" I seen this myself.
A big horse was pulled in and a tall man swung down from the saddle and 'twas Zexcellency himself.
The boys stopped with their stones in utter awe at witnessing this bold soldier dismount to stand amongst 'em.
Now boys, says he, I will show you how to jerk a stone.
So he did. Took a small flast rock from one and showed 'em as they crowded near at his behest, showed 'em how to curve the finger round the edge.
'Tis best this way, he said. He cast his first stone, and the thing curved in the air immediate before it struck the water and dove deep.
He may have been disgruntled but he made no unhappy face. Zexcellency was like that: always calm. You couldn't see his face change in warfare or out.
He took up another stone and cast it, and it went skate-rise-skate-rise-skate-rise, it seemed a dozen times, and they boys let out their breath together in a yip, admiring.
See how? the tall man told 'em. I found ill-luck on my first venture but this is more to the manner!
Again he cast a stone, and it went skipping upon the very surface like it was a maid lifting up her petticoats and dancing in springtime.
Once more, oh sir, please do one more! the boys were crying as he mounted.
But he said with gravity, Ah no, we have a war to fight, and he went riding off, and so we all took up our grounded arms and marched in his fine track as well."
from: Valley Forge A NOVEL, by MacKinlay Kantor, M.EVANS AND COMPANY 1975