BOLIVAR'S secretary, engaged in opening the letters, turned towards his master.
'General, here is a letter from the Governor of La Guayra. He has only five hundred men, and the prisons contain as many Spaniards. He has not forgotten the treachery at Puerto Cabello, and fears a plot. He asks for instructions.'
Bolivar had just posted up an appeal to all citizens from twelve to sixty years of age.
'In our present situation I cannot hesitate. Be good enough to write the following answer':
To José Leandro Palacios, Commandant of La Guayra:
Your despatch of the 4th, which has just reached me, informs me of the critical situation in which you are. You have not enough men and have in your custody a considerable number of prisoners. In consequence of this I order you to put to death immediately all the Spaniards who are in the cells or in the hospital buildings, without any exception.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE LIBERATOR AT VALENCIA February 8, 1814, 8 o'clock P.M.
Bolivar had pilloried the excesses of Bricefio, who wrote letters in blood, and who graded his rewards in the following order: