BOYS OF LIBERTY LIBRARY. 12mo. aoth. hand,omcly bound. Price, each, postpaid, 50 cents. PAUL REVERE and the Boys of Liberty. By John D e Morgan. THE FIRST SHOT FOR LIBERTY or The Minute Men of Maasachuaetts. By J ohn D e Morgan FOOLING THE ENEMY. A Story of the Siege of Boston. B y John DeMorgan. INTO THE JAWS OF DEATH or The Boys of Liberty at the Battle of Long Island, B y J o hn De Morgan. THE HERO OF TICONDEROGA or Ethan Allen and Hia Green Mountain Boys. B y John De Morgan. ON TO QUEBEC or With Montgomery in Canada. B y John De Morgan. FIGHTING HAL or From Fort Necesaity to Quebec. B y John D e M organ. MARION AND HIS MEN or The Swamp Fox of Carolina. By John De Mo rgan. THE YOUNG AMBASSADOR or Washington' s First Triumph. B y John D e Mo r g a n. THE YOUNG GUARDSMAN or With Washington in the Ohio Valley. By J ohn De Morga n THE CRUISE OF THE LIVELY BEE or A Boy' s Adventure in the War of 1812. By J ohn D e Morgan. THE TORY PLOT or Saving Washington' s L i fe By T. C Harba u g h IN BUFF AND BLUE or Serving under Old Put. B y T C Harbaugh. WASHINGTON' S YOUNG SPY or Outwitting General Howe. By T C. Harbaugh. UNDER GREENE'S BANNER or The Boy Heroes of 1781, By T. C. H a rbau g h FOR FREEDOM'S CAUSE or On to Saratoga. B y T. C Harbaug h CAPTAIN OF THE MINUTE MEN or The Concord Boys of 1775By Harrie Irving H ancoc k THE TRADER'S CAPTIVE o r The Young Guardsman and The French Spies. By Lieut. Louns berry. THE QUAK!i:R SPY, A Tale of the Revolutionary War. By Lieut. L o u nsberry. FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM o r The Birth of the Stars and Stripes. B}' Lie u t. Louns berry. BY ORDER OF THE COLONEL or The Captain of the Young Guardsmen. By L ie u t. L o un sberry. A CALL TO DUTY or The Youne; Guardsman. B y Lieut. L o un s b e r ry. IN GLORY'S VAN or The Young Guardaman a t Louiabourg. B y Lieut. Lounsberry. THE YOUNG PATRIOT or The Young Guardsmen at Fort William Henry. B y Lieut. Loun s berry. "OLD PUT" THE PATRIOT or Fighting for Home and Country. By F rederick A Obe r. THE L EAGUE OF FIVE or V }ashington'a Boy Scouts. B y Commande r Post. THE KIN.G'S MESSENGER or The Fall of Ticonderog a. B y Capt. Frank R a l p h DASHING PAUL JONES, The Hero of the Co lonial Navy. By Frank S h eri d a n FROM MIDSHIPMAN TO COMMODORE or T h e Glories of Our Infant Navy. B y Fran k Sheridan THE CRUISE OF THE ESSEX or Making the Stars and Stripes Respected. B y Frank Sheridan.
FOOLING THE ENEMY A STORY OF THE SIEGE OF BOSTON BY JOHN DE MORGAN A UTHOR OF "Paul Revere," The Young Ambassador," The First Shot for Liberty," The Young Guardsman," etc, PHILADELPHIA DAVID McKAY, PUBLISHER 610 SoUTH WASHINGTON SQUARE
Copyright, 1904 By STREET & SMITH Pooling tho Enemy \
AUTHOR'S NOTE. In this true story of the Siege of Boston,, the author ha, been compelled to draw on his imagination for the names of the two who 10 ably "fooled the enemy,"for, though hi,tory records the fact,, the names of the participants are not given. It may be interesting to remember that the Benjamin Pierce who play, 10 im portant a part in the Boy, of Liberty wa, the father of Franklin Pierce, who in later year, became President of the United States. Benjamin Pierce received hi, bap ti,m of fire at Bunker Hill, and there pledged hi, life to the cause of Liberty.
FOOLING THE ENEMY. CHAPTER I. IN THE PROVINCE HOUSE. The windows of the Province House, in Boston, were brilliantly illuminated, and the shadows which crossed them proved that a number of guests had gathered there. It is our privilege to enter that house and record some of the doings and much of the talk there indulged in, and if any should say that we are playing the spy and are as bad as Paul Pry, we would respectfully tell them that as we were paying taxes and, in certain con tingencies, would have to pay more, and that tke en tertainment in the Province House was, in a great measure, paid for out of those taxes, we considered we had a right to take a peep behind the curtains. But as we well know, it is impossible to satisfy
6 In the Province House. everyone, so, without further excuse, we proceed to tell the story, which we hope v:_ill prove as fascinating to the reader as it has been to the writer thereof. In the large parlors of the Province House men were moving about clad in brilliant uniforms and wear- ing medals and decorations indicative of royal pleasure or distinguished rank. Ladies were there al so, but there was a look of con straint on their faces which showed that they were not quite as happy as the men. It may be that the ladies had left the banquet room much earlier than the men, and that after they had left the wine had flowed so freely that tongues were loosened and wit was released from the somewhat heavy brains of those present. Lest it may be thought that wine drinking had been more than any excuse warranted, and th~t even those ;who liked to linger over the port or sherry, ought to have remembered that the ladies awaited them, it may be well to go back a little and see that company seated round the banquet table. Gen. Howe, who had succeeded Gage in command
In the Province House. 7 of the British troops in Boston, sat at the head of the table, and around the board w e re the most distin guished of the British generals. Before the ladies had risen, Gen. Howe proposed the toast: "The king !" All stood, and a lady, the fair Tory, Mistress Tracy, raised her glass and added, in that musical voice which had caused so many gallants to lose their 4eads: "God bless him !" The toast was duly honored and the signal given for the ladies to retire, when Mistress Tracy again spoke: "Ladies, we are to be banished from the distin guished presence of these noble gentlemen, but I am sure we shall b e allowed to stay while we drink the health of Gen. Howe." The toast was honored and cheers given for the noble entertainer, and then for the lady who had pro posed the sentiment. The ladi e s r etire d and Howe b a de all present fill J. their gla s s~s, a n in v it a tion which w a s quickly a,ccepted
8 In the Province House. I and, in truth, it may be stated, that some drank the contents of the glass so quickly that it had to be filled again in order to show some pretense of having wine to drink. Brilliantly attired waiters moved about the room as silently as mutes, and refilled the glasses as fast as they were emptied. All winter long the city had been beseiged by Washington, and Howe had settled down very comfortably at the Province House feeling sure that he would not be disturbed, hence many banquets were given and merriment of all kinds indulged in, even dramatic en tertainments were given in Faneuil Hall. "Gentlemen," said Howe, "the end is near. The king has answered these rebels, and now they will have no excuse for opposition." "And the answer-have you seen it?" asked Burgoyne. "Ay truly; and a right royal one it is, too. He tells them that he knows no such body as a Continental Congress, and that he would refuse to have any deal ings with any confederation of the colonies."
In the Province House. "Bravo!" "Bravissimo !" 9 "I say, hurrah for King George!" adde'cl Burgoyne. "Gentlemen, when it is your good pleasure I will proceed," Gen. Howe said, with dignity. "Pardon, general, your health." The glasses were filled again and every man at the festive board drank a bumper to the health of their host. "As I was saying," continued Howe, as though there had been no interruption, "the king--" "God bless him !" "The king has sent to the rebellious colonists a fit answer. The army must be disbanded and the colonies must submit without conditions." "Bravo!" "Long live the king!" "That ends it. When do you think that fellow Washington will surrender?" "But the king, with that graciousness for which he is famous, tells the colonies that he will deal with
10 In the Province House. each colony separately, and redress any grievance he finds existing." "Bravo! bravo!" "Yon are like a poll parrot, Manvers, you can say nothing but 'bravo!' as though everything was summed up in that one word." "So it is, Burgoyne. You drink a bumper of good wine and are ready to cry 'bravo,' for that expresses all your feelings. You see a beautiful woman and you hear her utter the sweetest sentiments and again you cry, 'bravo.' "You are a fool, Manvers; I believe you are drunk!" "Drunk, am I? On your life, I am no more drunk than you are. You dare not repeat that !" "I will not repeat that I think you are drunk, I will say that I know you are,'' cried Burgoyne. Manvers instantly rose to his feet and drew his sword. "Gentlemen gentlemen do not forget that you wear his majesty's uniform, and are not tavern brawlers.'' "He said I was drunk-I will show him--" Col. Manvers tried to go round the table to where
In the Province House. II Burgoyne was sitting, but he fell and had not the power to rise. "Leave him alone,'' said H<:1we, quietly; "he will sleep off his feelings, and we shall be saved an ex hibition of anger. Burgoyne, why do you tantalize him so much?" "I have my reasons, general." "Say rather your reason, for, if I must spealc, I should say that the reason wears petticoats-" "Ha ha I ha that is one on you, Burgoyne." "Name name !" "Gentlemen, I implore you, remember that no officer would bring a lady's name into an after-dinner discussion." Gen. Burgoyne was excited with the wine he had drank, and he was as ready to quarrel as Manvers had been. He looked at his host for a moment as though he would like to ask permission to demand an apology and then, suddenly, and without any apparent rea'son, he cried out: "Let anyone mention a lady's name in connection with mine, and my sword shall demand an apology."
12 In the Province House. "Gentlemen !" "Bra-vo !" came from under the table. "Who cares for you and your sword. I tell you that Manvers has dared to smile on the same lady and she has smiled on him--" "Name! name!" It looked as though the party would break up in a fight, but Gen. Howe whispered to one of the gayly clad waiters, and in a few moments the sound of singing was heard in the adjoining room, and Howe rose to his feet and in a voice of command, said: "We are neglecting the ladies; let us join them." Manvers tried to struggle to his f e et, but he failed, and, rolling over, fell a s l e ep. The others w al ke d some staggered, into the salon, where Mistr ess Tracy was seated at the harpsichord, pla y ing an accompaniment to the singing of fair Mistress Robi nson. Burgoyne crossed to th e harpsichord, his face flushed with the wine he had taken, and leaning over h e r whis pered something in h e r e ar. She ro s e suddenly and gave him such a slap on the cheek that not only made
In the Province House. IJ it redder, but attracted the attention of everyone in the room. "Served you right, Burgoyne I What did you say to her?" Gen. Howe had drawn Mistress Tracy to a settee and seated himself beside her. "Take no notice of Burgoyne," he said, in a low tone ; "he has drank a little more than usual." "That is no excuse." "Perhaps not; but, my dear madam, add to that fact the other fact of the intoxication of your beauty, and then you can understand that many a better man than Burgoyne might forget himself." "You are like the rest, you flatter ; and think that a woman should be as easily won as any pet animal on whom you like to devote your caresses." "Madam, you are so beautiful, so transcendantly su perior to so many of your sex that a blunt soldier, accustomed to the camp and the barracks, must feel intoxicated when you smile on him." Howe was perfectly sober, and his words seemed to be so genuine that Mistress Tracy not only forgave
In the Province House. Burgoyne but actually sang for him his favorite ballad, and at its conclusion allowed him to kiss her hand. In a corner, far removed from the others, sat a young damsel as lovely as anything that ever appeared in human form. Her face was a study. Those who watched her closely could see that the whole affair was disgusting to her, and that she had no pleasure in the gallantries of the gentlemen or the frivolities of the women present. Gen. Howe crossed and seated himself by her side. He did not attempt to play the gallant with her, but spoke seriously. "You do not approve of what you have seen?" he said, inquiringly. "How can I ? What pleasure can anyone find in wine or frivolity when lives are in danger?" "In danger?" "Yes; who can tell at what moment Gen. Washing ton will strike a blow at the city?" "My dear, do not alarm yourself; the rebel will be glad enough to surrender before many hours have passed."
In the Province House. "Without a fight?" "A fight? Why, my dear young lady, he is too fond of his life to risk a fight. We are impregnable here, and it would be like murder for him to attempt to force an entrance into the city." "You think that the colonists will lay down their arms?" "Of course they will. What else could they do?" "Fight If I were a man I would fight until every drop of my blood was spill e d on the ground, rather than accept the insults of our king." "It is a good thing you are not a man, or I should be compelled to order you under arrest." "Why don t you?" "You are a lady, a dear young girl, and are priv ileged to say what no man dare." "I wish I could say to everyone of my countrymen what I say to you. "I did not think. y ou were such a rebel." "I am an American. I have heard how my people have been treated, and I am sure that it would be better to die fighting than to surre nder every liberty." I
., 16 In the Province House. "Hush! your uncle may hear you." "And if he d id ?" "He is loyal to the king." "Alas! yes; but he has not thought much about it as I have done." "Have you tried to convert him ?" "I would convert, as you call it, everyone who loved liberty had I the power." "I am afraid you are a genuine Joan d' Arc." "And if I were I suppose you would order me to be burned at the stake as the English did poor, saintly Joan." "No! no! believe me; but, really, if I did not think you were jesting I should have to take serious notice of--" "A poor young girl whose head is turned, as you would say." "I have so much honest respect for your uncle that I shall forget all you have said; but I caution you that others might not do so and you might be caused considerable sorrow. Take care to whom you speak." Burgoyne looked across at the couple, and in a low,
In the Province House. voice asked Mistress Tracy the name of the fair young girl to whom Howe was talking. "Know you not? Why she is a regular firebrand. I really believe she would like to go outside and join the forces of the rebels." "Is she in sympathy with them?" "Indeed, she is ; but her uncle is just as strong the other way." "What is his name?" "Robert Beverly." "And hers?" "Priscilla Beverley, an heiress in her own right; but a regular rebel." "I should think her uncle could tame her." "He might; but he is her guardian, and as such handles much of her money, and he is afraid to cross her too much." "I see. Um I I must get an introduction."
CHAPTER II. A FAIR REBEL. John Burgoyne, son of Lord Bingley, had a very high opinion of himself, perhaps perfectly justifiable, for he had not only had a distinguished career in the army, but he had proved his ability as an author as well. When, a month before our story opens, he had reached Boston to aid the British against the colonials, 1 he appeared as though he imagined the whole of the British cause rested upon himself. Like Gen. Howe and the other British officers, he entertained a certain amount of contempt for the broomstick brigade, as the Colonial army was called, and he thought the subjugation of the Americans only a matter of patience and firmness. Howe thought much of him, and his happy manner, his good comradeship and his excellent education made him a popular favorite with most of his brother of ficers.
A Fair Rebel. 19 He was a lady's man, and felt more at home with the fair sex than with ordinary male civilians ; in fact, it was said that he ought always to be with the ladies or the soldiers, for then he was in his element. Having introduced Gen. Burgoyne it is as well to cross the large parlor and become acquainted with Priscilla Beverley. Priscilla was the daughter of Robert Beverley's eldest brother, who, in dying, not only left a rich legacy to his daughter and only child, but also a handsome inheritance to his Tory brother, Robert. Alden Beverley had been in sympathy with the cause of the colonists, and had he lived would most likely have been one of the leaders of the indepen dence movement. He disliked Robert's Toryism, but never for a moment doubted his honor, and he had no hesitation in leaving his motherless daughter in his guardian ship. Priscilla had inherited her father's political views, and she had been a close companion of Mistress Theresa Fowler up to the time when that young lady
~o A Fair Rebel. had to leave Boston and take refuge with the Billing tons. "Mistress Beverley, I am honored by being intro duced to you," Burgoyne said, as he bowed very low. "Say, rather, that the provincial maiden is honored by being noticed by one so distinguished," Priscilla re t urned. The English general seated himself by her side and began fo talk about all those little nothings so dear to the ordinary female; but he soon saw that his com panion had no interest in what he was saying. "Do you know, I have heard that you are quite a little rebel?" he said, after several ineffectual attempts to draw her into conversation. "Indeed !" "Yes ; but, of course, I know that it is a libel." "What is ?" "Why, that you are in sympathy with those miser able people who are in arms against their kin g ." "Really, general, I fail to understand to whom you refer."
A Fair Rebel. 21 "My dear Mistress Beverley, I mean that man Wash ington, and--" "Gen. Washington is one of the noblest men on earth to-day." "If so, he is very misguided." "I do not think so. He is an American, you are English. Suppose that our Continental Congress was to make certain laws and send an army over to Lon don to compel you to obey them, would you not fight against those soldiers?" "Why, certainly." "Then why should not Americans demand the right to govern themselves, and why should they be rebels when they are only fighting against foreigners who want to force unjust laws upon them?" "A truce to such talk, my dear lady. Leave all such matters to the sterner sex and let not those oretty lips utter such treason." "I do not call it treason." "I will not discuss these questions with you ; allow me rather to tnrn to lighter subjects. Do you know that we are going to rehearse a play?"
A Fair Rebel. "A play?'' "Yes ; a real play, and all the parts are to be tak.en by the officers and their lady friends." "How nice !" "I knew you would think so ; and I do wish that I might ask you to take part." "Oh, I couldn't act! I should spoil it all; besides, I-I--" "What were you about to say? Pardon me, but I thought your face turned pale. I trust no sudden in~ disposition hath seized upon you?" "No, no; I only thought that--" "Again you hesitate." "I do not see why I should hesitate. I was going to suggest that instead of play acting more serious work would shortly engage your attention." "More serious work?" ''Yes ; you do not think it like! y that Gen. Washington will remain outside Boston much longer?" "My dear lady, he has no more chance of entering the town, except as a prisoner, than I h av e of flying over the Common."
A Fair Rebel. 23 "I think you are wrong." "I do not know why I should speak so openly to you, but you are different to other young maidens, so I will hazard the guess that Washington has no inten tion of trying to enter the town." ''What makes you think that?" "His inactivity for one thing; but let me speal< of your uncle. I am sure that he must differ with you." "We do not agree on anything." "Is it so bad as that?" "Yes ; and when he fails to convince me he calls in Mistress Tracy, the dearest, kindest, but most misguided friend I have, and she--" "Succeeds?" "Not a bit of it. She wants me to drink the health of the king at every opportunity, no matter whether it is in water or tea or wine, and so I retaliate by say ing, 'my king, George Washington,' and you should see her face. It gets so red that I ~ am afraid, and then she just boils over with fury, and I fan her, bathe her face in cold water, and kiss her until she calls me a
A Fair Rebel. wicked rebel, and then she kisses me and we are good friends again." "You are Mistress Tracy's guest, if I am not misin formed?" ''It is so." "Then I shall see you, for Mistress Tracy is going to take part in my play." "Indeed?" "Yes." "What play is it?" "I wrote it." "You?" "Yes, indeed I did ; is there anything wonderful in that?" "No, no; but I never knew a real author before, ex cept Master Adams and Master Revere ; but I never spoke to either of them." "Then I am honored, and, believe me I shall have the greatest pleasure in my life in reading my play before you." "That would be so tiresome for you "There you are wrong, for I have to read it any-
A Fair Rebel. way, and if you will deign to listen I shall be happily repaid." "You do not think play acting wicked?" "Wicked? No; it is the very opposite. I often think that if we played more, that is, acted more, we should have less time for mischief. But may I ask a great boon?" "What can I do to please so dis(nguished a man?" "If you will honor my poor endeavors by promising to play a part in the play, I should feel that I was rewarded beyond my deserts. Mistress Tracy; will you not indorse my prayer?" Mistress Tracy had walked across the room and stood at Burgoyne's side as he spoke. "Gen. Burgoyne surely does not need an indorser for any petition he presents, at least in the Province House." "I have been asking Mistress Beverley to enact a part in my play--" "And what says she?" "I could not do it, my dear Mistress Tracy," an swered Priscilla for herself.
A Fair Rebel. "I am sure you would succeed better than anyone else." "But my heart is not in it. Oh, how can we be happy when our countrymen are at war, and how could I be merry when the very persons who play the parts may; be called upon to kill my own friends." "You are too serious. General1 she is really a rebel at heart." "We must cure that, though Believe me, I think that any cause must be blest that has s o beautiful and earnest an adherent as Mistr e ss Priscilla." Bur g oyne was touched on the shoulder by an officer. Pardon me, ladies, a moment,'' then turning to the officer, he said "What is it?" "Gen. Howe desires to speak to you at once." A command from the governor and commander of the forces could not be slighted, and Burg oyne made his bow to the ladies and excused hims e lf. "Burg oyne, I have just heard that the r e b e ls are go ing to make an attack to-night, or at daybreak." "Well?"
A Fair Rebel. "The attack must be repelled. I leave you to find the way. You will be in command." "From whom did you get the information?" "Frank Lowry." "Can you rely on him?" "I would trust him L efore anyone else." "I wouldn't." "You do not like him ; but, for the life of me, I cannot see why." "I do not think he is honest." "By George I tell you, there is not a more honest Tory in the whole colony than that same boy." "I trust you are right. What men am I to take?" "Any you please; I leave it entirely with you." "If I had my way I would not wait for the attack, but would sally out and meet the rebels and-crush them." "Do so; only do not leave the town unprotected." "Ha ha! ha! I cannot help laughing. You seem to think this fellow, Washington, is dangerous. He is a country surveyor, I am told." "And a skilled soldier. He fought with Braddock,
A Fair Rebel. and whatever honor there was in that campaign be lon g s to him. I tell you, Burgoyne, that if he were loyal to England he would be made a general and, most likely, be knighted as we ll." "But if he is a soldier, those he has with him are not." "The rank and file, no ; but he has men like Putnam and .Prescott-men who are scarred vet e rans; and they are formidable." "But you do not imagine that--" "They can triumph? No, of course, they have no chance; but they may g ive us a little trouble.': "You overrate the ability of the rebels. If I can meet them I will teach them such a lesson that half of those who are left alive will crawl on their knees to crave amnesty." "Good Make that promise good, and you will be made a peer.': "We shall se e Good-n ig ht, ge neral. When next we meet I s hall have a tale to tell."
CHAPTER III. FRANK LOWRY. Frank Lowry was as bright a youth as ever wore shoe leather. He was a mystery to many, and a dis appointment to his friends. All his people were either neutral or else adherents of the colonial cause, while he appeared to be just as active in the interest of the English, and had become a trusted ally of Gen. Howe. Robert Beverley had introduced him to the gov ernor, and had hinted that in the future Priscilla Bev erley might smile approvingly on young Lowry. That was proof that the boy was loyal to the English, at least, everyone thought so. It may be that Priscilla was in love, and therefore blind, or there was a possibility that she liked Lowry because of certain sentiments he had uttered to her pri vately which were at variance with those held by him in public. Frank Lowry had been closeted with Gen. Howe for nearly an hour before Burgoyne had received his com-
Frank Lowry. mand from the governor, and he had convinced his hearer that Washington was going to make a strong attack on Boston. Released from his attendance on the governor, he found himself, as though by accident, at the side of Priscilla. "What news do you bring, Frank?'' she asked, in a low voice. "What news have you?" he asked, instead of re plying. "Alas! I have none. I cannot get them to speak before me." "There will be great doings before this time to morrow." "Really?" "Yes ; do not look so serious, or we may be sus pected. I have laid a trap for our friends the enemy, which I hope to see them enter." "May I know what it is?" "I would like to tell you ; but I think ignorance will be the better thing for you. I want you to get to know all you can from Mistress Tracy, and-
Frank Lowry. JI look so surprised-from Gen. Burgoyne as well. If I mistake not, he would t ell you what 1s in his mind--" "He talks about nothing but play acting." "What about it?" "He is going to give a play in Faneuil Hall as soon as he can get it ready--" "Capital!" "And he wants me to play a part--" "Do so." "Why?" "It will help our cause. I must not stay longer with you, or perhaps we shall be noticed. I will see you again before you leave." Lowry mingled with the guests, and it must be con fessed bore hims e lf well, considering that he was only eighteen years old, and had never been accustomed to the society that gathered round the aristocratic gov ernor at the Province House. Kind fate brought him once more to the side of Priscilla and to g ether they walked across the room and to a secluded corner. "You can hear considerable if you consent to take
32 Frank Lowry. part in the play, and even if it is distasteful, the end will be a reward, so will you not consent?" "If it will aid our cause." "I am sure it will. I am going now, and I want you to bid me good speed and good luck." "I always do that. Good-ni g ht, Frank!" "Good-night, Priscilla." An hour later a heavily cloaked figure moved rap idly along the road towards Cambridge. Often the pedestrian had to hide in the long grass and brush, and sometimes a tree branch above the road provided him with a resting place while the soldiers, who were on picket, passed along. It was a long and tedious walk to reach the Ameri can lines, a walk fraught with much dan ge r, for had he been challenged and had failed to give the password he would have been placed under arrest, and that was the very l ast thing he desired. At last he heard a challenge which did not trouble him, for he walked boldly up to the soldier who, with gun across his chest, barred the way. "Who goes there ?"
Frank Lowry. "A friend." "The word ?" "Boys of Liberty !" 33 "Pass, brother, and may your coming be a harbinger of good. The soldier had no right to say anything, but strict military discipline was not enforced among those citizen soldiers. The cloaked figure walked quickly along the Watertown road until he came to a house which stood a little back from the road amid a lot of tall trees and shrub bery. This was the late residence of John Vassal, a noted Tory, but was at the time of which we write, the headquarters of Gen. Washington. At the entrance a password was exacted and an en tirely different one was given. That it was the cor rect one was evident, for the soldier stood on one side and bade the traveler enter. "I must see Gen. Washington at once," he said, in a tone of command. "By what right--"
34 Frank Lowry. Taking a ring from his finger he handed it to the orderly and said : "Take that to the general, and tell him I wish to see hi m. In a very few minutes the orderly return e d and beck oned for the owner of the ring to follow. In a rear room Washington stood ready to receive him. There were no signs of recognition until the sol dier, on motion of the general, withdrew. "You have news?" "Are we alone?" "Absolutely." The cloak was thrown back, and then Washington put out bis hand and grasped that of Frank Lowry. "Lowry, I am pleased to see yoa. Why have you chosen night for a visit?'' "I took part in an entertainment at the Province House, so could not get here earlier. I feared that you might not like to be roused from sleep." "You see I have not retired." "It is midnight."
Frank Lowry. JS "Midnight or noon makes but little difference to me; I feel heavy at heart." "You do not lose hope?" "No; but I am constantly urged to press the enemy, and I fear such a step." "Why?" "Insufficiency of supplies and lack of P.reparation. Congress does not realize the situation." "I have dared to act, and I want you to seize the opportunit y." "You did not succeed ?" "Better than I ever thought of." "I am all impatience Tell me what has been done? Can it be possible that Howe has been induced to act?" For nearly an hour the two representatives of the Colonial cause conversed in whispers Washin g ton, tall, stately, magnificent; Frank Lowry, a boy, full of enthusiasm and patriotic fervor, met as equals. Washington trusted the boy, and the boy al most worshiped the general. "If the plan does not miscarry a glorious work will
Frank Lowry. be accomplished ere the night shadows fall on the morrow," said Washington. "All depends on our men." "We can rely on them." "I wish I could be with you; but I dare not be seen. I must report in Boston early in the morning, or I may be suspected." "I fear that danger may fall upon you." "I will be careful. But if I fall, what is one life to the triumph of a glorious cause?" "My boy, have you thought of the consequence of being captured?" Lowry put his hand significantly to his throat and made a motion of a rope tightening round it. "I would rather die on the battlefield, but anywhere is good enough to die in a great cause." "Heaven preserve you. Always remember that you can retire whenever you wish. You have done so much good work that--" "When you retire, general, so will I. And I do not think that will be just yet."
Frank Lowry. 37 "Take the ring; it will pass you at all times, and may save you some discomfort. Rest here until you must make your return journey. I go to make arrangements for the early morn. Heaven preserve you.''
CHAPTER IV. AN INTERCEPTED LETTER, "I am happy to be able to write you once again, though a few hours ago I never imagined I should hold pen in my hand again, and as I have no doubt some correspondent will seize upon the opportunity to send a garbled account of it, it may be my death, or at least of the engagement with the enemy when I was left on the field and counted among the dead, I hasten to relieve your anxiety and send you the true account of what took place." In these words Lieut. Bingley, a cousin of Gen. Burgoyne, commenced a letter, addressed to the Hon. Reginald Bingley, father of the lieutenant. Young Bingley was an officer in the Forty-seventn Infantry, and was mentioned in more than one report for bravery on the field. He had taken part in the bat tle of Bunker Hill, and had distinguished himself in that engagement. "On the twenty-second of February Cousin John
An Intercepted Letter. 39 was in command of three regiments of our men, and at sunrise my r e giment, with the other two, received orders to march out from Charlestown to meet the enemy, word having been received that Washington intended making an attack on our earthworks at Charlestown with a view of dislodging us. "Gen. Burgoyne, as you know, is very confident, and he was so full of enthusiasm that he laughed at those w}:io had taken part in previous engagements with the Americans, and declared that all that was needed was firmness and a bold stand. "One of the secret service men Gen. Howe places so much reliance on, brought news that the Americans intended taking us by surprise, and that would have been very easy, had we not been warned, for our of ficers were enjoying themselves at a party given at the Province House, and the rank and file had become almost apathetic, for the enemy had shown no signs of activity for three months. ''We welcomed the order, and never did soldiers rouse themselves as did our men on that eventful morning.
An Intercepted Letter. "Our orders were to march as noiselessly as possi ble in the direction of Cambridge, the headquarters of the enemy, and take the enemy unawares. So we marched without any band, for which I was sorry, for I have noticed that soldiers can bear fatigue better and march with greater aplomb when they hear the inspir ing music of the fife and drum, and I have seen them roused to tremendous efforts when a brass band has played the national airs. "We had marched some distance when the order to halt came. It was thought advisable for us to move forward more cautiously and in a manner that would not reveal our full strength. "My regiment was ordered to the front, and we had become almost as enthusiastic as Cousin Burgoyne, who fully believed that we should, on that morning, break the power of the Americans and their subjuga tion would then be easy. "The gallant Forty-seventh marched forward a good mile in advance of the other regiments before we saw or heard anything of the enemy, and then we saw as strange a sight as soldiers ever witnessed.
An Intercepted Letter. "You, my dear father, have often seen a lot of peas ants in dear old England gather in the market place and talk treason, and threaten the king and Parliament with dire vengeance unless certain measures were en acted for their especial benefit. You have often told me of the sorry appearance they presented, and how they were left alone by the authorities because their bark was worse than their bite could be. But if you had seen the so-called American army marching to meet the flower of England's army, you would have laughed. Some wore a kind of uniform, but the ma jority were dressed in ordinary working clothes, and the way they marched was too ridiculous for anything. They were unable to keep step, and though a drum and fife corps marched with them and played discordant music, there was no attempt at military order. "Halt The order was given and we stood ready to receive the enemy. "It seemed almost like murder to fire upon those deluded farmers and clerks; but the soldier's duty is to obey, and so we fired a volley right in the midst of the American army. That was the signal for the bat-
An Intercepted Letter. tie tQ open, and we found that those peasants could fire straight and make every bullet reach its mark. "So far from being overawed by our smart appear ance, the enemy seemed to rather treat us with con tempt. "We fired several volleys before the order came to charge at the point of the bayonet. "From that moment an indescribable scene was en acted. Instead of running away as we expected the enemy stood their ground and, like a stone wall, re ceived our first charge. "But then, my dear father, everything changed. Men fought like tigers. We, who had laughed at the un couth appearance of our foes, realiz e d that man for man we had met our match. "I. do not know how it happened, but we found our selves slowly retreating, though in good order, and the enemy in solid ranks following us up closely, ever and anon firing into our midst and cutting gaps in our ranks. "We were being driven back, and had it not been for Cousin Burgoyne, I really believe we should not have
An I nterceptcd Letter. 43 stopped until we were behind our own earthworks. He rode up to us and shouted that we were cowards, and that he was ashamed of us. That was enough. We turned and faced the enemy, and engaged in another hand-to-hand struggle. "I heard that the leader of the Americans was a man named Putnam, a farmer, though at one time a soldier of the king. He seemed ubiquitous, his tall figure appeared to be everywhere, and, yet, though conspicuous, not a bullet aimed at him touched him. "I was trying to encourage my men when a young rebel, whose name I have since learned was Benjamin Pierce, forced his way right up to me and tried to wrench my sword from my hand. He was strong and athletic, and a mighty hard tussle we had. I broke away from him, and raised my sword to cot him down, when he deftly got the barrel of his gun be tween my legs and threw me to the ground. I thought my last moment had come and fully expected that he would brain me, as I should have done him had the positions been reversed, but to my surprise he turned away and was lost in the seething crowd of fig hters.
'44 An Intercepted Letter. "We fought with our guns clubbed, we wrestled as though on the floor of a gymnasium, though with deadly intent, and many a soldier used his fists instead of any other weapon in that strange conflict. "When the struggle was at its height, Gen. Putnam gave the order to retreat, and we saw our enemy grad ually separate from us and commence a march baclc towards Cambridge. "We could not understand such a move, but in a few moments it was clear enough. "No sooner had the enemy commenced its retreat than from both sides of us volley after volley was fired into our ranks, and then the retreating force turned and from the front we received a volley as well. "We had set out to trap the enemy, and had been trapped ourselves and in such a manner that we had only one way open to us, and that was to retreat. "We could not stand a g ainst the overpowering mun her of the enemy and Gen. Burgoyne himself ordered the retreat. "The faster we marched the more vigorous seemed the enemy. It seemed as though the clouds above us
An Intercepted Letter. 45 rained leaden drops, for it did not seem possible that so many bullets could be fired by the enemy. "Col. Granger, of our regiment, got exasperated, and ordered us to right about face, and then we set out to chastize the enemy, but we were powerless. They bore down upon us like an avalanche, and many a brave man got his billet in that unlucky quarter of an hour. "I never saw such fighting. The Americans bore charmed lives, for they fought and fought, mowing us down like grass, and our bullets seemed to pass harm lessly over their heads. "I raised my sword and called on my company to charge the left flank of the enemy, when a burning pain seemed to cut my bead half in two and I fell. "I heard the order to retreat given again, and one of my men looked down at me and saw my face covered with blood. 'Poor chap,' I heard him say, 'he has finished his career. I wish we could take him along.' Then another answered, that as I was dead it would answer no good purpose to burd e n themselves with my body, and I knew I was to be left on the fie ld. I had sense enough to lie low on a knoll until I could tie a
44-6 An Intercepted Letter. handkerchief round my head to stop the bleeding, but I had lost so much blood that I was exhausted, and I suppose fainted, for the next thing I knew was that I was being examined by a surgeon, who very tenderly dressed my wound, but thinkingI was still uncon scious, bluntly said it was a waste of time, as I could not live an hour. "I heard a voice which seemed familiar say, 'It is a pity he is not with his friends,' and then there was a whispered conversation, and presently I heard some one say to me, 'Can you speak?' I told them that I was still able to do so, and I was asked to what regi ment I belonged, and whether I would like to rejoin it or go to Cambridge as a prisoner of war. I thought I was dying, and I said that I would rather die just where I was than be a prisoner when I passed away. Then I felt a pair of strong arms round me, and I was lifted up, and carried like a baby for some distance. When the man got tired he gave me to another, and I was able to open my eye,. I saw a white flag being carried a little ahead of us, and I a s ked where we were going. 'To Charlestown,' was the reply. I reminded
An Intercepted Letter. 47 them that I was an English officer, and I could see that they were Americans, to which they replied that the Americans did not make war on dying men who had proved their courage, and that as I had only a short time to live, Gen. Putnam had ordered me to be carried back to the British lines under the protection of a flag of truce. I asked what about the other wounded men, and was told that thev had all been car~ed away by their friends, but that I had been left for dead. "I learned that the one who pleaded for me to be taken back to our lines was the young soldier, Benja min Pierce, who had once before saved my life when he had it in his power to take it. "When I reached our lines I wanted to thank my preservers, but I was faint and unable to speak. My wound was dressed again, and it was found that I had suffered more from a slight concussion of the brain than from the wound, so in a we e k of so I was in a fair way to recovery, and as I learned that no ship had sailed for home with letters, but that one would leave
An Intercepted Letter. in a day or so, I have written this to set your mind at rest. "One thing, dear father, I want to add. and that is, I wish the king's ministers could see the Americans as they really are, for then this war would end and England would have no more loyal subjects than those wh o are fighting her to-day." This letter was destined to miss the ship by which it was intended to go to England. It by some strang e mischance got mixed with some papers which fell into the hands of a patriot, who copied the letter befor e sending it to the Hon. Reginald Bingley. Gen. Burgoyne felt very depressed when he made his report to the governor. He had intended return ing a victor, he had to acknowledge himself beaten. He had sneered at the "surveyor," but now admitted that the trained soldier was no match for the Virginian who had shown his superiority. Intendin g to trap the Americans, Burgoyne only es caped capture by the merest chance, and knew that he had been ambuscaded by the enemy. One thing he was certain of, thou g h Howe would
An Intercepted Letter. 49 not agree with him, there was treachery somewhere, for Washington had been prepared for tlie move made by the English. "I would not trust that Lowry," he said to a brother officer. "But Lowry was at the Province House the night be fore, and I know that he was at his home on South Street before sunrise, so how could he have communi cated with the enemy?" "I do not know; but he must have done it." "You are unfair to the boy." "So you all seem to think ; but I shall watch him." "Don't make a fool of yourself, Burgoyne. I tell you that the boy could never have passed through the lines, even had he so desired, and he slept at home that night." "Then who betrayed us?" "Seek in your own ranks for the traitor, for I am sure you cannot find one outside." 'We shall see."
CHAPTER V. A DARING RESOLUTION. Frank Lowry was almost ubiquitous during the next \ few days. He was here, there and everywhere, and apparently did not know that his every move was watched by emissaries of Gen. Burgoyne, but Lowry was a natural scout, seeing without appearing to do so, and taking mental notes of everything that took place. He was a favorite at the Province House, but even there he knew that he was being watched, and Howe did not confide in him as openly as he had done pre viously. There was one very n o ticeable thing about Lowry. He did not seem to have many if any, friends among the people who s y mpathiz e d with the Colonials. All his friends were loyalists and Tories. He was a fre quent visitor at Mistress Tracy 's, and th a t lad y thought there was no one in the whole colony to equal the young patriot.
A Daring Resolution. At the residence of Mistress Tracy be was able to hold frequent conversations with Priscilla Beverley, and it may be truthfully stated that she knew more of his doings than anyone else in Boston. February bad reached its last day, and the weather was bitterly cold, snow covered the g-round and a bit-, ing wind swept over the Common, but late that evening Lowry might have been seen crossingthe Com mon as unconcerned as if it had been a delig-htful sum mer night. Not far behind him two men sauntered along, watching his every move, and wonderin~ where he was going or what his business could be that mis erable night. When he reached Mistress Tracy's house he ran up the steps more quickly than he had moved before. The door opened and he was admitted. Outside the spies waited and shivered until the night g-rew quiet and nearly everyone was in bed, but still Lowrv tarried, and at midnight the watchers left their posts and re turned to report that the suspected one was staying at the house, for the lights had been extinguished and the house was quiet.
A Daring Resolution. When Lowry had reached the house he found Pris cilla alone, for Mistress Tracy had gone to spend the evening with a good Tory friend. -~ Nothing could have been better for his purpose, and he was able to unburden himself without having to re sort to those little subterfuges which were so often necessary. "How is it that there is no rehearsal to-night?" he asked the fair Priscilla. "The general thought we ought to have a rest, and I am glad, for it has made my heart ache to play when there is so much suffering." "I understand that, and can sympathize with you; but your reward will be the greater." "Do not talk of reward, Frank; I only want to serve our people, and I am so powerless." "Not so powerless as you think. I wonder if--" The youth paused. An idea had flashed across his mind, but it was so hazardous that he did not like to shape it in words. "What mad e y ou h esitate?" "I-:-I-pardon me, but it i s impossible."
A Daring Resolution. S3 "What is ? Do you want me to unriddle your riddle?" "You could not do that." "Then tell me what you had in your mind." ''You will pardon me ?" "How very mysterious One would think you were hatching some conspiracy." "I want very badly to reach Gen. Washington, and I cannot." "You cannot ?" "No; I am watched every minute, and the moment I attempted to leave this town I should be arrested." "You have some news to impart?" "Yes." "And do not know anyone you could send?" "No." "If I were only a man." "If you were a man you would be in the same fix that I am, you would not be allowed to leave." "Could I not g o as a woman?" "That was the very idea which I had just now; but the risk is too great."
54 A Daring Resolution. "No risk could be too great if by incurring it I can be of service." "May I tell you what I was thinking?" "I do not give you permission, I command you to tell me." "Then, Priscilla, I will obey. I think you could reach Gen. Washington, but the humiliation would be great." "How? In what way?" "The only chance you have would be to leave the town openly, as though going to see your uncle, then once free from the British lines, you could zig-zag across and get into the American lines, and the rest would be easy." "Fate plays into our hands." "In what way?" "A very important letter was left here to-night for me to forward, by special messenger, to Uncle Bever ley. I will be my own messenger." "But what will Mistress Tracy say?" "I will have a sudden fit of home s ickness ; no, I can scarcely call it that but I will profess a de s ire to see
A Daring Resolution. S5 uncle, and-leave it to me, and I will manage, never fear." "I wish I dare allow you to take the risk." "I will take it; and if you will not trust me to de liver your message to our leader, I will go to Uncle Beverley anyhow!' "I think you are plucky enough to do so, and I will tell you all." For an hour Lowry talked in whispers to the girl, whose face burned with pleasurable excitement as she listened. She was quick to grasp every point, and Frank had no need to repeat a single word. "It will be glorious!" she exclaimed. "I think so; and if the general thinks so, too, we shall hear the bands play not in triumph, but to drown the mortified cries of defeat." "When must I start?" "As early on the morrow as possible." "Hush! I hear Mistress Tracy at the door. Let us be rehear sing my part." With the aler tne ss of an accomplished actress Pris-
A Daring Resolution. cilia was walking the floor, repeating the lines and en acting the part she was to play at Faneuil Hall in a few days, while Lowry held the book of the play in his hand and occasionally prompted her. "No, no; you are too defiant there. The part calls for submission not--Ah! Mistress Tracy, I have taken your place and become prompter and instructor of our fair young actress." "You could not be better occupied, my dear sir, and I am glad Priscilla has shown a little more interest in the play." "I am all excitement now that the time grows so near," said Priscilla, at the same time giving a mean ing glance at Lowry. Frank rose to leave, but Mistress Tracy had so much to tell of the doings of the military set with which she had spent the evening that it was very late before he could again attempt to leave. Then the lady begged him to stay the night, for the snow was falling very fast, and traveling was extremely difficult. Lowry ac-
, A Daring Resolution. 51 cepted the invitation, and was secretly delighted, for Mistress Tracy had a character for loyalty ~o the English cause which shielded her friends from much sus picion. "I told Maj. Cameron," said the lady, "that I was sending a letter to your uncle in the morning, and he begged me to burden my man with another, which he wrote and delivered to me--before I left." "Please, may I be the messenger?" Priscilla asked, innoc~ntly. "You?" "Yes, dear Mistress Tracy ; I am longing for a tallc with Uncle Beverley, and--" "But the play?" "I shall be back in time for the next rehearsal ; now do not say that you are opposed to it." "My dear Priscilla, you are not under my orders, you can do as you please ; but the traveling will be bad, and--" "Israel can go with me; he can ride back as soon
A Daring Resolution. as I reach uncle's present abiding place, if you need hi ,, m. "You cannot leave the town without a permit." "I had forgotten that; but I have one upstairs. It was given me by Gen. Howe himself, when I told him that I would like at sometime to go and see uncle." "Well, my child, if you are bent upon it, I suppose you must go," then turning to Lowry, she added: "You see, young sir, what a woman is. Never try to thwart her, for I can assure you that when a woman makes up her mind to do a thing she'll do it, even if the whole world opposes." ''What a dreadful thing to say. I am sure I am not so obstinate as that," Priscilla said, with a pout. "You belong to my sex, my dear, and I judge you by myself. If you really intend doingsuch a foolish thing, you ought to go to bed and rise earlv in the morning, for no one can tell what an hour may bring forth." The suggestion was a good one, and in a very short time all had retired, Mistress Tracy to recall all the
A Daring Resolution. 59 conquests she had made during the evening, Priscilla to think over the hazardous trip she was to make, and Lowry to fret and fume because he was powerless to do the work hi r.ir.Plf. Lut he prayed, with all the fervor of a Puritan, for the success 0f Priscilla's mission.
CHAPTER VI. THE BOATMAN PROVES A FRIEND. Early on the next morning Priscilla, accompanied by the serving man, Israel, left the house in Mistress Tracy's carriage and drove to the lower part of the town. Here she left the carriage and walked through several crooked and far from savory streets to the water's edge. When she reached the wharf she looked round for the boatman, who knew her well, but for some minutes she failed to find him. Israel was afraid to leave her side, for he imagined that everyone wanted to arrest him on some pretext or another, and that his only safety was in keeping close to the young maiden. "I fear me that you have wandered in the wrong direction," said a boatman, who was notoriously ad dicted to interfering in other people's business. "I was looking for Josiah. Have you seen him?" Instead of answering the man put his hand to his mouth and shouted:
The Boatman Proves a Friend. 61 "Joe! Jo-s i-ah From under some tarpaulins a figure crawled and gazed confusedly around, until his sleepy eyes fell on the face of the maiden, then he pulled his forelock and wiped his mouth with his slee ve, as though he could not address her until his mouth was free from tobacco juice. "Mistr ess B everley, the Lord love ye! what brings ye to the w ater this nast y morning?" "I want you to pull me a cross to Dorchester. I am going to my uncle s house." "The Lord love ye, ma'am, but your U~cle Beverley would be as hard to find as a needle in a haystack, though, to be sure, there k:'ant many haystacks for even a needle to hide in these days "I did not ask you to find my uncle, I said I was going to his house." "I hate to refuse ye, ma'am, for Lord love ye! I've known ye since ye were so high, and a sweet child you allus was." As he spoke he put out his hand about two feet from
6~ The Boatman Proves a Friend. the ground, intimating that he had known Priscilla sl'nce she was a tiny babe. "You do not say you refuse to row me across, Josiah?" "You see, ma'am, it's agin' orders." "What is?" "To take anyone out of the town." "Do you allow anyone to come in?" "That's kind of different. I cannot take you across the bay." "Israel Israel where are you ?" "Here, missie, I've been here all the time." "Jump into that boat and unloosen the oars. You shall pull me across." "I'm blamed if he shall. The boat's mine." "I'll tell you what you can do, Josiah ; you can go to the nearest officer and tell him to came here." "Now ye are joking, ma'am. The officer would say that I was ri'ght." "You will either row me across or else I shall appeal to the officer ; one will pass along here in a few minutes, I'm sure."
The Boatman Proves a Friend. 63 "It may be that the lady has a permit," suggested the first boatman. "I have a permit signed by the commander and governor ; but you needn't take any notice of that, Josiah." "Why didn't you tell me so afore?" "You never asked me, Josiah.'' "Does the permit say two?" Priscilla was getting impatient and rather inclined to be cross, so she turned suddenly and seized Josiah by the shoulders and shook him vigorously. "You mean-spirited little rat!" she cried ; "you are not a man, for if you were you would be ready to serve a lady." "J o-si-ah, you've caught a Tartar!" Josiah did not notice the remark, but very meekly stepped into the boat and unloosened the oars, then he held out his hand to assist Priscilla into the boat, but Israel, frightened at being left alone on the wharf, took hold of the hand and jumped, but not into the boat, for Josiah twisted his arm and jerked the serving man into the water
64 The Boatman Proves a Friend. "When ye've sense enough to know your place you can crawl into the boat." "Save me, or I'll drown !" cried the man. "Rats don't drown! The water is cold enough to give you some spunk!" By this time Priscilla was in the boat, and then she insisted that Israel should be drawn in qlso. When she heard his teeth chattering she felt sorry for him and threw a tarpaulin over him as he sank in the bot tom of the boat. "I guess the rebels will have a hot time soon," Josiah remarked. "A hot time?" "Yes. See yonder ship? She carries some big guns, and can send a shell right into Cambridge, so they say." "Yes?" "That is true ; and the rebels will get it hot when the governor gets ready." "I wish we had peace." "There'll be no peace until-" "When?"
The Boatman Proves a Friend. 6 5 "I said-but, there, I'm only a boatman, and know nought about it." "But you wish that the rebels, as you call them, were in the town, don't you?" "My lady, I'm only a boatman. When the soldiers came they stopped me running my boat, even the fish are frightened out of the Charles and--Oh! lor' I what was that?" The sudden exclamation was caused by the firing of a shell from the war vessel already pointed out by Josiah. The shell fell in the water not a hundred yards away from the boat. It was evident that the gunners were trying their guns to see how far they would carry. "You had better pull quicker or we shall get hit!" Priscilla said, very earnestly. "It's that kind of thing that kills the fish," the man said, with a sigh. "And that kind of thing will kill us if you are not sharper." "How are you going to reach your uncle's when you land?" ''Walk it."
66 The Boatman Proves a Friend. "It is five mile~." "As far as that ?" "Yes; and the rebels are prowling around. It isn't safe.'' "I have Israel to protect me," Priscilla said, with a pleasant laugh. Not another word was spoken, and the boat skimmed through the water until it grazed on the bottom. "I'll go with you, ma'am," Josiah volunteered; "Israel is no kind of protection." "I couldn't think of taking you away from your boat." "Master Beverley 'u'd never forgive me if anything happened to you, and as I was a-saying that rat"pointing to Israel-"is no kind of protection." "Do you call me a r-r-rat ?" exclaimed the half drowned, half-frozen man. "Guess I oughtn't, the rats mightn't like it." "I say-I say-I ain't no rat; I'm a free-free-man, though I'm a serving man, so I am." Israel had stood up when he asserted his dignity, and had evidently forgotten that he was in a boat, for he
I The Boatman Proves a Friend. 67 overbalanced and fell again into the water, much to !he amusement of the boatman. "Rats like water." Israel caught hold of the side of the boat and tried to crawl in, but he was in danger of pulling the boat over, and that would have given Priscilla a cold and unwelcome bath. Josiah saw the danger and struck the man's hands with his oar, causing him to fall back into the water again. Josiah sprang to land and lifted Priscilla out as though she had been a small child. "Get into the boat and keep warm until I come back," he shouted to Israel, who was clutching the boat again with his ice-cold hands. "We've got to leave him," said Josiah; then looking back at the man who had crawled into the boat, he said: "There's a flask of rum under the seat, get it, and it will keep out the cold." Josiah walked on a little in advance of Priscilla until the water was so far behind that it was out of sight, then he stopped. "If we walk, we may get caught by the rebels; if
68 The Boatman Proves a Friend. we ride, we may get shot by one side or the other. What shall we do?" "I see no chance of riding." "I know where we could get a horse." "But one horse would be no good." "I can ride, ma'am, and you could ride behind me. Lor' many a time did your mother ride behind me afore you were born, Lord love ye !" "I am cold, Josiah, and I think we shall be warmer if we walk, don't you?" "It's so far." "I don't mind the distance, and I know a short cut. You know the way through Breed's wood?" "They say the rebels are prowling around there." "We are a match for any rebels we may find, I feel--" "Halt! Move a peg, an' I'll blow your brains out!" The speaker, a soldier, stood right in front of Josiah, gun in hand. He was a bit confused when Priscilla looked at him and asked how long it was since English soldiers spoke like that before ladies.
The Boatman Proves a Friend. 69 "Duty, mistress, duty. I've orders not to allow any one to pass without a permit." "Will that satisfy you ?" Priscilla asked, as she handed her permit to the man for his inspection. "I did not know the English lines extended so far." The man saw that the permit was genuine and handed it back, but not until he had obtained Priscilla's promise that she would not report him for using strong language. "Are there many soldiers around here ?" she asked, quietly. "No, ma'am; the rebels could crush us any time if they had spunk." "And then?" "Why, the town would have to look after itself. But I mustn't talk, I'm a soldier." Priscilla and her escort walked on, glad to be free from the presence of the soldier, who looked as though he was capable of any crime in the calendar. "I don't know how your uncle can allow you to travel about like this," Josiah suggested.
70 The Boatman Proves a Friend. "I can take care of myself, if only we don't fall into the hands of the rebels." "If we did we should both be strung up." "Do you think so ?" "Sure of it; sure as eggs are eggs."
CHAPTER VII. TAKEN CAPTIVE Priscilla did not answer the man, for she had a mo tive in wishing him to think that they would be badly treated if they fell into the hands of the Americans. She had been posted on the lines occupied by both sides, and it was her policy to lead Josiah right into the American lines without him being cognizant of her intention. "Save me I I'll never, no, never, do it again!" Josiah cried. "What is the matter?" she asked, nervously. "Don't you see a rebel?" "No! Where?" "Right behind that tree. He is pointing his gun at me." "Don't be silly, Josiah; the rebels don't slink behind trees. They leave that for the English." "But I saw his gun, and-please forgive me, I am not a fighter."
Taken Captive. The man had dropp e d on his knees before the astonished girl, but he had turned his back on her, and looked towards the tree, which was certa i nly big enough to hide more than one man Priscilla pushed Josiah aside, and he rolled over in the snow, and continu e d his appeals for mercy. The girl braver than her suppos e d protector, walked boldly to the tree and then her m erry laugh rang out. It was a treat to hear it, so joyous it appeared to be. "Come here, Josiah," she cried, l aughing as she spoke. The "lord of creation" crawl e d nervously forward, afraid to rise to his f eet, until he reached Priscilla, when she pointed out th e obj e ct of his alarm, which, instead of being a r e bel, was a g ood, hone s t cow, which had s ought the warmth o f th e shade of the tree, and was really sheltering from the wind. "See your rebel?" she asked, and a g ain laughed heartily. "But, ma' am, I'm sur e ther e was a gun; I saw it. Both were st a ndin g n o w qui te clo s e to the cow, who
Taken Captive. 73 at that moment switched her tail round and struck the man on the face. "The rebel has struck you with its gun," the girl exclaimed, and she laughed so merrily and heartily that she had to lean against the tree to save her from falling with the excitement. Josiah was but half convinced, but as no rebel ap peared, he had no excuse for lagging behind, and he walked along with the girl, though every moment he expected to hear the crack of a gun and feel a bullet piercing his flesh. "Is not that Cambridge?" she asked, as she pointed out some houses in the distance. "It looks like it, and if it is, we have lost our way." "I hope not. Come, let us walk faster." "Not that way, ma'am; we shall be caught." As though heeding his caution, she turned to the left and walked quickly, never stopping until she was brought to a sudden stand by a man who carried a gun and wore a military cap, but the rest of his dress was that usually worn by a farmer The man called to some one, and presently two more
74 Taken Captive. appeared, each carrying muskets, but having no pre tense of uniform. Every part of Josiah's body trembled with fear as he found this unexpected stop put to their journey. He saw that escape was impossible, and once again he fell on his knees, while Priscilla stood calm and col lected, though she did manage to whisper to her fright ened protector : "We have men to deal with now, not cows !" One of the armed men stepped forward and, salut ing, said: "Pardon me, lady, but I must ask you some ques tions, which I hope you can answer satisfactorily." "I have nothing to conceal, and shall be pleased to answer anything in reason." "Save me! I am Boston born, and would not injure a fly!" whined Josiah, much to the girl's disgust. "Speak when you are spoken to, my man, or I shall find means to make you." "Don't please don't hurt me and I will do what you like, Master Rebel !" "Keep that reptile quiet, or perhaps you had better
Taken Captive. 75 gag him," ordered the man, who was evidently in command. "I'm not a reptile, I'm a ferryman, and I have often rowed some of your officers across the bay." "Keep quiet; a reptile you must be, or you would stand erect like a man." Turning to Priscilla, he asked : "What is your name?" "Excuse me, sir, I do not think that has anything to do with you." "Then will you explain why you are here?" "We lost our way, good rebel, we--" Josiah looked up and saw a musket raised above his head, as though it was to be used as a club, and he did not finish his sentence. "If you will take me to one of your officers, I will be pleased to explain everything," answered Priscilla. "But, my duty is to question you. I need not tell a lady of your breeding that we are at war and spies are numerous--" "On both sides?" "I admit it ; but--"
Taken Captive. "I have already told you that when I am taken be fore your captain, or any officer, I will answer all ques tions openly and freely." "I am sure you are American, and I would hope in sympathy with us--" "Are you an American?" "I was born at Braintree, so ought to be an Ameri can." "Then, sir, I would remind you that no American ever could be rude to a lady, and I shall think you are not a true American unless you do as I ask." "War seems to destroy our natural chivalry," the man said, as though in apology; "and I am very loath to deny you anything ; but my orders were to prevent anyone passing unless they had a right to go within the lines." "Do your duty, sir; but you have men here whom you can send, and if I may not go within the lines an officer can come to me." "I am afraid I am failing in my duty, but I will trust you. I will send one of these men with you to the
Taken Captive. 77 nearest general officer, and you will be perfectly safe with him." "I never yet have fail e d to trust an American, and it will be a bad day for the country when any girl loses her confidence in m e n of her own race, and men for g et thei1 dut y to wom e n." "As for y ou," turning to Josiah, the soldier said, "you can stay here, not that I want your company, but--" "Let me go with the lad y or I shall die of fright." "You poor, miserable cr e ature I what are you any way? Surely you a re not a man." "Let him go with me," plead e d Priscilla; "he is harmless." "Harmless enough, I warrant; but-well, you can go." Whether by accident or d es ign, was not known, but the soldier l e t his musk e t drop to the ground, and its butt landed on Jos iah's poor corn-cover ecl foot, making him howl w ith pain In movin g the mu s k e t and apolo gizin g the s oldi e r gave the f erry man a push and down went Josiah like a log. He was helped to his feet by
78 Taken Captive. one of the soldiers, and then the march began. A sol dier going in front then Priscilla, followed by Josiah, and the rear being covered by another patriot. When they had gone a few yards away from the picket line the soldier in the rear caught Josiah by the collar and twirled him round : "Better be on the safe side; what have you got about you?" "Nothing, I swear." "Any arms?" "No, no; I have a few shillings and those you can have--" "Tush tush! man, what do y ou take me for? I am not a robber, like some of the king's me~, but a patriotic soldi e r. I am a Boy of Li b ert y ." "Come along sh o uted the soldier at the front, "we are wasting time." "The relief is coming," answered the other, and in a minute four young men, not much more than boys, came into sig ht. "Kirkman, what have we here? A lady under arrest?" asked a youthful corporal.
Taken Captive. 79 "Not under arrest, corporal; but being guided to the nearest general officer." "If I mistake not, I have seen you before, sir," said Priscilla, addressing the young corporal. "Your face is familiar, but I cannot--oh, what am I saying-how could anyone ever forget such a vision of beauty." "No flattery, please; but if I might whisper one word in your ear I know you would tell these good patriots that I am to be trusted." The young corporal stepped forward, and Priscilla whispered: "I am on a mission for Master Lowry." "Men, take good care of this lady; take her wherever she wants to go," and then turning to Priscilla, he said: "Please to always remember that Benjamin Pierce is ever at your service." Once more the march was continued, and in a few minutes they reached the su m mit of a hill, on which men were working cheerfull y throwing up embank ments. It was a beautiful sight from that hill. Below laY.
So Taken Captive. the town with its many buildings and steepled churches, in the bay the warships of England rode the waters with every appearance of security, had it not been for the guns planted behind the earthworks and the frown ing muzzles of the Eng lish guns clearly discernible in the distance, it would have required a strong imagina tion to say that war was going on between those out side and tho se inside the ancient town. An officer mounted on a heavy farm horse rode up to th e party, and demand e d to know what the intrusion meant. "I have orders, colonel, to take this l ady to the near est officer." "You have fulfill e d your duty, you can return; I will see to the lady." "And this man?" pointing to Josiah. "Leave him, he looks ham1l ess enou g h." The colonel dismounted and putting his arm througli the bridle of his horse stood easily, as he asked what he could do for the lady. "I have certain information I wish to convey to
Taken Captive. 81 Gen. Washin g ton," she said, in a low voice, not intending that Josiah should hear. Then it was that Josiah, no doubt with good inten tions, made the mistake of his life. How often does this happen! The old proverb says that a certain warm region is paved with good intentions. Not that it is wrong to have these good intentions, but they should be founded on reason, and be the result of careful thought. "Yes, sir; she is a lady," exclaimed Josiah, "and we got astray; she was on her way to Master Robert Bev erley; she's his niece, and--" "Is this true?" asked the colonel. "It is; but allow me to explain." "Not a word, madam; not a word. Sergt. Clare, take this lady to the g uardhouse, and see that she does not communicate with anyone and as for this man, put him in irons until an investi g ation has been held." "Will y ou not allow me to explain?" "Not a word madam. I am sorry, but affairs are in such a critical condition that we have to forget chivalry
Taken Captive. and treat one of your s e x differently to our incli nations." "Will you allow me to send a message to Gen. Wash ington?" "No; at least not until I have spoken to Gen. Putnam, who is in command; I do not know what he may have to say." In vain Priscilla pleaded, and Josiah forgot himself and swore, for both were led away to the guardhouse and there treated as ordinary prisoners. Josiah kept up an incessant moaning, and when he could manage to speak, he cried out: "We shall both be shot, or hanged. I wish I had let the half-drowned Israel come instead of me." "I wish you had, for he was no coward."
CHAPTER VIII. WASHINGTON'S MAGNANIMOUS ACT. Priscilla was not nearly as confident when she was alone in a room of the house which had been turned into a temporary prison. She knew that if she were searched, letters to Beverley would be found on her, and she did not know the contents of those docu ments. They might, and doubtless were, full of infor mation which would help to injure the patriotic side. What could she do with them? She could not tear them up, for the fragments might be pieced together, and the attempt at destruc tion would be used as an argument against her. She remembered reading in an English book how an officer taken prisoner had destroyed a map by swal lowing it. Should she do the same thin g ? Before she could decide, the door was opened, and Israel Putnam entered. "Madam, I regret that the state of war should neces-
84 Washington's Magnanimous Act. sitate an indi g nity to an American lady, for I presume you are American." "You presume rightly, general." "Is it true that you are a niece of Robert Beverley?" "Yes." "You know he 1s a Tory, and an enemy of our cause?" "I am sorry to say that it is too true." "You were on your way to him?" "In that you are wrong, general; I was on my way to Gen. Washington." "Your man has confessed." "He knows nothing of my mission.'' "He tells me differently; he says that you have letters to your uncle from men of high rank in the king's army; is that so?" "How long is it since American gentlemen ques tioned ignorant ferrymen about ladies in whose employ they are?" "The question is deserved ; but, believe me, Mistress Beverley, the man was not questioned, he sent for the officer on duty, and insist ed on t e llin g all he knew;
Washington's Magnanimous Act. 8 5 not because he desired to help us, but only to obtain mercy for himself." "And you believe him?" "I have not said so; but I can promise to belie v e what you tell me. I have heard that you know several of the officers in our army; may I ask th e ir names?" "You would compromise them by linidng their names with a suspected spy? I am only a young girl, but I know that you think me a spy. I refuse to answer any questions until I am in the presence of Gen Washington." "I do not think the commander-in-chief will see you "Is he here?" "Yes." "May I tru s t you?" "Madam, the man, or woman, either, does not live that ever had to accuse Israel Putnam of breach of trust." "I quite b elie ve you. Take this ring to your com mander-in-chief, and say that the bearer wishes to see him."
86 Washington's Magnanimous Act. "I will do so, madam, and may your innocence be established, for never have I seen a more truthful and beautiful face." Only a brief quarter of an hour elapsed before the door again opened, and Gen. Washington entered, ac companied by Putnam. "You sent for me, madam ?" "Nay, rather I came to see you, general. I have risked much, have had my maidenly modenty rudely disturbed, but I promised the one who loaned me that ring that I would do what he could not." "Why could he not come?" "His every movement is watched, and had he attempted to leave the town he would have been arrested and possibly shot." But how did you leave?" "I have a permit from Gen. Howe; true, it is to enable me to visit my uncle, Robert Beverley, but I used it to assist me in coming here." ''Why should you desire to visit the Tory, excuse me, your uncle, at such a time?" "It was my only chance. I knew that important let-
Washington's Magnanimous Act. 87 ters were to be sent to him, and I volunteered to take them.'' "And you delivered them?" "No, general, they are here," she took from her bosom two letters addressed to Beverley, the seals unbroken, and handed them to Washington. "You intended to deliver them?" he asked. "I had no such intention. I know every inch of the ground, and could have avoided your lines had I been so minded. The plan was all arranged by Master Frank Lowry.'' "I believe you. But what am I to do with these letters? I am afraid they might injure my cause if he received them.'' "Do with them as you think best. If you like to break the seal and read them, it will only be right. I am your prisoner, and the reason of their non-delivery could be easily explained.'' "Mistress Beverley, I will not read them. I shall destroy them, in your presence ; but you can still say that they were taken from you while you were a pris-
88 Washington's Magnanimous Act. oner. That will be your best excuse when you get back." "I thank you, and can only pray Heaven to prosper the cause for which you are working." "You wished to deliver to me some message. Is it in writing?" "Oh, no, that would not have been safe; I can only tell you in my poor way what he would have told in his masterly manner." "Leave us, Putnam." After Putnam had left the room Washington lis tened for nearly an hour to the message sent by Lowry. It was evident from the flashing of his eyes, and the twitching of his lips, that the great general thought the information important. At the close of the conference, Washington gave her back the ring, and called Putnam into the room. "Putnam, if we can act on what this lady has risked her life to tell us, Boston will be in our hands in a few days. I want you to have an escort.for this lady and her serving man, to take her to Robert Bev e rley's. Better take a flag of truce in case of trouble."
Washington's Magnanimous Act. 89 "I do not want to go to his house now." "It is better that you should. Tell him that you were taken prisoner by the Colonials, and that I bade you continue your journey, to deliver the letters, which you see are just as you received them, the seals unbroken. Tell him that I had these letters in my hand, but that so sacred a cause as that we have espoused would not allow me---to tamper with private correspondence." "You neve~ mean that he shall get those letters?'' asked Putnam, in surprise. "Indeed, I do, and I shall provide an escort to see that no one interferes with their fair bearer." "It is madness." "It is honorable." "In war, general, honor does not count for much." "In war, Putnam, men should never descend to dishonor to win honorable victory." "Sometimes it is necessary." "When it is I shall lay down my sword. We may have to do many things which in time of peace we should turn from with disgust, but Mistress Beverley
90 Washington's Magnanimous Act. shall never go among her own people and tell them that I acted dishonorably?" "Why not destroy them?" "It is my desire to teach a Tory a lesson, and, be lieve me, we shall not suffer by it." "So I am to provide an escort?" "Yes, let that company of Boys of Liberty, under young Pierce, be the escort." "Your will shall be obeyed. But what of the serving man?" "He must go, of course; no, he talks too much, keep him here until after-after-well, I may as well say it, until after Gen Howe leads his troops out of Boston, and our flag flies from the Province House." "How long before that occurs?" asked Putnam, in his blunt way. "Ten days, it may be, or only five; I can almost say that I shall not sleep until I do so in the good old Province House." "I hope that your dream may come true." "It is no dream, Putnam. This lady has made it possible."
Washington's Magnanimous Act. 91 He took Priscilla's hand in his, and bent over it, very lowly. He pressed his lips to her fingers, and expressed a hope that no one who acted with dishonor might ever touch those fingers. When an hour later young Pierce presented himself at the guardhouse to re c eive his instructions about his duty, Priscilla smiled on him, and expressed her pleasure at again meeting him and his brave young soldiers. "We are only boys, Mistress Beverley," he said, "but if you will trust yourself with us, we will answer for your safety with our lives." "I believe you, and I would rather have you and the Boys of Liberty for an escort than the finest regiment of England's soldiers."
CHAPTER IX. A FIGHT FOR A LADY. It was getting quite late in the afternoon before Priscilla and her escort started on the journey to the house of Robert Beverley, and Pierce was almost impa tient, for he was afraid that his mission would prevent him taking part in any skirmish or more serious engagement which might occur. Gen. Putnam had insisted on Priscilla riding, as the distance she had already covered was enough to tire almost anyone. In vain she had urged her ability to walk a dozen miles if necessary. A horse was found, and a side saddle had been borrowed from the house in which Washington had his headquarters. All this had caused a delay, and Priscilla was getting ~ anxious, for she wanted to return to town in time to take part in the last rehearsal of "Zara." When about a mile had been covered a sudden turn in the road revealed a picket camp of English soldiers.
A Fight for a Lady. 93 Pierce thought of the white flag, and ordered it to be unfurled, much to his disgust, for he would rather have had a brush with the enemy than a peaceful pas sage throu g h their lines. "Halt!" The order came from an English officer, and Pierce gathered his Boys of Liberty around his fair charge to protect her from question or insult Then he stepped forward, one of his boys carrying the flag which is the emblem of peace. "Who are you, and where are you going?" the English officer demanded. "I am Benjamin Pierce, at present commanding a company of the Boys of Liberty; who are you?" "One of his majesty's officers, with power to stop your career, and teach you a wholesome lesson." "Indeed !" "Where are you going?' Pierce had strict orders not to pick a quarrel with any of the enemy, and so he answered, peacefully: "I am escorting a lady to the house of one Robert Beverley."
94 A Fight for a Lady. "Indeed, and what may she want with so good a loyalist ?" "She is his niece, and while on her way to his house mistook the road and entered our lines. Gen. Washington instructed me to escort her wherever she wished to go, and--" "Don't palaver so much. I do not believe a word of your rigmarole, and n;,;.;t hear the story from the lady's own mouth." "To that I have no objection, but I warn you that we carry a flag of truce, and you are bound to re spect it." "A fig for your white flag, it is just as likely to mean cowardice as anything else." Priscilla seeing, from a distance, that the two men were getting angry, rode forward and asked the reason of the delay. The English officer looked at her with admiration, and for a moment was dumb, then gaining coura ge, he asked if it were true that she was on her way to Beverley's house. "Indeed, I am, and these gentlemen are escorting me there."
A Fight for a Lady. 95 "I believe you, lady, and will see that you are safely escorted to wherever you may wish to go; as for these rapscallions, they may thank their lucky stars that I am not in a fighting mood, and they had better get home as fast as their scraggy legs will carry them." Pierce had to bite his lip s to prevent hurling back the insult, but he succeeded in controlling himself, and Priscilla thought him the noblest youth she had ever known, excepting only one other. "Capt. Pierce and his company will escort me," she said, with dignity. Pierce had no right to the title of captain, but he did not disavow it. "You have heard what the lady has said, now make way, and let us pass "She can pass, but not you. No one can pass through our lines without a permit, and your so-called Gen. Washington has no power to give one." That was perfectly true, and Pierce knew that the right was on the side of his enemy. "Gen. Washington may not have the power," said Priscilla, "but Gen. Howe has, and here is his permit
A Fight for a Lady. giving Mistress Priscilla Beverley and her escort the right to pass through the British lines." The officer looked at the paper, and his face became white from suppressed emotion. He folded the paper, and was putting it in his pocket, when the girl re minded him that it was her property. He only laughed, and told her that it should be given up to her when Beverley s house was reached. "Are you going to give the lady that permit?" Pierce asked. "No, not until I am ready." "Then take that, and that--" Pierce had struck out with his left hand, and caught the officer square on the chin, and before he had time to retaliate another well-directed blow had caught him in the pit of the stomach, doubling him up and causing him to roll on the ground. Q u ick as a flash Pie rce had snatched the paper from his adversary's pocket, and restored it to Pris cilla. "Ride on, and we will overtake you," Pierce said to
A Fight for a Lady. 97 the girl, who feared that trouble would come through his action. "If you want to fight, do so as soldiers, not bullies," the officer exclaimed, as he rose to his feet, and turning to his men he shouted : "Take him prisoner; white flag or not, he shall an swer for the insult to the king's officer." Pierce wore a short sword, which he now drew, and his Boys of Liberty gathered round him to await his orders. There was no longer any thought of peace, both sides knew that only by right of might would the matter be settled. The English soldiers almost hated their captain; he was a bully and coward, and they knew it, but they were ready to fight at any time, that was their business. It was a strange sight that Priscilla witnessed, more like a rehearsal on a stage than a real fight, for the combatants were drawn up in lines almost within arm's length of each other, but only for a minute, for the British officer gave the order to fire, and Pierce re-
A Fight for a Lady. peated it almost at the same time. The air was filled with smoke, and for a moment all were blinded by it. "Charge forward !" cried Pierce. At the head of his gallant Boys of Liberty he rushed towards the handful of English soldiers, and forced his way through. The fight was furious. It seemed like a number of duels being contested simultaneously, for each man had singled out an opponent, and wrestled and struggled with him irrespective of what the others were doing. They fell on the ground, and grappled with one an other, rolling over and over, clutching each other by the throat, and in every way trying to get the mastery. Priscilla had ridden some distance from the scene of the struggle, and there awaited the result. She had resolved that, should the English prove the stronger, she would make a dash for liberty herself, trusting to her good horse to carry her out of reach of the pursuers. She sat awaiting the end, for she would not move until she was sure that the Boys of Liberty were beaten. So intent was she on listening to every sound that
A Fight for a Lady. 99 came from the scene of conflict, that she did not hear the footfall of a horse in the rear, and horse and rider was close to her before she knew it. She turned quickly, and saw her uncle, who immediately recognized her. "Priscilla !" "Uncle Robert I" "What brings you here, girl ? Where is Mistress .Tracy?" "Oh, uncle, stop them ; they are fighting about me." "What do you mean?" In a few words she told him, and he put spurs in his horse and cleared the distance in a few minutes. "Stop! In the king's name, I command you I" Robert Beverley was known, and his influence with the king's advisers in the colony feared. "Stop, I say; if you will not obey I shall take means to report you." The English captain looked at Beverley, whom he slightly knew, and asked by what authority he in terfered.
100 A Fight for a Lady. "In the name of the king I am told that you are fighting about my niece, that both loyal soldiers and rebels are anxious to serve her, so in her name I com mand both sides to call a truce." It was a strange ending to a scrimmage; it was arbi tration on the battlefield. One of the English lay wounded, most likely fatally, and two of the Boys of Liberty had received flesh wounds. Both sides were excited, and wanted to con tinue the fight, but while the English obeyed the com mand in the name of the king, the Americans were equally willing to listen when ordered to do so in the name of Priscilla. In a few minutes both sides listened to reason, and the Boys of Liberty were given permission to go back to their lines. Their mission was completed, for Pris cilla was with her uncle, and he would be responsible for her safety. "I want you to thank them for being my escort," Priscilla said, as Pierce stood bareheaded before her and her uncle.
A Fight for a Lady. IOI "Of course I thank them," said Beverley, "though I do not see that they have done anything." Priscilla took from her bosom the two letters, and handed them to her uncle. "When I was a prisoner m the camp of the Colonials--" "Rebels !" "These l etters fell into the hands of Gen. Washington; he bade me deliver them, with seals unbroken, to you, saying that he could not be so dishonorable as to open them." "Did he not read them ?" "See for yourself, have the seals been tampered with?" "No, it appears not." "They were not out of my sight. He held them in his hand until he r eturned them to me I was a prisoner, but he provided me with an e s cort, and bade this gentleman"-pointing to Pierce-"not leave me until I was in your care." "And to spy out the land at the same time. It was a deep game, my girl."
10:2 A Fight for a Lady. "Do you think that ever entered Gen. Washington's mind?" "Of course it did, why else should be send an escort with you?" "And you can think this of a man who would not break the seal of your l ette rs, though they were in his -, possession? Read those letters, and then tell me how much more he would have gained by what he tenped dishonor than by sending spies to your house. I am ashamed of you !" Robert Beverley knew that every word was deserved, and when he opened one of the letters, he exclaimed: "Great Heaven, if that had been read by the rebel commander We should have been ruined !" "And you think that--" "Washington is a gentleman, although he is a rebel. I would thank him in person did I dare go into his camp. Stay, young rebel, I want you to convey a few lines to your commander." Beverley wrot e a shor t note of thanks, and handed it to Pierce, with the remark : "I hope you will reach your camp in safety, and
A Fight for a Lady. 103 should Rob ert Beverley ever be in a position to serve you he is at your command." And so ended the strange and momentous expedition of Priscilla from the camp of the pat ri ots to the pro tection of her Tory uncle.
CHAPTER X. FRACAS ON THE COMMON. There was to be a rehearsal of the play called "Zara," at Faneuil Hall, on the night following the day on which Priscilla had made her memorable visit to Gen. Washington. Gen. Burgoyne was like a young boy full of excite ment, and bubbling over with pleasure at the thought of the triumph he was about to win on the stage. He had gathered around him many of the most beautiful women in Boston as patronesses, and some of the most charming of them had agreed to enact roles in the play. The governor had lent his sanction to it, and of course the officers had to follow his example and smile approval. The rehearsal was to be at five o'clock, and every thing was in readiness. Only one thing troubled the soldier-author, and that was the absence of Priscilla, who had not returned to Boston. It was a few minutes after four of the clock, when a
Fracas on the Common. 105 heavy sound echoed through the town, followed by another. The people had become accustomed to hear ing the roar of cannon, and the crack of musketry, but for several days not a sound had disturbed the tran quillity of the town, and the Tories believed that the end was fast coming, by which they meant the sur render of the Colonials to the English. The roar of the cannon once again came as a surprise, and startled some of the timid. Burgoyne was entering the far-famed Faneuil Hall, when a boy, deemed half-witted by many, ran up to him, and shouted : "Washington is coming I Washington is coming I Yankee Doodle Dandy !" "Get out of the way, you idiot I" "Call me an idiot?" exclaimed the boy. "An idiot knows nothing, and I know something, and what I know I won't tell." "You are a fool, don't you see I want to go in here?" "Many want a thing they can't have, and many would like to go to heaven, but they won't get there." Burgoyne gave the boy a shove, and sent him reel-
106 Fracas on the Common. ing into the gutter. For a few minutes he lay there thinking, then he muttered : "Dan is an idiot, is he ? That man is a wise man, is he? We shall see." Dan Daniels, as the boy was called, watched the ladies and officers enter the hall for the rehearsal, and his busy brain was wondering how he could be re venged on the general for the insults he had heaped upon him. Dan crawled up the stairs to the hall above the market, and listened at the door. He had never seen a play nor heard the dialogue, and he was fascinated as he listened, but when a lady was pleading with some one, and her voice became most pathetic as she lived the part she was playing, Dan suddenly shouted: "The rebels are on the Common I Washington is coming to old Funnel!" The cry was so startling that the rehearsal was stopped, and everyone turned to the door. The loud cannonading which shook the building seemed to give color to the startled cry. Burgoyne was doing all he could to draw back the
Fracas on the Common. 107 attention of his company, and had partially succeeded, when Dan effectually broke up the rehearsal. In the market beneath the hall he found a rat trap, in which two very active and large rats had been caught alive. Some of the officers had dogs trained for ratting, and a match had been arranged for an early day, the only difficulty was in getting a supply of rats. Traps were set in all the likely places, and the market at Faneuil Hall was a good place. It was one of these traps which Dan found. He carried his trap upstairs, and quietly opened the door of the hall. "The rebels are coming!" he shouted again, and once more every eye was fixed on the door, when to the great horror of every lady and the discomfiture of the men, two large and healthy rats scampered into the room, and made for the very place where the actors and actresses had gathered. In the confusion, Dan had entered, and unnoticed by anyone had reached a large candelabra which lighted the sta ge. With a sudden jerk he overturned it, and the place was in semi-darkness.
108 Fracas on the Common. The ladies screamed, and climbed on benches, for fear of the rats, the men forgot that ladies were pres ent, and used language unfit for polite society. Dan had escaped attention, and was delighted at the success of his joke, but he had still another thing in store for the gay loyalists ; he had managed to obtain some asafetida, a pungent gum, which gave forth an odor of garlic, only immensely intensified. In the door way he put this gum on the floor and set fire to it, with the result that the hall was filled with smoke almost suffocating, and with an odor that was intolerable. He escaped downstairs, but almost immediately ran up, breathless, crying out : "The rebels are coming, they are fighting all over the Common." As if to give an emphasis to his cry, a fierce can nonading was heard, and on every hand was heard the signal : "To arms !" Never had there been such commotion. Men forgot the ladies, and left them to reach home the best way they could, the soldiers hurried to their respective regi-
Fracas on the Common. 109 ments, and thought of nothing but repelling the in vaders. Washington had not entered the town, but his artil lery had commenced an assault on the batteries on the western borders of the peninsula, not a shot being fired into the town itself, for the patriots wanted to spare the people as well as the buildings of Boston. Almost at the commencement of the bombardment, the Americans had burst their largest mortar, which they had called by the name of "Congress," but not before it had thrown some big shells into the British entrenchments. In retaliation for this onslaught, Howe directed the batteries along the western side of the town to return the fire, and the sky was made brilliant by the con stant firing. The people gathered on the high lands to watch the night engagement, and many were the expressions of hope that the patriots might win. Men grew brave, and thinking the soldiers were too much engaged to notice them they sang "Yankee Doo-
110 Fracas on the Common. die," and other songs, which were in favor with the Colonials. In the midst of the excitement on the Common, a crowd had gathered round a young woman, who was shouting to the men to go home and arm themselves to help the patriots. An old man stood by her side, and in the intervals of her speech called on the "God of freedom" to help the cause of the people against the king. Suddenly a squad of soldiers forced its way through the dense mass, beating the people down with their guns and trampling on those who fell. Two soldiers reached the old man and young girl, and with a savage blow felled the man to the ground, without any attempt at interference by those assembled. The soldiers then seized the girl, and was dragging her away, when a voice, startlingly clear, shouted: "Halt Take your hands from that girl !" Everyone looked in the direction of the voice, and saw young Frank Lowry hatless, his hair blown about his face, his coat nearly torn from his back.
Fracas on the Common. I I I "Who are you who dare interfere with the king's soldiers ?" asked a corporal. "Never mind who I am, liberate that girl." "Drag her away,'' shouted the corporal to his men. Lowry looked for one moment at the corporal who held his musket in front of him as a guard, and then he sprang upon him, and seizing the gun wrenched it from his hands, and with the butt knocked its owner down. "Men of Boston, are you going to allow a girl to be dragged to prison, and perhaps to a fearful fate, for saying she was an American?" Lowry shouted, and in re ply there came a tremendous : "No! Never I" Instantly the mob caught hold of the soldiers, and forced them to give up their prisoner. The corporal had regained his feet and his courage, and had sought out his youthful antagonist. Lowry was ready for him, and not wishing to have an unfair advantage he handed his gun to a friend, and instantly struck out with his right hand, catching the soldier
I J 2 Fracas on the Common. under the chin and sending him to earth, where he la y stunned and unconscious. 'Where shall we take you, ma'am?" the leader of the crowd asked the girl. "I don t know; my father, tell me, is he killed?" "No, he is badl y hurt, but he shall be taken care of, -if you will tell us where we can take him and you." "Go fetch the girl's father," said Priscilla Beverle y who had managed to r e ach the Common, and had see n the fracas, "I will take care of this girl." There was a magic in her voice, for the crow d seemed ready to do whatever she bade, and the old man was speedily by the side of his daughter, not so badly hurt as was thou g ht. "We are staying in the Hay Market, at the house of a good merchant, by name--" "Name no names in this crowd," said a man, "we will see you and your daughter safe at home." "May Heaven bless you I" "We don't deserve it, all the thanks are due that young fellow who made the soldiers desist. I don t know his name, but he is a plucky one."
Fracas on the Common. I 13 While this was going on, Lowry was fighting inch by inch with the soldiers, and alone, save for one youth, who did not desert him. The blood was streaming down Lawry's face, but he never noticed it ; he had five soldiers against him at that time, and it required all his presence of mind to enable him to keep them at bay. He had got the cor poral's gun again, and was tempted to fire, but he knew that the sound would attract attention, and most likely bring more soldiers to the spot, so he used the weapon as a club and swung it round his head so vigorously that it was almost a miracle that no skulls were cracked. The cannonading was continued, and Howe was becoming nervous. He expected to find the enemy close in upon him, and force a fight within the town itself, and for that he was unprepared. Lowry managed to escape at last, and made his way home as quickly as he could, for he wanted to wash the blood from his face, and get a few hours' rest, so that he might be prepared for the morrow. All night the Americans kept up the firing on the batteries on the western side of the town, while dark-
11'4, Fracas on the Common. ness and silence reigned on the eastern part of Boston2 and when morning came desultry shots were fired into the British earthworks, causing Howe to exclaim: "The rebels must have captured a powder boat, or they would not waste so much, but I fancy they are about exhausted." As though the Americans knew what the royal com mander had said, the firing commenced in earnest, and the British saw tliat the American breastworks had been pushed farther forward.
CHAPTER XI. o'FLAHERTYS STORY. "We are lost, there s nothing but death for us," ex claimed a soldier, who had just been relieved at the picket post. "What do you mean?" asked Sergt. Carston, angrily. "Mean? mean? just what I say. It's a wonder I'm alive to tell the tale, and my hair will be white with the fright, I'm sure. "Speak plainly, you idiot. "Well, it was this way; I was standing by the snake fence out beyond there when what should I see but two balls of fire a-moving along the ground, and says I to myself, that's strange." "A stray cat, maybe." "Cat, what are you talking of? You never saw a cat six feet high." "You said the balls of fire were on the ground." "Did I? So they were when I saw them first, but l ~--
JI6 O'Flaherty's Story. the moment I raised my gun to fire, I'm blest if they didn't rise until they were six feet from the ground." "Did you fire ?" "Did I fire? What at? Two balls of flame? No, not I; but I just grasped my gun, and ran toward the things, when I felt my knees give way, and I fell to the ground in a fright. For my eyes saw a big, white ghost." "You were drinking." "That's a lie, sergeant, and you know it. Not a drop of liquor, not even cider, has passed my lips this many a day. I'm a good Methodist, and that you know." "I alwa j 3 thought so, though I never took much stock in Methodism; it seems to me a new-fangled religion." "Keep your thoughts to yourself about that. I was saying that I saw a ghost, as sure as I live, and every man on the post will tell you the same thi.ng." "That's a fact," Bernard Hanson interposed, "I saw it myself, and I fired at it, but, thou g h the thing fell, when I got there not a thing was to be found."
O'Flaherty's Story. "I will go to the post myself, perhaps the ghost will walk again." But before the sergeant had time to start on his tour of investigation, Michael O'Flaherty, a big, raw boned son of the Green Isle, appeared at the tent, dragging along with him a p6or, miserable specimen of humanity. "Ye see I got the spalpeen," he exclaimed, shaking the man just as a terrier does a rat, "it's niver a wun'll be feared ov a ghost again, or me name's not O'Flaherty ." Sergt. Carston held the lantern close to the face of the prisoner, and recognized Josiah, the ferryman, who had accompanied Priscilla on her visit to the camp to see Gen. Washington. "Trying to escape, eh?" "No, your honors," Josiah said, very meekly; "no, I was only having a bit of fun with the boys." "A bit of fun which will land your neck in a noose before sunrise." "No, no, not that; I'm only a poor ferryman, I didn't
118 O'Flaherty's Story. mean any harm, and I was nearly killed by that big slob of an--" "Don't ye b e afth e r callin' me names, or, by jabers, I'll not wait for the hangman, but I'll sthring ye up mes e lf, an' sa y a pat e rnost e r afth e r. "O' Flaherty, tell your stor y and remember that you must speak just as you will before the general when this man is on trial." O Flah e rty looked round at his comrades who had so recently been on the picket lines as sentries, and commenced: "Ye see, gintlemin, forgive me for callin' such spatpe ens out ov y er names, I was at me post thinkin' ov the green hills of ould Oireland, whin I saw a spook sure enough, an' I thought I was a big fool for iver lavin' the ould land. But I was out h e re, an' I thought I wud make the bes t ov it, an' hav e a crack with my goon at some ov the inimies ov ould Oire land, but divil a thou ght had I ov havin to fight g ho s ts. "The th afe ov th e w u r rld, tu rn e d h i s eyes o v fai r e on me an I c rossed m ese lf an' sho ut ed: 'Fwh a t are ye
O'Flaherty's Story. tryin' to afright me fur, ye thafe ov the wurrld, sure an' I niver did anythin' to yez.' But niver a wurrd did he answer at all, so I ups an' foires at him wid me goon, but the murtherin' ball didn't touch a hair uv his head that I missed, an' thin, says I : 'Begorra, now I'll take ye a prisoner, so I will.' I joomped across the fince; bedad, it was loike jumpin' a haystack, it was so broad, so it was, an' I caught up to his ghostship, an' says I: 'Surrender, Misther Ghost, or I'll scatter yer brains.' An' now ye can have the laff at me, for, be dad, I'd forgot, in me charge on the ghost, to reload me goon, at all, at all, and the thafe must av knew it, for he threw off the shate he was a-wearin', an' thin I saw he had a bay'net, which he pointed at me. By St. Pathrick, but I was frightened. As he was comin' for me, lapin' sev'ral fate at a toime, says I : 'O'Flaherty, me bhoy, mind yerself, or ye'll niver see ould Oireland agen, an' the future Mistress O'Flaherty will be widdy before she iver knew ye.' I took me goon at the middle just as I wud my d ear ould shillaleagh in the Galtees, an b a lanced meself fur fun. I twirled me goon aroun' me head loi ke a true Tipp e r a ry bhoy, an'
l'.20 O'Flaherty's Story. was ready fur Misther Ghost, whin he caught his fut in a root, an' he wint sprawlin' on the turrf, lukin' just loike a big !ether X, loike I used to si g n me name whin I joined the Boys ov Liberty. Before he cud get up I had me fut on his neck, an' says I : 'Surren der, ye ghost or divil,' but niver a wurrd did he spake. "Thin I wus mad as a march hare, an' says I : 'if ye won't spake, ye spalpeen, I'll have to be afther givin' ye a dose of what yer mother-Heaven forgive her fur havin' a haythen son loike you--ought to have given ye years agone,' an' wid that I brought me goon down on the latter end ov him, an' he yelled blue murther, so he did, an' that's all I've got to say, gintlemen." One part, at least, of O'Flaherty's account was true, for it was noticed that Josiah could not sit down, and by the way he stood the sergeant was not sure but that some bones were broken. Ser gt. Carston sent Josiah a prisoner to the camp, and l eft him to his fate. Josiah had not been happy as a prisoner during the
O'Flaherty's Story. 121 two days that he had been in camp after Priscilla had left, though he was treated with every consideration, and given a considerable amount of liberty. It was hard to say whether the man was a knave or fool, whether he was desirous of seeing the American cause triumph, or that Howe and the British should in flict a disastrous defeat on the patriots ; to all Josiah was a mystery. At times he appeared to be half an idiot, and at others he astonished those with whom he came in con tact by his sharp wit and ready thought. The escapade, which led to him being arrested by O'Flaherty, might have been intended for a joke, but having stolen a gun it looked very suspicious, and required a great stretch of the imagination to believe that he did not intend trying to escape and re-enter the British lines. Gen. Putnam heard that Josiah had been taken prisoner and brought back to camp, and he determined to examine him at once. On the ferryman being brought before him the good
I 'l!l O'Flaherty's Story. old veteran smiled at the abject fear which was so manifest in the bearing of the prison e r. "Now, my man, what have you to say for your self?" he asked. "Nothin'." "Dq you not know that you are accused of stealing a gun--" "I had as much right to it as the man from whom I took it," Josiah answered, defiantly. "What do you mean?" "That gun belonged to the people of Boston, and I am one of the people." "Tell me what mad prank you were up to, and I will deal leniently with you?" ''What do you mean by leniently? Do you mean that you will hang me right away, or wait until to morrow?" "I mean, fri end, that if y ou tell the truth you shall not be puni sh ed at all." "Can I trust you? "If you can find a man who can prove that Israel
O'Flaherty's Story. 123 Putnam ever broke his word, you may shoot me when ever you like." "Are you Israel Putnam?" "Yes." "Him as was nearly burned to death by the Indians?" "Yes." "Then I'll trust you, an' I'll tell you what I'd never tell any other mort-i-al man. Send that ramrod out of the room first, though." "You mean--?" Josiah pointed to the soldier on duty at the door, who was tall and thin, and had been nicknamed ramrod by the ferryman. When the man had retired, Putnam said, almost brusquely: "Tell your story."_ "I'll be honest with you; when I took that gun, I thought I'd escape an' get back to Boston, an' tell the British all you chaps were
O'Flaherty's Story. the British pickets, an' so was safe from you, but I heard some talk, an' it made my blood boil." "What was it?" "I heard a sprig of a Englishman speak of Mistress Beverley, an' he said she was a spy, an' ought to be shot, an' then I listened some more, an' I heard enough to know that Josiah was never goin' to take part witli the English again, so I sneaked back an' frightened the boys with my white sheet an' my balls of fire, which were only candles, an' was gettin' back here, when I got tripped up; that's all." "Is that all?" "Well, no, it isn't. I'll make a clean breast of it. There is a company of the enemy, that is, the English, sneakin' round the Roxbury Road, intendin' to take Gen. Washington a prisoner ; they think they can get him on the sly like, an' I think they'll do it, if you don't stop 'em." "Then what we heard is true, and what is more the pity, there must be a traitor in our camp." "I guess there is, an' you'd better find him."
O'Flaherty's Story. "Josiah, I thank you, and I believe that you have told the truth. You will not be punished, but you will have to remain a prisoner until we get into Boston." "May the good Lord make the time short, then." "Amen to that I"
CHAPTER XII. KIDNAPERS FOILED. Not far from the American lines a company of British soldiers halted. They looked a lot of dare-devils ready for anything, no matter how dangerous it might be. The officer m command looked them over by the light of a lantern, and judged them to be just the men for the enterprise. "Men, you have vo lunteered for a dangerous piece of work," he said, "if we fail, not one will see to-morrow's sun ; if we succeed, there will be a hundred pounds of good English money for each of y ou who reach Boston alive, and let me tell you that the money is sure. "We have to steal cautiously up to the house where this man, Washington, is resting, then all we have to ,do is to get him, dead or alive, and bring him back to Boston. If he is dead you will get the money, but if we can get him into Boston alive you will each receive twenty-five pounds more." I.
Kidnapers Foiled. "I'll be rich for life, then." "There'll be no fightin'," said another, "I know these chaps, they are good at long-distance fightin', but when you get close they run away." "I am told that the only guard Washington has is composed of some young boys called the Boys of Liberty, and there isn't one of them could wrestle with the weakest of you men," said the officer. "We'll make mincemeat of the Boys of Liberty," said one of the valiant ones. The march was resumed, and the men knowing the necessity of caution never utt e red a word, nor made any more noise than was unavoidable. They meant to take the Boys of Liberty by surprise. If they could do so they could make a quick d a sh and capture the American commander before the boys could recover from their fright or make an alarm. Taking the Boys of Liberty by surprise was more difficult than they had calculated on, for Josiah had revealed the plot, and so young Pierce had sent out his scouts in every direction to aw a it the coming of the daring raid e rs.
Kidnapcrs Foiled. Not more than a quarter of a mile from the head quarters of Washington on that night, one of the Boys of Liberty discovered the British soldiers. He did not fire his gun to give an alarm, he had received different instructions, so he ran in the direc tion of headquarters as fast as any staghound. He was soon there, and the boys pressed around him and grasped his hand, in a thoroughly friendly but un military manner Benjamin Pierce was in command that night, and he decided that he would meet the enemy halfway, at a wood which would give them a strong position for defense or attack, whichever was necessary. When the wood was reached, Pierce placed his Boys of Lib e rty in position behind trees and gave them orders to remain hidden until he gave the command to come in the open. The Bo y s of Liberty had not long to wait The enemy was close at hand, but advancing very slowly and cau tiously for th e y had no desire to be seen or to cause an alarm to be g iven. The British soon learned that it was as easy to catch
Kidnapers Foiled. 119 a weasel asleep as to find the Boys of Liberty unpre pared, for the first redcoat that was exposed to view was a target for a bullet from a gun aimed by young Zeke Warren. The man gave utterance to a wild yell of pain, for the bullet had broken his right arm, and rendered him useless as a soldier. Pierce gave the signal, and the firing began, both sides using powder and shot in utter disregard of the scarcity of those useful friends in time of war. For nearly an hour this was kept up, and the British were getting tired. They made a sudden charge for ward, hoping to overcome the Boys of Liberty, and put them to flight by their fierce onslaught. "Give no quarter," shouted the British officer, "take no prisoners ; dead men are better than prisoners." A cheer greeted this bloodthirsty order, for the men were ready for anything no matter how brutal it might be. Young Pierce had expected this move, and had got his men in close ranks, and the moment the charge began a volley rang out, and gaps were made in the Brit ish ranks ; then the Boys of Liberty took their pistols
130 Kidnapers Foiled. and fired, one-half of the boys reloading their muskets while the other half used the pistols at close range. Before the British were within bayonet length of their foes their ranks were thinned so much that it seemed almost impossible for them to charge through the well-preserved line of the Boys of Liberty. A volley at such close range still further decimated the ranks of the British, and the officer gave orders to retreat, for the boys had proved too much for them. The British fell back to the wood, and then con sulted as to what should be done. "We have lost twelve men out of thirty," said the officer; "the Boys of Liberty are fighters, and no mistake." "Shall we make one more try?" asked a serg~nt, who was one of the volunteers. "Yes, get ready, furies! the Boys of Liberty are upon us." It was true. Young Pierce had decided to pursue the enemy, and with a wild cheer a volley of patriotic bullets was sent into the startled ranks of the raiders.
Kidnapers Foiled. 131 Quicker than he had ever acted before the English officer pulled out a white handkerchief, and waved it frantically above his head. It was seen by Pierce, and the firing ceased. A soldier was sent forward to ask for permission to remove the dead and wounded, and to be allowed to leave the field without the humiliation of surrender. "You can bury your dead," said Pierce, "a truce will be allowed long enough for that, but you must surrender--" "And the conditions?" "There are none; it must be an absolute surrender, unconditional. "And if we refuse?" "Then we shall wipe you off the face of the earth, and we can do so, as you well know." "Give me an hour to decide." Pierce drew himself up to his full height, and an swered: "It will take you ten minutes to acquaint your offi cer with my terms, in fifteen we shall commence firing,
131 Kidnapers Foiled. unless we see that you attempt to retreat, in that case we shall fire at once." The soldier returned to his company, and announced that the only terms were unconditional surrender. "Men, what shall we do? You volunteered for this work, and I ask you to decide." "I have no desire to die to-day," said one. "They are fighters," said another. "I tell you that though they are young boys they can fight better than many of our trained veterans." "Is it surrender?" "Yes." The white flag was waved in token of surrender, and the fifteen British volunteers, all that were left of the thirty, marched to the American camp prisoners of war. Jt was a glorious victory, and years later the story was told of how the Boys of Liberty outwitted the vet e rans of the British Army on that memorable oc casion. Washington did not hear of the great victory for
Kidnapers Foiled. 133 some hours, for serious work was afoot, which taxed the energies of every man among the American soldiers. Gen. Thomas received the prisoners, and compli mented young Pierce on his splendid achievement.
CHAPTER XIII. PRISCILLA'S PLAN. Priscilla sat uneasily in the parlor of Mistress Tracy's house awaiting the return of Frank Lowry, who had ventured out of the town to try and enter the American lines. He was overdue, and the girl feared that he might have been taken prisoner, in which case all their well-laid plans would prove abortive. Everyone thought that Lowry was Priscilla's lover, and so his frequent visits to her house were not noticed. An hour passed, she grew tremulous with expec tancy, and almost cried out hysterically when the maid announceq. that her expected visitor had arrived. "Oh, Frank, I was getting so worried," she ex claimed. "Were you ?" "Yes, I was ready to cry; I know you will laugh at me, but I feared we were going to fail." I "What made you think that?"
Priscilla's Plan. 135 "I thought you might have been taken prisoner, and--" "They would have given me a short shrift," and the merry face of the boy was wreathed in smiles, even though the thought of death must have been far from pleasant to him. "Yes, it is too awful to think of, but you are safe. Tell me all about the trip." "That I dare not do at present, Mistress Tracy may come in at any minute-I saw her as I entered--" "I thought she was away for the afternoon." "It seems that you were wrong, for she is in the house at this moment." "What special news have you?" "It is all arranged, but we have but short time." "And you think that--" "Hush, bend down so that you may hear a whisper. Washington will be at the Province House in less than a week." "You think so?" "I feel sure of it, and I have promised that the of-
136 Priscilla's Plan. ficers shall be diverted, as you proposed, on the fourth." "So soon?" "Yes." "What excuse can I make?" "I never thought of that, of course some good excuse must be made ; what shall it be?" "I cannot think, I wish that I had thought it would be so soon, but-ah, dear Mistress Tracy, you see the truant has returned," the girl added, as her hostess en tered the room. "Yes, I see he has ; he tells me that he has had a frightful cold, and has been unable to leave his room -what are you laughing at?" "You misunderstood me, Mistress Tracy," said Frank, bubbling over with laughter. "You forgot that I said I had to go to bed, and was confined there some time; I meant all last night. I am sorry that you thought I had been ill." "You are always the same, always playing pranks on us poor trusting ones. Priscilla, my dear, I think you
Priscilla's Plan. 137 had better dismiss him, or he will be saying something the very opposite to what he me a ns." P riscilla und e rstands me, she has become quite ac customed to my inveterate joking, which I really must curb.'' "Auntie, I have a favor to ask," Priscilla suddenly exclaimed. "I know it is something I shall not want to grant, or you would never have called me auntie; come, chit, what is it?" "I meant to ask you before, but-well, I didn't get a chance, but really, auntie, you will grant it, won t you?" "Even to half my kingdom, as the general makes me say in his play." "On the fourth day of this month, the girl began, in tones which would have made her famous on the tragic stage, "I am going to entertain all the company at present supposed to be rehea r sing 'Zara,' and I want you to allow me to u s e your house1 and you must play 'Proprie t y' ; if I w e r e wri tin g it I s h ou ld put the largest 'P' I could for your honorabl e titl e ."
138 Priscilla's Plan. "You silly girl !" Don't call me silly. I have got such a big scheme in my head, and you must help me, or--" "What?" "Have you never heard how maidens, whose hopes are blighted, sometimes become insane? They go off their heads, as Betsy Quaile used to say." "Do be serious." "Sit down here by my side," said Priscilla, as she seated herself on the center of a large settee couch ; "yes, that is right, only come close, I want to whisper. Frank, you come on the other side. I haven't patience with you Have I the plague that you are afraid to get close? That is better, now are you ready?" Both declared they were ready, and Frank won dered what scheme she had elaborated so quickly; but be was reassured when she gave him a friendly nudge with her elbow, which was as suggestive to him as a wink. "Don't faint, auntie; I will not keep you a close prisoner for long. I thought that we might give a rehearsal of 'Zara,' we do not know our parts any too
Priscilla's Plan. 139 well, and we might invite Gen. Howe and all his staff, and all the officers, except those on actual duty, and when the first act was over-you know how the climax makes everyone feel so sympathetic-I would go round with a bag and ask that all present should subscribe to a fund for the relief of the wounded soldiers--" "That is a good idea." "And after the rehearsal we would give a supper, with plenty of good things, and-stoop so that I may whisper in your ears, Mistress Tracy-have so much wine that no one would care about leaving until sun rise--" "You shocking girl !" "I feel just so. I would like to be real, what shall I say? giddy for one night, and you, my dear auntie, would be sufficient proof and guarantee that it was all respectable; now may I do it?" "Have you found out what it would cost?" "Bother cost, I will pay for it all, and you shall or der the very best of everything; I will give you all the money you want."
Priscilla's Plan. "The notice is short ; the men might come, but we ought to have some ladies." "Of course, you dear old silly; I would say in each invitation that each gentleman must bring a lady; they would not find it hard, would they?" "I will ask you to be my lady," said Frank, quickly. "And I--?" Priscilla whispered a name in Mistress Tracy's ear that caused her to blush and nod her head, for the lady did !ike to flirt just a little, and there was one of ficer, as we know, who thought time passed pleasantly when he was by her side. "I thought the fourth was the day of the play?" "Gen. Burgoyne said it would have to be postponed, so the rehearsal will take its place on that night." "I do not know what to say, madcap." "Yes, you do; Frank, will you help write the in vitations?" "I am at your command, from this very minute." "Excellent boy, you shall have an extra slice of cake, and perhaps a glass of wine for being so good."
Priscilla's Plan. .... "I wish I knew whether you are serious or not," Mistress Tracy exclaimed. "Always serious, my dear lady. Now let me see how we shall word the invitations. 'Mistress Tracy and Priscilla Beverley commands the attendance of all loyal officers and gentlemen and their ladies to a--''' 'What are you talking about?" "The way we should invite our prospective guests." "But you said 'command.' Only the governor or the monarch can say that." "I heard general-no, I will not mention his nan:ecall you his queen--" "For shame, chit." "And Gen. Burgoyne said that I should grace a throne, so all we have to do is to take them at their word, and, as queens, command the attendance of our loyal subjects." After a short badinage a form of invitation was agreed upon, and Frank commenced to write as rapidly as his good goose quill would travel over the paper. "While you are writing, I will go and see the gov-
Priscilla's Plan. ernor, and be assured that he approves and will grant his patronage," said Mistre s s Tracy, with promptness. "Excellent, most excellent, my lady; another line from the play but very effective. You are a dear old girl; I beg pardon, but I must give you a kiss," and Priscilla, staid, serious puritan as she was, actually caught her friend round the waist, and after kissing her pulled her round the room, making her take some of the steps in a dance just than b e ing introduced. When Mistress Tracy had driven away from her house, Priscilla's manner changed, and she sank on the lounge with a deep sig h. "It was so hard, Frank," she said, sighing again, "I do hate this masquerading, but did I do it well?" "Excellent, most excell--" "Stop! I hate every word of that play. I shall go mad if you repeat an y of it, now that we can be ourselves and not play actors. I hope that we shall succeed." "I think we shall. If we c a n g et the office rs here, and keep them here all night, Washington can erect
Priscilla's Plan. 143 his earthworks without being noticed, and then the end will be near." "But if we should fail?" "We shall not fail; but even if we did, what then? 'We should not be suspected?" "How are the American officers to know our plans?" "I have arranged a series of signals, and again you will have to bear the burden, for you will not be sus pected." "If we only do not fail! Oh, don't you think we ought to invite my uncle?" "Why, certainly, and we must not forget young Bingley, he is a free lance, and his troops are here, there and everywhere; we must remove him for a time." "When are the signals to be given?" "Any time, as soon as we are certain." "I hear wheels, surely Mistress Tracy cannot have returned so quickly? Yes, the carriage has stopped here, and" Priscilla was peeping out of the window"Gen. Howe is with her." The governor and commander-in-chief of the British
Priscilla's Plan. Army entered the room without ceremony, and fell upon his knee before Priscilla, taking her hand in his, and raising it to his lips. "My dear young lady, your noble heart has tri -0.mphed over sex, and you have shown us how we can combine amusement with duty. Mistress Tracy has told me of your most excellent plan, and I concur in it most heartily, and I am sure Burgoyne will be de lighted." "Then you do not object, your excellency?" "Object? How could I? Every officer shall be present-I will let the rebels alone for one night, they can do no mischief, and as for your benefit fund, I will head the list with one hundred pounds, and dang me, every officer shall give liberally, or I'll have him cash iered, dang me if I don't." "Have a glass of wine, my dear governor," said Mistress Tracy, entering the room just ahead of the butler, who was bearing a tray. "I do not suppose you would care to drink a cup of tea, that is a woman's drink." "My dear Mistress Tracy, I will drink a glass of
Priscilla's Plan. 145 wine to your health, and another to the health of our fair young damsel here; dang me, if I mustn't find her a husband, and then I will join you at the tea table." Howe, governor and good soldier, drank not two, but several glasses of wine, for after toasting the two ladies he must needs suggest a bumper to the success of Priscilla's benevolent fund, and then he remembered that the king had not been toasted, and no sooner was his glass emptied, than he called on the butler to fill up again, and raising his glass said : "The queen, bless her!" The ladies and young Lowry had merely sipped their wine at each toast, while the governor had emp tied his glass each time. Not that it took any effect on him, for he was noted as a "three bottle" man ; that is, one who could drink three bottles of wine after his dinner. "I'll have the invitations sent out myself," said his excellency, "and you can invite as many more as you please." After he had gone, Frank gave a very prolonged "Whew !" and exclaimed :
Priscilla's Plan. "For all the impudence, commend me to his excel lency. He never thinks of the expense-" "Never mind that, Frank; I can stand it. "I shall be pleased to contribute my share, added Mistress Tracy. "But the g overnor might have given you the power to invite all the guests, I--" The governor had returned so silently that Frank was uncertain how much he might have overheard, but if he had heard anything he gave no sign, but very calmly said : "I just bethought me, ladies, that I had not asked your permission to make the invitations in your names. I think that it would be well to have a heavy line written on the top : "Under the patronage of his excellency, the governor! "Then would follow the names of Mistress Tracy and Mistre s s B everley--" "Priscilla Bev e rley, if y our e x c ellency ple ases." "Just so, ha p p y will be the man who c a n change the
Priscilla's Plan. 147 Beverley into his own name, and then we can have the mistress without the Priscilla." "Dost thou not like the name, your excellency?" asked Priscilla, demurely. "It is an excellent one. Have I your permission, ladies, to do as I suggested?" "Certainly." "Then I have the honor to bid you good-day." Priscilla could not help giving Frank a nudge, which meant to him that the plan was proceeding splendidly.
CHAPTER XIV. THE SIGNAL. "I tell you it is all noise, noise, noise, nothing else." "I think that they are a parcel of fools." "For the life of me, I cannot think what we are wasting time here for, the climate is aceursed, the people hate us, we are looked upon as though we were wild animals--" "You needn't talk, Leverson; you have been made a pet of ever since you landed." "Do you know why?" "Your beauty, I suppose you will tell U!:." "Don't be a fool ; don't you think they kn9w that in the course of natural events I shall be a peer of Great Britain, and they may say what they like about all being equal, the Americans love a lord as much as we do." "By Jove what a long speech for you, Leverson; I did not think you had it in you." "I'm mad, clean through, mad."
The Signal. "What about?" "Being kept here, when I might be having such good times in London." "We shall not be here long." "Don't you think so?" "Now how can we? The rebels are using up all their powder and shot in the wildest manner, when they might be doing something better." "Pity you are not with them." "None of your sarcasm." The speakers were British officers, who had been reconnoitering beyond Charlestown, and were shelter ing from the sleet and rain which fell incessantly. "I say, Leverson, what if we get tracked and cor nered, eh ?" 'Who by?" "Rebs." "Ha! ha! ha! That is a good joke! Rebs, indeed; why they are a lot of country yokels, afraid of their own shadows, unless they hunt in herds." "Sneer as you like, but, by Jove I believe that there is a method in their madness ; look yonder !"
The Signal. "What do you see?" There was no need of an answer, ior almost within gunshot a large body of men approached, and moved speedily along, passing the officers, who were ef fectually hidden. The men were not in uniform, but two or three, who were mounted, had a kind of martial trapping, which showed that they were officers of rank. "Lucky dogs, aren't we?" "I should say so, but, by Jove! I'm glad my aristo cratic mother cannot see the kind of creatures her son is sent to fight." "By George! what have we coming next? Is it a circus procession, or a country fair?" "Hush, you will be heard!" A number of carts loaded with hay and straw came in sight, and passed in the direction the soldiers had gone, then followed some more soldiers, and still more carts of hay fastened tightly into bundles. Leverson incautiously exposed himself and almost immediat e ly a youthful voice was heard: "What have we here? Spies?"
The Signal. "What shall we do?" asked another. "Secure our prisoners." The English officers were astonished, for right in front of them appeared a company of boys armed wiili muskets, and led by another youth, who scarcely seemed strong enough to use the sword he carried. "Gentlemen, I would most respectfully ask you who you are, and what you are doing here?" asked the captain of the Boys of Liberty. Leverson smiled and stroked his chin, as he replied : "I think it is you who ought to introduce yourselves; we were here first." Benjamin Pierce, the acting captain of the boys, could not help smiling also but he had stern work before him, and he called the officers to surrender. "Surrender? To whom?" "The American Army," answered Pierce. "Are you the American Army; perhaps you are the commander-in-chief?" "I will thank y ou for your sword." "Tak e it." D o y ou refuse to surrender?"
rp. The Signal. "Don't be a fool, Leverson; we are outnumbered, and either must surrender or cut our way through." "Let us try that." "Agreed. Come on." But before the officers could take three steps forward, a score of muskets were leveled at them, and certain death would be the fate of those gallant of ficers if they attempted to try and force a way through. Leverson was the first to reverse his sword, and holding it by the point presented the hilt to young Pierce. His companion followed his example, and the officers were prisoners. "Will you give your word to stay with us? That is, not to try and escape?" asked Pierce. The pledge was given, and the swords were handed back. "Why did you do that?" asked Leverson. "I thought you were gentlemen, even though you do wear the king's uniform." "Thank you for your good opinion. Might I ask where we are to be taken?"
The :Signal. 153 "You will excuse me if I do not answer." The Boys of Liberty surrounded their prisoners and recommenced their march. In a few minutes they reached the top of a hill, where a halt was called. In the distance could be seen the war vessels of England resting lazily in the waters; the town was as quiet as any sleepy place could be, and save for the incessant firing of the batteries everything in the distance was still. Near at hand the constant strokes of picks, the crashing of branches, the unloading of the carts of hay, attracted and rivetted the attention of the officers. They looked at each other, and a flash passed from eye to eye. In a low voice Leverson said to his com panion: "You were right, there is method in their madness. I can see their move as plain as the nose on your face." "What is it?" "We are at the foot of Dorchester Height, the Americans have taken possession, and unless we can let our people know Boston will fall into the hands of the rebels." Pierce was standing near the officers, but evidently
154 The Signal. was not interested in their conversation. He was strainin g his eyes in the direction of Boston Common. As he looked he saw a rocket rise in the air, then quickly another, and a third, and again another, then all was still again: "Four; yes, that is right March the fourth; well, we shall be ready. I wish I had a strong glass, I would like to see what happened to the one who dared to set fire to rockets on the Common." "Some signal?" asked one of the officers. "Sig nal?" repeated Pierce. "Four rockets were fired from Boston." "Were they? Then I suppose your people are con templating some new move against us." "I thought you were watching the signals." "As Boston is under the military rule of the British, the signals could scarcely be ours, so what have I to gain by watching ?" The tables were turned on the officers, but Pierce saw that they were too shrewd and skilled to be left at large too long, so he gave orders to leave the hill and
The Signal. seek the nearest staff officers to whom he could deliver his prisoners. In a few minutes the Boys of Liberty succeeded in locating Gen. Thomas, and explained to him the cap ture that had been made. "Splendid! Magnificent!" he exclaimed, as he found out that one of the officers was the Hon. George Lever son, eldest son of Lord Leverson, one of King George's privy councilors.
CHAPTER XV. THE WORD OF AN OFFICER AND GENTLEMAN "I believe that you have given your word not to es cape?" Gen. Thomas said to Leverson. "I believe so," drawled the officer. "Then you are free. I think an officer and gentleman will respect his word." Gen. Thomas left the English officers feeling confi dent that even if they did escape they could not reach Boston in time to save the town. To the officers the sight which met their gaze was deeply interesting. Mounds of earth were rising on the crest of the hill ; barrels were being filled with earth and sand ; facsines were being moved from place to place and located where they were most needed; loads of hay were being used to supplement the fascines, or faggots of wood, and everything spoke to them of strong fortifications. "By George Leverson; what is Howe doing that he does not know of this?"
The Word of an Officer. I 57 "I do not know; he seems to keep his batteries busy on the other side, but this side is neglected altogether." "I wish we could warn him." "Yes ; but it is impossible." "I am not so sure about that. I think I could slip away, and--" "Break your parole?" "Parole be hanged Who cares for a parole given to a lot of farmers who are rebels?" "They seem to have some soldiers among them." "Yes ; and let me tell you that if Howe is wise he will hang a few of them on Boston Common." "He will have to catch them first." "If I can slip away that will be an easy matter." "What do you propose?" 'When night comes we must both pretend to sleep, then when suspicion is averted I will get away. I know just where the nearest British picket is sta tioned, and can reach that post, give my information and be back by your side before sunrise.'' "If all goes well."
158 The Word of an Officer. "It is bound to go all right. My fate is written in the stars, and success is predicted." "Don t talk rot! What have the stars to do with it? Give me a good sword and a trusty horse, and you may keep your stars to yourself." "Then you think I should fail?" "I am sure of it." "Then I had better giv e up all thoughts of warning our people, I suppose." "Unless you are tired of life." "Well, I cannot say that I want to explore the Great Beyond just yet." "Then take it easy, stay and respect your parole." "My faithful mentor, you almost persuade me." Leverson pleaded that he was tired, and so worked upon the feelings of the officer in charge that he gave the prisoners permission to rest in a tent which was hidden among the trees. Night came on apace, and the two officers, who were really exhausted, threw themselves on a quantity of dry hay, and one at least was genuinely asleep in no time.
The Word of an Officer. I 59 Leverson opened his eyes and tried to look around him, but save for a few lights in the distance, he could not see anything. He had taken his bearings with accuracy, and being an engineer he had made no mis take in his calculation. An hour passed and by that time he knew that the sentry passed the tent about once in every quarter of an hour. No sooner had the man walked past the tent than Leverson crawled over his companion and emerged from the tent, raising the canvas at the rear noiselessly and only high enough for him to crawl under. Everyone said that Leverson had cat's eyes, that he could see just as well in the dark as in the light, and it seemed to be true, for he crawled through the brush and eventually rose to his feet and walked without once tripping over a root or stumbling over a stone. He made his way across the neck of land, feeling proud of his succ e ss, and dreaming bright dreams of the reward he would receive. In his vision he saw himself mentioned in the reports to the king, and imagined George writing immediately to thank him and
160 The Word of an Officer. to bestow on him the coveted ribbon of Commander of the Bath, or it might be a peerage in his own right. He had heard Howe say, "Retain Boston until the spring and the rebellion is crushed," and he saw how his information would enable Howe to forestall the Americans, and most likely save the town. So occupied was he with his dreams that he ran right into the arms of a young and apparently un armed youth. "Throw up your hands!" cried the youth. "You young fool, who are you talking to?" asked Lever son "Throw up your hands, or I'll send a bullet through you! Leverson, now thoroughly roused, tried to slip past the youth, but a leg was put out suddenly and the English officer sprawled on the ground His presence of mind did not desert him, his quick eyes had noticed that the youth wore civilian clothes hence he rea soned was a sympathizer with the Americans He sat up and lau g h ed. His laugh was so heartily
The Word of an Officer. I 61 spontaneous that it would have deceived a shrewder man than the youth. "What are you laughing at?" was asked. "It seemed so ridiculous; but I was a fool. I ought to have told you that I was on a special and confidential mission from Gen. Thomas--" "Is that the truth ?" "Why, certainly! Why should you doubt me?" "You are English." Again there was the same hearty laugh, but this time it sounded a trifle forced. "This i s not the time to fling taunts," said Leverson. "I know that Boston will soon be evacuated. I am anxious to fulfill my mission." "It is strange that your mission should take you in the direction of the British lines and away from the American forces ." "I hope I have not lost my way." Leverson felt that every moment spent in conversa tion lessened his chance of success, and so he resolved on a bold action.
162 The Word of an Officer. "Are you going to allow me to pass, or am I to force my way?" "I rather guess you will have to force a way, if you want to pass ; but if you are honest, you will return with me and take a more direct course." Leverson gave the youth a push which nearly sent him to earth, but Frank Lowry, for he it was, had not studied the art of self-defense for nothing. He was ready for his opponent, and pretending to stagger back, he only waited his opportunity to land a tremendous blow on the Englishman's chin. Leverson was not expecting this, and he reeled like a drunken man. However, he rallied easily and drew his sword, making a quick thrust at Lowry. The youth was too quick for him, and stooping down al lowed the sword thrust to pass over his head, while with his right hand he landed such a terrific blow on Leverson's stomach that the officer fell, carrying Lowry to the ground with him. Both men had pistols, but neither wished to make an alarm, so neither attempted to use them, Lowry
"'fhe W orct of an Officer. I 6 3 trusting entirely to his strength of muscle and Lever son to his sword. The Englishman reached for his sword, which had fallen from his hand, but Lowry was too quick for him, and got hold of the hilt first. There was a brief struggle for the weapon, but its owner was at a disadvantage, and the American re tained his grip on it. With a sharp twist Lowry released the sword and placing the point on Leverson's breast, he said, as calmly as his excitement would permit: "Hands up, or I will run you through." Leverson was no coward, but was possessed of a considerable amount of brute courage. He tried to beat down the sword, but only succeeded in lowering the point a little, getting a nasty gash on his thigh for his pains. Again the two struggled, for Lowry had lost his advantage, but the duel was of short duration, for the officer tripped on a stone and fell, but in doing so he got the sword point once more in his leg, making a wound which was positively painful.
164 The Word of an Officer. Lowry had now got tired of what he called by play, and angrily exclaimed: "Surrender, or, by thunder! I'll kill you." "Do so! I shall be killed anyway, and better die here than in your camp." Lowry held the officer down on the ground and listened. In the distance he coulcl hear the tramp of a body of men, and his quick ears told him that they were coming that way. But his quickness of hearing told him that they were Americans ; the step was too irregular for the trained soldiers of England, and was more like the unrnilitary steps of raw recruits. He gave a call which was often heard among the Americans, for it was the battle cry of the Boys of Liberty, a cry originated by Paul Revere, and adopted by every company of that valiant band of boys, no matter in what part of the country they might be. The call was answered, and in a brief space of time Frank Lowry was saluting Benjamin Pierce. "A prisoner, did you say?"
The Word of an Officer. 165 "Yes; and one worth taking care of. I fancy he has lost a lot of blood." Pierce gave orders to have the wounded man lifted up carefully, and then he turned the light of a dark lantern upon him and almost lost his presence of mind, as he recognized the prisoner. "Broke your parole, eh? Well, you will not do it again." "I am not sorry," murmured the officer. "I did it to save my men. I took the risk, I will pay the penalt y "You will be tried and condemned--" Pierce commenced, but the wounded man interrupted: "Tried, but not condemned; tried, but by the highest Judge of all, and He will pardon me for giving my life to save my people." Leverson tried to stand, but his knees gave way under him, and at the same moment a gush of blood poured from his mouth, he shivered, staggered and fell-in Pierce's arms-dead. He had gone to be tried, and who can tell what the
166 The Word of an Officer. verdict of that Judge who dealeth out the surest jus tice and yet tempers it with mercy, would be? Pierce told his story of the previous capture of the distinguished Englishman, and Lowry told his, and then both came to the conclusion that the dead body should be taken back to the camp.
CHAPTER XVI. HOW THE SIGNALS WERE FIRED. Frank Lowry had not been able to rest in Boston. The signals had been given from the Common, but no answering ones had been seen, and he was afraid that something had gone wrong. He made his way out of the town, and had managed to elude the vigilance of the outposts, meeting with no adventure worth speaking about until he encountered Leverson. He entered the American lines, and by the aid of the Boys of Liberty, reached the headquarters of Wash ington much quicker than he had anticipated. Washington was pleased to see him, though every moment of the commander's time was bespoken. "What news ?" the general asked. '"Were the si g nals seen ?" "Yes; but I am afraid they wer e not an s wered." "Tha t is why I a m h e r e Those s i g na l s were fired
168 How the Signals Were Fired. by one of the bravest girls that ever drew the breath of life. "Priscilla Beverley, with her own hand, fired them. Apparently, without any design, she was walking across the Common, accompanied by Mistress Tracy and Gen. Burgoyne, when a half-silly boy, called Dan Daniels, ran after the party and cried out: 'See what pretty things I've got?' Burgoyne ordered the boy away, and when Dan refused, the brave general raised his foot and kicked him out of the path. Dan let fall his bundle, which Priscilla, who was advised before hand, knew to be rockets ; there were seven in the bundle, and the girl stooped down to pick them up. Mistress Tracy was very excited, and said, 'Throw them down, Priscilla, you do not know what they are!' Whereupon Dan cried out 'Give them to me, they are mine, they are so pretty when they are lighted.' "Did not Burgoyne want to know where the boy had got them?" "Yes; and Dan blurted out that one of the king's officers had g'li,en him some money and he had bought them. Priscilla insisted that she would fire one. In
How the Signals Were Fired. 169 vam Mistress Tracy and the general protested; she was d e termined, and at last threatened to go home and never speak to the general again if she was not al lowed to have her way. Dan clapped his hands, and cried out that the pretty lady should fire them all; then he stood on his head, threw a somersault and landed with his dirty feet on the beautiful, spotless red coat of the British general. 'Mistress Priscilla,' said Burgoyne, 'the risk is great, do not attempt to fire the rockets. Come to the barracks and my soldiers shall set them off for you.' Priscilla knew that there might be danger in that, for they might not be ~een, so she refused the invitation, and when again both her com panions declared tha t it was very unladylike, she re torted that it was no more so than play-acting, and that unless she was allowed to do as she wanted she would not take part in the play on which Burgoyne had set his heart. That settled the matter, 1 '-ud Burgoyne himself showed how to manage th ~ ~Dl'ket. Dan was full of joy; he scampered about, he lauihed, clapped his hands, played all sorts of pranks, and Priscilla
J 70 How the Signals Were Fired. caught the contagion of his enthusiasm and said she must really set off another. A third and then a fourth were lighted, and then Priscilla threw the other three to the boy, and rubbed her hands, as though to wipe off the very thought of ever having handled the things. 'They were just horrid,' she exclaimed. 'Then why did you insist?' asked Burgoyne. 'I was obstinate,' she replied; 'you both said I must not do it, and that made me insist, just to show that I am a free American woman not going to be command ed by anyone.' Bur goyne told her that her words were treasonable, and she faced him angrily, and dared him to have her ar-rested. He only laughed, and soon the others joined, and a merrier trio never walked on Boston Common that year than Priscilla and her two companions." "Did not Burgoyne suspect anything?" "No; but Col. Baker did. He is stationed near the Common, and when he saw four rockets fired he im mediately gave orders to have the matter investigated. Had he spoken to Burgoyne nothing would have come of it; but he goes to work and offers a reward for the -..
How the Signals Were Fired. 171 arrest of the on e who fired the rock e ts. That had its effect, and within an hour Priscilla was a prisoner. She demanded to be taken before the governor, and to him she admitted firing the rockets. He asked if they were signals, and she looked so innocent and gentle that Howe was inclined to laugh. 'I wish I had fired all silly Dan had,' she said; 'but the things were so nasty and dirty, that I began to think I was as silly as the boy, and so I threw the others down.' Howe told her she was accused of signaling the enemy, and he laughed as he told her, and declared that it was his duty to punish her, which he did by ordering her to drink a glass of wine to the toast of the king. Having done so, and she could do it very well, because she still thinks the king will come to his senses and g ive us all we want she remarked that she was glad Howe had not asked her to drink the king s health in tea for then she might have rebelled." I am glad that no harm came to her "'Now to t ell you what has been done. On the even ing of th e fourth there is to be a play given at the
17'l How the Signals Were Fired. house of Mistress Tracy, under the patronage of the governor, who has commanded all officers able to leave their posts, to be pre se nt. There is to be a money collection for the sick soldiers, and so all the most prominent officers will be expected to be present. Mis tress Tracy and Priscilla have arranged to have the affair kept up until very late, and we all hope that they will stay long enough for you to complete your forti fications." "Three hours will suffice. Everything is in readi ness, and if all goes well Boston will be ours before many days." Washington gave Lowry many messages to friends in Boston, and especially to the beautiful Priscilla, who had risked so much for the cause, and then Lowry started back, but not without misgivings, for entering the town might be more difficult than leaving it. It so happened that on his way he overtook a farmer's cart loaded with b ags of produce, which he had received permission to take into the town. Lowry managed, by the means of certain eloquent arguments,
How the Signals Were Fired. 171 among which might be mentioned a few round pieces of gold, very often called coins, to convince the farmer that he might just as well add a little more to his load. Twice the farmer was challenged, but he showed his permit, and was allowed to pass ; but the third time the sentry insisted on searching the cart, and Lowry felt his heart beating with forty horse-power. A sack was opened and found to contain potatoes, another had winter cabbages in it, and a third some oth e r kind of farm produce; the soldier was convinced and the cart continued its journey. The town was entered, when another soldier chal len g ed, and not satisfied with the permit, nor trusting to examining some of the bags, unhitched the horse and deliberately dump e d the whole contents of the cart into the road. To the surprise of the soldier, who was only actuated by officiousness and perhaps a love of mischief, he rec e ived a rattling crack ov e r the head from the farmer's whip w h i ch Lowr y had s eize d as soon as he saw the man s int e ntion. Before the soldier recovere d h is senses Lowry was a long distance away,
174 How the Signals Were Fired and the poor farmer had to bear the brunt of the sol dier's displeasure. No charge was made against th e farmer, for the soldier knew that he had exceeded his authority, and he feared the consequences to himself.
CHAPTER XVII. THE REHEARSAL. The evening of the fourth of March was an ideal springtime; the day had been superb, and when the sun was near the time for it to sink below the horizon the red rays made a glorious sunset. The American batteries had been busy all day, and several shells had been fired into the town, but many more at the war ships in the harbor. "They are wasting a lot of valuable ammunition," said Burgoyne, with a shrug of his shoulders, and a brother officer had retorted that "it would be a good thing when they had fired it all, for then that would be the end of the rebels." "I wish Howe would send out a couple of regiments and crush them," another remarked. "I should think it would be easy; they may be good fighters, but they have bad g e nerals." "Of whom are _you speaking?" "Why, the rebels of course."
The Rehearsal. "What makes you think their generals are bad?" "Do you think a good general would keep from for tifying Dorchest e r Heights? "They couldn t do that. Our guns would swee p them off the face of the earth in no time." "I fancy that is so; but I wonder they have n ot tried it." "And bring another Bunker Hill 1.bout their ears? '' "I have advised Howe to fortify the ht;ghts," Bt:r goyne remarked, "and he has promised to do so in a few days. Most likely he will send the engineers to morrow." "I think this play to-night is a crazy piece of business," an officer remarked, as Burgoyne walked away. "Why?" "I have a premonition--" "From superstition, good Lord deliver me I" "Laugh ; but wait until you see who laughs last." "Are you going to Mistress Tracy's?" "It amounts to a command; and an evening will be wasted. By the way, we shall have to hurry. We meet at seven."
The Rehearsal. "What an unearthly hour l I never knew anything commence later than six before, did you?" "Innovations, my dear fellow, are the order of the day; but I suppose we go late and leave early--" "In the morning, if what I hear is correct.'' "And that--" "Wine and good things are to be dispensed on a lavish scale." "I'll not make another objection." Every officer who could be spared had received no tice that his presence was desired at the special rehear sal of the play, and it did seem almost a command. Mistress Tracy had borrowed from the commander in-chief two large mess tents, and Howe had sent a number of soldiers to erect them at the rear of the lady's residence. Two windows in the back of the drawing room were taken out, so that the room and the tents would make one large auditorium, at the far end of whicfi was a stage. Burgoyne had spent most of the day superintending the arran g ements, and when he left to put on his dress
178 The Rehearsal. uniform he was well satisfied with himself and more than pleased with Priscilla, who was the originator of I the idea. The tragedy of "Zara," written by the English gen eral, was an exciting one, though full of bombastic lines. It appealed to the soldiers, and made them think that Burgoyne was the best playwriter that ever lived, not even excepting Shakespeare. A journal of the day said in its columns: "Gen. Burgoyne is undoubtedly an able soldier, but soldiers can be made; only Heaven itself can produce a genius such as the one who wrote 'Zara.' It was little wonder, then, that a very expectant throng assembled in the auditorium provided by Mis tress Tracy, and especially as admission was only by invitation. The play was passing off admirably, the players had stumbled very little with their lines, Burgoyne, as the hero, had acquitted hims elf like a professional, and the last act had just commenced, when the canvas of the tent was slightly raised on one side and Dan Daniels crawled into the auditorium. He forced his way
The Rehearsal. 179 among the fashionable ladies and officers to the middle of the aisle, and in a loud voice shouted : "The rebels are coming; they're at it hammer and tongs!" The boy looked so earnest, he seemed so agitated that everyone save those on the stage applauded him and more than one exclaimed that he was the best actor there, for it was the universal opinion that it was a part of the prearranged program. Burgoyne stepped to the front of the stage and or dered Dan to be arrested. "What have I done? If this is the way the king's men treat me, I'll be a rebel, so I will." "Leave him alone; he is harmless," said one of the ladies. "He is spoiling the play," added another. "Dan, come and sit by me," a lady called out, mal
180 The Rehearsal. 'Were you told to come in and say what you did?" "Told? why no; who should t ell me? "Why did you do it? "Didn't the dominie say in South Church that we should honor the king, and that the rebels were not doing so, and were not good m en?" "Did he? But what has that to do with it?" "I wanted to honor the king and when I saw the rebels on Dorchester--" A quick movement of a hand sent Dan sprawling on the floor, and Frank Lowry explained why he had done it: "He was spoiling the play, and besides, was tearing your dress, madam." Turning to Dan, who had struggled to his feet, he said: "Come out with me, I will listen to you, and we may defeat them yet." The half-silly boy follow e d Lowry and was as silent as the grave u n t i l they were out s id e the house. "You can s e e for y our se lf, Master Frank, and then
The Rehearsal. 181 you'll know that I am a king's man; but I'll be a rebel after this." "Don't speak a word, Dan, until you are in my room, or some one may hear you and spoil our sport. We will have some rare sport, never fear." The boy was won over, and not a word did he speak until Frank had him in his room, and then Lowry gave him to understand that he would have to remain there a prisoner until morning, and if he attempted to escape he would surely be killed for disturbing the players and their guests. Dan was frightened, and perfectly willing to stay, and when Lowry returned to the play he interested some of those with whom he talked in Dan's behalf, who was "only a poor, half-witted fellow, anyway." The curtain was drawn on the players, and the last word of "Zara" had been spoken from the stage, when Gen. Howe, on behalf of Mistress Tracy, asked that all would stay for refreshments, after which the col lection would be taken up for the sick and wounded soldiers. Willing hands moved the chairs and benches so
\I ,\4' The Rehearsal. that there could be more sociability, and others acted as amateur waiters and handed round the wine and cakes. When all had been supplied with the wine the gov ernor, raising his glass, said that it was a usual and proper thing to propose the toast-the king-first, but he was getting so u s ed to the talk of fre e Americans that he would depart from that custom and give as a senti ment Mistress Tracy and Mistress Priscilla Beverley. Everyone drank to such a toast, and every glass was empty. "Quick! fill the glasses to their very brim, or we shall be denounced as rebels !" exclaimed the governor, holding out his glass to be filled. He scarcely waited for all to be served before he asked all to rise and drink to the health and prosperity of his majesty, King George. When the glasses were empt y h e g ave a sig h of re lief, and said in a low voice to Mi stress Fairly: "I suppo s e I for go t m y s e lf in th a t fir s t toast, but the king h as gone down all ri ght." "And the king w ill g o d own all ri g h t i n t hi s land
The Rehearsal. 183 very soon if we don't do something to keep him up," added an officer. "Wha t do you insinuate?" "That if we do not occupy Dorchester Hei g hts very soon the rebels will, and then Boston will fall into their hands." "You talk a lot of rubbish, Lord Perc y I The rebels have no more chance of getting a foothold on Dorches ter Heights than we have of flying. "I am not so sure of that "To-morrow, Lord Percy, you shall take a column of engineers and fortify the heights." "Do you mean it?" "It is an order." "I am glad, for I have had my fears about that place." The c olle ction div e rted the att e nti o n of t he officers and l ad ies for n ea rl y a n h our for t h ose who had not brou ght mon e y we r e oc, u p ied in w ri ting p ro m ises to pay, a nd t he n c ame the w<>rk o f counting Priscilla at las t asked How e to c all for silence, a nd then sh e announced that the sum of three hun d r ed
184 The Rehearsal. pounds had been given or promised for the sick and wounded soldiers, and that she would hand it over to Gen. and Gov. Howe for use as he saw best. It really seemed that the applause would never stop, and Burgoyne declared that he thought if the rebels won, which Heaven forbid, the Americans should se lect Priscilla as their queen. Everyone wanted to drink her health, and so fre quent was the excuse made that the sun had risen more than half an hour before it occurred to anyone that it was time to go home. The parting toast was proposed when a terrific roar of artillery startled the guests, and immediately a young officer burst into the room and cried out : "Do you hear that? The rebels have got Dorchester and are firing into the town. A rush was made into the street and to a point where a view could be obtained of Dorchester Heights. A line of formidabl e fortifications frowned on the town; cannons were mounted, and it did not need a strong glass to see that the Americans were gathered in force. I
The Rehearsal. A shot was fired from the fortifications and struck one of the men-of-war in the harbor. "We have lost! we have lost!" exclaimed the gov ernor. "Not yet, your excellency ; you have promised me the favor of occupying the heights," said Lord Percy, "and I ask the renewal of that promise." "Select a column of three thousand men and storm the rebel works before nightfall !" ordered Howe, and Percy stroked his chin and gave a grunt of satisfaction. ,.
CHAPTER XVIII. PRISONERS. When the fumes of the wine had somewhat evap orated and the brains of the governor and his staff were clearer, it was seen that the British had been fooled and the Americans were masters of the situa tion. Lord Percy set about his task of selecting a column of men who should drive the daring rebels from the heights, even though every man in the column was sacrificed. Percy was just the man for the work, and Howe showed good judgment in the selection he had made. In less than two hours the column, consisting of two thousand four hundred men, started to carry out the behest of the governor. Percy took his men to Castle Island and announced that he would make the assault in the afternoon. While he was engaged in getting together his men
Prisoners. Gov. Howe was having some very serious thoughts, and he sent for Burgoyne to consult with him. ''What do ,you think?" he asked the general. "Treachery." "You mean that some one inside the town was in league with the rebels?" "It is certain." "But who could it be?" "Think how we have been fooled, it makes me mad ; it does more, it makes me hate myself for a fool !" "What have you got to do with it?" "Think it over. I see it all plainly. It is not the first time man has been fooled by a pair of pretty eyes." "What in the name of goodness do you insinuate ?" "I hate myself for being an accomplice." "You? Is it possible that you are the traitor?" "I might as well have been. I tell you, Howe, we have all been fooled, you as well as the rest of us." "Speak out, man, you exasperate me !" "Do you remember that day when Mistress Beverley sent off the roc ke ts on the Common?"
188 Prisoners. "Ha ha ha Of course I do. What a glorious girl she is! I wish I were younger. Full of life. I say, Burgoyne, what a magnificent night we spent as her guests!" "Yes; fools that we were." "What do you mean? I admit that it was unfortu nate that we were reveling instead of watching the rebels." "That was the object of the rehearsal and party." "I am getting tired of your riddles. Say what is in your mind, and have done with it, or I shall begin to think that the wine still lingers in your brain." "Listen, then. When that girl--" "Speak respectfully of our hostess of last evening, or do not speak at all." Burgoyne bit his lips and hesitated a moment. He as well as the governor had been under the charm of the beautiful Priscilla, and it was hard to speak against her. "When Mistress Beverley fired the rockets, how many did she light?"
Prisoners. 189 "Four, I think you said, for you defended her when she was accused of signaling the enemy." "More fool me. Yes, she set off four, and then threw the rest back a g ain to that idiot. By the way, I begin to think Dan is no idiot at all, but a dangerous rebel in disguise, or else why should he be on the Common with rockets just at that particular time? And how came he to have the: money to buy them?" "Do not talk in riddles." "Four rockets were fired, and that very day Mistress Priscilla sent out the invitations to her party for the fourth of the month, and while we were reveling and making fools of ourselves, the enemy was seizing the most important point." "But it could not all have been done in one night." "No; the preparations were made daily, most likely, and that was why so much powder and shot was wasted on the opposite side of the town. We were blinded. But every officer was invited to--" "Enjoy your play, which you worried me into allow ing to be performed "Our attent ion was diverted, and that gave the
Prisoners. enemy time to get the formidable earthworks ready. Can't you see it all?" "Then you think that Mistress Priscilla and Mis tress Tracy--" "No, no; I'd stake my life on Mistress Tracy's loy alty. She was duped the same as we were." "You think that an innocent girl, an inoffensive young lady, charming as Venus, beautiful as---" "Spare me, I beseech you. The more beautiful the more dangerous. I think that she either originated the idea and carried it out, or else was duped as well as us." "But who could have duped her?" "Frank Lowry!" The name fell on the governor's ears like a clap of thunder. He began to think that perhaps Burgoyne was right, but, if so, how had it been possible for Lowry to communicate with the enemy, and how could it be that he could formulate such a deep plot and carry it out so completely? The more Howe reflected the more puzzled he be-
Prisoners. came, but a very grave doubt had arisen in his mind, and do what he would it grew in intensity. "You think that I ought to arrest the lady and Lowry?" "Yes ; lock the stable door after the horse has been stolen. You know I warned you long ago." "I know you did ; but you were satisfied that Mis tress Priscilla was innocent about the rockets." "Her bright eyes fooled me." "That is right; you are a worthy son of Adam. He, if I do not mistake, blamed the woman Eve for his deceit and disobedience." "Taunt me if you please. I fear that it is too late to save Boston." Howe called for his orderly, who immediately en tered the room. "Send Lieut. Bingley to me." The orderly saluted and withdrew, and in a few min utes Bingley entered, and the painful silence was broken. "Bingley, take a company and arrest Mistress Tracy--"
Prisoners. "What for?'' Gen. Burgoyne asked; but a withering look from his superior silenced him, and no answer was given. "Arrest Mistress Tracy, Mistress Priscilla Beverle}' and Frank Lowry. Bring them to me as speedily as you can." Bingley colored to the roots of his hair. He had no fancy for the work, and Burgoyne ima g ined that it was only given to his cousin because of the relationship, and in order to humiliate himself. "Waste no time about it." "Your excellency, the ladies were up all last night, and will doubtless be sleeping now." "I ordered you to arrest them. If they are sleeping they must be awakened, and, mind you, lieutenant, there must be no shirking of your duty." An hour passed before the ladies were admitted to the room where they had often been honored guests, but now were prisoners. "I am sorry to have had to take this course, ladies, but duty is inexorable. I have to ask you some dis-
Prisoners. 193 agreeable questions, and I feel sure that you will an swer them and clear up this strange coincidence." Howe bowed very low as he spoke, and the ladies courtesied as was the fashion. "Are you aware, ladies, that the enemy has fortified Dorchester Heights, and that it was done while we were all at your house last night?" "I am not surprised to hear it," Priscilla answered in a low but not apologetic voice. "Perhaps you do not realize what that means." "Will you tell us?" asked Mistress Tracy, "and then it may be that we shall be better able to understand why we have been exposed to this indignity." "It means that we have not one chance in a thou sand of holding Boston. I fear me that we shall have to evacuate at once "Can they not be dislodged?" asked the elder lady. "Lord Percy thinks they can ; but I am too old a soldier to have any such idea. No, ladies, the enemy has caught me in a trap." "But I fail to see what we have to do with that." "You invited us to spend the night in social festivi-
194 Prisoners. ties at your house, Mistress Tracy; and perhaps you will tell me that it was a coincidence that the invitation should be for the fourth, and that a few days before you-I include you both-signaled the enemy by firing four rockets from the Common--" Mistress Tracy gave a long gasp, as though she were about to faint. She would not betray Priscilla, though she now saw that she had evidently been used as a tool, or worse, she, a good Tory, whose entire sympathy was with the British. Priscilla had been seated, but now she rose, and clinching her hands tightly, stood facing the governor. She had to hold her breath a few moments to steady her nerves. Then in a clear, low and melodious voice she said: "Your excellency, I am alone to blame. I give you my word that Mistress Tracy is entirely innocent. It is true that I fired four rockets, I will not try to evade anything. I knew that Dan would be on the Common with them. I am sorry for him. He had no knowledge why they were sold to him; but all was carefully planned, and the boy told the truth. I fired
Prisoners. 19S four because that was to be the date of the rehearsal. I go further and tell you that the only reason you were all invited last night was to divert your attention from the Colonial army--" "You acted with the rehels, then?" "They are patriots, not rebels ; but call them what you like, they are my countrymen, and I am proud if I have been able to serve them even so slightly." "You say this, knowing that the town will fall into their hands ; that the protection of the soldiers will be withdrawn?" "That was why I did it." "Who planned this conspiracy?" "Excuse me, there could be no conspiracy when only one was implicated, and that one was myself. I, and no one else, planned it except," and she gave a very low courtesy "that your excellency commanded the of ficers to leave the rebels-that was what you saidalone for one night." "Do you know the consequences of your admis sion?''
Prisoners. "Yes; I have thought of that, and know that you have the power to have me shot for what I have done." "Did you think of that before you acted as you have done?" "Yes, yes I I knew what I was doing, and am not afraid of the penalty I shall have to pay." "Your uncle-did he know of it?" "Uncle Robert? How thoroughly absurd! He is so loyal to the foreigner, I beg pardon, to the British that he would shoot me himself if he knew what I have done. No; uncle is a Tory. But my father-if he can see me from his heavenly home now-will say, 'God bless you, Priscilla, you have done well I' Voices were heard in the anteroom and louder than all the others was that of Frank Lowry. "I tell you, I will go in, even if I have to smash in the door. It is impossible that Gen. Howe can really be guilty of punishing innocent ladies." Howe crossed to the door and threw it open. Bing ley stood in the center of the room with his prisoner, Frank Lowry. "Your excellency, I am here a prisoner, where often
Prisoners. 197 I have been a guest," said Lowry, "and I ask you, by what right you dare to talk of shooting innocent women?" It was a bold speech, and Howe bit his lips. He had no idea that he had spoken loud enough to be heard outside. "Come into this room, prisoner, and then we can talk, though I will not be questioned by you." I The three prisoners stood b efo re the governor, and Lowry at once plunged into the subject "Mistress Tracy is as innocent as a babe. I made use of her, as I did of Mistress Priscilla Beverley to aid my friends. If there is any guilt in the matter, it is all mine--" "Not so," Priscilla spoke up; "I am guilty. Let me bear it. I am well able, and if it be Heaven's will that I shall be shot, I know that it will be the salvation of the American cause." Mistress Tracy was sobbing like a child. She was so frightened that it was impossibl e for her to speak, but when Lowry testified to her innocence she looked at him with a grateful smile.
Prisoners. When she was able to control herself she gasped out: "I am innocent. I gave my money to help the British, and now I am treated this way. I shall go mad! Is there no one who will vouch for my loyalty?" The governor, kind-hearted as he was reputed to be, saw that her emotion was real, and knew that it pro ceeded from inocence, said to her : "You are free, Mistress Tracy. Whatever these have done, I am sure you had no part in it." She did not wait a moment. She did not look at either Priscilla nor Lowry, but hurried away from the Province House as speedily as her horses could gallop. "Lowry, I am "deceived in you," said Howe. "I trusted you; and even when you were accused of res cuing an old man and his daughter from my soldiers on the Common I did not believe it ; but now I know that you are guilty. I have issued orders for the man and his daughter to be arrested, and also for Jasper Cranmer of the Hay Market, to be taken prisoners for harboring them."
Prisoners. 199 "It is only what I expected. Are there no others dangerous to the king's peace?" "Do not exasperate me, sir." "I have no wish to do so. I have only labored for my country, as you have for yours, and a day will come, your excellency, when you and your countrymen will admit that we acted just right." "You will not live to see it, for, if I mistake not, you will be shot before many days are over." "Perhaps so, and, again, perhaps not. But leave that aside, I ask you not to punish an innocent girl. Allow Mistress "Bever ley to follow Mistress Tracy to her home." "She has confessed." "Confessed ? I am ashamed of your manhood I Gen. Howe, is it chivalrous to take advantage of a girl's fright?" "Frank, do not plead for me, I have no desire to plead innocence. I am guilty, more, far more than you are." An int erruption took place, and Howe, having heard fresh evidence of Lowy's successful communicating
!200 Prisoners. with Washington, ordered the two to be placed in the town prison, there to await trial and what would fol\ fow as a natural course, condemnation. "'1tcep up your courage, Priscilla, all is not lost yet," :said Lowry, as he was led away. I "Be brave, my noble boy, God bless you I" added Priscilla.
CHAPTER XIX. TRIUMPH. Gen. Howe visited Castle Island to see the prepara tions made by Lord Percy for the assault on the Amer ican fortifications, and expressed himself as being Nell pleased At the hour appointed for the assault a fierce stonn arose and prevented the British troops from moving. In the American lines the greatest enthusiasm pre vailed Washington visited the trenches and exhorted his men It was the anniv e rsary of the Boston massacre, and the soldi e rs wer e eager to avenge the deaths of their countr y m e n A battl e was momentarily expected; but the storm had made the harbor impassable. All that night and all the foll o wing day th e wind blew a fierce hurricane, and Percy cur sed his bad fortune. But th e storm gav e th e Am e ricans the opportunity to
202 Triumph. still further extend their lines of earthworks, and Dor chester Heights became impregnable. Howe summoned his staff and consulted with them on the course to be adopted. "There is no particular hurry," said Burgoyne, who was somewhat of a fatalist; "the stars may favor us later, and we have food for some time." "In my opinion," said Manvers, "the first thing to do is to try the prisoners. There are too many of them, and they are eating up the food we may need." "You mean tha~ they should be condemned?" "Put them against a wall and shoot the whole she bang," repli e d Manver s coarsely. "And bring on our h e ads reprisals," Howe said. "If you are afraid, y ou ou ght not to have accepted the position." "Hot heads never w in battles," Howe retorted, and Manvers f e lt that the word s were an insult, but he was not in a posi t i o n t o re sen t th em. "I a g r ee with Manvers abou t trying the prisoners. I think th a t i f a few of the m were cond e mned the en emy might be tempted to try and save t he m by leav-
Triumph. 103 ing their earthworks and giving us a chance to meet them in the open." "Lowry has already been condemned to death," said Howe; "what more is required?" "The girl must die with him, or else you will be ac cused of false chivalry. In my opinion, she is the more guilty of the two." "She has been found guilty of being a spy, and her fate remains in my hand; but she is a frail and beauti ful girl, and I shall not sign her death warrant." "Bewitched you !" "My mother was a woman; and no woman shall ever die through act of mine, if I can help it," Howe said, emphatically. "When does Lowry die?" "On the tenth." "Your soft heart will liberate him before that date." "Gentlemen, I beg to remind you that I have the honor to act in the king's name, and what I do I will answer for to his majesty, and not to you. Burgoyne, have you heard of Bingley?" "No."
204 Triumph. "I have. He led a desperate charge on the enemy's pickets and lost several of his men ; then, with that dar ing which we admire, if shown on our side, but con demn if it is on the other, he disguised himself and entered the American lines and was making sketches of the fortifications when he was taken prisoner." "Great Heaven! A Bingley captured! A Bingley a spy! It is horrible!" exclaimed Burgoyne. "I think he could not be called anything else but a spy ; but he has been condemned to be shot--" "Shot as a spy! Impossible I They would never dare!" "But we are going to shoot Lowry as a spy." "That is different." "You cannot convince Gen. Washington that there is any difference. But I have a communication from the reb e l commander, whom I am beginning to re spect, and he offers to exchange Bingley for Lowry." "And you have consented?" "No." "It will be murder if Bingley is shot." "He will not be shot unless Lowry is, and then--"
Triumph. "Is not a Bingley, a member of one of England's greatest families, of more consequence than a common provincial?" exclaimed Burgoyne, angrily. "I have informed Washington that Lowry will not be shot until the tenth, and Bingley is safe until then." It looked very much as though Burgoyne would fo ment trouble among the British officers, and Gen. Wil liam Howe had the great~st task of that critical time to calm the discontent. The days passed away, and no move had been made by the British because Howe saw that he was caught in a trap, and was powerless. The prisons were full of patriots, who forgot cau tion, and declared that the situation pleased them, but though many were condemned to death none was executed. Communications were being made daily between the mericans and British, and on March 17, 1776, an ar rangement was consummated, by which the British should be allowed to retire unmolested on condition that no executions should take place and the town not burned.
206 Triumph. The British Army went on board the fleet and sailed out of the harbor. Nearly fifteen hundred loyalists left their homes and fortunes to escape with Howe, fearing the vengeance of the patriots, but Mistress Tracy was not of that number. She had grown so fond of Priscilla Beverley that when the news reached her that her young friend was in danger of being shot as a spy, she renounced her allegiance and openly declared that henceforth all her money, her influence and position should be used to further the cause of the Americans. Another notable convert to the American side was Robert Beverley, who first began by admiring Washington because of the grandeur of his nature as shown by the sending of the letters unopened which had been in his power, and then he had learned to esteem his niece, and her condemnation was the last straw. There was joy in the American camp when it be came known that the Tory, Robert Beverley, had openly joined the patriots, and a message of congratu lation was sent to him from Washington. On the morning of March 18th an advance into
Triumph. the town was made by the pa t riots. Almost at sunrise the strains of a drum corps were heard, and imme diately the streets were crowded with people, ready to welcome the men who had for ten months besieged the town. The foremost soldiers of the army of the people consisted of a detachment of the Boys of Liberty, the commander-in-chief declaring that though they were mostly boys in years, they were veterans in fact, and that the banner under which they fought entitled them to precedence. How proudly did young Benjamin Pierce march at the head of his detachment, and how delighted was he to hear that Congress had resolved to give the Boys of Liberty a standing in the army, and give to their officers a duly certified commission, for up to that time the or g anization had been irregular, and its officers held rank only by courtesy. When the Province House was reached, Gen. Thomas, who had been sent as Washington's repre sentative address e d the peo p le, and d e clared that the first work when the general ent e recl ~t the h ea d of
208 Triumph. the triumphant army, would be the opening of Boston to those who had been exiled, and the restoration of the town to some of its former glory. Great as was the welcome given to the Boys of Liberty, it fell far short of the exultation which broke forth when, on the twentieth of that momentous month, Gen. Washington made a formal entry into the calamity stricken town. "The prisoners !" shouted some one in the crowd as Washington passed, and he immediately ordered that all military prisoners should be at once released. Wild excitement prevailed when Robert Beverley ascended to the steps of the Province House and had his hand grasped by Washington, but when a few minutes later Frank Lowry and Priscilla Beverley stood in front of the great general, it seemed as though the heavens were rent by the tremendous cheering they received. Washington was overcome with emotion and could scarcely speak, but when he took Priscilla by the hand and turning to the crowd, said : "To this lady you owe the redemption of the town,"
Triumph. the cheering was so long continued that he had c:;.2portunity to calm his excited nerves. "Men of Boston, we have won a great victory. For ten months you have patiently borne the horrors of a sie g e, but to-day the country acknowledg e s your worth, and when the news reaches Congress the grandeur of your patience, the magnificence of your patriotism will be appreciated and the name of Boston will again be synonymous with that of Liberty. To the Boys of Liberty you owe much, to the two young people by my side, Lowry and Mistress 'Beverley, you owe a deep debt of gratitude, and as long as the story of the siege of Boston is told so long will their deeds stand out in glorious luster." Mistress Tracy was awaiting the liberation of the two brave patriots, and in h e r c a rria g e they drove to her r e sid e nce, where they were treated as though they w ere of royal blood. The lady would not listen to any apologies. She de clared that they had done just ri g ht, and that she had but one re g r e t, and that was that she h a d been a sym pathiz e r of the British for so long; but Lowry replied
~10 Triumph. that it should be a crown of glory on her head, for by that sympathy they had been enabled to help the pa triots and lead to the evacuation of the town by the British. "In other words, my dear friends, you made use of me to enable you to enact the exciting and realistic drama of 'Fooling the Enemy.'" The whole country went wild with excitement. From all quarters came congratulations, votes of thanks and messages of encouragement. Congress ordered a gold medal to be struck in honor of Washington, who had been victorious over an enemy "for the first time put to flight." The farmers had triumphed over the drilled veterans of the British Army, the amateur officers with no uni forms gayly bedecked with gold lace, and no diamond hilted swords by their sides, had proved that in the sacred cause of Liberty they were the equals, nay, the superiors, of th e very cream of the British aristocracy. A new era had commenced ; a glorious advance had been made by the pioneers of Liberty! The young sol diers who haa enlisfed in the ranks of the American
Triumph. 211 Army had proved that valor does not depend upon age, and history will record that the Boys of Liberty were worthy of all credit. But while we hail with enthusiasm the deeds of valor performed on the battlefield, w hile we reverence the names of Washington, Putnam, Thom;-;is and the rest who contributed so much toward the ; uccess of the siege of Boston, let us not forget the secret work which rendered that success possible, and let us ever remember with pride The Fair Rebel who so ably and artistically aided in Fooling the Enemy I THE END.
THE CREAM OF JUVENILE F1CTION THE BOYS' OWN T LIBRARY~ A Selection of the But Boob for Boys by the Most Popular Authors ~HE titles in this splendid juvenile series hae been selected with care, and aa a re-ult all the stories can be relied upon for their excellence. They are bright and sparklillg; not over-burdened with lc:n,thy d~ption11, but brimful of advm ture from the first pago ta ti. laat-in fact they are Juat the kind of yarns that appeal atzongly to the healthy boy who is fond of thrilling ezploits and deeds of heroism. Among the auth01'11 whose oamee ue included in the Boys' Own Library are Horatio Alger, Jr,, B.dwa.rd S. Ellis, James Otis, Capt. Ralph Bonehill, Burt L-. Standish, Gilbert Patten and Frank H. Con. Terse. SPEOAL PEA TURES OF THE BOYS' OWN LIBRARY .1'-.JI. All the boob in this aeries are copyrighted, printed on good paper, larre type, illtlllttated, printed wrappeTs, handsome doth covera stamped in hike and arold-fiftoen special cover deaig-ns. J50 Titles-Prkc, pu Volume, 75 unts For aale by all bookMllers, or sent, postpaid, on rec:eipt of prlco by the publisher, DAVID McKAY, ,m SO. WASHINGTON SQUARE, PHILADEI.PHIA. PA. (i)
HORA.TIO ALGER, Jr. One of the best known and most popular writers, Good, dean, healthy stories for the American Boy. Adventures of a Telegraph Boy Dean Dunham Erie Train Boy, The Five Hundred Dollar Check ,From Canal Boy to President From Fa.rm Boy to Sena.tor J3a.ckwoods Boy, The C. B. ASHLEY. :Mark Stanton Ned Newton NewYo!.'k:Bo:, Tom Brace Tom Tracy Walter Griffith Young Acrobat; One of the best stories ever written on hunting, trapping and ad,. .f'enture in the West, after the Custer Massacre'. Gilbert, the Boy Trapper ANNIE ASHMORE. A splendid story, recording the adventures of a boy with smugglers. Smuggler's Cave, The CAPT. RALPH BONEHILL. Capt. Bonehill is in the very front rank as an author of boys' stories. These are two of his best works. Jreka, the Boy Conjurer Tour of the Zero Club WALTER F. BRUNS. An excellent story of adventure in the celebrated Sunk Lands of .Missouri and Kansas. In the Bunk Lands FRANK H. CONVERSE. This writer has established a. splendid reputation as a. boys' author, and although his books usually command ia.26 per volume, we offer the following a.t a. more popular price. Gold of Flat Top :Mountain Happy-Go-Lucky Jack Heir to a :Million In Search of An Unknown Ba.co In Southern Seas :Mystery of a Dia.mond That Treasure Voyage to the Gold 0oaa, DAVID McKAY, Publisher, Philadelphia. (ii)
HARRY COLLINGWOOD. One of England'n most successful writers of stories for boys, Bia best story is Pirate Island GEORGE H. COOMER. Two books we highly recommend. One is a splendid story of a~ venture at sea, when American ships were in every port in the world, and the other tells of adventures while the first railway in the Andea Mountains was being built. Boys in the Forece.atle Old :Man of the Mountain WILLIAM DALTON. Three stories by one of the very greatest writers for boys. The stories deal with boys' adventures in India, China and Abyssinia. These books are strongly reco=ended for boys' reading, as they con tain a large amount of historical information. Tiger Prince White Elephant War Tiger EDW.6.11.D S. ELLIS. These books are considered the best works this well-known writer ever produced. No better reading for bright young Americans. Arthur Helmuth Check No. 2134 From Tent to White Houae Perils of the Jungle On the Trail of Geronimo White :Muatang GEORGE MANVILLE FENN. For the past fifty years Mr. Fenn has been writing books for boys and popular fiction. His books are jll8tly popular throughout the English-speaking world. We publish the following select list of his boys' books, which we consider the best he ever wrote. Commodore Junk Dingo Boys Weathercock Golden Magnet Grand Chaco ENSIGN CLARKE FITCH, u.s.N. A graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, and tho roughly familiar with all naval matters. Mr. Fitch has devoted him self to literature, and has written a series of books for boys that every DAVID McKAY, Publisher, Philadelphia. (ill)
7onng American should reacl. His tROriea are full of very i.ntel-eating information about the navy, training llhipe, etc. Bound for Annapolia Clif, the Naval Cadet Oruise of th 'l'ralninc Bhip Jrrom Port to Port Stra:nae Oruiae, A WILLIAM llIVRILA. V Ga.&. VDON. An author of world-wide popularity. Mr. Graydon ia esaentially a friend of young people, and we offer herewith ten of hi.a belt works, wherein he relate& a great dinrsityof inteNllting adnnture, in 't'ari.om prts of the world, combined with aoclll'aie hiatorlcal data. Bnkher of Oawnpore, The In :Barraolta and Wigwam Camp lD. the Snow, The tn 'ort and Praon Campaigning with Braddook Cf7l)togram, The .TunsJM and Traitors Jla.Jah'II :rm--., The White Xlnc of Afriea, The From Lake to Wilderness LfflUT. FREDJUUCK. GAWWl9GN, tJ. & A.. Every American boy take1 a klffl interest in the affairs of Wflflt Point. No more capable writer on thi.a popular 1ub)ect oould be found than Lieut. Garrison, who vividly describe, the life, adventures and unique incidents that have oocnrred in that great institution-in theee famous West Point stories. Off for West Point On Guard Oadet's Honor, A West Point Treuure, The West Point Rivals, The HE.ADON HI.LL. The hnnt for ~old has always 1-n a popular subject for conside.ra tion, and Mr. Hill hi$ added a 1plendid story on the subject in this romance of the Klondyke. speo,re Gold HENRY HARRISON LEWIS. Mr. Lewis is a graduate of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and bu written a g.reat many books for boys. Among his best wor.ks are the following citles--tbe subjects inclmle a vast eeries of adnnturea in all parte of tb e world. The hist.orioal data ia correct, and they ahould be read by all boys, for the excellent informa.tion they contain. Centreboa.rd .Tim King of the Isla.nd Jl,lidahipma.n Merrill l!ln.aign :Merrill Sword and Pen Valley of l(yater:,, The Yankee B07s in Japan DAVID McKAY, Publisher, Philadelphia. (iv)
UE'l7T. LIONEL LOUNSBERRY. A of boob embracing many adventures under our famous 1lanl oommanders and with our army during the War of 1812 and the Oiri1 War. Founded on sound history, these books are written for boys, with the idea of combining pleaslire with prol"t; to cutivate a fondnNI for atndy-:r,e.n.Jly of what has been accomplished \>7 our army and navy. Oade$ Xtt Oarey C"1),ain Carey XU Carers Protege Lie11t. Oarey'il Luck Out WUh Comlnodore Deoatur Randy, the Pilot Tom Truxton's School Days Tom 'l'ruxton's Ocean Trip 'l'reasure of the Golden Crater Won at West Polnt Bll.001t8 '.tll:~RlB.ICK. Four splendid books of adventure on i,ea and land, by this well known writer for boys. Giant I1lander1, The Row Re Won Nau.re-a Young Nobleman Rival Battalions W~TEa MOB.JU& This charming story cont.ins iliirty-two chapters of just the sort of school life that chann.s the boy readers. B ob Porter P,t Lakeview Academy 8T A.l!ILBY :MOR.JI.IS. Mr. Norris.is without a rival as a.writer of "Circus Stories" for boys. Theee four booka a.re fnll of thrllling adventul88, but good, wholaome reading for yoUJlg Amerioans. Phil the 8.howman Young Showman's Plu.ok, The Youn& Showman's llival.a, The Young Showman's Triumph LIEVT .JAKES K. ORTON. When a boy has read one of Lieut. Orton's books, it requires no urging to induce him to read the others. Not a dull page in any of them. Beach Boy Joe Lui Chance Mine Secret Oba.rt, The Toni Havens with the White Squadron DAVID McKAY, Pnbliaher, Philadelphia. (Y)
JAMES OTIS. Mr. Otis is known by nearly every American boy, and needs no introduction here. The following copyrights are among his best : Chaaed Through Norway Inland Waterways Unprovoked Mutiny Wheeling for Fortune Reuben Green's Adventures at Yale GILBERT PA.TTEN. Mr. Patten has had the distinction of having his books adopted by the U. S. Government for all naval libraries on board our war ships. While aiming to avoid the extravagant and sensational, the stories contain enough thrilling incidents to please the lad who loves action and adventure. In the Rockapur stories the description of their Baseball and Football Games and other contests with rival clubs and teams make very exciting and absorbing reading; and few boys with warm blood 1h their veins, having once begun the perusal of one of these books, will willingly l&y it down till it is finished. Boy Boomers Boy Cattle King Boy from the West Don Kirke's Mine Jud and Joe Rock11pur Nine, The Rockspur Eleven, The Rock11pur Rivals, The ST. GEORGE R.ATRBOR.NE. Mr. Rathbome' s stories for boys have the peculiar charm of dealing with localities and conditions with which he is thoroughly familiar. The scenes of these excellent stories are along the Florida. coast and on the western prairies. Canoe and Camp Fire :Paddling Under :Palmettos Rival Canoe Boys Sunset Ranch Chuma of the Frairie Young Range Riders Gulf Cruisers Shifting Winds AR.THUR. SEWELL. An American story by an .American author. It relates how a Yankee boy overcame many obstacles in school and out. Thoroughly interesting from start to finish. Gay Dashleigh's Academy Daya DAVID McKAY, Publisher, Philadelphia. (vi}
CAPT. DAVID SOUTHWICK. An exceptionally good story of frontier life among the Indians in the far West, during the early settlement period Jack Wheeler The Famous Frank Merriwell Stories. BURT L. STANDISH. No modern series of tales for boys and youths has met with anything like the cordial reception and popularity ac corded to the Frank Merriw ell Stories. There must be a reason for this and there is. Frank Merri well, as portrayed by the author, is a jolly whole soule d, honest, courageous American la
ARTHUR M. WINFIELD. One of the most popular authors of boys' books. Here are three of his best. )lark Dale's Stage Venture Young Bank Clerk, The Young Brid,:e Tender, The GA 'VLE WINTBll:TON. This very interesting story relates the tria.ls and triumphs of a Young .American Actor, inolnding the solution of a very puzzling mystery. Young .A.ctor, The ER.NEST A. YOUNG. This book is not a treatiffll on sportis, aa ihe title would indicate, but relates a series of thrilling adventures among boy campers in the woods of Maine. :Boats, Bats and Bioyclee DAVID McKAY, Publlillte:r, Philadelphia. (Till)