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The Texan Scouts Joseph A. Altsheler

Crockett And Bowie

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"I judge by your face," said Crockett whimsically, "that it is Urrea. But remember, Ned, that you can still be hated and live long."

"It is indeed Urrea," said Ned. "Now what are they gathering cavalry out there for? They can't expect to gallop over our walls."

"Guess they've an idea that we're goin' to try to slip out an' they're shuttin' up that road of escape. Seems to me, Ned, they're comin' so close that it's an insult to us."

"They're almost within rifle shot."

"Then these bad little Mexican boys must have their faces scorched as a lesson. Just you wait here, Ned, till I have a talk with Travis an' Bowie."

It was obvious to Ned that Crockett's talk with the commander and his second was satisfactory, because when he returned his face was in a broad grin. Bowie, moreover, came with him, and his blue eyes were lighted up with the fire of battle.

"We're goin' to teach 'em the lesson, Ned, beginnin' with a b c," said Crockett, "an' Jim here, who has had a lot of experience in Texas, will lead us. Come along, I'll watch over you."

A force of seventy or eighty was formed quickly, and hidden from the view of the Mexicans, they rushed down the plaza, climbed the low walls and dropped down upon the plain. The Mexican cavalry outnumbered them four or five to one, but the Texans cared little for such odds.

"Now, boys, up with your rifles!" cried Bowie. "Pump it into 'em!"

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Bowie was a product of the border, hard and desperate, a man of many fierce encounters, but throughout the siege he had been singularly gentle and considerate in his dealings with his brother Texans. Now he was all warrior again, his eyes blazing with blue fire while he shouted vehement words of command to his men.

The sudden appearance of the Texan riflemen outside the Alamo look Urrea by surprise, but he was quick of perception and action, and his cavalrymen were the best in the Mexican army. He wheeled them into line with a few words of command and shouted to them to charge. Bowie's men instantly stopped, forming a rough line, and up went their rifles. Urrea's soldiers who carried rifles or muskets opened a hasty and excited fire at some distance.

Ned heard the bullets singing over his head or saw them kicking up dust in front of the Texans, but only one of the Texans fell and but few were wounded. The Mexican rifles or muskets were now empty, but the Mexican lancers came on in good order and in an almost solid group, the yellow sunlight flashing across the long blades of their lances.

It takes a great will to face sharp steel in the hands of horsemen thundering down upon you, and Ned was quite willing to own afterward that every nerve in him was jumping, but he stood. All stood, and at the command of Bowie their rifles flashed together in one tremendous explosion.

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The Texan Scouts
Joseph A. Altsheler

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