Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Scenes about Paul Revere
 
"My Name Is Revere"
 
            “Get off your horse!”
     Revere dismounted. Standing on soft ground, he flexed his knees, arched his back.
     An officer on foot approached. He stopped three feet away, looked Revere over. “Where did you come from?” he asked.
     Boston.”
     The officer's eyebrows lifted. “What time did you leave?”
     “10:30, I believe.”
     The officer, approximately Revere’s age, turned his head, squinted at the closest mounted soldier. The soldier nodded some sort of acknowledgement.
     “Are you an express rider, sir?” the officer asked.
     “I am.”
     He frowned. “Sir, I crave your name.”
     “My name is Revere.”
     “What?” The officer’s mouth stayed open. “You are Paul Revere?!”
     “Yes.”
     The man scowled, pivoted, stalked off to his tended horse. The others, high above Revere, glared.
     “Damn rebel!”
     “Villain! Bloody traitor!”
     “We'll see you hung, you and Adams! And that flash bastard Hancock!”
     “Major Mitchell will have you shot!”
     Revere stared fiercely at his horse’s bridle. The officer on foot, hastily returning, said in a low voice, “You need not be afraid.”
     Revere glared.
     “No one will hurt you.”
     “Gentlemen,” Revere said, addressing the horsemen that had cursed him. “You have missed your aim!”
     They bristled. Barn cocks, he thought.
     One of them said, officiously, “What of our aim?”
     “Our aim is to arrest deserters,” the older officer said. “That is why we stopped you.”
     Revere smiled at the man's duplicity. “I came out of Boston a half hour after your troops had come out of Boston to land at Lechmere's Point,” he said. “I have alarmed the country all the way up. We’ll have 500 men here soon. Your boats have catched aground.”
     “You lie!”
     “We have 1,500 coming!”
     Revere grinned. “If I had not known that other people along the way had been sent out to alarm the country,” and he paused. “If I had not known I had time enough to ride fifty miles,” -- he faced the mounted officer nearest him -- “I would’ve ventured one shot from you before I would’ve suffered you to have stopped me!”
     Curses rained upon him. Dismissing them, he watched the courteous officer pull taut his gloves. The officer mounted. He rode off across the pasture.
     “Captain Cochrane’s getting the Major,” one of Revere's abusers declared, laughing.
     “Bloody good entertainment t’be had, traitor!”
     Two riders returned at a full gallop. Forty feet away, the taller rider, his horse yet in motion, dismounted. Drawing his pistol, he advanced. Revere saw he was the soldier that had threatened him on the road.
     The officer pressed the end of his pistol against Revere's left ear. “You will give me truthful answers or I will blow your brains out!”
     Neck muscles tight, Revere resisted the pressure. “I esteem myself a man of truth and I am not afraid of you!” Heat radiated from his face. “I demand you remove that pistol! By what right is a peaceable citizen detained on this highway?!”
     “The truth, I say, or I’ll scatter your brains on this dirt!”
     The officer applied additional pressure. Revere glowered at a distant tree.
     “You are Paul Revere sent from Boston to alert the provincials. Am I correct?!”
     “You are!”
     “When did you leave Boston?”
     “At 10:30!”
     “And you saw His Majesty's troops leave Boston?” As mercurially as he had brandished it, Mitchell withdrew the pistol.
     “Their boats catched aground.” Mitchell glared at him. “I have roused every minuteman from here to Lexington. Soon you’ll have 500 surrounding you.”
     For ten seconds the officer’s fierce eyes assaulted him. To the closest lieutenant, Mitchell declared, “Search him!”
     Two officers did so. Satisfied that he was not armed, Mitchell ordered the express rider to mount. Drawing his right leg over the horse’s back and saddle, Revere seated himself.
     Mitchell grabbed the bridle. “By God, sir, you do not ride with reins!” He seized them. “Grant, come here!” His face contorting, he whipped the reins into the officer’s reaching hands.
     “If you let me have them, I’ll not attempt to run from you.”
     “I will not! I don’t trust you!”
     Mitchell mounted. To the soldier that had surrendered the reins of Revere's horse, he ordered, “Bring them all out!” He nodded toward the wood.
     The sergeant returned with yet another officer. Walking between them were four county men, each leading a horse. One of them was missing an arm. Ten yards away they were told to mount.
     Mitchell said to Revere: “We will ride now toward your friends. If you attempt to run, or if we are insulted, I will scatter your brains!”
     “You may do as you please!”