The rider barely made it out of Boston before the roads closed. At ten in the evening, under the bright full moon, he headed south across the narrow Boston Neck and slowly passed the guards who had become accustomed to seeing him. He rode through the forbidding wooden gate built into the earthenworks that funneled the road to a little tunnel and his heart skipped a beat when he saw the familiar gallows where so many were being executed in these days.
It was hard for him to not push his horse into a gallop. His adrenaline was pumping and he wanted to get away. Fast. But he kept his composure and stayed at a leisurely cantor until the gate disappeared behind him into the distance. Only then did he dig his heels into his Narragansett Pacer and begin his history-making seventeen mile ride through Roxbury, Brookline, Cambridge, Menotomy, and finally Lexington.
Back in Boston, two lanterns were on display in the tower at the Old North Church.
When the rider dismounted at the Clarke-Hancock house in Lexington shortly after midnight on April 19th, 1776, he found another horse already tied up. He recognized it at once, a little chestnut mare named Brown Betty. It seemed well rested.
William Dawes knocked at the back door of the house and in a moment the door cracked. Two blinking eyes peered out.
“Oh, it’s you,” said Paul Revere, “I’ve been here just thirty minutes.”