The league of five, or, Washington's boy scouts

The league of five, or, Washington's boy scouts

Material Information

The league of five, or, Washington's boy scouts
Post Commander
McKay, David
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Children's stories ( lcsh )
Juvenile literature -- 1899 ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogs -- 1899 ( lcsh )
United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- Fiction ( lcsh )
United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )

Record Information

Source Institution:
University Of South Florida
Holding Location:
University Of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
024138884 ( ALEPH )
03281168 ( OCLC )
C21-00025 ( USFLDC DOI )
c21.25 ( USFLDC Handle )

USFLDC Membership

Added automatically
Children's Literature Collection

Postcard Information



This item has the following downloads:

Full Text


/, v ()


BOYS OF LIBERTY LIBRARY. 12mo. Cloth, handsomely bound. Price, each, poatpaid, 50 centa. PAtJL REVERE and the Boys of Liberty. By John De Morgan. THE FIRST SHOT FOR LIBERTY or The Minute Men of Maasacbusetts. By John De Morgan. FOOLING THE ENEMY. A Story of the Siege of Boston. By John De Morgan. INTO THE JAWS OF DEATH or The Boys of Liberty at the Battle of Long Island. By John De Morgan. THE HERO OF TICONDEROGA or Ethan Allen and Hia Green Mountain Boys. By John De Morgan. ON TO QUEBEC or With Montgomery In Canada. By John De Morgan. FIGHTING HAL or From Fort Neceoaity to Quebec. By John De Morgan. MARION AND HIS MEN or The Swamp Fox of Carolina. By John De Morgan. THE YOUNG AMBASSADOR or Washington's First Triumph. By John De Morgan. THE YOUNG GUARDSMAN or With Washington in the Ohio Valley. By John De Morgan. THE CRUISE OF THE LIVELY BEE or A Boy's Adventure in the War of 1812. By John De Morgan. THE TORY PLOT or Saving Washington's Life. By T. C. Harbaugh. JN BUFF AND BLUE or Serving under Old Put. By T C. Harbaugh. WASHINGTON'S YOUNG SPY or Outwitting General Howe. By T. C. Harbaugh. UNDER GREENE'S BANNER or The Boy Heroes of 1781. By T. C. Harbaugh. FOR FREEDOM' S CAUSE or On to Saratoga. By T. C Harbaugh. CAPTAIN OF THE MINUTE MEN or The Concord Boya of 1775. By Harrie Irving H ancock. -THE TRADER'S CAPTIVE or The Young Guardsman and The French Spies. By Lieut. Lounsberry. THE QUAKER SP. Y, A Tale of the Revolutionary War. By Lieut. Lounsberry. FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM or The Birth of the Stars and Stripes. By Lieut. Lounsberry. BY ORDER OF THE COLONEL or The Captain of the Young Guarda men. B y I i eut. L ounsberry. A CALL TO DUTY or The Young Guardsman. B y Lieut. Lounsberry. JN GLORY'S VAN or The Young Guardsman at Louisbourg. B y Lieut. Lounsberry. THE YOUNG PATRIOT or The Young Guardsmen at Fort William Henry. By Lieut. Lounsberry. "OLD PUT" THE PATRIOT or Fighting for Home and Country. By Frederic k A Obe r. THE LEAGUE OF FIVE or Washington's Boy Scouts. By Commander Pos t. THE KING'S MESSENGER or The Fall of Ticonderoga. By Capt. Frank R alph. DASHING PAUL JONES, The Hero of the Colonial Navy. By Frank Sheridan. FROM MIDSHIPMAN TO COMMODORE or The Glories of Our Infant Navy. By Frank Sheridan. THE CRUISE OF THE ESSEX or Making the Stars and Stripes Re spected. B y Frank Sheridan.


"Then Lucy leaned forward to Philip and said, gently: It was but a pretense, sir, to get chance of speech with you.'" (See page 96)




Copyrlgltt, 1889 By NORMAN L. MUNRO The League of Five


. I THE LEAGUE OF FIVE. CHAPTER I. THE BOY MARTYRit. "Swing 'em up! they're old enough are!" They're old enough to bite, and to hang, like rebel pups, as they And yet even the grim old Hessian sergeant, who was doing the work; said compassionately: "Ach, Gott, herr captain, dey vas only kinder schildren." "Swing 'em up, I tell you!" shouted Bulldog Ferguson, gettin g red in the face. "The cubs are old enough to hang !" Yet they were only children-the youngest not ten, the oldest only fourteen, with frank, honest faces and so!emn-looking blue eyes, as they stood in the shadow of the gallows their arms pinion e d with cruel cords, a crowd of brutal German soliders round them, while they heard nothing but the merciless order : "Swing 'em up! They're old enou g h to hang!" And why were they to hang, these boys of East Chester, not twenty miles from New York standing on the green before old St. Paul's, in sight of the same


,' 6 The Boy M a r t yrs. salt m e adows, creek a nd dist ant bay as to d ay ? What had they d o n e t o dese r ve deat h so young? Only that mo rning, th ey ha d been pla y in g on t h e green, when th ey h a d see n th e g l ea m of b ay onet s, afar off, on the ro ad fro m Throgg's N e ck, and had run to tell the peopl e : "The Briti s h are com in g Rouse up !" The hard y far me r s of t he n e i g h b o rho o d hearing the news, had turne d out with t heir rus t y firelocks to r epe l what they th o u ght a small m a r audi n g party, and fired into the advanc e d s k irmi s h l i ne o nly to find tha t the enemy were n ea rly five hundred stron g principally Hes sians ; so that the tw e nty or thirty American s had to run for their liv e s to carry the n e ws through Wes t Chester County that the British were coming in be hind Gen. Washing ton, who was then at Kingsbridge, and to warn him to fall back, if h e would not b e cut off and all hopes of saving l berty destroyed forev e r The boys of to-day, when they read in thei r school histories the stor y of the year 1776, seldom realize what a dark year it was, and what trials boys like themselves had to under g o, in da y s within the memories of some of our grandfathers, who told them as old stories to the fathers of these very boys. There stands old St. P a ul's, East Chester, to-day, the same church as then ; and th e salt meadows and creek are s till unaltered from what they were on th a t dreadful day, when the thre e Underhill boys were hung by the Hes sians on th e iron strut that held the sign of the Underhill Tavern, which stands th e re, to day, opposite the church now known as the Fay M an sion. For, before the Americans fell back to spread the


The Boy Martyrs. 7 news, they had killed three Hessian soldiers and one officer, and wounded nearly a dozen more, and Bu lldog Ferguson, the commander, was wild for his revenge. And the last shot, which killed Ensign Habelman, had been fired from a window of the Underhill Tavern, by some one who had escaped and been seen to ride away full speed toward Kingsbriclge. Therefore Maj. Ferguson had seized the boys, and they stood under the faded old sign, where the portrait of George III. had not yet been painted out, though three ropes dangled from the iron bar, with nooses at the end. And under the bar, with nooses round their necks, stood the three children who were to die. Very pale they were, and there was a pitiful, ap pealing look in their soft blue eyes as they looked round into the stern faces of the hard, brutal Germans, and the square, bulldog countenance which had given his nickname to Ferguson. They saw the village where they had been reared, the pool in the creek where they had dived in the July heats, many a day before ; the trees turning crimson and gold in the soft October noon ; everything looking so beautiful now that they were about to leave it for ever. A low groan burst from the frightened group of women, looking on afar off, as the grim old sergeant put the noose round the neck of the last ; and one might have seen, even in the stolid faces of the Hessians, signs of some compunction at what they were doing; while the sergeant was as slow as he could be, though he did not dare disobey orders. Finally he touched his hat saying gruffly: ,,


8 The Boy Martyrs. "All is ready, herr major." Then Bulldog Ferguson called out, sharply: "Three men to those ropes-you, you and you." The Hessians indicated stepped out in all their glory of furred dolmans and pelisses, and took hold of the ropes, while the major approached the boys and looked sternly into the three white faces. "Tell me who fired from this house and I'll let you off," he said. The three boys looked at him, but neither spoke, and he directly addressed the eldest: "Do you know who killed my officer?" "I cannot tell you," was all the answer the boy made. "Why not?" asked Ferguson, sternly. "Because I am an American, and we never turn traitors," was the low reply, given throu g h wh ite lips, but with eyes flaming defiance. The major struck him fiercely with his open hand. "Insolent cub, don't you know that the Yankee s are all traitors to the best king that ever lived?" The boy made no answer, and the cap tai n said to the sergeant : "Swing up the little one, quick!" Then came an othe r groan from the frightened women, and one of them dropped down in a dead faint as the youn ge r child was swun g up from the ground and hung there, gurgling out his poor little life with a horrible, chokin g sound. The captain seized the eldest boy by the shoulder and shook him furiously, saying savagely: Quick I Tell me who it was, and I'll cut your brother down !"


The Boy Martyrs. 9 A terrible struggle agitated the poor bpy's breast, but all he answered was, in a stifled way : "Kill us all! I'll never turn traitor !" "Swing up the second!" was the merciless order of the brutal Ferguson. And in a moment the second child was dangling in the air, so close to his pinioned brother that, as he struggled in his death agony, his feet struck the last of the three left alive to torture him still more. Then at last the poor boy broke out into a wild cry: "Paul! Harry! Oh, my God! Mother, mother I where are you?" And with that down he fell on the ground, with the noose yet round his neck, and lay still. The brutal major watched the swinging bodies with an expr ess ion of bitter anger at his own disappoint ment, and at last stirred the senseless boy with his foot, saying to the sergeant, shortly: "Let him hang, too, then; obstinate cub that he is t Swing him up, as an example to the rest." The grim old sergeant stooped down and laid his broad hand on the boy's chest, after which he looked up at the major with a singular expression as he said, quietly: "De poy's tead, herr major." It was true. The agony had broken his young heart, and he had cheated the worst that Ferg uson could do. And then, as if to make the horror of the scene still more impr essive, a wild figure, all rags and tatters, that h ad been loun ging round among the villagers gaping at the execution with a vacant stare of unmis takable idiocy, suddenly darted to the fallen body, with


IO The Boy Martyrs. a wild, inarticulate cry, like a dog howling over his master's grave. Ferguson started at the sudden yell with which the poor, demented creature had burst in among the sol diers, and said, sternly, to a woman, .who had run eagerly after the boy : "What 's this? Who's this fellow?''The woman, pale, thin, miserable and trembling for fear of his fate, managed to falter out: "For God's sake don't hurt him, sir! He isn't right in his head, sir. It's my son, that they call Crazy Dan, sir, and he loved the child!" Anyone could see it from the way in which the poor, demented boy had caught up the body, and was hu;s g ing it in his arms, rocking to and fro, and c roonin g 2 low song, as if hushing a baby to sleep. But lhe maj o r only said, shortly: "So much the worse for him. Who were t11ose cubs? What was their name ?" The woman faltered out: "Oh, sir, only the Underhill boys-Paul, Harry and Esau." "And who fire d that shot?" asked the major, sternly. "I saw him ride away. Who was he?" The woman burst into t ea rs while Crazy Dan rocked the dead boy in his arms, moaning over him more like a dumb animal than ever. "Oh, sir," she sobbed out, "it was too cruel to kill them for that. It was their e!clP.r brother, Philip Underhill, of the Ranger$. They could i1ot betray him, could th ey?" And when Bulldog Ferguson heard that a slight


Philip and the Idiot Boy. I I change came over even his iron features, as he muttered: "Poor little beggars I'm sorry for it. Their brother! But it can't be helped." Then he went back to his command and issued his next orders, in tones that showed the irritation of self accusation to be sharp. "What are you staring at, you fools? Get into the ranks again and move on. We've lost too much time already. Fall in! Let those bodies down. Skirmishers to the front. Forward, march!" And the glittering bayonets passed up the road, Bulldog Ferguson riding ahead, leaving the peaceful village green silent and deserted, save for the dead bodies; Crazy Dan rocking poor little Esau Underhill in his arms and moaning in the same pitiful, animal way as before. And so passed an hour, till the hoofbeats of a horse caused one of the women to cry out agitatedly: "Oh, my God! here comes Philip Underhill. Who'll tell him?" CHAPTER II. PHILIP AND THE IDIOT BOY. The horseman coming in from Kingsbridge was a youth, hardly more than a boy. He was a tall, handsome young fellow, fair-haired and blue-eyed like his brothers, mounted on a fine bay horse and carryin g a long rifie over his knees, the stock and barrel inlaid with silver. He wore a powder horn and bullet pouch,


u Philip and the Idiot Boy. and was dressed in the fringed white hunting shirt, which hunters of the time affected, and which many of the new companies in Washington's poorly equipped army adopted as the cheapest obtainable. In fact, he was only a militiaman of that day, untrained, save at home, but his face and bearing were those of a born soldier The women of the hamlet knew him from afar and came running out of their cottages, gather ing in front of the bodies to hide them from his sight; but he paid no heed to th em, as he asked cragerly: "Which way have they gone, the British, I mean?" "To New Rochelle," chorused t he women. They had seen the column take th at r oad, and knew that the Brit ish fleet la y at New Rochelle, sweeping the land with broadsides to cover the landing of more troops. Philip Underhill looked round at the houses curi ously, saying: "Humph! they have improved their manners, I see; I thought they would have set fire to the houses. Never mind, ladies, it is a long lane that has no turning. I had a hard ride, but I warned the genera l in time, and he will be beyond White Plains by nightfall. Where are the boys-hiding?" He had n0 suspicion of what had happened. He had simpl y come back to follow up the enemy. "Where are the boys?" he repeated, presently, in a tone of impatience. "I want to tell Esau how to take care of things while I'm away." The women were silent, and he saw in their faces that something had happened. He turned a little paler, and asked:


Philip and the Idiot Boy. 13 "What is the matter? Why don't you speak? Have the British carried them off?" And then, in the midst of the oppressive silence that followed, he heard the low moaning of Crazy Dan, as he rocked to and fro with the body of poor little Esau in his arms. The woman had removed the dead bodies of the other boys to the house, where they had laid them out decently; but when they had tried to take Esau from the idiot he had glared at them so ferociously and uttered such a savage, animal snarl, that they had shrunk from him in fear, though he had not seemed to care when they took away the other children. Now, as he sat there, rocking the dead boy to and fro, Philip Underhill leaped from his horse, burst through the group of pale women and uttered a low cry at the sight that met him. Then he stood staring at Dan as if turned to stone, and it was not till one of the women touched him on the shoulder that he looked round and asked hoarsely: "Who did that?" They all burst out sobbing, and Dan's mother told him the story in a few, pitiful words. "The Hessians hung Paul and Harry for not telling who fired at their officer, and Esau dropped dead as a stone when he saw his brothers murdered." Philip Underhill listened to the recital like one in a maze. His eyes were dry, but gleaming with a strange light. They had expected him to burst out raving, or to break down in sobs ; but, after his first hoarse question, he seemed cold and hard, almost as if he did not feel the blow he had received.


14 Philip and the Idiot Boy. After a long pause, in which he looked steadily at the body, the women watching him in alarm, he laid his hand on the head of the idiot boy, who looked up with the same angry snarl as before. But his vacant face changed when he saw Philip, and he burst into a storm of sobs and tears, stammering brokenly: "Oh, Phil! Phil! Phil! Cappen Phil! Esau cold! cold I cold !" The bereaved one looked at him steadily. He had known Dan from a child, and the idiot had always called him "cappen," from some idea that he was a leader among the other boys. People said that he had acquired a strange influence over the half-witted crea ture. He could make him talk when none else could, and Dan would follow him about like a faithful dog. "Dan," said Philip, slowly, "do you know the man who killed Esau?" A look of intelligence gleamed from the dull eyes, and Dan said, with suppressed eagerness: "Yes, Cappen Phil. I know him. I know him !" "Will you show him to me, Dan?" asked Philip. The idiot nodded violently. Then Philip turned away to the worr.en, and said in a low, grave tone: "Show me the others." They took him into the house, and showed him the poor little bodies, laid out decently on a large bed, be side which sat a white-headed old man-his own grandfather, so old that sense and memory were almost gone now. The poor old man did not know there was any revolution going on, for he looked up almost as vacantly as Dan, and smiled and nodded to Philip, saying:


Philip and the Idiot Boy. "Phil, Phil I Be quite quiet. Boys tired. Let 'em sleep." "He don't know it, sir, any more than the babe unborn," whispered one of the women. "What a mercy their poor father and mother ain't here to fret over them." A quick spasm passed over the face of Philip Under hill, as he said, hoarseiy: "Thank God for that, at least. They are all to gether now." Then he bent down and silently kissed the cold, white foreheads, after which he said to the women, in a stifled kind of way: "See to the fun e ral for me. I must away to my duty. God bless you for what you have done. Take care of my grandfather." He went to the old man's chair, bent down an : kissed his forehead, at which the other looked up. "Hey, Phil. Phil, what is it?" "Good-by, grandfather," was all the boy could say, brokenly. The old man's eye fell on the long rifle in the lad's hand, and his face lighted up as he said, eagerly: "Going hunting, Phil? Good boy. Bring home a deer. I like venison. Good boy, Phil. Good-by, good by." Then he nodded again as if sleepy, and so they left him, sitting in his armchair by the dead bodies, while Philip went out and tapped the idiot boy sharply on the shoulder, saying: "Dan, get up. Come with me." The poor creature hesitated and hugged the dead boy a little closer, saying moaningly:


r6 Philip and the Idiot Boy. "Cappen Phil! No take Esau! No take Esau!" "Esau is asleep," said Phil, gravely; "give him to me, Dan." And then, without a murmur, Crazy Dan obeyed, placing the dead boy in the arms of his brother. For one moment the stalwart young fellow shud dered as he felt the dead weight, and muttered: "My brother! My brother!" For Esau had been his favorite. But the short-lived emotion was over in a moment, leaving his white face set like a mask of stone, as he gave the body to the women, saying quietly as he did it: "See them buried decently. There is money in the house. Grandfather will not live long, and there is enough to take care of him while he lasts. I am going away now. You will not see me again till I have avenged this murder. Come, Dan." Dan's mother ran forward with a cry as the idiot boy followed his young master submissively, crying aloud: "Phil, Phil, don t Jet them hurt Dan!" He waved his hand to her with a sin g ular, solemn air. "Is he better than my brothers?" was all he asked. Then, as she drew back, he added more kindly: "We are going to the woods, where we shall be safe. Good-by!" He mounted his horse and called Dan to his side. The idiot, as soon as Esau had been removed from his sig ht, seemed to forget all about it, for he ran to the side of the horse with a smile on his face, calling out: "Goin' huntin', Cappen Phil? Take Dan?" Philip nodded to him.


Philip and the Idiot Boy. 17 "Ay, ay. we are going hunting, Dan. Can you keep up with Rover?" The idiot gave a caper in the air that showed the possession of wonderful strength and agility for all his weak brain, and cried, in tones of deli ght: "Dan keep up Come on, Cappen Phil ; I show you!" And with that down the road toward New Rochelle he ran, with the speed of a deer, putting the bay horse to a gallop to keep up with him, the women watching him wistfully as he went till the turning of the road and the trees hid them both from sight. Once out of sight, the idiot boy ran on as tirelessly as a dog in the road till they had crossed the old creek and stood on the top of a hill, overlooking the Sound and the bays of New Rochelle. Then he uttered a cry like that of a wild beast, and pointed down to the water and land which was covered with ships, gleaming steel, and all the paraphernalia of an army and fleet. The vacant face seemed to be transformed into that of a demon. The thin lips were drawn back from the white teeth in a snarl like that of an an g ry dog, as Dan shrieked out: "Dan see 'em! Dan see 'em! Men hurt Paul and Harry I There, there!" The young scout looked down on the scene in silence as he drew his rein on the summit of the hill. Anxious as he was for revenge, he saw that it was useless to expect it there, for the British soldiers covered the face of the country, and were already moving inland, in the direction of White Plains, where he knew that the Americans were gathe rin g. Scattered parties were al most within gunshot, and even as he looked came the


18 Crazy Dan. flash of a piece, and a bullet struck the ground some little way ahead. Philip Underhill hesitated only a moment, and then said to Dan: "Come with me, Dan. They are too many now, but I will tell the general what I have seen, and we will get satisfaction some other day." And he plunged into the woods in the direction of the Hudson, the idiot keeping pace with the horse as fleetly as ever. CHAPTER III. CRAZY DAN. Nearly two months had passed away, and the bare branches of the trees sighed in the winter winds that wailed over the snows amid the desolate regions on the banks of the frozen Delaware, when Philip Underhill and Crazy Dan sat by a smoldering fire in the woods not far from the river. The idiot boy was gnawing the bones of a squirrel, with an expression of animal satisfaction; Philip was staring gloomily into the fire, as if buried in thought. Not far off, the bay horse was munching corn from a nosebag under a tree. The low grounds by the river were flooded and frozen; the forests stood black amid the snow wreaths, and Christmas had come; a gloomy Chri s t m as for the Americans. The British troops h 'a

Crazy Dan. County till they had taken refuge be yond N e w Jersey. Cornw allis, with his dragoons and Hess i a ns was taking his will throu g h the province, plundering and burning, while the Hessians, more savage even than the troops of the king, vied with each other in brutality, till the English grenadiers were ashamed of their comrades in-arms. The provinces of New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island were prostrate at the feet of thirty-five thousand royal troops, and the Tories of the country were coming in by scores to give their submission to Howe. Even the militia of Washington's army was melting away by desertion or the expiration of terms of service; whole regiments leaving him at a time, till it seemed as if all was indeed lost. Everything looked dark for the patriots, while the English were living on the fat of the land. No wonder poor Philip Underhill looked gloomy, and as he looked across the smoldering fire at the idiot, thought to himself: "Would that I, too, had lost my senses. Perhaps I should not suffer as much as I do." For Crazy Dan was a strange compound, as well as a strange figure He had the frame of a young giant, the activity of a cat, the cunning (in some things) of a fox, with the intellect of a little child. When not re quired to talk or reason, he frequently displayed singular acuteness of observation. He would catch fish in a stream with his bare hands by stealthy movements, as the heron does; find birds' nests, squirrels' holes and rabbits' forms where no one else would think of looking ; and seemed to be on familiar terms with all the animal creation like one of themselves, while he fol lowed and obeyed Philip like a tame dog. When Philip


Crazy Dan. talked to him he seemed to und e rst a nd, thou g h he could not answer-just as a dog does. That day he sat gnawing his bones jus t like a dog, Philip staring moodily at the fire, when Dan suddenly stopped and uttered a hiss. It was the idiot's signal that he had s omething to communicate which the other had fail e d to detect. Dan's senses were as sharp as those of a wild animal. Philip stretched out his hand for his rifle, and Dan rolled over on his face, looking intently through the brush toward the road. A moment later, Philip, watching his childish face intently, saw it assunie an expression of int e nse ferocity. The lips were drawn back to show the teeth, like a dog snarling, and then, with a swift, gliding movement, Dan crept on all fours to the top of the bank that hid their fire, threw himself flat on his face, and peeped / over the top. Philip, who had learned to trust him as much as a dog, crept up beside him, gun in hand, and could see in the distance the outline of some one on horseback going slowly toward the village of Trenton, which was about six miles off. The person on horseback seemed to be accompanied by two others on foot; but that was all Philip could see. He looked at Dan sharply. The boy's face was per fectly diabolical in its ferocity, as he watched the dis t.ant figure, while, at the same time, he appeared to be desperately afraid or horror-stricken. "What is it, Dan?" Philip whispered, at last. "Esau, Esau !" moaned the boy. "Cold, cold, cold I Man did it! Man did it!" Philip started and clutched his arm hard.


Crazy Dan. 2. I "Do you mean yonder is one of the men who killed Esau?" he asked. The i diot nodde d violently. "Man did it. One, two, '!even--" He tried to count on his finge rs, as a two-year-old child mi g ht, and failed; but finally h e ld up one hand showing he meant five. His companion had had too much exp e rience of Dan's marvelous acuteness of vis ion to doubt that he recognized one of the murderers of the children, at the distance of half a mile. He said to him only: "Come, Dan, find him." Dan uttered a low whine of deli g ht, just as a dog might, and began a marvelously skillful advance, to intercept the people on the road; Philip following him closely, knowing by experience that the idiot was sure to take the best possible way In fact, D a n advanc ed on his foes just as a panth e r mi g ht, gliding from tree to tree, peeping round ea ch to make su r e he was not seen, and stealing forward on ly when he saw the coast cle a r. In this manne r, followed by Philip, Dan r ea ch ed a clump of t re es, about three hundred yards ahead of the appro achin g party, and t h en waited, trembling all o ver like a cat pre paring t o spring. Yet Dan had not a sing l e weapon about him; and his lon g, matted, yellow h air hun g do w n on either side of the face of a c hild, thou g h his sinewy frame was that of a young Hercules. Philip c rept up beside him and whispered, sharply: "Keep still Quiet, I say !" Instantly Dan sunk down, like a dog at "down charg-e" ; though his eyes were still fix e d on the road.


22 Crazy Dan. Philip's word was law, and had to be obeyed; and they waited until the approaching party hc. ve in sight. Then Philip saw that the person on horsebac k was a woman She was coming slowly along, the bridle thrown over her horse's head, while the ani ma l was led by a grim-looking Hessian ser g eant; a second Hessia n sol dier walking on the other side, musket on shoulder The sergeant carried only a halberd and a short sword, and the woman was obviously a prisoner. Philip leveled his rifle and fired at the Hessian with the musket, who instantly dropped like a log. In the same moment Crazy Dan uttered a wild yell and rushed out, bare-handed as he was, straight for the sergeant. But the sergeant, nowise taken by surprise, threw forward his halberd instantly, to run Dan through. He did not know the strength and cunning of the demented boy. With an active spring Dan evaded the thrust of the clumsy weapon; seized it in his hands, and began a fierce struggle for its possession, snarling and growling like a wild beast, till he had got close to the Hessian, when he let go the halberd and rushed at the other's throat. From that moment the struggle was practically over, for it was with the strength of a wild animal that Dan clutched, tore and bit at his foe, till he had fairly got the old soldier down, chokin g the life out of him. In his best days the old sergeant could not have mas tered Dan, and now he was old and stiff. He became fainter and fainter, till at last he lay still his face purple and distorted, his eyes starting from his head. At this moment Philip, who had coolly reloaded his


Crazy Dan. 23 rifle while the struggle was going on, c a lled out sharply: "Let go! Let go, I say!" The idiot obe y ed reluctantly and drew back, watching the senseless body lik e a dog about to spring if he detected the least sign of life; while Philip approached the woman on horseback, who had been sitting, as if petrified with f ear, staring at Crazy Dan. Her horse, which was thin and poor, stood with drooping head in different to all. Then Philip took off his hat and said in the grave, rather stilted way of speaking then common in addressing ladi es: "I regret madam, to have been obliged to force such a scene on a lady ; but you were a prisoner to these men and now you are free." He looked at her closely as he spoke, and saw that she had a beautiful young face, with dark eyes and hair; while her voice was very sweet and tremulous as she said: "I was a prisoner, sir; but who are you? Surely you speak like one who wishes well to the g ood cause, but I thought none of our troops were left this side of the Delaware." "I am a patriot, madam. To which cause do you hold?" h e s a id. "To th e C o n g re s s sir But I h a v e no t d a r e d say it openly; for my father i s a Loya list a nd hi g h in favor with the H e ssian colonel, Rahl, who s e men are in Trenton "And how came you to be a prisoner?" asked Philip, curiously.


Crazy Dan. The young lady glanced apprehensively round her, as if fearing to be overheard ; but none were nigh save the dead soldier, the insensible sergeant and the idiot boy, who stood watching the scene with a vacant stare, all his short-lived fury departed. "You are a patriot, sir," she said, at l ast "How you came here I know not; but you must be brave to be bere, alone amid the British. You can do our country a service. Will you do it?" "I will, if it can be done," was all he said. "Listen," she replied. "I am Lucy Field, and my father is Deacon Field, of the church at Trenton. There are two regiments of Hessians there, and the nearest troops are twelve miles away. I heard that our ge neral was over the river, with several thous and troops, and I determined to tell him if I could cro ss the rive r. But there was no boat, and as I was signaling to the other bank I was taken by the Hessian patrol, and sent in, as you saw. Now, sir, will you cross the river and tell the good genera l what a chance he has." "I will, madam," said Philip, g rav ely "Permit me to add that, if all our girls had your spirit we shou ld not be slaves long. Ride home, Mistress Lucy Field and God speed you ." "And may I not know the name of my preserv er, sir?" she asked, looking at his handsome face w ith a blush that became her well. "You may c all me Philip," he answered "I hav e no 0ther name now. It is lost till this war is ended." They were interrupted by a fie rce snarl from Crazy Dan as the sergeant stirred, and Philip added, hastily, to Lucy:


The Sergeant's Fate. "Ride home, Mistress Lucy Field, quickly. It grows late." She looked timidly at the idiot boy, and he added: "Fear not for yourself or me, madam. Only go home, for fear aught may befall you." And with that she rode away, not lookjng behind her, while Philip turned to the reviving sergeant. CHAPTER IV. THE SERGEANTS PATE. The excitement of the idiot was growing again as he watched the faint struggles of the sergeant, and it required all Philip's authority to restrain him from springing once more on the helpless man. He ordered Dan to lie down," jus t as if he had been a dog, and the idiot obeyed him like one, but l ay there g laring at the sergeant, as the poor wretch op ened his eyes and struggled up to a sitting posture, only to find Philip standing before him with a rifle point ed at him, as he demanded, sternly: "vVho are you ?" The sergeant looked up stupidly. "Ach, Gott I surrender. Vat more you vant ?" Philip turned to Dan, asking : "Is this one of them ?'' ''Yes, Cappen Phil, yes-yes Man did it," the idiot cried, eagerly. Then the bereaved brother began: "What is you name, rank, regiment?"


The Sergeant's Fate. "Sergt. Hans Weber, Twelft' Regimenter, Hessian contingent," was the sulky reply. "Were you at East Chester in October?" "Y ah, yah ; I vas in East Shester? V ot of dot?" Philip's voice grew hoarser as he asked : "Did you see three children hung there?" Then the sergeant turned pale, as he stammered : "Ach, Gott, yah It was bad, bad, too bad. It was not my fault. I dry to save dem schildren, but de major he vas resolf." Philip never allowed his voice to show any excite ment as he said : "Who was the major? A Hessian?" "Ach, Gott, nein I Ve vas bad mans, but not so bad as dot." "Who was he, then?" "He vas Maj. Ferguson, dot dey call Pulltog Fer-guson of dem Royal Scots." Philip drew a long breath. "Did he order the hanging?" "Y ah, yah ; I tole you dot pefore." "What had you to do with it?" "I hafe to opey orter, mein herr. I put de rope round dem neck. Put I vas not de onlee von. No, inteet, I vas not, mein herr." He said this tremulously, for he saw that the face of the youth before him was growing as black as a thunder cloud; but Philip only said, cocking his rifle as he spoke: "Who were the others ? Quick, before I kill you !" He looked so determined that the ser geant cried out: "Mein Gott, dor"t shoot! I dells-I dells. Dere vas


The Sergeant's Fate. Hans Kruger, unt Wilhelm Bruns, unt Franz Kappell man. Dey vas all of mein gompany-all." Slowly the outcast patriot boy r epeated the names to himself, as if to fix them in his memory, and then asked: "Where are they now ?" "Mit der regimenter-ach, Gott! vat vas you going to do?" He started to his feet at something he saw in Philip's eye, and the youth replied, slowly: "I am going to kill you. I am the brother of those boys, and I have vowed vengeance on all concerned in their execu tion Say your prayers The grim old sergeant flushed up and faced him boldly. "Shoot avay, den. You vas a tarned coward to shoot an unarm man." And he looked so proud that Philip hesitated a mo ment. Not for long, thou g h He lowered the rifle, and pointed to the musket of the dead Hessian, saying briefly: "Pick up that gun, then. Take a chance for your life." The sergeant ran to the fallen piece, and Philip al lowed him to pick it up and cock it. But as he was raising it to his shoulder came a sharp crack, and the Hessian dropped like a log, shot through the heart, while Crazy Dan capered about, crying, with a shrill laugh: "One, Cappen Phil one I one! More coming! More coming !" Philip pointed to the halberd, saying briefly: "Take that and come along, Dan. We have to cross


28 The Sergeant's Fate. the river. The shots will attract attention. Follow me." They went back through the woods with much the same precaution with which they had advanced, for they knew that they were still in the midst of enemies, who might be attracted by the sound of firing. Dan carried the halberd of the sergeant on one shoul der, the musket of the soldi er on the other, and capered and hummed as he went; for he already seemed to have forgotten everything except that he had a new toy in his hands. When they reached the place where the fire had been, they found it smoldered into a heap of embers ; but another discovery startled them still more. The horse was gone For a moment Philip could scarcely believe his eyes. The next he saw the tracks in the snow, quite plain, and said to Dan : "Horse gone. Find him, Dan." The idiot understood him and set off on the track with th e silent obedience of a dog. Presently he threw away the musket and halberd, as if he had forgotten all about them i n a new excitement, and cried out: "Me see him!" Dartin g off throu g h the woods at a rate of speed that puzzl ed Philip to keep up with him till of a sudden he paused and pointe d to the figure of a horseman, followed by two footmen, com in g alon g the ro a d at the edge of the wood in an oppo site direction from that which had been t:l :en by Lucy Field, and going straigh t toward the river Delaware Then Philip called to Dan: "Stop Hide!" The idiot boy instantly slipped behind a tree, when the two kept up their cautious advance in the same way


The Sergeant's Fate. in which they had stalked the two Hessians, till they arrived at a place whlch they knew the others must pass, where they waited in hiding. Presently the three strangers came in view, and Philip discovered that they were all boys, the oldest only about eightee n. From the family likeness he conclud ed them to be brothers, and their dress showed them to be farm boys. One, mounted on Philip's horse, carried a long rifle, the others had common fowling pieces, but all had horns and pouches. Dan seemed to regard them with perfect equanimity, and Phllip always trusted the idiot's instinct t o scent foes. As soon as they were near enough he hailed them from behind a tree, and the effect was instantaneous. Quick as a flash the mounted boy was off his horse, and all three had taken to cover, with a quickness that argued long practice, when Philip heard the cry: "Who goes there ? King or Congress ?" "Congress !" replied Philip, from behind ms tree. "Who are you ?" "Patriots," came back the answer; but no one stirred from his covert. Then Philip cri ed out angrily : "Why did you steal my horse? Is that the way one patriot treats an oth er? Come out and show yours elves, if you are patriots. I am not afraid." With that he stepped out into full view, and instantly his three opponents came out also, and stood there, lookin g puzzled and half ashamed of themselves, while he pursued, "Why did you steal my horse?" The eldest boy answered r athe r sheepishly:


30 The Sergeant's Fate. "We thought he was a Tory's horse. We didn't know that any of our kind were on this side of the river, except ourselves. We're sorry." "And how long have you been here?" asked Philip, looking at them with so me curiosity. They were all strong, handsome lads, with the frank faces of true American boys. One of them answered quietly: "Ever since the general retreated. He may give up the fight, but we won't, till every one of us is killed." "And who are we?" asked Philip, still more curi ously. The eldest answered at once: "I'm Paul Harvey and these are my brothers, John and Peter." "And where do you live?" All three boys smiled, and Paul said, in a tone of much sarcasm : "We don't live; we just hold on, as long as we can kill a Hessian." "But you have a father and mother, and a home, surely?" Again the boys laughed, but this time with inexpress ible bitterness. "Strangers," said Paul, shortly, "we had them all a month ago. The Hessians burned the house, shot our father dead, dashed out the baby's brains on the door step, and on e of them stabbed mother; now you know what sort of a home we have." Philip's eyes glit tered, as he asked, quietly: "When did this happen?" "After they drove our men out of the works in


The Sergeant's Fate. 31 Brooklyn, stranger. And now, turn about is fair play. Who are you?" They seemed to fear nothing, these boys of a hundred years ago They act e d like g rown men in their self reliant coura ge. But Philip said: "One more question, and I'll answer. Where were you when the Hessians murdered your people?" "In the works, fighting the rest of them. Now, stranger, who are you?" "I am Philip Underhill, of the East Chester Ran gers," replied the young man. "Last October my three brothers were hung by the Hessians. To-day I found out the names of the murderers. I killed one of them. I have found out something, and I want to cross the river to tell the general that he has a chance to capture all Rabi s men. Will you go with me?'' Paul Harvey looked sullen at once, replying: "He won't do it, stranger. He ain't fit to be general. Look how he gave in to the durned Britishers. But we won't ; will we, boys?" "No, no !" answered his brothers in chorus. They were ragged and haggard. They looked half starved; but the spirit of '76 was in their hearts, and they seemed to think they could beat the British army alone. Philip Underhill looked at them and said: "Do y ou w a nt to see the Hessians beaten and avenge your par ent s' d eath? If you do, let us join forces. We are onl y boys, but we have shown that we can kill men. L e t us make a league of five !" "A leagu e of four, stranger. Where's the fifth?" asked Paul.


CHAPTER V. THE LEAGUE OF FIVE. Pllilip Underhill smiled when he heard the question of Paul. "The fifth lies within ten feet of you ; and I could have killed you all as you came up, thanks to him. Come out, Dan." And forth from the shelter of the tree, where he had hidden, came Crazy Dan, with his usual vacant smile, and stood by his master. Paul Harvey burst into a scornful laugh as he said: "Why, anyone kin see that's a nateral. What can he do for us ?" "He can stand you on your head," replied Philip, quietly. "Dare you put down your gun and try?'' Paul was a stout, muscular young fellow, and he in stantly accepted the challenge, and, throwing down his rifle, advanced on Dan. "Put him on his Dan," said Philip, sharply, as Paul advanced to catch the simple-looking boy un awares. Dan nodded and lau g hed. "All right, Cappen Phil ; all ri g ht." The next moment th e re was a confusion of limbs in the air, and Cr a zy D a n th rew the a thl e tic young fellow on the top of his head with a skill and force that l e ft no doubt of Paul's inferiority; so that he got up, looking sheepish and said very shamefac e dly : "I g u e ss he's some g ood. I take it back. I'm ready to join the l e a gue if you are ." Philip Unde rhill h e ld out his hands and said: "Then let us join hands, all of us, and swear never


The League of Five. 33 to rest, night or day, till we have avenged our families' murders on the Hessians, and seen our country free and independent "We swear it!" cried the three boys. Then Paul Harvey said, briskly: "And you shall be captain. Give the orders, Capt. Underhill, and we'll obey them. You're the oldest and know the most." Philip g rasped his hand warmly; for the confidence of the other touched him in a warm spot, as he said: "Then take my horse and ride to the river. Cross it if you can, and get to the general. Tell him that there are only two regiments of Hessians in Trenton, with the nearest troops twelve miles away." "I'll do it, cap," said Paul, tightening the girths of the horse as he spoke. "Where shall I meet you as I come back?" "In this swamp. The rest of us will be on the look out for you, and will watch the enemy to-night." Then they all shook hands, and Paul Harvey mounted the horse and rode off toward the river, not notin g that, as soon as he was out of sight, Philip Un derhill began to write something on a piece of paper, which he gave to Crazy Dan. Young Harvey finally found himself by the banks of the river, and looked across on the most dismal scene he had ever beheld. The banks were covered with snow ; the dark forests were moaning mournfully in the winter wind, while the black river, half covered with great floating cakes of ice, was hurrying by in a manner that made it almost impossible to cross even with a boat, save at the price of great danger.


34 The League of Five. Paul fastened up his horse in a safe place, and then returned to the river. He was some miles above Trenton, and that part of the bank was deserted, while on the other side of the river, nothing was to be seen that looked like human habitation. If the patriot army was there, it was effectually hidden from view. "How shall I cross?" muttered the boy to himself, looking doubtfully at the floating ice. "There is not a boat on this side; not even a scow." He knew that Washington had cleared the banks when he first crossed the riv er, and had owed his safety, ever since, to nothing else, save that first measure of precaution. The British had not thought it worth while to send for boats, when they expected the river to freeze solid, almost daily. "How shall I cross?" repeated Paul Harvey to him self. As if to answer his thought, he spied a black speck on the ice; and soon distinguished a figure slowly mak ing its way on the cakes of ice across the river, carried down every now and then, but still going on. "What one man can do, another can," said Paul, aloud With that he watched for the next piece of ice, and manage

The League of Five. 35 pied the same cake of ice, the last to be found, at the edge of a black channel, at l east fifty feet wide 'They had gone as far as they could toward the other shore. But when Paul re a ched the cake, he found, to his amaz ement, that his companion was Crazy Dan, whom he had l eft behind in the swamp. The idiot was grin ning and capering about on th e cake, yelling every now and then as if trying to atract attention from the other shore. When Paul had gained his side, the idiot nodded and laughed in his usual manner, and Paul asked him: "What are you doing, Dan?" "Cappen say come. Cappen, Cappen Phil. See, see!" Dan held up a small, white note as he spoke, and Paul saw that it was addressed to "General George Washin g ton." "Give me that note, Dan," he said, coaxingly. "No, no; C a ppen Phil say no. Give it to general, you no general," said Dan, shaking his head and grin ning. Then he raised his voice in a long yell, and Paul no ticed some men on the farther shore, watching them. He joined his voice to Dan's, and both their hats, when a boat put out from the shore and rowed out to them. As it came near, Paul saw the faded uni forms of the Continental troops, of which a few had been rai sed the yea r before. They were the only rem nant of th e patrio t army which had not deserted their chief in that dark winter. In the boat was a man, who called out to them: "Are ye mad, that ye try to cross a river on floating


The League of Five. ice? Lucky we saw ye in time, ye fools. Here, come on board!" "I want to see the general," cried Paul Harvey. The words seemed to rouse some associations in Crazy Dan's mind, for he held up his note, and shouted: "Yes, yes; general, general! Cappen Phil want see general." The soldiers looked surprised, but took the two boys aboard, and rowed back to the Bristol bank, where a sergeant of the Continentals said to Paul : "What do you want of the general? You are from the wrong side of the river, and who knows but what you may be a spy?" "Take me to the general, and you'll find out whether I'm a spy," returned the boy, hotly. "I've been fighting the Hessians with my two brothers, when you and your general ran away from them. Any man that says I'm a spy lies." ''Don't get too hot, boy. You may find yourself in the guardhouse. No one said you were a spy. But we have our orders. You must give up your gun and be blindfolded. If the general says it is all right, be it so; but I don't allow boys to make me break orders." Paul, seeing no help for it, submitted to be bound, after being disarmed and blindfolded. In that condition he was marched away, and when at last they told him to halt and unbound his eyes, he found himself in a room where a handsome young offi cer, of small size, and very dandified appearance, was scrutinizing closely both him and Crazy Dan, who had followed the other boy. The idiot stood gaping round the room in his usual


The League of Five. 37 vacant manner, and the dandified little officer said sharply to Paul: "Now then, wh o are you, and what do you want here with that boy?" "I'm Paul Harvey, and I want to see the general," was the bold reply; for Paul was not in the least abashed, and said to himself that "he could have broken the little officer over his knee in a tussle at any time," which was about true. Moreover, the disdainful way of the little officer irritated him, so that he spoke sharply, and added rudely: "And who are you that ask me? You ain't the gen eral." The little officer merely raised his eyebrows coldly as he said: "I'm Col. Hamilton, chief-of-staff, and if you have anything to say to the general, say it to me first! Who is that boy ?" "He's got a letter from Capt Philip Underhill, of our independ en t company of Rangers," replied Paul, loftily; for he wished to make the most imposing affair he could of his errand. Col. Hamilton put out his hand to Dan, saying: "Give me that l etter, boy." Dan on ly grinned and hugged it close, saying: "No, no Cappen Phil say general. You no gen eral." Hamilton could not help a smile at the idiot, and Paul took advanta g e of it to say: "You can't cheat him, if he is a born nateral; nuther he nor I is g oin' to speak till we see t he genera l." They were interrupted by the entrance, from an inner room, of a very tall, grave-looking gentleman


The Gen eral's Plan. He w a s considerab ly over six feet hi g h, rather thin, but bro a d in shoulde r, with the appe a r an c e of great strength; his c ount e n a nce, with its sev e r e gravity, its c old, blue eyes, a nd thin, compressed lips, was that of a person wi th few human passions in outward a ppeara nce; but there w a s an awe-inspirin g dign ity that d ashed even the reckless and rude Paul, as he said, coldly : I am here, young man. What do you wish with me?" Paul asked no further questions, but stood up and made an attempt to bow r espe ctfull y as he said : "Capt. Underhill, of our Independent Rang ers, sent me, general. There's five of us h ave been hanging round the Hessian c amps for a month, and we've found out that, if you cro ss over the river in the night, you can capture ni g h a thousand Hessians in Trenton. There's only two re g iments there, and the rest is twelve miles off, sir." The general looked a little surprised. "Only two regiments? How do you know?" CHAPTER VI. THE GENERAL'S PLAN. Paul saw that the general was interest ed, and repjed at once: "We've b een hiding in the woods for nigh a month, general, watching the Britishers, and we know what we're a-talking about. Sir WiHiam Howe's gone to


The General's Plan. 39 New York since the snow set in, and the rest of 'em are lyin g loos e round the country, doing nothing but get drunk. The g e ner a l nodded thoughtfully, and, as Paul stopped, thinking he was about to ask a question, said, quietly: "Go on. You may be a boy, but you are making a good scout. What els e did you see?" Paul color e d with pleasure at the kind words. He had been greatly in awe of this grand-looking man, as much so as he had bee n disposed to be contemptuous of. the small and delicate-looking Hamilton. Washington had the great advantage over his chiefof-staff-that he looked imposing, as well as had a great mind, full of courage, that nothing could shake. "Well, general," the boy said, "we've noticed them getting drunk all over the country. We've been near their fires when they was on guard, and seen 'em drink ing, and we've heard 'em in Trenton, though we hain't ventured into the village. Some are in Trenton, others in Princeton, and more over the country, scattered all the way to Hoboken. But if so be your honor wants to see what an edicated gentleman says about it, jest read the l etter our cappen has writ ye. I'm a farmer's son, sir, and don't know much; but our cappen, that we chose, he kn o ws it all, and he sent you the letter by this boy here, thou g h he do look like as if he was a nateral." The g e n e r a l turne d his cold eyes on Dan for the first time, with a n air of some curiosity, asking: "Is this the boy? What did you say your captain's name was?" "Capt. Philip Underhill, of East Chester, sir," said .Paul.


The General's Plan. The name seemed to strike some responsive chord in the general's breast, for he tapped his forehead medita tively, and said something to Hamilton in a low voice. The young officer instantly replied : "That was the name, general. He was very young, almost a boy; but he saved the army by bringing in the news he did." Washington turned to Dan again, and held out his hand, saying: "You have a letter there, my boy. Give it to me." The idiot stared at him as if he had seen him for the first time. Hitherto he had been gaping about the room, looking with great admiration at a handsome sword that lay on the table by Hamilton's elbow, and the gleam of the young officer's epaulets. Now he turned and looked at Washington, with an awe that he made no attempt to hide, muttering: "Man, man, big man! Oh, so big!" The general eyed hni steadily, and held out his hand. "Give me the letter ,' was all he said. Dan hesitated, as if half frightened, repeating: "General, general. Capt. Phil say general." "I am the general; give it to me," said Washington; and the idiot instantly handed it over, laughing, as if he thought he had done a very clever thing, and repeating: "General, general. Me know general." Then he stood staring at the grave face of Washington, as the patriot leader perused the note attentively, nodding every now and then, as if satisfied. Finally he looked up, and said, approvingly, to Hamilton: "It is all ri g ht, colonel. Release the boys. They are patriots, and have brought us good news. This


The General's Plan. young Underhill is a treasure, and worth his weight in gold. Tell Gen Knox I wish to see him." The n he turned rou nd and questioned Paul very closely on all he h a d see n in bis scouting; th e boy re turnin g such answers that, when the general had fin ished, he said : "Boy a s yo u are, you have done as well as many men. You have the spirit of a man in your heart, and you love your country. You shall remain with us, if you wish; for we cro ss the river to-morrow night." Paul instantly began to fidget, though his face li g hted up at the praise given him by the general. He shifted from one foot to the other, and finally said: "Please, general, I promised the captain that I'd go back, if I could. Ye see, we boys and him we've got kinder used to each other, and we've all got a grudge agin' the Hessians, and won't be easy till it's paid. They killed my father and mother and baby sister, in cold blood, while we was in the works with you, sir, in Brooklyn; and we hain't found who did it yet. Then they hung the cappen's three little brothers, up in East Chester, by their own door, and he found 01at the men that did it to-day. So, ye see, general, Pd like t0 stay with ye ever so much, sir; but we can't stand being regular soldiers. We're kinder used to havin g our own way, sir, and we fig hts on our awn hook, like. So, if it's all the same to you, sir, I'd ruther go back and take our chances, we five boys to g ether, in ooc own way.'' The general liste ned attentively, and gave a sli ght si g h as he heard the boy ramble on. But all he said was: "Be it so. You can return."


The General's Plan. TI1en, as he noted Paul brighten up, he added, very gravely: "But let me tell you, my boy, that, till you and the rest of our people learn that this is not a war of private vengeance, we shall never chase the foe from our coasts. It will take many a lesson to teach ye all the necessity of obedience to one, if the many are to act as one." He looked cold and grave as he said it, and Paul de parted, feeling mortified, he hardly knew why, and fol lowed by Dan, who retained his usual vacant stare, till they reached the river bank. Here the idiot boy, with no more hesitation than if he had been walking on dry land, sprang on one of the floating cakes of ice, and ran off across the river, as he had done from the other side. Paul, seeing that the task was an impossibility, waited for the boat, by help of which he crossed, taking Dan in on the way, and reaching the other shore just as it grew dark. On the other shore they hunted up the horse, which they found tied to the same tree, and then Paul said to 1Dan: "Come, where is the captain?" The idiot nodded and lau g hed, saying: "Me find Cappen Phil. Come." The n h e trotted off through the forest strai ght as an arrow, a n d in less than half an hour they heard the click of John Harvey's gun, as he called out: "Halt Who g o e s there?" "'Tis I-Paul-and the n a ter a l," was the reply. Then the y went to the fire, wher e they found Under-hill and the two bo y s co o kin g som e rabbits which they had snared that day in the snow.


The General's Plan. 4 3 Philip ques tioned Paul, and th en turned to Crazy Dan. "Did you s e e the general ?" he asked. Dan n odde d ea g erly after wh ich his face assume d an expre ss ion of unusual grav ity, as he said, in a low hushed voic e : "Big big big So big! Like--" He see m e d to be struggling in his f eeble intellect for some means of expressing the fee lin g th at was in him, and finally pointed up to the sky, saying in a whisper: "Big l ike Him up there. General like that, Cappen Phil." Even the idiot had been struck with the m a j estic dig nity with which the heroic chief withstood the misfor tunes that had cowed almost everyone els e in that land in that terrible year. Philip Underhill mused aloud as he heard the news. "And the general said they would come to-morrow night? That is well. To-night we can sleep. We are far from the road, and our fire is unseen. But we must do something to put the enemy off the track. Those 1bodies must be taken from the road and hidden in the snow. I marvel much, as it is, that they did not hear the shots and come after us. It shows how careless they must be, and how secure they feel, now that the patriots are in Pennsylvania, and we naught but a group of five boys in the wilds of Jersey." "Boys or men, we'll show the Hessians we can fight like men when it comes to fighting," said John Harvey, heartily. "Lord, Cappen Phil, we ain't fairly begun to fight yet Wait till we git through, and you'll see the Dutchmen will be wondering what the Yankee men are like if the boys fight that way."


44 The General's Plan. Capt. Philip rose to his feet and observed : "No use boasting, John Harvey. We have too much to do Come and let us get rid of these bodies before the patrol stumbles on them." They went through the woods and hunted up the scene of the day's conflict The bodies of the Hessian soldier and his sergeant lay in the snow, stiffened like lo gs of wood, and easy to be carried. They were quietly taken into the depths of the wood, where a hcle was found in the swamp, at a place where the sprin gs made the ground soft and warm enough not to have frozen yet There the bodies were hidden away, after which the five boys returned to their lonely watch fire, and lay down to sleep by the embers. They had but three blankets between them, for weight was too much of an encumbrance to be carried, if they could help it. But the fire was banked up and surrounded with stones, so that the coals would oot fly out; and, getting as close to it as they dared, they lay down. The spirit of '76 warmed them, and they slept to d r eam of free dom. Littl e did they know that, doing their work hurriedly, as they had done it in the dark, they had left plain tracks, from the bloody spot in the roadside to the place where the y had secreted the bodies of the dead soldiers It was well for their sleep that they did not know; for it was yet to bring one of their number at least into se rious peril. There let us leave them dreaming by their fire, while yve take the reader into the village of Trenton next day.


CHAPTER VII. MISTRESS LUCY. By a little dormer window of an old house at Trenton sat Mistress Lucy Field, looking out at the dismal street, with its half-melted snow, trampled into black mud, and its groups of drunken soldiers, reeling from one tavern to another. These taverns were the only places of business that found it worth while to keep open in Trenton that winter; but they did a thriving business, to make up for the slackness elsewhere. Miss Lucy's dark eyes were reddened at the lids, as with recent tears ; and she looked angry and sad at the same time. Not far off, working at a table in the same room, was another girl, whose likeness was such as to proclaim her a It was this girl who spoke first. "I don't see why you should speak so; Lucy; or what there is to feel bad about. I'm sure the major is a man handsome enough for any girl to be proud of, as a husband." "Sister Martha," returned Lucy, indignantly, "he may be good enough for his English ladies, for all I care. I am a patriot to the core, and I hate him and all his kind." "But father says the patriots are all wicked rebels," said Martha, in a mild tone; "and you know, Sister Lucy, we say prayers for the king every day, or rather every Sunday, in church." "Ay, and more shame for that cowardly Dr. Stan-


Mistress Lucy. nard, who says them," retorted Lucy, with spirit. "I take care to put in t he goo d Gen. Washington and Con gress, when I pray But that has nothing to do with Maj. Ferg uson I hate him, and I won t have him!" "But fathe r says you must!" said Martha, slyly. "I'm afrai d he might even turn you out of doors, if he h eard the w ay you talk." "Let him do it, then." The words were very brave, but Miss Lucy's eyes filled with tears as she said them, for she was, in reality, very fond of her strict old father, with all his prejudice s He had his faults, and he was trying to do that which revolts a girl to the heart-compelling her to marry a man she hates-but nevertheless he was her father, and she had been brought up to love him. Martha came and stood beside her. She was a sort of patriot, too; but not a girl of Lucy's high spirit. She was one of those who like a quiet life, and are disposed to bend to a storm, rather than stand up against it. So she s a id, in a coaxing way: "You know what father is, Lucy. Any opposition angers him; but you can persuade him to anything. Why not try and treat the major civilly, when he comes to--" And ri ght there, they were interrupted by the voice of th eir father, downstairs, calling up to them: "Gi rls, g irls, come down, I say! I want you! Lucy! Martha!" They found the old deacon at the foot of the stairs, his stern face looking unusually flushed with some secret annoyan ce, as he burst out, abruptly: "Which of you girls had old Dobbin out yesterday, by the river road? Was it you, Martha, or you, Lucy?"


Mistress Lucy. 47 Martha made no answer, she would not betray her sister; and Lucy said : "Why, sir? How do you know he was on the river road at all ?" The deacon slapped the stair rail angrily, crying: "Answer my question, you baggage! Don't dare ask me another! I suppose it was you, then? I'm sure it was!" "If you're sure it was, sir," Lucy replied, with a pro voking pertness that made her father redder than ever, 'tis useless for me to deny it." It was undeniably a pert answer, and enraged the old man so much that he roared out: "I knew it was, and that's why you're so impudent about it. A pretty piece of business you've made of it. Didn't I tell you not to go riding over the country alone, as you used to do? It is not safe." "No, sir, thanks to the ruffianly British soldiers," re plied his daughter, sharply. She could not help saying it, for her life; and her father knew what she meant, for he grew redder than ever. "You may thank those ruffianly British soldiers, as you call them," he vociferated, angrily, "for saving you from the clutches of a Yankee rebel robber. Do you know whom the pickets have just brought in? One of the cowardly robbers called Capt. Phil, that they caught lurking around the town, in the woods. A rebel, a traitor, a villain, who is to be hung to-morrow And Maj. Ferguson caught him, too." Lucy could not help her heart beating faster at the news ; but she managed to say: "I'm sorry, sir, for the poor fellow. But how did


Mistress Lucy. you know I had old Dobbin out? and what has that to do with the prisoner?" H er father snapped out angrily: "Didn 't Pompey t ell me, when I asked him what made the horse l ook so jaded that you h ad him out on the riv er road? Ay, and you were seen there, too, my lady." "How do you know that, sir?" "Throug h Maj. Ferguson. It is lucky for you that he is in love with you, girl, or you would be in a fine mess to-da y ." "Why, sir, what has happened?" She began to dread ail sorts of things now. Her father turned angrily away from her, saying: "Nay, that shall he tell you himself. Go into the best room; Maj. Ferg uson is there and wishes to see you. I tell you, g irl, it is lucky for you that he and I are good friends." He pointed to the door of the little parlor, but Lucy hesitated and murmure d to herself, h a lf aloud: "I don't like Maj. Ferguson-I don't want to see him." "But he has a right to see you," retorted her father, in the same angry manner ; "which do you prefer-to be questioned by him, or to be taken before Col. Rahl with a guard? Truly, it has come to that, and a pretty piece of business that would be." Then he half pushed her to the door, adding: ''Go in, and be civil." Lucy very unwillin g ly entered the little parlor, where she found her unwelcome admirer, who was none other than our old acquaintance, "Bulldog Ferguson," other wise Maj. Ferguson, of the Royal Scots.


Mistress Lucy. 49 The major was a handsome man enough, with a stern face and broad, square chin, from which he got his name. He looked undeniably well in his bright uni form ; but his face was not as deferential as it was wont to be in the presence of ladies, as he said to Lucy: "Good-day, Mistress Lucy, I have been sent hither by the orders of Col. Rahl on a disagreeable errand. You were seen on the river road yesterday and sent in by the patrol, were you not?" Lucy made no answer, but looked as scornful and obstinate as she possibly could, seeing which, the major went on coldly: "Very well, you need not answer, I know it already. A sergeant and a soldier were sent with you, and neither have since been seen, while you rode into Trenton alone. Now, where are those mei: ?" "How should I know?" she returned, with affected lightness. "I was not in charge of them. I suppose they were ashamed of making prisoner of a girl, and so have deserted across the river to the patriot army." Ferguson bit his lip at her coolness, retorting: "The rebel army, you mean." "I mean the patriot army, just as I call your men the murderers' army," she replied, spiritedly. The major compressed his lips in a manner indicating great vexation, replying, sharply: "Very well, Mistress Lucy; I shall not bandy words with you. I admire you too much for that, though I deplore your infatuation. Do you mean to tell me that :vou do not know what has become of the guards who were with you ?" Lucy was silent. She could not bring herself to tell a direct lie.


50 Mistress Lucy. "You need not answer, then; I know all already. Our p a trol s found th eir bodi e s in the woods, cruelly mur dered by a cowardly rebel spy; and you must have seen the murder." Still she was silent, and Ferguson pursued, sternly: "Now to my errand. vVe have found the man, and brought him in. It is in your power to save his life, if you will t ell the reason of your ride. You were seen at the bank of the river, sig naling to the enemy. Tell us why you did that, and whether you know the pris oner, who is but a boy in years." "I don't know anythin g about him returned Lucy, in her bolde s t tones. "How dare you think I go riding in the woods to me e t any young man whatever?" "No one said you did. You are convicted out of your own mouth. But you shall see him we will find out what mystery is hidden under all these rides and signals." He went to the door and called out : "Bring in the prisoner." Then came the clang of arms, and Lucy saw the pale face and bloody bandages round the head of the hand some youth who had saved her the day before. The sight made her feel faint for he walked in with such a totterin g st e p and looked so white that she thought him dangerously wounded at the least, if not dying. "Here is the y oung man," said the major. "Now, Mistress Lucy, did you ever see him before in all your life?" She looked up and met the blue eyes of the young stranger They looked at her in a dumb, appealing way that


Two Recognitions. brought the tears to her own. For a moment she hes itated, and then said : "I don t know the gentleman, sir." But she could not help growing deadly pale as she said it, and heard the major reply: "Have you seen him before?" "That gentleman? Not to my knowledge." It was the first lie she had ever told, and it brought the blood back to her face, flushing it deeply, so that Ferguson noted it, and went on, mercilessly: "Are you sure? Look at him closely. You must have seen him yesterday when he murdered the ser geant." "He never murdered the sergeant," the girl broke in, eagerly. "It was a madman, who broke out of the woods and slew him with his bare hands." It was the last she had seen of the poor sergeant, for Philip had made her go away before he killed him, on purpose to prevent her being shocked by the deadly deed. CHAPTER VIII. TWO RECOGNITIONS. The British officer rubbed his hands at her unguarded admission. "Indeed! So you did see it, after all. And where were you, when you saw all this about the madman? A very likely story." He had forgotten his varnish of courtesy in his


Two Recognitions. ea ge rn e ss, and the girl drew h e rs e l f up, and said, coldly: "I decline to answer. I have said enoug h. If you han g this m a n y ou will be a cowardl y murd e rer, like all you British." Amt poor Lucy, overwrought by her f ee lings, broke down and burst into tears. Then Capt. Phil, who had hitherto been silent, addressed Ferguson, saying, grav ely: "Sir, your men took me when I was a s leep or you never would have had me here. My life is in your power. I beseech you, therefore to torture this young lady no further. She hath done nothing against the laws of war. I killed your sergeant." "Indeed ?" Ferguson glanced from one to the other, and finally; asked: "How know you that the lady hath done nothing against the laws of war? She was seen signaling to the other side of the river." "So was I. Let me pay the penalty. I am ready to die. It is unworthy of a brave man to war on women." Bulldog Ferg uson scowled at him. "None of y our l e ctures, Master Rebel. I'm Bulldog Ferg uson. Ha I What's the matter with you?" For the pri s oner's face had changed suddenly. A moment b e fore he was tottering unsteadily from weakness. He h a d been set on when asleep-.stu nn e d with a musket butt-and carried off, while his fo u r boy comrade s w e re away in the woods, sn a rin g gam e for sus ten a nce hea d e d by Craz y Dan. But the moment he heard the major s name he


Two Recognitions. 53 strai g h tened up an d glared at the other with an inten sity of h atred w hich astonished the Briton, as he hissed out: "Cow a r d F e r g uson, you mean! You are the man who mu rde r e d m y poor little brothers before their own door." The maj o r look e d amazed. "What b oys Y ank e e? What are you talking about?" For he h ad alr e ady forgotten the boy martyrs. They had but for med an incident of a cruel and bloody war. Philip U n der hill looked at him steadily and search ingly. He fairly e med to devour him with his eyes, with a view to fi L ire recognition, but made no reply to the major's qu est ion. Bulldo g F e r g uson, on his part, was just as searching in his own examination, and repeated his question: "What boys do you mean, prisoner? What is your name besid e s Philip? The priso ner smile d sli g htly. "Philip i s enou g h for you. I'll tell you my other name some day, n e ver fear; but not here and now." "Wha t we r e y ou d o ing, then, lurking in the woods round our ou tpo sts?" pursued the major, with added sternn e s s "Watching for a chance to kill the enemies of my country," was t he composed reply. The major eage rly s e ized it. "Yo u c onfess i t then? That will save us much trouble By t he l a ws of war you are a spy, and should be h u n g as a spy ." "C all me what you please, and hang me when you please," r e t urne d Philip, disdainfully. "I took my life


Two Recognitions. in my hand, you may be sure, when I came here. Nevertheless, I warn you that if you

Two Recognitions. 55 "Your life and a thousand pounds. But the plan must be a good one." Ferguson was completely deceived by the gravity of the prison e r till Philip laughed and said: "Oh, it is g ood enough. How many have you in this town, major?" "What's that to you, sirrah ?" The major flushed scarlet, for he began to see that the other was jesting with him. Philip curled his lip as he said: "Oh, nothing, major; but the plan depends on it. How many men could you spare for an expedition to destroy Washington and all his army?" "As many as would be needed. Your plan, sir? No fooling with me." 'Tis a simple one, major. All you have to do is to take down enough men to the river bank, cross over, surround Washington and take him alive, or kill him when you want him. That is all." "And where should we get the boats to cross?" asked the officer, not yet fully appreciating the irony of the advice, while Lucy uttered a sigh of relief, and smiled to herself. Philip looked as stupid as possible. "What? Have you no boats? Ah, then I fear my plan comes to naught. It will require an army of a hundred thousand men, and a big fleet, even to conquer the State of Massachusetts; and when you have done that the other twelve States will turn to and whip you <"' 1 t of your boots, till you'll be g l a d to g et back to the old country, major. So now, Bulldog Ferguson, do your worst, and be han g ed to you." And the prisoner laughed scornfully at the amaze-


Two Recognitions. ment and indignation of the major, who cried, in a voice choking with ra ge: "Insolent rebel I was a fool to give you kindnest. Take him away, and he shall be hung to-morrow morn ing." He said this not to the guard, but to frighten Mistress Lucy, whom he wished to annoy as much as he could. Philip Underhill said nothing in reply, but submitted to be led away, walking as carelessly as if nothing had happened to place him in jeopardy. As for Lucy, she merely curled her lip scornfully as the major spoke, and gave the prisoner her sweetest smile as he walked out of the room, with the soldiers on either side of him. Ferguson allowed the steps of the soldiers to die away in the passages, and then got between Lucy and the door, as she was about to go out, saying in a low, impressive tone: "Mistress Lucy, I can save that fellow's life if you wish it." The girl held up her head and looked proudly at him. "What do you mean, sir?" "I mean," he said, "that I can save that life for your sake, and that I will do it, if you will but look kindly on me." Lucy held up her head more proudly than before, saying: "If you can forget your duty to your king, as you call him, I cannot forget mine to my country, even for the bribe you offer, sir." "You for g et," he interposed, slowly, "that I can arrest you, even now, for trying to correspond with the


Two Recognitions. 57 enemy. It were as well to be civil with me, Mistress Lucy." "You can arrest me as soon as you like," she re torted. "It is a fitting piece of work for the men who ran from Lexin g ton and Bunker Hill to make war on women. I am a patriot. I hate King George, I love Gen. Washin g ton. Make the most of that. I defy you. Good-day, sir." And the young lady swept from the room, leaving the major as black as thunder, not knowing how to stop her saucy tongue. "But, by Jupiter I she is handsomer than ever," he said to himself, as he hastily left the house, not wishing to meet her father. "I'll tame that little rebel yet, or my name s not Ferguson. So he strolled down the street toward Col. Rahl's headquarters in considerable ill temper with the world in general, and pre sently heard a noise at a street corner anri saw a crowd of soldiers gathered round a tall, stout boy, whose vacant, childish face and tow-colored hair seemed ludicrously unsuited to his figure, which was that of a young giant The soldiers were jeering at him in their various tongues, Hessians, Irish and Scots, cryin g : "Arrah, where did the baste come from?" "Eh, mon, w ud y e Juke till the fule ?" "Potztause n d Er vast ein dum m erkopf !" Some w er e pri c king him slyly from b e hind with their bayonets, a n d l a u g hing to see him jump, when the major came swin ging down, crying: "Leave th a t boy a lon e How ca m e h e here?" The soldiers shrank b a c k in awe of t hei r officer, and


The Bulldog Cowed the idiot, whose back was to Ferg uson, turned round at the sound of the harsh voice as if he knew it In that instant the vacant expression of Crazy Dan's face changed to that of an infuriated beast of prey, and utterin g a wild yell of fury, he rushed straight at Bulldog Ferguson. And, alas, for the major. who prided himself on his boxing abilities, before he knew where he was, the idiot had seized him with the grip of a giant, thrown him to the ground, and was tearing at his throat with his teeth, snarling like a savage dog all the time, while the soldiers stood for an instant, petrified with amazement. CHAPTER IX. THE BULLDOG COWED. Bulldog Ferguson was a strong man and a good fighter. He had boxed against the great Sergt. Broughton ( Sergt. Broughton was the father of pugilism in England, the man who propounded the celebrated "Rules of the P R.," and champion of England for eighteen years-from 1740 to 1758. He was the in ventor of boxing gloves, and patronized by all the aristocracy, who learned from him how to box) in his day, and got off even ; but never had he felt himself in such a grip as that of the idiot boy. It seemed to crush in his ribs as the arms closed round him, and what added to his astonishment and terror was that the boy, the moment he had closed, began to bite at the officer's throat like a wild beast.


The Bulld og Cowed. 59 Still, as well as he could, the major strove to throw off the maniac, while the soldiers, recovering from their momentary panic flung themselves on Dan and tried to t ear him from the body of their officer. They grabbed him whereve r they could l ay hold on a limb, for his clothing tore as soon as g r asped; and finally, by main strength pulled him away and tried to secur e him. Then the idiot stmgg led w ith such wonderfu l power tha t he managed to shake off, fir s t one then the other, by vio l ent kicks, howling and snarling all the while more like a n ani mal than ever, till Bulldog Ferguson, bleeding from the wound he had received in the throat, and only able to whisper hoarsely, rais ed himself on his elbow to say faintly: "Stab him, fools! He' s crazy." In a moment the Hessians had drawn their bayonets, but they were too late. Even the dull int ell ect of Crazy Dan told him that he had no chance against such numbers, and that he must run for it. Kicking right and left, he managed to get himself free, and started down the street, running like a deer, ducking his head. A soldier got in his way, and the idiot butted at him like a bull sending the man head over heels, while Dan fled onward, followed by the rest of the soldiers, full cry. As for Ferguson, he was fain to stagger into Rahl's headquarters, a few doors down, and call faintly for the surgeon. The doctor came and shook his head when he saw the wound. He was a German of the Hessian contingent, and asked in a voice of surprise :


60 The .Bulldog Cowed. "Ach, Gott vat vas dis? You peen fighting mit a hund, major-a tog?" "A boy did it," whispered Ferguson whose nerves were for the moment so shattered that he could hardly sp eak in memory of the horrible assault of the idiot "A poy !" echoed the doctor, amazedly. "Mein Gott! he must have peen mat, major. Maype he vas pit by a tog himselluf, und vant to pite efery von else. Ve most sent you to Ny Yarick as soon as possible You must se e de surgeon-in-shief at vonce. Ach Gott! dat is te rreebel. ;.. poy Vere did it happ en?" "Oh, never mind. For God's sake, don't talk, but bind it :up," groaned the major, gloomily. "It's bad enoug h lo nave it, without being pitied for it." For he, being a proud man, felt the degradation of having been overcome by a boy ke enly, and, now that the first shock had passed off, began to feel that the woun d was more painful than dangerous. Dan had hardly been able to get a good hold of him before the soldiers had torn him off, and had only taken in to his teeth a fold of the skin, without involving the muscl es or sinews of the neck. So the end of the matter was that the lordly major, after he had been washed and bound up, consented to be put into a country cart and sent off to New York, to be treated by the surgeon -i n-chief. The idea of hydrophobia, raised by the German doc tor, had done more to frighten the generally resolute Ferguson than anything else in the world, as it might have done to any other man. But while he was rumbling over the hard ruts of the fro zen road on his way to the city, the iron nature of Bulldo g Ferg uson was recovering its tone, and he was


The Bulldog Cowed. 61 recalling the scene by the old church at East Chester and saying to himself: "There is no hydrophobia at all. It was the same idiot, and he has heen hunting for me, in his blind way, ever since. J u:;t like a dog! Pah wasn't it horrible to feel his teeth? A man isn't used to being torn with teeth." And the memory of those angry snarls and the tearing at his throat made Ferguson shudder as he rode. The farther he went the more gloomy became his musings, till at last he said to himself as he lay in the cart: "I wish to God I had not killed those boys. I didn't mean to do it at first. I thought I could frighten them into confessing; but my temper got the best of me, after all; and here I am, with that poor, demented creature after me for the rest of my life, I suppose. I don't want to kill him; but what else is there to do? I shall have to do it, to save my own life, some day or other. But then he c an' t do any harm when people know him. Wonder if he is in those woods now?" For the idiot had succeeded in makin g his escape to the woods, in spite of all the soldiers ; and no one had been able to catch him owing to his taking to a swamp, where no horses could follow. So the major rattled on over the country roads toward the city, and by nightfall had co me to the ham let of Freehold, where a whole brigade of British troops were quartered and where the major was the recipient of a good many inquiries, which greatly irritated him, as to the manner in whi ch he got hurt. By that time he had got so much ashamed of the truth that he told them a savage dog had tom his throat


The Bulldog Cowed. before it could be shot; and thereupon everyone told him he would surely go mad if he did not have the wound burned with hot irons. Refusing to have this done, he made the best of his situation for the night, and slept in the headquarters of the general, where he was a well-known and welcome guest at all times. Next morning when day broke he was wakened by the driver of the cart coming to him to say : "Cart's ready, sir. The rebels are at it, back at Trenton, I think, sir. Hark to that!" The dull thud and shock to the air which comes of very distant cannonading came to the ears of the major, though he had not heard it before in his sleep; and he got out of bed and dressed as fast as he could. When he came out he found the British brigadier standing outside the cottage, in which he had taken his headquarters, listening to the faint, distant boom that came, more like a throb than a distinct sound over the surrounding forests. In those days the whole State of New Jersey was covered with woods, and the screen between the English at Freehold and those at Trenton was about twenty miles deep. Nevertheless the air being damp and the wind com in g from the direction of Trenton it became pl;iin be fore Jong, that fighting must be going on there. Ferguson went over to the brigadier and said to him: "All was quiet when I left them. Rahl must have crossed the river and made a dash at the rebel army. I trust he will not find them too strong for him." Gen. Brown shook his head rather gloomily. "I


The Bulldog Cowed. don't like the noise keeping up so long. Rahl had no orders to attack. It sounds more as if he was catching it himself. But that can hardly be. Were there any signs of the rebels when you were there?" "Not a symptom. We used to patrol the river bank daily, and all we could see of them was an occasional sentry on t h e other side, or a scout, riding down to ; vater his horse. \Vhat are you going to do, sir?" Brown hesitated, and presently said: "I have sent off a small party to investigate; but the .lring is a long way off. I don't know but what I had best order the men under arms, and move out of can tonments. I don't like that firing lasting so long. It sounds like a regular battle. They have been at it ever since daybreak-two hours by my watch." Then he added, rather nervously: "You had best go on to the city, and report to the general that there is fighting at Trenton, and that I wait for orders." Ferguson, in his wounded condition, was not sorry to obey, for he had no stomach for a fight, with his throat all lacerated with the teeth of the idiot boy. So he got into the cart again and was rattled off through the woods toward Amboy, where he arrived in the evening. The dull reports ceased, or else he got out of the radius of their sound ; and when he came to the city and reported what Brown told him, the self-important Howe, who commanded the army, only said, with a sneer : "Oh, Brown is nervous, and as fretful as an old woman. Wait till the river freezes over. We'll just cross over and drive that mob into Philadelphia, and


6+ The Bulldog Cowed. end this war so quickly they won't know how it is done." And Ferguson, who was by no means disposed to undervalue the prowess of the royal troops, was only too g lad to accept t he sick leave, which was given him till his wound healed; and thus escaped hearing of what had happened at Trenton the morning he had heard the firing, till nearly three weeks had passed. Then, as he was one day coming from the hospital, where he had been to visit the surgeon, he met a friend, w ho asked him: "Well, did you hear the news ?" "No. What news?" asked the major. "Why, that the rebels had turned out of their camps fo the woods, and given Rahl a fine thrashing at Tren ton, and n early another to the forces at Princeton." Ferguson stared at his friend. "What? Thrashed Rahl and his Hessians? Why, I was the re and they had no need to be thrashed."' "Need or not, they took Rahl and a thousand prison ers, and the general is going to the front at once to push thin gs He says it is a disgrace to the king's army." "And so it is," quoth Ferguson. ''Had I been there I think they would not have surprised me. But those Germans are all the same, and we shall never beat our brother Eng lishmen with them." And then he went back to his lodgin gs, beginning to wonder what had be.:ome of pretty Lucy Field.


CHAPTER X. THE SURPRISE. In the meantime Mistress Lucy herself, as soon as she had been left alone by Ferguson, with the pleasant intelligence that the young man who had been so kind to her was to be hung, went to her room, and shut her self in to have a good cry. She had never seen such a fine-looking youth as Philip Underhill, and the fact that he was a patriot, like herself, and in misfortune, added to the interes t he e:x;cited in her eyes. She was only seventeen, and in those days girls of seventeen did not call themselves grown women, while they assii;ned to their brothers of eighteen or nineteen the position of "boys." Lucy Field thought of herself only as a girl, and of Philip Underhill as the handsomest young man she had ever seen, and the most noble. "I must try to save him, somehow," she murmured to herself, as she looked gloomi l y out into the muddy street, thinking only of the prisoner. "That hateful Ferguson said he would save his life if I would look kindly on himself, the odious wretch I But that could I never do. Capt. Philip must be saved some other way." She had got his first name all ri ght, already, as the onl y one he had given her, and was revolving all sorts of plans in her head to save him when, as she looked vacantly down into the street, she saw the broad back of the major, with his red coat, go swaggering down


66 The Surprise. the street toward a group of soliders that were gathered at a corner. The window being closed, she had not heard the noise made by the soldiers as they teased Dan ; but as the major quickened his pace to get to the group, Lucy's eyes, being attracted that way, saw from her elevated position all that followed. She did not understand it clearly, but saw the idiot's long, lanky, shambling figure, and witnessed the sudden spring he had made at the major the moment the officer became revealed to him by the parting of the group of his tormentors. She saw Ferguson go down, and involuntarily clapped her hands with glee, murmuring to herself: "Oh, the brave soldier, to let a boy like that knock him down in such a way as that!" She was too far off to realize what was going on, but saw the crowd gathering round the prostrate fig ures, and witnessed a struggle which was ended by Crazy Dan freeing himself from the grasp of the sol diers and running away like a deer. Much puzzled by the incident, Lucy had yet curiosity enough to watch Ferg uson as he got up and staggered away. She was too far off to see the blood, but realized that he had been hurt in some way or other and felt a natural sentiment of pity, such as every girl feels when some one is hurt, even her bitterest enemy. Then as she watched the street below she saw soldiers talking excitedly together, and soon after in came her sister, Martha, who, as soon as she saw Lucy, cried out: "Oh, sister, sister, what do you think has just hap pened?" "I know all about it," Lucy replied, coldly. "Your


The Surprise. paragon and father's, Maj. Ferguson, was just whipped in fair fight by a strange boy. I would not give much for your king's officers, Martha." Martha looked greatly shocked, and said, in a horri fied way: "You'd better not let father hear you talk that way, Lucy. It is a terrible thing that has just happened." "I see nothing terrible about it," Lucy retorted, coldly. "The major is paid by his king to do fighting, and he got whipped." "Oh, but that is not the worst of it," Martha s aid, glancing apprehensively round her, as if in fear of being overheard. "Hark! there comes father upstairs now. He is just raving about the danger you ran, and what disgrace might come of it." Lucy rose from her chair, turning a little paler than her wont, for she dreaded any altercation between her and her father. The old deacon was really coming upstairs, slowly but decidedly, and his very silence boded ill to the girl, for he did not make the house echo, as he usually did, to his impatient calls for his daughters. He paused at her open door and stood there a moment surveying the two girls, when he broke out, sarcastically : "Well, Miss Lucy, and a fine scrape you were near being in from your ride yesterday." "How was that, sir?" she asked, feeling that he wished an answer. The deacon snorted angrily: "How was that? Do you know what has just hap pened? Maj. Ferguson has been attacked by a maniac in the streets, and has had his throat torn, just as if he had been fighting a wild beast or a mad dog. And this I. ..


68 The Surprise. maniac, from what you let out to him in your exam ination, is the one that killed poor Sergt. Weber. A pretty set of comrades this rebel spy has, and a pretty name my daughter will get running about and consorting with such people." "Why, what is it?" asked Lucy, beginning to feel frightened. "I saw a fight on the corner, and Maj. Ferguson was whipped, but that is all I know of it." "Whipped I" her father angrily echoed. "He was not whipped! He was attacked without warning by a maniac; and no sane man can fight a madman. They say that his life is in danger, and that he may have the hydrophobia, and perhaps die a raving maniac, from nothing but your saucy ride yesterday on old Dobbin." Then, as his daughter made no answer, seeing that answer was useless, he went on, very impressively: "That is what comes of being wiser than thy father, Lucy. Hadst thou not gone on Dobbin yesterday to the river road, for some wild scheme or other, the major would not have been here. And now there is no way to prevent an investigation and the disgrace of my family, by hearing that a daughter of mine hath been seen signaling to these wretches, who have rebelled against the best and most merciful king that ever sat on a throne! These detestable principles to-day have made thee false to the father that reared thee the king that God put over thee and th e best interests of thy land. Let me have no more of it, silly girl. Hitherto, I have refrained from exercising the authority I hold, but my patience is departing. This audacious rebel, Mr. Washington, of Virginia, is now a traitor and a fugitive from justice. As soon as the i c e binds the Delaware our faithful soldiers will cross the river and


The Surprise. capture hi m Then, where will their wicked cause b e found?" Lucy held up her hea d a little higher. "That I know not, sir. But this I know, that the Delaware is not froze n yet, a n d, befo r e it is frozen, we may have a change The d e acon was so much surprised at her answe r that he actu;w;,s unabl e to sp e ak for a momen t. When he did, .ie s h ook his finger very impressively saying: "Unhappy girl, t h is comes of associating with trai tors R e main in this room till I tell thee to come ou t Martha, this way." And with that he took the key out of the door and locked it, in the style which was in vogue amo n g parents a hundred years ago, when there was n o t s o much i n d epend e nce as there is to-day. So L u cy, for the fir s t time in her life, was locked int o 'her room like a naughty child, to watch and wait wha t mi ght come of her expedition of the day b e fore. She felt a stran g e cert a inty that somethin g was to follow which m i ght s ave the prisoner and herself, to o. T he d ea con, good man, took his su p p e r and his pip e of tobacco with his regular glass of g in and wate r which h e h a d taken in the same wa y ni g htly for forty y e ars p as t, and w ent to bed to dream he was bei n g ennob le d by a shinin g per s ona ge, who he imagined to be Kin g G eorge, for "distin g ui s hed loyalt y ." Martha F ield gave h e r fath e r his st:p p e r a nd sneake d upstairs t o Luc y with a tray, for the g ood-hearted creature coul d no t bear to think of anyone being hungry. Lucy r e fu se d e ve r y thing to ea t, a n d the last thi n g Martha saw of he r she was sitting by the window lo ok-


The Surpris e. ing out into t he nig ht as if she h a d be en c ryi n g and wa s t ry ing to h i de it. So M arth a we nt t o s l eep, and h a d no d reams, b eing a very he a lth y girl w ith no pipes or g in and wate r to give her d reams Luc y s a t up half the n ig ht, puzzlin g h e r b ra in in v ain to think of s om e w a y t o save th e h a n dsome prison er, who was, as Ferg u so n s ai d t o be hun g at daylight. At last she cri e d herself t o sl e ep, and d reamed she saw hi m bein g l e d out to execution, and was ti e d fast herself, s o th a t s he co u ld not stir hand or foot Philip Unde rhill in a room to which h e had b e en taken as a prisone r, la y on a settle with h is irons o n, a big German soldi e r at the door, and waited quietly for the deliverance he felt sure would come when Washington performed his promis e At last he, too, fell asleep, and dreamed that he was being led out to be shot. He heard the word of command, saw the flash of the guns, and heard a tremendous report which startled him so that he sprang up on his couch, wide awake in a moment. It was no dream The gray light of the dawn was shining in at his prison window, and the explosions of artillery, rapid and frequent, showed that an att a ck was being made on the place. The same noise startled Deacon Field out of his slumbers just as the king was placin g a coronet on his head, and orderin g a royal salute to be fired in honor of the "Duke of Deaconfield." So dis tinct was the dream that the d ea con to o, started up in b e d and heard the guns going off while still too confused to distin-


Tnrning the Tables 71 guish between dream and reality. But the noise was too loud and near, and continued too long to l e ave him in doubt for many minutes, and all in a tremor of sur prise the deacon rushed to the window and looked down into the street. It was full of Hessians, half-dressed and either un armed or half-armed, who were huddled in groups or running for their lives, dropping by dozens in the street by the bullets of an unseen foe. CHAPTER XI. TURNING THE TABLES. The deacon was no coward ; but for a moment he felt frightened to death, and no shame to him. He had been accustomed to think of the British troops as in vincible; and the Hessians, with their picturesque uni forms had always impressed him as almost as good as the famous "British Grenadiers." But when he saw those redoubtable soldiers evidently frightened to death and confused, he felt as if the end of the world had ;:> come at last. He threw up his window to look out and saw something dark at the end of the street, like a crowd of men, from which red flashes were spittin g forth every now and then followed by the his s in g of bullets that came down the street, slappin g a g ainst walls and every now and then striking something softer in the shape of human fle sh. The dark crowd was only faintly visible a


72 Turning the Tables. canopy of blu e smok e but as the d ea con loo k ed, cam e a wil d yell, and the smo k e was parted, as a great black column of men came charging down the street at a measured run, with th eir bayonets gleaming in front. And the moment the brave Hessians heard that yell and saw the foe coming, the semblance of order they had possessed vanished, and away they ran in a veri table mob, throwing away musk e ts on ev e ry s i de, de spite the efforts of a few officers who w e re storming and raving about in the stree ts, waving their swords and trying to stop the panic. The poor deacon looked the other way, only to find h orrors accumulating on horrors The other end of the street was crowded with more black figures, and lo, and behold the Hessians, not able t o escape in any direction, had stopped short and were d own on their knees in the snow, waving handkerchiefs, towels, shirts, anything white they could g e t hold of, and howling at the top of their voices for mercy. Then the deacon heard a shrill, feminine voice that he thought he knew, over his head; and leaning far out to look, there was his own dau g hter, Lucy, with her head out of the dormer window, waving her handkerchief, and screaming at the top of her voice : "Hurrah for Gen. Washington and the Continental Congress !" Then, indeed, the deacon's cup was full The tables were turned with a vengeance. Only last ni ght he had l ocked up that girl for daring to hold with the rebels; and now the reb els had got the b e st of the fig ht, and he began to s e e that Lucy had chosen th e w in ning side. Fascinat e d b y the s i g ht, in spite of his prejudices, the deacon continued to look down.


Turning the Tables. 73 The had c eas ed almost entirely, and the "rebel Yankees," as he had b e en use d to call th e m, wer e com in g down from eith e r end of the stre e t in solid columns of dark blue looking imposin g enou g h, as he could not but confess. Ri ght in front of his house the huddled Hessians, half-dressed, or trying to struggle into their clothing as best they might, were g a ther e d to gether; and a con fused buzz of voices told him that they were discussing fhe situation. Suddenly, far up the street, came a cheering; and the deacon, looking out, saw some men on horseback coming down through the troops, that opened to give them a passage. Presently he saw them, and recognized some officers on horseback, with a very tall and majestic-looking persona g e at the head. "It is the arch rebel!" murmured the deacon to him self. "Oh, why is it that the Lord has permitted him to triumph, after all our prayers for the good king?" For the deacon, being unacquainted with war, imag ined that the capture of Trenton with a thousand or so of Hessians was an event of such m a g nitude that it would end the war at once. Little did he know the trials and suff erings that were ye t to b e under go ne by the Americ a ns ere they should be allowed to proclaim thems e lves to the w hole w orld a s a free n at i o n. But Gen. Was hington p a used in front o f the hou se, and the ol d d ea c o n could dis tin ct l y hear his vo ice i n the hush th a t came o v er all th e prison er s w h e n he r a ised his hand: "Ge n tl e men," he heard the ge n era l say, "comfort ,ourselves. This is but the fortune of war, and no


74 Turning the Tables. prisoner shall be hurt unless he has offended against the laws. Let your own officers muster you into your ranks and take your names. You shall all be treated as prisoners of war and your private property held sacred. Let the commanding officer of these troops come to me at my headquarters, which will be established at the house of Deacon John Field, and everything shall be arranged in order." The deacon shuddered as he heard the words. Was his house, which had always been held to be the "home of loyalty," to be now made the headquarters of a rebel soldier who sought to overthrow "the government of the best king that ever sat on a throne" ? The deacon felt so angry that he hurried on his clothes and went downstairs, to find that his daughter, Lucy, had been released without his connivance, and was downstairs in their best parlor entertaining the rebel general, who seemed to be speaking to her as if he had known her all his life. As her father entered Washington was saying: "It is true, Mistress Lucy that I have heard of your name before, from Capt Philip Underhill of the East Chester Rangers w ho sent me the information which enabled me to g ain this succ e ss to-day. He wrote to me that it was through your coura g e and patriotism that he was enabled to s e nd me the n e ws ; and asked me to thank you for the brave deed which enabled us to win such a g lorious success The d ea con s top pe d sp e ll b ound and h eard his dau g hter reply: "Nay, ge n eral; but h a d it not been for Capt. Philip, the news c o uld n e v e r hav e r e ach e d y ou. He rescued me from the hands of the brutal soldi e rs who were


Turning the Tables. 75 carrying me ba ck as a prisoner ; and he himself h a s been taken a n d i s som ew he r e in t hi s v e r y to w n in prison at this ve r y momen t. Even w h ile she s po k e came a bustle at the deacon s hou se door w hich he p e rc e iv e d to b e n ow occupi e d b y a sentry, and thre e bo y s were heard e xpo s tulating with him, sa y in g : "I tell y ou we must come in We want our captain, and the general know s u s ." "You can't come in, and the general can't be troubled with boys ," the sentry gruffly r e plied. "If you want to see anyone Col. Hamilton will attend to your case. "Then send for Col. Hamilton said the oldest boy, eagerly. "He knows all about us; for if it had not been for us you would not be here to-day." The sentry was about to reply, when Washington, hearing the discussion at the door, called out : "Sentry, let the boy in. Methinks I know his voice." And into the room brushing past the deacon as if he were a person of no importance in his own house, came three stout, awkward-looking farm lads, clad in home spun garments and carrying guns. The eldest of the boys appeared to be known to Washington, for the chief nodded kindly to him, sa ying: "Young man, you see the result of patriotism and courage. Let this be a lesson to all American soldiers never to despair. Now, what can I do for you?'' "Our captain is missing, general," replied Paul Harvey, eagerly. "He was taken from our camp yesterday when John and Peter and Dan, the nateral and me were out huntin g And then the nateral went in arter him, and thinks he's dead, as nigh as w e kin make out


Tu;:ning the Tables. his signs. What's come of him we don't know, general, and--" "Well," asked the general, seeing him pause, "and what is it? You want to find your captain? Perhaps Mistress Lucy can tell us something of him. If taken prisoner, he must have been brought into Trenton." He glanced at Lucy, who colored and looked at her father, saying: "The gentleman was brought in and arrested, sir; hut my father knows more of him than I do." Then the general turned round and looked at Deacon Field, who met his glance with a frown, saying, in a manner that showed he had not lost his spirit yet : "The spy was taken and arrested. I heard that he was to be hung this morning by Col. Rabi's orders; but, since you have taken us by surprise, he will probably be found at the headquarters of the colonel. If it had not been that a child of mine turned traitor to her king and her father you would not be here now, it seems, sir. I suppose it is no use asking you to leave my house, since you have the force; but I do so. I stand for King George." The deacon had made up his mind to be a martyr, and thought that his extremely dignified speech would disconcert Washington. The chief only bent his grand head slightly and replied slowly: "In times of war everything must give way to neces sity. You will go with these boys, sir, and show them the place where Capt. Underhill is confined. If he has been harmed reprisals will be made. No words, if you please, sir, but go with the lads." And he made a slight signal to Paul Harvey, who


"I Demand His Life!" 77 instantly took hold of the deacon by the sleeve, saying, sharply: "Come and show us where our capt a in is, for we ain't in the mood to stand much foolin', I can tell ye. Dan's oot arter him now." The deacon, rather nonplused by the quiet decision with which he was being treated, only paused to say to his daughter, bitterly: "This is your doing, ungrateful girl!" But he disdained to show any resistance, which might have subjected him to insult, and led his captors tlown the street to the place where he knew Underhill had been confined. The door was open, and a crowd gathered roun

' I Demand His Life!" were locked in each other's arms, and wrestling like madmen. The fact that a gun lay on the floor, from the muzzle of which the smoke was still curling, showed that the sentry over the prisoner had fired his piece, while the blood that streamed down the face of Underhill showed that he had been hit, if not killed How the fight had begun no one could tell; but Paul Harvey put an end to it at once by giving the Hessian a blow on the head from behind with the butt of his gun, under which the poor fellow dropped like a log, with Dan, now triumphant, growling savagely, as he dug his knuckles into the soldier's throat. It cost the boys some trouble to get Dan to let go, and they might not have been able to do it but for the fact that Philip Underhill stirred and uttered a groan as he tried to rise. The moment the sound was heard the idiot let go his prey, and flew to the side of his master, who he fondled like a faithful dog, overwhelmed with joy, crying and laughing and ejaculating constantly: "Cappen cappen Dan find him Dan find him !" Then it was discovered that Underhill had only been stunned by a grazing bullet from the sentry, and the story of his captivity came out. It appeared that the sentry, being of the stolid kind, faithful to death, had retained his post when he heard the firing outside; and to all of Underhill's representa tions that the place was taken had only replied that if the prisoner tried to move he had orders to kill him, and was going to do it. So that all the while the assault was going on outside Underhill had been obliged to remain on his pallet bed,


"I Demand His Life !" 79 with the soldier at the door, which he had locked and taken his place inside, with a cocked musket pointed at the prisoner, and no answer to all his pleadings save one: "I haf mein orders. You schtir, I shoots !" From this trying situation he was rescued at last by hearing the stealthy footstep of some one ascending the stairs outside, snuffing like a hound at the scent, and had recognized the wary tread of the idiot boy, who was hunting, in his blind way, for his master. The foot paused at the door, and Underhill saw the sentry raise his musket instantly. Then Dan called outside : "Cappen Cappen !" Philip was about to answer, when the sentry said, in a low voice: "He come in, I shoot !" Philip knowing the danger he was in from the stolid savage, cried out to Dan to go away; but the moment the idiot heard his voice he sent the door flying from its hinges and from that instant Underhill knew nothing save that a flash of fire half blinded him, and that he had received a terrible blow on his head, as it seemed to him. As for the German sentry, the three boys were set on shooting him at once, but before they had quite made up their minds to it there came a noise at the door, and in marched a strong guard of soldiers, headed by an officer, who had heard the shot, and came in, demand ing, angrily: "What are you doing here? Did you not hear the ocders that the prisoners were not to be hurt? Come out, all of you !"


80 "l Demand His Life !" "This durned Dutchman has killed our captain!" cri e d Paul Harvey, just as angrily. "The general told us to come after him, and her e he is! That's the man that shot him i He point e d to the Hessian on the floor, who was just begin n ing to stir after his stunning blow, and the offi cer, gl a ncing at Underhill and seeing him still alive, said, sharply : "If that is your captain he is not dead at all. Leave that man alone, or it will be the worse for you! Come out of the room !" And he marched them out in spite of all their remon s trances, while Underhill followed feebly, feeling as if his head were splitting where the bullet from the Hessian's musket had plowed a furrow along his scalp, just escaping killing him by being fired too high in the excit e ment of the moment. They followed the guide' to the headquarters of Washington, who was standin g at the door of Deacon Field s house with Col. Hamilton and a number of officers round him, and who asked, as he saw the guard com e up: "We ll, Capt. Brooks, and what was that? If any of our m e n dis o beyed orders they shall suffer for it." "I found that soldier l y ing on the ground, and this youn g man b y him, while the three boys were preparing to shoot the soldi<'r Capt. Brooks replied. "So I thoug h t the b est thing was to arrest the whole party and bring them in to you sir." "And you did well said the general gravely. Then he turned to the Hessian, and asked: "What is your name and regiment?" The poor fellow stammered, as well as he could :


"l Demand His Life!" 81 "Wilhelm Bruns, Twelfth Regimenter, Hessian con tingent." The words were only fairly out of his mouth when Philip Underhill uttered a cry : "General, it is one of the party that killed my broth ers. I demand his life!" The general looked at Philip for the first time, and seemed to recognize him, saying: "Who are you? I have seen your face before." "I am Philip Underhill, of the East Chester Rangers, who brought to your excellency the news that the Brit ish had landed at Throgg's Neck, and warned you to re treat," the young man cried, excitedly. "I demand this man's life! Blood for blood, general! I have his name, and those of two others, given me by the sergeant of the party who hung the poor boys Here they are, where I wrote them down; and Maj. Ferguson, of the Roy al Scots, was in command ." And Philip excitedly pulled out the paper from his pocket and held it up to the general while the three boys with him eyed the chief, hungrily, as if praying for revenge. The general looked troubled, for the first time since any of them had seen him. "Peace," he said, authoritatively, to Philip. "This matter must be decided according to the laws of warnot those of private ven geance." Then he turned to the Hessian, who had been stand ing stupidly by the guard, feeling his head every now and then, as if to make sure that it was still on his shoulders, after the stunning blow he had received. "Were you ever engaged in hanging sotne boys m East Oiester ?" the chief asked him, gravely.


"I Demand His Life!" The countenance of the big soldier changed, and he turned pale, as he said, expostulatingly: "Vat vas I to do, sheneral? I haf mein orders, and I haf to obey dem. It vas no use ven de major haf set his mind dot vay. I vas not alone, for dere vas Fritz Kappellmann and Hans Kruger mit me. Vat could I do, sheneral ?" "Your excellency sees that he admits the crime," Philip cried fiercely. "I demand that the three should be hung in retaliation. He cried out loudly, on purpose to attract attention ; for he saw that the soldiers round were listening to the affair in close attention, and wished to excite feeling on his own behalf. All the answer Washington made was to turn to Capt. Brooks, sa ying: "Send to the provost-marshal at once, and if the men he names are here, let them be brought before me." The captain saluted and departed, while the general said to the excited Philip, with an air of stern dignity that prevented reply : "Young man, remember this: All the patriotism in this world will not excuse disobedience of orders The men you have spoken of must be found and regularly tried-not murdered !" "Murdered!" echoed Philip, with a start. It was the first time that the idea had occurred to him that his vengeance might be looked on in such a lig ht. Washington eyed him with a coldly severe glance, and nodded his head, as he replied : "Murdered is the word. You claim that your broth ers were murdered ag-ain s t the laws of war. Y e t y ou propose to murder others just as cruelly against my


"l Demand His Life !" orders. I have promised that these prisoners shall be held harmless, and that none shall suffer unless he has violated the laws of war. If he has, he will be pun ished, but only after a proper court-martial." Then, as Philip and the three Harvey boys stared at him in silence, he added : "This war can never be settled while every soldier in the ranks undertakes to judge of the conduct of his general and the laws of war. Therefore, I have orders to give to you. Will you obey them?" Philip stammered, seeing that Washington required an answer: "That is what we came here for, general." "It is well," replied the general, more kindly. "I have work for you to do which none can do so well as you. Mine own I must do myself. You have found news for me, by hanging on the skirts of the enemy's army, where regular soldiers could not; but you are out of place here, where regular soldiers are required. I wish you all four to leave this town at once, and to pro ceed to Princeton, there to remain till you hear from me. How soon can you depart, Mr. Underhill?" He addressed Philip directly, and the young man, without thinking, replied at once : "As soon as your excellency pleases. But are we not tcr--" He was going to say "know the result of the court martial," but the general checked him coldly by saying: "Then you will depart at once. This is but the be ginning of operations. Make for Princeton, and com municate with such as shall be sent for you, to whom you are to tell the position of the enemy and his num bers. If you have privileges, you shall have work also."


CHAPTER XIII. A LITTLE COMFORT. In spite of the reluctance of Philip Underhill and his friends to depart from Trenton, without knowing whether the Hessians were to be punished for the murder of the three boys, they bad no excuse to disobey the positive orders of the general ; neither did they have any wish to do so. In fact, Philip, who had begun to cool d0wn, after his first fierce hunger for vengeance, starting from the discovery of Sergt. Weber, began to realize that the general was sending him away on purpose to prevent him from making trouble about the prisoners, and to think angrily to himself that "they might get off, after all." He had not yet learned the lesson which that war was to teach him and many others, that vengeance is like a snowball rolled up a hill, which gathers to itself all the time. Therefore he departed from Trenton very sullenly with his three friends. Dan Fowler, the idiot boy, who had remained placid and undisturbed through all the tumult, as soon as he had found his master, trudged beside Philip and the Harvey boys till they got out of the town into the woods. They might have gone off without thinking of anything else, when they heard the gallop of a horse behind them, and aw the supple figure of Lucy Field coming along the road, the girl waving a handkerchief


A Little Comfort. to attract their attention, though she was outside the line of pickets, drawn around the town already. They stopped, and she came up to them, a little out of breath with her rapid ride, when they saw that she was mounted on a very different horse from the fagged and ancient animal on which she had ridden when Philip saved her from the Hessians. She flushed slightly when she saw Philip, but said, hastily : "Sir, I have ridden fast to find you. What must you think of me, that have allowed you to go forth without being thanked for the favor that you did me but a day ago?" Philip had been thinking gloomily of his brothers a moment before ; but the sight of this pretty little maiden chased the gloom from his mind for a minute, and he said politely: "Nay, but there was naught to thank me for, madam. Any man would have done the same, could he have had the opportunity." "Not everyone could have done as you did, sir," she replied. "But that is not what I came to tell you. I have a message from the general for you, and he hath committed it to my lips." Philip flushed with pleasure as he replied: "That, indeed, is a double pleasure to me, madam. One to hear from the greatest man in the country ; the other from your lips." Lucy colored at his words, and tried hard to hide a smile, but could not do it. So she went on, hastily: "The message is this ; and he requested me to take it to you myself, and gave me a pass outside the lines and back, that I might have no trouble."


86 A Little Comfort. She paused a moment, and then glanced at the Harvey boys, who were staring at her in open-moutl ed admiration. "I was bidden to tell it to you alone," she said, quietly. The moment she said it, all three boys flushed crim son, with the innate modesty that they po s s e ssed, in common with all American boys, no matter how rough their bringing up, and Paul Harvey said, hastily: "Beg pardon, miss, I'm sure. Here, bo ys, come on." And the three hurried off some hundred yards ahead, where they turned into the woods and began to talk together, as if on purpose to drown any sound that might come to their ears-such was the delicacy they had been taught from childhood. Then Lucy leaned forward to Philip and said, gently: "It was but a pretense, sir, to get chance of speech with you. The general told me to tell you that he would do all he could for you in the future, but that you must give up your schemes of vengeance, and be satisfied to leave all to his justice. He told me that he promised this. If ever you capture Maj. Ferguson, who gave the order, and should be tempted to execute him, the matter must be kept from the ears of the gen eral. Then I begged him to let me come and warn you of this, and he told me I might go, and--" She seemed as if she were about to say more, but thought better of it. As a matter of fact, when she had asked permission to carry a message of comfort to the poor young man, with whom she sympathized so deeply, the general had remarked, with a faint smile: "The best comfort you can carry him, Mistress Lucy, will be a sight of your comely face."


A Little Comfort. And with that, with a fatherly fre e dom which no one ever obj e cted to from the grave commander-in-chief, the general had kissed her on the cheek and bid her "go and comfort the young man in the way she best knew how." And she had done so effectually, for Philip's face had brightened up; and he said, more cheerfully than he had' yet done: "And deeply do I thank you, Mistress Lucy, for coming to warn a poor, banished and broken man." "Nay, nay," she said, comfortingly, "not banished and broken, because misfortune hath taken you un awares Capt. Philip--" "Call me Philip, alone," he urged. "Oh, Mistress Lucy, you know not how dark the world appeared to me, but now, and how you have lightened it! I feel now as if I could go and suffer or dare anything, so that it might win a smile from you For, bethink you, I am now all alone in the world. Father, mother and three brothers all gone, and--" "But you have gained one friend, at least," she said, bri ghtly, "who will never desert you." Philip looked at her doubtfully. "A friend, Mistress Lucy? And who?" "The general," she replied, warmly. "Ah, you may think him cold and hard in his ways, but when you had departed I heard him say to Col. Hamilton: 'There goes one made of the stuff which shall yet free this country, Hamilton. If we had fifty thousand like him we might lau g h at all George's anger.'" "And did his excellency say that of me?" asi{ed Philip, flushing deeply with pleasure at the words.


88 A Little Comfort. "Not only that, but I heard him say how it grieved him to have had to speak harshly to you," she replied. Then she added, with an air of that belied her real feelings : "I suppose you know that my father hath gained per mission from the general to depart to Princeton forth with?" "No," he said, looking curiously at her. "It is true, and what is more, we are going to lodge with my Aunt Lucinda, after whom I was named. She is my father's sister, and as good a patriot as I am, myself, which is saying a good deal; for father always calls me a rank rebel," she replied, smiling. "I thought I would tell you that my aunt's house is next to the coll ege, and that her husband is Dr. Hodge, of whom all have heard, as the president of the college. If so be the British do not make an example of me for being a rebel, I shall go about and see what I can see. And if so be that I should happen to ride out into the woods, and should meet some one belonging to the side that I favor, and should tell him news, he might know enough to take the news to the genera l, that we might, perhaps, win another victory." And Mistress Lucy smiled still more witchingly, while Philip, who understood what she meant, took her hand and kissed it gratefully, saying, warmly, as he did so: "Mistress Lucy, if we gain our independence it will be owing to the spirit of our girls more than that of our men." "Nay, nay," she said, brightly, as she turned her horse to ride back. "Let everyone do as he or she thinks best, in his or her power. Remember, the next


A Little Comfort. house to the college. If any man should be daring enough to penetrate into the town to get news, if he were not taken by the enemy, he might even get news earlier, for I admit that I shall have a hard time eluding the suspicions of my father, after what has happened already." Then she rode away, leaving Philip dreaming of a pair of brown eyes that had quite taken away his sor row for the time. He stood watching her till she had disappeared round a turn of the road, when he rejoined his companions with a briskness he had not shown since he had been disappointed in bis schemes of vengeance, and said: "Come, boys, let us on to Princeton. We may do bett e r there than even at Trenton, if we do not come acro ss some one that knows us." They tramped on all that day through the woods, keeping away from the roads. The horse on which Capt. Philip had come from East Chester had been stolen by the party which took him the day before, and had been left behind them on account of their secret errand. They were safer on foot, and by evening had come in sight of the little village of Princeton, the seat at that time of the College of New Jersey, a Presbyterian insti tution, which was to be followed by the more widely known seminary which has come down to our own day as Princeton College. In those days it was a cluster of buildings around a small church, and was distinguished as the home of a great difference of opinion, some of the professors being rigid "Tories," others just as uncompromising


A Ticklish Position. "Whigs" or "Patriots," as they were called, according to the opinion of the person who gave them the name. They went into camp in a h ollow of the woods, where it was decided that the Harvey boys and Dan should remain, whiie Philip Underhill went into the town to gather what information he could. He wished to do so while still there was an opportunity for him to pass unchallenged ; and he knew that if he waited till the deacon with his family arrived he would have hard work to avoid being seen in a small place. Therefore, as the sun set, he laid aside his weapons, and putting off his white hunting shirt, attired only in the ordinary garments of a farmer, set out for the vil lage of Princeton, which he entered without difficulty. Not a sentry was posted round the town, but the place was full of soldiers. CHAPTER XIV. A TICKLISH POSITION. When Philip entered the town he felt his heart beat a little faster than its wont in spite of himself. He was by no means as strong as he had been, for he had been knocked down twice within two days; at the time of his capture and by the bullet of the s e ntry. His strong constitution, and the fact that neither wound had been more than a scalp injury had enabled him to resume duty as usual; for in those da ys, as now, men living in the open air could stand injuries which would lay up a citizen for three weeks.


A Ticklish Position. His injuries had all been under his hair, and he had washed away the blood long before, while a patch over one eye, some stain on his face and the change in his dress, had made sufficient disguise, as he thought, for him to evade anyone who did not know him well. Lucy had told him that her father was coming to Princeton, and he had only one fear, that the journey thereto might be simultaneous with his own. The deacon had seen him while a prisoner, and might recog nize his face and figure if he looked sharp. Philip, on the other hand, felt sure that he would be able to know the deacon anywhere, for he had taken great interest in the old man, as the father of Lucy Field, whom he already began to love for her beauty and courage. In war time, with a young man of nineteen, love comes quick, and the more Philip Underhill thought of Lucy Field the deeper became his love for her. Now he left his rifle behind him, and only carried a knife, hidden under his waistcoat, to defend himself with in t case of a sudden attack, where there might be a chance. His appearance attracted little attention in the town, which was full of soldiers, belonging to Co ;.twallis' cavalry division of dragoons, which had been roaming over the State of New Jersey, plundering at its will. A whole brigade of such horsemen was encamped outside the town in the woods, and the sound of curry comb and brush, as the men cleaned their animals at "stable call," was incessant. The young patriot pretended to be lounging into the town from idle curiosity, but kept his eye on the sol diers, and his ears open to all their gossip, as they


A Ticklish Position. worked. From words that he heard he found that the firing at Trenton had been heard during the morning, but attributed to artillery practice amon g the men. That was as near as he could find out from the com mon soldiers but he could hardly believe that the offi cers could be so supine and careless. He strolled on into town, unmindful that he was getting further and further into the lion's den, till he found himself near the college, which he recognized from the church in the center of the buildings. At the side of the college green was a row of large tents, with blazing log fires in front of them, and over the tallest tent waved the British standard, from which the young man judged that he must be near the quarters of the commanding general, whom he knew, from the conversation of the soldiers, to be Lord Cornwallis, then a young and dashing officer, in command of the cavalry. As Philip hung around the h e adquarter's tent, watching them from afar, he heard the rumble of wheels coming up the solitary street of the litt l e town, and, looking round, spied a heavy wa g o n with four horses, harnessed on e in front of the other, the wheel horse in the sh a fts bein g ridden b y a negro boy. It was -coming strai ght for the headquarters; and a mount e d o fficer in a brilliant uniform was riding by the side conv e r s in g with some on e ins ide. What m a de Phili p ste p out of the w a y a nd wait till the wa g on had passed h e could hardl y t e ll; but he did so, and pre sently heard the officer say: "You have act e d the part of a g ood lo y al subject of his majesty, Mr. Fie ld, and your info r mation is of ex ceedin g v a lue I will tak e y ou at once to the earl, for these things must be looked into."


A Ticklish Position. 93 Then, as he passed by Philip, who stood at the road side, the officer made a cut at him with the long hunting whip he carried, crying, in a harsh tone: "What are you staring at, you booby? Go to your house and keep indoors! If I had my way, I'd hang every Yankee I found out after dark." The lash of the whip caught Philip, who was not looking for anything of the sort, on the shoulder, and stung him sharply. It seemed to have been done in the very wantonness of overbearing insolence ; and the young man, not thinking of anything but the smart and indignity, made a rush at the horse, seized it by the bridle, and forced the animal back, so that it almost fell, before he remembered where he was. Then a realizing sense of his imprudence came over him as the officer, shouting out angry curses, struck at him a second time with his whip; and Philip Under hill turned and fled, as hard as he could run, across the square in front of the tents, passing across the beat of the sentry as he did so. The whole incident occupied only a few seconds, and then he saw a flash, as the sentry fired at him and heard the whistle of the bullet over his head. It was just getting dark in the evening, and he knew nothing about the localities, save that he wanted to get into hiding somewhere. As it happened, he blundered right into the kitchen of the general, where some men were preparing supper, and behind them were the buildings of the college then empty, and built round a central green, with one side open to the church. With an instinct to get into hiding somewhere or


94 A Ticklish Position. other, Philip dashed into the open side of the square, finding it empty. Behind him he heard shouts and running footsteps, but before him was an open doorway that seemed to lead to a cellar. Into this he dashed, and pulled the door to after him with as little noise as he could, when he found himself in a place perfectly dark, through which he groped toward a faint light at one end, which he found to pro ceed from a small, square window at the other side of the building. Outside in the square people were running about, but the fortunate shutting of the door had given him a fe\\( moments to escape All the doors being shut, his pursuers, if he had any, must try them all before they found him. The square window was wide open, and as he climbed through it he found himself at the other side of the college buildings, under some ancient elm trees, the branches of which came down quite near the earth in some cases. Hastily glancing round him for some means of hid ing himself, he ran along under the wall of the college, till the red glare of some fires warned him that he was coming back to danger. Just at that moment anfJther cellar window lay by his side, open like the other, and throu g h it he dived, to find himself in a compartment of the cellar at the very corn e r of the building, with t w o windows com mandin g a view all round him, and a number of barrels and casks whic h looked to him as if made on purpose for him to hid e b e hind. Good or b a d th e place was the only one that offered, and he made no delay about slipping in and taking a


A Ticklish Position. 95 position between two casks, behind which he could hide himself the moment he stooped, while by standing up he could see out of both windows at a time Then he saw that the fires of the cooking establish ment, behind headquarters, were deserted, while the shouts of people all round the college told him that they were still searching for him. Presently a cou pl e of soldiers came running along from the other side of the college, and paused in front of the window. Down went Philip behind his cask, and presently heard one say : "He must have got off into the town, Bill. These Yankees will all hide one another, and it's a sure thing he ain't in the college. Ain't the old tartar savage just, though?" "Ay, ay he's a tartar by name and a tartar by nater," responded the second voice. "The feller must have been stark, staring mad to try and make a whack at Col. Tarleton, of all men in the world. I wouldn't like to be in his place if Tarleton ketches him." "Nor me, nuther, Bill. Say, here he comes now. Let's go to lookin' round, so he won t use that 'ere whip of his'n on us, like he did on the Yankee. He's too blessed free with that 'ere thing." Then Philip heard them moving off, and presently the strident voice of the officer, with whom he had the altercation, was heard, as he cried with extreme anger : "If you men can't find that rebel hound, I'll hold some of you responsible for him, and try what the cat will do, to your memory. He can't have got out f>f here. Why, such a thing was nev e r heard of, as a confounded scoundrel like that, con:iing into a British


A Ticklish Position. officer s headquarters, and trying to murder him. Scat ter, there, you scoundrels, and look for him. Stir your lazy stumps, or I'll make you remember Tarleton, with a vengeance." And then came the cracking of a whip, and Philip peeped over the top of his cask, and saw the very officer who had struck at him, slashing away with the same whip at a number of soldiers, who ran from before him with a slavish submission that he thought remarkable at such a time. The officer was the afterward famous or notorious Col. Tarleton, whose cruelties and hard fighting were to make him so well known during the progress of the Revolutionary War. It was Philip's first introduction to him; and he began to think of him as almost worse than Ferguson, already. Then, as the men went running around, apparently trying to find the escaped one, Tarleton suddenly turned to the cellar, and spying the open windows, cried otit: "Search that cellar, you scoundrels The Yankee may be hiding in there, right under your and you not see him." And then, as a number of men came running to the cellar, Philip Under:hill crouched down in the darkness behind his cask, grasping his knife and feeling that probably his last hour was coi;ne.


CHAPTER XV. A CLOSE SHAVE. When Philip Underhill heard the soldiers entering the cellar he gave himself up for lo s t, and thought only of selling his life dearly Down between the casks he cowered as low as he could go, staring up, and resolved to lunge with his knife at any face that came over the top of the cask. Instead of that he only saw a man's b:ick and heard the two who were s e arching turn ov e r everyt h in:; else in the cellar except the particular place in which he was hidin g whi l e they rolled such of the casks as could be moved to and fro, a nd once nearly caused him t o cry out with p a in, so closely was he squeezed. Then he heard one of them call out : "There ain't nobody in h e re, sir. We've turned over everything, and a rat couldn't have got out of the-Ah! there he goes now And then came a scuffling and the clash of steel striking on the stones of the cellar wall, till t he soldier cried out: "I've got him, sir, all there is here. J ust a big Nor way rat. -For a little space the r evulsion of feeling in Phil ip's h eart was so great that he came near fainting in his hiding place; but as the two soldiers in the cella r climb e d out to their officer he began to realize that th e search for him was practically over The fortunate discovery of the rat had saved h i m

PAGE 100

A Close Shave. Still he did not dare to stir for some time afterward, during which he r ema ined crouched down behind the casks, till silence had fallen over the town and the head quarters of the British officers, when the daring young scout began to think of making use of his position to benefit his cause He had come into town, as it seemed, just before the advent of Deacon Field, to whom Tarleton had been talking when the fracas occurred. Tarleton had congratulated the deacon on his loyalty and devotion in coming in with news, and it needed no great skill on the part of Philip to realize what the news was. The deacon had been allowed to leave Trenton by Washington, and had come straight for Princeton to give information that might lead to the capture of Washington. But why had Washington let him go? That was the puzzle for Philip, till he began to think of what the chief had told himself as his last instruc tions before leaving the town. He remembered the words well : "This is but the beginning of operations. Make for Princeton and communicate with such as shall be sent for you. You are to tell the position of the enemy and his numbers." That was what he had to do now, to find out the position and number of the enemy. He had looked around him as he came in and counted two brigade flags, and the uniforms of seven different regiments, all cavalry. So far so good.

PAGE 101

A Close Shave. 99 Cornwallis was in command, and Col. Tarleton was with him. The deacon had come in and told about the capture of Trenton. What remained for Philip to do was to find out what the British commander was going to do. He remained in his cellar, peeping out of the win dows whenever he got a chance, and thereby watching the kitchen of the headquarters with no great danger to himself. The trouble produced by his encounter with Tarleton seemed to have blown over, and the men at the cook fires were talking to each other, cracking rough jokes and di cussing the news from Trenton, which spread over the camp in all sorts of shapes. They seemed to think that it was nothing to be ashamed of, but for the most part to lay it to the stu pidity of the German soldiers and to have great con fidence in the ability of their present chief to avenge the disaster and drive back W ashinoton to the woods. Philip listened a long as he could, and, as he watched, saw that a council of officers was taking place in the tent of the commander, which wa about a hun dred feet in front of the cookina quarters. Trumpets blew different calls, and a number of officers came riding up in the light of the camp fires, and dismounting from horse entered the aeneral's tent, where something was going on that necessitated a good deal of talking. The noise of the voices excited the curiosity of the men at the cook fire, of course, as well as of Philip, and every now and then one of them would steal off near the back of the general's tent, come back and retail the re-

PAGE 102

100 A Close Shave. sult of his eavesdropping to his comrad es, with many nods, and winks, and whispers. To Philip the situation was growing more and more exciting evety moment, and all the more so when he found, from the conversation of the men at the cook fire, that an expedition was on foot to surprise Washington, avenge the disaster of Trenton, and end the war by the capture of the "head rebel," as the men called the Virginian chieftain. But how was he to find means to communicate this to his general, and especially how should he be able to communicate with Lucy Field who was by this time certainly in the town with her father. Then he remembered what Lucy had told him. "My aunt's house is next to the college, and her hus band is Dr. Hodge, of whom they have all heard, as president of the college." And here he was in a disused cellar in the corner of these very college buildings, and Lucy probably not a yards from him, if he only knew in which di rection to hunt for her. "I must get out of this place s omehow or other," he said to himself, and with that he got out of his hiding place and went to the window on the other side of the colle ge buildin gs, where the open space was dark as far as the ca mps of the soldiers, some three hundred yards off. Not a soul was on that side as Philip slipped ou t of the cellar window and started to skirt round the build ingto the opposite side to find the house of Mrs. Hodge, Lucy's aunt, Lucinda. He kept close under the walls, and in this way skirted round the empty buildin g till his attention was

PAGE 103

A Close Shave. IOI attracted by voices in front of him, and he instantly crouched down under the shadow of a stone stairway to one of the side doors of the college and listened. To his surprise he heard the voice of Deacon Field and the sweet tones of his beloved Lucy, while the crunching of the snow under their feet announced that they were walking along. "I tell thee, Lucy," he heard the deacon say, "thou must either join me in telling the officers all thou know est of the enemy, or thou wilt be exposed as a rebel and traitor, and in that case I shall not be able to save thee from prison." Philip hid a little closer and listened to the steps which were coming nearer and nearer to the stairs be neath which he was hiding. Lucy made no answer to her till they were opposite to the place, when he heard her say, in a stifled sort of way: "If I must go to prison I must, sir; but I will not betray my country to the British." Then Philip looked out and saw the backs of the two, with the old deacon half turned round as he stopped to strike his stick on the ground, saying, angrily: "Thy country, silly, disloyal g irl England is thy country, as it is mine. There lies my duty." "America is my country," the girl retorted with great spirit, "and I tell you plainly, father, it is no use taking me to the Earl of Cornwallis, for I will tell him nothin g, and will only insult him and get you into trou ble. So we might as well go back." Then Philip began to realize what the old deacon was trying to do. He knew that his dau ghte r had been a sort of favorite with Washington, and thou ght that she might have heard something of his plans, which he

PAGE 104

J02 A Close Shave. expected to have her reveal. And the spirited girl re fused. "Brave Lucy!" he murmured to himseif, as he heard her. And he noted that her father was staggered by her obstinacy, for the old man did not walk on, but stopped to expostulate, saying: "If thou wilt not do it, there is Martha, who will, Lucy." "Then let Martha do it, sir," she replied, quietly. "Of a truth, she is fonder of the British than I am, even to that detestable Col. Tarleton, with his loud voice and his bold, wicked eyes, that no g:rl ought to meet without shrinking." Her words seemed to strike the deacon unpleasantly, for he said, with rather an apologetic tone: "He is a rough soldier-that is all, Lucy ; he is not b ad, and means no harm to thee or any lady "I know this, sir," she retorted, sharply: "If a patriot looked at me in the way he did and spoke the words he did before everyone, with his strange oaths, you would c all him bad So why not return home?" Philip was wondering what they were about and what the deacon meant, when he sighed and said: "It is too late, Lucy. I have promised, and they expect it. Look! I think there comes the colonel self." And Philip, hiding in the shadow of the stairs saw the swaggering figure of Tarleton coming along the college wall and presently the cavalry leader hurried up, saying, quickly : "Well met. deacnn. We ha v e decid e d to move by daylight, and all we want of the lady is the names of

PAGE 105

A Bold Stratagem. 103 the officers she heard mentioned round Washington. I think this incident will end the w::ir." Philip heard him, and his he art beat hard: he was gathering news in spite of everything. The British were to move by da ylight. ow if he could only sneak out of town and get to the woods, he might warn Washington, who otherwise might be surprised and overwhelmed in his turn, as he had surprised Rahl. Thinking over this, he saw Tarleton, in his swaggering way, take Lucy and slip her hand under his arm, saying, in answer to h e r low expostulation: "Nay, nay, it is too lat e to remonstrate, Mistress Lucy. Thy father saith that thou couldst tell us, and thou must." And with that the three disappeared round the cor ner of the college buildings, as Philip Underhill slipped from his retreat. CHAPTER XVI. A BOLD STRATAGEM. Philip Underhill had made up his mind to make a d as h for liberty, trustin g to the darkness of the night, but wished to get as far from the fires as he could. Skirting the college, he turned a corner, only to al most run into the arms o f a sentry, who was pacing his beat in a perf e ctly l one l y spot, and on whom he came so close that he had grabbed the man's musket instinct i vely, before either spoke a word. Then; of course, he had to think quick, and act quick, too.

PAGE 106

A Bold Stratagem. It was life or death for him, and yet he hated to stab the other with his knife. It looked and felt too much like murder. But he had the weapon in his hand, a heavy hunting knife with a buckhorn handle, and with a sudden round-hand blow, which he had learned in many a rough-and-tumble contest before the war, he hit the sentry on the temple with the heavy handle of the knife, so that the crack sounded like the stroke of a hammer. He might have tried the blow a hundred times without success ; but as it happened, he managed to hit at that moment in the exact spot M knock the man sense less. The soldier staggered a moment, seemed struggling to cry out, with no power to do so, and let go his grasp of the musket. The moment he did so, Philip snatched the heavy weapon from him, and thrust the butt full into his face with all his force, and knocked him down in earnest, this time completely stunned. Then he stopped and glanced round him. The beat of the sentry was along a dead wall, but the porch of a house was a little way off. That must be the house of Lucy Field's aunt, Lucinda, and all in a moment a bold plan occurred to Philip. Stooping down he hastily stripped the soldier of his coat and belt, trus ting te> the darkness to mask the .. difference of his own worn and patched deerskin leg gings from the white breeches and gaiters of the soldier. The exchan g e was effecte d rapidly and in a moment more he stood up as a full-fledged British soldier, and

PAGE 107

A Bold Stratagem. hurried off on his beat with the soldier's musket over his shoulder. Past the door of the house he strode and saw that there was light in the window. At one of the lowt:r windows near the doorway a girl was pre:> ing her face against the panes, and Philip recognized Martha Field from her likeness to her sister. Philip hesitated a moment at the sight of her, and the young lady seemed to notice the soldier's figure outside and tapped on the window as if to attract his attention This was just what Philip wanted to test the completeness of his disguise, and he stopped short when Martha disappeared from the window and pres ently came to the door, and opening it on a crack peeped out and said, in a low tone: "Mr. Soldier, please, I want to speak to you." For a moment Philip hesitated and then a scheme came into his mind. The girl evidently thought him a soldier on post, but was so ignorant of military matters that she thought he could come off post to speak to her. Then he walked up the steps and Martha said, in a low voice: "Hush, please, my aunt may hear you. Did you not see my father and sister go by just now toward the headquarters?'' "I did,'' he replied, quietly, but wondering what she meant. "Do you know which way they have gone?" "No." "They have gone to see Earl Cornwallis." ''What for?" "My sister can tell all about the 'head rebel' and his army."

PAGE 108

106 A Bold Stratagem. "That is good." "But she will not, and, oh, Mr. Soldier, I love my sister so much." "Of course you do. Why will not your sister tell?" "Because she believes in the rebel, Washington." "Can I help you?" asked the supposed soldier. "Yes, if you can and will." "If I can help the daughter of Deacon Field, I will." "Then time is precious. The colonel says that Earl Cornwallis is to move by daylight, and my sister is to give the names of all who are on Washington's staff." "Well?" "She will not do it." "So you said, Miss Field. I don't see that I can make her." "No, no, you cannot, but I can tell; oh, if only the colonel would come to me." "And you would tell?" "Yes, for our good King George's sake. How can people be so wicked as to fight against him ?" "But can I trust you ? Are you not a rebel also ?" "No, no. I can go through the lines whenever I please." "Not while I am on duty, unless you gave the sign." "Well, I should do it." "Do it now, then!" and Philip felt aglow with excite ment, for he was about to learn what would be of in calculable advantage to him. She leaned forward and whispered a word in the soldier's ear. "Ha! some stray word you have picked up." "Not so, I can give the countersign as well." "Indeed !"

PAGE 109

A Bold Stratagem. 107 She again whispered to Philip, and while he affected to disbelieve her, he was elated at his success. "I want you to convey a note to the colonel for me." "Yes, miss, when I am off duty." "How long will that be ?" "An hour." "That will do. Will you take it?" "Yes." The note was passed to Philip and almost at the same time a shrill voice was heard calling : "Martha!" "My aunt; go quick!" Nothing pleased Philip better, and hiding his mus ket, he crawled round the house in the direction of the British headquarters. He was just in time to hear Lucy say: "I can die, colonel, but I cannot be a traitor to my country." "My girl, England is your country." "Is it? I was born here my father was born here, and-and"-she hesitated a moment-"my mother is buried here. No, America is my country." "Do you know my power?" The voice 'Yas not that of Tarleton; it was a manly and honest voice, but there was something in it which jarred on Philip's ears. "Yes, my lord." "I can imprison you." "I know it." "I can order you to be shot as '!-spy "Yes, my lord," assented Lucy, with admirable cool ness. "You think I would not do it, eh?"

PAGE 110

108 A Bold Stratagem. "My lord, I know England is capable of making war on women and children." "Not so." "Indeed, yes. Did not Maj. Ferguson, of the Royal Scots, hang three little boys in East Chester? That was murder. So you can easily justify the shooting of a girl." There was a quiet sarcasm in her speech. Philip's heart went out to her in a passionate outburst. Had she not remembered his brothers' sad death? "The girl is mad," said Deacon Field, excitedly. "She is no longer a daughter of mine." "Say not so, deacon; she is young, and when she sees the head rebel' hanged as a traitor, she will be ready to acknowledge her error." "Never!" answered Lucy, with a queenly dignity. "Never! I can die--shoot me if you please, but my latest breath shall be of loyalty to Gen. Washington and the Congress Tarleton spoke in a low voice to Cornwallis, and the earl suddenly turned to the deacon. "Deacon, you are free to go to Trenton," he said, "are you not?" "Yes, my lord." "I want to send a letter to some trusty friends there." "Yes, my lord." "Good You will take it?" "I will." How Lucy longed to get possession of that Jetter which Cornwallis was so hastily writing, but she knew that it would be almost an impossibility. When the letter was finished, the general sealed it with his signet ring and handed it to the deacon.

PAGE 111

A Bold Stratagem. "Deliver it onl y to the perso n addresse d. As for you, Miss Lucy, you will stay here a pri so ner until we are ready to start and capture this rebel whom you s o much admire." Lucy made no answer but gave the titled officer such a look that, had he not been adamant, he would have felt how small he really was, and would have been ashamed of himself. The old deacon left the tent, and chuckled as he went. He had a secret mission to perform, and he was sure of a title, or at least some of the rebels' lands, as his reward. He had not gone a hundred yards before he heard some one running. Turning, he saw an English soldier. "You are Deacon Field?" said the man. "Yes, that is my present name." "The earl, Gen. Cornwallis, sent me after you-you have a letter for Trenton. The earl wants to make some changes in it--" "I will return," said the deacon. "Better not. The earl said you were to go home, and mftke some excuse about Miss Lucy, or her aunt will be uneasy; and you are to return for the letter in half an hour." "Very well. You are to take the letter?" "Yes." "The sign !" exclaimed the wary old deacon. The soldier instead of giving the usual sign, gave one which he had learned admitted to the command e r's tent. That was enough. The letter was at once given to the soldier, and the

PAGE 112

I 10 The Usages of War. deacon watched the man until he was lost in the shadow of the tent. But no sooner had the soldier reached the shade, than he skirted the tent and made a bold dash across the colleg e square, and ran right into the arms of a sentry. With admirable presence of mind he gave the sign, and was allowed to pass-the sentry was used to such escapades. It was evidently a love journey the soldier was going. Into the woods he ran with the speed of a deer until, breathless and exhausted, he reached the camp where the Harvey boys and Crazy Dan were awaiting the coming of Philip. At the sight of the redcoat Paul pointed his musket, and would have fired, when Philip-for he it was laughed. "Don't you know me?" "Cappen Phil! Cappen me glad!" And Crazy Dan danced round Underhill, seizing his hand and kissing it, and fawning upon him just as a dog would on the return of its master. CHAPTER XVII. THE USAGES OF WAR. "Dan, ge t r eady to go to Trenton;" said Capt. Philip, as soon as h e had recov ered his breath. "And, Paul, I have work for you, too." "All right, cappen Anywhere if it is for Gen. Washington."

PAGE 113

The Usages of War. III "It is." "What cheer ?" asked Paul. "There is not time to tell you all. Every minute is precious. Get ready!" These boys did not require to make many prepara tions. They were always ready to march. Philip walked about uneasily for a few minutes, when suddenly he stumbled and nearly fell. is that, Paul?" he asked. "A Britisher, that is all." "An English soldier?" "Yes." "Ali ve?" "No, not much. He came right into our camp, and not recognizing us asked the way to Princeton. There was someth ing suspicious about him, and Dan, the nateral, jumped on him and--Well, there he is." "Why kill him?" asked Underhill, his soul revolting against useless blood shedding. "He was one of George's men." "But he was a man." "Of course he was, and he would have killed us if he had known we were for Washington." Dan was ready first; he had taken a little food, a good drink of water, and now stood before Philip looking up into his face with an earnest gaze. "Cappen, r eady !" was all he said. "Take this, return to Trenton, and give it to the general. Don't let anyone take it from you." There was a silen t reproach in his look as he re plied: "Dan never traitor." "I believe you ; off you go."

PAGE 114

TJ'.2. The Usages of War. Lik e a faithful hound, the crazy f e llow dashed off into the belt of wood, and was los t to sight very quic k l y To Paul h e g av e a similar message, and directed him to t ake quite a different route. T h e o t h e r two were to make the camp their head qu arte rs, and to find out all they could about the enemy. P hi l ip went ov e r to the dea d soldier, a nd s tripped fro m hi m hi s cl ot h es. S ea rchin g the pock e t s he found some docu m e nts which pro ved to b e of g reat value One w as from Gen Bro wn, addresse d to Col. Tarle t on at Princeton, anothe r to the sam e sold i e r from a citize n of Tre nton, a n d th e oth e r was a descrip t ion of one "Philip Unde r hill, tra itor and s p y ," and con t a ined the promise of a g reat reward to who e v e r w o uld kill him. "Pleasant," mu t t e red Philip, as h e pocketed the doc uments. Feeling sure that one, at l e ast of his messen g ers would reach the general, Philip assumed the complete disguise of the dead soldier, and boldly walked back toward Princeton. He had not gone far when he heard the voice which had such power over him-the dulcet voice of Lucy Field. "What could she be doing there?" he wondered. Hiding himself in a thicket, he awaited her approach "How dare you say such a thing?" she said to her companion, angrily. ''Why, Mistress Lucy, 'tis but one of the usages of war time." The speaker was Col. Tarleton, who had taken his prisoner away from the village to reason with her, and if that was not sufficient, to threaten.

PAGE 115

The Usages of War. 113 The colonel carried his riding whip; it was his in separable companion. "Usages of war, indeed! Then, colonel, let me tell you that I would rather die true to my own country than live rich and know myself a traitor." "You use harsh words, fair mistress Did not your father command you to give the information, and is it not written in thy Bible, 'Children, obey your par ents?'" "Yes, but in this case I shall disobey." "I can offer you a hundred pounds of good money--" "If you offered me King George's crown, my answer would still be the same." "By Heaven, Mistress Lucy, I admire you." ''Then release me." "I dare not. But your beauty would grace an Eng-lish castle." "It never will. Are you answered?" "No! By Jove, you shall tell me, or I'll make you." "Coward!" Tarleton raised his whip as if to strike. "Oh, I am not afraid," said the girl, proudly. "Eng lish ruffians have no terrors by which they can frighten me." "By Jove you shall repent this. I'll make you tell me, and on your knees you sooll ask my pardon." "Indeed I'll not, colonel. Go back to England and talk to your countrywomen in that way. It will not i n fluence me; I am a free-born American girl." "Once more! Will you g ive the information P" "No. A gentleman would not ask me Tarleton saw that Lucy meant it.

PAGE 116

The Usages of War. He was maddened b eyond control, and ra1smg his whip he gave her a savage cut across the shoulders. fo an instant he was lying on his back, knocked down by Philip Underhill, who could not stand by and see Lucy Field outraged so brutally by the officer. Snatchin g the whip from Tarle ton's hand, the young scout used it with such good effect, that scarcely a por tion of the soldier's body but was ble e ding. "He ou ght to be a Scotchman now, his face is like a tartan plaid." said Philip, as he looked down at the criss-cross he had cut on the dashing colonel s coun tenance. "That voice!" said Lucy. "Mistress Lucy, thou art free." "Captain--" "Philip! Never call me by any other name." "How came you here?" she asked. "To see thee. Oh, Lucy, it is as good as a ray of sunshine to look into thy proud American eyes." "What news?" she asked, quietly turning the con versation. He told her what he had learned, and then asked what she intended doing. "I shall return to my Aunt Lucinda's." "But you will be in danger." "No, Philip. I shall tell how the colonel assaulted me, and how I was rescued by an English soldier." Lucy was able to give the brave boy some additional information, and then he, too, started back to Trenton. * Cornwallis had given up all thoughts of returning to England, though he had received leave of absence.

PAGE 117

The Usages of War. II5 He determined to attack Washington at Trenton, and had good reason for believing he could surprise and capture the "rebel" leader. The patriots had five thousand men under Washington, but Cornwallis had far superior numbers. There was a difference, too. The American army was almost a raw one. Soldiers drilled and maneuvered into automatons were scarce, while the English leader was supported by veterans, every man well skilled in the art of warfare, and each ready to do his part without a word of question. Every advantage was on the side of the English, and it was only by the best of generalship that the Ameri cans could hope to even hold their ground. The boom of cannon told that fighting had com menced. Cornwallis was almost beside himself with rage. Instead of surprising the Americans, he had found them ready, and even anticipating his approach. The patriots had left the village, and had taken up a strong position on the south side of Assanpink Creek. Gen. Vv ashington was just mounting his horse, when Col. Hamilton pointed out a group of men wearing the patriots' uniform, and evidently fighting. "Shall we ever secure liberty," said the general, sor rowfully, "while each man is a law unto himself?" Col. Hamilton was about to order the fighters to be brought to headquarters, when the general rode over to th em Distance had somewhat misrepresented what was takin g place. As Washington approached, he saw a patriot strug-

PAGE 118

II6 The Usages of War. gling with Crazy Dan, who was growling and biting at the man savagely. Others were trying to drag the poor lad away, but his strength was herculean. "What is it? Have we no country to fight for?" asked the general, sternly. Dan heard the voice, and his hands fell powerless to his side. He looked up into the cold, grave face, and said: "Dan know man spy." "I am no spy; I am a patriot," exclaimed the accused, who had been bitten badly by the human dog. "Spy, general, me know." ''Why do you accuse this man ?" asked Hamilton. The crazy boy made no answer, but looked at the general, and pointed significantly to the man's pockets. The soldier's face flushed, and he hung his head. He was ordered fo be taken into custody, and a courtmar tial would investigate the charge. "I know that man," spoke up Philip Underhill, step ping forward. "He is English." "What if I am? Are you not all from the same country?" "Maybe so, but you are a friend of Deacon Field." "And i sn't Mistress Lucy a good patriot?" The man was ready with his answer at all points; he knew his liberty, perhaps his life, was in danger. The general rode away, and Col. Hamilton ordered the man to be searched. The poor fellow struggled, but was overpowered, and conclusive evidence was found on him that he was an English spy Me know, cappen; spy me know," and Crazy Dan's instinct had perhaps saved the patriot army.

PAGE 119

The Oath of Vengeance. c I 7 Held in safe custody, the spy knew that only a Brit ish victory t:1at day would save his life, and he was afraid that such an event would not happen. ; The soldiers under Cornwallis tried to force a passage across the creek, but were driven back with great loss. Sunset saw both armies resting, and once again Philip Underhill received a warnmg to leave the pa triot's camp. "You can do more good away," said the general. "Go; if you can reach Brunswick, do so, and report when and where you can." Calling Dan, the nateral, to him, Capt. Philip headed for the scouts' camp. They had to make many detours to escape capture, but at last reached the rendezvous. "Great Heaven!" exclaimed Philip. "Look! May eternal disaster fall upon the British I" The sight which had called forth the exclamation was a terrible one. Straight before them they saw the bodies of John and Peter Harvey hanging from the branch of a tree. "Great Heaven !" again exclaimed Philip. "Who has murdered the poor boys?" CH. PTER XVIII. THE OATH OF VENGEANCE. Philip Underhill's blood seemed to freeze in his veins, as he saw tbe bodies of his friends hanging from the trees.

PAGE 120

I 1 8 The Oath of Vengeance. "My brothers hanged, and now my friends," he ex claim ed aloud, and with his hand raised heavenward, he appealed to the Recording Angel to record his vow, that never would he lay down the sword until these deaths were all avenged Crazy Dan sprang forward and caught the body of :;. Peter Harvey in his arms. "Peter getting cold,'' he said, and then gave a low growl like a dog with a bone The growl recalled Philip to his senses, and he has tened to cut the ropes by which the boys were sus pended. With almost a girl's tender touch he laid the bodies on the grass, and opening Peter's shirt, he placed his hand over the bo y' s heart. Was it imagination or did he feel a slight fluttering? Dan seemed almost frantic with delight when Philip told him that there was life in Peter, and that he might be restored Leaving Crazy Dan to rub the arms and chest of Peter, the captain turned his attention to the other boy, only alas! to find the body becoming rigid and cold as marble. John Harvey, brave boy and honest scout, a good patriot and an honor to his country, was dead. "Is this war?" asked Philip. "No, no, there is a chivalry in honest war. It does not sanction murder nor outrage!' And then the l ad remembered that he and his friends wer e outlaws As scouts and spies they were liable to be hanged like dogs whenever captured. They could not claim the honors of war.

PAGE 121

The Oath of Vengeance. I I 9 "I will deal with them as they deal with me," he said. "Cappen, cappen, speak, water!" exclaimed Dan, excitedly Philip left the d e ad patriotic boy, to assist in reviving the other. "Cappen, me no fool," said Dan. "Not at all, Dan. Peter' s lips were moving, a slight color was returning to his face ; and Dan was right-a little water would do good. Taking the natural's place, he sent him for some water, and was engaged in reviving Peter, when he heard the bushes p a rt, and a wild scream pierced his ears. He rose to his feet, suspecting danger, and found himself grasped tig h t ly by Paul. "Fiend!" y elle d th e n e wcomer. "Fiend! I'll have your life !" "What ha v e I d one?" g asped Philip almost breath l es s w ith e xhaus ti on. "Done! You are a g houl. You and your nateral. But, by Hea ven! I'll kill y ou." A r e you mad?" a s k ed Philip. "No; but shall b e if y ou live another hour." "What hav e I done?" "Done!" r epeated Paul. "Yes ; y ou are drunk o r mad. Your brother may die through your hold ing me l ike t hi s ." Underhill had r eleased his neck fr om Paul 's iron g rip, and was able to speak wi th greater plain n ess. "And you want to kill h i m, as you have Jo hn. "You are a fool !" The yo un g men struggl ed with each o ther; and

PAGE 122

,\/' I 20 The Oath of Vengeance. Philip, th o u g h stro n g as a li o n a t m os t ti mes, w as almost pow e rl ess The tellin g and stirrin g e ve nts of the week had und e rmined his con st i t ution, and h e felt his strength g iving way Paul clinched hi s adversary, and threw him to the ground ; he drew his hunting knife and in another mo ment the tragedy would have been intensified, had not Crazy Dan sprang upon Paul and, with a savage g rowl, tore him away from the captain. "Me kill you!" he said, between the barks and growls. Philip staggered to his feet and drag ged Dan away. His first thought was about Peter, and to his joy he saw the bo y rise to a sitting posture. "Captain !" It was the first word the boy spoke, and his eyes proved by their expression that he was overjoyed, not only at his return to life, but at seeing Philip. With lowered head Paul stepped forward, and placing his hand on Philip's shoulder said: "If I have wronged you, I shall never forgive myself; if I was right I shall kill you." "Do so, for I should deserve to die as a dog." It was evid ent that Peter had somethin g to com municate, for he kept moving his lips as if attempting to speak. ''What is it Peter?" asked Philip. The lips moved, but not an articulate sound could they make. "Poor fellow I swear that whoever served you lil< this shall die a s carrion." As the capt a in utt e r e d these words, Paul looked L him with e y es moist with tears.

PAGE 123

The Oath of Vengeance. I 2 I "Can you forgive me(" be asked. "Yes. But try and curb your t e mper a little." "Poor John! Phil-Capt. Philip, we have both brothers to avenge. And as sure as the sun shines I will follow thee to the ends of the earth to mete out a terrible death to our brothers' murderers." "Captain !" It was Peter who spoke. He had partially regained his voice. "What is it?" "The British--" and he paused. It seemed that every word hurt his throat as he spoke. "Well?" asked Philip. "Have left Princeton to attack the-the-general." "You saw them?" "Yes." The voice was getting feeble, but the boy'! spirit was strong. He pulled Philip down to him, and with an effort manage d to say: "In-two dvisions-Maj. Ferg--" "What of him?" Peter could not an s wer. "Was he with them ?" The b oy nodded an assent. "Bulldog Ferguson here? I see it all. Was it he who hanged you?" There was no answer, and Philip repeated slowly, a pause between each word : "Did-Maj .-Ferguson-bang-you?" The boy nodded hfa .head, and with his hands made

PAGE 124

I 2 '2 The Oath of Ven geance. certain pantomimic signs which Philip easily under stood. "Then Ferguson ordered his men to hang you and your brother?" Another motion of assent. Philip clasped his hands to ge th e r so tightly that he fairly hurt him se lf He l ooked at Paul, and the g lance was returned. The lo oked was expressive. It was one of hatred for the Scotch officer. Had Maj. Ferguson appeared upon the scene at that moment, his life would sca rc e ly have been prolonged while he could offer up a prayer. But his evil career was not to be ended that day, although bloodhound s never followe d a scent more de liberat ely than did tho se scouts, who had such a deep debt to p ay "What becomes of our League of Five?" asked Paul. sadly as he helped to fill in the grave in which his brother J ohn was l a i d "It still exi sts," answered Philip "But we a r e only four." "The fifth lies there, and I, fo r one, will do double share, and so fulfill his and our mission." "Is, then, our brother to be cons idered as if with us?" "He is." P aul clasped Underhill's hand, shak ing it heartily. Peter murmured an acquiescence, and the scene was m ost impressive. "On your knees, boys!" said Philip, wit h solemnity, both of speech and manner The boys knelt down and Philip, taking his hunting

PAGE 125

Outgeneraled. 123 knife in his right hand, held it above his head, while he repeated, in slow and solemn manner, an oath of vengeance: "I swear," he said, "that so long as British or Hession soldier raises his hand against our general and our country, so long I will neither know rest nor pleasure, but will fight for liberty and my country. And I swear that I will hunt to the death the murderers of my brothers and my friend I swear it!" The kneeling scouts were witnesses to the solemn oath but they were more than that, for each, except Dan, who knew not the nature of an oath, swore the same vow of vengeance. Then they all turned their back upon the camp, which had been such a tragic resting place for them, and once more thought it their duty to return to the army, and acquaint \Vashington with facts, learned by Pete r Harvey, which might be of great importance to the patriot general. CHAPTER XIX. OUTGENERALED. When the British we re driven back across Assanpink Cre ek, Cornwallis with that hesitancy which sometimes characterized him, determined to defer his attack on Washington's army until the morning. That hesitanc y saved the patriots. Had Cornwallis again forced the passage of the creek, the patriot leaders might have been captured.

PAGE 126

Outgeneraled. Washin gton was in a critical position. He was almost disheartened. To attempt to recross the Delaware was hazardous. To retreat in any direction was to lose all that had be e n gained in the recent victory. And yet to be beaten in battle meant the utter ruin of the patriots' cause. All these thoughts passed through his mind, and made him wish for the quietude of Mount Vernon. But, even then, he was not inclined to admit that the patriots could be beaten. He called a council of war. What a g rand council that was What men What soldiers They had implicit faith in their cause, and the pa triot's arm is stronger than that of the hireling. Washin gto n stood in the center of the group, his face almost stern and cold, but from his eyes there flash e d a soul which knew not fear. He pointed out the dangers and difficulties and asked advice. Several of the officers spoke. Hamilton advised pushing forward across the creek, and under cover of darkness, attacking the British. A map was spread on the table. It had been drawn by Washington himself, who was an engineer by pro fession. The different roads were pointed out, and hours were spent in the discussion. After every plan had been discussed, freely and fairly, Gen. Mercer, who had been silent during the whol e council, suddenly rose to his feet. "General and brother officers !" he said, "I am weary

PAGE 127

Outgeneraled. I '2 5 of wasting time. Let the general decide upon a plan, and we will show our confidence by carr ying it out, with ne'er a question." The gene r al's proposition was warmly received and Washin gto n was requested to formulate a plan of cam pai g n. "When midni g ht strikes," he said, "we will leave this camp, ma ke a circuit to the east-this way," pointing to the map and tracing the route with his finger, "pass the British left flank and strike the detachment at Princeton." "But we shall be seen," suggested one of the officers. "We must not be seen. The road is clear." All looked at this wonderful man, who seemed to know everything. He saw the surprise, and for the first time a faint smile was perceptible on his face. "My young Unde rhill, came that way." "Do you believe all that fellow says?" "Every word. He is too hot-headed to be deceitful. Besides, I have another messen ger; th a t same idiot, calle
PAGE 128

126 Outgeneraled. "Who goes there ?" "A friend." "King or Congress ?" "Congress and Washington," was the reply. "Advance." And from the brush, which grew heavily by the side of the road, Philip Underhill stepped in front of the officer. "I would see the general," said Philip. "Indeed! and many more would like that same. Why don't you join your countrymen like a man?" On a coal-black horse sat Gen. Washington. He had ridden forward as he heard the talking. He shirked no danger nor feared a foe. At a glance he saw the scout, and uttered a friendly: "Come! Quick, for I know you have news." Philip walked by the side of the general a few paces, and then Washington dismounted, the better to hear the scout's report. Philip told of the murder of one of the League of Five, ordered and carried out by Bulldog Ferguson, and as he did so the general's face wrinkled into a frown, and he muttered : "'Twas murder, and yet-war sanctions it." "Does war sanction the murder of children ?" asked Underhill. Washington smiled sadly as he replied: "The last child murdered-poor Peter Harvey-did more to harass the enemy than any dozen men." "I know it, but I referred to my brothers." "Still thinking of that? Well, it is natural. Where is Ferguson?"

PAGE 129

Outgeneraled. 127 The position of the Royal Scots was described, and Washington grasped the youn
PAGE 130

128 Outgeneraled. When that officer entered his commander's tent he presented a sorry spectacle. His face, cut into furrows with his own whip, wielded by Philip Underhill, was nearly covered with strips of sticking plaster, while a bandage encircled his forehead. "Tarleton, Washington has gone." "Where to?" "By St. George! you fellows will drive me mad. Is it not your duty to find out where the rebels are?" Tarleton knew enough not to answer the genernl. Cornwallis saw this and continued : "The rebel has retreated. We will drive him back to the woods. By St. George! but this is a great day for England. What a fool that rehel was l If he had stood his ground he could at least have died with glory, but now--What in thunder is the matter ?" The question was addressed to an aide who entered the tent, without his helmet, and in such haste that he neglected to give the salute. "General! The rebels have gone." "I know that, fool ; but where to?" "Princeton." Both Cornwallis and Tarleton lau ghed, the latter even disarranging some of the sticking plaster by the wrinkling of his cheeks in laughter. "Princeton See now what fools I have around me? Could the rebels get through our lines, sirrah? Was there a road unprotected?" "Even the eastern road is guarded by Maj. Ferguson and his Royal Scots," added Tarleton. The aide lo oke d wretched He had heard the news, repeated it and got well laughed at for his trouble.

PAGE 131

Outgeneraled. "What geese my men are !" exclaimed Cornwallis, contemptuous 1 y. "Yes, general !" assented Tarleton. "By St. George! what is that?" The deep boom of cannon reverberated through the air. Deeper became the roar. Everything was now in bustle and confusion T h e drums beat the call to arms and officers moved ab o u t giving orders to their commands Washington had not retreated. The truth dawned upon Cornwallis that the despised "rebel" had outgeneraled the chief of the British army. The cannons had given the first authentic news to Cornwallis, for he refused to accept his aide's informa tion Three regiments of British soldiers were leaving Princeton by the Trenton Road to reinforce Cornwallis They were marching with flying colors when sud denly the patriots, under Gen. Mercer, met them and a desperate fight ensued. The British fought with desperate strength, but made no material progress, until the order was give n for a deadly bayonet charge. The British-famous at all times for their bayonet charges-dashed forward, and Mercer's militia broke line and fled in confusion. Gen. Mercer, trying to rally his men, received a bayonet thrust in his side. He fell, mortally wounded Another stampede occurred, when a boy dressed in hunting garb, with white leather breeches and thick hunting boots encumbering his lower ext r emities,

PAGE 132

130 Outgeneraled. sprang to Mercer's side, and seizing the fallen officer's sword, cried out : "Boys! Patriots! Remember Mercer." The scout was transformed into the soldier, and Philip Underhill fought with a fury akin to that of a demon. He was able to rally the men and hold them until Washington arrived with the Pennsylvania reserve. "Bravo, Underhill!" he said, with a pleasant smile on his cold face. "But remember, if you are captured they will hang you, as you are not a regular." "I will take my chance, general." The valor of vVashington never shone with brighter luster He spurred among his men and rallied them at his call. He rode between the hostile lines, and reined his horse within thirty yards of the enemy's column. There he stood. Around him flew the bullets like a shower of leaden ram. From both sides a crash of musketry came. Washin g ton sat on his horse unmoved. The smoke cleared away and he was unharmed. He gave his orders from a point almost within the British lines. Washington's aide drew his hat over his eyes that he might not see his chieftain die. The wind drove back the smoke, and there, unhurt, was the sublime leader of the American armies. The British were broken and flying in di s order. On the field they left four hundred and thirty men, while the Americans lost but a handful.

PAGE 133

Martha Field's Surprise. I 3 I The batt l e s moke had scarcely cleared before Crazy Dan found Philip U nderhill lying under a pile of Brit'.\ ish dead. The scout was unhurt save for the bruises caused by the falling of the corpses on him. Dan had news. He had scented Ferguson, and found just where he was located, and also made Philip understand that the road to Morristown was open. When Philip conveyed this news to the general, Washington changed his plans. He had intended pressing forward to Brunswick and destroying the enemy s magazines. His men were exhaus ted, and he feared the march. The news brought by the nateral was just what he wanted, and he took advantage of it by a march upon Morristown, which place he reached in safety. CHAPTER XX. MARTHA FIELD'S SURPRISE. When Lucy Field r e turn e d home, after being a sec ond time liberated by the young scout, her father became furious. He was made of that stern stuff which characterized the old Roman, who, with his own hands, executed his son because he had violated the laws. Deacon Field was a partisan of the English to the backbone. He believed in Geor g e as the divinely ap pointed king. As such he had blended his prayers with

PAGE 134

132 Martha Field's Surprise. others every Sunday for the success of the British arms. It was extremely annoying to him to think that his daughter, Lucy, should be in favor of the "rebels," as he delighted to call the Americans. Martha pleased him, but Lucy was a thorn in his flesh. If he had dared he would have shot Lucy with his own hand, but he dreaded the rebels. He began to think that, after all, they might be vic torious, and he wanted to live in the country, which he could not do if he was too loyal. So he contented himself with scolding Lucy, and shutting her in her room until he could hand her over to the British, and make them responsible for her fate. Lucy had been in her room alone all that day and most of the night when the door opened gently and Martha entered. "Hush!" whispered Martha. She locked the door and drew down the shade, which admitted the first rays of the rising sun. "Hush!" She again gave the caution to her sister, who was almost inclined to laugh at the dramatic man ner in which Martha was acting. "I have news for you, Lucy." "Good news?" "Yes. I have had a letter." "From him?" "Yes." "Oh, show it to me, please do? Why did he not write to me?" Martha stared at Lucy, and mentally wondered whether her sister had become insane.

PAGE 135

Martha Field's Surprise. 133 "Write to you? Oh, you wretched girl! It is a won-der he did not shoot you." "Who are you speaking about?" "Col. Tarleton, of course." "Oh!" Lucy gave a long-drawn sigh as she uttered the ex clamation. "Who were y ou thinking of?" asked Martha, angrily, her face r e d w ith passion. "Philip," whispered Lucy. "The rebel I He is to be shot at once." "Is he a prisoner ?" "No, but he soon will be. My friend-the colonel-says so." "But they must catch him first." Martha laughed. "That is easy. Why, do yo u know what the colonel says?" "No." "He has asked me to marry him." "The horrid brute!" ejaculated Lucy. "And he says that you shall receive a free pardon." "Thank you. I am so grateful ; but when am I to get it?" asked Lucy, with a sneer. "You needn't sneer. The English flag will float over every town in a as it does o'er yonder tent." Lucy made no reply. "You do not seem pleased at the offer I have re ceived?" "No, sister mine. I believe the colonel to be a bad man ; but if you love him, and he loves you-well, you will do as you please." "Of course I shall."

PAGE 136

134 Martha Field's Surprise. "When does he want you to marry him?" "When the Bri t ish are successful." "Then you w ill die an old maid." Martha lau g h ed. "You do not know all. Why, that rebel Washington will be trapped in Trenton, and his h ead will be carried on a bayonet throu g h the country-the colonel says so." The sun had not risen an hour wh e n this conversa tion took place, and Lucy, m o re to turn the drift of the conver s ation, looked from the window at the college buildings. As she drew up the shade, her eyes met a sight which was so unexpected that she became hysterical. She laughed and cried alternately, until Martha really believed her sister had become insane. But Lucy caught her arm and dragged her to the window. "Look I she cried. "They will trap him in Trenton, will they? His head will be carried on a bayonet through the country Look, sister! Long live Washington and the Congress !" As Martha looked she saw that the English flag had been removed and in its place Washington's standard floated Near by sat the general on his horse. Once seen, his face could never be forgotten. Martha turned sick. Her heart was filled with hatred. Had she been possessed of a gun she would have shot at \Va s hin g ton. "Is it not g lorious!" cried Lucy. The girl threw open the window and shouted as loudly as po s sibl e : "Long live Washington I"

PAGE 137

Martha Field's Surprise. 135 Then her aunt, patriotic Mrs. Hodge, repeated the cry from a lower window. Up the stairs dashed the deacon, his face the color of a boiled lobster. "Sirrah but we are done for. Lucy, you must save us "What is the matter, father?" "Matter, girl! Why, zounds! don't you know that reb e l Washington, is here, and has defeated the Brit ish?" "Has he? Thank Heaven !" "You are blasphemous Is not the King of England God's anointed? But I shall be shot!" "You, father?" "Yes; did not that rebel let me leave Trenton on my own p a role? And have I not helped the British against him?" The d e acon fumed and swore-g ood man as he was -but the occasion was an extraordinary one, and his grief excusable. "Lucy Lu-cy !" "Yes, aunt; I am coming." There was no pretense made of regulating the pa triotic g irl s movements now-in fact, she was mistress of the situation. She ran down the stairs, and fell in the arms of a man who stood waiting at the foot. She screamed with afright, but on looking up saw the face of the scout, Philip Underhill. He pressed her to his heart and on her lips imprinted a kiss, which told, as eloquently as words, that he loved her.

PAGE 138

136 Martha Field's Surprise. Her lover scout had brought a message from the general for her. She was highly elated at the news, and when Philip left her, there was not a happier woman in all the t:ountry round about. Philip had to rejoin his friends, and take quite a perilous trip, in the interest of the patriots. When within a couple of hundred yards of the place appointed for the rendezvous, Philip was startled by Crazy Dan suddenly springing out of the thicket and throwing his arm round the captain's neck. "Cappen they got him. Me no fool. Let me hang him. "What do you mean, Dan?" The nateral only barked, just as a pleased dog would do. He ran ahead, barking and growling alternately, until he met Paul Harvey. "Welcome, captain!" exclaimed Paul. "You have a prisoner?" "Yes. Dan, the nateral, brought him in, and wanted to bite him to death; but we saved him, for we have a scor e to settle." "Who is he?" "Bulldog Ferguson." Philip trembled. His blood seemed to freeze in his body. The murderer of his brothers and of John Harvey was at their mercy. Die! Of course he must die. Why not? "If he should fall into your hands, and you should execute him, don't let the general know." How came those words into his mind? How well he remembered Lucy uttering them.

PAGE 139

Martha Field's Surprise. 137 Then before his eyes there appeared the cold, stern face of Washington, and he seemed to hear that voice again: "Private vengeance is murder. Let a man be tried, and if found guilty, punished. Don't commit murder." Paul watched the quivering muscles of his captain's face, and remained silent. When the camp was reached, Philip saw Maj. Ferguson tied to a tree, his hands pinioned to his side. "At last!" exclaimed the scout. "Yes, I'm in a pickle, but I knew it must come. That ghoul"-pointing to Dan-"was bound to track me down. But I never meant to kill the children. I wanted to frighten them, that was all." "You did kill them," exclaimed Philip. "I am sorry I did. I deserve to die, I suppose." Was the man really penitent, or was it all a trick? "You hanged me!" suddenly came from Peter, who had not been seen by the prisoner before. "Where is my brother?" Bulldog Ferguson stared at the apparition. "Great Jove!" he ejacu lated. "These Colonists will not down. Even their ghosts rise up to confront us." "You die!" yelled Paul, overcome at the thought of his brother's tragic death. "Me bite him Cappen, me bite him !" "Stand off! Dan, if you dare to touch him I will kill you." The scouts looked at Philip. "He is my prisoner. He murdered my little brothers, and I will have him know what vengeance is like." "Will you hang him ?" "No."

PAGE 140

Court-martialed. "What, then?" "We will hand him over to Gen. Washington." "His life will be spared !" Paul interrupted. "Perhaps so! But we shall not be murderers." And the scouts knew that obedience to the patriot general had overcome the desire for private vengeance in the heart of the young captain of the League of Five. CHAPTER XXL COURT-MARTIALED. No ordinary prisoner was Maj. Ferguson. He was charged with crimes which could not, by any quibble, be considered as acts of necessity. Thus it was that the major felt his position to be far from an enviable one. He thought : What would be his fate had he been on the opposite side and fallen into the hands of the British? No respite would have been allowed him; but he would have been shot or han ge d at sight. Why, then, should he be treated differently by the patriotic Americans ? When Philip Underhill and the three scouts took their prisoner to Morristown they feared th at Washington would treat the major as an ordinary prisoner of war, and, perhaps, exchange him for an American of equal rank. But they thought wrong; for, much as the general

PAGE 141

Court-martialed. 139 would have liked the s e rvices of an extra officer, he was just. A court-m a rtial was ordered, and Col. Hamilton was app o in te d its president. When F e r g u s on was told that a general court-mar tial had bee n c o nvened his heart sunk within him, for he knew that such a tribunal had the power, in all countries, to order a pri s oner s exe cution. The thirteen officers sat in a semicircle, with a drum in the center. Col. Hamilton occupied a stool behind the drum. \Vhen the guard brought the prison e r to the court he took his place opposite the presiding officer. Gen. Washington stood outside, a spectator, but without interfering with the trial. It was evident he felt more than a passing interest in its conduct. Col. Hamilton struck the drum as a signal for order. Washington stepped forward His face seemed chiseled from marble, and looked as cold as a block of ice. "Col. Hamilton and brother officers," he said, "I have no intention of interfering with your work, but necessity compels me to address you. "The prisoner you are called on to try is entitled to every consideration. "If you can find for him any excuse, should the charges be proven, do so. "It will please me better if it can be proved that he has not contravened the articles of war or violated its usages "Do not allow passion, sentiment or prejudice to in fluence you. "Use extra c a re, b e cau s e the charge s will be made

PAGE 142

Court-martial ed. by those who have suffered, and yet have had the courage and manliness to prefer the verdict of a court rather than to avenge their own injuri es. "Act as men of honor and remember that a republic, such as we are establishing, can only succeed when laws are administered with equal justice to the guilty as well as the innocent." There was a sublime grandeur about Washington as he spoke. Even the prisoner had to acknowledge it, and invol untarily stepped forward as if he would have liked to touch the garments worn by "the noble Cincinnatus of the West." Washington left the court as quietly as he had ap peared, and left the thirteen officers to their delibera tions. Then the assistant judge-advocate-general demanded the entry of the record. "Your name and rank?" asked Col. Hamilton. "Maj. Ferguson, of the Royal Scots," was the pris oner's answer. "The charge?" The judge-advocate-general, after making the military salute, read the charge against the prisoner in a deep, sonorous voice. "Philip Underhill!" was called by the assistant. The young scout stood forward and took the oath. He was pale, and his lips quivered. Capt. McGregor, an officer on Gen. Washington's staff, had been appointed counsel for the prisoner, and he now placed his hand to his head and saluted. "I submit to this honorable court that the evidence of this witness cannot be accepted."

PAGE 143

Court-martial ed. "On what ground?" "He is, I am informed, a spy." "Philip Underhill, wha t have you to say to that charge?" asked the president of the c o urt. "That I am a spy, as the term is und e r s tood, I deny! I am a scout, if you please, but not paid by the patriots. I work as I please, and when huntin g, if I see the enemy of my country I reveal his whereabouts." "Underhill, your testimony will be accepted if it can be corroborated, not otherwis e." The young scout felt his heart grow cold, for who would corroborate his evidence? It was impossible to send to East Chester for wit nesses, and Crazy Dan could give no evidence. "What have you to say?" asked the judge-advocate. "I was away from home," said the scout, "and when I returned the creaking of the signboard which hung from my house filled me with joy. I had three brothers there-babies, almost. Young-so young, that they even laughed with pleasure as the hated Hessians and British passed by. They knew not that these same men were the greatest enemies of their native land. Children in yea rs and knowledge, without one original thought, and yet--" The scout brushed away the tears from his eyes with his jacket sleeve. "They refused to g ive my name to-to-that man, and he-he (sob) hanged--" Not another word could Philip utter for a time until he mastered his emotion sufficiently to answer Capt. McGregor. "Did you see your killed ?" "No."

PAGE 144

Court-m artialed. "Did you hear the prisoner give the order to hang them?" "No." "Were your brothers alive when you returned?" "No. Their bodies were warm, but life was extinct." "Then how do you know that Maj. Ferguson gave the order?" "I was told so." "Who by?" "William Bruns." "Who was he?" "A soldier, acting under the command of Maj. Ferguson." "What promise did you give him?" "Who?" "Bruns." "I do not understand." "How came you to be his confidant?'' "He was a prisoner." "Oh And thought to save his life?" "He was dying." "Is he dead ?" "Yes." McGregor had acted with wonderful skill in his de fense of Ferguson, and yet all the time he would have been perfectly willing to shoot his client on the spot; but he kept back his feelings and acted justly and im partially. "Have you any other witnesses?" asked the judgeadvocate. Unde rhill called Crazy Dan, and told him to repeat all he knew a b out th e b oy's dea th. "The nateral !" sneer e d Ferg uson. "A human dog."

PAGE 145

Court-martial ed. Dan could not speak. He opened his mouth and moved his lips, but nothing but a growl came therefrom. Again he tried, and instead of words, there came a succession of barks. "This is no competent witness," protested Mc Gregor. The court was interested. The prisoner more so, for Dan, finding he could not speak, enacted in pan tomime the whole scene of the tragedy. So vivid was it that Ferguson covered his eyes, and at last cried out : "Great Heaven Even a dog condemns me." When Dan re-enacted the return of Underhill, the members of the court sat spellbound. It was vividly realistic. Ferguson sprung forward. "I did not mean to kill them," he cried, "I wanted to frighten them." "You ordered their execution, then ?" The question was from Col. Hamilton. "Yes." "You confess your guilt?" "I will confess everything or anything if you will take that devil away !" exclaimed the prisoner, pointing at Crazy Dan. Maj. Andes, a member of the court, whispered to his fellow members: "The nateral is a witch and ought to be shot." Andes was a Massachusetts man and had a devout belief in witches. The other members had outgrown that old-fashioned

PAGE 146

Court-martial ed. belief and superstition. He received, therefore, no en couragement from his fellow members of the court. The acknowled g ment of g uilt in the case of the Underhill boys ended that part of the investigation. The other count in the indictment was clear, and needed neither confession nor corroborative evidence. Paul Harvey testified to returning and finding Philip bending over the body of young Peter, and with husky voice acknowledged how he had misjudged the captain of the scouts. Then Peter Harvey was called. He was like one from the dead. He told of his capture, and with a clear, resonant voice, repeated the command given by Bulldog Ferguson for his execution. "When the rope tightened round my neck," he said, "I felt as if my head was a woodshed, an' all the niggers in Jersey chopping wood in it. Then birds began to sing, and crows cawed. I thought I fell into the water, and I could hear the boats above me trying to break through the ice. I heard no more, an' thought I was a gone coon, until I opened my eyes ai:i' saw the cappen standing over me." That closed the evidence, and the judge-advocate, with serious manner and cold, calm voice, demanded a verdict of guilty against the prisoner. Capt. McGregor then asked that the case should be dismissed. "On what grounds?" asked Col. Hamilton. "In the matter of the Underhill boys, we have no evidence." "But, captain, the prisoner admits his guilt."

PAGE 147

The Verdict. "He was frightened into it by the nateral, who i1t poss essed of a devil." "The court will consider that." "As to the case of John Harvey, the sole evidence comes from scouts or spies, whose words were never accepted as evidence against a regular soldier, and especially when that soldier was a commissioned officer." "That point shall also have due consideration." "If the court pleases," said the judge-advocate, "the testimony in the trial of Franz Kappellmann may be of use to us." "Who is Franz Kappellmann ?" asked Col. Hamilton. "A private in the Tenth Regiment of Hessian sol diers fighting under the banner of George of England." "Let the trial proceed." CHAPTER XXII. THE VERDICT. Private Kappellmann took the place recently occupied by Maj. Ferguson, and at once pleaded guilty. He confessed that he had with his own hands placed the ropes round the necks of the Underhill boys. He had acted under orders. "Who gave the order?" asked the judge-advocate. "Mein Gott! The major mit the skirts." "You mean the kilt?" "Och, himmell Yaw !" The witness was so confused that he spoke at ran dom, and scarcely could make himself understood.

PAGE 148

The Verdict. Ferguson was brought back, and the Hessian pointed to him. "Yaw! that's him Mein Gott but he was angry." The trial was over; and when the prisoners were removed the thirteen officers remained in conversation for several minutes. Then one of the number drew up a paper to which all appended their sig natures. Although not a word could be heard, Philip Under hill watched the actions of the members of the court with anxious eyes. In those steely orbs shone a light which boded ill for Maj. Ferguson should he be acquitted by the court martial. The members of the court appended their signatures to a second paper, and a messenger carried both to the general's headquarters. There were a thousand onlookers. Each wondered what the verdict would be Not one in all that army wished for aught but a death sentence. War had blunted their humanitarian feelings. The angel of love in their hearts had been driven forth to make room for the devil of hate Ferguson and Kappellmann were direct opposites in temperament. The major was possessed of a flint-like nature. He had faced death so often that it had no terrors for him. But Kappellmann was no longer the soldier, he was the man. Forced by poverty into the army, he had been sent away from his fmit to America, a country he had scarcely before heard of He fought for a cause the

PAGE 149

The Verdict. significance of which he was entirely ignorant. All he knew was that King George had hired so many Hessian soldiers, just as he had armed Indians, to fight against the Americans, who wished to govern themselves. Hence, Ka:ppellmann was wretched. He trembled with fear. Thoughts of his wife across the ocean, of his children, of all his friends, caused the tears to fill his eyes and roll down his cheeks. But while he suf fered an agony of fear, the messenger was returning, and the court was again called to order. Col. Hamilton opened the first paper, and read: "By virtue of authority, we have heard the evidence for and against one Maj. Ferguson, late of the Royal Scots, and have found that he had been repeatedly guilty of acts contrary to the usages of war, to wit: The banging of children whose years were below the time when they could understand the principles under lying the struggle between the colonies and Great Britain. We therefore decree that the said Maj. Ferguson shall be shot one hour after the approval of this sentence by Gen. Washington!" Then followed the signatures of each member of the court-martial. A solemn sile nce fell on all as the sentence was read. Col. Hamilton made a pause, and looked straight at the prisoner before he read the fateful words : "Approved-George Washington." Then th e colonel took the second paper, and read a like sentence of death against Private Franz Kappell mann. But when he had finished reading he raised his hand for silence, and in a more cheerful voice read :

PAGE 150

The Verdict. "Not approved! The private acted under the command of his superior officer; to disobey means death. For this reason I disapprove of the death sentence, and commute it to such other punishment as may be hereafter decided upon." When Kappellmann heard the decision he jumped in the air and danced like a madman. He muttered some unintelligible words, laughed, cried and shrieked. At last he had to be removed because all thought the sudden joy had unhinged his mind. As for Ferguson he spoke not a word. He looked at his watch in silence, and not a quiver in his muscles could be observed as he mentally noted how long he had to live. Washington sat in his tent; he was troubled, for his kind heart loathed the act he had just performed. To order a fellow creature to be shot in cold blood was repugnant to his finer feelings. An aide entered and handed the general a slip of paper. Washington looked at the name written thereon and read: "Mistress Lucy Field." "Admit Mistress Field," he said, as soon as he read it. Lucy entered and looked careworn and sad. "Be seated, fair mistress," said the general, gallantly. "And when thy weariness has waned thou shalt tell me the object of thy mission." A coquettish smile lighted up the girl's face as she asked, naively:

PAGE 151

The Verdict. "And is it necessary that I shouldst have a mission before I pay homage to my general?" "Mi stress Lucy, perchance Martha-my ladywould be jealous if she didst hear thee." Never before had Washington spoken in such a strain and even then it was easy to see that he wanted to divert attention from his serious face and agonizing thoughts. Lucy looked at the general and blushed. She was inclined to be angry; for no thought of making the Lady Washington jealous had ever entered her head. "I know that this terrible war has most unsexed me," she said. "No, no, Mistress Lucy; thy heart is as pure as any maiden in thy dear land "Dost thou know, general, that one of the League of Five is dead?" "Even so." "That John Harvey was murdered?" "Yes." "Perhaps, then, thou knowest he who did the cruel act?" "I do." "Then it was the same who killed the brothers of--" "Mistress Lucy, that blush tells the story of thy heart. Thy scout is here." "Here?" "Yes. Within a few yards." "And it was to ask where his destination was that I didst seek thee-partly."

PAGE 152

The Verdict. "Partly?" "Yes. I would ask thee, dear general, to spare my father." "Speak plainly, Mistress 1.ucy." "My father is a prisoner, and ordered to be shot as a spy." "When?" "As soon as thy signature is on the warrant." "Which it will not be-for thy sake." Lucy fell on her knees, and seizing Washington's hand bestowed on it many kisses. "Rise, maiden! Kneel not to man. It is only the Supreme who is entitled to such homage." Again an aide entered, saluted, and announced : "Philip Underhill." The general smiled, Lucy blushed. "Admit him." When Philip entered he was startled t0 find Lucy enjoying a tete-d-tete wit!. the general. He saluted Washington, kissed Lucy and stood m the attitude of "attention." "General, I have come to ask a favor," he said. "It will be granted, if possible." "I ask that the life of Maj. Ferguson be spared." "You ask that?" "I do." "He killed your brothers." "I know it, general." "He hanged your friend, a boy young in years." "I know it." "You made a vow to kill him." "Yes ; but since he was tried and condemned to

PAGE 153

The Verdict. death I have looked at things differently. ) pare his life." "I have approved the sentence." "On my knees, general, I ask you to spare him. I believe he was sorry he killed my little brothers." "I ask the same boon from your hands," said Lucy Field, in a sweet, supplicating voice. "But the laws of war demand his death. Did I yield in his case others would emulate his example. War has nothing to do with the killing of women and children. Heaven knows they suffer enough as it is. Ob, my God how long shall our homes be made desolate, our wives widows, our children orphans, through this dread scourge--war ?" Washin gton had forgotten everything, his surround ings, the supplication of the sweet maiden, the prayer of the youthful scout all were banished from his mind, and he thought only of the horrors of war and won dered why God permitted it to exist. He look e d down, saw Lucy and Philip on their knees and remembered. "I am afraid I cannot. I saved the soldier's life, the officer is--a-murderer." "He ma y have a wife," pleaded Lucy. "And children, added Philip. "Leave me. You unman me," said the general. "But hark you. Could I see any way to save his life I would do so. But his crime is horrible. To kill in war is b a d e nough, but to hang innocent children-it is monstrous ." "Forgive him!" "Neve r. "Save his life!"

PAGE 154

I 51 "The Quality of Mercy." "'For my country's sake--for my sake--oh, general, for your dear wife's sake, spare him." "Leave me. What is done, is done." Washington's blue eyes were filled with tears, but he spoke calmly, as became the commander of an army. CHAPTER XXIII. "THE QUALITY OF MERCY IS NOT STRAINED." The drums beat the "assembly," and the whole army gathered in Morristown were arrayed on three sides of a square. On the fourth side stood a soldier, calm and dig nified. And yet that soldier was, in a few minutes, to die. Maj. Ferguson, his hands pinioned to his sides, faced d eath calmly. The provost-marshal selected ten men to fire the fatal volley. The fifteenth man in each of ten regiments was l!alled out and stood in line, twenty paces in front of th e condemned. "Load!" The powder, the wad and the bullet were ea ch rammed home in the barrels of the heavy muskets. Then the provost-marsha l rode to Col. Hamilton and rep orted th a t all was ready Hamilton, seated on a coal-black horse, rode to the center of the square and dismounted. The salute was given The standard bearer took his place imm edia t ely be-

PAGE 155

"The Quality of Mercy." I 53 hind the colonel, and the provost-marshal stood slightly in advance to Hamilton's right. "In the name of the Colonies of America, free and ind epe ndent, and in the name of Congress. Gen. Washington, having full authority committed unto him, hath deputed me to declare the form and sentence of the court-martial held by virtue of authority." Col. Hamilton read the mandate in a cold, severe voice and in tones almost like thunder, in comparison with his u s ual mild voice, he read the sentence of the court, and gave the warrant to the provost-marshal to execute There was silence while Hamilton rode back. The drums beat the "call to arms." Every man presented his musket, lowered it and stood gazing on the solemn scene. "Are you r eady ? asked the provost. "I am answered Maj. Ferguson. "Have you any wishes in regard to your friends?' "No." "Do you wish anyoue to be acquainted with the date or manner of your death?" "No." "Do you des ire to say anything before the sentence is c arried out?" "With your permission, yes." "Proceed." Maj. Ferguson, with a wonderful calmness, raised his h ead and tried to salute His hands were bound, and he was unable to do so. "I have but a few words to say. I acknowledge the justice of my sentence I deserve to die. It is not war to murder children. My t empe r overpowered me. I

PAGE 156

I 5+ "The Quality of Mercy." have only to ask that the relatives of the children I killed will forgive me, as I hope Heaven will accept my penitence. I have done." "Sergt. Melros .e, blindfold the prisoner I" "Spare me that indignity!" pleaded Ferguson. "It is against the Jaws." Not another word was spoken, and Maj. Ferguaon submitted to be blindfolded. The provost-marshal gave orders for three Yolleys to be fired-the first and second in the air, the third to be the fatal one. It was an old-fashioned custom, and seemed cruel, yet it gave the prisoner a few seconds more in which to prepare for that dread tribunal from which there can be no appeal. "Ready!" The command made every soldier quiver with emo tion. "Fire!" Ten muskets sent ten bullets whizzing into the air, and sent ten times ten shiTerings through each man there assembled. "Load!" The thud of the ramrod as it drove home the bullets sounded horrible. "Ready!" The word fell down upon the silence, the sun seemed to hide its face behind the heavy clouds. "Fire I" The clouds grew blacker, and as the smoke rose from the barrels of the muskets t:be cold, stately figure of the condemned Scotch soldier stood like a statue itt the misty atmosphere.

PAGE 157

"The Quality of Mercy." I 5 5 "Load!" Again the soldiers performed their work with me chanical precision. But with a difference. It was the duty of each man to send a bullet straight into the body of the condemned. The firin g in the air had dimmed their sensibilities somewhat, and like machines they made ready to slay a fellow man. ''Ready!" What a thrill passed through every person there on that fie: Tlw s c..ldiers presented arms, and awaited the order to a human being into eternit y At th a t instant a shrill voice was heard. "Stay! In Heaven's name, stay I" E-very eye turned, and all saw Lucy Field running from the direction of the general's tent, and waving a paper in her hand. The provost-marshal called the soldiers to order and raised his hand, preliminary to giving fhe fatal com mand. Col. Hamilton rode forward. "Stay until Mistress Field arrives." "Attention I" The colonel rode to meet Lucy, and from her hand received a document. "By virtue of the authority vested in us, I., George Washington, have granted an answer to the supplica tion for mercy, made by Philip Underhill, Paul Harvey, Peter Harvey and Mistress Lucy Field, and hereby order that the prisoner, Maj. Ferguson, shall be re spited during the pleasure of Congress. You will take

PAGE 158

156 'The Quality of Mercy." such precautions as shall prevent his e s cape, and the Congress will indemnify you and all concerned." 111e colonel's face was filled with a glad light, as he read the tespite, for the execution of even a criminal was loathsome to him. After Philip had left the general Lucy had returned to Washin g ton's tent and with a b o ldn e ss not oft e n possessed by so youn g a girl, had entered, and once more importuned the general. This time she added to the significance of the appeal by taking with her both Paul and Peter Harvey. So that all the wronged ones had joined in the prayer. Her supplication was successful, and, ri g htly or wrongly, Washington changed th e order of the court martial and reversed his own decision. When Col. Hamilton reached the square he whis pered to the provost-marshal, who at once ordered the removal of the handkerchief from the pri s on e r s eyes. Hamilton read the general's order, and while a few were pleased, the majority felt that justice had mis carried. Amid all the discontent there was a feeling, spon taneou s a nd sincere, that the young scouts had shown a grandeur of soul out of the common run. When Capt. Stead saw bow the m e n f e lt he stepped forward, and raising his cap called for "three cheers for the League of Five!" The uproarious cheering seemed loud e r than the roaring of artillery, but it was feeble wh e n compared to the shouting which greeted the name of Lucy Field. When the cheering had subsided orders were given for the men to retum to their quarters.

PAGE 159

"The Quality of Mercy." I 57 Maj. Ferguson had stood like a statue during the whole proceedings. Did he experience pleasure at the saving of his life? If so he did not express it. His arms were unbound, and he, who had been within a few seconds of death, walked forth, under parole, a. free man, save for his word of honor. When the last r eg iment had left the fie ld the provost marshal went to receive Col. Hamilton's instructions regarding his late prisoner. Ferguson spoke not a word. His face was wan and cold but his steel-gray eyes glittered with a strange Jig ht. He felt a slight tap on his shoulder and turning saw Paul Harvey. "You have nothin' to be scared about with us," said Paul, "but if you vally your life a copper penny, keep oot o' the way of Dan, the nateral." Paul gave the warning in a friendly manner, but the very mention of Crazy Dan was too much for Ferguson. He trembled violently, and with a sudden impulse shouted to the provost-marshal : "I would rather die than be haunted through life by that human do g ." He turned quickly and without giving time for pre vention, snatched a pistol from Paul Harvey's belt. A loud r eport, a puff of smoke, and Major, com monly called Bulldog, Ferguson, lay on the green grass, dead by his own hand I Retribution had overtaken him, and his crimes had sent him, a r ed-handed suicide, to his Maker.

PAGE 160

CHAPTER XXIV. THE DEACON'S DANGER. DeaCDl!l Field was a most miserable man. He was a prisoner. The American army had captured him, and in his possession were found some very compromising docu ments A court-martial was called-rendered necessary by the fact that the deacon had a commission in the Brit ish army. The trial c9mmenced, and witness after witness tes tified against the deacon. His very reli gi on had been used against him, for he had prayed in public, with noisy declamation, for victory to perch upon King George's banners. There was no alternative--guilty the court must pro nounce him. He knew it, and he feared two things-Gen. Washington' s anger and Lucy's fervent p a triotism. Martha was furious She accused her lover, Col. Tarle ton, of cowardice. "These farmers," she sneered "to rule us! It is awful." Then she became calmer, and thought the re might be a bri ght side "He will marry me when the war is ov e r. Let the silly people go-I would if I were Kin g George; they will soon r e p e nt. But I shall be Col. T a rlet on's wife, and shall live in England. It will be better than this

PAGE 161

The Deacon's Danger. old Jersey, where every farmer wants to be a king. I shall be presented at court, while sister Lucy-oh, I am ashamed of her !" So soliloquized this American maiden, whose sym pathies were with the British. Then she thought of her father. "Poor old dad I But they dare not hurt him. No! Even that rebel, Washington, would not be safe if the deacon was killed." "Did you call Washington a rebel, Niece Martha?" asked Lucinda Hodges, who had been u:iwittingly a listener to Martha's loudly uttered thoughts. "Yes, aunt, I did, and I hate him." "Martha, Martha, I tell thee that Heaven hath raised up an American Moses, who will lead his people." "To the wilderness," added Martha, with a sneer, "the wilderness and death. Were we not happy before this fellow led the people astray?" "Thou art too young, Niece Martha, to understand these things." "I am older than Lucy." "Yes, niece; but whilst thou wouldst be attending to thy household affairs, Lucy would be reading and talk ing." "And is it not better, aunt, for a girl to be able to spin the wool, and make the cloth than to be gadding abottt talking with men about things she does not understand ?" "Perhaps so: but what .of thy father?" "He is safe." "Safe I" "Ay, even so! They dare not hurt him." "Dare not, child ?"

PAGE 162

160 The Deacon's Danger. "I said dare not. Is he not a deacon?" "But in war that counts not." "And is not King George able to look after his friends?" "King George could not save thy father." "Who can, then ?" "Washington." "That rebel! Why, he dare not hurt my father. He himself will be hanged, and his head carried to England and placed in the Tower of London, as that of a traitor." "Who told you that nonsense?" "Col. Tarleton." "Thy colonel romances. Believe me, niece, dear, the general of the Continental Army will be more likely to dictate terms to King George." "I will not believe it. Heaven is just." "That is so ; and it is but just that our people should rule themselves--Hush! some one comes." The door opened slightly, and the face of Philip Underhill appeared. "Mistress Hodges, I have tried to make you hear but failed,'' he said; "so, perforce, I had to open the door." "Thou didst right. What news, brave boy?" "Glorious." "Indeed!" "Yes, Mistress Hodges. The patriots are every where victorious. Gen. Cornwallis has been driven back to Brunswick and Amboy. In a few days Jersey will be free from British and Hessians." "Indeed, and that is good news." "I'll not believe it. The brave colonel would have

PAGE 163

The Deacon's Danger. 161 told me! No, no! thou art a liar, Philip Underhill!" exclaimed Martha, excitedly "Yes, a liar, like all thy friends." The young scout smiled, and asked: "What colonel didst thou mean ?" "The brave Tarleton." "He is a prisoner." "A prison er? Oh, I cannot believe it! It is a lie! Say so, goo d Philip! For Lucy's sake, tell me it is a lie--a lie !" "Alas! it is no lie, but the truth. But fear not, he is safer than when he is fighting; he will be well cared for, and--" "Cared for? Why, I heard that the farmer rebels fed their prisoners on rattlesnakes and poisoned the water they drank." "Thou speakest foolishly. It is even about that same pri s oner that I have visited thy aunt." "What of him?" Philip turned to Lucinda, and in a tone of respectful deference addressed her. "The g e neral commanding sent to know if thou couldst find some one who would entertain some British officers, of whom Tarleton is one." "I can take three myself." "They will be guarded by Continentals, and shot if they attempt to escape." "I can take, as I have said, three. Hast thou seen my niece, Lucy?" "She is now in Princeton, and wants to see her father before she sees Gen. St. Clair." "On what business?" "Is not the deacon in danger?"

PAGE 164

The Deacon's Danger. "Danger? Oh, no!" exclaimed Martha, excitedly. "Well, Samba, what is it?" The colored manservant was moppin g his face with a great red handkerchief, though the weather was far from warm. "Oh, Lor', missus, sure an' sartin, missy, dey hab done it." "What?" "Massa Field to be shot dead! Oh, Lor', missy, don't 'ee take on so. De good deacon 'll be in glory bimeby." Martha shrieked, but Lucinda Hodges retained her presence of mind, and asked the young scout to find out the cause of Samba s excitement. Philip was away but a few minutes. When he returned he told Aunt Lucinda that the court-martial had condemned th e deacon to be shot, and Gen. St. Clair had approved the findings." "Shot! Will he be shot?" "Undoubtedly." "But you can save him, you and Lucy," pleaded Martha. "How?" "Your Gen. Washington--" "Is powerless." "What do you mean? Speak or I shall go mad. My father to be shot because he was true to his king?" "No, Miss Martha, but because h e was a spy, and had committed the gre a t crime of bre aking his parole." "But Was hington will save him." "Gen. Washington has no power. The deacon was tried b y an ordinar y court-martial, and St. Clair has supreme power in Princeton."

PAGE 165

The Deacon's Danger. "I will see him. You shall go with me. If you re-fuse--I will kill you." "Martha, thou hast taken leave of thy senses." "I will go." "Then I go with thee!" asserted Aunt Lucinda, positively. Arthur St. Clair was seated in a professor's room in the colle ge, which he had made his headquarters, when he was surprised by an announcement that two ladies awaited his pleasure. The Scotch general was a lover of the fair sex, and his eyes danced with pleasure. Of short stature and rotund body, Gen. St. Clair was not by any means handsome. His thin lips generally tightly pressed together, showed an inn a te cruelty, while his eyes possessed that peculiar, steel-like expression which denotes obstinacy. Mistress Lucinda Hodges and Martha Field entered the room, and were at onc e favored with seats. St. Clair never took his eyes from Martha. Althou g h forty-three years old, he possessed a boy ish gallantry, and imagined himself absolutely irre sistible. "When the sun shone this morning I thou ght me of old Caithn ess, my boyhood 's home, for there the sun shone so brightly ; but now I think of paradise as I see a heavenly light from bright eyes." Lucinda took no notice of the but Martha blushed. "I am Mistress Lucinda Hodges-my husband is the principal of this college." "Ah! And is this lovely damsel thy daughter?"

PAGE 166

The Deacon's Danger. "No, she is my niece, the daughter of one, Deacon Field." "Field-Field? Where have I heard the name?" The general thought for a few minutes and passed his fingers nervously through his hair. All the time he looked straight into Martha's eyes. "Strange coincidence-I have just ordered a scoun drel to be shot-a very devil-excuse me, ladies-a man without honor-oh, he deserves to die-and die he shall-but as I was saying-a strange coincidence. I remember me, his name is Field." "My father!" said Martha. "What?" "Deacon Field is my father." "By the Holy Rood, you are mistaken; such a hard ened villain, a scoundrelly spy, a creature who broke his parole. No, you are mistaken, such a lump of sin could be the father of so much beauty and good ness "It is true, general," said Aunt Lucinda. "Much as I deplore the fact, for I am a patriot, whilst the deacon--" "Is a villain and is to be shot." "Save his life. Oh, on my knees I ask thee," said Martha, supplicatingly. "It is beyond my power "For your own father's sake." "Nay, Mistress Field, if thou didst say for your own sweet sake, perchance I might, and yet war is a cruel taskmaster, and I, as well as every soldier, must obey." "For my sake!" she commenced. "Ah, Mistress Field, I have heard that thou hatest

PAGE 167

The Deacon's Danger. the patriots, and lovest King George. No, I cannot for thy sake even, unless--" "What?" Nay, see me again and I will tell thee." A n aide entered and handed a sealed letter to the g en e ral. Asking permission, with an excess of gallantry, he opened it and read : "To MAJ.-GEN ST. CLAIR, Commanding, Princeton: "GREETING: F4RC2R T13NG4 4DR21 S4NS D2F2R 1N7S2N T2NC2 4ND21 C4NF32 LD5NT 3L3S 22745. GEORGE w ASI-IINGTON J "General." Folding the letter and placing it in his pocket, he turned to the ladies : "I can make but one promise, let Mistress Martha Field call on me at the same hour to-morrow, and I will confer with her." When th e ladies had gone St. Clair took the letter from his pocket "By St. Geo r ge! but she is a pretty girl. I will make her smil e on me before I save her father. By St. Geor g e I will. What does the general mean ?" and he translated the cypher partly aloud: "For c e rtain good reasons defer any sentence on Deacon Fie ld until I see you." St. Clair r e ad the dispatch over many times, and then summon e d his aide. "Who was t h e bearer of this dispatch?" M istress Lucy Field." "'Oh!"

PAGE 168

166 Through the Forests. The aide saw the general was not ple ased, and wisely made no further remark. But not many minutes elapsed before the aide again entered bearing a special dispatch from Gen. Washington, commanding St. Clair to proc e ed at once to New York, and from thence to Ticonderoga, where he was to take command. St. Clair was furious, for he anticipated some pleas ant love passages with Martha Field; but duty must be performed, and the order had to be obeyed. The same messenger brought a note for Philip Underhill, asking him to proceed through Jersey, across the Hudson to Albany and on to Ticonderoga, sending faithful cipher dispatches by members of the League of Five whenever possible. CHAPTER XXV. THROUGH THE FORESTS. The expedition undertaken by the League of Five was not only dangerous, but was over entirely new ground. But Capt. Phil knew not the meaning of danger. He got the general's map, and made a sketch of two dif ferent roads. When this was done he gave instructions to Paul and Peter to travel by one route, while he and the nateral would go by the other. A hundred and fifty miles had been traversed by Philip alone, for Craz y Dan, thou g h u s eful for hunting, and not to be excelled as a scout, was no compa11y.

PAGE 169

Through the Fores ts. The dangers through which the poor crazy creature had passed, instead of brightening his intellect, seemed to have had the opposite effect, and many a day would pass without him uttering a word. Connected sentences were far beyond the limit of his mind, and none but Philip could understand his gestures. The hundred and fifty miles had been the hardest Phil had ever traveled. He had been compelled to swim rapid streams and dodge Indians. The British gave him but little trouble, but the Hessians were more like bloodthirsty tigers than men, and every stranger was only fit to be baited to death, in their opinion. The Iroquois Indians were plentiful in the country he had reached, and it required all his cunning and sagacity to dodge them. Their knives were sharp, their tomahawks meant death to every paleface within reach. "I wonder if Paul will be there as soon as we shall?" Philip said to Dan. The crazy lad nodded his head, and commenced gathering together dry sticks and brush. "Bravo, Dan !" exclaimed Phil, for he had no idea the nateral would remember the signal agreed upon. The two ways were about the same distance, and the scouts agreed that, when they reached certain points, they would each light a signal fire. That point Philip had reached. Below spread out the lovely valley, dotted with small clusters of houses. Old Mount Defiance stood there on the pretty Lake Champlain, and Fort Ticonderoga looked

PAGE 170

' 168 Through the Fores ts. strong enough to resist any attack which might be made upon it. The hill from which Paul was to signal was about four miles from the opposite hill across the valley. No sign of any fire was visible. When Dan got together his heap of brush and leaves, Phil threw upon 11he top a quantity of pine boughs and other evergreens, so as to make a big smoke, without much blaze being seen. "Cappen !--cappen smoke !-big smoke!" shouted Crazy Dan, waving his arms about wild ly. Looking in the direction indicated by Dan's gesticu lations Philip saw a signal fire on the hilltop opposite to him Quickly seizing a pine branch he waved it through the smoke several times, causing the dense cloud to separate and spread out. The signal was understood, for the smoke on the 0pposite hill adopted the same freaks The fire was quickly smothered, and Philip com menced his descent into the valley. He had not gone far b efo re he met an old hunter, who pres e nted a formidable appearance. "B'ar ?" he exclaimed, as planted himself square before Philip. "No." "Wolf?" "No." 'Possum ?" "No." "\Vhat consarn ed varmint air you huntin' ?" "None, my friend." "Friend, eh? P'raps you'll call me ekal next."

PAGE 171

Through the Fores ts. "Why not? You may be peart, younker, but let me obsarve that for huntin' b'ar, possum or Injun, there ain't my ekal anywhar." "I don \ noubt it. Tell me, are there any Injuns 'bout here?" "Waal, I'd smile. fojuns-the woods air thick with 'em." "Well, good-day, my friend." "Not yet, younker ; I'll know you better before I le t you go, so thar." "What do you want to know?" "W aal, I want to know ef it is true thet Gineral Washing ton is licking the darned Britishers." "Yes." "I'm an old hunter, I am, an' thar ain't my ekal any whar, but thar's no sence in t e llin' me a lie, so, younker, s'arch your mind an' tell me, is it true that the patriots air winnin ?" "Yes ; true as that Mount Defiance stands yonder." "Then, by the etarnal you air my friend, an' ef you ken hunt as well as you talk, why, I'll bet my old gun you ll live to be my ekal." The old hunter slapped our scout on the back, and was q uickly out of sight in the woods P h ilip knew not what to make of it. The man mi ght be a Tory, and if so, he would soon send a pack c he human hounds on his trail. But if he was a Tory, why did he not kill Philip on the spot? Crazy Dan evidently liked the hunter, for he had expressed approval by certain signs more doglike than 1.,urnan.

PAGE 172

Through the Forests. "Say, younker l Air you goin to Mount Defiance?" The hunter had r e turned and th e ques t ion asked so suddenly startled Philip Underhill so that he could make no r e ply. The hunt e r seeing this, added: "If you ai r a friend of Gineral Washing ton you air my friend, an' I only wanted to tell you that Injuns are yender an' will scalp you quick er'n a flash." "Thank you for the warning." "Shall I go with you?" "No, thank you." "Waal, you may be peart but ef you can get through them Injuns I 'll be 'siderable surprised." The hunter once more left, and Philip prepared to continue his journey. He knew that every step was fraught with the great est danger, and that his life was too valuable just then, to risk too much on adventure. For nearly a mile the two scouts crept along slowly and cautiously and the captain was congratulatin g him self on the success of his undertaking, when he heard an ominous breaking of the brush and undergrowth. Philip was lying behind a great bowlder, and was fear ful of e v en raising his head But it was necessary to take the risk and with the greatest caution he peered into the wood in front of him. Not a hundred yards away stood five Iroquois. They were in full war paint and w ell armed with hunting knife and tomahawk as reserve weapons, while ea c h carried a good rifle for present use. They s eemed sati sfie d with their ob s ervation and, c ro uch i n g d ow n, starte d in Ind i a n file to t h e place wh e r e Phi lip had lig hted hi s signal fire.

PAGE 173

Through the Forests. 171 Underhill knew that he had but little chance to es cape, for even if not then discovered, the Iroquois would follow his trail and quickly overtake him. To make matters worse, Dan was in one of those peculiar moods, when he seemed entirely unconscious of all going on about him. At such times he was worse than useless. There was no time to deliberate, for a series of loud whoops told him that he had been discovered. He crouched down, motioning to Dan to imitate him, and dragging his rifle after him, he hurried along as fast as he could. Whiz! A bullet passed through his hat and grazed his scalp. "That was a near touch !" he said, crouching lower, just in time to dodge another bullet. "Tamation take it!" he exclaimed; "it shall never be said that Philip Underhill did not send as good as he received." He straightened himself up, raised his long-barreled rifle to his shoulder, and with remarkable coolness fired. He had taken aim at an Indian about a hundred yards away, but another Iroquois had crossed in front of his rifle, and received the bullet. It crashed through his copper-colored flesh, and without a groan he sank to the ground, dead Again Philip fired, and a second Indian bit the dust. A perfect shower of bullets fell around him, but with rare good fortune he escaped them all. "If Dan were any good," thought Philip, "we could make a fight for it."

PAGE 174

172 Iroquois Fiends. He started to run in the direction of the fort he wished to reach. One Iroquois was gaining rapidly upon him, and Philip turned to meet his assailant. The Indian drew his hunting knife, and was about to throw it-a feat which they could accomplish with unerring accuracy-when with a growl, Crazy Dan l eaped on the savage, and buried his teeth in his neck. The Indian struggled, but Dan held on with such tenacity, that when at last Philip had with the butt of his rifle brained the Indian, Dan held a piece of human flesh, several inches long, in his teeth. He had literally torn a pound of flesh from the Indian. "Bravo, Dan!" exclaimed Philip, just in the same manner as he would have said "Good dog!" to a four footed animal. Dan fawned upon the scout, and his teeth, we t wiili the Indian s blood, g leamed in the sunlight. CHAPTER XXVI. IROQUOIS FIENDS. The rifle firing and the whoops of the Indians made our hero's position a very unenviable one. As he expected the Indians swarmed round him, and the old hunter was right, for the woods did seem full of them. "We must get through them, Dan," said Philip; "we must fight, but win we must."

PAGE 175

Iroquois Fiends. Dan did not understand a word, save perhaps that he knew by instinct the imp ort of the speech; but he fawned round, barking and making noises expressive of pleasure. A sudden darkness obscured everything, and Philip knew he was in for one of those heavy, spring thunder storms which are so terrible in the forest. He pressed on for a few yards, when a sudden flash from a gun warned him that danger was still near. A stinging sensation in his arm told him that the bullet had grazed his flesh ; but no very serious damage was done. Again and again the rifles were fired, but Philip reserved his ammunition until he was able to see where to fire. "Dan I" whispered Philip, but received no answer. "Dan Come here, my boy !" Again there was no answer, and the scout almost feared that the poor fellow had been killed. But the idiot was alive and doing good work. He had crawled along, and tripped up more than one Indian, burying his teeth into the flesh in every case where it was possible. It was hard fighting against such a foe for the Iro quois had never met such a creature. He seemed to bear a charmed life; but his teeth were as poisonous as a rattlesnake's fangs. Very few recovered from his bite. A few savage whoops told Philip that something .more than ordinary was vexing his foea. How he wished that Paul was with him, then there would be some chance of a successful fight.

PAGE 176

Iroquois Fiends. But Paul was miles away, and perhaps m as great danger. The clouds were breaking, and the thunderstorm had passed over. The sun began to shine again, and a rainbow spanned the sky. How glorious it appeared But Philip had something else to do besides gazing at the beauties of nature. Before him he saw two Indians, their faces lighted up with savage pleasure. One of them, he found, wore a portion of the Brit ish uniform, and Philip realized that before him were savages who had been hired by the English Govern ment to destroy the liberties of the Americans. \Vhatever compunctions he had before, none found a resting place in his conscience now. Raising his rifle he fired deliberately, and sent a bullet crashing through his enemy's skull. Before he had time to reload, the other Indian sprang upon him, and seized the barrel of the rifle in his hands A life in the forest and mountain had made Philip considerable of an athlete, but he knew that the Indian was the strongest man The Iroquois whooped, and from his eyes there flashed a light of ferocious courage. How each tried to wrench the rifle from the other's grasp! They twisted and twirled, jerked and wrenched, but both kept a tight grip on the gun. From side to side, up above his head then down to a

PAGE 177

\ Iroquois Fiends. 175 level with his knees, did Philip force the rifle. The Indian uttered not a word, but retained an iron grip. It was easy to s ee that Philip was getting exhausted. What with the long march, and the fatigue consequent theron, the fight with the Indians, and the want of rest, the scout knew that his strength would not last long. He braced hims e lf for a final e ffort, and gave his adversary several advantages, making him believe that the end was near, and that the paleface s scalp would soon hang from his belt. The Iroquo i s gre w excited and warm. This was just what Philip had been working for. The Indian became careless, and the paleface doubled the gun over with such terrific force that the Iroquois had to let go, or his arms would have been broken. The Indian fell to the ground, and Philip raised his gun to brain him, when he found himself seized by a pair of arms, which held him so tightly he could scarcely breathe. "Dan !" he cried. "Dan !"--his voice was weaker. Why was he not killed? He could not see who was grasping him, but from the numerous grunts he guessed it was an Indian. He tried to twist round, but failed. "Paleface die !" The voice was close to him, and he knew his fate was sealed. "Dan!" But Dan was unconscious. The boy had been felled by an Indian and left for d ead. Any time would do to get his scalp, so he had been left where he fell.

PAGE 178

176 Iroquois Fiends. A few words, of a language Philip did not under stand, were uttered, and a dozen Iroquois surrounded him. He was tied with green willow withes, and, when powerless, his captors took away his hunting knife and rifle. "Whiteface die. Fleet-o'-the-foot say so." Many a time had Philip heard of the renowned chief, call ed "Fleet-o' -the-foot," and he had heard that never had the chief been known to show mercy. Philip murmured a prayer, for he believed his last hour had come. The Indians danced round him, and every tremor of pain which shook his body caused them to shout with pleasure. The scout remained silent. They should never be able to say that he asked for mercy. He wondered whether he would be killed with knife or tomahawk, or whether he would be burned alive! The last was his only fear. He had a horror of fire. VVhen his heart was beating feebly-scarcely any life in its throbbings-and just as he had resigned him self to his fate, a bullet whizzed past him, and he saw an Indian leap in the air and fall back dead. His blood coursed more quickly then. There was a hope for him still. Another bullet passed him, but thatcame from an opposite direction. "'Tarnation, younker, but I was afeered the Injuns 'ud be too much for you, an' darn me ef I could stand it, so here I am."

PAGE 179

"Nick o' the Woods." 177 The old hunter sprang like a deer into the midst of the Indians, slashing right and left with his gun, which formed a formidable club in his hands. "Git up, younker By the tarnal, he's tied!" "Captain, are you all right?" The voice was that of Paul Harvey. Philip opened his eyes-for he had fainted-and saw Paul and the hunter standing over him, and look ing with eager eyes at his pale face. "Where is Dan?" Philip had no thought for his own troubles, bu t wanted the faithful idot who had followed him so closely. "Where is Dan?" "I will find him, captain, if he is above grou n d CHAPTER XXVII. nNJCK d THE "Where is Dan?" Philip Underhill kept repeating the question, as though the whereabouts of the idiot was the only thing which troubled him. "The nateral ain't afar off," said the hunter, soot hingly, for he feared that Philip's mind was affected. There was no doubt that Dan had been killed. But the scout was not satisfied. "If he ain't afar, why don t you fetch him?" The old hunter followed the trai l back to search for Dan, and in half an hour his search was rewarde d.

PAGE 180

"Nick o' the Woods." Dan had b e en stunned by a blow, and two Indians had fallen over him, dead The crazy lad was almost suffocated and was en tirely unable to move. When the old hunter found him, Dan was struggling to get free. The strong muscles of the hunter were soon at work, and the heavy bodies of the Indians r e moved. "Cappen Phil?" exclaimed Dan, as soon as he recovered sufficiently to speak. "Is safe, younker. "Good! Cappen is D a n's friend an' master." "Come to him, then." The hunter pulled Dan's hand over his arm and sup ported him along. When the place was reached where Philip had been left, the hunter whistled softly to himself. "Waal, I'm jiggered! I left the younkers here, an' they hev gone." He looked round, and was for searching for a trail, when a laugh startled him. Hunter as he was, he acknowledged himself at fault. The laugh was distinct, but he could not tell from whence it proceeded Standing with his back against a big tree, he was more surprised than ever when a hand seiz e d his hair. He turned suddenly and saw Philip and Paul hidden in the tree, which was so hollow that its bark made a complete shell. Dan was overjoyed at finding Philip alive and well, and he fawned round him, doglike. The old hunter watched the little party with sympa thetic eyes

PAGE 181

"Nick o' the Woods." 1/9 "'Pears t o m e he said, "thet I oughter to be with you y o unk e r s Philip lo oke d at Paul, who returned the glance. "We wi s h to reach yonder fort, said Paul. "I kin take you thar." "But--" "See here, younkers, you may be peart, but you ain't hunted b'ar an' 'possum nigh unto thirty years, an' I hev." "We are not hunting." "N aw I guess you hev bin hunted." And the old hunter laughed. "I know you are a good friend," said Philip, "but "by what name can we call you?" "Name! I am Nick o' the Woods to all about here. I guess I war called Nicodemus for short." "Have you been here thirty years?" "More'n that. But I'll tell you a story." "Do so, Nick." "W aal, when I war a younker about six years old, a tarnation Britisher killed my dad an' sold me to the Senecas--" "Sold you?" "Y ah the Britisher got a lot of terbacker an' other thin g s for me. But, oh, my! didn't I hev to work! Waal, when I got old enough, I ran away, an' for thirty years hev hunted in these woods, ha tin' every Inj un, an' every Britisher like pizen." "Give me your hand! It shall never be said that Philip Underhill rejected the offer of friendship." "Under-hill, did you say?" "Yes, that is may name." "Thet air sing'lar."

PAGE 182

; 1 180 "Nick o' the Woods." ''Why?" "I knew a chap-a real good hunter of b'ar, but he lived at East Chester." "At East Chester? asked Philip, in surprise. "Yahl He war a good chap. Nearly an' ekal of mine. His wife--" "Yes, what of her?" "War called Priscilla--" "Yes!" "Kind o' interested, eh, younker ?" "Yes, go on." "W aal, she was a fine woman--" "Did you know her?" "Reckon I did, seein' she was a young aunt o' mine." "Stay just there. You told us, Nick o' the Woods, that you were sold to the Senecas when you were six years old, that your parents were killed--" "Waal ?" "How was it your relatives did not take you?'' "I see what you air drivin' at. You air right smart an' cute. I'll tell you all about it. It war true what I told you But didn't I say I runned away? Waal, I didn't get a chance to hunt up my folks for years, an' then I runned up ag'in a man who was nearly my ekal, an' he told me his wife war Priscilla--An' that man war Philip Underhill, of East Chester." "My father and mother." "What Aunt 'Cilia you r mother?" "Her n a me was Priscilla Underhill, and she had a nephew, Nicod e mus." "Younker, you a ir smar t an' thet's a fact. We are kin. Let me s e e yo u air my nephew." "No, we are cousins."

PAGE 183

"Nick o' the Woods." 181 "I tell you thar air strange things in this here world, now ain t thar ?" For an hour the party spent its time in reminiscences \.! of the Underhill family. Sudd e nly Philip aroused to a sense of the importance of his mission, and asked : "Where is Peter?" "Guess he s in Fort Defiance by this time." "Good. If Cousin Nick will go with you to Camp Washington, I will go with Dan to Defiance, and from there will join you at Washington." In this way the party was divided and the journey resumed. Takin g the advice of Nick o' the Woods, Philip made a con s iderable detour, and escaped the Indians. When within a couple of miles of the fort, however, a sm a ll band of Tories stopped him and demanded his surrend e r. "Surrender! Who to? asked Philip, bravely. "To King George." "I Am not an Englishman," answ e red the scout. "No, but you are King George's subject." "Well if I am, why should I surrender?" Instead of answerin g, half a dozen rifles were pointed at him and Dan, and Philip knew that resist ance was useless. "Put down those ugly things," he said. "Do you give in?" "Yes." The next moment the captives were surrounded by the Tories and a number of Seneca Indians, who seemed almost to spring up from the ground.

PAGE 184

"Nick o' the Woods." "Waal, younker, you ve failed this time," said one of the Tories. "Failed !" "Yes, we know you," said another. "\Ne heard of your coming and watched for you." "I feel honored." "And now that we've got you, we are honored ." The speaker, a man of education and refin e ment, was evidently the captain or leader of the little band. He was about Philip's age, but of more slender build. "Who do you take me for?" Phip asked. "Rebel Washington's messenger." "Indeed !" "Yes ; it is no good denying it. Hand out your papers." "Papers-what has a hunter to do with papers?" "Well, we shall search you." "Do so." At once a strong, powerful man stepped up to the scout and commenced to search him. The young scout made no resistance, knowing i t would be useless. The search was most thorough, and not a single scrap of paper could be found. "Strange!" muttered the Tory. "Is it?" asked Philip. "Guess you mistook your man, eh?" "No. We know you." Philip laughed, and his captors got furiously mad. "Give us the papers." "Find them." "Curse you we will make you give up the letter to Gen. St. Cla ir." "Is St. Clair here?"

PAGE 185

"Nick o' the Woods." "No, stupid, he is at Defiance." This was n ews to Philip. He had been told that St. Clair was to take command at Ticondero ga, but had no idea that the change would be effected so soon. "You surprise me," said Philip. "Ha, ha, ha!" laughed a young Tory. "We will surprise you s till more. Won't we, cap ?" "Perhaps." "There is no perhaps about it. We will send his ears to the renegade traitor, St. Clair, and slit his nose, just to make him look pretty." "You are facetious, Fleetwood," said the captain, smiling at his comrade's speech. "Not at all, cap. You are true blue, and will never let a spy escape." These Tory Americans were far worse enemies of the patriots than the English themselves. Being trait ors to the b est interests of their country, they tried to outriv a l the British in their f eroc ity. Philip neither hoped for, nor expected, any justice, let alone mercy, from the se men. With a grim heroi sm which was peculiar to his nature, he suppressed all signs of f ear and stood pas sively awaiting his fate. Crazy Dan had been bound with cords, but had suf fered no further indi gn ity. The nateral, however was possessed of considerable cunnin g, and very quietly set to work to gnaw through the cord encircling bis wrists. This accomplished his liberation was easy But he quietly kept the fact of his fre e dom from his captors, and laid quietly in the position in which he had been placed.

PAGE 186

CHAPTER XXVIII. A SIREN'S POWER. Peter Harvey, when alone, began to feel of more im portance th a n he had ever done before. He diff e r e d in appearance from his broth e rs ; not only in app e arance, but in nature. He was cruel and vindictive at times, whereas Paul was of a forgiving disposition. Peter received a commission from his brother, and fully meant to fulfill it without any delay. But he reckoned without his host. On the road skirting Lake Champl a in he met with an adventure which placed valuable information in his hands. It was night, and Peter wanted to snatch an hour's rest. He had not been taking his ease more than ten min tttes when he heard the sound of carriage wheels. Listenin g to their approach, he became not only curious but inter e sted. An old lumb ering coach came along, and when it was nearly opposite Peter's resting place its occupant gave a scream. "A girl!" muttered Peter, fearful that the least noise might betray him. Another scream, followed by a pistol s hot, was too much for the youn g scout. He cautiously peered out from his hidin g place and in the v e r y d i m l i g h t saw two I ro q u ois India ns tryin g to drag some one from the c a rriage.

PAGE 187

A Siren's Power. A third Indian was on the box of the coach holding the driver by the throat. This was more than Peter could stand. With an unerring aim he fired at the Indian on the box, and before the others could recover from their surprise, he had dashed forward and plunged his knife into one and grappled with the other. The combat was a short one. Youth and strength were aided by the fear which overtook the Indians, and three dead bodies testified to the prowess of the young leaguer. Peter opened the carriage door and saw a dead man lying huddled up at the feet of a girl, who was uncon scious. "By my pilgrim ancestors !" exclaimed Peter, "but isn't she lovely? Here, old cuss, help me." The last exclamation was to the driver, who was slowly recovering from his fright. The old man climbed to the ground and saw Peter pulling the dead body from the carriage. "Oh, my poor master!" groaned the driver. "Yes, he ain't much account just now, I guess," an&wered Peter Harvey When the body was on the roadside the scout asked: "Who is he?" "Sir Charles Ludlum." oh l And--" Peter pointed to the carri:>ge. "The Lady Alice Ludlum." "Flis daughter?" "No." "Sister?" "No, wife ." Peter stared as if an In
PAGE 188

A Siren's Power. "But she is young-a mere child--" Oh, sir, don t talk about her-what will she itay ?" That was just what Peter was thinking. Sir Charle s Ludlum, it was rumored, was the bearer a i special dis patches to the English Anny in America. P erhaps he had some about him. If so, Peter knew lie was in luck. Fortunately the coachman was one of those poor, illiterate English servants, who worship anyone with a title, and naturally expected every person to share such worship. The tender sympathy shown by Peter convinced the coachman that the Lady Alice Ludlum was per fectly safe in the championship of the scout. Peter s e arched the pockets of tko dead baronet, and, to his g reat joy, found some really valuable papers, one being addressed to Li e ut.-Gen. Burgoyne. The lady recovering consciowmess, Peter stepped up to the carriage. "Oh, my preserver! how can I thank you?" she said, sweetly. "I only did what any man woukl," answered Peter, proudly, and then tried to break the news of Sir Charles Ludlum's death. "Poor, dear fellow! and Lady Alice sig hed. P e ter could not h elp exclaiming: "You are so young; I could scarcely bel i eve he was your husb and--" "Of c ourse n o t. It w a s absurd ; I did not want t@ marry him ; bu t t hey m a de me. He was a g ood fel low, but h e was k ill ed, an d the re' s an end o f it." She spoke lig htl y but it was cle arly the result of a

PAGE 189

A Siren's Power. strong will, which would not allow a stranger to read her heart. "Whither were you journeyin g ? asked Peter. "Sir Charles wished to r each SL Johns before morning." "And you?" "I must find my uncle, Gen. Burgoyne, at once." "Why?" "I am alone; besides, I have papers for him." The Lady Alice evidently was unused to the ways of a state me s senger. "And where is Burgoyne?" "He is to be at St. Johns in two days, if all is well" "That i s if the Continentals will let him." "The Continentals I Oh, )"OU make my lips forget my sorrow and I laugh even when my heart is sad." "Why do you laugh?" "The Continentals, as you call them-the rebels, as Sir Charles would say-will be whipped into the sea in a few days." "Will they?" "Yes, indeed they will I have papers with me--" She stopped; and Peter, with ready tact, ch.a.nged the course of conversation by observing : "Do you know who killed Sir Charles?'' "No." "The Iroquois." "I don't understand. I thought they were on the side of England--" "So they are; but they killed your husband." "Where are we going ? The carriage was going slowly, according to instruc tions given by the scout.

PAGE 190

188 A Siren's Power. "Did you not want to reach Gen. Burgoyne?" "Yes." "Then trust to me." For an hour the carriage rolled on, while the occu pants were silent. Death always makes the mind sad, even if the de ceased has been an enemy. The Lady Alice had treated the death of Sir Charles lightly, but still she grieved. Hers was a sad story. She had been l eft an orphan when but a year old, and had been taken by a poor relative. Her life had been one of drudgery, she often having to work in the fields. She had always been led to believe that Gen. Burgoyne was her uncle, but in reality he was no relation, Alice's mo ther being but a foster-sister of Lord Bing ley's son. When Burgoyne's foster-sister died, the ge neral re fused to further recognize Alice, until after her marria ge to the wealthy diplomat. The marriage was not one of love--she was bought by him. Sir Charles Ludlum, passing along the road, saw Alice in the field hoeing potatoes. He called to her, talked kindly, and found out she was an orphan. He found her foster parents. "If I give you one hundred pounds, will you let me have Alice?" Certainly they would, and right pleased they were with the bar g ain. So Alice Chivis was sent to school for a year, and at

PAGE 191

A Siren's Power. the expiration of that time became Charles Ludlum's wife. The whole story of her life flashed through her mind as she sat in the carriage facing the scout. "I never loved him !" she thought; "then why should I grieve? A touch of this young man's hand awakens a feeling I never exper ienced before." All which goes to show that Alice Ludlum was al most heartless so far as her husband was concerned. "Where are we going ?" she asked again. "Lady Alice," said Peter, softly, "I am a Continental." "You?" "Yes; and you are my prisoner ." "Do the Americans make war on women?" she asked, with a sneer. "No. You shall go safely to Gen. Burgoyne if you give me the papers you have for him." "And if I refuse?" "Then they will be taken from you, and you will be detained until the war is over." "Could you be so cruel?" "Madam, this war makes men do things they would never entertain at other times. Will you give up the papers?" "No." "Then my duty is plain--" "I begin to believe you killed Sir Charles--" "Think what you will of me. I may deserve it, but I must do my duty." The coachman knew not where he was going. He followed the instructions given by Peter, and before he knew it the fort of Ticond e roga reached.

PAGE 192

A Siren's Power. Lady Alice trembled as the carriage stopped. She bad confidence in the scout, but her fears were aroused as she knew and realized her position. Gen. St. Clair had just taken the command, and Gen. Schuyler was ready to start for Fort Edward, which was to be his headquarters. Craving an audience of St. Clair, Petet waited with anxious expectation. The general with fatal hesitation delayed sending for the young scout. Peter got mad. He returned to Lady Alice, and again urged her ta give up the papers. "If I do S(') ?" she asked. "You go perfectly free." "Your name ?" "Peter Harvey." "I will ever remember you, Peter-let me call you so, will you not ?" "Yes, Lady Ludlum." "Call me Alice." "Alice." The name fell with softness from Peter's lips. He raised the young widow's hand to his lips and kissed her fingers. "Can you not go with me?" "I cannot." "Do, or I shall not feel safe." Peter could not withstand the witchery of those eyes, and the siren had him bound in fetters strong In his pocket he carried two passports, both signed by Gen. Washington, insuring him safe passage through the Continental lines.

PAGE 193

Crazy Dan's Heroism. The duplicate was given, in case he lost one. "I cannot go with you," he said "but I will give you safe conduct wherever any Americans are to be found." Lady Alice handed to Peter the documents she car ried, and in exchange she received a passport through the patriots' lines. Fatal gift! She was young and easily -influenced. That autograph of Washington passed into the hands of Gen. Burgoyne, who g ave it to a spy. St. Clair, Schuyler and s e veral others were defeated l>y that one little piece of paper won from Peter Har vey by the dazzling beauty of a girl's eyes. CHAPTER XXIX. CRAZY DAN'S HEROISM. Philip Underhill felt that it would be as much nse to command the sun to refuse to shine, as to ask for even justice at the hands of these Tories. Left alone for two or three hours, he tried to think of a means to escape, but his hands were tied too tightly, and the soldiers kept such watch over him that escape was impossible. Only once did the surveillance relax. And that was when a carriage drove past. The Tories stopped it, and to their surprise found its occupant to be a young and beautiful woman. She was weeping as she was handed out of the

PAGE 194

Crazy Dan's Heroism. riage; but her tears were wiped away when she recog nized the British uniform. "I am Engli s h," she said. "Your name ?" "Alice-Lady Alice Ludlum." "Sir Charles--" "I am his widow." "Widow?" "Alas, yes he was basely murdered by Indians." "And you?" "I was rescued, but only to be treated worse thaa if I had been killed." The captain of the Tories stared at this young siren, who could talk so calmly of a great calamity. "My sufferings have almost unsexed me. I hate the Continentals, thou g h one of them rescued me from the Indians." "Rescued you ?" "Yes. I am on my way to my uncle Gen. Burgoyne. I had dis patches to him from Eng land. They have been taken from me, or I should have been a prisoner." "You gave them up?" "Yes, to save my life." "Better to have die d than do such a disgraceful thing!" ejacul a ted the Tory captain, with a great show of patriotic bravado. "It is ea s y to say so; but I am youn g, and"-sob-"oh, my heart"-sob--"will break"-sob. "Be comforted. It was terrible for one so young to face such an ord e al." "The ene m y cann o t r ea d the dispatches!" "Were they in ciph e r ?"

PAGE 195

Crazy Dan's Heroism. 193 "Yes. And I only have the key." The captain had considerable curiosity, and so wheedled round the young widow that she gave him a verbal key to the cipher. The l as t word had scarcely b e en uttered before the captain suddenly remembered his prisoner. "He has heard every word," he said, "but he dies. He is a spy, a scout, one Philip Underhill." "A friend of my rescuer, who was called Peter Harvey." "He dies. I am more than ever determined." "Save his life, for my sake." "No, Lady Alice, I cannot; but as you feel so much interest in him, I will order him shot at once so that you can see the dog die. It will be some consolation." "No, no, no!" "We ll, if you don't care for the pleasure, we will spare him until to-morrow." The speakers moved away, and Philip was distracted. If only he could obtain his liberty! But he felt it would be an absolute impossibility. Two things were clear to him-Peter Harvey liad by some means obtained valuable documents intended for Gen. Burgoyne, but they were valueless without the key to the cipher, and that, by accident, Philip pos sessed. But one thing was also certain, the band which had captured him would surely take his life. Philip felt almost disheartened. He had resigned himself to his fate, yet longed for freedom. It seemed that just when he could be most useful to Gen. Washington he was to be cut down.

PAGE 196

194 Crazy Dan's Heroism. The sentries marched to and fro and Philip could scarcely move The sun was shinin g bri g htly in his face, scorching his skin and making his eyes smart. He asked one of the sentri e s to place some covering over his face. It was his first and only request, and the villainous Tory not only refused, but spat in his prisoner's face, to show his contempt for a patriot. That indignit y made Philip's blood boil, and roused all the warlike spirit in his nature. The Lady Alice had gone. A foraging party had been organized and sent out, and the little band of British partisans numbered not more than six. Again and a g ain did Philip strain at the cords by which he was bound, but without loosening them the slightest. One of the sentries seemed drowsy, and after sev eral ineffectual attempts to keep awake, he succumbed, and fell asleep. His companion sat looking moodily at the fortunate sleeper. About thirty yards away Crazy Dan was l ying on the ground, apparentl y resi g ned to meet the death which await e d him. So certain were the Tories that Dan was secure, that they left him without any special guard. Dan turned slightly, and was able to s e e that one of the soldiers was asleep. That was his opportunity. Gliding through the grass as s tealthily as a snake, Dan mana ge d to get close to the soldier without attracting the sli g htest a tten ti on. Even Philip had not heard a sound.

PAGE 197

Crazy Dan's Heroism. 195 The idiot cautiously raised himself on his hands and feet, and, like a cat, sprang on the astonished sentry, and buried his teeth in the man's neck. The soldier fell over without a groan. The other slept calmly. With a sharp knife, plucked from the dead soldier's belt, Dan cut the cords which bound Philip, and then, without waiting for permission, buried the knife cleac to the hilt in the sleeping Tory's breast. "Cappen free! cappen run!" whispered Dan. There was no need to give the advice. Philip was on his feet in an instant, and clasped Daa in his arms. The faithful creature had once again saved his mas ter's life. The captain of the League of Five was stiff. His limbs had been bound so tightly that the blood was stagnated. But time was precious. Instead of going in the direction of Fort Washing ton, Philip felt it would be safer to make for Fort Edward. Taking the path through the woods, he ran with the swiftness of a deer, and was closely followed by Dan. They had escaped so quietly that the Tories, camped in their tents, had not heard them go But it was not likely they could get far before the alarm was raised. A loud shout from the camp told them that their flight had been discovered. If only they could manage to reach the dense wood, they might yet escape. Philip ran as he had never done before.

PAGE 198

Crazy Dan's Heroism. Crazy Dan had difficulty in keepin g up with him. Nature becomes exhausted even when life is at stake, and the scout was compelled to stop. Breathing time of a few minutes was all he dare take. As it was, he could distinctly hear the voices of his pursuers. A bullet whizzed by his head. That was sufficient warning. Again he started on the run. Instead of reaching the wood, he had taken a wrong path, and found himself nearing some rocks. To make a detour was now impossible. There was nothing but to stand with his back to the rocks and fight to the death. "At least I will die with my face to the foe!" he said. Crazy Dan pulled Philip's knife from his belt, and stood lookin g at his pursuers as they approached A knife in each hand, he looked more like a bur lesque villain than aught else. "Surrender!" shouted the leader of the Tories. Philip had no intention of doing so, but he was de termined he would not be the only one to die, therefore he wanted to get breath to nerve him for his last en counter. He held a white handkerchief above his head. It was a signal of truce. "Surrender!" again cried the Tory. "If I do, what will be my fate?" "I refuse to answer." "Am I to be shot?" "You are a spy," was the answer.

PAGE 199

Crazy Dan's Heroism. 197 "Answer me I am nea r my death, perhaps, t here fore answer. If I surrender, will my life be spared?" "You are a spy and must die." "Then why should I surrender?" "Because it is better to submit to one's l awfu l ki n g. "I recognize no king. I am a free Amer ican o wing allegiance only to the Congress Philip laid aside his white flag, and with a ri n g of defiance in his voice, shouted : "If I have to die, I will meet my God fighting the foes of my l and." With which words, he fell back to the rocks and fire d his rifle. The shot sent one of his pursuers to the dust Half a dozen shots whizzed through the ai r b ut not one touched the scout. Then his pursuers rushed forward Six could easily capture him Crazy Dan would be useful now with his knives. But Dan had not been idle. He had found a crevice in the rocks, and a hero ic idea took possession of the small mind he possessed "Cappen, run," he said, hurriedly. Philip saw his chance, and knew that the way was so narrow that one man was as good as a hundred in defending such a position "Come, Dan !" he shouted, as he entered. "Yes, cappen. Meet Dan there!" and the idio t pointed to the sky. Philip did not realize the significance of the speech He ran, and wondered why he was not pursued. On the other side of the rocks, hurrying as rapidly

PAGE 200

Crazy Dan's Heroism. as they could go, he saw his cousin, Nick o' the Woods, and Paul Harvey. Where was Dan? The brave boy had stood at the entrance of the crevice, and with his knives had kept the pursuers at bay. When Philip, Nick and Paul returned, they saw poor Crazy Dan's body, hacked almost to pieces. But by him were four of the Tories. The others had fled. Philip could not keep back the tears. Dan had given his life for his friend. What greater love could man show than did this poor idiot? His body presented an awful spectacle. Scarcely a semblance of humanity was left. Gashes, from sword cuts and knife thrusts, had re duced the body to a mere mass of flesh. Yet that poor, quivering flesh was all that was left of a true hero, even if in life he had been classed as an idiot. "The League of Five!" murmured Philip. "Still lives answered Paul, as he pointed to the dead body of Crazy Dan. "For his sake-for John's sake-we three will fight all the harder against the enemies of our land."

PAGE 201

CHAPTER XXX. THE KEY TO THE CIPHER. Gen. St. Clair stormed like a madman. "You scoundrel he shrieked at Peter Harvey. "What wrong have I done?" "Wrong? What right had you to allow that wench to escape ?" "Wench, general?" "Ay, wench! What if she is the Lady Alice Ludlum? I would have held her--" "The patriots make no war on women," the scout answered, with dignity. "Women!" yelled St. Clair. "I tell you when a fiend in petticoats becomes a spy she should be scragged without mercy." St. Clair, as we have said, was almost beside himself. Peter Harvey was safe from his vengeance, for he was und er the direct protection of Washington. He could afford to listen to the Scotch general, and yet remain calm St. Clair had met Alice Ludlum a few weeks before she was married, and had been smitten with her charms. She had spurned him, not because she disliked the Scotchman, but simply because she had been bought by the diplomat, and she would be loyal to her pur chaser. But St. Clair had only been paying a visit to England, and when he returned to his adopted country, he

PAGE 202

200 The Key to the Cipher. threw himself heart and soul into the cause of the patriots, and tried to forget the sparkling eyes of Alice Chi vis. But those eyes were too bri g ht to be easily forgotten, and when Peter Harvey told him how near the widow had been to him the Scotch general became furious. "General," said Peter, "I offered her as your prisoner." "You scoundrel what right had you to release her?" "Every right." "I deny it. You shall be court-martialed." "No, general. I am not a soldier, only a poor scout, and--" "Perdition!" St. Clair was trying to read the dispatches taken from Alice Ludlum, but he grew confused. They opened right simply, but after a few lines St. Clair saw clearly enough that there was a hidden cipher, and he had not the key. "Can you read these?" he asked Peter. "No." "Zounds! boy, but had you kept that she spy, I would have rung her neck if she hadn't given the key." "Perchance she had it not." There was something very tantalizing about the way and manner in which the young scout acted and the Continental general turned his powers of wrath on him. More exasperated than ever, he ordered Peter into close custody until he could think over the best way to rid himself of the scout. Peter chafed under his bonds. He had done his duty, and for that was being punished. He knew how vindictive St. Oair was in his anger,

PAGE 203

The Key to the Cipher. 201 and any moment he might be shot. The officer could justify himself to his superior. War allowed such latitude, and, moreover, the scout was not a soldier, and could be shot down at any time without trial. But while Peter was grumbling, the other members of the League of Five were hastening to the fort to work his deliverance, though they did not know he was in peril. "I would see Gen. St. Clair," said Philip Underhill to the sentry. "Of course." "Let me pass." "I will not." "See here, younker, you air peart, but my cousin here is pearter, so let him pass." "Who are you ?" "Don't 'ee know Nick o' the woods? By thunder, but your eddication has been neglected." Philip was eager to pass through the lines, so pro duced his passport bearing Washington's signature. The sentry saluted and allowed the party to pass. "I 'ma g ine this younker is pearter than you, eh?" said Nick, as he passed the sentry. An orderly stood before the general's door, and to him Philip communicated his wish to see the general. The orderly laughed, and handed the s-:out over to an aide. "What is your name?" "Philip Underhill, of East Chester." "And yours?" "Paul Harvey." "Do you know Peter Harwy ?" "My brother."

PAGE 204

202 The Key to the Cipher. "By the pilgrims, this is good So you are a scout as '"'ell, eh?" "What do you mean?" asked Philip, eagerly. "Peter Harvey dies before sundown." "Eh?" "I spoke plainly. So you can keep him company." The aide ordered a guard to be set over the three scou ts, while he saw St. Clai.r. The ge neral had become calmer, and ordered Philip to his presence. "Well, sirrah ?" "I believe one Peter Harvey is here," said Philip. "What of it? Are you in command?" "No, general; but I wish to know his whereabouts." "He is under guard." "What wrong has he done?" "I will answer to Gen Washington, and no other." "Did he convey to you any secret dispatches intend ed for the British Burgoyne?" "Sirrah, you ought to be a catechist." "Answer me, general. In the name of Congress, I ask an answer." "What if he did?" "Because I have the key." "You?" "Yes." "Give it to me." "I have orders to report to Gen. Washington." "I am his representative." "Liberate Peter Harvey." "I will not." "Then I will r eport the finding of the key to Gen. Washington."

PAGE 205

The Key to the Cipher. 203 St. Oair sent an orderly for Peter Harvey. When the scout entered, he stepped forward and embraced Philip. "Captain, I am rejoiced." "Stand back!" ordered St. Clair. "Peter, did you meet Alice Ludlum?" asked Philip. "I did." "And got some dispatches from her?" "Yes." "Where are they?" "I gave them to Gen. St. Clair." "By what right? I am your captain, and you shou ld either have taken them to Gen. Washington or given them to me." "I know it, Capt. Philip, but they were important." "But the key?" "I don't possess it." "I do." Philip told of kis capture and escape-how he had overheard the lady give the reading of the key to the young officer of the Tories, and then with tears in his eyes, he told of the heroic death of Crazy Dan. St. Clair listened to the narration, and the good in his nature came to the surface. He shook the hand of the captain of the League of Five and then offered his apologies to Peter. The dispatches were read, and St. Oair saw that every minute was precious. They instructed Burgoyne to descend by way of Quebec, where he superseded Sir Guy Carleton, into New York. His plan of campaign was to include a march upon Albany by way of Lake Champlain, Lake George and the upper Hudson.

PAGE 206

204 The Key to the Cipher. From Albany he was to descend the river to New York, and unite his forces with those of Cornwallis. By this means New England was to be cut off from the middle and southern colonies, and the whole country placed at the mercy of Lord Howe. So confident were the British authorities in England that no resistance of any moment would be offered, that they even fixed dates at which Burgoyne should reach various places. It was to be a triumphant march. All this was conveyed in the dispatches taken from Lady Alice. "My scouts are worthless," exclaimed St. Clair. "Why so?" "On the fourteenth, Burgoyne was to be at Crown Point. It is now the sixteenth, and his movements have not been announced." "He may not have reached there." "Of course he has not-but--Well, what is it now?" An aide had entered and brought to the general a package of dispatches. Hastily opening the first one, he read : "Burg oyne, at the head of seven thousand British and Hessians, and three thousand Indians, reached Crown Point last night, and has started for Ticon deroga." Philip motioned to his friends, and they withdrew from the general's headquarters. Being entirely independent of the army, they were free to leave when they pleased Paul was commissioned to proceed to Washington's headquarters and report, while Peter and Nick o' the.

PAGE 207

A Pleasan: Surprise. Woods went to Fort Edward to acquaint Gen. Schuy ler of the condition of affairs. Philip reserved for himself the post of remaining with St. Clair, until after the engagement with Bur goyne, before leaving for headquarters. For nearly three weeks St. Clair waited. He seemed to have lost that push and daring for which he had been famous, and allowed himself to be frightened by the superior numbers fighting under Burgoyne. On the fifth of July he abandoned Ticonderoga, and escaped with the garrison by way of Mount Inde pendence and Wood Creek. A fierce engagement ensued at Hubbardtown, in which the British lost considerably, and received a check in their advance. But in that engagement Philip Underhill was taken prisoner, and once again felt that death was within sight. CHAPTER XXXI. A PLEASANT SURPRISE. Philip Underhill, bound hand and foot, was carried by the soldiers to Whitehall, and made to watch the engagement which ended in the capture of that place by the British. That night he slept in a dank and noisome cellar. A Hessian was placed over him as guard, and the scout tried every means to see the fellow's face. But for some reason the Hessian avoided looking at the prisoner.

PAGE 208

206 A Pleasant Surprise. There was something familiar about his person, which made Philip uneasy. The hours passed away slowly. The air of the cellar was suffocatingly loathsome. Now and again a rat would start across the floor, causing the sentry to ejaculate some German curse. Once the man cursed so vigorously that Philip suddenly asked : "Were you ever in East Chester?'' "Yah !" "With Franz Kappellmann ?" "Yah !" "You scoundrel! you hanged my brother." "Von leetle boy?" "Yes ; a babe almost." "Mein Gott !'0 The man had seen Philip once before, and it was this fancied recognition that caused him to avoid looking into the prisoner's face. He had regretted the killing of the children, but as a soldier, he had to obey. "Mein Gott!" he ejaculated again. "God never listened to a murderer's prayer," said Philip seriously. "Ferguson, the bulldog, killed him self, another is dead and one a prisoner, and you will die." "Nein-nein Mein Gott!" It seemed all the man could say. Had Philip been free at that moment he would have made short work of the Hessian. But he was bound with tight ropes, and he felt his limbs swelling with the pressure of the cords. The night was far advanced before the Hessian sat down to rest beside his prisoner.

PAGE 209

A Pleasant Surprise. He was weary with long marching, and the air of the cellar seemed to act like an opiate. The cellar was dark. Not a ray of light entered it since the small candle had burned itself away. Philip heard a slight noise, as he fancied, on the stairs. He listened. Perhaps the sentry was to be changed. He hoped not, for he wished to see the man again, and by daylight accuse him of the unwarlike act of killing little children. The door was opened, but so cautiously that the scout knew it could not be by the sergeant, whose duty it was to change the guard. Was it some secret enemy commissioned to kill him? He knew that scouts were hated by both sides, and many a soldier felt a pleasure in taking away the life of a scout employed by the opposite side. Philip never moved. Breathlessly he awaited the denouement. He looked in the direction of the door, and fancied he saw a figure enter. A little fl.ash of light, and again the cellar was dark. But there fell on his ear a strange sighlike sound which he did not like. The next minute he felt warm hands on his face. They were soft as a woman's. The hands smoothed his cheeks, and then a voice whispered in his ear : "Make no noise-do as I tell you. I will release you." The hands were a woman's, he thought, and the voice confirmed his opinion. "Who are you ?"

PAGE 210

208 A Pleasant Surprise. "Never mind," was the whispered reply. "You are to die at four o clock unless you can get away. I will save you." "My good angel !" He felt the cords loosen from his wrists and ankles. "Can you walk?" "Yes." "Now, Philip Underhill, you have pledged yourself to do as I tell you. Are you willing?" "Yes." "Then listen--" "The s entry?" "Is dead. I had to kill him." A shudder passed over the speaker as she uttered the words, and even the scout was sick at heart as he heard a woman speak of an assassin's act. "We must change clothes," she said. The scout was so surprised that he could do nothing but repeat the words : "Change clothes?" "Yes ; you must leave here in my dress, and I must have your coat." "But you?" "Will stay here." "And be killed?" "They won t hurt me." "Who are y ou ?" "I cannot tell you." "Then I will not acc e pt your sacrifice." "I am called Alice Ludlum. There, now, I have told. You must hurry or you will die." "But Gen. Burgoyne-"

PAGE 211

A Pleasant Surprise. "Has signed your death warrant ; he is my uncle, but he will not listen to my prayer for your life." "Why are you interested?" "Never mind; but yet, if you escape and rejoin your friends, tell Peter Harvey that Alice--" She paused, and Philip whispered: "Tell him what?" "That Alice Ludlum hopes the war will soon be over, and that he may be safe." Philip accepted the brave woman's offer, and in a few minutes had transformed his outward appearance to that of a woman. Giving Alice his long hunting coat, she put it on, and gave him points about the quaint Puritan dress she had purposely worn, as most likely to conceal his leather trousers beneath. "I thought no one of the fair sex could dress without a mirror," he said softly, and for reply received a slight slap on the cheek. When the transformation had been affected, she instructed him as to the way he should go. "I arranged with the sentries," she said; "they think I was bringing you food, because I felt sorry for you." Are you sure you are safe?" "Yes." "But what will your uncle--the general-say?" "He will swear and fume, and to me say he is glad I did it." "I wish I could believe it." "It is the truth. Now go. Don't walk too fast. Cover up your face, for no girl would wish the soldiers to recognize her, even if she were engaged in an act of charity. Be careful till you are clear of the lines, and

PAGE 212

'.l.IO A Pleasant Surprise then make the best of your way to your own lines. Good-by." She took him by the shoulders and almost hustled him up the steps. The fresh air was like a sweet perfume after the foul miasma of the cellar. Had Philip done right? He had compromised a lady. Had allowed her to be the butt of insult, perhaps outrage. Was he not selfish ? Several times he thought of turning back, but he had no wish to die, and he knew Alice Ludlum well enough to be sure that she had counted all the cost before she had planned the heroic act. Philip walked through the street like one dazed. He had been challenged by the sentries; but it was only a form, for he had made no reply and had not been stopped. Indeed the Lady Alice had planned the details well. Once past the lines, Philip commenced to run. When in the shelter of the woods, he paused to consider which way would be the safest. To return to St. Clair was extremely hazardous, while to try and reach Gen. Washington necessitated the procuring of some outer habilaments. Fortunately, Philip had made some friends in the woods, and to the house of one of them he went. An hour later, with blackened face and bare arms, Philip Underhill resumed his way through the wood, pas 3 ing as a charcoal burner. After passin g through many adventures and strange vicissitudes, Philip left the troubled district, and was again on his y.ay to the camp of Gen. Washington.

PAGE 213

CHAPTER XXXII. THE NEW LEAGUE OF FIVE. The pass through the lines, given by Peter Harvey to the Lady Alice Ludlum, and transferred by her to her uncle, Gen. Burgoyne, played an important part in the events of July and August, 1777. By its means the most secret maneuvers and plans of the Americans became known to Gen. Burgoyne. Gen. Schuyler-reinforced by the arrival at Fort Edward, of St. Clair and nearly three thousand soldiers-wanted to fight. But every more was known to the enemy, and two or three feints made by the patriots showed conclusively that the British, by some strange means, knew too much. Fort Edward was therefore evacuated, and the Con tinentals retreat ed down the Hudson as far as the islands of the Mohawk. Philip Underhill, by a strange chance, intercepted certain dispatches of Burgoyne's, and without hesita tion read them. He learned that the British general was fearful that his supplies would be cut off, and he commissioned Col. Baum to seize the American stores at Bennington. Philip was quick to act. He allowed the letter to be taken to Baum, but he had made arrangements to be at Bennington before the letter could reach that place. Requisitioning a horse-in other words, seizing one-which he knew possessed capabilities of speed, he leap e d on its back and almost flew across country. :'-1<

PAGE 214

2 I 2 The New League of Five. "Halt!" Philip could hardly pull up; his horse moved like a cyclone across a prairie. "In the name of Congress, halt!" The scout was ready to obey; and stout John Stark, of New Hampshire, never met a luckier accident than when he commanded the scout to halt. He heard all Philip had to say, and after examining Washington's commission to the young scout, he said: "Are you free to act for me?" "I am." "Can you, will you, take a letter to Col. Warner?" "Yes, if--" "What?" "You give me a horse equal to the one I ride, but fresh." "We will change." Without rest, the scout started again on his journey, and after five hours' hard riding delivered his message to Col. Warner. The result of the scout's forethought and quick action, was one of the greatest of New England vic tories. Baum's forces were utterly annihilated, and a bat talion of Hessians under Breymann was completely routed. Burgoyne was in a critical position. Retreat meant disgrace. To go forward meant ruin and defeat. Gen. Schuyler was succ e eded by Gen. Gates, and Burgoyne knew he had to face one of the most valiant of soldiers and ablest of R en e rals. Then it was that the bulldo g courage of the Britisher

PAGE 215

The New League of Five. 213 showed i tse lf. For the gen e ral determined to fight until every man was killed, every drop of blood shed. P hili p tried to get away, but he was too valuable. Gen. G ates had heard of him from Washington, and much of the success of the campai g n was due to -him. He w a s standing despondently in front of his tent one d ay thinking of his comrades of the League of Five, and w on dering if Paul and Peter were safe. He was resolvin g when next he met them, to dis band the league and induce the members to join the army. "Our m ission has been fulfilled he mused. "The slayers of my brothers and the personal enemies of the Harveys are dead. Why then should we-" "Hello, comrade !" Looking up he saw a boyish figure, a stranger in the camp, and yet one who must have had some interest to g e t within the lines. "Hello!" responded Philip. The boy, dressed in the quaintly pretty peasant garb of the day, laughed. "And is Master Philip Underhill, of East Chester, a soldier now?" he asked. "I know you not, but your voice is familiar, I am only an outsider, not a soldier." "You know me not?" "Thy name, fair boy?" "Hast thou forgotten all thy friends?" "I never forget." "Never?" "No." "And yet, methinks thou bast forgotten me." "I do not remember thee, I admit."

PAGE 216

214 The New League of Five. "I know thy friends." "The Harveys ?" "Even so ; and I did know a damsel that--" "Dost thou mean Mistress Lucy Field?'' "What of her?" "Dost thou know her ?" "I did." "Is she well? Has she happiness?" "Oho! the leaguer has not forgotten Lucy." "On my life, no! I would give my right hand to see her." "Rash youth! Thy right hand would save thy life, perhaps." "Tel l me of her." "I must see thy Gen. Gates first. Conduct me to him, and I may chatter with thee afterward." Philip, with pulses aglow with the thoughts of seeing some one who had conversed recently with Lucy Field, conducted the boy to the general's headquarters. Wearily he paced up and down, counting every minute an hour. "\Vhere have I seen him? Who can he be?" But the more he wondered the greater was h i s per plexity. When the youth reappeared he looked pleased. "Gen. Gates hast said that thou couldst go with me to Philadelphia." "Are you going ?" "Yes." "When?" "As soon as thou canst be ready." "Is Gen.--" "Washington is near there."

PAGE 217

The New League of Five. 21 5 "Is Lucy Field there?" "No, Capt. Philip She is far from there "Where is she? Tell me Oh, boy my heart is breaking." "Is it? And canst thou not--" Something in the youth's manner caused Philip to look earnestly at him. With a glad cry he clasped the youth in his arms "Lucy, oh, Lucy; how could I be so stupid? Why art thou dressed like this?" "Petticoats meant danger, and I had to reach Gen Gates. Washington wants thee; so come." It was a happy reunion, and Philip Underhill was more than delighted at having so fair a companion on his journey back. * Three weeks elapsed before Philip Underhill was able to report to the commander-in-chief of the army, then at Wilmington, Delaware. Washington read the letter sent by Gates, and his cold, stern face lighted up with a smile as his eyes saw the eulog ium on Philip's courage. "Philip Underhill," he said, "Gen. Gates commends thee to my notice Thou hast done well. I give thee hence forth a rank. Thou shalt be captain, and thy position, chief of the scouts." "How can I thank thee?" "Listen first to my offer. Thou must take to thyself a comrade--a partner." "Paul Harvey?" "No; I have chosen another." "Peter Harvey?"

PAGE 218

2.16 The New League of Five. "No; think again." "My cousin, Nicodemus?" "Nick o' the Woods, as he likes to be called, is one of t)le finest men in the army. I am pleased with him. But he is not to be thy comrade." "Who then ?" "\!Vilt thou accept?" "It is my duty." "But not your pleasure, eh?" "Thy command is my greatest joy." Washington left the room, and Col. Hamilton shook the scout's hand warmly. "We caught a spy three days ago who told us of your d oings." "Told of me? Who was it?" "Had it not been for one of the league of which thou art captain, the spy would have been shot." "Tell me, colonel, who is it?" "A woman." "A woman, did you say?" "Yes." "It could not be--" "Yes, it is. She is Alice Ludlum." "She saved my life." "And Peter Harvey has saved hers." "She is dangerous." "Not now." "Why-is she in prison?" "No." "How, then, can you say she is not dangerous?" "Because to-night she will be the wife of Peter Harvey." "He is but a boy."

PAGE 219

I The New League of Five. 1 I 7 "He is nineteen." "And she--" "Two years older, that is all." Philip was astounded, and yet he warmly congratu lated Peter on his choice. The British spy might become a good patriot. "Come. The general wishes me to introduce you to your future comrade." Hamilton led the way to another room. Philip trembled as if a sentence of death was about to be passed on him, for he knew well that his life would easily be lost if his comrade was an injudicious friend. What was his surprise to see only Lucy Field in the room. Hamilton whispered to the scout, "Thy comrade!" and left the room. And so it came about that in the camp at Wilming ton a double wedding took place in the presence of Gen. Washington. Philip Underhill, now chief of the scouts, became the husband of the fair patriot, Lucy Field, and Peter Harvey espoused the Lady Alice Ludlum. "The League of Five has fulfilled its work," said Phili p "Not so." answered Paul; "it will never be dis band e d until the cruel war is over." "No!" said Gen. Washinoton. "The League of Five still exists: and Philip wit h Lucy, Peter with Alic e and Paul Harvey will make a strong League of Five, united against the enemies of our country." "And where do I come in?" asked Nick o' the Woods.

PAGE 220

'.218 The New League of Five. "General guide and unattached scout, answered Philip. When, five years later, the Treaty of Peace was signed between Great Britain and the Ameri can Col onies, Gen Washin gton surrendered his commission as commander-in-chief of the patriot army. Ia his farewell address he referred to the scouts, who had done so much, and specially did he ask the thanks of the new nation to be accorded to those heave boys, who, to avenge a private wrong, j oined the forces of the patriots, and as scouts paved the way for some of the greatest victories. "I have always remembered," said Gen. Washing ton, "that muc h of my success has been due--not only to the regular army, which always did its duty, not ooly to Congress, wh ich seconded all my efforts-but to the g rand valor and daring courage of four boys and an idiot, who banded themselves to gether as in de pendent scouts, and the nation, throu g h me, gives its thanks to the valiant League of Five." Such praise was worth more than gold or lands. The grandchildren of Philip and Lucy Underhill have the words emb lazoned on parchment and hand somely framed. A similar parchment adorns the walls of the h ouse occupied by the son of Peter and Alice Harvey, and both families are proud of their noble ancestors. Paul Harvey never married. During his life he was the "uncle" ever welcome both in his brother's and Philip's house. Every year a pilgrimage is made to a grave in Jersey, under whose g re en sod John Harvey's body has moldered away; and to the north, where a broken

PAGE 221

The New League of Five. 219 column tells in its silent grandeur of tl:ie bravery fi heroic death of poor Crazy Dan. History has but little to say of the League of Fl.ire, but its memory lives in the minds of those whose fore fath e rs fought and bled under the standard of Inde pendence, carried to successful victory by George Washington, the grandest man of modern times. THE END.

PAGE 222

THE CREAM OF JUVENILE FICTION BOYS' OWN A Selection of the Best Books for Boys by the Most Popular Authors Z.HE titles in this splendid juvenile series have been aelectlDd 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 descriptions, but brimful of ad'fta ture from the first page to the last-in fact they are just tllie kind of 7ams that appeal strongly to the healthy boy who ill fond of thrilling exploits and deeds of heroism. Among the authors whose names are included in the Boys' Own Libl'U'J' are Horatio Alger, Jr., Edward S. Ellis, James Otis, Capt. Ralph Bonehill, Burt L-. Standish, Gilbert Patten and Frank H. CoaTerec. SPEOAL FEATURES OF THE BOYS' OWN LIBRARY $ $ All the books in this series are copyrighted, printed on goocl paper, large type, illustrated, printed wrappers, handsome cloth covera stamped in inks and gold-fifteen special cover designlS. j5() Titles-Price, Volume, 75 cents For sale by all booksellers, or sent, postpaid, on receipt of price by the publisher, DAVID McKAY, 6JO SO. VI ASHING TON SQUARE. PHILADELPHIA. PA. ( i )

PAGE 223

HORATIO ALGER, Jr. Oae ol the beat known and moet popular writers. Good, nlean, healthy stories for the American Boy. Adven*nrea of & Telegraph Bo:r Deen Dunham lCrie '!' Bo:r, The FiYe Hundred Dollar Check Ji'rom Canal Bo:r to President ll'rom Jl'&rm Boy to Bena.tor JJaokwooda Boy, The C. B. h.SHLEY. Mark Stanton Ned NewM>n New Yorlt Boy Tom Brace Tom Tracy Walter Oriftith Young Acrobas 0.. o1. the beat stories ever written on hunting, trapping and in the West, after the Custer Massacre. Gilbert, the Boy Trapper ANNIE ASHMORE. A .a-lid story, recording the adventures of a boy with emagglera. Bmuccler'a Cave, The CAPT. RALPH BONEHILL. Olpt. Bonehill is in the Tery front rank as an author of boys' ltories. These are two of his beat works. Xeka. the Bo:r Conjurer Tour of the Zero Club WALTER F. BRUNS. An noellent story of adventure in the celebrated Sunk Lands of lliasouri and Kansa& In the Bunk Landa FRANK H. CONVERSE. This writer has established a splendid reputatio n as a boys' author, and altb. ough his books usually command per volume, we ollel'. &he following at a more popular price. Gold of Flat Top :Mountain Happy-Go-Lucky Heir to a Million In Search of An Unknown Raco In Southern Bea.a Mystery of a Diamond That Treasure Voyage to the Gold Coaa' DA V1D Publisher, Philadelphia. (il)

PAGE 224

HAR.RV COLLINGWOOD. One of England's most successful writers of stories for bo19o Bia best etory ii! Pirate Island GEORGE H. COOMER. Two books we highly recommend. One is a splendid 1tory of 84! venture at sea, when American ships were in every port in the world, 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 XounMill. WILLIAM DALTON. Three stories by one of the very greatest writers for boys. The stories deal with boys' adventures in India, China and Aby88inia. These books are strongly recommended for boys' reading as they contain a large amount of historical information. Tiger Prince Wu Tiger White Elephant EDW A.RD S. ELLIS. These books are considered the best works this well-known writer ever produced. No better reading for bright young American& Arthur Helmuth Check No. 2134 From Tent to White Honae Perils of the Jungle On the Trail of Geronimo White llltuatang 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 Golden Magnet Dingo Boys Grand Chaoo Wutheroock ENSIGN CL.&.RKE FITCH, U. s. N. A graduate of the U. B. Naval .Academy at Annapolis, and tho roughly familiar with all naval matrera. Mr. Fitch has devoted him self to literature, and has written a series of books for boys that e'lferJ DAVID McKAY, Publisher, Philadelphla. {iii)

PAGE 225

1oung American should read. His stories are full of very interesting mformation about the navy, training ships, etc. Bound for Annapolis Clif, the Naval Cadet Cruise or the Training Ship From Port to Port Strange Cruise, A WILLIAM ltIUR.R.A Y GR.A YOON. An author of worldwidejopularity. Mr. Graydon is essentially a friend of young people, an we offer herewith ten of his best works, wherein he relates a great diversity of interesting adventures in various parts of the world, combined with ar.curate historical data. Butcher or Cawnpore, The Camp in the Snow, The Campaigning with Braddock Cryptogram, The From Lake to Wilderneas In Barracks and Wigwam In Fort and Prison Jungles and Traitors Rajah's Fortress, The White King of Africa, The LIEUT. FREDERICK GAR.RISON, U.S. A. Every American boy takes a keen interest in the affairs of West Point. No more capable writer on this popular subject could 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. 011' for West Point On Guard Cadet's Honor, A West Point Treasure, The West Point, The HEADON 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 HAR.RISON LEWIS. Mr. Lewis is a graduate of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and has written a g reat many books for boys. Among his best works are the following titles-the subjects inclmle 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 Kin& of the Island Jlidahipman Merrill Ensign Merrill Sword and Pen Valley or M:rstery, The Yankee Boys in Japan DAVID McKAY, Publisher, Philadelphia. (iv)


Download Options

Choose Size
Choose file type
Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.