To His Honor the Minister for War,
General A. Blanquet,
Sir: I have the honor to inform your Excellency that on the morning of . . . a rebel army, five hundred strong, com-manded by . . . attacked this town, which I am charged to defend. With such speed as the gravity of the situation called for, I fortified my post in the town. The battle lasted two hours. Despite the superiority of the enemy in men and equipment, I was able to defeat and rout them. Their casualties were twenty killed and a far greater num-ber of wounded, judging from the trails of blood they left behind them as they retreated. I am pleased to state there was no casualty on our side. I have the honor to con-gratulate Your Excellency upon this new triumph for the Federal arms. Viva Presidente Huerta! Viva Mexico!
“Well,” the young captain mused, “I’ll be promoted to major.” He clasped his hands together, jubilant. At this precise moment, a detonation rang out. His ears buzzed, he—
“If we get through the corral, we can make the alley, eh?” Demetrio asked.
“That’s right,” the workman answered. “Beyond the corral there’s a house, then another corral, then there’s a store.”
Demetrio scratched his head, thoughtfully. This time his decision was immediate.
“Can you get hold of a crowbar or something like that to make a hole through the wall?”
“Yes, we’ll get anything you want, but . . .”
“But what? Where can we get a crowbar?”
“Everything is right there. But it all belongs to the boss.”
Without further ado, Demetrio strode into the shed which had been pointed out as the toolhouse.
It was all a matter of a few minutes. Once in the alley, hugging to the walls, they marched forward in single file until they reached the rear of the church. Now they had but a single fence and the rear wall of the chapel to scale.
“God’s will be done!” Demetrio said to himself. He was the first to clamber over.
Like monkeys the others followed him, reaching the other side with bleeding, grimy hands. The rest was easy. The deep worn steps along the stonework made their as-cent of the chapel wall swifter. The church vault hid them from the soldiers.
“Wait a moment, will you?” said the workman. “I’ll go and see where my brother is; I’ll let you know and then you’ll get at the officers.”
But no one paid the slightest attention to him.
For a second, Demetrio glanced at the soldiers’ black coats hanging on the wall, then at his own men, thick on the church tower behind the iron rail. He smiled with satisfaction and turning to his men said:
“Come on, now, boys!”
Twenty bombs exploded simultaneously in the midst of the soldiers who, awaking terrified out of their sleep, started up, their eyes wide open. But before they had real-ized their plight, twenty more bombs burst like thunder upon them leaving a scattering of men killed or maimed.