The Quaker spy : a tale of the Revolutionary war

previous item | next item

The Quaker spy : a tale of the Revolutionary war

Material Information

The Quaker spy : a tale of the Revolutionary war
Lounsberry, Lionel.
Place of Publication:
David McKay
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Spies -- Juvenile Fiction ( lcsh )
Quakers -- Juvenile Fiction ( lcsh )
Children's stories ( lcsh )
United States -- Juvenile fiction -- Revolution, 1775-1783

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:
024809765 ( ALEPH )
09314681 ( OCLC )
C21-00036 ( USFLDC DOI )
c21.36 ( USFLDC Handle )

Postcard Information



This item has the following downloads:

Full Text


BOYS OF LIBERTY LIB R ARY. Cloth , handsomely bound. Price, each , postpaid, 50 cents. PAUL REVERE and the B o y s o f Libert y . By J ohn D e Morgan . T H E FIRST S HOT FOR L I BERTY or T h e Minute Men of Massachusetts. B y J ohn D e Morga n . F OOLING T H E E N E M Y. A Story of the S i e g e of B o ston . B y J ohn D e Morgan. INTO THE JAWS O F D EATH or The Boy s of L i b erty at the Battle of Long Island. By John De Morgan. THE HER O OF TICONDEROGA or Ethan Allen and His Green Mountai n Boys. B y John D e Morgan. ON TO QUEBEC or Wit h Montgomery in C a n ada. By J ohn De Morgan. FIGHTING HAL or From Fort N ecessit y to Quebec. By J ohn De M organ. MARION AND HIS MEN or The Swamp Fox o f Carolina . B y John D e Morgan. THE YOUNG AMBASSADOR or Washington's First T r iumph. By John D M organ . THE YOUNG GUARDSMAN or With Washington in the Ohio Valley. B y John De Morgan. THE CRUISE OF THE LIVELY BEE or A B o y ' s Adventur e i n the War of By John De Morgan. THE TORY PLOT or Saving W ashington's Life . B y T . C . Harbaugh. lN BUFF AND BLUE or Servi n g '1nder Old P ut. B y T . C. H arbaugh. WASHINGTON' S YOUNG SPY or Outwittin g General Howe. By T . C. Harbaugh . UNDER GREENE'S BANNER or The Boy Heroes o f r 781. By T . C . Harbaugh. FOR FREEDOM' S CAUSE or On to Saratoga. By T. C . Harbaugh. CAPTAIN OF THE MINUTE M E N or The Concor d Boys of 177!.• By Irving Hancock. THE TkADER'S CAPTIV E or The Y oung Guard s m a n and The F r ench Spies. B y Lieut . Lounsberry. tHE QUAKER SPY, A T ale of the Rev olutiona r y War. By L ieut. L o unsberry. FIGHTING FOR F R E EDOM or The B irth of the Stars and Strip e s . R1 L i e ut. Lounsberry . BY ORDER OF THE COLONE L o r The Captain of t h e Young Guards. men. B y I ieu t. Lounsberry. A CALL TO DUTY o r The Young; Guardsma n . By Lie ut. L ounsberry. 1N GLORY'S VAN or The Young Guardsm:.n at Louisbourg. B y Lieut. Lou n sberry. THE YOUNG PATRIOT or The Young Guardsmen at Fort William Henry . B y Lieut. Lounsberry. "OLD PUT" THE PATRIOT or F ighting for Home and Country. By Frede ric k A . Ober. THE LEAGUE OF FIVE or Washington's Boy Scouts. By Commander Pos t. THE K ING'S MESSENGER or The Fa11 of Ticonderoga. By C apt. Frank Ralph. PAUL JONES, The Hero of the Co l onial. N avy. B y Fran k S hendan. FROM MIDSHIPMAN TO COMMODORE or The Glories o l Our Infant Navy. B v Frank Sheridan . THE CRUISE. OF THE ESSEX or Making t h e and Stripes Re-spected. B} Fran k Sheridan . •


" One of the ruffian s with a huge dragoon pis t o l s h o t Adab's horse thr o ugh t he head." (See page 65)




Copyri&'ht, ll.,4J By STREET & SMITll The Quaker Spy


THE QUAKER SPY. CHAPTER I. THE QUAKER AS A PEACEMAKER. "Adah! Is thee crazy?" This que s tion was asked by Friend Hannah Slo co m b, in her brick mansion in Arch Street, Philadel phia, when her son, Adah Sloco m b, a giant in size, though he w a s only nineteen years of a g e, told her that he was going to l e ave the blacksmith's forge and shop, all his o wn, to s e rve his country under George Washington, then in ca m p near Easton, Pennsylvania, for this w as ea rly in December, 177 6 . "Adah! I s thee crazy ? " she repeated. "Were thy fath e r a live, what would he think w hen he heard thee say thou w ouldst join with the g odless men of war, the slayers o f m en, thou, the child of those whose profession is peace !" "He would say, were he aliv e , d e a r mother, what the mot her of Nathaniel Greene sai d to him : 'If thee think s it is thy duty to serve thy s uffering country , Nat han iel, I w ill not bid th ee st ay, for it must be the s piri t o f God which mov eth the e to r e s ist tyranny and o p p r e ssion. But, remem be r , i f thee i s w ounded in bat tle, t h e e m ust ne ve r co m e t o m e i f thy wound be in the back.'" The g rave face of H a n nah Sloco m b relaxed until the faint s ign of a s mile cam e out u po n it. "Thee has a strange w a y of an s w ering my question, rA:dab I" said she. "Hast thou for g otten that thou


6 The Quaker as a Peacemaker. bolde st a high seat in our meeting? What will Naomi say?" "That I must not resist the will of the Spirit!" said A dab, gravely. "Moreover, I go as a man of peace, not as a slayer of men, or a shedder of blood. There arc many ways in which I can serve Friend George Washingto n, an d my country, too, without placing a sword on my thigh, or a musket to my shoulder !" "The Lord bless thee, Adab ! I do not know but thou art right. But I grieve for Naomi." The lips of Adab quivered, and he r ep li ed : "I shall grieve to be absent from h e r, but it is meet tha t all true men should do their best to keep the cruel invaders from our own doors. Already they hold New York, George Washington has been forced to fall back across New Jersey, his army is growing weak and small, ye t he boldly faces the British and their Hessian mercenaries, and says he will stand bet wee n them and Philadelphia, the once sacred home of our great leader, William Penn !" "Yea! It is so!" said Hannah Slocomb, with a si g h. "Robert Morris is a truthful man, who is giving freely of his substance to the cause, and he says G eorg e Washington is a man o f prayer, merciful an d just, where mercy is justice as between man and man. That he lov es his country, he hath shown in many ways. If thou goes t, shalt not go empty handed. Go an d see Naomi Bliss, and t ell her whither tho u art going. Then come back to me and thy raiment shall be r eady, and t wo purs e s o f gold-one for thee and thine own necessities, the other for George Washington to use among his needy and often hungry sol die rs." "My o w n true mother !" That was all tha t the young blacksmith could say; but t here we re tears in his eyes as he pressed his lips on her brow, the n turned, and with a rapid step passed irom the r oom . "Hea ven bless my son and keep him from harm!"


The Quaker as a Peacemaker. 7 sighe d t h e mothe r , as t he sound o f his foots t e ps di e d a way , and then she mur mured, "Poor Naomi! It will go h ard w ith h er. Truly the ev il day s hav e come upon us all! " * * * * * * * When A da b Sloco m b passe d ou t from the house ow n e d by h is w i dowe d mothe r, not w ith the slow step and seda t e visage usua l to hi m , but flushed in face and hurri ed in gai t , h e said: "I w ill go now to visi t Naom i an d brea k to her my d e t e rmi na tion . I t w ill opp r ess her h ear t sore ly, but sh e must bea r up u nd e r i t. If a ll me n s t oo d b ackward, in thi s h our o f gloom , th e c ruel oppresso r ' s foo t would soon be o n eve ry ne ck , and the da n ge r to the young and l ov el y is t he g r ea t es t of all whe n the rude B ritish sol d i ery and t h e c rue l Hess i a n m erc e n a ries ravage the land! They m u s t b e dri v en back over th e sea, o r into it, o r e lse find grav es b e ne ath the soil t h e y see k to pos ses s . If t h e y c on qu e r , we pe ri sh , o r we exi s t i n ch a ins I Ah, w h a t i s t h a t ? A braw l betwee n me n in t h e Conti nental uniform? I t mus t no t be; i t is a di sg race to the cloth and t o t h is pea c e ful c it y." T his l as t r e m a r k c ame from the lip s o f A d a b , as he saw t w o me n i s suin g fro m t h e doo r o f a t a vern be t w e e n A rch an d Rac e , o n S i xth S t reet, for he was at the c orne r o f the l as t , b oth e ngaged i n l o ud words and evi d e n tl y prepa rin g to fig ht. They we r e in uniform, but wore no a r ms . Q u i c k ly he strode t oward t hem, h is gi ant form clad in Q u ake r clo the s, a n d his broadbri mme d hat conspic u o u s o ve r his fin e h ea d. B ut q uic k l y as h e m o v e d , they were e ngage d and b l ow s h ad passed b efore he reached t hem . With a strong g r a sp o n the c o llar of e ach, he held t h em apart at arm's l e ngth , and stern l y said : "Have ye n o sham e? This i s a c ity o f p ea c e and b rotherly love and y e make it hid e ous w ith your profan e tal k and your unm anly qua r rel."


8 The Quaker as a Peacemaker. "Let go my collar, young Broadbrim, or I'll baste you in stead o f Sam Salter there!" cri e d the one on his left hand. "Ay, l e t me g o or I'll take the starch out of you myself, Daddy Prim!" cried the other, while b o th struggled t o free themselves from his powerfu l grasp . "Friends, I ca m e h ither to make peace!" said Adab, quiet ly . "If ye will make peace I will let ye go-if not , I will teach ye a l e sson !" "Go to thunder!" cried Sam Salter, kicking at Adah, fiercely. "Let me g o, or I'll break your head !" exclaimed the other, and he struck Adah heavily in the breast. "Veril y , it seems that y e a re stubborn, and hard to convince," sai d Adab. "I will sof ten your heads, and, perhaps, your hearts will soften lik ewise . " And he suddenly brought the heads o f the t w o men together w ith a crash that could have been heard half a bl o ck away. "Will ye make peace?" he asked. And a seco nd time he bro u ght the men's heads together, with a force which must have made them see stars. By this time quite a crowd had gathered, and the two soldiers, sobered enough to see how ridiculous they looke d, and a lso to feel that they wer e helpless in the giant g rasp of the young Quaker, pleaded for release. "Will ye make peace?" he asked, as he held them off ag

CHAPTER II. A TRI.B UTE TO FREEDOM. The co t tage on Race Street in which dwelt Naomi Bliss and h er maiden aunt, Petrunia Stone, vari e d s o much from the staid, s ober-lo o kin g and substantial bric k h o uses around it, that a brief d e scription will not be am iss. It was a co ttage of the Elizabethan s t yle, with over hangin g e ave s, a broad piazza a ll around, with lattice work on the sides, over which crept climbing roses and h o ne y suckl e . A garden pl o t i n front c o nt a ine d n u m e r o u s v a rie ti es of o utdoor flo w e rs , while inside, choice flo w e rin g b ul bo us plants could be seen in the open win d o ws . Bfrds-not caged-were singing on the branches of fruit trees in the . y ard, conscious that no h a n d t he re w o uld be r a ised to drive t h em away. A n o bs erve r, who k new anything of woman and the refin ement of h e r taste , would h a ve sa id at the first g l a nce, "Here true women d w ell who love the beauties of na t u r e . " A t t h e s ame d a y and hour when Hannah Slocomb w a s forced to y ield to the arg ument of Adah that bis c ountry need e d him, Naomi was lamentin g over the d is t re s ses o f G eorge Washingto n and his brave little a rmy-poo rl y cl ad, f e d and ye t more poorly armed and e qu i p p ed , forced to retre a t before the greater arm ie s of t he B riti s h and their H essian mercenaries. Naom i had jus t r e ached her eighteenth birthday, and i n fe ature and form was exceedingly beautiful . H e r plai n Q u aker garb p e rfectl y set off her tall, wom anly, graceful figure; a m a ss of g olden brown hair c ro w n ed a fa c e s o fai r, that no stran ger on the street e ver s a w it , with out turning to get a second look, which mortified Naom i ex ceedingly , for she was roodest as she was lo v ely. The admiration and love of but one


IO A Tribute to Freedom. earthly creature fille d all her d e sire, and that one was Ada b S l oc o mb. And for this, in a gentle, loving wa y , she was ofte n chided by her Aunt Petrunia, a maiden sister to her dece a s e d m other. P e trunia Stone was a cold, grave woman, fully forty y e ars of a ge, with no d e sire to a ppe a r a da y younger than s he r ea lly was ; a maid e n by ch o ice, to o , for she -., had refu s ed a h alf dozen very eligible off e rs, in a w o rldly point of vi e w. If she had any tend erne ss it was love for her niece, though she s e e m ed to strive not to show that, but to appear cold and dead to a ll worldly sympathies and attachments. These two, with two negro servants-a woman named Chlo e , who was c o o k , w asher and ironer ; a man name d J esse , who w as t h e ir p orte r , gard e n e r and man of all work, taking care o f the one h orse and hug e two-wheeled chaise in which the y occasi o nally rode out-for f e w, n o matter how wealthy, used coaches in those days-w ere all who occupi e d the handsome cot tage. Naomi was sitting in the front room, but so far back that she could not see the stree t o r b e seen from it, at the time when Ada b, fre s h fro m h is last effort at pe a ce making, came toward the hous e . She was engaged in sewing, as was also h e r aunt, but the l atte r, n o t afraid to be s e en from th e street , o r any wh e re else, in truth, sat near the window, wher e her e y es caugfit sight of Adah so m e time before he r ea ch e d the house. A very sli ght tin g e of c o lor c a me into the face of Petrunia w hen s he saw A d a b , a nd s he s aid: " Naomi, thy friend, Ada b S l o c o mb, cometh this w ay, clad not in his w o r kd ay d r e ss , but in the bett e r suit which he w e a r e t h t o m e e ting. It is lik ely he in tend s to pay the e a v i s it." "If he doth, he k n ows he will be w elcome," said Naomi.


A Tribute to Freedom. II And the c o l o r in her fair cheeks deep e ned till she w a s ro s y r e d from the chirt to the tem ples . "The e need not blush , child ," sa id Petrunia. "For Adab is a godly man, who stands high in the meeting, and hath a m other whom I esteem g reatl y ." "If I blush, dear aunt, it is for joy that he cometh," s a id Naomi, in a gentle tone. And she rose , not to go to her glass to see how she l oo ked , but to go to the door to admit Adab, for she preferre d to m e e t him alone in the entry, lest her aunt sh o uld re p rove he r for the warmth of her greetin g . She w a s on h e r way to the door when his hand l i fted t he braz e n knock e r that hung outside, an d the n ex t second she ope n ed the door and he entered the little entry, and hand r r aspe d hand, while lip met lip in a pure but w a rm s a l ute. "Is thee w ell? " was the question asked by each and answ e red in the affirm ative, and th e n Naomi led the w a y into th e fr ont s ittin g -room, where P etrunia Stone s at, pale and thoughtful. " I am g lad to s e e thee, Friend Adah," she said , not r i s i n g in any demo n s trative way, but extending her h and as he came for war d. "Thou art always welcome to our humble home." "I k n ow that," s a id Adah, "or I should not come. But I f e a r that I sh a ll se e few suc h ple asant homes as Primrose Cottage for a long time to come. I am going on a j o urney ." "On a journey , t o le ave thy m other and thy occupation?" sa id P etrunia , with much more force than her w o nted g ravity exhibited. "Surely thee does not me a n it?" Naomi l o oked a t him wonderingly, but she did not sp eak, whil e he replied to her aunt. "Yea , I have he ard wit h sorrow how George Washin g t o n is beset and sor e pressed by the minions of a t yrant wh o wo uld ens lave all in America, who is even now ruthlessly robbing our p e ople, burning the homes of helpless women and children, and threatening us-


A Tribut e to Freedom. even us, in this city of and of brotherly love. And I . have felt that it was not becoming to me a s a strong man, a young and a healthy one, to live here in comfort when God-fearing and true men suffer with hunger and cold and endure all mann e rs o f privati o ns to keep back the ruthless inv a ders from our doors. " " A dah Slocomb, surely thee doth not int e nd to be come a slayer of men I" cried Petronia Stone, h e r face becoming almost a marble g ray in its pallor. "Nay, I am a man of peace. I will not gird a . sword upon my thigh, nor yet take a u po n my s h oul@er; but there are many ways in w hich i t is possible for me to serve my suffering country. These ways George Washington will d iscover and po int out to me, for to his camp m y jou rney w ill e x t e nd." "Why d o es n o t thee s pea k , Nao mi?" cri e d her aunt, in a ton e of i m p ati e nce. " D o es n ot t hee care whether or not thine a ffianced h u sb a nd g o e th into dan ger?" The lip s o f N aomi quiv e red, and her blue eyes were moist w hen s h e replied : "I s hall g rieve w h e n I feel th a t he is in bodily peril, yet I f e el t ha t h e i s ri ght. It i s the spir i t o f th e g ood Fat her a bove whi ch m o vet h hi m , even a s it mo v ed t h e g o od an d wise me n of ol d to r e sist thos e who would e n slave or sla y th e m . And hath h e not sa i d th a t h e would n o t b e come a slaye r o f men?" "Yea, h e hath s aid th a t," sa id P e tronia. " But if he shoul d b e i n a b at tl e a nd th e e n emy sh o uld c om e upon hi m in t heir m i ght, he would b e s l a in." "The n th e F ath e r will ca r e for hi s s p i rit , a nd I will say , 'Th e L ord g a ve a nd the Lo r d hat h taken h is own.' Who s hall murmur a g ainst the w ill o f t h e Lord?" "My own true Naomi! " c r i ed A d ab, fondly . " Thou dos t stre ngthen me greatly i n my r e so lve, a n d I feet, m o r e than ever, that it is my duty to go." "What s aith thy mo t h e r , Frien d H a nn a h Slocomb? It is w ritten that thou shalt honor thy par ents, and hearken to them , " continued P et r uni a S tone. "She not only consents t o my going, bu t furnishes


A Tribute to Freedom. 13 me with a purse of gold to give George Washington, for necessities for his sick and needy soldiers ; and she furnishes me with another purse, which she saith I must use for mine own necessities, but. in the main, its conteDts will go with the irst, for I am strong and healthy, and my needs will be few." "And shall we be cold to the needs of the suffering, Aunt Petrunia ?" cried Naomi , impulsively . "I have a purse of too, to apare for those who suif er in our defense. "Child I child I they are godless men of war that thee wouldst assist." "Aunt Petronia, they cannot be godless who follow and obey a man like Geor g e Washington. They war upon tyranny and oppre ss ion, and to save life and fiberty. If I were a man, I would go with Adah to help them." "I am glad thee is not a man," said Petrunia, gravely. "Thee has more enough spirit, as a woman. Do as thou wilt with thy money, but I have none to give to those who smite with the sword." And rising, she left the room. Adah was not sorry, for he had words of thankful tenderness to speak to N a.omi which he did not wish should reach any ears but hers. "Thee will a void all the perils thou canst, consistent with thy duty," said Naomi, as she placed her gift, a purse full of gol d sovereigns, in Adah' s band. "Verily, I will, for thy sake, dear Naomi, and for the of my mother. But where I see my duty guideth, there must I go , peril or no peril ; for my life, as thou hast said, is in the hands of Ifon who gave it." "Truly tho u hast spoken, Adah. With thy mother, I w ill pray for thy safety , and for the success of those who suffer for thei r c ountry. Aid them with my gold, and i f ever thou seest a place where my weak hands can do go od, send for me, and I will come--yea, even if it be where the contending armies meet." "Naomi, thou art almost an angel."


A Tribute to Freedom. "Nay, Adah; it is irreverent in thee so to speak. Hush-say no more. Aunt Petrunia is coming back. Put that gold in thy pocket, lest she see it and chide me again." "To keep peace within the house is a duty!" said Adah, with a smile, as he pocketed the purse. "Come over to the dwelling of my mother before I go out by the ev e ning stage that goes through Germantown, and we will there say our parting words." "I will come," said Naomi. Adah had risen, and with his hat on his head stood ready to depart, when Petrunia Stone came in. "Adah, is t hee going so soon?" she asked. "Yea. Time presses, and before I depart from the city I must direct my workmen in the shop, so that in my absence my customers may not be neglected, nor the beasts which require shoeing go unshod." "Thou art thoughtful and provident, Adah. Did I not hear thee say that the followers of George Washington were suffering from hunger and cold?" "Yea, such is the common report," said Adah. "Then if thee sees any one who is cold because of lack of clothing, or hungry because he hath not where with to purchase food, assist him, so far as the few coins herein will extend," said Petrunia Stone. She handed him the foot of a woo len stocking, well filled with coin, both silver and gold. "Thee is a dear, good soul , Petrunia Stone!" cried Adah, and before the old maid knew what he meant to do, he had seized her in his strong arms with a crushing hug, and kissed her thrice upon her thin lips. "Adah I Adah! Thou shouldst be ashamed of thy s elf-and before her, too!" cri e d Petrunia, turning as red as a peony. "I c o uldn't h e lp it; the spirit moved me," said Adab, smilin g ly. "Then I must not chi d e thee , for the will of the spirit must be obeyed," s a id Petrunia. "But the spirit must not move thee thus a g ain. Make no mention of


The Spy's Instructions. 15 my little gift, but use it as seemeth just and right unto thee." "The su ffering shall bless thee !" was all that Adab repli ed, and the n, shaking aunt and niece by the han d, he departed. CHAPTER III. THE 5py'5 INSTRUCTIONS. The cold, sharp winds of hlte December beat furi ousl y against the thin sides of the t ent us ed as head quarters by the commander-in-chief of the Revolu ti o nary Army-Gen. George Washington. Before this tent a huge fire of oaken logs burned cheerfully, and between it and the tent, on a lo g , sat four generals, besides Washington himself. One was Sulli va n, the successor in command of the division of Gen. Lee, who h a d been captured by the B ritish, within twenty miles of New York, on the thirte e nth of that month, throu g h his own want of caution. Sullivan had safely brought his division through New Jersey, though closely followed by a far superior force, and had just crossed the Delaware at Philips burg, and joined his chief near Easton on the Pennsyl vania side. The other generals were Irwin, Cadwallader and Greene. They were holding a council, and every face, that of Washington alone excepted, was full of gloom. The enemy, under Cornwallis, now h e ld a great part of Eastern New York and all of New Jersey, waiting only for the river to freeze over solidly so as to support troo p s and cannon, to move upon Philadelphia, where Con g ress had been recently assembled. The American troops, lessened two-thirds by deser tion and losses, as well as by sickness and privations, were greatly disheartened, and nothing but decisive


16 The Spy's Instructions. action, with an important success, could keep them together much longer. In truth, the united divisions only numbered about seven thousand men, and many of those were ready to leave the army when their term of enlistment expired, at the close of the year. "Gentlemen," said Gen. \Vashington, in reply to a r emark of a despondent nature, made by one of the gen erals, "ge ntl e men, there i s no excuse for such utte r des p on d ency. There was never yet a night without a d a y to follow it. Those who hav e intrusted the defense of our c ountry to us, look for action, and we must give them ac tion to look upon I" "Then let them f e ed, clothe and pay our soldiers I" said G e n. Irw in, bitterly. "Unfed, almost naked, they are not fit fo r ac ti on." "Not so lo u d, general. I can listen to discontent fro m offic e rs, but the soldiers must not hear it!" "Thee knows that they feel it," said the Quaker gen eral, Nathaniel Greene. "Yes, and my h eart bleeds for the causes which lead to di s content. Our men suffer, but do not we suffer with t h em? My tent is as simple and as poorly fur nish e d a s that of the h umblest non-commissioned offi c e r in your command. Eve n now I cannot ask you to sup with me , for l a ck of viands to offer you." The g-enerals looked abashed, but Sullivan looked up and said: "We complain not for ourselves, general, but for those whom we would gladly lead to action if we could." "Ge ntlemen, before this day week is over, you shall meet the enemy," said Gen. Washington. "I have a plan, and if I can send one trusty man inside the en e my's lines to find out h o w they are situated, their numbers and outworks, I do not cfoubt but success will crown our eff o rts . " Here there was an interruption and a voice cried: "How does thee do, Nathaniel? Can thee tell me where I will find George Washington?"


The Spy's Instructions. 17 The t a ll , nob ly forme d yo u n g man, who thus boldly approach e d the g r o u p , w as cl a d in the usual Quaker g arb, and see med to h a ve no id e a of , or care for military d i sc i p l in e, or di ffere nce o f r a nk, for he did not halt u n til h e w as w ith i n reach of Gen. Greene ' s hand, which he t oo k and shook cordially. "Thee sure l y knows me, b ut 1 am sore l y p u zz led to pl a ce t h e e i n my m emory," s ai d t h e good -natured Gree ne . "Hast thou fo r g o t t e n t h y o l d fri end , J e re m i a h Slocomb , and h i s w i f e, Hannah? T h o u h as t o ft e n held me on th y k n e e whe n I w as a pra t t l in g boy , and I coul d n o t fo rge t t hee ! " " B l e s s me ! I t m u s t b e Adab, t he youn g bla c k smith from P h i l a de l p hi a , " s a i d Gen . G r e en e . " I did ind e e d kno w thy pa r ents well, and have stopped o ft e n be n eath t he i r r oo f w h e n thy fa th e r li ved , " sa id t h e g eneral. "But wh y art t h ou c om e h it h e r ? T hou a r t s t out , and has t a fin e presen ce. If th y he art i s b u t h a lf as nob le a s thy form, I t hink I c a n clai m t h e e fo r a sol die r . " "Na y, nay; I am a m a n o f p e a c e," sai d Adah, gra v e l y . " I a m a n xi o us an d willin g t o se r ve m y s u f f e ri n g c o un t ry, but th e r e a re ways in wh ich I can be of u s e withou t gi r d ing a s w ord t o my th i g h as t ho u has d one . Where c a n I find G e o r g e Wash i n gto n ?" "He stan ds th e re , " s a id Ge n. G re e n e , p o intin g t o the n o bl e-loo king h e ro o f the age , w ho ha d a ris e n and was inte n t l y r e g ardin g t he strange r. " F r ien d Geo r g e, a re thre e purses of go ld and silver coi n , in a ll n ea rl y thre e hundre d pounds sterling, whi c h have been s e n t t hee b y three w o me n o f our per s u asio n fo r th e u se o f t h y s i ck a nd n e e dy m e n. One of th e wom en w as Pet runia S t one, a n ot h e r N ao mi Bliss, and the t hird my moth e r. I h av e ano ther purse whicfl I w ill u se for the c a u s e where I s ee it s need." Thu s spea kin g , Adab a dvanc e d a s t e p and laid the t w o purse s and Petrunia 's well-filled stocking foot on


18 The Spy's Instructions. a table composed of two rough pine boards, near which Washing ton had been sitting. "Gentlemen, who c a n despond when the women of the most kindly and peaceful sect in the world thus rend e r us ma terial aid?" cried Washington. Then g r asping Adah by his hand, he said: "My stalwart and true-hearted friend, you c ould never have come more opportunely to us than now. The gift yo u bring shall be expended in medicine and hospital stores, which now are sadly needed. As for yourself, since yo u object to using the sword, I have a mission w hich, if we ll fulfilled, will be of more value to you r cou n t r y than a thou sand swords fresh and eager for the fray." "I am ready t o serve my country, and will go where soever thou dost think it best to send me," said Adab, qui e tly, making no salute or ob e isance, nor removing his hat as a soldie r mi ght have done in that presen ce. "It will require more courage than would be needed in a battle, more caution o r prudence than is often found in the young, ye t I b e lieve yo u possess them all and can carry out my desires, eve n though if detected your l ife will most likely pay the forfeit." "I repeat, Friend George, that, und er thee, I am ready to serve my country in any cap a city, except that of serving under a rm s . And this l ast I object to, not through fear of suffering or of death, but b e cause it runs contrary to my principles as a man of peace . " "I understand and honor you r motive, though I do not make peace in you r sty l e," said Washington, smil ing. "Come i nside my tent and I wi ll give you instruc t ions, which, if fully carri ed out, will inform me of every position held by the enemy across t he river, his strength and his most assailable poin ts. Generals, enter with me, while we examine the maps and see where it is best for honest Adah Slocomb to pass the river." The g enerals arose, and a ll of them went inside the tent, which was barely large enough to hold them, as


I n the Patriot's Home-Adah's Ruse. 19 they grou p ed around a small writing t able c ove r ed w ith m a p s, lett e rs a nd pap e rs. Al l h a d to stand . T h e r e w as b u t o ne s t oo l in s id e the tent, an d t h e camp b e d o f Washin g t o n was a bl a nk e t s p r ead o u t on cedar b o ughs, w ith a s e cond one for a c ov e r . Qui ck ly th e rout e w a s c h ose n, v e rb a l i ns tructi ons giv e n, a nd w i th i n t e n mi nut e s t he Quake r sp y was on his w a y to the li nes o f th e e n emy, w i t h orde rs to cross , u nseen, b e l o w Trent o n, t hen c ome up t h e eas t b an k of the Dela w are, and to e n te r their c a n t on me n ts , avow edly in s ea r ch o f wor k a t his trade, r e ady to s ee all that cou l d b e see n, and esp e cially to note e ve ry avenue of approach . He wa s a lso to n o te all fortifi e d points, and what arma m ent they he ld, fin d out the numb e r and kind of troops a t all p o i n ts, an d se e the s t a t e of the fords , if the r e were any , the ferries, and how the last were guard ed . H i s i ntelli g e nce , his courage, his prude nce and self control w ere all to be te s ted, and thou g h Washington was confident he would go through the ordeal, Adah hims elf feared the result. "If I am discovered as a spy and meet death as such, let my p e ople know that what I did w a s done for the good of my country," was all he said when he departed on his errand. said one t hing more : "If I su ccee d , Frie nd George , look for me in three, or, at leas t, four day s." CHAPTER IV. I N THE PATRIOT'S HOME-ADAB'S RUSE. When Ada b l eft the c amp of Gen. W ashington he was furni s hed w it h a st rong a n d s e r viceabl e h o r s e, such a on e a s wa s nece s s a ry t o c arry h i s wei ght, whic h was


20 In the P atriof's Home-Adah' s Ruse. ov e r t w o h u n dred p o unds , fo r h i s g i ant form, though n o t fat , was made u p of bone, mus cle and h ard flesh . This h orse he w a s to l eave w ith a p a t rio t fa rme r whom Washin gto n n am e d , wh o d wel t n ea r the r iver b ank, and to who m A da h was to ap ply for me an s to cross the riv e r a ft e r n i ght s e t in, for h i s route l a y b e low all the fords, and t h e re w as no f erry near t h e p oin t a t wh i ch he wa s d irecte d to cross. Once a cr o s s, he was to gui d e h imse lf entir e l y by what he s aw . Ridin g swi f tl y down the river ro ad , t he Quake r reach e d the h o u s e of the patriot far mer, Job Turn er , just after darkn e ss had set in, and di s mou ntin g , hitched his hors e near the gate of the front yard, a nd, ad vancing to the door , knocked. His knock must have be e n heavy and startling, for the farmer came to the door himself, h oldin g a light in one hand and a hug e horse pistol in the ot h er. "Who are you, and what do you want ?" he sternly asked, as one of his buxom daughters threw the door open for him, and he confronted Adah. "Put thy deadly weapon aside, and I will tell thee," said the latter, showing no trepidation , thou g h the cocked pistol was leveled full at his bre as t. "I come from thy friend, George Washington, and have a letter for thee." "So, ho!" cried the sturdy farmer. "You're only a Quaker. Dang my buttons! if I didn ' t think y ou was one of them sassy Hessians from o ve r the river. They've been here to-day when I was awa y , sassing my gals; and if my old woman, Sally Ann , hadn't had a kettle of hot water on , and doused ' em w i t h dipperful after dipp e rful , till the y cleared out, the re's no kno w ing what they wouldn ' t have done. If y o u' ve a let te r from G e n. Washington , let ' s see it. If it ' s all ri ght, you 're w e lcome Adah took out the l etter and handed it to the farmer . "Here, Almiry , you read it. You kn o w hi s hand write," said the farmer, to the rosy-cheeked , auburn-


In the Patriot's Home__.!.:Adab's Ruse. 2 I haire d, buxom g irl of eighteen or t wenty years, who stood beside him . Almira quickly opened the letter, and read these words: "FARMER JOB TURN E R : The bearer, Adab Slocomb, is a true patri o t, sent on an i mportant duty . Treat him with hosp itality , a id him to cross the river , an d care for his horse while he is gone. By thus doing you will serve your country and you r friend, "G. WASHINGTON." "Almiry, that sounds ri g ht. T ak e M r. Adab Slo comb in and ge t supper fo r him, while I put his horse in the barn," s a id Farmer Turner. And Adab, noth in g loath , for he smelled the odor of a g ood supper, followed the d a msel into the family room, where two m ore auburn-haired sisters, one o lde r and o ne a couple of y ears younger than Almira, with their mo the r, a stron g -featured, resolute woman of fift y years o r th ereab out , arose to receive him. " M r. S l oco mb, mother-a fri e nd of G e n. \Vashing ton, with a l etter to father, " said Almira, by way of introd ucti o n. "Sit ye dow n, Mr. Slocomb," said th e matron. "Any friend of Gen. Washington is welcome here." "Thee will please call me Adab, or Frie nd Slocomb, I am neith e r a mister no r a n esquire, nor do I h o ld to any vain titles, " said Ada h , grave ly, whi l e h e took a seat quickly proffered b y the younger sister, the pret ti est of the three. "Yes, I know it is a way w ith your people. We'll call you Adab, and hope t o find you a friend," said Mrs. Turne r. " I thank thee, Sally Ann ; I fee l friendly to all who love t h eir suffering c ountry. " "Great Cresar ! How c am e you to know my name?'' "I heard thy husb anr) , Job, utter it, when he t o ld me of the good use to whi c h thee put hot water to-day."


2 2 In t he Patriot's Home-Ada h's R u se. "Ho! ho! Did he t ell yo u that ? 'Twould h ave d o ne your v ery so ul good t o see them Hessian repti les d an c e ! One o f ' e m w as just r ea chin g ou t t o hug Almiry w h e n h e go t about a g all o n o f b o iling water right in his fa c e and eyes. " Job Turne r p r e se n t l y c a me in, and suppe r w a s at on c e serve d , fo r it h a d b ee n all r eady when Adab knocked at t he do o r. Ada b a te heartily, for he k n e w he was welcome, and i t mi ght n o t be ea s y to fin d a n o the r in the co untr y i mp o veri s h e d b y t h e fo ragi n g of invading troo ps . " H as th ee a c a n o e or b attea u in whi c h I c a n be set across t he river?" ask e d A dab, of J o b Turne r , afte r suppe r was ov e r. "Yes . I h a ve a du g out," s a id Turner. " B u t i t will not do to cro ss t ill the m oo n i s d o w n , which will be some t h ree h o u r s y et , fo r th e r e is a camp of H ess ia ns oppos ite, wh i ch wo uld q uick l y pounce upon us if the y discov e r ed us crossin g ! " " T h ee is t h o u g htfu l and w i s e , a n d I will t a r ry here unti l t he m o on is down. A nd I w ill arrange w i t h th ee to l oo k fo r me o n the third night h ence. I will g e t clo se u n d e r t he riv e r b ank w h ere t h e enem y ' m ay n o t s ee i t, and make three flash e s o f l i ght at in t e r vals w hile I c ount t we n ty. T h e n thee c a n come with t h y boat whe r e t he li g h t is s e en ! " , " I'll d o it!" said T urne r. " I d o no t as k wh ere you are g o i ng, o r what you a re t o do, fo r Washington is wi se and intru s ts hi s p l a ns onl y to those w h o are to e xe c u t e them. I kno w tha t, for I h av e a lr eady helped hi m ma n y ti mes . " "Thee is r i ght," said A d a b. " N o o n e but Geo r g e W a sh i n gto n m u s t k now m y erra n d u n til it i s d o ne, a n d I r eturn t o hi m. Thee h as a n i c e fam il v, n o t affli cted with c uriosity, e it h e r , fo r t h y d aughte rs have a s ked me no questions , n e ith e r h as Sally Ann, thy wife! " "The gal s a nd their mothe r h ave a kn ack o f attending to t h eir ow n busin ess, an d n o t i n t erfer in g w i t h that of oth ers!" said J ob , qui e tl y .


'In the P atriot's Home-Adah's Ruse. 23 "Fa t h e r, father! T h e re are two b oa t s c o min g a cross the r iver, fu ll of soldi e rs ! I saw thei r a r ms gii t ter ing i n t h e m oo nlig ht!" cri e d Susanna h, w h o had been out a t th e front door . "Th e c ursed Hessians ! They c om e to b urn and to de stroy!" cr i ed Job Turner. " W i fe, ge t m y g un. I w ill load the m u s ke t l ef t by one o f t hose c oward l y Hessian s y o u sca l ded . Yo u and t h e g irl s m u s t run, but I'll drop s o m e o f 'em before they ruin me !" A d ab a rose and said, in h i s g rave, cal m way : " I t is s h adowy i n front of thy h o use. From the ri ver they c a n n o t see h o w m a n y a r e he r e . Dra w up all thy fam i ly j us t i n t he e d g e o f t h e moo nli g ht, a n d when I hail t h e bo a t s fro m the sho r e , fir e all th y firearms, one a ft e r a n o th e r fr om the shadow, fast as thou ca ns t d o i t. Bu t cease afte r the first v oll ey . I h a ve bethou g h t m e o f a p lan that may s e n d t h e m b a ck i n terro r. " "All r ight. We'll t ry your plan! " s aid Job. "If the y l a n d, S a lly A nn an d th e girls ca n g et awa y on the h o rs es." Ada h no w s trode o u t of t h e h o use , and down to the si d e of a l a rge sy c am ore tre e b y the sh o re of the riv e r. The boats we re in p lain s i g ht, and already w i thin guns h o t o f the s h o re. "Halt ! Who co m es th ere?" sho u ted Adah, in a ste ntor ia n vo ice. "Guard , turn o ut! Turn out I Alarm Lee ' s Li g h t Hor se a n d G r eene' s A rtill e r y !" At t he sam e i nstant Job Turner c o mmenced a rattlin g d i sch a r ge o f fire a rms, and a bu g le blew out a loud and sta r t ling b l ast. "Mo u n t I Prepa re to charge !" shouted Adah, in a different tone . "Load w ith grape and c a niste r !" he cried again , in a s t ill diffe r e nt t o ne. It r equired n o furthe r alarm ; the Hess i an s , b e lievin g a heav y a r me d for c e oc c up ied the bank of t h e ri ver, put back a s fa s t as th e y c o u l d row, a pp a r e nt ly o nl y too glad


24 In the Patriot's Home-Adah's Ruse. to get away before "Greene's artillery" could open upon them. Adab, laughing quietly to himself, now returned to the house. "Adah, you're just the smartest man on the face of the earth!" cried Mrs. Turner, as she threw p e r arms around him and kissed him. "For such a small service, Sally Ann, thee is exceed ingly de m onstrative!" he said, as he disengaged him- • self from her embrace. "Sm all s e r v ice, fri e nd Adab? I call it a g reat serv ice; for if you hadn ' t frightened the H e s s ians back, they would most likely have burned up everything I had, e v e n if w e escaped with our lives! " c ried Job Turner. "I think I can still do thee a greater service by boldly going over in thy boat, which I can row, and deceiving them. For I will say I have fled from the warriors who sought to force me to take up carnal weapons, and to become like unto them." "But suppose they shouldn't believe you, and should kill you?" almost sobbed Susannah, the elder. "I think they will believe me. P e ople of my sect seldom t ell an untruth-no r would I, were it not for a go o d end. I can tell them the forces on this side are preparing to cro s s , and they will flee, and leave this vicinity , for already their fears are excited." "The pl a n i s fir s t r a t e , i f Friend Adab cc..n carry it out , " said Mrs. Turner. " H e w ill try," said Adab, modestly. Ten m inutes later he was rowing vi g oro u sly across the_ De l a w are, while Job Turner fired several bla.nlr cartridges after him.


CHAPTER V. THE SPY AMONG THE ENEMY. plied the paddle of the pine dugout, or canoe, with a quick and strong hand, and when he neared the Hessian encampment , on the opposite shore, he ap peared to the soldiers who ran down in the bright moonlight to see him land, to be terribly fri ghtened . Some of them spoke to him in the German tongue as he drew the canoe far up on the shore and fastened its bow rope to a tree. To these he said: "I understand ye not. I speak no foreign tongue." An officer came forward who spoke English well, and asked Adah w ho he was and whence he came. "I am a man o f peace, a blacksmith by trade, and un g oldly men o ver the water sought to force me into their ranks against my will and duty," said Adah, earn estly. "They are preparing to cross over, and they are forcing all able-bodied men to come with them, and I fled in the first boat that I could find." "You did w e ll t o come here, for we who are in the serv i ce of England's king can protect you," said the office r, who commanded th is advanced post. "We are about to fall back to our main force a t Trenton, and there, no doubt, yo u can find service at your trade, for we need artisans in iron badly." "It is well ! " said Adah. "I will go with ye gladly, for those wicked m en made me sore afraid-they were so many and so fier ce." "Yes, we have reconnoitered the opposi te shore and found a large force there. Did I understand you to say they int ended to cross to this side?" "Yea, if they ca n find boats wherewith to cros s," said Adah. "I wa s not in their councils and cannot say of a verity what were their intentions, only I know by the


26 The Spy Among the Enemy. sound of their firearms as I fled that they meant n<> good to me." "Most likely they meant to kill you and keep you from warning us of our danger. But we will be beyond their reach when they land ; and as you have done us a good turn we will afford you rations and transpor t a tion to our he a dquart e rs, where, perhaps, you will ind emp lo yment at your handcraft." "I g ive th ee thanks ! " s aid Adah, we ll pleased at the eas y manner in which he had b ecome affiliated, so t0 speak, with the enemy. The Hessian c ommander now call e d a non-commis sioned officer, who a lso spoke Eng lish , and placed Adab under his care, t e lling him to find him food now, and transportation when the comman d moved, which would occur as soon as the moon w ent down. They were to leave the camp fires burning, and to steal away in silence. Adab went with the sergeant, and managed, for ap pearance sake, to worry down a second supper, topped off with a good bracing cup of black coffee. Then he slipped down to the c anoe without attracting attention, and with a piece of chalk from his vest pocket, wrote these words : "FRIEND ]OB: I am safe. Remember the signal. Thine enemies will trouble thee no more. They decamp with the moon." His mi s sive was written on a loo se board and thrown upside down in the canoe, where h e hoped Job Turner or his sharp-eyed dau ghte rs wou l d find it. Then he returned to the camp, and with in an hour n as on his way to Trenton with the Hessian battalion. He was furnished with a s eat in a huge, covered wagon on a pil e of boxes, a nd findin g a roll of blankets, he s tretched himself out a,1d slept irnundly. P e rhaps had he known that those b oxes contained cartridges and fix e d ammunition , he would not have


The S py Among the Enemy. '17 e n j o yed hi s ni g h t' s r e s t s o we ll , fo r b oth t h e guards on t he fron t o f the wago n , as w e ll as the d riv e r, who r o de t h e off w h e e l ho r se , smoke d their long pipes with true G e rman n o nchal a nc e . In his ignorance o f the combust i v e da n ger he found b l i ss, fo r A dab s l e p t s o undl y all night, a n d di d n o t w a ke until after sunris e, whe n t h e comm an d wa s . filing int o Trento n. H e re, w h e n t h e co m man d h a lt e d, and b egan t o pitch tent s in a n ew e nc a mpment, h e l e ft t he wago n, a n d, fo r a t im e , wand ere d uninterrupt e d ov e r th e e nca mp ments, taki n g kee n note o f t roo p s, p o s iti o ns, for t ifica ti o n s, e tc . They we r e m e t n ea r t h e headqu a r t ers b y C ol. Rahl , the comm a nde r o f the troops , and Maj. M alth a us, whose d e t ach m ent he ha d encounte r ed at th e landing , and A d a b w as q u e s t io n ed close l y b y t h e s e offic e r s . Profe ssi n g anxi ety fo r wo r k , Rahl a t o nc e s ent him to h i s a r m o rer, wher e , at a mova bl e a r my for ge, he s o on made hi mse lf so u s e fu l that a ll s u sp icion of his being any t hing bu t w ha t he profe s se d t o be, a Quaker and a g o od bl a cksmi t h, was sp ee di l y a ll ayed. The work a t whic h h e w as s et-sharpe ni n g, l e ngthenin g and t emp e ring b ayone t s was n e w t o him , but he acqu itted him self s o w e ll t ha t the a r mo r e r and his mat e s made u p t he i r m inds to h a ve a p r iva t e carouse, s inc e t he n e w c o me r cou l d ev i d e ntly do their work in the time all otte d to t h e m, and q u ite as we ll. H a d t hey k n o w n what Adab p roceeded t o do as soon as they left, they m i ght hav e f e ! t l es s c om for t abl e over their m u g s o f foam in g bee r. He s a i d to hims elf: " T hese carnal weap o n s are no w e x c eed in g l y w ell tem p ered, and t e mpe r is da n gero u s t o human l ife a n d s a f ety . I w ill softe n them , so that th e y m ay be l es s dang e rous i f b rough t t o b ear upo n t h e bre asts of my patri o t ic c ountry men . " And q u ickly he had t he m a ll a t a wh it e h ea t , from w h ich h e took the m and all ow in g t hem t o c o ol slo w ly on the ground, ev e r y p a rticl e of t empe r w as taken from


28 The Spy Among Enemy. them, and they would b end on meeting a very slight ob s t a cl e . Tha t ni g ht, when all was still, Adab stol e softly from t he to w n, eva ding t he post s o f the s e ntinels , which he had obs e rved during the day , an d long b e fore dawn he had t ake n note of the B ritish force quart e red in Princeton, a nd when the sun arose was eng age d in making a d etour around Trenton, so as to take in Bor dentown and Burlington, down the river, befor e his return. He had secured quite a supply of Dutch black bread and chees e while in Trenton , filling his capaci o us pock ets, so that he had no occa s i o n t o halt anywhere for refreshment, and striding along at a r ap id gai t in t h e rear o f the B ritish lines, he met with no interruption until near ni g htfall, when he was within a short dis tance of Burlington. Here he met a British scouting party, consisting of a s e rgeant and two drago

T he Spy Among the Enemy. '.29 fee l in g of that p o int ? Turn a rou nd, and m o ve forward, or I'll run yo u through ! " The se r gean t dropped t h e point o f h is s w o r d t o the breast of A d a h a n d pricked h i m s lightl y . "Thee is to o c a r e le ss wit h e dged tools," s a id Adah. And, q u i ck e r than t h ought, he s natche d the sword from t he s e rgeant's h a nd, and struck h i s ho rse a t e r rible s lap on it s q u arte rs w ith the fla t bl ade, and a s it rush ed away at a g allo p , he clutch ed ea ch of the s ol d ier s on t h e right and felt b y t h e sh o ulders , a n d bro u ght them fro m t heir s ad dl e s to the ground with s u ch terrib l e fo rce that they lay there stunned an d h e l p les s . A ll this occurring at t he e d g e of a thick for es t , w hich lay betwe e n the road and the ri ve r , Adah g l a nc e d at the sergeant, who had s ucceeded in c h ec king his h orse several hundred yards away, and was now returning, pi s tol in h a nd, and s a i d : "If I t arry I shall be forced to s l a y tha t profane sol dier, or submit to be slain. I will cont inue my journe y, firs t d es poiling the se P hilistines of their deadly weap o ns." Thus s p eaking, he broke the swords bel o ngin g to the drag oons , secured their pistols , which he placed beneath his cap acious waistcoat, in s ide the wais t band of his strong, drab breeches, and as the s ergeant gal loped furiously toward him, waved a farewell, and then, leaping the fence, disappeared in the thick undergrowth of the for e st. The sergeant arrived too late to get a sh o t with the only weapons left in the party , his own p i s tols , for Adah was already out of s i ght. The t w o pri v ates lay groanin g on the ground, to which they had b e en brought w i t h su c h a t e rrible shock that one l a y w i th a disloc a te d shou l de r, the oth e r with a bro ke n thi g h bott e . "Tha t Q uak e r is a d e vil incarn a te. I n ever f e lt s uc h a crushing grasp!" cried the soldier, who se shoulder was out of joint. "We'll hav e a pretty s tory to tell when we get back to headq uarters!" muttered the sergeant. "Three well-


30 The Spy Among the Enemy. armed men of his maj esty 's horse disarmed and whipped by an unarmed Quaker!" "If you're fool enough to t e ll the story," said the soldier, who lay groaning with a broken thigh. "Why not make up a tale , and say we were dismounted by the rebels, taken prisoners , and th e n left to make our way back as we c ould? If you tell the truth you'll be re duc e d to the ranks." "Egad! that is so! I'll make up a story, and mind you both stick to it," replied the serg eant. He now managed, with a great deal of difficulty on his part, and much suffering on theirs , to remount his two men and then to slowly return to the command whence he had been dispatched, there to t ell a marvelous tale of a rebel attack and charge, his own prowess, and the final release of himself and his wounded com panions, without arms, for he threw away his pistols, to make his story credible. Meantime, thinking that the information he had gained in re gard to the forces of the enemy at Trenton and Princeton of sufficient importance to justify his return. even earlier than was anticipated, to report to Gen. Washington, Adab made his way to the river bank, hoping to find some means of crossing to the other side. For he knew that his last exploit would make it very hazardous if troops were met who had heard of it. To his great annoyance , though he traced the river bank upward nearly all da y, he found no boat, but just at dusk he recognized a house nearly o pposite as that of Job Turner. He crep t up to where he had left the canoe. It was gone. The n thinking of the signal he had agreed to make, he took a flint and ste e l and a box of tinder from his pocket , and taking p os ition under an overhangin g bank at the v ery ed g e o f the w a t e r, he lig hted s o me ti nde r , a nd with some r e s i nous light wood m a de a small fire, which was conceal e d from the oppo site shore by hi s b ody. Three time s he mov e d aside while he counted twenty,


The Spy Among the Enemy. 31 so the blaze mi ght be seen from the other shore, and then he extinguished it entirely. For almost an hour he waited, and then, no boat ap pearing, he again made the same signal. This time it was attended with success, and in less than twenty min utes from the time he extinguished the second fire, he heard the quiet dip of a paddle. Soon after he saw the dim outlines of the canoe, and, in a low tone, s aid : "His t ! Is it thee, Job?" " No, Friend Adab--but it is me , Susannah! I'm so glad you've got back alive. I've dreamed such awful dreams since you went away, I was afraid the horrid sojers had killed you. Father is off gathering up boats far and n ear for Gen. Washington, but he told me to watch for your signal, and to come after you when it was made." "Thee is very kind, Susannah ; but had thee watched a little more closely thee would have seen my first sig nal, made near two hours ago. But it is well as it is ; I shall yet be able to reach the camp of Washington before midni g ht. Let me take the paddle; I am stronger than thee." "Stro nger most likely, but not more used to the river and the dugout. Sit there in ' the bow , and I'll have you across in no time," . said Susannah, when Adah entered the canoe and pushed from the shore. "Thee is, indeed , handy on the water," said Adah, as the li ght canoe went rapidly across, impelled by her strong and skillful hands. "I'm handy everywhere, if people only knew it," said Susannah, with a tinge of sadness in her tone. "I c a n sew , cook, wash and iron, and scrub , and scour w i th the best of 'em. And I can play the keyed bugl e with the best bu g ler in the army. Didn't you hear me so und the assembl y call to 'boot and saddle' the ni ght y o u scared the Hessians off?" "Yea; I heard the bu g le sound, but I did not kno w it was thee who sounded it."


32 The Spy Among the Enemy. "But it was. You'll stay all night at our house, and I'll play for you 'Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled,' and 'Auld Robin Gray,' and ever so many tunes." "Nay. Though I would cheerfully listen to thy music, my duty urgeth me to proceed at once to the camp of George Washington, to whom I have matters of importance to communicate." "We women folks are all alone,'' said Susannah. "Father is up the river somewhere, and there's no knowing when he'll get back." B y this time the canoe was at the landing in front of Job Turner' s house. Here Adab was met by Sally Ann and the other two daughters and welcomed back. "Come in; supper is on the table," said Sally Ann. "I would rather at once take my horse and hasten to the camp of George Washington," said Adab, gravely. "I'll get out your horse, and saddle it while you eat,'' broke in Susannah, who was determined to make her self specially useful to Adah. "Since thee is so kind and thy mother insists, it would be ungrateful to refuse to break my fast," said Adab. "But my stay must be short." "The horse will be ready when you come out," said Susannah. Adah went in, and the hot shortcake, with fresh butter and some broiled bacon, went down with a relish. After eating, he took out the four captured and loaded pistols, and putting them on the table, said: "Friend Sally Ann, here is a weapon for thee and one for each of thy daughters, which I took out of the hands of some profane and evil-minded soldiers, who mig-ht have made a bad use of them. Though I much o bject to the use of deadly weapons, these may serve to te rrify any person that might come to annoy thee and thine." "Great Cresar ! Did thee capture these weapons, and from real soldiers?" cried Sally Ann, in wonder. "Yea, there were two soldiers and an officer, who


The Scout's Reception. 33 sought to make me go with them against my will. The officer thrust his sword against my breast, and I took it from him and smote his horse so that it ran away, and when the others assailed me I cast them from their saddles, broke their swords and took away their carn al weapons, lest they might do me or some other peaceful man bodily harm." "If you aren't just the bravest and handsomest man that lives! Oh, I could eat you !" cried Almira, and she looked as if she intended to embrace him as she had seen her mother do once before. "Your hors e is r eady , Friend Adah," said Susannah, sadly, coming to his rescue at an opport u ne moment. "I thank thee, good friend Susannah," said Adah. "Commend me to thy father when he returns. I hope to meet ye all again." "You'll meet me , if I have to hunt you up," said Susannah, as Adab went out and mounted his horse. "Oh, mother!" she added, as he rode off swiftly in the gloom ; "he is so brave and so handsome !" "Little good 'twill do you, child. The Quakers never marry out of their own sect." When the sound of Adah's horse was lo st in the dis tance, each girl, with the mother, took one of the caJ>tured pistols as a relic of their departed lfero, little thinkin g at that moment how useful they might prove in the time to come. CHAPTER VI. THE scouT's RECEPTION BY GEN. WASHINGTON. It was midnight when Adab Slocomb was halted by the pickets outside of Washington's camp, but when assured that he was a friend, with important news for headquarters , the officer in charge of the picket post at once hurried him forward with a guide to the tent of the commander-in-chief.


34 The Scout's Reception. He found the latter up, a l one in his tent, with a lamp burning where he could overlook his maps and papers. There was a sad, careworn look on the face of the great general when Adab entered with his guide, but that noble face brightened, and when Adab s a id he had news of importance , Washington sent the picket soldier to summon the othe r generals, and while he was ab sent told Adab to relate his adventures. This Adab did , briefly and mod est l y , and the gen eral laughed heartily when Adah told how he had dis comfited the three dragoons. In a short time Gens. Greene, Irwin, Knox and Cad wallader came in ; then, with a large sheet of paper be fore him, and a piece of black crayon , Adab marked the course of the river, the place where he had crossed at Job Turner's, the route he took to Tren ton, thence to Princeton, and back to his r ecrossing point. At Trenton he marked out the position of the troops, gave their numbers, their artillery, and all so minutely that Washington was astonished. The same was done in regard to the forces at Prince ton. No engineer or officer could have done the work as signed him more completely, and the military points seemed to be all taken in. "Gentleman," said Washington, after all had noted the plans and heard Adab explain them, "it seems as if we were to be favored by Heaven in the enterprise I contemplate. On Christmas, as is their custom, both Eng lish and Hessian will undoubtedly indul g e in fes tivity, and throug h this very indul ge nce be off th eir guard. We must cross the river on that night and strike a blow, which, if fully successful, will awake the nation from one end to the othe r , and at the same time cheer up our own despondent soldiers . For this I have b een secretl y collecting every boat, batteau and scow that can be found for thirty or forty miles up and down the river. The report of this bold and faithful scout


The Scout's Reception. 35 makes our work easy in contemplation, and sure of execution. "I shall c ross with three columns; l eading the main attacking party myself, and sending the other two to intercep t fugitives and to act as a r ese rve to fall on the r ea r of the enemy should he be so r e inforced as to press me hard." "It is action ! The soldiers will endure any hards hip, meet any peril boldly, if they can be on the move!" said Greene. "Ay," said Irwin, "a scout from my own command has just arrived from Bordentown below, where Donop, with a noth e r body of Hessians, is lying. I was about to brin g the news to your excellency when I was summoned hither." "Bette r yet. Your column shall cross there, Gen. Irwin, finish up Donop and join me at Trenton. The crossing will be at Bristol, where you will find more than one 'widow's son,' bright from Eastern light, ready to aid you." "Let Gen . Cadwallader take that post of honor, gen eral," said Irwin, modestly. "I would serv: under your own eye." "We will arrange these poi h ts after : ration," said Washington. "All that we now und.::1 stand is, that we will cross and attack the enemy. Heaven will send us victory. Go to rest now. To-morrow I will make out the orders in d e tail." Each genera l resp e ctfully saluted their beloved chief, and th e n departed. When Washington was alone with Adah, the latter said: "Thee needs rest, Friend George, and I will retire." "No, stay. I have more questions to ask, and when you are weary there are blankets th e re on that side of the tent, an d you can rest here. In the morning I will have you suitab ly quartered. Have you supped?" "Yea. Sally Ann Turner and her daughters made


The Scout's Reception. me st ay to suppe r. Job was aw a y on the r iver doing work for t he e . " "Yes ; he is bu s y coll ecting boats for my crossing. He r ece i ved you k indly?" " Ye a, w i t h e x c e edi n g k indn e ss, and his fam i l y lik e wi se . I had i t i n my p o wer to r e n de r t he m a s e rvice ." And Adab d e t ailed th e manne r in which he terrifi e d the Hessians who w e r e crossing the river a n d induc e d them to l e ave th e c a m p . Was hingt o n lau ghe d heartily at t he Quaker's ruse , and s aid: "You did us a s e rvice as w e ll, for that advanced corps of observ a ti o n wo uld have b ee n in our w ay. But I will ke e p y ou up no l o nger, Adab . You must take plenty of r e st. Whe n I move across the river you will be my g uid e ." " I as k n o be t te r p l ace, F ri e nd Geor ge," sa id Adah. And afte r bre a thin g a s ilent praye r, he threw himself on the blankets which Washington had pointed out, and was so o n a s l e ep. It w a s sunri s e when he awoke. He arose quickly, shook hi s gi g antic fra me , and goin g out, m e t Washing ton as he paced though tfully to and fro in front of the blazin g camp fir e , at which a ne g ro serv ant was making coffee, hoecake, or corn bread , and broiling some bacon. "Wa sh, good Ada b, and then bre akfast with me," said th e g ener a l , p o intin g to a purling stream a rod away, where a c oa r s e lin e n towel of home spun hung on an o a k branch w ithin re a ch. Ada b kne w n o t h o w to refuse ; the co urteous offer was g iv e n w ith the kindness of a fri end and the dignity of a command. "Thee is very good," h e s a id, and h e h as t e ned to l a ve his brown hands and fresh, fair face in the bri g ht, ice-cold water. When he returne d, o n t h e littl e pine table there were tin cups and tin p latt e rs for two, and a l a rge smoke browned pot of hot coffee , with hoec a ke and bacon.


The Scout's Reception. 37 It was a pl a in but a substanti a l meal, and George Washington, motioning Adab to a seat on t h e log be fore the table, asked Heaven's bl e ss ing on it and all his ho s t. Adab said nothin g. His heart was full. Here was the chief opp oser of a mighty king and his vast armies, liv in g e ven mo re humbly than the artisans in his own s h o p in Philadelphia. Her e was the own e r of a palatial mansion in Virgini a , of many broad acres , a man r eared in luxury and afflu e nce, denyin g him self every comfort, sharing the simp lest fare with a n humble follower, and facing p e ril and dea th, b e cause he loved fre e dom and sought liberty for his native l an d. He ate spa rin g ly, and as the chief did not speak, re mained silent. "Eat he a rtily, Adab , " said the chief, at last. "Thou art large of frame , and must r equire strong food." Adab looked up at the tall, g raceful form of his chief, and said: "It i s true, Friend Geor ge, that I have somewhat the advantage of thee in size; b u t if my heart was half so large as th i ne , the re would hardly be room in my breast for it. If all the world knew thee as thou art, thou wouldst have no l ack of soldiers or the wherewithal to pay and feed th em." Washington smiled, and s a id , k indl y : "We mus t hardly exp e ct to be u nd ers tood fully in ou r own day and g en e r ation. In ages to c ome, the tho u ghtful and wise will p eruse the pages of history and do us an d our motives jus ti<;e. Meantime we must live, act, and, if n ee d be, die for the goo d of our c o untry and all mank ind. For this strug g le is for a principle in whic h th e whole wor l d has an i nterest-liberty of thought, spee ch, con scie nce and of person ." "Yea , it is so. And h a pp y will be he wh o lives to see that freedom atta in ed," sa :d Adab, g ravely. "And h a ppy, too, will all be who aid in its attain-


3 8 A Victory for the Patriots. ment, whether they l ive or die, for God's holy blessing is on them," said Washington, with enthusiasm . Some of h i s generals were now seen approac hing, and Washington, calling to an office r of his Life Gua r d, t old him to provide quarters a n d r a t io n s fo r Adab, who, as a confidentia l scout, was t o r ema in n ea r his person. The office r at once took Adab t o a t ent, in which h e , with two more , slept, and to l d him to make himself at home, both in the ten t fo r r est and at t hei r t able when t hey took their meals. T h e man who m Washington had honored as Adab had b ee n honored, was a fit c om pani o n for any und e r him . CHAPTER VII. A VICTORY FOR THE PATRIOTS. It was ni ght-the n igh t of Christmas, 1776 . S now cove r ed the ground, deadening all sounds-the h oofs of iron-shod horses, the rumble of cann o n w he e ls, the tread of infantry. Hours before, Gen . w ashington h ad sent two columns away to distract the attention o f large bodies of the enemy i n New Jersey, above and below the rea l poin t of his own destin atio n, for that n i ght he had d e termined to strike a t e rrible blow-a b low wh i ch should terr if y the h i red mercenaries of Grea t Britai n, who, for gold, had cros sed the seas to aid in robbing , murdering and enslaving a people who were struggling fo r freed o m . With his main column Washington reached the Dela wai;.e a t McConkey's Ferry-now known as Taylors ville-a l itt l e after dark. His guide was Adab Slo c omb, who had traced the ground all over and knew this to be the best place for cro ss in g . The column was strong, con s i sting of ove r t w o thousa n d troops, with twenty piects of lig h t artille ry, under Knox. Gens. Greene and S u llivan we r e w i t h W as hington in this body .


A Victor y for t h e Patriots. 3 9 When the l as t r eport from the river reache d Washin gton at his c am p, it had been cle a r o f ice, and h e ex pec t e d to m ake a s p e e dy crossin g , for h e ha d bo a ts e no u g h c olle c te d t o cros s the who l e force in t w o hou r s if every t hin g went ri g ht. B ut wh e n night c a me on, with it came a t e rrible sto rm of s l ee t a nd sno w , and wh ile it blinded obse rv a ti o n fro m the othe r s id e , driving sentin e l s and pi c ke ts unde r s hel te r , it o bstructed mos t seriously the move m e nts o f the p a triots . Ice loo se n e d in the uppe r r iver, dri f te d in masses d ow n t h e swift current, and it seem e d as i f it w ould b e impo s sible to force b o ats throu g h the floa tin g crush o f snow an d ice . But W a shington, ent ering one o f the fir s t b oa ts in p e rson, orde r e d the c ross in g to proc ee d as sw i f tl y an d silently as p oss ible . With him in that bo a t s to od Adah S l o comb , s i l ent and steady, thou g h he knew h e must s oo n be where t he hai l of iron and lead wo ul d fly as thic k as th e s l ee t and snow flew t h e n a b out him and the grea t c h ief by his s i de . For e i g h t lon g hours on th e o t h e r sh ore, alm ost with in hearin g of the wild caro u sa l songs i n Tre nton , the c hie f wait e d t ill all hi s forces w e r e acro s s w aited w ithout fire or sh e lt e r in the terrible storm, knowing tha t d i scov e r y before a ll we r e l a n de d and formed for ac tion w o uld insure defeat-pe rh aps t o t a l d e struction to his forc e s . And defeat to hi m then wa s death to t he cause of freedom in A merica . At four o'cl o ck in t he mo rn i n g all we re across , but man y w e r e h e lp l ess from cold and exposu re. In fact , o ne so l d i e r w a s fro z e n to d ea th, acco r d in g t o the ac count o f Maj. Wilki ns o n , th e n on Washington ' s staff. N o w the h e ro ic chief p u t his for ce s i n mot i o n for T rento n o n t w o ro a ds , l ea ding himse l f to the point wh e r e mos t da n ge r wa s t o be e x pected, t he c en tral posi ti o n o f the Hessia n t roops , as pointe d out by Adah Slo c omb.


40 A Victory for the Patriots. It was nearly eight o'clock in the morning before the troops reached the town, and the Hessians, stupe fied from the debauch e s of the previous day and night, knew no danger until their guards and picket posts were driven in, and the patriot army at two points was fairly upon them. The storm had now abated, and as Col. Rahl hurried to head his troops he found them compl e t e l y surrounded. A short running fight, a de s per a te attempt at resistance only entailed fearful loss on his panic stricken men; h e was mortally wounded, and finding escape impossible, the Hessian leader asked quarter for his men. The surprise was complete, the victory glorious. Two officers and four soldiers wounded, and two killed compri s ed the p a triot casualties. The Hessians had six officers and thirty men killed, many wounded, and over one thousand were made pris oners, while a field battery of brass guns, over one thous a nd stand of arms, a larg e quantity of stores and provisions f e ll into the hands of patriots who needed them so much. Col. Rahl, the commander of the forces, lived long enou g h to e xpress his sorrow that he had come to war upon a foe far more m e rciful and kind than he had ever be e n , and to thank Washington for his goodness to his prisoners. The general, knowing well that the entire British force in New Jersey would quickly rally to attack him if he remained on the Jersey side of the riv e r, r e crossed on the evening after the battle, with his pris o n e rs, and all his artillery , arms and stores in safety , cam pi n g in a better position not far from the farm of his old fri e nd, Job Turner, who had done good service ih collecting bo a ts for the expediti o n , and to whom , with our fr iend, Adab Slocomb , was now assigned the duty of s ecreting them for future use , and to conceal them from the emissaries of the enemy, who mi ght try to seize them


A Victory for the Patriots. 41 for the same purpose to which they had recently been appli ed . The po rtion of the patriot troops which had been dispatch ed to make other crossings and attacks, failed to do so, not daring to make the perilous attempt which Washington had so succe ss fully accomplished. And it was perhaps all the b e tter. Their move m e nts had kept Donop, with two thousand Germans and Briti s h , from coming to the reli e f of Rahl, and Washington would have had a terrible battle to have h eld his advantage had those fresh troops come in upon him. O n the night after r ecross ing, or rather in the mornin g which followed tha t night, Adah found himself with Job Turner once more at the farmhouse of the latter. Many o f th e boa t s were concealed in a creek near it, and whe n t his work was done, Adah, having proposed to ] ob that they s h ou ld g o back to camp and get some breakfast, th e l atte r in siste d tha t as they were nearer to his house than the camp, they should go there for b reakfast . "It'll mak e the women feel so much easier to know that we are safe," said Job. "If thee thi nks best , I will go there with thee, and tarry long enough to get some food, of which we both stand s o r e l y in need, fo r it is n early four and twenty h ours since we partook of nourishment. But my stay must be brief, for Geor g e Washington may need my services further." ""We'll only stay lon g enough to eat," said Job. "For I must re port the bo a ts s towed away, and see what next Gen. W as hington wants of me; for though I am not an en list e d soldier, I serve whenever and wherever he points ou t a way ." "Thee is a good man, Job, for thou lovest thy country," said Adah, as he strode along in the direction of Job's house. "Why sh o uld I not?" sai d Job. "Here I was b o rn, h ere are the g raves of my parents. Here I live on the


Adah to the Rescue. farm the y gav e me, and h e re h av e I rai se d a famil y of good an d l o vin g childr e n. The man who woul d n ' t help to d efend s u ch a home and famil y d oes n ' t des e rve to ha v e ' e m. " "Thee spea ks warml y , but in the m a in tho u art right," sa id A dab. "Thy h o me is a pl easant one and worthy o f thy c a re. " " Well , we' ve t a u ght the s e H ess ians one s e v e re l e s son , and the y 'll soo n get a f e w more , " sa i d J o b. "Washington h a s t ake n a n ew st art, a n d h e'll fo llow it up. Con g r ess and the p e o ple w ill f ee l i n cli ne d t o help him no w ; a n d w h e n hi s a r my i s st r e n g th e n ed h e 'll pitch into the B ri tis h and Hess i a n s ri ght a nd l eft !" "Ay, I d o ub t i t n ot; bu t l o ok , Frie nd J ob, i s the re not trouble a t th y h o u se yon d er? I se e the smoke and hear the r eport o f fir earms i n fr ont of it." "Thunder! The re are so l d i e rs attac k in g my gals I Follow-follow!" shout e d J ob, rushing toward the house. CHAPTER VIII. ADAB TO THE R ESCUE. Job was a good runne r , and he had called on Adab to follow him, but the l atter went by: him in a few sec onds, and at every l ea p he g a in e d in d i s t a nce, for, by appearanc e s , there was ne e d of manly help at the farmhouse of the Turne rs. In front of it s e v eral hor s es were fast e ned , while a sm all p arty o f r ed coa t ed s o l d i e rs s ee me d b e n t on ef f e ctin g a n entrance , th ou g h the s m oke o f fir earms, evi d e ntl y fir e d fro m th e in s i de , show e d tha t they were m ee tin g a bo l d resi st a n ce . Sca rc e l y o ne min ute a ft e r the di scove ry, A d a h Slo co m b, h eed l ess o f bulle ts fly in g from w ithin, rus hed f ea rl essly a mong-t he soldi e rs , and s e i z ing-one--apparentl y an office r b y h is ri che r unifor m-by both a rms,


Adah to the R e scu e . 43 he: r aised h im as if h e we re a mere p uppe t a n d thras he d dow n men ri ght a nd l e ft wit h the b ody o f h is captive , u si n g it like a g r ea t fl.a i l to b ea t the m d ow n. " I t's that c u r s e d Q uake r g i a n t ! " cried a se r geant, whom Adah r e c o g n ized as t he man who h ad hal ted him on the othe r si d e o f the river b efo r e the atta c k o n Tre n t on . As t he s e r g e an t spo ke h e r a i sed a pist o l and fir e d at Ada b , but, m i ssi n g him , sho t h is officer through the sh o ul de r. "Thee is a v ery poo r ma r k sma n," s a id A dah, c oo lly ; and dro p pin g th e w o un d ed an d h e l p l e s s office r , he seized th e s e rgea n t by the t h roa t a n d for c ed hi m down helpl e s s l y to t he g round wit h on e h a n d , whi l e h e disarmed him with t he o the r. At the s a me in stant the doo r o f t he farm house flew o pe n , and ou t c a me Sally Ann Turner wit h a p a il fu l of sc a l ding w a t e r in on e hand and a dippe r i n t he o t h e r , and the thre e gi rls all a r m e d wi th g un s and p i stols. Job had a t the s am e t i me r eached th e sc e n e . Some o f th e so l dier s fle d now t owa r d t he ir horses ; o t h e rs, una ble to do so, l ay groaning o n t he ground, w he re l ay fou r dead, shot b efo r e Adab h a d com e u p . Adah saw the moveme n t for t h e h o r ses, and da shing the s e r g eant to the e arth w i t h s u ch for ce t h a t he co uld not r ise a g ain , the brave Q u ak e r l e a ped towa r d the horses , to r e the first and on l y man that ha d m ou nted from h i s saddl e s o fier ce l y tha t t he ma n l ay q ui ve r ing o n the fro z e n g round, Ada h shouti n g, as h e d i d so: "As the Lor d li ve t h , t h a t man s h all die w ho d oth not n ow y i e l d h i mse lf a p ri soner t o Geo rge Washingt on !" "Georg e Washington-is that Geo r g e Washing to n ? " cri ed the co r po r a l , who wit h fou r m e n h a d so ught t o mou n t an d get aw ay. "We surrender-we surren d e r I " And throwi n g dow n t h e i r arms, as J o b T urne r came up t o the assi s t a n ce of Adah , the entir e d e t a chment, c o n sist ing ori g inall y of sixt ee n privates , a s ergeant, c orporal a n d lieu t enant, wer e prisone r s o r dead . "Adah, this be a t s Trenton!" cri e d J ob, as the dis-


44 A d a h to the Rescu e . arme d p r isone r s wer e m u s t e r ed i n fr ont o f his ho u se, whil e K a tu ra h An n , the yo un g e st g irl, mo u nted a fleet h o r se to ge t a surg e o n for the wo un d ed, and a g u ard for th e living, from th e c amp of Washin g t on , two mile s away. "We are but two mtn, an d h e r e we h ave eleven live p r i so n ers and four d ead o n th e ground; a n d w e have t he arms and horse s o f all! " "Thee for ge ts tha t th e w o m en sl ew t he d e a d , and held the oth ers at bay b e for e w e cam e up I" s aid Adab, modestly. "Yes," cried Sally Ann, "he alw ay s for g ets that wom e n a re aro und , excep tin ' w h e n h e is hu n g r y . I reckon if th ere h a dn ' t been wo me n h e re , J o b Turner woul dn' t h ave a roof to s leep u nde r n ow ! " " You' r e r ight, wif e a l way s ri ght!" said Turner, asha m e d at takin g s o m uch credi t to himself. "I k n ow I'm not o f m u c h account, b ut Fri e nd Adab here did fight like a li on!" " N a y , n ay , " said Adab . "I did not so much as lift a c a rn a l we a p on. " "If t ha t mise r able sneak isn't a carn a l weapon, I'd like to know w h a t is! " cried Susannah , pointing to the lieuten an t, w ho sat: groaning a g ainst the side of the house . The poor wre tch not onl y h a d a b u llet in his shoul der, but A da b h a d a ctuall y brok en b ot h his legs by thrash in g them against the h ea ds and bodies of his own men. "I have slain none , thou g h I m a y h a ve bruised some si nful bodies, and bro ke n so m e un w o rt hy b ones!" s a id A dab. "The men who m ake war u pon wo me n in their ho uses need to be tau ght l ess on s w hich will make them more peacefull y inclin e d . " "They've got one, and you ' re just the bl e ssedest peacem aker I e ve r s aw ! " c ri e d Susann a h . Katura h Ann , wh o had r i dde n off o n a thre e-year-ol d colt belonging to h e r fat h e r, a t full s peed, now came


Adah to the Rescue. 45 back at the same gait, saying that a guard and some wagons for the wounded were on the way. "Did thee see George Washington?" asked Adah. "Yes, and he is coming this way himself, with Gen. Greene and a man they called Morgan-a stout, handso m e man he is, too." "Why? Didn't we surrender to Gen. Washington just now?" asked the wondering corporal. "Yea, friend , in the person of one who serves him," said Adah. "Thee need not grieve that thou hast surrendered to a peaceful man like me. It mi ght have been worse for thee if thou hadst not done so, since the Satan of my inner man was becoming greatly excited, and it might have broken out after the manner of men of war, and then I might have smitten thee, even as Samson smote the enemies of Israel in the olden time." "I've no more to say. Though I did wonder when I thought the great fighting general was a Quaker," said the soldier. "He is a peacemaker, as thy sovereign, George III., will find before long. But he maketh peace in a dif ferent way from us Friends. He smites until ye will cry out 'Smite no more and we will let ye alone.' But there he comes, and thee can see for thyself what manner of man he is ." The soldiers and the wounded officer looked off won deringly in th e direct ion pointed by the eye and hand of Adab, and saw a nobl y formed man of middle age, dressed plainl y in the Continental uniform, with a blue cl o ak floatin g l oose l y from his shoulders, riding swiftly toward them, followed b y two or three officers and an escort of not over a doze n men. No one could mistake that face, at once commanding and dignified, yet full of manly goodness and sympathy. As he rode swiftly up, throwing his horse almost on i ts haunches b y a sudden curb as he halt ed in front of the group, he bowed l o w to Mrs. Turner and her daughters, whom he salut e d with courtly grace, spoke


Adah to the Rescue. a word pleasantly to each girl, and to Job, then while a kindly smile beamed on his glorious face, he spoke to Adah. "Have you been testing your peacemaking powers here , Friend Slocomb?" he asked, pointing to the wound ed officer and his hurt and captured followers. "Yea, Friend George; they were stubborn and hard t 0 convince; but now they are submissive, and wait .hy pleasure in meekness of spirit and contrition of heart. But charge not upon me the death of those slain by l eade n weapons, for I have not used a carnal weapon, neith e r will I, unless some great need comes upon me and I find no other way whereby my own life can be saved and the enemies of our country brought to submission." "No excuses are necessary," said the general. "No one, neither any six of my armed soliders, hath shown the power of reducing an enemy to submission that you have done. Even Gen. Morgan here could scarcely be lieve the story of yonder damsel, and came to see for himself." "He is convinced,'' said Morgan, smiling. "And I wish we had ten thousand jus t such pe a cemakers in our army. Gen. Greene is a specimen of a fighting Quaker, and you are-I hardly know in what category to place you." "With the peacemakers, who abhor the use of the sword when it can be avoided, even as a child hateth to partake of medicine, but nevertheless will take it before he will perish without its use," said Adah. By this time the surgeon had a rrived and was ready to attend the wounded, while a small detail made ready to bury the dead and then to guard the prisoners on their way to the American c am p. "You will be pleased to rid e b ack with me, Adah,'' said Washington. "I have a new mission for you, and the sooner you receive instructions and set out upon it, the better for me and the country. You will take the


The Pursuing Rider. 47 captive lieutenant's horse, for it will be some time, I think, before he is in a fit condition to ride . " Adab quietly went and lengthened the stirrup leathers and prepared to mount the handsome charger which the wounded officer had ridden, while the general spoke a few kind and assuring words to the prisoners, telling them that they should be treate d kindly until ex changed . He al s o told Job Turner to remain with his family and on his farm until further orders, to retain arms enough to protect his homestead, and also ordered two trusty riflemen to remain with him as a guard for a time, until the enemy were completely driven ba c k from t he other shore of the river. Then the commander-in-chief gave his h orse the r eins and started back for his cam p. CHAPTER IX. THE PURSUING RIDE R . Within his tent, alone, Gen. Washingt on held an interview with our hero, an hour after his return from the scene at Turner's. The nature of this intervie w showed how quickly Adab had won his way into the confidence of the wisest man of his day-one who seemed to read human nature as he would the pages of a book, and who but in a single instance in his military career seems to have been grossly deceived. That de ception was in the character of the second Judas Is c ariot Benedict Arnold-a name ever to be written in the ink of infamy. "Friend Slocomb, I sent for you to intrust you with a mission which requires haste, yet prudence-energy, yet the most studied care." "I am ready to go wherever thou senriest me, and to do my best and most faithful endeavor to se r ve thee and my suffering country!" replied Adah.


The Pursuing Rider. "Many of my troops are leaving, dissatisfied, because I cannot pay them their dues," continued Washington, thoughtfully. "I wish to r eturn to New Jersey and to drive the enemy back to his intrenchments in New York. If I have money I can retain the troops I have and quickly call more to my banners. I want you to go to Robert Morris, with a line from me to introduce you, and to state plain l y how I am situated and what I want to do. You know where to find him?" "Yea, if he be in Philadelphia, for he dwells near the house of my mother . " "He is there . I heard from him this morning. Go to him and tell him that with fifty thousand hard dol lars I can resume active operations at once." "I will do it," said Adah, rising to depart. "Stay yet a moment . I said this business must be done in haste. Take this list of n ames and points on your route. At each point you will be provided with a fresh horse, to speed yo u on your way. On returning the horses c an be left. If help is needed, or escort, Robert Morris will provide it. And if you have time while in Philadelphia, see the leading men of your sect, many of who m I hear are leaning strongly on the king's side. I think his agents, by various perv e rsions, have turned them against our cause. A word in season may set their minds aright." "With some the word may be useful," said Adah. "With others the love of lucre is strong, and believing the tyrant will conquer, they side with him lest they l os e their property. With such I have no patience to deal. If they would hang thems e lves, there should be no lack of rope for th e purpose. Hast thou any further orders, Friend George?" "None, but to urge haste. I doubt if sleep visits my eyes in your absence." "I will not tarry a second longer than to fulfill mine errand," said Adah. An instant more and he was gone . A clatter of hoofs was heard, and Washington knew


The Pursuing Rider. 49 that the brave and faithful Quaker was riding down the river road as fast as a swift, strong horse could carry him. At the house of Job Turner, Adah halted to water his horse and drink a bowl of milk, for he did not e x p ect t o halt for any more substantial nourishment be t wee n the r e and the city of Philadelphia. "Hav e y ou seen our Susannah?" ask e d Mrs. Turner, whil e A d a h w a s tightening the saddle girths, preparatory to m o unting. " I h av e not," s a id Adah. "Leastwise not since I saw h e r h ere with thee." "Stra nge; sh e m o unt e d one of the finest of the capture d horse s and said she was going up to look at the camp." "She may be there now," said Adah, mounting. "I was wi t h G eo rge Was hington in his t e nt, till I started ior P h i l a d elp hi a , whith e r I am now going ." He p a u se d no lon g er, but touching his horse with the spur, bound e d off down the river road toward the grea t cit y . Whe n Ada h w a s almost out of sight, Job Turner saw s o mething which surprised him, and he said: "I wond e r who th a t chap is, riding like smoke on the track of Adah? Maybe it is a boy sent to call him back. He g oes as hard as his horse can run!" "And th e horse is a fast one-it looks like one of them w e took this morning from the Britishers!" said S a lly A nn. " M a y be it is. Washington, you know, took all but two away, and Susannah rode one of them off!" A few seconds only was the swift rider in sight, and then a clump of tree s that had already hidden Adah fro m view conceal e d the stranger. Job now entered the house, and his wife and the two girls followed him.


CHAPTER X. A LOAN TO THE GOVERNMENT. Adah rode fifteen miles at a very rapid gait, for looking at his memor andum he found that at the end of that distance he was to have a fresh horse, and he had no fear in regard to tiring the one he rode. While halting at the farmhouse whither he was di rected, to put his saddle and bridle on the fine horse which the farmer brou ght out readily on seeing the order from Gen. Washington, Adah noticed a smartlo oking young man , clad partly in Continental uniform, riding past, down the river road, his horse evidently tired, from long travel or great speed, but he paid little heed to it, for couriers were coming and going all the time. In less than five minutes he was himself on the road again, going like a cloud before a gale, for he now rode a magnificent black horse of great stride and power, which the owner told him would carry him his next t wenty miles in an hour and a half if he gave him the rein. When half a mile on he overtook the stranger whom he had seen passing. The latter had turned aside to water his horse in a stream near the road, so Adah only got a glimpse of his slender form, and did not see his face at all. "A young lad , and too fragile for the hardships of war," he muttered, as he dashed forward, intent on losing no time in his important mission. Once only he looked back, and th en he saw that the strange lad was still hurrying his tired steed forward on the same road. It is needless for us to keep on the track of Adah any longer in his journey. Suffice it to say, that, uneasy in perso n , but unflagging in spirit, only a little after dark


A Loan to the Government. 5 I he ro de swiftl y down past t h e h o u se of Naomi Bliss, through the stree t where hi s ow n l o v e d m o t her d w elt, but he d id not d r aw r e in until h e r eac h e d the well kno w n r e sid e nce of Robert Morr is, t h e b a nker, and the fin a nci a l a g ent of t he n ew g o v ernment. Whe n h e dre w r e in t he r e , it was h a rdly n e cessary to tie his fourt h ho r se, fo r it w as ridd e n a l m o s t down. B y the route he came h e t rav er se d ne a r fift y miles, and had onl y be e n fou r h ou r s in m ak in g the d i s t a nce. Ente r ing the ma n s i o n , t o which he wa s readily admi t t ed w h e n h e bri efly sa id, " I come fro m George W a shin g ton o n busin ess w ith Robert M orris, " he was co nducted b y a s e r vant in t o t he librar y w h e re the great financ i e r and pat r i o t was seat ed, looking ov e r his volu min o u s c orrespo n de nc e . "Frien d R o b ert, I b r in g thee this l etter from George Was h in g t o n . Afte r tho u ha s t r ea d it, I hav e further m essage t o b e g i ve n th ee b y word of mouth." Morris to o k the l e tter, which was merely one of introduct i o n , a nd t he n , readin g it at a glance, said: "Art tho u Adah S l o c om b ?" " Yea, that i s my name ; a nd thou shouldst know me, sin ce I ofte n s h od thy h o rs e s in m y s h o p ne a r b y . " "What! Art thou A d a h , the blacksmith? Washington sa y s h e has no one more true and trusty about his pers o n . " "Fri end George is kind to spe a k well of my poor en dea vor to se r ve h im an d o u r c o untry. But I have n o time to spea k o f that. H e s ent me to thee for mon ey where w i t h t o pay his s o ldi e r s . S o me have al r eady left , dis s a t isfied b e c a us e th ey are n o t p a id , and oth ers w ill follo w thei r example , unl e ss he pa y s them. He w ants to follow up h is great victory at Tre nton , to r e c ross the riv e r and for ce t he in vaders b a c k to their s hipping at New Yo r k. To thee h e l ooks for h elp; to me, to c o nve y i t to him quic kly. It is but a little over four h ours s ince I left bis camp o n the P e nn s y lvania side of t he r i ve r , beyond Tre n to n . Four horses are w ea r ied dow n b y m y s w ift j ourney ."


52 A Loa n to the Government. "They wiJI have a ni ght to rest in," s aid Morris, thoughtfully. "I h a ve not this . mon e y on hand, but, God willing , I will g e t it. Be here at sunri se, an d thou shalt have it, with a strong cart and two good horses to carry it to the Am e rican camp, for, I s u p p o se, it must be in hard doll ars?" "So Geor g e Washington said," repli e d Adab. "He shall have them. His victory over th e Hessians at Trenton has cheered every patriot heart throughout the land. I sup pose , with your giant frame, y ou were in the mid s t of the fray?" "Yea; it was nec essary that I should be t here, to show George W a shin g ton and his follo we r s w here to find the enemy, and how to avoid their c a n n o n and their pitfalls of d e struction. But my han d w as not raised to slay or d e stroy, for, as thou know est, I belong to a peaceful sect, who abhor the spilling of bloo d." "But how is this? Gen. Washington s ays that on the very morning when he wrote this l e t te r, you wounded and captured , single-handed , a l ieu tenant, corporal and nearly a dozen private drag oon s of the enemy?" "Geor g e Washington doth not tell an untruth. I did make captive several of the enemy, and p e rchance I injured some with my hands, for I possess g re a t bodily strength; but I assure thee, I have n e v e r drawn a sword nor fir e d a gun upon the foe. I h a v e desired to render them pe a cefully inclined , and may h av e bruised them a little , or maimed them for a brief p e ri od, to con vince them how much better it is to dwell in peace and unity; but I am no willful shedd e r of blo o d. " Robert Morris laughed heartily. He liked tl : e sty l e of peacemaking adopted by the stalwart youn g Quaker. Adab smiled, and asked: "Hast thou anything further for me to do to-night, Friend Rob ert? If not, I will s e e to m y h o r se, a nd p u t him in a warm stable th a t b e longeth to my m o ther, and give him provender, so that he may be ready for travel in the morning."


A Loan to the Government. 53 " Go , " said M r. Morris ; "but on your w ay sto p at the hou s e of John Quirk, t h e w ea lthy me rch a n t, a Friend, and t e ll hi m I want t o s e e him immedi a tel y . After that, do wha t thou wilt , o r r est u n til s u nrise, whe n all sh all b e re a d y for your r eturn." "Thine errand s h all be done, " s a id Ada b, and he ret i r e d fro m the ho u se a t once. Mea n time, Rob e r t M orris walk e d the floor of his li brary , his face and h is frequent l ow-to ned utteranc e s tellin g h ow much he was disturbed in mind . The fin a ncial life of the young r e public was in his hands , a n d de ep ly he felt the vast res po nsibility. Suddenly , w ithout a knock or an y anno u ncement, an eld e rl y Q u ake r, with a noble and b e n e v o l ent expression in his pale, thoughtful face, entered the room. "Thee sent for me , Friend Rob ert. I am come, " he said, s.topping short near the d oor. "Yes, Friend Quirk. I am in t roubl e . I ne e d im mediately fifty thousand hard doll ars." "It is a larg e sum in the s e p e rilou s times, Friend Robert." "I know it , but I must h a ve it; our country must have it, o r t h e B ri t i s h and Hess i a n s w ill g rind us all into the dus t , o r d ri ve u s into t h e Western wilderness to starve and di e . " "What se c u rity c a n s t thou g ive me tha t the money sh all so me time b e r eturned if I l end it to thee , Friend Robert?" " M y no t e and my honor! I can give no more," said M orri s, g loom il y . "Thou shal t h a ve the mon ey , Friend R ob ert,'' s a id the n oble Q u a ker. c a lml y . "Thine h onor h a s never be e n p r otes t e d. Within an h ou r I and some of my trus t y brethren w ill bring it hi t h er." "Th e Lor d t h an k thee! I c ann ot find w ords for m yself ,' ' s a id Morris, g r as pin g h is h a n d . "You h a ve remov ed a h e avy wei ght fro m m y h eart. " "It i s we ll . The r e are not many chanc e s to do good


54 A Mission for Women. in this world, and we should be thankful when one comes and avail ourselves of it,'' said Mr. Quirk. Another second and he was gone. CHAPTER XI. A MISSION FOR WOMEN. After leaving the message from Morris for the , Quaker m e rchant, Adab hastened to the home of his mother, and first placing his horse in the warm stable and seeing personally to its bedding and food, he knocked at the door and was speedily admitted and warmly embraced by his mother. "Heaven bless thee, Adab !" she cried. "I rejoice to see thee alive and well. Thy strength seems not to have abated, for thy hug is like the embrace of Samson!" Adab smiled, and answered: "A life of hardship, with rude food and none too much of that, hath well agreed with me." "How didst thou leave George Washington?" "Well, dear mother, and hopeful for the success of his cause. He was truly thankful for the g old and silver sent by thee and Naomi and her Aunt Petrunia, and it was used to purchase medicine and comforts for the sick and needy in his army. Many a suffering man, relieved, calls down blessings on your heads. Hast thou seen Naomi ?" "Yea. She hath been here every day to get tidings of thee. It is not an hour since she went home." "Thither I will follow her, but I will not t arry long, since I want to converse with thee before it i s b e dtime," said Adab. "At sunrise I must hurry back to the camp of Washington, for I have a l arge sum of money to carry from the banker, Robert Morris, unto the leader of our armies." "Adab, speak low. I think I saw the shadow of a


A Mission for Women. 55 man in the shrubbery n ea r the window," cried the widow, rather too l oud ly, for, even as she spoke, Adah saw a man distinctly, moving swiftly out of the yard. He rushed out to inte rc ep t him, or at least to see who he was, but when he reach e d the front gate there was no one in sight. "It was some one lurking around, most likely looking for something to steal," he said, as he returned to his moth er. "He saw that there was a man in the house, and fled." "Heaven grant his errand hath been no worse," said the widow . "When thou goest with this treasure take othe r s along to h e lp thee guard it. It is a g reat sum, and wicked men may be sorely tempted to take it from thee." "I will be c a reful. And now, mother, wait up for me. I will soon r e turn. G e orge Washing ton gave me c ertain work to do , which my time will not allow me to perform-to speak to c ertai n memb e rs of our sect on grave reports concerning them, which hath reached his ears." Adah r eve rently kissed the white forehead of his mo ther, and t he n sallied out. With a r ap id stride he hurried to Primrose Cottage, muc h surpris in g Naomi and her aunt, who had no expe ctation of seeing him, s inc e the former had just returned without a n y news fro m his moth er's house. But he was welcomed with lo v in g warmth by Naomi, and w ith unusual cordi a lity by Petrunia Stone, her a unt. "Thee hath c erta inly g rown ruddy and stout," said t he latter to Adab. "The life out of doors must agree with the e." "Ac ti v ity o f both body and brain, it hath been writt en, i s excellen t for bodily health. And I have been ve ry busy," said Adab. "Hath the e been frequently in danger?" asked Naomi. "Not frequently, but occasionally," he replied. "If


A Mission for Women. I was a soldier my life would be more often in peril, but I am aiding George Washing ton as a sco u t and messenger, and a m not thrown into the front of battle very often." "Where wert thou when he took Trenton and chas tised those rap a cious Hessians?" asked Petrunia. "By his side, a nd thou g h it was a chilly d a y, at times I thought I was in a very warm place," said Adah, quietly. "Yet thou hast borne no sword, carried no gun ?" asked Naom i. " No. I have endeavored to conform to the princi ples of our sect, though I have at times had my temper sorely tried. 'For inst a nce , I s a w over a do ze n wild and ruthl e ss B ritish s o ldi e rs try to break into a house def e nded by three maidens and their mother , and had I not come up b e times Heaven knows that they must have succee d ed in th eir wick e d efforts." "Did th e e fight and destroy them?" asked Petrunia, her face a ll a glow w ith e ager interest. "Nay; I only sh o ok them up one a g ainst t h e other until t h e y cri e d ou t for quarte r. The m a id e ns had alre ady d isabled four o f the m with w e a pons the y pos se s s ed . The re s t bec a me prisoners, and are in the hos pi t al of the American c a m p." "I c o uld not have blamed th e e hadst thou s m itt e n the ruffians right a nd l e ft," sa id Petrunia , w a r m l y . "This is a holy war, for it i s wa ge d a g ain s t wron g a nd op p r e s sion , a nd if I w e r e a man, I would go with thee, Adab." "Th ou art a n o ble woman, and canst aid t he sol di ers a s thou hast alre a dy done. They ne e d clothing, s hi rts, shoe s , st o ck in g s and blankets ; and wom an in h e r w ay can help t hem while they defend her and her h om e." "We will do a ll that we c an," said Naomi. "And I h ear t h ere are s o me of our p e ople di saffecte d wi th the cau s e o f freed o m , Frie nds w h o clin g to t h e side of tyran ny. Wom en have the gift of s peec h, and can by argument win over those who think more of


A Mission for Women. 57 their own weal than of the woes of others. This was a part of my mission, but I shall have no time to visit any other house than this and that of my mother, for at sunrise I must start back to the camp with the treasure for wh ich I came." "Thee m u s t be very careful," said Naomi. "This day, in meeting, Friend Pemperton told us that we must l ook well to ou r l ock s and bolts, for there were many bad and lawl ess me n gathered in the city, who wai te d for the hour when those who love freedom would have to leave their homes and flee from the armed inva ders who threaten us with their armies and fleets." "I will be cautious," said Adah, and his thoughts instantly reve rted to the man who . had been skulking under the window of his mother's house. For an hour he talked pleasantly with Naomi and h e r aunt about his life in camp-the kindness of Gen. Washington, the patience and fortitude of the suffering and ill-paid s o ldiers, and their determination to be free or die b attling for freedom. Then pressing his lips to the ashen brow of Petrunia Stone , and then to the ripe, red lips of Naomi, h e said fare we ll and went back to the house of his mother. There till l a te in the night he laid before her the wishes of Washington in regard to the leading people of her sect. She knew as well as he that some w e re already openly traitorous to the American cause, th a t while professing neutrality, the y were covertly giving aid and countenance to the enemy, and hoping for the day when h e would app ear and occupy the city. At l ast Adah, who was weary and sadly needed rest, cl osed his discou rse, and afte r telling his mothe r he must breakfast b efo re the dawn and be ready to l eave at daylig-ht, he retired . Hannah Slocomb went to Harriet, her maid of all work, and waking her, bade her make a ll preparations for an early breakfast, for it was now one o'clock in the


58 The Young Stranger Overhears a Plot. morning, and the widow fea red if she went to sleep, leaving no one awake, her wearied son would over sleep his hour of duty. CHAPTER XII. THE YOUNG STRANGER OVERHEAR S A PLOT. It wa s nearly midnight when a young rider, w ith a soldier's cocked hat on his head and a blu e military cloa k over his shoulders, rode up in front of the White Horse Tavern o n Race Street, and call ed, in a shrill, bo y ish voice, for the hostler. He wore a sword and had a brace of pistols in his belt, but on his plain coat wore no insignia that be tokened what hi s rank might be in the Continental Army. As the hostler came out, and with him the landlord, the youth d ismount ed, and said : "My steed has had a lon g, hard ride to-day. Rub him well and feed nim with care, and thy usual fees sh a ll be doubled." "He shall be as goo d as new, and as lively as a colt in the morning," said the hostler. "Thou'lt have supper and a bed for thyself?" asked the landl o rd. "Yes ; let my supper be sent to my bedroom, for I am very weary," said the you th. "What will yo u have? Cold meats, bread, beer , or wine?" "Whatever may be handy. Send it quickly, for I would sleep soon . must be call e d a t daylight ." "Comest tho u from the army of Vv ashing ton ?" "Ay; but, g ood l a ndlord , ask no questi o ns to-night. I am utterly tired ou t. In the morning I will answer r ea dil y ." "Poor lad, thou art inde e d weary, and too young to lead a soldier's life," said the landlord, leading the way


The Young Stranger Overhears a Plot. 59 at once to a n u p p e r chamber, taking a light from a hall table a s he we nt. He showed the young stranger into a neat bedroom in a wing o f the house, setting the light on a table, sai d : " I will send up a g ood cold supper to you , and in the morning yo u can make amends over a hot break fast. My l arder is a s go od a s any in the city." "I d oubt it not," said the youth, as he threw himself w eari l y down in an armchair. The landlord haste ned back, and in a little while a lad came up with a large tray, on which th e re were co l d roast beef, cold fowl, a bottle of wine, and some bread and cheese . Leaving the tray on the table, the boy bow ed and withdre w. The young s o ldier now threw his cloak aside , revealing a slender and graceful form, and when his Conti nent a l hat was cast down, he showed a fair and beard less fa ce, a fine but rather delicate cast of features, but which evidently had fire in it should excitement kindle it up. The youth l a id his sword and pi s tols on his bed, then went and clos e l y b o lted hi s door. This done, he turned his atten t ion to the food and drink, and in a little while the tray presented a v e ry meager appea rance. "Fifty miles to-day o n one horse, since noon," muttered the youth. "Had an y one t o ld me y e sterday I could end ure it, I would h av e laugh e d him to scorn . But I a m h e re, an d n o w the next thing is to ascertain where he is , an d w h et her he hath what I f ear most, a s w e e the art in the place! Ah ! the l a ndlord must have more guests. I hear his voice, his step, and he is fol low ed b y others." The youth w as s il ent, for heavy ste ps approached and passed his door, but a second later he heard the landlord throw open another door, and say: "Gentlemen, here i s a three -b e dded roo m where you can all retire w h e n yo u are r eady , and you shall be call e d at daylight, as y ou desire."


60 The Young Stranger Overhears a Plot. "All ri ght," sa id a g ruff -v oiced m an. "S.1.. .1d us up a couple of bottles of rum, some ho t water and sugar, and we'll t a ke care of ourselves." "They s hall be up in a f e w seconds, " sa ; i the land lord, well pleas ed a t such a liberal order, and away he went. "Now, mates , " sa id the m an with a gruff voice, "all we have to do is to l ay ou r p l a ns and keep a wake on our rum and sugar. For I'll trust no man to wake me when I've so big a ventu r e ahead." " Did you say th e young Q uaker was to carry back fift y tho usand hard dollars?" asked anoth e r voice-not so harsh as the first , but a cold, sharp-toned one. "Yes; I heard h i m tell his mother he was to receive it at sunrise from Rob ert Morris." "The n those fifty thousand dollars must be ours, if it costs the young Quaker his life," sa id a third voice. "Hush! here c o m e s our rum," said the first sp ea ker. The young soldier had listened t o this c o nversation with bated bre a th, his eyes wild with eager interest, his face flushin g and paling by turns, as if it were to him of t h e utm ost impo r tance. Now he s h aded his light under his bed, lest the land l ord might see its g l eam, and in some way hint to the m en i n the ne x t room that there wa s on e n ear who might overhear their talk, if they intended it to be priva te. But min e hos t o f the White Horse Tavern thought only o f hi s p rofi ts, and s etting down the liquor and its acc omp animents, left his guests to themselves. A g ain the youth on tipt oe, moved near the wall of the ad j oining room, so a<: not to lose one word of what was said there. For a f e w moments the men seemed busy in mixing their drinks , and then a n e w voice, which made the fourth heard in the room, gave this toast: "Her e's success t o all true knights of the road , the m e n w ho war on all but their own profession, and win eve ry time they play."


The Young Stranger Over hears a Plot. 6 I "Good !" cried the gruffvoiced m an . "When the king's me n get this town, money will be plenty, and gold will jingle in ou r pockets, which now can hardly give b a ck the chink of s ilv e r. But this v ent ure will set us up." "Will this Quaker have any one with him to guard the treasure ?" as ked one. "The dri ve r o f the cart , p e rh aps ; it is not lik e ly that he will have an y armed men al o n g. Quakers, y ou know, are ave r se t o the use o f arms." "I've heard of fighting Quakers, i t seems to me," sai d one. "Not in t h e se days . T he most o f the Quakers here w ill turn t he other ch eek if you smite one. But this Q u a ker is a gian t in size, and must b e in st rength. But a n ounce o f l ead, or a f e w inches o f steel, will settle him. We mus t wait until he i s well o ut of town and in a lone ly part o f the road before we ride upon him." "Ay; I know a good p l ace , up b eyo nd Germantown, n ea r a b end in th e riv e r ," said one of the men. "Fill up, fill up, m a tes . We m ay as well make a ni ght of i t. I s hall mount our party and get clear of the city be fore the Quaker comes out. He h a s but one road to trave l , and we cannot mi ss him." "Oh, Heaven . help me!" murmured the young sol dier. "This i s a robber band, and the i r pl a n i s to rob A dab S l o com b , who has been sent hither by Gen. Washing-ton fo r money t o pay o ff his troops . I must, and w ill save him! But how? Not for th e w orld would I h a ve hi m know I foll o wed him h e r e ; for if he knew the r ea l cause he wo uld hate a nd despise me. But I know his d ange r. I will save him a nd his treas u re, o r peris h in the attemp t. They w ill watch while th ey carouse. I , too, will remain awake, and watch, without carous a l." And the younR soldier r ebuck l ed his sword to his side, look e d a t the priming of his pistols, re p laced them in hi s belt , and sat d ow n carefully in utter silence.


CHAPTER XIII. "WASHINGTON AND GLORY!" Adah Slocomb was aroused half an hour before dawn by th e k i ss of his fond and good mother, and quic k l y l aving his face and hands in the clear, cold water which she brought, h e descended from his chamber to the breakfast room, where a delicious meal aw aited his fre s h a nd he a rty appetite. Nice warm bis cuit, good steak, fresh butte r , and c offee with cream, was fare far superior to any he had ta sted in camp, and he enjoyed it the more for its good home taste, • which all men cannot h e lp enjoying. His horse, well rested, took to the oats which he gave him before he ate his own breakfast in a manner that showed he would soon be ready for his return journey, not likely now to be quite so fast, since Adab had the whole day before him, for he intended to reach the camp of Washington b efore the sun went down. As soon as his brea kfast was finished and his horse saddled, Adab received the parting blessing of his good mother, and started for the house of Rob ert Morris, for it was now daylight, and rosy clouds in the east told that the sun was on the verge of the horizon. The su n was just gi ldin g th e steeple of the old Christ Church when Adab Slocomb drew up in front of the house of Robert Morris. A stout but light wagon, with t wo horses in front of it and a sturdy l ooking driver on the fr ont seat, was waiting there , and Adah had no doubt th a t it was the conveyance alluded to by Morris th e night before. Adab fastened his h o r se and went in, finding Morris waitin g for him in the library. On th e table , in strong canvas bags, each sealed and a l abe l affixed, noting its contents, the money was de posit ed, while below were four small trunks, in which


"Washington and Glory !" it was t o b e d epos it ed as soo n as Adah h ad seen and taken do w n the nu m b e r o f bags and cop i ed the l a b e ls the reon. For Rob ert Morris w as a m e t h o d i ca l bu s ine s s man, a n d want e d the r e c eipt o f t h e me s se n ger when t he latter h a d seen the mo n ey lo c ke d up a n d r e c e iv e d the ke ys . This matte r wa s quick l y atte nded to, for Adah did not wis h t o l o s e a n y time. " T he d r ive r is well arme d and trusty, " s a id Morris. "He has befo r e t ake n trea sure a w ay for m e in s a f e ty, w ith no one to g ua r d i t but h im s e lf. N e v erthe l e ss, if y o u wou l d have a n extra g u ard to as sist you , I ca n ge t o n e from t he council." "Nay, it is n o t necessary," said Adah. " I have a pl ain, cl ear ro a d befo r e m e, wi th fri e n ds a t eve r y c ha n g e o f h orses , and I do not thi n k the r e is the sli ght e s t d an g e r on this side o f the riv e r in the broad light o f a cle a r day like this . " "Nei the r do I. My men s h a ll now tak e out the trunk s," sai d Morri s . "Gi v e them no t roub le a b out it, " sa i d the s t u r d y bl a c ksm ith. " ' T w ill t ak e me but a f e w se c o nd s . " Even as h e spoke , he t ook a trunk i n eac h h a nd , and, wei ghty as th ey we re, c a r ri e d t he m t o t h e w a g on. R eturning, he p l aced t h e other t w o w ith the first , then giv ing hi s h and t o t h e b anke r , said: " F a r e thee well, F riend Rob e rt. Aft e r I h ave acquit t ed m y s elf of mine err and I will ask George Washington to write to the e t h e r e of. " "Fa r e w e ll , good Adah, and g ood s p e ed!" s a id the banke r. "Maste r Willi a ms , thy t e amst e r , i s a s o cial and worthy man ; see to his c omfort w h e n he gets to camp." "Yea, ve ri ly , I will do it," said Adab , mounting his h orse. The next momen t the wag o n moved on through the still s t re e ts, taking t he Kensin g to n road, whi l e Adah , urging the driver to all c onvenient speed , rode o n b e hin d . '


64 "Washington and Glory !" "We will occasionally change thy team for fresh horses," said Adah. "Therefore, Friend Williams, thee need not be afraid to keep up a good gait." "All right ; the horses shall keep the wheels spin ning," said Williams, cheerfully, touching his sleek ani mals with the whip. Adah made no further r ema rk, but rode on, his mind no doubt turning backward to Primrose Cottage, where his faithful Naomi dwelt, waiting, like him , for more peaceful and happy time s, when, united, they could glide softly down the tide of time, enjoying life as they went. Near Germantown the first change of horses was made, and here Adah saw, to his wonder, riding slowly behind him at some distance, the same young Conti n en t a l soldier whom he had passed far up the river on the previous day. But he did not mention it to the driver, though he a gain urg ed the latter to speed forward, for they had a long distance ye t to travel, some of the way over a very rough road, before they could reach the Ameri can camp. Williams urged his fresh hors es into a fair trot, and Adah, looking back, saw that the young soldier in creased his speed, though he had not the advantage of a chan ge of h orses. "Can the youth be watching me or following me?" he asked himself. "He can scarcely be an enemy, yet wolves can wear sheep's clothing; that is contained in Holy Writ. If h e continueth to follow me, I will ascer tain what it means." The wagon was moving along into a part of the road shaded on either hand by a dense old forest, and as the road had been here somewhat ne g lected and was rough, Williams was frequently obliged to slacken his speed to a walk. Suddenly, as they turned a bend in the narrow road, Adab, who was a rod or two in the rear, heard a shout from Williams, and saw him lashing his horses


"Washington and Glory !" 6 S iously to make the m move forward ; but they would not, or cou l d n o t , for a b a rric a de of small saplings and unde rbru s h had b ee n throw n acros s the road. As Ada b spurre d fo rward, four armed men dashed o u t fr o m e ithe r side of the ro a d on horseb a ck, and as W illia m s drew a p i s t o l , o n e of th em struck him a merciless blow o n t he h ea d with a hug e blu dge on, which c ru s hed h im dow n b l e ed in g and s e n se l ess in the wagon. A t the sam e instant Adah rode s wiftl y forward, s h o utin g : " H o ld ! Forbear! In the name o f the Continental Congr e ss, h o l d I " One o f t he ruffians w ith a huge d r a g oo n p istol shot Ada h ' s hors e t h r o u g h t h e h ea d , a n d i t f ell s o suddenl)'! tha t Adab himself was c a ught w i t h o n e of his legs u n d e r t h e fa llen h o rse. " Hurrah! the Quake r is fast! He h a s no weapon s ! Out w it h th e trunks!" s h o ut e d t h e m a n who seemed to lea d the ruffi a ns. Adah g r oa ne d, not with p a in , but agony at the tho u ght o f l os i n g t he tre asu re s o much need e d by! hi 5 co u n t ry , and struggled madly to r e lease h ims e if from the falle n horse. At t he same se c ond he heard a shrill sh out, the cry of "Washin gto n and g l ory ! " and s a w the y outh in Co ntin enta l u niform c o me dashing on at full speed, w i t h a pi sto l in e a ch hand. T w o swift, sure shots, and a ruffian fell with each, a third was in another second cut down by the stranger's sword, and the fourth, springing upon his h o r se , d as h e d up the road , followed by the young sol di e r , with his dra wn s word in his hand. "I thank thee , oh Lord, that these sons of Satan have not succ e ed ed in their wickedn e ss !" cried Adah , de voutly , as with a mi g hty effort he mana g ed to extricate his a l m ost brok e n leg from und e r his dead horse. Limp ing up t o the wa g on, he climb e d in and examine d Williams, the driver, whom he almost expected to find dead.


66 "Washington and Glory !" But the man was alive-his thick wool hat had partly broken the force of the blow, and the blood which ran from the wound was rather a benefit than otherwise, for he soon revived enough to direct Adab what to do. First clearing the road so as to let the wagon pass on, then securing the three horses left by the dead rob bers, Ad::ib last took from their bodies all their arms and laid them on the wagon by the side of Williams. Then, after dressing the gash in the driver' s head, as well as he could with a portion of his own linen and a handkerchief, the latter was able once more to take the reins. "I wonder whither the brave youth hath gone who came so timely to our rescue?" said Adab. "I had seen him and regarded him with suspicion, whereas he hath proved a most needful friend, rather than an enemy." "Where was he when you last saw him?" asked Williams. "Chasing the fourth robber, the leader of the party, with a drawn sword in his hand-a young David after a very Philistine!" "Your young David has conquered," said Williams, a moment later, for they both saw the youth in the road some distance ahead, fastening a second horse, head and head with his own, while a dark object on the ground told plainly enough that the fourth robber had succumbed to his prowess. The youth did not wait for them to approach, but vaulting lightly into the saddle, while they were yet a hundred yards in the rear, he rode on, keeping ever just where he could see them, and quickly join them in case of attack, but evidently not intending to give them even a chance to thank him for his timely aid and wonderful courage. Adab, whose bruised and strained le g pained him very much, now mounted one of the captured horses, and Williams hurried his team forward to the next changing place as fast as he could drive.


''Washington and Glory !" The yout h , by ch angi n g from o n e h o r s e to the othe r , kept his lead without diffic ul ty, and when they were changing the wagon horses for fresh ones , h e di s mounte d some ways ahead, a n d l et both his ho r ses r es t. "He eviden tl y intends t o stay nea r us as a gua r d , b u t not to hold any c omm u ni c ation w i th us," said Ada b. " I am so r e l y p u zz l ed wh a t to make out of h im . If he hath been sent t o escort me, w h y shou l d he keep aloo f ? " The mystery was n o t so l ved a ll that day . N o further attack o r in t erruption came u po n t h em , a nd they m ade such g ood s p eed that w ith t heir fr equent changes for fresh drau ght h orses, t h e y we re in the American camp al mos t an hour be fore su nse t. Gen . Wash i n g t o n warml y we lco me d fait h ful Adah and his t reas ur e , a nd w h e n t o ld h o w n ea rl y it had been capture d , and the w on derfu l act of t h e strange youth, he cau sed i n quiry to b e made o n eve r y si d e for the young h ero . But in va in. A d a b h a d mi s sed hi m, finally , a b out two hours before reaching cam p, wh e n the far m h ouse o f J o b Turner was just h eaving in s i ght. The l a d h a d then turned short off into the w o o d s , w here a strea m rippled across the ro ad, an d w a s see n no mor e . The troops soo n g o t the n ew s tha t their pay had come , and cheer o n che e r r ent t he a i r. "We w ill pay t o -ni ght, and tomorrow move on the enemy," sa i d W a s h i ngton. A t once t he proper office r s and pay ro lls were sent for t o c arry ou t the g r ea t l eade r 's w i s h es . In ge n era l o rd e r s the n a m e o f A d a b Slocomb was read at the h ea d of every r egi m e n t as worthy o f espe ci al commendatio n fo r hi s c ou r age a n d faithfulness; and the unk n ow n h ero was ca ll ed upon t o com e forward and r e ceive a h a n dsome c omm i ssio n i n the l i ne for his bravery and t i me l y att ack u po n t he robbe r s . But no r esponse came, a n d Adah l ooked in vain amo n g all the mounted me n for the form w hich he so well remembered .


68 The Battle of Princeton. He had not seen the face o f the y outh , nor heard his voice except in that one rin ging shout: "Washington and glory ! " CHAPTER XIV. THE B ATTLE OF PRINCETON. The news flew like electricity throug h the surrounding country that Washington was onc e more able to pay his suffering troop s , and that again he c ontem plated strikin g hi s British and Hessian fo es . Many of his soldi e r s who had started for distant h omes, came back, n e w ones enlisted, and when ready, ne x t day, he cross e d once more into New Jersey, with an army of four thousand men, and took post a t Tren t on. As soon as he crossed , Adab Slocomb and other faithful scouts were sent out to discover the pos ition and strength of the enemy, and soon \ Vash ington learned that Cornwallis, with a much superior force, was at Princeton, but ten mil es distant, and that he was receiving reinforcements, and evidently making ready to attack the Continental forces. Adah, under the pretense of selling an old and badly spavined horse, managed to get completely within the lines of the enemy and learn its force and the nature of it. When he reported to Gen. Washing ton that he had seen the artillery trains supplied with ammunition , and the provision trains loaded for the march , the general at once fell back to a strong position eastward of the town, where, with forty pieces of ligh t artillery, h e felt confident of being able to h o ld his ground, if Cornwallis was not too strongly r e infor ced . The American force, one-half of which wa s u n d i s ciplined and poorly a r med militia, now number e d five thousand, while the enemy was e ven yet stronger, and


The Battle o f Pri n c et on. his force c omposed e n tire ly o f w ell d r ill e d and v e t e r a n regul a r s. On the seco n d o f Janua ry, 1777, C ornwa llis mov e d forward from P r in c eto n , but he w a s h a r assed in his march by light troo p s und e r G ree ne and Morgan , so tha t it was near l y s u n se t w h en h e r ea ch e d the front of W ashingto n's well poste d army. Now, under cove r o f a fu r ious cannonade , he attempted to p ass t h e b r i dge o v e r the A s san p ink Creek , and w a s t o a ss ai l Washingto n in fro nt, bu t he wa s me t by show e r s o f grape and c a ni s t e r, as we ll as with infantry a nd ri fle men on the Ame rican sid e , and his troops r ecoi l ed, w ith terrible los s . F o r nearl y thr ee h ours the Briti s h ge neral continu e d the a ttac k ; but, r ep ul s ed at every point, h e at last fell b ack an d e n campe d , det e rmined, with r e inforcements, ye t t o c o m e fro m Princeton, to renew the attack in the mornin g . H e wa." so confid ent of succ e ss that he assured Sir William E r sk in e, w h o w a s with h im, that he had his "fox" in c ove rt, an d wo ul d c apture him in the morning. H e sent c o uriers back to Princeton to orde r the t roop s r ema inin g t h e r e to m o ve up to his support as earl y as possib l e the n ex t morning. But Washingt o n was t o o cunnin g a fox to be cau ght b y such a poo r hunte r. With hi s lin e s crowded with camp fires , guard s in fu ll view, and ev e r y ev i d ence of intention t o r ema in and "fi ght it out o n tha t l i n e , " he was prepari n g t o e lu de the f oe i n front , atta ck hi s re serves i n t he rear , a n d, b y a mas te rl y pi e ce of strate gy, dra w hi m back from t h e ro u te t o Phila d e l ph i a, o ve r a country w hich he h a d already ravaged and rendered d e so l a te. Heaven favo r e d t he Ame ric a n gen e r a l , for , th o u g h the n i g h t open e d soft and mi ld , s o that it was a l mos t impo ss ible t o mo ve the artillery o v e r the y i elding ground, b e fore ten a t night a co l d nort hwes t g a l e set i n, the g round b ecame h a r d , a n d a t mi dn i ght the C o nti nental A r m y was mo vi n g swiftl y t oward Prince ton,


The B attle of Princeton. while the unsusp e ctin g Corn wa llis s l ept o n a d owny bed n ear Trenton, dreamin g of his fox hunt on the morrow. He w a s awak e n e d fr o m his sleep at sunri se, not by the shrill tones o f "Yankee D o odle" in his fro n t, but by th e thun der of artill e r y far away in his rear , on the Prince ton road. Over a new and circuitous road Washingto n had pressed through the d a rkne s s of the stormy ni g ht, and just after dawn he f ell in with the advance bri gade of the enemy moving up to reinforce Cornw a llis at Trenton. A terrible battle, literally hand to hand, op e ned at once. Almost in the onset the heroic Gen. M e rc e r fell, sword in hand, and, bayoneted, was left for d ead by the enemy. Washington in person led the Pennsylvania militia into action, and , exposed on every side, cheered them forward. Silent and grim, carrying a banner, but no weapon, Adah Slocomb strode by the side of the heroic leader, and heedless of the bullets which pierced his fla g , care less of sword or bayonet, moved into the thicke s t of the fight. "Down with that Yankee fla g !" yelled a g igantic drag oon, ri ding full upon A d a h and makin g a s wee p at his he a d with his g l e amin g s word, which Adah parried with the staff of his b a ttle flag . "Down with thee, th o u foul-mouthed ruffi an!" c r i e d Adab, and with hi s l e ft hand h e clu t ch e d th e so l dier by his sword-arm a n d t o re him fro m his sa d d le, b r in g ing him to the g -round with a cras h that literally drove the life out of his b o d y . Washington saw it , and cried out: "Behold our br a ve st a nd ard bearer! Wit h out a weapon he crushes the foes into the ground wh i ch they des ecrate!" On--on swept the tide o f w a r. Though Merc e r had fallen, Knox, Haslet, Potter, Shippen, and many an-


The Battle of Princeton. other noble spirit was left, and nothing could stem the over w he lming patriot tide. T he B ritish broke and fled, leaving many dead and wounded on the field, and the victory of Princeton was compl ete . Q ui c k ly Wash ington destroyed all the stores and munitions of war which he could not carrv off, and then he resumed his march, for already Cornwallis was rus hing back from Trenton to overwhelm him, while his forces were exhausted from marching and battl e . The Fortieth and Fifty-fifth British Regiments, when broken and dispersed , fled toward the Millstone Riv e r, in the very direction which Washington wished to take. There his march was also pursuit. Taking some prisoners , and g athering up desert e d arms by the hun dred on the route, Washington and his victorious army pressed on, until not a British soldier could be seen in front. In his rear, with all his force, Cornwallis was now pres s in g on, for he believed Washington intended to strike for the royal stores left in New Brunswick. But the brave and careful chieftain knew that his force was inadequate, and that he must hazard a gen eral battle, with numbers and discipline against him, if he made the attempt. Makin g a bend to the left , taking the highlands toward the Delaware for his route, checking his pursuing foe from point to point , he moved on with very little l oss, to secure quarters in the hills back of Mor ristown. His bivouac was rough, and the Jerseymen from e ve r y sid e brought provision to the chief who was w in ning g lory and the admiration of the world on their soil. And hi s victorious army, almost doubled since his recen t r a pid and masterly movements , felt as if they were literally invincible. They had discovered heroes


72 A Rejected Widower. among men whom they had hardly noticed, they had see n British re g u l ars recoil and fly b e fore raw militia, t he y had see n the p ea ce-l o vin g Quaker, b a nner in hand, move as fea rlessly into the ranks of d e ath as the bravest o f their armed men . Was hington w as m ore than ever hopeful. Whether this hope was justi fied or not, we shall see later. CHAPTER XV. A REJECTE D W ID OWER. "Naomi, child , what ail eth thee? Surely , surely , something dread ful it mu s t b e to excite t hee so ! " Thus P e trunia Sto ne cri e d out whe n she ente r ed the sittin g-room o f P ri m ro s e Cot t age, thre e days after Adah Slocomb had behaved so g all a n t l y a t P rinc eton as to win , a s e con d ti me, notic e in general order s . N ao mi wa s walking to an d fro o ve r t he floo r , h e r face flushed and h e r e y es flas hing, whil e sh e held a letter all c rus he d in h e r hand . "Matter eno u g h , d ea r aunt , w h e n on e of the e l de r s i n our me e t ing d a r es to s l a nder a b ette r m a n than h im self , and t h e n t o a dd to the cru e l insu lt by asking me to brea k m y pli ghted troth. As if t he r e was any m a n on earth w ho c o uld fill the place of A da b S l o c om b i n my h ea rt. " "Who h ath sl a n dere d Adah , and t hus i nsu l ted thee ? " cri e d h e r aunt , in turn b e c om ing exc ited . " I will ri se a n d d e n ounc e him in m ee tin g, i f h e sits o n the hi g h est sea t o f a ll. " "Rea d tha t l ette r fro m John R o b erts . I will n o t c all him fri e n d, who wo ul d stab t he a bsen t i n t he b ack. " And N a omi r e ach e d out the crush e d an d crum p le d lett e r ; and P etru n i a Stone, fo r ge ttin g t o put o n he r spectacles, r ead it al o u d with out them. It ran thus:


A Rejected Widower. 73 "NAOMI BLISS: It behooveth me , as an elder in the meeting, to deal plainly with thee, and to give thee counsel such as beseemeth one who is young, comely of form, and exceedingly fair to look upon. "Thee must hereafter have no more to say or do with the graceless and sinful apostate known as Adab Slo comb, who is even now fighting against his king, to the disgrace of our pe'!ceful sect and to the perdition of his own wicked spirit. And to protect thee from his wicked approaches, since, as thou knowest , I have, a year gone by, been a widower, I offer to take thee as my wife before the meeting on the earliest day which thou canst name. "That thee may know that I speak und e rstandingly of the wickedness of Adab Slocomb, I s e nd thee here with copies of the general orders of the rebel, George Washington, wherein Adab and his exploits in war are spoken of. Thine, lovingly, "JoHN RonERTS." "The old dolt! The miserable, bald-headed wretch!" cried Petrunia Stone, as she threw the letter on the floor and trampled on it. "Were he here, the spirit would move me to scratch his eyes out ! Send that letter to Adab, Naomi , send that letter to Adab, and he will show it t o George Washington, who will know who it is that dares to call him a rebel." "I will," said Naomi. "And I am glad he has sent it, else we had never known from Adab how highly he is esteemed by the good and wise man who is trying to save our country from wreck and ruin." "Yea, verily, Adab is too modest to sin g his own praises. And even by the hand of his enemy have hiS merits been made known. Will thee answer this letter , Naomi?" "Nay, I will treat it with the contempt of silence," said the lovely young Quakeress. "Should he dare to come hither , I will then speak my mind to him in a way that will show him there are other rebels to his


7'4 A Rejected Widower. king than our Adab. Ah ! there cometh good Hannah Slocomb, Aaab's mother. We will t ell her all!" In a few seconds Hannah Slocomb entered, and was warmly greeted by both niece and aunt, the latter taking up the trampled letter, putting on her spectacles now and reading it. "What doth thee think of that?" she asked, as she laid down the letter. "I am not astonished, Friend Petrunia," said Hannah Slocomb. "John Roberts and Abraham Carlisle have both openly denounced the patriots in meeting, and I hear they will strive to have my son Adab dis missed fr o m our sect. But I hold a letter from George Washington himself, saying that while Adab hath nobly served his country, and is even now doing so, he hath drawn no carnal weapon, or armed himself after the manner of soldiers. That in no way hath he conducted himself unseemingly as a Christian or a man, but, on the contrary, hath won the love of all around him by his tender care of the sick and the wounded, his devotion to his country, and his obedience to those above him in station. Let these traitors to God and their country arise in meeting to d e nounce Adab, and the letter of George Washington shall be their answer!" "Thee is right," said Naomi, proudly. "But look I that sleek-faced hypocrite, John Roberts, is coming this way-even to the house, for he enters by the gate!" "Yea, he cometh for an answer to his letter," cried Petrunia Stone. "Give it to him, Naomi, and fear not; we will stand by thee!" The face of Hannah Slocomb grew rigid and pale, but she did not speak. In the meantime , John Roberts, a tall, lean, cadaver ous-looking man, clad in the extreme of Quakerism, knocked loudly at the door. Neither of the women stirred to admit him, though he could see them through the front window, where


A Rejected Widower. 75 they were seated ne a r the op e n fireplace. Finding that no attention was paid to his knocking, he opened the door for himself and stalked in. Without removing his hat, he strode forward, and said: "It is a cold day to keep an elder of the meeting knocking at the door when there is a warm fire within." "There is a warmer fire waiting for thee in the nether world, J o hn Roberts!" said Petrunia Stone, sharply. "And the e will be more welcome there than here." "Yea, for thou wilt meet slanderers and liars that suit thine own base and sinful nature !" said Hannah Slocomb, scornfully. "Why does not thee join in the hue and cry?" said Roberts, turning short upon Naomi. "Because ill-bred curs who bark against their bet ters are not worth my notice,'' said Naomi, quietly. The sallow face of the gaunt Quaker grew livid for an instant, and his thin, treacherous lips trembled as he said: "For this insult I will make ye women weep tears of blood and repent over the ashes of your homes! The king and troops will " oon occupy this city, and then you will shriek in vain for the intercession of one who could save you-even I, John Roberts. I came to get a kindly answer to my proposat for that dam sel's hand, and I receive nau ght but abuse!" "Thou wilt receive something warmer still!" said Petrunia Stone. "If thee remains here one minute longer I will scald thee as I would a hog, till there is no hide or hair left upon th e e !" And she took a huge iron ladle from its hook in the corner, and immersed it in a large kettle of water which boiled over the fire. "As I live, ye shall suffer for this!" he cried, as he turned to leave the room. On the threshold he halted, and looking back at Naomi, he added:


A New Duty for Adah. "As for thee, proud girl, I will so humble thee that thou shalt envy the poorest scullion that delves in the ashes at the inn !" "And I will live to see thee exalted, after the man ner of Haman, who builded his own gallows !" cried Naomi. "That is, if thou dost not follow the example of thy traitorous ancestor, Judas Iscariot, and hang tliyself." It is likely John Roberts would have replied, but just then he saw Petrunia Stone approaching him with a ladle of hot water, and he retreated-his pace being accelerated by a steaming application, which reached his tight-fitting coat in the back, and made him howl out an anathema as he went. "Thee hadst better send that letter to Adah, and an account of what this man hath threatened in regard to the king ' s troops coming hither, and laying our houses in ashes," said Hannah Slocomb, addressing Naomi, after the sudden departure of John Roberts. "I will-not from any fear that I feel, but that George Washington should know re traitors dwell," said Naomi. "It is more dangerous to h( traitors within the lines than enemies without." "Thou dost speak truly," said Hannah Slocomb. Then turning to Petrunia Stone, she continued: "Thou hast sca lded thy hog, but he did not stay to be salted and cured." "True. He hath gone to save his own bacon," said Petruni'.1, with a quiet smile on her grave face. CHAPTER XVI. A NEW DUTY FOR ADAB. Believing Washington to be marching with all of his forces to capture the stores at New Brunswick, Corn wallis pushed on by the nearest route for that point, using such haste that several of his l;>aggage wagons


A New Duty for Adah. 77 were broken down. Leaving a small guard with these, he still hurried forward with his troops , but such was the state of the lower roads, cut up before by his advanc e , and now froz en into deep ruts and sharp clods, that it was night before his army, tired .and dispirited, arrived in New Brunswick to find the stores s a fe, as Washington was also in the hills to the westward hours before. Adab Slocomb, who had been sent by his chief with a small escort to watch the movements of Cornwallis, had seen him reach New Brunswick, and satisfied that ... he would move thence to New York, if he moved at all, rode back with his escort toward the American lines. Suddenly, some miles to the rear, he was confronted by a horseman , who said: "Adab Slocomb, a mile to the front of thee, on this road, there are three wagons moving slowly on, guarded by a force not much g reater than these with thee. The wagons contain warm woolen blankets and clothing, now so much needed by our troops. Will you let them pass ?" "Nay; it would be a woeful sin if I did," said Adah. "Lead the way, and we will rush upon the guard with a great shout and s care them off, and we will turn the wagons in a proper direction." The stranger said, "Then follow me!" and instant l y rode on. It was so dark Adab could only see that the speaker was a man in uniform, with a sword by his side, and yet there was something familiar in the voice, though it seemed low and hoarse. In less than five minutes' rapid riding they reached a piece of wood, apparently stunted pine or cedar. "Here halt, till I give the word to charge . Then go in with a yell on every lip," said the stranger. In a few seco nds the cre aking and jolting of the h eavi l y laden wagons co uld be heard, with the oaths of the drivers and chilled soldiers who formed the guard. Nearer and nearer they came, until, scattered


A New Duty for Adah. and without order, the escort was seen moving on ahead of the foremost wagon. "First Ba ttalion, Li ght Horse, charge! W:>s hing ton and g lor y ! " shout e d the strange soldier at this s e c ond, and in a breath, shouting terribly, Adab and his men dashed forward on his track. The Britis h never fired a shot, or waited to even draw a sab e r. Take n utterly by surprise , they fled in every dir e ction. The teamsters, leapin g from the sad dles of their wheel horses, fled also, and in little more time than it takes to describe it, the wagons were turned, and, with new teamsters, were moving at the best possible gait toward the American headquarters. But the strange soldier who had led the charge was gone. No one saw him after he dashed forward, sword in hand, upon the enemy. But Adab had recognized in that charging shout and peculiar battle cry the young Continental who had saved him an

A New D uty for Ada h . 79 toil e d and endur e d priv a t ions that they might g ive us fr eedo m ' s l e g acy as a joy for ever! How lit tl e inde e d do we, the d es cend a nts of those h eroic m e n , appre cia t e the past how ca r e l ess l y d o we gua rd th e trust the y l e ft us ! Whe n W ashin g ton h eard a g ai n of the youthful C on t in e ntal who had a second time enab l ed Adah t o be suc c e s sful a n d do such good s e rvice t o the cause, he r e g rett ed th a t h e had not come for w ard fo r a substa n tial recogniti o n of his s e r v i ces . On th e third da y after the b attl e of Princeto n , Washing ton e s tabli s h e d his in t rench e d quarte r s n ea r Morr is t own, w ith a fine c ountry in his r e a r , o c cupie d by p a t r iots w ho w e re willin g to give free ly to ai d their countr y ' s d efe n de rs, and in his fr ont the enemy, occu p ying the sh o r es a djacen t to N e w Y ork, upo n w hich he c ou l d throw his invigorated and encouraged light troops suddenly, and if outnumbe r ed, retreat to p osi t i o ns which we r e impregnable. F r om his e y ri e back of Morri s t ow n , wit h a powerful telesc o pe , he c o uld sca n a ll t he seaward p l ains, and sen d troops s woo pin g do w n o n d e t a ch e d posts o f c a mps , when they l e a s t exp e ct e d atta ck, thus keeping t hem constantly a l a r med and u neasy, and maki n g t heir foothold in New J e rs e y insecu r e . Thus he dashed d own upo n and seized fro m the gra sp of the British lion, N e wa r k, Eli zab ethto w n and Woodbridge, forcing the enemy b a c k to Staten I s l and a n d New Yor k , and capturing every post of the en e my in New J e r sey, except A mb oy and New Bruns wick. These exploi ts sp r ead far and wi de, eve n across t he oc ea n, struck dismay to the h earts o f ou r enemies, whi l e they r ek indled the fire of h o p e in the boso m s of o u r fri e nds . M a n y who h a d b ee n lu ke w arm in the cause now o pe nl y esp o used Freedom' s side, and the di s lo y a l shrank b ack into the British lines, fearing jus t r et ribu tion for th eir trea ch e ry. Adah Slocomb , ofte n absen t on mis s ions planned by


80 A New Duty for Adah. Washington, was still trusted and beloved by the chief, and when with him was quartered under the same roof as one of his milit ary family. Some three o r four days after they h ad s ettle d in wh a t the commander -in-chi ef called his w int e r quarters , he s ent an orderly out to find Adab, for a l ette r quaintly addressed to "Fri e ' nd Adab Slocomb, in care of Geor g e Washin gton, the Friend and Defender of Lib erty in the American Colonies," was just received. Ada b was found, and when Washington handed him the l ette r a faint flush of pleasure c ame upon his face, and he ope n e d it quickly. He had r ecognized the h a nd writing of Naomi. But his face darkened as he g lanc ed at a dirty, crumpled inclosure, and after r eading a few words of Naomi's letter he read the cru m pl e d scrawl written by John Roberts. His face turned almost black with suppressed wrath as he re ad it--every word to the end. "If I had John Roberts here, I would not smite him, but I would g rind him into the dust ben eath my feet!" he muttered. And he g round his own massive teeth as if he had John Roberts b e tween them. He then r ea d all that Naomi had written , and after he w a s throu g h , he turned to Gen. Washington, and said: "Friend George , mine own concerns, and the insults offer e d to one very near to me, will not concern thee much, but the arch traitor who is at the head of all this trouble, talks of the enemy occupying Philadelphia, and then of his ability to wreak his unmanly vengeance on the he ads of the helpless, even upon my mother, and up on my betrothed wife!" And he handed Washington his letters to read. Kindly the great chief perused them, and then he called to an aid to brin g him a paper which he designated as am on g th ose on his table. "John Roberts and Abraham Carlisle., Quakers, of


A New Duty for Adah. 81 Philadelphia, are men now in treasonable correspond ence with the enemy," he said, as he looked over the paper. "We will cut their career short, and put them where they can do no harm. You shall proceed to Philadelphia and arrest them both, and bring them to these headquarters, and if they are found guilty of the charges herein made against them, thou shalt have no fe a r of rivalry as far as this Roberts is concerned. His punishment will be death." "I would not aid to utterly destroy him," said Adah, "for I am not given to hatred or malice. But I would gladly see him put where he can do no harm to our country, or to those whom I love." "Justice mus t be done, no matter on whose head it falls," said washington, calmly, but decisively. "Traitors are more dangerous to our cause than open foes. Will you make ready to g o, with a small escort, once more to Philadelphia?" "If it is thy wish, Friend George, I will go. But I n eed no escort to bring such men as those hither. I could lead them each, wit h an ear between my thumb and finger, from their thresholds to thy presence. The man who threatens a woman is too cowardly to raise a hand against a man, much less against one whom he knows could crush him as h e would a se rpent beneath his heel, if he was moved to anger. When does thee wish me to start?" "Immediately. But I shall insist on your taking a small escort, for I shall send dispatches of importance to the Congre ss and to Robert Morris ; and Cornwallis may at times send out light parties of scouts from New Brunswick, which might detain, or, in fact, execute you, when such correspondence was found on your person." "Thee hast the most wisdom, and what thou thinketh best I accede to," said Adah. "Then tell Col. Fitzgerald, my aid, to detail ten good and true men. I will furnish funds for thy expenses.u "Nay. Remember that my mother gave me a purse.


A Couple of Tricksters. which I scarcely have opened," said Adab. "I will take no money from thy military chest until it is better filled than now." Washington smiled, for he knew how l ittle indeed his treasure chest contained, and he said, kindly : "Have your own way, good Adah. I hope to see the day when our country will be able and willi n g to reward such disinterested services as yours. Get ready and report to me when prepared to depart , and I will have the dispatches ready." In a short time, Adah, in company with ten wellarmed and well-mounted horsemen , rode away from the American camp, heading for a ford near Phillipsburg. CHAPTER XVII. A COUPLE OF TRICKSTERS. The rage of John Roberts at his rec eptio n from the occupants of the Primrose Cottage was fearful, and most un-Quakerli ke. Scalded in the back, wounded in his pride, taunted by the maiden after whom he yearned, he f e lt as if he could murder them all and yet not feel satiated. Hurrying to the quarters of a c on fed era te in evil doings, of the same garb and persuasion, named Abraham Carlisle, he told of his defeat and ignoble repulse in terms explicit enough to be understood. "And will thee fold thy arms., and sitting down say thou art foiled and subdued?" asked Abraham Carlisle , with a sne e r. "Or wilt thou teach thiS young Jeze bel a lesson?" "Show me how! Show me how!" cried John Rob erts, his small gray eyes flashing with hate and a de sire for ven g eance. "Seize her! Carry her within the British lines, and if she refuse to be thy wife, force her. Thus wilt thou


A Couple of Tricksters. fini s h h e r and strike that arch r e b el, Adab Slocomb, a d ead l y blow, fo r h e l o v eth t he v ery g rou n d over wh ich she treads w i t h h e r d a inty f ee t." "The spirit s urel y aid e th thee!" cried John Rob e rts, exultin g ly. "Had I studi e d a year I c o uld not have wrought o u t a more perfect plan to puni s h them a ll. I will d o it ! I will make my pl a ns p erfe ct. I will con fer wi th t he fri e nds of the kin g , whom we know in N e w York , and have quarters prep a red to pl a ce my capti ve in. A nd I will hire cert a in ruffians who stand read y to do an ything the y are paid for, to aid me in bearin g h e r off." "What ne e d of that, when thou and I ca.n do it and none others be the wiser ?" "We will be known and lose our standing in the meeting." "Why should we be known? Need we always wear our broad-rimmed hats, and drab coats and breeches? Cannot we put on the garb of worldly people , and if need be , mask ourselves? What c a n two weak , nerv ous women do against men as stout as thou and I ?" "Verily, thee speaks wisely. But I did not know would undertake so much in my behalf." "Have I not even undertaken more in thy company? Are we not bound, for an immense consideration, to deliver George Washington into the hands of the king's general, bound hand and foot? And are not our spies and emissaries now in his camp, watching to inform us when it will be possible to lay hands upon and secure him ?" "Yea, verily, it is so, and to g ether we must swim or sink. But this is my private venture." "And privately I will aid thee in it, that thou mayest have more heart for the other enterpri se. " "Thank the e , Abraham. With thy h e lp I cannot fail. I told the m a id e n I would humble her into the very dust, and I will." "And w hat said she unto that?"


A C o u p le of Tricksters . A v i sib l e s hu d der ran throu g h th e fra me of Rob erts as he a n swe red : " Sh e sa id I mi ght be exalted, like Hama n, on a gallows o f m i ne o w n b u ild i n g . " "The j a de is sharp. B ut thou s h alt t a k e the edge from h e r wit. Write at once to th y a ge nt s in New , York, and we will make r ea dy to p lay o u r part here. I will p rocur e the dis g ui s es , a n d th en we will s e e how to eff e ct a qui e t entrance to the cottag e i n the dead of night, w hen all is still." " Ye a , we can take a stormy ni ght, when the few sleep y w a tchm e n keep clo s e in their w a tch boxes on the street c o rners and look not abroad . " "Thee understands it all. We cannot but succeed, " said Carlisle, rubbing his thin hands to g ether. "I almost en vy the e the pos s ession of the d a msel , for she is wondrous fair to lo o k upon. If s he becometh thy wife her possessions will fall to thee, and I have been told she hath a goodly portion." "Yes, she will come well dowered," said Roberts. "And now I will retire to mine own domicile, and have my servant apply ointment to my scalded back. Since I see a prospect of vengeance, I wish to have it speedily cured." " Good-ni ght, Friend Roberts. Come again when ever the spirit moveth thee , and let me hear from thee daily if we meet not. For what we do must be done quickly , if we would reap the reward offered by the king's officers." "Thou speakest truly, and I will not be dilatory," said Roberts. The next moment the door closed upon him.


CHAPTER XVIII. A MYSTERIOUS LETTER, Whe n Ada h Slocomb and his littl e party arrived at the ford where they intended to cros s , a l o n g bar just below Phillipsburg, formed where the riv e r was w idest by sand and g rav e l forc ed out of the impetu ous Le high, which ente r s the Delaware at Easton, they found the streams s wo llen by reason of recent r a in s above, and full of floating ice at that point, s . o they had to go farther do w n the stream to find a crossing. They went nearly down to Trenton, a nd camped for the ni ght in a dense pine grove, shelter e d completely from the wintry wind ; and they wer e able to make a huge camp fire t o throw out heat fo r themselves and their h o rs es, so fa r within th e grove as not to be visibl e through the thick everg r ee n und ergrowth fro m the road. They had forage for the ir hors es, three days' rations for the m s elves, and g o o d warm bl anket s . So they were co mforta ble , despite t he c o ld, inclement weather. Adah told the sergeant who had c ha r g e o f the escor t t o set such g u ards as he d e emed necessary. "Thee know es t ," he said, "that I l a y no claim to military know l edg-e, a nd I l eave to thee all that per taineth t o our mi l itary guidance and defense." "Though not a soldier, yo u 've a migh t y rough way in putting down our enemi es," said the sergeant. "I was near your sid e when th e giant trooper at Princet q n tried to wrest your banner from your h an d. You shook t h e life ou t o f h i m quick e r than a t er ri e r would worry a rat. " "Yea, Ii rememb e r. He wa nt e d that which did no t belon g t o him , and I gave him peace here. \ Vhether he found it in the h e reafter is more than we can tell. "


86 A Mysterious Letter. "Where will we be able to cross the ri ve r, t hin k you?" continu ed the sergeant. "There is an eddy, and above it still wate r , opposit e the house of a friend to ou r c a use, whose name is Job Turner," said Adah. "If the river is fr ozen anyw here, it will be there , and if it be not, there are large b o ats near by which h e will bring to aid us in crossi ng, when he sees my signal." "Good ! We will be on our way as soon as day dawns," said the sergeant. Setting a sin gle sentinel between the camp and the road, to be r elieved every t wo hours, he c a lling his own r e lief, the sergeant told the rest to roll up in their blankets and to sleep while they could after supper was finished. Nothing occurred to disturb them, and at dawn breakfast was taken, the horses fed , and then the little party and made a start before the sun was up. Riding swiftly down the river road , they reached a point opposite Job Turner's house at about ten o'clock, and found the ice strong enough in the still part of the river to bear them by going in single file and leading their horses. Just as he reached the riverside, Adab, looking across, saw a horseman in Continental uniform, who at once reminded him of his friend on two occasions, the bold rider whose watchword or battle cry was "Wash ington and glory!" This man was riding swiftly down the road, past the house of Turner, and Adah saw him toss a packet toward Job , who came out, and ride rapidl y on toward Philad e lphia without haltin g . They had to cross slowly and with caution, and it was near h a lf an hour before Adah and his party drew up in front of Job Turner's house, where t h e good Quaker was w a rmly welcomed by Job and his wife, Almir a, and Katurah Ann. Susa nnah was not in si g ht. "Here's a p acke t for you , Friend Adah, which a stranger threw to me as he rode past. He went like


An Unusual Scene in Primrose Cottage. 87 Satan, and never stopped to speak or to give me a single look." Adah saw that it was addressed to him, and he tore it open. It contained only these lines : "Haste or your mission will come to naught. The traitors in Philad e lphia had spi e s in Washington's camp who have fle d to warn them of your approach. "'!our fri e nd till death, "FoR WASHINGTON AND GLORY I" "Speed on! We must not lose a second !" cried Adah, thrusting the pack e t inside his waistcoat. And without exchanging another word with the Turners, he dashed the spurs into the flanks of his horse, and rode on at a gallop, the escort following close behind. "We must not halt except to change tired horses for fresh ones , " h e s a id to the ser g eant, who rode up to his side . "I h a ve a m e ssage from a true friend who warns me that haste will only enable us to accomplish what we are sent to do." The ser g eant asked no further questions. His orders had been to escort Adah, obey his commands, and no others, until his return to the Life Guards to which he belon g ed. All that day, with only one change of horses, they rode on, dashing into Philadelphia just as darkness closed upon them. CHAPTER XIX. AN UNUSUAL SCENE IN PRIMROSE COTTAGE, John Roberts hurried into the room where Abraham Carlisle was toastin g his toes in slippers before a cheerful fire on a stormy night, the very . same in l '


8 8 An Unusual Scene in Primrose Cottage. which Ada b a n d hi s party e ncamp e d in the grove, on their way to P hila delphi a . " A brah am, " h e cri e d, "dress thee in thy thicke s t clothin g qu i c k ly; fill thy purs e , and prepare for a journey." "Wh y, wh a t i s the matte r, J ohn?" "Matte r e n o ug h . There is dan g er, though I wot n o t what it is . The signal fla s hes ha v e b ee n madf! from acros s the r iver and the y have of c ourse come all the way from N e w Brunsw ick, an d pe r haps beyond . They a re t he lig hts agreed up on-w hi ch mea n , 'Danger n ea r to you ! Dec amp ! ' I ans wered fro m my upp e r w in dow, an d a ske d , 'Is it p r essing?' Agai n c a me the s am e s i g n a l , 'Danger i s n ear ! D e c amp ! ' " "The n w e m u s t b e up and m ov in g . But you wi ll no t go alon e . It is a sp l endi d ni g h t t o make the gi rl c a p tiv e . That done, w e three c a n cross t o Camden, a n d ride sw i f tl y to New Brunsw i ck, whe r e we w ill b e s afe whi le we l earn w h a t t h e danger i s . " "Thou art ri g ht, Abra h a m. I will h as t e n to p r epa re three h o rs es, and tho u wilt b e r eady when I bri n g them into thy back ya r d with the disguises. There is a narrow all ey b a ck of P r i mro se Co t tage, whe r e w e c a n leave ou r h orses while we e n te r t he h ouse through a rear w indo w . T h e m a id e n and h e r a unt r et i r e ear l y, so that i f we su r p r ise t hem we ca n se c u r e a n d gag both , and whil e w e l eave t he a unt to h e r med it ations, we c a n carry off Naomi easi l y ." "Ye a, John, tho u h as t t h e right id ea. Be sur e n o w tha t the spirit fail et h not w he n the re a l work c o mes on." "Fear n o t , A b r a h am. We p l ay for h eavy s t ake s , as the world's peop l e say, an d I w ill no t falter. I w ill has ten for t he h orses . Be thou r eady when I retu rn. " "Yea, I will be prepa r e d i n a short season. Tarry not." Awa y flew J ohn R oberts, and Abr a h a m Ca rlisl e hurri e d to a close t a n d t ook out two rough suits o f h eavy clothing, such as wer e w orn b y l abor in g me n or team-


An Unusual Scene in Primrose Cottage. 89 sters in winter. One of these suits he hastily exchanged for the one he had on, and after dressing himself in it, he took a heavy purse of gold from a pocket of his other suit and secured it on his person. He also went to the same closet and took two brassmounted pistols, and placed them in the large pockets of the rough coat which he now wore. From a pocket in the same coat he took a black mask, and when he had put a slouch hat on his head his disguise was complete. Looking at himself in a large oval mirror, he muttered : "No one could possibly identify me in this disguise!" A moment later John Roberts ent e red, but he started back in al arm when he saw such a rough-looking stranger there in the place of Abraham Carlisle . " Be n o t afra id , Friend J ohn-it is only I," said Carlisle, in his proper tone of voice. "Verily, I thou ght it was Satan him s elf," said Rob erts, amazed at the chan g e in his friend's appearance. "Lay thine own garments aside and put on these, and thou wilt be as much altered as I," said Carl isle. "Has ten, for it is already late, and we must secu r e the girl and be out of the city b e fore dawn. It will not do for us to be discovered here, masked and armed. " He point e d to the other suit as he spoke, and John Robe rts to o k off his Quaker suit in a hurry, and put on the other clothes . In less than ten minutes he was garbed and armed in the s a me manner as Abraham Carlisle. Then, putting their Quake r clothes in a couple of pairs of saddle ba g s, onl y excepting the hats, which they had to leave behind, the two wolves blew out the light and left the house. In an alle y in the rear the horses were tied, and l ea d in g one, t h e y m ounte d the others and rod e swiftly a l o n g the d e s erted streets until they reached an alley which stre tched along in the rear of the home of N ao mi Blis s. Here they dismounted and secured their horses.


90 An Unusual Scene in Primrose Cottage. Then opening a small gate, they passed into the yard in the rear of Primrose Cottage. There was no light visible below, but in a chamber on the upper floor a light still threw its gleam through the curtained dow. "That is the chamber of the maid en," said John Rob erts, in a hoarse whisper . "Petrunia Stone sleeps be low , in a bedroom off from the sitting-room." "Could we n ot enter the chamb e r from that piazza roof outside, and seize and carry off the maiden before her aunt awakes below? " asked Carlisle. "Yea, it might be done, if we acted quickly . The window must be broken in and she taken up just as we find her, for if we give her a moment's time she will alarm the neighborhood." "John, it is our best plan. It will look more like the work of ruffians , and no suspicion will attach to us, even though our absence may be noted." "Well, go thou first on the roof. Thou canst ascent by that strong lattic e work." "I will g o first , John, but do not thou fail to follow . If thou art treach ero us or faint-hearted, and I have t o shoot at any one, I will make thee my target!" "Tut, tut-don't t a lk that way. If thou doubtest, I will lead the way . But thou art the light est." "True; it is so," said Carlisle, and he at once clam bered lightly up on the roof of the veranda. J ohn Roberts almost instantly followed him, and stealthily they crept up to th e window. A s mall part of the curtain was so drawn aside that they could peep in. The re sat Naomi, not ye t disrobed , r eading the Bible . None but fie nds could l ook on h e r pure and lovely face, cont e mplate h e r in her inn o cence and beauty , thus piously engaged, and medit a te wrong to the helpless girl. Yet those t w o fiends, b ase hypocrites, l ook ed on her without one spark of manl y feelin g , and prepared to dash in upon h e r. and bre ak the peace of that t ouching and beautiful scene.


An Unusual Scene in Primro se Cottage. 9 1 One momen t on l y th e y hes itat ed, the n Abraham Car li s l e said in a whisper: "Nowan d together!" Both the me n threw th eir h eavy fo r ms a gainst the sl ender sas h , and in an i nstant i t went cras hing inward. With a wi l d shri ek, Naomi ro se to h e r feet a n d rushed toward he r chamb e r doo r, b u t J oh n R oberts, boundin g like a ti ger o n i t s prey, g r as p e d h e r sl e nde r form i n his brutal arms, and h issed out: "Now the e shall know wh o i s master!" "Murder! h e l p ! " shri eked t h e t error-s tric k en girl. " Adah Slocom b is no t here to h e lp thee n o w! " cried the vile w r etch, fo r g e t t in g to ch a n ge his tone, and she k n ew who it was t ha t bo r e h e r s truggling to the win d ow, where Abraham Ca rli s l e waite d to r e c e iv e her. " Q u ick! L eap dow n and be r ea d y t o c a tch her in thy a r ms," c ried C a rli s l e , as he held her over the edge of the veranda . R ob e rts was a lr eady on the g round , and as shriek afte r shriek broke fro m h e r lips , h e cri ed out: "Drop h e r ! Drop h e r, s o I c a n g a g h e r, or choke her i nto s il e nce ! " Brutally, Carlisl e l e t g o h i s h o ld , and the g irl fell, but Rob e r t s was th e r e to c a tch her and break the force of th e fall. At the same i ns t ant a l owe r w in do w opened , and th e voice of Petrun ia Ston e was h ea r d . "Aunt! John Rob e r t s h as go t me ! " shrie ked Naomi, and then a bruta l b l ow struck h e r se n se l ess, a nd she m a d e no more outcry, while the ruffians , b e arin g her al ong, fled t o t h ei r horses . P oor P etruni a r ent the air w ith h e r s hri ek s a s she h ea r d th e ho r ses gall op away , b u t thou g h the w h o le n eighborho o d was now a rou sed, it wa s t oo l a t e . Nao mi a nd her a bduc t ors were g one--n o one c ou l d t ell whe re. Mess e ngers we r e sen t in every di r e c tio n ; H a nn a h Slocomb came quick l y t o try and comfort poo r Pet run i a Stone. a nd many who would no t at fir s t b e l iev e tha t such god l y m en a s J oh n R o b e rts a nd Abraham


92 The Pursuit. Carlisle could appear to be in meeting, had aught to do with this daring and shameful abduction, went to the houses of both men and found that they had left in haste, for their rooms were in dire disorder. All that clay, over the usually quiet city, nothing was talked o f or thought of but this new and dastardly outrage. CHAPTER XX. THE PURSUIT. With his horses nearly 1,1sed up, Adab conducted his party to the White Horse Tavern, there to put up their horses and get supper, while he rode home to put up his own horse and make inquiries which would enable him quietly and speedily to arrest those for whom he had been sent. He found his mother and Petrunia Stone at the house, and learned to his horror and agony what had taken place. At the same time his mother handed him a scrap of paper, and said: "A boy soldier, who looked too slender and fragile to endure fatigue, rode hither two hours gone by and told me to give thee this." Adah read these lines : "The traitors were signaled of their danger, and have escaped, carrying with them what I have just l earned is your heart's dearest tre as ure. I hav e found theii: track-it leads to New Brunswick. I will re cover Naomi Bliss for you if I die in the attempt. "Your true friend, "WASHINGTON AND GLORY!" "The blessing of the Almi ghty be on his head !" cried Adab, pressin g the l etter to his lips. "But he says t he track of the villains l eadeth toward New Bruns-


The Pursuit. 93 wick, and alone he hath followed it. I, too, will take it!" "Thee will g o into the presence of the enemy and thy life will be in danger. For thou art known by n ame and person, s ince George Washington hath taken such note of thy good con duct ," said Hannah Slo comb. "Is not Naomi Bliss worthy of the peril of my life-yea, more, a thousand tim es to me?" cried Adab. "And have I n o t the orders of George Washington to pursue tho s e vile mi s creants , John Roberts a nd Abraham Carlisle, and to arrest them as traitors t o our holy c a use?" "Yea, and H e aven will h e lp thee! " cri e d P etrunia Stone, sobbing as she spoke. "Th e Father above will aid thee to save our d ea r Naomi from dead ly wrong." "I hope so. Fare thee well, d ea r mother, and go od Petrunia Stone. Look not for me until I can restore Naomi to your arms." And Adab hurried out, remounted his horse, and rode swiftly to t h e White Horse Tavern. There he had a long conference with the sergeant, and he also wrote a lett e r to Gen. Washington, for he had decided to send the escort b a ck, since the two Quakers had doubtless g one so far that pursuit would be useless. They had had abundant time to reach New Brunswick, and once there only strategy could avail to rescue Naomi or secur e the traitors. So Adab determined to set out alone on a fresh horse, sendin g his own steed back with the escort, and entering the lines of the enemy at New Brunswick to try and discover and aid Naomi to escape, even if he could do no more. He arranged with the sergeant a code of signals, if Washington should send a n y party to aid him , b y which th ei r vicinity migh t be made known, and to which he could reply, if repl y was possible. This done, h e paid the r eckoning at the tavern for the party, biddin g them rest until morning, while h e a t midnight rode away, crossing the river above Glau-


94 The Purs u i t . ces t e r P o int, and t aki n g t he n ea r est route to New Brunswick . A ll n i gh t he rode on , m eeting no o ne, and a t da w n he halted at a farmho u se t o breat h e an d f eed his h o rse, and g et some n o u ris h m ent fo r himself. He m a de i nquiry t her e if any par ti e s had p a sse d b e l o n g in g to his se ct, for Petrunia Stone h a d o nl y h ea r d the v o ic e o f N a om i and J ohn R o b e r ts, and d id n o t know the dis g uis e s o f t h e l atte r and C arli s l e . The woman o f th e h o u se sai d that not far from noon o n t h e p r ev i o u s da y , t wo me n in rou g h , s h a bby clothes, a n d a wo m a n w r a pp e d in a l o n g mantle, had ridde n p as t w i t h out s t op pin g . Their horses seemed jaded, as if they h a d bee n h ard p r essed in travel. This w as all the w om a n c o uld t e ll. She was a patriot-he r hus b and w a s eve n the n w ith Washington. Ada b f e lt s u re h e was on the ri ght track, for it would h ave been natural for the men to dis g uis e them se lve s in oth e r clothes . The w o man w as seen riding be twee n th e two, and e v idently she, as a captive, wou ld b e thus guarde d. Nothin g h a d b ee n se en o f the young Continental s oldi e r at thi s house. He must have pass e d in the night if h e t oo k tha t r oad . Adab r es t e d an h our und e r this hospitable roof, while his h o r se had a s ub s t a nti a l feed, and he partook of a good br eakfas t , for h e d id n o t int end to draw rein again until New B ru nsw ick was in s i g ht. The wo m an gave him th e n am e o f a fri end, a farmer within a m i l e of th e t o w n , w h o c o ul d b e r elied o n as a patrio t , for h e was h e r uncle on h e r moth e r ' s side, tho u g h h e r mot h e r h a d mar r i e d ou t s ide o f the sec t. Refre s hed , Adab mo u n t ed a g a in s h o rtl y after sunri s e a nd ro d e o n a t a s t eady g a it , i n t e ndi n g to r eac h the v icinit y of the t o w n at an hou r which wo u l d e nable bim to e n t e r i t und e r cove r o f d a r kn e ss . Twic e onl y h e p a u se d a t h o u s e s o n the ways i de to make i nqu ir y . A t one h e l earned th a t a y o u n g Conti-


T he Pursuit. 9 5 n enta l so l d i e r had p assed some three h ours b e for e him, and the re al s o t he two strang e men and a woma n ha d been see n , but it was n ear ni g htfall on the day b efor e. At th e n ex t hou s e where h e c alle d for information he was rudel y r e buff e d , and the c on d uct of the man w h o to ld him t o m in d h is own bu s i ness, as h e d id, sa t i s fied A d a b that th i s p e r s on was a fri e nd t o th ose w hom he was purs uin g , and doubtle s s had harb o r e d the m o n their j ou rn ey. He did ri d e o n, but he t o ok note of that man's l o ca t ion , thinking the future tid e of war mi g h t bear him that way, and he m i ght r epay his scan t courtesy. It w as j us t the ch a n g e fr o m light to t wili g h t when A dab r ea ch e d the h ouse of Isaac S t acy , t he fr ien d to whom he h a d b e e n c o mmended. H e foun d the worthy Quake r muc h mystified a n d grea tl y a n ge r e d. He h a d r ece iv e d a s a guest a t dinne r a y oun g C o ntin enta l s oldi e r, w h os e horse ye t rem a ined i n his stable , but whil e he had g one by r e quest of th i s s o ldi e r to the to w n to make c e rtain inquiri e s re g ardi n g two p e rsons who had come from Phil adelphia with a female , t hi s youn g s o ldi e r had g on e , he kne w not wl!ith e r, h aving in h i s company D e bor a h, I sa ac' s young a n d co me l y daughter. At l ea st, both o f these pe r sons w e re mi ss i n g, and, t he stranges t o f all, the young s o l di e r h a d l e ft his uni form in th e ro o m allotte d to him to w a sh in . what had he worn away, Isaac could not tell , since his hired man was in the field , his wife away at me e tin g , and n o o ne h a d seen D e b o rah and the yo ung so l di e r l eave. That the y had g one t o g e the r w a s evident fr om t his l i n e left b y D e b o r a h o n h e r d r essi n g t able: "FATHER: Neither the e no r mo t h e r n eed fret a b out me. I h ave gon e aw:ly w i t h o n e who n eedeth me, t o do a good action , of whi c h tho u w i lt approve when I return. "Thy loving d a u ghte r, "DEBORAH."


The Pursuit. Adah pa rti ally se t th e mind o f t h e good o l d Qua k e r a t rest b y s t a tin g truly tha t t he yo un g so ldi e r was in quest of Naomi Bliss, and r e l a t i n g th e h is t ory of her a bducti o n, and th a t Deborah , w h en t o l d o f i t, had in 11er sympat h y offe r e d to go as a g ui d e and assistant i n th e work of r e s cue. '' T h ee take s a k i n d l y vi ew of it, " s aid Isaac Stacy. " I ca n har d l y b e l ieve that m y D eborah wo uld e l ope with a str a n ge r and h e a so l di e r , for she h ath e v e r b e en a g:ood a nd d u t i ful child . W h e n th e e get s r eady to go t o t h e town, I wi ll g o wit h t hee as th y fri end and guide , and perchanc e we may fall i n w it h the mi ss in g ones. M y hea r t will m i s g ive m e i f m y D e b orah hath done w r on g. " "We will go a t o n ce , as soo n as I h a v e se en my hor se f e d a n d b e dded down," sai d Adah. "The merci ful m a n i s mercifu l to his b e as t . " "Yea, a n d th a t tho u mays t have strength to pursu e thy mi s sio n , my w i fe s h all set out t h e t ab l e and w e w ill ea t b e fore we start for t h e t own. For the Britis h occ upy all h o u ses o f e n t erta inment the r e , and m e n in thy garb and mine are trea t e d with scant c ourte sy. " " I am a t thy d i spos a l s inc e tho u h ast k in d l y consen te d to g o wit h m e in s i de t h e l ines of the e n e m y . Thy pres enc e w ill b e a prote c ti o n t o m e , sinc e thou art dou b t l ess well know n th e r e . " "Yea, it is eve n so , " said I s a a c Sta cy. It was nea rl y t wo h o urs a f t e r dark w h e n I s aac Stacy and Adah p a ssed w it hin the B ri tis h lin es , carrying some eggs a n d butte r in two baskets, making trade a pretext for the visit.


CHAPTER XXI. AN APPEAL FOR SYMPATHY. When Naomi Bliss was struck silent and senseless by a cruel blow on the temple from the brutal hand of John Roberts, she was rendered helpless for the time. She was then hastily borne out to where the horses were left, was fastened on the side saddle of one, and held up between the two ruffians as they galloped away out of the town. Crossing the river on the solid ice, the keen, fresh air brou ght her back to consciousness, and when the horses landed on the Jersey shore she was able to speak, and indignantly denounced John Roberts, whom she had recogni z ed b y his disa g reeable and h a ted voice. "Thee is wasting thy breath, Naomi," said Roberts, after she paused in her bitter rebuke. "Thee is in my power, and there is no escape for thee. Thou wilt sleep thy next s l umber within the British lines, where thou must consent to become my wife." "I would die a thousand times before I gave such consent. And I will live to see thee, and thy consort in evil here, even Abraham Carlisle, swinging from the gallows tree !" "Thee hadst b etter bridle thy tongue or we will do it for thee!" cri e d Carlisle, who till now was not aware that she had reco g nized him. "Ye can add murder to the outrage already com mitted," she answered, defiantly; "but the Lord who kn ows thy guilt will not let the guilty escape. In Him I trust for deliverance, for to Him have I called in my hour of need." The men made no answer, but each holding a rein of her bridle, they dashed swiftly on over a level road that led north w ard, as she could see by the polar star in front of them.


An Appeal for Sympathy. On in silence now, through the long, lon g ni ght-on when day broke, stopping nowhere for many, many weary miles, until poor Naomi felt as if she would die in the sadd l e to which they had securely bound her. At la s t, when it was nearly ni g ht, th ey halted at a house-the same where Adab afterward met his rude repulse-and h ere Naomi was lifted from the saddle and carried into the house, for she was unable to stand. She saw no one of her own sex, only a man who was evidently a fri end and agent of her abductors, for she heard them t a lk of signals he had sent on the night before, and which caused them to leave Philadelphia much earlier than th ey had int e nded. She was urged to take food and drink here, but she refused, weak as she was, drea din g that she might be drugged and render e d even more h e lpless than she was . They tarried here till after dark, and then, with their h orses rested and strengthened by feed, they moved on again, riding into a town , occupied by red-coated British soldiery , after night had s e t in. Before entering the town , John Roberts had told her, i n a t one which made her shudde r from he a d to foot, that if she m ade th e leas t outcry, he would cut h e r throat from ear to ea r , and he had significantly shown a long , sharp knife hidden under his waistcoat, ready t o do the de ed . Along the streets of this town they rode a little way, and halted a t a stone house which stood near a river, fo r she saw wat e r gleam in g in the l ampl i g ht, and h e re she was taken from her saddle again and carried in. She was l ef t in a chamber which overlooked th e river, but the only window was a narrow one, with but six panes of g l ass, two on a side, and a heavy i ro n b a r d ow n the c enter made the window safe from ingress and proof a g ainst egress, even with so slender a fo r m a s h e r s. J oh n Robe rts and a har d-featured, elderly w oma n,

PAGE 100

An Appea l for Sympa th y . 99 with a light, took he r t o t his room, an d t h e for me r said: "Here thou wilt tarry, und i sturbed, fo r the night. Thou m ayst as well ea t of the food t h i s woma n will brin g thee, t ha t thou m a yst have strength t o j o u rney to N e w York, w hith e r we go sho r t ly, and w he r e thou wilt d e cid e wh e the r t o b e my wife by inclin a tion or f o rce. " N a o mi m ad e no rep l y, but sa n k w eeping and exh austed into a ch a ir. Rob erts and the woma n w ent out , J o cking the heavy oak e n d oo r behind th e m, and t he n Naom i s obbed out, in the bitt e rn e ss o f despair: "Oh , Lord, hast Thou d eserte d m e ? " S h e w ept and p r ayed b y turns, t ill a noise-the un l ockin g of her door-aroused h e r att e nti o n . It was t h e woma n s h e h a d s ee n b e fore, bringing in fo od and warm tea . " Y ou must eat," sh e s a id , in a t o n e tha t was not unk i nd, thou g h it was g ruff and s t e rn. "You are very w eak now , and w ill g row we a ke r if you do not take fo od . " " I c a r e n o t. I wou l d rathe r die th a n live a captive in the power of bad me n," said Naomi. The woman s i g hed, a n d put th e fo o d o n a small table, and pl a c e d that in front of Naomi . That s i g h gave the po o r g i rl a g l impse o f hope. C ould s h e wo r k on that woma n 's sympa th y, or even h e r av a ri ce ? She wou l d t r y . "If I ea t a littl e , w ill y o u stay here and kee p me company? I a m t e rribl y lonesom e . " "I'll sta y while y o u eat," said the wo man. "But t h e y w h o have hire d me w ill want me b ack s oon . I h ave their suppe r to g e t." Naom i t ri ed t o s wall o w a f e w m o uthfu l s, b u t i t was h a r d work. S h e h a d no ap p e tit e . Mea n time she stud i e d th a t woma n 's face. S he c o uld re a d n o sign o f pi t y or w omanly fee ling-th e re , but in h e r small gray eyes , in h e r pinc hed face, s he saw a l ook wh i ch either

PAGE 101

100 An Appea l for Sympat h y . d eno t ed wa n t , o r ava rice , she c o u l d har d ly decide w hich . "You a r e n o t r ich?" Naom i sai d, a t l a st. "No ; I wou ld not b e a se rv ant t o others if I was, " s aid the woman. "Save m e fro m th e dread ful fate whi ch m y perse cu tors desi g n me , and 1 will make y ou rich, " sai d Naomi, in a l ow, ea rn es t , p l ea din g t one . "Ho w ? Y ou h a ve no ri c h e s h e r e , no r can y ou co m m and t h em." "If I w as free, I could put t wenty thou sand hard dol l a r ds i n your l ap." "You c ou l d-bu t wo uld yo u ?" sai d th e wo m a n , with a c o l d, c alculating l ook. "Fol ks p romi se , while they are in need, and forge t a ft e r wa rd ." "But I will no t forget . H e l p m e to get a w a y , and g o with me a n d leave me not till th o u art paid . " John R o b erts, w ho h a d b ee n lis te nin g at the door, strod e in , a nd s aid t o the wom a n , s t e rnl y : "Martha, th ee ha s lis t e n e d to th e rom a nce of this girl l o n g e n o u g h. S h e ca n n e v e r la y h e r h and on a dollar ; it h a s alrea dy been d ecla r e d c o nfisc a t ed to the kin g . G o, atte nd t o th y duties. I w ill be a r the maiden co mpa n y s inc e she is so lones o me." "In me rc y l ea v e me, thou second Satan!" cri e d Naomi. "I n ee d re s t , and l e t me have it. " "I will acc e de to thy wi s h , b u t b ewar e how thou dost attempt to tamper with a n y who m I emp l oy . I tell the e , once for all, thee c a nnot escap e from me alive . If thou diest th o u art free from me, and n o t till the n ! " sai d John R oberts , st e rnly. "The n the s o o n e r d eath comes to r e lieve m e fro m thi s wretch e dn e ss the b etter!" said Naomi, sob b in g again . Rob e rts m a de no reply, but follo w ed the wom a n out, l o cking the d oo r him se lf w h e n h e cl ose d it. In d espe r a ti on, N a omi trie d t o w r en ch th e iron bar fro m th e c e n te r of t h e window, fo r cou l d s h e h ave do n e it, she would h a ve thrown hers elf out rather than re-

PAGE 102

An Appeal for Sympathy. IOI m a in there at the me r cy of t he w r etch who had torn her from h e r home. Bu t it resi sted all her efforts . She next exam in e d th e door, and to her jo y she found that it c ou l d be strongly secured inside by a n iron b o lt, and a wooden b a r , which, placed in hasps on each side, added to it s secur it y . "At leas t I c a n protect myself from intrusion while I sleep," she sai d. A nd now, faint and weary, she threw herself on the bed, without dis robing, and breathing a silent prayer, she resigned h erself to slum ber . And it was the sleep of one almost worn out-sound, dreamless and heavy. When she awoke the sun was shining in throu g h the narrow window, showing that it look e d eastward, for the sun was h a rdly yet above the treetops on the farther bank o f the river. She lo oked out, a nd saw tha t o nly a narrow street or strip of land sepa r a t ed the hou se from the river, on which bo a ts were already moving to and fro, mostly rowed by men in th e Briti s h uniform. While she gaze d out, she saw t w o women passing slowly o n , looki n g up at the house with earnest expressions on their fac es , as if they were looking for some one . Bot h were dressed in the simplest style, and evidently b e longed to her se ct. She lon ge d to cry out and attract th eir attention, but at that moment a treme n dous knock in g at the do o r of her chamber dre w he r attention from the wome n , one of whom seemed to see a nd n otice her ea rnestly. Naomi ran to the door, and asked who was the re. "It is I , John Rob erts. How d a rest thou to lock thysel f in, when it is th y breakfas t hour? This is thy second day of sleep ! " "Thee ca n go away; I ne e d no breakfas t. There is a portion of my supper l e ft ye t," said Naomi. "Thee h ads t b etter ope n , or I w ill batte r down the door!" cri ed John R ob e rts, in a fearful rage. At that instant, while he was yet knocking at the

PAGE 103

102 What Two Women Did . door, a small stone with a paper affixed to it, came through the window pane . Naomi, with a thrill of hope, ran and picked it up. "If Naomi Bliss is a captive there, let her wave her hand through the window. Help is near!" These words were written in penci l on the paper. Quickly Naomi ran to the window, and though she cut her wrist on the broken g l ass, she gave the required signal. At the same moment, the doo r , b ea t e n from its h inges and fastenings by ] ohn Rob erts , was broke n in . CHAPTER XXII. WHAT TWO WOMEN DID. As the door, all shattered and broke n , fell inward, John Roberts and Abraham Carlisle, followed by t h e woman before spoken of, ru s h ed forward . Naomi, holdin g up her ble edi n g hand, confronted t hem with a fearless face, for she felt assured that God had heard her prayers , th a t h e lp was, indeed, near, else how would the one who called for her signal know her name and ca pt ivit y . "Has the J ezebe l been attempting to escape?" cried John Roberts , who saw the broken window and he r bleeding hand. "What folly! A bird could scarcely fly through that aperture," cried Abraham Carlisle . Both these men were now dressed in Quaker cos tume. "Nevertheless, she hath tri ed it . Loo k at her bleeding hand !" said Roberts . "Ha! she hath a paper in her hand . A letter, mayhap, from some arch trait o r . Girl. give it here!" "Never!" said Naomi, and she instantly put the letter in her mouth to swallow it .

PAGE 104

What Two Women Did. 103 The brute sprang upon her, clutched her by the throat, and strove to tear the paper from her mouth; but in a second, with a scream of a g ony, he released his hold and tore his lacerated fingers from her mouth. She had almost bitten them off; and now, before he could renew his dastardly attack, she swallowed the paper. : ; "Thee hadst better have died at once than thus have treated me!" cried the maddened wretch. "I will have no mercy on thee now. I would not marry thee now for thrice thy dowry. Thou shalt kiss the dust I walk through in thy agony and--" John Roberts ceased his loud threats as suddenly as if he had been struck by paralysis, and shook from head to foot with sudden terror, for within six inches of his face the muzzle of a huge dragoon pistol bore fairly on his eye, while the finger of a stern-faced woman pressed the trigger. "Breathe not, move not, or you die as you stand, you miserable wretch !" said this woman. John Roberts looked and saw that Abraham Carlisle was on his knees before another woman, who held a pistol close to his pallid face. The servant woman cowered terror-stricken in a corner. "Naomi Bliss," said the woman, who held the pistol to the head of John Roberts, "take the cords from thy bedstead and bind this wretch hand and foot, and then I will show thee how to gag him. After he is secured, we will attend to the other. And if either breathes a loud word now, it is the last he speaks on earth. I have sworn it !" Naomi needed no second bidding, no instructions now. She knew what must be done to secure her lib erty. She tore off the bedclothes, unknotted the strong bed cord, and cutting it with the knife which protruded from the waistcoat of Roberts-the very knife he had threatened to kjll her with-she bound his hands behind him and his feet together. Then she

PAGE 105

104 What Two Women Did. forced a portion o f a sheet i nto his mouth , by direction of the strange wom an, a nd tied it there with a part of the cord, drawn around back of his n eck with cruel force. Then Abraham C a rli s le was secured and gagged in the same way, and th e woma n servant also, though she promised si l e nce a nd pl e aded piteous l y for release. "Our own s a f e ty dema n ds thy detention," said the strange woma n. The n turning to h e r companion, she said: "Now, Deborah, h a sten home with Naomi. I have some oth e r work to d o a t th i s pos t of the enemy, but will s e e t he e again. L ea ve my garments and my horse where I b a de y ou , and ke e p my s e cre t. " "Yea, th a t will I, " s a id t he yo un g Quakeress, whom she c a lled D e b o r a h. "Re memb e r thy prom i se, to o , for I sh all n o t rest easy till I se e th e e again." " I will n o t forge t ," sa id the w o man, and she s a id to Naomi: "Follow Deb o ra h w i thou t fear, and w h e n you me e t Adab Slocomb, t ell him his fri e nd , who lives now only for 'Was hin g ton a nd g l o r y,' h as saved you that he may be h ap p y . " "Hea ven will r e w a rd thee; I n e ve r c a n," murmured N aomi , and ca s tin g o n e l o ok at the prostrate a nd h e lp less wre tch es who h a d c a u s ed her so much ago n y , she hurrie d out, w ith D e b o r a h holdin g her by th e h a nd. "Te ll Ad a b Sl ocom b, if yo u meet him, to keep thee here a fter w ell g u a rd ed, and g e t away fr om thi s vic in ity quickly ," c ried th e woman, after them, as th ey went out. Naomi trembled when s he got on the street, but h e r comp anio n s aid: "Thee ne e d n o t f ear. We w ill soo n be out of the town, and at my fa th er's house. He will speedi l y place the e b evo nd all da n ge r of r e c apture . " "I w ill s tri v e t o b e ca l m," said N a omi . "But I would rather die tha n a g ain fall i n t o th e powe r of thos e wicked men . " In a very f ew minutes they were out of the crowded

PAGE 106

What T w o Wome n Did. 105 street s an d o n the out sk irts of t he t ow n , and N aom i began to breath e m o r e fre ely. All a t once a de ath l y p a llo r c ame upon h e r fa c e, and she stopped s till o n the road, gasping fo r breath . " W h a t ai l e th thee?" a s k e d h e r companion, in alarm. "Look-look-it is Adab-it is Adab !" c ried t h e p a llid g i rl, poi n tin g to on e of two men w h o we r e ap proach i n g th e m fr o m the opposite di r e ction. And s h e fa int e d, and w ould have falle n but for the sustainin g arm of D e bor a h Stacy. It was, i ndee d , Isa ac S t a c y and Adab S l ocomb, who were on th eir w ay into the tow n t o l ook fo r the ve r y p e r so n s th ey n ow met . Adab rushed fo r wa rd , and clasp in g Naomi in hi s arms, wep t like a child for joy , whil e Isa ac Stacy said , t ende rl y : "I a m g l a d to h a ve found thee, D e borah, for m y h eart misgave me g reatl y . What hast thou done with t h a t young so l dier?" "ffe has gon e his way, and I h a ve c o me mine, dear fath e r," sa id th e g i r l , d emure ly. "Why dost thou no t hel p thy fri en d ? for yo n de r m a id e n hath fainted! " "She is comin g t o h e r s elf, " s a id Ada b. "Lean o n me altogethe r , dear Naomi . Thou art safe, and no morta l powe r s h a ll t ea r the e from m e ! " " A dab; o h , I h av e s u ffe r e d so much!" she moa n e d . And i t seemed a s if s h e w o ul d faint again. "Do n o t spea k ; d o no t t r y t o t ell me n ow. We will go quick l y back t o th e h o u se o f F ri end Stacy , and thou s h a lt r es t a nd be r e fresh e d . " "The soo n e r s h e i s on h e r w a y t o a safe r hidin g place t he b ette r ," s a id Deb o r a h . " I and anoth e r have r e scue d h e r from the d i res t pe ril, l ea vin g h e r en e mies b o u n d and gagged ; a n d if they a r e r e l ea s e d fr o m w h o m we t ook he r , t h e B riti s h so l d i e r w ill b e sent afte r thee and her." "Thy d a u ghte r sp e aks truly," s a id Ada b, to Isaac Stacy. "Our s tay w i t h th ee mu s t b e brief. " "I have a wag on i n w hich she c a n res t whi l e we

PAGE 107

106 The Imperiled Captives. travel," said I saa c Stacy. "The Lord forbid that I shoul d sh rink fr om any toil o r peril when one as good and innocen t as mine own child is in deadly danger. I will h arness up as soon as we re ach the house, and we will take a route they will not suspec t, one w hich w ill spe edi l y carry u s into the American lines near the camp of Washington." "I will foreve r be ind eb t ed to thee," said Adab. They n ow moved quickly back to Stacy's house, and within twenty minutes the good old Quaker was driv in g off in a light, covered wagon, while Adab rode behind on his rested horse. Deborah waved her ad i eus as th ey drove out of sight up toward th e headwaters of the Raritan. CHAPTER XXIII. THE IMPERILED CAPTIVES. Left prone on the floor, facin g each other, John Roberts and Abrah a m Carlisle glared at each other in rage and agony, neither able to speak, neither able to move. The woma n a lon e had been left in a sitting posture in a ch air n ea r the window, but she could not speak or move fr om her position, for she, too, was bound h and and foot, though n o t with the cruel tightn ess of the two men. The rope which s ecured her was also fastened to the iron bar which protected the window . J ohn Roberts strove, till it seemed as if his veins would burst ope n , to lo osen hi s b onds, but all in vain. Abraham Carlisle watc h ed him, and seeing that he struggled i n vain, only exhausting hims elf, remain e d quiet for his own part, evide ntl y hoping some one would come in, discover their sit u a ti o n and r e l ease them. Sudden l y there was heard a fearful c ommo tion in the town outside of the w indow . Plainly t he sounds came

PAGE 108

The Imperiled Captives. to the ears of the helpless ruffians. The ringing of bells, drums beating the assembly, and then, louder and plainer, the shouts of-"Fire ! Fire!" The woman, who was seated so she could look from the window, seemed terror-stricken, and yet, unable to move from the spot whe re she was, could not explain her terror. Her eyes were wild with fea r, her face turned to an ashen hue, and she shook from h ead to foot. Roberts and Carlisle heard the wild alarm, they saw her face, and the y se e med to know that they, as well as she. were in de a dly peril. The warehou ses where the British kept their stores were on the river bank, just above the house where they were now l y in g h e lpless. If these h ouses were on fire, what could save those two men and that helpless woman? Nothing-no thin g ! The terror of the woma n seemed to increase with the clamor. Great clouds of smoke swept past the win dow, obscuring the sky b eyond . Yells, shouts, the crackling of leaping flames, r ea ched the ears of the po o r wretches o n the floo r. The woman wildly dashed her he a d forw ard against a corner of the wall and loosened the gag in h e r mouth, and finally got it clear so she c o uld speak. "Curse ye!" she shrieked to the Quakers. "You two cowards go t me into this scrape. The warehouses are all on fire, and this house must come next. 'Ne must die-we must die !" Great drops of sweat oozed out on her ashy face as she tried to gnaw asunder the rope that bound her to the iron bar. She could reach no other, for her hands were tied behind her back, and she could not raise her feet. The Quakers were wild with the agony of terror, but utterly helpless. They tried to roll toward the door, but it lay a broken heap on the floor and they could not pass it. Nearer and nearer came smoke and flame, the sparks

PAGE 109

I08 The I m p e ril ed Ca ptiv es . drivin g into the woma n 's face as she shri eked wi l d ly throug h th e w i ndow, for she had das h e d out all t he g l a ss wi t h h e r h ea d, h ee dl ess o f the crue l gash es it made . "He l p ! help! " s h e sc r ea m e d , in the w il d agony of a certain-te rribl e dea th. Darker and d arke r swept the smo k e cl ou d o n u n t i l it c a me s tiflin g int o th e ro o m , and th en t he flames l i ghte d up its ni ghtlik e b l a ckness as it swep t p as t t he n arrow wind o w. "Help ! h e lp !" screa med the wre t c h e d wo m an, in t ones that s eemed t o p i e rce th e very walls . And no w, if she was no t h ea r d, deat h mus t so o n end the a g on y o f all in tha t r oom, for the cra cklin g flam e s o verhead t old th a t t h e ho u se w as a ll ab l aze . But a shri ek of j oy broke from h e r cracke d lip s , a n d she s h o u ted, "Saved! saved ! " as rus h i n g foo t s teps ca me up the sta i rs . A band o f so ldi e r s, rushin g in , found th e woman and the t wo h e l p less Q u ake r s, a n d ca rri e d t h e m out, as the flame s came swee pin g i n t o t he roo m wh e r e t he y had lai n so h e l p l ess all th is t i m e . In t wenty min ut es m o r e th e wh o l e r o w o f hou ses , with all the Briti s h stores and m uni tions, was i n as h es , bare w alls a l one s t a n ding t o s ho w what had been t here . Unbo u nd a nd pl aced on their feet , the woma n and the t w o Q u ake r s t o l d t h ei r s t o r y in th eir ow n way. They we r e carry i n g off a r ebe l girl t o New York, t o puni s h h e r l ove r , w h o was with W ash ing t on . T h ey h ad been s urpri sed-they wou l d no t say by two wome n , but by a r med m en-w h o knocked t hem dow n , t i ed and g a'.c.ged th em . T h ese me n , they sai d, were doubtless r ebels c ome to r e s c u e th e gi rl , and they h a d mos t likely s e t the sto r e h o u se s o n fire t o cove r their escape w i th the fai r fu g i t iv e . Ins tantly the British c omma n de r ordered scou t i n g partie s out to try and find th e girl and h e r res cu ers , and t o capture o r slay the m where v e r fou nd .

PAGE 110

CHAPTER XXIV. A FRIENDLY WARNING. As soon as Isaac Stacy got out of sight of the town, he drove rapidly forward, anxious to put as many miles as poss i ble between himself and the British lines before darkness compelled him to go slower. Both Adab and himself heard the distant alarm when the fire broke out, but for some time did not imagine the cause; but when dense clouds of smoke arose in the direction of the town, they knew there was a large fire somewhere in the place or its immediate vicinity. That it mi ght be his own domicile , entered the mind of Isaac Stacy, for he knew he was not liked by the British, but he said nothing of this to Adah or to Naomi, who was able to sit up by Adah's side and talk cheerfully. Yet Isaac knew if his house was burned, his wife and dau ghter would be homeless, if not ex posed to greater danger before his return. But he had set his heart on one duty, the putting of that poor orphan girl beyond the reach of her perse cutors , and he would not turn back, nor for an instant hesitate in his course. Nothing occurred for several hours to denote danger or pursuit, and the high grounds, where Adah knew he would find the American outposts, were in sight as twilight be g an to close in upon them. They were now going quite slow, for the horses began to show un e q uiv o cal sig ns o f fatigue. Suddenly a horseman at full speed came dashing up in their r ea r, and Adah had only time to see that he wore the Continental uniform, when he cried out, in a shrill, startlin g voice: "Drive on! drive on at your utmost speed and gain the bills. A scout of British dragoons is following ,

PAGE 111

110 A Friendly Warning. close in your track. Haste ! I will cover you as long as I can." In an instant Isaac Stacy comprehended his danger. If overtaken and recognized his home would be de stroyed, if it had not been destroyed already; and his loved ones imperiled. If overtaken by a force of armed men, how could he and Adah, both unarmed, hope to save the trembling girl at his side? Furiously he plied his whip, and his horses dashed on over the rough road at a gallop. Adah turned and saw that the strange horseman rode but a little way in the rear, and he kept his own position near the wagon. They were now dashing along by the side of a rushing brook, and on both sides a covert of small trees threw a shadow over the star-lit road. Suddenly there was a crash, and Isaac Stacy groaned aloud. His fore axle had struck a stump, and his wagon was disabled. And close upon them in the rear, shouting as they came, rode six burly dragoons, their drawn swords flashing as they came. Adah set his teeth hard together, and turned his horse as he saw the Continental soldier wheel and confront the enemy. Two sudden flashes, two loud reports, and Adah saw that but four dragoons rushed on the undaunted soldier, whose sword now flashed out from its scabbard. "The Lord help him !" groaned Adah; and driving the spurs into his horse, he dashed over the road to the. aid of his unknown friend. And he was needed, for the hero was only able to parry the shower of blows rained upon his defending blade by all four of the dragoons, when Adah bore down, shouting: "Washington and glory!" For he had recognized his friend of aforetimes, and now, clutching a dragoon by the throat and hurling him furiously to the earth , he drew the atta ck partly on himself and enabled the heroic soldier to cut down two

PAGE 112

A Frie ndly Warning. II I of his oppone n ts a n d wound the t hi r d jus t as he made a f ea rful cut a t Adah's head, w h i ch des c e ndin g on his s hou l de r with terri ble force, ope n ed it deep int o t he bone, u tterly disabling him for t he tim e , though h e d i d not fall from his ho r se. The wo u nded d r agoon, keep in g hi s sadd l e , t urned a n d fled, l eavi n g five of his com r a des o n the ground, a n d t hei r horses an d a r ms in th e po s se s s i on o f th e p arty t hey h ad so fru i t l ess l y attacked. "Ar e yo u badly hur t ? " asked t he Conti nental s o ldi e r, approaching Adab, w h o had d i s m o u n t ed . "Sorely-but t e ll not th e damse l in yo nd e r wa g on," said Adab, faint l y . "I b l eed te rribl y." "Isaac Stacy, come hithe r," cri ed t h e yo un g s o ldier. " H elp A d a b Slocomb into thy wagon, and w hen I secure these horses and the a r ms sca t te r ed abou t , I w ill c ome and aid thee t o stanc h his wou n d . We w ill n o t b e followed any mo r e t o n i gh t . Thi s i s t h e o nly party t ha t took t his road, and bu t o n e h as escaped, and I doubt i f he liv e s to return t o his post, fo r he hath a prod through and thro u g h hi s r ight breas t just b e lo w the sh o uld e r . " I saac S t acy c ame j us t i n t ime t o kee p A d a b from falling, and i n a seco nd mo r e Naom i , w h o h a d he a rd a ll, was with h im , too, a nd t oge th e r th ey go t Ada b into th e wagon, where the sold i e r was h ed the wo und w i t h i cec old wate r , a n d th e n bound i t up wit h h ea v y b a n dages made fr o m line n o r lint w i t h w hich h e wa s pro v i ded. As A da b was n ea rl y in se n s ible, h e c o uld m ake no ob jectio n o r resi stance w h e n t h ey l a i d him dow n i n th e wag-on , and now I saa c S t acy an d th e so l d i e r l e ft him to t he c a re o f Nao m i , and went to rep a irin g the brok e n a x l e . With a pi e ce of timber, provid e nti a lly found in the ro a d , and a stro n g rope, they so sp li ced it th a t wi t h c a r e ful dri v in g th ey co uld proceed, and once more, after fully t w o hours' delay , they mov e d slowly on-

PAGE 113

II 2. A Friendly Warning. the arms of t h e defea t e d drago ons all in the wagon and the h o r s es ti e d b e hind. The C o ntin enta l s o ldi e r rod e in the rear of all, saying he would k ee p w a tch and h o ld guard until the Ameri c a n lin es w e r e r eac h e d. This occur re d j us t a s the gray of d awn began to bri gh t e n th e eas t , a n d then, whil e I saa c w a s expl a inin g wh o h e was t o t he advan ced g u a r d , the C ont in enta l soldier rode past a n d sa id t o t he office r i n c omma n d : "Be p l eased, s ir , to sen d t hes e peop l e with a g uid e d ir ec t to Gen. Washi ngto n . I w ill t ell Debo r a h , F ri end S t acy, t hat thou art safe and w ill r eturn t o her spee dil y , if it b e safe for yo u t o re turn. If n o t, yo u s h all h a v e ti me l y wa rni ng, a n d s h e a n d you r wif e saf e es c ort to y our s i de . " T he so l d i e r wa i ted fo r n o r ep l y , but d as h e d away over the road t h ey h a d jus t p asse d, a nd wa s out of si gh t in a mome n t . "Strange! S trange! H e t a lketh of Debo r a h a s if s h e a n d he were ve r y c l ose l y connected ! " m utt e r e d I saac . "But h e i s a good youth, a n d a brave o ne. The B r itis h dragoons wen t dow n b efore his pis t ols and sword, l ike stubb l e b efore the fire ! He i s a g-ood youth, and if he l ovet h Debo r a h , and s he him, i t i s t h e will of th e Spirit , an d I will not gainsay it . " Adab , very feeble, was ye t se n sib l e an d h a d he ard all. H e k n ew that h is hea d was pill owed i n the l a p o f Naomi , and t ha t s h e was safe; th a t he wo ul d also soo n be i n the p r esence o f h i s be l o v ed c h i e f , and that he co u l d r epor t t h a t he had used hi s bes t e n deavo r s to arres t the t ra it o rs , tho u g h th ey had e s ca ped for the time. It w a s n ea r n oo nd ay b e for e the wa go n of I saa c Stacy dre w up in front o f Washin g ton 's h ea d q u arters . There A d a h w a s h e l pe d ou t , a nd soo n , w a it e d upon by the chi e f himself , hi s st o r y w as t o ld ; .Nao m i a nd Isaac Stacy w e r e int rodu c ed, and the h ero ism o f the strang e C o ntin e ntal soldi e r was once more made the subject of discourse.

PAGE 114

A Friendly Warning. 113 The mystery which surrounded him-his invincible heroism, his constant presence when Adab was in pe r i l , were all talked over again. Gen. Washington said the moment his name could be brou ght to light it should fill a captain 's commi ss ion. The five dragoon h orses, with the arms and full eq uipments, were valuable acquisitions just then, and five more men in the picked Life Guard were armed and mounted. On the next morning, just as Isaac Stacy, with his wagon r e paired, and ten bright g uineas in his pocket , was starting on his return, the sergeant and escort , which Adab h ad l ef t in Phila d elphia, came into camp, and th ey wondered much when they found that Adab had returned before them . His wound, now dressed with care, proved less dangerous than mi ght have be e n feared, but it was bad e nough to disable him for some weeks. As the enemy at this time showed no signs of moving on Philadelphia, appearing to have given it up since their many r eve rse s in New J ersey, Washington ad vised that Adab, with Naomi for his nurse, be removed by easy stages to Philadelphia, the re to rem a in until his wound was entirely healed, when Washington said he would again welcome him to his military family, on the same footing he had held before, as confidentia l scout. Adab, knowing that it was best Naomi should be at home, away from the scandals of a camp, gladly con sented to this-for he kn ew himself he could be of no service to his country for some time , and that his mother and Petrunia Stone would be greatl y re l ieve d by his return with Naomi. Washing ton had, a t the request of Adab, within a n hour after his arrival in camp, sent a specia l messenge r to Hannah Slocomb t o announce the arrival of Naomi and Adab in the American camp-that her atmt might rejoice in he r escape from John Roberts and hi s vile colleague.

PAGE 115

CHAPTER XXV. A MYSTIFIED FATHER. I s aac Stacy w as very an x ious to reach his home s peedily, but he d id n o t m ak e quite as goo d time on h i s r e t urn as he did in his flight w ith Ada b a n d N a o mi . In trut h , he wan t e d t o s o time himself a s to reach his h ome i n t h e ni ght, so a s not to h a v e any o ut s iders w itness h i s r eturn, to r eport from what di r ec tion he c a me. As h e c o u ld n o t re a ch the re t he fir s t ni g ht, h e so re g ulat ed h i s spee d a s t o r ea ch his farmhou s e just afte r dar k o n t h e se c ond ni g h t , whic h made his full ab se n c e a m o un t to four day s . H e w as g r eat l y relie v e d " as he appro a ch e d the fa r m to s e e t h e ou tlin es o f hi s h o u s e and his c a pacious barns , for he ha d f e a r e d a ll the time it wa s they whic h had b e e n set o n fir e whe n he was s p ee din g a way . H e d r o v e u p a l a ne, so f tene d w ith g r a ss y turf, makin g l it tl e n o i s e w it h his w agon wh eels, a nd h a lt e d at the b a rn , a hundr ed yards o r so fr om the ho us e . As he dre w hi s h o r ses up , he s a w a si ght which a s t o ni s h e d h im c ons id e r a b l y . It w as ev id e ntl y his d a u g hte r , bidding farewell to a hors e m a n w h o s tood by the d oo r, and judgi n g from the fact th a t h e r a rms w ere a r o und the n eck of the hors ema n and he r lip s p r esse d to h i s , it wa s a v ery aff e c ti o nate fa r e we ll. I s aac S t a c y d e t e rm in e d to se e into its m ea ni ng, and he s t ro d e t o wa r d t h e h o u s e r ap idl y , t a kin g n o c a re to c o nce a l h i s a p p ro a ch , but the horseman t he C o nti n enta l so ldier a g a in w as moun t e d and ready t o ride off , a s h e c a me ne a r . " Goo dev enin g, F ri e nd Stacy ; I'm glad to see yo u s a f e h o m e," he c ri e d , i n a ch e erfu l tone , a n d t h en, wi th o u t w a it in g for a r e ply, da sh ed t h e spurs int o h i s horse a n d g alloped off.

PAGE 116

A Mystified Father. "Deborah , I am a stonished a t thee !" was the exclam ation of Isaac Stacy . "Did I not see the e kiss and embrac e that stranger-that so ldier, whose hand is r e d with the b lood of hi s fellowmen?" "Th a t s o ld i e r is n o stranger to me, dear father," said Deb orah, promp tl y . " I did e mbrace and ki ss him, and I will do i t aga in w he n ever I mee t him. Is it for thee to speak o f his having s hed blo o d when it was in thy defen se?" "I am r e b uked," said Isaac , who felt that she had the point on him. "But becau se he hath helped me and my fri e nds and th i ne in the hour of trouble, doth it beh oove thee, or become thee, to kiss him as if he were thy lover?" Debor a h l aughed till the air ran g, and her mother came to the doo r to see wh a t was the matter. "Isaac, I am . g lad to see th e e b ac k again," she said. "Hast tho u left th y friends in safety?" "Yea, safe r , it s ee ms to me, than those I have left behi n d me h e r e," muttered I s aac, and he turned toward the b arn to h o use his t eam. "What i s the matte r with thy father? He seems ill at ease , a n d n o t very glad to be with us again," said Deb o r ah's mot her. "Thee mus t ask him when he comes in," said Debora h, a gain lau ghing merrily. "He did not discover, did he, the secr et?" asked the old l a d y . "Nay, a nd he mu s t not at present , " said Deborah. "Thy word and mine a re pledg e d to th a t." "Yea, verily, that is so, thou g h it is not seemly to have secrets in the family. But in this, surely there is no harm." "And so muc h fun , dear mother!" cried Deborah, who c ould n o t restra in h e r lau ghte r. "Levity is unb eco min g, " said the mother; but she s eemed to find it difficult to keep a sobe r face. In a l ittl e while I saa c Stacy c a me in. "Where was the fire on the day we left?" he asked.

PAGE 117

II6 A Mystified Father. "It started in the houses used by the British for the storage of provisions, arms and clothing. It swept away some other bu ildings owned b y Tories in the same row. The c apto r s of Naomi Bliss bar e ly escaped with their l ives, being we ll smoke-dri e d and somewhat scorched wh e n rescued by the sol diers . " "It would h ave bee n b etter fo r the country had they burned," said Isaac, sternly . "Was the fire acci dental ?" "An accident , don e on purpose," said Deborah, laughing. "I think the young soldier who sh e d the b l ood of the British dragoons who pursued thee set the warehous es o n fir e so as to d istr ess the enemy by the loss of stores and munitions." "Thy lov e r, wh y didst thou not say a t once?" did not wish t o dis p l ease thee, r.: 1 y father." "If thee kisses him again, thee will displease me," s a i d I saac, impati e ntl y . "The next thing I know thee will be runnin g away with h im . " "Or he with me, dear fa t he r," sai d Deborah , laughing . H e r mother lau g h ed also. "Ruth Stacy, if thee see s an ything to laugh at in the c onduct of thy daughter and m i ne, I do not, " sa i d Isaac, angril y. "I hav e not seen any misconduc t in the child," said t he mother. "Then th ee i s v e ry blind . See if thee ca n get me s ome suppe r," said I saac. D eborah sprang t o set out the table , and when he r moth e r arose to prepare some coffee, the cloth was l aid. In a littl e whil e I saa c had put a good supper under h is w aistcoat, and fel t in a b etter humor. . Se ate d by the fire, he r elated th e events o f h is j ou r n ey h ow kind l y he had been treated by VVashington, and h ow Ada b had got along afte r hi s terribl e wound. He could not avoid g ivin g the par ticulars of the en c ou n te r with the pursuing dragoons, and, in spite of

PAGE 118

A Surprise. 117 his ave rsion to the shedding of blood, his eye kindled and his face flushed as h e told how the b rav e young Continental faced si x armed foemen alone, leaving three down before a id came to him. "Though h e s heds blood in self-defense, and burns the property of our wicked enem i es, he is a very bad and wicked person, is he not?" asked Deb ora h, with a twinkle in her merry brown eyes. " I did not say that, I only objected to thy hugging and kissing him, " sai d Isaac , sharply . "But say no more about it. I dare say h e will go back to the army and stay there." "Yea, unle ss I s end for him," said D e borah. "But should danger come upon u s, he will not be so far away but that I can signal for his assistance . He is a true friend of Washington and of our country." "And of thee, also, judging from what I saw this evening," said Isaac , with l ess asperity than before. "I will vouch that no harm will come upon our daughter, no matter how much she loves hi m," said his wife . "So set thy heart at rest, Isaac." "I must, w h ethe r I w ill or not, " he answered, smil ing. "Milk that is spilled cannot be gathered up again." CHAPTER XXVI. A SURPRISE. The destructio n of the B ri t i s h stores at New Brunswick, the boldness of the dashing scouting parties con stantly sen t out by Gen. Washington, the patriotism o f the people of New Jersey gene rally, and the great diffi culty of getting any supplies there, or guarding those they had from capture or destruction, made New Jersey very unprofitable soil to hold, and shortly afte r the fire in New Brunswick, Cornwallis moved all his forces

PAGE 119

118 A Surprise. into New York, abandoning New Jersey for the time altogeth e r. John Roberts and Abraham Carlisle went with the army, for they did not dare to return to Philadel phia whil e it was held by the Americans, n eith e r did they con side r it safe to r emai n in New Brunswic k . Moreover , they had engaged for a large sum of mon ey, to be paid on success, to capture and de liver the person of Washington into the h a nds of the Royal ists , and wit h disguised emissaries in his camp they b e l ieveri t h e y could act better from New Yark than els ew h e re. They had, throu g h these emissa ri es, heard of the arriva l of Adab and Naomi in camp, and who had brou ght them there; but it was not until afte r their departure from New Brunswick, therefore they had no chance to wreak present vengeance on I sa ac Stacy. But they vowed that when he should come again with in the royal lin es that h e should suffe r. Washin g ton , though aware that sec r et emissaries of the king h ad access to hi s camp, found it impossible to detect th em, for, of course, they were the one s who could appear most int ense l y devoted to the patriot cause. He had his own spies on the other side , and he was anx iou s l y watching every movement of the e nemy, for h e plainl y saw that a t errib l e struggle for supr ema cy on the entire coast, and poss ess ion of Philadel phia, Baltimor e and th e Southern country, would take place as soon as the severe wint e r was over. John Roberts and Abraham Carlisle fina lly so far c ompleted a plan for the capture of Washing ton, after they had been about thre e w ee ks in New York, that they call ed on the British commander-in-chi ef, laid t heir plans before him, and got an ord e r for t he l a nding in New J ersey, near the mouth of the Hackensack, of a brigade of troops, with a battalion of horse , to cover the movement that was to be made. The landin g_ of these troops was to be effect ed in

PAGE 120

A Surprise. secrecy, in the ni g ht, and a f eint made which would draw away the forces of Washington from headquar ters, and the n a body o f Tories , Westchester cowboys, and r e ne gades, who had cros se d and hidden in the d ense for es t back of the Palisades, were to make, t hrough preconcerted signals, a n onslaught on the h eadquarters, and se cure or slay Washington if they co uld not bring him off. The t wo arch plotte r s had contriv ed their plan, they beli eved, wit h s uch sec r ecy that no hint of the design c o uld reach Washin gton-eve n their own emissaries were in the dark as to the time, and were to know b y signal on ly, almost at the moment of attack, so as to l ook out for their ow n saf e ty. Ro berts was to h ead the party of renegades and Tories------Carlisle to accompany and act as guide to the troops . The night se t apart for the movement came at last, an d a better night could n o t hav e b ee n cho se n. Though no wind arouse d the waters to make the crossing bad, the sky was inky black, the murky clouds of a gatherin g storm overspread in g it. A t an ea rly hour the troo ps left their quarters for the place of e mbarkation, where huge barges and light ers, with long sweeps, lay ready to r e ceive them. With as little noise as possible, boat after boat was fille d, barge afte r barge occupied, until the entire force w as afloat . The n , though it was now a l mos t midnight, the cross in g co mmenced, eve r y oa r b eing muffl e d, and not a light-no t eve n a lighted pipe-was permitt e d to be s een. \ Vhen mi dway o f the stream, the tide now running ebb, Carlisle, l ook ing b a ck, saw from away up in the uppe r part of th e city a single rocket arise in the air. After the l apse of a minute h e saw one arise from the Jersey shore , and soon after another, and then a third, far inland. He tremble d lest the plot, discover e d, should fail

PAGE 121

120 A Surprise. with loss to the royal cause, but he did not care to express his f ears, l est the blame should fall on his head all the sooner for the ea rl y discovery of these signals. But an officer near him had seen the signals, and now asked him what he thought they meant. "I cannot divine," said Abraham, moodily . "It can not be that traitors on our side are making signals to the enemy and receiving r epl i es . Yet it lo oks as if these rockets had some meaning. There was no suc h signals named by us to our fri ends. Flashes of light seen at stated intervals are the only signals we were to use , or have us e d." The officer made no answer, and Carlisle now had to l ook to the course, for th ey were b ea rin g into the chan nel that leads throug h th e hills west of Staten Island, prepara tory to landing south of the mouth of the Hackensack. A slight rumble h eard away in the northwest disturbed the commanding officer, who was in the boat with Carlisle. "That sound ed like the rumble of artillery wheels," he said. "Nay; it was the roll of distant thund er," said Carlisle. "The storm which hath hung off all the early part of the ni ght will break within the hour. But before it doth the troops will b e on the shore, and the storm cannot impede our march, though it will serve to conc ea l it." "It will be cursed unpleasant," muttere d the officer. "There breaks another peal of thunder. How soon will we land?" "In less than twenty minutes," said Carlisle. "The high land on our left is Staten Island. By a bluff I see my course is taken, and I will soon steer to the Jersey shore." The officer grumbled , and told the crew to row out lively, and on swept the flotilla. Ten, fifteen minutes passed, and n o w from boat to

PAGE 122

T h e Traitor's Progra mme. 121 bo at was p assed the wo r d : "Now slowly; prepare to l and in perfect silence . " Five minutes more, and a s i ngle flas h o f li ght, s ee n from the leading boat, indicated, "For m a line, a n d l a n d together"-a signal understood by a ll . Dimly, like shadows on the wat er, the boats d r ew up i n a long mass, while again the h ollow roll o f thu n der came l oude r on the ear, i ndicat ing the sto r m was c oming nearer, yet nea r er. Another flash of light, and the boats move d forwa r d i n li ne towa r d t he l and, not now ha lf a muske t s h o t a way. At the sam e instant a lightning flash lighted up sky and sea and land, and the British sa w in that brief second a shore lined with Ameri can troops ! C HAPTER XXVII. THE TRAITOR'S PROGRAMME. The British were utterly astounded . In the m e rcy of that single fla s h of lightning they had bee n pa rti ally saved from utter annihilation, fo r , masked upon the shore, there seemed to be men eno u g h t o crush them with one withering volley. Abraham Carlis l e trembled as wit h a n ague, a n d cri e d out, in the hei ght of his terror : "Get back! G e t back ! We are in a trap!" "Curse you , it is you that led us into it," sai d the officer by his side, and with the hilt of his drawn swo r d he struck the miserable wretch fairly between t he eyes, knocking him flat in the bottom of the boat. Perhaps th e act saved his life, for a sin gle shout on shore , "Washingto n and glory !" was followed by a volley of small arms and a discharge of grape and caniste r from the center and both wings of the Ameri can forces, which mowed down the British i a great

PAGE 123

122 The Traitor's Programme. numbers , although fired too hig h to sink the boats or cut up the oarsmen so that they could not escape. Not a s hot did they dare to fire in return, for the darkness was their only shield now, and wildly was heard the word of command. "Back off! back off!" And now, while the America ns poured in their wild, sweeping fire on the r etreating boats, the war of ele ments broke out in its wildest fury. Thunder, light ning, wind and rain, all at once in deafening peals, in lon g, linked flashes , in terrible blasts, and in drenching torrents, came the combination. The British were only too g lad of its cover to ge t away from that deadly shore, and the Americans had now nothing to do but secure arms and get back to their stations. The plans of the enemy had been dis cover ed and foil ed in that quarter, quite as effectually as th ey h ad been in the direction whe re John Roberts was deputed to strike his blow. At midnight he had crossed, b ee n allowed to land, ascend the Palisades, and commenced his march. But whe n he r eached an open glade just beyond the hills, and his force of two hund red renegades was just about enterin g another wood on th e ir line of march, he was met by a fire in front and on both flanks which in less than a minute swept down the major part of his force. It is said that those who are born to be hung cannot die in any other way, and so it seemed with John Roberts. While not over t wenty of all his ren egade forc e got away, and scarcely any of them without wounds , he escaped without a scratch. At the very first alarm h e threw himself to the earth, and then crawled off in the darkness, and finally, in the height of the storm which followed, go t into a skiff and rowed back to the New York shore. Thus, at both points, the expedition was a complete failure, and the British commander bitterly upbraided his wretched tools next morning for the result :

PAGE 124

The Traitor's Programme. I 23 In vain did th ey throw, or try to throw, the bl a me on the patriot spies who were evidently in the city. The failure was all the British l eade r thought of, not of the causes. Roberts and Carlisle came near being i g nom inousl y expelled from the British lines. Only the fact that they kne w too much of the situation there, and might be read y to sell their knowledge to the other side, pre v en t ed it. But Cornwallis had faith in them ye t. He aimed at approaching Philadelphia by a southern route, and ne ede d them, as to o ls and guides, to advise him of routes and defenses, and, if h e succeeded in his aims, to have the m with him to point out the loyal and dis loyal, and to aid him in l evying contributions on such as were known to possess wealth. The two traitors, made acquainted with his plans, rev e led in the thought of what they could do if he did occupy Philadelphia, for they the n would have his aid in opp ressing their enemies and carrying out their fiendish designs. Through their emissaries they kept posted in regard to all that went on in that city. They knew when Adah Slocomb returned there wounded; they even knew that he inte nd ed, as soon as he r ecovered, to wed Naomi Bliss before he r etu rned to serve again with his idolized chief, George Washington. "At all hazards , that union s hall be prevented!" said John Roberts, in bitterness of s1i irit. "Naomi Bliss shall be mine, or she shall die! I have sworn to hum ble her, and she shall see that I will keep mine oath!" "And I will aid thee!" said Abraham Carlisle. "Because we have failed once, it is no s ign that we shall again be thwarted. The king i s mighty in wealth and power, and h e must succeed over these ill-armed and poverty-strick e n reb e ls. " "Yea," said Roberts; "and from the spoils of the

PAGE 125

A Note of Warning. ungodly rebels we will enric h ourselves-yea, we will have gold and silver eno u g h to make us the richest in the l and . I will dw ell in Primrose Cotta ge, and thou sha l t possess the handsome home uf Hannah Slocomb." "Which will b e gall and wormwood to Adab, her son, if he lives to s e e it," said Ca rlisle . Thus these arch traitors and villains laid thei r plans, and being often consulted by Co rnwallis, who was n ow p lannin g his next campaign, to open wit h the spring, they f elt confident of future suc c ess. CHAPTER XXVIII. A NOTE OF WARNING. When Adab Slocomb was taken by slow stages t o Philadelphia, while Naomi still acted as his nurse, he found to his great joy tha t Petrunia Stone had close d up Primrose Cottage, and gone permanently to reside with his moth e r, for, apart, the two good women had been very l onely, while together th e y could talk of the absent son and niece, and che e r each other greatly. And on the day after th e ir arrival, when Adah had peremptorily told Petrunia Stone that if she went back to Primrose Cottage with Naomi he would go als o , a n ew surprise c ame t 0 Adab, and a pleasant one. Farmer Stacy, hi s wife and little Deborah arrived in the city. They h ad b ee n an no yed fearfull y by Tory n e i g hbors, their stock killed and their own lives threatened, and Stacy had deemed it best to bring his wife and daughte r to the city, where he could find congenial society and more safety for his loved ones; while for himself he had decided to do as Adab had done, to aid Washington and his country, thou g h not as a soldier. He had brought two good teams and his

PAGE 126

A Note of Warning. strongest wagon, and he t o ld Adab that if D eborah and his. wife could find shelt e r with his mother, paying for their board, he would at once tender his services to Washington. Hannah Slocomb gladly took them in, for one who had rendered Naomi and Adab service, she said seemed like a relative. ' "Has thee seen or heard of the brave young Con tinental who did us such timely service?" asked Adab of Isaac Stacy, when all of the family were gathered in the large sitting-room. "Yea. But if thee could get Deborah to speak, she could, I doubt not, tell all we should so much desire to know. For she hath an understanding with him, and, to my knowledge, hath had two interviews with him since his brave action with us. Not that there hath been anything unseemly in her interviews, for in the last he came to offer us a place of refuge and aid to go to it, but I do not deem it altogether right she should know who he is and where to be found, when I, her father, am ignorant of his name or even where to find him." "In our hour of need he will not be far away, dear father," said Deborah, with a quiet smile on her pretty face. Adah did not question Deborah. He made up his mind to get Naomi to do that. For it hath been writ ten, "It is impossible for one woman to keep a secret from another, if it concerneth the love of either." And the two young girls seemed to be very fond of each other, while Mrs. Stacy entered into the good graces of Hannah Slocomb, for she was handy about the house and willing. But all were destined to receive a start on the sec ond night after the Stacys arrived in Philadelphia. A note of warning came to Adab in a letter. "The two traitors, John Roberts and Abraham Carlisle, have left New York and gone South. They sailed

PAGE 127

126 The Wedding-the Two Skulkers. i n a small v esse l belon g in g to the British Government, both of the m dis g ui sed as B riti sh soldiers. Beware. "\VASHINGTON AND GLORY." "This l ette r com es from the young Continental," said Adah. "But those vile m e n cannot be bound hith e r, for " no British so ldi e r would dare to tread these streets." "Di sgu i ses can be easily changed," said Deborah. "They may e ven n o w b e r oaming these streets, and you not know it." "It is very true," sa id Adah. "All that we can do is to be constantly on ou r guard against all enemies. These men may c ome h e re, but they dare not appear in th e ir former characte r , th ey d are not show them selv es a t the m ee tin g, not while the p atrio ts h ol d thi s city. Should the king's troops eve r occupy the city, it will be no place for us. But I do not think that will occur . They tri e d to com e h e r e through New Jerse y, but George Washi ngton drove them back. He even now watches their moveme nts from the heights of Morristo wn , whil e he i s gath e rin g forces to move upon the m if again they strive to c om e inland from the sea." "Heaven bless hi m !" said Mrs. Slocomb. "He de serve s the prayers and the good wishes of all whose hom es h e protects and whose fre edo m he is striving to secure . " CHAPTER XXIX. THE WEDDING-THE TWO SKULKERS. The wint e r h ad passed, and sprin g was opening bud and blossom with it s verna l wind and glowi n g sunshine, when Adah Slocomb so far r eco vered from his wound that he f e lt able once more to r eturn to the a id of hi s beloved chief, who yet held hi s eagle eyrie

PAGE 128

The Wedding-the Two Skulkers. 127 in the Jersey hills, whence Lord Howe and the wily, treacherous Cornwallis in vain sought to draw him. But Adab felt loath to l eave Naomi, his gent le nurse and loving companion through all his weary invalid hours, and he made up his mind before l eaving her to give his mother the full right to call her daughter, and to so arrange the two households that Primrose Cottage and Slocomb Hall sho uld be cared for in his absence , by the rightful owners and mense rvants whom he selected, faithful and true persons of his sect in whom he felt trust aiui confidence. He determined to take Naomi as his wife, and to leave h e r with his mother at home, while the wife and daughter of Isaac Stacy w ent with Petrunia Stone to Primrose Cottage . Isaac Stacy himself was now a special baggage master with Washington. This understood, it remained for Adab and Naomi, ere the departure of the former, to take upon them selves the solemn and binding troth of their sect, and before the assembled meeting of Friends to become "man and wife." Lovely was the morning when Deborah Stacy, clad in Quaker gray, walked hand in hand with Naomi Bliss, dressed in spotless white, to the upper end of the old meeting house on Arch Street, there to meet the noble-looking son of Hannah Slocomb, who, facing the silent and reverent assembly, said, as he grasped the hand of Naomi : "I, Adab Slocomb, do take thee, Naomi Bliss, to be my wedded wife, and promise, through Divine as sistance, to be unto thee a true and loving husband until we are separated by death." Then Naomi, in her low, sweet voice, so clear that no s y llable was lost to a single ear among the hundreds th e re , said : "I, Naomi, do take thee, Adab, to be my true and wedded husband, whom I will love, cherish and honor till death tear eth us apart." Turning to the assembled meeting, Adab now said:

PAGE 129

128 The Wedding-the Two Skulkers. "Friends, it is known to yo u all that, while I have striven carefully to preserve my character as a lov e r of p eace, as a hater of dissensions and broils, the spirit within me has prompted me to serve in a civil way my suffering under the leadership of the great and good man, George Washington. And it now be hooves me to say that this day, l eaving my aged mother and young wife, with their friends, to you r kind fostering care and lov e and tenderness, I shall at once return to the station and place that I held when a graceless varlet of the tyrant king so sorely wounded me, that for months I have lain helpless among ye. Trusting the and the orphan to your watchful care, I go to do my duty as a Christian and a man, asking ye to pray that I be strong in the h our of need, and that I may live to see our country fr ee and our dear ones happy." The lips, ay, even the giant frame of Adab trem bled as he spoke, and many an eye was moist in the meeting, while many a voice responded: "God bless thee and thine, now and forever, Amen." Then Adah and his fair bride, with her aunt, the Stacys and good Hannah Slocomb went back to Slo comb Hall-not to a feast, but to breathe a sad and loving farewell to our Christian hero, for his horse stood saddled at the door, while a pair of ordinary saddlebags carried all the worldly wealth and warlike equipment which he intended for his journey and use in further service. During the service just described Adab had not cast a look beyond the spot where his dear mother was seated , or where his fair bride was standing. Had his eye gone nearer the door he would have seen two men, with caps close drawn down over bearded faces, men clad in rough garments, watching the scene with bated breath and strange interest. One of these whispered to the other, when he declared his intention of at once joining the army of

PAGE 130

The W e ddi n g the Two Skulkers. 129 vVashington, and asked t h e l ov in g c a r e of all present for those he mus t l eave b e hind. "Abraham, eve n as t he w o lf c a r es for the lamb , so will I ca r e for Naomi Bl i ss, or N a o mi Slocomb, before he ret u rns h ither again !" "Hist, John ! " sa i d th e o t h e r. " B e still. Were we se e n and know n h ere, there a r e m e n pre s ent who would r end us limb from lim b . L e t u s l eave h ere quickly, lest we b e di sco vered." And John Rob e r ts followed the advic e of Abraham Carli sle, and the two s lun k away ; but they w e r e closely watched and followed by a yo ung Cont i nenta l so ldi er, who had been seen sheddi n g tea r s in the ai s l e of the meeti n g house while the solem n cer emo n y wen t o n . He kept close at t h eir hee l s u n t il they h a lt e d near a small tavern o n Vi n e Str eet, a n d the n h e strode boldly up, and said : "If ye t wo t raitoro u s c u r s are w ithin the city lines o ne hou r l onger, Ge n . A rn o l d sha ll have n o tice which w ill give you ea ch a fatho m o f rope about your n e ck. Begone, while yo u h a v e ye t tim e ! I s p eak in the name of Washingt on a n d G lor y ! " " Heaven s and earth! 'Twas t he battl e cry at Hacke n sack ! " mutte r ed C a rli s l e . "Friend, k ee p quiet, and we will d epart forthw it h . " " Ye a, verily, we w ill s h a k e the du s t fr o m our feet, and flee fro m the doom e d city!" cri e d John Roberts, t rem blin g fr o m head to fo ot. He, too , had heard that strange watchword before, and th oug h neithe r kne w him who w arne d the m , both knew that h e lit e rall y held the ir li v es at his m e rcy. Instantl y they called for their horses at the inn, paid t h eir r eck o n in g , mounted , and rode away . T h e n the y oun g soldier call e d for hi s horse at the same i nn, m o unted , a n d s l o wly rod e in the direction w hich Ada h Slocomb had just taken, out of the city.

PAGE 131

CHAPTER XXX. GEN. WASHINGTON'S STRATEGY. Massing troops in New York and vicinity to the number of n ea rly forty thousand, with a fleet of trans ports and men-of-war, numb e rin g near three hundred vessels, under his brother, Admiral Howe, Lord Howe sp ent n ea rly all of June and the early part of July, 17 77, in trying to draw Gen . Washington out from his strong position in the Jersey hills , where, with an army of less tha n eight thousand men, he k ep t an eagle eye upon the moveme nts of his enemy. Sending two strong colwnn s into New Jersey to burn, ravage and d estroy, the British l eade r sought in vain to entice vVashington in to a general battle, which must have r es ulted in his being ov e rwhelm ed by su peri o r numb ers of veterans used to war and far better supplied with its munitions. Washington watched tho se two serpentine c o lumns of desolation, f e intin g a movement on Philadelphia. H ou rly, from such men as Adab Slocomb, Lig htHorse Harry L ee and others, h e receiv e d r eports of their n umbers, their atrocities and their c ondit ion. On July twenty-third, Lord Howe, with eig hteen tho usand men and two hun dred and s i x t y vessels, left New York, and sailed south from Sandy Hook. Now Washington mov ed, and m ove d swiftly. He knew that one of three points would receive this over whelming force in attack. The ne a rest was Philadel phia, the farthest Charleston, the interm ed iat e Balti more, where Congress had been holding its sessions. Haste ning to gather every avail a ble man, ordering the channe l of the Delaware to be obstructed wherever poss ible, and the vicinity of Phil a delphia to be fortified, he hurried on himself to head the army which was to

PAGE 132

Gen. Washington's Strategy. J 3 I oppose the t w o Howes and Cornwallis in the most terribl e campai g n of the entire war. He had this to encourage him : Congress and the p eople trusted him enti rely. The young hero, Lafayette, had just arrived to offer himself and material aid to ou r cause. Sending Adab Slocomb and other trusty scouts along the seaboard , to report b y signal and swift messengers every movement of the enemy, he used every energy in prep a ring to meet the crisis . On the seventh of August the British fleet and army made their appearance off the mouth of the Delaware, but their spies and emissaries had seen how thoroughly Washington had prepared to obstruct their passage up that river. Signaled to this effect, they bore away, and were seen steering southward once more. Washington now pass e d through Philadelphia with his combined forces, and moved out on the route that would carry him quickest to Baltimore. But speedily came the news that the fleet of England, sailing up the Chesapeake Bay, had disembarked the land force, under Howe, C o rnwallis and the Hessian Knyphausen, on its northern shore, and that they intended to take Philadelphia in the rear. To save that city he must hazard a gene r al battle, and brav e ly he moved forward to face and resist the movement of the enemy. The battle of the Brandywine was the result. Like that of Bunke r Hill, it was a victory for the British and their mercenary allies; but, like the last battle , our defeat w as a g lory, for the defense was so stubborn and so fata l t o the e n emy, that we won a whole world's praise for our heroism. I will not in s ult my read e rs, who have history as a teach e r, b y suppos in g them ignorant of the d e tails of the battle w h ere Lafaye tte fir st fought and shed his blood in ou r cause; where , und e r Washington himself, vVay ne , G r ee ne , Sullivan and Stirling cov e red them selves with imperishable glory; where, outflanked, out-

PAGE 133

132 Gen. Washington's Strategy. numbered and almost overwhelmed our troops were obliged, after a whole day's continued battle, to fall back, and yield the battlefi e ld to the foe . Slowly facing the enemy the hero general retreated, preparing again to appeal to the God of Battles and the Lord of Hosts in another trial of force-of right against mi g ht. On the very next day he had reorganized his troops -not half the number of his enemy-and drew them up to offer battle. On the fifteenth of September both armies were drawn up for action; a fierce skirmish had comm enced, when a terrible temp es t of rain came pouring down and continued for hours, ruining the am munition of the patriots, as well as that of the enemy, to an extent that rendered fighting on that day im possible. And now, to get fresh supplies and gain good posi tions, Washington was obliged to retreat once more, takin g post along the Schuylkill and near Germantown. Though the river was still held by the Americans, the lower route from the fie ld of the Brandywine, through Chester to Philadelphia, was open to the British. To have occupied the city and fought the enemy there, would have been to give it over to destruction, sack and outrage. Washington determined , if possible, to hold the river , and to render the city untenable to the British general, so that he would follow him out and offer bat tle where Washington could meet him on ground where his light troops could battle to advantage. Where, the reader asks, has our hero, Adab Slo comb, be e n all this time? Constantly on the move for Washington, carrying orders where the bullets hailed thickest, doing a man's duty all the time, shrinking from no peril , but praying and striving that the invaders should not reach the homes of those he lov ed so well.

PAGE 134

CHAPTER XXXI. PREPARING FOR A SIEGE. Trembling and praying all und e r one roof, that of Slocomb Hall, the mother and wife of Adab Slocomb, Petrunia Stone, Deborah Stacy and h e r mother, wai ted to hear the result of the battle of the Brandywine. The y tremb l ed not so much for t h emse lv es as fo r the cause of fr eedom, and the lives of the l oved ones who must now be exposed to dan ger; for, like the low mutterings of distan t thunde r, the b oom of cannon came to their ears on the southeast wind all day lon g. At ni ght, and all through the long, weary darkness, the tramp of fu g itives from the battlefield was heard, and when morning d aw n e d the news was on every lip: "The enemy has triumph ed! Washington has been driven b ack!" The wom e n were now earnestly debating what to do, whe n I saac Stacy c ame to them, pausin g only a bri e f half hour while his baggage train was moving through the city to the r ea r. He brought a line from Adab. It ran thus: "NAOMI , MY PRECIOUS WIFE: We are defeated, but not subdued. Tell our mother and thy aunt to keep cl osed doors ; provi s ion well thy home, and remain. If the enemy ente r the city w e will not r ema in long here, and we know of no place of safety to which y ou can flee. This i s an age of civilization, and women of a p e ace ful sect, within the quiet of their own homes , will sure l y n ot be molested. I should b e with the e if my duty would permit. My h eart is with thee always . "Fondly, hopefully and prayerfully thine, "ADAB SLOCOMB." When Naomi read his l ette r aloud to h e r mother and t he other women, they decided at once to act on the

PAGE 135

134 Prepari n g fo r a Siege. a dv i ce of Adab, to supply as far as possible a good sto r e o f p rovis i ons, a n d to keep closed doors s h o u ld the B ri t i s h foll o w up their adva ntage and occu p y t h e ci ty. While they we r e dis c ussi n g t h i s ma t te r , a j oyous cry broke from th e lips of littl e Deborah Stacy, and she ru shed out of the r oo m, through th e fron t doo r , and int o the st reet. T h e w o nd e r i n g e ye s o f Hannah Slo c om b, the shock e d gaz e of Petrunia Stone , and t he smi ling l oo k of D e bor a h 's m othe r rest e d o n the s l ende r form o f a young C o ntin enta l s o l d i e r, who had bee n e vid e ntly w o und e d in t h e r ecent b a ttle, for his l eft a r m was c a r ri e d in a s lin g . H e bent l ow fr om h is saddle to r e c e i v e the warm embra ce and ki sses o f D e b o r a h , w h o see med so full of joy to s ee him tha t s h e c o ul d sca r cely s p e ak. "Well, I n ever!" was al l that Petruni a cou l d say. "Thy child care s n o t t o hid e h e r affect i on fro m the eye s o f the w orl d," sa id H annah S l oco mb. "Tha t so l d i e r d ese rv es h e r l o v e and min e," s a id Mrs. Stacy . " But for h i m we w o uld b e d e ad , o r eve n worse off. He w a rn e d u s in ti m e to lea v e t h e h ome which now l ay s in as hes; h e it w a s tha t save d your Naomi from the w r et ch e s w ho purs u e d and would have destroye d h e r. " "Th ee n eed say no m o r e . I woul d k iss h i m myself if h e wo ul d c ome i n," said H a nn a h S l ocomb . "So wou l d I , if th e w h o l e m eeti n g wa s l ooking on, " sai d Pet run ia . But t h e you n g so l d i e r d i d not tarry a mo ment; he drew a slip o f p a p e r fr o m his v es t , h ande d it to D ebo r a h , ki ssed h e r onc e m o re, the n t o uch e d his h o r se wi t h the spur, and ro de off d own the s treet at a gallop . D e b o r a h c am e in , b l us hin g, and y et t e arful, t he interview h ad b ee n so s h o rt. "This is fo r y ou, " she said, and she handed the paper to Naomi. On it was s imply written :

PAGE 136

Preparing for a Siege. 1 35 "You r husba n d, Adab S l ocom b , is s a f e . H ea ven shi e l d him and George Washi ngto n. Keep close a t ho me. 111e wo l ves are n ea r. Bewa re, for J ohn R ob erts and Abra ham Carlis l e a r e with t he B r it i s h general s , act ing as g u ides a n d sp i es. It were b e t te r y ou di e d , th an to fall h e l pless into t heir h ands . T h y fr i end fo r WASHINGTON AND GLORY. " "The n o b l e youth!" cri e d Naomi. " I do no t bl a me thee fo r lovi n g him , D ebo r a h. But hi s warnin g mu s t b e h e ed e d, a l so th e di r ect i o n s o f Adab . O u r st o r e s must b e s o r e p len i s h e d tha t we c a n live w ith clo s e d d oors w h en t he e n e my occ up y the t o wn. Bu t thy fri en d was w ounded---:-Pe r c h a n ce bad l y . Why didst tho u n o t en t rea t hi m t o e nt e r h e re?" "His w o und i s slight-it w ill d i sab l e his arm but for a bri e f ti me, h e s a ith. H e h ath duti es to c all him onward. Sho uld ou r e n e m ies assail u s, h e w ill not be far a way, and can s peedil y b e s u m m o n ed t o our aid. He, too , w ill k ee p w a tch ov e r th y A d a b, and sh o uld he be n e ed e d he re, be sure h e w ill b e summ o n e d . That I was t o l d t o say unto thee." "Thanks, d ear D e b o r a h. Tho u and thy mothe r, with d ea r Aunt P etrunia, mu s t r ema in h e re unti l the en e m y hav e d eparte d from thi s vi c init y ." " Yea, it will be b e st, " sa id H annah Slocomb, " for w e will th e n h a v e tw o m e n se r vants to a id in our pro tection, besid e s our two w ome n . " So it was d e cid e d tha t all sh o uld r emai n unde r o ne roof, and again Primrose C ott age was close d up, whi l e Sl o comb Hall, a l a r g e and s t a t e ly mansion, was pro vi s ion e d for a si e ge, and garr isoned wit h a doub l e numbe r of s ervants . None t oo s o o n were all the s e p r eparat ions made, for, b efor e n i ght, large d e t a chment s o f th e Briti s h a r my w e r e a l ready l oc atin g in the c i t y , while staff offic ers rod e hi th e r a n d thith e r , l ooking up commodious quart e rs for the Briti sh l eaders.

PAGE 137

CHAPTER XXXII. A QUICK-WITTED WOMAN'S WORK. Finding it impossible now to prevent the occupation of Philadelphia by the British army, Gen. Washington determined to make the occupation of that city as profitless as possible to the enemy. Gen., or Lord Howe, had got Philadelphia, but it was an elephant on his hands-not much for a show, but an in sat i ate monster to feed. He determined , aided by his fleet from b elow, to subjugate the defenders of the riv e r forts, and to clear the river of its obstruct i ons . And now, havin g thus briefly l ooked to war matters, it is time we came back to the personal characters of our story, to see how they prospered. Thoug h it was inconvenient, even decidedly annoy in g, yet it was a protection when Gen. Knyphausen, of th e Hessian forc es, took up his quarters under the roof of Slocomb Hall. For th e general, thou g h a Hessian and an enemy, was too much of a gentl eman to allow the helpless wom e n und e r the same roof to be insult ed or :>. nn o y cd, so that Roberts and Carlisle, raging in deed, like wolves, for the blood and fortune of the in n ocent, could do no harm to Naomi or Hannah Slo comb while Gen. Knyphausen was there. 111ese two wretches, Roberts and Carlisle, had taken possession of Primrose Cottage , and there h eld hi gh revel, while they waited for a time to come when they could carry out their fiend i s h plans in regard to poor Naomi, as well as Deborah Stacy, for Carlisle had marked the latter out as his special victim. They no w had no means of communicating with Adab from Slocomb Hall, for the American army was posted in the rear of Germantown, and between there

PAGE 138

A Quick-Wit ted W oman's Work. 137 and Phil adelphia none b u t the t r oops w e r e a llo w ed to pass and repass. For nearly a month of terri ble susp e nse they co uld h ea r o f daily skirmishes, but get no account excep t such as the king's troops chose to give ; but at last, on the third of Octob e r , they plainl y heard the roa r o f cannon for over two o r three hours, which indicate d a general battle. It was the battle of Germantown, and soon the army hospitals in the city were full of soldiers wounde d there. Again the lo ya lists claimed a g lorious victory. Again the hearts of the Americans sank as they heard o f defeat. When Naomi and her aunt, Petrunia Stone, heard of the occupation of Primrose Cottage by the two a rch villains, Carlisle and Roberts, t hey sent a writte n r e monstrance to Lord Howe. The answer came from the friend of the two Tori e s, Gen. Cornwallis. "Those who had r ebe l relatives warrin g against the king mig ht be thankful if they were spa r ed greate r indigniti e s than the u se of their prop erty. No furthe r complaints m ust be heard from them, or they might expect to be deprived o f the refuge they then o c c upied." To add to the insult , John Robert s brou ght the answer in perso n , ai1d, w i th a s ne e r on his fac e , aske d after the health of "the bride of a single day. " He got his answer from the boot of the indignan t servant, an honest old Quaker, who loved his young mistress, for her purity an d goodness, as he had l ove d her father for his honesty and piety. Roberts vowed a fearful r e venge , but he kn ew that just then, whil e G e n. Knyph ausen befriended th e fam ily, any one act on h is part wo ul d be imp ru dent , if not dangerous . So he returned to lay his troubl es and n e w c ause of hatred before Carlis le, a n d wit h h i m to plo t for futur e r evenge .

PAGE 139

138 A Quick-Witted Woman's Work. That r evenge he meant to have before Adab Slo c omb could return to meet his fair bride . Washington, now encamped in a fine position near Whitemars h, greatly annoyed the British, even as he had done when o n the hill s of New Jersey the winter before and Gen. Howe was d eter min ed to risk another battle to try and crush, or so weaken him, as to r e nder him powerless for the r est of the winter. With great secrecy preparations were made for the attack. Frequent meetings and consultations b e tween general officers were h e ld, and in one of these, in Knyphause n's room, the plan was so warmly discussed that Naomi, in her chamb e r, overheard it all. And she knew how nece ssa ry it was that Washington shou l d be in formed of the intended surprise and attack. How to convey the news to him-news she dared not eve n trust any other in th e h o u se with, was more than she could plan, muc h l ess hope, to safely (!jtecute. Suddenly a thought struck h er. The German gen eral was very fond of a brown bread, which s h e was an adept in making-a mixture of r ye flour and Indian meal; and she ask ed him to write a pa ss for her and a servant to go to the mill at Frankfort, outside the l ines, for the flour, fo r non e cou l d be had in Philadelphia. Gen . Knyphausen readily gave her the pass, and within two hours she was at the mill. Then l eav in g her servant there to have the flour ground, she slipped away on a swift horse, and within an h ou r was in the arms of her fond and noble husband, and in the pres ence of Ge n. \ Vashington. Quickly she told h e r story, n amed the night the at tack was to be made, and what force was to attemp t the midnight su rpri se. The n h e r duty bravely, nobly done, she sped back to the mill, and without her ab sence h aving been noticed, even by her own servan t, paid for the flour, had it packed in her wagon, and with it returned ho me .

PAGE 140

A Q uick W itted Woma n 's W ork. 139 Even t here she dared no t tell where she had b e en, or that s h e had see n Adab, l es t b y some a ccid ent a hint should d ro p w hich sh ould change t he plans of the B r itis h . S h e scarcely a t e or s l ep t until the ni ght for action c ame, t he eighth o f Decem b e r, an d she trembled fro m head to foo t when Gen. K n y ph a u se n and his staff rode a way fr om the house s o o n after dark. She h eard t he mu sterin g and m a r c h of troops-she kne w w hither they were goi n g, a n d knew, t oo , throug h her o w n fo r etho u g h t and c ourage t h e y wou ld g o, not to s u rp ri se, but to be s u rp ri sed by a patri o t band r ea dy to mete out to t h em the d est ruction th e y intended t o inflic t. All that long ni ght s h e s l ept n ot, but pray ed for success t o the pa tri o t a r m s , an d w h e n th e next day the B r it i s h r eturne d , l ea vin g many wound e d , an d report ing t h a t they h a d fou n d Washin gto n u nder a rm s and b een attac ked , in ste ad o f th e m se l ves att a ckin g, she re j o iced tha t P ro v id e nc e had e n a bl e d h e r t o s e rve her c o u ntry. The Germa n gen e r a l , w ho h a d l os t some o f h is best m e n and office r s, w a s t e rribl y a nger ed a t the fool's trap he h ad been l ed in to, but l itt l e d i d he drea m that his o w n wan t o f cau ti o n had e n ab l ed a quick -witted woman t o l earn hi s pl ans, c onvey t h em to his f oe , and thus h ave t hem foi l e d and overthrown . Lor d Howe began n ow seriously to think of evacu ating hi s profit l ess pos iti o n in Philadelphia, and bega n to make his p r epa rati o n s . He, h owever, was expect in g a r ecall t o Engl and, a n d then Si r Henry Clin t o n w o uld t ake c ommand o f the moveme nt. T h e w i nter was terr ibly severe, b u t his troop s , we ll clad and h oused, suffe r ed litt l e . It was the hero ic l i t tle a r my of Washing ton whic h had to endure u ntold h a r dships and m i se ri es almost t oo great for e n duran ce. Falli n g b ack t o Valley For ge, liv ing in rude huts, scant of blankets, s h oes and clo t h ing o f every kind, short of p rov i s ion s, o f te n for weeks >yithout meat,

PAGE 141

140 A Quick-Witted Woman's Work. none but true p a triots would have clun g to th eir standard, and hoped while bordering on death and de spair. But history, while it tells how they suffered, from the lead e r down, also tells that, trusting in God and Vv ashington, th e y r eso lv ed to d ie under arms rather than submit to tyranny's rule. It was in this dark hour, when it was known that Howe was soon to leave for E n gland, and that C lin ton would evacuate Philadelphia as soon as th e roads were in order for the march, that the two arch vi ll ains of this story made up their minds to act while they had time, and to carry out the f ell villainies whi ch they had so long been planning. To draw Knyphausen and his staff from Slocomb Hall for a single night was n e ce ssa r y, and then they wanted sufficient force to overpower resistance and carry off the two yo un g women, not to Primrose Cot tage, where they might b e l ooke d for and found, but to a plac e of secudty more r e mote, where they could not hope for r escue. With unlimited means , wrenched from patriot citi zens , whom they blackm a i led by r eprese ntin g their power with the British who could and would confisc ate their property i f Roberts and Carli sle de nounc ed them, th e y had all the power to carry out their fir s t plan, and get Gen. Knyphausen and his of fice rs out of the way . Throug h thei r connivance, and at their expense, a German masked b all was give n in Carpenter's Hall to Gen. Knyphaus en a nd his officers, and thi s left the coast clear for their op e rations. They had a band of mer cil ess renegades in their pay; they also each ni ght got th e counte rsign; what n o w cou l d save th o se two helpless girls---one a pure and s potless brid e , the ot h e r an artl ess b u d of inno cence and b ea u t y , as pure as the snowflake ere it r e aches earth? Nothing, nothing but the hand of Providence.

PAGE 142

A Quick-Witted Woman's Work. 141 The German general and his staff made great preparations for the m asked ball given in their honor. It was such a r e li e f to the monotony of their winter life. The night on which it came off was stormy-the sl e et and rain forced them to wrap in extra cloaks, for in thos e days there were but f e w coaches in the whole country , and none on pub lic hire . . It was late whe n the German ge n e ral and his offi c ers left , and he t o ld Hannah Slocomb it was n o t likely tha t he wou ld l e av e the place of entertainment before dayli ght, and as all his r e tainers went with him, she could cl ose h e r hou se . She did so, for the howling wind shook the case ments, th e driving storm s eeme d to p enetrate the very walls , and the building fairly shook with its violence. "What a ni ght for our Adah, should he be out, as h e so often mu s t b e on his perilous scouts ," said Naomi, while she, with the rest of the women, chts terin g closely to the fire in their sitting-room, busied herself in sewing. They w e r e makin g shirts, even then, for th e suffering soldiers in the patriot army. "What a f earful night for any one to be abroad in!" said Mrs. Stacy. "Isaac must be hous e d, with his teams , for the army cannot move in such weather, and their baggage trains .must be motionless." "How the wind shakes the house! The icy sleet drives again s t the windows f ea rfully, " said Mrs. Slo comb . "Hush, hush!" said Deborah. "I h eard a whistle. Surely it is some signal!" "The whistle of the wind, child," said her mother, carelessly. "No, th e r e it is again. I do not like it. What hon es ' t me n wo u l d be out whistlin g, one to anoth e r , in a storm like this?" cri e d D e borah , arising, and going to the w ind ow to try to look out in the darkness. But in vain, for in the pitchy night, nothing save a

PAGE 143

The Signal Answered. face pressed against the window pane could have been seen. "I hear nothing, see nothing, yet my heart is full of terror," she said, as she r eturned to the fire. ''I feel as if some dark peril environed us. Ah! what is that?" It was a knock at the door-not loud, but low and quick; and then a voice, apparently stifled, as if afraid of being overheard in some ot h e r quarter: "Hist! Open, quick! It i s I-Adab !" With a cry of joy on h e r lip s and one bound, Naomi reached the door, and, even while Deborah uttered a warning cry , she threw it open. Aghast, she r ecoiled, and started back with terror, for Adab was not the r e to g r ee t h e r , but in s tead, John Roberts, Abraham Carli s l e and fully twenty armed and dark-browed ruffian s strode into the room. CHAPTER XXXIII. THE SIGNAL ANSWERED. "Villains ! How dare ye enter the home of the widow and orphan, unbidd e n ! " cried Hannah Slocomb, artsing to h e r feet in angry dignity. "Begone, b efo re the curse of the Almighty falls upon your graceless heads!" ''Silence, you canting old raven! Who cares for yo u or your curses !" shout e d one of th e a rm ed men. Then turning to Roberts, h e asked: "Which of these women are we to carry off? Speak quickly, we don't want ou r horses chilled to death, standing out in the storm . " "Those two-the youn gest and prettiest. Let the old ha g s stay to comfort each other," said Roberts, with a snee r. Then turning to Naomi and Deborah, he continu ed : "If ye have wraps to keep off th e bitterness of the

PAGE 144

The Signal Answered. storm, put them on, for ye hav e a long journey be fore ye ." "Never! never will I go with thee!" cried Naomi. "Once I was in th y power, and I vowed to die before it should occur again !" "Thy vow is useless. Thou art mine! Seize and bind h e r ! " cri ed Roberts, addressing the r enega de s . "Monster! this shall not be !" cried Hannah Slo com b, seizing the ir on bar which was used to sti r up the fire. "Stir but one step, rai se but one vile hand to touch these helpless girls, and, woman of peace though I am, I will brain him who moves!" "Spare them ! Spare my child !" moaned Mrs. Stacy, dropping on her knees. "Hannah, I will stand by thee !" cried Petrunia Stone, and she drew a pair of scissors from the work bag as a weapon of offense and defense. "Be still; it is useless to resist," sa id Deborah Stacy, white as snow, but strangely calm. "Let me go up to my ch ambe r to get oui: cloaks, for we would perish without them." She took a candle from the s h e lf, and lig hted it at the fire. "That girl has the most sense of you all. She yields to what she cannot help," said Abraham Carlisle. "Go and get the wraps, girl, and be quick about it!" There was a strange look in the eyes of Deborah as she hurried up the stairs . Meanwhile, Hannah Slocomb, with Petrunia Stone by her side, stood between Naomi and the intrud ers, while Mrs. Stacy knelt, and w e pt, and moaned, as if her heart was breakin g . Several minutes passed , and though Deborah could be heard moving about upstairs, she did not return. For fully ten minutes the ruffians waited, and then Car lisl e shouted : "Don't be all night up there; we are in a hurry. Bring down your things; you needn't pack up a cart load, for we'll not carry them."

PAGE 145

The Sign a l Answered. "Hold thee in pat i ence!" c r ied Debo r a h. " I am s eeking a c o mforter." ''I'll c omfort thee if thou'r t not dow n he r e s oon," mutte red Abraham. F ull y five minut e s more, and Deborah did not ye t c ome. A n g rily, then, Abraham Carlis l e rus h ed u p t he s t a i r s . "Devil !" h e was h ea r d to shout. "Why has thee put these lig ht s in the window? I s it a signal for help? \i\T e'll take thee whe r e e ven Satan can h e lp thee n ot!" In a second mo r e he drov e the girl downstairs, and c ame h imse lf with th e candle she h a d c a rried up cut in three pieces, and eac h pi e ce lighted. "Tarry no longer! Take the girls, bind th e m, and go!" h e shouted . "Th e r e has b ee n a signa l made by this witch!" he shoute d. "I know n o t to whom." The m e n rushed forward t o grasp Naomi an d Debor ah . The first f ell to the floor st ruck by the vigorous arm of Hannah S l ocom b, but in an insta n t a ruffian struck h e r o n the temple with the butt of a pistol , and she fell sens eless, while Petrunia Stone threw h e r arms around Naomi, only to be cast aside so rudel y that s he f ell again s t the wa ll on t h e far side of t h e room, stunned and h elpless. The me n now seized and bo und the two yo u nges t wom en, and wrapped th em in blank e ts taken from t h e b edroom adjoining t h e sittingr oom; and w h ile Han n a h Slocom b s t ill l ay sense l ess, and Petrunia shrieked i n h e l p l ess wre tchedness, th e ruffians carried t h e strug g irl s out into the sto rm , Mrs. S t a c y h aving tai nted on the floor. 111e door was yet open, t h e drifting s n o w and slee t d r ivin g in , w h en Hann a h S l oco mb aw oke t o con sciou s n ess . "Gone! gone!" she moa n e d, jus t as a !1'lan wrappe d i n a coarse cloa k rush e d in at the open doo r . "The s igna l! Deborah' s s ignal-what does it mean ?" cried t h e man.

PAGE 146

Th e S igna l A nswe red. "Oh, save her! Save Deborah! The ruffians h av e carried her and Naomi away," cried Mrs. Stacy, w ho recognized the young Continental, even in his disgu ise. "I will, or die! Send word to Adab, in some w a y, to have a company of Morgan's men follow me to Westchester. I go on-alone!" cried the stranger, speaking to Hannah Slocomb . In a second he was outside the door, and in the l ull of the storm they heard the clatter of his shodden horse as he dashed away at full speed. "Oh, oh, what will Adab say?" moaned Petruni a , wringing her hands . "He will say that he will sleep not till Naomi is sav ed from those sinful wretches," said Hannah S l o comb, and s he closed the door. Then she went to the servants' quarters in the r ea r part of the house , and awoke them all. She told the two men to keep watch till the general r eturned, and then she told Petrunia and Mrs. S t acy to daim his ai d in their distr ess . "Ye must tell him who it is that hath thus invaded the house which hath freely shelter ed him-that John Roberts and Abraham Carlisle have broken the safeguard which he promised to us all." "Wilt thou not be here ?" asked Petrunia, in amaze ment. "Nay; I go this night, shielded by the storm, through the British lin e s to seek for Adab in the camp of Washington. Hast thou so soon for go tten what the friend of Deborah told me? I must send help to him, fo r he hath pursued the wicked ones alone . " "It i s true," said Mrs. Stacy. "Thee will perish in the storm. Let me go," cried the man who had kicked John Roberts from the house on his previous visit . " N ay; I can go where thee would be stopped. Even if t hey see me t h ey will not keep a widow from goi n g to see her sick son; for I will even u se that su b ter fuge."

PAGE 147

146 In the Glen Mill House. "Then Heaven prosper thee! But it is a terrible night," said the man, with a shudder. "Yea, such a night as will drive all their sentinels to shelter. Go sadd l e mine own horse;-the one I drive, and that Naomi has ridden more than once. She i s a strong beast, and swift of foot. Thee need only say, i f asked, that I hav e gone to search for Naomi-gone to se ek my son's wife . " The servant hurried off to saddle the horse, and Hannah Slocomb put on her gray cloak , her close h ood, and warm mittens, and was all ready when the horse, snortin g and fre ttin g in the furious storm, was brought to the door. In another minute Hannah Slocomb was riding swiftly out of the city, hoping to pass the lines unin te r rupted. CHAPTER XXXIV. IN THE GLEN MILL HOUSE. Naomi, in her de ep and sudden despair, her dreadful di s appointm e nt, had been almost spee chl ess from the moment the ruffi ans ente r ed the door which she had opened, expect in g to see her husban d th e re , so well had his voice been si mulat e d by one who had heard it often-John Roberts. Deborah, almost as greatl y terrified , yet hoped for rescue, for she had made a signa l , w hich, if seen, wo u ld bring one to her aid in whose power she felt confidence. But the poor gi rl was not sure it had been see n, or that the one for whose eyes it was meant was even then in the city, thou gh, as a spy, he was often there, and had more than once communicated with h e r. They were carried out to a group of horses h e l d in front of th e hou se, the re the girls heard Roberts and Carlisle give directions t o the leade r of thei r hi r e d r uffians.

PAGE 148

In t h e Gl e n Mill H o u se. 1 4 7 "We cannot g o wi t h th ee," sa id Roberts, "for whe n i nqu i ry is made, and we are acc u sed , we shall d e ny a ll, and prove we have not left o u r quar ters . Thus we c :in hold good w i th Lor ds Howe a nd Cornwall i s again s t all acc u se rs . On t h e third d ay, h o w e v e r, w e will c ome o u t t o thee, a n d r elieve t h ee of all r e spo n sibili ty ove r t h ese damsel s . U nti l th e n, keep clo s e w atch and ward, and if we find th e m safe whe n we c ome to claim them u n h armed , r e m e mb e r , by th e e or thine-the recom p e n se w e hav e p ro mised shall be d o u bled." "TI1ey'll b e sa f e in C e d a r Gle n , f ea r not ! " s a id the leader . "But d e l a y no l onge r th a n the third day . T w e nty m e n will soo n make p rov i s i ons sca n t dow n the r e . " "Th a n k merc i fu l H e ave n , th e t w o wretc h e s g o not wi t h u s the m s e lv es!" m u rmure d Naomi , in a whisp e r, to D ebo r ah . "These o th e r m e n m a y b e bad and vil e, but n o n e e l se on e a r t h can b e so wick e d and das t a r d l y a s J o hn Rob e rts. " "The e sp e aks truth," a n s wer e d D e bo ra h. " D e spair not. Help may com e t o us . " "Come, co me ! n o whi s perin g there!" said the l e ad e r, gruffly. " U p w i t h th e g i rls, and awa y ! We m u s t be twenty mil es from h ere w h e n day d aw ns. " A burl y ruffia n ea c h s eize d a girl b y h e r s l en d e r wai s t , and lift e d h e r o n a h o r se in front o f a mou nt e d ruffian ; t he n t h e othe r s sp r a n g t o ho r se, and away t h e cavalcade s p e d, l eaving Rob e rts a n d Carl i s le in the stree t in front of t he ho u se . They now dre w their cl oa k s close a ro und t heir forms, and turne d tow ard R ace S t reet , for t h ey wa nt e d to get b a c k t o the c om fort s o f Prim ro se Cotta ge as soon as th ey c o u l d . They h a d l ef t t h e r e un see n, w ith o u t arousing t heir ow n se r vants, who h a d see n t h e m r et ir e a t an ea rl y h ou r to their rooms. for they i nte nd e d t o s l e ep t ill calle d in t h e morn i n g to breakfas t, and thus be able to prove an alib i sho u ld Lord H owe fo r o nce

PAGE 149

148 In th e Glen Mill House. t ake i t in to his h ea d t o inquir e into a w rong d one to t he r ela ti ve of a n ope n r ebel. T h ey met, n o t fa r from t h eir destina t i o n , a cloaked man riding swif tl y b y , b u t s u pposing h i m to be s ome vid ette o n mo un ted guard returning t o h i s quarters, p ai d no attention to him. They were t alk in g ca r e l e ssly when they passed him , and h e might have caught a word or t wo had h e b e en li ste n i n g . C arl i s l e bad jus t a s ked Rober t s h o w far it wa s t o Ceda r Glen . "It i s e ightee n miles, by th e n earest r o ute, to Wes t chester," said Rob e rts. " T w o mile s beyond lieth the glen of w hi c h old W ormsl e y spoke, and whe r e he will keep the m a id e ns till we com e . " The rid e r had not heard all , but he had h eard the word W e stch es t e r. And as he dashed on t o Slocomb Hall h e stud i e d where he had h eard that voic e before . He well kne w whe n he l earned who had b een at the hall, and what had occurr e d the re. The party with the g irls rode swiftly out of the city , hailin g a ferryman on th e Schu y lkill w ithi n a half hour, and cro ssing the narrow stre am in the large wherry on givin g a countersign to the sergeant who held the post with a sm all guard. Then taking a road that led back over gentle bills, they g allop e d on, swiftly at first, but more slowly as their horses tir e d , until to the fatigu e d girls it seemed as if th e y had come many, many mil e s indeed. It must have be e n within an hour or so of dawn, when the hors e s w e re d own to a walk , and the party straggling alon g in a scatt e red way, that a cl o ak e d horsem a n rod e up at a r a p i d trot and pas se d th e m, just clear of their line , not speaking , but s e eming to b end toward them a s if counting their numbe r. "Who goe s there?" cri e d the leader, as this stranger rode b y him. " A fri e nd , w hen fri e n ds a r e needed, " shouted the strange r, k ee pin g up h i s s p ee d. In a m omen t h e was gone, but Deborah could not check a g a s pin g cry:

PAGE 150

In the Glen Mill House. 149 "Oh, Naomi !" What the exclamation meant Naomi did not then know, and the weary guards made no inquiry, so Deborah for the time kept to h e rself what s he did know-her Continental friend had found their track. A half hour later, soon after passing through a small hamlet, or cluster of houses, they entered a deep and dark ravine, densely shadowed by heavy-set ever greens, with a purling stream dashing over a rocky bottom on one side of the road . Not long after they entered this gloomy gorge, so sheltered that they no longer felt storm or wind, they drew up before what seemed to be a stone house, and here the men dismounted, carrying the girls at once within the house. Here, in a large , square room lighted by two tallow candles, they found an ill-favored man asleep on an old lounge, or settle. "Arouse thyself, Grimstead!" cried Vvormsley, the leader of the ruffians. "Call thy wife . We've a couple of doves for her cage." "Ho! Doves, do you call 'em . I'd say they were women, and far too agreeable for such rascals as you and gang to have and hold," said the man, grinning. "But it's none o' my business. You're maste r here. Ho, Belinda! You're wanted h e re." A muttering noise came from an inner room, and then sh o r t ly after, a woman, scarc e ly half dre ssed, with dishev e led hair and a red , bloat e d face, came out. "Oh, it is you, is it?" she said. "What's wanted now?" "I have a couple of ladybirds here for you to look out for. They're to be fed and closely guarded till them that hired me come for 'em. That will be in three days. You'll be well paid; don't fear that." "All ri g ht. Money will buy rum, and that's the comfort of life. Ha, ha!" Her laugh was as discordant as her looks were repulsive.

PAGE 151

I 5 0 In the Glen Mill House. She walk e d up to the two shuddering, shi vering girls, and scanned them fr o m head t o foot. "Quakers!" she said, in a cont emptuou s tone. "Women must be scarce when men'll take up with Quakers. But what 's that to me? Money-money'll b uy rum, and rum is the comfort o' lif e . Come with me . I'll p u t yo u where you'll be as safe as rats in a t rap. Ha, ha! ho, ho! C ome with me." And she started, with a candle in her hand, though now da y was near breaking . The girls hesitat ed, and Wormsley saw it. "You' d b est go-quietly, too. If you ra ise the devil i n her nature you'll fare badly." "Come," said Naomi to Deborah . "At least, we can b e alone." Debor a h took he r hand , and in silence the two fol l owed the woman up into a small chamb e r , wh e re light and air from outside only had acce s s by a window scarcely a foot wide, l i g hted by but two p a nes of glass, a n d an iron bar across th em. In the room was a t ab le, a bed, three or four chairs, and a brok e n water pitcher . Naomi sa w all this at a g lance . "I'll brin g you breakfast at breakfast time. Kee p q uiet, and make no noise, o r 'twill be the worse fo r you," said the woman. She had started out, carrying the candle i.vith he r. "Pl ease leave the light," cried Deborah. " I cannot bear to be in darkness." "Can't do it. Candles cost money," said the woma n , gruffly . "There is money. Leave t h e light," said Naomi, and she put a piece of gold in the woman's hand. "You t alk. You're worth lookin g at," said the woman, putting down the light . "Money is good; 'twill buy rum, and rum is the comfort o ' life." She now went o u t, bolting the door on the outside as she went . In a second, Deborah took a kni fe from he r pocke t ,

PAGE 152

In the Glen Mill House. I SI cut the candle in three pieces, lighted each, and while she held two in the lower part of each corner of the little window, she made Naomi hold the third piece up at the top , making a triangle of lights. These were held up a minute, and then withdrawn, while Deborah peered out into the wood which arose thick and dark back of the house. Three flashes of light, following each other i n quick succession, were seen in the rear of the house. "Thank Heaven, he is there! My signal is answered!" cried Deborah. "Do not despair, Naomiwe will be saved!" "One man can never do it," said Naomi, sadly. "There are full twent y ruffians below, b esides the vile hag who has lock e d us in." "Fear not. He has never failed yet-he will not now," said Deborah. "See how quickly he has traced us hither. He has three days to work in before our persecutors come . In three days h e can bring Adab and plenty of men hither to help us." "We will pray Heaven that he succeeds," said Naomi. "But all things look dark now. Yet will I hope, for as th ee said, it will not do to yield to despair. But-hark! What is that?" A strange, rumbling sound fell on their ears-a harsh, grating noise like some piece of machinery . "It cannot be wagon wheels on the rocks?" said Deborah. "I f ee l a tremo r , as if the house jarred." "It may be some strange machine in the housefor what, who can tell? Not we," sa id Naomi. "It is dreadful ! Oh, what can it be?" murmured ,., Deborah. Day was now dawning, and to save the candles for future use in signaling, Deborah put them out. Looking out in the forest, the two girls hoped to see their friend , but they saw no sign of him now. He evidently would not risk being seen by others-perh aps he had already ridden off for help to release them.

PAGE 153

I 52 ln the Glen Mill House. An hour passed; they could see sunlight shining in the treetops, showing that the storm had passed. Still the noise which seemed so strange sounded in their ears--a rumbling, crashing, g ratin g noise, which they could not liken to anything they had ever heard before. Shortly after sunrise the woman came up, unlocked the room, and brought in a large wooden tray, on which was a very substantial m e al of bread, potatoes, meat and a bowl of milk. In addition there was a 1 black jug, which would hold nearly a quart, and pointing to it, she said : "You gave me gold--and I've brought you some rum-the comfort o' life." "Thee can drink the rum. We do not need it," said Naomi. "Not drink rum?" cried the woman, in a tone of wonder. "Why, I couldn ' t live without it. I've got a puncheon of it in the cellar, all paid for, too , and I'm getting money to buy more! I'll drink it-it's the comfort o' life!" And putting the jug to her l ips she took a long draught. "Wilt thou tell us what is the noise which we hear?'' asked Naomi. "Yes. 'Tis the mill wheel. This is the Gle n Mill House. We g rind out flour for the Westche ste r folks, and p eop le miles away. My man is the miller-his name is Luke Grimstead . And I'm Molly Grimstead !" "Thee has brought us a very good breakfast, and we are th a nkful," said Naomi. "Accept this for thy kindn ess." And the g irl put another sovereign into the hand of the woman. "This is jolly!" cri ed the latter. "More money for rum-the comfort o' life. You' re as good as gals are made, I r eckon, young woman. I'll do all I can for you-see if I don't!" "Will thee l et us go free?" asked Deborah, quickly.

PAGE 154

An Alarm-a Valley in the Dark. I 53 "Not exactly, young woman-not exactly. Why, they ' d bum the mill over our heads if I did that. But I'll feed you well, and if you'll on l y drink rum, I'll send you all you want!" "We want no rum, and we thank thee for what thou hast done," said Naomi, making Deborah a sign not to speak again. "We will partake of th y breakfast, and thou canst come for the di s h e s b y and by !" "All ri ght; you're sensible!" s aid the woman . She turned away, and went out, taking the jug of rum with her, and not forgetting to bolt the door behind. "Thee must be careful, and not al arm the woman w1th an id e a th a t we want to es cape," N a omi said to Deborah. "For should she t ell the m e n below, they might confine us y e t more clo sely or take us elsewhere , and retard our means of deliverance." "Thee is more thoughtful than I , " said Deborah . "But I do dre ad to stay in this dreadful place. Should those ruffians b e low take to drinking, we know not what they might do in their madness !" "We will pray our Father to guard us," said Naomi . CHAPTER XXXV. AN ALARM-A VOLLEY IN THE DARK. When Hannah Slocomb rode out in that terrible storm of s leet , and wind, and drivin g snow, which m e t her fairl y in t h e face, almo s t blindin g h e r despit e the veil she w o re, she had formed no d e finite pl a n of a c tion ; h e r onl y t h ou g ht was to g e t to the American lin es, and to find her so n , Ada b, jus t as s oon as s h e co u l d. She knew h e r route as far a s Germantown, a n d c ou l d she once reach that point she thou ght she w ould b e be y ond the British lines . But if halt e d by guard or patrol, she had no pass-no hope to get by, except that

PAGE 155

154 An Alarm a Volley in the Dark. she might touch the feelings of those who detained her by a story she had thought of-a dying son whom she sought to see and bless before he passed away. "It is wicked to speak an untruth; but to save the of p oor Naomi , I would risk, even lo se, my own For she is dearer to Adab than his own life, I know, a thousand times." She rode swiftly on, passing points where she feared to m ee t a guard, but th e terribl e s torm had driven them all in, and at last she reached the outskirts of Germantown, and be gan to feel as if she were safe from present danger, and when day came would find it no hard task to reach the American lines. Through the silent town, so lately the scene of terrible carnage, she rode more slowly, for her horse be g an to show fatigue, thinkin g, a s sh e m e t no o ne, what road would be the right one for her to t a ke , for she was an utter stranger in that s e ct i on of the c o untry. Moving on and giving her horse his own way, she entered the very bit of fore s t, thou g h s he knew it n o t, where the four robbers had atte mpt e d to take the treasure which Adab was conve ying to the American camp; and here in a dense thick e t which lined both sides of the road, she cam e upon two lar g e guard fires and a body of men whom her fears magnifi e d to hundreds, though, perhaps, fifty all told would have counted them . The saddled horses were tied to the trees, and the men were grouped around the fires, a s s h e rode within the circle of light. She had no thought that they could be other than Britons, and that detenti o n w o u l d b e pe rilous; and t hough she h eard the st e m word "Halt!" s h e lashed her hors e furiousl y with the w hip she carri ed , and sped in a gallop alo n g the ro a d. It could n o t b e tha t the y r e co g nized her sex in the gloom, so sudd e nly s h e app ea red and so swiftly she sped by; but whether they did or n o t , a t e rrible volley from pistols and musk e ts follo w ed her into the gloom

PAGE 156

An Al arm-a Valley in the Dark. I 5 5 be yond, and in an instant a numbness in her side and a strange feeling in her l ef t s houlder t o ld h e r she had b een wounded; and h e r h orse, l eaping w ildly on in t e r ror, made he r f ee l also that it had been hit, perhaps badl y hurt. But she never thou ght to draw rein, though she knew she w as bleeding, for s he h ea rd the clattering h oo fs of purs uin g horsemen close b e hind her. "On, on!" s h e shri eked t o h e r horse. "Carry me t o my so n before I die!" Bu t the horse began to l e ssen his leaps-he staggere d, while the poor widow g r e w more and more faint. "Oh , merciful Fath e r, save me till I can see my son ! " she moaned. But nearer and nearer cam e the th under of pursuit do w n th e narrow road, weake r and we a k e r . grew horse and rid e r, till a.t l ast, jus t as a shout close at hand told h e r she was discovered, h e r hors e f ell to the earth with a groa n that told her his life was spen t. Faintin g, s he tri ed to ri se, but failed, just as she sa w that s h e was s urroun ded by a rm ed men. Some one seemed ab out to st ri ke wh e n she heard a voice-a well-known voice, cry out: "Hold! Strike not the falle n ! It i s unmanly and wrong ! " "Adah! Oh, Adah ! " s h e s hri e ked. "A woman? 'Tis the voice of my mother!" cri ed Adab Slocomb. "Ho! strike a ligh t , for s h e hath faint ed quit e away, and I f ear me I fee l the moisture of bl ood u pon h e r garm e nts." Quickl y th e American scou ts, for it was such that Hannah Slocomb h ad passed and fled from, gathered about the wounded woman and h e r son, torches were set alight, water was brou ght, and a surgeon hurried up to try and r ev iv e her and attend to h e r wo unds . "Mother, dear moth er! Is thee slain, and by our own men?" cried Adab, wild with ago ny.

PAGE 157

I 56 An Alarm-a Volley in the Dark. She p a rtiall y r ecovered, opened h e r ey e s and saw his dear face close to hers, and sh e gaspe d out: "Save Naomi ! " Then agai n h e r con sciousness left her, and the surgeon l o oked grave, while h e h astened to take up an arte ry in the shoulder and to stanch a bad flesh wound in the side . "Sh e hath been fearfully overstrained, mentally and bodily ," h e said . "Besides, she has lost a great deal o f blood . If she survives the s hock , it will be through Heaven ' s m e rc y-not my ski ll. Yet I will do all I can. " "Docto r, if thee saves h e r life, I can ne ve r repay thee, even thou g h I g iv e thee a ll I po ssess on ea rth," said Ada b , while tears cour se d down h is manl y che eks. 111e n he thou ght of the only words she had spoke n. "Save---Naomi !" What deadly p e ril must his young wife be in , that bis mot h e r shou l d h ave left her h ome, evid en tly to seek him, in the dark night, in the t e rribl e sto rm? Neve r was a man's mind r acked wit h more wild sus pense---neve r was a man's heart wrung with more mortal agon y than now tortured that true son and h u sba n d. His worst e n emy might have pitied him, as i n the c o l d , bitter night, drops of sweat bedewed his pallid brow. The scouts built a hu g e camp fir e by t h e ro ads i de, t he y i mprovised a hurried s h e lt e r of c eda r boughs, and within it , on a litt e r cov e r ed with t heir blankets, Hannah S l ocomb was car ri e d, and for h ours she l ay liter all y h over in g b e tween life and d ea th, while h e r son , and goo d Dr. Crai g, fro m Washington's own staff , so u ght to stay th e sp i rit that s eemed t o ling e r, unde cid e d, b e tw e e n ea r t h and h eave n. And a ll t his time, echo in g through his fevered brain, Ada b heard th e wo rds-"save Naomi ." The day brok e , the su n arose, an d the storm wen t down, still H an nah Slocomb r emained in sens i ble, a bare pulsation t e llin g that l ife l ingered in h e r body.

PAGE 158

An Alarm-a Volley in the Dark. I 57 "How long---ob, doctor, how long before she can speak to me?" asked Adab, in agony. "It may be hours-it may be days-it may be never! " said the doctor, in a whisper . "I ha ve done all I can -her case rests with a Power greater than any on earth." "Watch over her-do not l e ave her a second. I mus t go out among the men . I have an errand of life _ or death for some one to take," said Adab. And he strode out where the scouts, poorly clad, hovered around the cheerful bl aze of the camp fire. "Men," said he, "I have a purse of gold here-the amount is over one hundred dollars-which I have saved for an hour of n ee d. I will give it to the man who will in disguise venture into Philadelphia and bring me news from my mother's hous e-news from my young wife. I would go myself, but I dare not leave my moth e r, who, if she b e comes conscious, will ask for me, and perchance di e if she see me not." There was sile n ce for a m i nute, while the men looked from one to another, and then at that tempting purse of gold . "I know the ri s k , and would take it on myself if I dared to leave her," said Adab, g lancin g at the bough hut where his mother l ay. "The man thus caught in side of the British lin es will be hun g as a spy!" "Unless he is r es cued," said one of the men-Henry Stager was his name-let it be r ecorded in l etters of gold. "Adab Slocomb, you saved my life when I was under my horse at Germantown and three troop ers were hacking away at me. I hav en't forgotten it. I will go, only give me clear directions, so I cannot miss the house." "Heaven bl ess thee, Henry Stager!" said Adab, as he grasped the young p a triot by th e hand. "Take the purse--even if taken it may buy thy freedom." "Keep your gold, Adab Slocomb," said the hero . "No gold would hire me to run the ri s k of dying as

PAGE 159

I 5 8 An Aiarm-a Valley in the Dark. a s p y . But yo u hav e ri s k e d lif e oft e n for u s and with us, and I will go. " "The g ood Fath e r r epay and thank the e then!" sai d A d a b. "The gold shall go to thee a nd eac h one of t h y c o m r a d es in e qual s h a r e w h e n t h ou r etu rnest, and I feel thou wi lt, no matte r what the n e ws thou bri n g e st. Go t o thi s numbe r in A rch Stre e t , an d ask for " m y wi fe , N aorni , and i f s h e be well t e ll her t o c om e with the e t o nurse our mot h e r if s h e lives, or to see her laid i n t h e g r av e if she di es . " A n d A d ab h an d ed hi m a pape r, w ith t he l o cati o n of S l o c om b Hall pl a i n l y indic ate d upo n i t. The s c out n ow ch a nged hi s u nifor m for s o me old garme nt s w hich h a d b ee n put in a bag and carried a lon g fo r purposes of disgui se, black e n ed hi s fa ce and hands w i t h ch arcoa l , and a s hi s o w n hair w a s bl a ck , short a n d curl e d all o ve r his h ea d , h e was quickly <:hanged into a d arky th a t wo uld b ea r in s p e cti o n by daylight , for h e rubb e d the g rim y c o al i n with a wool e n r ag, till hi s sk in s h one lik e th a t o f a G ui n e a negro. H e t h e n pi c k ed out a l ean and s craggy h o rse, put an old b l a nk et o n its bac k , a h a lte r in i ts m outh in s t ead of a bri d le, and whe n h e m o u n t e d h e l ooke d exactl y lik e a runa way ragamuffin. A n o l d t atte r e d bl a nk e t c o m p l e t e d hi s c ostu me, and, a s h e ca rri e d no a rms, it se e me d h a rdly p oss ible he , c ould be r e co g niz e d as one of Morgan ' s best riflemen, as h e trul y was . The scou t s laugh e d a n d ch ee r e d w h e n h e p r epare d to r i de off , a nd l a u g h e d l o ud e r ye t whe n i n regular Carolina d i al e c t he s aid : "S'pos e yo u ge m me n neve r seed a p l anta ti o n nigger afore ? I se gwine down Souf, I is, it's too gor-a -mit y col d fo r dis darky up dar whar you n g m ass a took me . No hoe c a ke d a r, n o homm in y a n' p oss um fa t. Dis chile can ' t s t an' it no l o n ge r. I se gwin e h o m e." Che e r afte r cheer follow e d h im as he kicke d h i s heel s into t he s i d e s o f his l ea n h orse , a n d it w ent off a t a scram b l i n g gall o p .

PAGE 160

An Alarma Volley in the D ark . I 5 9 "He'll go ri ght through the lines as a deserter from his young master!" said Capt . Holmes, of the scouts. "Yea, verily, he is good at disguise, and in his talk doth imit ate the Ethiopian quite as well as in l ooks! I feel more h ope ful now," said Adab. He now r eturne d to the side of his mother and watched Dr. Craig, who was trying to pour a few drops of c o rdial between her lips. The physician succeeded in getting n ea rly a tea spoonful of the reviving liquid down her throat, and a gentle sigh showed that it had some effect. But the deathlike stupor was yet heavy u pon her, and unless she was aroused from it before long, he said she would sink into an eternal sleep . The r eaction must soon commence, or it would be too late . Adab now chafe d h e r cold hands, and the doctor told some of the men to h ea t some stones, th a t he might wrap them in a blanket and place them against her feet. Again, after all this had b ee n done, the doctor caused Acab to raise her head, and essayed to pour more cordial down her throat. A l o n g-drawn brea th helped him, and s he swallowed almost a wineglass full. Color b ega n to come into her face, the pulse rose, and Dr. Craig smiled when Adab's quest i oning look met his . "There is hope," he said. "I thank the Heavenly Father!" said Adab, reve r entially, while hot t ears from his eyes fell on the white, thin hand of hi s b e loved mother. But yet her recovery was fearfully slow . By noon her eyes were unclosed and she evidently saw Ad ab, but her mind seemed to be weak and wandering, and the doct o r said it would not do to excite her, o r to endeavor to arouse her too fast. As this scouting party was but an outpost of p laced there to watch the enemy and guard agai nst approaches toward Valley Forge, wh e re Washington now held his little army, there was no need for them

PAGE 161

160 Unexpected Return of Henry Stager. to move for the present, so the doctor had nothing to take him from his patient. The day wore on, and when it was near night Dr. Craig saw his hopes rewarded , for Hannah Slocomb, ' able to swallow a whole glass of wine, asked, as she looked wonderingly at the green walls of the bough ' house and recognized her son : "Adah! Is this a dream? Where am I?" He was about to answer, when a bugle blast fell on his startled ear, and he heard Capt. Holmes outside shouting: "To arms, men ! to arms I Mount! the British are coming!" CHAPTER XXXVI. UNEXPECTED RETURN OF HENRY STAGER. Adah pressed his lips to his mother ' s brow and whispered: "Be quiet , dear mother. Fear not ; thou art safe; the doctor will stay with thee. I go to see what is the matter. Doctor, leave her not , on th y life! " The n ext second Adah was outside the hut, and, seizing the long rifle which Henry Stager had left standing against a tree near the camp fire, he bounded into the saddle of his own powerful h o r se, clo s e at hand , and rod e to the very head of the little column which Capt. Holmes had just joined in the road. Again the shrill blast of the bugle, nearer and ne a rer, rang out as Holmes gave the order: "Forward! Fours! Trot!" Heading toward Germantown, the little column emerged from the wood just as a rattling volley of small arms was heard, and they saw the horse-so well known-of Henry Stager come flying down the road, the rider bowed over on its back, as if wounded, while

PAGE 162

Unexpected Return of Henry Stager. 161 fully fifty red-coated dragoons came sweeping down in his rear, shouting as the y rode. "The Lord of Gideon be my helper!" shouted Adab, as he drove his spurs into his horse and dashed on wildly ahe a d of his own column. " Char g e ! " shout e d Holmes, and every rider dashed forward to meet the hated foe, sword in hand, opening in the center for the horse of Stager to pass as they swep t madly forward. "Heaven for g ive me! 'Tis for my mother's life!" cri e d Adab, as he brandished the heavy rifle and bore do w n on the foe in advance of all his troops. The Briti s h l ea d e r now made a fatal mistake. See ing this un ex p e c te d advance, where he thought only one m a n w as fly in g from his pursuit, h e che ck ed his troo p to form it m ore compactl y , and now, with its imp e t u s all los t , his m e n startled, and his column in di s ord e r, he found the Americans coming like a whirl wind upon him. "Down ! ye wolf do g s, down!" shouted Adab , in the lead of all, and, swinging the ponderous rifle with both hands , h e b rou ght it down r ight and left, crushing sab e r guard and human skulls as if they had been made of p a per. "Libe rty or death!" came from fifty patriot lips as they drove , s word in hand, into the chasm made by A d a b. Ri ght and l e ft, onward dashing , the giant Quaker cl eared his way-right and left the patriots clove down ma n afte r man as they followed, and in less than a mi nute, A d ab , alr e ady in the British rear, turned to cont inu e his deadly work. But n o w from the few left--0nly fifteen or twentycame th e cry of : "Qu arter! quarter! Mercy! mercy!" "Give them Paoli * mercy!" shouted Holmes, as he *At Paoli, P a., our trnops were butchered after surrender.

PAGE 163

162 Unexpected Return of Henry Stager. struck a terrib l e blow at the already wound e d British leader. "Nay, friend! Spa re him who a s ks hi s lif e in the hour of thy v i c to r y ! " s a id Adab, a s h e p a rri e d the blow with his rifle barrel, and sav e d the lif e of the British offic e r. "You' r e ri ght, A d ab ! My blood w a s h ot! Y o u've fou ght lik e a lio n , and your voice s h o uld be the first for us to li s ten to," r e plied Holmes, and he gave orde rs to secure the pri so n e rs, arms and hors e s . "Did I fight? The Lord for g ive me! B u t the life of my moth e r was at stake, and the command is to 'Honor thy mother ;' and sure ly it . meaneth to defend her when g odle s s m e n assail." And Adab rod e b a ck, with a me e k face and abashed look, to the camp ground, to s e e h o w his m oth e r fared. She was b e tter, and Dr. Craig was b ending anxiously over a new pati e nt. H enry Stage r, b a dl y hurt, with three gunshot wounds, l ay the r e , while his hor se, just havin g strength to bring him throu g h, lay bleedin g y e t, and d ying out side the hut. Adab w a s on his kne e s by his sid e in a moment . "Dea r fri end, thee has t suff e red for m y sak e," said Adab, sorrowfully. -"Would that I were in thy stead now." "No, no; I'm all ri g ht. I'll pull throu gh!" s a id the youn g h e ro. " I tri e d my best t o get t o y ou r h o u s e and g e t n e w s fo r you , and wo u ld h av e s u cceede d ha d it not b ee n for a b othe r some thi ef of a Quaker th e y call e d John R o b e rts . He was p ass in g the d oo r w it h a party as I was go in g in; h e mad e th em st op and ques tion m e , and his prying eye s s aw whit e s k in throug h some of th e hol es in my ragged clothing . I h a d t o run for it the n , and a ft e r I got to my h o r se it seem e d as if every guard and picket had a volley for me. But I'm here, old f e llow !-I'm here!" "Yes, and you 'll st a y here, if you don't keep still," said the surgeon, sharply. "You've lost nearly all the

PAGE 164

Unexpect e d Re t urn of Henry S tage r . 163 b l oo d in your b ody. Kee p s t ill and l e t me save the r est . " "All r ig h t, doc. D o th e best yo u can for me . My co untry needs me," sa id Stager , fa intly, for , his excitemen t ove r , h e knew how wea k h e r e all y was . "Mothe r can t e ll me w h ere Naom i i s n ow , p e rhaps,' ' s a id A da h , w ho s aw tha t his moth e r was fa r bette r, and h e a pproa ch e d h e r b ed-or rat h e r the l i tte r of boug h s a n d b la n ke t s o n which s h e h a d been laid . "Yea, and it i s b i t t e r n e ws, " said hi s mothe r , in a f e e ble t o n e . "She hath been ca rri e d o ff, and wit h h e r also D e bora h Stacy, b y th os e go dl e ss wre tc h es , John Roberts a nd Abraha m Carli s l e ." " J ohn R o b e r ts was t h e t h i e vin g villai n w ho dis co ver e d me , " s aid Stager. "He i s in P h i lade l ph i a . " " I w a s c omi n g t o tell th e e wh a t had b e e n done , and that th e y oun g Continenta l soldi e r who hath bef ri e nded thee aforet ime , sent me to t ell th e e to come qu i c kl y to Westc h e st e r to help him r escu e h e r , wit h a compa n y of Morg an ' s m e n," con t inu e d the widow, not hearing S tage r , wh ose voice was now l ow a n d fa in t . "The C on tin ental so l d i e r ? T h e fri en d o f Deborah S tac y?" a ske d Adab. "Yea, th e same . She made some signa l w h i ch he dis c ov e r ed, bu t he c ame t oo l ate to save h er. But he w ent to find her, b eggin g m e to have his m es sa g e sen t to thee." " I t s h all b e answere d , " said Adah. "A part of thes e m en sh a ll c a r e full y c a r r y the e and fri en d Stager t o W as hin g t o n 's camp wi t h t h e d o c to r t o see to y e as y e j ou rney. W i t h t h e r es t , I w ill speed to for th ere I s hall s u r e l y s e e o r h ea r fr o m the s o ldier, fo r h e is a g o o dly y outh , a nd exceedin g ly v a l o rous. If Naom i and D e bora h be i n t h e l and of the living he will wat ch o ver t h e m a nd shie ld th e m from ha r m." I t was now a l most night, a n d k n ow in g that it W!:li b es t to ch a n ge t h e ir qua r t e rs a t a n y r a te, a portion of the forc e , d i smo un te d , wit h s ome m e n m o u n t e d tP guar d them and t he pris one rs, prepa re d to carry Han ..

PAGE 165

The Rascals in Peril. nah Slocomb and the wounded rifleman to the camp at Valley Forge; while Capt. Holmes, with Adab and twenty picked men, rode away in the gathering gloom toward Westchester, leaving directions, if they were not in camp within twenty-four hours, to ask Gen. Washington to send a company of mounted riflemen to look them up. CHAPTER XXXVII. THE RASCALS IN PERIL. We have some way to go back now, lest a thread in the woof of our story being omitted, the warp will look slovenly. Mrs. Stacy and Petrunia Stone spent the rest of the long night in tears and prayer, after Hannah Slocomb rode away in the midst of the terrible tempest on the night when Naomi and Deborah were abducted. The servant s were sad and silent, for they knew not what to say or d'1 to comfort them. Just a f ter day dawned, Gen. Knyphausen and his staff returned from the ball. The general was weary, yet he had passed a pleasant night and was in good humor. Entering the house and finding the people up, Hannah Slocomb and the two young girls gone, with Mrs. Stacy and Petrunia Stone weeping, he asked what was the matter. Between the heart-breaking sobs, Mrs. Stacy told the whole story. The German general turned to a deathly pallor with choking rage when he heard all she had to say. "The safeguard of my quarters broken !" he cried. "I will hang the dastard wretches who have done this deed!" And he instantly ordered an officer with a guard to

PAGE 166

The R a scals in Peril. g o in . s ea rch of A brah am Carlisl e and John Roberts, and to arre st the m and all with the m wherever found, a n d to br i n g th e m instantly b e fore h i m. " W ee p n o m o r e," he sa id , t e nderl y , to Mrs. S ta cy and to Petrunia Sto n e . "The y oun g w o m e n shall be found a nd brou ght bac k, i f it takes my wh o l e c o m mand to do it. And wo e to those who h a v e h a rm ed th e m !" The ge n eral, who was brave in b a ttl e and strict in d i s c ipl in e , was kind to tho se wh o look ed t o him for prote cti o n , and his words f ell soothin g ly on the ear of poor Mrs . Stac y . His own s e rvants now made coffe e for the gener al, for he sw o re he would not r e tir e to r es t until he had seen the end of this matte r and the foul outrage righted in some way. In less than an hour, Abraham Carlisle and John Roberts , bound , with all their servants, were hustled into the presence of Gen. Knyphausen by his Hessian guards. "Miserable carrion! how dare ye raise your eyes in the pre se nce of this we eping mother?" said the general , addre ssing Carlisle and Rob e rts. "Offic e r of the g u a rd, " h e c o ntinu e d , " have two strong rop e s brought. We will hang these villains in the front yard, as an example to other wretches of a like kidney!" "Mercy ! What have we done?" moaned John Rob erts, pit e ously. " Y ea-tell us what hath so an g ered thee that thou do t h threa t e n our lives! " cri e d Carlisle, trembling from head to foot. "What have ye done? C o w a rdl y do gs! do y ou a s k me, whe n you kno w w ell that thi s h o u se is in mo urning becau se yo u h ave to rn aw a y it s fa ir est o rn a m ents ? 1Where are the two helpl es s gi rls w ho m y ou tore a wa y from here in the d a rkn ess o f midn i ght, k now in g t ha t I and my guard w e r e ab sent? Spea k qu ick, or I will drive my own sword through your black hearts !" and

PAGE 167

166 The Rascals in Per il. the Hessian g ene ral laid his hand on the hilt of his sword. "Wh a t i s this we hear? We have just been taken from our p eacefu l beds, where we have l a in the whole night," said Roberts, a ss umin g a tone and look of injured innocence. "Yea, verily, as we can pro ve by our own servants, we r etired to sleep three h ours before midni g ht, and j us t a little while since were dragged from our beds by thy soldiers," added Carlisle. "Lying varlet s ! I would believe this woman's tears b e fore I would your oaths. Reveal where ye have hidden the girls, or your lives are forfeit before I count twenty." "Oh, will he never, never come?" groaned Carlisle. "He comes ! He comes ! I hear the clank of sabers! We are saved !" cried John Roberts. "What doth this mean?" cried an officer, whose in si g nia b etoke n ed his rank to be that of a major-general in the British se rvice. "These m e n who are bound sent for me to save th e ir liv es-they are under my safeguard ! What are th ey doing h e re?" "Lord Cornwallis !" s a id Gen. Knyphausen, speaking slowly and with almost kingly dignity, "it may suit you to become the safeguard of renegade spies and traito r s to the ir native land , but when they break the safeguard of my quarte rs, tearing away helpless girls from the arms of their mothers, they shall die in spite of all the e arls and lords in your army ! This is my quarrel-interfe re if you dare !" "Oh, my lord-my lord , we are inn o cent!" pleaded Rob e rts, seein g that the Briti sh genera l quailed before the honest imp e tuosit y of the enraged Hessi an. "Yea-on my veracity as a Christian man, I affirm it !" groaned Roberts. "And I pron ou nce ye b o th, grac e le ss liars and hypo crites!" cri ed Gen. Knyphausen . "My lord, look at those weeping women. Why do the t ea rs run down their cheeks? One weeps for her abducted child-

PAGE 168

The Rascals in Peril. the other for her niece; while out in the pitiless storm, out in the darkness of the night, the gray-haired mother of the other seeks for her son's youn g bride! Are you a man, and yet would stay the hand of justice?" "No!" said Lord Cornwallis, "but I ask that these men have a fair trial. Give them that chance, and I will say this-if they are proven guilty, I will be as quick as you to say 'Hang them to the nearest tree I'" "A respite! We may escape I" whispered Carlisle to Roberts. "My lord," said the Hessian general, "your demand is just. They shall have a trial. Let it be called speedily. Till then the prisoners remain in my guardhouse." "I am content that it should be so! Good-morning, general," said Cornwallis. "Good-morning, my lord," replied the general, as the former withdrew. Then turning to the officer of the guard again, he said: "Guard these craven wretches closely. I know they are guilty, and they must not escape. Had not that British lord come when he did, they would now be swinging in midair." The officer bowed, made a signal to his guard, and they withdrew with the prisoners. "Madam, find but the slightest clew of the direc tion in which they have taken your child and the other lady, and I will send troops to look for them," said the general, addressing Mrs. Stacy. "Alas, general, I know not whither to direct a search. Perchance, when Hannah Slocomb comes back, she may give us some idea." "Till then we must wait and hope," said Petronia Stone.

PAGE 169

CHAPTER XXXVIII. A BRAVE YOUTH COMPLIMENTED. Washington h a d jus t r eturne d fr o m his usual midday inspecti o n of the quarters of his troops at Valley Forge , which tour of inspection incl u ded the hospitals, and had taken his s eat at a rude table, on which was spread a scanty lunch, when his orderly came in and announc e d that a young man, almost worn down with a lon g , swift ride, craved a n immediate audi e nc e . "Admit him, and l e ave us alon e," said the general, in the kind tone always used by him when addressing a subordin a te. A minu te later, and a young man, whom Washington did not know, entered and bow e d low. "Your busi n e s s mu s t b e press in g , to have ridden so hard," said the g e n e ral, earne s tly. "Be seated; take a glass of wine, and then tell me what you have to deliver." "A glass of water and a morsel of bread, general, if you pl ease, for I a m very faint. l have not tasted food in twenty-four hours, or longer," said the young man, faintly. "Wine, my good man, will strengthen you. I have a little kept for sickness; u s e it freely." Thus pres s e d, the youn g man took a single glass of wine and a piece of bre ad. The color came into his pale cheeks, and he said : "Be fore c o min g to your exc elle ncy, I made inquiry _ for Adab Sl oco mb , but found h e was awa y on a sco u t . M y busine s s c on c e rn et h him mo s t n e arl y . I was in the city on sp ecia l se rvice fo r G en. Greene, under thy orders, whe n I lea rn e d tha t the two renegade Quakers a n d spies..,--t ra it o r s to ou r c a u se--John R o b erts and Abraham Carlisle-had stol e n away the bride of Adah

PAGE 170

A Brave Youth Complimented. 169 Slocomb and D e borah Stacy, the daughter of thine own s p ecia l baggage mas ter. " " Infam o u s ! " cried the general. "And the British Earl How e will sh i eld such villains?" " I doubt if he knows it, your excellency. But I traced t h e villains who carried the girls away, and know wh e r e they are confined , with twenty burly ruffia ns to guard the m. Giv e me as many true Americans, well m o un ted, and I w ill sa v e the g irls, for as yet the y are unharmed, the principal villains remaining i n t he c i ty till t he hu e and cry i s o ve r." "Tho u sha lt h a v e doubl e the number of men asked for , an d a coil of rop e . Hang every ruffian connected w ith the cruel o utra g e who may fall into your hands. In this ca s e t ake no prisoners. And remember, I have offe r e d o ne h u n d r e d pounds reward already for the two r e negade Q uak ers. " " I w ill r e m e mb e r it , g eneral. One more favor. I h a v e w orn d own m y horse; he cannot move faster than a wa lk. I can go back afte r an hour's rest; he can n ot." " T ell Col. Fitzge rald to give you my chestnut geld in g . And r e quest h i m to come hither, and he will give yo u a d eta i l of me n w h e n y ou a r e rest e d, i e d and r e ady t o r e turn. The man whom Gen. Greene trusts I will d epe nd on." "Tha nks , good general. I will succeed. I have been trusted befo r e a n d d i d n o t fail. " " H o ld a m o ment! Where have I seen you? Thy fa c e seems familiar, ye t I cannot recall where we met." "On M orri st own Heig hts, general. I brou ght you word what John Rob erts and Abraham Carli s l e in t ende d. W e m e t th e villains and foil e d them-the Brit i sh-be fore the y land e d at Hacken s ack, the ren ega des n ear the P a lisad es, where four-fifths of them were sl ai n. " " Ah! I h a ve it now. Thou art the brave youth who saved th e tre a s ure chests coming from Philadelphia -who cut do wn the dragoons which _ followed Stacy

PAGE 171

170 A Brave Youth Complimented. and Adah when they brought off Naomi-the herCJ whose watchword is 'Washington and Glory!'" The young soldier blushed a rosy red, and his silence gave assent to the discovery made by the h e ro chi ef . "Thy name-give it me quick, for it shall fill a captain's commission in my Life Guard!" said Washington. "Pardon me, general. I have not yet earned the commission. When I think I have, I will gratefully accept it. Till then, I crave as a favor to be nameless; or, if I must have a name , Jet it be 'Washington's truest friend and humblest servant.' " "What you claim as a favor I cannot refuse," said Washington. "But remember, if thou art my friend, I am thine, and I will advance thee according to thy great merit at the first opportunity." "I do not dou ht it , general. I will crave one more boon, and then hasten to the rescue of those poor girls, whom I will bring back to Adah and to Mr. Stacy. I hear that Job Turner and hi s family mqurn much after their eldest daughter and sister, whom they b e lieve to have carri e d off by the enemy or slain. I wish you would send word to them that I saw her safe in Philadelphia the day before yesterday, and she hopes before lon g to be able to c ome b ack to them." "I will cheerfully send word to Job," said the gen eral. "He has been thrice = -camp to ask me for tidings of the girl, and I could give him none." The young man bowed low, and went out to find Col. Fitzge rald. Two hou s later he was seen galloping fro m camp, with fifty goo d mounted men at his back, ridin g the general's chestnut, saddle horse. His course lay south.

PAGE 172

CHAPTER xxxrx. THE RENEGADES I N LUCK. Within an hour from the time when Lord Cornwallis had his sto r my int e rview w ith Gen. Knyphausen, the former was at headquarters , requesting a private inter view wit h Lord Howe. the B riti s h general-in-chief. The latter at once ha d Cornwallis admitted to his private quarters, and m e t him most c ourteously, for he was his second in command, a peer of England, and a brave and active gene r al. He saw at a glance that Cornwallis was greatly agi t a ted , and asked in a tone of de e p concern if there was bad n ews fro m any quarter. "Bad n ews h e re, right und e r your very nose, my l o rd ," said Cornwallis, imp e tuously. "Am I to be beard ed by a paltry. H ess ian, a d e vourer of sour cab ba ge, a general whose whole command is not worth my single r egiment of Tarleton's Horse? Must my friends, and the friends of the kin g, b e threatened with death with o u t tri a l , because they are falsely accus e d of runnin g off some r ebe l women whose male relatives are even now in arms agains t us?" "Expla in yourse lf , my lord. I surely w ill permit no one to offe r yo u an indi g nity, or wrong the true friends to the royal cause." "Yet o ld Knyphausen, the servant of a king whose whole re alm is not so large as either your e s tate or mine, has done this wron g . Even now h e has two of my m os t trusty g uid es and sp i es confined in his g uard hou se, and h e would have hung th e m without th e sem blance of a tri a l had I not go t the r e in time to stop his infernal. hi g h-handed g ame. My lord , if this is per mitted , I will r es i g n my commis sio n a nd go home." "Tut, tut, my lord. Do not think of resigning, with glory b e fore as well as behind you in your military

PAGE 173

I 72 The Renegades in Luck. career. As to your friends, write an order for their instant and h onorable r e lease, and I will sign it. Let Gen . Knyphausen again interfere with your friends, and I will put him under arrest ." "Thank you, Lord Howe. You are ever just and generous." Cornwallis at onc e wrote an order for the instant and unconditional rel ease of th e two Quakers, Abraham Carlisle and J o hn Roberts, also a genera l pass, permitting them to com e and go where th ey pleased, as s e rvants and friends of King George, and ordering all sol diers and officers to aid and assist, and not to obstruct them in any way. Both of these papers were signed by Lord Howe without e v e n a perusal. "Now take a glass of wine with me, Cornwallis, and then go and r e l ease your friends." "Joyfully, my l o rd," said the British general, and both pl edged each other at the sumptuous sideboard of Lord Howe. Cornwallis now went directly to the Hessian guardhouse, and when the office r in charge saw the seal and signature of Lord Howe, ordering the release of his pri sone rs, h e da r ed not detain them, but taking a copy of the ord e r , h e sent it to Gen . Knyphau sen the moment the Quakers left with Cornwallis. "The Hessian d o lt hath not full sway here, you see," said the British genera l , as he bade the two Quakers sit down in his own quarters , whe r e he at once took them. "But he may t ry yet to injure you, and for a safeguard I have procured thi s pass, which even he dare n ot ignore. It will prevent you r arres t anywhere, and moreover place all soldiers and officers at your command if you need protection or ass i sta nce." And he r ea d the order b efo r e he presented it to them. "Thee hath saved our lives, and thee now adds even more, a safeguard for the future. We know not how to thank thee," said Carli s le, and Roberts added:

PAGE 174

The Renegade s in Luck. I 73 "Yea, veril y, w o rds are too weak to s p e ak our gratitude ." " S e r ve the k in g, a nd our cause; foll o w a n d punish tho s e hate d r eb e l s , and I a m m o r e th a n p a id," s a id C ornwallis. "I s h all so o n b e i n m o ti o n t h ro u g h t he Jerse ys wi t h m y w h o l e comma n d, and the n in faith ful s e r v ice to m e and th e k i n g yo u w ill mak e all thin gs eve n. " "We will ser ve thee t o th e d eath ! " a n swe r e d b ot h. "Of that I a m as s u r e d. N ow g o , a n d l e t th a t H e s sian hog s ee y o u pass hi s quarte rs , and k n o w tha t you are free. A guard o f m y o w n men s hall follow near enough to aid y ou should he dare atte mpt to mol est you." The malici o us r e n e g ades were only too g lad to show this indignity t o the H ess i a n g en e ral, and thus it was, whe n p ass in g S l o c o mb Hall , J ohn Ro b e rts d e tected Stager , and c ame n e a r effe cting his arres t whe n he sou ght to carry o u t th e w i s h es of A d a b. But Gen . Kny ph a u se n h a d th e c o p y of Lord H o we's orde r of r e l e a se, a n d, th o u g h h e gnas h e d hi s t eeth as he thought of th e i ns ult , h e had n o present m e ans of redres s. H e c ould but bide his time whe n as a private gentl e man h e mi ght call the e arl to ac co unt. M e antime , th e t wo a rc h-villain s hurrie d to their own quarters, t o d e cide on future ac t i on. "There i s n o w n o need for u s to wait thre e days , or even a sin gle d ay l o n ge r , t o g o and cla im our pre tty prizes,'' said Ca rl is l e . "The p a ss a nd s a f eguard will prote ct us in a n yt h i n g an d every thin g we cho ose t o do. Sinc e Corn w alli s says h e i s t o m o v e s oo n , why s h o uld we dela y ? L e t u s g o thi s ve r y night t o the g l en, and humble H anna h S l o comb's daughte r-in-l a w t o th e d u s t, and t ea ch D e b o rah Stacy tha t Quake r s a r e not l aggards in love . " " T hee s p ea k s my ow n t h o u gh t s, " s aid J o h n R o b e rts. " And s inc e ou r pass p e rmits it , l e t u s t ake with u s a f e w soldi e rs as a p reca uti o n. " "Yea, if tho u think es t it best. Though Wormsley

PAGE 175

174 Prepar ed for Resistance. and his gan g are in our p ay, well-armed, and even more mercile ss than any of the king's troop s . " "We will take a few-say a dozen-troopers, who, w i th a few bottles of rum and a handful of dollars di s tributed among them, would face the Evil One himself at our desire." "Ver y weJl. We will dine , for hunger hath come upon me s inc e the deadly terror of de a th was mine, and I woul d fain r e fresh the inner man with drink and food. " " A g ain thou speak est as I feel. Let us go to Primrose Cottage, where the larder is generously supplied with food and wine." The two Quakers now retraced their steps past Gen. Knyphausen 's qua rters, past the g uardhouse, and en tered the domicile from which they had so lately been dragged as prisoners. Here their r e leas e d s e rvants soon set out an abundant feast, which they sat down to enjoy , Carlisle having already sent a note to Gen. Cornwallis, for an escort of twent y t roope rs , to g o with them on a private mis sion in the king's service. When they were throu g h dinner, the troops, and horses for themselves, were ready. CHAPTER XL. PREPARED FOR RESISTANCE. The two captiv e gi rls ate spa ringly of the breakfast Molly Grimstead l ef t for them; for, as Naomi arg ued , though th ey were too unhappy to think of hun ge r , it was necessary for them to eat to keep up stre ngth , l est when a i d came to the m they wo uld be powerless to as sis t in th eir own escape . During the morning they h ea r d no noise except the constant crashing and jar of th e old mill wheel, for

PAGE 176

Prepared for Resistance. 175 Wormsl ey's men we r e wrappe d in slum b e r. Thei r fa tigue afte r the night ri de was suffic ! e n t to keep the m quie t most of the day . About no o n Molly Gri mstead cam e u p t o bring the girls t h e i r dinne r , and, u ncout h as she w as, sce nt e d with rum and t obacco, s h e a c t ed k i ndly toward the g i r l s . Naomi had wo n h e r good g r aces b y her timely pre s en ts, for the woma n o n ly seemed t o t h i nk o f tw o t hi ngs and the money t o bu y it. Though l iterally soaked w ith t h e fou l spi r it, she was one of those f e w casehardened creature s who rarel y l ose the i r balance, n o m atte r h ow m u ch t h ey pour do wn, and who seem to crave liq uor as an aliment, e v en as a b abe crav es milk. The g irls than ke d h e r for th e food, bu t a s k e d no q uesti ons . They dared n ot ma k e a n y inq u i ries, l est s ome care l es s word s h o uld i n di ca t e thei r hope o f res cue o r expectatio n of a i d. Ofte n, ve r y oft e n, the t wo girl s app ro a c h e d the l ittl e win dow and l ooked b a c k in to th e d e nse, gloo my woo d i n the rea r o f t h e ho u se , but t h ey saw n o frie n d l y fac e t here, n ot even a hu man form , th o u g h n ow and t he n a bird wo u ld d art ac ross t h e s h aded so litud e, or a squirrel b e seen running o v e r th e groun d. When ni ght drew n ea r th ey cou ld h ea r m o re n o ise b e l ow, for Wormsley's r e n egades we r e n ow aw ake and b egi n n ing to call for fo o d and liquor. It was nearly da r k when Molly Grimst ea d came up, b rough t a t owe l , t i n was h bas i n, and a pail of water, and shortly afte r a light, a n d the i r suppe r . " Y o u c a n ea t and go t o s l ee p," s h e sa i d to the g irl s . "The m ill whee l s t ops a t d a r k, and that'll no t bothe r y ou. The m e n may drink a bit , and s in g, a n d c arry on, but don't b e scare d . They s h a n ' t get n ea r you . for I carry th e k ey, and no one can g e t it fro m me w ho h a sn ' t a ri ght t o it . " "vVe thank thee, and trus t thee, " said N aomi, and she s lipp e d another gol d piece i nto the palm of r e dfa ce d Molly.

PAGE 177

176 Prepa r e d for Resist a nce. Afte r thankin g Nao m i in h e r r ude but ea rnest way, M olly went out , a nd th e gi rl s h eard h e r l o ck the d oor. " I s th e r e not s o m e way for u s to fas t e n i t within, s o no one ca n e nt e r whil e we s leep?" aske d D e borah. "We will see," said Nao m i . S h e took the light and look e d ca r e full y fo r so m e bolt or b a r on t h e in s id e o f th e d oo r , bu t found n o n e . "\;Ve can so arrange our b e d tha t b y bracin g it with t h e t a b l e and ch a ir s a t th e o th e r end th e d oo r c a n no t b e op e n e d un til i t is b roke n d o wn," s aid N aom i , a t l as t , as she p ace d the l e ngth o f t h e room, and the n measured the heav y oa k e n be d s t e ad. " Yea, but if w e dra w it ove r the floor they will h ea r u s b elow," s a i d D e b o rah . "We m u st lif t i t in sile nc e . I t look s h e a vy, but de spai r m a k e s the w ea k s tron g . We will try w h e n the m e n b eco m e noisy, a s they see m to be fas t te n di n g that way with d rink and son g . " The gi rls w a it ed an h our o r mo r e , a n d the n the noi se b e lo w w as s u c h that t h ey fel t no fear o f be ing overh ea rd whil e th e y proceeded to b a r ricad e t h eir d oo r. I t t ook them a goo d w h i le to do it ; but a t last it wa s don e , and so sec u re l y that the y k n ew the doo r c o uld n e v e r b e pu s h ed o p e n . T h i s do n e , D e b o rah t r i ed he r triangular signa l in the wind ow , but n o r espons ive flas h e s w e r e seen. " H e lp w ill not c o m e t o night. I am s o weary, l e t u s stri v e t o s leep ," said N a omi . "I feel secure n ow . L e t u s brea th e ou r praye r s in sp i rit t o t h e Fathe r o f the h elpl ess , and th e n g o t o r est." " I am willing , for bot h b ody an d s oul see m ex h a u sted," r e pli e d h e r c o mpan i o n. And , w i t h a p r aye r o n their l i ps, in a f e w moments they w ere a s l e e p.

PAGE 178

CHAPTER XLI. THE SPY STRIKES A STRONG CLEW. Swiftly and silently Adah led the little party of picked rifl emen under Capt. Holmes along a byroad in the rear of Germantow n to a still place in the Schuyl kill, where it c o uld b e cros sed on the ic e . It was already dark when they r ea ched the crossing, and perilous in cons equen ce of the difficulty of seeing air holes ; but they cro s sed in safety, and then, still led by Adah ' s thorough knowledge of the country, they moved as rapidl y as they could over the rou g h and difficult road toward the little haml e t of Westchester. It was near midni ght whe n Adah a ske d Holmes to halt his c ommand in a grove half a mile from town, while h e dismounted a nd went to rec onnoite r. "You're not armed! Better let me or one of my best men g o," said Holmes. "Nay, I know the place, and where some dwell who favor our cause," said Adah. "It is best that I should go, and alone, for I can find out where the women are hidd e n, if they are there." "But there may be British soldiers there, or Tories, and if you are r e c ognized you'll be take n." "Not easily,'' said Adah, shrugging his broad shoul ders . "Yes, or killed, for you will p ersis t in going unarmed." "I am oppo se d to carrying and using d e adly weap ons," said Adab, gravely . "You didn't oppose very sharply when you knocked over a dozen British soldiers ou t of time and life this afternoon," said Holme s, lau g hingly. "It was a grievous sin," said Adah, with a s i g h. "But I thought my mother was dying, and I wanted her spirit to depart in peace. Therefore, I smote those who came

PAGE 179

178 The Spy Strikes a Strong Clew. t o make a dis t urbance among u s . But t hee may lend me a pis t o l , n ot to u se fo r d e ad l y purpose, bu t t o fire as a signal to th e e i f I get i n t o trou b l e . Thee can come if t hee h ears it, and come in h aste , for I w ill not fire it wi t h o u t great reaso n. " "Are yo u s ure y o u kn o w ho w to fire it?" " Yea. In mo m e nts of l e i s u re I h ave exami ned into the mech an i s m of the t oy. Give it m e q u ic k ly, fo r I woul d w aste no time . " H o lmes handed t o h im a l a r g e b rass -mounte d h o rse pist o l , which A da b put u n d e r t h e overco a t wh ich s hie l d e d his huge fo r m, a n d h andi n g the b ridle of his h o r s e to one of th e r ifle m e n , h e starte d o n foo t at a swi ft gai t t oward the h am l e t w h ere o n e o r t wo s c atteri n g lig hts told that so me p e op l e we r e y e t awak e, late as i t w as. Hol m e s dismo u n t e d all hi s m e n , but kept e a c h m a n by hi s horse, r ead y to m ount a t a mom e nt's n ot i ce, w hil e h e walk e d out fro m the grove t o a spo t w h ere h e c o uld liste n for t h e firs t s ound fro m the dire c t i on Adab had t aken, and h a v e a clea r vi e w o f all th a t t h e night w ould l e t h im see. Adab me antime hurried on, t hinki n g fir s t t o g l an c e in at t he o n e t a v ern i n the pla ce , t he old "Gr ee n Tre e Inn," and see who was th e re , for h e c ou l d d i st ingu is h its lights b e for e h e c ou l d pl a ce any ot h e r h o u se in h i s m emo r y . Stridin g u p n ear to i t h e sa w thre e o r fou r o f the usual cl as s of ba r room l o un g e rs, drin k in g hot s l i n g a t an oake n t able nea r th e win d ow throug h whic h he l ooke d. T h e old ke e p e r o f th e h o u s e , Herr Von Gus t , a Hol l a n d ic P e n n sy lvani a n , stoo d b e hind hi s b a r , s m o k in g h i s pipe, and w ai t in g for furth e r ord e rs fro m the c row d , while hi s plu mp and p r e t t y d a u g h t e r sa t nea r hi m , k nit tin g a muffler fo r t he u se o f h e r fath e r w h e n h e w ent out in t he c o l d ai r. Adab knew t h e l a n d l o rd, and kne w , too, that while h e profes s e d t o be n eutral, h e w a s at h eart a warm pa-

PAGE 180

The Spy Strikes a Strong Clew. I 79 triot. W h i l e d i s cus s in g in h i s mind wh ethe r to enter a n d mak e inquiry, or t o l oo k around the h amle t fir s t for s o me sign of th e young C o ntinental, or poor N a omi and D e borah, he heard the loud clatt e r i n g 9f s te e l-shod h oo f s comin g swift l y up the road that l e d from Phila d e lphi a . He had ba r e l y tim e to spring around the corner of the h ouse and e n s conc e himself b e hind the trunk of a huge elm tree, w h e n a troop of twenty Briti s h drag oons, with two me n i n cit i z e n's d r ess, rode up , h al t e d an d d is mo unt ed . A d ah trembled from head to foot as he recognized the v oi ce of J o hn Ro b erts, who said to the offic e r in com m a nd o f t h e d r ago on s : "We will halt h e r e to r e fr es h the inner man , and rest our h orses , tho u g h our rid e w ill extend s ome two miles farthe r ." " Yea," s a id Abraham Carlisle , " some mulled wine, or som e h o t sling will de s c end gratefully into our chilled stom a ch s." Ada h h a d no w no chanc e to hear more , for the troopers s o ught places t o fa ste n their h o rs e s , and he had to hastil y r etreat fro m hi s s helt e r to the r ear of the house to av oid di s cove r y w hil e they fast e n e d thei r animals . This did not t a k e a g re a t while , and th e n Adah crept b ack t o a p os it i o n w h e re h e could look in through the wind ow . The two Q ua ke r s and the troop e rs were all engaged in ta k ing hot d rin ks, p rov id e d as fa s t as the l andlo r d could make t h em , for h e was a proud man, and w o ul d n o t for a handful o f go ld hav e p e rmitted his pretty d a u g hter to a ct a s b a r m a i d . Se e in g h o w busy they a ll w e re , and that no guard was l e f t w i t h th e h o r s e s, A d a h w ent q u ick l y t o ea ch s a ddle, a n d lift ing the hols t e r-flaps, took o u t t he pistols and sh ook the priq 1 i n g fro:n t he pan o f eac h , thus mak i n g th e m tem p o rari l y u seless if the me n w e re c a lled into act i o n b efo r e th ey di scove r e d w h a t h a d been do n e . He the n go t as n e a r the w in dow a s h e c o uld, to try and ove r h e a r s omet hing that w ould i n form him of their

PAGE 181

I 80 Th e Sp y Strik e s a Strong Cl ew. d e s t in a ti o n , for tha t they w e r e go in g to find Nao mi and D ebo r ah h e felt assu r e d . B ut all we r e talk ing l oud ly and drinkin g, an d h e c o uld ca tc h n o cle w . H e only s aw th a t the t wo r e n ega d e Quake rs we r e in hi g h g l e e , and drank a s m uc h a s any t roope r , i f no t more , and t hat t h e i r r e d and inflam e d faces show e d the y fel t the p ot ent e ff e cts of t h e liquor . For full y half a n h our the y r e mained in th e i nn, unti l t h e y were w ell infla med with drink and r eady fo r a n y wickedn ess , and t h e n the y were called to h o r s e by the office r in command . Ada b watc h e d clos e ly as t h e y m o u nted to see i f any of the m exam i n e d t h e ir pi s to l s, but n o o n e d i d so, and dire ct l y th ey rod e off, t he t wo Quakers in the lead . Now Adab did n o t hesitat e . Darting into t h e inn , w i t h his coat drawn up w e ll about h i s face , h e strod e up t o t he land l o rd , and a s ked, in a h as t y whisp e r : "Fri end V o n Gu s t, whi t h e r w e re th ose m e n going?" "Ah! I s i t you , good Ada b, the b la c ksmi th? I am g l ad t o see y o u . W ill yo u h ave a warm sling o r a mug of mulled win e?" "Nay, I have no t ime t o drin k. Answe r me quick ly . Whithe r wer e t h ose me n g oin g ?" "To the G l e n M ill-ol d Grim s t e ad ' s tw o m i l es on t he bro o k ro a d , I hea r d one of the Q u akers say . " " I thank th e e . Tell n o one I have been h e re, an d t h ou wilt do thy coun t r y a s e rvice," c ri e d A da b , and he was g one i n a s e c o nd from the h o use . Like a clo u d b e fore a g a l e , Adab ru s h e d do w n t h e street t owa r d t he grove whe r e h e h ad l eft Cap t . Hol mes a nd his party , mu t terin g , a s h e w ent: " T h e g r ac e l e s s wretc h e s filled t h e m s e lves w i t h wine t o prep a r e for fou l wor k. But I know wh ithe r they wend, and , wit h Heaven's g race, n ot one of the m sh all r eturn b y th e way th e y w ent." In l e ss th a n five minut e s he s t ood pantin g by the side of Capt . H o lm e s . "Mount thy men qui ck l y mo u n t , and follow m e ! I hav e s een J ohn Robe r ts an d Abra ham Carli s le. T h e y

PAGE 182

Just in the N i c k of Time. 181 have w i t h t h e m t we n ty B r itis h t roope rs, but I h ave shake n the priming from t h eir pis tol s , and we will be more than a match for them ." Instantly the troo p m ounted and followed Adab from the wood. CHAPTER XLII. JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME. After the girls had fallen into a s ound sleep-a slumber forced by exc e ssive fatigue and th e re a ction of overwrought nature-it was no ordin a r y n o ise which could awake them; for , secur e ly b a rrica ded in their room, they felt no fear of arty on e ent e rin g t o injure the m. Below, Grimstead, rel ea s e d fro m his duty as miller, joining Wormsle y and hi s gan g o f rene g ad e s in a ca rouse, with his wife acting a s gen e ral purveyor, made ni ght hid eous w i t h bacc h analia n so ngs and s h o u t s of laughter. In their m ad and l o w e nj oy m ent, the y for got all about the h e lpl es s creatures up s tairs, and p e rchance it was b ette r th a t it was so . Round afte r round o f punch was drunk, s ong after song san g and appl aude d, and yet the innocent girls slept undisturbe d. By midni ght some of the revel e rs gave in and s ank away into the oblivi o n of stupid drunke nn ess ; but othe r s, st ron ge r-h ea d e d, k ept it up, a nd Molly Grimstea d had eno u g h to d o to mix up "rum, t h e comfort of l i f e," as she h e l d it , for the m. And b e sure sh e nev e r negl ected h e r se lf all thi s time. It m ight h ave bee n an h our a f te r midnight, when full half o f W o rm s l ey's m e n l ay h e l p l ess l y drunk , an d the l eade r him s elf was fa s t losin g h is ba l a n ce, t h a t a sound f ell up o n their ea rs which h a lf so b e r e d all who were not t oo far go n e . It was th e h eavy trot o f h o rse-

PAGE 183

182 Just in the Nick of Time. men, evidently coming up in regular order, like dis ciplined troops. Wormsley had too long been an outlaw not to fear troops of any kind, thou g h in this war h e was on the king's side, and as h e only expected Rob e rts and Carlisle, and not even them under three days, he was badly alarmed. "Is the door barred?" he cried to Grimstead . "Ay, with o ak as stout as its own d o uble panels. Get your sob e r men to arms, and if foes are c om in', they' ll find it hard to storm o ld Grimstead 's castle-ho! ho !" From outsid e there came a loud crv of "Halt! Dis-mount ! Secure horses !" While v.,r ormsl e y ' s best men quickly got their weap ons ready, th e clatte r o f sabers outside t old that regular cavalry were at the door. The next instant a loud knock was heard, and a man cried out, gruffly: "Open your doors ! Don ' t keep us out here on a night like this !" "\Vho are ye-friend or foe? No one enters here till we know who h e is, and what h e wants." "Friends, thou drunken fool ! Grimstead, open the door!" cri e d a sharp, angry voice. "Friends to whom?" asked Wormsley, now the sob . erest of all. "To the king, and to you," cried the voice. "Your name, if ye have any?" cried the renegade leader. "It is we-John Roberts and Abraham Carlisle !" shouted the l atte r, shivering with cold. "Oh, no, that can't be. Peaceful Quakers don't wear sab e rs and come w ith a troop o f h o r se . You're Yan kees from Valle y Forge, and you'll do b est to hie back to Camp Starvation b e fore I open fire o n you through porthol es o f whic h yo u wo t not!" cried Worms ley, who did not r e cogni ze the voice of his dastardly employe r. "I tell thee, John vVorm s l ey, 'tis we. Dost thee not know the voice of John Rob erts? vVe have come to

PAGE 184

Just in the Nick of Time. claim the maidens that thou and thy men brough\ nither for us, and to pay thee thy reward. Lord Cornwallis gave us an escort of horse, lest the Yankees that thou fearest should happen in our way." "By St. George! It is the Quaker who speaks! Open the door, Grimstead!" cried Wormsley . And in a minute the great square room was thronged with soldiers, while, in front of all, in stalked John Rob erts and Abraham Carlisle. "Thee kept good guard-that is, so far as letting us in was concerned," said Carlisle. Then, looking at the drunken men on the floor, and the signs of revelry, he added : "But had we been those thou seemed to dread, thy: state of defense looketh rather slender." "We didn't expect you for two days yet," said Wormsley, rather abashed. "And my men were having a good time, for your birds are safely caged upstairs, and good Molly Grimstead holds the key." "Of that we will relieve her as soon as we rest and taste a little of the hot punch we see already brewed," said John Roberts. "Do we stay here all night?" asked the lieutenant in command of the troops. "Yea. Thee and thy men can find quarters below . Abraham and myself will see how our caged birds endure their captivity," said Carlisle. "Ye can get drink and be merry here below, while we interview our fair captives." "Then bring in your pistols, men, and see your horses well secured under the best shelter you can find I" cried the officer to his troopers. All this time, from the first moment when the clattering troops of horses had been heard, Naomi Slocomb and Deborah Stacy had been awake . They had lain down on the rude bed in their cham ber without removing their dress, and now terrorstrick e n, not daring to light their candle, though flint and tinder were at hand, they arose to their feet and

PAGE 185

I 84 Just in the Nick of Time. listened tre mblin g ly, clasped in each other's arms, to ev e ry wo r d we h ave r e corded. "Almi g ht y F a the r , s ave us!" whi s pered Naomi. "Oh, Deborah , m u s t we p erish?" "If h e lp from H eav e n or our friends cometh not quickly, w e mu s t di e ! " so bbe d D e borah. "Thee knows my resolv e ." "Ye a , and i t i s a l s o mine. H ark !-they are coming up th e stairs-they u n lock the door!" " Ye a , b n t we have it fa st," w hisp e red Deborah. "Oh, tha t I had dea dl y w e apons h e re, pi s tols or guns, I wou l d use t he m n ow ! " " H o ! Withi n there! Unba r th e d oor!" cri e d Roberts , w ho, afte r u n l o c k in g, in v a in tri e d to pus h the door inw a rd. "Neve r to thee, thou s o n of S atan!" cri e d Naomi, wi t h out a tremor in h e r v oice . " W e are but weak and h e l p less women, but the Lord is on our side, and we d efy t h ee!" "Open , or it w ill b e th e wo r s e for y e bot h. Think ye to res i s t wh e n there are forty strong, well-armed men in th e h o u se ? " " Y ea , w e r e the re ten thousand such fiends as thee!" cri e d th e h ero in e . Bo th the burl y ruffians threw their forms against the d oo r, but so well h a d the g irl s d o n e the work of barrica ding th a t t h e doo r s c a rc e ly tre mbl e d. "Axes ! Axes o r sl edges h ere!" sh o ute d J ohn Rob erts, wi ld w i t h a n ge r. "Vve'Il soon show ye how vainly ye try to av oid u s ! " But hi s cowa r d l y so ul shrank within him as a voice rose like th under in th e ou t e r air : " Cour age , N aomi ! H e lp is near !" It w a s th e v o i ce of A da b Slocomb, who, with h i s party, di smo unt ed, had crept up to the hou se and lja d ov erheard th e threa t s of the dastards, and the b o l d de fianc e of hi s bri de . A sh r i e k o f joy broke from the lips of Naomi, and she answer e d :

PAGE 186

Just in the Nick of Time . I 8 5 "My husband! My husband! The Lord hath sent thee!" Naomi's exclamation was at once succeeded by the voice of the British officer b e low: "Bar and b o lt! Make all fast! We can hold the house. Out with every light! " There was a rush from the outside--a half-dozen scat te rin g s hot s fir ed, and then wild cries of exultation from within, while cries of anger and di sappointment arose fr o m without. "Now com e h e re and help to break down this door," shout e d John Roberts. "The Quaker r e b e l shall hear groans of agony instead of cri es of joy from the lips he loves!" "Fi end! wretch! No man in that house shall escape alive if but one hair of those helpless women is touch ed!" shouted Adah, in r ep ly. "We care not for thy threats! We'll torture thee as nev er man w as tortured yet. Bring axes here, I say!" cri ed Rob e rts, fie rcel y . "I'm comin' with them," cri e d the burly miller, half mad with drink. "No, you're not!" cried Molly Grimstead, angrily. "Am I going to have my doors hacked to pieces? No. The girls are right, and I'll stand by 'em if I die for it ! " "Hark! The re are troops c oming!" shouted the lie u tenant. ''I'll wager 'tis a r e inforcement!" "Washington and Glory!" came in a wild and thrilling shout. The next second a voice clear as a bugle rose in the o uter air: "Surrender within there, or we will tear down the h ouse stone by stone, and put every man to the sword. We know your force, we are ten to your one, and more are coming. " "Surrender not! We can hold our own!" cri ed Carl isle, but his voice trembled as he spoke. "Yea, and while ye are strivi n g to ente r we will wring

PAGE 187

186 Just in the Nick of Time. one rebel's heart as never heart was wrung before!" cried John Roberts, in desperation. "We had best make terms if we can," said the lieu tenant, in a low tone, approaching the Quakers. "They have our horses, we have but little ammunition, and no provision for a siege." "Then, if thee makes terms, make these: We are all to go back free to the British lines-all, mark thee! For if we two are taken, our lives are gone! And, re member, we hold Lord Howe's order to thee to obey us." "Yes, but they outnumber us. There are no loop holes in this cursed crib to fire from; we are literally walled in, as in a prison !" "Yet we hold the power," cried Roberts. "Tell them, if they refuse to let us all go free, the girls, whom they seek to rescue, sh all not be spared, even while they are seeking to break in upon us. Only a weak wooden door protects the girls !" "Speak!" cried the voice outside. "Decide for we have not come here on child's play!" "We will offer terms," said the lieutenant. "Permit the miller and his wife to remain, unmolested, in possession of their property, and all my party to return, paroled, to the British lines, and we will surrender." "All but those two renegade ruffians, John Roberts and Abraham Carlisle!" cried the American leader. "They shall not escape !" "They are under my safeguard, and must escape, or I perish with them, with my sword in hand!" cried the British officer. "Thou nast spoken thine own doom !" cried Adah, hoarsely. "Men, bring hither that beam; we will soon force an entrance!" "Hold ! Hold one instant and hear me!" cri-ed the officer. "I am a man, and I shrink with horror from what will be if you do not let us all go forth on the

PAGE 188

Jus t in the Nick o f Time . I 87 terms I n ame . If ye attack u s, my ow n me n s h all ba t ter down the doo r whic h prote ct s tho s e two wo m e n." "Oh, Ada b , in me r c y l e t th e m g o ! The door i s weak I Do not l e t u s be sacrificed!" sc re a m e d Naomi, for in the stem voice of that despe rat e offic e r sh e h eard h e r fate . " T h e will of the Lor d b e d o n e ! L e t t he villains es c ape me n ow ! I will r e ach the m her eafte r ! " g roa n ed A dab. "To whom will I trust in these term s of surrende r ?" asked th e lie ut e nant, dra win g th e tw o Q u ake rs fr om the r oom ab o v e d ow n n ea r the doo r i n th e l owe r room . "To Capt. Jim H o lm es, of Was hin g t o n 's Life G u a r d , and to Capt. F r ank Stee r s , of L ee' s L i ght Hor se ! " cried the s ame bu g l e-to n e d s p eake r , w hose cry of " \,Ya shington and Glo ry ! " had fir s t r a n g o n the mi dnight ai r . " Dis guis e yours elv es in troope rs ' clothes, lest in h i s an ge r that Quake r sc out may for ge t all t e r ms," sa i d the l i eute nant, i n a l o w t one, to the t w o trem blin g ruffian s, Rob e rts and Carli s l e , " I will quickly get y e awa y." "Yo u will l e t us h a v e our h o r ses t o ri de back on ? We w ill s t a ck our arms h e r e , " said th e lie ut e nant. " Y e s. I w ill a ss i g n o ne offic e r a n d t e n m e n to r e c e iv e your a rms, a nd see you depart, whil e t h e rest o f u s r e m a in h e r e in lin e . Y ou r h o r se s s h all be l e d to th e d oor . W e h ave t o r c h es ali ght, and c a n d i sting uish a ll! " c ri ed Ca p t . Holmes. "I acc e pt th e con diti o n s , and will un ba r t o your office r and t e n me n," sa id th e lieu te n an t , seein g th a t the two r enegade Quakers n ow tre mbled unde r th e cover o f dragoo n o ve r coats. "To rch e s w ill n ot b e n eeded much l o n ge r. D a y is bre a k ing," sa id Adab Slocom b , w h o strode through the door and st oo d t here watc hin g for th e m e n w h o m he m os t d e te s t ed o n eart h , ye t wit h n o wis h t o bre ak the term s he h a d i n ago n y bee n o bli ged t o accede t o . The Br:tis h office r now ca u se d W o r ms l ey to mus t e r his m e n , and h a d h is ow n all d r aw n up; their wea pons were s tack e d in a heap o n the floo r, and the n, at t h e

PAGE 189

I 8 8 Just in the Nick of Time. word of c omma n d , all but Grimstead and h i s wife file d outs ide. The m o m ent all were ou t, Adah asked the woman Grimstead this question, in a low, tre mulo u s t one: "Can thee c onduct me to the room where my wif e , Naomi, hath been kept s h e whose voic e rose in de fiance, w he n those c owards threat e ned to break down the d oor?" "Yes. If that young woma n is your wife , she is grit! She is r ea l ni ce , and spoke t o me kindly, like a lady," said Molly Grimstead. "Com e with me." She led the way up sta irs, and in a moment Adab was at the door of th e barricad e d r oom. "Naomi, I am here, and tho u canst open in safety," he said, with a tremul o us voice, and he was shaking from head to fo ot , all his g iant strength gone. With a gasping cry of joy, Naomi, aide d by Deborah, tore away th e barricade, and in another minute the fond husband and heroic wife were in ea ch other's arms. And almost at th e same moment the young Conti nental came and b e ckoned D e borah to the door, near which, in the hall , they held a whispered conversation, while Naomi wep t and sob b ed for joy on the broad breast of her husband. But thi s could not l as t lon g. Within ten minutes afte r the Britis h an d renegades had take n the road to Phil a d e l phia, Capts . Holm es and Stee rs c a lled their me n to hor se, for it was n e c essa ry fo r their party to hurry back in side of the American lin es b e fore Howe or Cornwallis could sen d a force to i nte rc ep t them. Horses were prepared for Naomi and Deborah, for now t h ey well kn ew Philade l phia would n o t be a place o f safe ty any l onge r for th em, at l eas t while the British occ upi ed tha t city. Adab now rode proudly, hap p ily, b y the side of his fair bride, t e llin g h e r, as th ey went on, h ow n ea r his dear mothe r h ad been to d eath w hil e ri d in g to give him n ews of the abd uc tion. And Naomi, in turn, t old him of th e trea tment s h e had r ece iv e d in the Glen Mill from

PAGE 190

S afe Arrival a t Valley Forge. 189 the odd, d i s s ip a t e d, but not a ltoget h e r bad hea r ted w oma n , Molly G r im s t ea d, w h o , wi t h h e r h u sband, was l e ft in the posses s i o n of th e ir property-the o l d stone m ill . CHAPTER XLIII. SAFE A RRIV A L AT VALLEY FORGE . For the fir s t h alf of the day, Cap t s . Holm e s and Stee r s k ep t their u n it e d forces a t a r api d g ai t, fo r they fel t illp r e pa r ed, with t ir e d me n an d h o r s e s , and two h e l p l ess wo m e n to save, to meet a fre s h B r it is h force in acti o n , s h o uld o n e b e s ent to in t e r ce pt t h em . But befo r e th e sun had p a s s ed it s meri dia n they were b eyond th e l im it t o whi c h the B riti s h had r ecent ly advanc ed pick e ts o r s c o uting parti es, and th e nc e for ward t ook a more l e i sure l y p ace, so r e g ulat i n g a s t o r es t t h eir h o r ses som e w h a t, a n d to r e ac h Valley Forge a l it tl e before ni ght f e ll. The yo un g C o n t in e n ta l , who , w ith out rank, yet s eemed to h o ld th e e s t e e m a nd fa vo r o f th e entire command, had ri dd e n by the s id e o f Deborah th e e ntire dis tan ce, unti l the smo k e o f th e V alley Forg e e nc ampment w a s in si ght ; but n ow h e r ode up t o Cap t . Steers and a ske d h i m t o r e po r t the suc c e ss o f the party to G e n . Washing t o n, for h e had urgent b usir1ess a t th e quarte r s of G e n . Gre en e , w hi t h e r h e n ow di r e ct e d hi s cours e . D e b o r a h, b y h is d i re c t ion, rode up t o th e s id e of N aomi, and n o w Adab h ad a list e n e r t o hi s c o nv e r sa tion and a s e c o n d woman unde r hi s c a r e , for D e b o r a h so i nstrncted, t o l d hi m s h e lo o ke d to him and N ao mi for instructi ons w hi th e r t o go an d wh a t t o d o . "Thou w ilt g o with u s t o the qu a r t e r s of fri e nd G e o r g e Was h i n g t o n , " s a id Adab, k i ndly, "for h e i s a kind an d a fat h e rl y man , and will do ubtl ess see to thy comfort and s a f e t y, if thy fath e r , w h o i s in camp , hath not quarte rs where in tho u c a nst dwell."

PAGE 191

190 Safe A r rival a t Va l l e y Forge. " I am c on t e nt," sai d De bor ah. "But I wo ul d rather b e n e a r unto Nao m i and t hy m o t h e r , fo r they have bee n like s i ste r and mot h e r to me in the h o u r of a dv ers i t y." "We will n o t b e sep a r ate d," sai d Naomi , gentl y . "My Adab will s e e t o th a t, I know, for i n t he h our of sorrow and di stres s t h ou did s t c om p ort t h y sel f w ith a love and courage w hich I ca n n e v e r for ge t. " As the y drew n ea r the st r a n g e enca mpment of t e nts , log huts w i t h tha t c h e d roofs, and mud c a bins, the soldiers filed off to t h e i r q uart e r s, w hile Capt. Steers and A d a b, with the two yo un g w ome n , h e ld o n up the vall ey pa s t an id l e i ro n fo r g e o n a sm all s trea m, and h a lt e d in fro nt of a pl ai n, but s ubstantial stone house, own e d b y I s aac Potts, a Q u a k e r , and al s o the owner of the old forge from which th e v alle y drew its historic name. For a time Was hingt o n h ad liv e d in hi s t e nt, but his offic e rs and men in sis t e d on hi s t a kin g qu arters offered by the patri o tic Quake r , and at l as t he did so. When Was hin g t o n saw the p arty comin g h e met them as they dism ount ed , and g r ee t e d Naomi and D eborah with paternal kindn es s when they were introduced to him. " Your moth e r is in a room w i thin , doin g very w ell," he said to Adah . "Quarte rs for your wife and h e r y oung fri end will b e prov i ded in the h o us e a l so . G o i n wi t h t h e m , while Capt. Steer s r e p orts to m e the e v ents of the sco ut. " Adab thanke d the noble chi e f , and pass e d on , while C a pt. Steers bri efly but pl a i n ly r e p orte d all tha t . had occurr e d. "Not fo r th eir we i ght in go ld w ould I h a v e h a d the vile traito r s, R o be r ts a nd C a rli sle, e s ca pe, " sa i d W a shi ngton, e a rn e st l y . "Yet wit h t h e h o r rible posit i o n of those t wo h e lpless w omen to c on t emp l ate , yo u co u l d n o t hav e ac t e d diff e r e n t l y . But t h ey m u s t b e cap tu re d and made an exampl e of. T h e y have n o t on l y give n con s t an t and i mp o r tan t i nformat i o n a nd a i d to t he e n emy, c on spi r e d agains t my l i b e rty an d l ife, but the y have

PAGE 192

Deborah Becomes Prophetic. 191 been notorious for the cruel persecution of all patriots of their own sect upon whom they could levy contribu tions, or turn the hand of the me r ciless enemy. If ever they come into my power, no mortal voice or hand shall save them fr om the han g man's rope!" "It was no d e sire of mine to spa r e them," said Capt. Steers. "Bpt, as I have reported, any other course would have Deen perilous to the women." "You did ri g ht, captain. But I wish you to ride to Gen . G reen e' s quarte rs and to seek out that young Continental s o ldi e r who was your guide. I have a mis sion of great t ru s t and importance for him." Capt. Steers b owe d, and at once rode off to carry out the wishes of his leade r. CHAPTER XLIV. DEB O R A H BECOMES PROPHETIC. While Ada b Slocomb and Naomi h e ld lon g and pleasant convers e with his mother, who , despite her serious wounds, w a s che erful and content with her lot , now that her lov e d on e s were with her once more in he a lth and c o mp a r a ti ve sa f e t y , W as hin g t o n h a d a lengthy inte r v i ew with the yo un g C o ntin e nt al. What i ts nature was no one could tell, for the chief ever k ept his mos t important plans clo s e ly locked up in his own bre ast; but when it was over, the young soldier bade far e well to D e borah, saying he was going from camp and h e kn e w n o t when he could r eturn. It was ni g htfall wh e n he left, and Deborah was in tears when h e r fath e r, Isaac Stacy, came from his quarters to see her. "Doe s th e e g rieve that thy mother is no t wit h t h ee?" .asked the kind-heart e d father. " I am sorry that she i s not he re, tho ugh G e n. Knyp-

PAGE 193

I 92 Deborah Becomes Prophetic. hausen will not allow her to be molested while h e holds his quarters under the same roof," sai d Deborah, glad to think her father had not detected the real cause of her sorrow. "Thee has had a narrow escape and suffered terrible torture of mind," continued her father. "Yea, such as no morta l ton gue can describe," said Deborah. "But we prayed to the Father of all mercies for help , and help came. Those wicked and graceless men, Roberts and Carlisle, thought they had u s utterly in their pow e r, but in our darkest hour light shone out and we were saved." "Yea, I have h eard the whole story from a captain of the guard, Holmes by name, a terrible fighter, and sometim es g iven ove r much to profanity, but an honest man and a true l ove r of his country . " " I r emembe r him," said D e borah. "What has thee to do in camp, dear fath e r?" "I haul wood now with my baggage t eams, to keep the soldiers' fires burning. It hath been a terrible wint e r. C l othing is sca rce, and without good fires the men would suffe r g rievousl y . I rejoice that spring ap proach ct h , for at l eas t our brave m e n will not hav e the bitter cold to endure . And they yearn for action. They cannot b ear the r eflec tion that the minions of the tyrant should dwell in our cities, eat of the fat of the land , and be well clothed, while th ey who struggle to be free, starve and freeze in the land they would die to save." "It is cruel, dear father. But cheer up. The God of Right is all-powerfu l to r e dress injury and wrong. Our cause is holy and will endure to the encl, while the wrongdoers will wax weaker and fade away." "Child, thee speaks as with the tongue of prophecy. But I cannot lin g er here. I would s ee Adab a moment, and then I must r eturn to my quarters. I have a watch to keep in the hospital to-ni g ht, for nurses are few and some of us civilians have volunteered to t ake turns in caring for the sick and wounded."

PAGE 194

I Deborah Becomes Prophetic. J 93 "Cannot I go, too, my father? I would serve my country if it layeth in my power." "I kn o w not child , what thee can do at present. Name thy desire to George Washington, when thou sees t he i s not engaged, and he will a n swe r thee kindly, and, perchance, point out some way in which thou canst be useful." " I will do so , my fath e r , and now I will go into the room of goo d Hannah Slocomb and send Adab out to thee." Debora h now tripped lightly away, and soon Adah Slocomb came forth, a joyous look in his hones t face, a nd h e took Isaac Stacy wa r mly by th e hand. "I g i ve th ee joy, Friend Isaac, that thy daughter is safe, and withi n our l i n es," h e sa id . "And I r e joice with thee, also, that thou hast saved th e wife of thy bosom from h e r treacherous and heart less enemy," said Isaac. "Verily, the Lord ha s been good t o both of u s. " "Yea, th ee speaks truly . But has thee h eard any news s ince I h ave b ee n away fr o m c amp?" "Noth in g sure, but there is a rumo r that Cornwa llis with one d ivision, and a H ess ian ge n e ral , with another, is again to move ou t upon our unh appy people in N e w J e r sey, w hile Lord Howe goes back to Engl a nd, and another l ord, n a m e d Clinton, takes hi s place at the head o f the B ritish army." "Ah ! That accounts for the sending off of a trusty man within the enemy's lines, o f which I heard but a m omen t ago ne," s a id Adah, thou g htfully. "I doubt me i f th e British mean much l onge r to h o ld Philadelphia. I t is too far from flee t s and transports on the open sea. They will get back to New York, mark thee that, friend Isaac!" " 'Tis possible; and if I w e re a l eade r h e re I would hurry the m up w i th fire and w ith sw ord as they went." ''Frie nd I saa c , thee tal ks like a warrior. " "What wonde r, w h e n I am w i th warriors all the time, that my speec h savoreth of that which I hear most.

PAGE 195

194 Adah's Valorous Feat. And t o see how o u r brave me n su ff e r , to h ea r h o w our en emies t r eat th e h e l p l ess o n es in th eir p owe r , i s e n o u g h t o dri ve all p e a c e ful th o u g h ts from our hearts . I have h ea r d how t ho u di dst sm i t e r i g h t an d left , r i ding down the enemy as th o u wo ul dst r i de th rou g h sta n d ing corn. " "Hush , Friend I saac ! Speak not o f t ha t hour o r d es p e r ation w h e n I forgot all things but tha t m y mother l ay dying, a n q t h e e n emy w e r e b e arin g d o wn up o n us in m u rderous mig ht. " " I did not me an t o b l a me th ee, F ri e n d Adab . Had I be e n there, I would n ot h ave stayed m y h a nd, nor even turned as i de th e s word o f w r ath a s tho u d i ds t w h e n J oh n Hol me s w as ab out t o sm it e d ow n t h e B r i ti s h cap tain. Yet it w as a g oodly deed on thy p art, a nd worthy o f c ommendation . " "Thank t h ee, I s a ac-thank th ee . \ V h e n t h e van q uish ed c r y fo r mercy, it w o uld b e s i n ful ind ee d to turn a de a f ea r t o the ir s up p l ica ti o n . " "True, F ri end Adab . But t h ere sou n det h t h e ca ll. I m u s t wend my way to the hospital. I than k thee for t hy ca r e of my J a u ghte r. Co m mend m e t o th y mother and t h y w ife." " I w ill." I saa c Stacy again shook the hand of Adab, and they p arted . CHAPTER XLV. ADAB'S VALO R OUS FEAT-THE ENEMY ALERT. Not lon g d i d th e exi ge nci es of the se r v i ce which h e h ad t a k e n on himself g i ve Ad a b the p ri vilege o f r emainin g n e a r his youn g wife and i nvali d m ot h e r. Gen. v Vas hington h a d t o pre p a r e fo r an active sp rin g c ampa i gn, a n d t o d o it hi s starve d and worndo wn h o r ses h a d t o b e r e pl ace d , o r h e c ou l d move n e i t her artillery nor ammunition wagons .

PAGE 196

A dah's Val o rou s Feat. 1 95 Of provi s i o ns or bagga ge h e had l ittl e t o move. Inde e d, for n ea rl y all th e latt e r par t of the winter, t here was in his c amp no m ea t, e ith e r sal t o r fresh, and only a v e r y scant supply of flour and m e al. L e t t h e reade r lo o k back to hi s t o r y to see h ow th a t p a tri o t a r my s u f f e r ed , and wonde r what kept the m to gether. Only t heir faith in H e ave n a n d W as hington could d o it . A d a b , early in M arch , w e n t o ut wit h I sa ac Stacy to guide ai1d as s ist Ge n. Anthony Wayne i n New J e rs e y to c olle ct h o rses, forage and provi s i o ns, to b e use d the moment th e w eath e r wou ld allo w Washington tc, :n ove fro m Valley For ge . A lr e a dy th e g r eat chi ef had ce r t a in infor mat i o n o f the cha n g e s in the B ri t i s h a rmy at P h i l ade l p hi a , a n d o f the int e nd ed evacuat i o n of t h a t c ity a t t h e ea rlie s t poss ible mo m ent. Howe was unde r o r d e r s to sa i l fo r E n g l and ea rl y in th e s p r in g . O i n t o n was t o take hi s pl a ce. A nd a s Howe had bee n c o n dem n e d by the h o m e government for i d l e n ess and a fo n d n ess for garri son life, r a th e r tha n fie l d service , hi s s u ccesso r wou ld un do ubt e dly ma k e h is op erati o n s all the more ac ti ve in a n op posite dire c t i o n. And n o w w e co m e to o ne of the m o s t se ri ous adventures of our entire s t o r y . Capts . Holmes and Steers we r e posted ne a r S a lem, on Allowa y 's C r e e k, with n e arl y th r ee hundr e d me n , to co ve r G e n. Wayne, w h o was o p e r at ing northward, col l ec t i n g fora g e and h orses. On t he sevent e ent h o f March over twe lve hundred regulars of th e Bri ti s h army, pick e d v e t e rans , aide d by thre e hundred Tori es and r e ne gade s , the first unde r Mawhood , Simcoe and Sims , and the latte r unde r Wormsley and others, mov e d d o wn o n th e s mall patri o t forc e , i nt ending to ov erwhe lm a nd d e s t roy them, and then c u t up \Vay n e and cap t u r e h is h o r s e s a nd s to res . B u t Holmes and Steers w e r e not ca u ght s leepin g . T h ey h e ld a p o in t kn ow n a s Quin l an ' s Bridge, and had raised lig h t intrenchm ents to as s i s t the d e fense .

PAGE 197

Adah's Valorous Feat. But Simcoe, of the Queen's Rangers, was a skilled veteran, worthy to fight in a b etter ca u se , and before dawn he so ambushed hi s own c ho ice troo ps the d efense that when a f eigned attack, and th en a retreat was made by the main body of the Briti s h , he could pour in upon the pursuing patriots a withering and en filadin g fir e . All t oo well the plan succeeded. A little after dawn the po s iti o n of Holmes and Steers was attacked and vigorou s ly defended. Appare ntly surprise d at being so warmly received, the British f ell back from in front of th e American intrenc hm ents, and seemed to retreat in confusion. The Am erica ns , rashly and without thou g ht, pursued their supposed advantage and rushed forward after the flying foe. Now, while th eir shouts o f victory rang through the air, on eithe r s ide, from behind trees, rocks and walls, c ame a terrific volley of musketry, cutting them down in swaths and throwin g the m into terrible confusion. The en e my in front al so cease d to fly, an d, facing about, poured in a hot fire; and the Americans, attacked in front and both flan ks, outnumbered almost ten to one, found out their fatal mi s take. But, lik e heroes the y fought, and fightin g every inch of the way, with their face to the foe, succeeded in reachin g th e bridge. Acro ss this, they fell back, but close upon them came the Briti s h in solid column, pressing with the bayonet in a terrific charge. If the British crossed, n o thin g could save the Americans. It was now that Adah, the giant h ero, did a service which sa ved his fri e nd s, thoug h he was exposed to a f earful pe ril. In the cent e r of the bridge was a small draw, raised by r opes, which was us e d to permit th e passa g e of s mall sloops and sc h ooners to th e m ill farthe r up t he st ream . Rushing forward wit h a n ax, A d a b on l y wait e d for the last American to pass the draw, and then, in the face

PAGE 198

Adah's Valorous Feat. 197 of a shower of bullets, he cut away th e draw, and int erposed a ch asm which the British troops could n o t pass, and thus the r emnant of the Ame rican s w e re saved. Col. Hand, from Wayne's flying divi s i o n, at this op portune moment came flying to the r el ief of the patriots w i t h two p ieces of artillery, and the British were obliged to fall back wh e n a compl e t e victory was almost won, l osing many me n befor e they got out of range of Col. Hand's grape antl canist e r. Adab, t he h e ro of the hour, rec e ived cheer after cheer when th e Ame ricans realiz e d how much they owed to his cooln ess and valor. "You're not a fighting man, except under cases of stern necessi ty," said Capt. Holmes to him. "But eat me and spit me up again, if you' . re not the right man in the ri ght plac e all the time!" " Thee had not best waste any time in compliments," said Adab, in his quiet way. "The British and Tories are not subdued-they are only foiled. Thee can see them rallying beyond the , hills. They will not give us up while they are yet more than six to one of us. Their defeat will r ender them desperate, for very shame, and they will attack us again." "But you've cut the draw-the creek is not fordable, they have no boats-how c a n they cross?" cried Steers and Hand in the same bre ath. "Our guns command the bridge; they cannot r epair the draw." "All that is true," said Ad ab. "But thee forgets Hancock 's Bridg-e above. Go with me with one of these guns to command Hancock's Bridge, and I will take post th e re with thee in Hancock's house , which command et h the brid ge, and then we can hold the stream, and thei r advance will surely be checked . " "Adab has it!" cried Bolm es , with an oath, to clinch this assertion. "Adab has it !" . "Thee need not swear if I have," said Adab, gravely. "Let us h aste n to h o ld the point above, l es t the enemy are th e r e before us." Quickly the . troo ps divided off, and while a part,

PAGE 199

Adah's Valorou s Feat. with one cannon, held t h e present battle ground, the other, with Adab as a guide , hurried toward Hancock's Bridge . I saac Stacy was at t his time in the r ea r with Wayne. H a nc ock, who own e d the house near th e brid ge, was a Tory, and when Adab and the Ame rican s approac h ed, would have clo sed hi s d oors to th e m, had it been of any use. But see in g h e c o uld not, he not ed clo sely their numbers, and saw w h o was at the ir head , for he knew Adab well. Then he flew across the bridge , toward the en emy . Holmes wo uld have had him shot down while yet within mu ske t shot, had not Adab said: "Nay, h e i . s without arms. L e t him go; he can do us no harm." Little did he dream how fatal to himself would such mercy prove. The Americans now covered the bridge with their single g un, po s ted guards alon g th e b ank of the creek, and the n to o k time for re s t and r e freshment ; for the British , seeing them fully prepared to dispute every point of approach, f ell back, and ap peared to have given 1i1p every thou ght of forcin g the American lin es . The latter were weJl content that it should be so. For they had been on the march or watch n ow day after day, until they were almost utterly wearied, and many of them, wounded in the r ecen t battle, had not been prop e rly car ed for, and were now totally unfit for service. . Holmes and Steers, yet toge th e r, for Hand com manded b e low, on c o untin g their men, found that o nly half of what they mustered in the morning were fit for service when they post ed guards and pic kets fo r the night. But none of the e nemy were now in sight, and the patriots were content with their victory. Little did they know that the h our of fancied security is often the most dangero u s, and th a t an enemy is never

PAGE 200

Adah's Valorous Feat. 199 to be despised, never to be considered as unworthy of caut ious regard. Adab, utterly exhausted by the active duties of sev eral days, and by his superhuman efforts that day, though unscathed in the terribl e fire which had riddled hi s broad-rimmed hat and his clothes , lay down to rest on old Hancock's bed when night f e ll, telling those on guard to call him should any alarm occur in front. Alas! it was not in front the alarm and attack were to come . Old Hancock, the Tory, on joining the British, told Abercromby, the l eader , where a scow lay secre ted above his house, and at night, making a silent d etour with a chosen party of picked men of Simcoe's co mmand, he led them to the place. Then, in the stillness o f the night, above the American pickets, a large body of the enemy cros se d under the Tory's guidance, and while the pickets in front dozed by their camp fires, and the sentinels moved drowsily on their beat s, near th e occupied house, yet to be seen on Alloway's Cre f k, Hancock, with traitorous stealth, wa!I leadin g the up in the rear, to a back entrance to his house, of which he held the key in his own pocket. With him strode J oh n Roberts and Abraham Carlisle, who, havin g heard that Adab Slocomb was there, had determined to take him a prison e r , that they might wreak their h atre d upon his defenseless head, and in his death on the gibbet break the heart of Naomi. For they knew Cornwallis would hang him at their request, if not through his own hatred of those whom he called "pestilent rebels." It was midnight, when , with stealthy tread, unheard, unchallen ged, old Hancock opened the back door of his house, and he, with the two renegade Quakers and fifty of Simcoe's most det e rmin ed men, filed into the house whe re Ad
PAGE 201

CHAPTER XLVI. A COW ARDLY INSULT RESENTED. Not until the house was n ea rly filled, not until, si l ently, in the rear of guards and pick e ts , other detach ments had crept up ready for action, all prepare d to strike the Ame ricans liter a lly in the back, was th e final signal given by firing the sing l e cannon left to g u ard the bridge upon the v e ry guard itself , for it was seized and turned on them befo1e a man could strike a blow for its defense. While the house shook with the thunder of the gun, even as Ada b aro s e or half arose, from a sound sl ee p, • he was grappled and bound by some stout British sol diers, while nearly eve ry other patriot in the hous e was bayoneted, cut down, or shot before he could rai se a hand, or hardly shriek for mercy, where no mercy could be hop e d for . It was now scarcely anything but a m a ssacre on every side, and Adab, as h e struggled in v a in to free himself from the bonds which had been twin ed again and again around his massive limbs, h ear d with horror the d ying shrieks and cries of the surprised patriots . "Why do ye not spa r e those who can strike no blow in self-defense?" h e cried. "Have you no humanity? Are ye worse than raving wolves, who worry the sheep they cannot devour?" "Hold thy peace, thou arrant r ebel!" cr1ed John Roberts, smiting him on the mouth. "Be thankful we save thee from the halt e r , only waiting till we can bring thy Naomi to witn e ss thy exec uti on !" "Yea, we will soo n have her in our hands , fo r already a messenger hath been sent to h er, askin g her pres e nce with thee as a nurse, bringing with her the pretty Deborah Stacy, and I doubt not she will come , and then we

PAGE 202

1' A Cowardly Insult Resented. 201 will find solace for the disappointment at the Glen Mill ! " added Carlisle. "Oh, thou fiend l If words could consign thee to the depth of pandemonium, my lips should breathe them !" groaned Adab, in the agony of his heart, for he only fear ed a plan so well contrived might place Naomi and Deborah again in the power of these wretches. "Bah! I spit upon thee ! " cried Carlisle, suiting the action to the word. Maddened beyond all restraint b y the dastardly in sult, Adab sp ran g with both feet hi g h in the air aga inst Carlisle, striking him full in the chest, while a Britis h soldier, thinking the prisoner was loose from his bonds, fired a muske t fairly at his breast. Adab fell backward just as the ball flew fr om the l evele d barrel, and the Tory, Hancock, who stood behind him with an exultant smile on his smooth face, fell d ea d in his own house, a victim of one o f the very men whom he had so treach erously l e d within it. With a groan of anguish, the old Tory died on the spot, while John Roberts, standing over Adab where he fell, cried out: "This man must not be slain ! We claim him as our prisoner , whose life shall be ende d on the gallows-tree ! We hold the order in our hands, that when taken he is to be held by us." The British officer in charge dared not disr espect the order; and Adab, yet more strongly secured, was placed under a special guard, while John Roberts, having lifted Carlisle to his feet, aided in brin ging back the consciou sness which Adab's terrible kick had knocked out of him. M e antime, the enemy, surprising the Americans at every point, had swept all before them-even those be low having fled for fear of bein g take n in the rear. The British now held hi g h r eve l over the c aptured stores, and prepared to return to Philadelphia, there to boast of their dearly-bought victory-for, thou g h suc cessful at last, they had lost, in killed and wounded,

PAGE 203

2 0 2 N aomi Hears Appalli n g News . more men than c omp rised the entire A me rican forc e whi c h had opposed the m. H o lme s , Stee r s a n d man y of their best m en , had es c ap e d w h e n t hey fou n d resis t a n ce vai n . \tVayne's ex p editio n was u ns u c c essfu l , but still he b ad a remnan t of his c ommand l eft, and ye t c o ntinued his dut ie s in pre p a ring fo r W ashingt on' s spring cam paign. The British d id n o t wa it to attempt any furt h e r ex pl oits a t t his time, b u t fell b a ck t o Phil a d e l ph ia w ith their ent i re forc e, c arry in g o n e pri so n e r . As we k now, t h a t he l p l ess pri so n e r was Adab S l ocom b . And n eve r, durin g all the r eturn m a r c h , nev e r u n til h e was sa f e l y l od g e d in th e provo s t pri so n , o n Walnut Stree t, n ea r S i x th , di d J olm Roberts a nd Abra ham Carl i s le for a moment l o se si g h t of their captive and intended v i c tim . CHAPTER XL VII. NAOMI HEARS APPALLIN G NEWS . Good n ews , it i s said, crawls l i ke a tortoise, while b ad n e w s fli es o n th e w ings of the v v i n d. Tho ugh it was not a da y o f t e legr a ph s , o r e v e n "battle like this, b e fore n o on o n the day afte r the fii's t v i ct o ry, and th e d efea t of the Ame r i c a n s on AlloWliy 's Cree k, the n e ws r e ached Ge n . W as hin gto n a t Vall ey Forge. While h e r e joice d tha t t he e n emy had not follow ed up i t s ad v antage and brok e n up Way n e' s expeditio n , h e g ri eved ov e r the l o ss o f so man y good and true patri ots, a nd especi ally ove r t h e c apture of faithful A dah S l ocom b. He inst a ntl y sent a mes senge r w ith a fla g to convey a l etter to Gen. H o we, in which h e offe r e d ten British soldi e r s in e xch a n g e for him; and thr eate ned , shoul d h a r m come t o him, to make a fearful r e pri s al.

PAGE 204

Nao mi Hears Appalling News . 203 With his us u al t enderne ss and delicacy, Washington gave o rder s that no info rmati on o f the m isfortfrQe s h o uld b e c om m uni ca t e d to Hann a h S l ocomb o r Nao m i. But, unfor t unat e ly, h e had n o t m ade a confi dant e of D e b orah Sta cy, w ho a ct e d a s nurse in the ho s pitah; a n d the m oment th e n e w s cam e t o her ea r s, woma n like , s h e r a n in t ea r s t o tell Naom i of it, and t he n tried t o c o m fort h e r in the sorrow she brought. Overwh e lme d a t the v ery th o u ght, N ao mi w oul d no t b elie ve D e b orah, ev e n thou g h th e g o o d girl told the sto r y amid h e r sobs ; and she rus h e d into the room wh e re W a shington was seat ed , a nd pl a inly a ske d him ff Adab Sloc omb w a s a captive in the hands of the British -again in the power of those dreadful wre tch e s, John Roberts and Abraham Carlisl e . " I would have save d you the knowledge of this sorrow," said Was hin g ton , in his kindlie s t tone. "The n it i s true?" moaned Naomi , whil e hot te a rs rain e d from her blue eyes. "Unhappily, it is." "I will go to him. I will on my knees before the Briti s h g en e ral pl ead for hi s life-his r e l eas e." "Alas ! d ear lady , y ou would but haste n his doom, and perhaps yourse lf fall i nto mercil es s h a nd s. " "I cannot li v e apart from him. I canno t eat, drink or s leep whil e I kn e w he is within the power of men who know n o m ercy, who have no pi t y. " " I have s ent a l ette r to L ord H o we , offe rin g to exch a nge ten of his captiv e s o ldi e r s for you r hu s b a nd. And I have told him if h arm co mes to Ada b Slocomb, I will make a fearful r ep risal b y exe cutin g m e n in my power." "Oh, I thank the e for thi s ! " said Naomi . "But th o u dos t not know the h ate wh ic h Rob erts and C a rli sle fe e l for him. I mus t g o t o h e lp him -I m us t go!'' "I r e p e at, d ear lad y, yo u r prese nc e t he r e, whil e it would not h elp him , mi ght hast e n h is d oo m. The y would hang him to break your heart-ay, do i t in your very presenc e . Y o u do not know the refin e ment of tfie

PAGE 205

An Errand o f Love. enemy's cruelty . T h e tears of a widowed mother c oul d n ot save Nathan Hale. Nothing but the f ea r of re pris al , or a timely r escue, will s a ve you r husband." " A r es cue?" g asp e d Naomi, as s h e w en t we eping to t he b edside of Hannah S l ocomb. "A r esc ue ! Oh, if it could b e do n e ! " That n i ght Hann a h Slocomb misse d Naomi from h e r s i de , and wh e n morn in g came a nd inquiry was made throu g hout the house, s he was not to b e found anywhere-not even in the camp. D ebor a h was sought and found, but she had not h ea r d of Naomi's int ention, fo r th e crazed wife h a d not d a r e d to tell he r, l e st s h e would b etray h e r secret, and Vlashin gton, in hi s prudence and merc y , should take me asures to preve n t it. The word r esc ue had g one like a shaft from the bow of Hope i nto the heart o f N aom i Slocomb, and alone she h a d gone to e nd ea vor to effec t what would seem to be the bol des t and imp ossib l e thing, and a terrible hazard -gone to do this, alone 2.nd unaided. CHAPTER XLVIII. AN ERRAND OF LOVE. P e truni a Stone and th e wi f e of I s aac Stacy had, through a message sen t to G e n . Knyphausen, learned of the r esc ue of Naomi and D eborah; al so that Hannah S l ocomb, thou g h b a dl y wound e d, was alive and out of danger. Naom i had represented to Was hington the character of K.nypha us e n to b e far superior to m os t of the B ritish an d Hessia n office r s, and the former gene ral f e lt no h e sitation in writin g to him a req uest to transmit the in formation al lu d e d to. When, therefo re, with fie ndish malignity, the two r enegade Quakers le t Petrunia Stone and her friend

PAGE 206

An Errand of Love. 205 know that Adab Slocomb was in pri so n, the two ladies flew to the Hessian general for his aid and interces s ion in b ehalf of th e unfortunate captive. "Kind ladies, what I c::in do , shall willingly be d o n e, " said the Hess ian gene ral. "But I h ave little or no in fluence at headquarters compared wit h that exercise d by th e enemies of you r fri ends . Gen. Cornwa llis is my most dead l y enemy. Lord Howe is my fri en d only throu g h policy . Bot h r ank hi g h above me. It would b e worth more than my commission is worth for me .to t ake any o t her position than t h a t o f a n humble plead e r for th e life of the so n of h e r who owns the h o us e whose roof shelters me. That position I w ill t ake , and apprise you of the result." " Will thee get l e ave for us to see him in prison, and to carry him some comforts, for th e fare there we hear is mis e rable?" s a id P etnmia Stone. "I will try" to get a pa ss for you to visit him," said the kin d -h earte d general. He ins t a n tly donned his full uniform, and went offi ci ally befor e Lord Howe, to c arry out his prom i se . Tha t office r was very bu sy di s cussing w i t h Capt. Andre -afterward Maj. Andre, hung as a spy in con necti o n w ith Arnold-then on his s taff th e d e tails of a f e te t o be g iv e n in hi s hon o r by his officers before he d eparte d for England , and h e could hardly give Gen. Knyph ausen five minutes for a n interview so specially and press in g l y d emanded . Whe n th e Hessian gene r a l exp l a in e d his e r ra nd , Lord H owe w as furious. Was h e to be a nnoy e d, his precious tim e inva ded upo n, t o hear a p l ea for a contumacious r ebel? He was a s toni s h e d t o h ear a n officer serving his ma j esty h ave the audac it y t o ask a favor for a ma n doomed to die a t an early day on the gallows as a traitor and a spy . But K n yp h a usen was n o t to be browbeaten out of his purpos e . If h e could get no promise for a r es pite in the prisoner ' s favor, he a t leas t d emanded, in the

PAGE 207

An Errand of Love. name of c ommo n h u manity, tha t his frie nds might s ee and offe r him c o n so l atio n e r e he peri s h e d. Howe da r ed n o t de n y t hi s t r i fling co nc essi o n, and G e n. Knyphausen depa r te d with a p ass fo r the f ema le fri e n ds t o visit Adab o n e h our o f eac h d ay u n til h e was exe cut e d. The d ay of the e x e cution had not ye t been nam e d, for, wi\h a s av age refin ement of crue lty, the two Quakers had got it pu t off that h e m i ght s u ffe r the a go ny of s us pi:!n se , wh ile they so u ght by e v e r y mea n s to torture him the idea that Nao mi w as in their pow e r, and w o uld lfir& t see him p e ri s h , and the n be pres erve d for such in dtgnitie s as p l eased the v ile heart o f J o h n Roberts. W ith d e j ec tion s t am p e d on hi s face, the good Knyphaus en r eturne d t o S l oc o m b Hall, for m a n y an ac t of ki n dn e ss o n the part of its inmat e s had en deare d t h e m to him . H e could gi ve them no hope of Adab escaping an igoo m ini o u s death-all that h e could do , he had d one-he h a d proc ured a p ass fo r the m to vi s it him. On r e a c hin g S l o c o mb Hall, and ente rin g the sitting room, usu ally occu p i e d by the two ladi e s, h e was aston ish e d to find a third l a dy there, and that lady, Naomi, the wife of Adah. Almo s t exhau s ted with the fat igue of travel, for she had co m e o n fo ot fr o m V alley F o rge t o the c ity; a lmost fam i s h ed, too , fo r in h e r a g ony sh e had no thought of foo d, she l ooke d p itiful in de ed. The ge n e r a l dre w b ac k , for N a omi , w e eping and full o f so rrow , seemed s u c h a picture o f des pair that he d id not wan t t o add to h e r g ri ef; but s h e h a d been tol d w hi t her h e h ad g one, and o n wh a t erra n d, and s h e now rushed toward hi m, thre w hers e lf on h e r kne es, and pit e ously cried out: "Thee mus t t ell me all! If he di e th , I will die with him!" The genera l lifted h e r to h e r f ee t , w it h a fatherly h and he brushed back the disheveled hai r from her st r eaming eyes a n d hot b row, and sai d , k in d l y :

PAGE 208

An Errand of Love. 207 "Dear child, do not despair. Though I can get no promise for his life, the day of doom is not set, and we know not what may yet rise in his favor to save him." "Cannot I see him? Cannot I press his dear hand and give him the comfort to know I am near?" pleaded Naomi. "I have a pass here for two friends to visit him daily for one hour," said the general. "But I fear if you visit him, his enemies, the vile ruffians who once had you in their power, will again seize you and make his fate even more cruel." "I will so disguise myself they shall not know me. I will cut off all my hair." She threw her mass of golden-brown hair loose on her shoulders, and like a mantle of sunshine it almost conc eale d her form. "Yea, I will stain my hands and face till I look like a gypsy, or a scullion that waits at the cooking fire, and onl y he will recognize his soul's love." "Dear young lady, it is possible, disguis ed , you may see him in safety, but one unguarded word, one look, might betray your presence and be the cause of ruin to your hopes and his." "Ah, I will be so careful. Give me the pass, thou noble friend." Naomi kissed the hand that extended it, and said: "The Father of the fatherless bless thee now and for ever for this goodness." Petrunia Stone could hardly restrain the eagerness of the trembling wife, who wished instantly to hasten to the prison. Not until she had read the pass, and seen that an hour was named for each daily visit, and that the tirne was yet two hours away, could Naomi be induced to touch a morsel of food, to bathe her lacerated feet, or take any care of her weak and suffering body. But now she ate almost ravenously, and drank a glass of wine in order to gain strength for the ordeal, and then, sorely against her aunt's will, she made Petruttia

PAGE 209

"Adah Slocomb Must Die!" Sto n e c u t off a ll h e r g lori o u s t resses o f h ai r s o gol de n b ri ght, s o silke n s of t in texture, and t hen s h e stained h e r h an ds and fac e a n u t-brow n , put on a d r ess o f coar s e se rge, s tron g, coa r se shoes, and a h ood w h ich c oncealed ye t mo r e t h e classi c c ontour of he r face, so that she coul d act as a servant, c arry in g a ba sket o f food for he r aunt wh e n s h e vi s it e d the u n h appy p ri sone r . Gen. Knyp h a u sen saw h e r w h e n s h e was t h us dis guise d , and c oul d h a r d l y r e alize till th e n h o w g r e a t a c hange c o u id be made i n th e look s o f one who s o ught to make herself u g l y for l o v e ' s s a k e . "There w ill be no da nger n ow, if n e ith e r yo u n o r he c r y out whe n yo u meet , o r drop s o me word that a l y nxeye d g uard ca n c a t c h." " I w ill he careful, fo r I feel that h i s l ife and m i ne d e p end u pon it," said Naom i . A n hour l ater, startin g so as to b e a t the priso n j u s t in t im e for the p ass to b e us e d , P e truni a Sto n e , with Naomi c a r r ying a ba sk et und e r h e r c oa r s e wo o l e n m a ntle, left Slocomb Hall on their errand of lov e and m ercy. CHAPTER XLIX . "ADA B SLOCOM B MUST DIE! " John Rob e r t s and Abraham Ca rli s l e c ame in to dine a t their u s u a l h ou r i n P r i mrose Cotta ge, and found thei r t abl e mo re th a n u s u ally w ell set out, and a n ew servant , a g irl wi th sun b row n e d face, rosy cheeks, and rath e r short but v e ry re d h air puttin g o n the m eats an d sta n d in g r eady to wait u pon t h e m . "How i s thi s ? Has the e gotte n a b et t e r g i r l t ha n the s love nly t h in g thee h a d to w a it u po n us?" J o h n Rob e r t s cri e d , address ing t h e ma n w h o a c ted as their butl e r, L azants R obinso n b y n ame . ''Yea; t his g irl I found a sking for a s ituati o n. She

PAGE 210

"Adah Slocomb Must Die!" 209 is from the c ountry , and hath not learned the evil ways of t h e c i t y , " s aid Lazarus. "Yea , she i s fresh and neat in person, and when the country t an wears o ff, w ill be comely to look upon," said A b r a h am Ca rlisle , thou g htfully. T h e t wo me n paid no further attention to the servant, except t o ask h e r name, which, she said, was "Susan," but th ey sat d own with a hearty zest to their meal, wh i c h , b e ing w ell cook ed and well served, not only el i cite d thei r c omme ndati o n , but received esp e cial atten t io n from their a ppetites. The pudding, a t it s close, with a very rich wine sauce, was so exc ellent t h a t the y ask e d who pre pared it, a nd w h en Susan a c k n o wl e d ge d that she h a d c o ok e d the puddi n g and made the s auc e , the y could not praise her too hi g h l y. "Th e e h as found a rare tre asure in Susan," said John R obe r ts , w h e n L azarus brought on the choic e wine with whic h th ey w e r e in the habit of regaling themselves after th e cloth w as r em o v ed. T he me n n o w paid no furthe r attenti o n to Susan, who, after r emoving the cloth, stood by the window, l oo kin g i n to the stree t , but talked of their pl a n s as if no on e was n e a r . What co uld she , a p oo r country g irl, kno w a b ou t war matte r s and stratagems, they probably tho u ght, i f th ey tho u ght a t all. "' H a s thee see n Adah Slocomb since morning? I was the r e a t nine myself , " asked Roberts of Carlisle. "An hour b e fore noon I looked in. He was walking t o a n d fro b e fore the iron g ates like a lion hungered in his cage , " said Carlisl e . "I told Cunnin g ham to feed him but h a l f r a tion s . His giant strength will soon pass a w ay, and bi s spirit w eake n , and whe n he goes to the sc a ff o ld, mark me, he will whimper like any woman . " "Do t h h e g iv e cre d e nce to what we have said about havi n g Naomi in our power?" "No ; h e ap p e a r eth n o t to do so. He said he would not beli e v e it till he saw her. ' '

PAGE 211

210 "Adah Slocomb Must Die!" "I would give a thousand pounds if we could show her to him. That would break his proud heart." "Yea. And I do not despair of it. For the love of woman passeth the comprehension of man. If she l ea rns of his peril, she will surely seek to see him before he dies." "If she doth, his death will speedily follow, and then -then h e r fate will be more terrible than his. For I tell thee, what was once love in my heart hath turned to hate and scorn so wild that I burn, while I think of her -burn to humble her in misery b efore me !" "John Robe rts, thee is a hard man. Thy life , and mine, hath been much changed since we have served the king." "The king of sinners, thou meanest!" said the other, l aughin g. "When shall we ask that the day of do om be set?" asked Carlisle. "Not whil e there is a hope of getting the woman in our power. His torture will not be complete till then. The pangs of starvation annoy, the lash o f the prison whip cuts deep, but he will not know agony till we hold her wh e re he can see she is at our mercy, and no prayer of his can save her, no plea of hers, not even her own sacrifice, save him !" "Monsters !" The words broke from the lips of the girl who stood in the window . "Ha! what is thee saying? Didst thee speak of us?" cried John Roberts, sharply, and he sprang to his feet. The girl did not turn around. "Susan !" cried Roberts, louder still. "Did thee not hear me speak to thee?" "No, sir. I was looking at sorrie boys pelting a poor Jame dog that could hardly crawl out of their reach, with sticks and stones. What monsters they are! There they go chasing it around the corner!" The girl's flushed face l ooked so honest , her indigna tion so natural, that the men believed what she said,

PAGE 212

"Adab Slo comb Must Die !" 211 a n d that sh e had be e n too muc h occupie d to overhear their remar ks . A mome nt later , and while the y were filling their gl asses ao-ain , a letter in cipher was brought in to Carlisle b y Lazarus. "Jo hn Roberts, this i s n ews from Vall e y Forge," he cried , on r ea ding it. "Naomi S l ocomb hath di s appeared from th e re on h earing that h e r husband was in prison h e re ." "Then we may lo o k fo r h e r h ere. We will put a watch on Slocomb Hall at on ce, and eit h e r yo u or I must be present when any one visits Adab, if any are allowe d to do so." "Thinkest thou s h e will show h e r se lf at his prison door , w h e n s h e must know we are h ere!" "Yea! Woman in h e r love is blind to danger. \:Voman . in her devotion is d ea f to the word of caution. I will wager thee a handful of g olden guineas that I hold that woman a pri so ner in this h o use before four and-twenty h ours hav e pass e d. " "Verily, I h ope it may be so. For th ee knows when Co rnwalli s mov es into N e w J e r sey we must go with him , and Adab Slocomb must die b efore we go . " . " I go n o w to have a guard put over S l o c o mb Hall," said Rob e rts . "Not a guard; simply a watch-a sec r e t watch," said Ca r lis le. "Old Knyphanse n will n o t perm it s uch an indignit y as a guard wh e r e h e h o ld s hi s q uarters. A sing le, trus ty, quick eye d man is e nough. We know who are in th e h o u se h old; if N ao m i comet h there , she cannot escape obs e rvation . At th e pri so n we must keep ou r own watc h ." "It i s well. Thou art ri g ht ," sa id R ob erts. " I will send ' a good man thither, and go m yse lf , a l so, to the provost jai l to caution Cunnin g ham , th e keeper , to be o n his gua r d. For I te ll thee. if Naomi S l ocomb hath left Vailey Forge, s h e h at h left it only to seek h e r hus band. " The two Quakers now arose and l eft the dining-room.

PAGE 213

CHAPTER L. THE INTERVIEW I N T H E CELL. "Thee must be v e ry careful at the prison , Naomi," said her aunt, as she left Slocomb Hall, with Naomi following h e r in her servant disguise-wi th a bas ke t of cak es, bre a d and cold m ea t o n h e r a rm. "If Ada b rec ognizes thee, I fear he will make some exclamati on; but if h e does , make no r e pl y , if any o ne be pre sent. Thy honor-yea, even thy life-is at stake! " "Fear not , Aunt P e trunia. I go to plan his r e scue! Does th e e think I will hazard a failure b y a ny ac t of min e ? I will save hi m , o r di e with him !" "Heave n h e lp thee , child ! But walk not so fast-we will be all out of brea t h whe n we g et there , s o we can answer no qu e stion s , and but f e e bly act our parts." "I did n o t think we were go in g fa s t. It s e e ms so long before I can s e e him-my ow n, my pre c i o us husband!" P e trunia Stone mad e no r e ply , but at a b e t ter regulated pac e th ey m o v e d for wa r d . They had only seven bl o c k s to go, and it d id n o t take long. Arriv in g in the hall Of the pri so n , the y w e r e c onfronte d by t he keeper , a man mad e eve n mo r e no t o rious by hi s cru e lty t o our p r i so n e r s th a n wa s A rno ld by his treac h e r y a s a tra it o r . His nam e was Cu nnin g h a m . H e h a d a b o ld and savage s neer o n his face as he cri ed: "\Ve w ant no Quake r nun s h e r e ! W e feed ou r p ri s oners w ell e n o ugh ! If the y lik e n o t wh a t the y get the y can star ve ! " "Will th ee plea s e r ea d thi s ord e r fr om L o r d 1 o we , admitti n g m e a nd my se rvan t , Pri sc i lla , t o see o ne Adab Sl o c om b , a n d g i v e him c o m fort , for he lie t h h e r e under doom of d eath ?"

PAGE 214

The Inte rview i n the Cell. 2 T 3 " A pass from Lord Howe? I'll s e e i t b efo r e I bel iev e it, " h e g rowl e d. P etrunia S tone exte nd e d the p a p e r . C l ose l y he exam i n e d i t , a nd t h e n he g r owled out: " Curse me if I unders t an d h o w yo u got i t ! O ne o f you is old a n d d r i e d up, a nd th e ot h e r as ugly as a s i nged cat. But t h e p a ss i s ri ght; so c ome a l o n g w ith m e . The r e's y our Quaker! R e member, yo u 've o ne h our, a n d no t a min u te m o r e , and I or o ne o f my ke epers s h all overl o o k you r in t e rview . " So sayin g , h e un l o ck e d a s i d e doo r , l e t the m into a n a r row h a l l , and poin t e d to a g rated doo r of iro n , be h ind w hi c h p oo r Adab was s l o w l y wa l k ing the l e ngth o f a c ell abo u t e i g h t f eet l o n g by fou r i n widt h. "Reme m be r , but a n h our yo u c a n stay . I'll call a ke e p e r t o r ema in w i t h you . " T h e in stant C u nn i n g h am turned t o call the k e eper Naom i hurrie d for wa rd , and i n a l ow t o ne, c r i e d out: "Adab, s h ow no s i gn. K ee p th y counte nanc e . She w h o lo ves t h e e mo r e t h a n lif e is h e r e . " Adab knew t h e v o ice; h e k n ew t h e dea r e yes, and w i th onl y a m i g h t y eff ort re s trained a c r y o f joy . And w ell it was , fo r a lr e ad y Cu n n in g h a m was comi n g with a ke e p e r , an d Adah h ad re g ai ned h is composure s o as to say , address in g Petruni a Stone: "Thee a n d t h y s e r vant are v e r y goo d to c ome h i th e r . But i t i s o f l ittl e u se , for I d o ubt not that my d a y s are numb e r ed , and th a t f ew a r e l e ft u n t o m e ." "Yo u c a n wag-er h i g h o n th a t , " s a i d Cunni n g h a m , w ith a s n ee r . "The king's ge n e ral ca n ' t a ff o r d t o kee p s n c h c a ttl e as y ou o n h a n d l on g . Forag e i s t oo sc arce. W o m an, wh a t h a v e ye the r e ? " And th e ruffia n snatch e d the ba s ke t from N a om i's a r m . "The pass s a ys ye ca n see t h e p rison e r . It s ay s nothin g about. f ee din g him," h e cri ed , wit h a n o a t h. "He is f ed too w e ll h e r e now . I 'll take c a r e o f these extr a s ."

PAGE 215

214 The Inte r v iew in the Cell . -------------.,___ . . "The e will do no s uch thing. The pass alloweth me to bring him comfort, and there is c omfort in food," said Petrunia, boldly. "By St. George ! you dare to contr ad ict me? I've a great mind to send for my pri so n w hip and lash you out from in side th ese walls." "Thou darest n o t la y thy hands on that woman," cried Adab, white with wrath. "But I dare la s h you, you miserable cur ! Johnson, go and get me th e k ey and my whip. I'll teach the rebel what I dare do!" cri e d the enraged keeper, almost foaming at the mouth. "Oh, Adab, they will kill thee!" moaned Naomi, "and it is all my fault." Luckily, Cunningham was too wildly cursing to hear her v o ice. "Oh, man-man, do not puni s h him for my fault," cri e d Petrunia Stone, when s h e saw the k eeper coming with a huge ra w hide, and a large iron key in his hand. "I'll whip him for his own. I'll cut the skin from his back. I'll teach rebels how to respect their masters !" yell e d the infuriate d savage. "Bring handcuffs, and feet-iron s, too , J ohnson-he must be manacled before I flog him." The keep e r ran off to obe y his brutal master, and both women knelt on the stone floor to implore mercy for the prisoner. "Save you r breath, curse ye, save your breath. I'd flo g him if the king s tood h e r e !" The keeper was now seen coming back with the irons in his hand, but he did not come alone. An officer, we a rin g the uni for m of a ge n e ral. approached, and a cry of j oy broke from the lips of Petrunia Stone when sh e saw that it was Gen. Knyphausen. She flew to meet him, and implored his int erfe rence, in a few words, telling all that had happened, and what the bruta l keepe r meant to do. Gen. Kny phau se n, wit h a si n gle stride , confronted

PAGE 216

The Interview in the Cell. 2 l 5 the abashed keeper. for he was as cowardly as he was cruel, and truckled as meanly to a superior, as he arose after he was gone to abuse one in his power. "Dog! D:!re you disregard a pass and order given by the hand of Lord Howe to me, for this good woman," cried the general. "I have a mind to run you through on the spot, only I want no such base blood on my good sword. Open that door, not to lay a hand or place an iron on that man's form, but to give him the provisions these good women have brought to him. And if I hear again of your offering him abuse, I will make it cost you your place, and your ears, too !" "General , if you know how I am annoyed by these rebels, you would pardon my fits of anger." ''I'll pardon you on but one condition. Show no more such fits here. Open that do o r , pass in the provi sions, and then go with thy whip and irons; go with thy deputy and leave these women to talk with their doomed friend. Can you not bear that an unhappy man, on the verge of death, shall see those he hath known in happier days?" "But, general , we never allow a prisoner to con verse alone with a visitor. It is against the prison rules." "Very well. I will stay here myself till the hour is up. I will see that no improper language is used-no plans for escape discussed." "Very well, general. You are my superior. I, of course, obey with pleasure." There was no pleasure expressed in that malignant face, as the brutal keeper and his deputy went off, after the provisions had b e en passed in, but Cunningham dared not show his hatred and anger before a general. "Now speak to your husband fre ely-I will stand back and keep all the others from approaching," said the kind-hearted Hessian to Naomi, and, oh, how thank fully she sprang to take advantage of his noble sym• pa thy.

PAGE 217

216 The Interview in the Cell. Who can tell what they said, who would wish to listen to the outpouring of two hearts, so full of love, and yet so full of sorrow ? It was well for Adab, and Naomi, too, that Knyphaus e n was here now, for b e fore the hour was half up, in cam e John Roberts, h is face full of eager hate, and he hurrie d toward the cell where h e had already been told two women were visiting Adab Slocomb. "Dog ! B e gone from here ! How dare you come where I am!" cried Gen. Knyphausen, as Roberts tried to pass him. The cowardly r e negade turned back. That flashing eye, the hand on the sword-hilt, told him his lif e was not worth the asking for if he added to the g eneral's ange r by a word, or taking a step forward. He slunk back to the prison gate, det ermine d to wait there and watch the women as the y came out. If, as he suspected, Naomi was one, he would fly to Cornwallis and get two orders through him from Lord Howe. One for the immediat e execution of Ada b S l ocomb -the other for th e arrest and delivery into hi s power of Naomi Slocomb. Oh, how short seemed that hour to Naomi and Adab; yet they knew it could not be extended. But what a change had come over the face of our h ero. It was no lon ge r pale, careworn and sallow. It was so heroic, hopeful-almos t glorious. "Be care ful. If there is a sign of danger to thee come not -agai n," he said, when Naomi drew away, as Cunningham called out that the hour w as up. Drawing h e r hood close about h e r face, Naomi joined her atmt , and both, accompanied by the Hessian g eneral, left the pris o n. " R eme mb e r ," s a id the genera l , as h e pa ssed Cun nin g h a m , "that the pri sone r must rec e ive no abuse at your hands ." John Roberts h eard the remark, and muttered, low enough to be ov erheard:

PAGE 218

"Base His Intent." 217 "He shall receive a rope around his neck ere four and-twenty hours go by. " A gasp, almost a shriek, from the lip s of Naomi, who trembled so that Petrunia Stone had to hold her up, told John Roberts in a second w h a t h e sought t o know, better even than had h e seen her face before it was stained, or her hqir b efore it was cut off. "Thou art the one who will first swing from a scaf fold, miserable dog!" said the general, in a haughty tone. And if it were not prophecy, it sounded so like one , that, in spite of his braz e n audacity, the ren egade shook from head to foot with f e ar. Gen. Knyphausen took no further n o tice, but walked kindly home with the women, spe aking words of hope and comfort to Naomi as he went. CHAPTER LI. "BASE Hil.S INTENT, DEMONIAC HIS GLEE!" John Roberts sought in vain to get a closer view of Naomi as she passed, but her stifled, gasping cry of agony, the tremor in her tall and stately form; told him, as before stated, all he wanted to know. For a little while he held close and earnest conversa tion with Cunningham, and then, when the latter parted with him , he said, aloud : "Thee can get thy rope and scaffold r eady, for he will not be spared an hour longer than the time I have given thee. And thee can g o and comfort him with the news now, if thee likes ." "Ay, warrant me, I'll do that. I've been browbeaten and abused on his account, and I do not forget it." From the prison John Roberts hurried to Primrose Cottage, where he found Abraham Carlisle taking a

PAGE 219

'2 I 8 "Bas e His Intent." no o nd a y lunc h , a n d c hattin g pl easantly wi t h Sus an , th e n ew servant . "If thee wants t h y ap pe t i t e s eas o ne d with goo d news, I have it," cri e d Rob erts, a s h e threw hi mse lf into a chai r at th e sa me t a bl e . " S u sa n , get m e a b o ttle of that choice win e , from the c orne r cupboa r d. This i s a j oy ous day to me! " "What i s th e n e ws that cheers thee up so? " cri e d Carli s le, as h e h alf cho ke d on a pi e c e of c o l d roa s t be ef. "Naomi S l o comb is h e re. I hav e s ee n h e r. She vis, it e d the pri s on but a lit tl e whil e s inc e o n a pa s s got by old Knyph a usen, who was there to prote ct h e r and ke e p me back. But I found h e r out, and now-old fri e nd, we will go to Cornwalli s, get him to ge t the orde r for her arres t t o-night, an d d e liv e ry to us here, and for his execution a t sunrise to-m o rrow, which she shall wit ness! Is not that good? Will not I now have a sweet reven ge?" "John Rob e rts, thee is as near a devil as man may be, and y e t b e man!" said Carlisle , who , b a d as he was, shuddere d at the thou ght of what a horribl e t o r t ure thi s fiend was la y in g for two p eople . " Y e t I d o ubt not , if Adab Slocomb had the e in his hand s h e woul d hang thee as quickly as thou wilt hav e him brou ght to the scaffold!" "Hush! Don ' t the e t a lk of my b e ing hun g ! I don ' t like it. TI1at old H ess i an said I would b e h u n g fir s t. " "The r e is your win e," s a id Susan, puttin g th e bottle on the tabl e , with a jar. "Be c a r e ful , or th e e w ill brea k t hings," sa id Roberts, as he dre w th e cork and p oure d out a g la s sful , which he off a n d fille d a s econd before he push e d it ov e r to li1s compani o n. Susan m a de no re ply, bu t s tood b ack and see med to be g azin g thro u g h t he win do w at s omething g oing on in the stree t . "Thee says K n y p ha u se n went with Naomi to the prison ? " as ke d Carli s l e . "He did not g o wi t h h e r. She w en t wi t h her aunt,

PAGE 220

"Base His Intent." Petrunia Stone, and Cunningham r eceive d t hem rou g hly, according to his usual way. He h a d wo t d s with the old maid, and thr eate n ed to s mit e h e r , and the n Adab an g ered and spoke his m i nd. At t h i s Cunningham sen t for iron s and h is p r iso n whip, and Naom i wo uld soon have seen the b l ood run nin g fro m hi s bac k , had not the H e ssian ge n e ral h appe n e d al o n g . He to o k C u nn ingham sad l y t o t ask, and the fello w c owere d ri ght down and left the H ess ian general to watch ov e r the in terview, w h ic h la s ted a n h ou r. And whe n I c am e n ear h e threa t e n ed t o run m e through. Let him t a ke tlie fie l d again and I w ill hir e W onns l e y or one of his men t o p u t an o u nce o f lead throug h h is bulky carcass. " "Ay ! fo r a guinea an y o f them will do tha t "And now h asten with t he l unc h. I y ea rn t o have those ord e r s in my hand. A s soon as I receive the order to a r res t Naomi I w ill g e t a stron g guard fr o m Cornwallis, an d w ith i n an hou r a ft erward s h e shall l ie bo und, hand and f oo t , in the b l u e ch a m be r above, ev e n in m in e own roo m , fro m w hic h s h e s hall only go to s e e h im h anged . After that I w ill bring h e r b a ck here, to r emain till he r heart breaks a n d s h e d i es . " "John Roberts, I r epea t that if the fo u l fiend himself were here , he would say : ' Go , take my thro n e . Thou art more fit to reign in Plut onian r ea l ms than I!' " "Thee i s comp l imentary , Frie nd Abr aham. But I c a r e not. My hate is all arous ed , and I will have my fill of it now. Cornw a llis told m e that I sh ould name the hour of doom, and it s h all be s u nrise to-mo r row! "I have said it y e a, I h ave sworn it. T he scaffold is u p, and I gave C unnin g ham a guinea t o buy a new rope , and a st ro n g o ne. Co m e o n e m o re g l ass o f w ihe and we will has ten to get the ord e rs !" Carli sle pled g ed Rob e rts a s d esire d, in one more o f rich , heavy port, and th e n b o th m en put on their hats and cloaks , and hurr i e d off upon t h eir sa tanic errand. The instant she was alone, the manne r o f t he girl, S u s an , chan g ed . "Oh, Heavenly Fathe r ! " s h e c ried , with a flushe d face

PAGE 221

220 A Cunning Maiden. t ea rful ey es. " H ow can I sa ve t h em i n so sh ort a , ,,.. ? Befo re I c o u l d ge t to Valley Forge and b ack , all would b e ov er! I mu s t s a ve th e m I w ill , if I have t o slay Howe, Cornw allis and t h e v ile Q u ake rs , too. O h , Heave n h e l p me t o plan, and aid me to act!" She hear d a footste p com i n g t o w a r d the r oom, and hur ri ed ou t to hide h e r own t e rrib le excite m e nt. CHAPTER Lil. A CUNNING MAIDEN UNF OLDS HER S CHEME. It was a n un steady ste p w hic h Susan h eard, and fro m the o ut s id e of the door s h e l e ft aj ar, s h e l ooke d b a ck an d sa w th a t Lazarus Robinso n , alr eady h alf d runk, h a d c om e in , and was proceedin g to h e lp h imself r a t her fr e e ly to th e contents o f th e half b ot tle of port wi ne l eft b y th e two Quak ers . S h e wa t c hed h i m w ith a loo k o f p l easure. S h e e vi d e ntl y w a n t e d him t o beco me stupid an d h e lp l ess. T h e re w e r e t w o oth e r s e rvant s i n t h e house, and she had already found out that the y a l s o drank wh e n they got a ch a nc e . A n e w i dea and a new hope e nt e red h e r mind . The re was a dru g store clo s e by. Throwing a m a ntle over h e r h ead, s h e ran om and purcha se d a quantit y of lau dan um , on the pl ea that she suff e r ed t e rrib ly fro m a r a g in g to o t h a ch e . S he a l s o go t so m e pow d e red o pium, w hi c h she sai d she wanted to put in a little bag and lay against he r ch e ek. T hi s d o ne, s h e went to a wa go n e r pear at hand and to ld h i m s h e h a d been sent b y J o hn Rob e rts to h ave a cov e r e d wago n, w ith four strong, good horses, r e ady at mid ni g h t . was to d ri ve it himself, she said, and Roberts wo uld pay h i m trebl e th e u s u a l char g e for the trip, whi c h w ou ld be s hort , only occupying the night. The

PAGE 222

A Cunning Maiden. 221 orde rs of Mr. R ob erts we r e tha t no one but the wagon e r an d him se lf mu s t kn ow of it , th a t h e w as not to leave his stable or o p e n hi s lips ab out i t till th e hour named, an d the n h e was in sile nce t o driv e t o Roberts' h o use, r ece iv e what wa s put in his w ago n , and drive off . Rob erts w ou ld t ell him wh e re w h e n th e y were ready t o m ove. All this was done in l e s s than h a lf an hour, and wh e n S u s an returne d s h e found Lazarus Robinson s o stupidl y drunk that h e took a g lass of wine, half fille d with lau danum, without tastin g or n o ticing the drug. She got h i m out of the way now, into an un u sed be d ro o m, where h e dropped in a stupor on the floo r , and then she flew to the cook to urg e him to get u p a n i c e r di n n e r t han usu a l at th e proper hour. " I'll s muggle out two bottles of nice wine, some tart old po r t , fo r yo u and the other man," she said, "jus t a s s o on a s the dinn e r i s s e rved." The c ook w as d elighte d , and said Susan was just the n icest g i r l h e had ev e r w o rk e d with. A p udd ing was orde r e d , and Susan told h i m she w ould ma k e the s a uce . S usa n , a f te r all this was ordere d and unclerstood, w en t t o h e r o w n ro o m. What s h e did the r e in the next h alf h ou r mu s t be und e rstood thro u g h e vents y et to com e . Suffic e to say tha t in eve r y thin g sh e did , she w a s working for on e grea t and good e nd . And w h e n the d i n ne r h our wa s n ea r , sh e h a d t h e t ab l e s e t out as ne a tl y as it h a d been th e e v e nin g befo re, was h e rself ve r y nicel y dresse d , and had e v e rythin g, s o t o spe ak, in "appl e pi e ord e r . " Whe n John R ob erts ca m e in with Abraha m Carlisle , b o t h we r e i n the hi g h es t sp i rits. The y spoke of the c om p l ete s u ccess of their m i s s i o n t o Cornwalli s -Rob erts h a d t h e o rder for th e arres t o f N a omi Slocomb , an o r d e r for a g u a r d fr om the neare st i;ua r dhous e t o effec t i t , an d a n ord e r for t he k e e p e r o f t h e provost j ail to t a k e Adab Slocom b from his c ell a t su nri se n ext d ay a n d t o h a n g h i m on the gallows ere ct e d in the j ail y ard.

PAGE 223

'l l'l A C un n i ng Maiden. All th e d e t a il s were discu sse d b y th e Quakers whi le Sus an r ecei v e d th e di s hes from the cook and arranged them on t h e t able . In a littl e w hile th e two Qua k e rs were seated at a sumptuous m e al, and as th ey look e d ov e r their di s hes both were loud i n the ir prai se s o f Susa n. They aske d w h e r e Lazarus was, and Susan sai d he had g iv e n h e r the k eys of th e w i ne clo se t , and a s k e d h e r to attend to hi s duties. "Thee can do e ven bett e r than he , " said Carlisle, flatt e ringly. "Thou art the handiest little creature I ever saw!" appeared to be pleased with his praise , and flew around as lively as c o m on a hot shovel, but she m;maged to g et out long enough to carry the cook and his helper a couple of bottl es, one she said was extra, a kind of spiced wine , that only the " quality" ever used . The oth e r wa s good port. "\Ve'll drink up the port and then finish on the 'quality' win e," said the cook to his mate , laughin g . "And it will finish you for the next ten hours !" murmered Susan to h e rs e lf. Susan plac e d dish after dish befor e the Quakers, ang poured out their wine with a lavi s h h a nd , and kept th'em so well served that they w e re " full" in a d o uble sen s e b e for e the ir u s ual tim e for risin g from the table. Now sh e brou ght on h e r puddin g , with a sauc e which she said was " spiced" with g r eat care. They w e re in a state to enjo y it , but no t e x a ctly in a state to c o mpre hend what kind of "spic e" gave it a peculiar flavor . But they parto ok of it h e artil y , and the c o ns e qu e nce was that in a littl e whil e both b e came s tran ge ly dro wsy, and even whil e one a s k e d th e other what made him so s tu p id , b o th fell into a p rofound sl ee p . S u s an , who had watch e d affairs in the kitch e n , soon found th a t th e cook and hi s h e lper had got e nou g h of the "qua lity" wine t o keep t h e m qui et for h o urs to come.

PAGE 224

A Cunning Maiden. "Now, H eaven help me through the rest, and the game is in my own hands ," s he said. She was determined to have all things safe, so she took every p ape r from the p e r s ons of both Roberts and Carlisle, well-filled p u r ses also from both, and the n, with a strength which see m ed immen se for a girl like her, she dragged each in turn upstairs, having put out all lig hts below, and lock e d the doors. She was upstairs a good while, and when she came down, wearing a suit of John R oberts' clothes , holding his large , full-bottomed wig in her hand, and his broad brimmed hat, h e r plan began to unfold itself. From a drawer wh e re she h ad c on c e aled them the day b efo re , s he took a brace o f fine, silver-mounted pis tol s, shook out the old priming, and put in a new Qne from a small horn which she had in h e r pocket. She also placed a broad-blad e d and k ee n dagger in a breast pocket of her coat. In another pocket she put some small, but very strong cord , a large p ea r-shaped gag, with a strap to fasten it b ehi nd the head of the person on whom it was to be used. Now she put on the wig, rubbed her fac e with a pow d e r puff, with a p e ncil drew some lines under her eyes, and when the broad-brimmed hat was on her head, looked at h e rself in the g reat oval mirror over the mantelpiece. She was almost startled to see how closely she re sembled J o hn Roberts. "Friend Abraham , " s he cried , in the drawling ton e used by Roberts in his gene ral conversation, "I think it is time I proceed to business. "I'll do-I'll do! No one can suspect I am other th a n the original. And he is so safe for the next twentyfour hours that th e trumpe t of Gabriel could not wake him. Let me see the time," she cried . And from his own fob she drew th e massive silver w atch w hich John Rob e rts had always carried.

PAGE 225

A Cunning Maidett. "It is ten o ' clock," she said. "At eleven Howe dis miss e s his valet and goes to bed. Ten minutes later he will h a ve a visitor. Twenty minutes after that Cunnin g h a m w ill be called up to rec e ive an order. Thirty minutes after that a wagon will be speeding away for 'Washin g t o n a nd G l o ry ,' if all g o es well. But no point must I miss , or all is lost. I will now hurry to apprise N a o mi of what is to be done, for she must be ready. If I c a n gain a c c es s to h e r ear without arou sing the notice of the H ess i a n ge neral, who would run me through if he s aw me, a ll wiil go well th e re. She knows my watchword; s h e will r e co g nize the friend of D eborah; she will so o n learn h o w much I risk and for the man whose love she h o lds !" Susan--or the young Continental, if you like the idea hett er-no w bl e w out the last light, and left Primrose C ottage, locking the door behind her when she came out. Within twe nty minutes, wrapped in a cloak, she had gained the ear of Naomi Slocomb and P etrunia Stone, a t th e back d oor of Slocomb Hall, and unfold e d to the for m e r the j oy ous news that Ada b Slocomb , G o d will in g, shoul d b e rescued and in her arms before midnight. She t o ld P etrunia Stone to keep her counsel and pre pa r e Naomi for a midnight ride, in which she and Mrs. Stacy w e r e to be partne rs , for not one of them must now be l e ft to the fury of those who would be robbed of an ex p e ct e d victim. When all w a s thus quietly arranged at Slocomb Hall, a nd N ao mi h e r s elf h e ld th e key of Primrose Cottage, wh e r e s he was as sured Adah should m e et her at mid ni g h t, and w hi t h e r s he was to go with Petrunia and M r s . Stacy, while h e r . new friend carried out the rest of h is or h e r plan , for as yet it is hard to distinguish w hich sex i s t h e ri ghtful on e , since both as Sus an and tMe bra ve Contine ntal, the character assumed had been nobl y carri ed o ut. H ad Naomi first s e en the apparent John Roberts, be-

PAGE 226

An Order Promptly Obeyed. 225 fore she heard the voice, and the watchword, "Washington and Glory," it is not at all likely that she would have granted an interview. But we must hasten with our story, for it is drawing rapidly to a close, and every light and shadow of the picture must be brought out or deepened, till the reality speaks for itself. While Naomi and her friends hurried as quietly as possible to get ready, their friend was hurrying away to enter upon the most perilous work of the night. CHAPTER LIII. AN ORDER PROMPTLY OBEYED. Lord Howe was very methodical in all his habits, and, except when he held a state party, or gave a dinner, never varied his hour of retiring for a single minute. At just such an hour he dismissed his valet, and no one was allowed to disturb him on any account until his regular hour of rising. Before that time, his aid, or adjutant, in a different part of the house, attended to any official call that came upon him. Another custom of his, well known for its very singu larity, was to sleep with his window raised, for, as a subaltern, sleeping in the open air, during the French and Indian War, he had acquired the belief that he could not sleep in a closed room. On this night Lord Howe had just blown out his lamp and retired to bed ; but the full moon shone in upon his table, where his sword and pistols were lying, and on another where he had just been writing a dis patch for the home government, detailing his plans as he meant to give them to his successor for a spring cam paign. Suddenly, so lightly and so quickly that it seemed

PAGE 227

226 An Order Promptly Obeyed. as if only a shadow had fallen on the floor, a Quaker l eaped through the open window and stood between him an d h is weapo ns, with a broad-bladed dagger, keen and pointed, closely poised over his unprotected breast. "My lord, breat he not loudly, even whisper, and I will kill the e where thou liest !" said this Quaker, in a tone so low , so stern, and with an eye so full of fire, that Lord Howe, who had stood unmoved amid showers of grape and canister, gasped and trembled. "I am John Roberts," continued the Quaker, "and I hold two orde rs from thee, given to Lord Cornwallis this afternoon. One is for the arrest of Naomi Slo c omb; the othe r for the execution of Adab Slocomb. Is not this right? Thou canst nod thy head if it is." Howe nod ded his h ea d. "Now, I want thee to write another order, to sign and seal it. It is that Cunningham, the jail e r, send Adah Slocomb to th ee this ni g ht, under my charge, without question , or other attendant . I will hand thy writing d esk to thee; but, mark thee, if thou makest one sound of alarm, I will kill thee, and escape as easily as I came in!" The proud l ord saw that he had no chance. He saw the butts of pistols in the waistband of the Quaker's clothes ; he saw d eath in his eye, and knew well he held it in his hand. Resistance was death, and he felt It. He could not even ask the Quaker what he meant by this strange de mand. "Write!" whispered the latter, "and write as I told thee!" Howe obeyed, and in the moonlight, on paper stamped with his own coronet, wrote the order, signed it, and placed his own sea l up on it. The Quaker r ead the paper carefully, placed it with the others in an inner pocket, and, still holding the dag g e r, drew out a strong cord, already noosed, and slipped it. over both wrists of the earl. Deftly, and so suddenly

PAGE 228

An Order Promptly Obeyed. 2'2 7 that his l ordship could not r es ist, if h e dared, he slipped the pearshap e d gag into his mouth. It was strapped and fast ened in a second. Then more d eli b era tely, and with great dexterity, the Quaker fas tened hi s feet s ecure ly, and so bound his body to the bed that h e could n e ith e r turn nor roll nor in an y wa y make a noise or si g nal for aid. His door was alr eady fastened on the in s id e . Now the Quaker consulted John Roberts' silver watch . "Verily, I have wasted time," h e sa id , in a low tone. "I have but a half hour to spare ere I will b e looked for with anxious eyes by those who will watch and pray for my coming. Farewell, proud ea rl. When the e next says thy praye rs, pray for 'Washington and Glory'!" His lord s hip c o uld not mutter a reply, nor even writhe, though his hot veins were almost bursting with impotent wrath. The next moment he was alone ; the Quqker went as he had come, like a shadow. * * * * * * * The provost j ai l keeper, the mon s t e r Cu nnin g ham, slept in his office near the jail door, ever ready to re ceive victims whenever they came. He trusted his outer door to no g uard, his bu s iness to no inferior . It was with in a quarte r of an hour o f midnight when his privat e bell tin g l ed in his ear. Quickly he arose, dresse d a s h e was, and went to the door. To his astonishment, he found John Roberts, the Quake r , the re, as he afterward swore on examination. "I didn't e xpec t you till daylight. The Quaker isn't to han g until s unrise, is he?" "That i s th e h o ur. But Lord Howe wants to force a con fession from him , und e r prete n se of pardon. He hath s ent me a l one to tak e him there that he may learn facts concerning Washington and his army. Behold the order. The ink is hardly dry."

PAGE 229

A Ride in the Night. "It is his lordship's sign and seal. I will arouse the man and bring him out ." "Nay, give me the key, and I will speak with him kindly before I unlock the door, else he will rage like a wild beast on seeing me. Hast thou bought the rope with the guinea I gave thee to-day?" "Ay, and a good bottle ()f Jamaica rum besides, to warm me up for the work in the morning. Take the key; your plan is the best." The Quaker took the key , was admitted within the jail, and Cunningham heard him talking in a low tone to the prisoner. Then, to his astonishment, Adah came out meek as a child, and stood at the door while the Quaker whispered to Cunningham : "Have all ready for the work at sunrise. I will bring him back to thee long ere that time. Good-night." "Good-night," said Cunningham. "Little I wot will Lord Howe be apt to get out of that rebel. He is one of the stony and silent sort who don't scare worth a sou!" But the Quaker and the prisoner were out of sight in a second. As they passed around the corner he re turned to his office, and took a second nightcap of rum, and turned in again, to sleep and dream of the work to be done at sunrise. CHAPTER LIV. A RIDE IN THE NIGHT. It was midnight, as the b e lls tolling on the ships in the river, to the number of "eight,'' gave note to all who could hear. Not one minute before, the person who had simulated John Roberts so well, accompanied by Adab Slocomb, hurried into the front door of Primrose Cottage.

PAGE 230

A Ride in the Night. The next instant Naomi g asped out, "My husband, thou art free!" and fle w into Ada h ' s arms. "There comes the w a g on . We have no time for talk or endearments no w. V.l e must be be y ond the B ritish lines before day da w ns," said the Quaker, earnestly. "Upstairs , F ri e n d A d a b , a r e two bundl es of drugged and silent h u manity. Thou knowest what they are. The y a re wort h one hundre d pounds in g o ld each, when deliv e red int o the hands of Gen. Was hington. You can carry one to the wagon-I will take the other. The n, with these females, thou wilt enter the rear part of the wa g on, where you will be unseen its cover, while I hold the driver in convers e . Once all in, we will move, and mov e speedily. I have pass and countersign -even more-an order for troops t o aid me if I w ant them , and we are safe till far beyond the British lines." "Hero! Friend! if I but knew thy name, I would so long a s I live couple it with every prayer I utter!" cried A dah, gratefully. "You shall know my n a me by and b y . Up now, and belp me pitch those bundles of wickedness into the wagon." Instan tly A d a h obeye d , and in a f e w s e conds two men , so wrapp ed in b la nk e ts a s t o lo o k like bales of carpet, or g oods , w ere carri e d out and pitched into the for e end o f t he wa g o n. The Quaker n o w approac hed the wagon e r, who sat in his sad d l e o n his offw he e l horse, a n d s aid: "Here a re t e n guine a s for th ee, n o w , John Armstrong. If thee h as me and my goods in Ge rmantown insid e of three h ours, thee shall hav e a g uin e a for e very t e n minutes less th a n that time the e m akes . " "Will n o t the guards d elay u s?" asked the wa g oner. "Nay . I have the counter s i g n a n d p as s from Lor d Howe." "Then, Friend R ob e r ts, I will do m y b e s t a nd s trive to mak e the time s uch that thou wilt have to give me four guinea s more."

PAGE 231

230 A R ide in t h e Nigh t . " I a m willing , for my bu s ine s s is urge n t and r e qui r e t h h as t e . " "Th e e c a n d e p a rt. Thy goods are all i n the wago n , " cri ed Adab, as s uming as n e a rl y a s possi ble th e whining t on e of Abraha m Carl i s l e . T h e wa g on e r at onc e starte d his p ow e r ful t e am, and as it m ove d on Adab spran g in and took his sea t be side N aomi, w h ose h and presse d his, and w h o s e h e ad now rest e d on hi s n ob l e b r e ast . They w e re ye t in p e r il. S h o uld , b y a n y stran g e acci d e n t, t he c o n d i t i o n of Lor d H o w e be di s c o vered b e fo r e the wagon was b e yond the Bri t i s h lin es, t he alarm wou l d b e spre ad far and n e a r by s i gnal rock e t s , eve r y pos t w o uld b e on the a l e rt, and t ro o ps i n m o t i on in e very dire c t i o n. And e ve n n ow, s h o u ld some extra z e alous offic e r take it i nto h is h ead to insp e ct th e c o nt e nts of the wago n, e ve n the p ass g ive n t o John Rob e rts, and now in the hands of th e yo ung Con ti nental , would s c arce l y b e ap t to s ave th em. But t h e y oung h ero, so p e rfect i n his dis g uise , rod e bol d l y in front of the wa g on, and s o w ell a n d bo l d l y ac ted his part as J o h n R ob e r t s , who was known t o b e in Brifo : h emp l oy and pay, t hat with i n but lit t l e ov e r t wo h o u rs h e was safely past eve r y post and p i c ke t o ccupie d b v th e B r iti s h for c es. A s t h e y drove on throu g h the o u tsk i r t s of Germantow n , the wagon e r cri e d out : "Loo k at th y watc h , Frie n d Rob erts , a n d see h o w many ex tra guin e as I am to h ave." The p o nd e rous timep i ece of th e v e rit a bl e J o h n R ober t s was lugg ed from its fob , and the an swer c am e q uick ly: "Thee h as ea rn ed thre e extra guineas, and t he e s hall h ave t hem s h ortly, wh e n th e l i ght of da y dawn et h . For we journey still fa r t h e r , to a de p o t in the c o unt r y w h ere I h ave sto r es of exceed i n g v alue, and where I a m t o r ece i v e two hundred poun ds fo r g oods n ow in thy wag on."

PAGE 232

A Ride in the Night. " F r i e nd Rob erts, the e i s a shrewd trader." " Ye a , J ohn A r mstro n g , thee will think so if I l e t thee in t o t h e se c r e ts o f my trade. But this is the time to m ake money ; t h e h a rv e st i s ripe, and he who will not re a p w h e n he h a s a chanc e i s not wis e . " "Tho u a r t r ight, Friend Roberts. Which road shaH I take now?" "Tha t to thy left, which l e ad eth toward the 'King of P ru s s ia' t av e rn, for there we will halt to refresh both m a n and b e a st." "Is it n o t v enturing too n ear the lines of the enemy?" as k e d the c a u t i o us w agon e r. "It is on the ro a d to Vall ey F orge, w h e re I h ear the camp of Washington is h e ld . " "Tut ! The r e b els will not stir from camp in this wintry wea th e r. Fear not. Do as I bid thee, and all will g o w e ll. " "Tho u kn o w est best, and art too wise to put thine own lif e in danger," said John Armstrong, and he urged on hi s h ors es again. In a s h ort t ime the w e ll-known tavern was reached, but a s l a n d l ord, hostl e rs and all w e re y e t in bed , the t e am s t e r o nl y wate r e d hi s horse s at the capacious troug h a n d th e n kep t o n , for Ro b erts see m e d anxious to get as far for wa r d b e fo r e da ylight as he could. But the roads were h e av y in th e country ; there was snow eno u g h to clog the w ago n wh e els, and the team began t o s h ow s i g n s of giv in g out. A n d no w J ohn Arms tron g was doom e d to r e c e ive a t e rri ble fri ght. The y had jus t crosse d t o the w e st side of t he S c h u y l k ill , o ve r a s h a k y o ld brid ge, wh e n , pa s s in g a g rov e o f c edar and spruce trees, th e y h eard a sh o r t , s t e rn s h out: "Halt ! " The n ex t m o m ent a scor e of arme d and mounted men ro de out b y t h e s i d e o f the s in g l e vid ette who had h a lt ed th e wa g o n , an d J o hn Armstrong saw that they we r e in Co n t in e nt a l u n iform .

PAGE 233

A Ri d e in the N i ght. " J ohn R o b e rts , we are J os t ! We are t aken!" h e groan e d. " I s h all l ose my wagon and m y h o r s e s ! " " W h ere i s J ohn Roberts? S h o w m e th e p e s til e n t traito r ! " shoute d the l e ad e r o f th e ho r sem e n . " I o w e him a grudge whic h on l y the h a n g ma n ' s rop e will r e pay! " John A r m st ro n g h ea r d n o r eply, but l ooking back w h e r e J o h n Rob e r ts had b e e n seat e d , s a w , in th e gray of the dawn j u s t c o min g , one o f th e m os t v vo nd erful transfo r mat io n s t h a t eve r me t m o rta l e y e . Off fle w the bro a d-brimm e d h a t o f th e Ouake r and h i s wi g, an d o u t s h o n e a yo un g and h a n d s om e fa c e, w hile th e n e x t i nstan t t h e Q u a k e r coa t was t oss e d bac k i nto the wag on , an d th e fo r me r w ea r e r exh ibit e d a C ont in e n t a l uni fo r m w h i c h h a d b ee n wo rn u nd e r it. A t th e same m oment the yo un g C o ntin en t a l s ho u ted o u t to t he l eade r o f t h e h ors e m e n : " Cap t. Holm es, can yo u n o t ge t fre s h h o r s e s to put t o thi s wa gon ? I h a v e treas u r e w ithin w hi c h must be a t Valle y F or g e befo r e noo n , and info r ma ti o n whic h w ill fill eve r y h eart t h e r e w i th j o y . Ada b , s t e p ou t and sh ow yourself ! " The g iant Q u a k e r w as i n th e ro a d in a moment, gra s ping the hands o f old fri e nd s , who h a d on l y l a t e ly h eard o f hi s capture and p e ril. The r e w a s n o thi n g said ye t , e it h e r b y A da b or the youn g Co n ti ne nta l , about t he c o ntent s o f th e w a gon ; that was r e s e r v e d , i f t h e sec r et c o ul d b e kep t, un ti l t h ey r eac h ed h eadquar t e r s at Valley For ge . Holme s i n sta ntly h ad th e s a d d l es t ake n fro m fou r o f hi s h e a vies t h o rs es, an d th e n exchan ge d t h em for t h e t eam in h a rn e s s , a n d J o h n A r m s tron g , s o r e l y b e wai l i n g h i s l o t , fo r he w as a T o r y in th e full e s t se n se , w a s ob l i ge d to ta ke h is s a dd l e again and drive o n . "You have s e rved th e kin g and Sat a n long e n o u g h ; w e 'll make yo u work for ' W as hington and glo r y' n ow , " s a i d tb e yo u n g h e ro . a s h e t o l d A r ms t ro n g h e w o uld p u t a bull e t t h rou g h him if h e s h rank from hi s work.

PAGE 234

CHAPTER LV. THE RENEGADE QUAKERS I N DURANCE VILE. It wa s but a littl e t ime aft e r h e h a d take n his noon day lunch th a t Gen. Washingto n , l ook in g fr o m his window, s a w a hu g e , c o ver e d wa g on , d rawn b y four hor ses, a pproac hin g his q u a r te r s at a trot. In fr on t a n d rear rode a s m all b od y o f h o r se m e n , amo n g w h om , to h i s g r e a t j oy, h e soo n r e c og nized th e port l y for m of Ada h S l o c omb , a n d th e l ithe, grac e fu l figu r e of t h e y ou n g C o n ti nen t a l w h o se watc h wo r d was "Was hin gto n a n d Gl o r y . " In fr ont of t he h ou se Isaa c Stac y was throwin g off a lo ad of w oo d fr om a s h ed , a n d o n t he p orc h D e b o r a h sto od, ta l kin g w i t h h e r fa th e r. Washing to n w e n t quick l y to t h e d o o r as th e wago n d rew u p in fr ont o f th e h o use, a nd t h e next m o m ent he exte nd ed a h and to Ad ah, w h i l e he r eac h e d out the oth e r t o the y o ung C o ntin enta l , w h o h a n d e d him a pa pe r, a nd sa i d : " Ge n e r al, a litt l e b e for e m i dn i ght, l as t nigh t , I h a d an int e r v i ew wit h Ge n . Howe , wh ic h I will expl a in mo re full y i n a r ep ort, b y and by . Thinkin g h is pla n of sprin g op e r a t i o n s m i ght in te r e s t you , I b ro u ght i t al on g . " "Strange a n d h e r oic y o u t h , f e w se r v e t hei r c ountry so brave l y and fa ithfully as you!" sa i d t h e gratifie d g e n e r al. "I h a v e a surpri se for yo u , g en e r a l , afte r Adab has got the dry goods part of the wagon l oad out." Ada h w as bu sy a t this wor k n ow, and in a minut e m o re D e bora h Stac y cl as p e d h e r m o th e r in h e r a r ms , w hile Naomi and Petnmi a S t on e w ent in to s ee H a nn a h Sl oco mb a nd gi v e h e r j oy on the r es cu e of h e r h e roic s o n . Then c a me the surp ri se .

PAGE 235

234 In Durance Vile. Conscious, but gagged and bound so they could n e ither speak or mo ve , John R o b e rts and Abraham Carlisle were lift ed from the wag on. The effect of the drugged liqu o r was gone, but they had been so well gagged and ti g htly bound that when s e t up on a bench on the p o rch th ey could not move or scarcely speak. "There, ge n e ral, are the t w o arch-traitors who have given you so much trouble," cried the youn g Conti n e ntal. "The re are the renegad e Quakers, John R o b erts a nd Ab ra ham Carlisle, and h e r e are the pas se s they h e ld from L ord Howe; h e re al s o are the orders they held to h ang Adah Slocomb at sunrise this morning, and an orde r for the arrest of his poor young wife, who, th e y had arranged, should be forced to see him executed." "Mon s t e rs !" cri e d the general , indignantly. "That i s what I c a lled them when I heard the plan,'' cried the young Continental. "Susan, thee is a treasure, and th y puddin g and spiced sauc e incomparable." The Quake rs g roan e d , for in an in stant, by the tone 1 of moc ke r y , the y knew who "Susan" was , and how they had been detected in their treach e ry, and foiled in their work. Washing ton look e d over the plans , passes a nd other papers, and th e n turned to Col. Fitzge rald, his aide. "Co l o nel, " sa id he , "have i ro n s for ge d , n o t les s than one hundre d po unds in w e i g ht, and riveted on these two black-h earted and infamou s tra itor s . The n throw th e m on th e g round in the stron g e s t g uardhou se, and pl ace four trus t y me n at a time to w atch o ve r th e m until the en e my ev ac u ate P hilad e lphia , which, it a p p e ars, w ill soon occur. The n they shall be take n to the provost jail a nd hun g o n the v ery g all ow s which wa s to bear the b ody o f our h e roic s c o ut a nd g o o d friend, Adah Sl ocom b . T ill t hen , no fo o d but th e c oa r ses t bre ad, no dri nk but wa t e r s h all p ass t he ir lips. They s h all not be all owe d to see an y o n e but t hei r guards; no l etter or w o r d must be p asse d from them, they must be treated with every se v e rity."

PAGE 236

In Durance Vi le. 23 5 "Merc y I g r ea t general , mercy! " gasped John R o b erts. " Such m e rc y as y o u w ould have meted out to Adab Slocomb and h i s h apless bride, shall b e yo urs , " s ai d the chief , s tern ly . The n, turning to Adab, h e sa id : "Frie nd Slocomb, yo u are a blac ks mi t h by trade . S e e to the for ging of the irons , which will take the place o f the rope now o n th eir limbs. Col. Fitzg er a ld , I h old yo u p e r s onall y r e s p on s ible for their safe t y till the hour of execution comes . " "Sir, they shall not even have a chance to die till the y swin g from the g allows tree ," said th e colonel. "Now I will he a r your report in d e tail," said the g e neral to the young Co ntin e ntal , and he w ent into his private room , while Adab sent John Arms tron g and his team to the gov e rnment stabl e s, and th e n accompanied Col. Fitzge rald and the guard with the pri so ners to the plac e of confinement, wh e re an hour lat e r they were so iro ne d that es c a p e was lit e rall y impo s sible, and guarde d by m e n who could not be bribed b y a crown's treasures to s h o w the m the sli ghte st l e niency. The y found now that treaso n to their nati v e land was no light off e n se, and th a t th e cru e l ties they had prac tic e d were f e arfull y r e coil i n g on their own heads. In vain they sou ght to open conver s e with their guards; in v a in pl eade d for p e rmi ss i o n to send to Lord Cornw allis for an e xc han ge, say in g he w o uld give a hundre d pri s on e r s in his hands for each o f the m. "No te n thous a n d would be e xchan ge d for yo u , wh o se li ves are forf e it to every la w, huma n an d d i v i ne," w as the s t ern answer th e y r e c e iv e d to their p i t i ful ple adin g. Meantime, the y could see dail y, as th ey sat o n the c o ld ground, th eir rec ent captive, Adah Slo c om b , mov i n g about with his h a pp y youn g wife b y his s ide, and more than once "Susan" came to ask if she was yet a treasure to them.

PAGE 237

CHAPTER L VI. RASCALITY PUNISHED-HEROISM AND VIRTUE REWARDED. It was summer a gain, and t he wintry snows which had draped the evergreens at Valley Forge bad gone down in moisture to give s t rength to sprouting grass and bud and blossom. Valley Forge was deserted by all but the few who had dwelt there before the army came, and there was a great change all over the land. Howe had gone back across the sea ; Ointon had taken his place; the tide of war was sweeping wildly over the Carolinas; France had openl y espoused the American cause; Washington had turned defeat into victory at Monmouth, and though some disasters bad occurred, the mighty chief could see "sunshine through the clouds." And in this glad summer hour, with Philadelphia once more fully in American hands, with all its de fenses g arrisoned, come the closing scenes of this story, one of which, attested by history, was one of the most int e nsely exciting of the e ra. I allude to the execution o f John Roberts and Abra ha m Carl isle, which , once decreed by W ashingtoo, was as c e rtain a s the rise and set of the sun, though hundred s of influential men asked a change of sentence, for po licy sake. The chief was inexorabl e . Their crimes demanded the te rribl e expiati o n , and p o licy was blind, while, for once , jus tic e stood open-ey e d . ' Me r e sk e l e tons to what they had been, those men we r e br o u ght out under the very gallows on wh ic h Ada h Sl oco mb h a d been doom e d to suffer, and while they p itifully conf e ssed their evil works, pleading only for life, they w e re swung up as an example to others

PAGE 238

Rascality Punished. 237 in that city who w o ul d h a ve be e n as b a d as they, had the y pos ses s e d the satanic co u rage . Tho usands had c ome i n from the c ountry around to see these notori o us v illai ns exe cut e d , and among the se c a me Job Turne r , hi s wi fe, and hi s tw o daughters, Almira and Katurah Ann. S u s annah h a d not y et returne d home. Meeting Adah Slo com b near the place of execution , after it was o ve r , J ob and his •family accept e d an invi tation to go to dinn e r at Sl oco mb Hall, where Hannah Slocomb , now recov e red fro m her wounds , presided, and where Mrs. Stacy , Deborah and Petrunia Stone were permanent guests, for Isaac Stacy still served with Washington. At the dinner table Job Turner and his family were introduced to Naomi and all thoie just mentioned , but one was not named, thou g h he sat by the side of Deborah St.acy, whom h e k ept in constant laugh by his jovial talk. This was the youn g Continental. Almira Turner seem e d to take a strange fancy to this young soldi e r from the moment sh e entered the room, and was not able to take her ey e s from him. And she had a g ood chanc e t o l oo k at him , for she was seated ne a rl y oppo s ite. He e ith e r did not s e e her continued and pe r s i s tent glanc e s , o r pretended not to , for he never l et his e yes res t on h e rs ; but he was doomed to a surpri se befor e the dinn e r w a s half over. F o r Almira, sudde nl y risin g, rush e d around the table, thre w h e r arms around the n eck of the young soldier, a nd ki sse d h i m again and again, with a f e rv o r whi c h re so und ed through the room , and while tears of joy rolled down h e r ch ee ks , s he cri e d : "Oh, Sus annah ! Sus annah ! you thought I d i d n't know you I" N o w , w hile Adah l o o ke d o n in r ea l wond e r t o th i n k how b l ind he had b ee n, l i ttl e D e bor a h Stacy ro a re d w ith lau ghte r , and fairl y jumpe d up and d own with deli g-ht, for this had been h e r "secret." She had kn o wn it from

PAGE 239

238 Rascal ity Punished. the hour when Susannah came and chan ge d clothes in her room at New Brunswick, to go and rescue Naomi the first time from Roberts and Carlisle, and she had kept it faithfully ever since. Old Job was d elighted. His Susannah, in a soldier's uniform, a hero praised by Washington, was a treasure that he could boast of until his dying day. Even Sally Ann, thoug h pretending to be shocked at s ee in g a woman in man's clothes, hugged Susannah with a fervor that nearly t ook her breat h away. It was a happ y family meeting, and thou g h Susannah persist e d even after h e r sex was disco ve red , in remaining with the army, we are h appy to record tha t she served with honor, and at the close of the conflict r etired with credi t. She had earned her commission , but she would not r e c e ive it in p e rson, but Ge n. Washington had the pleasure of handin g Col. Jim H o lmes his commi ss ion, when Susannah resigned her position as soldier, to be come a soldier's wife . Capt. Steers, as a major, at the same time, received sweet Debor a h Stacy from the hands of her parents, for they said she had been so l ong with army men, she couldn't be content without taking one for a husband. Adah Slocomb, and Naomi , his wife, and mother, with Petrunia Stone, witnes se d all these events, and gave "testimony that it was seemly a11d lovely to behold." And now, dear reader, the author thanks y ou for the pati ence and lovin g -kindnes s whkh has brought you through this story to THE EN.O.

PAGE 240

THE CREAM OF JUVENILE FICTION BOYS' OWN A Selection of the Best Books for Boys by the Most Popular Authors .Z-HE t itles i n this splendi d juvenile series have been selected with care, and as a result all the stories can be relied upon for the i r e xcellence. They are bright and sparkling; not over-burdened with l engthy descr;ptions, but brimful of adventur e from the first pag e to the las t -in fact they are just the kind of yarns that appeal strongly to the health y boy who i s fo ' n d of thrilling exploits and deeds o f heroism. Among the authors whos e names are inclu d e d in the Boys' Own L ibrary are Horatio Alge r , Jr. , Edward S . Ellis, J a m e s Otis , Capt. R alph Bonehill, Burt L-. Standish, Gilbert Patten and Frank H. Converse. SPEOAL FEATURES OF THE BOYS' OWN LIBRARY .JI. .JI. All the books in thi s series are copyrighted, printed on good paper, large type, illustrated, printed wrappers, handsom e cloth covera stamped in inks and gold-fifteen special cover designs. f 50 Titles-Pria; Volume, 75 cents Fgr sale by all booksellers, or sent, postpaid, on receipt of price IJ.J' '1le publiaher, DA YID McKAY, lVASHINGTON SQUARE, PHILADELPHIA, PA. (i)

PAGE 241

ALGER, Jr. One of the best known and mOBt popular writers . Good, elean, llealthy stories for the American Boy. Adventures or a Telegraph BOT Dean Dunham Erie Traiu Boy, The ll' lve HundreO: Dollar Cheek From Canal Boy to President From :Parm Boy to 8ena'<>r Backwooda Boy, The C. B. 1'.SllLEV. Karle Stanton Ned Newton New Yo!'k B07 Tom Brace Tom Tracy Griftlth Youns One of the best stories ever written on hunting, trappinir and a&. notore in the West, the Custer Mauacre. Gilbert, the Boy Tra.pper ANNI ASHMORE. A aplendid story , recording the adventures of a boy with smugglel'I. Bmucgler'a Cave, The C.&.PT. BONEHILL. Capt. Bon ehill is in the very front rank as an author of boys' stori es. These are two of his best works. Nek.a, the Boy Conjurer Tour of the Zero Olub F. BR1JN8. An excellent story of adnnture in the celebrated Sunk !Anda of llisaouri and Kanau. In the Bunk Landa FRANK H. CONVltR.8E. This writer baa eatabliahed a splendid reputation as a boys' author, a n d although his books usually command fl.26 per volnme, we o1Ier the foll o ll'lllg at a more popular price. Gold or l!'lat Top Kountaln Happy-Go-Lucky .Taelt Hei r to a Million Jn Bearoh or An Unknown B.aoe In l!!outhern Beaa Jllyatery or a Diamond That Trea.aure t VoYac& to the Gold cout DA VlD lkKAY, Publisher, Philadelphia. ( i i )


Download Options [CUSTOM IMAGE]

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.