The Liberty Boys at Reedy Fork, or, Keeping the British puzzled

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The Liberty Boys at Reedy Fork, or, Keeping the British puzzled

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The Liberty Boys at Reedy Fork, or, Keeping the British puzzled
Series Title:
Liberty Boys of "76"
Moore, Harry
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
Publication Date:
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1 online resource (28 p.) 28 cm.: ;


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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
025745119 ( ALEPH )
72801842 ( OCLC )
L20-00153 ( USFLDC DOI )
l20.153 ( USFLDC Handle )

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: ' HE LIBERTY 6~......., A Weekly Magazi, n e containing Stories of the American Revolution. _Issued Weekly-By S11bs"ci-ipti o11 $2.50per yea~ . E ntered as Second -Class Matt e r at the ..Nem York P ;,t Ojfite,' F e brua r y {, .11101 , by F ran k ~ !l' O ti•'!! • ' No. 348. NEW YORK, AUGUS1' 3 0 , 1 9 07. Price 5 Cents. Dick and Bob, concealed in the bushes, saw the Redcoati; (dash upon:~tie, two Tory youths. render, you rebels! " they cried. In vain the Tories protested that they were loya,l subjects, and were carried off still protesting.


THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76 A Weekly Magazine Containing Storie s uf the A merican Revolutio n ZsS'Ued Weekly-Ev Swscriptwn $2.50 per yea, . , Entered. according to Act of Congress, in the year 1901, t1& me office o.t ihe L,'brarian of uonuress, Washington, D. C., by Frank Tousey, Publisher, 24 Union Square,•New York, No. 348. NEW YORK, AUGUST 30, 1907. PRICE 5 CENTS. CHAPTER I. THE REVOLT IN THE SCHOOL. There was a buuing as of a hive of bees in the little North Carolina schoolhouse. Two score boys and girls of all ages from eight to eight e e n w.ere poring over their books studying their les s on s . uddenly there came the sharp rap of a ferrule on a deal d e k. . There was instant silence among the forty boys and gnls. _ The schoolmaster, a tall, severe-looking young man of twenty-two or three said in a rasping voice: "First class in geography come forward." Six boys and nearly as many girls left their desks and took seats on a long low bench in front of the little plat form where the schoolmaster sat. "Phyllis Brown, where do you live?" "In North Carolina," said a big girl at the end of the line. "Phoebe Willis, where is North Carolina?" "North of South Carolina, soui:_li of Virginia, and bor dered by the Atlantic Ocean." "Eunice Standish, what does North Carolina belong to?" "The United States of America." "Randall, who is the ruler of North Carolina?" "The governor and the pe?ple," said a tall, fine-looking boy at the farther end of the bench. "Wrong!" snapped the schoolmaster. "The King of England rules the Carolinas and all the states. Now, then, who rules these states, formerly colonies?" "'l'be people," said the boy, firmly. "Wrong. We are subjects of the King. Now, then, answer." "We are a free people since the Declaration, and we are fighting to maintain our freedom." The ferrule came down with a thump which made som of the smaller boys start. "Stand up, sir!" sharply. The boy stood up. "Now, then, repeat: We are subjects of King George III, and owe allegiance to him alone." 'l'he boy kept his lips firmly closed. "Repeat it, I say!" sternly. "I will not!" slowly and firmly. "We are not subjects of the King. We have thrown off the yoke of the tyrant. The Continental Congress, the legislature, and the people, they rule the country." The schoolmaster's brow grew black. "Come here!" 1Tbe boy obeyed. "Hold out your hand!" Again obedien{!e. The schoolmaster rose, took the extended hand:, and Etruc k it a sharp blow with the ferrule. The boy never winced. Twice was the blow repeated, but the boy remained silent. "Now, then, answer correctly!" snapped the s~bool master. "I have!" said the boy defiantly. "We are a free people, and King George does not and nev e r shall rule us, and you know it!" The s choolma s ter's face grew livid. H e was about to strike again, when the boy pulled away his hand. "Class, answer!" the schoolma ster snapped. "Who rules the states?" "The people!" said the three girls who had fir s t an swered. 'rhe others, except Randall, who s aid nothing, answ e r e d as directed. "Phyllis Brown, why do you answer that way?" stri dently. "Because that is c orrect." "It is not correct! Step forward! Hold out your hand!" Then the boy spoke. "Phineas Doggett," he said, "if you strike that girl, I'll knock you down!" "'rhis is rank insubordination!" "It is not. It is resistance to tyranny." The schoolmaster, stubborn and unthinking, struck the girl's hand, which he had suddenly seized. 'l' he boy instantly kept his word. Flying at the schoolmaster, be knocked him down, send ing him reeling across his desk. There was an instant tumult. The smaller children began to cry and to crawl under their desks. Some of the larger ones rallied around Randall and the three big girls. Others hissed and raised a shout or the King. All order was at an end for the moment. The schoolmaster picked himself up and seized a heav ier ruler. At that moment two boys, older than any in the school, entered at the rear. They wore homespun suits and three-cornered hats, and seemed to be more than ordinary boys. "What is the trouble, schoolmaster?" asked one. There was some sort 0 order as the newcomers ad vanced. "It is none of your affair. li'am master here, and I mean '


THE Ll.13ER'l'Y BOYS AT REEDY FORK. to show this sancy rebel that I am. I will have no inter-I "11 e ,rill r esume our le ssons," said the master, weak ference from outsiders!" sharply. ening at last. "Class is dismissed. First clas in spelling." "I have no wish i:p interfere with discipline. I am in Then Dick Slater and Bob Estabrook, liis first lieu favor of it, in fact. Still, I would like to know th e cause tenant, left the schoolhouse, and the buzzing of the boys of the disturbance. Will you tell me, miss?" to Phyllis. and girls over their work was the only sound heard . "ifr. Doggett struck me, and Randall Williams, that boy at the end o.f the bench, knocked him down, just as he said he would." "Why did Mr. Doggett strike you?" "Because I would not say that the king is the right ful ruler of these states." "Who is?" quietly. "The people and their represen tatives in Congress and the Legislature." \ "Correct!" and half the school cheered. "Let me tell you, sir," snarled Phineas Doggett, "that I won't have any such rebel heresy taught in my school." "Are those the instructions of the school board?"

TI-rn LIBERTY BOYS AT REEDY FORK. 3 There wer e r edcoats a ll about, a n d some of them might be encountered a t any moment . It was for this reason that the boys wer e not in uniform. They coul d do m ore if they were not known to be patr iots . As they were r iding o n they suddenly heard the quick tramp of a horse's fee t . In a moment the a ni ma l came a r ound a bend in the road, running l ike mad . On his back was a young girl, clinging desperately to the s::addle and vainly endeavoring to control him. He was running away with her, beyond a doubt. He held the bit firmly in his teeth, and there was a look in his eye that showed 'that he was badly frightened. "Stop him, Bob!" said Dick. At the same moment, he urged his own horse, Major, forward so as to intercept the runaway . He caught at the l atter's bridle, as he flew pas t and got hold of it. Throwing Major back upon his haun •hes, he stopped the runaway, a Bob came up and threw himself acro s s the roa

4 THE LIBERTY BOYS AT REEDY FORK. boy, riding a bay mare just behind Mark Morrison, the. second lieutenant. "Didn't he, Jack?" asked Dick. "How was it?" "Why, a party of them undertook to chase us, but mistook the direction," with a laugh. "You chased them instead?" "Well, you don't see any of them, do you?" "They saw us and came after us," said Mark, "but, as ,Jack Warren says, we sent them the other way. W e chased them furiously, and did not _ havc to fire a shot." "No, I have heard none. I have made arrangements to be signalled when it will be safe to cross the river, and we may have to leave here shortly." , "But it won't be long before we are back again, eh, Dick?" asked Ben Spurlock, one of the jolliest of the boys. "Not very long, Ben; but as you saw the redcoats in that direction, suppose we take another." They went off down a byroad, and at length came out by the schoolhouse. At this time the boys and girls were at recess, playing at various games on the green. Seeing Dick and the Liberty Boys, Randall Williams came up to them. "There hasn't been any more trouble," he said, "but lfr. Doggett won't teach me anything, for spite." "He's the same with the girls," said Phylli s . "He won't horseback," llaid Di ck . "Her father i s on the school board." "Then Mr. Peda gogue will be looking for another school, if he isn't careful," laughed Ben purlock. "Spread about, boys," said Dick, shortly. "Avoid brushes with the enemy if you can, but take note of all you see, and of their munbers. We will meet at the river bank no latrr than unset this evening." • Dick and Bob went one way, lark and Jack another,~ and the rest in different directions. As Dick and Bob were not in uniform, they could approach the redcoats with greater safety than the oth ers. As they rode on, keeping not fa r from. the river, they at length came upon a small encampment of the enemy. T hey rode on carele sly, and a numb er of the r edcoats approached them. "Where are you two bumpkins going?" asked one. "Huh?" asked Dick, looking especially dull. The question was repeated. "Ain't gin' no place purtic'lar . Is there goin' ter be er fair or er circus here?" "A fair? No, indeed." "Oh, I thought there was, with all them hosses an' all yer pooty clothes." , "That's a fine horse of your ," said one, eyeing :Major critically. "Yas, he's pooty good." give us a chance to recite, and he won't explain things." him?" "He don't want us to stand anywhere in our classes," "Don't you want to sell "No, I reckon I don't." added Randall, "and tells the Tory bovs everything, while J "He's too good for you." we have to get it all out ourselves." "That will make you all the smarter in the end," said "Wall, he don't mind that, an' I don ' t care." Dick. "So he will defeat himself." "You'd better let us have him," putting his hand ou the bridle. "I am as high as I can go in this school, anyhow," said the boy. "You are all boys, aren't you, in the Liberty "I'll rassle yer tet see cf yer git him. If I ~h;1ow Boys?" yer, then yer can't have him . " "Yes, aU of us." "And can I have him if I throw you?" asked the officer, , who was confident of winning. 'Do you want any more?" " St1.ttinly." • "Yes, we do." "May I join, if father and mother will let me?" Then Dick got down, Bob holding Major's bridl e., "Do you wi h to do so?" 'l'he two clinched, and in a moment the redcoat was on "Yes. I wanted to be a soldier, but I was only a boy. his back, without. knowing how he got there. Am I big enough for the Liberty Boys?" "Best two in three," he said, getting up . "Yes, quite. Come to me when school is out this after"We didn't say nothin' erbo u t that," with a drawl. noon, and we will talk it over . " "Well, let it go. Ready?" "\Vhere ?" "Yes." There were a number listening whom Dick did not time the redcoat was on his back sooner than trust and so he said: before. "I will find you." "I'll bet you can't do that again," he said, boastfully. "Very good," said the boy. "I will take you to father, "Yas, I kin." and I-et you talk to him." "Will you bet the horse that you can?" Just then the school bell rang, and the boys and girl~ "What are you bettin'?" ran back to their studies. "l\fy horse." "He's a fine looking boy," said Jack Warren. "Jll:uh! he ain't wuth it. I've throwed yer twice enny " And just our sort," added Mark. how." "We'll probably get him," observed Bob, "but there "I'll bet you you can't do it again." were some sneaks around, and Dick did not wish to talk "Really?" before them." "Yes." "That was a very pretty girl with him, too," said Jack. The word was hardly out of his mouth before he was "I imagine they are fond of each other, if looks count thrown. for anything." ''Can I have the horse if you can't throw me?" a ked "She is the sister of the girl whom Bob and I met on , another.


THE LIBER'l'Y BOYS AT REEDY FORK. 5 "Yes. Best two i n three, though. 'Tain't fair to keep throwing the same fellow all ther time." "'Very well. Come along." The man was thrown twice with p e rfect ease. Two more who proposed the same conditions were be ted with little or no trouble. Then another stepped out, and offe r ed to contend for the possessi9n of the black horse. Dick exchanged glances "ith Bob, after lookin g the man over. "Shucks! I ain't ergoin' ter rassle with ther hull rig'ment," he drawled. "Yer wanted ter git me tuckered out, an' then get ther hoss." "He i sn't such a fool as he looks," laughed one. Dick was perfectly capable of throwing the man, but he wished to vary the game. "Ef yer kin throw this feller two outen three, yer kin hav e ther hos s," he said to the applicant. The latter agreed and the bout began. Bob stripped to his shi rt, and threw the man after a short struggle . Then he allowed himself to b e thrown. Thi gave the redcoats some encouragement. The third trial was longer than the others, but Dick n ever doubted the result. Bob and the redcoat clinched, and rolled on the ground, Bob undermost. Hi, sho ulder s did not touch, however, and all at once he tmned his opponent over and pressed both s hould ers to the gro und so that they made deep impressions in the soft earth. 'l'hen a perfect giant of a r edcoat came up and said: "You can't throw me once, either of you." Dick looked the man over and saw that although he was big, he was mu scle -bound. "Will this be ther last?" "Yes, but I'm going to throw you every time," boastfully. "E yer don't will that settle it?" "YeE." Dick did not allow the man to get a grip on him, kept him puzzled as to what h e was going to do, and then _ , after tiring him out , threw him so heavily that he lay like on e dead . "That's all," said Di ck, mounting hi s horse. " Yer can't always tell how a cat's goin' ter jump by lookin' at his whiskers, an' k entry fellers knows more than yer think they doe s , sometimes. " Then he and Bob rode off as the man was reviving and took their way toward the schoolhouse. As they came in. sight of it, they saw that something wa s about to h appen. "Keep quiet, "said Di ck. CHAPTER I V. A PLUCKY BOY. School had just been let out or the day. As the boys trooped across the green, half a doze n of the largest and two or three not so large, approache d Randall. That their intentions were bo~tile was evident at the fir st. "Rebel! rebel!" they cried, derisively. "Hard words break no bones," replied the boy. "There's no Liberty Boys to take your part now, and we're going to lick you," sai d the biggest. "Come and try it. Eph Piggot," sa id Randall. "I'll take you fir st, because you ' re the biggest." "Yer'll take ther hull of u s," snarled another big fel low. "Come on, boy s." Then the lot of them pitched upon Randall, who was alone, his friends having gone on. They heard the shouts, however , and quickly returned. The Tory boys kept all around Randall, however, and ihe others could not get at him to help him. For all th. at, he handled the bullies severely and gave several of them some hard blows. They had got him down , however, and would have pun ished him severely, had not Dick and Bob dashed up and pulled them off. "For s hame, you cowards!" cried Dick. "Can't you fight faif'? W e ll, you've got to. Watch them, boys." Randall now got up, threw off his coat, and wiped his face. "Which one do you want first, my boy?" Di ck asked. The other boys pointed out Eph Piggot, and Dick sent h im into the ring. In two minutes Randall had bla cked both hi s eyes and cam:ed him to yell "enough." "Rest .vourself," said Dick. "Who is the-n ext?" "Josh Swinart." Another bully wa::; pushed into the r i ng and punish e d quite as quickly as i.he last. "Give me a couple of minutes' re st, and I'll try another," the plucky boy said. "\Yhich one will you have?" "Pete Hogg." After getting his br~ath, wiping his face, an d tighten ing hi s belt, Randall tried a third of the bullies and soon forced him to cry for quarter. The other~ now be gan to look anxious and to glance about for a chance o-f escape. If Randall vanquished the three best and strongest .fighter s of the lot, there was little chance for them, even if he were fatigued. ".Jim Huc ks!" Randall now said. But Jim Hucks said he had no t touched Randall, had onl y been looking on, and did not think it fair anyhow for so many to attack one. "You were one of the first, you sne ak!" sai d Randall, contemptuously. "Come on and get your lickin g lik e a man, if you've got any spunk!" The patriot boys forced the bull y into the ring where he soon fairly turned his back on Randall and howled to be l et go home. Bob kicked him out and then three or our of the bul lies made a dash, a nd got away safely. "Lick the re s t of 'em, boys. Randall has done enough or one afternoon." No soone r said than done .


G THE LIBERTY BOYS .AT REEDY FORK. The boys flew at the bullies and caused them to beat a hasty retreat. The schoolmaster had disappeared during the melee, and nothing was seen of him. Phyllis now came up and said: "That was fine, Randall, and there won't be one of these s n eaks and bullies dare to look at you after this." "I don't know that they'll get a chance," said Randall, "for if father will let me, and I'm good enough, I'm going to join the Liber ty Boys anc1 go off with Captain Slater to fight for my country." "You're good enough, all right, my boy," said D ick, "and now if you'll wash your face and put on your coat, we'll go and see your father." Randall did not look very much the worse for wear when he was ready to go with the boys, although he had received a number of pretty hard thumps at the outset . The boys went with him to his house, about half a rriile distant, and found the elder Williams at home. Dick introduced himself, and said: "Your son Randall wishes to join the Liberty Boys. If you are willing, I will gladly take him, for he is just the sort of boy we want." "You are fighting for independence, you boys," said ~fr. Williams, "and doing a noble work. Do you want to go with the boys, Randall?" "Yes, father, if you are willing, and Captain Slater thinks I am fit." "You may never see your home again, my boy." "I will have died for my country, father," firmly. "You may be sick, and die without fighting a battle." "It will be for the country's sake, father," proudly. "You may never see mother and sisters again, Randall." "If mother says I can not go, I won't," said the boy. "If you love your country and are willing to give up your life for it, I can not hold you back," said the boy's mother, who now came out. "If you need me, mother, I won't go, but will stay at home and take care of you." "Your father can do that, my son, but he cannot go to war." Mr: Williams was an invalid, and while able to do a certain amount of work, was unable to do active service in the field. "Then may I go with the Liberty Boys, if Captain Slater will take me?" the boy asked eagerly. "Yes, my son." Randall threw his anns about his mother's neck and said: "That's a de{lr mother, and if I dome back after the war is over, I will take care of you for the rest of your days ." "'I'hat's the sort of boy we want," muttered Bob; "uni:;elfish and brave." "Then say good-by to the folks, Randall," said Dick, "for I am quite satisfied. You are strong, plucky, and well built, and we will soon teach you to ride and shoot and all the rest." ".And we will be in the neighborhood again before long," said Bob, "and very likely be here from time to time for some while." Randall then went off with Dick and Bob but presently met Ma rk and Jack with an extra horse which D ick had told him to ride. Before they r eache d the river they met Phyllis, who said: "Why, Randall, you are surely not going away witho~t saying good-by, are you?" "Of course not," laughed the boy. "Come over here a minute. I want to tell you something." Phyllis wall

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