The Afternoon


Walking with his fellow colonists about a mile and a half south of Lexington, Adam wonders why he doesn't simply go home there. He tells Cousin Simmons that what they are doing makes no a sense, who replies that in wartime that is the case. Adam adds he has had enough of war and killing, and Cousin Simmons agrees but adds they cannot stop because blood has already been spilled. Adam asks when it will end, and Cousin Simmons say it will end when the British are driven away. Adam notes this will take maybe years, and again Cousin Simmons agrees. Adam states that he wants to go home and Cousin Simmons points out the redcoats are likely already entering Lexington at the moment. Cousin Simmons adds that he wishes Adam was out of this, but notes that people already know him to be the son of Moses Cooper, who was killed in the massacre, and thus had expectations placed on him.

The men stopped at a hillock dubbed the Indian burying ground, and Adam remembers how his father spoke of how the Indians left their dead in the open, again stirring feelings of regret about Moses. Adam then heard someone shout that Lexington was burning, and the men saw smoke from the north. They later discovered that only three buildings were burned down, but at the moment they believed the entire village was set to torch. Adam expressed concern for his family to Cousin Simmons, who said that Granny would never hide in the cellar and be trapped, though Simmons in turn is concerned for what his own family will do. The men talked about driving the British out of town, but Solomon Chandler pointed out that the British will be heading back to Boston before nightfall. Three Committeemen then arrived on horseback with news that they had a hundred men waiting a mile away at Menotomy Road. A relief army of fifteen hundred redcoats had passed through Lexington an hour ago an din another hour they'd be marching back to Boston. The Committeemen were gathering up........


Adam falling asleep in the middle of the battle is a pacifist statement: he refuses to fight anymore and so succumbs to his fatigue rather than engage in more violence. One may wonder what the world would be like if everyone in battle simply decided to take a nap instead; such a dismissive tone can be found later in the 1960s counterculture, with the..........

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