Boys of Liberty Library A new series of splendid tales of the wonderful and stirring adventures of boys who fought in The Revolutionary War, The French and Indian Wars, and Naval Battles of 1812. The stories are written in an intensely interesting style, and no boy can read them without being aroused to the highest pitch of patriotic enthusiasm. We give herewith a list of titles now ready. Read the first and you will want to read all the others. Uniform with this volume in size, style, and price. Eac h, postpaid, 50 eta Paul Revere . The First Shot for Liberty Fooling the Enemy . Into the Jaws of Death The Hero of Ticonderoga On to Quebec . Fighting Hal Marion and His Men The Young Ambassador The Young Guardsman. The Cruise of the Lively Bee The Tory Plot . In Buff and Blue Washington's Young Spy Under Greene's Banner Captain t.f the Minute Men The Quaker Spy Fighting for Freedom By Order of the Colonel A Call to Duty In Glory's Van The King's Messenger Dashing Paul Jones From Midshipman to Co=odore The Cruise of the Essex . By John De Morgan. By John De Morgan. By John De Morgan By John De Morgan. By John De Morgan. By John De Morgan. By John De Morgan By John De Morgan. By John De Morgan. By John De Morgan. By John De Morgan. By T. C. Harbaugh. By T. C. Harbaugh. By T. C. Harbaugh. By T. C. Harbaugh By Harrie Irving Hancock. By Lieut. Lounsberry By Lieut. Lounsberry. B y Lieut. Lounsberry. By Lieut Lounsberry By Lieut Lounsberry. By C ap t Frank Ralph. By Frank Sheridan By Frank Sheridan By Frank Sheridan
11 Men, Boys of Liberty, we must avenge our fallen leader. Follow me." (See page 199)
ON TO QUEBEC OR WITH MONTGOMERY IN CANADA BY JOHN DE MORGAN AUTHOR OF "Paul Revere," "The Young Ambassador," "The First Shot for Liberty," "The Young Guardsman," etc. PHILADELPHIA DAVID McKAY, PUBLISHER 610 SoUTH WASHINGTON SQUARE
eopyright, 1904 By STREET &: SMITH On to Quebec
ON TO Q!)EBEC. CHAPTER I. A PRISONER. "Halt I Throw up your hands. Now, then, look lively, or I'll run you through with my sword." What could I do but obey? Alone, unarmed, a boy in a street of a city under martial law, and suddenly confronted by a sergeant and squad of English soldiers. I held my hands above my head and tried to look brave. My knees trembled, and I was afraid I might fall down, and that I should have hated to do. "What's your name?" the sergeant asked. "Abram Billington," I answered truthfully, for I felt that I was known and, therefore, subterfuge would not help me.
6 A Prisoner "A Boy of Liberty, eh?" "Eldest son of Abram Billington, farmer," I replied. "What are you doing in Boston?" "Visiting friends." "Of course. I suppose you will say that you have not been to Charlestown?" "I have just come from there." "What were you doing there ?" "I went to see my aunt." "I think you had better tell that to the captain." "Where is he?" "None of your sauciness; you are a prisoner and must come with us." "If I must I suppose I must, but I shall not be sorry to quit your company." "You won't, eh? Let me tell you that you may find I worse company before you leave Boston." "That is quite likely, seeing there are so many Eng lish in the city." I have no doubt I was impertinent, but I was young and spoke just as the thoughts came across my mind. 7
A Prisoner. 7 I had no love for the English, as everybody knew, and it was also true that I was one of the Boys of Liberty, and had been with them in more than one skirmish with the enemy. I had seen the Battle of Lexington ; I had been with the brave men on Bunker Hill, and so I had learned something of the rudiments of war. I knew that no one was safe from persecution in Boston, and resented any interference as any high spirited boy would. "You are saucy, young imp of darkness ; I've a good mind to--" "Kill me as young Keenan was killed--" "What do you know about him ?" "Nothing much, only I was told that he met some soldiers near his home, and when his father looked for him in the morning he found his dead body near the house. "What did he die of?" "A bayonet thrust. I know that you soldiers rule the city, but it will not be for long." "That is what you think; well, young imp, you are
8 A Prisoner. wrong. But I am not going to hurt you, I am only going to take you to a place where you will be safe "Then it will not be in Boston." "What do you mean ?" "I thought I spoke plain enough, but if you want plainer speaking I can give it to you, only take care, for it does not always pay to have your character shouted out in the street.'' A blow on the head with the butt of a musket felled me to the ground and I lost consciousness; or, I sup pose I did, for, when I began to remember things, I saw I was in a strange place, and one that I had not seen before. I was in a room apparently a few feet below the level of the street, for my ears, naturally very quick, 'detected the sound of footfalls outside, and they seemed to be on a level with my shoulder as I stood upright. I stretched myself and tried to recall the events which had preceded my awakening. I put my hand to my head and found that a hand kerchief had been bound tightly across my forehead, and I imagined that the bandage was the cause of my
A Prisoner. headache. I tore the handkerchief off, and then a tiny stream of blood trickled over my hand. That caused me to remember the blow, and I thought that I had been injured, so I replaced the bandage and sat down to think. I had to sit on the floor, for there was no furniture of any kind in the room. I looked about me and to my dismay found that there was no window, and only a small door which I did not doubt was well secured. I tried to open the door just out of curiosity, and found, as expected, that it was fastened on the outside. I wa s a prisoner. What had I done to make imprisonment necessary or advisable? I had been impertinent to the soldiers, but what of that? I had but one fear, and that, as soon as it shaped itself in my mind, made my blood run cold, but only for a moment, for at once the coldness turned into fever heat and my blood seemed to boil.
10 A Prisoner. I had no means of knowing how long I had been un conscious. Had I talked in my sleep? Had I divulged any secrets? That was the one thing which made me suffer alternately from cold and heat. Why? Gen. Washington was in command of the Colonial army and was at Cambridge, from which point he di rected affairs, and Boston was practically invested. The army was arranged in three divisions. The right wing, under Gen. Ward, held Roxbury; the left, commanded by Gen. Charles Lee, rested at Prospect Hill, near Charleston N eek; the center being with Washington at Cambridge. The Colonials had men enough, but the sinews of war were wanting and money was very scarce. I heard it stated, as a positive fact, that at the time of the bat tle of Bunker Hill the whole army had but twenty seven half-barrels of powder. Gen. Washington had heard that the British had great quantities of powder stored at Charlestown, but
A Prisoner. II could get no direct evidence of the location of the stores. Paul Revere had declared that if its hiding place could be found he would head a few daring men and attempt to seize the powder. My friend, Revere, suggested that if some one could enter the town and use caution, he might be able to locate the much-needed powder. I had an aunt living at Charlestown and twice had visited her since Gage had proclaimed martial law, without molestation. Revere knew this, and suggested that I be given the important mission. I was full of boyish enthusiasm and accepted the work with gladness. I spent two days in Charlestown and wandered about the place with my aunt, keeping my eyes and ears open. I had not been very long in Charlestown before I knew just where the stores were kept, but I wanted to know more. If I could find the easiest way to reach the store house my information would be more valuable.
A Prisoner. I was able to obtain considerable important matter, and I prided myself on my sharpness. Unfortunately I went out after dark, intending to take merely a stroll, when I was held up by the sol diers, and, instead of being able to give Washington some really valuable information, I was thrown into a dungeon. How much of my work had become known to my jailers during my unconsciousness? That was what troubled me. I realized that if I had talked even in delirium I should be treated as a spy and would have to face the penalty-death. I was not afraid of death, but I did not want to be hanged as a spy. I would rather die on the battlefield fighting for liberty and my country. My thoughts were interrupted by the entrance of a soldier who brought me a platter on which was a piece of hard, dry bread and a mug of water. I had never had so frugal a meal before, but I was hungry and so ate the bread ravenously and asked for more.
A Prisoner. IJ The soldier, who had not opened his mouth to speak, left the room, and in a few moments returned with another chunk of bread, this time a little softer than the first. I thanked him, but he was so deaf that he took no notice. I felt better after I had eaten the bread and drank the water, and began to question my jailer. He put his hand to his ear and I shouted my ques tions, but he only shook his head and his face showed that he had not heard a word of what I had said. I have often wondered whether he was really deaf or only acting; if the latter he did not gain anything, for I was not going to shout so that outsiders could hear my questions and, perhaps, use them against me. The man left, and once more I was alone.
CHAPTER II TEMPTED. Some time passed, and I began to wonder whether I was to be kept a prisoner in that room without facing any accuser, but my wonder did not last long, for the door opened and a heavy bearded officer entered, and closed the door behind him. "So!" he ejaculated, as though a kingdom's ex istence was imperiled and that ejaculation could save it. "So!" he again exclaimed, but this time he took a deep breath and said : "You are Abraham Billington ; is that so?" "No, it is not." "What, then is your name?" "Abram, not Abraham, Billington "Same thing, same thing, only difference of a letter or so." I made no reply but waited for him to speak. "Abram y ou are a spy," he said and his eyes glared,
Tempted. his beard seemed to quiver as though every hair felt the dread import of the accusation. Still I did not respond, and he glared at me until he appeared to look into my very soul. "What have you to say to the charge?'' "What charge?" I asked, meekly. "I said you were a spy." "That is an assertion, it is not a charge." "Do you admit it?" "What?" "That you are a spy." "An assertion is not proof. I might say that you were a brave man, but that would not be proof; or I might say you were a fool, and, though I thought it, I should have to prove it before you would believe it." "You think you are sharp, but let me tell you thaf we have plenty of proof "Then why ask me to admit it?" "Abram Billington, you know a man named Paul Revere? "Every Boston man knows him."
16 Tempted. "But you know that he is a rebel. Come now, what do you know about him?" "He is an excellent engraver, and a most worthy citizen.'' "He is a rebel. If you wish to obtain favor in the eyes of the governor you will tell all you know about him.'' "It would take too long.'' "Abram, you are young, quite clever, and I have taken a fancy to you.'' "Thank you.'' "You would like to be rich, would you not?" "Yes.'' "And honored by your king?" "Yes, I suppose so." "You can be both, nay, I can promise you that you shall go across the great ocean and see the king in all his state and glory.'' "You are very kind ; p
Tempted. "I do not want you to stay here another hour; in fact, I would like you to leave just now--" "I am willing," I said, and tried to reach the door, but he placed his back against it and prevented me opening it. "I must plainly to you, I see. We can prove that you entered Boston as a spy, sent here by wicked, designing rebels to seek out any weak places-" "There are weak places, then?" "And to betray your king and country. The pen alty is death. To-hang-by-the-neck-until-you -are-dead," he drawled out, to make it impressive, I suppose, but I could not control myself and burst into a fit of laughter. ''What are you laughing at?" he asked, angrily. "You looked so comical, your beard wagged when you opened your mouth. I do wish you could have seen yourself, you would have died laughing." His face grew redder 0an before, though I thought he looked like a boiled beet from the very first. He
18 Tempted. stamped his foot and clinched his hands as though try ing to overcome his temper. When he cooled down somewhat he said : "You can have your choice, death by hanging, orwealth, a trip to England, and an interview with your king. Which shall it be?" "If it is all the same to you," I said, hardly able to keep from laughing, "I will have wealth, and some time later, say next year, I might like to take a holiday and go across the water." "You have chosen wisely. Now, my boy, make a clean breast of it. Tell me all you know about this man Washington--" "Gen. Washington is the best, the bravest, the great est man living." "No, no, he is a rebel. Tell me what he is doing or going to do; tell me how we might capture him, and the day he is our prisoner you shall have a thousand golden guineas." "You wretch Do you think I would help you and your miserable murdering soldiers capture Washington for a thousand guineas ? Not for a thousand thousand
Tempted. guineas, not for the king's throne, and crown, and money. Get out of the room or I'll--" My language had got so warm that he was evidently afraid, for before I could finish what I was saying I was thrown down, and my hands and feet so bound that I could not move either. Four soldiers had en tered the room and now stood beside my bearded tempter. "You refuse liberty and wealth? Then you must face the alternative, and I shall stand by the gallows and see you hanged." "Will you ? Perhaps I may see you die first; "You threaten ?" "Didn't you? I never asked you to come here, you did it to please yourself, and while you are in my room I shall say what I like." The last words were spoken to myself, for I was alone. I could have bitten my tongue out for speaking as I had done. I knew that I had made enemies when I needed friends, and what I most feared was that my
20 Tempted. spirited defense of our general would be taken as an admission of guilt. I was a spy, that I knew, and according to the laws of war could be sentenced to death, but I had not been tried, and I should have remained silent until I was before the court. "My boy, my boy, your tongue is too sharp, it will be your ruin," the old dominie had often said, and I knew that I was too ready to use that tongue on the least provocation. Master Adams told my father that I should make a good lawyer, but my mother had answered that unless I became a clergyman she hoped I would remain a farmer like my father. Then Master Adams laughed and added that if I were a clergyman the devil would have to make a good fight if I began to lash him with my tongue. I only ref er to this to show that I was accounted a very sharp talker, and I am afraid often I talked with out knowing the real meaning of what I was saying. For another day I was left alone in the room, and
Tempted. 21 then I heard a voice which made my pulses thrill, though the last time I had heard it I was not pleased. The door opened and in walked Lieut. Gerald Bailey, of his majesty's Forty-seventh Infantry. I had met the young officer several times previously, but not since the night when he led an attack on my father's house, a night long to be remembered. "Master Billington, I am sorry to see thee here." "Are you, sir? Perhaps not more sorry than I am to be here.'' "I only heard of your arrest on such a serious charge an hour ago, and I at once saw the governor, and he sent me to you." "Indeed !" "Haye you seen Mistress Fowler lately? I must have appeared in a sorry light to her on that awful night." "You did." "What did she say about me?" "Nothing." "But surely she mentioned me?"
Tempted. "Not by name. She spoke of the raid you led, bu_t did not mention your name." "What did she say?" "Nothing much, save that it had r.ome to a pretty pass when maidens had to defend themselves against soldiers who had turned robbers." "She said that?" "Yes." "Where is she now ?" "I have no right to tell you. It could be only curios ity that prompts you to ask, for she would never speak to you again." "YOU think that?" "I am sure of it." "Let that pass ; I want to speak of your affairs. You are accused of being a spy, that is death, you know, if it is proved, and I am afraid it can be proved. You can get your liberty easily." "So I have been told. But I would rather die right now then be a craven cur, purchasing life by betraying others."
Tempted. "Could you not give certain information which would satisfy us and yet--" "You mean could I not pretend to give information and really lie. No, Lieut. Bailey, I almost think I would rather make war on women, and children, and helpless maidens than do such a dastardly thing." "I would like to help you." "If you do, it must be in a more honorable manner. I am but a boy, lieutenant, but I have thought much, and while other boys have been bowling or indulging in sports, I have been reading or talking with my elders, and have learned that honor is better than wealth." "I wish I had your manliness. Good-day, my boy, I will help you if I can." He went towards the door, and as he placed his hand on the knob he looked back at me and said in a low voice: "I admire you more than I ever thought possible. You are a hero." I felt better for his visit, and, of course, was very much flattered by his last remark, which I did not de-
24 Tempted. serve. Poor fellow, he did not think that others might hear him and use his words to his disparagement I thought that he, like myself, used his tongue in judiciously, and that we should both suffer through that "unruly member."
CHAPTER III. CONDEMNED TO DEATH. '.After Gerald Bailey left me I felt that all the light had gone out of my life. I was certain that I should be condemned as a spy and most likely be hanged. "If I die I will not go alone," I said, aloud, though there was no one to hear, but it seemed to ease my mind and give me something to look forward to. I was a strong youth, and my experience with the Boys of Liberty had toughened me and made me able to endure hardships. All that day I waited, hoping for an opportunity to escape, for I had planned that as soon as a soldier entered with my food I would throw myself on him, snatch the keys from his hand, and with his sword or bayonet, or whatever weapon I could get hold of, fight my way out of the dungeon. This was my plan, but, unfortunately, I had forgot ten that plans often go awry, and do not work out as expected.
Condemned to Death. It was late in the evening, and I could not see my hand before me-and my jailers would not let me have a candle-before I heard the key put into the lock and felt rather than saw the door open. "How goes it?" asked a cheery voice. "I am starving," was my answer. "Here is food ; wait, I have a candle and will light it." I felt my heart beat extra fast as I waited for a glimmer of light, so that I might put my plan into exe cution. When the candle, which after all was only a rush light, flickered into flame I looked at my intended victim and saw a face which quite disarmed me. "Don't say a word," he murmured, "but listen to me;" then louder, he added: "I have been able to bring you some meat as well as bread and some wine ; it has been sent by Lieut. Bailey, of the Forty-seventh." "I am very grateful." "I was told that he was interesting himself in your behalf, and I shouldn't wonder if you were freed by noon to-morrow. Mind you are not to know anything of this." Aloud he said: "You must eat quickly, for I
to Death. go off duty in fifteen minutes. Now, then, spy, eat away like a good fellow." How could I take advantage of a man who was the bearer of a kindly message? I ate my supper and allowed its bearer to depart without molestation. I was ready to sleep almost as soon as he left, for the atmosphere of the place was so close that it made me sleepy all the time. I had fallen asleep and did not hear the door open, but a gust of fresh air partly revived me, and I knew that some one was in the room. I wanted to get up, but my limbs seemed paralyzed and I could not move; it was well that I did not. I heard voices, not above a whisper, but still distinct enough for me to hear what was being said, and I pretended to be sleeping quite soundly. "Now, you see for yourself, he is quite feverish, and almost exhausted." "Well, what of that?" "Another day of poor living added to the stifling
Condemned to Death. air of this hole, for it is nothing better, will make him delirious." "Yes?" "Then we will take notice of all he says. I know just how to get him to talk." "And you think he will betray himself in his de lirium ?" "And others." "I wish I could believe it." "I have only to tell him that a certain young mistress, whom he served at his father's house, is talking to him, and he will tell all he knows." "But your voice, my dear Robert, is not much like a young maiden's." "Who said it was? I can get a girl who will talk to him so nicely that all his secrets will be told." "If you succeed you will get a thousand guineas." "I'll succeed or he will not live. I will have his life or his knowledge of the rebels' weak points." I had great difficulty in remaining quiet. I wanted to see the speakers, for they carried a small lantern, but I dare not stir, and I was on my side and they were
Condemned to Death. at my back. I wondered where I had heard the voice of the man who had made the threat. It was some minutes before I recalled that it must be that of Robert Beverley, the tory ally of the English. "When do you think it will be safe to try the ex periment?" "To-morrow night; but, in the meantime, no food, remember. He must starve until I have done with him." "Look here, Robert, you are a Colonial, are you not?" "I was born here." "And you are more bitter against the rebels than the English themselves." "That may be so; I hate them." "You expect a big reward?" "I shall claim one if I win, and win I shall. I never fail." "In this case let us hope your good luck will not desert you." "It will not, of that I am confident." I heard them move away, and I knew that I was
Condemned to Death. once more alone-alone, but with new thoughts to keep my mind occupied. I saw the clever, scheming plan. I knew that I was near delirious, and must nerve myself to fight it off. My sleepiness had left me, and I was very wide awake. I did not want to go to sleep until I had thought out what to do. When I felt at all inclined to doze I began to sing, and I delighted in raising my voice when I sang the song which the Boys of Liberty had shouted among the Green Mountains and made the hills echo back the refrain : "Come, join hand in hand, brave Americans all And rouse your bold hearts at fair liberty's call; No tyrannous acts shall suppress your just c.laim, Or stain with dishonor America's name. In freedom we're born, and in freedom we'll live. Our purses are ready, Steady, boys, steady, Not as slaves, but as freemen our money we'll give I" Several times during the night a voice called to me to be silent, but I took no notice until I got tired, and then, weary and exhausted, I fell asleep. I do not know how long I slept, but I awoke very suddenly, for I felt that some one was in the room. I was right, there were several men there carrying
Condemned to Death. JI lanterns, and I wondered whether they had all come prepared to listen to the ravings of a fevered brain. I was soon satisfied that there was quite another kind of ordeal for me to go through. A sergeant of infantry called me by name and bade me stand up. I obeyed quickly, for I wanted to face my enemies. "Abram Billington, that is your name, eh?" "It is." "It is the order of his most gracious majesty, the king, that you be tried by court-martial, an honor you do not desewe, but his majesty is very merciful, and looks upon his American children as only disobedient ones, who may be won back to obedience and duty.'' It was a curious speech, and delivered in a sing-song way by the sergeant, and I scarcely knew whether to treat it as a joke or as a serious matter. The sergeant, looking at the paper he held in his band, continued: "It hath pleased his majesty, through his excellency, the governor, to order your immediate trial before a court of which his honor, Maj. Worsley, is president.'
32 Condemned to Death. I had not noticed, so intent was I in listening to the sergeant, that a big bass drum had been brought in, and behind it a camp stool was placed, on which a big, burly, rough-looking officer seated himself. I knew then that I was to be tried at what was called a "drumhead court-martial," and that the officer who was behind the drum was Maj. Worsley. I remembered hearing of the major being in the same regiment as Gerald Bailey, and I took courage, for I fancied that all had been arranged to let me off easily. "Are you guilty or not, if you please ?" asked the sergeant. "You have not stated the crime I am accused of committing," I answered. "Don't waste the time of the court, young man. You have been told many times, and, if you haven't, your own conscience tells you that you are a spy." That remarkable speech came from Maj. Worsley, and I thought if he meant what he said then the court was certainly not unbiased "I am not a spy.''
Condemned to Death. 33 "What are you then?" "A farmer's son, who was arrested while visiting my aunt." "A likely story. Do you know Samuel Adams?'' "I am proud to say I do.'' "He is a rebel." "Is he? Then I wish we bad fifty thousand rebels like him." "Do you know George Washington, a Virginian?" "I have heard of him. He is, I believe, the noblest man in America to-day." "Keep quiet, you idiot,'' whispered a soldier in my ear. "Young man, you talk treason." "If truth is treason then I do." "Arrah now, but ye'll hang yerself, that ye wilt," again came to me in a whisper. "How old are you ?" "Old enough to know that the King of England has been woefully deceived by his ministers, or he would never try to force the American colonies into tame sub mission."
Condemned to Death. Maj. Worsley jumped to his feet; he was furious; he struck the drum with his fist, and then drawing his sword, looked at me as though he would like to run me through ; but, instead, he stuck the blade through the parchment head of the drum. I laughed; I could not help it. He swore, perhaps he could no more help that than I could laughing. The sergeant was the only one in the room who re mained cool and collected. I verily believe he had not a laugh in his whole body. The officer who had arrested me was called, and he swore that he had watched me going round among the fortifications and making drawings. All of which was false, but what of that? If I had to be proved a spy there must be evidence, and if they could not get truthful evidence, why then false would have to do duty. Several others swore to similar acts, and I could not help smiling as I thought that the real thing I had set out to do, and which was all the spying of which I was guilty had not been mentioned by anyone. I do n ot w ant to ment ; o n all that took place, for it
Condemned to Death. 35 would weary and mayhap be very uninteresting, but rather let me hasten and say that everything was proved to the satisfaction of the court. "You young scoundrel, I suppose you know that you have been proved guilty and that you will be hanged,'' roared the presiding officer. "I do not know anything of the kind, but I do know thi!, that if you hang me, some of you may feel a rope round your neck if Gen. Washington catches you." "Impudent I Saucy I You young imp of sin and darkness, I have a great mind to order you strung up to yonder hook,'' he said, as he pointed to a hook in the ceiling beam from which many a side of bacon had doubtless hung to dry. "Why don't you?" I asked. "His excellency, the governor, does not wish to use harsh measures, and he made me presiding officer over this court because of my kindness of heart. If I had my way I'd whip you all round Boston Common and bum you alive, so I would. The governor, he knows best, I suppose, has ordered me to say, should you be proved guilty, that you can have your liberty and
Condemned to Death. the protection of the army of occupation, if you will assist his army in obtaining the bodies of certain rebels, to wit : George Washington, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere, and other wretched rebels.'' "All those? Why, some of them I do not know.'' "Help us to get any of them and you shall be pro tected and rewarded." "And if I cannot--" "You can." "If I cannot, what then?" "You shall be hanged in forty-eight hours.'' "Shall I have as long as that?" "Why?" "I only thought that some American officer might be trying you before the end of that time." "You scoundrel. What is your answer?" "I could not assist you to capture the men you men tion even if I were willing, and, if I could, I should not be willing to do so." "You refuse?" "I do." "Then you will die.''
Condemned to Death. 37 "I would rather die for liberty than live a skulking traitor to my God, my country and my friends." "You think it all a joke." "No, Maj. Worsley, I have seen women dragged from their beds by English soldiers and thrown out into tlte cold road, on the pretense that they were harboring rebels; I have seen maidens---" "Silence!" "Seen maidens tom from their father's house and dragged along by the hair of their head, because they would not betray a brother or a sweetheart--" "Silence, I say; silence!" "I have seen brave men shot in the back by your soldiers, when they were running away from danger. I have seen farm lads, poor, ignorant boys, whose only weapon was a stick cut from the woods, treated like dogs and shot down. Don't get angry, you know it is true; ask any who were at Lexington if it is not just as I say, so I do not expect justice--mercy I should never ask for." I had worked myself into a passion and did not know
38 Condemned to Death. what I had said-I was told afterwards by one who heard me-and I had become quite exhausted. I should have fallen in a faint had not one of the soldiers held me up. He was a good-natured Irish man, who meant well, and in his heart sympathized with the colonists. "Ye done fur yerself, sure faith,'' he whispered, as he held me, "but by Saint Pathrick ye're a broth ov a bhoy, God bless ye." Maj. Worsley was speaking and I tried to under stand what he had to say, but I only knew that I was sentenced to die by hanging, but at a date to be de cided upon by the governor. The trial was over and I was left alone, alone on the floor, for I was so weakened that I fell in a heap as soon as the protecting arms of the Irish soldier were withdrawn.
CHAPTER IV. AN UNEXPECTED FRIEND. "Be jabers an' it's mself as 'ud be afther helpin' yez if I knew how." The words were borne to my ears as I lay half stupefied on the floor of the noisome room. I knew that they came from the good Irish soldier who had stood by me at the court-martial. I could not rouse myself just then, and the man, thinking I was still unconscious, continued : "He's a loikely-lukin' bhoy, an' it is a shame that his neck should be stretched, so it is. Sorra a bit can I help him." I turned over and looked up into his face. He drew himself up and tried to look the harsh soldier, but I smiled and said : "I heard what you said." "An' did ye now? I'm afeared I schpoke rather too free loike." "Not a bit of it, my good friend; I like sympathy,
40 An U nexpccted Friend. and I knew that your heart was right even if it was covered with a red coat." "Bad cess to that same coat, it's meself as ought to be ashamed to be a-wearin' ov it." "Why?" "Sure an' you'll never tell if I talk to yez." "Nary a word," said I. "I'm afther bein' told that ye mustn't escape, an' so I'll watch ye sure enough, but the divvle himself never said as how I wasn't to talk." "No, and I am sure that it will do you no harm to talk while you watch me. I shall not run away, for you would not let me, so let us enjoy ourselves." "Arrah, an' I thought it moight be dark an' so I brought a rushlight, so I did, an' a wee nip of the creatcher, as the major calls it, an' won't ye take a nip, just to show that ye've no ill falin' loike." I was very glad of a little rum, though I had not been in the habit of drinking it; in fact, at home nothing stronger than cider was allowed in the house, but I was exhausted and the spirits revived me.
An U ncxpcctcd Friend. I handed the flask back to him, and he took a much bigger drink than I had done. "It's a makeshift, so it is," he said, "but ye should be afther tastin' some rale potheen, me bhoy, that's the stuff, it goes down loike milk, so it does, but ye fale it for quite a while afther." "You said that you ought to be ashamed of wearing the red coat I said. "Yes, me bhoy, an' sure an' it's no Oirishman should ever wear the livery ov England." "Why?" "Did ye never hear ov Limerick? Ov how the Oirish surrendered afther the English gineral had given his word that there should be fair play so he did, an' then when the bhoys had laid down their guns, didn t he laff, an' didn't he swear, an' say that the Oirish srould be shipped to France, so he did." "But there was a treaty, wasn't there?" "A tr'aty, was it? Sure an' that's what they called it, but no sooner was it signed than the English, bad cess to 'em, broke ivery word ov it, so they did." "And what became of the Irish?"
An U nexpccted Friend. "Sure an' they were shipped to France an' were called wild geese, so they were, an' under Gineral Sars field, Heaven bless his sowl, they made the English run at Steenkirke, an' the bhoys that lived, sure an' they taught their childer to hate the English, an' when the battle of Fontenoy was fought, a matter ov thirty years agone, the Oirish Brigade sprung loike lions on the foe an' made the redcoats run, be jabers an' I'd 'av' loiked to be one ov 'em." "Then you have no liking for the English and the army?" "As fur the army, I love it; sure an' did ye iver know an Oirishman that didn't loike foightin' ?" "No, I cannot say that I have, but I never knew many Irishmen; those I have known were good fel lows." "An Oirishman is fur all the worruld loike whisky, if it's good, it's very good, but if it's bad, the Lord save ye from iver havin' anny, it's moighty bad, so it is." "How was it that you became an English soldier?" "Bad whisky, that's what it was Ye see I luved a dhrop, an' I tuk some, an' the next thing I knew I'd a
An Unexpected Friend. 43 king's shillin' in me fist, an' a recruitin' sarg'ant says, 'Pat, me bhoy, ye're a soldier ov the king, say, God bless him.' "Did you say it?'' "Whoy yis, why shouldn't I? I am sure, be jabers, that he needs blessin', an' I'm not one to refuse to phray fur me enimies." "Don't you know that we are fighting for liberty?" "Sure, faith, an' its meself as 'uv' said so this manny a day, an' yet I'm foightin' yez, bad cess to it." "I wish you were on our side.'' "So do I, me bhoy, an' if I'd a foightin' chance I'd run an' join that man ov yours, Washington, I think they call him. "Now, then, ye rebel, what is it you're afther doin', I'd loike to know. Douce that candle I tell ye, or I'll be afther runnin' a bagnet through yez, bad cess to yez." I did not understand the change which had come over my Irish friend, and I began to wonder whether he had not been sent purposely to trap me into a con fession of guilt. He had succeeded in a measure, for
An Unexpected Friend. I had actually tried to win him away from his allegiance to the king. ,. He put out the light and hurried from the room. I heard him walking up and down outside, and I felt like biting my tongue out for talking so freely to a jailer. Nearly an hour later I heard the door open, but it was too dark for me to see anyone. I waited de velopments. "Arrah now, an' schpake moighty softly; it's meself as was nearly caught, so I was." I made no reply, but waited for him to continue. "It's meself as 'uv' long ears. Me father often said, 'Pat, me bhoy, ye's betther cover up your ears or ye'll be taken for a donkey, so ye will,' but if I'd had short ears It's meself as 'u'd have been in quod with a cannon ball round me leg, so it would." "What are you talking about?" I asked. "Be jabers, an' sure I had made meself roight wid ye. Didn't ye moind how I made ye put out the candle ; what fur? Why, me ears told me that some one had sn'aked roight up to the dure, and was a-list'nin' to
An U ncxpectcd Friend. 45 what we was a-sayin an' so I had to swear at ye a bit, an' had to spake roight smart ag' in ye when I went out." ''YOU did?" "Sure faith, for wasn't there that thafe ov the worruld, Jimmy Smith, as big a thafe an' snake that iver walked, a-sthandin' outside, an' says he, 'Har ye hafther 'avin trouble wid the rebel?' Ye see where he came from there were so many aitches that he filled his big mouth wid 'em, an' uses 'em whiniver he schpakes." "What did you tell him?" "Sure an' be jabers I told him that I saw a glimmer ov loight comin' from under your
An U ncxpcctcd Friend. to report that I ought to be made a sarg'ant, so he has, the thafe ov the worruld as he is." My Irish friend dare not stay any longer, for he knew he was suspected, and even his kind heart would not allow him to incur the displeasure of his superiors by serving an American rebel. I saw no more of him that night, but I was not alone, for I had a strange adventure which may be interest ing, and, if it is not, I have to tell it, or you would never know how I came to be able to write this story, but as the dominie often said, great fires come from little sparks, so great events came from my adventure, and I think it is worthy of another chapter.
CHAPTER V. AN OLD FAMILIAR VOICE. All my suspicion of the Irish soldier had left my mind, and I had come to the conclusion that he was thoroughly honest. I had even wondered whether I might not prevail on him to help me escape, and, if possible, I wanted him to come with me and join the Colonial Army. I worked out all sorts of problems, each having my escape as the end to be reached when I began to grow sleepy. I wished I had something to drink, when, lo! there on the floor was the flask from which I had drank some rum. I was sure it was empty, but all the same I reached for it, and, to my great joy, found that it was quite full, so .it was not the one from which we had both drank. I tasted very carefully the contents before I dare take a drink, but once my lips were wet with the spirits I felt assured that the Irish soldier had brought it for my use, and so I took a long and deep draught. I was
An Old Familiar Voice. also glad that he had left the candle burning, when he left the second time or I should not have been able to see the flask. I was composing myself to sleep, having taken the precaution to blow out the light, when I became aware of a noise which I could not understand. My nerves were quickened by the rum, and I listened breathlessly. I was certain that some one was m the room, but I was equally sure that the door had not been opened. Then it was that I remembered all the stories of witches and goblins which I had heard the old people telling, and across my mind came the story of the old witch of Salem, who had the power to go through stone walls at any time, and that when they tried to burn her she laughed at them and disappeared from the stake to which she had been tied. That night she entered the bedroom of the man who had ordered her to be burned as a witch, and on the next night she went to others and frightened them so that some of them became idiots. All this story came to my mind1 and I trembled so
An Old Familiar Voice. 49 that I could not keep hands or feet still, much as I wished to do so. I could hear my heart beating, and if I had dared to reach out my hand for the flask I should have drained every drop of the spirits, hoping to drown my fears or become unconscious. Presently I felt something close to me, and the next instant some human being fell over me and began to mutter all sorts of strange things. I was still afraid to make any move, and even when my visitor picked himself up, and continued to mutter unintelligibly, I made no effort to speak. "I'm blessed if I know what to do now," my visitor said, in a low voice. "It's a stiff un I'm up against. I kind o' think I'd better have stayed outside." There was something in the voice which was famil iar, but who it was I could not remember. "Didn t I play 'em a trick? I guess they'll be think ing I've fooled them this time." I still waited, and in a minute the voice was again borne to my ears and I heard him say:
50 An Old Familiar Voice. "I almost wish that I'd struck a live un instead of a corpse, it makes me creepy." "So it would me," I ventured to say. "Aren't you a stiff un ?" "Nary a bit." There was a low whistle, and then came the ques tion: "Who are you?" "You are my visitor, so it is your place to tell me who you are," I said, as cheerful as my nerves would allow. "Please, -sir, I'm only a nateral, a poor silly boy, an' I didn't mean to come in, that is, I didn't know that--" "What didn't you mean, Hosea?" "Who calls me by that name?" "I do, and I could tell you more, but how did you come here ?" "That voice is like my master's son, but he is dead. I guess he is dead." "Which one? Abram or Ted?" "Then you know 'em?"
An Old Familiar Voice. "Stoop low, Hosea, don't you know that I am Abram Billington ?" Hosea was almost frantic with delight, and I feared that he would call the attention of the sentries to us, for I supposed he had been taken prisoner and thrown into the dark room with me, my jailers being pretty sure that I should not know him. "When were you caught?" I whispered. "I wasn't caught, or I shouldn't be here." "How did you get here, then? Are you not a pris oner?" "No more than you are.'' "Then my poor Hosea there is but little chance for you, for I am to be hanged to-morrow or the next day." "Hanged? Why that would kill you." "Of course, that is what they are going to do. What did they accuse you of doing?" "I didn't give them a chance to accuse me, as you call it. I just ran.'' "Then you are not a prisoner ?"
An Old Familiar Voice. "Of course not, but I shall soon be one if I am seen." "Tell me all about it, and how you came to be here.'' "I'm a Boston boy, you know, an' I guessed that I might be of some use to the Boys of Liberty if I could get into the city an' find out what was
An Old Familiar Voice. 53 yourself, you old silly.' That made him riled an' he made for me with his short sword an' would have spitted me if I'd let him." "What did you do?" "Showed him a pair of heels, so I did, an' he sprang his rattle an' a lot of soldiers came into sight, an' they ran after me." "Did they catch you?" "Hosea knows a thing better than that; he is a Bos ton boy an' the redcoats are not." "So you ran too fast for them ?" "I ran, of course, but they could run as well as any jack rabbit on the common an' I was about done for, when I got into an old crooked street an' I dodged an' twisted until they lost sight of me." "How was that?" "I know'd this house an' I got into one at the back of it. You won't tell, will you?" "No.'' "Honor bright?" "Honor bright." "Well, then, I'll tell you, an' it may be worth know-
54 An Old Familiar Voice. in'. There used to be some smugglers in these houses an' they made a passage from one to the other, so as if they got trapped in one they could escape through the other." "How did you get to know this?" "That's tellin's. I knowed it an' here I am." Hosea was talking too loud for safety and I had to caution him, but it was quite some time before I could get hir'n to believe that I was a prisoner and under sen tence of death. "Hosea, you like me, don't you?" I asked. "Like you, Master Abram; why, I'd die to serve you." "Then help me to escape." "That's dead easy." "Are you sure ?" "Didn't I come in? An' did I come in through the door?" "That I do not know; it was too dark." ''Well, I didn't, but you can't escape just yet, for the other house will be watched." "Then they think you are in the other house?"
An Old Familiar Voice. 55 "No, they don't; they only know I was in the street an' got out of sight, but they'll be walkin' up an' down the street, an' it wouldn't be safe fer us to walk into their arms." "Then, how am I to escape?" "To-morrow you shall go out an' I'll stay here in your place." "No, no, Hosea, that would never do; they would kill you." "As though that mattered; why, Master Abram, I'd give my life a score times to save yours." "Hush! I hear some one coming." "Then I'll go, but I shall not be far off-I can hear all that you say." I would have much liked to have had the secret of the boy's entrance and still more mysterious exit, but I had not the slightest idea how he entered or left. The door opened and my Irish friend entered, car rying a lantern. "It's out ov me senses I am, entoirely," he com menced, as he looked round the room. "Why, what is the matter?"
An Old Familiar Voice. "Sure an' yez may well ask the like of that, but Big Tom is just as bad, for he heard it, too, Heaven be my bed." "What are you talking about?" I asked. "Sure an' it was meself an' Big Tom, as was afther havin' a game, d 'ye moind, whin, suddent loike, he says, 'Did ye hear that?' I cros s ed meself an' said No, what was it?' An' then he went as white as a sheet, an' I moinded how me poor old mother wint the noight she heard the banshee's wail, so I did, an' he was just as white. So I got feared an' asked him ag'in what it was he heard, an' he ups an' says, 'Listen for yerself,' an' I did, an' tare an fortune if I didn t think as how ye were a-talkin' an' some broth ov a bhoy an swerin' yez." "Was that it?" "Arrah now I But it gave me a scare, so it did an' I meself an' wished as how I had some holy wather to kape away the evil spirits." "Ha, ha, ha I He, he, he I Ha, he, oh, ha!" "By the powers ye have got your wits upset, so ye have, an' it's mcself as ha;e done it."
An Old Familiar Voice. 51 "Don't talk like a fool," I said; "I was laughing at you, for, of course, you heard me talking, and, of course, you heard me answer myself. Can't a boy talk to himself nowadays ?" "So it was yerself, all the toime ?" "Yes." "Arrah now! But me ears were screwed on crooked, for I'd swear that the voice was not loike yours." "I am afraid, Pat, that you took too big a drink from that flask." "Divvle a dhrop did I taste afther lavin' yez." "Well, you see, there is no one here, and as you did not let anyone out, you must know that I had no one to talk to." "Thrue for yez, but it's meself as'll have the laff on Big Tom, so it is." "It is awful lonely here without a light. Won't you leave me the lantern?" "I dassent, if I'd got me own way divvle a minit would ye stay here at all, at all." "I know that, Pat; but it i s so lonely. I wouldn't
An Old Familiar Voice. mind the dark if I had company. I wanted to sing, but I was afraid to do so, so I talked." "Sing, is it? Sure an' if yure people iver wants to get free they must sing, for, be jabers, there's nothing on airth to equal a good sthirrin' ballad, an' it's meself as is afther knowin' it." "I wish we had some good war songs." "Sure an' there was wun I heard, an be jabers I thought it a good wun ; it was afther this loike: "'An' they that would be free, Out they go; Whoile the slaves, as ye may see, Sthay to drink their p'ison tay, Down below.' "But it's meself as u'd be afther getting a taste ov the cat-o' -nine-tails if I was heard singin' that same; so I'll lave yez, an' if ye want to talk, why I'll not hinder yez." "Leave the light, won't you ?" "Sure an' I would, but I dassent; it is too near the change of watchers, so it is." "Good-night, then."
An Old Familiar Voice. 59 "Good-noight, me bhoy, an' may the angels make yer bed." Once more I was alone, but not for long, for Hosea was by my side and whispering in my ear: "But you did canoodle him in great shape I He's a real thing, an' no mistake; why, he is with us." "In spir it, yes; but, alas I he is my jailer and I sup pose he will have to see me hanged
CHAPTER VI. ESCAPE. Before I went to sleep that night Hosea had told me how he had planned my escape while I was talking with my Irish jailer. The bov half-witted as he was believed to be, full of mischief, as all knew, yet had a real honest heart and a clear judgment on some things. He told me in his peculiar fashion how he had been pursued more than once while visiting Boston, for it appeared that he had been one of the best spies the Boys of Liberty had, though I did not know it. The secret passage through which he had come con nected the two houses and was so cleverly constructed that when the panel was slid into its place no one, even with a good light, could detect it. Hosea had no idea that I was in the house, and he said he was frightened when he found some one lying on the floor. When he found who it was he says his heart gave a big jump, and he was so glad that he wanted to cry out.
Escape. 61 I was a long time before I could make him believe that I was really condemned to die as a spy, unless I betrayed Washington and even my own father and brother; but when he did r e alize the truth, he worked out in his mind how I could escape. He left me before the watchman had called out the hour of four in the morning, and promised to be with me again at five if all went well. I heard the watchman calling out the hour of "Five of the clock and all's well." Before the man's voice had died away I knew that Hosea was in the room. He caught hold of me and gave me directions which way to go when I got clear of the other house, and then produced a bundle of dirty, ragged clothes which he said I must put on. I did not like to do so, but even dirty rags are bet ter than a death shroud, so I overcame my scruples and dressed myself in the foul smelling things. Hosea was dressed in similar rags, but then he had never been accustomed to g ood clothes until my father rigged him out aft e r taking him into our house.
Escape. "But how will you escape?" I asked. "I'll follow you, never fear.'' "Sure?" "Honor bright." "Why not come with me?'' "We should both be nabbed.'' "By the soldiers?" "Mebbe, but do as I tell you an' we'll meet to fight the king's army." I was still undecided until he told me that a number of poor unfortunate creatures who picked up a living on the docks and in the poorest parts of the city dwelt in the other house, and that they knew him, and would think that he was passing through, whereas if two went together they would jump at the conclusion that one of us was a king's man who had got in to arrest some of them. Hosea caught hold of me, and taking me to the wall, I found a part of the woodwork give way, and a passage three feet square was opened to me. "Go; don't wait one minute or you may be lost." I had to crawl on my hands and knees along the
Escape. passage, but that did not worry me, so long as I could escape. Fortunately, I did not see anyone in the other house, so passed up to the front door unmolested. Just as I stepped into the street I almost fell against a soldier. He tried to bar the way, but I dodged him and was getting away nicely, when a second raised his gun and bade me stop. I stooped down, and putting my head between his open legs quickly raised myself and threw him head long into the gutter. He fell into a pig's trough, which was full of swill, and I heard him snorting and cursing as he extricated himself from the nasty smelling mess. I had quite 'forgotten that I was to appear to be searching the gutters for any scraps of wood or iron, or, in fact, anything which might bring me in a penny with which to buy breakfast, so I walked along, as though monarch of all Boston. "Halt! "I said, 'Halt I'
Escape. "Do you hear me ? Stand still !" These orders were fired at me one after the other with lightning rapidity, and at the third order I thought I had better obey. "Where are you going?" "To look for food.'' "You gutter snipe, why don't you look, then, instead of walking along like a prince.'' "And what's the use of looking in this place, where a lot of us have been poring for hours ?" I asked, with unconcern. "You're smarti Get along with you, or I may have to run you in." "Should I get something to eat if you did?" "Get along, I say. His majesty's soldiers have something better to do than be feeding gutter snipes." I did not wait for any more talk, for I was quite as anxious to escape from the soldiers as they wece for me to do so. I reached the Hay Market without adventure, and then I grew a little bolder, for I actually knocked at a door.
Escape. Who is ther e ? asked a masculine voice. Open, I pray you. "Who is it ?" There were some men moving about the market, and I did not want to attract too much attention. "Who is it? Why do you come at such an unearthly hour? 'Tis six of the clock and the bell hath tolled it." "Why didn't you say so at first?" exclaimed a man, half dressed, who opened the door. "It was not safe." "Who are you, anyway?" "Don t you know me?" "No; but you have the password, all right, and so you are welcome." I was a bit inclined to mischief and so I said: "Did I fool you? Please tell me which was the password ? For a minute I stood a good chance of being thrown out into th e stre e t when a good-looking but rather stout old lad y came down the stairs in her night-
66 Escape. cap and sleeping gown, and almost squeezed the life out of me. "I knew your voice, child, as soon as I heard it. My old man is not good at remembering." "Bless my soul, if it isn't little Abram I" "Yes, it is, good Master Cranmer, and mighty hungry I am, too." "Come right in bless my soul !-where did you get those rags?" "It is a long story, but I will tell you sometime. Have you any of Larry's clothes? He is just my size." "Right you are, I have a suit-two suits, and you can take your pick. I suppose you have not seen Larry for some time?" "Nigh on to two weeks since I laid eyes on him ; he was with the Boys of Liberty and doing grandly." "And you?" "You silly old man!" exclaimed his wife, "don't you see the boy is nearly famished! Stop your talking and go and put the kettle on while I get into some clothes in a brace of shakes." Jasper Cranmer and his wife were two of the best
Escape. and most loyal of Boston's people. They had given two sons to the cause, but for some reason they were never molested. It may be because they were such good-hearted people that everybody, soldiers and others, looked upon them as friends. Jasper Cranmer and my mother were children of the same mother, though they had different fathers; so I was at a second home when with them. Cranmer had done a splendid business in selling the hay and corn for the farmers round Boston until the troubles came and the town was closed, and he had spent his money freely to aid anyone who needed as sistance. It was to this family that I had come after my strange escape from a prison room, and while I was changing my rags for some decent clothes belonging to my cousin I prayed that Hosea might be equally fortunate in getting away, though I was much afraid that he would be found there and that he would be whipped for aiding me to escape. I have often wondered whether anyone ever enjoyed Johnny cakes and molasses as much as I did those
68 Escape. which my aunt placed before me that morning. They were good, and I was so hungry, and it may be, self ish, that I allowed the good people to wait upon me without once protesting that they ought to join me in eating. When I did suggest it, Jasper laughed and said that when we had breakfast we would all sit down together, but that what I was having was just a snack to whet my appetite.
CHAPTER VII. HOSEA'S DISAPPEARANCE, As I have started to tell the experiences of some of the Boys of Liberty, I may as well make my narrative complete, though what I have to tell of events which transpired after I took French leave of my prison has been gathered from others, and I will give it to my readers as nearly as possible as it has been told me. I had not left the prison room many minutes before Hosea heard voices near the door. He was afraid that I might have been arrested, and he trembled as he thought of the consequences. The voices died away, and he was thinking that it was time for him to follow me, when the door opened and my Irish friend entered with his lantern. "By St. Pathrick !" he exclaimed, dropping his lan tern in his fright. "By St. Pathrick what has been done?" He picked up the lantern and found, to his joy, that the candle had not been extinguished. He held it aloft
Hosea's Disappearance. and stared at Hosea, his body trembling and his teeth chattering. "Arrah now d'ye moind it wasn't me that was afther puttin' a good young creacher in this awful place!" "It is all right, Pat,'' Hosea said, with an intention of reassuring the man. "All roight, is it? Sure an' if I hadn't been an' crossed meself an' said a Pater an' an Ave Maria it's meself as would be afther feeling afeared." "What of, Pat?" "Sure an' how is it that ye are transmogrified alto gether; whin I left ye I said that yez were a broth ov a bhoy, but now, tare an' hounds, but your own mother would have to luke twice afore she'd know yez:" Hosea was quick-witted, and he saw that the man had evidently thought I had been transformed, so he took the idea and worked on it. "Pat, I don't know your other name--" "Sure an' niver an Oirishman was ashamed of bein' called Pat." "As I was about to say, Pat, did you never hear
Hosea's Disappearance. 71 tell of the witch of Salem who could do anything she liked?" "An' it's meself as have ofthen heard tell ov witches, but a drap ov holy wather an' a few crosses will tect yez." "That is all very true, at least you say so; but do ,,, you think it right for the redcoats to throw a poor boy into prison and tell him that he is to be hanged, just because he went to see his aunt?" "Divvle a bit! sure an' I told Big Tom, so I did, that no good wud come ov it at all, at all." "You are right, Pat, and the redcoats will never hang Abram Billington, but he may help to hang some of them." "An' be jabers they desarve it, so they do, an' it's meself as 'u'd-what am I afther sayin' whin, by the powers! I'm wearin' a red coat meself." Pat had recovered himself somewhat when he found that Hosea was not going to hurt him, and he then re membered that it was his duty to tell the sergeant of the strange transformation which had taken place. He left his lantern behind and left the room to re -
72 Ho5ea's Disappearance. port. The sergeant accused him of being drunk and refused to believe a word of what he said, and reported him to Lieut. Bailey, who listened very patiently to the story. "I'm afraid that y ou have been drinking, my man," the lieutenant said, in by no means an u n fri e ndly voice. "Drinkin', is it? Sorra a drap ha s passed me lips this noight, that is sence airly in the evenin', whin I took a nip of rum wid the bhoys." "It must have been too strong for you. I wonder did you lock the room door when you came out?" "It's insultin' it is, be jabers an' it's me mother's son as is ashamed to hear a thing loike that said about him. If ye don't belave me; go an' see for yerself." "That is just what I am going to do, and if you have left the door open your back will get a good fifty lashes with the cat." "Sure, now, an' it's fifty hundred ye may give me if the dure isn't fastened as toight as wax." "Come, sergeant, and, Pat, don't you lag behind." "Sorra a bit will I." The three soldiers walked down the passage to the
Hosea's Disappearance. 73 small rear room which had been turned into my prison cell. To reach it they had to go down three steps at the end of the hall, and then along a narrow hallway through which they had to walk single file. As they reached the door the lieutenant going first, they saw the heavy bar across the door and knew that it therefore could not be opened from the inside. "Fwhat did I tell yez? It's drunk I am, is it?" "Take down the bar, Pat." The bar was removed, and then the lieutenant tried the door and found that it was securely locked. Pat drew himself up in the full consciousness of his innocence and listened in silence to the apology which Bailey was manly enough to make. "Be jabers, I wudna tell a loi, fur the best man that iver br'athed. It's rmt the wurruk that an Oirishman loikes, but he'll do it if it kills him, so he will." "Unlock the door." Pat took the key from his belt and opened the door, but at once fell back so suddenly that he knocked over the lieutenant, who fell against the sergeant, and all
74 H osca' s Disappearance. three were sprawling on the floor like ninepins, knocked over by a good bowler. When they got up Pat was asked what had caused his sudden and unpleasant falling back. "Look ye in yerself, an' then tell me whether the witches haven't been at wurruk." The three entered the room, and to their amaze ment found that it was empty. They were sure that I had not escaped while they were on the floor, and the sentry on duty at the door declared that I had not passed that way. The room was searched, but no trace of any way by which I could escape was found, and then the entire house was ransacked from attic to basement, but of course I was not found. When they thoroughly made up their minds that I was not there, the lieutenant left to report to Maj. Worsley, but before doing so he ordered the sergeant and Pat to give up their arms and placed them both under arrest Maj. Worsley was a great stickler for official eti -
Hosea's Disappearance. 75 quette, and when Lieut. Bailey commenced his report he expected to be allowed to finish it without comment. "When the sergeant came to me and told me a long and exceedingly silly story--" "What do I care for the sergeant's story?" exclaimed the major, angrily. "How can I make my report if I do not give the groundwork ?" "Go on, sir, youngsters are in the habit of dictating to their elders in these days." "I do not wish to dictate sir--" "I don t care whether you do or not; go on and make your story short." "Patrick O'Brien told the sergeant that a witch had been in the room where young Billington was im prisoned--" "Look me in the face, sir, and tell me whether you think I have nothing else to do but listen to cock-and bull stories about witches Zounds, sir, but you insult my intelligence." "I need not say that I do not believe in witches-" "Go on, sir; you will be telling me next that you
Hosea's Disappearance. don't believe in ghosts, but for the life of me I don't know why you should waste the time of one of his majesty's officers by such matters." The young lieutenant was getting angry and used words which rendered him liable to be reprimanded, but he did not care. He at last blurted out: "The prisoner has escaped." "What? That rebel spy? Escaped I Who helped him?" "That I do not know. The door was locked and barred, and--" I Why in thunder did you not tell me so at first?" "You interrupted me, and--" "Interrupted? Bah I sir, and figs! sir. Bah I say, why should a major condescend to interrupt a sprig like you?" "I do not know why, major, but you did." "Impertinent, sir, I'll teach you that Y
Hosea's Disappearance. 77 gret that my captain was away, which rendered it nec essary to report to you." "You rebel I believe you are a rebel yourself I I was told not to trust you, for you went sweethearting a rebel's daughter." "Mention her name, or dare to speak disrespectfully of her and I'll knock you down, major though you are." "You will, eh? Don't you know that if you did you would be shot?" "I know that, but at least I should die defending a fair girl's name." "You call Master Fowler's daughter a fair girl? I see now why you funked your duty when you were sent to capture farmer Billington, and now you let his son escape. Then you hide behind a girl's petticoats, you--" Bailey forgot everything save that all the love he had ever experienced for Mistress Fowler returned to his heart, and that love seemed to work upon the muscles of his arm, for he sent out his left hand with
Hosea's Disappearance. such force that Maj. Worsley fell to the floor stunned and bleeding from a nasty gash on his cheek. The noise brought the mess sergeant to the room, and he saw the major lying on the floor, apparently dead, and Bailey kneeling by his side. An officer was called and Bailey was placed under arrest and charged with assaulting his superior. When the major recovered somewhat he tried to make the amende honorable by saying that he only got what he deserved, and expressed a hope that Bailey might not be punished. Maj. Worsley suffered from nothing more serious than a black eye and a gash on the cheek, which was quickly hidden by some sticking plaster. He hurried to the governor's residence to tell him of all that had occurred and begged him to prevent any ill conse quences to Gerald Bailey. Gov. Gage was pained at the recital, but Worsley was blamed for unnecessaniy taunting the fiery young lieutenant.
CHAPTER VIII. A DEFIANT ENGLISHMAN. The colonel of the Forty-seventh Infantry ordered a rigid investigation into the escape of the young spy, and after making a thorough examination of the room and its approaches he became convinced that the boy had escaped by and through the collusion of Lieut. Bailey, Sergt. Tompkins and Patrick O'Brien, and so reported to the commander-in-chief. The governor was in a quandary, for Bailey was a protege of his, and if he was found guilty of aiding a spy to escape while the army was facing the enemy, there was no alternative but the punishment of death, and that death warrant he would have to sign. He walked the room for an hour ; he was nervous and irritable, and at last determined to send for Bailey and question him closely. Gerald Bailey entered the room and saluted the gov ernor as ceremoniously as thou g h they had no other
80 A Defiant Englishman. relationship than that of commander-in-chief of the army and a subordinate lieutenant. "Gerald, I am heartbroken ; I !lever thought to be in this position. Have you forgotten all you owe to your ancestors? Have you forgotten their noble names and the heritage they left you? For their sakes you ought to have shown some sense." "Governor, for goodness' sake, leave out my father and grandfather and all my ancestors ; confine yourself to my own position." "So you do not respect them?" "Yes, but I do not want to be treated as though I were a potato, the only good belonging to him being underground." "Tell me the story and how you came to be mixed up in thi s matter." Gerald told all he knew, and the governor got nearly as mad as the major. It was not likely that the story would be believed when told to sober, thinking men. It seemed so utterly ridiculous to think that a boy, prisoner alone in a room, fairly well dressed, should be transformed into a ragged and dirty youngster, and
A Defiant Englishman. that a few minutes afterwards that ragged boy should vanish through the wall without anyone being the wiser. Who could believe the tale? Not Gov. Gage. Nor would you, dear reader, if such a story was told you. "Maj. Worsley was right-it is a cock-and-bull story and does but little credit to your imagination." "It is just as it was told me." "Will you swear that you did not assist that young rebel to escape?" "I swear it." "But you would have helped him if you could out being found out." "What do you mean, sir?" The governor took a paper from his desk and glanced it over, then, looking closely at Bailey, asked: "Did you ever visit him ?" "Yes, sir "And you talked with him in his prison?'' "I did."
A Defiant Englishman. "Was that your duty or your pleasure?" "I felt sorry for him and tried to get him to confess, hoping that his youth might save him from punish ment." "Was that all ?" "It is." "Was that before or after his trial ?" "Before." "Ah I And you advised him to make a false con ession--" "Sir!" "I repeat, you tried to induce him to make a con fession which would be false-" "I did not." "Then why did he say in reply"-the governor looked at the paper and read-" 'You mean could I not pretend to give information and really lie? No, Lieut. Bailey, I almost think I would rather make war on helpless women and children than do such a das tardly thing.' "What are y ou r e adin g gov e rnor? "A report of your visit to the s py, Abram Billing -
A Defiant Englishman. ton, and I would remind you that when you left him you said, 'I admire you more than I ever thought pos sible. You are a hero.' Do you deny that?" "I do not." "Had I done my duty I should have placed you on trial with him, but I remembered your ancestors, and for their sakes I put down your treason to youthful in discretion. But now there is an additional chargeyou are accused of aiding that hero of yours to es cape." "I am innocent of that, sir; believe me." "You may be, but I cannot help doubting. Any way, for your parents' sake I shall not place you on trial, but as there is a transport sailing for England to-morrow at sunrise, you will be placed on it and sent back with a suggestion that you are more fitted for home duty." "You are governor and commander-in-chief, sir, so your word is law." "You will not be allowed to communicate with any one on shore, so if you have any orders to give con cerning your clothes or other possessions you can give
A Defiant Englishman. them through me and I will attend to even the min utest." "And what of Sergt. Tompkins and Private O'Brien?" "They will be tried by court-martial and shot. I don't think there is any doubt about that." "And your name will be handed down to posterity as that of an unjust judge, allowing me to go free when I am as guilty as they are, according to your thoughts." "But the discipline must be maintained." "Deport them with me, sir, and let the matter drop." "Perhaps it would be the best thing to do; I'll think it over. I shall not see you again, so will say good-by, and may your future prove that my leniency was not misplaced." "Good-day, and good-by, governor, and let me say in leaving you that I thank you for all you have done for me; but in this case you have judged wrongfully, for I am innocent as an unborn child." "I wish I could think so,. but the evidence is against it."
A Defiant Englishman. "You condemn me without hearing any defense--" "I am not condemning you-I merely exercise my right and send you back to England." "Like a whipped schoolboy, in disgrace." "That may be true, but you must admit that you have been very friendly with these rebels." "Gov. Gage, I may as well speak plainly; it is the last time, I dare say, I shall have the opportunity. If I were a native American I should be a rebel, as you call them, and would fight as long as I had a drop of blood in my body against the English." "You dare talk like that ?" "I do, and shall. England has driven the colonies into war, and I pray Heaven now that the colonies may compel the king to sue for peace." "Boy, you had better hold your tongue; a few more words like those may have dreadful consequences; you may be overheard." "Are your spies listening here as they did at the prison?" "I will not answer your insulting question. Go; I
86 A Defiant Englishman. ,. wish you well, but am sorry that you th i nk as you do. I can well see that you would never fight willingly against the rebels--" "I would rather fight for them." "I thought so. Good-by."
CHAPTER IX. STORM AT SEA, Gerald Bailey was not allowed to leave the goT cmor' s residence, though he was permitted a large amount of liberty therein. He knew that the Hercules, a strong transport, car rying ten guns, was lying outside the harbor, awaiting the tide in the morning, and he heard the governor give instructions to the captain of the transport in ref erence to himself and his two companions in misery. At sunset Bailey was taken by a squad of infantry to Scarlett's Wharf, where the Hercules' boat was lying. Standing on the deck of the Hercules half an hour later, young Bailey recalled all the events of his so journ in the New World. He thought of Revere and of Prescott, of Dr. Warren, who had been killed at Bunker Hill, and then of sweet Mistress Fowler. The last name almost unmanned him, and he trem bled like an aspen. "To be sent back in disgrace, it is shameful. What
88 Storm at Sea. will she think ? Will she ever know that it was through sympathy with her people and their cause?" He knew very well that it would not be so, for the governor would never allow it to go forth that an English soldier, and an officer at that, was accused of sympathy with rebels. No, his character would have to be blackened, or an excuse invented to account for his being sent back. The boat was again coming out from Scarlett's Wharf, and Bailey could plainly distinguish the forms of Sergt. Tompkins and Private O'Brien. The governor had kept his word and was sending them back also. The two men saluted as they reached the deck, and O'Brien could not resist saying : "Top o' the mornin' to yez, captain." "It seems to me night, not morning,'' answered Bailey, cheerily. "It's always mornin' an' sunshine where yer honor is,'' retorted Pat. The three men were separated during the night, an d each was sleeping snugly when the rattling of chains
Storm at Sea. and the noise of the sailors, as they set about raising the anchor, awoke them. "Ho, heave! Ho, heave! Ho, ho, ho! Heave, ho!" It did not take the three long to be ready to go on deck and take a last glimpse of Boston. Tompkins and O'Brien were not sorry to leave, though they were liable to imprisonment in a military prison when they reached England. They had no love for the war in which England was engaged, and like the lieutenant they were in full sympathy with the Americans. The good ship Hercules, with its sails set full, sailed gayly out of the harbor past Castle Island, which had been fortified by the Colonists as far back as 1634. A salute was fired from Castle William and answered by the transport, another salute being fired from Fort Winthrop, on Governor's Island. "They're glad to get rid of us," said Sergt. Tomp kins. "Bedad, but it's meself as 'u'd loike to be back ag'in an' foightin' with the Americans, so I would." "Hush! Pat, you will get yourself in irons if you talk like that."
Storm at Sea. "It's roight ye are, liftinant, but it's meself as is afther forgettin' that an Oirishman mustn't spake as he thinks." The good ship made but little headway, notwith standing that all sails were set, for no wind stirred, and the sails would not belly scarcely any. But late that afternoon a sudden squall arose and the sailors had to work like lightning to furl the sails. The wind blew a gale, and the foretopmast came down on the deck with a crash. "Be jabers, but that was a narrow squake; I nearly got hit." "We are in for some rough weather, I'm afraid." "Don't yez loike it?" "No ; do you?" "I am afther lovin' it. It's loike meself, all storm an' fury. By the powers I the say is koind o' grand whin the wather is rough." The Hercules tacked and drew in towards the shore and tried to lay to, for the captain was none too con fident that his ship could steer clear of the rocks and reefs in the harbor and just outside the bar.
Storm at Sea. "Do you see yonder light?" asked Tompkins. "Yes, what is it?" "The enemy." "Are they going to fire on us ?" "No, they have no guns that would carry this dis tance; I wish they had-it would make things lively." "They've got spunk enough to try," the sergeant said, and less than a minute later a ball fell in the water not a cable s length away. The sky grew almost black, the waves dashed over the ship and washed the deck, making it almost impos sible to stand. Nearer and nearer the shore the ship drifted, and the captain was powerless to avert the danger. It was then that Pat whispered : "By St. Pathrick but I could swim to shore." "But what good would that do?" "I'd be under the rattlesnake flag in a jiffy if I could land." Private Patrick O'Brien looked longingly at the beacon fires on la nd, and his heart went out to those who were fightin g for freedom.
Storm at Sea. Without counting the cost, without stopping to rea son, he jumped on the taffrail and in a moment was in the water. "Man overboard I" shouted the watch. "Splash!" Sergt. Tompkins had followed the private. "Splash!" Lieut. Bailey had followed the example of his comrades. "Three men overboard I" "Lower the boat!" "They are prisoners ; shoot them.'' "It is too dark to see.'' "Lower the boat, then, and a golden sovereign to each of the crew for each of the prisoners taken alive or dead.'' Such were the orders of the captain, and never did men work harder to win a reward than did the crew of that boat. For an hour they rowed this way and that, but not a trace of the three could be found.
Storm at Sea. 93 "Captain, do you think a man could live in a sea like that?" asked the first lieutenant. "No." "Then signal for the boat to get back, for the sky is clearing." "All right; give the signal-I am sure it is hopeless to save them." The boat returned and reported that not a trace of the men could be found, and the mate who was in command declared that only a whale could live in such a sea. The storm lifted and the last rays of the setting sun shone on the water, and the Hercules unfurled her sails and pointed her nos e once more to the eastward. On the coast a sandy stretch, as far as the eye could reach, broken only by some huge rocks all seemed peaceful and calm. The waves broke on the shore bringing in all sorts of drift and carrying out that which had been washed up by the previous waves. One thing washed up on shore was too heavy to be tak e n back by the next wave, and it lay there for a few minutes, a black-looking ob-
94 Storm at Sea. ject which would have been hard to recognize if any one had been there to see it. Presently the curious object straightened itself out and the figure of a man was revealed. The man sat up and looked around. "Alive, am I? Well, it does seem so, but I thought I was dead." The waves came up and the man crawled farther in land, to seek safety. "If I could crawl to that barrel I could roll some of the water out of me, for I am full of it." The half-drowned man was dizzy and faint, but he had a strong love of life, and so by a tremendous ef fort of will he crawled and rested and crawled again until he reached a barrel which he had seen farther up the coast. With almost a despairing effort he threw himself on the barrel face down and beg an to see-saw over it, and in a few minutes his stomach was somewhat relieved. He rolled the barrel a little too far one time and he fell over it on his head.
Storm at Sea. 95 "Be jabers, but I'm afther wishin' ye'd lam man ners an' let a poor creacher slape." The voice came from the barrel and the next in stant a man crawled from it. "Pat, how came you here?" "Sure an' liftinant, it's meself as moight be askin' that same question." Lieut. Bailey and Private O'Brien shook hands. It was a relic of their past life, but meant more than or dinary civility, it was a bond of brotherhood. "Where's the sergeant?" "I have not seen him; I do hope he is safe also." "In course he is, sure an' it would be impossible to drown him; he's too good a man, so he is, though he is a sassenac." "If that means Englishman, so am I." "Well, I'm Oirish, so I am, Oirish to the backbone, an' I'm not ashamed ov it." "Are you well enough to help search for Tompkins?" "Well enuff, tare an' hounds, but I'm as well as anny that's not worse. By the powers! but I thought I was gone till that barrel came along an' I got into it. It
Storm at Sea. was so shtrong of the crature that the smell saved me from drown in ." "Whisky barrel?" "An' rale good potheen it must have been." The two walked along the beach looking every way for the missing one, and were beginning to feel blue, when a cheery voice reached their ears : "Ahoy, there!" Turning round, they caught sight of Tompkins sit ting on the top of a rock, his full figure throwing a shadow of herculean proportions on the sand as the moonbeams fell on him. "Precious good thing it was moonlight, or you would not have seen me." "Why don't you come down?" "Can 't; I got up, but my foot is strained and I can not stand." The two climbed up on the rock and found quite a large surface on which to rest. "I'm plaguey tired and sleepy," said Tompkins, and the others complained of the same feeling With clothes soaked through, with their stomachs
Storm at Sea. 97 almost full of sea water, they felt exhausted and fell asleep. It was a wonder that they were alive, and a still greater wonder that they were able to sleep and awake again, for they had endured enough to kill ordinary men. But wake they did, but not until the sun was high in the sky, and gathering warmth every minute. "What shall we do now ?" "Foind somethin' to ate, says I." "Sensible thing to do, but we do not know where we are, and it will not do to say we escaped from a war ship." "Fwhat for not? Sure an' it's not friendly the natives are with the war ships." "Some might be in favor of the English." "Sure an' I've got me red coat on, an' that's a give away." "We have got to make the best of it; we risked death by jumping into the water, we must risk some thing to keep ourselves alive."
Storm at Sea. "Lead on, captain, and we will follow. We will live with you or die by your side.'' "I know that, my boys, and I hope we shall live some years yet, and that none of us will be ashamed of that jump into the water." The three struck inland, not knowing where they were, nor whether they were likely to meet friend or foe. They walked over the bluff and suddenly became aware that they were being held up by pickets. Who are you ? Where are you going? "As to who we are, I may say we are three ship wrecked men; as to where we are going, we do not know, only we want something to eat." The pickets, who wore no uniform of any kind, looked at each other and whispered among themselves. "You are English soldiers," one said. "We were, but we are shipwrecked, half-starved men now." "Do you surrender?" "Seeing that we have no weapons with which to fight, and you have, of course we surrender."
Storm at Sea. 99 "Fall in, then." A soldier in front and another in the rear was the escort of Bailey and his two companions to the head quarters of the colonial colonel. The rude tent was reached and the sergeant was about to tell of his capture, when a man stepped for ward and looked at Bailey. "You are Lieut. Bailey?" "I was." "I am Abram Billington, captain of the Boys of Liberty; you have met me before." "I am glad to meet you now, sir."
CHAPTER X. SUSPECTED. "I have no doubt you are glad, Lieut. Bailey, but it may be that you will wish you had never seen me before we part." "Capt. Billington, I deserve all your aspersions, but if I am allowed to explain--" "You will have ample opportunity for that, never fear." "I suppose you think me an enemy ; so be it ; you may change your opinion later, but now I have but one request to make, and it is one that you would not refuse even to your greatest enemy." "What is it, sir?" .We are starving; under ordinary circumstances that would be a misstatement, for we h:>d food a day since, but we have been in the water for some time-'' "Were you on that war ship?" "Yes."
Suspected. "Did our shots sink her?" "No, sir; they did not reach her--" "So I thought." IOI "But we have been in the water and nearly drowned, and we crave food, and then we are ready to make &uch explanation that we think you cannot refuse to accept." "You shall have food." "Thank you, Capt. Billington; but there is something more I have to ask." "What is it?" "You have a right to be suspicious; you have a right to treat us as prisoners, but I ask that no charges be made against us until you have heard our story." "I suppose you will each tell the same story?" "That I do not know anything about, but I may say this, that there is nothing we should object to more than to be given up or exchanged." "Lieut. Denman will see that you are fed, but I warn you that you will not be allowed to see any of our camp or---0r-anything else." "We are not spies."
102 Suspected. "You will be treated as such until you clear your selves." "So be it. I know we deserve no better treatment at your hands but I am hoping that before another day has passed you will think differently. "I have no doubt you think so, but let me ask you, sir, what shrift do you give spies in your army, if any should be captured?" "Even that I may talk to you about later. Might I ask where we are, for I have no idea what part of the coast this is." "Shall I have a set of plans prepared for you?" Bailey did not answer the sneering question ; he knew that his position was open to suspicion and he knew that the English would not have b e en as civil as had this farmer captain. Lieut. Denman, farmer officer and patriot appeared on the scene, and Billington w hisper e d to him his or ders. The three soldiers were blindfolded and then led some distance to a house which they e ntered The bandages were taken from th e ir e y es, and they
Suspected. IOJ saw a well-spread table in front of them, but the mo ment their eyes rested on the food there was a revolt in their stomachs and each thought he was about to vomit. Denman looked at them, and his quick eyes saw that their uniforms had evidently been in the water, and the salt fairly glistened on them. "In the water long?" "I do not know, lieutenant; it seemed to me hours, it may have only been minutes, but we were pretty well filled up with the briny." "You look it. I know the sensation. I was nearly drowned myself once, and it was days before I could fancy food. But a good square drink may settle your stomachs." A quarter pint of rum was served out to each of the three and the effect was magical, the sickness left them and they were ready to eat, and eat they did heartily. When they had finished they were again blindfolded and led back to the tent, where Capt. Billington awaited them. "Well, sir, I suppose you are feeling better."
104 Suspected. "We are, Capt. Billington, and if it would not be too great a favor to ask, I would much like to tell our story, which you may believe or not, as you please." "Who are these men with you? are they sp--I beg pardon, good soldiers?" "I can answer for Sergt. Tompkins and Private O'Brien as for myself." "They seem to be dumb." "Dumb is it, sure an' we could talk a donkey's hind leg off, only we promised his honor that div-never a wurrud would we spake till he told us." "I have not given you permission yet, Pat; until I do, please obey." "Be jabers, an' it's meself as'll obey yez to the death." "Capt. Billington, may I ask if you have heard any thing of your son, Abram ?" "What has that got to do with you?" "If you act in this manner I am very much afraid that our story will not be believed. I asked about Abram because I have seen him, and had it not been for him I should not have been here now."
Suspected. "You will ask me to believe that he sent you?" "No, sir; he has no idea that I am here, but all the same it is through him that you see me now. I sup pose that some stories are best told by giving the last chapter first, and if you will have it so, why I must perforce submit." "Tell your story, sir; time is precious." "Then, Capt. Billington, your son was condemned to death as a spy. I saw him in his prison." "You dare to tell me to my face that you were his jailer?" Bailey did not answer the interruption, but con tinued: "I urged him to certain action, but he was manly enough to say that death was preferable to dishonor. He escaped--" "Escaped? Thank Heaven I" "He escaped, and I was arrested, charged with aiding him, while O'Brien, who was the soldier on duty, was also arrested and ordered to be tried by court martial, as was Sergt. Tompkins." "Gospel truth, ivery wurrud ov it.''
106 Suspected. "The governor did not want to bring me to trial, so he ordered me deported to England, and at my re quest these two men were allowed to accompany me." "It was to jail we were going," interrupted Tomp kins. "We were placed on board the Hercules and started for England, but a storm arose and we were driven to the shore. The sky got very dark, though it was only afternoon; we saw your beacon fires and we were only a cable's length away from where your shot fell. In the darkness we thought that death by drowning was better than imprisonment on the other side, so we jumped in and swam ashore." "Wrong again, captain ; I laped overboard an' a hullabaloo was raised, an' sure they thought me moighty important, for they lowered a boat, but afore they did so the liftenant an' the sargeant l'aped in af ther me, so they did, an' we didn't swim ashore-the waves were too shtrong, but we were jist washed up loike anny other truck, an' here we are." "What was your object, sir, in trying to reach land
Suspected. when your own commander had ordered you to Eng land?" "My one desire, Capt. Billington, was to join the American forces and fight for liberty. "Same here, sure an lirishman is out of place fnightin in a red coat whin anny other can be had." "You mean to tell me that you have deserted and would join our ranks?" "Scarcely deserted, seeing that we were prisoners and ordered home in disgrace. Say rather that we f"!l caped our doom, to prove that there are some Englis'1men who think you are right." "Don't forget that I'm an Oirishman." "Lieut. Bailey, your story is very far from plausihle, and I am not green enough, though only a farmer, to believe it. I still think you are spies, and I pray eaven that I am not misjudging you. I have no power to order you to be court-martialed, but I shall send you under a strong escort to Cambridge, there to be dealt with by Gen. Washington." "Thank you, sir, for your courtesy; I scarcely e')[pec!ed you to believe me."
108 Suspected. "I shall have to acquaint the commander-in-chief of your previous conduct, and I do not think that you will be especially proud of having led a lot of free booters and midnight assassins in an attack on defeu::.eiess women and children." "A soldier often has to do unpleasant things, Ca.p lain, and it is possible that you may have to acknowl edge that before the war is over "I shall be ready to ask your pardon if I have wronged you, but, as a soldier, you must admit that I cannot act otherwise." "When shall I be sent to Cambridge?" "In the morning. In the meantime you will be se curely guarded, and--" "Put us in chains if you so desire, sir ; I shall not complain, for I have learned to respect Gen. Wash ington and shall think it an honor to see him, even if i am carried into his presence in irons." "Lieut. Bailey, I shall place you on parole, trusting to your honor not to leave the place where you will be until so ordered "And my comrades?"
Suspected. 109 "Your word shall be their bond. I have no desire to be unjust, and no one will be better pleased than I if you can clear yourself of the suspicion which now rests upon you." "Thank you, Capt. Billington."
CHAPTER XI. CLEARED. Gen. Washington was pacing up and down before the Vassal House at Cambridge, which he had made his headquarters. He could not rest in the house, and even outside he was uneasy. The Colonials were too slow in providing the neces sary arms and ammunition for the war, and each day saw their cause apparently getting weaker. Something was needed to rouse their enthusiasm. The real truth was that the colonies had not broken with the king and were expecting daily to receive an answer to their petition, which answer they were con vinced would be favorable. Washington saw clearly that the king would not act contrary to the wish of his ministry, and that only by making a strong stand and a vigorous fight would the colonies gain anything. A sudden impulse caused Washington to pass through the little park which surrounded the house
Cleared. III and into the road. He walked down Brattle Street and into the Waterbury Road until he reached the giant elm under whose spreading branches he had accepted the command of the American forces. He leaned his back against the tree and soon his mind became engrossed in thought. The tramp of soldiers roused him and recalled him to the present. He saw a small troop approaching him and knew that some important captures had been made, for in the midst of the troop rode three men blindfolded, each man's horse being held by a trooper who rode along side. Lieut. Denman was in command, and as he saw the commander he saluted. Washington was a great believer in discipline, so he curbed his curiosity and allowed the troop to pass down the road into Harvard Square, there to report to the officer of the day. In a ver y short space of time Maj.-Gen. Israel Put nam entered Washington s presence at the Vassal
112 Cleared. House, to which he had returned, and reported the cap ture of three men who were believed to be spies. Instead of ordering them to be tried, Washington desired them to be brought into his presence, and with eager impatience awaited them. "Putnam, stay with me; I want you to hear what charges are made against these men." "If they are really spies we ought to make an ex ample of them; the English do not h e sitate to do so." "You are right, but I should want absolute proof." Lieut. Bailey and his comrades were ushered into the presence of the great Virginian, still blindfolded. "Remove those bandages," Washington ordered promptly. Bailey saluted and his proud face flushed as he thought of the disgrace of being accused of illicit spy ing. "I see by your uniform that you are an officer in the king's army." "I was, general." "You say was. Are you not still one?" "No."
Cleared. IIJ "Have you resigned?" "No. "Expelled? But that I do not think likely." "General, my-nay, I will say our great ambition is to be in your army, or under your command." "You do not mean to infer that you have deserted?" "In military language that is the only word by which our conduct can be explained." "Why did you desert?" "The immediate cause was unjust treatment, but in reality my heart was not with the cause.'' "But you wore the king's uniform?" "It is true, but you are not fighting against the king, but against bad government ordered, as you believe, contrary to the king's wishes.'' "There is a difference, however." "I am aware of it. But perhaps if I tell my story you may understand my position.'' "First let me know who is the accuser of these men.'' Washington turned to his aide, and in answer a paper was handed to the general, giving the result of
Cleared. the examination by Billington, and concluding by say ing that: "On the face it appears .that they have been guilty of the act of spying, and of such it is my duty to accuse them, though I hope your excellency will be able to find a way to clear them of such a stain on their honor." Washington read the accusation and smiled; then in a low voice said to Putnam : "Either Billington is soft-hearted, or else he does not believe them guilty; which do you think?" "I rather incline to the latter, but let the officer tell his story." "Lieutenant, you have heard what Maj.-Gen. Put nam has suggested. Will you tell your story, as briefly as possible, though do not injure your cause by brevity. I will listen just as long as you deem it nec essary." "Gen. Washington, may I have the honor of speak ing for a moment to Gen. Putnam ?" "You may. Do you wish it to be in private?" "No, your excellency."
Cleared. "Gen. Putnam, may I ask if you are the same Israel Putnam who was captured by the French and Indians in 1758, tied to a tree and exposed for a long time to the fire of friend and foe?" "I am." "You and several of your men were taken away by the Indians, and at night you were again tied to a tree and a big fire was lighted around you, to burn you to death when Capt. Morang, of the French army, res cued you and carried you to Montreal, where you were exchanged through the efforts of Col. Peter Schuyler, who was himself a prisoner?" "All that is true, but I do not know how the facts came to your knowledge, seeing that you must have been a little baby at that time." "I was a baby, not two years old, for I am not nine teen yet." "Who told you?" "Do you remember a tall, well-bearded man, a hunter, who was attracted to this country by his love of hunting, and who tried to save you from the In dians?"
JJ6 Cleared. "You mean Philip Armstrong.'' "Yes, that was his name. I am the bearer of a little gold charm which he says you lost and he found. He offered to restore it to you, but you begged him to keep it in remembrance of that day.'' "You have that charm?" "I have. Philip Armstrong was my mother's brother, and when he knew my regiment, the Forty seventh, was ordered to America, he begged me to seek you out and tell you that he still remembered your courage and magnificent fortitude. Here is the charm ; do you remember it?" Bailey handed an old-fashioned charm, such as in those days were worn on fobs, to Putnam, who ex claimed: "It is the same, it is the same. My boy, I am glad to meet a nephew of Philip Armstrong, a man who risked his life to save mine. I hope that your story of how you came to be here may be as true as the one you have told me." "Your excellency, are you ready to hear my story?" "Yes, proceed.''
Cleared. "First, let me ask you to forget what I have said to Gen. Putnam ; I ought to have waited, but the name fell on my ears and confused my senses." "Do not apologize; proceed." Bailey told the story pretty much as be bad given it to Capt. Billington, and it was evident that even Put nam himself, much as be was impressed in the young officer's favor, could not altogether credit it. "Is that all ?" "It is, your excellency." "Do either of your comrades wish to add to the story?" "I do not, sir,'' said Tompkins. "I very wurrud is as th rue as gospel, by St. Patrick it is, d'ye moind." "Are you known to any of the colonials, who could testify on your behalf ?" "I would not ask them to do so." "Why?" "Because they could not say whether the story I now tell is worthy of belief or not."
II8 Cleared. The orderly craved admission and handed to Gen. Washington a slip of paper on which was written: "Paul R e v e re; with import a nt information." "I will see Master Rev e re in a f e w minutes." "Did your excellency speak of Master Paul Revere?" "Do you know him ?" "I did." "Orderly, send Master Revere here at once Paul Revere entered the presence of Gen. Washing ton, and for a moment did not see Bailey; when he did he stepped forward and extended his hand : "Gerald, my bo y I have heard about you. I thought you were dead; I grieved when I heard it, but hurried to tell his excellency that some brave hearts beat 'neath British uniforms." "What do you mean, Master Revere? "Why, your excellency, this man, aided by two others, liberated one of my bravest Boys of Liberty, young Abram Billington, whom Thomas Gage had con demned to death, and when accused of it this brave young Englishman actually declared himself proud of
Cleared. the act and told the governor that he would rather die fighting under the Colonial flag as a private than be the commander-in-chief of the British army." "Who told you this?" "It is common talk, and, your excellency, it is given out that Lieut. Bailey and his comrades were shipped to England on the Hercules, but a great storm arose and the three men were washed overboard. Boats were lowered, and for several hours the ship was laid to, waiting for tidings of the men ; the boat returned and announced the drowning of the men, and so nothing was to be gained by waiting." "And that is the story told in Boston?" "It is." "I am sorry, for the story you tell is very similar to what we have heard, so similar that it looks to me very much like a concoction intended to aid these men in their work as spies." "Whoever says Lieut. Bailey is a spy will have to answer to me," Revere said, boldly and defiantly. "I would answer for him with my life." "So would I," came from the doorway.
120 Cleared. All eyes were turned in that direction, and the face of young Abram Billington was seen. "Who are you that dares come here unbidden?" "I am Abram Billington, and I came with Master Revere. I heard what he said, and now I want to thank Pat-I don't know his other name-for all his kindness to me when I was condemned to death." It was a curious trial ; it was lacking dignity ; it was not according to military law; but no one thought the less of it on that account. "Revere, take these men away and see that they arc cared for until I am ready to say what is to be done with them. In an hour send young Billington to me." All left the room and, a few moments later, the house. If anyone had said that Bailey and Tompkins and O'Brien were prisoners on seeing them walk through the little park surrounding the Vassal House, they would have been laughed at, for no jollier party was ever seen than those five young men.
CHAPTER XII. ABRAM'S ADVENTURES, I, Abram Billington the younger, will now resume the story as I know it; what I have written about Bailey has been from the stories I have heard told so often, and I have been very glad that justice was done to a brave young Englishman and an equally brave Irishman. Of course, my appreciation is also ex tended to Sergt. Tompkins. When I entered the presence of Gen. Washington at the time agreed upon, he asked me to tell him all I knew; this I did, nothing loath, for I was very proud of all who had aided my escape. When I told him of the transformation worked by Hosea, the great man laughed and said that he should certainly have to tell Lady Washington about it when he next wrote to her. "My boy, the information you have brought is very important," he said, after I had told him all I had dis covered in Boston before my capture, "and I thank you
J '21 Abram's Adventures. for undergoing so much danger for the sake of our country. I hope that when the end comes we may each have as good an account to our credit." I was greatly flattered, you may be sure, and I was also so confused that I blushed like a girl and could not speak at all. "So you think that this young Englishman would really like to join our forces?" "I am sure of it." "But he would have to fight against his own people, perhaps against his former regiment." "I had not thought of that," I answered, and my heart sank within me. "I have a plan, if this man is really honest. I want to send a small company to Gen. Schuyler at Ticon deroga, and he can join that if he so desires." "Please, your excellency, can I go also?" "I intend that the company shall be made up of the Boys of Liberty, and I shall ask Master Revere to se lect fifty in whom he can place trust. The mission is a dangerous one, you may have to fight ever mile of
Abram's Adventures. 123 the way, and it may be that not one will reach Ticon dero g a alive." I was getting very important in my own estimation, and I asked whether we were to stay at Ticonderoga for the winter. Had I been older or more experienced I should have hesitated long before asking a com mander o f an army as to his intentions, but I was young and impulsive. "No, my brave boy, your destination is Canada. I have reasons for believing that the Canadians would like to make common cause with us, and so I am going to invade Canada, so that they may have a chance to show on which side their sympathies are." I was so ashamed of having spoken so freely to him that I was now speechless, and Washington continued: "This young lieutenant, Bailey, will not be likely to meet any of his own regiment, and so fighting against his own country will not appear so bad. Ask him if he and the two men with him will join the expedition on those terms." That was how it came to pass that Gerald Bailey and Sergt. Tompkins and Private O Brien became re-
Abram's Adventures. cuits in the Boys of Liberty, for they were all three delighted on hearing the offer made by the commander in-chief. That night, by the camp fire, I had to tell my expe riences after leaving my uncle's house. I had no means of knowing where Hosea was, but I did hear that he had escaped, for all Boston was alive with the news that a daring spy had escaped by the aid of witchcraft, and that three English soldiers were arrested for assisting the witches. After leaving Master Cranmer's house late in the afternoon I knew that escape from Boston would not be easy, but I had passed through so many adventures that a few more or less would not matter. I got on all right and without molestation until I reached Back Street, and a few hundred yards away from the Baptist Meeting House, which stood between the street and the mill pond. I was walking along as unconcerned as possible when I was ordered to stand still. A soldier looked at me very closely, and then at a paper which he had taken from his breast. I began
Abram's Adventures. 125 to tremble, for I was fairly certain that the paper con tained a description of myself and an order to arrest me. "You look like a boy I have orders to arrest," he said. "I'm glad I'm not the boy," I replied. "So am I, for I'd hate to lug a chap back to prison, knowing that he would have his neck stretched at sunrise." "What has he done?" "He is a spy." "Is that all? I thought he had stolen something." "You're a fool. A spy is worse than a murderer." "Is he? Why, how awful. I think it would be bet-ter to be a witch than a spy." "You haven't seen a boy hanging about, have you?" "Gracious goodness, no; I should have a fit if I saw a boy hanging," I replied. "Go along, you are a fool." "So I thought," I shouted, as I ran forward, glad to have got off so but I was not destined to reach the North Water Mill quite so easily as I hoped.
126 Abram's Adventures. I was just opposite the Baptist Meeting House when three soldiers called on me to halt. I knew then that trouble was brewing, and, instead of obeying, I ran towards the meeting house and burst open the door. I had several times been with Jasper Cranmer's family to worship there, and I knew every inch of the build ing. Shall I tell you how? It was not through attend ing service, for that was very far from interesting to us boys. We were not allowed to look round, we must not turn our heads, or we should get a rap over the head from a long wand the verger carried, and we had to behave ourselves all the time. Larry Cranmer was full of mischief, and many a time he and I got away from the house and spent an hour in the meeting house and its belfry, in which hung a very discordant bell. The soldiers saw me enter the meeting house and they followed quickly, but could not see me. I first hid ullder one of the seats but that was dan gerous, so I crawled along-the space under the seats was all open-until I reached the belfry door. This was fortunately unfastened, and while the soldiers were
Abram's Adventures. searching under the seats on the other side, I slipped into the belfry and up the stairs as quickly as my legs would move. I reached the bell and found that I was none too soon, for the soldiers were at the foot of the ladder. "He has gone up there." "There he'll stay, then, for me.'' "I'm going up." "Don't be a fool, he will knock out your brains be-fore you reach the loft.'' "That may be right, but we have got to get him." "But how?" "If we can't go up to him, he must come down to us." "But will he ?" "If we wait long enough.'' "We don't know that he is the one we want." "Yes, he is. See here, you go and report that he is in the belfry while I watch for him." "We will wait together. I have an idea.'' "That is a miracle.'' "What is ?"
128 Abram's Adventures. "For you to have an idea; but what is it?" "There is not room for anyone to stand up there when the bell is ringing, so we will pull the rope and down he will come." "Good, just the thing! We will get him and the reward." I heard all this conversation and quickly made up my mind what to do. I caught hold of the rope and entwined my arms and legs round it, keeping as close to it as possible. I felt the rope getting taut, then I knew that it was being pulled. I felt the great bell rise, and it seemed to me as though it must topple over and crush me. It fell, and a noise like a thousand peals of thunder made my ears tingle, and I was sure that I had lost all power of hearing in the future. And yet the noise was only the clapper striking the bell. Again the bell rose, and a second time the clang rang in my ears, making me dazed and feel almost stunned. Five times the bell rang out, and five times I thought my head was crushed with the noise.
Abram's Adventures. Then the rope became stationary and I tried to slip to the floor but my arms and legs were cramped, and I could not separate them from the rope. I stayed there for several minutes and heard nothing but the echoing and re-echoing of the noise of the bell, which seemed to haunt the belfry, until a strong puff of wind found its way into the small chamber and revived me. All was silent in the meeting house, and I crawled down the ladder and managed to reach the street, more dead than alive. It was evident that the soldiers thought they had been mistaken or else that the bell had crushed me and I was dead. I walked as quickly as I could towards the mill pond, for I knew that the keeper of the old mill was a good Colonial and would help me to get &cross the river to Cambridge. When I reached the mill I found it deserted, and I began to despair. I fancied I heard voices, and was sure that one of the speakers was the keep e r. I followed the sound and found myself in a peculiar
130 Abram's Adventures. room which was all strange to me. On one side I could hear the splashing of water, and I hoped that I might find a boat there. If I did I should not hesi tate to take it and row myself across the river. I looked out through a little square door and saw the water begin to grow agitated and rough, a thing I could not understand. In a moment the floor began to sink with me and I tried to step off, but it went down so quickly that I had no chance. I knew then, when it was too late, that I was on one of the paddles between the buckets of the water wheel. I grasped the iron support and prayed. "Save me! Save me!" That was all I could think to say. I was douced into the water and up again on the other side, only to sink into the water again and be dragged through it as the wheel made its revolutions. I wondered how many times I could stand it. I fancied each time I must either fall off, and be crushed by the heavy bucket, or be drowned as I stood on the paddle.
Abram's Adventures. 131 I kept going on the wheel faster and faster until every part of my body ached. Then a sudden jolt and a creaking of all parts of the machinery told me that the power had been shut off and the wheel was being stopped. A new danger confronted me. If the wheel stopped while I was under water! I knew I had not strength enough to swim ashore, and so must be drowned. But the wheel stopped at exactly the spot from which it started, and I was safe. I crawled off the paddle and knew nothing more until I heard an ex clamation of: "Bless my soul!"
CHAPTER XIII. VOLUNTEERS. Looking upwards, I saw the wrinkled face of tile millkeeper. He was old, some said as old as the mill itself, but that could scarcely be, for that w a hun dred years old, and old Mathew could not have reached that age. The face was a reflex of an intelligent soul, but appeared more like parchment than flesh. "Bless my soul I Who are you? Where did you come from ?" "Mathew, don't you know me? You have ground lots of my father's wheat; I am Abram Billington's son." "Bless my soul! You don't say so." "It is a fact." "You are wet." "So would you be if you had been on that wheel while it was going round." "You were not--"
Volunteers. IJJ "Yes, I was ; and it is a wonder I was not killed. Why did you start the wheel like that?" "I had been repairing a belt of the wheel and wanted to see if it worked all right." "I guess it did. But now I want you to help me." "How?" "I want you to row me across to Cambridge." "I dare not." "Then let me have a boat, and I will pull myself across." "Master Abram, mebbe you don't know that there is a reward offered for you, dead or alive." "What if there is?" "We shall be seen and fired upon, and--" "Mathew, you are afraid. I see it all, you think more of your neck than you do of your country." "You know it is not so; wait a bit and let me think. But first are you hungry?" "No, I am wet though." "That I am afraid I cannot remedy, but I can give you a drink of brandy or rum, and that will help you some."
134 Volunteers. When Mathew came back with the spirits he asked me if I was prepared to take a big risk ; I told him that as my neck was in danger all the time a little more or less would make no differ e nce. "I have to take s ome bags of meal across the river, and if you like to get into a bag and let me throw you in with the rest I think we may evade the patrol." "The patrol on the wat er?" "Yes, the patrol boats are going up and down the river all the time, didn't you know?" "No. I see now why you hesitated. I am ready to be a bag of meal." It really appeared to be the only way, and the incon venience was only trifling. I was soon put into a sack, and by doubling myself up I could manage to look quite respectable in my new guise. The boat was loaded, and I could not help wonder ing how the old man could pull the boat over a mile with such a cargo. I had a good-sized hole through which I was able to breathe and also see what was going on to a lim ited extent.
V oluntccrs. JS We had covered two-thirds of the distance and thought we were safe, when a boat came upon us un awares and demanded that we should stop. "Where are you going ?" Mathew answered and showed his permit from the British to take a certain number of bags of meal across the river. "That looks all right, but you have one bag more than appears on your permit." "I thought one more would not matter." "It does matter, and you have got to return. Stay I I will put one of my men in your boat to row you back to the old mill." Mathew knew that I had a knife in my hand ready to cut the string at the mouth of the bag in case of necessity, and so leaning over me, as though to make room for one of the king's men, he whispered: "I'm going to capsize the boat, get ready for a swim "Now, then, old parchment, are you going to step over so that I can sit down," shouted the patrol, who had stepped into our boat."
Volunteers. "I'm stiff, master, and old; but have patience, I will give you room in a jiffy." Mathew leaned farther over me, and I knew he meant me to cut the cord. As soon as I had done so he started back, and by a quick movement fell over a sack. It all appeared to be an accident, but the boat went over and bags of meal and the three of us were in the water, struggling to get free from the boat. I had got out of the sack as soon as it had struck the water, and I began to swim for the shore. I had not made many strokes before the patrol in the other boat cried out: "Fire on him !" Splash splash I The bullets fell only a few feet away from me, but fortunately did not hit me. I swam all the harder, though I was weaker than I imagined, but I gained all the time. Splash splash splash I The bullets fell thick around me, and I found that the patrol boat was getting nearer and nearer, but a diversion occurred, for a little distance away from
V oluntcers. 137 me there was the sound of other bullets striking the water, and then a mighty roar and a crash that seemed to lift the waters of the river out of their bed and then dash them back again. Once more there was another awful thunderous roar and my ears were deafened. A moment more and a strong hand grasped me and lifted me out of the water and placed me in a boat. I was too exhausted to oppose or make any resistance, so I had to submit. I opened my eyes and saw that the man who had pulled me into the boat was wearing the Colonial uniform, and I knew I was safe. The thunderous roar had been the firing of cannon at the patrol boat, and I learned that every action of ours had been watched from the moment we got into view of the Colonial forces. When our boat went oYer, and the British patrol commenced firing, the Colonials thou ght it time to take a hand, which they did to good effect, for the British boat was sunk and two of the men taken prisoners. Old Mathew was s aved and
Volunteers. thought it advisable to stay within our lines rather than go back to the old mill. I soon made known my identity, and was welcomed by some of my comrades in the Boys of Liberty Brigade as one rescued from the grave. That is my story, and it may help to show what we boys had to endure in that early struggle for liberty and right. Early the next morning Paul Revere and my father, who had come to camp when he heard I was safe, be gan to call the roll of the Boys of Liberty, and when the end of the roll came Revere added : "Gerald Bailey!" "Present!" "John Tompkins 1 "Present I" "Patrick O'Brien !" "Arrah now, be aisy; sure an' ye can see me wid half a eye." "Boys of Liberty you have three new comrades, treat them well, for they deserve all consideration,'' said Revere, and we all cheered as lustily as we cou!d.
Volunteers. 139 "Boys of Liberty, I have been asked to select fifty of you for a march through the country on a dangerous expedition. I prefer that you volunteer. All who wish to risk life and limb in this expedition, step forward." Everyone stepped to the front. "Fall back I "I only want fifty, and you number seventy. I want you to remember that there is but poor chance of any ever seeing Boston again ; you are going into the en emy's country and bullets will be as plentiful as bram ble berries, but you will have very few to send back. It means death-
r Volunteers. The moment he spoke several called out : "Straw-leg, left-leg, straw-leg l" "Silence!" "That's me, captain,'' shouted Hosea, who came running toward us. "Where did you spring from ?" "Out of the jaws of death and into the flames--" "Silence l Fall in, Hosea, if you do not want to be considered a deserter." Hosea was so glad to be back with his company that he forgot all discipline and turned cart wheels across the open space to the line of Boys of Liberty. Maj.-Gen. Putnam had been a witness of the whole proceedings, and he stepped up to Revere and said: "Do not separate them; let them all go." "Hurrah for old Israel!" shouted one of the boys, and the sentiment was taken up with vigor.
CHAPTER XIV. DAS H I N G AB E ." Under the command of Capt. Billington, our little band of Boys of Liberty marched away from Cam bridge, and by the shortest route through Vermont to Ticonderoga. In Vermont we were joined by a company of Green Mountain Boys, and right glad we were to have the reinforcement, for our scouts had informed us that a hostile tribe of Indians were ranging along the banks of Lake Champlain, intending to prevent any Ameri cans reaching the other side. We had been on the march for two weeks, and not an incident occurred to spur our energies or enliven the dull routine of the march. September had opened and we were t>eginning to fear that winter would come before we had a fight, when word was brought us that two hundred Indians were in camp some distance away. We had finished supper when the order came for us
"Dashing Abe." to turn out and under cover of the darkness make for the enemy's lines, hoping to surprise them and win an easy victory. It was dangerous work, for we did not know how many Indians might be lurking in the woods, and we were liable to come upon them at any moment. All through the night we marched and were already thinking we had been fooled when the dawn began to disperse the heavy fog which was rising on the lake. To the north of us was a heavy forest which we wanted to avoid, for we had no desire to be caught like rats in a trap, so we made our way in a bee line for the lake at the nearest point instead of the one where we had hoped to cross. The fog grew thicker and we were wet to the skin, which did not improve our temper. "Arrah now, an' this is foine, it puts me in moind ov the ould counthry where, bedad, ye could just cut the fog wid a knife," exclaimed O'Brien, who was marching by my side. "I thought you had no fogs in Ireland," I said. "Sure an' ye are afther foolin'. It was the schnakes,
"Dashing Abe." bedad, that the blissed Saint Pathrick was afthcr sendin' out ov Oireland an' not botherin' wid fogs." A sudden gust of wind parted the fog just as the rod of Moses did the Red Sea, and we saw a com pany of nigh unto two hundred Indians right in front of us, and we could see that they were armed with guns. Capt. Billington hesitated a minute or two, for we had no shelter except the woods and we might be sur rounded in them, so he gave the order to charge ahead. At double quick we made for the enemy, who re ceived us with a volley which killed two of our little force and wounded three more. We returned the fire, and had the satisfaction of see ing at least a dozen of the redskins writhing on the ground. "Fall on your faces and reload!" was the order, which we obeyed. Our guns reloaded, we jumped to our feet, and, yelling worse than the Indians, we charged again, firing as we ran, and then down on our faces once more, but
"Dashing Abe." only just m time, for a volley went flying over our heads, doing us no harm. To our feet we scrambled once more and charged the sange horde again. The Indians had learned their lesson well and stood as steady as white men while they fired in volleys, which we only escaped by falling down. We kept up a galling fire into their ranks, and saw them losing men fast. Again and again we fired and moved forward, until we were near enough to fix bayonets and make a dash for the Indians. A panic set in, and the savages did not wait for our charge but scattered in all directions. Gerald Bailey, who fought like a demon, shouted that we had thrashed th em, but I knew differently. I knew more of the Indian character than he did, and I was certain that they would rally and, perhaps, get to our rear and make us tum our backs on the lake. I was right, for from three sides volleys were being poured into our ranks, and we saw our boys falling all around. "Make for the lake I"
"Dashing Abe." We ran; we did not consider whether we were in line or not, but went forward like a lot of sheep, following our leaders. I was clear mad all through, for it looked as though we were afraid; but my father, though only a farmer, knew what he was doing, and in a few minutes the Indians had gathered together and once more opposed us as a solid mass. "Right about face!" "Cbarge the enemy!" Again we charged the foe, and over the fallen mem bers of our little force we ran firing and reloading as fast as we could. "Charge !" Our bayonets fixed, we ran through a shower of bul lets and never stopped to see how many were falling around us. One Indian was right in the way of my gun and my bayonet spitted him, and it was with difficulty that I pulled it from his body. The Indians threw away their guns and seized their tomahawks, but we were too fast for them, and with
"Dashing Abe." our bayonets made short work of those who came in our way. The fight had lasted only half an hour, but it was a bloody one, and when roll was called that night we had to mark fifteen missing. Capt. Winthrop, of the Green Mountain Boys, was kind enough to bestow on me what I think was un merited praise. In a speech before the entire command he said: "We have won a victory, and I want personally to say that we are greatly indebted to the tremendous courage and magnificent spirit of Abram Billington, the younger. "When we were feeling blue, when the Indians seemed to have gained the ascendancy, he dashed for ward and with his men cut a way through the ranks of the enemy. "I watched him, and his courage was an incentive to the Green Mountain Boys, and we all fought the better for it. I never saw such dash in the several battles in which I have been engaged. I could not resist
"Dashing Abe." calling out to my men, 'Look at, and follow Dashin' Abe.'" Then some one called out for cheers for Dashing Abe, and they were given heartily, much to my sur prise, for I did not know that I had done anything out of the ordinary. I learned afterwards that in the report sent by the ranking officer to Gen. Washington, I was called "Dashing Abe," and that name has clung to me ever smce. I know that the Boys of Liberty did well, and I was proud to have been one of them, and I am sure that the people ought never to forget that credit is due to the brave youngsters who enlisted in the fight for their country. We reached the lake early the next morning, and another disappointment awaited us, and we were for a time rather discouraged. We had heard that a fleet of boats were ready for us, and certainly the morning previously that was a fact, for our scouts had seen them, but now not a boat was in sight, and our destination was the other side of the lake.
"Dashing Abe." The Green Mountain Boys suggested making rafts, and that was the only feasible thing to do, but it seemed as though we should never be able to cross in that way. These hardy mountaineers carried axes with them, and very soon they were at work chopping down trees, and others were lashing them together in the form of rafts. As soon as a raft was finished, as many men as could conveniently stand on it started for the other side, punting it along by means of a long pole. I happened to be selected to go on the first raft, and with me were Bailey and O Brien. We had got into the middle of the lake which was not very wide at that part, when a cannon ball s pla shed into the water close to us, endangering our raft as well as our lives. What did it mean? The shot was fired from the York side, and that position was supposed to be in the hands of our people. Another shot, and our raft gave such a lurch that several of our party fell overboard. Fortunately most
"Dashing Abe." of us were good swimmers, and the distance was easily covered; but a third shot was fired, and things grew more serious. We shouted and tried to make the soldiers under stand that we were friends and not the enemy, but we could not be heard. Bailey pulled off his coat and vest, and then took off his shirt which was white. This he waved furiously above his head, and in a brief time another white object was waved from the other side. The shirt had been taken to be a flag of truce, and meant that we surrendered. Another raft was well under way before we reached the shore. and a shot was fired at it. "What do you mean?" I shouted, as soon as I touched the soil on the York side. "Don't you know that we are friends?" "Friends or no friends,'' exclaimed the officer to whom I had spoken; "you will have to explain many things before we accept you as allies.'' "Stop that firing, then, quick, or the consequence will be unpleasant for you."
"Dashing Abe." "Who are you that dares to talk to Gen. Schuyler's aide?" "I am Abram Billington, of the Boys of Liberty, and we came at the orders of Gen. Washington to report to Gen. Schuyler." "What proof have you of that?'' "Our presence is sufficient proof, but the captain has his orders which he will present in person to Gen. Schuyler, as soon as he can get across." "I wish I knew whether that is the truth." "Why should you doubt?" "I will tell you as man to man. Last night word was brought, by a friendly Indian, that a body of English soldiers were marching towards the lake with the intention of surprising us. We at once got all the boats over here and waited. We naturally thought that you were English." "That friendly Indian was doubtless one of those who escaped us yesterday when we had a severe bat tle with them." Another shot was fired at the approaching raft, and I grew angry and threatened that unless the firing was
"Dashing Abe." stopped I would report the matter to Gen. Wash ington. "What is the meaning of all this?" asked Gen. Schuyler, as he came on the field. "We are Boys of Liberty, sent here to assist you, but the welcome we get is a curious one." "Boys of Liberty? Bless my soul, are you the famous boys of whom I have heard so much?" "I do not know about that, but you might ask Gen. Putnam, or Gen. Washington himself. Here comes our captain, and he will satisfy you." My father, or Capt. Billington, as I as well as the others called him, stepped forward and saluted. He handed a sealed letter to Gen. Schuyler, who stepped aside to read it. "I ask pardon for misjudging you,'' he said, after reading the letter. "I should have never forgiven my self if the injudicious zeal of my men had caused any of you to be wounded or killed." Boats were sent over at once for the remainder of the company, and before night our little regiment were
1f2 "Dashing Abe." the recipients of a warm welcome from the Colonial forces under Generals Schuyler and Montgomery. We heard the disastrous end of the first expedition, how under these splendid generals the division had proceeded by way of the lake and the river Sorel to St. John, but, finding the place too strong to be car ried by assault, had fallen back to Isle-aux-Noix in the Sorel, which place Gen. Schuyler fortified and then returned to Ticonderoga for reinforcements, leaving the brave Montgomery in command at the isle. It was exceedingly mortifying to Schuyler to have to give up the expedition to Montreal, but he was too wise to risk losing most of his men in a fruitless as sault. The New Yorkers had promised to send a regiment to reinforce Schuyler, and it was expected that another expedition would set out from Massachusetts and Ver mont to attack from another point. Washington had urged the generals to go forward and do the best they could and not wait for any more troops, as it was difficult to find sufficient ammunition and supplies for a larger force.
CHAPTER XV. GEN. MONTGOMERY. Gen. Schuyler was stricken down with fever and un able to leave Ticonderoga, so the whole command de volved on Gen. Montgomery. I had heard a great deal about Richard Montgomery, and was delighted when I was detailed to be one of a party to proceed north and acquaint him of the sick ness of his fellow general. Montgomery was an Irishman, the son of a mem ber of Parliament, and had come to the new world with the army in 1757. He had displayed great courage and military skill at the siege of Louisburg and in other actions, and was appointed adjutant of Gen. Wolfe's own regiment. He returned to England and lived there nine years, but, desiring to live in America, he sold his commission in the English Army and returned to New York, where he married a most amiable and beautiful woman. He espoused the cause of the Colonists and was made a brigadier-general.
Gen. Montgomery. This was the man I was going to see. Perhaps I ought to have stated that I had been appointed lieu tenant, and was quite proud of my rank. Gen. Montgomery received me at the isle as though I were an equal, and listened to what I had to tell him with wonderful patience. "So you are. a lieutenant, are you? What age do you Americans get promoted?" He smiled as he spoke, and I knew that I was free to answer as I pleased. "Times are such that we judge men by their actions rather than the number of years they have lived," I said. "Quite right, too ; but you do not look to be more than twenty?" "I am not twenty years old yet, general, but I am older than many of the Boys of Liberty." "It is a glorious cause which inspires boys to do men's work. Go and rest, for I have a message to send back by you, and it will tax your energies to start again at so short a notice "I am ready to start now, general."
Gen. Montgomery. "I will send for you in an hour." I have told this because it was my first meeting with one of the greatest men who fought under our flag during those early years of the revolution. Orders were given for two-thirds of the force at Ticonderoga to join Montgomery at the isle, and the Boys of Liberty were of the number to go on the march. We reached lsle-aux-Noix in the Sorel late in Oc tober, and were ordered to be ready to go northward at once. St. John was strongly fortified, so strong, indeed, that Gen. Schuyler had deemed it impregnable unless a large force was available. Montgomery was full of that Irish spirit which never acknowledges defeat, and no obstacle was ever too great for him to overcome or to at least attempt to overcome. "On to Quebec he had inscribed on a large ban ner, and that motto was ever before his men as an in spiration "On to Quebec !"
Gen. Montgomery. We heard the cry morning, noon and night, and, in fact, it became part of our everyday life, and there was not a man among us that deemed it impossible to get there. But to reach Quebec we had to capture St. John and then Chambly, and after that Montreal. The task was herculean, but Montgomery's spirit was also a giant of bravery and courage. "Boys, we are going to capture St. John," he said one IIX>rning, as the men passed in review before him. There was no half-heartedness about it, it was not we are going to try and capture, but the positive asser tion was made, and we all resolved that we would never cause our loved general to fail. The fort was reached, and we saw at once that a hard task was before us. The earthworks had been designed by one of the most skillful military engineers, and I did not wonder that the English thought the fort impregnable. Our movement had been made with so much secrecy that we fully anticipated taking the enemy by surprise, but we found that, either through betrayal or the most
Gen. Montgomery. 157 expert scouts, the enemy was ready for us; the earth works were well garrisoned, and two eight-pounders faced us from the first line as soon as we got in sight. Gen. Montgomery was a cautious commande r, and he saw that to use his whole force would be playing into the hands of the enemy. It was decided to make an attack in the center, and when the garrison was drawn to defend that point, our remaining regiments were to attack the right and left simultaneously. Our regiment, of which the Boys of Liberty formed part, was the one selected to open the battle, and we felt our hearts filled with enthusiastic pride as we marched forward. The ground rose gradually, and away above the road the fort loomed up. The moment we got within range the eight-pounders opened fire, and the balls tore their way through our ranks, making a gap which caused our hearts to turn cold. The moment we got within gunshot range the gar rison fired volley after volley, and the bullets fell like hailstones all around us. But on we went.
Gen. Montgomery. A little nearer and a cross fire was opened on us, and our men fell like ninepins. Not one shot had we fired up to that time, but then the order came to fire, and we could not restrain a cheer as we saw some of the garrison drop from the ramparts. The Boys of Liberty carried the pine-tree flag, and my company was especially ordered to guard the colors with our lives. After the first volley my whole mind was given up to the colors and to keep my men around them, which they did well. I have often wondered how they did it. The bullets fell faster than rain drops, and we in voluntarily bowed our heads to try and escape them, and the most of us did escape. I shouted, I talked, I prayed. I felt all the intensity of the moment. I walked erect, though from the mo ment that the first volley had been fired I was certain I should be killed. Death seemed to me to be like a crown of glory, and I had but one hope, and that was that I might be killed close to the flag.
Gen. Montgomery. 159 "Quick march Charge !" We were close to the first earthworks, and I knew that a deadly combat was at hand. I called to Tom Early, our color bearer, to guard the flag with his life. I had hardly spoken before the color bearer fell, but not the flag, for my young brother, Ted, quickly grasped it from the hand of Early and waved it aloft. "Save the flag!" I shouted, as I saw my brother reel and stagger back. I felt he was wounded, and we were so near the earthworks that to lose the flag then would cause us much loss of enthusiasm. Hosea thought I called to him, though I had not seen the boy. He leaped forward and almost wrenched the flag from Ted s hand and ran forward with it to the ramparts. It looked as though every man in the works was firing at Hosea, but he never faltered; the flag was held aloft and more than one bullet pierced it and one took off the top of the pole but still the lad held the flag firm. On he ru s hed up th e embankment, and then standing on the top of the ramparts, h e shouted out :
160 Gen. Montgomery. "All right, cap'n, the flag's here!" We were near enough to hear the words, though the noise of the firing, the sputtering of the shells, the whizzing of the bullets, made the air like pande monium. I reached Hosea's side, and at once saw that we were surrounded by the enemy. We had to fight, two men against ten at least, and we were hampered by having the flag. "Don't lose the flag," I cried, and the boy answered: "Sure, cap'n, not while I live." I could not see how we could maintain our ground, but I knew that it was just as safe to stay there and fight as it was to retreat. One big hulk of a fellow threw himself on Hosea in order to get the flag. I don't know how I had the heart to do it, but I run my sword through him with out a thought. I never was so proud of a sword before. We were gradually becoming exhausted, and our death was near when a loud shout caused a diversion. Montgomery had ordered the attack on the right,
Gen. Montgomery. 161 and the English general, Prescott, saw that the earth works were weak at that point. He ordered his men to resist the onslaught, but no sooner had they left us apparently alone than another shout told of the attaek on the left, led by Montgomery in person. I have seen many battles, but never have I seen one so madly contested as that. It looked as though the two rival generals were to meet in duel, for Prescott and Montgomery got within a few yards of each other, but the forces quickly sep arated them and engaged in the terrible struggle for the mastery. Hosea still carried the flag, and I began to think lie had a charmed life when, happening to look in his di rection, I saw him wrestling with a tall, well-built soldier. Hosea was no match for his opponent, and in less than three minutes the flag was captured. A groan greeted the sight, and we resolved that we would have that flag back again. "Come on, boys, follow me," I cried, and I rushed
Gen. Montgomery. forward amidst a shower of balls, some of which grazed my very flesh as they passed. I felt a stinging sensation in my left shoulder and thought I was wounded, but that did not stop me. I really think that Hosea was right when he said: "Cap'n Abram 'u'd fight even if he was killed." "Arrah now, an' it's the flag I'm afther tryin' to git," said Pat O'Brien, as he pushed past me and grappled with the man who had snatched the colors from the hand of Hosea. "It's meself as'll be afther hurtin' yez if ye don't give up the flag,'' I heard Pat shout, as he seized the big soldier. Pat threw the man down and jumped on him, at the same time grasping the flagstaff and wrenching it from his hand "Hurroo Hurroo, for ould Oireland," he shouted, as he waved the flag above his head. A bullet pierced Pat's arm and he dropped the flag, but only for an instant, for he had picked it up again before any of us could get near him.
Gen. Montgomery. 163 The fight was furious all along the line, and our men were dropping all around us. I saw an aide leave the fort and gallop to Gen. Prescott's side. He handed him a paper, and I saw the brave English officer throw up his hands as though he had been shot. For nearly an hour the fight continued after that, but the English officers did but little to cheer their men, and I was not surprised when I saw the white flag of surrender raised above the fort. "Impregnable St. John was ours. Gen. Montgomery called on the Boys of Liberty to be his escort into the fort, and I was by his side when Gen. Prescott handed his sword to Montgomery. "Keep it, Gen. Prescott," said Montgomery; "no man has a better right to it. You have fought nobly, and as a soldier I am proud to g rasp your hand not as an enemy, but as a fri e nd." When the cheering had subsided, for we could not help cheering and the Englis h, thou g h smarting under defeat, cheer ed also the noble words of our g eneral, Prescott said loud enough for us all to hear :
16 .... Gen. Montgomery. "I fought by your side, Gen. Montgomery, in days gone by, and now we are on opposite sides, but the man who dares to asperse the character of Richard Montgomery will have to answer to me." I saw the English flag go down from the flagstaff, and Montgomery called on me to raise the pine tree flag in its place. But we had no national flag at that time, so Mont gomery ordered the rattlesnake flag to be run up and floated just beneath the pine tree. The rattlesnake was in thirteen pieces, and underneath was the motto, "Join or Die." It was a glorious sight to see the victorious Ameri cans gather beneath those flags and send up a shout of triumph, while the enemy stacked arms and answered to their names as prisoners of war. I obtained leave to take a company to search the field for my brother, and I was rejoiced to find him alive and well his only trouble being a scalp wound, which had knocked him senseless for a time, but which had been dressed by a comrade and was now giving him but little trouble.
Gen. Montgomery. Our loss was not hea y, but we grieved for those who had fallen, and it was sad to have to put loved comrad e s under the sod. "I would have liked to have a share," said Gerald Bailey, but you people are too chivalrous." Capt. Billington, my father, had placed Bailey in charge of the commissar i at, so that he would not be call'ed upon to fight against his own countrymen so soon after joining our ranks. It was to this that Bailey had referred in his remarks to me. I well knew that the young lieutenant was no coward, and I realized that he had thrown himself heart and soul into the work, and that no more devoted American lived than he. Whe n all the necessary work connected with the surrender had been done, we found out the reason why Pres cott had not held out longer. News had been brought him that the Americans, under Col. Warner, had defeat ed the Gove rnor of Canada, Sir Guy Carle ton, at Longueil near Montreal and that Col. Bedell had c a ptured the stronghold at Chambly.
166 Gen. Montgomery. "Do not be too sanguine,' said Montgomery; "we are only just commencing to fight; we shall have hard work to do before the end comes." "We are ready for it," answered Capt. Billington, and all who heard the answer echoed it in their hearts.
CHAPTER XVI. A TALE OF HORROR. There is nothing so inspiring as success, and the fal of St. John, and Chambly and Longueil were so many causes for inspiration that we really thought ourselves invincible. We had secured a large amount of ammunition, of which we were greatly in need, and some very effective guns, which we were quite ready to tum upon their former owners in the next battle, but we were short of food, and only by harsh measures could we get enough food to keep our men in health. After a short stay at St. John a small garrison was left there, and the main body marched on Montreal. Our Green Mountain Boys were disheartened a lit tle on hearing that their loved hero, Ethan Allen, who had been defeated at Montreal a month before and taken prisoner, had been sent to England, a prisoner, instead of being kept here for exchange. All sorts of rumor s reached us of his treatment ;
168 A Talc of Horror. some declaring that he had been tortured, others that he had been maimed because he would not betray the cause. We did not believe these rumors, though they caused much uneasiness. The truth, as we aft e rwards learned it, was bad enough, and the hero o f Ticonderoga proved, in his imprisonment, the majesty of his soul. We reached Montreal on November 10th and after a short siege entered the city. The governor Sir Guy Carleton, escaped on a vessel to Quebec. "Never mind," said Montgomery, "we will meet him there, for 'On to Quebec!' is the standard under which we are fighting." The march to Quebec was slow, for we were in an enemy's country and Washington's hope was not ful filled, for the Canadians, or at least the French Cana dians, were not at all anxious to unite with the Ameri can Colonies. We reached Point-aux-Trembles about the sixth of December, and the first thing which greeted our eyes was a pine tree flag floating over a small encampment. It was a welcome surprise, but our joy was hlrned
A Tale of Horror. into sadness when we heard the tale of suffering which our comrades had to tell. Seeing the importance of striking at Quebec while we were attacking the English in the western province of Ontario, Gen. Washington had sent Col. Benedict Arnold with a regiment of one thousand men from Cambridge, to pass up the Kennebec River and through the wilderness to the Chaudiere, and then to descend that stream to Point Levi. Full of hope, inspired and enthusiastic, Arnold started on his march, but he met with untold suffering and hardship. As we listened to the tales of horror, our blood seemed to freeze in our veins. "For three days we marched without food," said a comrade whom I had known in Boston, "and then Col. Arnold, with a small party, pressed forward in the hope of gathering supplies from some unguarded French village." "And you were without food?" I asked. "Absolutely." "How did you live?"
A Tale of Horror. "The best way we could. The colonel had been gone a few hours when we captured three dogs, sheep dogs, and we went into ecstacies over our find. We quickly slaughtered the dogs and drank the blood." "Horrible I" "Then we cut up the carcasses, and, to our horror, found that no matter how we carved, we could not give each man more than an ounce, or so, of flesh. "We were like wild beasts, for the first taste of the flesh made us crave for more, and we ate greedily so that we might steal from those who had not eaten their small share. It was but a mouthful each, but some of us were so dazed with joy that we held on to that little looking at it with eager eyes and dread ing to eat it, for we might not get more. Woe unto those who did this, for we fought among ourselves for the coveted morsels left, until Aaron Burr, grand fel low that he is, stepped in and made us feel ashamed of our cowardice, for that was what he called it. "We sent out foraging parties and gathered in more dogs, then we made fires and stewed the skins,
A Tale of Horror. 171 ing soup of them. I know that it does not appear ap petizing, but we were starving. "At last no more dogs could be found and not an animal of any description, and we took off our moose skin moccasins and ate th e m ravenously. "You don't know what it is to starve,'' he con tinued, when he saw the look of disgust on our faces, "for if you did, you would know how sweet life is and what lengths you would go to preserve it. "Our resources were exhausted, and, though Mor gan, and Greene, and Meigs, grand patriots each one of them, told us that we must endure for our country's sake, we did not know how to remain calm. "I found myself wondering how human flesh would taste, for two of our men were dying, and we forgot all our humanity in our desire to retain life in our bodies and we were tempted to turn cannibals. We had gnawed the bark off the trees and eaten every root we could dig up, but still we knew that life was fast ebbing away through starvation. "Don't condemn us, Billington, until you have en dured what we have done.
A Talc of Horror. "When hope had died within us Arnold returned and bringing with him good food, enough to last us two days. "We felt our spirits revive, and were ready for any thing which our loved leader proposed. "We reached Quebec and climbed the Plains of Abraham, as Wolfe had done sixteen years before, and offered battle. "But the English remained in the citadel awaiting our attack; they evidently knowing that we were not strong enough to make an assault on the fortifica tions. "We waited until our supplies were exhausted, and then the order was given to withdraw and await your approach. "We reached this place one week ago, and have spent that time in gaining strength.'' Col. Benedict Arnold reported to Gen. Montgomery and with him formulated the plan of campaign. It seemed almost like madness to attempt to reduce Quebec with the small force we had, for at most we
A Talc of Horror. 173 could only count on nine hundred men, and many of them were debilitated by disease and privation. As though to answer our doubts the wind began to blow, and from the flagstaff in front of Gen. Mont gomery's tent the flag stiffened in the breeze and we read the legend : There was no more doubting, there was no further lack of enthusiasm, for we were all ready to brave any danger and face any peril if our glorious commander gave the order. Orders were given to get everything in marching trim, so that in forty-eight hours we could begin the march which was to lead to victory or death. Montgomery had us lined up, and in a few well chosen words bade us remember that future genera tions would never forget the work we had done, and that which we were about to accomplish. When he had finished speaking, and the order to
A Talc of Horror. "fall out" had been given, Patrick O'Brien came up to me and, saluting, said: "Begorra, I tell yez he's ov the roight stuff, but, bedad, he is an Oirishman, an' the son ov an' Oirish man, so he is." "You are right, Pat. I think that an Irishman is the best fighter that can be found." "Sure an' yez roight in that, but as I said wunst before, an Oirishman is loike whisky if it's good, it's good, an' if it's bad, it's very bad, so it is."
CHAPTER XVII. AMTEDILUVIAN POULTRY. When roll was called that night I was sorry to bear that two of the Boys of Liberty were missing, for neither Hosea nor O'Brien answered to their names. I thought that they had thoughtlessly wandered off and not returned in time, but the offense was a serious one, for though no British were reported as being in the neighborhood, we never knew when we might be attacked Two hours later the fugitives returned; they had been arrested by the pickets and sent in as prisoners. It was the duty of the guard to report the fact to me, and so I learned the news as soon as anyone in the camp I sent for the prisoners, intending to give them a thorough talking to and then try to obtain their dis charge. As they were led in I noticed that their appearance
Antediluvian Poultry. was strange and very unsoldier-like, for both of them appeared to have exceedingly large stomachs. Pat winked at me, and though I was trying to look very stern I could not help laughing. "Where have you been?" I asked, but Hosea burst into a laugh, which quite upset me, and I joined in the mirth, though why, or for what reason, I could not, for the life of me, tell. I ordered the guard to leave the tent, and then I again asked the prisoners to explain their absence "You know you are liable to be shot," I said. "Sure, cap'n; that's gospel truth; but yez u'd niver have the heart to ordher it." "Patrick O'Brien, I am ashamed of you speaking that way; you must remember that I am your superior officer." "By the powers an' that s jist what we are afther thinkin', so it is." "What have you got in your coat?" I asked. No sooner was the question asked than Pat saluted with his right hand, his left being held tightly across his body, and his eyes were twinkling with mirth.
Antediluvian Poultry. 177 "Bedad an' it's fur yeself that I have it," he said. "Have what?" Pat wriggled uneasily on his feet, first balancing himself on one foot and then on the other, and all the time trying to prevent his coat from becoming unfas tened. At last he could not prevent the catastrophe, for the buttons gave way, and his coat flew open, but some thing else flew as we11 as his coat, for a big, live rooster flew to the ground, and made for the entrance to the tent. Pat was down on his hands and knees at once, and scrambled towards the rooster, which fought and clawed him unmercifu11y. He managed to get its legs in his big hand, and then he straightened himself up holding the fowl by its legs, and I could not help admiring its size. "An' begorra, it's meself as is afther thinkin' that the cap'n will get a good dinner, do ye moind." "Where did you get that fowl?" "Found it; poor critter, it had no home, so I found wun for it, so I did."
Antediluvian Poultry. "Yes, cap'n; we found it for sure, and we brought it as a present for you,'' Hosea exclaimed. "You must not call me captain," I said; "how many times have I told you that rank must be acknowledged in the army and I am only lieutenant." "All roight, colonel--" "Lieutenant,'' I corrected. Then, turning to Hosea, I said : "Did you find a rooster, also?" "Nary a one." "What have you got, then, under your coat? Open it at once." Hosea obeyed and from under the coat he produced four big loaves of bread, such bread as could only be found at a good farmhouse and which made my mouth water, for I had lived for some time on hard crackers made, I often thought of sawdust. "Hosea, you have been stealing "Just found 'em. "That is false, y ou have found a farmhouse, and stol e n these things. Now, tell me where you got them?
Antediluvian Poultry. 179 "Just found 'em." "Hosea, you will be tried and most likely shot for this, so you had better have me as a friend." "I found 'em for you, cap--lieutenant." For several minutes I tried to obtain some informa tion from the culprits, but without avail, and it was only when I told them that the bread and the rooster would be buried and not one bit eaten unless they made a clean breast of the whole thing, that Hosea told the story. They had wandered off from the camp, hoping to find some fresh food, when they accidentally fell in with a man who was going towards the water. He had a bag on his back, in which was the rooster, and under his arm he carried the loaves of bread. Hosea had some money with him, and he bargained with the man for his treasures, and succeeded in buying them at last, though it took every penny the two sol diers possessed. They had bought them for me, and how could I help feeling grateful to them. I refused to accept the things as a gift, and made a
180 Antediluvian Poultry. compromise with them by buying at half price what they had brought into camp. I at once sent the fowl and bread to Gen. Mont gomery, and had the pleasure of being thanked and also invited to join the officers at dinner when the fowl was served. I cannot say that we ate any, for I do not believe nature ever provided teeth strong or sharp enough to get through the tough flesh of that rooster. "I wouldn't wonder if it was the identical bird Noah took with him into the ark," said Montgomery, and we laughed at the conceit. However, the gravy was good, and the bread tooth some, and we had to call in the two prisoners and thank them for the dainty; but when Gen. Montgomery declared that they must be punished, and that severely, for deserting their post, I began to feel sorry for my comrades. "The sentence of the court is," said the general, "that you shall eat all the flesh of that bird, or be shot as deserters." The punishment was looked upon as a good joke by
Antediluvian Poultry. 181 those in the secret, but by the culprits it was not a joke, but a glorious reward, for they had not tasted roast fowl for some time. We gathered round and watched them start. Pat took a leg, and tried his best to gnaw the flesh from the bone, but after a time his jaws ached and the flesh still stuck to the bone. "Arrah, sure, gineral, I'd rather be shot, so I would, than be condemned to ate that stuff, sure an' it's leather, so it is." Hosea's teeth were sharper, and he did manage to tear some flesh and swallow it, but he declared that it was so tough that he almost choked with the attempt. When the joke had lasted some time the two were sent back to their quarters, and we finished our dinner on bread and what other things the commissariat could provide. The men had lost their money ; but, after all, they were deserving praise rather than blame for their in tentions had been good, and they had no idea that the fowl was of so ancient a breed that its flesh had become almost petrifi e d with old age.
Antediluvian Poultry. Hosea had been very quiet for some weeks, and I thought he had quite got over his propensity for fool ing, but in that I was wrong, for that night he played many practical jokes on his comrades, and I verily believe that he was encouraged, if not incited thereto, by the rollicking Irishman who had joined the Boys of Liberty.
CHAPTER XVIII. "CHARGE FOR THE GUNS." On the tenth of December, 1775, we arrived before Quebec, and Montgomery, with his nine hundred men, began the siege. We trained our small guns on the fortifications, but we might as well have saved our powder, for they were strongly built and every point well manned, and our shot and shell made no impression. Occasionally a regiment would sally forth into the earthworks, but we poured such a leaden rain into their ranks that they deemed it better to seek safety within the walls than risk a fight in the open. A strong battery guarded the entrance to the upper town, and it was deemed advisable to silence it. Col. Greene undertook to do so, and he gathered round him men whom he could trust, and I am proud to recall that the Boys of Liberty formed part of his command on that memorable day. We awaited the darkness of night before moving
I 84 "Charge for the Guns." forward, trusting to being able to take the battery by surprise in the early morning. We crawled along, not daring to expose ourselves, until we reached the outer lines of the earthworks. I was in command of the foremost attacking party, perhaps becau s e I had got the charact e r of never see ing danger ahead of me, but I would have volunteered for that position if I had been allowed. "Boys, when I give the order you must charge right up to the guns, silence the gunners, and then spike the guns." Such were my orders to the Boys of Liberty. The guns loomed up close to us, the gunners were at their posts, and they looked like giants as the early light fell on them. We had loaded our muskets, and my men awaited the order to fire. We thought we had not been seen but if we had acted with secrecy and caution, so had the enemy, for the gunners apparently did not anticipate an attack. "That blamed gun is moving," whispered Ted to me, as he lay by my side in the grass. I looked up and in the direction of the battery, and
"Charge for the Guns." 18 S I saw that the position of the guns had been changed slightly, but beyond that there did not appear to be any difference. "Get ready, boys," I said, in a low tone, just loud enough to be heard by those in my immediate vicinity, knowing that the order would be repeated. "Present arms Fire!" A volley rang out, but before we could charge, a dull, heavy report, followed by silence, was all that in dicated that the battery had opened fire on us. "Charge!" "Follow me!" I remember raising my sword above my head and running. I think we all dodged our heads, as though that would enable us to miss the cannon balls and the bul lets of the sharpshooters. We had reached the guns. We were close to the gunners, and the heavy guns had no terrors for us. But the men who manned the battery were fright ened, and they were worse than their cannon.
186 "Charge for the Guns." We fought, and fought, and fought I jumped on one of the guns, and shouted to the Boys of Liberty to remember that they were fighting for liberty. The bullets whistled around me, the swords of the officers caught the rays of the rising sun and glistened c in their light, great pools of blood seemed everywhere, and we, or at least I, felt dizzy, but the fight continued. I knew that we were gaining, and that in another few minutes the battery would be silenced, but just when our hearts were flushed with victory we saw the gate open and from it emerge a regiment of fresh soldiers. To stay there was certain death, and with great re luctance I gave the order to retreat. The firing began in our rear, and we were powerless to return it, our only chance was in flight. We ran pell-mell in the wildest disorder, over the trunks of fallen pines and among the rifle pits skirting the breast works, scampering recklessly over the ground until we at last reached our line1 and were out of the range of the guns.
"Charge for the Guns." I 87 Then we counted the cost. Ten of our men were missing, poor boys; ten homes would mourn their loss, and I have oft e n wonder e d whether the liberty of the nation would console those mourners. Ten of our men missing, but what of the en(;!my? A prisoner we were able to capture in our1 told us that thirty of the men who manned the battery had lost their lives, and that one gun was so injured that it was worthless. We thought his story might be exaggerated, but later proved that it was true. We were warmly congratulated by Gen. Mont gomery, but I think I was prouder when my father came up to me, and patting me on the shoulder, said: "Abe, I am proud of you; I shall tell mother what a hero you are." For three weeks, with his handful of men, Mont gomery besieged the town, and then, relying on the courageous valor of his men, determined to stake everything on ai:i assault. For three days the officers discussed the plan of
I 8 8 "Charge for the Guns." campaign, and I learned that while all were hopeful that the town might be taken, each of the officers re alized that the loss of life wou ld be very heavy. On the third day the junior grades of officers were called into council, and shared in the discussion We were more enthusiastic than the older ones, it may be because we had not experienced as many of the vicissitudes of war as they had, but we all declared that death would be preferable to inaction. We were just leaving the conference, when the or derly announced that one of the Boys of Liberty craved an audience. I went out to see what could be the cause of such an unlooked for interruption, and saw Gerald Bailey awaiting me. "I know that I have transgressed the laws of war," he said; "but Hosea was missing all day yesterday, and--" "How dare you come with such a story?" I ex claimed, angrily. "And has only just returned; he has been m the town."
"Charge for the Guns." 189 "What?" "He has been in Quebec, and can give you some information." "Impossible !" "That is what I thought, but I can vouch for his honesty in the matter." "Has he told you his story?" "Yes." "Quick, then, and tell me, or better, come inside, and I will get a hearing for you." Montgomery gave the permission, and Bailey told Hosea's story, far better than the boy could have done. Hosea had managed to get a disguise from a French peddler, and with a pack of small articles actually en tered the town and penetrated the citadel itself. Gov. Carleton was in command and the soldiers were getting disheartened. The intense cold caused much grumbling among the English soldiers, who were not acclimated, and the natives were half inclined to take sides with the Americans. An entrance for a small body of troops could be
190 "Charge for the Guns." made easily by the north gate, and from what Hosea learned, Prescott Gate was but poorly defended. Hosea had shammed dumbness, and not a word did he speak all the time he was in the town. He showed his wares and sold some, making signs as to the price, and gesticulating wildly if anyone tried to beat him down. He appeared to be almost deaf, and he heard many things which were not intended for his ears, though no one had any suspicion that he was a spy, until he was about to leave, and then an overzealous officer ordered his arrest. Hosea was stripped, and every article of clothing searched, but no compromising writings, or, in fact, anything that could connect him with us was found. He made them understand that he appealed to the governor, and he was actually taken before him. In dumb show he told how he had been made a pris oner, and actually began undressing to show how he had been served. The governor either got tired of trying to understand him or else believed him innocent, and ordered his release and gave him a safe conduct
"Charge for the Guns." 191 pass through the lines to St. Charles, which he made them understand was his home. As soon as he got out of the town he made his way to our lines as rapidly as possible, and told his story to Bailey. The boy was sent for, and repeated his story, and Montgomery thanked him for his zeal and especially for the information he brought us. The last day of December was selected for the as sault. The plan was carefully made, and we expressed a wonder, among ourselves, as to how many of u s would be alive to welcome in the new year. Before daybreak the little army was divided into four columns. The first division was to be under Montgomery himself, and was to pass down the St. Lawrence, and attack the lower town in the neighbor hood of the citadel. The second column, led by Col. Benedict Arnold, was to sweep around the city to the north, and make the attack by way of St. Charles, and join Montgomery in order to storm the Prescott Gate. The other two divisions were to remain in the rear of
192 "Charge for the Guns." the Upper Town, making feigned attacks to draw the attention of the enemy. At first the Boys of Liberty were assigned to Arnold's division, but later Gen. Montgomery divided us, and placing one company under the command of Capt. Billington, with orders to accompany Arnold, the other he very generously placed under me, and attached us to himself. In my command I had fifty-seven all told, and I was very glad that Gerald Bailey, who ought to have been in command, was with me, for while I was a novice he was a trained soldier. I must not forget to record that Bailey was given the rank of lieutenant, while I was promoted to a captaincy, and when I urged that I was too inexperi enced to hold so responsible a rank, Montgomery smiled and very kindly said: "Dashing Abe must not be so modest; I think he is well fitted to wear a general's epaulets."
CHAPTER XIX. THE DEATH OF MONTGOMERY. When our division reached the point from whence our first charge was to be made, Montgomery halted his force, and cheered us by a few well-chosen words. "Men, I have been proud of you in the past; I am still prouder of you to-day, and I can prophecy that to-morrow I shall be far prouder than I am now. "Men of New York, I shall not ask you to go for ward ; I only ask you to follow me. "Boys of Liberty, you will, I know, have no fear to follow where I lead." We cheered the speech, but he waved his hand to show that he had still more to say. ''One thing more, I shall be in the forefront, and no danger can reach you and pass me by. I may fall, but, if I do, always rememrer that you must go forward; you have enlisted under the banner 'On To Quebec !' and that means that you must be masters of the town before you admit def eat."
19.+ The Death of Montgomery. As his last words reached us a blinding snowstorm commenced, and quickly obscured everything; masses of ice blocked our way, and when we left the shallow water of the river side, the ground was so broken that marching was difficult. We halted a brief space, hoping that the snow would moderate, but it got worse, and Bailey said, in a low voice, to me: "The heavens fight against us." "You do not think that we shall be defeated?'' "I am afraid of the result. I fancied I saw a suspicious movement near the gate an hour ago." "There may be a battery there." "That is what I fear." "If it be so, we shall be trapped.'' "Say, rather, mowed down without reaching the trap.'' I crossed to Montgomery, and suggested to him that some one ought to go forward, and find out the lay of the land. "The idea is a good one, but this snow--" "May be our doom.''
The Death of Montgomery. 195 "Say, rather, our salvation, for the enemy cannot see us "Let me go forward and find out what I can." "I will not move for two hours ; if you are not back by that time I shall press forward." I was so pleased to think that I was permitted to go in advance as a scout that I had only just time to place the command in the hands of Bailey, and that without explanation. I never saw such snow before or since. I could not br e athe, for the wind cut like a knife. My eyes were frozen so that I felt sure I should never be able to close them again. I could see icicles forming on my face, and my hands were so numbed that I could not have wielded a sword even had I been attacked. The snow was more like small hail, and it fell so fast and so thick that it cut my face, and I knew that my cheeks were bleeding. I was in no danger of being seen, that was one con solation, but it had a disadvantage for I could not see,
196 The Death of Montgomery. and, therefore, I was blindly moving nearer the enemy, unseen but unseeing. I became conscious of some one moving near me, but no one was visible. I could hear the tramp of feet, but could not see them. I walked, not knowing where I was going, and won dered whether I was going to do any good, when I ran into a soldier who had his gun across his breast. "Now, then, blockhead, what are you off your beat for?" the man asked, and I knew that I had stumbled on a picket, and was mistaken for one myself, so I answered: "You are off the beat yourself, stupid." With a string of oaths he asked me who could tell where he was going, and then another volley of pro fanity followed. I muttered something which he either did not hear or did not care about hearing, for never a reply did he make, but cursed the Americans. I soon gathered that he was from England, and did not like the work. I felt my way cautiously by asking if he thought the Americans had any chance to capture Quebec.
The Death of. Montgomery. 197 I felt my heart beat rapidly when he answered that the citadel would be in the hands of the Americans as soon as they liked to make an assault. I dare not ask him too mtich, but I learned that there was a battery planted in front of Prescott Gate, but that it was not efficiently manned, for, as he said: "The enemy would never think of attacking that part of the town first." "Get along with you," he whispered, "I hear the patrol, and we must not be found talking. I did not know which way to go, so stumbled and staggered along until I fell headlong over some one who was lying on the ground. I was sure it was a corpse, for it was well-nigh im possible for a living being to lie there in all that snow and remain alive. In a minute I knew that I was right in the battery, for even in the darkness I could distinguish the forms of the guns, and knew that men were standing by them. To go forward meant death, to retreat was nearly as dangerous, and I was at my wits' end, for I did not
198 The Death of Montgomery. know where I was, or in which direction I should go in order to rejoin my command. I thought the only thing for me to do was to follow my own footprints, and by that means return, but it was still too dark to see anything. I threw myself on the snow, and groped about for a time, until my eyes got accustomed to the blinding whiteness. Then I did what I had played at in my native place, and that was to feel for footprints and follow them. My eyes got accustomed to the snow, and the feeble light showed me a footprint, then another and still another. I crawled along wherever the footprints led me, and at times thought I was merely traveling along the picket line, but a glimmer !Jf light, the first gray rays of the morning sun, shone out through the snow, and I saw that our camp was close by. I hurried to the general, and told him that a strong battery lay right in front of him, and that it would be dangerous to make the assault. "Too late, Capt. Abe; I have given the order to march, and I cannot withdraw."
The Death of Montgomery. 199 Then, m a loud voice, the intrepid Irish general shouted: "Men of New York, you will not fear to follow where your general leads I Forward!" We rushed forward like lions leaping on their prey, and the morning light seemed to gain power over the snow clouds. We were dangerously near the battery, but had evidently not been seen, when a brighter ray of light flashed through the snow, and a storm of grapeshot burst forth from the battery. At the very first discharge Montgomery and his two aides fell dead. Our column was shattered. I saw nothing but death or defeat for us. I really believe I was crazed or mad. I was only a captain and not the ranking captain at that, but I suddenly shouted: "Men, Boys of Liberty, we must avenge our fallen leader. Follow me." I shall never know how I did it, but I know that I
100 The Death of Montgomery. was right in the battery with my chosen boys around me. I slashed the gunners with my sword, and my gal lant boys fought like tigers. I was determined that our general should be avenged, and they tell me that I never tired, but used my sword until my arm was so swollen that the sleeve of my coat burst. "Surrender!" shouted an English officer. "Never!" I answered back. "Give up; you have fought bravely, but we outnum ber you." "I can die," I shouted; "but will not surrender." Gerald Bailey caught hold of me, and tried to drag me away, but I pushed him on one side, and struck at an English lieutenant, who was trying to fire a pistol at me. I say trying, for his arm was injured, and he could not hold the weapon steady. I cut him through the skull, and hated myself imme diately afterwards for doing it. I lmew no more until an hour had passed, and then
The Death of Montgomery. 20I I saw that I was far away from the battery and at a place known as Wolfe's Cove, above the city. I had fainted with the exertion, and Bailey and O'Brien had carried me out of the midst of the battle and got me away from danger. I shall never forget one little episode of that retreat, but I only know it from what so many have told me. When I struck down that young officer there were less than ten of my men near, and we could easily have been captured or killed, but the English deliberately allowed us to retire, and did not fire a shot after us. It was a magnanimity which I shall ever remember
CHAPTER XX. THE END OF THE CAMPAIGN. While we were fighting to avenge the death of the bravest man who had given his life for his adopted country, Col. Arnold, ignorant of what had happened, fought his way into the lower town on the north. Benedict Arnold was a magnificent officer, and be loved by his men, though there was not that personal attraction which characterized Montgomery. The soldiers would follow Arnold because they knew that he was brave, cautious and an able man, but they followed Montgomery because they loved him; they would blame Arnold if he made mistakes, but would never think it possible for Montgomery to be in the wrong. In the lower town, Arnold led a fierce charge against overwhelming numbers, but he knew no fear. While leading the charge he was severely wounded, and had to be borne to the rear. He called Capt. Mor-
The End of the Campaign. 203 gan, the ranking officer of the division, to him as he was being carried away, and said: "Morgan, I am done for, but don't think of me. Montgomery is at Prescott Gate. I promised to join him there. Give him my excuses, only get there as soon as you can." Capt. Morgan led his brave band farther and farther along the narrow and dangerous streets until he was overwhelmed and completely surrounded. He had no alternative but surrender, and though it was a hard thing to do, he handed his sword to the English officer, and bowed his head to hide his tears. The officer handed back the sword, and in a few words praised the bravery of Morgan and his little band of volunteers. "No trained soldiers could have fought better. You have surrendered, not to braver men or better fighters, but only to superior numbers." Arnold and his broken command, which had stayed behind with him, reached a point about three miles above the city and awaited the result. It was the middle of January before we were united
204 The End of the Campaign. agaia in one camp, and then we realized how great our loss had been. Tke Boys of Liberty had suffered less than any other command, though we had lost one third of our number. My father had escaped without a scratch but Ted my dearly loved Ted, had received a nasty wound, which the surgeons feared would prove fatal. By the beginning of February reinforcements began to arrive, and we were looking forward to another as sault on the city. We had r e covered our spirits, and the days were spent in athletic sports; that is, when we were not on duty on the picket line, or in camp, or attending the wounded in the hospital. We made snow forts just like a lot of children, and we had sham battles every week, but all the time we were longing for a real battle when we should be as successful as we were in our games. It was March, and we knew that another attempt would be made to resume active work, and our spirits rose correspondingly. Just when we were merriest, when our guns were cleaned and our sabers bright, when our cartridge
The End of the Campaign. 20s cases were full and our knapsacks packed, the word was passed along that a new enemy had attacked us. Several men had been stricken down with smallpox, and active operations were postponed. The surgeons bled the patients, they blistered them, they tried all the known remedies, but the dread scourge spread, and it looked as though we were to be defeated by disease instead of the English. When the disease was somewhat overcome we sent out skirmish parties, and several times I had a brush with the enemy, but no decisive action was engaged in. On one occasion, at the head of fifteen of my Boys of Liberty, I had reached a point dangerously near the enemy's lines, when a strong force of the enemy ap peared and engaged us. We were only sixteen in number, including myself, but we never stopped to think of that. We fought, we struggled, and forgot that we were only one against ten After an hour's fighting we were entirely sur'."ounded, and we saw the enemy quickly drawing in their lines so that we should be caught in a trap.
The End of the Campaign. Nearer and nearer they came, until they were almost within pistol range, but they did not fire. It looked like murder to them, and so it would have been, for we were entirely at their mercy. One Englishman recognized me, and called out : "They call you Dashing Abe, but your dash is all over now." Not until that moment had I any idea that my name was known to the enemy, and my nickname talked about, but I was proud of the distinction, and I felt taller as I heard the words. "Don't be too sure of that," I cried back. "Surrender, my brave men,'' shouted the English captain, "you shall have every consideration, for bravery commends itself to us all." I spoke to Bailey, who was near me, and he passed on the word to the others. The enemy thought we were discussing surrender, and did not disturb us. "Surrender!" again came from the enemy. "Dashing Abe never surrenders," I shouted back, at the same time starting to run.
The End of the Campaign. 207 We had reached the line of the enemy, and cut our way through before our intent was taken seriously. A volley was fired after us, but did no damage. We fell on our faces, reloaded our guns, and took deliberate aim as we fired. Then we jumped up and ran, falling again and loading and firing. This we repeated three times and then pursuit was given up, and we managed to get back to camp with only one of our number wounded. As the spring sun melted the ice in the St. Lawrence we learned that the city was being strongly reinforced, and that fresh troops were arriving from England every week. Gov. Carleton began offensive movements against us, and we were too weak to make an effective stand. We contested every inch of ground, but had to fall back from post to post, until by the middle of June we had cro s sed the frontier and Canada was evacuated. The campaign ended and we were nearly heart broken though Gen. Washington declared that he thought we had done nobly. The New York troops returned to Ticonderoga, and
208 The End of the Campaign. the Boys of Liberty were ordered back to Massachu setts. We retarned home after an arduous campaign, and were welcomed by the Colonial Army as though we had been victorious. When father and I got leave of absence to go to the farm, where Ted had been for two months, we found a big crowd of neighbors awaiting us, and right hearty was the welcome we received. Mother cried and laughed in turns, she caught me in her arms and kissed me as though I were still her baby boy, and then hold ing me at arm's length she exclaimed: "I sent Abram Billington, my boy, to the war; he comes home to me with a new name, that of Dashing Abe." It was pleasing to receive so great a welcome, and when we sat around the festive board that night a united family, with none but our own people present, save Paul Revere, my father, good Puritan as he was, declared that the God of justice had been with us, and in the end we should triumph, if we acted justly and fought only for the right.
The End of the Campaign. 209 You may know we had much to talk about, though Ted had told the story time and time again during his convalescence. "I suppose you will settle down on your laurels now," Paul Revere suggested. "I know not what others may do," I answered; "but as foe me, I shall be at my country's call as long as I live, and may Heaven send us triumph soon." "Bravo, Dashing Abe; I wish we had a hundred thousand like you ; we shall hear again of you in the future, and the country has a right to be proud of you." "Straw-leg! Left-leg! Straw-leg!" The words were uttered from the doorway, and as we turned we saw Hosea with a broomstick over his shoulder, and a whisp of straw around his leg. "Come in, Hosea; come and join us!" "Not yet, all the boys are outside, and they sent me in to ask you to come out." "What for?' "Come and see." We went out, and there were the Boys of Liberty, with broomsticks in their hands and whisps of straw
210 The End of the Campaign. about their legs, actually recalling their first drill near that very house, and forgetful of the fact that they had been for many months real soldiers fighting a real and active enemy. Capt. Denman, Farmer Denman, as he liked to be called, stepped forward, and saluting us stood at "At tention,'' and said: "We are here to thank Farmer Billington for teach ing us our first drill; we are here to tell him that we have followed him from Lexington to Quebec, and have got back home ready to start again when our country ca.lls us, and we want to say that we are in this fight antil we gain our national freedom or we are laid under the sod." Father thanked them and called for three cheers for Gen. Washington and I need not say that the cheers echoed among the distant hills, and when they died away cheers were given for all the heroes of the Colonial cause, and just as I re-entered the house my ears caught the sound : "Long live Dashing Abe, our brave farmer boy !" I was p lea s e d and yet ashamed for I felt that I had
The End of the Campaign. 211 done nothing to deserve such praise, but I made a vow then and there that, Heaven helping me, I would never sheathe my sword until my country was great, glorious and free. My countrymen may be the judges whether I have kept my vow. THE END. NOTE. While this story is complete in itself, it ia one of the series of revolutionary stories now being published in the Boys of Liberty Library, and the same characters appear throughout.
THE CREAM OF JUVENILE FICTION THE :f BOYSt OWN LIBRARY.$ A Selection of the Best Books for Boys by the Most Popular Authors titles in this splendid juvenile series have been selected with care, and as a result all the stories can be relied 11pon for their excellence. They are bright and sparkling; not over-burdened with lengthy descriptions, but brimful of adventure from the first page to the last-in fact they are just the kind of yams that appeal strongly to the healthy boy who is fond of thrilling exploits and deeds of heroism. Among the authors whose names are included 1n the Boys' Own Library are Horlltio Alger, Jr., Edward S. Ellis, James Otis, Capt. Ralph Bonehill, Burt L Standish, Gilbert Patten and Frank H. Con verse. SPEOAL FEATURES OF THE BOYS' OWN LIBRARY .:!.:!All the books in this series are copyrighted, printed on good paper, laqe type, illustrated, printed wrappers, handsome cloth covers stamped in inks and gold-fifteen special cover designs. JSO Titles-Price, per Volume, 75 cents For sale by all booksellers, or sent, postpaid, on receipt of price by the publisher, DAVID McKAYt 'JO SO. WASHINGTON SQUARE, PHILADELPHIA. PA. (i)
HORATIO Al.GER, Jr. One of the best known and moe.t popular writers. Good, clea.n, iiealthy 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 Farm Boy to Senator Backwoods Boy, The C. B. ASHLEY. Mark Stanton Ned Newton. New York Boy Tom Brace Tom Tracy Walter Grifll.tla Young Acroba' One of the best stories ever written on hunting, trapping and ad. venture in the West, after the Custer Massacre. Gilbert, the Boy Trapper ANNIE ASHMORE. A splendid story, recording the adventures of a boy with smugglen. Smuggler's Cave, The CAPT. RALPH BONEHILL. Oapt. Bonehill is in the very front rank as an author of boys' stories. These are two of his best works. l!Teka, 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 $1.25 per volum e we offer the following at a more popular price. Gold of Flat Top :Mountain Happy-Go-Lucky Jack Heir to a Million In Search of An Unknown Race In Southern Beas Mystery of a Diamond That Treasure Voyage to the Gold Cou DAVID McKAY, Publisher, Philadelphia. (ii)
BAB.RY COLLINGWOOD. One of England's most successful writers of stories for boya. Bia best story is Pirate Island GEORGE H. COOMER. Two books we highly recommend. One is a splendid story of venture at sea, when American ships were in eTery port in the world, and the other tells of adventures while the first railway in the Andee )fountains was being built. Boys in the Forecastle Old Man or the Xounta.in WILLIAM DALTON. Three stories by one o I the -very greatest writers for boys. The sto ries deal with boy s adventures in India, China. and Abyssinia. These books are strongly recommended for boys' reading, as they con tain a large amount of historical information. Tiger Prince White Elephant War Tiger EDWARD S. ELLIS. These books are considered t11e best works this well-known writer eve r produced. No better reading for bright young Americans Arthur Helmuth Check No. 2134 From Tent to White House Perils of the Jungle On the Trail of Geronimo White Mustang GEORGE MANVILLE FENN. F o r the past fifty years Mr. Fenn has been writing books for boys and popular fiction. His b o oks are justly popular throughout the English-speakin g world. We publish the following select li s t of his boy s 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 g raduate o f the U S N a val Academy at Annapolis, and tho rou ghly famili a r with all naval matters. M r Fitch has devoted him self to literatur e and has written a s erie s of books for boys that eTery DAVID McKAY, Publisher, Philadelphia. (iii,)
7oung American ahould read. HiJ stories are full of very int.eresti.Dg information about the n&Ty1 training ships, etc. Bound for Annapolis Clif, the Naval Cadet Cruise of the Traininc 8hip From Port to Port Btra.nce Cruise, A WILLIAM DIV.RR.&. Y G.RA YDON. An author of world wide popularity. Mr. Graydon is essentially a friend of young people, and we ofier herewith ten of his best works, wherein he relates a great diversity of interesting adventures in varioua parts of the world, combined with ar.curate historical data. Butcher of Cawnpore, The Camp in the Bnow, The Campaigning with Braddock Cryptogram, The From Lalr.:e to Wilderness In Barracks and Wigwam In Fort and Prison Junclea and Traitors Rajah's FortreBB, The White King of Africa., The LIEUT. FREDERICK GA.RR.ISON, U.S. A. Every American boy takes a keen interest in the aft'airs of West Point. No more capable writer on this popnlar subject could 'be found than Lieut. Garrison, who vividly describes the life, adventures and unique incidents that have occurred in that great institution-in these famous West Point stories. 011' for West Point On Gu&rd Cadet's Honor, A West l'oillt Treaaure, The West Point RiTals, The HE.A.DON DILL. The hunt for hllll always been a popular subject for consider& tion, and Mr. Bill has added a. splendid story on the subject in this romance of the Klondyke Spectre Gold HENRY HAR.RISON LEWIS. Mr. Lewis is a graduate of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and has written a great many books for boys. Among his best works are the following titles-the subjects include a vast series of adventures in all parts of the world. The historical data is correct, and they should be read by all boys, for the excellent information they con ta.in. Centrebo&rd Jim Kine of the Ialand Kidahipman Kerrill Ensign Merrill Sword and Pen Valley of M:rater:r, The Yankee Bo:ra in Japan DAVID McKAY, Publisher, Philadelphia. (iv)
UEVT. LIONEL LO'VNSBERRV. A llerlee of boob embracing many adventures under our famom GSV&1 commandel_!, and with our armr during the War of 1812 and the Choil War. .l'oanded on sound history, these books are written for boys, with the idea of combining pleaaure with profit j to cutiva1e a fondne1111 for of what has been aocompliahed br our army and navy. Oade$ Xlt Care7 Cap'ai.Jl Care7 Xit Carer Protece Lieut. Carey's Luck Out With Commodore Decatur Band7, the Pilot Tom Truxton' School Da71 Tom Trwcton'a Ocean Trip ':rreuure of the Golden Crater Won at Wea' Point BROOKS 'McCOR1'11CK. Four splendid books of adventure on l!8& and land, by this well known writer for boys. Giant I1landera, The How Be Won Natbre"B Young Nobleman RiYal Battalion WALTER 1'10RRIS. Thia charming story contains thirty-two chapters of just the sort of school life that charms the boy readers Bob Porter at LakeYiew .A.c&dem7 STANLEY NORRIS. Mr. Norria is without a rival as a writer of "Circus Stories" for boys. These four books are full of thrilling adventures, but good, w holeome reading for young Americans. Phil, the Showman Young Showman's Pluck, Tu Young Showman' RiYall, The Youns Showman'a Triumph LIE1JT. JAMES K:. OR.TON. When a boy has read one of Lieut. Orton' books, it requires no urging to induce him to read the others. Not a dull page in any of them. Beach Bo7 Joe Last Chanoe Kine llecret Chart, The Tom Havens with the WbiM Squadron DAVID McKAY, Publleber, Philadelphia. (v)
JAMES OTIS. Mr. Otis is known by nearly every American boy, and needs no introduct..ion here. The following copyrights are among his best : Ohued Through Norwa7 Inland Waterwa7 Unprovoked llllutin7 Wheeling for J'ortune Reuben Green's Adventures at Yale GILBERT PATTEN. Mr. Pa.tten has had the distinction of having his books adopted by the U. S. GoTemment for all naval libraries on board our war ships. While aiming to avoid the extravagant and sensational, the stones contain enough thrilling incidents to please the lad who loves action and adventure In the Rockspur stories the description of their Base ball and Football Games and other contests with rival clubs and teams make very exciting and absorbing reading; and few boys with warm blood in their veins, having once begun the perusal of one of theae books, will willingly lay it down till it is finished Bo7 Boomers Bo7 Cattle King Bo7 from the West Don Xirke'a lldine .Tud and .roe Rockapur Nine, The Rockspur Eleven, The :Bockapur Bi v&ls, The ST. GEORGE RATHBOR.NE. Mr. Rathbomels stories for boys have the peculiar charm of dealing with localities and conditions with which he is thoroughly familiar. The scenes of these e:xoellent stories are along the Florida coast and on the western prairies. Canoe and Camp :l'ire Paddling Under Palmettos Riv&l Canoe Bo7s Sunset Ranch Chuma of the Prairie Young Range Riders Gulf Cruise1'11 Shifting Winds ARTHUR 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 Dashleieh'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 .Tack Wheeler The Famous Prank Merriwell Stories. BURT L. STANDISH. No modem series of tales for boys and yonths has met with any thing like the cordial reception and popularity accorded to the Frank Merriwell Stories. There must be a reason for this and there is. Frank lderriwell, as portrayed by the author, is a jolly whole-souled, honest, courageous American lad. who appeals to the hearts of the boys. He has no bad habits, and his manliness inculcates the idea that it is not necessary for a boy to indulge in petty vices to be a hero. Frank Merriwell' s example is a shining light for every ambitious lad to follow. Seventeen volumes now ready : Frank Merriwell's School Days Frank Merriwell's Sports Afield Frank Kerriwell's Chums Frank Merri well at Yale Frank Merriwell's Foes Frank Merriwell's Courage Frank Merriwell's Trip West Frank Merriwell's Daring Frank Merri well Down South Frank Merriwell's Skill Frank Merriwell's Bravery Frank Jl[erriwell's Champions Frank Merriwell's Races Frank Merri well' Return to Yale Frank Merriwell's Hunting Tour Frank Merriwell's Secret Frank Merriwell's Loyalty VICTOR. ST. CLAIR. These books are full of good, clean adventure, thrilling enough to please the full-blooded wide-awake boy, yet containing nothing to which there can be any objection from those who are carefal as to the kind of books they put into the hands of the young. Caat Away in the .Tungle Comrades Under Castro For Home and Honor From Switch to Lever Little Snap, the Post Boy Zig-Zag, the Boy Conjurer Zip, the Aorobat MATTHEW WHITE, JR. Good, healthy, strong books for the American lad. No more in teresting books for the young appear on our lists. Adventures of a Young Athlete Eric Dane Guy Hammersley My :Mysterious Fortune Tour of a Private Car Young Editor, The DAVID McKAY, Publisher, Philadelphia. (Tii)
AB.THUR M. WINFIELD. One of the most popular authors of boys' books. Here are three of his belt. Ji[ark Dale' Stace Venture Youns Bank Clerk, The Youns Brldce Tender, The GA. 'YLE WINTERTON. This very i11teretting story relate& the trial1 and trim11pbs of a Young American Actor, including the solution of a ver1 puzali11g myltery. Youns .A.otor, Tlle Ell.NEST A.. YOUNG. This book ia not a treati.ee on sports, u the title would indicate, but relaUs a series of thrilling adventures amoog boy campers in the oods of Haine. Boate, Bat and Bicycles DAVID HcKA.Y, Publisher, Philadelphia. (TI.ii}
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