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Incidents of Travel in the Yucatan

New York: Harper and Brothers, 1848


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THE RUINS.-GARRAPATAS.-BLACK ANTS. 237

that seen for the first time at Kewick, ornamented with painting.

This building stood in front of another more over- grown and ruined, which had been an imposing and important edifice. The plan was complicated, and the exterior of one part was rounded, but the round- ed part was a solid mass, and within the wall was straight. In the back wall was a recess, once oc- cupied, perhaps, by a statue. Altogether, there was much about this edifice that was new and curious ; and there were other cerros, or mounds, of undistin- guishable ruins.

Short as my visit was, there were few considera- tions that could have tempted me to remain longer. The garrapatas would soon be over, but they contin- ued with the rainy season, and, in fact, increased and multiplied. I discovered them the moment I dismounted, and at first attempted to whip them off, but wishing to get through before night, I hurried round this building, creeping under branches and tearing aside bushes, and, actually covered with the abominable insects, started for the road.

In hurrying forward I unwittingly crossed the track of a procession of large black ants. These proces- sions are among the extraordinary spectacles of that country, darkening the ground for an hour at a time ; and the insect has a sting equal to that of hornets, as I quickly learned on this occasion. When I reached- the road I was almost numbed with pain, and when I mounted I felt that nothing could tempt



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