Interlude HOMBRÍA

IN Aux Cayes Bolívar. met with a pleasant surprise. Luis Brión, that ray of hope, was there with his vessel and munitions of war, and the two men embraced on the wharf. Brión had sailed from Kingston before the answer to his letter had arrived. Also, there were hundreds of refugees from Cartagena at Aux Cayes; and more hundreds came sailing in daily in their tiny boats. Among them were Mariano Montilla ( Bolívar's old friend, who had supported Castillo against him) and Bermúdez and Carlos Soublette. Soublette was accompanied by his mother and two sisters--one of them Isabel of the long red hair. There came, too, from Jamaica and the mainland, Mariño, Piar, Briceño Méndez, Francisco Zea and many other officers of the revolution.

The black republic, which had thrown off the yoke of France and defeated the armies of Napoleon, welcomed the starving thousands of South Americans, sheltered them and gave them daily rations of bread and meat. What pleased Bolívar most was that the President of Haiti, Alexandre Pétion, had been impressed by the Jamaica Letter and now offered to contribute funds and arms for a new expedition against the Spaniards on the mainland. Another benefactor came forward, too--a wealthy English merchant named Robert Southerland. The Liberator's spirit soared with new hope, and energy flowed back into his emaciated body.

But once more he was in uncongenial company. That contingent of conniving officers of the east, Piar, Mariño

-152-

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