The evening of the fifth came on.
The young moon was shining brightly in a cloudless winter sky, and its light was increased by a new-fallen snow.
Parties of soldiers were driving about the streets, making a parade of valor, challenging resistance,
and striking the inhabitants indiscriminately with sticks or sheathed cutlasses.
A band, which poured out from Murray's barracks, in Brattle Street,
armed with clubs, cutlasses, and bayonets, provoked resistance, and a fray ensued.
Ensign Maul, at the gate of the barrack yard, cried to the soldiers:
Turn out, and I will stand by you; kill them; stick them; knock them down; run your bayonets through them.
One soldier after another leveled a firelock, and threatened to “make a lane” through the crowd.
Just before nine, as an officer crossed King Street, now State Street, a barber's lad cried after him:
There goes a mean fellow who hath not paid my father for dressing his hair;
on which, the sentinel stationed at the westerly end of the customhouse, on the corner of King Street and Exchange Lane, left his post,
and with his musket gave the boy a stroke on the head, that made him stagger and cry for pain.
The street soon became clear, and nobody troubled the sentry,
when a party of soldiers issued violently from the main guard, their arms glittering in the moonlight,
and passed on, hallooing: “Where are they? where are they? Let them come.”