MAURI C W-;9tOAN 100--.St .BE RNA:RO
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Boys of Liberty Library A new series of splendid tales of the wonderful a.nd stirring adventures of boys who fought in The Revolutionary War, The French and Indian Wars, and Naval Battles of 1812. The stories are written in an intensely interesting style, and no boy can read them without being aroused to the highest pitch of patriotic enthusiasm. We give herewith a list of titles now ready. Read the first and you will want to read all the others. Uniform with this volume in size, style, and price. Each, postpaid, 50 cts Paul Revere The First Shot for Liberty Fooling the Enemy ... Into the Jaws of Death The Hero of Ticonderoga On to Quebec Fighting Hal Marion and His Men The Young Ambasaador The Young Guardaman The Cruise of the LiTely Bee The Tory Plot In Buff and Blue Washington's Young Spy Under Greene's Banner Captain of the Minute Men The Quaker Spy Fighting for Freedom By Order of the Colonel A Call to Duty In Glory's Van The King's Messenger Dashing Paul Jones From Midshipman to Co=odore The Cruise of the Essex By John De Morg an. By John De Morgan By John De Morgan. By John De Morgan By John De Morgan. By John De Morgan By John De Morgan. By John De Morgan By John De Morgan. By John De Morgan. !ly John De Morgan. By T C. Harbaugh. By T. C. Harbaugh By T. C. Harbaugh. By T C. Harbaugh. By Harrie Irving Hancock. By Lieut. Lounsberry. By Lieut. Lounsberry. By Lieut Lounsberry. By Lieut. Lounsberry. l3y Lieut. Lounsberry. By Capt. Frank Ralph. By Frank Sheridan. By Frank Sheridan. By Frank Sheridan.
11 I accep t your parol e of h ono r young sir,11 sa i d Captain Ma l o ne. "Save W as hin g ton the rebel, if you can." (See page / 203)
THE TORY PLOT OR SA YING WASHINGTON'S LIFE BY T. C. HARBAUGH AUTHOR OF Under Greene's Banner," In Buff and Blue," "Washington's Young Spy," etc. PHILADELPHIA DAVID McKAY, PUBLISHER 610 SOUTH WASHINGTON SQUARE
Ci:opyright, 1904 By STREET & SMITH 'l>be Tory Plot
THE TORY PLOT. CHAPTER I. THE MENDING OF A SHOE. At almost any hour of the day, and even far into the night, Hiram Cobb was to be found in the little establishment known as "Cobb's Emporium," at the lower end of Broadway. It was a high sounding name for so small a place, for it consisted of but one room, in which its master spirit mended shoes for the fair dames of the city. Hiram had a knack of repairing the dainty foot gear of the ladies of New York, and such was his fame that they came to him from far beyond Harlem Heights and even from across the Sound, where some handsome residences stood Mr. Cobb was a little, active man with keen, bright eyes, and, as he always had a fund of reminiscences which he spun out while he worked, he would hold the customer in his shop till the work was done. It was not an uncommon sight to see a fine car riage stop in front of the old shoemaker's place and
6 The Mending of a Shoe. a richly attired lady get out and enter the "Emporium." "Well, Mistress Murray," Hiram would say when he had greeted his caller ; "and how are the rebels to-day?" Ten chances to one, Mistress Murray, who was known as a rebel herself, would laugh and respond that they were still holding the city, that the outlooks had heard nothing as yet of the British, who were expected down the Bay at almost any hour, with their fleet and army for the capture of New York, whereupon Hiram, as he sent a peg into the proper place with his shiny hammer, would laugh and bow to his visitor. "What now, Mistress Beverley?" he exclaimed one afternoon, as a beautiful girl tripped into the little shop and laid a daintily wrapped package on the counter. "Have you been so unfortunate as to tear your dan cing slipper?" "Not quite so bad as that," laughed Mistress Bev erley in reply. "This is my walking shoe. You will discover that the sole is loose and, as I expect to walk out toward the heights to-morrow to look for our friends, the enemy, I want it in prime condition." Old Hiram adjusted his glasses and critically examined the shoe. "It is not fixed for walking, that's a fact," he ob-
The Mending of a Shoe. 7 served. "So you have more than a passing interest in the movements of the king's troops?" "Would it be natural if I had not? You see we do not care to stand a siege, for they say that the army which left Boston last March is coming down from Halifax with additional numbers, and that Admiral Howe has joined his brother, the general, and that Cornwallis, Clinton, Earl Percy, and that notorious Grant who said in the English Parliament that with five thousand men he would march from one end of North America to the other, and fri g hten all the inhabitants to the woods are with them." "Quite an array of warriors, Mistress Beverley,'' smiled the old cobbler. "They are coming down upon the fold like the famous Assyrians, and we shall prob ably have some of our pleasures curtailed. But let me trust that none of yours may be interfered with." "Do you think they will effect a landing?" "That is hard to t e ll. These redcoats are famous fellows in their way." "But they were driven out of Boston by Gen. Wash ington, and we have him with us now." "He is a host in himself but you know he got his military training in the king's army." "So he did; but he has improved since." Hiram whistled a little to himself and sighted along the sole of Mistress Beverley s shoe. "By the way," said he, "what have they done with
8 The Mending of a Shoe. your neighbor, Mistress Coverley? I learned the other night that Gen. Putnam had her taken up for expressing sentiments not in accordance with his." Mistress Priscilla Beverley laughed lightly. "It was too funny! Mistress Coverley is a loyalist, and she should not express her sentiments so plainly, especially since the patriots have possession of the city. Now, you know that if Howe commanded here she could do as she pleased, give her parties, which she would do in great style, and entertain the British generals to her heart's content; but don't you think she would better curb her feelings for the present?" "It might inure to her peace, that's a fact, Mistress Beverley. But what did they do with her?" "They kept her in prison overnight and then let her go with a warning." "Oh! was that all?" "She came out and stepped into her carriage, which she had sent for, and as she closed the door she looked straight into Gen. Putnam's face and cried: 'God save the king!' And the general answered that if God didn't save him the Americans never would. Whereupon Mistress Coverley became very wroth, and shook her fist at the general. It must have amused Gen. Putnam, though he is not much given to levity you know. He told my aunt, Mistress Murray, Aunt Tracy's sister, that the next time Mistress Coverley
The Mending of a Shoe. 9 offended he would treat her to one of our New England punishments-the ducking stool." "That would be terrible. Mistress Coverley is a high-bred lady, a second cousin to Earl Percy." "Well, I opine, Master Cobb, that Gen. Putnam hasn't the highest opinion of Earl Percy. He would as lief carry out his threat as anything, and I would advise Mistress Coverley not to offend again." "When you see her you will probably tell her so, I suppose?" "Not I. We cannot agree as to the conduct of the war." your sentiments are not the same?" "We differ a little," and Priscilla smiled; "but what is the latest you have picked up?" "There is nothing new on the tapis. They are ex pecting the enemy every day." "So I hear. I trust we shall not see war in the city." "It 1s a prize, you know. Washington expects to hold Brooklyn Heights despite any force the king's generals can bring against him. He did manage to get the British out of Boston by planting his guns on Dorchester Heights; but if he does not watch out, the tables may be turned on him here. It would be a joke on Gen. Washington if this same Gen. Howe, whom he routed from Boston, should reverse matters
to The Mending of a Shoe. down here and dri v e him from his ground. Such are the fortunes of war, Mistress Beverley." "That is true. But Washington is watchful, and will prove a match for the generals who are again at his heels." "We shall see. The only thing we can do is to wait. If you walk out to-morrow you will report, won't you? I hear but little real news her e you s e e Priscilla replied that it would give h e r pleasure to report the results of her observations from the hei g hts. Hiram went to work on the shoe, and the fair g irl watched him from the depths of the leather-co v ered chair, which he kept ready for customers. "Halloo Hiram Cobb!" cried a voice in the little room in front of the cobbling department. "Come out and get my boots." Priscilla smiled at the roughness of the voice, and looked at the little old shoemaker. Hiram laid his hammer down and shook the leather shavings from his apron. "That's the Boanerges of New York," said he, with a glance at Priscilla. "That's Amos Hawkons." T''Oh, I've heard of the man. Could I have a look at him?" "Yes, Mistress Beverley. Stand right here and I'll leave the door ajar." Priscilla rose and stepped to the door which Hiram opened.
The Mending of a Shoe. II She looked into the room that s::ood b etween her and the street, and saw a large man wit h a florid face, indicative of much tarrying over his win e. Ile wa s richly dressed after the manner of the period, and she could not avoid noticing the handsome and large m i fies at his sleeves. He was a little past fifty, and a man well known in New York at that time. His interests in shipping and various other invest ments had enriched him, so that he could live at his ease in one of the elegant homes on the island. Amos Hawkons stood at the counter upon which he had just thrown a boot. He was looking over the article at the old shoemaker, who was inspecting it closely. "I want it fixed up neatly, Brother Cobb," he cried, "none of your 'look and finish.' I pay, don't I?" "Better than the best, Amos," answered the cobbler. "Then fix it up, and do it well. By the way, may I have a word with you?" "Yes--" "Not here, where some passing rebel might over hear us," was the response. "Come back into your private shop, and--" Mistress Priscilla did not fancy the idea of being an eavesdropper, and for a moment she did not know what to do. Amos Hawkons sometimes called at her aunt's house,
12 The Mending of a Shoe. for Mistress Murray was at the head of society in up per New York, and she did not care to be caught by the big Tory listening to some private conversation. "Wait a minute," began Hiram, but Mr. Hawkons pushed toward the shop. No! don't brush up for me," broke in Hawkons. "I'm in a hurry. Just wanted to impart a little news and--" "But, Brother Amos, I'm really not fixed just now for an interview." "Now or never I" Before the old shoemaker could remonstrate any further he was caught by his customer and almost pulled back into the shop Mistress Priscilla had just time to step behind a curtain at the back of the room and to pull her skirts out of sight when the two men came in. She held her breath and wondered if the shaking curtain would not betray her place of concealment. Never before had she been caught in just such a position, and she feared to think what might come of it. "Now, Friend Hiram, I've got a bit of news," be gan Amos Hawkons. The old cobbl e r threw a swift glance around the shop and wondered what had becom e of the fair Pris cilla. "News, you say? Will it not keep, Brother Amos?"
The Mending of a Shoe. "It would keep; but it's such good news, Friend Hiram, that I want to share it with you." "I'd rather not be told just now. I have my head so full of work that my brain is not in a fit condition to digest the news of the day." "Pshaw! What if I told you just how the king's men expect to clean out this rebel horde now in the city?" "That would be news, of course ; but you see-" "You don't care whether they make this rebel, Washington, leave or not, then?" "I am interested in the war, of course. You know that, Amos ; but I sometimes prefer to wait till I can digest the news properly." "Rats and vultures !" exclaimed Amos Hawkons, who was a notorious Tory. "I guess I won't tell you, then. You can find out at your leisure. Well, good day Brother Hiram. I'll call for the boot to-morrow. Then, perhaps, you will be in a mood to listen to the good tidings I am able to impart." Much to Priscilla's satisfaction the Tory withdrew, and was followed by Hiram to the street door. When he came back the fair girl stepped from be hind the curtain, a smile on her pretty face and mer riment in her eyes. "That was a narrow escape. You came near getting hold of a secret; but one of not much importance, I'm thinking. Amos Hawkons is not deeply in the
14 The Mending of a Shoe. confidence of the king's men. He was quite insistent, was he not? That's his style. He is a Tory, as every one knows, who has ever heard of him. Moreover, he is very rich, gives the finest balls of any of the weal thier residents, and doesn't know sometimes when he has had too much hock." "I have heard of this man,'' said Priscilla. "He has called at my aunt's, but, as yet, never when I was at home, and I had a curiosity to get a peep at him. Why has he never been molested by the patriots?" "I don't know. He seems to have a pull with them somehow or other. He invites the officers to his house, and it is known that he has the largest wine cellars in the city, and that his wines are the very best. Now, just what he wanted to impart, Mistress Beverley, is past my comprehension-perhaps something of im portance, perhaps nothing at all. Some rumored non sense, mayhap. I don't know what you have missed, my fair girl ; but I think not much. Anyhow, you have seen the greatest Tory in New York, and one who could, if he would, give the rebels a good deal of trouble." "Why do you call them rebels, Master Cobb?" "Force of habit! force of habit!" laughed the old cobbler, as he returned to his work.
CHAPTER II. FRANK LOWRY' S COMMISSION. When Mistress Beverley returned home after her behind-the-curtain introduction to Amos Hawkons, she found the following letter awaiting her : "IN CAMP, BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, "Monday. "MISTRESS PRISCILLA: As I promised, when last I saw you, to keep you posted as to our doings here, I beg leave to say : We are looking every day for the enemy, who has doubtless, from the most reliable re ports, left Halifax for the conquest of New York. We are still strengthening our fortifications, and ex tending the same, manning them with the best men we have, and it is Washington's intention to give Gen. Howe a warm reception. You may have heard that the enemy has been reinforced by some thousands of Hessians, those men from Brunswick, who have been sold to King George to fight against liberty in America. They are said to be fierce soldiers, trained in the wars of Europe ; but our men are eager to get at them in order to test their fighting qualities. "Capt. Benjamin Pierce of the Boys of Liberty, came in from Flatbush last night and reports everything well in that direction. He talked a good deal about you, and hopes to see you as soon as he can get a brief furlough. It is thought that the enemy, if he
16 Frank Lowry's Commission. comes, will disembark on Staten Island, and from there operate against us. Should Gen. Howe dislodge us from Brooklyn Heights he would have the city at his mercy, just as Washington had this same general at his mercy during the siege of Boston when he oc cupied Dorchester Heights, as you well remember. However, we are strong enough to keep Howe away from where we now are, and he will find foemen worthy of his steel should he attempt to carry our works. "I had a visit yesterday from a Capt. Hale-Capt. Nathan Hale, of Knowlton's regiment of Connecticut volunteers. He is a fine young soldier-so well edu cated. I believe he was a school teacher when the war broke out, and was among the very first to offer his services to liberty. He is daring, and talked about the dangers of war, saying that he was willing to take any risk in the service of his country. I predict that he will make his mark in this struggle, and leave a great name as a legacy to future generations. I wish you could meet him, and I spoke of you to him, voicing this wish. "Gen. Greene is very bitter against the Tories. He asserts that two-thirds of the property-holders in the city belong to the king's faction, and intimated that, should we ever be compelled to abandon New York to the foe, he would be in favor of destroying it. I hope that hour may never come. I shall try and get over to the city soon, for I have something to communicate. Gen. Washington inspected the forces yesterday, and complimented us highly. It is indeed an honor to serve under such a splendid leader. While we are en-
Frank Lowry's Commission. 17 camped here in the broiling sun you, no doubt, are feasting and having a fine time in the city under your aunt's trees. If you go to the heights, as you intimated you might when last I saw you, be sure to take a glass with you, as you can see our fortifications from there. Oh, yes! I forgot to say that last night we had a royal time We went out to arrest an obstreperous Tory named Carter, who is said to have a pretty niece in the city. (You may know her by this time, Mistress Betty Carter is her name, I believe.) Well, we reached the house after dark, and knocked. No an swer, so I went round to the rear part of the building, when suddenly a door opened and a man weighing nearly three hundred pounds fell right into my arms. "You may imagine my plight when I rolled down the hill-the ground sloped considerably, you knowholding on to my unknown captive, who was puffing and blowing, with all his might, like a porpoise. Now, I would be 'the under dog,' as the saying goes, and now I was on top; but I held on to my man, and when the others came to my relief we had fallen into a mud hole. They pulled us out with shouts of laughter, for it was a most ludicrous situation. You should have seen my uniform Well, it was hardly a ball cos tume. I looked like a tramp, and, as for my prisoner, who turned out to be the very old Tory we were after, he was a sight for the gods. "I've got most of the mud off by this time, yet a lit tle adheres in spite of my labors. We conveyed our prisoner to camp, and he gave me the choicest terms in his vocabulary. Should you meet Mistress Betty Car ter, please do not intimate that you have heard of the
18 Frank Lowry's Commission. mishap to her Tory uncle. I am sure you will meet the young lady in time, as she is said to be quite prominent in society, and your aunt must kn o w of her, at any rate. With this I must close for the present. Let me have a glimpse of your handwriting before long, and send me what news you may pick up. "With best wishes for a good time in the city, yours for Liberty, FRANk LowRY." Mistress Priscilla read the letter several times before she folded it. The writer was an old acquaintance of hers, who now belonged to the American army, having rendered Washington much assistance during the siege of Bos ton. He had joined the Boys of Liberty, an organi zation of brave youths, which, after the siege, was formally incorporated in the army, and which had followed Washington to New York, taking position on Long Island. Frank was an ardent young patriot, shrewd and fearless, and he and Priscilla, who had come down from Boston to visit her aunt, Mistress Murray, of Murray Hill, were on the best of terms, and had been so for a long time. It was suspected by many that a feeling stronger than mere friendship existed between the pair, for Mistress Beverley was bright, beautiful and winning, and Frank gallant and vivacious; but beyond the mere suspicion no one knew anything to a certainty.
Frank Lowry's Commission. 19 Capt. Pierce, of the Boys of Liberty, youthful, like Frank Lowry, had been very friendly with the young woman, and between the two many thought that a spirit of rivalry existed. The letter reached Priscilla soon after it was writ ten, and was devoured with intense eagerness. She had but lately returned from downtown with the mended shoe, and her aunt had just finished asking her about the latest news. In turn Priscilla asked after Mistress Betty Carter, at which question Mistress Murray started a little. "She is indeed a Tory," she said to Priscilla. "Should you meet her, my dear, I would advise you not to communicate to her anything that may do the enemy any good." "Would she communicate with them?" "I would not put it past her." "Is she really pretty?" "As pretty as a witch," was the reply. "It is ru mored that she has already ensnared one of our young officers, and my word for it, Priscilla, she will make use of her powers over him to extract some informa tion for the British. Her uncle lives on Long Island, and is as bitter against the colonies as he can be. It seems to be in the Carter blood." "All of which I am sorry to hear. I hope to meet this Mistress Betty, though." "Be on y our guard if you do."
20 Frank Lawry's Commission. Just then a visitor was announced at the porch of the Murray mansion, and Mistress Priscilla uttered a little cry as she looked out of the open window. A handsome youth stood in the bright sunlight. "It is Frank!" she exclaimed. "Why, he nearly beat his letter !" The following moment Frank Lowry came up the steps and stood on the porch, doffing his chapeau as he caught a glimpse of the smiling face of Priscilli. "This is, indeed, a surprise !" cried the fair rebel, as she came forward. "I got off sooner than I hoped to. Gen. Greene wanted a message delivered forthwith, and I was the lucky messenger. I have just delivered the dispatch to Gen. Washington, who has given me a little liberty in New York." "Which was very clever of the general. Won't you come in any try the shade a while? I am sure you must yearn for it after your camp life in the hot sun." "Ohl we are getting used to that," laughed Frank; "besides, I get exercise sometimes in the shade, espe cially after dark, when we go out after Tories. You did not tell your aunt of my misadventure?" "Not yet. She will enjoy it, and I prefer that she hear it from your lips." In another moment the door opened and the stately figure of Mistress Murray appeared.
Frank Lawry's Commission. 21 The patriot lady greeted Frank profusely, for she had heard much of him. 'Well," said she, "the enemy are not in sight yet?" "Not quite; but it is thought that another day will not pass ere their sails are seen down the bay." "When you will have many things to do?" "Yes ; it will give us few spare moments, I suspect. Gen. Howe, you know, must have a great army, while we have suffered reverses enough to daunt the bravest. There is our unfortunate expedition to Canada, under Arnold and Montgomery. That failure tried the soul of Washington as it has not been tried since the opening of hostilities. We have lost altogether on that aw ful march two thousand brave men, to say nothing of those who fell in the assault on Quebec or are now in Brhish prisons in the north." "It is most unfortunate." "It was nearly a crushin g blow." "But we must not despair. If we let such things discourage us we shall never be free and independent." "Nothing must cast us entirely down. Congress, I am sure, will, in time, declare that we must separate from the mother country. Washington is the bulwark of our country, and we look to him for guidance as well as to God." "The city seems to be full of enemies," continued Priscilla. "They are everywhere. One hears sneers at Washington and the army-the brave men who have
21. Frank Lowr:y's Commission. fought so well. At times I can hardly r e st r ain my self so great becomes my indignation. But I believe a brighter day is coming, and that we shall conqu e r in the end." "I haven't been about the city of late to observe the hiding places of these Tories," observed Frank. "Some of them have the good sense to remain silent, but the majority are outspoken," put in Mistress Murray. "Aunt should go out more and get at the situation. It is an easy matter for me to tell where they live by the closed shutters, and also by general appearances ; and there is the absence of little children in the yards. Then, they don't look pleased at the American sol diers as they march by." "That is a good way to tell our enemies, Priscilla," said Frank. "Just let Gen. Howe get possession of this city and the Tories will come from their haunts like locusts from the ground !" "Now, won't you please detail your adventure of the other night after the Tory, Carter?" begged Mis tress Priscilla. Frank did so, much to the merriment of the two ladies. Priscilla clapped her hands, while Mistress Murray laughed till tears glistened on her cheeks. "I think that story deserves a glass of wine she exclaimed, and forthwith she called a black servant,
Frank Lawry's Commission. 2.3 who brought from the capacious Murray cellars a bot tle of rich claret, while the deft hands of Priscilla ar ranged three glasses upon a silver tray. "Here's to success in America and freedom for the oppressed IP cried the fair young woman, as she held up her glass and looked into Frank Lowry's eyes. "I drink the toast with pleasure," was the response. "May liberty soon reign in the whole of North America!" "And may King George's statue do good service for the colonies," put in Mistress Murray. "You said in your letter that you had something to communicate to me, Frank?" "I have, Priscilla." "Very well. Then age will retire and let youth have the house to themselves," and with this Mistress Murray withdrew, much to the momentary confusion of the young folks. "She might have remained," said Frank; "it is nothing that she might not hear. Gen. Washington is going to give me another billet soon." "What! take you from Long Island before you have even seen the enemy?" "Not that. I am to be transferred to Smallwood's command. It is composed of Maryland troops, you know, and where they are, there will be probably the hardest fighting. Besides this, he has given me a singular commission. There is thought to be a plot
24 Frank Lowry's Commission. against Gen Washington's life. It is believed that some of the most prominent Tories in the city are in it, and they are to be ferreted out That is my commis sion, outside of the transfer." "A dangerous mission, truly, Master Lowry; but I am sure Gen. Washington has not chosen unwisely."
CHAPTER III. AT THE KING' S ARMS COFFEEHOUSE. It was indeed a very dangerous undertaking which the commander-in-chief of the American army had intrusted to our young friend, Frank Lowry. Washington was always slow to take action concerning any alleged plotters against his life. In the first place, he was loath to believe that any one could be so base-hearted at any time as to plot against him. On several occasions he had nearly fallen into the hands of the enemy, but that was in open war fare, and, now that he had received certain informa tion which almost convinced him that the Tories of New York, urged on by the noted Gov. Tryon, were deep in a plot against his very existence, he could re main inactive no longer. It behooved him, therefore, to take some note of this new danger, for he was the mainstay of the pa triot cause, and what concerned him concerned the army as well. He knew that Frank Lowry was discreet, that he had much of the detective in him, and he felt that he could intrust the unraveling of this audacious plot to none better than the youthful partisan. Frank listened carefully to all the information Wash-
26 At the King's Arms Coffeehouse. ington had been able to convey, which was not very much. It was disjointed information; but everything pointed plainly to a conspiracy. "You will do the best you can, and as secretly as possible," said Gen. Washington. "Make no mistakes, and when you are ready bring the report to me." Frank assured Washington that he would, and passed out of his presence. The very next day after the youth's interview with Mistress Murray and Priscilla the white sails of the British fleet were descried off Sandy Hook. It was a formidable flotilla. The snowy canvases appeared everywhere. There were ships of the line, transports of every de scription, sloops and what not. They carried from Halifax the army of the king, the same army, in a measure, which had been driven out of Boston by Washington but a few months previous. The decks were lined with redcoats. Among them were the Hessians commanded by De Heister and Knyphausen, and over all floated the royal flags of the kingdom across the sea. Thousands viewed this squadron as it came on, from the heights, and soon word ran through the city, as well as all over Long Island, that the long looked-for foe was at hand.
At the King's Arms Coffeehouse. 27 But Frank Lowry had other work than watching the big ships. On the day of the arrival of the king's flotilla he strolled into a coffeehouse on a little street that branched off from Broadway, a place frequented by the Tories of the town. He had discarded his uniform and was clad as a youth of good family, with some spending money at his disposal. Walking to a table near the end of the room, which was not very well lighted, he took a seat and gave his order for a modest lunch. While it was being prepared he glanced round the place and noted those present. There were some good-looking gentlemen in buff, a number of Knickerbocker descendants, smoking their long pipes, and here and there young people bent on having a good time, as good times went in 1776. Scarcely had the boy fixed himself firmly in the chair when a man entered and took a seat at the table opposite him. He was a little past fifty, large and stoutly built, and his every move denoted wealth and importance. In a loud voice he ordered a baked fish and a bottle of wine. Presently another man entered and took a seat by th e big stranger.
~8 At the King's Arms Coffeehouse. "Well, our friends have arrived, Friend Amos," said the last mentioned personage. "I see I They are here in force sufficient, I believe, to uproot rebelism in this city." "Let us fervently hope so. The day of our deliverance is not far distant, and this rebel Washington will soon be in full retreat." "If he is not elsewhere," grinned the man called Amos. "Seems to me we ought to have disposed of this boastful rebel who defies the king in another manner. If he falls into the hands of Gen. Howe, who is one of those wishy-washy, lenient men, he may be given a chance to escape the halter, therefore, I am of the opin. ion that we should attend to this matter ourselves, and--" "That's it! that's it! Friend Cowley! Now, you are hitting the bull's-eye. There is a little movement on foot to take care of this fellow, Washington, who-just think of it !-but a few years ago wore the livery of the king and fought for the crown." "His very audaciousness makes me sick." "Better men have been hung at Tyburn, and for less crimes than fighting against the king." By this time Frank Lowry's order had been served, and he fell to like a hungry boy, th0ugh he did not eat very fast.
At the King's Arms Coffeehouse. ~9 He had open ears for everything that passed at the other table. The big Tory had his fish served, whereat he found fault with the cooking and swore roundly at the serv ant, using language which threatened to draw atten tion to him from every part of the house. However, he calmed down a little and turned again to his companion. "Between you and me, Friend Cowley, we're not going to wait for Gen. Howe to capture the rebel Washington. We've got a little game of our own." "To do it ourselves? That's good I" "And we're not going to fail, either. When we take the thing into our own hands we do so with the ful) intention of carrying out the little scheme to the let ter." "Better yet. Why didn't you let me in?" "Maybe it's not too late yet." "By George l I hope 'tis not. I'm in for anything. even to the cutting short of this rebel general's life." "Don't you think we're going to let him carry on this war much longer, for he is the mainstay of this rebellion; but for him it would have collapsed long ago. The governor knows what he is doing." "Where is he?" "Down the bay with the fleet."
30 At the King's Arms Coffeehouse. "Good again! When can I learn more, Friend Amos?" "To-night if you are discreet. There is to be a meeting of a few friends." "At your house?" "Heavens! no. I am watched like a hawk, and have been for a whole week." "Then--" The big Tory, who was no less a person than Amos Hawkons, already introduced to the reader, scribbled something-an address, probably-on a scrap of paper, which he pushed over to his friend. "All right," said this friend, as he glanced at the writing, "I'll be there." "Discretion is the watchword," smiled Hawkons. "Don't forget that, whatever you do." "Just as if I could, with the interests we have at stake I I'm no child, Friend Amos. Now, I must be going." So saying he rose and bowed to Amos Hawkons. Frank, who had lost not a word of this conversation, watched the retreating figure and presently left his table. He paid his score, not forgetting an extra shilling for the waiter. When he reached the street he found that the short summer twilight would soon interpose between the present hour and dark.
At the King's Arms Coffeehouse. 3 I The man who had left the coffeehouse was still in sight. In another moment Frank Lowry was at his heels, but he took good care to remain far enough in the rear to enact the part of a good spy. The suspected person walked some distance down Broadway after quitting the side street and at last vanished into a hallway, which led into a small house. When Frank came up to the spot he glanced into the open hall, but saw nothing of his quarry. "Pretty sleek," murmured the young patriot. "He evidently boards here, for this is a boarding house, as I know by its general appearance. I'll see who keeps it." He rang the cumbersome knocker at the door and a large, dark-faced woman appeared. "You?" she exclaimed at sight of Frank Lowry. "Why not? I am looking for a good boarding house, where one can have the comforts of home." "Just as if you couldn't have them here," broke in the woman. "I didn't say I could not, for you look motherly, upon my life you do! I have been thrown on the world, but not without some spare cash, quite enoug h to make life pleasant for myself and worth something to those who entertain me." "What sort of room do you want? Upper or lower chamber?''
3~ At the King's Arms Coffeehouse. "It makes but little difference so long as the place is comfortable." "All my rooms are comfortable. Would you care to look at one right away?" "That I would, for if I find rooms to suit, 1 will move in at once." The landlady, who looked like an eager, grasping woman, led Frank upstairs into a little eight by ten apartment, moderately well furnished. "I would like a room where I shall not be disturbed by neighbors coming in at all hours of the night in a state of more or less hilarity." "Drunk, you mean ?" "Intoxicated; yes, madam. You see--" "All my boarders are models of decorum, and all are gentlemen. I am a Ione widow, who lost her hus band, John Aregood, at sea three years ago. He was killed by a shark, cut in two in midocean-just think of it, my boy-and they didn't get to bring home a single piece of my poor John." "It was terrible," sympathized Frank, who thought from the look of his prospective landlady that John had really missed a good deal of misery by the shark's meal. "Yes, sir-cut in two; and he had twenty shillings in his pockets at the time." "Did they kill the shark?" "Bless you, no! The cruel monster got away and the
At the King's Arms Coffeehouse. 33 captain said, him as commanded the Sally Ann, which was the name of the boat, that he would have given ten bottles of rum for that monster's heart. But what think you of this room?" "It looks good enough for a prince; in fact, it in vites repose." "I'm glad to hear you say that. My last boarder, who occupied it, moved directly underneath it three days ago. You may have seen him on the street. He came in just ahead of you." I t h i n k I saw some OIJe enter the house just in ad vanc e of me." "That was Master Cowley-Adam Cowley, a re tired gentleman of means and good habits. He is now jus t ben e ath us. And such a dear man l Why, he wouldn't harm a fly, Master--" "Tolbert." "So that's your name. I used to know a Tolbert up State. He died near where I was born. So you'll take the room?" "At what price per week-for the room alone? I guess I'll take my meals at the King's Arms Coffee house." "Just as you wish about that. Master Cowley likes the place, too !" "It's settled, then and I won't asl< you for your price till I've tried the room a while. I'll be back in a li ttle while to try your soft bed for a good rest."
34 At the King's Arms Coffeehouse. "Come any time. The hall door is open all night, though Master Cowley thinks I run a risk with all these soldiers in the city. I don t like soldiers myself, but, from what I hear, we are likely to exchange the buffs for redcoats before many days." Frank did not know about that. But still he thought war a risky business, and left before his landlady could extract any political opinions from him. He did not remain out very long. In less than an hour he came back and slipped up stairs. Entering the room, he closed the door softly and shoved the bolt to its place. After this the young spy put his ear close to the floor. At first he heard nothing, and then he made out cer tain sounds in the room below. At last they died away, then footsteps came up the stairs, and a heavy rapping sounded on his door. Frank crossed the room and opened the door, and, to his astonishment, stood face to face with Master Cowley himself.
CHAPTER IV. THE CONSPIRATORS. "Good-evening, sir," said the youth, as he held the door open for his visitor. Master Cowley, who was somewhat disguised, for he wore green goggles, was for a moment put out, but stepped inside and took a survey of Frank. He had evidently come to the upper room on a tour of inspection, and with the intention of ascertaining who had taken up his old quarters. "Take a chair, will you not?" "No, thank you. I occupied this chamber up to within a few hours ago, I might say, and I came up to see if I had forgotten anything. You will find this a nice room, though I preferred one on the ground floor. I am not quite so spry as you are, young m~n. I hope we shall become acquainted as time flies. My name is Adam Cowley." "And mine Seth Tolbert." "Good, Master Tolbert! You look like one who en joys the world with all the vim of youth." "I certainly do not believe in moping around, sir." Master Cowley looked at his watch, a heavy gold timepiece, and said he must go.
The Conspirators. As he paused on the threshold he remarked to Frank: "I hear that Gen. Howe has arrived off the Hook. "Such is the news, I believe. We shall probably see troublous times from now on." "There's no doubt of it, for Gen. Howe has a score to pay off on Gen. Washington, who drove him out of Boston. Ah, sir, I fear we shall see this city bom barded if the rebels have the courage to hold out here till driven from Long Island." "Do you look for such an event?" "In my mind there can be no other outcome to this mvas1on. Gen. Howe has evidently mapped out his campaign, and he has the assistance of such officers as Cornwallis, Clinton, Earl Percy and last, but not least, the valiant Knyphausen, who has been trained in the armies of Europe." "He commands the Hessians, I hear." "Yes, sir; those hard fighters who have enlisted in the cause of the king," said Master Cowley, with some enthusiasm. "I know the rebels already call them hire lings, but you know, young sir, that there are brave and good men who sell their swords for a price, soldiers by profession, whose motives must not be maligned. Of course, I am addressing one who is for the king?" Frank bowed. "I thought so, sir. You do not look like a rebel. There is a freshness about you that indicates that you
The Conspirators. 37 are for constituted authority where 'er you find it, and the king's cause is the only one worth talking about in this country." "I doubt not that it will prevail in the end." "It cannot fail. When we get rid of this rebel, Washington, the army will fall to pieces like a house deprived of its supports. He is the mainstay of this rebellion. His men look like Falstaffs. Why, sir, as you know, they won't fight It was with difficulty that Frank Lowry kept from his cheeks a flush of indignation. He could not h elp saying: "They have fought some, I believe. They gave the king's troops a warm reception at Bunker Hill." "Oh, yes; where they had the protection of earth works ; but I mean in the open. There a redcoat is worth half a regiment of these rascally Yankees." "They are said to have done some right sharp fight ing before Quebec." "It was fight or die there. This man, Arnold, is a madman. Just think of him leading a lot of men through the wilderness of Maine to Canada It was murder; but that only shows the poor generalship and desperation of these rebellious Yankees. There 'll be a great hangin g o n e of the s e da ys, Master Tolbert." "And Gen. Washington will be the first to be hanged, I sup pose?" "If h e does not g e t his deserts sooner," significantly
The Conspirators. remarked Adam Cowley. "But I detain myself fr o m an important meeting in the king's cause. Good-night, sir. I hope for a furtherance of our pleasant acquaint ance." "Thank you, sir. You will find me here for some days, at any rate, and I shall be pleased to meet you whenever you find time to drop in." With this Frank dismissed his visitor, and heard him descend the steps. He was satisfied that he had deceived Cowley as to his true identity and mission in Mistress Aregood s house. To have indicated a preference for the cause of liberty, in which he had enlisted, would have opened the headgates of suspicion ; and he hoped that he had taken the proper course in dealing with Master Cowle y In a few seconds he was on the street also, and soon caught sight of the figure of his late visitor. The Tory evidently had a reason for wearing the goggles, and as Frank shadowed him he discovered that he tried to avoid the crowds as much as possible. In less than ten minutes Master Cowley had pass ed from one street into another, and had slipped into a large house, which the youth recognized as belonging to a noted Tory who had not as yet made himself no torious, except by running away the moment the Americans took possession of the city. The house had been left to the care of servants, who had looked after it ever since, and it now promised
The Conspirators. 39 to shelter the very men whom Frank was expected to watch : Let us follow Adam Cowley into the house. The door had barely closed behind him when he re moved the goggles and passed into a large room lighted by several candles on a table which stood in the mid dle of the apartment. For a little while he was alone in the room, but at last the door opened and three men entered. Master Cowley looked at the trio and uttered but one word: "England !" "Welcome, brother," said the tallest of the men. "You are punctual. We will come to converse the mo ment another arrives." At this moment the shutting of a door was heard and then footsteps in the outer hall. The fifth man entered the parlor and Cowley ut tered a little cry of recognition. The newcomer was Amos Hawkons. 'We are all here, and all for the king," said one of t h e five. "Now this way, brethren." All fol1owed and entering a room in another part of the house, gathered round a table. Amos Hawkons seemed to be the leader of the five, fo r he took from his pocket a packet which he pro c e eded to open. It had been sealed with red wax, which' had been
The Conspirators. recently broken, and as he perform e d th e c e r e m o n y of unfolding the document, he w as sil e ntly r ega rded by his companions. "This communication is from the governor. It c a m 1 to hand the other da y sinc e our last meeting, and will now be read to y ou. Thereupon Amos proceeded to r ea d in a low v oice the contents of the document, which started out b y congratulating the Tories on the d e feat of the Am eri cans in Canada, and assured the m that the expediti on against New York would achieve the greatest succ ess and be the beginning of the end of the American re bellion against the authority, of the king. Nor was this all that the letter conveyed to the five men. When Amos reached the most important part of the document his voice sank to the lowest whisper, and th e listeners bent forward so as not to lose a single wor d The letter was from the heartless Try on, the la s t royal governor of New York, who had fled upon t h e advance of the Americans, and who was now with t h e fleet in the lower bay. Be y ond the little group at the table the c o ntents of Try on's letter could not have b e en heard. "Now you know what is to b e done," said Amos a s he folded the communication with a grim smile. "It is a plot that must succeed. Alread y we have done some
The Conspirators. work, and people close to this head rebel have been approached. The way is clear." "How close have we approached his so-called august presence?" asked one. "We have reached his bodyguard. Isn't that pretty close?" "It would be difficult to get closer.'' ''You will reply to the governor?" "Certainly. He must be kept informed in regard to the progress of the plot in the city. There must be no movement unless it is understood by all parties." Amos leaned back in his chair and looked at his friends. "What do you think of the matter now, Friend Adam?'' he asked of Master Cowley. "It looks feasible; but we must take into considera tion the prowess of this rebel Washington, his strength and the acumen of those who surround him." "Everything has been taken into consideration. Nothing has been overlooked." "Not even the guards at his headquarters?" "As I have intimated, the leaven is working right among them. I tell you, Friend Adam, a few guineas stamped with the image of our royal master go a great ways where you want them to go.'' A little laugh went round the table. "Now, it seems to me, if we could invade our absent
The Conspirators. friend's cellars we might drink to the success of our little plot." "An excellent idea !" Amos picked up one of the candles which stood in heavy gilt sconces and left the room. Those who remained behind heard him descend a flight of steps, and presently he returned with a basket, from which half a dozen bottles projected. "If our old friend doesn't return soon the rats will overrun his castle," laughed Amos, as he placed the basket on the table and went to the elegant mahogany sideboard in a search for goblets. "The rascally rebels have been here!" he exclaimed. "They haven't left a drinking glass." "It is a wonder they didn't plunder the cellars." "That it is. But we can drink out of the bottles, of which there are just five, fortunately. Break the necks on the edge of the table and drink to the king's army now landing down the bay." This was done with a good deal of hilarity, and the bottles were soon deprived of their contents. Several toasts were drunk, all against Washington and the cause of liberty, and at last Amos Hawkons brought his clinched hand down upon the table with startling emphasis. "A week from to-night the rebellion will be without a leader, and the structure the rebels have erected in North America will crumble like a house of cards!
The Conspirators. 43 Then the king will erect his gallows throughout the colonies and the hangman will have his hands full. May we all be present when they string up such fel lows as Putnam, Greene and Arnold !" The others shouted their approval of these words. "Yes, Friend Amos, may we all see the rope tighten around their necks; but it seems to me you've forgotten a few of the biggest rebels in the whole land." "Indeed? And whom have I overlooked?" "John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin." "Right you are, Friend Markley; but, of course, they were included, though not mentioned, in my list. They'll all swing, and the men who signed that rebel lious document at Philadelphia will have short shrift when the king gets hold of them. Long live his majesty, King George the Third!" Then this delectable party broke up, silence came upon the room, and the candles no longer burned in their gilded sticks. Five men sneaked from the place, one at a time, and all were seen by a boy who was concealed in the shadow of a tree on the pavement. He counted every one. "That's a pretty nest of rascals," Frank Lowry said to himself. "The king must be hard pushed when he selects such fellows to serve him against their betters in North America. The plot they're hatching out is
44 The Conspirators. alm o st too infamous to think about, and, while I didn't overhear quite all, I know enough to believe that I am on the right trail. Now I will see Capt. Nathan Hale. He said he would be over in the city to-night. I know where he is likely to be found." With this Frank glided a w ay, leaving the five con spirators to disappear as best suited themselves, with out the slightest suspicion that their movements had been watched.
CHAPTER V. LOWRY'S GOOD SWORD. Capt. Nathan Hale, of Col. Knowlton's command, had taken a liking to Frank Lowry. The young soldier, destined soon to become a martyr to the cause of American liberty, was at this time in his twenty-first year. Brave to a fault, he was discerning as well, and, being educated, was looked upon by his fellow soldiers as one sure to make his mark before the close of the struggle. Frank had formed his acquaintance under pleasant circumstances, and a considerable degree of intimacy existed between the two. When Master Lowry quitted the house where he had watch ed the Tory conspirators, he proceeded to a residence where he expected to met Hale, who had told him that he would in all probability be found there at a certain hour that night. The young Connecticut captain was punctual, for Frank found him restlessly pacing the parlor carpet in the little house where he visited when in the city, and was cordially greeted. The two young soldiers retired to a secluded room for conference, and there Master Lowry acquainted Capt. Hale with what he had learned and witnessed
Lawry's Good Sword. "There is no doubt of the existence of a diabolical plot against Washington," said Hale. "The Tories and their allies, the British, are desperate. They see that Washington is the mainstay of the colonies, and be lieve that, with him out of the way, the whole fabric of resistance would fall to the ground. I will now show you a letter which not only confirms your information, but also shows that this plot is wider in scope than we have thought." Capt. Hale drew from a breast pocket a letter which he placed in Frank's hands, adding: "The writer is, of course, unknown to me. The chirography indicates the person to be a lady, which is probable, as women are possessed of finer feelings than men, and are more merciful. Now, a woman would look with abhorrence upon a plot to murder Washington, while, the crime, hideous as it would be, would not cause a man to expose the conspirators." By this time Frank had unfolded the letter and was reading as follows : "To CAPT. NATHAN HALE: The writer hereof warns you to watch your magazines. At any time they may be exploded by means you do not suspect. Also, it would be well to place a stronger guard about the head quarters of your commander-in-chief, for danger lurks where all seems fair. "AN UNKNOWN FRIEND."
Lawry's Good Sworu. 47 "Brief as that communication is, it conveys a two fold meaning," said Hale. "I see." "It shows that the plot also takes in the destruction of our magazines, which would cripple us greatly." "We have none too much powder now." "That's it exactly. Just imagine the situation that would confront us with the enemy at our door and our army deprived of its cherished leader and our powder." "It is terrible to contemplate." "Just so, Frank," exclaimed Hale, quickly. "I shud der when I think of it. Now, as I have said, a close study of the handwriting of that brief note convinces me that the writer is a member of the opposite sex. But, unfortunately, we have no means of knowing her identity. Could we but discover our u'nknown friend we might extract from her information not conveyed in this letter." "That is true. I am at a loss how to proceed to ferret her out, going on the supposition that your study of the writing is correct. The task seems hopeless from the start." "Yes ; it would be like hunting the proverbial needle in the haystack, but mysteries deeper than this have been probed to the bottom and light obtained. Are you going to Mistress Carter's party to-morrow night?" "No; but I think Priscilla is. She mentioned it to
Lowry's Good Sword. me when I saw her last, and I think she has been in vited." "Just the thing!" cried Hale. "She must be there by all means. Mistress Betty Carter is a good little Tory, and one pretty enough to captivate the most in terested patriot. She is to h ave a great party at the Carter house, but it will not be graced by the king's officers Probably when they get New York, if they ever do, she will give another ball where redcoats will have th e call. But to-morrow night she will entertain a mixec! crowd, that is, there will be some Tories and a lot of patriots. It is suspected that Mistress Betty is playing a double game, and that she hopes to u se her wit and be au ty to-morrow night to make a few discov eries that will prove of benefit to our friends the enemy, down the bay." "I wouldn't put it past her," laughed Frank. "I will see that Priscilla goes to the party, for I'm quite sure she has been invited.'' "It would be difficult to overlook such a person as Mistress Beverley, for her b ea uty, I hear, has tak e n New York by storm, and, then, she is closely con nected with Mistress Murray who heads fashionable so ciety on the hill." Frank smiled at these compliments to his fair friend. "It would be well if you could see Mistress Beverley yet to-night and acquaint her with the importance of
Lowry's Good Sword. 49 her attending the party. Tell her what will be expected of her-that she will watch Mistress Betty Carter and see with whom she mingles, if there are any private tete-a-tetes, and so forth." "You do not suspect that the note came from Mis tress Carter ?" Nathan Hale gave Frank a queer look. "Come, captain, it cannot be that you suspect that she is the writer of this warning? Why, I had the pleasure of rolling down hill over on the island with my arms around as much of Betty's uncle as I could get. He's a rampant Tory, and--" "And she is a twig from the same tree. Of course; but never mind what I suspect just now, Master Frank. You will tell Mistress Beverley what is expected of her, will you not? Or shall I see her myself?" "I'll attend to it," hastily answered Frank, as if he did not care to have his friend, Priscilla, come in con tact with handsome Capt. Hale. "See that you do. This plot must not succeed. It means the destruction of liberty in North America, for I am free to say that I believe that the only hand that can guide us safely through the breakers is the hand of Washington." "Amen to that! Gov. Tryon is said to have formed another plot some time ago, but it seems to have come to naught, and now he is deep in this one." "Just so. This is a conspiracy aimed at the head of
50 Lawry's Good Sword. the army. It means the r e moval by force-murder, as I believe-of Gen. Washington, and, ultimatel y the breakdown of our beloved cause. I, for one, stand ready to sacrifice my life on the altar of m y country, and I might as well give it in sl*lding the life of Was h ington as on the battlefield. It matters little where one dies, so he dies in a holy cause; a patriot who dies at the end of a rope gives his life to his country as much as he who falls in the charge." "My views exactly." "Then we understand one another," proceed e d C a pt. Hale, whose words were prophetic. "If you will see Mistress Beverley to-night yet I will retire." Frank Lowry bade Hale good-night, and was soon on the street again. It was quite a distance to Murray Hill, where Priscilla sojourned with her aunt, but he knew how to find it. Possessed of the password for the night he moved nimbly forward. Here and there were lights that showed him his way, but as he neared the goal these disappeared, though on the hills above him he could make out the camp fires of the American army. He had changed his garb somewhat so as not to re semble Seth Tolbert, his second self, for just now he was not dealing with Master Cowley and his a s sociates. Frank proceeded some distance, leaving the lower
Lowry's Good Sword. portion of the city behind him, and was more than halfway when he was suddenly set upon by three ruffians, who leaped from the mouth of a dark alley. A ccustomed to defend himself on short notice, Frank fell nimbly back, at the same time disengaging him s e lf from his assailants, and, catching second breath, planted himself against the wall of a house and drew his sword. In those days it was customary for nearly everyone on the streets at night to carry weapons, for New York was at all times the abode of midnight prowlers who held the weaker ones up :and robbed without con science. Fortunately for Frank Lowry, a light streamed from a window opposite and revealed the persons of his enemies who came forward again determined to carry out their design. Two of them were armed, while the third, who seemed to be the leader, possessed no weapons, so far as Frank could see. "Throw down your sword, young sir!" cried the captain of the trio. "We'll wing you bitterly if you refuse to obey. Throw it aside, I say I" Young Lowry's only response was to put himself on his guard. "He will not, captain,'' said one of the others, glan cing at the ringleader. "Then spit him Give him cold steel, Roscius. What
52 Lawry's Good Sword. are you holding back for? We've got the right rat. There's no mistake about that." These words went through Frank like a red hot bolt. The three villains knew him, and probably had been watching for him, but how could they have known that he was to pass that way? "Give me your blade, coward!" resumed the leader, with an oath. "I'll show you how to spit a pigeon!" The sword was jerked from the hand of the fellow styled Roscius, and the leader sprang forward, but his sword came in contact with Frank's as he executed a lunge which, but for the boy's skill, would have driven the cold steel through him. "Ha I he has been taught how to guard," laughed Frank's enemy. "He knows a feint, too, by my soul!" "And a parry as well, captain," vociferated Roscius. "Flank him there, Cabell I You don't expect me to be winged by this young cock of the walk, do you ?" The other fellow, who still possessed a sword, sprang toward Frank's left and made a swift pass which, but for the boy's discerning eye, might have terminated the combat. Quick as a flash almost, Frank Lowry swept his blade before him, driving back the leader, then he lunged straight at Cabell, and sent the point of his sword beneath his shoulder. The smitten man dropped like a beef.
Lowry' s Good Sword. 53 "Now, I have you for that!" shouted the captain, but at that moment the light in the window went out and darkness dropped over the scene. Still Frank could make out the figures of his adver saries, though not with the certainty that had just pre vailed. He saw one writhing on the ground, he caught sight of the captain lunging at him, and all at once he shot forward, determined to put an end to the combat. "Holy Moses! what a thrust!" cried Roscius, as he saw Frank's blade disappear beneath the captain's doublet. The leader of the three seemed to spin halfway round as his hand tried to clasp Lawry's sword blade, but Frank was too quick for him, for he drew back his weapon and again threw himself on guard. Roscius, deeming discretion the better part of valor, took to his heels and was out of sight in a moment. Frank was left alone with the men on the ground. The dictates of mercy persuaded him to remain with the enemy, and, putting up his sword, he stooped over the first one he came to. "I trust you're not badly hurt," he said, as the white face, looking ghastly in the starlight, was turned to ward him. "I was compelled to defend myself." "You did it well, young sir. I don't care for any help from you. There's one who may need assistance."
S4 Lawry's Good Sword. Frank turned to Cabell, who lay doubled up on the ground. "I didn't want to do it," said a feeble voice. "They forced me into this brawl.'' "Forced you, did they? Then it wao; a conspiracy?" "Hush up, coward!" cried the leader, with a curse. J J "If I had thought what a dog you were I'd have left you behind." "I guess this man is no more coward than yourself, for you urged on this fight, attacking one man with three,'' said Frank. "You know that no gentleman would do that. You'd have killed me without mercy, and had I asked for quarter you'd have run me through in a jiffy." "Right you are, young sir. We don't want the likes of yoa against us." "You're for the king, then.'' "Right again." "Then we are natural enemies.'' Cabell rolled over and threw a look toward the other lying near him, with one of his big hands pressed against his left breast. "Is he mortally hurt, young sir?" he inquired of Lowry. "That man is Capt. B1;1tler, of the whaleboat service in the Sound. If you sa y he 1s mortally hurt I shall be at liberty to speak with you "Otherwise you cannot?" "That's it, sir."
Lowry' s Good Sword. 5S Frank Lowry turned again to Capt. Butler, whose name was not unfamiliar to him, but the moment he did so that worthy gave a sharp cry and turned over. "I'm afraid it's all up with him," he said, turning back to Cabell. "Make sure of it first. I'm going to take no risks." Just then the sound of a night patrol reached Frank's ears and he saw the lanterns carried by the leaders. "Here comes the patrol. It will take charge of your captain." "The-patriot-patrol?" cried Capt. Butler, rising suddenly, but with great effort. "I don't want to fall into its rascally hands, and I will not!" With these words upon his lips he broke away like a startled deer. Frank's first thought was to catch the wounded man and hold him for the patrol. He was an important quarry; but after taking several steps after Butler he came back and halted in the light of the lanterns. Then he made another startling discovery. Cabell was gone, too. Indeed, the whole thing, the fight for life and the victory, seemed a dream.
CHAPTER VI. VENUS AND MARS. What Frank Lowry thought was the regular patrol turned out to be a detachment of the Boys of Liberty, headed by their captain, Benjamin Pierce, in person. The boys greeted each other cordially. 'We came over from Wallabout this evening," said Capt. Pierce. "We were ordered here for some pur pose, not as yet understood by me. So you have had a brush with some foes ?" "With Capt. Butler, he of the whaleboat service over on the island, it seems. He appears to have been 1ying in wait for me, but for the life of me I cannot under stand how he knew I would be here.'' "Isn't Mistress Priscilla staying at her aunt's on the hill?" asked Benjamin, with a smile, as he looked at Frank. "She is." "Well, I'm thinking if you will put certain things together you might not remain long in the dark. You remember that you recently had a bout with Tory Car ter, who knows, through his niece, Mistress Betty, here in the city, that Priscilla is in New York. and where she resides, and he evidently has learned that the best way to get even with you, through Whaleboat
Venus and Mars. 57 Butler, is to send that fellow over here to lie in wait in your path. Is that not so?" Frank acknowledged that this was not at all im probable, and new light was thrown upon the ambush into which he had lately fallen. "Perhaps we had best escort you to your destina tion," resumed Capt. Pierce, and before Lowry could remonstrate he gave the command to "about face. "I haven't seen the adorable Priscilla for some time," said Capt. Benjamin, "and I must thank you for this opportunity. She is well, I trust?" "Quite well." "And as pretty a rebel as ever!" "How you talk, Master Pierce. You might know that Mistress Beverley has not changed her views." "Did I intimate that she had? New York is a Tory stronghold, notwithstanding the fact that we have it under our thumb. Mistress Beverley must perforce mingle more or less with these people, and she must hear some pretty strong arguments in favor of the crown from them." "But not strong enough to turn her from her alle giance to the cause of liberty. That is grounded in her. She got that from her father, who, if he were living, would be found with us to-day." Capt. Pierce was silent for a moment. "I hear that Mistress Betty Carter is to give a grand
Venus and Mars. party to-morrow night, and I hope our stay will enable me to be present." "You will not attempt to attend without an invita t i on?" "Certainly not; but I think that can be arranged. I happen to have some good Tory friends in the city, and I have but to speak to them to fix the matter. I am getting rusty in social matters, and need a little fur bishing up. By the way, what is the news over here?" Frank did not know wh~ther to acquaint Capt. Pierce with his new mission, and finally decided that the time for letting him hear of it had not yet arrived. There were lights in the Murray mansion, and as the Boys of Liberty halted in front of the house the noise they made caused the front doors to open. The figure of Priscilla appeared silhouetted against the brilliant light within. She uttered an exclamation of astonishment when she caught sight of the uniforms before her, and her surprise was complete when she beheld Capt. Pierce and Frank Lowry. "You must think we are in danger!" she exclaimed, banteringly. "I did not order this guard. Did you, aunt?" "Not I; but our young friends are welcome," said Mistress Murray, who had also put in an appearance. The Boys of Liberty were ordered to stack arms on
Venus and Mars. 59 the spacious lawn in front of the mansion, while re freshments were ordered from the Murray larder. Frank and Capt. Benjamin were invited into the spacious parlor. By common consent the boys had agreed to say nothing of the encounter with Whaleboat Butler and his minions. "Your coat seems to have a slit in it-along the sleeve there!" suddenly exclaimed Mistress Beverley, point ing to Frank's left arm. Lowry looked at the tear and then flushed. "I hope you have not had another encounter with Tory Carter?" "By no means, Priscilla." "Really, it looks like a sword cut," said Mistress Murray. Capt. Benjamin could restrain himself no longer, but burst out with : "A sword cut it is. We might as well tell the truth, Master Frank." "Yes; it will come out, anyhow." Thereupon Frank related his encounter with the three men, while Benjamin Pierce confirmed the con clusion of the story from what he had seen with his own eyes. "What could have induced the three men to lie in wait for you where they did?" queried Priscilla.
60 Venus and Mars. "They probably knew the path he haunts," ob served Capt. Pierce, whereat the fair girl blushed. "They found me, anyhow. For a time I thought I would not get to serve the colonies after to-night, but a lucky thrust placed Whaleboat Butler hors de combat, and Capt. Benjamin, coming up in the nick of time, completed my salvation." "Accept my thanks, sir," said Priscilla, turning a smiling face to the captain of the Boys of Liberty. "I am glad to have been of service to Master Lowry -and to you," answered Benjamin. "To me especially!" laughed the fair rebel. "At your service, Mistress Beverley." "Priscilla is handy with the needle, Master Lowry," spoke up Mistress Murray, "and I will see that she re pairs the rent made by Whaleboat Butler's sword." Frank bowed his gratitude in advance. "We were speaking of Mistress Carter's party to morrow night," remarked Capt. Pierce. "Of course, you are going, Mistress Beverley?" "I have an invitation-one of the last things I ex pected. Mistress Betty and I do not agree on the con duct of the war, but she cares to have me at her func tion. I shall go, for I have never had the pleasure of meeting her." "Go by all means." "Indeed I shall. I may learn something there for the cause."
Venus and Mars. 6t "Something you may put to good use, I opine. I hope to be there myself?" "Have you, too, been invited, Capt. Pierce?" "Not yet; but I confidently look for an invitation." "Do you know Mistress Carter?" "I have never met her; but her beauty is not un known to me by report." "She is very lovely," .said Mistress Murray at this juncture, with a shy glance at Priscilla. "It is a pity she should be the daughter of so rank a Tory as her father is." "She cannot help her politics, aunt. i really honor her for espousing the cause she does, surrounded as she is by those whose sympathies are with the king. I feel in advance that I shall like her. I admire one who stands up for his or her friends when surrounded by other influences." "So do I," said Capt. Pierce, coming to Priscilla's assistance. "All Tories are not irreclaimable. There may be some good in this fair one, and patriotic leaven, if set to work, may bring forth a change which we, rebels though we are, can indorse." At this juncture a meaning look passed between Frank and Priscilla, and the tactful girl, under pre tense of showing Frank something in another room, withdrew with him, leaving Capt. Pierce with Mistress Murray. "Now that you are going to the party," said Lowry,
Venus and Mars. the moment they found themselves alone, "I have a mission for you." 'What sort of mission, pray?" "I was coming up to tell you when I was assaulted by this Whaleboat Butler. You will probably hear some news at the ball; that is, if you use your ears, you may intercept something that will prove good for the cause and throw some light on the conspiracy I am commissioned to unravel." "The conspiracy against Gen. Washington?" "Exactly. It is thought by some that Mistress Car ter has given this party for the purpose of worming out of some of her guests information that will prove bene ficial to Gen. Howe, who has just 'landed down the bay." "Do you think Mistress Betty is double-faced enough for that?" "She is Tory to the bone. Her father, you remem ber, was one of the men who refused to renounce his allegiance to the king." "So aunt informs me." "Like father, like child. Betty is cast in the same mold. Her heart is set upon the crushing out of lib erty in this country. She has invited a good many pa triots to her party, and among them are some who would be likely to know just what she seeks to dis cover "Of course, it is but natural that she should ask
Venus and Mars. about the struggle ; and to whom would she go but to her patriotic guests ?" "You are right, Priscilla. May I ask you to watch her as closely as decorum will let you? See with whom she associates, and to whom she talks most. Then, if you can, will you please look through her verse album and fix in your mind the style of her own chirography?" Priscilla drew back and looked at Master Lowry questioningly. "I see! You want me to play spy against Mistress Betty?" "I want you to help me save Gen. Washington from the conspirators. That's all." "Is she in the plot?" "Quite to the contrary. We hope she is against the diabolical scheme." "But-there I you need not explain for it is prob ably a secret, and you must not trust me too far, Master Lowry. But let me ask you one more question." "About Mistress Carter?" "Yes." "Well what is it?" "Do you want me to do more than to take notice of her handwriting?" "It would be asking too much for you to tear out the leaf that bears her autograph?" "That would be insulting her hospitality."
Venus and Mars. "Of course it would ; but you might go on the theory that all's fair in war." "Well, Master Lowry, I'll see about it. I make no promises, you know. But how goes the plot against j Gen. Washington?" "It is a deep, dark one," answered Frank. "The life of the leader of our armies is in danger ; there can be no doubt of this." "You have progressed thus far, have you?" "I have discovered that much." "Is Betty's father engaged in it?" "So far, I have not located him in the cabal." "You do not put it past him, do you?" "Robert Carter is a great Tory, we all know that; but I still think him too manly to engage in a scheme as black as this one." "Well, I will report after the party. You are not going then?" "I am not." "Capt. Pierce says he will be there. Who is going to get him across the Carter threshold?" "Some of his Tory friends, he says." "The captain is shrewd ; but this time he may count without his host. But let us return to the parlor." Frank stooped and, taking Priscilla's white hand, pressed it gently to his lips, an act which sent a warm :flush to the fair girl's temples, after which the pair re-
Venus and Mars. entered the parlor, where Mistress Murray and Capt. Benjamin were discussing the outlook on Long Island. "I presume you have fixed up the whole matter and ended the war!" exclaimed Capt. Pierce, as Frank and Priscilla entered the room. "Yes, sir. Gen. Howe has hauled down his flag and Gen. Washington will receive his army as prisoners to-morrow." "And you, I suppose, will escort your old friend, Carter, of Long Island, up Broadway to the tune of Yankee Doodle." This witticism of Capt. Pierce brought a peal of laughter from both Priscilla and her aunt, and Frank was obliged to parry it the best he could. "About face!" rang out the voice of Capt. Benjamin to the Boys of Liberty, a few moments later, and as "Forward-March!" followed it, he turned and doffed his hat to the ladies on the wide porch: "To-morrow night at Mistress Carter's party," he called out, remindingly, to Mistress Priscilla, and the tramp, tramp of the little command rang merrily out on the night air.
CHAPTER VII. A DANGEROUS PASTIME, During the march of the Boys of Liberty to the lower part of the city occurred one of those events pe culiar to the Revolution which we must notice, prom ising the reader that the digression will not be lengthy. The Tory population of old New York far exceeded the patriot. For the most part it consisted of the wealthier classes, those who owned fine residences and turnouts. These people did not like the idea of severance from the mother country; they had been born under kingly rule, and there was about royalty something that strongly appealed to them. In many cases they would fle~ with the British armies after a defeat, notably in the case of the evacuation of Boston, and it was but natural that between patriot and Tory there should exist a deep-seated hatred. This variance often came to blows, and through the whole war the ill feeling did not abate. The Boys of Liberty were turning into a certain street, halfway to their destination, when they heard shouts of rage and laughter, and in another moment a cart came tearing along, pulled by a lot of young fel lows still in their teens.
A Dangerous Pastime. Standing erect in the cart, which was a flimsy affair, was a tall man who might have weighed two hundred pounds. He was hatless and coatless and was gesticulating like a madman, while he rained imprecations on the heads of his tormentors. "I'll have you all hanged when Gen. Howe takes the city!" he shouted. "I'll see that not a one of you is spared to tell the tale. You re a pretty lot of rag amuffins to take a decent citizen from his house at this hour of the night and subject him to such inhuman treatment. Oh, I'd like to have the rope round your precious necks now I There would be a lot of young rebel cubs less in the king's colonies! But what other treatment could I expect when you listen to the boasts of such rebels as your Washington and Putnam? It's a pity the Indians didn't kill your old Put when they had him tied to the tree in the French War I" Thus the irate Tory, the captive of the cart, be rated his young tormentors as he w as dragged through the street to the shouts of d e ri s ion from those at the rope and on both sides of the cart. "That's pretty rough treatm e nt," exclaimed Frank Lowry, when he had hastil y summed up the situation. "The man is advanced in y ears and doesn t look like a great enem y to th e cau se ." "But he's a Tory and w e' ve b een pestered by them
68 A Dangerous Pastime. ever since the beginning of the war," responded Capt. Pierce, as he halted his company to let the cart pass. "They may harm the old man." "Which would be less than he deserves, no doubt." Meantime the cart, striking a stone in the street, careened so that the gesticulating prisoner of the young mob almost lost his balance. "Stop, you young rascals! Do you want to break every bone in my body?" called out the Tory. "I'd report you to the rebel Washington if I thought it would do any good." "Hang him to a lamp-post! Up with the old Tory!" The cart had stopped in the street and the youngsters swarmed around it like a lot of brigands. "Give him a taste of hemp I" they shouted, while the face of the old man turned pale. "He wants the king to whip us back under the crown. Pull him up, boys l There's rope enough here to hang half a dozen Tories." There was an excited rush for the cart and it was nearly overturned, much to the fear of its occupant. The rope was taken from the front part of the vehi cle and half a dozen hands dangled it before the Tory's eyes. "This is too much," said Frank Lowry to Capt. Pierce. "Don't you intend to interfere?" "I have no orders to do so. My sole orders are to report to Gen. Washington."
A Dangerous Pastime. "But I'm sure he wouldn t approve of such conduct as this." "He doesn't like Tories any too well, you know, Master Lowry.'' "Neither do I, but--" "Pull him out !" rose above the shouts of the mad dened young mob. "Drag the old rascal from the cart and let's have a hanging right here. That's it, Davy. Don't let the old rat shake you 10Q.5e. Hand him down, boys, and--" The situation of the prisoner of the cart had become very grave. The young rebels were actually swarming over its sides in their eagerness to get at the Tory. Had the prisoner been possessed of a weapon some young heads would have been promptly cracked, for he was fairly frothing in his impotent rage, and his almost snowy hair, tangled about his neck, presented a picture which would have moved hearts of stone to pity; but a mob is a senseless crowd. "I appeal to you, young sir," cried the old Tory, in his despair., as he caught sight of Benjamin standing as straight as a ramrod at the head of his company; "do you intend to see a man-a peaceful citizenhung by a lot of boys? You say you are in favor of liberty and free speech; then why, in the name of good ness, don't you put your theory into practice?" "That's pretty plain talk," said Frank Lowry, as he
A Dangerous Pastime. cau g ht Benjamin s e y e "The old fellow has the best of the argument don t you think, captain?" "I say I've no right to interfere." "Then, by heavens I will The following moment Frank had leaped forward and was pushing some of the most eager young rebels aside. "Stand back I You've no right to molest this citi zen I" "But he's for the king." "He laughed at us while we were parading past his house and said he hoped to live long enough to see all of us stretch hemp." "A very impolitic remark, no doubt, but during these times it is hard for one to restrain his tongue. "It is old Stanley-old Bat Stanley, the warehouse merchant, near Kyp's. Now we've got him we intend to show him that the rebellion is not yet crushed out in the colonies." "But you've no right to deprive him of life. You can report him to either Gen. Washington or Old Put--" "Precious little good it would do us. Overturn the cart, boys. This young fellow isn't going to cheat us out of our prey." Frank in reply caught the young fellow who had put his shoulder at the wheel with the intention of over turning the cart apd dragged him back.
A Dangerous Pastime. 71 "This is too much," he cried. "You shall not molest this old man. He has been frighten e d enough for a we e k and--" "Pull him down, boys! Hurrah for liberty!" "Down with Tories wherever you find 'em I" "Three cheers for Gen. Washington !" Frank Lowry, who had placed his back against the cart-wheel, now drew his sword and faced the mob. "Stand off!" he threatened. "I say you've no right to take life. You don't constitute a military court. You are nothing but a lot of young hot-heads." "Hear what he says boys I A lot of hot-heads! I wonder what he is? Push him away and take the old Tory from the cart." Frank glanced at Capt. Pierce, who looked at him and then at his company. Master Stanley had recovered some of his courage at sight of his friend in need, and was standing in the middle of the cart, shaking his fist in defiance at the mob. "I'd hang every one of you if--" Frank caught his eye and held up a warning finger. "Curb your tongue for a little while," he said. "It won't do any good to threaten retaliation now. Wait till you're out of the woods, Master Stanley." The old man desisted. Just then several young fellows who had crept under the cart unperceived, gave it a lurch which threw its
A Dangerous Pastime. occupant off his f e et, and as the vehicle toppled, in order to save himself, Master Stanley sprang forward and alighted right in the midst of his torm e ntors. He was received with shouts of triumph. "He's got himself out l Now, boys, string him up. There's a lamp-post on the corner." But Frank, with a cry, suddenly planted himself in front of the menaced man, and with naked sword con fronted the mob with desperate coolness. "Back or by the eternal, I'll run some of you through!" he ejaculated. ''You must have left your consciences at home. Stand off there I You touch this man at your peril." "Push the interferer aside!" yelled the maddened leader of the crowd. "Maybe he's a Tory like the old one." "Throw him into the cart and turn it over him. Any way to get rid of the young scalawag." In another second the captain of the mob for the first time came within reach of Frank's arm, and h e dealt him a blow squarely in the face which sent hi m back against those nearest him. "He's struck our captain I Knock him down, boys!" But Frank, falling back after delivering the blow, threw out his sword, at sight of which the mob re coiled. "Here come the soldiers !" cri e d out several voices,
A Dangerous Pastime. 73 as the tramp of men was heard round the nearest corner. "Catch the old Tory and take him along! We'll finish him in another place !" "What's the matter here?" asked a loud voice, as the head of a company came into view. "What's all this? By my life! there's been too much of this nightly carousing in the city. Why haven't you suppressed this riot young sir, with your men?" The last words were addressed to Capt. Benjamin, who looked up into the face of the speaker with a start. At the same time he saluted and stepped back like one surprised. Everyone recognized the man who had made his appearance. It was the commander-in-chief. ''What's all this?" demanded Washington, singling out Frank Lowry, whom he reco g nized. "The young fellows-boys-had s e cure d the person of Master Stanley and were offering him viol e nce. I happened to come up and interfered." "You did right. I will not sanction scenes of violence while I command the army. Where is Mast e r Stanley?" "Here, your excellency and the old man stepped forward. "This shall not happen again said Washin g ton, "if I can prevent. This is not the way to war. A mob has
74 A Dangerous Pastime. no conscience and I hope you will not cr e dit the army with this insult and disturbance. Were you subjected to personal violence?" Not yet, your excellency ; but I mi ght have been, but for the appearance of this young man.'' "I thank you, Master Lowry," said Gen. Wash ington. "Now that I have met y ou, if y ou will follow me I will listen to whatever you may have to r.ommuni cate. Who is this?" He had looked at Capt. Pierce. "This is my friend, Capt. Benjamin Pierce of the Boys of Liberty." "Oh, yes. Captain Pierce, I thank you for the as sistance you rendered Master Stanley to-night." Benjamin flushed and a smile gathered at the old Tory's lips. "You can go home without fear of further molesta tion," said Washington to Stanley. "Now, boys, re member that you have no right to maltreat anyone in this city, not even those who do not agree with us. We carry on an honorable warfare for our liberties and anything different will only lower us in the eyes of the world. Be men whatever you do, and in warfare be generous and forgiving toward enemies.'' He touched his hat to the abashed crowd and walked back to his escort. Frank Lowry stepped beside him and the little de tachment moved.
A Dangerous Pastime. 1S "He' s more a man than I ever thought him," said Stanley the Tory, under his breath. "From this mo ment I'll have a better opinion of the rebel Washington than I've ever had before." He gave his late tormentors a last look, turned on his heel and walked away. The boys slowly righted the cart, muttering over their failure to carry out their designs on the old Tory, and Capt. Benjamin gave the command to march. As the last of the Boys of Liberty company disap peared the escort of the commander-in-chief turned into Broadway, and the gigantic figure of Washington was seen for a moment among the lights there. When he reached his headquarters he turned upon Frank, who had followed him, and waved him to a chair. "Now, Master Lowry, I will listen to you. Tell me how goes the cabal against me. I trust our anxieties have overestimated the real danger."
CHAPTER VIII. THE FAITH OF WASHINGTON. It was a moment in Frank's life to be closeted with Gen. Washington. The commander-in-chief showed some of the late anxieties that had befallen him since the occupation of the city. Calm and serene at all times, he could not disguise the fact that the last movement of the enemy gave him the deepest concern. He knew that it was but a part of the gigantic plan put forth by the king's generals; that, while Gen. Howe would try to capture Long Island, Carleton, ad vancing from the north, where he had defeated Arnold, would attempt to place the Americans between the two opposing forces and ultimately crush them out. Frank proceeded and laid bare all the facts he had obtained regarding the conspiracy since last seeing Washington. "Can it be true that there exist men who will attempt to take my life?" exclaimed the general. "I do not want to impute such motives to anyone, but what you have said, Master Lowry, convinces me that we have some very bad men in America at this time. Warfare on the tented field is considered honorable at all times,
The Faith of Washington. 77 but one must have a supreme contempt, to use no harsher word, for those who seek to strike from the rear and underhand. We are waging a fight for our liberties, and in so doing we believe we are in the right. I will not take from anyone the right to be lieve that we are wrong. That is their privilege. But, young sir, tell me the names of those whom you saw, enter the old house the other night." Frank knew of but two, Amos Hawkons and Adam Cowley; the others he could not name. "This man Hawkons," said Washington, "is quite prominent. I have known that his sympathies are with the king; but Master Cowley is unknown to me." "We are likely to know more of him as the plot progresses. I am rooming just over him, and it is my intention to watch him closely, letting none of his movements escape me." "That is right. Keep him under surveillance, for though he seems to be the latest recruit of the cabal, he may be the most dangerous. What was that you were saying about the letter received by Capt. Hale?" "It was a warning, asking us to look after the safety of our magazines." "Written by a woman, I believe you said Capt. Hale surmised?" "Yes, sir." "Then we have a claimed Washington. friend among the ladies," ex "Now, if we could ferret out
78 The Faith of Washington. the sender of that letter something more d e finite might be secured." "I have a plan which I think may reach the de sired result.'' "Good, Master Lowry. See that you succeed for this seems to be the most important matter of allthe safety of our magazines." During much of this conversation the commander in-chief was walking the floor, his face turned now and then toward Frank as he spoke, so that the young patriot noted it closely. "Should I be taken, there are others who could lead the colonists just as well remarked the unselfish Washington. "I desire no fame from this battle for our rights. I am only an humble instrument in the hands of God, fulfilling His purpose, and, if it be His will that I shall be taken, I will bow my head in ac quiescence. The enemy has at length arrived in the lower bay. He is now landing his troops on Staten Island for the conquest of our lines on Brookl y n Heights. Our army is in fair condition thou g h a good many of our best soldiers are not availabl e on account of sickness. It is believed that Cornwallis and Clinton willl join Gen. Howe later on, when the combined forces will be launch e d a g ain s t us. You will see by this map Washin g ton approach e d the table and ran his finger lightly ov e r a military map l ying there. "You will take in the whole situation at a
The Faith of Washington. 79 glance. It is a fight for the rivers. Here in the north we have the St. Lawrence; almost at right angles to it is the Hudson, and down here you perceive how the Delaware and its tributaries cut away up into New York and the important lakes." "I see," said the watchful youth. "Now look how the Chesapeake and its many feed ers strike through the Pennsylvania ridges, while down in this direction," and the speaker s finger moved s outhward, "many rivers seam the land between the combed beaches to the hills. It's a pretty plan," and Washington smiled. "It is worthy the invention of some great genius. I fancy that it is not the evolu tion of one mind. As I have said, it is a fight for the control of the rivers and bays. The enemy near us now is but a part of this vast program. He must be met. We must hold him in check even if we can not do more ; but, by the blessing of Providence, we will do more than that I We will render Gen. Howe's campaign abortive!" The eyes of the commander-in-chief seemed to light up with new fire as he spoke. Frank Lowry had never before seen such a gleam in his orbs ; it seemed the inspiration of confidence. "I trust we shall succeed," said the young patriot. "And with you to lead us, general, we shall do more than hold the enemy in check. We shall defeat him." "Let us hope so, young sir. We have met with
80 The Faith of Washington. great reverses lately-two thousand gallant men lying dead in the wilds of Canada, the brave Montgomery dead, and Arnold probably a prisoner." "It proved a fatal campaign." Frank wished almost before the words had left his lips that he had not spoken. "Let the blame rest on me !" cried Washington. "We cannot always expect success in war no matter how much we merit it. I feel for the men we have sacrificed in the north. We need every musket we can get in this struggle. While the King of England can buy soldiers from a full treasury we must depend on the patriotism of our own people. But let us to other subjects." The map was pushed aside and Washington looked across the table at his young friend. "I believe, in the course of your narrative, you men tioned a party which some Tory is to give to-morrow night." "Yes, your excellency; Robert Carter's fair daughter is to give a large party at the family residence near Murray Hill." "I know Master Carter. When we first entered the city he was one of the first to refuse to recognize our occupation." "He is very bitter against the cause, I understand." "Then he has abated none of his feelings. Ah, but for these Tories we might be further along on our
The Faith of Washington. 81 m1ss1on. They give us a good deal of trouble, like the little serpents that hiss behind you while you fight the rattlesnakes in your path." "Mistress Betty Carter, who gives the party, is quite prominent in Tory society," observed Frank. "She is the only child of her parents and, as such, has been given unlimited liberty in all her notions and desires." "Will you attend, Master Lowry?" "I will not, but I shall have a representative there." "Then you suspect that some news may be picked up at Mistress Betty's function?" "I thought best to have a discreet friend on the ground." "A wise idea. Male or female, Master Lowry?" "A young lady whom your excellency may recallMistress Beverley, from Boston, who is now sojourn ing with Mistress Murray on the hill." "I distinctly recall the vivacious maiden," said Washington. "She will attend, will she not?" ''Yes, in the interest of the cause of liberty." "And I think she can be trusted to play her part of the game to excellent advantage." "I have the utmost confidence in her," proudly an swered Frank. "After thinking over the information you have brought me I am inclined to consider this Master Cow ley the most dangerous of the five." "More so than Amos Hawkons ?''
82 The Faith of Washington. "Yes. Hawkons is one of these men who will go so far and stop when some great danger confronts." "But 'twas he who received the letter from Gen. Howe's friend, Gov. Tryon." "Yes, Tryon knows Master Amos Hawkons. They were cheek-by-jowl before the governor fled from New York. And it is but natural that he should carry on his business with Master Hawkons. You will pay a good deal of attention to this Master Cowley. Does he look dangerous ?" "Not very. He is a mild-mannered looking indi vidual." "But from the fact that he came up to your room soon after you took it tells me that he is suspicious and, not only so, but really dangerous. He would not fight one openly, but in the dark, and in the dog that sneaks at your heels and does not even growl )'ou have the most dangerous enemy you can find." "I will attend to this Master Cowley." "The fact that he has but lately joined the cabal is not proof that he is to become its least member." "I understand that, your excellency." ~ "I shall consult Gen. Putnam ; but one needs go a little slow with him, as he is impulsive, and the hatred he imbibed against the enemy during the French War, though at the time he served the king, renders him a little hot-headed now."
The Faith of Washington. 83 Frank rose to go. "Let me thank you for your zeal, Master Lowry," exclaimed Washington, as he seized the youth's hands and held them in his large palms, and looked down into his eyes. "Let us hope that this cloud of con spiracy may not be as dark as it looks, but it behooves us to be on our guard all the same. You are zealous in the service of your country, and the time may come when Gen. Washington can suitably reward you. "I must thank you again for your part in the rescue of Master Stanley from the hands of the boyish mob to-night," continued Washington, as Frank fell back from the table, hat in hand. "We cannot afford to have our cause sullied by mob rule. Let the enemy resort to questionable warfare, if he will, but liberty's battle must be fairly won with untarnished swords." The young patriot found himself on the pavement soon after Washington's last sentence. The thrill of the meeting with the commander-in chief was still upon him. "One of the noblest of God's men!" said Frank to himself. "With Washington at the head of the army we must succeed And this infamous conspiracy against his life must fail. It shall fail!" "What's that, young sir?" said a voice at his elbow, at the sound of which Frank turned quickly. "Who talks about conspiracy against George Washington?" The youth saw before him a little old man, wiry
84 The Faith of Washington. and gray-hair e d, who l e an e d forward with burning eagerness as he s poke. "I'm Hiram Cobb and I keep a little cobblin g s h o p not far from here. You'll see my sign of the p at ch ed boot if you pass that way. Cobb, the cobbler; th a t s me. It's not corncob, nor cobweb; just simply C o bb, with two b 's. You're going my way, I see. P e rhaps you didn't intend to say what you did say al o ud, but it's out and so let it go at that. Washington in danger? Well, why not, with a n e st of confounded Torie s about him I I mend their footwear and therefore I g e t to hear a good deal of talk about 'the Yankees,' as they call them. I m e nded a boot lately for old Amo s Hawkons, the king-pin Tory of them all, and he wanted to tell me some news, but didn't get to, because I hap pened to have a lady customer behind the curtain in my shop and was afraid she might hear it." "Oh," laughed Frank Lowry, "it appears to me I know something about that. Wasn't the lady custom e r Mistress Beverl ey, the fair niece of Mistress Murray, of Murray Hill?" "In faith the very same! Why come ri ght alon g to my shop. You have n o thin g on hand for a little w hil e, I know. My shop i s n't far off. Sign of the patche d boot. I have to do so m e work yet to ni g ht, and w hil e I hammer and stitch we'll t a lk." "I've a mind to g o alon g, s aid Frank. "You seem to have some customers I would like to hear about."
The Faith of Washington. 85 "Tories, eh? Well, sir, I hav e the Tory trade of the upp e r town. They like my work, e v e n though they suspect that I would rather patch Gen. Washing ton's shoes for nothing than the king s for a thousand p o unds." Would you really, Master Cobb?" "Wouldn t I?" and the old man's eyes sparkled. "I keep a little book, young sir, in which I jot down my opinions of men and things in brief. 'Twill prove in teresting to you while I work. Wouldst like to see it?" "That I would, sir." "Right this way, then. You found the commander in-chief in good spirits?" "Gen. Washington is quite well." "In better health than is King George, I hope. Ah, we turn down this street. What a fine place for the cutthroats who infest the town. Ah, here we are. We'll try my open sesame," and, with a chuckle, Hiram Cobb thrust a ponderous-looking iron key into the lock on the door of his shop.
CHAPTER IX. "HIRAM COBB : HIS BOOK." "Now here we are, sir," said Hiram Cobb, as he took from a shelf above his workbench a dusty book covered with dark-brown leather and dusted it with his apron. "You will perceive that I've made a few notes about my customers and others at odd times. They're not written in the most elegant language, be cause I'm not a scholar, but it's plain English, as you will see." He handed the book to Frank Lowry, who opened it at the title-page and read : "HIRAM CoBB : Hrs BooK. "Some Opinions, Wise and Otherwise, Etsettery." The old cobbler picked up a half finished bit of work and made ready to resume his occupation. Frank turned the leaves of the volume in his lap, and now and then smiled at some of the "opinions" freely expressed thereon. Finally he stopped and read as follows : "A-s H-k-ons :-A great old Tory who wants the king to ride roughshod from Cape Cod to Hatteras. Close-fisted and a great brag. Wouldn't fight for the king at any price, but would rather die in his bed sur-
"Hiram Cobb: His Book." 87 rounded by guineas stamped with the royal image. Wears his left shoe out at the toes trying to kick up so me money in the street, in the writer's opinion." "Not very complimentary to my Friend Amos,'' thought Frank. A little further on he discovered this: "Ad-m C-w-1-y :-Puts on the airs of a gentleman when he hasn't a shilling in his purse. Would strangle a baby for a penny if he couldn't get it other wise. A great sneak and sponger. I've known him to frequent the King s Arms watching for such people as A--s H-k--ons, who have money. Owes me for half-soling his boots and is likely to owe it till the Day of Judgment." Frank looked up at the old cobbler and laid his finger on the "opinion" he had just read. "You are pretty plain, Friend Cobb," he said, with a grimace. "I discover that you don't fancy this fellow,'' and he turned the book so that Hiram could see whom he meant. "Oh, that dead beat!" exclaimed the old son of St. Crispin. "That's a correct opinion of him." "Know him well, I suppose?" "Yes, ten shillings' worth and more." "Aren't you a little hard on him in regard to his greed for money? Now, he wouldn't rob anyone, would he-really play highwayman, I mean?" "Wouldn't he? Why, I would hate to be caught
88 "Hiram Cobb: His Book." in a dark alley with that man if I had a coin in m y purse and he wanted it. He's not much on the plan, but all on the e x ecution. That's his fort e Do you happen to know him?" "I've heard of him. His full name is Adam Co w ley, isn't it?" "That's the man-Adam Cowley." "A Tory?" "To the backbone!" "Where does he live?" "I don't know. No doubt somebody is paying his rent, as he is a dead beat-puts all his wealth on h i s back. Is as slick as an eel and as cunnin g as a serpent. Would betray his best friend on earth for money and--" "But I cannot think that he would actually kill." "Then you've got a better opinion of him than I have. Just ought to see him shining some day on Bowling Green. Why, he loafs in the shadow of the king's statue and discourses on love of royalty by the hour to all who will listen to him. Kill? Well, I will nev e r thrust this old throat of mine within Adam Cowley s reach!" Not wishing to draw the old cobbler too far out on a particular subject at the time, Frank read on, and smiled over some of the other "opinions" in the book. One on Gen. Howe particularly struck him. "Gen. H-we :-A big, sleek-looking dog dressed
"Hiram Cobb: His Book." 89 m red. Has broken several mirrors looking at his uniform. Barks at King George's heels till the king throws him a bone; i. e., a commission. Is now trying to conquer the colonies, but has the biggest contract on hand he ever undertook." Page after page of old Hiram' s "Opinions" Frank turned, finding here and there something that amused him, but he went back to the one concerning Adam Cowley. "I believe I must make the acquaintance of this man," he said, mentioning Master Cowley's name. "I wouldn't advise you to, sir. It will not be to your credit." "How long have you known him?" "Three years." "Intimately." "Bless you, no. Do you think I would come to know intimately such a graceless dog?" "Indeed I do not. But I thought, as you had known him thus long, you might have met him often while not necessarily becoming his intimate." "I understand; no harm done. But let me say, young sir, you don't want to smirch your character in associating with him. He'd kill Washington if he thought he could put some money in his purse or get a sinecure from King George." "Then he is a dangerous man." "Dangerous? Of course he is. Old Put should
90 "Hiram Cobb: His Book." drive that man out of the city and the sooner the bet ter." "Does he stand high in Tory circles? "Quite high, if you will believe it. He has certain accomplishments. A highwa y man may sing like a nightingale, and the lowest thief may quote Homer." "That's true Friend Cobb." "Adam Cowley can do both, I assure you. He can quote Homer one hour and stick a knife underneath your ribs the next. So you see his accomplishments are varied." "Well, I thank you for the opportunity of looking through your book. I suppose you will give your 'opinions' to the public one of these days." "Not if the king wins," laughed Hiram, with a toss of the head. "It would be all my old life's worth to have that book set up on Bowling Green for the peo ple to inspect. I've just jotted down those opinions to while away an idle hour, but I'll stand by every one put down there, though a few don't look very compli mentary to those whose names they follow." Lowry coincided in this opinion and left the old cobbler at his last. "Now," said he to himself, "I will become Seth Tol bert again." A few minutes later he reached the little room which he had hired from Mistress Aregood and prepared to retire.
"Hiram Cobb: His Book." 91 He wondered if the lodger beneath him, the same Adam Cowley, had come in yet. Not a sound came up from the chamber beneath, and he was about to bend close to the floor in hopes of catching a few sounds when he heard the soft strains of a flute. The music came up from below, and he recalled old Hiram's opinions of Master Cowley. Whoever was in the room underneath was an ac complished musician, for the flute was deftly handled, and the bars of a favorite English song ravished Frank's ears. "I should like to get better acquainted with Master Cowley," thought Washington's young friend. "Why not go down and pretend that I am enraptured with the music?" To think thus for a moment was to put the daring scheme into action. Frank slipped from the room, descended the stairs on tiptoe, and rapped lightly at Master Cowley's door. For a moment he did not receive a response, but in another one he heard footsteps cross the floor and the portal opened. "You, Master Tolbert?" criea Adam Cowley, the moment he laid eyes on Frank Lowry. "Come in. Never too late to call on me." "I could not go to bed with your ravishing music in my ears, and I thought it would be no disturbance if I
92 "Hiram Cobb: His Book." came down to listen nearer to the player a n d the in strument." "That's a compliment, Master Tolbert. I don't play very well." t "You play spl e ndidly to me," broke in Frank. "I never heard such playing, not even from the king's musicians." "Come, don't find fault with those who play the airs of England in the king's bands and camps. By the ,ray, did you ever hear the latest-my own composing?" "I have not." Thereupon Master Cowley leaned back in his chair and, half closing his little eyes, which for all the w o rld reminded Frank of the orbs of a half dozing snake, he began a lively, though strange, melody, which he played through without looking up "That's the latest," he said, laying down the flute, after wiping it carefully. "What do you call it?" "Washington's Funeral March." Frank could scarcely suppress a visible start. "I did not know that funeral marches were ever com posed for living persons," he made out to say, as he hid his excitement. "No~ very often, but this one is ready for the occur rence." "Then--" ".You perceived how lively it was ?',broke in Cew. -
"Hiram Cobb: His Book." 93 ley. "Such pieces, as a rule, are dull an
94 "Hiram Cobb: His Book." "Yes, and, what is better, Cornwallis and Clinton will reinforce Gen. Howe at the proper moment." Then the rebel Washington will have to surrender?" "Not he There will be no Gen. Washington to s urrender when that time comes." These words went through Frank Lowry like a barbed shaft. "Do you think he will run away?" he asked. "No. He will remain till they play my funeral march over him." The coolness of this man exceeded anything the youth had ever seen in a human being. He hardly dared remain in his presence longer. There was about him so much of the tiger, which, while it conceals its claws, looks death and destruction out of its eyes, that it sent through Frank thrill after thrill which caused him to recall old Hiram's estimate of Adam Cowley. He thought that no time was to be lost in thwarting the designs of the Tory league. When he rose and was about to bid his lower floor ne ighbor good-night, Cowley left his chair and ad vanced with outstretched hand. "Of course you're for the king, Master Tolbert?" he said, catching Frank's hand and loo king down into his eyes. "If I thought you were not, after telling you what I have to-night I'd choke you and give you to the river before daylight. I've got talons under my
"Hiram Cobb: His Book." 95 feathers, indeed, I have. Come, prove your politics. We will drink to the king." Frank was dragged to the table in the middle of the room and released for a moment, while Master Cow ley opened a little sideboard, set in the opposite wall, and produced a bottle and two dusty goblets. These he filled to toe brims. "Now here's to King George and death to all rebels, including Washington !" he cried, as his eyes glistened. "Here' s to our success in whatever we undertake I Drink it down with me, Master Tolbert!" Frank Lowry did not hesitate; to have done so might have been death; and when he set the empty goblet on the table he knew that he would be forgiven the
CHAPTER X. THE CLUTCH OF THE TERROR, The wine in which he had drunk the toast to King George seemed to burn Frank Lowr y's throat. He was eager to quit the abode of Adam Cowley, whom he now looked upon in his true light, and he was sure that Hiram Cobb had not misrepresented him in his book of opinions, "wise and otherwise." There remained no doubt in Frank's mind that the conspiracy afoot meant the taking of Washington's life. With such men as Adam Cowley and Amos Hawkons at the head of it, it was a dangerous clique, and the youth knew what the effect of the accomplishment of the base desi g ns would be. Without the leader, who up to this time had kept the colonies together through the force of his will and greatness, the rebellion against the king was liable to fall to pieces and liberty never be secured for the Americans. The skies of late had become dark for the Americans. The siege of Boston and the few little successes in the South were all they had to their credit, with the ex ception of some successful surprises on the northern border. Arnold and Montgomery had failed in Canada, and the hundreds of brave men who might have won
The Clutch of the Terror. 97 battles on other fields would never return from the fastnesses of the north. When Frank Lowry returned to his room after his interview with Master Cowley, he threw himself upon his bed and tried to form some plan by which he could nip in the bud the cabal against Washington. He knew that New -York was full of Tories, all of whom were desperate, and men ready to undertake anything to rid the city of the patriots. He tried to devise some way of getting into the con fidence of th e conspirators, for he now felt that that was the only sure way of ferreting out their secrets. He recalled his last talk with Mistress Priscilla, who had promised him to attend Mistress Carter's party, not only for the purpose of becoming acquainted with the adorable Betty, but to discover something of benefit to the cause, and especially to the matter he had in hand. While thinking deeply over the matter he fell asleep, but suddenly he was startled into consciousness by a loud rapping on his door. Frank was on his feet in a moment and thoroughly awake. When he opened the door he found himself face to face with Mistress Aregood, his landlady. "YOU must sleep like a log!" she exclaimed. "Here I've been knocking loud enough to waken the dead, but
98 The Clutch of the Terror. you n e ver paid the l e ast attention till I began to kick on the bottom of your door with my foot. She held a bit of folded paper in her hand while she talked. "I'm wide awake now. What is wanting, Mistres s Aregood?" The gentleman below, who has just left the house handed me this note for you." "Master Cowley?" "Yes that's the man. He went out and said for me to hand it to you as soon as possible. He came up and found your door locked." Frank took the note and thanked the woman for her kindness, after which he shut the door and unfolded the writing. Bending over the candle on the table, he read as fol lows: "DEAR MASTER TOLBERT: If you will come at once, providing you get this before ten to-night, to No. 152 S--Street, upstairs, first room back from the land ing, you may hear something of great benefit to our noble cause. A. C." The young patriot read the note three times without looking up. Had the opportunity come for him to discover some thing about the conspiracy, and was he about to be taken into the confidences of the plotters?
The Clutch of the Terror. 99 He hardly thought the latter, still the brief note con v e yed the belief that Adam Cowley was willing to trust h i m a little further than drinking toasts to the king. But, on the other hand, the whole thing might be a lure to get him into deep water, from which there would be no escape. For some time he reflected deeply in the silence of the little chamber. "I will go," said he, at last. "My duty calls me to the spot designated in Master Cowley's note. Wash ington is surrounded by a lot of assassins, and if fate or fortune puts the clew into my hands, I would prove recreant to the trust the general has imposed in me n o t to follow it up." Having made up his mind to take the step, come what might, Frank Lowry looked to the priming of a pistol and saw that his sword was not hampered in its sheath. He did not know how soon he might be called upon to use both in defense of his life. Confident that Adam Cowley knew him only as Seth Tolbert, he had resolved to go to No. 152 S-Street, and take whatever fortune would send him. In a few moments he was on the darkened street b e low. During the occupation of New York by the Ameri can army, sentries were post e d at intervals in certain
100 The Clutch of the Terror. parts, and each hour was called out with the addition of "All's well." As Frank turned a corner he heard a clock sonorously strike ten and suddenly the loud voice of a sentry, so near him that he started cried out: "All's well." In another moment a bayonet was thrust into the boy's face and he came to a halt. "You're a young bird to be abroad at this unseemly hour," said the guard, as he leaned forward and tried to peer into Frank's face. "Which way, young sir?" "Across the town." "That's quite definite, by my life," laughed the guard. "I know what across the town means, for I've crossed it and got lost among the cow paths beyond Broadway. Across the town, eh? I suppose you're a young Tory--" "As much a Tory as you are I Do you intend to hold me here?" "Not at all, sir. I thought as how you might ha v e some news of the British down the bay. They' ve landed, haven t they?" "Yes, sir, nearly thirty thousand strong." "Then we've got to whip more than I thought." "You think we can do it?" "With Washington to l e ad us, yes, y oung sir. He's a host in himself and freedo m s hin es only throu g h him. Pass on. I shan't d e m a nd the c o untersign of you, for you look strai g ht."
The Clutch of the Terror. IOI Frank, who was eager to move along, sprang past the sentry and vanished. He was a little behind time, for he could not now reach his destination before the appointed hour. When he turned into S--Street he saw how narrow it was, reminding him of Wall Street. The houses, for the most part, were low, one-story affairs and in not very good condition. The most of them had shuttered windows, and the whole street wore an air of desertion. Frank passed along, looking at the numbers above the doors and carefully scrutinizing every one. He found that he was getting into rougher looking houses as he proceeded, and when he saw "152" on a door he stopped and noted the appearance of the place. The shutters of the house, there being a window on each side of the door, were closely drawn, and not a sign of tenantry could Frank see from the outside. Silence reigned beyond the portal so far as he could make out, and it was with some trepidation that he mounted the steps and knocked. The door was opened a little, and beyond the light of a flickering candle, which a man held in one hand, Frank saw a hard-looking face. "What is it at this time o' night?" growled the port e r. "I have been summoned to this place. Master Adam Cowley is expecting me, and--"
J02 The Clutch of the Terror. The door opened a little wider. "Come in, then. Master Cowley, eh? Yes, sir." A bolt was slipped back into its place as Frank found himself fully on the inside. "This way, sir." The young patriot was escorted down a narrow hall, then through a low-browed door and into a room not more than eight by ten. He looked about him, bewildered, and with rising curiosity. "I don't see Master Cowley," he said. "Ha ha! neither do I." "But--" "Said he would be here when you came, did he?" laughed the little old man who, for all the world, resembled Caliban. "Told you that he would await you here? That's just like him." Frank began to lose his temper. "If Master Cowley has gone away I demand to be let out. I did not come here to be detained when there is nothing for me here." "Detained, eh?" hissed the old man, as he backed to the door and clutched the brazen knob with one hand. He had left the candle burning on the table. "You can't get out just yet." "I cannot, you say?" Frank laid his hand on the hilt of his sword. "If you'll not let me out by persuasion, there is another way for me to get away from here."
The Clutch of the Terror. 103 "Think so, young sir? Where do you think you are ? "In a house to which I have been invited by Adam C owley, a house in S--Street." "Quite true, but more than that." "What do you mean ?" The little blackish hand opened the door and the speaker put one foot into the hall. "You are in jail!" An exclamation, which Frank could not suppress, leaped from hi s lips. "A prisoner, say you?" he cried. "Beware how you talk!" "I've told you the truth." "Whose prisoner, then?" "Ours." "Then--" "Don't you know? You can't see through a stone wall, but you can put this and that together and reach a conclusion. It's not hard to do with a mind like y ours." "But I want out. You have no right to keep me in here." "The best right in the world, Master Tolbert." "You act without authority, and--" ''We do nothing without authority. We who serve the king--" "The king?"
104 The Clutch of the Terror. A light seemed to bre ak in upon Frank. He had been watched, but by whom? Who had se en him enter Washington's headquarters or depart thence? Who had witnessed his meeting with Capt. Be:1jamin Pierce and the little visit to Mistress Murray 's after the bout with the three men-Whaleboat Butler and his companions-at the mouth of the alley? These were questions not easily answered. But Frank had resolved that they should not keep him in durance in that house while the cabal worked its will against the commander-in-chief. "Come!" he cried, looking at the hard-faced man who tarried at the door. "You have no right to de tain me here. Open the door and let me out." "Not till we're ready," was the answer. "You should have been a little discreet. There are traps and lures--" "And I'm the victim of one. I see I" cried Lowry. "So you will not let me go?" "Upon my word, I cannot." "I will see Master Cowley later on?" "I think that rather doubtful. However, make your self as comfortable as possible. Good-night, Master Tolbert." The door shut before Frank could reach it, and he heard a key grind in the lock. He was a prisoner I "This is a pretty kettle of fish, sure enough!"
The Clutch of the Terror. 105 cried the young patriot. "Here I've run my precious head into the first trap they ve set for me and-Wait The y shall not keep my liberty curtailed in a place like this I'll see." He sprang to one of the windows, hidden by heavy curtains. With the candle in one hand he snatched the curtain aside and, after a look, uttered an exclamation of sur prise. There was no sash in sight; the window niche was a heavy plate of iron set solidly in the framework. An inspection of the other window revealed the same condition of affairs and Frank, after a brief in spection, came back to the table and placed the candle stick upon the greasy cloth. Had he fallen into the hands of the Tory cabal? It looked very much like it.
CHAPTER XI. HOPE AND DESPAIR. The facility with which he had fallen into the Tory trap for a moment disconcerted Frank Lowry. He retreated from the last window and stood in the middle of the room looking at his surroundings, while the bayberry candle burned in its iron candlestick. He was securely fastened in. He could not imagine how Master Cowley had dis covered that he was a patriot after he had drunk a toast to the king in the house of Mistress Aregood. But he concluded that some one had betrayed him. What if the plot should be carried out while he was cooped up in the dark little house on S-Street? What if the colonies should be deprived of the lead ership of Washington and their cause finally fall to ruin on account of the disaster? The possibility of this nearly drove him insane. He sprang to the door, hoping against hope that he might force it and reach the street, but a single trial convinced him that this was out of the question. Oh, for a moment of liberty I Having discovered that, so far as the door and win dows of his prison were concerned, he was securely
Hope and Despair. shut in, he came back to the table and dropped into the chair there. Silence filled the little chamber. The transparent candle burned slowly in its uncouth setting, and for a minute Frank watched the flame in deep thought. "I'll try every place !" cried he. "This house shall not hold me if there is the slightest chance for liberty. I must get out to thwart these scoundrels Washing ton must not fall into their lure!" He went through the room on a tour of inspection. There was not an article of furniture he did not examine with the greatest care He even broke the lock on the old-fashioned ward robe door in one corner of the room, and gave the place a thorough overhauling. Poor Frank! He was forced to conclude that his enemies had imprisoned him well. Fortunately they had not deprived him of the weapons he had brought to the place. He still had his sword and pistol, and with these he could resist, and even make a fight for freedom, should Master Cowley or any of his associates show up. And a desperate fight he would make of it-one that would deserve success even if not obtained. The minutes lengthened into hours, and the faint cry of a sentry somewhere in the neighborhood that all
I08 Hope and Despair. was well, brought to the young patriot's lips a grim smile, for all was not well with him. He wondered what Priscilla was doing, and then he thought of Benjamin Pierce who, if he knew his sit uation, would be the first to attempt a rescue with the Boys of Liberty. At last Frank fell asleep in the chair. He became oblivious to everything passing around him, and he slept until he suddenly found himself wide awake. He was sitting bolt upright in the chair, and the candle had nearly burned itself out. The low hum of voices reached his ears, as if it came from the outside, and in a moment he was at one of the barred windows. There were people on the sidewalk, soldiers, as he could tell by their talk. Frank chafed at his confinement. Friends were within reach if he could only acquaint them with his condition. "Capt. Pierce," said a loud voice, "you will keep your company here till relieved. It will not be long, sir." "The Boys of Liberty are always at your service, general." "We have never found them wanting in anything. You will probably be ordered back to Long Island to morrow." A great hope leaped up in the young captive's heart.
Hope and Despair. 109 Benjamin-Capt. Benjamin Pierce-and the Boys of Liberty had halted in front of the old house and were waiting for orders. It was decidedly a case of "so near and yet so far." The voice of the higher officer sounded like Gen. Putnam's, and Frank knew that if "Old Put" knew his situation the door of the house would not stand for a minute against the muskets of the Boys of Liberty. The situation maddened him. He heard the voices of the boys on the sidewalk, heard their jests and laughter as they waited further orders, and in despair he drew back and inwardly cursed his foes. If he could only signal them ; if he could convey to them information of his dangerous predicament he would elude the enemy; but could he do that? The heavy inside shutters of iron, that barred the windows, offered no hope. He tried to pry them open with the point of his sword, but, afraid of breaking the faithful weapon, drew off with a groan. Why not try noise? The thought came to him like a friend springing sudd e nly into his pres e nce. "Washington must be saved! he cried aloud. "The accurs e d cabal must not succ e ed, and it depends on me !" He struck the iron s hutters with the hilt of his sword. Again and again he followed up the first blow, and
110 Hope and Despair. after each would listen to see if he had attracted the attention of Capt. Benjamin and the boys. "More noise !" cried Frank. He looked around the room for a piece of heavy furniture, and selected the table. Overturning it by main force, he twisted off one of the heavy oaken legs, and with it advanced to the window. For half a minute he rained blow after blow upon the shutter, striking with all his might. "Who's that pounding in the house behind us?" he heard one of the young soldiers exclaim. "By my life I they must have some madman cooped up in there "Did you ever hear such blows, Master Fuller? Why he'll beat the old shanty down upon our heads if he keeps on. I say, Capt. Pierce, may we not investigate-" Frank heard no more for he was attacking the shutter once more, while his hopes went up a few degrees. ''I'll make them hear me and take action," he cried. "I will make Capt. Benjamin investigate. That I will, for the life of Washington depends upon my liberty." "Ah! here comes the aide with our orders!" cried out one of the unseen soldiers. "We shall move away now, and the madman in the house can make all the noise he wants."
Hope and Despair. Ill Lowry s heart sank to immeasurable depths in his bosom. They were going to move-going to leave him to his fate, when a little investigation would take him out of the Tory toils. "Now or never I" shouted Frank, in his desperation, and he struck the shutter a number of blows till the table leg broke in his hands. "My God I Am I to be deserted when help is so near?" he exclaimed. "I am at the fringe of freedom and now--" He paused and put his ear to the edge of the shutter. "You will move down to Kyp's Landing," he heard some one say, and then caught part of Capt. Ben jamin's response. "You will find boats there to take you back to Long Island." "To-day, sir?'' "Yes sir. Such is the order." "We thought, sir, that we should be needed in the city for several days." "The exigencies of the case require your presence on Long Island Capt Pierce Frank knew how irritated Capt. Pierce must be, for he would miss Mistress Carter's party. He heard the aide ride away, and caught the grum blings that followed. "They don't want to go back to the island, and I
112 Hope and Despair. don't blame them," he said to himself. "Capt. Benjamin--" "Line up, there!" interrupted the voice of Capt. Pierce. They were getting ready to move. In another moment they would be on the march and help would vanish, perhaps forever. Young Lowry sprang again at the window with the second batttering-ram wrenched from the table. He summoned every particle of strength at his com mand and struck viciously and with all his might. "There goes the crazy man again !" said one of the members of the company. Frank threw down the table leg. "I'm not crazy!" he shouted, at the top of his voice, with his mouth at the crack of the iron shutter. "I am Frank Lowry, and the prisoner of a Tory band. I am shut up in here-barred in like a prisoner of some devil earl or count. Help! help! help! I am Frank Lowry, of the patriot army!" He wondered if they heard, in the silence that fol lowed his appeal. "What's that he said, Master Fuller?" he heard some one say. "He said he wasn't crazy, didn't he?" "That's what I understood." "All crazy people will tell you that." "It's a hobby of theirs."
Hope and Despair. 113 "But what was the rest he said? I didn't catch all of his jabber." Frank groaned. "I am Frank-Frank Lowry!" he cried. "Call Capt. Pierce closer He knows me !" "Why, he knows the captain's name," said the same voice on the outside. "It's funny that the crazy man--" "But I'm not crazy, though on the verge of in~ sanity," responded the prisoner. "I'm a Son of Lib erty, and for Washington and the cause." "Forward-March!" The command went to the depths of Frank Lawry's soul like a stroke of doom. He had failed. He heard the Boys of Liberty falling back into line, their heavy footwear making much noise on the brick sidewalk. After all he was to oe deserted and left to his fate The thought threw him into a fever of rage. For a moment he gave up heart, but the next second he was at the window again. "Don't desert me I You'll lose Washington if you do!" he shouted. "There's a plot against his life, and I can balk the conspirators. I have fallen into their hands. Capt. Pierce-Benjamin, you know me I I am Frank Lowry l For Heaven's sake-" "Halt!"
Hope and Despair. The band must have halted, for all at once the noises outside grew still. Hope rose again in Frank's breast. "Some one surely called your name from in there, captain," some one said. "It's the crazy man," said another. "He' s been making noise enough for a dozen lunatic asylums." "We'll investigate. It will do no harm. Knock at the door yonder, Sergt. Harvey." Frank heard this conversation, and his heart rose again in his throat. He tried to count the seconds that would elapse be tween now and his release. The sound of the heavy knocking at the door came in from the corridor. He heard footsteps in the hall and then a key turn in the lock of the front door. Frank was now at the door, and was listening in tently. "Good-morning," he heard some one say. "Who is confined in the room on the left of the hall? Capt Pierce wishes to know." "It's coming now-relief!" cried Frank. "Oh, sir, we have a little mad man who poor fellow, is quite obstreperous at times. He imagines a good many things, and we have to keep him close to prevent
Hope and Despair. him from doing others, as well as himself, bodily injury. That's all, sir. You can tell Capt. Pierce." "Might we have a look at him?" "It's against orders for him to be seen by anyone. Sight of strangers only irritates him, and--" "Then we'll not bother you further. I'll report to Capt. Pierce." Frank Lowry fell back from the door with a cry of despair. The last ray of hope had departed, and, while he stood, white-faced and breathless in the center of the room, he heard the command to march given outside, and then the tramping of many feet. The Boys of Liberty were leaving him to his fate
CHAPTER XII. TWO OF A KIND. "You caged him, did you?" "Yes, I've got the young rascal in durance and under excellent guard." "Now see that he doesn't get out. See that every avenue of escape is barred." "I've already seen to that, Master Amos." "But tell me how you came to unmask him. You say he actually drank the king's toast?" "Of course he did, did it well, too. But you see shortly afterward I happened to go out and strolled into the Red Inn, beyond Broadway, as I often do before I retire, and there I happened to meet our old friend, Master Peter Carr. Peter is now carrying on a little contraband trade on the island under direction of Whaleboat Butler, who gives the Yankees so much trouble. Well, the moment Peter sees me he takes me to a cozy corner of the taproom and imparts some in formation that makes my ears sing." "Gave the young Yankee away, did he?" "He did nothing less, Master Amos. You see, from Peter's story, this young rebel rat is attached to Washington's secret service, and the other night he captured Richard Carter, the king's friend, over on the island.''
Two of a Kind. "7 "Red Carter we sometimes call him on account of his hair." "Yes. The rebels tried hard to detain Carter, but they could not find any excuse for doing so, and Carter determined to revenge himself on the audacious young rebel who had given him so much trouble. He enters into an agreement with Whaleboat Butler for him to come over to the city and catch the young fellow." "Getting even, I see." "Precisely. Well, Butler is informed that the young rebel, whose real name is Lowry, and not Tolberthow he did pull the wool over my eyes !-makes nightly trips to Murray Hill to visit a young lady named Bev erley. Thus they knew where to lie in wait for him, and sure enough last night the quarry comes along. They pounced upon him like three highwaymen on Hounslow Heath, but they soon found that they had caught a tartar. For Master Lowry was well armed, and the way he defended himself would have done credit to the best blade in Europe. Why, by my faith! he put a hole through one of Butler's men, and then laid the doughty captain out himself. It amused me to hear Peter tell the story of Master Lowry's prowess." "He didn't kill the captain, I hope?" "Not quite. Peter got away with a whole skin, which is better than his companion did. They had a
118 Two of a Kind. close call, I tell you, Master Amos. When I heard so much I asked Peter to describe this young tiger to me and, i' faith I my blood went cold when by the descrip tion I recognized my fellow lodger in Mistress Are good's domicile." "The deuce you did I" "There could be no mistake. What did I do but hasten to old Mordecai's place and see that the room was in prime condition to hold so adventurous and dan gerous a rebel, and then, finding it so, I hurried home to decoy the bird thither. This I did by a well arranged coup, and there he is now, safe and sound." "By my life it was a chance bit of luck I" cried Amos Hawkons. "I flatter myself that it was nothing less," put in :A.dam Cowley. "And old Mordecai will see that he is caged till we want to dispose of him?" "That he will. Just to think that I was so close to a spy, and that I played Washington's Funeral March to him!" "A narrow escape for us, truly, Master Cowley," cried Amos. "We seem to be swimming in luck just now." "That we do. And the time is not far distant when we can strike and win." "It is near at hand. I have sent a message to the governor, down the bay, and it is in his hands ere this."
Two of a Kind. "Good He will know that we are vigilant. And vigilance, you know, is the price of success." The two Tories, who occupied a little room not so very far from the place where Frank Lowry was kept a prisoner, laughed over the success of the little scheme which had gotten the young rebel in durance. They had two b o ttles and as many goblets before them and were making merry over the success of their infamous schemes. "When shall we silence the little rebel?" queried Master Cowley. "Time enough before we strike for that," was the answer. "If he should get out--" "But he can't. Mordecai will see to that." "Mordecai is true blue. He is the friend of the king." "And nothing would suit him better than to get an order to throttle the audacious young rebel who has nearly blocked our game. I have but to say the word." "Well, we'll say it shortly. Have another glass, Master Cowley. This wine makes one a greater lover of royalty than h'e ever was ; it came from London, you know." The pair drank in silence to King George, and then rose and left the place. Master Cowley did not go home, but turned into another street and soon afterward knocked at the little dark house on S--Street.
120 Two of a Kind. Day had broken over th e city, and tho se on the look out with their glasses c o uld make out the white s a ils of the British flee t do w n the bay. He was admitted b y the man called Mordecai. "How' s the captive?" asked Cowley. "He' s in the ca g e yet. But not long a g o he mad e a terrible racket. You see, a compan y of y oung reb e l s had halted on the pavement and he overheard the m, and then he be g an to beat the shutters with a table le g "Without success, I hope." "He did manage to attract their attention, and one of them-a sergeant-was sent to see who had made the racket. I told him that it was a crazy person pri vately confined, and they went away at this explana tion." "Excellent, Mordecai. You haven't seen your charge since you escorted him into the chamber?" "Only through the little hole in the ceiling. He slept some last night in the chair, but the noise on the sidewalk roused him." "Keep a good watch over him." "Till you give me other orders ?" "Yes; till then." "Well, I hope you don't intend to let him out v ery soon." "Let him out?" and M a s ter Cowle y seemed to catch his breath. "Well, I reckon not!" "He's dangerous, that y oung rebel is."
Two of a Kind. "Of course he is, and never more so than now." "Does he know too much?" 121 "Decidedly too much," grinned Master Cowley. "And you'll clip his wings for it, too?" "We'll do more than that by and by. When we want it done we'll give you the sign, Master Mor decai." The dark-faced little man showed one of his big hands, which he opened and closed spasmodically. "Those hands of yours are just the thing to silence rebels like the one we have cooped UR, eh?" laughed Cowley. "That they are! They haven't been idle all this. time. But how goes the war?" "Swimmingly. We've landed some of the troops. We've organized our friends throughout the city, and will soon have the upper hand. In a short time the rebels will be in full retreat and the banners of the king will float over New York." "Good We want to show these city rebels that there is a stronger hand than theirs. I should like to erect a gibbet on Bowling Green and hang 'em all in the shadow of the king's statue!" "By Jove! that would be just the place, wouldn't it?" cried Cowley. "None better." "I'll mention the idea to Gen. Howe, and to his brother, the admiral, as well."
122 Two of a Kind. "And let old Mordecai be the executioner!" cried the young patriot s jailer. "I'm itching to get to put the noose over some heads I wot of, and it will do my old soul good to see the rebels dance on air in the shadow of their own nests." "What time do you feed the bird, Master Mordecai?" "Do you want him fed?" "Yes; you might give him something, but don't go to too much trouble about the meal. Some porridge, and not too thick at that." "I've fed jailed birds before this," grinned Mor decai; "Leave that to me, Ma s ter Cowle y ." "That I will, knowing that the matter will be well attended to. Don't humor him by letting him talk too much." "Not a word, if you say so." "Not a word, then." Master Cowley turned away and was soon on the street again. As he reached a little square some distance from the house he stopped and uttered an exclamation of sur prise. "The head rebel himself!" he cried "Gen. Washing ton and his guards !" Washington, looking magnificent on his white horse, was coming up the street, escorted by some mounted men, and while Adam Cowley looked his face grew dark with rage.
Two of a Kind. 123 The commander-in-chief of the American armies never looked better, though there was an expression of deep solicitude on his face. He was a fine rider, and sat his steed like a knight of chivalry. Large in person and graceful in every line, with his handsome face revealed under the brim of his military hat, even Master Cowley had to admit to himself that the rebel general was a sight worth looking at. Cowley stood on the sidewalk as Washington rode past, and his gaze followed him till he was out of sight. "We'll more than clip your wings, my haughty rebel!" said the Tory plotter to himself as he turned away. "I suppose you are going over to Brooklyn to put up some new defenses. Well, all I've got to say is you would better stay on this side and make your will," and he broke into a laugh as he quickened his steps. Washington rode on amid the bows and plaudits of the patriots who happened to see him, and when a boy ran out into the street and held a folded paper toward him he drew rein and reached forth his gloved hand. The bit of paper which he received from the urchin's hand he opened as the white horse walked slowly on. "This is a repetition of what was sent to Hale," said Washington to himself. "Keep a sleepless watch upon your magazine. I must see to this. I wonder who the
Two of a Kind. sender is? It looks like a woman's handwriting. Where is that boy, Hamilton?" Maj. Alexander Hamilton, whom the commander in-chief addressed, turned and looked in every direction. "I think he ran down yon street," said Washington. "Ride back and see if you can find him." Hamilton did as he was commanded, and in a few moments came back, dragging a frightened boy along side his saddle. "This is the urchin, general," he said to Washington. The great American looked down at the boy and then motioned him to come alongside. "What's your name, young sir?" he asked. "Dabby." "Dabby what?" "That's all the name I ever had." Hamilton and the rest of the escort laughed. Washington remained serene and eyed the boy closely. "You know who gave you the note you have just delivered?" he said. "I don't know, your excellency," for the boy l
Two of a Kind. "A young lady, you say?" "Yes, your excellency." "What sort of carriage?" "A yellow one, drawn by two cream horses." Washington reflected a moment. 125 "Do you know, Hamilton?" he asked, with a glance at his aide. "I cannot make it out, your excellency ; but she can not be far away. Let me ride after her." "No; the boy has given us a clew to the writer. A yellow carriage and two cream horses. There are not many such turnouts in the city. You can go, boy." The urchin, glad to get away without punishment, darted across the sidewalk and vanished in a jiffy, while Washington, looking at the mysterious note for the third time, fell into a mood of reflection and rode away.
CHAPTER XIII. THE FAIR TORY, The party given by Mistress Betty Carter was ex pected to be one of the events of the season. The occupation of New York City by the Americans had really curtailed the pleasure of the Tory families very little. Many of them still hung out for the king, and at times gave the patriots a good deal of annoyance, but Washington was very lenient with them so long as they did not attempt to furnish any information to the enemy. Now that the British had arrived for the conquest of the city hope rose high in the Tory heart, and those who had not smiled much under patriot rule now be came bolder and laughed outright. The Carters were among the oldest families in the city. They had chosen to remain after the Americans came, and, while they did not openly take part in any Tory gatherings calculated to offend Washington, they let everyone know that they had not abated one jot or tittle of their loyalty. Mistress Betty was a vivacious young lady of nine teen, whose coming out the previous season had been one of the events in colonial society in the city, and,
The Fair Tory. as her home was palatial, as homes of the wealthy went during that period, the Carter parties were very popular. Betty had left nothing undone that would add to the occasion. The finest of bayberry candles burned everywhere, and now and then their odor permeated the elegant rooms of the mansion, affording much pleasure to the guests. Servants in livery, and wearing the ancient arms of the English house of Carter, were everywhere. As early as eight o'clock carriages unloaded their fair contents at the door of the house, and they were received in the great drawing room by Mistress Betty herself in rich brocade and laces. She had never looked so beautiful before. "Good-night, Mistress Beverley!" exclaimed the young hostess, as Priscilla alighted and was handed up the steps by one of the liveried servants, "it gives me the greatest pleasure to welcome you to Carter House. You are well, I trust?" "Quite well," answered Priscilla, with a courtesy, as she displayed her satin shoes beneath her skirts. "And your fair self, Mistress Carter?" "Always well," was the smiling reply, as Priscilla was ushered into the brilliantly lighted drawing room. Mistress Beverley found herself in the midst of a gay throng.
128 The Fair Tory. The lights m profusion shone over a concourse of fair women and brave men. Priscilla looked around and noticed some people with whom she held an acquaintance. She started a little when her gaze met that of Capt. Benjamin Pierce. "He said he would be here," she said to herself. "I -only wonder how he contrived to get an invitation." She crossed over to where Capt. Benjamin stood. "You see, I am one of the happy few to-night," said he, with a light laugh. "And one of the fortunate few as well." "Yes; I happened to have a friend who stands close to the young hostess, and he-" "Is he a Tory?" "None greater in the city." "And he interceded for you? That was nice." "I did not have to ask him twice. You see, we have .a fair sprinkling of rebels here. There stands Capt. Nathan Hale, than whom there is no greater patriot in the army, and over yonder is Lieut. Morey, who captured a British major at Bunker Hill." "I fancy that Mistress Betty did not draw the line :very close." "She is quite liberal as to her invitations." "She looks her best under the lights. What a sweet voice she has."
The Fair Tory. "Like your own," and Priscilla blushed under the tender compliment. "Do you know what has become of Master Lowry?" "I do not." "I haven't seen him since last night. I am afraid he may have had another encounter with Whaleboat Butler." "That is not likely, as I heard to-day that Capt Butler is back on the island." "A little the worse for his meeting with Master Frank." Capt. Pierce smiled and looked away for a moment. Priscilla was about to resume the conversation when she was touched on the arm and, upon looking around, saw Mistress Carter standing beside her. "May I have her for a few moments, Capt. Pierce?'' asked Betty, with a bow to the young patriot. "She is at your service, Mistress Carter," and Betty led Priscilla away. "I have longed to meet you, Mistress Beverley," said Betty, in dulcet tones, as she led Priscilla into an ad joining room, which, for the moment, was unoccupied. "We have been near neighbors ever since you came down to New York, but I have not until to-night had the pleasure of personally greeting you." "My eagerness to meet one so celebrated is what led me to accept your invitation."
130 The Fair Tory. "Then we shall be friends. I am surt the differ ences of our respective friends regarding the war will not make us foes." "Far from it, so far as I am concerned." "I am rejoiced to hear you say so. Father, you know, is for the king and we think that the colonies should have been satisfied to remain where they were -under the crown." "They have decided to separate, or, at least, that is what they seem to be fighting for. Of course you share the political beliefs of your father?" "Would not that be natural?" asked Betty. "Our family is an old and an honored one. It dates back to the time of Alfred the Great, and we can trace it down through a line of royalty. It is a great satis faction to know that there is good blood in your veins, Mistress Beverley." Betty Carter did not speak in a tone of boastfulness. She believed every word she said, and Priscilla could not find fault with her. "We shall not quarrel over lineage or politics," she said, smiling. "Let the men do that, especially over the latter." "I have one gallant rebel in the house to-ni ght-one who is said to be the uncompromising enemy of the kin g _,., "Pray who is that?"
The Fair Tory. IJ I "Capt. Nathan Hale, of th e Continental Army. "I have met him. He is a chivalrous gentleman, and as brave, they say, as gentle." "I shall convey your compliment to him, with your permission. It is certainly a fine one," laughed Mis tress Carter. Priscilla, mindful of Master Lowry's instructions and her own promise, led up to her mission. "Like myself, you keep a verse book?" she inquired. "Certainly," and Betty went over to a table and picked up an album which she opened on the rich crimson cloth. "I keep it for the sentiments of my friends," she continued. "You will see that they haye been very generous though I must confess that some of the verses lack poetic feet, but they manage to hobble round and the voice of the fair speaker rang out merrily. Priscilla turned the leaves of the album, looking at the different bits of sentiment to be found there, and at last turned to Mistress Carter. "Wishing for a sentiment from you, I have been bold enou g h to bring my little verse album with me "Indeed?" cried Betty. "So you want to add my auto g raph to those y ou alread y have? I am a sorry versifier; the muses do not always come at my call, but--"
132 The Fair Tory. She ceased suddenly and opened an inkstand on the table, at the same time picking up a quill in an elegant holder chased with old silver. "What shall it be-verse or prose?" she asked, de murely looking up into Priscilla's expectant face. "The one that flows easiest," responded Priscilla. "Anything you may contribute to my verse book will be thankfully received and ever treasured." Priscilla affected not to look over Mistress Betty's alabaster shoulders as she seated herself in a Chippen dale chair and prepared to write in her album. For a moment she hated herself for the duplicity she was practicing, but her love of country overcame her scruples, and she waited with a little air of triumph for her victory. "I will write for you upon one condition," said Betty, pausing and looking up into Priscilla's face. "The condition is granted in advance." "Very well. Such being the case, I will write, the condition to be named later on." Thereupon Mistress Carter deftly arranged her flow ing sleeves and for several moments wrote slowly. "Beautiful !" exclaimed Priscilla, when she had read the verse on the page. "It is sentiment of the heart, but poor verse," was the reply.
The Fair Tory. Mistress Carter had written : "I wish for you An ocean blue With ships of love and friendship true; Oh, may your lifeboat Gently float To some fair paradise remote." 133 "It is complete, with a single exception, and that is your name,'' Priscilla exclaimed. "Well, you shall have that in the bargain," and Betty prettily wrote, "Mistress Betty Carter" at the bottom of the page. "Now, the condition,'' she continued. "You are not to show my verse to Capt. Hale." Priscilla started a little, recalling what Master Lowry had told her concerning the reception of the anonymous note of warning. "I promise that I will not,'' Priscilla said. "Thank you ; and now you shall return the compli ment and give me some sentiment in my verse book." The fair rebel complied, and handed the album to her friend. "How cleverly you write, Mistress Beverley! I shall ever cherish the pretty sentiments you have left me as a reminder of our first night as friends." Several voices in the larger room calling Mistress Betty at this moment, the two girls left the apart ment and were soon in the midst of the brilliant as semblage.
134 The Fair Tory. Priscilla had accomplished her purpo se, yet felt a little "sheepi sh over her victory. When the banquet was announced near midnight she gave her arm to Capt. Benjamin, who thereupon seemed to increase an inch in stature, and all went out to supper. In the midst of the feast some one rising at the head of the table proposed: "Here's to the beauty that shines upon us to-night! Come, all drink to the fair damsels of New York !" "That's well done, Capt. Hogarth," exclaimed Betty Carter. "Now, here's to the side that wins in this struggle !" "That's treason !" shouted some one. "No; 'tis not," smiled the beautiful Tory. "You drink to your side trustingly, don t you? Come, Capt. Hale, you won't refuse to drink that toast with me?" "Not at all, Mistress Carter, for, as I live, Wash ington will be the ruler of the first republic in North America!" and Nathan Hale downed his wine with a laugh before anyone could check him, and the onl y ones who followed his example were Betty and Priscilla.
CHAPTER XIV. OUT OF DURANCE AT LAST. Nathan Hale looked down the table as he drained his glass and caught the eye of Robert Carter, Betty's father, at the farther end "You do yourself honor even in your rebel senti ments I" exclaimed the Tory. "There are some places where you would not dare avow such to-night." "At Gen. Howe's headquarters, I presume," an swered the young captain, bowing. "Exactly. I admire your courage, Capt. Hale, and, though you are rebel to the core, I wish for you a long life-after we shall have suppressed this rebel lion," whereat all laughed merrily. Soon afterwards, and while Priscilla was adjusting her wraps for the ride home, Capt. Hale approached her. ''Well, Mistress Priscilla," said he, "did you play the little game? I heard Master Lowry say--" Priscilla's look silenced him. "Master Frank will inform you, captain,'' she said, half under her breath. With this she turned away, and Betty led her grace fully to the door. "I trust we shall be friends from now on," said the
136 Out of Durance at Last. fair Tory, in her sweetest tones. "This is only break ing the ice, you know." "And most pleasantly broken, responded Priscilla, and the two girls kissed and parted on the steps. Before she retired that night Priscilla sat down and wrote a note to Frank Lowry, addressing it to him at the place he frequented under his own name, hop ing that he would get it early the following day. But Frank was not in the situation to get it as promptly as Priscilla hoped. Even while the fair rebel was writing the perfumed note Master Lowry was pacing the floor of the little room which had become his prison. The day following his capture had been a long one. In fact, it seemed endless. He had not yet r ecovered from his failure to acquaint Capt. Benjamin Pierce of his predicament, and that failure weighed heavily on his mind. Night had come again, and the last meal, which had been shoved into the room through a trap at the bot tom of the hall door, remained untasted. Escape was uppermost in his mind. The danger to Washington caused his own situation to be ever before him, and a thousand times he had listened at the iron shutters and the locked door. Since his incarceration he had seen nothing of his jailer.
Out of Durance at Last. 137 Old Mordecai had not showed his face to his young captive. Perhaps he feared that Frank would draw him into conversation or attack him with one of the heavy table legs in an attempt to escape. "I must get out of here I" cried the young rebel. "Every moment spent here in durance brings sudden death that much nearer to Gen. Washington. They shall not keep me long in this place l I must effect my escape in some manner !" But how? That was the question. Suddenly he paused in his pacings and looked toward the door. There were voices in the corridor without. He tiptoed to the door and listened. "We're two," he heard one of the unseen persons say. "He can't outwind both of us. Open the door." Frank drew back and picked up one of the table legs, but suddenly recollecting his pistol, threw the wooden weapon to the floor and drew the better one. A key turned in the lock. As the door swung open halfway he caught sight of two faces pretty close together. One was that of his jailer, the other he did not know. Both men came inside and shut the door behind them. There they stood, looking at the prisoner with ma lignant faces and in silence
138 Out of Durance at Last. "What is it?" demanded Master Lowry. "We want a little information," said the unknown man, who was rather tall and black-bearded. "Of what sort?" "We want to know who set you after our party?" "After your party?" echoed Frank. Come, sirs, this is a new deal to me." "You needn't play innocent," cried the man. "You have been pla y ing spy." "Upon whom sir?" The other hesitated. "Spy, is it? Why, you deem me a rebel, which I am, but upon whose movements would I pla y spy in this city which is held by the Americans?" "You have been commissioned to watch certain gen tlemen." "Do gentlemen have to be watched?" "Your Gen Washington, the arch rebel against the king, thinks some one is going to abduct him, so he sets you upon the trail. Is that not true, young sir ?" "And what if it is?" "We want to know the truth." Master Lowry kept silence. He looked at the speaker, trying to recall where he had heard that voice, for it sounded familiar. "You've got into a bad box, youngsir ; continued the stranger. "This is a very dangerous place for you. You can open this door by your own act.
Out of Durance at Last. 139 "Indeed? And how, pray?" "By telling us what Gen. Washington told you. By giving us some other points regarding the 1 ~bel forces over on the island and here in the city." "Do you think I'm a traitor ?" "We haven't said so, have we? Don't you think your freedom would be cheaply purchased by the in formation we want?" Frank Lowry felt his cheeks flush. "It matters not what name you choose to call it, it is treason just the same I" he exclaimed. "I told you so," whispered old Mordecai to his com panion. But the tall man did not take any notice of the jailer. "What is your answer?" he said, looking straight at Frank. "You have come to the wrong place for the information you seek." "Then you refuse to disclose the secrets ?" "I refuse." "Look here, young sir. Your life is in my hands. I can snuff it out as easily as one snuffs out a bayberry candle. I am disposed to be lenient, but stubbornness must reap its reward." "Then let the reward be garnered," answered the youth in the middle of the room. "For the last time you utterly refuse?"
140 Out of Durance at Last. "For the last time, I utterly refuse." "That settles it, and snuffs out the life of one young rebel. I cannot repeat the offer I have made." The strange man turned toward the door, and old Mordecai was in the act of inserting the key into the iron lock when Lowry's voice rang in clarion tones throughout the room. "Stand back! Leave the key in the lock, monster!" Mordecai straightened up, and, with a ghastly face, looked across the limited space at Frank. The young spy had leveled his pistol, while in the other hand he clutched the hilt of a naked sword. "Get away from that door!" he repeated. "Do it in stantly, or I will drop one of you dead in his tracks !" "Mercy!" gasped old Mordecai, retreating from the portal. Frank felt that the jailer was harmless at the time. "You, sir," he spoke to the other man, "you will walk over against yon wall and turn your back to me." The fellow hesitated. "This minute, or death! It is for you to choose." "For Heaven's sake, master, let the fellow have his way," whined the jailer. "Come, be quick about it!" cried Frank. "There need be no blood shed here; but it all rests with you ; You are the judge, and you can make me executioner if you will."
Out of Durance at Last. 141 The tall man walked toward the wall, a look of rage on his face, and Frank followed him with his glance. "Now, about face!" The man turned. "You have pistols on your person, drop them upon the floor." This command was also obeyed, and Frank turned for an instant toward old Mordecai. "Open that door!" he cried. His jailer did not hesitate, but threw the portal wide, and it sent forth a hollow sound as it struck the wall. "Now, sir, go over to your friend and draw the loads from his discarded weapons." Mordecai proceeded to do so, picking the pistols from the floor and taking out the loads as Frank looked on. "One miscue and you are dead," he said to Mordecai, as the latter worked; but this threat was unnecessary. The old man had nimble fingers, and under the menace of the young rebel's pistol, he drew the charges with many a grimace. "There, thank you," said Frank, with a smile, when the task was completed. "You are quite active for one of your years. Now be so kind as to follow the example of your friend. Face to the wall !" Old Mordecai obeyed. "Good-night, or, rather, good-mo rning, for I heard the clock strike two a while ago. Success to your
I 42 Out of Durance at Last. plans that deserve it, gentlemen," and Frank was at the door. Stepping into the hall, he glanced toward the front door and saw the heavy key sticking in the lock. As he reached the spot he heard a voice behind him. "I'll turn the tables on you, rebel cri ed the man, who at that moment appeared in the corridor. "Think you Mordecai was not armed?" Lowry saw the tall man halt under the swinging candle overhead and lift the hand that clutched a pistol. He knew he would have to be quick to save himself. And quick he was. Even before his hand reached a level his own weapon flashed in the man's face. The report seemed to fill the old house with ten thousand echoes. The tall fellow dropped his pistol and reeled against the wall, at the foot of which he sank with a cry. "Stay where you are you inside there I cried the y oung rebel. "There's death out here for such as you!" Old Mordecai did not appear. Frank Lowry stood for a moment waiting for his late jailer with his sword but suddenl y he unlocked the front door of the repulsive place and darted into the street. Free at last!
Out of Durance at Last. 143 As he reached the sidewalk he nearly collided with a man who fell back with a sharp cry. "Here, y oung reveler, don t you know what the consequences might be to run afoul of a gentleman!" "I beg pardon," said Frank, drawing back, and then he laughed. The man before him was hatless and coatless, and his face showed plainl y that he had lately been en gaged in some midnight brawl. He was comic look ing, and, moreover, not entirely sober. "We had a time at the Red Inn taproom," grinned the much used-up individual. "Got into a little argument and I said that it would be a cold day when King G eorge hanged all the rebels in North America. Thereupon a fellow called Cowley rose and gaye me one across the peepers and I-well, I resented the in sult and knocked him down." "For which accept my thanks," cried Frank, putting out his hand. "What? Do you know him?" "I ought to." "Well, when I struck Master Cowley half a dozen of his friends fell upon me and I was thus taken at a disadvantage inasmuch as I had been partaking pretty freely of wine, and when one does that--" "Come sir, tell me the result." "I was thrown upon the floor and made a football of for ten minutes, after which I suppose I should not
144 Out of Durance at Last have known myself if I had consulted a mirror! Finally I was kicked out on the street and a carriage ran over me and a black dog--" "Tried to eat you, did he? Well, I'm going down toward the Red Inn. I've had a little adventure my self. Do you think we should find Master Cowley still there?" "Really, sir, I can't tell, and I prefer not going to hunt him up just now," and in another moment the man had vanished down an alley, leaving Frank free once more to make the best of his liberty.
CHAPTER XV. OLD MORDECAI'S TRAGIC EXIT. Frank Lawry's first impulse after getting out of durance was to seek out Master Cowley, to whom he owed his imprisonment, but, after quitting the half drunken man on the street, he changed his mind. He knew that Mistress Carter's party must have been held, and eager to know what Priscilla had discovered, if anything, he resolved to seek the house on Murray Hill as early in the morning as possible. He doubted not that Priscilla had carried out her part of the little game, for she was an adept in the art of finesse, and would undertake the most difficult tasks in the cause of freedom. First of all, he wanted to discover if the plot had progressed much during his incarceration, and in order to do this he resorted to an idea that fixed itself in his mind. He. knew the sleepless activity of Washington, and a short time after quitting the old house on S--Street, he might have been seen in front of the general's ,quarters. It was an early call, but he was promptly admitted. "You are an early caller, Master Lowry,'' said Washington, with a smil~, as he greeted Frank.
146 Old Mordecai's Tragic Exit. "I came as soon as I got out. "As soon as y ou got out? You must enlighten me." Frank did so, and Washin g ton listened attentivel y to the story of his imprisonment. "They have unmasked you, but through no fault of yours, I'm sure," said the commander-in-chief. "In some manner they have discovered your identit y which shows that they are on the alert. We must find a way to bring the schemes of this Tory clique to naught, and--" "That is what we shall do, your excellency I This Master Cowley is the dangerous man of the cabal; but this is not saying that the others are harmless. Amos Hawkons is dangerous, too, as well as the tall man who confronted me at the little house." 'What do you think of sending a detachment out for the immediate arrest of your jail er? Perhaps, under threats, he might disclose the entire plot." "It might be tried." Washington immediately called in an aide and gave him instructions to have Gen. Putnam send a detail of men to headquarters at once. While Frank was still talking with the general the tramping of feet was heard outside and the young rebel uttered a cry when he looked out and beheld Capt. Pierce and the Boys of Liberty drawn up in front of the building. "I had ordered the Boys of Liberty back to Long }
Old Mordecai's Tragic Exit. 147 Island," said Washington; but changed my mind and left them here. Capt. Pierce and his boys are faithful adherents to our cause, and will carry out my instruc tions to the letter. Would you care to accompany them to the spot? You know the way, Master Lowry." Frank said he would go with pleasure as there was a chance of bagging more than one bird in the nest. During the march to the dark little house, young Lowry learned from Capt. Benjamin a good deal con cerning Mistress Carter s party, who were there how Priscilla looked and, finally, Benjamin dwelt long upon this one subject, how he had taken her out to supper. The old house was reached in due time. A certain stillness surrounded the place, and Capt. Benjamin disposed his little company while he mounted the steps and rapped heavily with the hilt of his sword. There came no response. "Not at home, eh ?" cried the irritated young pro vincial captain. "We will see about that." He fell back and faced his company. "Sergt. Fuller, you will take four men and break the door in," he said. Sergt. Fuller saluted and selected his men. In an other moment four musket butts struck the door and it fell in with a crash. "Good! cried Benjamin. "They will have to get a new door. Forward!"
148 Old Mordecai's Tragic Exit. The house swarmed with the young patriots, led by Capt. Benjamin and Frank Lowry. "It's empty!" said the former. "I guess your birds have flown." "We'll turn over the nest first." Thereupon the company scattered through the house to search it. Suddenly, in a little room which was nearly dark, Frank Lowry fell over an object on the floor. "Here's our man, now!" he exclaimed, looking up at Capt. Benjamin. "What! is this your jailer?" "This is the old fellow. But what does this mean r See! He has been bound. His wrists are tied and there's a gag in his mouth." Upon examination this was found to be a fact; but in a few moments Mordecai was released from his bonds and placed in a chair in a better lighted chamber. He was pallid and frightened. "What's happened since I went away?" asked Frank. "Some one has treated you quite roughly." "They tried to kill me, I suppose." "It looks very much like it; but come, tell us who left you in this condition." "They tried to fire the house, too." "The fiends But they did not succeed in this act." Old Mordecai looked for some moments at Frank,
Old Mordecai's Tragic Exit. 149 as if trying to recall in his dazed condition where he had seen him before. "Oh!" he suddenly exclaimed, as if not until then had light broken in upon his mind, "you're the boy I had in the nest." "I'm your late captive. Did I kill the tall man I was forced to shoot in the hall?" "No; but 'tis a pity you didn't." "You don't like him, then?" "Why, he's the brute that left me in the condition I was found in by you, sir." "Turned on you, did he?" "Like a tiger, and with a tiger's power, too. He robbed me of everything I had-sixteen hundred golden guineas ." "The miscreant I" cried both Frank and Benjamin in one breath. "Ay I that he is; but I'll get even with him." "You have a chance, sir," said Lowry. "You know something about the great Tory plot. You know why I was imprisoned in this house at the command of Adam Cowley." "Don't I, though?" The snaky little eyes of the old man showed a bale ful gleam. "If you will only tell the whole thing to Gen. Washington, you will have avenged yourself on the rascal who bound and robbed you, and--"
150 Old Mordecai's Tragic Exit. Old Mordecai seemed to shrink into the stiff back of the chair. "To Gen. Washington?" he gasped. "Mercy on me, sir! I can never do that!" "He will treat you with kindness and consideration. Of this I can assure you in advance." "But he's the rebel general, and 1--" "It makes no difference what you are," broke in young Lowry, "our word will be believed." But Mordecai continued to shiver in the chair as if the ordeal of facing Washington was as great as the one he had already passed through. "But why should the tall man turn on you? Surely you did all in your power to keep me in durance," continued Frank, wishing to draw his late jailer out as far as possible. "In the first place, he said I shouldn't have drawn the charges from the pistols." "I would have shot you down had you refused." "Yes ; but he wouldn't listen to that explanation from me. He blamed me for having no ball in my own pistol." "Is that true?" "It seems so; but it was not my fault. The balls I have proved upon examination to be too small for my pistol. It was not my fault, I say, but the schemes of your rascally rebel merchant downtown who sells am munition to Tories that will not do them any good."
Old Mordecia's Tragic Exit. 151 "That's a good trick, if true," laughed Lowry. "Now, sir, we will have to take you to Gen. Washing ton." Mercy, no I no!" cried old Mordecai, writhing in the chair. "I don't care to see Gen. Washington." "But you must do so. We are here under his or ders." "Why, he would hang me without ceremony. He will recognize me on sight." "Then you've met him before?" "That I have, and I don't care to renew the ac quaintance." "I am very sorry, but you will have to renew it. Come, sir, you will get ready to go with us." "For Heaven's sake, don't take me to Washington! Take me anywhere else. Take me to the river, tie my hands and feet and throw me to the fishes, but don't take me to headquarters." Frank and Benjamin looked at one another. What sort of man was this? "Come along," said Capt. Benjamin, rather roughly. "We can't parley here all day." As the young captain laid his hand on Mordecai's shoulder the old fellow started from his chair and stood for a moment before all without a vestige of color on his face. His e yes seemed to bulge from their cavernous sock ets and his whole frame shook like an aspen bough.
152 Old Mordecia's Tragic Exit. "I-I can t see Gen. Was hin g ton!" he cri ed, in in tense agony. "I won t see him !" "Won't and must have long been at variance," r e joined Lowry. ''We will see that you are treated well at headquarters, and you will be surprised at the ge n eral's clem e ncy." "No clemency for me. Why, he would hang me on sight!" "In God's name, man, what have you done that would infuriate Gen. Washington to such an extent?" "More than you think, young sirs. Wait I I will go to him with you." "Now that's sensible." "Wait till I get my other jacket." There was an old-fashioned wardrobe in the room, set in the wall so nicely that its presence could scarcely be noticed. Old Mordecai went toward it and opened the littl e door. He was closely watched by Frank and Benjamin who saw him reach upon a shelf and pull somethin g down. "Hurry up!" cried the captain of the Bo y s of Liberty, impatiently. "In a moment, sirs." The old man's voice had chan g ed. As he turned toward the company his hand went up
Old Mordecia's Tragic Exit. I 53 tc his face and he was seen to place something in his mouth. "Quick Don't let him swallow the bullet cri e d Lowry. Old Mordecai backed away from the boys as they came toward him and laughed derisively. "Bullet?" he repeated. "Bullet, say you? Ah, it is scxnething better than that !" Frank and Benjamin had the old fellow in a jiffy and held him forward in the light. "Too late, my hearties! You can take me to your rebel Washington, but you will take me dead." His arms fell at his side as he finished and his eyes lost the glitter of life. "The man is dead now!" cried Capt. Benjamin, horror-stricken. Young Lowry looked a moment, and uttered a sharp cry. "It was quick work. Search his person and take whatever you find to the general." This was thoroughly done, and some papers, with a pocketknife inscribed with a name, were taken pos session of. "Lock the hou s e and come away said Frank. "We shall have to report the failure of our mission. The Bo y s of Liberty tramped back and direw up in front of Gen. Washin g ton' s headquarters.
154 Old Mordecia's Tragic Exit. Washington looked at them and then appeared to guess that their mission had failed. Master Lowry detailed the story of their adventures, and when he placed the papers with the old knife on the table Washington s face became a study. I thought the man was dead long ago," he said, after looking at the name on the knife handle. "I guess he did not care to encounter me, though he would have had naught to fear. During the old French War I met this man, Mordecai Sincloe, and one night he crept into my tent to assassinate me, bribed to do so by the French; but I happened to be awake, overpowered him and threw him from me. I had him in my power but, knowing that he was merely a hired tool, I let the poor wretch go. I'm sorry for his end now. No; I suppose he did not care to see me." "The papers may prove of value, your excellency." "I'll look over them later on," replied Washington.
CHAPTER XVI. KING OR LIBERTY? As soon as he could get away from Gen. Washing ton's headquarters, Frank Lowry went to the home of Mistress Murray, where he was received by Pris cilla. "You got my letter?" inquired the fair girl. "No; did you send one? Truth is, I've been absent for some little while, and have just returned to duty." "I wrote after my return from Mistress Carter's party last night." "You graced the occasion, then?" "Of course I went. You know I was anxious to meet Mistress Betty, and I found her the sweetest girl in the world, Frank." "Of course you omit yourself." Priscilla blushed. "Come, no compliments just now. Reserve them for another occasion." "But that one came forth spontaneously, and I can not recall it. You had a nice time at the party, no doubt." "A capital time I" exclaimed Priscilla. "Betty formed a good opinion of some of our people, notably our friend, Capt. Hale."
King or Liberty? "She did not fall in love with him, did she? for I understand that the captain has a sweetheart in Con necticut." "I don't think Mistress Betty's adoration went quite I that far; however, she put in a good deal of time with the captain." "And you with Mistress Betty~that is, as much as Capt. Hale would relinquish." Priscilla pursed her pretty lips and smiled. "Of course you carried out your part of the agree ment?" said Frank. "You got a specimen of Betty's handwriting?" "It wasn't much of a task; but I tell you, Master Lowry, that I felt a little sheepish while in the act." "You wouldn't make a very good spy, I'm afraid. That requires nerve." "I should think, then, that Capt. Hale would prove an excellent spy, for last night he had the nerve to say at the table that Gen. Washington would be the ruler of the first American republic." "Just like Hale I He'll run his head into a halter one of these days if he does not hold his tongue. But come; since you have scored a triumph would you mind show ing me the results of your venture in the enemy's camp?" Thereupon Mistress Beverley ran into an adjoining room and came back with her autograph album, or verse book.
King or Liberty ? 157 She opened it at the proper place, with a show of triumph in her bright eyes, and Master Lowry looked at it with evident curiosity. "We'll just compare the two writings,'' he said, taking from his pocket the identical note of warning which Capt. Hale had received. Priscilla drew nearer and their heads touched while they looked at the writings before them. "What do you think, Priscilla?" queried Frank. "They're astonishingly alike, don't you think?'' "One convicts the other, eh?" "It looks so." "Look how the e's are fashioned and how the t's are crossed." "Yes; and the formation of the m's in both writ ings." "It's almost conclusive; but who would have thought it from Betty Carter, whose father is the greatest Tory in the city?" "I cannot say what I think, Frank." "You did not show her writing to Capt. Hale?" "I promised her I would not." "She exacted that promise, did she?" "Yes." "More evidence against her. Now, Priscilla, the person who sent that note to Capt. Hale knows about the Tory plot against Washington. I'm not saying that Betty did it; but you can draw your own conclu-
158 King or Liberty? s1ons. Could we send for her and have her come up he re?" That would be pretty bold, Frank; yet it might be done." "It might place you in a bad light in Mistress Car ter s opinion, but you understand the value of Gen. Washington s life at this critical period of the war. To lose him is to lose all." "That is true. We cannot spare George Washing ton, our great and magnificent leader." "Everything must become subservient to our one purpose-the saving of his life," remarked Frank, with spirit and feeling. "Then Betty shall be sent for." "When?" "Right away. I will write a note and send it to her by Wiley." "Word it so she will not mistrust anything. It is a delicate bit of business. If she proves Tory still I hardly see how we can honorably draw out of the game." Priscilla sat down and wrote a brief note, saying that she would like to see Mistress Carter immediately, and asking her to come to her aunt s. This was dispatched to Carter House by Wiley, the trusted black servant, and the two young conspirators sat down to await results. Mistress Murray fortunately had gone downtown in
King or Liberty? 159 the carriage, so that Frank and Priscilla had the large house to themselves. While they waited for Betty Carter, Frank detailed his adventures in the little house on S--Street, his final escape, and the tragic death of old Mordecai. At the end of half an hour carriage wheels were heard outside, and 1 the two young rebels exchanged looks when they saw Mistress Betty alight in her morn ing gown. She looked as fresh as a rose as she ran up the broad steps of the Murray mansion and pulled the knocker. In another instant she was admitted and sprawled into the arms of Priscilla with an exclamation of de light. Frank looked on and awaited the introduction. "Let me present to you my friend, Master Lowry,'" said Priscilla, as soon as she could recover. Betty; flushed as she courtesied and looked at Pris~illa. "You did not say in your note that I was to have the pleasure of meeting Master Lowry here," she ex claimed. "The pleasure is all the greater for the sur prise." Mistress Betty looked most beautiful as she sat in one of the handsome Murray chairs and spread her rich gown over the velvet carpet. As the morning was rather close she fanned herself
160 King or Liberty? with an ivory fan, tipped with white down, and seemed to await the meaning of the summons to the mansion. She looked the pink of innocence, did the old Tory's daughter. "You remember, Mistress Betty," began Priscilla, after half a dozen efforts, "that you wrote a sentiment in my verse book last night?" "And a poor one it was at that." "But beautiful, as I shall recall m after years. I have been showing it to Master Lowry here, and he, strange to say, averred that he had in his pocket some writing that resembled yours, so I sent for you to settle the dispute." The face that Mistress Carter turned to Frank Lowry was a study. "Not any of my writing, I assure you," she said. "I never sent a note to Master Lowry, for we have but just met." "All of which is true, Mistress Carter," said Frank. "Still, the two writings are similar, though they dif fer widely in purport." "Indeed? And--" Master Lowry had taken from his breast coat-pocket the brief note of warning received by Capt. Hale and -intrusted to him. Betty's glance sought the floor. "This is it, Mistress Carter," continued the young rebel, becoming bolder. "Here are the two writings
King or Liberty ? 161 si d e by side--the one I brought thither and the senti ment you wrote in Mistress Priscilla's verse book last night." Stifling her f e elings, Mistress Betty Carter leaned
King or Liberty ? She did not reply for a moment. Color came and went on her cheeks. "Priscilla, can I see you for a moment?" she asked, rising. "Yes, Betty ... The two girls withdrew to an adjoining room and Priscilla shut the door. Betty laid her hand on Priscilla's arm. "I am guilty, Priscilla," she said, with candor, look ing up into the fair rebel's face. "I could not stand back and see this infamous plot go on against Wash ington, who is a great man. But you know my posi tion. My father is for the king. He would spend his last shilling to put down the rebellion in North America. I overheard much of the plot. For me to openly confess would not only ruin my father in the eyes of his people, but it would drive me from so ciety in New York; but I have reached a conclusion. Sooner than see Gen. Washington fall before the as sassin I would tell all I know and face the future !" ''Dear child!" cried Priscilla, as she put her arms around Mistress Betty, "I knew you would. You have a heart of feeling, and, while your sympathies are with the king's cause, you feel for the struggling colonies." "I am against oppression in every form, and my heart bleeds for the cause of Washington, though I dare not speak out my feelings." "Then, what is to be done?"
King or Liberty? "I dare not go to Washington with what I know. That would expose me to the world." "Master Lowry--" "Can he keep the secret-I mean so far as I am concerned?" "You can trust him. He is the agent commissioned b y Gen. Washingt o n to ferr e t out the people engaged in this plot. Your father, Mistress Betty--" "My father, Tory though he is is not in it." "Thank Heaven for that!" "A Carter never stoops to assassination. He will s e rve his king with heart and soul but he will not drive a hidden dagger to the heart of anyone for pay or preferment." "Then--" ''We will see Master Lowry!" broke in Betty. "This plot has gone far enough. It is to be consum mated this very night." "My Heaven!" cried Priscilla, "not this night?" "This very night, I say. The details have all been arrang ed. The work has been done and now nothing remains but to touch the trigger. It is terribl e-te r rible and I hoped-hoped-that Capt. Hale would dis cov e r all in time !" When the door wa s op e n ed Mas t e r Lowry noted the ch a n ge in Betty s fa ce "I sent tha t not e," s a id th e Tory 's d a u g hter, as she
King or Liberty ? came forward, her gaze riveted upon the young parti san. "Then, you know--" "I know enough," was the interruption. "If you have not done much you may be too late. It is ter night." Frank Lowry sprang to his feet. "Not to-night?" he cried. "This is the night set for the consummation of the plot against your Gen. Washington." Young Lowry stood like one rooted to the floor with horror. His blood seemed to stop, frozen in his veins. "Give me the clews I" he said, coming forward, "and Gen. Washington will bless you. Tell me, Mistress Betty, for you know, and Heaven will reward you for your work in the cause of human liberty." "You forget that I am a Tory," cried Betty. "You forget, Master Lowry, that I drink the health of King George, that--" "But you must admire our Washington." "I do. And that is why I cannot keep in my heart this dark secret another moment." Frank held his breath and Priscilla stepped closer to Mistress Carter, who had dropped into a chair and was toying with her fan, while she seemed to be fighting a battle with herself.
CHAPTER XVII. THE BLACK BALL. "What is to be done must be done at once." "You will spare Betty, won't you?" "She need not be exposed at all, Priscilla. She will win the undying gratitude of Washington even though she has betrayed the cause her father espouses." Thus spoke Frank Lowry and Mistress Beverley on the steps of the Murray mansion after the cream-col ored horses had whisked Betty Carter out of sight. For the Tory s daughter had told all she knew about the plot against the life of Washington, and it was a great deal. Frank had listened, dumfounded. The plot was deeper and more diabolical than he had dreamed. Betty had overheard the details as given her father by Amos Hawkons, and Robert Carter, Tory though he was, had refused to enter into the cabal. He was for the king but he did not countenance as sassination, and Betty said he had spoken of Gov. Tryon, the instigator of the scheme, in no sparing terms. Frank saw that he had now the real work to do.
166 The Black Ball. If, as Betty asserted, the pl o t was to be carried out that very night he would have to move rapidly. There was no doubt in his mind that the fair Tory loved Capt. Nathan Hale, and that this affection had in a manner brought about the note of warning and the disclosures he had just heard. As he turned into Broadway, after quitting the Murray place, he was startled to hear a loud voice behind him: "Get out of the way, there 1 I'll run you down, you young rebel !" Master Lowry turned and saw a carriage almost upon him. The broad-shouldered driver on the seat was cracking his whip over the ears of the horses and gesticulating with all his might. The window set in the door of the vehicle was open and he caught a glimpse of a florid-faced man inside. "Amos Hawkons !" excla imed the young partisan. Frank had no time to spring out of the way of the horses, for their hoofs were about to strike him, and the next moment he leaped at the bit of the nearest steed and caught it madly. "Run me down, will you?" he cried, clinging to the short hold of rein. "You will have a time doing that, I can tell you !" "Release your hold, sir! I will inform my master--"
The Black Ball. "To perdition with your master!" interrupted the youth. Just then Amos Hawkons poked his bewigged head out of the carriage and scowled at Frank. Master Lowry gave him look for look. "What do you mean, young sir?" cried the Tory, with an oath. "I mean, sir, that no Tory shall run me down!" "You've stopped my carriage, and I'm on important business. I will hale you before the authorities and--" "Nothing would suit me better. New York is under martial law, as you may know, and all you have to do is to bring your grievance before Gen. Putnam, who will look into the case." "Gen. Putnam be hanged, sir I" "You'll be hanged first, I'm thinking!" "By Jove! young sir, you talk like one of these in solent rebels, and, if I'm not mistaken, you're old enough to string up." "And you're not too old to dance a polka on air. Come, Master Hawkons-you see, I know you-you can't run me down at your pleasure any more than you can whistle down the wind." Master Hawkons' rage increased, and a moment later he had flung open the door and was in the street. "I won't put up with your impudence!" he roared,
168 The Black Ball. advancing upon Frank. "The idea of a young rat like you stopping the carriage of a gentleman This isn't Hounslow Heath, I tell you." Frank smiled defiantly. "Throw me the whip, Jonas." The driver tossed the whip to Amos, who caught it dexterously and turned to Frank again. "I'll give you a taste of lash medicine. It is good for young nerves," cried Amos, as the lash cut the air over the youth's head. "You may do so to your sorrow." "What's that? Can't I whip a young fellow like you? I'll show you how King G e orge will make all you rebels dance one of these days. Pull off your coat, young sir !" Lowry made no effort to obey, but his eyes flashed indignantly as they watched the uplifted hand of the irate Tory. Master Hawkons was determined to carry out his threat, and all at once the whip descended, but not upon Frank's shoulders. The youthful ally of Washington had leaped up an d his hand caught the stock of the whip near Master Hawkons' hand, wresting it from him as a dueli s t wrests his adversary's sword from his possession. The old Tory grew white with rage. "Now, sir, the shoe has been transferred to the other foot,'' ejaculated Frank. "You will do the dancing,
The Black Ball. and to the tune of Yankee Doodle. Commence, sir, for I'm going to be the manipulator of the lash." Amos Hawkons looked at the young soldier and ground his teeth. "Help, Jonas I" he cried. Jonas began to clam her down from his perch. Whack! whack! went the whip over the Tory's shoulders. Frank laid it on unsparingly. "Jonas! Jonas! Help! Help!" Again and again the lash cut through Master Haw kons' coat and drew some Tory blood. He danced in his rage. "That's it, sir!" exclaimed Frank Lowry. "You are dancing elegantly now. Stand off, Master Jonas When I'm through with your master I'll give you some of the same treatment." The driver, burly though he was, took the advice and did not advance. "There's your whip, Master Hawkons. Hereafter don't try to run honest people down on the street. They have the same rights you enjoy, and the fact that you belong to King George, body and soul, doesn't give you any extra privilege. What haven't you had enough?" Frank advanced toward the whip, but Master Haw: kons picked it up and backed toward the carriage,
The Black Ball. "Good-day, sir. When we meet again I trust it will be under other circumstances." "That it shall, young sir. I'm ready to promise that. Get up, Jonas; we'll see this young rebel later." Master Hawkons got into the vehicle and slammed the door with emphasis. He settled back into the seat, rubbed his shoulders and shouted to Jonas to proceed. The crowd which had collected on the sidewalk broke out into applause, for they were mostly patriots. Frank acknowledged the compliment with a bow, turned on his heel and resumed his journey. As for Master Hawkons, he drove down several streets till he reached a well-to-do house, not far from the river, where he alighted and went in. In one of the large rooms of the dwelling he came face to face with half a dozen men seated at a table. Adam Cowley was one of the number. "I'd like to hang every young rebel in New York," cried Amos, as he struck the table with his clinched hand. "I'd do it before night if I could!" "What's happened now, Friend Amos?" "I've been grossly insulted. Not only that, but one of these insolent young rats has actually struck me." "In public?" chorused several. "On Broadway. I was riding peacefully along when he sprang at the horses and stopped the carriage. It
The Black Ball. 171 was a premeditated scheme, though he asserted that Jonas tried to run him down." "It' s a pity Jonas didn't." "I would have raised his salary if he had. The inso lent puppy! And, what is more, Friend Adam, I rec ognized in him your late captive." "Young Lowry ?" "The same." "Why didn't you tan his hide?" "Confound it! he tanned mine." "Impossible! Why, you're no child." "But he's a young giant. The way he wielded the whip is a caution. See how he cut my coat." The listeners cried out indignantly. "We'll reckon with him later on," said Master Cow ley. "This insult to one of our number is unbearable. But let us to business." "Yes; I want to get back so as to dress my hurts." A small black box was now brought from a secret sideboard and set on the table. "This box," explained Master Cowley, "contains seven balls, all white but one. It will be passed to each one of us in rotation, and each will insert his hand and take out a ball. These balls need not be shown to any one. The man who draws the black ball knows what to do to-night." Amos Hawkons looked as if he wished he were not
172 The Black Ball. there just at that moment, but it was too late to flinch now. "Are you all ready, gentlemen?" "We are ready." "Then in the name of the king, draw, Master Hawkons !" Amos tremblingly put his hand inside the little box and picked up a ball. Next followed Adam Cowley, then the others in suc cession until the box had been emptied. It was seen that several of the Tories glanced at their luck and that they smiled as they thrust the balls into their pockets. "One of us now possesses the black ball sp oke Master Cowley. "It means the end of this rebel chief tain who gives the king so much trouble. The work must be well done. There must be no shrinkin g no mistakes made in this final play. Washin g ton is the mainstay of the rebellion; remove him and the whole fabric will fall like a house of cards. The king in time will ennoble the man who puts this rebel out of the way, and the utmost clemency will be granted. Brethren, we meet no more before the accomplishment of our task. When we come together again the deed will have been done and the rebel rabble will be headless." "That is true. Death to traitors in North America!"
The Black Ball. 173 "So say we all of us! Now, let us depart one by one." The members of the cabal shook hands and one by one filed out of the apartment. The last one to leave was Adam Cowley. As he saw the door close upon the last of his com rades he ran his hand into one of his pockets and drew; forth the ball he had taken from the box. A little cry leaped from his throat as he glanced at it. It was black! "Just my luck I" he said, half aloud. "Well, I won't shrink from the task, but will carry out the work to the last letter. They will never have it to say of Adam Cowley that he shrank from ridding his king of the greatest rebel that ever rebelled against the crown. I will not fail. To fail is to perish at the hands of these dastards, and I hate them all." He ceased, for a footfall had reached his ears from the adjoining room, and he opened the door. "What! you back?" he cried, for Amos Hawkons stood before him. "Yes; I could not go away, Adam, until I knew what sort of ball you drew. Mine thank Heaven I was white, and yours--" "Never mind what color mine was. We were not to show each other our spheres." "That is true; but Friend Adam--"
I 74 The Black Ball. "Come! Courage I You trembled like a leaf when you put your hand into the box. That went to show that had you drawn the black ball your blow would have missed its mark. This work needs stronger nerves than you possess." "I'm thankful that the white ball fell to me, for I have wife and children "Coward! Then why did you enter into this plot?" cried Cowley. "For love of the king." "But you would have failed, I say. Thank Heaven! the black ball has fallen into the hand of one who will not fail, one who can face the greatest danger, who can walk into the presence of this audacious rebel and cut him down in the midst of his guards." "Do you mean yourself, Adam?" "Never mind whom I mean. The deed will be done, and to-morrow when you hear that Washington has resigned his commission into the hands of death, you will again get on your prayer bones and thank God that the little black ball did not fall into your posses sion. Get out, coward! You let a boy whip you on the street. I have business of importance elsewhere." Master Hawkons looked amazedly at Adam Cowley, who thrust him aside and strode from the room. "What a man!" he cri ed, as the door closed on Cow ley. "I'll wager my head that he got the black ball!"
CHAPTER XVIII. HOW OLD PUT LEVIED TRIBUTE. Standing in a little room, with the shadows of the city falling round him, was Capt. Nathan Hale, of the Continental Army. He was quite alone, and was apparently waiting for some one. In a few moments footsteps sounded in the corri dor without, and a gentle rapping reached the young captain's ears. Hale crossed the carpetless floor and opened the por tal to look into the face of a young lady. There were traces of refinement in the features, and for a moment the young Continental looked into the deep, expressive eyes with mysticism and wonderment. "You will pardon me," said a low voice. "Do I ad dress Capt. Nathan Hale, of the Continental Army?" "I bear that name and rank." "Then concealment is no longer necessary," and with these words Capt. Hale's visitor threw off the simple disguise she wore and stood erect. "Mistress Carter I" cried Hale, stepping back and staring at his caller. "I came to see you on a strange mission and also to confession."
I 76 How Old Put Levied Tribute. "You at the confessional ? What have you to con fess, Mistress Betty?" "The writing of a note of warning, which you have lately received." "Ah I I remember. You sent it, then?" "I did." "And also the little note placed in Washington's hand s o n the street?" "I s e nt that, too." "I am sure that Liberty thanks you for your sincerity. B ut are you not suspected?" "That is why I am here." "What?" "My father has heard all about it?" "Who h a s betrayed you?" "I cannot say." "Whoever he is he is a miscreant!" cried Hale. "No person but one lost to all self-respect would betray a lady like you, Mistress Betty." Betty turned away and looked out of the narrow window. "You know that the deed is to be done to-night," she said, turning as suddenly upon the young captain. "What? Washington put out of the way in this darkness?" "That is the plan. Everything is arranged. Master Lowry, whom you know quite well, is at work, but I fear he might fail."
How Old Put Levied Tribute. 177 "Master Lowry is shrewd and cool. He serves Washington in this matter, and he will do all he can to prevent the consummation of this plot." "But if he should fail." "I am sure he cannot fail, Mistress Betty." "Ah! you must give your enemies credit for some shrewdness," cried the Tory's daughter. "I did not come here without first consulting Mistress Beverley. She is downstairs on the watch, for we may have been tracked." Hale walked over to the window and drew the cur tains aside. "That is Mistress Beverley across the street in the doorway," said Betty Carter, pointing in the designated dfrection. "We girls have risked a good deal coming down here at this hour, but we could not remain at home when the life of Washington is in danger." "Surely you deserve much of your country." "Let the matter of reward pass. Capt. Hale, you must go on guard to-night." "I am always on guard." "But near the person of Washington. Master Lowry may fail. And you know what failure means." "The death of liberty in North America." "We have come to ask this favor at your hands. Guard well the person of your beloved commander tonight." "I promise. He shall not be out of my sight."
I 78 How Old Put Levied Tribute. Betty walked to the door and laid her little hand on the latch. "Enough! Hale's face. you." We trust you," she said, looking into "Do your duty and Heaven will reward In another moment she was gone, and the young captain looked out as she crosed the street and joined a figure half concealed in a doorway. "It is well," Betty whispered to Priscilla. "He will watch Washington to-night." "Thank fortune I Capt. Na than Hale is one of the bravest and will do his duty." The two girls stole away through the shadows and soon afterward a man might have been seen p:1.ssing in the same direction. He dropped into the King's Arms Coffeehouse. As he took a chair at one of the tables he nodded to another man who crossed over to him and sat down. "You got a white ball, did you not?" on~ of the men whispered to the other. "Yes; thank Heaven I" "Who got the black?" "I don't know." "Can you not guess?" "I might." "Well?" "I should say Master Cowley."
How Old Put Levied Tribute. 1 i9 "That is my guess, too. He got the black ball. It was fate. He will strike to-night." "Yes; at what time?" "At any time between darkness and dawn." "And the rebel Washington will cease to live Good Then we can lift our heads and cry out, 'Long live the king!' without fear of being molested." At this moment the tramp of soldiers was heard on the pavement, and the habitues of the coffeehouse looked up. "They seem to have halted out there," passed round the little groups. "That they have. And, by my soul ; they are rebel ragamuffins!" "Certainly. Did you expect to hear of Gen. Howe and escort in New York?" There were now signs of confusion at the door of the resort, and in another moment the command, "Forward, march !" started every Tory from his chair. In came the Boys of Liberty Capt. Benjamin Pierce, looking for all the world like a young conqueror, strode at the head of his com mand and his roving eye took in the situation in a jiffy. "You are all under arrest !" he called out, in sten torian tones. "Let no man attempt to quit the house without orders--"
180 How Old Put Levied Tribute. "Orders from whom?" broke in a burly Tory, as he sprang upon a table. "Orders from Gen. Putnam." "To perdition with your Gen. Putnam! We obey no orders that do not emanate from the king." "The king is not acknowledged in this city, save by a lot of Tories. Gen. Putnam holds every inmate of this place under arrest till released." "What's the charge? Whom have we been murder in g now?" "Gen. Putnam will answer the questions in person, as he is now on the way thither. He'll be here in a moment, and--" "But we won't submit to arrest." Capt. Pierce walked to the table and pointed bis sword squarely at the man who had spoken last. "If I mistake not, you are Amos Hawkons," he said, coolly. "You are even now concerned in a dastardly plot against the commander of the American army." Amos whitened. "Keep your seat, Master Hawkons. Don't get ex cited. Boys, guard well the exits of this Tory nest and let no one out." The Boys of Liberty at this drew closer together and looked menacingly at the nonplused Tories. Soon a loud voice was heard at the door and a sol dier in full Continental uniform entered. Capt. Pierce saluted and stepped forward.
I 82 How Old Put Levied Tribute. "We don't know your king in this country!" an swered the old general, with a laugh. "We'll appeal to him, that's what we will. We'll carry our g~ievances to the throne I" "By Jove! we'll give you all free passage for the purpose." "We'll pull the rope when they string you up, Gen. Putnam." "You're too cowardly to defend your own persons. You're a pretty set of royal buzzards. Now, have they all shelled out, Capt. Pierce?" "All, sir." "Let the rascals out." "But you don't intend to keep our valuables? Why, you're little better than the highwaymen of Hounslow Heath." "We want something for the sick soldiers on Long Island, that's all. It's only a little tribute we're levy ing." The Tories were loath to go; but Capt. Benjamin cleared the aisles, and soon the coffeehouse was empty. "What a pretty set of wolves, to be sure!" exclaimed Gen. Putnam, as the last one vanished. Out on the sidewalk they stood and set up such a howling that the Boys of Liberty were ordered to clear the pavement, which they did with fixed bayonets, but not until they had to prod some of the most obstreper ous in a lively manner.
How Old Put Levied Tribute. 183 Putna m had the purses g athered into a s ack, w hile he left the trinkets with the pro p rietor of the place, te lling him to restore these to their owners upon ap plica tion. "You see," explained the gruff old general, "our own Continental scrip is below par, and we are not able to buy the proper food for our sick soldiers, so it's no harm to levy tribute on the enemy when we can. We' ve scraped in to-night about two hundred sterling, which is a goodly sum-more than I've seen since the beginning of the war. I trust I haven't hurt your business by coming here to-night. The birds will come back; in fact, this is their favorite roost. And here the king and his policy thrive. Good-ni g ht, sir," and, touching his hat to the astonished man whom he ad dressed, Gen. Putnam walked from the place. As he reached the air a carriage driven at breakneck speed dashed past. The driver was lashing the horse to its utmost, and those who looked on wondered. As the vehicle undertook to turn a corner near at hand there came a crash, the horse went down, the driver lurched over the animal's head, and the left hind wheel fell shattered. "Serves him right!" cried Putnam who had wit nessed the breakdown. The Boys of Liberty looked on with whispered com-
I 84 How Old Put Levied Tribute. ments, and Gen. Putnam spurred his horse in the direc tion of the mishap. As he drew r e in at the s cene a y outh sprang at h i s bridle and shouted in loud voice: "Your horse Gen. Putnam Quick! Don't ask me any questions. I am Frank Lowry, under orders fro m Gen. Washington The crisis is at hand! I have m e t with a mishap h e re, a s you see. No questions, Gen. Putnam, but your horse !" In an instant the figure of Israel Putnam was on the ground and Lowry was in the saddle. "Now for life or death!" cri e d Frank, as he drove the rowels of the animal with his heels. "The arm of the plotter i s uplifted and the blow is about to fall He was out of sight in a moment and Putnam, with a puzzled look in his eyes, turned and walked slowly back to where Capt. Pierce stood at the head of the Boys of Liberty.
CHAPTER XIX. A BIT OF COLD STEEL. The revelations made by Betty Carter at the house of Mistress Murray on the hill had roused every part of Frank Lawry's nature. He saw as he had never seen before the desperate ness of the Tory plot against Washington. Instigated by Capt. Tryon, who, as we have already said, had come back with the British army of invasion-and what this Tory could not plan was not worth the planning-the plot had gained force all the time until now it was ready to break over the heads of the devoted patriots. After quitting the scene of his encounter with Master Hawkons in the street, Frank entered the presence of Gen. Washington. The commander-in-chief laughed when he heard of the whipping the young patriot had administered, and remarked that he thought the old Tory did not get more than he deserved. Then his face grew solemn while Frank related the disclosures as received from Mistress Betty Carter, andt at the end of the narrative he lapsed into silence. The face of the general became very grave.
186 A Bit of Cold Steel. Washin g t o n was loath to believe that men meditat e d the taking of his life. He did not want to put such a low estimate on a part of humanity, yet the evidence justified the conclusions he was forced to make. "It would be well for your excellency to be well guarded to-night," said Frank. "I must visit Gen. Putnam at ten. I have an en gagement with him." "Why not summon Gen. Putnam hither?" "That I cannot do without breaking my word. Gen. Putnam expects me." "Then go well guarded," admonished Lowry, who could not conceal his deep concern. "And I would advise you, sir, to place under arrest as quietly as you can one of your guards, Thomas Hickey by name." "Hickey?" exclaimed Washington. "You do not mean--" "I mean that this same Thomas Hickey is in the plot. How deep it yet remains to be seen." "I am very loath to believe, Master Lowry, that one so near my person could be contaminated." "British gold and Tory promises go a great ways with some people. I assure y011 from what my fair informant said that it would be well to secure the per son of this man Hickey." Washington bowed his head.
A Bit of Cold Steel. "It shall be done," he said in low tones. "Master Hickey shall be taken care of." Frank quitted the presence of Washington with feel ings of coming success. Ten minutes later he dropped into the shop of Hiram Cobb, the shoemaker. The old man looked up from his bench with a smile of recognition. "Just heard of it!" he exclaimed. "Just heard of what?" "How you lashed Amos Hawkons. That was good. The old fellow didn't like the whip, I'll warrant." "He certainly did not from the way he danced. But, Master Cobb, would you loan me your 'Opinions, Wise and Otherwise,' a moment?" "Certainly," and Hiram took down the book and handed it to Frank. The young patriot turned a few leaves and stopped. "Who is this person whom you have designated as J-r-d B-bb ?" he asked. "Oh, that's Jared Bebb, of Sumter Lane." "A Tory?" "Yes, one of the little fellows but dangerous just the same." "I see that you have him for a patron?" "Yes. He wears out his soles prett y soon, as he is a great pedestrian ; walks all over Manhattan and the island."
188 A Bit of Cold Steel. "Just so. I must see him." "You have business with Master Bebb, then?" "Just a little. Is he married?" "No, he keeps house with his dogs and cats. But t he makes good firearms and secret munitions of evil." "The very man I want to see." Lowry returned the book of opinions, thanked its owner and withdrew. Not long afterward he turned up in Sumter Lane, a rambling alley where the low-browed houses were all alike. Selecting one, the number of which he had obtained from Mistress Carter, he rapped loudly. As the door was not opened at once he raised the simple latch and entered. In an instant he was surrounded by an army of dogs and cats of every size and color and all in a state of famine. But not a sign of a man could he see. Just before him was a closed door, and when Lowry thought he heard a noise beyond he loosened his sword in its sheath and advanced toward it. "Is that you, Adam?" called out a voice as Frank opened the door. "Is it all over?" Frank went over to a couch in one corner of the room and bent over a form lying there amid utter squalor. "It's not quite over," he said.
A Bit of Cold Steel. 189 "Where's the delay?" By this time the youth's eyes had become accus tomed to the light, which was not strong. "Why don't you kill him and settle the whole business ?" asked the voice from the cot. "Because-" "I see I You're not Adam." The occupant of the couch was now bolt upright, and a pair of blazing eyes were fastened upon Frank. So intense was their insane glare that Master Lowry drew back and whipped out his sword. "What brought you here?" cried the man in bed. "Adam sent me." "He did, did he? Why didn't he come himself?'' "He's too busy." Frank underwent another scrutiny. "If you lie, young sir, your life won't be worth the snuffing of a candle." "If I lie you can have it, sir." This seemed to satisfy the little man, for he slipped from the cot with an effort and crossed the room. Lowry saw him stoop over a chest in one corner and throw back the lid. Reaching in one of his withered hands, he pulled out a pistol, which he examined closely. "He wants this, I guess It's the new sort--of my own making. You see, young sir, you don't have to
A Bit of Cold Steel. press the trigger hard. I instructed Master Cowley i:-i the use of it. He sent you for this, eh?" Frank bowed. "Then take it to him and say that he must not fail. The life of this rebel Washington stands bet ween us and prosperity. We will never live under an y flag but the king's! I wish I was in Master Cowley's shoes. I haven't got many days of life left, but I would like to snuff out Washington s life before I bid adieu to things mundane Good luck to the enterprise!" As Frank reached for the pistol the animals in the adjoining room set up a frightful noise and the young rebel started. "Ho, there, Friend Jared? In the name of the king, where are you?" "That's Amos Hawkons !" cried the inhabitant of Sumter Lane, and then he sang out : "In here, Amos." The door opened and Amos Hawkons stood before Frank Lowry once more. "Why don't you let a little light in here?" exclaimed the big Tory. "I've just come from a meeting of the brotherhood and--" His gaze fell upon Frank. "What have we here?" he cried. "By my soul-Shut the door, Jared This is the young rebel rat who lashed me on the street. Call in your dogs and let them rend him to pieces."
A Bit of Cold Steel. But Frank was as nimble as the recluse of Sumter Lane. He backed away and flashed his blade in the faces of the astonished Tories. "Stand back l" he shouted. "Come a little nearer and, by heavens! I'll give both of you a taste of cold steel!" The menace of the sword was not to be mistaken. Amos Hawkons drew off while Master Bebb, with amazement still in his eyes, did not know what to do. "Rebel, say you, Amos?" he spluttered. "Why, he has just told me that he comes from Adam--" "Only by a line of descent like all of us," was the interruption. "Then we'll see that he never plays out his game." "Call in your dogs." The door leading into the room where the half starved pets were, stood slightly ajar, and as Jared Bebb, the recluse, set up a loud, strange cry Frank put his foot against it. His manner was desperate and defiant. "I see now that he is against us, Amos," said Bebb. "He is lying to play out his little game." "That's it exactly. The young rat must not escape us." These words let off in Frank's hearing only served to show him the desperateness of the situation and nerved his arm anew.
A Bit of Cold Steel. To get out of the trap was now his sole thought. The dogs were growling behind him with only a door between him and their teeth, while the two men faced him with no mercy in their eyes. "Throw down your sword !" cried the recluse. "Just as if I would!" laughed the young partisan derisively. "Throw yourself upon him, Amos. You're a giant and he's but a ninny." But Master Hawkons h a d encountered Frank before, when he was armed onl y with a whip, but now, as he held a sword, he was loath to launch himself forward. "Coward!" cried the recluse with bitterness, as he looked contemptuously at Master Hawkons. "I'll fin ish him myself !" He wheeled toward the couch and dived his hand behind the greasy bolster, in the next moment to draw it forth, clutching a weapon with a blade longer than Frank's. "Now I'll show you how to spit young rebel spies," he laughed as he turned. "I know this good sword, for I tempered it myself and--" He broke his own sentence in his eagerness to carry out his threat, and the lunge he precipitated for a mo ment drove every vestige of color from Lowry's face. But Frank deftly parried the thrust, remembering his fight with Whaleboat Butler and his men, and, watching his opportunity, he plunged forward, sending
A Bit of Cold Steel. 193 the point of his sword beneath the recluse s naked shoulder. There was a cry that filled the little room, the old man tottered and fell, dropping the sword, while Frank turned to the door. It was now flight upon the spur of the moment, for h e did not care to have a tilt with Amos Hawkons. Yet the dogs were betwe e n him and liberty. Grinding his teeth over the perversity of the situa tion he jerked the door wide and leaped into the middle of the snarling pack. For a moment his weapon slashed right and left, the animals drawing off with howls of pain and, beating down the last one with a master stroke, he reached the outer door "Mistress Betty was right," he said to himself, as he reached the little alley street. "The old gun maker is in the plot and has furnished the deadly weapon. That's another one for Washington to hang." He did not look behind him, though he could guess what was occurring in the place, but put off as fast as hi s legs could carry him. "It must be swift work from now on," he exclaimed. "The plot has reached its head. The shadow of death hovers over Gen. Washington. To perdition with all Tories! Shall I see Capt. Hale first? No, I must lose no time." He went direct to his rooms.
194 A Bit of Cold Steel. There he made a different toilet, changing his garments for others in which it would be difficult for any one to recognize him as Master Lowry, and in a few moments was on the street again. The sun was nearing the western horizon. As he paused on a corner he heard strains of mar tial music and then the tramp, tramp, tramp of soldiers. Presently a regiment of Continentals in buff and blue came in sight, and Frank uttered a sharp cry. "They are Ferguson's men I Ah, if I could command them for an hour I would crush the life out of this Tory plot!" he exclaimed.
CHAPTER XX. THE FRINGE OF DESPAIR. It was eight by the clock that night when Capt. Nathan Hale presented himself at Washington s head quarters. The young Connecticut soldier showed that he had some cherished plan at heart, and when he was ushered into the presence of his chief he said at once : "Would your excellency mind putting me on guard near your person to-night?" "Not at all," answered Washington, with a smile. "You are hereby detailed for that purpose, Capt. Hale. Let us hope there will be no occasion for you to have aught but a pleasant time." Thereupon Washington returned to his table and busied himself with some military papers. Capt. Hale's action was in accordance with his promise to Mistress Carter. While he knew of the plot against the life of Washington, he did not know what Frank Lowry was doing to bring the schemes of the plotters to nought. As for Master Lowry, whom we left on the street after his fortunate escape from the little house in Sumter Lane where lived Jared Bebb and his pets, he was
196 The Fringe of Despair. doing all in his power to carry out certain plans he had matured. What had become of Adam Cowley? That was the question that irritated him most. Master Cowley, the dangerous man, had vanished as if the very earth had swallowed him. Frank bethought himself of Mistress Aregood's domicile where, as Seth Tolbert, he had encountered Master Cowley, and he hastened to that region in hopes of getting a glimpse of his quarry. But he was doomed to disappointment, for the street was clear and he could not find a trace of his man. Somewhere in the city he doubted not Adam Cowley was lying in wait till the time should come for the striking of the dastardly blow. In his momentary despair he presented himself at Mistress Murray's where he was welcomed by the anxious Priscilla. Frank related his adventures. "So Master Cowley has escaped you?" "As if the waters of the bay have engulfed him." "That makes the plot all the darker, does it not?" "It complicat es matters. I can throw out a dragnet and catch such men as Master Hawkons but I want Adam Cowley. He is the man with death in his hands. He is the executioner, as I verily believe. With him located--Ah, I have it, Priscilla! There is one place I have forgotten."
The Fringe of Despair. 197 The fair rebel looked inquiringly at Frank. Darkness had fallen over city and bay. Frank bade Priscilla a hasty farewell and dashed downtown. The last place may produce my man," he said to himself. "I forgot to look for him there. Mistress Betty gave me the clew with her last words." Yes, Betty Carter had told Frank that sometimes Master Cowley went by the name of Master Gwynne Girard, and that under that name he lived with a rela tive in a crooked little street near the Battery and not far from Washington s headquarters. "He must be there !" cried Frank, as he proceeded downtown. "I will trust in fate to find him for me." "Halt I" rang out on the night air as the young rebel passed a corner. Frank stopped amazed. Before he could get a fair look at the speaker he was seized and hurled to the ground. In the space of a second cords were lashed round his limbs and he was lifted up. "To the carriage, quick!" said another voice, and Frank was hu s tled to a vehicle standing near and tossed into it as though he were a sack of malt. "We've got one good hand at the ropes," laughed one o f the men who had seized him. "Now, if we could only get another we might take to the shipping."
198 The Fringe of De s pair. The real situation flashed across the young p a r tisan's mind like a bolt of light. He had been captured for the purpose of serving the king on one of the ships now in the bay. It was a bold move, but the British were bold enough for anything, and during the Revolution they impressed many a patriot, who was obliged to serve under the banner of King George. A gag was thrust into Frank's mouth the moment he essayed to protest against the high-handed outrage and a strong hand held him down in the carriage. His heart gave way to despair when he felt the vehi cle move and knew that he was being taken toward the river. "Never been a sailor, eh?" said a voice near him. Frank of course could not reply for the cruel gag, hut he tried to speak. After a long drive the carriage came to a halt and the man who had accompanied him sprang out. "Here we are, Jason. Lift the prisoner out, if you will." Young Lowry was pulled from the depths of the carria ge and almost dragged into a large house that stood by the river. He was taken to a room of spacious dimensions and thrown into a chair with great arms pointed with eagle heads. A barberry candle burned in a chased holder.
The Fringe of Despair. 199 Frank looked round the room and then permitted his gaze to return to his captor. "You'll make a dandy sailor," grinned the fellow, w ho was a giant in physique, red-bearded and savage looking. "I'll see that you get promoted, for you look like a future admiral, I'll be hanged if you don't!" Frank could only look, for the gag still cut his mouth, but his eyes certainly pleaded for him. "You must belong to the gentry, for you carry a good sword," continued red-beard. Then, as if just recognizing the fact that his captive could not answer, he removed the gag and let Frank breathe without pain. "You'll talk now, I guess. Who are you, anyhow?" "I am Frank Lowry." "Some old Tory's scion, I'll be bound. What ran som would your father pay, think you?" "I'm Whig." ''So much better. There are some goodly Whig families on Murray Hill, and their coffers are well '.J.lled, I tell you." "But I have no father to ransom me. I am kept from an important mission by this seizure-" "No doubt of that-some engagement with a fair rebel damsel of whom there seems to be swarms in the city." "You mistake me, sir. Every moment of my time is precious," and then, hoping almost against hope that
200 The Fringe of Despair. there might be a spark of humanity in the man's bosom, Frank continued: "Do you know that Washington is to die to-night?" ''What the rebel Washington?" cried the man. "Gen. Washington of the Colonial Army-its com mander-in-chief." "Oh, the big rebel-the man King George would like to hang on Bowling Green." Frank groaned over the time lost by these useless words. "To die to-night, eh?" went on the fellow with a swagger like a sailor "Why, sirrah, I saw him but this morning, and he looked in admirable health. What is his seizure?'' "It is to be death by pistol or knife." For a moment the man looked at Frank, and then he c ame nearer with stealthy strides "You can't get out that way, boy," said he. "It is the truth! Think you I would spin such a story involving Gen. Washington for my o w n safety?" "It looks a little funny-a story like that. Who c ou l d take the life of the tebel Washington?" "The Tories." "Bless you, boy, they've done some mighty mean things since the war be g an and I don't put anything past them But this is too much."
The Fringe of Despair. ~01 "Every moment I am kept here brings Gen. Wash ington nearer to his doom." "You know something, then?" "I have been on the trail of the conspirators for some days." "Who put you there?" "Gen. Washington himself." "Then he knows of the plot?" "Yes." "Well," drawled the man, slapping his leggings witn his hand. "It is the strangest story you ever heard, Master Marlowe." "What!" exclaimed Lowry, "are y ou Capt. Lydd Marlowe, the man who cut out the Swiftwing off the coast of Maine a few months ago?" "I'm the laddie," laughed red-beard. "Then, perhaps you haven't forgotten a little incident connected with that exploit?" "What was that?" "The rebels gave you a show of resistance, you re member, and a young one on board the Swiftu:ing warded off a cutlass blow that might have laid you low." "I believe something of the kind did happen." "Well, Capt. Marlowe, that was my only experi ence as a sailor," and Frank smiled. "I haven't pulled a ship's rope since."
202 The Fringe of Despair. "You don't tell me that y ou're the lad what kept that r e bel cutlass from cracking my crown?" "I'm the lad, as y ou say; but now, as y ou must k n ow, I am a full-fledged rebel, close to Washington and engaged in trying to save his life from a pack of Tory villains." "I wish you could furnish proof of this," said Capt. Marlowe. Frank struggled to rise, but as he could not on ac count of his bonds, the big fellow set him free with one sweep of his knife. "There you are, young sir!" he cried drawing back and contemplating Frank in silence. "Now for some proof of all this." "Unfortunately I have no proof but my word." "The word of a rebel, I see." "Yes, the word of an enemy of the king. Capt. Marlowe, loyalist though you are, you must hate men who, refusing to fight in the open, will plot in the dark like a lot of redskins." "It's not fair, I'll admit." "You fight in the open, don't you?" "Except when I want to complete my crew; then I go out and capture good-looking fellows like you, Master Lowry." "Capt. Marlowe, I pledge you my word of honor that what I have told you is true, and I promise you faithfully that, when I have done the work assigned
The Fringe of Despair. 203 me-the work in hand this night-I will come to any spot you name and enlist as one of your crew without the trouble of being impres sed. "But then you would be und e r the king's banner." "I know that, and I might escape at the first oppor tunity, too. But I want to save the life of Washing ton. The plot comes to a head to-night. When you captured me I was about to close in on the man whom I believe is to be the executioner." "What's his name?" "Adam Cowley, but at times I am told he has an other name, Gwynne Girard." "Say that name again and say it slow, Master Lowry." Frank did so. "I know him. I accept your parole of honor, young sir. Do your best. Save Washington, the rebel, if you can, and don't be too lenient with Master Girard." It was with feelings impossible to describe that Frank found himself back on the street. Not a moment was to be lost, for he had already lost precious time. Getting his bearings as soon as possible and hearing a sentry exclaim, "Nine o clock and all's well!" he darted away. But running was not fast enough for him; he wanted wings. Washington was to go to Putnam's headquarters at
204 The Fringe of Despair. ten, and he doubted not that his life was to be taken en route. Frank, upon entering a street not far from Broad way, caught sight of a carriage drawn up to the side walk. In a moment he had formed a plan. Reaching the vehicle step, he shouted to the coachman: "Drive me to Bowling Green at once. Further or ders when we're there." The coachman was on the point of refusing when Lowry's pistol prevented all argument. Away went the carriage, the man lashing the horses to their utmost and Frank inside, breathless with anxiety. All went well till crash went a wheel, the horses were down, and the young patriot sprang out. The following moment he was looking up into Gen. Putnam's face, the next he was lashing the general's horse in his eagerness to forestall the stroke of doom.
CHAPTER XXI. "YOUR ENEMY AND T H E KING'S." l:'rank Lowry was aware that Gen. Washin g ton was to visit Gen. Putnam at the latter s headquarters at ten that night for con s ultation regarding the new dis position of troops for the defense of Long Island, al ready menaced by the enemy. As he raced through the city on Old Put's horse, an animal of sturdy mettle, he thought rapidly. In a short time he pulled up in the little street in habited at times by the man known in that neighbor hood as Gwynne Girard, but who, in reality, was our old acquaintance, Adam Cowley, and prepared for a meeting with him. The number of his house, furnished by Mistress Betty, was still uppermost in his mind, and he found it without difficulty. Riding up to the door and dismounting, he threw the reins over the horse s neck and ran up the worm eaten steps. Rapping on the portal with the butt of his pistol, Lowry waited for a reply. It came in a moment, and a larg e woman with a candle in her hand open e d the door.
2.06 "Your Ene my and the King's." "Wha t i s it s ir at thi s ti me o night? demanded the og ress o f th e esta bli s hm e nt. I am c o m e to s ee one Gwynne Girard, who---" "A prett y hour for a call, upon my soul I You must be a nighthawk to b e flying about at this hour!" "Is M a s ter Girard in? "Jus t gon e awa y and I hope he 'll give you a good chas e all ov e r the to w n before you find him." Frank turned away. Then he thou ght of something "Which room is his?" "The one on the left upstairs but--" The young rebel bolted up the steps without cere mony. He found the door locked, but, placing his foot against it, he lunged forward and the old lock broke. Producing his tinder box, he found a candle which bad just gone out but whose wick was still warm, and a light was soon forthcoming. It was a small, well-furni s hed room different from the one Adam Cowley u se d at Mistres s Are g ood s. An old-fa s hioned trunk stood in one corner and Frank was soon before it. He broke the lock, op e ned the trunk, and held the candle close. A lot of papers gre e t ed hi s vision. A large pack e t fold e d and seal e d with red wax,
"Your Enemy and the King's." '.1.07 was on the top of the heap, and he hurriedly trans ferred it to his pocket. The fact that the wick of the candle was still warm when he found it convinced him that the Tory had not been long gone and he hastened away. Once more on the horse he rode rapidly and turned into a street which he knew would be traversed by Washington on his way to Gen. Putnam's. But few people were on the street. Lights here and there denoted where the last ones were still out of bed, and Frank glanced at these windows as he hurried along. Suddenly the tramping of horses smote his ears. Washington was coming At that moment a sash was raised just opposite him and he looked up. He saw the figure of a man draw back from the window after a swift glance down the street. He also thought he recognized the contour of that head, so much as he saw of it, and the sight thrilled his every nerve. The sounds of the advancing troop came nearer. Again the man in the upper room looked out and craned his neck to catch a glimpse of the horsemen. Then it was that Frank recognized the man. It was Adam Cowley He thought he caught a glimpse of something in the man's right hand.
208 "Your Enemy and the King,s." Was it the deadly pistol? Not a moment was to be lost. Frank sprang to the gutter and turned toward the building. The lower door stood ajar, as doors which admitted boarders did during that time,. and he was in the dark ened hallway in a moment. Up the stairs he went. At the head of the flight he stopped and listened for a second Having taken in the location of the upper room from below, he knew where to find its portal, and he doubted not that Adam Cowley, the arch conspirator, was at the window ready to carry out the orders of the de tested brotherhood. It took him not a second to reach the door on the left. Not looking to see whether it was secured or not, he threw his whole weight against it and in it went with a crash. A cry greeted him as he alighted in the middle of the room. A candle burned on a little table along the wall and threw its light upon a man who turned from the open window with a pistol in his hand. "Who are you, sir?" was the demand that rang in Lowry's ears. "Your enemy and the king's!" was the answer.
"Your Enemy and the King's." 209 The occupant of the chamber, taken aback, uttered an oath and with it Frank heard the tread of horses in the street just opposite the window. "Then, sir, you die for your insolence!" Up went the pistol in the man's hands as the young patriot darted straight at him. There was a loud report and Frank felt a stinging sensation in his cheek, but this did not check his ardor. He grappled with the man and, locked in each other's embrace, they went to the floor together. The man was the stronger, but his years had ren dered him less agile than his younger antagonist, and Frank, seizing an opportunity, dealt two swift blows with the butt of his pistol on the exposed head, and the arms of his foe relaxed. As he rose the noise of the horses below grew very faint on his ears. The candle shone upon the features of both Adam Cowley and Gwynne Girard. "Just in the nick of time !" said the boy to himself; then, as he heard some one on the stairs, he turned with naked sword, like a young lion at bay. No use to try to stop the newcomer with a locked door, for he had forced the door from its hinges by his attack, so all he could do was to defend himself with the trusty blade which on several occasions bad stood him in need and never failed him. Into the room dashed a young soldier in buff and
210 "Your Enemy and the King's." blue who, upon seeing Fra11k Lowry's attitude, threw up his hands with an exclamation. "Frank!" "Benjamin!" "I heard the shot from below and hastened to in quire into it. But whom have we here?" and Capt. Pierce stood over the unconscious man on the floor. "My old 'friend,' Adam Cowley, the would-be as sassin of our commander-in-chief," answered Frank. "Thank Heaven, I reached here in the nick of time, and it was fortunate that the rascal exposed himself to me unwittingly!" Capt. Benjamin stood amazed, looking from his young friend to the body on the floor. "Is he dead?" he inquired at last. "No, he's good enough to hang. And, if I mistake not, Benjamin, he will have plenty of company. Lift him up. I'll help you. And do you go for an escort. He'll come round by the time you get back." But the young rebels first made Master Cowley se cure by binding his limbs together, and then Benjamin started off after his company, which had halted in the vicinity. Frank was alone with his captive. When Master Cowley came round he stared at his captor and growled out a fine selection of expletives. "Curse you! If you had delayed your coming half a minute-"
"Your Enemy and the King's." 2 r I "You would have carried out your plan, eh?" "That I would, and your rebel chieftain would be dead down yonder! But who betrayed me?" "One whose heart contains more mercy than you ever heard of, Master Cowley." "That young chit of a girl, I'll warrant I I told her father that she never was tr-ue blue for the king." "To whom do you refer?" "To Mistress Carter, of course. Well, never mind; I'll even up with her one of these days." Frank interrupted him with a laugh. "I did not find Master Girard at home to-night, so I came down here with the papers I filched from his trunk." "Robber !" "Thank you, sir. The sealed packet may contain some information valuable to the cause of liberty." From Cowley's look Frank was quite sure he had spoken truly. Just then Capt. Pierce reappeared and the would be assassin was escorted downstairs with very little ceremony. Leaving Capt. Benjamin to take the prisoner to jail. Frank remounted his horse and rode after the guard. "The news? the news ?" cried Na than Hale, when he saw the young rebel throw himself to the ground in front of Putnam's headquarters. "I've caught the bird. I caught him in the nick of
412 "Your Enemy and the King's." time, Nathan. Another minute and I would have b e en too late!" "Thank Heaven !" Frank entered the house and for a moment stood breathless before the two generals. Without speaking, though from Washington's look he evidently read his news, he laid the sealed packet n the table and Gen. Putnam broke the seal. "Here' s damaging evidence!" he exclaimed. "Al mo5t enough to hang every accursed Tory in New York. "I'm glad of that," answered Frank. Afterwards he related his adventures of the night and found his hands grasped by Old Put, while Washington s face was a study. "You've saved the cause of liberty, young sir," cried the old veteran. "I'm pretty rough in my ways, but hereafter I shall always believe in an overruling Provi dence." Then Washington grasped young Lawry's hand and, looking down into his face, said feelingly: "My thanks and Madam Washin g ton 's!" "And the countr y 's, too. Don't for g et that gen eral," put in the excit e d Putnam. Washington did not and F rank modestl y withdrew with the g ratitude of Was hin g t o n rin ging in his ears Yet that night sev e r a l ot h e r T ories c onnected with the infamous plot were appr e h e nd ed; Thomas Hickey
"Your Enemy and the King's." 213 of th e guard, who had furnished the plotters with Washington s movements for the night, was put under arrest, and before dawn nearly all New York knew of the Tory plot and its failure. There was consternation among the loyalists as the days went by. Amos Hawkons, who could not be found during the night of excitement, escaped down the bay to his friend and instigator, Gov. Tryon, and a few days later Hickey was hanged, while Master Cowley cheated the hangman by taking his own life in his cheerless cell. Mistress Beverley received the thanks of Washing ton, while Betty Carter heard from the same source, but not quite so openly. Gallant Nathan Hale was ov~rjoyed at the failure of the attempt upon the life of bis beloved chief and thanked Frank Lowry many times for the part he had taken in the matter. It did one good thing; it caused the Tories to be less out s poken, for thereafter the Americans drew the reins a little tighter and Toryism in New York kept in the darker places. But for the good work of Frank Lowry and his young friends the American Revolution might have failed, and Washington might have fallen at the hand of a base assassin. Old Hiram Cobb rejoiced over the success of
214 "Your Enemy and the King's." Frank's work while he drove pegs, in his little shop, and took care to add a few more "opinions, wise and otherwise," in the now famous book. "The country will never forget you, young sir!" cried Old Put, some weeks after the culmination of our story's startling history, as he met Frank on Long Island in the trenches. "If Gen. Washington had let me preside over the trial of the conspirators there would have been a wholesale hanging, but, in the good ness of his heart, he suggested that we let them off with whole skins. I learn that Mistress Carter has come out openly for us." "That she has," broke in Frank. "You can see her and Mistress Beverley over yonder looking at the Brit ish through their glasses. Ah, sir, they're coming this way now, escorted by Capt. Pierce. You will have to excuse me, general." "Always, when beauty is to be worshiped,'' smiled Old Put, and Frank saluted and rode away. THE END. NOTE. While this story is complete in itself, it is one of the series of revolutionary stories now being published in the Boys of Liberty Library, and the same characters appearthroughou~
THE CREAM OF JUVENILE FlCTION THE BOYS' OWN LIBRARY~ A Selection. of the Best Books for Boys by the Most Popular Authors 'b'HE titles in this splendid juvenile series have been selected W with care, and as a result all the stories can be relied upon for their excellence. They are bright and sparkling; not over-burdened with lengthy description,i, but brimful of adventure from the first page to the last-in fact they are just the kind of yams that appeal strongly to the healthy boy who is fond of thrilling exploits and deeds of heroism. Among the authors whose names are included in the Boys' Own Library are Horatio Alger, Jr., Edward S. Ellis, James Otis, Capt. Ralph Bonehill, Burt L. Standish, Gilbert Patten and Frank H. Converse. SPEOAL FEATURES OF THE BOYS' OWN LIBRARY .J& .J& All the books in this series are copyrighted, printed on good paper, large type, illustrated, printed wrappers, handsome cloth cover11 stamped in inks and gold-fifteen special cover designs. t50 Titles-Price, pc:r Volume, 75 cents For sale by all booksellers, or sent_, postpaid, on receipt of price by the publisher, DAVID McKAY, 610 SO. WASHINGTON SQUARE. PHILADELPHIA, PA. ( i )
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DARRV COLLINGWOOD. One of England's most successful writers of stories for boys. Hi& best story is Pirate Island GEORGE D. COOMER. Two books we highly recommend. One is a splendid story of 8.l1 venture at sea, when American ships were in every port in the worhl, and the other tells of adventures while the first railway in the Anda Mountains was being built. Boys in the Forecastle Old Man of the Mountain WILLIAM DALTON. Three stories by one of the very greatest writers for boys. The stories deal with boys' adventures in India, China and Abyssinia.. These books are strongly recommended for boys' reading, as they contain a large amount of historical information. Tiger Prince White Elephant War Tiger-EDWARD S. ELLIS. These books are considered the best works this well-known writer .ever produced. No better reading for bright young Americans. Arthur Helmuth Perils of the Jungle Check No. 2134 On the Trail of Geronimo From Tent to White Houae White Mustang GEORGE MANVILLE FENN. For the past fifty years Mr. Fenn has been writing books for boys and :popular fiction. His books are justly popular throughout the English-speaking world. We publish the following select list of his boys' books, which we consider the best he ever wrote. Commodore Junk Dingo Boys Weathercock Golden Magnet Grand Chaco ENSIGN CLARKE FITCH, U.S. N. A graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, and tho roughly familiar with all naval matters. Mr. l<'itch has devoted him self to literature, and has written a series of books for boys that ever, DAVID McKAY, Publisher, Philadelphia. Uii)
young American should read. His stories are full of very interesting information about the navy, training ships, etc. Bound for Annapolis Clif, the Naval Cadet Cruise of the Training Ship From Port to Port Strange Cruise, A WILLIAM MUJI.RA Y GRAYDON. An anthor of world-wide popularity. Mr. Graydon is essenti ally a fr i end of young pe o ple, and we offer herewith t e n of his best works, wherein he relat e s a great diversity of interesting adventures in various parts of the world, combined with Meurate historical data. Butcher of Ca.wnpore, The Ca.mp in the Snow, The Ca.mpa.igning with Bra.ddock Cryptogra.m, The From La.ke to Wilderness In Barra.eke and Wigwam In Fort and Prison Jungles a.nd Traitors Rajah's Fortress, The White King of Africa., The LIEUT. FREDERICK GARRISON, U.S. A. Every Ameri can boy takes a keen interest in the affairs of West Point. No more capable writer on this popular subject c o uld be found than Lieut. Garrison, who vividly describes the life, adventures and unique incidents that have occurred in that great institution-in these famous West Point stories. Off' for West Point On Guard Cadet's Honor, A West Point Tree.aura, The West Point RiYalB, The DEA.DON HILL. The hunt for gold has always been a popular subject for considera tion, and Mr. Hill has added a splendid story on the subject in this romance of the Klondyke. Spectre Gold HENRY HARRISON LEWIS. Mr. I..e~is is a graduate of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and has written a great many books for boys. Among his best works are the following titles-the snbjectB include a vast series of adventures in all parts of the world. The historical data is correct, and they should be read by all boys, for the excellent information they contain. Centreboard Jim King of the Island ll/Iidshipman Merrill Ensign Merrill Sword and Pen Valley of Mystery, The Yankee Boys in Japan DAVID McKAY, Publisher, Philadelphia. (iv)
LIEUT. LIONEL LOUNSBERRY. A series of booke embracing many adventures under our famoue .iaval commanders, and with our armr during the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Founded on sound h1Story, these books are written for boys, with the idea of combining pleasure with profit; to cutivate a fondness for study-esi,euially of what haa been accomplished by our army and nary. Cadet; Kit Care:r Capain Care:r Kit Carey'a Protese Lieut. Care:r'a Luck Out With Commodore D806tur ltandy, the Pilot Tom Truxton' School Days Tom Truxton'& Ocean Trip 'l'reaaure of the Golden Crater Won at; Weat Point BROOKS McCORBICK. Four aplendi l books of adTenture on i,ea and land, by this well known writer for boys. Giant; Islanders, The How He Won Nat1:1re-. Young Nobleman Rival Battalions W .ALTER MOIi.ii.IS. 'This charming story contains thirty-two chapters of just the sort of school life that charms the boy readers. Bob Porter at; LalteYiew Academy ST .&.NLEV NOii.ii.IS. "Mr. Norris is without a rival aa a writer of "Circus Stories" fot boys These four books are full of thrilling adventures, but good, wholsome reading for young Americana. Phil, the S howma.n Youns Showman's Pluck, The Youns Showman's Rivals, The Youns Showman' Triumph LIEUT. J.&.MES K. OIi.TON. When a bo y haa read one of Lieut. Orton's books, it reqnires no urging to induce him to read the others. Not a dull page in any of them. Beach Boy Joe Last Cha.nee Mine Secret Chart, The Tom Havens with the Whit Squadron DAVID McKAY, Publisher, Philadelphia. (v)
JAMES OTIS. Mr. Otis is known by n early every American boy, and needs no in troduction here. The following copyrights are among his best : Ohaaed Through Norway .Inland Waterways Unprovoked Mutiny Wheeling for Fortune Reuben Green's AdTenturea at Yale GILBERT PATTEN. Mr. Patten has had the distinction of having his books adopted by the U. S. Government for all naval libraries on board our war ships. While aiming to avoid the extravagant and senlll\tional, the stories contain enough thrilling incident& to please the lad who loves action and adventure In the Rockepur stories the description of their Baseball and Football Games and other contests with rival : lubs and teams make very exciting and absorbing reading; and few IJoys with warm blood in their veins, having once begun the perusal of one of these books, will willingly lay it down till it is finished. Bo:r Boomera Bo:r Cattle King Bo:r from the West Don Kirke'a Mine J"ud and J"oe Rockapur Nine, The Rockapur Eleven, The Rockapur Rival, The ST. GEORGE RATHBORNE. Mr. Rathbome' s stories for boys have the peculiar charm of dealing with localities and conditions with which he is thoroughly familiar. The scenes of these excellent stories are along the Florida coast and on the western prairies. Canoe and Camp Fire Paddling Under Palmettos Rival Canoe Bo:ra Sunset Ranch Chums of the Prairie Young Ranee Riders Gulf Cruisers Shiftin& Winds ARTHUR SEWELL. An American story by as American author. It relates how a Yankee boy overcame many obstacles in school and out. Thoroughly interesting from start to finish. Gay Duhleigh's Academy Da:rs DAVID McKAY, Publisher, Philadelphia. (vi}
CAPT. DAVID SOUTHWICK. An exceptionally good story of frontier life among the Indians in the far West, during the early settlement period .Tack Wheeler The Famous Frank Merriwell Stories. BURT L. STANDISH. No modem series of tales for boys and youths has met with anything like the cordial reception and popularity accorded to the Frank Merriwell Stories. There must be a reason for this and there is. Frank Merri well, as portrayed by the author, i s a j olly whole-souled, honest, courageous American lad, who appeals to the hearts of the boys. He has no bad habits, and his manliness inculcates the idea that it is not necessary f o r a boy to indulge in petty vices to be a hero. Frank Merri well' s example is a shining light for every ambitious lad to follow. Seventeen volumes now ready : Frank Merriwell's School Daya Frank Merriwell's Chuma Frank Merriwell's Foes Frank Merriwell' s Trip West Frank Merri well Down South Frank Merriwell's Bravery Frank Merriwell's Races Frank Merriwell's Sports Afteld Frank Merriwell at Yale Frank Merriwell's Courage Frank Merriwells Daring Frank Merriwell's Skill Frank Merriwell's Champions Frank Merriwell'a Return to Yale Frank Merriwell's Hunting Tour Frank Merriwoll's Secret Frank Merriwell's Loyalty' VICTOR ST. CLAIR. These books are full of good, clean adventure, thrilling enough te please the full-b looded wide-awake boy, yet containing nothing to which there can be any objection from those who are careful as to the kind of books they put into the hands of the young. C11,11t Away in the .Jungle From Switch to Lever Comrades Under C11,11tro Little Snap, the Post Boy For Home and Honor Zig-Zag, the Boy Conjurer Zip, the Acrobat MATTHEW WHITE, JR.. Good, healthy, strong books for the American lad. No more in tere11ting books for the young appear on our lists. Adventures of a Young Athlete Eric Dane Guy Hammersley My Mysterious Fortune Tour of a Private Oar Young Editor, The DAVID McKAY, Publisher, Philadelphia. (vii)
ARTHUR ltl. WINFIELD. One of the most popular authors of boys' books. Here are three of his best. )lark Dale's Btaee Venture Young Bank Clerk, The Young Bridge Tender, The G.&. VLE WINTERTON. This very intere,ting 1tory relates the trials and tnurovhs of a Young American Actor, including the solution of a very puzzling my s tery. Young Actor, The ERNEST A. YOUNG. This book is not a treatise on sports, as the title would indicate, but relates a series of thrilling adventures among boy campers in the woods of Maine. Boats, Bats and Bio:,ole11 DAVID McKAY, Publulher, Philadelphia. (rill)