"This fellow, young as he is, has given more trouble than the rest of them put together. It's known now that he contrived to secrete the important dispatches that the leader of the party was taking to France. What's more, within a day or two of their imprisonment in the disused militia barracks near Gatwick Hall, he escaped, released his leader and three others, and put them in touch with French smugglers. Those treasonable dispatches got safely to France with no more delay than they might have had if the original French ship had run into bad weather on her voyage across the Atlantic! He escaped twice more and was responsible for the disappearance of another dozen, going either to France direct or more likely in Dutch boats to France by way of Holland. After the third escape, the authorities granted Colonel Gatwick's request that he might be relieved of the custody of the Reb. As I've already told you, they pounced on me to act jailer . . ."
Charlotte Darrington and her brothers and sisters can't understand Uncle Lawrence's bad mood. What could be more interesting than having their own American prisoner of war? The children are determined to make friends with the young rebel—but they find themselves thwarted by Uncle Lawrence and the prisoner himself. It is only after a near-disastrous attempt to reach France that the Reb allows himself to be drawn into the life at White Priory in southern England. The children are happy to become his "redcoats"—but they know that as long as the rebellion in the Colonies is going on, the Reb is likely to escape at the first honorable opportunity.
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