brigade." He felt all the attachment for me which an old soldier feels for his superior officer, and volunteered to do a service which was calculated to shorten my breakfast. Simeon was a good fellow and an old soldier in more than one sense. When he was first ordered out to work, he told our sentinel that he had the hernia, and that the American doctors told him "never to stoop down and lift up anything." This was sufficient, as the opinion of American doctors was regarded as of the highest authority in all human  maladies, and Simeon was permitted to remain in prison. This indulgence afforded him ample opportunity to war ad libitum upon the piojo. Most of the time since 1836 Simeon had lived with the Mexican population of Bexar; and while his residence did not make him the better friend of the Mexican, it confirmed his decided hostility against these vermin.
The first thing in the morning after the turnkey would open our prison door and let in the light, I would get up and call for Simeon. I generally prefaced handing him the shirt by saying, "Glenn, I had a very disagreeable night of it." Taking the shirt, Simeon's sympathy would as often respond, after turning down a plait in the collar, "No wonder, general! look here at this cursed old sow with her litter of pigs!"
Simeon lost nothing by this operation, for he usually came in as one of our mess; and when he assisted as cook, it was not until the formal proclamation of the irrevocable law of "soap and water:" no law of the Medes or Persians was ever more strictly enforced when we had anything to cook.
This very delicate pursuit of louse racing has long since been known in Mexican prisons as one of the very few amusements of those dull regions. The races come off in the following manner: The Mexican prisoners draw a circle upon a beef's hide about eighteen inches in diameter, inside of which they draw a smaller one, and in the centre of this  they make a holy cross: even to this vile purpose is that emblem of purity prostituted! The racers are placed on the outside of the inner ring, and the one that first crosses the double ring, and arrives at the holy goal, sweeps the plata or soap, as the case may be. We have witnessed the most ludicrous scenes around these pools.
As the tiny animals start, their owners become as much excited, doubtless, as the owners of Fashion and Boston at their great race. They jump and climb over each other to get a better view: it is, "Hurra for the white," and "Well done for the red," and many such expressions, accompanied with the most antic capers, each countenance being expressive of different degrees of hope and despair, according to the locality of their respective coursers. On these funny occasions, we have stood off to watch the countenances of the parties interested, and have witnessed grimaces which would have shaken the pencil from the hands of Hogarth. The only thing comparable to it is the negroes around a cockpit on a Whitsuntide in Virginia or North Carolina, a festival of ancient