Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 272

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Page 272

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 272 SOUTHWARD HO
in the second officer. At length Dunbar said to Old Sabb, using
a style of address to which the old man was familiar, " Well,
Uncle Fred, whenever my bed's ready, say the word. I'm
monstrous like sleep. I've ridden a matter of fifty miles to-day.
In the saddle since four o'clock´┐Żand a hard saddle at that.
I'm for sleep after supper."
The old man, anxious to please his guest, whom he now
began rather to fear than favor, gave him soon the intimation
which he desired, and he was conducted to the small chamber, in
a shed-room adjoining the main hall, which had been assigned
him on all previous occasions. Old Sabb himself attended his
guest, while Lieutenant Clymes remained, for a while longer,
the companion of the old lady and her daughter. Dunbar soon
released his host from further attendance by closing the door
upon him, after bowing him out with thanks. He had scarcely
done so, before he approached one of the two windows in the
chamber. He knew the secrets of the room, and his plan of
operations had been already determined upon. Concealing his
light, so that his shadow might not appear against the window,
he quietly unclosed the shutter so as to rouse no attention by
the sound. A great fig-tree grew near it, the branches, in some
degree, preventing the shutter from going quite back against
the wall. This afforded him additional cover to his proceedings,
and he cautiously passed through the opening, and lightly de-
scended to the ground. The height was inconsiderable, and he
was enabled, with a small stick, to close the window after him.
In another moment he passed under the house, which stood on
logs four or five feet high, after the manner of the country, and
took a crouching attitude immediately behind the steps in the
rear of the building. From these steps to the kitchen was an
interval of fifteen or eighteen yards, while the barn and other
outhouses lay at convenient distances beyond. Shade-trees
were scattered about, and fruit-trees, chiefly peach, rendering
the space between something like a covered way. We need
not inquire how long our captain of loyalists continued his watch
in this unpleasant position. Patience, however, is quite as nat-
ural as necessary a quality to a temper at once passionate and
vindictive. While he waited here, his lieutenant had left the
house, scattered his men privily about the grounds, and had