The dark shape of
dwarfed him. He
moved quickly across the street into its shadow. A young man, twenty-three, he
was the church sexton. His older brother was the organist. Times were hard;
Newman did not like his job; too bad. When Paul Revere had explained to him
what he had wanted, Newman had been eager to participate. Afterward, he had
reckoned the peril. Christ
Hearing footsteps on the cobblestones, he stepped behind the church’s corner. John Pulling emerged from the darkness. “Sssst! Over here!” Newman whispered.
Pulling was a church vestryman.
had recruited him to be Newman’s lookout. Revere
“Not here yet?” Pulling asked.
“He didn't say when. Any time, I suspect.” He was right. Soon they heard aggressive footsteps. Paul Revere’s broad figure approached.
joining them at the church’s darkest corner. Revere
“You become accustomed to it.” For perhaps ten seconds
gazed at the deserted street. Revere
Newman was taken by the silversmith’s air of confidence.
“The British soldiers are in the boats,” Revere informed. “Go easy. Take your time. But do your work to its completion. If I’m arrested, our fortune may rest entirely upon what you accomplish.” He patted Newman’s left shoulder. “I must prepare to leave. God be with you.”
Newman listened to
footfalls and then, too soon, but the night sounds. Revere
It was too late to renege.
“All right,” he said, raising angrily his hands. He pulled out of his side coat pocket a ring of keys. He inserted a long key into the lock of the side entrance door. He turned the key and pushed open the door. Pulling nodded. Newman closed the door, locked it, and in darkness felt his way to a closet. Leaving it, carrying two lanterns, he moved to the stairway that led to the belfry.
Past the bell loft he climbed, the eight great bells within somnolent. He reached the highest window. To the north he saw in the moonlight the shoulder of Copp's Hill. Beyond lay the mouth of the Charles River and the glimmering lights of the
, a moving, ethereal flicker. Somerset
He reached downward, lit the lanterns, and raised them chest high. Somewhere amid the lights of
Charlestown, beyond the ,
Sons of Liberty were watching. They would now know that Gage’s soldiers were
crossing the Somerset Back Bay.
Softly, softly, the muffled oars dipped into the water. The boat was marking a broad semi-circle about the
turning ever so slightly against its cable. Somerset
The boat’s occupants did not speak. Joshua Bentley and Thomas Richardson were laboring to bring the boat closer to the mouth of the river. Neither man glanced at the
’s dark hull. Paul Revere,
motionless as stone, regarded little else. Somerset
Up current, longboats were ferrying soldiers to Lechmere’s Point. If he and they in the boat reached the
would have little time to act following his conversation with Colonel Conant. Charlestown
He glanced at the
North Boston skyline, confident
that the lanterns had been lit and the Colonel and those assisting him had
witnessed them. How long would they wait for his arrival before deciding that
he had been taken? Because of their hesitancy, how late would be his
These questions did not require answers. Having left the
behind, the little boat now approached the Old Battery. He and they at the oars
had won. Joy replaced trepidation. Impulsively, Somerset Revere
feet. The muscular rower let loose a robust oath. Richardson
Revere saw over Richardson’s
left shoulder one of Colonel Conant’s militiamen, gesturing at the edge of the Battery dock. Waving his arms, shouted. Revere