Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Michael Bonham; or, The Fall of Bexar. A Tale of Texas >> Part V — Scene I >> Page 28

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Page 28

Drama | John R. Thompson | 1852
Transcription 28 Michael Bonham ; or, the Fall of Bexar.


The streets of San Antonio. The clamor and confusion of a rout, mixed with the occasional uproar, keen and quick, q f a melee d ontrance. Mexicans, half-armed and in great consternation flying across the stage, pursued by the Texians. Enter Alabama Davis, Richard Harris, William Harris, and others, with signs of blood and battle.

Davis. This is no fighting, comrade.
R. Harris. Fighting ! No
I'm scarcely breathed for battle.
Davis. Wait awhile ;
We soon shall hear from Milam.
R. Harris. He has gone
Against the Alamo.
Davis There'll be fighting there :
It is their citadel.
R. Harris. Let us join him then.
We can do nothing here. We find no foe
Worthy the name. Such panic-bitten wretches but sicken me to see. What wait we for?
Davis. The signal.
R. Harris. Would it sound then. How I pant For danger!
[Bugle sounds livelily at a distance.
Davis. Hark! We have it now.
R. Harris. Let's away.
W. Harris, [to R. Harris, putting his hand on his arm.] Why haste you thus to death ?
R. Harris. I seek it, boy.
But you! You follow closely. So much fear, Yet so much rashness.
W. Harris. My rashness comes from fear; I dread to stop behind.
R. Harris. You should be with your mother.
W. Harris, [aside.] Would I were!
R. Harris Follow me closely. You are, at my side Much safer than behind.
Davis. [ Sounds of conflict.] They're at it now. The shot is sharp and heavy.
R. Harris. Hurra for death !
The old King Death that takes the crown from all, Whose subjects u re the living ; throne 's the tenth, Whose columns compass earth. Hurra for Death!
Davis. For victor' ruiner. On, brave comrades, on!
W. Harris. I must go forward. Heaven have mercy on me !
[Exeunt Davis, Harris and Texians.
Enter Governor still as Julius Caesar, with his sword drawn, making desperate passes in the air. He stops breath 'essly.
Governor. Phew! Was ever such a strategem! That fellow has a head for a prime minister. With what skill, what coolness, what audacity. he lied through the whole scheme : and so brave too—that is another merit. Holy Mother! But he looked fierce enough to swallow a regiment. Jesu send that Pedro make mince meat of him. It were my rain if he does not. What will his Excellency, Senor Don Lopez de Santa Anna, say ? Say ! He will read my despatches—the rebel army annihilated!—and lo! here it is anew, with San Antonio in their hands Who could have thought it ? But there is the Alamo yet. They will eat bullets before they get that. [ Shouts.] Ha

more shouts. The enemy in front—between me and the Alamo. Caesar help me! I am good only at the strategic part of the warfare. Tue subordinate parts—the mere physical struggle,—blows and shouting,—these are tier the common soldier. Santa Maria! They are on all sides. They are here, and there, and everywhere. They come. The sounds thicken. At least they shall find me sword in hand.
[As he is about to rush out, Enter Sparrow, who confronts him. Sparrow is out of breath and almost speechless.
Sparrow. Ho ! ha ! who—who are you ? An enemy at all events. Have at you, breath or no breath. [Governor flies, and encounters Crockett at the 'wing, and is thrown down in the concussion. .Sparrow, who has been pursuing him, falls upon and grapples him.] Ha' ho ! The captive to my bow and spear. Shall I spear him, or spare him ?
Crockett. Don't eat him, Sparrow, at all events. Sparrow. Let him holler 'hough, then.
Crockett. I reckon he would it' he could talk English, or if he could talk at all, with such a mountain upon him. Rise, old fellow, you are not upon a horse that you should keep up such an awful joggling. Do you know who you've got under you ?
Sparrow. Ay! a fat fellow like myself—with more bulk than breath. Eh ! Who?
Crockett. You are straddling no less a person than his Excellency, the Governor of San Antonio.
Sparrow. The devil you say!
Crockett. No. I say the Governor. Up, terrapin, and give tiiva breath.
Sparrow. Breath ! By the powers! but that's impossible. Give what I hav'nt got myself? The thing 's be'ond my generosity. But I'll tell you what I will give him Davy.
Crockett. What ?
Sparrow What he wants quite as much—quarter. He lies quiet enough, all but the blowing.
Crockett. And reason equally good for both quiet and blowing, with such a mountain of meat upon him. But don't be too sure of his quiet. He's a famous fellow for stratagems.
Sparrow. Ah, say you so ? Then I'll rise with caution and deliberation. [Rising with difficulty.] It's one reason why I never like to get down ; i 's so very troublesome to get up again. [Governor groans.
Crockett. He seems to be relieved. He's coming to. That grunt was good English.
Sparrow. Yes. I understand it. He will probably understand me now. [Governor rises assisted by Spar-row. Hark ye, Don Buffalo, your sword, or you shall have mine.
[Solicits the sword of Esteban with the left hand, while 'bleak/lie.: with his bowie knife. The Governor re-coils, but yie.'ds h r s weapon.
Crockett. He takes you at your word. Who says these fellows don't understand English?
Sparrow. Ah, when one speaks pointedly to them. We've only to use a steel pen. I'll try hint again in English—he gets on so well. Hark ye, Don Buffalo, set for-ward, or I'll— Makes a show with bowie.
Crockett. He learns fatuous fast—sloes jilt as you wish him.