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Title: The First Capture
       or Hauling Down the Flag of England

Author: Harry Castlemon

Release Date: February 17, 2013 [EBook #42113]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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THE FIRST CAPTURE

OR

Hauling Down the Flag of England

BY HARRY CASTLEMON

Author of "The Gunboat Series," "Houseboat Series," "War Series," Etc., Etc.

ILLUSTRATED

THE SAALFIELD PUBLISHING CO.
NEW YORK AKRON, O. CHICAGO

Copyright, 1900,
BY
THE SAALFIELD PUBLISHING CO.


CONTENTS.

Chapter Page
I. The Battle of Lexington 5
II. Enoch's Home 18
III. Zeke Lewis 30
IV. Zeke's Proposition 42
V. A Rebellion in the Court-room 56
VI. Getting ready for the Fray 69
VII. The Bucket of Yeast 82
VIII. Under Way 95
IX. The "Aggressive" Tory 108
X. A Visit to the Jail 121
XI. A Plan that did not Work 133
XII. Different Opinions 145
XIII. The Cheer 158
XIV. The Chase 171
XV. Hauling down the Flag of England 183
XVI. After the Battle 196
XVII. Zeke's Exhibition of Strength 209
XVIII. What to do with the Schooner 222
XIX. Conclusion 235

THE FIRST CAPTURE


CHAPTER I.

THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON.

It happened on the morning of the 9th day of May. The little village of Machias in the far away colony of Maine was lively enough as far as fishing towns go, but on this particular time it was in a regular turmoil. Men had jumped up leaving their breakfast half eaten and ran out bareheaded to gather round a courier, who, sitting on a horse that had his head down and his flanks heaving as if he were almost exhausted, was telling them of a fight which had occurred just twenty days before. There was nothing to indicate that the men were excited except their pale faces and clenched hands, but the looks they turned upon one another had a volume of meaning in them. What had the messenger to communicate that had incited such a feeling among those who listened to him? He was describing the battle of Lexington which had been fought and won by the patriots on the 19th day of April. We did not have any telegraph in those days, and the only way the people could hold communication with one another was by messengers, mounted on fleet horses, who rode from village to village with the news.

The courier was so impatient to tell what he knew that he could not talk fast enough, but the substance of his story was as follows:

General Gage, the commander of the British troops who were quartered in Boston about this time, had become a tyrant in the eyes of the people. When spring opened he had a force of three thousand five hundred men. Boston was the headquarters of the rebellion. He determined with this force to nip the insurrection in the bud, and his first move was to seize and destroy the stores of the patriots at Concord, a little village located about six miles from Lexington. To carry out this plan he sent forth eight hundred men under the command of Colonel Smith and Major Pitcairn with orders to "seize, burn and otherwise render useless" everything in the shape of munitions of war that they could find. He supposed he went about it secretly, but the ever-vigilant patriots were awake to all his movements. A watch was established at Concord, and everywhere the minute-men were ready with "burnished muskets, fixed bayonets, and well-filled cartouches."

They left Boston about midnight, but it so happened that the minute-men became aware of their expedition almost as soon as it was ready to start. Paul Revere was there and ready to undertake his famous midnight ride. No sooner was the trampling of soldiers heard than two lights were hung in the steeple of Christ Church in Charlestown. Paul Revere saw the lights, and he forthwith mounted his horse and started to carry the warning to every village in Middlesex.[1] The British did not see the beacon fire blazing above them, but marched away silent and still, arresting everybody that came in their way "to prevent the intelligence of their expedition being given."

As the day began to dawn in the east the British reached Lexington, and there they found a company of minute-men gathered on the green. To say that they were amazed at the sight would be putting it very mildly; but Major Pitcairn, after a short consultation with his superior officer, rode up and flourished his sword as if he meant to annihilate the minute-men then and there. His officers followed him and his troops came close behind him in double quick time. But the patriots stood their ground, and the redcoats shouted angrily at them—

"Disperse, you villains! Lay down your arms! Why don't you disperse, you rebels?"

But our men had not come out there to be dispersed by shouting. Utterly ignorant of the ways of civilized warfare they continued to hold their ground, and for a time it looked as though there was going to be bloodshed sure enough. Major Pitcairn did not care to come too close to them but wheeled his horse, discharged his pistol and shouted "Fire!" and the British obeyed him. The front rank fired, and when the smoke cleared away, seven men, the first martyrs of the Revolution, were found weltering in their blood. That was too much for the patriots. They did not suppose that the British were going to shoot them down like dogs. They scattered in every direction, and the redcoats, having nothing further to oppose them, kept on and destroyed the stores.

"Colonel, I don't like the way those rebels retreated," said Major Pitcairn, as he kept a close watch upon the neighboring hills. "They fell back as though they would come again."

"If they were soldiers we would know how to take them," replied Colonel Smith. "But being rebels, we have nothing further to fear from them."

Major Pitcairn, however, kept a bright lookout, and very soon he became uneasy at the rapidity with which the militia increased in numbers. He called the attention of his superior to it, and very shortly the latter gave the order to retreat; and it was not a moment too soon. The whole region flew to arms, for remember that Paul Revere had aroused to vigilance the inmates of every house he came to, and from every one there came a man or boy who was strong enough to handle a rifle, and hurried to the help of his countrymen. It seems that Colonel Smith had more to contend with than mere rebels. It appeared, too, that one who afterwards wrote about that battle was there to have seen it for he tells us in his poem:

"And so through the night rode Paul Revere,
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm—
A cry of defiance and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore.
For, borne on the night-wings of the Past,
Through all our history to the last,
In the hours of our darkness, peril, and need,
Will the people waken to listen, to hear
The hurrying foot-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere."

The minute-men gathered as if by magic. They did not come out and form themselves in line for the purpose of being shot down by the redcoats, but remembering their skulking habits which they learned while fighting the Indians, they hid behind trees, fences, and rocks, in front, flank, and rear, and poured so galling a fire upon the Britishers that if it had not been for reinforcements not one of those eight hundred men would ever have reached the city alive. As one of their officers expressed it: "the militia seemed to have dropped from the clouds," and the flower of that British army must have surrendered to those patriots if relief had not arrived. Their retreat was regarded as a defeat and a flight, and at every corner were heard the jeers and mockings of the people regarding that "great British army at Boston who had been beaten by a flock of Yankees." At any rate the jubilee trumpet was sounded proclaiming "Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." The power of all the royal governors was broken, from Massachusetts to Georgia.

This was the substance of the news which was brought to Machias twenty days after the fight. The people were both astonished and angry—astonished to know that the British soldiers, who had been regarded as invulnerable, could be outdone with American bullets, and angry to learn that so many of their friends[2] should have been killed during their conflict with them.

"This thing has got to be settled now," said Zeke Lewis, turning away and flourishing his fists in the air. "That is too many of our men to go up after fighting those redcoats. Boston has been standing all the brunt of tyranny so far, and we had better join in. Now there's that—"

The man suddenly paused and looked about him. Almost every face he saw was that of a patriot, but there were a few who were known to be Tories, and it would not do to express his thoughts too freely before them.

"Go on, Zeke," said a friend at his elbow. "There's what?"

"When I get you fellows all by yourselves I will explain things to you," said Zeke, after holding a short consultation with a young man who stood close beside him. "There are too many Britishers here."

"Yes; and they ought to be shot down as those redcoats were at Lexington," said another.

Any one who had been there could easily have picked out the Tories by the expression of their faces. They were amazed by the news. British soldiers whipped by a mob! They would have been glad to deny it if they could, but there were too many stalwart sailors standing around whose opinions differed from their own, and they thought it would be the part of wisdom to keep their thoughts to themselves. They turned toward their homes, but they had plenty of opportunity to exchange ideas with one another.

The most of those who had listened to the messenger's news also turned away when he got through speaking and walked with their heads on their breasts and their eyes fastened thoughtfully on the ground. Among them was one, Enoch Crosby by name, who seemed to think that the world was coming to an end because the British soldiers had been fired upon; but he did not believe as the Tories did by any means. He was an American; he could not forget that.

Among all the boys of his acquaintance there was no one more loyal to King George than he was. His father had been an officer in the service of the crown before he died, and Enoch believed that a monarch who had been selected to reign over a country, was placed there by divine right. The people had nothing to do with it except to hold themselves in readiness to obey his orders. He had English blood in his veins, and, although he felt the soil of America under his feet, he had been, almost ever since he could remember, a good and loyal subject of Great Britain, and hoped some day to serve King George with his sword. To have all this thing wiped out in a day by a fight, was rather more than the boy could live up under.

But he was an American. It came upon him with a force sometimes that almost took his breath away. He could still be loyal to his sovereign and ready to smite hip and thigh any one who said anything against him, but his sailor's love of fair play would not let him stand by and see his neighbors imposed upon.

Enoch had been watching this thing for two years and all the while he felt the ropes of tyranny growing tighter. Ever since General Gage had taken up his quarters in Boston he had been growing more and more severe in his treatment of the patriots. The Stamp Act, the Boston Massacre, The Tea Party, and the conduct of his soldiers in destroying the ice on which the boys were accustomed to spend their half holidays—all these were galling to Enoch, and he hoped that the time would soon come when something would induce the King to do differently. But when Christopher Snyder was killed by Richardson for looking on at a mob who were engaged in throwing clods and stones at him, and Governor Hutchinson refused to sign Richardson's death warrant, it opened the eyes of Enoch and he began to see things in a plainer light. The man was put into prison, but at the end of two years was pardoned out by the King. Enoch found that it was necessary to fight in order to secure his rights, and it cost him a long and severe struggle to come to that conclusion. He was thinking about these things as he walked slowly homeward and went into the house. His mother, with snowy hair and steel-bowed spectacles, raised her eyes from her knitting, and one glance was enough to show her that something had gone wrong with Enoch.

If there was anybody on earth Enoch loved it was his mother. All her surroundings bore evidence to that fact. Enoch was a sailor—he had made a good many trips along the coast in little trading vessels—but when he was at home he was not idle. His mother had enough from the earnings of her husband to support her in as good a style as she cared to live; the raiment of herself and son was neat and comely, but that did not prevent her from sticking close to the New England maxim: "Those who do not work should not eat." She had plainly brought Enoch up with the same ideas, for when he was ashore he was always at work at something.

Mrs. Crosby did not go out to listen to the news the messenger had to bring, but Enoch went, and the face he brought back with him excited his mother's alarm at once. Like her son she had been waiting for this day, but she little dreamed that it would come so soon.

"What is it, boy?" she asked, dropping her knitting into her lap. "That man's horse seems to be near tired out. Has he come far?"

"He came from out west somewhere," said Enoch, dropping into the nearest chair. "But I don't know whether he came from Lexington or not."

"What should be going on at Lexington?" asked Mrs. Crosby; although something told her that the news the messenger brought was worse than any she had heard yet.

"They have had a fight out there," said Enoch, resting his head on his hands. "King George can make up his mind to one thing, and that is, he had better keep his men at home. The provincials whipped them because they destroyed property that did not belong to them."

"And they did have a fight sure enough?" said his mother.

"They had such a fight as they used to have with the Indians. They killed almost three hundred of them."

Mrs. Crosby settled back in her chair and looked at Enoch without speaking.


CHAPTER II.

ENOCH'S HOME.

"Enoch," said his mother, rising from her chair after a moment's pause and leading the way toward the kitchen, "breakfast is ready and waiting. While you are eating it I shall be pleased to hear something more about this fight. It looks to me now as though we had got to do battle with the King."

"That is the way it looks to me, too," said the boy.

The Crosby house would have been an object worth seeing if it had stood in this century. It was a double house built of logs, the places where they met being chinked with clay and the roof was thatched with long grass or rye straw. The windows consisted of small lead frames set with diamond plates of glass hung so that they opened inward instead of outward. As the building stood facing the south the "sun shone squarely in at noon," and gave warning that the dinner hour was approaching.

There were two rooms in which Mrs. Crosby took delight—her "best room" and her kitchen. The best room was used only on state occasions, that is, when the minister came to see them or some old-time friends dropped in for an hour or two. The andirons were of brass and shone so brightly that one could see his face in them, and in summer time the fireplace was always kept garnished with asparagus and hollyhocks. On the rude mantelpiece stood the high candlesticks made of the same material, and close beside them lay the tray and the snuffers. Here also was the library, small, it is true, for reading in those days was undertaken for improvement and not for pleasure. Books were scarce and cost money; but among them could be found the family Bible, Watts' Poems, Young's Night Thoughts, and Milton's Paradise Lost.

The best room for the family was in the kitchen, and that was where Enoch always liked to be. Sometimes in winter when he did not have to go to sea he read one of the well-thumbed volumes by the aid of a tallow dip. The blaze in the fireplace was always piled high, but even this was but little if any shelter from the cold. The places where the chinking did not fit were numerous, and the way the cold wind poured into the room made the words of an old writer perfectly apparent: "While one side of the inmate was toasting the other was freezing." To make matters still worse "the smoke escaping into the room by no means favored study or any other employment requiring the use of the eyes."

When Enoch followed his mother into the kitchen he saw there a well-filled table which had often made him hungry when he did not want anything to eat; but it had little effect upon him now. There was hot salt pork, vegetables, and bannocks,[3] which were all their simple tastes required. In the place of tea they had milk; for those one hundred and forty men had long ago thrown the tea overboard in Boston harbor, and all that Mrs. Crosby had left was some tied up in a paper and stowed away in one of her bureau drawers. Before they seated themselves at the table they took their stand behind their chairs with bowed and reverent heads, while his mother offered up thanks to the Giver of all good for the provisions set before them. This was a plan always followed in Enoch's home. When his mother was away, at a quilting bee or sitting up with a sick person, Enoch never forgot the custom, but offered up prayers himself.

"Now, boy, I should like to hear something about that fight," said Mrs. Crosby, seating herself in her chair. "Have we got to fight the King, sure enough?"

"The things indicate that fact," said Enoch, helping his mother to a piece of the pork and to a potato which had been baked in the ashes on the hearth. "King George has not acted right with us anyway. When young Snyder was killed in Boston because he happened to be near a mob who were throwing stones at Richardson, the King went and pardoned out Richardson, who had been put into prison for it, after he had been there for two years. That does not look as though he felt very kindly toward us, does it?"

"And then the tea," said his mother, who came as near being angry as she could whenever she thought of that. Like all old ladies she loved the "cup which cheers but does not inebriate," and she could not bear to have it taken away from her. "The King ought not to have taxed us for that."

"He might if he would allow us to be represented in Parliament," said Enoch, "but he would not do it. If we have got to be taxed to help carry on the government of Great Britain, we want some men of our own over there to see about it."

"Now tell me about the fight. You said we killed almost three hundred of them."

"Why, mother, you say 'we' as though you were there and helped shoot at those redcoats," said Enoch.

"Of course I do, my son. If your father were here now, he would have taken that old flint-lock down and had it put in running order before this time," said his mother, pointing to the weapon which occupied its usual position over the fireplace. "We are Americans, and whenever we are shot at, we must shoot in return."

Enoch was delighted to hear his mother talk in this way. It showed that she was not loyal enough to King George to fight against her own countrymen at any rate. The boy began and told the history of the fight as he had heard it from the messenger, and, as he talked and told how the minute-men had concealed themselves behind every rock and tree that they came to, his mother's eyes sparkled, and she said that she almost wished that she had been a man and lived in Lexington so that she could have been there too.

"I really wish I had been there," said Enoch, glancing affectionately at the old flint-lock as he said this. "Of course I could not shoot with those who hunt squirrels every day, but I could have made a noise. And to talk about those British soldiers being invulnerable! I tell you they could not stand before the minute-men."

"And to think that we should be called 'rebels,'" said his mother, who could scarcely restrain herself.

"But I say we are not rebels," said Enoch emphatically. "The people in Boston told the King just what they wanted to do, and he turned around and made them do something else. There was not any more loyal paper gotten up than they sent to him."

A long talk on such matters as these occupied them while they were at breakfast, and just as Enoch arose there came a sound like the rattling of a stick between the pickets of the front fence. The boys had not learned to whistle in those days to let a comrade know that there was some one outside waiting for him. Whistling is easier, but the boys made each other known in spite of it.

"That is Caleb Young," said Enoch. "I know him by the way he rattles his stick. I hope we shall hear something more about that fight."

Enoch put on his hat and went out, and there he saw Caleb, dressed after the fashion of a seafaring man as he was himself, leaning on the gate and whistling softly to himself.

"Have you got anything more to tell about it?" said Enoch, coming up to him.

"No more than what the courier has already told," said Caleb. "But say! there is something in the wind."

"I gained an idea from something Zeke said that he was thinking of something else," said Enoch, sinking his voice to a whisper because Caleb did the same. "He would not tell us what it was because there were too many Tories near."

"No, but he was thinking and talking about it since, and he has made up his mind that we are going to do something to equal that battle of Lexington in some way," said Caleb. "He has been talking to that Joseph Wheaton, and he has been advising Zeke what to do. He says it is not right for those Boston people to take all the hard knocks while we get none of them."

"That is what I say. If we are going to hang, we will all hang together."

"But we are not going to hang—none of us," said Caleb, striking the nearest picket with his closed hand. "There are three vessels in the harbor——"

"Yes; and I am going to keep away from them," said Enoch, pushing himself away from the fence. "You don't make a pirate out of me. I have made my living honestly and I intend to keep on doing it."

"That is me," said Caleb. "I have worked for every cent I have and I am not ashamed to let everybody know it; but if we can capture that vessel we will show the Boston people that they are not alone in this business."

"What vessel do you mean?"

"I mean the Margaretta. She is here as convoy for those two sloops that are loading with lumber, and she is in the service of the crown. If we can get her we will have the sloops easy enough."

"Why, Caleb, that would be piracy," said Enoch, fairly aghast at the proposition. "The Margaretta has not done anything to us."

"Of course she has not, but she is in the service of the King. Those men who went out to destroy those stores were in the service of the King, too; but they got neatly whipped for their pains. Zeke and Joseph Wheaton would not have proposed that plan if they did not think we would make something by it. You ought to have heard mother talk to me while we were at breakfast. She said that if father was alive now he would have taken his old flint-lock down and shot every Tory he could find."

"I guess I know about what your mother said, for mine talked to me in the same way," said Enoch, with a laugh. "Are you one of those who are going to capture that schooner?"

"I am! I am one of the fifteen men and boys who have agreed to be on hand when they hear a cheer sounded. That is going to be our rallying cry, and we must all go to where we hear it. What are you going to do? You are not a Tory."

"Don't you call me that," said Enoch, opening the gate and coming out to meet his friend. "When that cheer is sounded you will see me on hand. When do you propose to take the schooner?"

"Why as to that we have not had a chance to talk it over," said Caleb. "Zeke only spoke of it just a little while ago to see how many men we could raise; and to-night—here come two of those Tories now," continued Caleb, pushing his hat on the back of his head and shoving up his sleeves. "Now let us see what they have got to say about that fight at Lexington. I do not wish them any harm, but I would like to know that they had been there and I kneeling a little way off with my father's flint-lock in my hand."

"Then you would not have heard anything about that fight," said Enoch, with a laugh. Caleb was noted for his sharp shooting, and if he had got a bead on one of those fellows it would have been all over with him. "I will bet you I would have shot pretty close to him," Caleb added.

"Now don't you go to picking a fuss with them," said Enoch in a lower tone, "because I will not have it."

"Oh, I will pick no fuss with them at all," said Caleb, turning his back to the approaching boys and resting his elbow on the fence. "But they must not say anything against the minute-men. If they do somebody will get licked."

The two boys came nearer, and presently drew up beside the fence beside which Enoch and Caleb stood. They did not expect any greeting, for that happened long ago to have gone out of style between the Tories and the Provincials. Whenever they met on the street they looked straight ahead as if there was nobody there. They did not want to speak to each other for the chances were that there would be a game of fisticuffs before they got through with it.

These boys were evidently better off in the world than Enoch and his friend. They wore cocked hats, neat velvet coats, knee-breeches, silk stockings, and low shoes with huge silver buckles. But their queues were what they prided themselves upon. They were neatly combed and hung down upon their coat collars. The arms of their coats were "slashed" in several places to show the fine quality of their underwear. If they had been boys in our day we should have been obliged to introduce them with cigarettes in their hands.

These sprucely dressed young fellows were Tories of the worst description, but they followed in the footsteps of their fathers. One was a "passive" Tory and the other was an "aggressive" Tory. How these two men differed in opinion and actions shall be told further on.


CHAPTER III.

ZEKE LEWIS.

Have you ever met a New England man whom your grandparents used to regard as the very personification of all that was utterly worthless so far as the labor with his hands was concerned? We do not mean by saying this that Zeke Lewis was lazy—the old folks had a milder term for it. He was always at work at something, but he was shiftless. Nothing that he could do appeared to get him ahead any. Work always looked for him; he never looked for work. If anybody wanted a pair of shoes mended Zeke was always the man looked for. He was generally to be found at the tavern (Zeke did not drink any, we'll say that much for him), or loafing around the corner grocery, and he was always "lying on his oars," that is, ready to pull in any direction in which work was to be found. Zeke would work early and late upon those shoes until he got them done, and he carried his money straight to his wife, who had the faculty of making a shilling go farther than he would. If a vessel was ready to sail, either up or down the coast or on a fishing trip, Zeke always got the first berth. He could do more work in less time and with less trouble than any two men you could find. And he was brave, too. No one ever saw Zeke refuse to go where duty called him.

He was just such a man as you would expect to see after this description of his way of doing business. He was tall, and so round-shouldered that he did not look as though he had any chest at all; he was strong; so strong that when he got hold of a rope everybody knew he was there. There were two things about him that were noticeable—his smiling, good-natured face and his queue, which was always freshly combed and looked as though it had come from the hands of a dresser. But then his wife always attended to that. She took it down and combed it every day.

Zeke was always in straits where money was concerned. No matter how hard he worked or how little money he spent upon himself he never could make both ends meet. One night he came home after a hard day's work in the hay-field. He found his wife sitting in the kitchen engaged in knitting, but she made no efforts at all to get supper for her husband. Zeke thought she looked a little paler than usual, but then he was used to that. The patient little woman never had a word of fault to find with him. She believed that Zeke was doing his best, and with that she was satisfied.

"Sick?" asked Zeke.

"No, I am not ill," answered his wife. "I feel as well as usual."

"Something is the matter with you and I know it," said Zeke. "I guess I will have to go to work and get my own supper. I am hungry."

"You will not find a crust of bread in the house," said his wife.

"You don't tell me!" exclaimed Zeke.

"I have looked the house over and I cannot find anything. You ate the last this morning."

"Bussin' on it!" gasped Zeke, backing toward the nearest chair. "And you did not have any?"

"I thought you were at work in the field and would need it more than I. So I let you take it all."

"Whew!" whistled Zeke. "And I thought there was not more than enough to keep a hen from starving when I ate it. Mr. Howard owes me five shillings, but I don't like to ask him for it."

"Are you working for that man? Then you will never get your money."

"What for won't I?"

"Because he will cheat you out of it just as he has cheated everybody else who has worked for him."

"Eh? Do you see these arms?" asked Zeke, getting upon his feet and stretching himself so that his wife could see on all sides of him. "I have not often slung these arms about loose and reckless since I went to school to old Parson Stebbins, and then I slung them at Jeems Howard because I thought he had tried to take my knickerbockers[4] away from me. He has not forgotten that, I am proud to say. My wages will come due on Saturday night and I shall get every cent that is coming to me. But you must have something to eat. Bussin' on it! Why did you not tell me?"

Zeke went out into his woodshed where he kept his shoemaker's tools and began to gather them up in his arms. A pang shot through him while he did so, for he could not help thinking what he was going to do if somebody came to him with shoes to mend while the tools were gone.

"It can't be helped," said he, with a long-drawn sigh. "She took me for better or worst when she married me, and she has had the worst all the time. I will go and see Jeems Howard about them, and see what he will give me until next Saturday. He is the only one around here that I know of who has got any money."

As soon as he had gathered up all his tools Zeke went out of the back door, for he did not want his wife to see him; but there were others that saw him as he walked along the street, and every one wanted to know where he was going to mend shoes. For in those days the cobblers always came to a person's house and did their work there. Zeke always gave some good-natured reply, for no one ever expected anything else of him, and in a few minutes he had walked through Mr. Howard's yard and come up to the back steps.

"I want to see if you will lend me five shillings on these tools until Saturday night," said he, when he had brought the man for whom he was at work to the door. "We want something to eat at our house."

If the man had possessed the semblance of a heart he would have pulled out some money and given it to Zeke; but all was fish that came to his net, and he forthwith began to haggle with him in order to get them as cheap as possible. Zeke wanted more for them than he could afford to give, and he concluded that two and a half shillings were all he could pay. He insisted so strongly upon it that Zeke was about to close with his offer, when a new actor appeared upon the scene. It was Jeremiah O'Brien, of whom we shall have something more to say as our story progresses. Something told him that Zeke was in trouble, and he opened the gate and went in. Like all the rest of the patriots he had but little love for men of Howard's opinion, and he was not anyway backward about beginning his business.

"Zeke, what are you doing with your tools here?" he asked.

"I want to sell them until next Saturday night," returned Zeke.

"How much are you going to get for them?"

"I want five shillings, but Jeems allows that he can't give more than two and a half."

"They are worth two pounds if they are worth anything," said O'Brien emphatically.

"I know they are. Just see that knife. It is sharp——"

"Pick up your tools and come with me," interrupted O'Brien.

"Where are you going?"

"Pick up your tools and come with me," insisted O'Brien. "I don't want to tell you twice."

Zeke smiled, drew himself up to his full height and looked at O'Brien. The latter returned his gaze with interest and Zeke finally thought better of it, gathered up his tools from the step where had placed them and followed him out to the gate.

"Look here," said O'Brien, when they reached the street. "The next time you want to sell your tools that you make a living with, I want you to come to me. Don't go to that old Tory, who is bound to cheat you out of everything you have. You say your wife has not had anything to eat?"

"Not a smell," said Zeke looking down at the ground. "She gave me all she had for breakfast and never has had a bite all day."

"Well, lay your tools down here," said O'Brien, when they came to Zeke's house. "They can stay there until you come back."

"Bussin' on it!" exclaimed Zeke. "What are you going to do?"

"We will go up to the grocery and get some provisions. I am going to send out a vessel next week and you can pay me then."

This made everything all right in Zeke's estimation. He wanted credit, but he little knew how he could get it unless he was regularly employed in some business that would pay him in the end. Of course, when he was at sea on one of Mr. O'Brien's vessels, his wife could go to the store and get anything she pleased; but Zeke knew it was not so while he was working for James Howard. The old Tory was a cheat, and nobody except Zeke or some other fellow who happened to be "hard up" would work for him. He accompanied O'Brien to the grocery store and got everything he wanted. When he came back into his wife's presence he looked more like himself.

This little episode will give the reader a pretty good idea of the kind of life Zeke Lewis led at Machias. Nothing bothered him. His wife being out of provisions was the nearest thing that came to throwing him off his balance; and when the goods obtained in this way were gone, why, then he would go to work at something and earn some more.

We have said that nothing bothered Zeke Lewis. That was what all the people about Machias said, and they had known him for a long time. A man who would not wake up from his shiftless habits and go to work at something in order to support his wife, who depended on him for everything, was not of much use in the world; but on this particular morning, after listening to the story of the battle of Lexington, Zeke began to take a little interest in matters. In fact the people had never seen him so worked up before. He held a short but earnest consultation with Joseph Wheaton, attended eagerly to what the man had to say, and then walked away with his head up, his fingers moving convulsively, and now and then he lifted his hands and brought them together with a loud slap.

"What's the matter with you, Zeke?" asked one of his companions who walked by his side.

"Are there any Tories around here?" exclaimed Zeke, casting his eye behind him. "Then I guess I can speak out here as well as anywhere. I say we ought to go to work and do something to equal those fellows in Boston."

"But there are no troops here," said his companion. "These Tories will not come out so that we can shoot them down as they did at Concord."

"No matter for that. They have got some property here, and we can capture it as well as not."

"I am in for that. Where is it?"

"You know that the Margaretta is here to protect two sloops that are loading up with lumber for the crown. What is the reason we cannot capture her?"

"It would be all right if we could do it; but suppose we should fail? Have you forgotten what the penalty for piracy is?"

"No, I have not forgotten it, and furthermore, I know that we are not going to fail. I will make one of half a dozen men that will capture her to-night. Where are the rest of you?" he continued, glancing around at the men who had come up, one by one, to listen to what he had to say. "Are you all Tories? If you are not, say you will join in."

"She lies some little distance from the wharf," said one of his auditors.

"Are there not plenty of boats that we could get to take us out to her?" asked Zeke. "Some of you are afraid of being killed. That is what is the matter with you."

"If the others are afraid of being shot at I am not," said Mr. O'Brien. "What are your plans, Zeke? But first let us go somewhere so that we can talk without being overheard."

It put a different look on the matter when Mr. O'Brien began to inquire into Zeke's scheme. If he was not afraid to undertake it the rest were not. They crowded up around Zeke to hear what he had to propose.


CHAPTER IV.

ZEKE'S PROPOSITION.

"But first I want to see if there are any Tories around here," said Zeke, stopping in his walk and coming back to gaze fixedly into the face of every man who was following him. "We don't want to talk too loud for fear that everything we say will go straight to the ears of that schooner's crew. If there is any man here who can't be trusted let him say so and go back where he belongs."

There were probably a dozen men and boys in the crowd, and every one of them wore a white face as he looked at it; but it was an expression of "defiance and not of fear." Every one of them believed in capturing the schooner, but every one, too, if we may except Zeke and O'Brien and perhaps Joseph Wheaton, who was the first man to conceive of the thing, could not help thinking what their fate would be if they failed. The act they were about to perform was piracy, and they could not make anything else out of it. To board and capture a schooner which had come into their harbor on a friendly mission was something the law did not bear them out in.

"I guess we are all true blue," said Zeke, as he pushed a man out of his way and planted himself fairly in the middle of the group, "and I guess we can talk here as well as anywhere else, if we talk low. We want to keep the Tories from knowing or suspecting anything about it."

"Do you want to seize the schooner?" asked Mr. O'Brien.

"Exactly," said Zeke.

"And you are going to take her out from under that flag whether the crew is willing or not?"

"Certainly. That cross of St. George does not stay above her after we get her into our hands."

"And what will we do if they resist us?"

"Then they just make up their minds that they are going to keep company with those fellows at Lexington."

"Hear, hear!" shouted one of the auditors.

"Silence!" whispered Zeke in a low tone. "Don't say anything to arouse the suspicions of the Tories. We want to get this thing done before they know a thing about it. We will send them to keep company with the three hundred and more who fought our fellows at Lexington," continued Zeke, turning to O'Brien, "and those of us who have guns will get them; and the rest will gather up clubs, pitchforks and anything else that we can make a good fight with. If we can once get a footing on her deck, she is ours."

"Some of the officers will be coming off to church to-morrow," said Mr. O'Brien.

"That is just what I was thinking of, but I had not time to get that far," said Zeke. "We can just go in after them and seize them in their seats, and then go back and finish those fellows left on the vessel."

"I don't believe in any killing," said one.

"You don't!" exclaimed Zeke turning fiercely upon him.

"No, sir, I don't. Piracy is bad enough, but when it comes to killing folks that were put there by the king to look out for their vessel, I say I don't believe in it."

"Then you have no business here in this crowd," said Zeke, taking off his hat and dashing it to the ground. A moment afterward he stepped forward and seized the man by both wrists. He did not attempt to throw him down, but he crossed his hands on his chest and held him there as if he had been in a vise. "And you don't want to hear what our plans are either. Get away from here."

"Hold on," said the man, who was but an infant in Zeke's grasp. "Let me get through with what I was going to say. I don't believe in killing folks that are standing up for their rights, but if we are too many for them, why, then they will give up."

"Well, that is a little more sensible," said Zeke, releasing his hold upon the man. "If they give up that is all we want. I did not mean to hurt you, Zeb, but you don't want to talk that way in this crowd. Old Zeke has got his dander riz now, and any one who does not want to do as I say in this matter can just get right out."

"But what will we do with the schooner after we get her?" said Mr. O'Brien, who wanted to know just how the thing was coming out before he went into it.

"We will make a man-of-war out of her," said Zeke. "We will capture those two sloops now loading up with lumber the first thing we do; then we will go to sea and capture every one who floats the cross of St. George at her peak."

"Hear, hear!" shouted that enthusiastic auditor again.

"I like your pluck, Jacob, because I know you will stand up to the rack when the time comes; but I would a little rather you would keep still now. All you fellows who want to go with me to capture that schooner step over this way."

Zeke walked away half a dozen paces, and when he turned about he found the entire group at his heels.

"I knew we were all true blue," said Zeke, striking his palms together.

"I do not believe in killing men who are standing up for their rights," said Zeb, who stepped over as promptly as the others did. "We must get up a crowd that is bigger than theirs, and then she will give up to us."

"I believe in that, too," assented Zeke. "Now, as we have not got any fife or drum to call us together, let every one who hears a cheer sounded to-morrow come a-running to the wharf where that schooner lies, and bring along everybody that you think will aid in capturing her; but mind you, don't say a word to any of the Tories. Bring with you everything that you can put your hands on that will do to knock a man down with. We will have some small boats there ready to take us aboard of her, and when the schooner is our own, we will see what we will do next. That is about all we want to decide on to-day."

"I declare, who would have thought there was so much in Zeke?" said one, as he stood looking after him as he moved down the road. O'Brien and Wheaton went with him, and they were talking earnestly about something.

"I tell you I thought there was a good deal in him when he grabbed me by the arms," said Zeb, who had not yet got through rubbing the place where Zeke's sinewy hands had clasped. "I felt as if I had let a forty-foot barn fall on me. If he deals with the schooner's crew as he dealt with me, they are ours, sure enough."

"And to think that that man would let his wife starve," said another. "He has got something in him. It may be that young fellow they call Wheaton is at the bottom of it."

Caleb Young was there during the talk, and he was satisfied that war was coming. He was well acquainted with most of the officers and crew composing the company of the schooner, and he knew that they would never surrender their vessel without making a desperate resistance. She was armed, she had small arms aboard, and her crew were sufficiently trained to stand by their captain.

As for the men who had talked so bravely about capturing her—they had no captain. Everything thus far was going along as Zeke had planned it; but when it come to a clash of arms, Caleb wanted somebody on hand who knew what he was about to take command of him. He was bound to go for he had been one of the first to follow Zeke when he stepped off a few paces; but he really wished he knew who was going to order the thing when he stood before the schooner's company.

"If I am going into this thing Enoch Crosby has got to go too," said he as he bent his steps toward his friend's house. "He is a good boy, and I know he will fight if the worst comes. I want to know what he thinks about this piracy business."

When Caleb had almost reached Enoch's house he began looking around for a stick with which to attract the boy's attention by rattling between the pickets. After a short search he found one, and Enoch was prompt to answer the summons. They had but fairly got started on the subject of seizing the schooner when the two young Tories, which were the objects of especial hatred to them, came in sight. They would rather have seen almost any one else than James Howard and Emerson Miller. The sober look on the latter's face showed that they were not much elated, and the reason was because they did not like to believe that British regulars had been whipped by minute-men. Young Howard, who was always the first to speak wherever he might be, opened the conversation.

"Well, what do you fellows think of that fight?" said he.

"We came out on purpose to hear you express an opinion," said Enoch. "What do you think of it?"

"I can tell you that in short order," said James. "Every one of those men who had guns in their hands at Lexington are going to be hung."

"You will catch them first, will you not?"

"Oh, that is easy enough," said Emerson. "When the regulars get to running around with ropes in their hands and calling for the men who were engaged in that massacre, everybody will be willing to tell on his neighbor. If Caleb was in the fight you would say, 'Here's one of them.'"

"Don't you wish you were there?" asked James, with a grin.

"Yes, I do," said Caleb, promptly. "But I would have been on the side of the minute-men."

"That may be a Britisher's way of doing business, to tell on all those who were in the fight, but it is not our way," said Enoch, quietly. "This thing has gone too far to admit of hanging. You will need an army to take them."

"Well, have we not got one, I would like to know?" asked James. "There will be more men here in a little while, and then you fellows will want to keep dark. What were those fellows talking about that were gathered on the corner so long? We wanted to go over there but did not dare."

"It is just as well that you did not go over," said Caleb. "You would not have heard anything anyway."

"We heard somebody howling 'Hear, hear!' at the top of his voice," said Emerson. "I guess we would have heard something from him."

"No, we would not," said James. "Don't you know that they do not talk when Tories are around? They are afraid we will tell of them."

"And it is a mighty fine reputation for you to have," said Enoch, in disgust. "If I could not keep still in regard to what my neighbors do, I would go out and hang myself."

"Oh, you will hang easy enough," said James, with a laugh. "Don't you worry about that. I will be one of the first to grab the rope and pull you up."

Just how it happened Enoch could not have told to save his life. The place whereon James was standing became suddenly vacant and the spot where his face was occupied by his heels. He fell like a tree struck by a whirlwind, and his head came in violent contact with the ground. He lay there for a second or two as if he did not have his wits about him, and Caleb stood over him ready to receive him when he got up. Seeing no move on his part, he turned to face Emerson.


Caleb stood over him ready to receive him when he got up.


"Let us hear one word out of your head and I will put you down, too," said he.

"Go away," said Emerson, tremblingly. "I have not done anything to you, and I want you to let me alone. There is a magistrate in this town——"

"Go on," said Caleb. "You can get to the magistrate as soon as you please and tell him for me——"

By this time Enoch began to recover himself. He unlatched the gate, and seizing Caleb around the waist fairly lifted him from the ground and carried him inside. Then he shut the gate and looked over at Emerson.

"You had better go on your way," said he. "Pick up your comrade and go about your business."

"But I would like first to hear him say that he would like to haul Enoch up with a rope," said Caleb, trying hard to get on his feet. "I will knock him down as often as he can say it."

These words Caleb was obliged to shout over his shoulder, for Enoch, still retaining his hold upon him, was carrying him along the walk toward the entrance of the kitchen. He pushed him into the house, and then closed the door behind him.

Having seen his enemy disposed of Emerson bent over James Howard to see if he was still alive. To his joy the prostrate boy opened his eyes and stared about him in a vacant manner.

"That cowardly provincial is gone now," said Emerson. "Enoch took him into the house with him."

"I never will put up with such a blow from a boy who is down on the king," said James, sitting up on the ground. "The young rebel strikes an awful whack, does he not? We will go and see the magistrate about it at once. I am all dirt, I suppose?"

"No, but your queue is full of it," said Emerson, brushing it off as well as he could. "I wish we dared lick him."

"So do I, but we can't touch him now. Wait until those reinforcements come up here that father was talking about last night, and I will have revenge for all that boy's actions. Help me up. Now we will go and see father about it the first thing we do. These rebels are coming to a high pitch when they can strike a gentleman for something he has said."

The young Tories had started out for a walk but they did not take it. They turned about and went back the same way they came, and in a few minutes drew up at Mr. Howard's gate. The old gentleman was at home, sitting in his easy-chair, but he was not taking life pleasantly. There was a scowl on his forehead, for he was thinking about the battle of Lexington. There was one thing about it he said to his wife: Those rebels had got to be whipped into submission, or he and his family must go back to England. How he wished he possessed the power to wipe all those who were in rebellion from the face of the earth! Would not he make a scattering among them before the sun set? While he was thinking about it the boys came up to the gate. If such a thing were possible his son James' face presented a worse appearance than his own. In addition to the scowl which it wore, there was a lump under his eye which now began to grow black. Mr. Howard knew well enough what was the matter.


CHAPTER V.

A REBELLION IN THE COURT-ROOM.

"Father, look at my face," said James, who was the first to begin the conversation. "Just look at it."

"Yes, I see it," said the old gentleman, angrily. "You have been having an argument with some of those young rebels and you have got the knock-down end of it. I will wager that Caleb Young and Enoch Crosby know something about it."

"They were both there," said James, seating himself on the steps, "but Caleb was the only one who struck me. Now, father, what am I going to do about it? I can't go around with my face this way."

"Do you mean to say that you gave up to Caleb and that he struck you only once?" exclaimed Mr. Howard. "You would make a pretty fight, you would."

"But, father, you don't know anything about the strength in that fellow's arms," whined James. "I would just as soon have a horse kick me. I want to see the magistrate about this."

"Let us go up there at once," said Mr. Howard, putting on his hat. "We don't want to let the grass grow under our feet until this thing is settled. These young rebels are getting altogether too brash. They want to be shut up for a while. I wish I had them in England. When they were there, they would find themselves among gentlemen, and they could not talk as they pleased."

"Do you believe you can put him under lock and key for hitting me?" said James. He began to be all excitement now. To see Caleb Young put in jail for what he had done would be ample recompense for him.

"I assure you that I am going to try it. How did the argument begin in the first place?"

James hesitated when his father propounded this question. When he came to think the matter over he found that he had given Caleb good reason for knocking him down. He might have to make the complaint under oath when he came before the magistrate, and he concluded that it was best to tell the truth while he was about it.

"I said that all those who were in that massacre would be hung some day," began James.

"Good enough. You told him the truth."

"And I told him that if he were there I would be one of the first to grab the rope and haul him up," continued James. "Caleb or Enoch, I have forgotten which one, replied that if he went and talked that way about his neighbors, he ought to be hanged."

"And he knocked you down for that?" exclaimed Mr. Howard. "You did perfectly right in saying what you did, and if I were magistrate I would shut him up for two or three days at least."

These last words were spoken as they were passing along the streets toward the magistrate's office. There were many people loitering about, for the news of the battle of Lexington had not been thoroughly discussed, and the inhabitants of Machias could not get over it. Every one knew what was the matter with James without any telling. The provincials smiled and nodded their heads in a way that showed young Howard that he was served just right, while the Tories grew angrier than ever, and insisted on hearing all about it. Before reaching the magistrate's office James began to think that he was something of a hero in town, and fully expected to see Caleb shut up for a long time.

When they arrived at their journey's end they found the magistrate there as well as two constables, who were hanging around for a chance to serve some papers which were slowly being made out for them. The magistrate was surprised when he saw such a company of men coming into his office, for be it known that a good many people, both Tories and provincials, had turned about and gone with them. They wanted to see what was going to be done in regard to it.

"Bless us!" he exclaimed, when he saw James' battered face. "What have you been doing?"

"I have not been doing anything," said James, in an injured tone. "A young rebel got mad at me for something I had said and knocked me down."

"Aha! A young rebel!" said the magistrate, the scowl deepening upon his forehead; for he was one of those "aggressive" Tories who believed in making war upon all those people who did not hold to his own opinions. "Do you want to make out a complaint against him? I will fine him a pound at least. These rebels have got to be kept within bounds. I will make out the papers right away. Here are two constables ready to serve them," he added, speaking in a low tone to Mr. Howard. "You had better have two go with them, for there are some rebels around here and maybe they will stand by to protect him."

The magistrate made a great flourish and prepared to go on with his warrant, while James and his father took time to look about upon the crowd that had followed them in. There were more rebels than Tories in the party, and that was easy enough to be seen. Some of the former exchanged a few words in whispered consultation and then went out, but the Tories stood their ground.

"There!" said the magistrate, who at last turned about with the completed document in his hand. "Kelly, take this, go up to Young's house and arrest Caleb in the name of the king. I need not add that if he does not come you will call upon any man present to help you."

"I don't know as I had better go up there alone," whispered the constable. "The rebels are out in full force."

"Then take Nolton with you. You surely do not need two constables to arrest a boy! Take notice of the way he acts and I will fine him for that, too."

The constables went out reluctantly, for they were about to undertake something which the magistrate himself would have shrunk from if he had been in their place. After thinking a moment Mr. Howard drew nearer to the judge.

"You spoke of fining that boy just now," said he. "What is there to hinder you from shutting him up for three or four days? If the rebels are to be held within bounds, I don't know of a better way of doing than that."

"That is what I think," whispered the magistrate. "But you can't do that for assault and battery. If you could prove that he tried to kill James, why then——"

"How do we know that he did not try to kill him?" asked Mr. Howard. "He knocked him down and there he let him lie."

"Well, we will see about it when he comes. I will shut him up if I can."

Meanwhile the two constables had gone on toward Caleb Young's house, where they found his mother, who was overcome with alarm when they told her that they had come for the purpose of arresting her son. Caleb was not at home, she said; she had not seen him since that man brought the news of the battle of Lexington. She guessed he was down at Crosby's house; but what did they want to arrest him for? The constables gave her no satisfaction on this point, but came out and hurried toward Enoch's. They entered without ceremony[5] and found Caleb seated at the table with his friend enjoying breakfast. He had left home before breakfast was ready.

"Ah! Here you are," said Kelly. "Come on. We want you."

It was just what Caleb expected. The boys had been obliged to tell Mrs. Crosby that they had a skirmish with James Howard in front of the house, because she knew it all along. The tussle that Enoch made in getting Caleb into the house had told her that there was something unusual going on, and she was anxious to know all about it.

"I am ready," said Caleb, "at any time you are."

"Caleb, you did not kill him?" exclaimed Mrs. Crosby.

"Oh no," replied Caleb, with a laugh. "I told you that I just knocked him down. It will teach him better than to talk of hauling honest boys up with a rope."

Enoch had sat there talking with Caleb while the latter was eating his breakfast, and had never thought of saying a word; but when he saw his friend rise to his feet and pick up his hat, he took it as a signal that it was high time he was doing something. He jumped up and ran out of the house bareheaded and hurried off to find Zeke Lewis. He burst open the door without waiting to knock, and caught Zeke in the act of picking his teeth after enjoying a comfortable breakfast.

"Say, Zeke, the Tories have come to arrest Caleb!" said he, so impatient to tell what he knew that he could scarcely speak the words plainly.

"Do tell!" exclaimed Zeke. "What has he been a-doing of?"

"He knocked down James Howard," said Enoch.

"Serves him right. He has been saying something that he had no business to say. What did he get out this time."

Enoch repeated the conversation that his friend had with James, and Zeke all the time nodded his head as if he knew all about it. When Enoch had finished Zeke wanted to know how he could assist him.

"They are going to fine him for hitting that cowardly Tory, and Caleb has not got any money," said he. "He will have to go to jail, and I will wager that that is where James wants him to be."

"He ain't got no money, ain't he? Well, I have been that way myself, and we will see what we can do to help him out."

It was strange what an uproar the giving of a warrant for the arrest of Caleb Young made in the village. Those "rebels" who had pushed their way out of the court-room while James was making his complaint had found plenty of friends to tell it to, and by the time they reached the street they saw any number of people, all hastening with eager footsteps toward the magistrate's office. When Zeke and Enoch arrived in front of the store, in the back part of which the judge held his court, they found the apartment jammed and the highway for twenty feet each way was packed full.

"Zeke," said a companion, "you don't get a show here."

"I must," replied Zeke. "I have got to see that fellow out."

"Well, get in if you can and if you want any help, just sing out."

It was a matter of some difficulty for Zeke to work his way through the crowd and up within sight of the magistrate's desk, but his size and weight had a good deal to do with it, and Enoch kept close behind him. When he got near enough to the desk he could hear that the magistrate was talking to the prisoner.

"And so you knocked James down?" was the question he heard.

"Yes, sir, I did," answered Caleb. "He said that——"

"I don't want to hear what he said," interrupted the magistrate. "I want to know what you did. You knocked him down and left him lying there. You did not care whether you killed him or not. I shall have to fine you one pound and costs."

If the magistrate had said that he would fine Caleb one hundred pounds he would have stood just about as much chance of getting it as he did to fine him one pound. Caleb had never seen so much money in his life, and he wondered where in the world it was to come from. Seeing that he hesitated, the magistrate went on.

"If you cannot pay that one pound I shall have to shut you up for twenty days," said he. "You will then pay it at the rate of one shilling a day. I think if more of you rebels were shut up, we should have peace here in the colonies."

Zeke had heard all he wanted to hear. It was enough for him to know that the magistrate wanted to shut up the rebels for a while, and that was more than they had power to do. Working his way further toward the desk he seized Caleb by the arm and pulled him back by his side; after which he placed his arms on his hips and looked at the magistrate as if to ask him what he was going to do about it.

"What do you mean by such work as that?" demanded the judge. "We have two constables here——"

"I don't care if you have a dozen," replied Zeke, and his composure was not in the least ruffled by what had happened. "That boy ain't a-going to be shut up, and, furthermore, he has not money to pay his fine. You know that as well as I do. The only thing you can do, judge, is to let him go."

"Hear, hear!" exclaimed one of Zeke's supporters.

"Keep silence in the court-room," exclaimed the magistrate. "Kelly, you and Norton arrest the first man who interrupts me. Zeke Lewis, I will fine you ten pounds and——"

"You will fine nobody nothing," said Zeke. "Come on, Caleb. Let us go home."

"C-C-Caleb, don't you stir one peg from where you are," stammered the magistrate. "Norton, arrest him if he moves."

He was evidently frightened, for it was all he could do to keep up a steady tone of voice. On looking around he could see no Tories present except the constables. The others had gone out as soon as Zeke made a move, and there was no one left to help him. Zeke showed what he thought of the magistrate's order by pulling Caleb's arm through his own and starting for the door with him. The provincials moved on one side to let him pass, and two or three of them gave him a cheer. The magistrate was utterly confounded. He called upon the constables to do their duty, but none of them moved from his place. A glance into the eyes of the "rebels" standing around was enough to satisfy them that they had better keep their hands off. That was the first rebellion that had ever taken place in Machias.


CHAPTER VI.

GETTING READY FOR THE FRAY.

"Three cheers for Zeke Lewis and Caleb Young!" shouted one of the provincials, when they came out of the door and appeared upon the street.

"No, no, lads," said Zeke, raising his hand as if to stop the demonstration. "We have got him out of being fined or going to jail, but remember that we are not done with it yet. It will not be long before we shall see some British regulars up here to ask us what we mean by it. We have got to fight, and we may as well make up our minds to it first as last."

"Hear, hear!" shouted three or four of those who stood around him. "If the regulars come at us, we'll serve them worse than they did at Lexington. Three cheers for them!"

The cheers were given in spite of what Zeke had said, and some of them persisted in shaking Caleb by the hand. They passed on, and in a few minutes were out of the crowd and started toward home. There were three of them who kept Caleb company to see that he reached the presence of his mother in safety, they were Mr. O'Brien, Joseph Wheaton and Enoch Crosby. They did not have much to say about what had happened in the court-room, but Caleb knew why they went with him. On their way to his house they passed within plain sight of the harbor, and the first thing that attracted their attention was the schooner Margaretta, riding proudly at her anchorage, and flying the flag of England from her peak. Zeke thought this a good time to exhibit his hostility to that flag, which he did by shaking his fist at it.

"If it had not been for Wheaton here, I would not have thought of taking that schooner," said he.

"I had an idea that somebody besides you thought of that," said O'Brien, turning around and shaking Wheaton by the hand. "It did not sound like you in the first place, but, when somebody else proposed it, you went in strong for it. What was the reason you did not propose it yourself, Wheaton?"

"You see I have not lived here long enough to become acquainted with everybody as Zeke has," replied Wheaton. "I lived in New York until a few months ago, and I thought the proposition had better come from an older inhabitant. They might think that I suggested it just to hear myself talk; but it would be different coming from Zeke."

"That is just what he told me," assented Zeke. "And I kept thinking what a fool I was not to think of it long ago. Wheaton, when we get that schooner, you must haul down that flag."

"I will attend to that," said the young man, with a laugh. "If the flag of England is going to wave over us as an emblem of tyranny, we want it pulled down. But the fact of the matter is, we have not got any other flag to be hoisted in the place of it."

"No matter for that," said Mr. O'Brien. "We will have that flag hauled down, and that is all we care for. Now, Caleb, go in and see your mother."

Caleb was not a boy who had been educated, but he knew enough to thank Zeke for what he had done; but Zeke patted him on the back and said that was all right, and pushed him through the gate that led into the yard.

"Remember now, that when you hear the cheer to-morrow you are to come down and help capture that schooner," said he. "And bring every friend you see. We may get her without a fight."

"No, we won't," replied Caleb. "I know the most of those men who belong to her, and I know that they will stand by their captain. We shall not have as many men when we get back as we have when we first go aboard that schooner."

"I know them, too," said Zeke, raising his left hand and slapping the other with it with a report like that of a pistol. "But I would stick a pitchfork into my own brother if he were there and should resist me. We are bound to have that schooner."

All were encouraged to hear Zeke talk in this way and Caleb said he "hoped so" and went in to see his mother; while Enoch, who had left the table bareheaded, started homeward on a rapid run. He did not find his mother as excited as she ought to have been. She was sitting in her easy-chair with her knitting before her, and looked at Enoch's flushed face when he came in as calmly as though he had been to the store for some groceries.

"Well," she said, and her voice was as steady as usual, "you have had an exciting scene there in the court-room."

"What do you know about it?" asked Enoch in surprise.

"I just judged by your face," replied his mother. "How did Caleb get the fine that the judge imposed upon him?"

"That old Tory did not get it," exclaimed the boy. "I tell you we have got up a rebellion now, and we may have some soldiers to settle with before we get through with it. It beats anything I ever heard of."

Enoch then went on and told his mother as nearly as he could what had happened there in the court-room. His mother's eyes flashed and she laid down her knitting. He even told her about the plans that had been laid for seizing the schooner, but did not neglect to caution her not to say a word about it where the Tories could overhear it.

"I have agreed to go too, mother," he added.

"Well," she replied, glancing up at the old flint-lock over the fireplace, "that rifle will have to be cleaned up. And you will need some bullets, too. Remember that when your father drew on an Indian after he came out of the service, he was always sure to bring him."

"And if I pull on a redcoat with that gun I don't believe he will do any more shooting at our side of the house," said Enoch, getting up in a chair and taking the musket down. "It is awful heavy, is it not?"

"Yes, and that's the kind it needs to bring an enemy down every time you get a sight at him. Clean it up bright for the least little speck of rust in it will throw your ball where you don't want it to go. I hope the Britishers will give up before you have a chance to shoot at them."

"But if they don't—then what?"

"You must shoot to hit. Bear in mind that you had an uncle in that fight at Lexington, and we don't know whether he was killed or not. He did not miss, either. Every time he pulled on a redcoat he could tell right where he hit him."

"Of course I can't shoot with him; but, as Caleb said, I can make a noise. I can handle the halyards of a sail better than I can handle this thing."

The cleaning of the gun occupied Enoch for the next hour, and finally he got it so that the water came through clean and bright without a particle of rust in it. He had been outside the kitchen door engaged in his occupation, and when he came in to tell his mother what he had done, he found her in front of the fireplace running bullets.

"Mother, you have no business to do that," he exclaimed.

"I want to get all the balls solid, for if you run them in haste you will see little holes in them," she replied. "The bullets thus formed always go wild, and you cannot do good shooting with them. Now, Enoch, have you got some powder? That you have in the horn has been there for a long time, and I fear that it has lost its strength. You had better go down to the store and lay in a new supply."

Enoch thought that his mother would have felt a little happier if she had been a man, so that she could have taken part in seizing the schooner. He wished that that cheer would sound out now, so that he could go into danger with his comrades and see Wheaton haul that flag down; but he checked himself with the thought that that cheer was not to sound until to-morrow. He wanted to show something else that he had done, so he continued:

"I have picked the flint so that it will strike fire every time. Just see how it works."

He cocked the flint-lock several times and pulled the trigger, and each time little sparks of fire shot down into the chamber. The gun was all right. It only remained for him to hold it true so that the bullets would reach their mark.

"That is right, my lad," said his mother, approvingly. "Before we get through we will show the redcoats that they are making war upon their brothers. Send one shot, Enoch, to pay them for taxing that tea."

Enoch accepted some money to pay for the powder he was to buy at the store, and when he reached the street he saw Caleb coming along as if somebody had sent for him. His face, whenever he met Enoch, was always wrinkled up with smiles, and it proved on this occasion to be the news of what Enoch had already passed through—the getting ready for the assault upon the Margaretta.

"I went out to clean the gun and when I came back my mother was running bullets," said Caleb; and he rubbed his hands together as if he could hardly wait for the cheer to sound. "She thinks that some of us are going to get hurt."

"I guess I have been through the same thing," said Enoch. "I'll wager that if mother were in my place she would not sleep at all to-night. She told me to give them one shot and think of the tea they have taxed against her. Hallo! Here comes Zeke. He walks as though he was in a hurry."

"Bussin' on it!" exclaimed Zeke, when he came up. "I would like to know what the magistrate and Jeems Howard has been aboard that boat for. You see, we were watching that boat to find out whether or not she was going to stay at anchorage until to-morrow, and that's the way we happened to see them."

"Let them go," said Enoch. "They have probably been telling the captain about our rebellion there in the court-room."

"Well, he can't do anything," said Zeke. "If he turns his guns loose on the town——"

"He can't do that," said Caleb. "War has not been declared yet."

"There is no telling what these Britishers will do when once they get their dander up. But I was just saying, suppose he did turn them loose; we have got two four-pounders that we could bring to bear on the schooner, and make her drop down away from there. But I hope that he won't get away before morning. If he does, I shall be sorry that we did not attack her to-night."

"Where are you going in such a hurry, anyway?" asked Enoch.

"I am going down to see Wheaton about it. If you hear that cheer sounded to-night you will be on hand, won't you?"

The boys said emphatically that they would, and then Caleb went on to tell him what they had done to get ready for the assault, not forgetting to give all the praise to their mothers.

"That's right," said Zeke. "If all the boys were as plucky as their mothers we would have easy times of it. I haven't got any gun to take; but I have a pitchfork handy, and you will see some red dust on it before this thing is over."

"Oh, I hope they won't fight," said Enoch. "We will get a bigger crowd than they can show——"

"I don't care how big our crowd is, we are going to have a fight," interrupted Caleb. "I will wager that you will see some mourning in Machias before the sun gets where he is now."

Zeke walked off laughing as if that was a story rather hard to believe, and the boys kept on their way to the grocery store. They found Emerson Miller there, but he was not so talkative as he was a little while ago. The boys did not like the way the storekeeper acted. He was leaning over the counter talking to Emerson, but when the two entered he straightened up and moved back to the rear end of the store.

"I guess you have got some powder, haven't you?" said Enoch. "Well, if you have, I want a pound of it."

"I would like to know what all you fellows are getting powder for," said the man. "Do you expect the Britishers up here to-night?"

"I don't know about that," said Enoch. "But we intend to be all ready for them when they do come. We will serve them as badly as they were served at Lexington."

"You will, eh?" said the grocery keeper, turning fiercely upon the boys. "What would you do if the Margaretta should cut loose on us and burn the town?"

"We would whip her, that's all," replied Caleb. "She can't do it. She must wait until war is declared before she can do that."

"I don't know whether I will give you any powder or not," said the man. "You boys act almost too independent."

"Just as you please, sir," retorted Enoch, while Caleb was angry in an instant. "If you don't want to sell us any powder, you can say so."

"I will give you some this time, but if you come in here any more you don't want to be quite so bold in regard to what you would do and what you would not," replied the man; but Enoch rightly concluded that this was not his reason. If he refused to give him what he called for, how long would it be before all the provincials in the village would hear of it and come there to see him about it? And if Zeke came he was sure that he would not escape without a whipping. He went and got the powder, while the two boys stood looking at each other in amazement. When the article was done up Enoch paid for it and the two left the store.


CHAPTER VII

THE BUCKET OF YEAST.

"Say," whispered Caleb, as soon as they were out of hearing of the store, "that Ledyard Barrow is a Tory."

"That is just what I have been thinking myself," replied Enoch, who was so surprised that he hardly knew what he said. "We have got to be awful careful about this thing or it will get out on us in spite of all we can do. I did not say anything wrong while I was talking to him, did I?"

"No, indeed, you did not. The first thing you know we will have Tories all around us, and the next thing will be for that vessel to trip her anchor and go farther off down the bay. Say, Enoch, I shall have to borrow a little of that powder of you until I can have—"

"You may have it," interrupted Enoch. "There is more here than I want. But to think that we have unearthed another Tory. That is what gets to me."

"It looks to me as though every neighbor was going to have to fight the man who lives next to him," said Caleb, taking off his hat and scratching his head furiously.

"Well, I would rather they would make themselves known so that we may know just what we have to expect. I wish Zeke would happen along here just now. I would like to know what he thinks about it."

But Zeke had business to attend to where he was, and the boys did not get a chance to speak to him that night. When they came to Caleb's house, Enoch turned in with him to give him what he thought he should want of the powder, and found Caleb's mother engaged in knitting with her Bible open on her knee before her. The boys looked for success in the size of their crowd to enable them to overcome the schooner's crew, while Mrs. Young, like Enoch's mother, looked for it to a source from which it was sure to come if she asked for it in the right spirit. Enoch hastily took off his hat when he entered the house. The presence of that open Book upon her lap called for all the reverence he was capable of.

"Well, Enoch, are you one of the few who have agreed to take the Margaretta?" said Mrs. Young, greeting him with a smile. "I hope you have got your gun cleaned up, for Caleb thinks there is bound to be a fight."

"I don't think so mother," answered Caleb. "I know so. Machias is all right now, that is, there is not any mourning here, but you will see some when we get that schooner."

"When it does come we shall have the satisfying knowledge that we tried to do our duty," said Enoch.

"You forget that there is a penalty for piracy," said Mrs. Young.

"No, I don't," said Enoch, promptly. "They will have to capture every provincial in town before they can begin hanging us. When they try that, you will see a fuss here in Machias."

"That is right, my boy," said the mother, reaching up with the endeavor to pat Enoch on the head. "If you undertake this thing, I hope you will come out safely."

Caleb had by this time produced his powder-horn, and Enoch proceeded to give him half the quantity he had purchased. When he had filled it half full Caleb put in the stopper and slapped the horn into his open palm, giving Enoch a mysterious wink as he did so. Enoch had no trouble at all in interpreting that wink. By it Caleb said that when he was face to face with the schooner's crew he would get at least one shot, if he did not get any more; and Enoch knew what he meant by that. He was almost sure of the redcoat he pulled on, and there would be one less for them to encounter when the order was given to board her and clear her deck.

"But, Caleb, we don't know who our captain is," said Enoch, giving utterance to the thought that had been uppermost in his mind ever since the capture of the schooner was proposed.

"I don't care for that," said Caleb. "When we get to work everybody will be captain. We all want the schooner, and the one that does the most is the best man."

Enoch was obliged to be satisfied with this, and as there was nothing further to detain him he made his best bow and went out. The boys now had nothing to do but various little jobs around the house until the sun rose the next morning. Enoch did carpenter work, fitting some chinking into the walls where the winter's cold came in during severe weather, and Caleb cut some wood and brought it into the house for fear that to-morrow night he might not be there to attend to it.

"There is nobody except me that knows we are going to have a fight before we can claim that schooner," said he, as he paused with his ax raised in the air and glanced toward the place where the Margaretta was lying at her anchorage. "Because we have always been friendly with those boys it is no reason why they will not fight us when they see us coming. I know what I should do if I was there."

With this thought Caleb drove the ax into the log with all his force as if he felt that there was some enemy in there and he wanted to get rid of him, and then his mother called him to supper. He looked up and saw that it was getting dark. He put his ax away in the woodshed and went into the house, and when he was through with his meal his mother said to him—

"Caleb, I wish you would take that little tin bucket from the third nail behind the door in the buttery and go over to Mrs. Crosby's, and ask her if she can spare me some yeast for to-night. I want to bake some bread early on Monday morning, and I should thank her for a little."

Caleb at once put on his hat, took the bucket from the third nail in the pantry, bid his mother good-by, and went out. What a difference there was between him and the boys who flourish in our time! Boys in our day would say "yes, ma'am," and loaf around and wait until they got a good ready to start; but to Caleb, his mother's command had to be obeyed right away. He struck up a whistle when he went out, one of those old-fashioned songs that boys do not know in our day, telling himself in the meantime that it was about as dark as he ever saw it. But Caleb knew the way, and he went on his road without a misstep. He arrived at Mrs. Crosby's house, made known his errand and came away again, not forgetting to exchange ideas with his friend Enoch about the cheer that was to sound on the morrow.

"I have not heard anything like a cheer since I have been out of the house," said Caleb. "If I had heard it, you would not have seen me here. The fun will begin to-morrow when we follow them into the church. I hope we shall not do anything wrong by arresting them in their seats."

"Mother has not said a word about it, so I guess it is all right," said Enoch. "It will show them that we are in earnest."

Caleb struck up another whistle and went on his way, and he had almost reached his home when something startling occurred to him. A man suddenly appeared before him and barred his way. Caleb stopped and waited for him to make known his object, but seeing that the man did not speak, he turned out to go by him when the man suddenly reached out his arm and brought him to another standstill.

"Don't be in too big a hurry, my lad," said he, and it shot through Caleb's mind on the instant that he must be a seafaring man, for the tone of his voice indicated it.

"You don't know where Caleb Young lives about here, do you?"

"Well, if I do, that is my own business," replied Caleb, once more making an effort to leave the man behind. "Why don't you go to some house and inquire?"

"Because I think you are the man we want to see," was the reply. "Come on, boys. Keep still now, or it will be worse for you."

In an instant three other men appeared as if they had risen from the ground, and Caleb became aware that he was in the hands of the Tories. It was too dark to see whether or not the men were armed, but something that stuck out by their sides made him think that each of them had a cutlass strapped to him.

"Look here," said he, backing off a pace or two. "Do you mean to arrest me?"

"We will tell you about that when we get you aboard the vessel," said the man who stood in front of him. "You rebels—Head him off, lads. Knock him down."

The words "rebels" seemed to quicken Caleb's ideas. He saw it all now. He was to be arrested and taken on board the Margaretta and be taken off somewhere so that the magistrate could collect the fine he had imposed upon him. To think with him was to go to work. As quick as thought he ducked his head, not forgetting to throw his bucket loaded with yeast full into the face of the officer, for such Caleb took him to be, and dodging the grasp the man made at him he ran furiously toward his own gate. But he had to deal with men who were as cunning as he was. A fourth man, who stood a little distance behind the officer, clasped him in his strong arms before he had made a dozen steps and threw him to the ground.

"Help!" shouted Caleb, with all the power of his lungs.

"Stop that noise; quick!" exclaimed the officer. "Choke him down."

Caleb did not have time to say all he meant to say when he lifted up his voice in shouting for help, for at that moment the man who had thrown him down changed his grasp from his arms to his throat, and the boy was rendered powerless. It was but the work of a few seconds to tie his hands, and scarcely more to jerk him to his feet and start him down the road toward the harbor. Caleb went because he could not help himself. Two Tories followed close behind him. Each one had hold of his collar, which was drawn so tight that he could not utter a sound. A boat that was drawn up on the beach was ready waiting for them, and Caleb was thrown into it and dragged aft until he was brought up by the stern-sheets. The man whom he took to be an officer turned out to be one sure enough, for he took his seat beside Caleb and went on brushing his coat with his handkerchief to wipe off the yeast.

"I will get even with you, my lad, before we get to New York to pay you for throwing that stuff at me," said he, with something that sounded like an oath. "What was it, you rebel?"

"It is something that won't hurt you any," replied the prisoner, striving to get his throat in order so that he could speak plainly.

"What was it, I ask you!" said the officer, kicking Caleb with his foot. "Do you hear?"

"It is nothing but yeast," said Caleb. "I hope it will raise you up so that it will put a little sense into your head."

It was evident that the rough treatment to which he had been subjected had not taken all the pluck out of Caleb Young. The officer was astonished and gave him three or four kicks in the ribs to show that he did not admire such talk; but the position in which he lay, together with the narrow limits of the boat, rendered the kicks comparatively harmless.

"Shove off," commanded the officer. "Give-away strong and let us get rid of this rebel as soon as we can."

In a few minutes the boat was alongside the schooner, where they found Captain Moore and the other officers waiting for them. A lantern held over the side showed them that the officer had not come back empty-handed.

"You got him, did you?" said the captain, and his voice sounded very unlike the polite tones in which he was accustomed to greet the villagers who came there to see him. He did not live in Machias, but he had been there so often that he was pretty well known to all the towns-people.

"Yes, sir, I have got him," said the officer, touching his hat. "And the rebel threw a bucket of yeast on me when I took him."

"Well, you will pay him for that when we get him to New York," said the captain. "Hoist him up here."

This was the worst part of the treatment to which Caleb had thus far been subjected since his capture. Two of the boat's crew seized him, one at the head and the other at the feet, trying to take him by the clothes but not being particular if they caught up flesh with them, and raised him over their heads, from which position he was received by two more aboard the schooner, who hauled him over the rail and deposited him on the deck as if he had been a log of wood.

"You have got his hands tied, have you not?" said the captain. "Well, release them, and bo'son bring up a set of bracelets and put them on him."

"Do you treat all your prisoners this way, captain?" asked Caleb.

"We treat all rebels this way," was the answer. "The next time you do anything to bring you a fine, be sure you can pay it."

"But, captain—" began Caleb.

"That's enough," said the captain, fiercely. "I know what you have done and so do you. If you talk any more to me I will put a gag in your mouth."

Caleb did not know what a "gag" was, but he came to the conclusion that it was something to add to his punishment, and so he did not say anything more.


CHAPTER VIII.

UNDER WAY.

The boatswain speedily returned with the "bracelets" which he had been sent to bring, and by that time some of the crew had untied his hands. They proved to be irons, one for his wrists and another for his feet. In less time than it takes to tell it the irons had been put on and now Caleb was a prisoner, sure enough.

"Now, then, take him down and put him in the brig,"[6] said the captain. "See to it that he does not get anything to eat or a drop of water to drink to pay him for insulting his Majesty's officer by throwing a bucket of yeast at him."

Captain Moore acted as if he were mad about something, and for fear of the "gag" with which he had been threatened Caleb was unable to say a word to him. The boatswain took him by the arm and hurried him forward. The prisoner was pushed rather than led down the gangway to the brig, which was ready to receive him. He saw that the grated door was open, and when he came opposite to it he was shoved headlong into the dark, not knowing where he was going to bring up. But the brig was not deep enough to permit him to fall. By putting his manacled hands in front of him he brought up against the bulkhead with stunning force, and for a moment he stood there not knowing where he was or what to do.


He was shoved headlong into the dark.


"There, you rebel," said the boatswain, "I guess you will stay there."

The door was closed and locked behind him, and then Caleb turned about. There was a lantern outside which threw its beams into the brig, and by their aid Caleb was enabled to take a view of his prison. It was about six feet square, large enough to hold all the members of the schooner's company who were liable to be put there for various misdemeanors, and there was not a thing in the way of furniture in it—no stool to sit down on and no bed to sleep on. Caleb drew a contrast between that room and his plainly furnished little apartment at home and drew a long-drawn sigh.

"Yes, I guess I will stay here," said he, as he seated himself opposite the door so that he could see all that was going on on deck. "Am I a rebel because Zeke Lewis would not let that magistrate fine me? The magistrate did not care what James said, he wanted to know what I did; and if that is justice I don't want to see any more of it. And I must go to New York. And what is going to become of mother in the meantime? I tell you, I hope that the boys' attempt on this schooner to-morrow will be successful. How I can pass the night waiting for them I don't know."

The first thing that attracted Caleb's attention was that his irons were too tight. They pinched him in every way that he could place them, and he first tried to get them off; but his hands were too big. He did not think he could live that way until he got to New York, and he appealed to the first sailor that came along to take the irons off and replace them with some others; but the sailor smiled grimly and shook his head.

"You threw some yeast at the officer, did you not?" said he.

"He tried to take me while I was minding my own business," said Caleb. "You would have done the same thing if you had been in my place."

"Well, you had better let the irons alone. They don't pinch half as hard as the rope will when you get it around your neck."

Here the sailor turned his head on one side and made a motion with his right hand as if he were pulling something up with it.

"I will not be hanged for that, I tell you," said Caleb. "If the officer wanted me, why did he not come up to the house and arrest me?"

"You have insulted one of his Majesty's officers by throwing that stuff on him, and you don't get anything to eat for a day," said the sailor as he turned away. "You will be hungry before you get your next meal."

"Then I have nothing left for it but to go to sleep," said the prisoner to himself. "That is, if I can go to sleep. If I was master of a vessel I would not treat a captive in this way."

That was a long night to Caleb, but he picked out as comfortable a position as he could on the brig's floor and fell asleep while thinking of his mother and Enoch Crosby. He was as certain as he wanted to be that Enoch and Zeke would turn the village up side-down to find what had become of him, and when they had made up their minds that he was on board the schooner, they would not rest easy until they had rescued him. He was aroused by the changing of watches, and then he did not know anything more until the boatswain called all hands in the morning. He straightened up and took his position opposite the door where he could see the crew as they passed to and fro engaged in their duties of the ship. He knew when the decks were washed down, and when they went to breakfast. There was a mess chest standing on the deck right where he could see it, and the Tories took no little delight in biting off their hard-tack and eating their corned beef before him. But Caleb knew that there was no breakfast waiting for him, although he was as hungry as he ever had been.

After breakfast the decks were swept down, and then an order was passed which Caleb could not understand; but he soon became aware that the crew were getting ready to go ashore. It was Sunday, and of course the men dressed in white on that day. Pretty soon an officer passed, and he was got up with all the gold lace that the law allows, but he paid no attention to the prisoner. Presently a boat was called away, and then another, and Caleb could hear the men scrambling down the side in order to get into them, and he knew that the crew had left barely enough men on board to look out for the safety of the vessel. What a time that would be for the men on shore to capture her! While he was thinking about it a sailor came up alongside the grating which formed the door, and after looking all around to make sure that no one was watching him, he put his hand into his bosom and slipped a small package in to the prisoner.

"There you are," said he. "Eat your fill."

The sailor moved away as quickly as he had come, and Caleb was not long in taking care of the bundle. He took it back out of sight, so that if any one chanced to look in to see what the prisoner was doing, he would not have seen him eating the contents of the package. For there was a good breakfast in there, and how the man had managed to steal it was something that Caleb could not understand.

"I wish I had taken a good look at him," said Caleb, with his mouth full of hard-tack and meat. "I believe that when the attack is made, and it will not be long now, I can do him a favor. He is not a Tory. He belongs on our side easy enough."

Caleb did not want as much to eat as he thought he did, for he stopped every few minutes to listen. But he did not hear any sound to indicate that an attack had been made on the schooner's crew, nor any cheer to tell him that all was ready. An hour passed—such an hour as that was, Caleb hoped he should never live over again—and then hoarse commands were heard on the deck and then a commotion arose which was greater, if possible, than when the boats were called away. The prisoner arose hastily to his feet and pressed his face close to the grating to see if he could discover anything that created such a hubbub; but he could not see anything. But the men were all on deck, and pretty soon he heard the dropping of hand-spikes and the dash of ropes above him as if the crew were getting ready to train a gun upon the town.

"Bussin' on it!" whispered Caleb, who was so excited by what he heard that he repeated Zeke's favorite expression before he knew what he was doing. "It has come. The boys have made the attack and I shall soon be free. There are two persons I want to remember; one is the boatswain who threw me into this brig, and the other is the man who gave me my breakfast. It is coming sure enough."

After the men had got their gun trained, for Caleb was certain that was what they were doing, there was silence for a few minutes, and then he heard the splash of oars in the water. He heard Captain Moore's voice pitched in a loud key, and then he was sure that all of the crew who had gone off in the boats came aboard. That was something for which he could not account. If the attack was made it had failed, and the crew were on the lookout.

"Now, it is mighty strange how those men came aboard," said Caleb, to himself. "And what was the reason they did not arrest them there in the church?"

If Caleb had been in the habit of using strong language he would have used it now, but he did nothing but stand there and wait. The men had taken the alarm, there could be no doubt about that, for presently he heard the vessel moving a little as if springs had been got out to her cables, and she was being moored broadside to the town.

"I wonder if they are going to fire on the village?" said Caleb in great alarm. "If she does, I wonder what will become of my mother? Why can I not escape?"

He seized the grating with both hands and exerted all his strength upon it, but, although he could make the gate rattle, the locks still held firmly in their place. Fifteen minutes passed in this way, and then he heard a roar over his head as if heaven and earth were coming together. Another followed it, and the prisoner, firmly believing that the schooner had opened on the town, for the purpose of setting it on fire, left the grating and seated himself once more in the further end of the brig. The firing continued—how long Caleb did not know; but he realized that he was shutting his ears to all sound of the guns.

"This thing has commenced war with me at any rate," said he, to himself, "and if I ever get free and have a gun in my hands that I can use, I will kill a person for every person in Machias that has been struck by their shells."

Finally the firing ceased, and a sound was heard like a man's steps coming down the companion ladder. When he came nearer Caleb saw that it was the man who had given him his breakfast.

"Say," said he, in a low tone. "How many of them did you kill?"

The man looked around to make sure that there was no one in sight and then replied—

"None of them. We just fired a shot or two over the town to show them that we are on guard. Have you got some relatives there?" he added, noticing that Caleb drew a long breath of relief.

"I should say so. My mother is out there."

The prisoner was about to ask him what was the reason the attack on the schooner had failed, but he happened to think that by so doing he would let out some things that Zeke had cautioned him particularly to guard against; and another thing was, the sailor passed on about his business. He did not have time to exchange another word with him.

"It is lucky that I did not have time to ask him about the attack on the schooner," said Caleb, once more returning to his seat. "He is not a Tory, but I don't know that he is friendly enough to us to keep still about it. Now I want to know what is the reason I did not hear that cheer."

Caleb did not have more than two minutes to turn this matter over in his mind, when some more sailors were heard coming down the ladder. They proved to be the watch who had been granted shore liberty that day, and their business was to change their holiday clothes for their working suits. They worked as if they were in a hurry, paying no attention at all to the prisoner, and as fast as they put on their working clothes they ran on deck. Some more hoarse orders greeted them, and this time they were followed by the creaking of halyards and the singing of men, which told Caleb that they were getting the ship under way. In a few minutes the rattling of the windlass joined in, and by listening intently Caleb heard a man ordered to the wheel. This was as much as he cared to know. He covered his face with his hands and for a moment groaned aloud. He was off for New York, he would be put in jail there for not paying his fine and there was no telling what treatment he would receive after he got there. And his mother too, who was wondering all this time what had become of him! He did not know what to think about her. Enoch and Zeke would have to look out for her, for the chances were that he would never come back. While he was thinking about it, a sailor passed by so close to the grating that Caleb put out his hand and stopped him.

"Are we going to New York now?" he asked.

At this moment an officer, who had stood a little back out of his sight, stepped into view. It was the boatswain—the very man of all others of whom he had learned to stand in fear.

"Look here, you rebel," said he, shaking his brawny fist so close to the grating that Caleb instinctively drew back. "If I hear another word out of you I will start you in a way that will make you open your eyes."

The prisoner released his hold on the door and retreated to the opposite end of his cell. He knew what the boatswain meant by saying that he would "start" him. If he had taken pains to cast his eye about the schooner's deck when he was brought below, he would have seen the dreaded "cat" suspended from the main-mast. Its thongs were all knotted to render the blows more severe, and they were covered with blood. The "cat" had evidently been used upon somebody's bare back, and Caleb did not want to bring it into further use. The only thing he could do was to keep still and let time show him what was coming.


CHAPTER IX.

THE "AGGRESSIVE" TORY.

To say that the magistrate was intensely surprised by the rebellion that had taken place in his office, would be putting it very mildly. He was completely taken aback, so much so, that, when he saw the coat tails of the last provincial disappearing through the door, he settled back in his chair, let his hands fall helplessly by his side, and looked at Mr. Howard with eyes that seemed ready to start from their sockets. Mr. Howard was equally astonished. He looked around for a chair and sank into it.

"This beats me," were the first words that he uttered.

"It is a—a—revolution," said the magistrate, pulling his handkerchief from his pocket and wiping his face with it. "The spirit that animated those fellows at Lexington has got up here, has it not? Nolton, you are not worth your salt. Why did you not arrest Zeke when he started to move away with that boy?"

"You told me to do my duty," said the constable, "and I thought it my duty to remain quiet in my place. I wish you had been in my shoes. If I had touched that man I would not have known what hurt me."

"If I was a constable and sent here to preserve order, I would have arrested that man in spite of everything the provincials could do to stop me," exclaimed the magistrate, doubling up his huge fist and pounding the desk with it. "It is all owing to you that this rebellion, or whatever you call it, has got to such a pass. Now what are we going to do? Must we stand by and let those rebels run things to suit themselves?"

"By no means," said Mr. Howard hastily. "There must be some place in the colonies where our men are strong enough to collect that fine of Caleb. What is the use of the Margaretta here?"

"Do you want to send Caleb off to New York?" whispered the magistrate, bending toward Mr. Howard, while his eyes gleamed with satisfaction. "I never once thought of that."

"I mean just that and nothing else," said Mr. Howard, in the same cautious tone. "I would like to see those men get up a rebellion in the face of Captain Moore. He would blow the town out of sight."

"I don't know whether I want him to try that or not," said the magistrate, doubtfully. "I have a house up here and I don't want him to put any shells through that."

"It would be very easy for him to send his shells wherever he wanted them to go. I believe in going down and calling upon him right away. You may rest assured that you will not do any more court business while this thing is hanging over you. Besides, the Governor may hear of it and put another man in your place."

"Let us go down and see him the first thing we do," said the magistrate, getting upon his feet. "You men stay here until we come back," he added, turning to the constables. "We may have more work for you."

"Well, you just wager that you can do it yourself," said Kelly mentally, as he helped himself to a chair. "I am not going around where Zeke is any more."

Kelly looked toward Nolton as these thoughts passed through his mind, and from something he saw there he made up his mind that he was not alone in deciding this way. It was very easy for the magistrate to send men into danger, but he took good care to keep out of it himself.

The magistrate put on his hat and led the way toward the door, and Mr. Howard and the two boys followed close at his heels. They stopped when they got to the door and held a consultation as to whether or not they should let the boys go with them, but after a little talk they decided that James should go on board the schooner to show the captain the lump on his eye, which grew bigger and blacker all the while, and Emerson, who saw the assault, should be a witness to it.

"I want to let the captain see that I fined him one pound and costs for a reason," said the magistrate. "Then he will think that I was doing my duty."

They found a boat at the wharf just preparing to go off to the schooner, and the parties all got down into it. The sailors looked at James with surprise and something very like a grin overspread their faces; but they were too well-trained to ask any news. They found Captain Moore in his quarters, and he had his coat off and was lying at his ease on a lounge reading a book. He got up and looked his astonishment when he shook James by the hand.

"A rebel did that," said the boy.

"What makes you call him a rebel?" asked the captain. "Has that affair of Lexington got up here?"

"Yes, sir," said the magistrate. "And thereby hangs a tale as long as your arm. I fined Caleb Young for striking James, but the rebels got around him and took him home."

"And did he not pay his fine at all?" said the captain in surprise.

"No, sir. One rebel told me that the boy had no money to pay his fine, and I should not be allowed to shut him up either, so the only thing I could do was to let him go. The spirit of rebellion is bigger than one would think for."

"Well, I should think it was," said the captain, angrily. "When they begin to interfere with a magistrate for the work he does on his bench, it is time they were being hanged, the last one of them. What did you do then?"

The magistrate began his story at once and told it through without interruption. At last he came to the point which brought him there. He wanted Caleb arrested, taken on board the schooner, and carried to New York and given to some power that could enforce the law. And Captain Moore was the only man they knew who could help them in the matter.

"Do you want my men to arrest him?" asked the captain.

"Yes; and you will have to be pretty quiet while you are about it. Don't let him shout for help or anything else, for, if you do, you will have the village on you before you can think twice."

"Well, things have come to a pretty pass," said Captain Moore, rising to his feet and walking up and down the narrow limits of his quarters. "Do you know that you have given me something hard to do? If I can catch him outside the house all would be well; but suppose I should have to go in after him? Then what will happen?"

"You will have to take your chances on that," said Mr. Howard, who was more in favor of his scheme than he was before. The captain seemed willing to undertake it, and he determined that he should undertake it if he could bring any arguments to make him think that way.

"It all rests with you," said the magistrate. "I have tried to enforce the law and could not do it, and now I leave it to yourself to determine whether or not you have any authority in the matter."

"I don't suppose I have, if you really come down to it," said the captain, gazing thoughtfully at the floor. "But I shall depend a good deal upon those magistrates in New York. They are not very lenient with any one who tries to get up a rebellion here in the colonies, and the news of that battle at Lexington will urge them to be severe on all who try it. I will do it, but you must keep still about it until after I get away."

"You may depend upon us for keeping still about it," said Mr. Howard. "I want that boy fined, and I shall not spoil the thing by saying a word to anybody. At what time do you think the sloops will get loaded up?"

"I shall be ready to start on Tuesday. If I can once get him on board my vessel I will risk anybody's getting him away."

"I knew I would some day get even with that fellow," said James, as he arose to his feet and put on his hat. "I think he will learn that a gentleman has a right to say what he pleases without being knocked down by some rebel."

"I guess he will too, James," said the captain, laying his hand confidentially on the boy's shoulder. "Let me get my hands on him once and I will teach him a lesson."

Captain Moore put on his coat and accompanied them to the deck, and in obedience to his order the cutter was called away for them. The captain watched them until they had gotten ashore, and then intimated to his first lieutenant (he is called the executive officer in our day) that he had something of importance to say to him in his cabin. The lieutenant went, and was thrown into as great a rage as the captain had been when he heard of the rebellion in the magistrate's office.

"Now, Hobson, I want you to capture that fellow to-night," said Captain Moore, in conclusion. "Do you think you can do it?"

"Yes, sir," was the reply. "If those constables are afraid to attend to their business on account of the rebels I am not."

"My advice to you would be that you go ashore and walk twice by that house and see how things are located there. You may have to go in in order to get him. I need not tell you that you have got to be very careful about it. You know the boy when you see him?"

"Oh, yes, sir. And I will take particular pains that he does not call for help, either."

The lieutenant was placed ashore, and walking with his hands behind him, as if he were out for the air and nothing else, he bent his steps toward Caleb Young's home. When he came within sight of it he found Caleb standing in front of the woodshed door, cleaning up the old flint-lock. He was evidently getting ready for another Lexington affair if the British troops came near Machias. At least, that was what the officer thought.

"But you will be safe in jail, paying that fine of yours," soliloquized the first lieutenant, as he walked on his way. "I know now how I am going to work it. As soon as it comes dark I will go to his house and demand admittance in the name of the king, and when I once get my hands on him I will choke him so that he can't holler."

The officer returned on board the schooner in less than an hour, reported what he had seen and the way he was going to get around it. He noticed that his shoes were covered with dust during his walk, and he pulled out his handkerchief and dusted them with it. His brand-new uniform was somewhat dusty, too, and that came in for a share of his attention. He was a good deal of a "dude," this first lieutenant was, and he took pride in looking as neat as if he had just come out of a lady's band-box. He did not think how his uniform would look when he brought it into the presence of the captain all spattered with yeast.

There were some hours of daylight still left, but all the lieutenant had to do was to pick out the men he wanted to accompany him and give them their instructions in regard to arresting Caleb Young. One, to have heard his orders in regard to being quick and still about it, would have thought that Caleb was a big and powerful man, and that it was as much as all of them could do to manage him. But the trouble was the officer was not so much afraid of Caleb as he was of the people who would come to the rescue if he succeeded in giving the alarm.

Supper over the foremast hands enjoyed their hour given to smoking and song, and then the lieutenant came up from below with his side-arms on. This was a signal to his men, who promptly armed themselves, and in a few minutes they were pulling across the narrow bay toward a place where boats did not often land. It was to be a secret expedition all the way through, and when they got back aboard their vessel with their prisoner, they did not want anybody to be the wiser for it.

"Keep as silent as possible," said the officer. "You know Caleb Young better than I do, and if you see him close with him at once. We will give these rebels a lesson that they will remember."

It so happened that the lieutenant drew up behind a tree in front of Caleb's gate just as the boy came out with a pail in his hand to go after the yeast. It was so dark that Caleb could not see anything, and he struck up a whistle and went on all unconscious of the danger that threatened him. As soon as he was out of hearing one of the men whispered—

"That's him, sir."

"I know it," replied the lieutenant. "He has gone off on an errand for his mother, but he will soon be back. That's the time we will catch him."

We have already told how desperately Caleb fought for his freedom and how he called lustily for help; but it was rather chilly in the evening, being in the month of May, the people were gathered about the fires in their kitchens with the doors closed, and Caleb's yell did not reach any of them. He knew that he was in the hands of the Tories, but to save his life he could not imagine what he had been captured for. He was choked so violently that he could not utter a sound until he got into the boat, and then he did make out to reply to a question by the officer who was wiping the contents of his bucket off his uniform. In a very few minutes Caleb had been lifted out of the boat to the schooner's deck, the irons had been put on and he was safely in the brig.


CHAPTER X.

A VISIT TO THE JAIL.

For a wonder the evening following the day on which the news of the battle of Lexington was received, was an evening of "do-nothing" with Enoch Crosby. He could not perform any of the odd jobs about the house, he could not read, and under almost any other circumstances he would have regarded the time as wasted. The next day was Sunday, and Enoch and his mother were very much opposed to doing any work of their own on that day; but they remembered the parable of the sheep who fell into a pit on that day, and the owner had pulled him out and carried him home on his shoulder. So they took that parable to themselves, and thought Enoch would not be doing any wrong by attempting to seize the officers of the schooner when they came ashore to attend divine service.

"I tell you, mother, we are already standing on the edge of a much worse pit than the sheep of old fell into," said Enoch. "If the king does not wake up and do something very soon, we are going to see a war here."

His mother did not attempt to deny it. She nodded her head and went on with her knitting, while Enoch got down in front of the fire as close as he could, rested his elbows on his knees, and gazed thoughtfully at the floor. His mother thought he was growing down-hearted, and that would not do for a provincial; so she began and related some adventures of which his father had been the hero after he resigned his commission and came out of the service. Enoch listened intently, and now and then he heard something that made his eyes flash, and he really wished he could have stood beside his father with another flint-lock in his hand.

When Caleb came over after the yeast Enoch detained him as long as he could, but that was not very long, for Caleb was on an errand for his mother. He got the yeast, promised that he would be on hand when that cheer was sounded on the morrow, and went out. Something, we don't know what it was, prevented Enoch from taking up his hat and accompanying Caleb to his home. If he had done so, we should have had two boys in that brig instead of one.

The hands on the old-fashioned clock that stood on the mantle were beginning to come around toward nine o'clock, the hour when all good persons ought to be in bed, when there came a timid knock at the kitchen door. Wondering who could want to see any of his family at that hour Enoch opened it and found Mrs. Young on the threshold. Enoch thought she looked uneasy about something, and without saying a word she stepped into the kitchen and ran her eyes all around it. She was looking for Caleb, but she failed to find him there.

"Has my boy been here to-night?" she asked, in a trembling voice. "I sent him over to borrow some yeast of you——"

"He got the yeast and went home," said Mrs. Crosby. "Have you not seen anything of him?"

"No, I have not," said Mrs. Young, groping for the nearest chair and sinking into it. "He has not been near our house since he came over here."

"Where do you suppose he is?" said Enoch.

"If I knew where he was I should have gone after him," replied Mrs. Young. "He does not generally perform errands in this way."

"No," said Enoch, who grew angry when anything was said against his companion. "He generally does your bidding right up to the handle; and he would have been at your house unless something has happened to him."

"Happened to Caleb!" exclaimed Mrs. Young. "Why—what——"

"I don't know," replied Enoch. "But you will remember that he did not pay his fine to-day."

The women looked at each other but did not say anything.

"Now it has just occurred to me all on a sudden that that magistrate is going to collect that pound and costs of Caleb in some way," began Enoch.

"And has he arrested him for it?" stammered Mrs. Young.

"I don't know, but I can soon find out," replied Enoch. "I will go down and see Zeke about it."

"Be careful, my son, that you don't fall into the hands of the Tories yourself," said Mrs. Crosby, when she saw Enoch taking down his hat.

"They have not got anything against me," said Enoch, as he opened the door. "I don't know what sort of stories James has told about me, but I know that I took Caleb away from him when he had him down. He can't say anything hard against me for that."

"But you are not a Tory, and that will go against you."

Enoch went out, making no reply, and he left two very uneasy women behind him. They were not frightened, for in those days it took more than a supposition to alarm them. Mrs. Young felt uneasy in regard to Caleb, and Mrs. Crosby felt that Way when she considered that Enoch was going out there in the dark and perhaps would run into the very trap that had been set for his friend.

"I can't help it," said Enoch, as he closed the gate behind him and set off at a rapid run for Zeke's house. "He must be in jail, but I kept my mouth silent in the presence of his mother."

Enoch took to the middle of the street, for he concluded that he would be safer there than on the sidewalk. It was dark, but Enoch knew the way, and presently was standing on Zeke's back steps. It was all dark in the house and that proved that the man he wanted to see had gone to bed; but this was too serious a matter to admit of delay. "With his fist he pounded loudly upon the door, and a voice from the inside immediately asked—

"Who is that out there?"

"It is I—Enoch Crosby," replied the boy. "You'll have to get up and help us again. Caleb is in trouble."

It did not need any second call to bring Zeke out of bed and to his feet. He opened the door, saying as he did so—

"That Caleb beats all the boys in the world that I ever heard of. What has he been doing now?"

Enoch replied that he did not know. Caleb had come over to his house to borrow something of his mother, and he had never gone home with it. His mother was at Mrs. Crosby's now looking for him.

"Beyond a doubt he is in jail," said Enoch. "You know he did not pay his fine to-day, and I will bet that that magistrate has arrested him and locked him up."

"Bussin' on it, I believe you are right," said Zeke, hurrying on his clothes. "If he is in jail I wager that he will come out. Come in."

"I guess I had better stay out here. You will have to take a lantern with you, for it is awful dark."

In much less time than it takes to tell it Zeke presented himself at the door arrayed in his usual costume, but he had something else that he did not carry in the daytime. It was a huge club, and he had fashioned it after a style of his own. The club looked too heavy for one man to manage, but Zeke handled it as though it were a walking-cane. In his left hand he carried a lantern which he handed to Enoch.

"You don't think there is going to be a fight, do you?" asked the boy. "If you do I had better go home and get my flint-lock."

"There is no knowing what will happen," returned Zeke, with a peculiar twist of his head. "Suppose he is in jail, and the magistrate has brought up some of them fellows from the Margaretta to act as his guards. I don't know that he has done it, but it is well enough to be on the safe side. Now let us go and see the place where Caleb was arrested. We may be able to find out something from that."

"Now, Zeke, do be careful of yourself," said his wife, who was sitting up in bed.

"You never heard of Zeke being captured yet, did you?" asked Zeke. "Well, you never will."

Enoch, being provided with the lantern, took the lead down the sidewalk toward the place where Caleb had struggled so hard for his freedom. Almost the first thing he saw was the bucket which had contained the yeast. It was thrown up on one side near the fence, and was jammed in the side; but it was empty.

"Here is the place where he was caught," said Zeke, taking the lantern from Enoch's hand and carefully examining all the footprints in the soft earth. "Now, are these constables' tracks or Tories' tracks?"

Enoch did not know. He was all in the dark in more respects than one, and he forbore to express an opinion.

"Now, we will visit the jail," said Zeke, starting off with one of his long strides which compelled Enoch to strike a trot in order to keep up with him. "If he is in there he will come out."

"Where are you going to get some help?" asked Enoch.

"I do not want help. That old Tory knows me, and as soon as he knows my voice he will open that door. Now you mind what I tell you."

In a few minutes they ascended the steps that led to the jail, but all was dark inside. Zeke lifted his club and pounded loudly upon the door. It seemed as if the echoes would arouse everybody within hearing. An answer came from the inside, but it was not such a one that suited Zeke.

"Go away from there!" shouted a voice that was full of rage. "You are not a constable, I know, for they do not make such a noise when they come here. Go away, now, or I will shut you up."

So soon as this answer was received the club fell heavier than before; whereupon there was the creaking of a bed and the sound of bare footsteps on the other side of the door.

"Who's that on the outside there?" came the inquiry this time; and it was not nearly so full of rage as it was before.

"It is me," answered Zeke. "And if you want to see this door stay where it is, you will open it up pretty quick."

"Oh, Zeke, is it you? I'll open the door directly. Why didn't you tell me who you were?"

"Didn't I say he would open the door?" said Zeke, hitting Enoch in the ribs with his elbow. "He knows me."

In process of time the door came open and Zeke and Enoch stepped inside of it. The Tory was frightened, and he grew more so as he glanced at the club which Zeke carried in his hand.

"What do you want here at this time of night?" asked the jailer. "I haven't got but one with me here to-night——"

"Give me your keys," interrupted Zeke.

"Now, Zeke, is not that going pretty far?" asked the Tory, who was really frightened now. "You know I haven't any right to give you my keys——."

"Give me your keys," said Zeke in a louder tone, at the same time seizing the jailer by the collar with one hand while with the other he raised his club and held it over his head. "This is the last time I shall ask you."


"Give me your keys," said Zeke.


"Of course if you are bound to have the keys there they are," said the jailer, going to his bed and feeling under his pillow. "You will remember that I give them up to you because I had to——"

"That is all right," said Zeke, who had kept close by his side. He threw the pillow off as the jailer felt under it, and there lay two heavy horse pistols, of which he took immediate possession. "I will leave these things on the other side of the way and you can easily get them after we go away," he added, as he pushed the weapons into his pocket. "Now let us see if our man is in here."

"Who are you looking for?" asked the jailer. "There is not but one man in here, and he was put in for being drunk."

Zeke did not delay his search for what the jailer had said. He might be telling him the truth and then again he might not. He found the key which gave entrance into the cell-room, the doors of which were all open with one exception, and that one confined a prisoner. Enoch and Zeke were so surprised that they could not express themselves in fitting language. They looked at each other for a minute or two and then Zeke said:

"Bussin' on it, Caleb is not here."

"Are you speaking of Caleb Young?" asked the jailer. "I have not seen him. I did hear that he would be here to keep company with me to-night because he could not pay his fine which the magistrate imposed upon him, but I have not seen him or the constable either."

"Well, he is gone, if it will do you any good to know it," said Zeke, thoroughly at his wits' end. "And now the next question is, Where is he? I got that boy in a scrape, and I am bound to find him and give him up to his mother before I quit looking for him. Enoch, where is he?"

"Have you got through with your business here?" asked Enoch in reply. "If you have let us go. I will tell you what I think of Caleb's disappearance when we get outside."


CHAPTER XI.

A PLAN THAT DID NOT WORK.

"Good riddance to bad rubbish," soliloquized the jailer, as he stood in his door and saw Enoch and Zeke cross the way and place his horse pistols close against the fence. "I kinder reckoned on seeing Caleb here to-night, but I am glad he didn't come. That magistrate has arrested him for not paying his fine, but where is he? Go your way," he added, shaking his fist at Zeke, who was hurrying down the street engaged in an earnest conversation with his young friend. "It won't be long before I will have you here, too."

"Now, Enoch, where is he?" said Zeke, after he had placed the horse pistols where their owner could easily find them. "He is not in jail; we know that for a fact."

"No, but he is shut up all the same," replied Enoch. "If we don't find him to-morrow the next thing we shall hear of him he will be safe in New York."

"Bussin' on it, what do you mean?" inquired Zeke, profoundly astonished. "Who is going to take him to New York?"

"The Margaretta."

"Whoop!" yelled Zeke. "I can't make head nor tail of what you are saying."

"The magistrate and Mr. Howard have gone to work and had him arrested," said Enoch, confidently. "They know he would be rescued if he was put in jail, and so they have taken him aboard that schooner."

Zeke stopped in his walk and held the lantern up and looked searchingly into Enoch's face. He saw nothing there but an expression of pain, and he knew that Enoch was in earnest in all that he said.

"And when they get him to New York are they going to put him in jail until that fine is paid?" asked Zeke.

"I believe that is what they mean to do. I wonder why they don't take him to Boston; but then I suppose the schooner is not going that way."

Zeke lowered his lantern and resumed his walk with his eyes fastened on the ground. Enoch did not interrupt him, for he knew that he was meditating on something.

"Well, then, there is not anything more that we can do to-night," said he. "I believe you have hit the truth on the head. Now you go home and let your mother see that you did not run into any traps while you were gone. I'll go and see Mrs. Young, and tell her that her boy will be all right to-morrow. You will be on hand when you hear that cheer?"

"Yes, and I will be on hand no matter whether I hear it or not. If Caleb goes to New York I am going to go, too. I will be around when you take those men out of their seats in church."

Zeke did not say anything in reply. He was thinking too busily. He raised and lowered his lantern three times in succession, just as a man-of-war does when she meets one of our vessels at sea, and hurried off. Enoch watched him until he saw him go into Mrs. Young's gate, and then turned toward his home.

"It come onto me all of a sudden and so I spoke it out," said he, to himself. "It is the neatest thing I ever heard of. If he had been in jail we would have had him sure, for I never saw Zeke so mad as he was when he held that club over that jailer's head. I wish I could get just one word to Caleb. He would know that folks were suffering here on account of his long absence."

It did not take long for Enoch to explain the situation to his mother when he got home. Mrs. Young had gone away before he came, for she kept thinking that Caleb would get away somehow and that he would come home and find her gone.

"She need not have worried on that score," said Enoch, when his mother explained this to him. "He is in the brig on board that schooner, and he will stay there until we capture the officers to-morrow. Good night, mother, I guess I will go to bed."

This was all an excuse on Enoch's part. He went to bed, but not to sleep. He felt as many an old soldier feels on the night preceding a heavy battle. He knew that he had to take chances of coming out uninjured, and the thought of what those dear to him might say and feel if he should fall, effectually banished sleep from his eyes. Not once did he close his eyes in slumber, but he was up at the first peep of day and engaged in building a fire. It might be the last fire that he would ever set to cook his own breakfast with, but his mother did not see any traces of misgiving on his part. He greeted her with his regular morning kiss, and went about his duties as he always did; but his ears were sharply tuned to catch that cheer which he knew would be sounded before night.

"Now, mother," said Enoch, when nine o'clock was drawing near and the dishes had all been washed and put away, "I guess I will go down to the wharf and see what is going on there. If Caleb is aboard that boat he has got to come off. What would I do if that fellow was in a New York jail? The magistrate fined him that much on purpose. It is more money than Caleb ever saw."

"Be careful, my son, that you don't get into trouble yourself," said his mother.

This was all the parting that took place between them. Enoch went without his gun, for he did not want to attract attention, as he would have done if he had had the piece on his shoulder. More than that, Zeke had not told him to bring anything with him, and he concluded that there would be enough men on hand to arrest all the officers who came ashore to church. Before he had left his home fairly out of sight he found Zeke loafing about on a corner. It was not often that Zeke spent his time in that way. He was generally going ahead as if he had some business to attend to.

"Good morning," said Enoch, as soon as he came within speaking distance. "You see I have not brought my gun with me."

"That's all right," said Zeke. "Are you going to help take those fellows out of the church? All right again. Now I am here, and O'Brien and Wheaton are on the other corners, to stop everybody that is on our side and tell them not to show themselves about the church until after the officers get safely in. Then when you see us three moving up, you can come too."

"Have you heard anything about Caleb?"

"No, sir, not a thing. You hit it right last night the first time trying. He is aboard that boat."

"Now, Zeke, you must capture that boat the first thing you do," said Enoch, earnestly. "I did not go near his house this morning because I did not want to see his mother."

"I have been up there, and she had her book open and was reading it. She seems to find a great deal of comfort in that book. Now you slip around behind some of these houses, but be sure that you keep me in sight. I will tell you when the proper time comes."

"And when that time does come remember that you don't stop for anything. My friend is on board that boat."

Zeke smiled but said nothing. He did not have his club in his hand, but he felt as confident as though he had it. Enoch obeyed orders and sauntered out on a street which led him away from all sight of the church and the Margaretta; but he took care to keep Zeke's figure in sight. He found some other men there, too, who were there with the same object that he was, and one and all knew that Caleb was a prisoner on board the Margaretta. They were highly indignant over it, too, and Enoch told himself that if they acted that way when they made the attack on the vessel, Caleb would not remain a prisoner much longer.

It seemed hard that, after taking so much pains to have their plans work correctly, they should turn out a failure at last. It all happened through the enthusiasm of that man, Zeb Short, who had been taken to task for saying that he did not believe in fighting the schooner's company. Zeb was true blue; there was no doubt about that. But he did not obey the orders he had received and keep out of sight of the church. He sauntered around through the back streets, but he came back to the church as soon as possible, and loafed around there, watching all the people who went in. Nobody had ever seen him go near a church before, and consequently their curiosity was excited. But Zeb paid no attention to that. He was going to capture those officers if it lay within his power to do it, and if it came to a fight, why, he would be there to lend a hand in it.

At last the captain was seen, with his white knee-breeches, velvet coat all covered with gold lace and his queue neatly done up behind. The captain saw Zeb there, and for a moment stopped as if he wanted to speak to him, but he thought better of it and passed on into the church. He was gone but a minute and then looked cautiously out again. Where was Zeb Short? He was some distance up the road going with all the speed he could command toward the place where he had left O'Brien a few minutes before. At the same time three or four other men, whom the captain knew to be provincials, came toward the church from in front, and they were walking as though they had business on hand.

"It has come, and much sooner than I had expected," said the captain. "We have got to get out of here now."

Captain Moore stepped back into the church and closed the door behind him. He looked in vain for the key, but it was not there, so he was obliged to let it go unlocked. He went into the body of the church with a quick step, and bending down he whispered some words to each officer he came to. In an instant the officers arose and followed him. The captain spoke to every man who belonged to his schooner, and when they had all gotten upon their feet, he moved down the aisle toward the preacher's desk. The latter had just gotten up to read a hymn, but he stopped when he saw all those men coming toward him. The captain knew his man, and forthwith stepped up and said some words to him, while an officer who belonged to the schooner kept on ahead and hoisted one of the windows. Then he stepped out lively, and hanging by his hands dropped to the ground. The other members of the schooner's company followed close behind him, the captain coming last, and the minister closed the window after them.

"Here we are, O'Brien," panted Zeb Short, breathing hard after his rapid run. "They are all in. I saw the captain go in just now. Hurry up."

"Where were you?" asked O'Brien.

"I was down there in front of the church," said Zeb. "I wanted to be sure that they all went in and that they did not leave anybody outside to keep watch."

"Were you not ordered to keep out of the way of that church?" asked O'Brien hotly.

"Course I was. Zeke told me to go around the back way, but I did not stay there. We have got seven men to capture, and since Zeke told me that there is fifteen in our party, I conclude that we are going to take them very easily."

"Well, you have raised a fight by your heedlessness," said O'Brien, starting for the church. "Those men are armed, and of course they will not give way to us. You have got to fight now whether you want to or not."

"I am there," said Zeb, drawing himself up to his full height. "It might as well be on shore as on the deck of the vessel."

"There is Zeke now, and he has got Wheaton with him," said O'Brien. "Do not say anything to him about what you have seen, for if you do, you will have a fight on your hands before you bargained for it."

"For doing my duty?" exclaimed Zeb.

"You did not do your duty. It was your place to keep out of the way of that church, and you ought to have done it. Here comes Zeke now, and he has got most of the fellows with him."

"Are you all ready?" asked Zeke, as he came up.

"All ready. We had better get into that church as soon as we can. There are seven of them."

Zeke raised his hand as if to intimate that that was his idea exactly, and he started off with the full expectation that in less than five minutes' time he and his party would have the most of the officers of the schooner's company at their mercy. When he got within hearing of the church he would not allow a single man to speak to him, but raised his hand to enforce silence upon every one of them. He cast his eyes around to see that they were all present, then with noiseless footfalls ascended the steps and opened the door. Or, rather, he laid his hand upon the latch and was about to turn and give his whispered instructions: "Don't say a word to anybody but go about it quick and still," when one of his followers happened to glance over his shoulder and saw a sight that filled him with amazement and alarm.

"Here, here, what's this?" he almost shouted.

Zeke turned and about two hundred yards away he saw the officers of the schooner, running close together so as to protect each other and going their level best to reach the wharf. They were going at a rapid rate, too. Zeke saw at a glance that pursuit was useless.


CHAPTER XII.

DIFFERENT OPINIONS.

"Bussin' on it, they are gone!" exclaimed Zeke, with a disconsolate air. "Now some one of you is a traitor. He told him what we were up to, and he went in to get his other officers and got out of one of the windows. Now which one of you is it?"

If there had been a traitor in that little company who had come out to capture the officers of the schooner's crew, Zeke did not take the proper way to find him. He was about as angry as he could well get. He took off his hat, slammed it down upon the ground, and glared from one to the other of his band as if he were just aching for one of them to declare that he was to blame for it.

"Never mind, Zeke," said O'Brien, who was as much cut up as anybody to find that the officers had escaped them. "There is another day coming. Remember that we have not given that cheer yet."

"I know that," said Zeke, picking up his hat. "But we don't want a traitor among us when we go off to capture that schooner. No doubt he will go to the captain and tip him the wink, and the first thing we know she will be out at sea."

"Let us go down and see what they are going to do," said O'Brien, walking toward the wharf. "Perhaps they are going to stay right there."

"I will bet you a shilling that that isn't what you would do if you was commander of the vessel," said Zeke, falling in by the side of O'Brien and moving along with him. "You would let the sloops go."

"No, I would not. If I were sent here to protect them I would stay with them until we were all captured. If the captain pulls up his anchor and drops down the bay, he will stay there until the sloops are loaded and ready to start."

Zeke made no reply; he was too indignant to talk. He walked along by the side of O'Brien, and when they came within sight of the Margaretta they found that there was something of a commotion on board. The men were running everywhere about the vessel in obedience to the harsh orders which came faintly to their ears, and presently the sound of dropping hand-spikes was heard, and a group of sailors were seen gathering about a gun which was pointed over the town.

"They are going to shoot at us!" shouted three or four of the men in Zeke's company.

"Let them shoot!" replied Zeb Short. "If we don't leave men enough behind us to make them pay for every drop of our blood that they will spill here to-day, we ought to be killed."

Not a man was seen who showed a disposition to run and find a safe place from the ball in the cannon which they knew would come flying toward them in a minute more. They all stood up, and although there were some pale faces among them, they waited with a dogged determination to see if the captain was going to shoot them down. Another minute passed, and then there was a roar aboard the schooner and something passed above their heads so close that they felt the wind of it. Another and another followed it, and during all this time Zeke and his men stood there on the wharf in plain sight, resolved that they would not go until the schooner got through firing. But not one of the balls entered the village. They all went over it and were intended, as the sailor had informed Caleb Young, to let the citizens of Machias see that the crew of the Margaretta were on the alert. Finally the guns ceased firing and the crew proceeded to secure them; and when this was done they turned their attention to something else. The schooner was too far off for them to hear the orders that were issued, but they saw the motions, and knew that the vessel was getting under way. She was not going to wait for the sloops after all.

"Bussin' on it!" exclaimed Zeke, taking off his hat and throwing it on the ground beside him. It seemed as if Zeke's hat was the first thing to stand his exhibition of fury whenever he got that way. He plucked it off and threw it as far from him as he could, and then was ready to go on with his grievance.

"Are they going to get under way sure enough?" stammered Enoch.

"You have been to sea often enough to know what 'stand by the capstan' means," retorted Zeke. "Of course she is going to get under way and let these sloops take care of themselves. You have seen Caleb Young for the last time."

"Don't put too much faith in what Zeke says," said Mr. O'Brien. "That schooner is going to get under way, but she is only going to drop down a few miles where she can have more sea-room. Do you know that Caleb is on board that schooner?"

"No, sir; but he is not in jail, and I don't know where else he could be. I believe Mr. Howard had him taken on board, too."

"Let us go with her and see where she is going to bring up," said Zeb Short, who felt very uneasy every time he looked at Zeke. "Perhaps we can make her surrender."

"Yes, you will make her surrender," said Zeke, in accents of disgust; but all the same he arose, as the others did, and walked along toward the point which was about three miles off. The schooner fairly beat them in the race because she had her mainsail up by this time, and was going ahead as fast as a four-knot breeze could send her. The men kept her in sight until she rounded to under the point and cast anchor about a quarter of a mile from shore.

"Do you see that, Zeke?" said Mr. O'Brien, cheerfully. "She is going to wait for the sloops. When they come down all ready to sail she will go on with them to New York."

"I am in favor of going up and getting one of the sloops and attacking her," said Enoch, whose eyes brightened wonderfully when he saw the Margaretta come to anchor. "We can't get her in any other way."

"I believe the boy is right there," said Wheaton. "If we are going to take that schooner at all, we must go out to her in some way."

A long discussion followed on this point, some were decidedly in favor of Wheaton's proposition and some were not. Every man had something to say, but without coming to the point, and before long the sun began to sink out of sight behind the hills.

"Well," said O'Brien, jumping up and turning his face toward home, "you have settled the matter for one day at least; but when to-morrow morning comes you will surely hear that cheer. We will take a sloop and come down here and capture that schooner."

"Hear! Hear!" shouted one of the men.

"All of you who are in favor of going with us we shall expect to see down here," continued O'Brien. "Those of you who don't favor it, stay at home."

"Of course if you are going to fight the schooner, we shall go too," said another, who could not see the beauty of taking a sloop to go out where the schooner was and be licked. "When you give that cheer you will find us all ready."

"I wish you had been as ready to-day as you say you will be to-morrow for we would have had that schooner in an hour from now," said O'Brien. "I hope you will come prepared to do your duty."

Zeke and his friends walked home, but they did not say much during their journey. He and Enoch were very much disappointed, and they began to think that the enthusiasm that some of their party had displayed was all put on for the occasion. They had the best of reasons for believing that Caleb was a prisoner on board that vessel, and that a few more hours would find him safe in New York and that they would never see him again. They were more anxious to fight now than they had ever been before; and when Enoch parted from him at his gate, Zeke said:

"That's what comes of postponing a dangerous thing like this. Those fellows yesterday were all eager to fight, and you saw how some of them backed out down there at the point."

"You are going to take that schooner, are you not?" asked Enoch.

"To be sure we are," said Zeke, striking his palms together. "If there is one man left of our party, he is going to sail that boat into the harbor."

"I am glad to hear you say that," said Enoch, smiling and rubbing his hands together. "The only brother I have is aboard that boat, and I am bound to get him out if I can."

"You keep your ears open and you will surely hear the sign," said Zeke, impressively. "Then you come a running."

Enoch replied that he would be there as soon as any of them, and continued on his way toward home. On the way he was obliged to pass Mr. Howard's house, and he saw somebody sitting on the porch whom he hoped he might never see again. It was the boy whose father had placed Caleb a prisoner aboard the schooner. He was sitting on the porch with his wounded eye done up, and when he saw Enoch approaching he got up and came down to the gate; but Enoch noticed that he did not come within reach of it. He stopped just outside of the touch of Enoch's arm.

"Well, Enoch, you did not get them, did you?" said he.

"Get what?" said Enoch in reply.

"Oh, I don't suppose you know that there was fifteen or twenty men who went down to the church this morning to arrest the officers of the schooner," said James, with a laugh. "I know all about it. You did not guard the windows as well as the door, and so they slipped out. You will have to be sharper than that if you hope to gobble Britishers."

Enoch thought he had got all he wanted to know out of James, and turned to go on again, but before he had made many steps James called after him.

"I have got something more that I want to tell you," said he. "How many of you did they kill when they opened fire on you?"

"They did not kill any of us. They shot over our heads just to let us know that they were on the watch."

"Yes; and they could have wiped you all out if they had had a mind to. You want to go easy around that schooner, for they have got one of you boys there in irons."

"You know that, do you?" said Enoch. He drew cautiously up to the gate, but James was on the watch and he stepped back a pace or two.

"Yes, sir, I know it. The captain said he would arrest him, and he was not with you fellows down to the church; so he must be on board the schooner. He is going to New York, and he will find men there who are strong enough to make him pay his fine."

"If you will just step outside that gate for one minute I will put your other eye in mourning, and then you will have two eyes just alike," said Enoch, who was almost beside himself with fury.

"No, I thank you," said James, with a laugh. "My other eye suits me exactly. You will get yourself arrested, too, if you don't look out. Caleb will pay his fine at the rate of a shilling a day, and that will take him thirty days to square it all up. Thirty days shut up away from home and friends and surrounded with men who don't like you, will teach him a lesson."

"Well, I will tell you one thing," said Enoch, whose pale face showed how angry he was. "Don't let me catch you outside this gate again. And when Caleb gets back—he will be out before the thirty days are up——"

"He will, eh? How is he going to get out?"

"He will get out; don't you forget it. And when he comes back, you had better stay in the house unless you want your other eye tied up too."

James did not say any more, for something Enoch had said had started a serious train of reflections in his mind. He looked sharply at Enoch for a second or two, and then turned and walked into the house, while Enoch kept on toward home.

"If Caleb won't lick him I will lick him myself," soliloquized the boy, who was so excited that he could scarcely keep from going back and assaulting James in his own dooryard. "I don't know now how I kept my hands off him."

"Well, what did that young rebel have to say to you?" said Mr. Howard, as James entered the sitting-room where his father was. "Did you tell him about Caleb?"

"I did, and he was as saucy about it as you please," said James. "He says that Caleb won't stay in prison for thirty days, and when he comes out he will fix my other eye to be tied up, too."

"He won't stay there for thirty days!" said his father. "What does he mean by that? They can't capture the schooner, for if she sees a boat coming out with a lot of men on board, she will slip her anchor and put out to sea. I guess he will stay there thirty days."

"I guess I had better stay in the house altogether," said James, with an air of disgust. "I have made Enoch mad at me, and he will beat me if he sees me on the streets."

"Why don't you let him punch you?" said Mr. Howard. "Then we will have him shut up too."

James did not see fit to answer this question. He looked at his father with surprise and then walked out on the porch again.


CHAPTER XIII.

THE CHEER.

When Enoch reached home it was pretty near night. He found his mother there, engaged in her usual occupation of reading the book, and without saying a word she put it down and got up and embraced her boy as though she had not seen him for long months.

"Why, mother, you must have thought I was in some danger," said Enoch.

"You failed, did you not?" asked his mother in reply.

"We failed from not surrounding the church as we ought to have done," said Enoch, in a discouraged tone. "They went straight through the house, hoisted the windows behind the preacher and so got away; and we never saw them at all until they were so far away that we could not catch them. There were seven of them there."

"I wanted to go out when they were firing at you but I did not dare. They must have hit some of you, of course?"

"They did not try to hit us. They just fired over our heads, and then got the schooner under way and dropped three miles down the bay. I wanted that the fellows should capture one of the sloops and go out there and take her, but they would not agree to it. Caleb is on that boat and he is in irons, too."

"How do you know that?"

"James Howard told me so, and it was all I could do to keep my hands to myself. If those men are not any braver to-morrow than they were to-day, we will not capture the schooner."

Enoch said this with a despairing air, as if he did not much care whether or not the schooner were captured, and then asked his mother if she had anything to eat. He had not had a mouthful since early that morning and he felt the need of something nourishing. His mother replied by serving up the dinner which she had kept warm for him, and Enoch sat down to it with an appetite which not even the discouragements of the day could wholly interfere with. He told his mother everything that had happened to him since he took leave of her in the morning, including his conversation with James Howard, and by the time he got through Mrs. Crosby was as disgusted as he was.

"It seems to me that by the time that schooner got under way to drop down the bay would have been a good season to have followed her up," said she, picking up the book again. "I am afraid that some of you are going to get hurt to-morrow."

"Do you believe that they will make an attack on her?" exclaimed Enoch.

"Of course I do. Such men as Zeke and O'Brien will not let this thing go by default."

"I hope to goodness you're right. The first thing I do when I find myself aboard that schooner will be to keep my eyes and ears open for Caleb Young. I tell you I will be glad to see him."

His mother's words put a little encouragement into his heart, but still Enoch did not feel inclined to talk. He kept thinking of Caleb all the while, but bedtime came at length, and he kissed his mother good night and went off to his room. He slept, too, for you will remember that he didn't get any slumber on the previous night. He did not know anything more until his mother opened his door and called him to breakfast.

"I declare, mother, I do not often let you get up and build a fire," said Enoch, as he opened the door and walked out on the porch to wash his hands and face. "You see—what's that?"

Enoch paused with his hands full of soap, which he had been on the point of rubbing on his face, and straightened up. Faint and far off, but still distinct, came the sound for which he had been so long waiting. Clear and loud above all came the voice of Zeke, so penetrating that there was not another voice in the company of men that he had gathered that could imitate him.

"Mother, mother!" exclaimed Enoch, drying his face upon the towel. "The cheer has come. I must be off at once."

"You will not have time to eat any breakfast, so I will fix up a snack for you to eat as you go along," said his mother, walking briskly to the table. "There is a gun, my boy, that never misses its mark," she continued, as Enoch mounted into a chair and took the old flint-lock down from its place. "Don't you get it into any bad habits. May heaven send you back to me safe and sound."

There were no tears shed on either side. Enoch was going to do his duty as any Union-loving boy might, his mother was encouraging him in it, and both of them hoped for the best. Enoch slung on his powder-horn and bullet-pouch, seized the bite which his mother had put up for him, and rushed out to the gate; but he had not made many steps when he saw Mrs. Young coming toward him. Her face was pale, but she did not act as though she had been crying.

"The next time you see me you will see Caleb," said Enoch, never once slackening his pace. "He is aboard that boat and I know it. Good-by."

"Oh, Enoch, be sure and release Caleb for me," said Mrs. Young. "Remember he is all I have."

"When you see me you will see Caleb, too. I shall not return without him."

Enoch ran along, not going half as fast as he might, for he had his breakfast to eat on the way, and when he arrived opposite Mr. Howard's house he saw all of the family out on the porch listening to the cheer which every few minutes came as long and as loud as ever. Enoch was going by without speaking to them, but hearing the sound of his footsteps James came out to the gate and stopped him.

"What is your hurry?" said he. "Where are you going?"

"I have business on hand, and I can't stop to talk you," was the reply.

"That cheer must amount to something, or you would not be in such haste to answer it," said James. "Does it mean that all you rebels are to go down there? There goes another," he added, pointing to a man who just then came out of a house and started toward the wharf, carrying a pitchfork in his hand. "You men are going to get into trouble."

"Well, we are not the only ones who will be there," said Enoch, shouting the words over his shoulder.

"You think you are going to get that schooner, don't you?" yelled James, for the rapid pace at which Enoch was traveling took him almost out of the reach of his (James') voice. "Wait until you come back. The last one of you will be in irons."

We do not know whether these words reached Enoch, but if they did they had no effect upon him. Having crowded all his breakfast into his mouth, he carried his gun at "arms port" and ran with all speed toward the wharf. When he came within sight of it he found that the good work was already going on. There were thirty men there at work at one of the sloops throwing her deck-load overboard, and on the shore were the crew, standing motionless with their arms folded as if they were prisoners. The first man to discover Enoch was O'Brien, who, with his coat and hat off, was busily engaged with the others in unloading the sloop.

"Here you are," said he. "Go up there and take the place of one of those men as guards of the prisoners, while the man you relieve comes here and helps throw off this lumber. You have got a gun. Is it loaded?"

"No, sir; but I can very soon put a load in," replied Enoch. "I will wager that it will stop any Tory inside of two hundred yards," he added, stepping up alongside of a man who stood there with a club in his hand. "How long has this thing been going on?"

"We have but just commenced," said the man. "When I came down here they were just bringing these men off as prisoners."

"Are we going to take the sloop and go out and capture that schooner?"

"That is the intention."

"Well, Mr. O'Brien told me to take your place here now, and you go and help unload that lumber. I have got a gun, and there's a bullet that will hit anything that tries to get away from me."

He held up the bullet so that all the sailors could see it, and then pushed it home. Then he took up his powder-horn and proceeded to "cap" his piece, which he did by pouring a lot of powder into the chamber. Then he brought down the slide, pushed his hat back and was ready for some prisoner to try to escape.

"You fellows are going to get licked as sure as the world," said one of the captives. "You can't take that schooner."

"What makes you think we are going to try?" asked Enoch.

"That is where you are going with that sloop. There will be some troops up here directly, and then you will all go in jail."

"Well, you won't have to go with us to keep us company," said Enoch, with a laugh.

"You are mighty right I won't," said the man, with something that savored of a threat in his tones. "I am on the side of England every day in the week. She will brush you rebels off on one side——"

"Hold on!" exclaimed Enoch, bringing his gun to a "ready." "You must not talk that way while I am about. When we come back we will be on board that schooner."

The man muttered something under his breath and then relapsed into silence; while Enoch turned his eyes toward the sloop to see how far they had progressed toward unloading her. The lumber was tumbled off any way, some going overboard into the bay and the rest being piled up helter-skelter on the wharf, and finally Zeke raised his voice and shouted—

"All you men who are going off with us to capture that schooner come on board here."

"Does that mean me?" asked Enoch.

"Yes, everybody. Come on."

"What shall we do with the prisoners?"

"Let them go where they please," answered Mr. O'Brien. "They can't hinder us."

"Now mark my words, sonny," said the man who had been talking to him a few moments before. "I haven't got anything against you, but I really wish you would not go off with that sloop. You are going to be killed, the last one of you."

"We will not be the first men who have fallen before British bullets," said Enoch, shouldering his gun and starting for the sloop. "Look at the ones the redcoats killed at Lexington. We are going to have revenge for that."

When Enoch got aboard the sloop he found O'Brien at the wheel and Zeke was ordering the lines hauled in. After that the mainsail and jib were hoisted—that was the only two sails she had—a shove was given at the bow while the stern-line held on, and as soon as the wind took the canvas she moved silently away from the wharf. She seemed to know that she was going on a dangerous mission, for not even her blocks creaked as the sailors pulled at the ropes.

"Well, Enoch, you are here, are you not?" exclaimed a voice at his elbow. "You have got your gun all handy, too."

"Yes, but where is yours, Zeke?" said the boy. "You haven't got anything."

"Yes, I have," said the man, pulling out his club from behind him. "If ever this falls on a Tory's head it is my opinion that he will see stars."

By this time the sloop was squared around with her bow pointed toward the sea and, contrary to the expectation of her company, she took a bone in her teeth and settled down to an exhibition of speed that surprised everybody. They were sure of one thing: The schooner must go faster than they had ever seen her go before in order to escape.

"But perhaps she won't depend on her speed," said Enoch, when somebody made use of this remark close at his elbow. "Perhaps she will stay and fight it out."

"I hope she will," was the reply; and the man showed a pitchfork which he had brought to assist in whipping the schooner's company. "If one of them gets a prod with this he will know what hurt him."

"Now I want all you men to gather here amidships where I can see you. I have something to say to you."

He spoke in a loud voice, and when Enoch turned to see who it was, he found Wheaton standing near the main-mast with his hat off. None of the men knew what there was pending, and one of them inquired, as he moved over to Wheaton's side—

"What's up?"

"I will tell you right away," said he. "Thus far in this business we have got along without a leader. We have agreed to everything that anybody had to propose, because we thought his proposition the best; but now we are coming to a point where we need a single mind to direct us. There is one man I have in mind who has done more to assist us in a quiet way than anybody else, and if you don't care I will propose him for our captain from this time on. I will nominate Mr. O'Brien. Those in favor of it will manifest it by saying 'Aye!'"

"Aye!" burst from a score of throats.

There was no need of calling for the nays on this question. As soon as Zeke heard the vote, he elbowed his way through the crowd and took off his hat and made a very low bow to his newly appointed commander. Then he laid his hand on the wheel, which O'Brien readily gave up to him.


CHAPTER XIV.

THE CHASE.

When O'Brien gave up his wheel to Zeke he also took off his hat and moved a step or two nearer to his men. Then followed an outcry from the crew which anybody has heard who has been tempted to attend a political meeting in America, to-wit—

"Speech, speech!" chorused all hands!

"I have not much to say to you beyond this," said the captain. "We have come out here to capture that schooner, and we are not going back with that flag flying at her peak."

"Hear, hear!" shouted Zeb Short.

"We haven't got any guns, so we will run afoul of her and board her the first good chance we get," continued the captain. "If any man tells you that he surrenders—I never expect to hear any such cry from any man now before me—let him go and help him up and treat him as you would like to be treated if you were a prisoner. When we get aboard that boat, if none of her company pull down her flag, Wheaton is the man to attend to it. He proposed this thing, has suggested me for captain and he ought to have the privilege of handling the flag. That ensign has floated the 'mistress of the sea' and I don't believe that any body of men has ever pulled it down before. We will show them before we get through with them that it can't stand up before a 'flock of Yankees.'"

The cheers which greeted this little speech seemed to have raised the sloop fairly out of the water. When she came down again she settled to her work and went ahead faster than ever. By this time she had rounded the point of land behind which the schooner had run for safety the day before, but to the surprise of everybody her berth was empty. The schooner during the night had pulled out and chosen another place of refuge. It looked as though she had abandoned the sloops and left them to watch out for themselves.

"Well, Zeke, what do you think of this?" asked Captain O'Brien, seeking advice of his steersman. That was not exactly the proper thing to do, but this was a household matter, everybody in the village was bent on capturing the schooner, every man in his crew knew as much about handling a vessel as he knew himself, and he did not see why he shouldn't go for help where he was most likely to get it.

"They are afraid of us, Cap," replied Zeke. "There isn't any other place that I know of where she can run for refuge, except it is that little harbor about five miles up the bay. She may have gone in there."

"Why, she could not get in," replied the captain. "She draws too much water."

"She can go in there if the tide is up, and she will have to come out pretty soon or we will catch her, sure," said Zeke. "If I was you I would go up and take a look at that place."

The crew had by this time found out that the schooner's berth was empty, and they all crowded around their captain to see what he thought about it. Contrary to the custom in these days, the captain explained his movements when he brought the sloop about and headed her up the bay, and the men all agreed that that was the place to find her.

Up to this time Enoch had found so much else to occupy his mind that he had not thought to take notice of the crew, but he proceeded to do it now; and the conclusion he came to was that the schooner was never in so dangerous a position as she was at that moment. There were thirty of the company, as we have said, and upon the face of every one Enoch saw an expression of calmness, not unmixed with firmness, which showed that they were fully alive to a sense of the peril they were about to encounter. There were no signs of giving up. They had come out there with a purpose in view, and that purpose must be accomplished before they went back. Everybody expected, to quote from Caleb Young, that there would be mourning in Machias when they got through, but every one hoped that he would get through. Remember that they had no discipline, they knew nothing of that 'shoulder to shoulder' drill which caused men to do their duty wherever they may be, but they simply went into it to let those men, who had been engaged at Lexington, see that they were not the only ones who believed in nipping British tyranny in the bud.

"I believe we are going to capture that schooner," said Enoch, moving aft till he could talk to the man at the wheel.

"Oh, you do, do you?" said Zeke, letting go of the wheel with one hand and pushing his hat on the back of his head. "Course we are. If you see anybody in this crew who dares to say that we ain't a-going to capture her, just take him by the scuff of the neck and drop him overboard. He ain't got any business to travel in this party."

When they had accomplished about two miles and a half of the distance they had to sail, an electric spark seemed to shoot through all the company when somebody descried the schooner coming out of that harbor and drawing a bee-line for sea. Captain Moore had not neglected to take particular pains to insure the safety of his vessel. The tops of her masts were higher than the surrounding headlands, and the first thing he did when he came to an anchor there, was to send a man up to the mast-head to act as lookout. He saw the sloop when she was coming out of the harbor of Machias, and forthwith informed the deck; whereupon an officer ascended to his side, and with a glass distinctly made out the company of hostile men on board of her, and he could even see the guns and pitchforks with which they were armed. Captain Moore instantly saw that he must not be caught in that narrow harbor, for if he was, his capture was certain. He must slip his anchor and get to sea; and the sloop's company saw her when she was two miles and a half away. A cheer long and loud greeted her appearance, and Zeke, who had been crowding the sloop all along so that a man standing in her lee rail could have dipped up a cup of water at any time, strove, if possible, to crowd her still more. The sloop responded nobly, and seemed to have reserved some of her speed for just this occasion, for she went ahead faster than ever.

"I tell you, boy, it is coming now," said Zeke, and for fear that his hat might bother him he took it off and pitched it overboard. "We will soon see how much pluck they have got."

To Enoch, had the contest been a friendly one, it would have been worth going miles to see the race between those two vessels. It seemed strange, too, for an armed boat to run away from a vessel that had nothing bigger than a flint-lock aboard of her, but the thought of what was in store for them should they succeed in coming up with the schooner brought many an anxious face. But there was no sign of backing out. The men having had their cheer out began stripping themselves, and in a little while Enoch could see nothing but sailors with a pair of overalls on. Everything else had been discarded, and the men lay along the rail and waited for Zeke to lay her alongside.

"I just wish we had another sail," said Captain O'Brien, closely watching the distance between the two vessels. "I am afraid she is going to get away from us, but I will follow her clear to England before I will give her up."

"No need of doing that," said Zeke, crowding the sloop until a wave came in over the starboard bow. "She is gaining a little—a little, to be sure, but you will be aboard of her in less than two hours."

For an hour the schooner and sloop remained about the same, one trying her best to escape, and the other striving by every means in her power to lessen the distance between the two. Captain O'Brien kept a close lookout with his glass, and finally uttered an exclamation indicative of surprise and joy.

"Captain Moore knows that the jig is nearly up," said he, passing his glass to one of his men. "He is going to cut away his boats."

Another cheer broke out from the men who heard this, but they kept watch of the schooner, and very shortly saw, one of her boats fall into the sea. Another and another followed it, until four boats, which were just so much dead weight on the schooner, were following in her wake behind her. Up to this time the sloop had gained half a mile, but before she had gained a mile, Captain O'Brien, who had the glass again, told his men something else.

"They are going to shoot," said he. "All you men forward lie down."

This was what the captain was afraid of. The schooner could bring one gun to bear upon her, and if she kept up the shooting long enough, she might hit the sloop's mast and that would end the chase in a hurry. But the schooner did not shoot right away. She wanted to be sure that her pursuer was in good range before she expended a shot upon her, and so beyond training the gun the crew stood about awaiting the order from the captain to fire.

"He is going to make sure work of us when he does shoot," remarked Zeke, as he looked up at the sails to see that they were kept full. "I wish he would go a little bit faster—Hal—lo! That's in our favor."

While Zeke was talking there came a sudden gust of wind, stronger than any that had preceded it, and the schooner's main-topsail went by the board. Of course that did away with two sails, the main gaff-topsail and the main trysail, and her speed was lessened materially. The sloop began to gain at once, and while a portion of the schooner's crew went aloft to clear away the wreck, the rest gathered about the gun and seemed disposed to risk a shot at the sloop.

"Lie down forward!" said Captain O'Brien, sharply. "You don't obey orders any better than a merchantman's crew. Some of you will have your heads blown off directly."

Some of the company obeyed and some did not; but the moment there was a puff of smoke from the schooner's stern they laid themselves out flat on deck.

"It is no use telling us to lie down for such shooting as that," said one of the crew, raising himself on his knees and looking aft to see where the shell exploded. "I would stand in front of a barn door and let them shoot at me all day."

"They have not got the range yet," said Captain O'Brien. "And besides they want to scare us."

"There is some men in this party who don't scare," replied Zeke, trying to crowd his vessel a little more.

"I know that. I should be sorry to think that any of us would scare; but they will get the range pretty soon, and you will see blood on this deck."

Shot after shot continued to pour upon the sloop from the stern gun of the schooner, and every one exploded nearer her than the preceding one. Finally a shot passed through her mainsail, leaving a big rent behind it, and before the crew had fairly comprehended it, another came, passed through the port rail and exploded just as it got on deck. What a moment that was for Enoch! He lay right where he could see the effect of the shell, and two of the men jumped to their feet, gasped for a moment or two and then fell prostrate back again, and one other man set up a shriek.

"I have got it, boys, and we have not got a doctor aboard," said he, in a voice that sounded as though there were tears behind it. "Now what am I going to do?"

"Hold your jaw for one thing," said another, sitting up and beginning to pull up his overalls. "Do you think there is no body hurt but yourself? Look at that."

This man was much more to be pitied than the other one, for a piece of shell had cut his calf entirely away; while the one that made so much fuss about it had simply a crease on the top of his head. The second one made all haste to get below, while the other accepted some pieces of the shirt which Captain O'Brien speedily took off for him and coolly proceeded to tie up his wound.

"Say, Cap, I can stop that fellow shooting that gun," said one of the crew. "I can take his head off easy enough."

"Take it off then," said the captain.

All became silent expectation as the sailor crept up to a convenient place behind the bulwarks, rested his long flint-lock over it and drew a bead on several men who were working about the gun on the schooner's deck. One man was engaged in swabbing out the gun. He had run the swab in, took it out and was rapping it on the edge of a bucket to get off any particles of fire that might adhere to it, when the flint-lock spoke. The man stood for an instant as if overcome with astonishment, then dropped his swab, threw his arms over his head and sank out of sight.

"I did it, Cap, didn't I?" shouted the sailor, who, like all the rest, was surprised at the accuracy of his discharge.

Enoch was greatly excited at the outcome of this shot, so much so that he got upon his feet. He told himself that if one flint-lock would strike a man at that distance another might do it, too, and when the man fell he ran forward and knelt beside the sailor who had performed such a wonderful exploit.


CHAPTER XV.

HAULING DOWN THE FLAG OF ENGLAND.

"Ah! you have come with an old flint-lock, have you?" said the sharpshooter as Enoch knelt beside him. "Do you think you can hit one of those Britishers working about that gun? Now look here: Sight your gun right there," he continued, making a mark with his thumb nail across the barrel. "Of course if they were in any reasonable distance that would throw the ball away over their heads; but we don't want to kill them so much as we want to scare them. Now try it at that."

Enoch drew up his flint-lock and one to have seen him would have thought that he meant to shoot at the cross-trees. Just then a Britisher ran forward with a cartridge in his hand to insert in the gun, but Enoch was waiting for him. The flint-lock roared, and the man stopped, dropped his cartridge to the deck and hurried aft holding his right hand as if he were very tender of it. The old sailor had made his sights just right.

"That's the way to do it," he exclaimed, stopping in his progress of driving a ball home long enough to pat Enoch on the head. "Throw the balls about their ears. That will frighten them even if it does not hurt them, and what we want is to keep them from firing that gun. Now let me see if I will have as good luck as I did before."

"That is to pay him for capturing Caleb," said Enoch. "I wish I knew where he is now. I don't want to send my bullets into the hull for fear that I will hit him."

The sailor tried it again and with just as good fortune as he had the previous time. Another Britisher caught up the cartridge and was going to put it into the gun, but he also dropped it and lay on the deck where he had stood. By this time all the sloop's men who had guns were congregated in the bow, and before they had all fired one round the gun was deserted.

"I knew we would put a stop to that," said the man who had fired the first shot. "Hold her to it, Zeke. We are gaining on her."

But Captain Moore was not yet whipped. He had three guns on a broadside which had not yet come into play, and all of a sudden his sails were let out and the schooner veered around to bring them into action. Before he had got fairly into position three flint-locks roared and two men dropped, one dead and the other seriously wounded. But the captain took up the position he wanted all the same, and the order to fire came distinctly to Enoch's ears. He thought he had never heard such a roar before as those little guns made when they were turned loose on the sloop. He thought his time had come, and held his breath expecting every instant to be his last. But the shells all flew wild. Not one of them came near the sloop. The provincials straightened up and fired three more bullets at the men who worked the guns, but the schooner was so obscured by the smoke of her cannons that they could not see what havoc they had made.

During this maneuver on the part of the pursued, the sloop had gained amazingly, and now they were within earshot of the Britishers. Thinking to avoid the further effusion of blood by prolonging the fighting Captain O'Brien called out—

"Do you surrender?"

"No!" returned Captain Moore's voice. "We will surrender when the last plank goes down."

And Captain Moore showed that he was in earnest. Almost with the words he lighted a hand-grenade which he carried in his arms, and threw it toward O'Brien. It did not come half way to the sloop but it exploded with stunning force and gave the provincials some idea of what was in store for them.

"Bring us alongside, Zeke," exclaimed Captain O'Brien, so impatient that he could not stand still. "If you can not manage her let somebody else go to the wheel."

"Bussin' on it, captain, I am doing the best I can," replied Zeke, working the wheel back and forth as if he hoped in that way to get some more speed out of her. "She will be alongside in five minutes."

But those five minutes were a long time to wait. The flint-locks were in close range now, and every time one of them spoke some body on the Britisher's side went down. It did not seem as though they had men enough to stand such a fusilade. Captain O'Brien was standing there with a rope in his hand, and when he had got it all coiled up he stepped over and took his place among the men who had flint-locks in their hands.

"Now, boys, protect me," said he. "Whenever our boat comes near enough I am going to catch the schooner and lash them fast. Enoch, go back and pick off the man at the wheel."

The boy started at once and without making any reply. He kept along close under the rail to be out of range of any one who was watching him from the schooner's deck, and when he came within sight of Zeke he was horrified to find him with his face all covered with blood.

"Oh Zeke, they have hit you," exclaimed Enoch.

"Don't I know that?" replied the wheelman, who stuck to his work as though there was nothing the matter with him. "But as long as they do not get me down I am going to stand up. Do you see that man alongside the schooner's wheel? Well he is the one that shot me."

Enoch took just one glance at the schooner and saw that the man referred to had just loaded his pistol and was now engaged in priming it. He cast frequent glances toward Zeke and grinned at him the while as if to tell him that his second shot would go to the mark; but he did not take notice of Enoch who, kneeling down behind the rail, brought his gun to bear on him. It spoke almost immediately, and the man dropped his pistol, turned part way around and sank down lifeless where he stood.

"There!" exclaimed Zeke. "That was a good shot. Now see if you can get that man at the wheel. That will leave her without any guiding hand, and before she can bring another man to helm I may be able to come up with her."

"I was sent here for that purpose," said Enoch, rolling over on his back and reaching for his powder-horn. "I am going to pick off every man they send there."

In a few minutes the gun was ready, after trying in vain to retain his hold of the spokes, the steersman went down in a heap. Of course the schooner came into the wind, and Zeke uttered a yell as she veered round broadside to the sloop; and in a moment more there was a rush of men from the deck and Enoch and Zeke were standing alone.

"Boarders away!" shouted Captain O'Brien, as he made the two vessels fast together. "Now, boys, show what you're are made of."

Zeke released his hold of the wheel, and caught up his club which stood beside him where he could get his hands upon it at a moment's warning; he cleared the rails of the vessels without using his hands, and Enoch lost sight of him in the fracas. Somehow, Enoch could not have told how it happened, he was close at his heels when he reached the schooner's deck, and between using his gun as a club to fell a man to the deck and making use of it as a parry to ward off a blow that somebody aimed at his head, he did not know anything more until he heard a voice exclaim in piteous accents:

"I surrender! I surrender!"

"Who is that?" shouted Captain O'Brien. "Do you all surrender? If you do, throw down your weapons."


The Capture of the Schooner.


There was a sound of dropping hand-spikes and cutlasses, and in an instant there was silence on the deck. The smoke of the hand-grenades with which the boarders had been greeted floated away after a while, and then the provincials were able to see what they had done and how great was the number of men that they had to mourn. Enoch was astounded. It did not seem possible for him to step in any direction without treading upon the body of friend or foe. The two bodies of men opposed to each other were about thirty on a side, and at least half that number were lying on the deck dead, or wounded so badly that they could not get up. He looked everywhere for Captain Moore, and finally found him with a saber-cut in his side. His first action had proved his death.

"Now the next thing is Caleb," said Enoch, starting toward the gangway to go below. "I hope that nothing has happened to him."

Enoch did not want to go on talking to himself in this way, for something told him that he might find his friend Caleb cold in death. He knew where the brig was and hurried down to it, and on the way he found half a dozen men who were wounded and the doctor and his assistant attending to their wants. It was a horrible sight, and Enoch turned away his head that he might not see it. A few steps brought him to the brig, and there was a hand stuck out to grasp his own. It was Caleb sure enough, and no signs of a wound on him. He was as jolly and full of fun as ever.

"Enoch, old boy, I knew you would not rest easy until you had got me," said Caleb. "Put it there."

"Are you not hurt a bit?" asked Enoch. He almost dreaded to ask the question for some how he seemed to think that no living boy could come out of that fight without being desperately wounded. Enoch did not stop to think of himself. He appeared to know that he was going to come out all right.

"Open the door and let me out," repeated Caleb, taking hold of the grating in front of him and shaking it with all his strength. "I have been in here long enough."

"Who has got the key?" asked Enoch. "If I can't find the key I shall have to chop the grating down."

"Do you know the boatswain?"

Enoch shook his head.

"Well, he is the one that has the key, and you will have to find him in order to get it. Say!" said Caleb, seizing his friend by the arm and pulling him up close to him. "I ought to 'start' that fellow. He was going to be awful mean to me if we had started for New York. Why don't you go and get the key?"

Enoch went but he did not know where he was going to find the boatswain. At the head of the gangway he met a Britisher coming down with his arm in a sling, and he asked him if he could show the man to him.

"Yes, I can," said the sailor. "He has gone to Davy's locker sure. I'll bet he won't start me any more. Come on and I will show him to you."

Enoch followed him to the deck and there, where the British had gathered to meet the boarders from the sloop and but a little way from his captain, lay the boatswain with an ugly thrust from a cutlass near his heart. By feeling of his pockets on the outside Enoch soon discovered his bunch of keys, and he soon had possession of them.

"You will not get a chance at that boatswain on this trip," said Enoch, as he proceeded to open the door. "He has gone where he can't hurt you nor anybody else by 'starting' him. He is killed."

He opened the door and Caleb fairly jumped into his arms. After they had embraced each other for a minute or two Caleb asked after his mother.

"Of course she felt very bad to know that you had been taken prisoner, but she did not cry," said Enoch. "I told her that when I came back to-night I should fetch you with me, and I am going to keep my promise."

"Let us go on deck and see how things look up there," said Caleb. "You had a lively time taking this boat. I never heard such a roar as these guns made."

If Caleb, when he was down below, thought things were lively, what must he have thought when he came out of the gangway and saw the number of men that had been killed and wounded during the fight! Almost the first man he saw was Captain Moore.

"How many men did you have on each side?" he asked in astonishment. "Did you shoot that old flint-lock of yours?"

"I did, but I shot to maim, not to kill. I couldn't do it. No doubt they would have used me worse than we will them, but you see they did not get the chance. There's Wheaton pulling down the flag. Let us go up and hear what he has to say."

The flag was already down and Wheaton was folding it up tenderly to carry it under his arm. Probably if it had been an American flag and the victory had been the other way, there would not have been so much attention shown it by the Britishers who pulled it down. Wheaton shook Caleb by the hand, asked him how he had fared as a prisoner in the power of the enemies of his country and said as he gathered up the flag—

"Captain O'Brien says that this is the first time this flag has ever been hauled down by a foe to England. She has made everybody strike to her, but she has struck to nobody. It would not have been pulled down now if she had treated us right. She will find before she gets through with it that a little flock of Yankees, to which her troops came so near to surrendering at Lexington, are as good as they make them. We have met them, man for man, and whipped them all."


CHAPTER XVI.

AFTER THE BATTLE.

"There, sir," said Captain O'Brien, drawing a long breath of relief and patting with his hand the British flag which Wheaton carried under his arm, "the Yankees have done the work. But there will be mourning when we get back to Machias. Who would have thought that those Britishers would have fought so desperately."

"Captain, they had guns, you know, and we had nothing heavier than flint-locks. Who would have thought that our men would have fought so desperately to accomplish an object? I tell you that each man deserves three hearty cheers to pay him for what he has done."

The fight was over, but now the dead and wounded had to be taken care of. After a short consultation with Wheaton and Zeke the captain decided that all the wounded men should be taken on board the schooner where there was a doctor and his assistant to take care of them, and all the prisoners were to go on board the sloop.

"You will have to stay aboard here with me and let the doctor look after your wound, Zeke," said the captain. "It is bleeding fearfully."

"Bussin' on it, I won't do it," said Zeke, earnestly. "As soon as I get some water to wash this blood off I will be all right. I stood at the helm of that sloop when she overhauled the schooner, and I am going to stand at her wheel when she goes into the harbor. That's a word with a bark on it."

Zeke turned away to hunt up a bucket to aid him in washing out his wound. Zeb Short was there with a club in his hand, and it was covered with blood, too. He had been listening to the words that passed between the captain and Zeke, and was evidently waiting for a chance to put in a word for himself.

"Were you hit?" asked Wheaton.

"Nary time," said Zeb, and his words and actions showed that it would take a better man than was to be found in the schooner's company to lay him up with a wound. "I don't believe in fighting, and for saying them words Zeke came pretty near punching me; but when you are in for it, why, you have got to do the best you can. How many men will you want to guard the sloop on the way in?"

"Let all the men who have flint-locks go aboard of her," answered the captain, "and let them stay around the wheel with Zeke. But first you must put all the unwounded prisoners in irons. Do you know where to find them?"

Zeb knew and dove down the hatchway out of sight. When he came back he had but six pairs of irons in his hand—"not enough to go all the way round," as he said. The prisoners who were still in a group on the forecastle, were ordered aft, and obediently held out their hands for the irons. Enoch and Caleb were close by watching the operation, and when the latter came to run his eye over the men he found that there was one of whom he had promised himself that he would say a good word if chance ever threw it in his way. It was the man who had given him the only bite to eat while he was in the brig.

"There is one fellow that must not be put in irons if I can help it," said he, making his way toward the captain. "He belongs on our side of the house and I know it."

Captain O'Brien listened with an amused expression on his face while Caleb told his story, and presently beckoned to the man to come over to where he was.

"What business have you got to serve under the British flag?" said Captain O'Brien.

"I haven't got any business at all, sir," said the sailor. "I shipped on board of that schooner because I wanted something to do. I belong on the Hudson River a little ways from New York."

"You are sure your sympathies are not with her?"

"No, sir. When I saw that flag come down it was all I could do to keep from cheering."

"Well, you don't want any irons on you. Stand up here beside me and you will be safe."

Caleb and Enoch were overjoyed to hear this decision on the part of their captain. When the sailor drew up a little behind O'Brien the boys tipped him a wink to let him know that he was among friends. Giving Caleb that mouthful of food was the best thing he ever did.

When the prisoners had been ironed they were ordered aboard the sloop and into the captain's cabin, where it was known they would be safe. To make assurance doubly sure Enoch was stationed at the head of the companion-way with his flint-lock for company, and Caleb stayed with him. The wounded were then transferred on board the schooner, and her new crew, without waiting orders to that effect, seized buckets and brooms and went to work to clear the deck of the battle-stains. Of course Caleb was anxious to know what had passed in the village during his absence, and his friend took this opportunity to enlighten him.

"I knew in a minute as soon as I found that tin bucket of yours all jammed in, that you had been captured and taken aboard the schooner," said Enoch. "Zeke knew it too, for I went and got him as soon as I missed you."

"Did you know that I was going off to New York?" asked Caleb.

"Well, we suspected as much, but we was not sure of it until James Howard told me of it. I wonder if there is not some way by which we can get even with that fellow."

"We will keep an eye on him when we get back," said Caleb, who somehow grew angry every time James' name was mentioned in his hearing. "If he conducts himself as any other boy would, we can't do anything with him. They will think right away that we are down on him and anxious to be revenged; but if he goes to cutting up those shines of his, why, then, it will put a different look on the case."

"Are you all ready, Zeke?" shouted Captain O'Brien, as he cast off the rope with which the vessels were lashed together.

"All ready, Cap," replied Zeke, hurrying aft and placing his hand upon the wheel.

"Then fill away in my wake. Zeb, go to the wheel. I am going as straight into Machias as I can go."

"I won't be far behind you. Fill away as soon as you please."

The two little vessels were pushed apart, the wind gradually filled their sails and they got under way for the harbor. Things looked different to Enoch from what they did when he came out. Six of his men, whom he had shaken by the hand every day, were dead, and nine were so badly hurt that he did not know whether or not he was ever going to see them again. He always thought that war was terrible, but now he was sure of it. But there was one thing about it: He had helped save his friend and if he had got hurt himself he would not have said a word. Every once in a while he let go of his gun with one hand and placed his arm around Caleb's neck as if he never meant to let him go again.

"Say, Caleb, you don't seem to have much to do but just to stay here and keep Enoch company," said Wheaton, who had been appointed commander of the sloop. "I wish you would take a small rope with you and go up and see if there is a block in that topmast. I am going to hoist this flag there, and then our friends on shore can see how we come out."

"Where's the rope?" said Caleb.

The rope was passed to him and Caleb made it fast to one of his arms. Then he settled his hat firmly on his head, went to the ratlines and in a few moments more was at the cross-trees. From this upward he had no ropes to assist him in climbing—nothing but twelve feet of a slippery topmast to which he had to cling in much the same manner that a boy would in climbing a tree. But this was no bar to Caleb; he had been sent on such expeditions before.

"On deck, there!" he shouted, when he had got up and placed his hand on the mast-head. "There is a block here but no rope."

"All right," shouted Wheaton in return. "Reeve that rope through that you have got with you and bring it down here."

To untie the rope from his arm, pass it through the block, twist it securely about his hand and go down to the deck with it was easily done. Then Wheaton began to fasten the flag to it, and presently it began to go aloft.

"I wish there was a union on it so that we could hoist it union down," said Wheaton. "But it is nothing but a union jack. Whichever way you hoist it, it is right side up."

"Some of the people have glasses ashore and they can soon see the flag, and they will notice that it is not on board the schooner but on board the sloop," said Enoch. "That will show them that the vessels have changed hands since we have been inside."

"But I cannot get over the sorrow that will be occasioned among some of the people when they come to hear how many men it took to make that change," said Wheaton, who acted very different from what he did when they went out. "I knew the Britishers would fight, but somehow I did not think they would fight so hard."

"I knew they would," said Caleb. "If you had been on board that schooner you would have fought till you dropped before you would have given up."

A loud cheer coming from the schooner's company interrupted their conversation, and the three turned to see what was the occasion of it. They were just entering the harbor. Captain O'Brien had taken his stand upon the windward rail so that he could have a fair view of the shore, and was waving his hat to the people on the wharf. The boys had no idea that there was so great a number of folks in Machias as they saw at that moment. They stood there, eager to find out which side had whipped, but they dared not make a demonstration for fear that they might be cheering the wrong persons. Even the schooner's flag at the mast-head of the sloop did not fully remove their suspicions. They had heard the firing, the sloop was badly cut up by the shells that had been rained upon her, and they thought they would let the vessels come a little nearer before they said anything.

"You need not tell me anything about it," said James Howard, who had come down there to hear all about the schooner's victory. "That sloop had no cannon, and how could she be supposed to go into a fight with an armed vessel? It is a great wonder to me that she did not sink the sloop when she was in pursuit of her."

"She may have run away from the sloop," said Emerson Miller. "The schooner did not want to fight, for she knows that war hasn't been declared yet. You let Captain Moore alone for keeping out of trouble."

"Say!" whispered James, as with a pale face he passed his glass over to his companion. "Just look at that man standing up there on the windward rail. If that was Captain Moore he would have his uniform on, would he not?"

Emerson took the glass, and as he looked the expectant expression went out of his face and it became as pale as death itself. The man standing up there was Captain O'Brien, and as he watched him he took off his hat and waved it over his head.

"James, we are whipped!" he whispered. "That man is not Captain Moore."

"That is just what I was afraid of. Let us go home."

Emerson did not need any urging, but when James left the wharf he kept him close company. They had made but a few steps when a cheer came from the schooner, and James, glancing toward the boat, saw that that man was still standing there and swinging his hat violently around his head. Not satisfied with this, a cheer arose from the sloop, and there was a man standing on her windward rail who, at that distance, looked exactly like Wheaton.

"We are whipped," repeated Emerson. "Now who in the world can account for that?" James did not say anything, for he was so nearly overwhelmed that he could not get his wits together. He hardly knew when he opened the gate and ascended the stairs to the porch.

Meanwhile the little vessels came gaily on. The people now were satisfied while heretofore they had been lost in doubt, and the cheers that went up were long and loud. The vessels were handled by sailormen,—Zeke took command of the sloop when she approached the wharf—and they rounded to and came up with a force that would not have broken an egg-shell. Parties on shore caught the lines for them, and shortly the gang-planks were pushed out so that the people could come on board. And such a rush as there was! Caleb and Enoch wanted to get ashore to see their mothers, but for a time there was no chance for them. Zeke came up in the meantime, smiling and good-natured as usual, and the boys were about to tell him to go ahead and they would follow in his wake, when they saw him reach out his arm and stop a man who was just coming aboard. It was the storekeeper who had acted so mean about giving Enoch his powder a few nights ago.


CHAPTER XVII.

ZEKE'S EXHIBITION OF STRENGTH.

"Say, hold on, friend," said Zeke, reaching out his hand and laying a grip on the storekeeper's collar. "We don't want any men like you aboard here. That's the way ashore."

"Who made you master of this vessel?" answered the man, thrusting Zeke's arm aside. "The captain says the wounded men are on board this ship and I want to see who they are. Just keep your hands to yourself."

Zeke's whole appearance changed as if by magic. The good-natured smile gave place to a frown, and the hand which the storekeeper had thrown aside speedily caught its grip again, and this time it was there to stay. With the other hand he caught the man below the waist-band, and a moment afterward he gave a puff like a tired locomotive and the storekeeper was swung clear of the deck. Lifting his victim until he was at arm's length above his head he walked across the deck to the other side, and sent him headlong into the water. It was an exhibition of strength on Zeke's part that no one had ever seen before. He leaned over the rail until the man's face appeared at the surface and then shook his fist at him.

"Now don't you wish you had gone back my way?" said he. "Swim around the sloop and get somebody to help you out. You can't come aboard here."

"There," said Enoch. "Ledyard is a Tory sure enough. Zeke knew it all the time and took this way to wash some of his meanness out of him. I will have to go to his store to get some more powder," he added, holding up his horn so that he could see the inside of it. "I shot most of what I had away at the Britishers who manned this schooner. Come on, Caleb. I think we can get ashore now."

The boys made another attempt this time and were successful. Every one they saw on the wharf was a provincial and wanted to shake hands with them. Of course, too, everybody wanted to know what sort of treatment Caleb had met with at the hands of the Britishers, but the boys answered in as few words as possible and as soon as they were out of the crowd they broke into a run, headed for home.

"Come in and let mother thank you for rescuing me," said Caleb, as they stopped at his gate. "She can do it better than I can."

"I did not have more to do with your rescue than a dozen other men who were with me," replied Enoch. "Let me go home first and then I will come back."

Caleb reluctantly let his friend go, and Enoch kept on his way toward home. He was thinking over the incidents that had happened during the fight and which he wanted to tell for his mother's satisfaction, when he came opposite the house in which James Howard lived. He kept on without giving a thought to James except to wonder how he would feel to know that the schooner, in which he had so much confidence, had been beaten by an unarmed sloop, when he saw the boy at the gate waiting for him. His face was very pale, but it gave place to a flush of anger when he noticed the smile with which Enoch greeted him. He backed away from the gate as our hero approached, and this showed that he did not mean to let himself get within reach of a provincial's arm.

"You think you are smart, don't you?" was the way in which he opened the conversation.

"Well—yes; almost anybody would think himself smart under the circumstances," said Enoch. "We whipped them in a fair fight."

"I do not believe it," returned James hotly.

"I do not ask you to take my word for it, but the wharf is not but a little way off, and you can go down and see for yourself," said Enoch.

"We heard the firing, and we came to the conclusion that your sloop had got sunk out of sight," said James. "But I see that the schooner brought her back with her."

Enoch made no reply. He wanted to see how much James knew about the fight.

"How many of the men were killed and wounded on your side?" continued James, after a moment's pause.

"About half."

"I tell you the regulars fought, did they not? How many of them were hit on their side?"

"About half."

"Do you mean to say that you killed as many of them as they did of you?" asked James, who was plainly astonished to hear it.

"That is what I mean to say. We boarded their vessel and pulled down her flag——"

"I tell you I don't believe any such stuff," shouted James, who was more surprised the longer the story went on. "You will never get your hands on that flag."

"Go down and see. That is all you have got to do."

"I will wager that Captain Moore laid some of you fellows out. Was that he standing on the rail waving his hat to us?"

"No, it could not have been Captain Moore. He is dead."

"What!" James almost stammered. "Did one of you men dare to draw a weapon on him?"

"Yes, they did. He had weapons in his own hand——"

"Of course he did. He was defending his vessel."

"And we wanted to take it and we were stronger than he was."

"If some of you don't get your necks stretched before long I shall miss my guess," said James, walking up and down the path like a boy who had been bereft of his senses. "You have committed piracy, every one of you."

"And you would be the first to grab a rope and haul us up, I suppose? Look here, James, Caleb has got back now——"

"Oh! Did you find him and turn him loose? Then he will not have to go to New York to pay his fine?"

"Not by a long shot. I found him locked in the brig and let him out."

This news was more than James could stand. He pulled off his hat, dug his fingers into his head and acted altogether like a boy who was almost ready to go insane.

"And if you are wise you and Emerson Miller will stay close about the house," said Enoch, shifting his rifle to his other shoulder. "The first time he catches you on the street he will have his pay for that. So you want to watch out."

Enoch walked on toward his home and James went into the house so bewildered that he hardly knew which end he stood on. He found his father in the dining-room, pacing up and down the floor with his hands behind his back, but that terrible scowl that had come to his face when he first heard that James had been whipped by a rebel, was not there. His face was pale and his hands trembled.

"Father," whispered James, as though he hardly knew how to communicate to him the news he had just heard, "the dog is dead. Captain Moore has been killed and the rebels have taken the schooner."

His father fairly gasped for breath. He raised his hands above his head as if to say that he did not want to hear any more, and then groped his way to a lounge and sank down upon it.

"I have just seen Enoch out there and he told me all about it," continued James. "The firing that we heard did not hurt the sloop at all. And the worst of it is, Caleb has been turned loose and now I have got to stay about the house."

"Oh Lord! Oh Lord!" groaned Mr. Howard.

"Now have I got to stand that?" said James in a resolute tone. He was always brave enough when he was in his own house and a perfect coward when he got out of it. Perhaps his father could think of some other way to get rid of Caleb and of Enoch, too.

"Am I, a good, loyal friend of the King, and ready to go into a fight for him this minute, to be shut up in the house just because I say that those men, every one of them, had ought to have their necks stretched to pay them for what they have done?" continued James. "There must be some way in which we can get the start of those rebels."

"I don't really see what you can do," said Mr. Howard. "The rebels are stronger than we are, and I guess both of us will have to stay in the house from this time on. Such a thing was never heard of before. Thirteen little colonies getting up a rebellion in the face of the King!"

"But there must be some way out of it?"

"Of course there is. Let the King send over an army to whip the rebels into submission. But before that thing can happen they may work their sweet will of us. I don't know any better way that we can do but to pack up and go to New York."

"And leave this beautiful place to the rebels?" exclaimed James. "I tell you I should hate to do that."

"I don't know what else we can do. We shall be among friends there, and can say what we think without some paltry little rebel telling us that we had better keep our mouths shut. But go away and leave me alone for a while, James. The news you have brought to me almost drives me crazy. Do you know that Captain Moore has been killed?"

"All I know about it is what Enoch told me. He said that the captain had weapons in his hand, but that the attacking party was too strong for him. He was the best man that ever lived, too, and I tell you it would give me joy to have hold of one end of a rope while the other was fast around the necks of those people."

"Be careful that you don't say that where anybody can hear it," said his father. "The rebels are in high feather now that they have got a victory, and they would be right on hand for something desperate."

Mr. Howard settled himself into a comfortable position on the lounge and James, taking this as a hint that his presence was no longer desirable, picked up his cap and walked out on the porch.

"I wish I dared go down to the wharf," said he. "But if I do that Caleb Young will be out, and there's no telling what he will do to me. I wish somebody would come along and give me some news of that fight."

But James waited a long time before he got it. Enoch and Caleb were at home and holding their mothers spellbound with the various incidents that transpired before their sight, while James walked up and down the porch feeling as though he did not have a friend in the world. He looked in vain for Emerson Miller, but that worthy, who probably knew or suspected that Caleb Young had been found and released by this time, was not at all anxious to be seen in James's company and wisely kept his distance.

"Well, mother, I have got back and there is not a mark on me," shouted Enoch, as he burst open the kitchen door and sprang into the presence of her who told him that she did not want him to get his gun into any bad habits. "I shot away all my powder and lead, and I guess that some of the Tories that I aimed at have something to remember me by. Why don't you say that you are glad to see me?"

"How about Caleb?" said his mother. "Is he all right?"

"I did not ask him, but I don't think he heard a bullet while he was in the brig."

His mother had been knitting when he came in, and the Book lay in front of her, open, on her knee. She put the Book and her knitting away and got up, and folded Enoch to her breast. She made no remark, but the boy was satisfied from the strength of her embrace that she was glad to welcome him home. Enoch then sat down and told her everything connected with the fight, not forgetting how Zeke had ducked the storekeeper in the harbor.

"I never saw such an exhibition of strength in my life," said he, with enthusiasm. "He took the man this way"—here he got up and elevated his arms straight above his head—"walked across the boat with him and chucked him into the water. He would not let him come back aboard the sloop either, but told him to swim around and get somebody to help him out. I wish all the men we have were like Zeke."

Of course there were many questions to be asked and answered on both sides—Mrs. Crosby was anxious to learn how the different men with whom she was acquainted had behaved during the fight, and Enoch was equally desirous to know how the Tories they had left behind them conducted themselves while they were at sea—and it was almost dark before they had got through talking.

"I was particularly anxious to know what the Tories would do when they heard that firing," said Enoch. "I was afraid they would be excited and do something that we would have to settle with them for."

"Well, they did not," said Mrs. Crosby. "James and Emerson walked up and down in front of our house when they heard the shooting going on, and asked us to listen to it. 'Aha!' they said. 'The rebels are getting their fill now. After Captain Moore sinks that sloop he will have all he can do to pick up the dead and wounded ones.' It seems to me that they must be utterly confounded by the victory of the sloop over an armed vessel."

"Not only that, but they utterly refused to believe it," said Enoch.


CHAPTER XVIII.

WHAT TO DO WITH THE SCHOONER.

Enoch might have gone further and said that the Tories not only refused to believe the evidence of their ears, but that they went to a greater distance and declined to believe the evidence of their eyes when they stood on the wharf and saw the dead and wounded taken off the two vessels and laid carefully away, the former with sheets spread over them. These were promptly taken care of by their friends, and in a short time there was no one around the wharf except the provincials and a few Tories who wanted to hear more about the fight.

"They did not pull down their flag, did they?" said one who made this inquiry of Zeke.

"No, sir. We pulled it down for them. The only man who had the power to strike it has just been carried away in that wagon," said Zeke. "There is the man who pulled it down," he added, pointing to Wheaton. "We are going to get a flag of our own to take its place when we haul the Cross of England down."

"Some of you will go up by the neck before that happens," said the man, turning away and whispering the words to a Tory who stood at his side. "And I will wager that Zeke will go up for one."

"I just wish I knew something about history," continued Zeke, who, of course, did not hear this whispered conversation on the part of the Tories. "They say that that flag has never been hauled down by any nation; but a 'flock of Yankees' was too much for them. Now, captain, what are we going to do with these vessels? We don't want to leave them alongside the wharf all night."

Captain O'Brien had been thinking about this, and had already made up his mind what to do. Of course the "rebels" had captured three boats—the schooner and the two sloops that were engaged in taking lumber on board for the New York market. He did not want to leave them alongside the wharf for the simple reason that, if the Tories got up courage enough, it would be easy work for them to come down there with a party of men after it became dark, and recapture them. It would not be so easy a matter if they were moored a little way from shore. Of course Enoch and Caleb were there waiting to see what further work there was to be done, and this time Caleb had his flint-lock on his shoulder. They had remained at home until they had eaten a late dinner, and had then come down to their prize to do whatever else there was to be done. Enoch had kept a good lookout for James, but when he saw him coming he went into the house. He did not want to hear another story of that victory.

"Enoch," said the captain, after thinking a moment, "have you had anything to eat?"

"Yes, sir, and Caleb and I are out here for all night, if our services are needed that long," replied Enoch.

"All right. I will detail you two as guard to that schooner. You have your flint-locks with you, and, Enoch, I know that you can shoot tolerably straight," said the captain, patting the boy on the shoulder. "Don't you let anybody, even if they are 'rebels,' come aboard that boat. After the rest of us have had supper, I will appoint a commander for her, and then you can take some of these small boats and tow her out to her anchorage."

The boys waited for Captain O'Brien to go on and tell them what else he had to say, but he had evidently gotten through and turned on his heel; whereupon the newly-appointed guards went on board the schooner and took their place by the side of the gangplank which led up to it. They leaned their guns against the rail, rested their elbows on the bulkhead before them and proceeded to watch what was going on on the wharf as well as to wait until some Tory took it into his head that he would like to come aboard the boat. But no one came near them, and Caleb finally fell to examining the bullet holes made by the rifles during the fight. While he was walking about the vessel he happened to cast his eyes toward the shore and saw two persons whom he had wished to see for a long time. Enoch discovered them at the same moment, and when Caleb, after pushing back his sleeves and settling his hat firmly on his head, was about to step upon the gangplank, he found Enoch in his way.

"What's to do here?" demanded Enoch.

"Don't you see James Howard over there?" asked Caleb, in reply. "I have a fine chance to punish him now. I will give him two black eyes, but they will not make him suffer as I did while being shut up in that brig waiting to be carried to New York. Stand out of the way here."

"You have not been relieved yet," said Enoch. "You must get somebody to take your place before you go ashore."

"Well, I can easily do that. Oh, Captain!" he shouted to O'Brien, who was but a little distance off. "I want to go ashore for just about two minutes."

"Go on," said the captain. "I don't know as I am hindering you."

"Captain," said Enoch, pointing up the wharf toward the two persons who were coming along, entirely ignorant of what was transpiring on board the schooner. "He has not been relieved yet. I do not want to stay here alone."

The captain looked, and when he saw James coming toward the schooner he knew why Enoch was standing in the way of Caleb. He knew that those two boys must be kept apart or else there would be a fight; so he added hastily:

"That's so. You have not been relieved yet. You stay there until I can send some one to take your place."

"Yes; and that will never be," said Enoch, to himself.

"Enoch, I didn't think this of you," said Caleb, leaving the gangplank and settling back against the rail. "You are a friend of James Howard."

"No, I am not, and nobody knows it better than you," said Enoch. "Why do you not let him go until a proper time comes?"

"A proper time!" repeated Caleb. "The proper time is whenever I can catch him."

"I don't believe you could catch him any way," said Enoch, pointing to James and Emerson, who had stopped suddenly on discovering the boys, and did not seem inclined to come any closer. "They are going back again."

Once more Caleb rested his arms upon the rail and watched the two Tories, who had stopped and were regarding them with eyes of apprehension. They waited there for some minutes and not seeing any move on Caleb's part they mustered up courage enough to come a little closer, until they were talking with some of the provincials who were in the fight.

"Enoch, will you let me go ashore?" said Caleb. "I will never have a chance like this to get even with him."

"The captain has not sent anybody to relieve you yet," said Enoch.

"Don't I know that? He isn't looking for anybody. There they come," he added, when the two resumed their walk and came up to the shore end of the gangplank. "Well, what do you think of it? We sent the bullets around her pretty lively, did we not?"

The two boys did not say anything. They had probably come down there to use their eyes and not their tongues, and in that way escaped getting into argument with Enoch and Caleb which they were sure would end in something else. They looked all around the schooner and up at her sails, and finally having seen enough turned to go away; but Caleb who was watching them told them to wait a minute.

"James, I want you to remember that you put me in trouble through that tongue of yours, and that I shall bear it in mind," said he. "The only thing that saves you now is my being on guard on board this vessel."

James waited until he thought Caleb was through, and then hurried away without making any reply, and they blessed their lucky stars that they had got off so easily; but there was a threat contained under Caleb's last words which rankled uneasily in James's mind.

"I guess my father's way is the best," said the latter. "Will you come, too?"

"I hope so," replied Emerson. "It is a beautiful thing to give up to the rebels, that place of ours, but it won't be forever. They will soon be whipped and then we can come back."

The boys waited a long time for the rest of their friends to get through with their supper and come back to the wharf, and then they saw that Captain O'Brien had something on his mind, for he was going first to one man and then to another and having a talk with each. They were all in favor of it, too, for each one shook the captain's hand and patted him on the back as if they wanted to go at it right away. Zeke appeared at last, and he was wild over what the captain said to him. He pulled off his hat—he had been home and got another one by this time—and swung it around his head, but he did not hurrah until he was red in the face as he usually did. He seemed to take his enthusiasm out in the violence of his motions. Then he put his hat on his head and walked briskly toward the schooner.

"Now, boys," said he as he came up the gangplank.

"Say, Zeke, what was it that the captain had to say to you?" asked Caleb. "It must have been something patriotic, for you swung your hat and never hurrahed at all."

"Enoch, you jump down there and cast off the bow and stern lines," said Zeke, looking all around as if to see what else ought to be done. "Caleb, you go round on the wharf and find a small boat that you think will do to pull the boat out to her moorings. I will go to the wheel, and when all that is done I will tell you what the captain said to me."

Zeke never said a thing like this without meaning to be obeyed, and the boys knew that it was useless to argue the point with him. The sooner the work he had set for them to do was done, the sooner would they find out the captain's secret; so without hesitation they placed their guns where they would not be in anybody's way and went about their duties in earnest. Enoch speedily cast off the lines, Zeke staying on board to haul them in, Caleb made his appearance sculling a boat that was to pull the little vessel out to her anchorage, and a line was passed down to him.

"Now, Enoch, tumble in there and pull for all you are worth," said Zeke. "You see the schooner's buoy over there? Well, when you come up with it make this line fast to it and come aboard."

Of course these orders were quickly delivered, but it took longer to carry them out. The schooner moved but slowly in the water. The boys had to turn her around and pull her against the tide, which was coming in at about five miles an hour; but after a long siege they got the line fast and pulled back to the schooner pretty nearly exhausted.

"That's all right," said Zeke. "The next time the captain wants such work done he will have to send more men to do it."

"Go on now, and tell us what the captain had to say," said Caleb, backing up against the rail and using his hat as a fan. "It did not amount to much, any way."

"Didn't, hey? Then I guess you don't want to ship aboard this vessel."

"What is she going to do?" asked Enoch.

"We lucky fellows will be coming ashore every month or so, and when you see us spending more money than you ever heard of——"

"Where are you going to get it?" interrupted Caleb.

"Prizes, my boy; prizes," replied Zeke, poking Caleb in the ribs with his long finger. "We are not going to let the Cross of St. George float out there alone, are we?"

"No; but when we take the prizes what will we do with them?"

"Sell them to the highest bidder. You see the captain was thinking about this thing while he was eating his supper, and he came to the conclusion that since we have a fine vessel with guns and small arms for a crew of thirty men, we ought to use them. There are plenty of ships going by that are loaded up with stores for the King, and what is there to hinder our going out and capturing some of them?"

"Whoop!" yelled Enoch.

"That is what I thought, although I did not say it out quite so loud," said Zeke, laughing all over. "We want to keep it as still as we can, for there are a good many Tories around, and we want to keep them in ignorance of it. Now you boys stay here and talk it over and I will go ashore and bring off the rest of our guard."

"Do you think your mother will let you go on this vessel?" said Caleb, as he and Enoch leaned upon the rail and watched Zeke as he sculled the boat ashore.

"Let me go to fight against tyranny? Of course she will."

"You will be a pirate if you do."

"No more than I am now."

"And if they catch you——"

Here Caleb drew his head on one side and straightened his left arm above his head as if he were pulling on a rope.

"It is a good plan to catch your rabbit before you cook him," said Enoch.


CHAPTER XIX.

CONCLUSION.

Captain O'Brien and the rest of the leaders who took part in that fight with the schooner, had plenty to do that night. Among other things they were selecting the crew for their privateer, and they wanted to be sure that they got none but the best men. Zeke was ashore for an hour or two before he sent the cutter back, and then he did not come with it but sent Zeb Short to scull the boat. There were nine men in the party, and each one brought with him a large bundle which contained some changes of linen and his bedclothes.

"Where is the mate?" asked Enoch, as the men threw their bundles aboard and then proceeded to climb aboard themselves.

"The mate!" exclaimed Zeb Short, as if he did not catch the boy's meaning.

"Yes; Zeke told us to stay here until he came back."

"Oh. Well, Zeke is ashore helping the captain; and he told me to inform you boys that if you want to ship on board this vessel you had better go home and get some duds, for we are going to sail with the turn of the tide which takes place about four o'clock. Of course you boys are going?"

"You wager we are," said Caleb.

"Take your guns with you," continued Zeb. "We shall not want them any more. When we board the next Britisher you will have a cutlass or pike in your hands."

The boys clambered down into the boat with Zeb Short and were slowly sculled toward the shore. It looked to them as if they were in for fighting and nothing else. They did not stop to speak to the captain or any of the other men standing around but went straight for home as fast as they could go. There was one place where they were tempted to stop and exchange a few words with the inmates, and that was at James Howard's house. The boys were sitting on the porch and were talking about what they had seen at the wharf.

"There go a couple of those rebels now," said James, as Enoch and Caleb hurried by. "I hope I will be here to see them hung up."

"Enoch, I have the best notion to go back and whip him in his own dooryard," said Caleb, stopping in the middle of the sidewalk. "If you will keep the other off me, I can punish James in two whacks."

"Come on, now, and don't mind them," said Enoch, taking Caleb by the arm. "You may have some other fellows to fight some day, some that have weapons in their hands, and you can take revenge upon James in that way. Come along."

Caleb reluctantly allowed himself to be led away, and presently he was dropped at his own gate. Enoch broke into a run and entered the kitchen where his mother was busy with her usual vocations. He seized a chair, moved it up under the hooks on which his flint-lock belonged, placed it there with his bullet-pouch and powder-horn, and Mrs. Crosby looked at him with surprise.

"What's to do, Enoch?" she said at length.

"Mother, I want my bedclothes and a change of underwear to go out to sea," said Enoch. "You see——"

Here the boy began and told his story in as few words as possible, and to his joy his mother did not say one word to oppose him.

"There is one thing that does not look exactly right," he continued, "and that is I don't know what I am going to get for my trouble. I do not know that I am going to get a cent."

"That is all in the future," said his mother. "Do your duty faithfully and I will take care of myself."

Enoch said no more, but somehow he could not help wishing that he had some of his mother's pluck. When the things had been bundled up he kissed his mother good-by and went out of the house, wondering if he was ever going inside of it again. He found Caleb at his gate with his bundle on his shoulder, and in half an hour from that time they were safe on board the schooner.

"If no one has spoken for this bunk I guess I will put my things in here," said Enoch, looking around upon the men who were busy at work making up their own beds.

"There is a bunk for every man in the crew," said one. "Put your things in there and say nothing to nobody."

"All below, there!" shouted Zeke. "Come on deck, everybody."

"We are going to choose our officers the first thing we do," said Zeb Short, who proved that he was a good sailor by leaving his bunk half made up and hurrying to obey the order. "My captain is O'Brien, every time."

The men hastened aft, and there stood O'Brien with his hat off. The crew removed theirs out of respect, and the captain began a little speech to them. He repeated at greater length what he had told them ashore—that they now took their lives in their own hands and were about to go out to sea to do battle with the flag they had that day hauled down, and that if captured they could not expect but one thing, death at the yard-arm. If any of the men had time to think the matter over and wanted to back out—

"We don't," shouted Zeke, in a voice that must have been heard on shore. "There is no one in this crew that thinks of backing out."

"Zeke speaks for all of us," said Zeb Short.

"Then we will proceed to elect officers," said Captain O'Brien. "You are, most of you, sailors, and I need not tell you that it is necessary that you select good men and those whose orders you are willing to obey."

It did not take over ten minutes for the crew to select the men who were to command them. They had evidently made up their minds just whom they wanted, and each one proposed was accepted by acclamation. O'Brien was chosen captain; no one could do better than he did in the fight with the schooner, and the men were sure that he could do equally well in a contest with another vessel. Zeke was chosen first mate, Zeb Short second, and Wheaton, who did not know the first thing about a ship, was appointed captain's steward.

"What will I have to do?" asked Wheaton; whereupon all the crew broke out into a hearty laugh.

"You will have to see that I get enough to eat," said the captain. "I will wager that I do not go hungry while you are in office."

"Well, if it is all the same to you, Captain, I won't take it," said Wheaton. "Let me be a foremast hand. I shipped to fight——"

"You will have all the fighting you want to do as steward," said Captain O'Brien. "Everybody will be on deck then."

After a little more argument Wheaton was induced to take the position, and the election of officers went on. The last one that was chosen was the man who had fed Enoch while he was a prisoner in the brig; Ezra Norton was his name, and he was told to look out for the ammunition. He had served on board the schooner and knew pretty nearly where to go to find the charges for the guns. After that the crew were divided into watches, and in obedience to Zeke's order: "All you starbo'lins below!" went down to their bunks to sleep until twelve o'clock.

Just at daylight the next morning—it was Enoch's watch on deck now—there was great commotion on the schooner, for the lookout who was sitting on the cross-trees shouted down two words that sent a thrill to every heart. It did not create a hubbub or take the form of words, but it set them to scanning the horizon and exchanging whisperings with one another—

"Sail ho!"

"Where away?" shouted Zeke, who happened to be the only officer on deck.

"Straight ahead," was the answer.

"Can you make her out?"

"I can see nothing but her top-hamper, but I think she is a schooner bound for New York."

Presently the hail came down again—another ship four points off the lee bow, and headed the same way that the other one was. The captain, on being summoned, came on deck and mounted to the cross-trees with a glass in his hand. He stayed there an hour, and when he came down again the vessels were in sight.

"I will wager my hat against yours that those are two of the boats that we want," said he to Zeke. "We will soon make them show their colors whatever they are."

"Wheaton, have you your flag here?" asked Zeb Short, turning to the steward who at that moment came on deck.

"No, no; don't try that," said the captain, hastily. "We will approach her without any flag. We will not attempt to make her think we are friendly when we are not."

The two vessels continued to approach each other, and finally the stranger, thinking that the schooner had some business with her, ran up the very flag they wanted to see—the flag of England. In answer to the question, "What schooner is that?" she replied that she was the Spitfire, bound from Halifax for New York with a cargo of supplies for the British government.

"Now, Zeke, it all depends upon you," said the captain, jumping down from the rail on which he had stood while making his hail. "Crowd all the men you can into a boat and go off and take possession of that schooner. Send the officers to me and put the rest down below. Fill away in my wake when I start for Watertown. But first I must capture that other schooner."

"I will send a boat aboard of you," said the captain, seeing that the Spitfire was not decreasing her pace.

To man the boat did not take very long on the part of the schooner's crew, for every one knew just what he had to do. To seize cutlasses and pistols from the rack, buckle them on and tumble over the side was but the work of a minute, and in hardly more time than we have taken to describe it, they had boarded the Spitfire and a man was sent to her wheel. Zeke pulled down the flag and waved it over his head.

Of course her officers were full of questions when they were brought aboard the schooner, and could not understand the matter at all; but the captain did not stop to enlighten them until the other vessel was captured. He ordered them down into his cabin, and there they remained while the schooner speeded on to make a prize of the other vessel which was found to be the Storm King, bound to the same port and loaded with supplies. When the officers were all on board his vessel and prisoners in his cabin, the captain went down and explained matters to them. They did not know anything of the battle at Lexington, and when they heard it their surprise knew no bounds. They plainly saw that their cruise had ended, and with that they were obliged to be satisfied until they were turned over to the authorities at Watertown.

Captain O'Brien's bravery did not pass unrewarded. His appearance in Watertown with his prizes created a great commotion there, and he was appointed captain in the marine of the colony and sent to sea to capture some more vessels. His work in the Revolutionary War was just begun, and those who went with him from Machias stayed by him to the end. Zeke Lewis and Zeb Short were promoted to gunners, because it was necessary that they should have better educated men for first and second officers; at any rate they received thirteen dollars in their new position whereas in their old, they received only eight.

Enoch and Caleb were not forgotten. By strict attention to their duties they received promotion one after the other, one to assistant sailmaker at twelve dollars a month and the other to yeoman at nine dollars. They were on every voyage with their beloved captain. When he received command of a privateer and had the whole ocean in which to search for his prizes, the boys went with him and did their best to establish his name.

James and Emerson did not long remain in Machias. Things became too unpleasant for them, and one morning their houses were not open as usual. Of course their neighbors wanted to see what was the matter, and an investigation proved that the families had gone in the night-time to seek another haven of refuge. They brought up in New York and stayed there until the place was evacuated by the British. Then they went to England, and it is to be hoped that they could talk their sentiments there without being threatened with a beating by a Yankee.

During the course of the long and bloody struggle that followed there was much depression in the provincial ranks. Even the great heart of Washington was bowed down by sorrow, and when "famine was stalking through the camp" and his enemies were hard at work to have a "new and a better man" appointed in his place, the leader never lost sight of the "justice of her cause or the sincerity of his country." Read the following incident related by a man who was there and saw it all. It proves that General Washington, in the troubles with which he was surrounded, found that there was a stronger arm than man's to lean upon.[7]

Isaac Potts, at whose house Washington was quartered, relates that one day while the Americans were encamped at Valley Forge, he strolled up a creek that was not far from his house and heard a solemn voice. He walked quietly in the direction of it and saw Washington's horse tied to a sapling. In a thicket near by he saw his beloved chief in prayer, and his cheeks suffused with tears. Like Moses at the Bush, Isaac Potts felt that he was treading upon holy ground and withdrew unobserved. He was much agitated upon entering the room where his wife was, and he burst into tears. On inquiring the cause he informed his wife of what he had seen, and added:

"If there is any one on this earth whom the Lord will listen to, it is George Washington; and I feel a presentment that under such a commander there can be no doubt of our eventually establishing our independence, and that God in His providence has willed it so."

"Oh, who shall know the might
Of the words he uttered there?
The fate of nations that was turn'd
By the fervor of his prayer?
"But would'st thou know his name
Who wandered there alone?
Go, read in Heaven's archives
The prayer of Washington."

THE END


[1]

"He said to a friend, 'If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the Old North Tower as a signal light—
One if by land, two if by sea,
And I on the opposite shore will be
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm
For the country folk to be up and to arm.'"

[2] Lossing says: "The British lost 65 killed, 18 wounded, and 28 made prisoners; in all 273. The Americans lost 59 killed, 39 wounded, and 5 missing; in all 103.

[3] Bannocks are something like the present "hoecakes" of the South—merely flat cakes of Indian meal or rye, wet with water and baked over the hot coals on the hearth.

[4] Marbles.

[5] The constables were not in the habit of knocking at a private house. They heralded their approach by the command: "Open in the name of the King!" and then went in and did their business.

[6] The brig is a small, dark apartment on board a vessel in which culprits are confined.

[7] Condensed from Lossing's Field Book.


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