The Liberty Boys as scouts, or, Skirmishing around Valley Forge

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The Liberty Boys as scouts, or, Skirmishing around Valley Forge

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The Liberty Boys as scouts, or, Skirmishing around Valley Forge
Series Title:
Liberty Boys of "76"
Moore, Harry
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
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
Rights Management:
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 )
L20-00271 ( USFLDC DOI )
l20.271 ( USFLDC Handle )

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} ' RANK TOUSE\ : . PUHLISllER. 16S WEST 230 STREET, NEW YORK No. 107 5 NEW YORK. A UGUS T 5 , 1921. Price 'I Cents .. Dick dq_ubled up h i s fist an. d gave the spy a smash in the face. "Drop that old m a n ' s coa.t ! " Ile exclaimed, angrily. Meantime Mark was holding up tbe otheJ;" wan with a pistol. The hunter now rushed to Dick' s aid,


The Liberty Boys of l11ued Weekly-Subscription price, $ 3.5 0 p e r year; Canada. $4.00 ; For eign, $ U!O. Frank T o usey P u blisher 168 West 23d Str ee t , New Yo r k , N. Y . Ente r e d a e S eco n d -Class M a tter January 31, 1913 , at tbe Post' Offi c e at New Y ork. N . Y., under the Act o f Marcil 3. 1 879. No. 10 7 5 NEW Y ORK, AUGUST 5, 1921 Price 7 Cents . The Liberty Boys As Scouts Or, SKIRMISHING AROUND VALLEY FORGE By HARRY MOORE CHAPTER I.-A Fight in the Snow. The American army was in winter quarters in Valley Forge. The weather was severe to begin with, and the troops were rendered stilf more uncomfortable by the lack of proper clcthing and of insufficient food. Many were without and thr.!'e who had blankets often gave them up to those who were barefoot. Aqded to all these di scomforts, there was also the danger of being attacked by the enemy, parties of whom now a n d then approached Valley Forge, frequent skirmishes occurring. Besides the redcoats and Hessians, there were Tories, who every now and then made their appearance like wolves around a besieged town, robbing where there was notl)ing to spare, and rendering every one de sperate. The British still occupied Philadelphia, and parties went out now and then on foraging expeditions, although there was little to be had, and between these and the marauding Tories the patriots had a hard time o f it. It was approaching evening on a dreary winter afternoon when a party of three or four boys in patched and faded Continental uniforms, left a little collection of huts which served as a camp, and set off through the woods. These were some of the Liberty Boys, a brave band of one patriot lads fighting for independence, and devoting themselves heart and soul to the cause. One was the captain, Dick Slater, a Westchester, New York, boy; another was Mark Morrison, the second lieutenant, and the others were two privates, Ben Spurlock and Sam sanderson. The boys' uniforms showed wear, but their faces showed health and a determination to fight out the battle in which they had engaged whatever might betide. "Come, boys," said Dick, "we may be able to find something and, at all events, drive off these maraudin g scoundrels if, as they say, they are about. " "It is a shame that they cannot let the old man a l one," sputtered Mark Morrison, who t hrashed his b ody with h is arms to mak e up for the loss of suffic i e n t underclothing. " Y es, but some fellows would rob a dy i n g man, " mutte r e d Ben. There was a n old man living hard by, w h o, repor t s ai d, had been robbed by Tories, a n d Dic k was no w o n his way to h is ho u se, a s well a s t o obtai n p rovisions. A s the boys w ere proceedin g through the wood, Dick heard the sound of a voice and halted, holding up his hand. The boys stopped abruptly, and then Dick advanced cau tiously, backoning to the others to follow. The sound of the voice grew louder, and Dick suddenly halted on the edge of a little opening and reverently removed his hat. There on his knees in the i:;now, with his head uncovered, kneel ed the commanderin-chief, George Washington, pouring o u t supplications to the Almighty, praying for the success of the army and for relief to the suffering men who remained to him and to their principles despite hardships and privations. Dick and the boys stole away, hats in hand1 leaving the general to his prayers. "Can one wonder why we won't give up the fight, no matter how badly we fare?" said Mark, in a low, tense tone, when they were out of hearing, "when Washington himself prays. for us?" "We never will give it up, Mark," said Ben and Sam. "Here we are, boys, illy clothed, poorly fed, livi n g in huts, and all around us men perishing from hunger and cold, yet willing to die for their country. Will you tell me that our cause is net a jus t one, when men and bo y s will bear all this for its sake?" "No one will, Mark," said Dick gravely, "or none of us, at any rate." "Nor any one who has a sense of justice," animatedly. "Does H we , does Cornwallis , do any of the redcoats pray in th,e snow for the relief of their people ' s sufferings?" "No, they don't," said Ben. "They must have their balls and touts, their theaters and operas, their tennis courts and bowling alleys, and all their other amusements." "If their cause were just they would not want these, but they must have them to quiet the voice of their consciences," added Mark. Reaching the road, where the travel was only a little better than in the woods, Dick said: "Go on, Ben and Sam, and see what you can find. Mark and I will go to the old man's h ouse." Be n and Sam set out along the road in o n e direction, while Dic k and Mark too k t h e other, crossi n g the road and takin g to the woods aga in. I n a short time they met a man i n a suit of b ucksk in and a coonskin hat, with a double-b arreled shotgun slu n g over his shoul d er. "Good d a y, Captain, " said t h e hunter. . .


., ... ...... 2 THE LIBERTY BOYS AS SCOUTS "Good day," said Dick. "Any game in the gathe1ing, and the putting out of the lantern seemed to make it grow very much darker. wood s?" "Well, it's there, but it stays there, and won't come into my bag. 'Pears like game is as scarce as everything else this winter. The rabbits take to their holes quicker'n greased lightnin' when they see a gun, and the bears seem 'to be friz up, and as for pa'tridges an' goose an' sech, they're a s scurs e as honest men. I donno how folks is goin' to live at all if this sort o' things keeps up. " "Yes, we , have many hardships to endure," re ' Dick, "but we must make up our minds to them." "Well, I reckon we'll have to, Captain. I've got to shoot something very shortly or I won't haYe any supper to-night, and I reckon if I can't find a deer I'll have to take up with a woodchuck." "A fine fat woodchuck is better than nothing, by a good deal," Dick replied. "Or a good fat rabbit. You won't starve with either." "No, I reckon I won't, but I haven't got either yet, and that's the thing that's botherin' of me." They were going along together through the wood when Dick suddenly stoppe d short. "Listen!" he said, bending his head. Mark am! the hunter stopped and listened. In a moment they heard a shout, and then lo;Q,d call for help. "Keep your hands up!" cried Mark to the man before him. "If you let them down, I'll put a bullet in you." The spy escaped into the woods before Dick. could get the old man's coat off his head. "I'd like to have shot him," said the hunter regretfully, "but I've only got one charge in my gun, and I want that for something for supper. " "Put on your coat, Mr. Brownlow," said Dick. "What were these men going to do?" "They wanted money, and when I told them I had none, they made m'e take off my coat, although it is bitterly cold and I have no great coat." "Do you know any reason for their waiting to rob you?" ' "No; for I am a poor old man, dependent upon my daughter and my grandchild for all I have. " "They have robbed you before, have they not?" "Some one has; they have taken turkeys and chickens and a pig. They say that you boys have done it, and call you young rebels, but I know you would not do it." "No, we would not. The person s who have said this are Torjes, and are probably the robbers themselv6s." "Forward!" cried Dick. in some danger." "What shall I do with this fellow, Dick?" asked Mark. "It i s getting dark, and he is growing uneasy." "The old man may be "Bring him here, Mark," said Dick. "I will Dick Mark dashed ahearl at a good speed, but 'the hunter came on more slowly. "I'll cat<'h up," he shouted. Coming in t o a little opening in the woods, they found an oTd man without a coat and shivering, two rough-looking men standing before him. On the ground lay a lantern evidently dropped by the old man, his hat lying half buried in the snow near it. One of the men helct the old man's coat, the poor victim shivering with the cold . "That's Monks, the Tory spy!" cried Dick. "And that's Ruge Hodge, another Tory, with him!" said Mai:k. "He may be a spy, too, for all we know." Dick knew Monks, for the man had barely escaped with his life from the of the Liberty Boys only a few days before. "There they are!" Dick exclaimed. The boy . s dashed ahead, having no fear of the men. Dick doubled up his fists and gave the spy a smash in the face. "Drop that old man's coat!" he exclaimed angrily. Meantime Mark was holding up the other man with a pistol. The hunter now rushed to Dick's aid. The spy. as Dick had called him, staggered backward under Dick's blow, his hat falling off light the lantern and we will have a look at him." " I know him, Dick. He is Rufe Hodge, fl rascally Toi:.y, living on the other side of Valley Forg e. They say he has a lot of mortgages on property about here, and that his methods of dealing with the men who get into his clutches are not strictly honest." "Excus e me, but I think I smell game a-com inP"," said the hunter at that moment, and in another he \.Yas gone. Mark marched his prisoner over to Dick, who by that time had the lantern burning again, and held it to the man's fac e. "Why do you torment this poor man?". he asked. "I was not tormenting him; h e owes me money, and I was merely telling. him that he ought to pay it. I did not make him take off his coat. That was the other man. I do not know him. He threatened to shoot me if I said anything." "Is that s o, Mr. Brewster?" Dick asked. "The man said so, but I don't believe he meant it. I have papers in the case which Rufe Hodge would like to get." "What are they?" "Receipts for money paid in the mortgage of my daughter's little home, paid by her." "She ha;; not paid any money in two years," • snapped the other, "and I have not foreclosed, "Settle him, Captain!" shouted the hunter, "an' bec..ause I am tender-hearted, and--" into the snow. if you can't, I'll help you! He's a thunderin' At that moment there was the sound of some skunk, that fellow is, and the other ain't much heavyllbody rushing through the woods, and then better." the sound of a shotgn going off. Mark and The man called Monks, who had the old man's Dick had just time to get out of the way to precoat in his hands, gave the garment a sudden vent being knocked down by the rushing 'body fling and tosi

I THE LIBERTY BOYS AS SCOUTS 3 "Ghe him another if Jie needs it, Captain. Thaj; was my last sfiot." "B:e is dead," said Dick, holding up his lantern. "You were very fortunate." "Well I :Feckgn I was, !:tut wnat have you done with sktink of a Tory, Rufe Hodge?" "He's gone," said Mark. "Your bear made as jump aside in a hurry, and the g0t "You say have the papers? asked Dick of the old man. "Yes, in my pocket. My daughte1 thoaght I'd betterkeep 'em." "Then see that you do, for this villain Hodge wants them, and the other was his accomplice, for all that they djd m>t seem to know each other" "I try; but I am an old mam, and--" "Then give them to me." The old man put hi s hand in his :pocket and uttered a sudden cry of alarm. "They are gone!" he said. CHAPTER IL-Visitors at the Camp. "Gone!" echoed Dick Mark and the hunter. "Yes, they are gone.' I had them ill the inside pocket of my coat, where I always carry them, and now they are gone." "They may have fallen ont of the pocket when the spy threw the coat over my head," sai'd Dick. "We must have a look for them." He then held the lantern close to the ground and looked all about where he had been standing, bnt couM see nothiug of any pa;iers. "Were there many Qf them?" he asked the old man. "Yes, the:re was quite a bundle of them. You woul'd see them if they had fallen, and theY" would make quite a hole in the snow." Dick and Mark looked all about, and in the dhection taken b y the escaping S]ly, !rot saw nothing of the papers themselves Qr any sign tu show that they had fa11en i:n the snow. "I am afraid that Monks has stolen them," said Dick, "and that he and Rufe Hodge mean to share the proceeds. You have no other papers to show that you have pai.d this money?" "My daughter has memoraJlda, giving the dates and the sums paid." • "These may be of some u s e, but I am sorry the papers are missing. I believe that they have been stolen, and that these two scoundrels are , accomplices . We shal1 )'lave tg iotlow the matter up." . "You better take home as mach o ' this bear meat as yon can carry, otd," said the hvnt er "and you, too, Captain. I've got more'n en'ough to sup,ply me, and if I leave it here t_he wolves and foxes will get it. I can log qlillte some of it, but not a1J." The hunter had skimied the bear, and ha,d cut off as much as the old man could carry, also cut ting off a gene:rnus portion for Dick and Mark to carry between them. ''I'm powe:r:iul strong," he said, "but I can't au this bear meat, and if you. want to have it you better take it now, 'cause it WQn't :be here by morning if you qon't." Ben and Sam came un at this time, and repm1ted having knocked ovel' a couple of wild turkeys, which they had over their sboulclerS'. you no more powder and shot?" asked Dick of the hunter. "Not a smudge." . "Then we'11 let have s 'ome, and will gladly take some of the bear meat, for we do not often getsuch a luxur-y nowadays." At this moment there was. a call from the road, and a woman's was bea:rd saying: "Father, is that you? Wher e have you been? I have been expecting you for a long time." Then a woman crune up, and Dick handed her the lantern, saying: Hy onr :father was waylaid by a couple of vil lainous Tories, but fortunately we came up i n time to drive them off. " "l am greatty obliged for your assistance; but c ome, father, we mus t be at home s oon or Bess wrn be wondering what has kept u s ." The woman and the old man, the latter ca:rry ing his portion of bear meat, now went off with the lantern, and the hunter took all that he was able to carry, the boys taking the rest. "My name's Zeke Sawl:ins," s,aid the hunter, "an' I live over yonder 'mong the hills. I ain' t got no more use for skunks ' n I h;ive for Rufe Hodge i s a old rascal, an' t other feller is just as bad, I rE!ckon, only I don't know mueh about him. Rufe .had a mortgage on a bit of a house I own, an' he threatened to foreclo se, sayin' I hadn' t paid him when I had, but I just up an' give him two minutes to ' Jow he had made a mistake or get fult o' ?ead, and he reckoned .he I1ad', and I was neve:r troubJed after." "YOU had paid ? " "Certain I had paid, but he reckoned I'd thrown away the papers or s omethi_ng; but I hadn't. WelI 1 reckon I better be gom'. If you should need' any help in downin' that thunderin' skunk, Rufe Hodge, you send for me." "Thank you we wiH," and then as it was quite dark and there were wild creatures i'n the wood s near as they were to Valley Forge and the the boys concluded that it was time that they were on their way. They reached the camp in due time. After supper Dick and hi s lieutenants sat together in the young s hut in front of a big fire and discuss ed var1011s matters. "The presence o:f the spy means trouble for us, I fear " declared the boy captain. enemy are trying t

4 THE LIBERTY BOYS AS SCOUTS ing them more than others. The presence of Monks, the spy, meant that there were enemies about, and the boys on guard kept a strict watch and investigated every suspicious sound, signalling to each other by certain natural sounds, each one of which meant something. Harry Thurber, on 1the outer edge of the camp near a thick wood, heard an owl hoot, and knew that It was a signal from Harry Judson, his chum, telling of the presen ce of an enemy. He at once repeated the signal, and Frank Belde n, the nearest picket on the other s ide, passed it along, so that one boy after another rapidly became aware that there were enemies about. Harry Thurber, listening attentively, shortly heard some one say: "I hear a lot of owls, but I don't hear none o' t .he young rebels. This must be their camp, cause I see the fires." "How many of them are there?" asked an.Jther. "I donno; a hundred, I guess. W e want to catch the captain. rest don't amount to nothing, but if we can get him, we'll get a re ward." "Where is his hut?" "I donno; in the middle somewhere, I suppose, but Monks didn't say." "Suppose we go in and ask for shelter and find out. They won't suspect nothing." "If j ou once get in you won't get out till you tell u s all you know about this villain," thought Harry. • Then he gave the fire near him a stir so that he would be seen and the men would come forward. If they could induce the men to enter the camp, they could be detained as s pie s and m a de to tell all they knew of the plot to capture Dick. The men gave a start at seeing Harry so close to them when they had thought that there were no boys about, and one of them said: "Hello! Is this here the camp of the Liberty Boys?" "Yes," said Harry. warm yourselves? It woods at night. You stand by the fire." "Won't you come in and i s cold qut there in the had better come in and One of the men seem ed anxious to do so , but the other drew back, as if afraid. In a moment, however, three or four boys dashed out to the right and to the left of the men. and in a trice they found themselves surrounded. The n other b.4>ys came up, and the men were pushed forward toward the fire, being unable to help themselves. Then Dick Slater himself appeared and said: "So you were to capture me and get the re-ward, were j ou? Who sent you? Was it Monks?" The men seemed greatly astonished, and one said: "We donno about any Monks; we come by and see the fire and we thought we might come in and get for a spell." "Get the ropes, boys," said Dick quietly. Then one of the men began to tremble violently, and said: ' "Don't hang us, and we'll tell you all about it!" CHAPTER III.-Battling With Crafty Foes. "Did Monks send you here?" asked Dick. "Yes, he -

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