was talked about in the town, at last the Padres & the Governor consulted together & agreed it must be some Heresy, & accordingly Renous when he returned was arrested.

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