Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Michael Bonham; or, The Fall of Bexar. A Tale of Texas >> Part III — Scene III >> Page 18

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 18

Drama | John R. Thompson | 1852
Transcription 18 Michael Bonham : or, the Fall of Bexar.

" . Their moustaches and gold
We shall pluck up by the roots ; We shall pluck."

Davis. Stop your hurraing--here's the Colonel,boys. Enter Milam and others.
Milam. Ye loiter men. Ye should he on the march ; By midnight we must be at Bexar's gates, If we would find them open. Ye must haste. Ye have no wealth, no gold, no cumbrous baggage To weigh your shoulders down—your rifles only, And you will lighten them at every shot, That brings an enemy down. Away, our friends Are busy now in Bexar. 'Tis my hope That we shall win the spoils of yonder town, With scarce a struggle—follow fast, my lads.
[Exit Milam and aids.
Sparrow. Talk of a struggle with these Mexicans ! Fellows that never tasted British beef,
Know nothing of a steak, and a la mode,
Have never in their wildest fancies dreamed of. Tortillas are but poor provocatives,
And all the chile in Chili could not warm them To a death struggle with a beef-fed soldier. Where are their limbs and sinews?
Davis. Eyes to shoot,
A rifle, or the dexterity to use
The knife Jim Bowie gave us.
Sparrow. I could eat
A dozen for my supper,—with a dressing,
Made up of all their thirteen thousand generals, From the Napoleon of the west himself, To Senor Ampudia. I feel wolfish,
With cannibal convictions. On., away, We'll think of supper as we smite and slay.
[Exit Sparrow, Davis, &c

Chorus of Texians as they march off:
" We shall teach them that the bold Still inherit all the fruits
And their moustaches and gold, We shall pluck up by the roots."
Enter R. Harris and E. Harris.
R. Harris. They're on the march, and battle is at hand
A desperate struggle. Something tells me now, My hour is near at last. The fate's at hand
Shall lay me in the silence I have sought.
I have had warning of it. Hither, boy, [To E. Harris. I somehow like you. You have hung about me More than I wished. I could not quarrel with you, For, as I tell you, something in your face,
It may be, in your voice, has made me like you!
My head ached and you chafed it. I was lonesome; You sat beside me, 'and you talked with me,
Albeit you talked of subjects foreign to me,
Of God, repentance, hope, lessons too late,
For one so old a learner as myself.
Your voice was pleasant to me. It had something, That minded me of other times and persons,
I never more shall see. Come closer, boy.
E. Harris. What would you with me, sir.
R. Harris. A kindness only
I have not often done them, but, to you,
I would not have you perish.
E. Harris. What mean you, sir.
R. Harris. A battle is at hand.
E. Harris. Ah.
R. Harris. A fearful one perchance. You are no soldier;
You'll prove, I'm sure, a coward in the action,
And that were dreadful. You must stay behind. E. Harris. Stay behind ! I cannot.
R. Harris. Can you fight then ?
E. Harris. I know not. I have never fought before,—Never took life, never as I remember,
Hurt hair on human head ; but
R. Harris. Well—and what,
E. Harris. Sooner than not go on. Sooner than Ieave you,
I'll try to kill.
R. Harris. You havn't soul for it.
Your lips belie your tongue. Your very tones
Betray your terrors. You are not the creature
For such wild doings. You must stay behind
In silence, while the troop is on the march ;
The night will favor you, and with this money—[Offers purse.
E. Harris. I cannot take your money, sir.
R. Harris, [fiercely.] You must.
E. Harris. [firmly.] Never.
R. Harris. What! not remain behind, nor take the money.
E. Harris. No, though I perish, though I prove the coward
You hold me, and I sadly think myself,
I must go forward. It may be my arm
'Will shrink from doing hurt to human foe,
But I can stand and sutler. I'll not fly,
But perish where you place me.
R. Harris. What good in that ?
In battle to stand idle, is worse danger
Than cowardice and flight. You must not go.
E. Harris. I must. If in your heart a warning voice Tells you of coming death, in mine another,
Compels me to encounter any peril
Sooner than leave my comrades.
R. Harris. You are foolish.
You have no comrades. I'm the only man,
That you have mixed with.
E. Harris. You're my comrade then.
R. Harris. And do I not assure that for me
Death even now stands waiting.
E. Harris. I'll see you die.
R. Harris. You're obstinate, boy.
E. Harris Oh, firm sir, nothing more.
R. Harris. Poor lad. I pity you. You little dream The dangers that await you—little guess
The shock. the carnage, bleeding men and blood, Hoarse cries of hate, and vengeance, and of pain—Here, take the money, linger in some cabin,
Such as you'll find among these hollow dales,
And there await the action.
E. Harris. Sir, forgive me.
But I must seek and see it ; all the peril
Which you incur I share in. In this purpose
My soul, though feebler, fearfuller than any
In all our little army, still is firm,
I go with you.
R. Harris. On then, in heaven's name, on ;
We may delay no longer. Follow close.
[Exit R. Harris.
E. Harris. In heaven's name be it, for I dare not think, Heaven will not shelter us on danger's brink.