1776 I stood to the side of Papa office. Tonight was not one of Papa, Mr. Coles and Robert's ordinary meetings. I had known such since Robert told us that he wouldn't be staying tonight, and would be making the four hour ride back to New York in the dark. There were many highwaymen that were ready to stop him, and quickly take all of his belongings, but he promised this would not happen. They were ending now. I could finally hear Mr. Coles words stop. They would be signing now. Signing that horrible piece of paper! Oh, how I wished that I could simply tear it up, be gone with all of Papa's shilly- shallying, but even if Papa was a Whig, he'd have to sign the paper, if only to show the town of Oyster Bay that he was loyal. Papa would never tell though, whether he was loyal or not. Robert surely told us often enough. He wrote for some of the most highly touted loyalist magazines in America. He had no fear of telling his views on every bit of subject matter on the war, and would gladly tell Washington himself that he was an over rated buffoon. It was Robert's way. Even still Robert and I had always had some sort of connection. I have no idea why. I could understand if we were close in age, or if he was the oldest and I the youngest, but nothing like that had ever come between Robert and I. It was something, unspeakable that came between us. I had never been close to Phebe, my younger sister, for she was to rash and impulsive. Audrey had always been more glamorous then I, and as I had no love of the men at the time, I had absolutely nothing to talk to her about. David, I was the closest to, simply because he and Audrey never got on either. They tried to avoid talking to each other, though would, if the occasion demanded it. He was also a patriot, though his actions, and views had never compiled him to join with the militia. I wish that he had on many occasions, but he never given second thought to it. I wondered now why Papa had given to signing this tonight. It had been hastily arranged, Robert had only been down for a few minutes before Mr. Coles came, though they had been in there for more than an hour. Why did Robert even need to sign a pledge to the king? He was outspoken as it was. I could understand Papa's reason though. Between the Coles, Coopers, Townsend's, Weeks and the other families, there was no way that Papa would be able to sell to any family, not dedicated to the crown. 'They must have their silks,' Papa told me on many occasions when I asked. I allowed that, knowing that he was right. But this was no excuse, this was something that was doing out of no complement by the rabble of Oyster Bay, he was doing this to serve his own purposes. Although I did not like Papa's reasons, they were true. There had hardly been any business between the people and Papa since the firing at Boston. No one wished to trade with a Whig, not even mother, especially since they could easily do so with many loyalist merchants, who many were related to. It was far easier trading with your second cousin, in order to save political face, than trading with your first. It was nearly just as expensive dealing with a Whig as it was with a Tory, and with a Tory you knew that your money would be going to the king, not to the 'rabble'. Audrey had told me this many times, whenever I questioned the war. I had now learned that I was not to talk politics, when my parents were in the room, for no one in my family, save David, and Solomon if he wasn't away on mission. No one understood me. Least of all my sisters. But my was not an idle heart. At the most inappropriate moment I would often tell of some American victory, later to have it rebuffed many times over, by any loyalist ear that was in the home. I could not figure it, but Papa warned me that one day it would bring the death of me, and I knew it would as well, but I was not to say it. I heard Robert start his way to the door, but I was to enamored with what was happening that I did not care. The door opened and reality flooded my veins. Robert looked stiffly down upon me. I knew that he disapproved but he was not in a happy mood, and would not speak sour of it now. He stared me down for a minute, his lips pursed, making him look far older than twenty-five, his dark hair, pulled back into a still neat cue, even after the long ride from New York. His dark coat, far more expensive than anything that Papa would have ever let him own while he was under his roof. This man was no longer my brother I saw. There was no trace of the kind lovable brother that I had adored when I was little. I believe that everyone saw that in Robert's eyes now. 'Robert,' I heard Mama say finally. Both Robert and I looked toward the doorway. Her silhouette came though. Her face dark, but the bright back light made her look like an angel. This though was broken in a minute as she came forward toward her son. 'Robert, is it done?' 'Yes mother.' He looked toward me expecting a rebuttal '.it is done.' Mama took hold of Robert's arm and led him out and I remained behind waiting for Papa. I could hear Mr. Coles and Papa talking now. They were even laughing! How I hated Papa that moment! How could he have turned his back upon our land such as this? He told me he believe that America should be free, but he was not like John Hancock, he was unwilling to make sacrifice. I don't believe that Papa made notice of me as he and Mr. Coles came out of his office. They were deep in conversation, but it was not of the war, it was of Mr. Coles' daughter, who was married to my father's sister, Sally, and her love of my cousin Robert Stoddard, my mother's brother's son. They laughed and joked on this for sometime. I had heard it all before, and more, right from Sally herself. My cousin Nathaniel, her brother, was one of the only ones that I was able to confide in, since he was well proclaimed that he was a Whig, he just didn't proclaim it as loud as I. This war was still far away, Philadelphia, and lower New Jersey, but that night a harsh reality faced me. With Papa's loyalty pledge, it made way for the British to house soldiers in our home. I don't know if Papa knew it then, but most assuredly it would be coming soon.