Thirteen-year-old Johnny Tremain looked up into Paul Revere’s face. The soft lantern light glowed silently in the deserted streets of Boston. No one was around at this late hour, and it was a perfect place to have a secret meeting such as this one.
“You must remember: one light by land, two by sea.” Mr. Revere looked down on the young boy, scanning his face to make sure the lad understood.
“Yes, sir,” Johnny nodded.
“Good lad. Hurry along now.” Paul turned and headed down to his boat tied securely to the dock. He hopped in and quietly rowed across the water to the opposite shore.
Johnny turned and stealthily headed up the street, being careful to remain hidden in the shadows. He was to keep on the lookout for any signs of British movement. It was an incredible honor for Paul Revere to bestow such a task upon the young boy’s shoulders. That just pushed him to make sure that he did everything correctly.
He repeated the instructions to himself. “One by land, two by sea.” Once he had found out how the British would be attacking the Americans, he would then notify Paul Revere through the Old North Church tower.
Suddenly a loud noise erupted from behind him where the British barracks were stationed. The doors swung open and out marched a large company of Redcoats, heading towards the sea.
Johnny ran as fast as his legs could carry him to the Old North Church up on the hill. He raced past the headstones in the cemetery and threw open the old wooden door. Johnny’s shoes pitter-pattered on the cold stone steps as he climbed up to the belfry. Finally reaching the top, he lit a nearby lantern with a match from his pocket and hung it from an overhead hook.
He grabbed a second lantern and hung it on another hook nearby the first. Quickly reaching for another match, Johnny lost his balance and stumbled to the floor, the match flinging across the dark floor. The boy searched desperately for the match, but could not see it anywhere.
He fished around in his pocket for another, but could not find anything. He had to find that match! He dropped to his hands and knees and looked up and down the dusty floor. Time was running out, he had to get that second lantern lighted or else Paul Revere wouldn’t know the right information.
There! He reached down and finally held the match in his hands. He rushed back to the lantern and lit it, sending the message.
Johnny went to the window and peered out, watching the British redcoats march out of the city and to the docks. He only hoped Paul Revere could warn everyone in time.
I wrote this short story for a school assignment in February 2003.
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