| American History Stories, Volume II|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Tales of Revolutionary times, including the causes of the American Revolution, the daring exploits of those defending liberty, the early battles, the struggles of the army, and the heroes who led the colonists to victory. Ages 8-12 |
THE BOSTON BOYS
 Here is a story about the Boston Boys, which is a match for
the one you have just read about the Boston girls.
On Boston Common the boys used to skate and coast and
build forts, just as other boys do to-day. Perhaps
their skates weren't quite so elegant as those the
Boston boys have now, and very likely their sleds were
clumsy, homemade affairs, not at all like the beautiful
double-runners and the toboggans you boys are so proud
of; nevertheless those little lads then had just as
jolly times, coasting down the same hills and skating
the same ponds.
The English had, by this time, become so convinced that
the colonists were preparing for war, that they sent
over a large detachment of red-coated soldiers.
These soldiers made headquarters in Boston, and soon
became generally disagreeable to the people.
The boys had been watching eagerly the freezing of the
ice on the pond on the common.
"To-morrow," thought they, "the ice will be strong
enough to bear; and then, hurrah for the skating!"
Eagerly the boys hastened to the pond in the morning,
their skates over their shoulders, their faces bright
with the thought of the pleasure before them; but what
do you suppose the cowardly soldiers had done during
the night? Having nothing else to do, they had broken the
ice all over
 the pond—and just to bother these little boys.
Don't you think those great, strong soldiers must have
had very mean hearts to go to work to plague little
boys in that manner?
I am inclined to think these boys were pretty angry
when they learned who had done this cowardly act, and
very likely they scolded furiously about it.
Again and again the soldiers did the same thing. At
last, one day when the boys were building a fort, some
of these soldiers came idling along and knocked down
the fort with their guns.
The boys, now angry through and through, determined no
longer to bear this mean treatment.
"Let us go to General Gage," said one of the boys, "and
tell him how the soldiers are treating us; and if he is
any kind of man, he will put a stop to it."
And go they did at once. With eyes ablaze with anger,
they marched into the presence of the great English
After they had laid their wrongs before him, he said,
"Have your fathers been teaching you, too, to rebel,
and did they send you here to show their feelings?"
"Nobody sent us, sir," answered the leader; "but your
soldiers have insulted us, thrown down our forts,
broken the ice on our pond, spoiled our coasts, and we
will not stand it."
General Gage could not help laughing at the earnestness
of these plucky little fellows. He promised that the
 soldiers should not bother them any more; then turning
to an officer near by, he said, "Even the children here
draw in the love of liberty with the very air they
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