Page:The Rambler in Mexico.djvu/63

This page has been validated.

ed of such a wild, unshaven, and uncouth being? As to Juliano, with his smooth face, and smoother language; arrogance of superior breeding, and superior authority, we had long known that his honesty was very suspicious, that his valour was more than doubtful and that his general morals were as worn and discoloured, as the faded, green leather breeches in which he delighted to swagger among the Indians.

We found that like other fashionable servants he had his private gleanings whenever employed by us. One thing I must say for him, that if he was lavish of our credit and dollars, he w^as no less so of his own; for what with one thing or another, he had contrived to draw from us, by the time we reached Tlacolula, nearly the whole of his pay, for the entire tour and the return.

Here, having more leisure to look about us, we were not slow in discovering other dusky shades in his character. Having taken into his head that his valour was hired as our body guard, and being moreover jealous of the respect and confidence which we bestowed upon Don Juan Espindola, he thought proper, all of a sudden, to relinquish all care of our baggage. After leading forward our horses of a morning, ready caparisoned for departure, without further ado, he girded on his trusty—no, rusty blade; grasped his mighty carbine, clambered on his own steed, and awaited the signal of marching. This conduct was the more disagreeable, as our skill in the Spanish tongue as yet hardly comprised terms of objurgation and menace; and this the rogue knew. Nevertheless we gave him a regular "blowing up," which I flatter myself was comprehensible enough, in spite of bad grammar. Gallicisms, and Anglicisms; though indeed I must in fairness state, that, whether in anger or deep-seated grief no one could say, he forthwith departed from our presence, bought himself a bottle of agua ardiente, and got tipsy. Miguel was too good a comrade not to bear him company; so that on the morning of our departure from Tlacolula, they were both found to be so far gone, that it was with trouble they could sit in the saddle.