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inclined towards their endangered guests. Some would have protected them at all hazards; others felt inclined to help them to escape; a few thought it might be their duty to take them prisoners.
The illustrious fugitives settled this difficulty by privately leaving Cambridge and making their way overland to New Haven. Here they were well received. In truth, the Rev. John Davenport, one of the founders of the colony, did not hesitate to speak to his congregation in their behalf. We quote from his bold and significant words, whose slightly masked meaning his hearers failed not to understand.
“Withhold not countenance, entertainment, and protection from the people of God,—whom men may call fools and fanatics,- if any such come to you from other countries, as from France or England, or any other place. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers. Hide the outcasts, betray not him that wandereth. Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab. Be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler.”
Mr. Davenport was not afraid to live up to the spirit of his words. For several weeks the regicides dwelt openly in his house. But meanwhile a proclamation from the king had reached Boston, ordering their arrest as traitors and murderers. News of its arrival was quickly received at New Haven. The fugitives, despite the sympathy of the people, were in imminent danger. Measures must be taken for their safety.
They left New Haven and proceeded to Milford, where they showed themselves in public. But by
night they covertly returned, and for more than a week lay hid in Mr. Davenport's cellar. This cellar is still in existence, and the place in it where the fugitives are said to have hidden may still be seen.
But their danger soon grew more imminent. Peremptory orders came from England for their arrest. Governor Endicott felt obliged to act decisively. He gave commission to two young royalists who had recently come from England, empowering them to search through Massachusetts for the fugitives. Letters to the governors of the other colonies, requesting aid in their purpose, were also given them.
These agents of the king at once started on their mission of death. They had no difficulty in tracing the fugitives to New Haven. One person went so far as to tell them that the men they sought were secreted in Mr. Davenport's house. Stopping at Guilford, they showed their warrant to Mr. Leete, the deputy-governor, and demanded horses for their journey, and aid and power to search for and apprehend the fugitives.
Deputy Leete had little heart for this task. He knew very well where the fugitives were, but managed to make such excuses and find so many reasons for delay that the agents, who arrived on Saturday, were detained until Sunday, and then, as this was Puritan New England, could not get away till Mon day. Meanwhile a secret messenger was on his way to New Haven, to warn the fugitives of their danger. On hearing this startling news they hastily removed from their hiding-place in Mr. Davenport's house, and were taken to a secluded mill two miles away.
The royal messengers reached New Haven and demanded the assistance of the authorities in their search. They failed to get it. Every obstacle was thrown in their way. They equally failed to find any trace of the fugitives, though the latter did not leave the immediate vicinity of the town. After two days at the mill they were taken to a hiding-place at a spot called Hatchet Harbor, and soon afterwards, finding this place too exposed, they removed to a cavern-like covert in a heap of large stones, near the summit of West Rock, not far from the town. Here they remained in hiding for several months, being supplied with food from a lonely farm-house in the neighborhood.
The royal agents, finding their search fruitless and their efforts to get aid from the magistrates vexatiously baffled, at length returned to Boston, where they told a bitter story of the obstinate and pertinacious contempt of his Majesty's orders displayed by these New Haven worthies. The chase thus given up, the fugitives found shelter in a house in Milford, where they dwelt in seclusion for two years.
But danger returned. The king demanded bloodrevenge for his father's death. Commissioners from England reached Boston, armed with extraordinary powers of search. The pursuit was renewed with greater energy than before. The fugitives, finding the danger imminent, and fearing to bring their protectors into trouble, returned to their cave. Here they lay for some time in security, while the sur. rounding country was being acsively scoured by