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

The Captives

Page 5 of 10

Table Of Contents: The Texan Scouts

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

The two sentinels who did not sleep were together on the south side of the glade. Evidently they wished the company of each other. They were now some distance from the dark little shed toward which the Panther was leading his comrades, and their whole energies were absorbed in an attempt to light two cigarritos, which would soothe and strengthen them as they kept their rainy and useless watch.

The three completed the segment of the circle and reached the little shed which had become such an object of importance to the Panther.

"Don't you see?" said the Panther, his grim joy showing in his tone.

They saw, and they shared his satisfaction. The Mexicans had stacked their rifles and muskets under the shed, where they would be protected from the rain.

"It's queer what foolish things men do in war," said Obed. "Whom the gods would destroy they first deprive of the sense of danger. They do not dream that Richard, meaning the Panther, is in the chaparral."

"If we approach this shed from the rear the sentinels, even if they look, will not be able to see us," said the Panther. "By the great horn spoon, what an opportunity! I can hardly keep from roarin' an' ravin' about it. Now, boys, we'll take away their guns, swift an' quiet."

A few trips apiece and all the rifles and muskets with their ammunition were carried deep into the chaparral, where Obed, gladly sacrificing his own comfort, covered them against the rain with his serape. Not a sign had come meanwhile from the two sentinels on the far side of the camp. Ned once or twice saw the lighted ends of their cigarritos glowing like sparks in the darkness, but the outlines of the men's figures were very dusky.

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

"An' now for the riskiest part of our job, the one that counts the most," said the Panther, "the one that will make everything else a failure if it falls through. We've got to secure the prisoners."

The captives were lying under the boughs of some trees about twenty yards from the spot where the fire had been built. The pitiless rain had beaten upon them, but as far as Ned could judge they had gone to sleep, doubtless through sheer exhaustion. The Panther's plan of action was swift and comprehensive.

"Boys," he said, "I'm the best shot of us three. I don't say it in any spirit of boastin', 'cause I've pulled trigger about every day for thirty years, an' more'n once a hundred times in one day. Now you two give me your rifles and I'll set here in the edge of the bushes, then you go ahead as silent as you can an' cut the prisoners loose. If there's an alarm I'll open fire with the three rifles and cover the escape."

Handing the rifles to the Panther, the two slipped forward. It was a grateful task to Ned. Again his heart swelled with wrath as he saw the dark figures of the bound men lying on the ground in the rain. He remembered the one who was youthful of face like himself and he sought him. As he approached he made out a figure lying in a strained position, and he was sure that it was the captive lad. A yard or two more and he knew absolutely. He touched the boy on the shoulder, whispered in his ear that it was a friend, and, with one sweep of his knife, released his arms.

Page 5 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