and a sumptuous meal made us feel vastly more comfortable; but yet we were deprived of our dessert, for Dan could neither sing "Long, long ago," or the "Soldier's Tear." After whispering to one another our anecdotes, we slept several hours more, when our well-known whistle again started us. Our guide approached and beckoned us to follow him. After half an hour winding us through a boggy bottom, we came to an unoccupied hut, built of bamboos, and covered with palm leaves. Here he told us we might sleep this night, as he must rest his horses; that he had some friends at hand, and if any alarm should be given, we must disappear in the thick bushes near by.
In a short time he again returned with a new friend, a long gray-bearded, though athletic old man. The old man greeted us very kindly, with many professions of devotion to our interest, and from his signs we readily recognised him to be a brother in the same cause as our guide. We gave him two dollars to procure us supper, and, after an absence of an hour, he returned with one smoking hot, which we the more enjoyed, as our clothes were now measurably dry. The old man lived in the immediate  neighbourhood, and, true to his promises, he and his family kept a close watch over us that night and the next day.
At sundown our horses were brought up, and an additional one for the grayheaded old man, who, with all his travelling paraphernalia, showed that he meant to see us safe through our journey. This veteran, with all the pride of many years, mounted upon a gay, plaited-tailed charger, rode ahead of the party. He was a man of ready words and many compliments; next to him came our head man, of much less address, who knew that our greatest difficulty was yet to encounter. This night we met frequent companies of smugglers and robbers, but the gray-bearded old man passed them with as much ease of address as one could speak to his neighbour upon a court green. We would follow in our dark robber costume without saying a word, and doubtless passed as citizens in the same trade.
Our course still lay down the River Antigua, and on the personal estate of Santa Anna,2 through a dense forest of large trees, many of which were new to our northern raising. Among the most remarkable was the celebrated banian-tree, of the fig family (Ficus religiosa), which has been so long regarded by the Hindoos with religious veneration. This tree has the singular quality of extending long horizontal branches from the trunk, about twenty or thirty feet above the ground, and throwing out roots from these branches, which will  continue to grow downward through the open air until they reach the ground, take hold, and themselves become trunks. We observed a vast number of these trunks, covering a large extent of ground, all united in one common covering of dense foliage, and each trunk giving the like support to the others, as well-set and well-braced pillars in an edifice would to its aggregate of strength. An immortal bard makes this the kind of fig-tree from which our first parents procured their first aprons: