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he sometimes sets her to singing "The Twins of Latona,” and "Old Towler," and "The Rose-Tree in Full Bearing (she does not study the modern music), for the entertainment of his company. On these occasions, he stands by the instrument, and nods his head, as if he comprehended the airs.
HOW HORSE-SHOE AND ANDREW CAPTURED FIVE MEN. (From Horse-Shoe Robinson, a Tale of the Tory Ascendancy in S. C.*)
[Mistress Ramsay speaking to Horse-Shoe Robinson:]
"Who should come in this morning, just after my husband had cleverly got away on his horse, but a young cocka-whoop ensign, that belongs to Ninety-Six, and four great Scotchmen with him, all in red coats; they had been out thieving, I warrant, and were now going home again. And who but they! Here they were, swaggering all about my house and calling for this-and calling for that-as if they owned the fee-simple of every thing on the plantation. And it made my blood rise, Mr. Horse Shoe, to see them run out in the yard, and catch up my chickens and ducks, and kill as many as they could string about them—and I not daring to say a word though I did give them a piece of my mind, too." "Who is at home with you?" inquired the sergeant eagerly.
"Nobody but my youngest boy, Andrew," answered the dame. "And then, the filthy, toping rioters-" she continued, exalting her voice.
"What arms have you in the house?" asked Robinson, without heeding the dame's rising anger.
"We have a rifle, and a horseman's pistol that belongs to John. They must call for drink, too, and turn my house, of a Sunday morning, into a tavern."
*By permission of G. P. Putnam's Sons, N. Y.
"They took the route towards Ninety-Six, you said, Mistress Ramsay?"
"Yes, they went straight forward upon the road. But, look you, Mr. Horse-Shoe, you're not thinking of going after them?"
“Isn't there an old field, about a mile from this, on that road?" inquired the sergeant, still intent upon his own thoughts.
"There is,” replied the dame; "with the old school-house upon it."
"A lop-sided, rickety log-cabin in the middle of the field. Am I right, good woman?
"And nobody lives in it? It has no door to it?"
"I know the place very well," said the sergeant, very thoughtfully; "there is woods just on this side of it."
"That's true," replied the dame; "but what is it you are thinking about, Mr. Robinson?"
"How long before this rain began was it that they quitted this house?"
"Not above fifteen minutes."
"Mistress Ramsay, bring me the rifle and pistol bothand the powder-horn and bullets."
"As you say, Mr. Horse Shoe," answered the dame, as she turned round to leave the room; "but I am sure I can't suspicion what you mean to do."
In a few moments the woman returned with the weapons, and gave them to the sergeant.
"Where is Andy?" asked Horse-Shoe.
The hostess went to the door and called her son, and, almost immediately afterwards, a sturdy boy of about twelve or fourteen years of age entered the apartment, his clothes
dripping with rain. He modestly and shyly seated himself on a chair near the door, with his soaked hat flapping down over a face full of freckles and not less rife with the expression of an open, dauntless hardihood of character.
"How would you like a scrummage, Andy, with them Scotchmen that stole your mother's chickens this morning?" asked Horse-Shoe.
"I'm agreed," replied the boy, "if you will tell me what to do."
Horse-Shoe now loaded the fire-arms, and having slung the pouch across his body, he put the pistol into the hands of the boy; then shouldering his rifle, he and his young ally left the room. Even on this occasion, serious as it might be deemed, the sergeant did not depart without giving some manifestation of that lightheartedness which no difficulties ever seemed to have the power to conquer. He thrust his head back into the room, after he had crossed the threshold, and said with an encouraging laugh, "Andy and me will teach them, Mistress Ramsay, Pat's point of war-we will surround the ragamuffins."
"Now, Andy, my lad," said Horse-Shoe, after he had mounted Captain Peter, "you must get up behind me.
By the time that his 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 Robinson 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. 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 further 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 budges a foot."
"Leap to your arms," cried the young officer who commanded the little party inside of the house. "Why do you
"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, by my father's son, I will not leave one of you to be put upon a muster-roll if you raise a hand at this moment."
Both parties now stood, for a brief space, eyeing each other in 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, whilst the delay, also, began to raise an apprehension in the mind of Robinson that his stratagem would be discovered.
"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; and I should be sorry to be the death of any of your brave fellows; so, take my advice, and surrender to the Continental Congress and this scrap of its army which I command."
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 device succeeded, and 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."
"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 a mere occasion of merriment; and the lad quickly entered the house and secured the weapons, retreating with them some paces from the door.
"Now, sir," said Horse-Shoe to the Ensign, "your sword, and whatever else you mought have about you of the ammunitions of war!"
The officer delivered 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 mought take the freedom?"