The Liberty Boys fighting Doxstader, or, The destruction of Currytown

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The Liberty Boys fighting Doxstader, or, The destruction of Currytown

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The Liberty Boys fighting Doxstader, or, The destruction of Currytown
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Liberty Boys of "76"
Moore, Harry
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New York
Frank Tousey
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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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72801842 ( OCLC )
L20-00275 ( USFLDC DOI )
l20.275 ( USFLDC Handle )

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No. 108 1 NEW YORK , SEPTEMBER 16, 1921. Price 7 Cents As Dick and Harry seized the Hessian, the woman and her daughter pointed accusing fingers at him. "There stands the murderer of my son!" shrieked Mrs. Gray. Several of the Liberty Boye now rushed into the cabin through the open doorway.


The Liberty Boys of IHued Weekly-S)Jbscrlptlon price, $3.l!O per year; Canada, $4.00 ; Foreign, $4.:50. Frank Tousey, Publisher, ft& We11t 23d Street, New York, N. Y. Entered •• Seco nd-Class Matter Jnnuar:v 31, 1913", at the Post-Office at New York, N. Y., under ti!<> Act of March 3, 1879." No. 1081 NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 16, 1!'21. Price 7 Cents. The Liberty Boys Figh ti ng Doxstader OR, THE DF.STRUCTION OF CURRYTOWN By HARRY MOORE CHAPTER I.-A Plucky Country Boy. "Look out, Bob; I think there are Indians on that point. Row a little s lower." ..... " All iight, Dick . There have been no Indians about, have there?" "I have not heard of any, Bob, but there are signs of them at the point, and we can never be too careful in these troublous times." "No, that is right; we can't." . There were two boys in a little boat on the Mohawk river not far from the present town of Palatine, in New York. They wore the Continen tal uniform and were the captain and first lieutenant, respectively, of a band of sterling young patriots fighting for American independence, known as the Liberty Boys. The compan.y1 was just now in the Mohawk Valley, watching the Tories and Indians, who at frequent intervals harassed the people of that beautiful region, dev a stating homes, plunpering the people and carrying ruin and death to many a family. Dick Slater, the young captain, had not heard that there were any Indians in the immediate neighborhood, but he knew the &igns, and he was prepared to hear of these wily foes at any time, and he had therefore warned Bob Estabrook, his lieutenant, to be on the lookout. Tihe Liberty Boys had their camp near Canajoharie, a few miles distant, but Dick was on the river now reconnoitering as he frequently did, for the utmost vigilance was necessary in order to keep secure from the many wily enemies who threatened them at all times. Bob rowed more s lowly, and Dick , pistol in hand kept an eye on the wooded point where he Indians were lurking. There was no motion now and the suspected Indians had either • gone away 'or were keeping still in ?rder not to arouse the suspkions of the boys m the boat. '.As the boys went on slowly, a dug•ut came around a point below them, and the occupant, a J>oy of about fourteen, call ed out cautiously: "Look out Captain, there are Indians hiding there! I them from the shore a little while .ago." "Stop rowing, Bob," said Dick, turning and giving a good look at the boy, satisfymg himself in a moment that he was thoroughly honest, and then saying: "Yes so I suspected, although I have not seen any, only the signs of them." . The boy in the dugout, who was dressed. m coar se homespun, blue woolen hose and service-I able shoes, swung his paddle deftly and was soon alongside the boat. ' "How many did you see ?" Dick asked. "Three or four. I was up there looking for birds and rabbits, and I saw their topknots. They were so busy looking out on thEt river that they did not notice me, and I got away in a hurry and went back to my dugout. Then I saw you ana knew that it was you theyi were watching." "You live in the neighborhood?" "Yes, at Currytown, below Canajoharie. I have seen your camp. This dugout belongs to me and sometimes I keep it on the creek and sometimes here. I do a lot of hunting and fishing in it, for we do not get much from our little !arm and we must live somehow." Dick liked the appearance of the boy very much, and he now asked: "What is your name, my boy? You have the advantage of me." "George Gray. My mother and I and my Sis ter Mattie live in a little cabin on the edge of Currytown, but I go all over the neighborhood. "What is your name, my boy? You have the advantage of me." "George Gray. My mother and I and my Sis ter Mattie live in a little ca•in on ihe edge of Currytown, but I go . all over the neighborhood. You are out scouting?" "Yes. Have you heard of any threatened' dis turbance by the Tories o r Indians ?" "No , Captain; but there are some Hessians and a few redcoats farther up the rivet, and no one knows when they may break out. The J ohn s ons generally keep them stirred up whel) they want to take revenge upon the patriots of the valley." Sir William Johnito n . and his son , Sir John, were rich Tories of the valley , who from time to time inc ited the Indians against the people, Sir John being the commander of a band of Loyalists and Refugees, themselves the Doyal Greens. "But the Hessians and redcoats have not made any trouble as yet?" "N<>; but one never knows when they will . The Hessians seem to regard everything belonging to 'rebels,' as they insultingly call us, free to take whenever they see fit." "Yes, I kno w they do, but we correct that impression whenever we se e them helping them selves." The boat and the dugout were slowly drifting downstream, and Dick had not so good a view of the point as before.


2 THE LIBERTY BOYS FIGHTING DOXSTADER "There were only three or four of the redskins, Harry Judson, who, being a boy of this very re George ?" he asked. "Wexe they in their war gion, knew that the Tories were as apt to mis-paint, or just in ordinary rig?" behave as the Indians. "They were not in war paint, but these Mo"I did not hear that they were up to any mishawks wiJ.l steal or kill out of t hei r war toggery chief, Harry, but they will bear watching at all as as in it. I would not trust them at any times." _,, time, Captain." "There is a Tory> called Doxstader, living back Bob laughed outright, and Dick said, with a here a bit," spoke up Lishe Greene, another Mo-smile: hawk valley boy, "who has a lot to do with the "No, and I wouldn;t do it myself. If there were Indians, and I've heard him say more'n once that only a few of them, however, it is likely tlalt he\! ,.tir 'em up agains. t us rebels, a s he called us, they will be cautious, especially if they think that onll o' days. I think he has something to t h e peopl e are on the lookout for them. They dO' witl\:the Johnsons, but I'm not sure. " r ely on strength of when making an is not an officer of the Royat attack-." Greens 7'" "Yes, and instead of being brave and fearless, "I don't.know, Captain. He's the rankest kind as some folks call 'em, they are nothing b u t a of Toty; . anj) yet he's of Dutch stock and you'd lot of cowardly wo l ves, in my opinion . " thiri k ' .Jw'd be a patriot. The Dutch have had Bob laughed heartil y, and Dick smiled and trob.b'le ell.Ough with Indians and British and such made reply: like "cattle not to go in with 'em afterward, I "You are not at all complimentary, my boy, should think." but I think tha )IOU have the proper estimate bf "Yes, so you would, but there are some very the majority of these Moh awks, for all that. The strange contradictions among these people. Look e hiefs are supposed to be brave, but I have seen at Schuyler and Gansevwrt and Herkimer, all of. very f ew examples of it. Generally they are Dutch stock, and all goo-cl. patriots. Then there cruel, bloodthirsty, vengeful, and full of wiles are Claus and the Cuylers and others, Dutch also, a n d stratagems, striking an enemy from behind but rank Tories." .;. and never attacking him openly unless with the George Gray had continued on his way up the odds largely in heir favor." creek some little distance and had then gone "Those on the point don't seem in at:bore and hurried on to the small but very neat clined tQ. malCe us any trouble, Dick," said Bob, cabin, where he lived with his mother and sister. "and may have gone away." He had picked up some game and some fish o n ."Wer . ? . u going up the river, George?" asked the way, that he did not return empty-handD1ck. . ..., ed. Hurrying into the .cabin, he threw down "No; f--ain going back to the creek. Have you what he h?-d<.l:>rought, kissed his mother and sisany vacancies in the Liberty Boy s, Captain? I ter, and excitedly: would like to join, if you have. Mother can get Mattie, yO'U can never guess! I o n without me now, as her,brother is coming to met the captain of the Liberty> Boys, and the live with her and he will-see after the place." lieutenant, and they're coming here this after"Yes, there are two vacancies, George. noon, and the captain says that maybe he will I will see your mother a'Plut it shortly." take me into the Liberty Boys , if I suit. I told The boys went on, ana' a.t length entered Can-him that Uncle Ceorge was con:iing and that you ajoharie creek, George Gray going on, while Dick not want me, he sa.1d he would oo_me and Bob went ashore in a little while and . and do you thmk their way to their camp. Here they were met by of i..tii Its all right, 1sn t 1t. a n\lmber of the Liberty Boys, who were anxious about girls being such great talkers!" to know if there was any news of their''e;ne11;1ies., mu gfi'ed Mattie Gray. of any and all sorts. There were Mark Morri$6n, yes, we have talked it over, George," the second lieutenant, Harry Judson, a boy: f,rorri the mother, "and if you still want to join, I the Mohawk valley; Jack Warren and Geor-ge don't see why you should not. If your father Brewster, Jersey boys; Ben Spurlock a.rid Sam had lived, he would have been in the army, and Sanderson,• Westchester boys; Ned Naish, from I know that you have always wanted to do some Connecticut; Harry Thurber, Gerald Flem_iiig, Sid thing for your country." C1.1rhart , Horace Walton and Rob from "And this is better thp.n being in the armY', the South, and boys ftom all over thec _quntry. mother, for they are all boys, who w01;ld under There were boys from out of the country, :i,p fa,ct, stand me better than men, and there are not the for over on one side, looking after the dinner, evils to be avoided that there are in the army. was a jolly-looking Irish bo)1, ,and not fa'!." from We can serve our country, to o, and do some good, him was a rosycheeked and very fat German. if we are only boys; and, oh, mother! I . saw "Any news?" asked Mark, almost certain that some Indians on the river, and warned the cap-there was some. tain and the lieutenant. The wily rascals were "Yes, . there are Indians about, although I don't waiting for them, I'll bet!" know how many, and we met a very fine young "Do set George to work, mother," laughed Matfellow who wants to join the Liberty Boys." tie, "or he'll talk us and himself tired and we'll "Were the Indians up to mischief?'' asked Jack never have any dinner. Go and get some water, Warren, Mark's particular chum. George, there's a good fellow." "I could not tell. They usually are, however, Mattie Gray was older than her brother, of unless they are watched, and these were. They whom she was very fond, and she sometimes took were waiting for a good chance to attack us, I an elder sister's tone with him, which he, how think, and w , e did not give it to them." ever, after a boy's fashion, seldom noticed, beinJJ! "How are the Tories behaving, Captain'?" asked too much E(_ngrossed with his own thoughts.


THE LIBERTY BOYS FIGHTING DOXSTADER "All right, Sis," he said, ignoring the teasing air of superiority, and, taking a big wo6den pail, he set off fo.r the spring with it, whistling on his way. Near the spring he saw a big Hessian, who glared at him and said in a warse, giuff tone: "Where you went, you little rebel?" "How do you know I am a rebel, you ui;ly big Hessian?" retorted George, who did not like the man's tone or looks. "What you get in der ppoket ?" "\Vater, of course," and George went on and filled it. "Drow dat aus und got millik und prought it to me, I was hungry." ' Then go to work and earn what you eat, you 1azy Hessian!" with spirit. "I am not working for a man who is better able than I am to do so," and George was going on, . when the Hessian kicked the pail out of his hand, spilling the water. Then he caught up a stick, thrust it to the very bottom of the spring and muddied the wate1 so that it would not settle again for s o m e little time. George caught up the bucket which lay on the ground near at hand, half fill e d it \\ith the muddv water, and threw .it over the Hessian, wetting him from head to foot. "There! You spiteful dog-, if you want the water muddy, take some of it!" he said spiritedly. The Hessian went away swearing in G erman, and George waited for the water to settle and then returned to the cabin. CHAPTER II.-Mo1e Trouble At the Cabin. before meat, and then helped his mother and sister. After dinner George was outside, not far from the house, working away at one thing and an other, when Mattie came out to speak to him. Then the Hessian he had seen suddenly came up and attempted to kiss the girl. She cried out and resisted, and at once George ran to her assistance and struck the big Hessian a resounding blow in the face. "Take that, you big brute!" the angry boy cried impulsively, "and learn to mind your own business ." The Hessian swore roundly, smarting with pain, for George had dealt him no light blow, and, whipping out his pistol, fired point-blank at the boy's breast. The young patriot fell without a sound, and Mattie ran screaming into the c a bin. "Mother!" she cried, "poor Georg e is dead the H e s sian has shat him! Come quick!" ' "It' s all right, Sis," said the boy feebly. "I a m not dead yet, but I feel--" T hen he tried to get upon his fest, but fell back exhauste d and lay like one dead. Betwee n them, the mother and daughter ca1 ried the poor boy into the cabin and lai d him on the floor. Then t h e Hessian came in and roughly demanded some thing to eat and drink and whatever valuables they had in the house. "Serve him righd, der little repel!" he mut tered. "All repels get serfed der same way, dat been goot!" Mattie and her mother paid no attention to him, kneeling by the side of the boy, who was pale and uncons cious, his heart seeming to have ceased its beating. Some one else did, howeve•. Dick Slater, with Harry Judso n, B e n Spurlock, Jack Warren, George Brewster and other Lib-George Gray did not say anything to his mother erty Boys, were nearing the cabin when they and sister about meeting the Hessian, for fear of heard a pistol shot. At once they hurrie d forward alarming them, merely explaining his absence by and quickly dismounted. Then Dick and Harry saying that he had to wait for the water to clear. went into the house and saw Mrs. Gray suppo1 :t"Those Hessians I saw must have come nearer," ing the inanimate body of her son, who se emed he said io himself. "I don't like them around to be dead. There was a Hessian in the room, here. They always want something. I hope and Dick leaped to the conclusion that it was he they won't see Mattie. I must watch them. No who had fired the shot they had heard. young girl is safe, with such cCJ.<'1.rse brutes "Seize that man!" criQd Dick. about." As Dick and Harry seized the H essian, the Then he went to the woodshed, whence he could woman and her daughter pointed accusing fin see the woods and the spring as well as the road, gers at him. and began cutting wood for the kitchen fire. "There stands the murderer of my son!" shriek-whistling, as' was his wont when at work, and ed Mrs. Gray. at many other times. He did not s e e the Several of the Liberty Boys now rushed into Hessian, but he mistrusted the man and all like the cabin through the open doorway. him, and meant to keep a sharp lookout on the "Take him away!" said Dick. "Keep a lookhouse and those in it as long as he knew the .enout for others. I shall have to inve stigate this emy were about. affair." "The redcoats are not .so bad, some of them," The Hessian did not dare to resist with so he said to himself, "but these Hessians are no many of the boys about, and he was quickly dismore to be trusted than a fox around a hen-armed and taken outside. house." "Let me look at the boy, ma'am," said Dick He went back and forth to the cabin, doing quietly. "I have some knowledge of surgery, and this chore and that, and keeping a watch on the I may be able to save him. I think he has only wood and road all the time, feeling sure that the fainted from shock and from exhaustion." Hessian would return iJ,nd wishing to be ready for "You think so, Captain?" murmured Mrs. Gray, him. At last the frugal meal was ready and while Mattie smiled at him through her tears. George washed his face and hands and wsnt iri "I hope so, ma'am. J, you and George give and sat down with his mother and Mattie. Being me a hand." t h e only man 1n the house, as he said, he took The two boys raised the apparently dead his father's place, and, as was customary in most • tenderly and bore him to a bedchamber on the h o useholds at that time, recited a simple grace ground floor , where they laid him on the bed •• •


I .. • 4 THE LIBERTY BOYS FIGHTING DOXSTADER "Wait a moment, pleas e," said Dick softly, at the door. "If I can get you anything, you will let me know Captain?" said the anguished mother. and I will let you know shortly how he is" They loosened the boy' s . collar and opened his shirt and then Dick listened for a heartbeat and felt for his pulse. There was a small mirror on the dresser and Dick nodded toward it. Jack understood and brought it, Dick placing it a little above the boy's mouth. At first it remained unclouded but at length a thin film of steam was seen upon it, which showed that the boy s ti .11 breathed. Dick went to the door and said quietly: "Your boy l i v es , ma'am, but I complete quiet for the present. your mother s omething to quiet every hope." mus t a s k for Mattie, give her. I have Then he went back to the bedchamber and worked rapidly and gently over the boy, who,se breath increase d little by little, till it was quite perceptible. The bullet of the Hessian had passed through one of the boy's lungs and out at his back but his youth and general good health were in favor, and unless inflammation set in, there was hope for him. . Dick dispatched Jack Warren on his speedy bay mare to the camp of Colonel Marinus Willett at Fort Plain to get a doctor with all speed. for he felt that .the boy's life might be saved, and meant to make every effort toward that end. George Gray was made comfortable, and the n Dic k saw Mrs. G ray and the sister, and•said: "There i s every hope, ma'am. I have qone what I could but the army surgeon will know more I 'and he will do still better. There is every ho1pe, as I said, but the boy must have the best of care. " "He will get it, Captain," replied Mrs. Gray. "! believe you have saved my boy's life." "At least I have done all I could,' ' answered Dick modestly. Then the mother was allowed to sit at the boy's bedside, while Dick took Mattie aside. "The Hessian shot George?" h e a sked. "Yes. The fellow insulted me, and. George struck him with his fist s . Then the Hessian shot him with his pis tol. After that h e came in here, sai d it served him right, and d emanded all our valuables." " the boy died, I would h ave hanged the scoundrel!" said Dick hotly. "At all events, I shall hold him till I see ho w G eorg e g ets o n . If he d ies, it will b e nothing l ess than a col d -blooded murde r . " "But y ou think h e will recover? " " I h op e s o but I cannot be po sitive. All will be do n e tha t 'ca n b e don e, y o u may b e certain.". Dick q uestion e d the H e s s i a n , and a s k ed him if t here were a n y more in the neigh borh

THE LIBERTY OYS FIGHTING DOXSTADER 5 stader, that Lishe spoke about. I must ask him to describe the fellow to me when I get back." Suddenly as Jack rode on he saw a number of Hessians in the road ahead of him, catching sight of them before they saw him, a s they happened to be looking the other way at the time. "Hello! I must get by those fellows,'' he mutered. "Get along with you, Dolly!" CHAPTER III.-Gathering in the Hessi a n s . Jack Warren had two big p istols in the holsters of his saddle, and three or four more in his belt, so that he was well prepared to meet the Hessians. His chief d esire just now, however, was to get by them and m eet them some other time, and in an instant he l e t the reins fall on the mare's neck, whipp ed out a couple of pis tol s and fired away, shouting loudl y, as if to some one behind him: "Now, the n, boys, l e t the thundering Hessians have it! Giv e it to the fore i g n hirelings ! Liberty forever, my lads!" Then he fired two more shots , carrying away the tan, cumbersome hat worn by one of the Hessians, and sending a cloud of powder flying from his wig. The Hessians , neve r doubting that there were at leas t a score o f the boys coming, became confused, lost their hea d s, and scattered right and left, making no a ttempt to r eturn Jack' s fire or to catch him. On w ent the dashing ibe1ty Boy, laughing at the s uccess of hi s little stratagem, and never once l ooking back to see if the Hessians were coming. "They're a slow-witted Jot," h e said, "and it will take them a few minut e s to discov!V" how they have been fooled , and by that time I will be weli away from them." . • He met with no more opposition, and saw no enemies of any sort, and at length reached the fort, having made very good time. Colonel Willett knew Dick Sl ater and the Liberty Boys very well, and when Jack d e l ivered the young captain's message, he promised to do everything he could to aid him and to expedite the wounded boy' s recovery. There was a very good surgeon at the fort at the time, and he at once became interested in the cas e, and agr eed to return with Jack without delay. "We may have to go back a little different way than we came, Doctor, as I met s om e Hessians and an overbearing Tory, and these may be look ing for me on the return." " Hessians, y ou say , bo y?" the doctor echoed. "Yes, sir, it is not the place for them, I know, but they were there. They may b e the p arty to which belong ed the bi g f e llow w ho shot. po o r G eo r ge. " "We had better avoid them, then , t o save time . I know a road which i s very nearl y as direc t as the one y ou too k , and it w ill b e s h orte r , in f a ct, if we are not deta in ed." The y reache d the cab i n during the afterno on, and the do c tor at once went to G eorge and examine d him, l is t e nin g to Di c k's report a t the same time. . "You have certainly saved the boy's li fe, Captain," he s a i d, "and I think with p r ope1 c a r e h e will recover. He ou ght to b e w h ere it i s co oler, howevel", and I would advise his be ing taken t o the hills. This can be done in the morning. You will be able to construct a litter, I think, on which he can be carried." "Yes, and he can be carried with less motion than if he were in a carriage,'' replied Dick. The doctor, with his more extended knowledge was able to make the boy even more than Dick had, and to dress his. wounds with more care, although he praised Dick highly for what he had already done. "Our camp is on higher ground,'' said Dick to Mrs . Gray, '"and the doctor recommends that George be taken to where it is cooler and the airl rarer. I shall be pleased to have both you and Mattie come with us. It will be better for George to have you with him for a time at least." "I will do anything that will help to save my son' s life, Captain," the anxious mother replied "and I feel that what have already done snatched him from the jaws of death. 1 shall be grateful to you for this as long as I live . " "And I am indeed grateful if I have done anything to prolo ng the life of a patriot, Mrs. Gray,• said Dick, with deep feeling. "We will leave here in the early mQrning before the heat becomes oppressive, and let us hope that in the purer, cooler air of the hills your s on will quickly rec over." Lishe Green was with the boys at the cabin now, and Jack asked him to de scribe the Tory Doxstader to him. "He's a big fellow , who puts on a lot of airs and se e m s to think lie owns the county," repJ ,ied Lishe. "He d r e sse s very well, and I t'liink he has a lot o' money, but I dunno how he got it." " I think I met him on my way to Fort Plain," de clared Jac'k, who had already reported meeting the Tor y and Hessian' s to Dick. "The fellow may be influ encing the Indians to make an attack on the patriots in the neighborhood,'' remarked Dick, "but, a s not many Indians have appeared a s yet, I don ' t thi11k there is any immediate danger. He will bear \Vatching, however, and we must keep our e yes upon him as well as on his precious allies, the Hessians and Indians." The captured Hessian was ques tioned, but pretended not to b e able to understand the boys. Then Carf questioned him, much to hi s astonishment, for he did not suppose that any of the boys spoke German. Carl told him that he would be hanged if he did not tell all he knew, and the man said that there were not many Hes sians about, and that they were mo s tl y a t Johnstown with Sir John, t h o se in tlie immediate n eighborhood being very few and engaged in scouting. "Then I know one who w on ' t r epo r t to Sir John, or to DQ.Xstade r , " mut tered B o b , w h o w a s in charg e o f the camp, "and I wis h we cou ld catch the rest that he s p eaks o f. T he n ther e would be no r e p orting to any one except to C o lon e l W il lett. " Bo b did not know of the Hessians that J ac k had se e n , but t he boy hims el f r o d e into cam p something later w i t h in stru ctions from Di c k to t r y and cap ture the m , Jack go i n g a long a s a guide. Jac k had no t seen more than six o r eight of t h e H e ssians, a n d t hat wa s a ll there were ac co r d in g to t he pris on e r , who was q uestioned clo s e l y , and fin a ll y a n swe r ed satisfactorily under the i nflu e n c e of his fear.


6 THE LIBERTY BOYS FIGH ING DOXSTADER Bob took a score of the boys, including Jack, and they all set off at a gallop in the direction of the place where Jack had encountered the enemy. It was not so far to the place from the camp by the crossroad, and the boy-s made good speed, being all well mounted. It was well on in the afternoon now, but the days were long and there were still seme hours to sunset, so that they had time enough to do the work and get back before dark. On the road that Jack had taken to Fort Plain was a tavern called the "Royal George," much patronized by Tories, but not by patriots , who ' would not go there on account of its .name. Soon after striking the road the boys saw this tavern, with its gayly painted sign swinging from a stout post standing near the road. On the swinging sign was a supposed portrait of King George, in a bright red coat. big wig, and a lot of insignia on his bieast, looking very grand, but probably verv unlike the royal personage himself. There was a broad portico reached by four or five low steps and shaded 'by vines, and here the patrons of the house often sat and quaffed their ale or smoked their long-stemmed clay pipes, while others sat behlnd the great low windows, with their small diamond-shaped panes, or on the broad window seat. It was a quaint old place, and the ale :and liquors were good as well a s the cold joints, the cheese and the bread and milk, but the landlord cared little for other custim than that of Tories, and therefore his inn did not prosper as it might have prospered had he been more liberal in his views. . "There is the Royal George!" cried Jack, "and, &v George! there are some of thos e very same Hessians, if I mistake not, regaling themselves within!" "They are Hessians, all right," laughed Bob. "But whether they are the self-same ones you melt or not you will have to decide for yourself. Forward_ boys! Surround the place, so that none may escape." The trees before the place concealed the ap proach of the boys in a great measure, and then half of them turned off at one side so as to get to the rear. Bob, Jack, and seven or eight of the boys dashed w.p to the front, dismounted, ran up the steps, and entered the inn, at once to the taproom. Here they found six or eight Hessians, eating, drinking, and smoking. Some of these sprang to their feet and threw open 1the low windows, leaiping out upon the broad portico. Others dashed out by rear, while some attempted to resist the boys, and drew pistols or swords. Bob knocked down one of these, Jack shot off the wig of another, and Walter Jennings struck a third in the chest. Those who had jumped out of the window quickly 'found thems;elves in the hands of'the boys Bob had left outsi de, and were forced to surrender. Those who attempted to escape by the rear shortly discov ered that they had no chanc-e there, for the boys 11peedily gathered them in, and they were prisoners in a few moments. "How dare you come in here and interfere with my patrons, you saucy rebels?" sputtered the landlord, who wM fat and rosy, but by no means good-tempered. "Leave my house at once!" "Oh, we don't intend to stay very long, land lord.." law!'.hed Bob. "Just lowr enow!'.h to 2e1I these H e ssians. Be careful how you talk of rebels, however, or we may take you along with the rest of the cattle." The landlord saw that it would not do to be too. even in his own house, and he remamed. qmet after that. The Hessians were all got and marched off in a hurry, the boys laughmg over the speedy manner in which the capture had been effected. Bob did not take any trouble to question the p1;soners, for they probably "".ould have pretended not to understand hun, even 1f tney had, but hurried them away as fast as possible, Ito get to the camp before sunset., The Hessians blustered and swore and .complame.d loudly at being forced to walk, for 1t was still warm, and their accoutrements heavy and set t!iem to perspiring freelY'. Well, we alway.! like to make it hot for you fellows," laughed Jack, "so you are only getting what you deserve." "There's no use of making a joke with a, Hes said Bob .. "He. will never appreci::rl:e it." No, and their bemg captured is no foke to them, either," chuckled the lively Jersay boy. "I don't wonder they don't like it, with all that heavy stuff to carry," remarked Walter. "It's enough to make any one cross." "Well, then, let rthem stay at home where thev are used to different weather, and can do ail thes e absurd things," sputtered Bob. "We never asked them to come over." . The boys .at length reached the camp, the Hes hot, tired out,and in no pleasant frame ef mmd. When they saw rthe prisoner who had been at the Gray cabin, they began roundly abus IJ?g him, and even threatened him with personal v10lence. "What are they abusing him for, Carl?" asked Bob of .the German Liberty Boy, who heard the trouble between the Hessians. "Dey was madt already," l:augt was make dem madt.," -laughed Carl "for cause dey t'ought dot one Hessian vas bedder already as ein dotzen rebels, ain't it?" "They may think so," sputtered Bob, "but i i sn't so, and they know it. Why one boY' on horseback scattered seven or eight of them!" The Hessians continued to abuse their comra

THE LIBERTY BOYS FIGHTING DOXSTADER 7 know where he was going, nor see him after I got by, being in some haste," answered Jack. "As long as there are S-O few Indians about, I hardly think that any attack is contemplated lilt pres ent." "No, but we must be on the watch," shortly. CHAPTER IV.-Dick Meets Doxstader. Two or three of the Liberty Boys rode down to Currytown from the camp to report the cap ture of the HessiaJls to Dick, and to return to Bob with any instructions that he might have to send. Dick and the boys with him were greatly pleased -0ver the success of the venture, and gave Jack Warren due credit for his part in it, although the lively fellow would have said that he had merely reported the presence of the enemy, and that Dick had sent the boys to gather them in. The doctor had returned by that time, but Dick knew what to do, and the wounded boy was getting along very well under the circumstances, and would recover in time if no complications arose, although it would. necessarily be a somewhat slow process. He was kept perfectly quiet, and all necessary work was done as far away from him as possible the Liberty Boys making their temporary camp at some little distance, and regularly quarantining the cabin so that the boy and his mother should be free from annoyance. Dick had decided to remain at the cabin all night, keeping a watch upon George and superintending hi s removal in the morning. The boys cooked their own suppers, and gave neither Mrs. Gray nor Mattie any trouble, although both of them would have done anything for them that they wished. During the night one or another of the boys watched at George's bedside so as to give his mother a chance to rest and get some much-needed s leep. One' George awoke and said feebly: "Is that y ou, mother? I a m afraid you are nsing yourself up for me."--' "No, it is me, George-Ben Spurlock. Your mother is a s leep." "I'm glad o-f" that," simply. Dick came in while the boy was awake, gave him some cooling drink, spoke cheerily to him, and waited till he drop,ped off to sleep, which was not long, and remained for a time listening to his quiet breathing and watching him. "He will do better now that he knows he is not wearing his mother out watching him," Dick said. "He is very considerate of her." My morning George was much better, although still weak, and he gave his mother a pleasant smil e as she came in. -"You see, I am almost one of the Liberty Boys now, mother," he said, "and it is their business to look after me, the same as it would be mine to look after one of them if he needed it." "Yes, and we are going to take you off to the camp where you will be quieter and in a cooler place," said Dick. "You will see your mother and sister, too, for we are going to make them pris oners and take them with us, George." "I think it will be better," murmured the boy. "I am afraid something is going to happen here, and I shall pe glad to have them away. " "Nothing will, if we can prevent it," thought Dick, "but it will be better for him to be away, anil for them, too." A comfortable litter had been prepared and the boy was laid upon this and removed by' easy stages to the camp, the boys going in the cool of the early morning. There was a hill back of the camp, and here tents were erected for the wounded 'boy and his attendants and for his mother and Mattie, and all were made as comfortable as could be. Paitsy Brannigan, who was the com pany cook, excelled in making nourishmg broths for the sic k boy and in getting up little dainties for Mrs. Gray and Mattie. "You mustn't do so much for us Patsy " said the girl at length. "We ought to' do mdre for ourselves." "Sure now it do be the captain's ordhers to do all Oi can for ye, me girrul," said the good-natured, warm-hearted Irish boy, "an' if it wor not Oi'd do it just the same, for Oi never can do much for the !eddie s, do ye moind ?" "Well, you must let me help you, then" replied Mattie, with a smile. ' "Sure Oi do have C<>okyspiller, an' he doesn't shteamin' over the pots an' pans, but Oi'd mver take away the delicate colo1 of yer own purty face wid such worruk as that so lave us '.ll?nt; while ye do sittin' with the bye an' singm hlm to slape With yer swate v'ice or brushin' the flies off him with yer lily white hands do ye moind." ' "Well, perhaps I had better do that" returned Mattie, "but I think you're a just the same." "Sure Oi'm not, an' it's only half th1: thruth Oi'm ye, for there's plinty more if Oi had the retorted Patsy, with a merry chuckle. Durmg the morning Dick left the camp and went to the c r ee k, taking the boat which he and Bob had had the clay before. He was now in backwoods g:irb of buckskin, with a coonski n cap, and a long rifle slung over his sho ulder, and very few who saw him. would take him for the dashmg young .captain of the Liberty Boys. He want,ed to see if he could find any more Indians. and he. kne:v that he would be more l ikely to learn soi:iethmg of their intentions if he were not in uniform:. I_n ordinary attire he might pass for a Tory, and. m buckskin the Indians wonld be apt tq take him for a hunter or a Canadian of w ho m friendly to the king, and with \17born the h a d no Getting out upon the river at len r :th, Dick was makinr. his way along at a'1 easy gait, when the bnsh'es on the bank parted and a pompous-looking man came and said abruptly.: You are tresuassmg, young man. vVhat do you mean by it?" ."Do you own the river, mister?" asked Dick, with a drawl. "I had a notion that was public " "No insolence , sir!" imperious ly. "Do you who I am?" "Waal, you 111ight be the ruler o' the universe by the. airs you nut on,, but I g-uess you're onl); some little landed proprietor what likes to make folks think he owns the hull state." "I am Doxstader. s ir, and I own to the river. I order you off, sir." "So that is Doxstader, is it?" was Dick's


8 THE LIBERTY BOYS FIGHTING DOXSTADER thought. "I am glad to know it. I must have a good look at him." "Well, why don't you heed what I say?" contin. uecl the other. Dick was not looking at Doxstader altogether, and he saw something suspicious in the bushes. There VI as an Indian lurking there, and Dick saw his topknot and the toe of one moccasin. There might be other Indians there, and Dick sent the boat ahead a 1ittle, so a s to get a better view of the bank behind the bushes. "I o-uess you don't own the river and all, Dox he said. "I expect you think you own that Indian in there, but I shouldn't wonder if Sir John owned you, body and soul, and there's . a heap sight more o' the one than there is o' t'other." Doxstader flushed crimso n and said angrily: "I want to know more about you, young man. before you go. Are you a rebel, or aren't you?" ,..No, I am not a rebel," returned Dick, who would not acknowled>ge that he was a rebel, calling himself a patriot. "Where do you live?" "Anywhere a'most, but what you got them Injuns hiding in the bushes for? 'Fraid I may hurt you? I might hurt them. I don't care for Injuns myself." ;,Who's got any Indians hiding in the bushes? There aren't any there." "Do vou want me to show 'em to you?" Dick, throwing his rifle to his shoulder. take that fellow's topknot off, and then know he's there." asked "I'll you'll There was a sudden scrambling among the bushes ;md then a half-naked Indian, a Mohawk, arose and fell back with a grunt. "Hallo! Where did you come from ? " asked Doxstader, in surprise. "I that's one what you're goin' to fight the rebels with, ain't it?" drawled Dick. "When was you reckonin' on attackin' 'em, an' whereabouts fust? I might be there to see how things go ." "How many of the rebels are there at the fort?" asked the other. "I carft tell you. Why don't you go there and ask?" with a laugh. "Shouldn't wonder if they'd be glad to see you. Guess they'd take ye in right away, and be glad to have ye." " ou come around the fort in a day or two and maybe you'll have a chance to do something. Do you know where these yQung rebels, the Liberty Boys, have their camp?" . "I couldn't tell you. Was you intendin' to 'tack them with yer Injuns, too, Doxstader?" "You find out where they have their camp and l'll you forty silver shillings." "That's genernus in ye. I'll let you know when I'm ready to show ye the place. Wbete can I find ye when I want to take ye there?" "Could you do it by eagerly. "Shouldn't wonder if I could. Shall I meet yo u here!" "Yes; to-night at ten o'clock. You'll find it by that time?" "Shouldn't wonder if I did. Will you have the Injuns with you?" "Never mind about the Indians," warily. "I'll be here, and the Indians will be on hand when I'm ready for them." "All right, Doxstader, I'll take you there," and Dick went on up the river. The 'tory quickly disappeared, and Dick kept on, watcfong the bank carefully from time to time for Indians or other Tories. "The redskins evidently think that I am a friend of Doxstader's, and so will not molest me," he thought. "I would like to know how many of them there are in the neighborhood. The man was um"illing to tell me, and maybe there are nQt many present." Farther up the river where it was quite wild Dick heard the sound of low voices, and paddled along close to the bank with considerable caution, 00.ving an idea that the :voices he heard were those of Indians. At length, peering through the bushes, he saw a number of Indians seated on the ground in a shady little glade, talking in short sentences, almost in monosyllables, in fact. He could not understand them, but went in close to the bank and looked to see if there were not oome white men among them. "If 'there are whites there, they may say something in a momerit," was his thought, but he could not see any. There were not more than six or seven of the Indians, and they were not in war paint, so there was probably no attack planned for the time be ing. He recognized one of the party as the man he had seen when talking to Doxstader, and thought perhaps they were talking about him, although this was only conjecture on his part, as he could not understand a word of all that was said. "There are not many of them," he said to himself, "and George did not see many of them terday. I would rather there were none about, however, as the presence of even one usually means that trouble is impending, and I tlon't like to see any of the red rascals." Being unable to learn anything from the Indians, Dick glided away, making no sound, letting his boat glide l"ently down the river. In a short time, being still close to the bank, he heard voices, and, holding on by an overhanging bush, he listened, the voices being those of white men. Presently he caught sight of thre!e -men coming along through the woods, one of them being Doxstader himself. "I'd like to get rid of the roung rebels, " the man said, halting under a giant oak, "and if I can trust the boy, we will. Do you know a boy who goes about in buckskin, with a coonskin cap?" "There's plenty o' Canucks what does that," replied one of the men. "Didn't he say what his name was nor where he lived?" "No, but he seemed to know me. He said he'd find where the young rebels had their camp and tell me to-night. You'd •better be on hand to nab him if he don't tell." "Maybe he won't find out by that time. I've been tryin' to find out for three days where the pesky young fellers are, and I haven't done it yet. It's blame funny about them Hessians, too. I can't find them, either." "Go over to the Royal George and ask Bullett; he'll tell you. But come on, I want to see the Indians, and see how soon I can get up a band of them." The men went on through the woods, and Dick


THE LIBERTY BOYS FIGHTING DOXSTADER 9 made his way along close to the bank, so as to hear what was said. To his great surprise, however, when he came to the place where he had seen the Indians, there was not one of them to be seen. . "Halloa ! Where have they gone?" asked Dox&tader, in surprise. "Here's where they were." "Well, they aren't here now," growled one of the others. "Never mind; I will find them when I want them. I'll meet you all to-night below, and if the boy tells me where the rebels have their camp we'll go and have a look at it." "All right," and then the men separated. CHAPTER V.-A Disappointment. Dick returned to the camp at length, having seen no more Indians or Tories, but satisB.ed that. the reds would not make an attack till their Tory leader had found the camp of the Liberty Boys. "If I show it to him, he will never leaveit ex cept as a prisoner, to Fort Plain," said Dick dryly. The Hessians had been sent off to the fort eaYly that morning, for Dick could not 'be troubled with them in the first place, and he did not wish Mattie and her mother to see them in the next, fearing it would excite them too much. His fi'l'St plan had been to show Doxstader the way

10 THE LIBERTY BOYS FIGHTING DOXSTADER Nse with him, and pursued his way as before. If he could get to the creek ahead of the Tories he could easily elude them afterward, and he pull e d on at a good rate. He. saw the men sud denl y raise their muskets and aim at him, anrl., giving his oars a sudden swing, he sent the b0at ahead much more rapidly than before. Then he slid into the bottom of the boat, which "ent ahead rapidly under the impetus h e had given it, and also helped by the current. Crack! crack! crack! A number of bullets flew over the boat, and he knew that he had not yet gotten out of range, as he had hoped to do. is precaution saved him, however, and in a moment he was sitting up and rowing rapidly toward the creek. The Loyalists seemed to divine his intentions and ran along shore as if to intercept him. There were rocks and bushes and wet places and other obstacles, !however, and the men were obliged to go out of their way now and then, while Dick kept right on in a straight line and gained on them every instant. He shot into the creek before they could get to it, and the trees and bushes presently hid him from the men, whom he could hear hurrying• on and calling to each other from time to time. "If Doxstader really means to attack Currytown, a s he declared, there is no time to lose, " he said to himse lf. "There are four miles to go after I leave the camp." He went on rapidly, but at length saw the topknots of a number of Indians on the bank ahead of him. The creek was not very wide, and if the redskins had bows with them, they could probably reach him even if he kept along the opposite bank. He sent the boat well out, and


THE LIBERTY BOYS FIGHTING DOXSTADER 11 then gave it a good start with the oars before as quiet as possible. Away rode the boys, Dick, lying _down in the bottom. From the sounds he Bob and Mark in the lead, losing not a moment on heard he presently knew that the Indians had the road, but m ging their horses to the utmost. discovered the boat, and were wondering at its There was need of haste, indeed, as they realpresence there. Then he heard the voice of a ized when they had gone a little more than halfwhite man say," in surprised tones: way. They heard the sound of firing, and Dick "That there is the boat we had up above. I lrnew in a moment that it was at Currytown, and guess we didn't tie it up. Go out there and get dashed ahead, the boys following him as if by it." instinct. Dick heard a spfash in the water, and knew Shortly before noon, while the men of Cucrythat one of the Indians was coming out to him. town were at work in the fields, a force of five He lay still until he felt a hand on the gunwale, hundred Indians and some Loyalists, com•anded and then suddenly :arose and grasped the redskin by Doxstader, emerged stealthily from the fo1 by the throat in a tight dutch. The Indian gave est and attacked the little settlement. The hoo.e a single grunt, and as Dick's fingers closed tight-of Henry L ew i s , one of

:),. 12 THE LIBERTY BOYS FIGHTING DOXSTADER tree. The Indians hurried away in the direction of New Dorlach, now Sharon, with their prisoners and plunder, but Dick and the Liberty Boys did not pursue them, devoting their energies instead to putting out the flames. Mrs. Gray's cabin could not be saved, as that had been the first set on fire, and it was burned to the ground as well as the barn and outbuildings. Other houses could be saved, however, and the plucky1 boys got to work manfully and saved much from destruction, the greater part of the little settlement being in ruins, however. Doxstader had not been seen after the first attack, and it was supposed that he had fled as soon as he saw the Liberty Boys and knew that help would arrive from the fort as well. Mean while Colonel Willett was sending out to collect all the militia he could, and intended to pursue 8Jld punish the redskins and Tories as soon as he could get together an adequate force. A number of the settlers had been killed and many taken prisoners, the greatest sufferers being the Diefendorfs, Kellers, Myerses, Lewises, Bellingers and Tanners. Mrs. Gray's cabin was burned, but fortunately neither she nor any .of her family were injured, on account of their absence at the camp of the Liberty Boys. George was awakened by the Mund of firing, and wanted to know what it meant, but Mattie told him that the Liberty Boys had gone to the rescue, and he was satisfied. CHAPTER VIL-The Mad Woman's Warning. From information given to Colonel Willett by one of his scouts the day before, the Indians had been encamped near Sharon in a cedar swamp, and, thinking that they would return thither, the colonel decided to attack them that night. The Liberty Boys, after doing all they could at the settlement, returned to the camJ>, intending to join Colonel WHlett and punis h the marauders. "I am afraid we won't find Doxs

THE LIBERTY BOYS FIGHTING DOXSTADEh 13 determined opposition, and Dick judged that by this time they were well on their way to their camp in the cedar swamp. As he was riding along at a good speed, however, he suddenly came upon the strange creature, Mad Bett, who out :from a clump of bushees, made a warning gesture, and said, in an earnest one: "Be]"are! there are enemies on the road. The Tory scoundrels wait for the brave boy leader, to kill him from behind the thicket." Dick had already reined in Major, and he now asked: "Where are the Tories, Bett, and how many are there?" "They are cowards,'' said the madwoman; "they tell the Indians to kiU , and then they run away from the consequences of their evil deeds. They dare not come out. They fire upo1;1 brave men from behind bushes and rocks. They call brave men rebels, but they do not ha_ve the courage to fight for their country like men." "And they are waiting for me?" "Yes but Bett will show you a way to get beh ind them, and while they are still waiting you wil' be far away." "Are the Indians all gone, Bett ?" "Yes they have hidden in the swamp; they are snakes' and toads and crawling things! They wait for darkness before coming out-they are afraid of the light. Ha, ha, ha! Bett knowS' them!" This way. Bett will show you the way." The strange mad creature went hurrying down a forest path, just wide enough for Dick to make his way on horseback, and Dick followed, eager to capture the Tories at their own game and make them tell him where redskins had gone. The crazy woman disappeared, but in a few momems he heard a wild shriek of laughter, and then startled cries and rapid footsteps. Sud denly a frightened man came dashing along the path, and Dick reaehed over and seized him by t:1e collar. "So you were lying wait for me?" he asked. -You were going to shoot me from behind the bushes, were you? And you call yourself a man, do you?" "Don't let that mad creature get hold of me!" cried the other, in the greatest t.error. "She will beat out my brains with a club. That's wliat she did to Bill Peters, and she strangled Sam Williams. Don't let her catch me!" and the man trembled so violently that Dkk could scarcely hold him up. "Where is Doxstader?" Dick demanded sternly. "I don't know. He went away this morning." "Have you seen him since the fight at Curry-town ?" "No, I haven't." "Do you know where the Indians have gone?" "Yes-to Turlock, I guess. in the cedar swamp." "Do you know the way there?" "I guess so. It's in the woods, and there's only a bridle path through them. I guess I could find it, but I don't know. Let me go, captain," piteously. "I am afraid of that crazy woman; she will kill me if she gets hold of ms!" "But you would have shot at mefrom ambush if I had n<>t been told in season. Do you think it is any worse to have a crazy creature kill you?" "Then shoot me like a man; don't batter my brains out." "If I spare you, will you guide us to the camp of the Indians to-night?" Dick asked. "I'll do the best I can, captain; but don't wait here. !'in afraid of my J.ife!" The man seemed thoroughly terrified, and Dick sent him ahead, while he wheeled and went back to the road. They neither saw nor heard anything of the crazy woman, nor of any of the Tories she had warned Dick against. "How many were there of you in the bushes?" Dick a:sked, when he got to the road, the man standing there looking around in a frightened manner. "Five." "And all armed ? " "I haven't any pistol, and I dropped my rifle. The crazy woman was upon us before we knew it. Do you think she has gone? She is as strong as three men. Don't wait, Captain; I'm afraid!" There was no pretence about the man's fear, for he was thoroughly frightened and shook like a leaf, his face being the color of ashes. "Come with me," said Dick. "Mind, wou are to keep your word or be hanged as a murderer. If you show u s the way to the camp of the Indians, you'll be spared, but after that you must leave this district forever. If you return, you will be hanged." "All right, captain; I'll do the best I can," and the man hurried along the road ahead of Dick. making no attempt to escape. Dick took him to the fort and told Colonel Willett the offer he had made to the fellow and he had said about the Indians and 1sts. "I have a guide," declared the colonel, "but it will do • no harm to have another. We will take this man. Do you think the mad woman killed the Tories, a s he says?" "I have very little doubt of it. She is entirely out of her head when upon the subject of her wrongs, and I believe that she did jus t as he says. His terror was not assumea, by any means." After getting instructions from Colonel Willett as to the time and place of meeting, Dick left the fort to return to the camp of the Liberty Boys. CHAPTER VIII.-Following the Redskins. Shortly after dark the Liberty Boy s set out to m ee t Colonel Willett at the fort to go in pursuit of the Indians. The colonel had secured a considerable force, and with Captains McKean and Gross and Dick Slater and his Liberty Boys, he set out on the trail of the redskins. Tiley had the guide whom Dick had captured and Colonel Willett had one of his own also, an'd they hoped with both of them to find their way to the lurk-ing place of the Indians. The night was dark and lowering, and when they entered the forest both guides became perplexed and progress was slow . Dick thought he might find his way, but he knew only the general direction, and there was much to bother him and throw him off the track. They had to go slowly at the best on account of the darkness and the narrowness of the path, and they were greatly delayed by one thing and another. Ins-Wad of getting to the camp of the Indians by J• "


14 THE LIBERTY BOYS FIGHTING DOXSTADER they were so delayed that it was morning before they reached: it. The Indians seemed to know that they were coining and had taken up a better po sition and were ready to receive them. Colonel Willett determined to reconnoiter before making the attack, and therefore lte said to Dick: "Take a number of your Liberty Boys, Captain Slater, and see if you can see how the enemy have disposed themselves. Be cautious and don't let them know what you are about." "Very good, Colonel," replied Dick. "I will find out all I can." Dismounting a riumber of the boys, Dick went ahead cautiously to learn all he could about the Indians. "If we can draw them out of their position, Bob," said Dick, "that will give Colonel Willett a chance to attack them." "Yes Dick for they are now very advantageously situated, and we could do very little." "They know it, but we may be able to execut,e a stratagem ant draw them out. I will suggest it to Colonel Willewt, an

' THE LIBERTY BOYS FIGHTING DOXSTADER 15 Dick saw Frank Belden, one of the boys who '.had remained behind, and asked him about the men that had been seen prowling about. "You were en picket at the time, I believe, Frank?" he said. "What were the men like?" "They were not all men, Captain, some were no more than big boys. I never saw them before, but I would know one or two of them if I saw them. One was a big, hulking, white-headed, stoop-shouldered lout of a boy, about eighteen, but overgrown and clumsy. The other was a thick-set man, red-headed, with a red beard and partly bald. He had a scar on his foreehad and walked in a peculiar manner, as if one leg were longer than the other." • "You would know these two again, then?" "Yes, I could not forget• them. There were four altogether, but" I didn't get such a good view of the rest and wouldn't remember them if I saw them again." "Maybe some of the othe'rs would remember the rest, so that we can identify them all." "Yes, they might." Dick questioned Jim Turner and Dave Dunham and got a fair description of the other member,<; of the. party. One was a long-legged boy with big hands and feet and an awkward manner, the other being an ordinary-looking man with irongray hair and very little beard, with nothing distinctive about him, which was prabably the rea son that he made so little impression on the most of the boys. "What did they seem to want, Frank?" questioned Dick. "Well, when I saw them, after Mattie told us . of them, they seemed to be just prowling about to see what they could steal, and when I came up, l saw only the white-headed boy and the red-headed man clearly. The man went off in a hurry, but the boy said he didn't want anything and was just looking around, and he didn't see what we wanted to make such a fuss about, and then he loped off." "They were not Royal Greens or Loyalists?" "No, I should say not." "Were they looking at the horses?" "The boy was." "So was the other boy," declared Jim. "I should say that he would steal a horse or a sheep, or even a chicken, if he could get safely hold of it and have plenty time to get away, but he would take no ri s k. That's the only thing he wouldn't take," dryly. Later they were talking about the affair in front of the where George was and Dick spoke of the white-headed boy." "That's Link Darkwater, I know the rascal," apoke out George wh(} was sitting up. "Why, that fellow had the assurance to ask me if he might pay attention to Mattie. He lives over to ward Johnstown, and he's a Tory, besides being a scamp. They don't always go. together, but they do in his case. I never told Sis about it, but I did iell him that if he said another word about it, I'd whack him so that he couldrl't stand up for a week." "Do you know the red-headed man?" "Yes, that's his father, and he's another rascal. .They were both looking for what they could steal, I'll warrant." "Well, we'll keep a watch upon them," said Dick, and then the matter was dropped. Dick did not care to discuss it before George, for he had an idea which he did not want to have the boy think of, as it might excite him too much in his weak condition. "That white-headed fellow and his father were not looking for horses to steal so much as for Mattie Gray, Bob," he said. "When one of tllese fellows gets a notion that he likes a girl, he will do anything, and my opinion is that Link would run off with Mattie if he could do so safely and force her to marry him." "Then, if they could get hold of a horse, it would be all the better, for they could escape easier." "I think that is their idea. They may have known that Mattie was here and that we were not, and so came to look over the ground and see if they had any chance." "But the boys were alert and they had to get away. They may come again, Dick." "Yes, and the boys must be cautioned not to say anything to Mattie about it, for fear tnat she might speak to George and him. They must watch for these prowlers, too . I don't think• that they are Royal Greens or that their plans concern the Tories at all, but are merely personal." "Some fellows seem to think that a girl has nothing to say about her company and that if they make up their minds tliey want her, the matter is settled!" sputtered Bob. "I never saw such cheek!" "Well, we will go on the supposition that this was their mission here and keep a watch on the camp and on Mattie herself," added Dick, "and I the rascals will find some trouble in getting: ln." "That's right," with a laugh. Dick told the boys to keep a stricter watch than usual on the camp both day and night, as he feared that some ruffians might try to abduct Mattie. The men who had been about were described, and they were to be arrested if they were seen. Dick and some of the boys were out in the direction of Fort Plain later that afternoon, not re turning till nearly sunset. Then Dick went to the tet where George was and saw the boy asleep, his mother sitting outside. "Where is Mattie, Mrs. Gray?" •he questioned. "She left the camp a short time ago to take a walk," the mother answered. "She thought the exercise would do her good." "Did any one go with her?" "No, she went alone. She was going but a short distance." 1 "I had rather she had taken one of the boys with her. Did she go this way, or through the camp?" "She went this way; but, Captain, what is wrong? You appear to be worried about something." "I am afraid some of those ruffians may have abducted her, but I may be mistaken. Don't arouse George. I will go and look for her. She went this way?" "Yes, through the woods and down the hill." "Don't be VoiOrried, Mrs. Gray. She may be all ;right. Some of thos e fellows who were


16 THE LIBERTY BOYS FIGHTING DOXSTADER about the camp may have been up to mischief, but perhaps not. Don't trouble Ge?rge about it." Then Dick went on in the direction the woman had pointed aut, seeing Mattie's footprints quite plainly, but saying nothing about it. He foilowed the trail through the woods and down the hill and then to a rough path leadiag alongside a thicket. Here as the shadows were beginning to gather, he to a p\ace where there were signs of a struggle, the bushes being seen in addition to the tracks made by the girl herself. Then he found a kerchief lying on the ground which he knew to belong to Mattie, and saw a few shreds of cloth torn from a print dress which he knew was the gil'l's. "The scoundrels have been watching," he muttered "and as soon as she left the camp they have seized her and canied her away." Looking further; be saw that a trail led into the deeper woods, and here on a brier bush he. saw something which very few: would have They were simply a few hairs, some almost white and others a brig'ht red. "Link Darkwater and his father have been con cerned in the affair, just as I feared," Dick said. He imitated the cry -0f a hawk, s]1rill and clear, which could be heard to some distance, repeating it in a moment. Before long a number of the Liberty Boys came hurrying along the rough path, led by Bob Estabrook. "What's the trouble, Dick?" asked Bob. "M11ttie Gray has been carried off by Link and his father and some others. We forgot to warn the g-irl about leaving the camp alone, and the wretches have taken advantage of it." "How did you happen to , find it out, Dick?" "I went to see George, on our. return, and found her gone. Then I remembered that we had not warned her and feared that something had happened. I think there are a number of us here. Hello! Here are more." Sam and a few more boys came hurrying along at this moment. "Run back -and tell Mark to loek after the camp, Sam " said Dick. "We are going in search of Mattie. Tell Mrs. Gray not. to worry, but don't alarm George. Come along, boys. Better cut some torches as you go on, as we may need them." Sam then ran back to deliver Dick's message, while he and the rest hurried on along the trail which was still quite plain. There was no need of torches for a little while, as the trail did not go through the thick woods for long, but into a more open tract. Dick found four sets of footprints besides Mattie's and knew that all of the party seen hanging about the camp were concerned in the affair. "They are on foot," he said, "probably because they could not get any of our horse3. Well, we can go pretty well on foot ourselves, and I don't think that they are very far ahead of us." With Dick, besides Bob, were Ben, Jack, the two Harrys, Will Freeman, Sid Carhart and a number of the boys, all good at followiRg a trail and some well acquainted with the region Lishe Green, as w ell a s Harry Judson, bein?, along. "D-0 you know Link, Lishe? ' asked Dick. "No, but I know the other boy, the long-legged one. He's Hi.ram Pettibone, what used to live near the German Flats. He's around here now, I believe. He's a sneak, and if he can get the best of Link, he'll do it, though he pretends to bl! helping him." "That may help us, then, for when rogues fall out, honest people p :rnsper, they say." They followed the trail till it began to grow and then Dick told of the boys to light thelr torches so that they might have s ome assist ance. In a short time there were three or four torches gleaming and Dick took one of these and went ahead rapidly. At length they came to a brook, and here Dick paused. "'fhey ha:ve. entered the b.rook," 'he said. "I dcm t know if 1t was to save time or to deceive us. Go upstream, Bob, and I will go down. We must find out where the fellows came out." • ?id all cross the brook, but some went down Dick, on either side, while the others accomparued Bob on the way up in the same manner. "If they separated we mus t determine which party took the girl and follow that " observed Dick, "although we have enough to follow them all." . In a short time they found where the four Tories had come. out. of the brook, having gone up strea!11, the dl!rechon taken by Bob. He signaled to Dick and the rest, and in a short time they w.ere al! together and following the trail with the aid ?f the torches, it being now qu,ite dark and no sign of a road anywhere. "Are there houses in this direction Lishe?" Dick asked. ' "Well, there's some, Captain, but they aren't very close together and there isn't much of a road through here." "That's right," added . Harry, "and the river is not very but there are swamps and there's a lot of water m s ome of them. I know a log cabin close to one of them." "Does. the trail lead in that direction, Harry?" asked Dick. "Yes, it seems to. They saved something going up the brook and cro ss ing, for if they had gone on they would have had to cross it again farther on." "Then they have no idea that we are following th.em, and we will go on to the swamp," declared Dick. CHAPTER X.-Searching in the More torches were lighted and the boys hurried on, now trail plainly and then losing it, but keepmg on m the same .general direction. Then they struck a path where fhe trail was lost but Dick followed it, believing that it led wis'hed to go. On tlrey ".Vent at good speed, lighted by the torches, threading their way in and ol:!t among the as they the path, Dick at la_st seemg the footprmts again as they struck a bit of soft ground. He saw the prfots of a girl's feet and only thos e of two men, which sh{)wed that the party had divided. • "As long as Mattie is still ahead of us, jt does not matter if the others have left," he said to Bob, pointing out the tracks, "for we do not care much if we don't catch all of the rascals." "Hurrying on, they found more and more wet


THE LIBERTY BOYS FIGHTING DOXSTADER 17 place s , and at last Dick noticed the. gleam of a body of water ahead of them, and said; "Conceal your torches , boys . I am gomg ahead. Come along, Hany." . "Both of us?" a sked Harry Thur b er, with a laugh. ' . D. k f "Yes , both of you, and Jack,' replied 1c , or the two Harrys were seldom s eparated. The boys con cealed their torches s o that the light eould not b e seen a few yards distant, and Dick and the thre e boys he had p i cked out went ahead along the path, guided now and then by the liglit of t h e stars . At the end of three or four hundred f eet they came to a lake on the edge of a s wamp, and, peering ahead, Dick c ould see a log cabin off upon one side . "Be careful, boys," he said in a low tone. may be the cabin we are lo<.iking for. We will follow the shore, but be careful that you don't twnbl e in." . The stars aided the boys, and they made their w a y al ong the e

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