“Major Thayer received great credit for his share in it, and was presented with a sword by the Rhode Island Assembly as a token of their appreciation of his services there.”
“Did not Captain—afterward Commodore—Talbot do himself great credit there?” asked Evelyn.
“Yes; he fought for hours with his wrist shattered by a musket ball; then was wounded in the hip and was sent to Red Bank. He was a very brave man and did much good service during the war, principally on the water, taking vessel after vessel. In the fight with one of them—the Dragon—his speaking trumpet was pierced by bullets and the skirts of his coat were shot away.”
“How brave he must have been!” exclaimed Lulu with enthusiasm. “Don’t you think so, papa?”
“Indeed, I do,” replied the captain. “He was one of the many men of that period of whom their countrymen may be justly proud.”
Little Ned, who was not very well, began fretting and reaching out his arms to be taken by his father. The captain lifted him tenderly, saying something in a soothing tone, and carried him away to another part of the deck.
Then the young people, gathering about Grandma Elsie, who had been an almost silent listener to Captain Raymond’s account of the attacks upon the forts, and the gallant conduct of their defenders, begged her to tell them something more of the stirring events of those revolutionary days.
“You have visited the places near here where there was fighting in those days, haven’t you, mamma?” asked Walter.
“Yes, some years ago,” she replied. “Ah, how many years ago it was!” she added musingly; then continued, “When I was quite a little girl, my father took me to Philadelphia, and a number of other places, where occurred notable events in the war of the Revolution.”
“And you will tell us about them, won’t you, mamma?” Walter asked, in coaxing tones.
“Certainly, if you and the rest all wish it,” she returned, smiling lovingly into the eager young face, while the others joined in the request.
“Please tell about Philadelphia first, mamma,” Walter went on. “You went to Independence Hall, of course, and we’ve all been there, I believe; but there must be some other points of interest in and about the city, I should think, that will be rather new to us.”
“Yes, there are others,” she replied, “though I suppose that to every American Independence Hall is the most interesting of all, since it was there the Continental Congress held its meetings, and its bell that proclaimed the glad tidings that that grand Declaration of Independence had been signed and the colonies of Great Britain had become free and independent States—though there was long and desperate fighting to go through before England would acknowledge it.”
“Mamma, don’t you hate old England for it?” cried Walter impulsively, his eyes flashing.