Rendezvous at the Alamo: Highlights in the Lives of Bowie, Crockett, and Travis

By Virgil E. Baugh | Go to book overview

chapter 6
Adventures along the Way

THE TRAIL to the Alamo was beset with danger and adventure for Davy and his volunteers. Once they were caught in a buffalo stampede. Chasing a large bull, Davy got lost on the prairie. He had badly winded his small mustang and so was almost as bad off as if he had been afoot. His life was in peril because the country thereabouts was infested with wolves and other predators. He looked around for a safe place to spend the night. On a river bank he found a big tree. It had blown down, but the few remaining limbs were stout and the foliage was thick enough for good cover. As he moved to climb it, he was startled by a fierce snarl. He scanned the tree for the animal concealed there. It was a big cougar and the way it licked its chops and prepared to spring told plainly that it was famished. He knew he had to shoot and shoot in a hurry. He aimed Betsey at its head and pulled the trigger. Instead of going into death struggles, the animal was only infuriated by the bullet, which had glanced off its thick skull.

He had no time to reload. The cougar growled and leaped. Davy stepped aside and, using his rifle as a club, struck it a heavy blow. He might as well have hit it with a twig. He was in for it now. The cat attacked again and sank its fangs into his left arm, tearing and ripping the flesh in a way that made him faint with pain. He next tried to blind it with his knife but missed. In maneuvering for another thrust he tripped on a vine and fell. In an instant, the animal leaped upon him again and this time began to tear at his leg.

As luck would have it, the fight was going on at the edge of a steep bank. Davy worked carefully toward the brink. As he

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