stopped as quick as thought, not making another step, at the  same time speaking to my companions behind to halt. Stooping down where I stood, with my walking-cane I reached as far as my arm would allow, but still I found no bottom; and, after laying down and straining our eyes, we discovered the appearance of tree tops far below. Changing our course, we felt our way down a steep descent of at least one mile to a valley, the creek through which washed the base of the dangerous precipice we had just escaped. How inscrutable are the ways of Providence! One step more, myself, then Reese, and then Dan would have fallen a thousand feet - for no alarm from the foremost would have reached the next - leaving no one on earth a knowledge of our destiny.
Having passed through several cultivated fields in this dark valley - for, when we looked back upon our frightful escape, we likened it to the "Valley of Death" - daylight found us again lying under our wet blankets in some thick bushes. We rested a few hours, being much exhausted, and suffering greatly for want of refreshment. We had coffee and chocolate in our knapsacks, but for fear of raising smokes we had only on one occasion used any. Hearing the roaring of a cataract at some distance below, we determined to get water, seek a dark and secure place, and make coffee. We traced the roaring of this waterfall, and found it at the bottom of a dark and deep hollow, overlapped with a thick foliage. From the brink of the hill no one could be seen below, while we below could easily discover  the approach of any one from above. Here we made a small fire, and, with the assistance of our pint tin, we made cup after cup, until we were greatly relieved. The roar of the waters prevented our being heard, and we, after bathing our feet and legs, luxuriated in a good chat, for most of our intercourse had been carried on by signs and low whispers, which had become irksome.
From the distance and general course we had travelled, we believed that we were not many miles from the city of Jalapa, and the paths all converged in the direction which we believed the city lay. Before night we left our cooking place, and skirted along the cultivated fields, avoiding the paths, as we expected the different entrances to the city would be guarded. We had not gone many miles before the ringing of the city bells could be plainly heard; and having understood that the city lay in a valley between two mountains, which were now plainly seen in the bright moonlight upon our right and left, we for the first time understood our precise locality. Our plan was now to leave the city to our right, and follow round the base of the mountain to our left; strike into the valley of the river, which our map showed led to the seacoast, thence follow it down.
We bore to the left to avoid the city, and crossing many stone fences covered with prickly-pear and briers, which surround the little cornfields, were sorely lacerated. The more we tried to avoid the city, the thicker, it appeared to us, became