The Liberty Boys on the commons, or, Defending old New Yor


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The Liberty Boys on the commons, or, Defending old New Yor

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Title:
The Liberty Boys on the commons, or, Defending old New Yor
Series Title:
Liberty Boys of "76"
Creator:
Moore, Harry
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New York
Publisher:
Frank Tousey
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English
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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 )
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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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025745119 ( ALEPH )
72801842 ( OCLC )
L20-00284 ( USFLDC DOI )
l20.284 ( USFLDC Handle )

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The redcoats suddenly rushed upon the crowd or men and boys aboilt the effigy . John Blunt. fell, and a big redcoat was about. to strike him with his musket. Then Dick the Libert Bo s came to the rescme.

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The Liberty Boys of I11sued Wttkly-Subscrlptlon prlee, $ 3.50 per yenr; Canndn. $4.00; Foreign, $4.!50. Frank Tousey, Publish er. 168 West 23d Street, New York, N . Y. Entered as S econd-Class Matter January 31 , 19 1 3 , at t h e Post Oftice at New York, N. Y., under tbP Act of March 3, 1879. No. 1090 NEW YORK, NOYitMBER 18, 1921. Price 7 cents The Liberty Boys On the ' Commons OR, DEFENDIN G OLD NEW YORK By HARRY MOORE CHAPTER !.-Spying on a Spy. A manly-looking boy in Continental uniform was walking down Wall street in the city of New York one pleasant afternoon in September, at <• time when the patriots still held the city, but the British were threatening it from all sides. They had troops on Long Island, and at Staten lsland, just across the bay, there were ships in hoth rivers and at Governor's Island, and the prospects were indeed gloomy. The boy in Continental uniform was the cap tain of a troop of one hundred brave young pa triots lately organized to fight for American independence, and known as the Liberty Boys. His Y>ame was Dick Slater, and his home was in Westchester, fron} which district came the greatn part of the Liberty Boys, and he was a thoroughly manly boy as well as a stanch patriot. Just now he was in search of information of the <-nemy, and also waiting for instructions, the boys being in camp on the Commons a little :>bove the city. ready to aid in defending old New York, to march against the enemy, or to do anything else that was required of them. As Dick walked along Wall street toward the City Hall at a good swinging pace he suddenly recame aware that there was some one following him. He stopped to speak to one of the l.iberty Boys whom he had despatched to the r ity something earlier, and that the man also. "Very good," he said, in a loud tone, and then went on, the stranger following. A few steps farther on he stopped to spea1< to an entire stranger, simply to ask an unimportant question, and at once the man behind him came to a halt and waited until he went on. Then he entered the City Hall and remained there a few mmutes, finding the stranger waiting for him when he came out. The man was dressed in the ordinary clothes worn by citizens, and would have passed not1ce from most persons, but Dick Slater was a very observant boy, and saw things which a great many would have passed without notice. He saw that the man stood unusually erect, that his eye w:is clear and seemed to take in all things at a glance, and that he had a shrewd ]ook not at all in keeping with the manners of an ordinary citizen, as he appeared to be to the casual observer. "The fellow is a spy,'' was Dick's instant thought, "and be is following me to see what he can learn. Very well ! Perhaps I can spy upon the spy, and learn something on my part." Dick Slater was a very clever spy, and had been employed by General Washington himself, .from whom he held his captain's commission, on matters of the utmost importance, always giving complete satisfaction. He turned into Broad street and walked down toward Fraunces tavern, on the southeast corner of Pearl street, at that time a gre:it resort of officers in the patriot army, and stopped halfway down to speak t o a n officer of his acquaintance. The stranger wa& following, and Dick said in a low tone: "Don't tell me anything till this man passes. I am convinced -that he is a spy in the pay o f the British." The other had come on at the same speed at which Dick had been keeping up, and would now be obliged to go on or be suspected. "Yes, captain, the girls are very well, thank you," the other officer said. "Come to tea this evening, won't you?" "Children over the measles?" Dick asked care lessly. "Yes, thank you; especially the '\Jaby. He had it lighter than any of them." "Ah! that was a good thing. Well, I cton't know but that I'll run in here now for a short time. Good day." The stranger had stopped a little way down. the street to ask how to get to a certain peint, and heard this conversation, which was of n o importance. "If he thought that I wa,s going to talk of important matters, he must have been greatly disappointed," thought Dick. "! must manage to change my attire so as to follow him. " Dick Slater bad many friends in the city, and there was one right in. Pearl street, not very far from the tavern. He h..td spoken of goin"' to 1.he officer's house so as to give an excuse"' for dropping in at his friend's house, knowing very well that the stranger would follow and wait for him. Turning into Pearl street, he stopped at An unpretentious-looking house and raised the heavy brass knocker. A maid servant answered his summons, and he asked: • "Is Mr. Nugent at home?" "Yes, captain ;'come right in." When the dcor was shut Dick looked cautiously through the sm::Jl, diamond-shaped panes of colored glass at one s!de, and saw the stranger a little way up the street, watching the house. "As I thought, " he muttered. " H e thi nks this

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2 THE LIBERTY B O YS ON T H E COMMONS i s the li e utenant's h ou se , and that I have s to p ped to call for a few minutes . " In the library Dic k w a s rece i ved b y a p leasant f a ced , e lderly gentleman, w ho s a id : " I a m pleased to s ee you, captain. I s t h ere any n e w s of importa nce ? Anything t o fear from the enemy a s yet?" "The i r s pie s are in the city, trying t o obtain information, sir," Dick returned. " I have been followed by one, and now I intend to spy on him. Will you furnish me with a change of cloth ing, s o tha t I m a y pass unnot iced ?" "To be s u re," laughed the old gentleman. "That is a very clever idea. What would you like?" "A suit of black, and a wig; I think I will be a doctor for the present. That will fit in well with what the spy knows, or thinks he doe s , of this place." Dick told in a few w ords what had taken place, and the o ld gentleman fitted him out with what he wanted, the boy making the change in one of the bedro oms. The maid was given certain in structions , al\(} als o made a few changes in her attire in orde r to carry out Dick's sc heme of deceiving the waiting s py. The latter p resently saw a lady s how the doctor out, thanking him effusive l y for what he had done fo r the children, and saying tha t he had better c a ll aga in s oon. "Have no fear, m a ' a m," replie d the s uppo se d physician, who was the young patriot s py, of cours e, t aking a pinch of snuff. " No, I won't call a g ain. " " Oh, but I think you had better," in a high key. " Yes, they are better, I told you." "Better call again, I said. " "Scald 'em? No, you mustn't m ake it a s hot as that." "Come aga in, I s aid, doctor," and the sup posed mothe r shoute d in the supp o se d phys ici an's ear. " Oh, yes , exactly . Good day." The n D ick went a way, hi s g old-he a d e d s tick, his wig, his snuff, hi s suit of bl ac k , hi s deafness, and h is air of self-importanc e, a ll in d icating the old family physician , and nothing of t h e cl ever youn g s py. H e saw the stra n g e r wa l k a way a few p a ce s , still watc h ing t h e h ou se , a nd evi demiy waiting with s ome impatie nc e for the young captain to come out. " H'e'll have a weary time w a i t ing, " he chuckled to hims elf, "but I don't want him to wait, for I wan t to follow him, see where he goe s , and he a r what he. says." Dick saw two or thr ee officer s go into Fraunces tavern and went on , noticing a s he went up the few steps that the spy was c oming on, be ing met b y anothe r man near the corner. "He i s getting tired of waiting," was Dick's thought, "and thinks that p erhaps he c a n le arn something from s ome of the offic e r s whom he saw enter here." He entere d, totik a seat in a corner, and pres ently saw the suspected spy and hi s companion come in and take seats in a quiet corner not far from hi s o w n place. There were newspapers on a table near by, and Dick p r e sently aros e, took his pewter of hom e bre wed, and sat at the other table, picking up a paper. Neither Dick Slater nor any of the Libert y Boys ever d r ank a les or spirits , but sometimes m a de a pretence of doing s o in orde r to hav e an excuse for remai n ing in c ertain pl a c es . "Be careful what :Tou say," whispered the spy's compani on . "The old fellow may be a rebel." "It matters very little what he is," with a laugh and in a n ordinary tone. "He is as deaf as an adder. Aren't you, you old humbug?" Dick paid not the slightest attention, as if he had not heard, but adjusted his big spectacles, picked up the pape r and began to read, taking no more notice of the two nien than if they had not been there. "H'm! he is deaf enough, certainly," with a laugh. "You did not learn anything from the young rebel ? " "No; and I don't think they suspect anything, a s he seem s to be simply walking about, calling on young women, asking about children and such l ike. I don't believe he will be out of there for an hour." "He would not be likely to kno w very much, anyhow, would he?" "Yes, for the Liberty Boys have the confidence of the rebel general , and young Slater would be the very one to know . That is why I followed him." "He is employed by Putnam?" "Yes, and by Washington himself. The rebels must know nothing of or intentions, and I wi s h to discover wha t he doe s know." "The city will soon be ours if all goes well." "Exactly, but the rebels must not know it. , or there will be more difficulty in taking it. T h e s e young rebels are campe d on the Commons, and, with their horses , can be moved rapidly to any point, and it is very important that they should know nothing of the attack to be mad. e at the upper end of the island. " "And I am very gla d that I do know of it now ," was Di ck's thought. " Do you think we might capture the young rebel? " a sked the other. "Perhaps , if w e could get a decoy note to him. I think it could be so c arefully worded that he would be d e ceived." "It would h a ve to be," thoi.ight Dick, with a s mile , which the two spies did not see. "Tell him that we know where there areBriti s h spi e s , and get him to come and surprise him. Tell him to bring some of the Liberty Boys with him. Jove! We cou l d bag the lot , and deliver them to Howe. He will pay five hundred pol}nds for Slater alone . " "Very g o od ! This will be as g o od as finding out about the rebels and how much they know." The t w o spies presently went away, the one Dick had followed saying, as he arose: "I will s ee you at the chop h ouse near the old theater in an hour." • " I mus t be there myself with some o f the Liberty Boys," thought Dick. "If we can capture the fellow it will go far t oward delaying the enemy's plans, I think. " ;When the spies had disappeared Dick left the place and returned to the h ouse in Pearl str e t , where he doffed his disguise; put 'on hi& unifo}.'1Il, and set out up Broadway toward the 'Commons, where the Liberty Boys had their camp. "There will be plenty o f time," 'he said to him-

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THE LIBERTY BOYS ON THE COMMONS 3 self. "If I had caused the arrest of the two spies in the tavern we would have learned nothing; but now we will." He was walking up Broadway on the west side of the street, and had nearly reached Rector street, when he saw a man, bl"-,d apparently, crossing, feeling his way with a stick, when all of a sudden a horse drawing a chaise, in which sat a young girl in great tenor, came rushing up from the direction of the river. The girl was evidently unable to check the speed of the horse, and the blind man did not know his danger. Here were two persons in peril, and it might not be possible to save either, but Dick resolved to do what he could for the one least able to save himself. CHAPTER II.-A Very Clever Capture. Hurrying forward, at great danger of being thrown down by the frantic horse, Dick su!fdenly seized the bridle rein and threw the animal almost upon his haunches, at the same time saying to the blind man: "Keep right on, sir; you are in no danger." Fortunately, the Liberty Boy whom Dick had seen in Wall street now came hurrying from the direction of Trinity church, and assisted the blind man to reach a place of safety, returning to Dick and helping the young girl in the chaise to get out. "Oh, I wish you would see me home!" she said. "I don't know why he ran away. I suppose it was hearing that rebel band playing rebel mus ic that sbnted him. Who will see me home? I will never trus t myself to him again." "If you will let Ben Spurlock drive, miss, I think will be as safe as if you walked," said Dick politely. The girl seemed to notice the uniforms of the l:loys for the first time, for she suddenly turned up he1 nose, tossed her head, and said in a most scornful tone: "Ride with rebels? Indeed, not! I would sooner walk!" , "Which you might do, for all of me, unless I were ordered to accompany you, miss," ietor.t ei;I Ben, with a laugh. "I suppose the captain ought to apologize for havillg rescued your Tory high-. ness? If I were you, I would say a s little as possible about at this time. The people might not like it." "You may send the horse and chaise to the first house on the river," said the girl haughtily. "I shall not ride, least of all with a rebel." Then, with a toss of her head, the goirl h1rned toward the church, leaving Dick and B e n standing with the hors e and chaise in the middle of the street. At that moment, however, a groom came hurrying up from the direction of the river a,nd claimed the horse and chaise as belonging to his master. "The beast is not fit to trus t with any one but a strong man, and Miss Mercy knew it; but she went off alone before any one cpuld interfere, having her own way, as she always does," the man explained. The horse knew him, and he got into the chaise and drove off, leaving the young girl to go home alone. "Rather self-willed, as well as a Tory," laugh ed Ben. "Two very bad qualities. I wonder if she expected us to return the trap after having treated us so discourteously?" "It is little matter what so rude a person thinks, Ben," with a smile, "but there is work for us to do. Run up to the camp and get a number of the Liberty Boys to go to the chop house in Chapel street near the old theater. I want to capture a British spy . . " "The boys will be quite ready for a task of that sort," laughed Ben, as he hurried off. Dick went up Brc;adway more leisurely, and at John street came upon one of the Liberty Boys wearing the uniform of a first lieutenant. "Hallo, Bob!" he saffi . "I am glad I met you. There is s ome lively work for us. I am going to capture a British spy." "Good!" exclaimed Bob Estabrook, who was the fir s t lieutenant of the Liberty Boys and Dick Slater's closest friend, the two being like brothers. As the two walked up Broadway, Dick told Bob how he had turned the tables on the spy and how he now meant to capture the fellow if it were po ss ible, so as to learn all they could of the enemy's intentions." "That's a famous idea, Dick," laughed Bob. "The fellow is scheming to capture you, and you are arranging to take him a prisoner. That is very good." "Yes; but it will be better still if it turns out replied Dick. "It can hardly help doing so if the boys are on hand. They will all take part in it eagerly, for they would like nothing better than capturing a spy." "Very true; but they must not show themselves too soon, or the fellow may take the alarm and get away." . The boys turned off toward Chapel street when they neared the Commons, and here they came upon Mark Morrison, the second lieutenant of the Liberty Boys, one of the bravest of them all, thoroughly trusted by Dick, and a universal favorite. "Did you meet Ben Spurlock, Mark?" asked Dick. "Yes, and he said that you had some scheme on hand, the capture of a British spy or something like that," returned Mark. "That ought to interes t the boys." "Hang around the neii;hbor hood of the old theater , Mark," said Dick, "and when you hear the signal, come up. \Ve must not be too nu merous at first, or we may frighten our man away." "Do you thin k we can catch both, Dick?" asked Bob, as Mark went ahead. "Perhaps; but if we catch one it will be all right. I would like to take both, of course. " The boys reached the chop hou se and saw the spy sitting by the window, it being close upon the time se t by him to meet his confederates. Dick and Bob strolled carelessly along, and presently saw B en Spurlock, Sam Sanderson, Harry Judson, Phil Waters, and one or two-others in odd corners, s ome look ing in at the shop win dows, some sitting in coffee rooms, and some strolling carelessly along.

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4 THE LIBERTY BOYS ON THE COMMONS 'We must not raise a hue-and-cry," said Dick, "or the man will be torn to pieces." "No it ought to be done quietly," agreed Bob. with me, then," said Dick. Then he turned and walked toward the chop house, signaling to the boys as he passed to clo se in quietly. He and Bob entered the chop hou se and i;at at the same table with the spy, who looked up in surprise and said with a great show of indignation: "'llhis table is reserved, young gentlemen, and I think it would be as well to ask if you are welcome before you sit--" "You are going with u s ," said Dick, in a quiet tone. "You know me, I believe, having p lanned to effect my capture by means of a decoy let ter." The man turned pale, and Dick said: "My lieutenant has a pistol in his pocket. and could shoot you in a moment. There are a dozen Liberty Boys within call. I think it will be bet ter for you to leave here with u s as if y ou were on the most sociable terms, rather than have any trouble." The man paled visibly and muttered: " You are making a great mistake. I am a spy in the rebel cause, and I have--" "We do not call ourselves rebels," interrupted Dick. "Do you remember the doctor in Fraunces tavern? You got rather tired of waiting at the house in Pearl street, didn't you? You made this appointment with your friend, but I think he is late. I don't think we will wait for him. Sup pos e we call on General Putnam, or perhaps some one less high in rank?" The spy seemed utterly dumfounded at the amount of knowledge po ssessed by Dick, and, as the boys arose, he arose in a mechanical fashion, as if he could not help hims elf. He see med about to dash away as they reached the door, but suddenly saw Ben and Harry step forward as if about to enter the place. "Why, hello, Williams!" said Ben, as if he had known the man all his life. "We were looking for you. Oh, I see, you found the cap tain." "Yes, and we are all going to the camp," said Dick. Bob had his arm in that of the spy and was talking animatedly to him, and one w? uld have supposed that they were the best of friends. "You are c leverer fellows than I gave you credit for," said the spy to Dick, "but you have not caught my companion, and he will warn the general." . . ,, "He will not know anything about 1t, returned Dick. as he suddenly turned into a narrow alley. "He may see a number of Liberty Boys, and he will think that you hllve become alarmed and dared not keep your appointment." Dick and Bob were presently alone with the spy so far as he knew, but there were others within call. The two young patriots took him out upon Broadway, and then along the west side of the Commons to the camp. "You know this location, I believe," said Dick. "Here is where you were going to send the messenger with the decoy letter. You don't know my other haunts, do you Z I have many of them." " I did not know that you were so good a spy Slater," said the other. "Of course, I knew that you were one--" " On account of Howe's having offered a reward," ob served Dick. "Yes, to be sure, but I thought that perhaps men had exaggerated your exploits and that---" "You redcoats don't know the half of wha1 Dick Slater has done," sputtered Bob. "Why, he knew that you were following him from the first time you started on the trail, in Wall street, and he led you to the place in Pearl street inventing all that talk that you heard with a he scarcely knew, s o as to get a disguise and fol lo w you instead of being followed. Why, if you were one quarter as good a spv as Dick Slater is, your fortune would be made." "You are a very clever young rebel, Slater." muttered the spy. "I shall certainly have to give you credit for !l'etting the best of me very adroitly." "We are not rebels, Mr. Williams, as I shall have to call you, not knowing your name," said Dick. "Williams will do," muttered the spy. "Until we know your real name, which will prohably not be long," dryly. The spv was put in a tent under a strong guard, and the boys ''"ere 1> 11 eai;er tQ hear Dick's story of how they had taken him. The boys were just finishing dinner when Will F1:eeman, one of the boys, came to Dick and said: "There is a boy here, captain, who wants to .ioin the Liberty Boys . He look s like a sturdy boy, and he seems to be a good patriot." "Send him here, Will," replied Dick, and Will went away, shortly returning with a boy about his own age. "Do you want to join the Liberty Bo y;:?" asked Dick, loC>t;ing the other bo_y closelv. "Yes, captain. Mv name is John.Blunt. and I live in the Greenwich village. I have seen you boy s, and think vou are d oin g a good work and I would like to join." ' ' "ls your father willing that you should join u s, John?" captn;in. I ask.ed him this morning, and he said I rmght, but 1f you woulrl like me to bring him down here, or if you would send two or three of the boys with me, I will take them there, and they can hear what he has to say about himself." "I can send some of-the boys with y ou , John. Did you walk?" "Yes, for the horse was at work, but I don't mind that." "You need not walk back, for I can lend you a horse. YVill, you and Ben may g o with him when he is read)•. Had your dinner, John?" "No, captain." "Then get something to eat before you go back, for you must be hungry." The boy ate moderately, and then set out with Will and Ben for his home, evidently in fine spirits. "I thlnk he will make a very good member of the troop," said Dick.

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THE LIBERTY B0YS ON THE COMMONS 5 CHAPTER 111.-Dick and Bob in Trouble. After the boys had gone a few minutes Dick went to the tent where the spy was under guard and said: "You may s u spect, Williams, that we know considerable concerning the enemy's plans which is quite true. When is the attack on upper part of the i sland to be made?" " I don't know," replied the spy. " I only know that it is to be made. That is a matter which rests entirely with General H owe." Dick looked at the spy, and saw that he was not telling the truth, having slightly changed color as he spoke. Few would have noticed this bu_t ,there. was little that escaped the young tams notice, and he said quietly: "It would be better for you to tell me the truth. You do know the time set for the attack and you had better tell me. " ' "I won't!" snarled the spy, seeing that Dick had detected him in an untruth, for all that he had sp0ken with such an air of frankness. . "Perhap_s one e lse_ will make you tell," Dick replied. Others \nil use more forcible means, as you will di scover." The man said nothing, and Dick left the tent, saying to Bob, whom he met outside: "Send three or four of the boys to Putnam's headr-uarters with the spy. He refuses to an swer." "Very good," said Bob; and Sam Sanders on, Phil Waters , Harry Juds on, and Paul Benson were sent with the spy, who the peril he was in, but nevertheless refused to speak. Some minutes later, as Dick and Bob were preparing to leave the camp on the Commons to go into the city, two very pretty girls came riding up, and were assisted to alight by the boys themselves. "Well, girls, what brings you down to the city at this time?" asked Dick. "Don't you know that we are threatened by the enemy, and that the city may be attacked at any time?" "Oh, we came down on a visit to some friends in the Greenwich village," replied one of the girls, who was Alice Estabrook, Bob's sister and Dick's sweetheart, "and so we thought we would run down to the camp to see you; but, of course, if you don't want to see us--" "Why, Alice, you know that brother and Bob are never going to say that!" exclaimed the other girl, who was Edith Slater, Bob's sweetheart and Dick's sister. "Bes ides, we knew the news before we set out." "Of course we did, and came just the same," laughed Alice. "You must not take me too s eriously, my dear." "Then you met Ben and Will?" said Dick, smiling. "Yes, and they told u s that there were alarms; but then there are always such, and if we stayed away every time \\e heard them you would see nothing of u s." , "Oh, no, we wouldn't!" laughed Bob. "You mean that you would rome to see us?" "No; but that you would come to see u s in spite of alarms," with a ch uckle. Alice and Edith stayed till well on toward sunset, and then Dick and Bob set out with them, Dick riding a " fine black Arabian called Major, while Bob was mounted on a bay. They reached the hous e where the girls were staying, remained a short time, and then found the house of Mr. Blunt. They saw the boy's parents and were greatly pleased with therre both the father and mother being plain, sensible people, of the best principles , and thorough patriots. They in their turn seemed very much pleased with Dick and Bob, and Mr. Blunt said: "I have heard of the Liberty Boys and of the work you have done for your country, and John has spoken about going in with you, and as far a s I knew I had no objection, but I wanted to see more of you before I gave my full consent. The boys I this a_fternoon pleased me very much, and I said that if you were all like that I would be perfectly satis fied." "We are mostly Westchester boys, M r. Blunt," Dick returned, "and you may know som:; of them. Besides the boys who came with John, there are many others-Sam Sanderson, Phil Waters, Paul Benson, Ben Brand, and and Dick named over a score or more of th&. "Yes, I guess I know the fathers of some of them," John's father answered, "and after see in"' you I have no objection to make. I'll send down after he's done hi s chores." "Any time you like, sir," Dick replied and then h e and Bob took their leave., ' They were riding on at a fair speed1 having left the old village, and being on a rough road vhere there were trees on either side when without the least warning, several men' sprang out upon them from both s ide s of the road and seized their horses. "Don't let the. young escape, " growled some one, and Dick recogmzed the voice as that of the man who had been with the captured spy at tavern. The boys tried to escape, but the attack was so sudden and the road so dark here that they were at a disadvantage. They were pulled from the saddle and hurried through the wood s two of the men leading the horses, while or three each kept a tight hold upon the boys . They went through the woods, down a hill, 'ind to a rough-looking house in a little lanP. where there was a light burning. Dick and Bob recognized several of their captors as men from the neighborhoop where they lived, all being not only rank Tories, but men of the most evil reputations . They were taken into the house and tied to chairs on opposite of the room, the spy saying to Dick, with an evi l look on hi s already forbidding face: "You had something to do with the disappearance of my companion, and now I am going to take you to the city and give y ou up to Howe and get the reward." "We want some of it in advance," muttered one of the Tories. "After y ou get the money we won't see a penny of. it, so you want to pay us before the rebel leaves here." "Oh, you'll get you c share, " returned the spy. "We're bound to, or n;ck Slater never leavei OU!' sight."

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6 THE LIBERTY BOYS ON THE COMMONS doubt in the man's mind, and he was not slow to CHAPTER IV.-The Redcoats Come to Town. take advantage of it. "I told you you did not kl)l!W anything about The spy saw that he would have trouble with the matter," he said, with a laugh. "You'd bethe Tories unless he satisfied their demands, lieve anything, but I know. I'll give you ten and it was evident that he had little or no money pounds, and that's a good share, seeing that I with him, and als o that he would like to put them have all the trouble." ofl' with a trifle, he -leeping much the larger Even ten pounds was a large sum to the Tory, sh.are. and he saw that it was that or nothing, the spy's • "We want ten pounds apiece," said one of the dominant attitude having caused him to make a Tories, whom Dick and Bob knew as Hank Jones. complete backdown. "That's for Dick Slater. The other fello w is "All right; let's have it now, and-by George!" wuth something." At that moment both boys had sprung to their "There is no reward for him," the spy an-feet, their hands free, and, grasping the chairs swered. " You can let him go after our troops in which they had been sitting. There were are in the city." candles on the high shelf over. the fireplace, this "That'll be wuth five pounds apiece; call it a being the only light the place'. . afforded. As the couple o' hundred for both jobs. Give us the Tories turned at their leader's\ exclamation and money and you can take Slater as soon ail you saw the boys ready to make a dash upon them please, but he doesn't leave here till we get it." it came. In a moment every candle was swept "But I don't carry that much money about to the floor and extinguished. with me. What are you afraid of? Yo u can "Look out, shut the doot!" come to the city with me, if you like, and see "Stand firm and hold back the young rebels!" me give the young rebel up. Do you think I The boys did not make a rush for the door as . am going to cheat you?" the Tories expected. There was an open window "No, we don't!" 'aughed Hank Jones. "We'll opposite, and toward this both boys made their take mighty good care that you don't. Go and way in a moment\ There was light enough for get the money, and you can have the rebel." them, and they were out almost at the same in"You won't trust me, and I don't see why I stant, and hurrying around to the front of the ediould trust you, angrily. "You are so suspi-house at the next. They found the horses teth tious yourselves that I believe you would cheat ered to trees close at hand, and quicklv" released me if you could. I've a mind to wash my hands them and sprang into the saddle. The Tories of the whole transadion, to let you carry it had not disarmed them in their haste to make through yourselves. How much attention would them prisouers, and the boys still had their pisthe general pay you? You could not get within • tols which they could use if they pleased. They a mile of him. Why, your very faces would be were well on their way to the main road before a passport to the city jail, and you wouldn't see the confused sounds which they heard from the a farthing of the reward." direction of the house told them that the spy and The Tories looked black, and the spy went on: the Tories had come out, having discovered the "Go ahead, manage the affair your own way. escape of their prisoners. You won't trust me. Very well: I'm done with "They won't come on in any hurry, Dick," the whole affair." laughed Bob. "They are afraid of our p tols." The Tories were somewhat taken aback the "Yes, hut there is no nee d of firing, in any spy arose and started for the door, for they had event, unless we are in danger." expected that he would hand them over a goodly Reachi!1g the road, Dick listened and said: 11um of money, and then do all the business of "Wait a m0ment. I hear some one coming. taking the prisoner to the city and collecting the It may be John Blunt." reward without them. During the dispute the "That is so; he was to come on sh0rtly." men had gathered one side of the room, quite In a short time they could hear the clatter of apart from the boys, of whom they took no nohoofs very plainly. The TorieR were coming up t ic e, n o more than if they had not been in the the hill, and now Dick s houtf)d: room. "Hallo! John Blunt, is that you?" They had be e n tied rather loosely to the chairs, "Yes. Is that you, captain? Why, I thoug.J1t you would be at the camp long before this." with their hands fastened behind them, and upon "We were delayed. ' Come ahead, but look out the instant that the quarrel began Dick se t to for yourself. There are Tories about." work with fingers and wrists trying to get his "Come on, all you!" shouted Bob. "Give it hands loose. He gave Bob a significant look, to the Tory rascals." and the young lieutenant got to work at the same Hank Jones and his comrades, thinking there moment. were many, of the Liberty Boys coming, beat a "Wait a . minute," snarled Hank Jones, as the hasty retreat, and the boy presently came up, spy started for the door . "We didn't say we asking: distrusted you, but it's only nateral that we want "Who are you calling to? Are there any more something for our trouble." of the Liberty Boys e:i..'Pected, captain?" "You want it all." laughed the spy. ''Yes, and "No, John," laughed Bob. "But these Tories more. The reward i s only a hund1 e d pounds,, think there are." and you want two. Go ahead and manage it, if The three boys rode on, there being no sound you think you are going to get so much!" 0f pursuit, and then Bob briefly told of their ad"O:il y :i hundred ?" muttered J ones. "Vi hy, I venture, John Blunt having been greatly puz-thought it was five." zled by Bob's allusions. . It was, but the spy had already awakened a "H'm! then if you hadn't got away when you

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THE LIBERTY BOYS ON THE COMMONS . 7 did, I would have got to the camp first, and the boys would have wanted to know where you were, and I couldn't have told them," declared John. "No; but there would have been a hunt all along the road," said Bob. "We can thank the greed of the Tories for our escape, for the time that they lo s t in quarreling was just what we to free ourselves." • "They must have tied you pretty loose, or else you are spry with your fingers." "It was a little of both," laughed Bob, "but we are pretty hard fellow s to keep, and as slippery as eels v. hen the enemy tries to hold u s , my boy. You must learn the same thing, for you may be taken prisoner some day, and you don't want to stay with the enemy any longer tha you can help." "No, I guess not," with a laugh. The boys reached the camp without further adventure, the others being grPatly interested in hearing what had happened to them. CHAPTER V.-Leaving the City. There was fighting going on in the upper part of the island, Dick knew, and the enemy would no doubt do all they could to land troops at different points lower, having already put a force ashore somewhere on the Hudso n near the foot of Partition street. Therefore, he ordered the boys to dismantle the camp and get ready to retreat toward the upper part of the island. While this was being done the rest of the boys remained at the lower end of the Commons to hold back the redcoats as long as possible in case they advanced again. The booming of canmm on both rivers threw many of the inhabi tants into a panic, and there was a great rush to get away from the city. The day was hot and sultry, and there was great suffering, and would be more as the hours went on. Putnam received orders to evacuate the city, and at once made ready to do so. The redc0ats were still not ready to make a considerable attack on the lower part of the i s l:rnd. although quite a number of men had been landed. There was a great deal of confusion, and many lawless men were going about, intent on robbery and worse. and these the soldiers kept in check. "There will be more trouble farther along," said Dick, "and we will no doubt have to fight for our liberty much more than we did down here." Dick knew the roads through the interior of the i sland, where there were swamps and woods, and was thus able to lead the Liberty Boys in safety and evade the British troops , who were waiting to fall upon any fugitives and capture them. Putnam had a narrow escape, passing within a short di stance of the waiting redcoats, while a number of officers were being entertained by Mrs. Murray at her mansion. The shade of the broad piazzas, the refresh ing cakes and wine and the witty cooversation of the patriot hostess delayed them long enough to save Putnam, for he was well on his way by the time the officers were ready to l eave. When the boys were safely on their way, Dick sent Bob with them, and set aft' toward the Blooming dale road, thence intending to make his way to the Greenwich village to 'get the girls and es cort them to some place of safety. He had nearly reached the house where the girls were staying, when he saw a number of redcoats in the road beyond it, and then saw some sort of disturbance taking place just ahead of him. Hurrying on and dismounting, he saw a young girl being rather roughly handled by a number of boy s , a coachman-driving a gig hurryingto her assistance. He recognized the girl as Mercy Mallette, and hurried on. "Oh, we're rebels, are we?" cried one of the boys . " Well, you're a scold. Duck her in the pond, boys." "She thinks she can ride right over us and we can't say a word,'' declared another. It was evident that the girl had been pulled from her horse, for there was one with a side saddle close at hand, and she wore a riding habit of fine cloth, and carried a whip. "Ride over people and call them rebels, eh?" Dick hurried forward, and pushed some of the boys aside as the angry and greatly flushed young woman cried: "Are there no gentlemen here? Will no one protect me from these ruffians . ? Captain, can't you help me?" "I am ashamed of you, boys, to treat a lady s o roughly," said Dick quietly. "Your mothers never brought you up that way, I am certain." "They didn't, captain," said one of the boys "but she rode down a blind man and called rebel s , and you can't blame us if we got angry ' "You might get angry, to be sure; but you should con sider that this is a young lady, and not.the same as a boy or a man." "She didn't act like a lady, captain. called u s rebels, and-look out, captain! redcoats are coming!" She The The coachman had reached the young woman's side by this time, and was now assisting her to mount. The redcoats had caught sight of Dick and were now coming on with a shout, hoping capture him. The boy s at once picked up sticks and stones, and, as Dick leaped into the saddle began a vigorous attack upon the enemy. coachman hurried the girl away, but not before she had been struck once or twice, and the red coats made ready to fire upon the boys. The latter sought places of shelter behind trees fences and buildings, whence they continued hurl sticks and stoJl e:.; at the redcoats. Dick was out of the way by this time, but he had not seen the two girls a s yet, and he did not mean to leave until he had. Men joined the boys, and the red coats began to have a hard time of it, and fell b ack, the crowd increasing every in stant. Dick d id not se e Mercy Mailette again, and concluded that the attendant h a d conducted her to a place of safety. The ,.edcoats retired, the place getting too hot for them, and then Dick Went to the hou se and found the girls in a state of great excitement. "If you will get ready I will take you up to Fort Washington," he said, "where you wi ll be safe, and whence you can leave for home when ever you like. " 'ait a few minutes. I want to see John."

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8 THE LIBERTY BOYS ON THE COMMONS • While the girls were getting ready Dick hur-ried away to Mr. Blunt's house, where he found John lying in bed with a broken leg . "I'm afraid I can't join the Liberty Boys jus t now, captain," the boy said, looking up. "That redcoat didn't hit me with his musket, but I had a bad fall, and a lot of the redcoats tram pled on me in their hurry to tear down the effigy." "I am sorry that you are hurt, John, " an swered Dick, "but I am glad it is no worse. You might have bee n killed if that big redcoat had struck you with his musket." . "There were redcoats here n-0t long ago, captain," said the boy's father. "You'd better keep a lo okout for them." "Yes, I shall do so, but I don't think they will return. I will come and see you again when I am in the city, as I think I will be very soon." "It was very kind of you to sbop and see me now, cr.ptain," replied the boy, "for I'm not one of the Liberty Boys yet." "But yo u would have been if this had not hap pened, John," with a s mile, "and even if you were not I would have to see you a,s long as you were known to u s and I was present when you were hurt." The village was quieter now, the redcoats hav ing departed, and Dick left and went for the girls, finding them all ready to leave by that time. "We shall have to take a by-road, I think," Dick e"plained as they went on. "The enemy are swarming all over the island by this time, except in the interior, which they do not know, and that is where we had better go." The girls were ready to go w herever Dick took them, and made no complaint of the rough, al most impassable, road they were forced to travel for a time. Dick presently saw wheel tracks and hoofprints, and rather wondered at them, as the road was not one that was generally used, and, in fact, it was known to but few. "Some one has come in here from the lane," he said to himself, "and neither is use d much." Proceeding, he suddenly saw a one-horse gig stuck fast in the mud, and near it a young wo man on horseback. It was Mercy Mallette, in fact, the coachman being in the gig. "You seem to be in trouble, Miss Mercy," said Dick. "Why did you take this road? It i s not the regular one, and i s unfit for a carriage." "We wish to get to the upper end of the island," replied the young woman. "Where are you going? Won't you guide us?" "You would not have anything to do with 'rebels' yesterday," answered Dick. "What has made the change?" "If you will give me a lift, sir," said the coach man, "perhaps we can get the vehicle free, and I will turn back. It is no road, as you say. " Dick listened for a few momentS', and then dis_ mounted, saying: ."Ve r y well, if you will do as I say we can get it clear. You had better step back where the young l a dies are, Miss Mallette, so that we can work." The young woman did so, and Dick told the coachman to unharness the horse, while he look ed for something to raise the wheels with. He found a fence rail at a little distance, and brought it back, the horse being unharnesaed by that time. Then, with the rail put under one wheel, they managed to extricate the g i g and draw it out upon dry ground, where the hors e was again harnessed to it. "If you will go back along this road, which is not s o bad as it is here," i:;aid Dick, "you will reach one of the main roads, which y o u will find easy to travel." "Why "don't you come with us"?" asked the young woman. "Because I do not wish to run across, any of your friends, the redcoats, to speak frankly," re plied Dick. Then he returned to the girls, and they went on, but shortly struck into a road which seemed worse than the one they had lef. t . "This will not be s o bad a little farther on, " said Di ck, "and I am taking it to avoid the red coats. I hear them coming, and I caught sight of them for a moment." They kept on, and soon turned into a scarcely perceptible bridle path, nearly hidden by the trees, along which they made fair speed. "Why did the y wish t o take that terrible road?" asked Alice. "I am sure I can't tell, and there seems to be some mystery about the yo'lng woman wnich T cannot undlfrstand. However, as I shall prob ably not meet her again, it d()l' s not matter." From a bit of rising ground some distance on, Dick could see the redcoats t rying t o find way they had g-one, and evid e ntly very muc h puzzled. They continued rapid l:v after thi s and saw no more of the redcoats. reac h ing the c .imp of the Liberty on the farther si d e of Har lem Plains, soon to b e a neut ral ground between the two hostile camps. After a rest Dick and Bob went a s far J.s Kingsbridge with the girl s, leaving them with friends and returning to the On t h . W :J.V back Dick told Bob about meet ing the Tory gfr[, and added: "I can't understand why s h e should be on l horse and no one in the g-ig, n o r why they sh:rn i d have ver,tured upon such a r o a d . were w a lane before that, which was only a little Jwtter." "\Veil, she had to ask your assis t ance, a t 3rtV ritte, and yesterday she would h a v e nothing ' " j , ') with you, calling you a rebel," with a laugh. ''.{1; is a decided change." "Yes, and the boys in the old v illage spoke of her riding down a blind man. I d i d not see him, but I wonder if it could be .Jabez Wilmerding" Those two see m to come together a go o d deal." "It might have been, but d i d she try to n d1 him down?" "I don't know. She did not try t yesterd.i.y , but was run away with, and I did not see th':l affair of to-day. As I said, there seems to b':l some mystery about them all, and perhaps shall never solve it." The redcoats were in New York, but the pa triots were well entrenched at the upper end of the island, and hoped to keep the enemy from advancing. There was not sufficient room in the fort for the 'lioys, and so they had their camp outside, and made themselves very comfortable, being ready to g i ve the alarm i n case the enemy appeared, and to hold them in chec as well. At

PAGE 10

I THE LIBERTY BOYS ON THE COMMONS 9 night the fires were lighted, and the boys occupied themselves in various ways, their camp being a very busy place. CHAPTER VI.-On a Dangerous Mission. There was no alarm in. the camp that night, but the boys kept as sharp a watch as though they expected one, and left no point unguarded. The Liberty Boys were always vigilant, whether they expected to be visited by an enemy or not, and this had often saved them from a surprise. Early the next day Dick was sent for by the commander-in-chief, who had often employed him on missions of great importance. Being admitted to the general's presence, Dick saluted and awaited the latter's pleasure. "Captain Slater," said the commander, looking up, "you have shown great skill as well as bra ve1y on the errands you have performed for me heretofore, and I wish to entrust you with an other." "I shall do my best, your excellency," replied Dick quietly. "I wish you to deliver a letter to a gentleman in the city. On no account must it be lost or fall into improper hanc ; :ls." "It shall be delivered, your excellency," firmly. "The enemy have doubtless extended their lines quite across the island, and it will be difficult to pass them." "I will pass them, general, since you wish me to get to the city." "That is not the greatest danger, however, as you must know. You will be exposed to a still greater one when you are in the city. Discovery means death. You understand this?" "Yes, your excellency; but I am willing to face death itself in the cause of independence." "Very good; but I wish you to return safely, captain, for much depends on the delivery of the note I will give you. Return to your camp and prepare your disguise. I will send the letter in half an hour. You had best go alone, as it will make it doubly dangerous if you have companions." "Very good, your excellency," and Dick saluted and withdrew. Returning to camp, he sought Bob and told of his errand to the city. "I would like to be going with you, Dick," declared B:ib eagerly. "I should be glad to have you, Bob, but it will be better for me to go alone, and the general explicity mentioned this. You will take charge e>f the camp, and, in the event of my failure to return--" "But you will return. Dick!" emphatically. "Yo u must. That is a part of your errand." ' ' T liat is one way to' look at it, Bob," with a s mil e. "Well, I shall do my be s t to perform the whole errand, of course." D ick put on an ordinary suit of clothes, and looked l ike any other boy whom one might see in the neighborhood. He wore a suit of blue homespun, coarse woollen hose, heavy shoes, and a round hat, having a few shillings in his pocket, but no pistols or other weapons of defense, for be wished to seem like an ordinary boy, and • if he were searched the pistols would betray him. He would take a horse not likely to attract attention, and there was nothing against having one, as boys were often thus provided if they were going a long or a short distance. He had provided against the chance of his being searched and the letter being found upon him also. He had removed the outer sole of one of his shoes, an
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10 THE LIBERTY BOYS ON THE COMMONS "Where are you going?" as'ked warriner, le s s imperiously, his vanity touched by his s udden rise in rank. "Going home. There's too many bullet s flying around to suit me. You ain't afrai d, I guess, but I ain't a general, and that's different. " "You didn't learn .anything of wh:it the rebel s are doing, did you?" giving Dick a sharp look. "Lord! you must think I'm as big a gun as you, general! Who's going to tell me anything? First I know, if I go to a sking questions, I'll get into trouble." The other officers laughed, but vVarriner was not altogether satiS'fied, and said: "You may be a spy, for all I know. I've got to be satisfied that you are not. Turn out your pockets!" "You ain't going to rob me, are you, governor?" asked Dick, in evident alarm, beginning to empty his pockets. He had a handkerchief, a broken-bladed pocket knife, a few shillings, and a bit of fish line and some lead. "No letters?" asked Warriner sharply, watching Dick's . face. "Letters ! )_,or'! I ain't the post. Who'd write letters to me?" The suspicious officer thrust hi s hand into the inner pockets of Dick's coat, felt the lining, and said: "No, I don't believe you llave any." "Don't you think that you are overs uspiciou s , Warriner?" asked a member of the group. "Perhaps I am; but there is a boy among the .rebels who is one of the clevere s t spies in t,he profession. He got the be s t of Wilberham, who, you all know, is very clever." "He did? Who is he?" "Dick Slatsr, the captain of the Liberty. Boys . If the res t of the rebel s had watched him as clo sely as Dick Slater did, Wilberham would never have escaped." "But you certainly do not imagine that this stupid-looking boy is Dick Slater?" "No, I don't; not now." CHAPTER VIL-Perils By the Way. --. "Say. Mr. Man," said Dick, when he had put his small belongings back into his pockets, "how d.o I know that a lot o' other meddling fellows won't stop me before I get home, and ask me a lot of fooli s h question s and keep me waiting?" The officers laughed, and Dick continued: "You ought to give me a paper or something that I can show to the other fellows, s o that they'll know it's all right, and I won't be pestered by any other foolish chaps." "The boy is right, Warriner," laughed one. "You ought to give him a pass at least." "The fool ought to pass without question. Others are not as particular as I am, nor do they know about Dic k Slater, as I do." "Still you owe it to him to see that he has safe conduct, having subjected him to this unnecessary examination." Thus pressed, the lieutenant wrote on a leaf of a despatch book, tore it out, and handed it to Dick. "If any one should question you, giv e them t h i.s;" he said. what he had written was a pass to the bearer, whom he testified as b eing thoroughly above s u s picion, signing hi s full name and title to the same. "Much obl i ged, sergeant," said Dick. "Other fellow s may not be a s fussy as you, and then they might." Then he rode away with the pass in his pocket, while all the officer s laughed at Warriner; and one said: "'Well, the boy i s not Dick Slater, of course; but he is no fool for all that." "So the spy has escaped, has he?" thoug11t Dick, as he went on. "I must keep a lookout for him, as he may be more careful now than he was before we captured him. He must be up in this neighborhood if Warriner has seen him so re cently." Dick met a sergeant and a file of soldiers half a mile farther on, and was asked if he had a pa1's . He produced the one which the lieutenant had given him, and was permitted to go on without further question. "The pass will be of great u s e to me," he said to himse lf, "for it will save delays. If Warriner only kne w how greatly he i s helping me, he would be chagrined enough." A short distance farther on he came to a tavern where he tethered his hors e and entered, feeling the need of something to eat, and seeing no redcoats about. He was his dinner and enjoying it, when the man whom he knew as Williams came in and l ooked at him sharply. "Aren't you Dick Slater, the rebel spy?" he asked, coming over to the table and taking a seat oppo s ite. "I gues s you folks up this way must be crazy about Dick Slater, and think everybody is him," Dick returned quietly, going on with his meal. "But aren't you?" the spy persisted. Dick took the pass which Warriner had writ ten, and spread it out on the table. "He reckoned that others might be fooled just the same a s he was, and so he gave me this," he said. "You can put your name to it, if you like, 'cause you seem to be somebody." Then he went to eating and drinking as if this little matter was a thing not to worry over. "Where are you going?" asked Wilberham. "I'm going to visit some friends; but I'd just like to know what business you've got to have any s uspicions when that there paper plainly says that there ain't any? If I am to be bothel' ed by every meddlesome fellow that comes along, what's the use of my having it? Hallo, Mr. Soldier!" to the sergeant he had s een a short time before. "'We ll , boy, what i s it?" asked the sergeant, who had fortunately entered at that moment. "I think this here fellow is a suspicious character, and I guess he better be arrested and locked up. "'Vhat is your business, and why do you annoy the boy?" asked the sergeant. "He wanted to see my pass, and to !mow who I was and where I was going, and then he'd have wanted to !mow what I had for breakfast and what I expected to have for supper, I guess. Has•

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THE LIBERTY BOYS ON THE COMMONS 11 • he got any right to ask for my pass? Has any-body that ain't a soldier?" "No, they have not. Who are you?" sharply, to the spy. "I believe the boy is right, and that you are a suspicious character. Unless you give me proof to the contrary, I will have you locked up." Dick went on eating, but showed no sign of the satisfaction he felt at playing this trick on the spy, who was greatlv annoyed. "Why, don't you know me, sergeant?"" he asked. "I am a spy employed by General Howe. My name is Wilberham." "It !nay be,.. but I don't know it. You'd better go about your business and not be annoying inoffensiv e persons. Who are you, that you should ask for passes? Be careful that you do not get a pass into the nearest jail." The spy was now convinced that he had made a mistake, and was riot willing to show his credential s to the sergeant, and so he went out, Dick saying to the sergeant: "Have a pint o' beer? I'm much obliged. I don't think that fellow is all Tight, but you need not arrest him as long as he don't bother me any 1nore." 'Thankee, I will drink your health, m,y boy," said the sergeant. "And my man won't trouble you any more. If he does, call on the neares t officer and have him locked up. I don't believe he's any more of a spy than you are. Folks don't go around telling other folks that they are spies. How could they spy anything if they did?" Then the sergeant buried his nos e in the pewter pot, and took a long, deep draught, to his complete satisfaction. "That was a good joke on the spy," chuckled Dick to himself, "and it would greatly increase his respect for me if he knew it." Having finished his repast and settled his score, Dick rode away, nothing of the spy he had so cleverly outwitted. Near the upper l.:td of Blackwell's Island Dick saw a number of c -;!l-l ';.ng men, who surrounded him and took him fn .. m his horse. They were not soldiers and they were not spi{!S; they 'were simply footpads, who were ready to pick up whatever came along, no matter how small it might be. They looked at Dick's pass and gave i t back to him, but they took his money and searched him for more, being disappointed that it was so little. They were afraid to take his horse, and let him go on, berating him for not having more money. The horse could be traced, while "the money could not, and so, having taken all that they dared, the leader said: "Next time you come this way see that you have more money, or you'll get a beating. Now, then, get on with you!" The thieves then made their way toward a low groggery setting well back from the road, and Dick went on, not regretting the loss of the little money he had, a11d thankful that they had not found the letter nor even suspected tha t he had one. A little farther he came to a toll gate, the keeper of which demanded toll ... before he could go on. "I was robbed back here a piece," Dick returned. "If you charge toll for using the road, you ought to rpake it safe for travelers." "Robbed, my boy?" repeated the toll gate keep ef. "Who robbed you?" "Seven or eight lusty villains who ought to be put to work keeping the road in order or sent to the treadmill. One had a red beard, and all had hangdog faces, sure passpo1ts to the jail, every one of them." "H'm! that's the Turtle Bay gang, the worst set of ruffians in the whole island. They'll all get in the city jail one of these days. No one can tell where next they may appear, and no one can find them when he wants them." "I can tell you where they are at this minute: In the1 ale house under the hill, where they are spending the shillings they stole from me." A file of redcoats came along as Dick was speaking, and heard what he said about the footpads. "They are rebels," said the sergeant. "Show u s the place, boy, and we will not only recover your money, but lock up every one of them." Dick had no reluctance to going back, for, aside from recovering his money, it might be an advantage to him to. be seen with redcoats. The thieves were found in the ale house, as he thought they would be, and we;re all taken in charge upon his complaint. They all declared that they were loyal subjects, and oot rebels, and protested against arrest. -"We were only jesting with the lad," they said, "and meant to give him back h is money. Why, we have plenty, and do not need to filch a few paltry shillings from a lad like that." "\;i;1e have heard of you," said the officer, "and have been warned to have an eye on you. Turn out your pockets a:nd let us see what you have stolen to-day." "Look in their boots," Dick, who noticed a sudden suspicious movement on the part of one of the men. The suggestion was followed, and a watch and a fine silk purse was found upon the man Dick had noticed. Property not a t all in keeping with their appearance was found on others, and they all acted s o susp;ciously that the officer decided to take them in charge. Dick's money was returned to hi:Jtl, the boy knowing how much had been taken, and accepting only that much. The fdbtpads were then marched back to the to!! gate and on, Dick bein g allowed to pass free of toll, riding with the serg0Rnt and not once suspected. There were barracks at Kip's Bay, and here the captured thiev es were given in charge. At this place, much to Dick's surprise, he saw the other spy, the companion of Williams, as he knew the fellow. He looked at Dick and said, with a laugh: "Well, my l ad, you are in good company, or I would be suspicious of you. You look very much like a y oung rebel that I have had some experience with." "Oh, you mean Dick Slater," said Dick boldly. "I've been taken for the rebel. twice to-day." "You have?" in great surprise. "Yes. Do you kn0w Lieutenant Warriner? He gave me this pass." The spy looked at the pass, and said: "Well, if Warriner gave you that, you are all right. Do you know Slater?" to the sergeant. a reward of five hundred pounds for his capture."

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12 THE LIBERTY BOYS ON THE COMMONS "Fancy! He must be a clever rascal." "He i s. I had a narrow escape from him only yesterday." "How was that, I wonder?" thought Dick. " I did not see him at all yesterday." "And he so clever ?" asked the sergeant, with a smile. "Oh, he had no s u spici on of it. I was in a gig riding along when we got stuck in the mud. Slater, who was on the retreat with his sister and his sweetheart, came along at the moment.:' "And you ran away?" asked Dick, laughing. t'N o. I got under the boot and hid there till he had gone. And he actually helped the coachman get the gig out of the mud." "That i s all very well," thought Dick. "But what was he doing with Miss Mallette?" "If there were you and the J arcey and only Slater, why didn't you capture him?" a sked the sergeant; at which .Dick smiled. "There were others near, the Liberty Boys were all on the retreat. We came upon them unexpectedly. I would have led our regiment to capture the rascals, but we unfortunately got mired, and by the time we were extricated the men were gone, and I had to keep under cover." "There i s something suspicious about the wh ole affair," was Dick's thought. "But I cannot ask any questions without laying myself open to suspicion." "You had better keep that pass by you, my boy," advised the spy. "You certainly resemble the young rebel, and without that you might have trouble in convincing people that you were not he." "There was another fellow who said I was a rebel," declared Dick. "But I told the sergeant to give him in charge; He said he was a spy. Do spies tell folks what they are?" "Not generally. Who was he?" "He said his name was Wilberham, but I don't think he's any more a spy than you are," with a laugh. The fellow flu s hed, but laughed with Dick and the rest, and then the daring young spy rode away, and not one of the party knew how well he had deceived them all. CHAPTER VIll.-The Dangers of the City. Shortly after leaving the spy and the redcoats, Dick reached General Howe' s quarters , which were in the Beekman house, at Kip's Bay. Howe knew Dick by sight. and had offered a reward of five hundred pounds for his capture, dead or alive, considering him a mo s t dangerous enemy to have at large. The general himself was s itting at ease on the broad piazza of the elegant rnaiflsion as D ick rode by, but did not recognize him. One of the guards pacing the road demanded to kno w hi s busi ness, and where he was going, but the general did not give him a s econd look. Dick showed hi . s pass and was allowed to go on, saying dryly: . "That'll be worn to rags if I show it to every footpad, fool and bigwig who asks to see it between this and the city. I never knew I was s o important. Guess the rebels must have got you fellows pretty well scared." "Go on about your business!" snapped the sentry, and Dick rode on, laughing merrily. "If General Sir William Howe had the slightest notion that Dick Slater was so near," he murmured as he went on out of sight of the mansion, "I am afraid I would not be laughing so merrily. However, there is nothing gained without risk, and I knew the danger of the undertaking before I set out." _ There were the lower lines. to be passed yet, and otlfer dangers to be faced that Dick knew nothing of, and he did not yet consider himself out of the wood s , as he expressed it. Reaching the lower lines, he found a most self-important officer on guard, who looked at him sharply, examined hi s pass, and said: "You may have stolen this. I do not know you and you may be a spy for all I know. There are a great many rebel spies about. One was taken -only this morning, and will be hanged at sunset." Dick made no reply, and the officer ordered him to be searched. There was nothing found upon him which a boy of hi s appearance might not have, and the officer was evidently chagrined at finding that he was at fault. "Have you no papers?" he snarled. "I s howed you my pass," quietly. "What other papers would I want?" "The papers that every spy carries, of course!" with a snarl. "Make a more careful search." "What makes you think I'm a spy?" asked Dick simply. "We have to suspect every one that come s along. Are you a rebel?" "No, I am not," for Dick would never admit that he was such, calling himself a patriot. The soldiers ripped his coat, felt all along the waistband of his breeches, and made him take off hi s s hoes and hose, but could find nothing. "Seems to me you ought to know more than to bother a boy like me," said Dick. "We have to suspect everybody, I tell you!" with a snap. "You wouldn't make a man go through all this. Will you lend me a needle and thread to sew up the lining of my coat?" , "Go on about your'business!" snapped the officer . "You have made u s cn'&Ugh trouble as it is." "H'm! I didn't make it," with a laugh. "I'd be as big a fool as you if I asked you to do all that." He put on his hose and shoes, pinned up the lining of his coat, put the pass in his pocket and said: ' "I know General Howe, and when I go by there again I guess I'd better tell him what sort of guards they've got down here. I don't think he'd like it. He thinks a lot of me." "The general thinks a good deal of you?" returned the officer uneasily, beginning to think that he may have made a mistake. "Yes; why, he's willing to give five hundred pounds to have me with him all the time!" "Here's a shilling to buy needle s and thread. Why didn't you say that General Howe was a friend of yours!" "Oh, I thought I'd let you make a s big a fool of yourself as you could," with a laugh. The officer was puzzled to know whether Dick was a fool or was really making game of him,

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THE LIBERTY BOYS ON THE COMMONS 13 and finally allowed him to go without having found a satisfcatory answer. Dick had his coat sewed up in a little tailor shop on a street off the Commons, leaving his horse at a hitching post at the corner. "That's where our camp was," he murmured, as he looked across the green fields on hi s return. "It may be some time before we will put our tents there again." He had reached Broadway when he saw Prue, the blind man's daughter, approaching. She saw and recognized him, and was about to speak when he put his finger on his lip as a sign of caution, and stepped rapidly forward. "Be careful," he whispered. "It is not safe to speak my name in the city at this time." "\Vhy are you here?" she asked. "On business of importance. Were you at the Greenwich village yesterday, you and your fa ther?" "Yes, when you protected the I?;"OUd girl from the boys. Why did you do it?" "Because I will never allow a lady to be roughly handled, no matter what she may have done. Then I did not know till afterward that your father was in danger, and I do not know now that Miss Mallette tried to ride him down." "She had a spy in the gig, and was helping him to get upon the track of the Liberty Boys and lead the redcoats to them." "Yes, I learned that afterw::.rd. Did she try to ride down your father, or was that only the talk of the boys?" "She tried to do it because he knew that the spy was in the gig." . "How did he know it if he is blind?" "He heard her speak to the man, and was denouncing him when she tried to ride him down. I rescued him and hurried away, and then the boys attacked her." "That part I saw. I could not stand by and see a young woman s o treated. You cannot blame me for that, but I must go now. Your father was not hurt?" "No, fortunately. Why should you befriend Mercy Mallette? She would betray you in a moment. She was helping the spy ye sterday, and she would deliver you up now if she were here." "You are very bitter toward her." "She deserves it. She is a wicked creature; she lives on the wealth which belongs to--" "Come this way," said Dick, in a low tone. "She is coming down the street even now." He quickly turned into Pearl street, Prue walking behind and shielding him from the sight of any one on Broadway. "Make haste," she said, turning her hea d. "She has stopped the chaise and s he is pointing down the street. She has recognized you and will betray you, as I said she would." Even as the girl spoke there was a sudden hueand-cry, and a crowd of men and boys came hur1ying down the street, followed by a number of redcoats. There was a garden wall a few yards farther down the street, and Dirk was over in a minute, before the crowd saw him. Along came the crowd, seeing nothing of Dick. "Where did the rebel go?" they a s ked, as Prue stepped back to let them pass. "I have seen no rebels," she replied. "The boy in blue homespun that just ran down the street, where did he go?" "He ran down the street. 'Why d on't you go after him?" "There is an alley along here; perhaps he ran up that!" cried one. The suggestion was quickly taken up, and the crowd surged down the narrow street in pursuit of the mi ssing boy. Prue went back to Broadway, and found that Mercy Mallette had disap-peared. . "She will betray him," she murmured, "but will not face his accusing glances . She is a snake in the grass." She looked down the street and saw that the crowd . was diminishing, and scattering m vanous d1rect1ons. She saw nothing of Dick but did not fear for him, feeling sure that would take care of hims elf. Dick found himself in a little garden shut in by high walls, there being a door in the wall opposite the one he had leaped over which led into the street. "That is as good a way out as any," murmured Dick, hurrying doWn the flower-bordered path toward the v. all. The door was not locked , and he opened it and passed through, closing it behind him. He had seen no one in the garden, but now, as he reached the street, he saw Mercy Mallette within a few paces of him. There was no one in the street whose attention she might attract, and in a moment Dick was at her side and hissed: "Have you no gratitude, no decency even? Ii you dare to pronounce my name aloud. I will denounce you as an impostor and a thief!" girl turned pale and staggered against the iron paling of the hou s e, while Dick, seeing that his chance shot had struck home, hurried away, and was s oon out of sight. CHAPTER IX.-In the Old Village. "What Prue told me must be true.'' muttered Dick, as he hurried away. "I always said there was a mystery about the girl, and Prue seems to know s ome of it. So does the old man. Well, I haYe no time to study up mysteries now." He did not see Prue when he reached Broadway, and crossed ove r and made his way to the address given him by the general. A negro servant answered his knock, and Dick, as he had been in strnrted to do, said: "It i s a dark day." "So it is, sah, but come raight in an' we'll try an' get some laight." The servant ushered Dick in quickly and closed the d oor, preceding the young captain to a room in the rear, overlooking the river. "MasteT will see you directly," he said. "Pleas e be seated." Dick sat in a lo\\" chair in a corner and the negro went out, a pleasant-faced old gentleman entering in a few minutes. "Where do you come from, young sir?!' he ask ed, takir.g a seat near Dick, and regarding him k een ly. "From the commander-in-chief at Fort Wash ington." "Yes, I thought I \Hiuld hear from him short ly."

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14 THE LIBERTY BOYS ON THE COM1\10NS "I have a letter for you. Will you accommo date me with a sharp, rather thick-bladed knife?" "Certainly-anything you wish," and the gentleman sounded a tiny bell which stood on the table. 'l'he negro shortly entered, and the gentleman repeated the request which Dick had preferred, showing no sign of wonder. When the attendant returned with the knife, Dick said: "I had to be careful to select a place for the letter which would not be readily thought of, and it is between the soles of my shoe." "That shows a good deal of ingenuity on your part," with a smile. "Do you think I can read it?" "I put a waxed paper over it," and Dick pro ceeded to take off his shoe and remove the outer sole, when the letter was found intact, very fiat, but uncrumpled, and evidently as legible as in the beginning. The gentleman received it from Dick, broke the seal, and read it with the greatest attention. The young captain meanwhile sat looking out the window upon the river, waiting for his host to fini sh , the shadows beginning to creep into 'I.he room by the time he had done so. "You. are Captain Slater, of the Liberty Boys?" he asked, looking up at last and folding the letter as before. "I am," said Dick. "The general says you are thoroughly trust worthy." "I am pleased to hear it," smiling. "Can you wait in the city a day or so till I have an answer ready, and. will you promise to deliver it as safely as you delivered this?" "I will do my best, sir," Dick replied. "That is the most I can say. No one knows what may happen, but I will make every effort." • "That is all I wish. Will you come here tomorrow at this time?" "I will come whenever you say, sir." "Your stay in the city may be beset with perils. Have you a secure place where you can remain in safety?" "I have two or three such." "Very good . If you had not I would offer you a shelter here." "It will not be necessary, thank you, although I am grateful for your thoughtfulness." The sun had set when Dick left the house, and took his way' toward Broadway, and then up that thoroughfare toward the inn where he had left his horse. There are several things that puzzles me," Captain Slater said to himself, as he went on. "What were Prue and her father doing in Greenwich village, so far from ho me, and what interest has Mercy Mallette in helping the king's cause? Is she a spy? I have heard of women engaging in such pursuits, and it may be that she is." ' He went along the dimly lighted street unno ticed, and at last reached the inn where he received a cordial welcome. They knew that he was in the city upon some secret, and therefore dangerous, m issi on, but they asked no questions, and simply looked after his comfort. Dick remained indoors all the evening, retiring early as he felt the need of rest after his exciting day. He meant to stay in the most of the next day, as he knew it would be dangerous for him to be abroad where there were so many enemies, but he thought that he might venture as far as John Blunt's house. in the early forenoon and see how the injured boy was prngressing. After an early breakfast he said to the landlord, who was thor-oughly trustworthy: _ "I shall be in the city all of to-day at ieast, and shall go out this forenoon. Will you provide me with a disguise entirely different from thi15? .Certain persons saw me yesterday whom I would not like to have recognize me to-day." "Yes, I can give you anything you want, captain. I will bring one or two to your room, and you can take your choice." "Very good," replied Dick, and in a short time two disguises were at his disposal. He selected a suit of gray cloth, which gave him the appear'ft.Ilce of a Quaker, and made him seem quite unlike the ordinary-looking boy he had been the day before. Dick well understood the "plain talk" of the Friends, and in case he met some of them could pass himself off for one without difficulty. Taking another horse-a sleek, slow-going animal-he set out for the old village early in the forenoon, while yet there were few persons stirring and the heat was not oppressive. Reaching the home of the injured boy, he was met at the door by Mrs. Blunt, who did not know him until he said: "I am Dick Slater, but as it is dangerous to go in uniform now--" "Why, captain, I would never have known you!" the good woman e x claimed. "Com e right in. John will be glad to see you. We never expected you would get he1e after the patriots were driven out of the city. You must have taken a lot of risk. It was very good of you." The boy was very glad t o see Dick, for time passe d very heavily with l).im, being obliged to remain in bed. "I would have liked to send an army surgeon," said Dick, "but you see how it is now, with everything in such confusion in the city, and at the camp.'' "Our old doctor is very good," said the boy's mother. "He brought John into the world, and has looked after him ever since, and takes an interest in him, and now he is just as anxious after him as ever, and says he means to fix u p that leg so that it will be better than new. He is a fine doctor, and a good surgeon, but he's getting old, and doesn't do as much as he did, and, in fact, he won't take a case unless he's interested, or it's some one he knows, like John. " "I can quite understand that," replied Dick. "You expect him here soon?" "Some time this forenoon, captain." "I would like to see him, and I will wait if it is not too long.'' John was greatly interested in the account of the skirmish with the enemy which Dick gave him, and also in the recital of his adventures i n gettii1g to the city and afterward. "There is that blind man going about again," said John, who could look out of the window from whe1e he lay .propped up with pillows, this be ing one of his few amusements. Dick looked out and recognized Jabez Wilmerding, making his way along the street alone. There was a bad hole in the walk not far ahead

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THE LIBERTY BOYS ON THE COMMONS 15 of him, a s Dick saw, and he might meet with an accident if something were not7 done, the street of the village being new to him. "Wait a minute!" cried Dick, jumping up and running out. • He reached the blind man in time and took his arm, saying: "There is a bad place in the walk here, Mr. Wilmerding, which you probably do not know of. Let me help you around it." "Why, it is Captain Slater!" exclaimed the blind man. "What are you doing here? Is it safe?" . "Not altogether, but there are no redcoats in this part of the iidand, and I do not expect to stay long." "You are dressed i n gray, you have not your uniform, captain? That is safer?" "Much. I have been to the city. I saw Prue yesterday for a short time. Why is she :hot here? It would be quieter and safer for her." "She is coming as soon as she can sell our few belongings as it will not pay to move them. She wishes to get away from that hateful er !ture who s o persecutes u s ." "Whom do you mean, sir?" "Mercy Mallette, who has no mercy. She is an impostor, but we have no proofs. Some one destroyed them. My Prue should have the wealth that she has, and if I were not blind I could do something." "But you do see a little?" "Yes, and if I could pay a surgeon, perhaps I--" "Won't you step in here? It is the home of s ome very estimable people. The so n wants to be a Liberty Boy, but he broke hi s leg the other day. He would like some one to talk to, and I think you would interest him, and he \YOuld interes t you, I am sure." Dick took the blind man in and introduced him to the family, who found him to be a very intelligent man and a good talker . In a short time the doctor arrived, and Dick went to the window, when, to his astonishment, he saw Mercy Mallette and the spy Wilberham g o by in a chaiO'e and stop at a rambling old inn on the other s id e of the street, well dawn the road. "There is misc hief brewing," he said to hiir. self. "I must find out what it i s." CHAPTER X.-Important Information. Leaving the house, Dick made hi s way to the inn at nat too rapid a pace, and entered the main tapreem, looking around him carelessl y. Passing alt1ng the main hall, he heard the sound of voices before he reachaQ.. the parlor, and recognized them as those of the spy and the Tory girl. They were in a private parlor near the gen.era! one, the door being slightly ajar. "They must be getten rid of or we are not safe," Miss M
PAGE 17

16 THE LIBERTY BOYS ON THE COMMONS evidently did not care to wait for it to be served, "There are redcoats coming," he said, "but I but, making a sudden dash for the window, she do not believe they will trouble me." sprang out. The spy would have followed, eut "There is a hole in the wall, captain, where Dick had him covered with his own pistol in an you can hide," said J ohn't mother. "They may instant. be only going through the village. They do that "Let the lady go," he said. "We can attend to often nowadays." her case later." "Yes, but I think these have been put upon The attendant put the tray on the table, and my track, so I will accept your offer." Dick said: Dick was hidden away till after the redcoats "Be so good as to bring me some writing mate-had departed, and then he came out. The doc-rials without delay." . tor was still there, and Dick asked him about "Very good, sir," and th:) articles were soon John. forthcoming. "It will be weeks before he can get about, cap-Dick looked out of the window, saw the chaise tain," the doctor declared. "He has a compound going down the road at a lively pace, and said: fracture, and it will take some time to set and "The lady has left you to face the thing heal. Whether he is ever able to ride and enalone." dure the strain that a soldier has to endure or "That's just like her. She always did look not I am not prepared to say." out for herself. She married old Mallette for "We do not need to discourage the boy by say-his money, and then got rid of him because he ing anything about that now, do we?" had none." "No, we do not." "What good would that do?" "Will you look at Mr. Wilmerding's eyes, doc-"Give her a chance to marry some one else. I tor?" beli1>1ve she poisoned him, but there was no "I have looked at them, and I have not tlie proof." . slightest doubt that his sight can be res ed." "You would have liked to marry her your self," said Dick, making a shrewd guess. "Well, I could. We were only second cousins. I was cut out by the old man's will. So -ivas she. There had been a former will, and this was brought up. I knew of the second, and got hold of_ it." "Then you would disinherit the other cousin i:'rue ?" "Yes; but Mercy did not care, and Prue did not care for me. It was better to let it g-o that way if I wanted to have anything. The father was blind, Prue was poor and did not fancy me, and so I played the only card that would win." "You , ere spies together; she tried to lead the redcoats on my track the other day. She would have betrayed me yesterday. Where is the will?" suddenly. "In the secretary at her house," said the spy. "Just where she is not likely to look for it. Very good." . "Ye.c;, for if I had it she would not leave a place unsearched, but, not knowing that she has it, she never looks for it." "A very shrewd idea," said Dick. "I am going after it, but you will have to be kept a prisoner until I get it, as I cannot trust you." Dick heard a sudden suspicious sound, and looked out of the window. There was a troop of redcoats coming. The escaping woman had met them and put them upon his track, no doubt. They would be here in a short time, and would come straight to the inn. "Sign this," said Dick, pshing forward a written page. The spy did so, and at the moment heard the tramp of horses, turned, looked out the window, and then ran to it and shouted: "Hallo! This way! There is a rebel in the house!" . When he turned to glare at Dick, he saw only table, a writing desk, an overturned sand .,,up, a quill on the floor, and some scattered pa Dick Slater had disappeared. The young patriot was at the house of the Blunts by this time. CHAPTER XI.-A Bold Move. Dick told the blind man what had happened in the inn, and interested them all. "If Harold Wilmerding has escaped, he may go there and get the will, and you will be as bad off as before,'' said the blind man. "He will not be there ahead of me," said Dick. "I will lose no time in getting there, and I believe I can beat him. I must get away at once. You will attend to the case, doctor?" "Yes, captain, for I would like to get the better of these villains, male and female. You can rely upon me to do all that is possible to be done, and I believe that I can restore Mr. Wilmerding's sight so that he can see better than he did be fore." "Very good!" Dick then took leave of them all, got his horse and set off for the city by the most direct route. He saw the spy in a tavern some little distance on the road, but was not observe d by him, and went on at a gallop. Once he sa:w a deta<:hment of redcoats coming, and turned mto a httle lane until they had passed, losing very little time. He reached the city without further adventure, put up his hors e at the inn, and went down to the lower end of the city, intending to visit the house of the designing young woman whom he had always suppo s ed to be but whom he now knew to be a widow. He knew the street, but did not know the house, this being very little hindrance, however, as he was almost certain to find it without difficulty. He turned into the street, walked well duwn toward the river, and at length asked a .man whom he met where Mrs. Mallette lived. "That's the gay widow of the old Frenchman, isn't it?" the other made reply. "H'm! Beware of her, boy. It's the last house on the lefthand side, but if you were me you'd shun it as yo would the pest house."

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THE LIBERTY BOYS OK THE COMMONS 17 Arriving at the house he raised the heavy brass knocker and sour a noisy summons, which was answered by a . } !ench maid. "Is madame at home? I have come on important business from Mr. Wilmerding." The maid pretended not to understand and spoke French, but Dick was as apt in that language as he was in his own, and said: "That is all right. I come from Mr. V\i'..ilmer ding. If madame is not at home, it doh not matter." Then he quietly put the maid aside, and went on to what he supposed would be the library, and entered. The maid shl'ugged her shoulder;; and went away, and Dick lost no time in exam ining the secretary which stood in one corner. "He has made no effort to hide it," he said. "That is the safest way. H'm! very dusty. It is plain to be seen that she has not trnubled this piece of furnitui:e, at any rate." He opened the secretary, turned down the w'riting-desk flap, and looked into the drawers, where everything was dust. He had to look in two only before he found what he wanted, lying right on top, the safest place of all, as any one in search o f it would be sure to turn everything upside down the first thing. He had just secured• the paper and put it in his pocket when there was the sound hurried footsteps, and in a moment Mercy Mallette came running into the room. "You?" Rhe cried. "How dare What do you want," "I have it," said Dick quietly. "'1'he true will, the one you have been suppressing all this time." "I don't believe it; let me see it." "You are doubtles<: familiar with it, so I will read you the first few paragraphs," coolly. This he did, the designing woman turning deathly pale and nearly swooning-. "I told you that you were a thief and an impostor," said Dick, "and here's the proof of it." Mercy Mallette suddenly drew a dagg r from her dress and ran at the young captain, but he brushed her aside and went out. There was a heavy fall a moment later, and back. The woman had simply swooned, the dagger ly ing on the floor near her, and not a hair of her head harmed. "She will get away as soon as po;;sible," Dick said as he went out. He went away in no great ha;;te, but there was no alarm, and he saw no one come from the hou..se. He went at once to the house in Pearl street, where he told the old gentleman what he had learned, and s howed him the will and the confession signed by Harold Wilmerding, ali'.l.3 Wilberham. "Yes, I remember the case," the lattc>r said. "There was something very mysterious about it. Leave these papers with me, and I wql see that justice is done." "You will have 'no troub!C' with madame.' laughed Dick. "She will leave the city at once.'' "But I must see that she does not take with her. anything that does not properly belong to her." "Yes, I suppose it will be as well," dryly. Dick then set out for the inn, catching sight of Bill Burgess and his father on Broadway near Trinity Church. They were coming toward him, but he man:iged to enter the church before they reached it, and they did not see him. "There would be a hue and cry in a moment if Bill Burges. s saw me," muttered Dick, "and it is a;:; well to be cautious now that my errand is not yet done." He made his way out of the ch urch by a side door, and went on hi s way, seeing nothing of the Tory boy and his father. Then he made his way to the inn where he had his dinner, and remained until time to keep his appointment with the correspondent of the commander-in-chief. He wore a different dis guise from the one he had worn during the day, and went to the house by a roundabout way in order to avoid any possible espionage. He was admitted by the negro se1vant as before, and in a .:;hort time was joined by the old gentleman. "I have not prepared my answer as yet, my young friend," he said, "and yet I am aware of the constantly increasing danger of remaining in the city. Did you know all, however, you would understand." "That is not necessary, sir," quietly. "I was told to await your convenience. If it could be done sooner you would do it, I know. I am pre pared to remain as long as necessary, no matte1 what the danger J:i.e." "Come to-mOl'row at an earlier hour, say three o'clock, anu it is more than likely that I can send you on your way." "Vl:\ry well, $ir, I will be on hand," and Dick took his re, declining his host's invita tion to partake of some light refreshment. He ate supner and did not go out again, remaining indoors all the evening, reading and talking with the people of the house. Then next day he called at the house of the man who was to give him his answer, and it was ready for Dick. Dick took it and at once set out on his way from the city. CHAPTER XII.-Dick Leaves the City. Reaching the old village, he stopped at John's house to see the boy once more, and learn what progress he was making. Mr. Blunt met him at the door and recognized him at once, having seen him iri this disgui s e before. "Glad to see you, captain. Come in, it always makes John feel good to have you come to see him." Blunt led the way to the back chamber where John lay, stretched put on a big bed, impatiently. awaiting the time when he shou ld be able to be up and about again. "Doing fine, aren't you, John?" said Dick cheerily. "Yes, captain. Do you think I will be able to join you soon'?" the sick boy asked eagerly. -" "I hope :o, John. nut the main thing now for you to do is to get well and strong. You know it takes strength to be one of the Liberty Boys, for one never knows what he may be called on to do or endure. Get your strength back, if it takes some time, for this war isn't going to be over in a week or two, and there'll b e plenty of time for you to do good service to you r country."

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18 THE LIBERTY BOYS ON THE COMMONS "Just what I tell him, captain," joined in the boy's father. "\Veil, I can't stay any longer, now, John, but you may l::e sure either I or s ome one of the boys will manage to see you again s oon, even if we should be sent off to a distance on duty." Mounting his horse, Dick made his way leisurely along, exchanging greetings with any one he chanced to meet, and was well out of Greenwich Village before he met any redcoats . He was riding along quite briskly, anxious to return with his mes sage to General Washington, when he saw a cloud of dus t in the road ahead. He looked about for a convenient hiding-place, but there s eemed to be none in t he vicinity, and the redcoats were coming on so rapidly that he had little or no time to look about for one. There was nothing for him to do but to ride on and try to pass them, whic h he mi ght b e able to do, as they see m to be in a hurry. They came up abreast, when the leadeT reined up hi s horse , and said peremptorily: "Halt!" Dick stopped hi s hors e, and waited for the red coat to question him. "Here, you boy, turn about there, and ride ahead. This is no time for people to be i-iding about taking their ple a s ure." There was n othing to do but for Dick to obey, trusting to his wits to evade the redcoats later. Although Dick's horse was an ordinary one, he had no difficulty in keeping up with the redcoats , but h e could not outstrip them, which Major could easily have done. Dick rode on, trying to see s ome opportunity to get away. They were riding along a country lane, when suddenly Dick made a break for the wood s , but the redcoat who was following clo se at his horse's heels whipped out his pis tol and fire d. Dick had anticipated this, and had thrown himself on the offside of his horse , so that the animal was between him and the redcoats . As he felt the horse shiver from the effects of the bullet h e dropped to the ground, and ran into the bus hes that thickly lined the roads ide. The redcoats di smounted, ex pecting to find the s uppo se d country boy crushed under the animal, but to their surprise there was no trac e of him. Dick took advantage of the brief delay in taking up the search to crawl farthe; away amtmg the bushes, and had crept do.wn m the bed of a dry stream, pulling some dead underbrus h over him. Fortunately for him there were no dogs about, or his hiding place would have been at once discovered. The redcoats halted a moment, had a hunied conference, then the mo s t of them rode on, while two or three tethered their horses by the roadside, and then spread out to track him. The fallen leav es gave no hint of his recent passage , and the woods seemed absolutely desert ed. Once one of the redcoats almost stepped on the hidden boy, and had he walked across the dry brook in stead of leaping it, he would have come upon Dick, who lay literally under his feet. They evidently thought he had got away, for they continued the sear"'1 farther afield, and' this gave Dick a chance to creep out of his hiding place, cut across woods and skirt the road in an opposite direc t10n from where the redcoats were g-oing-. A littie farther on he came to a crossroad, and this he walked along, keeping a careful watch for the enemy, wh e n h e espied a farmer jogging along in a big farm wagon jus t ahead. He ran after the wagon, and asked for a lift. The farmer looked at him a moment before answering, and then motioned with his whip to the seat beside him. ''Looking for a job?" he asked laconically. "Ndit particularly. In fact, I got one, if I could get to it. But thes e pesky sojers is always stopping me an' a skin' me where I'm gain'. I don't get no chance to go nowhere." Before the farmer had time to reply Dick's quick ear heard the b ea t of horses' hoofs . "I do believe more are comin'," h e said. "More what?" asked the farmer. "More sojers." "We ll, you just scramble down behind there and lay in the s traw. They won't see you there." "You get down them yourself, and take a nap. You look as if you needed one," said Dick. The farmer climbed down over the back of the seat, settled himself comfortably in the straw put hi s hat over his face, and prepared for good nap. By this time the soldiers were in sigl'lt, but before they had time to notice him had heaped straw over the sleeping man till there was nothmg to be seen of him. Dick s louched down in his seat, humped his back drew hi s big hat ov e r hif.; face, and jogged 'along, lo okmg back as the redcoats came up b ehind and pulling to on e si de in order to let them pass which he hop ed they would do. Instead stopped alongside the cart. "Where are you going?" a sked the lieutenant in comm and of the company. "H " l. d D . k "S th . r,ep 1e 1c . ay, ose are mighty f1xm s you got on your clothes," gazing adm1rmgly at the lieutenant's uniform. "Where fr your home?" The n Dick remembered he had not asked the farmer where he lived, and he would have to be careful in answering le s t the redcoats discover the farmer asleep in the wagon. . "Over there," h e .vaguely, flourishing hi s whip around, and pomtmg nowhere in particular. ""Well, everybod y has got to give an account o himself these d a y s . " "What's that?" a sked Dick. "\Ve don't raise no such." The lieutenant gave an impatient exclamation. "This fellow i s s o stupid he de serves to be locked up for hi s stupidity." "There's s om ebody under the straw!" exclaimed one of the redcoats , who had been exploring the recesses of the straw with his bayonet. "Get him out!" exclaimed the lieutenant, eagerly. "Perhaps we've found the r e bel after all." The farmer was rudely wakened, and made to sit up. He stared around him in a bewildered manner, look ed at the redcoats, and at Dick, then at the straw by which he was still almost enveloped. "Well, I'll be danged!" he exclaimed. "I thought I was home and in bed. What a1:e you doing?" "What llrP vrn1 rlninl!" here?" asked the lieutenant.

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THE LIBERTY BOYS ON THE COMMONS 19 "Taking a nap," and the farmer rose, shook himself free from the straw, lumbered up to the seat beside Dick, and clicked to his horses in the most unconcerned manner. "Here, you f ellow; wait! We haven't finished with you yet." "What you got to do with me? I got my pass all regular,'' and he pulled out a pi e ce of paper, on which was given permission for him and his hired man to pass within and without the lines, duly signed by the proper officer. Dick was not di sturbed by any more redcoats for a time, but rode along with the farmer, who was still urging him to hire with him, his help having been conscripted. Dick was asking all sorts of questions to gain time, the farmer offer ing all kinds of inducements to get Dick to en gage with him, when the y came to crossroads, the farmer taking the one in an opposite direc tion from the camp of the Li,berty Boys. "I'll have to leave you here," Dick said, jump ing down from his seat in the wakon. "Thank you for getting me out of trouble," -and before the farmer had time to ask for an explanation or to expostulate, Dick had disappeared over the brow of a hill. Dick was now so near the head quarters of General Washington that he felt he was practically secure from capture. He soon found mistake, however, for he had not w.,alked half a mile when he found himself almost walking into a small party of redcoats who had stopped to get their noonday meal by the road side. It was too late for Dick to conceal him self, s o he walked on in the shuffling manner he had assumed on the instant. The redcoats were young men under the command of a lieutenant who was no older than themse lves, and when they saw Dick coming along they thought it a good chance to have some fun at his expense. "Halt!" Dick stopped, tried, apparently, to assume a military manner by standing at attention, but doing it so awkwardly as to evoke a roar of laughter from the redcoats. "Where are you going?" "Wherever you be,'' was the unexpected answer. "What do you mean, you blockhead?" roared the lieutenant. Dick acted frightened. "! didn't mean no harm; I just thought that you might take me and let me be a sojer, too." "That's no country bumpkin,'' said one of the redcoats, suddenly. "That's Dick Slater, the reb el spy!" CHAPTER XIII.-Back in Camp. Dick was aback. He had not recognized any of the redcoats, and had not expected that any of them wou ld know him. He was sure he had not seen any of them before, for he always rembered a face. While he was thinking how he might bluff the redcoats, the lieutenant had asked: "How do you know?" "Because I saw him save a blind man fro m being run over. He didn't see me." / "Seize him," said the lieutenant. But they were not accustomed to having peo-} pie act wi.th the celerity that characterized Dick's movements at times. Before any one had risen from the ground to seize him, Dick was running like a hare down the hill, across the fields, and into a clump of woods. The redcoats gave chase, but there wasn't one of them that could even keep up with Dick Slater in running, and they stood mt1ch less chance of overtaking him unless some accident should happen. And some acci dent did happen, for as Dick was in the act of leaping over a running brook, one of the stones turned over and threw him into the water, and when he tried to rise he found that he had given his ankle a wrench, and that for a moment it refused to be a r his weight. In vain he clenched his teeth and tried to push on. The pain made him feel faint, strong boy that he was, a.qd brought the perspiration out on his hands brow. He had nothing. with him with which to defend himsel f. Sinking to the ground, he picked up a smooth stone, and waited till the redcoat, whose foots teps he could plainly.hear, appeared, he took quick but careful aim, and struck him squarely in the forehead with the stone. The redcoat stood poi se d an instant, and then dropped like some dead thing. Another redcoat was close behind, and seeing his companion fall, whipped out his pistol and began firing at Dick. Dick sent another stone with equal precision, and dropped the second redcoat, but by this time the res t had come up, and Dick found himself sur rounded. As long as he could keep them in front he felt reasonably secure, but he c ould not pro tect himself front and rear, and on both sides at • once. Two redcoats came up from behind, and seizing him, pinned his arms down to his side. They bound Dick hand and foot, and were about to pick him up and carry him between them to their temporary camp when there was .suddenly heard the rustling of m any feet, and an instant later,
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20 THE LIBERTY BOYS ON THE COMMONS of his company, too them to headqu,a1ters of General Washington to dispose of. Reaching camp Dick refreshe. d himself with a good wash, and then, donnilig his uniform and taking the packet he had brought with him, set out for the ' "eneral's ouarters. The boys would have liked to hear th'e story of his adventures during his abse nce, but duty came ahead of everytJ:ilng else, and they would have to wait till )'le returned. He was shortly admitted to the presence of the commander-in-chief, and delivered the packet he had brought through so many perils. "You have had many exciting adventures, I do not doubt, captain?" said the general, when he had opened the packet. "Yes, your excellency," "You have had many narrow escapes, I learn from my correspondent." "Yes," general, but I have accomplished what I set out to do," in a tone of pride . . "Yes, you have indeed. One of our brave fellows met a sh
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THE. LIBERTY BOYS OF '76 2 1 CURRENT STEEL JAWS ARE CRUEL One-fourth of the animals caught by s teel traps are worthless ; 15 per cent. escape by chewing o ff a leg. Many are eaten by other animals; all 1;uffer lingering torture. The American Humane Society offers prizes aggregating $300 for the best essays acquainting the public with this cruelty and showing how it may be remedied. MAN SPILLS $6,000 IN COIN. Street car traffic was t i ed up half an hour recently when Andrew Higbee, employed a s a messenger by the Atlantic City Street Raih"oad Company, alighted from a ttol'ey to depos: t Sunday's receipts in a bank. He carried $6,000 worth of coin in a bag out of which the bottom fell, paving the street with silver. A corps of detectives was summoned to protect him during salvaging operations . ROOSTERS ATT.ACK WOMAN. Mrs . F. H. Lees, of Philadelphia, c0mplained to the police of the Sixteenth district 1 h:>t she was attacked by three game roo sters. The pugnacious roosters, she said, flew at her. her hands and tore h e r dress with their spurs, but she succeeded in b eating them off with her u m brella. NEWS An investigation was made by the police an has heard the cnnvidion by "m0re I one author it" " th0 Oppau ev:plosi'm woul d not have "had no e".perirn ePt:1l work connected with 1 h e manufa <'turc of engines o f war in some shape or form b ee n indulged in there." IF DON 'T M ISS THIS -..; The new "Mystery Magazine" out November 15 is the handsomest, bir:-gest and best publication on the news-stands for Ten Cents a copy. It contains a mystery story of the Moving Pictures entitled THE LOST STAR OF THE FILMS By J ACK BECHDOLT This celebrated author was the one who wrote "The Melody of Death" in No. 94, a story that attracted widespread attention, and his new story is, if possible, a better one. Besides the feature novelette No. 97 contains Rousing Detective and Mystery Stories Special Articles of the Greatest Interest And a C hoice Assortment of Interesting Items Only the very best authors write for us. They are the same authors who write for the more expensive magazines. We are giving wonderful value for your money. Get a copy and be convinced. There are 64 pages, b ea utiful two-tone covers, fine ill ustrations and large, clear and very legible type. If you cannot procure the number you want from your newsdealer, ns ten c ents in m oney or postage stamps and we will mail your order postage free. Address FRAN K TOUSE Y , Publi sher, 168 W e s t Twentythird S t r ee t, New Y o r k C i ty, N . Y.

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22 THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76 Bellville Academy Boys --OR-VICTORIES OF TRACK AND FIELD By RALPH MORTON (A Serial Story) CHAPTER VIII. Dan Barnett's Fighting Qualities "Now, boys, let's all get together and team work, just as though we were in a football game. There are a lot of buckets in the gardener's house, arid we can form a bucket brigade; we'll u s e the water of that lily pond that nearly drowned me." Dan charged toward the gardener's little structure, and flinging the door open in the dim light, tumbled over the ,buckets close by the unlighted entrance. But he was gamely on his feet, "Here we go , everybody take one and then form in line quick!" shouted Dan Barnett. And then started their terrific t'.l.sk. The flames had burst out in the several places set by the rascally young incendiaries . "The entire Academy is going up in flames!" gasped poor old Dr. Macdonald, the superindent, as he b ehe ld what looked like the final terrible ending of all his efforts. But Dandy D a n Barnett, as he was called from that gallant ni:;ht on, cried out in ring,ing tones: "'Ve'll save the Academy, and not a soul will be hurt, either! Bellville forever!" But Dan had only to lead the van of lads with buckets, so that he made a quicker trip of it. "There, J oe Crosby,'' shouted the youth to" a nearby classmate, "you dip that bucket into the pond and pass it on down the line; let the fellows exchange an empty bucket with you at the same time." Thus Dan started a line of quick action. Full water buckets were hustled along to the boys who threw the quenching flu id on the burning floors with careful speed. At the sam.e time as the full buckets went the empty ones were crossing hands and traveling back the same way. This is a simple manner of working, where fire apparatus is not available, yet it will accomplish remarkable results. Dan rushed for the fighting end of the line, and therli. saw that the line of burning floorway was bein!l' rapidly put into darkness by the good work. "Now, for the alarm. I'll wager that no one has telephoned to the Bellville village fire department." ' Dan ran for the telephone, which hung inside the doorway of the professor's house. He was startled to see the flames spreading over the veranda. "They did a great piece of work!" muttered Dan. "It's lucky they didn't use dynamite." The youth was in despair. The professors were all out with the boys on the lawn, having gone out the side way, and this fire had escaped their glances, s o that it had a good sta1t . Dan took a leap across the spreading flames, and scorched his feet and legs, for he was thinly clad indeed. He nearly topp. led onto the flames himself. "Hello! Hello!" he called at the telephone. "The Academy is on fire, central. Notify the fire department in Bellville, and get them here as soon as possible . " With that he dropped the receiver and rushed jnto the rooms on the lower floor; looking for some means to extinguish the beginning of the :flames . Here he found something to his desire, and he cried with delight at his discovery. The cook or one had left a pair of buckets on the :floor, filled with old cloths, probably to clear them. Dan B arnett snatched the pails, pumped the cloths out, and hurried to the sink, where he filled them rapidly, and ran through the front of the hou se . "Now, Mr. Fire, it's time for you to get out! " He swirled the contents of the buckets across the porch, and there was a hissing sound, as the fire snakes died s lowly . But Dan raced back to tha t ble sse d kitchen faucet for more water. He was going to make a good job of it. It must have taken twenty rapid, racing trips for the lad before he had the flames completely put out. He was almost tired enough to drop in his tracks, after the remarkably quick work he had Qeen d"Jing. Yet Dan was so persistent and so determined in everything he entered into that he would not let up in his work. The fire department had not shown up yet, although he heard the big town hall bell being clanged in the village to summon out the vamps there. "Well, how's the fire?" cried Dan to' Sammy. "All right, e xcep t for the recitation buTiding," said Sammy, "for the boys followed your lead and fixed the dormitory halls. " "Well, they must save the recitation building, or we'll have to go back home from school here," said Dan, with a grim laugh. "What's the trouble down there?" "It's so far from the lake that they can't make the line with the buckets." "Well, this ought to teach the superintendent to put in an amateur fire department here," muttered Dan. "I know where they can water, though. " He sp'ed along toward the excited boys, who seemed not to know what was necessary. (To be continued.)

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THE LIBERTY BOYS OF ' 7 6 23 FROM ALL POINTS WETTEST SPOT ON EARTH The summit of Mount \\'aialea!e, of Kauai said to be the wettest spot on earth, recorded a rairfall of 590 inches from Jan. 7, 1920, to Feb. 3, 1921, according to figures annGunced by the Weather Burean, Honolulu, T. H . Mount Waia1eale is 5,080 feet high and is entfrely exposed to the prevailing trade wind.>. A MAGIC CAVE A distillery de luxe, operated was unearthed in the woo s at Eddington, Me., recently. A thoui;;and gallons of ma h, ten gallons of moonshine whisky ready for market and a seventy-gallon still on a stove that was warm were seized. The distillery was a chamber twenty-eight feet square and twenty feet under ground, dug out near the b ank of a stream. The room wa ventilated by hollow logs, one. of been fashioned into a periscope, with mnT01 eq ULpment , for lookout purposes. \Yater to cool the worm of the still was led in from the stream near by, which was clammed and its tlow regulated by a gate. . The place was fitted ont w1tl} the comforts of a home. Tho!"e who operated 1t, however, '"'.ere absent when Denuty Shenffs Farrar and Kmg, who mad, the anived. A LONG COFFIK The funeral of 'William \\'. Wittig, forty-five years old, a business ma1:i and former member of the City Council, who died suddenly, h.ad to .be delayed two days until a coffin of sufficient was procured. It was necessary to have a s p .ecial coffin made. d Witti"' was 6 feet 8 inches tall. He we1ghe about 3'go pounds. A holiday caused th.e loss of a day in getting the order for the special coffi_n. N o hearse was found long enough to convey it. When Wittig was active in th.e Elks he. always took the prize at the convention for tallest Elk. Wittig suffered from an infection of the foot and it is thought a blood clot formed from this. 'The malady prompted him to quit the race for the Republican nomination for County Commissioner after he had made his announce-ment. Wittig co n d u cted a confectionery and bakery at Frostburg, Md. He was a brother of Walter W. Wittig former member of the Maryland House of He is survived by his widow and one daughter, Miss Elizabeth Wittig. SEEK PLATINUM NEW VEIN ON YORK EDGE OF A O'roup of Russians, who s e g oings and comings have disturbed the Franciscan Sisters of St. Clare Academy on one of the high hills above the Saw Mill Valley in Westchester County. have acquired 9000 ac1es of woodland in the belief that there are huge deposits of gold and platinum within fifteen miles of the New York City line, it was learned recently. The aske Il.ussian !!,'l'Ot1p in th!;! entel'pri se Dr. J acob Connor, TJnit0d Cons ul General at Petrogad from 1 907 to 10l!i. Cherniak has 'fi'ed cl;oiims with the Secre tary of TheTe are tlll'P.P on the p 'ronerty, \Yhich 1t!re?.'1y are fiilecl with Russian workirgmen, some \':ith 1heiiwives. A mill has been set u p in a shed, where the rock is pulverized before being sent to assayers. "Mys te ry Ma gazine" SEMl-MONTHLY JO CENTS A COPY ISSl'ES 78 TII E h_,. Etlnrnnd 11JJliot 79 . H'l"AIR A'l' HOJ.LY\\'0011 uocsi.;, lJy Wll l1:1m Il. Irfne Stage _ -. THE CZAH AND l llh hll\b. In Edmund J.<]lliot. 85 A C'LCR OF I" .IH<'l< RP<;hdn!L E'AC:t;; TN THFl CHOW D. bv ;\l;11e B. .Tones 'rHr:: i\I;\:'. TN ROO\I :"o. 7 . h.r 'cha". P. 88 FOl H 1 l"NDOLI..\H HTJ.T,R, bv Henn• G. Howlana 89 A CHAT,LENGE 'rO POWEK by Dr. uarrv 90 THE HOUSE NEX'f'DOOU, lJy PoJicQ Cn1it. ITow: ard. Ill THF. 'l'HANCF. DETl-:!"J'l\"I;. h:v ('11;!' . F. 92 FRlr!A Y. A'f' hy Rtngg, • 93 BY ITJh LET'T TIAl\D. hv IIaru1Iton Crnigi!l 94 THE ;\JT<'T ()DY OF DEATH. h:v .Tnck 95 THE TRICK OF THI•; GREAT YF.N HOW by w. H. O•hornc. ' 96 At by Fre!l Fl. Shuey. The l'amous Detecthe Story Out To-day In No. 97 Io THE LOST STAR OF THE. FILl\iS By JACK BECHDOLT FBA1'K TOUSEY, Publi,fler, 163 W. 23<.I St., New York "Moving Picture Stories" A Weekly . \Jaga:dne De,ot•tl to PhotopJayis and" Player• PRICE SEVEN CENTS PER COPY Each manlier contaiu s Fou t Storicti of t he l!est Film• on the Screens -Elegant Half-tone Scene" from the Plays-Interesting Article• About Prominent ju the Films-Doings ot Actor• a n d iu Lile and Lessons iu Scenario W'ritiu;;. HARRY E. \YOLFF, 166 W. 23,l St., Kew York •

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24 THE. LIBERTY BOYS OF '76 Trailing A" B lack Valise. By JOHN SHERMAN. An ordinary valise, of ordinary black leather, would not, under ordinary circumstances, seem likely to ,,excite the special cupidit y of anybody. But a valis e believed to be stuffed ,.-ith government b onds and railroad stocks presents a different aspect. And the valise, the incidents of the theft of which I am about to relate, contained not only securities of the sort mentioned, but also a some amount of money. It was the property of a Mr. Caslin lsdall, a gentleman who had accumulated a fine fortune in a commercial line, but w h o had retired from ac t ive bu siness and resided i n a country house a short distance u p the Hudson. The account o f the theft was narrated to me by the gentleman himself, he having come to me at once and empl oyed my services in the case. He had taken the bonds and stocks that morning from a friend; he h .ad cashed some coupons of his own; immediately. afterward he had proceed ed to the 42d street depot. There was a crowd of excursionists about him as he approached the ticket window; for once he had neglected his invariable habit of having the exact change ready; in the delay of fumbling for the correct amount he plac ed the valis e for a sec ond on the ledge be s ide him. He had hardly don e s o when a hand and arm were projected forward as swiftly and indistinctly as a shadow, and the valise had disappeared. The tliief had shown such marvelous celerity that Mr. Isdall had not even time to decid e whether the arm and hand were those of a man or of a woman. "It was done in a wink,'' he said to me; "it was done so quickl y that no one of a score of people pressing upon me observed anything un nsual. stared as if they thought I had suddenly gone mad when I wheeled and called out I had been rnbbed. " "Who was present when you transacted the business with your friend, or the cash in g of ihe coupons? Or who was like!.1 to 1mo1v what was in the valise?" "You think I had been follov.:ed from the time my bu::;iness was finished?" "Possibly." "I can think of no one who would hme been likel y to follow me." "And of no one who knew you carried a small fortune in a black leather bag? Think • again." "\VC'll, there is Watty clerk ip my friend's office . "What kind of a fellow ion?" Yomw He kne.Y•, cf is hc-:1hove suspic-"Well, now, I come to think of it, I beLeve he i s the man-the very man," said the old p.entle mai!i, bringing one clenched hand do\';n with an emphatic thud apon my desk. The remainder of our conYe r ation was com p aratively unimportant. 1 was pretty cenain Caslin Isdall had been fol lowed and robbed by somebody who was familiar with his habits and business relations, but beyond that I could not perceive the glimmer of a trail. My first move was to satisfy myself as to the reputation borne by Walter McElroy. ''Watty will take care of number one. " "He is as keen as a brier." "He is a wonderfu l fine fel low." "Honest as the sun." "Bound to get up in the world." "His ambition to get up in the world, and to get up fast, may be his downfall," were the various things I heard said of him. 1 managed to get an interview with him without hi s suspecting my pur;ios e or who I was. What I saw was a shortish, stoutish, oliveskinned, ruddy-cheeked youth of not more than two-and-twenty. "Why, I have met you before! A, I.remember! Didn't I see you at the 42
PAGE 26

THE LIBERTY BOYS OF '76 25 The girl rad carried a small valise of shabby 'black l ea tir "'1;:t ened by a large and peculiarly shaped lOl'l• ) of brass. The cabman h::.d given me a clear description • of the strange couple, and also the number-and street to which he had driven the girl. I left the depot and proceeded to the address the cabman had sc111wled on a fragment of paper. It was nearl v dark when I reached the hou sea three-story brick building, the las t of a row all exactly alike. M y astonishment may be imagined when I as cender! the steps only to perceive that the house was empty. • B y a few inquiries in the neighborhoo d I learned t hat the house had been vacant for som
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