Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 284

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 284 SOUTHWARD HO
That d d African !" was his exclamation. But he shall
bang for it now, though he never hung before."
With this pious resolution, having, with torches, made such
an exploration of Bear Castle as left him in no doubt that all
the fugitives had escaped, our tory captain called his squad
together, and commenced the return. The fatigue of passing
through the dry swamp on their backward route was much
greater than when they entered it. They were then full of
excitement�full of that rapture of the strife which needs not
even the feeling of hate and revenge to make it grateful to an
eager and impulsive temper. Now, they were baffled ; the ex-
citement was at an end ; and, with the feeling of perfect disap-
pointment came the full appreciation of all the toils and exertions
they had undergone. They had but one immediate consolation
in reserve, and that was the hanging of Brough, which Dunbar
promised them. The howl of the African had defeated their
enterprise. The African must howl no longer. Bent on mur-
der, they hastened to the tree where they had left him bound,
only to meet with a new disappointment. The African was
there no longer.
IT would be difficult to describe the rage and fury of our cap-
tain of loyalists when he made this discovery. The reader will
imagine it all. But what was to be done ? Was the prey to
be entirely lost ? And by what agency had Brough made his
escape ? He had been securely fastened, it was thought, and
in such a way as seemed to render it impossible that he should
have been extricated from his bonds without the assistance of
another. This conjecture led to a renewal of the search. The
rope which fastened the negro lay on the ground, severed, as by
a knife, in several places. Now, Brough could not use his
hands. If he could, there would have been no sort of necessity
for using his knife. Clearly, he had found succor from another
agency than his own. Once more our loyalists darted into the
recesses of Bear Castle ; their torches were to be seen flaring
in every part of that dense patch of swamp-forest, as they
waved them over every spot which seemed to promise conceal-
ment to the fugitive.