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Title: Historic Events of Colonial Days
Author: Holland, Rupert S.
Language: English
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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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Historic Events of Colonial Days" ***

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The Historic Series for Young People

By RUPERT S. HOLLAND


+Historic Boyhoods+
Stories of the Boyhoods of Famous Men.

+Historic Girlhoods+
Stories of the Girlhoods of Famous Women.

+Historic Inventions+
Stories of the Great Inventors.

+Historic Poems and Ballads+
The Heroic Poems of All Lands.

+Historic Adventures+
Stories of Our Nation's Heroes.

+Historic Heroes of Chivalry+
Stories of Brave Knights of Old.

Each 12mo. Cloth, Illustrated, $1.50 net


"_Ideal Books for Young Americans_"


[Illustration: ANDROSS STARED AT GOVERNOR TREAT]



Historic Events of Colonial Days

By RUPERT S. HOLLAND
_Author of "Historic Boyhoods," "Historic
Girlhoods," "Historic Inventions," etc._

[Illustration: Logo]

PHILADELPHIA
GEORGE W. JACOBS & COMPANY
PUBLISHERS


Copyright, 1916, by
GEORGE W. JACOBS & COMPANY
_Published, October, 1916_

_All rights reserved_
Printed in U. S. A.



Contents


   I. A PURITAN HERO                                   9
            (_Rhode Island, 1630_)

  II. PETER STUYVESANT'S FLAG                         21
            (_New York, 1661_)

 III. WHEN GOVERNOR ANDROSS CAME TO CONNECTICUT       55
            (_Connecticut, 1675_)

  IV. THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN NATHANIEL BACON
        AND SIR WILLIAM BERKELEY                      70
            (_Virginia, 1676_)

   V. AN OUTLAW CHIEF OF MARYLAND                    105
            (_Maryland, 1684_)

  VI. IN THE DAYS OF WITCHES                         139
            (_Massachusetts, 1692_)

 VII. THE ATTACK ON THE DELAWARE                     174
            (_Pennsylvania, 1706_)

VIII. THE PIRATES OF CHARLES TOWN HARBOR             206
            (_South Carolina, 1718_)

  IX. THE FOUNDER OF GEORGIA                         245
            (_Georgia, 1732_)

   X. THE GREEN MOUNTAIN BOYS AND THE YORKERS        287
            (_Vermont, 1774_)



Illustrations


Andross Stared at Governor Treat                      _Frontispiece_

Stuyvesant Bit His Lips as His Gunners Waited      _Facing page_  46

"I Yield as Your Prisoner"                           "     "     116

Nick Turned to Lead the Way                          "     "     210



I

A PURITAN HERO

(_Rhode Island, 1630_)


The good ship _Lyon_ had been sixty-seven days outward bound from the
port of Bristol, in England, when she dropped anchor early in February,
1630, at Nantasket, near the entrance of Boston Harbor, in New England.
The ship had met with many winter storms, and passengers and crew were
glad to see the shores of Massachusetts. On the ninth of February the
_Lyon_ slipped through a field of drifting ice and came to anchor before
the little settlement of Boston. On board the ship was a young man who
was to play an exciting part in the story of the New World.

Yet this young man, Roger Williams by name, seemed simple and quiet
enough, as he and his wife came ashore and were welcomed by Governor
John Winthrop. He was a young preacher, filled with a desire to carry
his teaching to the new lands across the Atlantic Ocean, and he had been
asked to be the minister of the First Church in Boston. As it turned
out, however, his ideas were not the ideas of the people of Boston, and
he soon found that the First Church was not the place for him.

So after a short stay in Boston Roger Williams and his wife went to
Plymouth, which was then a colony separate from Massachusetts Bay.
William Bradford, the governor of Plymouth, and his neighbors made the
young preacher welcome, and there Roger Williams stayed for two years,
teaching and exhorting and prophesying, as ministers were said to do in
those days. There his daughter Mary was born. Roger Williams, however,
was given to argument and could be very obstinate at times, and
presently he fell out with his neighbors at Plymouth, and moved again,
this time to Salem. There he was given charge of the church, and there
he, like many other free-thinking men, fell under the displeasure of the
governor of Massachusetts Bay. For some things he taught he was summoned
before the General Court of the Bay, and the Court ordered him to leave
the colony. He did not go at once, and Governor Winthrop let him stay
until the following January, when rumors came to Boston that Roger
Williams was planning to lead twenty men of his own way of thinking to
the country about Narragansett Bay, and there establish a colony of his
own. John Winthrop objected seriously to any such performance.

The governor sent Captain John Underhill in a sailboat to Salem, with
orders to seize Roger Williams and put him on board a ship that was
lying at Nantasket Roads, ready to sail for England. But when Captain
Underhill and his men marched up to the house of Williams they found
that the man they wanted had fled three days before. There was no
knowing which way he had gone, the wilderness stretched far and wide to
west and south, and so they gave up the search for him and reported to
Governor Winthrop that Roger Williams had disappeared.

Five friends of Williams, knowing that he had been commanded to leave
Massachusetts Bay, had gone into the wilderness and built a camp for him
on the banks of a river which was called by the three names of the
Blackstone, for the first settler there, the Seekonk, and the Pawtucket.
There Williams joined them, and there they stayed during the winter and
planted their crops in the spring. Then a messenger from the governor of
Plymouth came, saying that their plantation was within the borders of
the Plymouth Colony, and asking in a friendly way that Roger Williams
and his friends should move to the other side of the river.

The settlers did not like to lose the harvest of their new crops, but
neither did they want to make enemies at Plymouth, and so they launched
their canoe and paddled down the river in search of a new site. As they
went down the stream tradition says that a group of Indians, standing on
a great rock near the river's bank, recognized Roger Williams as a man
who had once befriended them. They cried their greetings to the white
men, and the latter landed and went up the rock and talked with the
Indians. Then, taking their canoe again, the white men went on down the
river to its mouth, rounded a promontory, and came into an estuary of
Narragansett Bay. Here they paddled north a short distance, until they
reached the point where the Woonasquatucket and the Moshassuck Rivers
joined, and there they landed, near a spring of sweet water. Here they
pitched their camp, founding what was to be known in time as the
Providence Plantations.

The little colony of six men was soon joined by others, and presently a
government was formed, somewhat like those of Massachusetts Bay and
Plymouth. There were many Indians along the shores of Narragansett Bay,
and Roger Williams made it his concern to be on friendly terms with all
of them. When he had lived at Plymouth and at Salem he had met many
Indians and had been liked by them. Canonicus and his nephew
Miantonomoh, chiefs of the Narragansetts, ruled over all this new
region. When the six settlers reached their new plantation these chiefs
were at odds with a chief to the north named Ausamaquin. Williams set to
work to reconcile the hostile Indians, and while he did so he made such
friends of the Narragansett chiefs that they gave him a large tract of
land, stretching from the Pawtucket to the Pawtuxet Rivers. In his turn
Roger Williams sold the land to his company for thirty pounds.

Here, as the little colony of Providence Plantations grew, Roger
Williams tended to the government of it and preached constantly to his
people. All was not smooth sailing, however, even here in the
wilderness. Men disagreed with the preacher, and he found it hard to
keep them from continually fighting with each other. When there was no
danger of trouble with the Indians, the settlers stirred up trouble for
themselves, and Roger Williams had his hands full trying to keep first
the white, and then the red, men in order.

Every little while there would be some dispute, usually ending in
bloodshed, between Indians and white men. Two white traders, venturing
into the country between the two rivers now known as the Pawcatuck and
the Thames, were killed by chiefs of the Pequods, who were the strongest
tribe in all New England. News of this came to Plymouth, and was sent
from there by messenger to the governor of Massachusetts Bay. Not long
afterward a settler named John Oldham was killed by a party of Indians
as he was sailing his own boat off Block Island. The white men, putting
this and that together, decided that the Pequods were planning to kill
all the settlers that came into their country, and thought it likely
they were trying to get the Narragansett chiefs to join them in this. If
these two tribes joined forces it would go hard with the white men, and
so the people of Massachusetts Bay sent a message to Roger Williams,
urging him to see his friends the Narragansetts, and try to keep them
from joining with the Pequods.

Williams was brave, and he had need to be when he made his visit to the
wigwam of the chief, Canonicus. He found men of the Pequods there,
trying to induce Canonicus and the other Narragansett sachems to join
them in war on the whites. He came as a friend, he showed no fear, and
he stayed for several days, sleeping among them at night, as if he had
no suspicion that the Pequods might want to kill him, alone and unarmed
among so many of them. And the Pequods did not touch him. He had learned
something of the Indian tongue while he lived at Plymouth and Salem, and
he talked with them and the Narragansetts, urging them to be friends
with the white men who had come to live among them.

His visit to Canonicus was successful. The Narragansett chiefs renewed
their promises of friendship for Roger Williams' men and sent the Pequod
envoys away. The disappointed Pequods, however, told the Narragansetts
that the English were treacherous folk and warned them that they would
not always find these new settlers as friendly as Roger Williams had
said. And in part the Pequods were right, for there were white men who
were fully as treacherous as any Indians.

Not long afterward four young men set out from Massachusetts Bay to go
to the Dutch settlement on Manhattan Island. Somewhere between Boston
and the Providence Plantations they sat down to rest and smoke. A
Narragansett Indian came in sight, and they called to him to stop and
smoke a pipe with them. The Indian accepted their invitation. The white
men saw that he was a trader and had a large stock of wampum, and also
cloth and beads with him, and so, as he sat with them, they suddenly
attacked him, and, robbing him, left him for dead. The Narragansett,
though very badly wounded, was able after a while to drag himself back
to the wigwams of his tribe. There he told his story before he died.
Some of the chiefs set out on the trail at once, and capturing three of
the whites, took them to the settlers at Aquidneck. They were tried for
the robbery and murder, found guilty, and executed, though some settlers
murmured against Englishmen being condemned for doing harm to Indians.
But wise men such as Governor Bradford and Roger Williams knew that they
must use the same justice toward Indians as toward white men if they
were ever to live in peace with their neighbors.

So the Narragansetts kept peace with the newcomers who were building
their homes on the shores of the great bay that bore the name of the
Indian tribe, and Roger Williams turned his attention to the needs of
his people. He wanted a charter from the king of England for his new
colony, and to get it he had to go back to England. Instead of going to
Boston or Plymouth to take ship he traveled south to the Dutch seaport
of New Amsterdam. The Dutch were also having trouble with their Indian
neighbors, and Roger Williams was urged to try to pacify the red men.
Governor Winthrop of Massachusetts Bay kept record of most of the
important things that were taking place in the English colonies, and
this is what he wrote:

"1643. Mo. 4, 20.--There fell out hot wars between the Dutch and the
Indians thereabout. The occasion was this. An Indian being drunk had
slain an old Dutchman.... The Indians also of Long Island took part with
their neighbors upon the main, and as the Dutch took away their corn, so
they fell to burning the Dutch houses. But these, by the mediation of
Mr. Williams, who was there to go in a Dutch ship for England, were
pacified and peace reëstablished between the Dutch and them."

Roger Williams sailed from New Amsterdam in June or July, 1643, and on
the voyage he spent much time in writing a remarkable book, "A Key into
the Languages of America," as he called it. He reached England at a most
exciting time. Parliament had rebelled against King Charles the First,
the king had fled from London, the battle of Edge Hill had been fought
between the Cavaliers and the Roundheads, and the country was an armed
camp. Williams tried to get his charter from the Parliament, but matters
were so upset that such business took a long time. The people of London
were suffering for fuel, and he busied himself in plans to provide coal
and wood for them, and he went on with his writings, most of which were
religious arguments, such as many men of that period, among them
William Penn, were fond of writing.

At last he was able to get his charter from Parliament, and set out on
his return journey. He had not sailed from Boston on his outward voyage
because of the order of exile from the colony of Massachusetts Bay that
still stood against him. But he asked permission of that colony to let
him return by way of Boston, and this was granted. He landed at the same
place where he had made his first landing in America; journeyed,
probably on foot, to the Blackstone River, and paddled his canoe to
Narragansett Bay. As he approached the Bay he was met by a fleet of
canoes manned by the chief settlers of his colony, who gave him a royal
welcome. In return for his services in obtaining the charter for the new
Providence Plantations the three settlements of Newport, Portsmouth and
Providence agreed to pay him one hundred pounds.

Roger Williams' wife had joined him at the Providence Plantations, and
they now had a family of six children. He did not approve of a minister
being paid for his services, and so he, like many other preachers of the
Puritans, found other means to supply his family with bread and meat. He
had traded with the Indians for furs while he was at Salem, and since
then he had built a trading house on the west shore of Narragansett Bay,
at a place called Cawcawmsquissick by the Indians, about fifteen miles
south of Providence, and near where the town of Wickford now stands.
Ninigret, one of his powerful Indian friends, lived near by, and saw to
it that the best furs went to Roger Williams' house. It was a convenient
place for the hunters to bring their stores, and it was not far across
the bay to Newport, which was becoming the main shipping port of the
colony. To Newport he took his furs to sell them in the market or send
them by trading-vessel to England, and there he bought the stock of
cloth and beads, sugar and other supplies that he paid to the Indians.
He made at his trading-house at least one hundred pounds a year, the
equal of five hundred dollars in American money, and with a much greater
purchasing power in those days than now.

Meantime the Narragansetts and the Mohegans had been at war with each
other, and the former tribe winning, had made an alliance with the
Mohegans, and threatened a joint attack on the English colonies.
Williams and two or three others went out to the Indian chiefs and again
made a treaty of peace with them, for there was no white man in New
England for whom all the Indians had such affection as they had for
Roger Williams. Time and again he saved his own colony, and the
neighboring ones of Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth and Connecticut from
Indian attacks. His knowledge of the Indian tongues was of great
assistance to him, and his desire to be perfectly fair and frank with
them was even more valuable.

Once more he went to England, for a Mr. Coddington of Newport had
obtained from Parliament a commission as governor for life of the
settlements at Aquidneck, which interfered with the charter already
granted to the Providence Plantations. There he succeeded in having the
claims of his colony adjusted, there he wrote more religious pamphlets
and preached and lectured, and there he met Oliver Cromwell, the Lord
Protector of England, and John Milton the poet, and told them about the
Indians of New England, their language and their customs and the
missionary work the colonists were doing among them.

After he went back to Providence George Fox, the famous Quaker leader,
came to New England and preached to the people there. Roger Williams did
not agree with Fox in many of his teachings, and took the opposite side
at many public meetings. Whenever there was debate or argument over
religious matters Roger Williams wanted to have his share in it. He held
the same views as leader of the Providence Plantations that he had
voiced when he first came as minister to the First Church at Boston.

In many ways Roger Williams was something like William Penn. He founded
a colony that was in time to become one of the original Thirteen States
of the American Union. He was a religious leader, and he was always fair
in his dealings with the Indians. Probably he was greatest as a friend
of the Indians, for his little colony was spared the frequent attacks
and massacres that made life so hard for many of the small English
settlements along the Atlantic coast. He came to the New World seeking
liberty and justice between all men, and these he taught to the settlers
who followed and built their homes around his log house on the shores of
the great bay named for the Narragansetts.



II

PETER STUYVESANT'S FLAG

(_New York, 1661_)


I

The island of Manhattan, which is now tightly packed with the
office-buildings and houses of New York, was in 1661 the home of a small
number of families who had come across the Atlantic Ocean from the
Netherlands to settle this part of the new world for the Dutch West
India Company. There was a fort at the southern end of the island,
sometimes known as the Battery, and two roads led from it toward the
north. One of these roads followed the line of the street now called
Broadway, running north to a great open field, or common, and, skirting
that, leading on to the settlement of Harlaem. In time this road came to
be known as the Old Post Road to Boston. Another road ran to the east,
and in its neighborhood were the farms of many of the richer Dutch
settlers. Near where Third Avenue and Thirteenth Street now meet was the
bouwery, as the Dutchmen called a farm, of Peter Stuyvesant, the
governor of the colony of New Netherland. It was a large, prosperous
bouwery, with a good-sized house for the governor and his family.

This Dutch governor, sturdy, impetuous, obstinate, had lost a leg while
leading an attack on the Portuguese island of Saint Martin, in 1644, and
now used a wooden stump, which caused him to be nicknamed "Wooden-Legged
Peter." He was a much better governor than the others who had been sent
out by the West India Company to rule New Netherland. He had plenty of
courage, but he had also a very determined will of his own, which often
made him seem a tyrant to the other settlers.

Now there were two distinct classes of people in New Netherland: the
peasants who worked the land, and the landowners, called patroons, who
had bought vast tracts from the West India Company, and lived on them
like European nobles. It was the patroons who brought the peasants over,
paying for their passage, and the peasants worked for them until they
could repay the amount of their passage money, and then took up small
farms on their patroon's estate, paying the rental in crops, as tenants
did to the feudal lords of Europe. The great manors stretched north from
the little town of New Amsterdam at the point of Manhattan Island. Above
Peter Stuyvesant's bouwery was the manor of the Kip family, called Kip's
Bay. In the middle of the island lived the Patroon De Lancey. Opposite,
on Long Island, was the estate of the Laurences. And along the Hudson
were the homes of the powerful families of Van Courtland and of
Phillipse, of Van Rensselaer and of Schuyler. In spite of constant
danger from Indians and their great distance from Europe the patroons
lived in a certain magnificence, and grew in power down to the time of
the Revolution. Farming and fur-trading were the chief sources of profit
of the colony. There were a few storekeepers and mechanics, but they
lived close to the fort and stockade at the Battery. The trades that had
done so much to make the Netherlands in Europe rich played small part in
the life of this New Netherland.

In the year 1661 the West India Company bought Staten Island from its
patroon owner, a man named Cornelius Melyn. A block-house was built
which was armed with two cannon and defended by ten soldiers, and
invited the people of Europe who were called Waldenses and the Huguenots
of France to settle on the island. Fourteen families soon came and took
up farms there south of the Narrows. The West India Company, however,
had broader views on religion than their governor, Peter Stuyvesant,
had. John Brown, an Englishman, moved from Boston to Flushing, on Long
Island, and, having by chance attended a Quaker meeting, invited the
Quakers to meet at his new house. Neighbors told the governor that John
Brown was using his farm as a meeting-place for Quakers, and Stuyvesant
had him arrested. The quiet, unoffending farmer was fined twenty-five
pounds and threatened with banishment, and when he failed to pay, was
imprisoned in New Amsterdam for three months. Then Governor Stuyvesant
issued an order banishing Farmer Brown. "John Brown," so ran the order,
"is to be transported from this province in the first ship ready to
sail, as an example to others." Soon afterward he was sent to Holland in
the _Gilded Fox_, but the officers of the West India Company received
him kindly, rebuked the haughty governor for his severity, and persuaded
John Brown to return to Flushing. When he did go back Stuyvesant showed
by his acts that he was ashamed of what he had done. For the governor,
in spite of his headstrong acts, had sense enough to know that his
little colony needed all the settlers it could find, no matter what
their religion, and that Quakers made as trustworthy settlers as any
other kind.

Early in 1663 an earthquake shook New Netherland and the country round
it. Soon afterward the melting snows and very heavy rains caused a
tremendous freshet, which covered the meadow lands along the rivers, and
ruined all the crops. Then came an outbreak of smallpox, which spread
among the Dutchmen and the Indians like fire in a field of wheat. Over a
thousand of the Iroquois tribe died of the plague. Then, as if these
troubles were not sufficient for the colony, Peter Stuyvesant soon heard
that there was new danger of an Indian uprising against his people.

There had been a truce between the red men and the white, but the former
could not forget that after their last attack on the Dutch fifteen of
their warriors had been sent as slaves to the island of Curaçoa. There
were many Indians near the prosperous settlement of Esopus, up in the
Hudson country, and in the spring of 1663 settlers there sent word to
the governor that they needed more protection from their dark-skinned
neighbors. Stuyvesant replied that he would come himself soon and try to
settle any differences. The Indian chiefs heard of this reply of the
governor and in their turn sent him word that if he were coming to renew
their treaty of friendship they should expect him to come without arms,
and would then gladly meet in a council in the field outside the gate of
Esopus, and smoke the pipe of peace with him.

This was a friendly message, and the settlers at Esopus who lived within
the palisades, as well as those at the little village of Wildwyck, which
had sprung up a short distance from the fort, decided they had been
wrong in suspecting the Indians of intending to harm them, and went on
with their farming as usual. Peter Stuyvesant, busy in New Amsterdam,
had not yet had a chance to go up to Esopus. On the seventh of June, as
on other days, Indians came into the village, chatted with the settlers,
and sold corn and other provisions they had grown.

Then suddenly a war-whoop rang out inside the palisades, and was
instantly followed by a hundred more within and without the gates.
Indian blankets were thrown aside, and tomahawks and long knives
gleamed in the hands of the savages. The settlers were taken completely
by surprise. Each Indian had marked his man. Men, women, and children
were made prisoners or killed. Houses were plundered and set on fire,
and the flames, escaping to the farms, soon made havoc of the prosperous
village.

The settlers fought, and for several hours the savage war-whoops were
answered by the fire of muskets. The chief officer of the village,
called the Schout, Roelof Swartwout by name, rallied a few men around
him, and by desperate fighting at last drove the Indians outside the
palisades and shut the gates against them. But the outer village was in
ashes, the fields were strewn with bodies, and houses smoked to the sky.
Within the palisades matters were not quite so bad, for a change of the
wind had saved part of the buildings from the flames.

Twenty-one settlers had been killed, nine were badly wounded, and
forty-five, most of them women and children, had been taken captive. All
that night the Schout and his men stayed on guard at the gates, while in
the distance they heard the shouts of the triumphant red men.

The news of what had happened at Esopus spread rapidly through the
Hudson country. In the villages the men hurried to strengthen their
palisades, farmers fled with their families to the shelter of the
nearest forts. The news came to Governor Stuyvesant on Manhattan Island,
and he instantly sent forty-two soldiers to Esopus, and offered rewards
to all who would enlist. Some friendly Indians from Long Island joined
his forces, scouts were sent through the woods to find the hostile
Indians' hiding-places. The Mohawks tried to make peace, and capturing
some of the Dutch prisoners, sent them back to the village. The Mohawks
also sent word that the Indians who had gone on the war-path felt they
were only taking a just revenge for the act of the Dutch in sending some
of their chiefs to Curaçoa, that they would return their other prisoners
in exchange for rich presents, and were ready to make a new peace with
the settlers.

But Peter Stuyvesant thought it needful to teach his Indian neighbors a
lesson.

A white woman, Mrs. Van Imbrock, escaped from her captors, and finally
reached Esopus after many hardships. She brought word that the Indians,
some two hundred, had built a strong fort, and sent their prisoners
every night under guard to a distant place in the mountains, intending
to keep them as hostages. When he had heard her account, Stuyvesant sent
out a party of two hundred and ten men, under Captain Crygier, armed
with two small cannon, with which they hoped to make a breach in the
walls of the Indian fort, which were only bulletproof.

This little army set out on the afternoon of July 26th. They made their
way through forests, over high hills, and across rivers. They bivouacked
for the night, and next morning marched on until they were about six
miles from the fort. Half the men were sent on to make a
surprise-attack, while the rest followed in reserve.

Scouts had brought word to the fort of the approach of the Dutch, and
the Indians had gone into the mountains with their prisoners. So Captain
Crygier's men went into the fort and spent the night there, finding it
an unusually well-built and well-protected place. An Indian woman, not
knowing the white men were there, came back for some provisions, was
taken prisoner, and told the direction in which the chiefs had gone.
Next morning twenty-five men were left at the fort, and the others
followed the trail to a mountain, where the squaw said the Indians meant
to camp. There were no red men there, and the squaw told of another camp
yet farther on.

The Dutch soldiers marched all day, but their hunt proved fruitless.
Finally Captain Crygier gave the order to return to the captured fort.
Here they burned the buildings, and carried off all the provisions. Then
they returned to Esopus, to await other news.

Early in September word came that the Indians had built another fort, or
castle, as they called it, thirty-six miles to the southwest. Again
Captain Crygier set out with his men, and on the second day came in view
of the fort. It stood on a height, and was built of two rows of stout
palisades, fifteen feet high. Crygier divided his forces, and one-half
the men crept toward the fort. Then a squaw saw them, and by her cry
warned the Indians. Both parties of the Dutch rushed up the hill,
stormed the palisades, drove their enemies before them, and scattered
them in the fields. Behind the fort was a creek. The Indians waded and
swam it, and made a stand on the opposite bank. But the fire of the
Dutchmen was too much for them, and shortly they were flying wildly into
the wilderness.

The Indian chief, Papoquanchen, and fourteen of his warriors were killed
in the battle, twenty-two white prisoners were rescued, and fourteen
Indians were captured. The fort was plundered of provisions, and the
Dutch found eighty guns, besides, as they reported, "bearskins,
deerskins, blankets, elk hides and peltries sufficient to load a
shallop."

There was great joy at Esopus when the victorious little army returned.
Danger from that particular tribe of Indians seemed at an end, but to
make the matter certain a third expedition was sent out in the fall.
They scouted through the near-by country, but found only a few scattered
red men. Those that were left of the Esopus tribe after that last attack
on their fort had fled south and finally become part of the Minnisincks.

Again peace reigned in the Dutch settlements; the farmers went back to
their fields, and the soldiers returned to the capital at New Amsterdam.

To the north of the Dutch colony lay the English colonies of New
England, and the boundary between New Netherland and its neighbors had
never been fixed. Many Englishmen had settled along the Hudson and on
Long Island, and Governor Stuyvesant thought it was high time to reach
some agreement with the New England governors. So he went to Boston in
September, 1663; but scarcely had he left New Amsterdam when an English
agent, James Christie, arrived on Long Island, and told the people of
Gravesend, Flushing, Hempstead and Jamaica that they were no longer
under Dutch rule, but that their territory had been annexed to the
colony of Connecticut.

Now many of the settlers at Gravesend were English, and most of the
magistrates and officers. When Christie read his announcement to the
people one of the few faithful Dutch magistrates, Sheriff Stillwell,
arrested him on a charge of treason. Then the other magistrates ordered
the arrest of Stillwell in turn, and the public feeling against the
latter was so strong that he had to send word secretly to New Amsterdam,
asking for help. A sergeant and eight soldiers were sent from New
Amsterdam, and they again arrested Christie and placed him under guard
in Sheriff Stillwell's house.

Rumors came that the farmers meant to rescue Christie, so he was taken
at night to the fort on Manhattan Island. Sheriff Stillwell had to fly
from his own house to escape the neighbors, and hurried to New
Amsterdam, where he complained of the illegal acts of the Gravesend
settlers. Excitement ran high. People on Long Island demanded that
Christie be set free; but the Dutch council insisted on keeping him a
prisoner. The council sent an express messenger to Peter Stuyvesant in
Boston, asking him to settle the Long Island difficulties with the
English governor there.

But the officers of New England would not agree to the sturdy Dutchman's
terms. And other English colonists went through the land that belonged
to the Dutch, rousing the farmers against the West India Company.
Richard Panton, armed with sword and pistol, threatened the men of
Flatbush and other villages near by with the pillage of their property
unless they would swear allegiance to the government at Hartford and
fight against the Dutch. Such was the news that greeted Stuyvesant when
he came back to his capital from Boston. He knew that there were not
enough of the Dutch to resist an attack from the English, who had come
swarming in great numbers recently into Massachusetts and Connecticut.
His only hope lay in argument, and so he sent four of his leading men to
Hartford to try to arrange a peaceful settlement.

The four Dutchmen sailed from New Amsterdam, and after two days on the
water landed at Milford. There they took horses and rode to New Haven,
where they spent the night. Next day they went on to Hartford over the
rough roads of the wilderness. They were well received, and John
Winthrop, who was governor of Connecticut and a son of Governor
Winthrop of Massachusetts, admitted that some of the claims of the Dutch
were just. But the rest of the officers at Hartford stoutly insisted
that all that part of the Atlantic seacoast belonged to the king of
England, by right of first discovery and claim. "The opinion of the
governor," said these men, "is but the opinion of one man. The grant of
the king of England includes all the land south of the Boston line to
Virginia and to the Pacific Ocean. We do not know any New Netherland,
unless you can show a patent for it from the king of England."
Apparently the Dutch had no rights there at all; the whole tract between
Massachusetts and Virginia belonged to Connecticut.

Still the Dutchmen tried to reach some sort of friendly agreement. They
proposed that what was known as Westchester, the land lying north of
Manhattan Island, should be considered part of Connecticut, but that the
towns on Long Island should remain under the government of New
Netherland. "We do not know of any province of New Netherland," the
Hartford officers replied. "There is a Dutch governor over a Dutch
plantation on the island of Manhattan. Long Island is included in our
patent, and we shall possess and maintain it."

So the four Dutchmen had to return to Governor Stuyvesant with word that
the Connecticut men would yield none of their claims.

The state of affairs was going from bad to worse. Stuyvesant called a
meeting of men from all the neighboring villages, and the meeting sent
a report to the Dutch government in Europe.

The report had hardly been sent, however, when more startling events
took place in the colony. Two Englishmen, Anthony Waters and John Coe,
with a force of almost one hundred armed men, visited many of the
villages where there were English settlers, and told them they must no
longer pay taxes to the Dutch, as their country belonged to the king of
England. They put their own officers in place of the Dutch officers in
these villages, and then, marching to settlements where most of the
people were Dutch, they tried to make the people there take the oath of
allegiance to the English king.

A month later a party of twenty Englishmen secretly sailed up the
Raritan River in a sloop, called the chiefs of some of the neighboring
Indian tribes together, and tried to buy a large tract of land from
them. They knew all the while that the Dutch West India Company had
bought that same land from the Indians some time before.

As soon as he heard of this Peter Stuyvesant sent Crygier, with some
well-armed men, in a swift yacht, to thwart the English traders. He also
sent a friendly Indian to warn the chiefs against trying to sell land
they no longer owned. The Dutch yacht arrived in time to stop the
Indians from dealing with the English, and the latter, baffled there,
sailed their sloop down the bay to a place between Rensselaer's Hook
and Sandy Hook, where they met other Indians and tried to bargain with
them for land. The Dutch Crygier overtook them.

"You are traitors!" he cried. "You are acting against the government to
which you have taken the oath of fidelity!"

"This whole country," answered the men from the sloop, "has been given
to the English by His Majesty the King of England."

Then the two parties separated, Crygier and his men sailing back to New
Amsterdam.

While matters stood this way in the province of New Netherland an
Englishman, John Scott, petitioned King Charles the Second to grant him
the government of Long Island, which he said the Dutch settlers were
unjustly trying to take away from the king of England. Scott was given
authority to make a report to the English government on the state of
affairs in that part of the New World, and in order to do this he sailed
to America and went to New Haven, where he was warmly welcomed. The
colony of Connecticut gave him the powers of a magistrate throughout
Long Island, and he at once set to work to wrest the island from the
Dutch, whom he upbraided as "cruel and rapacious neighbors who were
enslaving the English settlers."

Some of the villages on Long Island, however, and especially those where
there were many Quakers and Baptists, did not want to come under the
rule of the Puritans. Therefore six towns, Hempstead, Gravesend,
Flushing, Middlebury, Jamaica and Oyster Bay, formed a government of
their own, asking John Scott to act as their president, until the king
of England should establish a permanent government for them. Scott
swelled with pride in his new power. He gathered an armed force of one
hundred and seventy men, horse and foot, and marched out to compel the
neighboring Dutch towns to join his new colony.

First he marched on Brooklyn. There he told the citizens that their land
belonged to the crown of England, and that he now claimed it for the
king. He had so many men with him that the Dutch saw it would be
impossible to arrest him, but one of them, the secretary, Van Ruyven,
suggested that he should cross the river to New Amsterdam and talk with
Peter Stuyvesant. Scott pompously answered, "Let Stuyvesant come here
with a hundred men; I will wait for him and run my sword through his
body!" And he scowled and marched up and down before the stolid Dutchman
like a fierce cock-o'-the-walk.

The Dutchmen of Brooklyn, however, did not seem anxious to exchange the
rule of Governor Peter Stuyvesant for that of Captain John Scott. As he
was strutting up and down Captain Scott spied a boy who looked as if he
would like to use his fists on the Englishman. The boy happened to be a
son of Governor Stuyvesant's faithful officer Crygier. Captain Scott
walked up to the boy, and ordered him to take off his hat and salute the
flag of England. Young Crygier refused, and the quick-tempered captain
struck at him. One of the men standing by called out, "If you have blows
to give, you should strike men, not boys!"

Four of Scott's men jumped at the man who had dared to speak so, and the
latter, picking up an axe, tried to defend himself, but soon found it
best to run. Scott ordered the people of Brooklyn to give the man up,
threatening to burn the town unless they did so. But the man was not
surrendered, and the captain did not dare to carry out his threat.

Instead he marched to Flatbush, and unfurled his flag before the house
of the sheriff. Settlers gathered round to see what was happening, and
Captain Scott made them a speech. "This land," said he to the Dutchmen,
"which you now occupy, belongs to His Majesty, King Charles. He is the
right and lawful lord of all America, from Virginia to Boston. Under his
government you will enjoy more freedom than you ever before possessed.
Hereafter you shall pay no more taxes to the Dutch government, neither
shall you obey Peter Stuyvesant. He is no longer your governor, and you
are not to acknowledge his authority. If you refuse to submit to the
king of England, you know what to expect."

But the men of Flatbush were no more ready to obey the haughty captain
than those of Brooklyn had been. One of the magistrates dared to tell
Scott that he ought to settle this dispute with Peter Stuyvesant.
"Stuyvesant is governor no longer," he retorted. "I will soon go to New
Amsterdam, with a hundred men, and proclaim the supremacy of His
Majesty, King Charles, beneath the very walls of the fort!"

The Dutch would not obey him, but neither would they take up arms
against him. Such treatment angered the fire-eating captain more and
more. He marched his troop to New Utrecht, where the Dutch flag floated
over the block fort, armed with cannon. Meeting no resistance from the
peace-loving settlers Scott hauled down their flag and replaced it with
the flag of England. Then, using the Dutch cannon and Dutch powder he
fired a salute to announce his victory. All those who passed the fort
were ordered to take off their hats and bow before the new banner, and
those who refused were arrested by his men, and some were bound and
beaten.

Peter Stuyvesant, in New Amsterdam, heard of these disturbances on Long
Island, and sent three of his leading men to meet Scott and try to make
some settlement with him. They met the captain at Jamaica, and after
much wrangling, at last reached what they thought might be an agreement.
But as they left Scott fired these words at their backs: "This whole
island belongs to the king of England. He has made a grant of it to his
brother, the Duke of York. He knows that it will yield him an annual
revenue of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. He is soon coming
with an ample force, to take possession of his property. If it is not
surrendered peaceably he is determined to take, not only the whole
island, but also the whole province of New Netherland!"

This was alarming news. Some of the English settlers were rallying to
Scott's command, the Dutch in some of the villages fled to Dutch forts
for shelter. Even the prosperous men in New Amsterdam began to fear lest
the English captain should attack their homes. Fortifications were
hurriedly built, and men enrolled as soldiers.

Peter Stuyvesant, fearful lest he should lose his colony, knowing well
that the English greatly outnumbered the Dutch, found himself in a very
difficult situation. But "Wooden-Legged Peter" was a fighter, quite as
fiery as John Scott when his blood was up.


II

Peter Stuyvesant saw that he would have to make terms with the English
Captain Scott, or more English adventurers might come swarming down from
New England and speedily gobble up the whole of Manhattan Island. He
went to Hempstead on Long Island, on the third day of March, 1664, and
made an agreement with Scott that the villages on the western part of
the island, where the settlers were mainly English, should consider
themselves under English rule until the whole dispute could be settled
by King Charles and the Dutch government. The Dutch had now lost bit by
bit most of the colony they had started out to settle. First the English
had taken the valley of the Connecticut River, because there were more
English settlers there than Dutch, then they took Westchester, now the
four important villages of Flushing, Jamaica, Hempstead and Gravesend
were added to their list.

Meantime the States-General of Holland, receiving appeals for help from
Stuyvesant, sent him sixty soldiers, and ordered him to resist any
further demands of the English and to try to make the villages that had
rebelled return again to his flag. But the governor knew that he could
not possibly do this, his people were outnumbered six to one, and while
he was turning this matter over in his mind news came that the English
people in Connecticut were making a treaty of alliance with the Indians
who lived along the Hudson. Fearful lest all the tribes should side with
his rivals, Stuyvesant invited a number of the Indian chiefs to a
meeting at the fort of New Amsterdam.

The chiefs came to the council. One of them called upon Bachtamo, their
tribal name for the Great Spirit, to hear him. "Oh, Bachtamo," he said,
"help us to make a good treaty with the Dutch. And may the treaty we are
about to make be like the stick I hold in my hand. Like this stick may
it be firmly united, the one end to the other."

Then turning to Stuyvesant and his officers, he went on, "We all desire
peace. I have come with my brother sachems, in behalf of the Esopus
Indians, to conclude a peace as firm and compact as my arms, which I now
fold together."

He held out his hand to the governor. "What I now say is from the
fullness of my heart. Such is my desire, and that of all my people."

A treaty was drawn up, signed by the Dutch and the Indians, and
celebrated by the firing of cannon from the fort. Stuyvesant proclaimed
a day of general thanksgiving in honor of the new alliance with the
Indians.

Now it had been supposed that the English towns on Long Island would
join the colony of Connecticut, but instead the settlers proclaimed
their own independence and chose John Scott for their president. Then
the court at Hartford sent John Allyn, with a party of soldiers, to
arrest Captain Scott for treason. Scott met the Connecticut soldiers
with soldiers of his own, and demanded what they wanted on his land. The
Connecticut officer read the order for Scott's arrest. Then said Captain
Scott, "I will yield my heart's blood on this ground before I will give
in to you or any men from Connecticut!" The men from Hartford answered
readily, "So will we!"

But in spite of his bold words his opponents did succeed in arresting
Scott, and, taking him to Hartford, put him in prison there. Governor
Winthrop went to Long Island to appoint new officers in the English
villages in place of Scott's men, and Stuyvesant seized the chance to go
to meet the Connecticut governor and make some treaty with him. The
governor of New Netherland explained to the governor of the Connecticut
Colony that the Dutch claimed the land they occupied by the rights of
discovery, purchase, and possession, and reminded him that the boundary
between the two colonies had been defined in a treaty made in 1650. Said
that treaty, "Upon Long Island a line run from the westernmost part of
Oyster Bay, in a straight and direct line to the sea, shall be the
bounds between the English and the Dutch there; the easterly part to
belong to the English, the westernmost part to the Dutch."

Yet, in spite of this, Governor Winthrop was now many miles west of the
line, claiming villages that were clearly in Dutch territory. The truth
was that Governor Winthrop knew Peter Stuyvesant had not the needful
number of men to oppose the English claims. And the upshot of the
meeting was that Winthrop simply declared that the whole of Long Island
belonged to the king of England.

That king of England, Charles II, now took a hand in the matter himself.
On March 12, 1664, he granted to his brother, James, Duke of York, the
whole of Long Island, all the islands near it, and all the lands and
rivers from the west shore of the Connecticut River to the east shore of
Delaware Bay. It was a wide, magnificent grant, sweeping away the colony
of New Netherland as if it had been a twig in the path of a tornado.

Word reached New Amsterdam that a fleet of armed ships had sailed from
Portsmouth in England, bound for the Hudson River, to take possession of
the neighboring territory. The prosperous Dutch settlers were in a
panic. Peter Stuyvesant called his council, and they decided to lose no
time in making their fortifications as strong as possible. Money was
raised, powder was sent for, agents hurried to buy provisions all
through the countryside. In the midst of these preparations the Dutch
government, which had been completely fooled as to the plans of the
English king, sent a message to Governor Stuyvesant saying that he need
have no fear of any further trouble from the English.

This was pleasant word; it relieved the fears that had been raised by
the message of the armed fleet sailing from Portsmouth for the Hudson.
The work on the forts was stopped, and Stuyvesant went up the river to
Fort Orange to try to quiet Indian tribes in that neighborhood who were
threatening to take to the war-path.

The English fleet, four frigates, with ninety-four guns all told,
meantime came sailing across the Atlantic, and arrived at Boston the end
of July. Colonel Richard Nicholls was in command of the expedition, with
three commissioners sent out with him from England. Their instructions
were to reduce the Dutch to subjection. They were to get what aid they
could from the New England colonies. The people of Boston, however, were
too busy with their own affairs, and too content, to be interested in
helping to fight the Dutch. But Connecticut was quite ready to help, and
so Colonel Nicholls sent word to Governor Winthrop to meet the English
fleet at the west end of Long Island, to which place it would sail with
the first favoring wind.

A friend of Peter Stuyvesant's in Boston sent news of the English plans
to New Amsterdam. A fast rider carried the message to the governor at
Fort Orange. Stuyvesant hastened back to his capital, very angry at
having lost three weeks in which to make ready his defenses. He called
every man to work with spade, shovel and wheelbarrow. Six cannon were
added to the fourteen already on the fort. Messengers rode through the
country summoning other garrisons to come to the aid of New Amsterdam.

On August 20th the English frigates anchored in Nyack Bay, just below
the Narrows, between New Utrecht and Coney Island. All communication
between Long Island and Manhattan Island was cut off. Some small Dutch
boats were captured. Three miles away from the fleet's anchorage, on
Staten Island, was a small fort, a block-house, some twenty feet square.
It boasted two small guns, which shot one pound balls, and was
garrisoned by six soldiers. The English, sending some of their men
ashore, had little difficulty in capturing the fort and rounding up the
cattle that were grazing in the near-by fields.

The morning after he dropped anchor Colonel Nicholls despatched four of
his men to Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island, with a summons to the
garrison to surrender. At the same time he sent out word that if any of
the farmers furnished supplies to the fort he would burn their houses,
but that if they would quietly acknowledge the English flag they might
keep their farms in peace.

Now Peter Stuyvesant had only one hundred soldiers in his garrison, and
he could not hope for much real aid from the other men, undisciplined
and poorly armed as they were, who lived on Manhattan Island. But he
meant to resist these invaders as strongly as he was able, and so called
his council together to consider what they might do for defense.

The peace-loving Dutch citizens, however, lacked the fiery spirit of
their governor, and they too held a meeting, and voted not to resist the
English fleet, and asked for a copy of the demand to surrender that
Nicholls had sent to the fort. Governor Stuyvesant, angry though he was,
went to the citizens and tried to persuade them to stand by him. But the
citizens, fearful that a bombardment would destroy their little
settlement, were not in the humor to agree with his ideas.

The English commander sent another envoy, with a flag of truce, to Fort
Amsterdam, carrying a letter which stated that if Manhattan Island was
surrendered to him the Dutch settlers might keep all the lands and
buildings they possessed. Stuyvesant received the letter, and read it to
his council. The council insisted that the letter should be read to the
people. Stuyvesant refused, saying that he, and not the people, was the
best judge as to what New Amsterdam should do. The council continued to
argue and threaten, until Stuyvesant tore up the letter and trampled it
under his feet to settle the matter.

The citizens, however, had heard that such a letter had come with a flag
of truce, and they sent three men to demand the message from Peter
Stuyvesant. These men told him bluntly that the people did not intend to
resist the English, that resistance to such a large force was madness,
and that they would mutiny unless he let them see the letter Colonel
Nicholls had sent.

Again Governor Stuyvesant was forced to yield to pressure. A copy was
made of the letter from its torn pieces, and this was read to the
turbulent citizens. When they had heard it they declared that they were
ready to surrender. But the governor hated the notion of giving up his
province of New Netherland without a struggle; of yielding to highway
robbers, as he regarded the English fleet. So he sent a ship secretly
from Fort Amsterdam by night, bearing a message to the directors of the
Dutch Company in Europe. The message was short. "Long Island is gone and
lost. The capitol cannot hold out long," was what it said.

Then he sat down and wrote an answer to the letter of Colonel Nicholls.
It was a fair-spoken answer, pointing out that this land belonged to
the Dutch by right of discovery and settlement and purchase from the
Indians. He said that he was sure the king of England would agree with
the Dutch claims if they were presented to him. This was the end of his
letter: "In case you will act by force of arms, we protest before God
and man that you will perform an act of unjust violence. You will
violate the articles of peace solemnly ratified by His Majesty of
England, and my Lords the States-General. Again for the prevention of
the spilling of innocent blood, not only here but in Europe, we offer
you a treaty by our deputies. As regards your threats we have no answer
to make, only that we fear nothing but what God may lay upon us. All
things are at His disposal, and we can be preserved by Him with small
forces as well as by a great army."

The only answer the English commander saw fit to make to the Dutch
governor's letter was to order his soldiers to prepare to land from the
frigates.


III

Soldiers, both foot and cavalry, were landed on Long Island from the
English fleet, and marched double-quick through the forest toward the
small cluster of houses that stood along the shore where the city of
Brooklyn now rises. They met with no resistance; for the most part these
woods and shores were as empty of men as the day when Henryk Hudson
first sailed up the river that bears his name.

The fleet meanwhile went up through the Narrows, and two frigates
landed more soldiers a short distance below Brooklyn, to support those
that were marching down the island. Two other frigates, one of
thirty-six guns, the second of thirty, under full sail, passed directly
within range of Stuyvesant's little fort, and anchored between the fort
and Governor's Island. The English fleet meant to show their contempt
for the Dutch claims.

What was Peter Stuyvesant doing as the frigates so insolently sailed
past under his very eyes? He was a fighter by nature and by trade, as
peppery as some of the sauces he had brought with him from the West
Indies. The cannon of his fort were loaded, and the gunners stood ready
with their burning matches. A word, a nod, a wave of the hand from
Stuyvesant, and the cannon would roar their answer to the insolent
fleet. And what would happen then? Fort Amsterdam had only twenty guns;
and the two frigates sailing by had sixty-six, and the two other
frigates, almost within sight, had twenty-eight more. Stuyvesant bit his
lips as his gunners waited. The first roar of his cannon would almost
certainly mean the ruin of every house in New Amsterdam.

[Illustration: STUYVESANT BIT HIS LIPS AS HIS GUNNERS WAITED]

Yet could the governor see the flag of his beloved New Netherland
flouted in this fashion? Raging with anger, the word to fire trembling
on his lips, Stuyvesant turned to listen to the advice of two Dutch
clergymen who had hurried up to him. They begged him not to be the
first to shed blood in a fight that could only end in their utter
defeat. They were outnumbered, outmatched in every way. The governor
knew this was so; no one in the colony indeed knew it better than he. "I
won't open fire," he said, bitter rage in his heart, but he shook his
fist at the white sails of the frigates.

Stuyvesant left the rampart, leaving fifty men to defend the fort, and
took the rest of the garrison, one hundred soldiers, down to the shore,
to repel the English if they should try to land. He still had a faint
hope that the English commander would make some terms with him that
would allow him to keep the flag of Holland flying over New Amsterdam.

With this faint hope he sent four of his chief officers with a flag of
truce to Colonel Nicholls. They carried this message from Peter
Stuyvesant: "I feel obliged to defend the city, in obedience to orders.
It is inevitable that much blood will be shed on the occurrence of the
assault. Cannot some accommodation yet be agreed upon? Friends will be
welcome if they come in a friendly manner."

So spoke the Dutch governor, trying to be patient and reasonable, no
matter how hard such a course might be for him. Colonel Nicholls, sure
of his greater power in men and guns, cared not a whit to be either
reasonable or patient. He sent back a determined answer. "I have nothing
to do but to execute my mission," he said. "To accomplish that I hope
to have further conversation with you on the morrow, at the Manhattans.
You say that friends will be welcome, if they come in a friendly manner.
I shall come with ships and soldiers. And he will be bold indeed who
will dare to come on board my ships, to demand an answer or to solicit
terms. What then is to be done? Hoist the white flag of surrender, and
then something may be considered."

This haughty answer spread through New Amsterdam, and men and women
rushed to the governor to beg him to surrender. Bombardment by the fleet
would destroy all they owned, and doubtless kill many of them.
Stuyvesant would have fought until his flag fell over a heap of ruins,
but he knew that his people would not stand behind him. "I had rather,"
he told the men and women as they thronged about him, "be carried a
corpse to my grave than to surrender the city!"

The people went to the City Hall, and drew up a paper of protest to
their governor. The protest said that the people could only see misery,
sorrow, and fire in resistance, the ruin of fifteen hundred innocent
men, women and children, only two hundred and fifty of whom were capable
of bearing arms.

The words of the protest were true. "You are aware," it said, "that four
of the English king's frigates are now in the roadstead, with six
hundred soldiers on board. They have also commissions to all the
governors of New England, a populous and thickly inhabited country, to
impress troops, in addition to the forces already on board, for the
purpose of reducing New Netherland to His Majesty's obedience.

"These threats we would not have regarded, could we expect the smallest
aid. But, God help us, where shall we turn for assistance, to the north
or to the south, to the east or to the west? 'Tis all in vain. On all
sides we are encompassed and hemmed in by our enemies." Ninety-four of
the chief men of New Amsterdam signed this protest, one of them being
Stuyvesant's own son. In front of the governor were the guns of the
English fleet, behind him was the mutiny of his own people.

New Amsterdam, only a cluster of some three hundred houses at the
southern end of Manhattan Island, was entirely open to attack from
either the East or the North River. An old palisade, built to protect
the houses from Indian attacks, stretched from river to river on the
north, and in front of this palisade were the remains of an old
breastwork, three feet high and two feet wide. These might be of use
against the Indians, but hardly against well-trained white soldiers.

Fort Amsterdam itself had only been built to withstand Indians, not
white men. An earthen rampart, ten feet high and four feet thick,
surrounded it, but there were no ditches or palisades. At its back,
where the crowds of Broadway now daily pass, were a number of low wooded
hills, with Indian trails leading through them. These hills, if held by
an enemy, could easily command the fort. The little Dutch garrison
hadn't five hundred pounds of powder on hand. The store of provisions
was equally small, and there was not a single well of water within the
fortifications. To cap the climax, the garrison itself couldn't be
trusted; it was largely made up of the lowest class of the settlers,
unfit to do any other work than shoulder a gun.

So Peter Stuyvesant saw that he must yield. He chose six of his men to
meet with six of the English at his own bouwery on the morning of August
27th. There was little for the Dutchmen to do but agree to the terms
their enemies offered them. The terms were that the province of New
Netherland should belong to the English. The Dutch settlers might keep
their own property or might leave the country if they chose. They might
have any form of religion they pleased. Their officers, to be chosen at
the next election, would have to take the oath of allegiance to the king
of England.

Peter Stuyvesant only yielded because he saw that he must. He pulled
down his flag that was flying above the ramparts, and "the fort and town
called New Amsterdam, upon the island of Manhatoes," as the treaty
called it, passed from the ownership of the Dutch to that of the
English. The officers and soldiers of the fort were allowed to march out
with their arms, their drums beating and their colors flying. Most of
the soldiers, many of the settlers, cared little what flag flew above
their colony, so long as they were permitted a peaceful living, but at
least one Dutchman, the governor, "Wooden-Legged Peter," cared much when
he saw the flag of the Netherlands come fluttering down.

The English Colonel Nicholls and his men marched into the fort and took
possession of the government. They changed the name of the little
settlement from New Amsterdam to New York, in honor of the Duke of York,
who was the brother of the king of England. The fort was christened Fort
James, the name of the Duke of York. Then Colonel Nicholls sent troops
up the Hudson to take possession of the Dutch settlement of Fort Orange,
and other troops to the Delaware River to raise the English flag over
the small Dutch colony of New Amstel. The name of Fort Orange was
changed to Fort Albany, the second title of the king's brother, the Duke
of York. The settlers there were well treated, and given the same
liberty as was given the people on Manhattan Island. But those at New
Amstel, on the Delaware, did not fare so well. Peter Stuyvesant
indignantly reported that "At New Amstel, on the South River,
notwithstanding they offered no resistance, but demanded good treatment,
which however they did not obtain, they were invaded, stript bare,
plundered, and many of them sold as slaves in Virginia."

The flag of England now flew where the flag of the Netherlands had waved
for half a century. There was no excuse for this seizing of the Dutch
colony by the English. The Dutch were peaceful neighbors, fair in their
dealings with the other colonies. But while the Dutch had not greatly
increased the number of their settlers in the New World, the English
had. New England was growing fast, so was Virginia, and in between these
two English settlements lay the small Dutch one, at the mouth of a great
river, and with the finest harbor of the whole seacoast. The English had
cast envious eyes upon Manhattan Island. They wanted to own the whole
seacoast; and so, being strong enough, they took it. And the Dutch, like
the Indians before them, had to bow to the stronger force.

The Dutch Government in Europe called Peter Stuyvesant there to explain
why he had surrendered his colony. He went to Holland and made his acts
so clear to the States-General that they held him guiltless of every
charge against him. Then he returned to New York and settled down at his
bouwery, where he lived comfortably and well, like most of his Dutch
neighbors, unvexed by the constant troubles he had known when he was the
governor.

The colony of New York grew and prospered. The patroons lived on their
big estates, rich, hospitable families, much like the wealthy planters
of Virginia. The Dutch people in the towns were a thrifty, peaceable
lot, glad to welcome new settlers, no matter from where they came. Most
of the settlers came now from England, very few from the Netherlands;
and in time there were more English than Dutch in the province. By the
time of the Revolution the people of the two nations were practically
one in their ideas and aims. Dutch and English fought side by side in
that war, and helped to make the great state of New York. But the Dutch
blood and the Dutch virtues persisted, and many of the greatest men of
the new state bore old Dutch names. And so, though Peter Stuyvesant and
his neighbors had to haul down their flag from their primitive ramparts
at Fort Amsterdam, they and their descendants left their stamp upon that
part of the New World they had been the first to settle.



III

WHEN GOVERNOR ANDROSS CAME TO CONNECTICUT

(_Connecticut, 1675_)


One of the most interesting stories in the history of the American
colonies is that of the adventures of the judges who voted for the
execution of King Charles I of England and who fled across the water
when his son came to the throne as Charles II. They were known as the
regicides, a name given to them because they were held to be responsible
for the king's death. When Charles II came back to England as king,
after the days when Oliver Cromwell was the Lord Protector, he pardoned
many of the men who had taken sides against his father, but his friends
urged him not to be so generous in his treatment of the judges. So he
issued a proclamation, stating that such of the judges of King Charles I
as did not surrender themselves as prisoners within fourteen days should
receive no pardon. The regicides and their friends were greatly alarmed.
Nineteen surrendered to the king's officers; some fled across the ocean;
and others were arrested as they tried to escape. Ten of them were
executed. Two, Edward Whalley and William Goffe, reached Boston Harbor
in July, 1660. Another, John Dixwell, came afterward.

Governor Endicott and the leading men of Boston, not knowing how King
Charles intended to treat the judges, welcomed them as men who had held
posts of honor in England. They were entertained most hospitably in the
little town, and they went about quite freely, making no attempt to
conceal from any one who they were.

Then word came to Boston that the king regarded the escaped judges as
traitors. Immediately many of those who had been friendly to the
regicides slunk away from them, avoiding them as if they had the plague.
The judges heard, moreover, that now Governor Endicott had called a
court of magistrates to order them seized and turned over to the
executioner. So, as they had fled from England before, the hunted
regicides now fled from the colony of Massachusetts Bay.

At the settlement of New Haven there were many who had been friends and
followers of Oliver Cromwell, and the regicides turned in that
direction. They reached that town in March, 1661, and found a haven in
the home of John Davenport, a prominent minister. Here they were among
friends, and here they went about as freely as they had done at first in
Boston; and everybody liked them, for they were fine, honorable men, who
had done their duty as they saw it when they had decreed the execution
of King Charles I.

There came a royal order to Massachusetts, requiring the governor to
arrest the fugitives. The governor and his officers were anxious to show
their zeal in carrying out all the wishes of the new king, and so they
gave a commission to two zealous young royalists, Thomas Kellond and
Thomas Kirk, authorizing them to hunt through the colonies as far south
as Manhattan Island for the missing judges and to bring them back to
Boston.

The searchers set out at once, and went first to Governor Winthrop at
Hartford. He gave them permission to arrest the regicides anywhere in
the colony of Connecticut, but he assured them that he understood that
the judges were not in his colony, but had gone on to the colony of New
Haven. So they set forth again, and next day reached the town of
Guilford, where they stopped to procure a warrant from Governor Leete,
who lived there.

Governor Leete appeared to be very much surprised at the news the two
men brought. He said that he didn't think the regicides were in New
Haven. He took the papers bearing the orders of Governor Winthrop and
read them in so loud a voice that the two men begged him to keep the
matter more quiet, lest some traitors should overhear. Then he delayed
furnishing them with fresh horses, and, the next day being Sunday, the
pursuers were forced to wait over an extra day before they could
continue their hunt.

In the meantime an Indian messenger was sent to New Haven in the night,
to give warning of the pursuers. Then Governor Leete refused either to
give the pursuers a warrant or to send men with them to arrest the
regicides until he should have had a chance to consult with the
magistrates, which meant that he himself would have to go to New Haven.
The upshot of all this was that the pursuers stayed chafing in Guilford
while the men they were hunting had plenty of time to escape.

John Davenport, the minister at New Haven, preached that Sunday morning
to a congregation that had heard the news of the pursuit of the English
judges. Davenport knew that the king of England had ordered the capture
of the judges and that this colony of New Haven was part of the English
realm. Yet, for the sake of mercy and justice, he urged his hearers to
protect the fugitives who had taken refuge among them. Not in so many
words did he urge it, but his hearers knew what he meant, for the text
of his sermon, taken from the sixteenth chapter of Isaiah, read: "Take
counsel, execute judgment, make thy shadow as the night in the midst of
noonday; hide the outcasts, bewray not him that wandereth. Let mine
outcasts dwell with thee; Moab, be thou a covert to them from the face
of the spoiler." The congregation understood his meaning.

Early Monday morning Kellond and Kirk rode into New Haven, where the
people met them with surly faces. They had to wait until Governor Leete
arrived, and when he did he refused to take any steps in the matter
until he had called the freemen together. The two pursuers, now growing
angry, told the governor flatly that it looked to them as if he wanted
the regicides to escape. Spurred on by this the governor called the
magistrates together, but their decision was that they would have to
call a meeting of the general court.

More exasperated than ever, the two hunters spoke plainly to Governor
Leete. They pointed out that he was not behaving as loyally as the
governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut had; they warned him against
giving aid to traitors, and then they flatly asked whether he meant to
obey King Charles or not.

"We honor His Majesty," answered Governor Leete, "but we have tender
consciences."

The pursuers lodged at a little inn in New Haven. There the governor
went that evening, and taking one of them by the hand, said, "I wish I
had been a plowman, and had never been in office, since I find it so
weighty."

"Will you own His Majesty or no?" demanded the two men from
Massachusetts.

"We would first know whether His Majesty would own us," was the
governor's guarded answer.

The officers of New Haven would not help them, the people were openly
hostile, and so Kellond and Kirk left the colony, without having dared
to search a single house. They went south to Manhattan Island, where
the Dutch Governor Stuyvesant received them very politely, and promised
to help them arrest the fugitives if the latter came to New Netherland.
Then they went back to Boston, baffled of their quarry.

Now when the Indian messenger had come to New Haven the fugitive judges
had fled from the town and spent the night at a mill two miles away.
Then they went to a place called "Hatchet Harbor," where they stayed a
couple of days, and from there to a cave upon a mountain that they
called Providence Hill. This cave, ever since known as the "Judges'
Cave," was a splendid hiding place. On the top of the mountain stood a
group of pillars of trap rock, like a grove of trees. These rocks
slanted inwards and so formed a room, the door of which could be hidden
with boughs. Here the regicides hid for almost a month. A friend named
Sperry, who lived in the neighborhood, brought them food. Sometimes he
sent the provisions by his small son, who left the basket on the stump
of a tree near the top of the mountain. The boy couldn't understand what
became of the food and how it happened that he always found the basket
empty when he returned for it the next day. The only answer the cautious
father would give him was, "There's somebody at work in the woods who
wants the food."

That part of the country near the "Judges' Cave" was full of wild
animals. One night the regicides were visited by a panther that thrust
its head in at the door of their cave and roared at them. One of the
judges fled down the mountain to Sperry's house and gave the alarm, and
the farmer and the fugitives hunted the panther the rest of the night.

After a while the fugitives decided that it would be better for their
friends in the colony, and particularly for Mr. Davenport, if they
should give themselves up in obedience to the command of King Charles.
They left their cave and went to Guilford to see Governor Leete. But the
governor and the other officers did not want to surrender them to the
king. The judges hid in the governor's cellar, and were fed from his
table, while he considered the best course to adopt. The colony of New
Haven decided that it would not arrest them, and so the fugitives moved
to the house of a Mr. Tompkins in Milford, where they stayed in hiding
for two years.

The people of Milford did not know that the fugitives were there. One
day a girl came to the house and happened to sing a ballad lately come
from England, that made sport of the fugitive regicides. She sang the
song in a room just above the one where the fugitives were, and they
were so amused by the words that they asked Mr. Tompkins to have her
come again and again and sing to her unseen audience.

Officers came out from England in 1664, charged, among other duties,
with the arrest of the fugitive judges, and the friends of the regicides
thought it best that they should leave Milford for some new hiding
place. So in October they set out for the small town of Hadley, on the
frontier of Massachusetts, a hundred miles from Milford, and so distant
from Boston, Hartford and New Haven that it was thought that no one
could trace them there. They traveled only at night, lying hidden in the
woods by day. The places where they stopped they called Harbors, and the
name still remains attached to one of them, now the flourishing town of
Meriden, which bears the title of Pilgrim's Harbor. They reached Hadley
in safety, and were taken in at the house of John Russell, a clergyman.
He gave them room in his house, and there they spent the rest of their
lives, safe from royal agents and spies in the small frontier
settlement. So three of the men, who, doing their duty as they saw it,
had voted for the execution of King Charles I, found a refuge in the
American wilderness from the pursuit of his son, King Charles II.

Ten years later a very different sort of man came to the colony of
Connecticut. King Charles I had made large grants in America to his
brother the Duke of York, and among other territory that which had
belonged to the Dutch, called New Netherland. The Duke of York made
Major Edmund Andross, afterward Sir Edmund Andross, governor of all his
territories, and sent him out to New England. With full powers from the
Duke, Andross expected to do about as he pleased, and rule like a king
in the new world.

By way of making a good start Edmund Andross at once laid claim to all
the land that had belonged to the Dutch and also to that part of
Connecticut that lay west of the Connecticut River. Unless the settlers
in that part of Connecticut consented to his rule he threatened to
invade their land with his soldiers. Now the people of Connecticut had
received the boundary of their colony in an early grant, and though they
already had the prospect of a war with the Indians under King Philip on
their hands, their governor and his council determined to resist the
cutting in two of their colony.

Word came to Hartford that Andross was about to land at the port of
Saybrook and intended to march to Hartford, New Haven and other towns,
suppress the colonial government and establish his own. At once colonial
soldiers were sent to Saybrook and New London, and Captain Thomas Bull,
in command at the former place, strengthened the fortifications there to
resist the Duke of York's new governor.

July 9, 1675, the people of Saybrook saw an armed fleet heading for
their fort. The men hurried to the fort and put themselves under the
command of Captain Bull. Then a letter came from the governor at
Hartford telling them what to do. "And if so be those forces on board
should endeavor to land at Saybrook," so ran the order, "you are in His
Majesty's name to forbid their landing. Yet if they should offer to
land, you are to wait their landing and to command them to leave their
arms on board; and then you may give them leave to land for necessary
refreshing, peaceably, but so that they return on board again in a
convenient time."

Major Andross sent a request that he might be allowed to land and meet
the officers of Saybrook. The request was granted, and Captain Bull,
with the principal men of the town, met the Englishman and his officers
on the beach. Captain Bull stated the orders he had received from the
governor of Connecticut. Andross, with great haughtiness, waved the
orders aside, and told his clerk to read aloud the commission he held
from the Duke of York.

But Captain Bull was not easily cowed. He ordered the clerk to stop his
reading of the commission. The surprised clerk hesitated a minute, then
went on with the reading. "Forbear!" thundered the captain, in a tone
that startled even Major Andross.

The major, however, haughty and overbearing though he was, could not
help but admire the other man's determined manner. "What is your name?"
he asked.

"My name is Bull, sir," was the answer.

"Bull!" said Andross. "It is a pity that your horns are not tipped with
silver."

Then, seeing that the captain and his men would not listen to his
commission from the Duke of York, Andross returned to his small boat,
and a few hours later his fleet sailed away from the harbor.

The colony of Connecticut, like those of Massachusetts and New York,
now had a checkered career. Governor John Winthrop, who had done so much
for his people, died. False reports of the colony were carried to
England, the people were accused of harboring pirates and other outlaws.
Finally, in 1686, Andross, now Sir Edmund Andross, was given a royal
commission as governor of New England.

Sir Edmund went to Boston, and from there sent a message to the governor
of Connecticut saying that he had received an order from the king to
require Connecticut to give up its charter as a colony. The governor and
council answered that, though they wished to do the king's bidding in
all things, they begged that they might keep the original grants of
their charter.

Sir Edmund's answer to that was to go to Hartford. October 31, 1687, he
entered Hartford, accompanied by several gentlemen of his suite and with
a body-guard of some sixty soldiers. He meant to take the charter in
spite of all protests.

The governor and council met him with all marks of respect, but it was
clear that they were not over-pleased to see him. Andross marched into
the hall where the General Assembly was in session, demanded the
charter, and declared that their present government was dissolved.
Governor Treat protested, and eloquently told of all the early hardships
of the colonists, their many wars with the Indians, the privations they
had endured. Finally he said that it was like giving up his life to
surrender the charter that represented rights and privileges they had so
dearly bought and enjoyed for so long a time.

Sir Edmund listened to the governor's speech attentively. Looking about
him at the citizens who had gathered in the Assembly Hall he realized
that it would be well for him to obtain the charter as quietly as he
could, and without waking too much spirit of resentment in the men of
Hartford. Governor Treat's speech was long, the sun set, twilight came
on, and still the charter of the colony had not been handed over to Sir
Edmund.

The governor and the people knew that Sir Edmund meant to have the
charter; he himself was prepared to stay there until they should hand
the paper over to him. Candles were brought into the hall and their
flickering light showed the spirited governor still arguing with the
determined, haughty Sir Edmund. More people pressed into the room to
hear the governor's words. Sir Edmund Andross glanced at the crowd; now
they seemed peaceful people, not of the kind likely to make trouble.

Sir Edmund had listened to Governor Treat long enough. He grew
impatient. He slapped his hand on the table in front of him, and stated
again that he required the people of Connecticut to hand him over their
charter, and that at once. The governor saw that Sir Edmund's patience
was at an end, and whispered a word to his secretary. The secretary
left the room, and when he returned he brought the precious charter in
his hand.

The charter was laid on the table in full view of Sir Edmund and the men
of the Assembly and the people who had crowded into the hall. Sir Edmund
smiled; he had taught these stubborn Connecticut colonists a
well-deserved lesson. He leaned forward in his chair, reaching out his
hand for the parchment. At that very instant the candles went out, and
the room was in total darkness.

No one spoke, there were no threats of violence, no motion toward Sir
Edmund. In silence they waited for the relighting of the candles.

The clerks relighted the candles. Andross looked again at the table. The
charter had disappeared. Andross stared at Governor Treat and the
governor stared back at him, apparently as much amazed as was Sir Edmund
at the disappearance. Then both men began to hunt. They looked in every
corner of the room where the charter might have been hidden. But the
charter had vanished in the time between the going-out of the candles
and their relighting.

Sir Edmund, baffled and indignant, hid his anger as well as he could,
and with his gentlemen and soldiers left the Assembly Room. Next day he
took over control of the colony, and issued a proclamation that stated
that by the king's order the government of the colony of Connecticut was
annexed to that of Massachusetts and the other colonies under his rule.
The orders he gave were harsh and tyrannical, and the people of the
colony had little cause to like him.

What had become of the charter? When Governor Wellys, a former governor
of Connecticut, had come to America he had sent his steward, a man named
Gibbons, to prepare a country home for him. Gibbons chose a suitable
place, and was cutting trees on a hill where the governor's house was to
stand when some Indians from the South Meadow came up to him and begged
him not to cut down an old oak that was there. "It has been the guide of
our ancestors for centuries," said the leader of the Indians, "as to the
time of planting our corn. When the leaves are of the size of a mouse's
ears, then is the time to put the seed in the ground."

The tree was allowed to stand, and flourished, in spite of a large hole
near the base of its trunk.

When the candles had been blown out in the Assembly Hall Captain
Wadsworth had seized the charter and stolen away with it. He knew of the
oak with the hole that seemed purposely made for concealing things.
There he took the charter and hid it, and neither Andross nor his men
ever laid hands on it. The tree became famous in history as the Charter
Oak.

As long as James II was king of England Andross and other despotic
governors like him had their way in the colonies. But when James was
driven from his throne by William, the Prince of Orange, conditions
changed. William sent a messenger with a statement of his new plans for
the government of New England, and when the messenger reached Boston he
was welcomed with open arms. Andross, however, had the man arrested and
thrown into jail. Then on April 18, 1689, the people of Boston and the
neighboring towns rose in rebellion, drove Andross and his fellows from
their seats in the government and put back the old officers they had had
before. They thought that William III would treat them more justly than
James II had done, and they were not disappointed.

Already, in their protection of the regicides and in their saving of
their charter, the people of Connecticut had shown that love of liberty
that was to burst forth more bravely than ever in the days of the
Revolution.



IV

THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN NATHANIEL BACON AND SIR WILLIAM BERKELEY

(_Virginia, 1676_)


I

There was great excitement in that part of the American colony of
Virginia where Edmund Porter lived. It was in the month of May, 1676,
and the place was the country just below the settlement of Henricus, on
the James River, as one went down-stream toward the capital city of
Jamestown. The Porters had a plantation not very far from Curles, which
was the name of the place where their friend Nathaniel Bacon lived; and
Nathaniel Bacon seemed to be the centre of the exciting events that were
taking place.

Nathaniel Bacon was a young man, of a good family in England, who had
come out to Virginia with his wife, and settled at Curles on the James.
He had another estate farther up the river, a place called "Bacon
Quarter Branch," where his overseer and servants looked after his
affairs, and to which he could easily ride in a morning from his own
home, or go in his barge on the James, unless he objected to being rowed
seven miles around the peninsula at Dutch Gap. He was popular with his
neighbors, and seemed as quiet as any of them until trouble with the
Indians in the spring of that year made him declare that he was going to
see whether the governor would protect the farms along the river, and if
the governor wouldn't, then he had a mind to take the matter into his
own hands.

Now Edmund, who was a well-grown boy of sixteen, wanted to be wherever
there was excitement, and so spent as much time as he could at Curles.
He was out in the meadow back of the house, watching one of the men
break in a colt, when a messenger came with news that Indians had
attacked Mr. Bacon's other estate; killed his overseer and one of his
servants, and were carrying fire and bloodshed along the frontier. The
news spread like wild-fire, as news of Indian raids always did, for
there was nothing else so fear-inspiring to the white settlers. Edmund
jumped on his pony, and rode home as fast as he could to tell his
father. Then father and son, each taking a gun, with powder-horn and
bullet-pouch, dashed back to Nathaniel Bacon's. Other planters had
already gathered there, armed and ready to ride on the track of the
Indians. There was much talk and debate; some wanted to know whether
Governor Berkeley, down the river at Jamestown, would send soldiers to
protect the plantations farther up the James; others wondered whether
the governor, who was not very prompt or ready in dealing with the
Indians in this far-off part of the colony, would be willing to
commission the planters to take the war into their own hands. In the
midst of all the talk Bacon himself appeared, and the crowd of horsemen
called on him to take command, it being known he had often said openly
that he intended to protect Curles and his other farms from the
redskins.

Bacon agreed to lead his neighbors, but told them he thought it would be
best to send a messenger to Sir William Berkeley, and ask for the
governor's commission. A man was sent at once down the river to
Jamestown, and the neighbors rode home to wait for the governor's
answer. Next afternoon they met again at Curles, and heard the answer
Sir William Berkeley sent. It was very polite, and spoke highly of
Nathaniel Bacon and his neighbors. It further said that the times were
very troubled, that the governor was anxious to keep on good terms with
the Indians, and was afraid that the outcome of an attack on them might
be dangerous, and urged Mr. Bacon, for his own good interests, not to
ride against them. He did not actually refuse the commission that Bacon
had asked for, but, what amounted to the same matter, he did not send
it.

The horsemen were very angry. Sir William Berkeley, a man seventy years
old, and safe at Jamestown, might care little what the Indians did, but
the men whose plantations were threatened cared a great deal. Again they
urged Bacon to lead them, and he, nothing loath now that he had set the
matter fairly before the governor, jumped into his saddle and put
himself at the head of the troop. All were armed, some had fought
Indians before; in those days such a ride was not uncommon. A few boys
rode with their fathers, and among them Edmund Porter.

Bacon's band rode fast, and were marching through the woods of Charles
City when a messenger came dashing after them. The company stopped to
hear him. He said that he came from Sir William, and that Sir William
ordered the band to disperse, on pain of being treated as rebels against
his authority. The message made it clear that they would ride on at
their peril.

This threat cooled the ardor of some, but not of many. Bacon snapped his
fingers at the governor's messenger, and rode on, with fifty-seven other
followers. They were not the men to leave their frontiers unguarded, no
matter what Sir William might call them.

Bacon led on to the Falls, and there he found the Indians entrenched on
a hill. Several white men went forward to parley, but as they advanced
an Indian in ambush fired a shot at the rear of the party, and their
captain gave the word to attack. Edmund and a few others formed a
rear-guard by the river, while the rest waded through a stream; climbed
the slope; stormed and set fire to the Indian stockade, and so blew up a
great store of powder that the red men had collected. The rout of the
marauding Indians was complete, and when the fighting was over one
hundred and fifty of them had been killed, with only a loss of three in
Bacon's party. Victory had been won, the Indians were driven back to the
mountains, leaving the plantations along the James safe, for some time
at least. With a train of captives, Bacon and his neighbors rode
homeward. The Porters went to their plantation, and the others scattered
to their houses farther down the river. Edmund and his father thought
the excitement was over, and everybody in the neighborhood had only
words of the highest praise for the gallant Nathaniel Bacon.

Sir William Berkeley, however, was very angry, and he was a man of his
word. He had sent his messenger to say that if Bacon marched against the
Indians he should consider Bacon a rebel and the men who rode with him
rebels as well. He meant to be master in Virginia, and therefore as soon
as the news of what was called the Battle of Bloody Run came to him he
made his plans to teach all rebellious colonists a lesson. He called for
a company of officers and horsemen and set out hot foot, in spite of his
seventy years, to capture the upstart Bacon and make an example of him.

But Sir William had not ridden far when disquieting news reached him.
The people along the coast had heard how Bacon had sent to the governor
for a commission and had been refused, and they also knew how he had
fought the Indians in spite of the governor's warning. They were proud
of him; they liked his dash and determination, and they meant to stand
by him, no matter what Sir William might have to say.

The governor, who had always had his own way in Virginia, was thoroughly
furious now. There were rebels before him, and rebels behind him, for
that was the name he gave to all who dared to dispute his orders. But
with the lower country in a blaze he didn't dare attend to Nathaniel
Bacon then, so he ordered his troop of horse to countermarch, and
galloped back to Jamestown as fast as he could go.

When he reached his capital he found it in a tumult; word came to him
that all the counties along the lower James and the York Rivers had
rebelled. It looked as if the colony were facing a civil war like the
one that had broken out in England thirty years before. Then, realizing
that this was no time for anger, but for cool, calm words, Sir William
mended his manners. He didn't pour oil on the colonists' fire; instead
he met their demands half-way. When the leaders of the colonists
protested that the forts on the border were more apt to be a danger to
them than a help, Sir William agreed that the forts should be
dismantled. When the leaders said that the House of Burgesses, which was
the name of the Virginia parliament, no longer represented the people,
but in fact defied the people's will, Sir William answered that the
House of Burgesses should be dissolved and the people given a chance to
send new representatives to it. And the governor kept his word after the
angry planters had gone back to their homes. He didn't want such a civil
war in Virginia as the one that had cost King Charles the First his
throne in England.

Sir William might have forgiven Nathaniel Bacon's disobedience, and
forgotten all about it, but the owner of Curles Manor bobbed up into
public notice again almost immediately. As soon as orders were sent out
through the colony that new elections were to be held for the House of
Burgesses, as the governor had promised, Bacon declared that he was a
candidate to represent Henrico County. He was so popular now that when
the election was held he was chosen by a very large vote. Many men
voting for him who had no right to vote at all, according to the law,
which said that only freeholders, or men who owned land, should have the
right to vote in such a case. So now the man who had been called a rebel
by the governor was going to Jamestown to sit in the House of Burgesses
and help make laws for the colony. Many a man might have hesitated to do
that, but not such a good fighter as Mr. Bacon.

The new burgesses were summoned to meet at Jamestown early that June,
and they traveled there through the wilderness in many ways. Some rode
on horseback, fording or swimming the numerous streams and rivers, for
bridges were few, some came by coach, and some went down the river by
barge or by sloop, the easiest way for those who lived near the James.
Bacon chose the last way, and on a bright morning in June left his house
at Curles, and with thirty neighbors sailed down the river. Mr. Porter
and Edmund went with him, for the father had often promised his son to
take him to Jamestown, and this seemed a good opportunity.

The voyage started pleasantly, but ended in disaster. Sir William now
considered himself doubly flouted by this man from Curles, and vowed
that the rebel Bacon should never sit in the new House of Burgesses. As
the sloop came quietly sailing down to Jamestown a ship that was lying
at anchor in front of the town trained its cannon on the smaller vessel,
and the sheriff, who was on board the ship, sent men to the sloop to
arrest Bacon and certain of his friends. There was no use in resisting;
the cannon could blow the sloop out of the water at a word. Bacon
surrendered to the sheriff's men, and he and the others who were wanted
were landed and marched up to the State House, while Edmund Porter and
the others rowed themselves ashore, wondering what was going to happen
to their friend.

Governor Berkeley was at the State House when Bacon was brought in. Each
of the two men was quick-tempered and haughty, but they managed to keep
their anger out of their words. Sir William said coldly, "Mr. Bacon,
have you forgot to be a gentleman?"

Bacon answered in the same tone, "No, may it please your honor."

"Then," said Sir William, "I'll take your parole."

That was all that was said, and Bacon was released on his word as a
gentleman that he would do no more mischief. Doubtless the haughty
governor would have liked to lodge the other man in jail, but he didn't
dare attempt that, for the newly elected burgesses were reaching
Jamestown every hour. Further almost all of them were known to side with
Bacon, and in addition the town was fast filling with planters from the
counties along the river that had revolted against the governor. So for
the second time that spring Sir William saw the advantage of bending his
stiff pride in order to ride out the storm.

The governor knew, however, that Bacon would be a thorn in his side
unless he could be made to bend the knee to his own authority. So Sir
William went to Bacon's cousin, a man who was very rich and prominent in
the colony, and a member of the governor's council. He urged this man,
who was known as Colonel Nathaniel Bacon, Senior, to go to his cousin,
Nathaniel, Junior, and try to induce him to yield to Sir William's
wishes. Colonel Bacon agreed, and was so successful with his arguments
that the younger man, proud and headstrong as he was, at last consented
to write out a statement, admitting that he had been in the wrong in
disobeying Sir William Berkeley's orders, and to read it on his knees
before the members of the Assembly, which was another name for the House
of Burgesses. This was a great victory for the governor. Events had
followed one another fast. In the space of little more than a week the
owner of Curles Plantation had been proclaimed a rebel, had marched
against the Indians and beaten them, had been a candidate for the House
of Burgesses and been elected, had sailed down to Jamestown, been
arrested, and paroled, and was now to admit on his knees that he had
indeed been a rebel.

On June 5, 1676, Bacon went to the State House. The governor and his
council sat with the burgesses, and Sir William Berkeley spoke to them
about recent border fights between Virginians and Indians. He denounced
the killing of six Indian chiefs in Maryland, who, he said, had come to
treat of peace with white soldiers, and he added, "If they had killed my
grandfather and grandmother, my father and mother and all my friends,
yet if they had come to treat of peace, they ought to have gone in
peace."

Sir William sat down; then after a few minutes stood up again. "If there
be joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner that repenteth,"
said he, with solemn humor, "there is joy now, for we have a penitent
sinner come before us. Call Mr. Bacon."

Bacon came in, and knelt down before the governor and his council and
his fellow Virginians. He read from a paper he held, confessing that he
had been guilty of "unlawful, mutinous, and rebellious practices," and
promised that if the governor would pardon him he would act "dutifully,
faithfully, and peaceably," under a penalty of two thousand pounds
sterling. He pledged his whole estate for his good behavior for one
year.

When Bacon had finished, Sir William said, "God forgive you; I forgive
you." And to make the words more impressive he repeated them three
times.

"And all that were with him," said Colonel Cole, a member of the
council, meaning the men who had rebelled with Bacon and fought the
Indians.

"Yes, and all that were with him," the governor agreed. Then Sir William
added, "Mr. Bacon, if you will live civilly but till next
quarter-day,--but till next quarter-day," he repeated the words, "I'll
promise to restore you to your place there!" and he pointed to the seat
which Bacon had sometimes occupied during meetings of the council.

All was peace again; the black sheep had repented and been allowed to
return to the fold. It was generally understood that in return for
Bacon's apology the governor would now give him the commission he had
asked for before, the commission as "General of the Indian Wars," which
would allow him to protect outlying plantations against Indian raids.
Sir William pardoned the rebel on Saturday, and "General Bacon," as many
people in Jamestown already spoke of him, took up his lodgings at the
house of a Mr. Lawrence, there to wait until his expected commission
should be sent him early the next week. Mr. Porter and his son, and many
of the friends who had come in Bacon's sloop, took rooms at near-by
houses, for their leader might be going back to Curles as soon as he had
his commission, and they wanted to go with him.

Monday came and Tuesday, but no commission arrived from Sir William. On
Wednesday there was no message for Bacon from the governor. Instead
rumors began to spread abroad. Mr. Lawrence, who had an old grudge
against Sir William, was reported to be busy with some plot against him;
men of doubtful reputation were seen about the house, and it was
whispered that possibly there might be further trouble. Edmund heard
these rumors; he knew that there were men in Jamestown who wanted
Nathaniel Bacon to defy the governor, and he kept his eyes and ears wide
open. Then one morning, as he and his father came out from the house
where they were staying, they met a crowd of their friends. "Bacon is
fled!" cried these men. "Bacon is fled!"

Edmund listened to the excited words. Sir William had been frightened as
he heard that more and more planters were flocking into Jamestown, he
doubted that Bacon meant to keep his word, he knew that Lawrence's house
was a hot-bed of disorder, and he determined that he would crush any
rebellion before it got a start, and put the popular leader where he
could do no harm. Bacon's cousin, the colonel, who was fond of his
kinsman, though he disapproved of what he had done, had sent word the
night before to Nathaniel, bidding him fly for his life. At daybreak
the governor's officers had gone to Lawrence's house; but the man they
wanted was gone; he had fled into the country, wisely heeding his
cousin's warning.

"Bacon is fled!" were the words that sped through Jamestown that June
morning. And many who heard the words were glad, for now they hoped that
the rebel would raise a force and overthrow Sir William, who had made
many enemies in his long and strict rule as governor. Men stole away
from the capital in twos and threes, some by the river, more on
horseback through the country. They were afraid to stay lest Berkeley
should put them in irons as partisans of Bacon's. Mr. Porter found a man
with horses to sell, bought two, and with his son rode out of Jamestown
before noon. West along the river bank they galloped. Bacon would make
for Henrico County, and there they wanted to join him. "And I may ride
with you and General Bacon, father?" Edmund begged.

"I don't know," said the father. "This may be more serious business than
looking after the rear-guard in a skirmish with Indians."

"But I'm almost a man, father," Edmund urged. "And even if I didn't
fight, there's other things I could do."

"I hope there'll be no fighting. It's bad when settlers turn their guns
against each other. We'll have to wait till we find Nat, Edmund, and
learn what he's going to do. If it's a fight it's a fight for liberty
and the safety of our homes. The governor's wrong; he hasn't treated us
fair."

All that day they rode through the river country, and wherever they came
to settlements they found armed men mounting, for the news had spread
rapidly that Nathaniel Bacon was raising an army to fight the governor.


II

From big plantations and from small farms, from manor-houses in the
lowlands and from log cabins in the uplands, grown men and half-grown
boys, armed with guns or swords, hurried to join General Bacon, who was
sending out his call for recruits from his headquarters up the James
River. The colonists were a hardy lot, used to hunting and fighting, and
well pleased now at the prospect of upsetting the tyrannical governor at
Jamestown. Within three days after Bacon's escape from the capital he
was at the head of about six hundred men, stirring them with his
speeches, for he was a very fine and fiery orator, until they were ready
to follow wherever he led. The Porters, father and son, succeeded in
joining his ranks, and when the young commander set out on his march to
Jamestown they rode among his men.

What was Sir William Berkeley doing meantime? Bacon was a fighter, but
the white-haired governor was a fighter also. He sent riders from
Jamestown to summon what were called the "train-bands" of York and
Gloucester, counties that lay along Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic
Ocean. But the spirit of rebellion had spread from the plantations along
the James down to the seaboard settlements, and only a hundred soldiers,
and not all of them very loyal to the governor, answered his summons.
They marched so slowly that Bacon reached Jamestown before they were in
sight of the town. At two in the afternoon the rebel leader entered the
capital at the head of his men and drew up his troops on the green, not
an arrow's flight from the State House where he had knelt for the
governor's pardon less than ten days before.

At his order his men sentineled the roads, seized all the firearms they
could find, and disarmed or arrested all men coming into Jamestown by
land or river, except such as joined their own ranks.

The little capital was in a turmoil. Sir William and his council sat in
a room at the State House, debating what course to take. They ordered a
drummer to summon the burgesses, and those burgesses who were not
already in Bacon's army came trooping to the State House. It seemed as
if war was to break out then and there. Bacon marched across the green
with a file of fusileers on either side, and reached the corner of the
State House. Sir William and his council came out, and the two leaders
fronted one another, Bacon fairly cool and collected, but the aged
governor raging at this affront to his dignity.

Sir William walked up to Bacon, and tearing open the lace at the breast
of his coat, cried angrily, "Here! Shoot me! 'Fore God, a fair
mark--shoot!"

Bacon answered calmly, "No, may it please your honor; we will not hurt a
hair of your head, nor of any other man's. We are come for a commission
to save our lives from the Indians, which you have so often promised,
and now we will have it before we go."

But though his words were mild, Bacon was really very angry. As the
governor, still raging and shaking his fist, turned and walked back to
the State House with his council, Bacon followed him with his soldiers,
one hand on his sword-hilt, the other threatening Berkeley. As the
governor and council continued their retreat, Bacon and his men grew
more threatening. The leader shook his fist, the fusileers cocked their
guns. And as they came to the windows of the room where the burgesses
sat some of the soldiers pointed their guns at the men inside, shouting
again and again, "We will have it! We will have it!"

Presently one of the burgesses waved his handkerchief from the window,
and called out, "You shall have it! You shall have it!" by which he
meant the commission that Bacon wanted. The soldiers uncocked their
guns, and stood back, waiting further orders from their leader. Bacon
had grown as angry meantime as the governor had been before, and had
cried, "I'll kill governor, council, Assembly and all, and then I'll
sheathe my sword in my own heart's blood." And it was afterward said
that Bacon had ordered his men, if he drew his sword, to fire on the
burgesses. But the handkerchief waved from the window, and the words,
"You shall have it!" calmed him somewhat, and soon afterward he went
into the State House and discussed the matter fully with Sir William and
his council.

Later that same day Bacon went to the room of the burgesses and repeated
his request for a commission. The speaker answered that it was "Not in
their province, or power, nor of any other save the king's vicegerent,
their governor, to grant it." Bacon replied by saying that the purpose
of his coming to Jamestown was to secure some safe way of protecting the
settlers from the Indians, to reduce the very heavy taxes, and to right
the calamities that had come upon the country. The burgesses gave him no
definite answer, and he left, much dissatisfied. Next day, however, Sir
William and his council yielded, Nathaniel Bacon was appointed general
and commander-in-chief against the Indians, and pardon was granted to
him and all his followers for their acts against the Indians in the
west.

This was a great triumph for the rebel leader. Berkeley hated and feared
him as much as ever, but had seen that he must pocket his pride in the
face of such a popular uprising.

The owner of Curles Plantation was now commander-in-chief of the
Virginia troops, and although it was intended that he should use his
army only in defending the colony from Indian attacks, it was generally
believed that he could do whatever he wished with his men. The colony
was practically under his absolute control. The colonists would do
whatever he ordered, and as they hailed Bacon's leadership they paid
less and less heed to Sir William Berkeley. And the governor, knowing
that many adventurers, many men of doubtful reputation, and many who
were his own enemies, were now much in Bacon's company, feared for their
influence on the impulsive young commander.

Having seen their neighbor win his commission, Mr. Porter and Edmund
rode back to their own plantation, and took up the work that was always
waiting to be done in summer. They were busy, and heard only from time
to time of what Nathaniel was doing. They knew he was planning to take
the field against the Indians with a good-sized troop of men.

Full of energy, and eager to show the colony that he was in truth a
great commander, Bacon made his headquarters near West Point, at the
head of the York River, a place frequently called "De la War," from Lord
Delaware, who belonged to the West family. He disarmed all the men who
opposed his command, and then set out, with an army of between five
hundred and a thousand men, to attack the Indians in the neighborhood
of the head waters of the Pamunkey. His scouts scoured the woods and
drove out all hostile Indians; he cleared that part of the frontier of
red men, and in a short time had made the border plantations safer than
they had ever been before. He had justified all his friends had said of
him, he had acted as a loyal Virginian, and he had proved his worth as
general-in-chief of the colony's army.

Edmund Porter, going to the store at the crossroads on a July day, heard
men discussing news that had just come from Jamestown. The rumor was
that, despite Nathaniel Bacon's success as a commander, Sir William
Berkeley had again denounced him as a rebel and traitor, and had fled to
York River and set up his banner there not only as governor, but as
general also. The report proved true. Sir William had nursed his anger
for a short time, and now it flamed forth afresh and even more bitterly
than before. In spite of Bacon's success he was still a rebel in the
governor's eyes; he had forced the Assembly at Jamestown to do his
bidding, and had acted as if the colony belonged to Bacon and his
followers, and not to the king of England and the royal officers. This
matter the governor meant to decide when he flew his flag at York River
and summoned all loyal Virginians to come to his aid. Some came; there
were many planters who honestly believed that Berkeley was in the right
and Bacon in the wrong; but the great mass of the people sided with the
latter, and it began to look as if Sir William might still call himself
the governor, but would find that he had no people to govern.

Then, when the old Cavalier, proud in his defeat as the Cavaliers of
England had been when the Roundheads beat them in battle after battle,
was beginning to see his men desert him, a messenger came post-haste
from Gloucester County, to the north of the York River, with word that
the planters there were still loyal to the king's governor, and begged
him to come to their county and to protect them from the Indians. The
loyalists of Gloucester, some of whom Bacon had disarmed, were ready to
rally round Sir William.

Sir William was overjoyed; he went to Gloucester at once, he flew his
flag there, and called all loyalists to join him. Twelve hundred people
came on the day Sir William set. But, with the exception of the wealthy
planters who had sent the message, even these men of Gloucester were
unwilling to take the field against General Bacon, as Sir William
wanted. Some of them said that Bacon was fighting the common enemy, the
Indians, with great success, and that as good Virginians they ought to
help, and not to hinder, his work. The governor urged and argued with
them, but as he talked men began to leave, muttering "Bacon! Bacon!
Bacon!" as they went. A short stay showed that Sir William was not to
find, even in Gloucester, the support he wished. Where could he go?
There was one place where men might yet listen to him, the distant
country that was sometimes called the "Kingdom of Accomac." It lay
across Chesapeake Bay, remote from the rest of Virginia. The governor
took ship and sailed across the thirty miles that divided it from the
mainland, a romantic, apparently defeated figure, like some of the
English Royalists who fled before the victorious troops of Oliver
Cromwell.

On July 29, 1676, Berkeley posted his proclamation, declaring that
Nathaniel Bacon was a traitor and outlaw. Bacon heard the news as he was
in camp on the upper waters of the James. He was hurt at what he felt
was the governor's injustice to him. To a friend he said, "It vexes me
to the heart to think that while I am hunting wolves, tigers, and foxes
(meaning Indians), which daily destroy our harmless sheep and lambs,
that I and those with me should be pursued with a full cry, as a more
savage or a no less ravenous beast."

The general marched his men down the river, arresting such as were known
to side with the governor, but leaving their property unharmed.
Presently he made his quarters at Middle-Plantation, which was situated
half-way between Jamestown and the York River. Here his riders
bivouacked around the small group of houses that formed the settlement,
and their commander set to work to try to bring some sort of order out
of the tangle into which Virginia had fallen. Sir William Berkeley was
away in the distant country of Accomac, a country that was hardly looked
upon at that time as part of Virginia, and Bacon was to all intents now
the governor as well as the general-in-chief. Some of his friends
advised him to do one thing, some another. Mr. Drummond, an old enemy of
Berkeley's, who knew what Sir William thought of him, and who had once
said of himself as a rebel, "I am in, over shoes; I will be over boots,"
now advised Bacon to proclaim that Berkeley was deposed from the
governorship and that Sir Henry Chicheley should rule in his place. But
Bacon would not go so far as that; he was quick-tempered, but fairly
cool when it came to planning action, and he knew that to overthrow Sir
William would make him clearly a rebel in the eyes of England.

So, instead of acting rashly, he issued what he called a "Remonstrance,"
which protested against Sir William's calling him and his men traitors
and rebels, when they were really faithful subjects of His Majesty the
King of England, and had only taken up arms to protect themselves
against the savages. Besides that, he complained that the colony was not
well managed, and called on all who were interested in Virginia to meet
at Middle-Plantation on August 3d, and make a formal protest to the
English king and Parliament.

Many men met at the village on that day, four members of the governors
council among them. Bacon made a fiery speech, and all agreed to pledge
themselves not to aid Sir William Berkeley in any attack on General
Bacon or his army. Then Bacon went further; he asked the meeting to
promise that each and every man there would rise in arms against Sir
William if he should try to resist General Bacon, and further that if
any soldiers should be sent from England to aid Sir William each man
there would fight such troops until they had a chance to explain matters
to the king of England.

That was going too far; the men had no desire to rebel against their
king. They were willing to sign the first pledge, but not the second. In
the midst of their arguing Bacon interrupted angrily. "Then I will
surrender my commission, and let the country find some other servant to
go abroad and do its work!" he exclaimed. "Sir William Berkeley hath
proclaimed me a rebel, and it is not unknown to himself that I both can
and shall charge _him_ with no less than treason!" He added that
Governor Berkeley would never forgive them for signing either part of
the pledge, and that they might as well sign both as one. Then into the
stormy meeting rushed a gunner from York Fort, shouting out that the
Indians were marching on his fort, that the governor had taken all the
arms from the fort, and that he had no protection for all the people who
had fled there from the woods of Gloucester in fear of the Indians'
tomahawks.

The gunner's words settled the matter. All the men agreed to sign the
whole pledge, promised to fight not only Sir William Berkeley but the
king's troops as well if they came to Virginia to support him. The oath
was taken, the paper signed by the light of torches near midnight on
that third day of August, 1676. Just a hundred years later another
Declaration of Independence was to be signed by men, some from this same
colony of Virginia, in Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

The next business was to organize a new government, and Bacon sent word
through the colony for men to choose representatives to meet early in
September. Then the general marched off with his army to protect the
people who had fled to York Fort, and try to finish his war with the
Indians.

There was great rejoicing throughout the length and breadth of Virginia
when news came to town and plantation that Nathaniel Bacon had set up a
new government in place of the old one that had failed to protect the
colony and that had suppressed the people's liberty. They gloried in
their defiance of the royal governor. Sarah Drummond, the wife of
Bacon's friend, said to her neighbors:

"The child that is unborn shall have cause to rejoice for the good that
will come by the rising of the country!"

One of her neighbors objected, "We must expect a greater power from
England that will certainly be our ruin."

Mrs. Drummond picked up a stick, and breaking it in two, said
scornfully, "I fear the power of England no more than a broken straw!"

And when others shook their heads doubtfully, she said bravely, "We will
do well enough!" That was the feeling of most of the people. They were
back of Bacon, and pledged themselves to support him through thick and
thin.

At the plantation near Curles Mr. Porter brought the news of the oath at
Middle-Plantation to his family, and his wife and son and the men and
women who worked for him celebrated the event as a great victory for all
true Virginians.

Meantime General Bacon crossed the James River, attacked the Appomattox
Indians, and killed or routed the whole tribe. He then marched along the
south side of the river toward the Nottoway and Roanoke, scattered all
the Indians he met, and ultimately returned north to West Point, where
he dismissed all his army but a small detachment, bidding the others go
back to their own plantations to harvest the autumn crops.

Scarcely had the men of Bacon's army reached their homes when a new
message electrified the whole countryside. From man to man the news ran
that Sir William Berkeley, with seventeen ships and a thousand men, had
come back from far-away Accomac, had sailed up the James River, had
taken possession of Jamestown, and was now flying his flag above the
State House there.


III

Sir William Berkeley had met few friends in that distant country of
Accomac when he had first flown there. Rebellion was in the air there as
it was on the mainland of Virginia, and only a few of the planters of
the eastern shore welcomed the king's governor and agreed to stand by
him in his fight with Nathaniel Bacon. Still he stuck to his
determination to try conclusions with the rebels, and meantime he waited
as patiently as he could, hoping that the tide of fortune would
presently turn in his favor.

General Bacon, when he set out from Middle-Plantation to fight the
Indians, sent Giles Bland to keep Governor Berkeley in Accomac, and, if
possible, to induce the people there to surrender him. Giles Bland
started on his mission with two hundred and fifty men, and one ship with
four guns, commanded by an old sailor, Captain Carver. One ship was not
enough, however, to carry the men across to the Eastern Shore, and so
Bland seized another that happened to be lying in the York River, and
that belonged to Captain Laramore, a friend of Governor Berkeley.
Captain Laramore was seized by Bland's men, and locked up in his cabin,
but after a time he sent word to Bland that he would fight with him
against the governor, and Bland, thinking that the captain was sincere,
restored command of the vessel to him. Two more ships were captured, and
so it was a fleet of four vessels that ultimately carried the rebel
party to the Eastern Shore.

When he saw this fleet nearing Accomac Sir William gave up his cause as
lost. He knew that he must surrender, as King Charles the First of
England had surrendered to Oliver Cromwell's men. Then suddenly a
loophole of escape offered itself most unexpectedly. Captain Laramore,
still very angry with the rebels for having seized his ship in such a
high-handed manner, secretly sent word to Sir William, that if
assistance were given him he would betray Giles Bland. The fleet was at
anchor, and Captain Carver had gone ashore to try to find the governor.
Laramore's offer looked as if it might be a trap, but Colonel Philip
Ludwell, a friend of Berkeley's, offered to vouch for Laramore's honesty
and moreover to lead the party that was to capture Bland. Sir William
agreed to this offer, and Colonel Ludwell got ready a boat in a near-by
creek, out of sight of the fleet. At the time set by Laramore Colonel
Ludwell's crew rowed out toward Laramore's ship. Bland thought he came
to parley, and did not fire. The boat pulled under the ship's stern, one
of Ludwell's men leaped on board, and aiming a pistol at Bland's breast,
cried, "You're my prisoner!" The crew of the rowboat followed, and with
the help of Laramore and those sailors who sided with him, quickly
captured the rebels on board. When Captain Carver returned he and his
crew were seized in the same way, and Colonel Ludwell and Laramore took
Bland and Carver and their officers ashore and presented them to Sir
William as his prisoners.

Sir William was stern in dealing with men he considered traitors. He put
Giles Bland and his officers in chains, and he hung Captain Carver on
the beach of Accomac. This victory won him recruits also among the
longshoremen, and now one of his own followers, Captain Gardener,
reached the harbor in his ship, the _Adam-and-Eve_, with ten or twelve
sloops he had captured along the coast. Counting Bland's ships the
governor now had a fleet numbering some seventeen sail, and on these he
embarked his army of nearly a thousand men. Many of them were merely
adventurers, lured by Sir William's promise to give them the estates
that belonged to the men who had taken the oath with Bacon at
Middle-Plantation. Sir William also proclaimed that the servants of all
those who were fighting under Bacon's flag should have the property of
their masters if they would enlist under the king's standard.

The governor set sail for Jamestown, and reached it on the sixth day of
September. One of the bravest of Bacon's commanders, Colonel Hansford,
held the town with eight or nine hundred men. The governor called on
Hansford to surrender, promising pardon to all except his old enemies,
Lawrence and Drummond, who were then in Jamestown. Hansford refused to
surrender, but Lawrence and Drummond advised him to retreat with his
army, and so he evacuated the town during the night. At noon next day
Sir William landed, and kneeling, gave thanks for his safe return to his
former capital.

Colonel Hansford, with Drummond and Lawrence, rode north to find General
Bacon. They found him at West Point and told him the startling news that
Sir William had come back with an army. The fight was to be waged all
over again, the question whether Bacon or Berkeley was to rule Virginia
was yet to be settled.

Bacon had only a body-guard with him, but he mounted in haste and rode
toward Jamestown, sending couriers in all directions to rouse the
countryside and bring his men to his flag. The message came to Curles,
and Edmund Porter and his father and their neighbors armed and hurried
to join their general. So swiftly did the planters take to horse that by
the time Bacon was in sight of Jamestown he was followed by several
hundred men.

Sir William had built an earthwork and palisade across the neck of the
island where Jamestown stands. Bacon ordered his trumpets to sound, and
then a volley to be fired into the town. No guns answered his, and Bacon
ordered his troops to throw up breastworks in front of the palisade,
while he made his headquarters at "Greenspring," a house that belonged
to Sir William.

Now Bacon, although usually a gentleman, resorted to a trick that was a
blot on his character. He sent horsemen through the near-by country to
bring the wives of some of the men who were fighting on Berkeley's side
into his camp. He sent one of these women, under a flag of truce, into
the town to tell her husband and the others there that Bacon meant to
place these wives in front of his own men while they were building the
earthworks, so that any shots fired would hit the women first. This he
did. He made these women stand as a shield before his men. The
governor's party would not fire a shot. The earthworks were finished,
and then Bacon had the women escorted to a place of safety. The trick
savored more of the customs of some of the Indian tribes the settlers
had been fighting than of the warfare of Virginia gentlemen.

When the women were gone, Sir William burst out of Jamestown with eight
hundred men and attacked Bacon's troopers. But the rabble that made up
the governor's army, longshoremen, fishermen from Accomac, a rabble
attracted by the hope of plunder, was no match for the well-drilled and
well-armed planters. At the first touch of steel they turned and fled
back to the town, leaving a dozen wounded on the ground. Sir William
lashed them with a tongue of scorn, but his anger did no good. He saw
that he could not rely on this new following, and so embarked on his
ships again that night, and sailed away from Jamestown.

Bacon marched in, took counsel with his officers, and determined that
Sir William should make no further use of his capital. Orders were
given to set fire to all the houses, and shortly the town, founded by
that great adventurer, John Smith, was only a mass of burned and
blackened timbers.

Sir William had sailed down the river, but a courier from York County
brought word that a force of his friends were advancing from the
direction of the Potomac to attack Bacon's men. So, when Jamestown was
only ruins, the general left that place and marched at the head of his
horsemen to meet this new enemy. He was as full of courage as ever, but
he had caught a fever in the trenches before Jamestown, and instead of
stopping to cure it he insisted on pushing on and trying to settle
matters with his opponents as soon as possible.

His men crossed the York in boats at Ferry Point and marched into
Gloucester. There Bacon called on all the men of Gloucester who had
taken the oath with him at Middle-Plantation to join him promptly.
Another courier arrived, with word that Colonel Brent was coming against
him with a thousand soldiers. Bacon did not wait for any more recruits,
but marched at once up country in the direction of the Rappahannock
River. But there was to be no fighting. The spirit of rebellion had
spread so far that even Colonel Brent's men, supposed to be very loyal
to the governor, deserted to Bacon's standard, and Brent himself, with a
few faithful followers, had to retire from the field, and leave the
rebel chief in entire command.

Bacon went back to Gloucester, and again summoned the men of that
county to meet him at the court-house. Six or seven hundred came, but
they did not want to fulfil their pledge and take up arms, it might be
against the king's own soldiers. They said that they wanted to take no
sides in the matter. Bacon insisted that they should pledge themselves
to follow him. The fever had hold of him, his temper was short, and he
spoke in such a domineering way that at last the men of Gloucester gave
him the pledge he wanted. Having had his way Bacon closed the meeting,
and, seeing that all the mainland of Virginia was now under his control,
laid plans to follow Sir William Berkeley to Accomac, where the governor
had fled again.

But now Nathaniel Bacon, at the very moment when he had driven all his
enemies out of the colony, and had made himself the master of Virginia,
fell very ill of the fever he had brought from Jamestown. His old
friends, Mr. Porter among them, urged him to give up command of his army
and rest. In spite of his wish to go to Accomac and settle accounts with
Berkeley, he had to take their advice. He went to the house of a friend,
Major Pate, in Gloucester, and there, after a few weeks' illness, he
died, in October, 1676.

Sorrowing for their brave leader and friend, Mr. Porter and Edmund went
back to their plantation on the James. They had stood by him when he
needed their aid, but, in spite of all the exciting events of that
summer, they had not had to take part in any actual fighting except the
brief battle with the Indians in May and the short skirmish outside
Jamestown. Neither father nor son were known as officers in Bacon's
army, and as they stayed quietly at home the storm that followed blew
safely over their heads.

In four months Nathaniel Bacon had risen from the position of a
little-known planter to be the ruler of Virginia, and because the king's
governor would not give him a commission to march against the Indians
who had attacked his farm he had driven the governor out of the colony.
It was a remarkable story, packed full of strange happenings.

When Bacon died, however, the rebellion fell to pieces. A man named
Ingram tried to rally his army, but the men of Virginia would not fight
under any other leader than Bacon. Sir William Berkeley came back from
the county of Accomac with a wolfish thirst for vengeance. His chief
enemy had escaped him, but he meant to take his revenge on the other
leaders of the rebellion against him. And take his revenge he did, not
like an honorable governor who wishes to make peace in his country, but
more like that Judge Jeffreys in England, whose name became a byword for
cruelty. He captured Colonel Hansford, who was a fine Virginian, and
hung him as a rebel. Lawrence escaped, but Drummond was caught in his
hiding-place in the Chickahominy swamp, and brought before Sir William.

"Mr. Drummond," said the governor, "you are very welcome! I am more
glad to see you than any man in Virginia. Mr. Drummond, you shall be
hanged in half an hour!"

"When your Honor pleases," Drummond coolly replied.

Drummond was hung, and his brave wife, who had broken the stick to show
how easily the planters could defeat Sir William, was driven into the
wilderness with her children.

Bland was found in Accomac and executed. Men were hung in almost every
county, and the settlers hated the name of Berkeley more than they hated
raiding Indians. In all Sir William executed twenty-three rebels, as he
called them, and King Charles II of England, when he heard the report,
said indignantly, "That old fool has hanged more men in that naked
country than I have done for the murder of my father."

At last the Assembly begged the governor to stop. He reluctantly agreed
that all the rest of the rebels should be pardoned except about fifty
leaders. The property of these leaders was confiscated, and they were
sent away from the colony.

Sir William, however, was no longer popular with any in Virginia. Soon
afterward he sailed to England, and never came back again to the colony
he had ruled with an iron hand. Salutes were fired and bonfires blazed
when he sailed, for the people were all still rebels at heart. Other
governors came from England, but they found the Virginians harder to
rule since they had tasted independence in that summer of 1676.

By many boys of Virginia, like Edmund Porter, Nathaniel Bacon was always
remembered as a gallant hero, one who had fought for them against the
tyranny of Sir William Berkeley.



V

AN OUTLAW CHIEF OF MARYLAND

(_Maryland, 1684_)


I

"I'm riding south to St. Mary's to-morrow, Michael," said George Talbot.
He gave his horse a slap on the flank that sent it toward the stable.
"Want to come with me, and see something of the Bay?"

"Yes indeed," said Michael Rowan. "You know, Mr. George, I always like
to ride with you."

Talbot smiled at the red-cheeked boy, whose black hair and blue eyes
gave proof of his Irish blood. "You're loyal to the chief of the clan,
aren't you, Michael? Well, if I were warden of the Scottish marches I
wouldn't ask for better followers than such as you."

Michael flushed. "My father has taught me always to do your bidding, Mr.
George. It seems to me the right thing to do."

"I hope it always will. There's some who don't think as well of me as
your father does." Talbot slapped his riding-whip against his boot. "But
we don't care what they think, do we? A fig for all critics, I say! Each
man to his own salvation!" He went up the steps to his house, while
Michael watched him with frank admiration.

George Talbot, Irish by birth, was a prominent man in the province that
belonged to Lord Baltimore. He was a kinsman of Sir William Talbot, who
was Chief Secretary of Maryland. George had obtained a large grant of
land on the Susquehanna River, when Lord Baltimore was anxious to have
the northern part of his province settled. Three years after he staked
out his plantation on the Susquehanna he was made surveyor-general of
the province. That was in 1683. The next year Lord Baltimore went to
England, leaving his son, a boy, as nominal governor. A commission of
leading men was chosen to take charge of the actual work of the
governorship, and George Talbot was at the head of the commission. In
much of that sparsely-settled country he ruled like the chieftain of a
Scottish clan. He built a fort near the head of Chesapeake Bay;
garrisoned it with Irish followers, and sometimes set out from it with
his troop to check Indian raids; sometimes rode into the land that was
in dispute between Lord Baltimore and William Penn, and lectured or
bullied or drove away some of Penn's settlers. He ruled with a high
hand, both at his fort and on his plantation, with the usual result that
he was tremendously admired by his retainers, among whom was Fergus
Rowan, the father of Talbot's young squire Michael.

Next day the adventurous Talbot and the faithful Michael set out south.
They rode through a country almost as untouched by men as it was before
the first white explorers landed on its coast. Then there had been
Indians to hunt game in its woods and marshes; to fish its streams and
bay, to plant their crops in its open arable fields. But the Indians
were like the birds and beasts, essentially migratory; they built few
permanent homes, they wasted little labor on bridges or mills, clearings
or farm-stockades. When the hunting or the crops grew poor in one place
they packed their tents on their ponies or in their canoes and set out
for a new, untouched country. The white men were very different; they
wanted to own, to fence off, to build, to make travel and commerce
easier. But in 1684 there were so few of them that one might ride all
day and see no sign of a human habitation. Talbot and Michael had to
hunt the streams for fording-places, had to push through underbrush that
threatened to hide the trails, and to rely on the provisions they
carried in their saddle-bags to furnish them food and drink.

Every now and then the riders caught sight of the blue waters of
Chesapeake Bay to the east. Whenever they reached a farmhouse in the
wilderness they stopped and chatted with the settlers, giving them any
news from the north. They spent one night at a hunter's log cabin;
another at a miller's house built on the bank of a river. Many times
they had to go far out of the route as the crow flies in order to cross
wide estuaries and streams. But they were in no particular haste, and
rested their horses often. It took them the better part of a week to
reach the Patuxent River and cross into St. Mary's County.

Many small fishing-hamlets were to be found along this southern shore of
Chesapeake Bay, and Talbot stopped at each one, announced who he was,
and questioned the fishermen for news. The chief complaint of the
settlers was against the tyrannical manners and methods of the
revenue-collectors, or excisemen, who levied taxes for the king of
England on all goods coming into the province or going out of it. Men
who collect such taxes have almost always been unpopular; in Maryland
they were pretty generally hated. To judge from what Talbot was told by
the fishermen some of the collectors had acted as if they were Lord
Baltimore himself. They took horses, servants, boats, as they pleased,
and dared the owners to complain of them to the king. The most unpopular
of the race of collectors appeared to be Christopher Rousby, who lived
at the town of St. Mary's, and made trips up and down St. Mary's River
and along the shores of the bay to collect taxes from unwilling settlers
and threaten them with dire punishments if they dared refuse obedience
to his orders.

"The knave ought to be whipped!" Talbot declared to Michael, as they
left one of the hamlets. "I know him, an arrogant, conceited fool! It's
fortunate I'm not one of these folk here, or I might run him through
some dark night."

Down to St. Mary's they rode, where Talbot took lodgings for himself and
Michael. The lodgings were at a tavern known as "The Bell and Anchor,"
where a great anchor lay on the lawn before the tavern door and a bell
hung over the porch, used by the wife of the tavern-keeper to inform her
guests when their meals were ready for them. The inn faced St. Mary's
River, which was wide here, and the beach in front of it was a
gathering-place for sailors and fishermen and longshoremen, whose boats
were pulled up on the sand or anchored in the small harbor to the south
of the town. Talbot and Michael went among the men, the chieftain
hobnobbing with the simple folk, as he was fond of doing, though he
never allowed them to forget his dignity.

There were ships lying in St. Mary's River, one of them a ketch
belonging to His Majesty's navy. Men on the beach told Talbot and
Michael that the captain of the ketch was very friendly with Christopher
Rousby, the tax-collector, and the other excisemen. They also told
Talbot that neither the captain of the ketch nor Rousby nor his mates
paid any attention to Lord Baltimore's officers in St. Mary's. The
former treated the latter as if they were stable-boys, made to be
ordered about, the longshoremen told Talbot.

At first Talbot only listened and swore under his breath. Then he began
to swear openly, and to look angry and shake his fist at the royal ship
out in the bay. "These dogs of sea-captains and tax-collectors think
they own the whole province!" he muttered to Michael. "I'd like nothing
better than to teach them a lesson!"

The man and boy happened to be standing near the door of "The Bell and
Anchor" when a long-boat landed passengers from the ketch, and the
captain and Christopher Rousby and two other men came up to the tavern
door. All four men glanced at Talbot, whose bearing and dress made him a
conspicuous figure. He gave them a curt nod. The captain and one of the
other men acknowledged his greeting, but Rousby strode past him with a
shrug of the shoulders and a sneer on his lips.

George Talbot was not used to such treatment; when he gave a man a nod
he expected at least a bow in return. Hot blood flushed his cheeks, and
his fingers gripped the hilt of the hunting-knife he wore at his belt.
Michael could not hear what he murmured, but he could guess at what he
meant. Michael grew angry too; he expected people to treat his master
with as much deference as they would show the king.

The four men went into the tavern, and soon Michael caught the sound of
a drinking song. To get away from the noise Talbot and his page walked
up the street. Presently they met the chief magistrate of St. Mary's,
who recognized George Talbot, and greeted him, as was proper, by taking
off his hat and making a low bow.

"Things go badly here, Mr. Talbot," said the magistrate, with a shake of
his head. "The captain of that ship yonder and the collectors laugh at
Lord Baltimore. They do what they will with me and my men. They sit in
the tavern all night, carousing, and then they take any boats they see
or anything they like, and threaten the owners with their pistols and
His Majesty's vengeance if they dare object. I've gone to see them about
it. They snap their fingers at me and the governor."

"I've seen the brutes," said Talbot. "I think I'd best take it on myself
to explain the matter to them."

"Be careful," warned the other. "They think themselves above all the law
of the province."

"By Heaven, they're not above me!" ejaculated Talbot. "I'll tell Rousby
so to his face, and let him take the consequences!"

Talbot and Michael went back to "The Bell and Anchor." The singing was
still going on. The man and boy went into the tap-room, and ordered two
cups of ale. They sat at a small table in a corner, some distance from
where the four men were drinking, laughing, and singing. This was no
time for Talbot to speak to them; their wits were too befuddled to pay
any heed to what he might have to say.

Presently the man and boy went up to their rooms. The noise of the
revelers reached their ears. Talbot was very angry. He told Michael
that he should have a settlement with Christopher Rousby the next day.
So loud was the noise down-stairs that Michael had to pull the
bedclothes up about his head in order to get to sleep.

The next day was cold and dark--early winter. Talbot spent the morning
going from house to house, questioning each owner as to unjust taxes
that Rousby had collected, or any other injury the collector had done.
He made a note of each complaint, and by noon he had a long list.

The two dined at the tavern, and afterward Talbot engaged a fisherman to
row them out to the royal ketch in the river. Rain was falling now, and
a wind had sprung up. Whitecaps dotted the water. The fisherman rowed
them to the ship, and Talbot and Michael climbed up the rope-ladder that
hung down over the side. A sailor stepped up to them. "What do you
want?" he asked.

"I want to see the captain and Christopher Rousby," said Talbot. "I'm
told that Rousby came out to the ship this morning."

"Aye, Mr. Rousby's still here," said the sailor.

"I am George Talbot," announced the other man, and, as if that were
sufficient warrant for him to do as he chose, he walked across the deck
and went down the companionway to the cabin. Michael kept close behind
him.

A bottle and glasses stood on the cabin table. The captain, Christopher
Rousby, and an officer of the ship sprawled in chairs. Rousby's face
was red and bloated. At sight of George Talbot he smiled, but made no
motion to get up from his chair.

Talbot didn't take off his hat or cloak, though both were wet with rain
and spray. He stepped to the table and leaned on it with one hand, while
he pointed his other gloved hand at the insolent-looking tax-collector.
"You know who I am," said Talbot, in his deep, positive voice, "and I
know who you are. I am chief of the deputy governors Lord Baltimore has
appointed to care for his province during his absence; and you are a
tax-collector."

"A representative of His Majesty the King of England," said the captain
of the ship, as if to make out that his friend Rousby was a more
important man.

"Let the fellow talk," said Rousby to the captain. "I've heard he was
clever at making speeches."

His tone and manner were the height of insult. Talbot's face flushed,
and Michael saw that his hand on the table doubled itself into a fist.

"Yes, I will talk," said Talbot, in a voice that could have been heard
on deck. "And you will listen to me, whether you want to or no! I have a
list of unjust taxes you've levied here in St. Mary's. The Devil only
knows how many you've levied elsewhere." He put his hand into his pocket
and pulled out the list he had made.

"I'll not listen to such speech on my own ship," said the captain, his
hands on the arms of his chair as if he was about to stand up.

"Indeed you will!" roared Talbot. "This list is a list of crimes
committed by your friend Christopher Rousby, representative of His
Majesty the King of England in the province of Maryland." He opened the
list and began to read the items, giving the names of the men in St.
Mary's who had been unjustly taxed and the amount they had been forced
to pay to the greedy collector.

The three men at the table grew restless; Rousby picked up his glass and
drained it, the captain drummed on the arm of his chair with his
fingers, the third man stared at the cabin-ceiling.

Talbot went on with his reading until he had finished the first page and
turned to the second. Then Rousby broke in. "You can read all night,"
said he, "but I tell you now that all those taxes stand, and I'll
collect more in future as pleases me."

"Even if you know they're illegal and unjust?" asked Talbot.

"Look you here," said Rousby, leaning forward. "The fact that I collect
them makes them both legal and just. I am the law hereabouts, and I do
as I please. If you don't like it, ride back to your own plantation, and
leave matters here to your betters." His small bloodshot eyes sneered at
Talbot.

Now Talbot's Irish blood was very quick and fiery. That word "betters"
stung him, the look on Rousby's face infuriated him. "I don't admit any
betters," said he. "In fact I only see inferiors before me." His voice
was cold as steel, and as biting. Michael had never heard him speak like
that before.

Rousby and the captain started to their feet.

"Keep out of this, you!" Talbot roared at the captain, and leaning
across the table gave him such a push that he set him down in his chair.
Then Talbot's gloved hand struck Rousby on the cheek. "Take that!" he
cried. "If you want to settle the matter now, I'm ready!"

Rousby bellowed with rage. He gave the table a shove that sent it
flying, and his fist shot out at Talbot. Talbot caught it and whirled
the man around. Then Rousby grabbed the dagger he wore at his side and
rushed at Talbot with it. Talbot stepped to one side, and the same
instant drew his own knife. Rousby swung round at him again, dagger
uplifted; but Talbot was the quicker. He struck with his knife, in the
breast, pressed Rousby back and back until he leaned on the table.

It had all happened in the twinkling of an eye. Now the captain and the
third man sprang forward. Each caught one of Talbot's arms and held it
They were too late to save the collector, however. Talbot had stabbed
him in the heart, and Christopher Rousby was dead.

The captain seized a pistol from a rack and leveled it at Talbot. "Drop
your knife!" he ordered, "and surrender to His Majesty's officers! This
is bad business for you! Murder of a royal agent!"

Talbot dropped the knife. "At your orders," he said. "I yield as your
prisoner."

[Illustration: "I YIELD AS YOUR PRISONER"]

The other man caught up a rope and soon had the prisoner's hands bound
behind him.

"Take him up on deck," said the captain. "And send two of the sailors
down here to me."

The other officer marched Talbot up the companionway. Michael followed.
On deck the officer stepped away from his prisoner long enough to speak
to one of the sailors. While he was doing this Talbot whispered to
Michael. "Get ashore," he whispered, "and tell the magistrate at St.
Mary's what has happened. Then get word if you can to Sir William Talbot
and to my wife."

It was dark on deck, a murky evening. Michael slipped over to the side
of the ship, found the rope-ladder, and crawled down it to where the
fisherman was still waiting in his boat. He didn't like to leave his
master in the hands of his enemies, but he knew that Talbot wanted to be
obeyed.

"Mr. Talbot is going to stay on board," Michael said to the boatman.
"You're to row me to shore."

A little later he landed at St. Mary's. He was soaking wet and very
cold, but he gave no thought to that.


II

Michael Rowan asked the boatman where the chief magistrate of St. Mary's
lived, and, on being directed, went straight to the latter's house. To
this man he told what had happened in the cabin of the ketch, how
Rousby and Talbot had had a quarrel, how high words had passed between
them, how Talbot had stabbed the tax-collector, and was now the
captain's prisoner. The magistrate was very much alarmed.

"There's no knowing what they'll do to him!" he exclaimed with
excitement. "Rousby treated us ill, there's no doubting that. But he was
His Majesty's exciseman, and the killing of such, even in a righteous
quarrel, is a mighty bad business! What's the captain going to do with
Mr. Talbot?"

"I know no more about it than you," said Michael. "My master bade me
give you the true account of what happened, and then told me to ride
north to tell Mistress Talbot and help her rouse his friends to do what
they could for him. You see he's kinsman to Sir William Talbot, and Sir
William is nephew to Lord Baltimore."

The magistrate shook his head. "That might be of some avail if this
affair concerned the province of Maryland alone," said he. "But Rousby
was one of His Majesty's officers,--there's the difficulty."

"I must get my horse and start at once," declared Michael.

The magistrate went to "The Bell and Anchor" with Michael, helped him
put bread and cheese in his saddle-bags, saw him mount his horse, and
waved his hand as Michael set out up the village street. When the
magistrate went to the water-front he learned that the ketch had
weighed anchor and sailed to the south.

The night was cold and wet, and the road was dark and hard to follow;
but Michael put his horse to the gallop and rode recklessly. His one
thought was to reach Talbot's plantation on the Susquehanna as quickly
as he could.

He rode until it grew so dark that he could not see to avoid overhanging
boughs and holes in the road. Then he stopped at the next farmer's
cabin, asked for a night's lodging, and was given a place to sleep
before the hearth. At dawn he was off again, following the rude trail
through the wilderness, making his meals from the food in his
saddle-bags, and only stopping when he felt he must rest his horse.

That night he spent in a hunter's lodge, the next at a log house on the
edge of a small village. He told the people who asked his business that
he was on an errand for George Talbot, but he gave them no inkling of
what the errand was.

He remembered the fords they had found on their journey south, and
sought them again without much loss of time. Presently he came into
country that he knew well, the upper shores of Chesapeake Bay where he
had often ridden and hunted. Then he saw the familiar landmarks of
Talbot's plantation, and was riding up the road to the door of the
manor-house. He had pushed his horse to the utmost; he himself was tired
and aching in every sinew and muscle. Late in the afternoon he threw
himself from his mount and ran up the steps. He opened the main door and
walked into the living-room, a muddy, bedraggled figure.

Mrs. Talbot was sitting at a spinet, a luxury brought out to Maryland
from England. She stopped her playing and looked up as Michael entered.
She saw he had important news. "What is it, Michael?" she asked.

He told her what had happened. She listened without interrupting him.
Then she stood up. "Send your father and Edward Nigel to me at once,"
she said.

Michael went to his father's house, only a short distance from the big
house, and then to the cabin of Edward Nigel. He gave each of them the
message of Mrs. Talbot. Then he stabled the horse that had carried him
so well all the way from St. Mary's. By that time the boy was too tired
and sleepy even to taste the food that his mother had set out for him.
He fell into his bed and was sound asleep.

Mrs. Talbot had great strength of character. She told her husband's two
faithful Irish retainers that their master was now a prisoner, charged
with the murder of a royal tax-collector. She said that they must set to
work at once to see what could be done to aid him. She wrote out
messages, one for Rowan to take immediately to influential friends in
Baltimore City, the other for Nigel to carry to Annapolis. Then, when
the two had set out, she and her maid prepared to journey to Baltimore
City next day.

In a very short time the news had spread through the province. Men of
influence, the members of the provincial council, met and took action in
behalf of George Talbot. They had all disliked Rousby and the other
royal excisemen, and almost all of them were close friends of the
prisoner. The council sent messengers south to find out what the captain
of the ketch had done with Talbot. The messengers returned with word
that Talbot had been put in irons, that the captain had landed him in
Virginia, and delivered him over to the governor, Lord Howard of
Effingham, who had put him in prison at a small town on the Rappahannock
River.

Lord Howard of Effingham had the name of being a greedy and tyrannical
governor. The council of Maryland sent a request to him that Talbot
should be tried by a court in Maryland. Lord Howard treated the request
with contempt, saying that he meant to try Talbot himself, since the
latter had killed one of His Majesty's officers, and he represented His
Majesty in that part of the country. Talbot's friends knew what that
meant. If Lord Howard sat in judgment on him Talbot's fate was sealed.
There was a chance that a huge bribe might influence the governor of
Virginia, but the chance was slim. So the council sent a messenger to
Lord Baltimore in England, urging him to rescue his nephew's kinsman
from Lord Howard's clutches.

Mrs. Talbot had done all she could through the council and other men of
influence to help her husband, and their efforts seemed likely to bear
very small results. Meantime Lord Howard of Effingham might decide to
try George Talbot at any time. So the devoted wife determined to see
what she could do herself. She had several long talks with Edward Nigel
and Fergus and Michael Rowan, and they worked out a scheme for
themselves.

On a cold day in the middle of winter a little skiff set sail from the
landing-place at Talbot's plantation and headed for Chesapeake Bay. In
the skiff were Mrs. Talbot, her two friends and retainers, Nigel and
Rowan, and the faithful Michael. Fergus Rowan was a skilful sailor; he
knew the river and the bay from long experience. He took the tiller, and
the others, muffled up for protection from the high wind, watched water
and shore as their little boat bobbed up and down on the waves.

The wind was favoring, and they made much better time than they would
have done by riding through the wilderness. They spent the night at a
small fishing-village, and were off again in the skiff next day. They
sailed past Annapolis, on the River Severn, and went scudding down the
bay to where the broad waters of the Potomac flowed into it. Rowan kept
fairly close to the shore on their right, and presently changed his
course to the west. Now they had come to the Rappahannock, and were
sailing up it, keeping a close watch for a good place to land.

By night they had run into a little creek and made the skiff fast. A
farmer's house was not far away, and the four headed for it. Fergus
knocked on the door, and when a woman opened it he explained that they
had expected to sail to a plantation farther up the Rappahannock, but
that the darkness made navigation dangerous for one who was unfamiliar
with the river. "There's a lady and three of us men," he said, "would be
thankful for a night's lodging." Mrs. Talbot pushed back her fur hood,
and the farmer's wife, looking at her, saw that she appeared to be of
the quality, as the saying was, and invited them to step in.

The cabin was small; Fergus and Nigel and Michael shared the attic with
the farmer, Jonas Dunham, while Mrs. Talbot was taken into Mrs. Dunham's
room. They ate their supper on a table close to the kitchen hearth for
warmth. Afterward Fergus inquired about the plantations farther up the
river. Presently he chanced to say that he understood that the governor
was holding Mr. Talbot of Maryland a prisoner somewhere in the
neighborhood. That remark, innocently made, started Farmer Dunham's
tongue to wagging. He said that the prison was about two miles distant,
on the southern side of the river, and that it was true that Talbot was
kept there. He made it pretty clear from what he said that the governor
was not very popular along the Rappahannock, and that in his opinion
Talbot had done a good job in killing one of the royal tax-collectors.

Mrs. Talbot and Fergus and Nigel each carried a bag of gold pieces, all
that they had been able to gather in Maryland; and next morning they
paid the farmer well for their food and lodging. They sailed up the
river, close to the southern shore, in mist and rain, keeping a sharp
lookout for the building that Dunham had described.

There was a small settlement on the shore, then woods, then a log
building, square like a frontier fort, which they took for their goal.
Fergus brought the skiff up to the bank, dropped the sail, and helped
Mrs. Talbot to land. The mist had grown so thick that it hid objects a
score of yards away.

Mrs. Talbot and Nigel stayed in the shelter of the woods while Fergus
and Michael went up to the log house. They rapped on the door. A man
with a grizzled beard opened it. Fergus asked him a few questions about
the neighborhood, explaining that they were very wet and cold, and would
like to find a tavern or some place where they could get a bottle of ale
or brandy. The jailer said that one of his neighbors had spirits for
sale, and suggested that he should show them the place. Fergus accepted
the offer, and they went about half a mile down the road to the
neighbor's, where Fergus showed a gold piece and was provided with a
bottle of brandy.

Fergus saw that the jailer's glass was kept well filled. They became
great friends across the table, and presently the jailer was telling his
new acquaintances everything he knew. He had only one prisoner at
present, a very fine gentleman from Maryland, Mr. George Talbot, and he
felt very sorry for his prisoner because the latter's only crime was of
falling foul of a tax-collector. Fergus suggested that the jailer hardly
needed many assistants to keep guard over one man. The jailer answered
that he only had two assistants, a young fellow only just lately arrived
from England, and a lout of a boy.

When Fergus had learned all he wanted he paid for the bottle of brandy,
tucked the bottle under his arm, and with Michael, walked back to the
log house with the bearded man. There he thanked the latter for his
kindness, and presented him with the bottle, which was still half
filled. It seemed very probable that the jailer would use up the rest of
the brandy on such a damp day.

The two went back to the woods and made their report. In the skiff there
were provisions, and Mrs. Talbot and her friends had dinner there, and
tried to keep as much out of the wet as they could. Then they waited for
dusk, and the two men and the boy looked to the priming of their
pistols.

The men, muffled in greatcoats, the woman, in fur cloak and hood, went
up to the log house in the winter twilight. Nigel beat on the door with
his fist, and after a considerable wait the door was opened by a young
fellow, who looked as if he had only just been waked from a sound nap.

Mrs. Talbot, slipping her hood back from her head, smiled at the rather
dull-looking fellow. "Can you shelter me from the storm?" she asked, in
most appealing tones. "I'm wet and cold, and I'm afraid we've lost our
way."

The boy didn't often see such a fine-looking woman, evidently no
farmer's wife, but one of the gentry. "I'll go ask Master Hugh," he
said. "Step in from the wet. This is no tavern, but a prison, my lady.
Howsomever, I'll go ask Master Hugh."

The fellow hurried away, and Mrs. Talbot and her three companions
stepped in. In a minute the serving-lad was back. "Master Hugh'll see
you in his room," he announced, jerking his head in the direction of
that apartment.

He stood aside, while the lady, Nigel and Michael went to the jailer's
room. Fergus, hanging back a minute, slipped a gold piece into the
fellow's hand, whispering, "A lady of quality. Be sure you speak her
fairly." The youth squinted at the piece of money, a coin of greater
value than any he had seen.

Master Hugh was drinking the last of the brandy as the party entered his
room. The candle-light showed that he was far more disposed to be merry
than suspicious. "A lady!" he exclaimed, getting to his feet and bowing.
"'Tis a shame things are so rude here! Be seated, my lady." Then,
recognizing Fergus and Michael, he smiled broadly. "Well met, my
friends. Sit ye down. 'Tis a raw night. We must make ourselves
comfortable." He glanced at the brandy bottle. "If I'd known company was
coming, I'd have been more ready to give welcome," he added.

Mrs. Talbot loosened her cloak and smiled at the jailer as if she was
delighted at his hospitality. "It's very agreeable here, I do assure
you, Master Hugh," she said. "Good company is better than wine or food."

"So I think," said the jailer, flattered at the lady's graciousness.

"If my son and I might go out to the kitchen to dry our feet----"
suggested Fergus.

"George, show them to the kitchen fire," the jailer ordered the boy, who
stood staring in the doorway.

Mrs. Talbot drew her chair a little closer to Master Hugh. "My skiff met
with a mishap as I was on my way to visit friends up the river," she
said. And then she used all her arts to fascinate the jailer.

Fergus and Michael followed George to the kitchen. A man was scouring an
iron pot on the hearth and looked up in some surprise. "They wants to
dry their feet," George explained.

Fergus and his son pulled off their boots, showing their wet stockings.
"Could Master Hugh spare you long enough to run down to the village and
fetch us a bottle of brandy?" Fergus asked, and he held another shining
gold piece so that George could catch its glitter.

George thought he had never seen such attractive strangers. "I think he
might," he said, and left the room in haste, intent on winning the
second coin.

The man at the hearth, seeing the gold piece, made room for the two
strangers to stand near the fire. He also grew talkative, as Fergus, in
a very friendly fashion, asked him various questions. He said there were
only four men in the house at present, Master Hugh, the boy George,
himself, and a prisoner, who lodged in a small room off the kitchen. He
indicated the door to the prisoner's room.

"We have a lady with us," Fergus said after a time. "She's cold with
being so long out in the rain. If you could build up the fire I might
ask her in here to warm herself. She'll pay you well for your trouble."
He held out a gold piece to the man, who took it readily enough, slipped
it into his pocket, and straightway commenced to put new logs on the
fire.

As the man placed the last log and turned to stand up again he found
himself confronting a pistol-barrel. "Not a word!" murmured Fergus.
"Keep your hands at your side!" He nodded to Michael, who had pulled a
cord from under his jacket. "Bind him fast," he ordered. "Now we've no
wish to do you harm," he added to his prisoner. "Only a rope round your
hands and a cloth over your mouth. We'll put a couple more gold pieces
in your pocket too, so that if you lose this place you'll have enough to
find you another."

The pistol kept the man quiet until he was bound and gagged. Then Fergus
slipped two coins into his pocket. That done, he ran to the door and
drew back the bolt. But he found the door was not only bolted, but
locked as well. He had no time to hunt for the key, so he threw himself
against the door, and at the third try found the lock gave way. On a
stool inside sat George Talbot. To his amazed master Fergus explained
quickly what they must do.

Fergus and Michael and Talbot, all in their stocking-feet, their boots
in their hands, stole down the hall. The lady who was entertaining
Master Hugh had asked Nigel to close the door behind her so as to shut
out the draught. The three men crept down the hall, past the jailer's
door, and slipped out of the house. There they drew their boots on. Then
Michael hurried his master down to the edge of the woods and the waiting
skiff.

Fergus went back to the jailer's room. "I've sent my boy to the village
to engage you a room for the night, my lady," said he. "If you are warm
and rested, we might make our start."

"Certainly," agreed the lady. She smiled at Master Hugh. "You've been
most kind to me," she said. "I shall tell all my friends how courteous a
gentleman you are."

The jailer beamed his pleasure. "'Tis a thousand shames such a gentle
lady should have to walk to the village," said he. "I own I could give
you only poor quarters here. But I could saddle you a horse." He rose.
"Where's that rascal George?"

"No, no," said Mrs. Talbot. "I'm afraid we've put you out more than we
should already." She opened a bag at her belt and laid a piece of money
on the table. "For your hospitality, Master Hugh," she said, with a
gracious smile.

The jailer made his best bow. "A pleasure, madam, a pleasure," he
assured her. "I ask no pay for that." But he let the coin lie on the
table instead of returning it.

Mrs. Talbot and Nigel and Fergus went to the door, Master Hugh after
them. There the jailer made more bows and spoke more pleasant words as
the lady fastened her cloak and pulled her hood over her hair. "You can
find the road?" he asked Fergus.

"Yes, I know the road," said Fergus.

As they left the log house they saw some one coming toward them. It was
George with the precious bottle. "Take it to Master Hugh with my
compliments," said Fergus. Then as they moved away he murmured, "That
ought to keep our friend from finding out what's happened for some
time."

They sped to the woods and the skiff. Talbot and Michael were waiting in
the boat with the sail raised. "Oh, my dear wife!" exclaimed Talbot, as
he clasped the devoted woman in his arms. "'Twas almost worth being in
such peril to find you here again!"

The skiff stole down the Rappahannock in the rain and darkness, carrying
the outlaw Talbot back to his plantation.


III

The skiff retraced its course up Chesapeake Bay. The only landings it
made were for food and water, and at such times George Talbot kept
closely hidden, while Fergus or Michael or Edward Nigel did the
parleying. For Talbot was known by sight to almost every one who lived
on the shore of the great bay, and they all knew as well that he had
been a prisoner of the governor of Virginia. News could travel
surprisingly fast through the wilderness, and the hunters and farmers,
though having the best of intentions toward him, might hinder his escape
from Lord Howard of Effingham.

The skiff brought them safely to the Susquehanna, and Talbot, his wife,
and his three friends landed and went up to his manor-house. There was
great rejoicing among all his retainers, and the story of his rescue
from the Virginia prison was told again and again, and each time it was
told it gained in thrills. But Fergus Rowan told every man, woman, and
child on the plantation that no whisper of the chief's whereabouts must
get beyond the limits of his farms. The chief was safely out of
Virginia, but Lord Howard had great influence in Maryland, and might
try to capture George Talbot again.

A fortnight later Michael, who had been sent to Baltimore City on
business, brought back word that the governor of Virginia had raised a
great hue and cry when he found his prisoner escaped, had sent his
agents into Maryland to find out where Talbot had gone, and had
compelled Lord Baltimore's own agents to help him in the search.

"The first place where they would look is here," Mrs. Talbot said to her
husband. "We must find some hiding-place for you."

"Can you think of one, Michael?" asked Talbot. "Boys are apt to know the
most concerning places to hide."

Michael thought of all the places near the plantation. "There's a cave
in the river bank up in the woods," he said presently. "I don't think
any one could find you there."

So Talbot and his wife and Michael looked for the hiding-place. The cave
was large, and was surrounded by thickets, and screened by bushes from
any one on the river. It seemed just the place that was wanted. Fergus
and Nigel were told about it, but no one else; and plans were made to
send provisions by a roundabout path.

There were wild fowl in the marshes of the river, and Talbot could hunt
them almost from the door of his cave. He caught two hawks and trained
them to catch wild fowl and so help to stock his larder. While Nigel
and Fergus kept watch at the plantation, always on the lookout for any
suspicious-appearing stranger, Michael, fowling-piece in his hand, would
make his way along the Susquehanna, and, joining his master, spend hours
with him training the pair of hawks.

The outlaw,--for that was what Talbot was now, with a price set on his
head,--had only been in hiding for a few days when officers, both of
Lord Baltimore and of the governor of Virginia, came to the plantation.
Mrs. Talbot was at the manor-house with Fergus. To the officers'
questions as to where her husband had fled, she answered with a
question: "Would he come back here, where he would expect his enemies to
be certain to search for him?"

It was clear that neither she nor Fergus would tell the men anything
they might know about Talbot. She told them to search the house and the
plantation. The officers made their search, while Michael, hunting fowls
along the river, kept watch, ready to warn his master to draw back into
his cave, in case the searchers should hunt along the bank.

The men didn't go anywhere near the cave, and left the plantation
without any inkling of where Talbot had gone. But for several days his
wife and friends were careful not to go near his hiding-place, lest
spies might be watching them.

Lord Howard of Effingham had had all ships sailing from Virginia and
Maryland searched for the fugitive. He had spread a net pretty well
over both provinces, for he was determined to catch George Talbot if he
possibly could. Another man might have given up the chase when he found
no clue, but not so the determined governor of Virginia. As a result his
agents came to the plantation time and again, and Talbot had to stay in
his hiding-place while winter changed to spring, and spring to summer,
and the next autumn came. Michael was his companion much of the time,
but idleness was hard for a man of Talbot's nature.

The people on the plantation were faithful to their master, and gave no
sign that they suspected he might be in hiding not very far away. But
such a secret was hard to keep through many months, and at last some of
Lord Baltimore's officers got wind in some way of the farmers'
suspicions. They waited until they heard from London that Lord Baltimore
had been successful in getting an order from the Privy Council of
England directing that the governor of Virginia should send Talbot to
London for trial instead of trying him in the province, and then they
swooped down on the plantation, found Talbot, and forced him to
surrender.

The outlaw chief rode to Baltimore City a prisoner. His wife went with
him, and Michael to wait on her. In the town he learned from his friends
that he was to be tried in England, not in Virginia. That was some
comfort, and his wife told him that as soon as she learned that he had
sailed for Europe she would take ship too, and meet him there. She had
friends in London, and they might have much influence with the Privy
Council.

The Maryland officers handed their prisoner over to the agents of the
Virginia governor. These took him to Lord Howard, who had him put in a
prison that was more securely guarded than the one on the Rappahannock
had been. In prison George Talbot cooled his heels for some time, while
his wife and Michael waited in Baltimore City to learn of his sailing
for England.

Lord Howard of Effingham had grown so arbitrary as governor of
Virginia,--where he had almost as much power as the king had in
England,--that, instead of obeying the order of the Privy Council and
sending his prisoner to London, he kept him in prison during the winter
of 1685, and then in April of that year actually dared to announce that
he meant to place Talbot on trial in Virginia for the killing of
Christopher Rousby.

Word of this came to Mrs. Talbot and her friends in Maryland. Lord
Howard was disobeying the law of England in not sending Talbot there for
trial, but, notwithstanding that, he might, in his tyrannical fashion,
try Talbot, convict him, and even execute him. His wife could do nothing
to prevent this if she stayed in Maryland; so, faithful and brave as
ever, she took passage in a merchantman for England, and crossed the
Atlantic Ocean, with Michael as her squire.

Michael, used to the wilderness of the colonies, with only a few
scattered settlements to break the stretches of woods and meadows,
opened his eyes very wide at the multitude of houses, the throngs of
people, that he saw in the city by the Thames. He went with Mrs. Talbot
to call on Lord Baltimore, the owner of the province of Maryland. Lord
Baltimore listened intently to Mrs. Talbot's story, and grew red in the
face with anger when he heard how the governor of Virginia was making
light of the order of the Privy Council.

"I will at once see the most influential members of the Council,
Madame," said Lord Baltimore. "I will see my friend Tyrconnel, I will go
to His Majesty himself, if need be, to secure Mr. Talbot his rights. I
knew Lord Howard to be a headstrong knave; I'd not suspicioned him to be
a traitor also! I'll bring him to time right soon!"

"It must be soon, my lord," said Mrs. Talbot. "The governor may bring
Mr. Talbot to trial any day."

"I'll go at once," Lord Baltimore assured her. "We'll have a message
sent to Virginia by the next ship out."

Mrs. Talbot and Michael went back to their lodgings, and Lord Baltimore
hastened to his influential friend Tyrconnel, who took him to the king,
James II. Hot with indignation, Baltimore denounced the illegal act of
the governor of Virginia. He made it plain that Lord Howard was actually
daring to defy His Majesty's orders in his province.

The king frowned. "Indeed, my Lord Baltimore, it does look as if our
governor of Virginia were growing somewhat overfed with pride. Our Privy
Council orders your man Talbot sent here for trial on the charge of
killing a tax-collector, and instead Lord Howard holds him and threatens
to try him there. I will teach my obstinate governor a lesson." He
turned to a page and bade him fetch writing materials.

The king wrote a few lines in his own hand, and handed the paper to
Baltimore. It was a pardon in full for George Talbot. "Send that to
Virginia as fast as you can," said the king. "If Howard fails to heed
that, I shall have to appoint another governor in his stead."

Lord Baltimore went directly to Mrs. Talbot's lodgings and showed her
the king's pardon. "We must send it to Virginia at once," said he.

"Let my boy Michael Rowan take it," said Mrs. Talbot. "There is none
would do more for my husband."

So Michael sailed for America with the precious document. His ship made
a quick passage to Virginia; and it was fortunate it did, for no sooner
had he landed at Jamestown than he heard that Talbot had been put on
trial, had been convicted of murder, and was waiting execution.

Michael carried the king's pardon to Lord Howard. The governor read it
and considered it. Apparently he realized that this was an order he did
not dare disobey. So he gave directions to his officers to set the
prisoner free.

Michael was the first friend George Talbot saw when he came out of
prison, no longer an outlaw with a price upon his head, but a free man.
"You were with me when I caused this trouble, Michael," said Talbot,
gripping the boy by the hand, "and you're with me now when the trouble's
at an end. God bless you for a faithful friend to me!"

He asked news of his wife, and when he learned that she had gone to
London and had besought Lord Baltimore to rescue him from the governor
of Virginia he said, "We must go to her, Michael. First a trip to the
plantation to get the funds and set matters straight there, and then
over the sea to England!"

So Talbot and Michael rode north to the manor-house on the Susquehanna
in the summer. It was not like the voyage in the skiff, when the outlaw
had to keep constantly in hiding. Now he rode openly, and everywhere
people who knew who he was flocked to shake his hand and welcome him
back to Maryland.

They reached the plantation and there Fergus Rowan and Edward Nigel and
all the other retainers gave their chief a great welcome. But his
thoughts were over the ocean, and he quickly gave directions what should
be done in his absence, and went to Baltimore City to take ship. He
wanted Michael to go with him, and Michael's parents consented, for the
boy was now grown to be a man, and they thought it well that he should
see something of the world.

Husband and wife met in London, and Michael made his home with them
there, serving as Talbot's secretary, and learning the ways of a world
vastly different from that of the plantation on the Susquehanna.

Talbot never returned to Maryland. He had not been in England long when
the revolution broke out that placed William of Orange on the throne.
Talbot, ever an adventurous spirit, took the side of James II and the
Stuarts, fought as a Jacobite, and when the Stuart cause was lost, went
to France and entered the service of the French king.

Michael, however, went back, was granted land by Lord Baltimore, and
made his own farm in the fertile country of northern Maryland. George
Talbot had always been more of an adventurer than a planter or farmer,
but Michael Rowan preferred to till his own fields, though he never
forgot the thrill of excitement of the days when he had served his
outlawed chief.



VI

IN THE DAYS OF WITCHES

(_Massachusetts, 1692_)


I

The schoolmaster closed his book with a snap. "That's all for to-day,"
he said. "Be sure you know your lessons well to-morrow, for I expect
visitors any day now, and I want my classes to make a good appearance."
He was a pale young man with pleasant blue eyes, and his shoulders
stooped as though he were used to sitting much of the time bent over a
table. Most boys and girls liked him, because of his kindness and
patience with them, but a few, such as there are to be found in almost
every school, made fun of him behind his back because he wasn't harsher
with them. Sometimes they made fun of him too because of his strange
pets, a lame sheep-dog, birds that had hurt their wings and couldn't fly
far, any sort of animal that other people didn't care for.

Matthew Hamlin and Joseph Glover left school together, and walked down
one of the miry streets of Salem. "My father talked about them last
night," said Matthew. "He thought I didn't hear him. He said 'Witches!'
and laughed."

"And didn't he say anything more?" demanded Joseph.

"Oh, yes. He said, 'Nonsense! A pack of old wives' tales! Folks ought to
be ashamed to hearken to such things.'"

"Well," said Joseph, "I was sitting in the corner of the smithy shop,
and two men came in, and they said to the smith, 'You've got a
good-sized chimney here, and you'd best keep an eye out, or the
witches'll be flying down it.' The smith didn't laugh; he frowned and
shook his head, and said, 'There's no telling. But if they do come, I'll
be ready for them.'"

Matthew dug his fists hard into the pockets of his jacket, and his
round, rosy face looked unusually serious. "Let's go by the smithy,
Joe," he suggested. "I'd like to have a look at the chimney."

So when they came to the next lane they turned down it, and presently
reached the wide doors of the blacksmith's shop, which stood hospitably
open. The smith was working at his anvil, striking great sparks with his
hammer as he beat a crooked horseshoe. He nodded to the two boys, who
threw their school-books on a bench, and walked over to the hearth, as
if to warm their hands.

"Well, lads," said the smith, after a minute, "and what did ye learn
to-day?" He rested his brawny arms on his hammer. "Folks tell me that
Master Thomas Appleton is mighty learned and a great teacher; and,
faith, he looks it, though I caught him chuckling on the road the other
night."

"And he laughs sometimes in school too, and tells us stories," said Joe.
"I like him. Most of us do; only that John Rowley and Mercy Booth and
Susan Parsons don't, because he caught them beating a dog and scolded
them for it. But when they talk about him, the rest of us shut them up,
don't we, Mat?"

Mat, however, appeared to be much more interested in examining the
smithy chimney than he was in Master Appleton. He had bent forward and
was trying to look up the great sooty throat. "Do you think it's big
enough for any one to come down?" he asked. "And is it clear to the
top?"

Jacob Titus, the smith, rested his hammer on the anvil, and slowly wiped
his hands on his leather apron. "Some might come down it--or fly up it,"
he answered. "Witches."

The word carried a thrill. Mat stood up straight again, facing the
smith. Joe stopped warming his hands at the blaze. Titus nodded his head
slowly. "Witches might," he said. "And they wouldn't need it clear to
the top, they wouldn't."

Joe laughed. "But there aren't such things as witches, Mr. Titus.
They're like fairies. People tell stories about them to frighten
children."

"People tell stories about them right enough," agreed the smith, "but it
ain't so sure they only do it to frighten children. They've found
witches, and proved them witches, and not so very far from Salem. A man
from Boston was in here yester eve, a likely-looking man, too, and he
stood there by the fire, where you be standing, and he gave me facts and
figures. Seems he was well acquainted with the matter. He says they hung
a woman in Charlestown for trying to cure sick people by mixing magic
with simples and herbs, contrary to what the doctors allowed, and they
found another witch at Dorchester, and yet a third at Cambridge. Seems
as if the witches sometimes took hold of children, and used their magic
on 'em so's they did strange things, things no children would do usual."

The smith's voice had grown low and mysterious, and in his interest in
the subject he had left his anvil and walked over to the boys by the
hearth. He was gazing at them when there came a sound at the door and
the boys saw a man's figure appear against the winter dusk that had
settled on the lane. Jacob Titus wheeled about. "The very man I was
speaking of!" he muttered. And in a louder voice he added,
"Good-evening, sir, good-evening."

The stranger came into the shop. He was very tall, and his black clothes
seemed to increase his height and the darkness of his face. He took off
his high-crowned hat and ran his fingers through his long, uncombed
hair. Then he flung his cloak back over his shoulders as if he found the
smithy warm. "Good-evening to you, friend smith," he said, "and to you,
young men." His voice was deep and oily, with a fawning sound to it.
"Don't let me disturb your talk. I'll rest a few minutes with your kind
permission."

Titus drew a stool near the hearth. "Sit here, sir. It happens I was
telling these boys about you, and about your talk of yester eve, about
the witches," he added.

The stranger sat down, stood his tall hat on the floor, and spread out
his fingers, fan-like, on his knees. "About the witches?" he repeated in
his deep voice. "Hardly a pleasing subject. And yet one that concerns
folks everywhere. Moreover, unless I'm mistaken, it concerns the people
of Salem very particularly."

Mat and Joe could not help being impressed; there was something very
mysterious in the man's voice and manner; he seemed to carry a strange,
uncanny atmosphere about with him, and to give the impression that, if
there were such creatures as witches, he would be precisely the person
who would know most about them. As for the smith, it was very evident
that he held his visitor in great awe.

"I told you of Goody Jones, of Charlestown," said the stranger. "I
hadn't told you of the strange case of the woman Glover, who was
laundress for John Goodwin of Boston. One day Martha, John Goodwin's
oldest daughter, who was thirteen, told her parents that the laundress
was stealing pieces of linen from the family washing. They spoke to her
about it, and the woman dared to answer them with many strange threats
and curses. Thereupon the little Martha fell down in a fit, and soon the
same thing happened to the three other children, who were eleven, seven,
and five years old. Afterward they all plainly showed that the laundress
had bewitched them; they became deaf and dumb for stretches of time,
they said they were being pricked with pins and cut with knives, they
barked like dogs and purred like cats, they could even skim over the
ground without touching it, or, in the words of the worthy Cotton
Mather, seemed to 'fly like geese.' This lasted for several weeks."

"Saints above!" murmured the smith. "To think of that!"

"Yes," went on the stranger. "Doctors and ministers studied the case,
and agreed that undoubtedly the Glover woman had bewitched the children,
and she was hanged for trading in black magic."

"Aye," agreed Jacob Titus, "no doubt she was a witch. What those
children did tallies with all stories of bewitchments."

Joe and Mat kept silent, but they could not help acknowledging to
themselves that the children had acted very much as if the woman had
bewitched them. Moreover, the stranger's manner made a great impression
on his hearers; he never smiled as he spoke, was evidently very much in
earnest, and looked tremendously wise.

His very next words served to increase this impression. "I have given
much time and thought to this matter of witches," said he, "and it's
that which has fetched me to your town of Salem. You know Salem Village,
or Salem Farms, as some appear to call it?"

Of course they all knew Salem Village, a little group of farms that lay
four or five miles out from their own town.

"There," said the stranger, "lives one Samuel Parris, minister of the
Gospel, and his family." As he spoke he made marks and lines on his leg,
as if to indicate the people he was naming. The boys looked back and
forth from his lean finger tracing these lines to his deep, glowing
eyes. "Samuel Parris," continued the speaker, "lived in the West Indies
for a time, and when he came here he brought two colored servants with
him, a man called John Indian, and his wife, who was known as Tituba,
who was part Indian and part negro. These two brought with them from the
Indies a knowledge of palm-reading, fortune-telling, second-sight, and
various strange incantations, such as the natives use there. They soon
attracted to them by these tricks a number of children, chiefly girls,
some as old as twenty, one child, Mr. Parris's daughter Elizabeth, only
nine. At first the girls simply did the tricks these Indian servants
taught them, but before long they gave signs of being bewitched in
earnest; they crawled about on their hands and knees, they spoke a
language no one could understand, they fell into trances. When these
'Afflicted Children,' as they call them, were asked who made them do
these things, they pointed to the Indian Tituba, and to two elderly
women, one named Sarah Good, the other Sarah Osburn. People have watched
these three, and they find that whenever Sarah Good quarrels with her
neighbors their cattle have been apt to sicken and die. Naturally the
three women are now under arrest. Such things savor strongly of the Evil
Eye, methinks."

"I think so too," said the smith stoutly. "That bewitching of the
neighbors' cattle is bad business!"

It was now dark outside, and the only light in the smithy was the fire
on the hearth. "Folks here in Salem should be on watch that this
witchcraft comes no nearer home," muttered the stranger in his deep
voice. "I have come here partly to warn them."

"That's good of you," said Titus.

The stranger picked up his hat, as if about to leave.

"Might we know your name?" asked the smith, very respectfully.

"Jonathan Leek," said the other. "One time I was in business with a man
of Salem, Richard Swan. He took more than his fair share of the profits
of our ventures, and left me poor. But I forgave him."

"Oh, I knew Richard Swan well," said the smith. "He died some years ago.
We all thought well of him here in Salem. His widow lives here now,
Mistress Ann Swan."

"Her house is near ours," spoke up Mat.

"The schoolmaster boards with her," volunteered Joe. "He has a little
shed at the back where he keeps his dogs."

"I forgave him," repeated Jonathan Leek in his oily tones. He put on his
high-crowned hat and stood up. "Let us all beware of the evil eye, my
friends," he added, and, drawing his cloak close about him, strode out
through the doorway.

The smith and the two boys stared after him, and then looked at each
other. He had certainly brought mysterious stories with him, and the
effect of them seemed to remain. "What was I telling you?" said Titus.
"Don't be making sport of such business." He went back to his work at
the anvil.

The boys said good-night, and left the smithy. The air was colder now
that darkness had settled on the lane, and they buttoned their coats
tight and stuck their hands in their pockets. "He knows a good deal
about them, doesn't he?" said Mat.

Joe nodded his head. "It does sound mighty strange," said he.

"I wonder what father would have said if he'd heard Mr. Leek," observed
Mat. "He couldn't have called all that just old wives' tales."

At a corner the boys parted, and Mat trudged home alone. He glanced with
new interest at the house where Mistress Swan and the schoolmaster
lived. He would have liked to know what Mr. Appleton would say about
this business of witches. Would he laugh and say, "What nonsense!" or
would he look as much impressed as Jacob Titus had looked? Jacob was no
fool, and it was very clear that this Mr. Jonathan Leek was an unusually
wise man.

But when Mat came into his own warm house, and found the sitting-room
brightly lighted and the family there, he couldn't help doubting whether
all he had just heard was true. He didn't mention the matter at all at
supper, or until he had finished his studying for the next day. When he
was through, however, he pulled his stool up to his father's chair, and
told him all that he and Joe had heard that afternoon. All, that is,
except what Mr. Leek had said about the business dealings he had once
had with Richard Swan.

"And did this make you believe in witches and the Evil Eye?" asked Mr.
Hamlin.

"I don't know," answered Mat, doubtfully. "Joe and I didn't know what to
think. The stories folks are telling about the witches and about what
they do to children and to animals are so strange; and then so many
grown-up people believe them. How's a boy to know whether they're true
or not?"

"Only by using his seven wits, Mat," said Mr. Hamlin. "Before you
believe any of these unnatural things, see them happen with your own
eyes. And when a boy or girl cries out that a witch is sticking pins
into them, make sure that they're not pretending; you know children love
to pretend things, and they like it all the better if they can get
grown people to believe what they pretend. I don't think any witch will
try sticking pins or knives in you or Joe, or make you fly over the
ground like geese. The witch won't, that is, unless you help her."

Mat chuckled. "Trust Joe and me for keeping away from creatures like
that," he declared.

Mat started whittling a whistle from a willow stick, and Mr. Hamlin
began adding a column of figures in a cash-book, but after a few minutes
he looked up at his wife, who had come into the room and was knitting.
"I can't blame the children for talking of witches and magic things," he
said, "when all the province of Massachusetts Bay seems to be thinking
about the same matters. Everybody's whispering about them, and every
man, woman, and child seems suddenly to know exactly what witches do.
Three men told me to-day about those poor women they've jailed over at
Salem Village. And the men seemed almost to believe that the women
really had dealt in witchcraft, although they were all three sober men,
and one was a minister of the Gospel."

"And I've been hearing the same things," said his wife. "Men don't do
all the gossiping, my dear."

Mr. Hamlin turned again to his cash-book, but his counting was
interrupted in a few minutes by a loud rapping at the street-door. Mat
opened the door, and Mr. Samuel Glover and his son Joe came hurrying
in. "There's strange news afoot," said Mr. Glover, "and I thought it
only neighborly to share it with you." He threw his hat and cloak on a
chair. "Some one has charged Mistress Ann Swan with dealing in
witchcraft, with being a familiar of the Evil One."

"Mistress Swan!" exclaimed husband and wife, while Mat stood listening
with his mouth wide open.

"It's said she's bewitched the children, makes them act like cats and
dogs, sends them into trances, and misuses them in many different ways."

"She's a most kind-hearted woman, and loves children dearly," said
Mistress Hamlin. "She always gives them sweets when they come to see
her."

"Aye," agreed Mr. Glover, "so the children say, but they add that she
gives them the sweets so she may have a chance to work her evil on
them."

"What children say this?" demanded Mr. Hamlin.

"Mercy Booth and Susan Parsons and John Rowley," answered Mr. Glover.
"They're the main ones."

Mat looked at Joe. "Serves 'em right," said he. "They're mean enough to
be bewitched!"

"They stone dogs and cats," put in Joe. "And the schoolmaster caught 'em
at it, and gave 'em a good scolding."

"But who started the story?" asked Mr. Hamlin. "Did the children tell
these things themselves?"

"A man who's lately come from Boston took the matter to the town
clerk," answered Mr. Glover. "It seems the children had told their
strange stories to him. His name is Jonathan Leek."

Mat gave a long whistle. "Jonathan Leek!" he echoed. "Why, he's the man
Joe and I met at the smithy!"

"Yes," said Joe, nodding vigorously. "And he knows all about
witchcraft."

"I should think he did," agreed Mat.

"Poor Ann Swan," said Mistress Hamlin. "As fine a woman as ever lived.
And to be charged with being a witch!"

"That's what I say," assented Mr. Glover. "And I'm doubtful if the
matter stops there. There's talk already that another had some part in
mistreating the children."

"Who?" demanded Mr. Hamlin.

"Who but the man who lives in the house with her, Mr. Appleton the
schoolmaster."

"And what can they say against him?" asked Mr. Hamlin. "He's as
straightforward a man as ever I met."

"He has a little shed back of the house where he keeps some dogs,"
explained the other. "The children say that he cures these dogs of
broken bones by magic. They say they've seen him do it; take a stray cur
who limps and say a few words they can't understand, and soon the dog
doesn't limp any more. And the three afflicted children say that he
makes them suffer instead of his wounded pets."

"They've been put up to this!" exclaimed Mr. Hamlin. "They'd never have
thought of all this for themselves."

"Maybe," agreed Mr. Glover. "But you know how such matters go. Speak a
word or two against a man or woman, never mind how honest they may be,
and folks seize on it, and before you know it they have a dozen ill
stories to tell against them."

"The schoolmaster a witch! I'll not believe it!" declared Mat.

"Nor will I," said Joe.

Mr. Hamlin smiled. "That's right, boys. Stand to your guns. Mr. Appleton
has some skill at setting broken bones, probably, and that's how he
mends these wounded animals. It's those who believe these charges of
witchcraft who are crazy, in my opinion; not the folks they charge with
having dealings with the Evil One. As for calling Mistress Swan a witch
because of what those children said, any woman might accuse a neighbor
of being a witch because her milk wouldn't churn into butter while that
neighbor happened to be chatting with her."

"That's about what they have said of some of their witches in Boston,"
put in Mr. Glover. "Yet, absurd as this may seem to us, it's likely to
prove fairly serious to Mistress Swan and Mr. Appleton. People don't
stop to use their wits in such affairs nowadays. Call man or woman a
witch, and you're two-thirds of the way to proving him or her one."

"But the schoolmaster!" protested Mat. He looked at Joe. "In trouble
because those three little rats don't like him! Well, you and I'll stand
by him, won't we, Joe? We'll show people that he's no more a witch than
the minister is, or than Jonathan Leek himself."

"We will," assented Joe. "I didn't like that Mr. Leek much anyway."

"And I'll help you," said Mr. Hamlin. Mr. Glover nodded his head.
"Here's four of us at least who'll stand by the schoolmaster," said he,
"and by Mistress Swan too," he added, "for she's likely to be as
guiltless as Thomas Appleton."


II

There were a great number of people in Massachusetts in 1692 who
believed in witches, and quite as many in Salem as in any other town.
Usually there was some old enmity under each charge of witchcraft,
though not always, for in some cases people made their charges
recklessly, apparently enjoying the prominence it brought them, and
thinking little of their victims. In those cases where there was some
old score being paid off, however, the populace usually gave little
attention to that side of it, but were only interested in the facts
brought out to prove that the accused person was a dealer in the Evil
Arts. As Mr. Glover said, "Call a person a witch, and you were
two-thirds of the way to actually proving that he or she was a witch."

There was school next day, as usual, and Thomas Appleton tried to
appear unconcerned about everything but his scholars' lessons. The three
afflicted children, the two girls and the boy, were not there, having
been kept at home by their parents; and the others, who had all heard
the story about the schoolmaster by now, could see that he had something
on his mind. When school was over Mat and Joe waited until Mr. Appleton
was ready to go, and then joined him on his walk home. At first they
talked about all sorts of things, but presently Mat said, "We wanted you
to know that we're friends of yours, no matter what people may say about
you."

The schoolmaster smiled, and put his hand affectionately on the boy's
shoulder. "You've heard then that people are saying that Mistress Swan
is a witch, and that I'm another?"

Both boys nodded.

"It's the most absurd story in the world," the man went on. "Mistress
Swan is kindness itself to every one, and especially to children. When
she hears of any boy or girl who's ill she takes them jellies and
puddings. I know a thousand things she's done that shows how much she
loves them."

"And we know how you care for dogs and cats and birds," put in Joe. "And
every one in school, except those three, would follow you anywhere."

Just then two women, coming along the lane, saw the schoolmaster, and
deliberately crossed to the other side so as to avoid meeting him.
Thomas Appleton reddened, and looked hurt. Then he snapped his fingers,
and muttered, "I'd like to play on my pipe, like that Pied Piper of
Hamelin Town we hear of, and dance away, taking all the children and
animals after me. It would serve you right, you evil-minded folk of
Salem!"

Presently they came to Mistress Swan's door. "Might we see the shed
where you keep your dogs?" asked Mat.

"Certainly," said the schoolmaster, and he led them to the little
building back of the house. Inside were half-a-dozen dogs, and those who
could leaped up about Appleton, licked his hands, and showed their
devotion to him. "These two," said he, pointing to a couple of collies,
"need exercise. Would you boys like to go for a walk with the three of
us?"

The boys said they would, and soon they were out in the open country
back of Salem, master and boys and dogs racing along in the nipping air.
They passed some of their school-fellows playing in a field, and these
joined them, so that presently there was quite a crowd tramping with the
schoolmaster and his dogs, and all enjoying themselves.

The schoolmaster whistled and sang and laughed as if he had quite
forgotten what people were saying about him in Salem; but when they were
back at Mistress Swan's gate, and all but Joe and Mat had left, he
frowned. "Poor Mistress Swan!" he said. "She can't throw off her
troubles as easily as a man can. And I doubt if any of the neighbors
have come in to see her."

"We'll come in," said Joe; and as soon as the dogs were housed again
they went in with Mr. Appleton. They found Mistress Swan, a pink-cheeked
woman with soft gray hair, working on a sampler at a window. "I'm right
glad to see you, Mat, and you too, Joe," she said. "Thomas, will you
fetch some apples from the pantry?"

The schoolmaster brought the apples, and the boys sat near the window,
eating them, and told her of their tramp in the country. Neither Mat nor
Joe could see anything that made them think of a witch in this
sweet-faced woman.

While they were chatting a resounding thump came at the front door, and
when Mr. Appleton opened it, three grim-faced men walked in. One was the
town clerk, and the other two were constables of Salem. They marched
into the room, with never a bow or "By your leave," or smile of
greeting. Mistress Swan grew a trifle pale, and the boys stood up. "What
do you want?" demanded the schoolmaster in a low voice.

"We want Mistress Swan," answered the town clerk, his eyes very stern
and forbidding. "She stands accused of dealing in Black Arts and other
evil business. She must go with us to the jail, there to await
examination of the charges brought against her."

"It's an infamy," cried the schoolmaster, "and a lie! You've known
Mistress Swan for years, and you know her to be as innocent as your own
wives!"

The town clerk glowered at Thomas Appleton. "Have a care," said he, his
voice like steel scraping on iron. "Have a care lest it be your turn
next, Master Appleton."

"I care nothing for that," hotly retorted the master. "Gladly would I go
with you in Mistress Swan's place. But to think that you charge her, the
soul of gentleness and kindness to every one, with such an infamous
thing! What can you be thinking of? How can any man or woman or child in
Salem bring such charges against Mistress Swan?"

"They have been brought, nevertheless," responded the clerk. "There are
three children claim to have been bewitched by her, and there is a man,
Jonathan Leek, who tells of strange happenings."

"Jonathan Leek?" exclaimed Mistress Swan. "He? Why, 'tis he who claimed
my husband owed him money, and has tried to get payment from me. But we
owed him no money. He's an evil, tale-bearing man; but he knows I am not
guilty of such wicked things as these."

"All that you can answer to the court," said the clerk. "My business is
only to see you taken into custody."

"Is there no way by which she may stay here?" asked Appleton. "I will
promise that she will be here when you want her. Or take me as hostage
for her."

"She must come," said the clerk. "There's been enough talk, and to
spare. Get your cloak and come."

Mistress Swan rose, folded the sampler and put it away in a closet, and
got out her cloak and hood. She held out her hand to the schoolmaster.
"You've stood by me like an honest man, Thomas. God grant they don't
drag you into this!"

He took her offered hand and his eyes glowed as he looked into her face.
"If they do you a wrong they shall suffer for it," said he. "There are
honest men in Salem as well as knaves."

She smiled at the two boys, who were taking in every incident of the
strange scene, and walked out through her doorway, followed by the three
grim-looking men.

Mr. Appleton paced the floor. "Infamous!" he exclaimed. "The lies of
three wicked children and a villain to stand against the spotless life
of such a woman as she! What is Salem coming to? It should hide its head
in the ocean for very shame of such a crime! Witchcraft! Yes, there must
be witchcraft to make people believe such lies!" He stopped and looked
at the boys. "What was the name of this man who brought the charges?"

"Jonathan Leek," answered Mat. "Joe and I heard him talking yesterday at
the smithy. A tall black man from Boston, who seemed to know a great
deal about witches."

"I will find him," said Appleton. "I will make him take back these words
about Mistress Swan, or I will cram them down his throat!"

"But, Master Appleton," said Joe, "suppose he should make the same
charges against you. He's a dangerous man. And then you would be
arrested, and couldn't be of any help to Mistress Swan."

The schoolmaster stared at Joe. "That's true," he answered slowly. "I
must keep my head, and tread right warily. Yes, I must not tell these
rascals what I have in my mind about them. But Mistress Swan must be
saved. And, to speak the truth, I don't know where I can go for help to
save her."

"Joe's father and mine will help," said Mat eagerly. "They both know
Mistress Swan. And the children at school will help, and perhaps their
fathers too. We'll go home now, and tell what has happened." He picked
up his hat, and ran out of the house, Joe at his heels.

They went straight to Mr. Hamlin's house, and, finding him and his wife
at home, told them of the arrest of Mistress Swan. "I expected as much,"
said Mat's father. "All Salem is talking witchcraft to-day, and they
tell the most outrageous stories of Mistress Swan, and worst of all,
half the people seem to believe them."

"I heard a woman say to-day that Ann Swan gave her baby the croup last
December," said Mistress Hamlin. "They're laying every ache and pain
their children ever had at her door now. It's scarcely to be believed
that people can be so wicked against a kind woman they've known all
their lives."

"But what's to be done?" said Mr. Hamlin. "As matters stand the court
may find Mistress Swan guilty of witchcraft without any to say a word
on her behalf."

"Would they listen to me?" asked Mat. "I could tell them how mean and
cruel and hateful John Rowley and Mercy Booth and Susan Parsons are, and
what the rest of us at school think about them." He thought a minute.
"And as to that man, Jonathan Leek, I'd say that both Joe and I thought
him much like a snake."

"Jonathan Leek?" said Mr. Hamlin. "Tell me all you know about him, Mat."

Mat, aided by Joe, told what he had heard Mr. Leek say at the smithy,
and also what he had heard Mistress Swan say about him that afternoon.
Mr. Hamlin got paper and pen and made notes, and then they planned what
might be said in answer to the charges against Mistress Swan. "You bring
Master Appleton here after school to-morrow, Mat," said his father.
"Then we'll see what can be done to clear Mistress Ann's good name."

School met next morning, but there was more excitement than on the day
before, for all the boys and girls had heard how Susan Parsons and Mercy
Booth and John Rowley were telling the most remarkable stories about
being bewitched. The schoolmaster tried to teach the lessons, but it was
plain that he was worried, and that his thoughts were not on the work.
Just before the noon recess, Joe, who was reciting, saw Master Appleton
look up and then stare at the door at the farther end of the room. Joe
turned round to see what was the matter. In the doorway stood the town
clerk, with the same two men who had been at Mistress Swan's.

The clerk walked down the passageway between the benches, while all the
children stared. He went up to the master's desk, stepped up on the low
platform, and laid his hand on Master Appleton's shoulder. He was
smiling, as though he took a certain pleasure in the work on hand.
"Thomas Appleton," he said, "I arrest you in the name of the court of
Salem. You are charged with witchcraft."

The schoolmaster pulled his shoulder away from the clerk's hand. He
looked very proud and unconcerned at the charge, as though he were
defying all the officers of Salem. "Very good," said he. "You have
arrested better people than me for such hocus-pocus. I should feel
honored." He shut the school-book that lay open on his desk, and smiled
at the children on the front row of benches. "I suppose, Master Clerk,"
he said, "that you chose this hour, when you knew I would be busy with
my scholars, to come to arrest me, so that they might all see the
entertainment, and thus make my arrest as public as possible."

"It is some of your own scholars who bring part of the charges against
you," retorted the clerk.

"Aye, I know," said Master Appleton. "But they are not here now. Those
who are here know me better." He looked at the boys and girls, who were
watching intently. "I'm sorry to leave you," he said. "There will be no
school for several days, not until they can find another master to take
my place. They say I deal in witchcraft, that I take wounded animals and
cure them by sending their aches into children, that I can bewitch you
so that you do strange things you couldn't do otherwise. These are just
fairy tales, nonsense, the most absurd of stories. I know no more of
witches than any one of you. There are no such things as witches, there
is no such thing as the Evil Eye. But people in Massachusetts are
believing in them, men and women here in Salem are letting themselves
believe such nonsense. None can say what they will do next. Yet you boys
and girls know there are no such evil spirits; you must stand for the
right and the truth, and deny such falsehoods. You will, I know. You
must help to save Salem such disgrace."

The children were still for a moment, and then Mat spoke up. "Of course
there are no witches," he said. "We're old enough to know that." He
looked round the room. "All who think as the schoolmaster does, stand
up," he commanded.

Every boy and girl stood up.

"I knew it," said the schoolmaster. He turned, smiling, to the clerk.
"The children are wiser than their elders," he said. "There is some hope
for Salem."

"A very pretty scene," answered the clerk, sarcastically. "But the court
may take a different view of it; they might even think you had the
children bewitched so's they'd do exactly what you tell 'em to."

"Yes, they might," agreed Master Appleton. "They might use anything
against me. To some minds innocence is always the best proof of guilt.
Yet I didn't bewitch the children; I have only taught them their
lessons, as I was paid to do." He took his hat and cloak from the peg
behind his desk. "I am at your service."

Smiling at his scholars, Master Appleton walked down the aisle to the
door. As he passed Mat he said, "See to the dogs for me, will you? I
shouldn't like them to go hungry."

Mat bobbed his head.

The schoolmaster went out into the lane, with his three guards, while
the children crowded to the door and watched until he turned the corner.


III

The fear of witches, like the fear of the plague in the Middle Ages,
spread over Massachusetts with amazing rapidity in that winter and
spring of 1692, and found one of its chief centers at Salem. Men and
women of standing and education were arrested, as well as those who had
few friends and little learning, and the wildest and most improbable
stories about their actions were told and were believed. As day followed
day the three "afflicted children," John Rowley, Susan Parsons, and
Mercy Booth, told more and more fantastic tales about Mistress Swan and
Master Appleton, and Jonathan Leek spread these stories so thoroughly
that soon there was not a man, woman, or child in Salem, or in the
neighboring country, who had not heard how the accused schoolmaster and
Ann Swan had bewitched the three. To hear a story about witchcraft at
that time was usually to believe it, and many people had condemned the
man and woman in their own minds long before the court took up the case
against them.

Mat's family, and Joe's family, however, started out with the
determination to save Mistress Swan and Thomas Appleton if it could be
done. Then these two boys urged their schoolmates, none of whom could
believe that the teacher they were so fond of was a witch, to ask their
parents to speak kindly of the two accused persons, and so there was
soon quite a little party in Salem who protested that the two were
innocent. Of course there were many, largely of the more ignorant class,
like Jacob Titus, the blacksmith, and people who had listened to
Jonathan Leek and fallen under his influence, who felt certain that the
schoolmaster and Ann Swan were able to ride about on broomsticks when
they had a mind to. Strange to say, some of the ministers of Salem took
this view too.

Mr. Hamlin went to the jail and talked with both the prisoners, he
visited the houses of the three "afflicted children" and watched their
strange performances, and he sought out Jonathan Leek, who had suddenly
become a very prominent person, and listened to his oily and mysterious
speeches. Then he wrote letters to friends in Boston, and after a while
he began to find out facts that were scarcely creditable to Mr. Leek's
reputation. He had been driven out of Boston because of the falsehoods
he had uttered about people there; he was described as a cheat, a
swindler, and a man who tried to get money from men and women by
threatening to accuse them of various crimes. Mr. Glover helped in this
work, and so did the two boys, and in addition the boys looked after the
dogs in the schoolmaster's little hospital and reported to Master
Appleton how his charges were getting on.

People were being condemned and hung as witches in Salem Village and
other places, and things did not look too cheerful for Mat's two
friends. Yet they were both full of patience and courage, and when
people came to them and tempted them to admit that they had ill-treated
the children, had used magic on them, or worked some spell over them,
they always indignantly denied the charges and said such stories were
utterly absurd. "I never raised a finger against a child in my life,"
said Mistress Swan at one such time, "and I never will, no matter what
those three may say about me, or what you may do to me." And Master
Appleton would say, "Yes, it is true I have cured a number of dogs, but
not by sending their ills into these children. Surely you must know that
I care as much for children as for animals! Otherwise you'd make me no
better than an ogre."

"He is an ogre!" cried Jonathan Leek, when he heard what Master Appleton
said. He pointed his lean hand at the crowd who had gathered around him.
"Many a schoolmaster is an ogre in disguise, and chooses that work so
that he may prey on children! I know; I have seen such men before." And
his manner was so impressive as he said this that many people nodded
their heads and murmured to each other that doubtless he was right.

So matters stood when the two prisoners, whose cases were so much alike
that they were to be considered together, were put on trial in Salem.
Mr. Hamlin and Mr. Glover were there, and their sons, and a lawyer they
had engaged to represent them. The court room was full to overflowing,
and very warm, for it was midsummer.

"How could any one believe those two guilty of such evil deeds?" said
Mr. Hamlin to his friends, as he looked at the kind and gentle Mistress
Swan and the frank-faced Thomas Appleton.

"People have believed such charges of men and women who look full as
innocent," answered Mr. Glover.

Many there in the court room believed that these two were witches as
they listened to the stories the three "afflicted children" told, and
heard Jonathan Leek and other grown men and women testify as to strange
doings they had witnessed. Through all this the two prisoners simply
looked at their fellow-townsfolk, as if wondering that such stories
could be told of them, and when they were asked by the judges if they
had done any of these things, each simply denied all knowledge of such
events.

Then Mr. Hamlin's lawyer rose, and he had neighbors of Mistress Swan
tell how they had always respected her and how highly they thought of
her, and how kind she had always been to their children. After that Mr.
Hamlin told what he had discovered about the man Jonathan Leek, how Leek
had demanded money from Mistress Swan, and how she had refused to give
him any money, saying that her husband had never owed Leek anything as a
result of their business dealings. Here the lawyer presented an
account-book that showed that, as an actual fact, Jonathan Leek had owed
Richard Swan money, instead of the account standing the other way about.
Leek looked very angry and indignant as Mr. Hamlin and the lawyer
related all these affairs to the court, and when the account-book was
shown he jumped up, protesting loudly, saying, "Figures have nothing to
do with the fact of this woman's being a witch!" But the lawyer retorted
very quickly, "These figures have much to do with the reason why you
charged this woman with witchcraft!"

When Mr. Hamlin told what he had learned of Jonathan Leek's leaving
Boston the man in black squirmed in his seat, and grew so yellow of face
that Mat whispered to Joe, "He looks like a witch himself now, doesn't
he?" There wasn't much left of the stranger's character when Mr. Hamlin
had finished with him, and even those people who had believed most
implicitly in him began to murmur their doubts to each other.

Then came the chance for Mat to tell what he knew of Mistress Swan and
Master Appleton. He told how the other children in school had never
liked the three "afflicted children." "Those three liked to hurt
animals," said he. "They stoned cats and dogs, they caught young birds,
and hurt them, and when Master Appleton told them not to be so cruel
they made faces at him and told false stories about him behind his back.
Sometimes he would rescue birds and dogs from them, and try to mend
their hurts, and he has a lot of dogs now in a shed back of Mistress
Swan's house, poor dogs that nobody else would look after, and most of
them he's cured of some hurt. None of us boys in school would believe a
word those three others would say, least of all about Master Appleton,
and we'd all expect them to say ill things about him whenever they got
the chance." Mat said more about the schoolmaster, and Joe followed him,
and then other children, and they were all so evidently sincere, and
showed such affection for the teacher that people began to look more
kindly at him, and to whisper that they'd always heard he was popular at
school. "Against the word of one boy and two girls, who had their own
reasons for disliking this master, we have the witness of these other
children, who all respect and admire him," said the lawyer. "True it is
that he has an almshouse for maimed and neglected animals in his yard,
but should that not rather speak to his credit than against his honesty?
He may know more than most of us about curing sores and broken bones;
but would you accuse a physician of dealing in witchcraft or evil arts
because he helped the suffering who came to him? If you would, then
there must be evil in all men who help their neighbors!"

Here Jacob Titus, standing in the back of the court room, murmured
behind his hand to the man next him, "I always had my doubts of those
who deal in herbs and such like. There's something magical in the best
of it. And when it's a matter of dogs, why----" he shrugged his
shoulders, meaning clearly enough that that was carrying magic pretty
far.

There were others who thought as the blacksmith did, for many, having
once got the notion that Mistress Swan and Master Appleton were witches,
couldn't find any way to get that idea out of their heads. Others were
wavering in their opinions, however, and thinking that there might
perhaps be as much truth in the words of this woman whom they had always
known and this schoolmaster of such former good repute as in the words
of three spoiled children and a man who had been driven out of Boston
for misdeeds.

"There may be witches," the lawyer said, "though it happens that I've
never met with any such myself. There are rumors of witchcraft all
through this province of Massachusetts to-day, and many stories are told
that could scarcely be understood as following the course of nature. But
if we let ourselves suspect such evil things of our neighbors so
readily, who knows when others may suspect such dealings of us as
easily? You," he said, and by chance he was looking at a stout man in
front of him, "may be accused to-morrow because your neighbor's cow
sickened on the day you helped him harvest his crops. You," he looked at
a forbidding-featured woman in a great gray bonnet, "may be called a
witch next week because your suet puddings were too rich for the stomach
of your maid. Or you," and his glance fell on a minister, who sat with a
Bible clasped in his hand, "may be charged with dealings with the Evil
One because your chimney smoked and the sparks frightened a horse upon
the road so that he ran away. This is how such easy suspicions go.
Within a month we may all be witches and warlocks, each man and woman
accusing their nearest neighbors."

A murmur of protest rose; the idea was not to be put up with; and yet
every one there knew that there was much truth in the speaker's words.

"It happens that three children and a man from Boston have hit upon
these two prisoners as their victims," went on the speaker, now looking
at the judges, "instead of aiming their shafts at you or me. Yet are
you or I any more honest than this woman who has befriended others, or
this man who teaches and cares for maimed dogs? Are we to be their
judges? Then, as we consider the charges against them, let us remember
that men might bring charges of evil against us also, and consider
whether we know ourselves to be more innocent than they. Look at
Mistress Swan! Look at Thomas Appleton! Are these two witches? Why, men
of Salem, the very children laugh at such a charge!"

The speaker sat down amid a tense silence. The judges withdrew,
considered the matter in private, and then, returning, announced that in
their opinion the charges of witchcraft against Mistress Swan and Master
Appleton had not been proved by the evidence, and that the two prisoners
might return to their homes. There was a buzz of excited talk for a few
minutes, then neighbors and friends crowded round Mistress Swan and the
schoolmaster and said they had never really believed the evil reports of
them.

So these two innocent people returned to their home, and men and women
who had been in doubt before as to whether they should believe the tales
of magic now said they had always considered the three "afflicted
children" mischievous brats and wondered that their parents hadn't
whipped them for telling such monstrous falsehoods. As for Jonathan
Leek, when he found that he had no chance to injure Mistress Swan, and
knew that people in Salem were beginning to hear the true story of his
earlier career in Boston, he departed from Salem in haste, probably to
carry his ready-made charges of witchcraft to other towns, where there
might be people against whom he cherished grudges.

Thomas Appleton returned to his school, and the children liked him
better than ever, and brought him so many lame and footsore dogs to care
for that he said he should have to take the largest building in town to
house them all. The three "afflicted children" didn't go back to school,
though no one knew whether that was because their parents thought they
wouldn't be popular there after what had happened, or because they still
considered that the schoolmaster might bewitch them.

Naturally enough it took Mistress Swan and Master Appleton some time to
forgive their townsfolk for treating them so badly. But the people did
their best to show them how sorry they felt that they had ever suspected
them of evil dealings, and in time the two returned to their old
attitude of friendliness toward all their neighbors. Neither of them was
the kind to cherish a grudge.

Other people in Massachusetts, however, who were charged with being
witches were not so fortunate as Ann Swan and Thomas Appleton. Some were
found guilty and were executed for witchcraft. Then, when this strange
and inhuman superstition had run its course, popular feeling changed
quickly. Men and women became ashamed of what they had said and done.
The fear of witches passed into history and became only a strange
delusion of the past. But it had been a very real fear in Massachusetts
in 1692.



VII

THE ATTACK ON THE DELAWARE

(_Pennsylvania, 1706_)


I

Jack Felton, coming back to his home from the woods that lay north of
the town of Philadelphia, on a day in May, 1706, stopped at his
friend's, Gregory Diggs, the shoemaker, to ask for a bit of leather for
a sling he was making. There was an amusing stranger there, a round,
red-faced man, lolling back in his chair, one knee crossed over the
other. Small, sharp-featured Gregory was driving pegs into the sole of a
boot while he listened to the other's talk. The stranger nodded to Jack.
"Howdy-do, my fine young Quaker lad," said he. "Do your boots need
mending?"

"I want a piece of leather for my sling," said Jack.

"Oho, so you're playing David, are you? Well, I tell you what, this
settlement of Penn's is going to need all the Davids it can muster one
of these fine days. And that day's not so far off, my friends."

"What do you mean?" asked Jack, sitting down in the doorway.

"I mean," said the stranger, "that you simple folk along the Delaware
are like fat sheep that the wolves have sighted. Sea-wolves, they are."
He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his plump knees. "Have you ever
heard of a Frenchman named De Castris?"

"I have," said Gregory.

"I haven't," said Jack.

"Well, the Frenchman has four fast frigates, and he's been cruising up
and down the coast between Long Island and the Chesapeake capes, looking
for English prey. He chased two small English corvettes up the Delaware
almost to Newcastle. He's captured over a score of merchant ships, and a
week ago he landed at Lewes for water and provisions, and carried off
the pick of the live stock there."

"And what would you have us do, Mr. Hackett?" asked Gregory, picking up
another boot. "Arm, and march up and down the river bank? We're
peaceable people. We try not to make any enemies, and so we don't expect
any enemies to come against us. See how friendly we've lived with the
Indians, while the Virginians have been fighting them all the time."

The other man smiled, that superior, much-amused smile of the wise man
arguing with the ignoramus. "And the sheep don't make enemies of the
wolves either," said he. "The sheep are peaceable beasts, tending to
their own concerns. But that doesn't keep the wolves from preying on
them, does it? Not by a long chalk, my friend Diggs. As for the Indians,
it's only your good fortune that you haven't stirred them up to attack
you. You don't think they care any more for you because you make
treaties with them, and give them beads and trinkets for their land, and
smoke their pipe of peace?"

"We've been thinking that," answered Gregory. "We thought we'd been
treating them as good Christians should."

"Oh, you foolish Quakers!" said Hackett. "You're worse than sheep;
you're like the ostriches that stick their heads in the sand. Look here.
Suppose the Indians should drink too much fire-water some day and make a
raid on your farms; where would your treaties be then? Or
suppose,--what's much more likely,--that this French privateer captain
should take it into his head to sail up the Delaware and levy a ransom
on your prosperous people, and maybe carry off some of your fine Quaker
gentlemen as prisoners. What would you do then?"

Gregory scratched his head. "I suppose we'd try to fight them off," he
concluded.

"But you wouldn't be ready. You wouldn't have enough guns, and powder
and shot. And you wouldn't know what to do with the guns if you had
them."

"Well," the shoemaker repeated patiently, "what would you have us do,
Mr. Hackett?"

"I want you to prepare, Diggs, I want you to prepare. That's what His
Majesty's other colonies have done. I want you to make sure you have
enough guns and ammunition on hand, and know how to use the muskets. I
want you to set sentries along the river and outposts through the
country to give you warning of any possible attack. And above all I want
you to get rid of this Quaker notion that you can go on getting rich and
prosperous without rousing envy in your neighbors."

"You don't see much riches right here," said Gregory, glancing round at
his simple, meagrely-furnished shop.

"No, not here, my honest old friend," agreed Hackett, and he got up and
slapped the shoemaker on the shoulder in a friendly fashion. "But most
of the Philadelphia people aren't like you. They're fat and easy-going,
and they wear good clothes and live in fine houses. They like their
comfort, these people of William Penn."

"They look more like you than like me," said Gregory, smiling.

The stout man laughed. "Why, so they do, so they do. But don't put me
down for one of them! I'm no Quaker, Diggs. I'm a good Church of England
man, and I believe in musket and powder-horn." He picked up his
walking-stick, which leaned against his chair, and flourishing it round
his head shot it forward toward Jack Felton as if it had been a
dueling-sword. "There, my young friend," said he, "how would you parry
that? But I forget, Quaker lads aren't taught how to fence."

Jack laughed at the attitude the stout man had struck. "I know how to
shoot with a bow, even if I can't fence," he retorted.

"Shoot with a bow--faugh, that's Indian warfare. Sword and musket's
what we want, Master--I don't know your name."

"Jack Felton," said Gregory. "And he's the son of one of those very
prosperous Quakers you were speaking of, Mr. Hackett."

"So?" said Hackett. "Well, I trust, Master Felton, that you see the
common sense of my argument, and will persuade your father that it's not
unlikely this French buccaneer De Castris may take it into his head to
visit Philadelphia some day." He put on his hat and picked up his cloak.
"I'm on my way to visit my old friend Governor John Evans, and tell him
of the reports I bring from Chesapeake Bay."

Jack stood up to let Mr. Hackett pass him, and then stepped into the
shop. "Is what he says about Philadelphia and the Quakers true?" he
asked the shoemaker.

"I hardly know, Jack. The Friends don't believe in fighting, and maybe
we're not as well prepared for defense as most of our neighbors. We've
kept peace with the Indians by treating them fairly. Charles Hackett
comes from Maryland, where they've had lots of trouble with Indians and
every man goes armed."

"Suppose that French captain came up the Delaware and did what Mr.
Hackett thought he might?" suggested Jack.

Gregory shook his head. "I don't know what we'd do. I take it I'm like
most of the others; I don't like to borrow trouble, Jack."

Jack got the leather for his sling and started home. The stranger's
words stuck in his mind, however. He didn't like to think an enemy might
come up the Delaware and do as he pleased with Philadelphia. It seemed
to him that Mr. Hackett might be right, that the people ought to be
prepared to defend themselves.

Mr. Felton lived in a big house at the corner of Second and Pine
Streets. He was a well-to-do Quaker and a friend of John Evans, the
Deputy Governor who represented William Penn in the province. After
supper Jack told his father what he had heard at the shoemaker's.
"That's idle talk," said his father. "The Frenchman wouldn't think of
coming to Philadelphia, and if he did we've plenty of men here to
protect the town."

"But how do you know they'd do it?" Jack asked. "Friends don't believe
in fighting, the stranger said."

"We don't unless we have to," agreed Mr. Felton. "Don't you bother about
such things, Jack. Leave it to Governor Evans."

Mr. Felton, however, thinking the matter over, decided that perhaps the
governor ought to know that people were talking about a possible attack
by the French privateers, and so he wrote a note and sent it over by
Jack that evening to the governor's house.

Jack thought he would like to speak to the governor himself, so he gave
the servant his name, but not his father's note. The servant reported
that Governor Evans would be glad to see Master Felton in his private
office.

In the office sat the governor and Mr. Charles Hackett. The governor
read Mr. Felton's note. When he looked up he saw that Hackett was
smiling at Jack. "So you've met before, have you?" he said. "It's odd
that this note should be on the very matter we were discussing,
Charles." He handed it to his guest, who read it rapidly.

"So you told your father of our little chat at the shoemaker's, did
you?" said Hackett. "What did he say to it?"

"He didn't say very much," Jack answered. "He told me not to bother
about it."

"You see," said Hackett, looking at the governor. "He said not to
bother. That's what all your good Quaker folks will say, I dare
venture."

Governor Evans looked very thoughtful. He stroked his smooth-shaven
cheek with his hand. "You may be right," he said finally. "They are a
hard people to rouse, beyond question. I think we'd better try the plan
you and I were talking of, the messenger from New Castle arriving in the
morning with news of what happened there."

"Make the message strong," advised Hackett. "Burning, plundering, and
pillage."

Governor Evans nodded his head. "To-morrow will be weekly meeting-day,"
he said thoughtfully. "That'll be as good a time as any to try the
plan." He turned to Jack. "Thank your father for his message, and tell
him that I've already heard the news of the French frigates he speaks
of. Good-night."

Jack bowed to the governor and to Mr. Hackett, who beamed at him and
waved his hand in friendly salute.

Mystified at the governor's words about a messenger from New Castle and
at Mr. Hackett's mention of burning, plundering, and pillage, Jack went
home, and gave his father the governor's answer to his note. He went to
bed, wondering if it was possible that this quiet little town of
Philadelphia, so peaceably settled on the shore of the Delaware, could
possibly be the object of an enemy's attack.

Next day was meeting-day, and as Jack, his father and mother, his
younger brother and sister, went to the red brick meeting-house,
Philadelphia was calmly basking in the sunshine of a bright May morning.
As Mr. Hackett had said, most of the people looked prosperous. William
Penn, the proprietor of the province of Pennsylvania, had been generous
in his dealings with the settlers. Land was plentiful, and farms, with
average care and cultivation, produced splendid crops. The houses in the
section near the Delaware, which was the central part of town, stood in
their own gardens, with carefully kept lawns and flower-beds. People
gave each other friendly greetings in passing. It would have been hard
to find a more peaceful-looking community.

Jack sat quietly through the meeting, and then hurried out of the
meeting-house to join some other boys. A change had come over the street
outside. People were hurrying along it; some were talking excitedly on
the corners. Two stout men, who looked as if they rarely took any
exercise, were going at a double-quick pace toward Chestnut Street.

"What are they hurrying for?" Jack asked the two other boys who had come
from the meeting-house.

"I don't know," answered George Logan.

"Let's go see," said Peter Black.

The three started for Chestnut Street, a couple of squares away. As they
ran along other boys and men joined them, people who were talking
stopped and headed after the crowd, almost all those who had been to
Meeting showed their curiosity by walking in the same direction. The
quiet street was filled with bustle and noise.

There were many people at the crossing of Third and Chestnut Streets;
indeed it looked as if most of Philadelphia was there. Jack caught
snatches of sentences. "A messenger from down the river." ... "Word from
New Castle." ... "Going to attack us." ... "The French ships":--such
were some of the words.

The boys made their way through the crowd until they looked up Chestnut
Street. People were flocking down there too. Jack didn't know there
were so many people in the town as he saw in the streets. Then out from
Fourth Street rode three men on horseback and came down Chestnut toward
the thickest of the crowd. The riders were Governor Evans, his
secretary, and Charles Hackett.

The governor reined up and held out his gloved hand to silence the babel
of voices. "I have news for you!" he cried. The crowd quieted. "A
messenger has come from New Castle with word that a French squadron is
sailing up the Delaware! They have chased two English ships up the bay!
Their crews landed at Lewes, burned the town, plundered and pillaged,
and carried off prisoners and cattle! To arms, lest we share the same
fate! To arms, to defend our homes and families! Get your arms and make
ready to obey the orders I shall issue later!" He drew his sword and
pointed it toward the Delaware. "Let us show the enemy we are ready for
him!"

There was a moment's silence, then a few shouts, then the crowd began to
make away by the side-streets, talking excitedly, gesticulating, very
much startled at the governor's news. They knew that the English and
Dutch settlements along the Atlantic Ocean had often had to defend
themselves against enemies, both white and red, but here in Pennsylvania
there had practically been no need of defense; they had always been on
good terms with their Indian neighbors, and no other enemies had
appeared. Now the French privateers meant to treat their town as they
had already treated Lewes. Burn, plunder, and pillage! There was no good
reason for such an attack. They had done nothing to harm the French.
They couldn't understand why any one should wish to make war on them
when they were such peaceable people, always strictly minding their own
business. Yet there were the governor's words that the French frigates
were sailing up the Delaware, and word had already reached the town
through other channels telling of the attack on Lewes, though the other
reports hadn't made the matter out as bad as had the governor's
messenger. Well, it looked as though, Quakers or not, they would have to
do as Governor Evans bade.

Jack ran all the way home. Everywhere people were telling each other the
news. Even in front of the meeting-house there was an excited group.
Philadelphia was no longer peaceful; there was an entirely new thrill in
the air.

Jack's family had not yet returned. He hurried into the house, and up to
the attic where his father's musket hung on the wall. He took it down,
he found a powder-horn in a chest, he pulled out a sword from behind
some boxes in a corner. With musket and sword and powder-horn in his
arms he went down-stairs. The family were just coming in from the
street. He held out sword and musket. "Here are our arms, father!" he
exclaimed.

Mr. Felton could not help smiling at the excited face of his son. "You
don't intend to be caught napping, do you, Jack?" said he. "Well, I
don't think the French will attack us before dinner. You'd better put
the weapons away for a while."


II

There were not many people in Philadelphia who took the governor's call
to arms as lightly as did Mr. Felton. Most of them were scared half out
of their wits, and pictured to themselves the French raiders marching
into their houses and carrying off all their valuables, to say nothing
of ill-treating themselves. They did not stop to consider that the men
of Philadelphia must greatly outnumber the raiders, and that, properly
armed, they ought to have little trouble in keeping the enemy at bay.
All they appeared to think of was that the enemy were fierce, fighting
men, and that they must hand over their precious household goods at the
pirates' demand.

Many households had no firearms at all, for the province had had small
need of them. But even where there were muskets the men seemed very
little disposed to make them ready for use. The Quakers didn't want to
fight, that was the long and short of it. Wherever men did get out their
muskets and prepare to obey the governor's summons to defense they were
in almost all cases men who were not Quakers. But the Quakers did not
intend to hand over their valuables if they could possibly help it.

Some bundled their silver and other prized possessions into carriages
and wagons and drove their families out into the country, far from the
Delaware. They took shelter in farmhouses and even in barns, intending
to stay there until the French frigates should have come and gone.
Others simply took their possessions out of town and hid them in the
woods, returning to their homes in town. Every one seemed to be busy
hiding whatever they could; much more concerned about that than about
preparing for defense, as Governor Evans wanted.

Though his father was inclined to go slowly both in arming and in hiding
their valuables, Jack Felton was not. The boy who lived in the next
house, Peter Black, had a talk with Jack right after dinner. Peter
Black's mother was a widow, and Peter felt that it was his duty to save
the family heirlooms, as he saw the neighbors planning to save theirs.
So Peter and Jack hurried out into the country north of Philadelphia.
Since the French ships would come from the south they thought the
northern country would be the safer. Their road took them by Gregory
Diggs' shop, on the outskirts of town, and they stopped there for a few
minutes.

The little shoemaker had his gun lying on the table. "Well, Master
Jack," he said, grinning, "I hear the governor's given the alarm. I got
out my gun so as not to disappoint Mr. Hackett if he comes along."

"We're going to look for a good place to hide things," said Jack. "What
are you going to do with the things in your house?"

Gregory looked round his shop, at the unplastered walls, the plain,
home-made furniture, the few pots and pans that stood near his hearth.
"I don't think there's much here for me to hide," said he. "The French
can take all my goods if they want to. I could make boots out under a
tree if they care to burn my house. You see that's one of the advantages
of being poor, you don't lose any sleep thinking about robbers."

"Peter's mother has a lot of things the raiders might take," explained
Jack. "Do you know a good hiding-place?"

"There's a place up in the woods, along a creek, that ought to be pretty
safe," said Gregory. "I'll go along to show you."

Shouldering his musket, which seemed to be his one valuable possession,
the shoemaker led the two boys along the road to the woods. There he
took a path that presently brought them to a little stream. The banks
were covered with violets right down to the water's edge. "There's a
cave in the bank a little farther up-stream," he said. "I'll show you
some stepping-stones."

They crossed by the stones and found the place where the bank revealed
an opening. It was quite large enough to hold all that Peter wanted to
stow away. "I'll make a door so no one will suspect it's there," said
Gregory.

He took out his knife, and hunting among the trees found several where
the bark was covered with gray-green lichens. Stripping off these pieces
of bark he brought them back to the cave. Then he took some narrow
strips of leather from his pocket, such strips as shoemakers use for
lacing, and making eyelets near the edges of the bark, he fastened them
together with the lacings. This made a bark cover more than big enough
to close the opening in the bank. Gregory set it in place, then trimmed
the edges so that it fitted neatly. He dug up some of the clumps of
violets and replanted them at the base of the bark door. "Now I'll defy
any one to find that cave," he said. "It's the safest hiding-place in
the province of Pennsylvania."

"I'll mark a couple of trees so I can find it again," said Peter. With
his knife he cut some notches in a couple of willows that bordered the
stream. As they went back through the woods both boys noted the trail
carefully, so that they might readily find it another time.

On the road wagons and carriages passed them, people flying out of town
through fear of the enemy. The shoemaker, his musket perched on his
shoulder, in spite of his small size was the most martial figure to be
seen. "I'm afraid our good folk are more bent on hiding than on
fighting," Gregory said with a chuckle. "Well, perhaps I'd be the same
if I had something to hide."

"Do you think Mr. Hackett was right about our people not being ready to
fight?" Jack asked.

"I think it looks very much that way," said Gregory. "I've seen a lot of
people on this road to-day, but not one with a gun."

Leaving Gregory at his house, Jack and Peter walked east to the river
and followed the foot-path along the Delaware. Skiffs, filled with
household goods, were being rowed up-stream. Families were seeking
refuge in the country north of town. Men and boys along the shore were
calling words of advice or derision to the rivercraft. At one place a
man was shouting, "There's the French frigates coming up on the Jersey
side!" The rowers paddled faster, glancing back over their shoulders to
see if the alarm was true. The man who had shouted and the others within
hearing on the bank laughed at the rowers. The only boats on the
Delaware appeared to be those manned by frightened householders.

"Nobody's doing anything to build defenses in case the French frigates
do come," said Jack. And indeed there was not a sign of defense anywhere
along the shore. If the frigates came they could fire at Philadelphia
without an answering shot.

When they reached the center of the town the boys found the same
confusion. People were talking on street-corners; some were reading the
notices that Governor Evans had posted, calling on the men to meet him
next day with arms and ammunition. He stated that he wanted to organize
a well-equipped militia in case there should be any need of defense.
But the boys heard none speak with enthusiasm of the governor's plan.

When he got home Jack told his father what he and Peter had done. "Would
you like me to take some of our things there too?" he asked. "I'm sure
no one could possibly find the place."

"No," said Mr. Felton, "I think we'll keep our things in our own house.
I'm not going to be driven into hiding just because of a rumor." Even
Mr. Felton, intelligent man though he was, did not seem inclined to look
with favor on the notion of armed defense.

After supper Jack saw the man who lived across the street putting some
boxes into a cart before his door. Jack watched him cord and strap the
boxes in the cart. "I'm taking my wife and baby into the country for a
few days," the neighbor explained.

"And you're coming back yourself?" Jack asked.

"I don't think so." The neighbor shook his head. "I'm not a fighting
man; I don't believe in shedding blood. I'm sure no good Quaker could
approve of warfare. I'll stay away till the town's quiet again."

"But suppose the French take the town and hold on to it," said Jack.
"Perhaps you couldn't get your house again."

"Well, there's plenty of country for us all," answered the other.

"I suppose you're right," said Jack. "Most people seem to think as you
do. But somehow I can't understand how so many people are willing to
give in to so few. Aren't our men in Philadelphia as big and strong as
the Frenchmen?"

"Why yes, of course they are, Jack. But the French come with firearms,
and we don't approve of firearms. We'd be glad to reason with them, if
they'd listen to us. But men with guns don't generally want to listen to
reason."

"And because they won't listen we run away," said Jack. "I can't
understand that."

"You will when you're older," said the man, and went indoors for another
box.

Jack went to Peter Black's, and helped him put his mother's silverware
and valuables, securely tied in a sack, into a small hand-cart. Together
the boys pushed the cart through the town and in the direction of the
hiding-place. They secreted the sack in the cave beside the brook, and
trundled the cart back to Gregory's shop. The night was fair and warm,
and the shoemaker was sitting outside his house. "The town must be
pretty empty by now," he said. "I've seen so many people hurrying away.
Soon there'll be nothing left there but the governor and some stray cats
and dogs. All our good citizens seem to prefer to spend the spring in
the country."

"Come down to the Delaware with us, Mr. Diggs," urged Jack. "We wanted
to leave Peter's cart here and go back by the river. It's fine at
night."

"I know what you want," said Gregory, nodding very wisely. "You want to
catch the first sight of the French frigates. Very well, I'll go along
with you. Only you must let me get my pistol. I'm not going to be caught
unarmed by the enemy."

The shoemaker, his pistol stuck in his belt, and the two boys struck
across for the river. The sky was full of stars, and when they reached
the bank they could easily make out the low-lying Jersey shore across
the Delaware. All shipping, except a few small skiffs, had disappeared.
"The big boats have run before the storm," said Gregory, "and the little
ones are ready to make for the creeks at the first alarm. The French
won't find any shipping here at any rate."

They went along the shore until they came to the southern end of the
town. Even on the wharves there were very few men. "I think we'll have
to be the lookouts," said Gregory, with a chuckle. "Here's a pile of
logs. Let's sit here and watch for the frigates."

Down the three sat, the little shoemaker in the middle. "I think," said
Jack thoughtfully, "that you're the only person in town who'd want to
fight the enemy, unless perhaps Governor Evans would. I think I'd hate
to run away as soon as we saw his ships. Wouldn't you hate to, Peter?"

"Now we've hid those things," said Peter, "I'd like to stay and see the
fun."

"Of course you would," agreed Gregory. "I'll tell you how it is, my
lads. There aren't many adventurers in this sober town of ours, only a
few boys and an old shoemaker."

Jack glanced at the little man, and caught the glint of starlight on the
barrel of his pistol. "I shouldn't think you'd care for adventures as
much as some other people would,--well, as my father would or the man
who lives across the street from us."

Gregory clapped his hand on Jack's knee. "That's just the puzzle of it,"
he said. "You never can tell who are the real adventurers. Most boys
are; but when they grow up they forget the taste and smell of adventure.
They don't want to think of any pirates stealing up the Delaware. They
don't want to have any pirates anywhere."

"I like pirates," announced Peter.

"Of course you do," said Gregory, clapping his free hand on Peter's
knee. "So do I. I like to think there's a chance of those frigates
pointing up the river any minute. But most of the people in town would
say I was mad if I told them that. They'd say it was because I hadn't
anything to lose. It's riches that make folks cautious."

"I see a light down there!" exclaimed Peter, pointing down the shore.

All three jumped up and peered through the darkness. The light proved to
be a lantern in the bow of a small skiff skirting the bank. "That's not
the frigates," said Gregory. "I almost hoped it was. Well, I don't
suppose the safety of Philadelphia depends on our keeping watch any
longer to-night. It's getting late. Come on, my brave adventurers."

Back to town they went, and said good-night to Gregory. As Jack passed
the governor's house he saw a familiar figure standing at the front
gate. The stout Mr. Hackett likewise recognized Jack. "So you've not
fled from town like the rest?" said the man from Maryland. "The
governor's called the men to meet him to-morrow in the field on Locust
Street; but I misdoubt if there'll be many left to join him."

"There's one who will be there," answered Jack, pointing down the street
after Gregory.

"Who's that?" inquired Mr. Hackett.

"Gregory Diggs, the shoemaker. He's got a gun and a pistol, and he won't
run away."

"The little shoemaker?" said Mr. Hackett. "So he's a fighting man, is
he? I've always liked him, but I didn't know he had so much spirit."

"He's a real adventurer," declared Jack. "He thinks it may be because
he's poor and hasn't any family; but I don't think that's it. I think he
couldn't help being that way anyhow. I want to be like him when I grow
up."

"Good for you!" exclaimed Mr. Hackett. "Then I suppose we may count on
having you at the governor's muster to-morrow."

"I'll be there," said Jack. "I'm big enough to handle a gun."

"I'll be there too," put in Peter, who had been listening to the talk
with the greatest interest.

"Good enough," said Mr. Hackett. "Gregory and you boys ought to put some
of these smug people to shame. I'll look for you at the meeting in the
morning."


III

Jack and Peter were at the meeting-place on Locust Street next morning,
although each only brought a heavy stick as his weapon of defense.
Jack's father had refused to let his son have the musket, saying that he
would be much more apt to harm himself with it than to injure an enemy.
Mrs. Black had not only forbidden Peter to handle anything that would
shoot, but had intimated that she thought Governor Evans and all the
people who went to his militia meeting were behaving much more like
savages than like good Christians. So the boys had to put up with the
hickory sticks for weapons, though each carried a sling and a pocketful
of pebbles, which might be useful for long-distance fighting.

Gregory was there with his gun, and the three friends stood under the
shade of a maple and waited for the rest of the volunteer army to
appear. A few men and boys were lounging out in the road, apparently
more interested in watching what was going to happen than in taking part
in it. "Where are our gallant soldiers?" said Gregory, with a grin.

Jack counted the men who had come, with their muskets, into the field.
"Six besides us," he announced.

"That'll make a good-sized army," said Gregory, a twinkle in his eye.

There were only the six others at the meeting-place when Governor Evans,
his secretary, and Mr. Hackett arrived. The governor looked disgusted.
He muttered to his two companions. Then he beckoned the seven men and
the two boys toward him. "So this is Philadelphia's volunteer militia,
is it?" he said. "These are the troops I could count on to defend our
homes from an enemy?" Then his angry brow softened. "I don't blame you,
my good friends. You are doing your best. But I shouldn't like to
express my opinion of your fellow-townsfolk."

The governor turned to Hackett "I might as well disband the militia, eh?
The night-watchmen of the town will furnish as good defense."

"Unless you choose to keep your army of seven men and two boys to shame
the worthy citizens," suggested Hackett.

"You can't shame them!" snorted Governor Evans. "Their heads are made of
pillow-slips stuffed with feathers; and goose-feathers at that!" He
looked again at the volunteer soldiers. "My secretary will take your
names," he said, "and I'll know who to call on if I need help. Many
thanks to you all."

As they were leaving the field Hackett came over to Gregory and the two
boys. "I suspected your good people would act like this," said he.
"Though I'd no idea that only seven men would put in an appearance. I'll
have to wash my hands of your Quaker colony. I never saw anything to
equal it. The Saints keep you from trouble! I doubt if you'll be able to
keep yourselves out of it."

Now Gregory was a little nettled at the other's superior manner. "We've
been able to keep out of it so far," he retorted, "and I don't see but
what charity toward others mayn't keep us out of it in the future.
William Penn is a just man, and has bade us act justly toward all
others. We hoped to leave fighting and all warlike things behind us when
we left Europe. Because there's been fighting in Massachusetts and
Virginia is no reason why there should be such matters here."

"So you think Penn's colony is different from the others, do you?" asked
Hackett.

"I think you and your Cavalier friends in Maryland are more eager to
draw your swords than we are here," said the shrewd shoemaker.

"Now, by Jupiter, I think you're right!" agreed Hackett, with a laugh.
"Every man to his own kind. I much prefer Lord Baltimore to your good
William Penn. I've seen enough of your worthy Quaker tradesmen. I must
get back to Chesapeake Bay."

Jack and Peter, sitting on the steps of Mr. Felton's house that
afternoon, saw a number of men who worked on the river-front go past in
the street, guns in their hands. There were five or six in the first
group, then a few more, then a larger number. There were small farmers
from the southern side of the town, there were servants, there were
negroes. None of those who went by appeared to be of the wealthy, Quaker
class. "Where are they going?" Jack asked presently.

"Let's go find out," suggested Peter.

The boys followed the groups, which grew in size as men from other
streets joined in the current. They went to Society Hill on the
outskirts of the town. There a crowd had already gathered, some with
firearms, some without. The boys pushed their way through the crowd
until they reached the front edge. There they heard one speaker after
another addressing the throng. The speakers all declared that they would
go to the governor, ask for weapons, and tell him they were ready to
march against the enemy whenever he should give the order.

Nearly seven hundred men met on Society Hill that day and volunteered
for military service. Perhaps the word had gone around that the leading
men of the colony had failed to meet the governor, and these men meant
to show that there were some at least he could rely on. However that
was, this gathering shamed the other meeting, and when it broke up it
sent its delegates to report to Governor Evans.

The boys stopped to tell Gregory Diggs what they had seen.

"Aye," said Gregory, when he had heard the type of men who made up this
second meeting, "wealth and position make men timid. And then Quakers
are over-cautious folk. I know how it is. I found it hard enough to
shoulder my gun and make up my mind to join the militia. Like as not I
wouldn't have volunteered at all if you two boys hadn't seemed to shame
me into it. But that's the way it is, our good, respectable folk won't
fight, and the only ones the governor can rely on are the poor and the
down-at-heels, and a penniless shoemaker and two boys. Master Hackett
was right about Penn's province."

At his home Jack told his father of the day's happenings. "And I'm very
much surprised our friends and neighbors didn't help Governor Evans
better," he concluded.

"Only seven at one meeting, and a great many at the other?" said Mr.
Felton. "Well, that shows our friends aren't very warlike, doesn't it,
Jack?"

"But I think they ought to be," protested the boy.

"So does Governor Evans," agreed Mr. Felton. "And it's my opinion that
he and that truculent friend of his, Charles Hackett, planned this whole
scare just to see how warlike the people of Philadelphia are. I think he
arranged to have that messenger arrive from Maryland with that story
about the French frigates. It's true enough they landed at Lewes, but
they did little harm there beyond taking a few cattle and some wood and
water they needed. I don't believe they had the slightest intention of
coming up the river to Philadelphia. But it gave the governor a good
chance to see what the people would do if the French had been coming."

"Most of the people believed it, or they wouldn't have hidden their
valuables, and so many of them run away," said Jack.

"Oh, yes, they believed it," assented Mr. Felton. "And I guess the
governor is thoroughly out of temper with most of us. But as a matter of
fact he didn't need any militia to protect us from a raid."

That was the truth of the situation, as Philadelphia found out a few
days later. The governor had laid a plot to find out what the people
would do if their town were threatened with attack by an enemy. He
thought that the Delaware River was insufficiently protected. He wanted
to form a strong militia. His ruse had worked; but to his disgust he
found that the more respectable and wealthy part of the community, the
Quaker portion, had no wish either to strengthen the defenses of the
Delaware or to enroll in a militia. His stratagem had at least taught
him that much about them.

The Quakers brought the goods they had hidden back to town; those who
had gone into the country returned to their homes as soon as it was
known that the French frigates had sailed down the Delaware to the sea
instead of up it to Philadelphia. They did not like Governor Evans for
the trick he had played on them. As the governor himself said, "For
weeks afterward they would stand on the other side of the street and
make faces at me as I passed by."

As a result of the governor's stratagem most of the Quakers in
Philadelphia signed a petition to William Penn, who was then in England,
urging him to remove Evans from the governorship. William Penn did not
like to do this. He had appointed Evans at the suggestion of some very
powerful men at the English Court, and he did not want to antagonize
them, or Evans himself for that matter, for so slight a cause. He wrote
a letter to Evans, however, mildly reproving him for the trick he had
played, and making it clear that he himself was no more in favor of
warlike measures than were the Quakers in his colony. Governor Evans
held his office for almost three years after this event, and was finally
called back to England for very different reasons.

Penn's province did have less warfare than the neighboring colonies,
partly because of the just way in which Penn and his settlers dealt with
the Indians, partly by good fortune. No enemy attacked Philadelphia. But
as men pushed out into the country west of the Delaware they began to
come into conflict with the Indians. Often these settlers were able to
protect themselves, but sometimes they felt that the men living securely
in Philadelphia ought to help them in their effort to enlarge the
province. After the defeat of the English General Braddock by French and
Indians in western Pennsylvania the settlers found the Indians more
difficult to handle. So the men of the frontier formed independent
companies of riflemen and fought in their own fashion. They demanded,
however, that the governor and General Assembly at Philadelphia should
aid them with supplies, if they were unwilling to furnish soldiers.

The Assembly in Philadelphia refused to send the supplies. The news
spread along the border, and the settlers, the mountaineers and
trappers, set out for the Quaker city on the Delaware. Four or five
hundred of them marched into town, men clad in buckskin, their hair worn
long, armed with rifles, powder-horns, bullet-pouches, hunting-knives,
and even tomahawks they had taken from Indians. Philadelphia was used to
seeing a few of such hunters on her streets, but the good people grew
uneasy at the appearance of so many of them at one time. The
mountaineers swaggered and blustered as they passed the quiet Quakers.
They let it be known that if the Assembly refused to vote them the
supplies they wanted they would take supplies wherever they could find
them.

Pressed by the frontiersmen, the Assembly finally voted the supplies.
Then the men in buckskin went back to hold the borders against the
Indians.

Later, however, Philadelphia received another visit from much more
unruly mountaineers. A large number of these men, known as the Paxton
boys, met a battalion of British regulars at Lancaster, demanded the
latter's horses and ammunition wagons, and told them that "if they fired
so much as one shot their scalps would ornament every cabin from the
Susquehanna to the Ohio."

The regulars didn't fire, and the mountaineers helped themselves to
everything they wanted and set out for Philadelphia. Some Indians were
being held as prisoners in the town, and the Paxton boys, growing
insolent with power as they saw British regulars and Quaker farmers
yielding to their orders, determined to make the people of Philadelphia
give the Indians to them. The mountaineers marched to the high ground of
Germantown, north of the town, nearly a thousand in number, and sent
their envoys to the town officers. The officers knew, quite as well as
Governor Evans had known before, that there was no militia sufficient to
take the field against the frontiersmen, and that the citizens would
never arm against them. The leading people of the town went to talk with
the Paxton boys, trying to persuade them to leave peacefully. Finally by
agreeing to give the mountaineers everything they asked, except only the
opportunity to massacre the captive Indians, the townspeople succeeded
in persuading their unwelcome visitors to leave. For long, however, the
men of the frontiers and the mountains looked on the people who dwelt
along the Delaware as a cowardly race, who had to be bullied before
they would do their share in protecting the province.

The governors of Pennsylvania were not always as fair in dealing with
their neighbors as the people were. When John Penn, grandson of William
Penn, held the office of governor he sent a gang of rascals to attack
men from Connecticut who had settled in the Wyoming Valley, which was
claimed by Penn as part of his province. The settlers had built homes
and planted crops in the Wyoming Valley, and they had no intention of
letting John Penn's mercenary troopers despoil them without a fight.
They built a fort, and defied the governor's soldiers. John Penn's men
had finally to retreat before their stubborn resistance.

The attack on the Wyoming settlers was in 1770, and only five years
later the men of Lexington and Concord fired the shots that were to echo
from New Hampshire to Georgia. In the war that followed Pennsylvania did
her part. Philadelphia, then the leading city of the colonies, became
the home of the new government. In the very street where Governor Evans
had urged the townsfolk to organize a militia to fight a few French
frigates, men went to Independence Hall to proclaim a Declaration of
Independence against the king of England. No one could have accused
Philadelphia in July, 1776, of a lack of patriotic spirit. The Liberty
Bell rang out its message to all, to the Quaker descendants of William
Penn's first settlers as well as to those of other faiths who had come
to his province since, and all alike responded to its appeal to proclaim
liberty throughout the world.



VIII

THE PIRATES OF CHARLES TOWN HARBOR

(_South Carolina, 1718_)


I

Antony Evans was rowing slowly round the southern point of Charles Town,
the bow of his boat pointing out across the broad expanse of water that
lay to the east. It was early morning of a bright summer day, and the
harbor looked very inviting, the breeze freshening it with little
dancing waves of deep blue, tipped with silver, and bringing the salt
fragrance of the ocean to the sunlit town. Deep woods ringed the bay;
here and there tall, stately palmettos standing out on little headlands,
looking like sentries stationed along the shore to keep all enemies
away.

Antony loosened his shirt at the throat and rolled his sleeves higher up
on his sunburned arms. He had finished school a few days before, and was
to have a fortnight's holiday before starting work in his father's
warehouse. He loved the water, the two rivers that held his home-town in
their wide-stretched arms; the little creeks that wound into the
wilderness, teeming with fish and game; the wide bay, and the open
ocean. His idea of a holiday was to fish or swim, row or sail, and he
meant to spend every day of his vacation on the water. In the bow of his
boat was a tin box, and in that box were bread and cold meat and cake,
and a bottle of milk--his lunch, and possibly his supper too.

Slowly the town receded across the gleaming water. It grew smaller and
smaller as Antony watched it from his boat, until it looked to him like
a mere handful of toy houses instead of the largest settlement in His
Majesty's colony of South Carolina. He half-shut his eyes and rested on
his oars, letting the wind and the waves gently rock his boat. Now
Charles Town became a mere point, a spot of color on the long, level
stretch of green. He opened his eyes and looked over his shoulder at the
wide expanse of blue. Then he pulled toward the southern shore, planning
to follow it for a time. There would be more shade there as the sun grew
warmer.

The depths of the woods looked very cool and inviting as he rowed along
close to them. Great festoons of gray moss hung from the boughs of the
live-oaks, festoons that were pink or pale lavender where the sun shone
on them. He paddled along slowly, letting the water drip from the blades
of his oars, until the town had disappeared around the curve of the
forest and he was alone with the waves and the trees.

The sun, almost directly overhead, and his appetite, presently suggested
to him that it was time for lunch. He chose a little bay with a sandy
beach, and running his boat aground, landed, carrying the precious tin
box with him. There was a comfortable mossy seat under a big palmetto,
and here he ate part of his provisions, and then, rolling his coat into
a pillow, prepared to take a nap. The air was full of spices from the
woods, warm and sleep-beguiling; he had slept an hour before he waked,
stretched his rested muscles, and went back to the boat.

He had a mind to do a little exploring along this southern shore. The
water was smooth, and he felt like rowing. Rapidly he traveled along the
shore, peering into bays and inlets, covering long stretches of thick
forest, while the sun made his westward journey, the air grew cooler,
and the shade stretched farther across the sea. There would be a moon to
see him home again, and he was weatherwise enough to know that he had
nothing to fear from the wind.

The sun was almost setting when the rowboat rounded a wooded point and
swung into a bay. Antony was following the shore-line, so he did not
bother to look around, but pulled steadily ahead, keeping about the same
distance from the bank. Then, to his great surprise, a voice directly
ahead hailed him. "Look where you're going, son! Ease up a bit on your
oars, and you'll get to us without bumping."

He looked around and saw three men fishing from a boat. They must have
kept very quiet not to have attracted his attention. He slowed the
speed of his boat by dragging his oars in the water, but even so he
swept pretty close to the fishermen, and one of them, with a quick turn
of his own oar, brought the larger boat side-on to Antony's.

"Pull in your oar," the man ordered. To avoid a collision Antony obeyed.
The man caught the gunwale of Antony's boat, bringing the two side by
side.

All three of the men were grinning. "Well, now, lad," said the man at
the oars, "where were ye bound at such a pace? Going to row across the
ocean or down to St. Augustine? Bound out from Charles Town, weren't
ye?"

Antony smiled. "I was doing a little exploring," he answered. "I didn't
know there were any fishermen down along here."

The man's grin widened. "Ye didn't, eh? Well, there's quite a lot of us
fishermen down along here. Take a look." He gestured over his shoulder
with his thumb. Antony turned and saw that at the other end of the bay
were a number of boats, men on the beach, and that the hull and spars of
a good-sized ship stood out beyond the trees of the next headland.

The man in the bow of the other boat, a slim, dark fellow with a
straggling black mustache, pulled in his fishing-line. "An' now you've
done your exploring, you'll make us a little visit. It wouldn't do to go
right back to Charles Town to-night." He stood up, and with the agility
of a cat stepped from his boat to Antony's and sat down on the
stern-seat.

Antony had plenty of nerve, but somehow neither the words of the man at
the oars nor the performance of the dark fellow was altogether
reassuring. The two men now in the other boat were big swarthy chaps,
with many strange designs tattooed on their brawny arms; and the one who
sat in the stern wore gilded earrings and had a good-sized sheath-knife
fastened to his belt. They didn't look like the men he was used to
seeing about Charles Town.

They weren't disagreeable, however. The man at the oars gave Antony's
boat a slight shove, which sent them some distance apart, and then
dropped his fishing-line into the water again. "See you two later," he
said, still grinning. "Keep an eye on the lad, Nick."

Nick sat leaning forward, his arms on his knees, his black eyes
twinkling at Antony. "Don't you be feared of this nest," said he. "I
don't say that some mightn't well be, but not a lively young limb like
you. What's your name?"

Antony told him. "And why might some be afraid?" he asked, his curiosity
rising.

"Because," said Nick, "that sloop round the point belongs to old man
Teach, and she flies a most uncommon flag at her masthead."

"Blackbeard!" exclaimed the boy, his eyes wide with surprise and sudden
fear.

"Now don't be scared," said Nick. "Some do call him Blackbeard, but he
don't make trouble if he's handled right."

"They said he was down around the Indies, after Spanish ships," said
Antony.

"He's been in a good many places," said the other. "Spanish galleys pay
well, but trade's trade, wherever you find it."

This Nick was a pleasant fellow, with nothing piratical-looking about
him, unless you considered the skull and crossbones tattooed on his
right forearm as a sign of his trade. He smiled in a very friendly
fashion. "We've got a little matter on hand now that brings us up to
Charles Town. Some of the crew's sick, and we want drugs and other
things for 'em." He chuckled, as though the notion was amusing. "Pirates
get sick just like other folks sometimes," he added. He pointed to the
beach ahead of him. "Row us up there, Tony."

There was nothing for Antony to do but obey, and somewhat assured by the
mild manner of Nick, he pulled at his oars until the boat grounded in
shallow water. "Don't mind a little wetting, do ye?" said Nick, stepping
over the side. Antony followed, and they drew the boat high and dry on
the shore. "Come along," said Nick, and he turned to lead the way.

[Illustration: NICK TURNED TO LEAD THE WAY]

Men were working on a couple of overturned skiffs, men were lounging
about doing nothing, men who looked nowise different from the fellows
Antony saw in his own town. They paid no particular attention to him,
and Nick led him along the shore through the woods that covered the
headland, and out on the other side. Here was a snug harbor, with a
good-sized ship at anchor, men on the shore and more men on the ship's
deck.

Nick shoved a small boat into the water, motioned to Antony to climb in,
and with a few strokes brought them to the ship's side. He made the boat
fast, and climbed a short rope-ladder to the deck. "Don't be scared," he
muttered; "he don't eat boys." He led the way to where a stocky man with
a heavy black beard sat in a chair smoking a long pipe.

"Here's a lad," said Nick, nodding to the chief, "we picked up as he was
rowing down along the coast from Charles Town. He wanted a taste of salt
air, and something better to do than what he'd been doing. And we didn't
want him to go back home and tell what he'd seen down here."

Blackbeard was certainly black, and there was a scar on one side of his
face that didn't add to the beauty of his appearance, but he wasn't
ferocious-looking, not as fierce in fact as several men Antony knew at
home. He puffed at his pipe a minute before he spoke.

"We're going up to the town to-morrow morning," he said. "What's the
talk about us there?"

"They thought you were chasing Spanish ships from Cuba and St.
Augustine," answered Antony, "and I think they were pretty glad you were
doing it."

"They were, eh?" snorted Blackbeard. "That's always the way of it!
Fight the enemy and you're a hero, but don't for the love of Heaven come
near us. Smooth-faced rascals all! Keep an eye on him, Nick," and he
jerked his head to show that the audience was over.

"Not so terrible, was he?" said Nick, as they went aft. "Now I'll show
you some folks you know." They came to the window of the cabin, and he
indicated that he wanted Antony to look inside. Half a dozen men and a
couple of small boys were in the cabin, a most disconsolate-looking lot.
To his great surprise Antony recognized the nearest as Mr. Samuel Wragg,
a prominent merchant of Charles Town. The faces of all the others were
familiar to him. "What's Mr. Wragg doing there?" he demanded. "He isn't
a pirate, too?"

"No, he's no pirate," chuckled Nick. "He's what you might call a
hostage. You see, all that merry-looking crowd sailed from your town a
few days ago, bound for England, but we met their ship when she reached
the bar and we asked 'em to come on board us. Thought we might be able
to accommodate 'em better, you see. We overhauled eight ships within a
week out there, and that's pretty good business, better than what we've
done with your Spanish Dons lately. But there's no denying the Dons do
carry the richer cargoes."

"And what are you going to do with them?" asked Antony.

"That's for old Teach, the chief there, to make out. I've a notion your
friend Mr. Wragg and the others in there are going to help us get that
store of drugs and supplies I was telling you of. Let's be going ashore.
I don't want those mates of mine to eat all the fresh fish before we get
back to 'em."

Blackbeard's men--pirates and desperadoes though they were--seemed no
rougher to Antony than any other seafaring men he had met at Charles
Town. They carried more pistols and knives perhaps than such men, but
though he listened eagerly he heard no strange ear-splitting oaths nor
frightening tales of evil deeds they had committed. Nick looked after
him almost like an older brother, saw that he had plenty to eat, helped
him gather up wood for the fire they lighted on the shore after supper.
There were a number of these small fires, each with a group of
swarthy-faced men round it. As Big Bill, the man who had first hailed
Antony and caught the gunwale of his boat, explained, "Blackbeard's men
were glad to stretch their legs ashore whenever they got the chance."

Their pipes lighted, the pirates sat about the campfires as the moon
flooded the sea with sparkling silver. Nick told Antony how he had run
away from his English home in Devon when he was a boy, and had shipped
on board a merchantman out of Bristol. He had followed the sea year in,
year out, until one day the captain of his ship had suddenly given up
being a peaceful merchantman and had begun to hold up and rob any
well-laden vessels he happened to meet. There was more profit in such a
life, he said, and a great deal more excitement. Then he went on to tell
Antony that many great sea-captains had really been pirates, and that
both the people in England and the American colonists really liked the
pirates as long as they preyed on Spanish commerce and the ships of
enemies. King Charles the Second of England, he said, though he
pretended to frown on piracy, had actually made Morgan, the greatest
pirate of them all, a knight, and appointed him governor of his island
of Jamaica. "In most seaport towns," said Nick, "the townsfolk are glad
enough to have us walk their streets, spend our Mexican doubloons, and
sell them the silks and wine we bring in, without asking any questions
about where we got 'em. We're as good as any other traders then; maybe
better, because we don't haggle so over a bargain. But when we hold up
one o' their own precious ships they sing a song about us from t'other
side their mouths."

So he talked on, boastfully enough, about the doings of the sea-rovers;
but the boy, listening intently, thought that every now and then it
sounded as if the dark man were making excuses for himself and his
mates.

The fires burned down, and most of the men hunted soft beds under the
forest trees. The summer night was warm, and the air was fresher here
than in the close bunks on the ship. Big Bill and Nick and Antony found
a comfortable place for themselves. "You might take it into your head to
run away," said Nick, "but Big Bill and I always sleep with one eye
open, and there's a couple of men by the boats that'll see anything
stirring, and there's a big marsh through the woods, so you'll do better
to stay where you be. And if they should catch you trying to take French
leave, I'm afraid they'd put you in that stuffy cabin along with your
friend Mr. Wragg and the others. So my advice to ye is, get a good
night's sleep."

Antony took the advice so far as lying still went, though it was not
nearly so easy to fall asleep. He watched the moon through the
tree-tops, he listened to the lapping of the water on the shore, and he
thought how strange it was that he should actually be a prisoner of the
pirates. He thought of his father and mother and hoped they weren't
worried about him; he had stayed away from home overnight before,
camping out in the woods, and probably they wouldn't begin to worry
about him until next day. Then he fell asleep, and when he woke the sun
was rising over the water, and the woods were full of the early morning
songs of birds.

"Yeo ho for a swim!" cried Nick, jumping up. He and Antony plunged into
the water, swam for half an hour, came out and lay in the sun, drying
off, put on their clothes, and went on board the ship, where, in the
galley, they found the cooks had breakfast ready.

Soon afterward there was work to be done preparatory to weighing
anchor. The small boats were brought on board, the crew set the sails,
orders rang from bow to stern. Blackbeard was no longer a quiet man
smoking a pipe in a chair. He was very alert and active, overseeing
everything, and when he snapped out a word, or even jerked his thumb
this way or that, men jumped to do his bidding. The anchor was hoisted
aboard, the ship slowly turned from her harbor and sought the channel.

With a fresh favoring wind the ship set in toward Charles Town. Antony,
on the forward deck with Nick, watched the shore-line until the bright
roofs of the little settlement began to stand out from the green and
blue. Farther and farther on Blackbeard sailed until they were in full
view of the town. Then he called a half-dozen men by name, among them
Nick, and gave them his orders. "Man the long-boat," said he, "and row
ashore. Send this note to the governor. It's a list of drugs I want for
my crew. And tell the governor and Council that if the drugs don't come
back to me in three hours I'll send another boat ashore with the heads
of Samuel Wragg and his son and a dozen other men of Charles Town. Their
heads or the drugs! Look to the priming of your pistols." Blackbeard was
a man of few words, but every word he spoke told.

As the others swung the long-boat overboard Nick stepped up to the
chief. "I'll take the boy along," said he. "He might help us ashore, as
he knows the people there." Blackbeard nodded.

An idea occurred to Antony, and whispering to Nick, he darted to the
galley. He found a scrap of paper there, and scrawled a couple of lines
to his father, saying he was well, and begging his parents not to worry
about him. As he ran back by the cabin he couldn't help glancing in at
the window, and saw Samuel Wragg and the other prisoners whispering
together, their frightened faces seeming to show that they had heard
what was in the wind, and knew that Blackbeard meant to have their heads
in case their friends in Charles Town should refuse to let him have the
drugs he wanted.

The long-boat was now manned and floating lightly on the bay. At a word
from Nick, Antony swung himself over the side of the ship by a rope and
dropped into the boat, "You steer us," said Nick, "and mind you don't
get us into any trouble, or overboard you go as sure as my name's
Nicholas Carter."

The harbor was smooth as glass and the long-boat, pulled by its lusty
crew, shot along rapidly. Nick was pulling the stroke oar, and presently
Antony, who sat opposite him, took the little note he had written from
his pocket. "If you go ashore, won't you give this paper to somebody?"
he begged. "My father's name's on the outside, and everybody knows him.
It'll make his mind easier about me."

Nick bobbed his head. "Slip it into my pocket," he murmured, nodding to
where his jacket lay on the bottom of the boat.

The town was right before them now, its quays busy with the usual
morning life of the water-front. To Antony, however, it seemed that more
men and boys than usual were standing there, some watching the
long-boat, and others looking past her at the big ship far down the bay.
He saw faces he knew, he saw men staring at him wonderingly, he even
felt rather proud at the strange position he had so unexpectedly fallen
into.

"Easy now, mates," sang out Nick, looking over his shoulder at the near
water-front. He gave a few orders, and the long-boat swung gently up to
an empty float, and he and the man next to him, slipping on their
jackets and making sure that their pistols slid easily from their belts,
stepped lightly to the float.

By now a large crowd had gathered on the shore, all staring at the
strangers. Nick and his fellow-pirate, cool as cucumbers, walked up the
plank that led from the float to the dock. There Nick made a little
mocking bow to the men and boys of Charles Town. "Who's governor here?"
he demanded, with the assurance of an envoy from some mighty state.

Several voices answered, "Robert Johnson is the governor."

Nick took from an inner pocket the paper Blackbeard had given him. "One
of you take this message to Governor Robert Johnson. It comes from
Captain Teach, sometimes known as Captain Blackbeard. He entertains
certain merchants of your town on board his ship, Mr. Samuel Wragg and
others. And should any of you harm me or my mates while we wait for the
governor's answer Captain Teach will feel obliged, much to his regret,
to do the same to your worthy townsmen on his ship."

There were murmurs and exclamations from the crowd, and whispers of
"It's Blackbeard!" "It's the pirates!" and the like.

As no one stepped forward Nick now pointed to a man in a blue coat who
stood fronting him. "Take this message," he said, and spoke so
commandingly that the man stepped forward and took it. Then he beckoned
a boy to him and gave him Antony's note. "For Mr. Jonas Evans," he said.
"Make sure he gets it." After that he sat down on a bale of cotton,
pulled out a pipe, filled it with tobacco, and lighted it. The other
pirate did the same. The bright sun shone on the brace of pistols each
man wore in his belt.

The man in the blue coat hurried to Governor Johnson with the message
from the pirate chief. The governor read the message, demanding certain
drugs at once, on pain of Samuel Wragg and the other merchants of
Charles Town losing their heads. The governor sent for the Council and
read the message to them. They would all have liked to tear the message
to shreds and go out at once to capture this insolent sea-robber, but
there was danger that if they tried to do that their worthy
fellow-citizens would instantly lose their heads.

Meantime the news had spread through the town, and there was the
greatest excitement. The people longed to get their hands on Blackbeard
and pay him for this insult. But they dared not stir now; they dared not
even lay finger on the two insolent rascals who sat on the bales of
cotton on the water-front, smiling at the crowd. The families and
friends of Samuel Wragg and the other prisoners, all of whom were named
in Blackbeard's message to the governor, hurried to the house where the
Council was meeting, and demanded that the drugs should be sent out to
Blackbeard at once.

The governor and Council argued the matter up and down. They hated to
yield to such a command, and yet it would be monstrous to sacrifice
their friends for a few drugs. Then Governor Johnson made his decision.
He reminded them that he had time and again urged the Proprietors and
the Board of Trade to send out a frigate to protect the commerce of
Charles Town from just such perils as this; and added that it was his
duty to protect the lives of all the citizens. He would send the drugs,
and then the Council must see to it that such a situation shouldn't
occur again.

All the medicines on Blackbeard's list were carried down to the float
and put on board the long-boat under Nicholas Carter's supervision. "I
thank you all in the name of Captain Teach," Nick said, smiling and
bowing in his best manner. Among the crowd on shore Antony had caught
the faces of his father and mother, and waved to them, and called out
that he would soon be back.

The long-boat left the shore amid angry mutterings from the people. The
tide was low now, and presently Antony, by mischance, mistook the course
of the channel, and ran the boat aground. He showed so plainly, however,
that he hadn't meant to do it, that Nick forgave him, and said he
wouldn't throw him overboard. It took some time for the crew to get the
boat afloat again, and when they finally reached the ship they found
Blackbeard in a terrible rage at the delay and almost on the point of
beheading Mr. Wragg and the other prisoners.

The sight of the drugs calmed his anger somewhat, and he ordered his
captives brought out on deck. There he had them searched, and took
everything of value they had with them, among other things a large
amount of gold from Mr. Wragg. Some of their clothes he took also, so
that it was hard to say whether the poor merchants were shivering more
from fright or from cold. Then he had them rowed in the long-boat to a
neighboring point of land, where they were left to make their way home
as best they could.

Antony had asked Nick if he couldn't be set on shore with the others,
but Nick, drawing him away from the rest of the crew, had whispered,
"Stay with me a day or two more. I'm going to leave the ship myself.
I'm tired of this way of living, and I'd like to have a friend to speak
a good word for me when I land. I'll see no harm comes to you, boy. I
got that note to your father, and--one good turn deserves another. We'll
leave old Blackbeard soon."

Antony liked the dark man. "All right," said he. "I think we can get
into Charles Town without any one knowing who you are. I'll look out for
you."

"Much obliged to you, Tony," said Nick, with a grin.

So when the pirate ship sailed out to sea again, Antony was still on
board her.


II

Five days Antony stayed on board the pirate ship, while Blackbeard
doctored the sick men of his crew with the medicines he had obtained in
Charles Town. The boy was well treated, for it was understood that he
was under Nick's protection, and moreover, although the pirates could
show their teeth and snarl savagely enough in a fight, they were
friendly and easy-going among themselves. It was a pleasant cruise for
Antony, for the weather held good, and Nick taught him much about the
handling of a ship. Then, after five days of sailing, Blackbeard
anchored off one of the long sandy islands that dot that coast, and
those of his men who were tired of their small quarters on the ship went
ashore and spent the night there. Among them were Nick and Antony, and,
as on that other night ashore, they made their beds at a little distance
from the others.

Just before dawn Antony was waked by some one pulling his shoulder. It
was Nick, who signaled to him that he should rise noiselessly and follow
him. The boy obeyed, and the two went silently through the woods and
came out on another beach as the sun was rising. They walked for some
time, watching the wonderful colors the sun was sending over sea and
sky. Then said Nick, "We're far enough away from them now. They won't
hunt for us; they've more than enough crew, and old Teach ain't the man
to bother his head about a couple of runaways. Five minutes of curses,
and he'll be up and away again, with never a thought of us. I'll beat
you to the water, Tony," and Nick started to pull his shirt over his
head.

They swam as long as they wanted, and then they followed the shore,
growing more and more hungry as they went along. "There must be
fishermen somewhere," said Nick. "A little farther south, and we'd have
fruit for the taking; but here"--he shrugged his shoulders--"nothing but
a few berries that rattle around in one like peas in a pail."

After an hour, however, they came to a fisherman's shanty, and found the
owner working with his nets and lines on the shore. He was a big man,
with reddish hair and beard, and clothes that had been so often soaked
in salt water that they had almost all the colors of the rainbow. "We'll
work all day for food and drink," said Nick, grinning.

The fisherman grinned in return. "Help yourselves," said he, waving his
hand toward his shanty. "You're welcome to what you find; I got my gold
and silver safe hid away."

They found dried fish and corn-meal cakes and water in an earthen jar.
When they came out to the beach again they told the man their names, and
learned in turn that his was Simeon Park. They went out with him in his
sailing-smack, and fished all day, and when they came back they felt
like old friends, as men do who spend a day together on the sea.

There followed a week of fishing with Simeon, varied by mornings when
they went hunting ducks and wild turkeys and geese with him over the
marshes and the long flats that lay along the coast. Antony had never
had a better time; he liked both of his new friends, and, except for his
father and mother, he was in no hurry to go back to Charles Town and
work in the warehouse there. At the end of the week Simeon Park
suggested that they should take the smack for a cruise, fishing and
gunning as chance offered. So they put to sea again, this time in a much
smaller vessel than Blackbeard's merchantman.

They met with one small gale, but after that came favoring winds.
Presently they found themselves near Charles Town harbor again. They
camped on shore one night, and Antony told Nick that he must be heading
for home shortly.

Next morning the boy was waked by the big fisherman, who pointed out to
sea. Three big ships were standing off the coast, and even at that
distance they could see that the "Jolly Roger" of a pirate, the skull
and crossbones, flew from the masthead of the biggest vessel. Guns
boomed across the water. "The two sloops are after the big fellow,"
exclaimed Simeon Park. "Let's put out in our boat, and have a look at
the game."

They put off in their smack, and with the skilful fisherman at the helm,
stood off and on, tacked and ran before the wind, until they came to a
point where they were out of shot and yet near enough to see all that
was taking place.

"I can read the names of the sloops," said Park, squinting across at
their sterns; "one's called _Sea Nymph_ and t'other the _Henry_, and
they both hail from Charles Town."

Nick chuckled. "That governor of yours," he said to Antony, "didn't lose
much time. He's got two sloops of war now for certain, and he means to
try a tussle with the rovers." He too squinted at the vessels. "I don't
think she's Blackbeard's, howsomever. No, there's her name." And he
spelled out the words _Royal James_.

The two sloops, each mounting eight guns, had swept down on the pirate,
evidently planning to catch her in a narrow strait formed by two spits
of land. But the pirate ship, undaunted, had sought to sail past the
sloops, and by her greater speed to gain the open sea. Then the two
sloops bore in close, and before the _Royal James_ knew what she was
about she had sailed out of the channel and was stuck fast on a shoal of
sand. Then the _Henry_, too, grounded in shoal water, and some distance
further, her mate, the _Sea Nymph_.

This was a pretty situation, all three ships aground, and only the
little fishing-smack able to sail about as she liked. "Lucky we don't
draw more'n a couple of feet of water," said Simeon Park, at the helm.
"If we only had a gun of our own aboard we could hop about and pepper
first one, then t'other."

"And have one good round shot send us to the bottom as easy as a man
crushes a pesky mosquito," observed Nick. "No, thankee. If it's all the
same to you I'd rather keep out of gun-fire of both sides to this little
controversy."

Antony, crouched on the small deck forward, was too busy watching what
was going on to consider the likelihood of his boat going aground.

The tide was at the ebb, and there was no likelihood of any of the three
fighting-ships getting off the shoals for hours. The _Royal James_ and
the _Henry_ had listed the same way, and now lay almost in line with
each other, so that the hull of the pirate ship was turned directly
toward the Charles Town sloop, while the deck of the latter was in full
view of the pirate, and only a pistol-shot away.

"They're more like two forts now than ships," said Nick. "There she
goes!"

Antony was yelling. The _Henry_ had opened fire on the pirate ship. But
instantly the _Royal James_ returned the fire with a broadside, which,
on account of its position, raked the open deck of the _Henry_.

"Those lads have got grit to stick to their guns!" cried Park, keeping
his smack bobbing on the waves at a safe distance. "They're using their
muskets, too!" Antony cheered every time shots blazed from the _Henry_
and held his breath to see what damage the answering fire of the pirate
did to his own townsmen.

The other Charles Town sloop, the _Sea Nymph_, was aground too far
down-stream to be of any help to her mate. Her crew, like the crew of
three in the fishing-smack, could only watch from a distance, and cheer
as the battle was waged back and forth.

And waged back and forth it was for a long time, while men were shot
down at the guns, and parts of each ship shot away, and the sea
scattered with wreckage, and the air filled with smoke and the heavy,
acrid odor of powder. "The pirate's getting the best of it," shouted
Simeon Park, after some time of fighting. It looked that way; her crew
were yelling exultantly, and her captain had called to the sloop,
demanding that the latter's crew haul down their flag in surrender.

At length, however, the tide began to turn, and with it the chance of
victory for the pirates. The _Henry_ floated from the shoal first, and
her captain prepared to grapple with his enemy and board her. Then the
_Sea Nymph_ floated, and headed up to aid her consort. The pirate chief,
seeing the chances now two to one against him, yelled to his crew to
fight harder than ever; and the _Royal James_ blazed again and again
with broadsides, making a desperate stand, like a wild animal brought to
bay. The rail of the _Henry_ was carried overboard, and to the three in
the fishing-smack it looked as if some of the crew had gone over with
it.

Antony forgot the sea-fight; he was calling directions to Park to steer
his boat so as to near the wreckage. He saw a man with his arm thrown
over a piece of the railing, and he called encouragement to him. The
fisherman sent his boat dashing ahead, and the man in the water, hearing
Antony's voice, tried to swim in his direction. "Easy now!" cried the
boy, and the boat swept up to the wreckage, and lay there, with loosely
flapping sail, while Antony and Nick leaned far over her side and drew
the man on board. They laid him on the deck, while Park, at the tiller,
brought his boat about and scurried away from the line of fire.

The man was not badly hurt; he had a flesh wound in one shoulder, and
was dazed from having been flung into the sea with the railing. "Never
mind me," he said. "Look for others." The three looked over the water,
but though they saw plenty of floating wreckage, they spied no other
men.

"She's striking her flag!" cried Park. They all looked at the fighting
ships, and saw that the pirate had hauled down his flag, and heard the
cheers of victory from the _Henry_ and the _Sea Nymph_. Antony jumped up
and down and yelled with the best of them; the men of Charles Town were
having their revenge on the sea-rovers who had so openly flouted them a
short time before.

"That's the end of Blackbeard!" cried the wounded man, sitting up and
watching the crews of the two sloops as they prepared to board the other
vessel.

Nick shook his head. "Not Blackbeard," he said. "Whoever that rover may
be, he's not old Teach, I know."

The gun-smoke drifted away across the water, and Park, at Nick's
suggestion, headed his boat for shore. The dark man had no wish to sail
up to the sloops from Charles Town just then, thinking it not unlikely
that some of the crew might remember him as Blackbeard's agent at the
Charles Town dock. So they skirted the shore till they reached a good
landing-place. There they camped, binding the sailor's wounded shoulder
as best they could, cooking dinner, for they were all ravenously hungry,
and resting on the sand. There the sailor, Peter Duval, told them how
angry Governor Johnson and the men of Charles Town had been when
Blackbeard had sailed away with his medicines, leaving Samuel Wragg and
the others, plundered and almost stripped, to find their way home; and
how Colonel Rhett had sworn that with two sloops he would rid the sea of
the pirate, and had sailed forth to do it. In return Antony told the
sailor who he was and they planned that in a day or two they would
return home. "And Nick there is going back with me," added Antony,
nodding toward the dark young fellow who sat on the beach with them.

Now Duval had heard how Blackbeard or some of his men had kidnapped the
son of Jonas Evans, and he had his own suspicions concerning what manner
of man this dark-haired fellow might be. Yet he could not help liking
the man, who had certainly helped to do him a good turn; and even if he
had been a pirate there was no reason why he shouldn't have changed his
mind about that way of living and have decided to become an honest
citizen. So he nodded his head approvingly, and said, "That's good. The
old town needs some likely-looking men," and shifted about so that the
warm sand made a more comfortable pillow for his wounded shoulder.

Next day they sailed back to Simeon Park's cabin, and there Nick
discovered a pair of shears and cut his black mustache and cropped his
hair close, so that he looked more like one of the English Roundheads
than he did like a sea-rover. "Now, mates," said he to Antony and Duval,
"I'm a wandering trader you happened to meet in the woods. Tony stole
away from Blackbeard's men one night, and found Park's cabin here. Then
I came along, and a day or two later the three of us picked Duval out of
the sea. What d'ye say to that, mates?"

"I say," said Duval, winking, "that with the lad and me to speak up for
you, they'll be glad to have you in Charles Town, whatever you may be."
He added sagely, "Folks aren't over particular in the colonies about
your granddaddy. Many of 'em came over from the old country without
questions asked as to why they came. No, sir; if a man deals square by
us, we deal square by him."

The following afternoon Simeon Park's boat tacked across the bay, and
zigzagged up to the Charles Town docks. At sundown his three passengers
landed, and bade him a hearty farewell. Few people were about, and none,
as it chanced, who knew them, so that the three walked straightway up
the street along the harbor, Nick in the middle, looking as innocent as
if he had never seen the town before.

The Evans family lived in a small frame house on Meeting Street, and
husband and wife were just sitting down to supper when there came a
knock at the street door. Jonas Evans opened the door, and his son
sprang in and caught him around the shoulders. "Here I am, dad!" he
cried. "Safe and sound again!" After that bear-like squeeze he rushed to
his mother, and gave her the same greeting, while she exclaimed, and
kissed him again and again, and called him all her pet names.

"And I've brought a friend home with me, Nicholas Carter," said Antony.
"I met him along the coast, and he's been very good to me, so you must
be good to him. He's a splendid fellow," he added loyally. "And he and a
fisherman and I pulled Peter Duval out of the water after the big
sea-fight the other day."

"Any friend of my boy's is my friend," said Mr. Evans, and he caught
Nick by the hand and drew him into the house. Then he shook hands with
Duval, and so did Mrs. Evans, almost crying in her delight at having her
son home again, and they both urged the sailor to stay and have supper
with them, but he said that now that he had seen his two mates safely
home he must dash away to his own family.

Antony and Nick sat at the supper-table and ate their fill while Jonas
Evans told them the news. Colonel Rhett had sailed out from Charles Town
with his two sloops and after a great battle had captured the pirate
ship. He thought he had captured Blackbeard, but found he was mistaken.
The pirate had turned out to be a man named Stede Bonnet, a man who came
of a good family and owned some property, a gentleman one might say, a
man who had been a major in the army, and a worthy citizen of
Bridgetown. Once he had repented of his pirate's life, and taken the
King's pardon, but he had gone back to his lawless trade, and been one
of the fiercest of his kind. No one in Charles Town could understand why
such a man had a liking for such a business. Mr. Evans supposed that it
must be because of the wild adventures that went with the career of the
sea-rovers. Here Antony caught a smile on Nick's face, and knew that his
friend was thinking there were many reasons why respectable fellows
turned outlaws. Some drifted into it, as Nick had done as a boy, and
found it easier to stay in than to leave.

Colonel Rhett, Jonas Evans added, had returned to Charles Town with the
_Royal James_ as a prize, and with Stede Bonnet and thirty of his crew
in irons. Eighteen of the men of Carolina had been killed in the
sea-fight, and many more badly wounded.

Then, when he could eat no more, Antony told his story. "And I hope,
dad," he finished, "that you can find a place for Nick in the warehouse.
And on Sundays," he added to his friend, "we'll get out on the water,
and go gunning and fishing."

"Any honest work," said Nick, with his familiar smile, "till I can get
my bearings, and see what I'm best fitted for." He thought he might
endure the warehouse for a week or so, but already he felt the call to
the old free life of the rover.

Jonas Evans agreed to try to find a place for his son's friend. They
talked till the tallow dips sputtered and went out, and then Nick and
Antony climbed to their two bedrooms up under the eaves. "It's the first
time I've slept in a house for years, Tony," said Nick. "I don't know
how I'll like it."

He found that he liked it very well, and the ex-pirate slept
comfortably under the roof of the respectable Charles Town merchant.


III

Jonas Evans was as good as his word, and when Antony went to work in the
warehouse Nick was given a place there too. The dark-haired man had some
pieces of silver in his pocket, and he bought himself quiet-colored
clothes and a broad-brimmed hat, so that he looked very much like other
men in the town; but his black eyes would shine and his clean-shaven
lips curl in amusement as they had done when Antony first rowed his boat
almost into his arms. However, the people of Charles Town were
accustomed to having all sorts of men settle among them, as Peter Duval
had said, and they made no inquiries as to what a man had done before he
arrived there, but only considered how he behaved now, and so they took
it for granted that Nicholas Carter was quite respectable enough, and
didn't trouble themselves about his past. And who would be likely to
think that the man with the long black hair and mustache who had landed
from Blackbeard's small-boat and insolently ordered the governor to
furnish him with drugs was the same man as this young fellow, who was
polite and friendly with every one?

The room in the warehouse where Antony and Nick worked had a window that
looked out across the water, and often the boy saw his friend gazing at
the dancing waves with longing eyes. But when Nick would catch Antony
looking at him he would grin and shake his head, and then try to appear
very much absorbed in the job he had on hand. At such times the boy, who
had only tasted that free life of sea and shore for a few days, could
appreciate the feelings of the man who had known that life for years.

Meantime Charles Town had been very busy dealing with the pirates it had
captured. There was no jail in the town, so most of the crew of the
_Royal James_ had been locked up in the watch house, while their leader,
Stede Bonnet, and two of his men had been given in charge of the marshal
to keep under close guard in his own house. After some time the crew
were put on trial before Chief Justice Trott, and the attorney-general
read to the court and jury a list of thirty-eight ships that Bonnet and
Teach had captured in the last six months. The prisoners had no lawyers
to defend them, but two very able lawyers to attack them, and the Chief
Justice and the other judges, as well as the jury, were convinced that
the crew of the _Royal James_ had beyond question been guilty of piracy.
Four, however, were freed of the charge, while the rest were sentenced
to be hung, the customary punishment for pirates.

Stede Bonnet, their captain, was not put on trial. The guards at the
marshal's house had been very careless, and Bonnet had made friends with
some men in the town. With the help of these friends he had disguised
himself as a woman, and with one of his mates had escaped in a boat with
an Indian and a negro. People said that his plan was to reach the ships
of another pirate named Moody, who had appeared off the bar of the
harbor a few days before, with a ship of fifty guns, and two smaller
ships, likewise armed, that he had captured on their way from New
England to Charles Town.

From the warehouse window Antony and Nick saw the sails of this insolent
new sea-rover, who dared stand so close inshore, waiting to pounce on
any boats that might put out from the town.

The governor had already sent word to England, asking for aid in his
warfare with the buccaneers, but none came from England. So he told the
Council that they must act for themselves, and they ordered the best
ships in port impressed into service and armed. Colonel Rhett, the man
who had captured Bonnet, was asked to take command of this new fleet,
but he declined, owing to some difficulty he had had with Governor
Johnson. Thereupon the governor himself declared he would be the
admiral, to the great delight of Charles Town. Four ships, one of them
being the captured _Royal James_, were armed with cannon, and a call was
sent out for volunteers.

Nick and Antony, going home one night, read the governor's call posted
on a wall. They went down to the harbor and saw the big ships ready to
sail. "This looks like a chance to set myself right again," said Nick,
slowly. "I wouldn't fight my old mates or Blackbeard; but I don't see
any reason why I shouldn't help to clear the sea of Moody or any other
rascal. I'm going to volunteer."

"The governor might want a boy on board," said Antony. "There are lots
of things I can do about a ship."

That night he asked his father to let him volunteer, and though Jonas
Evans and his wife were very loath to lose their son again, he finally
won their permission. Their friends and neighbors were volunteering;
there was no good reason why they should refuse to do their share.

Next day three hundred men and boys volunteered for the little navy of
Charles Town. Then word came that Stede Bonnet and his companions when
they had reached the bar had found that Moody was cruising northward
that day, and so had put back and taken refuge on Sullivan's Island.
Colonel Rhett, who was very angry at the escape of his captive,
volunteered to lead a party to capture Bonnet again. A small party went
in search, hunting the fugitives. The sand-hills, covered with a thick
growth of stunted live-oaks and myrtles, offered splendid protection,
and the hunt was difficult, but at last the men were sighted, shots were
fired, Bonnet's comrade was killed, and the pirate chief himself was
taken prisoner, and once more brought back to Charles Town by Colonel
Rhett.

While this search and capture were going on Antony and Nick were busy
on Governor Johnson's flag-ship, making ready to put to sea. Lookouts
caught sight of the pirate Moody's vessels returning, sailing closer and
closer in, actually coming inside the bar, as though they meant to
attack the town itself. But inside the bar they stopped, and casting
anchor, quietly rode there, while the sunset colored their sails, and
men and women of Charles Town, on the quays and from the roofs and
windows of their houses, watched them and wondered what might be the
pirate's plans.

That night Governor Johnson, from his flag-ship, gave the order to the
other ships of his small fleet to follow him, and they all slipped their
moorings and stole down the harbor to the fort, and waited there.

At dawn next day the four ships from Charles Town, with their guns under
cover and no signs of war about their decks, crossed the bar, heading
toward the sea. The pirate supposed them to be peaceful merchantmen, and
let them sail past him, and then had his ships close in on their track,
in order to cut off their retreat. What he had often done before with
merchantmen he did now; he ran up the black flag and called to the ships
to surrender.

But Governor Johnson had planned to get his enemy into just this
position. The pirate fleet now lay between his own ships and the town.
He hoisted the royal ensign of England, threw open his ports, unmasked
his guns, and poured a broadside of shot into the nearest pirate ship.
Antony, from the deck of the flag-ship, could see the sudden surprise
and alarm on the faces of the pirate crew.

The pirate chief was a clever skipper, however. By wonderful navigating
he sailed his ship straight for the open sea, and actually managed to
get past Governor Johnson. The latter followed in swift pursuit, and as
the ships were now somewhat scattered, the flag-ship signaled the _Sea
Nymph_ and the _Royal James_ to look out for the pirate sloop.

Soon these ships and the sloop were close together, yard-arm to
yard-arm, and a desperate fight under way. The men of Charles Town
fought well; they drove the pirates from their guns, they swarmed aboard
the pirate ship, and killed the pirates who resisted them. Most of the
pirates fought to the last inch of deck-room, refusing to surrender. A
few took refuge in the hold, and threw up their hands when the enemy
surrounded them. Then the crews of the _Sea Nymph_ and the _Royal James_
sailed the captured sloop back to the harbor, where the men and women
who had been listening to the guns cheered wildly.

In the meantime the governor's flag-ship was chasing the pirate
flag-ship. Antony and another boy stood near Johnson, ready to run his
errands whenever needed; Nick was of the crew that manned one of the
forward cannon. It was a long stern chase, but Johnson slowly drew up on
the other. The buccaneers threw their small boats and even their guns
overboard in an attempt to lighten their ship, but the ship from Charles
Town was the faster, and at length overhauled the rover. A few
broadsides of shot, and the black flag came fluttering down from the
masthead; the governor and part of his crew went on board and the
pirates surrendered.

Antony, dogging the governor's steps, was by him when the hatches were
lifted; to his great astonishment he saw that the hold was filled with
frightened women. The governor turned to the captured rover captain.
"What does this mean?" he demanded, pointing to the women, who were now
climbing to the deck with the help of the Charles Town crew.

"When we captured this ship," said the rover, "we found she was the
_Eagle_, bound from England to Virginia, carrying convicts and
indentured servants. We'd have set them ashore at the first good
chance."

It was true. There were thirty-six women on board, sailing from England
to find husbands and homes in the new world. The pirates had changed the
name of the ship, and taken her for their own use, but had had no chance
to land the women safely.

The governor had another surprise that day. He found that the captain of
this fleet of pirates was not Moody, as all Charles Town had supposed,
but an even more dreaded buccaneer, Richard Worley. This Richard Worley
had been on board the sloop, and had been killed in the fierce fighting
on her deck that morning.

Antony and Nick were of the crew that brought the captured _Eagle_,
with her cargo of women, back to shore. There kind-hearted people of
Charles Town took care of the frightened passengers. In the town that
night there was great rejoicing over the defeat of two of the rovers who
infested that part of the seas, Stede Bonnet and Richard Worley. It was
true that Blackbeard and Moody were still at large, but it might well be
that the fate of their fellows would prove a warning to them that the
people of Charles Town meant business. Governor Johnson and his crews
went back to their regular business, and the town grew quiet again.

Neither Moody nor Blackbeard again troubled the good people there. Weeks
later it was learned that Moody had heard how Charles Town was prepared
for him, and that he had gone to Jamaica, and there taken the "King's
pardon," which was granted to all pirates who would give up their
lawless trade before the following first of January. Afterward word came
that Blackbeard had been captured by a fleet sent out by Governor
Spotswood of Virginia, and commanded by officers of the Royal British
Navy.

Stede Bonnet's crew had already been tried and found guilty of piracy.
The judges had now to consider the case of that buccaneer chief himself.
Every one in Charles Town knew that he had sailed the seas time and
again with the "Jolly Roger" at his masthead, but he was a man of very
attractive appearance and manners, and many of the good people of the
town thought that he really meant to repent and lead a better life. The
judges and jury, however, with Bonnet's past record before them, saw
only the plain duty of dealing with him as they had already dealt with
his crew. Then Colonel Rhett, the gallant soldier who had twice captured
Bonnet, came forward and offered to take the pirate personally to
London, and ask the king to pardon him. The governor felt that he could
not consent to this request; he knew how Bonnet had taken the oath of
repentance once before, and had immediately run up the "Jolly Roger" on
his ship at the first chance he found. Bonnet was a pirate, caught in
the very act. The law was very clear. So Bonnet was hanged, as were the
forty other prisoners who had been found guilty.

Nick stayed with Antony at Mr. Evans's warehouse until the excitement of
the war with the pirates had blown over. He and Antony were almost
inseparable, and the people who met the slim, dark fellow liked him for
his good-nature and ready smile. Whenever they found the chance Antony
and he went sailing or hunting or fishing.

"Tony," he said one day as they sailed back from fishing, "I'm going to
leave the warehouse. No, don't look put out; I'm not going back to my
old way of living. Besides, there aren't any of the rovers left for me
to join. But I was made for the open air, and the work there in the shop
can't hold me. The governor wants soldiers for his province of South
Carolina, and I've a notion the life of a soldier would suit me. I take
naturally to swords and pistols."

Antony smiled. "You'll make a good one, Nick. I shouldn't wonder if you
got to be a general. Yes, you'll like it better. But Dad and I'll hate
to have you go."

So, a few days later, Nicholas Carter, who had once been one of
Blackbeard's crew, offered his services to Governor Johnson and became a
soldier in the small army of the province. He did well, and rose to be a
colonel, and one of the most popular men of Charles Town. But sometimes,
when he and Antony Evans were alone together, Colonel Nicholas Carter
would wink and say, "Remember the day when you and I sailed away on
Blackbeard's ship? Yeo ho, for the life of a pirate!"

"The day you kidnapped me, you mean," Antony would remind him. "That was
a wonderful holiday, to be sure!"

For respectable men turned pirates, and pirates reformed and became
worthy citizens and soldiers, in the days before the little settlement
of Charles Town became the city of Charleston in one of the thirteen
states of the American Union.



IX

THE FOUNDER OF GEORGIA

(_Georgia, 1732_)


I

There was a man in England in the first half of the eighteenth century
who became so impressed by the misfortunes of men thrown into prison for
debt that he resolved to do what he could to help them. The man was
James Oglethorpe, and the result of his resolve was the founding of the
colony of Georgia, which in time became one of the original thirteen
colonies of the United States.

To owe money was regarded as a most serious crime in England in those
days, at least four thousand men were sent to prison every year for
inability to pay their debts, and many of these debtors spent their
lives in jail, since it was next to impossible for them to secure any
money while they were imprisoned. The prisons, moreover, were vile dens
of pestilence, where smallpox often raged, jailers treated their
prisoners barbarously, and the man who had stolen a few shillings was
kept in the same pen with the worst of pirates and murderers. A man
named Castell, an architect and writer, was arrested for debt, and
thrown into a prison where smallpox was rife. In spite of his protests
he was kept there, and caught the disease and died. James Oglethorpe
knew Castell, and the story of the architect's imprisonment roused
Oglethorpe to action in aid of others who might be similarly treated.

Oglethorpe was a man of influence in England. He had studied at Oxford,
served in the army, and was a member of Parliament. He had a committee
appointed to investigate the prisons, and, acting as its chairman, he
unearthed so many cases of barbarities and showed that so many of the
jailers were inhuman wretches that Parliament interfered and righted at
least a few of the most crying wrongs. But his plans went farther than
that; he wanted to give men who had the misfortune to be in debt a
chance to start new lives, not simply to stay in jail with no chance to
better their condition, and to this end he looked across the ocean to
the great, unsettled continent of America, and planned his new home for
debtors there.

Oglethorpe succeeded in interesting some of the most prominent men of
England in his plan, and on June 9, 1732, King George II granted them a
charter for a province to be called Georgia, which was to consist of the
country between the Savannah and the Altamaha Rivers and to extend from
the headsprings of these rivers due west to the Pacific Ocean. The seal
of the patrons of the new province bore on one side a group of silkworms
at work, with the motto, "_Non sibi, sed aliis_,"--"Not for themselves,
but for others,"--showing the purpose of the patrons, who had agreed not
to accept any grant of lands or profit from them for themselves. On the
other side of the seal were two figures representing the boundary
rivers, and between them a figure of Georgia, a liberty cap on her head,
a spear in one hand, a horn of plenty in the other. Some of the patrons
were content with the lofty ideals expressed in the seal and the
charter, but James Oglethorpe meant to see the noble project carried
out.

With a commission to act as Colonial Governor of Georgia, Oglethorpe
sailed with about one hundred and twenty emigrants for America in
November, 1732. In fifty-seven days he reached the bar outside
Charleston. There the colonists of South Carolina welcomed the new
arrivals warmly, for they were glad to have a province to their south to
shield them from their Spanish enemies. The governor ordered his pilot
to conduct the ship to Port Royal, some eighty miles to the south, from
whence the emigrants were to go in small boats to the Savannah River.
Oglethorpe meanwhile went to the town of Beaufort and then sailed up the
Savannah to choose a promising site for his new town. The high cliff
known as Yamacraw Bluff caught his eye, and he chose for his site that
high land on which the city of Savannah stands.

Half a mile away dwelt the Indian tribe of the Yamacraws, and their
chief, Tomochichi, sought the white leader and made gifts to him. One
gift was a buffalo skin, painted on the inside with the head and
feathers of an eagle. "Here is a little present," said the chief,
offering the skin. "The feathers of the eagle are soft, and signify
love; the buffalo skin is warm, and is the emblem of protection.
Therefore love and protect our little families." We may be sure that
Oglethorpe promised to live in friendship with them.

On February 12th the colonists reached their new home, and camped on the
edge of the river, glad to escape from their long stay on shipboard.
Four tents were set up, and men cut trees to provide bowers for their
immediate needs. Four pines sheltered the tent of Oglethorpe, and here
he lived for a year, while men laid out streets and built houses and his
city of Savannah began to take shape.

Much good counsel the leader gave his people in those first days,
warning them often against the drinking of rum, which would not only
harm themselves, but would corrupt their Indian neighbors. "It is my
hope," said he, "that, through your good example, the settlement of
Georgia may prove a blessing and not a curse to the native inhabitants."

It was a lovely country, and the emigrants, harassed by debts and
misfortunes in Europe, were delighted with the groves of live-oak, bay,
cypress, sweet-gum, and myrtle, and the many flowers that grew profusely
in the wilderness. While they worked gladly in their new fields
Oglethorpe, knowing their security depended in part on their neighbors,
did his best to make friends of the red men. He invited the chiefs of
the Muskohgees to make an alliance with him, and they came down the
river and through the woods to his tent. Long King, chief of the Oconas,
spoke for the others. "The Great Spirit, who dwells everywhere around,
and gives breath to all men," said he, "sends the English to instruct
us." He bade the strangers welcome to the land that his tribe did not
use, and as token of friendship, laid eight bundles of buckskins at
Oglethorpe's feet. "Tomochichi," he said, "though banished from his
nation, has yet been a great warrior; and, for his wisdom and courage,
the exiles chose him their king." Then Tomochichi expressed his
friendship for the white men. The chief of Coweta rose and said, "We are
come twenty-five days' journey to see you. I was never willing to go
down to Charleston, lest I should die on the way; but when I heard you
were come, and that you are good men, I came down, that I might hear
good things." A treaty of peace was then signed, by which the English
claimed title over the land of the Creeks as far as the St. Johns River,
and the chiefs departed with many presents.

Later a Cherokee came to the settlement. "Fear nothing," said
Oglethorpe, "but speak freely." The red man from the mountains answered
proudly, "I always speak freely. Why should I fear? I am now among
friends; I never feared even among my enemies." Friends were then made
of the Cherokees.

In July Red Shoes, a Choctaw chief, arrived to make a treaty. "We came a
great way," said he, "and we are a great nation. The French are building
forts about us, against our liking. We have long traded with them, but
they are poor in goods; we desire that a trade may be opened between us
and you."

Other people than the poor debtors of England soon came to the province.
The Archbishop of Salzburg by his cruel persecutions drove scores of
Lutherans from his country, and many of these prepared to cross the
ocean to the new settlement on the Savannah River. They traveled from
their Salzburg home through part of Germany, past cities that were
closed against them, through country districts where they were made
welcome. From Rotterdam they sailed to Dover, and from there set forth
in January, 1734, for their new home in the land across the Atlantic.
The sea was a strange experience to the Lutheran families of Salzburg;
when it was calm they delighted in its beauty, when it was swept by
storms they prayed and sang the songs of their faith. They reached the
port of Charleston on March 18, 1734, and Oglethorpe welcomed them
there, not forgetting to have supplies of fresh provisions and
vegetables from his Georgia gardens for the people who had been so long
without them.

A few days later the colonists from Salzburg sailed up the Savannah
River and were met by the earlier colonists. A feast of welcome had been
prepared. Then Governor Oglethorpe gave the strangers permission to
select their home in any part of the province. The country was most of
it still an untraversed wilderness, and so Oglethorpe supplied horses
and traveled with his new colonists. With the aid of Indian guides they
made their way through morasses, they camped at night around fires in
the primeval forest. At last they reached a green valley, watered by
several brooks, and this they chose for their settlement and named it
Ebenezer in thankfulness to their God for having brought them safely
through great dangers into a land of rest. Oglethorpe had his own
carpenters help them build their houses and aided them in planning their
new town.

That the land about Ebenezer was very fruitful is shown by a letter
written by the pastor of the Lutheran colonists. Said he, "Some time ago
I wrote to an honored friend in Europe that the land in this country, if
well managed and labored, brings forth by the blessing of God not only
one hundredfold, but one thousandfold, and I this day was confirmed
therein. A woman having two years ago picked out of Indian corn no more
than three grains of rye, and planting them at Ebenezer, one of the
grains produced an hundred and seventy stalks and ears, and the three
grains yielded to her a bag of corn as large as a coat pocket--the
grains whereof were good and full grown, and she desired me to send part
of them to a kind benefactor in Europe."

His colony now well started, Oglethorpe sailed back to England in April,
1734, taking with him the Indian Tomochichi and several other chiefs, in
order that they might see the country from which so many of their new
neighbors were coming, and also that his English friends might learn how
friendly the Indians were to the settlers. He was received in London
with expressions of the highest praise. His experiment in founding a
colony for poor debtors and for those persecuted for their religion was
declared to be a wonderful success. Missionaries volunteered to go to
Georgia to work among the Indians. One of the rules of the province
forbade the importing of slaves into its borders, and this was regarded
in England with the greatest favor. Yet a little later people in
Savannah were petitioning the trustees of the province to allow them to
have slaves, and many an influential man in England argued in favor of
the slave-trade.

To such an attractive colony many new colonists went. A company of one
hundred and thirty Scotchmen with their families sailed for Savannah,
and settled on the shore of the Altamaha, founding the town of New
Inverness, a name afterward changed to Darien. A small band of Moravians
was led across the Atlantic by their pastor to the new province, and
this youngest of the English colonies quickly gave promise of becoming
one of the most prosperous.

Oglethorpe wanted still more colonists, and at length succeeded in
embarking three hundred persons on three ships in December, 1735. On
February 4th the cry of land was heard from the lookout, and two days
later the fleet anchored near Tybee Island, at the mouth of the Savannah
River. Landing, Oglethorpe gave thanks for their safe arrival, and
showing them how to dig a well and make other arrangements for their
comfort he went on by small-boat to Savannah, where the colonists
saluted him with twenty-one guns from the fort.

Three years before the land beside the river had been a wilderness.
Oglethorpe now found a town of two hundred dwellings, with beautiful
public gardens, and every sign of prosperous industry. The gardens
especially pleased the governor; on the colder side were planted apples,
pears, and plums, while to the south were olives, figs, pomegranates,
and many kinds of vines. There were also coffee and cotton, and a large
space planted with white mulberry trees, making a nursery from which the
people were to be supplied in their culture of silkworms.

The governor went back to see the new colonists at Tybee, and when he
found that some disgruntled traders had been making trouble by spreading
reports that all settlers who went south would be massacred by Spaniards
and Indians, he assured them that such stories were altogether false.
The Spaniards were at peace with them, and they had treaties of
alliance with the Indians. He wanted, however, to make the outlying
settlements as secure as he could, and so sent fifty rangers and one
hundred workmen under Captain McPherson to help the Scotch at Darien,
had men inspect the country with a view to opening a highroad, and
supplied them with Indian guides and plenty of packhorses for their
provisions.

While Oglethorpe was at Tybee the Indian chief Tomochichi, with his wife
and nephew, came to visit the ships there. The chief brought presents of
venison, honey, and milk. When he was introduced to the missionaries who
had come with the latest colonists, Tomochichi said, "I am glad you are
come. When I was in England I desired that some one would speak the
great Word to me. I will go up and speak to the wise men of our nation,
and I hope they will hear. But we would not be made Christians as these
Spaniards make Christians; we would be taught before we are baptized."
The chief's wife then gave the missionaries two large jars, one of honey
and one of milk, and invited them to go to Yamacraw to teach the
children, saying the milk represented food for the children and the
honey their good wishes.

He now wanted to transport the new settlers to their homes as soon as
possible; but the mates of the English ships were afraid to risk
navigating Jekyll Sound. So Oglethorpe bought one of the sloops, put
thirty old colonists, well armed, on board, and told them to sail to St.
Simons. He himself, with a white crew and a few Indians, set out for the
same place in a scout boat and traveled night and day. The Indians
showed the white men their way of rowing, a short stroke and a long
stroke alternately, what they called the "Yamasee stroke." Taking turns
at the oars the party reached St. Simons after two days' journey. They
found the sloop already there, and the governor gave a large reward to
the captain for being the first to enter that port.

All hands now set to work to build a booth for the stores. They threw up
earth for a bank, and raised poles on it to support a roof. The booth
was thickly covered with palmetto leaves. Cabins were then built for the
families, and a fort, with ditches and ramparts, was begun.

Next Oglethorpe went to Darien, dressing in Highland costume out of
compliment to the Scotchmen there. The Highlanders, clad in kilts, with
broadswords, targets, and firearms, gave him a royal welcome. Their
captain invited the governor to sleep in his tent on a soft bed with
sheets and curtains, a great luxury in the wilderness, but Oglethorpe
preferred to sleep in his plaid at the guard fire, sharing everything,
according to his custom, with his men.

He found that the Scotch at Darien had already built a fort, defended by
four cannon, a chapel, a guard-house, and a store. They were on the
friendliest terms with their Indian neighbors, and hunted buffalo
through the Georgia woods with them like members of their own tribe.

In the Georgia woods there was plenty of game, rabbits, squirrels,
partridges, wild turkeys, pheasants and roebuck. There were also
rattlesnakes and alligators, and the alligators so frightened the
settlers at first that Oglethorpe had one of them caught and brought to
Savannah, so the people might grow familiar with it and lose their fear
of it.

He wanted now to mark out his boundaries with the Indians, and also to
learn what had become of Mr. Dempsey, a commissioner he had sent to
confer with the Spanish governor of Florida, who had not been heard
from. In two scout boats, with forty Indians, he rowed across Jekyll
Sound, sleeping one night in a grove of pines, and the second day
reached an island formerly called Wisso or Sassafras, but which
Tomochichi had now christened Cumberland in honor of the young English
prince he had met in London. Here Oglethorpe marked out a fort to be
called St. Andrews, and left a few white men to carry out its building.

The governor rowed on through the marshes, and came to an island covered
with orange-trees in blossom. The Spaniards had called this Santa Maria,
but Oglethorpe changed its name to Amelia, in honor of an English
princess. They also changed the name of the next island they reached
from the Spanish San Juan to Georgia. Here was an old fort supposed to
have been built by Sir Francis Drake, and Oglethorpe sent one of his
captains to repair it.

They climbed some heights and Tomochichi pointed out the St. Johns
River, the boundary line of Spanish territory. A Spanish guard-house
stood on the other side. "All on this side the river we hunt," said
Tomochichi. "It is our ground. All on the other side they hunt, but they
have lately hurt some of our people, and we shall drive them away. We
will stay until night behind these rocks, where they cannot see us; then
we will fall upon them."

Oglethorpe tried to persuade them not to attack the Spaniards, and got
them to stay near Amelia Island while he went in one of the scout boats
to the guard-house to find out what had happened to Mr. Dempsey, the
agent he had sent to St. Augustine. He found no one in the guard-house
and so returned to the camp, where all his party were except Tomochichi,
who had gone scouting.

That night the governor's sentry challenged a boat. Four Indians jumped
out, all of them in a rage. They said to Oglethorpe, "Tomochichi has
seen enemies, and has sent us to tell you and to help you."

"Why didn't Tomochichi come back?" asked the governor.

"Tomochichi is an old warrior," the Indians answered, "and will not come
away from his enemies till he has seen them so near as to count them.
He saw their fires, and before daylight will be revenged for the men
whom they killed while he was away; but we shall have no honor, for we
shall not be there."

Oglethorpe asked if there were many of them, and the messengers
answered, "Yes, a great many, for they had a large fire on high ground,
and Indians never make large fires except when so strong as to defy all
resistance."

This didn't suit Oglethorpe at all, and he immediately ordered all his
men into their boats, and rowed to the Indian chief's hiding-place, some
four miles away. He found the chief and his men and urged them not to
attack the Spaniards that night. Tomochichi was for going on, however.
"Then," said the governor, "you go to kill your enemies in the night
because you are afraid of them by the day. Now I do not fear them at any
time. Therefore wait until day, and I will go with you and see who they
are."

Tomochichi reluctantly agreed to wait. "We do not fear them by day,"
said he, "but if we do not kill them to-night they will kill you
to-morrow."

At daylight the whole party started toward the foe. Soon they saw a
white flag flying on the shore and white men near it. But, to
Oglethorpe's delight, the men turned out not to be Spaniards, but one of
his own officers, Major Richards, with Mr. Dempsey and his mates, back
from Florida.

The agent reported that his party had had many adventures, but had
finally reached St. Augustine, where Don Francisco, the governor, had
welcomed them and given them letters for Oglethorpe, asking for an
answer in three weeks.

The expedition returned to Frederica, where the governor read his men
the contents of the Spaniard's letters. These were full of flattering
phrases, but there was also complaint that the Creeks had attacked
Spaniards, and requests that Oglethorpe should restrain his Indian
allies. The governor suspected that these requests were only a blind to
hide a future attack by the Spaniards on the English colonists, but he
was very anxious to avoid such trouble if it was possible, so he sent a
boat of twenty oars, fitted out with swivel-guns, to patrol the St.
Johns River and keep any Creek Indians from crossing to attack the
Spaniards. He also stationed scout boats at other places, and asked
Tomochichi to send word to the Creeks that their ally, the governor of
Georgia, requested them not to make raids into Florida, but to keep
guard on the mainland in the neighborhood of the settlement at Darien.

Soon after Oglethorpe returned to Savannah he saw that trouble was
brewing with the Spaniards. He heard that a large troop of soldiers had
lately marched from St. Augustine. He knew that there was a garrison of
three hundred foot-soldiers and fifty horse at St. Augustine, with
reinforcements coming from Havana, and that he had not a single regular
soldier with which to oppose them. Then word came that a fleet of
strange ships had been seen at sea. He ordered his colonists to
strengthen their fort at once, and set out in a boat for St. Andrews to
learn exactly how matters stood.

From Fort St. George he crossed to the Spanish side of the St. Johns
River, and climbing a hill, fastened a white flag to a pole, hoping the
Spaniards would come to a conference with him. None came, however, but
fires were seen on the Florida side that night, and the governor thought
the Spaniards were planning an attack. He ordered two gun-carriages and
two swivel-guns taken into the woods and placed at different points. The
larger guns were to fire seven shots, and the smaller to answer with
five. The latter would sound like a distant ship firing a salute, and
the larger guns would resemble the noise of a battery returning the
salute. In this way Oglethorpe hoped to make the Spaniards think that
reinforcements were coming to the aid of the Georgians.

By this trick Oglethorpe escaped great danger. As a matter of fact the
Spanish governor had arrested Oglethorpe's messengers, and had sent a
strong force to attack the fort on St. Simons Island. The battery there,
however, drove the Spaniards out to sea again, and when they tried to
approach by another inlet they were driven off the second time by the
garrison at St. Andrews. They then decided to attack St. George, but as
they were planning this they heard the booming of the distant cannon,
thought reinforcements must be arriving, as Oglethorpe had figured on
their thinking, and decided not to make the attack at all then.

At the same time Oglethorpe lighted fires in the woods, thereby making
his enemy believe that Creek Indians were coming to join the English.
The Spanish commander, Don Pedro, gave the order to return to the walls
of St. Augustine, and there, by his reports of the numbers of
Oglethorpe's troops, induced the Spanish governor to send back
Oglethorpe's two agents, and with them one of his own officers to urge
the Englishman to keep his Indian allies from invading Florida.

Oglethorpe, however, did not know that Don Pedro had returned to St.
Augustine, and so, with twenty-four men, crossed the St. Johns River to
the Spanish side, hoping to get word of his agents. He saw a Spanish
boat with seventy men on board. The boat headed away at sight of the
English colonists. Then two Spanish horsemen appeared and forbade the
English landing on the soil of the king of Spain. Oglethorpe said that
he would do as they wished, but he invited them to land on English
ground if they desired and offered them wine should they come.

The governor now learned that men in Charleston were selling arms and
ammunition to the Spaniards, regardless of the fact that the latter
meant to use them against the former's own English neighbors. He wrote
to men in South Carolina urging them not to allow this, but in spite of
his protests the men of Florida continued for some time to draw a large
part of their supplies from the colony to the north of Georgia.

Then he returned to Fort St. George, taking with him Tomochichi and his
men in their canoes, a large barge, and two ten-oared boats with fifty
soldiers, cannon, and stores for two months. On the way he heard that
his agents were coming back accompanied by two Spanish officers. He did
not want the Spaniards to learn the strength of his garrison, so he gave
orders that they should be entertained on board his ship the _Hawk_, on
the excuse that the country was full of Indians who might otherwise
attack the Spaniards.

Tents were set up on Jekyll Island, the Scotchmen dressed in their
plaids, the whole garrison assumed its most martial air, and Oglethorpe,
attended by seven officers, embarked for the _Hawk_, his purpose being
to impress the Spaniards with the size of his forces. The Spaniards were
impressed; they promised on their part to right the wrongs that
Oglethorpe's Indian allies complained of, and gained a promise from him
in return that he would do his best to keep the Creeks and other tribes
from molesting the Spanish settlers. Later, on his return to Savannah,
the governor made a treaty with the Spanish governor. More and more
bickering arose, however, between the settlers of the two nations, and
so Oglethorpe sailed for England in November, 1736, hoping to win aid
for his colony from the British government.


II

Oglethorpe had no sooner reached England than word came that the
governor of Florida had ordered every English merchant to leave his
territory and was planning for warfare. The king of England at once
appointed Oglethorpe commander-in-chief of all his troops in Carolina
and Georgia, and ordered a regiment to be raised and equipped for
service there. Troops were sent from Gibraltar, and meantime the
governor busied himself in urging men and women to go out with him to
America as colonists. The terms he offered them were so promising that
finally he sailed from Portsmouth with five transports, carrying six
hundred men, women, and children, besides arms and provisions.

In a little more than two months this new party reached St. Simons
Island. The settlers there, who had been fearing an attack by the
Spaniards, were delighted to welcome the general and his company.
Oglethorpe went to work at once to strengthen the forts, to build roads
between the forts and the towns, and to station scout ships to give
notice of any hostile fleet. Then he went to Savannah, where cannon
roared at his approach and the settlers crowded about to welcome their
trusted governor and general. Tomochichi and the chiefs of the Creek
nations came to assure him of their loyalty and offered to serve him at
any time against their common enemies the Spaniards.

General Oglethorpe well knew how important the help of the Indians might
be to him, and so decided to journey through the wilderness to visit the
various tribes. This meant a long and perilous trip. It is partly
described for us. "Through tangled thickets," runs an account of the
journey, "along rough ravines, over dreary swamps in which the horses
reared and plunged, the travelers patiently followed their native
guides. More than once they had to construct rafts on which to cross the
rivers, and many smaller streams were crossed by wading or swimming....
Wrapped in his cloak, with his portmanteau for a pillow, their hardy
leader lay down to sleep upon the ground, or if the night were wet he
sheltered himself in a covert of cypress boughs spread upon poles. For
two hundred miles they neither saw a human habitation, nor met a soul;
but as they neared their journey's end they found here and there
provisions, which the primitive people they were about to visit had
deposited for them in the woods.... When within fifty miles of his
destination, the general was met by a deputation of chiefs who escorted
him to Coweta; and although the American aborigines are rarely
demonstrative, nothing could exceed the joy manifested by them on
Oglethorpe's arrival.... By having undertaken so long and difficult a
journey for the purpose of visiting them, by coming with only a few
attendants in fearless reliance on their good faith, by the readiness
with which he accommodated himself to their habits, and by the natural
dignity of his deportment, Oglethorpe had won the hearts of his red
brothers, whom he was never known to deceive."

A great council was held, a cup of the sacred black-medicine was drunk
by the white man and the chiefs, the calumet or pipe of peace was
smoked, and a treaty was drawn up, by which the Creeks renewed their
allegiance to the king of England while Oglethorpe promised that the
English would not encroach upon the Creeks' country and that the traders
would deal honestly with them.

On his way home the governor fell ill of fever and had to stay at Fort
Augusta for several weeks. Here chiefs of the Cherokees and Chickasaws
came to him, complaining that some of their people had been poisoned by
rum they had bought from English traders. Inquiry showed that traders
had not only brought bad rum, but smallpox also, to the Indians, and the
governor promised the chiefs that hereafter he would only permit certain
licensed traders to come among them.

Troubles over runaway slaves, who left South Carolina and Georgia for
Florida and were protected by the Spanish there, soon brought fresh
controversies between the settlers on the two sides of the border.
England, moreover, was preparing for war with Spain. On October 2, 1739,
the men of Savannah met at the court-house and General Oglethorpe
announced to them that England had declared war on Spain. The governor's
militia was now well armed and trained, ships guarded the coast, he had
a string of forts protecting his borders. Yet he, like the government in
England, would very much have preferred to keep the peace with the
Spaniards, and was only driven to hostilities because the latter were
constantly making trouble for his colonists and seizing English merchant
ships and imprisoning their crews.

The southernmost outpost of Georgia was now Amelia Island, where there
was a settlement of about forty persons. They were protected by
palisades and several cannon. In November some Spaniards landed at night
and hid in the woods. Shots were heard in the fort, and the English
soldiers, searching the woods, found the bodies of two of the
Highlanders. The Spaniards had shot them, and escaped in their boats.

At once Oglethorpe, with some of his Scotchmen and Indians, marched into
Florida. He captured Spanish boats at the mouth of the St. Johns River,
and went on toward St. Augustine. A troop of the enemy came out to
attack him, but fled before the rush of his Indians.

He knew that he needed more troops, however, if he were to make good his
war on Florida, so he sent to South Carolina, urging the governor of
that colony to contribute as many soldiers as Georgia had supplied. This
caused some delay, but at length arrangements were completed, and
Oglethorpe was prepared to take the field.

In May the general assembled four hundred of his soldiers, Creek Indians
under their chief Malachee, Cherokees under their chief Raven, at St.
George Island, at the mouth of the St. Johns River. Oglethorpe's object
was to cut off supplies from St. Augustine. His men crossed the river,
and a body of Indians and a few white soldiers made an attack on the
Spanish fort at San Diego. This place was defended by a number of large
guns, and the first attack on it failed. Then Oglethorpe came up with
the rest of his men and decided to try a little strategy. He ordered
some of his soldiers to beat drums in different parts of the woods and
other soldiers to march out at these places and march back again, the
same soldiers appearing again and again. The Spanish garrison, seeing so
many men at so many different points in the woods, soon concluded that
the English had an overwhelming force in the field against them. Then
Oglethorpe sent a Spanish prisoner he had captured to tell the garrison
how well he had been treated. Thereupon the garrison surrendered to the
English general.

The troops from Carolina had not yet arrived, and Oglethorpe learned
that, while they delayed, two sloops filled with provisions and
ammunition and six Spanish galleys had reached St. Augustine. On the
eighteenth of May, however, two English ships anchored in the harbor and
two others blocked the southern entrance to the Spanish port, and soon
afterward a part of the troops from Carolina joined the general. He then
gave the order to advance on the Spanish town.

St. Augustine was defended by 2,000 soldiers, quite as many as the
troops Oglethorpe had marshaled against it. The Spanish artillery was
vastly superior to that of the English. If the town was to be taken the
sea forces must attack at the same time as the land forces, and signals
were arranged for such a joint attack.

The general came to Fort Moosa, three miles from St. Augustine, and
found the garrison had abandoned it. He gave orders to burn the gate
there and make holes in the walls, "lest," as he said, "it might one day
or other be a mouse-trap for some of our own people." Marching on, he
gave the signal to attack the Spanish capital, but was surprised that
the fleet gave him no answering signal. Later he learned that the
Spaniards had deployed their ships in such a way that a sea attack would
have been very difficult, and that the English commanders had decided
that if they made the attack as agreed upon they would probably be
defeated. Therefore the general determined that instead of an assault he
would attempt a blockade.

He returned to Fort Diego, and ordered Colonel Palmer, with over two
hundred Scotchmen and Indians to march to Fort Moosa and scout through
the woods to prevent any communication between St. Augustine and the
interior of Florida. Colonel Palmer was told to camp each night in a new
place, to avoid battle, and to return at once if a larger force than his
own appeared. Another officer was sent with the Carolina soldiers to
take Point Quartell, which was about a mile distant from the castle of
St. Augustine, and build a battery there to command the northern
entrance to the harbor.

The general himself set out to capture the Spaniards' battery at
Anastasia, and by clever maneuvers there succeeded in driving the enemy
to their boats. Oglethorpe set up cannon and sent an envoy to the
Spanish governor, calling on him to surrender. The Spaniard replied that
he should be glad to shake hands with General Oglethorpe if the latter
would come to him in his castle. In answer Oglethorpe opened fire from
his new battery, but the distance to the town was too great for his guns
and little harm was done the enemy.

Colonel Palmer, meantime, disregarding the general's orders to camp in a
new place each night, had kept his men in the partly demolished Fort
Moosa. The Spaniards sent six hundred men to attack his small force.
Palmer's soldiers resisted desperately, but the Highlanders and the
Indians were too much outnumbered by the Spaniards; half of them,
including Colonel Palmer, were killed, a few escaped, and the rest were
made prisoners.

The commander of the fleet also disregarded the arrangement he had made
with Oglethorpe and ordered off the war-ship stationed outside the
harbor, with the result that several sloops from Havana with new troops
and provisions stole into the channel and reached the Spanish
stronghold. The garrison at St. Augustine had begun to feel the pinch of
hunger and might soon have surrendered, but these fresh supplies tided
them over and enabled them to keep up their defense.

General Oglethorpe, discouraged in his plan of a blockade, decided to
make one more attempt at carrying the town by assault. The British
commodore, Pearse, was to attack with his fleet while Oglethorpe led his
soldiers by land. The colonial troops and Indians were ready to open
fire, and only waited the signal from the ships. They waited in vain,
however. Instead of keeping his agreement, Commodore Pearse quietly
sailed away with all his ships, sending word to General Oglethorpe that
it was now the season when hurricanes might be expected off the Florida
coast and that he didn't intend to risk His Majesty's fleet there any
longer.

Oglethorpe, who alone seemed really in earnest in his desire to fight
the Spaniards, deserted by the English fleet, getting very little
support from the officers and men of the Carolina regiments, found it
impossible to carry on the campaign. Even his own men from Georgia were
worn out by fatigue and the heat of Florida. Reluctantly therefore he
gave over his expedition, and returned to Savannah. The campaign,
however, had shown the Spaniards that the governor of Georgia was a man
whose power was to be respected, and they did not renew their raids into
his province for some years.

Oglethorpe was a great builder as well as a very skilful military
leader, and he used this time of peace to improve the prosperity and
beauty of the towns he had settled in his colony. Savannah was already a
thriving place, with fine squares, parks, and wide shaded streets. Now
he turned his attention to Frederica, a town of a thousand settlers. He
meant this to be a strong frontier fort, and designed an esplanade,
barracks, parade-ground, fortifications, everything that could be of use
to protect Frederica from an enemy.

Not far from Frederica, on the same island of St. Simons, was a small
settlement called Little St. Simons. A road connected the two places,
running over a beautiful prairie and through a forest, and at the edge
of this forest Oglethorpe built himself a small cottage and planted a
garden and an orchard of oranges, grapes and figs. Here he made his
home, where he could watch the water and keep an eye on Frederica and
its forts. A number of his officers built country-seats for themselves
near the general's cottage, almost all of them larger and more
pretentious than that of the general. Strange as it may seem, the
founder of Georgia never claimed or owned any other land in his province
but this one small place, and he lived almost as simply as the poorest
colonist, a great contrast to the elaborate state kept by the governors
of such colonies as Virginia and Maryland or the luxury of William
Penn's home at Pennsbury.

Meantime other forts were built in the southern part of Georgia, one on
Jekyll Island, another on Cumberland Island, a third at Fort William;
and fortunately the governor saw to all this, for his province was to be
for some time the buffer between the English and the Spaniards, two
peoples who were constantly either on the verge of warfare or actually
fighting. The mother-countries of England and Spain were always at
swords' points, and those troubles on the other side of the Atlantic
were sure to bring the American colonists into the same strife. Each
country hectored the other. In the spring of 1740 the British government
decided to attack Spain through its American possessions. France also
decided to take a hand in the business, and this time joined with Spain.
Ships of these two countries set sail for the West Indies and threatened
the British colony of Jamaica. The English admiral, Vernon, was
despatched with a large squadron to attack the enemy, but instead of
sailing to Havana he turned in the direction of Hispaniola to watch the
French fleet, and so lost a splendid chance to capture the Spanish
stronghold of Havana. General Oglethorpe learned of this, and in May,
1641, he wrote to the Duke of Newcastle in England, explaining how
matters stood in that part of America and stating what the colonists
would need if they were to carry on a successful war with the Spanish
Dons of Florida and the West Indies.

His letter was laid before the proper officers in England, but, as so
often happened in such cases, those officers, far though they were from
the scene of action, thought they knew more about conditions in Georgia
and Florida than Oglethorpe did. The government delayed and delayed,
while the general waited for an answer to his requests. Then he had to
write again to England. Either the northern colonies or the
mother-country was accustomed to supply his province with flour, but now
Spanish privateers were capturing the merchant vessels that brought it.
Only two English men-of-war were stationed off the coast, and they were
insufficient to protect it from privateers. A Spanish rover had just
seized a ship off Charleston Harbor with a great quantity of supplies on
board. When Oglethorpe heard of this he sent out his guard-sloop and a
schooner he had hired, met three Spanish ships, forced them to fly,
attacked one of their privateers and drove it ashore. Then he bought a
good-sized vessel and prepared it for service on the coast until the
English should send him a proper fleet.

A large Spanish ship was sighted off the bar of Jekyll Sound on August
16th. The intrepid governor manned his sloop and two other vessels, the
_Falcon_ and the _Norfork_, and started in pursuit. He ran into a storm,
and when the weather had cleared the Spaniard had disappeared. The
storm had disabled the _Falcon_, and she had to put back, but
Oglethorpe sailed on with the other two, laying his course for Florida,
and a few days later sighted the Spanish ship at anchor.

The Spaniard was a man-of-war, and with her was another ship, by name
the _Black Sloop_, with a record as a daring privateer. But Oglethorpe
was equal in daring to any Spanish captain. He ordered his small boats
put out to tow his two ships, the weather being now a calm, and as they
approached the enemy, gave the command to board. The two Spanish vessels
opened fire, but Oglethorpe's guns answered so vigorously that the
Spaniards quickly weighed anchor, and, a light breeze coming to their
aid, were able to run across the bar of the harbor.

The English followed, and, though they could not board the enemy, fought
them for an hour, at the end of which the Spaniards were so disabled
that they ran for the town, while half a dozen of their small galleys
came out to safeguard their retreat.

Other Spanish vessels were lying in the harbor, but none dared to attack
the two ships of Oglethorpe, and the governor spent that night at anchor
within sight of the castle of St. Augustine. Next day he sailed for the
open sea again, and there cruised up and down outside the bar, as if
daring the Spaniards to come out to meet him. When they refused to come
he sailed back to Frederica, having spread a proper fear of his small
fleet of two ships all along the Florida coast.

Perhaps the greatest service that Oglethorpe rendered to his colony was
his retaining the friendship of all the neighboring Indian tribes. This
he did by always treating them fairly and impressing them with his
sincere interest in their own welfare. Another man might have let the
Indians see that he was merely using them to protect his own white
settlers, but Oglethorpe convinced them that he was equally concerned in
protecting both red men and white from ill-usage by the French and
Spanish. Georgia moreover needed the friendship of the native tribes
much more than the other English colonies did. It was nearest to the
strong Spanish settlements in Florida, and its neighbor to the north,
South Carolina, was able to furnish it very little assistance in times
of need, and was often barely able to protect itself. Had the Creeks,
the Chickasaws and Cherokees been allies of the Spaniards or the French
instead of allies of Georgia the English settlers would have found
themselves in hot water most of the time.

The general had difficulty in corresponding with England and letting the
people there know what he needed. "Seven out of eight letters miscarry,"
he said. Fortunately no more English merchantmen were captured by
Spanish privateers; the Dons had apparently been taught a lesson by the
vigorous attack Oglethorpe had made on their own ships.

To keep this lesson in their mind the governor sailed again for St.
Augustine, but ran into a storm that almost destroyed his fleet. At
nearly the same time a privateer reached the bar outside St. Augustine
with large supplies for the garrison. The Spanish governor, as usual in
need of fresh supplies, joyfully hailed the privateer, sent out a pilot
with two galleys to bring her into the harbor, fired the guns from his
castle, and ordered some of his Indians to cut wood and build a
welcoming bonfire.

Oglethorpe and his Indian allies were on the alert, however. A party of
his Creek friends attacked the Spanish Indians and captured five of
them. At the same time one of his ships reached the privateer before the
tide was high enough to float her over the bar, seized her, and took her
to Frederica. Now the settlers of Georgia, and even of South Carolina,
praised the general for his vigilance and dashing courage. A merchant of
Charleston wrote, "Our wrongheads now begin to own that the security of
our southern settlements and trade is owing to the vigilance and
unwearied endeavors of His Excellency in annoying the enemy."

Yet, in spite of this, Carolina continued to fail in providing the men
or ships or supplies that Oglethorpe, Commander-in-Chief of His
Majesty's forces in Georgia and Carolina, requested of it.

Presently the Spaniards, following the policy of England in trying to
annoy enemy colonies in America, took the offensive. A Spanish fleet of
more than fifty ships, with more than 5,000 soldiers on board, was
despatched to attack the English settlements. Fourteen of the ships
tried to reach Fort William, but were driven back by the battery there.
They then made for Cumberland Sound. Oglethorpe sent out Captain Horton
with white soldiers and Indians and followed with more troops in three
boats. The Spanish ships attacked him, but he fought his way through
their fleet with two of his boats. The third boat made for a creek, hid
there until the next day, and then returned to St. Simons with the
report that General Oglethorpe had been overpowered and killed. A day
later, however, the people of St. Simons were delighted to see their
general return safe and sound. He had escaped damage from the Spaniards,
but had hit them so hard with his guns that four of their ships
foundered on the way back to St. Augustine for repairs.

At once he prepared ships and men for another conflict. His daring had
so inspired his crews that as some of them said, "We were ready for
twice our number of Spaniards." They soon had their chance. Thirty-six
Spanish ships in line of battle ran into St. Simons harbor. The forts
and the vessels there opened fire at once. Three times the enemy tried
to board the _Success_, a ship of twenty guns and one hundred men, but
each time the crew proved that they really were ready for twice their
number of Spaniards. After fighting for four hours the Spaniards gave up
the battle and sailed up the river in the direction of Frederica.

Oglethorpe called a council of war. In view of the great number of
Spanish ships it was decided to destroy the batteries at St. Simons and
withdraw all the forces to Frederica. This was quickly done, and that
evening some of the enemy landed and took possession of the deserted and
dismantled fortifications.

Meantime the general learned from some prisoners captured by the Indians
that the Spaniards had land forces of 5,000 men and had issued commands
to give no quarter to the English. As Mr. Rutledge of Charleston later
wrote, "The Spaniards were resolved to put all to the sword, not to
spare a life, so as to terrify the English from any future thought of
re-settling." Oglethorpe was now in a most dangerous situation. The
enemy had numerous ships, a great many soldiers, and were evidently
determined to settle matters once for all with their neighbors. The fate
of the English colonies of Georgia and South Carolina might depend on
the outcome of the next few days.

Spanish outposts tried to reach the fort at Frederica, but were driven
back by Indian scouts. The only road to the town was by the narrow
highway, where only three men could walk abreast, with a forest on one
side and a marsh on the other. Artillery could not be carried over it,
and it was guarded by Highlanders and Indians in ambush. Yet, after many
attempts, the Spaniards managed to get within two miles of the town.

Oglethorpe now led a charge of his rangers, Highlanders and Indians, so
fiercely that all but a few of the enemy's advance-guard were killed or
made prisoners. The Spanish commander was captured. The English pursued
the retreating Spaniards for a mile, then posted guards, while the
general returned to the town for reinforcements.

The Spaniards again marched up the road and camped near where the
English lay hid in ambush. A noise startled them and they seized their
arms. The men in ambush fired, many Spaniards fell, and the rest fled in
confusion. As a Spanish sergeant said, "The woods were so full of
Indians that the devil himself could not get through them." For a long
time the place was known as the "Bloody Marsh." Oglethorpe marched his
troops over the road to within two miles of the main Spanish encampment,
and there halted for the night.

The enemy withdrew to the ruined fort at St. Simons, where they were
sheltered by the guns of their fleet. Oglethorpe went back to Frederica,
leaving outposts to watch the Spaniards. There he found that his
provisions were running low, and he knew that no more could be brought
in since the enemy blocked the sound. He told the people, however, that
if they had to abandon their settlement they could escape through
Alligators Creek and the canal that had been cut through Generals
Island, and he assured his little army of 800 men that they were more
than a match for the whole Spanish expedition.

Presently Spanish galleys came up the river; but Indians, hid in the
long grasses, prevented the soldiers from landing. When they approached
the town the batteries opened such a hot fire that the galleys fled
down-stream much faster than they had come up.

English prisoners, escaping from the Spaniards, began to bring word that
the enemy were much discouraged. Many Spaniards had fallen sick, and the
soldiers from Cuba were wrangling with the men from Florida. Oglethorpe
therefore planned a surprise for the enemy and marched to within a mile
of their camp. He was about to attack when one of his soldiers, a
Frenchman who had volunteered but was in reality a spy, fired his gun
and ran from the general's ranks.

The Frenchman was not caught, and the general knew that he would tell
the Spaniards how few English soldiers there were. So Oglethorpe tried a
trick of his own, hoping to make the Frenchman appear to be a double
spy. He hired a Spanish prisoner to carry a letter to the spy. "The
letter was in French," Oglethorpe later said, "as if from a friend,
telling him that he had received the money, and would strive to make the
Spaniards believe the English were very weak; that he should undertake
to pilot their boats and galleys, and then bring them into the woods
where the hidden batteries were. That if he could bring about all this,
he should have double the reward, and that the French deserters should
have all that had been promised them.

"The Spanish prisoner got into their camp," Oglethorpe said, "and was
immediately carried before the general. He was asked how he escaped and
whether he had any letters; but denying this, was searched and the
letter found. And he, upon being pardoned, confessed that he had
received money to carry it to the Frenchman, for the letter was not
directed. The Frenchman, of course, denied knowing anything of the
contents of the letter, or having received any money or had any
correspondence with me. Notwithstanding which, a council of war was held
and they decided the Frenchman a double spy, but the general would not
suffer him to be executed, having been employed by himself."

While the Spaniards were still in doubt as to the strength of
Oglethorpe's forces some English ships arrived off the coast. This
decided the Spaniards to leave, and they burned the barracks at St.
Simons and took to their ships in such haste that they left behind some
of their cannon and provisions.

Hearing that ships had been sighted Oglethorpe sent an officer in a boat
with a letter to their commander. But when the officer embarked he found
no ships were to be seen. Later the general learned that one of the
vessels sighted came from South Carolina, and that the officer in
command had orders to see if the Spanish fleet had taken possession of
the fort at St. Simons, and if it had to sail back to Charleston at
once. Here was further proof that the plucky governor of Georgia could
expect little assistance from the sister colony on the north.

By now some of the Spanish ships were out at sea, and others had landed
their soldiers at St. Andrews in a temporary camp. A couple of days
later twenty-eight of their ships sailed up to Fort William and called
upon the garrison to surrender. The English officer there answered that
he would not surrender the fort and defied the Spaniards to take it. The
latter tried; they landed men, who were driven off by the guns of
soldiers hidden in the sand-dunes, their ships fired on the fort, but
were disabled by the return-fire of the Georgia batteries. After a
battle of three hours the Spaniards withdrew from the scene and returned
to their base at St. Augustine.

With a few ships and eight hundred men Oglethorpe had defeated a Spanish
fleet of fifty-six vessels and an army of more than 5,000 soldiers.
Small wonder that the people of his province couldn't find praise enough
for their leader! George Whitefield, a famous clergyman of Savannah,
wrote of this war against the Spanish Dons, "The deliverance of Georgia
from the Spaniards is such as cannot be paralleled but by some instances
out of the Old Testament. The Spaniards had intended to attack Carolina,
but wanting water, they put into Georgia, and so would take that colony
on their way. They were wonderfully repelled, and sent away before our
ships were seen."

The governors of the colonies of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina sent letters to Oglethorpe
thanking him for his valiant defense of the southern seaboard and
expressing their gratitude to God that Georgia had a commander so well
fitted to protect her borders. The governor of South Carolina and most
of his officers had done little or nothing to help their neighbor, but
the people of that colony thoroughly disapproved of this failure to be
of assistance and a number of them sent a message to Oglethorpe in which
they said, "If the Spaniards had succeeded in their attempts they would
have destroyed us, laid our province waste and desolate, and filled our
habitations with blood and slaughter.... We are very sensible of the
great protection and safety we have so long enjoyed by having your
Excellency to the southward of us; had you been cut off, we must, of
course, have fallen."

Even after this defeat, however, the Spaniards of Florida continued from
time to time to molest the Georgia borders. A party of rangers was
killed by Spanish soldiers, the settlement at Mount Venture was burned
by Yamasee Spanish Indians. Oglethorpe had to be on the watch constantly
lest the French or the Spanish should raid his territory. And the
English government, though he wrote them time and again, neglected to
send him proper reinforcements.

In the spring of 1743 the general was again camped on the St. Johns
River. He heard that a Spanish army was marching against him, and he
resolved to attack them before they should attack him. His Indian
allies stole up on the enemy, and surprising them, drove them back in
confusion. The Spaniards took shelter behind one of their forts, and
Oglethorpe could not manage to draw them out to battle. He marched his
men back to Frederica, and there by Indian scouts, by sentry-boats, kept
an eye on the Spaniards, ready to spring out to meet them should they
renew their raids at any time.

His soldiers never faltered in their obedience to the general's orders;
his Indian allies, though they were often tempted, never forsook their
allegiance to him. The Spaniards tried many times to buy the red men
over to their side. Similli, a chief of the Creeks, went to St.
Augustine to see what was being done there. The Spaniards offered to pay
him a large sum of money for every English prisoner he would bring them,
and showed him a sword and scarlet clothes they had given a chief of the
Yamasees. They said of Oglethorpe, "He is poor, he can give you nothing;
it is foolish for you to go back to him." The Creek chief answered, "We
love him. It is true he does not give us silver, but he gives us
everything we want that he has. He has given me the coat off his back
and the blanket from under him." In return for his loyalty to his
English friend the Spaniards drove the Indian from St. Augustine at the
point of the sword.

The general had spent all his own money in protecting his people in
Georgia, and the English government would not send him the sums he said
were urgently needed for the province. Therefore he decided that he must
go to England and see what could be done there. He put his forts on the
border in the best possible shape for defense, appointed a deputy
governor in Savannah, and sailed for England in July, 1743.

Was the colonial hero received with the praise his great services
deserved from England? Instead of praise he was harshly criticized for
this or that trivial matter; though a few of the wiser men came forward
to do him honor. Parliament would not vote him the money his colony
needed; he had difficulty in finding enough money to pay his personal
debts. Yet he kept on appealing for aid for Georgia, while the
government took the same attitude it had taken toward so many of the
other American colonies, and appeared of the opinion that the province
across the Atlantic must look after itself. Fortunately for Georgia,
Oglethorpe had so trained its soldiers, had so befriended its Indian
neighbors, had so protected it by forts that the colony was now able to
go its own way without English help.

In 1744 Oglethorpe married Elizabeth Wright, the heiress of Cranham
Hall, a manor in Essex. He was also in that same year chosen as one of
the officers to defend England from a threatened invasion by France. His
services were not needed for that purpose; but in the next year he was
given the rank of major-general and took part in the suppression of the
rebellion of the "Young Pretender." This kept him in England, and he
left the government of Georgia to the care of the men he had trained
there. From time to time, however, he bestirred himself to send new
colonists across the sea to Savannah.

When the rebellion was ended General Oglethorpe and his wife settled at
Cranham Hall. Here he lived the life of a country gentleman, delighting
in the peace and quiet after his many turbulent years in Georgia. He
lived to see the American Revolution, though he took no part in it; he
said "that he knew the people of America well; that they could never be
subdued by arms, but their obedience could ever be secured by treating
them justly;" he learned that his colony of Georgia, with twelve of her
sisters, had succeeded in winning her independence from that
mother-country he had served so long and on whose lists he was now the
senior ranking general; and he seems to have harbored no ill-feeling
against the colonists for forming a new nation.

Georgia and America owe a great debt of gratitude to General James
Edward Oglethorpe. None of the colonies had a more unselfish founder and
governor, none were more bravely defended from enemies, and in none was
more devotion shown to making a few scattered settlements in the
wilderness blossom into the safe homes of a contented people.



X

THE GREEN MOUNTAIN BOYS AND THE YORKERS

(_Vermont, 1774_)


I

A young fellow, raccoon skin cap on his head, with heavy homespun
jacket, with breeches made of buckskin and tucked into the tops of
light, supple doeskin boots, was running along the shore of a lake in
the Green Mountain country on a winter afternoon in 1774. He went at a
comfortable dog-trot, and every now and then he would slow up or stop
and look about him with keen eyes. Some people would only have seen the
lake, with thin, broken layers of ice floating out from the shore, the
underbrush and woods to the other side, powdered with a light fall of
snow, and heard only the crackling of frozen twigs and the occasional
scrunch of loose ice against the bank. But this tall, slim boy saw and
heard a great deal more. He caught the hoot of an owl way off through
the forest, and listened intently to make certain that it was an owl and
not a signal call of some Indian or trapper; he saw little footprints in
the snow that told him a marten had gone hunting small game through the
brush, and he spied the thatched roof of a beaver's house in a little
scallop of the lake. Then he ran on up the shore of the lake, all his
senses alert, his eyes constantly looking for other trails than the one
he had made himself on his south-bound journey that morning.

The sun had been set a half-hour when he came to a place where the trail
led inward a short distance from the shore. A few more yards brought him
to a small log cabin. Other ears heard him coming and as he stopped a
boy and a man looked out from the cabin doorway. "You made good time of
it, Jack," said the boy at the door. "Did you really get to Dutton's?"

"Did I get there?" chuckled the runner. "I got there a good hour before
noon."

"And what did they say there?" asked the man at the door.

"That the Yorkers mean to settle this land themselves. If they can," he
added, with a grin. "That's what all the men said down at Dutton's, 'if
they can,' and they shook their fists when they said it." Jack Sloan
shook his fist in imitation of the men. "Not if the Green Mountain Boys
can help it! Not by a jugful! No, sir!" he added.

The man grunted approvingly and stepped back into the cabin. The boy
came out. "I got a silver fox to-day," he declared proudly. "The biggest
one I ever saw, too."

"Did you, Sam? That's fine! I saw plenty of tracks, heard a bull-moose
calling, too; but I didn't have time to stop. Gee, but my legs are tired
now! I'm going to lie down by the fire and rest a bit."

He went inside, where the man was busy frying bacon and boiling coffee,
and taking a blanket from a bed in the corner spread it out before the
fire and stretched himself comfortably on it. "Dutton wanted to know
when you'd be sending him some more skins, Peter," he said. "He wants to
get 'em over to Albany early this year, in case there should be more
trouble with the Yorkers."

"I can send him some next week," was the answer. "There's a dozen mink
and a dozen otter out in the shed now, an' a lot o' beavers an' martens,
and four fine foxes. Did they say anything about Ethan Allen, Jack?"

"They said he was down at Bennington. My, but that bacon smells good!
They had corn-cake and molasses down at Dutton's, and I ate so much I
didn't think I'd ever be hungry again, but I am all right now."

Peter Jones, the trapper, laughed. "I never saw the time when you and
Sam wasn't ready for food."

Sam came in soon, like a bear-cub scenting food, and the three had
supper and then made things snug for the night. The weather was growing
colder. Peter, taking a squint at the sky, allowed that he thought the
lake would be frozen clear across by morning. They brought in a good
stock of wood and built up the fire, and then sat down in front of it
to hear what Jack had to tell them of the news at Dutton's trading-post.

At that time, in 1774, there was a great dispute between the two
colonies of New Hampshire and New York as to which owned the country of
the Green Mountains. New York stretched way up on the west shore of Lake
Champlain, and New Hampshire extended from the northern boundary of
Massachusetts up along the eastern shore of the Connecticut River. Now
Massachusetts reached as far west as a line drawn south from Lake
Champlain, and the governor of New Hampshire claimed that his colony
extended as far west as Massachusetts. He quoted his colony's grant from
the king of England to prove his claim, and he sent word to Governor
Clinton of New York that he meant to settle the great Green Mountain
tract that lay between the Connecticut River and Lake Champlain.

Governor Clinton sent back word to Governor Wentworth of New Hampshire
that the province of New York claimed all that land under the charter of
King Charles II to his brother the Duke of York.

New Hampshire settlers, however, went into this debatable land and built
homes and began to farm there. Governor Wentworth granted lands, known
as the New Hampshire Grants, to any who would settle there, and a
township was organized west of the Connecticut River, and was named
Bennington. The country was very fertile, the woods and rivers were
full of game, and it was a tempting land to take. But the New Yorkers
looked on the land as greedily as did the men from New Hampshire, and
soon both provinces were sending their sheriffs and other officers to
enforce their own laws there.

New York appealed to the king of England to settle the dispute, and he
declared that the western bank of the Connecticut River should be the
boundary line, giving all the Green Mountain country to the province of
New York. By this time, however, there were a great many people from New
Hampshire living there, and they meant to keep their homes no matter
what the New York governor might do. What he did was to order the
settlers to give up their grants from New Hampshire and buy their lands
over again from New York, which charged twenty times as much as New
Hampshire had. A few settlers did this, but most of them refused. A
meeting of the latter was held at Bennington, and they resolved, as they
said, "to support their rights and property in the New Hampshire Grants
against the usurpations and unjust claims of the governor and Council of
New York by force, as law and justice were denied them."

The settlers began to resist all New York officers who came to arrest
them or try to eject them from their homes. Surveyors who came to run
new lines across lands already granted by New Hampshire were forced to
stop. No matter how secretly a sheriff with a party of Yorkers, as the
New York officers were called, came to a farm in the disputed land,
there were sure to be settlers there to meet the Yorkers and drive them
away. The settlers had scouts all through the country; every
trading-post was a rallying-point.

A military force was organized, and chose Ethan Allen, a rugged,
eloquent man, to be its colonel. The governor of New York declared that
he would drive these men into the Green Mountains, and when they heard
this Ethan Allen's followers took the name of Green Mountain Boys for
themselves.

Peter Jones was a hunter and trapper. The two boys, Jack and Sam, were
the sons of men who had moved into the country on New Hampshire grants
and taken up farm land. The boys had wanted to learn more of the woods
than they could on their fathers' farms, and so had joined Peter at his
cabin. He had taught them woodcraft and Indian lore, how to paddle a
canoe, how to shoot straight, how to track the animals they wanted. All
three were ready at any time to go to the help of settlers who might be
driven from their land by New York officers.

Jack told the news of Dutton's trading-post, and then the hunter and the
boys went to bed. Outside the cabin the wind whistled and sang. By
morning the wind had dropped, but the air was very cold. Peter was up
soon after dawn, putting fresh wood on the fire. The boys followed him
shortly, getting into warm clothes as quickly as they could. They ate
breakfast, and went outdoors. The lake was a field of ice, the trees
were stiff with frost, the cold air nipped and stung their faces
viciously.

There was plenty of work to do. Soon Peter set out to visit a line of
traps to the south, and the boys went through the woods northwest to
look at other traps. They came to the frozen bed of a little stream and
a couple of beaver traps. There were no animals there. Perhaps the night
had been too cold to tempt them from their homes. "I shouldn't think any
animals would have gone prowling round last night," said Sam.

"I know I wouldn't," said Jack, "if I was a beaver."

They pushed on through the woods until they came to an open pasture.
They had started across it when they heard a crow calling overhead.
"Must be a fox somewhere about," whispered Jack. "Let's see if we can
find him, even if we haven't got our guns."

They went back to the edge of the woods, making as little noise as they
could, for they knew that a fox depends more on his ears than on his
eyes. They stopped behind the trees and after a few minutes saw a big
gray fox trotting slowly along the edge of the woods. Dropping to their
knees the boys crept forward to a hummock and hid back of it. The fox
stood still, looked about, and then started at a slow gait across the
meadow.

The fox was more than a hundred yards away from the boys when Jack
began to squeak like a meadow-mouse. No Indian or hunter could have
heard the sound at half that distance, but the air was very still and
Jack knew the fox's big ears were very sharp. True enough, the fox did
hear it, and stopping, looked around.

Again Jack gave the squeak of the meadow-mouse. The fox came leaping
lightly over the frozen hassocks of the meadow toward the two hidden
boys. Every few yards he would stop and cock his ears over the long
grass to listen. Each time he did this Jack squeaked, lower and lower
each time, and every time the fox came on again, more and more
cautiously, as if he were afraid of frightening the game he was hunting.

The fox got within fifty yards, and from there the boys, crouching
behind their hummock, were in plain view of him. The fox looked sharply,
distrustingly at the hummock. Had either boy moved his head or arm the
fraction of an inch the fox would have shot off like an arrow to the
woods. Neither did move, however. Jack waited until he judged from the
fox's attitude and the set of his ears that his suspicions were
vanishing, and then he squeaked again, very faintly now. The fox bounded
on, almost up to the hummock. Then he stopped short, and the boys could
see from the look on his shrewd face that he judged something was wrong.
Instead of coming on he circled round to the left, trusting to his nose
rather than to his eyes.

Jack squeaked, but the fox went on circling; it was plain he meant to
come no farther. "What's the matter, old boy?" said Jack softly.

At the sound of Jack's voice the fox sprang up into the air and then
bounded away to the edge of the woods, where he stopped a minute to look
back and then disappeared behind the trees.

"We could have had him easy," said Sam, getting up. "We could almost
have caught him with our hands."

"I don't want to try catching a big fellow like that with my hands,"
said Jack, chuckling. "Give me a gun every time."

When they got back to the cabin they found that Peter had been more
successful than they in his visit to the traps on the south, for the
skins of an otter and a mink had been added to the store that hung on a
line in the drying-shed. After dinner the hunter took from his pocket a
piece of wood he had been working over for several days. "I'm going to
see if I can't fool a pickerel with this," he announced, holding out the
little decoy for the boys to look at. The wood was cut to represent a
minnow, was weighted on the bottom with lead, and had fins and a tail
made of tin. He had painted a red stripe on each side, a white belly,
and a brilliant green back. A line fastened to the minnow would allow
Peter to pull it about in the water as if it were swimming.

Armed with a long-shafted fish-spear and a hatchet Peter and the boys
went out on the ice. Choosing a smooth place Peter cut a square of ice.
Then through the open space the hunter dropped his wooden minnow and
made it swim about in a very lively way. In his right hand he held the
spear poised, ready to strike at any venturesome fish.

For some time they waited; then the long nose of a pickerel showed in
the water; Peter jerked the minnow and struck with the spear. The
pickerel, however, slipped away unharmed. They had to wait fifteen
minutes before another appeared. This time the pickerel stopped
motionless, and seemed to be carefully considering the lively
red-striped minnow. Then the fish shot forward, Peter aimed his spear,
and the shining pickerel was caught and thrown out on the ice. Peter
caught two more fish before he let Sam have a try at it. Sam and Jack
each caught a pickerel, and then they brought their five trophies back
to the camp to cook for supper.

They had just sat down to supper when there came a rap on the door
followed by the entrance of a tall man in a fur jacket with a gun slung
across his back. He was John Snyder, a hunter from the country north of
the lake, and he had met the three in the cabin several times before.

"H-mm," said he, "that fish smells mighty good. I haven't tasted fish
for a month o' Sundays."

"Pitch right in," invited Peter, setting out another tin plate and
pouring a cup of coffee for the new arrival.

Snyder pulled off his cap and gloves, and threw off his fur coat,
showing a buckskin jacket underneath. He ate like a man who hadn't
tasted food for a month. After a while he said, "They say up where I
come from that thar's trouble down Bennington way. If the Yorkers want
trouble I reckon we can supply 'em good and proper. I'm on my way to
Dutton's, and thar's more of the Boys comin' on down through the woods.
Why don't you come along with me in the morning?"

"We was planning to go when we'd got a few more skins," said Peter. "But
we've got a fair-sized stock, an' I don't know but what we might go
along with you."

"That's what the word is," said Snyder. "Green Mountain Boys to
Bennington." He looked hardy and tough, a typical pioneer, quite as
ready to fight as he was to hunt or farm.

That night the guest slept on the floor before the fire, rolled in a
blanket, and soon after dawn next morning the four set out, pulling two
heavy sleds to which the furs and skins were securely strapped.

All four of the party were used to long trips on foot, often carrying
considerable baggage. There were few post-roads through that part of the
country, and horses would have been little use in traveling through such
rough and wooded stretches. So most of the new settlers, and
particularly those who were hunters, copied the customs of the Indians
and trained themselves to long journeys afoot, varied occasionally by
canoeing when they reached open water. The party of four traveled fast,
in spite of the heavy sleds. Peter Jones, not very tall but very wiry,
all sinew and muscle, and Sam, red-haired, freckle-faced, and rather
stocky, pulled one sled, and big, raw-boned, weather-beaten Snyder, and
slim, Indian-like Jack the other.

Presently they left the lake and came into more open country, where they
could see snow-powdered hills stretching away to the clear blue horizon.
Now they made better time, for there was no underbrush to catch the
sleds and stop them. On they went until they saw a number of cabins
grouped about a larger frame building, then they broke into a run, and
dashed up with a shout before Dutton's trading-post.

The shout brought three or four men out to see what was the matter. They
called the newcomers by name, and "Big Bill" Dutton, seeing the sleds,
told Peter Jones to bring his furs inside. Jack and Sam and Peter
unstrapped the furs and carried them into the house, where they were
spread out on a long counter, over which Dutton was accustomed to buy
whatever farmers and hunters and trappers might have for sale, and in
return to sell them provisions or clothing or guns or powder and shot or
whatever he might have that they wanted.

There was always a great deal of haggling over the sale of furs. Peter
had to point out what unusually fine skins of otter and beaver and mink,
of marten and fox he had brought, and Dutton had to argue that this fur
was rather scanty, that other one very much spotted. But at last they
reached an agreement, Peter was paid in cash for the pelts, and they
were carefully stowed away by the trader, to be sent at the first good
opportunity over to Albany, from where they would go by boat down the
river to New York.

Meantime Jack and Sam, outside the house, were listening to the stories
of the men who had gathered at Dutton's. They were exciting stories of
conflicts between Green Mountain settlers and the Yorkers or those who
sided with them. One man told how a doctor, who had openly talked in
favor of the Yorkers, had been swung in an armchair for two hours under
the sign of the Green Mountain Tavern at Bennington, on which sign stood
the stuffed hide of a great panther, a monster who showed his teeth at
all enemies from New York. Most of the stories were of the exploits of
Ethan Allen and his band of Green Mountain Boys. They said that Ethan
Allen had caught a surveyor marking out claims for Yorkers, and had
taken him prisoner and had ordered him out of the country on pain of
death if they caught him there again. Then Allen had marched on to the
First Falls of Otter Creek, where Yorkers had driven out some New
Hampshire settlers who had built a sawmill. The Boys had sent the
intruders flying at the point of their guns, and had burned their log
houses and broken the stones of a gristmill the enemy had built. Then
they had brought the original owners back and settled them again in
possession of their houses and sawmill. All through that part of the
country similar things were taking place. The men said they had word
that Yorkers were planning to drive settlers off their farms not very
far to the west of Dutton's. "If they do it," cried Snyder, striking his
open palm with his great fist, "I want to be there to settle accounts
with them!" So said all the rest; Ethan Allen and his men shouldn't have
all the glory there was going.

"Big Bill" Dutton's frame house was tavern and post-office as well as
trading-post and meeting-place for the settlers of the neighborhood.
When Mrs. Dutton rang the dinner bell all the strangers trooped into the
room back of the store and sat at the long table. Jack and Sam marched
in with the others and ate their share of dinner while they listened to
the talk of the men. Some of the latter were for setting out south
toward Bennington immediately, in order to learn at first hand what was
going on.

After dinner they all stood about the stove in the store, talking,
talking, talking. Sam and Jack went outdoors and looked about the little
group of cabins. A boy of near their own age came out from one of the
houses and talked with them about hunting moose. As they were swapping
yarns a man rode into the settlement from the southwest. At sight of the
three he flung out his right arm. "Yorkers down to Beaver Falls!" he
called out. "They're coming to drive our people out o' their homes! Are
there any Green Mountain Boys hereabouts?"

"In there!" exclaimed Jack, pointing to the store. "Tell 'em about it in
there!"

The horseman sprang from his saddle. "Fetch a blanket for my horse, will
you?" said he. The boy who lived there ran indoors to get a covering.
Meantime the rider strode up to Dutton's door and flung it open. He
walked up to the group of men about the stove, announcing his news
briefly. At his heels came Sam and Jack, and back of them came the boy
from the log house opposite.


II

They started from Dutton's next morning, a troop of a dozen men and
three boys, bound for Beaver Falls. "Big Bill" left his store in charge
of his wife, and took command of the troop. They were all hardy and
strong, and they covered the twenty miles to Beaver Falls by the middle
of the afternoon.

Here there stood a sawmill on the river, with a score of log houses, and
farms scattered through the neighborhood. The place looked perfectly
quiet as the fifteen Green Mountain Boys trooped up to it. But they soon
found there was plenty of excitement in the mill. There were gathered
most of the men of the Falls, and they were very glad to see the
reinforcements.

"Yorkers been found prowling round in the woods!" "Surveyors been caught
in the act of staking claims!" "Jim Murdock found a paper stuck on his
door, saying we'd better get out peaceful-like, and let the lawful
owners have their land!" Such were some of the items of information
given to Dutton's band.

"Let 'em come!" exclaimed Snyder, slapping his hand round the muzzle of
his gun. "This is the law of the land we'll read to them!"

After a time Jack and Sam, having heard all there was to hear, struck
out on a line of their own. They followed the bank of the river until
they came to woods, and then skirted the forest southward. This brought
them at length to a wide trail with frozen wheel ruts. Down this road
they went, passing occasional cabins, until they came to a crossroad
where they found a man looking perplexedly about him, as if undecided
which road to take.

"Where's Farmer Robins' place?" he asked. "The place that used to belong
to Elijah Robins."

"We don't know," said Jack. "We're strangers here."

"There's a maple grove back of it," said the stranger, "that's all I
know about it. I was told to stick to this road, but they didn't say
nothing about any forks in it."

"This goes to Beaver Falls," said Sam, pointing to the one they had
taken, "and that," he added, indicating the crossroad to the right of
him, "would take you through thick woods to the river."

"I don't reckon it's either o' those roads then," said the man, and,
bobbing his head at Sam, he stalked off to the left.

The two boys watched until the man was almost hidden by the trees. Then
Jack turned to Sam. "You don't want to tell all you know to strangers,"
he said. "Make the other man tell you what he's up to first."

Sam's round face, not nearly so shrewd as the older boy's, looked
perplexed. "Why shouldn't I tell him about those other roads?" he asked.

"Because I think he may be one of the Yorkers, and the less we tell them
about the lay of the land round here the better."

"Do you really think he was?" exclaimed Sam, his tone of voice showing
that he had expected a Yorker to be a much more terrifying looking
creature than this stranger. "What did he want of Farmer Robins' place
then?"

"I don't know," answered Jack. "But I think we might be able to find out
something more about it if we follow his tracks."

They turned to the west, following the road where the prints of the
man's big hob-nailed boots could now and then be seen in the frozen
crust of snow. The sun was setting, and the wind was rising, and they
pulled their fur caps down over their ears and stuck their hands in
their pockets as they trudged along. It grew dark rapidly. They passed
two cabins where they looked closely for a clump of maples and then
scoured the road to find the prints of the hob-nails. The man's tracks
went on, and they followed, only speaking in whispers now lest they
should be overheard.

At the third log house they stopped. Jack, catching Sam by the sleeve,
pointed to the back of the house, where the starlight unmistakably
showed a grove of trees. Smoke came from the chimney, and the front
door, not quite plumb in its frame, showed there was a light inside.
Jack crept round the cabin, Sam following him, each as silent as if they
were stalking moose. There were four windows, but each was securely
shuttered from the inside, and though light came through the cracks, the
boys could see nothing of what was going on inside nor catch a sound of
voices.

Then Jack made the circuit of the house again, this time examining the
logs and the filling of clay between them with the greatest care. At
last he found a place that seemed to interest him, and he pulled out his
hunting knife from its sheath and began to pick at a knot-hole in the
wood. His knife was very sharp, and he dug into the circle round the
knot and then into the clay just below it. He worked swiftly and very
quietly. In a short time he had the wood loosened; pressing inward with
his blade he forced the knot out, and then scraped some of the plaster
away. Now he had a hole that enabled him by stooping a little to look
into the cabin.

He put his eye to the opening and saw about a dozen men in the room. He
could hear what they said. They were, as he had suspected, Yorkers,
planning to make an attack on the people at Beaver Falls. As Jack
listened he pieced one remark to another, and caught the gist of their
plans. They meant to march down to the Falls that night, stop at each
house, rout the people out, make them prisoners in the sawmill, and take
possession of houses and farms under orders from officers of the
province of New York.

Jack drew away from the hole, and let Sam have a chance to look into the
log-house room. When Sam had watched and listened for a few minutes he
nodded to Jack, and the two stole away from the cabin as noiselessly as
they had circled round it.

Out on the road, as they went hurrying back by the way they had come,
they whispered to each other, telling what each had overheard. Then they
went at a dog-trot to the path along the river and came to the sawmill
at Beaver Falls.

Peter, "Big Bill" Dutton, Snyder, and most of the other men were at the
mill, though some had been stationed on sentry-duty in the fields and
woods. Jack told his story without interruption, and then the men began
to plan how they should welcome the Yorkers. It was "Big Bill's" plan
they finally adopted, and set to work to carry it into effect at once.

All the people at the Falls had had their supper, the women were busy
cleaning up, most of the children were in bed. The men went to the
houses, and told the women that they and the children must spend the
night in the sawmill. Children were bundled into warm clothes, and,
wondering what was happening, were hurried to the mill by their mothers.
Half a dozen men under command of Snyder were stationed at the mill, the
others were allotted to the different houses in the village. Two were
told off to each house, and it happened that Peter and Jack stood on
guard at the house nearest the Falls.

Every house at that time had its store of firearms, its powder and
balls. Peter and Jack sat inside their cabin, muskets ready to hand.
From time to time they threw fresh wood on the fire, for the night was
cold. Jack stood at a window, looking out at the open space along the
river and the road on the opposite bank, both faintly lighted by the
stars. Midnight came, but there was no sign of the Yorkers; presently it
seemed to Jack that it must be nearly dawn.

Peter, standing at a window on the other side of the door from Jack,
suddenly said, "Look! There, coming through the trees to the left of the
mill!"

Jack looked and saw men coming into the road, a good many of them, more
than he thought he had seen at Farmer Robins' house. They came along the
road, crossed the wooden bridge below the Falls, passed by the mill,
evidently taking it for granted there would be no one there at this
hour, and marched into the clearing before the log houses. There they
divided into small parties, each party heading for a separate cabin.

"Ready now!" cautioned Peter. "We've got two to handle. I'll take the
first."

Jack stepped back from the window and laid his hand on the bolt of the
door.

"Wait till I give the word," whispered Peter.

From outside there came a loud voice. "Open your door in the name of the
Sheriff of New York!" There followed knocks on the door, and other
orders, all to the same intent.

Peter waited until the owner might be supposed to rouse and get to the
door. Then he whispered, "Now!" Jack drew back the bolt and opened the
door enough for the men to enter single file. One man stepped in, the
other followed at his heels.

Peter caught the first man in his arms, and, taking him altogether
unawares, threw him to the floor with a wrestler's trip. Jack, throwing
his arms round the second man's knees, brought him down with a crash.
Lithe and quick as an eel, Jack squirmed up to the man's chest and
gripped the Yorker's throat in his hands. In a minute or two the man
underneath was almost breathless. "Do you surrender?" panted Jack. The
Yorker tried to nod.

Peter had wrenched his man's gun away, and was copying Jack's tactics.
His man was partly stunned by the sharpness of the fall and made little
attempt to free himself from Peter's grasp. Finding himself attacked by
a thoroughly-prepared and resolute man, he had no notion as to how many
other such men there might be in the house. It was clearly a case where
it was best to save one's skin as whole as one could. So, when Peter
said, "Keep still there, will you!" the Yorker grunted, "I will," and
made no attempt, unarmed as he was, to try further conclusions with the
sinewy hunter.

Peter had a coil of rope ready. Now he cut two lengths of this, tossed
one over to Jack, who still kept his knee on the chest of his man, and
used the other to tie the arms of his own prisoner. Then he helped the
Yorker to his feet. Meantime Jack had followed his example with the
other, and shortly both prisoners were standing before the hearth while
their captors searched their pockets for firearms and knives.

"I must allow," said one of the Yorkers, "you two were mighty sharp! We
figured that when you people here heard we were acting under sheriff's
orders you'd do as you were told."

"We don't pay no more attention hereabouts to what a Yorker sheriff says
than if he was a catamount,--no, not so much as that!" returned Peter.
"What do you men mean by marching into a peaceful village an' trying to
turn people out o' their lawful homes?"

"Well, the village certainly looked peaceful enough," said the Yorker,
"but I don't see as how we've turned many folks out o' their homes
yet."

"And I don't think you will!" Peter assured him. "Jack, take a look
outside and see what's happened."

Jack went out, and going from house to house, found that wherever the
Yorkers had demanded admittance the Green Mountain Boys had worked their
trick beautifully. In two or three houses it had taken some time to make
the enemy prisoners, but in each case the elements of surprise and
determination had won the day. The Yorkers had expected to meet
frightened villagers; instead they had found themselves confronting
well-prepared Green Mountain Boys.

Under direction of "Big Bill" Dutton the prisoners, all with their arms
securely tied behind them, were marched out into the road. "You say you
came to Beaver Falls to carry out the law," said Dutton to the Yorkers;
"well, to-morrow we'll march you all down to Bennington, and see what
the law has to say about this business." Then he sent Sam to the sawmill
with word to Snyder to have the women and children return to their own
houses. When the sawmill was empty the Green Mountain Boys marched their
prisoners into it, and loosened their bonds so that they could be fairly
comfortable.

In spite of the high feeling between the two parties, there was
practically no bad blood, for no one had been wounded in the contest,
and the Yorkers could appreciate the clever way in which their
opponents had turned the tables on them. In most respects the men were
much alike; men of the New York Grants and the New Hampshire Grants had
both gone into the wilderness and met the same problems there. Men from
both provinces had fought against the French and Indians, and this
little fight as to which province owned the land of the Green Mountains
was in a way a family affair. So prisoners and captors swapped yarns,
told hunting stories, and exchanged the news of their own neighborhoods.
Jack and Sam and the boy from Dutton's sat in a corner of the mill and
listened to the men. Dawn began to break in the east. Some women brought
hot coffee and ham and bacon from the houses, and the men, both captors
and captives, ate and drank, and then some of them stretched out on the
floor and took short naps.

Day had come when one of the Green Mountain Boys, who had been stationed
as sentry on the road across the river, dashed into the mill with a new
alarm. He had seen some men, perhaps a dozen of them, coming down the
road toward the Falls. They might be friends or they might be enemies.
The men of the Falls must not be taken by surprise.

"Big Bill" quickly gave his orders. Three men, armed with muskets, were
left in charge of the prisoners in the sawmill, and the rest, their guns
ready for instant use if need be, marched out into the clearing between
the mill and the bridge, ready to defend Beaver Falls from the
newcomers in case they should be Yorkers.


III

The strangers had come to the head of the bridge on the opposite bank of
the river from the sawmill when they were suddenly halted by an abrupt
"Who are you--friend or foe?" They saw a big man coming round from
behind the mill, followed by about twenty others, and the light was now
sufficiently clear to show the strangers that these men were armed, and
quite prepared to use their guns if necessary. The strangers--of whom
there were ten--stopped on their side of the river.

"Big Bill," marching his men down to his end of the bridge, so as to
prevent any attempt to cross it, now repeated his question, "Are you
Yorkers? Or are you friends? If you're looking for a fight we're the
boys as can give you one!"

The leader of the other party saw that the big fellow who spoke for
Beaver Falls was telling the truth. There were twice as many Green
Mountain Boys as there were men of his own party, and they looked ready
for fight. In such case he instantly recognized that discretion was the
better part of valor. He grounded his musket to show that he had no
intention of using it, and smiled at the big man opposite. "We're
peaceful folks," he declared, "and not spoiling for a fight with you."

"That's sensible talk," said Dutton, also grounding his gun, which he
had been holding ready for instant use. "All the same, I reckon you be
Yorkers, and weren't coming on any good business to the Falls."

"We've got orders from the proper parties in New York to take possession
of this territory," admitted the other leader.

"Well, you can go back to your proper parties and tell 'em other folks
have already taken possession here."

"You folks haven't got the law on your side," protested the Yorker
leader.

"That depends on what law you're talking about," retorted "Big Bill."
"We've got the law of New Hampshire, and I reckon that's as good law as
any they make in the Yorkers' country."

The other man saw there was no more use in arguing with his opponents
than in fighting them. "You're a pretty slick lot," he said in a
conciliatory tone. "Can't catch you boys asleep, can we?"

"Some o' your men tried to last night," said Dutton. "We've got 'em in
the sawmill now, and we're going to take 'em down to Bennington pretty
soon and see what the law there has to say about men who come around
trying to steal other folks' property."

"Oh, you've got 'em, have you? We were wondering where they'd got to.
Well, I guess there isn't much more for us to be doing round here then."

Dutton grinned. "No, Yorkers, I don't hardly think there is. Unless you
want to hand over those guns and join the party that's going down to
Bennington."

"Hardly think we'd enjoy that party, neighbor," said the Yorker leader.

"Well, some of us is going south with your friends," said "Big Bill,"
"but there'll be plenty left here at the Falls to give you a pleasant
welcome any time you want to call."

The Yorkers conferred together for a few minutes. Then the leader sang
out, "Good-bye, boys. Glad to have met you!"

"Good-bye," Dutton called back. "Come again any time!" shouted Snyder.
The rest of the men of the Falls sent other messages flying across the
river.

The Yorkers shouldered their muskets and marched back the road, while
the Green Mountain Boys cheered until the last of their opponents was
hidden by the trees.

Dutton's party, including the three boys, stayed at Beaver Falls the
better part of that day, waiting to see if any more Yorkers would put in
an appearance. But no more came, and that afternoon, leaving a
sufficient number to guard the village, they set out with their
prisoners for Bennington. They spent the night at another small
settlement, where the people were only too glad to give them shelter
when they learned what the band had done. Next day they reached
Bennington, and turned their prisoners over to the sheriff there, to be
dealt with as the officers should think fit.

In Bennington, which was a very primitive town, but the center of that
part of the country, Jack and Sam heard much about the border strife.
They heard that the governor of New York had offered rewards for the
capture of certain Green Mountain Boys, one hundred pounds apiece for
the arrest of Ethan Allen and Remember Baker, fifty pounds apiece for
Seth Warner and five others. The governor also ordered that any people
who should resist the commands of New York officers should be arrested
and taken to Albany for trial. All of "Big Bill's" party, Jack and Sam
among them, were therefore now liable to be arrested by New York
officers.

The people of Bennington and the Green Mountain Boys, however, only
laughed at these proclamations of the New York governor. They were quite
ready to defend themselves if any came to arrest them.

While they were at Bennington Ethan Allen and the others who had been
declared outlaws issued a proclamation of their own. They said, "We are
under the necessity of resisting even unto blood every person who may
attempt to take us as felons or rioters as aforesaid, for in this case
it is not resisting law, but only opposing force by force; therefore,
inasmuch as, by the oppressions aforesaid, the New Hampshire settlers
are reduced to the disagreeable state of anarchy and confusion; in which
state we hope for wisdom, patience, and fortitude till the happy hour
His Majesty shall graciously be pleased to restore us to the privileges
of Englishmen."

The boys heard other gossip and rumors from the hunters and traders and
farmers who came and went in Bennington. They learned that there was a
plan on foot to settle the dispute about the Grants by joining them to
that part of the province of New York that lay to the east of the Hudson
River, and forming that whole new territory into a separate royal
province. Colonel Philip Skene, who lived in state at Skenesborough
House on his large estate at the head of Lake Champlain, was reported to
be very much interested in this new plan, and was said to be going to
England to further it, with a view to becoming the first governor of the
new province.

The people of the New Hampshire Grants continued their defiance of the
Yorkers. When a sheriff or surveyor from the other side of the line was
caught by the people, he was, as Ethan Allen humorously put it,
"severely chastised with twigs of the wilderness." The rods used,
however, were the "blue beech" ones that the farmers used in driving
stubborn oxen, and could hardly be considered twigs. This punishment the
people of the Grants called "stamping the Yorkers with the beech seal,"
and many a sheriff who tried to carry out the orders of his province in
the Green Mountain country went home with the "beech seal" on his back.

The officers of New York protested and protested. They sent a request
to General Gage at Boston for men to aid their sheriffs in the county of
Charlotte, but General Gage declined to interfere in the border
struggle. And while the Yorkers fumed and vowed vengeance, Ethan Allen
and the Green Mountain Boys, like Rob Roy and his Highland outlaws, did
as they pleased in the debatable land.

Peter Jones and Jack and Sam went back to their lake, ready to take the
trail to Dutton's and Beaver Falls and Bennington whenever they should
be needed. In early spring the boys left the hunter and joined their
fathers on the farms, where there was plenty of work to be done at that
time of year. There they spent the summer, planting and harvesting the
crops.

Meantime a flame was smouldering in the country that was soon to burst
forth into fire. Some men were not satisfied with the way in which the
British government was treating its colonies in America. Conventions
were held in various parts of New York and the New Hampshire Grants. The
people of Dummerston, in the eastern part of the Grants, freed
Lieutenant Spaulding from their jail after he had been sent there on a
charge of high treason for criticizing the king of England. Troubles
grew more frequent between the more independent people, known as Whigs,
and the strict Royalists, or Tories. It flamed out when the time came
for holding the King's Court of Cumberland County at the town of
Westminster on March 14, 1775. Forty citizens of the county called on
the judge, Colonel Chandler, and asked him not to hold the court. The
judge said the court must meet. The Whigs thereupon decided to lay their
protests before the court when it was in session. Then word spread about
that the court meant to have a strong guard to prevent the citizens from
attending its meetings. About a hundred men, armed only with clubs that
they picked up from a wood-pile, marched into the court-house at
Westminster late in the afternoon of March 14th. They meant to make the
judges listen to their complaints. Meantime down the main street came
the sheriff, with a strong force of armed men and the court officers. He
halted in front of the door, and demanded admission. He got no answer
from the men inside the building. Then he read aloud the king's
proclamation, commanding all persons unlawfully gathered there to
disperse at once; and he added that if they didn't come out in fifteen
minutes he "would blow a lane through them!"

The men in the building answered that they would not disperse, but would
let the sheriff and the court officers come in if they would lay aside
their arms. The clerk of the court drew his pistol, and swore that that
was the only way in which he would parley with such rascals. Judge
Chandler, however, found a chance when the sheriff's men were seeking
refreshments at the tavern to tell the citizens that the arms had been
brought without his consent, and added that the Whigs might stay in the
court-house until the next morning, when the officers would come in
without arms and would listen to any petitions.

Dusk encircled the little town that lay close to the broad Connecticut
River. The Whigs stayed in the court-house, a single sentry stationed at
the door. The people shut their houses for the night, while the tavern
did a good business. Some of the Whigs fell asleep on the court-room
benches, others listened to the stories of old Indian-fighters.

Then, about midnight, the sentry at the door saw the sheriff and his men
coming from the tavern, where they had been drinking all the evening. He
gave the word to the men in the court-house to man the doors. The
sheriff's force marched to within ten rods of the main door and halted.
The order was given to fire. Three shots answered the order. A louder
order was given, followed by a volley that killed one of the defenders,
fatally wounded another, and severely wounded a number of others. Then
the sheriff's party rushed in on the defenders, who were only armed with
clubs, and taking some of them prisoners, carried them off to jail. Some
of the Whigs escaped, fighting their way through the sheriff's force
with their clubs.

Here, at the town of Westminster, in the Grants, the first blows were
struck that preceded the coming Revolution.

Those of the men who escaped from the court-house carried the news of
the bloodshed to the Whigs all through the neighboring country, and so
quickly that before noon of the next day two hundred armed men reached
Westminster from the province of New Hampshire. Before that night every
one who had had a part in the shooting of the citizens at the
court-house was seized and held under a strong guard. Still more Whigs,
roused by the story of what the king's officers had done, poured into
the little town from the southern part of the county, and even from the
colony of Massachusetts, so that by the following day it was said there
were in the little village five hundred soldiers all ready for war.

All these men met and voted to choose a committee to act for them and
see that justice was done. This committee ordered that all those who
were known to have taken part in the shooting should be put on trial at
the next court. Then the men of the Grants, and those from New Hampshire
and from Massachusetts, went back home.

But the men of the Grants heard news later that spring of 1775 that made
them forget the affair that was called "the Westminster Massacre," and
the trial of the sheriff's soldiers was neglected in the whirl of far
more exciting events. One day in April came the word that the farmers of
Lexington and Concord had fired on the redcoats who marched out from
Boston. The spirit of revolt, smouldering so long, leaped into instant
flame at the news. All through the colonies from New Hampshire down to
Georgia men vowed to stand beside the farmers of Massachusetts and defy
His Majesty, King George the Third. The men of the Grants, who had been
resisting the orders of the royal governor of New York, the Green
Mountain Boys, who had driven Yorkers time and again from their country,
were among the first to arm for independence. And Yorker fought side by
side with Green Mountain Boy in the war of the Revolution.

Peter Jones, and Jack and Sam, Snyder, "Big Bill" Dutton, and the others
who had made the stand at Beaver Falls, were among the men and boys who
flocked to the flag of Ethan Allen when he took the field in the Green
Mountain country. And Ethan Allen's Boys won some of the greatest
victories of the Revolution, at Crown Point and Fort Ticonderoga on Lake
Champlain, and in many battles along the Canadian border. The people of
the Grants also met and declared their territory a free republic,
belonging neither to New Hampshire on the east nor to New York on the
west, and choosing for themselves the beautiful name of Vermont, which
means Green Mountain.

Thirteen states formed the original union of the United States, and
Vermont became the fourteenth state of the Union in 1791. By that time
Green Mountain Boys had become a name of great honor, and the Yorkers
were their staunchest friends and allies.





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