Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 271

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription SECRET PRACTICE. 271


CHAPTER III.
IT was quite dark before Captain Dunbar reached the cottage
of Frederick Sabb, and he did so in no good humor. Disap-
pointed of his prey, he now suspected the simple ruse by which
he had been deluded, and his first salutation of Frederica Sabb,
as he entered the cottage, was in no friendly humor.
There are certain birds, Miss Sabb," said be, who fly far
from their young ones at the approach of the hunter, yet make
such a fuss and outcry, as if the nest were close at hand and in
danger. I see you have learned to practise after their lessons."
The girl involuntarily replied : But, indeed, Captain Dun-
bar, I heard the horse go below."
I see you understand me," was the answer. I feel assured
that you told me only the truth, but you had first put me in the
humor not to believe it. Another time I shall know how to
understand you."
Frederica smiled, but did not seek to excuse herself, proceed-
ing all the while in the preparations for supper. This had been
got in readiness especially for the arrival of Dunbar and his
party. He, with Clymes, his first officer, had become inmates
of the dwelling ; but his troopers had encamped without, under
instructions of particular vigilance. Meanwhile, supper pro-
ceeded, Sabb and his vrow being very heedful of all the ex-
pressed or conjectured wants of their arbitrary guests. It was
while the repast was in progress that Dunbar fancied that he
beheld a considerable degree of uneasiness in the manner and
countenance of Frederica. She ate nothing, and her mind and
eyes seemed equally to wander. He suddenly addressed her,
and she started as from a dream, at the sound of her own name,
and answered confusedly.
Something's going wrong," said Dunbar, ii. a whisper, to
Clymes ; we can put all right, however, if we try."
A significant look accompanied the whisper, and made the
second officer observant. When supper was concluded, the
captain of the loyalists showed signs of great weariness. He
yawned and stretched himself amazingly, and without much
regard to propriety. A like weariness soon after exhibited itself