WITH the help of Madariaga, an incorrigible chatterbox escaped from prison at Cadiz, and a canon to boot, Mariño had, in Bolivar's absence, set up a federal government. Naturally he had appointed himself Commander-in-Chief, and he sent a message to Bolivar summoning him to come and recognize the new triumvirate. Bolivar answered that he would not recognize anything, and that in any case he had not time to come.
A fortnight, moreover, was enough to abolish the claims of Mariño, whose circle ended by laughing at him. But Piar, annoyed with Bolivar's importance and the blame which he had received for his inaction before Angostura, rebelled openly, and declared that he would obey no one but Mariño. Bolivar summoned him. Piar had already fled. General Cedeño was sent off upon his heels with orders to bring him back dead or alive.
Bolivar took the operations into his own hands. He had boats built, and with the coöperation of Brion's flotilla, which had at last succeeded in getting up the Orinoco River, he gave the word to attack. The garrison of Angostura attempted to steal away on the Spanish vessels, which were heavy and little adapted for river navigation. Brion harassed them with flecheros, and the Spaniards had great difficulty