in the lion's mouth.”
Rallying from this surprise, he told the servant to “go and ask Mr. Hall
to step here a moment.”
She went; and soon Mr. Hall
appeared, leaving behind him Joshua Symonds
, Samuel Kidder
, Stephen Hall, jun., and Ebenezer Hall.
The stranger asked an interview alone for an instant.
They went together into a side room, when he said to Mr. Hall
, “I come to put myself under your protection.
I am a British officer.
I came to Medford
to see a sick friend.
I am pursued; and shall be killed, if I am caught.
I throw myself on your magnanimity.”
replied, “You could not have appealed to any man who feels less sympathy with your cause.
I go, with all my head and heart and hand, for the freedom of the Colonies; and the Vigilance Committee of this town is this moment in session in an adjoining room; and, if I was suspected of harboring a British officer, I should be mobbed.
You must leave my house immediately.”
The officer replied, that he was ready to make any concessions or promises, and was ready to die; but did not wish to be seized by an infuriated soldiery, and hung on the first tree.
He therefore only asked to be shielded for a few hours.
now felt that protection to such an unarmed man was an act of magnanimity; and, making the distinction between a private gentleman and a public enemy, he took a candle, and told the officer to follow him. He led him into his garret, and secreted him behind some old boxes, having made him promise to leave the house at midnight. The officer was perfectly happy, wedged in between the bags and barrels of a dusty garret; and there he lay, in total darkness, till the promised hour, when Mr. Hall
showed him the front door; and he went in safety, thanking his generous enemy as the saviour of his life.
Jan. 4, 1779.--Our town-record reads thus: “Mr. Jonathan Patten
says he will use his endeavor that Mr. Foster
shall not use any more charcoal in the blacksmith-shop near the bridge; and, if he still persists in using charcoal, that he, the said Patten
, will desire Mr. Foster
to quit the shop.”
How Mr. Blacksmith Foster
could get along with his work in those days without charcoal, we do not see; and why this municipal interdict, we do not know.
Where the town-pump now stands, in the market-place, there was a small pond, whose edges were covered with a growth of small flags; and there are persons now living, whose fathers have told them that wild ducks were shot in that pond.
May 19, 1780.--This was the dark day
. By ten o'clock, A. M., it had the appearance of night.
Pomp, a negro in Medford
, became frightened, and, going to his master, said, “Massa
, the day of judgment has come: what shall I do?”
“Why, Pomp, you'd better wash up clean, and put on your Sunday clothes.”
Pomp, perceiving that his master was not frightened, began to produce proofs.
, it has
come; for the hens are all going to roost.”
“Well, Pomp, they show their sense.”
“And the tide, massa, in the river, has stopped running.”
“Well, Pomp, it always does at high ”