BACK to Cartagena once more; back to where he had started.
He had led an army of New Granadans away from their homeland and now he returns alone, without a single man; and yet the people receive him with acclaim. His great deeds in Venezuela had been watched with avid interest, his constant reports and proclamations to the Congress received with appreciation: the honors he had heaped upon their heroes, Giradot, Ricuarte and D'Elhuyar, had created the warm gratitude and confidence in him which had been their object. The people of Cartagena hear his words with enthusiasm and offer him quarters in a palace which had formerly been the residence of the bishop.
Also living in the palace is Isabel Soublette, her sister and mother--the sisters and mother of Carlos Soublette, Miranda's half-French aide, who had been chided for being half Venezuelan. Bolívar is separated for the time from his Señorita Pepa, who had fled to the Antilles with the refugees from Caracas. Isabel is lovely, with long red hair. Bolívar pays ardent court, with his usual success; and the Soublette family become regular members of his entourage. Carlos becomes Bolívar's aide and serves him for all the remaining years of his life.
It is an interesting study, affording insight into the psychology and morals of the times, to observe the attitude of the people toward the Liberator's love affairs. There is never a word of criticism written of him anywhere; and his mistresses were accepted with all respect