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´╗┐Title: The Boy Spies with the Regulators
Author: Otis, James, 1848-1912
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Boy Spies with the Regulators" ***

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produced from images generously made available by The
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Transcriber's Note:

  Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have
  been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

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  [Illustration: Sandy looked around quickly and saw Sidney standing
   with his rifle aimed and resting on the branch of the tree.--Page 22.
   _With the Regulators._]

     The Boy Spies
     With the Regulators

     The Story of how the Boys assisted the
     Carolina Patriots to drive the British
     from that State.



     Copyright 1901
     BY A. L. BURT

     Under the Title of With the Regulators



     CHAPTER                                PAGE

     I. OURSELVES                              1

     II. A TREASONABLE ACT                    20

     III. PROMISES                            41

     IV. THE RESCUE                           62

     V. AT BRUNSWICK                          83

     VI. BESIEGED                            104

     VII. TIMELY AID                         125

     VIII. SANDY WELLS                       146

     IX. TRYON'S DEMONSTRATION               167

     X. THE LONG NIGHT                       188

     XI. THE TRIAL                           209

     XII. THE PROCLAMATION                   231

     XIII. WAR DECLARED                      249

     XIV. THE CONVOY                         269

     XV. THE BATTLE                          289

The Boy Spies With the Regulators



It is not for one like me to make any pretense at trying to fashion a
scholar's story out of the poor efforts of Sidney Hubbard, and myself,
Clare Butler, to second the brave work of those noble men who, by
enduring countless hardships and sparing not their own blood, finally
rid the Carolinas of those leeches who claimed to be the king's
servants--Governor William Tryon, Edmund Fanning and others of like

I count to set down on these pages such an account as I may be able to
give concerning what we of the Carolinas did in those dark days eight
years before the first patriot blood was shed at Lexington, and this
task is to be performed simply that my descendants may, by reading
our story, use their utmost efforts to preserve the fair country which
has cost their forefathers so much of blood, anguish and bodily

To begin, Sidney Hubbard is my first cousin, his mother and mine being
sisters. We lived, in 1768, on the Alamance, near where, later, was
fought what may rightly be termed the first battle in the struggle of
the colonies for independence. Our fathers were humble farmers, with a
scanty store of this world's goods, and continually ground down by
those whom the king had set in authority over us, chief among which
may be reckoned the Irishman Tryon, and Fanning, who was born on Long
Island, if I remember rightly.

I cannot set down in my own words a picture of the Carolinas at the
time when Sidney Hubbard and I were come sixteen years of age,
therefore, in order that all the conditions of public affairs may be
fully understood, I shall copy here what was written many years later
by one who may justly style himself a historian:[1]

"The passage of the Stamp Act produced great uneasiness in the public
mind in North Carolina, as well as in the other provinces. Already the
extortions of public officers in the exactions of fees for legal services
had greatly irritated the people, and they regarded the requirements
of the Stamp Act as a more gigantic scheme for legal plunder....
William Tryon had been acting governor and commander-in-chief of the
province from the death of Governor Dobbs, April 1st, 1765, and now
began his career of misrule in America. He was appointed governor
toward the close of the year. This was the same Tryon, afterward
governor of New York, haughty, innately cruel, fond of show,
obsequious when wishing favors, and tyrannical when independent; he
was entirely incompetent to govern a people like the free, outspoken
colonists of the Upper Carolinas.

"For several years previous to the Stamp Act excitement, rebellion had
been ripening among the people in the western counties. The rapacity
of public officers, and the corrupt character of ministers of justice,
weighed heavily upon the property and spirits of the people. The most
prominent evils complained of were the exorbitant charges of the
clerks of the Superior Courts, whereby these courts had become
instruments of oppression; and oppressive taxes exacted by the
sheriffs, and the outrages committed by those officers when their
authority was questioned in the least. These evils everywhere existed,
and every petition of the people for redress appeared to be answered
by increased extortions."

It was William Husband, a Quaker from Pennsylvania, who banded our
people together in what was called "A Regulation," and each member
signed an agreement to pay no more taxes "until satisfied they were
legal; to pay officers no more fees than the strict letter of the law
required, unless forced to, and then to show open resentment; to be
cautious in the selection of representatives, and to petition the
governor, council, king and parliament for a redress of grievances; to
keep up a continual correspondence with each other; to defray all
necessary expenses, all differences in judgment to be submitted to
the whole Regulation, the judgment of the majority to be final."

Each member was bound by a solemn oath to stand faithful to the cause
until matters had been brought to a true and just regulation. Meetings
were held regularly in the vicinity of Hillsborough, and in a few
weeks the Regulation was a permanent and a powerful body.

About this time "the pride and folly of Governor Tryon led him to
demand" from the Assembly an appropriation of twenty-five thousand
dollars that he might build a palace, and this burden, together with
the many which had been laid upon us, was most oppressive.

"The inhabitants of North Carolina were now thoroughly awakened to the
conviction that both the local and imperial government were
practically hostile to the best interests of the colonists. The taxes
hitherto were very burdensome; now the cost of the palace, and the
appropriation to defray the expenses of running the dividing line
between their province and the hunting-grounds of the Cherokees, made
them insupportable. A poll tax of one dollar and fifty cents was
levied on every male, white or black, between the ages of sixteen and
sixty years of age.

"The rapacity of public officers appeared to increase, and the people
saw no prospect of relief. Among the most obnoxious men who had grown
rich by extortionate fees, was Edmund Fanning, a lawyer of ability. He
was regarded as a co-worker with the government. The people detested
him, and avoided no occasion to express their displeasure. His first
open rupture with the Regulators was in the spring of 1768. Tryon
issued a proclamation, half menacing and half persuasive, evidently
intended to awe the Regulation and persuade the other inhabitants to
avoid that association. He sent his secretary, David Edwards, to
cooperate with Fanning in giving force to the proclamation among the

"They directed the sheriff to appoint a meeting of the vestry-men of
the parishes and the leading Regulators, to consult upon the public
good and settle all differences. Fair promises dispelled the
suspicions of the Regulators, and their vigilance slumbered while
awaiting the day of meeting. They were not yet fully acquainted with
the falsity of their governor, or they would never have heeded the
fair words of his proclamation. They were soon assured of the
hollowness of his professions, for, while they were preparing, in good
faith, to meet government officers in friendly convention, the
sheriff, at the instigation of Fanning, proceeded, with thirty
horsemen, to arrest Herman Husband and William Hunter on a charge of
riotous conduct.

"These, the most prominent men among the Regulators, were seized and
cast into Hillsborough jail. The whole country was aroused by this
treachery, and a large body of the people, led by Ninian Bell
Hamilton, a brave old Scotchman of threescore-and-ten-years, marched
toward Hillsborough to rescue the prisoners."

Some idea may be had of our unhappy province, by aid of the above
account, written in all fairness, and yet not stating our grievances
as thoroughly as they should be set down, and now I feel warranted in
saying that from the day of Masters Husband's and Hunter's arrest
Sidney Hubbard and I began to prove ourselves _men_ of the Carolinas.

We were both just turned sixteen, Sidney being but two days older than
I, and already had the sheriff warned us that we must pay the taxes
which had been assessed, or be sent to jail where many a poor wretch
was confined, simply because he had not the money with which to
satisfy the governor's unjust demands.

It was on the day after the arrest of our neighbors that we two lads
met old Jacob Peyster, a God-fearing man, and one who was ready and
willing to lay down his life for the good of the Carolinas.

"Why are ye abroad this morning?" he asked, reining in a mettlesome
horse which he had raised from a colt, and we were forced to bring our
steeds to a halt, or give fair proof that we lacked good breeding.

"We came out to learn if there was any news concerning those honest
men whom the king's knaves took into custody yesterday," Sidney made
answer before I, who was ever slow of speech, could do so much as open
my mouth.

"Masters Husband and Hunter have been clapped in prison at
Hillsborough," the old man said sorrowfully, "and unless the true men
of the Carolinas take the matter in hand, they are like to be held by
the brute Tryon till the little property they own has passed into the
hands of his majesty's gluttons."

"You speak as if there was some hope the men of the Carolinas would
resist this outrage," Sidney cried excitedly.

"Aye, lad, and so they will. Hamilton, the Scotchman, is in arms and
enlisting under his flag those who love the colony better than they do
the king. Have you youngsters paid the tax which is levied on all who
have lived sixteen years or more?"

"It is not likely that I shall be able to do so," I hastened to make
answer. "My father cannot give me the money, and the little I had
hoarded up from the sale of my furs, went toward paying the last levy
made against our poor home."

"It looks much as though both Clare and I might soon join Masters
Husband and Hunter at Hillsborough, for I have heard it said that but
a short time will be allowed us of the Carolinas in which to gather
the money to pay the tax, so eager is Governor Tryon to build his
palace," and as he spoke Sidney tried in vain to appear unconcerned,
but I, who knew that which was in his mind, had good proof that he was
in deadly fear of the arrest concerning which he spoke so glibly.

"Aye, lads, the time will be made short indeed. I hear that Lawyer
Fanning is issuing warrants for those who are not down on the
governor's books as having paid the unjust assessment. You are like to
be deprived of liberty soon, unless----"

"Unless what?" Sidney asked eagerly as Master Peyster hesitated.

"Perhaps it is wrong for me to speak further without knowing of what
minds are your parents."

"That can be easily learned; our fathers have not the money with which
to pay their own tax, after giving up all they owned to aid in
satisfying the thirst for gold with which the king's officers in this
colony are afflicted," Sidney said with a laugh which had in it
nothing of mirth.

"Then how will you answer the collectors?" old Jacob asked, eying us

"If it so be I can find a hiding-place, there will be no answer
given," I made haste to reply. "Sidney and I were discussing the
matter even as we met you."

"By joining the force which Ninian Hamilton is gathering you may be
free from the sheriffs for a time; but it is possible that by so doing
you will be charged with treason."

"Do you count on serving with him, Master Peyster?" Sidney asked, and
the old man replied quickly,

"I have already set down my name as one who will serve the colonies to
the best of my poor powers, for I am of the Regulation, as are your
fathers. I am but now summoning all of the association to the rescue
of those who are so unjustly imprisoned--those who were taken because
they put faith in Tryon's sworn word."

"Where may Master Hamilton's force be found?" I asked eagerly, for now
my mind was made up to join those who would measure strength against
the king.

My plight could not well be worse in case I should be charged with
treason, for of a verity the inability to raise such an amount of
money as the hungry officeholders demanded was, in the Carolinas, a
greater crime than that of conspiring against the king himself.

"The rendezvous is near Chapel Hill, where the highway crosses the New
Hope River. You will not be welcomed, however, unless you go armed,
for the association can provide neither weapons nor money."

Having said this much old Jacob spurred his horse on, as if afraid of
saying anything which might influence us in our decision; but he need
not have been so particular, because even before he ceased speaking
both Sidney and I were resolved.

The dear lad turned to me with a question in his eyes when Master
Peyster rode away, and I answered it by saying:

"There is naught else left for us to do. From what the old man said we
know that the sheriff's officers will soon be at our heels, and
anything is better than rotting in Hillsborough jail."

"Then we have only to turn back for our weapons, and the treason is
complete," he said with a laugh, wheeling his horse around as he

I could see nothing of mirthfulness in the act we were about to
commit, although I was none the less determined to join Master
Hamilton's forces.

This hurried visit to our homes would be the last, perhaps, forever,
and even under the most favorable circumstances, hiding as we should
be from the sheriff's officers, neither Sidney nor I would be able to
visit our loved ones, save by stealth, until many months had passed.

I say again, it was a desperate act for two lads hardly more than
sixteen years of age, and yet there appeared to be no alternative.

We rode to our homes swiftly, and without indulging in conversation;
each of us had so much food for thought that he could not speak of
ordinary matters.

The Hubbard plantation was no more than two miles from my home, and it
came first on our road.

I remained outside, not dismounting, while Sidney entered, and when
perhaps half an hour had passed he joined me, turning his head ever so
little lest I should see traces of tears on his cheeks.

He had with him his rifle, a brace of pistols which had been his
father's, a new hunting knife, and a package which I fancied was made
up of provisions.

"Did your father make any protest?" I asked while he was mounting.

"He set off for the rendezvous an hour ago," Sidney replied, doing his
best to suppress a sob. "Mother believed it was best for me to join
him rather than go to Hillsborough jail, and did what she might to
hasten my departure."

When he was mounted we rode on to my home, and he remained outside
while I broke the news to my mother.

She, dear soul, was not surprised. Old Jacob had stopped there to
summon father, who was one of the Regulators, and almost before I
could speak she clasped me to her bosom, saying gently and lovingly:

"Yes, you must go, my boy, and my share of the heavy burden which the
Lord has laid upon the colony will be to remain here alone, trembling
at every sound lest it betokens the coming of some one who brings
tidings that my son or my husband has been killed. If perchance such a
blow is dealt me, I shall know that you died like brave men in the
performance of duty--for it is your duty to aid the oppressed. Do not
delay, gather up such articles as will be needed, and then kiss me
farewell; I cannot linger on the parting."

In less than half an hour I joined Sidney, giving no heed as to
whether he could see the tears in my eyes, and during a full hour we
rode at a gentle pace towards the rendezvous without speaking.

In that time it seemed to me that I had passed the age of boyhood and
was become a man, for of a verity I had set my face towards a man's
work whether I might accomplish it or no.

Then we both struggled to throw off the grief which enveloped us until
the day was like unto the night, and spoke of what might be done if
all who had joined the Regulation came forward in response to duty,
little dreaming of that dreadful day when so many of our friends and
neighbors would lie stark and cold upon the field of battle.

It was but natural that we should speak of the possible glory to be
won, and not to be wondered at that each of us believed he could
perform all which might be required. We had yet to learn how great was
the task set the men of the Carolinas before the yoke of the
oppressors was finally thrown off.

From our homes to New Hope River was but little more than twelve
miles, and when we judged that half the distance had been traversed we
drew rein to give the horses a breathing spell, for they had traveled
ten miles or more before we came upon old Jacob.

We drew from our store of provisions sufficient for the noonday meal,
picketed the horses where they might feast on the rich grass, and gave
ourselves up to a brief time of repose.

The meal had no more than been eaten, however, when hoof-beats in the
distance told that a horseman was approaching, and I seized my rifle,
for the sorrows which had been mine during the day made me
apprehensive of danger from every point.

"Don't be foolish," Sidney said sharply. "It will be said that we are
afraid of our own shadows, if some friend finds us ready for an
attack. There are others beside ourselves who will ride to New Hope
River this day, and he who comes is most likely one of Master
Hamilton's party."

"If so he is headed in the wrong direction," I replied; but I drew
back from my weapon nevertheless, and an instant later regretted
having done so when Sandy Wells, one of the sheriff's officers, rode
up beside us.

"We are well met, young sirs," he said in a mocking tone as he drew
from his pocket two folded papers. "I was but this moment counting
the miles 'twixt me and your homes, for if I mistake not you are Clare
Butler," he said looking at me, and, turning toward my comrade, added,
"You are Sidney Hubbard."

It was useless to deny the fact, since Sandy knew our faces full well,
and I asked, steadying my voice till it sounded reasonably firm:

"What have we two lads to do with so gallant an officer as you, sir?"

"Nothing whatsoever, if it so be you have paid the poll tax which his
worshipful excellency has levied on all males, white or black, between
the ages of sixteen and sixty."

"You must know we have not paid that extortion to provide the governor
with a palace, for it is hardly more than six weeks since a levy was
made of two shillings to the acre of all tilled lands, and we, who
owned not a single rod, were forced to help our fathers pay that," I
said stoutly, noting the fact that Sidney was drawing his rifle toward

"Then must I serve these warrants to the end that I may legally take
you to Hillsborough until such time as you shall pay the just and
lawful demands of his worshipful excellency, Governor Tryon."

"And how may we come by the money while we are shut up in jail?" I
asked, beginning to have an inkling of what Sidney would do.

"That is not for me to say, my pert gentleman. If you cannot pay the
tax, here is my authority for taking you to Hillsborough," and the
conceited rascal proceeded to read in a loud voice the documents he
had drawn from his pocket.

I could understand but little of their purport, so filled were they
with attorney's words and phrases, nor did I cudgel my brains
overmuch, because of what I could see out of the tail of my eye.

Sidney had his rifle in hand, and the expression on his face told me
that he had no intention of going to Hillsborough as Sandy Wells'


[1] Benson J. Lossing, "Field Book of the Revolution."



So great was my excitement, knowing Sidney meditated an attack upon
the king's officer, which could be called neither more nor less than
rank treason and would put us beyond the pale of ordinary offenders,
that I could not understand one word Sandy Wells was reading.

His voice came to me like the droning of bees in the summer, and it
sounded far off. I could neither hear nor think; but all my faculties
were centered in my eyes as I watched Sidney's stealthy movements.

Without really having the power of connected thought, I realized that
to resist the sheriff's officer was an offense which Governor Tryon
would never pardon, particularly since that officer was engaged in the
effort to collect taxes. From the moment we made forcible resistance
we would be the same as outlawed, and shut off from the possibility of
returning again to our homes until the king's rule had been set aside
in the Carolinas.

Desperate indeed would be our position once an overt act against the
recognized authority of the colony had been committed, and yet I would
not have checked Sidney by so much as a hair's breadth had it been

Sandy Wells continued to read as if delighting in the sound of his own
voice, and my comrade made his preparations leisurely, being slightly
in the rear of the sheriff's officer where he could not well be seen,
while the latter's eyes were fixed upon the paper.

When Sidney cautiously drew himself up to his feet by aid of an
overhanging bough, clutching his rifle firmly, I knew the struggle was
about to begin, and during an instant there was a film before my eyes,
red like blood.

Then everything came plain within my line of vision; the tremor of
fear passed away, and I was on the alert to second anything Sidney
should attempt, even though our lives might be the forfeit.

Sandy Wells had nearly come to an end of the warrants which had been
filled out that two lads who could not pay the sum of three dollars
might be thrust into jail, when Sidney, his rifle leveled at the
officer's head, said sharply and sternly:

"Do not so much as move, Master Wells, else I will send a bullet into
your brain. Be careful not to take your hands from that piece of
stamped paper, or I shall believe that you mean mischief!"

Sandy looked around quickly; only his eyes moved, for he must have
understood that my comrade meant every word which had been spoken, and
he saw Sidney standing with his rifle aimed and resting on the branch
of the tree.

At such short range there could be no mistake as to the course of the
bullet, and, realizing this, the officer's face grew white with fear,
for of a verity he was standing very near to death at that moment.

"Would you resist me in the performance of my sworn duty?" he asked,
his voice trembling and his teeth literally chattering with fear.

"That is what I count on doing. Neither Clare nor I will be taken to
Hillsborough jail simply because we cannot pay the poll tax."

"Do you know that this is treason, now the warrants have been read?"

"I can well fancy that Lawyer Fanning will twist it in that way."

"Not only is it treason against the king, but you are laying yourself
open to the penalties made and provided for resisting an officer of
the colony."

"You cannot serve Tryon and the colony at the same time, Master Wells,
and that you know right well. Does it so chance that you have any
weapons about you?"

"I am armed, as you may well see."

"I am more concerned to know if you have other weapons which cannot be
seen. Keep your hands on that paper, Master Wells, while Clare lays
violent hands upon your sacred person in order to learn to what extent
you are fitted out for taking into custody two lads whose only crime
is their lack of money."

"You might have been forgiven the tax; but that which you are about to
do will bring you close to the gallows," Sandy cried in impotent rage.

"Even while standing there we shall be no nearer death than you are at
this instant if it so be you so much as raise a finger. Clare, take
away his rifle, and search him for other weapons."

I lost no time in doing his bidding, for now was Sidney Hubbard the
leader and commander.

Sandy, the livid hue of fear yet on his cheek, offered no resistance
as I made thorough search, bringing to light two pistols and a long
knife which would have served at a pinch as sword, and Sidney cried
derisively as I laid the weapons at his feet:

"You were bravely armed, Master Wells, for the arrest of two boys who
are worth in the eyes of Governor Tryon's law but one dollar and a
half per head, and in fact, not the value of a penny."

"I shall live to see you hanged!" Sandy snarled.

"In which case, as I figure it, you will live to a green old age, and
it may be, suffer not a few discomforts before you die."

"Now that you two villains have robbed me, I suppose I may go my way,"
Master Wells cried as Sidney lowered his rifle.

"Not unless your way is the same as ours, for I am not minded to set
you loose until after learning what Captain Hamilton has to say on the

"What?" Sandy cried in mingled rage and surprise. "Would you also take
me prisoner?"

"It is no more than you would have done by us, and surely turn about
is fair play."

Now it was that I lost courage. The crime of resisting one of the
sheriff's officers was as great as I felt willing to commit; but to
actually take him prisoner seemed the height of folly.

Sidney seemed to read my thoughts in my eyes, for he said quietly,
thus showing himself to be the brave soldier he afterward proved:

"We can make matters no worse by taking him to Master Hamilton, and it
seems to me wise that we get that gentleman's opinion before setting
this worthy officer loose to spread the tiding of our misdeeds.
Fanning and Tryon can never overlook the fact that we have refused to
pay the tax; but I'm thinking it won't trouble them greatly if Master
Wells suffers a little discomfort."

Sandy began to bluster, threatening us with the direst vengeance of
his master and himself; but Sidney soon cut the flow of words short by
saying sternly:

"You will mount your horse, Master Wells, and also do well to remember
that a silent tongue oftentimes stands a man as friend."

Our prisoner ceased his threats, probably understanding that Sidney's
temper was none of the best once it had been aroused, and clambered
into the saddle obediently, my comrade holding his rifle ready for
immediate use in case the fellow made any attempt at leaving us.

Once Sandy had mounted, Sidney fastened his legs beneath the animal's
belly, as a precaution against escape, and, bringing up his own
steed, seated himself in the saddle as he slipped the bridle of the
prisoner's horse over his arm.

If it had been possible to do so without being overheard by Master
Wells, I would have tried to dissuade my comrade from this last
portion of the business, for it seemed to me that by carrying him to
the rendezvous we were but bringing additional trouble upon our own
heads without due justification. I was unwilling, however, to let
Sandy suspect that there was any difference of opinion between us,
therefore held my tongue, meekly climbing into the saddle when Sidney
showed himself impatient to continue the journey.

The one fear in my mind as we set out, Sidney leading the way with our
prisoner and I bringing up the rear, was that Master Hamilton and his
associates would reprove us severely for having brought the officer to
the rendezvous, for it seemed certain that Sandy would hamper the
Regulators to considerable extent.

However, the deed was done, and I question whether I could have
changed the situation in the slightest, however good an argument I
might have brought to bear. Therefore it was that I resolved to give
Sidney the leadership, obeying his orders scrupulously, and standing
by him as a comrade should in case our actions were condemned by the

Sandy Wells evidently had no desire for conversation, and we two lads
could not speak one with another save he heard every word, therefore
the three of us rode forward in silence, keeping a sharp lookout both
ahead and behind lest we might inadvertently come upon one of the
officer's friends.

There is little need for me to set down all the thoughts and fears
which came into my mind as we rode forward, for there is more of
importance than my timorousness to be written before I shall come to
an end of the sufferings endured by the people of the Carolinas in
that struggle which, God be praised, finally resulted in the freedom
of this fair country.

It is enough if I pass over the remainder of our journey in silence,
and describe our reception when we were in the midst of the men of
Carolina who, having chosen Master Hamilton as their leader, were in
the act of what Governor Tryon was pleased to term "open rebellion."

The people were gathered in a thick bit of woods near-by the highway,
and we were forced to give an account of ourselves to the sentinels
before being allowed to ride into the midst of the large assembly,
which was little less than a veritable army.

The first person we saw was my father, and toward him Sidney rode,
telling our story in few words, after which he asked:

"Does it please you that Master Wells be kept a prisoner, sir?"

"I am at a loss to give you an answer, lad," my father replied in
evident perplexity. "It has only been decided that we would release
those who are confined in Hillsborough jail, and I cannot guess how
the gentleman will view your bold act. Give him into my charge, and we
will soon have the case before the Regulation."

He laid hold of Sandy's bridle, leading the horse further into the
woods, while we lads were forced to remain where we had halted,
because of the crowd which suddenly gathered to learn how we had
chanced to come in company with a sheriff's officer.

Once our story was told it could plainly be seen that we had won the
good opinion of those who listened, for without exception each man
bestowed praise upon us, until my cheeks were flushed a deep red from
hearing myself spoken of as a brave lad who would one day do his full
share toward freeing the Carolinas from the money-gluttons who were
impoverishing the people.

Well, we were made much of, and all with whom we spoke agreed that we
should be allowed to become members of the Regulation, as if we were
indeed men grown; but I observed with sorrow that every one treated it
as a matter of course that we could not return to our homes until
great changes had taken place in the colony.

The idea that years might elapse before I could see my mother again
had in it sufficient to prevent me from being puffed up with pride
because of what was said concerning me, and when the gentlemen were
come to an end of questioning us I unsaddled my horse, taking up
quarters at the foot of a huge gum tree.

In this army which had gathered responsive to the call of Master
Hamilton, there were no tents or camp equipage of any kind. Each man
brought everything he might need, including provisions, and the place
where the Regulators encamped had more the appearance of being used
for religious or social purposes, than as a military rendezvous.

Here and there, wherever it best pleased them, were the recruits which
had been so hastily brought together. Horses were picketed where the
best feeding places could be found, and their owners lay under the
shade of the trees, walked as fancy dictated, or gathered in little
squads, having no care save to keep within the lines marked out as the
bounds of the encampment.

Twenty or more sentinels paced to and fro, rather for the purpose of
marking the limits of the camp than because any attack was to be
apprehended, and these were not so strict in their duty as to prevent
those from straying outside the lines who felt the inclination to do

Sidney found a friend with whom he went away hoping to gain speech
with our general, Master Hamilton, and I remained alone a good hour or
more, when my father came up in search of me.

"The prisoner will be held until after we have marched to
Hillsborough," he said by way of explaining what had been decided
upon, and added with a sigh: "It is to be regretted that your evil
fortune brought you in Sandy Wells' path, my son."

"It was he who crossed our path, sir," I said, trying to speak in a
cheery tone, although my heart was like lead in my bosom.

"It recks little which way it was. What affects us is, that you and
Sidney will be forced to remain in hiding, no one knows how
long--certainly until some arrangement can be made to obtain pardon
for what has been done."

"I thought the Regulators had assembled for the purpose of taking into
their own hands the government of the colony, in which case there can
be no question but that our sins against the person of Sandy Wells
will be forgiven."

"It is not probable that the Regulation will be able to effect any
very radical change in the condition of affairs. We shall march to
Hillsborough to demand the release of the prisoners, and if they are
given liberty, there is no longer any pressing need for us to remain
under arms."

"Might the Regulators not also demand that we be pardoned?" I asked,
growing cold with fear.

"I question if the gentlemen would be willing, after this display of
force in order to demand justice, to ask that an offender against the
laws of the colony be forgiven."

"Then what is to become of us?" I cried in fear. "Surely these
gentlemen will not deliver us up to the king's officers!"

"Certainly not; your deliverance must come about without the aid of
the Regulation, however. If it becomes necessary for you to remain in
hiding, go with all speed to your uncle's home in Virginia, on the
bank of the Dan River, and there remain until word comes from me that
you may safely return."

There was no longer an opportunity for him to give me the advice which
I needed. Word was passed from one to another that the order had been
given to begin the march toward Hillsborough, and in a few moments all
was bustle and confusion as each member of the party made his
preparations for the journey.

Half an hour later the Regulators were in line, awaiting the final
word, and a goodly array they presented. There were upwards of four
hundred horsemen, all fully armed, and at their head Master Hamilton,
a patriarch of seventy years.

The word was given, and we set off at a gentle pace, Sidney and I
riding side by side, and a short distance in advance of us, Sandy
Wells, guarded by two men.

The rebellion against the king's authority was begun, and from that
day we might be counted by those in office as traitors to his majesty;
but it could never be said that there was any treachery in our hearts
against the colony of the Carolinas which we were ever ready to defend
with our heart's blood.

The march had been begun near nightfall in order that we might arrive
at Hillsborough early in the morning, and since the distance was but
twenty miles, we were put to it to keep the animals back, instead of
trying to urge them forward.

Some of the men fell asleep in their saddles; but neither Sidney nor I
had any desire for slumber because of the disquiet in our hearts. With
the exception of Master Hamilton, who would likely be charged with
having stirred up the people to sedition, we were in a worse plight
than the others, and whichever way the matter turned, it was probable
we must hide ourselves in Virginia for a time.

With the rising of the sun our party halted on the bank of the Eno,
opposite Hillsborough, and there discovered that the king's officers
had received news of our coming, being greatly disturbed thereat.

Twenty or more men were standing near the edge of the river on the
Hillsborough side, and foremost among them was Attorney Fanning, he
who was equally guilty with Governor Tryon in burdening us with taxes
which were beyond our power to pay.

To have seen him then, when he was in fear of his life, one would have
said that the Regulators of the Carolinas had no warmer friend than
he. When we were drawn up in line, waiting for the word to ford the
river, Fanning shouted, holding up a bottle of rum in one hand and a
bottle of wine in the other:

"We have been waiting for you, my brave Hamilton, knowing that you
will not willingly do that which will cause blood to flow. Let's you
and I have a glass together, and decide this troublesome business
without such a warlike parade."

"You may keep your liquor for those who do not know you as well as do
I," Master Hamilton cried scornfully, and our people set up a shout of

Master Fanning waved his hands as if asking for silence, and after a
time, when those on our side of the river were inclined to hear what
kind of a proposition Tryon's tool had to make, he called out as if
addressing his best friend:

"Send a horse over that I may cross, my worthy Master Hamilton. I fain
would give your people some refreshments," and here he held up the
bottles again, "in addition to having a friendly chat with you."

Some of our men would have made a contemptuous reply, but the others
motioned for silence in order that Master Hamilton might act as
spokesman, which was his right.

"I'll send no horse," our brave leader cried. "You're none too good to
wade, and wade you shall if you come over!"

I supposed Attorney Fanning would go back to his home in anger after
receiving such a reply, and said as much to Sidney; but no sooner had
I spoken than the lawyer waded into the stream, and over he came,
holding out his bottles as if believing that Master Hamilton would be
rejoiced at having an opportunity of drinking with him.

Our leader waved him away in short order, and then the scheming
rascal went from man to man of the front rank, asking each to have a
glass of liquor in token of friendship; but none would accept, and
more than one gave him such insults as a truckling knave like himself

Before he had come to an end of the line, and when it must have been
made plain that not one of the Regulators cared to bestow the
commonest civility upon him, he espied Sandy Wells.

"What, have you resigned your office?" the attorney asked sharply, and
our prisoner replied whiningly:

"I'm held here by force, good Master Fanning, having been taken
prisoner by two lads."

Our people burst into laughter at this mournful reply, and hoping,
most likely, to curry favor with the Regulators, the lawyer said with
a grin:

"If two lads took you prisoner, I'd advise you to hold your tongue
about it. Not many hours since you declared yourself to be a match for
any three men in the Carolinas, providing you were not come upon in

"I was taken by surprise, even while reading the warrants for their
arrest, and it's by no means to my shame, since I never dreamed they
would be bold enough to make an attack upon the representative of our
worthy sheriff."

"You'd best give over reading warrants, Sandy," some person shouted,
and Fanning laughed at the gibe as he continued on along the line of
horsemen, trying in vain to find one who would drink with him.

I must set down here, at risk of interfering somewhat with the thread
of the story, two verses which were afterward written about this
effort of the attorney's to curry favor with those who had come in the
name of justice to rescue innocent men from prison:

     "At length their head man they sent out
       To save their town from fire;
     To see Ned Fanning wade Eno,
       Brave boys, you'll all admire.

     "With hat in hand, at our command,
       To salute us every one, sir,
     And after that, kept off his hat,
       To salute old Hamilton, sir."

I must admit that the poetry is not what might be called exceedingly
fine; but it was made next night in camp by one of our Regulators, and
because of such fact I think it well to set it down in this story.

Well, bow and cringe as he might, our people would not listen to
Fanning, and Master Hamilton told him sharply to get to the rear lest
he be trampled under the feet of the horses.

"We'll have neither you nor your liquor," he cried angrily, "and
unless you get out of sight I'll not be answerable for the temper of
these good friends who have come in search of Masters Husband and



"The sooner we march into Hillsborough and make an attack on the jail,
the better for the Cause," Sidney Hubbard whispered to me when Fanning
had come to understand that not one in all our company was willing to
hob-nob with him. "To sit idly here is much like admitting we are
afraid to do that which we have threatened, or as if we doubted the
righteousness of our mission."

It was not for one like me, who knew nothing whatsoever of warfare, to
criticize what Master Hamilton might see fit to do, and yet I held
much the same opinion as did Sidney.

It would have been more to my liking had we crossed the river at full
speed, surrounded the jail, and forced the keepers to deliver up the
keys without parley.

I would have had the matter settled in one way or another, within ten
minutes, and surely there would be no more treason in the act if done
quickly, than if we dawdled around half a day listening to the
vaporings of those who claimed to be loyal servants of the king.

We were yet drawn up in line, gazing at the town as if trying to
decide whether we would go forward or back, when Master David Edwards,
Governor Tryon's secretary, rode up opposite us, halted an instant to
view the scene properly, and then began fording the stream.

"Whether yonder royalist will try to frighten or cajole us, he is
setting about the business in proper fashion," Sidney whispered
approvingly. "He can't be accused of wasting time."

"Hush!" I said, laying my hand on his to still him. "I would hear his
speech with Master Hamilton, for if I mistake not he will settle the
matter in short order, one way or another."

The secretary had by this time crossed the river and was spurring his
horse toward where Master Hamilton was posted, and as Sidney and I
watched he saluted our commander courteously, not in lick-spittle
fashion as had Fanning.

"Why this war-like array, sir?" he asked, and Master Hamilton replied:

"We have come for our friends who were made prisoners even while
depending upon the governor's assurance that he wished simply to hold
a parley. It was a breach of faith not seemly in one who represents
his majesty, and we will never brook such high-handed proceedings."

"In that you are to be commended, sir," the secretary replied,
speaking fair and softly; "but I warrant you have not fully considered
what may be the result of such show of force. Your friends have been
taken into custody in what appeared to his excellency like a lawful
manner, and it is meet they should be released with due form, else may
you plunge this fair colony into all the horrors of civil war. For the
sake of the people, Master Hamilton, I beg of you to withdraw, at
least until his majesty's judges have time to deliberate upon the

"We are here, and can work our will, therefore it would be little
less than folly to abandon the advantage."

"You need not do so. I pledge my word as a gentleman that all the
grievances of the people shall be redressed, if you allow this unhappy
business to be settled in lawful fashion. Retire, and the matter will
speedily be arranged as you desire. By so doing you may avoid
bloodshed and the charges of treason."

"And we have your sacred word, Master Edwards, that all this shall be
done without loss of time?" one of the party who sat near our
commander asked.

"Aye, sir," the secretary cried, raising his voice that all might
hear, "the affair shall be inquired into as soon as may be."

"There are other matters that need attention, sir," Master Hamilton
said stoutly. "Money has been extorted by Edward Fanning, from very
many here, and without color of lawfulness."

"Master Fanning shall answer to the judges of this colony, and, if
found guilty of illegal proceedings, will be punished as should be
the lowest of our citizens," Master Edwards cried, holding up his
right hand as if taking a solemn oath.

"And will you also pledge yourself that whatsoever has been done by
those who belong to the Regulation, in the effort to gain redress,
remains in abeyance until the first question has been settled?" our
commander asked, and the secretary replied in the affirmative.

"Here is one of your tax-collectors who, while attempting to arrest
two lads, was himself made prisoner," and Master Hamilton pointed
toward Sandy Wells. "Such resistance might be given the name of
treason, if you were inclined to play us false."

"The act shall pass as if it had never been committed, provided that
you release your prisoner. Go to your homes, and at the earliest
possible moment Governor Tryon will take the necessary steps to have
all this unhappy business disposed of to your satisfaction."

Master Hamilton wheeled his horse around, and, addressing our party,

"You hear, gentlemen all, what the representative of the governor has
promised in the name of his master. Are you agreed to do as he
proposes to the end that bloodshed may be averted?"

"We are agreed," our people cried as if with one voice, and an instant
later Sandy Wells was allowed to ride out from among the party, when
he forded the river hurriedly as if fearing some one might try to hold
him back.

"We yet have his weapons as spoils of war," Sidney said gleefully to
me, "and I warrant you he will not venture near Alamance for many days
to come."

"Think you we shall go free after having raised our hands against
him?" I asked, hardly able to believe that such good fortune might be

"We have the secretary's solemn word for it," Sidney replied, and he
had no more than spoken when the command was given for our people to
wheel about in the direction of Maddock's Mill.

The return was made at a rapid pace, and when we were arrived at this
place a general halt was called, the assembly being told that the
Regulation would be in session at George Sally's house next day "to
consult upon the public good."

Sidney and I thought just then more about our own bodies than the
burning questions of the hour, and after taking care of our horses we
camped in a grove near the mill, with nothing save the bushes to
shelter us from dew and sun.

We slept nearly eighteen hours, which atoned for the repose that was
lost during the march to Hillsborough, and then, on the morning after
our appearance before Hillsborough, were ready to discuss the
condition of the "rebellion."

That we were included in the truce was a matter of rejoicing, for it
had seemed certain we would become fugitives, hiding on the Dan River;
but both of us decided that it would not be well to venture within
reach of Sandy Wells, unless we were so well armed as to be able to
care for ourselves.

As a matter of course we two lads went to George Sally's with the
Regulators, but neither of us ventured to take any part in the
proceedings, although much was done of which we did not approve.

In the first place the Regulation prepared a petition to be presented
to Governor Tryon, begging that Messrs. Husband and Hunter be speedily
released in accordance with the promise made by Master Edwards; that
the taxes of those who, by reason of their poverty, could not raise
the required amount of money, be abated; and that Master Fanning and
other court officers be restrained from oppressing the people by
exorbitant fees whenever a legal document was required or served.

As I chanced to know full well, neither my father nor Master Hamilton
approved such a course as pleading with the governor after showing his
minions that the Regulation was sufficiently strong to make demands;
but the majority of the gentlemen were in favor of proving that the
Regulators were not disposed to transgress the laws, and the petition
was written out by Malichi Tyke, who had once served as clerk of

Sidney and I were both very much dissatisfied with the turn of
affairs, although we took good care not to give words to our
discontent in the hearing of the gentlemen who formed the Regulation.

In our opinion we should have encamped near about Hillsborough until
all which Master Edwards promised had been performed, for Governor
Tryon could better be moved by a show of force than an humble

However, as Sidney wisely said, it was no real concern of ours, since
the elders of the association would contrive to manage affairs after
their own fashion, without giving overly much heed to boys or
hot-heads, and if we wished to be numbered among the Regulators it
stood us in hand to obey the voice of the majority without grumbling.

It was also decided at this meeting in George Sally's barn, that
Masters Rednap Howell and James Hunter be appointed deputies of the
Regulation to present the petition to Governor Tryon, and that they
set out at once for Brunswick, where his excellency then was.

Now the upper Carolina was not in as peaceful a state as could have
been desired. Some of the more wealthy inhabitants favored the
representatives of the king, and upheld them in all their iniquitous
proceedings; calling themselves royalists, and us of the Regulation
rebels. They oftentimes, when a fair opportunity presented itself,
took the right to discipline the people who grumbled against the

It was not impossible that some of these aristocrats might meet our
deputies, and, being the stronger in numbers, attempt to prevent them
from appearing before Tryon, therefore to put a check upon such a
possibility it was decided that at least two others should accompany
Masters Howell and Hunter.

It was my father who proposed that Sidney and I be chosen as the
escort, giving as a reason why we two lads should be selected, that it
was possible, despite the promise of Master Edwards, Sandy Wells might
try to make trouble for us because of our taking him prisoner. It was
better, so he urged, that we be kept out of sight until the Regulation
had accomplished its work, and by accompanying the deputies to
Brunswick, Sandy would not readily find us.

Master Howell himself seconded the proposition, kindly stating that he
desired no abler escort than our two selves, and thus was the matter
settled, much to my satisfaction, even though there was more than the
shadow of a suspicion in my mind as to the reception with which we
might meet.

The Regulation also decided that we four should set out as soon as
Master Malichi Tyke had made a fair copy of the petition, and he was
so expeditious with the work that everything was in readiness for our
departure on the following morning.

We had before us a ride of about two hundred miles, and to Sidney and
me, who had never before traveled an eighth part of that distance from
home, the journey offered much in the way of novelty.

There were no preparations to be made save saddling our horses: we
would sleep wheresoever night overtook us, and procure food at such
dwellings as we came across, or, failing in this, depend upon finding
game enough to satisfy our wants.

"Remember that Masters Howell and Hunter are to be obeyed strictly by
you, lads," my father said to us as we were saddling the steeds, "and
do not put me to shame by behaving other than as gentlemen."

As a matter of course we promised faithfully to heed his words, and
with high anticipations set off, riding immediately behind those whom
we were supposed to guard.

During this first day, when we were yet within our own home
neighborhood, the ride was without especial incident, save that at
nightfall, when we were encamped in a lean-to which Sidney and I had
put up while the gentlemen were cooking a couple of hares I had killed
late in the afternoon, Master Howell amused himself with writing the
verses I shall set down below, and which I afterward saw in a pamphlet
entitled "A Fan for Fanning," that had been printed in Boston in 1771:

     "When Fanning first to Orange came,
       He looked both pale and wan;
     An old patched coat upon his back--
       An old mare he rode on.

     "Both man and mare wa'n't worth five pounds,
       As I've been often told,
     But by his civil robberies
       He's laced his coat with gold."

When these lines had been read to us Master Hunter declared that it
was no more than right Master Howell should touch up Thomas Frohock,
who, as clerk of the Superior Court in Salisbury, had done quite as
much as Fanning to extort money from the people, and then it was that
our deputy wrote these verses, which were afterward published in the
same pamphlet of which I have spoken:

     "Says Fanning to Frohock, to tell the plain truth,
     When I came to this country I was but a youth;
     Me father sent for me; I wa'n't worth a cross,
     And then my first study was to steal for a horse.
     I quickly got credit, and then ran away,
     And haven't paid for him to this very day.

     "Says Fanning to Frohock, 'tis a folly to lie;
     I rode an old mare that was blind of an eye;
     Five shillings in money I had in my purse,
     My coat it was patched, but not much the worse:
     But now we've got rich, and 'tis very well known
     That we'll do very well if they'll let us alone."

Master Howell laughingly said that as poetry the verses were of little
account; but the sentiment could not be bettered, according to my
ideas, and before we went to sleep that night I could repeat the lines
without missing a word.

We set out on our journey next morning shortly after sunrise, and,
just before noon, when we were looking for a place in which to camp,
two men, attended by a negro slave, undertook to make us explain our

The whites had halted in the middle of the road, with the black
immediately behind them, and when we advanced made a great showing of

"Halt, gentlemen, and make us acquainted with your destination and
your purpose in traveling this way!" one of them cried peremptorily,
and in a twinkling Sidney and I, who were slightly in the rear of the
deputies, had our rifles ready for use.

"Why shall we make explanations to you or any other in the
Carolinas?" Master Hunter cried angrily.

"Fair and softly, good sir," the spokesman said, looking well to the
priming of his weapon. "We are told that there are in the Carolinas
those who speak against his majesty the king, and with such as they we
would have a few words."

"Except we are so minded, you will have no words with us," Master
Howell said sharply, and I observed that he was fingering his revolver
as if itching to draw it from the holster.

"You will at least explain from what part of the colony you have
lately come," the stranger said, this time speaking in a more gentle

"I am willing to give you so much information as that; but no more,
for I deny that any person, save the king's representatives, have the
right to question me. We are lately from Hillsborough."

The two strangers exchanged glances, and he who had first spoken said

"I have heard that the good people near there talk of banding together
to resist the king's officers in their duty of collecting lawful

"It can now be seen how much the governor's secretary meant when he
gave us such fair promises," Sidney whispered. "Edwards himself has
sent these fellows in advance to prevent us from going to Brunswick."

There was much the same thought in my own mind; but I made no answer
just then, for the very good reason that Master Hunter was replying to
what was little less than a question.

"Our people have banded together; but it is for the purpose of
declaring ourselves against _unlawful_ taxation."

"And you are one of the so-called Regulators, I may suppose?" the
stranger said with a sneer.

Sidney and I moved nearer until we were almost side by side with our
deputies, for now did it seem certain that we were fallen upon those
who would make trouble.

"We have not come out either for the purpose of discussing politics
with strangers, or indulging in a brawl," Master Hunter said stoutly,
drawing his pistols deliberately. "It is our purpose to ride forward
without too great delay, and if you oppose us the blood which is shed
will be upon your heads."

"Might it not interest you to know who we are?" the stranger asked

"Not a whit; _we_ are peaceful travelers who pursue our journey
without molesting any man who does not seek a brawl. We shall go
forward at whatever cost."

Now it was that I believed a fight would be begun in a twinkling, and
my rifle was raised, ready to do my share, when we heard the trampling
of horses' hoofs in the distance.

"There is some treachery afoot," Master Howell said in a low tone.
"These fellows have kept us in conversation until the remainder of the
party can come up. It would be useless to oppose an overwhelming

"True," Master Hunter added, and then, as if seized by a sudden
thought, he added in a low tone to me, who sat nearest him, "You two
lads may perchance escape and carry to our companions of the
association the information of our trouble. Back your horses off till
you are partially screened by the trees, and then ride at full

"There are four of us, and each one ready to give a good account of
himself," Sidney said, much as if he was eager to take part in a fray
where blood must inevitably be spilled.

"Do not stop to argue, lad. It is necessary the Regulation know that
our passage is barred by some treachery of Edwards and Fanning, and
you must carry the news."

I remembered what my father had said, and pulled my horse back, step
by step, until he was amid the bushes that bordered the road on either

The strangers gave but little heed to my maneuvers, probably because
they believed that a lad like me was of but little importance as
compared with the deputies--I had no doubt but that they were
acquainted with the purpose of Masters Howell and Hunter--and,
therefore, I was soon partially screened from view.

Sidney delayed until a party of horsemen numbering four or five came
into view, and then he wheeled around suddenly, riding at full speed
past me as a couple of pistol balls whistled by his head.

I joined him, as may be supposed, and we rode at a sharp pace for a
mile or more, when we pulled up as if by common consent.

No chase had been given, and thus was I all the more strongly
convinced that these highwaymen knew full well who were acting as
deputies of the Regulation.

We two lads looked at each other in silence as our horses came to a
standstill, and not until perhaps a minute had passed did we speak.

"The Regulators did well to listen to such knaves as Edwards and
Fanning!" Sidney said angrily. "We should have released the prisoners
when it was in our power. Now the poor men will remain in jail until
the brute Tryon gets tired of holding them."

"It is childish to cry over spilled milk!" I replied, angry because my
comrade was inclined to give way to repinings when they could be of no
avail. "It is our duty to get speech with Master Hamilton without

"Yes," Sidney cried scornfully, "and while we are riding toward
Maddock's Mill, where I question if any of the Regulators can be
found, those scoundrels will carry our companions to some jail in
which they may die before we learn of their whereabouts."

"We can only do as Master Hunter commanded," I replied meekly,
realizing the truth of all Sidney had said.

"I don't count on anything of the kind; but intend to turn back."

"To what purpose?" I cried, now thoroughly alarmed, for I knew my
comrade well enough to understand that he did not make such assertions
without fully intending to carry out whatever plan might be in his

"It stands to reason that those fellows who have taken the deputies
prisoners came from near about Hillsborough, in which case they will
camp somewhere on the road to-night. It is not probable they count two
lads as of any great importance, and will never suspect us of coming
back once we get away."

"Well?" I asked, determined that he should unfold his scheme without
assistance from me.

"I shall turn back, follow those fellows if possible, and try to come
upon them unawares to-night, when there should be a chance to aid our

"Suppose you fail?" I asked, turning over in my mind the possibilities
of his being able to accomplish anything of importance.

"If I find that they are on the alert against a rescue, or if there
are too many, it will yet be time to turn my horse's head toward
Maddock's Mill."



When Sidney had thus announced his purpose I asked myself what might
be the chances of success, and after due reflection it appeared to me
as if the possibilities were rather in his favor, because it did not
seem probable the royalists would anticipate any attempt at a rescue.

They must have overheard the command given us to ride back with all
speed, and could hardly suppose two lads like ourselves would take the
chances of making an attack, therefore we were likely to find them off
their guard.

Yes, so I decided, the scheme might be worked if we proceed
cautiously, and even in case we found it impossible to do anything,
the delay would be trifling, provided Sidney was willing to give over
the effort if a rescue could not be brought about that same night,
therefore I asked:

"Will you agree to set your horse's head toward Maddock's Mill by
sunrise, in case you fail in the purpose during this night?"

"Yes, that much I promise, for I'm of the opinion that unless the work
can be done before to-morrow morning there is no chance for us to
carry it through without assistance."

"Then I shall do what I may toward aiding you."

He clasped me by the hand, saying as he did so:

"I knew full well you would not ride away and leave me to make the
venture alone."

"I am taking no part in it save as your assistant. You are the leader,
and I shall simply obey orders, because I have no head for such work,
while you are a born soldier."

Sidney laughed loud and long at my words, and said when it was
possible for him to speak:

"Now you are talking nonsense. If we free Masters Howell and Hunter
from the governor's friends, it will simply be a case of good fortune,
rather than anything deserved because of the intellect brought to bear
on the matter. Let us make camp here for a time; the horses need rest
and food."

"Are you not afraid that our enemies will get too much the start on

"I am reckoning that we were near their camping-place when the two
showed themselves. If they count on carrying our friends back to
Hillsborough to give them quarters with Masters Husband and William
Hunter, this road is the one they must take, and we shall see the
party ride by. In case they have a comfortable halting place, I am
counting that the return journey will not be begun until to-morrow

I understood from this remark that Sidney had already settled all the
details in his mind, and, therefore, since I refused to take any part
in making his plans, there was nothing for me to do save patiently
hold my tongue.

We unsaddled the horses, led them into the forest where was a small
clearing covered with rich grass, and made a hearty dinner for
ourselves from the contents of our haversacks.

When this was done we had nothing with which to occupy our attention,
save the task of keeping watch over the highway to make certain the
enemy did not pass without our knowledge.

Although I had so readily agreed to aid my comrade, I was far from
feeling comfortable in mind regarding the outcome. I knew full well
that even in event of success we must run many chances of losing our
lives, for now that the royalists had begun to make prisoners of
citizens of the Carolinas without legal warrant, they would not
hesitate to take the lives of two lads who might interfere with their

To risk our lives in a battle where glory might be won, was one thing;
but to be killed like thieves in the night, when none of our friends
would be able to say whether we died like heroes or cowards was quite
another matter.

Do not let it be understood that I was regretting having agreed to the
venture; on the contrary, I would have acted in the same manner had
the question been put at that late moment, yet I weighed the
possibilities once more, and found them less promising than when first
considering the proposition.

We did not indulge in conversation to any extent during that
afternoon. Now and then Sidney spoke of the treachery displayed by
Master Edwards, and the possible fate of the deputies in case we
failed to rescue them; but for the greater portion of the time we
remained silent, each giving way, perhaps, to gloomy forebodings.

The sun was no more than an hour high when my comrade said as he rose
to his feet and set off toward the clearing where the horses had been

"I reckon the time has come for us to make a start. We'll ride to the
place where the villains met us, and then you shall take to the woods
with the horses, while I follow the trail on foot."

"Why should we not boldly ride down the road until we find ourselves
somewhere near their camping-place?" I asked, even after having
promised myself to take no part in the plan of rescue.

"Because I'm of the opinion that we shall find the villains within
half a mile or less of where we were halted, and it would be a most
serious mistake to let them see us."

As he had proposed so we did, and I soon had good reason for
congratulating myself that my advice was not taken.

The hoof-prints of the horses told us plainly when we were come to the
scene of the encounter, and then, leading both animals, I struck into
the woods, advancing slowly because of the underbrush, while my
comrade pushed rapidly ahead.

The night had not yet come when Sidney returned, and as I
involuntarily came to a halt he whispered:

"They are camped half a mile further on. There are six horses picketed
near by, in addition to those ridden by the deputies, therefore I
reckon that the odds are not heavily against us."

"Did you see our friends?"

"Yes; they are in a lean-to, tied, and guarded by the negro. We can
take the horses within two hundred yards of the place, where is a good
bit of grass which will keep them quiet; but it is well to wait here a
couple of hours."

Once more we came to a halt, and while waiting until the time for
action should come I asked Sidney to tell me how he proposed to set
about the rescue.

"I shall find no fault with your plans, for you are the leader; but it
is necessary I know fully your purpose, in order to play my part

"We'll leave our horses hobbled, so that we may unfasten them quickly.
Then, say in two hours, you and I are to creep around to where their
animals are tethered. We must procure two, with saddles and bridles,
and bring them to where ours are. Not till then are we to give the
deputies any idea of our having disobeyed orders. We should be able to
get them away safely, and a start of five minutes will be enough. The
rising of the moon is to be our signal for work."

"What about the negro who is on guard?"

"Unless he is different from every other black I ever saw, he will be
asleep. If not, or if one of the white men has taken his place, we
must fall upon him in such a way that he can make no noise, after
which a gag will do the rest."

"Where are the others?"

"In a lean-to nearer the road, and a good fifty yards from where our
friends are lying."

The two hours which followed were the longest I have ever known,
although since that time I have been engaged in many and more
dangerous ventures. Each second seemed like a minute, and I began to
think that we had been mistaken in the belief that the moon rose at
ten minutes past nine o'clock. The soughing of the wind through the
trees sounded in my ears like a prophecy of evil, and the cry of a
night-bird came to me like the shout of an enemy.

Had we been forced to remain there inactive an hour longer, I believe
of a verity that the courage would have oozed out of my finger-ends
entirely; but, fortunately, before I was overcome by timorousness the
time for action had arrived.

Sidney led the way through the underbrush, gliding noiselessly along
as if we were stalking a deer, and I copied his every movement.

In order to get at the horses we were forced to make a detour through
the forest to the rear of the place where the deputies were held
prisoners, and this required a good half hour of most laborious work.

Once we were there, however, it became evident that the royalists
counted on beginning a journey very shortly, for the animals were not
only saddled, but bridled, and we understood that the remainder of our
task must be performed quickly, or it might chance that our enemies
took to the road before we could warn Masters Howell and Hunter of the
help which was near at hand.

Now we did not dare carry our plan to the extent of taking the animals
over to where our steeds were hobbled; but fastened them by the
bridles in the rear of the lean-to, and then crept cautiously forward.

It was so dark in this place, owing to the foliage, that although the
moon was half an inch high, we could not distinguish objects five
paces distant, and Sidney let the way by the sense of touch, rather
than because of any aid from his eyes.

When we were close at the rear of the lean-to I could hear the sound
of heavy breathing; but nothing more, and Sidney whispered in my ear:

"I will make my way through the brush, and you are to wait here. If I
should be captured, do your best to carry the information to Maddock's
Mill. Don't try to aid me."

I made up my mind on the instant that I would do my full share in a
fight before leaving the brave lad to his fate, and as the thought
formed itself in my mind he disappeared through the branches which
went to make up the shelter.

I listened with painful intentness; but could hear no more than a
faint rustling of the brush, and then a man crept slowly out into my

It was Master Howell, and when I would have conducted him to where the
horses were tethered, he motioned for me to remain quiet.

Another moment of most painful suspense, during which my heart beat so
loudly that it seemed certain our enemies would be aroused by the
noise, and then Master Hunter appeared, followed closely by Sidney.

We four crept softly to where the two horses were standing, and my
comrade explained to the deputies that we must keep within the thicket
until having come to where our steeds had been left.

"We had best turn in the other direction, keeping under cover until
you ride by, when we can dash out," Master Howell said, and I was
mystified by his words.

"But we shall not ride past here," Sidney replied in a cautious tone.
"To do so would be going directly away from Maddock's Mill!"

"Our destination is Brunswick," Master Howell said, as if that was
sufficient explanation.

"Brunswick!" I repeated in astonishment. "Surely you are not counting
on trying to continue the journey after all that has happened?"

"Of a verity we are," Master Hunter said emphatically. "It is not in
our minds to ride back with the story that we allowed ourselves to be
frightened by six men after two lads have shown themselves so brave
and so quick-witted. Go for your horses, and, having mounted them,
ride directly out on the main road, moving cautiously until arriving
opposite where these scoundrels are encamped. Then use your spurs; we
will join you some distance on."

"But think of the danger which you incur!" I pleaded, although it
would have been more seemly for a lad like myself to keep a silent
tongue and obey orders.

"We count on presenting this petition to the governor if it be
possible to arrive at Brunswick," Master Howell said sharply, and
then, by way of putting an end to the conversation, the gentlemen
began leading the animals back past the lean-to from which we had so
lately rescued them.

There was nothing left for Sidney and I but to perform the parts
assigned us, although I am certain there was much the same thought in
his mind that filled mine, which was that the latter portion of this
venture would be needlessly dangerous and ill-advised.

We did not speak one with another, however, until we had found our
horses and made them ready for the journey, when Sidney said solemnly:

"If I had fancied the deputies would have continued on toward
Brunswick, of a verity we would be well toward Maddock's Mill by this
time. Even if we two get past the camp in safety, we're likely to fall
into the hands of others who are ready and willing to deprive honest
men of their liberty."

But for the fact that the deputies awaited our coming as the signal
for them to come out of the forest into the road, I would have urged
my comrade to leave them then and there that we might save our own
skins by joining the members of the Regulation, wherever they might be
by this time.

Then, feeling in our hearts that there was no good reason for exposing
ourselves to this additional danger, we led the steeds down the road
to a point, as nearly as Sidney could determine, opposite the
encampment of the enemies.

We mounted in silence, and loosened our weapons that they might be
ready to hand, after which Sidney started with a rush.

It can well be fancied that I clapped the spurs to my horse, for the
hindermost in this race was likely to be the one who would suffer
severely, and we clattered past the camp at the best possible speed.

When a mile or more had been traversed we heard the hoof-beats of
horses both before and behind, telling that the deputies had taken to
the road, and also that the royalists were in full pursuit.

Masters Howell and Hunter must have checked the speed of their steeds
somewhat in order to allow us to come up, after which all four settled
down to such a race as I never rode before, for liberty, perhaps like
itself, was the stake.

Not until our horses were so nearly blown that it became absolutely
necessary, did we draw rein, and then it was no longer possible to
hear the sounds of pursuit.

"We have out-ridden them, that is all," Master Howell said in a quiet
tone, as if he was not greatly interested in the final result. "We
will give the nags time to breathe, and then push on again. For a time
our traveling must be done by night."

"If you count so surely that there are others on the road who will try
to prevent us from gaining Brunswick, why is it not reasonable to
suppose Governor Tryon may play us false?" I asked timidly, for I
feared the gentlemen might think me a coward, and yet was I determined
they should discuss the possible dangers which awaited us at the
journey's end.

"I think it very likely he will treat us as rebels rather than
deputies," Master Howell replied quietly.

"And yet you make every effort to give him the opportunity?" I cried
in dismay.

"Aye, lad. We accepted the mission, and having done so it became our
bounden duty to perform it whatever might be the result. Before the
people of the Carolinas can force the representatives of the king to
treat us fairly and honestly, many a good gentleman must come to
grief, and it is not for us to hold back."

There was no reply to be made to such a remark as this, and I would
have held my peace but that the gentlemen insisted on being told why
we had worked to rescue them, instead of pushing on toward Maddock's

"All the credit belongs to Sidney," I replied, determined that my
comrade should have the praise. He argued that we would be wasting but
little time by trying to effect a rescue, and in case of failure we
could have carried out your orders within six hours from the moment
they were given.

Sidney claimed that he could not have made the attempt unless I had
been willing to remain with him, and regarding this we fell into quite
a discussion, which lasted until we heard once more the trampling of
horses in the distance.

It was high time we continued the race, and, the horses having had
quite a breathing spell, we sent them ahead once more at their best

After this we stopped twice to give the animals water, and once to
breathe them, before the gray light told that a new day was upon us.

Then it was that Master Howell proposed we take to the thicket, and
after we were screened by the trees we led the horses a mile or more
parallel with the road. Then we crossed over to the other side,
taking good care to cover such hoof-prints as had been left on the

After these precautions it seemed as if we might consider ourselves
reasonably well hidden from those who came in pursuit, and surely I
was not sorry of an opportunity for rest.

We had been in the saddle not less than eighteen hours, and during six
or seven hours more were so strung up by excitement that it was as if
we had been two days without repose.

Fortunately the deputies had not been despoiled of their haversacks
when taken prisoners, therefore we had food sufficient to provide us
with one hearty meal, and this we ate immediately after the horses
were picketed where was grass in abundance.

Not until we were eating did Sidney ask Masters Howell and Hunter
anything concerning their adventure, and soon we were in possession of
all the facts.

The deputies, finding themselves opposed by six horsemen, surrendered
immediately after Sidney and I rode away. They were asked no
questions, nor was there an attempt to search them. The royalist led
the prisoners to the lean-to, tied their hands and feet, and left them
in charge of the negro, giving orders for him to shoot with intent to
kill if either made any effort to cry out for help in case travelers
passed that way.

Neither Master Howell nor Master Hunter had any definite idea as to
what the scoundrels intended to do with them; but both believed that
but for the rescue they would have been taken to Hillsborough and
there lodged in jail on a charge of sedition or treason.

"Yes, I recognized one of them," Master Howell said in reply to my
question. "He who appeared to be the leader I have seen in Fanning's
office, therefore there was no question in my mind but that the party
set out from Hillsborough in advance of us. Some one at Maddock's Mill
played the traitor."

"Why did they wish to prevent you from presenting the petition to
Governor Tryon?" I asked in amazement.

"I do not believe that was their purpose. It could make but little
difference if Tryon heard of our wrongs; but it might create a
sentiment in our favor among the honest people of Brunswick if we told
there what has occurred at Hillsborough. The scheme unquestionably was
to prevent information of the outrages being carried into the lower

"Do you think we are in danger from others?" I asked.

"Probably not, yet we will travel by night from this out in order to
guard against a possible attack. If those fellows sent word ahead that
we were on the road and must be stopped, then will there be men ready
to detain us; but I am disposed to think that they believed it was in
their power to bring our journey to a close, and we shall meet with no
serious impediment between here and Brunswick."

"The governor may close our mouths by sending us to prison as traitors
to the king," Sidney suggested.

"We shall take good care, my lad, to talk with many citizens of
Brunswick before presenting ourselves before him. If it is known
generally that we are in town as deputies from the Regulation, who
have come in consequence of certain promises made by the governor's
secretary, I do not believe even William Tryon will dare cause our
arrest without first showing some proof that we are plotting against
the king. He will commit deeds in Hillsborough which he would be
afraid to commit in Brunswick or Newbern."

"In other words," Master Hunter added with a laugh, "we are thrusting
our heads in the lion's mouth because we believe he dare not make a
meal of us until after we have gone back into upper Carolina."

With this the conversation came to a close. Master Howell insisted
that we must get all the sleep possible before nightfall, and to such
end he proposed that we draw lots to decide who should first go on
guard, after which the others were to lie down.

No one questioned the necessity of standing watch. In the first place
the horses were to be prevented from straying, and then again it was
of the highest importance we should know if a party of horsemen rode
past our camping place toward Brunswick, otherwise we might find
ourselves following the enemy, instead of being followed.

It was decided by lot that I take the first watch, and at the end of
two hours Master Howell was to be aroused.

Those who had the privilege of sleeping soon stretched themselves out
in the most comfortable positions that were possible, and ten minutes
later I was the only member of the party awake.



During my time of standing sentinel I neither saw nor heard anything
to cause alarm or suspicion; but I never had a harder task than that
of keeping my eyes open while the others were sleeping. It was as if
until my companions lost themselves in slumber I had no sense of
weariness, and then, suddenly, I was overcome to such an extent that
it seemed almost impossible I could perform the duties of sentry.

I walked to and fro briskly; repeated to myself this hymn or that
verse, and now and then groomed the horses in the hope of arousing
myself; but all to no purpose. My eyelids drooped as if weighted with
lead, and not until I had switched my face sharply with a bit of
brush, striking my bare eyeball inadvertently, was I awakened. Then
the pain kept me awake until I judged that the time of my vigil had
come to an end.

Master Howell arose reluctantly when I shook him vigorously, and asked
as he stretched his limbs and yawned prodigiously, whether I had heard
anything which might concern us.

Sixty seconds later I was sleeping soundly, and not until late in the
afternoon was I sensible that the life yet remained within my tired

Then I was surprised by seeing meat cooking before a fire; but soon
learned that Master Hunter had been out in search of game, and,
fortunately for us, had come across a deer within half a mile of our
camping place.

After partaking of a hearty meal the difficulties and dangers of our
way seemed to have lessened, and I looked forward to the night's work
as a task which might have within it somewhat of pleasure.

Because we had not heard horsemen passing our resting-place, it was
believed that our enemies had abandoned the chase, and immediately the
late dinner was eaten we set forth, taking less precautions than
before, for now it seemed as if we must have outrun danger.

In order that I may not make too many words of what is of little
consequence, no further record of the journey shall be made, save to
say that on a certain day, near about noon, we rode into Brunswick
despite the efforts of Master Edwards and Attorney Fanning to check

At the inn, the landlord of which was an acquaintance of Master
Howell's, it was given out with considerable emphasis, as if there was
something in our official position of which to be proud, that we had
come as deputies from the Regulation to petition the governor, and I
venture to say that before nightfall every citizen of Brunswick was
well aware of what had been done in upper Carolina to preserve the
rights of the people.

It was only natural the Brunswickers should be curious to know all
that this association so lately sprung into existence was doing, and
even we lads were questioned eagerly by those who, because of press of
numbers around the deputies, could not otherwise learn of the
organized resistance against unjust taxation.

Thus it came about as Master Howell and Hunter desired, that the
citizens were well informed as to the reason of our coming before we
had asked for an audience with the representative of his majesty in
the Carolinas.

Not until the following morning did we present ourselves at the
governor's residence, and then we were admitted after being allowed to
cool our heels in the guard-room for an hour or more.

Sidney and I had not supposed that we would accompany our companions
on this visit of state; but it served the purpose of our gentlemen to
introduce us as deputies of equal importance with themselves, with the
view, most likely, of giving us lads that fancied protection which
would be thrown around the messengers of a reasonably powerful

There could be no doubt but that the governor knew by this time why we
had visited Brunswick, and, while not daring, perhaps, to refuse us an
audience, satisfied his narrow mind and tyrannical disposition by
making us wait in the room occupied by the guard for a certain length
of time.

When finally we were admitted to his presence we saw a cruel-faced
man, clad carelessly in a dressing-gown, seated at a table in that
room which served him as a library, and ranged around the apartment
were six soldiers fully armed, fitting protectors for such as he.

As if with the view of proving that we were of but little consequence
in comparison with his greatness, he did not so much as glance at us
when we first entered; but remained as if engrossed with certain
papers that were spread out on the table, until ten minutes or more
had elapsed, when he looked up, surveying us with a scornful

Certain it is that he did not frighten either of the party by his
lordly manner, and such fact must have been apparent on our faces, for
he finally asked in a loud voice, perhaps hoping to cause alarm by his
roar, why we had presented ourselves.

Master Howell acted as spokesman, and he advanced a pace as he said

"May it please your excellency, we, the deputies of a certain
association well known in upper Carolina as the Regulation, have
ventured to present ourselves with a petition from the Regulators, on
the strength of a recommendation from your excellency's secretary,
Master David Edwards."

"Your association may be well known in the backwoods; but we have yet
to learn of it here," the governor cried angrily.

"That you may do by a perusal of this petition, your excellency,"
Master Howell said quietly as he laid a folded paper on the table in
front of Tryon. "Two of our people have been imprisoned without due
warrant, and when four hundred or more gentlemen of upper Carolina
presented themselves at Hillsborough for the purpose of restoring our
friends to liberty, Master Edwards urged us to the present procedure,
promising faithfully in your name that this matter, together with
others of an unlawful nature, should receive your prompt attention."

At this speech, which savored little of fear, the governor took up the
petition, glancing at it carelessly, and then throwing it
contemptuously on the table, cried in a voice which quivered with

"Return to your homes, and smother this rebellion in the bud, else the
penalty will be great. There shall be no association banded against
the laws of his most gracious majesty! See to it that your fellows
disperse at once, and have a care how you meet in opposition to our

"I pray your excellency to read that which we have brought at risk of
our lives," Master Howell said firmly. "You will see that we do not
rebel against his majesty's laws; but rather against those who exceed
them unlawfully."

"Go home and pay your taxes, or I will sweep the upper Carolina with
my troops till it is a wilderness!" the governor cried as if beside
himself with rage, and it appeared to me that he was about to give yet
more rein to his passion when an officer entered hurriedly, whispering
a few words in the angry man's ear.

"Admit him at once," was the command, and then, to my astonishment and
fear, in walked one of those two cavaliers who had opposed our
passage and afterward made prisoners of the deputies.

The newcomer had all the appearance of one who has traveled far and
fast, and after looking around hurriedly as if to satisfy himself that
we were really there, he laid a paper on the table in front of the

Then, at a sign from Tryon, he backed out of the room as if in the
presence of royalty itself, and the governor hastily took up the
written message.

It must have contained something which did not please him, for his
brows wrinkled as he read, and after coming to the end he perused it
once more with greatest care.

Although having had no experience in such matters, I understood full
well that this missive had been sent by David Edwards, and could
reason out all the circumstances readily.

Most likely a messenger had been sent back to Hillsborough within a
very short time after the escape of the deputies, and even while a
portion of the party were pursuing us. Knowing as he did, that the
Regulation was sufficiently strong to dominate upper Carolina if it
was forced to extremities, Master Edwards had unquestionably sent a
full account of all that had happened to the governor, in order that
the latter might not do anything rashly.

That my reasoning was correct I understood when, after some
reflection, Tryon, turned toward us once more with something like a
smile of friendliness on his cruel face.

"You will excuse me, gentlemen, for having diverted my attention even
momentarily from your affair. In these times, when treason is rearing
its head against his most gracious majesty a moment's delay may have
fatal results. I will read your petition."

Then, as if he had but just understood our request, he perused the
document we brought, and having done so said condescendingly:

"This matter shall receive our immediate attention. Return to your
homes; explain to your associates that their welfare has my best care,
and assure them that within a month I will make a personal visit to
Hillsborough. Then these complaints shall be inquired into by
impartial judges, and that which is wrong or unjust will be remedied
without loss of time."

He bowed, to intimate that the audience was at an end, and we went out
of the room, not backward, as had the messenger from Edwards; but as
gentlemen should, in a manner calculated to show that we stood on
terms of equality with all there.

But for the manner in which he first received us, I would have said
that the troubles of our people were well-nigh at an end; but,
believing he had spoken us fairly at the last only because of
realizing that the Regulation was of great strength, I fancied we had
accomplished nothing of good by our coming.

When we were at the inn once more, and could hold converse without
fear of eavesdroppers, I learned that the deputies were of much my way
of thinking, for Master Howell said with a grim laugh:

"At least, we have pinned Tryon down to the promise that he will come
to Hillsborough within a month."

"And then I warrant you that those whose names are on the rolls of
the associations will find themselves fast beset by Fanning's
henchmen. Our last condition will be worse than the first."

"He will need to bring a strong following with him."

"Not so, my friend," Master Hunter replied gravely. "The weak-kneed
among us will profess to believe in his promises, and the Regulation
will be reduced to less than an hundred. He may work his will until
again are the people so oppressed that alleged rebellion becomes
necessary if we would save ourselves from prison."

It was not a cheerful ending to our long journey; but there was
nothing more that we could do, save make the people of Brunswick
understand yet more thoroughly the situation of affairs in those
countries where Fanning and Frohock held the courts of law in their

During the remainder of this day, in accordance with Master Howell's
suggestion, we talked with such of the citizens as came to question
us, and by nightfall the Brunswickers must have had a fairly good
idea of the situation in upper Carolina, where already had four
hundred gentlemen declared they would resist the misrule which was
crushing them to the earth.

One more day we spent in the town, and then it was as if the citizens
had learned all they wished concerning our affairs, for our
questioners ceased to be curious, and Master Hunter declared that the
time had come when we should return.

"We will set out to-morrow morning," he said, and Master Howell nodded
to show that he was of the same mind. "Having described to the
association our journey, and that which has taken place here, there
will be nothing to do until the governor institutes the promised
inquiry into the wrongs of the people."

"Which will result in yet greater oppression," Master Howell added

"We at least have done our duty, and will again be in the front ranks
of the association when the time is ripe for action."

Well, all was done as Master Hunter had said. We were on the return
journey shortly after sunrise, and allowed the horses to take that
pace which best pleased them, for we had no need to make great speed.

Our haversacks had been well filled at the inn, and we would have no
need of searching for game until two days had passed, when it was
reasonable to suppose we should be in that section of the country
where the planters would provide us with food and shelter.

There was no thought in our minds that any effort would be made to
stop us, for now were we carrying a message from the governor, and
such an one as would go far toward soothing our neighbors who had so
lately been in arms against those who represented the government.

At noon we halted an hour to rest the animals, who were yet quite
fresh for the journey, and to partake of the noonday meal. Then we
rode leisurely forward again until about five o'clock in the
afternoon, when we were arrived at a plantation where was promise of
comfortable accommodations for the night.

"It is better to halt here, at the expense of two or three hours,
rather than push on and sleep in the open air," Master Howell said as
he reined his horse in at the door of the dwelling.

A white man and a negro, one an indentured servant and the other a
slave as we afterward learned, appeared in response to our summons,
and from them we learned that the planter and his family were in
Newbern on a visit to relatives; but this did not prevent us from
receiving such hospitality as is famous in the Carolinas.

The negro led our horses to a stable of logs which was situated fifty
feet or more in the rear of the main buildings, and the white servant
ushered us into a sitting-room that gave access to the broad,
vine-covered veranda overlooking the main road.

In this last place we were served with light refreshments until a
hearty meal could be prepared, and my comrade and I congratulated
ourselves on having come across such a lodging, when we had expected
to sleep in the thicket where flies and mosquitoes would disturb our

Our weapons, saddle-bags and haversacks had been brought into the
sitting-room, and we could come at our belongings, if we so desired,
by simply stepping through the open window.

The deputies were taking their ease in a couple of hammocks, and we
two lads were lounging in huge chairs when the clatter of horses'
hoofs aroused us all to curiosity.

Peering out through the vines which formed a curtain in front of the
veranda, I saw five horsemen, the leader that same man who had brought
the message to the governor while we were having audience, ride past
in hot haste and halt a few yards beyond the path leading to the house
as they carefully scanned the road.

"Yonder men have been following on our trail," I said, giving words to
the thought which was caused by their movements. "Having over-ridden
it, they will turn back."

It was as I said.

The horsemen rode slowly back to the house-path, gazed toward the
building, and continued on at a walk in the direction from which they
had come.

"Can it be that Tryon would try to prevent us from reaching
Hillsborough?" Master Hunter said half to himself, and Master Howell
replied grimly:

"Those fellows have followed us by his orders, or those of Fanning and
Edwards, you may be certain, for they have no personal quarrel with
us. It is now known where we are, and I'm of the opinion that we had
best make preparations for defense."

"But it is to the interest of the governor that we report to the
association his reply to our petition," Master Hunter continued with
the air of one trying to read a riddle.

"So it seems to us who are not in the secret. We need not try to solve
the problem until preparations for defense have been made, since it is
positive those fellows are on our trail."

I failed to understand how we might turn another's house into our
castle; but Master Howell was not troubled by such trifles.

Entering the sitting-room hurriedly, he summoned the white servant who
was supposed to be making ready a meal for us, and hurriedly
explained to him the situation, concluding by saying:

"It is likely that we shall be attacked before morning. What would
your master do if he were at home?"

The fellow shook his head in perplexity, and Master Howell added:

"Having given us shelter we are his guests, and as such he would be
bound to aid us, provided we had proven ourselves honest citizens of
Carolina. So much, and no more, you shall do. I am of the opinion that
they will take away the horses, if possible, and to check such an
attempt the animals must be brought nearer the house where we can
defend them."

"There is no other stable, sir."

"Is there not a store-room where we can stable them for the night? You
can cleanse it to-morrow morning with this to lighten the task," and
Master Howell held out three silver coins.

The servant clutched the money eagerly as he said:

"Peter the negro, and myself, are the only servants on the plantation.
The horses might be brought into the room which is used as a kitchen
during the winter. There is no floor, and a few armfuls of straw would
make them comfortable."

"These lads shall assist you in caring for them at once, and look to
it that the saddles and bridles are also brought into the house. Do
all you can to aid us, and double that amount of silver shall be yours
when we ride away."

It is easier to bribe an indentured servant than a slave, because the
former may be able to purchase his freedom, and this fellow showed
every desire to aid us.

Sidney and I followed him to the rear of the building while Masters
Howell and Hunter remained on the veranda with their rifles in hand,
and in a few seconds the negro was made to understand what we would
do. He brought straw while we led the animals into the house, and when
so much had been accomplished the servants and us lads brought a
supply of water from the well, filling every convenient vessel, for
there was in my mind the thought that we might be called upon to stand
a siege.

When we had done this much, and we spent not less than half an hour in
the work, Sidney and I went through the house to the veranda where we
found the deputies on guard.

I reported as to the arrangements we had made, and Master Howell said

"It is well. We are now prepared to give those gentleman a warm
reception, unless they have some means which we have overlooked of
getting into the house. You lads are to stand guard at the rear of the
building, and if a stranger appears, call upon him to halt; if he then
advances you will be warranted in shooting. In case the governor
thinks to make way with us he will find that he has undertaken quite a

"By calling out the soldiers he could soon put an end to our return,"
Sidney suggested.

"That is exactly what he won't do, especially after we have made our
story so public in Brunswick. It is not in Tryon's nature to come out
like a gentleman in his usurpation of authority; but he must needs
scheme to carry his ends by trickery. If he can dispose of us through
the agency of these fellows, well and good, for there is little
chance he can be connected with the crime. Have no fear that any
public movement will be made to deprive us of freedom or life."

We lads took our rifles and went to the back porch, where we were
screened by the vines, and while the white servant prepared supper and
the black acted as assistant, we watched for the enemy, feeling ill at
ease, as well we might.

After having come to believe that our troubles were at an end with the
delivery of the petition, I was particularly cast down at thus
learning that our enemies were inclined to pursue us yet further. It
had an ugly look, as if Fanning and Edwards, with the possible consent
of the governor, were seeking to take our lives, although, study the
matter as I would, it was beyond my poor powers to make out how the
rule of the king in the Carolinas would be strengthened by our death.

It seemed more as if the discontent round about Hillsborough would be
increased in case we were slain, and that the Regulators would make
every effort to avenge the murder of their deputies.

It was all a riddle to me, and after turning the matter over and over
again in my mind, I asked Sidney what he made of it.

"Nothing whatsoever," he replied with a long-drawn breath. "I cannot
solve the riddle; but this much is certain, that those fellows who
followed our trail to this house are the same who made prisoners of
Masters Howell and Hunter, and unless we are willing to go to prison
somewhere between here and Hillsborough, we stand a good chance of
being shot."

"Why do you say 'somewhere between here and Hillsborough'?" I asked in

"Because if we are not murdered outright, it will be to Tryon's
interest to keep us well hidden from the Regulators, who would use
every effort to free us, and we could not be imprisoned secretly
either at Brunswick or Hillsborough."



While we lads crouched amid the vines which covered the porch of the
dwelling wherein we had entrenched ourselves without due authority
from the owner, watching intently for some token that our enemies were
creeping up on us, the question came into my mind as to whether a
goodly portion of the present trouble did not come from the fact that
Master James Hunter was one of the deputies appointed by the

Then there came back to me all I had heard regarding the arrest of
Masters Husband and William Hunter, a cousin of Deputy Hunter. It was
said by some that Fanning had particular reasons for desiring the
imprisonment of James, while he did not have a speaking acquaintance
with William.

When the arrest was made, or rather when the two Regulators were taken
into custody to convenience Messrs. Fanning and Edwards, the wrong
Hunter was taken, and he against whom the attorney had been working
was appointed one of two to represent the Regulation at an interview
with the governor.

It was a vile act, throwing two men into jail on a charge of seditious
conduct, simply to pleasure a couple of villains; but even this was
not the worst of our treatment at the hands of Governor Tryon and his

I could fill an hundred pages like this with accounts of injustice
done us of the Carolinas, and yet set nothing down which might not be
verified by reliable witnesses, while every item would be the record
of an outrage as gross as that committed in the imprisonment of
Masters Husband and Hunter.

If it could have been known throughout all the colonies what we of the
Carolinas suffered under the misrule of William Tryon, then would that
declaration of liberty which was made in 1776, have been brought about
five years earlier.

However, it is not for me to hark back to the beginning of our
troubles; I have set down these thoughts because they came into my
mind like a flood while Sidney Hubbard and I remained on the alert
against those who, unquestionably, had been instigated by men whose
duty it was to protect the people, instead of riding them down like
foxes on the hunting field.

I had been disheartened by the sudden turn in affairs, and the
predictions made by Sidney, until it was to me as if the efforts to
assert our rights as honest men would result in the death or
imprisonment of all concerned in the undertaking.

Meanwhile, as I thus agitated myself about affairs which would be
regulated by Providence, we two lads kept close watch but without
seeing or hearing anything of those horsemen, who, as we knew full
well, were lurking near at hand to work us some mischief.

When the white servant had prepared our supper, Masters Howell and
Sidney went inside the dwelling to partake of the meal, leaving Master
Hunter and me on guard, and, later, we two were relieved by the
others to take our places at the table.

While Master James Hunter and I were eating, I ventured to ask him
what he thought of the situation, and received as reply:

"We are better off here than on the road, although it seems likely our
return will be greatly delayed."

"Meaning that you believe those men whom we saw will spend much time
trying to capture us?"

"We shall not be able to continue our journey save at the expense of
an encounter with those villains, and whether we ever see home again
depends, as I believe, upon our being the best marksmen."

Such a prediction did not tend to raise my spirits, as can well be
imagined, and straightway all desire for food fled from me.

I left the table without ceremony, and rejoined Sidney, full of
determination to shoot with true aim if one of our enemies would
present himself as a target.

Until the sun had gone down we watched in vain, and while the
twilight was gathering Master Howell announced his intention of
venturing out to reconnoiter, for it seemed necessary we should know
what disposition had been made of their forces.

Sidney insisted that he or I should be allowed to perform such task,
arguing with great force, so I thought, that it would be of but little
consequence if one of us lads was captured, while it could not be
reckoned anything short of a disaster if harm befell either of the

Master Howell turned a deaf ear to his arguments and entreaties,
replying again and again that he would not put a dangerous duty upon a
boy when he was able to perform the task himself.

Even while we strove to restrain him, he went out into the night, as
if bent on visiting the stable, and when he had arrived at that
building it was no longer possible for us to distinguish his form.

Master Hunter kept watch alone at the front of the house, and in the
rear Sidney and I strained our ears for some token of disaster or

The deputy had been absent a full half hour, during which time we
heard nothing save the movements of the servants, or the stamping of
the horses in the winter kitchen, and then suddenly, as if he had
risen from the ground, appeared Master Howell.

We lads raised our rifles, not knowing for the instant whether it was
friend or foe who had come upon us so silently, and then we heard his

"I have returned; do not fire."

He stood on the porch an instant to tell us in whispers the result of
his investigations.

"They have surrounded the buildings in such manner that we cannot
leave secretly, and appear to be content with that. As I look at the
matter, they, having trapped us, are waiting for reinforcements, or,
possibly, officers of the law."

"But you have said that Governor Tryon does not dare to cause our
arrest now that the people of Brunswick have heard all the story," I
suggested, not a little alarmed by the information that the enemy
appeared well content to wait until we might be captured with greater

"It was my proposition that Tryon would not dare arrest us in
Brunswick; but now we have left that place, he might work his will
without the people being any the wiser."

There was in Master Howell's tone that which convinced me he was
seriously disturbed by the condition of affairs, and I understood such
was really the case when he added:

"I think it is high time we held a conference of war, and one of you
lads had best come with me to the front veranda, while the other
remains here on guard."

I motioned Sidney to accompany Master Howell, and he, eager to hear
all which might be said, readily acceded to the mute suggestion.

In another moment I was alone, peering out into the darkness with
every faculty on the alert, and thus I remained until half an hour or
more had passed, when my comrade returned.

"Well?" I asked impatiently, burning to learn the result of the
conference, for I had worked myself into a fever, trying to imagine
what else we might do save await the preparations of our enemies.

"It is decided that we leave this place about midnight," he said in a
cautious whisper; "that is, if you agree to the proposition."

"If I agree!" I repeated in nervous petulance. "What can I have to do
with any plan which may be proposed?"

"If we set out it will be at risk of our lives, and the deputies have
decided that no move shall be made unless all four of us are fully
agreed that nothing different can be done."

"But how may we go or come at our pleasure if the house is

"We can saddle the horses, and mount while yet in the building. Then
it is a case of starting with a rush, hoping that in the darkness
those fellows will not be able to shoot us down."

"We are to run away, then?" I asked in surprise, for it had been in my
mind that both Master Howell and Master Hunter would insist on
fighting, however great the odds.

"It seems necessary to do so if we would see our friends again, and
the deputies believe it is of the utmost importance the Regulation be
acquainted with the fact that all manner of treachery will be brought
to bear, rather than do us justice. Therefore we will run instead of
fight. Our horses are as fresh as theirs, and we may be able to give
them the slip. In case we are brought to bay, it is better, so the
gentlemen have decided, that we stand opposed to five or six men,
rather than a large body. Are you agreed?"

"It is useless to ask such a question. I shall do whatsoever the
deputies think best."

"Then, if that be your mind, the time may come when you will be called
upon to act what appears to me like a cowardly part."

I was amazed by this remark, and it can be readily supposed that I
insisted upon an immediate explanation.

"The deputies are agreed that in case we are brought to a standstill,
you and I are to make our way to Maddock's Mill without regard to
them. They will fight, whatsoever the odds, for the sole purpose of
allowing us to escape."

"Why have they grown so careful of us?" I cried, never dreaming of
that which would have come instantly into the mind of a quicker-witted

"It is that we may carry the news to our friends. Masters Howell and
Hunter will sacrifice their lives in order that the members of the
association may be informed of the exact situation of affairs."

I made no promises; timorous though I was, there could be, so I said
to myself, no time when I would feel warranted in leaving comrades or
companions struggling against a superior force. The Regulation might
forever remain in ignorance of what had been said at Brunswick, before
I would write myself down such a coward as to seek safety while others
of my party were in peril.

Luckily Sidney did not exact a promise from me on this score, and when
Master Howell came to where we stood, he believed I had fully agreed
to all the propositions.

"Sidney and I will saddle the horses when the time comes, and you and
Hunter will only leave your posts in order to mount and make the
rush. There is opportunity for us to gain a couple of hours' sleep. I
will stand guard in front, Sidney is to remain here, and in due time
you and Hunter shall act as sentinels."

I was not disposed for slumber; but this was virtually a command, and
without hesitation I went into the sitting-room.

Here I soon fell asleep, despite the fear in my heart, and when Master
Howell aroused me, at the expiration of two hours, it was as if I had
but just closed my eyes.

Then I performed the part of sentinel, when the hours seemed as long
as the time of repose had been short, and it was as if the night had
passed before Master Hunter came to announce that the moment for
action had arrived.

Then he went back, leaving me with the blood bounding through my
veins, and my heart throbbing violently, for I believed that one or
more of us would soon be in another world.

As had been agreed upon, Master Howell and Sidney made ready the
horses, and the words were passed to the front veranda that that post
be vacated.

Now we moved swiftly, mounting the horses while they were within the
makeshift of a stable, and when all were in the saddle Master Howell
paused to say:

"I will lead the way, then comes Clare, Sidney, and lastly Hunter.
Ride in close order, and at full speed."

The indentured servant stood near the door, yet holding the money
which had been paid him according to promise, and our leader rode out
into the darkness.

At a foot pace we went around the building, until coming to the path
leading into the road, when Master Howell struck the spurs deep, his
horse darting off like an arrow sent from a bow.

At that same instant came the crack of a rifle; I heard the ball
whistling a few inches above my head, and said to myself that if the
enemy shot as well as that in the beginning, they must succeed in
winging all of us before we were well under way.

The fever of excitement was so great upon me that I cannot well say
exactly what happened during five minutes after we emerged from the

I only know that a volley of musketry rang out; that I fired
point-blank at a man who suddenly appeared from out a clump of bushes,
and cheered when he fell. Then it was as if a fierce conflict was
being waged all around us, and that we rode through the showers of
bullets until gaining the main road, when our animals stretched
themselves to the race.

I came out from the dream into which I had been plunged, when Master
Howell shouted to know who had been hurt, and each in turn declared
that he was not even scratched.

It seemed almost impossible we could have come through that shower of
bullets without being riddled, yet such was the case, and then I
wondered whether the horses had fared as well.

My steed was going true; I could feel the play of his muscles beneath
me, and knew beyond a peradventure that he like myself was yet sound
in wind and limb.

"They aimed too high!" Master Howell cried exultantly. "If the
scoundrels had turned their attention to crippling the animals, our
chances would have been slim. Huzza for the Regulation!"

Then we four who had ridden out from the shadow of death gave voice to
our triumph, and from the rear came a yell of rage, telling us that it
yet remained to shake off the pursuers who were bent on taking us,
dead or alive.

"Keep your horses well in hand," Master Hunter cried. "There's a long
race ahead of us, and we must not wind the beasts."

Our leader set the pace, riding only to keep beyond rifle range, and
we four came alongside each other until we filled the road so
completely that had any unfortunate been ahead on foot we must have
trampled him down.

It was possible now to converse, and I fancied also that the animals
traveled more easily by thus being in company.

When an hour had passed and we were come to a stream, the deputies and
I dismounted, standing side by side in the road, while Sidney gave
the horses water enough to wet their throats, and loosened the girths
that they might regain their wind, for all four were well nigh blown.

We there stood ready to fire in case the pursuers came up before the
steeds were ready for the road again, and word had been passed that we
should give our attention to crippling the enemy's horses rather than
the men.

During fifteen minutes did we remain with rifles in hand ready to be
drawn to the shoulder at the first show of a pursuer, and then the
chase was resumed.

We had gained a long start of Governor Tryon's minions; but the halt
would enable him to cut down the advantage, and again we rode at
racing speed until once more it became necessary to halt.

In this manner was the night spent; we favoring the faithful animals
as much as possible, and while they rested, standing shoulder to
shoulder ready for a battle.

When morning dawned we could see no signs of the enemy in the road,
and this fact troubled me not a little, because I feared that they
had taken a short cut unknown to us, and we would soon find them in
advance to check our flight.

By riding until nearly noon we arrived at the plantation of William
Payne, on whom Master Howell could rely fully, and here we came to a
halt, counting to give the horses a long rest.

Our host had two sons, and with such an accession to our numbers we
were not greatly dismayed by the prospect of another siege, therefore
we dismounted, and my timorousness vanished as I realized that we were
now so far from Brunswick there was little fear but that word could be
sent to the members of the association even though we should be

While we ate dinner, which had been hurriedly prepared, and the sons
of our host cared for our leg-weary steeds, Master Howell told all the
story of our adventures, and the owner of the plantation proposed that
one of his boys take a fresh horse for the purpose of making his way
to Maddock's Mill with the tidings.

After some little discussion our deputies agreed to this proposition,
and before we stretched ourselves out to sleep the lad rode away,
counting to change horses at the house of a friend, forty miles

Our mission was thus virtually accomplished, and we composed ourselves
for slumber with the satisfaction of knowing that the duty due the
association was the same as performed.

Our host and his son agreed to stand watch while we slept, and nothing
disturbed us until well into the night, when I was aroused by hearing
the owner of the plantation as he entered the room to awaken the
deputies. Then I overheard the following conversation:

"Your pursuers are here. The hoof-prints of your horses could be
plainly seen on the lane, and all hands were in front of the house
before seeming to realize the situation."

"Where are they now?" Master Howell asked quietly as he arose with
difficulty from the bed, for his joints were stiff and lame after the
hard race.

"I forbade their coming nearer, and warned the party to leave my
premises. They asked if two men and two lads were here, and I,
fearing lest they might pursue my son, told them the truth."

"That was well done," Master Howell replied approvingly. "Now they may
besiege us once more, and we will make no effort to get away unless,
perchance, you object to our resisting the governor's servants from
your house."

"Do as you will with me and mine. My wrongs are not less than yours,
and now is the time when we of the Carolinas must prove ourselves men,
or expect to remain under the yoke forever."

"You may be set down as a traitor to the king if we make this house
our castle," Master Hunter suggested; but stout Master William Payne
was not to be frightened.

"I can't say that I have any quarrel with the king himself; but
against his representatives in the Carolinas my hand shall never be
lowered. I aroused you only that you may be prepared in case an attack
is made."

"We will let the boys sleep, while Hunter and I have a look around,"
our deputy said in a low voice, and the three men left the room
softly, believing we lads were yet asleep.

When they were gone Sidney said as he turned to face me, for we had
been sleeping in the same bed:

"So it seems that we are besieged again."

"Did you hear all Master Payne said?"

"Every word."

"We are like to make quite a halt here."

"And can well afford to do so, now that word has been sent on ahead.
Young Payne will readily arrive at Maddock's Mill by to-morrow
afternoon, if he gets a fresh horse during the night, and we shall
soon have reinforcements enough to settle as many as have come."

"If we must fight to get back home, what will be the result once we
arrive there?" I asked, a new fear coming over me.

"That is something concerning which we need not trouble ourselves for
the present," Sidney replied carelessly.

"Then I'm of the mind that Fanning will speedily find a chance to clap
us into jail on a charge of treason, unless the association holds
together to the bitter end."

Such mournful conversation might have been continued a long while but
for the fact that it was interrupted by a volley of musketry,
succeeded by straggling shots which told that our people were replying
only when they saw a target.

"It's to be a battle instead of a siege!" Sidney cried as he hurriedly
dressed himself, I following his example; but the firing had ceased by
the time we gained the kitchen, which apartment was directly below our

Here we found Master Howell and our host, one at the door and another
peering out of a loophole cut in the shutters of a window, and I knew
full well that Master Hunter and young Payne were on guard at the
front of the building.

"Where can we be of service, sir?" I asked, and Master Payne replied
with a grim laugh:

"I reckon you lads will not be needed, save, perhaps, to stand guard
later. The gentlemen from Brunswick fired in order to learn if we were
prepared to receive them, and I'll answer for it that at least one
knows to his cost that we're not to be caught napping."

"How many do they number?" Sidney asked, and Master Howell said

"Not less than a dozen. The reinforcements have evidently responded to
the summons sent from our last halting place."

"We should be able to hold our own until some of the Regulators

"Aye, lad, and that is causing me no little uneasiness. By protecting
ourselves we shall be giving Tryon an excuse for breaking his word,
and before this business comes to an end the upper Carolina will be
overrun by the king's soldiers. It is beginning to be rebellion in
good earnest!"



It appeared to me that Master Howell was trying to "lock his stable
door after the horse had been stolen," when he mourned the fact that
what we were doing in our own defense might be taken as open

To my mind the people had rebelled openly and with emphasis when the
Regulators rode, four hundred strong, to release Masters Husband and

We four who had visited Brunswick to lay before the governor a
petition couched in most respectful language, could not be accused of
aiding and abetting rebellion when we objected to being shot down or
taken prisoners by strangers who had no lawful warrant to deprive
honest citizens of their lives or liberty.

As the matter presented itself to my view, those on the outside were
the ones who acted in a rebellious manner, and there was no honest
judge in the country who would not rule that we had every right to
protect ourselves.

Something of this kind I said to Master Howell when he appeared to be
bowed down with grief because, as he declared, our people were making
a show of what might be called treason, and to my great surprise I
found that we who were fighting our way from Brunswick to Hillsborough
did not have any place in what it might please the governor to term
"open rebellion."

"We four are of no consequence in the outcome of this matter," Master
Howell said, condescending to explain to me the situation as it
appeared to him, "and yet through us, or, rather, through our
distress, will the king's officers most likely declare the upper
Carolina under military rule. If we could continue our journey to
Maddock's Mill without interruption, all would be well. Or, if we
fought for our lives from this moment until we were killed or come to
our journey's end, it would also be of no moment. That which
distresses me is, that young Payne will give the Regulators an
account of our troubles, and those gentlemen will ride in full force
to aid us. Then has come the time for Governor Tryon's minions to
declare that the colony is in revolt, and the fact that four hundred
armed men have banded together to regulate affairs outside their own
country is fair proof that the cry of treason has good foundation."

"Well, and what then?" I made bold to say.

"Then will the king's troops be sent to Hillsborough and the
surrounding towns. Fanning and Edwards can work their will on the
people, with an armed force at their backs, and when the Regulators
oppose the military it will be represented that the whole colony is in

"That was much the condition of affairs when we left Maddock's Mill,"
I ventured to suggest.

"Aye, lad; but then we had not opposed ourselves to the king's forces.
Now it will be necessary to begin what can be called by no other name
than that of treason."

"It alarms you that such should be the case, Master Howell?" I said in
a questioning tone.

"Not for myself, lad, not for myself, nor for any of us who are
brought to a stand in this house. It is the women and small children
of whom I am thinking. We can fight to the bitter end; but they will
suffer an hundred deaths while the English soldiers overrun the

"Then would it have been better had we surrendered when we were first

It was as if this remark stimulated the deputy. His eyes brightened,
he straightened himself suddenly, and said as if speaking to a vast
assembly, instead of one timorous lad:

"Not so, Clare. I was but considering the sufferings of our own
people, and that should not be reckoned as against the grand result.
This is indeed open rebellion, and the news of our oppression will
flash from province to province until the entire country is aroused.
Then, perhaps not until after we are dead, but at some time in the
near future, will the rule of the king come to an end in America. We
are the instruments selected to begin the way for freedom, and in
future ages we will be spoken of as those who brought into existence a
free country which shall be as a beacon light to those who are ground
beneath the heel of selfish kings!"

From, that instant it was as if Master Howell's entire nature had
changed. He appeared to be exulting in the danger which surrounded us,
and was eager for the fray.

We stood watch until daylight, and then it was possible to see that
Master Payne's dwelling was surrounded by fifteen or twenty men, some
wearing uniforms, and others clad only in the garb of planters.

The fact of there being soldiers among our besiegers told plainly that
Tryon himself planned the outrage, and when such was apparent I heard
Master Hunter say in a low tone to Master Howell:

"From this day the Regulation will remain under arms until all the
colonies are prepared to take up the struggle against the king's
minions! Instead of 'Regulators' we should call ourselves 'Sons of

And thus it was that the association known as Sons of Liberty sprang
into existence at the home of a planter in the Carolinas--that
association which was speedily to extend throughout all the colonies
as far east as Massachusetts, and south to the limits of the country.

As when we made the last stand, there was no disposition on the part
of the enemy to make an attack. We had bettered our situation, and
increased the number of rebels, therefore Tryon's minions probably
believed it necessary to strengthen their ranks.

During this day we remained on guard and alert, while our enemies were
posted just beyond rifle range in such manner as to encircle us

By making a rush after dark, as had been done before, we might readily
have broken through the thin line; in fact such a move was suggested
by Sidney, but Master Howell said firmly as if he had finally
committed his life and fortune to that final result he foresaw:

"We will wait for the Regulators. Since Tryon wishes to force us into
open rebellion, he shall be gratified. Shoot down yonder villains if
it so be you can; but here we remain until overpowered, or rescued by
those who will speedily come to avenge the wrongs which are
perpetrated upon all the colony."

We had no opportunity to open fire on the enemy during the day; but
when night came, and they drew more closely the circle of guards, we
found a target now and then, thus reducing the number until I believe
of a verity we might have ventured out and beat them off in a
hand-to-hand fight.

It is not well that I spend too many words on the situation at the
Payne plantation, for the story is one of careful watch only, with now
and then the report of a rifle to tell that we were on the alert. The
enemy took turns at using us for targets; but, sheltered as we were
behind the walls, they did no injury, while I am confident we disabled
not less than four during the time of our arrival and noon of the
third day.

Then we saw a cloud of dust in the distance, heard the shouts of
horsemen, and soon saw a body of gentlemen full four hundred strong
ride down like a whirlwind upon fugitives who had lately been our

We sallied forth, and before the fray was come to an end our friends
had seven prisoners. None were killed outright so far as I could
learn; the remainder had taken the alarm in time to seek safety by
flight, and our road to Maddock's Mill lay open before us.

Young Payne had discharged his mission well; the Regulation was in
session considering an arrest which had been made for non-payment of
taxes, and, waiting only long enough to secure a supply of provisions,
had set off for our relief.

The entire party camped on the plantation that night, and before
morning came, their plans for the future were fully formed.

It was decided that the gentlemen composing the Regulation should
remain under arms until Governor Tryon fulfilled his promise, or
ignored it altogether, and during this time of waiting all efforts
should be directed toward protecting those who refused to pay the
unjust tax.

On this evening Sidney and I were regularly admitted to the ranks of
the Sons of Liberty, as if we were indeed men in age, and so wrought
up was I by Master Howell's words, that I persuaded myself the
colonies would speedily be freed from the rule of a master who had set
over us such men as Tryon, Edwards and Fanning.

We left Master Payne's plantation next morning at sunrise, and in due
time arrived at Maddock's Mill, where it had been decided the
Regulation would have its headquarters.

It was no slight task to provide food and shelter for such a number;
but once it was known that the governor evidently intended to play
fast and loose with the people of our section, every one, including
those who had not deemed it right to join the Regulation, set about
bringing in stores of food for both men and horses. Then the men began
building shelters, working in squads of five, three, or two, as was
mutually agreed upon, and soon the neighborhood of Maddock's Mill
resembled a military encampment.

The rebellion began to assume decided form.

As may be fancied, Sidney and I were camp-mates. We built for
ourselves a lean-to which would shelter us from the rain at least,
and in the rear of it made an enclosure into which the horses could be
brought at night.

It was not believed safe for us to go home, even for a few hours,
because Edwards and Fanning had men out in every direction picking up
a victim here and there, and we lads knew full well that Sandy Wells
would take full advantage of the opportunity in case he came upon us
where we could not defend ourselves.

The Regulators were waiting to learn whether Tryon would keep the word
given to the deputies, and a dull time of it we lads had meanwhile.

Since one day was passed much as another, with nothing by way of
excitement save when news came of this or that high-handed proceeding
on the part of the secretary and the attorney, I propose to set down
here simply an account of the general happenings in the neighborhood.

The Regulators had scouts out in every direction, and therefore it was
we learned, early in July, when we were heartily tired with lounging
around camp while it seemed necessary the most active measures should
be taken, that Governor Tryon, with an escort of an hundred and sixty
soldiers, had arrived in Hillsborough.

This was in accordance with his promise, and those who hoped the
colony would not be forced to resist the king's laws were filled with
joy, particularly when the governor issued a proclamation declaring
that he had come to right the wrongs complained of in the petition
delivered to him at Brunswick.

Not a word in his official note to the people was said regarding the
Regulators; but the citizens were requested to keep the peace until
such time as the several complaints could be acted upon by the courts
of law, and it was promised that if they remained quiet all should be
done in accordance with the wishes of the majority.

When this proclamation was sent out over the colony there were many
who urged that the Regulation be dissolved, lest the fact of so many
armed men remaining together might be construed by the governor as
outright treason.

As a matter of fact an hundred or more did leave the encampment,
returning to their homes, and but for the earnest entreaties of
General Hamilton, the deputies, my father, and several others, the
Sons of Liberty would have dispersed simply because Tryon and his crew
wished it so.

Before one week had passed after the issuance of the proclamation, it
could readily be seen that our burdens were to be increased instead of
lightened. Twenty or more of those who had left the Regulation and
returned home were arrested for non-payment of the poll tax levied to
build Tryon's palace.

Edwards and Fanning no longer spoke of pacifying, but of subduing, the
people, and warrants were sworn out daily for the purpose of putting
into prison those who were absolutely unable to pay the amount

Fanning's fees were increased until they amounted to ten times as much
as the law allowed for court services, and the poor wretch with money
or lands who fell into his hands was unmercifully shorn of all his
possessions before being set free.

The wickedness was increased twenty-fold, and no man could say at
what moment the prison-doors might open to receive him, save we who
remained banded together in the encampment at Maddock's Mill.

Then Governor Tryon proceeded to frighten the wretched people by
marching with his soldiers from Hillsborough to Mecklenburg, and there
coaxing or scaring twenty or more timorous souls to enlist in the army
he said should be raised to subdue "the rebellion in upper Carolina."

Then he marched to Salisbury and back to Hillsborough, enlisting
recruits wherever men or lads could be cajoled or frightened, and,
with an army of an hundred and sixty trained soldiers and about fifty
feeble-minded colonists, he proceeded to play the part of king; but
with rather poor success.

By this time such of the Sons of Liberty as had returned to their
homes and were yet at liberty came back to Maddock's Mill prepared to
remain until matters were of a different complexion, and once more the
defenders of the colony presented a formidable front to the tyrant.

We numbered upwards of three hundred and eighty, and by advice of
General Hamilton our camp was moved nearer Hillsborough in order that
we might protect the country roundabout.

In answer to what he was pleased to term a "threat," on our part,
Tryon called out the militia of the colony, threatening direst
vengeance upon those who dare disregard the call. By such means he
added twenty or more to his army, and once again were the sheriffs
sent to collect taxes, each officer guarded by a squad of ten

Now was come the time when the Regulation believed something more
should be done than remaining idly in camp.

We were told off into squads of twenty-five, and day after day we rode
here or there as our scouts reported the movements of the sheriff,
driving back the officials and their guards as if they had been so
many sheep.

When the guard of the tax-collectors were increased in numbers, our
detachments were added to, and in every case we sent back the scurvy
rascals. Sometimes they plucked up courage to exchange shots with us,
when we always managed to disable one or more; but as a rule they beat
a hasty retreat whenever we came in sight.

We had orders not to shoot unless we were attacked, and it was hard at
times to obey, particularly when, in the course of our forays, Sidney
and I saw Sandy Wells at the head of a dozen soldiers destroying the
household goods of a widow with one son of seventeen, who could not
pay the money demanded.

Before the middle of August, however, we made the governor and his
crew understand that we were masters of that section of country, and
instead of sending out sheriffs on fruitless errands, Tryon set about
strengthening his position as if fearing we might attempt to capture

That town was a fortified camp, and none of the royalists dared ride
three miles in either direction.

It goes without saying that neither Edwards, Fanning, nor any member
of the sheriff's posse trusted himself outside the town. General
Hamilton had given orders that we were to capture any of Tryon's
officers which we might come across, and keen were all for such game.

I would willingly have given my horse and rifle, all the property I
owned, for the privilege of bringing into camp as my prisoner the
attorney Fanning. Although we were under strict orders not to shed
blood, save in defense of our own, I question if that black-hearted
lawyer's life would have been worth a moment's purchase once he was in
our power.

Among Tryon's many proclamations at this time was one which stated
that on the twenty-second of September would be begun the trials of
those who were confined in jail for any offense, and without question
the case of Masters Husband and William Hunter would then be called.
It also pleased the representative of the king to declare that "since
charges had been preferred against Edmund Fanning, attorney, he would
be called upon to render an account of his doings."

No one among the Sons of Liberty believed the wretch who had caused so
much misery would be regularly tried; but all were curious to see how
Tryon might save his minion when so many and such serious charges
could, and would, be made against him.

I have tried to set down here an outline of what Sidney and I did
during all that long summer while we waited for the royal governor to
do us justice, which had been so long withheld. And by telling it in
the fewest possible words, we are now come to three days before the
time set for the trials, or, in other words, to the nineteenth of
September, in the year of grace 1768.

The Sons of Liberty were resolved that there should be ample evidence
against Fanning, whatever the cost, therefore from among the members
of the association eight were selected who could swear truthfully that
the attorney had defrauded them of several considerable sums of money.

It was believed that, unless protected in some manner, these witnesses
would be arrested immediately they showed themselves in Hillsborough,
therefore the officers of the Regulation prepared a paper stating that
in case these men, whose names were set down therein, should be
interfered with in any manner while they were in town to serve as
witnesses, the Regulators would immediately make an assault. It was
further stated that the lives of the governor and his associates
depended entirely upon the manner in which our people were treated,
for it would be the duty of every Son of Liberty to seek out the
principal officials during the assault, for the purpose of shooting
them down.

This was open rebellion, and no mistake; but in order to prevent Tryon
from declaring that we had intimidated the courts of justice, there
was added to the document the agreement that no member of the
association would interfere in any manner whatsoever with the judges
or the officials of the court, while the cases were being conducted in
a way agreeably with the laws of the king.

This document was sent to the governor by one of our scouts who, going
into town, secretly gave it to a royalist for transmission, and,
before it could be delivered the venturesome man had rejoined us.

Nor was this all the association did in order to secure fair and
impartial trials for Fanning as well our friends.

It was decided by the association in council, that while we remained
at such a distance from Hillsborough Tryon might take upon himself the
risk of conducting matters without regard to our just demands;
therefore the camp was moved once more, and this time to a small hill
overlooking the town, and hardly more than half a mile from the

Here we felled trees to serve as breastworks, and otherwise guarded
against an attack, for many of us believed that as soon as the Sons of
Liberty showed themselves, the so-called king's forces would make a
desperate attack, alleging as the reason therefor that they were in
fear we might attempt to take possession of the town.

It was on the morning of the twentieth of September when we rode up
the hill in full view of Governor Tryon's forces; but no demonstration
was made against us. The people could see that we were preparing to
resist an attack; but they remained as if paralyzed with

Near nightfall came a mounted soldier bearing a white flag, who
demanded in the governor's name the reason for our display of force,
and General Hamilton replied to the question.

"This is no display of force," he said. "We have come as citizens of
upper Carolina to safeguard several witnesses, and have no mind to
interfere in any way with the proceedings. Say to Governor Tryon that
we shall remain until the close of the session, and that never a man
of us will ride into town while the people are given the rights
accorded to them by the king and parliament. If, however, there should
be an attempt to deprive a witness of his liberty, we shall ride down
like a whirlwind, carrying out to the utmost the plan which we have
already had the honor to submit to the governor."

The man rode back, and before night came we could see that Tryon's
residence was guarded by three-score men, a fact which caused Master
Howell to say scornfully:

"I wonder if the coward thinks to save himself from our vengeance,
with sixty recruits? We will overturn them, if there be any act of
treachery, before William Tryon can sign his name!"

After that we waited in anxious suspense, but constantly on the alert,
for the day when law and order would be established in upper Carolina,
or it might be known beyond a peradventure that we must depend upon
ourselves entirely for liberty and the opportunity to live upon our
own lands.



As early as sunrise on the morning of September twenty-first,
twenty-eight hours or more before the time set for the trial of our
friends, the people from the country roundabout began to gather, every
man, woman and child eager to learn at the earliest possible moment
what might be the outcome of this first attempt to check the course of
the king's minions.

Before nightfall it was said that there were not less than three
thousand people in and around Hillsborough. On every hand as far as
the eye could reach, the visitors were camped; some brought two or
three bed-quilts, which they put up on crotched sticks and a long
sapling as a ridge-pole, a tent that was made to accommodate as many
as could crawl beneath it. Others utilized their carts as sleeping
quarters, the body of the vehicle serving as the upper story of the
dwelling, and the ground immediately beneath it as the ground floor;
to the wheels were tethered the horses or oxen, and he who slept in
the "chamber" of such a lodging was in danger of being awakened many
times while the cattle munched at the hay which served as a bed.

Now a few of the visitors reckoned on sleeping upon the ground
wherever darkness overtook them, and many there were who had believed
it would be possible to get a shelter in the town, never dreaming that
nearly every man, woman and child in upper Carolina would come to the
trial, during which was to be settled the question of their individual

Some of the visitors had brought with them a goodly supply of
provisions, while others, more improvident, came with nothing save a
hearty appetite, and these last went from party to party asking food
as of right, until all appeared to be supplied.

Every house in the town was filled to overflowing, so I was told, at
nine o'clock on the morning of the day before the trial was to take
place. Every tree which could be seen from our camp had one or more
beneath the shelter of its branches, and in order to prevent our
encampment from being literally over-run, it was necessary to station
fifty men as guards to keep back our friends.

Take it all in all it was such a sight as I had never seen before, and
do not expect to witness again. I had not believed there were so many
people in the upper Carolina as were now gathered here, and every one
appeared to be feverishly eager to make certain Masters Husband and
Hunter would receive a fair trial.

Sidney and I had come off from sentinel duty at sunrise, when the
crowd began to pour in, and we stood literally fascinated by the
scene, never so much as thinking of breakfast, until the forenoon was
nearly half spent, by which time the valley between us and the town
was densely packed with human beings.

"I wonder what Tryon thinks of this scene?" my comrade said musingly
as he looked across the sea of heads from which came a perfect Babel
of noise. "He must realize by this time that his imitation army could
not make much progress against such a gathering."

"Aye, and yet it is to his advantage, if he counts on playing us
false," I replied, seized by a sudden thought. "The Regulators could
not enter the town whatever might be the necessity for their so doing,
save at the expense of trampling hundreds beneath the feet of their

"That is a danger which I had not considered," my comrade said with a
long indrawing of the breath as when one brings himself to face a
sudden and immediate danger. "Governor Tryon is guarded by his
enemies, and yet if they turned upon him he would be swept from off
the face of the earth like so much chaff before the wind."

"The disaster would be appalling if these people should take it into
their heads to rise against him!" I cried, shuddering as if the work
of slaughter was about to begin. "The soldiers could mow great swaths
through the crowd at every discharge of their muskets, and hundreds
would be killed before the remainder found space in which to move."

"He will not dare work an injustice upon the prisoners!" Sidney cried
after a long pause, and I, sickening as I realized what might happen
if a sudden panic arose, or in case an act of violence was committed,
drew my comrade away from contemplation of the scene, as I said:

"Why speculate as to possibilities? No disaster can come upon them
during this day at least, and there is time enough in which to cross a
bridge when we have arrived at it. Let us go in search of something to

It was not necessary to spend very much time in this last quest; each
visitor who had relatives among the Regulators brought something in
the way of provisions as a treat, with the result that our larder was
filled to running over, and it was almost impossible to take a dozen
steps in either direction without receiving a hearty invitation "to
have something from home."

Up to this time none of Sidney's relatives or mine had put in an
appearance, and I was feeling decidedly disappointed, although I had
no good reason for believing that my mother would come all the way
from Alamance simply to learn what might be the result of Governor
Tryon's investigations.

When we had satisfied our hunger, however, and were about to visit
General Hamilton's headquarters in order to learn whether we would be
called upon for further guard duty that day, I was rejoiced beyond
words to see my mother, in company with Sidney's parents, looking here
and there anxiously, disappointed at not readily finding father or

It is not necessary to say that within a very few seconds I was
clasped in her dear arms, and for the time being I almost forgot that
such a tyrant as Tryon ever had an existence.

When I had spent an hour in her company, my father joined us, and at
the same moment Sidney shouted for me to come with him--where, I did
not at the instant understand.

"It is my intention to stay very near my mother this day," I said
petulantly, as he went toward the river even while I was advancing.
"She will be setting out for home immediately after the trials have
been brought to a close, and I have no idea of wasting even a moment
which might be spent in her company."

"Give her a chance to talk with your father," Sidney said laughingly.
"It appears to me as if the visitors were in some mischief down this
way, and I cannot find any of the Regulators who are willing to look
into the matter."

"If it was of consequence there would be no lack of men to attend to
it," I said petulantly, and then I became interested immediately as I
saw a throng of an hundred or more, who appeared to be deeply intent
upon something in their midst.

"Most likely they are having some kind of a game," Sidney said when I
came alongside; "but just before you showed yourself I fancied I heard
cries for help, and it seems as if we should know the reason for the
gathering. Unless we of the association have our eyes about us this
day there will be rough play which may develop into a fight, as I
heard General Hamilton say."

By this time we were among those of the throng who were in the outer
ring, and I heard such cries as: "Drown the scoundrel!" "Be sure he
don't get away till we from Chatham have put our mark on him!" "He's
needed a lesson this many a day, and now is the time to give it to

The crowd was so dense as each member of it pressed toward the center,
that Sidney and I were forced to literally fight our way forward, and
no less than ten minutes were spent in such task, during which time we
plainly heard cries for help in a voice which sounded strangely
familiar to me.

Then, finally, we were in the very midst of the gathering, and had
before us what promised to be a tragedy which might bring shame and
reproach upon us all, unless it was speedily checked.

As many men as could seize upon him, held in their grasp Sandy Wells,
whose legs and arms were tied securely, and whose clothing had been
torn to tatters by the rough usage he had received.

His captors were industriously engaged in kicking him when we gained a
place by his side, and at every blow they called aloud the name of
some citizen of the Carolinas who had been ill-treated at his hands.

"We're going to square accounts for all our neighbors, and then dump
you in the river," one of the men cried vindictively, and I could see
a huge rock, around which was a rope, lying near at hand to fasten on
his body when the tormentors were ready to put an end to their victim.

Now it cannot be supposed that either Sidney or I had any affection
for the sheriff's officer; but yet we could not stand idly by while he
was being murdered.

In addition to such pity as common humanity dictated, it suddenly
occurred to me that if the mob killed an officer of the law the
Regulation would be accused by Governor Tryon of having committed the
deed, and then would be good reason why the entire upper portion of
the colony should be put under strict martial rule. If this murder was
done the Sons of Liberty would be branded as assassins, and with some
reason, therefore I whispered to Sidney, although without the
slightest idea as to how we two might prevent the enraged men from
working their will:

"We must put an end to this, and that right quickly, else will the man
be killed before our eyes."

There was in his mind the same thought as had come into mine, and he
turned to look me full in the face as he said, almost shouting in
order that I might hear the words above the uproar:

"It may cost us our lives to interfere! I do not recognize any of
these men, and they will refuse to listen."

At this moment Sandy Wells caught sight of us, and, stretching out his
bound hands, cried imploringly:

"Save me, lads! For God's sake don't allow me to be murdered!"

"That we won't!" I cried, suddenly forgetting that I was running my
nose into very serious danger until we could make that maddened
desperate mob understand who we were, which last would require some
time while the tumult was so great.

Forcing myself with a rush between two of those who had a hold upon
Sandy, I seized the prisoner by the arm as I cried with the full force
of my lungs:

"You are ruining the cause of freedom when you lay violent hands upon
this man! Have a care, or there'll be mischief done to more than him!"

I had hardly finished speaking before half a dozen rushed forward, one
seizing me by the throat, despite all Sidney's efforts to hold him
back, and crying:

"Here's another of Tryon's friends! we'll drop him into the stream to
bear the tax-collector company!"

I tried in vain to speak; but the fellow had my throat as if in a
vise, and it was impossible to so much as whisper.

As the mob pressed yet further I was forced downward until I lay
across Sandy's body, and Sidney strove valiantly to make himself heard
as he cried:

"He whom you have there is Clare Butler, one of the Regulators! I am
Sidney Hubbard, also a member of the association! Do you hear? We are
of the Regulation, and are trying to prevent you from bringing yet
greater wrongs upon the colony!"

Before it was possible for Sidney to utter many words the men had
bound me hand and foot, after the same fashion as was Sandy, and at
that moment I believed, and feel certain to this day, that death was
very near me. It was only a question as to whether my comrade could
make himself heard before I was pitched overboard.

Already I could hear shouts from those in the rear demanding that I be
"finished" before Sandy's score was paid off, and more than one
threatened to take a hand in the business if it was not brought to a
speedy close.

"Drown the villain! Let Tryon understand that he can't play fast and
loose with us!" one of the crowd shouted, and another added:

"Waste no time over him; but let us pay our dues to the tax-collector
while he is drowning."

Those in the rear were so eager to expedite matters that they flung
themselves forward until the men who held me were forced to turn and
defend themselves lest they be trodden under foot, and this temporary
delay, I firmly believe, was all that saved my life.

Had the members of the mob not fought with each other to gain a better
place in which to witness the spectacle, of a verity I would have been
flung into the river.

"We are two lads who acted as escort to the deputies when they went to
Brunswick!" Sidney shouted during a momentary lull in the tumult, and
one of those nearest him caught the import of the words.

"Who are you?" the man cried, and Sidney replied, yelling in the
fellow's ear to make certain the words were understood:

"Regulators! Members of the association! But for the lad you are
threatening to drown, the deputies might not have escaped from those
whom Tryon sent in pursuit of us!"

Now it was Sidney had assistance in his efforts to procure for us a
hearing, for the man set about making his neighbor acquainted with the
facts, and in a twinkling a third understood that they had been
trying to kill their friends.

When perhaps five minutes had passed, and time moved slowly to me who
was expecting each instant that some impatient one would pitch me over
the river bank, those in the middle of the throng came to know what we
had been trying to tell them, and in a very few seconds afterward I
was released from my bonds.

"It was a close shave for you," he who had been holding me by the
throat said, as I stood before him gasping for breath. "We made
certain you were trying to save the tax-collector."

"That is exactly what we were doing," I replied, speaking with
difficulty because my windpipe was sore from the pressure so lately
put upon it.

"Then you must be friendly to Tryon, else you would not speak a good
word for that villain whom we count on killing as we would a rat!"

"It must not be done!" I cried frantically, raising my voice so that
those in the immediate vicinity might hear. "If you kill him it will
be said that it was done by orders of the Regulation, and Tryon will
have right on his side when he overruns the country with soldiers. To
raise your hands against an officer of the county is to weave a noose
for those brave men in prison who will look to-morrow for your
assistance! Nothing would please Tryon better than to have a
reasonable excuse for throwing us all into jail!"

Then, as my voice failed, Sidney took up the theme:

"How much do you harm Tryon by killing Sandy Wells? The governor cares
nothing about such as he, and would gladly reward the man who, by
committing murder almost in the encampment of the Regulators, should
give the king's minions power over us! Turn the tax-collector over to
us. We will take him to General Hamilton, who is bound to see that he
be held a prisoner, and to-morrow, if Tryon and Fanning play us false,
we shall have one on whom to retaliate."

"Keep him till to-morrow!" a voice cried, and straightway I began to
have hope that we might finally succeed in our purpose.

Some of the mob came to understand that which we would beat into
their thick skulls, and with the knowledge of what the murder of a
king's officer might mean for all in that section, whether innocent or
guilty, came the impulse to wash their own hands of any participation
in the outrage.

For the time being they forgot their victim while discussing each with
another the situation as we had shown it, and now was come the time
when I could cut Sandy's bonds.

"Get to your feet and keep close behind Sidney and me," I whispered.
"Do as I bid you, and it may be that we three can make our way inside
the lines of the encampment."

"I'll do whatever you say," Sandy replied in the tone of one whose
life has just been saved, as indeed his had, and I whispered in
Sidney's ear, for the tumult had so far subsided that it was possible
to speak with some degree of privacy:

"Work gradually toward the encampment while you talk. If we can
attract the attention of the Regulators our point is gained."

Then I turned to argue with the man nearest me, showing him how much
it would advantage us if we could have the tax-collector as our
prisoner until the trial in the court had come to an end, and all the
while pressing gently forward, step by step, toward our line of

Sandy, knowing that his only chance for life was in keeping close to
us lads, for if he had attempted to gain the village an hundred hands
would have been laid upon him in anger, obeyed my commands to the
letter, pressing me so hard at times that I found it difficult to keep
my footing.

In this manner we succeeded, after more than an hour had passed, in
approaching within twenty feet of the encampment line, and the
remainder of the task was simple.

We had but to attract the attention of the guard, and in a twinkling
half a dozen Regulators were on the spot.

Hurriedly I told our friends of what had been on foot, and Sandy Wells
was marched directly within the lines, while those who would follow
were forced by the guards to keep their distance.

The men who had come to our rescue believed it proper the prisoner
should be taken to that lean-to known as "headquarters," and soon the
miserable wretch was telling his story to our commander.

"Why did you show yourself such a simpleton as to venture into the
midst of those whom you had harassed?" the old general asked with a
laugh, for I believe he was secretly pleased at seeing the
tax-collector in such a plight.

"I came across the river to speak with some friends of mine who were
come----" Sandy began, and one of our party interrupted him by saying:

"I didn't suppose you had a friend outside of Hillsborough, and but
precious few in the town!"

"This was a family from Chatham whom I have known many years----"

"I venture to say you never tried to collect illegal taxes from them!"

"Let the man tell the story," General Hamilton interrupted, and Sandy

"They were so near the town that I didn't think any one would dare
lay hands on me; but before I was comfortably seated under their wagon
half a dozen men seized me. I was dragged up the stream to that point
where the bank is high and steep, and there the life was nearly kicked
out of me."

Sandy concluded the story by explaining how we had chanced to go to
his rescue, and what happened after we arrived at the scene.

"You two lads have done well!" the old general said emphatically. "It
would have been a sorry day's work for the people in this section if
yonder rascal had been killed. The one question now in my mind is,
what we shall do with him. I don't want such scurvy knaves in camp."

Hearing this Sandy dropped on his knees, begging the general not to
send him outside the lines of the encampment lest he be killed, and,
after waiting a moment without hearing anything by way of suggestion
as to what should be done with the fellow, Sidney said:

"If it please you, Master Hamilton, Clare and I will take charge of
him until to-morrow. I think he will do as we command, and it's only
a question of keeping him away from the visitors."

"You may take him and welcome," the general said in a tone of relief.
"It may not be safe to make too great a display of the rascal even in
camp, for we have among us many whom he has wofully distressed."

"Always acting under orders, sir, always under orders!" Sandy cried,
yet on his knees.

"You would be more of a man if you took your orders from a different
source," the general said sharply, and then motioned for us to lead
him away.

"You lads have saved my life," Sandy began when we three were walking
toward the lean-to Sidney and I had built, "and if I can ever do
anything in return, you shall understand that I know how to be

"We've done nothing for which we expect to be rewarded," Sidney
replied with a gesture of impatience. "You can't fancy that we bear
you any very good-will, therefore what we did was for the good of the

"Never mind why you did it; I shall never forget what I owe."

Then we were come to the lean-to, and once there the question arose as
to what we should do with our charge. If he was left to wander around
the encampment alone, some of the men would undoubtedly ill-treat him,
and we were not disposed to waste time which should be spent in the
company of our dear ones, looking after him.

It was Sandy himself who solved the question for us, by saying:

"Leave me here; I can hide beneath the brush which forms your bed, and
you may be certain I shan't be such a fool as to venture out."

It was a good idea, and after he had burrowed beneath the pine
branches until no trace of him could be seen, I went to seek my



Although we, meaning Sidney and I, had saved a man's life, it was but
a trifling incident to the majority, so intense was the interest in
the outcome of the trial to be held on the morrow.

The welfare of the colony, and, perhaps, the lives of hundreds of our
people depended upon what would be done next day in the Hillsborough
court-house, and with such a great stake at hazard, the citizens might
well be excused for giving but little heed to the fact that a
tax-collector had been very near death.

Those who paid any particular attention to the events which I have
just set down, viewed the entire proceeding as but the first move in
the game betwixt rulers and those who are ruled, and if any
disquietude was felt, it arose from the fact that the more
superstitious took Sandy Wells' escape from death as a token that our
oppressors would win the legal battle, or contrive some way by which
it might be turned into a farce.

When I rejoined my parents I found them looking decidedly
uncomfortable in mind, and it was possible to guess the reason for
their anxiety when mother said to me in a low tone as she clasped my
hand lovingly:

"My son, in case it should not be prudent to return home at once, I
feel confident you will conduct yourself as if my eyes were upon you
all the time."

"Then father thinks Tryon will get the best of us to-morrow?" I cried,
looking up quickly.

"It is possible that, despite all our show of force, the king's party
may outwit us, or force the judges to decide in Tryon's favor," my
father replied thoughtfully.

"If that should happen the people would make quick work of the
traitors," I said, thinking of the scene I had just witnessed.

"No one can say when or how a gathering like this is to be swerved
from its purpose. Within four and twenty hours the situation may
appear entirely different to those who now cry out against the king's

"But the Regulators will hold steadfast," I said quickly. "Having
announced themselves as true Sons of Liberty, they cannot give up the
struggle while right is on their side."

"I know not what may be the result of to-morrow's trial," my father
replied gravely, "and it is of little use to speculate, as I have
already been led to do by certain questions your mother asked. We
shall know the outcome in due season."

"But you have intimated to her that it may be several weeks before I
return home, as if believing the result will be in favor of Tryon's
party," I insisted.

"I have said that it might become necessary for the Regulation to
remain in session some time and of course, since you are a member, it
will be needful to remain in camp."

I understood that father had indulged in more forebodings while
conversing privately with mother, than he cared to have made known to
me, and was not surprised thereat. It had been in my mind for many
hours that the governor could and would influence the decision of the
court, if he believed it might be done with safety so far as he
personally was concerned, and it would not have caused me astonishment
had I been told that the case was already settled without regard to
any evidence which might be submitted.

The judges upon the bench would be Chief Justice Martin Howard, with
Maurice Moore and Richard Henderson as his associates.

It had been said more than once that to these gentlemen Tryon's desire
was of more importance than the king's written law, and even General
Hamilton was quoted as having declared that the words of the decisions
in the cases which were to come up on the morrow would have been
dictated by the man who made of justice a mockery.

However, when I looked around upon the vast assembly, and realized
that the governor knew beyond a peradventure that all these people
would cry out against any additional wrongs, even to the extent of
resorting to arms, I could not believe he would dare trifle with them.

Mother, observing the mood into which I had fallen, bade me forget her
words, but not the substance of them, and to change the current of
thought suggested that father and myself escort her around the
encampment in order that she might meet our friends.

We were on the point of acceding to what was really a proposition,
when one of the Regulators came up hurriedly with the word:

"The members of the association are ordered to fall into line,
mounted, and fully armed."

It was a command to be obeyed on the instant, and as I ran toward my
camp to make preparations, I wondered what could have happened to give
color to such a warlike proceeding.

So far as I was able to see, everything appeared in much the same
condition as when we had rescued Sandy, yet there could be no question
but that danger threatened from some quarter.

Sidney was by my side before I arrived at the lean-to, and his first
question was as to whether I knew the meaning of the command.

"I can see nothing to cause alarm, and yet General Hamilton is far too
cautious to do anything unnecessarily which might provoke a conflict,"
I replied. "At such a time as this it needs but a spark to set all
these men aflame, for after the many wrongs committed in the king's
name they are like to so much tinder, and our forming into ranks will
arouse them at once."

"If Sandy Wells can stir up the visitors to the point of murder, it
stands our officers in hand to go slowly and with exceeding caution,"
Sidney said in so grave a tone that I looked at him in surprise.

When we began saddling our horses, which had been kept within the
enclosure that day lest they might be frightened away, or stolen, the
collector was alarmed, and, poking his head out from under the
brushpile, asked in a voice trembling with apprehension:

"What is the matter? Have any others from the sheriff's office been so
reckless as to follow my example by coming across the river?"

"We don't know what is on foot," Sidney replied; "but certain it is
that we are called out for duty. Take my advice and keep under cover
till night, when we will make an effort to send you over to the town."

Sandy disappeared like a flash, and despite the fears in my mind I
could not repress the smile which was provoked by a glimpse of his

The day was exceedingly warm, and his hiding-place must have been
close indeed, for not a breath of air could reach him beneath all that
brush. His cheeks were flushed crimson, and the perspiration oozed
from every pore, only to be covered with pine needles which adhered to
the skin as if glued there.

We were not long in answering the call, and once my comrade and I were
on the brow of the hill overlooking the town, where the command was
being formed, it was possible to understand why we had been summoned.

Across that sea of heads, just in front of the court-house, was
Governor Tryon's army, drawn up as if for action. We could see that
every man was fully armed, and all the officers in position, ready
for immediate movement.

"What is the meaning of that display of force?" I asked in surprise,
and the man nearest me replied grimly:

"That is what all of us would like to know. It may be that Tryon is
only showing the visitors what he can muster in case of a riot, and
yet such would be a foolish move, for it simply proves that this
multitude could make short work of them. If I stood in Tryon's shoes I
should hesitate about showing my hand so plainly."

"The fellow is no fool, however much of a knave he may be," one of the
Regulators who had heard the reply said quickly. "I warrant those
soldiers are not there to overawe the people."

"Then why have they been called out?" Sidney asked impatiently.

"In my opinion they will march across the river, or, at least, to a
point mighty near this camp."

"Meaning that the governor counts on showing fight?" I asked in

"You are getting beyond me; but the question is likely to be answered
very soon, for the men are in motion."

As he spoke the command wheeled into files, and advanced in order of
fours directly toward us. At the head of the column rode three
officers tricked out with gold lace and feathers; but we could see
readily that Tryon himself was not among them.

By this time the people, who had been aroused by seeing us form in
line as if to resist an attack, now perceived what was happening on
the other side of the river, and straightway a murmuring sound arose
which was at the same time menacing and disquieting.

I could see that the male visitors were hurrying the women and
children around to the other side of the hill, as if expecting a
battle was imminent, while the younger men and older lads were
collecting into a solid mass.

"If yonder fellows were armed, Tryon's recruits would have a rough
time of it," Sidney said with a laugh as he pointed at the throng
which was edging toward the hill as if to support us.

"God forbid that such should be the case, else Hillsborough would be a
shambles this night," a horseman near me said in a low tone. "If Tryon
begins blood-letting to-day, he and we alike will rue it."

The soldiers advanced in something like regular order until they were
come to the river bank, and there, not more than two hundred yards
from where the Regulators and their horses remained like statues, they
came to a halt.

The three officers who had led the column rode into the stream to a
point midway across the ford, where they also halted.

"It is a parley!" I heard some one near me mutter, and then came a cry
from that officer whose uniform bore the greatest amount of gold lace:

"Is there any one who professes to command your force?"

General Hamilton, attended by Master James Hunter and my father, rode
to the line of the encampment, and the old Scotchman lifted his hat in
answer to the question.

"Who am I addressing?" the officer asked, and then it was that I
recognized him as the governor's secretary.

"That you know full well, David Edwards!" our old commander shouted;
"but lest you may think I'm afraid to bring myself under the ban of
your mock court, I'll repeat it. I am Ninian Bell Hamilton, a
freeholder of this colony, president of that association known as the
Regulation, and bending the knee to no one outside of bonny Scotland!"

What a shout went up from the people as the old gentleman thus boldly
announced himself! It was as if the hill literally trembled because of
the tumult, and not until a good five minutes had passed was it
possible for Master Edwards to make himself heard.

Then, when the people were hoarse from much shouting, the secretary

"In the name of the king I bid you disperse!"

"Wherefore?" General Hamilton asked sharply. "Is it not allowed that
the people may assemble when their court of law is about to decide
upon the fate of two most worthy members of this colony?"

"It is not lawful to menace the king's officers while they are in
discharge of their duty."

"It is you who are menacing, my good man. We have come here in orderly
fashion, and were doing our best to preserve order when you marched
out in full war array."

"You are inciting the people to deeds of violence. It is hardly an
hour since one of his majesty's officers was foully murdered by you
who call yourselves Regulators, and I demand that those who had any
hand in that cowardly deed be delivered up to his excellency's guard,
whereof I am temporarily in command."

"Whatever is the rascal talking about?" I heard General Hamilton
mutter; but after Master Hunter had spoken with him, he looked around
as if in search of some person.

I made bold to spur my horse forward a few paces, believing I
understood what the general would have, and immediately he motioned me

"Have you that rascally tax-collector in your charge, my lad?"

"Aye, sir; that is to say, he was in our camp half an hour since."

"Bring him out here, and we will see if he's the man yonder popinjay
prates about so loudly."

I rode back to our lean-to without loss of time, and once there called
to Sandy.

He poked his head out from amid the brush like a turtle, and because
of the pine needles which covered his face the best friend he had in
the world would have failed to recognize him.

"The governor's troops have sent for you," I said curtly, intent only
on performing my duty in the shortest possible space of time. "You are
to come with me."

"I don't dare, lad, I don't dare!" he cried in an agony of terror.
"You alone amid all this throng cannot protect me!"

"There will be no throng where you are to go. The Regulators are drawn
up in line, and I give you my word they will brook no interference
from those who were near to doing murder."

Instead of coming out, he drew back till I could see no more than the
top of his head, and I was angered because of the delay.

"The general has sent for you, and I am not willing to waste time. If
you are not by my side before it is possible to count ten, I'll put a
bullet into your head as you lie there!"

Although I would not have done such a thing to save my right hand, the
coward must have believed I was in deadly earnest, for he crept out,
shaking with fear like a man suffering from an ague fit.

"Now march by the side of my horse, holding to the stirrup," I said
sharply. "It will be well so long as you obey orders; but once I see
any show of running away, my bullet will make a target of your

"How could I run away while on every hand are those who would murder
me?" he asked with a whine. "If the people see me I am undone."

"The governor's troops have come to conduct you to the town, and
surely you may trust them!" I cried.

Sandy shook his head doubtfully; he was in that frame of mind where he
trusted no one, and his terror was so great as to excite pity.

I contrived, however, by a liberal use of threats, to keep him by me
until I had arrived at General Hamilton's side, and then the old
Scotchman bade me advance with Sandy until I was midway between
himself and the three officers.

"Is that the man you accuse us of murdering?" the general asked when I
had obeyed his order, and I could see a look of surprise come over
Master Edwards' face.

"Is it Sandy Wells, of the sheriff's office?" he asked; but my
prisoner remained silent, whereupon I prodded him in the side,
whispering as I did so:

"Speak out, man! Do you distrust your own friends?"

"I'm not certain if I have any," he said mournfully, and then so far
plucked up courage as to reply in a thin, tremulous voice:

"Aye, sir, I am Sandy Wells."

"We heard that you had been murdered," Master Edwards said, much as if
disappointed because such was not the fact.

"I was indeed very near death; but those who call themselves
Regulators rescued me from the vile men who accuse me of having worked
them harm because of obeying the sheriff's orders."

"Is that the man you declared had been murdered?" General Hamilton
shouted, and after some delay Master Edwards replied:

"That is the man."

"Send him forward, lad, and let those brave gentlemen take the fellow
without delay to his excellency, who will be in distress of mind until
after having assured himself that he is in the land of the living."

Master Edwards wheeled about as if to join his force, and General
Hamilton shouted:

"Turn back, David Edwards, and take him who has caused you so much
trouble! Why do you not grasp the gallant gentleman's hand?"

"Come back, please, dear Master Edwards!" Sandy shouted. "Else I shall
be killed, for the Regulators evidently will have no more of me!"

At this pathetic appeal the people burst into a roar of laughter which
was like unto the shrieking of a hurricane, and not until he had
crossed to the other side of the river did Master Edwards turn his

Then his cheeks were flaming red as with shame, and I fearing lest we
might let slip this opportunity of safely delivering our prisoner,
said to Sandy:

"Run forward, man, now that you have the opportunity! It is not
certain Sidney and I can smuggle you into the town, and you may come
to grief on this side the river, no matter how close you hide

The tax-collector hesitated only an instant, and then seeing that
there were none between him and the line of red-coated soldiers, took
to his heels, crying at the full force of his lungs:

"Wait for me, Master Edwards! For the love of heaven don't leave me
here to be murdered, dear Master Edwards!"

"Wait for the lost sheep which we have restored to you, Master
Secretary!" General Hamilton shouted, and the people were once more
convulsed with laughter.

They roared and shrieked in mirth until Sandy was by the side of the
angry secretary, and jeered both the tax-collector and the soldiers
until the governor's guard fairly ran toward the court-house.

Meanwhile I had ridden back to my place in the line, and, arriving
there, heard one horseman say to his neighbor:

"There will be no further thought of foul play, now that the people
are amused; but if those two lads had not rescued the tax-collector
when he was nigh to death, we should have a pretty hornets' nest about
our ears by this time."

It filled me with pride as I realized that Sidney and I had done so
much for the cause, and I could well understand how important was our
work of mercy, by glancing at the governor's troops.

Had Sandy Wells been killed, as he would have been but for us two
lads, then had Tryon such a weapon against us as must have doomed the
Regulation to everlasting shame and contempt.

We held our line until the governor's soldiers disappeared behind the
court-house, and then the command was given to break ranks, after
which General Hamilton rode up to Sidney and me, saying as he faced
about to check our forward movement:

"I thank you, lads, in the name of the Regulation, for having made it
possible for us to throw ridicule upon the enemy. May you ride long in
the ranks of the Sons of Liberty!"

I was as proud as any turkey cock at being publicly praised by one of
the foremost men in the colony, and when we were alone in our lean-to
Sidney said:

"I reckon we ought to be well satisfied with ourselves. There's many a
one in this company who would give half he possessed to win such words
as we received from the general."

"But for you Sandy would have been killed, and the governor had just
cause to imprison every Regulator he could come at. I have taken my
share of the praise, but without having earned it."

"I say you're entitled to as much as myself," the lad cried hotly. "I
had no idea anything very serious was on foot when I dragged you from
your mother, and once we were in the crowd it was impossible to do
other than exactly as we did."

Sidney's generous heart prompted him to give me a full share in the
work when I had but followed him, and during the remainder of that day
I took good care to make every one who spoke of the matter understand
exactly the position of affairs.

When my horse had been tethered I sought out mother once more, and she
sang my praises till my cheeks were red with something very like
shame, for she would not listen to the explanations I made; but
insisted on calling me "a brave lad" who was an honor to his parents.

A stranger who had come suddenly upon us during the afternoon of this
day would have found it difficult to believe that we were ready for,
and expecting, mischief on the morrow.

The scene on the hill and nearabout the river was rather one of peace
and good-will. Neighbors and friends seemed bent on a holiday, with no
thought of care, and yet their merry-making was carried on between two
small armies, each prepared to meet the other in deadly conflict if
provocation was given.

It was a scene of gaiety which might be entirely changed by the
morrow, and then instead of smiles one could expect to see tears;
instead of laughter, to hear groans of agony, unless God should put it
in the heart of William Tryon to deal justly and lawfully by those
over whom the king had set him.

It was with some such thoughts as these that I looked down from the
brow of the hill upon the joyous throng, and my heart grew sick with
apprehension as I speculated upon that which the morrow's sun might
bring to light.



The excitement of the people appeared to increase rather than diminish
as the night approached.

The appearance of the king's soldiers had disturbed them in their
merry-making, and brought to their minds the possibilities of the
morrow. A view of the two armed bodies, drawn up one against the
other, told more clearly of the danger which threatened than words
could have done, and the cautious began to ask if it would not be well
to send the women and children away.

Dull-witted though I am, I could not fail to observe the people
casting furtive glances toward the town, as if fearing to see issuing
from it those who would work some injury in the name of the king.

The sounds of laughter were replaced by deep mutterings, and instead
of lounging here or there with their families, the men and boys moved
restlessly from one point to another, watching jealously every motion
of the Regulators.

It was much as if we were all walking to and fro in a magazine of
powder, each with a lighted match in his hand, and that the explosion
was a foregone conclusion, the only question being as to exactly when
it would occur.

I understood that others besides myself took much the same view of the
situation, when the officers of the Regulation gave orders concerning
that which should be done during the night.

All the company were ordered to go on duty at sunset, remaining under
arms until morning, ready for any sudden emergency. The men were
especially commanded not to stray away from the limits of the
encampment, and forty were told off to do guard duty when ten could
have patrolled the camp thoroughly under ordinary circumstances.

All these preparations told that our leaders were anxious regarding
the possibility of treachery on the part of the royalists, which was
not to be wondered at in view of all that had happened.

When it was reported in Hillsborough that Sandy Wells had been
murdered, Tryon and Fanning saw an opportunity of setting us down
before the world at large as murderers and knaves who should, in
justice to a law-abiding community, be committed to jail.

When they learned that we had kept our hands clean, that we had done
our best to preserve the peace, it might well be expected some other
plan to ruin us would be tried, and General Hamilton was far too wise
a man to neglect any opportunity for additional defense.

It was also evident that the people generally were of the belief that
the royalists would attempt to do us a mischief, and, as I have said,
they moved around restlessly, watching keenly all that was taking
place on the opposite side of the river.

Had the king's troops come toward the ford a second time, I believe of
a verity that trouble would have ensued even though the soldiers
advanced with peaceful intent.

Sidney and I were stationed as sentinels at that part of the line
which overlooked the town, with orders to observe closely all that
might be taking place on the opposite side of the river, and to report
immediately at headquarters any unusual movement, either on the part
of the royalists or visitors.

Every inch of the line which marked the bounds of the encampment was
constantly traversed that night. The guards were stationed twenty feet
apart, and it was expressly commanded that each man should advance
until he met the sentinel on his right, when he was to wheel about and
proceed in the opposite direction until meeting the Regulators on his
left, continuing this throughout the hours of darkness.

The numerous fires kindled by the visitors with which to cook supper,
or keep off the insects, served to illumine the scene, and on the
opposite side of the river one could see the streets closely packed
with human beings, who counted to spend the night in the open air.

It was eight o'clock in the evening, and I was yet doing guard duty,
when a sudden outburst of noise from near about the court-house
startled us, for it seemed to be the signal of that uprising or
outbreak which we had been fearing might occur before morning.

At first it was no more than angry cries and yelps of pain; but these
increased steadily until it seemed as if a riot was well under way.

There was no need of carrying any information to the headquarters'
shanty. General Hamilton was on the guard line very near to my post,
within two minutes after the first cries were heard, and he remained
there in a listening attitude, turning his head this way and that like
the dog who seeks to find a lost trail.

A dozen or more of the chief men were with him, and I heard one of
them ask anxiously:

"Can you guess why trouble should have begun at this time? I believed
all the hot heads among our friends were on this side of the river."

"So they are, else would the brawl have been fanned into a battle long
before this. Master Hunter," he cried sharply to the deputy, "form
your men into line at the river bank to prevent any from leaving the
encampment, and lose no time in doing so."

At the call for the guards to advance into line I stepped forward; but
stopped very suddenly as the general seized me by the collar of my

"You and the comrade who aided in saving Sandy Wells' life are to wait
here that I may have a moment's speech with you." Then, raising his
voice, he cried, "Hunter, give the word as soon as you have a force at
the riverbank sufficient to hold this throng in check!"

"The entire Regulation will be none too many for such service as

"Station the guards first, and then call out the remainder of the
force. It stands us in hand to hold all on this side the river, and
also keep peace among them."

I was at some little trouble to find Sidney, he having gone to the
further end of the line when the word was given to "fall in"; but I
succeeded in withdrawing him from the ranks just as the men went
forward into position at the river bank.

When we two lads stood before him, the general said in a low tone as
if to prevent any other from hearing the discourse:

"It is in my mind that yonder riot has been begun by orders of Tryon
or Fanning, that they may have some excuse for filling the jail before
morning, as well as to cast discredit upon the Regulation. You lads
have shown yourselves quick-witted, and I have no doubt that you will
be able to hold your own in case Tryon and his crew are provoking a
brawl. Cross the river at once; mingle with those who are taking part
in the disturbance, and learn all you can regarding the beginning of
the trouble."

"Our lines are in position!" Master Hunter cried, and the general

"Very well. Hold the people here, and allow none to cross save the two
who may speedily come with my permission to do as they please."

We lads waited twenty seconds or more to learn if Master Hamilton had
any further commands for us, and since he did not speak, Sidney
plucked me by the sleeve as a signal that we should set out.

The general was looking at us when we moved off, therefore did I know
that we had received all the orders he had to give.

On coming to the water's edge we walked up the stream until finding
Master Hunter, and then, in a low tone, explained what we had been
ordered to do.

He immediately directed the men to give us passage, and hurriedly we
forded the stream, bending our steps toward the court-house after
having gained the opposite bank.

It was not a simple matter to make our way through the crowded street.
By this time nearly all the people who had encamped in the open air
were astir, and every man and boy was pressing eagerly forward to that
point from whence came the outcries.

By dint of using our elbows sharply, and forcing aside without
ceremony those who barred the way, we succeeded, at the risk of
embroiling ourselves in private quarrels, in gaining a position near
the center of the disturbance, when it was possible to perceive at a
glance that General Hamilton was correct in his surmises.

The visitors were not raising their hands against the soldiers save
when great provocation was given; but here and there I could see those
who were in some way connected with the government, and among them
Sandy Wells, making their way from point to point, dealing blows and
uttering insults well calculated to raise a disturbance.

Whenever one of the visitors attempted to defend himself, or would
have punished the insulter, the minions of Tryon raised a great hue
and cry to bring the solders to that point, after which they slipped
off to create a disturbance at some other point.

But for the fact that the visitors had been warned against giving the
governor an opportunity for complaint, a riot would have been begun
within a very few minutes, and with such a degree of violence that it
might have increased to a regular battle; but as it was, our people
behaved with remarkable moderation.

I believed that we might do much good by advice, and suggested to
Sidney that we go hastily around among the throng, explaining what was
the evident purpose of the governor's minions, at the same time
advising every one to cross the river immediately, lest by their
behavior Tryon should have some color of a reason for postponing the
cases which had been set down for a hearing next day.

He was of my opinion, and without delay we began our work, hurrying
here or there with such good effect that the people began to fall back
before the mischief breeders, instead of pressing forward.

This was not at all to the liking of those who desired to provoke a
breach of the peace, and they redoubled their efforts, offering yet
greater indignities to the unresisting citizens.

Foremost among these was Sandy Wells, and I made it my business to
gain a position close by his side, when I said, holding him by the arm
until the words had been uttered:

"Sidney Hubbard and I saved your life this day, as you well know. It
can readily be seen what you are trying to do, and unless you cease
your efforts I will take good care before the sun sets to-morrow, to
inflame every man's mind against you. That fate which was escaped this
afternoon shall overtake you within the next four and twenty hours,
even though Tryon gives you shelter in his own quarters."

Sandy was a rank coward, as I well knew, and when my hold of his
sleeve was relaxed he slunk away among the soldiers, nor did I see him
again that night.

During more than an hour Sidney and I continued our efforts, sometimes
threatened by the soldiers or Tryon's emissaries, and then the throng
had so far dispersed that there were not enough hot-heads left to make
any very great disturbance, even though they felt disposed to resist
the troops.

"Now the enemies of the colony can do no more than foment an ordinary
brawl, which is not what Tryon most desires, and I believe our work
here is done in accordance with the general's orders," Sidney said to
me as we met among the foremost of the small crowd, within a short
distance of where the uniformed men were drawn up in line. "If we are
recognized you may be certain those fellows will use every effort to
lodge us in jail, and it is wise to beat a retreat while we may."

I was of much the same opinion, and, after gathering half a dozen of
the wilder spirits in our wake, we set off toward the ford, hooted and
jeered at by those who had most signally failed in the task assigned

The sudden change in the situation of affairs was truly surprising.
When we two lads first crossed the river we found the streets
literally choked with men, women and children who counted on remaining
there with the hope of gaining admittance to the court-house as soon
as the day dawned; but now it was as if the earth had opened and
swallowed all these people.

We did not meet with twenty as we went toward the ford; they had
wisely crossed the river, and, once on the opposite side, the
Regulators would keep them quiet.

We had checked the governor's scheme, not through force of arms, but
simply by removing those who might unwittingly have aided him in his
unlawful efforts.

Once the visitors were on that side of the river held by the
Regulators, they were unable to go back; but all who called themselves
Sons of Liberty would be forced to remain on duty during the entire
night in order to hold in check those who counted themselves friendly
to the cause.

As a matter of course Sidney and I reported to General Hamilton as
soon as possible, and when we had concluded our story the old
Scotchman said in a tone of satisfaction:

"I knew full well I could depend upon you lads to do whatsoever was
wise. By sending the people over here you have accomplished a good
work, and once again is Tryon defeated by your unaided efforts. The
Regulation has good reason to count you as valuable members, and when
the time comes that this colony can reward the services of those who
have aided her, as come it will in due season, I hope I may be alive
to make certain you are not neglected."

According to my way of thinking we were already rewarded by such words
as these, and but for the darkness Master Hamilton would have seen my
cheeks crimsoned with shame because he had given us far more than we

It was but natural that there should be considerable confusion on our
side of the river; all who had lately changed their camping places
were seeking for new quarters, and already the slope of the hill
outside the lines of our encampment was literally covered with human

The late comers were compelled to find a resting-place on the other
side of the elevation, and thus were our horsemen literally hemmed in.
If it should become necessary to make a quick movement, it would
require some time to clear the ground in order to avoid trampling the
visitors beneath the hoofs of our horses.

Every member of the Regulation was now doing guard duty, and as soon
as Sidney and I had concluded our interview with the general, we
joined our comrades, when the weary work of pacing to and fro was

At the river front remained a line of Regulators who allowed any
person to come over; but refused passage to such as would have gone
back, and thus we held the key to the situation so far as keeping the
peace was concerned.

Until this last move of Governor Tryon's I think the majority of our
people believed the king's officers would not dare do other than give
the prisoners a fair trial, although perhaps no one was convinced that
it was more than a farce to bring Fanning before the bar.

Now, however, when we had good proof as to the lengths Tryon was ready
to go, and could see plainly that he was using every effort to place
the Regulation in a false light before the world, there was much doubt
as to the outcome of the cases in court.

The Regulators on duty discussed the matter among themselves as if it
was a foregone conclusion that might, not right, would rule, and such
of the visitors as I heard conversing were loud in their declarations
that justice must prevail even though it should be purchased by

"There is likely to be hot times to-morrow," Sidney said to me as we
halted an instant when everything seemed peaceful. "If we are brought
face to face with Tryon's army, much blood will be shed on both sides
before the question is settled definitely."

"But that blood will cement the colonies in such manner that
oppression in one will be felt by all the others. We shall have
effected a union, and what are our lives in comparison to such a
consummation?" a voice said, and, turning, I saw Master James Hunter,
who had come up in time to overhear our conversation.

"Then you believe we shall fight a battle to-morrow, sir?" I made bold
to say, and he replied with a sigh:

"Of that I am not so certain. If we do, the colonies will declare for
freedom against the king's rule. If peace is preserved throughout the
morrow, then must greater wrongs be endured in order to provoke the
people into demanding their full rights."

Having said this the deputy continued on his rounds, and we two lads
no longer had any desire to discuss the situation, for it had become
so grave, according to Master Hunter, that a bloody battle between us
and those on the opposite side of the river seemed suddenly to be
really desirable.

During the remainder of that long night we lads did our full share of
guard duty, I dwelling upon the possibilities until the old
timorousness came upon me, and I was almost a coward.

It seemed to me that death would come within a few hours, and I was
already marked out as one of his victims. I found myself wondering if
I could march up to the guns of the enemy without betraying the
cowardice in my heart, and otherwise spending the time in a very
foolish fashion for one who must play the part of soldier.

Never had the dawning of a new day been so much of a relief to me as
then. The gray light of morning revealed the multitude sleeping
peacefully, and on the opposite bank not even a wreath of smoke showed
above the chimney-tops.

The scene brought relief to me, and by the time the sun rose I was
able to keep down the fear in my heart, so that no one might suspect
that I was in very fact a coward.

It was a wonderful scene when the visitors awakened to life, and began
making ready for the coming events which were of concern to all
dwelling in America. This day's sun would see the dawn of freedom, or
a postponement of that spirit which must in the near future descend
upon our people.

The officers of the Regulation went from camp to camp, cautioning the
visitors against making any demonstration before the trials at the
court-house were brought to a close, and at the ford a group of our
best citizens was performing the same task.

If the citizens of upper Carolina made any error on this day it would
not be from lack of advice from those who were in a position to know
what might be best for the colony.

The one aim of the people was to reach the court-house in order to
gain admission as spectators, and although the building would not
accommodate one in every hundred who were eager to enter, the
thousands flocked thither, jostling and pushing each other in order to
get a position among the foremost.

General Hamilton did all a man could to persuade them into remaining
at a respectful distance, pointing out the uselessness of expecting to
gain admittance; but yet they made their way into the town until our
encampment was deserted by all save the better informed--say five
hundred men, women and children.

We of the Regulators were ordered to get breakfast as best we might,
and then fall into the ranks again, for we were to remain under arms
the entire day lest our force might be needed in defense of the

"Are we like to be called upon for any serious service, sir?" I asked
of Master Hunter, who chanced to pass where I was partaking of the
morning meal with my parents, and he replied:

"It is hardly probable. Tryon will not attempt any more tricks, now
that the time of opening court is so near at hand, and I believe our
people will keep the peace, at least until after the decision of the
judges is made known."

Then the deputy called my father aside, and the two held such long and
earnest converse that I believed our officers were of the opinion the
trial would be no more than a farce.

This idea was strengthened in my mind when mother showed such tender
affection as I would leave her to take my place in the line which was
being formed.

She bade me farewell as if believing we might never meet again, and
despite all her efforts the tears came as she spoke.

I was not heartened by this evidence of fear, as may well be imagined,
and hurried away to feed my horse in order that I might hide the
evidences of my own emotion.

Half an hour later we of the Regulation were in something approaching
a military formation, with our horses tethered just in the rear where
we might be able to get at them without loss of time, and then came
the most trying moment of all-waiting for Governor Tryon to show how
far he dared to go in opposition to the law and the rights of the

The square around the court-house was black with citizens awaiting an
opportunity to enter the building. In the midst of this mass could be
seen two files of soldiers standing shoulder to shoulder in order to
keep open a passage for the officers and witnesses, and a short
distance away were the governor's troops under arms in case it should
please our oppressor to order an attack upon the helpless throng.



Now the trial was so near at hand--when in a few hours we should know
beyond a peradventure to what lengths Tryon would go in his villainy
towards the people of the Carolinas we no longer discussed the
possibilities of the near future.

If Masters Husband and William Hunter were set free, as indeed could
be the only just verdict of the judges, and if Fanning was convicted
of having extorted money from the people without even the color of the
law to sustain him, then would our colony be peaceful; but I question
if one among all those horsemen who awaited the signal to disperse
quietly or to ride to their deaths, believed that justice would

Even two lads like Sidney and myself understood that the governor
would deny us our rights, and the thoughts of what might come to
those we loved before the sun had disappeared behind the hills,
rendered us dumb.

I did not see any of the gentlemen conversing. I threw myself at full
length on the grass close by Sidney's side, and would hardly have
heard him had he spoken.

My eyes were fixed upon the court-house, surrounded as it was by that
vast throng of people, and I noted every movement, however slight.

When the judges and the officers of the court marched through the lane
formed by the weapons of the soldiers, I saw them plainly, and could
almost imagine that the voice of the sheriff rang in my ears as he
uttered the words which opened the sitting.

My father and four other Regulators had gone into town in order to
give evidence against Fanning, and to combat the charge of "riotous
conduct" which had been preferred against our friends.

All the other gentlemen of our company remained on the hillside, save
Master Hamilton, who stood on the highest point in the encampment
where he might see any signal which our people should give.

The forenoon passed, and I remained like one in a stupor. The noon
hour went by, and I had no sensation of hunger. Some of our companions
ate; but they were the ones known to be lukewarm to the cause.

As I came afterward to know, it was near about two o'clock in the
afternoon when a low hoarse murmur which was like unto nothing save
the growl of an enraged beast sounded on our ears. It rose louder and
louder, gathering in angry menace each instant, until it was of such
volume, that one could hardly have heard a peal of thunder above it,
and then we knew full well that Governor Tryon had trampled all the
laws under his foot--that it was our duty to become rebels in fact, by
rushing upon the villainous representative of the king and cutting him

Then came one from the town running at full speed, and when having
come near enough to make his voice heard, he shouted:

"Master Husband has been acquitted; but both William and James Hunter
and Master Hamilton have been adjudged guilty, and are fined one
thousand pounds each, in addition to imprisonment for six months!"

"But James Hunter and Master Hamilton had not been even charged with
crime!" one of the Regulators cried, doubting the truth of the news.

"Very true; yet they were tried just the same. Master James Hunter was
taken into custody as he entered the court-room to give evidence
against Fanning, and a warrant is already issued for Master Hamilton,"
the messenger added.

Then Sidney shouted:

"What about Fanning? Has he been acquitted?"

"It is much the same. He was tried on seven counts for extortion,
found guilty, and sentenced to pay one penny on each indictment. Seven
pence to be paid by the rascally lawyer, and one thousand pounds each
by the Hunters and Master Hamilton!"

"And the people?" Master Howell demanded. "What do they say?"

"You can hear for yourself," the man replied, forced to shout even
though he stood close beside us by this time, because of the tumult in
the vicinity of the court-house. "Before the trial had come to an end
the building was filled with soldiers, while the remainder of the
governor's force encircled it. If a fight is begun our friends will be
shot down by hundreds, with no opportunity to strike a blow save with
their bare fists."

Without waiting for the word of command every Regulator mounted his
horse, and all of us waited for the signal from our commander, who had
drawn near to hear the report made by the messenger.

He stood with his chin on his breast like one stunned, neither looking
up nor speaking, while the cries from the opposite side of the river
increased in fury each instant.

"Are we to sit here while our friends are imprisoned without cause?" a
horseman near me asked angrily, and Master Hamilton raised his head as
if to make reply, when some one shouted:

"Here comes Master Husband! They have set him free!"

The man who had been in jail nearly six months for having dared to say
that Tryon had no authority to levy a tax to build himself a palace,
could be seen walking rapidly toward the ford, and all understood that
nothing would be done by us until he arrived.

Master Hamilton rode down to meet him, and the two remained in private
converse five minutes or more before coming up to where we awaited
them with the utmost impatience.

Then it was that our commander spoke:

"Gentlemen, it is our duty to prevent the people of upper Carolina
from beginning a conflict with the king's troops. We must not permit
ourselves to commit any act of violence against the governor until
after due deliberation, for all which we do now is the same as if we
moved against the king. By Master Husband's advice, we shall ride into
town, and do our best to prevent a conflict which would cost the lives
of hundreds of our friends and neighbors. I beseech you that, however
great the provocation, all this company keep well together in military
formation, and obey every order to the letter. Later, when some of
those who are absent can take part in our deliberations as is their
right, we will settle upon a course of action."

Some one offered Master Husband a horse, on which he rode by the side
of our leader as we crossed the river and went from thence to the
court-house, or, I should say, as near as it was possible to advance.

The vast throng were inflamed by anger. They shouted threats against
the soldiers, who were evidently alarmed by the demonstration, and had
General Hamilton given the signal to make an attack, I believe of a
verity that every man, whether armed or not, would have joined the

At seeing us ride up the citizens shouted yet more loudly; but when we
halted, they turned about to learn the reason of our delay in giving
Tryon a lesson, and Master Hamilton cried out to them, speaking so
loudly that every word must have been heard by those who yet remained
in the court-room.

"We, the Regulation, beg that you will not put your lives in jeopardy
while unprepared for battle. If you will disperse, each sending his
women and children home out of danger, the Regulators will meet you in
solemn deliberation this evening when our plan of action shall be
decided upon."

"And are we to let Tryon and Fanning sneak away?" one of the throng
asked angrily.

"Not so, my friend. While the Regulators are under arms you know full
well that no one can leave Hillsborough without our permission. The
cause will not suffer by this delay, and we shall be in better
position to demand that which you have failed of receiving this
day--justice. Send your families home, collect your weapons, and join
us who have sworn to drive the oppressors out of upper Carolina."

If Tryon was in the court-room, as many of the throng declared, then
he had heard every word spoken by our commander, and I venture to say
he felt ill at ease, for it was plain to be seen that if the
Regulators should be reinforced by these men who were raising their
voices against the farce of a trial, he stood in great danger of being
made prisoner.

He might use the court-house as a fortification, and could hold it two
or three days, perhaps; but we would take good care that he did not
send any messengers to Brunswick or Newberne, and there could be but
one ending to the affair.

The people seemed to understand all this, for straightway they began
to move toward the river, followed by their families, and in less than
half an hour few save the Regulators remained around the building.

The soldiers who had been stationed outside now crowded inside the
court-house, never waiting for orders to move, and we were left like
jailers who are satisfied with holding their prisoners in closed

Master Hamilton told off a dozen men for sentinels at each side of the
building, and as many more in the rear, with orders to shoot down any
who attempted to escape from the windows, while the main portion of
our force remained thirty yards or more from the front doors.

It looked much as if an attack was to be made upon the king's
representatives despite all Master Hamilton had said regarding the
advisability of waiting for reflection and concerted plans.

Our commander remained by himself, midway between the front rank and
the building, as if expecting that which occurred before we had been
in position five minutes.

Then it was that David Edwards, the governor's secretary, appeared at
one of the windows, and cried warningly:

"In the name of his excellency, Governor William Tryon, I bid ye
disperse! Those who remain do so under the pain and penalty of being
adjudged in rebellion against his most gracious majesty."

"We are in rebellion against tyranny and injustice," Master Hamilton
replied in a loud voice which had in it no tone of menace. "It is our
purpose to remain here until the wrong committed this day has been
righted, and he who ventures out from among you in the meantime will
do so at the expense of his life."

"But this is neither more nor less than armed rebellion against the
king," Edwards cried as if suddenly understanding that we were in a
position to enforce our demand.

"I repeat that we are not here against the king, but to uphold the
laws which Tryon and his minions have trampled in the dust. We of the
Regulators number five hundred men; within two hours we shall have as
many more in our ranks, and it does not need much calculation on your
part to prove that the power is with us, as the rebellion against his
majesty is with you."

Master Edwards disappeared, and I was expecting each moment that the
soldiers within the building would open fire upon us, when my father
appeared at the door, holding up his hand to attract attention.

"It is William Butler, one of the Regulators!" Master Hamilton shouted
for the benefit of those who might not have recognized my father. "Let
him come out!"

Our commander advanced to my father's side, and the two held long
converse, after which both came forward toward our troop.

Then appeared once more at the window, Master Edwards, who cried out:

"Will you allow that I hold a conference with you in private?"

"Meaning in your own name, or that of the governor?" Master Hamilton
asked sharply.

"I would bring to you a message from his excellency."

"You may come," our commander said after whispering with my father;
"but I shall repeat at my pleasure, to these gentlemen, all which you
may say."

Again the secretary disappeared, to show himself at the door a moment
later, and General Hamilton remained motionless, forcing Master
Edwards to approach him.

The two gentlemen saluted, exchanged a few words, and then half a
dozen of our leaders were summoned to what appeared to be a council of
war participated in by representatives of both armies.

Much time was spent by these gentlemen in consultation; but, finally,
it appeared as if some plan had been arranged to the satisfaction of
all. Master Edwards returned to the court-house; our leaders fell back
into line, where we remained half an hour or more wondering what was
to be the upshot of the matter, when suddenly Masters James and
William Hunter, and three other citizens who had been held prisoners,
came out of the door.

While one might have counted five we were held speechless with
astonishment, and then our people began to cheer, for it seemed at the
moment as if we had in fact beaten the governor in a game of his own

Before the shouts died away the command was given for the sentinels to
come in; the troop was formed in fours, and we rode away, heading for
the encampment on the hill.

Our leaders were grave, probably because they alone knew at what price
this temporary triumph had been purchased; but the remainder of the
party were wild with joy, for we imagined ourselves victors.

Before fording the river we were joined by nearly an hundred mounted
men who had obeyed Master Hamilton's instructions to take their
families home and return armed, and throughout the night we received
accessions to our force until the Regulators were more than a thousand

It can well be supposed that all the company were burning with
curiosity to learn more concerning the bargain which had resulted in
the release of the prisoners; but our commander gave no sign of being
in haste to explain matters.

"The Regulation will meet to-night, and the whole matter shall be laid
before it," he said gravely when Master Howell, bolder than the
others, ventured to ask for particulars.

Sidney and I, when we were occupying our old lean-to once more,
speculated earnestly as to what the people had, through Master
Hamilton, promised as the price of the prisoners' release; but we had
made little headway when Master James Hunter, the deputy, approached
our shelter on his way across the encampment.

After our experience in his company he seemed rather like a comrade
than a mere acquaintance, and Sidney did not hesitate about asking
the questions we were so eager to have answered.

"As yet we have really made no bargain, lads," Master Hunter said as
he seated himself in a friendly way near us. "The governor promised,
for the sole purpose of averting bloodshed, so he declared, to release
those of us who were sentenced to imprisonment and fine, in
consideration of the Regulators returning to camp, and keeping with
them such as might arrive bent on rebellious acts, until to-morrow
morning. Then, so the secretary stated, some proposal looking to peace
will be made."

"It seems much as if Tryon was backing down from the high horse he has
been riding in the Carolinas," Sidney said with a laugh.

"He had no choice in this case," Master Hunter replied. "The
Regulators held him like a rat in a trap, and if a battle had ensued
his own precious body would have been endangered. My only fear is that
he counts, by such delay, on getting the best of us in some way."

"We shall be stronger to-morrow morning than we are now," I ventured
to suggest. "The people are coming in rapidly, and soon we shall
outnumber his force five to one."

"All of which is very true, and because he must have understood that
such would be the case, I am the more suspicious of his honesty in
this matter."

Then it was I dared ask Master Hunter to tell us all that had occurred
in the court-house, and he began by saying:

"There is very little to the story, lad, for unless I'm much mistaken,
Tryon, Edwards and Fanning had the program arranged last night. When I
entered the room the sheriff made me prisoner without so much as
producing a warrant. Not until late in the forenoon were the others
brought in, and then the story of our misdeeds was quickly told by men
like Sandy Wells. Our defense was cut down in every way; we were not
allowed to call our witnesses, and checked when we would have argued
our case. There was no verdict given when the trial closed. The case
of Fanning was called, and of all the witnesses we had brought, only
two were allowed to give in their testimony. Fanning argued that he
was forced to charge extortionate fees in order to gain a livelihood;
that it was generally understood court officers should demand
sufficient to provide them with a fair salary, and then pleaded guilty
as to the indictments so far as the facts were concerned, but insisted
he was innocent according to the spirit of the law."

"I suppose _he_ was allowed ample time in which to argue his case,"
Sidney interrupted.

"As to that you may be certain; it was only the witnesses appearing
against him who were admonished not to waste the court's time. Then we
were sentenced, and after ten minutes or more the judges had agreed
that Fanning should pay seven pence for the crime of extorting
hundreds of pounds from the poor. We would have been sent into the
prison at once but for the fact of your arrival. It could readily be
seen that Tryon was really alarmed by the cries of those outside, and
when the Regulators arrived he went into the next room with the
judges, Fanning and Edwards. The rest you know as well as I. We who
sat in the dock were ordered to follow the secretary, and, to our
great surprise, were set free."

"Then we are to remain here quietly until tomorrow morning?" Sidney

"That is the proposition."

"And what will the governor be doing meanwhile?"

"I cannot say. It is possible he has troops on the way from Brunswick
or Newberne, as Master Husband suggests; but I am not of the same
opinion. He would most certainly have brought to Hillsborough all the
force that could be raised, before the trial began, for it must be
humiliating to be obliged to make any terms with us."

"He counts on some treachery I'll be bound!" Sidney exclaimed, and
Master Hunter said with a sigh:

"I have the same fear, lad. To release us after we had been sentenced
was a harder task for him than if he had set Husband and my brother
free last week. We shall find that he can play double, while our
people hold so strictly to the truth that they are not willing to
believe a lickspittle like the governor would stoop to tell a
deliberate lie."

Having said this Master Hunter went on his way, and we lads could do
no more than speculate upon the probability of our having put Tryon in
such a trap that he would be forced to deal honestly with us.

Late that evening, when there were not less than one hundred armed men
in the encampment, the Regulation was called to order, and Master
Hamilton opened the meeting by telling the same story we two lads had
previously heard from Master Hunter. He concluded by saying:

"Believing that humanity demanded us to avert bloodshed at any price
short of honor, the officers of the Regulation decided on a truce of
twenty hours in consideration of the freedom of the prisoners. We ask
you to hold the promise we made as if each of you had personally given
his word to it. To-morrow we shall have another proposition from the
governor, and then will be the time when we must decide as to our
future course."

Many gentlemen spoke on the same subject, all agreeing that we could
do no less than adhere strictly to the promise our commander had
given, and then the meeting was dissolved.

Having had no sleep on the previous night, I was right glad to crawl
into the bed of pine branches which Sidney and I called our own, and
not until the sun showed his face next morning did I awaken.

Because a truce had been declared, there was no need of standing
guard, and all our company enjoyed a full night's rest.

As soon as breakfast had been eaten we lounged around the camp,
remaining where we could overlook the town, and waited for some word
from the governor, speculating meanwhile as to what proposition it
might please him to make.

Noon came, and no messenger appeared.

At one o'clock my father was sent across the river to learn why we had
not heard from Tryon, and he returned with a reply that we "would be
well satisfied in a few hours."

This message was given by a servant at the governor's headquarters; my
father had seen neither the governor, his secretary, nor Fanning.

There was no little grumbling because we were thus kept waiting when
the truce was for twenty hours only; but never a man dreamed of
breaking his word. Such perfidy as that was left for his excellency,
William Tryon, he who claimed to be the king's honorable

My mother had gone home; she went away the afternoon previous when the
women and children were asked to leave the vicinity, and as we waited
for that message which was so long delayed, I was truly thankful she
had not remained, for it came into my mind that there would be a
troublous, rather than a peaceful, ending.

The sun was no more than half an hour high in the heavens when we saw
one who appeared to be a servant, come out of the governor's house and
walk swiftly toward the ford.

It did not seem possible Tryon would send other than one of his
officers on a mission to the Regulation, and yet I believed that now
was come the time when we were to hear from his excellency.

The man halted at the opposite bank of the river, unfolded a huge
document, and began reading that which told us to what a depth of
infamy William Tryon was willing to descend in order to carry his



It can well be understood with what eagerness we listened to the
messenger as he read from the paper in a loud tone; but he remained at
such a distance that I found it impossible to catch every word,
although the general purport was made sufficiently plain.

The fellow, whom we afterward came to know was one of the clerks from
the sheriff's office, regaled us with a high-sounding proclamation
from the governor, in which his excellency graciously pardoned all the
Regulators save thirteen, whose names were twice repeated in order
that there should be no mistake.

I set them down here that the world may know who were the patriots of
upper Carolina in the opinion of William Tryon:

"James Hunter, Ninian Bell Hamilton, Peter Craven, Isaack Jackson,
Herman Husband, Matthew Hamilton, William Payne, Malichi Tyke,
William Moffat, Christopher Nation, Solomon Goff, John O'Neil, and
Rednap Howell."

When the clerk ceased reading and marched back from whence he came, we
on the hillside looked at each other in silent amazement while one
might have counted twenty, and then on the instant every tongue was

All that had been gained by the truce was an act of outlawry against
our best men, and Fanning was still the trusted servant of the king!

The one thought in the minds of all was to seize the person of the
villain who held a commission from the crown as governor of the
Carolinas, and a thousand voices were crying out against delay.

The officers of the Regulation held a brief consultation, and then
came that command which all expected and demanded.

"To horse, gentlemen! The moment has arrived when we must declare
ourselves against the king, unless he redresses our wrongs by
recalling such officials as have misruled the colony!" General
Hamilton cried in a loud tone, and he had no more than concluded
before every Regulator was in the saddle burning to avenge the insult
offered by Tryon.

The earth literally trembled beneath the hoofs of a thousand horses as
we rode at full speed to the ford, then across the river, and on to
the governor's residence.

The royal "army" remained on guard until we were come to within an
hundred yards, and then they scattered like chaff before the wind,
running in every direction, crying for quarter.

No attention was given to the cowards. Tryon, Fanning and Edwards were
the men we counted on teaching a lesson, and the dwelling was
surrounded in a twinkling.

Fifty gentlemen entered the building, some of them to reappear a few
moments later with the fellow who had read the proclamation.

"Tryon! Tryon!" our people shouted in anger, and then came the truth
which, in our simplicity and honesty, we had not suspected.

"Tryon and his henchmen left town last night escorted by twenty men!"
one of those who had come out with the prisoner shouted, and we who
heard the words gazed in open-mouthed astonishment, failing on the
instant to understand that the villainous representative of the king
had simply proposed the truce in order that he might save his own
precious body.

The clerk, fearing for his life, and hoping to save it by answering
the questions which were literally hurled at him, told the entire
story twenty times over, until we came to realize that the three
rascals had set off at full speed immediately after sunset on the day
previous. By this time they were half-way to Brunswick, and however
good our steeds, there was no possibility we could overtake them.

Unless we might hold the governor of the colony as our prisoner,
rebellion would avail us little, save that we should retain possession
of upper Carolina until such time as he could send an overwhelming
force against us.

There was not a man in the ranks of the Regulators who did not realize
that Tryon had outwitted us, and that our only hope lay in remaining
together year after year until the other colonies should be willing to
join us in the struggle for liberty.

And in the meantime, while holding out against the king, how might we
gain means of subsistence? The richest among us owned only so much
land, and this could not be tilled if we were forced to fight day
after day to retain possession of a small extent of territory.

When all this was fully understood as we sat in our saddles near about
the governor's house, I saw this man and that, the bravest among us,
give way to tears, and for the time being it seemed to me that the
cause of liberty was crushed.

I could not then foresee that in the principal towns of the eastern
colonies would spring up branches of our association, styled "Sons of
Liberty," who would resist, as we had done, the unjust demands of an
unjust king until the beacon lights of rebellion were kindled on every
hill. I could not foresee that massacre at Lexington and at Concord
which was needed to arouse the people until no sacrifice appeared too
great, so that we purchased liberty for those who should live after

In silence, each man hanging his head as if having suffered an
ignominious defeat, instead of allowing ourselves to be tricked
because of believing that a gentleman's word was sacred, we returned
to the encampment on the hill, and were there formed in line for what
I believed would be the last time.

There were more than Sidney and myself who looked as if bowed down
with sorrow, and when we most needed words of encouragement they came
from our commander, that noble old man who was, by the proclamation of
one false to all the instincts of a gentleman, an outlaw on whose head
a price was shortly to be set.

"Gentlemen of the Regulation," General Hamilton began, speaking loud
and clear as becomes an honest man who knows in his heart that he is
in the true path, "we have been deceived, and are thereby cast down by
sorrow. At a time when it appeared as if we held the threads which
could be woven fairly to the interests of this colony, we have, by
trusting in the words of one who has no honor in his heart, lost all
our advantage; but we would be proving ourselves faint-hearted indeed
if such a misfortune was accepted as final defeat. Now more than
ever, must we struggle against wrong and oppression. It is not
necessary you should again swear to be true to the cause; neither will
it be of service to remain together just now, therefore I have this to
propose, and it is for you to decide if it be the proper course: Let
us disperse, each going to his home, there to remain one month; at the
expiration of such time we will meet at Maddock's Mill to settle upon
a further course of action."

The idea that we should remain as the Regulation, subject at any time
to a call from our leaders, heartened us wonderfully, and with one
accord our people agreed that Master Hamilton's plan should be

We broke ranks, each vowing friendship for his comrades, and entire
devotion to the cause, and then went our several ways home firmly
believing that in due course of time the purpose of the Regulation
would be accomplished.

And now has come the time when I must hasten over the months and even
years, without entering into details as to what Sidney or I did while
we waited an opportunity to strike a blow for our distressed country.

True to the proposition of Master Hamilton, we met once each month,
either at Maddock's Mill, or some other place equally central, and
thus kept pace with the events which particularly concerned us of the

Tryon remained in Newbern in his palace which had been paid for by
money wrung from a people who at times actually suffered for food, and
flattered himself that he had finally destroyed the germs of rebellion
that had been sowed by his own tyranny.

Contrary to our expectations, he did not make any decided effort to
get into his clutches those of the Regulation whom he had declared
outlaws, and it was quite as well that he remained quiet on that
score, for a thousand of the king's soldiers could not have taken them
from us.

The sheriffs of the counties in the upper Carolinas, knowing full well
that the Regulation was neither crushed nor disheartened, no longer
attempted to collect the unjust taxes, and thus it was that our
people had been benefited in some slight degree.

We cultivated our lands, moved about at will without fear of being
molested during nearly two years, and then, on a certain day in
September, Sidney came to my home in hot haste, acting as messenger of
the Regulation.

Word had come from Newbern that the Superior Court was to be convened
on the 24th day of the month, and then would efforts be made to secure
the bodies of those whom Tryon had styled "outlaws."

Master Hamilton, who yet remained in command of the Regulators,
despite his many years, had decided that our wisest method of
procedure was to interfere at the outset, claiming that we had the
right to make certain that justice, not the will of Governor Tryon,
should influence the decisions given by judges who were inclined to
listen to the orders of the governor rather than the evidence before

It can well be supposed that neither my father nor myself lost any
time in saddling our horses, and within twenty-four hours we were at
the old encampment which overlooked the town of Hillsborough.

This time we were perfect masters of the situation. Tryon, believing
the Regulation had been crushed out of existence, neglected to send
soldiers to overawe us, and twenty of our people took possession of
the court-house, while the remainder occupied the hill on the opposite
side of the river ready to cross whenever a signal should be given
that the services of armed men were necessary.

Because of our superior numbers, there was little chance the king's
minions could do very much harm, therefore we were not held to rigid
military discipline, and Sidney Hubbard and myself had no difficulty
in obtaining permission to accompany that party which was to make
certain no wrongs were inflicted upon us in the name of the law.

When we arrived at the court-house, having left our horses on the
opposite side of the river, we found there but one judge, and he the
man above all others who was ready to give such verdicts as would
please the governor. It is needless for me to set down the fact that
this man was Richard Henderson.

Seeing our party enter the building Fanning took it upon himself to
ask that we be put out, and not allowed to enter even the yard,
because, as he said, there were outlaws among us who had come for no
other purpose than to create a disturbance.

All those of whom he thus spoke had suffered many wrongs at the hands
of this same attorney, and foremost in the list of the oppressed were
Herman Husband, the two Hunters, and Rednap Howell, not one of whom
felt inclined to take additional abuse from such a traitor as Fanning.

That they acted hastily in the matter, I must admit; but at the same
time one should remember the wrongs they had received. The miserable
cur of an attorney had no sooner ceased speaking than the gentlemen I
have named, aided by all the Regulators present, seized Fanning
roughly and literally dragged him into the courtyard, where Sidney and
I were set over him as guards until such time as our people might be
at liberty to attend to him properly.

Because of being thus occupied, I did not see that which followed; but
later in the day my comrade and I were told that our people demanded
the trial of those belonging to the Regulation who had been declared
outlaws, which was no more than just, since the court had been called
together for that sole purpose.

It was not the purpose of Judge Henderson to give the Regulators a
fair trial, and, therefore, in order to outwit us, he declared the
court adjourned for the day.

Then he left the building, walking swiftly through the yard as if
expecting to be roughly treated, and once he was out of sight our
party set about giving Fanning a lesson.

He was taken across the river to our encampment, being dragged by the
heels a portion of the way, and there we held a little court of our
own, the decisions of which I dare venture to say were more in
accordance with strict justice than any Judge Richardson would have

It was decided that Fanning should be beaten with rods in the presence
of the Regulation, and Masters Husband and James Hunter were the
gentlemen selected to inflict the punishment, therefore it can well be
fancied that it was done in proper fashion.

We kept the attorney with us during the night, and next morning all
our company rode over to Hillsborough, only to find that the brave
judge had run away during the night, after declaring that the court
was adjourned until one year from that day. He could not pronounce the
sentences which Tryon demanded, therefore had no idea of being forced
to act honestly for once in his life.

Well, some of the hotter heads, taking advantage of the general
confusion, utterly destroyed Fanning's house, beating him again before
setting the scoundrel at liberty.

This done we went home once more, agreeing to meet each month as

I can best tell the remainder of my story, up to the time when
Governor Tryon decided to wage war upon us, by quoting from a history
of the Carolinas which I have lately seen; and while it is written
from the standpoint of the royalists, it is correct as to the acts and
movements of our enemy: [2] "Judge Henderson, who was driven from the
bench, called upon Tryon to restore order in his district. The
governor perceived that a temporizing policy would no longer be
expedient, and resolved to employ the military force to subdue the
rebellious spirit of the Regulators. He deferred operations, however,
until the meeting of the Legislature, in December.

"Herman Husband was a member of the Lower House, from Orange, and
there were others in that body who sympathized with the oppressed
people. Various measures were proposed to weaken the strength of the
Regulators; and among others, four new counties were formed of
portions of Orange, Cumberland, and Johnson. These counties were named
Guilford, Chatham, Wake and Surrey. Finally, when the Legislature was
about to adjourn without authorizing a military expedition,
information came that the Regulators had assembled at Cross Creek,
with the intention of marching upon Newbern, having heard that Husband
had been imprisoned."

Now at this point I must interrupt the historian in order to explain
that we of the Regulation did indeed make this march. We knew full
well that Tryon both hated and feared Herman Husband, and, therefore,
kept one or more of our people in Newbern all the time the Legislature
was assembled in order that the news, if there was any of importance,
might be sent without loss of time to our leaders.

It is a fact that Tryon even went so far as to prefer charges against
Master Husband, and that the council caused his arrest and
imprisonment. Word to this effect was brought to us at once, and we
set out for Cross Creek; but Governor Tryon had his spies out, and
when it was known that the Regulators, a thousand strong, were riding
to aid one of their number who was illegally deprived of his liberty,
the council made haste to examine the charges against Master Husband.

They finally decided, in order to save their own worthless skins, that
the charges were not sustained, and set the prisoner at liberty,
imploring him to ride with all speed in order to prevent us from
entering Newbern.

He met us at Cross Creek, and we escorted him home; but this time it
was decided that the Regulation go into camp at Maddock's Mill, and
there remain ready for war until it was learned how far our enemy
proposed to go in his effort to exterminate us, for that was what he
had boldly said he would do. Now we will copy once more from the
printed story of our struggle:

"The Assembly immediately voted two thousand dollars for the use of
the governor. The alarmed chief magistrate fortified his palace, and
placed the town in a state of defense. He also issued a proclamation,
and orders to the colonels of the counties in the vicinity, to have
the militia in readiness. These precautions were unnecessary, for the
Regulators, after crossing the Haw, a few miles above Pittsborough, to
the number of more than one thousand, met Husband on his way home, and
retraced their steps.

"The governor soon issued another proclamation, prohibiting the sale
of powder, shot, or lead, until further notice. This was to prevent
the Regulators supplying themselves with munitions of war. This
measure added fuel to the flame of excitement, and finally, the
governor becoming again alarmed, he made a virtual declaration of war,
through his council. That body authorized him to raise a sufficient
force to march into the rebellious districts and establish law and

"The governor issued a circular to the colonels, ordering them to
select fifty volunteers from their respective regiments and send them
to Newbern. With about three hundred militiamen, a small train of
artillery, some baggage wagons, and several personal friends, Tryon
left Newbern on the 24th of April. On the 4th of May he encamped on
the Eno, having been reinforced by detachments on the way. General
Hugh Waddel was directed to collect the forces from the western
counties, rendezvous at Salisbury, and join the governor in Orange

It goes without saying that while these preparations were being made,
whereby Tryon counted on driving us from the face of the earth, our
spies were scattered around the country plentifully, and, therefore,
we knew exactly the size of his force, and how it was made up, when he
went into camp.

Colonel Joseph Leech commanded the infantry, Captain Moore the
artillery, and Captain Neale a company of rangers. On his way to the
Eno Tryon was joined by a detachment from Hanover, under Colonel John
Ashe; another from Carteret, under Colonel Craig; another from
Johnston, under Colonel William Thompson; another from Beaufort, under
Colonel Needham Bryan; another from Wake, under Colonel Johnson
Hinton; and at his camp on the Eno he was joined by Fanning, with a
corps of clerks, constables, sheriffs and others.


[2] Lossing's "Field Book of the Revolution."



At last the Regulation had forced Governor Tryon to acknowledge it as
an adversary, and this afforded the members no slight amount of

Until he marched out of Newbern with the militia, it had been his good
pleasure to treat us as a lot of malcontents who should be dealt with
by constables or sheriffs, and in his proclamations, or statements
made to the people of other colonies, he was careful to so word his
communications as to make it appear that the people of the upper
Carolinas, instead of being banded together for a specific purpose,
were simply rioting and plundering.

And I doubt not but that many of the colonists considered us a gang of
bullies who had set their faces against law and order, never
understanding that ours was a purpose which lay close to the heart of
every true citizen, until that day came when he marched out against

We, the Regulators, were encamped on William Payne's plantation when
the news came that our enemy had left Newbern after giving orders that
he be joined on the route to the Eno by this force or that, and Master
Rednap Howell said gleefully as he heard of that movement which might
result in the death of many of our company:

"It is the first cheering news we have had brought to us during the
past two years. Now must it be known in the other colonies that we are
standing up for liberty, and, instead of believing us to be a few
hot-heads, the people will understand that our party is a strong one,
otherwise there would be no need for the governor to come out with
such a force."

And Master Butler added:

"Tryon must fight this time, instead of sitting in his palace and
ordering that this or that gentleman be thrown into prison. We have
more than half attained our end when the other colonies understand
for what principle we are holding out."

In fact, this move of Tryon's caused the greatest possible
satisfaction among our people, who had been running hither and thither
for the past two years without opportunity of making public the
oppression against which they had risen in arms. Never a member of our
party who questioned as to what our leaders would do; it was to all of
us a settled fact that we would meet the government as speedily as
might be, and in anticipation of the command we began furbishing up
our equipments, or looking after the horses to make certain they were
in condition for a forced march.

By this time Sidney and I were eighteen years of age, and no longer
considered ourselves boys. Since having been permitted to join the
Regulation we had been credited with doing good work, never flinching
from a severe task or holding back because of danger, and thus we rode
with the company as equals.

I believe we two lads were more eager than any of our companions to
meet Tryon's forces in the open field; for it was our firm belief that
the Regulators would win the first battle fought and we burned with
impatience to show what we could do as soldiers.

"I never felt well inclined toward Governor Tryon until this moment,"
Sidney said in a matter-of-fact tone as we overhauled our
saddle-girths to make certain they were in good condition. "Now it is
very much as if he had suddenly become our friend, because of having
boldly taken the field against us."

"According to the report of our scouts, he must outnumber us two to
one," I ventured to suggest.

"The result will be the same if four against one is the odds. We must
win, and what a relief it will be to ride forward with a definite aim,
instead of going here and there without effecting anything, as we have
been doing these two years past."

"I agree with you on the last, Sidney; but holding our own against
twice our force is a different matter."

The lad looked at me scrutinizingly for an instant, and then asked

"Are you beginning to show the white feather just when our affairs
look the most promising, Clare?"

"Not a bit of it," I replied indignantly. "To my mind it is no
evidence of cowardice to count well the situation and strength of the

"But you went farther, and was near to questioning whether Tryon's
force might not worst us, simply because of its size."

"And why might I not question it? A full thousand of his men are
citizens of the Carolinas, and should be our equals in both riding and

"So they would were the cause the same; but they fight on the side of
oppression, while we are striving to do that which shall be of benefit
to every person in the American colonies."

I did not attempt to continue what was rapidly becoming an argument,
simply because it was useless just then. I believed it was folly to
claim that gentlemen of the Carolinas who did not hold to our opinions
were our inferiors: but knew full well that it would be impossible to
persuade my comrade to look at the matter in the same light I did.

It is a sad mistake to think that ourselves and our adherents are
better men than those who oppose us, and that, I think, has been fully
proven by this time.

I was ready to say that our cause was just, while theirs was not, and
further than such a statement I would not go.

Finding that I was not inclined for a wordy quarrel, Sidney ceased
boasting of what the Regulators could do, and set about speculating as
to whether Tryon would remain on the Eno until we could come up with
him, until suddenly, at the moment our people were least expecting it,
word was passed through the camp that we were to fall into line,
unmounted, to hear an important announcement from the commander.

"I wish we had been summoned to appear ready for marching," my comrade
said almost petulantly as he made his preparations for obeying by
washing his hands, which were covered with the grease he had been
applying to his bridle. "This talk of an 'announcement' has in it a
suspicion that the Regulators are not to break camp immediately."

"Don't begin to look after trouble," I replied with a laugh, knowing
well Sidney's disposition. "If we do not set out this night, the
Regulators will take the road to-morrow, and I'll warrant we see
Tryon's soldiers in good time."

There were many others besides Sidney who felt a certain degree of
irritation because we were to hear words, instead of commands which
would result in setting the entire company in motion toward the enemy;
but all of us soon learned that Master Hamilton had no idea of trying
to evade a pitched battle.

"Since this association was formed, it has been the custom to discuss
any important movement with all the company, therefore have you been
summoned," our commander said when we had been formed in a hollow
square with him in our midst. "It is not necessary for me to promise
that you shall be led against the enemy at the earliest fitting
moment, and I also declare that you shall not be allowed to hurl
yourselves upon the government troops like an unruly mob. When we
have made ready, Governor Tryon shall see us. Our scouts have brought
in the information that General Waddel is halted with a small force at
Salisbury, awaiting the arrival of powder from Charleston. The
Regulators need that powder, and I propose that we take it. Two
hundred men well mounted will be sufficient for the enterprise, and in
order that there shall be no charge of favoritism made against me,
instead of detailing a force of such size, I ask that the best mounted
among you step three paces to the rear, in token that you are willing
to make the venture."

The old gentleman had hardly more than ceased speaking when the entire
company moved back as if with one accord, thus showing that every man
of us was eager for active service, and that each one believed his
horse superior to all the others.

Master Hamilton laughed heartily, and then asked that none but the
youngest volunteer for the service, and do so by stepping forward into
the former position.

Once more was the square formed in the first position, for not a man
was willing to be left behind at such a time.

It was positive that all the company could not be spared for a service
which might be performed by two hundred men, and I wondered how the
matter could be arranged without causing jealousy.

Then our commander explained that it would be unwise to go for the
powder with such a large company, and announced that since we could
not settle the matter among ourselves, he would be forced to decide
for us.

"We will begin with William Husband and count from one to five in
regular order," he said at length. "Every fifth man is to fall out of
line and make immediate preparations for a forced march."

Sidney was standing by my side, and, fearing lest one should be taken
and the other left, I whispered hurriedly to him:

"Move up until you are the fifth from me, and then if one goes the
other will be with him. I would be as sad to leave you behind, as you
would to see me stay in case you drew the lucky number."

He agreed at once, for Sidney was a true comrade in every sense of the
word, and hardly had he taken up a new position when Master Husband
began the count.

My breath came thick and fast as the numbers sounded nearer and
nearer, so fearful was I lest the number should doom me to stay in
camp when glory might be earned, and I had so worked myself into a
fever that when the man standing next beside me spoke the word "four,"
it was almost impossible for me to add the next number.

I fell out of line silently, and one of those who had been selected to
remain behind, thinking I was afraid to venture on the enterprise,
whispered eagerly:

"I'll swap my new saddle for your old one, if you'll give me your

"I'd not consent if you threw into the bargain the best horse in the
company," I replied, and an instant later Sidney and I were shaking
hands vigorously in token of delight because of our good fortune.

It can well be supposed that we were not many moments making ready for
the expedition, and when we came to the center of the encampment,
where the lucky ones were assembling, it was learned that Master
Rednap Howell had been selected as the leader of our party.

The only orders Master Hamilton had to give were announced in the
hearing of all. We were to ride toward Salisbury until arriving at the
bank of the Yadkin, which river was to be crossed in order that we
might come upon General Waddel from Cabarras County, thus hoping to
give him the impression that the Regulators were south of him, instead
of in the course taken up by Tryon.

Master Hamilton was good enough to explain that he believed beyond a
peradventure we would soon fight with the governor's forces; but it
was his hope that we might meet them elsewhere than near about our own

A ride of between eighty and ninety miles was before us; but we gave
little heed to the distance, since each yard traversed brought us so
much nearer the enemy, and I venture to say that a more eager, happy
party of men never set out to provoke a battle.

When I say that the Regulators were in sore need of powder, it can be
understood that this venture of ours meant more than the worrying of
General Waddel; we were depending upon him for ammunition with which
to wage battle against Tryon.

In less than an hour from the time when we had been summoned to hear
Master Hamilton's announcement, our company of two hundred were riding
away from the encampment, envied by every man who was forced to remain

Many a time since Governor Tryon gave us the slip at Hillsborough had
we ridden across the country in company; but never before with the
certainty before us that we might measure strength with the oppressors
of the colony if it so pleased us, and this fact it was which put us
in such wondrous spirits.

It was the first opportunity we had had of striking a blow, and we
were determined to give a good account of ourselves, regardless of
the numbers to which we might find ourselves opposed.

We rode at an easy pace, believing there was no urgent need for haste;
but did not draw rein until sunset, when Master Howell gave the word
to halt and unsaddle.

"There is plenty of water and grass here," he said in explanation,
"and the animals need a rest, not having the same spur to exertion as
was given us with the news that Waddel might be where we could get at

Each man carried his share of the provisions, and as soon as the
horses had been cared for, we ate a hearty supper, knowing that many
hours might elapse before another opportunity for satisfying hunger
presented itself.

At the end of two hours we were in the saddle again, and we rode until
near two o'clock in the morning, with but one short halt, when the
company had arrived at the bank of the Yadkin.

Now was come the time when scouts should be sent out lest we come upon
the enemy before gaining possession of the powder, and it was near
daybreak before the march was resumed.

By that time we had learned that General Waddel's force was in
Salisbury, and counting on remaining there until the ammunition train
came up.

Two miles below was a ford where we might cross the river without
swimming the horses, and when the sun showed himself we were headed at
full speed for the road leading from Charlotte to Salisbury, over
which it had been reported that the powder would be sent.

Our horses were well blown; but we had made good time, and the only
thing which might prevent the venture from being a success, was that
General Waddel had already received the ammunition.

"If it turns out that we are too late to intercept the convoy, we must
try conclusions with Waddel," one of our party said when we were
waiting on the west side of the river for our people to get into line,
and, overhearing the remark, Master Howell said emphatically:

"Don't fear that we'll miss of getting our hands on the powder. We'll
have a try for it even though it becomes necessary to face all the men
Tryon has brought with him."

But that we were in an enemy's country our people would have cheered
this statement; but as it was the men contented themselves with
raising their hats to such a leader, and then we rode on, now intent
only on finding a hiding-place where we might remain until scouts had
been sent out to learn the condition of affairs.

Eager though Sidney and I were to come face to face with those who
wore the king's uniform, both were well pleased when the word was
given to halt and make camp under cover. We had ridden nearly four and
twenty hours, and although our hearts were stout for a battle, our
bodies were sadly in need of a rest.

We had halted by the side of the road between Charlotte and Salisbury,
along which the powder must pass if it had not done so already, and on
either side the highway were groves of live oak where five hundred men
and horses might readily have found a hiding-place.

Five were told off as sentinels to give the alarm when the ammunition
train came in sight, and five more were detailed to scout in the
direction of Charlotte to make certain the powder was yet to the south
of our hiding-place.

Neither Sidney nor I envied those who were obliged to remain in the
saddle yet longer. If, four and twenty hours previous, there had been
an opportunity to act as scouts, we two lads would have been willing
to fight for the honor; but now we congratulated each other on the
possibility of gaining a little sleep before the battle was begun.

We tethered our horses near by; placed saddles and bridles where they
might be come at in a hurry, and laid ourselves down in a thicket of
small oaks, falling asleep almost as soon as we touched the ground.

It was sunset when I awakened, and looked about me fearing, by some
unlucky chance, the company had got away without my knowledge; but my
mind was soon set at rest by seeing a score or more of men lounging
near at hand as if discussing some matter of importance.

Without stopping to awaken Sidney, I went toward them, and soon
learned that our journey had not been in vain. The scouts had come in
with the report that the powder and its convoy had not yet arrived at
Charlotte, therefore we had only to wait patiently for the desired

I was also told that Master Howell had stationed guards three miles
down the road, in order that we might have timely warning of the
movements of the train, and there was nothing for us to do but pass
the time as best we might, providing all hands were ready for a quick
jump at the word of command.

When we first halted I was so sore in body from long riding that I
believed four and twenty hours of a rest would not be sufficient to
satisfy me; but within half an hour after awakening and being told
that there was no doubt as to the coming of our game, I was eager to
be in the saddle once more.

Although our sentinels were four miles away, and would come into camp
at their best pace on hearing or seeing the ammunition train, the word
was passed that no man should speak above a whisper, while the horses
were to be guarded closely lest by whinnying they betray our

Then came a most trying time of waiting, when we crouched in the
darkness close by our accouterments that there might be no delay in
laying hands on them immediately the alarm was given, and expecting
each instant to be engaged in deadly conflict.

Sidney and I were side by side, not making any attempt to start a
conversation because our nerves were strung too tightly to admit of
anything like ordinary topics, and I do not remember of passing such
dreary, dismal moments.

One had ample time in which to figure all the chances in favor of his
being killed or wounded, and to speculate upon the probabilities of
success. It seemed as if each moment was ten times its usual length,
while the hours were like entire days.

Once when I believed it must be near morning, and was looking up at
the sky for the first faint light of the coming dawn, I heard Master
Howell say that it yet lacked a quarter of an hour to being midnight,
and then both patience and courage oozed out at my finger ends. The
cold chill of fear ran up and down my spine, and I believe that had
the enemy made his appearance just at that moment, I should have been
forced to fight against an inclination to run away.

It is needless and impossible to try to give any correct story as to
that night when we waited for the enemy, fearing because success was
so necessary to our cause, that, by some blunder or unforeseen
accident, we might fail.

The sun had risen, showing haggard faces amid that thicket of live
oaks, when we heard among the underbrush some distance away, that
crashing which tells of a heavy body trying to force its way through
the foliage.

Every man of us sprang to his feet and held his horse's bridle ready,
when we saw one of the scouts in company with a sentinel.

"The train will be here within an hour!" was the whisper, and even
though the time when we might meet the foe was so far in the future, I
ran with all speed to saddle my steed, exulting and at the same moment



After the first flush of excitement had died away, leaving in its
stead that tremulous calm which is caused by exceeding great courage
or abject fear, we of the Regulation went about our task in proper
order and with due precaution.

It was Sidney who, when I was exultant and excited to the verge of
doing some foolish thing, brought me to a realization of the situation
by saying scornfully:

"I'm beginning to grow ashamed of the Regulators. To see them running
around here as if bereft of reason simply because a rascally
corporal's guard of a convoy is coming this way, one would say they
had never seen service. Is there like to be so much of credit in the
capture of ten or twenty men by a force of two hundred, that each
fellow burns with a desire to be in the front rank?"

For a moment I was ashamed at having shown so much emotion over what
was really nothing more than an incident, and then there came to my
mind the knowledge that this capture meant more to us of the
Regulation than would the taking of a force twice our size, and I said
decidedly, angry with myself for having been disconcerted by Sidney's

"One whose heart is with the cause cannot fail of being excited and
anxious at such a time, no matter how small may be the force with
which we are to contend. It is the idea that the powder is sadly
needed by our people, which causes our company to be unduly excited.
Every man realizes the importance of doing the task well, and, quite
naturally, fears lest it be not performed thoroughly."

Sidney had no reply to make, and I fancy he was somewhat ashamed of
having spoken disparagingly of his companions.

Then the word was passed in a whisper for each man to conceal himself
and his horse as near the edge of the road as possible, remaining
there in readiness to spring out at the first word of command.

A squad of ten was sent a quarter of a mile to the north in order to
intercept any who might succeed in making their way past the main
body, and our preparations were complete.

I understood that the word for the attack would not be given until the
convoy was opposite the center of our line, so that we might
completely encircle it to prevent escape in either direction.

Then came half an hour of suppressed excitement, during which I could
distinctly hear the beating of my own heart, and finally, the rumble
of wheels in the distance, proclaiming the near approach of our prey.

The train consisted of two heavily laden carts convoyed by twenty men,
as I could see when the force was nearly opposite my hiding-place, and
these details had no more than been noted when Master Howell's voice
rang out like a trumpet:

"At them, lads! At them, and make certain none escape you!" To those
we were about to attack it must have seemed as if the thicket itself
suddenly sprang out toward them, and before they had time to draw up
in line ready to receive us, the party was completely surrounded.

I would have been ashamed had there been no show of resistance, for
the convoy was made up of Carolinians, and, whether they were for the
king or the people, it behooved them to display courage.

At the word we could have shot all the little company down, most
likely at the first volley, and in order to save bloodshed Master
Howell cried sharply:

"Surrender, you of the convoy! We are full two hundred strong, and
there is no good reason why you should throw away your lives!"

While one might have counted ten a deep silence, save for the pawing
or stamping of the horses, fell upon all that gathering in the road,
and then the leader of the convoy, having seen that there was no hope
of accomplishing anything by resistance, said curtly:

"We can do no less than obey your order to surrender."

"Lay your arms on the wagons, after having dismounted, and then march
toward the south."

No one spoke while this command was being obeyed until, the men having
marched down the road a dozen yards or more from the hindermost wagon,
Master Howell called upon them to halt.

Then ten men were told off with orders to guard the prisoners, and
when this squad had taken position near the convoy, our leader said in
the tone of one who has already mapped out his course of action:

"You will march your squad well to the westward of Salisbury, and
endeavor to gain our headquarters. Do not take any chances of coming
in contact with Waddel's force, and see to it that not a man escapes.
You may set off at once, gentlemen."

The prisoners were first searched to make certain they had no weapons
concealed about them, and then the little party rode slowly up toward
Salisbury counting on striking into the thicket before coming within
dangerous distance of the town.

When the party had disappeared in the distance, we set about taking
possession of the ammunition.

As a matter of course it was impossible for us to take the wagons with
us, therefore each man was ordered to carry such portion of the powder
as he could strap to his saddle, and we set about the work, the
greater number of us stripping off our outer shirts, which we
converted into bags by tying up the neck and sleeves.

So great was the supply that even when each trooper had all he could
conveniently carry, there yet remained a full third of the whole, and
this we proceeded to destroy by pouring it into the tiny creek which
bordered the western side of the road. Then the horses were
unharnessed and set free from the carts, which we left where they were
in the highway, and our company formed in line once more.

I had supposed that we would be ordered to join the main body of
Regulators; but in this I speedily found myself mistaken, for we rode
directly to the Yadkin River, and crossed it, going immediately into
camp in a grove of live oaks.

Once this had been done Master Howell sent off five men as scouts, and
soon we came to know that this last detachment was gone to spy upon
General Waddel's force.

"Yes," our leader said decidedly in reply to a question from one of
the older men, "I count on attacking the force which is now at
Salisbury. It would be little less than criminal to let slip such an
opportunity as is now before us. Waddel is short of ammunition, now we
have captured his supply, and I'm of the opinion that he will make an
effort to join Tryon, in which case we have him at our mercy. It will
not cause us more than two days in time, and we shall be doing great
service by preventing the union of the forces."

Now indeed were we doing something in aid of the cause, and my heart
leaped high with joy, for it was reasonable to suppose that, in case
our leader accomplished all he had set himself, the main body of the
Regulators could readily take care of Governor Tryon's army.

It was at this time, although we did not come to know of it until
after several days, that Master Rednap Howell showed himself to be a
great leader, inasmuch as he caused to be conveyed to General Waddel,
without trouble or inconvenience to ourselves, that information which
we desired him to have, and the task was performed in this fashion:

Those who had in charge the captured convoy were instructed to allow
one of them to escape, after the party were so far north of Salisbury
that there would be little likelihood of pursuit, and then it was
certain the fugitive would take refuge with Waddel's force.

All this was done in accordance with Master Howell's orders, and thus
it came about that when we were on the easterly bank of the Yadkin,
the general came to the conclusion that his wisest course would be to
join Tryon with the least possible delay, regardless of the fact that
the powder had been lost.

Within twelve hours after we had made a camp in ambush, one of our
spies came hot foot from Salisbury with the word that the king's
forces at that town were making ready for the march. In addition to
this information we learned considerably to our surprise, that
Waddel's men were in a state of disorder nearly approaching mutiny.
With but few exceptions they were members of the militia, and openly
avowed that they would not fight under any consideration; others were
favorably inclined toward the Regulation, and already had many

We were unprepared for such good news; but it did not require much
reflection for Master Howell to hit upon a course of action which
promised success.

Without delay two of our party, the eldest among us, were sent with
all speed under a flag of truce for an interview with the general.
They were instructed to warn the commander to remain where he was, or
retreat to the coast, as might best please him, otherwise we would at
once engage him.

It was only natural Waddel should believe that the entire force of
Regulators was within striking distance, and while his men were so
sadly disorganized he could not well risk an encounter.

We remained in hiding, ready to mount at a moment's notice, and before
our messengers returned one of the scouts came in with the word that
the militia was crossing the river, evidently bent on making at least
one effort to join Tryon.

Five minutes after this information was received we were riding out of
the thicket toward that road which it would be necessary for the
general to take if he counted on meeting the governor, and within two
hours we were in advance of the king's poor soldiers, ready and eager
for an engagement.

It was only natural that Sidney and I should be among those who most
desired to be led against the enemy, for now, the first time in two
years, might we add to whatsoever good reputation we had made as
Regulators, and we put aside the possible danger in the belief that
we would succeed in distinguishing ourselves.

Skirmishers were sent out to learn when the enemy approached, and the
remainder of us waited in anxious expectancy the moment when we might
come face to face with the foe.

In this we were doomed to disappointment, however.

Waddel also had skirmishers in advance, and immediately his men came
in touch with ours they retreated, and soon word was brought that the
entire force was retreating across the river again.

Now began a chase, when our horses were fresh, but handicapped
considerably by the loads of powder they carried, and we were positive
success would be ours whenever we could come within range of the foe.

All evidence of military formation was lost sight of as we forded or
swam our horses across the river, and in less than half an hour we
were among the rear guard; but even this did not satisfy Master
Howell. He believed the time had come when we might make prisoners of
the entire force, and panted for the glory of capturing General Waddel

To effect this fifty of us whose horses were fleetest, and among the
number Sidney and I, were directed to make a detour across the country
in order to strike the enemy in front before he could gain shelter in
Salisbury, holding him there at whatsoever cost until the force was
absolutely surrounded.

How we rode that day! The horses were sent forward at racing speed,
regardless of the danger that they might be foundered by carrying such
a weight, and Sidney and I were among the foremost when we broke cover
directly in advance of the retreating column.

"Look after the general!" Sidney shouted as we pressed on, our horses
running neck and neck. "Now has come the time when we can make names
for ourselves which will not soon be forgotten!"

We could see the leader and his officers plainly, and rode directly
toward them without taking heed as to whether we were followed; but
there yet remained a sufficient number of the men who were loyal to
the king to prevent us from carrying out the plan.

We speedily found ourselves confronted by a squad of twenty or more
who stood bravely in line while their officers rode swiftly away, and
this little party must be attended to before it might be safe to push
on in pursuit of the prize.

We drew back within the shelter of a clump of trees, where we were
joined by a dozen or more of our men, and then began the first real
fight in which I ever took part.

There was no room in my mind for fear. I thought only of what might be
done if we could disperse the party, and I fired and reloaded without
realizing that my one desire was to take human lives.

The militia held their ground well, and both sides were at a
disadvantage because of trying to take aim while in the saddle. With
such marksmen as we had among us that squad of the king's men should
all have been disabled within ten minutes, and yet half an hour
passed without any perceptible advantage on either side.

Three of our men were down, and four of theirs had dismounted or been
knocked out of the saddle; but by such time the general and his
officers had surely succeeded in making good their escape.

From the sounds of firing which came from every direction we knew full
well that all our party was engaged, and the question had just come
into my mind as to whether this force of Waddel's had been as badly
demoralized as we were led to believe, when I heard shouts in the
rear, and a moment later saw Master Howell ride up with eight or ten
men at his back.

"Throw down your arms, and surrender!" he cried to our adversaries.
"The remainder of the command have yielded, and you can do Tryon no
good by holding out longer!"

In a twinkling the men came forward empty-handed, and the fight was
won; but I failed to feel any great elation because of what we had
lost, while Sidney was furious with rage.

"But for their holding out, we two might have captured Waddel with,
perhaps, some of his officers. It is a clear case of cheating, and we
have got the worst of it!"

"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth," I cried laughingly, for my
sorrow was dissipated by Sidney's rage. "We never counted very surely
on capturing the general, and should thank our lucky stars that we
have deprived him of his force, for thus have we weakened Tryon."

He would not be consoled for the lost opportunity of distinguishing
himself, and for a moment I really believed he was on the point of
striking the disarmed men who had baffled his desires.

There was no reason why we should not feel proud of our work. We had
captured the ammunition, which was the first task set us, and, in
addition held as prisoners a force which Governor Tryon counted on as
adding to his own. Surely we had done well, and if the remainder of
the Regulators could do as much, then was it certain Tryon would be
driven in shame from this portion of the colony.

Now it was that we had more prisoners than were convenient. As a
matter of fact it would be impossible to feed them during the march to
the Alamance where we counted on meeting our companions-in-arms, to
say nothing of providing them with horses, for not more than half the
number were mounted, therefore Master Howell called for a consultation
in which all hands were to take part.

It was not necessary to spend very much breath over the question as to
whether we would try to hold them captives. They must be disposed of
in some manner, and without loss of time; but yet our duty was to make
certain they did not join Tryon.

After hearing such propositions as our people had to make, and some of
them were wild indeed, Master Howell raised the question as to whether
it would not be wise to release them on parole?

This was the solution to the whole matter, and if he had so stated it
at first, we would have decided within a few seconds.

On being consulted, our prisoners declared that they would readily
take an oath not to bear arms against us until after having been
properly exchanged, and all seemed pleased at being able to get out of
the scrape so easily.

The men were formed in a hollow square, and each was required to
repeat the oath Master Howell administered, after which we parted
company, the paroled force going toward Charlotte, and we riding at
full speed toward the Alamance, for it was to be expected that Tryon
would go there to seek us.

I would it were possible for me to set down all the details of our
movements; but the yarn has already been spun out to such a length
that much which might, possibly, be interesting to strangers must be

It suffices to say that within three days after this encounter with
General Waddel's force, we of the two hundred which had been sent out
to gather in a supply of ammunition rejoined the main body of
Regulators, and much rejoicing was there in camp after our story had
been told.

It was as if each of us had done something remarkable, to judge of
the treatment we received, and certain it was that those who had been
weak-kneed regarding our chances of a successful opposition to Tryon,
straightway became convinced that we could force him to retreat when
the two forces came together.

During our absence it had been decided by our leaders that we would
await the enemy on the banks of the Alamance, and there was no good
reason to change the plan after we returned. We now had plenty of
powder, and the women from roundabout melted lead into bullets until
our wants were fully supplied.

We had already fought and captured a full third of the force Governor
Tryon counted on bringing with him, and this was done by only two
hundred of our people, therefore it seemed positive that when we met
them, a thousand Regulators against no more than fifteen hundred
militia and a few companies of soldiers, the result would be in our

Twenty men or more were sent out as scouts and the remainder of our
company lounged idly in camp, when, as a matter of fact, every moment
should have been spent in fortifying the position.

More than one of our people suggested that it would be a good plan to
throw up breastworks, but our leaders gave no heed to the suggestion,
and for the reason that they were suddenly plunged into distress not
unmixed with dismay.

Our old commander, the man upon whom all relied at such a time, was
taken with a most serious illness, and it was believed that his days
on this earth were few.

It was necessary to carry the old gentleman to a dwelling, and half a
dozen of our best men undertook this duty, leaving the command of the
force to Herman Husband, that member of the force in which we placed
implicit confidence.

As I look back upon that time, when all were confident regarding the
future, it seems indeed strange that we should have selected as Master
Hamilton's successor the only member of our company who would play us

It was as if the gallant Master Hamilton had but just been carried
away from us, when the scouts came in with the news that Tryon was
approaching, having heard of General Waddel's defeat.

Then it was we leaned upon Master Husband, that man for whom we had
risked our lives three several times in order that he might be spared
imprisonment, and learned in the end that he was no more than a broken



It was as if we had no sooner learned that Tryon was near at hand than
he came almost upon us.

Just at sunset on the 13th day of May in the year of grace 1771, our
scouts came in with the report that the governor's force was encamped
hardly more than six miles away, and was sending out skirmishers to
ascertain our position.

Master Husband's opinion was, and now he had become the leader we
learned that he could be very obstinate once his mind was made up,
that our scouts should be drawn in lest, peradventure, some of them be

Thus it was we remained all in ignorance of what the enemy might be
doing until, at about eight o'clock in the evening, our sentinels
captured two of the king's men who were out reconnoitering, bringing
them into camp.

These were none other than Colonel John Ashe and Captain John Walker.

Now has come the moment when I must write of what we did to disgrace
the Regulation, because surely it was a disgrace for civilized men
claiming to be at war, to act as did the Regulators through the
advice, or, I might almost say, the commands of, Master Husband.

As we learned afterward, our new leader fancied he had cause for
enmity against the two gentlemen whom our sentinels had taken
prisoners, and within half an hour after they were brought into camp,
he ordered both tied to a tree and severely whipped.

It was an outrage which cannot be excused, however partial one may
feel toward that organization which first nourished the spirit of
liberty among the American people. Yet it was done, and to Master
Husband must be given the blame.

In the Carolinas Colonel Ashe and Captain Walker were looked upon as
worthy gentlemen even by those whose politics were of a different
complexion, and that we should flog them like slaves, nay, even in a
more brutal fashion than one would whip his own chattels, was dire

Had Master Husband delayed even ten minutes after making the proposal
for punishment, our people would have cried out against the outrage;
but it seemed almost as if the Regulators were paralyzed by the mere
suggestion of such an act as had never before disgraced them, and a
few of the meaner spirits carried the order into execution while the
remainder of the company were literally stupefied.

This was the first wrong done, so far as I knew, by the Regulation,
and nineteen out of every twenty condemned it as brutal and

When the punishment was concluded, however, kindly hands took charge
of the unfortunate gentlemen, and if words could have soothed their
wounds, then of a verity had they been made whole while yet the sting
of the lash was upon their flesh.

Master Husband knew full well that he was censured by the majority of
the company, and it was as if from that moment he took the entire
command into his hands, determined that we should have no voice in
whatsoever was done.

Thus it was that that brave company of gentlemen followed blindly a
leader who was very shortly to prove himself a rank coward, raising no
mutiny as would have been done under other circumstances, because we
were facing the enemy and bickerings might bring about a disaster.

When some of us would have accompanied Colonel Ashe and Captain Walker
to Tryon's camp under a flag of truce, Master Husband sternly forbade
any such procedure, and declared that he should hold the gentlemen
prisoners until after the enemy had retreated, or been whipped in

Next morning, instead of sending out skirmishers, our leader appeared
to think that a written notice from him would be sufficient to
disperse the king's men, and accordingly he wrote what it pleased him
to call a "proclamation," setting forth the fact that the governor had
come contrary to law into counties over which he had abandoned
control, and demanded that he should send answer within four hours
explaining when it would please him to retreat.

We had among us the Reverend David Caldwell of Orange, that good
minister who followed such of his congregation as belonged to the
Regulation, knowing full well a battle was imminent, and believing he
might acceptably serve God and his fellow-man at the time when death
was about to seize upon some of us.

Master Caldwell had been among those who spoke the loudest against
Master Husband's brutality of the previous evening; but now he
accepted the position of messenger in the hope that he might prevail
upon Tryon to draw off and thus avert bloodshed.

The good man disdained to use a flag of truce; but set off trusting
that his cloth would protect him, as indeed it did, for he was
speedily given audience with the enemy.

Governor Tryon received the clergyman graciously; but excused himself
from making a reply to the ill-advised proclamation until noon of the
following day, because, as he said, until then there would not be time
to discuss the matter with such of his officers as were entitled to

However, he gave the parson the most positive assurance that no blood
should be shed unless the Regulators began the battle; in other words,
he bound himself to keep his force in leash unless we made an
unprovoked assault.

When Master Caldwell came within our lines again, he had a long
interview with Master Husband, the substance of which none of us knew
thoroughly; but it was whispered among the more knowing, that the
parson had insisted on liberty being given to the two prisoners, and
our leader had flatly refused.

Master Howell and a dozen others who had shared the command of the
company with General Hamilton, were loud in their complaints because
Master Husband refused to send out scouts, and, finally, after no
little bickerings which would have swelled into open mutiny but for
the situation of affairs, they left the bigoted man to himself, and
sent secretly a dozen or more to spy upon the enemy.

By this means we knew that during the night Governor Tryon's force
had crossed the Alamance and marched silently along the Salisbury road
until within half a mile of our camp, where they were formed in battle
order by daybreak.

All this we of the rank and file knew; but our leader remained in
ignorance, and had no suspicion that Parson Caldwell paid a second
visit to the governor before breakfast was served our men, receiving
from him another promise that blood would not be shed by his force
without provocation; but now, having gained the position he desired,
Tryon demanded as the price of peace, that the Regulation should
surrender unconditionally.

This he charged Master Caldwell to repeat to our leader, and when
Master Husband heard it he showed himself, for a short time, as one
who understood somewhat of warfare, for as soon as might be thereafter
he marched us down the road until we were halted within three hundred
yards of the governor's army.

Now did it appear as if the battle was to be fought by words rather
than bullets, for Tryon sent forward under flag of truce a magistrate
from Orange County, who read a lot of high-sounding words to the
effect that we were ordered by the chief ruler of the colony to
disperse within an hour.

Then was come the time when we should have set spurs to our horses and
dashed into the king's lines, for of a verity could we have put them
in full flight within ten minutes; but Master Husband, beginning to
feel the influence of that cowardly fit which so beset him shortly
afterward, ordered Robert Thompson, a gentleman well known among us
all as being of a most peaceful and amiable disposition but prone at
all times to speak his mind, to go into the governor's lines and learn
what arrangements might be made for the settlement of the difficulty.

This command was given secretly, else would Master Thompson never have
been allowed to go forth on such an errand when we were prepared and
eager to measure strength with the enemy.

However, he went, and we remained in the saddle mystified, wondering
why any parley should be held, until we saw our comrade halt in front
of the governor himself.

Now this which I am to about to relate was afterward told me by a
member of Tryon's force. As a matter of course all that we of the
Regulation could see was the movements of the men.

When Master Thompson advanced to the governor, he was told abruptly,
and without even the ordinary civility which is due from one gentleman
to another, to make his way to the rear as a prisoner.

Indignant because of such perfidy, he told the brute Tryon some very
plain truths regarding his actions in the Carolinas, and wheeled about
to return to our lines.

My eyes were upon him at the moment, and Sidney had expressed his
satisfaction at seeing Master Thompson coming toward us in such a
resolute manner, when I saw Tryon seize a musket from the hands of a
militiaman, and shoot the Regulator dead.

At the same instant it was as if the governor realized what he had
done, for the smoke of the musket had hardly more than cleared away
before we saw a flag of truce advance; but the murder of Robert
Thompson was sufficient to arouse us all, and an hundred rifles were
immediately emptied upon the bearer of the flag.

Then it was that we would have advanced without waiting for orders
from Master Husband, but that Parson Caldwell rode swiftly up and down
the line between us and the enemy, imploring the Regulators to
disperse rather than bring civil war upon the colony.

We could not fire upon a man like Master Caldwell, neither was it in
our hearts to ride him down, as we must have done had a charge been
made at that moment; but Tryon, losing his senses through rage, as it
seemed to me, gave the word for the militia to fire.

Not a man obeyed the order.

Parson Caldwell continued to urge that we have forbearance, and again
Tryon called out for his men to shoot, this time addressing the
artillery as well as militia.

It was as if both sides were listening to the entreaties of the
clergyman, when the bully Tryon, maddened with rage, rose in his
stirrups as he shouted frantically:

"Fire! Fire on them or on me!"

This order was given to the entire force, and the men obeyed.

How many of our people fell I know not. On the instant there came
before my eyes a red mist; my brain swam, and I only know that there
was but one desire in my heart, which was to kill--to kill the brute
who had neither the instincts of a man nor the courage of a woman!

We Regulators fired rapidly as we could load and discharge our pieces,
and then suddenly Sidney shouted:

"Come forward, lads! Spur your horses hard and we may take those
cannon, for the men who work them act faint-hearted! Follow me!"

An hundred or more of us responded to this call. Riding forward at
full speed we literally swept the cannoneers from their pieces, and
this done, after many lives had paid the price, we saw that man to
whom General Hamilton had entrusted the command of the gallant
Regulators, ride like a coward down the road a short distance, and
then into the thicket.

Verily I believe there was not one among us save he who would have
shown the white feather even in order to save his own life, and we
cursed him--while we battled against the enemy we cursed him!

What followed I know not of my own knowledge. It was as if a fever had
seized upon me, and when reason returned Sidney and I were in the jail
at Hillsborough, where we remained many a long, dreary month before
finally being allowed to return to our homes under parole.

Here is an account as I have seen it set down by another who wrote at
a later day, when all the facts were known, and in his words shall be
told the remainder of the distressing story which began so bravely,
and ended in shame and in death. [3] "Some young men among the
Regulators rushed forward and took possession of the cannons. They did
not know how to manage them, and soon abandoned them. The military
now fired with vigor, and the Regulators fell back to a ledge of
rocks on the verge of a ravine, not, however, until their ammunition
was exhausted.

"Nine of the Regulators and twenty-seven of the militia fell in that
conflict, and a great number on both sides were wounded. Tryon, in his
report, said, 'The loss of our army in killed, wounded, and missing
amounted to about sixty men.'

"The admitted excesses of the Regulators afford no excuse for the
cruelty of Tryon after the battle on the Alamance. With the implacable
spirit of revenge, he spent his wrath upon his prisoners, and some of
his acts were worthy only of a barbarian. He exacted an oath of
allegiance from the people; levied contributions of provisions;
chastised those who dared to offend him; and at Hillsborough he
offered a large reward for the bodies of Husband and other Regulators,
'dead or alive.'

"At Hillsborough he held a court-martial for the trial of his
prisoners. Twelve were condemned to suffer death; six were reprieved,
and the others were hung. His thirst for revenge satiated, Tryon
returned to his palace at Newbern, where he remained but a short time,
having been called to the administration of affairs in the province of
New York.

"The movements of the Regulators and the result of the battle on the
Alamance form an important episode in the history of our Revolution.
Their resistance arose from oppressions more personal and real than
those which aroused the people of New England. It was not wholly the
abstract idea of freedom for which they contended; their strife
consisted of efforts to relieve themselves of actual burdens. While
the tea-duty was but a 'pepper-corn tribute,' imposing no real burden
upon the industry of the people in New England, extortion in every
form, and not to be evaded, was eating out the substance of the
working men in North Carolina. Implied despotism armed the New
Englanders; actual despotism panoplied the Carolinians. Each were
equally patriotic, and deserve our reverent gratitude. The defeat on
the Alamance did not break the spirit of the patriots; and many,
determined no longer to suffer the oppressions of extortioners,
abandoned their homes, with their wives and children, went beyond the
mountains, and began settlements in the fertile valleys of the


[3] Lossing's "Field Book of the Revolution."


The Boy Spies Series

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boys are prominent characters being selected. They are the romance of
history, vigorously told, with careful fidelity to picturing the home
life, and accurate in every particular.




A story of the part they took in its defence.

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A boy's story of Wheeling Creek in 1777.

By James Otis.


A story of two boys at the siege of Boston.

By James Otis.


A story of two Ohio boys in the War of 1812.

By James Otis.


The story of how two boys joined the Continental Army.

By James Otis.


The story of two young spies under Commodore Barney.

By James Otis.


The story of how the boys assisted the Carolina Patriots to drive the
British from that State.

By James Otis.


The story of General Marion and his young spies.

By James Otis.


The story of how the spies helped General Lafayette in the Siege of

By James Otis.


The story of how the young spies helped the Continental Army at Valley

By James Otis.


The story of the part they took in its brave defence.

By William P. Chipman.


The story of how the young spies prevented the capture of General

By James Otis.

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A series of excellent stories of adventure on sea and land, selected
from the works of popular writers; each volume designed for boys'




A story of the burning of the British schooner Gaspee in 1772.

By William P. Chipman.


A story of the Whale Boat Navy of 1776.

By James Otis.


Being the experience of three boys serving under Israel Putnam in

By James Otis.


A boy's story of the siege of Vicksburg.

By James Otis.


A boy's story of a cruise with the Great Commodore in 1776.

By James Otis.


The story of two boys and their adventures in the War of 1812.

By James Otis.


A boy's story of privateering in 1780.

By James Otis.


A story of three boys who took command of the schooner "The Laughing
Mary," the first vessel of the American Navy.

By James Otis.


The story of a remarkable cruise with the Sloop of War "Providence"
and the Frigate "Alfred."

By William P. Chipman.


The story of how the navy boys helped to capture the British Cutter
"Margaretta," in 1775.

By William P. Chipman.


The adventures of two Yankee Middies with the first cruise of an
American Squadron in 1775.

By William P. Chipman.


The adventures of two boys who sailed with the great Admiral in his
discovery of America.

By Frederick A. Ober.

The Boy Allies

(Registered in the United States Patent Office)

With the Navy


Handsome Cloth Binding, Price 60 Cents per Volume

Frank Chadwick and Jack Templeton, young American lads, meet each
other in an unusual way soon after the declaration of war.
Circumstances place them on board the British cruiser "The Sylph" and
from there on, they share adventures with the sailors of the Allies.
Ensign Robert L. Drake, the author, is an experienced naval officer,
and he describes admirably the many exciting adventures of the two

THE BOY ALLIES ON THE NORTH SEA PATROL; or, Striking the First Blow at
the German Fleet.

THE BOY ALLIES UNDER TWO FLAGS; or, Sweeping the Enemy from the Seas.

Great War.

Submarine D-16.

THE BOY ALLIES UNDER THE SEA; or, The Vanishing Submarine.

THE BOY ALLIES IN THE BALTIC; or, Through Fields of Ice to Aid the

THE BOY ALLIES AT JUTLAND; or, The Greatest Naval Battle of History.

Army Across the Atlantic.

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The Boy Allies With

(Registered in the United States Patent Office)

the Army


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In this series we follow the fortunes of two American lads unable to
leave Europe after war is declared. They meet the soldiers of the
Allies, and decide to cast their lot with them. Their experiences and
escapes are many, and furnish plenty of the good, healthy action that
every boy loves.

THE BOY ALLIES AT LIEGE; or, Through Lines of Steel.

THE BOY ALLIES ON THE FIRING LINE; or, Twelve Days Battle Along the


THE BOY ALLIES IN THE TRENCHES; or, Midst Shot and Shell Along the

THE BOY ALLIES IN GREAT PERIL; or, With the Italian Army in the Alps.


THE BOY ALLIES ON THE SOMME; or, Courage and Bravery Rewarded.

THE BOY ALLIES AT VERDUN; or, Saving France from the Enemy.

Troops to the Firing Line.

THE BOY ALLIES WITH HAIG IN FLANDERS; or, The Fighting Canadians of
Vimy Ridge.


THE BOY ALLIES WITH THE GREAT ADVANCE; or, Driving the Enemy Through
France and Belgium.

THE BOY ALLIES WITH MARSHAL FOCH; or, The Closing Days of the Great
World War.

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THE BOY SCOUTS' FIRST CAMP FIRE; or, Scouting with the Silver Fox

THE BOY SCOUTS IN THE BLUE RIDGE; or, Marooned Among the Moonshiners.

THE BOY SCOUTS ON THE TRAIL; or, Scouting through the Big Game

THE BOY SCOUTS IN THE MAIN WOODS; or, The New Test for the Silver Fox


THE BOY SCOUTS IN THE ROCKIES; or, The Secret of the Hidden Silver

THE BOY SCOUTS ON STURGEON ISLAND; or, Marooned Among the Game Fish

THE BOY SCOUTS DOWN IN DIXIE; or, The Strange Secret of Alligator

THE BOY SCOUTS AT THE BATTLE OF SARATOGA. A story of Burgoyne's defeat
in 1777.

in a Flood.

Hostile Armies.

THE BOY SCOUTS AFOOT IN FRANCE; or, With the Red Cross Corps at the

Our Young Aeroplane Scout Series

(Registered in the United States Patent Office)


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A series of stories of two American boy aviators in the great European
war zone. The fascinating life in mid-air is thrillingly described.
The boys have many exciting adventures, and the narratives of their
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Fortunes of the Trouvilles.


OUR YOUNG AEROPLANE SCOUTS IN RUSSIA; or, Lost on the Frozen Steppes.

OUR YOUNG AEROPLANE SCOUTS IN TURKEY; or, Bringing the Light to Yusef.

Sky Patrol.

OUR YOUNG AEROPLANE SCOUTS IN ITALY; or, Flying with the War Eagles of
the Alps.

OUR YOUNG AEROPLANE SCOUTS AT VERDUN; or, Driving Armored Meteors Over
Flaming Battle Fronts.

of Courage.

the Cause of the Allies.

Over the Sea for the Stars and Stripes.

Allied Battleplanes.

Smashing the Hindenburg Line.



Handsomely Bound in Cloth

Full Library Size--

CAPTAIN JACK LORIMER; or, The Young Athlete of Millvale High.

Jack Lorimer is a fine example of the all-around American high-school
boy. His fondness for clean, honest sport of all kinds will strike a
chord of sympathy among athletic youths.

JACK LORIMER'S CHAMPIONS; or, Sports on Land and Lake.

There is a lively story woven in with the athletic achievements, which
are all right, since the book has been O.K.'d by Chadwick, the Nestor
of American sporting journalism.

JACK LORIMER'S HOLIDAYS; or, Millvale High in Camp.

It would be well not to put this book into a boy's hands until the
chores are finished, otherwise they might be neglected.

JACK LORIMER'S SUBSTITUTE; or, The Acting Captain of the Team.

On the sporting side, the book takes up football, wrestling,
tobogganing. There is a good deal of fun in this book and plenty of

JACK LORIMER, FRESHMAN; or, From Millvale High to Exmouth.

Jack and some friends he makes crowd innumerable happenings into an
exciting freshman year at one of the leading Eastern colleges. The
book is typical of the American college boy's life, and there is a
lively story, interwoven with feats on the gridiron, hockey,
basketball and other clean, honest sports for which Jack Lorimer

The Big Five Motorcycle Boys Series


It is doubtful whether a more entertaining lot of boys ever before
appeared in a story than the "Big Five," who figure in the pages of
these volumes. From cover to cover the reader will be thrilled and
delighted with the accounts of their many adventures.

in France.

Through Belgium.

War Zone.

Bank Robbers.

the Saw Palmetto Crackers.

Walnut Ridge.

Message from the Air.

The Broncho Rider Boys Series


A series of stirring stories for boys, breathing the adventurous
spirit that lives in the wide plains and lofty mountain ranges of the
great West. These tales will delight every lad who loves to read of
pleasing adventure in the open; yet at the same time the most careful
parent need not hesitate to place them in the hands of the boy.

Honor of the Stars and Stripes.

When trouble breaks out between this country and Mexico, the boys are
eager to join the American troops under General Funston. Their
attempts to reach Vera Cruz are fraught with danger, but after many
difficulties, they manage to reach the trouble zone, where their real
adventures begin.

Saddle and Lariat.

In this story the reader makes the acquaintance of three devoted
chums. The book begins in rapid action, and there is "something doing"
up to the very time you lay it down.

Copper Lode.

The Broncho Rider Boys find themselves impelled to make a brave fight
against heavy odds, in order to retain possession of a valuable mine
that is claimed by some of their relatives. They meet with numerous
strange and thrilling perils and every wideawake boy will be pleased
to learn how the boys finally managed to outwit their enemies.

the Zuni Medicine Man.

Once more the tried and true comrades of camp and trail are in the
saddle. In the strangest possible way they are drawn into a series of
exciting happenings among the Zuni Indians. Certainly no lad will lay
this book down, save with regret.

Prairie Stampede.

The three prairie pards finally find a chance to visit the Wyoming
ranch belonging to Adrian, but managed for him by an unscrupulous
relative. Of course, they become entangled in a maze of adventurous
doings while in the Northern cattle country. How the Broncho Rider
Boys carried themselves through this nerve-testing period makes
intensely interesting reading.

the Rio Grande.

In this volume, the Broncho Rider Boys get mixed up in the Mexican
troubles, and become acquainted with General Villa. In their efforts
to prevent smuggling across the border, they naturally make many
enemies, but finally succeed in their mission.

The Boy Chums Series

By Wilmer M. Ely

In this series of remarkable stories are described the adventures of
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THE BOY CHUMS IN MYSTERY LAND; or, Charlie West and Walter Hazard
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THE BOY CHUMS ON INDIAN RIVER; or, The Boy Partners of the Schooner

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THE BOY CHUMS IN THE FOREST; or, Hunting for Plume Birds in the
Florida Everglades.

THE BOY CHUMS' PERILOUS CRUISE; or, Searching for Wreckage on the
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THE BOY CHUMS IN THE GULF OF MEXICO; or, A Dangerous Cruise with the
Greek Spongers.

of the Fishing Fleet.

THE BOY CHUMS IN THE FLORIDA JUNGLE; or, Charlie West and Walter
Hazard with the Seminole Indians.

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A carefully selected series of books for girls, written by popular
authors. These are charming stories for young girls, well told and
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motives, vigorous action, and character painting will please all girl




=ALL ABOARD. A Story For Girls.= By Fanny E. Newberry.

=ALMOST A GENIUS. A Story For Girls.= By Adelaide L. Rouse.

=ANNICE WYNKOOP, Artist. Story of a Country Girl.= By Adelaide L. Rouse.

=BUBBLES. A Girl's Story.= By Fannie E. Newberry.

=COMRADES.= By Fannie E. Newberry.

=DEANE GIRLS, THE. A Home Story.= By Adelaide L. Rouse.


=JOYCE'S INVESTMENTS. A Story For Girls.= By Fannie E. Newberry.

=MELLICENT RAYMOND. A Story For Girls.= By Fannie E. Newberry.

=MISS ASHTON'S NEW PUPIL. A School Girl's Story.= By Mrs. S. S. Robbins.

=NOT FOR PROFIT. A Story For Girls.= By Fannie E. Newberry.

=ODD ONE, THE. A Story For Girls.= By Fannie E. Newberry.

=SARA, A PRINCESS. A Story For Girls.= By Fannie E. Newberry.

The Girl Chum's Series



A carefully selected series of books for girls, written by popular
authors. These are charming stories for young girls, well told and
full of interest. Their simplicity, tenderness, healthy, interesting
motives, vigorous action, and character painting will please all girl



=BENHURST, CLUB, THE.= By Howe Benning.


=BILLOW PRAIRIE. A Story of Life in the Great West.= By Joy Allison.

=DUXBERRY DOINGS. A New England Story.= By Caroline B. Le Row.

=FUSSBUDGET'S FOLKS. A Story For Young Girls.= By Anna F. Burnham.

=HAPPY DISCIPLINE, A.= By Elizabeth Cummings.

=JOLLY TEN, THE; and Their Year of Stories.= By Agnes Carr Sage.

=KATIE ROBERTSON. A Girl's Story of Factory Life.= By M. E. Winslow.

=LONELY HILL. A Story For Girls.= By M. L. Thornton-Wilder.

=MAJORIBANKS. A Girl's Story.= By Elvirton Wright.

=MISS CHARITY'S HOUSE.= By Howe Benning.

=MISS ELLIOT'S GIRLS. A Story For Young Girls.= By Mary Spring Corning.

=MISS MALCOLM'S TEN. A Story For Girls.= By Margaret E. Winslow.

=ONE GIRL'S WAY OUT.= By Howe Benning.

=PEN'S VENTURE.= By Elvirton Wright.

=RUTH PRENTICE. A Story For Girls.= By Marion Thorne.

=THREE YEARS AT GLENWOOD. A Story of School Life.= By M. E. Winslow.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by
the publishers. A. L. BURT COMPANY, 114-120 East 23d Street. New York

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