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From Far Off Chili

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Mrs. Emma R. Winans, nee Cempf, a former resident of Washenaw and for three years a teacher n the Mills district in Pittsfield, is now in Chili, from which country he has just written an interesting etter to her friends here from which we have permission to quote part. The letter is dated Iquique, Chili, February 18. She says: "We are ot suffering from any overplus of hilliness here. The entire time of ur stay (three months yesterday) ïas been one long summer day. unshine all the time, withhere and tiere a day when there were a few ight clouds. Extremely warm in ie sun, but never warmer than 86 egrees in the shade,; always a )leasant breeze from the sea, never nything stronger. The sun has )egun to creep in our north winows. Each day he quietly shoves lis toes a little farther than before. 'he moon stays as far north of us s she is south of you. Between ight and nine o'clock in the evenng, Orion passes over our heads, lis knees scraping the zenith. That will give you an idea of our location. Perhaps I should teil you the cause of Iquique's having a cooler climate han any other place on earth with he same latitude and altitude is hat a cold current from the Antarctic strikes the coasts near here. It is very pleasant here; however, I should like a sleigh ride this minute. We had a very pleasant and homelike Christmas. We borrowed an evergreen tree (somewhat sickly) jrowing in a keg; also several vines hat had been trained on poles, and ixed up a very pretty Christmas tree for the Spanish Sunday school. It. was decorated with festoons of jop corn, wax candles and toys for the children. The pop corn is a novelty for the native people here. [t was sent from home. One 'little boy asked with all the sincerity imaginable, "Is it snow?" New Year's Eve at eleven o'clock we went to the plazza, where a crowd was gathered to see the fireworks that welcomed .the new year. The fire-works were like the best at ïiome. I think they were the most beautiful I ever saw. I suppose I must teil you next what is uppermost in our minds at present, viz., war. You will npt wonder that we can think of little else when I teil you that our port was blockaded five weeks ending last Monday, and we were in the midst of a battle day before yesterday. The battle was right in our city here; and we had to listen to musket balls whistle up our streets and past our windows and also great cannon balls and shells from gun boats tearing through houses or rushing over the city,; all these horrible sounds from half past six that morning till' half past five in the afternoon. If we were only sure that it was all over, for there may be more fighting still. I will try to give you a clear and condensed account of what has happend here. You doubtless have heard long ago of the revolution in Chili. Congress and the President could not agree. The navy at once offered its services against the President and the land for us which stand by him. We do not know much about the causes of the rupture, beside that the President, an old man, began as a liberal and has so far changed his administration that he wishes to assume the rights of a dictator. His terra of office will expire next Sep tember, elections taking place next month, and it is said that he also wishes to name his successor, who should be elected by the people. The oppositimists claim to be fighting for fhe constitution which the dictator, for that is what they cali the president, is violating, and they cali themselves the constitutionalists. Here the people seem to be decidedly in sympathy with the constitutional party. We cannot teil which side is in the right. We know almost nothing of what is going on in other parts of Chili, as the cables, telegraphs and Chilian mails have been interfered with, and until a week ago no paper was published here, in Iquique, excepting the one which was on the government side. On Monday,January 12, two gunboats came into the bay. The officers soon notified the city, that if the governor of this province, who lives here, did not surrender the city before, the port would be blockaded begining January 20. We live in the province of Tarapaca. jue is the money bag of this country. An export duty is charged on :he amount of saltpetre shipped tiere, and that with the import duties ïiakes the amount of money taken n at the custom house as high as wo or three million dollars in some months. The governor did not jurrender, so the port was under blockade until last Monday, Feb. 16. In the mean time the navy tías blockaded other ports along the :oast. It got possession of one port J north of us, Pisagua, and of inother south, Coquimbo. Government troops sent overland retook the places, but the former is now again in the possession of the constitutional forces. By that means troops have been sent up into the interior of one province (east of us nd across the mountains) and have aere fought the government troops. 'hat part of the country is barren, evel, and is the seat of large saltpere beds. It is called "the Pampa." 'he government forces were sent :rom here, and as that side failed nd the governor saw that he could not hold this place, he gave it over nto the hands of the many foreign consuls, here and the constitutional 'orces carne in and took possession ast Monday. It seems that they ïad not a very strong forcé in the )ay, so they had a small forcé on guard only in the custom house, a arge stone building. On Wednesday night, government roops came down the mountains and into the city unobserved. It is said that they came on a train which had the ambulance flag, the soldiers ying on their back on flat cars with their muskets under them. I do not tnow whether it is true that they resorted to such strategy or not, but trains have come downfrom the Pampa with wounded soldiers several times. However, theycame through the city and wakened the fellows in the custom house. The battle, which I have already described, followed. A constitutional-side paper published since, states that on the Government side there were 49 killed and 93 wounded, on the other side 11 killed and 35 wounded. At halfpast five in the afternoon firing suddenly ceased, people gathered on street corners and we soon learned that an armistice had been agreed upon until the following dayat noon. Then we saw some of the wounded carried by on stretchers, and carts containing the, dead. The "ambulance flag was, frequently seen in the streets during the day. The next morning we heard that both sides expected re-enforcements and the battle would be worse than the preceding day. Most of the foreign residents and also citizens who could get away have been out on the bay in the ships which are waiting to load saltpetre. We, here at the school, had feit that God had put us here and He would take care of us. At times, however, we have wondered if it were after all sumption for us to remain where there was danger in the form of cannon-balls and shells, and the destruction of the city by fire threatening us. On Thursday, two fires occurred during the fighting, both about three blocks from us, and the last one burning four whole blocks and part of another. When we saw this and feared that it would come our way, we all packed our trunks ready to be buried in a hole in the back yard that the men were digging. Friday morning we were all frightened more or less (though we could not see how the fighting could be worse than what we have already seen) and we decided to go out into the ship where Mrs. Hoover had been. She is timid and went out two weeks before when we expected the town to be bombarded and remained two weeks with her baby and the nurse. Everything was quiet until last Monday evening, when a mob composed of the roughs of the place formed on the street. During the day they had sacked the governor's house, killed his cow and carried home the meat and had torn down the house where government troops have stayed heretofore. In the evening they were bent on setting fire to stores and then plundering. The pólice forcé had gone with the soldiers to fight in the Pampas and the. rnnstitutional forces had not ;otten into working order, so the ] place was quite unprotected. All j ilong people had not dreaded the i soldiers coming in, but just what , then came uyon us was a drunken, ( lawless mob, bent on theft and . struction. Fifty "urban guards," , :omposed of Englishmen and good , Chilian citizens had been organized and were ready, as were also the . store-keepers who were on guard near their respective places of business. The mob came up the street to our corner, then turned southward and soon we heard firing in every direction. The "urban guard" had to take this way of dispersing the mob. The next day we heard that a number were killed. Two firemen were killed by the mob while putting out fires started by them or helping on guard that night. Well, to come back to my starting point, we all went on board Friday, before noon. We did not hear the firing at noon that we had expected, and later heard that the army had surrendered to the fleet and the fighting was all over in the Iquique. The fleet as we knew had brought large reinforcements by water, and when noon came the government soldiers came and laid down their arms without any conditions and walked away. They have been about town since. Some think this was only a "blind" as it is known that during the fighting here on Thursday while the gunboats were in the bay, government troops were landed below here and are coming overland. Monday, Feb. 23, 1891. To-day the constitutional forces are marching about the city and getting all the recruits they can. I hear their drums now. Two hundred and fifty soldiers have just passed here. Some of them so young - mere boys. Oh, war is so terrible! To think that nearly every one of those men is somebody's brother, husband or father. God has protected us so wonderfully. Two companies run steamers along this coast, an English and a Chilian, and they were running steamers so that two steamers, one from north and one from south, come here each Monday and each Thursday, bringing provisions, mails, etc. The Chilian vessels have all been captured by the fleet and some are now used for transporting their troops. The English steamers still run, but very few have been here during the past six weeks, and the few that have entered have brought foreign mail and landed a few passengers. Provisions are ting rather low and their prices very . high since we depend almost entirely on the steamers for our supplies. The best meat has been as high as #i.3oapound. Itissomecheapernow as cattle have been brought over the mountains. Potatoes were brought up by business men and sold at $20 and $25 per sack of 200 pounds. Remember this money is worth only half and less.its face value in gold and silver. The English man-of-war, "War Spite," is going to leave here in a day or two for Behring Sea and will take letters along and mail them on the coast, so I must finish this in haste.