WHEN Bolívar was approaching Cúcuta after a journey to the coast for a conference with Montilla, General Sucre rode out to meet him.
One of his officers asked, "Who is this bad horseman coming?"
"That," Bolívar said, "is one of the best officers in the army. He has the professional knowledge of Soublette, the kindly character of Briceño, the talent of Santander and the activity of Salóm. For some reason I didn't know of nor suspect his aptitudes before. I intend to bring them into the light; for some day he is going to rival me."
The communication which Bolívar received from the Spanish general was addressed to "His Excellency, the President of the Republic"--quite a difference of attitude in those who had refused to address him at all only a short time before, and who had persisted in regarding him as an insignificant leader of bandits. But Bolívar wasn't impressed. To the proposition that Colombia submit to the domination of Spain he replied heatedly that the idea was the height of folly. The moment was most inopportune for the Spanish proposal; Bolívar was riding high on the wave of success. He had succeeded at last in winning the people of all classes to his cause. The mestizos, pardos, blacks and Indians, weary at last of the atrocities of the Spaniards and won by the noble words and brilliant victories of Bolívar, were now completely