Ch.1- Dreams and Contemplation
The pain was intense. He wanted to scream, to move away, to just not be in this room. However, he held his tongue, and didn't flinch. Aside from the pain in his hand, he couldn't feel anything. The death of his best friend Rab, the only person, other than Cilla and Rab's relatives, who didn't think twice about what he could do and what he couldn't do with his crippled right hand, was to much to comprehend. About thirty minutes later, after the operation on his hand was complete, Johnny Tremain, a sixteen-year old orphan, lay asleep in a room at the hotel.
Out in the tavern, Dr. Warren, the man who had operated on Johnny's hand, sat with a mug of beer in his. He had finished the operation just a few minutes ago, and was exhausted. Aside from his exhaustion, the doctor was still astonished at how Johnny had handled the operation. Dr. Warren had had two men standing outside the door prepared to jump in when Johnny started thrashing about, and shouting…but he hadn't. The sixteen-year-old was completely emotionless throughout the entire operation, not even flinching. Dr. Warren supposed this was due to the fact that his best friend Rab, had died that same day. The doctor had been determined to do the best job he could on this boy's hand, and he knew that he had done his best. The hand would never be the same. It would be weaker, yes, but it would be just as good as it was prior to the operation.
Dr. Warren sighed, "The poor boy, tomorrow I'll have him taken back to Boston." Although the boy would protest, Warren was convinced that he would go once he knew that there would be no fighting between the British and the Patriots for awhile.
" 'nother round Dr.?" asked the bartender as he walked by, a towel in his hands as he cleaned them.
"No thank you Mr. Smith, I think I'll turn in for tonight."
"I think I'll do likewise, g'night then Dr. Warren."
He was running, there was no sunlight, it was pitch black. Pitch black, with the exception of the unceasing flashes of light from the musket fire. The sounds were deafening. He couldn't hear, couldn't think of anything other than his goal.
"I've got to find Cilla!" Johnny thought frantically, sweat pouring down his face. "Where is she!" he screamed to himself. The tide of the war had changed, the British had advanced with a strong front and had eliminated all threats except the final resistance in Boston, and things weren't looking to good. He was desperately searching for Cilla so that they could flee Boston and get away from the redcoats and the Tories.
But he couldn't find her. She had disappeared. She wasn't at the Lytes' mansion, all Johnny had found there had been the dead body of Miss Bessie, one of the Lytes' black servants and best friend to Cilla. He hoped Cilla was still alive. Finally he turned the final stretch of the road to where the Lamphan's house was. Not even bothering to knock, he barged in, barely beating the bullets that whizzed past his head. The first thing he saw in the house was the bloody body of the replacement silversmith, Mr. Tweedie. Even though he had never liked the man, Johnny knew that he didn't deserve his fate. He ran into the next room. There he saw Madge's dead body, one of the Lamphan girls. There was a bullet hole through her head.
This girl and her siblings had been the only people Johnny had ever considered family, or to be more precise, the sisters, with the exception of Cilla, that he had never had. In the next room, he found Mrs. Lamphan, dead. Johnny thanked the good Lord that at least one of his "sister's" was still alive. Finally, he entered the kitchen, and when he did, what he saw made his heart stop. Cilla Lamphan, struggling to breathe, in tattered clothing, bleeding from a cut on her lip, and a bullet wound in her abdomen.
Dropping his musket, Johnny ran over to Cilla, cradling her fragile form in his arms.
"Cilla, Cil, it's me, it's me Johnny!" he half sobbed half whispered to her. Cilla struggled to shift her head to stare into his eyes.
"J-Johnny!" she gasped, "You've come back!"
Johnny nodded his head vigorously, "Yeah Cil, I'm back. Now come on let's get you out of here." as he started to pick her up, Cilla was overcome with a violent convulsing cough. As she coughed, Johnny saw blood come from her mouth.
"N-no Johnny, i-it's over for me, please get out of here while you still can."
"No, Cilla you're gonna make it, you can't leave me now, not when I've finally realized why I always want to be with you!"
Another violent convulsion, this time the cough wracked her whole body. She was growing paler by the second, Johnny knew she wouldn't make it, but this couldn't be happening, not after he had realized what the feeling that overcame him every time he laid eyes on her.
He had to tell her now, while she could still hear him, "Cil, I need to tell you something." With what was the last of her energy, she focused all her attention on him. "Cilla, ever since this whole ordeal started, you've been there for me. It didn't matter what it happened to be, you were always there to support me. When I burned my hand, you were the only one who didn't shun me, at my trial when I was accused of stealing the cup. You were there. And I just wanted to tell you that I've finally realized why I enjoy your company. Pricilla Lamphan, I…I love you."
As Johnny finished, he suddenly realized that the body he was holding had stopped breathing, and was cold. "Cil?" Johnny sobbed, knowing she couldn't hear him, "Pricilla Lamphan, stop messing around this instant!" Johnny sobbed. He looked at her pale face, and knew that she was no more.
All of a sudden, Johnny heard the door behind him open and then,
"Here! A survivor!" and then the sound of dozens of feet, as the British came into the kitchen, surrounding him.
Johnny sat bolt up right in his bed, and immediately regretted the action. Pain coursed through his newly repaired hand, it felt like it wanted to fall off. Slowly, so as not to agitate it again, Johnny lay back down, trying to slow his rushed breathing.
'That was a weird dream,' he thought a few minutes later, after he had regained control of his circulatory system, 'it was so vivid, I could've sworn it was real.'
At that moment, Dr. Warren burst into the room, panting heavily.
"J-Johnny, the Bri-B, the redcoats are coming! We have to move n….!" Before the doctor had finished his sentence, there was rushed footsteps, and the sound of something crashing. He looked up just in time to see Dr. Warren's head blow up into nothing as ten bullets came into contact with it.
"In here! There's one more, kill him!" Johnny didn't even have time to move as from seemingly out of nowhere, a British solider flew into the room. Raising his gun, there was a loud, CRACK! as the musket lit a shot the lead ball straight into his head. Then, everything was black.
His eyes opened slowly, if not in weariness, then in fear that if they were opened, he would be killed again. There was sunlight flowing into the room through an open window, from which Johnny could hear the sound of laughter from children in the streets. Cautiously, he lifted his hand, and gently moved his thumb. A moment of pain, and then nothing. He did this again. Pain and nothing. Once more. This time he felt nothing. Feeling that his healing was coming along faster than even he had expected, Johnny allowed his mind to wander to the subject of his dream. Cilla.
He wondered how she was doing, from what he knew, Boston was still under British control, although, thanks to the Minute Men, there were no longer so many of them.
'Lord I hope she's okay, I don't know what I would do if I lost Cil…probably kill myself.'
As he sat there thinking this, Dr. Warren walked in.
"Good morning Johnny, had a good rest?"
Johnny nodded, "Yessir doctor, probably one of the best I've had for awhile." he lied.
"Good, good. Now let me see your hand." Johnny lifted it, placing it in the doctors grasp. "Looks as if the operation went even better than I had hoped," he said, "this should fully heal in about a month or so." Johnny smiled. All he had to do was wait a month? Well it was better than having a crippled hand for the rest of his life.
"Thank you so much Dr. Warren." The doctor shook his head.
"Not at all my dear boy. Now I've arranged for you to be taken back to Boston with one of the families of the Minute Men, so let's round up your belongings and get you ready."
It took all of one minute to get Johnny's meager belongings together, seeing as all he had was his hat, Rab's musket, and his shoes. After this task was completed, Dr. Warren helped Johnny down the steps, and into the tavern, where they ate a hearty breakfast along with the remaining families of the patriots gone off to battle. There was one question that Johnny was dying to ask the doctor.
"Dr. Warren, why can't I just go to battle with the other soldiers?"
Dr. Warren sighed, "Well for one thing Johnny, your hand has to heal before you can truly be able to handle a gun. Second, well this is my opinion, you're to young. You are barely sixteen, and already you served more than your fair share in this war." He put a hand on Johnny's shoulder, "You need to be able to live your life to the fullest while you're still young, plus, I know you're anxious to get back to a certain someone, hmm?" he finished, grinning teasingly at Johnny. Johnny blushed.
"Very well.." turning to the family that would be taking him back to Boston, he said, "whenever you are ready." The mother of the family nodded, helping Johnny with the musket.
At the door, Johnny bid a final farewell to Dr. Warren.
"So long then doctor, and thank you again, for everything." They shook hands.
Dr. Warren looked Johnny in the eye, one last time, and said, "When you despair, remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall-think of it, always."
With that and a final shake of Johnny's hand, Dr. Warren went back into the lighted tavern. The last thoughts that were running through Johnny's head before he fell asleep in the back of the covered wagon, was of the meaning of Dr. Warren's last words to him. Then he fell asleep to the steady clip-clop of the horse's hooves.