"The Man That Had Made Too Much Noise"
The militiaman nearest him straightened, raised his musket. “A horse is comin'.”
Munroe heard it, too, the unmistakable sound of shod hooves striking road.
“Comin' from the Common,” the militiaman said.
“Could be from Captain Parker,” a man farther away said. “Maybe them redcoats are lookin' for trouble after all.”
“Hide yourselves!” Munroe ordered. Crouched behind the maple tree’s thick trunk, Munroe blinked rapidly at the road.
He saw the single horseman. The large-sized man directed his mount into the very yard! Leveling his musket, Munroe stepped forth.
Seeing Munroe, the rider swung decisively out of the saddle. “Put that firearm away!” he shouted.
“Keep your voice down.”
“I will speak with Mr. Adams and Mr. Hancock at once!” The stranger gave Munroe a smoldering look.
“No, by God, you will not!” The impertinence! He would be deciding what happened here!
“Let me pass!” The intruder glowered. “Their lives are in danger!”
“We know that!”
It occurred to Munroe that the rider, a servant or hostler, had been sent by another member of the Congress. With old news. He would now have to suffer the man’s explanation, before sending him off. But, first, Munroe would have this puffed up messenger know who issued the orders here!
“I won't let you in! The family has retired! Say what you've t'say t’me. And keep your voice down. They don't want t'be disturbed by any noise.”
The rider's teeth glinted in the moonlight. “Noise! You'll have noise enough! The regulars are coming out! Here, tend this!” He handed the militiaman standing next to Munroe his reins. Taking long strides, he reached the front door. He pounded on it.
Munroe grabbed the intruder’s right shoulder. “I said not t'disturb them!”
A window opened. Reverend Clarke’s large head protruded. “What’s happening out there?!” the minister demanded.
“I must see John Hancock at once! Let me in!”
The clergyman stared at the messenger. “I don't know you,” he said. “I will not admit strangers to this house at this time of night without knowing who they are and what they want!”
Another window opened. John Hancock’s hostile expression vanished. “Do come in,
,” the rich merchant
declared, almost laughing. “We’re not afraid of you.” Revere
Will Munroe’s face burned. A tingling sensation sped across his shoulder blades, coursed up his neck bone. He had argued with Paul Revere! As important a patriot, nearly, as the two at the windows. And Mr. Adams, inside. Worse, he had embarrassed himself! In front of his own guard! He'd be the butt of jokes, in his own tavern, for weeks!
Well, he’d have to live with it, wouldn’t he? For awhile. Even though everybody knew he didn’t suffer any man’s ridicule! Few tried! This, however -- damned humilitating, cursed unfair -- he’d have to bear!
It wouldn’t matter that he had had every reason for behaving the way he had. He had not been at fault!
hadn’t identified himself! The trouble had been Revere 's doing. A name. All he had needed
from Revere was
his name! Revere
It occurred to him what
appearance meant. The officers that Solomon Browner had seen had been a
reconnaissance patrol. Gage’s regulars were marching! Whatever Paul Revere was
about to say he should be hearing!
All of which he would be needing to tell Captain Parker. Something definite
would then be done, with nobody thinking to have fun at his expense! Revere
Uninvited, he passed through the front entrance, following after the man that had made too much noise.