Escaping slaves

“A slave who got [taken] as far as the market place had one last chance of regaining his freedom. If he could escape from the market place and reach the sanctuary of the ruler’s palace he became a free man, and the law gave him a sporting chance by forbidding anyone but the owner or the owner’s son from trying to catch him. Any other person who interfered in the chase was punished by being enslaved himself.”

From Warwick Bray’s ‘Everyday life of the Aztecs’.