Benedict Arnold

They arrived, uninterrupted, a little beyond Pine's bridge, a village situated on the Croton: they had not, however, crossed the lines, although they could descry the ground occupied by the English videttes. Smith, looking all around, and perceiving no one, said to Andre, 'You are safe - good bye,' and retook, at full speed, the road by which they had come. Andre, on his part, believing himself out of danger, and all further precaution superfluous, put spurs to his horse. He had proceeded four leagues onward with the same good fortune; he could see the Hudson once more, and was about entering Tarrytown, the border village, when a man, armed with a gun, sprung suddenly from the thickets, and seizing the reins of his bridle, exclaimed, 'Where are you bound?' At the same moment, two others ran up, who were armed in like manner, and formed, with the first part of the patrol of volunteer militia that guarded the lines. They were not in uniform, and Andre, preoccupied by the idea that he was no longer on enemy's ground, thought that they must be of his own party. It did not, therefore, occur to him to show him his passport, which was sufficient to deceive Americans, and could not alter his destination, if those who arrested him were of the English side. Instead of answering their question, he asked them, in his turn, where they belonged to. They replied, 'To below,' - words referring to the course of the river, and implying that they were of the English party. 'And so do I,' said Andre, confirmed in his mistake by this stratagem. 'I am,' continued he, in a tone of command, 'an English officer on urgent business, and I do not wish to be longer detained.' 'You belong to our enemies,' was the rejoinder, 'and we arrest you.' Andre, struck with astonishiment at this unexpected language, presented his passport; but this paper, after the confession he had just made, only served to render his case more suspicious. He offered them gold, his horse, and promised them large rewards, and permanent provision from the English government, if they would let him escape. These young men, whom such offers did but animate the more in their duty, replied, that they wanted nothing. They drew off his boots, and detected the fatal papers. They no longer hesitated to carry him before colonel Jameson, who commanded the out-posts. When questioned by that officer he still called himself Anderson, the name mentioned in his passport, and evinced no discomposure he had recovered all of his presence of mind, and, forgetful of his own danger, thought only of Arnold's, and of the means of extricating him. To apprise him of it safely, he begged. Jameson to inform the commanding officer of West Point that Anderson, the bearer of his passport, was detained. Jameson thought it more simple to order him to be conducted to Arnold. He was already on the way, and the thread of the conspiracy was about to be resumed in the interview of the accomplices, when the American colonel, recollecting that the papers found upon the prisoner were in the hand-writing of Arnold himself, and adverting to the several extraordinary features of the business, sent, in all haste, after the pretended Anderson, and had him conveyed, under guard, to Old Salem. He despatched, at the same time, an express to Washington, charged with a letter containing a circumstantial account of this affair, and with the drafts and other papers taken from the prisoner. But the commander-in-chief, who set out on the same day, the 23d of September, to return to his army, had pursued a different route from that by which he went to Hartford, and the messenger was compelled to retrace his steps without having seen him. This delay proved the salvation of Arnold.