Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 262

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 262 SOUTHWARD HO
quietly, as was her habit, proceeded to put away the debris of
the feast, and to restore the apartment to its former order. In
this she was undisturbed by either of her lovers ; the custom of
the country requiring that she should be left to these occupa-
tions without being embarrassed by any obtrusive sentiments, or
even civilities. But it might be observed that Richard Coulter
had taken his seat in the piazza, at a window looking into the
hall, while Mat Dunbar had placed himself nearly at the en-
trance, and in close neighborhood with the industrious dame.
Here he divided himself between attentions to her, and an occa-
sional dip into the conversation on politics, which was now fully
in progress. It is not our purpose to pursue this conversation.
The arguments of the commissioners can be readily conjectured.
But they were fruitless to persuade our worthy Dutchman into
any change, or any self-committals, the issue of which might en-
danger present comforts and securities. He had still the same
answer to every argument, delivered in broken English which
we need not imitate.
The king, George, has been a good king to me, my friends.
I was poor, but I am not poor now. I had not a finger of land
before I came hither. Now, I have good grants, and many
acres. I am doing well. For what should I desire to do better?
The good king will not take away my grants ; but if I should
hear to you, I should be rebel, and then he would be angry, and
he might make me poor again as I never was before. No, no,
my friends ; I will sign no association that shall make me lose
my lands."
You're right !" vociferated Mat Dunbar. It's treason, I
say, to sign any association, and all these rangers here, in arms,
are in open rebellion, and should be hung for it ; and let the
time come, and I'm one to help in the hanging them !"
This was only one of many such offensive speeches which Dun-
bar had contrived to make during the evening. The commission-
ers contented themselves with marking the individual, but with-
out answering him. But his rudely-expressed opinions were not
pleasing to old Sabb himself, and still less so to his worthy vrow,
who withdrew at this into the hall ; while the stern voice of
Elijah Fields descended in rebuke upon the offender.
"And who art thou," said he abruptly, to sit in judgment