“‘Ha!’ cried the soldiers, ’there comes that old fellow again, on the white horse! Look out for yourselves, for one of us has got to die, in spite of fate.’ And one of them did die, for Hezekiah’s aim was true, and his principles of economy would not admit of his wasting powder or ball. Throughout the whole of that bloody road between Lexington and Cambridge, the fatal approaches of the white horse and his rider were dreaded by the trained troops of Britain, and every wound inflicted by Hezekiah needed no repeating. But on reaching Cambridge, the regulars, greatly to their comfort, missed the old man and his horse. They comforted themselves by the conjecture that he had, at length, paid the forfeit of his temerity, and that his steed had gone home with a bloody bridle and an empty saddle. Not so.—Hezekiah had only lingered for a moment to aid in a plot which had been laid by Amni Cutter, for taking the baggage-waggons and their guards. Amni had planted about fifty old rusty muskets under a stone wall, with their muzzles directed toward the road. As the waggons arrived opposite this battery, the muskets were discharged, and eight horses, together with some soldiers, were sent out of existence. The party of soldiers who had the baggage in charge ran to a pond, and, plunging their muskets into the water, surrendered themselves to an old woman, called Mother Barberick, who was at that time digging roots in an adjacent field. A party of Americans recaptured the gallant Englishmen from Mother Barberick, and placed them in safe keeping. The captives were exceedingly astonished at the suddenness of the attack, and declared that the yankees would rise up like musketoes out of a marsh, and kill them. This chef d’oeuvre having been concluded, the harassed soldiers were again amazed by the appearance of Hezekiah, whose white horse was conspicuous among the now countless assailants that sprang from every hill and ringing dale, copse and wood, through which the bleeding regiments, like wounded snakes, held their toilsome way. His fatal aim was taken, and a soldier fell at every report of his piece. Even after the worried troops had entered Charlestown, there was no escape for them from the deadly bullets of the restless veteran. The appalling white horse would suddenly and unexpectedly dash out from a brake, or from behind a rock, and the whizzing of his bullet was the precursor of death. He followed the enemy to their very boats; and then, turning his horse’s head, returned unharmed to his household.
“‘Where have you been, husband?’
“‘Picking cherries,’ replied Hezekiah—but he forgot to say that he had first make cherries of the red-coats, by putting the pits into them.”
“That old man was sure death,” remarked Kinnison. “I knew the old fellow well. He had the name of being one of the best shots around that part of the country. I should never want to be within his range.”
“The old man immortalized himself,” said Hand.