Today, I’ve found myself at one of the locations in downtown San Antonio, at the corner of Pecan and St.Mary’s, inside a squat, nondescript brick building.During the war that would eventually lead to Texas’ independence, Mexican troops, led by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, led a thirteen day siege to the mission-turned-Texas-garrison in the heart of San Antonio de Bexar.
But that’s what makes the choice of clothing so perfect. Duncan is munching quietly on his potato salad and glancing around the room, at the SMOKE HOUSE sign near the order line, at the cactus-obscured license plate hanging on the wall, at the one bulb in the center of the ceiling that’s burned out. It’s simple.” He glances at his watch, and I ask him about his flight. Nah, we’ve got plenty of time.” I leave the answer at that. When the public finds out, there will be hell to pay, and, as he told me over the phone, he’s just too tired to deal with those burns. Duncan doesn’t speak again until his plate’s been cleared of brisket and potato salad and only a few picked-over strands of coleslaw remain.
There’s an 1824 flag and a long-bladed knife that everyone just assumes was Jim Bowie’s hanging on the wall. Then, pulling the stopper from the second vial, he pours one drop onto the corpse. And he never told us anything more than what we had to know.” The ritual has been the same every year since Duncan joined the Spurs.
And, in the center of the room, there’s this pool.” I ask Duncan what he means by “pool,” and he pauses for a moment, considering his words. Seconds later, Duncan is forced to smash the bug to bits to keep it from scurrying off the table. Did it fuel the men who died boldly attempting the impossible task of defending San Antonio’s mission, or did it come afterward, the result of some physical manifestation and coalescence of their fighting spirit? Before the season starts, the entire team journeys down to the Alamo in the late hours of the night.
It’s where it leads.” Behind the door there’s a stairwell, Duncan explains.
It’s pitch black inside, so you’ll have to take a lamp or a flashlight or a torch to light the way. That’s why I brought this.” From within another pocket, Duncan pulls out two vials.