Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 286

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 286 SOUTHWARD HO
wave, or beheld it dripping, in bright, light droplets, like fairy
glimpses, through the overhanging foliage. Of fear�fear for
herself�she had no feeling. Her apprehensions were all for
Richard Coulter, and her anxieties increased as she approached
the celebrated promontory and swamp-forest, known to this
day upon the river as Bear Castle." She might be too late.
The captain of the loyalists had the start of her, and her only
hope lay in the difficulties by which he must be delayed, going
through a blind forest and under imperfect guidance�for she
still had large hopes of Brough's fidelity. She was too late
too late for her purpose ; which had been to forewarn her lover
in season for his escape. She was drifting toward the spot
where the river, at full seasons, made across the low neck by
which the promontory of Bear Castle" was united with the
main land. Her paddle no longer dipped the water, but was
employed solely to protect her from the overhanging branches
beneath which she now prepared to steer. It was at her ap-
proach to this point that she was suddenly roused to apprehen-
sion by the ominous warning chant set up by the African.
Poor Brough ! what can they be doing with him ?" was her
question to herself. But the next moment she discovered that
this howl was meant to be a hymn ; and the peculiar volume
which the negro gave to his utterance, led her to divine its im-
port. There was little time allowed her for reflection. A moment
after, and just when her boat was abreast of the bayou which
Dunbar and his men were required to cross in penetrating the
place of refuge, she heard the sudden pistol shooting under which
Coulter had fallen. With a heart full of terror, trembling with
anxiety and fear, Frederica had the strength of will to remain
quiet for the present. Seizing upon an overhanging bough, she
lay concealed within the shadow of the copse until the loyalists
had rushed across the bayou, and were busy, with lighted torches,
exploring the thickets. She had heard the bugle of Coulter
sounded as he was about to fall, after being wounded, and her
quick consciousness readily enabled her to recognise it as her
lover's. But she had heard no movement afterward in the quar-
ter from which came the blast, and could not conceive that he
should have made his way to join his comrades in the space of
time allowed between that and the moment when she heard