The Rifle Rangers
I ride onward and inward into the land. I am gradually ascending from the sea-level. I no longer travel upon horizontal paths, but over hills and steep ridges, across deep valleys and ravines. The hoof of my horse no longer sinks in light sand or dark alluvion. It rings upon rocks of amygdaloid and porphyry. The soil is changed; the scenery has undergone a change, and even the atmosphere that surrounds me. The last is perceptibly cooler, but not yet cold. I am still in the piedmont lands--the tierras calientes. The templadas are yet far higher. I am only a thousand yards or so above sea-level. I am in the "foot-hills" of the Northern Andes.
How sudden is this change! It is less than an hour since I parted from the plains below, and yet the surface-aspect around me is like that of another land. I halt in a wild spot, and survey it with eyes that wander and wonder. The leaf is less broad, the foliage less dense, the