BUBAL LIFE IS UMUGUAT.
Sports at a House Party on One of
the Great Ranches.
IS.v !j'\\i- IS. Frr*man.
The railroads of Uruguay are undeniably good,
but because they penetrate only those regions
where agricultural and commercial develop
ment are most advanced they are of little uso
to one who desires to get into tin real "back
country." Fur this one must resort either to a
saddle horse or to a stage, the former, unless
there is baggage to be transported, being vastly
Rural LTruguay might i» described aa Kngland
*\iiii a Southern California climate. Ami such
bos] itality a^ '•!!■ receives! The best the place
affords is at your service, whether you are put
ting up in Hi- i ignorial manskM of an estancia.
where iho heavy silver bears a crest and a hall
mark and you sleep in a carved fourposter, or
in a cowboy camp, where > rnj gnaw a piece of
jerked beef for supper and turn in for the night
•n a pile of half-cured hides.
As far as surprising any really wild life is
vomcrned. you will come eight or ten years too
|at< . tor the days when the Uruguayan Indians
ran down avestrus (South American ostriches)
and broke their legs with the Lolas arid when
bands of itinerant gaiKhofl ranged through tho
Icin.l and roped and ki!!f<i the half-wild cattle
for their bides and horns alone are gone never
to return. The "run" and the "drop-sate" are
n pidly replacing the bruising method of roping
and throwing in the handling of cattie, while.
hides and horns are supplied almost entirely
through the regular channels of the slaughter
bouses of the freezers and meat extract works.
ENGLISH PLANTER'S HOME ON A BIG ESTANCIA IN URUGUAY.
Tl.i old "crioUa" cattle, too, through the con
stant crossing with imported stock, are fast
passing, a;id stocky, heavy bodied, short legged
Durhams and Aberdeen Angus arc- now placidly
grazing in tho hill and river meadows once
ranged over by the gaunt bone racks that the
Him two decades have seen stripped for the ex
trad factor!* s.
The Uruguayan stag* driver uses horses in
much the same way that some people use
whiskey. If one I'iui doesn't seem to produce
tl-.e effect be desires he a<l<ls another four, and
tl.' n four more, and so on indefinitely. The
only omtit I photographed consisted of ten pairs
in addition to the regular four, but I was told
that the day before an outfit had pass»d along
having fifteen pairs strung out m front. The
first four horses arc in harness and usually
abreast, as, occasionally, are also the second
four. Any further additions are in the nature
of led" or "ridden" horses attached l-y means
f.f :i I< tig rope or chain to the end of the pole.
'J !)• s»- tatter are strung out in pairs of a "it-d"
and "ridden" horse • eh. They ar<- usually the
pr perty of the gaucbos who have them m
etaargi tlitir owners beteg always ready to ex
change a pull with their ponii s over a bad
str. !• :: of country f" r a P u " at tni driver's skin
of "i-: I . ".<''," or sugarcane rum.
Tin advantage of the "open order" arrange
ment becomes apparent at the tirst gully, fur
there, though some of th<- horses: may be belly
deep in mud and others pawing helplessly for
foi ■ . g iioui:st a sheer cut bank, thanks to the
«> • ■ • l<-iiui!i of the formation there is always
;t; t Buffi i< (it number of annuals on firm ground
to pull everything through. It is a matter of
the v 1v 1 atest wonder il>at the stage docs net
undergo sudden disintegration.
This tendency of the Uruguayans to osemany
hoi ■ has a decided bearing on a lirie of trade
that ; - 'l importaac* to the United States — that
<if agricultural i lachinery. Thus American
harvesters, a class of machine that is rarely
used beyond the limits t ,f a single "estancia,''
English, French Etchings
OF 18TII (ENTIRV.
MI/7OIINTS, ril()TO« AMI I AKRONS
OI AIL i:iKOrfc.AN <..YI.I.i:iJIE.S.
12 West 28th St. GLOKGh BUSSK.
NEW-YORK DAILY TRIBUNE, SINDAV, JANUARY S, VM)Z.
POLO PLAYERS AT A URUGUAYAN HOUSE PARTY.
have the market practically to themselves.
With thrashers, which have to stand some but
not a Ki-'-at c ] r . a ] o f haulage from place to place,
our success is pronounced but not complete,
while as for wagons or trucks, few American
makes are to be found in the country, for tho
reason that we do not build them of sufficient
stXCßgtfe to come up to the fearfully exacting
requirements imposed by a lack of roads and a
plenitude of horses.
Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the
Uruguayan "citniw" is the large ranch, or
"estancia," some of these great holdings aggre
gating over a thousand square miles— •4o,6oo
acr es— ln extent, all under fence. Fully 73 p*-r
cent of the owners of these great estancias are
Knglish, comprising men originally of every
sort and condition, from "reformed" defaulters
to retired sea captains and sprigs of the nobility.
Many of these men are now rich and rapidly be
coming richer, and the appointments of their
houses and the character of their entertain
ments are on a lavish scale. An account of a
house party at the Me "estancia."' at which
I was so fortunate as to be present in course ..f
my stay in Southern Uruguay, may give some
idea of the scale upon which these affairs arc
The excuse for the party in the first place was
polo, and in the course of the week a selection of
players and ponies was made, from a dozen of
the former and five or s'x times as many of the
latter, for a tournament in prospect with sev
eral of the crack teams of Argentina. But so
varied was the other entertainment provided
that polo was only a prominent incidental in a
bewildering list of shooting and boating parties.
AFTERNOON TEA AT A NATIVE HOME ON THE URUGUAY "CAMPO."'
gymkhanas, golf and tennis tournaments,
races, hunts, archery contests, gaucho exhibi
tions, bridge, dancing and motoring.
The Me lands touch the railroad at Esta
cion Me , 150 miles from Montevideo, from
which point it is about thirty miles, cross coun
try, to the "estanoia" house. The guests, be
tween forty and fifty in number, went out by
special train as far as the railway station, from
which they were run through on coaches and
motors over a road that had been constantly
sprinkled during the previous week in prepara
tion for the extraordinary demands that were
v be made upon it. The polo ponies and the
grooms, chauffeurs, valets, maids, etc., were
A URUGUAYAN GRAIN WAGON. WITH RESERVE HORSES TO PULL IT OUT OF
sent out a day ahead of their principals, also on
a special train, but one consisting of mixed
freight wagons and ordinary passenger eeaefcea
instead of drawing rrx-m cars.
Most of the party's snap and go was dv*- to
the predominance of the British c Wrnt-nt. The
German. French. Italian and Spanish represen
tation, mostly titled memb-rs of the Buenos
Ayres or Sfontevledo diplomatic ci rps, did clever
work at the bridge tables and in the baUrooaa,
but were deficit nt in enthusiasm for and pro
ficiency at the outdoor sports.
My old typewriter, which chanced to mak- up
a part of my baggage at this time, stayed a
prominent part in one of the afternoon enter
tainments. The machine was sent out with my
trunk by mistake, and on its presence becoming
known to Mrs. Me she immediately requi
sitioned it for a gymkhana she vas planning.
On this occasion, when the typewriter*! turn
came to get in the play, the removal of its bat
tered old case, covered for the time with purple
and white violets woven in fanciful design over
a wire mesh, revealed the mac him nestling in a
bower of hothouse maidenhair ferns, hovered
I over by a lot of red roses and pink Cupid*.
Each lady was required to write a not less
than fifty-word love letter to in allotted K*Mle>
man, who in turn hid to reply in similar man
ner and vein. All who by any chance had ever
laid hands on a typewriter before were barred
from the competition. A time limit of ten min
utes was placed on the dispatching of each mis
sive and Its r»~>ponse, and prizes were awarded
according ■• composition, neatness and technical
This feature fif the entertainment was a dis
tinct success, and Mrs. Me came in for much
praise for the originality of it 3 conception. The
play in thii» Impromptu contest soon became jL
fraught with earnestness, and from pecking ten- *
tatively at the keys with one finger the *ag?r
contestants were soon "I loving" and "thoa
sting" in four languages, with a fir. ' r to
each language; t. generally end up. •.%•••- a
place amor.? the lap scorers appeared hi ;'*->«!,; '*->«!,
with eight fingers and two thumbs cr^ught
down In st succession of wristy. half-arm jolts,
like the action in the series of "crash"' chords
at the end of a piano selection from Wagner. I
will not go so far M to say that I actually saw
any of them use their ff*et, but I was sal pres
ent all the time, and there were certainly I ."la
upon MMM of the sheets, before the pUy^rs
cashed in and declared the game clo«*«d. that
were more suggestive of the prints of Fr*nch
heels than French, verbs.
Of aeto there was at least one match played
every day. These were hotly and skilfully
contested, and the "four" finally selected for
the criming tournament would have compared
favorably with the average North American
teams. The tennis and golf and the arch* ry and
rifle tournaments and ■■■,■'.« exhibitions of
the ganehos also furnished a rare lot of .-port.
but the gr'at success of the outdoor affair was
reserved for the "morning of English shooting"
on the last day of the party. One hundred and
fifty pheasants had been netted on the preserve
of Mrs. Me V brother, in Kent, and brought
out to Uruguay in charge of a keeper, who had
watched their cages day and night throughout
the voyage in order that no harm should come
to them. They had arrived at the "estancia."
two weeks before the house party, and hal
spent the interval in a huge top-covered wire in
closure built especially to receive them, in which
they were stirred up regularly several times a
day in urder to keep their wings strong.
On the night before the day appointed for the
shoot the pheasants were released in a heavy
copse that covered about an acre of a little val
ley about two miles distant from the house, and
in the morning they were attacked there and
slaughtered by that neat, effective and ancient
method of filling the air so full of lead and
pov.der smoke that the birds, if from no other
cause, must have died from asphyxiation. Every
thing was done decently and in order; there
were beaters, gun bearers, picker-ups and all
kinds of other essentials and non-ess*-ntial«.
The bodies of about fifty birds served their
entity sufficiently to be classed as such, an av
erage of a bird to a shooter, but a conglomerate
mass of gun wadding, flesh and feathers was
inches deep in all the open spaces of the tiny
copse. I was never educated to this kind of
thing, and so suppose that seme of the fin?
points must have escaped me; but I saw old.
white haired men who said that they had never
missed a season at "home" in years, clapping
Mo on the shoulder and assuring him that
this was the "jolly best morning" sport. dear
old fellow." that they had ever known.
AFTER OLD ENGLISH MASTKRS
and o>:u;i\.\l kt< iirsos b>
TRIN :~l.l> ■ colors.
7W.2B!hSi. (NORTH SIVCX
WV» *OtH *>■• YEAR STH AVK.)
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