couple of those camps himself. When they had milked Ord dry, they threw him

on a horse and took him along.

Thus John Ord had an excellent view of the battlefield when Santa Anna's

cannon broke the American lines south of the Trinity. Unable to get his men

across to safety, Sam Houston died leading the last, desperate charge

against the Mexican regulars. After that, the American survivors were too

tired to run from the cavalry that pinned them against the flooding river.

Most of them died there. Santa Anna expressed complete indifference to what

happened to the Texans' women and children.

Mexican soldiers found Jim Bowie hiding in a hut, wearing a plain linen

tunic and pretending to be a civilian. They would not have discovered his

identity had not some of the Texan women cried out, "Colonel Bowie--Colonel

Bowie!" as he was led into the Mexican camp.

He was hauled before Santa Anna, and Ord was summoned to watch. "Well, don

Jaime," Santa Anna remarked, "You have been a foolish man. I promised your

wife's uncle to send you to Acapulco safely, though of course your lands

are forfeit. You understand we must have lands for the veterans' program

when this campaign is over--" Santa Anna smiled then. "Besides, since Ord

here has told me how instrumental you were in the abandonment of the Alamo,

I think the Emperor will agree to mercy in your case. You know, don Jaime,

your compatriots had me worried back there. The Alamo might have been a

tough nut to crack ... _pues_, no matter."

And since Santa Anna had always been broadminded, not objecting to light

skin or immigrant background, he invited Bowie to dinner that night.

* * * * *

Santa Anna turned to Ord. "But if we could catch this rascally war

criminal, Crockett ... however, I fear he has escaped us. He slipped over

the river with a fake passport, and the Indians have interned him."

"Si, _Senor Presidente_," Ord said dully.

"Please, don't call me that," Santa Anna cried, looking around. "True, many

of us officers have political ambitions, but Emperor Iturbide is old and

vain. It could mean my head--"

Suddenly, Ord's head was erect, and the old, clear light was in his blue

eyes. "Now I understand!" he shouted. "I thought Travis was raving back

there, before he shot himself--and your talk of the Emperor! American

respect for Indian rights! Jeffersonian form of government! Oh, those

ponces who peddled me that X-4-A--the _track jumper_! I'm not back in my

own past. I've jumped the time track--_I'm back in a screaming

alternate!_"

"Please, not so loud, _Senor_ Ord," Santa Anna sighed. "Now, we must shoot

a few more American officers, of course. I regret this, you understand, and

I shall no doubt be much criticized in French Canada and Russia, where

there are still civilized values. But we must establish the Republic of the

Empire once and for all upon this continent, that aristocratic tyranny

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