For the Liberty of Texas/Chapter 34
BACK TO THE RANCH—CONCLUSION.
Immediately after the battle, Dan sought out medical aid and had his father attended to. Mr. Radbury was still unconscious, and for several days it was not known whether he would live or die. During all that time, his son remained at his side, hoping and praying for the best. At last the planter was pronounced out of danger, but the wound had been a deep one and it was doubtful if Mr. Radbury would ever be as strong again as he had been.
While father and son were at the temporary hospital which the Texans had opened, Dan made a discovery which filled him with interest. Among the Mexican prisoners that had been taken, the youth found a man from San Antonio whom he knew well,—a person who had joined Santa Anna's army after the fall of the Alamo. During a talk with this individual, he learned that Carlos Martine was also in the army, having joined at the same time.
"I must find that man and have a talk with him," said Dan to himself, and as soon as his father was a little better he set out on his hunt.
He had not made many inquiries, when he learned that Carlos Martine was dead, having been shot down while trying to escape across the open prairie, and the body had already been put away.
"But what of the dead—were the things in their pockets buried with them?" asked Dan of one of the Texan guards.
"No, their pockets were emptied, and everything found was turned over to the quartermaster," was the reply, and then the youth went to the officer named and told him of Martine and of the missing papers.
"Here is a lot of stuff, Radbury. You can look it over and see if there is anything there belonging to your father."
Dan examined the pile with care, and presently came upon the papers, safe and sound, just as they had been stolen by Hank Stiger.
"They are here!" he cried, and passed them over for examination. "Won't father be glad of this!" And off he ran a little later to tell his parent. Amos Radbury could scarcely speak, but his satisfaction shone in his eyes.
"It is a great relief," he murmured. "They cannot disturb my home now." And then he added with a sigh, "I wish I were there now!"
"All in good time, father," said Dan, affectionately. "We have truly nothing more to fear. Santa Anna is whipped and has already sent word that his other troops must withdraw. The independence of Texas is assured beyond a doubt."
Dan was right in what he said. Not long after Santa Anna's defeat the remainder of his army was in full retreat. As they fell back they were closely watched by the Texans, but no further fighting took place.
The government of Texas had retired to Galveston, but as soon as the victory of San Jacinto became known, President Burnett and his cabinet hurried to the Texan camp and opened negotiations with Santa Anna. The Mexican general was ready to promise almost anything in return for his liberty, and Houston suggested that he be made to recognise the independence of Texas, that the Rio Grande River should become the boundary between the independent State and Mexico, that all Texan prisoners should be released, that all private property should be restored, and numerous other things, all of which were after ward embodied in a treaty signed at Velasco.
Yet even then Santa Anna was not given his liberty. The people were aroused to the depths of their very souls and they feared that the "Mexican Butcher" could not be trusted. Against the advice of many he was put into prison, and it was not until nearly a year later that he was allowed to return to Mexico. Here he found himself "out in the cold" in more ways than one, and highly disgusted he retired to his estate at Mango del Clavo, not to be heard of again for some time to come.
With the closing of the war matters waxed hot in Texas politically, but with politics Amos Radbury had little to do. As soon as he was able, he returned to his ranch on the Guadalupe, where both he and Dan were received in a warm manner by Ralph and the ever faithful Poke Stover and Pompey.
"You are both heroes," cried the youngest Radbury. And then he added, with all the ardor of youth: "How I wish I had been along!"
"Never mind, lad, your time may come some day," said Poke Stover.
"If it dun cum dat boy will prove as brave as any of dem," said Pompey. "Yo' see, it's in de Radbury blood, wot fit in de Rebolution, de wah ob 1812 and de Injun wahs. Da can't help it no moah dan da kin help eatin', he! he!" And he slapped his thigh enthusiastically. That evening Pompey served the "spread of his life," as Dan designated it, and never were a party happier than the Radburys and Poke Stover as they sat and ate and drank, and talked over the many things which had happened since the first trouble with the Indians.
"But I am glad it is over," said Amos Radbury. "Glad it is over, and equally glad that we are all home once more."
Here let us bring to a close this tale of the war, "For the Liberty of Texas." Summer was now at hand, and as soon as Dan felt rested he and Ralph, assisted by Pompey, set to work to put the ranch in order and attend to the stock, which had suffered more or less from neglect. Later on, both Mr. Radbury and Poke Stover joined in the labour, and before fall everything was running as smoothly as it had the spring previous.
The liberty of Texas had been assured, but the people were not satisfied, and clamoured to be ad mitted to the United States. In a few years this was accomplished, and Texas became as she is to-day, the largest State in our glorious Union. Then followed trouble about the boundary line between the United States and Mexico, and soon war was declared between the two principal republics of North America. The further adventures of the Radburys before this war and through a portion of it will be told in the next volume of this series, to be entitled, "With Taylor on the Rio Grande," in which we shall meet all of our old friends once more, and learn what they did to defeat both their personal enemies and also the enemies of their country.
Yet for the time being all went well, and here we will say good-bye, echoing the shout Ralph gives as he dashes over the range on his pet mustang:
"Hurrah for the liberty of Texas! Hurrah for the heroes of San Jacinto!"