the Escape but Sixteen. Left Papers with Colquhoun. Note to Santa Anna. Take Leave of our Friends. Turnkeys. Mode of Counting. Locking up. Deceiving the Sentinels: mode of. Monte Bank. Bull-dance. Commence going Out. Toowig. Ike Allen: his Fall. Character. Beeve's Bladder. Aguardiente. Governor. "Guts" and the Dialogue. Stone hung in the Hole. The Herculean John Young. Passing the Sentinels. Their Hailing. Our Response.
Now that my usefulness either to myself or my fellow-prisoners was at an end, I determined to return to my country, or perish in the attempt. To  escape from this strong place, guarded as it was with the most unremitting vigilance, was considered impossible by the Mexicans, and the project required the greatest caution, coolness, and calculation. I made known my determination to Captain Reese, who agreed to join me in the enterprise, and also to stake his life upon the issue.1
Our first plan was to scale the different walls, the height of which we could carefully estimate by the eye, during some stormy night when the sentinels could be most easily passed. We accordingly set about making arrangements.
Our ignorance of the country, and the insurmountable difficulties of so mountainous a region, rendered it first necessary that we should have a map to travel by, and this could only be obtained in the city of Mexico. I accordingly wrote to a friend to procure the article. He returned for an answer that on a certain day he would pass Perote in the stage on his way to Vera Cruz, and that I must meet him at the stage-office, if it were possible to procure the governor's permission. The stage passes Perote three times per week on its way to Vera Cruz and back. The stage-office is in the town of Perote, about one mile from the castle; here the stages meet, one running from Vera Cruz, and another from the city of Mexico; this is the stopping-place for the night. They arrive usually about four or five o'clock in the evening, on which days it was usual for the governor to permit one, and sometimes  two of our men to go out under a strong guard to get our papers and letters. I went to the governor, and asked permission to go to the stage-office, which he granted, sending an officer and six soldiers as a guard. When I reached the stage-office the coach from Mexico was already in, and my friend waiting my arrival. We were old acquaintances, but neither appeared to know the other. He had in his pocket the map I was so anxious to procure, but how was that to be given to me? The officer did not leave my side three feet, and the soldiers stood single file upon each side of the door.
After some minutes, my friend, who spoke the Spanish language well, stepped up to the officer, and pointing to me, he said, "Is not that a Texian prisoner?" "Yes!" replied the officer. My friend walked around me, and eyed me from head to foot as a thing of much curiosity; then turning to the officer, remarked, "Well, such is the fortune of war: will you join me in something to drink?" There are very few Mexican officers who will refuse a drink of aguardiente, if it cost