The Liberty Boys' signal corps, or, Watching the advance guards


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The Liberty Boys' signal corps, or, Watching the advance guards

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Title:
The Liberty Boys' signal corps, or, Watching the advance guards
Series Title:
Liberty Boys of "76"
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Moore, Harry
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New York
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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 )
L20-00326 ( USFLDC DOI )
l20.326 ( USFLDC Handle )

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. A.II Dick ' and tbe boys came to the fence , the farmer boy pointed to two redcoats asleep. under a haystack. "Vigilant sentrlesl" laughed Dick. "We must capture them, boys." Then the boys climbed ov&r tbe fence and advanced noiselessly

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Interesting Radio Articles on Pages 24 and 25 The Liberty Boys lowed Weell:ly-Sub•crlptton price, $3 . 00 per year; Canada, $4.00; Forelrn, $HIO . Harry .Ill. Woll!, Publisher. Ine., 166 West 23d Street. N.>w York. N. Y. Entered as Second-Class Matter .Tnnunry 31. 1913, at the PostOffice at New York, N. Y., under the Act ot March 3. t87ll. No. 1195 NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 23, 1923 Price' 7 Cents The Liberty Boys' Signal Corps OR, WATCHIN G THE ADVANCE GUARDS By HARRY MOORE I.-What Came of Chasing the Rabbit. A boy in home spun was walking along a country road in Virginia a few miles from Yorktown one pleasant afternoon in the fall of the year 1781, Cornwalli s being near the town at the time. "I am not quite sure which road to take," the boy said as he reached a point where the road branched off to the iight and to the left. "I have gone astray, which is rather an odd thing for me." While he seemed to be an ordinary boy of the region he was not ordinary by any means, being n o less than Dick Slater, the captain o f the Lib erty B oys, a band of one hundred brave young patriots engaged in the war for independence, and at that time located in Virginia and acting under the direct orders of General Washington himself. Dick Slater held his c o mission from Washing ton and was under the commander-in-chief's special protection, having the general's entire confidence and having executed many important private missions for him with entire satisfaction. Dick Slater was one of the best spies in the service, as well as being the captain of the Liberty Boys, and l}t this time, when he admitted t o having_ lost way he was on an errand of great importance upon which much depended . He was standing at the crossroads looking first this way and then that and trying to decide which way he had better take when a rabbit suddenly ran out of the bushes and set off across the road. With all a boy's instinct, Dick suddenly gave chase to the little creature, which quickly darted down the left-hand road with Dick after it. The young patriot captain was very fleet of foot and he gained upon the rabbit, which finally darted into a hole in the ground and disappeared. Dick had run some little distance after the rabbit and he now found himself well along on the left-hand road and continued for some distance farther when he heard voices. " .There is some one on the road myself at any rate," he murmured and then he came in sight of a party of redcoats, some o n foot and JC)me on hors ebac k. "These are some of Cornwallis' advance guard, no doubt," Dick said to himself. "I knew that he was advancing in this directio n. We must keep a watch upon them." "I say, my boy, are you acquainted around here?" "No , I hain't b ee n yet, but I don't think I'll catch it, 'cause I don't go where it is," Dick re p l ied, with a stupid look. "You don't go where what is? What are you talking about?" impatiently. " I asked y o u if y ou were acquainted?" "What d'yer mean, anyho w? Whyn't yer speak plain?" , "Do you know any one?" the man we n t on, i n an impatient tone. "Oh, no, I don't live here. Who'd yer want ter find?" "What difference w o uld that make to you if I tol d you?" "I did n't say I didn't know nob o dy, I said I didn't live here. That's different, ain't it? What yer want ter be so snappy fur?" "Which is the nearest way to the town?" the other asked. "Which yer town is that? I reckon there's more'n one." "Yorktown, of course, y o u idiot!" impatiently . "What other town should I mean?" "I donno. How sh o uld I ? Yew said the town. I ain't no fortun' teller. How'd I know what town yew meant?" "Well, I mean Yorktow n. Where is it?" "I donno," said Dick and he was r1ght, for he did not know just where it was. He was not likely to give any infromation to redcoats in any event. "Perhaps we had better go o n, Lieutenant," spoke up another lieutenant who seemed t o be of a pleasanter d is position than the first. "There are no rebels in the neighborhood, I take it, and we may learn more from the next person we meet." "It is quite certain we will learn nothing from this fellow, who is little better than a fool ! " sputte.red the other. "Perhaps yo u are right. We wi ll go on." "I reckon I go t as much right ter call yew a foo l as yer have ter call me one ," said Dick.

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-. 2 THE LIBERTY BOYS' SIGNAL CORPS "Yew don't talk so's any one kin know what ye're talkin' erbout an' I reckon that's foolish." "Keen your opinions to yourself until the y are asked for, you idiot!" stormed the li e u tenant. "Come on, men." The party went on although not as r apidly a s if-all had been mounted, and Dick follow ed for a short distance unt il they were out of s i ght be hind a bend in the road where there w e r e many trees. "We ll, going after that rabbit was a fortunat e thing , a f t e r a ll," lie s a'd to hims elf, he l ook ' d about him, "but if .these m e n are going in the right direction I mtJS. pl' e v e n c t hei r g oing too far." There was quit e a tall tre e n ear him and he quickly climbed up into it unt il he was able to see for a con siderable dista n ce and the n h e saw Yorktown in the direc1 ion 1 h e r edcoa t s w e r e g o ing, although they could -not s ee it as yet owing to t h e tre es. He coul d s e e i he r e d cu a s mu k i n g thei r way along the road a t an eas y gait and on another road a numbe r of boys in the blue and buft' of the Con'inental army whom he knew to be some of the L iberty Boys . In fact, h e recog nized Bob Estabrook, the fir s t and a number of the o t h ers from the c olor o f their horses and the way they rode , he having es pecially good eyesight. "They are Bob and some of the boys," he s aid. "I don't know if they will g e t on the s a m e road as the redcoats, but they must stop the fello .ws or at least know what they are about." Then he imitate d the cry of a hawk in a v ery shrill tone which would carry a long di stance and be sure to be h eard by the b o y s even i f they could not see him. The L i b e r t y Boys had many such signals and now Dick r e gretted tha t h e had not some way of letting the b oys know where he was so as to tell them where to look for the r e d coats . The boys h e a r d him, knew that h e h 'l d signaled and looked about to locate him. He signaled agai n and t h e n, taking off his hat, waving that and his h andkerchief toward where the redcoat s w ere riding along the road. "They may s e e this ," he said to himself, "but at any rate they will know that there are enemies about." The boys saw his signal and h e repeated it and then descende d from the tree and went quick ly across country throu,gh the wo ods in the di rection of the road where he had see n Bob and the boys. He crossed the roa d on w h i ch the red coats were riding, but he di d not s ee them. H e came out upon the other road in time to s ee them hurrying on and called to them. "What is the matter, Dick"?" a s ked Bob, as they rode up. "There are redcoats on the other road. Ride on and intercept them. This road cross es the one they are on. I got astray somehow, but I know where I am now." "Won't you {!Orne along, Dick"?" a sked Bob. "Yes, but go on as fast'1ts you can. I will follow shortly." Bob rode on at once without question, being accustomed to obeying Dick implicitly, although the two boys were the closest of friends and like t>rothers, which they would be some day, the sis ters of each being the sweetheart of the other. A!ter Bob and the boys had I"idden on at a rapid • gait Dick climbed a tree and saw some more of the boys at a Httle di stance. He could also see Bob hurrying on to meet the redcoats, the latter being in plain s ight , but knowing nothing of the approach of the boys. "We must e stablis h a signal corps ," said Dick to himself. "Our s ignals a r e good, but we must have othe r m e ans of communicating with each other." Then he g a ve a loud, shrill cry which he kne w the boys woul d hear and cut oR a l on,gthin branch which h e began t o wave back and forth, cli m b ing ltig:her to a point where the boys would see him plai n l y . He repeated the er-_ he had uttere d and the n wave d the branch in the d irec t i o n that t h e rP
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( THE LIBERTY BOYS' SIGNAL CORPS g "That is a good idea," declared Bob. "You managed to signal to me, but you were near by and so there was no trouble. If you had been farther off I would not have seen you." "No, but if there had been a flag or a fire or something like that which you understand the meaning of there would have been no trouble." . "Very true," rejoined Bob, "and we must have a signal corps so tl1at we can watch the advance guard and prevent their coming on.'' The boys all approved the plan and Dick and Bob with the help of some of the others began to make a code which could be used at a distance ancl save much time and trouble. "\Ve will watch the advance guards and pre vent their getting too near without their knowing what we are doing," said Dick. CHAPTER IL-Another Blow at the Redcoats. The boys now returned to their camp, distant a mile or so from where they had met the red coats, as it was getting on toward sunset and here Dick and Bob made further additions to the system of signals before Patsy, who was the company cook, announced that supper was ready. Mark Morrison, the young second lieutenant of the Liberty Boys, was greatly interested in the scheme of forming a signal corps, as were all the boys, in fact, and he made several surogestions which Dick considered good and decided t o adopt. "You might have certain places in the neigh borhood which the boys will look for indications of danger or otherwise. These could be on hill tops or other places from which signals could b e given and we can look to them for any informa tion we want or 1)1ay expect." "We will pick out a few such places, Mark," Dick replied, "and always have some of the boys there to signal to the camp or to the other sta tions in case there is any need of sending word in haste." "There might, just as there was this afternoon." declared Bob. "Very true, and we want to be on the lookout," observed Dick. "If the enemy are sending on their advance guards we must watch them and do all we can to bother them." ""'he have already given Cornwallis a good deal of annoyance," remarked B en, "and he should know by this time what to expect." "And so do we if the redcoats get hold of any of us," returned Mark. After supper when it was quite dark Pats y Brannigan and Carl Gookenspi e l e r were march ing up and down on the road outside the camp when they heard s om e one coming along whistl ing a lively tune. As Patsy stirred up the fire burning moderately not far away a boy was seen advancing. "Am I near the camp of the Liberty Boys?" he asked, as he came up, apearing to be an honest fellow, although coarsely dressed and seeming like a farmer's boy. "Sure ye are an' it's meself that's Gin'ral Patsy Brannigan an' very glad to see ye. This is Corporal Cookyspiller, but ye want to kape yer eye on um." The two Harrys now came up and lo oked at / the farmer boy. They were satisfied with his appearance. The boy said he wanted to see Captain Slater. "Have you business with him?" asked Harry Thurber. "Well, I want to tell him something that I reckon he'd like to know," the boy replied. "There are redcoats camped back of our place an' I reckon he'd like to know it." "How far is it to your place?" "Couple o' miles, maybe more. I come over when I see 'em. I knew about where the camp was and I come as quick as I could." "That was right. Come with us. The captain will see yf,u, I am sure." Dick wa sitting in his tent with B ob ' and Mark when the two Liberty Boys came up with the farme1 boy. "This boy says that there are redcoats encamp ed back of the place where he lives, two miles away, Captain," said one of the boys. "That is important to know," replied Dick. "What is your name, my boy? You are a go o d patriot, of course?" "Yes. Captain, and I would like to join the Liberty Boys only there is no one to look after the place if I do, i'or ma is not very strong and she needs me." "There are other ways of helping the cause besides joining the Liberty Boys," declared Dick. "Come in and tell me all about it. We are watching the advance guards and if these fellows have eluded us so far they will not do so for long." The farmer boy, whose name was Tom wray burn, told Dick of the redcoats and offered to take the Liberty Boys to the place where they were encamped. There was not a very large party of the redcoats, but Dick wanted to keep them all out if possible and he told Bob to get the Liberty Boys ready and they would descend upon the enemy without delay. The boys were glad to be doing somethill/g and they made ready to go after the redcoats in quick time, Bob tell ing B e n to pick out a horse for Tom so that he need not have to walk back. "We have no horse at ]:)resent," he said. "Some Tories stole it. I think I know who they are, but I have not seen the horse since he was stolen and I reckon they're keepin' him out o' the way so I \YOn't." "We shall have to look after them as well as the redcoats,'' remarked Dick, "but first we must attend to this matter.'' The Liberty Boys shortly set out in a body Tom riding with Dick and Bob in order t o sho,; them the way, all going at good speed. They reached the boy's home at length and in good time as a number of redcoats had just come from the camp and were about to help themselves to hay and grain and pigs and chickens without asking leave of the boy's mother and sister who were alone in the cabin. The arrival of the Liberty Boys was well timed and at once Dick cried out: "Charge them, Liberty Boys! Catch these fel lows and then we will descend upon the camp and give the rest a surprise." A number of the boys leaped from their horses and made a rush at the redcoats, who were great l y surprised at the sudden appearance of the young patriots and unable to escape. Leaving

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" 4 THE LIBERTY BOYS' SIGNAL CORPS the prisoners in charge of some of the boys, Dick took the rest and, ,guide d by -Tom. hurri ed on foot to the camp of the i nvader s. This was 011 the edge o f a woorl a little back of the farm, the fires being li ghte1 and the enemy en.ibying themselves with not the slightest idea that any of the "rebels" w ere about. They were quickly made aware of the fact, however, when-" the boys descended upon 'hem with a rush and captured a numb e r of nrisoners , sev eral horses and a goodly s upply of arms and ammunit ion. Dick saw the lieutenant , whom h e h a d met during the afternoon, the man on horseback, although a numbe r of shots were fired at him. The lieutenant, whos e name Dick learned was Mortonville from some of the p 1isoners, made his escane with pome of the men and the o t h e r officer whom Dick had met and hurried away at all s peed toward the south wh ere Cornwallis was supposed to be at the time, although one of the patriots knew jus t where he was. The party was not a large on e , but the boys capture d a d ozen or more tents, s i x or eight horses, a number of blankets and s o me arms and ammunit ion but ver y little provisi on s , thes e b e in g s c a r c e at the time whic h had started the redcoats to the cabin to add to their small supply. "They probably came to this place a,,f+er w e scattered them this afternoon," declared the young captain, "and we should not have known it if T o m had not come to tell us." "We might make this one of the signal sta tions," sup;gested Mark. "I see a good hill back of t he cabin." "That's where the woman they call a witch lives," said Tom, "but I don't believe she is a witch. She has never troubled us, though, and she has h elped mam with some of her remedies at time s." "Who is this witch you speak of, Tom?" a sked Dick. "She i s a poor old woman who lives somewhere on the hill. You can see a long way fro.m the t o p of i t a n d you c ould signal to other places with fire s o r flags fust r a t e ." "vVhat is the old woman's name?" "I donno, but folks c a ll her Sally Waters and s h e go es b y tha t J).ame. She uses it herself, but I r e ckon she has another." "The hill seems to be quite high, but ls it wooded on top? That would make a difference to 11s in signaling." "No i t ' s bare on top, but there a r e woods and thick The woman l i v e s somewhere in them and she gathers herbs t here and in the and makes med i cines o f them. The Tones call her an old witch and 'ays s h e has an owl and a black cat and a d o g tha t talk and t e ll h e r things that the Old Scratch knows . They say the y'll drive her out, but t h e y ] 1nven ' t don<' it yet. and I reckon they're right skeered to go there at night and then no one knows jus t where she lives." "We must find her, for I have no doubt that she is a h armless o ld woman and one who has done a great deal of good. She may tell us much that we want to know as well." Dick determined to leave some of the boys at the cabin to k ee p a watch upon the redcoats and to explore the hill back of the place in the morn fr.g and see how it would answer as a signal station for the L i b erty I3oys. Mark and a dozen of the boys remained at the cabin, Jack Warren, the two I -Ianys , B e n and Sam being of the number. D ic k carried off the prisoners and the spoils, leaving a number of the tents for the boys the cabin was not large e nough to accom modate them. The prisoners were greatly cha grined at be ing capiured by boys, and especially by the desnised "rebel s," and they were in a very surlv mood -all the way to the camp. Bob noticed this and P n i d t o ('Ile of them. a sergeant: "You fellows need not get a fit of the sulks because w,, ha vc captur ed y o u. \Ve are soldiers if we a!'e b o y s a nd you n ee d not think that yo u are the only solc : icrs in the country, b ecause there arc pl enty of the m. \Ve :i.re no t going to hang or sc: :tln you so you n ee(i n<'t be afraid." "You're a lot of confounded young rebels!" sputte r e d t h e sergean t . "'Vell , abusing us w 0r:'t do you any good nor u s any arm," laughed B o b . "vVe have been called names before, but we go o n making all the trouble w e can for you Yedcoats and doing as much good for tlw caus e a s we can also. You'll g e t over y o u r s11lk a fter "' The boys laughed, but the redcoats continued to sulk and they were l eft al:me unde r a strong guard. "I think it is 1 1ride," laughed Dick. "Some o f these same fellows were route d this afternoon and now they are c a p tured. They have probably b een telling each other what they would do to the yo ung J"ebels a.nd now t hey are captured, their camp broken up and the company routed and their pride h'ls l' c c e iv e d a great blow. That b the troubl e. vou will find." "vVell, .they say pride goes before a fall," lau<>"hed Bob, "and if that is. the case here they will simply have to make the best of it." "And I am afraid i t would be hurt still more if they knew that w e have no use for them and are going to get rid of them as soon as we can to save the trouble of having t o feed them," added Dick. CHAPTER III.-How the Worked. In the morning Dick sent some of the boys with the prisoners to the nearest American camp wnil e he took a numbe r and went to the ,cabin wh ere he had left Mark and his party the night b efore. On the way and when not far from the cabin wher e Tom lived ihe boys came upon an old woman walking with a stout stick and carrying a wi c k e r basket on her arm. "Good morning, young gentleme n , " she said, in a hig h, cra ck e d voice . "You are good patriots, I s e e . I w ould like to s e e only that uniform in .all Virginia and in all the country. Blue is the color o f the sky, while red is tha t of the spilled blood and there has been enough of that shed." "Quite true, ma'am," replied Dick. "You are looking for herbs?" the young captain asked. "Yes, young gentlemen. I know of many that are good for the race and I know of many that are bad, that make men drtVlk and take away their senses. Old Sally, as men call her, knows many strange things, but she will do no harm to you or to any other good patriot." "You live in the woods on the hill back of the

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THE LIBERTY BOYS' SIGNAL CORPS 5 c abih?" asked Dick . "We want to go there to give signals when we see the enemy so that our boys will know it and advance to meet the foe . We will not disturb you, but will protect you when rude fellows annoy you." '! am not afraid of them," the old woman piped, laughing shrilly. "l can frighten them. The hill is as free to you as to me or any one, I will help you for you are good young gentle men and you are figthing in a noble cause." "We did not want to intrude," Dick replied. "We are going there now to see how it will answer for a place from which to send signals." "Very good!" said 'the old woman in h e r high, piping voice, "and I wish you. g-ood fortune and long lives." . Then she w ent on, w alking wi t h her stick and seeming very old and feeble. She shortly disappeared around a bend in the r oa d and the b o y s rode on to the cabin. H ere they found Mark and the boys making ready to go up the hill, expected Dick before this time. Dick told them of having m e t the old woman on the road and added: "The poor creature is a good friend of ours and I b e li e v e w e shall rece i ve material assistance from her, although in what way I do not know, but suc h i s my be li e f. " Leaving some o f the boy s at the cabin Dick, Mark and the rest ascended the hill, b eing obliged to go on foot on a ccount of the steepness of the road and the density of the woods. "We must cut a path through h e r e , " said Dick "for the one there will not do in case we in a hurry." They reached the top of the hill at length and found that it comanded a fine view of the surrounding country and would be an excellent place from which to watch the enemy and to signal to each other.' There were other hills where signals could be received and sent and Dick de cided to make one of his stations on the place at once. He pointed out other hills near the camp and overlooking the region where he intended to station some of the boys and he asked Tom the name s of them and how to get to them with the least difficulty. "I k now the most of them, Captain," the boy repli e d , " and I will show you the way to them. You can see that his place is in plain view from the m all." "Yes, and it is jus t the point we want for our mai n station. W e will set the Liberty Boys' signal corp s t o work in a short time." " \ Ve don't see any camp of redcoats, Dick," o b served Mark. "No, w e d o not, bul we can see them if they come on and we must watch the advance guards and make them a ll the trouble w e can." "The boys w ill be ready enoug h to do that," loughed Mark. Dick sent a number crf t h e b-oy s oiI to t h e camp t o get axes to clc:ar a p a t h t hrou g h the w ood s and too k Tom and set ou t to vi s i t some of the o . h e r hill s w here h e m eant to set up signal stations, leavi'lg Mar k , Jack and the res t a t the cabin. B y noon Mar k had cleared a path and establish e d a little caznp just a t tlre edge of the woods where it would not be observed from below as Dick did not want the enemy to know of the boys' presence on the hill, but to be abl e to signal without any one knowing it. "We will surpris e the enemy come, I think," Mark. , The boys had not discovered .the abode of t h e st.range old woman nor had they seen any sign ot the e nemy on the roads which were in p lain view from the hill. They c ould see where the camp of the Liberty Boys was located, but c oul d not see the camp itself on account o f its being in a wood. Messengers could be easily despatched fro m some of the other stations in case the enemy were seen approaching from Rattlesnake Hill as ths place was known and as soon as the other stations• were e stablished the boys could keep a, sharp watch upon the advance guards of the ene my 3:nd prevent their coming on too rapidly; evem st-ndmg t h e m back if see n in time and in not toct great numbers. The means of signalin,g were U. be fire s and c ertain flags where. the di stance was not too great, some of these having been decided. upon the night before and others being adopted. after the main signal station had been estab li s hed. Dick put Bob on another hill from which th& camp could be seen, which was_ an advantage aa it would save the despatching of messengers after a message had been receive d from Mark and his' boy's on Rattlesnake Hill. A few boys were alst put on another and smaller hill, but which war important because it commanded a road, whicl!. the main hill did not and along which the enem1 might come, word of which could be sent to Mark and by him sent to the o ther hill and s o .to the. ramp. By the middle of the afternoon there werf. little camps on all three hills and the boys hai! als o established points along the road from whic'i. signals could be sent to the minor stations. bJ m eans of flags. Not long after this a cloud of smoke was s eeJ. or. top of Rattlesnake Hill, but M fire s we r e fre qu.ent very few persons besides the Liberty Boys paid any attention t o it. A while fla.g witi. a blue center was seen on the lower hill from tha camp and immediately Dick knew that Mark hac! seen the enemy approaching and had sent wori of i.t. From the size of the s moke-cloud Dick kne'll that there was not a large party of the enemy approaching, but it mm1 t be stopped fo r all that Then another flag told him just in what direc tion the enemy wascoming and Dick displaye4 a flag which told the others that their signal hai seen and understood. Then all the flag'I disappeared and also the smoke on the hill, whilio at the same time Dick was hurrying with & party of the Liberty Boys to meet the en emy. They came upon them well b e low the cabin ant on anot h e r road and took the m auite by sur p r isfl _ as the redcoats had no idea that they had bem seen and thought that they could advance tl1' Yorktow n or near i t and reconnoier to their hearts ' content. The ins t ant the brave boy.t caught sight of them they charged with tl:e: greatest impetuosity and the redcoats , taken u'lr terly by surpris e and not knowing how many cf the daring fellow s there might be behind fell back in great confusion. Ther e had not a. sign of a Liberty Boy untjl tJ1en and no evidenm that tJ1eir coming was known and then, all of 11'

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6 THE LIBERTY BOYS' SIGNAL CORPS sudden, they wel'e attacked by a lot of brave f e l lows who evidently had known they were coming and were prepared for them. Dick and ihe boys expected to meet them s ometime and when the y did it was no surpris e, but rather the signal for a charge. The r e dcoats attempted to rally and fired a volley at the plucky boy s , but ihis was re -turned with such spirit that a s econd volley was not fired. Instead the enemy retreated in great haste, pursued by the determine d young patriots who were greatly satis fied a t the fir s t result of the work of the signal corps . No prisoners were taken, but Dick saw his old acquaintance, Lieu• tenant Mortonville, and laughed at the celerity with which h e made hi s e s cape when the boys charged. At night the roads were to be patrol led and signals sent to the hill s by fires which. could then be s ent to ihe camp s o that provision was made for g etting word to the Liberty Boys by day or night ana thus the advance of the ene my be prevented. When the boys with Dick returned to the camp they w e r e bes ieged with question s by the others w ho wanted to know jus t what had happened. "Sure we knew that ye walloped the inimy," said Pats y, "for the liftinant sint us worrud of it, bt1t he didn't tell u s how it wor done an' that's what we're wantin' to know, me byes." "Our signal corp s is a s ucces s s o far," declared Dick, "and I think w e w ill greatly puzzle the ene my, who will have no idea how we get wind of their advance s o quickly." After dark Dick had the boy s out on the road watching for the enemy, but there was no alarm on that account and not a redcoat was seen. Patsy and Carl on duty near the camp were keeping a sharp lookout for the enemy and at length Pats y said: "Sure Oi de be thinkin' Oi hear some wan comin', me bye. Kape an eye out for him." "Hallo, i s that you, Patsy?" a sked Tom Wrayburn, coming alon g leading a calf. "Tell the captain that there are redcoats coming along the left road. They think they can gei to Yorktown by night, for there will be no Liberty Boys on the road at night." "Sure there do be s ome of thim on the road already, Ned, but not on the lift road. They do be on this wan and on the roight, but the lift is out of the way for the inimy." "And they are taking it. I heard some of them say they would, and I hurried on to t ell you. I found this calf a stray and I am taking it home." Dick Slater was notified of what the boy said immediately. In a short time the boy s saw a lantern waving from a tree near the camp and soon after that a fire was s een on one of the hill s near at hand. Then a number of the Lib erty Boy s with Dick at their head came riding out of camp at a gallop. "The left-hand road, you said, Tom?" asked Dick. I "Yes , C aptain." "Very goo d," and the boys rod e on , a light being s een on Rattlesnake Hill when they had g o n e a short distance on the road. "Nark i s getting ready for them," Dick laugh
PAGE 8

THE LIBERTY BOYS' SIGNAL CORPS not advance as rapidly as they fancied they would." The boys were greatly pleased with the way the signal corps was doing its work and they looked f.or even better things in a shoTt time. When Dick Slater got an idea in his head he did not rest until he had perfected it and they knew that would be the case in this instance and all were ready to help him by suggestions and by good hones t work to carry out his plan. In the morning Dick set out with a number of the boys toward the hill where Mark was stationed, seeing no sign of any signals to tell them that there was anything to be feared from the enemy . "It may be early for them to get out," Dick laughed, "and we may have to wait a while before we see anything of them.' ' "And in the meantime we are getting ready for them and then they will wonder how we happened to get wind of their intentions," ob served Ezra Barbour, one of the boys. They passed the base of the hill and the cabin where Tom lived without seeing any signal from Mark and were going along the road at a reasonable pace, being some distance from the cabin then. The girl beckoned to the man, pointed be hind her and Dkk and the boys halted and al lowed her to come up. "You are some of the Liberty Boys," she said. "Tom has told me about you. There are some redcoats ahead of you and you had better not go there." "Are there very many of them?" Dick asked, noticing that the girl was quite pretty and of a lively disposition . "Well, there's quite a few of them," she replied, "and I reckon there's more of 'em back a piece. I saw 'em and reckoned I'd better tell Tom or somebody about 'em so's they wouldn't get the start of us.' ' "Do you mean Tom Wrayburn ?" asked Dick. "Yes, o' course, what other Tom is there?" blushing. "None to her, I fancy," thought Dick . "This is Tom's sweetheart, I guess. He is a very lucky fellow to have such a nice girl thinking of him.'' "Tom Wrayburn is a very good fellow," said Ezra, "and very clever. He wiuld tell us of the enemy in a moment.'' "Yes, Tom is right peart about mqst things," the girl replied, blushing again. "What were the redcoats doing when you saw them, my girl?" asked Dick. "They wasn't doing nothing much, but they was there and I didn't know but what they might take it into their heads to come on," the girl answered. "I'm Susie Singleton. Tom, he knows me and he'll tell you I'm a good patriot." "I haven't the least doubt of it," returned Dick, with a smile. "About how far ahead are the redcoats?" "Not much of a piece. They're at a house what belongs to some of the neighbors, but they just took it without saying nothing about it and the folks had ter get out." "We shall have to see about that," said Dick. "The redcoats are altogether too free in turn ing people out of their houses and we shall hav: I to turn them out. How many of them are there, should you say?" "Well, there's a right smart lot on 'em and tl:ere's some a-keeping watch on the road near a haystack. I r eckon they'll tell the rest if any one comes alonig.'' "We must try to get around these fellows and have a look at the others.'' "I saw the old witch-doctor going along that way the girl continued. "Well, I'm goin' across lots and I don't guess I'll see 'em again, but I come this way 'caus e 1 reckoned some o' you uns might be coming along." "We will look out for them," replied Dick. Sus ie went on and Dick advanced cautiously till h e saw two redcoats on the road near a haystack walking up and down and evidently keeping a sharp look out for any enemies. "They are watching for us," he muttered. "There is no us e of trying to get ahead by this, road, but there may be another.'' He watched the redcoats for a time and saw the old woman come out upon the road and step in front of them. "She will find out all she can about them and let us know, no doubt," he said to himself as he went back to the boys. "There are two redcoats on duty a little way from here," he said to the boys, "and we shall have to get around them if we want to learn more." "We are doing our best to get around the red-coats all the time,'' said Ezra, dryly. _ Just then they heard a signal from some of the Liberty Boys. They answered it and in a short time some o f the boys came up with the farmer boy. They had a flag with them and were surprised to hear that there were redcoats near. "They are over that way," remarked Dick1 pointing. "I think that if we go on foot ana across lots a bit we shall get around them and fin
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