Signs and Counter-signs

All our houses were thronged with people seeking refreshment and repose, and threatening to take possession for the purpose of firing upon the soldiery when they should come. Ours seemed peculiarly adapted for such a purpose, being a corner house, and in a central situation; so, believing its destruction was inevitable, I packed up in a small trunk such portable articles as I esteemed of most value, amongst which were some of my dear friend's letters, and I made packages of clothes for my husband, myself, and the little ones. I wore two pairs of pockets, wishing to preserve as much as I could; though in my heart I had not much fear of an engagement, believing that the spirit, which had animated the insurgents, had evaporated.

Young girls dressed in white, with green ribbons, and carrying pikes, accompanied the insurgents. They had patrols and a countersign, but it was long before they could decide upon the password. At length they fixed upon the word 'Scourges.' Sentinels were placed in various parts of the village. One day, as I went to my brother's a sentinel called to a man who walked with me not to advance on pain of being shot. The sentinel was my former friend, 'the Canny.' I approached him and asked would he shoot me if I proceeded. 'Shoot you!' exclaimed he, taking my hand and kissing it, adding a eulogium on the Quakers. I told him it would be well if they were all of our way of thinking, for then there would be no such work as the present. I thought I could comprehend 'the Canny's' incoherent answer, 'Aye, but you know our Saviour - the scourges, oh! the scourges!' With little exception, we were kindly treated, and the females amongst us were frequently encouraged to dismiss our fears, with hearty shakes of the hand, and assurances that they would 'burn those who would burn us.' We began to be familiarized with these dangers; and added our entreaties to the representations of our men that they should give up their arms, and resign the project which threatened them with destruction.


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