Thompson, he was released. Billy was the largest of the four boys, and the downy evidences upon his upper lip, resembling a young frost, bespoke the confidence of sixteen. If our friend had less reverence for the mummeries of the "true faith," his Hotspur qualities made him the better soldier. This leads me to remark here, what my experience has long since taught me, that I would far prefer an army of boys to an army of men: the go-ahead qualities of the former will hardly fail to win, while the more calculating character of the latter make their movements too slow. Had our two hundred and sixty-one men at Mier been boys, I do not entertain a doubt but that I should have been spared the pain of recording their captivity, sufferings, and deaths.
Having ascended the mountain, we were marched several leagues upon the level table-land, extensively cultivated, and at the end of nine leagues we stopped for the night, and were crammed into a small, filthy room of an extensive hacienda, with several  of their own miserable Péons, who were marched in our ranks and under the same guards, to be made soldiers.
One of these prisoner Péons was a bugler, and consequently, a prize of no ordinary value in the estimation of the Mexican commander; for the Mexicans, of all people, pride themselves most upon the empty show and pomp of the camp. In this skeleton of a regiment of less than three hundred men, there were more musicians than belong to a division in the United States army. On one occasion the Mexican officers asked us where our musicians were. We answered, "We are all musicians in Texas!" "Upon what instruments do you perform?" "Upon the rifle," we answered, when, suddenly, the muscles of their faces would elongate from the pleasant to the most inexpressible blank. On this and similar occasions, when we would quiz them - and we let no opportunity pass for so doing - they would always come to the conclusion that "we were a strange people."
In the wife and sister of this bugler prisoner we witnessed instances of female fortitude and devotion, which, if we were not to notice, we should be unjust to the purpose of these pages. This poor man, who had been kidnapped because he knew how to blow a horn, was kept in the strictest confinement. His wife and sister abandoned their homes, and followed the regiment on foot several hundred miles, packing water and provisions for him, and attending  to his wants with a devotion I never saw surpassed. The sister, whenever the regiment would halt, occupied herself in making small paper segars, "cigarritos," which she sold both to our comrades and the soldiers, while the wife would buy gourds full of "vino mascal," and retail to us by the drink. The profit of their trades gave them the means of supplying the wants of the husband and brother. The conduct of these women, so pure, so unshaken in the interest of this unfortunate man, caused me to remark, what I have often before observed, both in Mexico and other parts of the world, how far superior, in the cultivation of