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172
THE FALL OF THE ALAMO

So trackless they have vanished out of sight
And left us nought but soreness and fatigue.

Prado.

Unlucky news comes alway soon enough;
Why then allow its gloomy pinions' beat
To scare away the blessed boon of sleep?

Duque.

My men are ordered to participate
In the attack; they ought to be recalled
From fruitless efforts to restore their strength
For the assault by brief repose at least.
That is the purport of my coming here.

Prado.

I dare not rouse His Excellency before
The time he set, still fifteen minutes hence.
His angry mood, swelled by the disappointment
Of your report and loss of soothing sleep,
Would magnify my little breach of order
Into a crime, whose penalty were death.

Santa Anna.

[Moving restlessly on its couch, and speaking aloud in his sleep.]

Where leadest me?

Duque.

He wakes.