The Old Bell of Independence; Or, Philadelphia in 1776 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 159 pages of information about The Old Bell of Independence; Or, Philadelphia in 1776.

“In the country around Saratoga, when General Gates lay encamped there, lived a half-breed Indian, called Blonay.  He was well known in the neighborhood as a fierce and outlawed character, who wandered and skulked from place to place, sometimes pretending to be for the Americans, and, at others, for the tories.  He went anywhere, and did everything to serve his own ends; but his whole life, and all his actions, seemed centred in one darling object, and that was revenge.  He had deeply and fearfully sworn never to rest until he had drawn the heart’s blood of Humphries, a member of Morgan’s corps, and his greatest enemy.  They had been mortal foes from boyhood, and a blow Humphries had given Blonay had fixed their hatred for life.  He had pursued him from place to place with untiring vigilance, and had watched, day after day, and month after month, for an opportunity to glut his revenge, but none offered.

“One morning, Humphries and a comrade named Davis, with a negro servant belonging to Marion’s band, were standing on a small hill near the encampment, when a strange dog suddenly appeared through the bushes, at the sight of which Humphries seized his rifle, and raised it to his eye, as if about to fire.  The black was about to express his surprise at this sudden ferocity of manner, when, noticing that the dog was quiet, he lowered the weapon, and, pointing to the animal, asked Davis if he knew it.  ‘I do; but can’t say where I’ve seen him,’ replied the other.  ’And what do you say, Tom?’ he asked of the black, in tones that startled him.  ‘Don’t you know that dog?’ ’He face berry familiar, massa, but I loss to recollect.’  ’That’s the cur of Blonay, and the bear-eyed rascal must be in the neighborhood.’  ‘Do you think so?’ inquired Davis.  ’Think so!  I know so; and why should he be here if his master was not?’ ‘Tom,’ he continued, ’hit the critter a smart blow with your stick—­hard enough to scare him off, but not to hurt him; and do you move to the edge of the creek, Davis, as soon as the dog runs off, for his master must be in that direction, and I want to see him.’

“Thus ordering, he called two of the riflemen that were near, and sent them on the path directly opposite to that taken by Davis.  He himself prepared to strike the creek at a point between these two.  He then made a signal, and Tom gave the dog a heavy blow, which sent him howling into the swamp, taking, as they had expected, the very path he came.  Blonay, however, was not to be caught napping.  He left the point from which he was watching the camp, and running in a line for some fifty yards, turned suddenly about for the point at which he had entered the swamp.  But he could not but have some doubts as to the adequacy of his concealment.  He cursed the keen scent of the dog, which he feared would too quickly discover him to his pursuers.  He hurried on, therefore, taking the water at every chance, to leave as small a trail as possible; but, from place to place, the

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The Old Bell of Independence; Or, Philadelphia in 1776 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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