“It is here, general,” replied Mrs. Seymour, touching the breast of her gown. “I thought it well to carry it about my person, as I am told that even the Hessians respect General Washington’s safe-conduct to enter New York.”
Betty, with crimson cheeks, but brave smiling eyes, threw her arms fondly around Miss Euphemia, Pamela, Sally, and Miss Bidwell, all in turn, but Moppet’s soft cry as she buried her face in her hands made her lip quiver, and as she bent her head for her father’s farewell, a reluctant tear forced itself down her cheek.
“The God of our fathers be with you, my daughter,” he said, taking her in his arms; “my love and blessing to Clarissa and her husband. Remain with them until I find safe opportunity to have you return to us; advise us often of your health and, I trust, continued well-being; keep a brave heart as befits your name and lineage; fare you well, fare you well!”
Betty sank back trembling into her seat beside Mrs. Seymour, the door was closed, and as the coach rolled off she caught a parting glimpse of Miss Moppet lifted high in General Wolcott’s arms, kissing her hand fondly as she waved good-by.
INSIDE BRITISH LINES
“Drat that knocker!” said Peter Provoost.
The house stood on Wall Street, and to the fact that it like a few others has been built of brick, it owed its escape from the fire which ravaged, the city in 1776, the fire which also destroyed old Trinity Church, leaving the unsightly ruin standing for some years in what was aristocratic New York of the period. It was a square, comfortable-looking mansion, with the Dutch stoep in front, and the half-arch of small-paned glass above the front door, which was painted white and bore a massive brass knocker. That same knocker was a source of much irritation to Peter Provoost; for although he was of fair size for his thirteen years, he could barely reach it when mounted on the very tips of his toes, and even then never dared touch its shining surface unless his fingers were clean—a desirable state of neatness which, alas! did not often adorn the luckless Peter. For though tidy and careful enough when appearing before his guardians, Mr. and Mrs. Verplanck, it must be confessed that going to and from school Peter was prone to lay down both books and hat, oftentimes in the mud, and square himself pugnaciously if he chanced to meet one of the boys of the “Vly Market,” who were wont to scoff and tease the Broadway boys unmercifully; and fierce battles were the frequent outcome of the feeling between the two sections, and in those Peter invariably took part.