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Enemy Spies
Nathan Hale and John Andre

by Karen Deal Robinson

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	This book can be read two ways. The odd-numbered chapters
are about the American spy Nathan Hale. The even-numbered
chapters are about the British spy John Andre. If you read
all the odd numbered chapters first, and then all the even
numbered chapters, you will read about events in the order
in which they occurred. If you read them in the order in
which they appear in this book, you'll be more likely to see
the eerie parallels in the lives and deaths of these two spies
of the American Revolution.
     In particular, note the people who show up in both 
stories: Benedict Arnold, George Washington, John Montresor,
Benjamin Tallmadge, and Alexander Hamilton.  Notice the 
time of year, late September.  Notice the Beekman Mansion, 
the papers hidden in shoes, the boats and pocket watches 
and letters.  And note that each of the two men had a friend
who was present at the death of the other.
e-mail for questions or comments.

copyright 2001 by Karen Deal Robinson
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				Chapter 1

September 7, 1773
New Haven, Connecticut

	On a sunny fall morning, three young men walked together
along a city street. Horses and carts and carriages clopped
along on the packed earth beside them.
	"Hold fast a minute, Tallmadge." Nathan stopped in front
of Benedict Arnold's drug store. "I want to go in here one
more time, before we leave New Haven."
	Ben Tallmadge punched him on the shoulder. "What do
you want from the apothecary, Hale Second? Some cure for
a lovesick heart? I know half the girls in New Haven are
in love with you. Which one is it that makes you so sorry
to go? Or do you regret that you've not yet kissed them all?"
	Nathan laughed and shook his head. He'd kissed one or
two girls this past year. But it was his college friends
he'd miss the most, Tallmadge and Wyllys and Hull and the
others. He'd known them for four years, ever since he came
to Yale. But now they were eighteen, ready to graduate and
go out into the world as adults.
	Nathan's brother Enoch said innocently, "'Tis not a cure
Brother Nathan seeks here, but books. And so do I. Arnold's
shop has a greater selection of books than any other in the
neighborhood. We shall need books in our new callings."
	Nathan gave Enoch a grateful look. Sometimes he got
tired of Tallmadge's constant teasing. He realized suddenly
that he'd miss Enoch more than anyone else.
	Anyone looking at them would have known they were brothers.
They both had the same light brown hair, cut short in a time
when most men wore their hair in a braid. They both had a
long straight nose and a wide straight mouth, and one eyebrow
that raised slightly above the other, as though a little amused
all the time.
	Enoch was the serious, quiet one. At college they called
him "Hale First", because he was the older brother. He had
studied to become a minister.
	Nathan was more athletic. He'd set a record at Yale
for the broad jump, and could kick a football higher than
anyone in his dorm. He was planning to be a teacher, at least
for now. In his secret heart, he thought he'd like to do
scientific experiments, like Dr. Benjamin Franklin.
	Ben Tallmadge looked nothing like the brothers. He had
wild curly black hair, and a head full of wild, romantic,
dramatic ideas. He too would be a teacher for a while.
	"Take your mind out of the gutter, now, Friend Tallmadge,"
said Nathan, "and come improve it with literature. Maybe
you'll find that copy of 'Cato' you've been seeking." He opened
the door and went in.
	Tallmadge lingered a moment in the doorway. "Ah, 'Cato'!"
he said. He raised his hand in a dramatic gesture and quoted,
"'Who would not be that youth? What a pity it is that we
can die but once to serve our country!'"
	Enoch shook his head. "I hope it will not come to that,"
he said seriously.
	The man behind the counter nodded to them. His black
eyes watched them sharply. "Welcome, Brothers Hale. I have
a new shipment of books. Have you any money this time? I'm
not a lending library, you know."
	"We have money," said Enoch. "A graduation gift from
our family."
	"Who is your young friend?" said Arnold.
	"Damon," said Nathan mischievously, and all three of
them burst out laughing.
	"My true name is Tallmadge," said Ben. "Sometimes my
friend calls me Damon, and I nickname him Pythias."
	Arnold nodded. He didn't need an explanation. Everyone
knew the ancient story of Damon and Pythias, the two friends
who had each been ready to die to save the other. "You are
fortunate to have such a friend. Did you say you were seeking
a copy of 'Cato'? I have one, for eight shillings." He pulled
a book from the shelf behind him and handed it to Tallmadge.
"You college boys do like those old Roman heroes, don't you?"
he went on. "It may be that you will see those times come
	They stared at him. "What do you mean, sir?" asked
	Arnold lowered his voice. "I mean that once again you
may see the heroes of a republic throw off the chains of tyranny.
Talk is that the citizens of Boston will not allow the next
shipment of tea to land."
	"They say," said Enoch mildly, "that even with the tea
tax it costs less than what the smugglers would charge."
	"That's not the point, boy!" Arnold snapped. "The point
is tyranny. We are being taxed without having a vote."
	"My brother understands that." Nathan jumped to Enoch's
defense. "It was only an observation. We do not buy tea
in my family."
	"Do you think it will come to war?" said Enoch.
	Arnold's dark eyes glinted. "Does that thought disturb
you? For myself, I would welcome it."
	A few minutes later the friends stood outside the shop
once more, with their new books in their hands. "What do
you think of him?" Tallmadge asked.
	"Who, Arnold?" said Enoch. "They say he's a smuggler,
practically a pirate. But that's idle gossip. He's certainly
a man with a temper. What do you make of his motto?" He
pointed to the sign above the door. Below Arnold's name,
were the Latin words Sibi Totique.
	"'For himself and for everyone'," Nathan translated.
	"I make it 'Completely for himself'," said Tallmadge.
	Nathan laughed. "Why, because he charged you eight
shillings for your book? It's not such a bad price. He seems
all right to me."
	"He would," said Tallmadge. "You like everyone you meet,
Hale Second.
	Nathan shrugged that off. "One thing I'll say for him,
he seems willing to fight for freedom. If it does come to
war, I expect it won't be long before all America knows the
name of Benedict Arnold."

copyright 2001 by Karen Deal Robinson
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				Chapter 2
November, 1776
New York City, New York

	"These drawings are excellent," said General Howe, shuffling
through a stack of papers. "You are talented. And your report
will be very useful."
	The young British captain, John Andre, smiled. "Thank
you, sir. It was a shame we had to surrender Fort Saint John
in Quebec, but as you see I made use of my time as prisoner
of war. Since the worsted-stockinged knaves moved us from
town to town, I made maps and drawings as I went. I'm grateful
for the prisoner exchange that set me free and brought me
	"What is your desire now?" asked the general. "A bright
young man like yourself should go far in the British Army."
	John tried to hide his delight at the general's words.
"My present ambition is to become an aide-de-camp for one
of our generals."
	"Hmm. Perhaps it can be done. General Gray is in need
of an aide-de-camp. In the meantime, I invite you to spend
the night here at my headquarters. The Beekman estate is
one of the finest in New York. I will have one of my officers
show you around."
	General Howe beckoned to a red-coated soldier. The soldier
bowed to John. "I am Captain Montresor," he said. He was
a handsome man in his forties, with a thin gray mustache and
a friendly face. "I am an engineer. From what I saw of your
drawings you have studied engineering as well."
	John nodded. "Engineering and mathematics. But I have
an interest in art and music and the theater as well."
	He followed Captain Montresor out of the general's study
and down a sunny corridor. He caught a glimpse of himself
in a mirror and adjusted his lace neck cloth. A bit of white
powder had fallen from his hair onto his shoulder; he brushed
it off. He was twenty-five, and had the fine features and
the olive skin and black eyes of his French ancestors. Ladies
found him irresistible.
	Montresor chuckled. "Theater, eh? You may have a chance
to indulge that interest. General Howe is fond of spectacles
of that sort. What do you think of this villa? Just the
place for a theatrical production, don't you think?"
	"It's beautiful," said John. "And the grounds are
magnificent too. Is that a greenhouse I see, across that
	Montresor nodded. "Yes, though most of the delicate
plants have died since we displaced the rebel owner. We soldiers
are not gardeners." He stared out the window for almost a
minute without saying anything more. He seemed to be lost
in thought. Then he turned to John. "There was an interesting
incident concerning that greenhouse, about two months ago."
	"Yes?" said John. Any bit of gossip he could learn about
General Howe or his staff might be useful to him.
	Montresor looked out the window again. "It was the night
the fire burned half of New York City. A patrol brought a
prisoner to General Howe. The prisoner was dressed in plain
brown clothes, but when he was searched, we found drawings
of our fortifications, and lists of our weapons and troops.
He admitted then that he was a captain in the American army,
and had come to New York as a spy. You know, of course, what
the penalty for spying is."
	John shrugged. "Of course. Death by hanging. Serve
the villain right."
	"Yes, I suppose so," said Montresor. "He spent the night
in that greenhouse, under heavy guard, and was hanged the
next morning, in a nearby orchard. I saw him die."
	"You seem moved," said John. "Why should you be? He
was just a spy, and deserved his fate."
	"I admit he caught my interest," said Montresor. "His
drawings were not the usual sort. They were as fine as your
own. And the notes were written in Latin. He had a good
education. He gave quite a stirring speech at the gallows.
Even quoted from 'Cato'."
	John snorted politely. "'Cato'! Yes, these rebels are
fond of Addison and his Roman rebels. If they want a play
about Julius Caesar's assassination, they should read
Shakespeare. He gives a truer picture of rebellion and
treachery. I don't know how you could have any sympathy at
all for a spy. If he was educated and an officer, he should
have known better than to undertake such a dishonorable mission."
	Montresor nodded again. "I agree with you, of course.
But he didn't see it that way. He said his commander needed
the information, and so his mission became honorable by being
	John would have been shocked if he hadn't come to expect
such statements from the rebels. "There's a fine set of morals
for you! You could justify anything that way. No wonder
they shoot at us from behind trees. Do you remember the name
of your educated rebel spy?"
	"He told the patrol his name was Nathaniel Hales, but
that was his disguise name. It was really Hale. Captain
Nathan Hale."

copyright 2001 by Karen Deal Robinson
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				Chapter 3

January, 1776
Camp Winter Hill, Boston, Massachusetts

	"Tallmadge! Ben Tallmadge! What a pleasure to see you
again! So you've enlisted too. Our old Yale friend Will
Hull is somewhere about; we'll have to look him up before
you go. He's in my regiment. We've become close friends
the past few months." Nathan held the tent flap open. "Come
in, come in out of the snow. Winter Hill always looks as
though snow had fallen, with its white tents everywhere.
But in January it really earns its name."
	Tallmadge came in and sat on the rough camp chair by
the cot. "I'm still your best friend, though," he said, with
an engaging smile. "Damon and Pythias, right?"
	"My brother Enoch is my best friend, and after that I
don't make comparisons. I've told you that. But you and
I will always be Damon and Pythias."
	Tallmadge nodded, satisfied. "Wish I could be in your
regiment too. Well, Hale Second, what do you think of army
life? Quite a change from schoolteaching, I've found."
	Nathan sat on the cot. "Yes," he said. "I thought I'd
be a schoolteacher all my life. I enjoyed it. When the war
is over, I'd like to return to it."
	Tallmadge dug him in the ribs with his elbow. "Especially
that class you taught for young ladies, eh? It wasn't enough
for you to break the hearts of all the girls in New Haven,
you had to go on and conquer New London as well."
	Nathan pushed him away with a laugh. "Same old Tallmadge.
I didn't teach that class to break hearts. I've always felt
that girls should be allowed the same education as their
	Tallmadge winked. "Yes, I heard you argue that point
in our debate on graduation day. And I saw the girls in the
audience wave their handkerchiefs to cheer you on."
	"What good times we had at Yale!" said Nathan. "Those
late night meetings in the dormitories, the plays we put on.
If we'd had girls studying at Yale, you wouldn't have had
to put on petticoats and act a girl's part in our last play."
	"Well, we did what had to do, " said Tallmadge with a
laugh. "Imagine girls going to college! Speaking of those
days, have you heard of the exploits of your old friend Arnold?"
	"Arnold?" Nathan tried to remember if there was anyone
he'd known at Yale named Arnold. "Who do you mean?"
	"Why Benedict Arnold, the bookseller."
	"He's not my old friend," Nathan protested. "I only
met him a time or two. I've heard a little about him. I
heard how he and Ethan Allen took Fort Ticonderoga from the
British, 'in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental
	"Yes, and Congress nearly made them give it back," said
Tallmadge dryly. "But that's old news. Did you hear how
Arnold and Montgomery marched to Quebec through the winter
	"I had heard something about that. But news travels
slowly. The last I heard they captured the fort at Saint
John. But I've heard nothing about Quebec itself. Do you
have more recent news?"
	Tallmadge looked sly. "I'm good at gathering news.
The siege of Quebec failed. At least it seemed that way.
But it kept the British from invading us from the north, and
that's what Washington really wanted. Arnold's a brigadier
general now."
	"You see?" said Nathan. "I told you he was courageous.
Do you still think he's a rascal?"
	"A man may be courageous and still be a rascal," Tallmadge
retorted. "But I admit he's sacrificed much for his country.
They say he was wounded at the siege of Quebec. I don't mind
if he turns out to be a hero."
	"I wonder whether we'll see action soon," said Nathan
	"We see it every day. From our camp, at least, we can
hear the cannons firing, and see the shells falling on Boston."
	"You know what I mean. I've been in the army nine months,
and haven't been in a battle yet."
	Tallmadge gave him a strange look. "Are you so eager
for battle?"
	"Eager? Not exactly. But this waiting is hard. I joined
the army to be useful, and so far I've done nothing but practice
marching. That and play checkers and football. I'd have
been more use to my country if I'd stayed at home and taught
	Tallmadge nodded. "You're right about schoolteaching
being useful to the country. That's why I kept at it so long,
and only joined the army last month. But I think the fighting
is going to get heavier soon, and Washington will need every
one of us. You'll get your chance to be useful, Hale Second.
I don't doubt that at all."

copyright 2001 by Karen Deal Robinson
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				Chapter 4
September 20, 1780
New York City, New York

	"Everything is ready, sir," said John, as he followed
General Clinton into the study of the Beekman mansion. "Benedict
Arnold is eager o meet with me. I will go up the Hudson
River by ship, the warship Vulture. I will meet Arnold on
the shore by Stony Point. He will give me the plans to the
fort at West Point, and we will discuss the details of how
the fort can be turned over to us with the least amount of
bloodshed. We will also discuss how and when he will leave
the Americans and join the British, and how much he will be
	John had come a long way in the past four years. He
had gone to Philadelphia with General Howe. When Howe resigned,
John and his friend Montresor and several other officers gave
a grand farewell party for Howe. The party included a parade
of ships, officers dressed as old-time knights acting out
a joust, and officers' wives and daughters dressed as Turkish
harem girls. Montresor had been in charge of the fireworks.
John had been in charge of the ladies' costumes, and the drawings
for the programs and tickets.
	The new general, General Clinton, was too shy for
spectacular parties. But he liked John very much, and even
promoted him above men who had served in the army much longer.
	John was now an adjutant general. That meant that though
he had the rank of major, he was General Clinton's closest
aide. He was also Clinton's chief intelligence officer.
	They were back in New York now. General Clinton's
headquarters were at another house, but he used the Beekman
mansion as a hunting lodge, and visited it often.
	"Arnold wants me to meet him out of uniform," John went
on. "He says it would be too dangerous for him to meet with
a uniformed British officer."
	"Too dangerous!" exclaimed General Clinton. "What about
the danger to you, if you should go so near enemy lines out
of uniform? What if by some accident you should find yourself
behind their lines? If you were captured wearing no uniform,
you could be considered a spy."
	As intelligence chief, John dealt with spies all the
time. They were low-lifes, criminals who would sell anything
for money. Spying was something a gentleman would never do.
And yet sometimes he envied his spies for the excitement in
their lives. It was like something out of a play.
	He glanced out the window at the greenhouse where
Montresor's American spy had spent his last night. Spying
was more dangerous than any play. "I don't mind danger,"
he said, "if I can win the king's favor. If I manage to get
West Point and Arnold too, I'm sure the King will make me
a brigadier general."
	"I'm sure of it too," said General Clinton. "But if
you're caught behind enemy lines out of uniform, you could
end up being hanged like a common criminal instead. You're
like a son to me, John. Will you listen to my advice?"
	John sighed and nodded. "What do you advise?"
	"Good boy. Meet with General Arnold under a flag of
truce. It's not uncommon for enemies to talk under a flag
of truce. And whatever you do, there are three important
rules you must follow, as long as you are away from your ship:
Do not go behind American lines. Do not carry any papers
that might incriminate you. And do not, under any circumstances,
take off your British uniform. Will you promise me to follow
those three rules?"
	John sighed. So much for his exciting adventure. "Yes,
I promise," he said.

copyright 2001 by Karen Deal Robinson
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				Chapter 5

September 10, 1776
Harlem Heights, New York

	"General Washington desperately needs information about
the plans of the British army," said Colonel Knowlton. He
looked slowly around the table at his Rangers. They met in
a large tent, lit by a glowing lantern. "Another disaster
like the Battle of Long Island could mean the end of the
Revolution. He asked me to find a volunteer to go behind
enemy lines and find out what he can."
	"You mean as a scout?" said one of the men doubtfully.
"He'd be picked up by the patrols as soon as he set foot on
Long Island."
	"I don't mean a scout, exactly. To avoid being caught
he'd have to go out of uniform, in disguise."
	The men broke out in a low murmur of protest.
	"You mean be a spy?"
	"We're soldiers, not sneaks and scoundrels."
	"Find some cutthroat who'll go for the money, but don't
ask soldiers to play the part of a spy!"
	"I don't mind risking death in battle, be I won't risk
being hung like a dog."
	Nathan listened from the door of the tent. He was still
weak from a recent fever, and he'd come late to the meeting.
	"We can't trust a hired spy," said Knowlton. "We need
someone who can make intelligent drawings and notes, someone
with an education. Will any of you go? General Washington
will not command anyone to undertake such a mission, but he
desperately needs a volunteer."
	The Rangers were silent. Nathan closed his eyes. He
was so tired. But the thought of the Revolution ending so
soon in bitter defeat was unbearable. He still hadn't been
in battle. How could he go home to his father and brothers
and sisters and tell them the war was lost because no one
would volunteer for a mission Washington desperately needed?
"I'll do it," he said slowly.
	"Thank you, Captain Hale," said Colonel Knowlton, giving
him a grateful look. "I'll arrange for you to meet with General
Washington to get your instructions."
	Nathan walked out of the tent into the starry night.
His friend William Hull followed him. "Don't do it, Hale
Second," he said in a low voice. "It's not too late to change
your mind. Let them find someone else."
	"No one else is willing. And I'm tired of waiting.
I've been with the army for over a year, and I've done nothing
but play checkers."
	"You captured the supply ship," argued Hull. "That's
the sort of thing you're good at. We're soldiers. There
will be plenty of opportunity to be brave in battle. You're
not the sort of person who could be a successful spy. I don't
think you know how to lie. I can't imagine you pretending
to be someone's friend, and then betraying him. That's what
a spy has to do. Our country doesn't have the right to ask
us to do something so dishonorable. Besides, you're a terrible
actor, Hale Second. I always thought so when we did those
plays at Yale."
	"You did?" Nathan tried not to feel hurt. He knew Hull
was trying to protect him. "You never told me that."
	"You were great at making speeches and debating, as long
as you believed in what you were saying. You even acted well
if the character was enough like you that you could believe
in your lines. But whenever you had act apart that was
different from your feelings, you'd blush and get stiff.
If you go on this mission, you'll be captured, and your short,
bright career will end with a dishonorable death."
	Nathan shivered in the chilly night air. "I know what
will happen if I'm caught. But still don't think of it as
dishonorable. If it's necessary for our country's survival,
then even spying becomes honorable."
	"You're so talented, Hale Second. You have so much to
give your country. Don't throw it away on a mission that's
doomed to fail. Think how it would break your father's heart
if you died that way."
	Nathan winced. Would his family be ashamed of him?
He shook Hull's hand. "I'll think about what you've said,
my friend. I promise you I won't do anything I think is
dishonorable. I won't do anything but what my duty as a soldier
requires me to do."
	Hull looked into his face as though trying to read his
mind. "I hope that means you won't go," he said. "God be
with you, Hale Second."
	Nathan watched him disappear into the night. Then he
took a long breath, and walked toward General Washington's
tent, to get his orders.

copyright 2001 by Karen Deal Robinson
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				Chapter 6

September 21, 1780
Near Stony Point, New York

	John pulled his cloak over his red British uniform and
huddled into the shadows of the trees. The wide Hudson River
flowed past, glimmering in the starlight.
	"Ten thousand pounds is my price for changing sides,"
said Benedict Arnold gruffly. "Twenty thousand if our plan
is successful. If you coordinate your attack on the fort
at West Point with my plans to weaken its defenses, you should
be able to take it easily."
	John nodded. "I'm authorized to offer you twenty thousand
for West Point and six thousand for your joining us if the
plan fails. But I'm sure I can raise another four thousand.
And now I should be getting back to my ship. It's almost
	"I can't get you a boat at this time of night," said
General Arnold. "The farm hands who rowed you here from your
ship have gone to bed. I'll take you to Mr. Smith's house,
and you can wait there until I can arrange for a boat to take
you back to the Vulture."
	They went to a clearing where Joshua Smith waited with
three horses. He was a country lawyer who thought John was
an English merchant with some sort of shady business to transact
with General Arnold. It was Smith who had brought John here
from the vulture in a boat rowed by two farmhands.
	John rode silently beside the general and the lawyer.
The road was dark and empty. Suddenly a voice said, "Halt,
who goes there?" A sentry stepped onto the road. Then he
lowered his rifle and saluted. "Oh, it's you, General Arnold."
He waved them on.
	John hesitated. If he went any farther, he would be
going behind American lines. He was probably behind them
already. But he still wore his uniform, even if was hidden
under his cloak. Besides, he couldn't very well go back and
sit on the beach. He might be there for days before he found
a boat to take him to his ship. With his heart pounding,
he rode forward.
	At the lawyer's house, he took off his cloak without
thinking. Mr. Smith stared at him. "Why are you wearing
a British officer's uniform?"
	John froze. He was behind American lines. He had to
be more careful. Arnold trusted Smith to be quiet about
shady business dealings, but treason was another matter.
	Before John could think of an answer, Arnold lied easily,
"Oh, he took it from a British soldier, and wears it because
he likes the pretty red color. My friend John Anderson is
something of a dandy."
	They sat down to breakfast. The sound of cannon fire
interrupted them. John jumped up and looked out the window.
He could see the Vulture in the river, and puffs of smoke
from the shore. Someone on the American side must have been
nervous about a British warship in the river. Soon the ship
began to return fire. But then its sails billowed out, and
it sailed away, out of sight down the river.
	John watched it go. He felt sick. Now he was stuck
behind American lines. "I wish I were on board that ship!"
	"Well," said General Arnold, "it may return soon. If
it doesn't, you can always go back to New York on horseback."
	On horseback! That was easy for Arnold to say. It was
bad enough being behind enemy lines for an hour. How could
he ride all the way back to New York behind enemy lines without
being made a prisoner of war?
	Mr. Smith carried the breakfast dishes away. General
Arnold took a small bundle of papers from his coat pocket.
"These are the plans of the fort," he said quietly, so the
lawyer wouldn't hear. "Take them back to General Clinton.
He'll see all the weaknesses in our defenses."
	"No, indeed!" exclaimed John. "General Clinton told me
there were three things I must never do. The first was cross
your lines. I've already done that. The second was carry
any papers from you. I'm to report from memory alone."
	"What was the third thing?" asked General Arnold.
	"Never to take off my uniform until I was safe on my
	"You'll have to take it off, though, if you ride back
on horseback. You'll be made prisoner if you try to get through
in your uniform." General Arnold stood up. "I have to get
back to the fort, or my soldiers will get suspicious. Now
where can you hide these papers? I know: in your boot.
Here, put them in your stocking." He bent down and pushed
the packet of papers into John's stocking.
	John watched helplessly. Why was he letting Arnold do
this? Something in Arnold's intense voice and eyes made it
impossible to say no. And something in John wanted to show
Arnold that he was a bold adventurer, not afraid of a little
	"If you are captured, find some way to destroy the plans."
	"Of course," said John, feeling dazed.
	"And now I must go. If your ship has not returned by
this afternoon, I advise you to set out on horseback. Ah,
Mr. Smith. It looks as though my merchant friend may have
to return to New York by land. Will you escort him? I'll
write out passes for you. If you are stopped, my pass should
get you past any sentry. Farewell, now."
	John put Arnold's pass in his pocket. He stood at the
window and watched in vain for his ship. Hours passed. At
last Mr. Smith put his hand on John's shoulder. "Your ship
will not return today, I think. Shall I have the horses
	John took a long, slow breath. What should he do? He
couldn't wait here forever. "All right," he said at last.
	When the lawyer returned, he said, "You'd better take
off that red coat. You won't get far wearing that. Here,
I've brought you a good suit of clothes."
	John took the maroon velvet coat, feeling more helpless
than ever. Mr. Smith thought he was a merchant who only wore
the red coat because he liked its looks. If that were true,
there could be no reason why he wouldn't change into another
suit of clothes. He couldn't insist on wearing his uniform
without letting Smith know he was really a British officer.
Feeling as though he were caught in a play, following a script
someone else had written, John Andre took off his uniform.

copyright 2001 by Karen Deal Robinson
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				Chapter 7

September 21, 1776
Somewhere on the north shore of Long Island, New York

	For the first time in more than a week, Nathan felt he
could breathe easily. He'd wandered through the British camps,
wearing the clothes of a schoolteacher and saying that he
was looking for work. The soldiers had laughed at him and
said they had no use for Latin. But they were willing to
take time from their boring sentry duty to talk to him. He'd
found out a lot by listening to bored soldiers. And he'd
found out more by using his eyes, counting cannons and tents
and studying the fortifications the soldiers had built from
piles of earth topped with wooden stakes.
	It wasn't too hard pretending to be a schoolteacher,
since he'd been one for three years. It was harder pretending
to be a Tory, an American who was loyal to the king of England.
	But now at last his long and difficult mission was over.
The careful notes he'd taken in Latin were hidden under the
inner soles of his shoes. General Washington would find out
everything he needed to know. All Nathan had to do now was
find the boat that was supposed to meet him and take him back
to Connecticut, and then ride to meet the army north of New
York. In a few minutes he'd be safely out of enemy territory.
	And here was the boat now. He ran down onto the shore
and waved. The boat came nearer. Suddenly Nathan realized
that something was wrong. His boat should have had only two
or three people in it at the most. This boat was full of
people. And as it came even nearer, he could see that they
were British soldiers in red coats.
	He turned away from the shore and began to run. "Halt!"
called a voice behind him. He looked over his shoulder and
saw rifles trained on him. He stopped and turned around slowly,
with his hands in the air.
	"Who are you?" demanded the leader of the soldiers, when
they reached him. Nathan could see by his uniform that he
was a major.
	"Nathaniel Hales. I'm a poor Tory schoolmaster, out
of work since the troubles started. Do you know of any towns
on Long Island that need a schoolmaster?"
	The major didn't answer. "Why did you wave to us, and
then run away?"
	Nathan gave himself a mental kick. Why had he run away?
He should have met the boat, and made up some story about
having been robbed and needing the help of the soldiers.
But they'd never believe that, now that he'd run away. His
mind spun uselessly as he tried to think of a story. Hull
was right, he was a terrible actor.
	"The truth is, I'm a deserter from the American army,"
he said, thinking as quickly as he could under the major's
stern gaze. "I was hoping to meet a friend of mine. He was
going to row me home. I've had enough of this war. That's
why I ran away from you."
	"Well, the war's not over for you yet," said the major.
"General Howe wants all deserters brought to him. And if
that turns out to be a lie as well, it will be the worse for
you. Get in the boat, and don't try any tricks."
	The boat took Nathan to the ship Halifax. The captain
of the ship looked at him curiously as he climbed on board.
"What is this, Major Rogers?"
	"A suspicious character we found on the shore, Captain
Quarme. He waved to our boat and then ran when he saw who
we were. He was near the picket lines. Said he was a Tory
schoolmaster, but when I pressed him he changed his story.
Now he says he's a deserter from the rebel army."
	Captain Quarme nodded. "Deserter, eh? We take on enough
of those. Things are getting too hot for the rebels. I'm
on my way to General Howe to make a report. We'll take this
deserter with us, if that's what he really is. Take him below,
and keep an eye on him." 
	Escorted by his guards, Nathan climbed down another ladder
into the hold of the ship. If only they'd leave him alone
for a minute, he'd destroy the notes in his shoes. But the
guards tied his hands behind his back before they pushed him
into a small, dark room. One of the guards came in with him,
and set a lantern on the floor. Nathan couldn't do anything
about the notes as long as the guard was there. But if they
didn't search him, maybe he'd still get out of this somehow.
	In an hour or two, the ship bumped against a pier. The
smell of smoke was thick in the late afternoon air. Off to
the southwest a black cloud rose up over New York City, a
cloud too dark to be natural. The belly of the cloud glowed
	Nathan's guards marched him up a broad green lawn. A
tall house stood black against the fiery sunset. Nathan
recognized it from the time he'd spent in New York, before
the British took the city. The hill was called Mount Pleasant,
and the house had been taken from James Beekman, a wealthy
rebel supporter. It was a beautiful, three-story house, with
tall pillars on the porch and walkway around the top of the
roof. But despite the beauty of the house and the name of
the hill, the place looked sinister to Nathan now. The
commander-in-chief of the British army lived here.
	Soon Nathan found himself in a wood-paneled study. The
man behind the mahogany desk looked something like General
Washington. Nathan realized that this must be General Howe.
A captain who must be an aide to the general stood behind
the desk. A few other officers were in the room as well.
One of them was saying, "It seems to have started near the
wharf at Whitehall Slip."
	General Howe raised his hand to silence the man. "One
moment, Lieutenant. Yes, Captain Quarme? Do you have a report
for me?"
	Captain Quarme made his report. At the end of it, he
said, "We picked up this man two hours ago. He said at first
he was a Tory schoolmaster, but then changed his story and
said he was a deserter from the rebel army. So I brought
him to you."
	"Has he been searched?" asked the general.
	"No, sir."
	"Very well. Thank you, Captain Quarme. You are dismissed."
General Howe beckoned to one of the redcoats. "Sergeant,
search the prisoner."
	Nathan set his face in a bland expression. His life
depended on his acting skills now. He had to look as though
the search didn't matter. But his heart beat hard as he thought
of the papers in his shoes.
	The sergeant reached into Nathan's big coat pockets.
He pulled out a folded parchment and laid it on the desk.
General Howe opened it. "Ah, a diploma," said the general.
"So you are a schoolmaster; that was true. But not a Tory,
I think, not with a diploma from Yale. That place has been
a hotbed of rebellion for years."
	Despite his predicament, Nathan fought a smile as he
remembered late-night debates in the dorm rooms of Yale.
Yes, it was a hotbed of rebellion, and he was proud of it.
The sergeant continued his search. Nathan felt a tiny
pang of regret as the redcoat found his pocket watch. He
should have left it in camp with his other things, so his
brother Enoch might have it.
	The sergeant knelt down. "Lift your foot," he said.
Nathan's stomach twisted. But he did as he was told. The
soldier pulled off Nathan's shoes, one after the other. Nathan's
mouth was so dry he couldn't swallow as he watched him take
a letter opener from the desk and pry out the inner soles.
	The redcoat gave a soft whistle, and then spread the crackling
papers on the desk. The aide leaned over the general's shoulder
and studied them. "These are our fortifications on Long Island!
I couldn't have drawn them better myself."
	General Howe frowned at Nathan's drawings. "So, you
told the truth about being a rebel soldier as well. But you
are not a deserter, are you? You are a spy."
	Nathan let out a long slow breath. There was no use
pretending any longer. He couldn't explain away the notes
he'd made. In away, it was a relief to be able to tell the
truth at last. "Yes, sir."
	"Did you set the fire?"
	"Fire?" Nathan thought of the smoke he'd smelled, and
the flaming sunset.
	"The fire that burns New York City!" Howe said impatiently.
"It's no good lying about it, after you've condemned yourself
by admitting to spying."
	"I've been on Long Island for the past week. I knew
nothing about the fire until I saw the smoke half an hour
	Howe tapped his fingers on the desk, thinking. Then
he dropped the subject of the fire.
	"These plans are too well done to be the work of a common
soldier. You must be an officer. What is your real name,
Nathaniel Hales?"
	"Hale. Nathan Hale. I only had to alter my diploma
a little, you see."
	"Your rank?"
	For an instant, Nathan saw a flicker of pity cross the
general's face. "Tell me, what would induce a man of your
education and youth to undertake such a shameful business
as spying?"
	Nathan remembered the gratitude on Washington's face,
the warmth of Washington's big hands as he shook Nathan's
hand and wished him well. He'd failed Washington. The shame
wasn't in spying. The only shame was in failing. "I thought
it was my duty to obey the wishes of my commander-in-chief,"
he said.
	The general's face hardened. "I assume you knew when
you agreed to the task what the penalty would be if you were
	Nathan closed his eyes for a moment. He knew what was
coming now. "Yes, sir."
	"Very well, Captain Hale. Tonight you will be kept under
guard. Tomorrow at eleven o'clock, you will taken to the
parade ground, and there you will be hanged by the neck until
you are dead."
	Nathan couldn't feel anything; he was numb inside. Tonight,
he knew, his feelings would come crashing down on him: grief
and fear and shame. But for now the general's words were
like the lines in some play. And all Nathan could do was
play his part. He didn't have any choice about that now.
The only choice he had left was how. He had to believe that
somehow, the way he played his part tomorrow would make a

copyright 2001 by Karen Deal Robinson
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				Chapter 8

September 23, 1780
Tarry town, New York

	"Halt, or we shoot!"
	John reined in his horse. He'd traveled for a day and
a half with the lawyer, Mr. Smith. But Smith had turned back
when they neared British lines. There were Tories who prowled
these woods, stopping travelers on the road. They were little
more than highway robbers. The local farmers called them
	Three young men stood in the road, with long rifles trained
on John's heart. But he thought if they were Cowboys, they'd
respect a British officer. It was true he didn't look much
like an adjutant general now, with his black hair unpowdered
and his maroon velvet coat. "Gentlemen," he said, "I hope
you are members of the king's party. I am a British officer,
and I trust you will not detain me."
	The three didn't move. At last, one of them drawled,
"You hope wrong, redcoat. We're American minutemen, and we're
hunting Cowboys today. But if we've caught an officer, so
much the better. Get down from your horse."
	John swallowed. He should have waited before he spoke.
But maybe he could still talk his way past his captors. He
gave a laugh that he hoped would sound unconcerned. "I thought
you were Cowboys yourselves. So I said what I did, just to
get by. But actually I am on business for the American army.
See, I have a pass from General Arnold."
	"Get down! Damn Arnold's pass! You said you was an
officer. Where's your money?"
	John stepped down onto the packed dirt road. So that
was what this was about: simple robbery. "I don't have much
money with me. But if you come with me to the British camp,
I can get more."
	"Yes, and be captured ourselves! Come behind these trees.
Now take off your coat." They searched his pockets. "Whee,
look at these two watches! Gold and silver by the looks of
them. No money, though. Maybe he's got it in his boots."
	They pushed him to the ground and tugged at his boots.
John's heart gave a powerful extra beat. Until now he'd
been more angry than scared. But now he thought of the papers
in his stocking. Would these yokels understand what they
	They turned the boots upside down, as though expecting
coins to fallout. Then one of them said, "What's that in
his stocking? Here, Johnny, you can read. What does it say?"
He handed the packet to the leader.
	The leader studied the papers. His mouth fell open.
"These are plans to the fort at West Point. This man is a
	John shivered. But there was still hope. The American
commander in the area was Benedict Arnold. If they sent him
to Arnold, he'd be safe.
	The minutemen let John get dressed. They tied his hands
behind his back, put him on his horse, and took him to the
barn their commander, Colonel Jameson, used as a headquarters.
	Jameson studied the papers with a puzzled face. Then
he studied John. "What shall I do with you? I suppose I'd
better send you to General Arnold."
	John went weak with relief. But he knew he had to hide
it. He was better at designing costumes than acting. He
hoped his face looked as worried as it had before.
	"I think I'll send these papers directly to General
Washington," Jameson continued.
	John stiffened again. It would be a race now. If he
reached Arnold before the papers reached Washington, he and
Arnold could escape together. But if the papers reached
Washington first, they might both be captured. Washington
would understand what the papers meant about Arnold's part
in the plot.
	John and his new guards rode north, in a big loop through
the woods. His hands were still bound, and a guard led his
horse. Occasionally, from the top of a hill, he glimpsed
the gleaming thin line of the Hudson River far away to the
west. He wondered if the Vulture was still there somewhere,
looking for him. Maybe he would be safely aboard her by
	His thoughts were interrupted by the thud of hoofbeats
behind them. A new group of American soldiers caught up with
John's guard. "I have new orders from Colonel Jameson. You're
to take the prisoner back."
	"Back! But we wanted to visit our friends at West Point,"
argued one of the guards.
	John couldn't believe his ears. British soldiers would
never argue with an order. He felt a new surge of hope.
"We're almost to Arnold's headquarters now," he put in. "Why
not see what he says about it?"
	"You'd like that, wouldn't you?" said the new arrival.
"We had a visit from one of Washington's intelligence officers.
When he heard what was in the papers, he wanted us not only
to call you back, but to march to Arnold's headquarters and
arrest him."
	"Arrest Arnold!" exclaimed John's guard. "You don't
mean to tell me Arnold's in on this! The hero of Saratoga?
I don't believe it. We couldn't arrest a general anyway,
not without a direct order from Washington himself. Who was
this fellow?"
	"It was that Major Tallmadge you see dashing around on
his horse all the time."
	"Well," sighed the leader of John's guards, "we'd better
take this spy back, if Jameson says so. But I can't believe
Arnold's a traitor. He should be notified that we've caught
a spy."
	The new soldier nodded. "He will be. Colonel Jameson
gave me a letter to take to him."
	They turned around, leaving the soldier to go on alone.
John knew he was really in danger now. When they stopped
for the night, he asked for a pen and paper. Under the watchful
eye of his guard, he wrote a letter to General Washington,
explaining who he was, and how he came to be behind American
lines out of uniform. He'd been trapped; he had no choice.
Surely Washington would understand that he wasn't really a
	The next morning, in pouring rain, John continued his
journey. He was guarded now by a hundred dragoons. One of
them was Benjamin Tallmadge. John liked him immediately,
in spite of the fact that it was Tallmadge who had stopped
him from escaping to Arnold. With his tall hat and plume,
and his curly dark hair, Tallmadge looked every inch a dashing
dragoon. He was a real soldier, not like those three clowns
who had first captured John.
	John lost track of where he was as he rode through the
heavy rain with the patrol. They spent the night at West
Point, but Arnold had fled. The next day they went down the
Hudson River on a barge. "Your friend Arnold has escaped,"
said Tallmadge. "He must be aboard the Vulture right now.
But we caught Joshua Smith."
	For a minute John gave way to bitterness. Arnold was
safe on the Vulture, while he was a prisoner. And it was
Smith's fault he was caught out of uniform. But he couldn't
really blame the lawyer. "Smith is completely innocent,"
he told Tallmadge. "He knew nothing about Arnold's plot.
He thought I was a merchant."
	"We'll see. You're both to be tried by a military court
when we reach Tappan."
	The barge landed, and John was put on horseback again.
How would the court view him? As an officer under a flag
of truce, or as a spy? At last he turned to Tallmadge, who
was riding beside him, to ask him what he thought. "Do you
know in what light my case is being considered?"
	Tallmadge looked away, as though he didn't want to answer.
	"Tell me, please."
	After a moment, Tallmadge turned back toward him. "I
had a dear friend once," he said reluctantly, "a much-loved
classmate at Yale College by the name of Hale. Four years
ago, after the Battle of Long Island, Washington wanted
information about the strength of the enemy. Hale volunteered,
went over to Brooklyn, and was taken just as he was passing
the outposts of the enemy on his return. The day you met
with Arnold was the anniversary of his capture. Do you know
the story?"
	John's mouth went dry suddenly. Why was Tallmadge bringing
this up? He remembered the day he and Montresor had looked
out at the greenhouse, and Montresor had told him about the
spy who spent his last night there. Hale. Yes, that was
the name. John nodded. Yes, he knew the story.
	Tallmadge was silent for another minute. Then he said,
"Do you know how the story ended?"
	John cleared his throat nervously. "Yes. He was hanged
as a spy. But you surely don't consider his case and mine
	Pity shone in the dragoon's eyes. "They are exactly
the same. And you will suffer the same fate."

copyright 2001 by Karen Deal Robinson
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				Chapter 9
September 21-22, 1776
New York City, New York

	Nathan knelt on the dirt floor of the greenhouse. His
hands were still tied behind his back. Two stone-faced soldiers
watched him in the light of a single candle.
	The realization that he was going to die in twelve hours
had just washed over him. He tried not to mind that so much.
When he'd enlisted, he knew he might be killed. It was the
waiting that was hard, and the crushing weight of his failure.
That and the terrible loneliness.
	He missed Enoch most of all. Enoch had probably just
finished polishing up his sermon for tomorrow. He would be
delivering it just about the time Nathan was scheduled to
die. That thought made Nathan feel a little less lonely.
He raised his head. "When will the chaplain see me?" he asked
the guard.
	"The what?" said the guard sleepily.
	"The chaplain! The minister."
	The guard yawned. "I'll have to ask the provost marshal."
He stumped out. A minute later the wooden door slammed open.
	The provost marshal, William Cunningham, staggered in, his
thick face red with anger and alcohol. "What do you want,
you damned rebel spy?"
	Nathan felt his own face darkening with anger. Wasn't
it standard procedure to let a dying man see the chaplain?
He shouldn't even have to ask. "I want to talk to a minister."
	"At this time of night? Are you daft? I ran off the
last minister that poked his nose into my prison, and I won't
have one here. What's the matter, boy, scared of dying?"
	Nathan turned his head in disgust. He was scared, a
little. Who wouldn't be? But he wasn't about to let Cunningham
see that. "Then at least untie my hands and bring me a Bible.
Someone in the camp must have one. And could I have pen and
paper, please? I want to write a letter to my family."
	Cunningham swung a drunken fist. Nathan saw stars and
found himself lying in the dirt. With his hands bound, he
couldn't fight back. Cunningham stood over him, his fists
on his hips. "What do you think I'm running here, a Sunday
School? You'd better not bother me again tonight. The next
time you see me, it will mean it's time for you to die."
The door slammed.
	Nathan sat up. He let his anger flow away. He didn't
want to waste his last few hours thinking about Cunningham.
Kneeling on the floor once more, he closed his eyes. He didn't
really need a Bible. He could see the old familiar words
in his mind, on the yellowed pages of the old family Bible
at home. 
	As he knelt in the candlelight, a peace filled him.
It wasn't necessarily shameful to die like a criminal. Socrates
had done so. Even Christ had spent a night like this, waiting
in prison for death in the morning.
	The only thing that still troubled him was that his mission
had failed. Washington didn't have the information he so
desperately needed. Did that mean the war would be lost?
There must be something he could do. It was bad enough to
have to die, but worse to die without ever having done anything.
	Suddenly he knew the answer to his half-formed prayer.
There was still something he could do. He couldn't give his
information to Washington. But maybe he could give Washington
something else he needed, something that would keep his soldiers
from deserting, keep them from giving up.
	With that thought a golden warmth came over him that
was more than peace. It was joy, the old familiar excitement
and happiness he always felt when he was planning some useful
project. It was almost like being back at Yale again, getting
ready for one of the secret meetings, planning his speech.
Someone besides Cunningham and the stony guards would be there
tomorrow. Crowds always gathered for a hanging. Surely someone
would pass his words along to the American soldiers.
	He stood up and walked to the glass wall of the greenhouse.
The stars burned bright over the East River. As he rehearsed
his words, polishing and revising them, the sky slowly lightened
to dark blue and then dusky rose and then gold. The river
gleamed in the sunrise. Nathan felt calm and peaceful as
he watched the gulls skimming over the water, the soldiers
mustering on the lawn, the boats sailing past. Away in the
city he heard the first church bells ringing. He was ready
	Cunningham's eyes were bleary as he slammed the door
open. Unbelievable, thought Nathan. How could the man be
drunk so early in the morning, and on a Sabbath too? But
he was determined to pay as little attention to Cunningham
as possible.
	"All right, rebel, time for you to die," snarled Cunningham.
	Nathan marched with his escort of soldiers out into the
bright fall day. Along the packed road they went, across
the wide lawn where a camp was set up. Tents circled a trampled
place on the grass that was the parade ground.
	At the edge of the lawn stood an abandoned apple orchard.
The trees hung heavy with golden and red apples. Fall colors
had just begun to touch the leaves.
	The soldiers stopped. Cunningham swayed in front of
them. "Bring a ladder, and strip the extra branches from
that tree. You two, dig a grave over there."
	Nathan hadn't expected this. Why had they brought him
out here before they were ready? The minutes dragged by as
he stood in the hot sun, watching the soldiers digging his
grave. He shouldn't feel impatient. He should welcome the
delay. But he'd always hated standing around waiting and
doing nothing. He realized how hungry he was; he hadn't eaten
since yesterday morning. And he felt scruffy, with his unshaven
face and his torn, dirty clothes.
	Some of the soldiers from the camp straggled by to watch,
along with curious people from the city. One of the soldiers
held up a plank that had been carved into human form and painted
to look like a soldier. Probably stolen from some garden,
Nathan thought. The soldier had tied a rope around its wooden
neck. "Know who this is, rebel? It's your General Washington.
We're going to hang him beside you."
	If he meant to make Nathan angry he failed. "I'm in
good company, then," Nathan said. Strangely, the wooden effigy
did feel like company. It was like having a friend with him.
	"Major Cunningham," said a voice from the side of the
road. Nathan recognized the captain who had been so interested
in his drawings the night before. "Your preparations seem
to be taking a while. Would you allow your prisoner to rest
in my tent until you are ready for him?"
	Cunningham studied the soldier with one eye. "Who the
hell are you?"
	"I'm General Howe's aide."
	That seemed to impress Cunningham. "Why not?" he said
gruffly. "But if he escapes you'll be responsible."
	Nathan and his guards followed the captain to his tent.
Inside, he found a table and chair and a cot.
	"My name is Montresor," said the captain, as he untied
Nathan's hands. "I'm an engineer. I was impressed by your
drawings. Please, sit down. Would you like something to
eat? I don't suppose Cunningham has fed you. I have some
bread and cheese left from breakfast."
	"Thank you," said Nathan gratefully. The unexpected
kindness made him feel almost like crying. He rubbed his
raw wrists and ate hungrily.
	"Is there anything else I can do for you?"
	"Do you have writing materials? I'd like to write to
my commanding officer, Colonel Knowlton, to tell him of my
capture. And I'd like to write to my brother."
	"Didn't the chaplain bring you pen and paper?"
	"I wasn't allowed to see him. I wasn't even allowed
a Bible."
	"That brute Cunningham," muttered Montresor under his
breath. He set a pen and paper and jar of ink on the table.
Nathan couldn't believe his luck. He knew he couldn't
put any of the information he'd gathered into these letters.
But he could put his spirit into them. He could let his friends
know how much he believed in their cause. This was better
than hoping for someone to hear his speech and care enough
to tell someone.
	"I can't promise you the letters will be delivered,"
Montresor warned. "They have to go through Cunningham. You're
in his custody, unfortunately. But I'll do my best."
	Nathan paused in his writing. "There is another favor
I'd ask of you then, since you've been so kind already. Are
you going to be there?"
	Nathan nodded toward the door of the tent. "When I die."
	Montresor swallowed. "If you want me to be."
	"Will I be allowed to speak?"
	"It is customary, yes. Although it is also customary
to let a condemned man see a chaplain. Who knows what Cunningham
will do?"
	Nathan held out the first of his letters, the one to
Knowlton. "Will you read my letter, then, in case I'm not
allowed to speak? It doesn't say as much as I want to say,
but it's a beginning. And promise me you'll find a way to
meet with officers from the American army under a flag of
truce. Tell them what I said. Will you do that?"
	Montresor scanned the letter. He smiled and shook his
head. "I shouldn't. They'll take new courage from these
words. I'll be hurting my own cause."
	Nathan's hopes sank. If Montresor felt that way, what
chance was there that Cunningham would deliver his letters?
This was his last chance to do something useful before he
died. His words were all he had left. They had to get through
	But Montresor wasn't finished. "I will, though. I'll
tell them. You're an enemy, but I respect your courage and
intelligence. You deserve to be heard."
	Nathan's strange joy returned. "Thank you, sir! You
have no idea what your kindness means to me. I hope that
someday an American soldier will do a kindness for you or
someone you care about."
	Montresor laughed gently. "I hope it isn't under similar
circumstances," he said.

copyright 2001 by Karen Deal Robinson
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				Chapter 10

October 1, 1780
Mabie Tavern, Tappan, New York

	John sat at the table, doodling. He drew the head of
a horse, and a man riding the horse. As the drawing took shape,
his mind went back over his trial. Some of the most famous
officers in the American army had been his judges: Lafayette
and von Steuben and Knox among others. They had found him
guilty of spying, and said he should die. Washington wasn't
at the trial, but it was he who had set John's execution date
for tomorrow at noon.
	John hadn't been able to make the judges understand that
he wasn't a spy. He was a British officer who had gone to
meet Arnold on neutral ground, while openly wearing his uniform.
It was only through an unfortunate series of accidents that
he found himself behind enemy lines, out of uniform, with
the plans for their fort in his boot.
	General Clinton and Benedict Arnold had both written
to Washington, explaining that John Andre had been under a
flag of truce, and demanding that he be set free immediately.
But Washington said that a flag of truce didn't cover treachery
nor going behind enemy lines in disguise.
	John added details to his drawing: trees and bystanders.
Since he'd given up hope, he felt only a dull ache that was
almost peace. He wasn't afraid or angry anymore, only tired
and depressed.
	What made his fate bearable was the fact that his enemies
felt sorry for him, and treated him with gentle respect.
It was Arnold they hated, Arnold they wanted to hang. They
would have traded John for Benedict Arnold in a minute, if
Clinton would agree. But John knew that Clinton couldn't
turn over the only American general who had defected to the
British side. If any other officers were thinking of defecting,
they had to know they'd be safe. John's life was the sacrifice
that made that possible. He knew the sacrifice must be terrible
for Clinton.
	He finished the drawing. It was of himself, riding with
his hands bound, escorted by the three minutemen who had captured
him. He held it up to show it to the two young officers who
guarded him, Benjamin Tallmadge and Alexander Hamilton. "Quite
a comical parade, is it not?" he said, with a rueful laugh.
	Tallmadge and Hamilton didn't laugh. Their faces were
tight with pity. Tallmadge blinked his eyes as though he
were fighting tears. John looked away. If he looked at their
woebegone faces any more, he'd start crying himself. He didn't
want to break down in front of his enemies, no matter how
sympathetic they were.
	"I want you both to know how much I appreciate your
kindness," he said huskily. "Everyone has treated me with
respect, from my judges to the landlady. But you two have
been especially kind. I had a prejudice against Americans
once. I thought they were all as rude and ignorant as the
men who captured me. But my experience over the past few
days has erased that impression."
	He bit his lip, and then went on. "I have one more kindness
to ask of you. General Clinton has been so kind to me. Might
I be permitted to write a letter to him? I want to be sure
he knows I hold him blameless for my fate. I went against
his express orders in every step that brought me here. I
would not for the world leave a sting in his mind that would
embitter his future days." His grief overflowed then, grief
not for himself, but for the man who had been a better father
to him than his own father had been. He put his hands over
his face and shook with silent sobs. It was the first time
he'd cried since he was a boy.
	A gentle hand touched his shoulder. "I'll go ask Washington
immediately," said Hamilton. "I'm sure he'll give permission."
	By the time Hamilton returned, John had regained his
composure. "What did he say?"
	"He gave his consent readily. He was moved by your
request." Hamilton paused, and then said, "You understand
why Washington won't see you. He's torn apart by Arnold's
betrayal. But he pities you as much as the rest of us do.
He's afraid, I think, that if he sees you he won't be able
to do what must be done. You understand that, don't you?
He's not a cruel man."
	John nodded. "I understand. Will you thank him for
me?" He took a clean sheet of paper and began to write.
When he was finished, he handed the unsealed letter to Hamilton.
"Now I am at peace. There's nothing left for me to do. I
can die with a clear mind. I only wish--"
	"What?" said Hamilton and Tallmadge together. They looked
ready to get him anything he asked for.
	John sighed. "It's such a small thing. It shouldn't
make any difference, but it does. I know I must die, but
I wish it could be a different way. A bullet through the
heart like a soldier, not hanging like a thief."
	Tallmadge and Hamilton glanced at one another. At last
Tallmadge said, "You know the rules of war, the penalty for
spying--" He stopped and turned his back, as though he were
looking out the window.
	John knew Tallmadge wasn't looking at the view. "He's
thinking of his friend again, isn't he?" he said to Hamilton.
He knew he'd asked for something they couldn't give him.
	Hamilton came and sat beside him at the table. "Hale?"
he said quietly. "Probably. He never mentions him; it's
too painful, I think. I'm sure he thinks of him often."
	"Did you know Hale too?"
	Hamilton shook his head. "Not really. I saw him around
camp; saw him kick a football over the tops of the trees once.
But I never spoke with him. I never knew much about him until
the day the British officer came into our camp under a flag
of truce."
	John tried to pay attention. He felt so tired and sad.
"British officer?"
	"He said his name was Montresor. He was an aide to General
	"Montresor!" John exclaimed, really interested now.
"I knew him! We served together under General Howe. He was
a good friend." He thought of Montresor's fireworks at the
farewell party for Howe. What a wonderful time that was!
	"He seemed to be a good man," said Hamilton. "I was
sent to talk to him about--I don't remember what. An exchange
of prisoners of war, I think. What he really wanted to talk
about was an American spy they'd caught the day before.
Montresor befriended him in the last moments of his life.
I've always been grateful for that."
	John smiled. " I'd say you've repaid the debt."
	"I hope so. Montresor told me of the stirring speech
Hale gave. Andre, it--" Hamilton leaned closer. "It is
possible for a man to die well, even on the gallows. You
have to believe that."
	John's stomach hurt. He wished he could believe it.
	"Listen," Hamilton went on. "Why don't you write a note
to General Washington? Tell him your wish. I'll take it
to him."
	"Do you think he'll grant it?" It wasn't a small thing
after all. John was amazed to feel hope lifting him. He'd
thought he had nothing left to hope for.
	"I don't know. Legally, he may not have any choice.
I think he will grant it if he feels he can."
	John took another sheet of paper from the stack they'd
given him. "I trust," he wrote, "that the request I make
of your Excellency, which is to soften my last moments, will
not be rejected. Sympathy towards a soldier will surely induce
your Excellency to adapt the mode of my death to the feelings
of a man of honor. Let me hope, Sir, that if my misfortune
marks me as the victim of policy and not of resentment, I
shall be informed that I am not to die on a gibbet." There
didn't seem to be much else he could say. He signed his name
and gave the note to Hamilton.
	Tallmadge came and sat beside him as Hamilton left.
They talked about trivial things to pass the time: John's
drawing of the landlady, the costumes he'd designed for Howe's
party, the plays Tallmadge remembered from Yale.
	Then John thought of something that might affect
Washington's decision. He hated to upset his new friend again,
but he had to ask. "Did Washington know your friend Hale?"
	After a long moment Tallmadge nodded. "They met when
Washington sent him on his mission, sent him so unprepared.
No codes, no invisible ink, just notes in Latin. As though
British officers wouldn't be able to read Latin! Washington's
always blamed himself for what happened. But we knew so little
about spying in those days. We've learned so much since then."
	John turned and studied Tallmadge suspiciously. It almost
sounded as though Tallmadge had done some spying himself.
"Hamilton's right, Andre," Tallmadge went on. "It isn't
always dishonorable."
	"Spying? A death on a gibbet?" John said bitterly.
	Tallmadge gave him a secret smile. "I may have risked
it myself a time or two," he said, confirming John's suspicions.
"If I were in your place, I should comfort myself with the
thought that I was giving my life for my country, and let
it go at that. Why make yourself miserable over the details?"
	John shook his head. He would never understand this
American version of morality. Didn't they understand about
a gentleman's honor?
	He thought over what Tallmadge had told him about
Washington. It might work either way for his own case. If
Washington wanted revenge for the way Hale had been treated,
he had the power now. But if John reminded Washington of
that other unfortunate young man, maybe Washington would pity
him enough to grant his request. It wasn't so much to ask,
to be shot like a soldier and not hanged like a thief.
	At last Hamilton returned, empty-handed. "He didn't
give me an answer. I'm sorry."
	John blew out a long breath. "He would tell me if he
refused my request, would he not?"
	Hamilton hesitated. "I--I'm sure he would," he said
at last. Tallmadge looked up at him, but didn't say anything.
	John nodded, feeling almost happy. "Well, then, he must
have decided to grant it. Now I can wait in peace. I was
never afraid of death in battle. A firing squad will be much
the same thing."
	Tallmadge coughed. "Is there anything else we can do
for you, Andre, to make this evening pleasant? Shall we send
for a minister?"
	John laughed. Really, he felt almost cheerful now.
"A minister? What for?"
	Tallmadge stared at him. "What for?" he repeated.
	"Forgive me for laughing. It was kindly offered. But
I have no need of a minister. I have no use for churches.
I'll meet my Maker standing on my own two feet. I need no
minister or church to make the introduction."
	Tallmadge looked shocked. "I'11 say a prayer for you
anyway, if you don't mind."
	"Not at all. I'll tell you what would make this evening
most pleasant for me. If you two gentlemen would sit with
me through the night, and divert my mind from thoughts of
tomorrow. Perhaps I could entertain you by illustrating my
adventures. You already have the sketch of my parade with
my captors. I'll begin at the beginning, with my boat ride
up the Hudson River." He began to draw, and lost himself
in his art.

copyright 2001 by Karen Deal Robinson
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				Chapter 11

September 22, 1776
New York City, New York

	"What the hell is going on in here?" demanded Cunningham,
as he stood at the door of the tent.
	"I gave him writing materials to write letters," said
Montresor. "I know they can't be sent without your leave."
	"Letters!" Cunningham snatched Nathan's letter to Enoch
from under Nathan's quill pen, leaving a long black mark like
a wound down the page. He frowned as he read. "'Glorious
cause'," he muttered. "'If I had a thousand lives', 'Any
death is honorable'." His red face grew darker as he crumpled
the letter into a smudged ball and jammed it into his pocket.
He took the other letter from Montresor's hands and crumpled
it up too.
	Nathan felt sick, though he'd half expected this. Would
Enoch ever be able to believe that what was about to happen
was no different than dying in battle? He wished Enoch could
have the comfort of his letter.
	"Major Cunningham," protested Montresor, "was that
	"What do you think?" snarled Cunningham. "You want the
rebels to know they've got a man that can die with such firmness?
Better they never find out. Get up, rebel."
	Nathan stood. As Cunningham bound his hands again, Nathan
looked over his shoulder at Montresor. Montresor read the
look in his eyes and nodded. He remembered what Nathan had
	Out on the parade ground, the crowd had grown larger.
There were a few women, the wives of soldiers, probably, and
come curious civilians who looked like they might be on their
way into town to go to church, if any churches had escaped
the fire. There was one farmer who stood by a wagon, watching
with pain in his eyes. Nathan wondered whether he and his
wagon might have been forced into service by the British army.
Such forced service was no better than slavery. The thought
gave Nathan new strength. It was for people like that farmer
that he was dying.
	Most of the onlookers wore the red coats of British
soldiers. One of them pointed to the apple tree. "This is
a fine death for a soldier," he drawled. The other soldiers
	Nathan saw the ladder standing under the stripped branch,
the rope looping down. For a moment shame burned in his face.
He saw the painted wooden soldier already hanging from the
same branch. The word "Washington" was scrawled across its
breast in rough black letters. Its painted face was as cheerful
and unconcerned as it had always been. It did look like
Washington, a little. "Don't be afraid," it seemed to say.
	"It is a fine death," he shot back. "I'm dying for the
sake of freedom, and any death is made noble by such a cause."
It felt better just to have said that much, even if they didn't
let him say any more. Hull was right; he was a terrible actor.
If he was going to play this part, he was going to have to
try to believe it with his whole heart.
	The crowd was suddenly still. They stared at him. They'd
come for a spectacle. Well, he'd give them something to talk
about. The more they talked about it later, the better.
	Two of the women in the crowd began to sob. They looked
like a mother and daughter, dressed alike in homespun brown
linen. The older one reminded Nathan of his Grandmother Strong,
who had been both mother and grandmother to him after his
mother had died.
	Cunningham turned on them. "What's that caterwauling?"
he demanded. "Sorry to see a rebel die? You're a couple
of damned rebels yourselves, I see. Shut up your noise, or
you'll be next."
	The women gasped and put their hands over their mouths,
but stood their ground.
	Their sympathy made Nathan's eyes sting. "Let them alone,
Cunningham," he said sharply. "Your business is with me."
	"So it is." Cunningham gave him a shove between the
shoulderblades. "Up the ladder, rebel. I've wasted enough
time on you this morning."
	"Major Cunningham," said a low, reasonable voice from
the edge of the crowd. It was Montresor. "I believe it is
customary to request a few words from the prisoner at this
	"Don't tell me my job, you popinjay," snarled Cunningham.
	"Come on, Cunningham," called the redcoat who had brought
the wooden effigy. "We came to see a proper hanging. Don't
leave anything out."
	"Don't spoil the fun," called another. "There's no hurry."
	Their laughter seemed to appeal to Cunningham. If they
meant to mock the prisoner, he'd play along. He turned to
Nathan. "All right, rebel," he said with a mocking politeness,
"Let's hear your dying speech. Confess your crimes now for
these good people."
	Nathan almost laughed in his triumph. Cunningham had
just handed him the victory. He looked around at the small
crowd, the leering soldiers, the townspeople curious and silent,
a few with tears in their eyes. They all waited, scarcely
breathing, to hear what he was going to say.
	"My name is Nathan Hale, and I'm a captain in the American
army," he began. "You call us rebels, as though we had no
right to stand up against tyranny. But when I see farmers
taken from their fields and pressed into service with no more
choice than slaves, when I see women bullied and threatened
for no greater crime than showing simple human pity, then
I know that the cause I'm serving is just. It is you who
are shedding the blood of the innocent by waging war against
us. It's justice I'm fighting for, and freedom, not only
for my family and neighbors, but for the millions who will
come after us.
	"I've been asked why a man of my education should undertake
so shameful a business as spying. My answer is that I thought
it no shame to obey my commander's wishes. If such a task
was necessary in the fight for freedom, then I saw it as an
honorable one. My present plight does not change my opinion.
Death may come to any of us unexpectedly. We must be ready
to face it in whatever form it comes."
	The crowd leaned forward with open mouths. Nathan had
acted and given speeches often enough to know when he had
an audience captured. He had this one now. He addressed
his next words to the Americans in the crowd, the farmer whose
leathery cheeks were wet with tears, the women in homespun.
	"In a few minutes, I'll be free. If you want freedom,
you'll have to continue the struggle. I wish I could do more
to help you. I've done all I can. My only regret now is
that I have but one life to lose for my country."
	Cunningham's face was such a dark red it seemed ready
to explode. "That's enough, rebel! Up the ladder, and no
more stalling."
	Yes, it was enough. He'd prepared more words, written
fancier words in his letters. But he had the feeling that
his short, simple speech was more eloquent than a longer,
flowerier one would have been. He'd done all he could.
	It was awkward climbing the ladder with his hands bound.
A cart would have been easier, but it seemed Cunningham was
doing everything he could to rob him of his dignity. It didn't
	The hangman climbed the opposite side of the ladder.
He put a hand on Nathan's shoulder to steady him. Looking
into the man's dark, impassive eyes, Nathan suddenly remembered
one of the late-night debates at Yale: "Whether it is right
to enslave the Africans." If America won her freedom, would
that mean freedom for them too? He'd never know. But he
knew that the thought of living as the slave of a man like
Cunningham made his own fate seem easy by comparison. What
was it Addison had said? "An hour of freedom is worth more
than a lifetime in chains." His life would be short, but
he'd had his hour of freedom, and it was sweet.
	Slowly he turned on the ladder to face the crowd. He
saw Montresor looking up at him. Once again Montresor nodded,
and Nathan knew the promise was sealed.
	He felt the rope drop over his head, felt the knot tighten
behind his ear. The last thing he saw, before the hangman
scrambled down the ladder and pulled it away, was the wooden
soldier hanging beside him. As though it really were Washington,
it seemed to speak to him. "You're not much of a spy, you
know, Captain Hale, but you're a fine speaker. You gave me
what I needed. Thank you."

copyright 2001 by Karen Deal Robinson
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				Chapter 12

October 2, 1780
Tappan, New York

	John dressed himself carefully in the uniform his servant
Peter had brought for him from New York. He had no powder
for his hair, but he tied it back carefully with a black ribbon,
and comforted himself that its glossy blackness contrasted
nicely with his white linen and his scarlet coat with its
green facings.
	Looking out the window, he could see that thousands of
people were filling the streets, leaning from windows and
watching from the rooftops. It was him they had come to see.
He was the center of a compelling drama, and his sense of
theater would get him through his last day. This would be
the greatest performance of his life.
	He pictured it in his mind. He would walk calmly along
the street, while the spectators stood amazed at his courage.
At last he would come to the fatal wall, or perhaps a field
on the edge of town. He would stand tall, like a soldier,
brave and stoic as a Roman. The roar of gunfire would be
the last thing he would ever hear.
	There was a knock on the door. Tallmadge and Hamilton
had been called away late the evening before. His new guards,
Hughes and Bowman, opened the door.
	"I am Colonel Scammell, General Washington's adjutant,"
said the man who entered. "I have been sent to inform you,
Major Andre, that the time of your execution has been finalized.
It is set for noon today. An escort will call for you then."
	Peter sat in a chair and sobbed loudly, covering his
face with his hands. "Peter!" John said sharply. "Leave
me until you can show yourself more manly!" John had nearly
broken down again in the dark hours of the night. He was
only with difficulty holding himself together now. The one
thing that was the most dangerous for him was seeing the grief
of people who loved him. Peter dried his eyes and apologized.
	John had two hours left to live. There was nothing to
do now but wait. He sat at the table and studied himself
in the mirror. Yes, he looked the part of a soldier. He
took a piece of paper and a pen and began to draw. He drew
himself sitting at the table. One hand rested on the table,
the other elbow leaned on the back of his chair. His legs
were crossed, his face sad and resigned.
	The town clock struck eleven, then the quarter hour,
the half hour, the three-quarters. John turned to his guards.
"I thank you, gentlemen, for your services. I am ready at
any moment to wait upon you."
	He heard the sound of fife and drum coming up the street.
A moment later Captain Van Dyke, the leader of his escort,
opened the door. John smiled faintly and linked arms with
Hughes and Bowman. He pulled them down the steps as the fifes
played the Dead March. John turned to Van Dyke. "I am surprised
to find your troops under so good a discipline. And your
music is excellent."
	It was just as he had imagined. The crowds watched
silently, respectfully, as he passed. He felt a little faint;
he knew his face was white. Yet he managed to smile. Now
and then he saw someone he recognized in the crowd. He
acknowledged each one with a courtly bow.
	The column of soldiers with John at its center climbed
a long hill toward a field. So it was to be in a field then.
As they rounded the crest of the hill, John saw something
black standing stark against the bright blue sky, two posts
standing upright with a third across the top, and a rope dangling
from the crossbar. A gallows.
	He closed his eyes, weak and dizzy, and stumbled backward.
Van Dyke took his elbow and steadied him. "Why this sudden
emotion, sir? You knew you were to die."
	John could hardly breathe. "I expected a different method,"
he said, panting, trying to regain his courage. "I thought
my request had been granted. Must I then die in this manner?"
	"I'm afraid it is unavoidable, sir," said Van Dyke.
	Slowly John found his breath. "I am reconciled to my
death, but not to the mode." He took another deep breath,
and stood tall. The script had changed, but he would still
play the part of a brave soldier. He walked forward.
	A wagon stood under the scaffold, holding a long black
coffin. An open grave had been dug nearby. His judges sat
on horseback in a row; John bowed and smiled to each one.
Next he passed the three militiamen who had captured him.
They smirked at him. He acknowledge them with an ironic bow.
	He passed by Peter, who was sobbing like a child. John
blinked back his tears. Peter had promised to take his uniform
to Clinton.
	Then John caught sight of Tallmadge. They were separated
by two rows of soldiers. "Major Tallmadge," he called, "will
you come here for a moment?"
	Tallmadge walked through the rows of soldiers and caught
John's hand in both his own. "I'm sorry, Andre," he said,
his voice husky. "I'm glad to have had the chance to know
you. I'll always cherish your memory."
	"You've been a good friend to me, Tallmadge. Thank you
for all your kindnesses."
	Tallmadge walked away, his shoulders shaking.
	Now John stood at the foot of the gallows. Colonel Scammell
read the death sentence. John listened, trying to keep his
face impassive. But he rolled a loose pebble under his foot
nervously, and choked a little as he thought of the shame
of what was to come. He glanced upward at the noose. How
long would it take him to die? How much would it hurt?
	"Take your place in the wagon, Major Andre," said Scammell.
	John put his hands on the tailboard and tried to jump up.
He felt weak and dizzy. He couldn't make it. Gritting his
teeth, he tried again.
	A filthy hangman waited on the wagon. He'd smeared his
face and hands with soot, an effort, John supposed, to avoid
being recognized. The man held out a sooty hand to help John
up. John waved him away. He got a knee on the tailboard
and hoisted himself up. They could at least have provided
him with a step stool. All he had left was his dignity,
and it was becoming difficult to hold on to that.
	He stepped up onto the coffin. He took off his hat and
laid it at his feet. Then he untied his neckcloth and tucked
it into his pocket. He turned back his shirt collar to expose
his neck. "It will be but a momentary pang," he said out
loud. The pain wouldn't last long.
	The hangman stepped up with the noose in his filthy hands.
John snatched it away and put it over his own head. He couldn't
bear those dirty, disgraceful hangman's hands touching him.
He tightened the knot under his ear. He wasn't going to die
like a slaughtered calf. He wanted to show these people that
he could take his own fate in his hands, like one of the old
Romans who took their own lives rather than submit to their
enemies. He took a handkerchief from his pocket and tied
it over his own eyes.
	"Major Andre," said Scammell's unsteady voice, "if you
have anything to say, you can speak, for you have but a short
time to live."
	What was left to say? He hadn't prepared a speech.
He hadn't expected this at all. He'd pictured himself stoic
and silent as the rifles roared. He raised the blindfold.
He saw the huge crowed waiting, weeping, straining to hear
his words. "I have nothing more than this," he said, "that
I would have you gentlemen bear me witness that I die like
a brave man." The crowd broke into sobs. There was some
satisfaction in that.
	John pulled the blindfold back down over his face. He
heard Scammell say, "His hands must be tied." John sighed.
This was the most disorganized affair imaginable. He pulled
another handkerchief from his pocket and held it out
distastefully, knowing the filthy hangman would have to touch
him now.
	He stood motionless, waiting in the dark as his hands
were bound with the handkerchief. His heart jumped as a whip
cracked, almost like the rifle shot he wanted to hear. A
horse whinnied, and the wagon lumbered out from beneath his

copyright 2001 by Karen Deal Robinson
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				Chapter 13

September 22, 1776
Harlem Heights, New York

	William Hull lay on his cot with his hands behind his
head, feeling grim and discouraged. The late afternoon sun
made dappled shadows on the tent above him. He wondered where
his friend Hale Second was, what he was doing. Wherever he
was, the information he'd been sent to gather would come too
late. The British had swept through New York City like the
fire that had gone before them. The Americans had managed
to hold Harlem Heights, but hundreds of soldiers were killed
or missing, including some of Will's friends. Colonel Knowlton
had been killed in the battle, along with several of his Rangers.
Things looked bleak for Washington's army. It wasn't strong
enough; America would never win independence.
	"I'm looking for Captain William Hull," said a voice
outside his tent.
	"This is his tent, sir," said another voice.
	The tent flap opened, and a young captain peeked in.
He looked scarcely old enough to shave. "Captain Hull? My
name is Alexander Hamilton. May I come in?"
	Will sat up and nodded, beckoning with his hand. The
boy came in and sat on the camp stool. There was a strange,
fierce light in his eyes. "I was part of a delegation sent
to meet with a British delegation. They came into camp under
a flag of truce to discuss the exchange of prisoners taken
in the battle. I've just returned from the meeting."
	Will was puzzled. "What does that have to do with me?
Do you have news of someone I know?"
	The boy nodded. "You were a close friend of Captain
Nathan Hale, I understand."
	Will caught the "were". "He's dead, isn't he?" he said
	Again Hamilton nodded, more slowly. ""Yes, sir. I'm
	Death had been all around Will for the past week, men
screaming as musket balls or bayonets tore into them. He'd
been raised on stories of heroes dying in battle, but the
stories never told him what an awful business it really was.
And yet despite the horror there was a certain glory about
it. He had the sick feeling that what he was about to hear
was going to be different. "How?" he said.
	Hamilton's face was a mixture of reluctance, rage, and
suppressed excitement. "He was hanged as a spy at eleven
o'clock this morning. One of the officers in the British
delegation was present. He told me how your friend bore himself,
what he said--"
	Will winced. It was the news he'd been expecting. The
only thing that surprised him was how quickly it had reached
him. He closed his eyes and Hale Second bounded, laughing,
into his mind. Will saw him kicking a football in the yard
at Yale, gesturing on the stage in one of their comedies,
debating late at night in the dorm rooms in favor of education
for girls, against slavery, and whether the situation in America
was like that of the Romans in the time of Cato. He saw him
giving his earnest valedictory address. Despite himself,
Will couldn't help wondering what Hale Second had said in
his last valediction, five hours ago. He opened his eyes.
"Is the delegation still here?"
	"They've gone for now, but we're to meet with them again
tomorrow. Would you like to come with us?"
	Will hesitated. Did he want to add to those bright memories
the grim picture the officer was sure to paint?
	Hamilton leaned forward. His eyes still shone with that
strange, fierce light. "If I may say so, sir, I think you
should come."
	The next day Will joined the American delegation that
walked through British lines with a flag of truce. He listened
without much interest as the names of the prisoners were read.
Then one caught his ear: John Wyllys. Wyllys had been one
of Hale Second's good friends at Yale. Could they have seen
each other two nights ago in the provost jail?
	At last the official business was concluded. The British
officers returned to their duties. But one remained behind,
a captain twice Will's age, with an intelligent, kindly face.
	"This is Captain Hull," said Hamilton to the British
captain in a low voice. "He was a good friend of Captain
Hale's. I hoped you would tell him what you told me, and
answer his questions."
	The redcoat nodded. "I made a promise yesterday, and
I'm glad to find an opportunity to keep it so soon. My name
is Montresor, Captain Hull. Two nights ago, I was attending
Sir William Howe when a prisoner was brought before him.
Plans of our fortifications and the numbers and positions
of our troops were found concealed in the prisoner's shoes.
He admitted freely then that he was a spy, and told his name
and rank. I was surprised that he had the bearing of a
gentleman. Not what I would have expected from a spy."
	Will listened, heartsick, as the officer told how Hale
had been condemned without a trial, how he had been refused
a minister and a Bible. Montresor explained that he had invited
the young prisoner into his tent while preparations were being
made for the execution. "He was calm, and bore himself with
gentle dignity, in the consciousness of high intentions.
He asked for writing materials, which I supplied, and wrote
two letters, one to his brother, and one to his commanding
officer. The Provost Marshal destroyed them afterward, I
understand. But--" He leaned forward, and whispered, "but
I read them. And I heard him speak, a few minutes later.
I promised him I would tell you what he said."
	Will looked at the seasoned redcoat in surprise. The
man seemed moved by what he was saying. Why should he care
what an enemy prisoner said? Why should he make such a promise?
	Montresor told them how the soldiers had taunted the
prisoner, and how he had replied that dying for the sake of
freedom made any death noble. He told them how Hale had accused
them of shedding innocent blood, had defended the rebels'
right to stand up against tyranny, had said he was fighting
for freedom for the millions who would come afterward. Will
smiled despite his pain. Yes, that sounded like Hale Second.
	"He urged the spectators to be ready to face death in
whatever form it might come. And then he concluded by saying
that you must continue the struggle without him, for he'd
done all he could. He said his only regret was that he had
but one life to lose for his country."
	Will stared at the officer's fatherly face and then at
Hamilton's shining eyes. Did Montresor know what he was doing?
	Montresor saw his surprise. "Powerful words, I know.
You wonder why I should tell you. Cunningham didn't dare.
If I thought there was any chance you might win this conflict,
I wouldn't either. But of course there isn't. Your cause
is hopeless; you know that as well as I do. I tell you because
your friend asked me to, and I thought it a proper request
for one gentleman to make of another."
	Will questioned Montresor for another half hour, finding
out every detail he could. Then he thanked the British captain,
and walked back toward camp with Hamilton.
	So Montresor thought their cause was hopeless. Then
what was that light shining in Hamilton's eyes? Hale Second
hadn't given up hope, even at the end. Even if he hadn't
said anything, that would have been enough. But he'd desperately
wanted his words to be heard. William Hull wouldn't let him
down. By nightfall, every soldier in the American army on
Harlem Heights would know what Nathan Hale had said.

copyright 2001 by Karen Deal Robinson
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		Conclusion--What Happened Later

Enoch Hale probably found out what Nathan had written to him,
because one of Nathan's friends, John Wyllys, was a prisoner
of war in the provost jail. Cunningham showed Wyllys Nathan's
letters and diploma to taunt him. When Wyllys was released,
he went to Enoch and told him about it.
	Enoch lived a long happy life as a minister. His grandson,
Edward Everett Hale, was also a minister, and a chaplain of
the United States Senate. Edward Everett Hale is best known
as the author of the story "The Man Without a Country".

Benjamin Tallmadge was an important part of the American spy
network in the later part of the Revolutionary War. He devised
many clever codes, including one in which a woman spy hung
her laundry on the line in a way that told him what British
troops she could see from her house. Once, when he was meeting
with another woman spy, British soldiers broke into the house.
Tallmadge and the woman ran out the back, he pulled her onto
his horse, and they galloped away.
	After the war, Tallmadge served in the US Congress.
He donated money for the founding of the town in Ohio which
bears his name: Tallmadge, Ohio. For the rest of his life,
Tallmadge could not speak about John Andre without weeping.
It is not recorded that he ever mentioned Nathan Hale to anyone
except Andre.

John Montresor retired from the British army in 1778 and returned
to England with his family. He was frustrated by the fact
that though he was the Chief Engineer in America, he was only
given the rank of captain after thirty-four years of service.
He is remembered primarily for his journals, which were published
by the New York Historical Society in 1881. Unfortunately,
some of his journals were burned in the fire that burned New
York the night Hale was captured. His surviving journals
make no mention of either Hale or Andre, though he does mention
the party that Andre organized for Howe. After the war, in
1786, he made a bitter list of reasons the British lost the
war, including "Not but 1/4 as many Engineers as the Enemy",
"A String of Blunders" and, surprisingly, "Not executing spies".
I think the fact that he was such a seasoned professional
soldier makes his kindness to Hale all the more moving.

Thomas Knowlton, the leader of the Rangers, was killed in
the Battle of Harlem Heights when Nathan Hale was still on
Long Island. If Hale hadn't gone on his mission, there's
a good chance he might have been killed in the same battle.

William Cunningham, the provost-marshal of New York, was infamous
for his brutality. He was said to have starved prisoners,
and stolen the money given for their food. After the war,
he returned to England. There he was tried for his crimes,
and hanged.

Benedict Arnold went to England with his young wife Peggy,
who was probably also in on the plot. (She was a Tory who
had once been courted by Andre.) He expected to be welcomed
there, but the British blamed him for John Andre's death,
and shunned him. His name became famous in America as a synonym
for "traitor."

John Paulding, Isaac Van Wart and David Williams were the
the militiamen who captured Andre. Their account of the capture
was considerably different than Andre's. They claimed to
have stopped him out of patriotism, not because they wanted
to rob him. Tallmadge thought they should have been arrested
for robbery, but Congress awarded them each a medal. Whatever
their motives were, they probably saved the United States
from defeat by exposing Arnold's plot.

William Hull published Hale's famous last words in a newspaper
article in 1781. He also quoted them in his memoirs, which
were published by his son in 1848. His memoirs also describe
the conversation in which he tried to talk Hale out of going
on his mission. After the war, Hull became governor of Michigan
Territory. He served as a brigadier general in the war of
1812. He surrendered the city of Detroit to the British,
and was tried for treason because he made no effort to resist.
He was condemned to death, but president James Madison pardoned
him in recognition for his bravery in the Revolutionary War.

Alexander Hamilton helped to write the Constitution of the
United States. He was the first Secretary of the Treasury
of the new country. In 1804, he was killed in a duel with
one of his political enemies, Aaron Burr.

	*		 *		 *
John Andre was buried at Tappan, New York. In 1821 his body
was moved to Westminster Abbey in England. The king had put
up a monument to him there, and made Andre's younger brother
a knight to help erase the stain on the family name. Monuments
were also put up in America: one at Tarrytown where Andre
was captured, and one in Tappan where he was hanged. In 1885,
the monument in Tappan was damaged by dynamite, and the indignant
vandals left an American flag at the site.
	One of Andre's friends, Anna Seward, was an English poet.
She published a long poem about Andre in 1781. Her poem caught
the imagination of both the English and the Americans. In
her poem she said that Washington was cruel. After the war,
Washington sent a friend of his to tell her that he was mortified
by her words, and that he'd done all he could to save Andre.
He also sent her records of the trial. Anna Seward said she
had misjudged Washington, and she was sorry she'd spoken so
harshly about him in her poem.

Nathan Hale was left hanging for several days, and buried
in an unmarked grave somewhere in New York City. Soldiers
sang ballads about him around their campfires. His father
put up a headstone for him, and a nephew planted twenty-one
maple trees, one for each year of his life.
	After the war, though, Nathan Hale was almost forgotten.
When Andre's body was moved to England, Hale's friends began
a campaign to revive his memory. They put on plays to raise
money for a monument. In 1846 a monument to him was built
in Coventry, Connecticut, where he had grown up. In 1885
a statue was put up in New York City. Another one soon followed
at Yale. Today Nathan Hale's name appears on schools, parks,
battleships, and forts. And yet, ironically, if it weren't
for Andre, he might not be remembered at all.
	*		 *		 *


	While the details of John Andre's capture and execution
are well-documented, we don't really know much about Nathan
Hale's last few days. The stories that come down to us are
garbled, second-hand accounts told years later when his friends
were old. No one knows, for instance, where or how he was
captured, whether on Long Island or in New York City. There
is a story that he was betrayed by a Tory cousin at a tavern
near Huntington Bay. The cousin denied the story. Other
early accounts say he was in New York City, within three miles
of American lines.
	No one knows where he spent his last night. Legend says
it was in the greenhouse, but it may have been in the provost
jail. No one knows where he was hanged. If he spent the
night in the greenhouse, the execution was probably somewhere
nearby. But it may have been near the jail. That's where
the statue is.
	No one knows for sure what he said in his last speech.
Some of his friends said they'd been told one thing, some
another. I tried to weave the quotes I found into a coherent
speech. Almost all the details I used in chapter 11, the
wooden effigy of Washington, the sneering soldier, the farmer
with the wagon, Cunningham threatening the women, come from
second-hand accounts.
	One major disagreement I found about Hale's life was
whether he was engaged to his step-sister Alice Ripley. Many
authors like to think he was, and her granddaughters claimed
that he was. But his sister said he wasn't. There are no
letters from Nathan to Alice, though she kept several from
Enoch, who courted her after Nathan's death. I decided not
to bring her into this story, because there's so much doubt.

Update, 2008 In 2003 the diary of a Tory named Consider Tiffany was found. It contained an eye-witness account of Nathan Hale's capture. Apparently the British Major Robert Rogers had spotted him and was suspicious. He met Hale in a tavern and convinced him that he, Rogers, was also an American spy. He lured Hale into another meeting where he was then captured. This is told in detail in M. William Phelps' new book Nathan Hale: the Life and Death of America's First Spy.

copyright 2001 by Karen Deal Robinson
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Bibliography Addison, Joseph. "Cato", Eighteenth Century Plays. New York, 1952 Bailey, Anthony. "Major Andre". New York, 1987 Brown, Marion Marsh. "Young Nathan". Philadelphia, 1949 Darrow, Jane. "Nathan Hale: A Story of Loyalties". New York and London, 1932 Flexner, Thomas James. "The Traitor and the Spy: Benedict Arnold and John Andre". New York, 1953. Hatch, Robert McConnell. "Major John Andre: A Gallant in Spy's Clothing". Boston, 1986 Lossing, Benson J. "The Two Spies: Nathan Hale and John Andre". New York and London, 1910 Monjo, F. N. "A Namesake for Nathan". New York, 1977 Montresor, John. "The Montresor Journals", New-York Historical Society Collections 1881. New York, 1881 Phelps, M. William. "Nathan Hale: The Life and Death of America's First Spy". New York, 2008 Seymour, George Dudley. "Documentary Life of Nathan Hale". New Haven, Connecticut, 1941 Stuart, I. W. "Life of Captain Nathan Hale, the Martyr-Spy of the American Revolution". Hartford, Connecticut, 1856 Voight, Virginia Frances. "Nathan Hale". New York, 1965 Wheeler, Richard. "Voices of 1776". Greenwich, Connecticut, 1972
Once Upon a Time in Connecticut by Caroline Clifford Newton (Project Gutenberg)
The Quintumviri by Circian (Andrea Sinclaire): a fictional account of Nathan Hale's execution

A personal note: I first became interested in Nathan Hale when I saw a TV show in 1970 about him. It was an episode of the weekly show "The Young Rebels", and starred Brandon de Wilde as Hale. The actor was tragically killed in a car wreck a couple of years later. If you enjoyed my story, you may enjoy a transcript I made of the episode, which includes a link to some screenshots: Young Rebels: To Hang a Hero The TV show had some inaccuracies, such as placing Hale's family in Haddam instead of Coventry, and allowing one of the regular characters to visit him in the guise of a minister. It mostly emphasized the story that Samuel Hale, Nathan's cousin, had betrayed him, something on which historians do not agree. But despite its faults, I found it a very moving story.

copyright 2001 by Karen Deal Robinson
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