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A Hero of Ticonderoga by Rowland E. Robinson

Marmaduke Felton and Erastus Graves


said the various voices.

"What shall be their punishment? That they be chastised with the twigs of the wilderness?"

There was general affirmative response, some answering loudly, others faintly and hesitatingly. Then Job Carpenter stepped forward, and, making a military salute, said:

"I don't go agin these men a gittin' what they desarve, but I don't want to have them skinned. Their skins hain't worth a-hevin' only for their selves, and I hate to see white men whipped like dogs. If they was Injins I wouldn't say agin it. But, bein' they hain't, I move they hev jest nine cuts o' the Blue Beech apiece."

"Forty, save one," was the customary award in such cases, and there were a few dissenting voices, but the milder punishment was finally agreed upon.

If the two men under sentence felt any gratitude for the mitigation of the severity, they expressed none. Graves maintained a sullen silence, though his vengeful scowl expressed as much hatred of the prosecutors of the informal trial as did the storm of oaths and abuse that Felton let forth upon them in intermittent gusts.

So the night passed, with snatches of sleep for some, with none for others, while the prisoners were kept under constant guard. With daylight came the summary infliction of the punishment awarded. It was a scene

so cruel that Ruth and Martha could not bear to hear, much less to witness it, and Nathan, when an old man, said it was a horrible memory. Yet, severe as was the chastisement inflicted by the Green Mountain Boys upon their persecutors, it was no more cruel than the legal punishment of many light offences in those days, when the whipping post was one of the first adornments of every little hamlet. In conclusion, Ethan Allen gave to Felton and Graves a "Certificate," written by himself, to the effect:

"This is to Certify that the Bearer has this day rec'd his Just Dues and is permitted to pass beyond the New Hampshire Grants. He Behaving as Becometh. In witness whereof, see the Beech Seal upon his back and our Hands set Hereunto. Signed, Ethan Allen and others."

Felton cast his upon the ground and stamped upon it, but Graves folded and put his carefully in his pocket, glowering in silence upon his enemies. Then Ethan Allen broke the surveyor's compass with his own hands and tossed the fragments away.

"Now," said he, in an awful voice, "depart, and woe be unto you, Marmaduke Felton and Erastus Graves, if you ever set foot in the land of the Green Mountain Boys. You other men, if you come in peace and on honest business, you shall not have a hair of your heads hurt. But if you ever venture to come on such an iniquitous errand as now brought you, by the Great Jehovah, you shall repent in sackcloth and ashes! Forward, march!"

At the command, the surveyor and his men filed off, and the last of the sullen and chap-fallen crew soon disappeared among the trees. They were accompanied some distance by the Green Mountain Boys, when their beloved chieftain rode away to redress wrongs of settlers in other parts.

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