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The Texan Scouts Joseph A. Altsheler

In The Alamo

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"Look there! look there!" said Davy Crockett, pointing a long finger. "We'll need food in that Alamo place, an' behold it on the hoof!"

About forty cattle had been grazing on the plain. They had suddenly gathered in a bunch, startled by the appearance of so many people, and of galloping horsemen.

"We'll take 'em with us! We'll need 'em! Say we can do it, Colonel!" shouted Crockett to Travis.

Travis nodded.

"Come on, Ned," cried Crockett, "an' come on the rest of you fleet-footed fellows! Every mother's son of you has driv' the cows home before in his time, an' now you kin do it again!"

A dozen swift Texans ran forward with shouts, Ned and Davy Crockett at their head. Crockett was right. This was work that every one of them knew how to do. In a flash they were driving the whole frightened herd in a run toward the gate that led into the great plaza of the Alamo. The swift motion, the sense of success in a sudden maneuver, thrilled Ned. He shouted at the cattle as he would have done when he was a small boy.

They were near the gate when he heard an ominous sound by his side. It was the cocking of Davy Crockett's rifle, and when he looked around he saw that Old Betsy was leveled, and that the sure eye of the Tennessean was looking down the sights.

Some of the Mexican skirmishers seeing the capture of the herd by the daring Texans were galloping forward to check it. Crockett's finger pressed the trigger. Old Betsy flashed and the foremost rider fell to the ground.

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"I told that Mexican to come down off his horse, and he came down," chuckled Crockett.

The Mexicans drew back, because other Texan rifles, weapons that they had learned to dread, were raised. A second body of horsemen charged from a different angle, and Ned distinctly saw Urrea at their head. He fired, but the bullet missed the partisan leader and brought down another man behind him.

"There are good pickings here," said Davy Crockett, "but they'll soon be too many for us. Come on, Ned, boy! Our place is behind them walls!"

"Yes," repeated Bowie, who was near. "It's the Alamo or nothing. No matter how fast we fired our rifles we'd soon be trod under foot by the Mexicans."

They passed in, Bowie, Crockett and Ned forming the rear guard. The great gates of the Alamo were closed behind them and barred. For the moment they were safe, because these doors were made of very heavy oak, and it would require immense force to batter them in. It was evident that the Mexican horsemen on the plain did not intend to make any such attempt, as they drew off hastily, knowing that the deadly Texan rifles would man the walls at once.

"Well, here we are, Ned," said the cheerful voice of Davy Crockett, "an' if we want to win glory in fightin' it seems that we've got the biggest chance that was ever offered to anybody. I guess when old Santa Anna comes up he'll say: 'By nations right wheel; forward march the world.' Still these walls will help a little to make up the difference between fifty to one."

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The Texan Scouts
Joseph A. Altsheler

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