I have Ashley Smith's copy of this book (he was my grandfather and a friend of Jan and Cora Gordon) and in the front of the book are his comments written with a fountain pen:
"This is a true yarn,
Fleet Street thought otherwise."
Ashley Smith's comment in the front of ".. As Beggars, Tramp through Spain."
I also found the story largely plausible (thought some exaggerations are to be expected) and the descriptions of the places along their route convincing…