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Story of John Champe
Part Seven
Published By
The Historical Society of Hudson County, NJ

By DANIEL VAN WINKLE

Edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2003

The instructions were read to him and each distinct object presented plainly to his view, of which he took notes so disguised as to be understood only by himself. He was particularly cautioned to use the utmost circumspection in delivering his letters, and to take care to withhold from the two individuals, addressed under feigned names, knowledge of each other, for although both had long been in the confidence of the General, vet it was not known by either that the other was so engaged. He was further urged to bear in constant recollection the solemn injunction so pointedly expressed in the instructions to Major Lee of forbearing to kill Arnold in any condition of things.

This part of the business being finished, their deliberation was turned to the manner of Champe's desertion, for it was well known to them both that to pass the numerous patrols of horse and foot crossing from the stationary guards was itself difficult, which was now rendered more so by parties thrown occasionally beyond the place called Liberty Pole, as well as by swarms of irregulars induced sometimes to venture down to the very point at Paulus Hook with the hope of picking up booty. Evidently discernible as were the difficulties in the way, no relief could be administered by Major Lee, lest it might induce a belief that he was privy to the desertion, which opinion, getting to the enemy, would involve the life of Champe.

The Sergeant was left to his own resources and to his own management, with the declared determination that in case his departure should be discovered before morning, Lee would take care to delay pursuit as long as practicable. Giving to the Sergeant three guineas and presenting his best wishes, he recommended him to start without delay and enjoined him to communicate his arrival in New York as soon as he could. Champe, pulling out his watch, compared it with the Major's, reminding the latter with the importance of holding back pursuit, which he was convinced would take place in the course of the night and which might be fatal, as he knew that he should be obliged to zig-zag in order to avoid the patrols, which would consume time. It was now nearly eleven.

The Sergeant returned to camp and, taking his cloak, valise, and orderly book, he drew his horse from the picket and, mounting him, put himself upon fortune. Lee, charmed with his expeditious consummation of the first part of the enterprise, retired to rest. Useless attempt; the past scene could not be obliterated; and indeed had that been practicable, the interruption which ensued would have stopped repose.

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Part One

Hudson County Facts by Anthony Olszewski
Hudson County, New Jersey is a place of many firsts - including genocide and slavery.
Political corruption is a tradition here.
First issue in a series by Anthony Olszewski
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