near an immense and immemorial tree, where, they were told, Columbus
The party lodged in a fine old Spanish palacio
, built round a courtyard.
It had been originally a convent.
The nuns were gone, and their place was now taken by the gay company of American ladies, who possibly gave the sleepy little city more new ideas than it had ever received in so short a space of time.
put the palace at the Doctor
's disposal; he was an important person to the President
and to the Dominicans, for at that time the hope of annexation had not died out. All the party were treated with extraordinary courtesy.
Not only were they given the presidential palace to live in, but a guard of honor was kept in the courtyard.
Their horses were lodged, Spanish fashion, on the ground floor.
The trampling, the neighing, and the fleas made them rather uncomfortable neighbors.
Our mother soon found out that the only way she could see the country, or enjoy its life, was by riding.
At first she was a little nervous, but she soon regained her courage and her seat.
This was her first riding since the days of Cora, the wicked little mare, when she read her Bible and said her prayers before every ride.
She thus describes it:--
In Santo Domingo, nothing is more charming than the afternoon ride.
It is, of course, the great event of the neighborhood.
Our cavalcade usually numbers four or five ladies.
Sometimes we cross the river in a flat-bottomed boat, which is pulled over by a rope stretched and made fast at either end. We then visit the little village of Pajarita, and trot along under