Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IV / The Story of the Maid of Bogota >> Page 54

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Page 54

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription SOUTHWARD 110!.
otcnce than of being totally heartless, with all her charms, and of aiming at no treachery more dangerous than that of making conquests, simply to deride them. It was the popular qualification of all her beauties and accomplishments that she was a coquette, at once so cold, and so insatiate. Perhaps, the woman politician never so thoroughly conceals her game as when she masks it with the art which men are most apt to describe as the prevailing passion of the sex.
By these arts, La Pola fulfilled most amply her pledges to the liberator. She was, indeed, his most admirable ally in Bogota. She soon became thoroughly conversant with all the facts in the condition of the Spanish army�the strength of the several armaments, their disposition and destination�the operations in prospect, and the opinions and merits of the officers
all of whom she knew, and from whom she obtained no small knowledge of the worth and value of their absent comrades. These particulars, all regularly transmitted to Bolivar, were quite as much the secret of his success, as his own genius and the valor of his troops. The constant disappointment and de-feat of the royalist arms, in the operations which were conducted in the province of Bogota, attested the closeness and correctness of her knowledge, and its vast importance to the cause of the patriots.
Unfortunately, however, one of her communications was intercepted, and the cowardly bearer, intimidated by the terrors of impending death, was persuaded to betray his employer. He revealed all that lie knew of her practices, and one of his statements, namely, that she usually drew from her shoe the paper which she gave him, served to fix conclusively upon her the proofs of her offence. She was arrested in the midst of an ad-miring throng, presiding with her usual grace at the tertulia, to which her wit and music furnished the eminent attractions. Forced to submit, her shoes were taken from her feet in the presence of the crowd, and in one of them, between the sole and the lining, was a memorandum designed for Bolivar, containing the details, in anticipation, of one of the intended movements of the viceroy. She was not confounded, nor did she sink beneath