81 pages • 2 hours readHoward Fast
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Joseph and Adam march toward Lexington. Adam again declares that he is sick of war and wishes it to be over. Joseph says that there will be no diplomatic or reasonable end to the conflict now that people have died. He predicts that the war will not end until the colonials have won and the British “ships sail away from here and leave us in peace in our own land” (160).
Someone reports that Lexington is burning, and there is a large amount of smoke over the village. Both Adam and Joseph are alarmed, unaware in the moment that only three houses are on fire, none of which are their own. There is talk of attacking the British in Lexington, but nothing comes of it, as the militia realize the British are most formidable when attacked directly and in the open without cover.
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Some Committeemen arrive with a force of 100 men. They plan to ambush the 1,500 British who are currently in Lexington when the British march back to Boston that evening. Adam and his comrades follow this new militia. In Adam’s words, “we were in the grip of a force outside of ourselves” (164). The ambush never materializes, however, as the British have already begun to withdraw.
By Howard Fast