High on the sun-scorched hillside above the steamy littoral of the Caribbean Sea the Spanish-Indian town of Rio Frio lay sweltering in the heat of afternoon. The flat-topped, white houses surrounding the plaza reflected a dazzling glare, and the heat shimmered mercilessly upon the rough paving-stones. Flakes of plaster had fallen from the buildings; a few of them were mere ruins, relics of a past age; for the town had been built when conquistadores from Spain first plunged into the tropic forest to search for El Dorado. Here and there dilapidated green lattices shaded upper windows, and nearer the ground narrow openings were guarded by rusty iron bars; but some of the houses showed blank outer walls, and the plaza had rather an Eastern than an American look. Spain has set upon the New World the stamp the Moors impressed on her.