shall not perish from the earth. Of course, as an Englishman, you

understand perfectly, Senor Ord."

"Of course, excellency," Ord said.

"There are soft hearts--soft heads, I say--in Mexico who cry for civil

rights for the Americans. But I must make sure that Mexican dominance is

never again threatened north of the Rio Grande."

"_Seguro_, excellency," Ord said, suddenly. If the bloody X-4-A _had_

jumped the track, there was no getting back, none at all. He was stuck

here. Ord's blue eyes narrowed. "After all, it ... it is manifest destiny

that the Latin peoples of North America meet at the center of the

continent. Canada and Mexico shall share the Mississippi."

Santa Anna's dark eyes glowed. "You say what I have often thought. You are

a man of vision, and much sense. You realize the _Indios_ must go, whether

they were here first or not. I think I will make you my secretary, with the

rank of captain."

"_Gracias_, Excellency."

"Now, let us write my communique to the capital, _Capitan_ Ord. We must

describe how the American abandonment of the Alamo allowed me to press the

traitor Houston so closely he had no chance to maneuver his men into the

trap he sought. _Ay, Capitan_, it is a cardinal principle of the

Anglo-Saxons, to get themselves into a trap from which they must fight

their way out. This I never let them do, which is why I succeed where

others fail ... you said something, _Capitan_?"

"_Si_, Excellency. I said, I shall title our communique: 'Remember the

Alamo,'" Ord said, standing at attention.

"_Bueno!_ You have a gift for words. Indeed, if ever we feel the _gringos_

are too much for us, your words shall once again remind us of the truth!"

Santa Anna smiled. "I think I shall make you a major. You have indeed

coined a phrase which shall live in history forever!"

* * * * *

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