When the carriage arrived at Four Oaks, the story was told in few words, and I immediately set to work to “mend” the boys. Jack insisted that Jarvis should receive the first attention, and, indeed, he looked the worse. But after washing the blood off his face, I found that beyond a severe bruise, which would disfigure him for a few days, his face and head were unhurt. His arm was broken and badly contused. After I had attended to it, he said:—
“Doctor, I’m as good as new; hope Jack is no worse.”
I carefully washed the blood off Jack’s head and neck, and found an ugly scalp wound at least three inches long. It made me terribly anxious until I fairly proved that the bone was uninjured. After giving the boy the tonsure, I put six stitches into the scalp, and he never said a word. Perhaps the cause of this fortitude could be found in the blazing eyes of Jessie Gordon, which fixed his as a magnet, while her hands clasped his tightly. Miss Jessie was as white as snow, but there was no tremor in hand or eye. When it was all over, her voice was steady and low as she said:—
“Jack Williams, in the olden days men fought for women, and they were called knights. It was counted a noble thing to take peril in defence of the helpless. I find no record of more knightly deed than you have done to-day, and I know that no knight could have done it more nobly. I want you to wear this favor on your hand.”
She kissed his hand and left the room. Jack didn’t seem to mind the wound in his head, but he gave great attention to his hand.
As soon as the first report of the battle reached me, I telephoned to Bill Jackson, asking him to come at once to Four Oaks and to bring a man with him. When he arrived, attended by his big Irishman, my men had already put one of the farm teams to a great farm wagon, and had filled the box nearly full of hay. We gave Jackson a hurried account of the fight and asked him to go at once and offer relief to the wounded,—if such relief were needed. Jackson was willing enough to go, but he was greatly disappointed that he had missed the fight; it seemed unnatural that there should be a big fight in his neighborhood and he not in it.
“I’d give a ten-acre lot to have been with you, lads,” said the big farmer as he started off.
Word had been sent to Dr. High to be ready to care for some broken heads. Two hours later I drove to the Inn at Exeter and found the doctor just commencing the work of repair. Thirteen men had been brought in by the wagon, twelve of them more or less cut and bruised about the head, and all needing some surgical attention. The thirteenth man was stone dead. A terrific blow on the back of the head had crushed his skull as if it had been an egg-shell, and he must have died instantly. After looking this poor fellow over to make sure that there was no hope for