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Title: Corporal 'Lige's Recruit - A Story of Crown Point and Ticonderoga
Author: Otis, James, 1848-1912
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE

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are retained in the HTML version), there are still page references in
the Contents and List of Illustrations. The illustrations can be found
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In this text version, italic type is marked with _underscores_ and bold
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other books of the publisher, these pages start after "THE END".



                        CORPORAL 'LIGE'S RECRUIT

                             BY JAMES OTIS


                          YOUNG PATRIOT SERIES



CORPORAL 'LIGE'S RECRUIT.

A Story of Crown Point and Ticonderoga.

By JAMES OTIS.

With Six Page Illustrations by J. Watson Davis.

NEW YORK:
A. L. BURT, PUBLISHER.


Copyright, 1898, by A. L. Burt.


CORPORAL 'LIGE'S RECRUIT.

By James Otis.



CONTENTS.


                            PAGE

  CHAPTER I.
  Recruiting                   1

  CHAPTER II.
  A Secluded Camp             29

  CHAPTER III.
  An Unpleasant Surprise      45

  CHAPTER IV.
  The Letter                  64

  CHAPTER V.
  Nathan Beman                88

  CHAPTER VI.
  A Squad of Four            112

  CHAPTER VII.
  Ticonderoga                141

  CHAPTER VIII.
  An Interruption            169

  CHAPTER IX.
  A Bold Stroke              204

  CHAPTER X.
  Crown Point                229



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


                                                        PAGE

  The old man marched down the street with such a
  swagger as he evidently believed befitting a
  soldier.                                                27

  "Is it all right, Corporal?" Isaac asked timidly.       57

  "Silence in the ranks!" the Colonel said sternly.      104

  "But the Corporal wouldn't lie," Isaac said
  solemnly.                                              114

  Before he could speak, Colonel Allen cried: "I
  order you instantly to surrender, in the name of
  the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress."       168

  "So the Fort has been taken by our People,"
  Captain Baker cried, clasping the messenger by the
  hand.                                                  232



CORPORAL 'LIGE'S RECRUIT.



CHAPTER I.

RECRUITING.


There was great excitement among the citizens of the town of Pittsfield
in the province of Massachusetts on the first day of May in the year
1775.

Master Edward Mott and Noah Phelps, forming a committee appointed by the
Provincial Assembly of Connecticut, had arrived on the previous evening
charged with an important commission, the making known of which had so
aroused the inhabitants of the peaceful settlement that it was as if the
reports of the muskets fired at Lexington and Concord were actually
ringing in their ears.

These two gentlemen had with them a following of sixteen men, equipped
as if for battle, and the arrival of so large an armed body had aroused
the curiosity of the good people until all were painfully eager to learn
the reason for what seemed little less than an invasion.

When it was whispered around that Master Mott and Phelps had,
immediately upon their arrival, inquired for Colonel James Easton and
Master John Brown, and were even then closeted with those citizens, the
more knowing ones predicted that this coming had much to do with the
warlike preparations that were making in Boston and New York, designed
to put a check upon the unlawful doings of his majesty the king.

When morning came, that is to say, on this first day of May, it was
generally understood throughout the settlement that the Provincial
Assembly of Connecticut had agreed upon a plan to seize the munitions of
war at Ticonderoga for the use of that body of men known as the American
army, then gathered at Cambridge and Roxbury in the province of
Massachusetts.

The gossips of Pittsfield stated that one thousand dollars had been
advanced from the Provincial Treasury of Connecticut to pay the expenses
of the expedition; that the sixteen men making up the following of the
committee were recruits who had pledged themselves to capture this
important fortress which formed the key of communication between New
York and the Canadas, and that they proposed to march through the
country to Shoreham, opposite Ticonderoga, recruiting as they went, with
the belief that on arriving there their force would be sufficiently
large to capture the fort.

The boys as well as the men were highly excited, as was but natural, by
such rumors, and a certain Isaac Rice, who prided himself upon being
fourteen years old, instead of gathering with his companions, listening
eagerly to every word which dropped from the lips of the older members
of the community, conceived the idea of applying to what he believed to
be the fountain-head of all information regarding military matters.

This supposedly wise man was none other than Corporal Elijah Watkins,
generally known as "Corporal 'Lige," sometimes spoken of as "Master
Watkins;" but always to Isaac Rice, "the corporal."

He was looked upon as an old man when he served under Abercrombie at
Ticonderoga in '58, and believed of a surety he was as well informed in
military affairs as Isaac Rice, his ardent disciple, fancied him to be.

Ever ready to give advice on important matters; not backward about
criticising the alleged mistakes of his superiors, and holding himself
as with the idea that during the late troubles with the French he had
learned all the art of warfare; but yet with such possibly disagreeable
qualities, Corporal 'Lige had shown himself to be a brave soldier,
willing at any time to do more even than was his duty.

The old man was sitting outside the door of a tiny log building which he
called home, smoking peacefully, much as he might have done had the
committee from Connecticut never passed that way, and this apparent
indifference surprised the boy.

"Why, corporal, don't you know what's going on in the town? Haven't you
heard that they are talking of taking the fort at Ticonderoga, and
running the king out of the country?"

"First and foremost, Isaac lad, are you so ignorant as to think the king
is here in this 'ere province to be run out? An' then agin, can't you
realize that talkin's one thing an' doin's another?"

"Yes; but, corporal, haven't you heard the news?"

"If you mean so far as concerns the committee from Connecticut, Isaac, I
have heard it, and what's more, Master Noah Phelps talked with me before
ever he went to see Colonel Easton. He knew where he could get
information about Ticonderoga, for bless your soul, lad, wasn't I there
in '58? An' would you find a stick or stone around the place that I
can't call to mind?"

"Did Master Phelps come to see you first?"

"Well, yes, lad, it 'mounted to much the same thing. I was down the road
when he come into town, an' seein' me he acted like as if a great load
had been lifted off his shoulders, 'cause he knowed I could tell him a
thing or two if I was minded. 'Good-evenin' to you, Corporal 'Lige,' he
said sweet as honey in the honeycomb, and I passed the time of day with
him, kind of suspicionin' something of this same business was goin' on.
'Want to take a little trip up through the country?' he asked
friendly-like, and do you know, lad, the whole plan come to me in a
minute, an' I says to him, says I, 'Master Phelps, you can count me in,
if it so be yo're goin' toward the lakes.' 'That's where we're bound
for, Corporal 'Lige,' says he, 'and I'll put your name down.' I said,
says I, 'It's rations, an' somethin' in the way of pay, I reckon?' an'
he allowed as that part of it would be all fixed, especially with me,
'cause you see, lad, it wouldn't be much good for these people what
never knew anything 'bout war, to start out leavin' me behind. Why,
bless your heart, I allow that's why they come through Pittsfield, jest
for the purpose of seein' Corporal 'Lige."

The old man ceased speaking to puff dense volumes of smoke from his
pipe, and Isaac Rice gazed at him in wonder and amaze.

That the committee from Connecticut had visited the town for the sole
and only reason of inducing the corporal to join the force, there was no
question in his mind, and now, more implicitly than ever before, did he
believe that throughout all the provinces there could be found no abler
soldier than Corporal 'Lige.

"Yes, lad, I'm goin' with the committee, more to tell 'em what they
ought to do, as you might say, than to serve as a private soldier, for
you see I know Ticonderoga root and branch. I could tell you the whole
story from the meanin' of the name down to who is in command of it this
very minute, if there was time."

"But there is, corporal. The committee are talkin' to Colonel Easton and
Master Brown now, and don't count on leaving here before to-morrow."

"What do they want of the colonel?"

"I don't know; but they are stopping at his house."

"I ain't sayin' but that the colonel is as good a soldier as you'll find
around here; but bless your soul, lad, though it ain't for me to say it,
he could learn considerable from Corporal 'Lige if he was to spend a few
hours every now and then listenin'."

"But tell me all you can about Ticonderoga, corporal."

The old man looked around furtively as if half-expecting the committee
from Connecticut, or Colonel Easton, might be coming to ask his advice
on some disputed point, and then, shaking his forefinger now and again
at the lad much as though to prevent contradiction, he began:

"In the first place the folks 'round here call it 'Ticonderoga' when it
ain't anything of the kind. The real name is 'Cheonderoga,' which is
Iroquois lingo for 'Sounding Water,' being called so, I allow, because
the falls at Lake George make a deal of noise. The French built
breastworks there in '55, which they christened Fort Carillon. Now you
see it's a mighty strong place owin' to the situation, and its bein'
located on a point which, so I've heard said, rises more'n a hundred
feet above the level of the water. The solid part of it--that is to say,
the land--is only about five hundred acres. Three sides are surrounded
by water, an' in the rear is a swamp. That much for the advantages of
the spot, so to speak. Now I was there in July of '58 when Montcalm held
the fort with four thousand men. Lord Howe was second in command of
General Abercrombie's forces, and Major Putnam, down here, was with the
crowd. That's when the major wouldn't let his lordship go into the
battle first; but banged right along ahead until we come to the first
breastworks, finding it so strong that the troops were marched back to
the landin' place and went into bivouac for the night. It was the sixth
day of July; on the eighth we tried it again; but the fort couldn't be
carried, an' the blood that was shed there, lad, all under the British
flag, would come pretty nigh drownin' every man, woman an' child in this
'ere settlement. On the twenty-sixth of July in the year 1759, General
Amherst with eleven thousand men scared the French out; they didn't fire
a gun, but abandoned the fortification and fled to Crown Point. Since
that time the king's forces have held it."

"How many are there now?" Isaac asked, not so much for the purpose of
gaining information as to tempt the old man to continue his story.

"I can't rightly say, lad, though it's somewhere in the neighborhood of
fifty. The commandant is, or was when I last heard, one Captain
Delaplace, and it is said that he's a thorough soldier, though I'm
allowin' he hasn't got any too much of a force with him."

"Do you think the Connecticut gentlemen can raise men enough between
here and there to take a fort which resisted General Abercrombie's
entire army?"

"That remains to be seen, lad. If they are willin' to act on such advice
as can be got from some people hereabouts, I allow there's a good chance
for it, more especially if the Green Mountain boys take a hand in the
matter, as Master Phelps thinks probable. In that case Colonel Ethan
Allen would most likely be in command."

"And you are really going, corporal?" asked Isaac.

"Yes, lad, it don't seem as though I ought to hang back back when I'm
needed. If all we hear from the other provinces is true, you'll be old
enough to take a hand in the scrimmage before the fightin's over, so
here's a chance to serve an apprenticeship. If it so be you're of the
mind I'll take you under my wing, an' by the time we get back you'll
have a pretty decently good idea of a soldier's trade."

"Do you really mean it, corporal?" and Isaac sprang to his feet in
excitement. "Do you really mean that I may go with you just as if I was
of age to carry a gun?"

"Ay, lad, if it so be your mother an' father are willin', an' I can't
see why they shouldn't agree, seein's how they know the company you'll
be in. It would seem different if you talked of goin' with the general
run of recruits, who are green hands at this kind of work."

"But will the committee allow a lad of my age to go as a soldier?"

"Isaac, my boy, when Corporal 'Lige says to Master Phelps, says he,
'This 'ere lad is goin' under my wing, so to speak,' why bless your
heart, that's the end of the whole business. They've got to have me, an'
won't stand out about your joinin' when it's known my heart is set on
it."

"Will you come now while I ask my mother?"

"Well, lad, I ain't prepared to say as how I will; but this much I'm
promisin': Go to her an' find out how she's feelin' about the matter. If
there's any waverin' in her mind I'll step in--you see I'll be the
reserves in this case--an' when I charge she's bound to surrender. But
if it so happens that she's dead set against it at the start, why, you
had best not vex her by tryin' to push the matter."

Having perfect faith in the corporal's wisdom Isaac was thoroughly
satisfied with this decision, and after the old man had promised to
await his return at that point, the lad set out for home at full speed.

Perhaps if Isaac had been the only son of his mother he would have found
it difficult to gain her permission for such an adventure as Corporal
'Lige had proposed.

There were five other boys in the family, and Isaac was neither the
oldest nor the youngest.

The fact that Mrs. Rice had so many did not cause her to be unmindful of
any, but less timorous perhaps, about parting with one.

However it may be, the lad gained the desired permission providing his
father would assent, and this last was little more than a formality.

Master Rice was found among the throng of citizens in front of the inn
where recruiting was going on briskly.

The opportunity served to give the good man a certain semblance of
patriotism when he showed himself willing that one of his sons should go
for a soldier, and he would have had the boy sign the rolls then and
there, but that Isaac demurred.

It was not in his mind to enlist save in the company and after being
again assured of the corporal's protection, therefore he insisted on
presenting himself as the old man's recruit rather than his father's
offering.

Corporal 'Lige was well pleased when Isaac returned with a detailed
account of all that had taken place, and said approvingly:

"You have shown yourself to be a lad of rare discretion, Isaac Rice, and
I will take it upon myself to see that such forethought brings due
reward. Suppose you had signed the rolls at the inn? What would you be
then? Nothin' more than a private."

"But that is all I shall be when I sign them with you, corporal."

"It may appear that way, I'm free to admit lad; but still you will be a
deal higher than any non-commissioned officer, because you'll be under
my wing, and when we have taken Ticonderoga, though I ain't admitting
that's the proper name of the fort--when we've taken that, I say, you'll
be fit for any kind of a commission that you're qualified to hold."

"Yes," Isaac replied doubtfully, and then he fell to speculating as to
whether even though Corporal 'Lige did not "take him under his wing," he
might not be fit to fill any position for which "he was qualified."

While he was thus musing a messenger came from Master Phelps saying the
recruiting was coming to an end in this town, and the party would set
out that same afternoon on their way to Bennington, expecting to enlist
volunteers from Colonel Easton's regiment of militia as they passed
through the country.

"Never you fear but that I'll be right at my post of duty when the
command is given to form ranks," Corporal 'Lige said to the messenger,
and after the latter had departed he added as he turned to the boy,
"Now, Isaac, lad, you can see what they think of Corporal 'Lige. Colonel
Easton and Master Brown are hangin' 'round the inn instead of waitin'
for the committee to visit them. An' what do I do? Why, I stay quietly
here, knowin' they can't well get along without me, an' instead of
coolin' my heels among a lot of raw recruits, I'm sent for when the time
is come, as if I was a staff officer. That's one thing you want to bear
in mind. If you don't count yourself of any importance, other people are
mighty apt to pass you by as a ne'er-do-well."

"But I haven't enlisted yet, corporal."

"Of course you have. When you said to me 'I'm ready to go as your
apprentice in this 'ere business,' it was jest the same as if you'd
signed the rolls. I'll arrange all that matter with Master Phelps, my
lad. Now do you hasten home; get what you can pick up in the way of an
outfit; borrow your father's gun, and kind of mention the fact to your
mother that the more she gives in the way of provisions the better
you'll be fed, for you an' me are likely to mess together."

"How much are you going to take, corporal?"

"That will depend a good deal on what kind of a supply your mother
furnishes. I'm willin' to admit she's nigh on to as good a cook as can
be found in Pittsfield, an' will take my chances on what she puts up for
you, providin' there's enough of it."

"Of course you are to take your musket?"

"I should be a pretty poor kind of a soldier if I didn't, lad--the same
one I used under Abercrombie," and he pointed with his thumb toward the
interior of the dwelling where, as Isaac knew, a well-worn weapon hung
on hooks just over the fireplace. "It's one of the king's arms, an' I
reckon will do as good service against him as it did for him, which is
saying considerable, lad, as Major Putnam can vouch for. Now set about
making ready, for we two above all others must not be behind-hand when
the column moves."

A fine thing it was to be a soldier, so Isaac thought as he went
leisurely from Corporal 'Lige's log hut to his home; he was forced to
pass through the entire length of the village, stopping here and there
to acquaint a friend with what he believed to be a most important fact.

Among all the lads in Pittsfield of about his own age he was the only
one who proposed to enlist, and from all he heard and saw there could be
no question but that he was envied by his companions.

From the youngest boy to the oldest man, the citizens were in such a
ferment of excitement as gave recruits the idea that to enlist was
simply providing amusement for themselves during a certain number of
days, and, with the exception of those experienced in such matters, no
person believed for a moment that the brave ones who were rallying at
their country's call would suffer hardships or privations.

In fact, this going forth to capture the fort at Ticonderoga was to be a
pleasure excursion rather than anything else, and Isaac Rice believed he
was the most fortunate lad in the province of Massachusetts.

His outfit did not require that his mother should spend very much time
upon it.

The clothes he wore comprised the only suit he owned, and when two
shirts and three pairs of stockings had been made into a parcel of the
smallest possible size, and he had borrowed his father's gun, powder
horn and shot pouch, the equipment was complete.

Then came the most important of the preparations, to Isaac's mind, for
he knew the corporal would criticize it closely--the store of
provisions.

Had he been allowed his own bent the remainder of the Rice family might
have been put on short allowance, for, with a view to pleasing the
corporal, he urged that this article of food, and then that, should be
put into the bag which served him as a haversack, until the larder must
have been completely emptied but for his mother's emphatic refusal to
follow such suggestions.

If Mrs. Rice did not shed bitter tears over Isaac when he left her to
join the recruits, it was because she shared the opinion of many others
in Pittsfield, and felt positive the lad would soon return, none the
worse for his short time of soldiering.

It was but natural she should take a most affectionate farewell of him,
however, even though believing he would be in no especial danger, and a
glimpse of the tears which his mother could not restrain caused an
uncomfortable swelling in the would-be soldier's throat.

This leaving home, even to march away by the side of Corporal 'Lige, was
not as pleasant as he had supposed, and for the moment he ceased to so
much as think of the provision-bag.

"Now, see here, mother," he said, with a brave attempt at indifference.
"I'm not counting on doing anything more than help take the fort, and
since the corporal is to be with us, that can't be a long task."

"You will ever be a good boy, Isaac?"

"Of course, mother."

"And you will write me a letter, if it so be you find the opportunity?"

This was not a pleasing prospect to the boy, for he had never found it
an easy task to make a fair copy of the single line set down at the top
of his writing-book; but his heart was sore for the moment, and he would
have promised even more in order to check his mother's tears.

Therefore it was he agreed to make her acquainted with all his
movements, so far as should be possible, and, that done, it seemed as if
the sting was taken in a great measure from the parting.

Feeling more like a man than ever before in his life, Isaac set forth
from his home with a heavy musket over his shoulder, and the bag of
provisions hanging at his back, glancing neither to the right nor to the
left until he arrived at the corporal's dwelling.

An exclamation of surprise and delight burst from his lips when he saw
the old man, armed and equipped as he had been in '58, wearing the
uniform of a British soldier, even though by thus setting out he was
proving his disloyalty to the king.

"Well you do look fine, corporal. I dare wager there are none who will
set forth from this town as much a soldier as you!"

"I reckon Colonel Easton will come out great with his militia uniform;
but what does it amount to except for the value of the gold lace that's
on it? All I'm wearin' has seen service, an' though it ain't for me to
say it, I shouldn't be surprised if him as is inside this 'ere red coat
could tell the militia colonel much regarding his duty."

"Of course you can, corporal, every one knows that, an' I'm expecting to
see you put next in command to Colonel Allen, if it so be he goes."

"Not quite that, lad, not quite that, for there's jealousy in the ranks
the same as outside of them, though I warrant many of 'em will be glad
to ask Corporal 'Lige's advice before this 'ere business is over. Now
let's have a look to your stores, and we'll be off."

The examination of the impromptu haversack appeared to be satisfactory
to the old man, and without doing more in the way of securing his
dwelling from intruders than shutting the outer door, he marched down
the street with such a swagger as he evidently believed befitting a
soldier.

Isaac followed meekly at his heels, troubling his head not one whit
because he lacked a uniform, but believing he shared to a certain degree
in Corporal 'Lige's gorgeousness and martial bearing.

The two came to a halt outside the inn, standing stiffly at "attention,"
and there they remained until Master Phelps was forced to go out and bid
the old man enter, that the formality of signing the rolls might be gone
through with, after which Isaac Rice was duly entitled to call himself a
militiaman.



CHAPTER II.

A SECLUDED CAMP.


When these raw recruits departed from the town--Corporal 'Lige insisted
that they did not march--they were followed for several miles by nearly
all the men and boys in the vicinity.

The old man was greatly exercised because Colonel Easton, who now
assumed command, allowed such an unsoldierly proceeding as that his
troops should walk arm in arm with their friends, each in his own manner
and at his own convenience.

Had the corporal been invested with the proper authority he would have
had these raw recruits marshaled into ranks and forced to step in
unison, carrying their muskets at the same angle, and otherwise
conforming themselves to his idea of soldierly bearing--all this he
would have had them do; but whether he could have brought about such a
condition of affairs is extremely problematical.

"I allowed Colonel James Easton came somewhere near bein' a soldier,
even though he is only a militiaman," the corporal said in a tone of
intense dissatisfaction to Isaac as the two marched solemnly side by
side in the midst of their disorderly companions, "and I did think we
could set out from here and capture Ticonderoga, if all hands were
willin' to put their shoulders to the wheel; but I take back that
statement, lad, and am sorry I ever was so foolish as to enlist. I ought
to have known better when I saw the crowd that was signin' the rolls."

"Why, what's the matter, corporal?" and Isaac looked around in surprise,
for until this moment he had believed everything was progressing in
proper military fashion.

"Matter?" Corporal 'Lige cried angrily. "Look around and see how these
men are comportin' themselves, an' then you'll know. Here are them as
should be soldiers, seein's they've signed the rolls, mixed up with
citizens till you couldn't tell one from the other unless personally
acquainted with all hands. Then how are they marchin'? Why, a flock of
geese couldn't straggle along in any more ungainly fashion."

"I shouldn't suppose it would make any difference how they marched so
that they got there in time," Isaac ventured to suggest timidly.

"Shouldn't, eh? Then what's the good of calling themselves soldiers? Why
don't they start out like a crowd of farmers an' try their hand at
taking the fort?"

"Well?" Isaac replied calmly. "Why shouldn't they? They are not
soldiers, you know, corporal, and so long's the fort is taken why
wouldn't it be as well if they didn't try to ape military manners?"

The old man gazed sternly at the boy while one might have counted ten,
and then said in a tone of sadness:

"It's a shame, Isaac Rice, that after bein' with me all these years, an'
hearin' more or less regardin' military matters, you shouldn't have more
sense."

"Why, what have I said now, corporal? Is it any harm to think that
farmers might take a fort?"

"Of course it is, lad. If anything of that kind could happen, what's the
use of having soldiers?"

"But I suppose it is necessary to have an army if there's going to be
war," Isaac replied innocently, and this last was sufficient to
completely fill the vials of the old man's wrath.

That this pupil of his should fail at the very first opportunity to show
a proper spirit, was to him most disappointing, and during the half-hour
which followed he refused to speak, even though Isaac alternately begged
his pardon for having been so ignorant and expressed regret that he had
said anything which might give offense.

During all this while the citizens of Pittsfield were following the
recruits in a most friendly manner, believing it their duty to thus
cheer those who might soon be amid the carnage of battle, and perhaps
not one realized how seriously he was by such method offending Corporal
'Lige.

Isaac's father was among this well-intentioned following, as were two of
the lad's brothers, and when these representatives of the Rice family,
having walked as far as the head of the household deemed necessary, were
about to turn back, they ranged themselves either side of the corporal
and his pupil, in order to bid the latter farewell.

"I expect you will give a good account of yourself, Isaac, when it comes
to fighting, and I feel all the more confident in regard to it because
you are under the wing of a man who knows what it is to be a soldier."

This compliment was intended for Corporal 'Lige as a matter of course;
but he paid no other attention to it than to say:

"If the lad had profited by my teachings, he'd know that he has no right
to talk with outsiders while he's in the ranks."

"That's exactly it," Mr. Rice replied, wholly oblivious that the
corporal was administering what he believed to be a most severe rebuke.
"That is exactly it, my son, and you will do well to remember that you
cannot fail in your duty so long as you take pattern from the corporal."

The old soldier gave vent to what can be described only as a "snort" of
contempt; and the boy's sorrow was as nothing compared with what it had
been when bidding good-by to his mother.

After the young Rices had turned their faces homeward in obedience to
the orders of the elder Rice, Isaac gave more heed to copying the
movements of the corporal, thereby atoning in a certain measure for his
previous injudicious remarks.

The boy firmly believed that no more able soldier could be found in all
the colonies than this same Corporal 'Lige, and had any person ventured
to remark that the expedition might be as well off without him, Isaac
would have set the speaker down as one lacking common sense.

Take the corporal out of the ranks, and young Rice would have said there
was no possibility either Crown Point or Ticonderoga could be captured.

Thus it was that an order from Colonel Allen, Colonel Easton, or Seth
Warner was as nothing compared with one from Corporal 'Lige, in the mind
of Isaac Rice; but there were many in the ranks who did not have such an
exalted opinion of the old soldier, and these were free with their
criticisms and unfavorable remarks, much against the raw recruit's peace
of mind, as well as the corporal's annoyance.

It was because of these light-headed volunteers, who saw only in this
expedition a novel and agreeable form of junketing, out of which it was
their duty to extract all the sport possible regardless of the feelings
of others, that Corporal 'Lige withdrew himself, so to speak, from his
comrades, and barely acknowledged the salutes of any save his superior
officers.

At the end of the second day's journey he refused to go into camp with
them; but applied to the captain of his company for permission to
advance yet a short distance further, at which point he could join the
troops when they came forward next morning. It was known by all the
expedition, even including those who were making the old soldier the
butt of their mirth, that he was held in high esteem by Colonel Ethan
Allen, and the request, although irregular, was readily granted, after a
warning against the perils attendant upon such a course.

"It is better you stay with the troops, corporal," the captain said
kindly, "although I have no hesitation in saying you are free to do as
you choose."

"And I do not choose to remain in the encampment for all the young
geese--who fancy that by signing the rolls they have become soldiers--to
sharpen their wits upon, therefore I would halt by myself, taking only
the recruit I claim as my own, for company."

"I will have a care that you are not annoyed again," the officer replied
in a kindly tone; but this was not to Corporal 'Lige's liking.

"If a soldier can only keep his self-respect by running to his superior
officers like a schoolboy when matters are not to his fancy it is time
he left the ranks. After we have smelt burning powder I fancy these
youngsters will keep a civil tongue in their heads, and until then I had
best care for myself."

This was such good logic that the captain could oppose no solid argument
against it, therefore the old soldier received permission for himself
and "his recruit" to form camp wherever it should please him, provided,
however, that they remained in the ranks while the command was
advancing.

Not until after the matter had been thus settled did the captain take it
upon himself to warn the corporal that it was not wholly safe to thus
separate from his companions.

"It is well known that our movements are being watched by both Tories
and Indians," he said in a friendly manner, such as would not offend the
obstinate old soldier, "and you can well fancy that they would not
hesitate to do some mischief to any of the expedition whom they might
come upon alone."

"I can take care of myself, and also the boy," Corporal 'Lige replied
stiffly, as he saluted his superior officer with unusual gravity, and
with this the subject was dropped.

Then the old man said to his recruit, as he motioned him aside that
others might not get information concerning his purpose:

"We'll draw such rations as may be served out, lad, and then push ahead
to where we can be in the company of sensible people, meaning our two
selves."

Isaac would have felt decidedly more safe if he could remain with the
main body of troops, for he had heard the captain's caution; but he did
not think it wise to give such a desire words, and by his silence
signified that he was ready to do whatsoever his instructor should deem
to be for the best.

The rations served these volunteers who proposed to reduce the forts at
Ticonderoga and Crown Point ere they yet knew a soldier's duties were
not generous, and he who, from a desire to avoid seeming greedy, delayed
in applying for them, generally found himself without food, save he
might be so fortunate as to beg some from his more provident companions.

Corporal 'Lige was exceedingly friendly to his stomach; he made it a
rule never to allow modesty to deprive him of a full share of whatever
might be served out, therefore it was he had drawn rations for himself
and Isaac almost before the troops came to a halt, and the hindermost
were yet marching into camp, weary and travel-stained, when he said to
his small comrade:

"There is nothing to keep us here longer, and the sooner we are at a
goodly distance from these silly youngsters who fancy that the taking of
a musket in their hands makes them soldiers, the better I shall be
pleased."

Isaac gave token of willingness to continue the march by shouldering his
weapon once more, and the two set off, attracting no attention from
their companions-in-arms, each of whom had little thought save to
minister to his own comfort, for this soldiering was rapidly becoming
more of a task and less of a pleasure-tour than had been at first
supposed.

Not until he was fully a mile from the foremost of the main body did the
corporal give any evidence of an intention to halt, and then he showed
remarkably good judgment in his selection of a camping-place.

At the edge of a small brook about fifty yards from the main road over
which they had been traveling, he threw down his knapsack, and announced
in a tone of satisfaction that they would spend the night there.

"It is not too far away, and yet at such a distance that we shall not be
forced to listen to the gabbling of those geese," he said as he set
about building a small campfire in order to prepare the food he had
procured. "Make yourself comfortable, Isaac Rice, for it is a soldier's
solemn duty to gain all the rest he can."

"Do you think we shall be safe here?" the boy asked almost timidly, for
it seemed little short of a crime to question any proposition made by
the corporal.

"Safe, lad? What's to prevent? If you keep your ears open for stories of
danger while you are with the army, you'll never know peace of mind, for
there are always those faint-hearted ones ready to exaggerate the
falling of a leaf into the coming of the enemy. I have as much regard
for my own safety as for yours, and I say that here we can camp in peace
and safety."

This was sufficient for the corporal's recruit, and he set about making
himself comfortable, with the conviction that none knew better than his
comrade the general condition of affairs.



CHAPTER III.

AN UNPLEASANT SURPRISE.


Surely this camping by themselves was exceedingly pleasant, Isaac
thought, as the old soldier took upon himself the duties of cook,
leaving his recruit with nothing to do save watch him as he worked.

On the previous night they had slept in the midst of a noisy throng who
chattered and made merry until an exceedingly late hour, thus preventing
the more weary from sleeping, and everywhere in the air, hanging like
clouds, was the dust raised by the feet of so many men.

Now these two were in the seclusion of the woods, with a carpet of grass
for a bed; the rippling brook to lull them to slumber, and nothing more
noisy than the insect life everywhere around to disturb their slumbers.

Corporal 'Lige was in a rare good humor. He prepared an appetizing meal,
although his materials were none of the best, and when it had been
eaten, seated himself by Isaac's side with pipe in his mouth, ready and
willing to spin yarns of his previous experience as a soldier.

The boy was an eager listener; but after a certain time even the tones
of the old soldier's voice were not sufficient to banish the sleep
elves, and his eyes closed in unconsciousness just when his comrade had
arrived at the most exciting portion of his narrative.

"Perhaps I shan't be so willin' the next time you want to hear what I've
seen in this world," Corporal 'Lige said testily when he observed that
his audience was asleep, and then, knocking the ashes carefully from his
pipe, he lay down by the side of his small companion.

It seemed to Isaac that he had hardly more than closed his eyes in
unconsciousness when he was aroused by the pressure of some heavy
substance upon his hand, and looking up quickly he saw, in the dim
light, three men standing over the corporal.

The foot of one of these strangers was upon the boy's hand, as if he did
not think Isaac of sufficient importance either to warrant his taking
him prisoner, or to so much as step aside that he might be spared pain.

Before hearing a single word, Isaac understood that these late-comers
were no friends of the corporal's, and he endured the pain in silence,
hoping that by so doing he might escape observation.

It was hardly probable the strangers failed to see him, for he had been
lying within a few feet of his companion; but that he was not the object
of their regard could be readily understood.

The man who had thus pinned the boy to the earth by his heel wore
moccasins rather than boots, otherwise Isaac would have received severe
injury, and as it was, the corporal's recruit suffered considerable pain
before the foot was finally removed; but yet made no sound.

So far as he could judge by the conversation, these strangers must have
been in camp some time before he was awakened, for when he first opened
his eyes they were in the midst of an unpleasant conversation with the
old soldier, such as had evidently been carried on for some moments.

"If he don't choose to tell, string him up to a tree," one of the party
cried impatiently at the moment Isaac first became conscious that
matters were not running smoothly in this private encampment. "A dead
rebel is of more good than a live one, and we have no time to lose."

"Hang me, if that's what you're hankerin' for!" Corporal 'Lige cried in
a voice that sounded thick and choked as if a heavy pressure was upon
his throat. "Even though I knew more concernin' this 'ere expedition
than I do, not a word should I speak."

"We'll soon see whether you're so willing to dance on nothing," the
first speaker cried vindictively, and then came noises as if the man was
making ready to carry his threat into execution.

"Give him another chance," one of the Tories suggested. "Let the old
fool tell us all he knows of Allen's plans, an' we'll leave him none the
worse for our coming."

"I know nothing!" the corporal cried in a rage. "Do you reckon the
colonel would lay out his campaign before me?"

"It is said he did so before you left Pittsfield."

"Whoever says that is a liar; but even though he had made the fullest
explanations, I would not reveal the plans to you. You must think I'm a
mighty poor kind of a soldier if I don't know how to die rather than
play the traitor."

"You'll soon have a chance of proving what you can do!" the third man
cried angrily, and then it was he stepped forward, leaving Isaac free to
do as he thought best.

That these three Tories were bent on hanging the old soldier, or at
least so nearly doing so as to frighten him into disclosing all he knew
regarding Colonel Allen's plans, there could be no question, and young
Rice, trembling with fear though he was, had no other thought than as to
how it might be possible for him to aid his comrade.

It did not seem probable the men were ignorant regarding the boy's
presence, and the only explanation which can be made as to why they
failed to secure him is that he was so nearly a child as to appear of
but little consequence. They evidently had no thought that he could in
any way thwart their purpose, and, therefore, no heed was given to him.

It can readily be imagined that Isaac did not waste much time in
speculations as to why he was allowed to remain at liberty.

Now was come the moment when he might repay some portion of the debt he
believed he owed Corporal 'Lige, and the only anxiety in his mind was
lest he should not do it in proper military fashion.

He could not even so much as guess what a genuine soldier would do under
the same circumstances; but he had a very good idea as to how a boy
might extricate himself from such a difficulty, and lost no time in
beginning the work.

The three men were so busily engaged trying to frighten the corporal
into telling them what he might know of Colonel Allen's forces as not to
heed the noise Isaac made when he rolled himself toward the bushes in
that direction where the two muskets had been set up against a tree
under the foliage in such manner that they might not be affected by the
dew.

It was impossible for him to say exactly what these intruders were doing
to Corporal 'Lige, but, from the noises, he judged they had first made a
prisoner of the old man by seizing him around the throat, perhaps while
he was yet asleep, and now there was every indication that they were
making ready to carry out the threat of hanging.

"Give him another chance to tell what he knows," one of the men cried,
and immediately afterward the old soldier replied:

"String me up if you will, for there's no need of waiting any longer
with the idea that I'm goin' to give you any information, even if I have
it."

"Then up with him!" the man who had first spoken shouted, and Isaac,
without looking in that direction, heard the confused noises which told
him the enemy were trying to raise the old man to his feet.

By this time the boy had his hand on one of the muskets, and his first
impulse was to discharge it full at the intruders; but before he could
act, the thought came that there were two shots at his disposal, and he
ought to so plan as to make both of them count. He believed it was
necessary to work with the utmost speed, lest these three Tories should
have hung the corporal before he was ready to interfere, and yet a
certain number of seconds were absolutely necessary before he could
carry out that plan which had suddenly come into his mind.

With both muskets under his arm he crept cautiously a few paces onward
until screened by the foliage, and then raising one of the weapons, took
deliberate aim at the nearest enemy.

There was no thought in his mind that he was thus compassing the death
of a human being. He only knew his comrade's life was in danger, and
that a well-directed shot might save him.

The three men had by this time gotten a rope around Corporal 'Lige's
neck, and, finding that it was difficult to raise the old man to his
feet, were throwing the halter over the limb of the nearest tree as a
method of saving labor.

One of the Tories, he who appeared to be the elder, and who was
directing the movements of the others, stood a few paces from his
comrades, and, taking deliberate aim at him, Isaac shouted:

"Throw down your weapons, and surrender, or you are dead men!"

The words had but just been spoken when he discharged the musket, and a
scream of pain from the living target told that the bullet had sped true
to its mark.

The two men who were as yet unarmed dropped the rope they were holding
and sprang toward their weapons, which had been left on the ground near
by; but before they could reach them, Isaac had emptied a second musket,
and another cry of pain rang out.

"Throw down your weapons and surrender, or you are dead men!" he shouted
again, and at this the third Tory, who must have believed there was more
than one man in the thicket, took to his heels in alarm, while Corporal
'Lige, who had received no worse injury than a severe choking, seized
upon the three muskets which were lying close beside him.

Even now, when two of the intruders were wounded and the third running
for dear life, Isaac was doubtful as to whether he should show himself.

He remained in concealment, while the corporal gazed around him in
surprise for a dozen seconds or more, and gave no token of his
whereabouts until the old man shouted:

"Hello, friends! Show yourselves!"

"Is it all right?" Isaac asked timidly, and in a tone which was little
better than a squeak. "Is it all right, corporal?"

"Come in here, Isaac Rice. Can it be it was you who fired those shots?"

The raw recruit came forward almost timidly, and Corporal 'Lige,
shifting the three muskets he had taken possession of over on to his
left arm, seized the boy by the hand.

"I've done a good bit of soldierin' in my day, lad; seen surprises, an'
ambushes, an' attacks of a similar kind without number; but never did I
know of anything that was done with more neatness an' dispatch than this
same job of yours, which has saved my neck from bein' stretched. I'm
proud of you, lad!"

Isaac was overwhelmed by this praise, yet not to such an extent but that
there was a great fear in his mind lest he had taken a human life, and
he asked anxiously:

"Do you suppose I hurt either of them seriously, Corporal 'Lige?" and he
pointed to where the wounded men lay.

"It is to be hoped you killed 'em both, so that we may be spared any
further trouble with the vermin," and not until then did the corporal
condescend to give any attention to those enemies who had been so sadly
worsted by a boy.

Just at this moment the wounded Tories suffered more in mind than in
body, for they now understood who had made the attack upon them, and it
can readily be fancied that both were ashamed at having been thus
defeated in their purpose by one whom they had considered of so little
importance that no effort was made to deprive him of his liberty when
they surprised the encampment.

It was with the most intense relief that young Rice heard the corporal's
report, which was to the effect that he who had acted as leader of the
party had a severe but apparently not exceedingly dangerous wound in the
shoulder, while his comrade was suffering from a bullet-hole in the leg.

"They're disabled, lad, but not killed, an' the first bit of soldierin'
that you have been called on to do is like to give great credit with
such as Colonel Allen and Colonel Easton. Tell me how you happened to
think of overcoming them in this shape?"

"I didn't think of it," the boy replied. "It seemed to me you were like
to be hanged and I only did what was in my power."

"I came nigher to havin' my neck stretched than ever before, an' as it
was, the villainous Tories pulled mighty hard on that rope, before you
effected the rescue; but, lad, you must have thought! This attack you
made in such a soldierly fashion wasn't the result of chance, an' that
I'll go bail."

It was useless to make any attempt at convincing Corporal 'Lige of what
was only the truth.

The old man was so determined to look upon the rescue as a soldierly act
that he would not accept any other explanation, and the boy ceased his
fruitless efforts by asking:

"What is to be done with these two Tories?"

"I reckon they must be got back to camp, although it would be no more
than servin' 'em right if we put an end to their miserable lives without
further parley."

"Oh, you wouldn't kill them in cold blood, Corporal 'Lige?" Isaac cried
in alarm.

"No; I don't reckon I would, though that's what ought to be done with
'em. It's plain you an' I can't lug the two a matter of a mile or more,
so one must stand guard over 'em while the other goes back to the camp.
I'm leavin' it to you to say which service you'll perform, for after
this night's work I'm willin' to admit that my recruit has in him the
makin's of a better soldier than I can ever hope to be."

The boy gave no heed to this praise at the time, although later he
remembered the words with pleasure.

Now there was in his mind a fear lest the corporal should desire him to
guard the prisoners, and, the more imminent danger over, he was growing
exceedingly timorous.

"I'll go back to the encampment if it so please you, Corporal 'Lige,
because I can run faster than you."

"As you will, lad, as you will. Explain to Colonel Ethan Allen what has
happened here and let him say how these venomous snakes are to be
treated."

During this conversation neither of the wounded men had spoken; but now,
as the boy was about to set out for the encampment, he who had evidently
acted as the leader cried sharply:

"Hold on a bit! What is the sense of sending us into your camp when we
are like to die? Why not give us a show for our lives?"

"In what way?" Corporal 'Lige asked sternly.

"By allowing us to go to our homes."

"That will do," the old soldier said angrily. "After your attempt to
kill me I'm not such a simple as to let you go scot free. Get you gone,
lad, and make the report to Colonel Allen as soon as may be."

The wounded Tory continued to plead with the corporal; but Isaac did not
wait to hear anything more.

He set out at full speed down the road in the direction where the troops
were encamped, running at his best pace, and fearing each instant lest
that Tory who had made his escape should suddenly come upon him.



CHAPTER IV.

THE LETTER.


When Isaac was come within hailing distance of the few sentinels who had
been posted to guard against a surprise, he was astonished at being
halted after having announced who he was, and the laxness of military
discipline can be understood when it is said that, after being
recognized by the recruit at that particular post, the boy was allowed
to enter the encampment without further question.

Colonel Allen was not better lodged than his men. A lean-to formed of a
few boughs was the only shelter he had, and Isaac was forced to search
among the sleeping soldiers several moments before discovering the
whereabouts of the commander.

Once this had been done it was but the work of a few seconds to acquaint
the officer with what had occurred, and at this evidence that the Tories
were dogging the little army, more than one recruit who had boasted the
loudest as to what he would do when the time for fighting should come,
turned suspiciously pale as he approached to hear all Isaac was saying.

"Why did Corporal Watkins camp by himself?" Colonel Allen asked when the
boy concluded his report.

"Because some of the men poke fun at him, allowin' that he's too old to
be of service, an' far too crochety to make any fist at bein' a
soldier," Isaac replied promptly.

"I wish from the bottom of my heart that I had one hundred men like him,
rather than some of the braggarts who do not know there is such a work
as the manual of arms," the colonel said in a loud voice, as if desirous
that all should hear. "Tell the corporal that he will camp with this
force in the future, and I shall make it my especial business to learn
who it is that dares make matters uncomfortable for him."

Then, to the captain of the company to which Corporal 'Lige was
attached, an order was given that a squad of men be sent forward to
bring in the prisoners, and when this had been obeyed the old soldier,
as a matter of course, returned with them.

From that night Isaac heard nothing more regarding the wounded Tories.
It was said they had been sent back to Pittsfield under a strong guard,
and certain it is they disappeared from the encampment before daybreak,
but neither the boy nor the corporal could find a single man who had
seen them depart.

This incident, and it was hardly to be spoken of as anything of
importance, together with Colonel Allen's remark, served to render
Corporal 'Lige's life more pleasant, for those who had used him as the
butt of their mirth began to understand that he was superior to
themselves, in a soldierly way, and more than one sought his advice on
various occasions.

At sunset on the seventh day of May the raw recruits had arrived at
Castleton, fourteen miles east of Skenesborough, and Isaac himself has
given the details of that straggling march through the country, in the
first letter written to his mother after setting out as a soldier:


                                                  "May the Eighth, 1775.

  "My Dear Mother, Father, and Children:

  "We have been camping here in this thicket since last night, and if
  there is anybody in all the company more tired of soldiering than I
  am, I would like to meet him. I wore a hole in the heel of my stocking
  on the second day, and got such a blister because of it that I've been
  obliged to go barefoot ever since.

  "We have had plenty to eat, for the folks along the road were most
  kind; but it's sleeping that has been the worst on me, though the
  corporal says I never can hope to be a soldier till I'm able to lay
  down in three or four inches of water and get as much rest as I would
  at home in bed. I tell him I don't hope to be one any more, for I've
  had about enough of it, though of course I shall stick by the company
  till we've taken the fort, and it's pretty certain we shall do that,
  because now there are two hundred and seventy men in the ranks.

  "Colonel Easton enlisted thirty-nine of his militia before we got to
  Bennington, and there we were joined by the Green Mountain Boys under
  the command of Colonel Ethan Allen.

  "It surprised me to find that a good many of the people don't believe
  we are doing right in trying to take away the fort from the king's
  troops, and the corporal says that unless this thing is a success we
  are all like to be hanged for traitors, because his majesty will make
  an example of them who are foremost in the work--which means us.

  "Two hours after we halted last night Colonel Benedict Arnold, who is
  said to have gone from New Haven as captain of a company, to
  Cambridge, arrived here with a few men and a large amount--so it seems
  to me--of military supplies.

  "Although knowing that Colonel Allen is in charge of this force, he
  claimed the right to take command, and, so the corporal says, made
  display of a commission signed by the Massachusetts Committee of
  Safety, declaring that it entitled him to take charge of all the
  troops. Now, although I'm not a soldier--the corporal says I never
  will be--I've got sense enough to understand that if I enlisted under
  Colonel Easton, and was willing he should give way to Colonel Allen so
  we might have the Green Mountain Boys with us, the Massachusetts
  Committee of Safety have got nothing to do with saying who shall lead
  in the battle--though I hope to goodness we shan't see one.

  "The corporal says that no committee is going to scare Ethan Allen,
  and it's certain, so those of the Green Mountain Boys with whom I've
  talked say, that this stranger won't get himself into command of the
  company, even though, as is said, he brings one hundred pounds in
  money, two hundred pounds' weight of gunpowder, the same of leaden
  balls, and one thousand flints, to carry all of which, and himself, he
  has ten horses.

  "Now, the corporal claims that these things, including the money, are
  munitions of war, and that if Colonel Arnold doesn't deliver them over
  to Colonel Allen, they will be taken from him, and he, Corporal 'Lige,
  I mean, went early this morning to Master Phelps, offering to see to
  it that this property was delivered up to us; but for some reason or
  other--neither the corporal nor I can understand what--his offer was
  not accepted.

  "I have heard it said, and the corporal is of the opinion it is true,
  that when the council of war was held last night before this gentleman
  from New Haven arrived, Colonel Allen was chosen commander of the
  whole expedition, Colonel Easton second in command, and Seth Warner
  third. It was decided that the greater number of us, with the
  principal officers, would march from here to Shoreham--which you know
  is opposite Ticonderoga--and Captain Herrick with thirty men would at
  the same time go to Skenesborough to capture young Major Skene, whose
  father, the governor, is now in England; seize all the boats they can
  find, and join us at Shoreham. Captain Douglas is to go to Panton with
  a small troop, and get whatever craft is in the water roundabout. The
  corporal says he shall be quite well satisfied with this arrangement,
  providing the remainder of the plan is mapped out as he thinks right.

  "However, nobody seems to know whether Colonel Arnold will manage to
  get his commission from the Massachusetts Committee of Safety
  recognized as good and sufficient authority for him to lord it over
  our people, and we ask each other what will become of his munitions of
  war in case he doesn't, or how may the plans be changed if he does?"

  "What I can't understand in this whole business is why the corporal
  shouldn't be the third officer in command, instead of Master Warner,
  who I have no doubt is a very worthy gentleman; but of course cannot
  claim to be any such soldier as Corporal 'Lige. He says there's always
  a lot of jealousy among officers in the army, and that's why he isn't
  to be given a chance to show how much he can do."

  "The food I brought from home was used up the second day--the corporal
  had what he called a 'coming appetite'--and perhaps it was just as
  well, for I had all the load any fellow could want to carry. I never
  believed before leaving home that father's musket was so heavy; I held
  it over my shoulder until it seemed as if the flesh was worn right
  down to the bone; then lugged it in my hand till my arm ached as if it
  was going to drop off, and I verily believe I would have thrown the
  thing away but that Corporal 'Lige said a soldier didn't amount to
  very much unless he had a weapon of some kind."

  "The corporal says I am to give you his dutiful compliments, and to
  say that if his life is spared, by the blessing of God, he will
  capture Ticonderoga before we come back.

  "As for me, I wish I was at home now, though it will be a fine thing
  if we do what the old man says is our duty in these times, without
  being hanged.

  "I haven't yet found out why people think there is so much honor to be
  gained in being a soldier. To my mind it's much like any other way of
  running around the country; but the corporal says if he had the
  management of affairs things would be different, because he'd keep the
  men right up to their work, though I don't see how it could well be
  done. For my part, I shouldn't carry a musket over my shoulder when I
  was lame and tired just because any man said so. It would be as well
  whatever fashion I lugged it, providing the labor was lessened; but
  the corporal says it would make all the difference in the world if we
  marched the same as we would at a muster.

  "I love you all very much, and shall be precious glad to find myself
  at home again.

  "From your obedient and dutiful son,

                                                           "Isaac Rice."


In this letter the young recruit, who although having enjoyed the
teachings of Corporal 'Lige, was certainly not a soldier at heart, has
told the main facts in the case regarding the halt of the militia at
Castleton; but it will be observed that his modesty was too great to
permit of his mentioning the brave part he played in the rescue of
Corporal 'Lige from the Tories.

He has failed, however, most probably through ignorance, in giving
Colonel Arnold's authority for claiming his right to lead the
expedition.

That officer had brought to Cambridge from New Haven a company of which
he was the captain, and upon arriving there at once reported to the
Massachusetts Committee of Safety that it would be possible, before the
forts had been reinforced, to seize the works at Ticonderoga and Crown
Point with a comparatively small body of men.

He proceeded to organize an expedition for such a purpose, and to this
end was supplied with the money and munitions of war mentioned by Isaac,
together with a colonel's commission, which gave him the chief command
of troops, not exceeding four hundred in number, which he might raise to
accompany him against the lake fortresses.

Upon arriving at Stockbridge, in the province of Massachusetts, he
learned that another expedition had set out--that is to say the same one
Corporal 'Lige and Isaac accompanied--and after engaging officers and
men to the number of fourteen he hastened onward, overtaking the militia
as Isaac has said.

In this camp where military discipline was conspicuous by its absence,
the recruits, who had learned within the hour what had been decided upon
the night previous by the council of war, soon ascertained the position
which the officer from New Haven claimed, and knew exactly what he
proposed to do by virtue of his commission.

Even though the men had not learned such facts from their officers,
those recruits who accompanied Colonel Arnold would have at once made
the matter public.

At about the time Isaac finished the letter to his mother the encampment
was in a state bordering on insubordination.

Colonel Arnold's recruits raised in Stockbridge insisted that their
leader should command the forces, not only because he was authorized to
do so, but owing to the fact that he had the money and ammunition
necessary to carry out the plan, while the members of Colonel Allen's
regiment, known as the Green Mountain Boys were equally determined that
such honor as might be gained should be their colonel's, and in a brief
space of time these new-fledged patriots were ripe for riot.

Now was come the hour when Corporal 'Lige had shown him some portion of
that consideration which he believed due his experience in military
affairs.

Those members of Colonel Easton's militia regiment which had joined the
expedition, jealous because their leader had given way to Colonel Allen,
now demanded loudly and publicly that he must lead the party or they
would turn back.

Inasmuch, however, as this portion of the troops amounted to fifty or
thereabouts, they had a small showing when the Green Mountain boys, who
were more than two hundred strong, came forth in turn with their
threats.

Colonel Allen was to be retained first in command, as had been decided
upon the previous evening, or they should march back to Bennington
without an hour's delay.

On the other hand, the men from Stockbridge insisted that Colonel Arnold
was the lawful commander because he was the only one who held a
commission for such purpose, and threatened that neither money nor
munitions of war should be given up unless his claims were fully
recognized.

On this morning of the eighth of May the men were divided into three
divisions according to their opinions, and it seemed much as if the
officers were willing they should settle it without interference, for
those highest in command remained in council among themselves, giving no
heed to the threats which were uttered here and there until it seemed
positive personal encounters must soon take the place of words.

The men from round about Pittsfield, recognizing the need of a leader in
what might properly be termed a mutiny, selected Corporal 'Lige as if by
common consent, and Isaac had but just written his mother's name on the
missive which had cost him so much labor, when he and the corporal were
surrounded by the faction to which belonged their neighbors and friends.

One of these, a butcher, whose home was in Pittsfield, thus addressed
the old man, using at the beginning of his remark just that compliment
best calculated to please him.

"You, who have had so much experience in military affairs, Corporal
'Lige, should be able to settle this matter without any great loss of
time, for according to my way of thinking it must be arranged among the
men themselves, or not at all."

"I have seen plenty of fightin'," the corporal began slowly, as if
undecided what words had best be used; "but it was in the king's army,
as you well know, and there every one in command held their commission
from his majesty, which plainly said he was to be the leader. Now it
seems in this 'ere case that the only officer who has any real authority
is the one from New Haven----"

A chorus of derisive howls interrupted the old man, and not a few of his
neighbors accused him of being a traitor because he was apparently on
the point of giving his decision in favor of the stranger.

Waiting patiently until they had exhausted their anger, and were silent
once more, he continued placidly:

"As I said before it seems to me the only one with any show of authority
is the officer from New Haven; but," and Corporal 'Lige emphasized this
word, "but what do you know of this 'ere Massachusetts Committee of
Safety? Accordin' to my way of figurin', that body of men are lookin'
out for matters round about Boston, and we've got with us recruits all
the way from Pittsfield up to Bennington, none of whom are given
overmuch to heedin' what the Boston folks think is right or wrong.
Therefore I say, that while the officer from New Haven seems to have the
only real authority, it strikes me that his commission does not extend
as far as this 'ere spot, where we are encamped."

Again he was interrupted; but this time by cries expressive of
satisfaction and good will.

"We were the ones who started the idea of taking the fort," a recruit
from Pittsfield cried, "and that being the case I hold we've got the
right to say who shall lead us."

"But the Green Mountain Boys won't go except their colonel is in
command," another added, and a third cried:

"The men of Stockbridge will hold to Colonel Arnold, and won't go on
under another."

"Well, I've heard all that before," Corporal 'Lige said in a tone of
fine irony. "If you have come to me to repeat the same story that has
been goin' 'round the encampment since daybreak, why then you are
wastin' your time. If you want my opinion so that this thing can be put
right in short order, hold your tongues, an' I'll give it."

"Let Corporal 'Lige finish."

"He is soldier enough to know what should be done."

"Go on, corporal, go on."

This evidence of popularity was most pleasing to the old man, and
smiling benignantly upon those nearest, he said, with the air of one who
cannot be in the wrong:

"This is how it must be done: Let them as come with Colonel Easton,
stick to him; the Green Mountain Boys shall hang to the tail of Colonel
Allen's coat, and the Stockbridge men may follow Colonel Arnold. That
makes three bands of us. Now, mark you, lads, there are three sides to
that 'ere fort--one apiece. Let us meet here at whatever hour you will,
and then start on the minute, each troop taking a different course, an'
them who arrive first an' capture the fortification, gets the credit."

"But we are needing what Colonel Arnold brought with him," someone
cried.

"Ay, and you would have heard me fix that if you'd waited. Where did
this 'ere Massachusetts Committee of Safety get these munitions of war
an' this money? Why, they got it out of the province, of course. And
where did we come from? Why, we come from the province of Massachusetts,
of course. Then who does this money and these munitions of war belong
to? Why, they belong to us, of course. Now, as near as I have heard,
there are only fourteen following Colonel Arnold. How long will it take
us to lay our hands on all that stuff? Then I guarantee that Colonel
Easton--for if he wants me to do it I'll help him in conducting the
campaign--will march straight through an' take Ticonderoga before you've
had time to say Jack Robinson. Never mind what the Green-Mountain Boys
do, an' as for the Stockbridge men, they ain't enough for the countin'."

The advice which Corporal 'Lige had given met with the unqualified
approval of all whom he addressed, and instantly shouts were raised in
his honor until those recruits who were not in the secret looked about
them in alarm and dismay as if fearing an attack.

Isaac was frightened, of that there could be no mistake.

It seemed to him as if an immediate and unquestionably dangerous
encounter could not be prevented, for already were the men hanging about
Corporal 'Lige in a dense body as bees hang about their queen when
swarming, all urging that he lead them on to wrest from the Stockbridge
men the property which he had proven did not belong to them.

Isaac glanced this way and then as if trying to determine in which
direction it would be safest to flee, but at this moment his eyes fell
upon a lad of about his own age, who had come in from the highway and
was staring about him in perplexity.



CHAPTER V.

NATHAN BEMAN.


In his fear and trouble it seemed to Isaac as if this stranger might
render him some valuable assistance.

It was as if he stood alone amid the recruits, now that Corporal 'Lige
had been claimed, so to speak, as leader of the Pittsfield faction, and
the lad needed some one to whom he could appeal for advice.

Therefore it was that while the new-comer was staring about him as if
distracted by the tumult, Isaac approached in the most friendly manner
as he asked:

"Are you a recruit?"

"What do you mean by that?"

"Do you belong to the soldiers here?"

"Do you call these soldiers?" the stranger asked almost contemptuously.

"Well, if they ain't, what do you call them?"

"They look to me like a crowd of folks what was goin' to have a fight
pretty soon."

"That's jest what I'm afraid of. Say, do you live near here?"

"No, I came from Shoreham. We heard there was a crowd comin' to take
Fort Ticonderoga, an' seein's how they didn't get along very fast, I
thought I'd come an' hunt 'em up. Do you count yourself a soldier?"

"I did when I left Pittsfield; but I've kind'er got over that feelin'
now. What's your name?"

"Nathan Beman."

"Mine's Isaac Rice."

"What made you come out with a crowd like this?"

"All the folks 'round our way was enlisting, and they said it was the
duty of everybody to fight against the king. Besides that the corporal
was going, an' he agreed to put me through in great shape."

"Who's the corporal?"

"That's him over there with the red coat on."

"Do you allow an old chap like him could put anybody through in very
great shape?"

"You mustn't talk like that about Corporal 'Lige where anybody will hear
you. Why, he's a regular soldier; fought under General Abercrombie in
'58, an' I reckon if it hadn't been for him the king's troops would have
got it terrible bad."

"An' that's about the way they did get it."

"Well, Corporal 'Lige is here now, an' it'll be different. Did you ever
see the fort?"

"See it? Why, I'm over there pretty near very week. Our folks sell eggs
an' chickens an' such truck to the garrison, an' I know the place jest
like I do my own home."

"Do you s'pose we can take it?"

"There seems to be a sight of you here; but I shouldn't want to make a
guess till after I'd seen whether there's going to be a row among all
hands or not. Father says when thieves fall out honest men get their
due."

However frightened Isaac might be, he was not disposed to allow any boy
of his own size to call the members of this army thieves, even though
they were in a state of insubordination, and forgetting all his fears he
demanded sternly:

"Who are you calling thieves?"

"Now, you needn't get so huffy, 'cause I didn't mean anything," Nathan
replied quietly, and yet with no show of alarm; "but father is always
sayin' that, an' I s'pose it means--well I don't know what, except that
all hands of you are fightin' here, an' it looks like as if Captain
Delaplace would get the best of it."

"Who's he?"

"The commandant of the fort, of course."

"Well, see here, Nathan, it begins to look as though there was goin' to
be a row for a fact, and I hoped you lived close by so I could go to
your house till it was over."

"But you're a soldier, ain't you?"

"Not much of one."

"Well, if you've enlisted, a fight is right where you belong," and
Nathan appeared to think this settled the matter beyond any argument.

"I ain't so certain of that; but even if I do belong in a fight I shan't
stay in one. It seems like as if Corporal 'Lige had turned me off, an'
all he's thinking about is helping our crowd get the best of the
Stockbridgers."

"Well, there ain't anything very dangerous here yet awhile; suppose we
wait an' see how things turn? I don't care overmuch for fightin' myself;
but that's no reason why I shouldn't want to know whether there's likely
to be a row or not."

Isaac admired the courage of his new acquaintance and immediately
adopted him as a protector, taking up his position a pace or two in the
rear of Nathan as he watched the threatening movements.

The recruits from Pittsfield and vicinity were standing in close order
with the corporal at their head, evidently ready for whatever turn might
come in affairs.

Some of them retained their weapons; but the majority appeared to have
more confidence in their fists, and with arms bared to the elbow were
awaiting the word which would precipitate them upon the small body from
Stockbridge who guarded the treasure.

This last detachment had either learned of the advice given by Corporal
'Lige, or scented danger because they were so few in numbers as compared
with the other two factions, and were standing shoulder to shoulder
ready to resist an expected attack.

A short distance away the Green-Mountain Boys remained strictly by
themselves; but not giving any sign of taking part in the lawless
proceedings. So long as Ethan Allen was considered the head of the
expedition they were satisfied to stand aloof from any brawl.

As has been said before, the leading officers were nowhere to be seen;
some of the better informed declared they were in the shelter near by
which had been used as their quarters during the night, and with Colonel
Arnold were discussing the question of superiority in rank.

Corporal 'Lige hesitated to give the word which should precipitate the
riot.

He had been elevated to the position of leader and perhaps the
responsibility weighed heavily upon him, for certain it is that after
advising what should be done, he evinced a disposition to retire from
what might be the scene of a conflict.

"Look here, old man, we're ready to do as you have said. Now give the
word and lead us on to those recruits. We'll soon find out what they're
made of," one of the men said as the corporal turned toward the rear
much as though intending to join Isaac and Nathan:

"Yes, give the word. This is your plan, and we're ready to carry it out
as you have said!"

"Fair an' easy; fair an' easy, comrades," Corporal 'Lige said
soothingly. "A good general doesn't depend wholly on his plan until he's
made certain of the enemy's position. You don't allow that we can rush
in hilter-skilter an' hope to work our purpose, eh?"

"Why not? There are only a dozen of them to near fifty of us."

"But look at Colonel Allen's regiment."

"Well, what of them? They are not in this quarrel, for their commander
is leader of the expedition so far."

"No, they are not in it," the corporal said; "but what assurance have we
they won't take a hand as soon as we begin operations? Don't you allow
they know what the Stockbridge men brought with them?"

"Why, everybody in camp knows that."

"Then do you suppose they're goin' to stand by idly while we take the
money and munitions?"

The men began to murmur among themselves, and Corporal 'Lige appeared
well satisfied that they should thus consume the time; but before many
minutes had passed one and another spoke derisively of the old man,
asking what his plan was good for if he didn't dare carry it out, or why
he had not made mention of what Colonel Allen's men might do in event of
his suggestion being acted upon?

At first the corporal was not minded to take heed of these disparaging
remarks; but as the clamor increased he was forced to defend himself,
and made answer sharply:

"The plan was good, and the only one likely to succeed. When I got that
far with it you jumped to the idea that it should be worked out at once.
Now all the while I was keeping my eye fixed on Colonel Allen's men,
tryin' to make up my mind what they'd do when we struck the first blow,
and I haven't decided yet."

"You're a coward! You claimed to be an old soldier, and to know more of
warfare than any one in this encampment, not excepting the commanders,
but yet you don't dare lead fifty men against a dozen!"

"If I don't dare it isn't because I'm afraid of bodily injury; but I
can't afford to stake my reputation as a soldier where the chances are
likely to be so heavy against us. It's one thing to have a good plan,
an' just as important to know when to carry it out. If we hang together
an' are ready to take advantage of the first opportunity that comes,
then we'll be showing our strength; but not by rushing in hilter-skilter
like a crowd of boys primed for a rough-an'-tumble fight."

Corporal 'Lige's argument was evidently considered a good one, for at
once the outcries which had been raised against him died away, the men
yet remaining in position as if ready to act upon any suggestion he
might make.

"I don't reckon there's goin' to be much trouble 'round here after all,"
Nathan said in a tone of disappointment, and Isaac gave vent to a sigh
of relief. "It strikes me that old man crawled out of a pretty small
hole."

"Do you mean to say he wouldn't dare do what the men wanted?"

"Well, he would be a pretty poor stick if he didn't. There's four of
this crowd to one of that. What I allow is he's afraid of the officers,
and if this is any kind of a military company he's got good cause to be,
accordin' to the way things run up to the fort. There you wouldn't hear
privates tellin' who should command 'em, an' who shouldn't, else they'd
find themselves in trouble."

At this moment a great shout went up from the Green-Mountain Boys, and
as the two factions who had stood facing each other ready for the
encounter glanced around quickly, they saw Colonel Ethan Allen
approaching.

Then the Stockbridge men set up a shout, for Colonel Arnold stepped to
Allen's side as if of equal rank, and the Pittsfield detachment remained
silent, because Colonel Easton was walking in the rear of these two
officers.

"It looks as if our colonel had given in, an' wasn't countin' on
standin' up for his own rights," Corporal 'Lige said mournfully. "Let
one of you run over there an' tell him what we're ready to do. Say we'll
begin the scrimmage as soon as he gives the word."

This order was obeyed, and the little troop watched the messenger as he
approached the colonel, and, without so much as touching his cap by way
of salute, spoke earnestly during a few seconds.

Then Colonel Easton was seen to shake his head decidedly, and the man
returned to his fellows looking thoroughly ashamed.

"What's the matter?" Corporal 'Lige asked sharply.

"He says if we had any idea of our duties as soldiers we should be less
ready to advise and more eager to obey."

"There's a good deal of sense in that," the corporal said thoughtfully;
"but at the same time I claim matters are in such shape that we're
justified in making the proposition. When a body of men have got a
commander what won't stand up for himself, it's time the rank and file
took the matter in hand."

"Is that what you call good soldiering?" Nathan Beman asked shrilly, and
Isaac clutched his new friend by the arm frantically for it alarmed him
that any one should dare ask such a bold question of the corporal.

The old man turned around angrily; opened his mouth as if to speak, and
then, repenting of his purpose, faced the on-coming officers once more,
much as if to say that such a question from such a questioner was not
worthy of regard.

The group of officers advanced until they were standing at equal
distances from each of the three factions, and Colonel Allen said,
speaking slowly and distinctly, looking at the forces from Stockbridge
and Pittsfield:

"It is no secret that you men are disgruntled because I have been chosen
commander of the expedition. You are enlisted as militia from the
province of Massachusetts and as enroled men have no voice in choosing a
commander. Therefore I propose to make no explanation of the matter; but
have taken this opportunity to address you in order to say that, by the
advice and with the consent of the others in command, those of you who
cannot obey such orders as may be given regardless of who is the leader,
had best return home from this point. It shall not be counted against
you as deserters, for the names of those who are unwilling to serve
cheerfully will be stricken quietly from the rolls, without any mention
whatever, dishonorable or otherwise. Colonel Arnold presents himself
with due authority from the province of Massachusetts to take command of
any troops not exceeding four hundred which may be raised for the
purpose of attacking Fort Ticonderoga. Under all the circumstances he
has decided to wave his claim of rank and act as volunteer until the
purpose for which we have advanced be accomplished. Now, then, those of
you who cannot obey my orders, step to the right."

The Green-Mountain Boys began to raise shouts of approval, but their
colonel checked them by saying sternly:

"Silence in the ranks! Let no man dare give voice to his approval or
disapproval of what may occur in this encampment!"

It was as if Colonel Easton believed some of his men might take
advantage of the opportunity, and stepping quickly to the side of Allen,
he said:

"Lads, when the question came up last night as to who should lead this
expedition, I cast the first vote for Colonel Allen. He is a soldier of
much experience and great ability. It is my earnest desire that he take
upon himself the responsibility of directing our movements, and
whatsoever he orders shall be performed by me faithfully and promptly."

Colonel Arnold made no attempt to address his men, and the three
officers stood in silence several moments, after which Allen said:

"Because none of you have signified your desire to be relieved from the
enlistment, we will suppose all are willing to go forward, and from now
out there can be no excuse for insubordination or hesitation."

This said, the officers withdrew once more, and now that their colonel
was no longer there to check them the Green Mountain Boys set up a shout
of triumph, which was answered by derisive yells from Corporal 'Lige's
troop, and apparent indifference by the men from Stockbridge.

"I reckon I may as well go home now," Nathan said in a low tone to
Isaac. "There don't seem to be any chance of a row because the men are
going to give in easy enough; but I'd like to see 'em find their way
into the fort. It ain't so easy as they're countin' on."

"Who is this boy, Isaac?" Corporal 'Lige asked as he stepped toward the
lads, apparently glad of an opportunity to disengage himself from those
who had shown they were ready to obey his commands.

Isaac gave such explanation as was within his power, and the old man
asked, addressing Nathan:

"What do you know about Fort Ticonderoga?"

The boy made reply much as he had to Isaac, and the corporal questioned
him sharply:

"Have you been allowed to roam over the fortification at will?"

"There was no reason why I shouldn't. I know all the boys who live in
the fort, an' after I finished what I went for, who'd stop us from goin'
'round?"

"How many soldiers are there in the place?"

"Somewhere about fifty, I should think."

"Women and children?"

"Yes, 'most twice as many, I reckon, though I never counted 'em."

"And you say you know all the ins and outs of the fort?"

"Look here, how many times do you want me to tell you? Of course I do;
but what's that got to do with you?"

Nathan spoke in such a disrespectful tone that Isaac literally trembled
lest the corporal should fall upon him in his wrath.

"Wait you here till I come back, an' see to it that you don't move from
this spot."

The corporal gave this command in his sternest tones, and without
waiting for a reply hastened off in the direction where the officers had
disappeared, while Nathan stood looking at his new acquaintance in
mingled surprise and bewilderment.

"Now, what does that old man mean when he tells me to wait here? What
right's he got to order me 'round?"

"Don't get disgruntled," Isaac said imploringly. "I tell you he's a
great soldier, and you'll see that his order means something, 'cause the
corporal don't make foolish talk."

"Then, what was it I heard when I come up here an' he was tellin' the
men what to do, but backed down after findin' they were ready to follow
him?"

"That part of it was all right. The time hadn't come for him to carry
out his plans, and he explained it. Couldn't you hear him?"

"I heard what he said; but that didn't deceive me."

Then Isaac explained with many a detail why the old man was the ablest
soldier in the encampment, and while he was trying to convince the
skeptical Nathan, Corporal 'Lige returned, looking very important and
mysterious.

"You're to come with me," he said tapping Nathan on the shoulder.

"Where?" the boy asked sharply.

"I said you were to come with me."

"Well, you may say it again before I go. I want to know what you're
thinkin' of doin'. I ain't one of these make-believe soldiers that can
be ordered 'round by such as you."

During an instant the corporal glowered at the boy as if of a mind to
chastise him for his too familiar words, and then Isaac interposed to
save his new-found friend from what he feared would be most severe
punishment.

"He'll go with you, Corporal 'Lige; don't be angry with him. You see
he's a stranger here, an' doesn't understand what----"

"I understand enough not to go till I know what he's about," Nathan
cried angrily, wrenching himself free from Isaac's detaining grasp and
leaping back a few paces.

The corporal clapped his hand to his side as if to raise a sword, and
then realizing that he had no such weapon, said in a remarkably
conciliatory tone:

"I told Colonel Allen that you were well acquainted with the interior of
the fort, and he would speak with you a few moments."

"Well, if you'd said that in the first place I would have been willing;
but when you jumped down on me as if I was one of these recruits, I
wasn't goin' to stand it."

"If you are willin' to come, follow me."

"Am I to go with you?" Isaac asked pleadingly, and the corporal
hesitated an instant before replying:

"Yes, lad, I don't reckon it'll do any harm, and it may give you an
insight into the way we manage military affairs."



CHAPTER VI.

A SQUAD OF FOUR.


Isaac was in high glee at thus being permitted to visit headquarters,
for even though he went there only by permission of Corporal 'Lige and
not because his presence was desired, it seemed to him that it was in a
certain degree a recognition of the possible fact that he was really a
soldier.

Nathan Beman, however, did not appear to think there was any compliment
in the invitation. Naturally of a suspicious nature, he fancied in some
way this visit might work to his harm, and, in addition, he was
displeased by the air of superiority which was observable in the
corporal when he addressed any remark to the lad.

The old soldier walked several paces in advance of the boys, and did not
appear to think it necessary he should look around to see if they were
following, for in his mind a request to visit headquarters was the same
as an imperative command, and one which no sane person would venture to
disobey.

"I suppose he thinks he can tow me 'round wherever he likes, and I've
got a mind to show him he can't," Nathan said to Isaac, motioning with
his thumb toward the corporal.

"It's Colonel Allen who wants to see you," Isaac ventured to suggest
timidly.

"How do you know?"

"Why Corporal 'Lige said so."

"I ain't certain that makes it true, 'cause he's said a good many things
that don't amount to much since I've been around this place."

"But the corporal wouldn't lie," Isaac said solemnly, and Nathan added
with a peculiar smile:

"Oh, no, he wouldn't lie!"

"See here, what have you got against the corporal?"

"Me? Why should I have anything against him?"

"That's what puzzles me; but it seems as though you didn't think very
much of him."

"Neither do I. I've seen soldiers up 'round Ticonderoga, not
make-believes like the old man, who is all talk an' no substance."

Isaac's face flushed. He was not disposed to let this stranger make
sport of Corporal 'Lige, whom he knew was thoroughly versed in the art
of warfare, and a brave man withal; but before he had decided in his own
mind how the most telling reproof could be administered, they arrived at
headquarters, which was neither more nor less than a shelter built of
pine boughs, situate so far from the main encampment as to afford some
degree of seclusion.

Isaac judged from the eager look on the faces of the officers that this
visit was considered by them of more importance than it was by Nathan,
and instantly Corporal 'Lige saluted, Colonel Allen asked:

"Are both the lads acquainted with the fort?"

"No, colonel; here is the one who lives up Shoreham way," and he touched
Nathan on the shoulder. "This," he added, motioning toward Isaac, "is a
recruit I have taken under my protection."

It was evident that Colonel Allen came nearer Nathan's standard of a
soldier than Corporal 'Lige, for he stood in a respectful attitude
before the officer as if recognizing the latter's right to question him.

"Is your father alive?" the colonel asked.

"Yes, sir; he owns a farm up on the lake."

"How often have you visited the fort within the past year?"

"Mostly twice a week, sir; never less than once."

"Then you are sufficiently well acquainted with the troops to be able to
gain admission at any time?"

"Yes, sir; father sells a lot of truck there, an' I mostly carry it
over."

"Are you known to Captain Delaplace?"

"Yes, sir, and his wife as well."

"What brought you here, lad?"

"We heard it said there was a lot of soldiers marchin' up this way, and
I didn't have much of anything to do, so come down to have a look at
'em."

"Is it generally known near about where you live that troops are
marching toward the fort?"

"I don't think so, sir. Simon York, a trapper, told father, and it was
agreed between them that nothing should be spoken about it lest the news
get out."

"Do you know how many soldiers there are in the fort now?"

"Near about fifty, sir."

"Hark you, lad, are you minded to do a service for those who would
strike a blow against the king?"

"I suppose that would depend on what it was, an' how much I'd make out
of it," Nathan replied cautiously.

"Then you are not of the mind to do anything toward establishing the
independence of the colonies--it is simply a question of shillings and
pence?"

"Well, sir, perhaps it is something like that," Nathan replied, growing
confused. "Father thinks since the news came from Concord and Lexington
that all the provincials ought to turn to and show their mettle; but
mother says so long as the king's troops buy truck and pay good prices
for it, it is our business to see that we don't take the bread and
butter out of our own mouths."

"I understand; yours is what might be called a divided household," and
Colonel Allen looked around with a smile at his companions.

"I guess I don't know what you mean by that, sir; but things our way are
about as I have told you."

Corporal 'Lige glowered at the boy who thus unblushingly announced that
he measured his patriotism by its value in money, and Isaac wondered
that a lad so young could talk thus pertly to one as high in authority
as was Colonel Ethan Allen.

"If you should be paid six shillings, would you be willing to guide one
of these gentlemen into the fort and come back with him to where our
troops might then be stationed?"

"Which one wants to go?" Nathan asked, not intending to commit himself
until the full details were given.

"This gentleman," and Colonel Allen pointed toward Master Phelps, one of
the Committee from the Connecticut Assembly.

Nathan looked at him critically a moment, and then asked, as if
suspicious some portion of the plan was being kept secret from him:

"Does he want to see Captain Delaplace?"

"He simply wishes to view the fort, and it would be necessary you should
pretend he was a neighbor who had come with no other motive than that of
curiosity."

"You couldn't pass him off for any neighbor of our'n."

"Why not?"

"'Cause he's dressed too fine, an' his face is so pale that anybody'd
know he didn't live 'round here."

"All that may be readily changed," Master Phelps interrupted. "I'll
promise to look so nearly like one of your neighbors that there shall be
no question raised."

"When do I get the six shillings?" Nathan asked.

"After you have performed the work faithfully to the extent of bringing
Master Phelps back to me," Colonel Allen replied, now speaking quite
sharply. "It would be a serious matter indeed if you were to betray him
to the commandant of the fort, or indicate that this body of men are
near at hand."

"If I take the six shillings, I'll earn 'em. It's none of my business
where you folks are, nor what's goin' on 'round the fort; all I'm
looking after is the cash I can make."

"Will you undertake the task?"

"Yes," Nathan replied, and then, as if a sudden thought had come to him,
added:

"I will if this boy goes along too."

"Is he a friend of yours?"

"I don't s'pose so, 'cause I never saw him before; but it's goin' to be
mighty pokey all alone with a man like him," and Nathan pointed to
Master Phelps.

At this point Corporal 'Lige stepped forward and saluted, thus
attracting the colonel's attention, after which he motioned toward the
outside as if to ask for a private interview.

The colonel immediately left the hut, followed by the corporal, and
Nathan looked after them suspiciously, whispering to Isaac:

"Now, what do you s'pose that old imitation soldier is up to? He mustn't
try to get the best of me."

"You needn't be afraid Corporal 'Lige will do anything that's wrong,
'cause he's an honest man, an' no imitation of a soldier; but a true
one."

"I ain't so certain about all that; but you seem to have a pretty good
idea of him, so perhaps he is half-way decent after all."

At his point the old soldier and the colonel returned, the latter saying
when he was inside the hut once more:

"In order that you may have no lack of company I propose that Master
Phelps, Corporal Watkins, and the lad all go with you."

"Who's Watkins?" Nathan whispered to Isaac.

"Why, that's Corporal 'Lige, of course."

"I knew he was stickin' his nose into it some way."

"You'll be glad to have him, 'cause he's jest as good as he can be after
you get acquainted."

Nathan remained silent a few seconds, and then asked abruptly:

"When does the crowd want to go?"

"At once. It should be possible to visit the fort before sunset."

"Well, that's accordin' to how fast they can walk; but if they start,
an' don't get there in time, father'll keep them overnight without
chargin' more'n what's right for the lodgings."

"Very well; you may make ready to set out immediately, and when you have
returned the money shall be paid you."

"I'm ready now."

"Master Phelps will need a few moments in which to prepare himself for
the journey, and I doubt not but that the corporal and his comrade have
some belongings which they will want to take with them. Remain you here,
lad, until the others have made all necessary preparations and are in
condition for the journey."

This was a command which Nathan could not well disobey; but he looked
toward Isaac while the latter was hurried away by Corporal 'Lige, as if
there were yet other questions concerning this project which he would
like to ask.

"Don't turn back, lad," the old soldier said when his _protégé_ made a
move as if to return. "There's to be no time lost, and you'll have good
opportunity for talking once we're on the road."

"How did it happen the colonel sent you and me?" Isaac asked when the
two were so far from headquarters that his words could not be overheard.

"That's owing to the hint I gave Colonel Allen when that young skinflint
made his talk. A lad who won't take sides in this matter 'twixt the
colonies and the king, but holds out for whatever money he can get, is
not to be trusted, accordin' to my way of thinkin'. While he was settin'
himself down for a cold-blooded, close-fisted specimen of humanity such
as you wouldn't look for in one so young, I made up my mind that there
had best be a sharp watch kept of him, else a word or two might be
dropped at the fort which would upset all our plans."

"Do you believe he would take Colonel Allen's money and then betray
him?"

"I am certain a lad who would haggle for six shillings under such
circumstances as this would sell out to the next man who offered half as
much more, and the colonel was of the same mind after I'd mentioned the
matter."

"I don't see why I should go."

"Don't you want to?" the corporal asked in surprise.

"Of course it would be more pleasant than marching with the troops; but
still I can't understand what good it is possible for me to do."

"I don't reckon you will be of any service; but the boy had taken a
notion to have you with him, so it seemed like a good chance for me to
put my oar in, and between the two of us I reckon he won't have much
show of playing double."

In a very few seconds the corporal and Isaac had made their preparations
for the journey, which simply consisted in gathering up all their
belongings, much to the surprise of the lad, who questioned whether, if
they were to go to the fort apparently from motives of curiosity, it was
well they carried muskets.

"If it seems necessary we can leave them where this boy lives; but it is
certain we cannot depend on any one else bringing our luggage along for
us, so take what we own, lad, an' then be at home wherever we stop."

When the two returned to headquarters they found Master Phelps awaiting
their coming, and Nathan kept close and suspicious watch upon each
person and everything within his range of vision.

The messenger from the General Assembly had made a very decided change
in his personal appearance, and Isaac was forced to look twice before
feeling positive this was the same Master Phelps whom he had seen a few
moments before.

Now he was clad after the fashion of a farmer, in garments which he had
probably borrowed from some member of the troop; his face was browned
and soiled, while his hands were exceedingly dirty, and even Nathan must
have been satisfied that the commandant of the fort would not see in
this visitor other than he professed to be.

"If that lad had a trifle more sense he'd understand there wasn't
anything to be gained by deceiving him," the corporal said in a low tone
to Isaac; "but he's so self-opinionated he thinks everybody is plotting
mischief against him."

"You don't seem to like him very well," Isaac ventured to say, and
Corporal 'Lige replied emphatically:

"Neither do I."

"Then unless he an' I go off by ourselves, I don't reckon this will be a
very pleasant journey," Isaac said to himself as he thought of the
corporal and Nathan, each distrusting and making complaint against the
other.

Colonel Allen was determined there should be no delay in the setting out
of this spying expedition, and immediately the corporal and Isaac showed
themselves he insisted that the little party start without further loss
of time.

Young Beman at once showed his preference as to a traveling companion,
for he ranged himself by Isaac's side, and when the corporal would have
joined them, said curtly:

"You'd better keep back with the other man. I s'pose I'll have to lead
the way, and when we strike off the main road the path ain't wide enough
for more than two."

"Don't the highway lead to Shoreham?" the corporal asked suspiciously.

"Yes; but we can save more'n four miles by cuttin' through the woods,"
and Nathan hurried Isaac on as a means both of putting an end to the
corporal's inquiries, and forcing him to join Master Phelps.

Once the journey was well begun young Beman presented himself in a more
favorable light.

He ceased to refer to the corporal as an "imitation soldier," and gave
no further evidence of being suspicious; but questioned Isaac as to what
the town of Pittsfield was like, and concerning Boston, where young Rice
had visited two years previous in company with his father.

Master Phelps was not accustomed to this method of traveling, and when
the guide struck into the woods where the trail lead alternately over a
hilly and swampy country he was soon forced to declare that he could not
proceed at such a rapid pace.

"You will have to slacken up a bit," Corporal 'Lige shouted, "for the
gentleman ain't used to this kind of footin'."

"We can't go very slow, else we shan't get to the fort before sunset,"
Nathan replied indifferently, and Master Phelps said in a tone which
admitted of no argument:

"It isn't possible for me to keep pace with you. If it so be we fail to
finish the journey before dark, we can take lodgings with your father
and accomplish our purpose early to-morrow morning."

The prospect of introducing to his father guests who would pay for all
they received, was so satisfactory to young Beman that he made no
protest at being thus forced to slacken pace. It may be he was
unnecessarily slow from this time out, for it was already dark when they
arrived at the guide's home, and Nathan said to Master Phelps before
entering the building:

"I'll tell father you folks want to stay all night, and that's as much
as I need say. If you count on explaining why you have come, it's none
of my business. The officer what hired me said I was to keep quiet about
everything I'd seen down to the camp, so I might as well begin by
holding my tongue."

Then Nathan ushered the guests into the kitchen, where was found Mr.
Beman sitting by the fireplace, for the night had grown cold and chill,
while his wife was preparing the supper.

"Here are some travelers who want to stay all night," Nathan announced,
and added in a lower tone to Isaac, "Come out to the barn with me while
I do my chores; there's no fun in sittin' here."

Five minutes later the three men followed the boys, and Isaac fancied it
was Master Phelps' intention to explain to the farmer the purpose of
their coming, but that he feared to do so in the presence of the
mistress of the household, who, if her son had quoted her words
correctly, favored the king's representatives rather than the colonists
in the doings which had lately arisen.

Nathan took good care that his new friend should perform a full share of
the evening's work, and Isaac assisted in milking the cows, carrying
water, and chopping wood until he had of a surety earned as bountiful a
spread as could be set before him.

The farmer and his guests did not appear until they had been summoned
twice after the appetizing meal was placed upon the table, and while she
was impatiently awaiting them, Mrs. Beman questioned her son sharply as
to what business his father could have with the strangers.

For a time Nathan avoided making any direct answer; but when his mother
pressed him closely he answered her quite as pertly as he had Colonel
Allen, by saying:

"I'm to be paid for holdin' my tongue about whatever is goin' on--I'll
have six shillings by this time to-morrow night, an' I can't afford to
talk to anybody."

"Six shillings just for holding your tongue, Nathan?"

"Well, it's for that an' a little more; but I ain't goin' to make any
talk, so if you want me to earn the money you'd better stop askin'
questions."

"Is your father going to get as much?"

"I don't know anything about his trades; it's all I can do to take care
of my own, an' work 'em through accordin' to the agreement, when there's
so much questionin' goin' on," Nathan replied quite sharply, and his
mother, who was evidently as prudent as himself in financial matters,
desisted from pressing him further.

After this brief conversation Isaac felt positive Corporal 'Lige need
have no fear regarding possible treachery on Nathan's part, for if the
boy refused to tell his mother he surely would be close-mouthed in the
presence of others.

When the party finally made their appearance and were seated at the
supper table, the three men evidently on the best of terms with each
other, Mrs. Beman's curiosity was still further aroused, as was but
natural. Yet no word was dropped during the progress of the meal, nor so
long as the guests remained downstairs, which could have given her the
slightest clew.

It was Nathan's purpose to have Isaac for a bed-fellow; but to this his
mother made emphatic protest, and when the time for retiring came the
three guests were conducted to a room adjoining the kitchen, while the
farmer's family retired to the loft above.

Then it was in cautious whispers that Isaac told the corporal why he
felt confident there was no danger Nathan would betray them, and the old
soldier said grimly:

"He didn't have a fair test when he was talking with his mother, 'cause
there was no chance she would pay him for the information. What I'm
afeared of is that some one may offer him more than Colonel Allen did,
an' then I'll go bail everything he knows will come out in short order."

"I don't believe he would do other than he has agreed."

"Well, lad, you hold to that opinion, an' I'll have my own, an' 'twixt
the two of us I reckon he won't be able to do any mischief. His father
is a proper kind of man; holds to it that the colonists are right in
making war against the king, and stands ready to do all he can in
furtherance of the cause. Therefore if this young jack-a-napes holds
himself too high an' mighty in the mornin' we shan't be wholly in his
power."

When day dawned, however, Corporal 'Lige had no reason to complain of
Nathan.

The lad showed himself of the mind to earn the six shillings, and now
that he was at home, appeared less suspicious of his companion's
intentions.

Perhaps this was due in part to the fact that his father, well knowing
what the visitors would have, took it upon himself to give the guide
positive instructions, and at an early hour Nathan set out accompanied
by Master Phelps.

It was his intention that Isaac should be one of the party; but to this
the farmer made decided objections, insisting that more than one
stranger might cause suspicion, and therefore it was that Corporal 'Lige
and his pupil remained quietly at the farm until noon of that day, when
the delegate from the Connecticut Assembly returned well pleased with
what he had seen.

In a private conversation held with the corporal he reported that strong
though the fortification was, the walls were in a state of great
dilapidation; few, if any, precautions taken against surprise; military
discipline was hardly known, and the sentinels in particular were remiss
in their duty.

Master Phelps had no difficulty in making such investigations as he
chose, and declared that in his opinion, providing the garrison could be
taken by surprise, there was nothing to prevent a capture of the fort.

However, in order that all this might be effected, boats were necessary,
and there was not a sufficient number on the shores near about to convey
one-tenth of the men in Colonel Allen's command.

"It is well you have come with me," Master Phelps said to the corporal,
"for while I am returning, you and the lad, accompanied by the farmer,
shall set about seizing all the boats which may be found in this
vicinity, having due heed to your movements, however, lest you proceed
so far in the direction of Crown Point as to arouse suspicions in that
quarter. Work as expeditiously as is in your power, for the troops will
arrive here not later than midnight, and it is absolutely necessary
there be ready proper craft to convey them across the lake."

Then Master Phelps, still holding to Nathan as a guide, set off to meet
the force, which was believed to be rapidly approaching, and the farmer
said impatiently to the corporal:

"If it so be, sir, you count on carrying out the orders given 'twixt now
and dark, it is time for us to be moving, for boats are not plentiful
hereabout, and we shall have a long tramp before gathering as many as
will carry your force across."



CHAPTER VII.

TICONDEROGA.


It was not necessary Farmer Beman should urge Corporal 'Lige to make
haste in this matter which had been intrusted to him, for the old
soldier understood full well how necessary it was that means of
transportation for the troops should be at hand when the men arrived,
and had good reason to believe that such task as was assigned him could
not be readily performed.

He even showed himself more eager in the work than the farmer, for when
the latter would have delayed in order to eat the noonday meal, the old
man positively refused as he said:

"We can have dinner after Ticonderoga has been taken, but until then
there must be no thought of rest. Although as I understand, detachments
are to be sent to Skenesborough and Panton, it is not positive they can
get boats from there to this point in time, and we must act as if
believing the matter of transportation depended wholly upon ourselves."

Had Nathan been there to witness the old man's activity after some
special work had been set for him, he might have changed his opinion
about the corporal's being an "imitation soldier."

He walked here and there, tiring his companions almost to the verge of
exhaustion, and yet apparently as fresh as when he began; but when the
sun set he had only seventeen boats drawn up on the shore at that point
where it was supposed the troops would halt, and Isaac believed there
were absolutely no more within the radius of a dozen miles.

"I allow you've done your best, corporal," Farmer Beman said as the
three stood looking ruefully at the small number of boats, many of which
would be loaded to the water's edge with half a dozen men, "and it now
stands us in hand to get supper, considerin' we missed our dinner so
completely."

"There must be no time wasted. Let Isaac run up to the house for such
provisions as your wife can spare, and we'll set out in some other
direction, for every craft that we add to this 'ere lot is jest so much
gained."

"You may set out in as many directions as you choose; but you will not
find another boat this night," Farmer Beman said decidedly, and with
what was very like a show of ill-temper. "I've guided you to every place
I know of, and if you are so headstrong as to keep on when there's
little show of accomplishing anything, you must go alone."

"And that's exactly what I shall do," the corporal said emphatically.
"Even though I knew nothing would be accomplished I should keep on
workin' until the force arrived, 'cause it isn't for me to set down and
say my task is finished."

"If that's your idea of soldierin', then I'm mighty glad I haven't
enlisted," and the farmer went deliberately to his home, convinced, as
was his son, that the old corporal was not as well skilled in warfare as
he would have it appear.

Even Isaac was disposed to protest against his teacher's decision, and
urged that it was little less than folly to think of adding to the
fleet, for Farmer Beman had declared positively there were no more boats
in the vicinity.

To this the corporal replied with some warmth, and there might have been
a serious undermining of friendship had not Nathan arrived just at that
moment.

"Well, is that all you've done this afternoon?" he asked sharply, and
the corporal turned on him fiercely.

"Do you know of other boats?"

"Seems to me there's more'n a hundred 'round here."

"Where are they?"

Nathan began a list, mentioning this neighbor or that, and as often
seeing among the collection the craft to which he referred, until
finally he was forced to admit that to the best of his knowledge there
were no more.

"I thought you knew of more than a hundred?" Corporal 'Lige cried
fiercely.

"That's what I reckoned myself; but when I come to figger 'em up they
wasn't there."

"You come with us, an' it may be we'll find another."

"What? After I've walked down to Castleton an' back to-day, I go with
you out rowin'? It'll take more'n six shillings to hire me to do
anything like that this night; besides you haven't got time before the
troops get here."

"How near are they?" Corporal 'Lige asked in alarm.

"Well, they ought'er be showin' up by this time, for I wasn't five
minutes ahead of 'em, and--there they are now!"

Nathan pointed to a group of men who had just come into the clearing
from amid the thicket, and as the old man looked up one of the party
motioned for him to approach.

Although Nathan had announced that he was nearly exhausted from his
ardent labors, his weariness was not so great as his curiosity, and he
followed the corporal and Isaac.

It was Colonel Arnold, Colonel Easton and the two representatives of the
Connecticut Assembly, who had thus come into view, and the former, after
explaining to Corporal 'Lige that the troops had been halted in the
thicket lest they might be seen from the fort even in the gloom, asked
concerning the means of transportation.

Chagrined though he was at his inability to do more, the corporal was
forced to admit that he had hardly a sufficient number of boats to take
over seventy-five or eighty of the men; but this the colonel did not at
the time believe to be of great importance, for it seemed positive
Captain Herrick from Skenesborough, and Captain Douglas from Panton,
must before midnight send craft enough to transfer the entire force.

Therefore it was that the leaders of the party appeared well satisfied,
and the corporal must have come to the conclusion that he had fretted
himself without reasonable cause.

"You will remain in charge of the fleet," Colonel Allen said to the old
soldier, "with the boy to act as your lieutenant, and you may detail two
men as oarsmen in each boat. We will set out as soon as the remainder of
the craft arrives."

Then it was that Nathan believed he saw an opportunity to add to his
earnings of the day, and made the proposition that if the further sum of
four shillings be paid him he would aid in ferrying the troops across,
providing the work could be finished before midnight; but if it should
be delayed until morning he desired to be paid twice that amount.

No one seemed disposed to take advantage of this very generous offer;
now that his particular portion of the work had been done, it was very
much as if every one save Isaac ignored him.

"That's jest the way with these people from down 'round Bennington. They
get all they can for the least money, an' then throw you off. I ought to
have held out for more'n six shillings when I took that Master Phelps,
as you call him, over to the fort."

"But you got paid very well," Isaac suggested.

"Yes, so far as it went; but if I'd thought of all that's going on I
would have put up my price, or held out half-hired till the business was
over."

Now for the first time since their meeting did Corporal 'Lige's pupil
speak sharply to this friend.

"You should be ashamed to demand money for such work as you have done
this day," he said stoutly. "Whatever resistance be made to the king is
for the benefit of all the colonies, and if each one insisted on being
paid, as you've done, his majesty might work his will, for there would
be none to say him nay."

Young Beman was both surprised and injured by this outburst.

"That's what I call pretty tough, after all I've done for you!" he cried
sharply. "If it hadn't been for me you wouldn't have got over here and
had a chance of staying all night in our house."

"I didn't have a chance without paying for it, as I understand Master
Phelps is to settle with your father for our accommodations."

"Yes, an' just before I come away mother told me she thought as likely
as not father'd be such a fool as to refuse to take a cent; but I ain't
goin' to quarrel with you, even if I have been defrauded of what is my
right. Come up to the house an' get some supper, won't you?"

"You mean that I shall partake of the food after I have helped you do
the chores?"

"Well, yes, something like that. Of course you don't expect to get your
supper for nothing."

"No; I'd rather go without than do more work now after tramping around
all the afternoon. There'll be something in the way of rations found in
camp, an' I'll take my chances there."

Young Beman turned away quickly as if angry with this new friend, and
observing the movement Corporal 'Lige asked Isaac:

"What's the trouble with yon skinflint? Haven't been quarrelin', eh?"

"I think I have seen enough of a lad who must be paid for all he does at
such a time," and having said this Isaac went in search of his supper,
not minded to make further explanations.

Weary though he was, the lad was soon forced to aid the corporal in
getting the boats' crews together, and after it was fully dark those
selected to act as oarsmen were marched to the water's edge, that they
might be in readiness when their services were required.

After this there was nothing to be done save await the coming of the
expected craft.

The men were not allowed to build fires lest the lights should be seen
by those in the fort, and so cautious was the leader that even loud
talking was forbidden, therefore the men could do little else than spend
the time in sleeping, a fact by no means disagreeable to the majority
after their march of the day.

On the shore of the lake the oarsmen followed the example of their
comrades in the woods, until all save the corporal and Isaac were
wrapped in the unconsciousness of slumber.

The old soldier, considering himself responsible for the safety of the
fleet, would neither lie down nor allow his young lieutenant to do so,
and they paced to and fro on the sand keeping sharp lookout for the
expected boats, but without avail.

Midnight came, and yet no word from either of the two detachments which
had been sent in search of means of transportation.

Colonel Allen and Colonel Arnold, growing impatient because of the long
delay, came to the shore, and Corporal 'Lige stood stiff as the barrel
of his own musket when he saluted.

"How many can be taken in the boats you have here?" Colonel Arnold
asked.

"Somewhere about eighty, sir, and if it so be you give the word we can
ferry the whole party across in three trips."

"That would never do," Colonel Arnold replied decidedly. "We must go in
a body or give up all hope of surprising the garrison."

In this Colonel Allen was agreed, and the two officers remained near at
hand, now pacing to and fro, and again listening intently for those
sounds which would tell of the hoped-for arrival, until it lacked no
more than two hours of daybreak, when they were joined by Master Phelps
and Colonel Easton, the latter saying sufficiently loud for Isaac to
distinguish the words:

"Unless such a move is made as may be possible with the means at our
disposal, the plan of capturing the fort has come to naught, for it
isn't reasonable to suppose our party can remain in this vicinity
throughout to-morrow without some intimation being given the commandant
by those who live in the vicinity."

What was evidently a conversation between the officers followed; but it
was conducted in so low a tone that Isaac could not hear the words, and
he remained near at hand expecting to receive the order to launch the
boats, until Colonel Easton called him by name.

"You know where is situated the home of the lad who guided Master Phelps
into the fort?"

"Oh, yes, sir; it is but a short distance from here."

"Go you there, and bring the boy."

"I question if he will come, sir, unless I make explanation of why he is
wanted, or promise that he shall be paid for thus disturbing himself. He
seems to have no thought save of money."

"Yet, his father is with us in this matter, I am told, so far as opinion
goes."

"Yes, sir."

"Then go and rouse the lad; if he refuses to come, say to the father
that Colonel Allen requires the services of the boy, and if he answers
not what we make as a request, I will send a detachment to enforce a
demand."

Isaac obeyed promptly, not finding it a simple matter to make his way
across the field in the darkness; but finally succeeding after one or
two tumbles, each of which left their marks in the shape of a scratch or
contusion, and with the first knock at the door he heard Farmer Beman's
voice asking as to who was there.

"It is Isaac Rice, sir, and Colonel Easton has sent me to say that
Colonel Allen desires the attendance of Nathan at once."

"What does he want him for?" the shrill voice of Mrs. Beman cried, and
Isaac replied truthfully that he did not know, since no explanation had
been made him.

Then could be heard the farmer, his wife, and son in what was evidently
an altercation, until no less than five minutes had passed, at the end
of which time young Nathan appeared in the doorway fully clad, as he
asked impatiently:

"How much are they willing to give me for coming out in the night like
this?"

"I think it would be well if you depended upon their generosity,
otherwise it is in Colonel Allen's power to force you to do as he asks,"
Isaac replied curtly, and from the inside Farmer Beman shouted:

"Get you gone, boy, and do their bidding. If I again hear you demanding
money for such services, your jacket shall be tanned with the stoutest
hickory switch I can get hereabouts."

One would have said young Beman was the most abused lad in the province
of New York, as he followed Isaac down to the shore, alternately
bewailing his ill-fortune because he had not given Captain Delaplace
information of the coming of such a body of men, trusting to that
officer's generosity for a greater sum of money than was given him by
Colonel Allen, and vehemently protesting he would not stir one step from
the encampment without being well paid for his services. Colonel Easton,
overhearing this threat, stepped directly in front of the grumbling lad
and called for Corporal 'Lige, much to the surprise of both the boys,
saying when the old soldier arrived:

"Corporal, it is Colonel Allen's wish that this lad remain near him
after we have landed on the other side, to show the way into the fort.
He is not disposed to do so willingly, it seems, and it shall be your
duty to see that the order be obeyed. If he attempts to escape, shoot
him down; but give him gentle treatment so long as he complies with your
requests."

"I'll take care of him, sir, that you may depend on," the corporal said
grimly, and from that instant Nathan Beman remained silent regarding his
desire to be paid for acting the part of guide.

Because of having received this order the corporal was forced to
relinquish his position as commodore of the fleet, and thus it was that
he and his pupil were among the few who entered Ticonderoga early that
morning.

Within five minutes after Nathan had apparently been subdued, word was
passed for as many of the Green Mountain Boys as could be conveyed in
the boats to embark at once, and almost at the same moment Colonel
Easton, turning to the old man, said:

"It is your duty, Corporal 'Lige, to take passage in the same craft that
carries our leader, for the lad of whom you have charge must be kept
where Colonel Allen can speak to him at an instant's notice."

Had the men been allowed to follow their inclinations, the frail boats
which formed the fleet would have been swamped even before they pushed
off from the shore, for every member of the troop was eager to be with
the first division, and it was only after considerable difficulty in the
way of restraining the men that the different craft were properly and
safely loaded.

When the corporal and the lad who was thus virtually held prisoner
entered the boat where was Colonel Allen, Isaac followed as if it was
his right so to do.

He could not fancy any position of affairs where he would be debarred
from remaining with the man who had taken him "under his wing," and it
so chanced that in the excitement of embarking he passed aboard unheeded
by who might have checked him.

The darkness of night was just giving way to the gray light of dawn when
the little fleet put off from the shore, and without being really aware
he did so, Isaac counted the number of those who were thus afloat.

Beside the officers, there were eighty-three, including himself and
Nathan, and it was no longer reasonable to expect that those who had
been sent to Skenesborough and Panton would arrive in time to be of
assistance.

"Will they try to take the fort with so few?" he asked in a whisper of
Corporal 'Lige, and the latter added emphatically:

"If all that is told of Colonel Allen be true, he wouldn't hesitate to
make an attempt single-handed."

"But surely we cannot hope to do much, for fifty men behind a fort
should be a much larger force than ours."

"Savin' and exceptin' these men be surprised, as our leader counts them
in Fort Ticonderoga will be," the corporal replied, and then placed his
finger on his lips that the lad should cease talking, for the order had
been passed from boat to boat just before the fleet left the shore that
no conversation be indulged in.

Nathan, sulky because of having been put in charge of the man whom he
disliked, gave no apparent attention to anything.

In almost perfect silence the journey by water was made, and brought to
an end just as the day was breaking, when, in obedience to signals
rather than words, the men disembarked and were formed in three ranks
close to the water's edge.

Then it was that Colonel Allen advanced to where the men might hear when
he spoke in the tone of ordinary conversation, and said with a calmness
which in itself was impressive:

"There are but few of us here to undertake the work which was cut out;
but yet each of you should be a match for any two whom we may meet.
Should we delay until all the force can be ferried across, there will be
no longer opportunity to surprise the garrison; therefore we must act
for our comrades as well as ourselves, remembering that should we falter
we cast shame on them also. Now, lads, it is my purpose to march into
the fort, and I only ask that you follow where I lead."

The officers stepped forward quickly to make certain there should be no
cheering, and wheeling about with true military precision Colonel Allen
started forward, Colonel Arnold by his side, and Corporal 'Lige with
Nathan and Isaac directly in the rear.

Behind them came eighty of the Green Mountain Boys.

There was no command given.

Each of the men copied the movements of the leader, and noiselessly but
rapidly they made their way up the heights toward the sallyport, Isaac's
face paling as he went, for he believed of a surety now was come the
time when he should hear the clash of arms and find himself in the midst
of combatants, each striving to take the other's life.

On passing an angle at the rear of the fortification the entrance of a
trench or covert-way was come upon and here they surprised a sentinel
half asleep, leaning against the earthwork.

Awakened thus suddenly, and seeing what he might naturally suppose to be
the advance guard of a large force directly upon him, he took hasty aim
at Colonel Allen and pulled the trigger.

Involuntarily Isaac closed his eyes, believing their leader must be
killed at such short range, but the weapon hung fire and the sentinel
took to his heels through this trench, the attacking party following at
full speed.

The fugitive led the way to the parade-ground within the barracks, where
was found another sentinel, and he made a thrust with his bayonet at
Colonel Easton, who was side by side with the leaders; but had hardly
raised his weapon before a blow from the flat of Colonel Allen's sword
sent him headlong to the ground.

At this the men, unable longer to control themselves, gave vent to a
tremendous shout, and without orders separated into two divisions, each
bent on gaining possession of the barrack ranges.

As bees swarm out of their hives, so did the startled redcoats rush from
the buildings, and it seemed to Isaac as if instantly each man appeared
he was disarmed by one of the Green Mountain Boys, who, as fast as he
secured a captive, marched him to the center of the parade-ground in
order that he might not block up the entrance of the barracks.

Now was come the moment when Nathan's services were required.

It was no longer possible to keep silence, for the shouts of the men
must have aroused every one within the inclosure, and turning quickly,
Colonel Allen cried in a loud voice:

"Get you before me with that lad, corporal and let him lead the way to
the commandant's quarters."

Nathan did not require urging.

He understood that this man had come with serious purpose, and knew full
well it might be dangerous for him to hang back.

Darting ahead as swiftly as the corporal would allow, he conducted
Colonel Allen to the door of Captain Delaplace's dwelling, and the
leader gave three resounding knocks with the hilt of his sword, as he
shouted:

"Surrender this fort, commandant! Surrender at once in order to save the
lives of your men!"

The door was quickly opened in response to this demand, and a half-clad
man, over whose shoulder could be seen the frightened face of a woman,
appeared in the doorway.

Before he could speak Colonel Allen cried:

"I order you instantly to surrender, sir!"

"By whose authority do you make such demand?" the captain cried with
dignity.

"In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!"

These words sounded in Isaac's ears like the thunder of cannon, and even
while he questioned to himself if it were possible this handful of men
had really captured the fortress, Ticonderoga was surrendered.



CHAPTER VIII.

AN INTERRUPTION.


Nathan, who had looked upon the men under Colonel Allen much as he had
Corporal 'Lige, was literally amazed by this ready submission of the
king's troops, standing silent and motionless by the side of Isaac as
the garrison was paraded without arms, and the surrender made in due
form.

Some days afterward Isaac learned that the spoils of war at this place
were one hundred and twenty iron cannon, fifty swivels, two ten-inch
mortars, one howitzer, one cohorn, ten tons musket-balls, three
cartloads flints, thirty gun-carriages, a quantity of shells, a large
amount of material for boat building, one hundred stand of small arms,
ten casks of powder, two brass cannon, thirty barrels of flour and
eighteen barrels of pork.

Forty-eight soldiers were surrendered and preparations were at once
begun to send these, together with the women and children, to Hartford.

Hardly was the surrender made complete when such of the troops as had
been left on the opposite shore under Seth Warner, arrived in a
schooner, much to the surprise of all, until it was learned that Captain
Herrick, who had been sent to Skenesborough to seize the son of the
governor, had succeeded in his mission without bloodshed.

He took not only the young major, but twelve negroes and attendants,
seized the schooner owned by the elder Skene, and had come down the lake
in the early morning with the hope of aiding in the capture of
Ticonderoga.

Isaac had supposed this victory would end the adventure, and was saying
to himself that his experience had been rather pleasing than otherwise,
so much so in fact that he almost regretted the time was near at hand
for him to return home, when he saw, much to his surprise, a portion of
the troops being formed in line as if to leave Ticonderoga.

Corporal 'Lige had been assigned to the task of overhauling the goods in
the warehouse for the purpose of making out a list of the same, and it
was to him that Isaac, followed by Nathan, went for information.

"Forming in line, eh?" the old man asked as, wiping the perspiration
from his face, he went outside to have a look around, and instantly he
noted the preparations which were making, turned back to his work as if
it was of but little concern.

"What is the meaning of that, corporal?" Isaac suggested. "Are we going
back without having stayed here a single day?"

"There will be no turnin' back, lad, until the work is finished, and the
fort at Crown Point yet remains to be taken. I allow Seth Warner is
goin' to tackle that job, which won't be a difficult one, since it is
said there are not above a dozen men in the garrison."

"Suppose you an' I go with 'em?" Nathan suggested, now no longer eager
to demand money for his services; but, fired by what he had seen, and
burning to participate in new conquests.

"What do you say, corporal?" Isaac asked, feeling that it was necessary
to gain the old man's permission before he could join in the adventure.

Again Corporal 'Lige went to the door of the warehouse, looking about
him with the air of a weather-prophet, after which he replied in a
careless tone:

"I don't reckon it makes any difference whether you lads are here or
sailin' 'round the lake, therefore if Seth Warner gives his permission,
you may go so far as I am concerned; but it'll be only a question of
whifflin' from one point to another, for while the wind holds in this
direction I'm allowin' none of the force will reach Crown Point."

"The wind is likely to haul 'round after sunset, so let us take our
chances," Nathan whispered, and Isaac was not loth to embark.

Therefore the two started across the parade-ground for the purpose of
speaking with the old hunter--Seth Warner--when Captain Herrick, who had
just made his report of the night's work at Skenesborough, halted the
boys by saying:

"I reckon you two lads are the ones Colonel Allen would speak with at
once? You will find him in the commandant's quarters."

"He is most likely thinkin' of payin' me for comin' over last night,"
Nathan said as the two turned to obey the command, "and I have made up
my mind not to take money for the service."

Isaac looked at his companion in surprise, and the latter added almost
shame-facedly:

"I reckon father was right when he said every one in the colonies should
do all he could in this cause, and, besides, it looks to me as if the
king's troops would speedily get the worst of it."

Young Beman was not unlike many in the neighborhood who in after-days
were royalists or patriots as the cause of freedom grew weak or strong.

However, Nathan had no opportunity to refuse a payment of money for his
services, for when the lads stood before Colonel Allen, the latter said
in a tone of command, and yet with the air of one asking a favor:

"I want to send a messenger to Sudbury. Do you think you can find the
place, Isaac Rice?"

"I will show him the way, sir," Nathan said promptly, and the colonel
favored him with a glance of surprise, but took no further heed of his
sudden complaisance.

"At that settlement you will find one Captain Remember Baker; tell him
what has been done at this point, and say it is my wish he join me here
without delay. Select the lightest boat you can find for crossing the
lake, and make all haste."

Then the colonel turned away, intent upon the work of preparing a list
of the garrison which had surrendered, and some of his officers entering
for further instructions prevented the boys from making any inquiries
concerning the mission.

On leaving the quarters, Nathan, eager to serve this new commander of
the fort with all possible celerity, would have hastened at once to the
shore in order to set out, but that Isaac insisted upon giving Corporal
'Lige due information as to their proposed movements, much to the
displeasure of young Beman, who claimed that the old soldier was of no
account when the colonel had given orders.

"Well, this one is," Isaac said stoutly. "He's a good friend of mine,
and I wouldn't think of leavin' without first tellin' him, no matter
whose orders I was obeying."

"Well, I s'pose you must have your own way, but the time will come when
you won't think so much of that pig-headed old man as you do now."

To this ill-natured remark the lad did not reply, but on presenting
himself to Corporal 'Lige and explaining what he was about to do, the
latter, still busy with his work of taking account of the stores, made
very much the same remark as had Nathan.

"Don't consider, lad, that you are to report to me when ordered on duty.
Be careful of yourself; do not run into danger needlessly, and get you
gone without delay, for Colonel Allen is a man who doesn't take kindly
to loiterers."

Nathan showed himself to be one who could perform a task promptly and in
good order when it suited his pleasure so to do.

He it was who selected the boat in which they were to cross the lake;
borrowed a musket from one of the men that he might not be forced to
make the journey weaponless, and succeeding in begging such an amount of
provisions as would serve them for dinner.

While these few preparations were being made, Warner, with a detachment
of twenty five men from Colonel Allen's regiment, put off on his journey
to Crown Point, and after watching them a moment Nathan Beman said in a
tone of one who is satisfied with himself:

"It's jest as well we didn't have a chance to go with that crowd, for
they won't get anywhere near there until the wind changes, and it seems
as though whoever is in charge of the job, ought to know it."

"I suppose the plan is to take the fort by surprise, as was this one,
and unless our people get there soon, it will be a failure, because the
news of what has been done here must fly over the country quickly."

"While the wind blows this way, and so strong, no one will get up the
lake, therefore the garrison won't learn of the surrender of Ticonderoga
unless some one goes across the country. However, we needn't bother,
seein's our work is all cut an' dried, and we had better not waste too
much time here."

Isaac was beginning to entertain a very friendly feeling toward this lad
now that he had changed his views so entirely regarding the value of his
services, and, as a matter of course, Nathan could be a most pleasing
traveling companion when it suited his purpose, as it did at present.

The journey to Sudbury proved to be a longer one than was anticipated.

A strong wind which blew directly down the lake, carried the boys fully
two miles below the point at which they should have landed, and Nathan
was much averse to following back along the shore in order to gain the
trail which led to Sudbury.

"It will be just that much useless labor," he said emphatically, "and I
am not given to walking more than may be necessary."

"But there's a chance of going astray if we strike across from here,"
Isaac suggested, for, as has already been shown, he knew little of
woodcraft, and this traveling blindly around a section of the country
where there was every reason to believe enemies might be found was not
to his liking.

"I'd be a mighty poor sort of a guide if I couldn't go across from here
without straying from the course so much as a dozen yards," Master Beman
said decidedly. "To walk up the shore two miles or more only for the
purpose of striking the trail, is foolishness."

"But the thicket is so dense here," Isaac suggested timidly, almost
fearing to venture an opinion lest he should provoke the mirth of his
companion. "It will be harder to make our way through than to go
around."

Nathan made no reply.

He bestowed upon Corporal 'Lige's recruit a glance as of pity, and then,
without further words, plunged into the underbrush.

Master Rice could do no less than follow.

Before the boys had traveled half an hour on the direct course to
Sudbury, it is more than probable young Beman repented of having
attempted to make a "short cut," for the advance was indeed difficult.

At times it was really painful to force one's way through the tangled
foliage, while now and again the boys found themselves floundering over
swampy land; but Nathan made no complaint because he was responsible for
having taken such a course, and Isaac hardly dared protest lest his
companion should be angered.

"I still maintain that it was better to come this way than travel two
miles in vain," Nathan said as he threw himself upon the ground, and
Corporal 'Lige's recruit ventured to suggest mildly:

"I'd rather walk three miles on the shore than one here, where a fellow
is obliged to fight his way through."

"Perhaps you know this country better than I do, and would take the
lead?"

"Not so. You left Ticonderoga as guide, and it would not be seemly in
me, who am a stranger here as well as a lad unaccustomed to this sort of
warfare which is now being conducted, to do other than follow your lead;
but----"

The remark which was intended to soothe the irritation in the guide's
breast was not concluded, for Isaac was interrupted by the sudden and
unexpected appearance of three men, who came upon the boys as if from an
ambush.

"Hullo!" Master Beman cried carelessly as if something in the way of a
salutation was expected from him.

Instead of replying to this hail the two lads were seized roughly, and
without a word the strangers, taking possession of the musket, began
searching the messengers' clothing as if expecting something of value or
importance would be found.

"Look here! What are you about?" Nathan cried angrily, while Isaac
submitted in silence, for he understood that these three might be
enemies to the cause. "What do you mean by handling me in this shape?"

"Better keep your tongue between your teeth, young Beman," one of the
men said in a surly tone. "When we ask for information there'll be time
enough for you to wag it so freely."

Surprised at having been thus recognized, and heedless of the warning,
Nathan continued:

"Who are you? I never saw you before! What right have you to handle me
in this fashion?"

"The right of any of his majesty's subjects, for in these times it is
well to overhaul every rebel one runs across."

"I'm no rebel!" Nathan cried, now exhibiting signs of alarm.

"Your father is, which amounts to the same thing," the man replied, as,
after having satisfied himself the lad had nothing concealed about his
person, he rose to his feet. "Why are you abroad to-day?"

"How long since is it that a lad may not move about as he wishes?"

"Since rebellion first showed its head in these colonies. Now, answer my
question, or it will be the worse for you!"

Isaac, thoroughly alarmed, had made no resistance either by word or
movement when the stranger searched him, and although ignorant, as he
had often said, of warfare, he understood now full well that they were
fallen into the hands of enemies, who would not hesitate at the taking
of human life in order to compass their ends.

Therefore he remained stretched upon the ground as when the men first
came upon them, so terrified that it was almost impossible either to
move or speak.

Young Beman was frightened, but not to such an extent as to prevent him
from displaying anger, and instead of replying to the question he
attempted to rise to his feet.

A blow delivered with unnecessary force sent him headlong to the ground
again, and his captor said warningly:

"Have a care what you are about, Nathan Beman, for we are not disposed
either to bandy words or waste much time on such as you, who, having
professed friendship for those in the fort, was ready to betray them."

Now, Nathan's fears were as great as Isaac's; but he made one more
effort at asserting himself, and began by telling a lie.

"What have I done at the fort? I am but just come from my father's
house."

"Take that for the falsehood, and this for believing us to be fools, who
can be deceived by such as you," the man replied as he viciously kicked
the boy twice. "You have but just come from Ticonderoga, and must have
been sent by the rebels who captured the fort."

"What reason have you for saying that?" Nathan asked in a more subdued
tone.

"First, the fact of your being here, and secondly because your comrade
spoke, while we were within hearing, of your having been sent from
Ticonderoga."

Nathan shot an angry glance toward Isaac as if Corporal 'Lige's recruit
alone was to blame for this unpleasant interruption to the journey; but
he ventured no reply lest further chastisement might follow.

"Tell me to whom you are sent, and have a care in the replying, for we
are not minded to waste much time upon such as you."

Nathan was beginning to understand that he was wholly in the power of an
enemy, whom he could not readily deceive, and also believed that it
might be painful for him if the answer was delayed.

He was not so devoted to the cause as to be willing to suffer in its
behalf, and, therefore, said surlily:

"We were going to Captain Remember Baker at Sudbury."

"Who sent you?"

"Colonel Allen."

"Where is the message you are carrying?"

"He gave us none save by word of mouth."

"Repeat it, and be careful lest you make the mistake of telling another
lie."

"There is nothing in it of importance or interest to you. It was simply
that Captain Baker should come at once to Ticonderoga."

"Then the fort was taken last night?"

"I thought you knew that?" Nathan cried in surprise, now understanding
that he had divulged what it was most important should have been kept a
profound secret until Crown Point had been captured.

"We heard that the rebels were marching toward the fort; but could not
get there in time to warn the commandant."

"Why was it you made prisoners of two boys if you were not knowing to
all that has taken place?" Nathan asked, his curiosity getting the
better of his fears.

"We took the chance that you could give us the desired information,
because it was not reasonable old Beman's son should be in this section
unless on business of his father's, and in these times one can well
guess what that business might be. Therefore, having heard you
floundering through the thicket, we drew near to listen to such
conversation as you might indulge in."

"Are you going to waste time explaining our purpose to that young cub,
Jason Wentworth?" one of the men asked impatiently, and he who had been
addressed replied with a laugh:

"We are not in as much haste now as we were half an hour ago, Ezra
Jones. Captain Baker will not get the message, and while the wind holds
in this quarter I'm allowing the rebels won't reach Crown Point before
we do."

"They will if we loiter here all day. Truss up the lads, so they can do
no mischief, and let us be off."

"Would you leave them here in the thicket, Ezra Jones?"

"Why not?"

"They might starve to death, and while I'm willing to serve the king in
all things, it is not my intent to be thus barbarous."

"They can make themselves heard if any one passes by on the trail," the
third man replied very carelessly, and Ezra added quickly:

"Ay! I had not thought of that. They must be gagged, or, what may be
better for us, shot offhand."

"Are you willing to kill two boys in cold blood, Ezra Jones?"

There was no reply to this question, and Jason Wentworth turned round to
the other man.

"Matthew White, will you take it upon yourself to do what is little less
than murder?"

"No; carry them further into the thicket, where they cannot be heard
from the trail, and there tie them up."

"It were better we shot them at once, than leave them to starve," Jason
Wentworth said much as if speaking to himself, and during this
conversation the feelings of the two lads can be faintly imagined.

The question of their death by bullet or starvation was being discussed
in such a business-like manner, as if there was no alternative, that the
boys were literally paralyzed with fear.

It seemed to Isaac Rice as if the three men remained silent fully five
minutes before Jason Wentworth spoke again, and then it was with the air
of one who has decided some vexed question.

"I'm not willing to play the part of a savage," he said, speaking slowly
in order to give his words due weight. "Neither do I propose that they
shall carry the message. We'll take them with us."

"And thus we shall be caused much delay," Ezra Jones muttered.

"If they are wise we will travel as rapidly as when alone, and in case
of a refusal to obey orders they can be shot, or left to starve, as
easily half an hour hence as now. Besides, there will be much work at
the oars 'twixt here and Crown Point, and they can do a little more than
their share of it."

Perhaps it was this last suggestion which caused the other two men to
agree to the proposition.

At all events, no further objection was made, and Master Wentworth took
it upon himself to direct the march of the prisoners.

"You are to keep half a dozen paces in advance, and take good care there
is no loitering, or any attempt at giving us the slip," he said to the
boys, who yet lay upon the ground. "I do not propose that you shall be
starved to death; but at the same time I would put a musket-ball into
one or both of you without compunction, rather than suffer delay or
escape. Now get on your feet, and move lively, for only by obedience can
you save your lives."

There was no disposition on the part of Colonel Allen's messengers to
run counter to the command which had been given.

Each knew full well that two of their three captors were in favor of
leaving them to a most cruel death, which could be escaped only by
prompt acquiescence to all the orders given.

Therefore it was they leaped to their feet quickly, and set forward at a
sharp pace, when Jason Wentworth pointed out the direction to be
pursued.

At this moment it was Isaac who suffered most in mind, for he knew full
well that Corporal 'Lige would condemn him for not having the courage to
face death rather than give information to the enemy.

Even though it was Nathan who had divulged what should have been kept a
secret, the raw recruit knew in his own heart he had agreed that the
information should be given, because of having made no protest.

If Seth Warner failed in his purpose, it would be owing in a certain
degree to what had been told these men, and Isaac, who had hoped to win
renown, if not glory, by enlisting, could charge himself with what was
worse than a blunder.

On the other hand Nathan was not sore in mind because of the possibility
that Crown Point might still be held by the king's troops; but he had
sufficient sense to understand that if he had retraced his steps along
the shore to the trail, as Isaac proposed, this capture might not have
been made.

Therefore, but in a different fashion, was his mental trouble as great
as that of his comrade.

To the chagrin of both the boys they came upon the trail leading from
the lake to Sudbury, after not more than two or three minutes'
traveling, and thus knew that if their halt had been delayed a very
short time it might have been possible to have given these enemies the
slip.

Once on the trail word was given to halt, and the three men held a brief
consultation as to the course they should pursue.

One was in favor of going directly to the shore, where it appeared they
believed a boat could be found; but the others insisted on keeping
within the thicket until they were arrived a mile or more above the
fort, lest, being seen, pursuit should be made by those who had captured
Ticonderoga.

This last proposition prevailed, although there were many chances they
might not find a boat further up the lake; but Jason Wentworth persisted
it would be better if they make the journey entirely on foot, than take
the risk of being captured before word could be carried to Crown Point.

On being commanded to push forward once more the boys obeyed readily, if
not willingly, and during the hour which elapsed before they gained the
desired point, Nathan and Isaac had ample opportunity for conversation,
since their captors did not seem to be averse to their talking one with
the other.

"Of course, we shall be held prisoners by the king's troops once we are
arrived at Crown Point," Isaac ventured to say after they had traveled
steadily, although slowly, onward for nearly half an hour, and young
Beman replied in a petulant tone:

"That goes without saying, and it shows what a fool I've been in running
around with those who would oppose the king's will. If father is eager
to ruin himself, that's no reason I should be a fool, and I'd better
have listened to mother."

"Why speak of what has been done?" Corporal 'Lige's recruit asked in
what he intended should be a soothing tone. "I am not acquainted with
the country as you are, neither am I so brave; but yet it seems as if we
should be on the alert for a chance to escape."

"Now you talk like a fool! How may we escape with these three men on
watch, all of whom are willing to shoot us at the first chance we give
them. I'm not minded to have a bullet put through my body; but would
rather trust to the king's troops, in the hope that after a time we may
be set free."

"Yet if we could give these men the slip?"

"You may be certain we shan't have a chance."

"Yet, suppose we did?"

"Why will you be so weak-headed, Isaac Rice? If this is really war
between the king and the colonies, the lives of boys like us count for
but little, especially since two of these men are eager to be rid of
us."

Isaac understood that it was useless just at this time to make any
attempt at arousing his companion from the petulant despondency into
which he had fallen, wherefore wisely kept silent; but at the same time
was firmly resolved to be on the lookout for any opportunity of gaining
his freedom.

His timorousness had fled before the thought that there might yet be a
chance, he knew not how, of preventing the information of the fall of
Ticonderoga from being carried to Crown Point.

The boy had in his heart just then what is commonly called courage, and
his will was good, at whatever cost to himself, to repair the mischief
which had been done.

He had hoped to animate his companion to the same pitch, but the failure
to do this did not discourage him, and while obeying strictly the orders
given, he was keenly aware of everything which might be of benefit.

He heard the men discussing what they would do in case of a failure to
find a boat near by where they gained the shore, and learned that in
such an event one of them would return to the landing-place to get the
craft of which they knew, with the idea that a single oarsman would not
be molested while pulling leisurely up stream as if bent on business of
his own.

He also understood that it was the purpose of his captors, after warning
the garrison at Crown Point, to muster a force of Loyalists from the
immediate vicinity, and march into Sudbury with the idea of taking
Captain Baker and his men prisoners before a second messenger should be
sent from Ticonderoga.

There seemed little hope that such information could avail him, and yet
he was in a certain degree elated because of having gained it.

On arriving at the shore of the lake, where the men had thought it
possible a boat might be found, no craft of any kind was to be seen.

The wind still held strongly from the north, and Jason Wentworth
announced in a tone of satisfaction:

"The rebels won't get very far on their journey toward Crown Point this
day, and I am mistaken if the wind doesn't freshen after sunset."

"It will be precious hard work for us to make our way against such a
breeze," Ezra Jones grumbled.

"Ay; but we can do it with four oars out, and even though we pull at
them twenty-four hours, the labor should count as nothing so that we
arrive in good time."

"But the garrison there is weak?"

"They should be able to hold out until assistance can arrive. We can
muster fifty men for them within two hours; but standing here talking
isn't doing the work, and it's important we set off without unnecessary
delay. Ezra, you go down the shore, and Matthew up, each searching for a
boat, and when one has been found pull to this point, where I will stay
with the prisoners."

"Is it to your mind that I shall take the craft from opposite the fort,
running the risk of being overhauled?"

"Better that than remain here wasting time in talk."

Matthew White was of the opinion that it would be wisest to make the
journey afoot rather than take the risk of being overhauled by the
"rebels;" but to this Master Wentworth would not listen, and, he
evidently being the leader of the party, carried his point.

The two men set out, and immediately after their departure Jason
Wentworth ordered his prisoners back into the underbrush a short
distance from the shore, where he stood guard over them, and at the same
time could keep close watch for the return of his companions.



CHAPTER IX.

A BOLD STROKE.


Isaac's heart beat hard and fast when he and Nathan were thus left with
but a single man to guard them, for he believed the time had come when
they might succeed in turning the tables, because surely it would be
easier to overpower one than three.

In this, however, he soon came to understand that he was mistaken.

Had either of the others been left on guard it is possible something
might have been done; but Jason Wentworth was not a man to be caught
napping, and while he seemingly directed his gaze out over the waters,
at the slightest movement of either of the prisoners he was on the alert
against an attempt at escape.

Twice had Isaac changed his position in order to make certain the man
was keeping close watch upon them when his attention was apparently
directed elsewhere, and each time he saw Master Wentworth's musket
raised that it might be ready in case a bullet was needed to check the
flight of his captives.

"You had better not try that again," the man said warningly when Isaac
shifted his position the third time for no other reason than to make
himself more comfortable. "In a case like this your lives count as
nothing, and while I am unwilling to leave you to starve in the woods, I
shall not hesitate to kill either or both, therefore do not make any
feint at giving me the slip lest my patience should become exhausted."

After that Isaac was exceedingly careful, as was young Beman, to remain
silent and motionless.

While Corporal 'Lige's recruit was ready to encounter serious danger in
order to accomplish his ends, there was no idea in his mind of risking
life needlessly when there was nothing to be gained.

Young Beman lay face downward, as he had thrown himself when the halt
was called, giving no heed to the conversation between his comrade and
Master Wentworth, and Isaac believed young Beman intended for him to
understand that he would take no part in an effort to effect their
release.

An hour passed and nothing had been heard from the two who had gone in
search of a boat.

It surely seemed as if they must have met with some mishap, and a great
hope sprang up in Isaac's breast.

When thirty minutes more had passed Master Wentworth's face gave
evidence of the anxiety which had come upon him, and he looked toward
his prisoners with such an odd expression that Isaac Rice trembled,
fearing the man was beginning to believe it would be better to do with
them as his friends had suggested.

Then, when it seemed impossible for Jason Wentworth longer to control
his impatience, Master White returned as when he departed, and having
the appearance of one who had walked far and rapidly.

"You found no boat?" Master Wentworth said interrogatively, and the man
replied, as he seated himself wearily near by the prisoners:

"I do not believe there is one this side of Crown Point. Most likely the
rebels took good care to gather in every craft that was to be found
within half a dozen miles of here."

For the first time since the little party came to a halt did Nathan
evince any interest in what was going on around him, and now he
partially turned as if to speak.

Isaac, believing he was on the point of telling what he knew regarding
the seizure of boats, covered the boy's mouth with his hand, for he was
not minded to give the enemy any information.

Master Wentworth observed the movement, and evidently would have
demanded an explanation, but for the fact that at this moment Ezra Jones
came up through the thicket, instead of along the shore.

His report was much like Master White's.

The boat he had expected to find near the trail leading to Sudbury was
missing, and he had continued on nearly two miles further, but without
avail.

Again did hope come into Isaac's desponding breast.

The boy had believed Master Jones would surely find the craft in which
he and Nathan had crossed the lake; but fortune favored the "rebel"
cause in that respect at least, for the man must have turned about,
when, by continuing on a very short distance further, he would have come
upon that for which he was searching.

"We must go on foot," Master Wentworth said after a short pause, "and
the sooner we set out the better."

"It's all very well for you, who have been resting here, to say that,"
Jones replied petulantly. "I've been making a road through the thicket
for a matter of five miles or more, and don't propose to move again
until after I've had a breathing spell."

"Why didn't you come back by the shore, as you went?"

"Because there are a hundred pair of eyes watching this side of the
lake. I could see the rebels on the opposite shore before I gained the
trail, and then it was necessary to keep well hidden in the bushes. Even
though I had found a boat, it is doubtful if I should have been allowed
to pull up this way, for Seth Warner and Ethan Allen are much too keen
to let any one pass who is headed in the direction of Crown Point."

"They are waiting for the wind to die away before setting out to take
the fort, and if we would save it to the king it is time to be about the
work," Master Wentworth said half to himself, but his comrades gave no
heed to the words.

Then ensued a long time of silence, and Isaac was well content, for each
moment of delay lessened the danger, as he believed.

Thanks to the indolence of Masters White and Jones, it was nearly
nightfall before they were ready to begin the journey, and then the
latter intimated that he had recovered from his fatigue.

"If we fail to give the warning in time, you and White can take the
fault to yourselves," Master Wentworth said angrily, after which he
ordered the prisoners on in advance once more.

"They have begun to quarrel among themselves, and perhaps our time will
come before morning," Isaac whispered to Nathan as they pushed on in
advance, and young Beman appeared more willing to listen than when the
subject was first broached; but yet he made no reply.

An hour later night had fully come, and the flying clouds so completely
obscured the sky that it was difficult for the travelers to make their
way even along the shore where was nothing, save here and there a point
of rocks, to impede the progress.

More than once did the boys walk directly into the water, and twice
Master White fell headlong over a fallen tree, despite all efforts to
the contrary, and then it was Jason Wentworth who proposed a halt.

"We are not making two miles an hour at this rate," he said in the tone
of one who is offended with his companions. "We may as well stop where
we are until it is light enough for us to see the way."

Nathan and Isaac came to a halt immediately, and, ordering them to keep
close by his side, the leader of the party sought for a camping-place
amid the shrubbery.

It was not possible to make any choice selection while it was so dark
that one could not distinguish objects a dozen paces in advance, and at
the first cleared space sufficiently large to admit of the men
stretching out at full length, Master Wentworth made his preparations
for the night.

He ordered the boys to lie down; covered them with four or five
saplings, and on the ends of these he and Master White laid themselves
in such manner that the first movement made by the prisoners must awaken
the captors.

It was the Indian method of guarding captives; but, owing to the absence
of robes or blankets with which to cover the ends of the saplings, those
who lay on the outside had a most uncomfortable bed.

Isaac, still on the alert for any advantage, observed, rather by sense
of hearing than of sight, that Master Wentworth kept his musket close
beside him, while the other two leaned their weapons against the bushes.

It seemed to Corporal 'Lige's recruit as if Nathan Beman had finally
come to understand that escape might yet be possible, for the latter
prodded his comrade with his elbow from time to time, as if to prevent
him from falling asleep, and Isaac returned the pressure with vigor.

Then, when it appeared as if fully an hour had passed, the heavy
breathing of the men told that they were fast asleep, and Nathan
whispered cautiously:

"These fellows ain't so smart as I'd counted on. I've heard father tell
how he outwitted the savages when they had him in the same kind of a
trap, an' I can work this if you're ready."

"Begin at once; there is no time to lose."

Then it was that young Beman breathed loudly as if wrapped in profound
slumber, and tossed about restlessly, all the while pressing against
Master White.

Isaac did not understand the purpose of such maneuver, but he was
content with knowing that his comrade had at last consented to make an
effort toward escape.

More than once Master White partially awakened, and grumbled because of
Nathan's restlessness; but at the same moment he unconsciously moved
aside slightly, and each time he did this the prisoners were so much
nearer liberty.

Then came the time when Nathan whispered:

"He has at last rolled off the saplings, and I can crawl away without
disturbing him. Are you ready to follow?"

"Yes. Can't you get the muskets? Two are near our feet, and the other is
by the side of Wentworth."

"It is enough if we give them the slip."

"If we get possession of the muskets they cannot send a bullet after us
in case one awakens before we are well off."

"I'll try it," Nathan replied as he began wriggling his body out from
under the saplings, not daring to move in the direction of where Master
White lay.

Isaac, literally trembling with excitement, followed his example, and it
seemed to him as if half an hour had been consumed in the task, when
really no more than five minutes were thus spent before the boys were on
their feet and the men apparently still wrapped in slumber.

Even now Nathan would have made good his escape without an effort to
secure the weapons, and pressed his comrade's arm to intimate that there
was no time to be lost; but Isaac, dropping to his hands and knees,
crept toward Master Wentworth.

When the plan had so far succeeded that they were on their feet, a bold
scheme came into Isaac's head, and he believed now was come the time for
him to gain the good opinion of Corporal 'Lige, if he should be so
fortunate as to see the old soldier again.

Moving with infinite care, and giving no heed to what Nathan might be
doing, the boy crept to Master Wentworth's side, and it was with
difficulty he repressed a cry of exultation as his fingers closed over
the musket.

Cautiously rising to his feet, and at the same instant assuring himself
the flint was in place, but forgetting that he had no powder with which
to prime the weapon, Isaac stepped back to where he had left his
comrade.

Nathan was no longer there, but from a short distance away came a slight
rustling of the foliage, and Isaac waited, his heart beating so
violently that it seemed positive the thumping must awaken their
enemies.

Before Corporal 'Lige's recruit could have counted twenty, Nathan stood
by his side, and it needed but one touch of the hand to tell the former
that all the weapons had been secured.

Young Beman had done his work well, for he not only held the two
muskets, but a powder-horn well filled, and a shot pouch heavy with
bullets.

Now it was that, having all the advantage, Nathan began to be sensible
of a glow of patriotism, and he whispered to his comrade as he carefully
primed one of the muskets:

"It wouldn't be a hard task to take these fellows into Sudbury, if we
had something with which to fetter their hands."

"My mother made the cloth of this coat I am wearing, and I promise that
it's as strong as a rope."

Without waiting for a reply Isaac began stripping the garment into
narrow bands, by aid of his teeth, and the noise caused Master Wentworth
to half rise as he cried:

"Hey! White! Jones!"

"Stay where you are!" Nathan shouted. "We've got all the muskets, and
are in the mood to shoot if you make any trouble. It won't go much
against the grain to put a couple of bullets into the two who wanted to
leave us trussed up in the thicket, where we would starve to death!"

Master Wentworth sank back upon the ground very quickly, and at the same
instant must have discovered that his ammunition had not been seized,
for he cried to his companions:

"They can't prime the muskets, and it is the same----"

"You'll know whether we can or not if you make any move! Don't think we
were such fools as to forget that part of the business! I've got all the
powder and balls that'll be needed to give you three a solid dose. Tie
Master Wentworth's hands behind his back, Isaac, and if he so much as
winks while you are doing it I'll quiet him. Lie down!" he added
fiercely as in the dim light he saw one of the others attempting to
rise. "If you make any fuss we'll shoot first an' talk afterward!"

It was more than probable one of the men might, because of the darkness,
have gotten off without injury; but each knew that should such an
attempt be made Nathan could shoot down perhaps two of the party, and
each probably feared it might be himself who would receive the bullet.

Therefore it was that they obeyed young Beman's orders strictly, and as
soon as might be Master Wentworth was lying on his face with both hands
tied securely behind his back.

To fetter the others in the same fashion was neither a long nor a
difficult task, because, like the bullies they were, both showed the
white feather when danger threatened their precious selves, and no more
than fifteen minutes had elapsed from the time Nathan first set about
making the attempt at escape before the prisoners were powerless for
harm.

With their hands thus securely lashed behind them, it was impossible for
the men to rise without assistance, and while Nathan stood with the
musket raised that he might shoot at the first show of resistance, Isaac
helped the prisoners to their feet.

"Now it is you three who will obey our orders, instead of knocking us
about," young Beman said gleefully, "and I'll make the same threat
Master Wentworth did: At the first show of trying to escape, I'll shoot,
an' even though it is dark, there's little chance of missing aim, for we
shall keep close in the rear. Take one musket, Isaac, and the other
we'll leave here, rather than hamper ourselves by too much of a burden."

"Do you count on trying to make your way through the thicket while it is
so dark?" Ezra Jones asked in a surly tone.

"That's what we shall do."

"Then you may as well shoot us offhand, for if it was hard work when we
were free, what chance have we with our hands tied?"

"If you think that is the best plan I'll follow your advice, and never
so much as wince in the doing of it, for you was one who would have left
us to starve," Nathan said so promptly that the man involuntarily ducked
his head as if fearing a bullet might follow the words.

"Where are you bent on taking us?" Jason Wentworth asked, after he had
somewhat recovered his composure.

"Our orders were to go to Sudbury, and I think we'd better keep on in
that direction, rather than lose time by carrying you to Ticonderoga. We
could do that last if we pleased, for our boat is hidden among the
bushes nearabout where Master Jones turned back. What say you, Isaac
Rice? Is it to be Sudbury, or the fort?"

"It is best we see Captain Baker as soon as may be, and if you think we
can find our way through the woods, I'll say nothing against a short
cut, for time presses."

The prisoners were driven like sheep, both boys marching directly behind
them with leveled muskets, and, as may be expected, the advance was
exceedingly slow.

The men stumbled over fallen trees, and each of them fell headlong half
a dozen times before the seemingly long night came to an end; but still
they were urged on at the best possible pace until sunrise, when a brief
halt was made.

Two hours after the journey had been resumed the trail was found, and
from that time on until the outskirts of the settlement was gained, the
party marched at a reasonably rapid rate of speed.

Once a glimpse of Sudbury was had Isaac became exceedingly prudent, and
insisted upon calling a halt, while Nathan declared they should press
forward until the prisoners could be delivered to Captain Baker.

"I shan't feel comfortable in mind until all three are off our hands,
for there's no knowing how many friends they may have in the
settlement."

"That is exactly why I would halt here," Isaac replied, and Corporal
'Lige would have rejoiced had he known how rapidly his recruit was
learning his duties as a soldier. "We do not know in which house Captain
Baker lives, and while making inquiries, still having the prisoners with
us, we might come upon those who would turn the tables once more, before
we had so much as gained speech with the officer."

"Then what would you do?"

"We are within less than half a mile of the settlement. Let us march the
prisoners into the thicket, where they will be hidden from view of any
who may come this way, and while one stands guard over them, the other
can seek out the captain. After that has been done he can take charge of
the affair, and our work will be well and thoroughly done."

"Who is to remain here?" Nathan asked.

"It shall be as you say."

Young Beman remained silent a moment, and then, with the air of one who
has decided an important question, said:

"You shall go into the settlement, and if either of these Tories so much
as opens his mouth while you are gone, I'll put a bullet through him."

"And you must not hesitate to carry out that threat," Isaac added
firmly. "Now is come the time when we may prevent any news from being
carried to Crown Point, and at the same moment deliver Colonel Allen's
message, therefore blood must be spilled if necessary."

Jones and White looked thoroughly alarmed, while Jason Wentworth said
approvingly:

"You lads are in the right, from your own standpoint, which is a wrong
one, however; but since we have been so dull as to let you get the best
of us, it is but proper we should pay the penalty for disobeying
orders."

"Will you give us your word not to make an outcry if any person should
pass by on the trail?" Isaac quietly, having no little respect for this
enemy who could look upon the situation so fairly.

"If by giving up my life I can prevent the capture of Crown Point, you
may be certain I shall not hesitate."

Isaac looked significantly at Nathan, as if to say that this man should
be guarded more closely than the others, and after the prisoners had
been marched into the thicket, where they were completely hidden from
view, Corporal 'Lige's recruit set out, Nathan calling after him:

"Do not loiter by the way, either in going or coming, for I am not quite
at my ease while alone."

"Have no fear I shall delay. It should not be a long task to find
Captain Baker, and most likely you'll see me again in less than an hour.
Keep your wits about you, and remember how much mischief may be done if
you hesitate to shoot when it becomes necessary to do so."



CHAPTER X.

CROWN POINT.


Never since the moment when Corporal 'Lige had promised to make a
soldier of him, had Isaac Rice been as happy as now.

He had atoned for the mistake made when they first set out on the
journey, although it was really none of his, and, in addition to having
prevented the news of what had been done at Ticonderoga from being
carried to Crown Point, had as prisoners three who could have made no
slight amount of trouble for the colonists.

Surely the old corporal would praise Nathan and himself, and he glowed
with pride as he thought of the report he could make on his return to
the fort.

"Of course Nathan Beman has as big a share in this work as I, and it is
his right; but I know it was not me who grew faint-hearted when we were
in the power of the enemy, an' there's a deal of satisfaction in that
thought."

On arriving at Sudbury, half an hour after having left his comrade,
Isaac made inquiries for Captain Baker's dwelling, and learned that had
Nathan's proposition been carried out, they would have been forced to
parade the prisoners through the entire settlement before coming upon
the house.

The captain was within sound of his wife's voice when Isaac finally
stood before the good woman asking to see her husband, and came up
quickly; but with a look of disappointment on his face when he saw his
visitor was only a boy.

"Is this Captain Remember Baker?" Corporal 'Lige's recruit asked, for he
was not minded any mistake should be made now that his work was so
nearly accomplished.

"Yes; what do you want?"

"I am come from Colonel Allen----"

"Where is he?" the captain asked eagerly.

"That I may not tell you until we are alone."

"Come into the house! Come in and refresh yourself, and you shall tell
me that with which you are charged while partaking of such food as my
wife can prepare quickly."

"It is not well for me to spend time in eating until after Nathan Beman
is relieved from his charge."

"What have you to do with that young Tory, if it is true that you come
from Ethan Allen?" and now the captain began to show signs of being
suspicious.

"I will tell the whole story, beginning with the capture of
Ticonderoga----"

"So the fort has been taken by our people!" Captain Baker cried joyously
as he clasped the messenger by the hand with such force as to make the
boy wince. "Tell me quickly! When was the work done?"

More than once before he had come to the story of his and Nathan's
adventures was Isaac interrupted by the eager soldier; but after a
certain time he succeeded in imparting all the information, and was
rewarded by hearing the captain say:

"You showed rare good sense in leaving the prisoners outside the
settlement, for while we in Sudbury are with the colonists in their task
of teaching the king a much-needed lesson, there are some who might have
tried to work mischief had you applied to them asking the location of my
dwelling. Wait here until I can summon a few of the Green Mountain Boys,
who have been awaiting word from Ethan Allen, and we'll soon relieve you
of the Tories."

Captain Baker ran out, not stopping for a reply, and while he was absent
his wife insisted on Isaac's eating such food as she had already
prepared, until it seemed to the boy that he would not need anything
more for twenty-four hours.

Then six men, each armed with a musket, arrived, and were ushered into
the house, and Isaac was called upon to tell once more of how
Ticonderoga had been captured, after which the party set out to find the
prisoners.

Corporal 'Lige's recruit acted the part of guide, and in less than an
hour the three Tories, having been given a liberal supply of cornbread,
were being marched back on the trail toward the captured fort.

Both Isaac and Nathan believed it was their duty to accompany the
prisoners; but Captain Baker insisted that they remain at his home in
order to gain the repose which was needed, promising that they should
arrive at Ticonderoga nearly as soon as if they had gone with the
company escorting the Tories.

Therefore it was the boys remained, well content with the work they had
performed, and not until the morning of the twelfth of May was the
return journey begun.

Then the wind was blowing gently from the southward, and Nathan said
mournfully:

"We have of a surety lost the chance of going to Crown Point, for the
hunter will be up and doing this morning, and is likely well on his way
by this time."

Overhearing his words the captain added:

"Ay, lad if he didn't get there yesterday, which I misdoubt, you may
count that he started before daybreak this morning; but you can have the
satisfaction of knowing that save for your work, his task might not be
so easy."

"Think you he can surprise the garrison?" Isaac asked.

"I see no reason why it should not be done, especially after your
capture of the Tories, for thus far Colonel Allen has succeeded in
keeping his movements a secret, at least from the people in this section
of the country, and why may you not say the same of Crown Point?"

To the surprise of the boys no less than twenty men were assembled in
front of Captain Baker's house by the time breakfast had been eaten, and
on making inquiry Isaac learned that these were all of the Green
Mountain Boys who had been ordered by their leader to rendezvous at
Sudbury until summoned elsewhere.

The company, under command of Captain Baker, took up the line of march
over an old trail through the woods, marching to a point on the shore of
the lake nearly two miles further down from where the boys had landed,
when they came from the fort.

There, snugly hidden in the thicket ready for just such an emergency as
had already come, were found four stout boats, each capable of carrying
not less than a dozen men, and after all were embarked and the little
fleet pushed off from the shore, it appeared quite formidable.

Each craft boasted of a sail, and with the wind from the southward there
was no need of labor at the oars, therefore this portion of the journey
promised to be most pleasant.

"This is different from what we expected when Master Wentworth marched
us in front of his musket," Isaac said in a tone of content, and his
comrade replied:

"We got out of a small hole in fine style."

It was when they were midway from the point of embarkation to Fort
Ticonderoga that young Beman cried excitedly, pointing toward that shore
which they had just quitted, where could be seen two small boats laden
with men who were pulling into a cove as if seeking shelter:

"It looks to me as if those fellows are wearing red coats!"

It was the first intimation Captain Baker had that there were others in
the immediate vicinity, and instantly he gave word for the boats to be
hauled around for the purpose of learning who these strangers were.

Hardly had this maneuver been executed when one of the men announced
positively that young Beman was right in his conjecture.

"They are most likely Britishers, who escaped from Ticonderoga, or have
come from Crown Point on their way to St. John in search of
reinforcements," Captain Baker cried excitedly, and orders were given
for the men to take to the oars.

Then ensued a chase which was quickly ended, owing to the precaution
taken by the Britishers themselves.

They had put into the cove hoping to escape detection, and it proved to
be a trap for them.

No sooner were the boats arrived off this place of refuge than Captain
Baker gave orders for them to be strung out in line, thus cutting off
all hope of escape by water, and in his own craft pulled near to where
the two boats, manned by seven soldiers, were drawn up as if prepared to
do battle.

It was soon evident they understood well the truth of the old adage that
"discretion is the better part of valor," for immediately Captain Baker
called upon them to surrender, they threw their arms into the bottom of
the boat in token of submission.

Nathan was most grievously disappointed. He had fancied there might be a
skirmish, or at least an exchange of shots, for until the morning when
Ticonderoga was taken so readily he had believed the king's soldiers to
be invincible, and even now he was not prepared to see them surrender to
a force little more than four times their number.

The prisoners readily answered the questions put by the captain.

They were from Crown Point, and having learned of the surrender of
Ticonderoga had been dispatched by the sergeant in command of the
garrison, for reinforcements.

They stated, in addition, that it was not believed those who had taken
Ticonderoga would push on to Crown Point immediately, consequently
plenty of time remained in which that post might be reinforced.
Therefore it was the sergeant in command had not hesitated to weaken his
small garrison by thus sending seven men on a mission which might more
readily have been accomplished by one.

"There is yet time for us to do Seth Warner a good turn," Captain Baker
cried sufficiently loud for all his men to hear. "It is more than likely
the garrison at Crown Point will hold out when the Green Mountain Boys
demand its surrender, believing reinforcements are, or speedily will be,
on the way. Now, instead of stopping at Ticonderoga, our plan is to push
directly on to the fort, and when it is known that we have captured the
messengers I reckon the fortification will be surrendered with but
little parley."

Although the captain had thus spoken as if making a suggestion, his men
understood that his words were little short of a command, and after
transferring the prisoners the fleet was gotten under way.

Thanks to the freshening wind the boats were soon making good time in
the race to overtake the force led by Seth Warner.

"And it is to be Crown Point for us, after all!" Nathan cried
exultantly, whereat, hearing the words, Captain Baker asked:

"What is your name, lad?"

"Nathan Beman from Shoreham."

"So? I knew your father was on the right side; but understood that you
and your mother were hardly to be trusted."

"I cannot say anything for mother; but since I have seen the king's
soldiers surrender so readily I am with the Green Mountain Boys and
those who share their opinions."

"When you are so nearly with them as to enlist, come to me, lad, and I
will give you a musket in the best company that can be found this side
of Cambridge."

Isaac looked at his new friend reproachfully, and the latter said with a
laugh:

"I know all you are thinking; but when I enlist, and it ain't certain
but that I shall do so soon if the people continue to hold out against
the king, I propose to set my name down for that company to which you
belong."

"Do so when we go back to the fort," Isaac cried gleefully, "and side by
side you and I will see many a brave adventure."

"But the trouble is we may see more than will be pleasing, though I
truly believe I shall enlist."

"And Corporal 'Lige shall teach us both a soldier's duty."

This proposition apparently did not meet with favor, for Nathan at once
changed the subject of the conversation by inquiring regarding the
probable condition of affairs at Crown Point, after which the boys
listened to the conversation of their companions as they spoke of
Lexington and Concord, and of what should be done to avenge the murders
committed there.

And now it came to pass that these two lads were most grievously
disappointed in their anticipations concerning the capture of the fort.

Probably each had in his mind the thought that he was to see somewhat of
war, more at least than had been witnessed at Ticonderoga; but it was
not to be.

As the little fleet approached the point, Warner and his men were just
disembarking.

Although Captain Baker's party was but a mile away at that time, when
they gained the shore the garrison had been surrendered without the
firing of a gun, and the booming of the cannon told that again were the
"imitation soldiers" successful in their efforts to teach his majesty a
lesson.

One hundred and fourteen cannon, of which sixty-one were fit for
service, were among the spoils on this morning, and after having made up
a list of such goods as were found in the fort, Seth Warner did the two
lads the great favor of sending them to Colonel Allen with the news of
the bloodless victory.

"Go you on ahead, lads," Captain Baker said when the boys had been
intrusted with the message. "I won't spoil a good fortune by seeming to
accompany you; but will linger here until you are well on the way, and
after having given Ethan Allen the best news he could possibly receive
at such a critical time, I very much question whether you may not ask
whatsoever you will from him."

Hurriedly the messengers departed in order that they might arrive well
in advance of Captain Baker's company, and when they were pulling down
the lake, Isaac said thoughtfully:

"You heard what Captain Baker said, that Colonel Allen might grant
anything we asked?"

"Yes, and I know what is in your mind this minute."

"Name it then."

"You think I am counting on asking him for money."

Isaac's face flushed and he made no reply.

"I might have done so a few days ago, but now I am coming around on the
same track with father, and say that the colonists do right in resisting
the king. If it so be he permits, I will enlist this day."

And Nathan Beman kept his promise, even going so far as to desire
Corporal 'Lige should stand sponsor for him when, the message having
been delivered, Colonel Allen thanked them again and again for the
cheering intelligence and asked what they would choose as their reward.

"Only the permission to enlist," Nathan said, and the colonel stared at
him in open-mouthed astonishment for several seconds, after which he
asked with a laugh:

"Are you not the same lad who so thirsted for money that he refused to
show the way into the fort unless first paid for his services?"

"Ay, sir; but I have come to think differently since then, and now I'm
going for a soldier, because it looks to me as if the colonists would
speedily worst the king."

"Whereas a few days ago it appeared to you that the boot was on the
other foot?"

"I did not think farmers could be turned into soldiers, sir."

"You may readily believe it now, lad, more especially since you have
seen how easy it is for one who was almost a royalist to become a good
American, and now I am speaking of yourself. Enlist wherever you will,
and I will take it upon myself to see that both you lads rise in the
service as rapidly as you shall deserve."


THE END.



A. L. BURT'S PUBLICATIONS

For Young People

  BY POPULAR WRITERS,
  *97-99-101 Reade Street, New York.*


*Bonnie Prince Charlie*: A Tale of Fontenoy and Culloden. By G. A.
HENTY. With 12 full-page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth,
price $1.00.

The adventures of the son of a Scotch officer in French service. The
boy, brought up by a Glasgow bailie, is arrested for aiding a Jacobite
agent, escapes, is wrecked on the French coast, reaches Paris, and
serves with the French army at Dettingen. He kills his father's foe in a
duel, and escaping to the coast, shares the adventures of Prince
Charlie, but finally settles happily in Scotland.

"Ronald, the hero, is very like the hero of 'Quentin Durward.' The lad's
journey across France, and his hairbreadth escapes, make up as good a
narrative of the kind as we have ever read. For freshness of treatment
and variety of incident Mr. Henty has surpassed himself."--_Spectator._


*With Clive in India*; or, the Beginnings of an Empire. By G. A. HENTY.
With 12 full-page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, price
$1.00.

The period between the landing of Clive as a young writer in India and
the close of his career was critical and eventful in the extreme. At its
commencement the English were traders existing on sufferance of the
native princes. At its close they were masters of Bengal and of the
greater part of Southern India. The author has given a full and accurate
account of the events of that stirring time, and battles and sieges
follow each other in rapid succession, while he combines with his
narrative a tale of daring and adventure, which gives a lifelike
interest to the volume.

"He has taken a period of Indian history of the most vital importance,
and he has embroidered on the historical facts a story which of itself
is deeply interesting. Young people assuredly will be delighted with the
volume."--_Scotsman._


*The Lion of the North*: A Tale of Gustavus Adolphus and the Wars of
Religion. By G. A. HENTY. With full-page Illustrations by JOHN
SCHÖNBERG. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

In this story Mr. Henty gives the history of the first part of the
Thirty Years' War. The issue had its importance, which has extended to
the present day, as it established religious freedom in Germany. The
army of the chivalrous king of Sweden was largely composed of Scotchmen,
and among these was the hero of the story.

"The tale is a clever and instructive piece of history, and as boys may
be trusted to read it conscientiously, they can hardly fail to be
profited."--_Times._


*The Dragon and the Raven*; or, The Days of King Alfred. By G. A. HENTY.
With full-page Illustrations by C. J. STANILAND, R.I. 12mo, cloth, price
$1.00.

In this story the author gives an account of the fierce struggle between
Saxon and Dane for supremacy in England, and presents a vivid picture of
the misery and ruin to which the country was reduced by the ravages of
the sea-wolves. The hero, a young Saxon thane, takes part in all the
battles fought by King Alfred. He is driven from his home, takes to the
sea and resists the Danes on their own element, and being pursued by
them up the Seine, is present at the long and desperate siege of Paris.

"Treated in a manner most attractive to the boyish reader."--_Athenæum._


*The Young Carthaginian*: A Story of the Times of Hannibal. By G. A.
HENTY. With full-page Illustrations by C. J. STANILAND, R.I. 12mo,
cloth, price $1.00.

Boys reading the history of the Punic Wars have seldom a keen
appreciation of the merits of the contest. That it was at first a
struggle for empire, and afterward for existence on the part of
Carthage, that Hannibal was a great and skillful general, that he
defeated the Romans at Trebia, Lake Trasimenus, and Cannæ, and all but
took Rome, represents pretty nearly the sum total of their knowledge. To
let them know more about this momentous struggle for the empire of the
world Mr. Henty has written this story, which not only gives in graphic
style a brilliant description of a most interesting period of history,
but is a tale of exciting adventure sure to secure the interest of the
reader.

"Well constructed and vividly told. From first to last nothing stays the
interest of the narrative. It bears us along as on a stream whose
current varies in direction, but never loses its force."--_Saturday
Review._


*In Freedom's Cause*: A Story of Wallace and Bruce. By G. A. HENTY. With
full-page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

In this story the author relates the stirring tale of the Scottish War
of Independence. The extraordinary valor and personal prowess of Wallace
and Bruce rival the deeds of the mythical heroes of chivalry, and indeed
at one time Wallace was ranked with these legendary personages. The
researches of modern historians have shown, however, that he was a
living, breathing man--and a valiant champion. The hero of the tale
fought under both Wallace and Bruce, and while the strictest historical
accuracy has been maintained with respect to public events, the work is
full of "hairbreadth 'scapes" and wild adventure.

"It is written in the author's best style. Full of the wildest and most
remarkable achievements, it is a tale of great interest, which a boy,
once he has begun it, will not willingly put on one side."--_The
Schoolmaster._


*With Lee in Virginia*: A Story of the American Civil War. By G. A.
HENTY. With full-page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, price
$1.00.

The story of a young Virginian planter, who, after bravely proving his
sympathy with the slaves of brutal masters, serves with no less courage
and enthusiasm under Lee and Jackson through the most exciting events of
the struggle. He has many hairbreadth escapes, is several times wounded
and twice taken prisoner; but his courage and readiness and, in two
cases, the devotion of a black servant and of a runaway slave whom he
had assisted, bring him safely through all difficulties.

"One of the best stories for lads which Mr. Henty has yet written. The
picture is full of life and color, and the stirring and romantic
incidents are skillfully blended with the personal interest and charm of
the story."--_Standard._


*By England's Aid*; or, The Freeing of the Netherlands (1585-1604). By
G. A. HENTY. With full-page Illustrations by ALFRED PEARSE, and Maps.
12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

The story of two English lads who go to Holland as pages in the service
of one of "the fighting Veres." After many adventures by sea and land,
one of the lads finds himself on board a Spanish ship at the time of the
defeat of the Armada, and escapes only to fall into the hands of the
Corsairs. He is successful in getting back to Spain under the protection
of a wealthy merchant and regains his native country after the capture
of Cadiz.

"It is an admirable book for youngsters. It overflows with stirring
incident and exciting adventure, and the color of the era and of the
scene are finely reproduced. The illustrations add to its
attractiveness."--_Boston Gazette._


*By Right of Conquest*; or, With Cortez in Mexico. By G. A. HENTY. With
full-page Illustrations by W. S. STACEY, and Two Maps. 12mo, cloth,
price $1.50.

The conquest of Mexico by a small band of resolute men under the
magnificent leadership of Cortez is always rightly ranked among the most
romantic and daring exploits in history. With this as the groundwork of
his story Mr. Henty has interwoven the adventures of an English youth,
Roger Hawkshaw, the sole survivor of the good ship Swan, which had
sailed from a Devon port to challenge the mercantile supremacy of the
Spaniards in the New World. He is beset by many perils among the
natives, but is saved by his own judgment and strength, and by the
devotion of an Aztec princess. At last by a ruse he obtains the
protection of the Spaniards, and after the fall of Mexico he succeeds in
regaining his native shore, with a fortune and a charming Aztec bride.

"'By Right of Conquest' is the nearest approach to a
perfectly successful historical tale that Mr. Henty has yet
published."--_Academy._


*In the Reign of Terror*: The Adventures of a Westminster Boy. By G. A.
HENTY. With full-page Illustrations by J. SCHÖNBERG. 12mo, cloth, price
$1.00.

Harry Sandwith, a Westminster boy, becomes a resident at the chateau of
a French marquis, and after various adventures accompanies the family to
Paris at the crisis of the Revolution. Imprisonment and death reduce
their number, and the hero finds himself beset by perils with the three
young daughters of the house in his charge. After hairbreadth escapes
they reach Nantes. There the girls are condemned to death in the
coffin-ships, but are saved by the unfailing courage of their boy
protector.

"Harry Sandwith, the Westminster boy, may fairly be said to beat Mr.
Henty's record. His adventures will delight boys by the audacity and
peril they depict.... The story is one of Mr. Henty's best."--_Saturday
Review._


*With Wolfe in Canada*; or, The Winning of a Continent. By G. A. HENTY.
With full-page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

In the present volume Mr. Henty gives an account of the struggle between
Britain and France for supremacy in the North American continent. On the
issue of this war depended not only the destinies of North America, but
to a large extent those of the mother countries themselves. The fall of
Quebec decided that the Anglo-Saxon race should predominate in the New
World; that Britain, and not France, should take the lead among the
nations of Europe; and that English and American commerce, the English
language, and English literature, should spread right round the globe.

"It is not only a lesson in history as instructively as it is
graphically told but also a deeply interesting and often thrilling tale
of adventure and peril by flood and field."--_Illustrated London News._


*True to the Old Flag*: A Tale of the American War of Independence. By
G. A. HENTY. With full-page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth,
price $1.00.

In this story the author has gone to the accounts of officers who took
part in the conflict, and lads will find that in no war in which
American and British soldiers have been engaged did they behave with
greater courage and good conduct. The historical portion of the book
being accompanied with numerous thrilling adventures with the redskins
on the shores of Lake Huron, a story of exciting interest is interwoven
with the general narrative and carried through the book.

"Does justice to the pluck and determination of the British soldiers
during the unfortunate struggle against American emancipation. The son
of an American loyalist, who remains true to our flag, falls among the
hostile redskins in that very Huron country which has been endeared to
us by the exploits of Hawkeye and Chingachgook."--_The Times._


*The Lion of St. Mark*: A Tale of Venice in the Fourteenth Century. By
G. A. HENTY. With full-page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth,
price $1.00.

A story of Venice at a period when her strength and splendor were put to
the severest tests. The hero displays a fine sense and manliness which
carry him safely through an atmosphere of intrigue, crime, and
bloodshed. He contributes largely to the victories of the Venetians at
Porto d'Anzo and Chioggia, and finally wins the band of the daughter of
one of the chief men of Venice.

"Every boy should read 'The Lion of St. Mark.' Mr. Henty has never
produced a story more delightful, more wholesome, or more
vivacious."--_Saturday Review._


*A Final Reckoning*: A Tale of Bush Life in Australia. By G. A. HENTY.
With full-page Illustrations by W. B. WOLLEN. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

The hero, a young English lad after rather a stormy boyhood, emigrates
to Australia, and gets employment as an officer in the mounted police. A
few years of active work on the frontier, where he has many a brush with
both natives and bushrangers, gain him promotion to a captaincy, and he
eventually settles down to the peaceful life of a squatter.

"Mr. Henty has never published a more readable, a more carefully
constructed, or a better written story than this."--_Spectator._


*Under Drake's Flag*: A Tale of the Spanish Main. By G. A. HENTY. With
full-page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

A story of the days when England and Spain struggled for the supremacy
of the sea. The heroes sail as lads with Drake in the Pacific
expedition, and in his great voyage of circumnavigation. The historical
portion of the story is absolutely to be relied upon, but this will
perhaps be less attractive than the great variety of exciting adventure
through which the young heroes pass in the course of their voyages.

"A book of adventure, where the hero meets with experience enough, one
would think, to turn his hair gray."--_Harper's Monthly Magazine._


*By Sheer Pluck*: A Tale of the Ashanti War. By G. A. HENTY. With
full-page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

The author has woven, in a tale of thrilling interest, all the details
of the Ashanti campaign, of which he was himself a witness. His hero,
after many exciting adventures in the interior, is detained a prisoner
by the king just before the outbreak of the war, but escapes, and
accompanies the English expedition on their march to Coomassie.

"Mr. Henty keeps up his reputation as a writer of boys' stories. 'By
Sheer Pluck' will be eagerly read."--_Athenæum._


*By Pike and Dyke*: A Tale of the Rise of the Dutch Republic By G. A.
HENTY. With full-page Illustrations by MAYNARD BROWN, and 4 Maps. 12mo,
cloth, price $1.00.

In this story Mr. Henty traces the adventures and brave deeds of an
English boy in the household of the ablest man of his age--William the
Silent. Edward Martin, the son of an English sea-captain, enters the
service of the Prince as a volunteer, and is employed by him in many
dangerous and responsible missions, in the discharge of which he passes
through the great sieges of the time. He ultimately settles down as Sir
Edward Martin.

"Boys with a turn for historical research will be enchanted with the
book while the rest who only care for adventure will be students in
spite of them selves."--_St. James' Gazette._


*St. George for England*: A Tale of Cressy and Poitiers. By G. A. HENTY.
With full-page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

No portion of English history is more crowded with great events than
that of the reign of Edward III. Cressy and Poitiers; the destruction of
the Spanish fleet; the plague of the Black Death; the Jacquerie rising;
these are treated by the author in "St. George for England." The hero of
the story, although of good family, begins life as a London apprentice,
but after countless adventures and perils becomes by valor and good
conduct the squire, and at last the trusted friend of the Black Prince.

"Mr. Henty has developed for himself a type of historical novel for boys
which bids fair to supplement, on their behalf, the historical labors of
Sir Walter Scott in the land of fiction."--_The Standard._


*Captain's Kidd's Gold*: The True Story of an Adventurous Sailor Boy. By
JAMES FRANKLIN FITTS. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

There is something fascinating to the average youth in the very idea
of buried treasure. A vision arises before his eyes of swarthy
Portuguese and Spanish rascals, with black beards and gleaming
eyes--sinister-looking fellows who once on a time haunted the Spanish
Main, sneaking out from some hidden creek in their long, low schooner,
of picaroonish rake and sheer, to attack an unsuspecting trading
craft. There were many famous sea rovers in their day, but none more
celebrated than Capt. Kidd. Perhaps the most fascinating tale of all
is Mr. Fitts' true story of an adventurous American boy, who receives
from his dying father an ancient bit of vellum, which the latter
obtained in a curious way. The document bears obscure directions
purporting to locate a certain island in the Bahama group, and a
considerable treasure buried there by two of Kidd's crew. The hero of
this book, Paul Jones Garry, is an ambitious, persevering lad, of
salt-water New England ancestry, and his efforts to reach the island
and secure the money form one of the most absorbing tales for our
youth that has come from the press.


*Captain Bayley's Heir*: A Tale of the Gold Fields of California. By G.
A. HENTY. With full-page Illustrations by H. M. PAGET. 12mo, cloth,
price $1.00.

A frank, manly lad and his cousin are rivals in the heirship of a
considerable property. The former falls into a trap laid by the latter,
and while under a false accusation of theft foolishly leaves England for
America. He works his passage before the mast, joins a small band of
hunters, crosses a tract of country infested with Indians to the
Californian gold diggings, and is successful both as digger and trader.

"Mr. Henty is careful to mingle instruction with entertainment; and the
humorous touches, especially in the sketch of John Holl, the Westminster
dustman, Dickens himself could hardly have excelled."--_Christian
Leader._


*For Name and Fame*; or, Through Afghan Passes. By G. A. HENTY. With
full page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE, 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

An interesting story of the last war in Afghanistan. The hero, after
being wrecked and going through many stirring adventures among the
Malays, finds his way to Calcutta and enlists in a regiment proceeding
to join the army at the Afghan passes. He accompanies the force under
General Roberts to the Peiwar Kotal, is wounded, taken prisoner, carried
to Cabul, whence he is transferred to Candahar, and takes part in the
final defeat of the army of Ayoub Khan.

"The best feature of the book--apart from the interest of its scenes of
adventure--is its honest effort to do justice to the patriotism of the
Afghan people."--_Daily News._


*Captured by Apes*: The Wonderful Adventures of a Young Animal Trainer.
By HARRY PRENTICE. 12mo, cloth, $1.00.

The scene of this tale is laid on an island in the Malay Archipelago.
Philip Garland, a young animal collector and trainer, of New York, sets
sail for Eastern seas in quest of a new stock of living curiosities. The
vessel is wrecked off the coast of Borneo and young Garland, the sole
survivor of the disaster, is cast ashore on a small island, and captured
by the apes that overrun the place. The lad discovers that the ruling
spirit of the monkey tribe is a gigantic and vicious baboon, whom he
identifies as Goliah, an animal at one time in his possession and with
whose instruction he had been especially diligent. The brute recognizes
him, and with a kind of malignant satisfaction puts his former master
through the same course of training he had himself experienced with a
faithfulness of detail which shows how astonishing is monkey
recollection. Very novel indeed is the way by which the young man
escapes death. Mr. Prentice has certainly worked a new vein on juvenile
fiction, and the ability with which he handles a difficult subject
stamps him as a writer of undoubted skill.


*The Bravest of the Brave*; or, With Peterborough in Spain. By G. A.
HENTY. With full-page Illustrations by H. M. PAGET. 12mo, cloth, price
$1.00.

There are few great leaders whose lives and actions have so completely
fallen into oblivion as those of the Earl of Peterborough. This is
largely due to the fact that they were overshadowed by the glory and
successes of Marlborough. His career as general extended over little
more than a year, and yet, in that time, he showed a genius for warfare
which has never been surpassed.

"Mr. Henty never loses sight of the moral purpose of his work--to
enforce the doctrine of courage and truth. Lads will read 'The Bravest
of the Brave' with pleasure and profit; of that we are quite
sure."--_Daily Telegraph._


*The Cat of Bubastes*: A Story of Ancient Egypt. By G. A. HENTY. With
full-page Illustrations. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

A story which will give young readers an unsurpassed insight into the
customs of the Egyptian people. Amuba, a prince of the Rebu nation, is
carried with his charioteer Jethro into slavery. They become inmates of
the house of Ameres, the Egyptian high-priest, and are happy in his
service until the priest's son accidentally kills the sacred cat of
Bubastes. In an outburst of popular fury Ameres is killed, and it rests
with Jethro and Amuba to secure the escape of the high-priest's son and
daughter.

"The story, from the critical moment of the killing of the sacred cat to
the perilous exodus into Asia with which it closes, is very skillfully
constructed and full of exciting adventures. It is admirably
illustrated."--_Saturday Review._


*With Washington at Monmouth*: A Story of Three Philadelphia Boys. By
JAMES OTIS. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

Three Philadelphia boys, Seth Graydon "whose mother conducted a
boarding-house which was patronized by the British officers;" Enoch
Ball, "son of that Mrs. Ball whose dancing school was situated on
Letitia Street," and little Jacob, son of "Chris, the Baker," serve as
the principal characters. The story is laid during the winter when Lord
Howe held possession of the city, and the lads aid the cause by
assisting the American spies who make regular and frequent visits from
Valley Forge. One reads here of home-life in the captive city when bread
was scarce among the people of the lower classes, and a reckless
prodigality shown by the British officers, who passed the winter in
feasting and merry-making while the members of the patriot army but a
few miles away were suffering from both cold and hunger. The story
abounds with pictures of Colonial life skillfully drawn, and the
glimpses of Washington's soldiers which are given show that the work has
not been hastily done, or without considerable study.


*For the Temple*: A Tale of the Fall of Jerusalem. By G. A. HENTY. With
full-page Illustrations by S. J. SOLOMON. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

Mr. Henty here weaves into the record of Josephus an admirable and
attractive story. The troubles in the district of Tiberias, the march of
the legions, the sieges of Jotapata, of Gamala, and of Jerusalem, form
the impressive and carefully studied historic setting to the figure of
the lad who passes from the vineyard to the service of Josephus, becomes
the leader of a guerrilla band of patriots, fights bravely for the
Temple, and after a brief term of slavery at Alexandria, returns to his
Galilean home with the favor of Titus.

"Mr. Henty's graphic prose pictures of the hopeless Jewish resistance to
Roman sway add another leaf to his record of the famous wars of the
world."--_Graphic._


*Facing Death*: or, The Hero of the Vaughan Pit. A Tale of the Coal
Mines. By G. A. HENTY. With full-page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE.
12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

"Facing Death" is a story with a purpose. It is intended to show that a
lad who makes up his mind firmly and resolutely that he will rise in
life, and who is prepared to face toil and ridicule and hardship to
carry out his determination, is sure to succeed. The hero of the story
is a typical British boy, dogged, earnest, generous, and though
"shamefaced" to a degree, is ready to face death in the discharge of
duty.

"The tale is well written and well illustrated, and there is much
reality in the characters. If any father, clergyman, or schoolmaster is
on the lookout for a good book to give as a present to a boy who is
worth his salt, this is the book we would recommend."--_Standard._


*Tom Temple's Career.* By Horatio Alger. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

Tom Temple, a bright, self-reliant lad, by the death of his father
becomes a boarder at the home of Nathan Middleton, a penurious insurance
agent. Though well paid for keeping the boy, Nathan and his wife
endeavor to bring Master Tom in line with their parsimonious habits. The
lad ingeniously evades their efforts and revolutionizes the household.
As Tom is heir to $40,000, he is regarded as a person of some importance
until by an unfortunate combination of circumstances his fortune shrinks
to a few hundreds. He leaves Plympton village to seek work in New York,
whence he undertakes an important mission to California, around which
center the most exciting incidents of his young career. Some of his
adventures in the far west are so startling that the reader will
scarcely close the book until the last page shall have been reached. The
tale is written in Mr. Alger's most fascinating style, and is bound to
please the very large class of boys who regard this popular author as a
prime favorite.


*Maori and Settler*: A Story of the New Zealand War. By G. A. HENTY.
With full-page Illustrations by ALFRED PEARSE. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

The Renshaws emigrate to New Zealand during the period of the war with
the natives. Wilfrid, a strong, self-reliant, courageous lad, is the
mainstay of the household. He has for his friend Mr. Atherton, a
botanist and naturalist of herculean strength and unfailing nerve and
humor. In the adventures among the Maoris, there are many breathless
moments in which the odds seem hopelessly against the party, but they
succeed in establishing themselves happily in one of the pleasant New
Zealand valleys.

"Brimful of adventure, of humorous and interesting conversation, and
vivid pictures of colonial life."--_Schoolmaster._


*Julian Mortimer*: A Brave Boy's Struggle for Home and Fortune. By HARRY
CASTLEMON. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

Here is a story that will warm every boy's heart. There is mystery
enough to keep any lad's imagination wound up to the highest pitch. The
scene of the story lies west of the Mississippi River, in the days when
emigrants made their perilous way across the great plains to the land of
gold. One of the startling features of the book is the attack upon the
wagon train by a large party of Indians. Our hero is a lad of uncommon
nerve and pluck, a brave young American in every sense of the word. He
enlists and holds the reader's sympathy from the outset. Surrounded by
an unknown and constant peril, and assisted by the unswerving fidelity
of a stalwart trapper, a real rough diamond, our hero achieves the most
happy results. Harry Castlemon has written many entertaining stories for
boys, and it would seem almost superfluous to say anything in his
praise, for the youth of America regard him as a favorite author.


"*Carrots*:" Just a Little Boy. By MRS. MOLESWORTH. With Illustrations
by WALTER CRANE. 12mo, cloth, price 75 cents.

"One of the cleverest and most pleasing stories it has been our good
fortune to meet with for some time. Carrots and his sister are
delightful little beings, whom to read about is at once to become very
fond of."--_Examiner._

"A genuine children's book; we've seen 'em seize it, and read it
greedily. Children are first-rate critics, and thoroughly appreciate
Walter Crane's illustrations."--_Punch._


*Mopsa the Fairy.* By JEAN INGELOW. With Eight page Illustrations. 12mo,
cloth, price 75 cents.

"Mrs. Ingelow is, to our mind, the most charming of all living writers
for children, and 'Mopsa' alone ought to give her a kind of
pre-emptive right to the love and gratitude of our young folks. It
requires genius to conceive a purely imaginary work which must of
necessity deal with the supernatural, without running into a mere riot
of fantastic absurdity; but genius Miss Ingelow has and the story of
'Jack' is as careless and joyous, but as delicate as a picture of
childhood."--_Eclectic._


*A Jaunt Through Java*: The Story of a Journey to the Sacred Mountain.
By EDWARD S. ELLIS. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

The central interest of this story is found in the thrilling adventures
of two cousins, Hermon and Eustace Hadley, on their trip across the
island of Java, from Samarang to the Sacred Mountain. In a land where
the Royal Bengal tiger runs at large; where the rhinoceros and other
fierce beasts are to be met with at unexpected moments; it is but
natural that the heroes of this book should have a lively experience.
Hermon not only distinguishes himself by killing a full-grown tiger at
short range, but meets with the most startling adventure of the journey.
There is much in this narrative to instruct as well as entertain the
reader, and so deftly has Mr. Ellis used his material that there is not
a dull page in the book. The two heroes are brave, manly young fellows,
bubbling over with boyish independence. They cope with the many
difficulties that arise during the trip in a fearless way that is bound
to win the admiration of every lad who is so fortunate as to read their
adventures.


*Wrecked on Spider Island*; or, How Ned Rogers Found the Treasure. By
JAMES OTIS. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

A "down-east" plucky lad who ships as cabin boy, not from love of
adventure, but because it is the only course remaining by which he can
gain a livelihood. While in his bunk, seasick, Ned Rogers hears the
captain and mate discussing their plans for the willful wreck of the
brig in order to gain the insurance. Once it is known he is in
possession of the secret the captain maroons him on Spider Island,
explaining to the crew that the boy is afflicted with leprosy. While
thus involuntarily playing the part of a Crusoe, Ned discovers a wreck
submerged in the sand, and overhauling the timbers for the purpose of
gathering material with which to build a hut finds a considerable amount
of treasure. Raising the wreck; a voyage to Havana under sail; shipping
there a crew and running for Savannah; the attempt of the crew to seize
the little craft after learning of the treasure on board, and, as a
matter of course, the successful ending of the journey, all serve to
make as entertaining a story of sea-life as the most captious boy could
desire.


*Geoff and Jim*: A Story of School Life. By ISMAY THORN. Illustrated by
A. G. WALKER. 12mo, cloth, price 75 cents.

"This is a prettily told story of the life spent by two motherless
bairns at a small preparatory school. Both Geoff and Jim are very
lovable characters, only Jim is the more so; and the scrapes he sets
into and the trials he endures will, no doubt, interest a large circle
of young readers."--_Church Times._

"This is a capital children's story, the characters well portrayed, and
the book tastefully bound and well illustrated."--_Schoolmaster._

"The story can, be heartily recommended as a present for
boys."--_Standard._


*The Castaways*; or, On the Florida Reefs. By JAMES OTIS. 12mo, cloth,
price $1.00.

This tale smacks of the salt sea. It is just the kind of story that the
majority of boys yearn for. From the moment that the Sea Queen dispenses
with the services of the tug in lower New York bay till the breeze
leaves her becalmed off the coast of Florida, one can almost hear the
whistle of the wind through her rigging, the creak of her straining
cordage as she heels to the leeward, and feel her rise to the
snow-capped waves which her sharp bow cuts into twin streaks of foam.
Off Marquesas Keys she floats in a dead calm. Ben Clark, the hero of the
story, and Jake, the cook, spy a turtle asleep upon the glassy surface
of the water. They determine to capture him, and take a boat for that
purpose, and just as they succeed in catching him a thick fog cuts them
off from the vessel, and then their troubles begin. They take refuge on
board a drifting hulk, a storm arises and they are cast ashore upon a
low sandy key. Their adventures from this point cannot fail to charm the
reader. As a writer for young people Mr. Otis is a prime favorite. His
style is captivating, and never for a moment does he allow the interest
to flag. In "The Castaways" he is at his best.


*Tom Thatcher's Fortune.* By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 12mo, cloth, price
$1.00.

Like all of Mr. Alger's heroes, Tom Thatcher is a brave, ambitious,
unselfish boy. He supports his mother and sister on meager wages earned
as a shoe-pegger in John Simpson's factory. The story begins with Tom's
discharge from the factory, because Mr. Simpson felt annoyed with the
lad for interrogating him too closely about his missing father. A few
days afterward Tom learns that which induces him to start overland for
California with the view of probing the family mystery. He meets with
many adventures. Ultimately he returns to his native village, bringing
consternation to the soul of John Simpson, who only escapes the
consequences of his villainy by making full restitution to the man whose
friendship he had betrayed. The story is told in that entertaining way
which has made Mr. Alger's name a household word in so many homes.


*Birdie*: A Tale of Child Life. By H. L. CHILDE-PEMBERTON. Illustrated
by H. W. RAINEY. 12mo, cloth, price 75 cents.

"The story is quaint and simple, but there is a freshness about it that
makes one hear again the ringing laugh and the cheery shout of children
at play which charmed his earlier years."--_New York Express._


*Popular Fairy Tales.* By the BROTHERS GRIMM. Profusely Illustrated,
12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

"From first to last, almost without exception, these stories are
delightful,"--_Athenæum._


*With Lafayette at Yorktown*: A Story of How Two Boys Joined the
Continental Army. By JAMES OTIS. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

The two boys are from Portsmouth, N. H., and are introduced in August,
1781, when on the point of leaving home to enlist in Col. Scammell's
regiment, then stationed near New York City. Their method of traveling
is on horseback, and the author has given an interesting account of what
was expected from boys in the Colonial days. The lads, after no slight
amount of adventure, are sent as messengers--not soldiers--into the
south to find the troops under Lafayette. Once with that youthful
general they are given employment as spies, and enter the British camp,
bringing away valuable information. The pictures of camp-life are
carefully drawn, and the portrayal of Lafayette's character is
thoroughly well done. The story is wholesome in tone, as are all of Mr.
Otis' works. There is no lack of exciting incident which the youthful
reader craves, but it is healthful excitement brimming with facts which
every boy should be familiar with, and while the reader is following the
adventures of Ben Jaffreys and Ned Allen he is acquiring a fund of
historical lore which will remain in his memory long after that which he
has memorized from text-books has been forgotten.


*Lost in the Cañon*: Sam Willett's Adventures on the Great Colorado. By
ALFRED R. CALHOUN. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

This story hinges on a fortune left to Sam Willett, the hero, and the
fact that it will pass to a disreputable relative if the lad dies before
he shall have reached his majority. The Vigilance Committee of Hurley's
Gulch arrest Sam's father and an associate for the crime of murder.
Their lives depend on the production of the receipt given for money
paid. This is in Sam's possession at the camp on the other side of the
cañon. A messenger is dispatched to get it. He reaches the lad in the
midst of a fearful storm which floods the cañon. His father's peril
urges Sam to action. A raft is built on which the boy and his friends
essay to cross the torrent. They fail to do so, and a desperate trip
down the stream ensues. How the party finally escape from the horrors of
their situation and Sam reaches Hurley's Gulch in the very nick of time,
is described in a graphic style that stamps Mr. Calhoun as a master of
his art.


*Jack*: A Topsy Turvy Story. By C. M. CRAWLEY-BOEVEY. With upward of
Thirty Illustrations by H. J. A. MILES. 12mo, cloth, price 75 cents.

"The illustrations deserve particular mention, as they add largely to
the interest of this amusing volume for children. Jack falls asleep with
his mind full of the subject of the fishpond, and is very much surprised
presently to find himself an inhabitant of Waterworld, where he goes
though wonderful and edifying adventures. A handsome and pleasant
book."--_Literary World._


*Search for the Silver City*: A Tale of Adventure in Yucatan. By JAMES
OTIS. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

Two American lads, Teddy Wright and Neal Emery, embark on the steam
yacht Day Dream for a short summer cruise to the tropics. Homeward bound
the yacht is destroyed by fire. All hands take to the boats, but during
the night the boat is cast upon the coast of Yucatan. They come across a
young American named Cummings, who entertains them with the story of the
wonderful Silver City, of the Chan Santa Cruz Indians. Cummings proposes
with the aid of a faithful Indian ally to brave the perils of the swamp
and carry off a number of the golden images from the temples. Pursued
with relentless vigor for days their situation is desperate. At last
their escape is effected in an astonishing manner. Mr. Otis has built
his story on an historical foundation. It is so full of exciting
incidents that the reader is quite carried away with the novelty and
realism of the narrative.


*Frank Fowler, the Cash Boy.* By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 12mo, cloth, price
$1.00.

Thrown upon his own resources Frank Fowler, a poor boy, bravely
determines to make a living for himself and his foster-sister Grace.
Going to New York he obtains a situation as cash boy in a dry goods
store. He renders a service to a wealthy old gentleman named Wharton,
who takes a fancy to the lad. Frank, after losing his place as cash boy,
is enticed by an enemy to a lonesome part of New Jersey and held a
prisoner. This move recoils upon the plotter, for it leads to a clue
that enables the lad to establish his real identity. Mr. Alger's stories
are not only unusually interesting, but they convey a useful lesson of
pluck and manly independence.


*Budd Boyd's Triumph*; or, the Boy Firm of Fox Island. By WILLIAM P.
CHIPMAN. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

The scene of this story is laid on the upper part of Narragansett Bay,
and the leading incidents have a strong salt-water flavor. Owing to the
conviction of his father for forgery and theft, Budd Boyd is compelled
to leave his home and strike out for himself. Chance brings Budd in
contact with Judd Floyd. The two boys, being ambitious and clear
sighted, form a partnership to catch and sell fish. The scheme is
successfully launched, but the unexpected appearance on the scene of
Thomas Bagsley, the man whom Budd believes guilty of the crimes
attributed to his father, leads to several disagreeable complications
that nearly caused the lad's ruin. His pluck and good sense, however,
carry him through his troubles. In following the career of the boy firm
of Boyd & Floyd, the youthful reader will find a useful lesson--that
industry and perseverance are bound to lead to ultimate success.


*The Errand Boy*; or, How Phil Brent Won Success. By HORATIO ALGER, JR.
12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

The career of "The Errand Boy" embraces the city adventures of a smart
country lad who at an early age was abandoned by his father. Philip was
brought up by a kind-hearted innkeeper named Brent. The death of Mrs.
Brent paved the way for the hero's subsequent troubles. Accident
introduces him to the notice of a retired merchant in New York, who not
only secures him the situation of errand boy but thereafter stands as
his friend. An unexpected turn of fortune's wheel, however, brings
Philip and his father together. In "The Errand Boy" Philip Brent is
possessed of the same sterling qualities so conspicuous in all of the
previous creations of this delightful writer for our youth.


*The Slate Picker*: The Story of a Boy's Life in the Coal Mines. By
HARRY PRENTICE. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

This is a story of a boy's life in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. There
are many thrilling situations, notably that of Ben Burton's leap into
the "lion's mouth"--the yawning shute in the breakers--to escape a
beating at the hands of the savage Spilkins, the overseer. Gracie Gordon
is a little angel in rags, Terence O'Dowd is a manly, sympathetic lad,
and Enoch Evans, the miner-poet, is a big-hearted, honest fellow, a true
friend to all whose burdens seem too heavy for them to bear. Ben Burton,
the hero, had a hard road to travel, but by grit and energy he advanced
step by step until he found himself called upon to fill the position of
chief engineer of the Kohinoor Coal Company.


*A Runaway Brig*; or, An Accidental Cruise. By JAMES OTIS. 12mo, cloth,
price $1.00.

"A Runaway Brig" is a sea tale, pure and simple, and that's where it
strikes a boy's fancy. The reader can look out upon the wide shimmering
sea as it flashes back the sunlight, and imagine himself afloat with
Harry Vandyne, Walter Morse, Jim Libby and that old shell-back, Bob
Brace, on the brig Bonita, which lands on one of the Bahama keys.
Finally three strangers steal the craft, leaving the rightful owners to
shift for themselves aboard a broken-down tug. The boys discover a
mysterious document which enables them to find a buried treasure, then a
storm comes on and the tug is stranded. At last a yacht comes in sight
and the party with the treasure is taken off the lonely key. The most
exacting youth is sure to be fascinated with this entertaining story.


*Fairy Tales and Stories.* By HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN. Profusely
Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

"If I were asked to select a child's library I should name these three
volumes 'English,' 'Celtic,' and 'Indian Fairy Tales,' with Grimm and
Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales."--_Independent._


*The Island Treasure*; or, Harry Darrel's Fortune. By FRANK H. CONVERSE.
12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

Harry Darrel, an orphan, having received a nautical training on a
school-ship, is bent on going to sea with a boyish acquaintance named
Dan Plunket. A runaway horse changes his prospects. Harry saves Dr.
Gregg from drowning and the doctor presents his preserver with a bit of
property known as Gregg's Island, and makes the lad sailing-master of
his sloop yacht. A piratical hoard is supposed to be hidden somewhere on
the island. After much search and many thwarted plans, at last Dan
discovers the treasure and is the means of finding Harry's father. Mr.
Converse's stories possess a charm of their own which is appreciated by
lads who delight in good healthy tales that smack of salt water.


*The Boy Explorers*: The Adventures of Two Boys in Alaska. By HARRY
PRENTICE. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

Two boys, Raymond and Spencer Manning, travel from San Francisco to
Alaska to join their father in search of their uncle, who, it is
believed, was captured and detained by the inhabitants of a place called
the "Heart of Alaska." On their arrival at Sitka the boys with an Indian
guide set off across the mountains. The trip is fraught with perils that
test the lads' courage to the utmost. Reaching the Yukon River they
build a raft and float down the stream, entering the Mysterious River,
from which they barely escape with their lives, only to be captured by
natives of the Heart of Alaska. All through their exciting adventures
the lads demonstrate what can be accomplished by pluck and resolution,
and their experience makes one of the most interesting tales ever
written.


*The Treasure Finders*: A Boy's Adventures in Nicaragua. By JAMES OTIS.
12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

Roy and Dean Coloney, with their guide Tongla, leave their father's
indigo plantation to visit the wonderful ruins of an ancient city. The
boys eagerly explore the dismantled temples of an extinct race and
discover three golden images cunningly hidden away. They escape with the
greatest difficulty; by taking advantage of a festive gathering they
seize a canoe and fly down the river. Eventually they reach safety with
their golden prizes. Mr. Otis is the prince of story tellers, for he
handles his material with consummate skill. We doubt if he has ever
written a more entertaining story than "The Treasure Finders."


*Household Fairy Tales.* By the BROTHERS GRIMM. Profusely Illustrated,
12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

"As a collection of fairy tales to delight children of all ages this
work ranks second to none."--_Daily Graphic._


*Dan the Newsboy.* By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

The reader is introduced to Dan Mordaunt and his mother living in a poor
tenement, and the lad is pluckily trying to make ends meet by selling
papers in the streets of New York. A little heiress of six years is
confided to the care of the Mordaunts. At the same time the lad obtains
a position in a wholesale house. He soon demonstrates how valuable he is
to the firm by detecting the bookkeeper in a bold attempt to rob his
employers. The child is kidnaped and Dan tracks the child to the house
where she is hidden, and rescues her. The wealthy aunt of the little
heiress is so delighted with Dan's courage and many good qualities that
she adopts him as her heir, and the conclusion of the book leaves the
hero on the high road to every earthly desire.


*Tony the Hero*: A Brave Boy's Adventure with a Tramp. By HORATIO ALGER,
JR. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

Tony, a sturdy bright-eyed boy of fourteen, is under the control of
Rudolph Rugg, a thorough rascal, shiftless and lazy, spending his time
tramping about the country. After much abuse Tony runs away and gets a
job as stable boy in a country hotel. Tony is heir to a large estate in
England, and certain persons find it necessary to produce proof of the
lad's death. Rudolph for a consideration hunts up Tony and throws him
down a deep well. Of course Tony escapes from the fate provided for him,
and by a brave act makes a rich friend, with whom he goes to England,
where he secures his rights and is prosperous. The fact that Mr. Alger
is the author of this entertaining book will at once recommend it to all
juvenile readers.


*A Young Hero*; or, Fighting to Win. By EDWARD S. ELLIS. 12mo, cloth,
price $1.00.

This story tells how a valuable solid silver service was stolen from the
Misses Perkinpine, two very old and simple minded ladies. Fred Sheldon,
the hero of this story and a friend of the old ladies, undertakes to
discover the thieves and have them arrested. After much time spent in
detective work, he succeeds in discovering the silver plate and winning
the reward for its restoration. During the narrative a circus comes to
town and a thrilling account of the escape of the lion from its cage,
with its recapture, is told in Mr. Ellis' most fascinating style. Every
boy will be glad to read this delightful book.


*The Days of Bruce*: A Story from Scottish History. By GRACE AGUILAR.
Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

"There is a delightful freshness, sincerity and vivacity about all of
Grace Aguilar's stories which cannot fail to win the interest and
admiration of every lover of good reading."--_Boston Beacon._


*Tom the Bootblack*; or, The Road to Success. By HORATIO ALGER, JR.
12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

A bright, enterprising lad was Tom the bootblack. He was not at all
ashamed of his humble calling, though always on the lookout to better
himself. His guardian, old Jacob Morton, died, leaving him a small sum
of money and a written confession that Tom, instead of being of humble
origin, was the son and heir of a deceased Western merchant, and had
been defrauded out of his just rights by an unscrupulous uncle. The lad
started for Cincinnati to look up his heritage. But three years passed
away before he obtained his first clue. Mr. Grey, the uncle, did not
hesitate to employ a ruffian to kill the lad. The plan failed, and
Gilbert Grey, once Tom the bootblack, came into a comfortable fortune.
This is one of Mr. Alger's best stories.


*Captured by Zulus*: A story of Trapping in Africa. By HARRY PRENTICE.
12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

This story details the adventures of two lads, Dick Elsworth and Bob
Harvey, in the wilds of South Africa, for the purpose of obtaining a
supply of zoological curiosities. By stratagem the Zulus capture Dick
and Bob and take them to their principal kraal or village. The lads
escape death by digging their way out of the prison hut by night. They
are pursued, and after a rough experience the boys eventually rejoin the
expedition and take part in several wild animal hunts. The Zulus finally
give up pursuit and the expedition arrives at the coast without further
trouble. Mr. Prentice has a delightful method of blending fact with
fiction. He tells exactly how wild-beast collectors secure specimens on
their native stamping grounds, and these descriptions make very
entertaining reading.


*Tom the Ready*; or, Up from the Lowest. By RANDOLPH HILL. 12mo, cloth,
price $1.00.

This is a dramatic narrative of the unaided rise of a fearless,
ambitious boy from the lowest round of fortune's ladder--the gate of the
poorhouse--to wealth and the governorship of his native State. Thomas
Seacomb begins life with a purpose. While yet a schoolboy he conceives
and presents to the world the germ of the Overland Express Co. At the
very outset of his career jealousy and craft seek to blast his promising
future. Later he sets out to obtain a charter for a railroad line in
connection with the express business. Now he realizes what it is to
match himself against capital. Yet he wins and the railroad is built.
Only an uncommon nature like Tom's could successfully oppose such a
combine. How he manages to win the battle is told by Mr. Hill in a
masterful way that thrills the reader and holds his attention and
sympathy to the end.


*Roy Gilbert's Search*: A Tale of the Great Lakes. By WM. P. CHIPMAN.
12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

A deep mystery hangs over the parentage of Roy Gilbert. He arranges with
two schoolmates to make a tour of the Great Lakes on a steam launch. The
three boys leave Erie on the launch and visit many points of interest on
the lakes. Soon afterward the lad is conspicuous in the rescue of an
elderly gentleman and a lady from a sinking yacht. Later on the cruise
of the launch is brought to a disastrous termination and the boys
narrowly escape with their lives. The hero is a manly, self-reliant boy,
whose adventures will be followed with interest.


*The Young Scout*; The Story of a West Point Lieutenant. By EDWARD S.
ELLIS. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

The crafty Apache chief Geronimo but a few years ago was the most
terrible scourge of the southwest border. The author has woven, in a
tale of thrilling interest, all the incidents of Geronimo's last raid.
The hero is Lieutenant James Decker, a recent graduate of West Point.
Ambitious to distinguish himself so as to win well-deserved promotion,
the young man takes many a desperate chance against the enemy and on
more than one occasion narrowly escapes with his life. The story
naturally abounds in thrilling situations, and being historically
correct, it is reasonable to believe it will find great favor with the
boys. In our opinion Mr. Ellis is the best writer of Indian stories now
before the public.


*Adrift in the Wilds*: The Adventures of Two Shipwrecked Boys. By EDWARD
S. ELLIS. 12mo, cloth, price, $1.00.

Elwood Brandon and Howard Lawrence, cousins and schoolmates, accompanied
by a lively Irishman called O'Rooney, are en route for San Francisco.
Off the coast of California the steamer takes fire. The two boys and
their companion reach the shore with several of the passengers. While
O'Rooney and the lads are absent inspecting the neighborhood O'Rooney
has an exciting experience and young Brandon becomes separated from his
party. He is captured by hostile Indians, but is rescued by an Indian
whom the lads had assisted. This is a very entertaining narrative of
Southern California in the days immediately preceding the construction
of the Pacific railroads. Mr. Ellis seems to be particularly happy in
this line of fiction, and the present story is fully as entertaining as
anything he has ever written.


*The Red Fairy Book.* Edited by ANDREW LANG. Profusely Illustrated,
12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

"A gift-book that will charm any child, and all older folk who have been
fortunate enough to retain their taste for the old nursery
stories."--_Literary World._


*The Boy Cruisers*; or, Paddling in Florida. By ST. GEORGE RATHBORNE.
12mo, cloth, price, $1.00.

Boys who like an admixture of sport and adventure will find this book
just to their taste. We promise them they will not go to sleep over the
rattling experiences of Andrew George and Roland Carter, who start on a
canoe trip along the Gulf coast, from Key West to Tampa, Florida. Their
first adventure is with a pair of rascals who steal their boats. Next
they run into a gale in the Gulf and have a lively experience while it
lasts. After that they have a lively time with alligators and divers
varieties of the finny tribe. Andrew gets into trouble with a band of
Seminole Indians and gets away without having his scalp raised. After
this there is no lack of fun till they reach their destination. That Mr.
Rathborne knows just how to interest the boys is apparent at a glance,
and lads who are in search of a rare treat will do well to read this
entertaining story.


*Guy Harris*: The Runaway. By HARRY CASTLEMON. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

Guy Harris lived in a small city on the shore of one of the Great Lakes.
His head became filled with quixotic notions of going West to hunt
grizzlies, in fact, Indians. He is persuaded to go to sea, and gets a
glimpse of the rough side of life in a sailor's boarding house. He ships
on a vessel and for five months leads a hard life. He deserts his ship
at San Francisco and starts out to become a backwoodsman, but rough
experiences soon cure him of all desire to be a hunter. At St. Louis he
becomes a clerk and for a time he yields to the temptations of a great
city. The book will not only interest boys generally on account of its
graphic style, but will put many facts before their eyes in a new light.
This is one of Castlemon's most attractive stories.


*The Train Boy.* By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

Paul Palmer was a wide-awake boy of sixteen who supported his mother and
sister by selling books and papers on one of the trains running between
Chicago and Milwaukee. He detects a young man named Luke Denton in the
act of picking the pocket of a young lady, and also incurs the enmity of
his brother Stephen, a worthless follow. Luke and Stephen plot to ruin
Paul, but their plans are frustrated. In a railway accident many
passengers are killed, but Paul is fortunate enough to assist a Chicago
merchant, who out of gratitude takes him into his employ. Paul is sent
to manage a mine in Custer City and executes his commission with tact
and judgment and is well started on the road to business prominence.
This is one of Mr. Alger's most attractive stories and is sure to please
all readers.


*Joe's Luck*: A Boy's Adventures in California. By HORATIO ALGER, JR.
12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

Without a doubt Joe Mason was a lucky boy, but he deserved the golden
chances that fell to his lot, for he had the pluck and ambition to push
himself to the front. Joe had but one dollar in the world when he stood
despondently on the California Mail Steamship Co.'s dock in New York
watching the preparations incident to the departure of the steamer. The
same dollar was still Joe's entire capital when he landed in the
bustling town of tents and one-story cabins--the San Francisco of '51,
and inside of the week the boy was proprietor of a small restaurant
earning a comfortable profit. The story is chock full of stirring
incidents, while the amusing situations are furnished by Joshua
Bickford, from Pumpkin Hollow, and the fellow who modestly styles
himself the "Rip-tail Roarer, from Pike Co., Missouri." Mr. Alger never
writes a poor book, and "Joe's Luck" is certainly one of his best.


*Three Bright Girls*: A Story of Chance and Mischance. By ANNIE E.
ARMSTRONG. With full page Illustrations by W. PARKINSON. 12mo, cloth,
price $1.00.

By a sudden turn of fortune's wheel the three heroines of this story are
brought down from a household of lavish comfort to meet the incessant
cares and worries of those who have to eke out a very limited income.
And the charm of the story lies in the cheery helpfulness of spirit
developed in the girls by their changed circumstances; while the author
finds a pleasant ending to all their happy makeshifts.

"The story is charmingly told, and the book can be warmly recommended as
a present for girls."--_Standard._


*Giannetta*: A Girl's Story of Herself. By ROSA MULHOLLAND. With
full-page Illustrations by LOCKHART BOGLE. 12mo, cloth, price $1.00.

The daughter of a gentleman, who had married a poor Swiss girl, was
stolen as an infant by some of her mother's relatives. The child having
died, they afterward for the sake of gain substitute another child for
it, and the changeling, after becoming a clever modeler of clay images,
is suddenly transferred to the position of a rich heiress. She develops
into a good and accomplished woman, and though the imposture of her
early friends is finally discovered, she has gained too much love and
devotion to be really a sufferer by the surrender of her estates.

"Extremely well told and full of interest. Giannetta is a true
heroine--warm-hearted, self-sacrificing, and, as all good women nowadays
are, largely touched with enthusiasm of humanity. The illustrations are
unusually good. One of the most attractive gift books of the
season."--_The Academy._


*Margery Merton's Girlhood.* By ALICE CORKRAN. With full-page
Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo. cloth, price $1.00.

The experiences of an orphan girl who in infancy is left by her
father--an officer in India--to the care of an elderly aunt residing
near Paris. The accounts of the various persons who have an after
influence on the story, the school companions of Margery, the sisters of
the Conventual College of Art, the professor, and the peasantry of
Fontainebleau, are singularly vivid. There is a subtle attraction about
the book which will make it a great favorite with thoughtful girls.

"Another book for girls we can warmly commend. There is a delightful
piquancy in the experiences and trials of a young English girl who
studies painting in Paris."--_Saturday Review._


*Under False Colors*: A Story from Two Girls' Lives. By SARAH DOUDNEY.
With full-page Illustrations by G. G. KILBURNE. 12mo, cloth, price
$1.00.

A story which has in it so strong a dramatic element that it will
attract readers of all ages and of either sex. The incidents of the
plot, arising from the thoughtless indulgence of a deceptive freak, are
exceedingly natural, and the keen interest of the narrative is sustained
from beginning to end.

"Sarah Doudney has no superior as a writer of high-toned stories--pure
in style, original in conception, and with skillfully wrought out plots;
but we have seen nothing equal in dramatic energy to this
book."--_Christian Leader._


*Down the Snow Stairs*; or, From Good-night to Good-morning. By ALICE
CORKRAN. With Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, price 75
cents.

This is a remarkable story: full of vivid fancy and quaint originality.
In its most fantastic imaginings it carries with it a sense of reality,
and derives a singular attraction from that combination of simplicity,
originality, and subtle humor, which is so much appreciated by lively
and thoughtful children. Children of a larger growth will also be deeply
interested in Kitty's strange journey, and her wonderful experiences.

"Among all the Christmas volumes which the year has brought to our
table this one stands out _facile princeps_--a gem of the first water,
bearing upon every one of its pages the signet mark of genius.... All
is told with such simplicity and perfect naturalness that the dream
appears to be a solid reality. It is indeed a Little Pilgrim's
Progress."--_Christian Leader._


*The Tapestry Room*: A Child's Romance. By MRS. MOLESWORTH. Illustrated
by WALTER CRANE. 12mo, cloth, price 75 cents.

"Mrs. Molesworth is a charming painter of the nature and ways of
children; and she has done good service in giving us this charming
juvenile which will delight the young people."--_Athenæum_, London.



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE


List of changes from the printed edition (in parentheses the original
text):

p. 23: "completely" for "comletely" (comletely emptied)

p. 24: "soldier's" for "soldiers'" (would-be soldiers' throad)

p. 26: "surprised" for "suprised" (I shouldn't be suprised)

p. 81: added missing closing quote (fightin', the corporal began)

p. 118: "measured" for "measred" (he measred his patriotism)

p. 130: "questioned" for "qestioned" (he qestioned Isaac)

p. 163: "edge" for "ege" (to the water's ege)

p. 166: "the" for "he" (so did he startled redcoats)

p. 222: "young" for "Young" (about," Young Beman said)

p. 227: "it" for "is" (is is but proper)

p. 4' (ads): "." for ":" (Schönberg: 12mo)

p. 10' (ads): "." for ":" (Schönberg: 12mo)

p. 13' (ads): "Cañon" for Canon (Lost in the Canon)





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