HIS route lay down the valley of the Magdalena, along the river where, as a young man untouched by glory, he had commanded his little fleet of flatboats and driven the Spaniards before him, tasting his first triumphs. Guamal, Banco, Mompox, where his glory was born . . . but he didn't ride in glory now. In profound melancholy, he rode slowly, his emaciated body slumped forward in the saddle; and almost daily the blows fell upon his bowed head in a relentless rain. Quito and Guayaquil seceded from Colombia and formed the independent Republic of Ecuador. Venezuela was torn with frightful dissensions. Páez, who only a few months before had invited him to retire and live in peace with him in his beloved llanos, now declared, "The existence of Bolívar is a menace to the Republic and his name deserves to be condemned to oblivion." Bermúdez proclaimed him "a despot, a false prophet of republican principles, an aspirant to monarchy, a man of criminal designs and vile ambitions." Arismendi declared him "the tyrant of Columbia, an ungrateful son of Caracas, a creature of evil purposes."
He arrived in Cartagena on June 24. The money from his mines in Venezuela had never come. Almost penniless, desperately ill, he went to live in a little cabin on a hillside overlooking the walled city. There the heaviest blow of all fell with terrific force. Sucre had been murdered. The only son he had ever known, his right hand--Sucre, the undefiled, the white knight. Riding down that long mountain range from Bogotá to Quito where his wife and