Indian Attacks in Austin, Part 2
September 17, 2011 § Leave a comment
April 3, 1841
Indians in Austin. Part 2.
His scattering grey hairs, long lank legs, which were poked out some six or eight inches below the threadbare pantaloons encasing them, and the very venerable stoop in his shoulders, at once brought to our mind the beautiful, simple and touching old English excerpt, “Pit the sorrows of a, etc.” which in its tune touched our tenderest chord. But the rapid approach of a large reinforcement of field officers, as they appeared to be, if one could judge from the titles they were lavishing each other with. “Now, General,” they were saying, “Yes, Captain,” “We’ll make mince meat out of them, Major,” and “Certainly, Colonel.” This induced us at first to believe that the main army, which seemed from the noise to be concentrating down about the doggeries, had sent them up. But our error was soon dissipated, for on closer inspection, they turned out to be a band of citizens who had snatched up their arms and were hastening to the rescue.
The whole party now wended their way up the hill towards Cook’s to ascertain what hell was to pay. On the way up, an individual, after satisfying himself that we were not Indians, cautiously protruded his head out of a window and screamed at the top of his voice, “What’s kicking up all that dust, hey?” To which a wag, pointing to Teulon, returned answer. “That fellow’s sword, I reckon.” We involuntarily cast our eyes in the direction his finger designated, and there was the long hanger on the short man, going jingle, jingle, clinkety, clankety, leaving almost a small plough trail on the ground to shew where the hero had trod. George took the hint, and grasping the weapon firmly in his left hand, hurried towards the Colonel’s, at the head of the column. In a minute we were there, when simultaneously all commenced questioning him upon the character and extent of the damage done. Who did it? Comanches or Caddos? Was the baby safe? etc., etc.
There we were, panting, blowing, and questioning around him, as though bedlam had broken loose. We soon got to the jist of the matter. His gardener, a Dutchman, was walking about 50 yards from the front gate, when the Indians politely gave him to know they were taking the evening air in the same neighborhood, by sending an arrow through his arm. He bounded off for the house. They attempted to arrest his progress by a rifle shot, in answer to which he set up a yell that brought the Colonel to the door, armed with his pistols.
As he sprang out, he observed a red skin run around his house, apparently making for the woods. As soon as the rascal turned the corner, he fired away with his rifle, but without effect. Whereupon, he immediately squatted and the Colonel then wounded him with a pistol shot, which took effect we cannot say where, for the fellow rolled himself down the steep hill, on the brink of which the house stands, and made for the woods. In the meanwhile, other rifles and arrows were shot at the Colonel, who, it delights to say, escaped unhurt.
Imagine the anxiety of the 2000 souls, men, women and children, white, black, and ginger cake colored, who, we took it for granted, had congregated below to hear the news, a few good natured creatures of us hurried downtown to tell the history of the night’s adventures. The hum and buzz of the crowd directed our steps to the corner of Pecan street and Congress Avenue, and when there, the hard swearing that came to our ears from in and about the yard of Bullock’s Tavern, satisfied us that the headquarters were certainly there, and we therefore proceeded directly to that spot.
There were frightened women, yelping children and armed men in profusion, for the whole house and its ample court yard was overflowing. There was the graceful, nonchalant Major H., whose mild, yet brilliant blue eye, and mouth which always smiles whether he will or not, looking so “devil may care” as he swaggered to and fro among the feminine, all bristling as he was with knives and pistols. His red sash, grey undress military jacket, and shining sombrero gave his appearance a decided guerilla turn, and we thought as we gazed on him, what an admirable study he would have made for an artist, intending to portray a dashing, love-making, fire-eating, modern novel hero.
Leaving the major to assure the ladies of their safety, we directed our attention to other objects about us, and saw somebody whose nerves were so strong as to make surrounding him – to be continued next week.