• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 A dangerous plan
 The plot
 The American legion
 An inquisitive stranger
 The prisoner
 Suspense
 Unwelcome tidings
 Flight
 Captured
 Turning the tables
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: A traitor's escape : a story of the attempt to seize Benedict Arnold after he fled to New York
Title: A traitor's escape
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087284/00001
 Material Information
Title: A traitor's escape a story of the attempt to seize Benedict Arnold after he had fled to New York
Series Title: Young patriot series
Physical Description: 234, 27 p., 9 leaves of plates : ill. ports. ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Otis, James, 1848-1912
White, George G ( George Gorgas ), d. 1898 ( Illustrator )
A.L. Burt Company ( Publisher )
Publisher: A.L. Burt, Publisher
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: c1898
 Subjects
Subject: Youth -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
American loyalists -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Generals -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
War -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Social classes -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Treason -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Traitors -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Prisoners -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Escapes -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
History -- United States -- Revolution, 1775-1783   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Biographical fiction -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Juvenile literature -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1898
Genre: Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
Biographical fiction   ( rbgenr )
Juvenile literature   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by James Otis ; with eight page illustrations by George G. White.
General Note: Title page engraved.
General Note: Pictorial front cover and spine.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087284
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002394840
notis - ALZ9747
oclc - 44747317

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Frontispiece
        Page 1
    Title Page
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Preface
        Page 4
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
    List of Illustrations
        Page 6
    A dangerous plan
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 30a
        Page 31
    The plot
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
    The American legion
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
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        Page 67
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        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
    An inquisitive stranger
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 86a
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 100a
        Page 101
        Page 102
    The prisoner
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
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        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 122a
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    Suspense
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 148a
        Page 149
    Unwelcome tidings
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
    Flight
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 176a
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 186a
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
    Captured
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
    Turning the tables
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 222a
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
    Advertising
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
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        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text





















R -.
-----`i




























As I WADED INTO THE WATER I SIGNALLED TO THOSE ON THE
GALLEY NEAREST ME.-Page 26.






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


A Story of the Attempt to Seize Benedict
Arnold After He Had Fled to
New York.



BY JAMES OTIS.


WITH EIGHT PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS BY GEORGE G. WHITE.

NEW YORK:
A. L. BURT, PUBLISHER.


Y/
r
































Copyright, 1898,,by A. L. Burt.

A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.
Bx JAMEs OTIs.











EXPLANATION.


SUOH credit as may attach to this story of
the unsuccessful attempt to capture Benedict
Arnold should be given to the lad concerned
in the plot, rather than to him whose name
appears on the title-page.
In a general way Oliver Littlefield is the
author of the tale, since his account, written
early in the year 1778, is given with but little
change of text, and only a slight rearrangement
of details.


JAMES OTIS.















CONTENTS.




CHAPTER I. PAGB
A Dangerous Plan ......... ............... ..... ....... 7

CHAPTER II.
The Plot................. ............... .............. 82.

CHAPTER III.
The American Legion .................................. 54

CHAPTER IV.
An Inquisitive Stranger ................................. 79

CHAPTER V.
Tie Prisoner........................................... 103

CHAPTER VI.
Suspense .............................................. 127

CHAPTER VII.
Unwelcome Tidings..................................... 150

CHAPTER VIII.
Flight...... ......................................... 174

CHAPTER IX.
Captured.................................. ........... 196

CHAPTER X.
Turning the Tables ..................... ............... 217















LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


PAGE
As I waded into the Water I signalled to those on'the Galley
nearest me............ ................... ..... 26
Benedict Arnold-Portrait............................... 30
I then saw Ben Stork standing behind some bales of Hemp.. 87
David now had his Prisoner so nearly Choked, he was in
Subjection .......... .... .................... 101
BeiStlrk was a Prisoner in a Building that served the pur-
pse of a Guardhouse.......... .......... ......... 122
A Gentleman with a long Beard came toward the Ruins and
spoke the word "Newark."......................... 148
From our Hiding Place we could see through the Windows
where the Traitor slept ............................ 175
I seized a Billet of Firewood, with which to defend Myself.. 186
"Step over your Man, so you may catch him by the Throat,"
I whispered to David .......... ........................ 222












A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


CHAPTER I.

A -DANGEROUS PLAN.

ALTHOUGH I have passed through the trou-
blous time when we braved King George, ay,
and bested him too, I never heard of, or took
part in any more perilous venture than that
when I enlisted in the plot to capture the
traitor Arnold while he was in this city of New
York holding the king's commission, and mak-
ing ready his expedition to the south from
which so much was expected and so little
realized.
The story is worth the telling, even though
the attempt was a failure, for in it was con-






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


cerned as brave a man and gallant a.soldier as
it was ever my good fortune to meet.
There is no reason, however, why I should
jump into the tale in such hap-hazard fashion;
itshould be told in an orderly manner for its
better understanding.
In the fall of 1780 I was a stripling of seven-
teen years, believing myself already a man, and
chafing much because my good mother had her
heart so set against my joining the "rebel" army.
We, my mother and I, lived on George Street
hard by the highroad to Boston, and in Duke
Street, just off Frankford, David Rhinelander,
my particular comrade, who was about my own
age, made his home.
He, as well as I, was the only child of a
widowed mother, and our fathers had fallen
gloriously, fighting for the colonies at Trenton
in the province of New Jersey, in January
of '77.
Because our lives so nearly resembled each






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


other, and because David was a lad who could
be trusted through evil as well as fair days, we
became such firm friends that the neighbors
spoke of us as comrades, and the Tories never
mentioned our names without adding that we
should be hanged for what we had been able
to do toward aiding the cause.
More than once had we carried valuable in-
formation to those who were fighting against
the king, and no less an officer than General
Sullivan himself was pleased to say to our
*Rfaces that we were of more service to him in
New York City than we could have been in the
ranks, which I considered a great compliment,
although envious lads, to whom we repeated
the words, insisted it was but another way of
telling us the army was better off for not hav-
ing us in it.
All this I set down that it may be under-
stood how we, who were of no importance as
citizens, save in our own estimation, should






10 A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.

have been the ones selected to aid a brave man
in a plot which, had it succeeded, would have
brought great renown to all concerned.
As a matter of course we, meaning David
and I, had heard the news when Major John
Andre, adjutant-general of the king's forces in
New York, was made a prisoner; of Benedict
Arnold's treason, and later of Andr6's execu-
tion.
On the 24th of September in the year 1780,
we had the first information, less than eighteen
hours after the major was captured, and two&
days later we saw the arch traitor, Benedict
Arnold, walking through the streets of the
city, he having fled on the 25th.
It can well be fancied that we did little else
than converse on this subject, which was in the
mouths of all the citizens whether they favored
the Continentals or the king, and David de-
clared more than once that we would be justi-
fled in shooting Arnold as we would a pole-cat.






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


And we were in the temper to do such a rash
thing, had it not been for the fact that his
death would hardly serve to right the wrong,
and also that of a certainty we should have
been hanged offhand, for the traitor was under
the protection of Sir Henry Clinton in fact,
he had taken up his quarters in the house adjoin-
ing the building occupied by that nobleman.
It would appear as if I had set down many
words that might well have been left out; yet
it seems to me, and also to David, who is even
now overlooking the task, as if each one is nec-
essary for the proper telling of the story.
It was just five weeks from the day Arnold,
.the traitor, entered the city, that David and I,
returning home from a stroll to Bowling Green,
met that good patriot, Jacob Schuster, who was
my comrade's uncle on his mother's side, she
having been one of the Schusters from Bergen
before marrying Frederick Rhinelander.
The night was just coming on, and we were






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


quickening our steps lest we be overhauled by
the patrol, and were not minded to linger any
longer than was necessary to greet Master
Schuster in respectful fashion, when he said in
a cautious tone, so unusual with him, that our
curiosity was quickened at once:
"I would have speech with you, lads, and in
private, on a weighty matter. If it so be you
can come to the sign of the Black Horse in half
an hour, I will have ordered a lunch spread for
the three of us."
The tavern he spoke of was where the post-
stage from Boston put up, and we should have
been well pleased to go there under any pre-
text, for much was always doing at the inn, and
gossip was plenty as fleas on a cur.
"We will be there, Master Schuster," I said
boldly; but first it is right our mothers should
be made acquainted with the favor you propose
doing us."
"It is well to remember the mother, Oliver





A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


Littlefield, and a credit that you think of her
first. Step quickly, so that I am not kept
waiting."
We needed no urging to make all possible
haste; for to partake of food at the sign of the
Black Horse was much more of an entertain-
ment than it is now, when the tavern has fallen
into bad repute.
We two were excited by the invitation and
the mysterious air which Master Schuster wore
while giving it, and speculated as to its mean-
ing while we hurried homeward, but without
solving the riddle; for it surely was a riddle
when David's uncle was willing to spend good
money without seeing an immediate return,
with ample profit from the investment.
Of course we understood it had to do with
the cause, and I declared my belief that we
were about to be allowed to enlist; but this
hope David soon dashed, when he said:
"If such had been the business Uncle Jacob





A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


would have called at our homes, instead of buy.
ing refreshments at the Black Horse, where I am
told everything is of the most expensive kind."
"Then why should he have thus summoned
us ?"
We shall know once we have arrived, and I
am minded to eat fast before thebusiness be un-
folded in order that I may have all the enter-
tainment possible while we remain there."
No check was put upon us when we an-
nounced our purpose, for our mothers had every
confidence in Master Schuster, and we had
taken the precaution to accompany each other
when we told*the news; therefore, in several
minutes less than the time set we were at the
Black Horse Inn looking around eagerly for
David's uncle, and with many fears lest he
had repented of his generosity.
The good man was there, however, true to his
word, and the amount of food before him was
ao great as to surprise both my comrade and





A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


myself, for instead of a lunch he had purchased
a veritable feast.
No second invitation was needed, and with
only such delay as was necessary in order to
greet Master Schuster in becoming fashion, we
fell-to, I following David's advice to eat rapidly
lest we be interrupted before my hunger was
appeased.
There was no need of such unseemly haste,
however; for Master Schuster waited patiently
until we were filled so full that another mouth-
ful would have been impossible, and then said
in a low tone, after looking stealthily around to
make certain no one was within rshot:
"Are you lads minded for an adventure in be-
half of the cause-one which has in it danger
enough to please the most gluttonous swash-
buckler, and much honor if it be successful?'"
"Indeed we are, and it cannot come our way
too quickly," I replied,. without waiting to hear





A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


David's opinion, for I knew full well what he
would have said had I given him the time.
"And think you it would be possible to re-
main away from home a goodly portion of the
time during the next week, or perhaps longer ?"
"Ay, sir; if it so be you represent to our
mothers that it is your desire we should be
absent."
"I would not have you decide an important
matter too quickly. Remember that the danger
is great; if you should be taken, I believe your
lives would pay the penalty, and even in case
of success, we have nothing save the wo of
others-neith ~'bond nor written undertaking."
"So that the advpeture is for the cause, we
need not waste our time speaking of rewards."
"And the danger ?"
"We have been in no little peril when we
carried news out of the city to our friends, and
yet no one can say that David or I was ever like
to show the white feather."






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


"I am not questioning your courage, lad;
but wish you should understand that this is a
serious matter-more important than anything
you have ever even dreamed of adventuring on."
"There is no reason why you should search
for bugbears, Uncle Jacob," David said quickly.
"We are all the more eager to embark in it
when you tell us of the danger."
"A man is never so courageous as when his
stomach is full, therefore it was I fed you. well
before broaching the subject, and now I must
believe you will carry out your parts in goodly
f~ on."'
"What are they to be?"
Instead of replying Master Schuster called
for his account; paid it like a man who is not
given to pinching his shillings, and walked out
of the tavern after motioning us to follow.
By this time it can well be understood that
we were on fire with curiosity; but, question as we
might, Master Schuster would speak no further






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


word until we were come to the common near
the powder-house, when he halted and said:
"It was here I agreed to meet a gentleman
at this hour, and from him, if he keeps the
engagement, you will learn all that may be
necessary."
Surely the plot was looking black enough to
satisfy even David and me, who had ever hoped
we might be concerned in some gigantic con-
spiracy against the king, and I am free to
confess that for the moment I began to feel
weak-kneed. .
If the proposed business was of such a nab re
that Master Jaob5 Schuster should be willing
to skulk in this fashion, then it must be indeed
a serious matter.
David slyly took my hand in his as we
waited there in the darkness, and I believed it
was not only because of the cold, piercing wind
that his teeth chattered so merrily.
Anything was better than waiting here






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


within the shadow of the powder-house at such
a time, and great was my relief of mind when a
stranger suddenly appeared from around the
corner.
The newcomer greeted Master Schuster in a
friendly fashion, and asked quickly, before
David's uncle had time to introduce us:
"Are these the two of whom you spoke ?"
"Yes, and although they be young, I can
vouch both for their courage and their fidelity
to the cause."
"How much do they know "
SNothing more than that they are needed for
an adventure of great peril."
Is it askihngtoo much that you pace to and
fro near to the road, where you may see if any
one approaches this place, while I make known
to the lads what we'would have them do ? .I
am not minded they shall embark without
,knowing all, and through your recommendation
I am about to put my life in their hands."






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


"They would not betray you, however sore
might be their suffering. I will keep an eye
out, so that you be not surprised, and you may
summon me when the interview is ended."
Then Master Schuster walked out toward the
road, and I stepped forward a few paces in
order to get a better view of this man who pro-
posed to tell us-two strangers to him-that
which would prove his undoing were we minded
to act the part of traitors.
I do not believe he was more than five years
our senior; an inch or two above six feet in
height, and with a face so gloomy that it was as
if he suspected some portion of hisown body
had designs against the remainder of his
anatomy.
Taking him all in all, so far as I could judge
at that moment, he was not one I would choose
as a comrade, yet at the same time I would
have taken his word if my life was in the
balance.






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE,


While I gazed at him he was scrutinizing us,
and when this portion of the interview was con-
cluded to the satisfaction of all, he asked our
names, where we lived and who were our par-
ents, until I cut short such catechism by giving
the history of each, even down to such details
as when David had the fever, and I was laid up
with a broken arm.
He listened attentively, as if each particular
was deeply interesting, and when I had come
to an end because I could think of nothing
more to say, he took his turn at talking, and
from that instant there was not a moment
wasted on useless matters.
"I am John Champe, of Virginia, sergeant-
major in Lee's Legion," he began, and I was so
ill-mannered as to interrupt him by asking:
"Have you left the service ?"
"No; although my comrades, as well as the
British in this city, believe I have deserted."
"Believe it ?" I cried. How can they be-






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


lieve such a thing unless there be some truth in
the matter ?"
And so there is, as will be seen if you hold
your peace while I tell my story, after which
you must believe I can be depended upon, for
I put it in your power to have me arrested as a
spy. I am informed that General Washington
himself sent for my commander-Major Henry
Lee-and told him he believed there might be
found in the Legion a soldier capable and will-
ing to undertake a delicate and hazardous
project. The major was so kind as to mention
my name as one who might be trusted, and it
was arranged that I be approached with a plan
whereby I was apparently to desert, make, my
way into this city, and here attempt to capture
the traitor Arnold."
It was David who interrupted the stranger
at this point by an exclamation of amaze-
ment that so daring a scheme should even so
much as be spoken of, and my knees grew






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


weaker, for this promised to be more of an
adventure than I had ever desired.
At first I was unwilling my comrades should
believe, even for a few weeks, that I had basely
deserted; but the major used weighty argu-
ments, chiefest among which was the fact that
I should be obliging the Commander-in-chief
himself, and might.make such a name as years
of service could not win for me."
When did you appear to desert ?" I asked
in a tremulous tone, more to gain courage from
'hearing my own voice than because I was
curious on the matter.
"I will come to that later. I agreed to the
plan, and was given letters to two gentlemen
on whom it was said I could fully rely. One
was Master Jacob Schuster, and the other need
not be named now. At eleven o'clock. on the
night of the 20th I took my cloak, valise and
orderly-book, crept out of quarters to the
stable, and there saddled my horse without






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


being detected. It was necessary to lead the
animal half a mile or more lest his footsteps
on the frozen ground should give the alarm,
and I be taken before having really started."
"If your major was in the plot, why was all
that necessary ?" David asked. "I fail to see
why you could not have walked out in the
open day."
"That would have been to tell every man
in the command of my purpose, and, thanks to
the spies which are around every encampment,
General Clinton must have been warned of my
intention before I arrived. I was to be a de'
serter in every sense of the word, save that I
so acted under command of my superior officer.
It had been arranged that I ride to Paulus
Hook where is a British post; but just as I left
the tavern near Bergen, known as the Three
Pigeons, I saw a detachment from the Legion,
led by Lieutenant Middleton, in hot pursuit of
me."





A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


"How far away?" I asked, forgetting in
the interest the story had for me, that it
was not seemly to interrupt the sergeant.
"Less than half a mile. There no longer
appeared to be any chance that I could gain
Paulus Hook; therefore I drew rein for Com-
munipaw, knowing that off the settlement
would be found two of his majesty's galleys.
Now I believed myself safe from pursuit, for
it was reasonable to suppose the lieutenant
would continue on into Bergen, and I slackened
pace, for my horse was nearly winded. This act
of humanity was near being the undoing of
my mission; for no sooner had I arrived on
the shore of Communipaw Bay. than the
cavalry appeared, now so near at hand it
seemed certain I must be taken."
"Of course you would have come to no
harm, for Major Lee could bear witness as to
why you were thus apparently deserting,"





26 A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.

David said, quite as interested in the story as
was I.
"True; but the plan would thus have mis-
carried, which was what I had to guard against.
Fortunately those aboard the galley were on
the lookout, and that which had threatened to
be a disaster but worked for my benefit. Dis-
mounting, and with the few belongings in my
hands, I sent the beast shoreward with a blow
from the flat of my sword as I waded into the
water, signaling furiously to those on the galley
nearest me."
What were the pursuers doing meanwhile ?"
I asked.
"Riding at full speed in the hope of cutting
me off before I could be taken up by a boat
which instantly put out from one of the craft.
No less than half a dozen musket-balls were
sent after me by my late comrades; but I had
the best of them by three or four minutes, and
soon found myself on board the boat in safety,





A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


grieved to the heart because my companions in-
arms would return to camp with the word that
I had gone over to the enemy."
The sergeant paused an instant, and David
and I literally held our breath in suspense to
hear the conclusion.
"I was now with the enemy, having arrived
in such fashion there could be no question but
that I was all I claimed to be, and the captain
of the galley gave me conveyance to this city,
forwarding to Sir Henry Clinton, at the same
time, a full account of my daring escape. With
that general I soon had an interview, and he has
proposed that I enlist in what is to be called
the American Legion, which the traitor is now
raising from such loyalists and deserters as are
of the mind to aid the king."
"Do you count on so doing?" I asked,
full of admiration for the young man who
was thus gloriously serving the cause, and at
the same moment saying to myself that I






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


would it were my good fortune to have a like
opportunity.
That is what must be done, I expect, in
order that I may follow the movements of the
traitor whom I hope soon to carry back to the
American camp as a prisoner. You can well
understand that I have not told this story with
the idea of entertaining you lads. The time has
come when I must have some assistance from the
outside-assistance by those on whom I can rely
with my life, and when I made such want known
to Master Schuster he mentioned your names,
pledging his own honor for your loyalty to the
cause."
He could not well have said other than that
we are bound to it as closely as can be those
whose hearts are set on the one matter. We,
David and I, do not lay claim to being won-
drous brave; but we would sooner suffer death
a dozen times over than give any man the chance
to say we were false to the colonists in this






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


,struggle, and only wait for the day when we
may prove that such is no empty boast."
"The chance is now come, lad. Aid me, but
at the same time with a full understanding of
all that may be meant by defeat, and you shall
have an opportunity of doing what falls to the
lot of but few men in these provinces."
"What will you have us do ?" David asked
eagerly.
"Assist me in making Benedict Arnold a pris-
oner, and carrying him back to the American
camp."
"That we will, right readily," I answered,
before David had time to speak, "and in so
doing we shall be pleasing ourselves."
"It will be necessary you follow my direc-
tions blindly, if need be; for in a matter like
this there must be but one head."
"That we are agreed to," David cried, deter-
mined to speak for himself, that it might be
seen he was of the same mind as I.






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


"If we fail it is possible you may share my
fate, for on being taken I shall be hung as a
spy."
While we have no hankering after such a
doom, yet the possibility does not frighten us,',
and I took David by the hand that he might
have full credit for joining in what I believed
to be a brave speech.
"You are lads after my own heart, and should
have been raised in -Virginia instead of here,
where everything is measured by its value in
money."
"I have no complaint to make against this
province," David said thoughtfully; "but I
should like to say I was from the same colony as
that brave gentleman, General Washington."
"I believe you are almost- Virginians even
now," Sergeant Champe cried, as he seized us by
the hands, wringing them with such force that
we had a very good idea of the quality of his
muscles.


















































BENEDICT ARNOLD.
(From a Painting by Du Similier, 1788.





A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE. 31

"Yet you will find that we hold to this col-
ony," I said, not minded that Virginia should be
set up so highly as against our own province,
"and it will please me to prove that we of New
York are no more lacking in courage than the
youths from your home."
"Now I am beginning to believe we may be
comrades," Sergeant Champe cried, as if pleased
with us, and we will set about this work, each
feeling every confidence in the other. Come, we
will speak with Master Schuster."






32 A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.






CHAPTER II.

THE PLOT.

DURING our converse David's uncle had been
pacing to and fro near the road where the wind
had full sweep, and he must have felt relief at
seeing us approaching, for his share in this in-
terview had been most. disagreeable.
"It is arranged that the lads will aid me,"
Sergeant Champe said as he laid his hand on
Master Schuster's shoulder. "I believe they
can do as good service as men, and we shall suc-
ceed in the work unless fortune serves us an
ugly turn."
"What part have you set down for them ?"
"None as yet; I have but just made them
acquainted with the facts, for it was not to my





A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


mind that they embark in this adventure with
their eyes closed."
*" Then finish your converse, for there is noth-
ing to prevent, and it had better be brought to
an end as soon as may be."
"First of all we must gain accurate informa-
tion as to the surroundings of the building in
which the traitor is lodged."
"That I can give you now, sergeant. Under-
standing that it would be of importance, I
strolled that way this afternoon, picking up
such facts as are apparent to strangers."
"What did you learn ?"
"Very little more than the boys are most
likely already familiar with. In the rear of his
quarters is a garden extending to the water's
edge, and adjoining this a dark alley leads to
the street. By asking a few careless questions
I learned that the renegade usually returns to
his lodgings about midnight; but, whatever
the hour, makes it a custom to spend more





A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


or less time in this same garden before
retiring."
"You have done well, Master Schuster.
There is little left for me, save to decide upon
the plan, which I will do this night. To-morrow
I shall enlist in the American Legion-- "
"To what end? Once having signed the
rolls you would be held as a deserter should
you be taken prisoner after returning to your
rightful command, and the Britishers need have
no further excuse for hanging you."
"I have considered all that, my worthy sir,
and know full well the dangers which attend
such a course; but it must be done in order
that I may have opportunity for free speech
with the traitor."
"He has ever held himself high, and I ques-
tion whether you could have an interview at
will when you are no more than a private under
his command," Master Schuster objected.
"I am promised a commission if I enlist, in






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


which case there will be certain intercourse
with the traitor, and. to my mind there is no
more positive way of gaining an opportunity to
spy upon him. It must be enlistment for me,
whatever may befall at a later date."
I could understand that the sergeant would
not be diverted from such plan as he had
already formed, and Master Schuster must have
realized the same, for he made no further
attempt to dissuade him from what seemed like
useless danger.
Then the two, meaning David's uncle and
Sergeant Champe, conversed as they walked
down the Boston road toward the fort, the talk
being wholly upon the traitorous plot which
1 would have delivered one of our strongholds
'into the hands of the British; and my comrade
and I, keeping close at their heels, learned much
that was new to us.
First we heard what price Benedict Arnold
had received for thus selling himself body and






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


soul, which was, as nearly as I now remember
it, six thousand pounds sterling in hand, and a
commission as colonel in the British army, with
the brevet rank of brigadier.
Save for the money, he had not bettered his
fortunes, if that was the sole purpose in mind
when he would have sacrificed the colonies
to his greed; and money gained in such
manner does not long remain in the hands of
him who receives it, so I have often heard said.
Sergeant Champe claimed that, on Saturday
before the Monday when Major Andr6 was exe-
cuted, Captain Ogden was sent to Paulus Hook
with an escort of twenty-five men for the pro-
fessed purpose of carrying letters to General
Clinton, and that he privately suggested to the
British commander there, having instructions so
to do from headquarters, that if Arnold's cap.
ture could be brought about immediately, Major
Andr6 would be set free.
That plan had failed, however, as we knew,






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


and now it was to be seen if this one, bold and
dangerous as it was, would succeed.
It was decided between Master Schuster and
the sergeant that we lads were to return to our
homes that night, letting it appear as if we had
done no more than enjoy a feast at the sign of
the Black Horse.
Early on the following morning, however,
David's uncle was to say he had work for us to
perform which would often keep us away from
home at night, and otherwise so arrange mat-
ters with our mothers that there would be
no difficulty in going whithersoever we would
until the plot was worked out to a triumphant
ending, or disaster had come, bringing with it,
for us at least,-death.
I should have been better pleased if we were
required to set about the business without de-
lay; for I was burning with impatience to begin
the adventure, which was far greater, and ac-
companied by more danger, than I had ever






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


thought it -would be my good fortune to embark
in, to further the cause.
Sergeant Champe, however, made no bones
of dismissing us, once it had been decided we
should present ourselves at Master Schuster's
office next morning, within a reasonable time
after the breakfast hour; but he did so with an
air of exceeding friendliness, such as robbed the
words of their severity.
"Remember, lads, having once set your faces
toward this work there can be no turning back.
Punctuality is as necessary as fidelity, and after
we meet to-morrow morning you must conform
your goings and comings to my commands."
I was not minded he should believe us to be
lads who had had no experience in serious
tasks, and therefore made reply:
"Although we are not soldiers, both of us
understand all that may be implied in the
word.'duty,' for we have been under the orders
of no less a personage than General Sullivan





A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


in some performances almost as dangerous as
this."
"I have already heard from Master Schuster
how you lads have proved your devotion to the
cause; and if I repeat certain instructions again
and again, more often than seems necessary or
kindly, you must set it down that I have grown
timorous, as a man can well be pardoned for
becoming when he is classed by his old comn
rades as a deserter, and may be apprehended
by his new acquaintances as a spy. Even the
knowledge of what we would do fails to take
away either the shame for the one or the fear
of the other."
The young Virginian spoke us so friendly,
and withal so sadly, that I was shamed because
of having made a pert answer to what was
indeed a timely caution, and would have atoned
for my over-hasty speech but that he cut me
short ere I was well begun, by saying:
S'"I can understand, lad, what was in your






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


heart; and that we may work together to the
greatest good, with the least friction among
ourselves, I was disposed you should know all
that bore heavily upon me."
Then he stretched out both hands as if in
token of friendship, and when David and I had
clasped them heartily he turned abruptly away,
Master Schuster following, and we two watch-
ing until they disappeared in the distance down
Nassau Street.
It was little less than a vain boast when I
pertly told Sergeant Champe we had been
under the orders of General Sullivan in some
certain performances almost as dangerous as
this promised to be; and if he could have
turned back five minutes after saying good-
night, he would have seen for a surety that we
were unaccustomed to such perilous adventures,
by our lingering in the street, starting in alarm
at every sound, however slight.
It is true we had performed duties under the






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


commands of General Sullivan, to which was
attached a certain degree of danger in case the
enemy should discover what we were about;
and I may say, without boasting, that we had
done our part well, or at least so it would
seem from the words of praise and encourage-
ment which were bestowed upon us.
But this adventure of Sergeant Champe's
was something far different from anything we
had ever done, and looking back upon it now I
question whether even men grown old in the
service would not have been in a certain
degree timorous upon considering the matter in
all its bearings.
Although Benedict Arnold was a traitor to
his country, and one to be despised by all who
love the cause, he was now among those who
had'sworn to protect him, and would do so, as
could be seen from the fact that Sir Henry
Clinton had housed him in the building next
adjoining his own residence.






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


The city was overrun with redcoats, as can
well be fancied; one could hardly walk half a
mile through the streets after the hours of dark-
ness without meeting two or three detachments,
out on patrol, and be forced to explain his
reasons for being abroad.
David Rhinelander and I well knew how
difficult it was to depart from the city without
a military pass: and yet here was a young ser-
geant from Virginia who not only proposed to
leave New York when it should be his pleasure,
but to take with him a prisoner, and that
prisoner a man who must have been well-
known by this time to every redcoat on the
island; for traitors were not so plentiful in those
days but that each man and boy would have a
look at one.
I do not believe you could have found a
Britisher who had either regard or respect for
this renegade; but yet we knew full well they
would not suffer him to be carried away, and






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


even that private soldier who detested him
most heartily would have done valiant battle
against us should our purpose be known.
All this I set down that it may be the better
understood why David's mind and mine were
in such a whirl that to go quietly home and
lie down in bed with the idea of sleeping' was
out of the question.
As for myself, it was much as though I were
burning with a fever. My mouth was parched,
and my throat dry; the barking of a dog in the
distance sounded loud as the roaring of a lion,
and the sighing of the night wind like unto the
howl of the tempest, all of which is much the
same as though I had confessed to being
exceedingly timorous.
We two, David and I, stood on the street
corner in silence, starting apprehensively at the
lightest sound after Master Schuster and Ser-
geant Champe had left us, and mayhap five






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


minutes passed in such manner before my
comrade asked in a whisper:
What are we to do now, Oliver ?"
"Go home and shiver till the morning comes,
for certain it is that my eyes will not be closed
in slumber this night."
"I would he had waited until the moment
for action had come, before explaining, his pur-
pose; for then we should. not be forced to
remain inactive, the sport of our own fears, and
I am grown timorous, Oliver Littlefield-that
much I may confess to you alone."
Yet you have no thought of turning back ?"
"Not even though I knew to a certainty the
adventure would end in our undoing."
It is yet early in the night," I said, seized
by a sudden thought. Our mothers know we
are with Master Schuster, and therefore will not
be alarmed if we remain abroad many hours.
Now I am minded to have a look at the house
where this traitor lives, and that done we






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


shall be the better prepared when work is
begun."
This plan pleased Oliver greatly, not so much
because of the preparations that would be mak-
ing, as that it gave us a semblance of something
to do at the time when we most needed em-
ployment.
We turned back and struck across the com-
mon at a rapid 'pace until we were come to
Broad Way, down which we walked leisurely,
as if abroad merely for pleasure, deciding
between, ourselves that in event of being halted
by the patrol we should make such explanation
of our being abroad.
There wa'no reason why we should not have
continued straight on, until arriving at the
house which sheltered the traitor; but it
seemed to us as if our purpose was suspected
by every one whom we passed, and on coming
near to the ruins of Trinity Church we made
our way across the yard to Lumber Street,






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


going thence to the water's edge as if fleeing
from pursuit.
Here we surveyed the premises as best we
might in the darkness, walking up and down
the alley from Greenwich Street to Broad
Way no less than four times, but neither seeing
nor hearing any one in the garden.
It was much too early for the traitor to take
his nightly airing; and this, perhaps, saved us
from bringing suspicion upon ourselves, for had
we been observed loitering there I doubt not
but that it would have become' necessary to
make some explanation of our purpose.
During more than two hours we walked to
and fro, not daring to converse even in whispers
on the subject nearest our hearts, lest the words
should be overheard, and then, having fatigued
our bodies, we were in better condition to follow
the advice given by Sergeant Champe, although
I was far from wishing to be alone in my cham-
ber.







A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


Had we been two of the king's most devoted
subjectswe could not have made our way through
the city with less impediment, for when we were
arrived at the door of my mother's dwelling
there had been no interference with our move-
ments.
I shall come here at an early hour to-morrow
morning, Oliver Littlefield," David whispered as
we clasped hands in parting, and I could well
understand that he would keep his promise
faithfully; for, judging from what was in my
own mind, I knew his eyes would be opened
with the first light of the coming day.
Master Jacob Schuster gave proof that his
anxiety regarding the outcome of the plot was
nearly as great as was David's and mine,,for my
mother was not yet arisen next morning when a
knock was heard at the door, and by her com-
mand I hastened to learn who might be this
early visitor, although knowing full well that I
could have spoken his name before seeing him.






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


It must have been that he feared I would
speak some incautious word, for instantly we
stood face to face he made a warning gesture
with his hand as he said stiffly:
"Present my excuses to Mistress Littlefield,
lad, for such an untimely visit; but the time is
precious to me when I have so much of business
on hand, and I could not well afford to wait
until a more seemly hour."
Then I, to carry out the acting which he had
begun, asked innocently:
"Would you have speech with my mother, sir ?"
"Ay, that I would, lad, and as soon as may
be, again craving her pardon for coming at such
an hour."
I knew that my mother must have overheard
the conversation, yet going to the foot of the
stairs I repeated that which Master Schuster
had said; and she, good soul, flustered by this
early visit, came down ere yet it seemed to me
possible she could have arisen from the bed.






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


If he had been face to face with the noblest
lady in the province, Master Schuster could not
have been more humble in his apologies, or
used so many high-flown words while asking
pardon for his coming.
In fact, he beat about the bush so long that I
began to grow anxious, fearing lest he would
never come to an end of words.
The business was quickly arranged, however,
when he broached the subject by explaining,
without too much of detail, that he was desir-
ous of hiring David and me to perform certain
duties which it was not necessary should be
explained.
My mother readily gave her consent to the
proposition, although making some show of a
demur when Master Schuster stated that it
might even be necessary that we remain away
from home at night on some occasions.
When this business had been brought to an
end I was told to await there David's coming,






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


and my mother set about getting breakfast,
while Master Schuster went, as he declared, to
arrange for the hire of my comrade.
Before David came I was in mortal terror
lest I betray the secret to my mother, who was
full of speculations as to why the worthy mer-
chant should have come himself on an errand
which might equally well have been done by
one of his clerks, and over and over again did
she ask whether he had made any mention of
this business while we were with him at the
sign of the Black Horse.
Not being willing to tell my mother an un-
truth, I was finally forced to say that he had
spoken somewhat of his purpose, but pledged
both David and I to secrecy; therefore, unless
she would have me break my word, I must
remain silent.
It is not likely this satisfied my mother; but
it certainly gave me great relief, for instantly
she ceased her questioning, and refrained from






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


speculating aloud in my presence, contenting
herself by saying:
"I hope it has nothing to do with the war,
Oliver boy, for since your father fell at Trenton
I have none but you left me; and surely the
colonists are not in such sore need that they
would take a widow's only child from her."
"If it had to do with the war, mother, it
would be a question of our enlisting; and that,
you know, I might not do without your consent.
However, this much you should remember, that
Master Schuster desires to keep his business a
profound secret; and were you to speak of it to
others, even so much as to wonder what it was,
a wrong might be done the gentleman who
gives me employment."
I knew this would in a certain degree arouse
my mother's suspicions; but better that than
for her to speak unguardedly to some of the
neighbors, and thus be the means of having a
watch set upon us.





A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


My breakfast was but just concluded when
David entered with much the appearance of a
lad who has been soundly flogged.
At other times, when we were engaged in
what might be of benefit to the cause, he had
been joyous to the verge of triumph; but now
he was subdued, and I could well understand
that the possible perils of the adventure were
already weighing heavily upon him.
"Will you return for dinner ?" my mother
asked as I arose from the table and prepared to
accompany my comrade.
"That is as Master Schuster may say; but it
will be as well if you do not expect me, for
surely we shall find enough with which to
satisfy our hunger, and supper will be all the
more enjoyable because of short rations at
noon."
Then my mother kissed me much as if I were
going forth to battle, and the thought of her
anguish if it should so chance that through this






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE, 53

plot David and I were brought to the gallows,
so unnerved and dispirited me that when we
were on the street I had hard work to keep
back the tears from my eyelids.
Almost anything would have been better
than cowardice at such a time, and I took good
care not to so much as look toward David,
until he said in a voice that trembled:
"We shall feel better, Oliver, once the work
has been begun."
Then I understood that I was not alone in
my timorousness.






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


CHAPTER III.

THE AMERICAN LEGION.

Now that the sun was shining, David and
I were far more valiant than we had been the
evening previous, having also gotten rid of the
home influences that naturally serve to weaken
a fellow when he sets out upon a dangerous
undertaking.
What in the darkness had seemed venture-
some to the last degree, was not so desperate
by the light of day, and we soon began to feel
as if we could do our share of the work with-
out so much as ever coming within the shadow
of the gallows, although that Sergeant Champe's
days might be ended thereon seemed very rea-
sonable.






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


He, a soldier in the Continental Army, was
within the enemy's lines under false pretenses;
and should the true story of his escape be dis-
covered, or his hand be seen in the effort to
capture the traitor Arnold, then the doom of a
spy would necessarily be his.
With us the situation was far different, since
we were at home, had no absolute connection
with the American Army, and even were we
discovered in the attempt, it hardly seemed
possible that death would be the penalty for
our portion of the work.
Thus it was I argued with myself, and re-
peated aloud for David's benefit the result as
we went toward Master Schuster's office.
How much good such words did my comrade
it is not for me to say; but I found in the idea
a great sense of relief-so much, in fact, that I
was as light-hearted by the time we were
arrived at our destination as I had previously
been downcast.






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


David's uncle was more distraught when we
presented ourselves than I ever remember to
have seen him; it was almost as if he feared
our visit might bring evil, and instead of speak-
ing with us in the office as had been his wont,
he took us to the rear of the wareroom,
although nothing was said that might not
have been heard by any person.
"I have no means of guessing what it is
proposed you lads shall do; but as was
arranged last night, you are to remain here
until some word be received from the sergeant,
after which, and I say this for your safeguard
as well as- my own, it will be best that you do
not present yourselves here, save when it may
be absolutely necessary. You are like to have
more intercourse with the Britishers than with
our friends, and it is not wise to show your-
selves on good terms in both camps."
If Master Schuster had told us that he
regretted having appointed his office as a,






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


rendezvous, I should not have been more
certain of it, and therefore when he ceased
speaking I proposed that we wait at some con-
venient place out of doors rather than in the
building, and for the moment it seemed as if
he was minded to take advantage of the prop-
osition; but then, much as though ashamed
of his fears, he added hurriedly:
No, no, lads! Stay where you are, since
this was the place selected for the meeting. I
only warned you against certain movements in
the future, thinking mayhap you would come
here so often as to excite suspicion. It is best,
perhaps, that you remain at this end of the
wareroom, where my patrons will not be so
likely to see you."
Then, motioning toward two boxes which
were behind a pile of barrels, as if these might
be used in the stead of stools, Master Schuster
hastened away, looking thoroughly ill at ease,
and I so stated to David, adding in conclusion:






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


"If it so be a citizen like Master Schuster is
alarmed, for no other cause than we two are in
his wareroom, how great must be the danger
which threatens us!"
I cannot see how it is possible any peril
threatens just now, for thus far we have not so
much as lifted our hands against the king; but
Uncle Jacob is feeling as I was last night, and
it is not for me, who was even more timorous,
to laugh at his fears."
Had we been received by Master Schuster as
we usually were-that is to say, if'he 'had
given little or no heed to our presence-I
should have felt that much of the danger
existed only in my own mind; but now; as
David and I sat there alone with ample time to
think over the matter, it came to me that the
peril was even greater than I had anticipated,
and that Master Schuster knew more of the
plot than had been intrusted to us.
During more than half an hour we thus re-






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


mained as if in hiding, and then David's uncle
came hurriedly to say that the sergeant was in
the street, and would have us join him.
Without waiting for further words we has-
tened away, and I am certain did not move any
too quickly to please Master Schuster, who, I
fancy, gave vent to a deep sigh of relief when
we were well over the threshold.
On the opposite side of the way, a short
distance above the warehouse, we saw the ser-
geant, who, having made certain we observed
him, moved leisurely on, which to our minds
was an vitation to join him.
I was more pleased with the appearance ,of
this raw-boned, sedate-looking Virginian in the
daytime than I had been at night.
He had the air of one who would not be
quick to understand when he was beaten; and
as I saw him there in advance of us, the
thought came to my mind that however much
of danger might threaten, or however many






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


difficulties be in the path, he would neither
draw back nor swerve from his course until
absolutely forced so to do.
He greeted us cheerily, and with nothing in
his manner to show that he was either over-
weighted or alarmed by the responsibility.
Beginning the conversation as if it had been
but lately interrupted, he said, speaking in such
manner that were his words overheard even by
Sir Henry Clinton himself there could be no
suspicions attached to their meaning:
When I arrived in New York I wal recom-
mended to call upon General Arnoldtwho, as
you may know, is engaged in raising what is
to be called the American Legion, a force com-
posed almost entirely of Loyalists and deserters
from the Continental Army."
David looked up in surprise, not understand-
ing whither such conversation might tend, and
as the sergeant paused asked:






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


Did you have a long interview with General
Arnold ?"
It might be considered so when you under-
stand that a brevet brigadier in his majesty's
service was talking with a sergeant-major lately
from the rebel army. The gentlemen was very
kind, and personally asked if I would join his
Legion; but when I humbly ventured to sug-
gest that if I should do so, and was then cap-
tured by my former comrades I would
assuredly be hanged, he kindly changed the
subject, stating, however, that he would assign
me quarters among his recruiting sergeants."
There was in my mind an idea that the
Virginian made these statements in what might
be called a continuation of his story told on the
previous night; but David, who had been
expecting to hear immediately what part we
were to play, looked thoroughly puzzled at
this roundabout way of setting to work, and
again interrupted by asking:






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


"Then you decided not to enlist, sir ?"
"Such had been my decision; but after
thinking the matter over seriously I came to
the conclusion, as I stated to the general late
last evening when I was so fortunate as to meet
him on the street, and he so kind as to grant
me a brief interview, that it might be as well
if I joined the legion, since death would be the
punishment for desertion, whether I was cap-
tured while wearing a red coat or in civilian's
garments. He quite agreed with me, and
further promised that I should be made ser.
geant-major. Therefore it was I enlisted this
morning."
Now I was surprised, for although the Vir-
ginian had declared his intention of so doing,
several hours previous, I then questioned whether
at the last moment he would not decide against
it. For him the die was cast in good truth.
"Then you have signed the rolls ?" I asked,
not attempting to hide my surprise.






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


"Hardly more than an hour since, but am
given liberty until such time as we shall have
duties to perform. At present there is nothing
to be done at the barracks, and I would see
what I may of New York, for perhaps a second
opportunity will not present itself."
"Are you bent on sight-seeing this morning ?"
I asked after a short pause, during which I was
trying to decide in my own mind the reason for
such conversation.
"I may answer yes and no to that question.
Since you are the only acquaintances I have in
the city," he continued in a meaning tone, "and
because it may not be possible for me to induce
you to join this portion of the king's forces
which will be sent southward under General
Arnold, I have thought that before you enter-
tained me with the sights of the town I would
show you what perchance you have never seen
-a military barracks."
Of course we understood that this long-






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


winded way of coming to it was a proposal for
us to see where the sergeant would be quar-
tered, lest peradventure it might become neces-
sary to call on him suddenly, although I could
not fully understand why he was so careful in
his manner of giving the invitation.
However that may be, we at once, and as a
matter of course, agreed that it would please us
to do as he suggested.
To our great surprise we were led directly to
the fort beyond Bowling Green, instead of to
some building, for I had supposed this newly-
formed legion would be kept to a certain
degree by themselves; but it must have been
that General Clinton was doubtful as to how
the men might be treated by others in the serv.
ice, for a Britisher hates a deserter and a turn-
coat, however much benefit he may gain from
him.
Therefore it was that we, who had several
times feared we might enter the fort as prison-






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


ers, followed the sergeant without being ques-
tioned, and were soon in the midst of that
worthy band of renegades, spies and informers,
who, having done all the harm to the cause
that was possible, were now leaguing them-
selves together under the command of the arch
traitor himself.
As we soon learned, this visit had been pro-
posed in order that we might, should occasion
require, be able to communicate with Sergeant
Champe without delay.
He spoke to several of the legion, saying it
was his intention to persuade us to enlist, and
declaring that we were the only persons in
New York with whom he was acquainted.
Without having absolutely told a falsehood,
he made it appear much as if we were old
friends, if not relatives; and thus it was that
we took our first step in the plot-not a pleas-
ant one, since we were forced to receive those
villainous curs on a friendly footing.





A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


During the entire forenoon we remained
within the limits of the fort, and in that time
had good opportunity of seeing the precious
band who were ready to work injury to their
own country.
Among these was Jethro Stork-he who
lived on Duke Street, and had held himself
devoted to the cause of liberty until that cer-
tain time when he found an opportunity to lay
hold of ten pieces of the king's gold, whereat
he suddenly became a Royalist.
David and I had seen Jethro, but perchance
he did not remember us; his brother Benjamin,
a lad of about our age, had ever been a loud-
mouthed Tory, and he it was with whom we
were acquainted, but not friendly.
"If it was Ben who had enlisted in this so-
called American Legion, I would say the city
was well rid of him," David whispered to me.
"And New York will lose nothing when
Jethro leaves it."






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


True; but we know for a certainty Jethro
will get himself hanged in due time wherever
he may be, while Ben is far too cautious to put
his precious body into jeopardy."
Then, not caring to see more of the Stork
family, for we could get a sight of such rene-
gades any day, we turned away, and at noon
ate the king's rations, which would surely have
disagreed with our stomachs but for the fact
that we were doing so with a purpose which
it was hoped would result in good to the
cause.
Half an hour or more after noon Sergeant
Champe said to David and me, speaking in a
tone tat might have been heard by any of the
recruits who chose to listen:
"Now if you lads are minded to show me
around New York, I will thank you for the
service. Above all things I would see that
portion of the city which was burned during
the great fire of '76."





A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


That we can readily show you, and without
much walking to and fro," I replied, whereat
the three of us left the barracks, departing
from the fort without any more difficulty than
if we had been on the staff of General Clinton
himself.
As we were passing one of the sentinels, the
sergeant said:
"I first have a desire to see the ruins of
Trinity Church. Of course I know where they
are; but it would please me much to have an
extended view of them, that I may thereby
form some idea of what the building was
like."
As may be supposed, we acted upon his sug-
gestion without delay, and, going up Broad
Way, stopped at the ruins, as if our only pur-
pose in coming had been to see them.
The sergeant led the way across the church-
yard until we were a short distance in the rear
of where the building had formerly stood, and






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


here, in the very heart of New York, where
the king was master, and Sir Henry Clinton,
his dutiful servant, did we arrange further
details of that plot against his majesty and his
majesty's prime traitor.
Standing where we were no one could ap-
proach within earshot save we were aware of
the fact, and we conversed-perhaps it would
be more correct to say Sergeant Champe de-
tailed his plans without fear of eavesdropping.
He had already decided upon the course of
action, and I soon understood that we were to
be but assistants, not principals or advisers, in
the plot.
"I have decided that on the night of the 5th
day of November we shall be able to make a
prisoner of General Arnold," he said abruptly,
and David and I were so surprised by the
startling announcement that we stood silent
and motionless like simples; for it did not
seem to us possible the sergeant, however able






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


a man he was, could have perfected his arrange-
ments so quickly.
If the work is to be done -at all, the sooner
we move in it the better, and nothing will be
gained by much preparation. Now listen, for
it is my purpose that you repeat this to
another: As is well known, Arnold returns to
his quarters about midnight, and thus far,
previous to going to bed, has always taken a
stroll in the garden. Now I propose that on
the night mentioned David shall procure a
boat, and lay in waiting for us near the foot of
the garden. You and I, Oliver, will serete
ourselves amid the shrubbery, while another,
whose name I have not yet mentioned, stands
watch outside. When Arnold appears it should
be a simple matter to deprive him of his liberty
and the power of speech."
"And even then it will be necessary to get
him to the boat," I suggested, yet bewildered.
'We may not be able to carry him without






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


attracting attention, unless you are depending
upon the fact that the streets shall be empty
just at that time."
"I have no such foolish expectation as that.
We shall undoubtedly meet some of the patrol
or watch as we make our way from the garden;
but it will be a simple matter to represent him
as one drunken whom we are carrying to his
home or the guardhouse, as the case may be.
That portion of the plot depends wholly upon
chance. Regarding the capture we may be
more positive. Nothing can defeat us save the
fact that he departs from his usual custom, in
which case the next night will suffice for our
purpose. All that now remains to be done is
to acquaint Major Lee with our intentions, and
have him see to it that horses are ready for us
on the Jersey shore not later than half an hour
after midnight."
"Acquaint Major Lee!" David repeated.






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


" Why, he is in the American camp; either at
Pompton or West Point !"
Nay, lad, most likely at Dobb's Ferry, and
you may have speech with him to-morrow
morning, if you be diligent on the way."
"We may ?" David cried in surprise. "Is it
your purpose that we go into the American
camp ?"
"You have done so more than once, I am told."
"Ay, and can again," I replied.
"Then set out at once. Here are six
shillings in case you should need money during
the journey; and even though I had more it
would not be well to increase the amount, since
should you be overhauled, suspicions might be
aroused at your bein so well supplied with
funds." 1
"Do you mean that we are to leave immedi-
ately-this afternoon?" David asked, as if it
were not yet possible for him to understand
what had been said.






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


"Ay, lad4 so soon as you can get away.
There yet remains four days before the time I
have set. You should be at the American
camp to-morrow morning, and can return to
New York the night after, which will give us
time to change our arrangements, if it so be
Major Lee sees any reason for delay."
I knew full well that in addition to the
difficulty of leaving New York would come
the question of entering the American lines,
and therefore asked the sergeant what creden-
tials we might take with us, which would
admit of our passing the sentinels, once we
were arrived at the outposts.
"Thereis nothing I can do for you in that
way, Oliver Littlefield," he said sadly. Re-
member, I am consideid by all, save the
Commander in chief and Major Lee, as a
deserter. You must make your way there and
back as best you can, unless it should chance






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


Master Schuster could give you what would
serve as credentials."
"That he cannot do," David replied quickly.
"The last time we set out from the city it was
near four and twenty hours before he suc-
ceeded in so much as getting us a pass to leave
town, and then he greatly desired we should
visit some New Hampshire troops, among whom
he had acquaintances; but claimed he could
not get the necessary permit."
"Then you must depend upon your own
resources, remembering that by the day after
to-morrow it is necessary to have returned.
Let me repeat, as forcibly as may be possible,
that my name is to be mentioned to no person
save Major Lee, and then only when you are
certain none other will hear the words."
"What shall we tell him in addition to the
plan you propose to carry out ?"
"That will suffice. Should he ask any ques-
tions concerning me, answer them as truthfully






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE. 75

as you can, and forget not the night I have set,
for unless we have horses on the Jersey side
awaiting us, we shall never be able to get our
prisoner within the American lines."
It was a blind sort of a journey we were
called upon to undertake, and without any
preparation whatsoever; therefore it was that
I stood looking mutely at David instead of set-
ting about the work at once, and Sergeant
Champe asked with much sharpness in his
tones:
"Are you expecting time will hang heavily
on your hands, unless you make a delay here ?"
"I was thinking how we might best set about
it, for it is not as simple as you appear to think,
this journey to and from the American lines."
"So, at the first show of difficulty, your
courage deserts you ?" he asked in a sneering
tone. "You who were ready to aid me even
in the face of death, stand questioning as to how
you may perform what should be a familiar






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


task. Thrice I am told you have been inside
the lines, and why shall you waste the momen ts
by debating how it may be done the fourth
time ?"
The tone of his voice, quite as much as the
words, nettled me, and turning stiffly after
motioning David to follow, I gave him what
might have passed for a military salute, as I said:
We will meet you in this place on the day
after to-morrow."
You had best present yourselves boldly at
the fort and ask for me there," he replied
with a smile, and then it was that I understood
his harsh words had simply been intended to
spur us on.
Nevertheless I did not linger, but with my
hand on David's shoulder, walked through the
inclosure to Lumber Street, cudgeling my brains
to decide how we might make the journey to
Dobb's Ferry within twenty-four hours.
Not until we had arrived nearly at the






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


water's edge did my comrade venture any
remark, and then it was to say grimly:
"I am free to admit that the sergeant takes
many chances in thus joining the American
Deserters' Legion-for that isthe name by which
it should be known. Yet at the same time he
would have it appear as if our part in this
matter was as nothing. Since he can arrange
our plan so glibly, it would have been well had
he told us how we might set about the journey."
"But since he didn't, David Rhinelander, and
because we have no mind to fail in the first
work set us, we must go ahead, blindly trusting
to chance."
"And it will be a chance if you get through
on time. Were we given two or three days, so
that we might watch our opportunity for leaving
the city, then would the case be different; but
it is proposed that we start immediately, and I
ask you how that may be done ?"
We must use the skiff we borrowed the Ilst






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


time of Master Taylor, and embark as if bent
on pleasure."
And think you we shall be permitted to
do so in the light of day ?"
"That we must venture on. It may be the
very boldness of the attempt will prove friend-
ly, for the guard could not suppose we would
set about to visit the American lines without
trying to disguise our purpose."
"Then do you take the lead, and I will fol-
low wherever you may say. I make no claims
at being a prophet, but yet venture to predict
that we shall find ourselves in the gaol, or as
prisoners within the fort, before the sun sets
rather than on our way up the river."
I was much of David's opinion, but would
not admit it just then; for if both of us were
weak-kneed at the start, then had the venture
failed before we began, and while I had little
faith of its success I determined to make it ap-
pear as if I was valiant and confident.






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


CHAPTER IV.

AN INQUISITIVE STRANGER.

DAVID ventured no further remark.
One who did not know him as well as I,
would have said he was disgruntled, if not ab-
solutely angry, at being sent forth on such a
mission; but I understood that his silence came
from anxiety lest we should fail, and paid no
attention to what in another lad would have
been ill humor.
It was useless for me to try to form any plan
of action in the limited space of time at our dis-
posal, and after gazing about me in vain for
ten minutes or more I said, speaking to myself,
and not aware that I had raised my voice:
"We will buy hooks and lines and appear to
be fishing along the bank, working up-stream






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


until, if fortune favors us, we are so far out of
the city that it may be possible to pull across
without attracting the attention of the senti-
nels."
It was when David made reply to this that
I realized I had given words to my thoughts.
"Mayhap it is as well to start in that way as
another, and while it seems impossible we
should be allowed to leave, there is a chance
the very boldness of the plan will carry it
through."
"It gives me heart to hear you speak like
that, lad, for it is your old self, and but for the
fact of what lays behind all this, neither of us
would be so timorous. If your Uncle Jacob
had proposed that we make our way to West
Point to learn what news might be about the
camp, we, understanding that no one was in
peril if we failed, should have set about the
task without thought of danger."
"Very true, and if the redcoats stopped us






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


it would be a trifling matter; whereas now if
we are delayed it means, perhaps, the undoing
of all the plot in behalf of which the sergeant
has ventured his liberty and his life."
"Let us forget all that for the time, and have
only in mind the desire to leave New York.
I know of a shop hard by where we can buy
lines, and while I am there you shall go ahead to
acquaint Master Taylor with the fact that we
desire his skiff. Get some bait, also; for we
must play the part of fishermen whether we
expect to catch anything or not."
There was a cheery expression on David's
face as he left me, and it had not disappeared
when I met him again at the water's edge half
an hour later.
I had bought the lines and hooks; he had
seen Master Taylor and gotten a dozen clams,
wherefore we were equipped for the under-
taking, and it only remained to embark.
We were at the foot of Stone Street.







A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


A short distance away were two redcoats
coming toward the water in a leisurely fashion,
and as if bent on pleasure rather than business.
Anchored in the river less than half a musket-
shot off was one of the king's ships, and in mid-
stream, as if having come from the direction of
the fort, was an eight-oared barge, in the stern-
sheets of which sat an officer wearing a cocked
hat, and so profusely decorated with gold braid
that there came into my mind thoughts of the
golden calf which had been set up to be wor-
shiped.
Without seeming to look at these things we
saw them all, David and I; but did our best
r
to appear indifferent, as if they could in no
possible way concern us.
At the time it seemed to me as if I played
my part well; but I now remember how my
knees trembled when I stepped on board the
skiff, and it did not increase my courage to see
David fumbling nervously in the attempt to







A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


break open one of the clams, that we might bait
our hooks.
If the truth need be told we were both
frightened, although there was nothing near
about to cause alarm.
We gained in courage, however, or at least
I can say as much for myself, when, entering
the skiff, we pushed off without seemingly at-
tracting the attention of any one.
Had there never been any uprising against
the king, we could not have had less difficulty
in setting out on this voyage; but I well knew
it was one thing to push out into the stream a
short distance as if to fish, and another to con-
tinue straight on up the river.
However, our faces were set in that direc-
tion, and we should go on until forcibly
stopped; but not at a pace which would show
we were bent on getting to any particular point
within a certain time.
We moved leisurely, I working the oars with







A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


a trifle more than sufficient force to stem the
current, and David pretending to fish, but mak-
ing a very poor fist of it, as any one might say
who was close at hand, for he trembled so vio-
lently that his line danced up and down in the
water as if he was churning.
Inch by inch we crept up the stream, keep-
ing close watch, as can well be imagined, upon
all within sight; but yet no one gave heed to
our movements.
My timorousness vanished gradually; David
ceased to tremble, and when we were abreast
of Partition Street, I could not refrain from
saying to the lad:
We feared pain before being hurt. It
seemed certain we should not be allowed to
embark, and yet here we are started on the
voyage without hindrance."
"Yes, we have started," David replied doubt-
fully; "but yet it is almost a stretch of the
imagination to say so much as that. We are






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


loitering about here in the boat, and it remains
to be seen how far we may row up-stream be-
fore some one hails us."
"We may as well make the venture thor-
oughly," I said, giving more strength to my
stroke, and the skiff glided over the water with
reasonable rapidity; but yet no one hailed us.
"The next time it is necessary for us to visit
the American camp, instead of hanging around
the water-front after midnight for a chance to
slip off in the darkness, I shall set forth in the
same bold fashion we have done this day."
David made no reply.
He was ever one who insisted on strong
proof before being confident of anything, and I
understood that he was waiting until we should
have pushed on past the city before giving way
to joy.
When we were abreast of Barkly Street, I
suddenly bethought myself that we would
stand in sore need of food if it became neces-







A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


sary to row the skiff all the way to Dobb's
Ferry, and made the suggestion to David that
he go ashore to buy, at a shop which I knew
was hard by the water-front, such as would
serve us for at least one meal.
He objected to making any halt lest by lay-
ing in stores we should bring suspicions upon
ourselves; but I laughed at his fears, declaring
that the redcoats were not grown so alarmed
as to fall into a panic when two lads purchased
enough of provisions to supply themselves with
a supper, and by ridicule persuaded him to do
as I wished.
Once ashore he bought such food as would
have made three substantial meals for us, prob-
ably arguing that he might as well be hanged
for a sheep as a lamb, and when we pushed off
the second time without opposition, both of
us were confident we would accomplish our
purpose without difficulty or danger.
Ten minutes later we were at the outskirts




















































I THEN SAW BEN STORK STANDING BEHIND SOME BALES OF
HEMP.-Page 87.






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


of the town, being opposite the rope-walk, and
at that moment, when all danger seemed to
have been passed, we were both startled by
hearing our names called loudly from the
shore:
For a full minute I gazed around me in sur-
prise and fear, and then saw, standing half
hidden behind some bales of hemp, Ben Stork,
a brother to that Jethro whom we had met
in the barracks of the Amnerican Deserters'
Legion.
"We must get rid of him in short order,"
David said in a half whisper.
"Ay; but how may that be done? The
young Tory has hailed us for a purpose; and
should we not reply might raise an alarm that
we were fleeing from the city."
Then Ben Stork cried out once more, coming
a few paces nearer the water's edge, and I, as
if having seen him for the first time, replied by
asking what he desired.






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


"Where are you lads bound ?"
Fishing, as you can see."
Take me aboard."
The skiff is not large enough for three, and
besides, we are not inclined for company,"
David replied quickly.
Ben Stork knew that we did not look upon
him as a friend, and never courted his company,
therefore my comrade's remark could have been
no surprise; yet he treated the matter as though
he was wholly at a loss to understand why we
should not desire his companionship.
I had ceased rowing, and was allowing the
boat to drift with the current, thinking that we
might thus get rid of him even though we were
going backward on the journey, when he cried:
"If you are really fishing there is no reason
why I could not come aboard. If you're bound
on some rebel business, as, it is said, you have
engaged in more than once, then I understand
why you are not inclined.for my company."






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


This was little less than a threat, and I so
understood it.
That we should find ourselves stopped, after
having passed the most dangerous points, by a
worthless Tory like Ben Stork was enough of
vexation to make a fellow gnash his teeth with
rage, and David came nigh to doing so.
The skiff cannot be increased in size what-
ever business we may be bent on," I cried,
thinking to parley with the fellow, for I knew
full well that it was in his heart to do us a
wrong turn when an opportunity came.
"Let me see how many fish you have
caught ?" he demanded rather than asked, and
it was in my mind to go on shore and flog the
Tory villain.
"Since when has it been that we must ac-
count to you for our doings ?" I cried angrily,
and David said in a whisper:
"Be careful, Oliver, he has it in his power
now to undo us both."






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


"And he will work the harm whether we
give him soft words or harsh."
"Ay; but molasses is better for flies than
vinegar, and by using it you may entangle
them meanwhile."
I was at a loss to understand the meaning of
David's remark, and had no time to ponder
over it, for at the same instant Ben Stork cried
threateningly :
"I shall warn the patrol that you are leaving
the city to visit the American lines, and per-
haps by the time they make prisoners of both
you will understand how long since it had been
that you must account to me for your doings.
I have had my eye on you two rebels, and
don't intend you shall remain free to carry
matters with such high hands."
"I will go ashore and flog him," I said, haul-
ing the boat around, and David whispered, a
smile coming over his face which told me he
had some plan in mind.






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


"Let me try the molasses first, Oliver, and
mayhap then you will have a better oppor-
tunity for doing the flogging. Hold your
peace while I make talk with the Tory."
I nodded my head without understanding
his purpose, and straightway was astonished to
hear him cry to the villainous cur on shore:
"There is no reason why you should set
yourself to watch us, Ben Stork, for we are not
now doing any more than we ever have done
against the king; but if it so please you, come
aboard."
"Now you are knuckling down to that
Tory," I whispered angrily.
"It won't be for long, Oliver, so don't get
your teeth on edge until the proper time
comes; but pull in toward the shore."
"Where are your fish ?" Ben demanded, now
mystified by David's willingness to take him on
as passenger.
"We haven't got any yet. It is less than






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


half an hour since we set out, and the fish are
not biting hereabouts; but we will have better
luck further up the river. Are you coming
aboard ?"
"You think to blind my eyes by appearing
willing to have me for a companion after you
had once refused."
"It is better we do so than that you should
bring our fishing voyage to a close by calling
on the Britishers," David said with a laugh.
" It is seldom I have three or four hours to my-
self for such a purpose, and I am not minded
to cut it short because of your suspicions. To
be frank, Ben Stork, we are not inclined to-
ward you as a companion; but are willing to
pay the price for a spell, and what is more,
you shall share in the food which we have
brought with us."
I was inwardly raging at what seemed worse
than stupidity in David.
Should we take this Tory aboard the voyage






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


must come to an end beyond a peradventure,
for how could we get rid of him, more partic-
ularly if matters were made pleasant as my
comrade suggested?
However, it was too late for me to interfere,
since by this time the boat was at the shore
and Ben Stork had laid hold of the gun-
wale.
He peered around suspiciously, looking here
and there as if expecting to see that which
would prove we were about to aid the "rebels,"
and David said impatiently:
"We are not minded to come ashore that
you may overhaul us for your own curiosity.
If it so be you think we are on other than a
fishing voyage, come with us; else let go your
hold there."
"I will do that when I please," the Tory
cried defiantly, and I, unable to control my
anger any longer, rose to my feet suddenly,
shouting:







A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


"You will do it now, you villain, or I'll
break at least one of the bones in your worth-
less body!"
David had hold of me in an instant, literally
forcing me back on the thwart as he said to
Ben Stork:
My comrade is right in being angry when
you would thus play the part of customs officer
without authority. If it so be you choose to
come on board, as was first proposed, do so at
once; but attempt to detain us here, and Oliver
shall work his will."
Why David should be eager to take this
fellow as a passenger I could not understand,
and the bewilderment, together with anger,
kept me silent; my mind was in such a state
of confusion as prevented me from noting the
Tory's movements.
He hesitated an instant as if to let go his
hold on the boat, and then, most likely enjoy-
ing his fancied advantage, when it seemed as if






A TRAITOR'S ESCAPE.


he had the whip-hand of us, he shoved the skiff
off, at the same time leaping aboard.
"I'll go to make certain whether you are tell-
ing the truth or not."
"That's the proper way," David replied in a
tone of perfect satisfaction, and added to me,
"Pull heartily, Oliver, for the day is fast wear-
ing away, and we shall have no sport if you
loiter here."
There was more in his tone than his words
to attract my attention, and straightway I under-
stood that the lad had in his head some cun-
ningly devised plan which would result in the
confusion of the Tory; but what it was I could
not so much as conjecture, for it seemed to me
we thus lost our last opportunity of leaving the
city on that day.
"You said that there was something on
board to eat," Ben Stork began with the
same friendly manner, and David replied
laughingly:




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