*disclaimer I don't own Liberty Kids..yada, yada..yada*

*Authors note, the below story is not based on an actual historic event*

~The Shot Heard Round the Print Shop~

"Thump!" went an inky paper wad at the back of James Hillers head.

"Henri stop that!" James scolded.

It was a warm sunny day in Philadelphia as James and Henri the apprentices of Ben Franklin began the long laborious task of preparing the print shop for the next addition of the Pennsylvania gazette.

The boys had been asked to stack the mountains of clean paper near the printer and set out the ink for use, and other tools needed for the long sweaty job. But Henri had other plans.

He hated helping James and often tried to get out of it, but James would not hear of it and had made sure Henri could not slip away from the long unruly task.

"Thump!" went another sticky ink wad.

"Henri quit!" the agitated apprentice fussed while trying to keep a calm out look.

Little Henri began to giggle again as he wadded up yet another piece of paper and began dipping it in a pot of black ink readying the ammunition for his enemy, James Hiller.

James set down another load of printing paper and turned red faced at Henri who discreetly hid the dripping wad of paper behind his guilty back.

"Henri I know you have that piece of paper," James chided, " Moses expects us to work hard and get the job done not play around, now stop this footling about and help me."

Henri pouted and let his inky hands drop to his sides.

"Oh James," the boy whined giving a large pout, "I am board I hate helping you set up zee printer."

James rolled his eyes and sighed, " that's what printers do."

"What be boring," Henri whined.

"No, work, apprentices work hard and learn a trade," James said in an adult like fashion as he began to set the type.

" I don't have to help, Henri fought back, " I am not zee journalist."

James tried to ignore that comment as he picked up the fallen letter block that he had dropped.

"But you are an apprentice to me and you will- Thump! Went Henri's wad of paper cutting James of in mid sentence and splattering him with the coal black ink all over the back of his nice clean shirt.

Profuse little giggles came from the small French lad as he hurriedly dipped another crumpled piece of paper preparing for James retaliation.

"Henri!" James frowned turning quickly around, "enough foolishness."

Thump went the soggy paper right on James shoulder.

"Henri I'm warning you," James sternly replied while a little smile tugged playfully at the corner of his mouth.

Thump went still another dripping ink wad.

"Henri don't make me come over there."


"Henri I mean It." the older boy smiled eagerly at his friend while quickly dipping a freshly crumpled paper in the sticky ink.


"Henri you know this ink is expensive." James laughed as he thoroughly soaked the paper ball.

"Of course zat eez zee beauty of it!!" Henri smiled taking good aim for James face.

Quickly ducking the intended blow James fiercely shot his black dripping ball of ammunition at Henri hitting him squarely in the face.

"Ha! ya missed me!" James shouted quickly grabbing up a sheet of paper form the near by stack.

"I 'Ave you now Monsieur 'eeler" Henri shouted with glee as he hurried to soak up as many paper wads as possible.

Quickly the fight was under way as sheets of fresh printing paper were hurriedly crumpled into balls and dipped into the thick ink, while loose leafs of paper fluttered in and around them from there skirmish.

"Prepare to die for liberty jzames!" Henri shouted jumping on top of the printer for an aerial shot at James who was hiding behind the counter.

"Hey no fair! " James shouted quickly dodging the inky projectile while sliding out of the way.

James began madly throwing the collection of inky paper wads at the small boy who was now vulnerable for attack atop the printing press.

As the battle began to subside the boys stood back and wiped their sweaty ink stained faces.

"Hey Henri, we really ought to get to work ya know," James laughed holding his sides.

"Oh' Jzames quite being a blow 'ard 'ave a leetle fun" Henri smiled jumping off the printer and sliding down a stack of paper leaving glossy black foot prints behind him.

"I am not a blow hard," James retorted, "take that back," he smiled quickly scooping up the fallen ink wads in preparation for the next onslaught.

'I will not you blow hard," Henri grinned with amusement as he to gathered his weaponry.

"You got the guts to back up those words Lobster back." James teased.

"I sure do!" Henri shouted back unaware of the towering figure behind him.

Henri noticing James sudden withdraw stepped forward with courage.

"Watz zee matter jzames afraid to fight back."

James face looked frozen in shock.

There Behind Henri stood the ominous figure of Benjamin Franklin

"Oh my," Henri gasped in a small voice as he dropped the gooey paper letting it splut on the floor as both t there mouths dropped open.

The wise old man adjusted his spectacles and cleared his throat; "those who lie down with paper shall rise up with ink."

James face flushed and Henri stood frozen in place.

With out so much as a word James quickly grabbed up two scrub brushes, from the desk.

James slapped one in the bewildered Henri's hand. And together the boys then turned to clean up the wrecked print shop.