this time to be there on foot, and to conduct us a blind way through the mountains to the seacoast near Vera Cruz, at a place where vessels occasionally anchor off to water. Here the balance of us were to be secreted until our sailing arrangements were complete. The signal-fire failing, Ogden and Ike returned, leaving Reese and Toowig still in search of the promised guide.
We were now thrown back upon our original plan of escaping in pairs, and after shaking hands, and wishing each other a safe, if not a pleasant journey, we separated in the following manner [see plate facing page 161]:
Little Tom Hancock and Forester were considered the best walkers in the crowd. Tom was a great woodsman; he had the organ of the honey-bee  in a high degree, and facing himself to the north-east, then looking over his left shoulder to the north star, so as to form an acute angle to that luminary, he pointed his sapote staff dead ahead, and said, "Boys, this will bring me to the Gulf of Mexico, and then I shall know where I am. I will have nothing to do but to follow round the left of the pond to Texas." Thus saying, Tom and Forester started, and Captain Ogden, being disappointed in his horse arrangement, went with them.
Ike, facing a little more north than Tom, but still keeping the north star upon his left, said, "Boys, this will bring the Rio Grande, where I am well acquainted with every path and crossing, and about this time my cattle and mules are in good driving condition, so God bless you all." Thus saying, he moved forward, his two comrades following.
The Herculean John Young, who stood well built and six feet two under a slouched hat and thirty pounds of fat bacon, split the difference between Tom and Ike. He was a man of but few words, and saying, "A thousand miles this course will reach Texas - that's nothing," he and his chums started.
Dick Barclay had much of the polarity quality in his composition. His frequent Indian hunts in Texas had well tested his locality organ, and he struck a course still east of Tom, his comrade following in silence.
Dalrymple was left alone, his partner having declined  coming; he said, "Well, boys, here is for the city of Mexico," and obliqued to the right for the main stage-road.
Myself and Dan took the other end of the road for Vera Cruz. My plan was to pursue it rapidly until daylight, and then turn into the mountains of Cofre de Perote, which lay upon our right.
In leaving the castle, our friend Major Bugg1 promised to fold up a dirty-looking blanket, as near the colour of the wall as possible, and so fill in the hole, as the breach upon the outside could not be easily discovered. Thus we had every confidence that our escape would not be known before counting time at nine o'clock next day. Consequently, I pursued the road with no fear of arrest that night; the only probability was that we might meet with some robbers. We