Newspaper Page Text
Grant'. His great-great -grandfather fought under
George Washington at Fort Necessity!"
At the boarding house, he lifted down his passenger;
from the trap he uncorded the boxes that held
the suspender buttons and the patches and the
cloth for the shirts. Their owner hovered near him.
"They're nailed up tight," she whispered; "but
I wish 1 could get you some cookies with coriander
and dill seeds. I feel as I wish people would feel
to my son."
The driver suddenly turned from her, then as
suddenly turned again. " Your son would do this,"
he said unsteadily. Bending, he pressed his lips
to her forehead.
At the Divide Patterson stumbled up the trail
to the cabin. There was a shrill welcoming cry as
he opened the door, and the scurry of tiny feet.
He stooped, and a pulsing bunch of feathers pressed
against his hand. Mechanically he picked it up.
Hours later, peering through the window would have
found a man whose face was chiseled by a puri>ose
i-:- n i j i
as stern as ins i\cvuhuiuiicii v & iiau uccn
when he fought against the Lilies of France.
"Wake up, Arabelle!" he said. "First we must
catch some flies for your breakfast."
It was close on stage time when Patterson entered
the store. He deposited the big pan on the counter,
laid a ten dollar bill beside it, and tapped the bulging
breast of his coat.
44 Ti'rt A wnKolla " V->o coifl " Vaii '11 V\?? rrnrv/l +r?
11 a maubllb, 14*.. oaiu. X WU 11 CUUU LU
her and pet her sometimes? She's sort of used to it."
The clerk was mystified, but he nodded.
The stage ran light. At Fishers Gulch the dull
topaz eye of the
blinked at the approaching
but only the pro- ^*.*1
against a dome of W0*,
son was merely a
figurehead. He sat
staring at the lurid
DID a lie and nine blank cartridges win independence
for America? Everyone knows how our
little difficulty with King George terminated,
but some of the details have been forgotten. The
war ended at Yorktown. It was there, on October
19, 1781, that Cornwallis surrendered to Washington.
After ravaging Virginia to the extent of about
* :ii; 1 i,? v^-r
ten million uuiiaia, lie iiau iui uncu en. x wi ivtown.
Lafayette's little army of three thousand was
useless against Cornwallis' seven thousand, but when
the enemy invaded Yorktown and a French fleet
sailed into Chesapeake Bay, the French General was
quick to perceive that the British General had
trapped himself. This information was quickly
despatched to General Washington. He brought
V*it? opmtr inf\Tirmnii inrl tVia A mori/?'jn ortn ftf
jiio cii in v xki auu liiv. iiiuviiv.au ui iuj vi.
sixteen thousand began the siege that finally resulted
in the surrender of Cornwallis.
These are the facts known to every school child;
but in presenting the affirmative side of the question
it is necessary to produce a few circumstances that
are more or less obscure.
Why He Surrendered
' | 'WO things, in addition to the presence of the
American army before Yorktown, brought about
the surrender of Cornwallis. One was a lie; not a
1 i. ? i * .. x _ j r _ ii. . ___ _ r
spoKen lie, out a ne enaciea ior xne purpose 01
deceiving General Clinton. The other was nine
blank cartridges fired at Port Orange, St. Eustatius,
Dutch West Indies.
The lie enters in this manner: While General
Washington and General Lafayette were holding
Cornwallis in Yorktown, General Clinton, with
til irVi Qiir? tUniiL'in (1 Untied CAlrlmro woe linlrlinnr on
I.t^un.v.1 L niwuJiiiiu M-ri IIIOIJ. ijuiuiv-io, ?> ao iiuiuui^ an
imaginary army out of New York. George Washington
created that imaginary army by pretending to
be gathering a force for an attack on New York.
He carried the deception to such an extent that
ovens, for the purpose of baking bread for the
American force, were erected under Clinton's nose.
Clinton, deceived by Washington into the belief that
New York was to be attacked, stayed to meet it,
instead ot going to Lornwaius s assistance. v\ ltn
his eighteen thousand men pecking at their backs
and Cornwallis's seven thousand in front, Washington
and Lafayette must have been defeated.
Thus a well enacted lie fooled Clinton, and thereby
contributed to the American victory at Yorktown.
But for the presence of Admiral de Grasse's
French fleet in the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, Cornwallis
could have escaped by sen. The presence of
sky, his mind numbed to the present and dwelling
again in the past. Once more he was a little boy being
scolded for stealing cookies?little cookies, spicy with
coriander and dill. Again it was twilight, a Sunday
twilight full of the scent of apple bloom. His mother
was on the old home porch, and it was story time.
The story?he remembered it distinctly. She told
how Washington made an alliance with Half King
and whipped the French; how he built some rude
defenses and called them Fort Necessity; and how
Vipr nvvn trrpnt-trrMnrlfAthrr. stanrh tn thp lact wac
killed. Patterson felt the thrill to his marrow.
The team, rounding the summit, came to a sudden
stop. The driver lurched forward, the glare
from the canon blinding him. The road stretched
copper colored to the river; beyond, fire demons
gorged. Wind, spark sown, scorched his face; the
air vibrated with the downward rush of blazing
trees and the crash as they struck. He tumbled tor
his watch. Briers lay over the next crest, and the
valley coach left in less than two hours!
Twenty yards from the river Patterson swung into
a clump of tamarack. In the weird light the water
frothed like a torrent of beaten egg; it was too wide for
the fire to cross. He fastened the team and cut the
apron from the stage, securing it over his shoulders.
TV?n ?-?c* lin uliiorrn/l I n 1 f lirvf < f
i uc iivu lit piuiigv/u iii ib v? aa nut, ti ittiiicu
with life?wood rats, rabbits, toads, swimming in
democracy. A bird flapped blindly against hi,s face;
the opposite bank swarmed with frightened, escaping
animals. With Patterson one thought was
uppermost: he had been a traitor to his blood, to
all that was best in himself, but it was not too
late to make amends?in a measure.
A giant torch of pine crashed across the road.
*'3|^B s - ilL" "
TUr "R T7XT WTXT QT HW
xj y uuii i 11 uij w v*
the French fleet was the result of the nine blank
cartridges fired at St. Eustatius.
If you will take your atlas and look among the
many little islands scattered over the Atlantic Ocean
to the southeast of Porto Rico, you will find the
isiauu ui vjw. vmiaiupuci. xucaoui^ u>uvc iiiuca
in a northeasterly direction from St. Christopher,
using the scale in the corner cf the map, and you
may find a little speck of an island. It is so small
and insignificant that it does not appear on all
maps, and it is just probable that you will not find
it. This little speck is the island of St. Eustatius.
Over the ramparts of its little fort, from which
tiny cannon of ancient type point seaward, there
floats the tricolor of Holland, fluttering lazily in the
breeze. Beneath the muzzles of these toy engines
~ +u~ A:
Ul Well 11C3 cl 3|JC(-MCU Willi IliC UlMIlillUlCU
remains of many stone houses, and a harbor from
which trade has long since vanished. Forgotten and
ignored, little St. Eustatius sleeps, peacefully dreaming
of its eventful past when it played an important
part in the world's history.
Only Memories Are Left
TPO-DAY only the memories surrounding the ruined
estates nestling lonely among the volcanic hills
are left; but it was not thus a century and a quarter
ago. Then the little fort was alive with the soldiers
of the tiny Dutch colony. The guns that pointed
seaward were not toys but modern pieces of ordnance,
arui they looked out upon a roadstead
crowded with shipping.
Holland was a neutral nation, and St. Eustatius
was the trading point between America and that
x . . _ i_ 1 r . . .
country, nmencan vessels maae irequent trips to
the little island, taking on cargoes of powder and
bullets brought from Holland in Dutch merchantmen.
These war munitions went to supply Washington's
army, and in exchange good old Virginia
tobacco went to Holland in the same Dutch bottoms.
Great Britain could not interfere, because the cargoes
were consigned to a Dutch colony, and the
tobacco for bullet trade went merrily on.
une aav in AovemDer a great crisis arose, ine
Andrea Doria sailed into the roadstead of Port
Orange. Eleven puffs of white smoke spurted from
its guns, and eleven peals of gun thunder rumbled
in from the sea. The flag of Holland had been
Patterson dodged and swerved into the underbrush.
Smoke burned his eyes, his lungs; his
breath came in gasps. His shoe soles warped,
cracked with the heat; then he went dizzy. After
that, the crackle of flames became to him the fire
of artillery; the timber land was a battle field,
and he was a soldier under Washington. H : was
marching with a message to Briers. The stage ;ipron
slipped lrom his shoulders. Something stune his
forehead. He put up his hand, and a lock of singed
hair fell into his palm. He stared at it and laughed,
still marching. In the whine of burning brush he
heard the call of Arabelle.
A hundred yards below the summit line the fire
had burned itself out. Trunks of tamaracks,
grotesque, ghastly, rose still smoking out of a black
bed. Here and there a heap of pale ashes stood for
a pine. 10 tne distorted lancy 01 tne man tne place
was a desert piled with hearts?hoys' hearts. Some
were broken and some were hard, and only a few
were white. His would be white at Briers! He kept
T* 1 1 P . 1 1? 1 1 1
i ne ariver or tne vaney coacn coraea some
luggage on the trap. "There's not a team in the
State that could pull through a blaze like that,"
he said, nodding toward the red sky beyond
the summit, "and Patterson's not such a fool as
to try it."
The sheriff shoved a whip of a boy in handcuffs
into the coach. " No," he answered, " Patterson's
nobody's fool, though the camp did use to think
him a bit weak in the capital. Gods!" He stopped,
staring ahead ol him.
The tattered figure of a man, a blistered face
and a pair of eyes
were visible in the
E~~"?^ graying dawn. They
t\ Patterson made
if ~ flK 7 a ^e'nt at a military
N |jA i$- salute. ''General
ajfTTT^Li wf Washington sent me
saluted by a cruiser commissioned by the Continental
All tyt f turned toward the fort. Would Governor
de GraafF answer the salute? To do so meant that
Holland recognized the United Colonies as an independent
nation. Not to do so meant to offend their
best customer. If ever a Dutchman was in a predicament,
Governor de Graaff was.
The expectant populace became impatient as the
moments araggea. rinaay a pun or smoke Durst
over the ramparts of Fort Orange, and then another
and another?four, five, six. The little battery was
hidden behind the dense pall of smoke, and only the
flash of powder was seen. Seven, eight, nine?and
then silence. The salute had been answered, but
not gun for gun.
For four long, bloody years that salute rankled
in British hearts. Trade between the Americans
and Dutch continued to flourish and grow, until
T? 1 I 1 J r-.i- J : i, 1 XIr J1 J
i^u^iiinu uiuiu oictiKi il iiu longer. v\ ar was cieciarea
Importance of St. Eustatius
"THE British fleet under Admiral Rodney was then
at the islandof Barbados keeping an eye on Admiral
de Grasse's French fleet, which was forming at
the islandof Martinique for the purpose of assisting
the struggling Colonists. Orders were immediately
sent to Admiral Koaney to capture st. isustauus,
whose Governor had rubbed the Lion's fur the wrong
way. He sailed to an easy victory, but tarried too long
at St. Eustatius to superintend the disposal of the
booty. While he tarried Admiral de Grasse slipped
away and appeared in Chesapeake Bay in time to
cut off Cornwallis's retreat and prevent reinforcements
reaching him. That is the part the nine
Vilantr rartriHcrps nlnvpH in t.lie strmrcrl#* for Ampriran
The argument is this: If Washington had not
deceived Clinton, the Colonial army would have been
caught in its own trap, and if de Grasse had not
blocked the entrance to Chesapeake Bay, Cornwallis
could have escaped. To reason from effect to
cause; de Grasse did block the entrance to Chesapeake
Bay, because Rodney was at St. Eustatius,
and Rodney was at St. Eustatius because the little
Dutch colony had answered the salute of an American
As for the lie, that is a question of ethics: but the
nine blank cartridges?the people of St. Eustatius
firmly believe they caused Great Britain to lose an
empire. What you will believe depends entirely
upon the way you look at the facts.