Excerpt from The Gates of The Alamo by Stephen Harrigan, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Gates of The Alamo

by Stephen Harrigan

The Gates of The Alamo
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2000, 580 pages
    Mar 2001, 580 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

The road out of Béxar led past a series of crumbling, desanctified missions, their old irrigation ditches clogged with leaves and their apartments inhabited by ragged Indian laborers who huddled within the broken walls at night in fear of Comanche raids. The Spanish friars had left behind mouldering aqueducts as well, and here and there Edmund spotted the crosses they had carved in the trees a century ago to mark the route of the Camino Real. Age had blurred and weathered the crosses, but at the place where the La Bahía road took leave of the old imperial highway the markers were fresh -- a series of pointing hands sharply chiselled into the bark of the live oaks.

He followed the hands urging him southeast, toward the Gulf of Mexico a hundred and fifty miles distant. After a while the hands disappeared and the road itself grew faint, as if deferring to the greater authority of the river. Edmund retained an animal alertness as he rode along, but a part of his mind was lulled into hypnotic contentment. He watched kingfishers and herons sweeping along the bright river, the hawks perched with brooding detachment in the bare trees. He sighted the terrain ahead through the markers of Cabezon's bristly ears, and found himself entranced by the powerful sweep of her neck, the cascading hair of her cinnamon mane. He had bought the mare a year ago from a Lipan who had captured her in the Wild Horse Desert. The creasing scar still showed, a deep furrow in her neck that marked where the mustanger had expertly disabled her by tickling her spinal column with a rifle ball. Edmund rubbed the furrow idly now with his thumb, feeling the taut, vigilant muscle in which it was buried. Cabezon's scar saddened him whenever he considered it. It was the mark of her servitude, the sign that he would always be her master and never, as he strangely craved to be, her comrade.

  • 1
  • 2

Excerpted from The Gates of the Alamo by Stephen Harrigan Copyright© 2000 by Stephen Harrigan. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
  • Book Jacket
    by Tom Jackson
    Growing up in Mumbai in the '70s, I still remember herbs kept fresh in small glasses of water, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Comet Seekers
    by Helen Sedgwick

    A magical, intoxicating debut novel, both intimate and epic.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    North of Crazy
    by Neltje

    The remarkable life of a woman who carves her own singular path.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Cruel Beautiful World
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A fast moving page-turner about the naiveté of youth and the malignity of power.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.