Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 287

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Page 287

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription TIIL BRAVE GIRL. 287
them taking to the river with their horses. This difficulty led
to new fears, which were agonizing enough, but not of a sort to
make her forgetful of what was due to the person whom she
came to save. She waited only until the torrent had passed the
straits �until the bayou was silent�when she fastened her
little boat to the willows which completely enveloped her, and
boldly stepped upon the land. With a rare instinct which proved
how deeply her heart had interested itself in the operations of
her senses, she moved directly to the spot whence she had heard
the bugle-note of her lover. The place was not far distant from
the point where she had been in lurking. Her progress was ar-
rested by the prostrate trunk of a great cypress, which the hur-
ricane might have cast down some fifty years before. It was
with some difficulty that she scrambled over it ; but while cros-
sing it she heard a faint murmur, like the voice of one in pain,
laboring to speak or cry aloud. Her heart misgave her. She
hurried to the spot. Again the murmur �now certainly a moan.
It is at her feet, but on the opposite side of the cypress, which
she again crosses. The place was very dark, and in the moment
when, from loss of blood, he was losing consciousness, Richard
Coulter had carefully crawled close to the cypress, whose bulk,
in this way, effectually covered him from passing footsteps. She
found him, still warm, the flow of blood arrested, and his con-
sciousness returning.
" Richard ! it is me�Frederica !"
He only sighed. It required but an instant for reflection on
the part of the damsel ; and rising from the place where she had
crouched beside him, she darted away to the upper grounds where
Brough still continued to pour out his dismal ejaculations�now
of psalms and song, and now of mere whoop, halloo and im-
precation. A full heart and a light foot make quick progress
when they go together. It was necessary that Frederica should
lose no time. She had every reason to suppose that, failing to
secure their prey, the tories would suffer no delay in the thicket.
Fortunately, the continued cries of Brough left her at no time
doubtful of his where-abouts. She soon found him, fastened to
his tree, in a state sufficiently uncomfortable for one whose am-
bition did not at all incline him to martyrdom of any sort. Yet
martyrdom was now his fear. His first impulses, which had given.