as a matter of favouritism, is allowed to some officer to draw and furnish the rations. From avarice - for none but the avaricious seek such offices - he puts the poor prisoner upon what will barely sustain life, and frequently it falls short of even that.
The fat man referred to was the comisario, who received our pay and furnished the rations; and it would be difficult to imagine any human being more penurious.1 He had lived to an age when avarice absorbed his whole soul; but all this was in some degree excusable in his case, as he had three daughters to support, whose proportions at this present writing but too much resembled that of their worthy sire.
The rations of the Mexican soldiers are not subject to the like abuse as in the case of the prisoners. The former have officers to whom they can complain to prevent such outrageous swindling, while the foreign prisoner is insulted in his complaints, and unpitied in his misery.
The estimate of the cost of the Texian rations did not exceed eight cents per diem, with a reservation of three and a quarter cents per day from the twenty-five, making forty-seven cents paid over to each man once in two weeks: the balance was, consequently, clear gain to the old cormorant referred to.
The reader may form some estimate of the quantity and quality of our food from the following statement, which I furnished to the American minister: "7 o'clock A.M., our cook brings us in a large tin kettle of coffee, 'the devil's broth,' to wit: 13 ounces of a burnt substance, so called, boiled in about five gallons of water, and two and a half pounds of brown sugar,'polonci,'2 a fraction over a half pint each. This amount is also served us at 5 o'clock P.M. At noon, the rations about four days out of each eight are sixty-two pieces of beef, chopped up with the bone, there being sixty-two prisoners. These pieces average, with bone, about fourteen ounces. The beef is much poorer than I ever imagined would be served for food; much worse, generally, than is served to their own soldiers; in some instances, too poor to walk, the animal having been brought in upon hand-sticks. These sixty-two chunks, wholly destitute of anything like fat, are boiled in water with six ounces of manteca, lard, with a sufficiency of salt and red pepper. At the same time, eleven pounds of good rice are boiled with one pound of lard, and a small quantity of onions. The other four days of the eight we have no meat of any kind, the lack of  which is supplied either by Irish potatoes, or frijoles, beans, which last are most generally of an indifferent quality, and not sufficient for any except the very smallest eaters."
After we left the valley of the Rio Grande, we saw no beef that would be considered even tolerable in Texas. About Perote it is much inferior to any we found elsewhere. These poorest of poor cattle, whose years of service had long since passed, had been turned upon the common to die; they, consequently, could be purchased cheap. These supplied the beef upon which the ill-fated Texians had