The Oregon daily journal. (Portland, Or.) 1902-1972, September 03, 1911, Page 52, Image 52

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A STRONG, hardy. well-favored New Knglander Osorge
Frenttes, come to New York with llotchft from Oen
ral Washington lo General Putnam. On the wharf
oppoalt tbu Brlgantlne Inn. at th foot of Broad street, he
meet, Mr. Dana and hi partner, Mr. Camp. two-Tory mer
chants; a!o Ml Peggy Camp, a niece of the merchant "
an exeeadlngly handeome demael.
A Mr. Camp, a choleric eld gentleman, gets into a dlPujs
with a lot of roughs. tJeorge rescues him and whips tha 'j
of tha wharf, to the evident admiration of Mtae Camp. Tn'
affray la ended by the arrival of Lieutenant Herbert cm
a nephew of the merchant, and a detail of colonial SQllr";
Washington himself is expected soon In New Yoti. "
the dispatches Uecrge carries, relating to his plana, are l"r""
lore of great Importance. The young man refuses to aTr
them to Major Hyde, a cousin of Miss Camp, who i in charge
of Putnam- headqi artsrs. and Insist on seeing the ""''
himself. The latter lakes a ejraat liking to tha young ttlMr.
and dismisses ii tin with an Injunction to hold btmaelt
readiness for Important duty.- ;
After leaving general Putnam. George goes to th Kins
Arm, the chief hoetelry of New York at that time. or
tier. To hi table there comes a big, boorish fallow, who . i
evidently aerklng a quarrel. Near them, at another table, are
Mr. camp. Mr. Dana and Lieutenant Herbert Camp, and it
transpire that Mr. Camp is trying to take hi nephew
from the colonial cause, a threat of disinheritance ''"
Ineffectual In this, and the strange bully, who haa bn
v ertly listening te the conversation, gives' no further trouoie
wLrVYhe meal I over and the Camp party hagleft. 9r
overhear the bully, named Blade, tell Major Hyde and
derson. a fnpplsli dragoon, that there was no necessity to
pick a quarrel with young Camp, a h seemed likely A
disinherited. any.n w becauso of hi Stubbornness- TM inter
eoce was that Hyde would get Camp's money without deaung
violently with the lieutenant.
. Next. Q.-oige is summtned by General Putnam, who ass'fns
liln to ferret out the spies In the colonial army, as many
men have taken service under Washington merely to keep tn
British informed of what Is going pn. H la to go to th
Wheat ,heaf Inn. where Mr. Can, wanted l fnaet nlfo. .
On the evening of the day following George goes 1 0 t no
Wheat Shear Inn. on the outskirts of th city, Ip the fl rac
tion of Harlem heights. H learns that It is a rendesvOvH i of
colonials whose loyalty to Washington's army 1 , l .t!Jl
doubt. Not long after arriving at th Inn he meati Uautermnt
Herbert Camp, with whom he has quit a conversation. This
lead him to believe that the lieutenant haa thought tha
better of losing an inheritance of at sty thousand I pounds and
has resolved to cast his lot wtth the British. Whl they are
talking, a pv, disguised as a peddler, enters and question
Geerpe a t what hlp brought hlmto New Tors, i hey
outrklv ream an understanding, which, however. IS rudely
interrupted by the entrance of a flle of colonial aoldisra.
Premiss aud Crnp are bound by th colonials, whlls-tne
supposi-d pedilU-r. with th trength of a llnh. threw off his
captor bounds fhiough a window and ecape. WblU they
are being Interrogated there la a scuffle, and than, to tnejr
amasemcnt, P.ggy Camp Is brought In. Hh refuses to M
plain whv he has been spying about the Inn; but the colonial
soldiers quickly sea that the men have recognised her and
redouble thi-lr error! to penetrate the mystery.
Meanwhile George finds that his bonds hsvt partly sllppjd,
and while I he trio are being led from th room ha free MS
arms, throvV back the soldiers, pitches awsy their Stacked
aims and the three escape through a dark hall. Tby reach
New York In surety on horses belonging to the colonials, IB
other mounts havlust been stampeded to prevent quick pur
ault. Neither George nor Peggy understands how the other
came to be at the suspected inn; and the next day, in ora, r
to prevent betraying the girl and her brother, tha young New
Knglandur secures his release from the secret mission, General
Putnam, shrewdly hinting that the reason Is well understood.
goon afterward George meets Nnt Brewster, a companion
In arm, who hss teen assigned to the tssk of ferre ting out
th traitors. After several months he discovers a plot to blow
up the colonial magaslnes, and with George s aid .starts to
run down th conspirators. Oenrgn discovers that one of tne
chief-plottwrs 1 upposed to be the former Vjolonlal lieutenant.
Her8omeCt!mPe" afterward George visits the Camps, where
Hyda t staying' When all are aupnoaed to have retired for
tha night, several suspicious things attract his attention and
he overhear. Peggy saying that he knows he. I. after Infor ma
tlon that will harm her brother, and that she will eee that ne
can do nothing. George then goes to his room, where tie
knows ire- Is being "shadowed" by means of an old portrait
with removable eve. While he is pretending to doie. a pistol
barrel is Inserted into one of th eyeholes and a bullet 'hli)t
by hi head. He ay nothing next morning, and when he
return ;to his duties he ngge in the htlle of Wnc Island.
In which Washington is finally driven from New lorti.
i s - ;
Describes How George and His Friend Start Upon
a Dangerous Mission
W'JKwwsti"st 6. y''.-- evtiS? , ,' fc , A'AMevMPivn
Tells How Nat Recrossed' the River and How
George Remained Behind
HE next two week were
tilled with memorable
events; they saw the exe
cution of the daring
young schoolmaster, Na.
limn Hale: they witnessed
the thronRlng- of the Brit
ish warships Into the
HinlHon and the landing;
of Clinton's heavy force
on Manhattan Island, at
Kips liay. and also they
saw the massing of
Washington's battered
army upon Harlem
Then began a series of
devptrale p. ventures with
tlreshlps, sallying; purtles
and raids. In which tha
brutal Hessians had a
chance to show their
quality; Fort Washington
waa taken by Howe, and
then began the terrible
retreat across the Jer
seys. CornwalllB, re
lent loss as a bloodhound,
hung upon the trull of the
American army. -t-At New
ark his advance guard en
tered the town an the
American rear was leav
mir It: at Trenton tiie
British readied the bank of tne Delaware only to wee
ftht oampltre of the patriots burning on the opposite side.
New Jersev now fell into a Mtute of iMirur; tha
Hessians overrun everything, f ollowing the example
.of their leaders, thev plundered left and riajht. Nona
escaped them. Tulle suffered as well as patriots;
bouses "protected" hv the sipn manual of Cornwallls
himself were i" ked; women ami children w-ere turned
out Into the winter cold with scarce enough to cover
Ithem. In a spirit of retaliation, the American troops
-on the west of the lelaware also entered into tne
-same of pUlace, for miles and miles they looted the
thomes of all suspected of being In sympathy with the
.British. This grew in extent until Washington posted
'"most severe penalties for all engaged In plunder.
- The knowledne of what was going on in New
Jersey excited the most bitter hatred against the
Hessian. To the Americans, both In and out of the
fanny, theHe (lei-man mercenaries- were little better
than vavages. mm those civilians upon the west hank
lived In mortal dread of the day that they should
cross the river.
Hut through It all Washington mid those nearest
him remained calm, they watched and waited, and all
the time they strove to get their forces Into shape to
.gtrlke a Mow that would be at once quick arid deadly.
The dei'ds of the Hessians brought horror to all
;.who heard of Ihem; hut to none did the measure seem
o full us to (ieorge I'rentlss. When some fresh
enormity readied his ears, there always flashed upon
,,i tin.- of a stately manor house In the pos-
gestdnri of these lawless ruffians; he saw also a whlte
Ifaced girl and a hdpiess old man, and none to lift
.a hand In their defense.
"Should vim ni l i loss the Jerseys, lad." old Camp
"had snld, "don't '.'ill io hunt us out. The Kims, we
lcnll the place, an I It s less than a dozen miles out of
'the town of Trenton"
r. A doirn miles: It must. then, be In the very heart
i of tho section where all was pillaging and burning
and hanging.
1 Brewster iind Cooper begun to notice the eagerness
'with which George sought news from across the
t river.
"It lg something more than common," said young;
Cooper. "Kvcry chance lie nets lie p riding along the
"hore: at nlnht nothing seems mi attractive to him as
'the firelights on the Jersey side. He watches them
by the hour."
"He says nothing, though," replied Nat Hrewster,
"and I've gotten the Impression that whatever it la
that's on his mind, it's something he wants to keepvto
" Jilmself. 8o I've never asked him any questions."
f One afternoon, only a few days after the-above
' words were spoken, rtrewster, grave fared and quiet,
t opened the door of the hut which the three had
j erected for shelter.
. - "Therea work to do," he stated, as he sat down
before the fire.
"Is there ever anything else?" asked the round
faced Ben Cooper. "It's chopping or digging for some.
or it's riding and running: '"for- others. No one need
, aret rust)' for lack of exercise here."
Hut George, watching his friend s face closely, saw
, that something Important was under way.
- "What Is It?" he asked.
1 "Volunteers are demanded to cross the river and
r learn the enemies' strength."
"Toil are one?" and George sprang up, knocking
. ever tha atool upon which ho had been sitting, and
ratming the crasy little hut to vibrate with his eager
ness. Nat nodded. Cieorge dashed open the door and was
i- away. The winter blast swept in and the blaze
roared up the rude chimney. R.n closed the door, his
Hps puckered in a whistle.
"There, now," said he. "What did I tell you?
t-omeihlnsr's over there," and he Jerked his head In the
rllrertton of the river, "that's on tils mind. The only
wonder to me Is that he hasn't crossed be foreknow,
orders or no orders."
In about half an hour OeorR reappeared.
"f. go with ynu." ha said, his eyes alight and with
mors apring in his step than they ha seen for some
time. Their arms hung upon tha walj, and Instantly
he took down his pistol and began putting It In order.
"Wo start at onoe," he continued. "And as I happen
to know a -place where we can cross without much
danger of being seen, midnight should find us within
the lines of the enemy."
"There is no need to hurry matters," answered
Nat, quietly. ' Great speed at a time Ilka this la as like
to bring disaster as anything else. Take time: more
than bustle will be required to land us within the
British llnes-ln safety.-'
George had great respect for Brewster's shrewd
ness and resourcefulness, so holding his eagerness In
chiM-k. he aat down and began recharging the pistol.
"You've been thinking the mazier over?" said ha, to
The latter noddd. .
"We have no password," said he slowly, "and even
if we had I doubt If it would be of much service with
the Hessian. They seem to disregard everything but
their own desires. Like as not we'd each have a
musket ball or bayonet planted in our Bodies if we
encountered ihem In any other way tharKene which
pleased therh."
George looked up from tha pistol.
"!o you kndw of anything that would be pleasant
to Ihem?"
"I think so.'' said Nat. "Vou see, the countryside
all about Trenton Is being drawn upon for provisions
for the troops."
A set look came Into young Prentiss' nouth; his eyes
grew hard In the firelight.
"Go on," he said.
"If we can cross the river tonight and make our
way some distance into the Interior, perhaps we can
ilient with the teams that bring in the forage. Every
American to be found is impressed to help In this
work. All we need do Is to- show surselves, and as the
brlngers of food w-'U pass muster."
"That Is a good plan enough," said
acuept it as It stands."
"You would accept any plan that promised to land
you across tho Delaware," was Ben Cooper's thought
as ho listened and watched. "And you'd not question
any of them."
And so It transpired that as the early December
evening fell two loutish-looking fellows made their
way toward the Delaware at a point some, distance
beyond the American lines. The wind that swept up
from the deep, dark river was ley and damp; for all
their greatcoats and muffling neckerchiefs, they shivered
and swung their arms for warmth.
Once upon the bank, they paused. George, Unable
to see more than a few feet about him, tried to sense
his position.
"There should be a tree somewhere near here," he
told Brewster, "and under the bank there is an old '
ferry that must have floated down before the Ice
began to form."
"Perhaps it has floated further," suggested Nat.
"No; you see, I thought it might be useful and I
made It fast."
They moved carefully along the bank: at length
the tree, gaunt and dead looking in the splitting cold,
could be dimly seen. And frosen fast in a lltMe runlet
they found the boat. ,
. It required more than an hour's hard work to
free It from tho Ice; then, with the heavy sweep, they
smashed the formation that extended out from the
bank, and were afloat. The point was some dozen
miles above Trenton, and the Ictf floes were thick and
running freely with the tide. But they boldly ven
tured out Into the darkness, the sweeps pulling
stoutly, and now and then used to pole off that float
ing Ice which Impeded their progress. The outpost
fires of the enemy, which gleamed like red sparks
from the eastern shore, served as a guide to them;
"without these they would have been -lost among the
floes. For well on to two hours they strained and
tugged, and at length the heavy bow of the ferry
crushed through the thin Ice on the Jersey side, and
they scrambled ashore.
The tldn had carried them well down toward the
Hessian outposts, and turning their, backs upon these'
they trudged their way along a snowy roau that rati
northeast. As the night went on it grew colder and
colder; more snow began to fall; they could feel its
wet softness upon their faces. From far off in tha
distance a bell struck the hour mournfully.
"Midnight," said Nat.
"And getting colder every moment," . answered
The white of the snow pressed in upon them from
the further darkness, and the way grew more and
more difficult. suddenly Hrewster felt his friend
caught tha
his feet crunching the snow; then they
growling undertone of angry words.
"6o there's two of them," whispered Nat.
"No, he'a talking to himself."
Nearer came the light besrer; and they could now
distinguish what he said.
"That I should live to see the day," he mumbled.
"That I should live to see an English king send such
a horde of rascally dugs down upon his people. Dogs,
I say? They'd shame the name of aogs;
would not own them.
a. decent
off to the
clutch his arm.
"Nat,"' said George. T'Look there."
A faint point of light appeared from
. "H'b moving," spoke Nat.
"More than likely a lanthorn," said young Prentiss
They, paused and watched the glimmer of light
little by little It drew nearer. The. bearer of the
lanthorn apparently had great trouble In making his
way along, for his pace was very slow.
"He's plowing through the drifts," said George.
"It must be open fields In the direction from which
he's comhsg."
But at last the stranger struck the road and his
pace increased; In a very little time they could hear
Grumbling and stamping In the snow, be passed them
unnoticed; a stout flgure In a heavy cloak and with a
broad woolen scarf bound over his hat, adown his
ears and knotted under his chn. A little distant"
awav they saw the light halt; then came the rattling
of a' lock and chain, and the , door of a low barnlike
structure creaked open. The man sat his lamp uown
within, stamped the snow from his feet and then
closed the door. At once George began making his
way toward the .building, but Nat took him by the
"What are you going to do?'
"I want to make sura of something."
Carefully they crept toward the building, but be
'fore they reached it there came a low knocking.
"Who's there?'' came the voice of the man who had
borne the lanthorn. "Who comes knocking at thrs hour?"
"Open the door. It is X?"
At once the door reopened: a second and slighter
form flitted In, and again it closed.
"Htay here," whispered George to his friend. "I
shall only be gone a short time. Keep a lookout."
"Very well," replied Brewster.
George stole awav toward the building; it proved
to be a log structure, chinked with clay; Its one win
dow had been broken, apparently, for some board,
were roughlv nailed-((cross the opening and the seams
between stuffed with rags. It required but a moment
for him to work an opening In one of the seams large
enough to enable him to obtain a view of tho In-
terlThere was a low, rudely raftered celling, -through
which protruded wisps of rye straw; the room was
Ailed with smoke; tnnre was no chimney lo carry it
off and the fire which burned In the center, threw It
directly into the rdom. The first thing that Oeorge
heard was a prolonged fit of coughing; he could dimly
make out two forms through the blue haze, but not
enough to be sure. However, in a manner, his sus
picions proved to be correct
"To think." said the voice of the man with the
lanthorn "that I should ever be brought to this.
Strangled In a hovel not fit for beasts. But I'll be even
with them or my name Is not Camp."
"It was he, then," breathed the watcher softly.
There came the flapping of a broad hat within and
the smoke began to thin. .
"Is this the only building left on the place?" asked
""The1 bnly one. Every other Is burned, to the
r"Tne rascals:" said the second voice.
"Rascals! They are the most murderous villains
unhanged! They stop at nothing. I held the Protec
tion' of Lord Cornwallls before, their eV's-there was
his signature and seal as plain as day-but I may as
well have shown It to a drove of mad bulls.
"Is there no way of punishing them? t.
"None. Their own commanders alone have authority
over them; and they are as bad as the rank and file.
There was a- pause; that hat flapped again for a mo
ment and the smoke eddied and whirled. . .,
"It's fortunate," exclaimed Merchant Camp, amidst
another fit of coughing, "that you got your sister reggy
aWWrbertalagaln!" breathed the one outside, for the
first time realising to whom the second voice belonged.
"It wouldn't have done to have left her habouta
wltih the country overrun by those wretches of Hessians. .
"You placed her with the Hawksworths?
"Ye. And she Is perfectly safe there,, for Hawks
worth has some British army friends quartered with i
them-a colonel arid S lieutenant general.
"Good," said Mr. Camp, vastly pleased. ' 8Je a safe
enough, then. But, I'll say now that I trembled for her
yetrday. y both remalrie(1
In Njfew York "
"f fancied that T left there to escape persecution,"
said the old Tory, bitterly. "But I must say that the
rebels were as mild as children whn compared with
these who should be our friends."
"They tried to be Just, at all events," said Herbert
Cm-Yes. yeBt j Bee that now. though T didn't then. But
1 sen many things now. ss a matter of fact, that I didn't
see then. I once thought Mr. Washington a great villain;
but now I consider him a brave and honest and able
gentleman one who has clung to his beliefs In the face
of defeat;. and one who will continue to so cling until,
the last." i
"I have often heard you express admiration- for.1
tenacity of purpose and for the man who had the cour
age of his convictions." said Hefhert. ."And yet you were
willing enough to have me change my coat."
"My boy," and there was a curious little break In
the old man's voice, "the day that you threw down tha
sword yon had taken up for tha colonies was one of tha
bttterest in my life,"
Grumbling and stamping in the snow, he passed
them unnoticed." -
There cam an exclamation from Herbert; but he
spoke no worde.
"When I threatened to strike you from my will,"
continued the old Tory, "I did It through motives of
pride. I wanted to ahow my friends how strong the
family character was; I desired to convince them as to
Its riiggedness and firmness and truth. I said to you In
the presence of all: 'Give up your principles or give up
my money.' I expeoted to see you throw the Insult back
Inlo my teeth uncle and all as 1 was. But you shamed
me: oil caused my pride to rail in ruins about ine. You
took me at my word. You traded your honor' for money."
"Uncle!" Oeorge heard a scraping br feet which told
him that Herbert Camp had sprung up; and there was a
ring In his voice that thrilled. "Do you mean to say that
you'd have been better pleased had I held to the Ameri
can cause?"
"t do. Btrange as It may seem, I do say it. -You
would have shown that you were honest and steadfast,
even though I thought you wrong. As It Is"
Ha did not complete the sentence and for a space
nothing mofe was said. Then Herbert spoke once more.
"Suppose," said he, "suppose that 1 should tell you
that 1 bud not been false to my principles?"
"Suppose I should tell you that I still cherish the
cause of the colonies as I do my own life?"
"Do you meun this?" And the old man's voice rang
"I do."
"So then," and there waa bitter anger In the tones,
"you pretended? You tried to humbug me? You were
willing to stoop to a mean deception in order that you
might retain my good will?"
"That," sternly, "Is perhaps worse than the other
thing of which I thought you guilty. Out of your own
mouth you have proved yourself a designing"
But here the young man stopped him.
"Walt," said he; "uncle, wait! Before you say any
thing more listen to me for a moment. It la true that I
have deceived you."
"But not for the mean reason that you suspeot. True,
It pleased me to be named your heir; true, also, that
I was disappointed when you made your ultimatum. I
will not try to hide It. And I seemed to fall into your
desires, as I have said; but not because I hoped to gain
your fortune by it. No, there was another reason."
' "What other reason could you have?"
"Give me a moment and I will try to make all plain
to you. It had come to my ears that a plot was on foot
the some that eventually resulted in the hanging of
Hlckey, one of General Washington's guard. When you
made your proposal it Instantly occurred lo me that if I
seemed to fall In with your views, I might be able to
learn what was going forward."
"A renegade, you know. Is always the most eager to
proceed against his former friends, and I hoped that this
,; woula Kln me credit among my country's foes
Believe me, uncle. It hurt ma to deceive you. I longed to
tell you plainly that I was only acting a part; In the face
of galnlng-as I thought only your anger, I wanted to
tell you. But I dared not. I knew that you a king's
man, would warn those concerned. . "
4,-"And tnen ther wa PsIbTY!" There was a moan in
the young man s volce;vand 'Oeorge Prentiss, recalling
his sullen (ace and heavy, brooding brows, was surprised
You know, uncle, what we always thought of each other'
1 on know that we were Inseparable from childhood And
she is " WhBt " r,lnt frle,1a t0 colonial liberty
Here George Just smothered an 'astonished outcry
f'Kgy Camp a patriot! A patriot! And he had thought
her a Toryl Why, If that were the case-! mougnc
ut ne had no time for. thought. Herbert
speaking, and lie could not lose a word.
. Ana when she heard of my supposed change of front
she did not say s word, but the way sl;e looked at me I
shall never forget. Contempt was the weakest thing In it
-scorn was there, and pity also. Kor a moment J felt
that 1 could not Btand It... I felt that I must tell her the
truth. But I did not. An unguarded word from her to
my enemies, 'a look, even, might ruin my chances for
"Success?" There was a note of Interrogation In
Merchant Camp'a vole. "And were you successful?"
"No." The regret in the young man's voice was un
doubted. "Misfortune dogged me constantly. At first I
was reported as a traitor to General Putnam and was
quietly arrested. But I convinced him of my Innocence,
explained to him my plan and was liberated that I might
carry It out."
"And what was this plan?",
."It was to gain the good will of Governor Tryon, In
the first place; but this 1 could -never do the way to him'
'was blocked by the very persons whom I suspected."
."And who were they?"
At this moment George felt a hand isld upon his
was still
arm; he turned, the heavy pistol leaping from his belt.
Nat Brewster's voice whispered in his ear:.
Soma one's coming this way."
Cautiously they drew back from the ihut," and when
they had reached a safe distance, they paused, knee deep
In the snow, and listened.
Whips were snapping, Morses were floundering through'
the drifts, men's voices were crying out sharply. -
"A provision train," said Nat. "A provision train;
bound for Trenton, aa sura as you live'" -vv
ND it proved that Nat was right. A half-dozen
clumsy-looking sleighs,-drawn by farm horses'
came lumbering slowly, along the road; In the
, light of th lanthorns that swung upon tha
stds of each the two young men saw that the vehicles.
wer Dlled hlarh wlHh aanka of flour hsrrela nf aalted
- meat, bacon, hams and slaughtered hogs and sheep.
. Tlje drivers clump-clumped along doggedly by the
side of their horses; at-th front and rear of the train
rode a party of horseman.
"Thar is the opportunity you spoke of across the
river, Just aa though It had been made to your order,"
said Oeorge lowly. "But how are we -going to take
advantage of it?"
',: .."Let ua follow on behind. They maystop some
where, and w can happen along-- two honest and
rather thick-witted fellows that w are and who
knows but that something might turn, up?"
Allowing- the sleighs and the horsemen to proceed
a certain dlstancj, they fell in behind and trudged In
their tracks. George's mind was full of what ha had
just heard; but try as he might, he could not reconcile
them wfth tha facts as he knew. them, f .
'"On thing -alone1 convicts him and shows me con
clusively that his tale was merely an Invention,"
reasoned the young New Englander. "and that la the
letter ojf the British governor Tryon to the Tory
' mayor of New York, i, In that Tryon recommended this
very young 'man to the mayor aa one to be trusted
one who had served him before and would again. And
yet he has Just told his uncle that he attributed the
non-success of his 'plan' to the fact that he could
rtever gain Tryon's confidence."
Hera he waa aware that Nat had halted, and. so
.drew up beside htm.
"They have stopped," said Brewster.- "Now Is out
chance. Remember, now, you are a thick-headed lout
willing to work and willing to take kicks and cuflk
tor your pay." v
Adopting a gait In character, they shambled on and
Into the light of the sleigh lanthorns. The train had
I ... .4 KAeA.A a .n.nU .. I .. . . 9 ln, ...... T-1.
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drivers were struggling to draw their sleighs up to
the side of this, but the drifts were deep and the
horses sullenly refused Uo exert themselves. -
The officer In command of the guard flew Into a
rage and, brandishing his riding whip, shouted:
"Pigs! Have you no brains? You must first a way
make. Come, now! Shall I stand for you here la
the cold?"
The arlvers, who were apparently farmers of con
sequence, Impressed by the Hessians, muttered among
themselves rebelliously. And It was here that the
t two rough figures came up from the rear, seized
shovels from the sleighs and fell to on the drifts.
"Ach! das tss gut!" approved the German officer.
"Here men are who can work."
In a very short time the sleighs were through the
drifts and the soldiers were thronging the Inn, drink
ing hot drinks, smoking wooden pipes and talking In
rbelr thick native dialect. In about an hour they wera
' ready to start once more' upon the cold road to Tren
ton. But as they filed out and mounted, the two sup
posed country bumpkins bent low over the blaze upon
the hearth and seemed content to remain where they
were. The leader of the Hessians espied them, how
ever, and his heavy lash snapped about their ears.
"Out with you:" he cried. "Shall we Hesse men
Into the cold go and you two pigs stay by the Are?"
"But," protested Nat In a dull sort of way, "we
are going to stop here for the night."
"Ounder und blitz!" exclaimed the officer, "shall I
tell you again! Out with you, and be quick! Such as
you may needed be before we are far gone on our
8o out the two darted, dodging the lash, and took
up places beside the sleighs, still making a pretense
of proteating, and then away they went toward
Trenton. The snow fell thickly and steadily, the road
grew more and more difficult; at length, at daybreak,
they sighted the town, and an hour later they were
unloading the stores.
This once finished, the two young men had little
difficulty In slipping away; and then began their work
of observing the enemies' position, numbers and gen
eral frame of mind. Some days passed, days of hard
ship and hard usage. With their rough dress, their
, unkempt heads of hair and grimy faces and hands.
I t"hey were the butts of the brutal mercenaries that
filled the town. They were forced to do all sorts of
menial and laborious work; but as this permitted
them to gain entrance st points where Information
was to be had, they fell In with the demands of the
Ilessiana readily enough. Little by little they gath
ered and treasured the kernels of the facts that would
be of use to Washington; one by one their keen glances
picked out the weak points of the enomy.
To th British and the Hessians the American
army was a dispirited and broken crew of raga
muffins. They knew how lo run and dodge, that was
all.' At Trenton, all across the Jerseys and at New
York careless confidence was supreme. Howe was
quartered at Manhattan for the winter; his troop3
were negligently Stretched from Brunswick to the
Oelaware. Three regiments of Hessians under Colonel
Bahl occupied Trenton and the towns nearby, and the
general conduct of these filled the two spjes with
That iron discipline that has ever marked the Ger
man army, and which had been the particular charac
teristic of the Hessians since landing tn America, had
now relaxed. They held Washington In contempt.
When one of the veteran officers suggested the erec
tion of earthworks, Colonel Hah! laughed uproar
iously. "Earthworks for those rats across tho liver! Achl
you are Joking!" was what he said. "In a little time
there will be Toe where there now Is -water; then we
will cross over and at them with the bayonet."
This attitude of their commander had been taken
up by the men; they gave little thought to the enemy:
being comfortable and having more than enough food
waa of vastly greater interest.
Cornwallls had secured leave and was at New York
about to take ship for England; Grant, who was in
charge of the noble earl's division, thought almost as
meanly of the colonists as did Rah I.
All these things became known to the two eager
eyed young men and more. They had been In the town
perilous a week, when one arternoori Brewster said:
"There Is nothing more of value to be learned,
Suppose we try to get across the river tonight.
They stood at a point Just above Trenton where
tney naa tne stream in view, put were wen out o.
alirht of the guards.
"There are no boats to be had,", said young Pren
"I tested the Ice last night, almost opposite this
point," said Nat. "It was strong enough to bear a
man's 'weight then; and it's been freezing hard ever
"Perhaps It would not bear two even now," sug
gested George.
"I had thought of that. We had better go one at a
time. Then should an accident happen one, the other
would still have a chance to get the information to
camp In safety." .
For a moment George was silent; then with a hand
upon his friend's shoulder, he said:
"Do you mind venturing first? I have excellent
reasons for asking hls of you."
"As well first as last."
"If you get across without harm, ,as I hope you
will, 1 mean to; remain here for a little longer," spoke
"Remain!" There "was astonishment In the other's
voice, "But why? We have learned all we can hope
to learn."
"The matter Is a private one," returned George.
"Some time I will explain all, but not now."
Nothing more was said by Nat; of course, he wSs
puzzled by his friend's resolution; but as George's
manner said a,s plainly as words tvat he did not care to
be questioned ne was the last one In the world to
endeavor to learn more.
And that night they again sought, the same spot;
the sky was high and starry, but there was no moon:
the river looked like a great snow-covered field of
Ce'"Just light enough for me to see and not enough
for them lo see me," said Nat.
"I don't think you are going to have much trouble
in making the passage. saia nis rnenn. "The c
looks firm enough to support a troop of dragoons."
"Well, here's for It; and I trust that you are right."
They clasped hands tightly.
Don't forget the signal that's to tell me that you
sre safely across a fire upon the hilltop just abov
th,r,I'll light It a soon as I arrive.''
"And I'll watch here for It until midnight. If I
don't see It by that time -I'll be aure that something
has happened you and will make the attempt myself."
"Ooodby," said Nat ,
A dark form flitted down to the river's edge and
stspped fearlessly upon the ice; then It headed for
tha Pennsylvania shore and was soon lost to view..
The night was cold snd still; George could hear the
crunching of his friend's shoes In the frozen snow for
aome time after1 he had lost sight of him. But after
a little, even that ceased; he heard a clock strike 9
and then 10 from a tower In the towh; then followed
what aeemed ages of waiting1.. The watcher trembled
with th cold; his feet ware numbed; his hands were '
useless. Just as 11 boomed out, mournfully and far off,
there waa a faint flare from a knoll -across the river;
then It mounted to a ruddy blase and George gave a
. sigh of relief.
"He's safe," saidhe. "Ssfe! And now I can turn
my hand to what 1 have to do of mi; own." .
V'.; -'