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Captain Sam The Boy Scouts of 1814   By: (1839-1911)

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First Page:

The Big Brother Series.

CAPTAIN SAM

Or

The Boy Scouts of 1814

by

GEORGE CARY EGGLESTON

Author of "The Big Brother," etc., etc.

New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 182 Fifth Avenue. 1876. Copyright. G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1876.

TO MY BOY FRIEND

MONTAGUE DOUGLAS,

IN RECOGNITION OF HIS MANLY CHARACTER, AND IN MEMORY

OF THE FOOT JOURNEYS WE MADE TOGETHER A YEAR AGO,

I DEDICATE THIS BOOK.

CAPTAIN SAM.

CHAPTER I.

A MUTINY.

"If you open your mouth again, I'll drive my fist down your throat!"

The young man, or boy rather, for he was not yet eighteen years old, who made this very emphatic remark, was a stalwart, well built youth, lithe of limb, elastic in movement, slender, straight, tall, with a rather thin face, upon which there was as yet no trace of coming beard, high cheek bones, and eyes that seemed almost to emit sparks of fire as their lids snapped rapidly together. He spoke in a low tone, without a sign of anger in his voice, but with a look of earnestness which must have convinced the person to whom he addressed his not very suave remark, that he really meant to do precisely what he threatened.

As he spoke he laid his left hand upon the other's shoulder, and placed his face as near to his companion's as was possible without bringing their noses into actual contact; but he neither clenched nor shook his fist. Persons who mention weapons which they really have made up their minds to use, do not display them in a threatening manner. That is the device of bullies who think to frighten their adversaries by the threatening exhibition as they do by their threatening words. Sam Hardwicke was not a bully, and he did not wish to frighten anybody. He merely wished to make the boy hold his tongue, and he meant to do that in any case, using whatever measure of violence he might find necessary to that end. He mentioned his fist merely because he meant to use that weapon if it should be necessary.

His companion saw his determination, and remained silent.

"Now," resumed Sam, "I wish to say something to all of you, and I will say it to you as an officer should talk to soldiers on a subject of this sort. Fall into line! Right dress! steady, front!"

The boys were drawn up in line, and their commander stood at six paces from them.

"Attention!" he cried, "I wish you to know and remember that we are engaged in no child's play. We are soldiers. You have not yet been mustered into service, it is true, but you are soldiers, nevertheless, and you shall obey as such. Listen. When it became known in the neighborhood that I had determined to join General Jackson and serve as a soldier you boys proposed to go with me. I agreed, with a condition, and that condition was that we should organize ourselves into a company, elect a captain, and march to Camp Jackson under his command, not go there like a parcel of school boys or a flock of sheep and be sent home again for our pains. You liked the notion, and we made a fair bargain. I was ready to serve under anybody you might choose for captain. I didn't ask you to elect me, but you did it. You voted for me, ever one of you, and made me Captain. From that moment I have been responsible for everything.

"I lead you and provide necessary food. I plan everything and am responsible for everything. If you misbehave as you go through the country I shall be held to blame and I shall be to blame. But not a man of you shall misbehave. I am your commander, you made me that, and you can't undo it. Until we get to Camp Jackson I mean to command this company, and I'll find means of enforcing what I order. That is all. Right face! Break ranks!"

A shout went up, in reply.

"Good for Captain Sam!" cried the boys. "Three cheers for our captain!"

"Huzza! Huzza! Huzza!"

All the boys, there were about a dozen of them joined in this shout, except Jake Elliott, the mutineer, who had provoked the young captain's anger by insisting upon quitting the camp without permission, and had even threatened Sam when the young commander bade him remain where he was... Continue reading book >>




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