soldier," when frequently those best "at crawling" would ease it out of the crack and regrind it. If they failed to replace it in the crack, the first thing in the morning we would hear the old sailing-master sing out, "By my soul, boys, my old soldier is adrift;" but should he find it in the crack, and fresh from the mill, his song would then be, "By my soul, boys, some of you have been foul of my old soldier." Then, after igniting a loco foco, he being "quarterlero ocho,"9 would commence and sweep up the decks; the conclusion of which operation was always with the grateful acknowledgment, "Now, by my soul, I have got a good 'presperation,'" at the same time wiping the exuberant drops from his benevolent physiognomy.
On certain days we had the privilege of buying brandy at the tienda, shop, a kind of sutler store, kept by the wife and daughter of a superannuated lieutenant. The old man was a dried-up octogenarian, who had served under Napoleon in Italy. He occasionally looked after our men at work, and was not a bad man. His wife was about thirty years his junior, and weighed two hundred and thirty pounds, and was the most stingy fat woman I ever knew. The daughter was twenty years her junior, and twenty pounds her senior: her face was marked with small-pox: she was, however, one of the best-tempered women of her size. She made but slow progress in English, yet always met us with a smile.
Her venerable sire still called her Niña, by the fond name he did thirty years ago, which means child. We called her Señorita Niña; others of our boys, who made as slow progress in Spanish as did Niña in English, called her Señorita, muy bonita, with a low bow, the English of which is, Miss, very pretty; but the low bow gave it the undefinable touch. There were still other Texians who were not up to this, and who employed a language which all seemed to understand and no one could explain. They would tip Señorita Niña Mr. Kendall's admirable "can't-come-it-judge" motion with a low bow, and the sight of a picayune,10 and the good creature never failed to wet their whistles.
The high estimation in which these people generally held Texians may be known from the fact  that many of us could get credit for a dollar's worth, some even five, without a pledge of any kind, when they would not trust one of their own officers without he left his straps, sword-belt, or something in pledge corresponding to the amount purchased. Señorita Niña frequently invited Colonel Fisher, Colquhoun, Ogden, Van Ness, myself, and others, into her back parlour to drink our vino mascal, and would frequently remark, when she would return from the store, "What a very strange people you are! I can leave you here by yourselves, and you won't steal a thing."
There were certain days that it was positively against orders to sell us brandy. On these occasions many were the shifts resorted to for procuring it. One of their soldiers, in going to town, would cut off about three feet of the bowels of