Last night, my father came home, his hat in his hands. I was just telling Betsey to get her hands off the table and Priscilla to stop trying to pull off little chunks of bread from the bread plate when the door burst open.
Mother, who'd just been bringing out a pot of stew, nearly fell over in surprise as Father burst into the house, a happy smile on his face. By the scared look on my mother's face, I knew that she had thought that my father was one of the British.
"Oh, Beth, you won't believe it!" he cried merrily.
"What is it?" she whispered.
"I just got news from... some friends of mine that something wonderful has happened," Father told her. He glanced over at us and then said, "Abigail, please get your sisters into your room, please. Thank you."
I sighed. "Come along, Betsey, Priscilla."
The girls bounded out of the room with me on their heels. They started up the stairs to their room, glad that they'd gotten out of hearing of the conversation that they, no doubt, thought was boring beyond belief. And me? I stayed behind, moving towards the door into the dining room again, pressing my ear to crack to ear my father's words.
"...and the Sons of Liberty have gone and dumped tea in the harbor!" Father was whispering excitedly. "The British are furious. It's got to be war!"
"I wouldn't be so sure," answered Mother.
"But don't you see?" Father whispered. "We've shown that we don't need the British, or their tea! Soon every man will be raising their arms against England!" His voice had risen into a happy cry.
"Lower your voice, William," Mother warned. "These walls have ears." She stared right through the crack where I was listening. "Abigail, please come in."
I sighed and opened the door. Mother was frowning but Father was smiling.
"Abigail, my lass," started Father, "you're about to witness something amazing in American history. Did you know that?"
"Yes," I whispered. "I do."
He smiled. "Are you ready?"
"I'm not quite sure," I answered truthfully. And I wasn't.
Five years later
I hurried through the streets of New York, my eyes trained to the ground before me. Clutched in my hand, hidden under my shawl, was an important message that I needed to get to my father as soon as possible.
I glanced up ahead and saw several British soldiers marching towards me. I glanced around and saw a woman peeking out of one of the doors.
"Girl," she whispered.
I quickly came over and slipped inside the house just as the soldiers turned down the street. Panting, I leaned against the wall, waiting for the soldiers to pass. I glanced over at the woman and saw her staring at me, her eyes scared.
When the sounds of the soldiers' stomping feet had left, she whispered, "Is it urgent?"
I nodded. "Thank you so much. May God bless you."
I quickly left the woman's house and continued down the street. I spotted the old stable, with the sounds of a blacksmith's hammer inside, and quickly went in. My father's apprentice, Nathan, was there, pounding away.
"Where's Father?" I queried.
He got the meaning. "He's in the back room."
My skirts swept around my legs as I walked over the old hay and came to the big wooden door in the back of the stable. I knocked three times and then kicked the door. It promptly opened. My father's worried face melted into relief when he saw me.
"I didn't think you'd make it with all of the soldiers marching around," he whispered. "Thank goodness you're alright."
My hand came out of my shawl. "Here's the message."
He nodded. "Thank you, Abigail. You're a true Patriot."
No. I was a spy.