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Endeavour’s Fall #25: Blood in the Yard

May 15, 2017





Does the watchman walk by the wall?’s 

Does the mastiff prowl by the gate?

Death has a hundred hands and walks by a thousand ways.

He may come in the sight of all, he may pass unseen unheard.

Come whispering through the ear, or a sudden shock on the skull.

A man may walk with a lamp at night, and yet be drowned in a ditch.

                 Tom S. Eliot


Jack dove out the window.  Before Sam could follow, his elbow was grabbed firmly from behind.  An older lady with sharp nails had a Sam in a tight clasp.  Sam stared at her as more adults crowded in from the hallway.

 “Mrs. Hatch?  What is the meaning of this?” asked an older man.

 “Professor! I found this young fellow here, sneaking in the window.  His friend went out the window quick as a snap!”

 “Spies?” said the Professor, “or thieves?”

 “Sam?  What are you doing here?”  Adams stood behind the Professor. 

 “Adams!  We thought… we thought you were captured,” stammered Sam.

 “It’s been a long night.  But you said ‘we?’  Oh, is Jack with you?”  asked Adams.

 Sam nodded.

 “Well, isn’t this curious?” said the Professor.  “They do not seem to be thieves.”

 Mrs. Hatch was reaching to close the windows already.  “I felt a draft coming under the door from this window, so I came in here, and here they were, two of them!”

 Sam rubbed his elbow.

 Adams stopped the elderly lady.

 “It’s fine, Mrs. Hatch, Professor.  These are some friends of mine,” said Adams.

 “You said you were alone, Miss Emily,” said the Professor. “As much as I’d like to take you at your word, this poses a problem for us.”

 Adams raised her eyebrows.  “Well, of course I posted lookouts.  I just didn’t think they would be clumsy enough to be caught.”

 Sam shrugged apologetically. 

 Adams stuck her head out the window.   “Jack!  Get over here,” she stage-whispered.

 Jack appeared from behind a large elm.  “Why should I do that?” he challenged.

 “Get over here, now,” said Adams.  “We can work this out inside.”

 “I don’t want any part of this,” said Jack.  “I’m finished with you and your mutiny.”

 Sam rushed to the window.  “Come here, Jack,” he pled.

 “She’s no prisoner,” said Jack, “and you are never going home now.  You and your revolutionary friends can have each other.”

 “Jack, don’t be like this,” said Sam.

 “Miss Emily, you seem to have some recruiting problems,” he said wryly.

 The lanterns of the night watch appeared all around the yard.  “There he is!” shouted a rough voice.

 “Wait!” shouted Adams.

 Jack immediately ducked and ran.  A clumsy old musket sparked and coughed after him.  There was more yelling and running.

 “Hold your fire!” shouted Adams.  The shouting grew louder outside.

 “Our night watch is rather aggressive,” apologized the Professor.  “You must understand, we are under constant watch here.”

 “Jack!” shouted Sam.  He tried to climb out the window, but Adams held him back. 

 Jack ran from shadow to shadow, but the night watch stood at each of the gates.  More and more of them seemed to pour out of the darkness.  More yelling and shots rang out. 

 Adams turned and pulled Sam away from the window.  “You don’t want to watch this,” she said.

 Mrs. Hatch closed the window.

 The Professor stood within.  “It appears we need to sort some things out,” he said.

 “What are they going to do to Jack?” asked Sam.

 “They may get a little carried away,” said the Professor.  “I’m so sorry for your friend.”

 Sam shook his head.  “No, that isn’t right,” he said. 

 Adams gripped Sam by the shoulders.  “Sam, Jack made his choice.  You are safe here with these colonists.” 

 “What is this place?” demanded Sam.

 “How rude of me,” said the Professor.  “Welcome to Harvard College.  I am Professor Phineus Beecher,” the Professor peered through small reading glasses.  “And you are?”


© J. O. Evans 2017. All Rights Reserved.