democracy, and we can't change that. Let's talk some sense before it's too
late. We're all too old and too smart to be wavin' the flag like it's the
Fourth of July. Sooner or later, we're goin' to have to sit down and talk
with the Mexicans. And like Davey said, I own a million hectares, and I've
always paid minimum wage, and my wife's folks are way up there in the
Imperial Government of the Republic of Mexico. That means I got influence
in all the votin' groups, includin' the American Immigrant, since I'm a
minority group member myself. I think I can talk to Santa Anna, and even to
old Iturbide. If we sign a treaty now with Santa Anna, acknowledge the law
of the land, I think our lives and property rights will be respected--" He
cocked an eye toward Crockett.
"Makes sense, Jim. That's the way we do it in Congress. Compromise,
everybody happy. We never allowed ourselves to be led nowhere we didn't
want to go, I can tell you! And Bill, you got to admit that we're in better
bargaining position if we're out in the open, than if old Santa Anna's got
us penned up in this old Alamo."
"Ord," Travis said despairingly. "Ord, you understand. Help me! Make them
* * * * *
Ord moved into the candlelight, his lean face sweating. "Gentlemen, this is
all wrong! It doesn't happen this way--"
Crockett sneered, "Who asked you, Ord? I'll bet you ain't even got a poll
Decisively, Bowie said, "We're free men, Travis, and we won't be led around
like cattle. How about it, Davey? Think you could handle the rear guard, if
we try to move out of here?"
"Hell, yes! Just so we're movin'!"
"O.K. Put it to a vote of the men outside. Do we stay, and maybe get
croaked, or do we fall back and conserve our strength until we need it?
Take care of it, eh, Davey?"
Crockett picked up his guitar and went outside.
Travis roared, "This is insubordination! Treason!" He drew his saber, but
Bowie took it from him and broke it in two. Then the big man pulled his
"Stay back, Ord. The Alamo isn't worth the bones of a Britainer, either."
"Colonel Bowie, please," Ord cried. "You don't understand! You _must_
defend the Alamo! This is the turning point in the winning of the west! If
Houston is beaten, Texas will never join the Union! There will be no
Mexican War. No California, no nation stretching from sea to shining sea!
This is the Americans' manifest destiny. You are the hope of the future ...
you will save the world from Hitler, from Bolshevism--"
"Crazy as a hoot owl," Bowie said sadly. "Ord, you and Travis got to look
at it both ways. We ain't all in the right in this war--we Americans got
our faults, too."
"But you are free men," Ord whispered. "Vulgar, opinionated, brutal--but
free! You are still better than any breed who kneels to tyranny--"
Crockett came in. "O.K., Jim."
"How'd it go?"Download<<BackPagesMainNext>>