"She is not moving, is she shot? If she was shot I will tar and feather you and then hang you!" I heard my brother Samson threaten in his most serious and gruff tone, "Before I run you through with a bayonet!"
"Calm yourself Samson, she is but asleep." Henry replied rationally and squatted down on the ground. I felt his finger caress my cheek, "Time to wake little one." He cooed and on command my eyes fluttered open to see Henry, unscathed and Samson behind him holding Samuel by the collar, all of their faces as cold as the grave.
"We found this traitor," Samson spat the words, "in Concord. Telling us he left our sister in the woods by Lexington green."
"Never thinking of the harm that may have befallen you if the militia had retreated to the woods," Henry added. Samuel sheepishly hung his head.
"Did you think before you acted?" Samson released his death grip on the boy and pushed him with both hands causing Samuel to stumble and fall backwards on the ground. Samson's temper was rising and Samuel knew it. They had been best mates long enough for Samuel to know the full fury of my brother's temper, and to know to stay clear of him. Samuel tried to backwards crawl away from my brother, never once taking his eyes off Samson. "It was bad enough you took her from her bed in the wee hours of the night to watch this carnage. That I could forgive, that is understandable in a way."
"I would disagree on that point," Henry interjected, standing up and crossing his arms.
"It was something we will live to tell our grandchildren, it is understandable." Samson waved Henry off in a softer tone, but then switching back into a more threatening voice, he continued, "But leaving her? You – left – her!" he over enunciated each word for emphasis. "Tell me why I should not shoot you here." He lifted his musket, pretending to take aim on Samuel's heart.
"Samson!" Henry shook his head at him, signaling that he had gone too far. Samson lowered his gun but continued to glare at the boy who, just hours ago, was hours ago his best mate.
"Samson, Henry, I am sorry!" Samuel pleaded with my brothers.
"Tis our sister you are accountable to." Henry said sternly, gesturing to the ground where I was still sitting.
"Sarah," he appealed to me, "I was not thinking, you must believe me. Please forgive me."
I looked from my brothers to Samuel and back again, "Samuel . . ." words did not come out of my mouth for I was in such shock at that point, I could not think, nor did I know what to say.
Henry reached down to help me get up and softly brushed the dirt and leaves off my skirt. "Tis time we go home," he said softly reaching for my hand he led me to his horse. 'Tis time to go," he repeated more sternly at Samson, grabbing his attention. Henry helped me onto his horse and then climbed up behind me, Samson slowly walked backwards to his horse, never taking his eyes off Samuel. He climbed up on his horse and followed Henry trot away. But then thinking twice, he turned his horse around and trotted back towards Samuel.
In a low, but not so gruff voice he again spoke, "Who leaves a young woman on the side of a battle field to chase his own glory? There is no honor in that. And she is my sister; I thought we were best mates. As far as I am concerned you are a traitor to me and our friendship." He started to turn his horse away from Samuel ordering, "We are friends no more, and I never want to find you alone with her again."
Over Henry's shoulder I saw Samuel's frame crumble, shoulders bent and his head hung low. He just stood there, beaten; by the men he once called brothers.