Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 264

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 264 SOUTHWARD HO
No, no, boys ; you must do nothing of the kind. These are
good men, and old enough to be the fathers of any of us. Be-
sides, they're strangers, and think they're doing right. Let 'cm
alone."
Well, if you wont," said Dunbar, we can do without you.
There are four of us, and they're but two."
You mistake," replied Coulter, still quietly, " they are three !""How! who ?"
Wagner, Long, and Richard Coulter !"
What, you ! Will you put yourself against us? You go
with the rebels, then ?"
I go with the strangers. I don't know much about the re-
bellion, but I think there's good sense in what they say. At all
events, I'll not stand by and see them hurt, if I can help it."" Two or three, boys," continued Dunbar, will make no dif-
ference !"
This was said with a significant toss of the head toward Coul-
ter. The instincts of these young men were true. They al-
ready knew one another as rivals. This discovery may have
determined the future course of Coulter. He did not reply to
Dunbar ; but, addressing his three companions, he said, calling
each by his Christian name, You, boys, had better not mix in
this matter before it's necessary. I suppose the time will come,
when there can be no skulking, But it's no use to hurry into
trouble. As for four of you managing three, that's not impossi-
ble ; but I reckon there will be a fight first. These strangers may
have weapons; but whether they have or not, they look like
men : and I reckon, you that know me, know that before my
back tastes of any man's hickory, my knife will be likely to
taste his blood."
Dunbar replied rudely for the rest ; and, but that Coulter
quietly withdrew at this moment, seemingly unruffled, and with-
out making any answer, there might have been a struggle be-
tween the two rivals even then. But the companions of Dunbar
had no such moods or motives as prompted him. They were
impressed by what Coulter had said, and were, perhaps, quite as
inch under his influence as under that of Dunbar. They ac-
cordingly turned a cold shoulder upon all his exhortations, and
the commissioners, accordingly, left the house of old Sabb in