The Yankee Tea-party eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 164 pages of information about The Yankee Tea-party.

“As soon (says the old Tory) as I came in view of the British lines, I hastened to deliver myself up to the nearest patrol, informing him that I was the bearer of important despatches from Lord Cornwallis to Colonel Tarleton.  The guard was immediately called out, the commander of which taking me in charge, carried me at once to Tarleton’s marquee.  A servant informed him of my arrival, and returned immediately with the answer that his master would see me after a while, and that in the mean time I was to await his pleasure where I then was.  The servant was a grave and sedate looking Englishman, between 50 and 60 years of age, and informed me that he had known Colonel Tarleton from his earliest youth, having lived for many years in the family of his father, a worthy clergyman, at whose particular request he had followed the Colonel to this country, with the view that, if overtaken by disease and suffering in his headlong career, he might have some one near him who had known him ere the pranksome mischief of the boy had hardened into the sterner vices of the man.  ‘He was always a wild blade, friend,’ (said the old man) ’and many a heart-ache has he given us all, but he’ll mend in time, I hope.”  Just then my attention was arrested by the violent plungings of a horse, which two stout grooms, one on each side, were endeavouring to lead to the spot where we were standing.  He was a large and powerful brute, beautifully formed, and black as a crow, with an eye that seemed actually to blaze with rage, at the restraint which was put upon him.  His progress was one continued bound, at times swinging the grooms clear from the earth, as lightly as though they were but tassels hung on to the huge Spanish bit, so that with difficulty they escaped being trampled under foot.  I asked the meaning of the scene, and was informed that the horse was one that Tarleton had heard of as being a magnificent animal, but one altogether unmanageable; and so delighted was he with the description, that he sent all the way down into Moore County where his owner resided, and purchased him at the extravagant price of one hundred guineas; and that moreover, he was about to ride him that morning.  ‘Ride him?’ said I, ’why one had as well try to back a streak of lightning!—­the mad brute will certainly be the death of him.’  ’Never fear for him,’ said my companion; ’never fear for him, his time has not come yet.’  By this time the horse had been brought up to where we were; the curtain of the marquee was pushed aside and my attention was drawn from the savage stud, to rivet itself upon his dauntless rider.  And a picture of a man he was.  Rather below the middle height, and with a face almost femininely beautiful, Tarleton possessed a form that was a model of manly strength and vigor.  Without a particle of superfluous flesh, his rounded limbs and full broad chest seemed moulded from iron, yet at the same time displaying all the elasticity which usually accompanies elegance of proportion.  His dress (strange as it may appear)

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The Yankee Tea-party from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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