Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 288

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Page 288

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 288 SOUTHWARD HO
good for ! No liab knife !
Take you teet', misses gnaw de rope. Psho ! wha' I tell
you ? Stop ! Put you' ban' in dis yer pocket�you fin' knife,
if I no loss em in de run."
The knife was found, the rope cut, the negro free, all in much
less time than we have taken for the narration ; and, hurrying
the African with her, Frederica was soon again beside the person
of her lover. To assist Brough in taking him upon his back, to
help sustain the still partially insensible man in this position un-
til he could be carried to the boat, was a work of quick resolve,
which required, however, considerable time for performance. But
patience and courage, when sustained by love, become wonder-
ful powers ; and Richard Coulter, whose moans increased with
his increasing sensibility, was finally laid down in the bottom of
the dug-out, his head resting in the lap of Frederica. The boat
could hold no more. The faithful Brough, pushing her out into
the stream, with his hand still resting on stern or gunwale, swam
along with her, as she quietly floated with the currents. We
have seen the narrow escape which the little vessel had, as she
rounded the headland below, just as Dunbar came down upon
the beach. Had lie been there when the canoe first began to
round the point, it would have been easy to have captured the
whole party ; since the stream, somewhat narrow at this place,
the alarm to the patriots, were succeeded by feelings of no pleas-
ant character. He had already had a taste of Dunbar's punish-
ments, and he dreaded still worse at his hands. The feeling
which had changed his howl of warning into one of lament
his whoop into a psalm�was one accordingly of preparation.
He was preparing himself, as well as he could, after his African
fashion, for the short cord and the sudden shrift, from which he
had already so narrowly escaped.
Nothing could exceed the fellow's rejoicing as he became
aware of the character of his new visiter.
" Oh, Missis! Da's you? Loose 'em ! Cut you' nigger loose!
Le"em run ! Sich a run ! you nebber see de like ! I take dose
woods, dis yer night, Mat Dunbar nebber see me 'gen long as
he lib ! Ha! ba ! Cut! cut, missis! cut quick ! de rope is work
into my berry bones !""But I have no knife, Brough.""No knife ! Da's wlia' woman