While then the priests were chanting prayers for his soul, his mind was also occupied with these lines: “The funeral train, with the ruler came, And passing slowly through the grove; Dropped tears of sorrow As honored they lay him in his lonely grave.” Then the priests became oppressed for want of sleep; and in short were so overcome with the fatigue of their ride that, having tied their mules to trees, they stripped off their gowns, and, convinced in their own minds that the prisoner would not attempt to escape in his shirt, (or if he did, that his want of raiment was proof against any one taking him in), they stretched themselves down upon the ground, and were soon fast asleep.
Now, notwithstanding General Potter still fancied himself ruler over Kalorama, he felt that his head was quite as well on his own shoulders, for there was his wife Polly, and three children, who, for aught he knew to the contrary might stand much in need of a portion of his spoils, which as yet had been small indeed. He therefore got quietly up, and habiting himself in the hat and gown of a priest, mounted the fleetest mule of the lot, and reaching the high-road, in breathless anxiety, set out at full speed toward Jolliffee, confident that he would overtake or get some tidings of his straying army on the road. When he had got some three miles over the road, he turned in his saddle, listened with great caution, and said: “To the devil with you, Mister Priests, for General Potter owes you no thanks, and can take care of himself. See what it is to leave until morning a job you should have done at night!”
In which the reader will find much that is curious and interesting.
When morning came, and the priests were awakened by the singing of birds and the chattering of monkeys (as if in derision at their sloth), they no sooner discovered their great loss than they set to berating each another right soundly; not because they cared a whit for what evil the fellow could do, but that, having set their hearts on the hanging, it only grieved them to find that they had lost so excellent an opportunity of thus skilfully paying the scamp off for his tricks. “Let us preserve peace between us, for perhaps it is ordained of heaven!” said the venerable priest, with great solemnity of countenance. “And remember, brothers, we have made Jose Farino king, and have much need to join him, and lend him our aid in driving these vagabonds out of the country.” Much debate was had on this question, which, however, resulted in an agreement to first pursue and recapture the condemned. So after they had refreshed themselves, and offered up prayer for the success of their undertaking, they mounted their mules and set off at full speed. But as is too often the case with them when over-anxious to get sinners to heaven, they forgot to look for the footprints, and galloped their mules in the wrong direction, and there we must leave them.