At the word, this curiously-equipped cortege drove rapidly to a great grotto, in which the distinguished dead of Nezub were placed, preparatory to being prayed through purgatory by the priests. And here, having safely secured and barricaded the entrance, General Roger Potter—statesman, philosopher, warrior, and politician—was left to sleep in the company of his faithful horse and the dead.
Which treats of what took place when the general and his secretary gained their understandings.
Like one slowly regaining from a state of stupor, with a generally disordered system and grievously sore bones, the general came to his understanding on the following morning, and to his utter astonishment found himself in a position where he could neither move to the right nor the left. All was dark, and a silence as of the tomb reigned. He had a dim recollection of the banquet; the vagaries of his past life flashed through his mind; the grand achievements he had fancied marking his future dwindled into disappointment. “As I’m a sinner,” said he, struggling in vain to extricate himself, “this mission of mine is not all sunshine and feather beds.” He now heard the kicking and frisking of his horse, and becoming somewhat alarmed, bawled out at the top of his voice for Father Segong and his secretary. But as his wily secretary was in no condition to come to his relief, even had he been within hearing distance, and the good priest was fast asleep in his chamber, the only reply he got was the echoes of his own bawlings. Mistaking the nature of the sounds, he came to the conclusion that the good priest had turned joker, and was trifling with his misfortunes. Losing his patience, then, he called his elbows into service, and succeeded after much perturbation in escaping feet-foremost from his shell. And as he stood erect upon his feet, a thousand queer fancies again crowded upon his mind and so haunted his imagination that all his courage vanished, and he began to feel in his heart that he had fallen into a trance, and been buried alive by the priests, who had left him in a state of probation until they could find time to pray him through purgatory. He felt and felt about the vehicle and the horse, who was so high of bone that he at once recognized him. “Battle! Battle! my trusty friend!” he exclaimed, almost