The year is 1836; we were forced to leave our homes in Texas, because the Mexican army was trying to control us. They were trying to stop the Texians from winning their independence from the Republic of Mexico.
We took refuge at Mission Valero. The mission was modestly built of stucco. However, Mission Valero was of great importance to us because we would need it to survive. I had lived in Texas for about eight years now. My friends and I were welcomed to the mission and we took great comfort there. Maybe I should introduce my friends and myself. I'm Hugo and my friends are Willie, Jake, Don, Lupe, Carl, Hank and Billy Bob. It's been pretty peaceful in Mission Valero since we arrived. Still, just in case of trouble we kept our guns close by.
A few months ago the Republic of Mexico ordered the Mexican army to start confiscating land in Texas and this started the fight for independence, it's been very hard to survive. The Mexicans have killed a lot of the Texians fighting force. Only a small number of the numerous, heavily armed Mexicans were killed. As soon as we saw them hit the ground we ran from our hiding spot and took their weapons. The last few armed farmers' shot and killed those Mexican soldiers.
Our weapons and us eight friends were only a small part of the hope for Texas' independence. Being that Willie was the oldest, we named him our commanding officer. After we had stolen some additional weapons, we retreated back to the mission. We had a hard time getting there though, Mexican soldiers were hunting everywhere for us. Hank's leg had been shot, on our way from the weapons cache to the mission's outer fence. Billy Bob and me had to carry him, because if he hobbled along, it would take too long. It took us about one hour to get back inside the mission. Once there we began to study the guns, so we'd know how to use them when the time came. Finally we were ready to fight back against the Mexican army.
After saddling our horses, we headed toward town, because that's where the Mexican soldiers were controlling the Texians. We rode in a diagonal line. Willie first, me second, Lupe third, Hank fourth, Jake fifth, Don sixth, Carl seventh and Billy Bob eighth. Before we could reach town we were attacked by several hundred Mexican soldiers, at the least. They circled us, forcing us to stop. They drew around us, smaller and smaller until they were within fifty yards of us. They were so close I could smell the blood, sweat and the stench of the dead men who had died to stop these soldiers. For a moment there was a quiet in the air, but we broke that, with the sound of guns blasting away. We killed several before they opened fire. Their bullets whizzed all around us, one bullet went through Hank's chest, sending blood everywhere.
Several of us banned together and blasted our way through the enemy line. Hank and Billy Bob didn't make it. I turned back to see the Mexican soldiers riddle the bodies with many bullets. I was still facing backwards when they fired a shot that went through both Carl's and my horse. The horses went down throwing us into the dirt. So I had to make a run for it. I had got about hundred feet from where my horse went down, when Willie and Jake rode up and I jumped on Willie's horse.
The horses raced down the dusty streets of downtown, shooting the enemy wherever we saw them. As we reached the end of town we rode right into a large regiment of Mexican soldiers. Luckily, their backs were facing us because they were defending against an attack from the other side of town. Their weapons were firing so they didn't hear us come up. By this time only Jake, Willie, Lupe, Don and me were left. I wonder to myself, "What are they shooting at?" Soon I got my answer. They were battling other Texians who were also attacking the Mexican rule. Willie said, "On the count of three we open fire on them." One, two, three, I counted to myself. Then I squeezed the trigger and smoke rose from the top of my gun. We had taken cover behind a wagon that was located on the side of the street. For a minute the shooting stopped, and that's when we heard the enemy coming from the other side.
There was no doubt about, it we had to make a run for it. We all ran in different directions. I ran inside a hotel, and ran up the stairs. I stopped on the second floor. After busting into a room, I looked out the window, and saw Don on his knees, with a gun to his head. One of the soldiers yelled out to us "If you don't come out your friend will die." Across the street I saw Lupe stand up from behind a fence and get immediately get shot. Then they spotted Don behind the fence just a few yards away and shot him in the head. Darn, if only I knew where Willie and Jake were. I was running out of ammunition. All of a sudden I heard footsteps, so I quickly hid.
The door flew open and Jake and Willie stepped in. I stepped out from my hiding place, and said, "It's about time you guys got here." They whipped around and had their guns aimed straight at me. Seeing me, they lowered their weapons. Jake said angrily "Did you see how Lupe stood up, like he really thought they'd let Don go!" I replied, "I know it was really stupid, but we can't change the past." All of a sudden we heard a pounding noise, it was getting louder and louder. "It's the Mexicans, hide!" Willie yelled. We all ran towards a little closet. I flung open the door and we jumped inside just in time.
I pulled the door to just in the nick of time. Several soldiers entered the room and started looking around. They must not have seen the closet, because they turned and started to leave. Then Jake sneezed. They turned around, and their eyes locked on the closet. We heard two of the soldiers walk over. The door opened slightly, and a crack of light shown in. We pulled the triggers of our pistol back, until we heard no more movement. Then we fired leaving a large hole in the door. We stepped out and looked around. There were no dead men on the floor. All of a sudden, the enemy stepped back into the room and surrounded us. We threw our weapons down, and they marched us to their commander.
They threw us down in front of him. He towered over us. He said something to the three soldiers standing off to his left; they came forward and forced us to our knees. The commander came forward. He looked over us, and then he grabbed Jake by his hair. He asked for a gun. He put the muzzle of the gun up to Jake's head, and then squeezed the trigger. A click came form the unloaded gun. Jake had broken out in a cold sweat, and now fell to the ground in anguish. I could see right now, we were in deep trouble. We were loaded onto a wagon and shackled to the sides. There were several armed guards on each side of the wagon. As we were being shackled I overheard a soldier ask, "Do we take them to the prison camp?" The other soldier replied, "Yes." Once we arrived at the prison, we were shown to our cells. They threw me in and locked the door. Soon my eyes adjusted to the dark. The only light in the entire room was coming from a crack in the door. I looked around the room, to get an idea of what I had to work with. There was a bed and that was it. I went over to the bed and lay down to think. All of a sudden, I heard a voice calling my name. "Who's there?" I asked. "It's Willie," the voice replied. I felt around, until I found what I was looking for. It was a small hole in the wall that went to the next room. Willie and me started talking about how we were going to escape, when my door was flung open and two prison guards stepped in. One of them raised a pistol up in the air and hit me over the head with it. When I woke up I was in a room with Willie and Jake. I got up and walked across the room, where a window was. I looked out and couldn't believe my eyes. There were very few guards around the prison. It was a month ago, when I woke up in this horrible place. Jake was about to lose it. The prison guards had beaten us all several times. The only thing keeping Willie and me from cracking was our plan. Even though Jake knew about it, it still didn't help him. Then one afternoon while we were on work detail he made a break for it and ran towards the gate. It didn't take long before the guards shot and killed him. Now was the time to put our plan into action.
So, we hid in the manure that we had piled onto a wagon during work detail. Luckily the guards did not notice us missing when they put the prisoners back into their cells. Several hours after the sun went down Willie and I climbed out of the wagon. We headed for the fence between two guard towers and quietly created an opening. We slowly crawled to the horse corral and saddled two horses. We opened the gate of the corral and drove all the horses out in order to cause confusion for the guards. We were riding through the opening in the outer fence when the guards shot at us. A bullet went through Willie's leg knocking him off his horse. I circled back and he jumped on the back of my horse just as several bullets whizzed by. We rode into the dark. Now with our freedom we vowed to continue to fight for Texas.