with his thumb and the two first fingers of his dexter hand, the fore finger being in the centre, so as to give it a spoon shape, dip up the red chops, and at every dip a new spoon disappears. The immense quantity of chilé, "red pepper," used in cooking gives everything cooked more the appearance of being submerged in a paint-bucket of oil and red lead than eatable gravy. Usually, after their officers, and frequently their dirtiest soldiers, would sop their saucers empty, not clean, our dinner would be served in the same without washing. On frequent occasions, the sutler-woman, for decency sake, would take the lately-used saucer, and, crooking the fore finger of her right hand in a half moon shape, run it round the inside of the vessel with surprising expertness,  and then give the aforesaid semicircled finger a flirt to rid it of its contents, in readiness to serve the next.
On this occasion, a fat young sutler-woman brought into our stable a jar of this hashed victuals. After quietly sitting flat upon the ground, in the manner of United States tailors - the Mexican tailors sit upon stools* - she commenced fingering the lately-used saucer in the manner above described. Being hungry, and my temper not the most placid, on account of the pulque imposition, I ordered her to take her finger out of my saucer and wash it. "What does he want?" she said to the interpreter. When my order was explained, the good-natured creature burst forth into a laugh which made her fat sides shake; and all the satisfaction I could get was, "That you are the strangest people I ever saw; I haven't a doubt but that you have eaten many a peck of dirt before."
After the Mexican officers had finished their siesta, all except one old colonel came forth into the stable-yard where we were confined. Each had in his hand a lasso, with a running noose at one end  of it, ready for throwing. To catch a hog or a mule by the foot when running is esteemed by them a high accomplishment, and for a time they seemed to be proud of the amusement it afforded us, until they ascertained that we were laughing in ridicule of their national gymnastics. One of our men, whose wardrobe was not worth six cents in a fair market, told one of these gilt-laced gentry, "Why, sir, I would flog one of my negroes if he were guilty of such unintellectual stupidity as to throw a rope over a pig's head." "How, then," said the officer, "do you catch your cavallos and chickens?" "Well," answered the Republican, "the former we learn to come to the bridle; the latter, we cut their throats with the rifle, and we don't claim any that is hit on the head." "Hai Dios!" (my God!) he exclaimed, "what a strange people you are!"
Had I Santa Anna's power in Mexico, as it is his duty, and should enter deeply
* I have observed that individual habit is not more inveterate than national, even in small matters. In Mexico, while working at their trade, the tailors sit upon stools, while the English race set flat upon a board, with their legs crossed under them. In Mexico the barbers turn their razors upon the edge in stropping, while ours turn theirs upon the back. Their barbers use their fingers to lather one's beard, while our people would consider it extremely filthy to have a fellow fingering about their lips. One of our petit inconveniences was in failing to find a shaving-brush for sale in all Mexico.