Nathan Hales Speech

Nathan Hales Speech - Chapter 11 New York City New...

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Chapter 11 September 22, 1776 New York City, New York "What the hell is going on in here?" demanded Cunningham, as he stood at the door of the tent. "I gave him writing materials to write letters," said Montresor. "I know they can't be sent without your leave." "Letters!" Cunningham snatched Nathan's letter to Enoch from under Nathan's quill pen, leaving a long black mark like a wound down the page. He frowned as he read. "'Glorious cause'," he muttered. "'If I had a thousand lives', 'Any death is honorable'." His red face grew darker as he crumpled the letter into a smudged ball and jammed it into his pocket. He took the other letter from Montresor's hands and crumpled it up too. Nathan felt sick, though he'd half expected this. Would Enoch ever be able to believe that what was about to happen was no different than dying in battle? He wished Enoch could have the comfort of his letter. "Major Cunningham," protested Montresor, "was that necessary?" "What do you think?" snarled Cunningham. "You want the rebels to know they've got a man that can die with such firmness? Better they never find out. Get up, rebel." Nathan stood. As Cunningham bound his hands again, Nathan looked over his shoulder at Montresor. Montresor read the look in his eyes and nodded. He remembered what Nathan had written. Out on the parade ground, the crowd had grown larger. There were a few women, the wives of soldiers, probably, and come curious civilians who looked like they might be on their way into town to go to church, if any churches had escaped the fire. There was one farmer who stood by a wagon, watching with pain in his eyes. Nathan wondered whether he and his wagon might have been forced into service by the British army. Such forced service was no better than slavery. The thought gave Nathan new strength. It was for people like that farmer that he was dying.
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  • Spring '08
  • History, Cunningham, Major Cunningham

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