humble as your apparel appears to be, you must know that there are thousands in this country who would murder you for that dirty jacket," pointing to the one I had on. "I thank God," said he, "that as long as I have worn this gray beard I have never forfeited my word of honour."
During this speech he strutted across the room with the utmost self-satisfaction, slapping his hands upon his bosom whenever he spoke of a man of honour. When he had finished his speech, we drew from the waistband of our pantaloons several ounces of gold, which we had been careful to keep dark until now, and distributed among them as a gratuity over and above their contract. We thought this precaution would seal their allegiance, as we had been often told that the most honest collectors of customs in Mexico will say to the importer, "That, as thin as is a doubloon, no man can see through it."
We had taken particular pains upon the road to exhibit our small store of silver, which they supposed was all we had. When they saw the gold come forth from its hiding-place, a look of surprise was exchanged; and when they fingered the yellow stuff, their countenances beamed with renewed devotion to our interest.
We certified in writing that they had been true and faithful to us, and the tall, dark-skinned robber, after first kissing the paper, carefully stored it in a secret place under his shirt. Upon taking leave, the old man, after several facetious jokes "how we would surprise our sweethearts when we reached home," embraced us with a Mexican hug both long and strong. In Mexico, one's regard for another is graduated in proportion to the length and strength of the embrace. Thus each of these robbers embraced us, and thus we returned it; for if we found in all Mexico the most fearless devotion to our interest while in misfortune, it was in our three robber guides.
Cooped up in this situation we remained thirteen days, and it was anything else than pleasant. Our lodging was in the midst of the infected district, where scores died daily of the vomito,4 the worst kind of yellow fever, and where we were constantly under apprehension of discovery. A small window opening from our hiding-place into the street gave us a full view of every passer-by, among whom were several officers of the Mexican army that we well knew, and among them Captain Santa Anna, son of the President, whom we had seen passing Perote. Here in this death's hole we had to lay and sweat out the last days of hot July. We would long for the approach of night, that we might walk forth, as recreation both of mind and body; for during the eternal tolling of the church bells over  the dead and dying, we could fancy the dreadful malaria coursing through our veins.
After night it was my habit to go to a hot bath a few squares distant, where an hour's bathing was succeeded by a profuse perspiration, which was of great relief to me. On one occasion, after coming out of the bath, I stepped into a