Hidden behind the cart, Adam watched the door of the meeting hall. He wouldn’t dare enter, for he would be thrown out for being too young. Even worst; grandpa would see he was there. He could see the bar lights every time the door opened to let someone in. In the quiet of the night, he could hear the muffled voices of the people inside. The chill December Boston air would make anyone regret being outside at this hour. But Adam was determined to find out what grandpa was up to.
Usually, Grandpa was an open book. He told stories of his voyages across the ocean. He spoke about how he crossed the North Atlantic Ocean six times in his life. The old man had been a trader until a couple years ago, when he decided to settle down in the colony. He was a jolly fellow who taught Adam to read and write. Together they read different books like ‘An Essay on the Art of Ingeniously Tormenting’ and ‘The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia’. Adam did not understand it all, but then grandpa would discuss them in detail and then Adam took notes. People were surprised to see the nine-year-old reading such complex books, but grandpa always said, “You are never too young, and never too old, to read a book. Someday Kid you will understand it all!”.
Another thing about grandpa was his love for Whisky and Tea. And though Adam was allowed to have neither of these yet, he knew the smell of either of these drinks very well. Every morning with grandpa started with a cup of tea and ended with a glass of whisky. He was a sailor to the core after all. He had developed his taste for tea during his days bringing cartons full of tea from one coast to the other. The old man didn’t just drink tea; he knew Tea. He could tell by the smell of the leaves if it was fresh and could price it out for you.
Lately Adam had noticed that something had been troubling grandpa. One day he came back from the market with an angry face. He said something about stamps and having to pay more. To his surprise grandpa did not explain very well what was going on. “You should stay out of this Adam.”, he said. “The society is not well and it is too dangerous to be outside. Stay home and do not go out without company”. After a pause he added, “Also do not go out of the house at Night. A curfew has been issued in our city.” He poured out his whisky much too early that day, and furiously worked on writing a letter. He then told the maid that from the next morning he would not be having any tea. No Tea? This was very unusual. Was Grandpa ill? Did the doctor tell him not to have tea? Adam was concerned. He had to fix whatever was wrong. He decided to find out.
Tonight, Adam had been woken up by the sound of the door close. To his horror, he saw grandpa stepping out of the house. Grandpa himself had said that it was not safe! Why was he breaking the curfew? Was he sneaking out to get some of his beloved tea? Adam decided to follow him. This had to be stopped.
Trying to keep his distance, he followed grandpa to the meeting hall. From behind the cart, he could see many of grandpa’s friends gathering one by one. They all walked past the hiding Adam and disappeared behind the door that his old man had entered through a few minutes ago. To get a better view and audio Adam slid from his hiding place and climbed the ledge to look inside through the window.
The room seemed dark. A few men sat in the corner, smoking their pipes. Few of them spoke in hushed voices as almost everyone was silent. Adam looked around searching for grandpa, and noticed him sitting with his back to the window. the man beside him wore a black coat and had white hair. He reminded Adam of a character from the book they had recently read. The book had been about the artists of the previous century.
A sudden noise woke Adam up from a trancelike state. Someone was speaking inside the hall. The man in the black coat addressed the men, “Are you with me?”, he said. “The Stamp Act was unfair!”, he continued, “We cannot forget our brothers killed in the Massacre. And now they want to tax our Tea!”. Adam did not understand much, but he heard ‘Tea’. He had predicted this! This was all about the tea after all. “The Governor insists on doing what he wants! But did we have a Vote?”, the man added. “No!”, said the crowd in unison, and “Boston Harbor A Tea Pot!”, cries rose over the silent night.
Adam saw the men tap the pipes that they were smoking. The ash from them dropped on the tables forming small black mounds. Then to his surprise, the men took off their coats and put-on headgears with feathers on them. Adam recognized the headpiece as being like the one he had read about in the book about the Indians. The men continued as they used the ash to draw black lines on their cheeks. It was a sight to behold; men in Indian gear with yellow hair.
In groups, the men started leaving the building. Adam had to find out where they were headed. He darted behind one of the groups as they ran down the street. He could see the familiar blue coat that his old man wore, not far ahead. Together they moved swiftly down the street leading to the Griffin Harbor. Adam knew this place. Grandpa had brought him here to show him the old ship he had sailed on years ago.
As they approached the bank, small boats were visible. They stood as if they were ready for the approaching crowd. Adam hid behind a barrel that lay not far from the boats. He could see grandpa and his friends get into the small boats. “Get the Tea!”, they shouted as the boats sailed towards the big ship that was docked not far from the shore. Were they going to stealing the Tea? It was all beyond Adam’s imagination.
The men climbed aboard the ship, and to his amazement, Adam saw his grandpa holding a crate over his head. Splash! He threw the crate into the water. He remembered the expression on the old man’s face when the maid had one dropped the tea pot. “You have wasted my perfectly fine drink!”, he had said. And now he was dropping boxes full of the same into the salty water of the Boston harbor. Several other splashes were heard as more men could be seen in the moonlight expressing their anger on the tea.
This must be a really bad batch of tea, Adam thought as he watched the men continue to dump more boxes into the ocean. Grandpa must have smelt it.
This story is a fiction based on the events of 1773 Boston. Also maybe I do not know some facts about the incident. Feel free to comment below with more information.