The Long Flight Home—CHAPTER NINE


A British army patrol marched in formation up a slight hill in the direction of the harbor. Their boots pounded the cobbled street.

The soldiers patrolled the same streets countless nights over the many months they occupied Boston. Temperatures that mid-December night hovered around the freezing mark and their red wool coats failed to keep them warm.


Flying high above the city, Dooley spotted the soldiers. He looked back at the harbor and realized that if the soldiers reach the top of the hill, there would only be a short road between them and the docks. The British soldiers were only minutes from seeing the ships and, perhaps, the chests of tea floating in the water.

“According to the history books,” Dooley thought to himself. “The British didn’t catch the colonists in the act of destroying the tea.” He understood that the course of history would be forever altered if he didn’t do something to distract the soldiers.

Dooley noticed a horse-pulled wagon sitting at the top of the hill above the soldiers. Several wooden barrels sat in the bed of the open wagon parked outside a dockside tavern. The two dray horses hitched to the wagon dozed while the driver sat inside the warm pub.

“I’d better do something,” Dooley thought to himself.


Talli finally caught up to Morgan. “Do you see Dooley?” he asked her in midair.

She gestured with her head in the direction of Dooley who was in the midst of a steep dive right toward the wagon at the top of the hill. “A don’t know, but he seems committed.”


One of the horses sensed something and opened an eye. He looked up. He saw something in the sky he couldn’t identify. ”What’s that?” he asked aloud.

The second horse’s eyes popped open suddenly. “What?” he asked then followed the first horse’s line of vision.

At that instant, they both saw a fast-approaching, boobie-like missile aimed right at them. “Run!” they both shouted.

Panicked and afraid, they ran as fast as they could down the hill, right toward the British patrol. Dooley swooped low over their heads with his wings flapping hard.

The horses ran out of control with the wagon swinging from side to side behind them.

The Redcoats heard the clattering of the horse’s hooves and the wheels rattling on the cobblestones. They looked up the hill and saw the out of control wagon charging toward them.

The soldiers scattered in chaos, diving out of the way.

A barrel bounced off the wagon and crashed to the ground among the fleeing Redcoats, soaking many of them with rum.


Above the action, Talli saw the soldiers flying in all directions to avoid the wagon, which ran right through them and off into the night.

Talli looked at Morgan and said, “I’ve got an idea. Follow me!”

Talli dove toward the street below with Morgan following.


On the ground, the soldiers were lying on the street and hiding behind street lamps and other large objects. Sheepishly one by one they started peeking out to see if the commotion was over. Just as they started to stand up, the nearest street lamp suddenly went out.

The redcoat officer looked at his second-in-command, about to give the order to resume the patrol just as a second lamp went dark. A third street lamp went out and then a fourth.

The soldiers looked to see who was snuffing out the lamps as the street became darker and darker.


By the time Talli and Morgan stopped beating their wings at every lamp on the street, the only light was coming from a few of the windows bordering the street. Other than that, it was totally dark.


By the time the patrol fumbled its way through the dark to the street alongside the dock, all 340 chests of tea had already gone into the water. The Colonists had escaped undetected. And nobody ever knew how they got away with throwing three cargo holds full of tea overboard into the harbor without getting caught.


Gliding over Boston at night, Dooley joined Talli and Morgan.

Morgan looked over at Dooley and chuckled. “I gotta admit, that wasn’t something seabirds around here do every day,” she observed. “You boobies are something else.”

“We didn’t have a choice, “Dooley replied. “If that British patrol had reached the harbor a few minutes earlier, a lot of history books might’ve had to be rewritten.”.

“I don’t even know what that means,” Morgan admitted. “But it was fun.”

“It sure was,” Talli agreed.

“Well, I’m outta here,” announced Morgan. “You guys try to stay out of trouble.” Morgan banked away and flew off into the night.

“What now, Dooley?” Talli asked.

“Let’s find a place to sleep,” his brother answered.” We have some things to work out in the morning.”


Come back on Tuesday to see the boobies return to the ocean.

© 2013, 2018 Sawyer Creative, LLC

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