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."
"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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