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[p. 31] his way to Medford before the astonished horsemen had extricated themselves from a clay-pit in which they found themselves floundering.

Early on the morning of the 19th the minute-men were in motion. The company consisted of fifty-nine men. Tradition says that they joined Maj. John Brooks and the Reading men, encountered the British at Merriam's Corner, and pursued them to their boats. It was not strange that the Medford company should follow Major Brooks. He was a Medford boy, and only two years before had left the home of Dr. Simon Tufts, where he was educated, to practice medicine in Reading. Probably some of the men had been drilled by him in school-boy days in the vacant lot back of the doctor's house.

Scarcely can we imagine the excitement of that day. The regulars had started on their second expedition, and this time they would not return unmolested. The flower of the town had marched away. The old men and boys could not restrain themselves. They followed on, and the women waited.

Abigail Brooks, the wife of Rev. Edward Brooks, bade her husband good-by as with gun on his shoulder he rode off toward Lexington. Outstripping those on foot, he pressed forward to Concord, and was in the fight at the bridge. Here he saved the life of Lieut. Edward Thornton Gould, of His Majesty's Eighteenth Regiment, and brought him a prisoner to Medford, where he remained several months. The lieutenant testified the next day:

‘I am now treated with the greatest humanity and taken all possible care of by the Provincials at Medford.’

In the afternoon the sound of firing came nearer. In her home in West Medford Abigail Brooks heard it, and taking her little eight-year-old son, Peter Chardon, to the garret window, showed him the bayonets shining in the sun, as the British hurried through Menotomy. The white face of his mother, the gleaming bayonets,

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