Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Michael Bonham; or, The Fall of Bexar. A Tale of Texas >> Part I — Scene I >> Page 7

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Drama | John R. Thompson | 1852
Transcription Michael Bonham : or, the Fall of Bexar. 7

he ; I'm going. So up he walked to the sentries. I lay snug in a hollow, with a great bunch of chaparal before me. I watched him all the time, and, sure enough, in he went along with the sodgers.
Davis. Their prisoner!
Crockett. Not he. He carries his toothpick under the priest's garment, and a couple of Colt's time-pieces. Hush! do you hear nothing?
Davis. Nothing!
Crockett. You're no hunter. Jest you part your legs a little, and an old buck would walk between 'em, and nobody the wiser. To your tree. [They shelter them-selves.] Do you hear ?
Davis. I hear.
Crockett. A Mexican, by the Powers! Stand where you are, stranger, and give 's the word, or I'll blow it into you with a bullet.
Voice, without. Washington.
Crockett. Talk of the devil and you see his picture. 'Tis Boaham's self!
Enter Bonham.
Bonham. Oh! you have precious eyes :
Not know your friends!
Crockett. And precious little like a friend do you look now, Major, with these fiery fine Mexican breeches on. Why, Major, you're as fond of change as a young female woman of fifteen. Where's the padre's skin ?
Bonham. Without. I kept it over the Don till this moment, then cast it to show you how famously I look when walking the streets of San Antonio.
Crockett. Famous!! Are there many more, Major, where they came from ?
Bonham. Yes. When you have driven out a regiment or two of these Mexican blackguards;
Davis. What chance of that ?
Bonham. Enough to make us busy! It is ours, That brave old Spanish keep, with all its treasure, If we but battle as becomes a people,
Sprung from the Old Thirteen!
Davis. You've been in Bexar?
Bonham. Ay, have I—in the castle and the city ; Trod the great Plaza, rambled through the highways, Survey'd the walls, the gates, the guns, the soldiers, And said, they shall be ours.
Crockett. Hurrah for that! I believe it all, Major, as good as if 1 had read it in the Globe newspaper. Look you ; when next you put on the skin of the priesthood, I'll go with you as a Bishop or Cardinal. I've a great fancy for fine dresses and other matters, and as Bexar's to be ours, I've a notion to go beforehand, and put the ear-mark on every thing I desire for myself.
Bonham. Were you but master of the lingo, Davy? Crockett. What! Do you talk it?
Bonham. Almost like a native. I have travell'd much Beyond the Anahuac ; know the tongue,
The people, and a thousand other matters,
That makes it easy to perform the part
That I would play in. Here, I am a Don
Fit for a bridal. At the dawn you saw me,
The priest to mutter o'er the ceremony,
And take the first fee from the maiden's lips.
Crockett. Smack!
Bonham. To-morrow I may sell in Bexar's streets, Th' Aguardiente which-enflames their passions ; By night you'll see me as a muleteer,
Dancing fandangos with the duskiest damsels
That ever roll'd tortillas, or drew water.
Crockett. You're too much for me, Major. You're a huckleberry above my persimmon. I can hunt and fight, I reckon, as well as any man. I can shake as clever aleg at a Virginny reel, when I'm a litttle up in sap, as any native this side of the etarnal ridge : and, though I say it myself, I have put up as decent a prayer as I ever heard from any parson in all this nation of Texas, but that was when I was most mightily scared, as I never expect to be scared again. But I can't do the many fine things you're up to. Yet if there's any thing that I kin do, say the word, and let me go with you. I can promise you to keep the secret, speak the truth, and stand by you with knife and rifle to the last beat of a big heart.
Bonham. You shall have your wish, comrade.
Crockett. Shall I now, Major ?
Bonham. I shall return this night to Bexar's walls, Shall need a man to be at my command,
To watch, or pray, or fight, as I think proper,
Still ready when I call and always faithful.
Crockett. That's me—that's Davy Crockett.
Bonham. Be ready when I call.
Crockett. ' Ready' and ' Go-ahead' are just the names They made for me in Congress.
Bonham. Enough. And now for Milam.
Milani, [entering.] He is here, Bonham.
You are safe, I see, and I am satisfied.
What tidings bring you ?
Bonham, [to Crockett and Davis.] Leave us, comrades. Remember, Dave, at midnight. [Ex. Davis and Crock.
Milam. Goes he with you, then?
Bonham. He begged the favor. He has sense and shrewdness
Not less than strength and courage. 'Twill but need That I should put a curb upon his tongue, Or he'll convict himself of Tennessee At the first syllable.
Milam. Your eye upon him : I dread his blunders.
Bonham. He will play a part,
Whose duties keep him silent. He's the Mute While he remains in Bexar.
Milani. Yet I fear him:
His tongue will wag. The humors of the woodman Will still have way. He'll choke else.
Bonham. I'll school him : And, for the rest—methinks the gates already Fly wide to give us welcome.
Milam. How stands the count Touching their numbers ?
Bonham. One full regiment.
Milam. Eight hundred men, perhaps; and we but three.
They in their keep, behind their fortress wall, With best artillery and engineers.
Bonham. But a mean, spiritless race, ill officer'd; While ours are men, with appetites for conquest, Shall make each man a hero. Be you ready, And Bexar is our own.
Milam. I fear for you.
Bonham. For me !
Milam. The dangers you incur.
Bonhain. In seeming only ; They wake no other pulses in my breast, Than such as joy in danger. I am sure—Know well the game—the people that I visit, And grasp with ready arm, and iron will, The weapons that protect me.
Milam. Bonham, the truth!—There is some secret treasure in yon walls, More dear than wealth or glory, that you covet.
Bonham. There is!
Milam. A woman ?
Bonham. Ay, by my troth, a woman A Spanish maiden, lovely as the dawn,