Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Michael Bonham; or, The Fall of Bexar. A Tale of Texas >> Part I — Scene I >> Page 6

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Drama | John R. Thompson | 1852
Transcription 6 Michael Bonham : or, the Fall of Bexar.

R. Harris. Into some starving corner. You will have A flock of Sparrows soon. [Exit R. Harris.
W. Harris, [aside and following.] There's hope of
him ! There's hope of him. He weeps !
Sparrow. Ay, let him go. The man that knows no
That never dreams of dinners of rare dishes,
That has no hope of delicate supper joys,
And lives and testers in the sun, unmoved
By pulses of particular appetite,
Be far from me and heaven ! Hearken me, Davis, Beware of such a man. He's like the serpent,
That poisons his own food. [Horn again.
Davis. The third blast blown.
Sparrow. Heaven bless that fellow, Crockett. He has bowels
That stir the love in mine.
Texians, [without.] Hurrah for Crockett.
Davis. He's comes. He's here.
Enter Crockett with a Bear on his shoulders.

Crockett. Well, lads, how goes it!
Sparrow. How goes it? As the wheel goes when there's no oil for the machinery : as the watch goes when the main spring's broken : as the team goes when the manger's empty. It's no go at all, Davy, or at best a slow-go. Welcome my old cock of Tennessee. Your coining is the only go that's worth the mention. You set all wheels in 'notion. You bring the true grease for the machinery. The wheels of time had stopped without your assistance. Thrice welcome to you and your companion. All your friends of the forest are welcome at the close of dinnerless days like this. He is your friend, Sir Oleaginous Bruin, I therefore I welcome him. I take hiui by his fist,--rough but hearty ; unclean, perhaps, but honest. He will find a thousand friends among us. We will honor him duly with proper dressing. We will take him and you both to our bosoms. [Embraces Crockett and the bear alternately.]
Crockett. You're a most loving
Sparrow, by the Powers.
Sparrow. It is the virtue of our tribe. The warmth of the Sparrow is proverbial. It is all emblem of love in some countries, and might be in all. The dove is a poor emblem. Its fidelity lacks catholicism. It is clearly selfish. But the sparrow's love is universal. It is one of the few birds that keeps a harem. Do not question my love, Crockett, because I share it between you and Sir Bruin.
Crockett. I reckon you don't mean to sarve me with the same sauce as the B'ar.
Sparrow. No fear: My love discriminates according to the deserts of the object. Indeed, I may say that while I love him, I honor you. You both appeal to my affections, though in a different fashion.
Crockett. You always put your butcher in your prayers.
Davis. 'Twould be as easy to put him in his belly. Sparrow. Avaunt thee, for a cannibal!
Crockett. Ha, Davis—that you ? Well, here we are at last ; me and my friend, as Sparrow calls him. Ile gave me as close a hug as Sparrow did, and thought just as much of his bowels all the tittle.
Sparrow, [inspecting the Bear.] What a delicate morsel. What a brisket he carries, and five good lingers of mortal fat upon his ribs.
Crockett. Ay, indeed. Brown jacket has all of that. A fatter varmint never sucked his own paws, or cramped up mine. Tough enough in the fight, you'll find him q uite tender, now its over. He gin me more work than I ever had on a Congress Committee. I treed him some three hours ago, creased him without killing him, and brough him down a little more lively than when he went up. I put in, thinking he was about to kick his last, and found myself in his arms. He hugged mighty close, I tell you, much agin the will of one of the parties, and that warn't him. He's made my ribs ache for it, but thanks to Jim Bowie, I riddled my way into his. And now, Sparrow, the sooner we try his flat, the sooner your trials will be over.
Sparrow. Verbum sap! Spoken like an oracle. You have but one fault, Davy ; you waste words. You learned that foolish practice in Congress at eight dollars per diem, to say nothing of mileage. Waste! waste ! Waste!
Crockett. And you !—why you're waist itself,—all waist, nothing but waist.
Sparrow. Well last, Dave. Your studies in Joe Miller were your making in Washington. You do not forget his lessons. A shot like that takes a fellow about the middle. That I have some extra extents of territory is very true; but of this be certain, that unlike the majority of great manor holders, none of my grounds are lying out, none at naked fallow. All's tinder fence, and in a high state of improvement. IIo. there ! Halloo within ! Hal-loo! Hear you that, boys? My intestines, you see, do no hurt to my lungs. [Enter Texians, who take charge of the bear.
Texian. He's heavy, by the Powers !
Sparrow. Carry him gingerly, and with proper meekness,
He's worth a host of such as ye ; will keep
A host of von, when salt would fail to save ye.
Be off! I'll follow and attend his dressing,
And see that in the shape of cook, no devil
Spoils the good gifts of Providence. Begone!
But three men—hear to this philosophy,
Are needful to an army : He who takes
The prey—and he who dresses it—and he
Who does the dressing justice.
[Exit Sparrow, tucking up his sleeves.
Crockett. Where is Bonham ?
Davis. Not. yet hack.
Crockett. He'll get his death, that fellow.
Davis. Why more than you or me ? We're all i' the way of such accident,
Travelling the road to Bexar.
Crockett. But for him,
The danger's something greater, for he travels
More roads than ours. Where, think you, that I left him ? Davis. Lassoing some mustang.
Crockett. A trick worth two of it.
If you'll believe me, he's this very minute
Within the walls of Bexar.
Davis. A prisoner!
Crockett. Prisoner, indeed. Would I be standing here Sticking my fingers like a Congress ninny,
If he, I call my friend, were in such trouble ?
No, no. Bonham's no prisoner, nor like to be one, if he's the man I think him. He's only playing Major Andre among the Mexicans; looking behind their curtains in disguise.
Davis. They'll Major Andre him. They'll hang him.
Crockett. Yes, perhaps, if they catch him napping, but that they're not likely to do. He's playing priest for them, and looks for all the world like the genuine critter. I was most o'-mind to drop down on my marrow bones and ax his blessing- myself.
Davis. You saw him enter San Antonio ?
Crockett. With my own eves. How would you like, says he to me, to visit Bexar! Thank you for nothing, says I : my neck's not yet ready for a Spanish cravat, which, they tell we, is made of iron. No danger, says,