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Remember the Alamo by Amelia E. Barr

Part 4 out of 6

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"A curious creed they weave,
And, for the Church commands it,
All men must needs believe,
Though no man understands it.
God loves his few pet lambs,
And saves his one pet nation;
The rest he largely damns,
With swinging reprobation."

"The Church may loose and bind;
But Mind, immortal Mind,
As free as wave or wind,
Came forth, O God, from Thee."

Dr. Worth had set his daughter a task of no light magnitude.
It was true, that Rachela and Fray Ignatius could no longer
disturb the household by their actual presence, but their
power to cause unhappiness was not destroyed. Among the
Mexican families loyal to Santa Anna the dismission of the
priest and the duenna had been a source of much indignant
gossip; for Rachela was one of those women who cry
out when they are hurt, and compel others to share their
trouble. The priest had not therefore found it necessary to
explain WHY the Senora had called upon a new confessor. He
could be silent, and possess his dignity in uncomplaining
patience, for Rachela paraded his wrongs as a kind of set-off
to her own.

Such piety! Such virtues! And the outrageous conduct of
the Senor Doctor! To be sure there was cause for anger at the
Senorita Antonia. Oh, yes! She could crow her mind abroad!
There were books--Oh, infamous books! Books not proper to be
read, and the Senorita had them! Well then, if the father
burned them, that was a good deed done. And he had almost
been reviled for it--sent out of the house--yes, it was quite
possible that he had been struck! Anything was possible from
those American heretics. As for her own treatment, after
twenty years service, it had been cruel, abominable, more than
that--iniquitous; but about these things she had spoken, and
the day of atonement would come. Justice was informing itself
on the whole matter.

Such conversations continually diversified, extended, repeated
on all hands, quickly aroused a prejudice against the doctor's
family. Besides which, the Senora Alveda resented bitterly
the visits of her son Luis to Isabel. None of the customs of
a Mexican betrothal had taken place, and Rachela did not spare
her imagination in describing the scandalous American
familiarity that had been permitted. That, this familiarity
had taken place under the eyes of the doctor and the Senora
only intensified the insult. She might have forgiven
clandestine meetings; but that the formalities due to the
Church and herself should have been neglected was indeed

It soon became evident to the Senora that she had lost the
good-will of her old friends, and the respect that had always
been given to her social position. It was difficult for her
to believe this, and she only accepted the humiliating fact
after a variety of those small insults which women reserve for
their own sex.

She was fond of visiting; she valued the good opinion of her
caste, and in the very chill of the gravest calamities she
worried her strength away over little grievances lying
outside the walls of her home and the real affections of her
life. And perhaps with perfect truth she asserted that SHE
had done nothing to deserve this social ostracism. Others had
made her miserable, but she could thank the saints none could
make her guilty.

The defeat of Cos had been taken by the loyal inhabitants as
a mere preliminary to the real fight. They were very little
disturbed by it. It was the overt act which was necessary to
convince Mexico that her clemency to Americans was a mistake,
and that the ungrateful and impious race must be wiped out of
existence. The newspapers not only reiterated this necessity,
but proclaimed its certainty. They heralded the coming of
Santa Anna, the victorious avenger, with passionate
gasconading. It was a mere question of a few days or weeks,
and in the meantime the people of San Antonio were "making a
little profit and pleasure to themselves out of the
extravagant reprobates." There was not a day in which they
did not anticipate their revenge in local military displays,
in dances and illuminations, in bull-fights, and in
splendid religious processions.

And Antonia found it impossible to combat this influence. It
was in the house as certain flavors were in certain foods, or
as heat was in fire. She saw it in the faces of her servants,
and felt it in their indifference to their duty. Every hour
she watched more anxiously for some messenger from her father.
And as day after day went by in a hopeless sameness of grief,
she grew more restless under the continual small trials that
encompassed her.

Towards the end of January, General Urrea, at the head of the
vanguard of the Mexican army, entered Texas. His destination
was La Bahia or Goliad, a strong fortress garrisoned by
Americans under Colonel Fanning. Santa Anna was to leave in
eight days after him. With an army of twenty thousand men he
was coming to the relief of San Antonio.

The news filled the city with the wildest rejoicing. The
little bells of the processions, the big bells of the
churches, the firing of cannon, the hurrahs of the tumultuous
people, made an uproar which reached the three lonely
women through the closed windows of their rooms.

"If only Lopez Navarro would come! If he would send us some
little message! Holy Mary, even he has forgotten us!" cried
the Senora in a paroxysm of upbraiding sorrow.

At that moment the door opened, and Fray Ignatius passed the
threshold with lifted hands and a muttered blessing. He
approached the Senora, and she fell on her knees and kissed
the hand with which he crossed her.

"Holy father!" she cried, "the angels sent you to a despairing

"My daughter, I have guided you since your first communion;
how then could I forget you? Your husband has deserted you--
you, the helpless, tender lamb, whom he swore to cherish; but
the blessed fold of your church stands open. Come, poor weary
one, to its shelter."

"My father--"

"Listen to me! The Mexican troops are soon to arrive.
Vengeance without mercy is to be dealt out. You are the wife
of an American rebel; I cannot promise you your life, or your
honor, if you remain here. When soldiers are drunk with
blood, and women fall in their way, God have mercy upon them!
I would shield even your rebellious daughter Antonia from such
a fate. I open the doors of the convent to you all. There
you will find safety and peace."

Isabel sat with white, parted lips and clasped hands,
listening. Antonia had not moved or spoken. But with the
last words the priest half-turned to her, and she came swiftly
to her mother's side, and kissing her, whispered:

"Remember your promise to my father! Oh, mi madre, do not
leave Isabel and me alone!"

"You, too, dear ones! We will all go together, till these
dreadful days are past."

"No, no, no! Isabel and I will not go. We will die rather."

"The Senorita talks like a foolish one. Listen again! When
Santa Anna comes for judgment, it will be swift and terrible.
This house and estate will be forfeited. The faithful Church
may hope righteously to obtain it. The sisters have long
needed a good home. The convent will then come to you. You
will have no shelter but the Church. Come to her arms
ere her entreaties are turned to commands."

"My husband told me--"

"Saints of God! you have no husband. He has forfeited every
right to advise you. Consider that, daughter; and if you
trust not my advice, there is yet living your honorable uncle,
the Marquis de Gonzaga."

Antonia caught eagerly at this suggestion. It at least
offered some delay, in which the Senora might be strengthened
to resist the coercion of Fray Ignatius.

"Mother, it is a good thought. My great-uncle will tell you
what to do; and my father will not blame you for following his
advice. Perhaps even he may offer his home. You are the
child of his sister."

Fray Ignatius walked towards the fire-place and stood rubbing
slowly his long, thin hands before the blaze, while the Senora
and her daughters discussed this proposal. The half-frantic
mother was little inclined to make any further effort to
resist the determined will of her old confessor; but the tears
of Isabel won from her a promise to see her uncle.

"Then, my daughter, lose no time. I cannot promise you
many days in which choice will be left you. Go this
afternoon, and to-morrow I will call for your decision."

It was not a visit that the Senora liked to make. She had
deeply offended her uncle by her marriage, and their
intercourse had since been of the most ceremonious and
infrequent kind. But surely, at this hour, when she was left
without any one to advise her steps, he would remember the tie
of blood between them.

He received her with more kindness than she had anticipated.
His eyes glittered in their deep sockets when she related her
extremity and the priest's proposal, and his small shrunken
body quivered with excitement as he answered:

"Saints and angels! Fray Ignatius is right about Santa Anna.
We shall see that he will make caps for his soldiers out of
the skins of these infidel ingrates. But as for going into
the convent, I know not. A miserable marriage you made for
yourself, Maria. Pardon, if I say so much! I let the word
slip always. I was never one to bite my tongue. I am all old
man--very well, come here, you and your daughters, till
the days of blood are over. There is room in the house, and
a few comforts in it also. I have some power with Santa Anna.
He is a great man--a great man! In all his wars, good fortune
flies before him."

He kissed her hands as he opened the door, and then went back
to the fire, and bent, muttering, over it: "Giver of good! a
true Yturbide; a gentle woman; she is like my sister
Mercedes--very like her. These poor women who trust me, as I
am a sinner before God, I am unhappy to deceive them."

Fray Ignatius might have divined his thoughts, for he entered
at the moment, and said as he approached him:

"You have done right. The soul must be saved, if all is lost.
This is not a time for the friends of the Church and of Mexico
to waver. The Church is insulted every day by these foreign

"But you are mistaken, father; the Church holds up her head,
whatever happens. Even the vice-regal crown is not lost--the
Church has cleft it into mitres."

Fray Ignatius smiled, but there was a curious and crafty look
of inquiry on his face. "The city is turbulent, Marquis,
and there is undoubtedly a great number of Mexicans opposed to
Santa Anna."

"Do you not know Mexicans yet? They would be opposed to God
Almighty, rather than confess they were well governed. Bah!
the genius of Mexico is mutiny. They scarcely want a leader
to move their madness. They rebel on any weak pretence. They
bluster when they are courted; they crouch when they are
oppressed. They are fools to all the world but themselves.
I beg the Almighty to consider in my favor, that some over-
hasty angel misplaced my lot. I should have been born in--New

The priest knew that he was talking for irritation, but he was
too politic to favor the mood. He stood on the hearth with
his hands folded behind him, and with a delightful suavity
turned the conversation upon the country rather than the
people. It was a glorious day in the dawn of spring. The
tenderest greens, the softest blues, the freshest scents, the
clearest air, the most delightful sunshine were everywhere.
The white old town, with its picturesque crowds, its murmur of
voices and laughter, its echoes of fife and drum, its
loves and its hatreds, was at his feet; and, far off, the hazy
glory of the mountains, the greenness and freshness of
Paradise, the peace and freedom of the vast, unplanted places.
The old marquis was insensibly led to contemplate the whole;
and, in so doing, to put uppermost that pride of country which
was the base of every feeling susceptible to the priest's

"Such a pleasant city, Marquis! Spanish monks founded it.
Spanish and Mexican soldiers have defended it. Look at its
fine churches and missions; its lovely homes, and blooming

"It is also all our own, father. It was but yesterday I said
to one of those insolent Americans who was condescending to
admire it: `Very good, Senor; and, if you deign to believe
me, it was not brought from New York. Such as you see it, it
was made by ourselves here at San Antonio.' Saints in heaven!
the fellow laughed in my face. We were mutually convinced of
each other's stupidity."

"Ah, how they envy us the country! And you, Marquis, who have
traveled over the world, you can imagine the reason?"

"Father, I will tell you the reason; it is the craving in the
heart to find again the lost Eden. The Almighty made Texas
with full hands. When He sets his heart on a man, he is
permitted to live there."

"Grace of God! You speak the truth. Shall we then give up
the gift of His hand to heretics and infidels?"

"I cannot imagine it."

"Then every one must do the work he can do. Some are to slay
the unbelievers; others; are to preserve the children of the
Church. Your niece and her two daughters will be lost to the
faith, unless you interfere for their salvation. Of you will
their souls be required."

"By Saint Joseph, it is a duty not in agreement with my
desire! I, who have carefully abstained from the charge of a
wife and daughters of my own."

"It is but for a day or two, Marquis, until the matter is
arranged. The convent is the best of all refuges for women so

The marquis did not answer. He lifted a book and began to
read; and Fray Ignatius watched him furtively.

In the mean time the Senora had reached her home. She
was pleased with the result of her visit. A little kindness
easily imposed upon this childlike woman, and she trusted in
any one who was pleasant to her.

"You may believe me, Antonia," she said; "my uncle was in a
temper most unusual. He kissed my hands. He offered me his
protection. That is a great thing, I assure you. And your
father cannot object to our removal there."

Antonia knew not what answer to make. Her heart misgave her.
Why had Fray Ignatius made the proposal? She was sure it was
part of an arrangement, and not a spontaneous suggestion of
the moment. And she was equally sure that any preconcerted
plan, having Fray Ignatius for its author, must be inimical to

Her mother's entry had not awakened Isabel, who lay asleep
upon a sofa. The Senora was a little nettled at the
circumstance. "She is a very child! A visit of such
importance! And she is off to the land of dreams while I am
fatiguing myself! I wish indeed that she had more
consideration!" Then Antonia brought her chocolate, and, as
she drank it and smoked her cigarito, she chatted in an
almost eager way about the persons she had seen.

"Going towards the Plaza, I met judge Valdez. I stopped the
carriage, and sent my affections to the Senora. Would you
believe it? He answered me as if his mouth were full of snow.
His disagreeable behavior was exactly copied by the Senora
Silvestre and her daughter Esperanza. Dona Julia and Pilar de
Calval did not even perceive me. Santa Maria! there are none
so blind as those who won't see! Oh, indeed! I found the
journey like the way of salvation--full of humiliations. I
would have stopped at the store of the Jew Lavenburg, and
ordered many things, but he turned in when he saw me coming.
Once, indeed, he would have put his hat on the pavement for me
to tread upon. But he has heard that your father has made a
rebel of himself, and what can be expected? He knows when
Santa Anna has done with the rebels not one of them will have
anything left for God to rain upon. And there was a great
crowd and a great tumult. I think the whole city had a brain

At this moment Isabel began to moan in her sleep as if
her soul was in some intolerable terror or grief; and ere
Antonia could reach her she sprang into the middle of the room
with a shriek that rang through the house.

It was some minutes before the child could be soothed. She
lay in her mother's arms, sobbing in speechless distress; but
at length she was able to articulate her fright:

"Listen, mi madre, and may the Holy Lady make you believe me!
I have had a dream. God be blessed that it is not yet true!
I will tell you. It was about Fray Ignatius and our uncle the
Marquis de Gonzaga. My good angel gave it to me; for myself
and you all she gave it; and, as my blessed Lord lives! I
will not go to them! SI! I will cut my white throat
first!" and she drew her small hand with a passionate gesture
across it. She had stood up as she began to speak, and the
action, added to her unmistakable terror, her stricken face
and air of determination, was very impressive.

"You have had a dream, my darling?"

"Yes, an awful dream, Antonia! Mary! Mary! Tender Mary,
pity us!"

"And you think we should not go to the house of the marquis?"

"Oh, Antonia! I have seen the way. It is black and cold, and
full of fear and pain. No one shall make me take it. I have
the stiletto of my grandmother Flores. I will ask Holy Mary
to pardon me, and then--in a moment--I would be among the
people of the other world. That would be far better than Fray
Ignatius and the house of Gonzaga."

The Senora was quite angry at this fresh complication. It was
really incredible what she had to endure. And would Antonia
please to tell her where else they were to go? They had not
a friend left in San Antonio--they did not deserve to have
one--and was it to be supposed that a lady, born noble, could
follow the Americans in an ox-wagon? Antonia might think it
preferable to the comfortable house of her relation; but
blessed be the hand of God, which had opened the door of a
respectable shelter to her.

"I will go in the ox-wagon," said Isabel, with a sullen
determination; "but I will not go into my uncle's house. By
the saint of my birth I swear it."

"Mother, listen to Antonia. When one door shuts, God opens
another door. Our own home is yet undisturbed. Do you
believe what Fray Ignatius says of the coming of Santa Anna?
I do not. Until he arrives we are safe in our own home; and
when the hour for going away comes, even a little bird can
show us the way to take. And I am certain that my father is
planning for our safety. If Santa Anna was in this city, and
behaving with the brutality which is natural to him, I would
not go away until my father sent the order. Do you think he
forgets us? Be not afraid of such a thing. It cannot take

Towards dusk Senor Navarro called, and the Senora brought him
into her private parlor and confided to him the strait they
were in. He looked with sympathy into the troubled, tear-
stained faces of these three helpless women, and listened with
many expressive gestures to the proposal of the priest and the
offer of the old marquis.

"Most excellent ladies," he answered; "it is a plot. I assure
you that it is a plot. Certainly it was not without reason I
was so unhappy about you this afternoon. Even while I
was at the bull-fight, I think our angels were in a
consultation about your affairs. Your name was in my ears
above all other sounds."

"You say it is a plot, Senor. Explain to us what you mean?"

"Yes, I will tell you. Do you know that Fray Ignatius is the
confessor of the marquis?"

"We had not thought of such a thing."

"It is the truth. For many years they have been close as the
skin and the flesh. Without Fray Ignatius the marquis says
neither yes or no. Also the will of the marquis has been
lately made. I have seen a copy of it. Everything he has is
left to the brotherhoods of the Church. Without doubt, Fray
Ignatius was the, lawyer who wrote it."

"Senor, I always believed that would happen. At my marriage
my uncle made the determination. Indeed, we have never
expected a piastre--no, not even a tlaco. And to-day he was
kind to me, and offered me his home. Oh, Holy Mother, how
wretched I am! Can I not trust in the good words of those who
are of my own family?"

"The tie of race will come before the tie of the family. The
tie of religion is strongest of all, Senora. Let me tell you
what will take place. When you and your children are in the
house of the marquis, he will go before the Alcalde. He will
declare that you have gone voluntarily to his care, and that
he is your nearest and most natural guardian. Very well. But
further, he will declare, on account of his great age, and the
troubled state of the time, he is unable to protect you, and
ask for the authority to place you in the religious care of
the holy sisterhood of Saint Maria. And he will obtain all he

"But, simply, what is to be gained by such treachery? He said
to-day that I was like his sister Mercedes, and he spoke very
gently to me."

"He would not think such a proceeding really unkind. He would
assure himself that it was good for your eternal salvation.
As to the reason, that is to be looked for in the purse, where
all reasons come from. This house, which the good doctor
built, is the best in the city. It has even two full stories.
It is very suitable for a religious house. It is not far
from the Plaza, yet secluded in its beautiful garden.
Fray Ignatius has long desired it. When he has removed you,
possession will be taken, and Santa Anna will confirm the

"God succor our poor souls! What shall we do then, Senor?
The Mexican army has entered Texas, it will soon be here."

"Quien sabe? Between the Rio Grande and the San Antonio are
many difficulties. Urrea has five thousand men with him,
horses and artillery. The horses must graze, the men must
rest and eat. We shall have heavy rains. I am sure that it
will be twenty days ere he reaches the settlements; and even
then his destination is not San Antonio, it is Goliad. Santa
Anna will be at least ten days after him. I suppose, then,
that for a whole month you are quite safe in your own home.
That is what I believe now. If I saw a reason to believe what
is different, I would inform you. The good doctor, to whom I
owe my life many times, has my promise. Lopez Navarro never
broke his word to any man. The infamy would be a thing
impossible, where the safety of three ladies is concerned."

"And in a month, mi madre, what great things may happen!
Thirty days of possibilities! Come, now, let us be a little
happy, and listen to what the Senor has to tell us. I am sure
this house has been as stupid as a convent"; and Isabel lifted
the cigarette case of the Senora, and with kisses persuaded
her to accept its tranquilizing consolation.

It was an elegant little golden trifle studded with gems. Her
husband had given it to her on the anniversary of their
twenty-fifth wedding day; and it recalled vividly to her the
few sweet moments. She was swayed as easily as a child by the
nearest or strongest influence, and, after all, it did seem
the best to take Isabel's advice, and be a little happy while
she could.

Lopez was delighted to humor this mood. He told them all the
news of their own social set; and in such vivid times
something happened every day. There had been betrothals and
marriages, quarrels and entertainments; and Lopez, as a
fashionable young man of wealth and nobility, had taken his
share in what had transpired.

Antonia felt unspeakably grateful to him. After the
fretful terror and anxiety of the day--after the cruel visit
of Fray Ignatius--it was indeed a comfort to hear the pleasant
voice of Navarro in all kinds of cheerful modulations. By and
by there was a slow rippling laugh from Isabel, and the
Senora's face lost its air of dismal distraction.

At length Navarro had brought his narrative of small events
down to the afternoon of that day. There had been a bull-
fight, and Isabel was making him describe to her the chulos,
in their pale satin breeches and silk waist-scarfs; the
toreros in their scarlet mantles, and the picadores on their

"And I assure you," he said, "the company of ladies was very
great and splendid. They were in full dress, and the golden-
pinned mantillas and the sea of waving fans were a sight
indeed. Oh, the fans alone! So many colors; great crescents,
growing and waning with far more enchantments than the moons.
Their rustle and movement has a wonderful charm, Senorita
Isabel; no one can imagine it.

"Oh, I assure you, Senor, I can see and feel it. But to be
there! That, indeed, would make me perfectly happy."

"Had you been there to-day you would have admired, above all
things, the feat of the matadore Jarocho. It was upon the
great bull Sandoval--a very monster, I assure you. He came
bellowing at Jarocho, as if he meant his instant death. His
eyeballs were living fire; his nostrils steamed with fury;
well, then, at the precise moment, Jarocho put his slippered
feet between his horns, and vaulted, light as a bird flies,
over his back. Then Sandoval turned to him again. Well, he
calmly waited for his approach, and his long sword met him
between the horns. As lightly as a lady touches her cavalier,
he seemed to touch Sandoval; but the brute fell like a stone
at his feet. What a storm of vivas! What clapping of hands
and shouts of `valiente!' And the ladies flung their flowers,
and the men flung their hats into the arena, and Jarocho
stepped proudly enough on them, I can tell you, though he was
watching the door for the next bull."

"Ah, Senor, why will men fight each other, when it is so much
more grand and interesting to fight bulls?"

"Senorita Isabel, if you could only convince them of
that! But then, it is not always interesting to the matadore;
for instance, it is only by the mercy of God and the skill of
an Americano that Jarocho is at this moment out of purgatory."

The Senora raised herself from among the satin pillows of her
sofa, and asked, excitedly; "Was there then some accident,
Senor? Is Jarocho wounded? Poor Jarocho!"

"Not a hair of his head is hurt, Senora. I will tell you.
Saint Jago, who followed Sandoval, was a little devil. He was
light and quick, and had intelligence. You could see by the
gleam in his eyes that he took in the whole scene, and
considered not only the people in the ring, but the people in
the amphitheatre also, to be his tormentors. Perhaps in that
reflection he was not mistaken. He meant mischief from the
beginning; and he pressed Jarocho so close that he leaped the
barrier for safety. As he leaped, Saint Jago leaped also.
Imagine now the terror of the spectators! The screams! The
rush! The lowered horns within an inch of Jarocho, and Fray
Joseph Maria running with the consecrated wafer to the doomed
man! At that precise moment there was a rifle-shot, and
the bellowing brute rolled backward into the arena--dead."

"Oh, Maria Purissima! How grand! In such moments one really
lives, Senor. And but for this absurd rebellion I and my
daughters could have had the emotion. It is indeed cruel."

"You said the shot was fired by an American?"

"Senorita Antonia, it was, indeed. I saw him. He was in the
last row. He had stood up when Saint Jago came in, and he was
watching the man and the animal with his soul in his eyes. He
had a face, fine and thin as a woman's--a very gentle face,
also. But at one instant it became stern and fierce,
the lips hard set, the eyes half shut, then the rifle at the
shoulder like a flash of light, and the bull was dead between
the beginning and the end of the leap! The sight was
wonderful, and the ladies turned to him with smiles and cries
of thankfulness, and the better part of the men bowed to him;
for the Mexican gentleman is always just to a great deed. But
he went away as if he had done something that displeased
himself, and when I overtook him at the gates of the
Alamo, he did not look as if he wished to talk about it.

"However, I could not refrain myself, and I said: "Permit me,
Colonel Crockett, to honor you. The great feat of to-day's
fight was yours. San Antonio owes you for her favorite

"`I saved a life, young man,' he answered and I took a life;
and I'll be blamed if I know whether I did right or wrong.'
`Jarocho would have been killed but for your shot.' `That's
so; and I killed the bull; but you can take my hat if I don't
think I killed the tallest brute of the two. Adjourn the
subject, sir'; and with that he walked off into the fort, and
I did myself the pleasure of coming to see you, Senora."

He rose and bowed to the ladies, and, as the Senora was making
some polite answer, the door of the room opened quickly, and
a man entered and advanced towards her. Every eye was turned
on him, but ere a word could be uttered he was kneeling at the
Senora's side, and had taken her face in his hands, and was
kissing it. In the dim light she knew him at once, and she
cried out: "My Thomas! My Thomas! My dear son! For
three years I have not seen you."

He brought into the room with him an atmosphere of comfort and
strength. Suddenly all fear and anxiety was lifted, and in
Antonia's heart the reaction was so great that she sank into
a chair and began to cry like a child. Her brother held her
in his arms and soothed her with the promise of his presence
and help. Then he said, cheerfully:

"Let me have some supper, Antonia. I am as hungry as a lobos
wolf; and run away, Isabel, and help your sister, for I
declare to you girls I shall eat everything in the house."

The homely duty was precisely what was needed to bring every
one's feelings to their normal condition; and Thomas Worth sat
chatting with his mother and Lopez of his father, and Jack,
and Dare, and Luis, and the superficial events of the time,
with that pleasant, matter-of-course manner which is by far
the most effectual soother of troubled and unusual conditions.

In less than half an hour Antonia called her brother, and he
and Lopez entered the dining-room together. They came in
as brothers might come, face answering face with sympathetic
change and swiftness; but Antonia could not but notice the
difference in the two men. Lopez was dressed in a suit of
black velvet, trimmed with many small silver buttons. His
sash was of crimson silk. His linen was richly embroidered;
and his wide hat was almost covered with black velvet, and
adorned with silver tags. It was a dress that set off
admirably his dark intelligent face.

Thomas Worth wore the usual frontier costume; a dark flannel
shirt, a wide leather belt, buck-skin breeches, and leather
boots covering his knees. He was very like his father in
figure and face--darker, perhaps, and less handsome. But the
gentleness and strength of his personal appearance attracted
every one first, and invested all traits with their own
distinctive charm.

And, oh! What a change was there in the the{sic} Senora's
room. The poor lady cried a little for joy, and then went to
sleep like a wearied child. Isabel and Antonia were too happy
to sleep. They sat half through the night, talking softly of
the danger they had been in. Now that Thomas had come,
they could say HAD. For he was a very Great-heart to them,
and they could even contemplate the expected visit of Fray
Ignatius without fear; yes, indeed, with something very like



"What thing thou doest, bravely do;
When Heaven's clear call hath found thee,
Follow--with fervid wheels pursue,
Though thousands bray around thee."

"Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed,
Which his aspiring rider seemed to know;
With slow but stately pace kept on his course;
You would have thought the very windows spoke,
So many greedy looks of young and old,
Through casements darted their desiring eyes
Upon his visage."

Left to themselves, the two men threw off like a mask the
aspect of cheerfulness they had worn in the presence of the
Senora. Thomas Worth ate heartily, for he had been without
food since morning; but Navarro did not attempt to join his
meal. He sat patiently waiting his sombre eyes fixed upon the
mental visions which circled in the enchanted incense of his

Presently Thomas Worth turned toward the hearth, pushed the
cedar logs on it to a focus, and at their leaping
blaze lighted the pipe which he took from his pocket.
"Lopez," he said, "it strikes me that I am just in time to
prevent some infamous plan of Fray Ignatius and my uncle

"I should not have lost sight of the Senora and your sisters.
I have watched them faithfully, though for many good reasons
it has been best to appear indifferent. Will you now remain
in San Antonio?"

"I have come with orders to Travis to blow up the Alamo, and
fall back upon Houston, who is at Gonzales. But I do not
think the men will permit him to do so."

"You have too many leaders. Also, they undervalue the Mexican
soldiers. I assure you they do. They fought Spain for ten
years; they do not want, then, the persistence of true valor.
The Americans may die in the Alamo, but they cannot hold it
against the thousands Santa Anna will bring with him."

"They will die, then. They have no thought of retreat, nor of
any deed that argues fear. Every man relies on himself, as if
in his hand the moment of victory lay."

"Every man will perish."

"They will not perish in vain. Defeat is only a spur to the
American soldier. Every, one makes him a better fighter. If
Santa Anna massacres the men in the Alamo, he seals the
freedom of Texas."

"Houston should have come himself."

"Houston is biding his time. He is doing at present the
hardest duty a great man can do: setting an example of
obedience to a divided and incompetent government. Lopez, you
said rightly that we had too many leaders. When those
appointed for sacrifice have been offered up--when we are in
the extremity of danger and ruin, then Houston will hear the
word he is waiting for."

"And he will lead you on to victory. Indeed, I know it. I
have seen him. He has the line--the fortunate line on the
forehead. He is the loadstone in the breast of your cause;
the magnet who can draw good fortune to it. If fate be
against you, he will force fate to change her mind. If fate
weave you a common thread, he will change it into purple.
Victory, which she gives to others reluctantly, he will take
like a master from her hand HOUSTON! What essence! What
existence! What honor! What hope there is in those
seven letters. Consider this: He will find a way or make a
way for freedom."

Subsequent events proved the opinion of Thomas Worth correct
with regard to the garrison in the Alamo. David Crockett!
James Bowie! Barret Travis! The names were a host in
themselves; one and all refused to couple them with retreat.

"Military defeats may be moral victories, young man," said
Crockett to Thomas Worth; "and moral victories make national
greatness. The Roman that filled the gulf with his own body--
the men who died at Thermopylae--they live to-day, and they
have been talking with us."

"But if you join Houston you will save many lives."

"That isn't always the point, sir. Jim Bowie was saying there
was once a lover who used to swim two miles every night to see
a young woman called Hero. Now, he might have waited for a
boat and gone dry-shod to his sweetheart; but if he had, who
would have cared whether he lived or died? The Alamo is
our Hero. If we can't keep her, we can die for her."

The same spirit moved every soul at Goliad. Fanning was there
with nearly nine hundred men, and he had named the place Fort
Defiance, and asserted his determination to hold it. In the
mean time, Houston was using his great personal influence to
collect troops, to make treaties with the Indians, and to keep
together some semblance of a provisional government.

But it had become evident to all the leading spirits of the
revolution that no half-way measures would now do. They only
produced half-way enthusiasm. For this end, Houston spoke out
with his accustomed boldness:

"Gentlemen, we must declare the independence of Texas, and
like our fore-elders, sink or swim by that declaration.
Nothing else, nothing less, can save us. The planters of
Texas must feel that they are fighting for their own
constitution, and not for Mexican promises made to them twelve
years ago and never yet kept."

The simple proposition roused a new enthusiasm; for while
Urrea was hastening towards Goliad, and Santa Anna
towards San Antonio, and Filisola to Washington, the divided
people were becoming more and more embittered. The American
soldiers, who had hitherto gone in and out among the citizens
of San Antonio during the day, and only slept in the Alamo,
were conscious of an ominous change in the temper of the city.
They gathered their recruits together and shut themselves in
the fortress.

Again Thomas Worth urged them to fall back either upon the
line of Houston at Gonzales, or Fanning at Goliad; but in the
indecision and uncertainty of all official orders, Crockett
thought it best to make the first stand at the Mexican city.

"We can, at least," he said, "keep Santa Anna busy long enough
to give the women and children of our own settlements time to
escape, and the men time to draw together with a certain

"The cry of Santa Anna has been like the cry of wolf! wolf!"
said Bowie. "I hear that great numbers that were under arms
have gone home to plant their corn and cotton. Do you want
Santa Anna to murder them piecemeal--house by house,
family by family? Great George! Which of us would
accommodate him with a prolonged pleasure like that? No! he
shall have a square fight for every life lie gets"; and the
calm, gentlemanly Bowie was suddenly transformed into a
flashing, vehement, furious avenger. He laid his knife and
pistols on the table, his steel-blue eyes scintillated as if
they were lightning; his handsome mouth, his long, white
hands, his whole person radiated wrath and expressed the
utmost lengths of invincible courage and insatiable hatred.

"Gentlemen," answered Travis, "I go with Crockett and Bowie.
If we hold the Alamo, it is a deed well done. If we fall with
it, it is still a deed well done. We shall have given to
Houston and Fanning time to interpose themselves between Santa
Anna and the settlements."

"We have none of us lived very well," said Bowie, "but we can
die well. I say as an American, that Texas is ours by right
of natural locality, and by right of treaty; and, as I live,
I will do my best to make it American by right of conquest!
Comrades, I do not want a prettier quarrel to die in"--and
looking with a brave, unflinching gaze around the grim
fortress--"I do not want a better monument than the Alamo!"

The speech was not answered with any noisy hurrahing; but the
men around the bare, long table clasped hands across it, and
from that last interview with the doomed men Thomas Worth came
away with the knowledge that he had seen the battle begun. He
felt now that there was no time to delay longer his plans for
the safety of his mother and sisters. These were, indeed, of
the simplest and most uncertain character; for the condition
of the country and its few resources were such as to make
flight the only way that promised safety. And yet flight was
environed with dangers of every kind--hunger, thirst,
exhaustion, savage beasts, Indians, and the triple armies of

The day after his arrival he had begun to prepare, as far as
possible, for this last emergency, but the Senora's
unconquerable aversion to leave her native city had constantly
hampered him. Until Santa Anna really appeared she would not
believe in the necessity of such a movement. The proposal of
Fray Ignatius, even if it did end in a convent, did not
seem so terrible as to be a wanderer without a roof to cover
her. She felt aggrieved and injured by Antonia's and Isabel's
positive refusal to accept sanctuary from the priest, and with
the underhand cunning of a weak woman she had contrived to let
Fray Ignatius know that SHE was not to blame for the

All the same the priest hated her in conjunction with her
children. On the morning after her interview with her uncle,
he went to receive her submission; for the marquis had
informed him of all that had passed, and he felt the three
women and the valuable Worth property already under his hard
hand. He opened the gate with the air of a proprietor. He
looked down the lovely alleys of the garden, and up at the
latticed stories of the handsome house, with that solid
satisfaction which is the reward of what is acquired by
personal effort or wisdom.

When he entered the door and was confronted by Thomas Worth,
he was for the moment nonplussed. But he did not permit his
confusion and disappointment to appear. He had not seen
Thomas for a long time. He addressed him with suavity
and regrets, and yet, "was sure he would be glad to hear that,
in the present dangerous crisis, the Marquis de Gonzaga had
remembered the blood-tie and offered his protection to a
family so desolate."

Thomas Worth leaned upon the balusters, as if guarding the
approach to the Senora's apartments. He answered: "The
protection of the marquis is unnecessary. Three ladies are
too great a charge for one so aged. We will not impose it."
The face of the young man was calm and stern, but he spoke
without visible temper, until the priest prepared to pass him.
Then he stretched out his arm as a barrier.

"Fray Ignatius, you have already passed beyond the threshold;
permit me to remind you of Dr. Worth's words on that subject."

"I put my duty before any man's words."

"Sir, for my mother's sake, I would not be disrespectful; but
I assure you, also, that I will not permit any man, while I
live, to disregard my father's orders regarding his own

"I must see the Senora."

"That, I reply, is impossible."

"Presume not--dare not to interfere with a priest in the
duty of his office. It is a mortal sin. The curse of the
Church will rest upon you.

"The curse of the Church will not trouble me. But to treat my
father's known wishes with contempt--that is an act of
dishonor and disobedience which I will not be guilty of."

"Santa Maria! Suffer not my spirit to be moved by this wicked
one. Out of my path, Satanas!"

The last word was not one which Thomas Worth had expected. He
flushed crimson at its application, and with a few muttered
sentences, intelligible only to the priest, he took him firmly
by the shoulder, led him outside the door, and closed and
barred it.

The expulsion was not accomplished without noisy opposition on
the part of Fray Ignatius, and it pained Thomas deeply to
hear, in the midst of the priest's anathemas, the shrill cries
of his mother's distress and disapproval.

The next domestic movement of Thomas Worth was to rid the
house of Molly and Manuel, and the inferior servants. It was
not as easy a task as may be supposed. They had been ordered
by Fray Ignatius to remain, and the order had not been
countermanded. Even if the Senora and her daughters were
going east, and their services were not needed, they had no
objections to remain in the Worth house. They understood that
the Church would take possession, and the housekeeping of the
Church was notoriously easy and luxurious.

However, after exorbitant compensation had been made, and
Molly had given in return "a bit of her mind," she left for
the Irish colony of San Patricio, and Manuel immediately
sought his favorite monte table. When he had doubled his
money, he intended to obey Molly's emphatic orders, and go and
tell the priest all about it.

"I would rather, face a battery of cannon than Fray Ignatius
and the servants again, Antonia." Antonia looked at her
brother; he was worried and weary, and his first action, when
he had finally cleared the house, was to walk around it, and
bolt every door and window. Antonia followed him silently.
She perceived that the crisis had come, and she was doing as
good women in extremity do--trying to find in the darkness the
hand always stretched out to guide and strengthen. As
yet she had not been able to grasp it. She followed her
brother like one in a troubled dream, whispering faintly, with
white lips, "O God, where art Thou? Help and pity us!"

Thomas led her finally to his father's office. He went to a
closet filled with drugs, removed them, and then a certain
pressure of his hand caused the back of the closet to
disappear in a groove, and a receptacle full of coin and
papers was disclosed.

"We must take with us all the coin we can carry. What you are
not likely to require, is to go to the men in the field.
Then, hide in its place the old silver, and the laces, and the
jewels, which came with the Flores from Castile; and any other
papers and valuables, which you received from our father. I
think even Fray Ignatius will not discover them here."

"Is there any special need to hurry to-day?

"Santa Anna is within forty-eight hours of San Antonio. He
may force a march, and be here earlier. Travis told me last
night that their advance scouts had come in with this
intelligence. To-day they will gather every man they can, and
prepare to defend themselves in the Alamo. As soon as
Santa Anna arrives, we are in danger. I must leave here to-
night. I must either take you with me or remove you to a
place of more safety."

"Let us go with you."

"If my mother is willing."

"If she is not, what then?"

"Lopez has prepared for that emergency. He has an empty house
three miles west of San Antonio. He has had it completely
victualled. I will take you there after dark in the large
green chariot. Ortiz will drive the light Jersey wagon on the
Gonzales road. When inquiry is made, the Jersey wagon will
have attracted the attention of every Mexican, and Fray
Ignatius will receive positive assurances that you were in it
and are beyond his power. And certainly, without definite
intelligence, he would never suspect you of being anywhere on
the highway to Mexico."

"Shall we be quite alone?"

"For two or three days you will be quite alone. Ortiz will,
however, return with the wagon by a circuitous route; for,
sooner or later, you are sure to need it. Fear not to trust
him. Only in one respect will you need to supplement his
advice by your own intelligence: he is so eager to fight Santa
Anna, he may persuade himself and you that it is necessary to
fly eastward when it is not. In all other points you may be
guided by him, and his disguise as a peon is so perfect that
it will be easy for him to gather in the pulquerias all the
information requisite for your direction. I have been out to
the house, and I can assure you that Lopez has considered
everything for your comfort."

"However, I would rather go with you, Thomas."

"It must be as mother desires."

When the circumstances were explained to the Senora, she was
at first very determined to accept neither alternative. "She
would remain where she was. She was a Flores and a Gonzaga.
Santa Anna knew better than to molest her. She would rather
trust to him than to those dreadful Americans." Reminded of
Fray Ignatius, she shed a few tears over the poor padrecito,
and assured her children they had made a mistake regarding
him, which neither oil nor ointment, nor wit nor wisdom, could
get over.

It was almost impossible to induce her to come to a decision
of any kind; and only when she saw Antonia and Isabel were
dressed for a journey, and that Thomas had locked up all the
rooms and was extinguishing the fires, could she bring herself
to believe that the trial so long anticipated had really come.

"My dearest mother! My own life and the lives of many others
may now hang upon a few moments. I can remain here no longer.
Where shall I take you to?"

"I will not leave my home."

"Santa Anna is almost here. As soon as he arrives, Fray
Ignatius and twelve of the Bernardine monks are coming here.
I was told that yesterday."

"Then I will go to the convent. I and my daughters."

"No, mother; if you go to the convent, Antonia and Isabel must
go with me."

She prayed, and exclaimed, and appealed to saints and angels,
and to the holy Virgin, until Isabel was hysterically weeping,
Antonia at a mental tension almost unendurable, and Thomas on
the verge of one of those terrifying passions that mark
the extremity of habitually gentle, patient men.

"My God, mother!" he exclaimed with a stamp of his spurred
boot on the stone floor; "if you will go to the devil--to the
priests, I mean--you must go alone. Kiss your mother
farewell, girls. I have not another moment to wait."

Then, in a passion of angry sobs and reproaches, she decided
to go with her daughters, and no saint ever suffered with a
more firm conviction of their martyrdom to duty than did this
poor foolish, affectionate slave to her emotions and her
superstitions. But when Thomas had gone, and nothing was to
be gained by a display of her sufferings, she permitted
herself to be interested in their hiding-place, and after
Antonia had given her a cup of chocolate, and Isabel had
petted and soothed her, she began gradually to allow them to
explain their situation, and even to feel some interest in its

They sat in the charmful, dusky glimmer of starlight, for
candles and fire were forbidden luxuries. Fortunately, the
weather was warm and sunny, and for making chocolate and such
simple cookery, Lopez had provided a spirit lamp. The
Senora was as pleased as a child with this arrangement. She
had never seen anything like it before. She even imagined the
food cooked upon it had some rare and unusual flavor. She was
quite proud when she had learned its mysteries, and quite sure
that chocolate she made upon it was chocolate of a most
superior kind.

The house had been empty for two years, and the great point
was to preserve its air of desolation. No outside arrangement
was touched; the torn remnants of some balcony hangings were
left fluttering in the wind; the closed windows and the closed
doors, the absence of smoke from the chimneys and of lights
from the windows, preserved the air of emptiness and
loneliness that the passers-by had been accustomed to see.
And, as it was on the highway into the city, there were great
numbers of passers: mule-trains going to Mexico and Sonora;
cavaliers and pedestrians; splendidly-dressed nobles and
officials, dusty peons bringing in wood; ranchmen, peddlers,
and the whole long list of a great city's purveyors and

But though some of the blinds were half-closed, much could be
seen; and Isabel also often took cushions upon the flat roof,
and lying down, watched, from between the pilasters of the
balustrade surrounding it, the moving panorama.

On the morning of the third day of what the Senora, called
their imprisonment, they went to the roof to sit in the clear
sunshine and the fresh wind. They were weary and depressed
with the loneliness and uncertainty of their position, and
were almost longing for something to happen that would push
forward the lagging wheels of destiny.

A long fanfare of trumpets, a roll of drums, a stirring march
of warlike melody, startled them out of the lethargic tedium
of exhausted hopes and fears. "It is Santa Anna!" said
Antonia; and though they durst not stand up, they drew closer
to the balustrade and watched for the approaching army. Is
there any woman who can resist that nameless emotion which
both fires and rends the heart in the presence of great
military movements? Antonia was still and speechless, and
white as death. Isabel watched with gleaming eyes and
set lips. The Senora's excitement was unmistakably that of
exultant national pride.

Santa Anna and his staff-officers were in front. They passed
too rapidly for individual notice, but it was a grand moving
picture of handsome men in scarlet and gold--of graceful
mangas and waving plumes, and bright-colored velvet capes; of
high-mettled horses, and richly-adorned Mexican saddles,
aqueras of black fur, and silver stirrups; of thousands of
common soldiers, in a fine uniform of red and blue; with
antique brazen helmets gleaming in the sun, and long lances,
adorned with tri-colored streamers. They went past like a
vivid, wonderful dream--like the vision of an army of
mediaeval knights.

In a few minutes the tumult of the advancing army was
increased tenfold by the clamor of the city pouring out to
meet it. The clashing bells from the steeples, the shouting
of the populace, the blare of trumpets and roll of drums, the
lines of churchmen and officials in their grandest dresses, of
citizens of every age,--the indescribable human murmur--
altogether it was a scene whose sensuous splendor
obliterated for a time the capacity of impressionable
natures to judge rightly.

But Antonia saw beyond all this brave show the ridges of red
war, and a noble perversity of soul made her turn her senses
inward. Then her eyes grew dim, and her heart rose in pitying
prayer for that small band of heroes standing together for
life and liberty in the grim Alamo. No pomp of war was
theirs. They were isolated from all their fellows. They were
surrounded by their enemies. No word of sympathy could reach
them. Yet she knew they would stand like lions at bay; that
they would give life to its last drop for liberty; and rather
than be less than freemen, they would prefer not to be at all.



"The combat deepens. On, ye brave!
Who rush to glory or the grave."

"To all the sensual world proclaim:
One crowded hour of glorious life
Is worth an age without a name."

"Gashed with honorable scars,
Low in Glory's lap they lie;
Though they fell, they fell like stars,
Streaming splendor through the sky."

The passing-by of Santa Anna and the Mexican army, though it
had been hourly expected for nearly three days, was an event
which threw the Senora and her daughters into various
conditions of mental excitement. They descended from the roof
to the Senora's room, where they could move about and converse
with more freedom. For the poor lady was quite unable to
control her speech and actions, and was also much irritated by
Antonia's more composed manner. She thought it was want of

"How can you take things with such a blessed calmness," she
asked, angrily. "But it is the way of the Americans, no
doubt, who must have everything for prudence. Sensible!
Sensible! Sensible! that is the tune they are forever
playing, and you dance to it like a miracle."

"My dear mother, can we do any good by exclaiming and

"Holy Virgin! Perhaps not; but to have a little human nature
is more agreeable to those who are yet on the earth side of

"Mi madre," said Isabel, "Antonia is our good angel. She
thinks for us, and plans for us, and even now has everything
ready for us to move at a moment's notice. Our good angels
have to be sensible and prudent, madre."

"To move at a moment's notice! Virgin of Guadalupe! where
shall we go to? Could my blessed father and mother see me in
this prison, this very vault, I assure you they would be
unhappy even among the angels."

"Mother, there are hundreds of women today in Texas who would
think this house a palace of comfort and safety."

"Saints and angels! Is that my fault? Does it make my
condition more endurable? Ah, my children, I have seen great
armies come into San Antonio, and always before I have been
able to make a little pleasure to myself out of the event.
For the Mexicans are not blood-thirsty, though they are very
warlike. When Bravo was here, what balls, what bull-fights,
what visiting among the ladies! Indeed there was so much to
tell, the tertulia was as necessary as the dinner. To be
sure, the Mexicans are not barbarians; they made a war that
had some refinement. But the Americans! They are savages.
With them it is fight, fight, fight, and if we try to be
agreeable, as we were to that outrageous Sam Houston, they say
thank you, madam, and go on thinking their own cruel thoughts.
I wonder the gentle God permits that such men live."

"Dear mother, refinement in war is not possible. Nothing can
make it otherwise than brutal and bloody."

"Antonia, allow that I, who am your mother, should know what
I have simply seen with my eyes. Salcedo, Bravo, Martinez,
Urrea--are they not great soldiers? Very well, then, I
say they brought some pleasure with their armies; and you will
see that Santa Anna will do the same. If we were only in our
own home! It must have been the devil who made us leave it."

"How truly splendid the officers looked, mi madre. I dare say
Senora Valdez will entertain them."

"That is certain. And as for Dorette Valdez--the coquette--it
will certainly be a great happiness to her."

Isabel sighed, and the Senora felt a kind of satisfaction in
the sigh. It was unendurable to be alone in her regrets and
her longings.

"Yes," she continued, "every night Senora Trespalacios will
give a tertulia, and the officers will have military balls--
the brave young men; they will be so gay, so charming, so
devoted, and in a few hours, perhaps, they will go into the
other world by the road of the battlefield. Ah, how pitiful!
How interesting! Cannot you imagine it?"

Isabel sighed again, but the sigh was for the gay, the
charming Luis Alveda. And when she thought of him, she
forgot in a moment to envy Dorette Valdez, or the senoritas of
the noble house of Trespalacios. And some sudden, swift touch
of sympathy, strong as it was occult, made the Senora at the
same moment remember her husband and her sons. A real sorrow
and a real anxiety drove out all smaller annoyances. Then
both her daughters wept together, until their community of
grief had brought to each heart the solemn strength of a
divine hope and reliance.

"My children, I will go now and pray," said the sorrowful wife
and mother. "At the foot of the cross I will wait for the
hour of deliverance; and casting herself on her knees, with
her crucifix in her hand, she appeared in a moment to have
forgotten everything but her anguish and her sins, and the
Lamb of God upon whom, with childlike faith, she was
endeavoring to cast them. Her tears dropped upon the ivory
image of the Crucified, and sympathetic tears sprung into
Antonia's and Isabel's eyes, as they listened to her

That night, when all was dark and still, Ortiz returned with
the wagon. In the morning Antonia went to speak to him.
He looked worn-out and sorrowful, and she feared to ask him
for news. "There is food in the house, and I have made you
chocolate," she said, as she pitifully scanned the man's
exhausted condition.

"The Senorita is kind as the angels. I will eat and drink at
her order. I am, indeed, faint and hungry."

She brought him to the table, and when he refused to sit in
her presence, she said frankly, "Captain Ortiz, you are our
friend and not our servant. Rest and refresh yourself."

He bent upon one knee and kissed the hand she offered, and
without further remonstrance obeyed her desire. Isabel came
in shortly, and with the tact of true kindness she made no
remark, but simply took the chair beside Ortiz, and said, in
her usual voice and manner: "Good morning, Captain. We are
glad to see you. Did you meet my brother Thomas again?"

"Senorita, God be with you! I have not seen him. I was at

"Then you would see our brother Juan?"

"Si. The Senor Juan is in good health and great
happiness. He sent by my willing hands a letter."

"Perhaps also you saw his friend, Senor Grant?"

"From him, also, I received a letter. Into your gracious
care, Senorita, I deliver them."

"I thank you for your kindness, Captain. Tell us now of the
fortress. Are the troops in good spirits?"

"Allow me to fear that they are in too good assurance of
success. The most of the men are very young. They have not
yet met our Lady of Sorrows. They have promised to themselves
the independence of Texas. They will also conquer Mexico.
There are kingdoms in the moon for them. I envy such
exaltations--and regret them. GRACE OF GOD, Senorita! My
heart ached to see the crowds of bright young faces. With a
Napoleon--with a Washington to lead them--they would do

"What say you to Houston?"

"I know him not. At Goliad they are all Houstons. They
believe each man in himself. On the contrary, I wish that
each man looked to the same leader."

"Do you know that Santa Anna is in San Antonio?"

"I felt it, though I had no certain news. I came far around,
and hid myself from all passers-by, for the sake of the wagon
and the horses. I have the happiness to say they are safe.
The wagon is within the enclosure, the horses are on the
prairie. They have been well trained, and will come to my
call. As for me, I will now go into the city, for there will
be much to see and to hear that may be important to us.
Senoritas, for all your desires, I am at your service."

When Ortiz was gone, Isabel had a little fret of
disappointment. Luis might have found some messenger to bring
her a word of his love and life. What was love worth that did
not annihilate impossibilities! However, it consoled her a
little to carry Jack's letter to his mother. The Senora had
taken her morning chocolate and fallen asleep. When Isabel
awakened her, she opened her eyes with a sigh, and a look of
hopeless misery. These pallid depressions attacked her most
cruelly in the morning, when the room, shabby and unfamiliar,
gave both her memory, and anticipation a shock.

But the sight of the letter flushed her face with expectation.
She took it with smiles. She covered it with kisses. When
she opened it, a curl from Jack's head fell on to her lap.
She pressed it to her heart, and then rose and laid it at the
feet of her Madonna. "She must share my joy," she said with
a pathetic childishness; "she will understand it." Then, with
her arm around Isabel, and the girl's head on his shoulder,
they read together Jack's loving words:

"Mi madre, mi madre, you have Juan's heart in your heart.
Believe me, that in all this trouble I sorrow only for you.
When victory is won I shall fly to you. Other young men have
other loves; I have only you, sweet mother. There is always
the cry in my heart for the kiss I missed when I left you. If
I could hold your hand to-night, if I could hear your voice,
if I could lay my head on your breast, I would say that the
Holy One had given me the best blessings He had in heaven.
Send to me a letter, madre--a letter full of love and kisses.
Forgive Juan! Think of this only: HE IS MY BOY! If I
live, it is for you, who are the loveliest and dearest of
mothers. If I die, I shall die with your name on my
lips. I embrace you with my soul. I kiss your hands, and
remember how often they have clasped mine. I kiss your eyes,
your cheeks, your dear lips. Mi madre, remember me! In your
prayers, remember Juan!"

With what tears and sobs was this loving letter read by all
the women; and the Senora finally laid it where she had laid
the precious curl that had come with it. She wanted "the
Woman blessed among women" to share the mother joy and the
mother anguish in her heart. Besides, she was a little
nervous about Jack's memento of himself. Her superstitious
lore taught her that severed hair is a token of severed love.
She wished he had not sent it, and yet she could not bear to
have it out of her sight.

"Gracias a Dios!" she kept ejaculating. "I have one child
that loves me, and me only. I shall forgive Juan everything.
I shall not forgive Thomas many things. But Juan! oh! it is
impossible not to love him entirely. There is no one like him
in the world. If the good God will only give him back to me,
I will say a prayer of thanks every day of my life long.
Oh, Juan! Juan! my boy! my dear one!"

Thus she talked to herself and her daughters continually. She
wrote a letter full of motherly affection and loving
incoherencies; and if Jack had ever received it he would
doubtless have understood and kissed every word, and worn the
white messenger close to his heart. But between writing
letters and sending them, there were in those days intervals
full of impossibilities. Love then had to be taken on trust.
Rarely, indeed, could it send assurances of fidelity and

Jack's letter brightened the day, and formed a new topic of
conversation, until Ortiz returned in the evening. His
disguise had enabled him to linger about the Plaza and monte
table, and to hear and observe all that was going on.

"The city is enjoying itself, and making money," he said, in
reply to question from the Senora. "Certainly the San
Antonians approve of liberty, but what would you do? In Rome
one does not quarrel with the Pope; in San Antonio one must
approve of despotism, when Santa Anna parades himself there."

"Has he made any preparations for attacking the Alamo? Will
the Americans resist him?"

"Senorita Antonia, he is erecting a battery on the river bank,
three hundred yards from the Alamo. This morning, ere the
ground was touched, he reviewed his men in the Plaza. He
stood on an elevation at the church door, surrounded by his
officers and the priests, and unfurled the Mexican flag."

"That was about eleven o'clock, Captain?"

"Si, Senorita. You are precisely exact."

"I heard at that hour a dull roar of human voices--a roar like
nothing on earth but the distant roar of the ocean."

"To be sure; it was the shouting of the people. When all was
still, Fray Ignatius blessed the flag, and sprinkled over it
holy water. Then Santa Anna raised it to his lips and kissed
it. Holy Maria! another shout. Then he crossed his sword
upon the flag, and cried out--"Soldados! you are here to
defend this banner, which is the emblem of your holy faith and
of your native land, against heretics, infidels and ungrateful
traitors. Do you swear to do it? And the whole army answered
`Si! si! juramos!' (yes, we swear.) Again he kissed the
flag, and laid his sword across it, and, to be sure, then
another shout. It was a very clever thing, I assure you,
Senora, and it sent every soldier to the battery with a great

The Senora's easily touched feelings were all on fire at the
description. "I wish I could have seen the blessing of the
banner," she said; "it is a ceremony to fill the soul. I have
always wept at it. Mark, Antonia! This confirms what I
assured you of--the Mexicans make war with a religious feeling
and a true refinement. And pray, Captain Ortiz, how will the
Americans oppose these magnificent soldiers, full of piety and

"They have the Alamo, and one hundred and eighty-three men in

"And four thousand men against them?"

"Si. May the Virgin de los Remedios[4] be their help! An
urgent appeal for assistance was sent to Fanning at Goliad.
Senor Navarre, took it on a horse fleet as the wind. You will
see that on the third day he will be smoking in his balcony,
in the way which is usual to him."

[4] The Virgin appealed to in military straits.

"Will Fanning answer the appeal?"

"If the answer be permitted him. But Urrea may prevent. Also
other things."

Santa Anna entered San Antonio on Tuesday the twenty-third of
February, 1836, and by the twenty-seventh the siege had become
a very close one. Entrenched encampments encircled the doomed
men in the Alamo, and from dawn to sunset the bombardment went
on. The tumult of the fight--the hurrying in and out of the
city--the clashing of church bells between the booming of
cannon--these things the Senora and her daughters could hear
and see; but all else was for twelve days mere surmise. But
only one surmise was possible, when it was known that the
little band of defiant heroes were fighting twenty, times
their own number--that no help could come to them--that the
Mexicans were cutting off their water, and that their
provisions were getting very low. The face of Ortiz grew
constantly more gloomy, and yet there was something of triumph
in his tone as he told the miserably anxious women with what
desperate valor the Americans were fighting; and how fatally
every one of their shots told.

On Saturday night, the fifth of March, he called Antonia
aside, and said, "My Senorita, you have a great heart, and so
I speak to you. The end is close. To-day the Mexicans
succeeded in getting a large cannon within gunshot of the
Alamo, just where it is weakest. Senor Captain Crockett has
stood on the roof all day, and as the gunners have advanced to
fire it he has shot them down. A group of Americans were
around him; they loaded rifles and passed them to him quickly
as he could fire them. Santa Anna was in a fury past
believing. He swore then `by every saint in heaven or hell'
to enter the Alamo to-morrow. Senor Navarro says he is raging
like a tiger, and that none of his officers dare approach him.
The Senor bade me tell you that to-morrow night he will be
here to escort you to Gonzales; for no American will his fury
spare; he knows neither sex nor age in his passions. And when
the Alamo falls, the soldiers will spread themselves around
for plunder, or shelter, and this empty house is sure to
attract them. The Senorita sees with her own intelligence how
things must take place."

"I understand, Captain. Will you go with us?"

"I will have the Jersey wagon ready at midnight. I know the
horses. Before sun-up we shall have made many miles."

That night as Antonia and her sister sat in the dark together,
Antonia said: "Isabel, tomorrow the Alamo will fall. There
is no hope for the poor, brave souls there. Then Santa Anna
will kill every American."

"Oh, dear Antonia, what is to become of us? We shall have no
home, nothing to eat, nowhere to sleep. I think we shall die.
Also, there is mi madre. How I do pity her!"

"She is to be your care, Isabel. I shall rely on you to
comfort and manage her. I will attend to all else. We are
going to our father, and Thomas--and Luis."

Yes, and after all I am very tired of this dreadful life. It
is a kind of convent. One is buried alive here, and still not
safe. Do you really imagine that Luis is with my father and

"I feel sure of it."

"What a great enjoyment it will be for me to see him again!"

"And how delighted he will be! And as it is necessary that we
go, Isabel, we must make the best of the necessity. Try and
get mi madre to feel this."

"I can do that with a few words, and tears, and kisses. Mi
madre is like one's good angel--very easy to persuade."

"And now we must try and sleep, queridita."

"Are you sure there is no danger to-night, Antonia?"

"Not to-night. Say your prayer, and sleep in God's presence.
There is yet nothing to fear. Ortiz and Lopez Navarro are
watching every movement."

But at three o'clock in the morning, the quiet of their rest
was broken by sharp bugle calls. The stars were yet in the
sky, and all was so still that they thrilled the air like
something unearthly. Antonia started up, and ran to the roof.
Bugle was answering bugle; and their tones were imperative and
cruel, as if they were blown by evil spirits. It was
impossible to avoid the feeling that the call was a
PREDESTINED summons, full of the notes of calamity. She
was weighed down by this sorrowful presentiment, because, as
yet, neither experience nor years had taught her that

The unseen moving multitudes troubled the atmosphere between
them. In wild, savage gusts, she heard the military bands
playing the infamous Dequelo, whose notes of blood and fire
commingled, shrieked in every ear--"NO QUARTER! NO
QUARTER!" A prolonged shout, the booming of cannon, an awful
murmurous tumult, a sense of horror, of crash and conflict,
answered the merciless, frenzied notes, and drowned them in
the shrieks and curses they called for.

It was yet scarcely dawn. Her soul, moved by influences so
various and so awful, became almost rebellious. Why did God
permit such cruelties? Did He know? Would He allow a handful
of men to be overpowered by numbers? Being omnipotent, would
He not in some way, at least, make the fight equal? The
instinct of her anglo-American nature revolted at the
unfairness of the struggle. Even her ejaculations to heaven
were in this spirit. "It is so unjust," she murmured; "surely
the Lord of Hosts will prevent a fight which must be a

As she went about the simple preparations for their breakfast,
she wept continuously--tears of indignation and sorrow--tears
coming from the strength of feeling, rather than its weakness.
The Senora could eat nothing. Isabel was white with terror.
They wandered from window to window in the last extremity of

About seven o'clock they saw Ortiz pass the house. There were
so many people on the road he could not find an opportunity to
enter for some time. He had been in the city all night. He
had watched the movement of the troops in the starlight. As
he drank a cup of chocolate, he said:

"It was just three o'clock, Senorita, when the Matamoras
battalion was moved forward. General Cos supported it with
two thousand men.

"But General Cos was paroled by these same Americans who are
now in the Alamo; and his life was spared on condition that he
would not bear arms against them again."

"It is but one lie, one infamy more. When I left the city,
about four thousand men were attacking the Alamo. The
infantry, in columns, were driven up to the walls by the
cavalry which surrounded them."

"The Americans! Is there any hope for them?"

"The mercy of God remains, Senorita. That is all. The Alamo
is not as the everlasting hills. What men have made, men can
also destroy. Senor Navarro is in the church, praying for the
souls that are passing every moment."

"He ought to have been fighting. To help the living is better
than to pray for the dead."

Permit me to assure you, Senorita Antonia, that no man has
done more for the living. In time of war, there must be many
kinds of soldiers. Senor Navarro has given nearly all, that
he possesses for the hope of freedom. He has done secret
service of incalculable value."

"Secret service! I prefer those who have the courage of their
convictions, and who, stand by them publicly."

"This is to be considered, Senorita; the man who can be silent
can also speak when the day for speaking arrives." No one
opposed this statement. It did not seem worth while to
discuss opinions, while the terrible facts of the
position were appealing to every sense.

As the day went on, the conflict evidently became closer and
fiercer. Ortiz went back to the city, and the three lonely
women knelt upon the house-top, listening in terror to the
tumult of the battle. About noon the firing ceased, and an
awful silence--a silence that made the ears ache to be
relieved of it--followed.

"All is over!" moaned Antonia, and she covered her face with
her hands and sobbed bitterly. Isabel had already exhausted
tears. The Senora, with her crucifix in her hand, was praying
for the poor unfortunates dying without prayer.

During the afternoon, smoke and flame, and strange and
sickening odors were blown northward of the city, and for some
time it seemed probable that a great conflagration would
follow the battle. How they longed for some one to come! The
utmost of their calamity would be better than the intolerable
suspense. But hour after hour went past, and not even Ortiz
arrived. They began to fear that both he and Navarro had been
discovered in some disloyalty and slain, and Antonia was
heartsick when she considered the helplessness of their

Still, in accordance with Navarro's instructions, they dressed
for the contemplated journey, and sat in the dark, anxiously
listening for footsteps. About eleven o'clock Navarro and
Ortiz came together. Ortiz went for the horses, and Navarro
sat down beside, the Senora. She asked him, in a low voice,
what had taken place, and he answered:

"Everything dreadful, everything cruel, and monstrous, and
inhuman! Among the angels in heaven there is sorrow and anger
this night." His voice had in it all the pathos of tears, but
tears mingled with a burning indignation.

"The Alamo has fallen!"

"Senorita Antonia, I would give my soul to undo this day's
work. It is a disgrace to Mexico which centuries cannot wipe

"The Americans?"

"Are all with the Merciful One."

"Not one saved?"

"Not one."


"I will tell you. It is right to tell the whole world such an
infamy. If I had little children I would take them on my knee
and teach them the story. I heard it from the lips of one
wet-shod with their blood, dripping crimson from the battle--
my own cousin, Xavier. He was with General Castrillon's
division. They began their attack at four in the morning, and
after two hours' desperate fighting succeeded in reaching a
courtyard of the Alamo.

"They found the windows and doors barricaded with bags of
earth. Behind these the Americans fought hand to hand with
despairing valor. Ramires, Siesma and Batres led the columns,
and Santa Anna gave the signal of battle from a battery near
the bridge. When the second charge was driven back, he became
furious. He put himself in front of the men, and with shouts
and oaths led them to the third charge. Xavier said that he
inspired them with his own frenzy. They reached the foot of
the wall, and the ladders were placed in position. The
officers fell to the rear and forced the men to ascend them.
As they reached the top they were stabbed, and the ladders
overturned. Over and over, and over again these attempts
were made, until the garrison in the Alamo were exhausted with
the struggle."

Navarro paused a few minutes, overpowered by his emotions. No
one spoke. He could see Antonia's face, white as a spirit's,
in the dim light, and he knew that Isabel was weeping and that
the Senora had taken his hand.

"At last, at the hour of ten, the outer wall was gained.
Then, room by room was taken with slaughter incredible. There
were fourteen Americans in the hospital. They fired their
rifles and pistols from their pallets with such deadly aim
that Milagros turned a cannon shotted with grape and canister
upon them. They were blown to pieces, but at the entrance of
the door they left forty dead Mexicans."

"Ah Senor, Senor! tell me no more. My heart can not endure

"Mi madre," answered Isabel, "we must hear it all. Without
it, one cannot learn to hate Santa Anna sufficiently"; and her
small, white teeth snapped savagely, as she touched the hand
of Lopez with an imperative "Proceed."

"Colonel Bowie was helpless in bed. Two Mexican officers
fired at him, and one ran forward to stab him ere he died.
The dying man caught his murderer by the hair of his head, and
plunged his knife into his heart. They went to judgment at
the same moment."

"I am glad of it! Glad of it! The American would say to the
Almighty: `Thou gavest me life, and thou gavest me freedom;
freedom, that is the nobler gift of the two. This man robbed
me of both.' And God is just. The Judge of the whole earth
will do right."

"At noon, only six of the one hundred and eighty-three were
left alive. They were surrounded by Castrillon and his
soldiers. Xavier says his general was penetrated with
admiration for these heroes. He spoke sympathizingly to
Crockett, who stood in an angle of the fort, with his
shattered rifle in his right hand, and his massive knife,
dripping with blood, in his left. His face was gashed, his
white hair crimson with blood; but a score of Mexicans, dead
and dying, were around him. At his side was Travis, but so
exhausted that he was scarcely alive.

"Castrillon could not kill these heroes. He asked their lives
of Santa Anna, who stood with a scowling, savage face in
this last citadel of his foes. For answer, he turned to the
men around him, and said, with a malignant emphasis:
`Fire!' It was the last volley. Of the defenders of the
Alamo, not one is left."

A solemn silence followed. For a few minutes it was painful
in its intensity. Isabel broke it. She spoke in a whisper,
but her voice was full of intense feeling. "I wish indeed the
whole city had been burnt up. There was a fire this
afternoon; I would be glad if it were burning yet."

"May God pardon us all, Senorita! That was a fire which does
not go out. It will burn for ages. I will explain myself.
Santa Anna had the dead Americans put into ox-wagons and
carried to an open field outside the city. There they were
burnt to ashes. The glorious pile was still casting lurid
flashes and shadows as I passed it."

"I will hear no more! I will hear no more!" cried the Senora.
"And I will go away from here. Ah, Senor, why do you not make
haste? In a few hours we shall have daylight again. I am in
a terror. Where is Ortiz?"

"The horses are not caught in a five minutes, Senora.
But listen, there is the roll of the wagon on the flagged
court. All, then, is ready. Senora, show now that you are of
a noble house, and in this hour of adversity be brave, as the
Flores have always been."

She was pleased by the entreaty, and took his arm with a
composure which, though assumed, was a sort of strength. She
entered the wagon with her daughters, and uttered no word of
complaint. Then Navarro locked the gate, and took his seat
beside Ortiz. The prairie turf deadened the beat of their
horses' hoofs; they went at a flying pace, and when the first
pallid light of morning touched the east, they had left San
Antonio far behind and were nearing the beautiful banks of the



"How sleep the brave who sink to rest
By all their country's wishes bless'd?
* * * * *

By fairy hands their knell is rung;
By forms unseen their dirge is sung.
There Honor comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell a weeping hermit there."

"How shall we rank thee upon glory's page?
Thou more than soldier, and just less than sage."

"Grief fills the room up of my absent child;
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me;
Remembers me of all his gracious parts."

Near midnight, on March the ninth, the weary fugitives arrived
at Gonzales. They had been detained by the deep mud in the
bottom lands, and by the extreme exhaustion of the ladies,
demanding some hours' rest each day. The village was dark
and quiet. Here and there the glimmer of a candle,
now and then the call of a sentry, or the wail of a child
broke the mysterious silence.

Ortiz appeared to know the ground perfectly. He drove without
hesitation to a log house in which a faint thread of light was
observable, and as he approached it he gave a long, peculiar
whistle. The door was instantly thrown open, and, as the
wagon stopped, two men stepped eagerly to it. In another
instant the Senora was weeping in her husband's arms, and
Isabel laughing and crying and murmuring her sweet surprises
into the ear of the delighted Luis. When their wraps had been
removed from the wagon, Ortiz drove away, leaving Navarro and
Antonia standing by the little pile of ladies' luggage.

"I will take charge of all, Senorita. Alas! How weary you

"It is nothing, Senor. Let me thank you for your great

"Senorita, to be of service to you is my good fortune. If it
were necessary, my life for your life, and I would die happy."

She had given him her hand with her little speech of thanks,
and he raised it to his lips. It was an act of homage
that he might have offered to a saint, but in it Lopez
unconsciously revealed to Antonia the secret love in his
heart. For he stood in the glow of light from the open door,
and his handsome face showed, as in a glass darkly, the
tenderness and hopelessness of his great affection. She was
touched by the discovery, and though she had a nature faithful
as sunrising she could not help a feeling of kindly interest
in a lover so reticent, so watchful, so forgetful of himself.

The log cabin in which they found shelter was at least a
resting-place. A fire of cedar logs burned upon the hearth,
and there was a bed in the room, and a few rude chairs covered
with raw hide. But the Senora had a happy smile on her weary
face. She ignored the poverty of her surroundings. She had
her Roberto, and, for this hour at least, had forgiven fate.

Presently the coffee-pot was boiling, and Doctor Worth and
Luis brought out their small store of corn-bread and their tin
camp-cups, and the weary women ate and drank, and comforted
themselves in the love and protection at their side.
Doctor Worth sat by his wife, and gave Antonia his hand.
Isabel leaned her pretty head against Luis, and listened with
happy smiles to his low words:

"Charming little one, your lips are two crimson curtains.
Between curtain and curtain my kiss is waiting. Give it to

"Eyes of my soul, to-night the world begins again for me."

"At this blessed hour of God, I am the happiest man he has

"As for me, here in this dear, white hand I put my heart."

Is there any woman who cannot imagine Isabel's shy glances,
and the low, sweet words in which she answered such delightful
protestations? And soon, to add a keener zest to his
happiness, Luis began to be a little jealous.

"With us is Dias de Bonilla. Do you remember, my beloved one.
that you danced with him once?"

"How can you say a thing so offensive?"

"Yes, dear, at the Senora Valdez's."

"It may be. I have forgotten."

"Too well he remembers. He has dared to sing a serenade
to your memory--well, truly, he did not finish it, and but for
the Senor Doctor, I should have taught him that Isabel is not
a name for his lips to utter. Here, he may presume to come
into your presence. Will you receive him with extreme
haughtiness? It would be a great satisfaction to me."

"The poor fellow! Why should I make him miserable? You
should not be jealous, Luis."

"If you smile on him--the least little smile--he will think
you are in love with him. He is such a fool, I assure you.
I am very distressed about this matter, my angel."

"I will tell you Luis--when the myrtle-tree grows figs, and
the fig-tree is pink with myrtle flowers, then I may fall in
love with Dias de Bonilla--if I can take the trouble."

No one heeded this pretty, extravagant talk. It was a thing
apart from the more serious interests discussed by Doctor
Worth and his wife and eldest daughter. And when Ortiz and
Navarro joined the circle, the story of the fall of the Alamo
was told again, and Luis forgot his own happiness, and wept
tears of anger and pity for the dead heroes.

"This brutal massacre was on the morning of the sixth, you
say, Navarro?"

"Last Sabbath morning, Senor. Mass was being offered in the
churches, and Te Deums sung while it went on."

"A mass to the devil it was," said Ortiz.

"Now, I will tell you something. On the morning of the
second, Thomas was in Washington. A convention sitting there
declared, on that day, the independence of Texas, and fifty-
five out of fifty-six votes elected General Houston Commander-

"Houston! That is the name of victory! Gracias a Dios!"
cried Navarro.

"It is probable that the news of this movement influenced
Santa Anna to such barbarity."

"It is his nature to be brutal."

"True, Ortiz; yet I can imagine how this proclamation would
incense him. On the morning of the sixth, the convention
received the last express sent by poor Travis from the Alamo.
It was of the most thrilling character, breathing the very
spirit of patriotism and courage--and despair. In less than
an hour, Houston, with a few companions, was on his way
to the Alamo. At the same time he sent an express to Fannin,
urging him to meet him on the Cibolo. Houston will be here

"Then he will learn that all help is too late."

But Houston had learned it in his own way before he reached
Gonzales; for Travis had stated that as long as the Alamo
could be held, signal guns would be fired at sunrising; and it
is a well-authenticated fact that these guns were heard by
trained ears for more than one hundred miles across the
prairie. Houston, whose senses were keen as the Indians with
whom he had long lived knew when he was within reach of the
sound; and he rose very early, and with his ear close to the
ground waited in intense anxiety for the dull, rumbling murmur
which would tell him the Alamo still held out. His companions
stood at some distance, still as statues, intently watching
him. The sun rose. He had listened in vain; not the faintest
sound did his ear detect.

"The Alamo has fired its last gun," he said, on rejoining his

"And the men, General?"

"They have died like men. You may be sure of that."

At Gonzales he heard the particulars. And he saw that the
news had exerted a depressing influence upon the troops there.
He called them together. He spoke to them of the brutal
tragedy, and he invested its horrors with the grandeur of
eternal purpose and the glory of heroic sacrifice.

"They were soldiers," he cried; "and they died like soldiers.
Their names will be the morning stars of American history.
They will live for ever in the red monument of the Alamo." He
looked like a lion, with a gloomy stare; his port was fierce,
and his eyes commanded all he viewed. "Vengeance remains to
us! We have declared our independence, and it must be

He immediately sent off another express to Fannin; apprised
him of the fall of the Alamo; ordered him to blow up Goliad
and fall back upon Gonzales. Then he sent wagons into the
surrounding country, to transport the women and children to

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