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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, February 27, 1898, Image 17

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THE CALL Sunday Edition
"/ expect an uprising at any moment, but when they strike they will find me well prepared, for I will not
submit to being forcibly ejected!'
REVOLUTION is smoldering
• jf*\ in Salvador, ready to break
■ ' .a ' \ into sudden flame. So gui
"• ff J etly an( * secretly are both
•■."•j^^g sides preparing for the out
.'. hT I break that the foreign press
' m' : is not even cognizant of the
: ■■'.''. . fact that trouble is imminent.
:.:".'.•- • .'■• A professional revolutionist
■'.■.■• '• -is in this city purchasing am
.'■-■"' . • ' munition for the revolution
ists; -Everybody is not aware that
there are "professional revolutionists."
Lilt is with no slight degree of doubt
that. I sought the man engaged in this
■ strange business, although I had been
foretold -of him and his trade by one
of the most prominent members of the
local S.ilvadoran colony.
-I found him short and stout, with
swarthy skin and hair in odd contrast
to. his twinkling blue eyes; just the
sort •of man 'one would label "doctor,
lawyer, merchant," but never "chief."
Or revolutionist. He greeted me in broken
Hispanio-Araericanus that gave token
.of. a New England ancestor. "It is
from my Yankee grandmother that I
get my • business instincts," he ex
plained, later, on.
I had not counted business interests
lial in the make-up of a profes
sional revolutionist, but then nearly
• ihing he said upset my precon
iceived notions of a "revolutionist."
k 'Revolution?" tie began, when ques
tioned. "My dear senorita, I assure
you as an honorable gentleman that as
far as I know there is not the slightest
clar.L'fer of n revolution In my country."
Then why," I said, struggling to
hlue all I knew about his secret mis-
Bion, "should President Gutierrez write
this statement?" And I proceeded to
read bJm an extract from the letter.
"Ah, I see you are well Informed, so
I will not deny that there may be a
The fact that he had given his word
to the contrary but a moment before
did not seem to trouble him in the
"And you are here," I continued,
Slowly, so as to fully enjoy his look of
Burprise, "to purchase ammunition for
the revolutionists?"
I!*- <lir] not look a bit surprised, hut
he stared at me in point blank anger.
J got frightened. But before I could
carry <>ut my resolution to run for the
door the bland senor recovered himself,
ami suavely assured me that he was
hero for his health. "But," he add^d.
with an ahom, "I have heard that there
is a gentleman here on .such a business
as you are pleased to mention."
"And this gentleman when he has
purchased thp ammunition will he go
back to fight in the revolution?" I
"He will go back to Salvador as
suredly, but he will not take an ac
tive part in the revolution."
"1 should think if he were heart and
soul in the cause he would wish to
"My dear s^norita, his duty is to at
tend to the business part of the affair.
Besides h<- might get killed, and that
would prevent his being of any use i n
the next revolution. Of course he Is
always taking great risks because if
the other side once get suspicious of
his real business they would kill him.
They would what you call assassinate
"What are his reasons for allying
himself with the revolutionists?"
"It's a matter of business. A mer
chant sells his goods to the highest
bidder. This man manages the busi
ness details of a revolution for the side
that pays him best."
"How long has he been in this busi
* * * I am prepared in case of
revolution, and I will make an exam
ple of those who disturb public order.
Meanwhile they are heaping upon
my head daily all manner of insults
through the local press, headed here
by the students. I shall take strenu
ous measures to suppress these scan
Even if a revolution does not break
out, I fear that the Presidential elec
tion will take alarming proportions.
I am fully determined to be neutral
in the election — that is to say, I shall
not lean toward any candidate.
No personal sacrifice will deter me
from maintaining public order during
the election.
"Oh, he has looked after half a dozen
affair?, some bier and some of no con
"All in Salvador?"
"No. This will be the first one in
Salvador. It would not do to conduct
tho business for one country alone. He
would become known quickly and BO
be killed, what you call assassinated."
"And where were the other revolu
tions he was engaged in?"
"Oh, Guatemala and the other coun
tries down there."
"Then you— l mean this revolutionary
agent—has no personal feelings in the
However, I fear they will not wait
for the election, but use force of arms
to shorten my term.
Notwithstanding that my enemies
are convinced that I do not crave for
power, th&t I do not seek re-election
and that I uphold and always shall up
hold the principle of rotation in office,
yet the office-seekers and boodlers
are so anxious that they cannot wait
until my term naturally expires.
For this reason I expect an uprising
at any moment, but when they strike
they will find me fully prepared, for 1
will not submit to being forcefully
Right and justice are on my side
and they had best beware. * * *
matter? He is not personally opposed
to President Gutierrez?"
"Gutierrez! He is a fool, because he
has r.o business sense. But he is a
po.id fighter. He is too honest for those
people down there. No, this agent I
speak to you of is not opposed to Gu
tierrez personally. Only, you see, the
revolution gives him a chance to make
some business for himself. It pays;
you understand."
"Who hired this man to come up here
and buy ammunition?"
The senor smiled with an air that
spoke plainer than words: "What a
gudgeon she must think me!" Aloud
he simply said, "How should I know?"
"Oh," I replied, innocently, "I thought
you might have a faint idea. Of course,
you couldn't know positively."
"Well, there are men who want to
take Gutierrez's place in the chair of
the President, and. perhaps, one of
them hired him. Most likely the man
who will head the revolution."
Then he went on to tell me that the
students were playing the principal
roles In stirring up the revolution.
They did not realize that Gutierrez
was not responsible for the condition
of affairs. They are young and hot
blooded and anxious to have their
first chance in a revolution.
General Gutierrez should thoroughly
understand how to cope with the new
revolutionists, for he was leader of
the lnst revolutionary party that suc
ceeded in overthrowing President
Although the presidents of the Central
American republics are supposed to
be elected every four years by popular
vote, the srrial! matter of law is over
looked and the President retains the
office as long as he sees fit or until
some other man is strong enough' to
oust him. The important question is
then settled by a revolution, the leader
of the winning side taking the Presi
dency and thus saving the people the
trouble of casting votes.
General Gutierrez, it is believed, was
influenced purely by patriotic motives
when he headed the revolution against
the Ezetas. It is said they had been
using, or rather misusing, their power
toward private ends, making conces
sions in return for financial considera
tions, etc.
A band of forty men met one night In
Santa Anna, elected Rafael Antonio
Gutierrez leader, gathered a thousand
recruits, and Ftormed the Government
stronghold. The Ezetas had heard mut
terlngs of the coming storm, had pre
pared themselves, and had forced into
their army twenty thousand recruits.
These men were duly armed and or
dered to Santa Anna. It looked as
though General Gutierrez would be
powerless to match his little band
against such apparently formidable
But it is one thing to lead a horse to
■water and another thing to make him
drink. Of the 20,000 Government re
cruits ordered to Santa Anna not 500
obeyed. The men took their arms and
drifted off to their various homes.
General Gutierrez and his followers
easily captured the fort, took posses
sion of the ammunition and made
short, work of all opposition.
When the Ezetas were ousted It was
naturally supposed that Gutierre*
would step into the vacant Presiden
tial chair. The victor, however, dis
claimed any wish to be President,
much to the surprise of everybody. As
far back as the memory of the oldest
Central American went there had
never been a man who had ever headed,
a revolution execept to gain power for
Gutierrez, the victor, like Cincln
natus of old, wanted to return to his
coffee plantation and spend his life in
peace and in rural pursuits. At least
he said so.
He suggested two of his generals as
best fitted to assume the responsibili
ties of the high office.
But on all sides the cry went up:
"Gutierrez! Gutierrez must be Pres
It was finally decided that for a year
he should be dictator and he accepted
the trust. The revolutionists declare
it was the old trick of Caesar being of
fered the crown. At any rate to most
of his countrymen Gutierrez proved a
man of good common sense, thor
oughly just and honest, and brave in
battle. But time proved he was not
fitted to cope with the baseness and
intrigue of the Government depart
At the end of the year of dictator
ship he was proclaimed President in
spite of low mutterlngs of discontent.
At first they were almost inaudible,
but soon they swelled to a chorus that
went rumbling up and down the land.
Gutierrez discovered that each year
swelled the list of his enemies alarm
ingly. At the head of the discontented
now are the merchants, especially
those who love a President that in
clines for a consideration to wink at
smuggling. An honest President means
smaller profits for such merchants.
Then some of the office-holders at pres
ent are carefully watched to prevent
their filling their private pockets with
public money. Added to these are the
regular starved office-seekers, to whom
a change in government is hailed as a
chance for another lease of easy-going
Of late coffee has been groins: darwn
Continued on Pag* Tweoty-Xour.

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