WAR OF 1812 SERIES
BY EVERETT T. TOMLINSON
Illustrated per volume $1.50
The Search for Andrew Field
The Boy Soldiers of 1812
The Boy Officers of 1812
Tecumseh's Young Braves
Guarding the Border
The Boy's with Old Hickory
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TOM AND JERRY AT JACKSON'S HEADQUARTERS. -Page 140.
WAR OF 1812 SERIES
BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
EVERETT T. TOMLINSON
AUTHOR OF "THE BOY OFFICERS OF 1812," TECUMSEH'S YOUNG
BRAVES," GUARDING THE BORDER," "WASHINGTON'S
YOUNG AIDS," "STORIES OF THE AMERICAN
REVOLUTION," "WARD HILL AT
WESTON," ETC., ETC.
LEE AND SHEPARD PUBLISHERS
10 MILK STREET
COPYRIGHT, 1898, BY LEE AND SITEPARD.
All Rights Reserved.
Tna BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY.
Nnrbooob 1 mrs
J. S. Cushing & Co. Berwick & Smith
Norwood Mass. U.S.A.
HOLLEY D. GREENE
THE closing campaign in the War of 1812 is
unique in our national history. The numbers en-
gaged, and the disparity between the losses on the
opposing sides, have rendered the results remarkable
even in that remarkable period.
For many of the details in this story I am indebted
to Coggeshall, Lossing, Dawson, Scott, Latour, Gleig,
Cooke, James, Eaton, Claiborne, Ingersoll, Arm-
strong, Auchinleck, and others, and while I have
freely taken a story-teller's license with the facts,
nevertheless I have endeavored to give a reasonably
correct view of the stirring scenes and a just esti-
mate of the men who were in the midst of them.
A few of the incidents I have taken out of their
exact setting, but have still attempted to retain
something of their flavor.
If the lads of America shall become interested in
these pages, and be led to prize more justly the land
for which their ancestors struggled, the labor will
not have been in vain.
I also trust that many of them may be sufficiently
interested to make further investigations of their
own, and thereby increase their knowledge by draw-
ing from the true sources. There is so much in our
brief history of which we may well be proud, that
the influence of the gallant deeds of brave men need
not be lost. Our lives will be the richer for all
that we claim and gain from the heritage bequeathed
SEVERETT T. TOMLINSON.
I. TIE SPOT ON THE HORIZON
II. A YANKEE TIICK .
III. THE PURSUED BECOME PURSUERS
IV. TIE ISLAND OF THE BARATARIANS.
V. A DIVISION OF FORCES .
VI. A PROTECTOR TIAT FAILED
VII. THE CRUISE OF THE TRUE YANKEE
VIII. A DIFFICULT PROBLEM .
IX. UNDER GUARD. .
X. A LOST COURSE
XI. ON AN UNKNOWN SEA
XII. THE ATTACK ON FORT BOWYER
XIII. A SURPRISE PARTY. .
XIV. AN INTERVIEW WITH JOSIAII .
XV. THE STRANGE SLOOP
XVI. THE AIMLESS VOYAGE OF TIE NAMELESS
XVII. TIE RIDE WITH RAMEAU
XVIII. .THE HALT AT THE FORK
XIX. THE FLIGHT
XX. THE MARCH ON PENSACOLA
THE LIFTING OF THE FOG 220
TIE CAPTURE OF THE SLOOP 231
IN NEW ORLEANS 241
TIE MESSENGER FROM JEAN LAFITTE 252
A FAMILIAR SONG 263
AN UNSATISFACTORY INTERVIEW 274
THE CONTEST AT THE PASS. 285
AN UNEXPECTED RELEASE 295
TIE STRANGE SCHOONER 306
TIE SOUND LIKE TIIUNDER. 317
TIHE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS 328
TOM AND JERRY AT JACKSON'S HEADQUARTERS Frontispiece
" WHOLE BROADSIDES WERE POURED INTO THE LUCKLESS
"IT WAS WITH A SINKING HEART THAT TOM RECOGNIZED
THE MAN IN TIE MOONLIGHT". 95
"THE BRIG SETTLED LOWER AND LOWER, AND DISAPPEARED
FROM SIGHT" .115
S'ARE YOU HURT, JOSIAI ? HE SAID QUICKLY" 199
"'OI, THAT'S ONLY A PIECE OF BAGGAGE WE'VE GOT TO
CARRY WITI US' 257
"JOSIAH USED ONE OF TIE OARS AS A POLE" 293
"THEY STOOD GAZING SILENTLY DOWN INTO THE FACE OF
THE DEAD MAN" .338
THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
THE SPOT ON THE HORIZON
" THIS doesn't look very much like Lake Ontario."
1 The speaker was a young man, only a boy in
years, though he was well grown and strong. He
was standing beside his three companions near the
rail on the deck of The True Yankee, which not
long before the time when this story opens had set
sail from Baltimore, and now was out on the broad
waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The scenes on board the schooner, the excitement
of the times and of the special work at hand, the
strong breeze before which the vessel was speeding
swiftly, all combined to make Henry Spicer quick to
respond to the exhilaration of the hour. His words,
however, betrayed the thought which was still deep
in his mind, and the response at once seen upon the
faces of his companions showed that they, too, were
not forgetful of something far away, even while they
14 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
were all keenly interested in that which was then
going on about them.
And they had good reasons for their feelings. Far
away, near the eastern extremity of Lake Ontario,
three of the company had their homes. Andrew
Field, the eldest of the little band, had left behind
his mother and his wife in the old homestead near
Sackett's Harbor. Since the breaking out of the
war there had been no peace in the Field household.
Andrew himself had been "pressed" into the British
service, and while he had escaped from his captors,
had had many thrilling experiences on the lakes and
on shore since the war began. He was now a young
man twenty-four years of age, and to a remarkable
degree had won the confidence and respect of the
American leaders along the lakes.
His younger brother David was also in the group.
David, too, had known something of the perils and
excitements of the war, and in a time when men
early learned to bear the yoke and carry the heavy
burdens of life, had displayed a courage and willing-
ness to do and bear, which, long before the time of
the opening of this story, had led General Jacob
Brown, the commander of the army in the North, to
entrust to him some important missions and duties;
and David Field had acquitted himself so well that
he, too, had been selected for the important errand
upon which the four had now been sent.
Henry Spicer, the impulsive speaker whose words
THE SPOT ON THE HORIZON
we have already heard in the opening of this chapter,
was three years younger than David, and only for the
previous year had been permitted to have any share
in the stirring events of the times. The pressure
then had become so strong, however, that at last his
father had reluctantly given his consent, and the
eager-hearted boy, not fully realizing what war and
its attendant horrors meant, had gone into the service.
His older brother Elijah, a boy of David's age, and
his constant companion since early boyhood, was not
in the company on board The True Yankee, for reasons
which will appear farther on in our story.
There was, however, another member of the little
party who was so marked in his appearance as to
require a word of explanation. He was a tall, un-
gainly man, and apparently in middle life. His
hands and feet seemed to be perpetually in his way,
and his awkward and ungainly carriage was rendered
more noticeable by the great shock of dull red hair
that stood up all over his head. His name, too,
appeared to fit into its surroundings, for this fourth
member of the little party rejoiced in the cognomen
of Heman Jeduthan Chubb.
At times a "singing teacher," as the instructor in
the elements of music on the frontiers was then com-
monly called, again a teacher of the district schools,
he had wandered on from post to post until, soon
after the breaking out of the war, he found himself
in the army.
16 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
The ability to play the fife had earned for him a
position in the army of General Harrison, or "Tippe-
canoe," as the soldiers familiarly and affectionately
termed him; but the restless Heman had not long
remained there, and in the course of his wanderings
had fallen in with the Field boys, whose widowed
mother with characteristic hospitality had given
him a place at her fireside, and so far as he had
a home, that, too, could be said to be near Lake
They were all far from that place now, and a word
of explanation may be necessary before we follow
the young men in their stirring experiences during
the closing days of the War of 1812.
All the leading generals had been having serious
trouble with the Secretary of War, who seems to
have been a very incompetent man. General Har-
rison in the West, General Brown in the North, and
General Jackson in the South, had all suffered from
his fickleness and uncertainty. He would outline
a campaign, and then, after the generals had begun
to put his plans into execution, would suddenly
recall his orders, and frequently after these had been
obeyed, would perhaps find fault because his first
directions had not been carried out.
Indeed, General Brown at one time had marched
as far from Sackett's Harbor as Batavia, when he
was ordered back; but no sooner had he returned
than he was almost censured because he had done so,
THE SPOT ON THE HORIZON
and was quickly ordered to return to his troops
We may be sure that uncertainty and grave prob-
lems constantly beset the generals, for no one in all
the world can cause greater trouble and confusion
than*the man in authority who constantly changes
his mind. Perhaps, after all, the great difficulty with
such a leader is that he does not have very much of
a mind to make up.
General Andrew Jackson, however, did not hesi-
tate. He partly ignored and partly fought the
secretary, and went steadily on in his own way
without yielding, very much like the "Old Hickory"
that he was.
General Harrison, too, selected his own course of
action in large measure; but Jacob Brown, while
he was an able general, was ever careful to observe
all the rules of his military position and life. At
last, however, driven almost to despair by the incom-
petency of the War Department in Washington, he
despatched messengers to the West and South, to
consult with other commanders and learn something
of their plans and proposals.
It was a long, hard journey from Lake Ontario to
the Gulf of Mexico, where Jackson then was. There
were no telegraph lines in those days to carry the
messages "swifter than the wings of the wind."
But as there was every prospect that'the war would
continue, something must be done; and late in the
18 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
autumn the four who made up the little group on
board The True Yankee had started forth on horse-
back from Sackett's Harbor.
Over the rough corduroy roads, through the wil-
derness and the almost pathless forests, they made
their way, stopping frequently at well-known places
for a change of horses, and ever urging on their
At last the long journey was ended, the place
where they were to go on board the swift-sailing
privateer for such, in fact, was The True
Yankee had been reached, and now they were
here on the ocean, sailing swiftly down the eastern
coast of their country.
The shore had long since disappeared from sight.
The roll of the schooner, the calls of the sailors, the
eagerness with which they scanned the horizon, made
a deep impression upon all on board; and when
Henry Spicer, unable longer to remain silent, broke
in with his remark concerning the difference between
the waters of the Atlantic and those of the blue lake
far away near his home, they all felt its truth.
"No, not very.like Ontario," replied David slowly;
"but somehow I like the lake better."
"Homesick, David?" inquired Henry laughingly.
"I don't know; I'm afraid, and I don't mind
"That's a good word, young man," said one of the
young officers on board, who stopped as he overheard
THE SPOT ON THE HORIZON
the remark. "It's only the man who can be afraid
who can be brave, too."
I don't see anything to be afraid of here," said
Henry quickly. "Just look at those masts, will
you? Who ever saw such long, raking masts in .his
life before? I don't believe there's a thing on the
ocean can come near us."
She's a pretty trim affair, no doubt about that,"
replied the officer, glancing with pride at the masts
to which Henry had referred, a movement the others
also followed. "She can outsail almost everything.
You see she was French once, then the English took
her, and we took he'r from the English. They're
more careful than we are. Whenever they make a
capture, they say they're afraid of our long masts
and heavy spars, and cut them down. They put up
bulkheads and strengthen everything, but they do it
at the expense of speed. We go in for speed first,
and strength .afterward, though the Yankee is
strong enough, for that matter. They say they can't
build anything to touch our Baltimore clippers, and
if they could, they wouldn't want to use 'em. They
want things sure and strong, the English do."
"Why don't we do more on the ocean, then?"
said Henry impulsively.
"We have done on the ocean," said the officer,
smiling at the eager lad. "When the war began,
England had a navy of one thousand and sixty men-
of-war, and eight hundred of them were in commis-
20 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
sion and were effective cruising ships or vessels.
Now how many do you think we had with which to
I don't know," said Henry.
'. We had just exactly seven effective frigates, and
perhaps twelve or fifteen sloops of war; but the
sloops weren't of much use at the time, for the most
of them were lying in the dockyards or hauled up
for repairs. Still we've done pretty fairly. We
can't complain, though it's driven us into privateer-
ing and using the smaller vessels. If it keeps on as
it has begun, there'll be two thousand vessels lost by
each side before next spring." '
"You have taken a good many prizes?" said Andrew.
"A few," replied the officer quietly. "Still you
never can tell. The very next turn may see us the
victims, not victors. We like the prize-money, of
course, but there's more than that to be thought of.
I hope we'll succeed in landing you down the coast
without any trouble; but there's no knowing. Any
moment we may sight some British sloop or frigate.
I don't care anything about their crafts, except the
frigates. They'd make short work of us."
Do you happen to know whether any are supposed
to be cruising about here now ? said Heman eagerly.
Heman Jeduthan Chubb was never happy over
the prospect of danger. His favorite occupation was
singing and quoting from the long genealogies of the
books of the Chronicles, from which his own name had
THE SPOT ON THE .HORIZON
been taken. Since he had been on board The True
Yankee, his voice had seldom been heard, a fact
which his companions had noted with so much satis-
faction that no one had dared to refer to it openly.
Yes, we know there are one or two standing on
and off hereabouts; but we're trying to show 'em a
clean pair of heels. You aren't. any more eager to
get safely into the gulf than we are to have you, I
can assure you."
"' So the people could not discern the noise of the
shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the
people,' Ezra three, nineteen," murmured Heman, as
he turned on his heel and left his companions.
The young officer looked after him curiously a
moment, and then said: "What's the trouble with
that fellow? Something wrong up aloft? "
You'll get used to him if he stays long on board,"
replied David with a laugh. He's all right enough,
only you have to have time to understand him. You
ask him to sing for you some day, and he'll never
"No, and you won't forget his song, either,"
interrupted Henry. "Here! just listen while'I call
him back," and Henry began in a low voice to sing
the words of the then favorite war song, -
"' Let William Hull be counted null,
A coward and a traitor;
For British gold his army sold
To Brock, the speculator.'"
22 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
"What's that you're singing, Henry?" said
Heman, turning quickly about. You do not quite
understand music, my young friend. Now the
proper way to sing -"
"Hold on to your song a bit, mate," said the
young officer in a tone of voice which made even
Heman silent in a moment. "There's something
out over the weather bow worth looking at."
The group all turned quickly and gazed in the
direction that he indicated. Far away there seemed
to be a little speck on the horizon, but it was so
small that not one of the four would have noticed it
or thought it a matter of consequence if he had dis-
covered it alone.
The officer had rushed below and quickly returned
with a glass in his hand and a companion officer
with him. For several minutes they stood silently
together, passing the glass from one to the other.
Not a word was spoken by the little group as they
intently watched the two men. Even the sailors
soon saw that something was amiss, but nothing was
said before the elder of the two officers took the
glass and quickly went below.
Then in response to the eager look of inquiry on
Andrew's face, the young officer said, You're likely
to see one of the tricks that's become so common in
this War of 1812."
He gave no explanation of his words, however, as
he, too, swiftly turned and followed the other officer.
A YANKEE TRICK
SOMEHOW, although no one could ever explain
the method of its coming, the rumor quickly
spread among the crew of The True Yankee that
a British frigate had appeared, and many were the
eager glances cast toward the distant speck on the
Here and there on the deck groups of sailors could
be seen; but their words were uttered in a low tone
and could not be heard by the small party in which
we are especially interested. They still retained
their position by the rail, and seldom turned their
eyes away from the little white spot in the distance
which apparently had so startled the officers that
they had given little attention to anything else.
"That thing, whatever it is, is gaining on us,"
said Henry at last, when an hour had passed.
"It certainly is," replied David anxiously. "I
don't see why we don't shake out our sails. I'm sure
this craft, with its masts and canvas, can show the
British a trick or two."
"I wonder if it's a frigate," said Heman. "You
24 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
know Lieutenant Bowen said we could show a clean
pair of heels to everything except frigates."
"What's the trouble, Heman? Are you cold?
Your teeth are chattering like a rattle-box," inquired
"Ye-es ; I believe I am suffering from the cold,"
replied Heman, beginning to tremble. "I think
there's something below that I've forgotten. I think
I'll have to go and get it."
As Heman disappeared, Henry once more began
to hum, -
"'Let William Hull be counted null,
A coward, and a traitor -'"
"Oh, don't bother him, Henry," said Andrew.
"All men have their faults, and chilliness in a battle is
Heman's. We may all of us have a touch of the ague
before the day's over. Here comes Lieutenant Bowen,
and he'll tell us something more."
"It's a frigate, boys," said the young lieutenant,
as he once more approached the group.
"Why don't you crowd on all sail then and get
out of their way?" quickly inquired Henry.
"We're not crawling now, my lad," replied the
officer, glancing, as he spoke, over the rail at the
water through which they were ploughing their way.
"It isn't always best to show all you can do at the
very beginning. We can't make out just what she's
after, as yet."
A YANKEE TRICK
"She's after us. I think you can count safely
upon that," said Andrew.
We're not likely to discount that fact," replied
the lieutenant. But then, we're not very greatly
frightened. She may not be alone, you see, and we
are waiting to get our bearings a little more clearly.
There's one comfort, anyway: we sha'n't have any
such experience as I had on board The Young
No one made any reply; but the eager expression
of curiosity upon the faces of all three led the young
lieutenant to continue: "I see that sight in my
dreams even to this day. It's something I don't like
to talk about, and I don't know why I've brought it
up now; but so long as I've mentioned it, I might
as well go on and give you the yarn, though it's no
yarn at all. It's just cold facts. The first lieuten-
ant on board The Young Teazer was a man named
Johnson. He was as sour, disagreeable a fellow as
you ever saw in your lives. He'd been commander
of The Old Teazer; but when Admiral Warren capt-
ured her, Johnson of course was a prisoner. He
was released on his parole, but without waiting to
be formally exchanged, he enlisted as first lieutenant
on The Young Teazer, one of the best privateers
that ever started from New York.
"But Johnson was a morose, sour fellow, as I
said, and his men all thoroughly detested him. I've
always thought the breaking of his parole weighed
26 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
on his mind till he lost his balance. Well, we hadn't
been out very long before we sighted a British man-
of-war, or rather, she sighted us and took after us.
The Young Teazer made good time, but the man-
of-war made better, and finally, when it looked as if
the game was pretty nearly up, Captain Dawson -
he was in command of the privateer, you know -
called his officers aft to talk over what had better
"I was standing with half-a-dozen men by the fore-
castle, and while I wondered that Johnson did not
join the officers, I didn't give very much attention to
his absence, for just then I was more interested in
that man-of-war than in anything else. But I can
tell you I was called back in a hurry when I saw a
sailor rushing over the deck toward the officers, and
I knew as soon as I saw him that something was
wrong. His face was the color of ashes, and he
looked as if he had seen a ghost; and, poor fellow,
I think he did see one soon after, if ever any man
saw one. He rushed up to the captain, and I
could hear him as he groaned out: 'Cap'n, Cap'n
Dawson, Lieutenant Johnson has just rushed into
the cabin, and he had a live brand of fire in his
"I saw Captain Dawson turn sharply round and
start quickly toward the cabin; but he hadn't taken
more than two steps before there was a sound such
as a thousand cannons going off at once might have
A YANKEE TRICK
made. I felt myself lifted up, up, up into the air,
and all around me were men and parts of the rigging
and timbers, and parts of men too.
"I came down somehow, though I never knew just
how or when. I remember it seemed to me that I
had gone so far up into the air that I never could get
down again. But I must have come down, for I'm
here, you see."
The young officer smiled slightly; but noting the
look of intense interest on the faces of his hearers,
he resumed his story: "Yes, I came down; but the
first I knew about it was when I found myself in a
bunk on board the man-of-war. It didn't take me
long to find out that The Young Teazer had been
blown into flinders, and that every man on board had
been killed except myself and the six who were stand-
ing near me by the forecastle at the time, though one
of those poor fellows died before we sailed into Hali-
fax, for that was where they took us."
"How is it you are here now, then?" said Henry,
in a low voice.
"Exchanged," replied the lieutenant briefly.
"What made Johnson do that? said David.
"You know as much about it as I do. He was
crazy. He must have been, of course; that's the
only reasonable explanation. But it was one of the
most terrible things in all the war. I wish some of
those 'peace men,' or some of those fellows who met
up in Hartford and wanted the war to be stopped,
28 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
could have been on board. They seem to think it's
just for fun we're doing all this."
Lieutenant Bowen turned as he spoke and, evi-
dently startled by that which he saw, suddenly left
his companions and again went below.
"What's up now ?" said Henry. "It seems to me
there's something startling going on here most of the
time. It isn't much like Lake Ontario, where about
all the two navies have done so far is to build boats
at each other. I don't believe the men up there
would grumble as they do if they could get a taste of
this. I believe that frigate is gaining on us. I don't
see why we don't crowd on all sail and leave her out
"It's more than the frigate now," said Andrew.
"Look off to the eastward, will you ?"
His companions glanced quickly in the direction
Andrew indicated, and there, far away on the horizon,
another tiny speck could be seen.
All there were sufficiently familiar with the water
to know that it was a vessel of some kind, and this
fact, in connection with the sudden departure of
the young lieutenant, at once increased the alarm of
all on board The True Yankee.
Again the officers scanned the distant horizon with
their glasses, and no explanation of the sudden change
that came, as soon as they had consulted together,
was needed by the boys or the crew. Their sharp
commands rang out, sail after sail was unfurled, and
A YANKEE TRICK
soon, under every stitch of canvas she could crowd on,
The True Yankee was speeding forward.
Her prow was sharp and cut the water like a knife.
She seemed to leap under the added impulse, as a
horse quickens his pace at the word of his master.
The songs of the sailors were hushed, for all realized
that the task in hand was no slight one.
It's a ship of the line," said Lieutenant Bowen, as
he joined the boys a moment later. We're in for a
time of it now."
But they never can catch us when we're tearing
along like this," said Henry quickly, glancing over
the rail as he spoke.
"They will if this wind holds out," replied the
lieutenant. "Our only hope is that the wind will
die down at sunset. In a light breeze we can dis-
tance them, but in a stiff gale, as this almost is, we
don't stand much chance."
A silence fell over the group as the lieutenant left
them, after accepting Andrew's offer to turn in and
do all that lay within their power to assist the crew
of the schooner. Nor was it long before their ser-
vices were called for.
The excitement of the chase increased, and the
alarm did not subside when it became more and more
evident that the pursuers were steadily gaining. It
was not long before the outlines of both the great
vessels could be seen, and before sunset a puff of
smoke arose from the bow of the frigate, but the
30 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
ball either fell short or passed harmlessly to one
Heman had again taken his place on deck, where
apparently he tried to put himself in the way of as
many men at the same time as possible. He seemed,
however, oblivious of all the pushes and sharp words
he received, and almost fascinated by the sight of the
great white-winged vessels behind him, seldom turned
his eyes away.
The sun sank lower and lower in the west, and at
last disappeared. The stars came out in the sky and
apparently looked down upon the sea with cold indif-
ference. The wind at first threatened to die away,
and great was the rejoicing on board The True
Yankee; but their hopes fell when it was learned
that the wind had only abated.
Still the schooner sped on. The thoughts of the
British prisons or prison-ships, the loss of all prize-
money, and the possible loss of life itself, could not
be forgotten for a moment. The race was not one
for pleasure, and success or failure meant far more
than gaining or losing honor or applause.
Clouds crept up the sky and shut out the view of
some of the stars, but the night was still light, for the
moon was near the full. The whistling of the wind,
and the occasional call of the watch or of some officer,
were all that could be heard. The danger became
more apparent; and when in the early morning light
it was found that the frigate had steadily gained,
A YANKEE TRICK
the depression on board The True Yankee in-
The great frigate loomed like a monster in the dis-
tance. Even Henry was silent, and Heman had
scarcely uttered a word throughout the night, though
he had held to his place by the rail all through the
You'll see a trick tried now," said the lieutenant
briefly to the boys. "If it doesn't work, the game's
up. They don't want to harm us, or rather, hurt the
schooner, if they can help it, for they'd like to take
it as it is. The wind's died down, and the ship's so
far away, she can't do much damage, so the frigate's
all we have to fear. Now, look sharp "
As he left them, there came a harsh, sudden call
from the officer in command. The course of the
schooner was quickly reversed and she began a series
of short tacks. The great frigate tried to follow, but
her very size was an obstacle, now that the wind had
changed and was all in favor of the light little
schooner. Shot after shot rang out, but the quick
motions of The True Yankee seemed to destroy
the gunner's aim, and almost before any one realized
what had occurred, the schooner was beyond the
reach of the frigate's guns.
Great was the rejoicing on board The True
"We got away because the frigate couldn't turn
round quickly enough," said Heman soberly.
32 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
That's just it," said the lieutenant, laughing;
" though if I'd been on board of her, I should prob-
ably have said, speaking for the British, you know,
'The frigate got into the wind and made a stern-
board, and before we could get sufficient steerage
upon her to tack after the schooner, the little craft
had already made three or four tacks right in the
wind's eye and was soon out of the reach of our shot,
and so made her escape, to our great surprise and
mortification.' That's what I'd have said if I'd been
on board the frigate."
"That's just exactly what I meant," said Heman
soberly; "but you didn't give me a chance to say it."
They all laughed at his reply, for they were in
high spirits now. They had escaped the frigate and
feared nothing from the ship of the line.
With the passing of the alarm, the songs and shouts
of the sailors returned and the animation of all on
board was restored. To Henry, it seemed as if it
was the most stirring experience of his life, and he
entered eagerly into the bustle, while even Andrew
and David were not far behind him in their expres-
sions of delight.
An hour had hardly passed before there was a call
from the masthead of "Sail ho And soon three
vessels could be discerned in the distance.
"It's just as I thought," said the lieutenant.
"That frigate was the convoy of a fleet of merchant-
men, but she got so far out of her course in chasing
A YANKEE TRICK 33
us, she isn't of much help now. Keep your eyes
open and you'll see something you'll never forget.
We aren't running now, and these are the very fel-
lows we have gone to sea for."
As the lieutenant turned away, the boys marked
the change that had again come over the crew, and
then eagerly watched their movements as The True
Yankee started in swift pursuit of the luckless
THE PURSUED BECOME PURSUERS
T was near noontime when the far-away sails were
first discovered. The sun was shining clear and
strong and there was scarcely a cloud to be seen in
all the sky. The breeze had sprung up again, and
as The True Yankee sped swiftly on before it, her
crew and men seemed to share in the decided change
that had come over all.
The frigate had long since disappeared from sight,
and as it was the impression of all on board the
schooner that she and the ship of the line had only
followed after the merchantmen until they should
have gained the high seas, there was slight fear that
either of them would now return.
Doubtless, although they had failed to capture the
clever little schooner, they were both satisfied that
they had kept her out of her course so long and so
far that the fleet must be beyond all danger. And
now The True Yankee was bearing down upon the
helpless vessels, whose convoy was so far away.
"I don't see what they want to chase these boats
for," said Heman nervously; "for my part, I don't
THE PURSUED BECOME PURSUERS
believe in this kind of work. I thought The True
Yankee was bound for the coast of Brazil, and was
going to land us inside the gulf, or in some place
from which we could make our way to General
Jackson, and then we could start for home."
So she is; so she is," said Henry eagerly; "but
that will not prevent her from picking up a prize or
two on the way, will it? Oh, this is great sport!
This beats Niagara and Sackett's Harbor all to
pieces! We'll show Johnny Bull a trick or two."
"Nay, nay; I fear me, nay," muttered Heman, as
he turned and began to hum, -
"'Britannia needs no bulwark,
No towers along the deep;
Her march is o'er the mountain waves,
Her home is on the deep.' "
"Heman, none of that," said David quickly;
"that's no song for this place. Come, with such a
voice as you have 'Heman the Singer,' you know
-you can give us something better."
Heman's face beamed at the flattery, and closing
his eyes and throwing back" his head, he said: Well,
that may be so, boys; that may be so. Here, perhaps
this will go better, -
"' The chiefs, who our freedom sustained on the land,
Fane's far-spreading voice has eternized in story;
By the roar of our cannon now called to the strand
She beholds on the ocean their rivals in glory.
36 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
Her sons there she owns
And her clarion bold tones
Tell of Hull and Decatur, of Bainbridge and Jones;
For the tars of Columbia are lords of the wave,
And have sworn that old ocean's their throne, or their grave.'"
"That's the way to give it to us, man That's as
good as a drum and fife," said Lieutenant Bowen, as
he approached the group.
"I'm rejoiced that I can be of service to you,
Lieutenant," replied Heman. My heart is glad that
I have been of some assistance to General Harrison.
I trust I was not entirely useless to General Jacob
Brown and Commodore Chauncey. And now if I
can aid the officers and crew of The True Yankee,
I shall feel well repaid, I can assure you."
Heman Jeduthan Chubb was ever responsive to
words of praise or flattery, and all unconscious of the
sly wink which passed between David and Henry,
he swelled out his chest and beamed benignantly
upon all around.
In a moment, however, his fears returned and all
the assurance disappeared. Lieutenant," he said
tremblingly, "I can see that we are gaining upon
these strange crafts. Do you think there is likely to
be any trouble? I mean that cannon are likely to
be discharged or that the roar of great guns will be
"I am hoping there will be," said the lieutenant
lightly, smiling at the boys as he spoke. We cer-
THE PURSUED BECOME PURSUERS
tainly are gaining rapidly upon them. It must now
be after three o'clock, as you landlubbers say," he
added, glancing at the sun as he spoke, "and if the
wind holds good, I shouldn't be surprised if by five
o'clock you heard something from Captain Boyle."
"I -I think I shall have to go below, Lieutenant;
I fear there is something I need, or have forgotten
there. I I really think I shall have to go."
And with pale face and trembling limbs, Heman
the singer at once withdrew.
"He's all right," said Andrew quickly, in response
to the lieutenant's laugh. Heman's a good man in
his place, but that isn't exactly on board a swift
privateer like this. I know him through and
through. He'll do more than you think when the
pinch comes. But isn't that brig we can now make
out a man-of-war ?"
"She certainly has all the symptoms, as the
surgeon would say," replied the lieutenant soberly.
"She's no fairy either. She looks big enough to
hoist us all up on her deck."
"Surely, you'll not try titles with her, then?"
"Yes, sir; that's just what we shall do. Didn't I
tell you that the only thing we were afraid of was a
British frigate? Well, we'll never stop for any brig,
not even if she carries fifty guns. There, hear that,
will you ? I must leave you now."
The sharp commands rang out on board The
38 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
True Yankee, all hands were called to quarters,
the guns were loaded with round and grape, and
the decks were cleared for the action which might
soon take place.
The members of our little party were permitted to
remain on deck for a time, although they were in-
formed that when the action began they must go
below, unless their aid should be required.
The sun had now sunk below the horizon, though
there was still sufficient light to enable them to see
far out over the ocean and discern clearly the four
vessels in the little fleet that they were rapidly ap-
proaching. Every sail of The True Yankee had
been crowded on, and as she forged rapidly ahead it
was only a question of a few minutes now before she
would overhaul the fleeing vessels. The boys were
silent, and did not take their eyes from the sight
Henry was breathing hard in his excitement, and
somehow his hand stole forth and grasped that of
David, who was standing by his side. The crew, too,
shared in the excitement, and the shouts and calls of
the sailors were all hushed. Moment after moment
passed, and nothing could be heard but the swish of
the waters over which they were passing, and the
creaking of the rigging as the stanch schooner sped
on before the wind.
Suddenly the silence was broken as the command
to "hoist the colors rang out, and a cheer went up
THE PURSUED BECOME PURSUERS
from all as they saw the long streamers floating from
the masthead a cheer in which the boys all joined.
What a relief it was to give vent to their feelings
once 'more! It seemed to Henry as if hours must
have passed since Heman went below, though in
reality not many minutes had elapsed.
The sounds of an answering cheer came across
the water, and they saw the colors of the brig run
"There, that's right! That's what I was looking
for," said the lieutenant, as a call came from the brig
that the captain would send some one aboard. That
looks like business now," he added, as The True
Yankee hove to and waited for the coming of the
Even Heman had returned now, apparently willing
to trust himself on deck once more, when he found
that the cannon thus far had remained silent. His
companions, however, were too much interested in
the movements of the yawl to give any heed to
Heman the singer.
Apparently there was an equal interest on board
the brig, for the men could be clearly seen in the
moonlight, standing near the rail and intently fol-
lowing the little boat as it was rowed swiftly toward
the schooner. In a few moments it was alongside,
and a trim young officer made his way quickly up to
the deck and stood before Captain Boyle, who was
waiting to receive him.
40 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
The formalities were quickly finished, and then
the young visiting officer, who spoke English
fluently, said: "Our brig is a Portuguese national
vessel. She carries twenty thirty-two pounders, and
has one hundred and sixty-five men. The other
three vessels are English and bound for Europe.
They are under our protection, and you must not
The young man's eyes flashed as he spoke, and it
could be easily seen that he thought Captain Boyle
would be greatly impressed by his bearing and
It's just as I feared," murmured Heman trem-
"Hush, Heman!" whispered Andrew sternly.
"Be still, so that we can hear what the captain
"This schooner is an American cruiser," Captain
Boyle responded, "and has authority to try to
capture any and all English vessels. Here are my
papers," he added, as he drew them forth from his
pocket and held them toward the young officer.
"I don't know anything about them, and care less.
I simply want you to understand that these three
English vessels are under our protection, and we
shall protect them."
Perhaps it was just as well that the pompous
young officer could not see the quiet smile that crept
over Captain Boyle's face as he replied: "I shall
THE PURSUED BECOME PURSUERS
have to inform you that I shall take every English
vessel within my power. You must remember that
we are on the high seas, and they belong just as
much to the United States of America as they do to
Portugal or Great Britain, or any other nation. I
shall exercise the authority that my government has
bestowed upon me."
Captain Boyle spoke very quietly and in low,
clear tones. Perhaps his very quietness was decep-
tive, for the young officer at once assumed a far
bolder tone as he pompously replied: I shall be
very sorry if anything disagreeable occurs, but after
what I have said to you, I shall at least have the
satisfaction of knowing that the fault will not be on
I shall feel as deep a regret as you," said Cap-
tain Boyle, still speaking in the low and calm tones
he had used before, "if anything 'disagreeable,' as
you call it, occurs. I can only say to you that if it
does come, you will have to be the aggressor, as I do
not intend to fire upon you first. If, however, you
attempt to oppose me, or fire at me while I am trying
to take those English vessels, then we shall have to
try our respective abilities; and I want to say to
you that I am thoroughly prepared for any such
event, and shall not shrink.from it one instant."
The captain's tone had changed now, and the
reply of the young officer was not so bold as before.
"But, Captain," he remonstrated, "all three of
42 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
these vessels are well manned and well armed, and
are very strong."
"I fancy you are putting a greater value on their
strength than I am. I shall very soon put it to the
test now, and then we shall all of us know more
"Very well, I shall report your words to my cap-
tain, and will return and report to you what he has
to say." And the visitor at once departed for the brig.
The excitement on board The True Yankee
was now intense. The brig lay within hailing dis-
tance, and what had virtually been a challenge of
war had passed between them. The three English
vessels were directly ahead, and close together. One
was a ship of fourteen guns, and the other two were
brigs, each carrying ten.
"Fifty-four guns against us!" murmured Andrew,
when first he learned of the exact situation. Cap-
tain Boyle must be running a great risk. I hope he
knows what he is trying to do."
"I I think I shall have to go below again,"
chattered Heman. "I- I couldn't find what I went
for, before; but perhaps I can now."
But no, one heeded him as he left the little group
and disappeared from sight.
. A half-hour passed. The yawl had not returned
from the brig, nor had any word been sent. All the
vessels were in nearly the same relative positions in
which they had been before.
THE PURSUED BECOME PURSUERS
Captain Boyle, concluding that it was not the in-
tention of the other commander to permit the officer
to return to the schooner, at last spoke the man-of-
war and inquired whether the messenger was to re-
turn or not.
The reply from the brig was that "he would speak
to his convoy," and then the commander requested
Captain Boyle to send his own boat on board. But
the commander of The True Yankee was not to
be caught after that fashion, and after explaining
that it was nrot his practice to send his boat from his
vessel at night, and that he should not break in upon
his custom then, he again expressed his determination
to try to take all three of the English vessels.
He waited a moment, and as no reply was received
he gave orders to make sail immediately, and at once
bore down upon the merchantmen and soon came up
with the ship.
"Back your maintopsail! came the sharp com-
mand from The True Yankee.
The hail was not heeded, and in an instant one of
the great guns of the Yankee privateer rang out, and
our boys knew that the action was begun.
THE ISLAND OF THE BARATARIANS
M EANWHILE, before we follow the fortunes of
The True Yankee in what appeared to be
such an unequal contest, it is necessary for us to turn
and examine the condition of affairs along the borders
of the great gulf, and learn what was the situation in
that region, which proved to be the seat of the most
wonderful and thrilling portions of the second war
Andrew Jackson, then in the prime of his manhood,
had conquered the Creek nation in the preceding year,
and had retired to his home, which was known in Ten-
nessee as The Hermitage."
The British, aided by the Spaniards, had endeav-
ored to arouse the Indians in the Southwest to make
a stand against the Americans; and their appeals,
seconded by the presence of Tecumseh and his
brother the prophet, who with thirty of their chosen
warriors had made a journey of a thousand miles down
the Mississippi, had so far succeeded, that the warriors
of the Creeks and some others of the neighboring
tribes had entered into a league, and the Creek war
had been the result.
THE ISLAND OF THE BARATARIANS
Jackson, or "Old Hickory," as he was familiarly
known by his men, had thrown himself enthusiasti-
cally into the campaign, and in spite of the bravery
of the Indians and the marked ability of many of
their leaders, had apparently crushed the rebellion,
and defeated the project of the British, who had
hoped to withdraw the attention of the Americans
from the northern border of the country, where most
of the engagements, up to that time, had taken place.
But Old Hickory was not long permitted to remain
in the quiet and seclusion of his home. The people
of the Southwest believed in him implicitly, and so,
although the inefficient Secretary of War had little
love for the man who had ridiculed his actions and
boldly neglected his directions, the popular demand
could not be ignored, and Andrew Jackson, in the
spring of 1814, was appointed a major-general in
the army of the United States, and commander of the
Seventh Military District, with his headquarters at
Mobile, which was then a little village, containing
only wooden houses, with not more than a thousand
people dwelling in them.
At the entrance to Mobile Bay, thirty miles from
the village, was Fort Bowyer, out on the end of the
long, narrow sand-cape at the eastern entrance, and
commanding the channel between it and Dauphin
The fort, however, was a weak little affair, mount-
ing only twenty guns, and only two of these were
46 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
more than twelve pounders. But it is frequently the
case that a good man is worth more than all other
defences; and, as we shall see, Mobile was enabled
to make a good showing, despite the weakness of her
Jackson stopped on his way to his headquarters to
make a treaty with the Creek nation, and then pushed
rapidly forward; for into whatever work Old Hickory
entered, he always threw his whole soul into the task
at hand, thereby giving a lesson of how to succeed to
many a man. Indeed, the secret of his success seems
almost like the echo of words that were written many
centuries ago, Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do,
do it with thy might."
The "eternal vigilance," of which he always made
so much, did not depart from him then, and he was
startled, as well as alarmed, by the reports which came
to him of the actions of the Spaniards at Pensacola.
He soon found that in spite of their professions of
neutrality, they were really in alliance with the Brit-
ish, and he hastened to inform the war department of
his discoveries. No heed was given him, however,
and he soon perceived that he must act for himself;
and as that was just in accord with his own feelings,
he proceeded to form and carry out his own plans.
By the last of August even the pretence of neutral-
ity was thrown aside by the Spanish authorities at
Pensacola. Nine British ships of war entered the
harbor and anchored there. The marines landed,
THE ISLAND OF THE BARATARIANS
and without a word of protest encamped on the
shore. Even the British flag was unfurled over one
of the forts, and Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Nichols
became the guest of the Spanish governor.
Together they formed their plans. Indian runners
were quickly despatched among the various tribes,
and it was not long before a thousand dusky savages,
chiefly from the Creeks and Seminoles, arrived at
the post in response to their promises and appeals.
Proclamations from Colonel Nichols were addressed
to the French, and to those of the Kentuckians who
were supposed to be enraged at the government of
the United States for its treatment of some of their
brave men. Appeals were even made to the negroes,
and the promise of freedom given them if they would
rally under the banner of the British.
Doubtless the English commander tried to justify
himself in these acts by the plea that all's fair in
war "; but they simply serve to show that war itself
is such a terrible thing that it ever drags into its wake
a multitude of kindred evils. To-day it is recognized
that the highest patriot is not he who is the most
willing to enter into the struggle of war, but he who
will do the most and the best in his power for his
country. Peace has her victories as well as war, but
in the time when the events of our story occurred,
Andrew Jackson was simply compelled to face things
as he found them, and that he faced them resolutely
and bravely we shall soon see.
48 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
Troubled as the American commander was by all
these reports, which his enemies fondly hoped they
had kept concealed from him, there was still another
perplexing problem which confronted him.
On the borders of the Gulf of Mexico there was a
community of outlaws, made up largely of privateers-
men and smugglers, who had their headquarters on a
low island about sixty miles from New Orleans, at
the entrance to Barataria Bay.
This island was called Grand Terre, and was about
six miles in length and a mile and a half in breadth.
It possessed a safe harbor, sheltered from the
northerr," as the great gale which at times swept
over the waters of the gulf was called, and there was
a safe passage for small vessels extending from the
island to within a short distance of New Orleans.
These outlaws had formed a regular organization,
at the head of which was Jean Lafitte, a French
blacksmith who had resided at New Orleans before
he entered the more profitable, if more disreputable,
occupation of a smuggler. He was a brave man and
shrewd, and none could explain better than he how
it was that frequently some of the best merchants of
New Orleans were to be seen on his island, and how
it was that they could sell their wares at such low
prices, and yet lay up rapidly the great fortunes
which many of them left to their descendants.
This community was known as the "Baratarians,"
and their leader was sometimes called "The Pirate
THE ISLAND OF THE BARATARIANS
of the Gulf." Although the Baratarians knew that
the government of the United States had proclaimed
them to be outlaws, Jean Lafitte steadily refused to
accept any such term for himself or for his com-
"I may have evaded the duties at the custom
house," he would say, "but I have never ceased to
be a good citizen," and then he would add, as an ex-
cuse for his evil deeds, words which many an evil man
has used to justify himself: "All the offences I have
ever committed have been forced upon me by certain
vices of the law."
Jean Lafitte, however, was as energetic in his way
as Old Hickory was in his, and Grand Terre was
fortified by a battery of heavy guns, which pointed
out over the sandy beach seaward; and as the men
were known to be as brave as they were desperate,
few could be found who cared, or dared, to face the
mouths of the great cannon.
It was learned that the British leaders, relying
upon the fact that these men had been proclaimed as
outlaws by their country, were trying by every possi-
ble means to win them over to their side. Lafitte
had communicated with Governor Claiborne, and
had informed him of these approaches, but declared
that he would be true to the cause of his country.
The governor had informed Jackson of all this, but
no one felt certain that Jean Lafitte and his men
could be depended upon.
50 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
The location of the island, its strong defences and
stronger defenders, the possibilities of what might be
done for either side by the reckless Baratarians, ren-
dered it almost imperative that some direct communi-
cations shodid be had with Jean Lafitte.
It was because of all this, that one morning, late in
August, 1814, a little catboat set sail from near Fort
Bowyer, whose destination was the island of the
Baratarians, and with them went a message from Old
Hickory himself. As the little party on board will
enter largely into the details of this story, it is fitting
that we should pause and make their acquaintance.
At the tiller sat an elderly man dressed in a hunt-
ing garb, and by his side was his ever-present rifle.
His life had been that of a wanderer, and he was
known throughout the scattered settlements of Ala-
bama as Hunter Josiah."
Near him were two boys, or young men, about
eighteen years of age. There was a very striking
resemblance between them, and well there might be,
for they were twin brothers, and rejoiced in the names
of Tom and Jerry Curry. Their home was in the in-
terior of Alabama, in a clearing near the banks of the
great river. In the preceding year, they had left
their home and their widowed mother, their sister
Nance and the younger children, and had borne their
part in the struggle with the hostile Creeks. At the
close of the war they had all returned to their hum-
ble home; but the advance of Jackson's men had
THE ISLAND OF THE BARATARIANS
once more summoned them, and again they had en-
tered the ranks along with Hunter Josiah, the long-
time friend of their father and the family.
In addition to these, there were three young Creek
Indians on board, who for a long time had been friends
of Tom and Jerry, and frequent visitors at the little
clearing. They were familiarly known as "Tecum-
seh's Young Braves," from the fact that at the time
of the visit to Tecumseh they had been greatly im-
pressed by the warrior and his brother; and against
the protests of Tom and Jerry, their friends and
companions for many years, they had cast in their
lot with their nation in the great struggle.
That struggle once ended, however, they had ac-
cepted the result, and now had joined the forces of
Old Hickory, along with their boyhood friends.
The leader of the young braves, whose Indian
name was Quilitumac, was commonly called Cap-
tain Jim," in honor of Captain Jim Fife, a noted half-
breed warrior; while his two companions were called
Kanawlohalla (which meant, A head on a pole) and
Condawhaw. Josiah apparently had but slight confi-
dence in the young warriors, and had but little to say
to them. Indeed he had very reluctantly consented
to their coming at all, and had only yielded at last
because of the persuasions of Tom and Jerry, who to
all appearances believed strongly in their red-faced
It had been long since they had started on their
THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
voyage, and now they were eagerly watching for the
first appearance of the low, sandy shores of Grand
"I'm wondering what kind of a reception Jean
Lafitte is going to give us," said Tom at last, as he
resumed his seat after vainly striving to obtain some
glimpse of the island they were seeking.
"No man on earth knows," replied Josiah gloomily.
"I don't believe much in him myself, but I suppose
Old Hickory doesn't think he'll lose much if this
crew was taken in by the Baratarians; only a worn-
out old man, two lads, and three young, good-for-
nothing heathen savages."
"Hush, Josiah," said Jerry quickly, noticing a
gleam that came into Captain Jim's eyes at the
hunter's words. "You've no right to speak that
way. You can't tell what any of us will do before
we are put to the test."
"I don't need any test," muttered the hunter.
"When I see the yotrVg redskins first on one side
and then on the other, flopping like a catfish just
pulled out of the river, I don't need anything more.
Still, I'm glad no 'test,' as you call it, has come. I'm
sure I don't know what I'd tell your marm, for I'd be
the only one to get out alive. It's lucky for us
we've slipped through without any British gunboat
sighting us. The gulf's full of 'em, I hear."
"Josiah, what's that land ahead?" said Tom, by
way of interrupting the complaints of the old man.
THE ISLAND OF THE BARATARIANS
Josiah turned quickly at the words, and glanced
keenly ahead. That's Grand Terre," he said at
last; "and now we'll find out what Jean Lafitte
intends to do with us. We'll get all the test' you
want now, my young friend."
The course of the catboat was speedily changed,
and the outlines of the island could soon be clearly
discerned. No one on board had much to say, but
the uncertainty connected with their meeting with
the outlaw increased their excitement.
Suddenly as the boat came about, Tom said:
"There! Look there, will you, Josiah! There's a
sloop at anchor off the harbor. What is it ?"
That," said Josiah after a brief silence, "is the
British sloop of war, Sophia. I'd know her if I
met her in the woods, for I've seen her a hundred
times. She's come up from Pensacola no doubt, and
we've just run our necks right into a noose. She
and Jean Lafitte understand each other, you can rest
your souls on that. We've got the 'test' you've
been waiting for."
"What are we. to do now, Josiah?" said Jerry
"That's what I've got to decide. I'll take a turn
out here and think it over. Hello, they've sighted
us," he said, as a faint call could be heard from the
distant sloop of war. "I'm not feeling just right at
present," he added, as he brought the catboat sharply
about and started toward the other side of the island.
A DIVISION OF FORCES
OSIAH gave no heed to the hail that came from
the sloop, although the boys could easily see by
the expression upon his face that he shared in the
alarm they all felt. The uncertain nature of the
reception that the Baratarians themselves might give
them, combined with the discovery of the presence of
the hostile sloop, had aroused the fears of all on
board the catboat; and as Josiah changed her course,
they eagerly watched the movements of the men they
were leaving behind them.
"They think we belong to the gang here, and
they're not going to trouble us now," said the old
hunter at last, when ten minutes or more had elapsed
and no boat had put forth from the sloop. "That's
what I was counting on; but it's enough to drive a
man stark, staring mad to have all these things fall
on him at once. As if it wasn't enough to have to
take one's chances in going to see this Lafitte, they
must pack up two infants and these redskins to send
along with me. And then to find the Sophia anch-
ored right in the harbor -that's worse than all
A DIVISION OF FORCES
the others It's enough to drive a man mad, I say.
Yes, and I am mad "
Tom, who knew in spite of the rough manner of
Josiah that he had a kind heart, and that he would
lay down his life, if the necessity should arise, for
his young companions, apparently ignored his words
and said in a low tone: "What are we going to do
"What are 'we' going to do? That's more'n I
can tell. You seem to think I've got plans on tap,
and that all I have to do is to turn on the spigot
and let 'em run."
You're not going back to Fort Bowyer, are you? "
inquired Jerry anxiously.
In good time I am; that is, if I'm so lucky as to
have enough of my party left to make it worth while
to go. It's enough to make a man mad, that's what
"They're not going to send a boat from the sloop
after us," said Tom, as he glanced once more at the
vessel in the distance.
You're well posted, my son; you're well posted.
How did you learn so much? "
The hunter's voice had changed now, and the boys
perceived by the change that his immediate anxiety
had in a measure disappeared. They, too, felt greatly
relieved as they sped on and saw that the Sophia
apparently had ignored them after the hail had been
56 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
Josiah soon changed the course of the catboat
again, and made for a little harbor on the farther side
of the island, which was well concealed behind the
heaps of driven sand from the sight of all on the gulf
It was soon evident that his boast that he was
thoroughly familiar with Grand Terre was not an
idle one, though both Tom and Jerry were sadly
puzzled to account for his knowledge; and for the
first time in their lives they felt dimly suspicious of
the old hunter, who had been almost as well known
by them from their earliest days as had their own
father and mother.
These thoughts were soon banished, however, as
Josiah ran the catboat into a narrow little inlet, and
soon dropped the sail as they grounded on the sandy
"Now then," said Josiah, "we'll establishh a guard;
and mind you, we'll have regular military discipline
too. And I want you to understand that we'll have
a good deal better discipline here than they ever had
at Fort Bowyer, before Old Hickory came."
"All right, Josiah," said Tom, rejoiced to see that
the hunter's good humor was restored.
"Do you think that redskin can be depended
upon?" said Josiah, pointing to Captain Jim.
I know he can," replied Tom, feeling sorry for
his friend, who he could see felt keenly the suspicion
implied in the hunter's words.
A DIVISION OF FORCES
"Well, we'll see, we'll see. We'll make a trial
of it, anyway. Now, Tom, you go up to that sand
heap," and Josiah pointed off to his right as he spoke;
"and you go off there to the left," he said to Captain
Jim. "The first sight you get of a man, put straight
back here and we'll decide what to do then. It'll be
night afore long now, I'm thinking."
"We'll do it, Commodore," said Tom, as he and
the young Indian quickly left the boat to take the
positions assigned them.
Tom had hardly arrived at his place before he
heard the low whistle which had been agreed upon
as a signal, and in alarm as well as surprise he
hastily returned, just as Captain Jim rejoined the
"What is it, Cap'n Jim?" said Josiah quickly.
"I caught your signal. Have you seen anything? "
"Men," said the young Indian quickly.
"How many ?"
"T'ree," replied Captain Jim, holding up three
fingers as he spoke.
"Coming this way?"
Captain Jim nodded his head by way of a reply.
"Are they near? "
Again Captain Jim nodded assent.
"Then in here ye all go," said Josiah quickly,
pointing as he spoke to the little cabin.
"All of us?" inquired Jerry. "We'll be in no
shape to fight, if we have to."
58 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
"Do as I tell ye !" said Josiah roughly; and in a
moment the boys and the young Indians obeyed,
and crawled into the cramped quarters of the little
For a time no one spoke, and not a sound could be
heard. Both Tom and Jerry could feel that their
hearts were beating rapidly, and they soon began to
rebel against their confinement. Indeed, Jerry was
about to start from the cabin and explain to the
hunter that he could no longer endure to be shut in
there, when they were all startled by the sound of
Yes, I belong here," they heard Josiah say, as if
in reply to some question.
"Pretty good place, isn't it?" said some one in a
"Well enough for them as likes it," replied
"Oh, well, Jean Lafitte and his men seem to like
it. I hear they haven't lost very much by living out
here on the sands," and the boys could hear the laugh
that followed the words, a laugh in which apparently
several others joined. "I suppose you're going to be
with us, aren't you ?" inquired the stranger.
"I don't know who ye are," replied Josiah cau-
"Oh, we're from the Sophia and are just taking
a stroll around your island. Captain Lockyer's come
over here from Pensacola with a little message from
A DIVISION OF FORCES
Lieutenant Nichols inviting you all to come in on
the winning side."
What does Jean say about it?"
"What does he say? There's only one thing he
can say. What with his own brother shut up in jail
at New Orleans, and the States calling him an outlaw
and getting ready, as I hear, to train their popguns
on his fort here, he won't be very long in making up
his mind. Even a rat knows enough to get off a
sinking ship. We'll see you again, old fellow."
"Yes, I hope you will," said Josiah soberly, as the
men turned and departed.
The hunter waited until he was satisfied that his
visitors would not return before he summoned the
boys, and then related the conversation which they
had already heard.
"Those fellows took me for one of Jean's men,"
he said. "Well, we haven't any time to correct
their mistakes. Turn out again, you Tom and Cap-
tain Jim, and take your watches. Somebody else
may be coming' to visit us, and we want to be pre-
pared like for 'em when they do come. We don't
want any surprise parties here."
The boys waited for no second bidding and, glad
to escape from the close quarters of the little cabin,
at once resumed their places on the low hills of
Far away Tom could see the Sophia resting at
anchor in the harbor. A gentle breeze ruffled the
60 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
quiet waters of the gulf, and the sun, as it sank
lower in the western sky, began to cast long beams
of light across the waters. Some birds were running
swiftly along the beach and broke in upon the still-
ness with their shrill, piping notes. But not a man
could be seen. If it were not for the sight of the
Sophia in the distance, nothing would have indi-
cated the presence of danger or the necessity of a
For an hour Tom maintained his vigil. Nothing
had been seen to disturb or alarm him. The sun
was not more than a half-hour above the horizon
now, and the lad was about to return to the catboat
with a report that all was quiet, when suddenly he
saw a yawl making its way from the shore toward
S the Sophia.
Curiously he watched its movements and followed
it until it gained the sloop. When, however, within
a few minutes after its arrival he saw the sails of
the sloop spread and the Sophia begin to leave
the harbor, his interest greatly increased. He stood
and watched her until he was satisfied that she really
was departing, and then swiftly made his way back
to his companions and reported what he had seen.
"That settles the question for us," said Josiah,
when Tom finished.
"How ? inquired Jerry.
"Why, we'll have to go round into the harbor
and give our message too."
A DIVISION OF FORCES
"Do you think it will be safe?" said Tom. "You
know what those men from the Sophia said about
Yes, and I know what Old Hickory would say
too. I don't like to face the Baratarian; but I'd
rather face a dozen such as he than one Andrew
Jackson with the report that we'd gone clear to
Grand Terre and then turned back without giving
our message. Come on, we'll start now," and quickly
giving a low whistle to summon Captain Jim, he
turned in with the boys, and by the time the young
brave arrived the catboat was in readiness to start.
The sun was like a great, red ball of fire as they
headed the boat toward the point they had turned
a little while before, and when they sailed into the
harbor it had .disappeared from sight. Not a word
was spoken now, for there was a great fear in the
heart of each, and no one knew what the reception
Jean Lafitte was to give them would be. Perhaps
the twilight served to increase their forebodings,
and as they drew near the dock their fears were not
allayed when they noticed a group of men standing
there and evidently curiously observing them. They
could also discern the great cannon that had been
planted near the shore, and the welcome they might
receive from them was not forgotten.
"There's Jean Lafitte himself," said Josiah in a
low voice as they approached the dock.
His companions eagerly marked the man, whose
62 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
presence could not be mistaken. A great muscular
man he was, and to the troubled boys seemed to be
of extraordinary size.
"Where away, my lads ?"
It was Jean Lafitte himself who spoke, as he
caught the painter Josiah threw him as he lowered
"I've got a message for Jean Lafitte from General
Andrew Jackson," replied Josiah.
"Where'd ye come from?"
Did ye catch sight of a sloop out here? "
"Yes, the Sophia. I waited till she put to sea
before I came in."
Jean Lafitte laughed as he replied: Messages
to-day seem to be thicker'n traders from'New Orleans.
But come up to my hut and I'll talk with ye."
"May I bring one of the boys along with me?"
Jean laughed aloud again as he said: "Yes, bring
as many as ye want. I suppose ye're kind a look-
ing for protection, aren't ye ?"
Josiah made no reply; but Tom quickly responded
to the whispered word of the hunter, and together
the three left the dock and started toward the lead-
The feelings of Jerry, who was left behind with
the young braves, may well be imagined. The men
on the dock tried to enter into conversation with
A DIVISION OF FORCES
them, but they received few and brief replies. Jerry
could not repress the feeling that 'they did not
appear to be so bad as he had heard them described
to be, but his heart was filled with anxiety for his
The moon came slowly up and her light was
almost like that of day. The long stretches of the
sandy beach, the mounted cannon, the wide sweep
of the gulf, were all clearly defined. Jerry, however,
hardly noted these things, and seldom took his eyes
from the little hut his brother had entered.
What was occurring within it he had no means
of knowing. The reputation of the band, however,
his own lonely and helpless position, and the recent
visit of the British sloop of war, all combined to
render him fearful. It seemed to him the moments
hardly moved. A half-hour slowly passed. An
hour had gone, and then Jerry felt he could bear it
no longer. He must get some word from his brother,
if he had to go to the leader's quarters himself.
He was about to leave the dock and go up to the
hut, when he suddenly discovered Tom approaching.
What is it, Tom? he said eagerly, as his brother
We're to put out of this at once and sail for
"And leave Josiah here?"
"Yes. There's nothing else to be done, and we've
got to start at once."
64 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
The presence of the men prevented further con-
versation, and greatly puzzled by the strange actions
of his brother, Jerry quickly assisted in hoisting the
sail; and in a few moments the catboat had left
the dock and the island of the Baratarians far behind
her, as she sailed swiftly out of the harbor in the
A PROTECTOR THAT FAILED
THE shot from The True Yankee was directly
across the bow of the great ship, and was fol-
lowed by the word that the privateer would be along-
side again within a few minutes, and that if the ship
did not obey the order given her, a broadside would
be poured into her. No reply was given to the hail,
and The True Yankee quickly tacked, with the
man-of-war close after her.
It was a stirring sight for all on the deck of the
swift-flying Yankee craft. The moon had crept up
the sky, and her glimmering light rendered every-
'thing discernible for a long distance on every side.
The wind held strong, and the trim little craft had
been built for just such labor as she now had on
Lieutenant Bowen, who seemed to be everywhere
at once as he rushed about the deck, stopped by the
side of the boys just long enough to say: "We're
good for them, all four of them at once, if need be.
The True Yankee had some builders who knew
what they were about. You see, we can tack three
66 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
times to the brig's once, and the others are loaded so
heavily they can hardly stir out of their tracks.
'We can turn around so much more easily than
they,' as your auburn-haired songster would say.
What's become of him?"
"He's gone below," replied Henry. "He'd for-
gotten something; and I think he must be having a
heap of trouble in finding it, he's gone so long."
Well, down below's the best place for all of you,"
retorted the lieutenant as he left them.
"Here, we're going to give it to them now! said
The True Yankee had run in close alongside the
ship, and one of the heavily laden brigs was close
behind her. The words had hardly been' spoken
before gun after gun spoke, and a full broadside was
poured into the two luckless vessels.
The report was almost deafening, and the heavy
cloud of smoke that rolled up beside them shut out
the view for a few moments. All the vessels, how-
ever, were carrying all their canvas, and as The
True Yankee was vastly the superior of them all
in her sailing qualities, in a very brief time she had
drawn ahead so that her men could look back and
see something of the damage they had inflicted.
It was impossible to estimate this at once; but if
it had not been for the presence of the man-of-war,
The True Yankee would have had no difficulty
in changing her course and again bearing down uponI
A PROTECTOR THAT FAILED
the crafts, which were all then most clumsy in their
movements, owing to the heavy cargoes they had on
The man-of-war now opened her guns upon the
privateer, and as the merchantmen also all carried
guns, they, too, began a heavy fire of grape and round
shot. But the quick-moving Yankee vessel con-
stantly veered and changed her course, and none of
the shots took effect, although it was almost impos-
sible to determine whether any of the shots she
quickly fired in response had hit the mark at which
she was aiming.
It was about nine o'clock in the evening now, but
the light of the moon was sufficient to enable all to
see, and the engagement was rapidly becoming ex-
citing. Again and again our boys were warned to
go below, but there was a terrible fascination for
them on deck, and none of them were quite willing
to go. Indeed, Andrew had already entered into
the work, and even David and Henry found they
could not be entirely idle. Heman had not put in
an appearance since the first shot was fired, but they
were all too busy and excited to waste any thought
on the missing singer.
Realizing now that she had the entire force to
contend with, The True Yankee quickly per-
ceived that her safety, as well as her success,
depended entirely upon the nimbleness of her move-
68 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
Captain Boyle at once decided to stick as closely
as possible to the English vessels. Again and again
as he bore down upon them they would separate, so
as to give a fair field to the man-of-war. Whole
broadsides were poured into the luckless vessels, and
not infrequently the Portuguese man-of-war came in
for a good share herself. The roar of cannon became
almost ceaseless. The minutes passed on into hours,
but the crew of The True Yankee took little heed
of time. The men were all working desperately,
and with the constant and quick movements of the
vessel and the steady discharge of the guns, there
was no opportunity given for rest or for noting any-
thing besides the movements of the enemy.
The moon climbed higher and higher in the
heavens. The scudding clouds clearly showed the
strength of the breeze, which still held steadily.
Occasionally, between the loud reports of the cannon,
the shouts of the men or the calls of their officers
could be heard. Midnight drew on. Thus far, The
True Yankee had contrived in some way to escape
any serious damage; but none knew better than our
boys that her success was due entirely to her sailing
qualities and to the prompt measures Captain Boyle
seemed ever to have at his command.
The struggle still continued. Evidently The
True Yankee had not yet inflicted any damage
serious enough to cause a cessation of hostilities.
The sharp calls of the commander and the answering
" WHOLE BIOADSIDES WEIE FOUEHED INTO THE LUCKLESS VESSELS."
A PROTECTOR THAT FAILED
shouts of the men showed that still greater efforts
were about to be put forth. The conflict was fiercely
renewed, with an increased determination on board
the privateer to bring it to some kind of an issue.
She ran in closer to the merchantmen than before.
The shouts of her crew arose when they could see
that their opponents were in desperate straits.
The peaceful moon had seldom seen such sights as
those upon which she looked down that night. In
spite of the terrible odds against her, The True
Yankee held closely to her task. Constantly she
tacked and changed her course, and the fact that the
merchantmen were so heavily laden that they could
neither follow nor escape, kept the man-of-war close
to their sides.
An hour more had hardly passed, however, before
the great ship surrendered. She was almost cut
into pieces, and had become entirely unmanageable.
The shout that went up from The True Yankee
was redoubled a few moments later, when one of the
brigs also surrendered, having been almost as greatly
damaged as was the ship herself.
"I'm going to take possession of her," called the
young lieutenant to Andrew. Come on arid join
In a moment Andrew was scrambling into the
boat along with the young officer and his men as
they started for the helpless brig. But the other
vessel and the man-of-war were yet to be reckoned
70 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
with, and as the latter trained her guns upon the
yawl, one of her shots carried away the bow of the
By desperate efforts her men contrived to keep
her afloat, but they quickly changed their course,
and started back for The True Yankee. Just as
they were all hauled up on board, the luckless little
boat sank and disappeared from sight.
"Never mind the loss of the yawl so long as every
man is safe!" shouted the lieutenant. "We were
a little too quick. That Portuguese man-of-war must
be settled before we can do much. Captain Boyle
will fix her though, in a hurry."
And Captain Boyle at once began to give his en-
tire attention to the man-of-war brig. The foreign
vessel sheered off to some distance as the Yankee
craft made for her, and in her course The True
Yankee passed the third of the luckless merchant-
men. She was about to give her another broadside
as she passed when she, too, quickly surrendered.
She was in a far better condition than either of her
companions, but discretion had evidently become to
her the better part of valor, and before greater damage
could be inflicted upon her, she gave up the struggle,
the advantage of which at the beginning had appar-
ently all been on the side to which she belonged.
Not a vessel remained now to be met save the
Portuguese man-of-war brig, and with well-sustained
courage the dauntless little craft started after her.
A PROTECTOR THAT FAILED
It was now about two o'clock in the morning, and
the light of the moon was becoming pale. Across
her face dark clouds were scudding, and there were
signs of a coming storm. The end of the contest
almost seemed to have come, and the weary crew of
The True Yankee roused themselves to enter once
more into an action which they all hoped would
now be speedily finished.
The Portuguese brig had changed her course, and
as the Yankee boat started after her, the crew soon
saw that she was making for the brig that had just
Signals by the foreigners were at once displayed,
and to the surprise and disgust of the Yankee crew
they saw the brig make sail and start away in com-
pany with her stronger companion.
Captain Boyle quickly decided that he would leave
the two other vessels, which were now helpless, and
which he thought could not leave the place where
they then were, and start after the fleeing couple.
While he had been remarkably fortunate in the
engagement, and had lost but three men, his rigging
was more or less shot away, and there were one or
two shots received which he knew rendered a swift
pursuit almost as dangerous for The True Yankee
as the damage the vessels he was pursuing had re-
ceived made their flight for them.
Nevertheless, with the eager consent of his men he
started in the course the two vessels had taken.
72 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
But the light of the moon was gone now. The wind
had arisen, and it was impossible for him to deter-
mine the exact course the merchantman and her
convoy had selected. As they apparently had headed
for the South, he decided to follow in that direction,
and The True Yankee was soon, under shortened
sail, in what was hoped would be a swift and sure
The hours passed, but not a sign of either boat
could be discovered. They were indeed "at sea"
now in their calculations as well as in fact. Never-
theless they held to the pursuit, and waited for the
morning light to come.
On and on swept the privateer, doing nobly in
spite of her crippled condition. The men were silent,
either resting from their labors or else watching the
sea for some appearance of the two vessels. But
nothing could be seen, until at last the gray of the
dawn appeared, and in the increasing light, far behind
them, and just above the line of the horizon, two
faint specks could be perceived.
"We've outsailed and gone past them in the dark-
ness," said the lieutenant quickly. "The captain
will know what to do now, though."
And Captain Boyle did know. The course of
The True Yankee was quickly reversed, and within
three hours the privateer had caught up with the
And it was only with the merchantman, for the
A PROTECTOR THAT FAILED
brig, at the sight of the ever-present Yankee boat,
had crowded on all the sail she could bear, and was
at some distance from her convoy by the time The
True Yankee caught up with her. It was soon
decided to take the prize into port, and as The True
Yankee was determined to continue her pursuit of
the man-of-war brig, Lieutenant Bowen was selected
to man her.
At his earnest solicitation our boys were to join
him. It was explained to them that The True
Yankee might be kept long and far out of her way,
and that the likelihood of their being able to gain
the destination of their long journey would there-
fore be much stronger on the prize boat than on
the privateer. They quickly consented to the pro-
Two yawls filled with, selected sailors were de-
spatched to the brig, and as they made their way up
to the deck of The Bowes, for that was the name
of the captured vessel, they turned to see The True
Yankee crowding on all sail, and rapidly drawing
away from them.
Fifteen minutes had passed before David suddenly
said to his brother: "Andrew, where's Henry? I
can't find him anywhere aboard this craft."
"I don't know. I thought he came in the other
yawl; but we were all so excited we didn't know
what we were doing. Let's look him up."
And try to look him up they did, but their long
74 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
search was unrewarded, and at last they sadly came
to the conclusion that Henry was not on board.
Far away they could see The True Yankee, becom-
ing more indistinct each moment, and it was with
heavy hearts they turned to listen to the words of
THE CRUISE OF THE TRUE YANKEE
THE feelings of Henry Spicer, when it dawned
upon him, as it did within an hour after the de-
parture of the boys, that he had been left by his com-
panions, may well be imagined.
At first the lad was almost beside himself with
grief and anxiety. Not even Heman was with him,
for the singer had been summoned by David just be-
fore they passed to The Bowes, and the terrified
man had quickly responded to the summons. Not a
word from Chronicles had he quoted, and for a long
time Heman the singer became Heman the silent, much
to the astonishment of those who knew him so well.
The feeling of loneliness that swept over Henry
for a time banished all other thoughts from his mind.
It seemed to him that his trouble was more than he
could endure. The wide expanse of the rolling ocean,
the cloudless sky above him, for all signs of a storm
had disappeared with the rising of the sun, the bat-
tered condition of The True Yankee, which still
held steadily on her way to the south, all served to
intensify his grief. He felt as if he had been bereft
76 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
of hope and abandoned by those upon whom he had
depended far more than he was aware.
Visions of the far-away lake, on the shores of which
was his home, rose before him. He could imagine
what his father and mother must be doing at that
very time. All the glamour of war was gone now, and
the misery and wretchedness of the struggle were all
Human nature, however, has many curious elements
in its make-up, and not the least strange of these is
the ability to face the inevitable. When once we
have come to see clearly just what it is that must be
met, somehow the soul rises to meet it, and Henry
Spicer proved to be no exception to the rule.
It is true there was a strange sensation of choking
in his throat, and a few tears forced their way out
from between the half-closed eyelids; but when an
hour had passed and the prize boat had become a
mere speck on the distant horizon, Henry Spicer had
met the most severe part of his struggle, and with
the consciousness that he had indeed been left behind,
and that all hope of rejoining his companions in the
near future was gone, the resolute lad roused himself
to meet the immediate problem that pressed upon him.
Why, hello, my lad! I thought you were three
leagues from here by this time."
Henry recognized the voice of Captain Boyle before
he glanced up into the rough but kind face before him.
"That's where I wanted to be, but I'm here."
THE CRUISE OF THE TRUE YANKEE
"So I see," replied the captain, "so I see. Tell
me all about how it happened."
Then the heartbroken, homesick lad tried to tell
his story. At times his voice would break in spite
of all his efforts to control it, and more than once the
hot tears would come; but Captain Boyle listened
attentively, and the sympathy expressed in his
weather-beaten face was wonderfully comforting to
Henry, as he tried to explain how it was that he had
been left behind by his companions.
It's a pity, my lad," said the captain at last when
all the story had been told; "but it's not so bad but
it might be worse. There are a good many worse
places for a lively youngster like you to be in, than
on board The True Yankee. I'm sorry for ye, in-
deed I am. But then, cheer up, my boy. The
United States doesn't lie so very far away, after all,
and you'll get back again. Never fear about that.
Maybe you'll get a share of our prize-money and go
back home like a nabob, who knows? And then if
we're lucky enough to take another prize, for I've
made up my mind to abandon those two we left back
there, they're so battered up and we can't carry grain,
you know, why, you'll find a chance to go ashore be-
fore the rest of us, and maybe you'll get home in
time to welcome all the others. No, my lad, the
only thing to do now is to turn in and do your level
best on board The True Yankee."
Captain Boyle's voice was deep and mellow, and
78 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
to Henry it seemed to smack of the rolling breakers.
He knew the captain had been to sea from his earliest
boyhood, and his great, strong body seemed to have
drawn into itself something of the power of the ocean,
while his voice had gained something of its music.
Greatly comforted and cheered by the sympathy
and interest of the captain, of whom he had stood in
awe, Henry smiled as he replied: "I'll do my level
best. I will, Captain Boyle."
"That's the way to talk, my lad! Keep up a good
heart and everything will come out all right. We're
going to follow in the wake of this Portuguese man-
of-war a bit, and then we'll stretch our net for some
For three days The True Yankee held her course
steadily to the southward, but not a sign of the
longed-for brig appeared. Reports of her were
gained, however, for the privateer spoke a little craft
with which she fell in on the next day, and from her
learned that she had met the Portuguese brig, and
that she was in a sadly crippled condition. Her first
lieutenant and five of her men had been killed, and a
number had been seriously wounded, among whom
was her captain, who had been shot in the thigh and
whose life was despaired of. Her cargo had been
nearly all damaged, her masts shot away, and she had
been compelled to get new topsides.
Crippled as she was, however, she had started for
Pernambuco; but as The True Yankee herself was
THE CRUISE OF THE TRUE YANKEE
compelled to go slowly while such repairs as her ship
carpenter could make were going on, she did not over-
take the Portuguese vessel.
But with the trim privateer once more in fair work-
ing order, neither Captain Boyle nor any of his men
had any thought of abandoning the object of their
voyage, and still cruised on and off lying in wait-for
any luckless merchantman, much after the manner in
which a hungry spider watches for its prey.
Nor did she have long to wait. The scarcity of
certain provisions, chiefly to be had in the West
Indies and South America, and the- high prices they
brought in the markets of England and on the conti-
nent, furnished a motive sufficiently strong to induce
many a vessel to make the attempt to carry such
Henry Spicer soon found himself sharing in the ex-
citement of the crew. A constant lookout was main-
tained both for merchantmen and British cruisers,
the latter of which might easily turn the tables on
the privateer and make the pursuer at any moment
become the pursued.
It was true that Henry could not entirely shake off
his feeling of loneliness, and there were times when
he almost gave way to despair; but the lad was made
of sturdy stuff and strove manfully to do his best;
and in all this he was greatly aided by an occasional
word of cheer from the great-hearted captain of The
80 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
Not many days had passed, when one morning a
ship was sighted. The pursuit was at once begun, and
as the vessel apparently was heavily laden, the smart
Yankee craft soon found that she was gaining rapidly
upon her. The eager crowd of sailors upon the deck
of The True Yankee, the excitement of the pursuit,
and above all the hope of a possible return, so aroused
Henry that for the time he almost forgot his own situ-
ation, and was more animated than any of the crew.
As the privateer swept on in swift pursuit, it soon
became clear that the vessel was a large one; but
with all her cloud of canvas she could not draw away
from the lighter and swifter-sailing Yankee.
The first hail of the privateer was heeded, and the
Scotch ship Adelphi, of Aberdeen, became her prize.
It was found that she was of three hundred and sixty
tons' burden, and although she mounted eight long
twelve pounders, the knowledge that she was heavily
laden with salt and dry goods, and therefore no match
for The True Yankee, which, as Heman had said,
"could turn around so much more easily," led to the
A prize crew was selected, and the Adelphi was
sent off with orders to proceed to the United States.
Henry Spicer was not on board of her, however, for,
acting upon the advice of Captain Boyle, he remained
with The True Yankee; for the captain assured
the lad that his chances of returning to the port he
desired would be much better if he did so. Other
THE CRUISE OF THE TRUE YANKEE
prizes would doubtless be taken, and to one of these
the lad was assured he would be assigned; and with
this promise he strove to rest content.
A few hours later, however, he regretted his de-
cision, when a British frigate came in sight, which the
prisoners said was The Surprise, one of the stanchest
of the British fleet, and which had been the convoy
of the Adelphi.
Everything depended now upon the fleetness of
the little privateer. Every stitch of canvas she had
was spread; but the alarm of her crew speedily sub-
sided when it was discovered that she could easily
outsail the frigate, and in a few hours the great vessel
had been lost to sight.
Day followed day now, and not an English mer-
chantman was sighted. The days passed into weeks,
but still The True Yankee cruised about among
the West India Islands without discovering a single
There were times when great storms swept down
upon her, and to Henry it seemed as if his last hour
had come; but Captain Boyle seemed each time to
know of some sheltered spot along the shore which
he would seek, or else would stand boldly out for the
open sea. The True Yankee was indeed a stanch
craft, and her builders, as young Lieutenant Bowen
had declared, had thoroughly understood their work
and fitted her out most admirably for the very task
in which she was then engaged.
82 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
Still, with all his admiration for The True Yan-
kee and her captain, the days passed slowly for
Henry. Again and again he regretted that he had
listened to Captain Boyle's advice, and wished that
he had sailed with the prize crew of the Adelphi;
for his condition then could certainly be no worse
than it was now. Many days had come and gone,
and all his former tender associations and memories
only served to intensify the loneliness of the lad.
He made few friends among the sailors, and spent
much of his time by the rail watching for the appear-
ance of some sail upon the wide expanse of the sea.
And yet he maintained his watch with mingled feel-
ings. The appearance of a sail might mean a possible
prize, and in that event there were home and friends
to be gained; but it might also mean that The True
Yankee might become the prize, and the troubled
lad could not keep back the tears which would arise
at the thought of a possible voyage across the great
ocean, with a British prison at the end.
Nor were his fears groundless, for the honors be-
tween the British and Americans were nearly even,
and the prizes taken by the fleet privateers were
almost as many on the one side as on the other.
There were times, too, when he hoped, after the
long delay, that The True Yankee would abandon
her trip and return to Baltimore, whence she had
sailed; but he soon discovered that Captain Boyle,
while he might change his forward course, had never
THE CRUISE OF THE TRUE YANKEE
a thought of going backward, and as Henry came
more and more to realize that his only hope lay in
the capture of some prize, we may be sure that the
eagerness with which he scanned the horizon did not
decrease as the monotonous days dragged on.
At last there came a morning when his patience
was rewarded. It was just at the break of day, and
The True Yankee lay about two leagues off the coast
of the island of St. John's.
Away off to the leeward two brigs were discovered,
and the long waiting was ended. The crew re-
sponded eagerly to the summons of the commander,
as he made all sail and started in swift pursuit. All
hands were called to quarters, and it was not long
before it was seen that the nearer brig was armed. As
the privateer drew near, the desperate brig hoisted the
English colors, fired one gun, and then, to the sur-
prise of all on board The True Yankee, struck her flag.
Now came Henry's opportunity. Along with Mr.
Ball and six of the men, he took his place on board
the captured Alexis, for that was the name of the
brig, and great was the rejoicing when it was dis-
covered that she was loaded with cotton, sugar, rum,
Many of the captured crew were transferred to the
privateer, but a few were left on the brig, and these
few appeared to be far from being cast down by their
misfortune. The cause was explained when soon
around the point a huge frigate came in sight.
84 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
"There, now you'll get it! shouted one of the
captured men. "She's the Swaggerer, and she'll
show your Yankee privateer that she mustn't bother
with His Majesty's ships. She'll soon fix her, and
then we'll see who's on top."
With a heavy heart, Henry turned to watch the
great frigate as she bore swiftly down upon the brave
A DIFFICULT PROBLEM
NO one had spoken in reply to the quick words of
Tom, when he had hastened from the hut of
Jean Lafitte and declared that they must set sail at
once from the island of the Baratarians, except to
make the one inquiry concerning Josiah. Deep
down in the heart of each was a feeling of alarm,
and the selfish desire to secure their own safety had
As the outlines of the island became indistinct in
the moonlight, and the increasing distance between
the catboat and the abode of Lafitte increased, their
better natures asserted themselves, and Jerry was
the first to break the silence.
Tom," he said, tell us about the hunter. Why
do we leave him there with that outlaw ? "
"I don't just know," replied Tom. "Lafitte had
some talk with him, and Josiah himself told me to
go back with you to Fort Bowyer. There wasn't
much chance to talk, for just as soon as Josiah said
that, that big slave of Jean's came into the room and
said he'd go down and help us off. My, but he's
86 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
the biggest black man I ever saw! Wasn't he a
Yes," replied Jerry soberly. He was a big fel-
low and no mistake. Tom, you don't think Josiah's
gone over to the other side, do you ?"
"No, I don't think so or at least I don't want to
think so. Still, Josiah puzzled me a bit by some
things he did. I have to say that, though I don't
"So he has puzzled me too," said Jerry. "But I
just can't believe that the hunter's gone back on his
own word. What did they say? You must have
heard a part of their talk, anyway."
"Yes; I heard some things, but I can't make it all
out yet. Jean Lafitte said right out that the
Sophia had been there with an offer from Colonel
Nichols for him to go in with the British and just
wipe New Orleans from off the earth. Jean pre-
tended to be very indignant about it, and said he'd
stand by Jackson and the States to the last. I don't
know just how much of it was talk, though. The
more I think about it, the more puzzled I am."
"What else did he say?"
"Oh, he went on with a lot of stuff about the con-
dition of things at New Orleans. He pretends to be
of the opinion that Governor Claiborne is all at sea
and doesn't know what or whom he can depend
upon. He says New Orleans is full of men who are
in league with him or with Mascot, or De Jourdain,
A DIFFICULT PROBLEM
or Pierre Rameau. You know while Lafitte and his
gang are out here in the gulf, there are a lot of des-
perate fellows who have their headquarters up in the
lagoons or swamps or bayous on the other side of the
town, and from all I could hear I should think
they're a good deal worse than the Baratarians.
They're just cut-throats and thieves. You'd think
all the desperadoes in the land had got together about
here, and that the most of the men in New Orleans
were either in league with them, or else so afraid of
them they don't dare say their souls are their own.
He even said there were secret societies in the
town, and that the robbers, for that's about all you
can call Rameau's crowd, had free access to their
rooms and were protected from the officers of the law
by the members. I don't know but the officers them-
selves may secretly belong."
Did he mention any of those societies ? inquired
Yes. He spoke of the Chats-Huants, or screech
owls,' as I believe he said the name was in English,
and that they'd helped Pierre Rameau out of more
than one bad scrape. It seems Rameau goes right
into the town, and into their meetings too. I heard
Jean say that one time the officers surrounded the
house where the 'Screech Owls' were holding a
meeting, but that Pierre slipped out and away be-
fore they could lay hands on him, and that they'd
come for the very purpose of catching him. That
88 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
looks to me very much as if the officers themselves
must have all* had poor eyes, to say nothing worse,
to let him slip right out of their hands as they did,
doesn't it to you ? "
Yes, it does," replied Jerry slowly. "Did Jean
say anything about Nichols having any dealing with
Rameau, or any of the other bands of robbers ?"
Oh, yes, he said the British were tinkering with
them just about the same as they were with him, and he
pretended to be afraid, too, that their bait was being
taken. He seemed to be all broken up about it, too."
"Pity about him! But what I'm troubled about
now is what's become of Josiah. I can't bring my-
self to believe that he's turned traitor. What do
you think, Captain Jim?" he added, turning to the
young brave, who with his companions had been
silent during the conversation.
"Hunter heap bad man," said the young Indian,
his dark eyes snapping as he spoke.
"He wasn't so bad when he helped you out of
your scrape last year, was he? inquired Tom.
"Hunter heap bad," replied Captain Jim laconi-
cally. Hunter no like Quilitumac, no like Kanaw-
lohalla, no like Condawhaw, no like Injun. Hunter
heap bad man."
He doesn't seem to have wasted very much affec-
tion on any of you, that's a fact," said Tom in reply.
" But then you know Josiah, and you know his bark
is a good deal worse than his bite. He talks a good
A DIFFICULT PROBLEM
deal, but when you come right to the pinch, he'd do
just as much for you as he would for any one of us,
and we all know that's no slight thing. Don't be
too hard with him, Captain Jim."
The young brave made no further reply, but his
manner showed the resentment he felt against the
hunter, who had never hesitated to express his dis-
trust and dislike of any man whose face was red.
For a few moments they sailed on in silence. The
breeze was just sufficient to send them steadily for-
ward without roughening the waters. The moon-
light danced and flickered over the gulf, and made
the wake of the little catboat glimmer like silver.
The air was cool, and the entire scene was one of
The outer conditions, however, were far from re-
flecting the conditions within. The knowledge of the
perils that beset the little garrison at Fort Bowyer,
the recent experience with the leader of the Bara-
tarians, the reported condition of affairs at New
Orleans and along the shore, were all far from being
But the immediate problem was the situation of
their hunter friend. Had he been detained at Grand
Terre against his will? Was it possible that he had
gone over to the other side ? Was he in peril at that
very time? Try as he would to banish them, these
questions came again and again to Jerry as he held
the tiller and guided the little catboat on her way.
90 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
He recalled the many instances when the hunter
had proved his friendly feeling for them, especially
since the death of their father. He knew he was a
rough man, and never hesitated to express his opin-
ion of any one, whether friend or foe, in high posi-
tion or low. But he also knew that Josiah possessed
a heart as tender as a woman's. Indeed, at that very
time the vision arose before his mind of all the labor
and the continual chre that Josiah had given them
when, some time before, the fever had entered their
home, and their mother had been almost helpless to
meet the danger.
His heart became softer at the thought, and unable
longer to be silent, he suddenly broke out: "Tom, I
can't stand this any longer. I'm afraid Josiah's in
trouble, and for my part I feel mighty small in clear-
ing out this way and leaving him alone there to bear
it. It isn't the way he would serve us if we were in
his place, and he in ours."
That's the very thing I've been thinking of my-
self," replied Tom quickly. The more I think of it,
the more I'm sick of the way we hurried away from
the island and left him there. It was all done so
quickly that I didn't fairly know what I was about;
but now that I've had a chance to think it over, I
don't like it a bit."
"Got a paper?" interrupted Captain Jim, who
was listening attentively.
"Yes, I've got a letter from Jean Lafitte for
A DIFFICULT PROBLEM
General Jackson, but I don't know any more of what's
in it than you do. It may be he's just telling Old
Hickory that he's going to string the hunter up in
the morning, and that he need send no more mes-
sengers to the Baratarians. I'm afraid of Jean La-
fitte, for I don't know what he's up to, and when I
think of that big black slave of his, I'm scared worse
Paper good, hunter heap bad. Take paper to
Hickory," said Captain Jim.
"I just can't do it. I feel like a coward running
away like this," said Tom, taking the letter that
Lafitte had given him from his pocket as he spoke
and holding it up in the moonlight. I think we'd
better go back, don't you, Jerry ? "
Yes, I do," replied Jerry quickly, giving the tiller
a sharp turn as he spoke.
The little catboat quickly responded, and they
entered on the first long tack on their way back to the
island, which long since had disappeared from sight.
"It's a risky piece of work, Jerry," said Tom.
" What do you think ? Had we better put straight
for the dock and go up to Lafitte's hut and ask for
Jean? Or shall we make for the place where Josiah
landed us and then go across the island?"
"-I hardly know. Each plan is bad enough, and
I'm afraid worse than the other. It seems to me,
though, that we'd better make for the place where
Josiah took us, and then if we are stopped we can
92 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
say just what we would have said if we'd landed at
the dock. What's your idea, to help Josiah out of
the shanty without letting any one know we are
"I've thought of that, but I don't know that it
will work, though now I think of it, I remember that
Jean did say something about going to New Orleans
to-night. But he wouldn't take that black fellow
with him if he did go," he added, hardly able to re-
press the shudder which came at the thought of Jean
Lafitte's great slave.
We'll make for the spot where Josiah landed us,"
said Jerry decidedly; "and then we'll have to be
governed by what we find later."
The conversation ceased, but the forebodings of
evil could not be shaken off. Captain Jim uttered
no remonstrance and apparently fell in with the
change in the plans. But as the boat sped on, Jerry,
who still held the tiller, was at times almost tempted
to abandon the project, which seemed to him more
and more foolhardy as they drew near the island.
What chance would they have against the desperate
band of men who followed Jean Lafitte ?
It was true that the leader's hut stood apart from
all the others, and perhaps they might be able to
approach it without being discovered; but the prob-
ability was very slight. The Baratarians would
doubtless have guards stationed, and the discovery of
men prowling about on their island at night would
A DIFFICULT PROBLEM
be much more likely to provoke a shot than it would
a hail, and of the result of such a shot there could
be little doubt.
And then there was the mammoth slave of Jean's
to be thought of. Jerry had seen him but once, but
the terror with which Tom regarded the black giant
had somehow communicated itself to him. However,
Jerry did not mention any of his fears, and held
the catboat steadily to her course. As the wind
was not in their favor now, more time was consumed
in their return than had been in their departure, and
it was after midnight when they landed in the place
whither Josiah had brought them on the preceding
The long sandy shore stretched away in the moon-
light and the few trees that grew near by appeared
almost weird in the distance. The silence was un-
broken save by the occasional call of some night-
bird, but it seemed to the twin brothers that the
beatings of their hearts could have been heard by
any one on the island.
Slowly and silently the sail was lowered and the
boat drawn far enough up on the beach to ensure her
safety. Then the boys paused for a whispered con-
As a result of their deliberations, it was decided
that Tom and Captain Jim should go and try to
approach Jean's hut, which they thought could not
be more than a mile away. The others of the party
94 THE BOYS WITH OLD HICKORY
wore to remain by the boat, and in the event of the
failure of their companions to return by daybreak,
then they were to go boldly to the leader's quarters
and learn what had become of Tom and the young
The plan had not been agreed upon without many
whispered protests from Jerry and expressions of his
determination to go himself; but at last he had
yielded, realizing the justice of Tom's plea that he
alone was familiar with Jean's hut and could there-
fore more safely make the venture.
Jerry and the two young Indians stood silently on
the shore and watched Tom and his companion as
they started inland.
A whispered good-by had been spoken, and then
without once glancing behind him, Tom touched
Captain Jim on the arm and they slowly and care-
fully approached the little sandhill on which Tom
had been stationed as guard on the preceding day.
They had just gained the foot of it, when suddenly
the oppressive silence was broken in upon by a laugh
that sounded almost unearthly.
"Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!"
The echoes caught up the sounds and sent them
back to the shore, and the reports of the hideous
laughter seemed to come from every side.
Tom and the young Indian, too startled to move
when first they heard the weird sounds, quickly re-
covered themselves, and turning hastily around were
"IT WAS WITH A SINKING HEART THAT TOM RECOGNIZED THE MAN
IN THE MOONLIGHT." -Page 95.
a ~. .. -
'' ,: I
A DIFFICULT PROBLEM 95
about to retrace their way to the boat, when suddenly
some one seemed to rise out of the very sandhill and
stand before them.
It was with a sinking heart that Tom recognized
the man in the moonlight, and saw that what at first
seemed almost like an apparition was the huge black
slave of Jean Lafitte.
BEFORE the startled boys could move, the black
man suddenly reached forth and grasped each
one of them by the shoulder. They struggled des-
perately to free themselves, but all their efforts were
as useless as those put forth by a bird when caught
by a hungry cat. In the struggle their guns fell to
the ground, and soon realizing how weak and helpless
they were, both Tom and Captain Jim became quiet
and tremblingly awaited the next move of the slave.
Jerry and his companions had almost instinctively
started to the assistance of their friends, but when
they had advanced a few steps, the nearer view of
Tom's captor had almost overpowered them, and
they, too, paused, awaiting anxiously the outcome of
the strange scene.
As soon as he perceived that his captives had be-
come quiet, the huge slave broke into another laugh,
louder and more boisterous than before.
"Ha! ha! ha! Ha! ha! ha! Ha! ha! ha!"
Again the echoes caught up the unearthly sounds
and flung them back, until to the frightened lads it
seemed as if they were surrounded by unseen enemies
who were making sport of their misfortunes. The
black man appeared to be unable to restrain his glee,
and again and again his weird laughter was heard as
he stood and held his captives apparently without
any exertion on his part. And yet to Tom and Cap-
tain Jim it seemed as if their shoulder-blades would
snap under the heavy pressure of his powerful hands.
At last the black became quiet for a moment, and
peering closely into the faces of the trembling boys
before him, said: De little boys come back. Sho
'nuff, de little boys come back."
Apparently the sound of his own voice seemed to
arouse all his glee again, and once more his boister-
ous laugh was heard.
Again recovering himself, the huge black said:
"De little boys come back. Sho 'nuff, de little boys
come back. What for you come back? he quickly
added, giving each of his captives a little squeeze as
he spoke that caused them to writhe under his grasp.
We came back to see Josiah again," said Jerry
quickly, for his courage had now returned, and he
had approached near to the trio. "Where is he?"
"Who am Josiah?" inquired the black. "He de
"Yes," replied Jerry. "Where is he now? We
want to see him."
"You see de king, dat who you see now. You
come along wid me. I show you a huntah man.