Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IV / The Story of the Maid of Bogota >> Page 38

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Page 38

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 3 8 SOUTHWARD Ho !
so far as he dared, living in a city under immediate and despotic
Spanish rule� of all his objects. He followed with eager eyes
the fortunes of the chief, as they fluctuated between defeat and
victory in other provinces, waiting anxiously the moment when
the success and policy of the struggle should bring deliverance,
in turn, to the gates of Bogota. Without taking up arms him-
self, he contributed secretly from his own resources to supplying
the coffers of Bolivar with treasure, even when his operations
were remote�and his daughter was the agent through whose
-unsuspected ministry the money was conveyed to the several
emissaries who were commissioned to receive it. The duty was
equally delicate and dangerous, requiring great prudence and
circumspection ; and the skill, address, and courage, with which
the child succeeded in the execution of her trusts, would furnish
a frequent lesson for older heads, and the sterner and the bolder
sex.
La bola was but fourteen years old when she obtained her
first glimpse of the great man in whose cause she had already
been employed, and of whose deeds and distinctions she had
beard so much. By the language of the Spanish tyranny which
swayed with iron authority over her native city, she heard him
denounced and execrated as a rebel and marauder, for whom
an ignominious death was already decreed by the despotic vice-
roy. This language, from such lips, was of itself calculated
to raise its object favorably in her enthusiastic sight. By the
patriots, whom she had been accustomed to love and venerate,
she heard the same name breathed always in whispers of hope
and affection, and fondly commended, with tearful blessings, to
the watchful care of Heaven.
She was soon to behold with her own eyes this individual
thus equally distinguished by hate and homage in her hearing.
Bolivar apprized his friends in Bogota that he should visit them
in secret. That province, ruled with a fearfully strong hand by
Zamano, the viceroy, had not yet ventured to declare itself for
the republic. It was necessary to operate with caution ; and it
was no small peril which Bolivar necessarily incurred, in pene-
trating to its capital, and laying his snares, and fomenting in-
surrection, beneath the very hearth-stones of the tyrant. It was
to La Pola's hands that the messenger of the Liberator confided