“I will not tell, for I must keep my word.”
“Let me question her, for I think I know the child,” said a man who was guide to the party. “Is your name Hetty Marvin?”
“Perhaps the man who ran past you was your cousin?”
“Yes, sir, he was.”
“Well, we wish to speak with him. What did he say to you when, he came by?”
“He told me that he had to run to save his life.”
“Just so—that was quite true. I hope he will not have far to run. Where was he going to hide himself?”
“My cousin said that he would go to the river to find a boat, and he wanted me to tell the men in search of him that he had gone the other way to meet the mail-cart.”
“You are a good girl, Hetty, and we know you speak the truth. What did your cousin say when he heard that you could not tell a lie to save his life?”
“He asked, would I betray him and see him put to death?”
“And you said you would not tell, if you were killed for it.”
Poor Hetty’s tears fell fast as she responded, “Yes, sir.”
“Those were brave words, and I suppose he thanked you and ran down the road as fast as he could?”
“I promised not to tell which way he went, sir.”
“O yes, I forgot; but tell me his last words, and I will not trouble you any more.”
“He said, ‘I will do it, for it is my last chance.’”
Hetty was now oppressed with great fear; she sobbed aloud, and hid her face in her apron. The soldiers thought they had obtained all the information they could, and rode off toward the river-side.
While Griswold lay hidden at the farm, he had agreed upon a signal with his boatmen, that if in trouble he would put a white cloth by day, or a light at night, in the attic window of his place of concealment. When either signal was seen, the men were to be on the watch, ready to render him assistance in case of need.
No sooner had the soldiers ridden away, than Griswold’s friends in the house hung out a white cloth from the window, to warn the boatmen, who then pulled out to sea.
The boat, with two men in it, was nearly out of sight by the time the soldiers reached the shore, and this caused them to conclude that Griswold had effected his escape.
Meantime he lay safe and quiet until the time came for Hetty to go home to supper. Then he requested her to go and ask her mother to put the signal-lamp in the window as it grew dark, and send him clothes and food. The signal was seen, the boat returned, and Griswold made his way to it in safety.
In better days, when the war was over, and peace declared, he named one of his daughters Hetty Marvin, that he might daily think of the brave young cousin whose sense and truth-speaking had saved his life.
* * * * *