Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Short Stories > With Rogers on the Frontier > CHAPTER XX SCOUTING IN A NEW FIELD
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】
CHAPTER XX SCOUTING IN A NEW FIELD
With a chorus of horrid oaths the ruffians rushed after them; but Seth, thrusting Captain Lindsay into the doorway ahead of him, swung around and pinked the foremost fellow on the shoulder, causing him to fall back with a roar of pain, and ere the next one could come on, he had the heavy door closed in his face and his foot braced against it.

The men on the outside were striving furiously to force the door in when a window above them was flung up and a night-capped head appeared with the muzzle of a big blunderbuss in close proximity.

The worthy Dutch burgher, whose dwelling had been thus rudely invaded, aroused from his slumbers demanded the meaning of the uproar; and getting no answer, either in his anger or in nervousness pulled the trigger of his clumsy firearm, whose charge of small shot showered upon the backs of the men below, inflicted many a painful, if not dangerous wound.

The effect of this utterly unexpected broadside certainly left nothing to be desired, for the startled and smitten roughs, fearing, no doubt, lest something worse should follow, incontinently took to their heels, and a moment later the street was vacant and silent save for the echoes of their heavy footfalls as they fled.

Having thus disposed of the disturbers of his peace who were outside the door, the master of the house now turned his attention to those who were inside; and presently appearing at the top of the stairs with a light in one hand and the blunderbuss in the other, he roared out:

"What do you do there? Speak or I shoot!" whereupon Seth stepped forward, and bowing low, said in a most respectful tone:

"We are two of the King's officers, sir, who were set upon by the ruffians outside, and took refuge in your doorway, which was fortunately open to us."

The good man was mollified at once. Indeed, the idea of affording protection to two officers evidently pleased him, and he responded with a gratified chuckle:

"You are most welcome to my house, gentlemen. As for those scoundrels who set upon you, they've got a lesson from my old friend here," and he patted his big firing-piece, "that they will not soon forget, and have gone to think it over."

"Did you shoot them, sir?" asked Seth eagerly.

"That I did. They got the whole charge among them," laughed the burgher as he began to descend the stairs. "It won't kill any of them, but they'll feel sore over it for a while."

By this time Captain Lindsay had quite recovered his self-control, and when the burgher reached the bottom of the stairs he advanced and with a sweeping bow said:

"We thank you, worthy sir, from our hearts, for the timely shelter your house afforded us, and regret having thus disturbed your rest. If the rascals have gone we need not trespass upon your kindness any longer, but will at once take our departure."

The good man made light of the matter, and would fain have persuaded them to remain under his roof until morning; but to this they would not consent, and so after the exchange of further courtesies they took their leave, and had no further difficulty in reaching their lodgings.

On the following day Seth reluctantly bade good-bye to New York and to his friend who was to remain there, and started on the return trip to Albany, which was made in good time and without special incident.

At Albany he found that Major Rogers had gone to Fort Edward, leaving instructions for him to join him there, as that point would be their centre of operations for the present.

His pleasant holiday had done him a world of good, and he went back to duty with renewed vigor and determination to fulfil his part to the best of his ability in the work of not only recovering what had been lost, but of making such gains in the struggle with the French as would result in their ultimate abandonment of the whole field.

During the autumn and the early part of the winter he was not long at a time idle, for General Loudon had in contemplation a winter attack upon Ticonderoga, whereby the loss of Fort William Henry was to be avenged, and there was a demand for all possible information concerning the condition of the French fortress and the strength of its garrison.

Poor Captain Habecourt, who was in command at Ticonderoga, found the Rangers very troublesome. They seemed to have no fear of him whatever, and sometimes were audacious enough to come up to the very ramparts.

One mid-winter day they captured two soldiers within sight of the fort, and killed a number of cattle, leaving tied to the horns of one of them a note addressed to the commandant in these saucy terms:

"I am obliged to you, sir, for the rest you have allowed me to take and the fresh meat you have sent me. I shall take good care of my prisoners. My compliments to the Marquis of Montcalm.

Rogers."

Seth took a particular interest in the winter's work because of the understanding that it was by way of preparation for the attack which would be made ere spring; and consequently he felt greatly disappointed when the design was abandoned, and the information gathered at the cost of so much danger and hardship not put to any account.

In the course of a talk with Major Rogers he opened his mind freely, and expressed in pretty strong terms his opinion of the authorities who were so liable to change their plans, and so slow to carry out anything they did decide upon.

"Perhaps you should like to try another field," remarked the Major, giving him a shrewd look, while the suspicion of a smile curved the corners of his strong mouth.

There was a significance in his tone that Seth did not miss, and he bent his eyes earnestly upon the veteran as he exclaimed:

"In another field? How do you mean? What chance have I to be anywhere else?"

"Well, that depends," responded the Major, the enigmatical smile becoming more pronounced. "Have you ever heard of Fort Duquesne?"

"Of course I have," answered Seth. "It's over there in the West, and it's doing an immense amount of harm."

"Right you are, my son; and what would you think of joining an expedition to attack it?"

"Nothing would suit me better," cried Seth, springing to his feet, and standing before the Major with his face all in a glow. "Are you going, sir? And can I go with you?"

"No, Seth, I am not going myself," was the reply, uttered in a grave tone as of regret. "I am needed too much here; but there's nothing to prevent you going if you want to do so, although I confess I shall be sorry to lose you."

He then went on to explain that at last it had been determined to attack Fort Duquesne, the French stronghold in the West, which was a veritable hornet's nest; that a strong force was shortly to be sent against it, starting from Philadelphia, and that a request had been made for a detachment of Rangers to act as scouts in advance of the main body.

"It is likely that a score of my men will go in answer to this request," he continued; "and............
Join or Log In! You need to log in to continue reading
   
 

Login into Your Account

Email: 
Password: 
  Remember me on this computer.
Tools

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2014 wenovel.com, All Rights Reserved