The Liberty Boys and the sentinel, or, The capture of Fort Washington


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The Liberty Boys and the sentinel, or, The capture of Fort Washington

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Title:
The Liberty Boys and the sentinel, or, The capture of Fort Washington
Series Title:
Liberty Boys of "76"
Creator:
Moore, Harry
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Frank Tousey
Publication Date:
Language:
English
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1 online resource (28 p.) 28 cm.: ;

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Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( lcsh )
History -- United States -- Revolution, 1775-1783 ( lcsh )
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serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
025219117 ( ALEPH )
70055578 ( OCLC )
L20-00128 ( USFLDC DOI )
l20.128 ( USFLDC Handle )

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J J SNYDER-<+ ,, F A Weekly .M.agazine containing Stories of the American Revolution. J .... ..:111 d lt'tnHy-ny per year Bnle1'cd as Scc011ll C'lass M aller at tho Neu : Yorl l'ru.:I OJ/i11. l 1 l1nftlry -1. 1 !101. ''!/ Fm1tl.: No. 185. NEW YORI{, .JULY 15. 1904. Price 5 Cents. The brave girls did their part of the work well. They talked to the sentinel, much to his delight. They took his musket and examined it with pretended interest. Dick pushed the cover off the basket, and rose up cautiously

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THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76. A Weekly Magazine Containing Stories of the Revolution, l3aue4 Weekly-By Subscription $2.50 per year. P!fttered as Second Class Matter at the New York, N. l'., Poat OfflctS, February !, 1901. Entered accordiftg to Act of Congicss, in the year 190! iii the office of the Librariat& of Congre&3, Waahington, D C., by Frank Tousey, 24 Union Square, NeVJ York. No. 185. NEW YORK, JULY 15 1904. Price 5 Cents The Liberty Boys and the Sentinel OR,. Capture of Fort Washington. .. .. By HARBY MOOBEs C HAPTER I DI K BOB "'ORR IED. cc Halt! Who comes there?" "It' s me, mister." "who is 'me?' "Uy name is Tom Fen d er." "All right, Tom. Come here." It was a bright morning in the latter part of the month of October, of the ear 1776. The War of the Hernlution was in full blast. The patriot army was stationed at White Plains. The British army had headquarters 'in New York City, but was not far away. Only the day before it had made an attack on the pa triots at Chatterton Hill, but had been repulsed, and now it had retired to a safe distance. The above conversation had taken place between a senti nel and a boy of about ten years of age. When th e sentinel told the boy to come forward the little chap obeyed. He was a bright little fellow, but he looked somewhat awed now. It was evident that he w a s not u sed to being around where there were soldiers. He paused when he reached the spot where the sentinel stood. .., The soldier looked down upon the boy pleasantl y and said: "What do you want, my boy?" "I want to see Captai' Dick Slater, sir," was the repl y "Oh, that is what you want, eh?" "Yes, sir." "Y ery well; I guess you ca n do so." "Where will I find him?" 'l'he sentinel turned and pointed to" ard a certain part of the patriot encampment. "Th e Liberty Boys are quartered over there," he s aid. "Thank you mister. May I go now?" The boy ha ste ned in the direction indicated, and reached the spot where the Liberty Boys were. A number of the youths re cognized the boy and greeted him pleasantly. "Hello, Tom." ""What ar e you doing here?" ""here did you come from?" "What do you want?" "Goi ng to join the army?" The boy grinned delightedly. He was acquainted with a number of the youths, and his admiration for the Liberty Boys was unbounded "Good morning,71 he said; and then he added: "I want to see Dick." "He's at headquarters," replied Mark Morrison a handsome young fellow. "Where i s that?" "Oh, a mile north from here; but he ll be back .soon." Where is Bob Estabrook?'' "He went down \ into the village." "Yonder comes Bob," said Sam Sanderso n. A bright, handsome youth of about eighteen years was coming up the hill from the direction of the village of White Plains, which lay at the foot of the hill, to the east ward. Bob was Jcquainted with the boy, and when he came up he cdled out:

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THE LIBERTY BOYS AND 'rHE SENTINEL. "How are yon, Tommy?" ''How are you, .Bob!'" was the reply. "What are you doing here? Going to join the Liberty Boys and tight the redcoats?" ''No, Bob; 1 came here to i:;ee you and Dick. Your mother seut me." Hob BLarted and turned slightly pa1e. "What's the matter, Tom? Anybody sick at home?" he asked, quickly and anxiously. Dick Slater alld Bob Estabrook lived about six miles from the patriot encampment. 'rl1eir homes adjoined, and they had lived there all their lives. ln July, Dick Slater had orgarnzed a company from among the youths of the neigh borhuod, and they had joined the patriot army, and had fought bravely in the battles of Long Island and Harl em Heights. Torn Fender nodded i.n response to Bob s question, and said: 'Yes, Bob; your sister Alice is sick." "Ureat guns! 1rhat is bad! Is she very sick, Tom?" ''Well, yes," hesila tingly, "pretty sick." .,. What ails her?" "Fe' er." "What kind of feyer?" CT- "'l'yphoid, i think." .Bob's face \ms -very sober, and he exclaimed: "Jove, that will knoc:k Dick all ouL when he hears about it!" Tom stepped up close to Bob and said in a low voice, so that the other Liberty Boys coulc1 n t cakh what he said: is out of her head and keeps callin for Dick." Bob',; face gr1'w more sober than ever "I t1on't like to hear that she is so sick a::; that!'' he murmured; jOYc, Dic:k and I must go home at once! I wish he would come.'' He looked toward the north, and an exclamation of satisfadion escaped his lips. "'l'herc he comes," he said. A liorReman was approaching from the northward. he W"as coming up the hill, and as he drew near it wa:< that he was a handsome young fellow, keen-eyed and bright-looking. lt was indeed Dick Slater, and he was the captain of the company of youths. He brought his horse to a stop J1ear where Bob and the boy stoou and leaped to the ground. "How are you, '110111?'' he said to lhe boy. "How du you do, Dick?" was the reJ:Jly. "Say, Die;k," said Bob; "Tom htis brought us some bad 1 news." Dick t:>tarted and paled slightly. "What's the matter, .Bob? .Anybody dead or sick at home?" "Sister .\.lice i::; sick, old fellow." Dick started anc.l tnrnec1 palet still. "Is she very sick, old rnan?" anxiou sly, "Pretty bad, I am afraid; :::he h !fever, so Tom says, and she keept> ealliug for y .hHrt ''Get vour hor::;e quick Bob cried Dick" we musl 1B J _\ home at once!" ''1 "All right; I'll be ready in ten minutes. You go onu you want to, Dick." .J.. "All right. I'll tell them you are coming." se Dick leaped into the saddle and rode hastily away. ,y.' He went clown the west slope of the hill at a gallop, aiTl then urged his horse to a still faster gait when he stru," I the level road. ti" It was a six miles ride, but it did not take Dick long ,;1t get to within a mile of his de::;tination. 'l'l1en he sudden found his way barred by half a dozen British troopers, wh1tic rode around a bend in the road. and yelled to him to stO\an at same time d1:awing and leveling pistols. ne1 Dick was angry and disappointed. He did not want Tl stop. He wa::; in a hurry to reach the bedside of Ali Tl Estabrook, for sl1c wa::; his sweetheart aml she was callir: Tl for him to come. nd In the hope that he might not be delayed more than 1e few Dick brought his horse to a stop. S As luck would have it, he did not have his uniform oron but wore a suit such as was usually worn by the settlers c 'I that region and time. hq "Where arc you going in such hm;te?" asked one of thhal troopers-the leader, evidently "I am going home," said Dick. "Where do you live?" "Up the road a mile or so." "Why were you riding so fast?" is sick." ''Ah, indeed? And I suppose you have been for the doc tor?" "Yes." "\Vhere to?" "White Plains." "Humph. Vi'hy go to White Plains, six or seven milet distant, for a doctor when you could get one at Tarrytown, only a mile or so away?" Dick saw the fellow was suspicions, but he answeredt1 quietly: s "Because the doci.or I have been after is one who has doctored in ourfamily for .rear,; antl k11011s just what kindt of medicine is uecded and how much should be given. 1: ''Oh, that's it, eh?" "Ye:;:" J usl al this moment there sounded the hoofbeats of a horse swiftly ridden, and then Bob Estabrook came riding around a beuc.l seventy-five yards diotant. He was riding as fast as hi::; horse could go, and was almost upon Dick and the party of troopers before he could stop. He managed to bring his to a stop alongside Dick, however, and fie exdaimed : "Hello, what's the trouble?" "That's just what I was going to ask you," said the leader of the redcoats. "What is your hurry? Is your sister sick, too?" "Yes," said Bob, "she is, and I want to go on. Let us pass."

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THE LIBEil'l'Y BOYS AND THE SENTINEJ_i. 3 But the trooper wati now more suspicious than ever. "Don' t be in a huny," he said; '.l ::mppose, then, that ou two fellows are brothePS ?" "No," replied Dick; "we are not brothers, but we live fose together, and we are expecting to be brothers some / ay." 11 rri1e trooper looked suspicions and skeptical. "I think you are not what you pretend to be," he said, is my belief that yon are a conplc of rebelti, and I guess tihat I shall have to ask you to surrender." l j Now this was something 1.hat Dick and Bob had no in t tcntion of doing. They had been detained already longer they liked, and they made up 1.heir minds that half a Pozen redcoats should not capture them. They exchanged glances F.wiftly They understood what each other meant. They were to make a sudden dash toward i.hc Tedcoals nnd get past them, even though they had to shoot some of h e troopers down. Suddenly they dre\Y their pistols and urged their horses t orward at a gallop. The Tedcoats realized what the two meant to do, and hey fired their pistols They fired so hastily, however, hat the bullets went wild; the youlhs were not injme d. The Liberty Boys knew that the intent!ons of the Ted-1 coats had been to kill them, however, and it angered the y ouths. "Give it to them, Bob!" cried Dick. Then crack; crack, crack, crack! went the pistols. CHAPTER II. B.A.D NEWS. Dick and Bob were Pxpert sh ts. They ha
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4 THE BOYS AND THE SENTINEL. "No, Alice; I will stay here with you as long as you need me." l\Ir. Estabrook went out and led the horses to the stable and unbridled and unsaddled them, and then went back to the house. Bob had gone in to see his sister, and presently he came ont, looking pretty sober. "Sis is pretty sick, isn't she!" he said. "Yes," rrplied hi s mother; "but I think she is past the criticnl stage, and that she will irnprorn from now on." "I hope so." Then s he went into thes ick-room and looked at Alice with a solicitous air. She placed her hand on her daughter's forehead and gave utte rance to a little cry of delight. "Her forehead is moi st!'' Mrs. Estabrook exclaimed; "the fever is beginning to break." "I feel much bett.er, mother," said Alice, with a wan bi1t pleased "I will soon be well." "l think so, A)ice," was the reply; "at any rate, you will soon be getting well." Dick remained in the sick -room till noon and left it I only when called to the dinner-table. All 1rere feeling much better and more cheerful; Alice had taken a turn for the better the 'instant Di ck arrived, I and this made them feel happy. About an hour after dinner was ovr Bob happened to step to the doorway, and a s he did so an exClamation es caped his lips. ''Great guns! There come some British troopers!" "They are looking for you and Dick, without a doubt!" said Mr. Estabrook. Bob had told him about the encounter with the six troopers as they were coming that morning. Bob nodded. "Likely you are right," he agreed. "You must get out of the house and hide Bob!I J "Why?" "Because they are too many for you. There is a dozen of them at least." "True; well, that would be pretty h eavy odds. But I don't believe we coul
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THE LIBER'rY BOYS AND THE SENTINEL. "Three of you come in;id'e with me; the others surround the house." The men quickly did a>: ordered, and Mr. :Estabrook, of course, could not make the lieutenant and his men s tay out. 'l'he four entered and searrhed the house. room by room. They were. to do them justice, as si.lent and noiseless in their movements whilr in the sick room as possible When they went upstairs Mr. Estabrook held his breath, for he expected to hear the crack of pistol-shots at any moment. He was agreeably disappointed, however, for nothing of the kind happened. 'l'he1e was no commotion, and presently the lieutenant and his men came downstairs looking disappointed. "Yon told the truth after all. sir," said the yo\mg officer; "well, I am glad of it for your sake." l\Ir. was surprised, for he had supposed that the youths were upstairs; he could hardly keep his surprise from showing in his face. "I u s ually tell the truth," said Mr. Estabrook, quietly. When they had gone back out of doors the lieutenant turned to l\Ir. Estabrook and said: "Those young men are somewhere around here, are they not?'' 'Not that I know of." "Which way did they go?" "Southward." "Do you know where they were going?" "No." The lieutenant was Rilent a few moments, and then said: "I don't know whethrr you are telling the truth or not; but I will jus t ,:ay that if we succeed in grlting hold of the:rr we will make s hort work of them. They kille
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'l'H E UREl/'1'1 BOYS AND 'T'HE SENTINEL. "You mu,,t uot, Captain Bhannon! I am going back "Yes, I have; the young lady called for help; I heard her into the bam. and responl'\\' of The girl then reluctantly !"aid that she wonld accept t he ... \ round ancl around the two mov ed, sway in g a nd twistofficer's proposition, an
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THE LIBER'l'Y BOYS AND THE SENTINEL. "Don't sta) h e r e U o away pl e ase!" Then s he turne d and said to lhe captain, coolly: "I am ready.7' Ile offered bi s arm,' but the girl refused to take it and walked stiffly alon g b y hi s side and with plenty of space between them. Dick remain e d s t a ncling where he was; h e had no inten tion of goiu g aw ay and evadin g the officer. He saw t h e two e n te r the barn, saw the captain bow to Elsie and turn back, and then h e saw the captain advancing toward him. When the Britis h officer wa s within a dozen ieet of Dick there came th e sharp c rack of a pistol and the captain threw up his arm s utte red a cry of agony and fell at full length upon his face on the ground. CHAPTER IV. 'IHE MYSTERIOUS VOICE Dick was startled and -horrified. The s hot had com e from behind and to on e side of him, and it had c ome s o unexpectedly that Dick was startled, a s has been sai d The yo11th r a n forward and knelt beside the captain He turned the officer over and looked at his fac e a s well as h e could in the faint li ght from the lanterns in the b a rn. Then he felt oYe r th e s tricken man's heart and ooHld not feel any h e a ting of the or g an. He f elt of the man's face; it wa:, cold; s o were the hands "Ile i s dead!' tho u ght Di c k, a feelin g of h orror at his heart, and lhe n h e found hims elf s eizecl aml t hrown to the ground The pi tolhot h a d b e en heard in the barn, and Elsie Vandiv e r at o nce l e a pe d to the conclusion that the captain and h e r c h ampi on bad b e com e engaged in1 an encounter and tha t one o r th e other had fir e d the shot and had per hap s kill e d the o th e r. She had at once communi c ated h er fears io a numl)er 0f the young p e opl e who were in the barn engag e d i n h11sking corn-this was a husking-bee-and thev had rn h r d ont to see a bout the matter. Of course, of the men wer e in t he lead; th e re were three or four Brifoh 80ltli e r : anil half a dozen young men of the n e igh borhood. 'I'hev r eac h e d tl1e s p o t where th e dead man lay and found Di c k bending over the body, and at once leaped to the condus ion that h e was the murderer. S o th e:r s eiz e d him and m ade him a pri s oner in a jiffy. Tli e y then mnd e an examination of the captain b y the light of a lante rn that on e of the men brought from the barn and F:a" that he was dead. .. ;\nd you murd er er1 him!" cried another British officer, pointing his 1mg e r at Dick. The girl s had drawn back, when the men said that the captain was dead, and were standing at a little distance staring in horror at the outstretched form of the officer. "Yo u are mitit ake n sir," Dick; "I did u ot tih o ot the c aptai n." "Ob, M c ourse you would a:r so! suLermg l y. "It i s tru e ; I know no more whQ killed h i m than you do." "Tba t will d o to t ell, but not to bebevc." this moment E l sie Vandiver prn
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8 THE LIBERTY BOYS AND THE SEN'I'INEL. diers and young men listened, but with an air that said as J "Our. comrade lies there dead," he said, slowly and plainly a s word s could have don e that they did not believe sternly; "I am convinced that you murdered hi:m. Miss what the yout h was say ing. Yandiver has told us that there was bad feeling between You have not mad e out much of a case for yourself," you, and that the captain was going to g.iv.e you a .thrash said the c a ptain when bick had :finished; "it seems to me ing, and it is plain to my mind that you, fearing him and quite clea r that y ou murdered the captain. What do the not wishing to give him the chance to give you the thrash ref-t of y ou think? and he looked around upon the circle shot him down as he was approaching." of fa c e s "You don't know me, if you think I would do such a W e think the same as you do." thing to avoid the chance of being given a thrashing," said Yes, y e s!" Dick; "and, besides, I knew that he could not give me a He 's guilt y t .. 1f'tl thrashing, for I had already got the better of him in one "He did it! ; encounter and felt certain that I could do so in another." H e s hot him! "But you took advantage qf him the first time; he did Su c h 1-rer e a few of the e x clamati o ns, and it was evident not have a fair chance. In the second encounter he would that the majorit y, if I)ot all present believed that Dick was have gotten the better of you. and I have no doubt you the one who had laid the dead man low. kne\'\ this and took the means you did to prevent it." You see," s aid the captain, the majority believe you "You are mi s taken, sir." gu i lty, there seem s to b e onl y one thing to do under 'l'he captain shook his head. the circum s tan ces." You cannot make me believe that," he said; "I am "What i s tha t ?" Dick asked. convinced that you are the guilty man, and I am going to To mete out to you the fate that i s rnmally accorded to put it to a vote of those present whether or not you shall murderers." be hanged." Then he lifted up ( his voic e and said: The captain s poke s ternl y. It was e Yidcnt that he meant "All in favor of hanging the prisoner, say I. what he s aid "I'' went up in a chorus. Dick reali z ed thi s and hi s heart sank. He knew that he "All who do not favor it say wa s in g r eat danger for the s oldiers, believing that he had Not a voice answered. murdered th e ir comrade would not hesitate to put him to The captain nodded his head. death "That settles it, then," he said. "You will end your He s udd e nl y of something that promi sed a little life here and now, young fellow." in hi s fav or. Dick's face grew grave but he looked the captain un" I th i n k I can prove t hat I did not 'fire t he shot that laid fiinchingly in the eye and said: the cap ta in l ow," h e s aid. "You are making a sad mistake, sir. I did not shootthe Y o u s hall have t h e opportunity," s aid C aptain Mahan; captain." "go ahe ad. The officer s hook his head. ''V e r y well ; you have my pi s tol s there, have :you not?" "You 1rould naturaliy deny it to the last," he saicl; "but The men had taken Dick 's pistols away from him as I am confident that you did it, and so I will now pronounce soon a s he was taken to the barn, and one said: sentence, which is that you shall be hanged by the neck Ye s ; here they are till you are dead!" Ver y we11; if I had fir e d the s hot one of the pistols He spoke Ro1emnly, and then immediately turned to one would be e m p ty. Look at them and y ou will find that of the young men and said: they are l o ad e d." "Bring a rope." This w as d o ne, and i t was found that Dick had told the The young man hastened away and returned in a fe1v truth, of course; the p i s tol s w ere bpth loaded. minutes, bringing a rope. "That does n o t prove anything the captain, after '"rie a noose in one end and place it around the prisa few mome n ts o f thou ght; you could have had three oner's neck," was the next order. pi s tol s an
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THE LIBEHTY BOYS AXD THE SENTINEL. 9 ered when there came an interruption. A human voice, seemingly sounding from the rear of the barn, cried out: "You are making a mi s take. That young man did not shoot the captain. I did it. Let him go free." CHAPTER V. DICK r s SAVED. The captain and all the soldiers and young men stared toward the e nd of the barn in wonder and amazement Who irnd spo k en? Where was h e? The captain was the fir s t to find hi s voice. Quick!" he c ried; "run around there and see if you can capture that person, whoever h e m ay be. Hurry!" A numbe r of the soldi e r s and young m e n ran out o f the barn and around it. They sea r c hed tho rou g hl y, but failed to find anyone. 'l'h ey went back and r eporte d their ill success to the officer H e 1ooked puzzled and thoughtful. ''I don t know what to do now," he s aid lookin g half qu est ioningly at Di ck. '' T should think that yo u would be sat i sfied that I ery near hanging h i m, and t hat a my ste riou s voice proclaiming his innocen ce1 had sa ved him. It was not a, very l ively gath e ring. The death of the captain had cast a gloom over all. When, howev er, an hour later they sat down to the table, they manage d to eat a very hearty meal. Half an hour after they had finished eating the young folks Legan taking theit leave. 'rhey were rather quiet; their husking"..be e had not tur!ied out to be the p l easant affair t hey had expected it would be. 'I'he solaie r s a lso got r eady to take their departure, and the captain turned to Dick and said: \\"hat are you going to do?" "'4 The youth s hook his head. I don't know,'' he said; l was thinking of staying here the rest of the night, if Miss Vandiver's folks can find room for me." '"\Ye are not going to Dobbs Ferry,". the captain ex plained, "or I wou1d have you go along w,ith us. \Ye are on om way to N cw York City, and we happened to see what wa s going on here and stopped. It was unfortunate, fo r p oor Cattain Shannon lost his life; still, we must learn to l ook upoii such things philosophically." You are right,'' agreed Dick. Els i e Yandive r had h eard what D.ick sa id about staying t h e of i h e night, and s h e went to her father am1 told him and h e at once came and insisted that Dick should r emain "Thank you," the Libert: Bo}! sai'd; "I accept your inYitation and will remain till morning." "If you really wish to join the arm}" go on to Dobbs Ferry to-morrow,'' said Captain 1\Iahan; '1 they will be glaJ to accept you as a recruit." "I may do so," said Dick; would you mind writing a letter to the commanding officer stating that you know me and ihat I wish to join the army?" "I shall be g 1ad to do so." He called for paper, ink and quill and wrote a letter introdu ci n g Dick, unde r his :fictitious name of Georg e Hammond, and gave it to him.

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10 TTrn T .I l3F.HTY BOYS AND THE SENTINEL. Di'ck was g l atl to get it, a s it-mi ght he of u s e to him, might indeed gPt 11im out of t r o uble should he be captured by thr r e d c o ats He thanke d the cap t ain a nd pock eted the letter. Then th Bri t is h troop e r R t o o k their departure, first asking the to keep th ir and e
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