Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/156

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pened to meet a religious procession in a narrow street; the viaticum was being carried to some great personage, I should imagine by the number of people who followed the dais; there were a great many women in the crowd. We three officers stood on one side respectfully, removed our hats, and as it was pouring with rain, we received all the water from the gutters on our unprotected heads, and were drenched to the skin. When the procession had passed, and was about thirty yards away, we thought we could with decency put on our hats, but the people tore them off again, crying and shouting something we could not understand, as we did not know Spanish. With that we all three drew our swords, whereupon these exceedingly pious Christians all tumbled over one another to get out of the way, and left us a clear road. We hastened our steps and took the first cross street we could find. The people, not wishing to lose anything of the ceremony, did not pursue us. Not knowing the town well, we probably did not take the shortest road to the boat, but we found