Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
The Texan Scouts Joseph A. Altsheler

Santa Anna's Advance

Page 6 of 11

Table Of Contents: The Texan Scouts

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

The torches grew brighter. A trumpet pealed and a trumpet in the camp replied. The Mexican lines became silent save for a deep murmur. In the south they heard the rapid beat of hoofs, and then Santa Anna came, galloping at the head of fifty horsemen. Many of the younger officers ran forward, holding up torches, and the dictator rode in a blaze of light.

Ned looked once more upon that dark and singular face, a face daring and cruel, that might have belonged to one of the old conquistadores. In the saddle his lack of height was concealed, but on the great white horse that he rode Ned felt that he was an imposing, even a terrible, figure. His eyes were blazing with triumph as his army united with torches to do him honor. It was like Napoleon on the night before Austerlitz, and what was he but the Napoleon of the New World? His figure swelled and the gold braid on his cocked hat and gorgeous uniform reflected the beams of the firelight.

A mighty cheer from thousands of throats ran along the Mexican line, and the torches were waved until they looked like vast circles of fire. Santa Anna lifted his hat and bowed three times in salute. Again the Mexican cheer rolled to right and to left. Santa Anna, still sitting on his horse, spread out his hands. There was instant silence save for the deep breathing of the men.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

"My children," he said, "I have come to sweep away these miserable Texans who have dared to raise the rebel flag against us. We will punish them all. Houston, Austin, Bowie and the rest of their leaders shall feel our justice. When we finish our march over their prairies it shall be as if a great fire had passed. I have said it. I am Santa Anna."

The thunderous cheer broke forth again. Ned had never before heard words so full of conceit and vainglory, yet the strength and menace were there. He felt it instinctively. Santa Anna believed himself to be the greatest man in the world, and he was certainly the greatest in Mexico. His belief in himself was based upon a deep well of energy and daring. Once more Ned felt a great and terrible fear for Texas, and the thin line of skin-clad hunters and ranchmen who were its sole defence. But the feeling passed as he watched Santa Anna. A young officer rushed forward and held his stirrup as the dictator dismounted. Then the generals, including those who had come with him, crowded around him. It was a brilliant company, including Sesma, Cos, Duque, Castrillon, Tolsa, Gaona and others, among whom Ned noted a man of decidedly Italian appearance. This was General Vincente Filisola, an Italian officer who had received a huge grant of land in Texas, and who was now second in command to Santa Anna.

Page 6 of 11 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
The Texan Scouts
Joseph A. Altsheler

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2005