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The Texan Scouts Joseph A. Altsheler

For Freedom's Sake

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"I think we'd better stop here," said the Panther, "an' do a little scoutin'. If you like it, Mr. Crockett, you an' me an' Ned, here, will dismount, slip forward an' see what's the trouble. Obed will take Command of the others, an' wait in the bushes till we come back with the news, whatever it is."

"I'll go with you gladly," said Davy Crockett. "I'm not lookin' for trouble with a microscope, but if trouble gets right in my path I'm not dodgin' it. So I say once more, lead on, noble Mr. Panther, an' if Betsy here must talk she'll talk."

The Panther grinned in the dusk. He and Davy Crockett had instantly recognized congenial souls, each in the other.

"I can't promise you that thar'll be rippin' an' t'arin' an' roarin' an' chawin' all the time," he said, "but between you an' me, Davy Crockett, I've an' idee that we're not goin' to any sort of prayer meetin' this time of night."

"No, I'm thinkin' not," said Crockett, "but if there is a scene of turbulence before us lead on. I'm prepared for my share in it. The debate may be lively, but I've no doubt that I'll get my chance to speak. There are many ways to attract the attention of the Speaker. Pardon me, Mr. Panther, but I fall naturally into the phrases of legislative halls."

"I remember that you served two terms in Congress at Washington," said the Panther.

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"An' I'd be there yet if it wasn't for Andy Jackson. I wanted my way in Tennessee politics an' he wanted his. He was so stubborn an' headstrong that here I am ready to become a statesman in this new Texas which is fightin' for its independence. An' what a change! From marble halls in Washington to a night in the brush on the frontier, an' with an unknown enemy before you."

They stopped talking now and, kneeling down in a thicket, began to creep forward. The cabin was not more than four or five hundred yards away, but a long silence had succeeded the latest shots, and after an advance of thirty or forty yards they lay still for a while. Then they heard two shots ahead of them, and saw little pink dots of flame from the exploding gunpowder.

"It cannot be Mexicans who are besieging the cabin," said Ned. "They would shout or make some kind of a noise. We have not heard a thing but the rifle shots."

"Your argyment is good," whispered the Panther. "Look! Did you see that figure passin' between us an' the cabin?"

"I saw it," said Davy Crockett, "an' although it was but a glimpse an' this is night it did not seem to me to be clad in full Christian raiment. I am quite sure it is not the kind of costume that would be admitted to the galleries of Congress."

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The Texan Scouts
Joseph A. Altsheler

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