ページの画像
PDF
ePub

so much as their manner of leaving it. In the culminating moment of the great tragedy they bore themselves as well as the best.

Travis, the commander, and Bonham stood in the long room of the hospital with a little group around 5 them, most of them wounded, the faces of all black with powder smoke. But they fought on. Whenever a Mexican appeared at the door an unerring rifle bullet struck him down. Fifty fell at that single spot before the rifles, yet they succeeded in dragging up a 10 cannon, thrust its muzzle in at the door, and fired it twice, loaded with grape shot, into the room. · The Texans were cut down by the shower of missiles, and the whole place was filled with smoke. Then the Mexicans rushed in and the few Texans who had sur-15 vived the grape shot fell fighting to the last with their clubbed rifles. Here lay Travis of the white soul and beside him fell the brave Bonham, who had gone out for help, and who had returned to die with his comrades. The Texans who had defended the room against 20 so many were only fifteen in number, and they were all silent now.

Now the whole attack converged on the church, the strongest part of the Alamo, where the Texans were making their last stand. The place was seething with 25 fire and smoke, but above it still floated the banner upon which was written in great letters the word, “Texas."

The Mexicans, pressing forward in dense masses,

poured in cannon balls and musket balls at every opening. Half the Texans were gone, but the others never ceased to fire with their rifles. Within that raging

inferno they could hardly see one another for the smoke, 5 but they were all animated by the same purpose, to

fight to the death and to carry as many of their foes with them as they could.

Evans, who had commanded the cannon, rushed for the magazine to blow up the building. They had 10 agreed that if all hope were lost he should do so, but

he was killed on his way by a bullet, and the others went on with the combat.

Near the entrance to the church stood a great figure swinging a clubbed rifle. His raccoon skin cap was 15 lost, and his eyes burned like coals of fire in his swarthy

face. It was Crockett, gone mad with battle, and the Mexicans who pressed in recoiled before the deadly sweep of the clubbed rifle. Some were awed by the

terrific figure, dripping blood, and wholly unconscious -20 of danger.

“Forward !” cried a Mexican officer, and one of his men went down with a shattered skull. The others shrank back again, but a new figure pressed into the

ring. It was that of the younger Urrea. At the last -25 moment he had left the cavalry and joined in the assault.

“Don't come within reach of his blows !” he cried. “Shoot him! Shoot him!”

He snatched a double-barreled pistol from his own

belt and fired twice straight at Crockett's breast. The great Tennesseean staggered, dropped his rifle, and the flame died from his eyes. With a howl of triumph his foes rushed upon him, plunged their swords and bayonets into his body, and he fell dead with a 5 heap of the Mexican slain about him.

A bullet whistled past Urrea's face and killed a man beyond him. He sprang back. Bowie, still suffering severe injuries from a fall from a platform, was lying on a cot in the arched room to the left of the 10 entrance. Unable to walk, he had received at his request two pistols, and now he was firing them as fast as he could pull the triggers and reload.

“Shoot him! Shoot him at once!” cried Urrea.

His own pistol was empty now, but a dozen musket 15 balls were fired into the room. Bowie, hit twice, nevertheless raised himself upon his elbow, aimed a pistol with a clear eye and a steady hand, and pulled the trigger. A Mexican fell, shot through the heart, but another volley of musket balls was discharged 20 at the Georgian. Struck in both head and heart he suddenly straightened out and lay still upon the cot. Thus died the famous Bowie.

Mrs. Dickinson and her baby had been hidden in the arched room on the other side for protection. The 25 Mexicans killed a Texan named Walters at the entrance, and, wild with ferocity, raised his body upon a half dozen bayonets while the blood ran down in a dreadful stream upon those who held it aloft.

Urrea rushed into the room and found the cowering woman and her baby. The Mexicans followed, and were about to slay them, too, when a gallant figure rushed between. It was the brave and humane Al5 monte. Sword in hand, he faced the savage horde. He uttered words that made Urrea turn dark with shame and leave the room. The soldiers were glad to follow.

At the far end of the church a few Texans were left, still fighting with clubbed rifles. The Mexicans drew 10 back a little, raised their muskets and fired an immense

shattering volley. When the smoke cleared away not a single Texan was standing, and then the troops rushed in with sword and bayonet.

It was nine o'clock in the morning, and the Alamo 15 had fallen. The defenders were only seven score, and they had died to the last man. A messenger rushed away at once to Santa Anna with the news of the triumph, and he came from the shelter, glorying, exulting and crying that he had destroyed the Texans.

QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION 1. What was the War for Texan inscription on the Alamo Independence?

mean? 2. Who was Santa Anna? 5. Name some of the heroes who Where is San Antonio?

fell at the Alamo. 3. What is the Alamo? Tell the 6. Find out what you can about

story of the battle of the David Crockett, James Alamo.

Bowie, and Colonel Travis, 4. Tell the story of Ther and tell it in class.

mopylæ. What does thel

OUT TO OLD AUNT MARY'S

JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

This poem tells a story that every boy has lived if he ever had a grandmother or a kind old aunt living on a farm near his home.

To see the pictures in this story as we read it, we shall have to begin as follows:

Let us shut our eyes and see a man sitting at a table writing. The man is about fifty years of age, and his head is bald. As he writes, his face shows that his thoughts are very far away. Sometimes he smiles, and at other times his face grows sad, and his eyes fill with tears.

What is he writing? He is writing a letter to his brother who is an old gray-haired man and who lives, let us imagine, away out in California. In the letter, the man is recalling to his brother, “so far away,” the days of their boyhood, when they coaxed their mother to let them go to spend Saturday night, Sunday, and Sunday night with their dear Old Aunt Mary in her cabin home perhaps a mile or two away. Yes, their mother would let them go, that is, if they would do all of their Saturday's chores first and get Sunday's supply of wood into the kitchen, too.

Now read the story silently, being careful first to see the man who is writing, and then to see the pictures that he is writing about to his far-away brother. Read slowly, seeing every picture.

What do you think the chores were? Can you hear the wood crashing into the old woodbox?

And then, when the chores are all done, can you see the boys as they hurry out “ by the barn-lot,” and “down the lane" running —

« 前へ次へ »