Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 302

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 302 SOUTHWARD HO !
In that sight, the unhappy girl lost all consciousness. She
would have fallen upon the ground, but that the hand of Dunbar
still grasped her wrist. He now supported her in his arms.
Marry us at once," he cried to Veitch.
But she can't understand�she can't answer," replied the
priest."" That's as it should be," answered Dunbar, with a laugh ;
" silence always gives consent."
The reply seemed to be satisfactory, and Veitch actually stood
forward to officiate in the disgraceful ceremony, when a voice at
the entrance drew the attention of the parties within. It was
that of Elijah Fields. How he had made his way to the building
without arrest or interruption is only to be accounted for by his
pacific progress his being without weapons, and his well-known
priestly character. It may have been thought by the troopers,
knowing what was in hand, that he also had been sent for ; and
probably something may be ascribed to the excitement of most
of the parties about the dwelling. At all events, Fields reached
it without interruption, and the first intimation that Dunbar had
of his presence was from his own lips.
I forbid this proceeding in the name and by the authority
of God," was the stern interruption. The girl is already
married !"
LET us now retrace our steps and follow those of Richard
Coulter and his party. We have seen what has been the
progress of Elijah Fields. The route which he pursued was
considerably longer than that of his comrades; but the differ-
ence of time was fully equalized by the superior and embarras-
sing caution which they were compelled to exercise. The result
was to bring them to the common centre at nearly the same
moment, though the policy of Coulter required a different course
of conduct from that of Fields. Long before he reached the
neighborhood of old Sabb's farm, he had compelled his troopers
to dismount, and bide their horses in the forest. They then
made their way forward on foot. Richard Coulter was expert
in all the arts of the partisan. Though eager to grapple with
his enemy, and impatient to ascertain and arrest the dangers of