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but as soon as it was ended, he declared that he would have the charter.
Captain Wadsworth chanced to be at his house on the arrival of Andros, and, as everybody had the most implicit confidence in the captain's good sense, a member was despatched for him, as has been stated.
After the captain had taken two or three turns across the room, he paused and asked:
“What is the assembly doing?”
“Hasten back, Mr. Prince, and whisper in the ears of every member to prolong the debate. It will give us time. I am going to do something desperate. Tell them to discuss any side and every side of the question at issue, and have your longest speech-makers do their best_talk on anything and everything whether to the point or against it, so that they kill time until night.”
Mr. Prince fixed his amazed eyes on the captain's face and read there a desperate determination.
“Captain,” he began.
“I know what you would say, Mr. Prince; but it is needless to waste words; my resolution is formed, and I am going to save our charter or perish in the attempt.”
“I hope you will not endanger your own life"
“Mr. Prince, our liberties are in danger, and there is no time to think of life. Hasten back to the assembly and I will follow in a few moments."
Mr. Prince bowed and hastily returned to the house where the assembly was in session. As soon as he was gone, Charles Stevens said:
“Uncle, something terrible is going to happen, I know from your look and words. Won't you let me go with you?”
Captain Wadsworth fixed his eyes on the youth and answered:
“Yes, Charles, you will answer."
6 I am.”
“Then you can put out the lights." “What lights?”
“At the proper time, put out the lights in the assembly; but wait; I will go and muster the trainbands, and have them at hand to prevent the governor's soldiers from injuring the members of the general assembly."
Captain Wadsworth went out, and on his way looked into the State-house where everything was going as well as he could have wished. He found the debaters cudgelling their brains for some
thing to say to the point or against it. Never did debaters take greater interest in a minor subject.
He summoned his train-bands to assemble at sunset. This done, he went home and found Charles eagerly waiting
“Charles, you see the soldiers of Governor Andros at the State-house?”
* They are sent to take our liberties. My trainbands have their eyes on them.”
“What do you intend doing, uncle? Will you fight them?"
“Not unless they force it. We have no wish to shed their blood. Listen; the charter is to be brought to the assembly in the same mahogany box in which Charles II. sent it to Governor Winthrop. When it is laid on the table, the lights are to be snuffed out. Do you understand ?”
“Remember, the work must be done right at the time, not too soon, nor too late.”
“I will do it at the exact moment, uncle. Have no fear on that score."
The sun was setting, and the captain said: “Come, Charles, let us hasten to the assembly.
Look well at the setting sun, you may not live to see it rise."
Charles Stevens smiled and answered:
“By no means; but I want you to be fully im. pressed with the seriousness of
mission." They went to the general assembly at the meetinghouse, where they found everything in the utmost confusion. The debate was at a white heat.
“Take your place, Charles, and be prepared to do your part,” whispered Captain Wadsworth.
Charles got as close to the long table used by the secretaries as possible, without attracting special attention.
The discussion went on, darkness came and four lighted candles were placed on the table, and two set on a shelf on the wall. Those two candles on the wall were a great annoyance to Charles until he saw a man stationed near them.
Time passed on, and darkness had enveloped the earth. The debate was drawing to a close, or, in fact, had gone as far as it could, without arousing the suspicion of Governor Andros. When it ended, the governor of New York declared:
“I have waited as long as I will. I demand the charter at once.
As governor of New York, this being a part of my dominion, I will have it."
“Wait-" began the president.