“I expected to be delighted with seeing such a man hung; but I tell you, my friends, I felt very differently when the time came, and I saw the cruel tory kneeling on the scaffold, while the lightning seemed to be quivering over the gallows. I turned away my head a moment, and when I looked again, the body of Lovelace was suspended in the air, and his spirit had gone to give its account to its God.”
The account of this terrible scene had deeply interested the company; and the animated manner of Morton impressed even the children with a feeling of awe.
“Why didn’t they postpone the hanging of the man until there was a clear day?” enquired Mrs. Harmar.
“Executions are never postponed on account of the weather, my dear,” replied her husband. “It would be rather cruel than otherwise thus to delay them.”
“I’ve heard of that Lovelace before,” remarked old Harmar. “I judged that he was a bold villain from some of his outrages, and I think he deserved his death.”
“For my part,” said Higgins, “I hated the very name of a tory so much, during the war, that I believe I could have killed any man who dared to speak in their defence. All that I knew or heard of were blood-thirsty scoundrels.”
“If you were at Saratoga, Mr. Morton, perhaps you know something about the murder of Miss M’Crea,” said Mrs. Harmar.
“Oh, yes! I know the real facts of the case,” replied Morton. “I got them from one who was acquainted with her family. The real story is quite different from the one we find in the histories of the war, and which General Gates received as true.”