range of hills south of the creek which obscured the unidentified party from the rangers, the patrol pushed forward as rapidly as the terrain would permit, but when the rangers arrived at the foot of the range of hills they found that the party they sought had crossed the creek and had entered the thick post oak and cedar on the north side. The Texans were now convinced that it was a party of mounted men that had been seen, and not just a herd of wild horses. The rangers took the trail and followed it a few miles; but, dark overtaking them, they halted for the night. Leaving their horses saddled, they slept on their arms. At daylight they renewed the pursuit. As they progressed, the Texans became more and more confident that it was the Córdova-Flores party returning from Mexico. Therefore, they felt the importance of overtaking them. After the rangers had pursued the trail about two miles, and just as they were entering a large cedar brake, they met the enemy face to face. The two parties suddenly came to a halt within forty or fifty yards of one another. It was evident that the enemy had been rambling around in the cedar brake all night, until, tired and worn out, he had concluded to take the back track to get his bearings.
Before coming up with the enemy, the Texans had speculated considerably among themselves as to the number and nature of the party they were pursuing. Some had contended that it was a large unit, judging from the size of the trail and the number of horses; while others had maintained that it contained not over twenty-five or thirty men. Exponents of the latter viewpoint gave a plausible argument in its support. While following the trail, they had come to a "stooping" tree, which was too low for a man to ride under on horseback. A close examination of the trail, it was recalled, had revealed that all of the horses had passed under the tree, with the exception of some twenty-five or thirty, which had gone around it. This line of reasoning afterwards proved to be correct, but at the time the Texans confronted the Mexicans in the cedar brake, the majority of them had not been convinced. So when they were face to face with the enemy, they were divided as to whether or not they should risk an attack. Although close at hand, the Mexicans were so concealed by the brush and timber that their number could not be definitely ascertained. Perceiving the hesitation of the Texans, the Mexicans sought to put up a bold front by cursing and daring the rangers to charge them. Several of the Texans who spoke Spanish retorted in that language, some of it unprintable. One of the civilians, Wayne Barton, who had gone along with the patrol, was opposed to giving battle. Turning to Captain Andrews, he