Moses lay prostrate on the ground, his hands covering his reddened face. His position though, on that sandy and rocky field, was not in submission or adoration; he wasn’t praying. He was thinking.
“I can’t follow you where you’re going.”
He slowly raised his head.
Stretched before him was a motley gang of men, dirty and bloody; mostly white-skinned beneath their sun-baked exteriors, but some brown and some black too. They mingled together in a special brotherhood, sharing a common vision that was realized to be at its end, a trial almost having reached closure at the edge of the desert. There was an enthusiasm among them. But it was betrayed by the nervous quiet of a few them and the sunken eyes of all of them.
Some were like him, lying in the sand, but injured, with swollen feet or broken legs. There were women also there, standing sickened but proudly by their husbands. And children too, there were a few.
Moses rose and as he did, the people grew silent and all eyes fell upon him.
He scanned the crowd from left to right and back again and then peered down at the ground. At his feet in front of him was a line cut clearly into the sand. He took a step backwards from it.
“You don’t seem inclined to die with us, Rose,” said his friend Jim Bowie from a stretcher.
Battle-hardened veteran of Napoleon’s war in Russia; French Legion of Honor recipient; he had watched for ten days as Santa Anna increased the besieging army around the Alamo to 2,400 soldiers.
It was March 3rd, 1836. He was fifty-one years old.
“No,” Louis Moses Rose said, “I’m not prepared to die ... I’ll avoid it if I can.”
Within minutes he was over the wall.