Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words give you a feeling. Republic is one of those words that makes me tight in the throat; the same tightness a man gets when his baby takes his first step or his first baby shaves and makes his first sound like a man. Some words can give you a feeling that make your heart warm. Republic is one of those words.
The Alamo Monologues
I’m gonna tell you something, Flaca, and I want you to listen tight. May sound like I’m talkin’ about me. But I’m not. I’m talkin’ about you. As a matter of fact, I’m talkin’ about all people everywhere. When I come down here to Texas, I was lookin’ for somethin’. I didn’t know what. Seems like you added up my life and I spent it all either stompin’ other men or, in some cases, gettin’ stomped. Had me some money and had me some medals. But none of it seemed a lifetime worth of the pain of the mother that bore me. It was like I was empty. Well, I’m not empty anymore. That’s what’s important, to feel useful in this old world, to hit a lick against what’s wrong or to say a word for what’s right even though you get walloped for sayin’ that word. Now I may sound like a Bible beater yellin’ up a revival at a river crossing camp meeting, but that don’t change the truth none. There’s right and there’s wrong. You got to do one or the other. You do the one and you’re livin’. You do the other and you may be walkin’ around, but you’re dead as a beaver hat.
The Creeks, uh, boxed up about 400 or 500 people at Fort Mims and, uh, massacred every one of ’em. ‘Course this was big news around those parts, so I up and joined the volunteers. I did a little scoutin’, but mostly I, I just fetched in venison for the cook fire, things of that nature. Well, we caught up with those redskins at Tallusahatchee, surrounded the village, come in from all directions. Wasn’t much of a fight, really. We just shot ’em down like dogs. Finally… what Injuns was left, they crowded into this little cabin. They wanted to surrender, but this squaw, she loosed an arrow and killed one of the fellas, and then we shot her. And then we set the cabin on fire. We could hear ’em screamin’ for their gods in there. We smelled ’em burnin’. We’d had nary to eat but parched corn since October. And the next day, when we dug through the ashes, we found some potaters from the cellar. They’d been cooked by that grease that run off them Indians. And we ate till we nearly burst. Since then, you pass the taters and I pass ’em right back.