low him to go forward to his home in the town of Zacualtipan, between three and four leagues distant, to prepare his wife for the reception of our party: and I have now further to narrate the defection of our scapegrace Juliano, who, after going about his work in the evening like a man in a maze, was reported early the next morning by his comrade to be dead—or dying—or drunk; at all events incapable, or unwilling to move another step. We therefore visited him, and inquired into the particulars of his case. We examined his tongue—well-coloured and healthy; felt his pulse—free and regular; and punched him affectionately in the stomach, that being, according to the mute indication of the sufferer, the main seat of the unknown disease. He bore this professional treatment with great meekness. We ascertained that he had, in conformity to his invariable habits, made a very hearty supper: to wit, a dozen and a half of tortillas smeared with Chile; a dish of rice; a dish of frigoles, forbye an egg or two; a huge pot of pulque, and a couple of yards of sugarcane; and we had great suspicion, from what we learned, that he intended, as soon as the coast was clear, to make an equally hearty breakfast. But what were we poor, innocent, helpless travellers to do ? There he lay under a group of Palma Christi, on his armas d’agua, or goatskin knee wrappers, like a man who has completely lost his hold upon the world—made his last testament—left to others the consolations to be derived from the possession of his goods and chattels—his battered green velvet pantaloons, and short jacket; his mighty sword, and mightier carbine; and was only waiting for the priest to give him his viaticum.
It is true, we had all good reasons to believe him “playing possum," as the Anglo Americans express it, otherwise shamming; indeed, we had proof positive showing this to be the case, and that, moreover, he had excellent reasons for doing it, and for quitting us here. He was deeply in our debt. He was tired of his masters, as he found that his villanies, small and great, were detected. He knew that from this day forward, the