The Liberty Boys and "Lame Joe," or, The best spy of the Revolution

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The Liberty Boys and "Lame Joe," or, The best spy of the Revolution

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The Liberty Boys and "Lame Joe," or, The best spy of the Revolution
Series Title:
Liberty Boys of "76"
Moore, Harry
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New York
Frank Tousey
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1 online resource (28 p.) 28 cm.: ;


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

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University of South Florida
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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.
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72801842 ( OCLC )
L20-00256 ( USFLDC DOI )
l20.256 ( USFLDC Handle )

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FRANK TOUSEY , PUBLIS H ER. 1 68 WEST 2S D STREET, N E W YORK. No. 1026. NEW YORK , AUGU S T 27, 1920. The Tory and the redcoats ran at Joe. Joe knocked the Tory down wit a Then, to the amazement of all, he raised a gun his shoulder. an ominous click. "Stand back!" said Joe. , Price 7 Cents


I The Liberty Boys of Issued Weckly-Subscripblon price, $3.50 per year; Canada, $4.00; Foreign, $4.llO. Frank Tousey, Publisher , Ult West 23d Street. New York, N. Y., Entered a!i Second-Class Matter January 31, 1D13, .at the PostOffice llt New York, N. Y .. under the Act ot March 3, 1879. No. 1026. NEW YORK, AUGUST 27, 1920. P rice 7 Cents. The Liberty Boys and ''Lame Joe'' Or, THE BEST SPY OF THE REVOLUTION By HARRY MOORE CHAPTER 1.-At the Tavern. A number of British soldiers sat at a table under a tree in front of a tavern on the 'road to Germantown, a few miles from Philadelphia. The enemy held both places, but the patriots, under General Washington, were preparing ,to attack the last mentioned place. They had been defeated at Brandywine, Howe had outwitted Washington and seized Philadelphia, and now was at Germantown. The patriot army was at the Metu8irnn hills , but there were spies abroad, and there was a band of one hundred young patriots much nearer to one branch of the British army. These were the Liberty Boys, commanded by Dick Slater, his first lieutenant being Bob Estabrook, his closest friend: Parties of the enemy often left Germantown to scour the country in the neighborhood, and the officers sitting under the trees on this pleasant day in late September, belonged to one of these British detachments. They were eating and drinking, and seemed more like a company of gentlemen enjoying themselves than a scouting party. They were not talking of war nor of the plans of General Howe or Lord Cornwallis, but of their exploits in love or in the chase, and of the fierce drinking bouts in which they had at times engaged. While they were thus occupied, a lame boy came along the road and halted a little way from the trees. His right leg seemed to be shorter than the left;, or was drawn up so that he was obliged to wear an extra sole to his boot to be able to reach the ground. He used a crutch also, and walked with SOI)1e difficulty. The redcoats paid no attention to the lame boy, who took a seat on a bench at a little distance ap.d seemed to take but very little notice of them. He rested his crutch agalnSot the tree and looked down at the ground, seeming to be simply resting. Anon a bustling potboy came a long and said sharply: "Now, then, look sharp, this is no place for beggars." "I am not begging,'' s a id the lame boy quietly. "Nay, not at the moment, but you are going to, as soon as my back is turned." "Ho w do you know ? " i n a quizzing t o ne. " Y o u hav e a crut ch.'' "Yes, I am lame. " "All lame folks are beggars," in a t one o f con "If I told you that all potboys were foolish, you would be angry." A boy in bl'own homespun rode up on an or dinary-looking horse and dismounted. "If you call me fo . olish I will crack your skull," said the potboy. "I have as much right to call you foolish as you have to say I am a beggar, knowing nothing of you, nor you of me," declared the lame lad. "But all lame folk are beggars. We have them here by the drove." "The lame boy was right, I fancy," said the newcomer, joining the cqnversation. The potboy looked saucily at the newcomer, but made no threats. The other was too sturd ily built, and seemed quite capable of taking care of himself. He was well formed and had brown hair and blue-gray eyes, an .cl a face tanned by exposure to the weather, and seemed to be a, boy of no ordinary make. He was erect and soldierly in his bearing, his eye was keen, and there was an alertness about him which at tracted instant notice. "What did you wish, sir?" the potboy asked, i ndustriously wiping a vacant table with his apron. "Some bread and cheese and a mug of milk," the boy answered, seating himself. "Shall I take care of your horse?" "No, he has sense enough to stand. " The boy went off, the lame boy watching him. The officers looked at the other and began t o whisper among themselves. The lame boy took his crutch and wrote something in the sand at his feet. What he wrote could be seen only by himself and the other. It was written so that the other b o y could read it, being upside down to himself. Having written, he coughed. The other boy looked up and read i n big, round letters in the sand: "You are suspected." , He nodded, and the lame boy erased the writing with a few swift strokes of the crutch. The officers, having finished their whispering, one o f them said: "You come fro m yo n der, boy. Have y ou seen any rebels?" "I have not," quietly. "You have much the look of one whom I have seen-blu e eyes, brown hair, a n erect c arriage, sq uare shoulders, firm chin, good mouth--" "Do all r eb e ls look like that?" q uietly. " I know others who have t h e same loo k as myself. B r own hair i s n o t unc ommon."


-. 2 :HE LIBERTY BOYS AND "LAME The potboy had been arranging things on the table while the other was speaking. "My word!" he said pertly, "there is a printed de s cription of the fellow in the taproom which is--" "A description of whom, boy?" asked the of ficer. "Of Dick Slater, the rebel, captain of the Lib-erty Boys." . "And it tallies with the looks of this fellow':" "Yes, sir." The suspected boy, who was none other thatn Dick Slater himself, was quietly eating his bread an

• THE LIBERTY BOYS AND "LAME JOE" trom a side pocket, he made the face of his horse nearly white, and did the same for his forelegs, : below the knee, and for the upper part of his left hin<}. leg. A rapid application of s ome of the paste to his hair made it gray, thus .greatly altering his appearance. A few lines on his face with a blunt crayon seemed to add twenty years to his age. Having made these changes, Dick mounted and rode on. Coming to a cro ssroa'cl, he turned into it and rode till he heard the tramp of horses coming from the direction of the tavern. His hearing was very keen, and he heard the horses before he saw them. Turning, he rode toward the main highway leading toward Germantown. He had not yet reached it when he saw the four officer s he had met at the tavern come dashing al ong the road. They met at the intersection of the two roads , and the leading officer said: . "Good-day to you, sir. Have you seen a boy in brown homespun riding a" hors e on this road?" "Truly, I have not, gentlemen," s aid Dick, in a high-pi tched, somewhat tremulous voice, "but I have ju s t come from the other road." . "Very true, but you might have seen him acro s s the field s ." "No, I have s e e n no one here but ourselves ,'' Dick answered as he rode alon g side. "He was going rapidly, and probably passed before this gentleman came in sight, " suggested one. "You did not meet him on the other road, did you?" a sked another. "No, sir, I met no one." "Then he has gone on, and we are sure to overtake the clever rascal in town." The redcoats went on at a gallop without hav ing once suspected Dick's identity. 'They are willing to give me credit for being clever," the latter said to himself, as he rode on at an easy canter, "but what would they s ay if they knew w ho I am?" He soon los t sight of the redcoats , and kept on at the same e a s y gait. He was provid e d with a pass, and when he reached the guardhous e, presented it and was allowed to proce ed without question. "My middle-aged and highly respectable appearance is a sufficient passport,'' he chuckled, as he rode on. • Others overtook him as he proceeded-soldiers, rugged farme r s , laughing boy s and girls-s ome greeting him courteous ly, s ome passing without a word, and a few laughing at his s edate appearance. At las t he entered the town, consi s t ing of one long straggling street som e miles in length. General Howe was encampe d at the far ther end of th. e town, Lord Corn w alli s bein.g stationed at Philadelphia, a few miles on. Dick stopped at a coffee house much frequented by -Officers, left his 4orse at the hitching post and entered. He had seen two of the redcoats through the window. The officers were talking with two other soldiers, and Dick heard one of them say: . "Yes, the clever young rebel came this way, and we are certain he did not t]lrn aside." . "Did you ask at. the or .at. the guardhouse if a person of his description had passed ? " "To be sure, but the guard had been changed within the half hour, and he must have gone by before the change. " " Oh , but we'll find him fas t enough,'' said the other, with an air of confidence. "Yes, we are all on the watch, and this is why we have warned you." "We will detain the rascal, you may be certain, if we see him." The redcoats Di c k had seen now went out, and he was about to follow when he saw a familiar figure It was the lame bo y he had met at the tavern. H e looked in, gave Dick a quick glance, and p r esentl y entered. Taking a seat in front of Dick, he s aid quietly: " We are on t h e same errand. Pe1haps we caii assist each oth e r." "Ye s ," said Dick. CHAPTER IIL-In the British Camp. Dick Slater and the lame boy were a l cne iri a quiet corner out Of hearing of the other occupants. "How did y o u kno w m e?" asked Dick. "You r eye s ." "Other s saw them; the very redccmts we saw at the t a vern, in.fact." "They are not keen o b servers. I knew you at the tavern." "You had s een me b e fo re?" "Ye s , I saw you le a d ing your brave boys at Brandywine." "Are you a spy?" in a low tone. "Yes, for Wayne or any patriot general who wants my services." "What is your name?" "They call me 'Lame. Joe' among the soldiers." "That i s sufficient, b u t ho w can you avoid be-ing suspected? You cannot di s gui s e yourself?" "If I am searched, there is nothing to prove that I am a spy, and they must release me." "How did you get away so quick ? " "I can go fast with my crutch. I ran around the house and got a spare horse." "I did not see you on the road." "No, I went acros s country, and took another road." "I am going to Howe's camp." "So am I. \Ve will meet there, perhaps." "Very good." They left the coffee house by diffe1ent doors, Dick mounting hi s hors e and riding nearly to Howe's camp. Then he dismounted, leaving his horse down a byr oad under a tree. The horse he usually rode was a magnificent black Arabian, named M.aJor, but he was too well known to the enemy to take on such a mission as Dick was then on. Walking carelessly on, Dick at length came to a large mansion over which floated the royal standard. This was General Howe's headquarters, and Dick determined to gain an entrance if possible: Howe knew Dick by sight, and had offered a reward of five hundred pounds for his capture, alive or dead. He ran a fremendpuss risk, in venturing into the eneral's presence. Risk was a secondary consideration with Dick, however, when a duty was to be per..


. . T H E L IBERTY BOYS AND "LAME JOE" formed. Entering the grounds, Dick went up the gravel walk toward the front entrance. "I have business withln, " he said to a sentry he met. The sentry said nothing, and allowed him to pass. At the great front door, w hich was open, he was confronted by a giant Hessian, who s tood motionless, his face having no more expression than a stone. "I wish to see one of the secretaries," said Dick, "to make application for--" The Hessian made reply in thick, guttural German, which Dick could not have undersotod even had he known the language. Dick showed his pass and put a silver crown into the fellow's hand, more llke a bear's paw than anything else. The shadow of a smile passed over the Hessian's :face. Then he stood aside and motioned with one hand t oward the door . Dick entered and shortly met a bustling little man all in black, with a big head and a bigger wig, who said: "Well, my go o d man, what is your husiness? Speak quic k . M y time is valuabl e." "Are you the chief secretary to t h e general?" Dick asked. "Well , no, not the chief; but I hav e his confi dence." " You will probably do as well, if not better, than any o n e else. I wish to make application :for a p o si t i o n as under secretary. write a beautiful hand." "H'm! Yes, step i n here and wait. I wi ll attend to you shortly." The b ustling little man showed Dic k into an ante-room and then hurried off . "He is safe," Dick said to himself. "He will not return, and now to get into the general's cabinet." Crossi n g the room noiselessly, he ope n ed a door cautiously and looked in. There was a scree n across an open door opposite, and from behind this he could hear voi c e s . He recognized one of the speakers as that of General Howe himself. "If the boy is in the town he must be captured without fail/' the general said. " Yes, your excellency," said the principal of the four redcoats Dick had seen at the tavern. "He is a most dangerous spy, Captain Knowles, and if -you are certain that he is in town it is your business to catch him." "He certainly came this way, your excellency, and, while I did not see him enter the town, it would be the very place where s uch a daring YOUllg rebel would go." "Then I rely upon you to find him, Captain Know l es. That is all for the present. Did you learn a nything of the enemy?' "No , YOljlr exce ll e n cy." "You will go there to-morrow and make full I hope." ' Y es , y o u r e xcelle n cy." Dic k was clo se to the screen placed across the doorway, but a little distance from it. He supposed that the captain would go out by the other door. Instea d of doing so, he came i nto the room where Dick was. " I beg fOUr p a rdon , are you Ge neral H o we ? " Pick asked. " I have a complaint t o m a k e. You aee, general, I had six c o w s and a bull on my p lace outside the town, and your soldiers came and--" "Bu t I am not the general; and, beside s--" "Then perhaps you will see him and lay 'the case before him. You see, the soldiers took away the cows, and now that the bull--" "Yes, yes, but see one of the secretaries. [ can't--" A ve1y consequential-looking lackey now entered and sai'Ci: "Ee j pardon, but the general cannot permit all this disturbance in his anteroom." "O i course not," and the captain fled precipitately. "Are you the general?" asked Dick of the lackey. "No, sir, I am not. Take a seat." Then he walked out of the room by the way Dick had entered, closing the door after him. Things were quiet in the other room, except for the rapid s cratching of a q u ill pen and the occa sional givi n g of some directions in a low tone. Then some o n e said: "Lieutenant Bow l es, with important informa tion. " "Admit him," answered the general. Then Dick heard another of the four redcoats say: "Dick Slater, the spy, is believed to be in town, y our excelle nc y." "So I have bee n informed." " H e is disguised as a lame boy, and successfull y passed the g uards by saying that he came here to get s urgical treatment." . "A lame boy, you say? That is a disguise which will be easily recog n ized . " "Yes, yo u r excelle nc y." "Then mak e a search through the town and arrest every lame boy fou nd. We will soon be a bl e t o pick out Slater from the crowd." "It shall be done, your excellency." Dick quickly turned one leaf of the screen so as to shiel d himself as the lieutenan t entered the room. "I must warn 'Lame Joe' tl'1.t he is in danger of arrest,'' was Dick's thought. The lieutenant passed without seeing him, and Dick moved back the leaf of the screen. "Nothing is as yet known of the movements of the enemy," he heard some one say. "They are thou! to be retiring to the interior of the Jerseys.' "Very good; but this must be confirmed." Believing that he could hear nothing important at that time, Dick made his way quietly out of the anteroom into the main hallway. He was almost to the front door whe n General Howe came 01..i, shot a quick glance at him, and said: "That is Dick S later, the spy! Arrest him!" Half a dozen officers sprang toward Dick. Then the lame boy suddenly came along, and one o f the officers fell over his crutch a n d upset two o t hers. Dic k at o nc e das he d down the hall i n the other directio n a n d escaped through the rear door and over a wall i n the garden . CHAPTE R IV. Dic k's Return . "That was a luck y e scape for met" muttered D ic k , as he made his way to where ne h a d left


THE LIBERTY BOYS AND "LAME JOE" his horse1 "but what will become of 'Lame Joe'.? Will he oe able to prove that we were not m collusion?" He heard nothing to alarm him, quickly 'rearranging his hair and tying the ends ma bow, he advanced as far as the principal street of the town. All seemed to be as it had been-people coming and going, but no confusion-and he quickly mounted his horse and rode away at an easy pace. He met the lieutenant and, looking back saw the lame boy coming along the walk. "Th ere will be trouble , I am afraid," he said to him s elf. He drew up at tpe side of the road and di s mounted, intending to engage the lieutenant in conver sation, and so give "Lame Joe" a chance to escap e . Lieutenant Bowles slipped by, how ever, and, seeing "Lame Joe," went up to him and said : " You are under--" "Y e s , the g eneral thought somebody would make a mi stake, owing to the stupidity of one Ser.geant Bowl egs," interrupted the lame boy. "Read this. " He thereupon handed the lieutenant a paper whi ch Dick read, looking over the lieutenant's shoulder. " B u t you are more than a sergeant, aren't you ?" D ic k s aid. "You're a colonel, aren't you?" "No; but I am more than a sergeant." "But why did you want to detain the boy?" "Oh, !iOmebody called Sergeant Bowlegs made a mistake and said that I was Dick Slater, but the gen eral knows very well I was not." "I was so informed," said the lieutenant snap"and my ,name is Bowles, not Bowlegs, and I am a lieutenant, not a sergeant." "You may be a general for all of me," said Lame Joe, taking the paper from the lieutenant's hands, "but you might know I was not Dick Slater." "Have you seen him in town?" eagerly. "Yes, but he does not look any more like me than this old man does. He is a boy and wore a suit of brown homespun." "Jove! that's what he wore at the tavern!" the 1ieutenant exclaimed. "Clear the road, the general comes!" called out a mounted guard, riding along the main avenue. Dick sprang on his horse and rode toward the guardhouse, while Lame Joe . was quickly lost aight of in the crowd. "He will take care of himself," was Dick's thought. "He is the best spy I have ever seen." The paper which Lame Joe had shown the lieutenant read as follows: "Permit the bearer, a lame boy, to pass safely cmt of the town. HOWE." "That paper may be of use at some other time1 " !!aid Dick, "although it might prove dangerous if found upon him by s ome of our s oldiers." Having no fear that Lame Joe would not make hls escape, Dick rode on. He left the town with

6 THE LIBERTY BOYS AND "LAME JOE" er with a resounding crack. Dick knocked down two more, and then the rest retired to a safe distance. Those who had been knocked down crawled away before they got up, and took to their heels. "What's the matter with you, you blame reb els?" demanded the big bully whom Dick had struck in the mouth. "We was only having a little fun." "So were we," laughed Bob. "Come on a;id have some more. It's jolly fun-for u s." "You 're too all-fired free with yer fists!" snarl-ed another. -"We wasn't hurtin' of the gals, an' they hadn't no call ter holler." " 'Course they hadn't, an• I ain't a-goin' ter stand no s uch a treatin'. Com e on, fellers, let's lick 'em." . The bullies were making a dash at the boys when a new combatant appeared. As the bullies were about to attack the boys, having recovered from their surprise, Lame Joe s udd enly dashed in among them. He used his crutch most effec tively, and more than' one of the young ruffians got a sore head or aching ribs. "Come on, all hands, and we'll soon rout 'em!" laughed Bob. Then he and Dick and the two girls on one side, and Lame Joe on the other, cut a swath through the mob of bullies and caused them to take to flight. The lame boy's crutch had proved a most formidable weapon, and a scythe could not have swept the bullies aside any better. They made off, having had a great deal more than they had bargained for. • "Come again and we'll have some more fun!" roared Bob. . The bullies could not see the humor of the situation as Bob could, however, and went away. "Your arrival was most timely, Joe," said Dick "and we are grateful for your assistance." "I' reckoned I might be ne. eded, as soon as I saw what the trouble was," the lame boy answered. "This is Lame Joe, of whom I told you, Bob," said Dick. "1 am glad to meet so good a patriot, and so fine a spy, Joe," said Bob. "These are our sisters," Dick added. "These cowards must have seen them with us, and so they attacked them." ... "I know them," said Lame Joe, with a look of disgust. "They.are nothing but a lot of sneaking, bullying Tories." "There is no doubt about their being bullies," said Bob indignantly. "No decent boy would attack a girl." "These fellows would steal a sheep, burn a barn, .or do anything mean, " said the lame boy. "Be careful that they do not discover your camp, for they will betray you to the redcoats if they can." ''We always keep a careful watch," said Dick, "especially when we are as near to the enemy as we are now." "I can readily believe that." with a smile. !'Vlhere were you going?" "Nowhere in particular now. Later I shall go to Germantown. I have General Howe's permission : to come and go, and that is much." "B\lt '1le permit was only to pass you out of the town, as I tinderstand it, to atone for the trouble they had given you in taking you for Dick, " said Bob. "Yes, that was so, of course, but General Howe ' s signature i s too valuable to throw away." Lame Joe then showed Dick the pass. The words "out of the town" had been so carefully erased that there was no trace of them. T h e paper, :>.s it stood, therefore, was a general pass, and permltt.ed the lame boy to go and come safely whenever he chose. "I knew that you would be able to make use of It," said Dick. "Only be careful that non e of our own men who don't know you get hold of ' "I will be careful," said the other, putt;n,,. the paper in his pocket. " Then they separated. CHAPTER VI.-Two Ways of Treati:-!g To:ies . Dick and Bob rode with the girls to the home of their friends, where they were well received The girls' friends knew them, and were glad to see them at all times. "But, tmY dear," said one of the girls to Alice, "your hair is all disarranged, and there is a spot of mud on your coat." "Have you been riding as fas t as that?" asked the other. "No, we have not been riding fast," said Edith, who was of a more gentle nature than Alice. The latter was more like Bob, who was very impulsive, even impetuous at times. "No. we did not," laughed Alice , "but some rude boys called us 'rebels' and we used our whips on them." "And then a lame boy came along and used his crutch," laughed Bob, "and did it most effect-ively, too." . The girls' friends were greatly Interested in hearing of the affair, but one of them said: "These boys are Tories and belong to an evil set. I am afraid their fathers will try to make trouble for you on account of this affair." Dick said nothing, but Bob sputtered, in his usual impulsive way: "We have had similar experiences, over in Westchester. The boys always lie to their fathers, and then the fathers try to browbeat us, but--" "There is trouble for them a s well a s for the boys," laughed Alice . "I always am sorry when brother encounters those evil boys," said Edith. "It stirs up dreadful memories, and sometimes those evil men make trouble, and--" "Yes, my girl," interrupted Bob, "but they usually get the trouble all on their side. Neither Dick nor I, nor any of the boys, are the sort of iellows to take any nonsense from these Westchester Tories, and I believe the ones over here are of the same breed." "You boys will get into another fight on your way back to. the camp," laughed Alice. "Why, Alice , " sai d Edith, "one would think that brother and Bob were quarrelsome." "We don't seek trouble of this sort, my dear


THE LIBERTY BOYS AND "LAME JOE" girl ," answered Bob, "but if any one attacks us we--" "They get better than they send," put in Dick dryly. "Brother Bob is right-now and then," laughed Ali ce. "And brother Bob sticks up for the right more than now ancl then," replied Dick , with a smile. They spent a very pleasant hour with the gi1 ls, and then the two boys set out for the camp. At the point where they had encountered the Tory bullies they suddenly encountered Lame Joe. Before they were aware of his prsence, he glided out from among a clump of bushes, using his crutch most deftly. "The boys are just around the turn yonder," he said, "and there are a number of men with them." "Exactly," laughed Bob. "Just as we expect ed. " "I can show you a bypath by which you can avoid them," said the Jame boy, "and they will be still waiting for you long after you have passed." "\Ve have never run away from fellows of this sor t yet, Joe, and we won't do it now ," said Dick quietly. "But there are twenty of them, half of them are men grown, and--" "We will try a little strategy on them," laughed Dick. "Come on, Bob." The boys then rode on as if they suspected nothing, and as they dashed around .the bend came in sight of the Tories. Then Dick waved hi s hat, looke d back as if toward a crowd of fel low s, and shouted: "Forward, Liberty Boys, down with the To rieF !'' "Liberty forever! Scatter them, boys!" fairly yelled Bob. Then both the boys discharged 'their pistols just over the heads of the mob of Tories. The latter could hear the bullets whistle over their hearl s and some could even feel the wind of them. Imagination can play strange tricks, and many of the Tories supposed that they were hit, and dashed away at full speed. This influenced oth ers, and they began to waver. And all this time the two boys were bearing down upon them as if they had a hundred boy s at their backs. The very fearlessness of the boy s terrorized the mob of Tories. They had expected to waylay two boys ten to one. A hundred, as they supposed them to be, was not to be thought of. As one or two sheep running will start a flock, so it was now. As the two boy s came thundering down upon them, firing and shouting, the crowd of Tories suddenly broke and fled. Some dashed into the woods, some fled across the fields, some got tangled up in the fence and a few simply stood terror-stricken, unable to move. The boys rode on with a shout and a laugh, and none followed them. Too late the Tories realized how they had been fooled, and were greatly chagrined. The boys did not keep up their tremendous speed for long, but pres ently slackened it, and rode on at an easy gait. The Tories did not follow them, however, and they weTe not again molested that morning. The boys all laughed at how Dick and Bob had scattered the To1ies, and Mark observed; "That is exactly how those Westchester Tories act. We thrash the boys, and then the fathers make trouble." "Or try it," said Ben Spurlock, one of the jol liest of the boys. CHAPTER V1I.-A Double Surprise. After dinner Dick set out alone towaid Germantown on Major. He was now in uniform, and it was therefore necessary to exercise some caution and not be surprised by the redcoats. He saw none of them in or around the tavern where he had met them the day before, and he rode up and dismounted. Riding a different hors e and not being in disguise, he was not recognized by the Tory landlord, who came forward and said obsequiously: "Can we serve you with anything, young sir? Tim!" to the potboy, "take the gentleman's horse. It is not so pleasant without as it i s within, the air being a bit chill." "I will see to the horse myself," said Dick. "I am accustomed to looking after him." "As you wish, and I have no doubt he will be better cared for. That is a noble animal." "Yes, so he is," and Dick walked to the barn leading Major. There was a crib near the barn, from which a view of the kitchen and the rear of the tavern could be obtained. Dick put Major in one of the stalls and turned toward the house . "You are a good patriot, I suppose," he s aid, wishing to know how far the landlord would go. "Of a verity I am, sir," Giles niade reply; "but I have to seem .at times to favor the enemy on account of the patronage they bring to the inn." "But you do not really favor the British?" "Certainly not, but they might do the inn great harm, and so I must need s be discreet, and not say too much." , "The hypocrite!" was Dick' s thought. He went in, hoping to hear some Hews of the enemy. Sitting down where he could see up and down the road, Dick asked: "There have been no redcoats out from Germantown of late, I suppose?" "No, not for three or four days. You are from the army at-at-where did you say?" "I clid not say," said Dick quietly. He had seen no other horses in the barn, nor any signs of redcoats. He suspected that Giles was trying to get information to give to the en emy, and determined to thwart him . He had wished to see if there were any of the enemy in the house, and was satisfied that there were not .. If any approached how he would s ee them, and could make hi s e s cape. "Oh, I thought you did," Giles said. "Timothy, see what the young gentleman wishes." "A mug of your home brewed," said Dick, who never drank anything of the sort, but sometimes called for it as an excu s e for remaining. The potboy went out and, as he d i d so, stamped twice on the floor. Instantly a trap flew up and two redcoats came out. The l a ndlord made a rush at Dick with a in his hand, and i hP. potboy s tood in the Joo rway. Dick sudden


1 ---,' 8 THE LIBERTY BOYS AND "LAME JOE" ly found himself covered by three or four weapons. "Ha-ha, you will not escape us to-day, Captain Slater!" said the lead ing redcoat, whom Dick now recognized as Captain Knowles. "So you think," said Dick quietly. "You are nicely trapped. We have been watch ing for you, and we sent our horses away and hid below so that you would suspect nothing." "You must give us some credit for cleverness, sir," laughed Giles. "I know that you are a scoundrel," said Dick, "and if you r emain longer in this place it w ill be for the reason that there are no patriots about to drive you out." "Take the fellow out," said Knowl es. "We will carry him back to Germantown on his own horse." Dick was quickly seized, resistance being useless. Then, walking between the two redcoats and preceded by the Tory landlord, Dick went out. As they nearnd the barn, Lame Joe sud denly appeared at the door. He was leaning on a pitchfork, which he used as a crutch. "I saw that you were i n trouble, Captain," he said, "and thought. I would go to your assist ance." "Down with the cripple rebel !11 cried Giles. "You had best be careful," said the lame boy. "Se ize him!" growled Giles. "He is a rebel spy!" The Tory and the redcoats ran at Joe. Joe knocked the Tory down with a blow of his pitch ork. Then to the amazement of all, he raised a gun to his shoulder. There was an ominou s click. "Stand back!" said Joe. Giles was on the ground, gazing with alarm a t Lame Joe. "Release the captain, " said Joe, in the n ex t breath. His weapon was leveled full at Captain K nowles . . "Why, you impertinent rebel!" gasped the lat ter, "how dare--" "Up with your hands!" said Lame Joe sternly. "In two seconds I will fire. one--" U p went the hands of both the rerlcoats in an instant. Quick as a flash Dick sn&tched away the pis tols of Captain Knowl es . Then he took those of the soldier. "Go back to the inn," he said. "Stay where you are, Giles." Lame Joe kept the Tory covered, and Dick ran into the barn and brought out Major. A sudde n soun d attracted his attention. "Quick, Joe!" he hissed. "The redcoats are coming." Then he leaped into the saddle as Lame Joe pick e d up his crutch and hurried away, throwing aside the gun. "Will you go with me, Joe?" "No, I s hall be safe." Reaching the road, Dick saw the redcoats dashing on at full speed. At one of the front windows was Timothy, the potboy, waving a red handkerchief. OHAPl'ER VIII.-Two Visits from Torie s . Lame Joe made his way off at remarkable considering his infirmity. He dove into the woods and was out of sight in a momen t. "That affair was very well managed," said Dick to himself. "Joe must have come up unexpectedly and hid in the barn." Dick knew that Giles was a Tory before this, but now the man could not pretend to be otherwise. "He tried to make me think he did not know me, but it was evident that he did. Now he has shown his hand, however, and he mu!;t put away all pretence." The redcoats came flying on after Dick, but there was no catching him, now that he was mounted on Major. There was no horse anywhere about that could overtake that beautiful black, once Dick let him out. The redcoats soo n di scovered this, and gave up the chase, fearing that they might be l ed into a As soo n as Dick saw that they had abandoned the pursuit, he went at an easier pace, keeping his eye on the road, however, lest other redcoats shoul d come from another direction. He saw nothing to cause alarm, however, and at last reached the camp. Half an hour later Lame Joe came up on horseback and asked to see him. Sam SanP.erson, who was on guard, had heard about the lame boy, and recognized him at once. "Go and tell the captain, Harry," he said. There were two boys near, each of whom were named Harry. They were Harry Thurber and Harry Judson, and were fast friends. "All right, Sam," they both said, as they ran • "H'm! I never thought of their both being Harry," laughed Sam. When Dick came up, he welcome d Joe , who had and took the lame boy to his tent, sending for Bob and Mark. "How did you that there was a plot against me, Joe?" asked Dick. "I did not, at first, but as I came up quietly, I heard Tim telling the cook that they would soon have you in Germantown." "They did not see you ? " "No; they were in the kitchen, and I was un der the window." "And then?" "I stole into the barn and hid. The gun was in the barn, but I d id not have time to load it." "Not load it?" asked Bob and Mark in one breath. Dick smiled. "The gun was no t loaded, Joe?" he repeated. "No, but the redcoats and that treacherous Tory landlord thought it was." "That was as good as if it had been," laughed Bob. "You saw me throw the gun aside, Captain?" the lame boy a s ked, with a smile. "Yes, but I thought you did not want to be encumbered with it as well as with your crutch." "It was a daring thing to do, threaten an armed man with a useless weapon," said Mark. "It was their thinking it was dangerous that made it so," ansv;ered Dick. "They had planned the affair well," continued the lame boy. "When they saw you coming the.Y sent the horses away by the back road which you could not see, the men hiding in a cellar Just under the taproom."


THE LIBERTY BOYS AND "LAME JOE" "I went to the barn with Major myself to see that no one was hiding there,'' observed Dick. "That Giles is a clever rascal," remarked Bob, "and the boy Tim is an apt pupil." "Now that we are sure of them, we will know how to deal with them," Dick replied. Sam Sanderson, walking up and down out side the camp, presently saw three or four rough looking boys approaching his post. He did not like their appearance, and decided at a glance that they were Tories. "If they are not some of the fellows with whom Dick and Bob had the trouble with this morning,'' he said to himself, "I tam greatly mistaken." The boys approached cautious ly, looking all about them, and one of them said: "What's this here, a fair?" "Does it look like it?" Sam retorted. "Let us go in?" "Certainly,'' said Sam. "Walk right in and look around." One of the boys had a black eye, and. the no se of another was s wollen. Sam was pretty sure that the bruises had been inflicted by either Dick or Bob or botH. Once inside the camp, the bu llies would be detained oh suspicion of being spies. One of them now whispered to the others, supposing he was not heard: "Don't ye go in there, ye fools . If ye do, ye will get arres ted." "Wull, I reckon we know that!" whispered one of the others. Sam sign alled to some of the boys, using a natural sou nd, and three or four of them approached. "Ya, ye rebels, ye think ye're goin' ter ketch us, don't ye?" snarled one of the Tory boys, for such they were, spl"inging back. "Rebels, rebels, we know where yer camp is now, anyh0w!" they all yelled, hurrying away. "Those fellows will fetch the redcoats,'' said Harry Judson. "They would hardly dare to come as far as this," remarked the other Harry. "They might bring Tories though,'' observed Will Freeman, an9ther of the Liberty Boys. "They would have to fetch a thousand then, if they took the u sual odds," laughed George Brewster, a New Jersey Liberty Boy. "They will try and make trouble, you may be sure," declared Phil Waters. When Dick came along, with "Lame Joe," Sam told him about the Tory boys. "I think they are some of those you met this morning, Captain, by the looks of their eyes and noses," he added with a laugh. "Do you think they were looking for the camp, Sam, or that they came upon it by chance?" "I think it was by accident, for they seemed quite surprised at seeing it here. They used their eyes pretty lively while they were here." "They will bring men and try to run us out." "That's what some of the boys think, Captain." "It suits me to stay here, for the present, so we must keep a lookout for them." When night came there no more guards set than usual, nor were the boys any more vigilant. They always kept a sharp watch on the camp, whether t h ey expected an enemy or not, and s o they were no more watchful than usual. It the Tories did come , the bo ys would be ready for them1 and that was all that need be said . It was growing late, the fires had nearly died out, and all was still around the camp. Sam, on guard at the same poin t as during the after noon, presently heard a suspicious sound. . "They are coming!" he said to himse lf. Then he made a s ound of the chirping of a cricket, repeating it several times . In a few minutes the c rickets were chirping all around. the camp. The Liberty Boys were signalling to each othe1 that the enemy were coming. At length the tread of a considerable body of men coming on at a rapid pace could be heard most distinctly. The fires burned ]ow, not a sound could be heard from the camp, and, as the, To1ies came on, they decided that the Liberty Boys must all be a s leep . CHAPTER IX.-Alice and Edith Abducted. As the Tories neared the camp one or two of the fires flared up, thus revealing its position. "Charge on 'em, fellers, run 'em out!" y elled one of the leaders. "Drive out the blame young rebels!" Then all the fires suddenly flared up brightly. At the same moment the Liberty Bo ys leaped to their feet. "Charge!" cried Dick. The Tories were seized with a sudden confu sion, as they saw the boys rise up from the ground, a s it seemed . When the boys charged, they simply turned and fled in all directions. The gallant boys routed them without firing a shot. They could hear the Torie s running this way and that for some time, crashing through the bushes, tumbling into the ditches, and thun dering down the road. The plucky boys pursue d them for a short distance only, laughing at their fright. At last the s ound of the retreating To ries was no longer heard, and the boys went back to the camp, greatly amused at the panic of the enemy. All was quiet before long, and they were not again molested that night. "If a lot of undisciplined ruffians think they can break up our camp,'' sputtered Bob, the next morning, "they will find themselves very much mistaken." "I think they have done it,'' laughed Mark, "and I don't believe they will repeat the mis take." Soon after breakfast Dick and Bob set out on their horses to see the girls . When about half way to the house they heard the hurried tramp of horses . In a few moments two riderless horses came dashing toward them. "Hello! those are the girls' horses !" cried Bob. "So they are. Something must have happened, quick!" answered Dick. Then the boys quickly halted the hors es, alld Dick flew on. Presently he came to a point in the road where the fence was broken down, and there were many confused tracks, as if a strug gle had taken place. Then the trail Jed into the woods, D ick leaping to the ground and quickly


THE LIBEUTY BOY S AND "LAME JOE". following it. There w ere the trac k s of two or three men, and of the girls , Dick knowing their I "The g-irls must have been on the way to the ean1,-,, .. enc y were waytaia by these m e n 'l'ori e s, no doubt," said Dick to himself. Then Bob came along with the two horses. Dick signalled to him to follow, l eaving the horses at the roadside. Bob was soon with him, and both followed the trail rapidly. Suddenly Dick exclaimed, pointing to a track in front of him: "That i s strange." "It is the mark left by a crutch," said Bob. "Yes, and we know of only one pers on about here who uses one." "Can Lame Joe have joined these ruffians?" "I can hardly think so. He may have come upon them. and be now following them." "Very true, for I don't think he would go in with such scoundrels." They hurried on, and soon came suddenly a_pon Lame Joe himself. "The Tories have run off with the young ladie s ," he s aid. "I meant to follo _ w them and then go and tell you." "We met. their horses running away," answered Dick, "and knew that something had happened, and the n w e found this trail." " V v h ere a rc your horses?" " Back at the roadside." " I will go and look after them, a nd see t h a t no one steals them." "Very good, although I do not think any o n e will." Dick and Bob hurried on, the woods growing thicker. They were well used to following trails, how ever, a nd w ent on a s fast as ever. At length t he y heard voices, and went on more cautious ly. Then they took different paths and went on, p a m ; inJ" at the edge of a clearing where there was a rude hut, a story in height. In front o f this were se ven or eight rough-looking men, sitting on stumps or standing a bout. They did not see the two girls , but s upposed that they w ere in the cabin. The men were all a rmed, and Dick reco g ni z ed som e of the m a s h aving be e n among the lot whom they had so c l eve r ly outwitted the day b efore. "Wull, they won't find 'em here, anyhow," growled one. "An' they've gotter pay u s pooty well for gettin' 'em back. " "Yus; they gotter give us ther black hos s, an' the big gray, an' the ioan, an' them two sorrels, a lot o' muskets an' pistols , an' forty pounds." The big gray was Mark's , the roan belonged to Ben Spurlock, and the sorrels were ridden by the two Harrys. . "Yus, an' they gotter surrender Dick Slater to us, an' we'll give him to the redco a t s ." "Fur ther reward, o' cou r s e?" "Suttingly, we ain't givin' of him up fur nuth in'." "0' course not." The boys dared not attack so large a party, fo1 fear that something might happen to the girls. Dick signalled to Bob to get around on the other side where there were no men. They both did 10, working through or behind the thicket till they were at the back of the hut. There was no cloot' at the r()a r , but there was on e w ind ow. All the men were in front, and the b oys coulrl a d vance without being see n, keeping t h e hut i11 line. The hut was nearer to the w oods h e r e than it was in front, al so. The boy s w e r e no w close together, and Dick whispered: "If w e can reach the hut, one of us c a n go in and see if the girls are there." "They probably are," answered Bob. "Yes, but we want to be sure." They advanced_ rapidly and cautiously, and reached the hut without being s een. Then they listened but could hear nothing. Dick gave Boh a signal, and the young lieutenant stooped, re:::t ing his hands on his knees. Dick sprang lightly upon Bob's back and looked in at the w i ndow. The .girl s were sitting on a bench near the doo1 . CHAPTER X .-"Lame Joe" Helps the Boys. • . ' Dick imitated the chirp of a cricket, r epeat ing it in a peculiar manner. The girls look e d up. and Edith said: "Why, there--" Alice put her h and over her friend's m outh. Fortunate ly there were n one of the T ories nea( enough t o take the alarm. "Ar e yo u bound?" Dic k whi spered . " No," repli e d Ali c e. " Do y ou dar e run out a nd j o i n us at t h e rear o f the hut?" "The me n a r e w a t ching it." " N ever mind, we will try s ome other pl a n." The n D ic k jumperl lig htl y to t h e groun d. "Got y o u r knife , B ob?" he w hi spered. " Ye s.' ' "This thingi s v e r y o ls possible . The y kept the hut between themselves and the men til! they were well into the woods and running less chance of being seen. Then they turned off at an angle and made for the road, Dick having a good idea of the direction in which it lay. They had struck into the trail which they had followed in going to the hut, when they heard sudden loud yells . "They have discovered the girls' escape," said Dick. "Quick_:..we must reach the road ahead of themt"


THE LIBERTY BOYS AND "LAME-JOE" 11 He then took Alice in his arms and hurried o n, Bob dolng -the same with Edith, to save time. T he Torie's would lose it unless they hurried straight to the road. Before long the boys could hear them coming on, yelling and making a ter rific outcry. Then they saw them, ,but by this time they were in. sight of the road. T hey reach ed this none too soon, and ...,Ut the girls on their horses. "Hui-ry on," said Lame Joe, entering the wood. "I will see to these fellows." "They will see you," said Dick. "No, they won't," and the lame boy suddenly sank to the ground. The boys sprang upon thci,i horses, but they were loath to leave their companion. They could not see him, however, and the Tories were cominc: on in hot haste. As he was ridi!lg away; Pick loolrnd back and saw the leading Tory suddenly pitch forward in the most unaccountable rumner and fall in a heap in the path. The man behind him, coming on at a tremenrlous pace, fell o :er him, and there was great confusion. 'IM third and fourth men were unable to Rtop, and they fell over the rest, thus incr0asi!lg t!'ie tangle. Then, of a sudden, Lame Joe i!ppea'ecl with his crutch, dashing rapidly across the road and dis appeared. "Joe hjd in the path and t ri.J>j1ed the first fel lo w with his crutch," laughed Dick, a s he rode on. "A very clever trick," said Bob; '"but Joe is a clever fellow, and you could not expect any thing else." Bv the time those in the rear harl come up the othe-r Tories were getting out of the tangle; but i t was now too late to catch either Dick and Bob or the lame boy. "\Ve know those fellows now,'' said Dick, "and if they remain in this section they are liable to arrest on a charge of abduction, which i s a very serious matter." "If they know what is good for them," sput tered Bob, "they will leave; but they may think that the British will protect them against the 'reb els,' as they call us." "Perhaps," answered Dick, "bllt if the enemy doe s not advance, and I run across any of these fellows, I will arrest the111 myself and turn them over to the authorities." "They were trying to get even with us for yesterday and last night," said Bob. "But those were boys yesterday," observed Alice, "while these were men. " "We met men and boys on the way back,'' ex plained Dick. "And the men came last night and were routed without a shot being fired," added Bob, with a chuckle. "I am afraid that the enemy means to advance," observed Alice, "and that is what makes thes e Tories so bold.'' "I don't think it is that," declare and well-knit groves. Near to the house, which was used as quarters for so me of the higher offi cers, was the camp of the Fortieth regiment of infantry, under Colonel Musgrave. Dick had noticed this camp when he went to Germantown, and n ow wi shing to ascertain if the enemy had advanced any since that time, he mounted :VIajor and rod e off toward the village. saw no signs of any redcoats at the inn a s he approach ed, and he rode by without fear. There might have been no one in the tavern for all the at tention he received. "If there were any redcoats there, they would not let me get by so easy," he said to him seH. When he was out of sight of the inn, he en tered a wood and climbed one of the tallest trees he could find. He had left Major in the woods, instead of on the road, for safety. He was not afraid of the noble animal being stolen, but of bein g r ecognize d, a s he was well known to the enemy. Reaching the top of the tree , he began to look about him. He looked first toward the inn, and, to his surprise, saw a reel flag flying from the cupola on top. "That's a signal,'' he said to himself. "They saw me pass, l!!nd this is to notify the enemy." Then he looked toward the village and could easily make out the camp at Chew's house. There was nothing nearer than that, but preir


THE LIBERTY BOYS AND "LAME JOE" ently he saw a party of a dozen redcoats come out from among the trees near Chew's house. He watched them for a few moments till he made sure that they were coming his way. "Our friend Giles has signalled to the redcoats that I am coming, and now they will come this way to catch me." He had iearned all he could, and now he de r;cended rapidly. Leading Major to the road, he mounted and then listened. He heard the sound of hoofbeats, but knew that there was only one person coming. "Who can this be?" was his thought. "A spy, o r just a wayfarer?" The newcomer shortly come in slght. It was Lame Joe. "There are redcoats apptoaching," the lame boy said. "Yes, I saw them set out," answered Dick. "Were you on this road? [ saw nothi ngof )'OU." "No, I was up in a tree," laughed Dick. "Ah! they are coming. I think we had better be go ing. " "Yes, they are going to the inn, no dou\>t." -"They expect to catch me or some obker pa triot," Dick said. "They were no tified of my coming by Master Giles, of the tavern yonder." The lame boy looked puzzled, and Dick ex • plained. "Did you suspect this when you climbed the tree?" "No, but thought I might see something that way, as well as by going on.'1 The tramp of horses was now quite di stinct. "They are tired of-waiting, and are coming on to the inn to enjoy a pot and a pipe." They rode on at good speed and at length came to the inn. Halting, Dick beckoned to the po t boy, who was serving some men at a table under a tree. "What would you like, sir?" asked the boy, coming forward. "Tell your worthy master," said Dick, "that I saw his signal from the house top, as I saw your own, the other day, and was warned by it." "The signal?" repeated Timothy. "I don't think I understand you, sir." "Yoi.! are not as stupid as you are trying to make out," said Dick. "At any rate, your master will understand my message, so deliver it to him." "They are coming," said Joe. "Yes, I hear them, but there is not a horse wlth them that can overtake me on Major." They now ro

; THE LJBER'I'Y BOYS AND "LAME .JOE" "Yes. " "How many are there?" "Six." "Not as big odds as one would think," muttered Bob. "They don't want to divide the money among too many, " laughed Mark. "How s oon do they expect him to pass, Joe?" Dick asked. "Jn about an hour." "It is a lonely place?" "Y c s, and dark at all times . The tn!es grow very thiclt, and it i s in lo w ground. " " Come , boy s ," said Dick , " we must prevent this robbery. Mark, pick out half a dozen trusty fellows ." "E"en, Sam, the two Harrys, Will and George," said Mark at once. "Very good , and with the m we 'll have Phil Waters, Ezra Barbour, Pau l Ben s on and Joel Walk er." The boy s were soon in the saddle and on the way to the s cene of the intended robbery . "It i s all right, I uppose, fo r Dick to prevent l'Obber y , and perhaps murder," muttered Bob, "but the Tories would never do it for u s." "I don't suppos e they would, " said Li she Green, "but the cap'n ain't lookin' at i t that way." "No, and I w9n ' t say he js not right, but I don't like to do favors to Tories ." "No; but I gues s ye would if the cap' n axed ye." "I suppose I would," with a laugh. The boys rode cautiously, so a s not to alarm the waiting Tories. At length they halted, at a word from Joe, and went on at a walk. The hiding place of the Tories was not far distant. The boys at length halted and drew up on each side of the road. The place was dark and still and very lonely, not a sound being heard, while the darkness was actually oppressive. Not a word was spoken, n or could any -sound be heard from the waiting Tol'ies. At length the clatter of hoofs was hear.d , growing every moment more distinct. Then the lights of the coach and the lanterns carried by the outriders could be seen. At a signal from Dick the boys moved steadily forward. Lame Joe remained in the rear, as he could not get about a s rapidly as the Liberty Boys. On came the coach, and now thenwas a sudden rush from the thicket at the side of the road. "Stand and deliver, !" "Your money or your life!" "Down with 'em, fellers; kilJ the old villain if he don't give up his money." Then there was another rush. "Charge, Liberty Boys!" cri ed Di c k. "Down with the Tory highwaymen!" "Liberty forever! Scatter the robbers!" e c hoed the gallant lads. By the light of the lanterns the Tories saw a dozen L iberty Boys bearing down upo n them. They did not know how many m ore there w ere, and they did not stop to learn. Jn a m oment they were darting into the wood s on one s ide or the other, or up the road. It was Dick's intention to escort the coach as far a s the tavern, and then to let it proceed on its way . When the robbers had fled, however, the driver having stopped his hors e s , a crabbed old man stuck. hii; head out of the coach window and snapped: "How dare you stop me, you rebels? Stand aside or I'H drive right over you!" "You are at liberty to drive on, sir," said D :ck. "We have no intention of robbing you." "Ha! don ' t tell me that! What are you doing here, you miserable rebels?" "We came to prevent a robbery. Thes e men _were overheard plotting to rob you." "H'm! give the young iebels sixpence api e c e and tell 'em to go. That's as much as they ought to get." "We want no rewar d ," said Dick, "and we w ill escort you in safety to-" "Get from rebel s?" protested the other. 'H'm! you will want protection yu n selves when General Howe know s that your r e bel g eneral i s coming on and--" "Sei ze the driver and outriders , boy s !" c1 i e

I • 14 THE LIBERTY BOYS AND "LAME JOE" Boys for that night. They were carefully guarded, although they had every comfort, and were treated with the greatest consideration. The Tory's papers were gone over carefully, and Dick had no reasdn to doubt the information they contained. Tory spies had heard of Washington's departure, and had sent word ahead to the old man, who had meant to give it to H..owe.. In the night a messenger arrived at the catnp with instructions to Dick to join the advancing army in the early morning. This was proof positive that the Tory's information was reliable. Be fm e dawn, of a dark, foggy morning, the Lib, erty Boys broke camp and were on the march. A s the old Tory could be regarded as an enemy, if not a s py, he was forced to go along. When the advance guard came up, he was sent off about hi s business, as he could then do no harm. If there had been less stir and bustle, he would probably have been ,put under arrest, but now he was simply hunied aside. An elabora.te plan of attack had b ee n made, and the troops were now moving forward. There were two or three roads to Germantown, and upon these moved forward the divisions of the attacking army. Dick put himself under the orders of General Wayne, with whom the Liberty Boys had fought before. The lame boy disappeared soon after the arrival of the troops. Dick had no doubt that he' would make himself usefu l, however. It was a dark, foggy morning when the patriots began to advance by the different roads to Germantown. The plan was to make several simultaneous attacks , so as to take the enemy completely by surprise. Wayne was to . advance along one ro-ad, Greene by another, and Armstrong by s till another. There was a heavy fog, the roads had been ba:l. the troops did not emerge from the woot.i,, on Che stnut Hill till after daybreak. A detachment was sent ahead to attack the en emy 's picket at All en's house. The alarm was soon given, and the il'l6tant roll of a drum was heard, calling the redcoats to arms. The picket guard discharged their two six-pounders and retreated down the south side of Mount Airy to the battalion of light infantry, who were forming in line of battle. As the patriots purs ued them U te sun arose, but was soon obscured. Wayne led the attack, the gallant Liberty Boy s cheering as they found themselves once more in active service. The enemy fell back, but s oon rallied, and a hot fight began. The enemy s oon gave way again, but, upon being supported by the grenadiers, returned to the charge. Sullivan's and Conway's brigades joined in the attack, the rest of the troops being too far to the north to, give any assi,stance. The enemy fled, . hotly purs ued by Wayne, the fog and the sm oke making a darkness which was most confusing, some of the patriots at times firing upon their comrades. The whole of the enemy's advance fled into the village, purs ued by Wayne, leaving their tents standing, with all their baggage. Colonel Musgrave, with six companies of the Fortieth, threw llimself into Chew' s house, barricaded the doors and low e r windows, and took. post above stairs. The r esid ue of the divisi ons tam e up and Musgrave opened fire upon them, Some of the officers were for pushing on and leaving the house unmole s ted, but General Knox stoutly objected to leaving a fortress of the enemy in the rear. Half an hour was lost in trying to force the house, and the action was disconcerted on account of the brigades being separated from each other. The original plan of attack was only partly carried out, the fog and smoke rendering all objects indistinct ata few yards' di stance, and then a s udd en most unaccountable panic seized upon the troops. Divi sion after divi sio n fell back without seeming'to know the reas on. \Vayne's troops, who h a d pur sued the enemy nearly three miles, were sud denl y alarmed by the approach of a body of American troops, whom they mistook for' the enemy. The n they fell back, in defiance of a ll the eff oxts of the officer s to rally them. The Liberty Boys remained firm, -but with the men on all s id es fleeing when victory was certain, they were' at a great disadvantage. The enemy, having recovered from their first surprise, now advanced, Lord Cornwalli s coming up from Philadelphia with a division of light horse. As every one was retreating, the Liberty Boys fell back to their old camp, where they resolved to wait for further orders. What might have been a victory was turned to defeat, but the patriots had shown that they could face disciplined troops, and but for an unfortunate mistake, would have won the day. "Never mind," said Dick, "the war i s not ye t over," and all the boys cheered. CHAPTER XIV.-The Lame Bo y's Story. Washington had been reinforced by the arrival of twelve hundred troops from Rhode Island, under General Varnum, and by nearly a thousand from Pennsylvania, and Maryland. He therefore drew near to Philadelphia, and took a 1stron g po s ition at White Marsh, fourteen miles from the city. Large bodies of militia were now detached to scour the roads in the vicinity and intercept all supplies going to the enemy. This was a task just suited to the tastes of the Liberty Boys. They could move rapidly, attack an enemy, and be off in a moment if the latter proved to be too strong, and come up a.gain at an unexpected moment. When the boys heard the instructions of the commander-in-chief, therefore, they were greatly pleased. "There will be plenty of work," added Mark. "We'll have enough to do to keep u s from getting too fat," laughed Ben. "It'll make no differ to Cookyspiller," said Pat sy. "He would be fat, no matther what hap pened." "You vas eated too much to make you fat," retorted Carl. "An' how l s that?" "You was eated s o much dat it was make you din to carried it around already." "G o'n wid yes!" said Patsy. The boys were getting ready to send out scout parties when LB:me Joe came into the camp. Thi s was the fir s t tune they had seen him since just before the unfortunate battle of Germantown. They were sure that he brought news,


. . THE LIBERTY BOYS AND "LAME JOE" lb and w e 1 e eager to lear n wha t it was. T he l a m e boy w e n t to Dick's t ent at the invita t i on of the young capt ai n. The n Bob and Mark were sent for. "You have new s ? " Dick said inquiri n g l y . "Y es. I know o f a wagon tra in tha t mean s to wo r k its way secretly into Philade lphi a under cover of the night." "With s upplies fo r the enemy?" "Yes." "Then we must intercept i t . Yo u know where. it will b e to-nigh t ? " "Yes. O u l' frien d, G i l es, at the tavern , h a d informat i on concerning it, w hi c h r obtain e d . " "Good! Yo u can direct me to the pl a ce without going w ith u s ? " "I can." "Jt must b e arduous for y o u to make your way. abou t the country even on horseback, lame a s you are?'' " Yes, i t is , " said Joe, "but I h a ve a duty to perfo r m. " ' ' Your servi ce to your country?" '' Yes, but there i s another a s well, and that is why I go abo u t from place to pl a ce." D i ck look ed interested, and Joe continued: " I am in search o f one dear to m e, who has been m i s s i n g fo r two years or mo1 e, since be fore the beginning of the war, in fact." "A rel ative?" "Yes; a s i ster. She was stolen wh e n a child, between fou r and five years of age. She would now be sev e n . " "Do y ou know i f she still lives?" ftl am not certain that she i s de a d, and so I k eep u o m y search. I became a spy, going from place to p lace, that I might look for her." . "By whom was she stolen?" "Someti me s I think they were gyps ies, and sometimes I am inclin e d to think they were travel i n g m o u n t ebanks, tumblers and jugglers." "There were s uch p e opl e near a t the time?" ''Y e s.'' "And y ou have followed s uch bands?" " Yes, but with no s uccess to s pe a k of. " " Y ou have had no tra ce of her?" " I w ou ld hear of a child b eing with this or that band, but when I came up with it, I would find that i t was not my Ro s a. " "You have no other relations?" " N o n e whom I care for," and Joe' s forehead clouded . Dick felt sur e that there was some mystery here, but he said nothing. " There i s an uncle , my father's brother," the boy said at length. " I do not like him." The boys remaine d silent, and at l e n gth Joe continued: "Tf she were proven d ead befor e her eighth year , i t w ould mean wealth to him. If I died before com i n g of age, it would mean still more." "Yo u a r e of means, then ? " "No , but t h ere w ill be much if I live. I! I die, m y unc l e profits . " "You think h e has spirited the child away?" "I d o n:)t k now . H e has the wlll t o do it, but I do n o t k now if he has. That I canno t prov e ." "Do you s u spect him? " "I have nothing on which to b a s e my su s pi cions . " "Has he

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