He was a succesful farmer. A pillar of the local community,a magistrate. Small wonder the freedom fighters targeted him. They came to his house,urging him to join their cause. He wouldnt,but he made plain he had no quarrel with his neighbours. But these bully boys were not taking no for an answer. There was a scuffle,bullets were fired and the next thing the farmer was lieing unconscious.
Wounded and bleeding the revolutionaries take him to the local town. To encourager les autres they are determined to make an example of the farmer. Those who are not with us are against us is always the revolutionary cry and the excuse for barbarity. As Madame Roland cried as she was led up to the guillotine “Freedom, what crimes are committed in your name”
He is tied to a tree. He is set a light. Two of his toes are charred to stubs. The gang excited by their power over this village notable proceed to hack parts off his fractured scalp. Somehow he survives. Humanity is not totally extinguished, the local doctor seeing a fellow human in such pain patches him up, a sympathetic guard moved by the tragedy lets him escape.
So where did this everyday story of revolutionary folk take place? Down town Aleppo,Baghdad, or Kabul?,upstate Mali or Assam? Any where in Sudan,Philipines or Indonesia?during the Russian , Spanish or British civil wars? It could have done, but didn’t.
No,this treatment was meeted(great pun) out to Thomas Brown in the summer of 1775 near Augusta, Georgia, by the Patriot Boys. So, as their great great grandsons stomp around Afghanistan and elsewhere searching out the cowards of the Taliban and others who terrorise normal folk going about their business,spare a thought for the wheels of history and how they turn.
And as the Marines go about their pointless business in Helmund when they hear a Pathan hiss, Redcoat scum ,they could at least try and smile. Or weep.