across the andes

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III THROUGH A TROPICAL QUARANTINE ONE morning when the official sanitary junta—the port doctor, the town druggist, and three shopkeepers, all of whom except the first, were contentedly selling us supplies—were making their inspection within easy hailing distance the returning Peruvian diplomat dealt himself a hand in the game. In a few pointed remarks he demanded that they send a doctor on board to make an examination. The port captain returned an indignant oration in which, after paying tribute to the ancestral deeds of the diplomat's forebears, he hurled shame at the diplomat for his selfish lack of patriotism in so distrusting the conclusions and acts of his countrymen, obviously he had been so enervated by effete foreign associations that —that—well, it sounded like good oratory anyway. There was no doubt in their minds that we were concealing yellow fever. Slowly the five days of quarantine passed with this solemn official mockery. The Chinamen ceased from troubling and yielded the daily shilling, the chicken coop was returned to the authority of the steward—although once, for variety, a Chinaman shared it with a couple of turkeys for some hours—and then the final day arrived. Leisurely the official boat rowed out. The passengers for Ecuador, it announced, were to be transferred to the leprous-looking brigantine where they would remain in quarantine until they could be transfered to a northbound steamer. Incidentally they were privileged to pay twelve sols a day, each, for board. Then the official boat was rowed back; and that was all. Indignantly the passengers met and decided to pay no more daily quarantine charges—it seemed as if the company needed a little stimulating, perhaps; the purser chuckled sympathetically and then a self-appointed committee ...
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