Jones encouraging them. But four
were already down, wounded, on the floor ; one of them mortally hurt, to judge
by the blood that bubbled from his lips as he gasped for breath. I knelt beside
the poor wretch, to offer such unskillful help as I could afford, when there was
a crash, a whoop, and a rush, and the barricade was scaled or forced, and the
citizens came pouring in, furious as a storming party. Borne down, trampled,
sick, and giddy, I was dragged from the scuffle, and found myself in the street,
pinioned, and a prisoner. Beside me were the majority of my new acquaintances,
tattered, bruised, and their faces hardly to be seen through their masks of
blood and gunpowder. They were all bound and captive.
"Drag 'em forward. Up to the big
oak. The court sits theer !" bawled fifty voices ; and we were roughly hauled or
pushed to a grassy space, where a huge solitary tree spread its branches, while
under its shade stood a score of farmers and boatmen, well armed, and I saw with
horror a rope and running noose to every branch strong enough to serve as an
" Silence for Judge Lynch !"
bawled an amateur crier.
A gaunt farmer represented the
redoubtable Judge, and addressed the assembly.
" Fellow-citizens, I'm no forky-tongued
lawyer, nor yet no stump speaker, but it's easy to clap the saddle on the right
hoss. We've had our hosses stole, our niggers 'ticed away, our liquor hocussed,
and our dollars spirted out of our pouches. That's bad enough, but when it ken's
Here a roar drowned the orator's
voice. Next the crier shouted that the jury had been impanneled, and the
prisoners must be put to the bar. I was thrust forward with the rest.
" Guilty, or not ?" was the stern
Some of them trembled very much.
Jones and Phillips were calm, but it was the calm of desperation.
" Guilty, or not guilty ?"
" Bring the farce to an end,"
cried Jones. " You've got us;
more ass I to run back into the
trap. Do your worst!"
" Are those ropes ready aloft
there ?" Judge Lynch called out. "All ready, Judge," was the rejoinder.
" Then, gentlemen of the jury,
" Guilty ! All guilty !"
The Judge exclaimed, "I kin pass
but one sentence. Death ! A halter apiece, and a good riddance to the city and
A yell of approval broke forth :
we were hustled beneath the tree, and a halter soon encircled every neck. Then I
found my voice, and loudly appealed : protesting my entire innocence, and that I
was a harmless traveler, an Englishman, and so forth. A peal of incredulous
laughter decided my appeal.
" Britishers ain't licensed to
rob and murder, yell larn to your cost," said an old farmer, who held me.
" Smother the hypocrite!"
exclaimed a boatman.
" Did ye hear the cantin',
cowardly skunk," cried another fellow.
" Can't ye take pattern by your
captain, Jones there, and die like a man ?"
My eyes following the man's
pointed finger, I beheld the blackened face and staring eyeballs of my late
acquaintance, as his struggling body dangled some yards above.
"Now for Phillips," was the cry ;
and I closed my eyes, not to see the wretch's execution.
" Morgan third ; the Britisher
fourth !" announced Judge Lynch. " Up with Phillips ! Haul and hold."
"Tchick !" cried somebody, with
an unfeeling laugh. "Whisht! howld your sneaking tongue, not to mock the dyin',"
sternly replied some honest Patlander hard by.
" Now, Morgan !" was the next
" Hyar's the deputy-sheriff!"
cried a voice, as a horse was heard galloping.
"What o' that ?" replied another
; " the sovereign people ain't to be choused out o' their revenge. Besides,
Willy Hudson's a good fellow."
Willy Hudson! All the blood
rushed from my head to my heart, and back again, and I tingled from head to
foot. My name was Hudson—my brother's name was William ! One glance was enough,
as a sun-browned horseman dashed into the crowd. It was Willy—the brother I had
come to visit—just in time ! I forgot exactly what was done and said. I only
know that in about two minutes I was unbound, safe, free, arm in arm with my
brother, and that the rough fellows who had been about to hang me were nearly
wringing my hand off as they shook it, begging pardon for an awkward mistake. It
was not only to me that Willy rendered service : I twitched his sleeve, and
begged him to do what he could for the miserable men, whatever their faults,
still under sentence. He pushed me into a tavern parlor, shut the door, went
out, and left me. I heard shouts, laughter, groans, the applause, the mutterings
of a mob. After a long time Willy returned, wiping his face with a handkerchief,
very much flushed and disheveled.
"Wagh !" he exclaimed, "what a
tough job ! But it's done now, though my tongue aches with the talking. I did it
for you, George, my boy, and luckily I'm in favor here. Tar and feathers,
instead of hanging, and nine-and-thirty with a cowhide, well laid on, will spoil
their beauty for one while. But how came you to be with them ?"
"First, Willy, tell me what
brought you here ? I thought the bank at New Orleans—"
"Pooh!" interrupted my
Americanized brother ; " an old story that ! It broke down, paying assets and no
more. I'm here, agent for a goods insurance company. I'm doing well, and I'm
deputy-sheriff. Didn't you get my letter at New York ? But how about your being
with those rascals, of whom two have been hanged and four shot, I hear, eh ?"
"Why, they told me they were
sportsmen, Willy, and—"
"You green-horn !" said my
brother, good-humoredly; " were you thinking of fox-hunting or
partridge-popping? 'Sportsman,' in America, means sharper, gambler, thief,
I did not stay long at Grand
PAGE 604 we devote to
illustrations of the IOWA VOLUNTEERS. Our first picture, from a sketch by Mr. H.
C. Ford, of Davenport, represents the RETURN TO DAVENPORT OF THE MEN OF THE
FIRST IOWA VOLUNTEERS, who staid beyond their time in order to share the
fortunes of the brave fellow's who fought under Lyon at
Springfield. A Davenport
correspondent writes us as follows about their reception :
A procession was immediately
formed, consisting of 1200 soldiers then in Camp McClellan (the number has since
been increased), the Fire Companies, Turners, and other associations, with many
citizens, and thousands in attendance. They passed under the " Triumphal Arch,"
of which I send a hasty pen-and-ink sketch, which was erected at the corner of
Main and Second streets, and through all the principal streets of the city
finally proceeding to the court-house yard, where they were addressed by Judge
Dillon, and then partook of a splendid dinner prepared by the ladies.
Our other picture, from a
daguerreotype by Mr. T. P. Sharman, of Des Moines, represents the DES MOINES
CAVALRY COMPANY leaving for the war. They are to form part of the Second Iowa
Regiment, and are a gallant body, of men.