HEROES OF THE LONE STAR STATE.
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 breastwork 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.