I had just moved to San Antonio, Texas. I had gotten a job working for the tour bus service that would take tourists on a short tour of the city's historic1 places and would end up at the Alamo.
It was near closing time and I was driving back from my last tour of the day. It was a cool February day, and there wasn't anyone on my bus, I was on my way back from the San Fernando Catholic2 church. I was about to keep driving by when I saw a man dressed up in an old buckskin jacket and a large worn out hat. I was thinking to myself, that this person must be a re-enactor or something walking around. I stopped and opened the door and asked the man, "Need a ride?" He looked up at me and I finally saw how young he was. He was a teenager if not a teen or he had to be in his early twenties. Without saying anything he just walked on board and sat down in a seat behind me. I made sure that there wasn't any other people needing a ride somewhere and closed the door.
"Where you heading?" I asked him he looked up into the mirror at me and replied.
"I've got to get to the fort3 and report to Col. Travis that the Mexicans are here!" I laughed to myself thinking that this man was a serious re-enactor.
"I'm guessing you mean the Alamo?" I said back to him. I looked up at him in the mirror and saw that he wasn't smiling nor laughing. I just put my foot on the gas and started to drive away.
All throughout the ride I looked back at him in the mirror above my head and saw that he was staring in amazement4 at all the towering skyscrapers5 and the buildings along the street.
"I remember when this town was nothing more than a little trading village!" He finally said to me.
"Yeah that's what I've heard that this city used be nothing more than a little pueblo6." He nodded his head up at me.
"It was." He said in return.
"So what's your name?" I asked him.
"Daniel Cloud, yours?"
"David Zime." I replied as I turned the corner of the street and laid eyes upon the Alamo.
I pulled up to the sidewalk and opened the door. Cloud got out of his seat and came up to me.
"Thanks for the ride." He said extending his hand. I took his palm and it was freezing cold like he just stepped out of the Blue Bell Ice Cream factory's freezer.
"Not a problem Mr. Cloud, and don't worry about the fee. it's on the house." He nodded his head in gratitude7 like all us Texans do and walked out the door.
It wasn't until then that I noticed that he was soaked to the bone in dripping water and we had not a single drop of rain in a month or more. I just shook my head and closed the door behind him. I looked ahead for a spilt second to see if any other tourists were waiting to be picked up on the corner. I turned back and I discovered that Cloud was gone!! I looked behind the bus and saw no one, I was amazed at how fast he had went away. I just shrugged8 my shoulders and took off done for the day.
A few days later I was reading a book about the Battle of the Alamo when I discovered the most shocking thing I had ever discovered in my life. One of the pages of the book had a list of the names of the 183 defenders9 of the Alamo, and in the "C" section was the name, Daniel Cloud! When I read this my eyes went wide and I looked across the page and saw that he was only 19 years old when he was killed in the Alamo. He was the one who spotted10 the Mexicans before they took over the streets of San Antonio in February of 1836, and his post on top of the San Frenando Church where I had picked him up!
From then on I still look for Cloud when I'm passing by the San Frenando Church on my way back to the Alamo, and hopefully I'll pick him up again someday and take him to the Alamo.....
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