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[p. 35]

The Tavern in the square.

by Ruth Dame Coolidge.

Scene, Medford square, before Royal Oak Tavern. afternoon, April 19, 1775.

Characters in order of entrance.

Belinda. Old colored woman in service of Isaac Royall.

Abigail. Thirteen-year-old daughter of Capt. Isaac Hall.

Harry Bond. Blacksmith from Mystic Avenue. Scotch-Irish; killed at Bunker Hill; patriots met and discussed at his home.

Jonathan Porter, proprietor of Royal Oak Tavern. Twenty-seven years old; came to Medford from Malden, 1773; commissioned second lieutenant, 1776.

Stephen Hall. Seventy-one years old; called Honorable and Gentleman; served in legislature and on committee of advice.

Sarah Bradlee Fulton. Aged twenty-three; energetic, patriotic woman; carried despatches to Boston by order of Washington; assisted in disguising husband and brothers for Boston Tea Party.

Dr. Simon Tufts. Forty-eight years old; representative to General Court, 1772-1775; trusted friend and trustee of Isaac Royall; attended wounded soldiers after Bunker Hill.

Minuteman.

Enter Belinda carrying basket. Spies about her. Enter Abigail Hall, following her curiously about.

Abigail. What are you looking for, Belinda?

Belinda. Sh, sh, sh!

Abigail. What are you looking for?

Belinda (coming close to her). De Ebil One.

Abigail. The Ebil One?

Belinda. Didn't you hear him aridina by de house de odder night? I done wake up in de night and de moon was shinina all along de road, and bimeby I heer a thumpety thump, thumpety thump, and a horse's hoofs cam thuddina up de street from Boston town. Thumpety thump he come up ober de hill, and I dassent look out for fear of de Ebil One callina me and all de wicked ones out. But thumpety thump he done gallop by ole massi's house like all de fiends was aridina wid him,—and go away in de dark.

Abigail. Why, Belinda, 'twas no Evil One! 'Twas the express riding to warn the minutemen. The king's troops are after our powder up at Concord.

Belinda. You be only a lil gal. I know. I know. Ole Belinda know when de Ebil One ride by.

Abigail. But, Belinda, he stopped at my father's house and rapped at the door and father ran to the window, and I ran to mine, for my window is under the eaves right over the street, and what do you suppose he said?

Belinda. De day ob doom, ye wicked rebels!

Abigail (drawing back). He said ‘There'll be noise enough soon. The regulars are out.’ And father dressed and sent me flying to cousin Timothy and cousin Moses and cousin Stephen, and he sent another express to Malden and—

Belinda. Astirrina up trouble, trouble, trouble. 'Twas de Ebil One.

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