Carlists had just surprised that place, and were searching for an English spy, whom they supposed to be at the inn. The officer commanding the soldiers upon hearing this, not deeming his own situation a safe one, instantly drew off his men, falling back on a stronger party stationed in a fortified village near at hand. As for ourselves, we saddled our horses and continued our way in the dark. Had the Carlists succeeded in apprehending me, I should instantly have been shot, and my body cast on the rocks to feed the vultures and wolves. But "it was not so written," said Antonio, who, like many of his countrymen, was a fatalist. The next night we had another singular escape: we had arrived near the entrance of a horrible pass called "E1 puerto de la puente de las tablas," or the pass of the bridge of planks, which wound through a black and frightful mountain, on the farther side of which was the town of Oñas, where we meant to tarry for the night. The sun had set about a quarter of a hour. Suddenly a man, with his face covered with blood, rushed out of the pass. "Turn back, sir," he said, "in the name of God; there are murderers in that pass; they have just robbed me of my mule and all I possess, and I have hardly escaped with life from their hands." I scarcely know why, but I made him no answer and proceeded; indeed I was so weary and unwell that I cared not what became of me. We entered; the rocks rose perpendicularly, right and left, entirely intercepting the scanty twilight, so that the darkness of the grave, or rather the blackness of the valley of the shadow of death reigned around us, and we knew not where we went, but trusted to the instinct of the horses, who moved on with heads close to the ground. The only sound which we heard was the plash of a stream, which tumbled down the pass. I expected every moment to feel a knife at my throat, but "it was not so written." We threaded the pass without meeting a human being, and within three- quarters of an hour after the time we entered it, we found ourselves within the posada of the town of Oñas, which was filled with troops and armed peasants expecting an attack from the grand Carlist army, which was near at hand.
Well, we reached Burgos in safety; we reached Valladolid in safety; we passed the Guadarama in safety; and were at length safely housed in Madrid. People said we had been very lucky; Antonio said, "It was so written;" but I say, Glory be to the Lord for His mercies vouch-- safed to us.
State of Affairs at Madrid---The New Ministry--Pope of Rome--The Bookseller of Toledo--Sword-Blades--Houses of Toledo--The Forlorn Gipsy --Proceedings at Madrid--Another Servant.
DURING my journey in the northern provinces of Spain, which occupied a considerable portion of the year 1837, I had accomplished but a slight