As yet not a murmur had reached us from below, except the sighing of the wind through the tall trees, and the "sough" of the river as it tumbled away over its pebbly bed. Now and then we heard a stray shot, or the quick, sharp notes of a cavalry bugle; but these were far off, and only told of the wild work that was still going on along the road towards Encerro and Jalapa.
What a beautiful spot is Encerro, the country residence of Santa Anna! It may not be as productive as his estate of Manga de Clavo, in the hot country, near Vera Cruz; but it is more salubrious and delightful.
The Artist among Robbers. Mexican Scholars in the United States. Encerro. A railroad eleven miles in length, crossing the morass, connects Vera Cruz with the great National Road to the table-land of the interior. The coach in which the journey to Mexico is made is placed on a railroad track and pushed on before a crazy locomotive, while behind the engine is a long line of freight wagons.
Thus had our transient friend had his inner and outer man supplied in this out-of-the-way hut, at the robbers' charges, after which, being shown the direction in which to reach the Jalapa road, he bade the kind old matron adios, and traveled on to Encerro with a lighter heart than he had borne the day before. At Encerro we left four of our fellow-passengers.
After the battle the various details of engineer soldiers joined in the pursuit of the enemy, were collected together at Encerro, and the company remained with Twiggs division until it reached Jalapa. At this place it was furnished by the Chief Quartermaster with the finest mule teams in the army.
The stage-coach has been forgotten in story-telling while slowly climbing up the pass, but as soon as we had overcome this impediment we started off again upon an unrepaired road, at our former neck-breaking speed, which we kept up until we reached Encerro, where for a little way we had an earthen road. Yet it was only a short breathing before we were upon the rough stones again.