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

The Captives

Page 4 of 10

Table Of Contents: The Texan Scouts

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

"It may rain, and I'm sure the night will be dark," said Obed. "We may have our chance. Fortune favors those who help themselves."

The country became more broken, and the patches of scrub forest increased in number. Often the three rode quite near to Urrea's men and observed them closely. The Mexicans were moving slowly, and, as the Americans had foreseen, discipline was relaxed greatly.

Near night drops of rain began to fall in their faces, and the sun set among clouds. The three rejoiced. A night, dark and wet, had come sooner than they had hoped. Obed and Ned also took out serapes, and wrapped them around their shoulders. They served now not only to protect their bodies, but to keep their firearms dry as well. Then they tethered their horses among thorn bushes about a mile from Urrea's camp, and advanced on foot.

They saw the camp fire glimmering feebly through the night, and they advanced boldly. It was so dark now that a human figure fifty feet away blended with the dusk, and the ground, softened by the rain, gave back no sound of footsteps. Nevertheless they saw on their right a field which showed a few signs of cultivation, and they surmised that Urrea had made his camp at the lone hut of some peon.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

They reckoned right. They came to clumps of trees, and in an opening inclosed by them was a low adobe hut, from the open door of which a light shone. They knew that Urrea and his officers had taken refuge there from the rain and cold and, under the boughs of the trees or beside the fire, they saw the rest of the band sheltering themselves as best they could. The prisoners, their hands bound, were in a group in the open, where the slow, cold rain fell steadily upon them. Ned's heart swelled with rage at the sight.

Order and discipline seemed to be lacking. Men came and went as they pleased. Fully twenty of them were making a shelter of canvas and thatch beside the hut. Others began to build the fire higher in order to fend off the wet and cold. Ned did not see that the chance of a rescue was improved, but the Panther felt a sudden glow when his eyes alighted upon something dark at the edge of the woods. A tiny shed stood there and his keen eyes marked what was beneath it.

"What do you think we'd better do, Panther?" asked Obed.

"No roarin' jest now. We mustn't raise our voices above whispers, but we'll go back in the brush and wait. In an hour or two all these Mexicans will be asleep. Like as not the sentinels, if they post any, will be asleep first."

They withdrew deeper into the thickets, where they remained close together. They saw the fire die in the Mexican camp. After a while all sounds there ceased, and again they crept near. The Panther was a genuine prophet, known and recognized by his comrades. Urrea's men, having finished their shelters, were now asleep, including all the sentinels except two. There was some excuse for them. They were in their own country, far from any Texan force of importance, and the night could scarcely have been worse. It was very dark, and the cold rain fell with a steadiness and insistence that sought and finally found every opening in one's clothing. Even the stalking three drew their serapes closer, and shivered a little.

Page 4 of 10 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