A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY
A Little Puritan's First Christmas
A Loyal Little Maid
A Little Puritan Rebel
A Little Daughter of Liberty
L. C. PAGE AND COMPANY
212 Summer St., Boston, Mass.
A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF
AUTHOR OF "A LOYAL LITTLE MAID," "A LITTLE
PURITAN REBEL," ETC.
AMY M. SACKER
L. C. PAGE AND COMPANY
BY L. C. PAGE AND COMPANY
Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds & Co.
Boston, Mass., U.S.A.
I. A RENEWED VOW I
II. ST. BOTOLPH 28
III. THE LIBERTY TREE 35
IV. THE INCORRUPTIBLE THIRTY 47
V. THE BOUND BOY 64
VI. THE BROAD ARROW 83
VII. THE REBECCA AND POLLY 98
VIII. THE BREAKFAST AT THE HANCOCK
" NANNY MOUNTED THE Low, BROAD WINDOW-
NANNY AND HANNAH 24
NANNY AND MRS. BRADSTREET 50
"NANNY REACHED HER OWN DOOR" .55
NANNY AND ANTHONY 84
NANNY AND THE LANDLADY 88
"SHE EXTENDED BOTH HER HANDS" T00
"NANNY TURNED HER HEAD TO SURVEY
CRITICALLY THE LUSTROUS BREADTHS OF
WHITE BROCADE" 113
"SHE STOOD FOR A MOMENT MEASURING THE
DISTANCE TO THE FARTHER END OF THE
LONG ROOM" 127
THREE rides are memorable in the early his-
tory of the Revolution. One is the well-known
ride of Paul Revere, who, on the night of April
18, 1775, warned the country about Boston of
the intended British raid on the morrow.
Less celebrated in verse and story, but
equally worthy of commemoration, was the
ride of Casar Rodney, who, on July second of
the same year, rode from Dover, Delaware, to
Philadelphia to carry Delaware's vote in favour
of the Declaration of Independence, covering
the distance of eighty miles in thirty hours.
Early in November, 1775, a young English
serving boy rode from the headquarters of the
provincial army at Cambridge to Kennebunk,
Maine, in less than thirty-six hours. Untold
in verse or story, its record preserved only in
family papers, or as a dim tradition of the
Maine coast, the ride of Anthony Severn was
no less heroic in its action and memorable in
A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
A RENEWED VOW.
"THE streets are crowded! I assure you I
had some difficulty in making my way thither.
All one hears on every side is talk of the proc-
lamation of his lordship, the new commander-
"'Tis indeed true that General Howe has
decided to winter in Boston ?"
Wait but an instant till I can draw breath,
and I will read the proclamation to you. I se-
cured one of the hand-bills that are being dis-
Nanny Bradstreet threw aside her cape and
hood. Her frock, like that of her friend,
Hannah Soley, was of linsey-woolsey, spun by
12 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
their own hands. That arch-rebel, Sam Adams,
might utter his seditious sentiments in town
meeting, and John Hancock boldly set his sig-
nature to that treasonable document, the Decla-
ration of Independence, in the Continental
Congress; but neither in Bostcn nor Phila-
delphia were to be found more ardent rebels
than in the sewing-circles of the Puritan town,
even those composed of young girls. In those
miniature camps, resolutions were solemnly
passed to endure and sacrifice everything rather
than yield to the tyranny of the British minis-
try. Ardent lovers of tea drank without gri-
mace the concoction of raspberry leaves that took
the place of the prime Bohea to which they had
been accustomed; silken gowns were laid aside
without a murmur, for it was arch-treason to
purchase goods from England, and even the
precious pewter tankards and porringers were
cast unhesitatingly into the melting-pot to sup-
ply the empty bullet-pouches of the provincial
There was no need of the command, for
Hannah was waiting, in much impatience, to
learn the contents of the hand-bill. Nanny
"NANNY MOUNTED THE LOW, BROAD WINDOW -
A RENEWED VOW.
mounted the low, broad window-sill, and, with
an air of much consequence, proceeded to read:
Whereas the present and approaching dis-.
tresses of many of the inhabitants in the town
of Boston, from the scarcity and high prices of
provisions, fuel, and the other necessary articles
of life, can only be avoided by permitting them
to go where they may hope to procure easier
subsistence; inhabitants who wish to leave the
town are requested to give their names to the
town-major before twelve o'clock on the ninth
instant.' There, what think you of that ?" de-
manded Nanny. "'Tis plain, is't not, that Lord
Howe does not mean to evacuate the town till
forced to do so ? Do you think your honoured
father will be one of those to leave ?"
I fear such will be the case," returned
Hannah, sadly. "My mother, as you know,
is in delicate health, and without suitable food
or fire-wood we could not, with safety to her,
tarry here through the winter. Will your hon-
oured uncle remain ?"
That will he, though twenty sieges take
place answered Nanny, stoutly. "He deems
it his duty to stay that he may protect his own
property and that of his friends. 'Tis said, in-
16 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
deed, without scruple, by the British, that those
who quit the town forfeit all the effects they
"And do you, too, remain? "
"Where else should I be at such a time, but
in Boston ?" returned Nanny, with dignity.
"'Tis true that I have only lived here since I
was a child; nevertheless, Boston and no other
spot is my home. Was it not my own great-
Have you heard aught lately of your hon-
oured father ?" interrupted her friend, with an
interest that, though genuine, was expressed at
that moment with particular earnestness. At-
tached though her friends were to her, and a
leader amongst them though she undoubtedly
was, it was sometimes hinted by her mates that
Nanny Bradstreet displayed an undue tendency
to exalt herself because of her ancestor, Simon
Bradstreet, truly a man of notable character and
deeds, and of his wife, Anne Bradstreet, who
was a world-famed poet.
"Naught has been heard of him since the
brig Chuzan, jointly owned by my father and
my uncle, was fitted out as a privateer under
the recent orders of his Excellency, General
A. RENEWED VOW.
Washington. My uncle awaits daily news
from the Chuzan, thinking it probable that
the brig is hovering off the New England
coast in order to intercept any store-ships
that may be on their way to the army in
Boston. My uncle knows well that Captain
Simon Bradstreet is not one to be making a
pleasure cruise at such a time added the girl,
proudly. "'Twas another Simon Bradstreet,
my great-grandfather, who helped to settle
these shores, when Boston was a wilderness
of scrubby trees and huckleberry-bushes, and
the wolves howled to the very edge of the
peninsula. Another Anne Bradstreet was it,
too, who, one hundred and fifty years ago,
walked these very streets, then nothing but
cart tracks, and counted as nothing the loss
of her fair English home, that she might aid
to plant God's church in the wilderness. She
wrote, too, most beautiful poetry, that was ad-
mired by the great Master Cotton himself.
Whenever I have been frightened by the noise
of cannon, or have dreamt of that terrible day
last June, after the battle of Bunker Hill, and
have, perhaps, longed for my quiet home in the
little seaport town, I have said to myself, Not
18 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
so would the Anne Bradstreet whose name I
bear have done,' and I resolved to stay here,
come what might, thinking that perhaps if
there were something a young girl might do
for Boston, I might be the chosen vessel,
because of the name I bear!"
Both girls were silent as their thoughts
went back over the months since the people
of Boston, with set purpose, had claimed for
their town its ancient privileges, counting ease
and wealth, nay, life itself, nothing, so long as
were denied to them the rights enjoyed by
their ancestors. The spirit of liberty, that
had accompanied Winthrop and Dudley, Brad-
street and Cotton, and had been guarded and
fostered by each succeeding generation, still
flowed in their veins. "Crush Boston, and
you crush the insurrection," said the British
wiseacres, and to that end the efforts of the
ministry had been chiefly directed.. It was not
yet a war against the Colonies. It was a war
Last year the Boston Port Bill had gone into
operation amid the tolling of bells, the exhibi-
tion of mourning emblems, and the observance
of fasting and prayer. Now a stranger to the
A RENEWED VOW.
proceedings of the British ministry, landing
on Long Wharf, might have fancied himself
stranded in that fabled city whose inhabitants
lay under the spell of some evil enchantment.
Its warehouses deserted, its streets grass-grown,
its marts closed, many of its finest houses bear-
ing the marks of pillage, there was little, in-
deed, in the present aspect of Boston to recall
the days when the three-hilled town was the
pride of New England and the commercial
centre of the Colonies. A hostile fleet sur-
rounded it without, a formidable military force
was assembled within. Tents covered its fields,
cannon were planted on its eminences, and red-
coated troops daily paraded in its streets. Even
the privacy of those of the inhabitants who re-
mained was not respected, and British officers
were quartered in every available house, leaving
only attics and corners to the rightful owners.
Thus far, the measures adopted to crush
what was still, in British parlance, the insur-
rection had not met with unalloyed success.
The Boston saints, as they were sneeringly
dubbed by the London journals and pamphlets,
had shown that they could fight as well as
pray; nor had the skirmish at Concord and
20 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
Lexington, and the battle of Bunker Hill,
altogether borne out the British prediction,
"Whenever it comes to blows, he that can
run the fastest will think himself best off."
The despised Yankees were displaying an ob-
duracy, too, in the face of a general offer of
pardon -with two notable exceptions- on the
part of his gracious Majesty, to be accounted
for only on the theory of the excited pam-
phleteer, who stated that "the demons of folly,
falsehood, madness, and rebellion, along with
their chief, the angel of darkness, had entered
The stirring events of the spring and early
summer had culminated, last July, in a formal
Declaration of Independence, and the subse-
quent arrival of Mr. George Washington, of
Virginia, the British refused to recognize his
military title, -to take command of the Co-
lonial forces assembled at Cambridge.
Dissatisfaction with the course of events
manifested itself in the British Cabinet. It
was thought that the commander-in-chief, Gen-
eral Gage, owing to family connections, was
too lenient to the people of Boston. It was
currently said that Gage's secrets had wings,"
A RENEWED VOW.
and some even hinted that it was none other
than the commander-in-chief's lady who fur-
nished the wings. So Lord Howe was de-
spatched to take the "mild general's" place.
A man of sterner mould and of more ability,
withal, the most decisive and uncompromising
-measures might now be looked for. There
had been a rumour that, with the change of
commanders, Boston would be evacuated for
more active operations elsewhere, but the re-
port was plainly contradicted by the present
"You and I and Bathsheba Church are the
only 'Daughters of Liberty' left in Boston!"
resumed Nanny, presently. "There were one
hundred and fifty of us in the beginning. Do
you remember how we were only a fortnight
behind our mothers in entering into an agree-
ment to drink no tea till the obnoxious meas-
ures were repealed. 'Twas I, in this very
room, who urged our union. Some of our
members left Boston at the beginning of the
siege, or when their fathers and brothers joined
the army. Others found they had been over-
hasty in vowing allegiance to our cause, and
were punished by their parents for their ill-
22 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
considered patriotism. Martyrs they might
have been," sighed Nanny, "but they turned
their backs on the glorious opportunity, to
their everlasting loss and Boston's shame!
Soon Bathsheba Church and I will be the
only Daughters of Liberty remaining in the
"Better say, you alone 1" answered Hannah,
"What mean you- surely Bathsheba is not
departing?" queried Nanny, surprised.
"She has departed from the ranks of the
Daughters of Liberty," answered Hannah,
solemnly. "Like him of whom the Apostle
Paul spake, 'Demas hath forsaken me, having
loved the present world,' Bathsheba has turned
her back upon her vow, and is making friends
with the Mammon of unrighteousness."
What has she done?" cried Nanny, in
alarm. How could the daughter of Doctor
Church do aught that could bring pain or
shame upon such a father ? "
She is going to Lord Percy's ball," re-
"Are you sure, Hannah, of such a monstrous
thing?" queried Nanny, earnestly. "Bath-
A RENEWED VOW.
sheba cannot have entered the ranks of the
"I have but just come from Doctor Church's
house," answered her friend. Bathsheba
showed me the dress she is to wear to-morrow
night. It is a citron-coloured silk, watered like
a tabby; her slippers, of the same stuff, have
very sharp toes, and the heels are of wood and
fully two inches high. She is quite in the
My father bade my aunt see that my ward-
robe was properly furnished with everything
necessary for a young lady when I came to
Boston," said Nanny, thoughtfully. I had
twelve silk gowns. Aunt Bradstreet had but
lately ordered another from my father's London
agent, which I have never worn. It cost an
amazing sum of money, not less, I assure you,
than a hundred pounds. It has a yellow coat,
a black bib and apron, and is richly adorned
with paste and garnet and marquesett pins. I
should not cut a sorry figure even before the
ladies of the British officers."
Bathsheba's hair is to be dressed in a lofty
roll," Hannah went on. "There is great strife
amongst the ladies as to whom shall have the
24 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
hairdresser first; his services, indeed, being so
much in demand that Bathsheba was glad to
engage him for eight o'clock in the morning."
Nothing renders a young person more
amiable than virtue and modesty, as I have
heard it preached, without the aid of false
hair," said Nanny, sternly. How that roll
will make Bathsheba's head ache and itch!"
"She was even so bold as to hint that she
might walk a minuet with Lord Percy," added
A RENEWED VOW.
"I can dance as well as Bathsheba, being
counted, as you know, one of Mr. Turner's best
scholars," returned Nanny. "'Tis said that.
Lord Percy's manners are most courtly; he is,
sure, a fine, handsome young man, with his blue
eyes and lordly bearing. What more heard you
of the ball, Hannah? Not that I am concerned
in the matter, but 'tis well to know the extent
of Bathsheba's fall from grace."
Bathsheba hath a tongue that runs freely,
and though it might be treasonable to listen
to her tale of the gay doings to-morrow eve, I
could not choose but hear," answered Hannah,
apologetically. With a vague feeling of having
been summoned before a court martial, she
continued, "The ball is to take place in the
great hall that Mr. Hancock had recently added
to his mansion; a fine supper will be given,
notwithstanding the high price and scarcity of
provisions, and the grounds are to be hung with
lanterns. The whole town is agog, for the like
of the entertainment has never before been
seen here. The earl's father, as you know,
is esteemed the richest man in England. Being
of a disposition that would not show lack of
courtesy to a lady, Lord Percy has sent invita-
26 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
tions, not only to the wives and daughters of
the British officers and of the Tories, but to
the patriot families as well. My mother cast
ours into the fire."
"So must my aunt have done," observed
Nanny, reflectively. "Not that I should have
gone, under any circumstances, nor would you,
Hannah, I trust."
"No, oh, no," answered her friend, hastily.
"I recall, now, some talk between Captain
Price and Captain Robinson, who, as you know,
are quartered at our house, concerning to-
morrow night; but we have paid little heed
to the methods by which the British officers
have sought to relieve the tedium of the siege.
Hannah," went on Nanny with impressive dig-
nity, you and I must take immediate action in
Intense interest in the doings of the Con-
tinental Congress had given Nanny some
familiarity with parliamentary phrase, if not of
actual usage, and confidence in her own powers
bestowed glib utterance. I move that from
this moment Bathsheba Church be no longer
considered a Daughter of Liberty. Now you
must say, Second the motion.' "
A RENEWED VOW.
Her friend obediently repeated the words.
It is moved and seconded that Bathsheba
Church is no longer a Daughter of Liberty.
Those who favour the motion ? Those opposed ?
The ayes have it, and the motion is carried.
Now I think we'd better say our vow over
again, and make it a little different, because,"
Nanny shook her head gravely, "I feel that
soon it may mean much more to us than merely
not drinking tea, and if I am to be left all alone
in Boston, a great deal may depend upon me."
She placed her hand on the family Bible
upon the centre-table, and repeated solemnly,
Hannah saying the words after her:
"'We, the daughters of those patriots who
have appeared for the public interest, do now
engage with pleasure' that's as far as we can
go in what we said before 'in upholding the
liberties of Boston.' Now what did Mr. Han-
cock and Mr. Adams say last Fourth of July ?
'For the support of this Declaration, with a
firm reliance on the protection of Divine Prov-
idence, we mutually pledge to each other our
lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour.' "
SINCE she had been sent to Boston -three
years ago -to be "finished," like many other
daughters of the best New England families,
Nanny considered that she had put away child-
ish things; nevertheless, certain influences of
her life in her quiet home on the coast of
Eastern Massachusetts' remained with her,
and unconsciously influenced her later years.
Captain Bradstreet's family represented the
quality of Kennebunk, in the days when the
distinction between the gentry and common
people was almost as sharply drawn as in the
mother country, and the little girl--his only
child grew up without playmates of her own
age or tastes. But little Anne or Nanny, as
she was generally called was never lonely.
Her solitary life only stimulated her imagina-
tion, and fostered an inner world of imagery, in
which she was more at home than amid her
visible surroundings. The sea was always a
companion, and, looking into the distance, her
childish fancy followed her father's vessel to
the far-off lands of which he told such wonder-
ful tales, tales made real by the lustrous silks,
curious mattings, and rich foreign sweetmeats
that the brig Chuzan brought home to the
mansion at Kennebunk. There was no one in
all the world so dear and brave as her father,
and the time between his departure and home-
coming was counted, day by day, by the mother
and child, realized at last by the brief happiness
of those days at home, after the Chuzan had
unloaded its rich cargo on Long Wharf, and
the warehouses of Bradstreet Brothers were
filled to overflowing with the merchandise of
But nothing in all the wide world so stirred
Nanny's imagination and appealed to her sensi-
bilities as the thought of Boston. There that
other Anne Bradstreet had lived, one hundred
and fifty years ago The little girl's chiefest
treasure was a quaint book that bore the in-
30 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
scription, Printed at London for Stephen
Bowtell, at the signe of the Bible in Popes
Head Alley, 1650." Its title-page gave the
rich promise :
"The Tenth Muse Lately sprung up in
America, or Several Poems compiled with great
variety of Wit and Learning, full of Delight."
Nanny was better supplied with books than
many children of her age, her good aunt in
Boston having sent to her an excellent collec-
tion of "Little Books for the Instruction and
Amusement of all good Boys and Girls." But
after a brief glance at the titles of these vol-
umes, Nanny laid them all aside, and continued
to _pore over Anne Bradstreet's poetry. Not
that she understood it; much of it, indeed,
would have been incomprehensible to an older
head; but in the long words and stately meas-
-res, she found the delight known only to the
fantasies of childhood.
She liked to think of Anne Bradstreet, too,
in her fair English home, where the bells of
St. Botolph's church were borne to her across
the Lincolnshire fens. Surely she, being of
such gentle, reverential mould, must have
carried in her heart worship of the good Saxon
saint old Boston's patron saint to the new
Boston that she grew to love for the sake of
husband and children, and because that God's
voice had called her thither.
Where Cape Porpoise extends its arm into
the sea, pointing to the beautiful islands that
lie about the entrance of Kennebunk Harbour,
there was one island more beautiful than the
rest, accessible over the flats at low tide.
Nature having made fortification on this spot
comparatively easy, it was thither that the
Cape Porpoise and Kennebunk people had fled,
in the old days of Indian warfare. No one
went there now, however, and only a few scat-
tered stones marked the lines of the former
fort. It was on the seaward side of this island
that Nanny built a little shrine out of pretty
shells and bright pebbles, and dedicated it to
There was another reason that made this
worship yet sweeter and stronger to the soli-
tary little girl. Her own birthday was the
seventeenth of June, the very day dedicated
to Boston's patron saint. St. Botolph's care
was her birthright, as well as hers because she
was of Boston blood. So, not only because
32 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
her name was one honoured in Boston history,
but because of this childish fantasy, she had
grown up in the belief that the fate of Boston
and her own were in some way mysteriously
"Hear me! Help me, good St. Botolph!"
she sobbed, the day her mother died, and Go
with me, dear St. Botolph!" she whispered
when, a few weeks later, she made her last
visit to the shrine, before setting out for her
new home in distant Boston.
She had pictured to herself with what rever-
ence the memory of the good saint would be
cherished in the town of his name. Its most
beautiful church, its finest street, would be
dedicated to him. In its fairest building would
stand his statue, and his name would be
breathed in daily,- hourly prayer. Surely all
Boston was the shrine of good St. Botolph, and
on the seventeenth of June, bells were rung and
bonfires blazed and verses were written in his
honour, just as at home, on that day, she never
failed to bring fresh flowers to the shrine, and
repeat before it several pages of Anne Brad-
The disappointment came with the force of
a shock when she found that no spot in all the
three-hilled town was sacred to the memory of
its patron saint; his name was never spoken.
Nay, once, when she ventured some question
concerning St. Botolph, the only answer was a
reproof. Popish practices! that was what
her aunt had termed such worship. So, from
that day, with the intense reserve of a sensitive
child, Nanny buried the thought of her beloved
saint in her deepest heart, and never spoke of
him again. As she grew older, the intensity
of the fancy faded, to some extent, till there
were times when she even smiled to herself at
the recollection. Nevertheless, in any time of
special stress the fancy returned in all its old-
time strength, and the involuntary cry from her
inmost heart was always, "Hear me, help me,
good St. Botolph !"
His name had been in her prayers through-
out the long hours of that never-to-be-forgotten
day last summer, when the cannon were thun-
dering across the river, and from housetops and
the summits of the three hills people watched
the combat in Charlestown. Surely on this day
of all others his own day, the seventeenth of
June St. Botolph would aid his people, fight-
34 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
ing in the cause of righteousness; and never
had Nanny's faith received so terrible a shock
as when it was known throughout Boston that
the battle of Bunker Hill was lost!
That night, the girl beheld with her own
eyes something of the horrors of war. The
streets of Boston were red with blood. Till
dawn the groans of the wounded sounded from
the jolting carts in which they were borne
to the hospitals, and suffering men lay in the
streets without protection from the chill dews,
or the water for which they implored so
THE LIBERTY TREE.
As Nanny left her friend's house, the crowd
had perceptibly increased, but it was not till
she turned from Sudbury Street into Hanover
Street and drew near the house of Doctor
Warren, whose death at Bunker Hill all
Boston lamented, that she viewed the in-
creasing multitude with some consternation,
and for a moment paused, hesitating whether
to advance or retreat. The light of the short
October day was waning. The tide of people,
that earlier in the afternoon had been in the
direction of North Square, for some reason had
turned, and she would now have to make her
way against the current. Almost before she
was aware she was caught up by the body of
the crowd, and borne, irresistibly, in the oppo-
site direction from her home. For a few min-
36 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
utes, frightened and bewildered, she struggled
to escape, but the pressure on all sides was too
great to resist. Perceiving, presently, however,
that the crowd was of a respectable, orderly
character, apparently composed, for the most
part, of mechanics and apprentices, she recov-
ered, to some extent, from her fright, and
endeavoured to ascertain the cause of the sup-
pressed excitement with which the air was
filled, and the objective point of the throng, -
for that it had in view some definite object was
evident from the air of quiet determination
evinced in the bearing of these sturdy artisans.
In suppressed undertones, with side-glances
toward the middle of the street, where the
gleam of red coats was visible, question and
answer, exclamation and execration, passed
from one to another.
They have been tearing down some houses
at the north part of the town for fire-wood,"
Our old Louisburg soldiers laugh at the
newly erected fortifications on the Neck,"
observed another, "and say they are no more
to be regarded than a beaver dam "
It was a rough-looking man immediately in
THE LIBERTY TREE.
front of Nanny who spoke the last words;
tiny spirals of wood, clinging to his coat and
breeches, gave evidence of his occupation.
"You were one of those who helped the
British build their barracks!" observed his
neighbour, whose leather apron and besmudged
hands spoke of the forge.
Let be your jibes, Nailer Tom," retorted the
carpenter, good-naturedly. "As soon as we
found the way matters were going, we left off
working for their accommodation. British gold
cannot buy Boston labour "
Take heed! remarked the blacksmith, in
a lowered tone. "'Tis no knowing, in these
days, what careless word may write one's name
in the black list "
"Oh, ay!" growled his more impetuous
comrade. "'Tis but, 'You are the general's
prisoner!' and whip! away to the man-of-
war. As well might one live in the days of
'Tis said that the treatment of our men who
who have been made prisoners has called forth
remonstrance and threats of reprisal from Gen-
eral Washington, but without avail," went on
Nailer Tom. "John Ruck has been carried off
38 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
and put on board ship. I took him breakfast
this morning. The poor fellows have nothing
to lie down on but cables, stowed under two
decks. The cook's galley, into which I peeped,
was the kitchen of the infernal regions. The
prisoners are given nothing to eat but worm-
eaten bread and salt beef a cup of water to
three days' allowance of bread! The beef was
put into a great copper kettle. The fuel was
green chestnut impossible to make burn; so
that, maddened with hunger, each mess seized
its meat and devoured it as it was."
The crowd had reached the Common by this
time, when there was suddenly struck up the
strains of a lively air that had grown familiar
to Boston folk, within the past few months.
"They've fitted new words to the old tune,"
remarked the man addressed as Nailer Tom.
" They go something like this:
"' Father 'n' I went down to camp,
Along o' Cap'n Goodin',
And there we saw the men and boys
As thick as hasty puddin'! '"
"Maybe they'll hear enough of Yankee
Doodle before they've quit singing it," returned
THE LIBERTY TREE.
the carpenter. "'Tis a merry air, and as fit to
use by one side as t'other. Methinks the Brit-
ishers might have had their fill of it the day of
Lexington fight; 'twas the tune to which Lord
Percy marched his troops out of Boston, and
'tis said he turned pale when he heard it, and
was in ill humour all day, because of it. Truly,
'twas never a lucky tune for the Percys of
Northumberland. In the old days of the Bor-
der Wars, an ancestor of this same young sprig
of the English nobility marched a quickstep to
that same tune, Chevy Chase, they called it
then, if my memory misleads me not. What
There had been a pause in the slow advance
of the crowd, and then a sudden surge forward.
As though in answer to the carpenter's excla-
mation, a murmur, that had its apparent rise on
the edge of the throng nearest the military,
resolved into words.
"To the Liberty Tree To the Liberty
For a few moments it looked as though the
massacre of the fifth of March might be re-
peated. The soldiers stood with fixed bayonets.
Their officers, with drawn swords, warned
40 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
back the crowd that was pressing from every
side upon the redcoats. Not a word was
spoken, but the silence was far more ominous
than open demonstration. But the riotous
element was either lacking or held in check
by older and graver natures, for the crowd
presently fell back, and the march was resumed.
A change had come over the humour of the
people, and, instead of the interchange of com-
ment and surmise and rough jest, was a sullen
silence, while each pressed nearer his neighbour,
as though feeling, instinctively, that the hour
had struck when the men of Boston must
stand shoulder to shoulder. No mere procla-
mation, indeed, could have voiced the uncom-
promising measures to be expected from the
new commander-in-chief as did the present
The Liberty Tree was a fine old elm, not far
from the Common, on the road to the Neck.
It was under the special and visible charge of
the Sons of Liberty, and was revered by the
people as the emblem of the popular cause -
and no less execrated by the royal governors.
When a patriotic agreement was to be entered
into, or an obnoxious office resigned, and Fan-
THE LIBERTY TREE.
ueil Hall would not contain the multitude, it
was here that the people flocked. Beneath
the Liberty Tree had been passed the resolu-
tions not to permit the landing of the tea, and
here it was that the royal governor, Andros,
It was Simon Bradstreet, the last governor
under the charter of the Massachusetts Bay
Colony, who, at the age of four-score years and
ten, led the insurrection as a duty to God and
country. When he appeared at the Liberty
Tree, a great shout arose from the free men
there assembled. Under the leadership of the
magnificent old man, the whole town arose in
arms, with the most unanimous resolve that
ever inspired a people. Andros was arrested,
the Castle was taken, the frigate mastered, and
the fortifications occupied. Once more Massa-
chusetts assembled in General Court, and Simon
Bradstreet was called again to the chair of
state, filling it till his death.
That story was to Nanny Bradstreet family
tradition, as well as a striking page of Boston's
history. She might well feel that she had a
personal interest in the Liberty Tree. There
was no thought, now, of turning back, even if she
42 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
could have done so. The troops wheeled into
Frog Lane, in the direction of Auchmutty Street.
It was not many years ago that belief in
witchcraft was current in Boston; more than
one old woman, cried out upon for malign prac-
tices, had been hanged upon the Common.
Something of old-time superstition may have
lingered in the minds of Boston boys and girls,
for there was a current belief amongst them
that the genius of the Liberty Tree had the elm
under his special protection.
The first blow of the axe rang through the
silence. Still Nanny waited, vaguely expect-
ant, childish faith in the impossibility of the
dreadful mingling with conviction that the
genius of the tree would protect his abode.
The quick successive blows of the axe mingled
with the voices of the soldiers and Tories in
As for their King, John Hancock,
And Adams, if they're taken,
Their heads for signs shall hang up high,
Upon the hill called Beacon!"
Something had happened There was a sud-
den backward movement of the crowd, a heavy
weight trod on Nanny's foot, that, crushed
THE LIBERTY TREE.
against a stone, slipped, twisting her ankle.
Sick and weak with pain, the girl was jostled
unresistingly from side to side, till all at once
she found herself, like a bit of jetsam thrown
up by the sea, tossed out of the surging throng.
She tottered, and would have fallen headlong,
but some one caught her by the arm.
"What happened ?" she asked, faintly.
A soldier fell from the tree and was killed,"
was the answer, out of the darkness.
Fright at this dreadful realisation of her
vague anticipations, and the sudden thought of
her position, alone at that hour, and at such a
distance from home, resulted in the cry:
"Oh, take me home! "
"With pleasure, madam," responded the
boyish voice by her side.
"I I crave your pardon," said Nanny,
faintly, dismay at her own boldness following
swift upon her words. I was caught up by
the crowd and carried thither, despite myself,"
she added, more collectedly. "I think, how-
ever, I need not ask your escort."
Will you not permit me to accompany you,
madam ?" urged her companion, and something
in the tones of his voice gave confidence.
44 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
I live on Garden Court Street," she
"My own road lies in the same direction, in
North Square," was the rejoinder, and, without
more ado, Nanny signified her acceptance of
the stranger's proffer. If you will take my
hand, we could run through Newbury Street,
and so, I think, out-distance the crowd it
has begun to disperse," suggested her com-
But Nanny's ankle pained her, and, despite
her utmost endeavours and her escort's aid, it
was impossible to make rapid progress. New-
bury Street, too, was in darkness, for though
Boston had been provided with street-lamps
only the year before, most of them had been
destroyed during the siege.
Meantime, the girl's thoughts were busy
concerning the identity of her companion. His
language and manners were unquestionably
those of a gentleman. He was not a British
officer, even in the faint light his scarlet
uniform would have been visible, yet she
could recall no one in North Square, all of
whose residents were well known to her, to
whose name he might answer.
THE LIBERTY TREE.
In fact, to the best of her recollection, the
only person of quality now remaining in that
part of the city was General Timothy Ruggles,
a man of middle age and violent temper. He
had an ill reputation amongst the patriots as a
virulent Tory, having, indeed, been placed in
command of the three companies of Loyal
American Associators," as they chose to call
themselves, into which the people of Boston
of Tory sympathies had recently been banded,
whose object was to assist the British, if neces-
sary, in the defence of the place."
"They are catching up with us," said the
voice by her side. Come through West Street
to the Common."
They regained the more travelled thorough-
In the fierce wind that was tearing, as usual,
over the Common and the Charles River
marshes beyond, the light on the corner, that
had escaped the demolition of the soldiery,
flickered and nearly went out. As it flared up
again, for the first time Nanny saw plainly the
face and figure of her companion. He was
dressed in a bluish silk camblet jacket, a fine
white ruffled shirt, cloth breeches, and worsted
46 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
stockings; heavy shoes, with metal buckles, and
a round white linen cap completed his costume.
The girl gave a little involuntary cry of sur-
prise, for the dress was that worn by the
indentured servants in Boston families of
quality, -a position scarcely superior to that
of slave. The next instant, she saw about his
left arm the white silk sash that was the badge
of the "Associators." She snatched her hand
"I want not the aid of the enemy of his
country!" she cried, passionately. Know
you what General Washington has termed those
men who are false to all the traditions of their
birthplace, who would raise their hand against
their brother, who would help their common
enemy destroy Boston ? Execrable parri-
As she turned to hasten from the spot,
momentarily forgetful of pain in a flood of indig-
nation, two men approached, whom she recog-
nised as her neighbours of the previous hour.
In the uncertain light, she could not be sure of
the quick look of intelligence that, for a moment,
she fancied passed between the man addressed
as Nailer Tom and her late companion.
THE INCORRUPTIBLE THIRTY.
As Nanny entered the house, breathless
with haste, Mrs. Bradstreet came swiftly for-
ward. The explanation of her prolonged ab-
sence died away on the girl's lips as she noted
her aunt's pallor and the evident concern of her
Your uncle has been arrested," she said,
"Arrested Oh, aunt, will they will
The dreadful pictures that the word conjured
up, held her further utterance. Since the gates
of Boston were closed last June, and military
rule replaced civil government, arrests and
floggings and summary executions had become
unhappily familiar to the inhabitants. With the
arrival of General Howe, there were indications
of a veritable Reign of Terror, when suspicion
48 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
did not await confirmation, and accusation and
arrest were one, followed by trial and summary
sentence, before a military tribunal.
After her first involuntary exclamation of sur-
prise and fright, Nanny was able to listen calmly
to her aunt's account of the afternoon's occur-
rence. A squad of redcoats had appeared, at
dusk, before the house. Entering without
ceremony, the officer in command, demanding
the master of the house, spoke the dreaded
"You are the general's prisoner "
Leaving Mr. Bradstreet under guard in the
dining-room, the captain addressed the mistress
of the mansion.
"Information has been lodged at headquar-
ters concerning a certain treasonable document
known to be received by you," he said. Pro-
duce it, and his lordship will endeavour to show
as much leniency as the circumstances of the
case will permit. Refuse, and the prisoner will
be instantly committed to the man-of-war under
the usual regulations."
I give you my word, gentlemen, there is no
treasonable document concealed in this house,"
answered Mrs. Bradstreet, firmly.
THE INCORRUPTIBLE THIRTY.
"Reflect, madam," repeated the officer,
"My orders were positive. His lordship
believes that there has been a deal of negli-
gence in such matters of late and may deem
a summary example necessary. I regret to in-
form you that, in case of your refusal to
produce the required papers, I was ordered to
institute a search over the house," he added, as
Mrs. Bradstreet's silence remained unbroken.
Devastation followed the execution of the
threat. In the drawing-room, the fine red
damask furniture was cut and slashed by the
bayonets of the soldiers; fine family portraits
were wrenched from their frames, the beautiful
carved wainscoting was stripped from the walls
and the chimneypieces ruthlessly torn away.
Above, feather beds had been cut open and
emptied; in some rooms, even the flooring was
ripped up. Nothing, however, of a treasonable
nature was discovered. Then, after a hasty
farewell to her husband, spoken in the presence
of the officer, Mrs. Bradstreet was left alone
amid the ruins of her once beautiful home.
Alarm at Nanny's prolonged absence was soon
added to concern for her husband's safety, but
50 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
with the girl's return she began calmly to
review the situation.
His meals must be sent to him regularly,
and such provision made for his comfort as the
regulations permit. 'Tis said that the clothing
of the prisoners is stolen from them by their
jailers." Then Mrs. Bradstreet drew Nanny
into the small apartment back of the dining-
room, that had been, formerly, the master's
THE INCORRUPTIBLE THIRTY.
study, or business office, but which, since the
British officers had been quartered in the house,
had been allowed by them to be retained by
Mrs. Bradstreet as her sitting-room.
"Was there a letter?" queried Nanny, ea-
gerly, girlish curiosity overcoming for the
moment her deeper feelings.
Mrs. Bradstreet held up a warning finger.
She looked carefully about the hall before she
closed the door, and answered, in a hushed
Yes, instantly destroyed, thank God Child,
can I trust you?" she added, after a few mo-
ments of deep thought.
Nanny had matured rapidly within the past
few months. The stirring events of the times,
the fact that she lived beneath the roof of one
of the leading men of the day, had added to a
naturally fine intelligence and quick discern-
ment a judgment and self-control that were
beyond her years. So, to this first real demand
upon her strength, she could make answer with
an earnestness that bore witness to its truth.
The weakness of our army at Cambridge is
scarcely known beyond headquarters and by a
52 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
few trusty friends," began Mrs. Bradstreet.
" There is some dissatisfaction amongst those
who do not know the real condition of affairs,
because of what they term General Washing-
ton's dilatoriness. Lack of powder is not the
only reason of deferred hostilities. A disease
has recently broken out in the provincial camp,
caused, it is said, by the incessant work in the
trenches, combined with the mild weather.
There is but one remedy for the terrible shaking
fever," the bark of a certain tree that grows in
South America. The knowledge of this med-
icament was imparted by their converts to the
priests of the early missions and is from them
generally known as Jesuits' bark.
"The letter was in cipher and from your
father," went on Mrs. Bradstreet. "The brig
Ch/uzan has captured a British trading-vessel
from Brazil, laden with sugar and molasses and
twenty barrels of Jesuits' bark. In the en-
counter your father was wounded in the leg and
is now at his home in Kennebunk, while the
Chuzan, under command of the lieutenant, is on
another cruise. The Jesuits' bark is concealed
I Now generally known as malaria.
THE INCORRUPTIBLE THIRTY.
under the pulpit of the meeting-house in the
port. He desired to acquaint your uncle with
his condition, and regrets that his prize was not
the hoped-for military stores, unknowing that
at this juncture the medicament is of infinitely
more value than guns or ammunition.
Your uncle has long known that he was
under suspicion, and gave me implicit direc-
tiorn, in case of his arrest, to communicate with
Doctor Church, and to be, in all cases, guided by
him. He, at least, notwithstanding his open
connection with the patriot party, will remain
unmolested. I must take him these tidings
"Let me go," begged Nanny. "Your ab-
sence might be noticed by the officers."
Mrs. Bradstreet paused, and sighed.
"I must care for myself, for my husband's
sake, and because I may yet be able to render
some service to our cause," she acquiesced.
"You do not fear to go alone?"
Nanny, who had already drawn on her cape
and hood, gave assurance to the contrary. She
was soon at Doctor Church's door, and, on
making known her name to the sentry, was
promptly ushered into the physician's study.
54 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
Doctor Benjamin Church was a fine-looking
man, in the prime of life. Bred a physician, he
had also achieved an enviable reputation as a
poet and a polished speaker. As a leader of
the provincial cause in Boston, he ranked with
Mr. Hancock and Mr. Adams. On his return
to the town, after the battle of Lexington, he
was promptly arrested; but his reputation as
surgeon and physician was so high, and there
was such need of skilled service, that he was
shortly after released on parole. Since then,
though under strict military surveillance, he
had rendered his services alike to British, Tory,
and patriot, and was held in equal regard by
Nanny's story was soon told.
"You bring news of rare moment, my child,"
said the doctor, after a few minutes' reflection.
" These tidings must be kept from every person
on earth," he added, earnestly. "Chance and
the exigencies of the times have put you
into the possession of a secret upon which the
fate of the provincial cause may depend. Can
we rely on your discretion ? "
Proud of being in the confidence of her
elders, of being addressed almost as an equal
THE INCORRUPTIBLE THIRTY.
by the revered Doctor Church, Nanny gave the
"You have done your part, and may leave
the rest in safe hands. Convey my profound
respects to Mrs. Bradstreet, and my deepest
sympathy under her affliction," went on the
grave, silvery tones that never failed to inspire
confidence. I regret that I may not offer you
an escort. My servant has left me, and I have
an urgent call elsewhere You are hurt, my
child ?" he asked, sympathetically, as Nanny
limped toward the door.
56 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
The girl explained her mishap.
"Let me see." The firm, gentle fingers.
pressed the injured ankle. Does it hurt -
here -is this the place ? I think it is not
a sprain, but you have probably wrenched
a muscle, and would best remain on your
couch for a few days," pronounced the doctor,
As Nanny reached her own door, there passed
her the two men she had observed in the crowd
At no great distance from Garden Court
Street stood a two-story brick building with a
pitched roof, the greater elevation being in the
rear. Over the entrance projected an iron rod,
upon which crouched the copper dragon which
was the tavern's sign. In an upper room of
this building were assembled some score of
men, whose spare faces and close-lipped mouths
were of the type of the New England mechanic.
The furniture of the apartment consisted merely
of a table, upon which lay a Bible, and a
couple of rude benches. An occasional knock
at the door was challenged by a sentinel, and
the required countersign being given, the new-
comer was admitted; advancing to the table he
THE INCORRUPTIBLE THIRTY.
placed a hand upon the Holy Book, and took a
solemn oath of secrecy. After this brief cere-
mony, the low-voiced talk amongst the various
groups ceased, and a few questions were ad-
dressed the arrival.
"What news of Paul Revere?" was asked
one of these later comers, a brass-founder by
"None, since he bore Mr. Hancock's mes-
sage from Philadelphia to Cambridge, Burn
Boston if need be, and leave John Hancock a
beggar!' was the answer.
"Truly, the patriot cause would lose its most
trustworthy courier, should Paul Revere be the
target of a British bullet," added the first
"The state of affairs in the provincial camp
is said to be terribly alarming," went on the
brass-founder. "The supply of powder is still
short, and the New Hampshire regiments,
whose term of enlistment has expired, are
breaking camp and making for home in a body,
taking their muskets with them."
Is their patriotism so soon cooled ? Was the
bloodshed at Lexington and Bunker Hill in
vain?" said his friend, sadly.
A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
"'Tis even hinted that there is some dis-
affection amongst our men toward General
Washington," resumed the other. His Ex-
cellency, being a Virginian and an aristocrat
by birth, is thought by some to be of haughty,
overbearing ways, treating the free men of
New England as though they were the slaves
upon his princely plantation on the Potomac.
Be that as it may, it remains a mystery why he
should delay an attack on Boston till the British
render their fortifications impregnable."
"'Tis like the Kilkenny cats," suggested the
older man, a cooper by trade. Either grimal-
kin watches the other with round eyes and
sharpened claws, but is afeared to stir lest the
other jump upon him. Methinks the one that
makes the first jump stands the better chance
of scratching the other's eyes out. Here comes
Nailer Tom. Perchance he brings news!"
The two men the blacksmith and the car-
penter- who had just entered, had served on
the first watch, it being one of the duties of
this little band of patriotic men who called
themselves The Incorruptible Thirty "- to
patrol the streets, two by two, at night, that no
movement of the British might be lost. The
THE INCORRUPTIBLE THIRTY.
return of the first watch, at midnight, was
generally the signal for the breaking up of the
meeting, but on the present occasion, though
the men reported that nothing was stirring, and
the lights in the Province House were out,
their arrival but served as a fillip to further
discussion of the events of the afternoon and
of the inevitable suffering that would accompany
the prolonged siege.
Matters were like to have gone hard with
my missus a month agone, for the want of good,
nourishing food," said the blacksmith. Horse
flesh she never could stomach, and with fresh
meat at fifteen pence a pound, and scarce to be
had at that, who should appear but Doctor
Church God bless him! with a prime leg
of mutton! "
Not a penny would he take for attending
my girl Phoebe when she was sick with the
pox," added the brass-founder. "' If we get
out of this trouble with our necks,' said he,
'we'll talk of that; but I make no charges
while the British flag flies over the Province
"'Tis said that Doctor Warren had no great
love for him," suggested the shipwright.
60 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
"Tut, tut, man, meddle not with the affairs
of your betters returned Nailer Tom. What
cause they may have had for their mutual mis-
liking, I know not; but it's scarce the first time
that doctors have disagreed ay, and called
each other hard names and neither been the
worse man for it! The day after the battle of
Lexington," continued the blacksmith, "Paul
Revere met Doctor Church in Cambridge, -
this I had from Revere's own lips, -when the
doctor showed him some blood on his stockings,
which he said spurted on him from a man who
was killed near him, as he was urging the
militia on. If a man will risk his life in a
cause, he must be a friend to that cause," con-
cluded Nailer Tom, with the manner of one
who clinches an argument. It is close on
two of the clock; we were best departing.
There will be no further news to-night."
As though in contradiction of his last words,
the signal sounded again. Question and coun-
tersign were exchanged, and the door was
opened to admit a boy of some sixteen or
seventeen years; a light silk jacket was his
only protection from the keen night wind, and
his stockings were cut and blood-stained. There
THE INCORRUPTIBLE THIRTY.
was a general exclamation of surprise and dis-
may, and each man started forward with a
What's this who's given him the counter-
sign ? There's a traitor amongst us "
Nay, nay, have a care! Let go the boy.
He is all right," said the blacksmith. He
was well known to Doctor Warren and Paul
Revere. What brings you here, lad, at this
hour ?" he queried, as the boy, who had been
struggling lustily against his assailants, leaned,
panting, against the door.
"The oath, the oath! was the cry. Nailer
Tom and the newcomer stood face to face, the
others closed in a ring about them, with each
man's hands upon his neighbour's shoulder.
You'll not believe what I've come to tell
you," said the boy; "but as sure as I stand
here with my hand on the Book, it is the
"Go ahead, lad, we're all friends here,".said
the blacksmith, as the newcomer looked from
one to another of the circle of faces, as though
seeking one to which he might particularly
He began slowly with the evident desire to
62 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
make his tale so circumspect as to force con-
viction, yet was hurried on, the while, in spite
of himself, out of intense excitement.
I brought my master his glass of flip at ten
o'clock, as usual, and went to my room. It is
in the gable end of the house, commanding a
view of the study window. I sat at my window,
waiting till the light below should have gone
out, for my master, General Ruggles, not in-
frequently has late visitors. I was toward mid-
night when I saw a figure approaching the house,
wrapped in a military cloak that was drawn up
over his face, and with his hat pulled over his
eyes. He was at once admitted. I raised my
window, dropped to the ground, and crept
around to the study. The curtain hung a little
awry, so that I could see into the room quite
distinctly, though I could hear nothing. What-
ever tidings the visitor brought, they were
evidently of consequence, for General Ruggles's
face lit up with unmistakable triumph. Pres-
ently he went to his secretary, and from a
secret drawer took out a canvas bag and
handed it to his visitor. The latter untied it,
and poured out some of the contents; they
were new British guineas. As he did so, his
THE INCORRUPTIBLE THIRTY. 63
cloak fell back and I saw his face as plainly as
I see any of yours this moment "
Who was it?" came in a chorus from
about the table.
"I oh, I cannot tell you who it was I saw
take British gold, at midnight, from the man
who hates Boston!"
Out with it, lad! and the blacksmith laid
a heavy hand on the boy's shoulder.
It was Doctor Church !"
THE BOUND BOY.
No, no, lad, that couldn't have been. I've
oft enough had the nightmare so real that,
though my eyes were wide open and staring,
my missus couldn't make me believe, for a good
spell, that there wasn't a redcoat in the room.
Doctor Church turn traitor! laughed the black-
smith. "To-morrow we shall hear that John
Hancock and old Sam Adams are turncoats."
I was not dreaming," cried the lad, earnestly.
"'Twas but for a second that I looked on his
face, but I saw it as plainly as I see yours."
"Have a care, lad!" The heavy hand on
the boy's shoulder increased its pressure till it
held him as in a vise. You are a stranger in
our town, or you would know better than to
cast so foul a slander on a good man and true."
"I'll hear naught against the man who saved
my Phcebe's life," said the brass-founder, and a
THE BOUND BOY.
general murmur of approval followed the
"But the hour- the evident secrecy," cried
the boy, vehemently, as he saw that incredulity
was becoming mixed with resentment on the
hard, shrewd faces about him. "'Tis true that
I am a stranger amongst you, but do not let
that circumstance, at such a moment, tell against
me. Let the facts speak for themselves. There
is mischief afoot This is not the first time, as
Nailer Tom is aware, that I have given you
timely warning! Tell them who I am, and what
you know of me," added the boy, turning to the
blacksmith. His tone was less of entreaty than
Revere bade me keep his connection with
our cause a profound secret, even from Doctor
Church," hesitated Nailer Tom. "He added
that such had been his own instructions from
Doctor Warren, to whom the lad had confided.
I have obeyed Revere to the letter, but now,
when you are witnesses of the boy's knowledge
of our affairs, and he himself bids me speak,
sure there can be no harm in telling what I
know of him before you all.
He is called Anthony Severn, and is bound
66 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
boy to General Ruggles. 'Twas on the eve of
April nineteenth last that I first saw him, when
he helped me row Revere across to the Charles-
town shore. 'Twas he who had brought to
Doctor Warren the information of the intended
British excursion on the morrow. They did
General Gage's lady injustice who said 'twas
she furnished the wings which the late com-
mander-in-chief's secrets seemed to have. Gen-
eral Ruggles is in the councils of the Province
House, and his trusted servant knows well how
to use his eyes and ears.
Revere further told me that Anthony had
our password and would communicate with us
in case of need. Since then, though I have
sometimes seen the lad about the town, I have
exchanged no word with him until this hour."
He is playing a dangerous part," commented
the carpenter, gravely. "General Ruggles's
temper is none of the best, and should he but
suspect his serving-boy of being a spy, a rope
and the nearest lamp-post would be his end."
"From having been so short a time in the
town less than a twelvemonth, is't not, An-
thony?-he is not suspected of being inocu-
lated with the pestilential doctrines that are
THE BOUND BOY.
thought to rage, by nature, in Boston blood.
We doubt not your good faith," went on the
blacksmith, turning to the boy, "but 'tis easy
for young eyes to make a mountain out of a
mole-hill. A single peep at a man whose face,
by your own showing, was half covered, is scarce
enough to prove his identity."
"I saw his hand, too. Who could mistake a
doctor's hand ? urged the boy.
"One gentleman's hand does not differ greatly
from another's," asserted the blacksmith, dog-
matically. "Should a dozen gentlemen stick
their soft white paws through yon door, think
you that you could pick out the fingers and
thumb that belong to a doctor ? The others
joined in the contemptuous laugh with which
Nailer Tom answered his own query.
But the gold there was no less than three
hundred guineas in that bag What could the
payment of such a sum mean if not the reward
of some weighty service?" returned the boy,
evidently struggling to keep patience with his
"Tut, tut, you didn't count it, did you?"
said the blacksmith, as though chiding a
68 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
How could I count it? answered the boy,
impatiently. "'Twas not difficult to guess at
the amount, from the size of the bag."
Wait a bit! Guess' is not a word that
hangs a man, in these parts," observed the
blacksmith. "Supposing, at a pinch, it was
the doctor, what then ? he went on, judicially.
" Doctor Church and General Ruggles, though
now standing, one and t'other, for the leader of
the patriots and of the Tories, have preserved
their friendship unbroken. To a doctor, mid-
night is much the same as noon, and returning
from an evening call, what more natural, seeing
the light in the study window, than that Doctor
Church should have dropped in for a glass of
your good flip and a friendly chat ? "
It was one pitted against many, a boy en-
deavouring to hold his ground against grown
men. Looking from one immobile face to
another, General Ruggles's bound boy realized
his inability to carry conviction to these simple-
minded men. Their loyalty unto death might
be relied upon, but when they found themselves
face to face with a situation for which experi-
ence furnished no precedent, their brains were
incapable of receiving a fresh impression.
THE BOUND BOY.
Then it was that these honest craftsmen
needed the keen vision, the quick, adaptive
mind of their absent leader, Paul Revere.
"There was blood on his stocking after the
battle of Lexington. If a man will risk his life
for a cause, he must be a friend to that cause,"
repeated the blacksmith, decisively.
It's a cock-and-bull story, lad. Let's hear
no more of it added the brass-founder, sternly,
and the words evidently voiced the opinion of
Heretofore the boy had measured his words,
had sought to hold in check his impatience.
But now, when he was disbelieved, scoffed at,
chidden for overimpetuosity and even reckless
slander, there blazed forth the resentment of
an imperious nature at finding its yea or nay
"If you don't believe me," he cried, "so
much the worse for you! I say Doctor Ben-
jamin Church is a traitor, and I'll prove it! "
"Ay, do. Ask General Ruggles for his visi-
tor's name and business," responded the black-
smith, with clumsy irony. Going? "
"I must be back before I'm missed. My
master will rise betimes this morning, for I
70 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
lose my guess if he do not pay his early re-
spects at the Province House," added the boy,
After his departure, disapproving comment
Well, well, a young cockerel crows loud, and
perhaps, from being trusted by his betters, the
boy has come to think himself lord of the
barn-yard," said Nailer Tom, good-naturedly.
"A lad of parts he may be, but a modest
air would better become his humble station,"
growled the brass-founder. "He could scarce
demean himself with more high and mighty
airs if, instead of a bound boy, the blood of all
the Percys swelled in his veins."
He bears a most noteworthy resemblance,
both in form and feature, to Lord Percy -
didst notice ?" remarked the shipwright. His
lordship may be a dozen years or so the boy's
elder; nevertheless, put on this young Anthony
a fine Ramillies wig and cocked hat, give him
my lord's scarlet and gold uniform and jewelled
sword, and I warrant me the bound boy could
march through the town at the head of his
splendid 'Shiners,' with the eyes of all the
maids and matrons in Boston following him,
THE BOUND BOY.
and none guess that he were not the son
and heir of the great Duke of Northumber-
"That may well be," said the blacksmith,
significantly. If what Revere was told be
true, the boy has some right to demean him-
self as the equal of the duke's son. He was
brought up, so ran the tale, upon the estate
of a certain nobleman, in his time one of the
gayest young macaronis in London. After-
ward the boy was placed at Christ Hospital,
and when, later, General Ruggles sent through
his London agents for a youth to be indentured
to him for the term of seven years, his Grace
took heed that due inquiries should be made
concerning the general's worth and substance,
and would have it in the agreement that, should
the boy behave well, his master would advance
him in the world, for which understanding a
handsome sum was paid. 'Tis the lad's interest
to stand well with General Ruggles, and this,
no doubt, makes his master the more certain of
his faithfulness. Yet it can scarce be a pleas-
ant sight for the nameless bound boy to see
Earl Percy the idol of the town, and he be
deemed fit for nothing better than to hold a
72 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
torch outside his lordship's door, when he knows
full well that, had he his rights, he could call
not only my Lord Percy of Northumberland, but
his Majesty, King George the Third, cousin !"
The early light was gilding the vane of the
golden Indian on the Province House when the
second patrol was admitted to the upper room
of the Green Dragon. The two men were in a
state of evident excitement.
"There has been the most scandalous, dis-
honourable, shilly-shally conduct that can be
conceived of! cried one. The proclamation
of yesterday has been recalled and no one is to
be allowed to leave the town. The lines on
the Neck have been doubled and the ferry-
boat is drawn up alongside the man-of-war.
The interdict particularly forbids the departure
of women and children."
Tears of baffled purpose, and yet more, of
anger, were in the eyes of General Ruggles's
bound boy as, unheeding the pain from his
bruised and cut feet, he hurried through Green
Dragon Lane and darted along the various
" short cuts" for which Boston was notable.
The conviction of some awful impending dan-
ger, the nature of which he could not even con-
THE BOUND BOY.
jecture, goaded him nearly to madness with an
impotent sense of responsibility. At any rate,
he would seek no counsel nor aid again from
those dolts of workingmen. But as he ran
along, his hot-headed anger began to cool, and
natural good sense suggested that perhaps, after
all, it was scarcely to be expected that his un-
supported statement, his a nameless nobody's,
- involuntarily his handsome head was thrown
back, his hand clenched itself at the thought, -
should be believed in a monstrous accusation
against Doctor Church, a man endeared to these
people by a long record of oft unrequited kind-
Who, in all Boston, was there for him to con-
sult ? True, he might make his way to General
Washington and tell his tale. But had he any-
thing of real substance to communicate ? He
recognized the weakness of his position more
clearly now, since he had failed to convince the
" Incorruptible Thirty that his story was any-
thing more than a dream. Stay there was one
man in Boston to whom he might appeal, one
whose mere name was a sufficient guarantee of
his loyalty. At whatever peril to himself, this
very night he would seek Mr. Bradstreet.
74 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
As he had surmised, General Ruggles re-
paired at an early hour, that morning, to the
Province House, but of the nature of the ensu-
ing interview with Lord Howe, Anthony could
gather no hint. It may have been the result of
an excited imagination that, throughout the day,
his master seemed unusually irascible, while
at times he appeared deeply buried in thought.
That night he brushed the Tory general's
best uniform, and burnished his sword in readi-
ness for Lord Percy's ball. The festivity began
at an early hour, but cards and drinking would
undoubtedly keep the gentlemen at the Hancock
House till long after midnight. So, after re-
ceiving instructions to present himself, in due
season, to attend his master home, Anthony's
time was his own for some hours to come. He
was reasonably sure that the officers quartered
at Mr. Bradstreet's would be at the ball, and
that the soldiers detailed as their servants would
have been given their liberty. Deeming it
wiser, also, to avoid the appearance of stealth,
he went boldly to the front entrance of the
mansion on Garden Court Street. The door was
opened by Mrs. Bradstreet herself, for servants
were difficult to obtain in these troubled times,
THE BOUND BOY.
"Let me in, quick!" whispered the boy.
Here I may be seen and I have news of im-
portance to communicate."
Instantly Mrs. Bradstreet blew out the candle
she carried and, motioning the visitor inside the
house, closed and bolted the door. Taking him
by the hand, she led the way to a small room in
the rear of the house. Then she relit the can-
dle and, holding it high above her head, scruti-
nised her visitor sharply.
"Who are you, and what is your errand?"
"What I have to say deeply concerns Mr.
Bradstreet," answered the boy, earnestly. Say
to him, I entreat you, that one whom Doctor
Warren honoured with his trust would speak to
Mr. Bradstreet was arrested yesterday after-
noon," returned the mistress of the house.
"Mr. Bradstreet arrested! exclaimed the
boy, in dismay. It is all of a piece, some plot
is surely hatching "
What you would have said to Mr. Brad-
street, you may safely say to me," said the
The heavy sorrow that had befallen her, yes-
76 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
terday, must be set aside. To-morrow she
might have to mourn her husband's departure
for Halifax, perchance for England, with scant
hope of ever seeing him again. To-day she
must stand in his place, and the call found her
instant to respond.
There was no mistaking the look and tone,
and without hesitation or reserve the boy re-
sponded. This time his listener was a woman,
with wits sharpened to almost preternatural
keenness by personal wrongs. By the look that
flashed upon her face at the first mention of
Doctor Church's name, the boy felt, with a
throb of relief and triumph, that his story had
"It was Doctor Church who caused my hus-
band's arrest she said, calmly. "I see it all
now. He has long been on friendly terms with
the officers quartered here, and when Mr. Brad-
street remonstrated with him on this intimacy,
replied that he encouraged the friendship be-
cause he could thus keep informed of the
enemy's plans. Perhaps by putting our stories
together, we may find that the halves fit to a
nicety," she added, with the smile seen on a
woman's face when intensity of feeling and
THE BOUND BOY.
purpose has, for the time, shut out everything
but the task before her. "Yesterday after-
noon," she went on, "a letter was brought to
us from my husband's brother, Captain Simon
Bradstreet, of Kennebunk. His messenger was
a trusty neighbour belonging to one of the new
regiments now being mustered in. It would
have been well-nigh impossible for the man to
gain entrance into the town, so he gave the
letter to a kinsman, living in the adjacent coun-
try, who was about to set out for Boston with a
load of wood. The need of fire-wood is so great
that, after rigorous search by the guards on the
Neck, the countryman was permitted to pass.
He delivered the letter, which had been con-
cealed between the soles of his boot."
Briefly, Mrs. Bradstreet told the contents of
the missive,and the terrible new need of the army.
What followed," she continued, "I can only
conjecture. Doctor Church, learning from Cap-
tain Price or his brother officer of the man's
visit here, probably sought him out, and drew
from him without difficulty the fact of the
letter. Of its contents the messenger was
ignorant. How smoothly he has covered his
villainy! Only to-day he called to express his
78 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
sympathy at my husband's arrest, and, when I
asked the meaning of this last proclamation
of Lord Howe's, had his answer ready to the
effect that women and children were to be kept
in Boston as a measure of safety, it being
feared that, with their removal, General Wash-
ington would no longer hesitate to bombard
the town. Fool that I was to acquaint him
with the contents of the letter Yet it may not
be too late So, it is to be a war against women
and children ? Well, Doctor Church, since we
are to be treated as combatants, perchance we
shall be found worthy of recognition "
There was a look in Mrs. Bradstreet's eyes that
told the old tale of how dangerous the female
animal becomes when aroused in the defence of
her loved ones.
Whatever is done must be done this very
night -at once," she went on. "The oppor-
tunity will scarce repeat itself. The Hancock
House is at the other end of the town; discipline
will be lax, and the soldiers gathered at the tav-
erns. A messenger must be found who will take
the word to Captain Bradstreet to despatch the
Jesuits' bark to Cambridge without delay. But
whom to send! No, no; not you. You must
THE BOUND BOY.
remain and find out the enemy's next move.
They are not like to be idle, but their difficulty
of finding a trustworthy messenger is as great
-perchance greater than ours !"
"Aunt, let me go! "
It was a girl's voice. Unobserved, Nanny
had slipped into the room and been a listener
to her aunt's last words.
"You no, child, it is not to be thought
of returned Mrs. Bradstreet.
"If I should be missed, if the officers ques-
tion my absence, it is by Doctor Church's
directions that I am keeping to my couch,"
urged the girl, her clear, dark eyes full of
earnestness, the sweet, sensitive mouth trem-
ulous with feeling. "Besides, if I am met on
the road and questioned," she went on, "I am
going to my wounded father. Throughout
New England the name of Simon Bradstreet
is a password," she added, proudly.
"But your foot ?" Mrs. Bradstreet was evi-
dently thinking rapidly.
"'Tis not so painful, at present, that I cannot
walk," answered Nanny, smiling. If I am lame,
for a little, after the errand is done, sure, 'tis no
matter to cry over."
80 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
Once beyond the British lines, the country
is patriotic, but the road from here to Kenne-
bunk is long, the stage-coach betwixt here and
Portsmouth has stopped running, and you may
meet with unexpected difficulties. You must
not fail! Whatever chance, the message must
be taken to your father. Think well, Anne!"
the childish name unconsciously giving place to
that of maturity.
I will not fail," answered the girl, stead-
"How to get through the lines! It were
impossible to procure a pass after this new
"I have a plan," broke in the boy, eagerly.
"That night, last April, when I helped row
Revere across the river, I took the canoe back
to its old hiding-place beneath Ruck's Wharf.
There I am confident I shall still find it. By
keeping the channel between Charlestown and
Noddle Island, I can pass unseen the Somerset
and the British batteries on Bunker's Hill, and
skirting along Hog Island, paddle up the creek
at Chelsea, beyond the British outposts."
"Thence you will soon strike the Salem turn-
pike," went on Mrs. Bradstreet, in rapid direc-
THE BOUND BOY.
tion. "A walk of five or six miles takes you
to the tavern at Saugus. Landlord Newhall
will farther you to Portsmouth; beyond, you
must use your own discretion. Now that the
British know our secret, it is a fight against
time between us, and the delay even of sec-
onds might be fatal. Get ready instantly. I
will fetch you a flask of brandy. Only mind,
do not touch it except in extremity. You
would best not leave the house together. Go
from the front door, and await your companion
around the corner beneath the garden wall,"
she directed the boy. A few minutes later
she withdrew the bolt of a door in the rear
of the mansion.
'" God keep you, my child," she said.
There was no embrace, no display of emotion.
The strong Puritan heart, the clear Puritan
head, the indomitable Puritan will, sent out this
girl, dear to her as her own child, to do her
part for her country, as many a mother was
sending her son to suffer or to die.
While the British general and his officers
danced and caroused through the hours of that
night, three miles distant, on the other side
of the river, kept watch "the noblest figure
82 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
that ever stood in the forefront of a nation's
At sunset there had been signs of increasing
cold. To all human prescience only in a sharp
frost lay the hope that the sore sickness with
which the little army was smitten would be
ended. Familiar enough to one accustomed
to the havoc wrought by the pestilential swamps
of the Southern lowlands, the "shaking fever"
struck terror, from its very strangeness, to the
hearts of men born and bred in the pure bracing
air of New England.
But as the last of Lord Percy's boon com-
panions staggered from the stately mansion by
Boston Common, there where the Charles
twisted itself through the Cambridge meadows,
Washington turned from the window with a
sigh, for he knew that not for many a day
would come the frost to heal the bitter sickness.
Yet even then, the darkest hour of the struggle,
the faith of the great leader did not falter.
"'How it will end, God in His great goodness
will direct," he said.
THE BROAD ARROW.
THE silence between Nanny and her compan-
ion was unbroken till they reached the deserted
wharf, and Anthony assisted her to a place in
"The paddle should be muffled," he whis-
pered. "I may find a piece of old sail-cloth
above." He rose to pull himself up to the wharf.
Wait a minute," returned Nanny, softly,
and directly there fell at the boy's feet some-
thing soft and warm. It was the little rebel's
It was not till he had landed her on the
Chelsea shore that the boy spoke again.
"You don't think me, now, an 'execrable
parricide ?' he questioned.
"Not now," whispered Nanny. Then she
hastened forward over the wind-swept marshes.
84 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
At nightfall, the following day, she was set
down in Portsmouth, at the door of the Mar-
quis of Rocking/'am. Without delay, Land-
lord Newhall set out on his return journey,
and presently Nanny had forgotten fatigue and
her strange surroundings in sleep. Early the
following morning she was aroused by a com-
motion below. The landlady and the maid-ser-
vants were in the tap-room, gathered about a
woman extended on the settle.
THE BROAD ARROW.
I It's Mistress Tilton's daughter," explained
the maid to whom Nanny addressed herself.
" She's walked every step of the way from
Falmouth,' where they're cutting everybody's
throats without by your leave. Oh, Lordy,
we shall all be murdered in our beds "
Nanny leaned against the wall, sick and faint.
There rushed upon her the old tales of the
French and Indian Wars, many of the most
hideous tragedies of which had taken place in
the neighbourhood of her own home. There was
vivid in her mind the scenes of that terrible
seventeenth of June !
Presently Mrs. Tilton, after making her daugh-
ter comfortable in bed, returned to the tap-room,
and confirmed the maid's incoherent utterances.
Two days ago, Falmouth had been surprised
by the appearance, in the offing, of five vessels.
They speedily warped up the harbour, and lay
in line before the town, when a letter from
Captain Mowatt, the commander of the squadron,
was sent ashore. It was to the effect that
unless, by nine o'clock, all the arms and ammu-
nition in the town were surrendered, Falmouth
would be destroyed. Falmouth employed the
86 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
interval in removing the stores to a place of
safety, and sent back an uncompromising refusal.
Prompt on the hour, a blood-red pennant
went up to the masthead of the flag-ship, and
the bombardment began. Parties came on
shore to set buildings on fire, and to murder
the inhabitants in cold blood. With other
panic-stricken fugitives, Mrs. Tilton's daughter
fled, and, after several days and nights of suf-
fering, at last reached Portsmouth.
"'Tis said our turn will come next," said the
landlady. "Be that as it may, I stay here.
You will not fare farther?" she added, anx-
Nanny struggled with a terrible temptation.
Why not remain here in comparative safety till
the peril was over, or, at least, till more was
known with certitude ?
Then there swept over her the thought of
the suffering army-of Boston in its extrem-
ity She recalled her promise to her aunt and
her renewed vow. With a sudden sweep of
exaltation seemingly beyond the capacity of her
years, she felt herself one with those devoted
men who, in this cause, had "pledged their
lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honour."
THE BROAD ARROW.
And all the intensity of conscience, inherited
from her namesake of long ago, urged her for-
You cannot go by the highway," said
Mrs. Tilton. "The Britishers are like to land
anywhere along the coast "
Then I will go by the back country roads,"
returned Nanny, steadfastly. "I am no fine
lady, afraid of a little jolting," she added. I
have taken many a long ride along our beaches
or through the forests, on a pillion behind my
father, watching the men fell the trees that
the brig C/huzan was to carry to Spain and
What the Britishers left us grumbled the
landlady, whose patriotism had been mightily
increased by personal wrongs. "They were
aye fond of putting the broad arrow upon the
straightest, tallest pines in our forests, and woe
betide the man who cut down the tree on which
the crown surveyor had set his mark. But 'tis
not for pirates and cut-throats that we grow
our forests, and last May, when a brig from
England came into Portsmouth on its errand,
it was told to look elsewhere to supply the
dock-yards of Bristol and Aberdeen. We were
88 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
not alone in our defiance, and 'tis to punish
us for these actions, doubtless, that Mowatt
is laying waste the coast "
Trade, and not the religious impulse as
was the case with the other New England col-
onies was the impelling motive that led to
the settlement of Maine. Hence, roads being
regarded as of more importance than meeting-
houses, a result of this difference was a fine
highway, stretching along the entire coast, such
THE BROAD ARROW.
as scarce another of the colonies could boast.
In the sparsely settled country farther inland,
however, the only means of communication
were cart-tracks, or, in the forest, mere bridle-
paths, "blazed by the woodman's axe.
The usual charge of the Marquis for a horse
is threepence a mile, but not a penny do we
take from the daughter of Simon Bradstreet,"
said the landlady. "You'll make the distance
by nightfall to the old Barnet garrison-house.
The Barnet folks will keep you overnight, and
set you on your way in the morning. Ports-
mouth folks and Boston folks were ever good
friends, and God save Boston in her need, say
I were the good woman's parting words.
The old garrison-house had given refuge to
a party of fugitives from Falmouth, who re-
peated the tale of terror. But there was no
longer room for hesitation in Nanny's mind,
and at an early hour the following morning
she set out on her journey through the forest.
The day was mild for the season, and, as it ad-
vanced toward noon, became oppressively warm.
Moss-grown boulders impeded her path, and the
bushes sent forth long shoots that caught her
gown, or stabbed her with dagger-like points.
90 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
Early frosts had cracked the ground, and the
succeeding thaw had converted these fissures
into trap-like bog-holes of uncertain depth.
All at once the horse stopped and turned
his head, saying, as plainly as animal could, that
the task was beyond equine powers. There
was no help for it! Nancy slipped from the
saddle, knotted the reins about his neck, and
stood watching him out of sight. Then she
continued her way afoot, trying to disregard
the pain in her injured ankle, that had already
given premonitory twinges. Her hands and
feet were soon torn and bleeding; every inch
gained was pain. By and by her ankle, the
pain become poignant, refused to bear her
weight. She went forward on her hands and
Her thoughts dwelt persistently on the little
flask of brandy in her bosom. A few sips of
the potent liquor would warm and cheer her,
but she combated the ever growing desire to
gain brief comfort for limbs and heart, at the
possible cost of her brain becoming less clear,
her will less dominant.
It was past midnight when she at last
emerged from the woods. Kennebunk lay
THE BROAD ARROW.
across the fields to the sea, only two miles dis-
tant. Not till then did she raise the brandy to
Crouched by her father's bedside, she told
him of Boston's need.
And I must lie here, a useless hulk!
Curse the rascal who fired that shot!" muttered
Captain Bradstreet. "All the men who can
pull a rope, are aboard ship, except old Hank
Haff, and there's not a seagoing craft in the
port; though wouldd be, indeed, only Heaven's
own chance that could enable a vessel to dodge
the scouting boats of the British fleet in Boston
Harbour, and land the stuff anywhere on the
Massachusetts coast. By land it must be, then,
though there's nary horse in Kennebunk. We're
not fond, man or woman, of trusting ourselves
to a treacherous four-legged beast, when we
have the broad sea and a good ship to take us
whither we would. Deacon Tebbett's ox-
team may not be a lively craft, but ha, what's
For the sound of a horse's hoofs echoed
through the still morning air. In a place where
a horse was almost a fabled creature, the very
sound was momentous. Forgetful of pain,
92 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
Nanny sprang to her feet and hastened to the
It's somebody on a big white horse !" cried
she, breathlessly. "He is dismounting here.
Oh, father, it's the boy I told you of. It's
Anthony Severn !"
Almost instantly upon the words, Anthony
entered the room, hatless, bootless, coatless,
his shirt clinging in wet folds to his figure.
It was evident that he had ridden long and
"Lord Howe has despatched a messenger to
Portsmouth, sir," he said, where the squadron
of Captain Mowatt was expected to arrive day
before yesterday. Mowatt is ordered to proceed
at once to Kennebunk, and seize and destroy
twenty barrels of Jesuits' bark, known to be
stored in the meeting-house. If removed, to
follow it up. At all hazards, to prevent its
reaching the provincial army.
His Excellency, General Washington, pre-
sents his compliments to Captain Simon Brad-
street. His Excellency desires me to say that
he relies upon Captain Bradstreet to get the
Jesuits' bark, without delay, to Marblehead,
where a convoy of troops will be in waiting."
THE BROAD ARROW.
"His Excellency may rely upon Simon Brad-
street," returned the captain, simply.
He was looking intently at the lowering sky,
at the heavy cloud banks on the horizon.
It's Heaven's own chance, a three days'
nor'easter," he said at length. "Send for old
"Now, boy," said he, when his bidding was
done, "let's hear your story."
"'Twas no easy thing for General Howe to
find a messenger to Mowatt, sir," began the lad.
" The country is generally patriotic and on the
alert, and wouldd scarce be possible for a British
officer, however disguised, to make his way
from Boston to Portsmouth without detection.
At last a deserter from our army "
"What's that!" interrupted the captain,
"A New Hampshire man, sir. The cause
of his desertion was a grudge against General
Washington, himself. It seems that he was
at fisticuffs with one of the Marblehead men,
when his Excellency rode up in the midst of
the brawl, and, seizing either combatant by the
throat, shook and rated them soundly. The
New Hampshire man betook himself that night
94 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
to the British outposts on the Neck, and was
made prisoner. At his own request he was
brought before Lord Howe. He was the man
It's a pity his Excellency left a good job
half done," muttered Captain Bradstreet. May
a rope complete the choking, and may I be
Mrs. Bradstreet, whom I immediately
acquainted with the development of matters,
now thought it time that General Washington
should be informed. 'Twas she, sir, who
planned for me to get to the provincial camp."
My brother's wife has a head on her shoul-
ders," assented the captain.
General Ruggles has chafed not a little at
his fare since the siege. I made bold to sug-
gest that fresh fish might be an agreeable
change from pork and beans. He had no dif-
ficulty in procuring me a fishing pass from the
vice-admiral of the fleet, with liberty to get
bait on Governor's Island. I rowed out as far
as Dorchester flats and landed. If I were
observed by any of the vessels in the harbour
--they keep a sharp lookout -I was digging
clams for bait. I worked gradually off from
THE BROAD ARROW.
the shore till it was dark; then climbing
Dorchester Heights, I was soon in the pro-
My story tallied, fortunately, with informa-
tion that his Excellency had already received
regarding Doctor Church's treachery. A letter
writ by him to General Gage last spring, re-
vealing the weakness of the provincial army,
had just been placed in General Washington's
I was of light weight, accustomed to rid-
ing, indeed, I once won the Newmarket for
his Grace, -and time was of the utmost im-
portance. His Excellency gave me a passport
and ordered his own magnificent charger to be
saddled. 'There's not his like in New England
- no, nor even in Virginia,' said his black
servant, as he brought the horse to the door.
Faith, he might have added, 'Nor in all
How did you contrive to learn the enemy's
plans ? questioned the captain.
General Ruggles was presented with a load
of fire-wood from some buildings just torn down,"
answered the boy, after a momentary hesitation.
"It was my work to saw the joists and planks
96 A LITTLE DAUGHTER OF LIBERTY.
into suitable lengths for the fireplace. The
shed was next my master's study. I contrived
to bore a hole through the partition, and as I
piled the wood I leaned some stout bits of
timber against the rear wall so as to form a
sort of lean-to, about big enough for a rat to
crawl through, taking care to conceal the en-
trance. Whenever my master had visitors I
wriggled along this passage, and put my ear to
the augur hole. I was never absent from my
task more than a few minutes at a time, so no
suspicion was aroused. There was even talk
about sending me on the errand to Portsmouth,
but the hazard was deemed too great. They
honoured me by saying I should be taken for
my Lord Percy," added the boy, with a smile.
We shall have further need of your services,
my lad," said the captain. "That's old Hank's
Then, as now, the finest sailors in the world
were born and bred on the coast of Maine.
Then, as now, from Kittery to Eastport, along
its fir-crowned cliffs and the endless intricacies
of its fiords and island-dotted bays, no name,
borne from father to son, was held in higher
honour than that of Hank Haff.
THE BROAD ARROW. 97
"Hank, can you swim ?" asked Captain Brad-
street, with grim significance.
"What call hev I ter know how ter swim ?"
responded the old sailor, indignantly. "Only
landlubbers need learn how ter swim. I calker-
]ate ter keep in the boat."
"Will you sail for Marblehead in your sloop
this afternoon ? "
Cap'n, if them's the orders, I'll sail fer
hell!--an' hell it'll be, outside, afore dark,"
said Hank Haff, solemnly.
THE REBECCA AND POLLY.
"A BRITISHER'S mind isn't rigged like a
Yankee's. It sails best on a straight course;
it doesn't come natural to veer and tack.
There's none of Mowatt's men as good at
following a trail as our backwoodsmen, but
Deacon Tebbett's ox-team will make tracks a
blind man could see," chuckled the captain. If
the Rebecca and Polly can slip under the Brit-
ishers' noses, I'll answer for it that not a ship
in Mowatt's squadron--no, nor in the Royal
Navy dare follow outside Cape Porpoise. A
nor'easter on our coast is no joke, even to the
men of our parts; and it isn't every man
amongst us who could bring a ship through it
from here to Marblehead -let alone a little
fishing-sloop, single-handed. But the man who
can do it is old Hank Haff!
THE REBECCA AND POLLY.
But you are running your head into a
noose, I fear, my boy! "
The jubilant note died out of Captain Brad-
street's voice. In its stead was one of manly
sympathy, though his sense of duty would not
permit his regret, however poignant, to turn
him from the course that he saw plain and
open before him.
"I can give my life as well-or maybe
better than many another, sir," answered the
boy, simply. "There's no one to miss me if
they do hang me."
They'll scarce hang you for a spy in that rig,
at all events," said the captain. Anthony was
dressed in some discarded clothes of his own.
" But Mowatt is a devil, afloat or ashore, and he
won't take kindly to a Yankee trick. Remember
that every league you lead the landing party
from the port gives old Hank a better chance.
Good-bye, my lad, and God be with you "
Nanny had been a silent but intensely in-
terested listener to the colloquy between her
father and Anthony Severn. Exhausted though
she was, of rest she would not hear. She had
laid aside her wet garments for a frock partially
outgrown and left behind when she went to