“Good people, the British has refused our pleas to live our lives as free men. We beseeched the King to lower the taxes, he refused. We pleaded for him to control the soldiers who violated our daughters and wives, he refused. Our only course is war, and we may well die before we attain freedom- but it’s our only path forward.”
Cheers rose from the crowd, and they pressed closer to General Washington. He smiled. Maybe finding volunteers for the coming war wouldn’t be as hard a sell as the general thought.
“Our militia needs volunteers, but what we need most are infiltrators. Spies. You, our neighbors and friends, can provide us with details such as troop movements, of unusual people who are asking questions, or in attaining documents and maps. Do I have any volunteers for our newly birthed spy corps?”
Goldilocks raised her hand, along with several men. General Washington bit down on his lip and smiled. He dropped from the horse hitching post and walked to the fresh-faced girl.
“How old are you girl,” he asked quietly.
“I’m 15, General Washington.”
“And you think you can do the job?”
“Do you have any idea what would befall you should the British peg you for a spy?”
“I know the risk, sir. This is my home, and I want to help protect it for my friends and family.”
General Washington stuck out his hand, and Goldilocks gripped it firmly. A twinkle showed in the man’s eyes.
“Then welcome, girl. Welcome to the war.”
Annabelle moaned and turned over. Her fever had dropped below 100 for the first time in days. She cracked her eyes open and looked around her room. It was dark. She sat up and leaned against the backboard and looked out the window. Her dream seemed so real, like she had been part of the crowd, as if she was Goldilocks. Her eyes grew heavy, and she dozed off again.
“Hawthorne, get to the command tent. General Washington asked for you. Get there, time now!”
Goldilocks rushed to the tent. Washington stood at the table; a large area map covered the surface.
“Private Hawthorne reporting as ordered, sir.”
She saluted her superior, he returned it with a smart salute of his own. He beckoned for her to draw near.
“Private Hawthorne, we have a top-secret mission. There’s no guarantee of your safety, nor that you would return from this mission. However, if you accomplish it, we will critically damage their hold on this area.”
“Give me the mission, sir. I will get it done, regardless of what it will cost. Freedom is worth the sacrifice.”