Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 266

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 266 SOUTIIWARD HO
events were changing. rililese performances had not been
effected but at great sacrifice of blood and treasure, and a for-
midable British invasion found the state no longer equal to its
defence. Charleston, the capital city, after frequent escapes,
and a stout and protracted defence, had succumbed to the be-
siegers, who had now penetrated the interior, covering it with
their strongholds, and coercing it with their arms. For a brief
interval, all opposition to their progress seemed to be at an end
within the state. She had no force in the field, stunned by re-
peated blows, and waiting, though almost hopeless of her oppor-
tunity. In the meantime, where was Richard Coulter ? A
fugitive, lying perdu either in the swamps of Edisto or Conga-
ree, with few companions, all similarly reduced in fortune, and
pursued with a hate and fury the most unscrupulous and unre-
lenting, by no less a person than Matthew Dunbar, now a captain
of loyalists in the service of George the Third. The position of
Coulter was in truth very pitiable ; but he was not without his
consolations. The interval which had elapsed since our first
meeting with him, had ripened his intimacy with Frederica
Sabb. His affections had not been so unfortunate as his patri-
otism. With the frank impulse of a fond and feeling heart, he
had appealed to hers, in laying bare the secret of his own ; and
he had done so successfully. She, with as frank a nature, freely
gave him her affections, while she did not venture to bestow on
him her hand. His situation was not such as to justify their
union, and her father positively forbade the idea of such a con-
nection. Though not active among the loyalists, he was now
known to approve of their sentiments ; and while giving them
all the aid and comfort in his power, without actually showing
himself in armor, he as steadily turned a cold and unwilling
front to the patriots, and all those who went against the
monarch.
The visits of Richard Coulter to Frederica were all stolen
ones, perhaps not the less sweet for being so. A storm some-
times brought him forth at nightfall from the shelter of the neigh-
boring swamp, venturing abroad at a time when loyalty was sup-
posed to keep its shelter. But these visits were always accom-
panied by considerable peril. The eye of Matthew Dunbar was
frequently drawn in the direction of the fugitive, while his pas-