would have to feel our way, inch by inch, with the greatest caution, which much retarded our general progress. This was the work of evenings, nights, and mornings. At length our provisions were becoming rapidly diminished, and we determined to descend into the lowlands.
This was during the "rainy season," for in Mexico it rains nearly all the time from June to October; consequently we were nearly all the time wet. If we caught enough sun about the middle of the  day to dry us, it was to be succeeded by another drenching at night, which, in that snowy region, made us suffer intensely from cold. The constant rains made the mountain sides nearly as slippery as soap; this made our way still more difficult. Where such heavy labour was performed, much drinking of water was necessary, and the rains furnished this blessing in abundance. We would drink at every brook, and fill our gourds, which would last to the next.
Having descended many miles the valley of a bold creek, which, from our map, we judged to be the head of a river leading through the Valley of Jalapa, we crawled into some bushes after daylight to sleep. Here we were first aroused by a heavy rain and several shepherd boys, who came so near that it would seem impossible for them not to have seen us. We lay as close to the ground as if we had been so many snakes, but watched closely their countenances: had they discovered us, we would have emigrated sooner than our regular hour. We were in a valley which now rapidly descended, and about sundown we again took up our march. Soon we struck a path, but its precipitous descent and rich black soil, made in the highest possible degree slippery from the continued rains, rendered our descent, if possible, more fatiguing than the ascent. Our feet and legs skinned, swelled, and excessively sore, with the general stiffness of limbs, "rusted with a vile repose," and a great want of muscular action  from cold and rains, we had but little power of holding back, and frequently slipped and fell with great violence.
At daylight we were in the immediate neighbourhood of a thick settlement, and took lodging in some bushes and weeds upon an elevation, from which we could see below us people cultivating their fields. Here we waited until near night, when we again set forth. Descending into the valley still below, and crossing a small field, we met a Péon with a hoe upon his shoulder, returning from labour. This poor fellow was exceedingly alarmed, but after our assuring him that we intended no harm, we asked him the way to Jalapa. He commenced a difficult direction, when we determined to take him with us as a guide at least part of the way; then ordering him to go ahead, he led us down a bold creek about two miles to a crossing, and then told us to take the right-hand end of the road, which would lead us to the molina, and thence to the city. We gave him a piece of silver, and he took the other end, much relieved from his alarm, which our outlandish appearance occasioned. The right-hand end led immediately across the creek and through a gap, with a high mountain on each hand.