If you have yet to read "Kiss, Bed, Sweep, Church," Part I of this tale, click here and read it before you continue--the conclusion will make much more sense that way!
One day, however, everyone’s contentment was abruptly interrupted by an awful revelation—their island had been attacked, and indeed all was lost save their own small village, which was now beseiged. They had had just enough warning to close up the gates and arm the towers thanks to the brave feat of a lad who had traversed rill and river to get to them ahead of the Continent’s troops. The village was in a fit of activity, and all the fathers and sons gathered solemnly to defend the wall.
Thus, their surprise was great, when, instead of a flaming arrow shot to destroy, a pigeon was sent over the wall with a message. The villagers all gathered round, anxious to read the message, but flummoxed by the unfamiliar characters and the foreign words. The call was sent out for someone—anyone—who could translate, and all were about to dismay, ready to call for surrender, when one of the girls of the village remembered Hannah and suggested her.
Hannah was summoned from her cottage, and brought to the square, where she was quite undone by the commotion and crowd. Yet, summoning her wits about her, she slowly worked through the message, until she could confidently read aloud the translation—a call for total surrender with the threat of massacre if they persisted. Instantly, commotion became chaos and then cries of despair.
Timidly, Hannah went up to her father and whispered something in his ear, handing him a roll of paper. Her father glanced at it, then cleared his throat and shouted for silence. In his strong voice, he sang Hannah’s ballad,
Come all ye young men all,
Let this delight you;
Cheer up, ye young men all,
Let nothing fright you.
Never let your courage fail
When you’re brought to trial,
Nor let your fancy move at the first denial .
So the men stopped their murmuring and found their manhood again, taking to the walls to defend their families, their country, and their honor. The days stretched into weeks, and while bravery remained steadfast, gardens, larders, and cellars did not. Livestock began to be killed off. Every day, however, Hannah’s mother made an enormous kettle of stew to share with all who had no food—into the stew went the turnips, potatoes, beets, cabbage, squash, and carrots Hannah had so diligently tended. And so the hardy spirit of the villagers was not snuffed out, but continued to burn bright and hot.
Meanwhile, unbenknownst to the villagers, the Continental Army got word that their own country was now under attack from barbarians in the east, and there was little time to spare. One morning, nigh on two months after the siege had commenced, the villagers woke up to find the enemy gone. Great was the rejoicing and jubilation in the town, and though none—not even Hannah herself—realized it, the Providence of God had worked through one small girl to save their lives and fortunes.
After that, all the village girls began to follow Hannah’s example, and soon they were known far beyond the island for their diligent industry and disdain for the idle foolishness so common to their sex. And as for Hannah herself? Her character caught the eye of that brave man who had first brought word of warning to the village, and he asked her father for her hand in marriage. Both father and daughter consented, and Hannah became his wife within the year.
Painting: The Accolade, by Edmund Leighton
 The Ballad of the Death of General Wolfe, ca. 1759, author unknown.