Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 295

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Page 295

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription BROUGII S ESPIONAGE. 295
interval of twelve or fifteen feet, it is true, between this place
and the hovel, which the inmates had stripped of all its growth
in the search for fuel ; but a dusky form, on a dusky night, care-
ful to crawl over the space, might easily escape the casual
glance of a drowsy sentinel ; and Brough was partisan enough
to know that the best caution implies occasional exposure. He
was not unwilling to incur the risk. We must not detail his
progress. Enough that, by dint of crouching, crawling, creep-
ing, rolling, and sliding, be had contrived to bury himself, at
length under the wigwam, occupying the space, in part, of a de-
cayed log connected with the cloyed chimney, and fitting him-
self to the space in the log, from which he had scratched out the
rotten fragments, as snugly as if be were a part of it. Thus,
with his head toward the fire, looking within�his body hidden
from those within by the undecayed portions of the timber�with
11/limy on his side of the fireplace, squat upon the hearth, and
busy with the hominy pot ; Brough might carry on the most in-
teresting conversation in the world, in whispers, and occasionally
be fed from the spoon of his spouse, or drink from the calabash,
without any innocent person suspecting his propinquity. We
will suppose him thus quietly ensconced, his old woman beside
him, and deeply buried in the domestic histories which he came
to hear. We must suppose all the preliminaries to be despatched
already, which, in the case of an African dramatis person/ce, are
usually wonderfully minute and copious.
And dis nigger tory, lie's maussa yer for true ?"" I tell you, Brough, lie's desp'r't bad ! He tek' ebbry ting
for he'sef ! He sway [swears] ebbry ting for him we nigger,
de plantation, boss, hog, hominy ; and of young misses no marry
um�you yeddy ? [hear] �he will hang ole maussa up to de
sapling, same as you hang scarecrow in de cornfiel''"
Brough groaned in the bitterness of his spirit.
"Wha' for do, Brough ?"
Who gwine say ? I 'spec he mus fight for um yet. Mass
Dick no chicken ! He gwine fight like de debbil, soon he get
strong, 'fore dis ting gwine happen. He hab sodger, and more
for come. Parson 'Li j ah gwine fight too and dis nigger
gwine fight, sooner dan dis tory ride, whip and spur, ober we
plantation."