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“But that devil Stark has taken Simpson difficult than he at first supposed. He bad under his wing,” said another of the com- been stationed at Medford, where he had pany, “and it might be dangerous to med collected a small band of volunteers; but dle with any of his property."
when the resolution was made to attack the “The foul fiend take Stark and all he British from Bunker's hill, he was sent for favors !” said Morton.
in haste, and in a short time was on his “ You may consign him to his infernal way, endeavoring to increase his numbers majesty and all his troop, if you please, as he went. But the people in general but that will not avail while the ringleaders were too much terrified at tho idea of opof this revolt are alive and active. The posing the immense armies of England, head of the serpent must be crushed, and which had so long tyrannized over them with that speedily. Come, come, Morton, no impunity. more speechifying, but be up and doing. But we are leaving our young hero in The letter says that the rebels are to move rather a disagreeable situation-cursing his toward Charlestown heights ; there we must folly, and maddened at the thought of being meet them. Let him who wishes for pro- made a prisoner at such a moment. Night motion be prepared to deserve it."
was drawing near, and a heavy cloud rested In the mean time the party in Boston on the hills, which he could plainly see from were separating to join their several com- the windows of his solitary apartment. All panies. The elder Palmer had been ap- the company he had left below had dispointed Brigadier General, and his son persed, and the calls for lights in different Major.
parts of the house were the only sounds that "That was a dreadful night,” says the reached his ears. Too much excited to rewife of the latter, in a journal kept until main quiet, he paced the floor back and her death, which occurred in 1838. “My forth. The window was too high to attempt father, my husband, and six brothers, all leav- an escape in that direction. At the door ing me at once, perhaps never to return. stood the armed sentinel. There was no That day Mr. Warren, who had been made hope of release save through means menGeneral, dined with us, and while at dinner tioned in the letter he had received so myssaid to me, Come, my little girl, drink ateriously. It was now eight o'clock in the glass of wine with me for the last time, for evening. “Oh, sister !" he wrote, in a I am going upon the hill to-morrow, and I letter from which, as well as several others, shall never come off! My family were the author has been favored with extracts,) removed to Medford. The next day I rose "the agony of those few hours cannot be very early, and could hear the cannon from described ! What was to be the result of Bunker's hill, and see the smoke of burning my imprudence? To think that my first Charlestown. I hastened to Watertown to act on joining the patriots should have been hear the news. General Warren's servant so rash and imprudent! Why did I not met me in front of our house, and seizing my inquire more about my companions before I horse's head, (for I was in a light chaise,) trusted them? And what could there have he exclaimed, 'Oh, missee, missee ! the been in the letter to have caused such severdebils hab killed my master!' and the ity toward me? From that time to this I tears streamed down his swarthy face.” have never been able to ascertain." Thus was his presentiment true.
" What are you about there, youngster ?" But we anticipate, and trust our readers asked the sentinel, as he watched the movewill make allowances for this disconnected ments of master Dick, and saw him at work narrative, as it is rather a collection of facts hammering a nail into one of the window han an imaginative tale.
sills. Major Stark had found his task more “Why, this plaguy blind won't stay shut," replied the boy, “and I am trying to fix a off at full speed, he encountered a body of fastenin', sir. If it disturbs you I will stop a- men'moving along the road, and headed by hammering, though the blinds do slam con- the man he most wished, yet feared, to enfounded hard when the wind blows, and we counter—Major, now Colonel Stark. No was afeared the noise might disturb Mr. time was allowed for explanation. It was Palmer, who makes a dre'ful fuss if we rattle now nine o'clock. Lights blazed from every a door.”
window, men were running to and fro, “Get along, you young scamp, and bring some armed; others, uncertain what to do, me a light.”
yet dreading the destruction of their prop“Yes, sir.” Then aside to Douglas : " The erty if they took any active part, contented rope is fixed. I will not be long away. In the themselves with watching the motions of dark you can slide down it, sir, and nobody the more daring, willing to reap the benefits will see you. There's a man at the bottom of a struggle in which they were too cowto hold on.
You must get away in the ardly to take a part. On sped Douglas, dark, and while I'm gone for a light, or not heeding nothing, caring for nothing, but to at all.”
reach Boston, and join the band of desperate “ Freedom when hope was lost! O joy- spirits among whom he had enrolled himful moment! Now spirits of darkness be- self. If challenged on the way, he replied friend me!" And, seizing the end of the not but still spurred on, heedless of a stray rope, Douglas cautiously let himself down shot which was now and then fired upon from the window, and before the boy him. His horse, covered with foam, at returned with a light, the prisoner had length stopped before the door of Mr. effected his escape. Under the window he Palmer's house. The old housekeeper, who found a man holding his horse, who, at sight was bustling about in the hall, fretting at of his master, exhibited every sign of delight. every thing and every body, was almost
“Stop not a moment, sir," said the man, overthrown by the impetuous youth, so “or you will be pursued. Mr. Simpson has eager was he to obtain an audience with fed your horse. Turn to the right. There's those he expected to meet. a terrible muster in the village. Take keer " Why, bless me, sir, what is the matyou're not shot down without warning. I ter?” exclaimed Prudence. “ You come in don't see what on airth possesses everybody, as if you were skeered out of your sinses. but they're all running about like mad. John The men folks are gone long ago, and Mrs. Brown has been working in his shop three Palmer and the girls are crying dreadful bad, days and nights, too, fixing the guns. for they don't know nothing at all what is There's going to be some rumpus
to become of them; and Miss Paine and soon."
Miss Mary are making shot bags, and the “Shoot them down !" exclaimed a voice house is all topsy turvy." from the window above.
“ Is General Putnam gone ?" asked Dou"O Lor! O Lor! Gallop away, sir; glas, stopping, and in hopes to put an end you aint got a minute to lose. Never mind to the old lady's chat. me; I'll sneak ahind the bar'l. They'll “ Gone! yes, indeed, I guess he has, and never know who helped ye to get clear.”
the old gentleman and Mr. Joseph, too, and Douglas waited until the firing ceased; the Mr. Hunts, and the dear good Dr. for, although the assailants aimed their sbot Warren, and mercy knows if they'll ever in the dark, and knew not whether it took come back again; and this very day the effect, he thought that prudence was the dear soul asked arter my rheumatiz, and gin better part of valor, and remained under me a plaster. If you want to see Mrs. shelter of the house until a favorable mo- Palmer or Miss Mary, sir, I'll call 'em, ment offered itself for escape, when, dashing though they be takin' on so."
“No, no," said Douglas, “I will not in and the whole artillery of the city, were trude upon them at such a moment. Give i pointed against that feeble structure. Still my respects, and tell them I will do all in the work went on. A meadow lay beneath my power to defend those so dear to them. the hill, and to prevent the enemy from Good-bye, Mrs. Chase. I hope we shall all crossing it, Putnam ordered his men to meet again alive and well to taste your build a rough fence of sticks and hay, which brown bread and gooseberry wine.” was done with incredible rapidity.
“Well, he is a nice young feller," said | “The break of day presented a scene Prudence, gazing after him as he rode off; which, for daring and firmness, could never " and I shouldn't wonder if he was to come be surpassed-one thousand inexperienced a-courting Miss Mary, that is, if he isn't militia, in the attire of their various avocakilled, which would be dreadful, as he is so tions, without discipline, almost without artilhandsome.”
lery and bayonets, scantily supplied with ammunition, and wholly destitute of provisions,
defying the power of the formidable British CHAPTER VII.
feet and army, determined to achieve the Ere the hour of ten had struck, dark liberty of their soil, or moisten that soil with forms were seen gathering together silently, their blood.” and they gradually increased in number, Douglas stood upon that hill with feelings moving on in one direction, and, as if by difficult to describe. Far as the eye could simultaneous agreement, forming a dense reach extended the veteran troops of Engbody at the foot of Breed's hill. There was land, men with whom his ancestors had no noise of approaching battle, no trumpet served, subjects of the King whom his sounded to call them to the fight, no glitter- | father reverenced, advancing in one solid ing armor gave brilliancy to that array. | column to the destruction of a handful of Called from the plough, the forge, the work- men with whom he had cast his own forshop, without preparation-scarcely allow- tunes, and in whose breasts he knew and ing themselves a morsel of food to strengthen felt there burned a spirit that all the united them in the approaching conflict—ill pro- | forces of England could not subdue. vided with ammunition—what encourage- Yet there was not a single wish or ment was there for them to press on with such thought rising in his soul to exchange his daring recklessness in the face of a British hazardous situation, even if the proudest ship of war, with its dazzling phalanx of station in that brilliant array had been disciplined soldiers, well armed and equipped, offered him in exchange. Brigadier Genecrowded upon deck, ready at any momentral Palmer and his brave band were to pour forth their heavy fire upon that little stationed to the left of the inclosure, Presband ?
cott in the centre, and Putnam and his At midnight the summit of the hill was division on the right. All the preparations reached, and officers and men united in for the encounter were made without noise, preparing it for defense. Their simple fort the men acting not as mere machines in was soon erected, to the astonishment of the their leaders’ hands, but as if the whole enemy, who could scarcely believe that such responsibility of the coming battle was to daring defiance would be flung in their very rest upon them individually. A sign was teeth.
sufficient to remind them of their duty; and And now thousands were collecting on so eager were they for the conflict that the the roofs of houses, and along the shore, officers could hardly restrain their impetuwatching with breathless interest the rising | osity. The first fire drove back the dense of that dark redoubt. Meantime the ene-column with dreadful slaughter; the second my's ships of war, the floating batteries, was equally successful. Putnam, encouraged
by this success, shouted aloud, as he rushed advancing column, and yet again did the forward. “Now, my men,” said he, “look dense phalanx press forward. Meantime, well to your primiug, powder is scarce. Major Stark lay with his few men behind John Brown, you are too lavish of your the fence of rails and hay. General Gage, ammunition. Ha! what's this?” as they as he approached the spot, was asked stumbled over a dead body in a gaudy if he thought the rebels behind there would scarlet uniform; and as the General stooped stand fire.
stand fire. “Yes," said he, “if one John to examine it, he exclaimed, while a smile Stark is thero, they will.” And John Stark passed over his features, “I should know was there, and well did he justify the appelthat face and figure! So this is the end of lation of “brave,” which he had received. the gay ruffled popinjay who strutted about None dare approach that barrier while John Boston in his borrowed feathers, devouring Stark and his men lay behind it. Yet on others' substance, and living at the expense pressed the dense column of British, undisof honest men. But a few nights ago he mayed by the fire they met, and at last the disputed my right to seat myself at table Americans had exhausted their supply of with royal officers of noble blood, and powder, and were obliged to rest when the sneered at the rough old farmer, whose victory seemed certain. A supply of amhands, embrowned with toil, were not con- munition at that critical moment would sidered worthy to touch the same dish have enabled them to drive off their enemy which his snowy digits had appropriated; with immense slaughter ; but no such assist . and while he drank his unpaid-for wine, ance was rendered, and at last the brave called upon the despised farmer for a toast leaders of that band of patriots were obliged from his glass of water.”
to issue their orders for retreat. 6
"And did you give it to him ?” asked Captain Knowlton and his men, who had Douglas, while many voices repeated the been exposed to the hottest of the fire, were words.
the first to retreat. Nature never formed "Did I? Yes, boys, I did."
a braver man than this same Captain “ And what was it ?” inquired a hundred Knowlton; but his ammunition had failed, voices.
and left as he was to the mercy of the “I did, and it was this : Better is the enemy, he had no alternative. His frail poor that walketh in his integrity, than be defense was fast giving way. The bay bad that is perverse in his lips, and is fool.'' already kindied in more than one place, and
The shouts that rent the air were un- a few moments might witness the conheeded by the blunt old General. “My
"My flagration of the whole, and leave them to boys," said he, “ Jack Stark is below there, the mercy of the enemy. Douglas and his defending himself behind that frail breast- little band were stationed between the top work of hay. He cannot hold out long in
of the hill and the meadow. Theirs was a such a situation. Look well at the sword-perilous position. The advancing column belts of the enemy; you have one chance swept down their ranks with their destrucagainst fifty; now, fire away!” And the loud tive fire, while above their heads the dense report of a thousand muskets was heard, volumes of smoke prevented their seeing the while the dense column advancing toward real danger to which they were exposed. that feeble structure retreated, leaving heaps
But the roaring cannon,
" the death-shots of dead upon the side of the hill; but flying thick and fast," the groans of the receiving reinforcements, they again returned dying, the loud shouts of pursuer and to the scene of action. Again did that pursued, were not the only horrors of that destructive fire level the front ranks of the day. In the midst the heavy sound of a
bell rang through the heated atmosphere, * Proverbs xix, 1.
and soon another and another followed in
succession, until it seemed as if the vindic- again and pursued his course, * while tive spirit of man had roused all the ele | Douglas, evading the party in pursuit, made ments into strife! A moment after, and good his escape ; and seeing that he was massive columns of black smoke surged up too late to be of service to General Palmer, to the clouds, enveloping every object in a who was already retreating, Douglas found death-like shroud, creeping up the tall spires himself hurried along in the crowd, scarcely that the night before bad smiled in the knowing whether he was with friend or foe, departing sunbeams, and deadeuing the until he was in the midst of the burning sound of the iron tongues, whose sudden ruins of Charlestown. peal had sent a thrill of horror through The breeze, which had at first wafted the every heart.
vast columns of smoke toward Bunker's “ The British have fired Charlestown !" | hill, and had prevented the aim of the exclaimed Putnam, rushing up to where Americans from taking effect among the Douglas stood, almost worn out with un dense mass of advancing Britons, had now usual exertions.
changed its direction, and blew toward the If it were possible to change the form water. Douglas was enabled to see his way and face of man to that of a demon, such clear through the falling rafters, until he should I describe the appearance of this came in front of a large handsome building, naturally peaceful and good man, as he two stories in height, which was already a uttered these words. And then how he mass of flame. Piles of splendid furniture looked! Clothes, hands, face, were covered | lay tossing about on the ashes-strewn streets, with dust and blood. His eyes seemed i soiled and broken, and scattered about in like burning coals as they glared upon every direction by the brutal soldiery. Douglas, and then back upon the burning Women, clasping their half-famished infants town. His shirt-sleeves were rolled up to to their breast, sat weeping by the roadthe elbow, and his hand grasped the sword side, left alone in their utmost need, for he held with such maddened desperation, their protectors were on that distant bill that it seemed as if the hilt were imbedded fighting for them and freedom. Prevented in the solid flesh.
by the rapacious marauders from saving a “ 'Tis well!” he exclaimed, as again his single article of their property, they could bloodshot eyes roved over the scene of con- only sit and weep over the devastation of flagration. “For every building levelled to their homes, while they gazed with anguished the dust this day, shall the life of a Briton hearts upon armed battalions pressing forbe sacrificed! On, Douglas, to the relief of ward, thousands upon thousands, to the Palmer; he is hard beset. I nust down to destruction of fathers, sons, and brothers. the Neck, and muster more of the tardy militia to our assistance. For if they and Major Brooks and his men do not come
CHAPTER VIII. soon to help us, all is lost !”
“Well, I never, in all my born days, As he rode down the hill, two men,
seed or heard tell of such a horrid day as closely pursued by the foe, rushed past our
this is, never !” exclaimed Prudence Chase, hero. One of them, overcome with exhaustion, fell breathless on the ground.
holding up both her hands. “If the day of
judgment is goin' to be worse than this, I His companion took a biscuit from his
hope I'll die afore it comes. I'm a'most pocket and threw it to him, exclaiming,
deaf with the noise of that 'ere cannon. The “ Jump up, Hunt, jump up and run; the
whole house is turned topsy turvy. There British are just at your heels !"
The famished man seized the biscuit, and * A fact. This man afterwards became a it revived him so far that he started up | Colonel, and fought in the last war.