Bewildered beyond measure in his reflection, yet secure in the conviction that he had by this desperate step saved the life of a human being from the dagger of the assassin, the only object of Gerald now was to secure himself from the consequences. Springing from his position he was soon at the side of the startled Sambo, who had witnessed his last act with inconceivable dismay. Already were the guard in the adjoining field, alarmed by the report of the pistol, hurrying toward the house, when they reached the little gate, and some even appeared to be making for their boats on the beach. With these motives to exertion, neither Gerald nor the old negro were likely to be deficient in activity. Bending low as they crossed the road, they managed unperceived to reach that part of the tannery where their canoe had been secreted, and Sambo having hastily launched it, they made directly for the opposite shore, unharmed by some fifteen or twenty shots that were fired at them by the guard, and drifting down with the current, reached, about an hour before dawn, the battery from which they had started.
At day-break on the rooming of Sunday, the 16th of August, the fire from the batteries was resumed, and with a fury that must have satisfied the Americans, even had they been ignorant of the purpose, it was intended to cover some ulterior plan of operation on the part of the British General. Their own object appeared rather to make preparation of defence against the threatened assault, than to return a cannonade, which, having attained its true range, excessively annoyed and occasioned them much loss. Meanwhile every precaution had been taken to secure the safe transport of the army. The flotilla, considerably superior at the outset of the war, to that of the Americans, had worked up the river during the night, and anchored in the middle lay with their broadsides ready to open upon any force that might appear to oppose the landing of the troops, while numerous scows, for the transport of a light brigade of horse artillery, and all the