“That ended the battle, in which about thirty Americans and fifty of the British had fallen. Then presently followed the disgraceful scenes in Hampton of which I have already told you as having brought lasting infamy upon the name of Sir George Cockburn.”
“I think he was worse than a savage!” exclaimed Lulu hotly.
“Certainly, far worse; and more brutal than some of the Indian chiefs—Brant, for instance,” said Rosie, “or Tecumseh.”
“I cannot see in what respect he was any better than a pirate,” added Evelyn, in a quiet tone.
“Nor can I,” said Captain Raymond; “so shameful were his atrocities that even the most violent of his British partisans were constrained to denounce them.”
Before the sun had set the Dolphin was again speeding over the water, but now on the ocean, and going northward, Philadelphia being their present destination. It had grown cloudy and by bedtime a steady rain was falling, but unaccompanied by much wind, so that no one felt any apprehension of shipwreck or other marine disaster, and all slept well.
The next morning Lulu was, as usual, one of the first to leave her berth, and having made herself neat for the day she hurried upon deck.
It had ceased raining and the clouds were breaking away.
“Oh, I’m so glad!” she exclaimed, running to meet her father, who was coming toward her, holding out his hand with an affectionate smile, “so glad it is clearing off so beautifully; aren’t you, papa?”
“Yes; particularly for your sake, daughter,” he replied, putting an arm about her and bending down to give her a good-morning kiss. “Did you sleep well?”
“Yes, indeed, papa, thank you; but I woke early and got up because I wanted to come on deck and look about. Where are we now? I can see land on the western side.”
“Yes, that is a part of the Delaware coast,” he answered. “We are nearing Cape Henlopen. By the way, do you remember what occurred near there, at the village of Lewis, in the war of 1812?”
“No, sir,” she said. “Won’t you please tell me about it?”
“I will; it is not a very long story. It was in March of the year 1813 that the British, after destroying such small merchant craft as they could find in Chesapeake Bay, concluded to blockade Delaware bay and river and reduce to submission the Americans living along their shores. Commodore Beresford was accordingly sent on the expedition in command of the Belvidera, Poictiers, and several smaller vessels.
“On the 16th of March he appeared before Lewis in his vessel, the Poictiers, and pointing her guns toward the town sent a note addressed to the first magistrate demanding twenty live bullocks and a proportionate quantity of hay and of vegetables for the use of his Britannic majesty’s squadron. He offered to pay for them, but threatened in the event of refusal to destroy the town.”