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Vocabulary: bateaux, extremity, fatigues, promontory
1. Presently the noise made by the column of French troops was heard abreast of the fugitives. Then it died away behind them, and they again directed their course to the left. Ten minutes later, they heard a loud succession of Indian whoops, and knew that the redskins pursuing them had also heard the French column on its march, and would be warning them of the course which the band were taking. The scouts were now but
four miles from Ticonderoga, and each man knew that it was a mere question of speed.
2. "Throw away your meat," Rogers ordered, "you will not want it now, and every pound tells."
3. The men had already got rid of their blankets, and were now burdened only with their rifles and ammunition. The ground was rough and broken, for they were nearing the steep promontory on which the French fort had been erected. They were still a mile ahead of their pursuers, and although the latter had gained that distance upon them since the first start, the scouts knew that, now they were exerting themselves to the
utmost, the redskins could be gaining but little upon them, for the trained white man is, in point of speed and endurance, fairly a match for the average Indian.
4. They had now descended to within a short distance of the edge of the lake, in order to avoid the valleys and ravines running down from the hills. The war whoops rose frequently in the forest behind them, the Indians yelling to give those at the fort notice that the chase was approaching.
5. "If there were any redskins left at the fort," Nat said to James, "they would guess what our game was; but I expect every redskin started out on the hunt, and the French soldiers, when they hear the yelling, won't know what to make of it, and, if they do anything, they will shut themselves up in their fort."
6. Great as were the exertions which the scouts were making, they could tell, by the sound of the war whoops, that some at least of the Indians were gaining upon them. Accustomed as every man of the party was to the fatigues of the forest, the strain was telling upon them all now. For twelve miles they had run almost at the top of their speed, and the short panting breath, the set faces, and the reeling steps showed that they were nearly at the end of their powers. Still they held on, with scarcely any diminishing of speed. Each man knew that if he fell, he must die, for his comrades could do nothing for him, and no pause was possible until the boats were gained.
7. They were passing now under the French works, for they could hear shouting on the high ground to the right, and knew that the troops left in the fort had taken the alarm; but they were still invisible, for it was only at the point of the promontory that the clearing had been carried down to the water's edge. A low cry of relief burst from the men, as they saw the forest open before them, and a minute later they were running along in the open, near the shore of the lake, at the extremity of the promontory, where, hauled up upon the shore, lay a number of canoes and flat-bottomed boats, used for the conveyance of troops. A number of boatmen were standing near, evidently alarmed by
the war cries in the woods. When they saw the party approaching they at once made for the fort, a quarter of a mile away on the high ground, and, almost at the same moment, a dropping fire of musketry opened from the entrenchments.
8. "Smash the canoes," Rogers said, setting the example by administering a vigorous kick to one of them.
9. The others followed his example, and, in a few seconds, every one of the frail barks was stove in.
10. "Two of the boats will hold us well," Rogers said; "quick, into the water with them, and out with the oars. Ten row in each boat. Let the other five handle their rifles, and keep back the Indians as they come up. Never mind the soldiers."
11. For the white-coated troops, perceiving the scouts' intention, were now pouring out from the entrenchments.
12. A couple of minutes sufficed for the men to launch the boats and take their seats, and the oars dipped in the water just as three or four Indians dashed out from the edge of the forest.
13. "We have won the race by three minutes," Rogers said, exultantly. "Stretch to your oars, lads, and get out of range as soon as you can."
14. The Indians began to fire as soon as they perceived the boats. They were scarcely two hundred yards away, but they, like the white men, were panting with fatigue, and their bullets flew harmlessly by.
15. "Don't answer yet," Rogers ordered, as some of the scouts were preparing to fire. "Wait till your hands get steady, and then fire at the French. There won't be many of the redskins up, yet."
16. The boats were not two hundred yards from shore when the French soldiers reached the edge of the water and opened fire, but at this distance their weapons were of little avail, and, though the bullets splashed thickly around the boats, no one was injured, while several of the French were seen to drop from the fire of the scouts. Another hundred yards, and the boats were beyond any danger, save from a chance
shot. The Indians still continued firing, and several of their shots struck the boats, one of the rowers being hit on the shoulder.
17. "Lay in your rifles, and man the other two oars in each boat," Rogers said. "The French are launching some of their bateaux, but we have got a fair start, and they won't overtake us before we reach the opposite point. They are fresher than we are, but soldiers are no good rowing; besides, they are sure to crowd the boats so that they won't have a chance."
18. Five or six boats, each crowded with men, started in pursuit, but they were fully half a mile behind when the two English boats reached the shore.
19. "Now it is our turn," Rogers said, as the men, leaping ashore, took their places behind trees. As soon as the French boats came within range, a steady fire was opened upon them. Confusion was at once apparent among them. Oars were seen to drop, and as the fire continued, the rowing ceased. Another minute and the boats were turned, and were soon rowing out again into the lake.
20. "There's the end of that," Rogers said, "and a close shave it has been.
21. "Well, youngster, what do you think of your first scout in the woods?"
22. "It has been sharper than I bargained for," James said, laughing, "and was pretty near being the last, as well as the first. If it hadn't been for your taking us to the boats, I don't think many of us would have got back to Fort Henry to tell the tale."
23. "There is generally some way out of a mess," Rogers said, "if one does but think of it. If I had not thought of the French boats, we should have scattered, and a few of us would have been overtaken, no doubt; but even an Indian cannot follow a single trail as fast as a man can run, and I reckon most of us would have carried our scalps back to
camp. Still, with the woods full of Iroquois they must have had some of us, and I hate losing a man if it can be helped. We are well out of it.
24. "Now, lads, we had better be tramping. There are a lot more bateaux coming out, and I expect, by the rowing, they are manned by Indians. The redskin is a first-rate hand with the paddle, but is no good with an oar."
1. What did Rogers tell them to throw away? ___________________
2. How far had the scouts run at almost top speed? _________________
3. By how many minutes had the scouts won the race? ____________________
4. How far away were the boats when the French soldiers reached the water’s edge?
Vocabulary: anxiety, equanimity, gazetted
25. The man who had been hit in the shoulder had already had his wound bandaged. There was a minute's consultation as to whether they should continue their journey in the boats, some of the men pointing out that they had proved themselves faster than their pursuers.
26. "That may be," Rogers says; "but the Indians will land and follow along the shore, and will soon get ahead of us, for they can travel quicker than we can row, and, for aught we know, there may be a whole fleet of canoes higher up Lake George which would cut us off. No, lads, the safest way is to keep on through the woods."
27. The decision was received without question, and the party at once started at a swinging trot, which was kept up, with occasional intervals of walking, throughout the day. At nightfall their course was changed, and, after journeying another two or three miles, a halt was called, for Rogers was sure that the Indians would abandon pursuit,
when night came on without their having overtaken the fugitives.
28. Before daybreak the march was continued, and, in the afternoon, the party arrived at Fort William Henry.
29. James now determined to leave the force, and return at once to New York, where his letters were to be addressed to him. He took with him a letter from General Johnson, speaking in the warmest tones of his conduct.
30. On arriving at New York he found, at the post office there, a great pile of letters awaiting him. They had been written after the receipt of his letter at the end of July, telling those at home of his share in Braddock's disaster.
31. "I little thought, my boy," his mother wrote, "when we received your letter, saying that you had got your discharge from the ship, and were going with an expedition against the French, that you were going to run into such terrible danger. Fortunately, the same vessel which brought the news of General Braddock's defeat also brought your letter, and we learned the news only a few hours before your letter reached us. It was, as you may imagine, a time of terrible anxiety to us, and the squire and Aggie were almost as anxious as I was. Mr. Wilks did his best to cheer us all, but I could see that he, too, felt it very greatly. However, when your letter came we were all made happy again, though, of course, we cannot be but anxious, as you say you are just going to join another expedition; still, we must hope that that will do better, as it won't be managed by regular soldiers. Mr. Wilks was quite angry at what you said about the folly of making men stand in a line to be shot at, he thinks so much of drill and discipline. The squire and he have been arguing quite fiercely about it; but the squire gets the best of the argument, for the dreadful way in which the soldiers were slaughtered shows that, though that sort of fighting may be good in other places, it is not suited for fighting these wicked Indians in the woods.
32. "The squire has himself been up to London about your commission, and has arranged it all. He has, as he will tell you in his letter, got you a commission in the regiment commanded by Colonel Otway, which is to go out next spring. He was introduced to the commander in chief by his friend, and told him that you had been acting as Colonel Washington's aide-de-camp with General Braddock, and that you have now gone to join General Johnson's army; so the duke said that, though you would be gazetted at once, and would belong to the regiment, you might as well stay out there and see service until it arrived; and that it would be a great advantage to the regiment to have an officer, with experience in Indian fighting, with it. I cried when he brought me back the news, for I had hoped to have you back again with us for a bit, before you went soldiering for good. However, the squire seems to think it is a capital thing for you. Mr. Wilks thinks so, too, so I suppose I must put up with it; but Aggie agrees with me, and says it is too bad that she should never have seen you, once, from the time when she saw you in that storm.
33. "She is a dear little girl, and is growing fast. I think she must have grown quite an inch in the five months you have been away. She sends her love to you, and says you must take care of yourself, for her sake."
34. The squire, in his letter, repeated the news Mrs. Walsham had given.
35. "You are now an ensign," he said, "and, if you go into any more fights before your regiment arrives, you must, Mr. Wilks said, get a proper uniform made for you, and fight as a king's officer. I send you a copy of the gazette, where you will see your name."
36. Mr. Wilks's letter was a long one.
37. "I felt horribly guilty, dear Jim," he said, "when the news came of Braddock's dreadful defeat. I could hardly look your dear mother in the face, and, though the kind lady would not, I know, say a word to hurt my feelings for the world, yet I could see that she regarded me as a monster, for it was on my advice that, instead of coming home when you got your discharge, you remained out there and took part in this unfortunate expedition. I could see Aggie felt the same, and, though I did my best to keep up their spirits, I had a terrible time of it until your letter arrived, saying you were safe. If it had not come, I do believe that I should have gone quietly off to Exeter, hunted up my box again, and hired a boy to push it for me, for I am not so strong as I was. But I would rather have tramped about, for the rest of my life, than remain there under your mother's reproachful eye. However, thank God you came through it all right, and, after such a lesson, I should hope that we shall never have repetition of such a disaster as that. As an old soldier, I cannot agree with what you say about the uselessness of drill, even for fighting in a forest. It must accustom men to listen to the voice of their officers, and to obey orders promptly and quickly, and I cannot but think that, if the troops had gone forward at a brisk double, they would have driven the Indians before them. As to the whooping and yells you talk so much about, I should think nothing of them; they are no more to be regarded than the shrieks of women, or the braying of donkeys."
38. James smiled as he read this, and thought that, if the old soldier had heard that chaos of blood-curdling cries break out, in the still depth of the forest, he would not write of them with such equanimity.
39. "You will have heard, from the squire, that you are gazetted to Otway's regiment which, with others, is to cross the Atlantic in a few weeks, when it is generally supposed war will be formally declared. Your experience will be of great use to you, and ought to get you a good staff appointment. I expect that, in the course of a year, there will be fighting on a large scale on your side of the water, and the English ought to get the best of it, for France seems, at present, to be thinking a great deal more of her affairs in Europe than of her colonies in America. So much the better, for, if we can take Canada, we shall strike a heavy blow to her trade, and some day North America is going to be an important place in the world."
5. When did the party arrive at Fort William Henry? _____________________
6. To what city did James go? ______________________
7. Where did the Squire to to see about James’ commission? _________________
8. Who did Sgt. Wilks think was likely to win a war in Canada - England or France?
Vocabulary: accuracy, cordiality, corps, efficiency, ensigns, Major Eyre, partisan
40. The letters had been lying there several weeks, and James knew that Otway's regiment had, with the others, arrived a few days before, and had already marched for Albany. Thinking himself entitled to a little rest, after his labours, he remained for another week in New York, while his uniform was being made, and then took a passage in a trading boat up to Albany.
41. Scarcely had he landed, when a young officer in the same uniform met him. He looked surprised, hesitated, and then stopped.
42. "I see you belong to our regiment," he said. "Have you just arrived from England? What ship did you come in?"
43. "I have been out here some time," James replied. "My name is Walsham. I believe I was gazetted to your regiment some months ago, but I only heard the news on my arrival at New York last week."
44. "Oh, you are Walsham!" the young officer said. "My name is Edwards. I am glad to meet you. We have been wondering when you would join us, and envying your luck, in seeing so much of the fighting out here. Our regiment is encamped about half a mile from here. If you will let me, I will go back with you, and introduce you to our fellows."
45. James thanked him, and the two walked along talking together. James learned that there were already five ensigns junior to himself, his new acquaintance being one of them, as the regiment had been somewhat short of officers, and the vacancies had been filled up shortly before it sailed.
46. "Of course, we must call on the colonel first," Mr. Edwards said. "He is a capital fellow, and very much liked in the regiment."
47. Colonel Otway received James with great cordiality.
48. "We are very glad to get you with us, Mr. Walsham," he said, "and we consider it a credit to the regiment to have a young officer who has been, three times, mentioned in despatches. You will, too, be a great service to us, and will be able to give us a good many hints as to this Indian method of fighting, which Braddock's men found so terrible."
49. "It is not formidable, sir, when you are accustomed to it; but, unfortunately, General Braddock forced his men to fight in regular fashion, that is, to stand up and be shot at, and that mode of fighting, in the woods, is fatal. A hundred redskins would be more than
a match, in the forest, for ten times their number of white troops, who persisted in fighting in such a ridiculous way; but, fighting in their own way, white men are a match for the redskins. Indeed, the frontiersmen can thrash the Indians, even if they are two or three to one against them."
50. "You have been in this last affair on the lake, have you not, Mr. Walsham? I heard you were with Johnson."
51. "Yes, sir, I was, and at the beginning it was very nearly a repetition of Braddock's disaster; but, after being surprised and, at first, beaten, the column that went out made such a stout fight of it, that it gave us time to put the camp in a state of defense. Had the Indians made a rush, I think they would have carried it; but, as they contented themselves with keeping up a distant fire, the provincials, who were all young troops, quite unaccustomed to fighting, and wholly without drill or discipline, gradually got steady, and at length sallied out and beat them decisively."
52. "I will not detain you, now," the colonel said; "but I hope, before long, you will give us a full and detailed account of the fighting you have been in, with your idea of the best way of training regular troops for the sort of work we have before us. Mr. Edwards will take you over to the mess, and introduce you to your brother officers."
53. James was well received by the officers of his regiment, and soon found himself perfectly at home with them. He had to devote some hours, every day, to acquiring the mysteries of drill. It was, to him, somewhat funny to see the pains expended in assuring that each movement should be performed with mechanical accuracy; but he understood that, although useless for such warfare as that which they had before them, great accuracy in details was necessary, for ensuring uniformity of movement among large masses of men in an open country.
54. Otherwise, the time passed very pleasantly. James soon became a favourite in the regiment, and the young officers were never tired of questioning him concerning the redskins, and their manner of fighting. There were plenty of amusements. The snow was deep on the ground, now, and the officers skated, practiced with snowshoes, and drove in sleighs. Occasionally they got up a dance, and the people of Albany, and the settlers round, vied with each other in their hospitality to the officers.
55. One day, in February, an orderly brought a message to James Walsham, that the colonel wished to speak to him.
56. "Walsham," he said, "I may tell you, privately, that the regiment is likely to form part of the expedition which is being fitted out, in England, against Louisbourg in Cape Breton, the key of Canada. A considerable number of the troops from the province will accompany it."
57. "But that will leave the frontier here altogether open to the enemy," James said in surprise.
58. "That is my own opinion, Walsham. Louisbourg is altogether outside the range of the present struggle, and it seems to me that the British force should be employed at striking at a vital point. However, that is not to the purpose. It is the Earl of Loudon's plan. However, it is manifest, as you say, that the frontier will be left terribly open, and therefore two companies of each of the regiments going will be left. Naturally, as you are the only officer in the regiment who has had any experience in this forest warfare, you would be one of those left here; but as an ensign you would not have much influence, and I think that it would be at once more useful to the service, and more pleasant for yourself, if I can obtain for you something like a roving commission. What do you think of that?"
59. "I should greatly prefer that, sir," James said gratefully.
60. "The general is a little vexed, I know," the colonel went on, "at the numerous successes, and daring feats, gained by Rogers and the other leaders of the companies of scouts, while the regulars have not had an opportunity to fire a shot: and I think that he would, at once, accept the proposal were I to make it to him, that a company, to be called the Royal Scouts, should be formed of volunteers taken from the various regiments, and that you should have the command."
61. "Thank you, sir," James said, "and I should like it above all things; but I fear that we should have no chance, whatever, of rivalling the work of Rogers and the other partisan leaders. These men are all trained to the work of the woods, accustomed to fight Indians, equally at home in a canoe or in the forest. I have had, as you are good enough
to say, some experience in the work, but I am a mere child by their side, and were I to lead fifty English soldiers in the forest, I fear that none of us would ever return."
62. "Yes, but I should not propose that you should engage in enterprises of that sort, Walsham. My idea is that, although you would have an independent command, with very considerable freedom of action, you would act in connection with the regular troops. The scouts are often far away when wanted, leaving the posts open to surprise. They are so impatient of any discipline, that they are adverse to going near the forts, except to obtain fresh supplies. You, on the contrary, would act as the eyes of any post which you might think threatened by the enemy. At present, for instance, Fort William Henry is the most exposed to
63. "You would take your command there, and would report yourself to Major Eyre, who is in command. As for service there, your letter of appointment would state that you are authorized to act independently, but that, while it would be your duty to obey the orders of the commanding officer, you will be authorized to offer such suggestions to him as your experience in Indian warfare would lead you to make. You would train your men as scouts. It would be their special duty to guard the fort against surprise, and, of course, in case of attack to take part in its defense. In the event of the provincial scouts making any concerted movement against a French post, you would be authorized to join them. You would then have the benefit of their skill and experience, and, in case of success, the army would get a share of the credit. What do you think of my plan?"
64. "I should like it above all things," James replied. "That would be precisely the duty which I should select had I the choice."
65. "I thought so," the colonel said. "I have formed a very high opinion of your judgment and discretion, from the talks which we have had together, and I have spoken strongly in your favour to the general, who had promised me that, in the event of the army moving forward, you should have an appointment on the quartermaster general's staff, as an intelligence officer.
66. "Since I heard that the main portion of the army is to sail to Louisbourg, I have been thinking this plan over, and it certainly seems to me that a corps, such as that that I have suggested, would be of great service. I should think that its strength should be fifty men. You will, of course, have another officer with you. Is there anyone you would like to choose, as I may as well take the whole scheme, cut and dried, to the general?"
67. "I should like Mr. Edwards, sir. He is junior to me in the regiment, and is very active and zealous in the service; and I should greatly like to be allowed to enlist, temporarily, two of the scouts I have served with in the force, with power for them to take their discharge when they wished. They would be of immense utility to me in instructing the men in their new duties, and would add greatly to our efficiency."
68. "So be it," the colonel said. "I will draw out the scheme on paper, and lay it before the general today."
9. How long did James stay in New York after getting the letters? ______________
10. What was the name of the officer who first met James? __________________
11. Was James well received by the other officers? __________________
12. How many men was James to have in his command? __________________
Vocabulary: anecdotes, bivouac, contemptuously, insignia, monotony, pannikins
69. In the afternoon, James was again sent for.
70. "The earl has approved of my scheme. You will have temporary rank as captain given you, in order to place your corps on an equal footing with the provincial corps of scouts. Mr. Edwards will also have temporary rank, as lieutenant. The men of the six companies, of the three regiments, will be paraded tomorrow, and asked for volunteers for the special service. If there are more than fifty offer, you can select your own men."
71. Accordingly, the next morning, the troops to be left behind were paraded, and an order was read out, saying that a corps of scouts for special service was to be raised, and that volunteers were requested. Upwards of a hundred men stepped forward, and, being formed in line, James selected from them fifty who appeared to him the most hardy, active, and intelligent looking. He himself had, that morning, been put in orders as captain of the new corps, and had assumed the insignia of his temporary rank. The colonel had placed at his disposal two intelligent young non-commissioned officers.
72. The next morning, he marched with his command for Fort William Henry. No sooner had he left the open country, and entered the woods, than he began to instruct the men in their new duties. The whole of them were thrown out as skirmishers, and taught to advance in Indian fashion, each man sheltering himself behind a tree, scanning the woods carefully ahead, and then, fixing his eyes on another tree ahead, to advance to
it at a sharp run, and shelter there.
73. All this was new to the soldiers, hitherto drilled only in solid formation, or in skirmishing in the open, and when, at the end of ten miles skirmishing through the wood, they were halted and ordered to bivouac for the night, James felt that his men were beginning to have some idea of forest fighting. The men themselves were greatly pleased with their day's work. It was a welcome change after the long monotony of life in a standing camp, and the day's work had given them a high opinion of the fitness of their young officer for command.
74. But the work and instruction was not over for the day. Hitherto, none of the men had had any experience in camping in the open. James now showed them how to make comfortable shelters against the cold, with two forked sticks and one laid across them, and with a few boughs and a blanket laid over them, with dead leaves heaped round the bottom and ends; and how best to arrange their fires and cook their food.
75. During the following days, the same work was repeated, and when, after a week's marching, the force issued from the forest into the clearing around Fort William Henry, James felt confident that his men would be able to hold their own in a brush with the Indians. Major Eyre, to whom James reported himself, and showed his appointment defining his authority and duties, expressed much satisfaction at the arrival of the reinforcement.
76. "There are rumours, brought here by the scouts," he said, "that a strong force will, before long, come down from Crown Point to Ticonderoga, and that we shall be attacked. Now that the lake is frozen, regular troops could march without difficulty, and my force here is very inadequate, considering the strength with which the French will attack. None of my officers or men have any experience of the Indian methods of attack, and your experience will be very valuable. It is a pity that they do not give me one of these companies of scouts permanently. Sometimes one or other of them is here, but often I am without any of the provincials, and, although I have every confidence in my officers and men, one cannot but feel that it is a great disadvantage to be exposed to the attack of an enemy of whose tactics one is altogether ignorant.
77. "You will, of course, encamp your men inside the fort. I see you have brought no baggage with you, but I have some spare tents here, which are at your service."
78. "Thank you, sir," James replied; "I shall be glad to put the men under cover, while they are here, but I intend to practice them, as much as possible, in scouting and camping in the woods, and, although I shall always be in the neighbourhood of the fort, I do not propose always to return here at night. Are any of Captain Rogers's corps at present at the fort?"
79. "Some of them came in last night," Major Eyre replied.
80. "I have authority," James said, "to enlist two of them in my corps."
81. Major Eyre smiled.
82. "I do not think you will find any of them ready to submit to military discipline, or to put on a red coat."
83. "They are all accustomed to obey orders, promptly enough, when at work," James said, "though there is no attempt at discipline when off duty. You see them at their worst here. There is, of course, nothing like military order in the woods, but obedience is just as prompt as among our troops. As to the uniform, I agree with you, but on that head I should not be particular. I can hardly fancy any of the scouts buttoned tightly up with stiff collars; but as, after all, although they are to be enlisted, they will be attached to the corps, rather than be regular members of it, I do not think I need insist upon the uniform."
84. After leaving the major, James saw to the pitching of the tents, and the comforts of his men, and when he had done so strolled off towards a group of scouts, who were watching his proceedings, and among whom he recognized the two men for whom he was looking.
85. He received a cordial greeting from all who had taken part in his previous adventures with Captain Rogers's band.
86. "And so you are in command of this party?" Nat said. "I asked one of the men just now, and he said you were the captain. You are young to be a captain, but, at any rate, it's a good thing to have a king's officer here who knows something about the woods. The rest ain't no more idea of them than nothing."
87. "I want to chat to you, Nat, and also to Jonathan, if you will come across with me to my tent."
88. "I'm agreeable," Nat said; and the two scouts walked across to the tent with James.
89. Lieutenant Edwards, who shared the tent with him, was inside, arranging a few things which Major Eyre had sent down for their use.
90. "Edwards, these are the two scouts, Nat and Jonathan, of whom you have often heard me speak. Now, let us sit down and have a chat.
91. "There is some first-rate rum in that bottle, Nat. There are two tin pannikins, and there is water in that keg.
92. "Now, Nat," he went on, when the party were seated on blankets laid on the ground, "this corps of mine has been raised, specially, to act as scouts round this or any other fort which may be threatened, or to act as the advanced guard of a column of troops."
93. "But what do they know of scouting?" Nat said contemptuously. "They don't know no more than children."
94. "They don't know much, but they are active fellows, and ready to learn. I think you will find that, already, they have a pretty fair idea of fighting in Indian fashion in the woods, and, as I have authority to draw extra supplies of ball cartridge, I hope, in a few weeks, to make fair shots of them. You have taught me something of forest ways, and I
shall teach them all I know; but we want better teachers, and I want to propose, to you and Jonathan, to join the corps."
95. "What, and put on a red coat, and choke ourselves up with a stiff collar!" Nat laughed. "Nice figures we should look! No, no, captain, that would never do."
96. "No, I don't propose that you should wear uniform, Nat. I have got a special authority to enlist you and Jonathan, with the understanding that you can take your discharge whenever you like. There will be no drilling in line, or anything of that sort. It will be just scouting work, the same as with Captain Rogers, except that we shall not make long expeditions, as he does, but keep in the neighbourhood of the fort. I should want you to act both as scouts and instructors, to teach the men, as you have taught me, something of woodcraft, how to find their way in a forest, and how to fight the Indians in their own way, and to be up to Indian devices. You will be guides on the line of march, will warn me of danger, and suggest the best plan of meeting it. You will, in fact, be scouts attached to the corps, only nominally you will be members of it. I know your ways, and should not exact any observance of discipline, more than that which you have with Rogers, and should treat you in the light of non-commissioned officers."
97. "Well, and what do you say, Jonathan?" Nat said, turning to his tall companion. "You and I have both taken a fancy to the captain here, and though he has picked up a lot for a young 'un, and will in time make a first-rate hand in the woods, I guess he won't make much hand of it, yet, if he hadn't got someone as knows the woods by his side. We have
had a spell of hard work of it with Rogers lately, and I don't mind if I have a change, for a bit, with the redcoats."
98. "I will go, of course," Jonathan said briefly.
99. "Very well, then, that's settled, captain," Nat said. "Rogers will be in tonight, and I will tell him we are going to transfer ourselves over to you."
100. "He won't mind, I hope," James said.
101. "He won't mind," Nat replied. "We ain't very particular about times of
service in our corps. We just comes and goes, pretty well as the fancy takes us. They would never get us to join, if they wanted to get us to bind down hard and fast. Sometimes they start on an expedition fifty strong, next time perhaps not more than thirty turns up.
102. "Is there anything to do to join the corps?"
103. "Not much, Nat. I give you each a shilling and attest you, that is to say, swear you in to serve the king, and, in your case, give you a paper saying that you are authorized to take your discharge, whensoever it pleases you."
104. "Very well, captain. Then on those terms we join, always understood as we don't have to put on red coats."
105. The two men were sworn in, and then Nat, standing up, said:
106. "And now, captain, discipline is discipline. What's your orders?"
107. James went to the door of the tent, and called the sergeant.
108. "Sergeant, these two men are enlisted as scouts in the corps. They will draw rations, and be a regular part of the company like the rest, but they will not wear uniform, acting only as scouts. They will have the rank and position of corporals, and will specially instruct the men in woodcraft, and in the ways of the Indians. They will, of course, occupy the tent with the non-commissioned officers, and will mess with them.
Being engaged as scouts, only, they will in other respects be free from anything like strictness. I trust that you will do what you can to make them comfortable."
109. The sergeant saluted, and led the two scouts over to the tent occupied by himself and the other non-commissioned officers, and the roars of laughter that issued from it in the course of the evening, at the anecdotes of the scouts, showed that the newcomers were likely to be highly popular characters in their mess.
13. What was James’ temporary rank? _________________________
14. How many scouts could James enlist is his company? _______________
15. The scouts James wanted were Jonathan and ___________________.
16. The scouts did not want to put on what? ________________________