Guard title, and I like 'Jim' better, even though I am a pretty important
man. Damn right I have an objection! Why, that message is almost
aggressive. You'd think we wanted to fight Santa Anna! You want us to be
marked down as warmongers? It'll give us trouble when we get to the
Travis' head turned. "Colonel Crockett?"
"What Jim says goes for me, too. And this: I'd change that part about all
Americans, et cetera. You don't want anybody to think we think we're better
than the Mexicans. After all, Americans are a minority in the world. Why
not make it 'all men who love security?' That'd have world-wide appeal--"
"Oh, Crockett," Travis hissed.
Crockett stood up. "Don't use that tone of voice to me, Billy Travis! That
piece of paper you got don't make you no better'n us. I ran for Congress
twice, and won. I know what the people want--"
"What the people want doesn't mean a damn right now," Travis said harshly.
"Don't you realize the tyrant is at the gates?"
Crockett rolled his eyes heavenward. "Never thought I'd hear a good
American say that! Billy, you'll never run for office--"
Bowie held up a hand, cutting into Crockett's talk. "All right, Davey. Hold
up. You ain't runnin' for Congress now. Bill, the main thing I don't like
in your whole message is that part about victory or death. That's got to
go. Don't ask us to sell that to the troops!"
Travis closed his eyes briefly. "Boys, listen. We don't have to tell the
men about this. They don't need to know the real story until it's too late
for them to get out. And then we shall cover ourselves with such glory that
none of us shall ever be forgotten. Americans are the best fighters in the
world when they are trapped. They teach this in the Foot School back on the
Chatahoochee. And if we die, to die for one's country is sweet--"
"Hell with that," Crockett drawled. "I don't mind dyin', but not for these
big landowners like Jim Bowie here. I just been thinkin'--I don't own
nothing in Texas."
"I resent that," Bowie shouted. "You know very well I volunteered, after I
sent my wife off to Acapulco to be with her family." With an effort, he
calmed himself. "Look, Travis. I have some reputation as a fighting
man--you know I lived through the gang wars back home. It's obvious this
Alamo place is indefensible, even if we had a thousand men."
"But we must delay Santa Anna at all costs--"
Bowie took out a fine, dark Mexican cigar and whittled at it with his
blade. Then he lit it, saying around it, "All right, let's all calm down.
Nothing a group of good men can't settle around a table. Now listen. I got
in with this revolution at first because I thought old Emperor Iturbide
would listen to reason and lower taxes. But nothin's worked out, because
hot-heads like you, Travis, queered the deal. All this yammerin' about
liberty! Mexico is a Republic, under an Emperor, not some kind ofDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>