"Then May I Accompany You?"
Anticipating better fare at Wright Tavern than Reverend Clarke’s bread and cheese,
proceeded along the Old Concord road. Revere
“You or me?” Dawes asked, his close-set eyes, long nose, and grinning mouth presenting a comical look, the rooftop of the house they now approached visible beyond a copse of trees.
“How far d'you think the redcoats have gotten?” Dawes asked, having returned to the road.
“What time is it?”
Dawes removed his watch from his coat pocket. He studied the hands in the moonlight. “'Bout 1:15 a.m.”
“I would say, … Menotomy.”
They resumed riding.
The stillness of the night played upon
sensibilities. He thought, A blessed tranquility swaddles the land. Weary
toiler, rest your head, all is safe. He and Dawes violated that dictum. Revere
As did another. Dawes heard first the cantering horse.
“It’s one horse. But be ready.”
Horse and rider appeared in the bright moonlight. Seeing
and Dawes hunched in their saddles,
the rider slowed his horse to a walk. He stopped ten feet away. Revere
“Good evening, gentlemen,” he declared, “or should I say good morning, for it is surely that.”
“I’m Doctor Samuel Prescott. On my way home from my fiancée’s house. Which explains my presence at this hour.” The young man beamed. “And you, gentlemen, if I may be permitted to ask?”
Grinning, Dawes gave his name.
Transferring his smile, the doctor regarded
The silversmith answered.
quick change of expression amused him. Prescott
“I am honored, sir! Indeed, … fortunate! I too am a son of liberty! Though admittedly not …
is astir because of you! Of the
message you so recently delivered.” Concord
leaned forward. “That I should speak to the man who …” Grinning still, he shook
his head. “My betrothed, when she hears me speak, will deem me a prevaricator.
Would that I have you hiding behind the door!” Prescott
They laughed. The young doctor was engaging, likable.
“I’m on my way to
sir,” Doctor Prescott stated. “Are you traveling in that direction?” Concord
“We’re carrying another message, doctor.”
paused. Revere ’s
responsive face sobered. Prescott
lengthened the pause. “The regulars are out.” Revere
“They might be an hour behind us,” Dawes added quickly. The cordwainer repositioned his large, flapped hat.
Wanting the conversation to end but exercising patience,
stared at the dark tops of two pines. Revere
“Then may I accompany you, actually assist you? I’m well known here, as a doctor and a patriot.”
Prescott looked down the road,
looked back at .
“I believe that my words would bring special emphasis to your message.” Revere
Three express riders, to do the job of one. Amused,
thought again of his doctor friend.
Joseph would want to know everything about this fine young man. “By all means,
doctor,” he said, knowing Revere ’s
request wanted immediate acceptance. “We welcome your company. But I must warn
you. Our work entails risk.” He paused, to elicit a more intense reaction.
“Somewhere ahead of us we may yet encounter a British patrol. You accompany us
… at your peril.” Prescott