Feeling somewhat nervous, Wallace shot the wolf, and started on again, this time in a run. The rest of the story we give from Big Foot's own published account.
"The faster I went, the faster the wolves followed me, and, looking back after a little while, I saw twenty-five or thirty 'lobos' (a large, fierce kind of wolf, found only in Mexico and Texas), trotting along after me at a rate I knew would soon bring them into close quarters, and in the bushes and chaparral that bordered the trail I was traveling I could see the gleaming eyes and pointed ears of at least a dozen others coming rapidly toward me. One big fellow, more daring and hungry than the rest, made a rush at me, and I barely had time to level my gun and fire, for he was touching the muzzle of it when I pulled the trigger. He fell dead at my feet but, as if this had been the signal for a general attack, in an instant the whole pack were around me, snarling and snapping, and showing their white teeth in a way that was any thing but pleasant.
"I fought them off with the breach of my gun, for they did not give me a chance to load it, retreating all the while as rapidly as I could. Once so many of them rushed in upon me at the same time that, in spite of all my efforts, I failed to keep them at bay, and they dragged me to the ground. I thought for an instant that it was all up with me, but despair gave me the strength of half a dozen men, and I used 'old butch' (his knife) to such a good purpose that I killed three outright and wounded several others, which appeared somewhat to daunt the balance, for they drew off a short distance and began to howl for re-enforcements.
"The re-enforcements were on their way, for I could hear them howling in every direction, and I knew that I had no time to lose. So I put off at the top of my speed, and in those days it took a pretty fast Spanish pony to beat me a quarter when I 'let out the kinks.' And I let 'em out this time with a will, I tell you, and fairly beat the wolves for a half a mile or so, but my breath then began to fail me, and I could tell by their close, angry yelps that the devils were again closing in upon me.
"By this time I was so much exhausted that I knew I should make a poor fight of it, more especially as I could perceive from the number of dark forms behind me, and the gleaming eyes and shining teeth that glistened out of every bush on the wayside, that the wolves had had considerable addition to their number. It may be thought strange that I did n't take to a tree, but there were no trees there to take to--nothing but stunted chaparral bushes, not much higher than a man's heard.
I thought my time had come at last, and I was almost ready to give up in despair when, all at once, I remembered seeing, as I came out, a large lone oak-tree, with a hollow in it about large enough for a man to crawl into, which grew on the banks of a small cañon, not more than three or four hundred yards from where I then was. I resolved to make one more effort, and, if possible, to reach this tree before the wolves came up with me again; and if ever there was good, honest running done, without any throw-off about it, I did it then. The fact is, I believe a man can't tell how fast he can run until he gets a pack of wolves after him in this way. A fellow will naturally do his best when he knows that if he does n't, in twenty minutes he will be 'parceled out' among as many, ravenous wolves, a head to one, a leg to another, an arm to a third, and so on. At least that was the effect of it, and I split the air so fast with my nose that it took the skin off of it, and for a week afterward it looked like a peeled onion.
"However, I beat the wolves once more fairly and squarely, not much time to spare either, for just as I crawled into the hollow of the tree, which was about as high as my head from the ground, the ravenous creatures were howling all around me. At the bottom of the tree I found a 'skunk' snugly stowed away, but I soon routed him out, and the wolves gobbled him up in an instant. He left a smell behind him that was any thing but agreeable in such close quarters. However, I was safe there at any rate from the attacks of the wolves, and all the smells in the city of New Orleans could n't have driven me from my hole just at that time.
"The wolves could only get at me one at a time, and with 'old butch' in my hand I knew I could manage a hundred in that way. They bit and gnawed and scratched, and every now and then a fellow would jump up and poke his nose into the hollow of the tree, but just as sure as he did it, he caught a wipe across it with 'old butch' that generally satisfied his curiosity for awhile. All night long they kept up their serenade, and, as you may well suppose, I did n't get much sleep. However, the noise did n't matter, for I had got several severe bites on my arms and legs, and the pain I suffered from them would have kept me awake anyhow.
"Just at daylight the next morning the wolves began to sneak off, and when the sun rose not one was to be seen except three dead ones at the root of the tree, that had come in contact with 'old butch.' I waited awhile longer to be certain they had all left, when I crawled out of my den, gave myself a shake, and found I was all right, except a pound or so of flesh taken out of one of my legs, and a few scratches on my arms. I hobbled back home, and for a long time afterward when I heard the howling of wolves I always felt uneasy. I found out the next day why the wolves acted as they did. I had a bottle of assafoetida that was broken and run over my clothes. I had often heard that assafoetida would attract wolves, but I had always thought it an old woman's yarn. But it is a fact, and if you don't believe it, go some dark night into a thick chaparral where wolves are numerous, and pour about a gill over your clothes, and then wait a little, and see what will turn up; and if you do n't hear howling and snapping and snarling, I'll agree to be stung to death by bumble-bees."
In the fall of 1842 the Indians troubled the frontiers of Texas more than at any previous time. A party of forty men of which Big Foot was a member, set out to punish the red skins. When they camped, on the evening of the third day Wallace noticed a smoke a few miles to the north-east, and was directed by the captain to make a scout before daylight and find out what the thing meant. He rose about three o'clock in the morning, and stumbled across the rough country until he came to a cañon leading in the direction he was going.
Lying by until daylight, Wallace then started up the cañon, which was very crooked and at times not more than four feet wide. Making a sudden turn at one place, Wallace, who was stooping over, ran violently into an Indian, who was descending the cañon, knocking him down. Both men scrambled to their feet, and being too close to shoot, dropped their guns and grappled with each other. Big Foot was the heavier, but the Indian, over six feet tall and of powerful build, was furthermore perfectly naked, and greased from head to foot with bear's oil. The struggle up and down and across the cañon was an equal one. As fast as Big Foot threw his opponent, the latter would instantly slip out of his grasp, before the white man could draw his knife.
At last Wallace threw the savage with great violence, his head striking a rock. Momentarily stunned, he gave the white man time to draw his knife and bury it in the Indian's body. The moment the savage felt the cold steel, he threw Wallace off, seized him by the throat with one hand, and whipped out his knife. In an instant the weapon descended, and was buried to its hilt in the hard ground at Wallace's side. The blood from the wound in his head running into his eyes blinded him so that he missed his aim.
It must have been about this time that Wallace, with a party of eight men who had been out exploring the Nueces River, had the misfortune to lose all their horses by Indians one night while in camp. The men at once started on foot to the Zumwalt settlement, ten miles away, to procure horses, and follow the Indians. After obtaining some animals they struck out on the trail of the flying savages. On the way they were joined by a tall stranger, on an ugly but powerful horse. The man's eyes had a wild, insane look, and he explained that his business was way-laying and shooting Indians. He and his family had some ten years before emigrated from Kentucky to Texas, and settled in a pretty spot near the Gaudaloupe River. One day, when a mile away from his house, he heard several guns discharged. Hurrying back; he found his wife and three children lying dead on the floor. He had at once fallen upon the Indians, and killed four of them before he fell senseless from his wounds. Since that time he had devoted himself to revenge.
The stranger at once became the guide of the expedition, and, a half an hour before sundown, brought the men within fifty yards of the Indian camp. A bloody fight followed, in which the Indian fighter killed four savages. The incident seemed to make him for the moment quite happy, and after the Indians were driven off he was observed to laugh. The ultimate fate of the man is unknown.
At a later period in his life, Wallace settled in a ranch on the Medina River. His principal neighbors were the Lipan Indians. One day Big Foot gave a grand dinner of bear meat and honey to the chiefs of the tribe, and made a treaty with them to the effect that henceforth he was to be considered the same as a Lipan, and that they would not steal from him. For many miles the white men lost all their live stock by the depredations of these Indians, but, as the years rolled by, Wallace was not troubled.
In time, the Lipans determined to move to the Guadaloupe River. A morning or so after their departure, Wallace found his horses stolen. He had no idea that they had been taken by his allies, but, on following the trail, he picked up an arrow which he knew belonged to the Lipan tribe. Repairing to San Antonio, he raised a company of thirty men for the recovery of the stolen property. Just as the company of rough but brave fellows were about to leave the town, a stranger, wearing a stove-pipe hat, light cloth clothes, and patent leather gaiters, stepped up to Wallace, and explained that he was writing a novel of frontier life, and desired to accompany the expedition in order to acquire some practical experience.
The big Ranger looked down at the little dandy, and, with a wink at his men, told him, "All right, you're welcome, Mr. Author." The stranger bustled away, and the next day joined the party armed with a little, double-barreled gun and an umbrella. He carried also a tiny pistol, of which the men made all manner of fun. The first night was passed at Wallace's ranch. The author went to sleep on a big buffalo robe where a dog had been lying.
In the morning he had a crick in his neck, from sleeping with a block of wood for a pillow. Next he hinted to Big Foot that he felt as if he had been bitten by insects. The man asked him where he had gotten his buckskin suit, intimating that, no doubt, it contained vermin. This made the literary stranger perfectly wretched.
The journey after the Indians was soon begun, the men dividing their time between fun with the author and a lookout for redskins. Late in the afternoon a storm came up. The stranger proudly raised his umbrella amid the jeers of the men, but the first gust of wind turned it inside out and whirled it from his hand. He slept that night in a puddle of water. Evidently his notions of the romantic side of frontier life were undergoing a change. In the morning the wrecked umbrella was found lodged in a neighboring bush. Each of the men fired at it with their big revolvers. When the firing ceased, the stranger sadly gathered the remains of the umbrella, and strapped them on his saddle.
In the afternoon an early halt was made. The stranger, hearing the men say they would look around for game, took his little bird gun and strolled away himself. In a little while Big Foot heard both barrels of the gun go off, and he at once seized his rifle and ran in the direction of the sound. He found the stranger. He was running round and round a tree, dodging an immense buck, which was after him. He screamed to Wallace to shoot the animal, but the Texan, almost splitting with laughter, pretended to think that the author was really chasing the buck instead of the buck chasing him, and trying to lay hold of the animal to cut his throat. The frightened man, breathless with incessant exertions to avoid the vicious lunges which the animal made with its horns, one of which carried away the tail of his buckskin shirt, screamed louder and louder, earnestly protesting that this was not the case. Big Foot seemed not to believe, said it was a joke, praised his pluck, told him he would soon tire out the buck, and finally, when the man was about worn out fired, and killed the buck. The literary stranger was furiously mad. He abused Wallace like a pickpocket, and swore at him like a trooper for his delay in killing the beast. However, he was so much relieved to find that he was still alive and safe, that his wrath gave way.
The next day, Wallace says, the men suffered terribly from want of water. Just when the torment became intolerable, the stranger was observed to be making notes in a blank book. These notes related to the appearance of men suffering from intense thirst. When the men found out what he was doing, they wanted to kill him, and decided that he was a maniac.
The next adventure of the stranger was more serious. While hunting for geological specimens, he was attacked by Mexican hedgehogs, which often tear men to pieces with their tusks. Scrambling up into some chaparral bushes, he began to yell, until he made himself heard at the camp. Big Foot, as usual, came to the rescue, but also resolved to have a little fun. Climbing up into a tree, he advised the stranger to drive the hogs away, as they were dangerous. We quote Big Foot's own published account of the incident:
"Said I, 'Mr. Author,' fixing myself comfortably on a limb, 'this reminds me of a scrape I once got into, and as we are comfortably fixed out here all by ourselves, I could not have a better chance of telling it to you.'
"'Comfortable!' he exclaimed; 'you have strange ideas of it if you think a man can be comfortable sitting on the top of your abominable Texas chaparral, with his knees drawn up to his chin, a thorn in each leg as long as my finger, and a dozen wild hogs making lunges at them whenever he stretches them down for a moment's ease. For heaven's sake, shoot them,' he implored, 'and let me out of this nest of thorns.'
"'I can't,' I replied; "I have only the bullet that is in my gun, and if I shoot one of them it will make the other ten times worse.'
"'You do n't tell me so, captain. Then what in the world shall we do?"'
"'Why,' said I, 'the only thing we can do now is to be patient, and wait until the moon rises to-night, and I think then the "havilinas" will leave us.'
"'O, do n't talk to me about the moon's rising. It won't be up till twelve o'clock, at least, and I can 't stand this fifteen minutes longer, no how. Crackey! that fellow gave me a grazer! He has taken off the heel of my boot on his tusks!'
"'You see, Mr. Author,' I continued, pretending not to hear, what he said, 'it was about six years ago, that Bill Hankins and I were out bear hunting on the head waters of the Leon, when -----'
"'Plague take that fellow, he brought blood that time, certain!' said our author. 'Their teeth are as sharp as razors.'
"'As I was saying,' I went on, 'it was about six years ago that Bill Hankins and I were out bear hunting on the head-waters of the Leon, when we fell in with a large drove of these "havilinas."'
"'They are gnawing my bush down,' said our author in a pitiable tone; 'they will have it down in less than ten minutes.'
"'As I was saying,' I continued, 'it was about six years ago that Bill Hankins and I were out hunting on the head-waters of the Leon, when we fell in with a large drove of "havilinas" and before we were aware of our danger'-----
"'Shuh! you devils,' said our author, flinging his last missile, his memorandum book, at the hogs, as they made a general rush on his bush.
"'Mr. Author,' I said, in an offended tone, 'you are not paying the slightest attention to what I am telling you. You might learn something, even from the Indians, in this respect, for, according to Mr. Cooper, they never interrupt a man when he is talking.
"'As I was saying,' I continued, 'it was about six years ago that Bill Hankins and I were out bear hunting on the head-waters of the Leon"-----
"'Oh! bother Mr. Cooper and Bill Hankins and the head-waters of the Leon,' said our author, losing his temper at my persistence in relating the anecdote. 'Cooper's a fool. Oh my! there's a thorn clean through my back into the hollow!'
"'But my friend,' said I, changing my tactics, 'you ought to bear your troubles with patience, for you should remember what a thrilling chapter you will be able to make out of this adventure.'
"'Oh yes,' said he, 'but who will there be to write it when I am chawed up by these infuriated pigs like a handful of acorns? Oh, dear! they'll have me directly. I can feel the bush give way now. Captain,' said he, 'you will find the manuscript of the novel in my saddle-bags. Take it, and publish it for the benefit of the world, and tell them of the melancholy fate of the poor author. But tell them, for mercy's sake that I was devoured by a lion, a panther, or a catamount, or some decent sort of a beast, and not by a gang of squealing pigs. It won't sound romantic, you know.'
"'I'll do it, Mr. Author,' said I, 'but I hope you will live long enough yet to tell them all about it yourself. You have a first-rate chance to study the habits and appearance of these "havilinas," and can write a chapter on them that will be very interesting and true to nature. How will you describe them?' I asked.
"'They look to me,' he answered, 'like a couple of butcher knives, about as long as my arm, stuck into a handle covered with hair and bristles!'
"'And can you tell me,' I said, 'what particular tribe of animals they belong to?'
"'Captain, I do n't feel inclined to discuss the subject now, particularly as the subject is so eager to discuss me; and besides, to tell you the truth; I think you have selected a most unsuitable time for propounding your questions in natural history. Oh, my! there goes the leg of my pants and a strip of the hide with it!'
"'Mr. Author,' I said, pretending not to hear his remarks, I recollect once reading a chapter in one of Mr. Cooper's novels, in which he gives a very interesting account of the immense droves of wild pigeons that were migrating from one part of the country to another, and -----'
"'Oh, bother Cooper, I say!' said our author, becoming perfectly frantic as a thorn touched him up in the rear and a pig made a dash at his legs in front. 'Cooper is an unmitigated humbug, and I begin to think you are not much better. Oh, I can stand this no longer,' said he, 'and I'll make a finish of it at once;' and I verily believe he would have jumped down right among the hogs in another moment, but just then I saw several of my men coming toward us from camp, and said to him:
"'Hold on a minute, Mr. Author; there come some men to help us and will soon rout the beasts now.'
Seeing that we were both treed by some sort of 'varmints,' the men hurried up, shot several of the hogs, and the balance, finding we mustered too strong for them, quickly retreated into the chaparral."
One day, riding along, Big Foot, with a twinkle in his eye, told the stranger several snake stories, and advised him, if he ever felt a rattlesnake, even in the bed with him, to lie perfectly still, as the only way to avoid being bitten. Duvall relates the ensuing incident admirably.
"I saw that my 'snake story' had produced the desired effect upon him, and for the time I dropped the subject. The next night we encamped in a very snaky-looking locality, and I cut off a piece of grapevine about as thick as an ordinary rattle-snake, which I slyly slipped under the edge of our blanket just before I 'turned in.' About a half an hour after we had lain down I drew out the grapevine and drew it slowly along the author's back, at the same time gently shaking my rattles, which I held in my other hand. He was just on the eve of dropping off to sleep, but the crawling motion and the rattling aroused him in an instant.
"'Oh! murder! captain! there's a rattlesnake crawling along my back! What in the world am I to do?'
"'I know it,' I answered, 'I hear him rattling now (and I gently shook the rattles I held in my hand). Lie still, and do n't move a muscle until he coils up.'
"'Oh, yes,' said the poor fellow, and his teeth fairly chattered from fright, 'it's easy enough for you to say "lie still," when I am between you and the snake; but it is not so easy for me, for I can feel him squirming along my back now.'
"'I know that,' said I, 'but you must lie still, for the first motion you make, he will have his fangs into you, sure.'
"'Oh!" said the poor fellow, as I gave the vine another serpentine twist along his back, 'this is more than human nature can bear--ugh! ugh! Captain, can't you do any thing for me?'
"'There's no danger at all,' I said, 'if you will only keep still; he will soon settle himself, and then you can jump up without the least risk of being bitten. When he quits rattling altogether,' said I, shaking the rattles in my hand, 'yon will know that he is asleep.'
"'Captain,' he replied in a faint and husky voice, as I gave the vine another twist and shook the rattles, 'this is past endurance. I must get out of this at all hazards.'
"'Unless you want to die,' said I, 'do n't do it, but lie as still as a mouse when puss is about. By the way, Mr. Author.' said I, 'can you tell me whether the rattlesnake is confined to the American continent, or if he is to be found also in other countries? I have heard a great many opposite opinions on the subject, and some pretend to think,' I continued, giving the vine another twist, 'that they are a species of the cobra de capello, the most poisonous serpent in the world.'
"'Ugh!' said the poor fellow, 'this is past all endurance. Captain, remember me to all inquiring friends, and do n't forget that the manuscript is in my saddle-bags. Give it to the world with all its imperfections!'
"'Hold on just one minute longer,' giving the rattles a vicious shake, 'and you will be all right.'
"'Not another second,' he cried, 'it's no use talking. I may as well die one way as another,' and he made a desperate bound from under the blanket, and pitched head foremost on the ground, ten to twelve paces off.
"I seized a bottle of 'Chili peppersauce,' and ran to where he was lying. 'Here, Mr. Author,' I said, 'drink this quick!' He took it, and in the hurry and excitement of the moment hastily swallowed about a pint of the contents.
"'Gracious!' said I, 'you have made a wonderful escape.'
"'I do n't know so well about that,' said he, sputtering and gasping for breath. 'I'm afraid I'm bit.'
"'Do you feel,' I asked, 'as if you were up to your waist in melted lead?'
"'Not exactly,' he replied, drawing his breath through his teeth; 'but I feel as if I had swallowed a quart or so of it.'
"'Then,' said I, 'you are all safe, and you have made the most wonderful escape on record. No one before has ever missed being bit who sprang off, as you did, before the snake had coiled himself up. A most extraordinary escape truly.'"
Notwithstanding these pranks, when the real fight with the Indians came on the author quite won the respect of the men by his bravery, even if he did little execution.
Big Foot Wallace was a member of the Mier expedition, being taken prisoner at the same time that Nelson Lee escaped from Mier. His sufferings in prison were great. He participated in a bold escape, but after several days of wandering in the wilderness, during which time he and his companions nearly died from thirst and starvation, they were recaptured by the Mexicans. He took part in drawing lots to determine which of their number should be executed, but luckily drew a white bean, and his life was preserved. After an imprisonment of two years he was released.
He took part in the Mexican war, and had many fights with Indians while driving the mail coach, which he subsequently did for many years, between San Antonio and El Paso. He has made his home in his old age on a ranch, about thirty miles from San Antonio.
On the second day of November, 1831, a company of eleven men, of whom Rezin P. Bowie and his brother James were the leaders, set out from San Antonio to hunt for the abandoned silver mines of the San Saba mission, which tradition said were of wonderful richness. Their location had been forgotten and lost sight of by men. For three weeks the party traveled steadily, making in the day-time careful explorations of the country, and grouped about their camp fire in the evenings, talking until far into the night, of the treasure of which they were in quest.
One morning two Comanche Indians having with them an unhappy Mexican, whom they had taken captive, came up with the party. They appeared friendly, presents were exchanged, and the white men went on their way without suspicion. On the following morning the Mexican captive suddenly appeared in the camp, exhausted by a long ride, and stated that he had been sent by his chief, Isaonie, to warn the white men, that they were followed by a party of one hundred and sixty-four Indians of the Waco and Caddo tribes, who were bent upon massacring them. The Mexican further stated that his chief had on a previous evening endeavored to dissuade the war party from their bloody purpose, but without success. He himself had only sixteen braves, badly armed and without ammunition, but said that if the white men thought best to return and join him he would do his best to protect them. The treasure hunters, however, determined to push on toward the old fort on the San Saba River, thirty miles away. The Mexican having discharged his duty left them. Though making all possible haste along the rocky roads, the white men were unable to reach the fort that night. They were compelled to encamp in a small clump of live oak trees, surrounded by an open rocky country.
Special safeguards were taken for the night, but the hours passed without alarm. In the morning preparations were made for an early start toward the old fort, which was only six miles away. Camp had been broken, and the men were in the act of leaving the cover, when they were dismayed to discover the Indians not two hundred yards away. In front of them was a savage on foot, hunting the trail. The whites instantly dismounted, made fast their horses, and prepared for such defense as they could make. There were, on the one hand, eleven white men; on the other, over one hundred and sixty Indians.
The odds were so fearful that the elder Bowie and a man named Buchanan determined to go out and attempt to parley. Then within forty yards of the spot where the Indians had halted, Bowie called to them, to which the response was several shots, one of which broke Buchanan's leg. Bowie discharged his gun and pistol, seized Buchanan, threw him on his shoulder, and started to the live oaks under a heavy fire. Buchanan was wounded in two additional places, but Bowie was unhurt. Seeing that their shots had failed to take effect on Bowie, eight Indians, with drawn tomahawks, started after him. Burdened as he was with the weight of Buchanan, Bowie was quickly overtaken, but, just as the Indians were about to lay hold on him, the men from the cover fired, killing four savages and driving off the others.
At this moment, when the white men's rifles were nearly all empty, a large part of the Indians, who had circled around to another side of the clump of live oaks, opened a heavy fire. Their chief alone was on horseback, advancing at their head toward the trees. One shot broke his leg and killed his horse. Hopping on one leg, and protecting himself with his shield of buffalo hide, he attempted to get out of range, but was killed in the effort. A handful of Indians sprang forward to seize his body, an attempt which was successful, but which cost the lives of several braves.
The whole company of Indians then retired, only to return with another chief at their head, who met the same fate as his predecessor. By this time some twenty Indians had gotten to the rear of the white men, and, concealing themselves behind the bank of a creek, poured in a dangerous fire. Two men were shot through the body at its very beginning, and a third had his gun cut in two by a rifle ball.
Practically surrounded by Indians, so that the trees no longer afforded cover, the whites determined to shift their position to a dense thicket, which was near by. To accomplish this move, it was necessary to dislodge the Indians from the bank of the creek. They succeeded in shooting so many of the latter through the head, that they were enabled to run to the thicket without loss. Once fairly located here, the whites had a material advantage. Every time they fired, the men would quickly change their positions, moving several feet away. While they had a fair view of the Indians in the prairie, the latter had no target except the smoke of the guns above the thicket. In the course of a two hours' fight, only one white man was injured.
Suffering heavily from the unerring aim of the treasure-hunters, the Indians fired the prairie grass, with the view of smoking out the white men. The latter barricaded themselves as well as they could with rock, and, owing to the direction of the wind, were, for a considerable time, in but little danger. At last the wind changed, and the fire started directly toward the position of the white men. On it came in a wall of flame fully ten feet high. The Indians kept up an incessant fire upon the thicket, as well as a hideous din of shouts and yells.
Under cover of the smoke the whites held an anxious consultation. In the case the Indians charged under cover of the smoke it was evident that the white men could only deliver one volley from their guns, as the air was so thick with sparks of fire that no man could open his powder horn without being almost certainly blown up. Full of desperate courage the men resolved that if the savages charged they would deliver their fire, place their backs together, draw their knives and fight to the death. Meanwhile the flames approached nearer and nearer. The men gathered in a little group about their baggage, and when the fire was almost on them, fought the flames by smothering them by their buffalo robes and blankets.
By this means they avoided being burnt to death, but the thicket was so much scorched and charred that it no longer afforded protection. To remedy this the men built a low breast-work of rock about them. At sundown, the Indians, having failed to dislodge them, withdrew to a little distance. The whites labored incessantly at their fortification, and by ten o'clock in the evening had built it breast high. In this little inclosure the men remained for eight days, parties of Indians hovering within sight nearly all the time, but making no formidable attack. At last, under cover of night, taking the wounded with them, they set out across the country toward San Antonio. Intent no longer on discovering mythical silver mines, but only anxious to reach their homes, this wish was finally gratified.
Retyped and reformatted by Ray and Kathy Leigh
Heroes of the Long Star State
Big Foot Wallace--Bowie's Fight
Created November 20, 2001
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