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Remember the Alamo!   By: (1925-)

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Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Analog Science Fact & Fiction December 1961. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.

Remember the

Alamo!

By R. R. FEHRENBACH

THIS IS, I THINK, ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL COMMENTS ON THE MODERN SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY I HAVE SEEN A REALLY BLOOD CHILLING LITTLE TALE....

ILLUSTRATED BY SCHOENHERR

Toward sundown, in the murky drizzle, the man who called himself Ord brought Lieutenant colonel William Barrett Travis word that the Mexican light cavalry had completely invested Bexar, and that some light guns were being set up across the San Antonio River. Even as he spoke, there was a flash and bang from the west, and a shell screamed over the old mission walls. Travis looked worried.

[Illustration:]

"What kind of guns?" he asked.

"Nothing to worry about, sir," Ord said. "Only a few one pounders, nothing of respectable siege caliber. General Santa Anna has had to move too fast for any big stuff to keep up." Ord spoke in his odd accent. After all, he was a Britainer, or some other kind of foreigner. But he spoke good Spanish, and he seemed to know everything. In the four or five days since he had appeared he had become very useful to Travis.

Frowning, Travis asked, "How many Mexicans, do you think, Ord?"

"Not more than a thousand, now," the dark haired, blue eyed young man said confidently. "But when the main body arrives, there'll be four, five thousand."

Travis shook his head. "How do you get all this information, Ord? You recite it like you had read it all some place like it were history."

Ord merely smiled. "Oh, I don't know everything , colonel. That is why I had to come here. There is so much we don't know about what happened.... I mean, sir, what will happen in the Alamo." His sharp eyes grew puzzled for an instant. "And some things don't seem to match up, somehow "

Travis looked at him sympathetically. Ord talked queerly at times, and Travis suspected he was a bit deranged. This was understandable, for the man was undoubtedly a Britainer aristocrat, a refugee from Napoleon's thousand year Empire. Travis had heard about the detention camps and the charcoal ovens ... but once, when he had mentioned the Empereur's sack of London in '06, Ord had gotten a very queer look in his eyes, as if he had forgotten completely.

But John Ord, or whatever his name was, seemed to be the only man in the Texas forces who understood what William Barrett Travis was trying to do. Now Travis looked around at the thick adobe wall surrounding the old mission in which they stood. In the cold, yellowish twilight even the flaring cook fires of his hundred and eighty two men could not dispel the ghostly air that clung to the old place. Travis shivered involuntarily. But the walls were thick, and they could turn one pounders. He asked, "What was it you called this place, Ord ... the Mexican name?"

"The Alamo, sir." A slow, steady excitement seemed to burn in the Britainer's bright eyes. "Santa Anna won't forget that name, you can be sure. You'll want to talk to the other officers now, sir? About the message we drew up for Sam Houston?"

"Yes, of course," Travis said absently. He watched Ord head for the walls. No doubt about it, Ord understood what William Barrett Travis was trying to do here. So few of the others seemed to care.

Travis was suddenly very glad that John Ord had shown up when he did.

On the walls, Ord found the man he sought, broad shouldered and tall in a fancy Mexican jacket. "The commandant's compliments, sir, and he desires your presence in the chapel."

The big man put away the knife with which he had been whittling. The switchblade snicked back and disappeared into a side pocket of the jacket, while Ord watched it with fascinated eyes... Continue reading book >>




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