Monday, November 4, 2013

Knife, Spatula, and Skillet, Page 238

     The keeper had bolted the entrance to his jail.
     “Your name, sir?” Pitcairn asked.
     “Ephraim Jones.”
     “Ye have denied entrance to my soldiers. I demand that your man remove the bolt.”
     “This jail is private property! You don’t have the right!”
     Pitcairn studied him. The man was in his fifties, stolid, his mouth stubbornly set. His eyes showed no fear.
     Pitcairn turned to the nearest grenadier, who was holding a heavy axe. “Break it down,” he ordered. “A jail house is not private propairty,” he said.
     The man shrugged. He stepped in front of the door. A second grenadier pushed him aside.
     “What are ye hiding?” Pitcairn demanded, inside the jail.
     “Nothin' that concerns you!”
     “Then let this concairn you! Pitcairn pushed the barrel end of his pistol against the jailer’s nostrils. “Show me what ye’ve concealed!”
     For ten seconds, the jailer resisted.
     Three twenty-four pound cannon balls were carried to the millpond. Ephraim Jones was escorted to the center of the Common.
     Surrounded by redcoats, he asked, “Am I under arrest?”
     Pitcairn scrutinized him. An amusing thought occurred to him. “Ye be an innkeeper, also, I’m told.”
     The man's face revealed nothing.
     With the seriousness befitting a magistrate, Pitcairn declared, “Ye have acted treasonously, Innkeeper Jones. Ye are my prisoner. As His Majesty’s representative, I orrder ye now t’prepare me breakfast. If ye comply, if ye prepare me thick ham and sausage, I will parole ye.”
     Ephraim Jones squinted.
     “Think judiciously, innkeeper. Your release depends upon your talent with knife, spatula, and skillet!”