important to reach the city before nine o'clock, at which hour the city gates would be closed. When within three or four miles of the city, a violent blow coming on, Don E. and the gray-headed old man being a short distance ahead, got separated from us, and search after them was wholly vain.
The other two robbers kept on with us till within a mile of the city walls; here our dark-complexioned head man stopped and said that "he would go no farther; that there was some rascality afloat with our Vera Cruz friend; that he did not like his countenance; that he would doubtless, if he could, betray all hands; and," says he, "where would my neck be if he did?" We remonstrated with him to no purpose; we begged him to take us to the city gates, where our friend would certainly come, as the force of the storm had separated him from us without his desire. But no; he said we must dismount here, and creep into some bushes near by, and next morning he would make his way into the city and find out all about it. We had no alternative but to comply, and a more disagreeable night we have rarely spent. A cold rain fell in torrents upon us the whole night.
True to his promise, our head man went into the city next morning in disguise, and after ascertaining through some friends that Don E.'s intentions were honourable, and that he was greatly distressed at being separated from us, he sought and informed Don E. where we had been left.
Don E. and the old man having kept up the whole night watching, and next morning having procured a fresh horse, they rode around the town in every direction, in hopes of finding us, when they met the robber, and learned where he had left us over night.
Our Mexican friend, Don E., came to the spot where we had dismounted the night before. We had moved our lodgings some two hundred yards, though we recognised him, and hoisted a flag from the bushes where we lay concealed. He knew it, and came to us. This was about noon. He told us to leave our blankets, and follow him at about two hundred yards distant, and let that distance intervene between each of us, and to look as if we belonged to the city. This we did: he went ahead; Reese, Dan, and myself followed through the crowd, each whistling, with as "don't care a look" as can be well imagined. We passed through the city this way, making it convenient to stop into a Frenchman's drinking-house to warm the "inward man."
We regretted to hear that no vessel would sail for the United States, and our friend Don E. conducted us to a small private room upon the second floor, where we were fed from a restaurante.
After we had been safely ensconced in our hiding-place, our three faithful guides came to take leave of us. They did so in the most feeling manner. The gray-bearded old man made the valedictory. He congratulated us upon our extreme good luck in falling into the hands of "honourable men," for, says he, "as