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The Texan Scouts Joseph A. Altsheler

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Travis, the commander, and Bonham stood in the long room of the hospital with a little group around them, most of them wounded, the faces of all black with powder smoke. But they fought on. Whenever a Mexican appeared at the door an unerring rifle bullet struck him down. Fifty fell at that single spot before the rifles, yet they succeeded in dragging up a cannon, thrust its muzzle in at the door and fired it twice loaded with grape shot into the room.

The Texans were cut down by the shower of missiles, and the whole place was filled with smoke. Then the Mexicans rushed in and the few Texans who had survived the grape shot fell fighting to the last with their clubbed rifles. Here lay Travis of the white soul and beside him fell the brave Bonham, who had gone out for help, and who had returned to die with his comrades. The Texans who had defended the room against so many were only fifteen in number, and they were all silent now. Now the whole attack converged on the church, the strongest part of the Alamo, where the Texans were making their last stand. The place was seething with fire and smoke, but above it still floated the banner upon which was written in great letters the word, "Texas."

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The Mexicans, pressing forward in dense masses, poured in cannon balls and musket balls at every opening. Half the Texans were gone, but the others never ceased to fire with their rifles. Within that raging inferno they could hardly see one another for the smoke, but they were all animated by the same purpose, to fight to the death and to carry as many of their foes with them as they could.

Evans, who had commanded the cannon, rushed for the magazine to blow up the building. They had agreed that if all hope were lost he should do so, but he was killed on his way by a bullet, and the others went on with the combat.

Near the entrance to the church stood a great figure swinging a clubbed rifle. His raccoon skin cap was lost, and his eyes burned like coals of fire in his swarthy face. It was Crockett, gone mad with battle, and the Mexicans who pressed in recoiled before the deadly sweep of the clubbed rifle. Some were awed by the terrific figure, dripping blood, and wholly unconscious of danger.

"Forward!" cried a Mexican officer, and one of his men went down with a shattered skull. The others shrank back again, but a new figure pressed into the ring. It was that of the younger Urrea. At the last moment he had left the cavalry and joined in the assault.

"Don't come within reach of his blows!" he cried. "Shoot him! Shoot him!"

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The Texan Scouts
Joseph A. Altsheler

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