Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 297

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Page 297

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription Vf R1 A.T ODD:-;. 297
by his afflictions and her own, joined somewhat in his entreaty.
We may imagine poor Frederica's afflictions. She had not dared
to reveal to either the secret of her marriage with Coulter. She
now dreaded its discovery, in regard to the probable effect which
it might have upon Dunbar. What limit would there be to his
fury and brutality, should the fact become known to him ? How
measure his rage�how meet its excesses ? She trembled as
she reflected upon the possibility of his making the discovery ;
and, while inwardly swearing eternal fidelity to her husband, she
resolved still to keep her secret close, from all, looking to the
chapter of providential events for that hope which she had not
the power to draw from anything within human probability.
Her eyes naturally turned to her husband, first of all mortal
agents. But she had no voice which could reach him�and
what was his condition ? She conjectured the visits of old
Brough to his spouse, but with these she was prevented from all
secret conference. Her hope was, that Mimy, seeing and hear-
ing for herself, would duly report to the African ; and he, she
well knew, would keep nothing from her husband. We have
witnessed the conference between this venerable couple. The
result corresponded with the anticipations of Frederica. Brough
hurried back with his gloomy tidings to the place of hiding in
the swamp ; and Coulter, still suffering somewhat from his
wound, and conscious of the inadequate force at his control, for
the rescue of his wife and people, was almost maddened by the
intelligence. He looked around upon his party, now increased
to seven men, not including the parson. But Elijah Fields was
a host in himself. The men were also true and capable good
riflemen, good scouts, and as fearless as they were faithful. The
troop under Dunbar consisted of eighteen men, all well armed
and mounted. The odds were great, but the despair of Richard
Coulter was prepared to overlook all inequalities. Nor was
Fields disposed to discourage him.
There is no hope but in ourselves, Elijah," was the remark
of Coulter.
Truly, and in God !" was the reply.
" We must make the effort."
Verily, we must."" We have seven men, not counting yourself, Elijah."