Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 294

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 294 SOUTHWARD ITO !
IT was with feelings of a tumultuous satisfaction that Mat Dun-
bar found himself in possession of this new prize. He at once
conceived a new sense of his power, and prepared to avail him-
self of all his advantages. But we must suffer our friend Brough
to become the narrator of this portion of our history. Anxious
about events, Coulter persuaded the old African, nothing loath, to
set forth on a scouting expedition to the farmstead. Following
his former footsteps, which had been hitherto planted in secu-
rity, the negro made his way, an hour before daylight, toward
the cabin in which Mimy, and her companion Lizzy, a young
girl of sixteen, were housed. They, too, had been compelled to
change their abodes under the tort' usurpation ; and now occu-
pied an ancient tenement of logs, which, in its time, had gone
through a curious history. It had first been a hog-pen, next a
hunter's lodge ; had stabled horses, and had been made a tem-
porary fortress during Indian warfare. It was ample in its
dimensions�made of heavy cypresses ; but the clay which had
filled its interstices had fallen out ; of the chimney nothing re-
mained but the fireplace ; and one end of the cabin, from the
decay of two or more of its logs, had taken such an inclination
downward, as to leave the security which it offered of ex-
ceedingly dubious value. The negro does not much regard
these things, however, and old Mimy enjoyed her sleeps here
quite as well as at her more comfortable kitchen. The place,
indeed, possessed some advantages under the peculiar circum-
stances. It stood on the edge of a limestone sink-hole�one of
those wonderful natural cavities with which the country abounds.
This was girdled by cypresses and pines, and, fortunately for
Brough, at this moment, when a drought prevailed, was entirely
free from water. A negro loves anything, perhaps, better than
water�he would sooner bathe in the sun than in the stream, and
would rather wade through a forest full of snakes than suffuse
his epidermis unnecessarily with an element which no one will
insist was made for ills uses. It was important that the sink-
hole near Mimy's abode should be dry at this juncture, for it was
here that Brough found his hiding-place. He could approach
this place under cover of the woods. There was an awkward