“A slight noise warned them of the impropriety of their longer remaining. The General having completed dressing, took an affectionate farewell of his wife, assuring her he would soon be enabled to return. They left the house—but to gain the shore was a matter of some difficulty. The general was rendered incapable of making the slightest noise if he had wished to, and they had tied Mrs. Sullivan, and bound her mouth to prevent her giving any alarm. But the tents were not so easily passed. The morning was fast approaching, and the route they came would occupy too much time to retrace it—their only plan now was to make as straight a line as possible to the shore. Already had they passed one tent, when the cry ‘who goes there’ was heard. In a moment they gained the shadow of an adjoining tent, when a man suddenly stept before them and demanded their business. No time could be lost—the two officers proceeded on to the boat with the general, while the remainder overpowered the sentinel and joined their companions as the dawn was faintly perceptible in the east. By the time an alarm was given, they were far beyond the reach of pursuit.
“Their prisoner was borne triumph to their commander, who intended waiting superior orders as to the disposal of him.
“In the meanwhile, Mrs. Sullivan was not idle. A council was called, and every plan was proposed that could tend to liberate her husband.
“The womanly wit of Mrs. Sullivan suggested that they should cross the river in the same manner as the British had done, and seize the person of one of their influential men, and hold him as an hostage until terms could be agreed upon for the exchange of prisoners. It was a risk, and if discovered, no mercy could be expected.
“The nephew of the general, a young officer of merit, and several others, volunteered their services. The following night was arranged for the purpose.
“The difficulty, when the time arrived, was to procure some mode of getting over. A whale-boat was at length found, into which the adventurers got, disguised as fishermen. They soon arrived at Long Island and proceeded to the residence of Judge Jones.
“With some difficulty they secured that worthy functionary, and notwithstanding his assurance as to being a good patriot, which they assured him they did not in the least question, conveyed the good man to the boat, in spite of his wish to finish his sleep out, and embarked pleased with their success. On reaching the house of Mrs. Sullivan they introduced their prisoner. Mrs. Sullivan courteously apologized for the necessity they had been under for requesting his society without due time for preparation; a suring him that the house and all in it were at his service while he honoured it as his abode.
“The Judge was taken quite at a loss. At any time he was a man of a few words, but the sudden transition had quite bewildered his faculties. At times he doubted whether the good old cogniac, of which he had taken a plentiful supply before retiring to rest, had not turned his head.