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ing secured his rifle in the same way, put his horse to a gallop and took the road in the direction that had been pursued by the soldiers.
6. As soon as our adventurers had gained a wood, at the distance of about half a mile, the sergeant relaxed his speed and advanced at a pace a little above a walk.
"Andy," he said, "we have rather a ticklish sort of a job before us; so I must give you your lesson, which you will understand better by knowing something of my plan. As soon as your mother told me that these thieving villains had left her house about fifteen minutes before the rain came on, and that they had gone along upon this road, I remembered the old field up here and the little log-hut in the middle of it; and it was natural to suppose that they had just got about near that hut when this rain came up; and then it was the most supposable case in the world that they would naturally go into it, as the driest place they could find. So now you see it's my calculation that the whole batch is there at this very point of time. We will go slowly along until we get to the other end of this wood, in sight of the old field; and then, if there is no one on the lookout, we will open our first trench; you know what that means, Andy?"
"It means, I suppose, that we'll go right at them," replied Andrew.
7. 66 Exactly," said the sergeant. "But listen to me. Just at the edge of the woods you will have to get down and put yourself behind a tree. I'll ride forward, as if I had a whole troop at my heels; and if I catch them, as I expect, they will have a little fire kindled, and, as likely as not, they'll be cooking some of your mother's fowls."
8. "Yes, I understand," said the boy, eagerly.
"No, you don't," replied Horse Shoe; "but you will
when you hear what I am going to say. If I get at them unawares they'll be very apt to think they are surrounded, and will bellow like fine fellows for quarter. And thereupon, Andy, I'll cry out, Stand fast!' as if I were speaking to my own men, and when you hear that, you must come up at once, because it will be a signal to you that the enemy has surrendered. Then it will be your business to run into the house and bring out the muskets as quick as a rat runs through a kitchen; and when you have done that-why, all's done. But if you should hear any popping of fire-arms—that is, more than one shot, which I may chance to let off-do you take that for a bad sign, and get away as fast as you can heel it. You comprehend?"
9. "Oh, yes," replied the lad, "and I'll do what you want and more too, maybe, Mr. Robinson."
Captain Robinson, remember, Andy: you must call me captain in the hearing of these Scotchmen."
"I'll not forget that, neither," answered Andrew.
10. By the time that these instructions were fully impressed upon the boy, our adventurous forlorn-hope, as it may fitly be called, had arrived at the place which Horse Shoe had designated for the commencement of active operations. They had a clear view of the old field, and it afforded them a strong assurance that the enemy was exactly where they wished him to be when they discovered smoke arising from the chimney of the hovel.
11. Andrew was soon posted behind a tree, and Robinson only tarried a moment to make the boy repeat the signals agreed on, in order to ascertain that he had them correctly in his memory. Being satisfied from this experiment that the intelligence of his young companion might be depended upon, he galloped across the intervening
space, and in a few seconds abruptly reined up his steed in the very doorway of the hut. The party within was gathered around a fire at the farther end; and in the corner near the door were four muskets thrown together against the wall. To spring from his saddle and thrust himself one pace inside of the door was a movement which the sergeant executed in an instant, shouting at the same time:
"Halt! File off right and left to both sides of the house, and wait orders. I demand the surrender of all here," he said, as he planted himself between the party and their weapons. "I will shoot down the first man who moves a foot."
12. "Leap to your arms!" cried the young officer who commanded the little party inside of the house. "Why do you stand?"
"I don't want to do you or your men any harm, young man," said Robinson, as he brought his rifle to a level, "but I will not leave one of you to be put upon a musterroll if you raise a hand at this moment!"
The instructions to Andy to turn the lock of his pistol down and cover it with the flap of his jacket to keep the rain off, were for the reason that below the lock in the old-fashioned pistols there was a pan in which powder was placed, and if this powder was wet the pistol would not go off. The percussion-cartridge used to-day is a great improvement on the "flint-lock" pistol of former days. Explain the expressions: "active operations" (10) ; "reined up his steed" (11); "planted himself " (11).
Laziness grows on people: it begins in cobwebs and ends in iron chains.
Nothing is denied to well-directed labor: nothing is ever to be attained without it.
Character is like stock in trade: the more of it a man possesses, the greater his facilities for making additions to it.
1. strǎt'a gem; n. a trick or artifice in war for deceiving an enemy.
2. dough'ty; a. brave; terrible to foes.
5. lăm❜ bent; a. gliding over; meaning, in this case, just seen for an instant.
9. sŭm' må ry; a. quickly executed.
2. ŏp' pŏr tūne'; a. timely.
9. aux ĭl' iȧ ry; n. helper.
3. for aġ ing; a. in search of 10. per' tur bāꞌ tion; n. agita
A Military Stratagem. Part III.
1. Both parties now stood for a brief space eying each other, in a fearful suspense, during which there was an expression of doubt and irresolution visible on the countenances of the soldiers as they surveyed the broad proportions and met the stern glance of the sergeant; while the delay also began to raise an apprehension in the mind of Robinson that his stratagem would be discovered.
2. "Shall I let loose upon them, captain?" said Andrew Ramsay, now appearing, most unexpectedly to Robinson, at the door of the hut. "Come on, boys!" he shouted, as he turned his face towards the field.
"Keep them outside of the door. Stand fast!" cried the doughty sergeant, with admirable promptitude, in the new and sudden posture of his affairs caused by this opportune appearance of the boy. "Sir, you see that it's not worth while fighting five to one; so take my advice, and surrender to the Continental Congress and this scrap of its army which I command.”
3. During this appeal the sergeant was ably seconded by the lad outside, who was calling out first on one name and then on another, as if in the presence of a troop. The officer within, believing the forbearance of Robinson to be real, at length said:
"Lower your rifle, sir. In the presence of a superior force, taken by surprise and without arms, it is my duty to save bloodshed. With the promise of fair usage and the rights of prisoners of war, I surrender this little foraging party under my command."
4. "I'll make the terms agreeable," replied the sergeant. "Never doubt me, sir. Right-hand file, advance, and receive the arms of the prisoners!"
"I'm here, captain," said Andrew, in a conceited tone, as if it were an occasion of merriment; and the lad quickly entered the house and secured the weapons, retreating with them some paces from the door.
5. "Now, sir," said Horse Shoe to the ensign, "your sword, and whatever else you may have about you of the ammunitions of war!"
The officer delivered up his sword and a pair of pocket-pistols.
As Horse Shoe received these tokens of victory, he asked, with a lambent smile and what he intended to be an elegant and condescending composure, "Your name, sir, if I may take the freedom ?"
Ensign St. Jermyn, of his Majesty's Seventy-first Regiment of Light Infantry."
6. "Ensign, your servant," added Horse Shoe, still preserving this unusual exhibition of politeness. "You have defended your post like an old soldier, although you haven't much beard on your chin; but seeing you have given up, you shall be treated like a man who has done his duty. You will walk out now, and form yourselves in line at the door. I'll engage my men shall do you no harm."
7. When the little squad of prisoners submitted to this command, and came to the door, they were stricken with