The Liberty Boys' pluck, or, Undaunted by odds

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The Liberty Boys' pluck, or, Undaunted by odds
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Liberty Boys of "76"
Moore, Harry
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New York
Frank Tousey
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Dime novels. ( lcsh )
History -- United States -- Revolution, 1775-1783 ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
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025083881 ( ALEPH )
68209951 ( OCLC )
L20-00030 ( USFLDC DOI )
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Dime Novel Collection
The Liberty Boys of "76"

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A Weekly Magazine containing Stories of the American Revolution. Jsiu e d WeelcZ.v-JJy i:)t

r' HE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76. Weekly Magazine Containing Stories of the American Revolution. Issued We e l'111-By BubBcription $2.50 per year. l!Jntered according to A.ct of OongresB, in the year 19011 in the o'(fice of, the Libral"ian of Oongreaa, Washington, D. 0., bl/ Frank Touaey, 24 Union Square, New Yor". No. 11. NEW YORK, MARCH 15, 1901. Price 5 Cents. THE LIBERTY BOYS' PLUCK; OR, UNDAUNTED BY ODDSe BY HAR.RY M OORE. CHAPTER I. SENT ON A DANGEROUS ERRAND. "Orderly!" "Yes, your excellency." "Send Dick Slater to me at once It was now May. He had as yet done nothing. Washington could not understand it. Neither could his generals, the members of his staff. Why was Howe waiting? Why was not Cornwallis trying to do something to push the war along? These were the questions that Washington had asked him"Yes, your excellency self, and being unable to answer them satisfactori ly, he had Grneral Washington, the commander -in -chief of the Concalled in the members of his staff to see if they could inental Army, sat in his at the headquarters. He had just :finished an interview with several of the embers of the staff. It had bem a sort of council of war. It was in the month of May, 1777. Washington and his troops, to the number of about eight fu:\nish an answer. This had been the subject under discussion in the council of war. But the members of the staff had been unable to answer the questions. They were as m11ch puzzled by the action-or lack of ac-ousand, occupied an impregnable position on l\Iorristown tion--of the British as was the commander-in-chief. feights, in the State of New Jersey. They could offer no reasonable explanatio n for the inThcy had come there from Trenton in January, and had activity of the British. een there ever ince. The council had adjourned, the members of Wat:hingThe British had been defeated in two engagements, and ton's staff had taken their departure, ancl then Washington aring to attack Washington's army, and the roads being had 8ent for Dick Slater. passable on account of the snow, General Howe had deFifteen minutes later were heard in the hall outdell to wait till Spring to resume operations against the side. triot army. Then the door opened and the 01derly entered.


THE LIBERTY BOYS' PL UOK. He was accompanied by a handsome, manly-looking youth of about eighteen years of age. "Dick Slater, your excellency," the orderly announced, and withdrew. "Ah, Dick! glad to see you!" said the commander-in chief, giving Dick his hand; ''be seated." Dick replied in a respectful manner, and took a seat. The commander-in-chief looked earnestly and search ingly at the youth. He said nothing for nearly a minute-simply looked at Dick. The youth stood the scrutiny with composure. Presently the great general spoke. "Dick/ he said, "whenever I get into difficulties, when ever I am puzzled and don't know just what to do, I send for you!" He smiled as he s aid this. Dick smiled back at the great man. Dick nocldcd understandingly. His eyes glowed ecigerly. "I see," he saicl; 'you wish me to go and play the spy them, as I have done at different times in the past.'' Washington nodded. "That is 'what I wish you to do, Dick," he said. "It be a very difficult and dangerous task; however." "No more so than on the former occasions, however," s Dick. "Well-perhaps not. Still, there is great danger attach to the work." "We will not think of that, at all," said Dick "Wh are Generals Howe and Cornwalli s? In New Brunswick "No; I think th!)y are in N e\y Y The main body the army is at New Brunswick, but the commanders the selves have their headquarters in the city. It 1s mu more comfortable there," and Washington smiled. "Then I had better go direct to New York?" "I am glad to hear it, your excellency !" he said, in a "Yes; you will be more likely to gather information fir.m, musical voice. "I must say that I consider that a their plans there than at New Brunswick." great compliment, and an honor as well." "Very well, your excellency. I will start this afternoo "And I am glad to hear you say that, Dick said the at such time as will bring me to New York after nightfal commander-in-chief; "it has the right ring!" "Suit yourself as to that, my boy" Use your own jud: Dick blushed. ment as to how and when, to go, and all I ask is that y He was a modest youth. exercise all possible care not to allow yourself to be c It always embarrassed him to hear hims.elf praised. tured." "There is nothing that pleases me more than to be able "I shall qo that, your excellency; and-I will return a to be of use to you, in this battle for liberty and independreport to you as soon as I have learned news of importanc ence !" the youth said. "Anything that I can do will be "Do so, Dick. I shall await your coming with so cheerfully done." eagerness, for I am sorely puzzled by the peculiar tact "I am sure of that, Dick. You have proven it on many of the British." occasions. Well, I have some work for you, but-it will be The commander-in-chief gave Dick some further i very dangerous work." structions, and then the youth bade the great man go "It does not matter, your excellency; work to be of value bye, saluted and withdrew. in times such as these must needs be dangerous. No valu able work could be easy.'' "You are right. I willo tell you what it isthat I wish you to do." "Well, well Here is a chance for action at last !" t youth mused, as h o left headquarters. "I am tired being cooped up here, and shall be mighty glad of the cha to get out ancl stir around, danger or no danger!" Dick was a brave youth .' Dick remained silent, and looked foquiringly at the great general. The commander-in-chief was silent for a few moments, and then he looked at Dick, and said: He was not a reckless one; but the thought that the wo. he was about to enter upon was dangerous had no deterri.J effect whatever. "I have been expecting the BTitish to make some kind of If anything, it made him all the more cager to be abo a move for several weeks past, Dick-:-eveT jlince the winter the work. broke, in fact, but so far they have done nothing, or made If there was to be danger, he would overcome it. any move toward doing anything. Now, I am puzzled by Dick was soon at the quarters occupied by the compai theiT action s I don't know what to make of it. It seems of "Liberty Boys"-a company of youths of about Diel very strange, indeed. I fear they are preparing some kind own age, which had been made up by Dick and a near frie1 of a surprise for and-well, I wish to get an Inkling of of his, a youth named Bob Estabrook. I what that surprise is likely to consist." They had adopted the name of "The Liberty Boys of '7fj


THE LIBERTY BOYS' PLUCK. They had done great work for the cause of Liberty. They were terrible fighter;;, and when in battle their ex ple was of great value, as they always fought so furiously to enthuse those around them. There were as a rule impulsive, headlong charges upon e forces of the British when they the action. They were solicitohs for his welfare. They also offered him much well-meant advice. All of which Dick took in good part: Dick knew it was love for him that animated them. "That will do, boys," he said, with a smile; "don't say another word I I shall take the best of cai:e of myself, and 'l'hc fame of the "Liberty Boys" had spread, and their I am not going to let the redcoats capture me, if I can nines were in the mouths of the redcoats, as well as the help it." ouths of the patriot soldiers. "See that you don't!" sai

THE LIBERTY BOYS' PLUCK. '11hcre were a lot of redcoats on the boat, and it was about to start for the New York side. Dick rode onto the flatboat as bola: as brass, and leaping down, took hold of the bits, to hold the horse, and keep it from shying. He was not two yards from a dozen redcoats, who were standing in a bunch. One of the redcoats looked at Dick searchingly for a few moments-the moon being up and giving considerable light-and then, not being s atisfied seemingly, with ing at the youth from that distance, he walked right np to Dick and peered suspiciously into his face. CHAPTER' II. DICK DISCIPLINES .A. REDCOAT. Dick stood the scrutiny unfiinchin%1y. At the same time he, without seeming to do so, kept his face shaded by his hat brim as much as possible. "Who are you?" the redcoat asked presently. "My name is Barton," replied Dick quietly; "Tom .Bar-"Well, not exactly," replied one. "They claim to lr loyal to the kin'g." "They claim to be; but I don't think they are." 'rhe to Dick: ''What were you doing over in Jersey?" Dick looked at the fellow straight in the eyes, and asked: "You mean, what was my errand?" "Yes; what was your errand?" "'11hat is none of yonr business!'' said the yout promptly. An exclamation of anger and surprise escaped the rec coat. ''What's that!" he claimed. "Do you dare talk in th to me? Why, 1'11 slap the face o:ff you, you youn rascal!" "You will?" remarked Dick, not in the lea! frightened. :'. Yes, 1 will!" and the redcoat made a threatening m ti on. "Oh, what's the nrntter with you, Larkins?" asked one 1 his companions. "Let the boy alone. What do you wa1 to pick a fuss with him for?" "Because, I believe he has been over to the rebel army, ton." "Humph!" the fellow grunted. "I live on Manhattan Island." "You do, eh ?ri "Yes." Hackensack, with a message of sonie kind !-that's w1 "Where do you live?" and I am going to find out whether or not this is the case "Oh, crazy If the boy had been doing anythi of that kind he wouldn't have ridden aboard this boat wi all us fellows here. Let 11p on the boy." "What have you got there, Larkins?" asked one of his companions; "a rebel?" "I shouldn't be Then to Dick: "Where have you been?" "Over. in Jersey a ways." "What were you doing over there?" "I went on an errand." "On an errand, eh?" "Yes." "Who for-yourself?" "No; for my employer." "Oh; who do you work for?" "Mr. Murray's folks.'' Dick answered on the impulse of the moment. He knew that there were people of that name livipg on the north end of the isl&nd. ''Oh, for the Muriays, eh?" "Yes." 'l'he redcoat turned to his companions. But Larkins \rnsn't one of the let-up kind. He was obstinate and bull-headed. \ When he started to do a thing, he always wished to do He had gotten it into his head that Dick was mix cl 1 in some way with the "rebels,'' and he wasn't going to l up on the youth until he had forced him to tell where had been and what he )lad been doing. He turned on Dick again, almost fiercely. "Are you going to tell me where you have been, and you went there?" he asked. "I am not!" Dick's voice was quiet and firm. "You had better!'' 'J1he redcoat almost hissed the words. "I don't think so." Dick was as cool and calm as cou1c1 be. He did not seem to be the least alarmed. AU noticed this fact, but they attributed it to ignora 'I'hey thought that he did not know enough to be frig u on the island rebels?" he asked. ened.


I rrHE LlBERTY BOYS' PLUCK. The truth was the fellow, Larkins, was a bully, and was ver so happy as when in a quarrel of some kind. e And if he eo11hl get the other fellow worked up to the 'rhis had as much to do, almost, with making the fellow angry as Dick's and tone. He was now almost unable to control himself. hting pitch, so much the better. He felt like striking Dick down, but restrained himself, And when he could not .find a man to pick a quarrel i'or the reason that he thought it would be considered not ejth he would do the next best thing-take a boy. just the thing by his companions. Of course, this stamped him a coward. "I"ll just slap his face a bit," he thought, and aloud he But as he was physically a strong felloll', and knew somesaid: ing of the art of self-defense, he had been able so far to "I ask no pay for the lesson, young fellow. It will be t the better of hi:; opponcnls almost without exception_ given entirely free. Are you ready for it?" J flis brute strength did it for him. "I suppose so," Dick replied; "but of what does the q His companions wC'rc really afraid of him. lesson consist? In what line is it?" They saw he 1ras determined to pick a quarrel with the "It is a correction for was the reply "and uth, so they slm. rgged their shoulders, as much a s to say consists of a slap alongside the ear-like thaf !" ey washed their hands of the affair, and said no more. The youth would have to look out for himself. L They little knew that he 1rns amply able to do so. They supposed he would be as a plaything in the hands the burly Larkins. Which was where they missed it. But, of course, they could not know. As he spoke be aimed a slap wi:th his open hand at Dick's face, but the youth was on his guard, and reaching up with wonderful quickness, he seized the redcoat's wrist, and gare it a terribl e wrenching twist that brought a howl of pain from the fellow's lips. He tlropped to his knees; at the same time crying ont: "Oh-h-h You have broken my arm! Oh-h-h-h "I will ask you onec more," said the redcoat threateningCurses on you, you young fiend; but I'll have your life for "where have you been, and what did you go there for?" that!" _\nd I tell you once more,'' said Dick very calmly and 1 ietly, "ihat it is none of your business." A murmur of surprise went up from the redcoat's comThey were amazed at the temerity of the youth. A cry of anger went up from the redcoat. ''See here," he almost hissed; ''you don't know what you ire doing, boy! I have knocked the heads off of men for ss than that!'' ''Rave you?'' asked Dick, ilmocently. ti 1 Some of the redcoats laughed outright. l The refreshing innocence o.f the youth, his utter uncon1ciousness of his danger, was to them so absurd as to be hughable. But the redcoat who was doing the talking did not laugh. He simply gave utterance to a sort of gasp of amazement. He stared at Dick in silence for perhaps ten and 1en said: Cries of surprise and wonder escaped the lipR of the spectators. They had not expected tp see anything of the kind. They hacl expected nothing else than that their com panion would be able to do as he pleasea with the youth. And now, to see the ease with which said youth had seized the man by the arm, given it a terrible twist, almost breaking it, and bringing the owner, a stout, heavy man to his knees, was astonishing. They clid not know what to think of it. To tell the truth, however, the majority of them were glad of it. The redcoat was a bully, and as such was feared by the majority. Those who did not fear him, held him somewhat in awe, and were afraid that they might have to engage in a fight wih him at almost any time. So it pleased, rather than displeased them, to see him "'Haye you?'" taken down in this fashion by the youth. I He said it in a tone of mockery, and then he immediatelv A feeling of admiration for the youth sprang }lp in their ?,iswered the question. breasts. "Yes, I have! And now I am goi11g to give you a little Thry felt that he was in danger now. sson. It shall not cost you a cent, but it will be worth Their companion was a wicked fellow, ancl would without nsiclerable to you just the same!" doubt resort to weapons to enable him to even up the score if it's valuable, I shall be willing to pay for it," 1 1ri th the youth who had brought him howling to his knees. id Dick, with charming simplicity, and again the red-1 Dick. as as the redcoat fell to his knees and cried out at's companions snickered. in pain, let go of. the fellow\; wri:;t, and stood there quietly.


6 THE LIBERTY BOYS' PLUCK. seemingly the least interested and excited person on the boat. "The gentleman failed to make a success d1 his lesson after all !" he remarked with the utmost coolness. By this time the redcoat had scrambled to his feet. He was wild with anger. It was his right arm that had been wrenched. He drew back and struck a fie rce blow at Dick with his left hand. "Take that!" he Itlmost screamed. But Dick did not intend to accept any such favors. He threw up his left arm, warding the blow off. He held his arm rigid, .and the redcoat was whirled hall around. 'l'hen with his left fist-Dick had not let go of the bits The soldier:; noted thi,;, and their respect for him e creased with great rapidity. ie Re was altogether the most wonderful young fellow H '' had run across in a good while. ev Just then the fallen man stirred. 'rhen he struggled to a sitting posture, and looked aro u him. He seemed not to know where he was at first. Then, of a sudden, as his eyes fell on Dick it all seellles to come back to him. He utterance to a hoarse cry of rage, and strugg1t, to bis feet. ] "I'll kill you, curse you!" he cried, and he dropped l18 hand upon the butt of his pis tol. "Don't do it!" said Dick, in a stern, threatening tone with his right hand-the youth struck out straight from voice "Take my advice, and let well enough alone!" the shoulder But the man was in no condition to take advice from ru e His fist took the redcoat just below the ear. one. Although delivered with the left fist, the blow was a Least of all would be hav e accepted it from the you terrible one. Some right-handed people ldf than with the right. who had downed him so easily in the presence of the coi r can strike harder with the panions over whom he had bullied. It was so with Dick. The blow felled the man to the deck as though he had been struck with a club. He was not knocked senseless. He was dazed, temporarily, however. For a few moments he lay there, silent and motionless. Doubtless he did not know what had happened. A gasp. of wondering amazement went up from the spec tators. It was the most amazing thing they had seen in many a day. The youth had knocked the bully down at a single blow. And a blow delivered with the left hand! It was wonderful, indeed. It was astounding And the youth had not bad to let go of the bits as yet. He was still holding his horse and looking at the fallen man in the calmest manner imaginable. He would have to do som ething desperate now to rega his lost laurels. He was in the tnood for it certainly. He fairly panted for it, revenge on the youth. So with a snarl, he jerked the pistol out vf his belt. The re was not the least doubt but that he intended shol the youth down. BuL before he could get the weapon levelled, Dick, letti/ go his hold of the bits at last, leaped forward, and seizi1v lhe man in a grip wonderful for its strength, lifted the ft low bodily, and threw him headlong over the side of t11 boat into the Hudson River. CHAPTER III. l THE WOMAN IN BLACK. He did not seem in the least excited. 1 A cry of wonder and amazement went up from the sp And the sympathies of the members of the crowd of redI tators coats were with Dick. This was quickly proven. Noting that their companion seemed unconscious for the time being at least, one said: "You will need to look out for him when he comes to and gets up, young fellow He will use pistol or knife on you!" "Thank you!" said Dick. "I will look out for him." He did not seem the least bit frighteneu. I The exhibition of strength by the youth had been a su1 prise to them. They would never hav e thought that a youth like Die could be possessed of such strength. ":Man oyerboard !" cried out Dick. He did not want the fellow to drown. All he cared for was that he should get a good duckin This would cool him off considerably, and he mig >


, THE LIBERTY BOYS' PLUCK. willing to behave himse' after he was taken back onto reached the struggling man in time to keep him from be boat. going down. \ "He'll drown!" cried ne of the redcoats. "I don't beieve Larkins can swim. "That's right," fron1 another; "he can't swim!" He redoubled his efforts. He seemed, even though dressed, to fairly cleave the water. "He'll be drowned. sure "He won't be able to keep up very long!" But none of them n;iade a move toward Closer and closer he drew, but while he was yet ten feet distant from the man, the fellow threw up his hands, gave a going to the gurgling cry and disappeared from sight beneath the water. of the im11erilled man. Dick ran to tue extrem,e end of the boat and looked back It the man. He was floundering in the water, but it was evident from actions that he would go under in a few moments. Dick dropped upon the deck and pulled off his boots. Rising, he leape d headlong into the river. Cries of amazement and admiration went up from the adcoats. Dick dived instantly, and swam diagonally onward and downward. He knew he would come in contact with the drowning man very quickly. And he did He reached the man, seized him in a strong .clutch, and struck out upward, toward the surface. He soon reached it. His companion was already unconscious. "Help cried Dick, as soon as he reached the surface "What a remarkable youth!" ''He threw Larkins in the river, and now he is going to with his burden. "Come back with the boat at !" ry to get him out!" The boat had already stopped, and Dick heard excited ex"That is a queer way to do!" They could not understand the -feelings which animated )ick. He cot1ld kill men in battle. clamations from the men clustered at the stern, buck to where he was. "By Jove he has Larfins Dick heard one exclaim. "Yes," from another. "He brought Larkins back up, That was just and 'right-that was war, and was made sure as shooting!" tecessary by the exigencies of the occasion. But to be the death of a fellow man simply as the result 1f a quarrel and an encounter at fisticuffs-Dick did not "That was a brave act!" "He's a ;;;trange sort of fellow." "Come back with the boat!" cried Dick. "Hurry! This 1rish this to occur. man is heavy !" His idea in throwing the fellow into the river was tliat There were excited exclamations, the sound of orders, he contact with the cool water would cool the fellow off, :md t"!:ien the boat was seen to be coming slowly back tomd make him less eager to fight or pick a quarrel, at least ward Dick. emporarily. He could not swim to meet the boat. He naturally supposed, when he threw the fellow in, that The burden which lfe was forced to hold up would not 1e could swim, but the redcoats said he could not. permit of his doing it. This being the case he would, unless saved by someone, be It taxed his strength to the utmost to keep himself and lrowned. the insensible man on the surface, without trying to swim This must not be allowed, and as no one else seemed to to meet the boat. 1e willi11g to take the risk of going overboard after the red-It did not take long for the boat to reach Dick, however, oat, he decided to do it himself. slowly as it advanced, for the distance was not great. So he had acted as w_e have seen. A score of hands reached down and seized both Dick and 'The struggling redcoat was now forty or fifty feet behind his burden as the boat reached them, and both were pulled he boat, and Dick struck out toward him with strong out of the water and onto the deck. trokes. Dick removed his outer clothing, wrung the water out of Dick was a splendid swimmer. it, and put it back on again, while the redcoat's companions Having lived all his life close to the Hudson River, he turned their attentions to resuscitating him. ad been in swimming in said river hundreds of times-he This proved to be not such a very difficult task, as he nd Bob Estabrook. had been unconscious but a short time. The youth saw that it was going to be a close race, if he 1 He was soon able to get on his feet again.


THE LlBER'l'Y BOYS' PLUCK. But he showed no disposition toward wishing to renew the fight between Dick and himself. He had had a sufficiency He had come within an ace oi losing his life, and the realization o.f this fact seemed to have a quieting effect on him. So Dick accepted the invitation, and :>aid he would ebe with them. He remained with the two who had talked t' him. Dick was shrewd. 0 The fact that the y had taken the trouble to come and ta: to him and compliment him on his bravery proved that thE Then, too, some of his companions had told him that Dick were good-hearted, generous-minded fellows. 1Ti1 had saved his life Those were the kind of men he wished to be with. He could hardly renew a fight with one who had just Of course he had no desire to keep in the company < risked his liie for him. the fellow whose life he had placed in jeopardy, and thel The boat had resumed its journey across the river, and saved would soon reach the other shore. lt wa& not far from the landing to the building in whic Dick had returned to his station by his horse, and was the two whom Dick was with had their quarters. s. waiting quietly and patiently. "What will I do with my horse?" asked Dick Several of the redcoats came and began talking to Dick. "An orderly will take the horse, put him in the barn, an'1 They thanked him for saving the life of their comrade give him a feed," was the reply. and praised him for his prompt action. Dick relinquished the horse into the hands of an order] "But for you, Larkins would have drowned, sure!" said when the house was reached, and then entered the buildin" one. "But for me, he wouldn't have been in the river,'' said Dick, with a smile "Well, when you come back i.o that Larkins was to blame for the whole affair," was the reply. "He picked the quarrel with you, ancl brought his trouble upon himsel.f. You were in company with the two. "Come up to our room," said one. "I have several suit and you can put one of those on." "All right, and thank you," said Dick. They went up two tlights of and along a hall. At the encl of the hall they paused and entered a room. c in no way to, and dicl just right in pitching him into It was a fairly good-sized room, and comioitably the river-though I don't see how you did it! Jove! btit nished. you must be extraordinary strong for' a young fellow!" "Oh, I'm fairly strong," smiled Dick "I should say you were." The other shore was now reached, and the soldiers began leaving the boat. "Come up to our quarter s,'' invited one of the two who had been talking to him and complimenting him. "You will catch cold in that damp suit Come up with us, and stay till your clothes dry, at any rate." One of the redcoats, whose name as Dick learned, w Frederick Winston, brought forth an entire outfit of cloH ing, including both under and outer clothing. "We are about of a size," he said. "I think they fit you 'l'he adjoining room is vacant; you can go in thet if you like and change." l Dick acted on the suggestion, and half an hour late:i: n turned to the room. He wae dressed in the regulation uniform of the Briti l "Have you an extra suit that I can put on?" asked Dick. soldier, and the clothes fitted him .first rate. "Yes, a dozen. Corne along with us." Dick thought this would be a good plan. He could not have had things more to his liking if he had had the arranging of them himself. He wished to enter the quarters of the British. To rlo tJ:is, ordinarily, would be a difficult matter. This would simplify matters greatly. He could go to the headquarters with thest. British i>oldiers, and onc:e there he could donbt1esR think of some scheme that would allow of his remaining for longer than just an hour or lwo. Tlw hardest part of the entire affair would be to get into the quarter,;, and now it was to be made easy and simple. "I spread my clothes in the other room and left the:i: to dry," he said; "that will be all I presume." "Oh, yes," was the reply. "'rhe room is not occupied, will not be needed, and your clothe will not be _in anyone way." "Say," said the other redcoat, whose name wa Ha :i\Iortl.mer, "you would make a fine-looking soldier, B r trto Better join us "I have thought of it at cli:fl'erent times," he aid, "but never came handy for me to do o. I believe I h01ild li it better than working out." aT know you woulr1," enthusiastically. "You don't ha to do much 0 anything, only eat, drink and be merry.


THE LIBERTY. BOYS' PLUCK. tn 't h:we to do anything only take it easy and wait for the to starve to to, and had followed suit "She's gone!" said Mortimer. "As usual!" said Winston. Dick looked at the two inquiringly as he closed the door and they returned to their scats "Who and what is she?" he asked. The two shook their hea.ds. "You tell!" said Winston; "we never will !1 Never!" said Mortimer. "You don't know, then." Both shook their heads. Dick was greatly interested. He had always had a liking for mystery of any kind. And here was one with a vengeance. He realized that this was not the :first appearance of the mysterious woman in black. Mortimer's exclamation when the wom1>n had appeared so suddenly and unexpected proved that. She had been seen before. But by whom, and when, and where? He decided to find out. "You have seen the woman in black before?" he asked. The two young redcoats shook their head s "No," replied Mortimer. "We've never seen her before. i s the nrst time."


10 THE LIBERTY BOYS' PLUCK. \ "Others have seen her, then." asserted Dick. Both nodded. "Yes, others have seen her; replied Winston. 'Who?" Both made gestures. "Who? Oh, a dozen," replied Mortimer. Oick looked interested. "Where have they seen her?" "In this house Dick 1ras surprised. "Al in here?'' "Alway,;." "She has never been seen anywhere else?" "No." ''On the street?'' "No." "Always in this house!" "Yes; alway,; here." ''J'hat is !''said Diek. : Dick was silent for a few moments, during which time seemed to be turning something over in his mind. ( "She seems to be looking for somr one," he sair. 11:1s first I mum?" "Oh, it h;;s been four or five months, J should rny---eh, Winston ?" "I think thal long, ::\Iortimer." Ancl then he has bcrn seen two or thrc month, on an aremgc." "That aboul it, Il

THE LIBERTY BOYS' PLUCK. 11 I don't think it pays to be otherwise," said Dick, deof May and there has been no attempt to attack the rebels, edly. and I don't believe the general intends to move against them The two shook their heads again. at all. l think it is his scheme to let them starve and Ure "That is all right," said Mortimer, "if you a;re built that out." y. As for myself, 1 don't hapven to be constructed on "He will find that a scheme that will not work!" thought 1 wouldn't attempt to touch the woman in Dick. Aloud he said: ck for a fortune "Xor would I !"from Wini;ton. .. \rcll,'' said Dick, quietly, "if I join the army, and re"That is a very easy way of making war against a. ': lt suits us soldiers, you may be sure!" said Mortimer, ain here. and. should get a chance to do so, I shall make with a :;mile effort (o find out who and what the woman in black is, "Ye:;, indeed!" from Winston. "I would not feel sorry if cl where she comes from, and all about it." the rebels were to hold out till fall. l'm in no hurry to go "Yes, and if you do. \\'l' ,.:hall have aerhane;c lo attend baek to nr funeral soon a fknrard !" ;;aid i\Iortimer. Dick smiled. "I will risk it,'' he The l \\"O looked at the youth admiringly. "'.\lortimer said the same. The three were sitting there, talking, when 1.he sound of excited talking was heard, also of hurried footsteps. 'I'he loudest talking seemed to come from the floor below. The hurried footsteps were those of persons hurrying "\\'ell. you had betlcr decide to join us, an.vway," said along the hall:; on the floor Dick and his companions were "Thal 1rill be the first move trying. lo I on, :md also on the floor below. thom tht' mystery of the woman m blad-:, if you thmk "l ll'Onder what is up?" remarked J\Iortimer, turning his "I brlieYe yon would!'' i::t,id Jlortimcr. n 1roulcl like to try to fathom it." head and listening. ['JI think it oier," :>aid Dick. "Hard telling," replied Winston. Tlwn he rose and i;tretehed. "Some of the boys have gotten into a difficulty, I judge," "lf you two do not object,'' he said. "I will go out in e ha 11 and take a look around while you arc finishiug your iokc .. "Co ttlong, Barton," said :IIortimer, "but it will clo you to look for that woman. You won't find her." .. Pcrlrnp:not. I may be able to gPt an inkling of where l' from and 1rhere :;he goes, however.'' Dick left 1 he room. l [e walked along the hall, clear to the farther end, and oked of the window. It was dark and he could see nothing. remarked Mortimer. Dick rose and went to the door. Opening the door, he listened. Excited voices could be heard, and the hurrying footstep>! as well. '( "I believe something out of the ordinary has happened/' said Dick. The other two rose and came to the door. listened a few moments. "I believe you are right, Barton," said Mortimer. "Let's Presently he returned to the room, to find his two newgo down and see what the trouble is." nnd friends still industriously engaged in smoking. "\\-ell, what did you find?" smiled :Mortimer. They made their way along the hall, and downstairs to the next floor below. ''Xothing. eh?" from Winston. "J knew it would be so." A crowd was gathered in the haLt_ in front of an open "Well, I hardly expected to find anything," said Dick. "I doorway. all k0ep my eyes open, however, if I remain here any "What's the trouble?" asked Mortimer. gth of time.'' There's no law against that," said Mortimer, coolly. "No, no one will try to keep you from doing that." "Captain Frink is dead!" replied a young soldier. Dick started as he heard the name. Captain .Frink was an old enemy of his. ''l'here is one thing, though," said Dick, for the purpose Dick had had trouble with him on two or three occapumping his companions; "there would be no certainty sions, when playing the part of a spy, and had twice our staying here any length of time, would there? We wounded the captain. y have to leave here, and march against the rebels at "Is he dead?" exclaimed Dick. "What killed him?" at almost any time, may we not?" "They don't know," was the reply. "He committed sm'I don't think so," said Mortimer. "Here it is the month cide, or was murdered, and they don't know which."


12 THE LIBERTY BOYS' PLUCK. Dick turned and looked at and Winston, who waiting half an hour before he heard a stir in the adjoinin returned his look with interest. The same thought had flashed into the mind of each: ''The woman in black!" "She found him at last!'' half whispered Mortimer in an awed tone CHAPTER V. DICK TAKES CHANCES. room. His friends were getting up, but it was an hour before they got dressed. 'J1h(;n they came and knocked on his door. "Are you awake, Barton?'' called lVIortimers voice. "Yes, and up and dressed two hours, at least,'' replied Dick. Then he opened the door an!l joined the two in the hall. "Good for you! You're an early riser, eh?" "Yes." "Well, come along; breakfast is ready.'' They made their way downstairs, to the first fl.oar, where The three remained there for some time, and :finally got they eniered a large room, evidently the dining room. into the room and saw the body. Dick had no morbid desire to see the dead man out of curiosity. He simply wished to make sure that it was, indeed, his old enemy and not another of the sanie name. \Yhen 4e saw the .face of the dead man he knew that his old enemy would never troub l e him again. It was Captain Frink, sure enough. The three left the room, an

TITE LIBERTY BOYS' PLUCK. 13 peared without anyone knowing where she went, or how, or Dick pretended not to understand, and did not lo ok whence she came. around. "If I tay any length of time ancl she comes again I "Look around if you wish to see the commander-in-chief shall ,ee what 1 e;an clo to unravel the mystery,"' he thought. of our army," whispered Mortimer. "He's standing on the B t la l ? stoop." ll wou s ie come ugam Dick asked himself this que&tion, and then, as he thought "Oh," said Dick," and then he looked around. of the dead man, Captain Frink, and remrmllt'recl the 1roman's words-" Ah, he is nol here! I will iind hirn yet !"-he doubted her coming again He was careful not to turn his face clear around, so that it would be toward the general. General Howe glanced down at the three, and then called With Mortimer and Winston, he more than half believed out: that she had found "him" at last. "Mortimer! Here, please!" After breakfast the three went out on the street. 11ortimer paused and saluting, advanced toward the 1t was at Mortimer's suggestion. steps. Dick was not very eager. H e felt that he would be running cons id erable risk. lle m.ight meet some one who had seen him before and knew him as a patriot spy. He would then have to fight for his life, for he would not tamely submit to capture. There was no getting out of ii, however. SoDick made the best of it, and went along. To see him one would not have suspected that he was anxious regarding everything. He seemed utterly careless and care free. He hpt a lookout in all direction:;, and eyed each group of redeo:its they approached with keen scrutiny, but this did not attract the attention of his companion:;. "Where is General Howe's headquarters?" asked Dick carelessly, as they walked along "His headquarters are around here always," said MortiHe ran up them and stood in front of the commander-in chief. Dick and Winston had saluted, also, but they stood still, with the intention of waiting for their companton. Dick would have liked to have gone on. but did not dare suggest it. "What regiment do you belong to?" asked Geneial Howe' of 1Iortimer. : Mortimer told him. "fm't that Captain Frink's regiment?" was the next "Yes, your excellency," replied Mortimer. 'I wish to ask you a few questions," said the general. "Come to my rooms." ''Yes, your excellency,'' repli;d Mortimer, and then he glanced toward Dick and \Vjnston. General Howe the glance. mer; "come along, and we'll show you the place." 'Tell your friend,; to come along also," he said "They They walked. a couplr of hloclrn, ancl thrn Dick's comarc members. of your regiment, are they not?'..' panions pointed out the building in which General. Howe had his headquarters. t, They pas$ed right by it, and as they came even with it, an "Yes, sir,'' and then Mortimer called out: "Come along, Winston and Barton." Dick hardly knew what to do. English gennal carnr out upon the front stoop. He feared to enter the building. Dick gave a slight start, and turned his head away, pre-Ile could scarcely hope to be in the same room with the : ending to be intern; ted in something on the other side of the r general and escape detection. street. Re held bark. The officer in question was General Howe him8elf. He had seen Dick several times. The youth had once penetrated into the very room where "I think I'll walk up the street a ways,'' he said, in a 1011 voice. "I don't care to en\er the building You go along.'' The grneral and Mortimer were already turning to entrr. the general and hi staff were holding a council of war. 'Oh, come 1tlong !'' imi8ted Winston, and he caught Did; The general had seen him then, and on two or three other by ihe arm and hegfl n pulling him aiong. occasions. Dick saw that he could not get out of entermg without Dick he would be recognized if.the general saw bis either having trouble with Winston or arousing his su;:;-face. I picions. "There's General H01vc !" 1rhispercd Mortimer in Dick's j Tlwn flH' thought came lo him that il had been .;ix l'ilf. and nudging him in the side. months or more i:iinee General Howe had seen him.


14 THE LIBERTY BOYS' PLUCK. He would have forgotten how the young spy looked, to a certain extent, at least, in that time. Then, too, Dick was dressed in the uniform of a British soldier. The general would suppose him to be a redcoat, like the oi.her two. Thu s he would not look at him closely. Dick, too, looked somewhat different from what he had at thnt time. He made up his mind to risk it. There was a sort of dare-devil side to Dick's nature. He enjoyed taking risks, i lie had a reasouable chance to At last be stopped questioning Mortimer, and intimateL1 that he might go. At the same instant the door opened, and the orderly announced : "Captain Parks!" A cold chill went over Dick. Captain Parks was another officer who knew him, and knew him well. H Lhe captain got a look at his face he was sure to recog nize Dic:k. The youth realized this Dick kept his head, however. He was as cool in appearance as either Mortimer or Win Then, he might discover something of value by entering. ston. escape. So he decided lo do so. And they, having "'absolutely nothing to fear, were cool and unconcerned. "All right; I'll go along, Winston," he said. They ran up the steps, and entered the bui ldrng. General Howe and 1Iortimer "T not have ventured in here," the youth thought. were making their way "I will be captured before I get out, if l am not careful." along hall in front of them. 1 The two followed. Presently the general paused in front 0 a door Opening it, he rntered, followed by Mortimer 'l'he latter looked back, saw his companions, and motioned to them. 'I'hcy entered, and Dick was very careiul to ha\'e Winston enter .first, he keeping behind his companion as much as possible General Howe was at that moment too busily engaged 'Come in, captain," called General Howe, and the next the captain stepped through the doorway. Oi cour8e bis eyes were on the commander-in chief. Jlc might have secu the three young men, but not dis tinctly. He saluted the general. Dick seized upon the opportunity to walk quickly, but soH!y around, so as to bring both Mortimer and bet ween himself and the two officers. with his thoughts and with the matter that ha