of stone and mortar which his labour had detached, and bury them under some loose stone and brick in the floor. As the quantity thus buried would raise the pavement too high, it would be taken out under our blankets, and emptied into the comûn, privy.
The tools with which we operated were narrow, inferior carpenter's chisels - the Mexican tools were generally of an inferior kind, which our carpenters would bring from the shop. Some of our men were carpenters and wheelwrights, and were employed in the carpenter shop making artillery carriages; and as they would have to come to their meals, and sleep in the same prison-cells, they would smuggle the chisels out of the shop under their blankets. The reader will understand that our men had to wear blankets over their shoulders as an essential portion of their wardrobe; and as they despised Mexican fashion too much to give it that peculiar à la Mexicana sling about the arms, they wore them à la Texas, by first suspending the blanket over a string, then tying the ends of the string round the neck; and he who was so fortunate as to have a warm one felt as proud as a Roman senator with his ermined toga. The Texas mode, however, of wearing the blanket, though different from that of the "blanketed nation," afforded both comfort and ample means of smuggling.
As a water-drip will wear away the hardest granite, so the breach in the wall gradually grew deeper under our incessant labour. This work was principally accomplished by drilling holes into the stone and mortar with the chisel, and prying off small pieces; and frequently, after a hard day's labour, not more than a hatful could be disengaged. The greatest difficulty, however, was, that as the hole  grew deeper, it grew smaller, and the position of the operator rendered it next to impossible to avoid this difficulty; so that when the hole reached the outside of the wall, it had a funnel shape, the outer end being reduced to ten by fourteen inches. On the first day of July the hole had been drilled down to a thin shell on the outer side, which could be easily burst out, after the final preparation was made for leaving.
For some weeks previous to our escape, those who intended to go were busily engaged, every safe opportunity, in completing their arrangements - fixing their knapsacks, saving all the bread they could procure, laying aside every cent to purchase fat bacon and chocolate. Having been furnished money by a friend in Mexico, I was enabled to supply several with sugar, coffee, and bacon, which compensated for my lack of work in the hole.
We considered it imprudent to start with less than two weeks' rations each, as we calculated to be all of that time in the mountains before venturing into a settlement to replenish our stores. To buy so large a quantity at one time might lead to suspicion as to what purpose we wanted them for, as heretofore our purchase had been of the smallest character. To avoid this suspicion, we had been for weeks buying a little at a time. At length, Sunday, the second day of July,