Page:For the Liberty of Texas.djvu/102

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92
FOR THE LIBERTY OF TEXAS

"Santa Anna's orders must be obeyed," was the Mexican colonel's comment, and he despatched a force of one hundred and fifty dragoons, under Captain Castinado, to take the cannon by force. The Mexican soldiers arrived at the river on September 28th. On the opposite side of the stream was Gonzales, but the ferry-boat was on that side, too.

The Mexican commander waved for the boat, but no attention was paid to his movement. Then a horn was blown, but still the Texans paid no attention.

"We will march to the ford," cried the Mexican captain, and the dragoons started. But on reaching the ford, half a mile below the town, they found themselves confronted by Captain Albert Martin, a merchant of the place, backed up by several dozens of determined-looking Texans.

The alarm had now gone forth, and express riders rode their steeds almost to death to summon the people of Bastrop, Victoria, and other places. Soon the settlers began to flock in, all on horse back and armed, ready to do or die for Texas, as the case might be. With the number were Mr. Radbury and Dan. Dan had been to Gonzales to buy some household stores, and his father, hearing of the uprising, had hastened down the river to find his son and see that no harm befell him. This had left Ralph home alone, saving for the company