Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 301

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Page 301

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE SIGHT OF TERROR. 301.
carefully subdued. His words were enunciated in tones of a
laborious calm, as he replied : �
� You are mistaken in your notions of the extent of my power.
It can reach where you little imagine. But I do not desire to
use it. I prefer that you should give me your hand without
restraint or coercion."
That, I have told you, is impossible."� Nay, it is not impossible."� Solemnly, on my knees, I assure you that never can I, or
will I, while I preserve my consciousness, consent to be your wife."
The action was suited to the words. She sunk on her knees
as she spoke, and her hands were clasped and her eyes uplifted,
as if taking a solemn oath to heaven. Dunbar rushed furiously
toward her.
� Girl !" he exclaimed, will you drive me to madness ? will
you compel me to do what I would not ?"
The preacher interposed. The manner of Dunbar was that
of a man about to strike his enemy. Even Frederica closed
her eyes, expecting the blow.
Let me endeavor to persuade the damsel, captain," was the
suggestion of Veitch. Dunbar turned away and went toward
the window, leaving the field to the preacher. To all the entrea-
ties of the latter, Frederica made the same reply.
" Though death stared me in the face, I should never marry
that man !""Death shall stare you in the face !" was the fierce cry of
Dunbar. Nay, you shall behold him in such terrors as you
have never fancied yet ; but you shall be brought to know and
to submit to my power. Ho, there ! Nesbitt, bring out the
This order naturally startled Frederica. She had continued
kneeling. She now rose to her feet. In the same moment
Dunbar turned to where she stood, full of fearful expectation,
grasped her by the wrist, and dragged her to the window. She
raised her bead, gave but one glance at the scene before her,
and fell back swooning. The cruel spectacle which she had
been made to witness, was that of her father, surrounded by a
guard, and the halter about his neck, waiting only the terrible
word from the ruffian in authority.