The undergrowth consisted of limes and other tropical fruits. It was necessary that the Antigua should be crossed before reaching Vera Cruz, and the only practical point of so doing was at the small town of the same name near its mouth. This place, which we entered about ten o'clock at night, has been for many years a noted place for smuggling. Vessels anchor off the mouth of this river under presence of getting fresh water, which affords them a good opportunity to carry on the contraband trade. The wide and dense bottom which lay upon each  side of this river, interspersed with circuitous paths, known only to smugglers and robbers, affords ample shelter for this illicit trade. Here our old man was well acquainted; and when we entered the town, he drew up his horse opposite a store, with a light burning on the counter, where a Mexican cavalry officer was writing at the desk. He whispered to us not to dismount; that he would go in and buy some cheese and crackers for our supper, and see "how the land lay."
Upon entering the house, he appeared to be well acquainted, and rolled out his salutations with his usual volubility. The cavalry officer first addressed him, "Who are those upon their horses in the street? I have been sent here with my troop these two weeks, with orders to send every foreigner without passports to the Castle of San Juan de Ulloa.3 Do you know that sixteen of those daring Texians have escaped from the Castle of Perote, and several of them are yet abroad?" Before the old man had time to reply, the officer added, "As soon as I finish this note, I will examine their papers."
The old man, with his ready wit, replied that "they have all got passports, and from the English minister at that, and they are going home," at the same time setting a large tumbler of aguardiente before the officer with many compliments. He drank to the venerable old man, and resumed his writing in much hurry, so as to examine our passports. 
The old man continued talking with his usual vivacity, and threw another
* See Book IX. of Milton's "Paradise Lost."