Old folks around these parts tell of an abandoned settlement before Austin, before Waterloo.

An old journal, its pages yellowed and mouldy from the years, was discovered near Treaty Oak under the lesser known Agreement Oak (chopped down in 1881 to make room for a luxury high rise log cabin). The diary and a broken wagon wheel were all that was found among the bones and cattle skulls. The settlement had been wiped out, presumably by Comanches.

When they started reading the journal, which had to be translated from Spanish, the final entry sent chills down the spines of all who read it. It said (I’m paraphrasing, of course):

Everyone dead… All gone… Can’t… Breathe. No air. Eyes burning like hellfire. Ragweed… Fall Elm…

Nose running. Can’t see… Can’t… clear sinuses.

Drums… Drums in the deep…

Scholars presumed the text to be apocrypha from some breakaway sect’s Book of Mormon. Whatever it was, the warnings weren’t heeded.

(cross-posted at In the Pink Texas)