Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Michael Bonham; or, The Fall of Bexar. A Tale of Texas >> Part I — Scene II >> Page 8

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Page 8

Drama | John R. Thompson | 1852
Transcription 8 Michael Bonham: or, the Fall of Bezar.

And precious as the sunlight to the flower,
To Michael Bonham,
Milam. Who is the maid ?
Bonham. The daughter of Don Esteban.
Milam. The Governor?
Bonham. The same!
Milam. You rob him doubly then of child and lord-ship.
Bonham. But give him what should recompense his loss,
A son and nation.
Milam. How did you know her?
Bonham. By happiest chance, last season, on the route To Santa Fe, I rescued her and cousin,
From the Carnanches.
Milam. Is she grateful for it?
Bonham. I trust to fitld her so.
Milam. She knows you then?
Bonham. But as a gentleman of Mexico;
'Twas in the guise of one I did the service.
Milam. Did'st meet with her to-day ?
Bonham. Ay, and I promised To he with her to-morrow.
Milam And you will ?
Bonham. Ay, though I die for it.
Milam. God speed you, comrade! You're a bold lover, and bring back awhile
The good old (lays of chivalry, when valor
Mix'd love and battle in such close communion,.
One knew not which was sweetest. Yet, remember; I urge not this upon you. You are free,
This moment, from your pledge. Better far,
We scale the walls of Bexar,all defying,
Than risk your neck upon them.
Bonham. Mine the peril! I claim it of my fortune. To my soul,
When I regard the prize that hangs upon it,
The danger wears the aspect of a pleasure,_
And woos me to embrace it. Be you ready,
When at the gates you hear my bugle's signal,
And all the hunt is ours,
Milam. We'll not fail you.
Bonham: Enough! Fear nothing, and farewell the while.
[Exeunt dif'erent ways.

Midnight. The moon about to rise among the mountains, and looking down from another point on the Texian bivonack. The Fires nearly burnt out. Sentinels seen at intervals among the sleeping groups. Enter Bon-ham in priest's garments.

Bonham. 'Tis midnight, and the moon but palely shines, To light me to my comrade, as if loth
That we should seek this venture. But the eyes, That beckon me are warmer to my heart,
Than ever shone her smile ; and I will seek them, Though she should-cloud her jealous glance for aye, And smile for me no more! 'Tis here, methinks, He laid him down to sleep. These goodly legs, With yellow, well-stained moccasins, are such
As I have seen him carry, though the bulk
Above, is something portlier than his wont
Ho ! comrade! [Pushes one of the sleepers.] Sparrow, [in his dream] But eight dozen among seven of us!

Bonham. Dreaming of oysters ! [Pushes Crockett.] Crockett, [in his dream.] Question! I say Question--! question!
Bonham. He dreams of Congress and the Lower House
The politician, not the hunter now!
Ho ! Crockett ! to your feet and drum up voters. The question's on the Tariff—item, salt
Kentucky's licks are threatened !
Crockett, [awaking.] Out you varmint!
To listen to my dream!
Bonham. Comrade, up !
Crockett. Major—you !
Bonham. Bestir you—get your weapons
Put your camanche garment on your back,
And follow with dispatch. I'll wait for you,
Where the path opens on the Lesser Prairie.
[Exit Bonham.
Crockett, [rising.] Confound the old Congress ! that I shouldn't lose myself a moment, but to get back to them Biggins, as if I loved them. Well, the people of Tennessee might have done worse when they sent me, and hasn't done better now they've left me at home.
[Exit Crockett.
Richard Harris, [rising from the bushes.] There's danger in this chance, it seems—this Michael Bonham has as keen a scent after mischief as you feeder, [pointing to Sparrow,] has after meat. My appetite for danger is keener than my scent, and I must use the help of other hunters. I shall reach him before Crockett can.
[Exit R. Harris.
Ellen Harris, [emerging.] Thus still he flies in search of death! O! heart,
When wilt thou sleep—how rest—and where find peace, For I must follow hue, as fondly now,
As he will follow danger. He is gone!
[Exit after R. Harris.
Enter Crockett in Comanche habit.
Crockett. All's ready, but to take a buckle ln~ Tighten the girth, and feel the bullet down,
And then upon the trail. What a huge mountain
OId Sparrow makes in the moonlight! How he snores! What says he in his sleep ?
Sparrow, [dreaming.] Raw meatfor the Camanchesraw buffalo beef
Dipped in the gall of the animal! [Snores.]
Crockett. Ten pound of it, with just that sort of sauce, Will he consume per diem. A true bill!
Sparrow, [dreaming.] The brains and liver spread upon with fat,
And coated with— [Snores .]
Crockett. The gall! He knows the dish.!
But I must leave him without hearing further,
Lest I grow sick of my Camanche habit!
That such a bird of prey should be a Sparrow.
[Exit Crockett.
Scene closes.

The edge of the prairie. A dense wood on one side, while all the rest of the scene, far as the eye can reach, is a long dead level of tall grass, waving in the moonlight; The moons at her, f dl and high in heaven.
Enter Bonham.
Bonham. How holy is this silence! What a sea