AFTER some exceedingly deadly street fighting in which Bolivar behaved with admirable courage, Miranda took Valencia and restored Bolivar to his rank of colonel. Valencia was a place where reaction was especially to be feared. Unfortunately for himself, Miranda could not take advantage of his success; he was recalled to Caracas, where the jealousy and hatred of the Creole aristocracy were doing their best to have him condemned for lack of firmness towards the Spaniards. Every one fancied himself a Robespierre. Miranda treated the accusations with contempt; he disbanded his army.
The Spaniards resumed the offensive everywhere. Victories and defeats and again victories, never a decisive battle.
The Spanish general Monteverde entered Siquisique, massacred the inhabitants, and, raising the whole rural population for the King's cause, marched upon Barquisemeto.
The rebels awaited him with courage; they wished to finish the matter once and for all, but a frightful catastrophe befell to shatter their hopes.
At Caracas on the 26th of March, a beautiful day in Holy Week, processions followed the clergy and choir-boys to the cathedral. People felt confident of the future. The independent flag floated from every building. They were happy; they talked about