The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950 Page: 70
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
pany the soap convoy on its return trip. Naturally he wore his
new jacket since he was going to the big city.
No sooner had Miranda reached San Antonio and set out to
do the town, smartly attired in his new leather jacket, than a
resolute, muscular stranger blocked his path, pointed an accusing
finger at the garment, and roared angrily: "That's my jacket!
Take it off!"
It was Banul, the blacksmith. Miranda tried to explain that
the jacket had been given to him by his commanding officer in
La Bahia, but Banul was implacable. There were only a few
soldiers and settlers in San Antonio at that time, and conse-
quently everybody knew everybody else, what they did, and what
they wore. It was unquestionably the same jacket that Banul had
lent to Joseph Miguel.
Banul went to Joseph Miguel and demanded an explanation,
only to be put off with vague excuses. Finally Banul took the
matter to Captain Vrrutia, Joseph's father, and demanded the
return of his jacket.
"You can't get blood out of a turnip," the captain observed
laconically. "The jacket is no longer in our possession. There-
fore, if you tell me what you think it's worth, I'll pay you for it."
"But I don't want money. I want my jacket," Banul insisted.
"It was specially made to fit me and I like it. Besides," he added
slyly, "I may need it to protect me if you order me out on cam-
paign against the Indians."
At last, however, Banul was convinced that the jacket could
not be recovered; so he agreed to take twenty pesos as compen-
sation, which was a generous sum in those days-equivalent to
twenty days pay for an enlisted man, or more than enough to
buy three horses.
"Very good," said Captain Vrrutia as he closed the transaction.
"That will be in trade, of course. I'll give you credit for that
amount at my store."
Thus the jacket was transferred from Banul to Joseph Miguel,
from him to Captain Costales, and from the latter to Private
Miranda, without any money ever changing hands at any point
during the transaction, demonstrating that merchandise, not
money, was the principal medium of exchange on the Texas
frontier two centuries ago.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950, periodical, 1950; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101126/m1/88/: accessed May 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.