Roger Davis Loyalist by Frank Baird Page 2 of 96

But I had caught a look of keen anxiety on his face as he addressed my mother. Once outside the garden, he stooped forward, and, breaking into a run, crouching as he went as though afraid of being seen, he soon disappeared around a turn in the road.

My mother stood without speaking or moving for some moments. The birds in the blossom-shrouded trees of the garden were shrieking and chattering in the flood of April sunlight; I felt a draught of perfumed air draw into the hall. Then a mist that had been heavy all the morning on the Charles River, suddenly faded into the blue, and I could see clearly over to Boston, three miles away.

I shall not soon forget the look on my mother's face as she turned and came toward me. I have wondered since if it were not born of a high resolve then made, to be put into effect later. She was not in tears as I thought she would be. There were no signs of grief on her face, but instead her whole countenance seemed illuminated with a strangely noble look.

I was puzzled at this; but when I remembered that my mother was the daughter of an English officer who was killed while serving under Wolfe at Quebec, I understood.

In a firm voice she repeated to me the words I had already heard, then she passed up the stairs. In a few moments I heard her telling my two sisters Caroline and Elizabeth - they were both younger than myself - that it was time to get up. After that I heard my mother go to her own room and shut the door. In the silence that followed this I fell to thinking.

Was my father really dead? Could it be that the British had been repulsed? Duncan Hale had been telling me for weeks that war was coming, but I had not thought his prophecy would be fulfilled. Now I understood why he had come so often to visit my father; and why, during the past month, he had seemed so absent-minded in school.

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