“Beats all what an amount o’ sufferin’ it takes to start a new nation,” Solomon used to say.
Next day Arnold fought his way to the fort, and many of St. Leger’s Rangers and their savage allies were slain or captured or broken into little bands and sent flying for their lives into the northern bush. So the siege of Fort Schuyler was raised.
“I never see no better fightin’ man than Arnold,” Solomon used to say. “I seen him fight in the middle bush an’ on the Stillwater. Under fire he was a regular wolverine. Allus up ag’in’ the hottest side o’ hell an’ sayin’:
“‘Come on, boys. We kin’t expec’ to live forever.’
“But Arnold were a sore head. Allus kickin’ over the traces an’ complainin’ that he never got proper credit.”
THE BINKUSSING OF COLONEL BURLEY
Solomon had been hit in the thigh by a rifle bullet on his way to the fort. He and Jack and other wounded men were conveyed in boats and litters to the hospital at Albany where Jack remained until the leaves were gone. Solomon recovered more quickly and was with Lincoln’s militia under Colonel Brown when they joined Johnson’s Rangers at Ticonderoga and cut off the supplies of the British army. Later having got around the lines of the enemy with this intelligence he had a part in the fighting on Bemus Heights and the Stillwater and saw the defeated British army under Burgoyne marching eastward in disgrace to be conveyed back to England.
Jack had recovered and was at home when Solomon arrived in Albany with the news.
“Wal, my son, I cocalate they’s goin’ to be a weddin’ in our fam’ly afore long,” said the latter.
“What makes you think so?” Jack inquired.
“‘Cause John Burgoyne, High Cockylorum and Cockydoodledo, an’ all his army has been licked an’ kicked an’ started fer hum an’ made to promise that they won’t be sassy no more. I tell ye the war is goin’ to end. They’ll see that it won’t pay to keep it up.”
“But you do not know that Howe has taken Philadelphia,” said Jack. “His army entered it on the twenty-sixth of September. Washington is in a bad fix. You and I have been ordered to report to him at White Marsh as soon as possible.”
“That ol’ King ‘ud keep us fightin’ fer years if he had his way,” said Solomon. “He don’t have to bleed an’ groan an’ die in the swamps like them English boys have been doin’. It’s too bad but we got to keep killin’ ’em, an’ when the bad news reaches the good folks over thar mebbe the King’ll git spoke to proper. We got to keep a-goin’. Fer the fust time in my life I’m glad to git erway from the big bush. The Injuns have found us a purty tough bit o’ fodder but they’s no tellin’, out thar in the wilderness, when a man is goin’ to be roasted and chawed up.”
Solomon spent a part of the evening at play with the Little Cricket and the other children and when the young ones had gone to bed, went out for a walk with “Mis’ Scott” on the river-front.