Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 268

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Page 268

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 268 SOUTHWARD HO !
though rich, was liable to freshet, and required a degree of labor
in the drainage which it was not in the power of our good
Dutchman to bestow. A single wagon-track led through the
wood to the river from his house ; and there may have been
some half dozen irregular foot-paths tending in the same direc-
tion. When within half a mile from the house, Mat Dunbar
pricked up his ears.
That was surely the gallop of a horse," he said to his lieu-
tenant a coarse, ruffianly fellow like himself, named Clymes.
Where away ?" demanded the other.
To the left. Put in with a few of the boys, and see what
can be found."
Clymes did as he was bidden ; but the moment he had dis-
appeared, Dunbar suddenly wheeled into the forest also, putting
spurs to his horse, and commanding his men to follow and scat-
ter themselves in the wood. A keen suspicion was at the bottom
of his sudden impulse ; and, with his pistol in his grasp, and his
teeth set firmly, he darted away at a rate that showed the eager-
ness of the blood-hound, on a warm scent. In a few moments the
wood was covered with his people, and their cries and halloes
answering to each other, turned the whole solitude into a scene
of the most animated life. Accustomed to drive the woods for
deer, his party pursued the same habit in their present quest,
enclosing the largest extent of territory, and gradually contract-
ing their cordon at a given point. It was not long before a cer-
tain degree of success seemed to justify their pursuit. A loud
shout from Clymes, his lieutenant, drew the impetuous Dunbar
to the place, and there lie found the trooper, with two others of
the party, firmly confronted by no less a person than Frederica
Sabb. The maiden was very pale, but her lips were closely
compressed together, and her eyes lightened with an expression
which was not so much indicative of anger as of courage and re-
solve. As Dunbar rode up, she addressed him.
" You are bravely employed, Captain Dunbar, in hunting with
your soldiers a feeble woman."
In faith, my dear Miss Sabb, we looked for very different
game," replied the leader, while a sardonic smile played over
his visage. But perhaps you can put us in the way of finding
it. You are surely not here alone ?"