Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 309

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Page 309

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription DEATH OF THE PREACHER. 309
shot was mortal ; and while Coulter was examining it, the good
preacher opened his eyes. They were full of intelligence, and
a pleasant smile was upon his lips.
You have seen, Richard ; the wound is fatal. I had a pre-
sentiment, when we parted this morning, that such was to be
the case. But I complain not. Some victim perhaps was ne-
cessary, and I am not unwilling. But Frederica ?"" She lives ! She is here : unhurt but suffering."
All ! that monster !"
By this time the old couple made their appearance, and Fred-
erica was at once removed to her own chamber. A few moments
tendance sufficed to revive her, and then, as if fearing that she
had not heard the truth in regard to Coulter, she insisted on
going where he was. Meantime, Elijah Fields had been re-
moved to an adjoining apartment. He did not seem to suffer.
In the mortal nature of his hurt, his sensibilities seemed to be
greatly lessened. But his mind was calm and firm. He knew
all around him. His gaze was fondly shared between the young
couple whom he had so lately united.
" Love each other," he said to them ; love each other and
forget not me. I am leaving you�leaving you fast. It is pre-
sumption, perhaps, to say that one does not fear to die�but I
am resigned. I have taken life�always in self-defence�still
I have taken life ! I would that I had never done so. That
makes me doubt. I feel the blood upon my head. My hope is
in the Lord Jesus. May his blood atone for that which I have
shed !"
His eyes closed. His lips moved, as it were, in silent prayer.
Again he looked out upon the two, who hung with streaming
eyes above him. "Kiss me, Richard and you, Frederica
dear children �I have loved you always. God be with you
�and�me !" He was silent.
Our story here is ended. We need not follow Richard Coul-
ter through the remaining vicissitudes of the war. Enough that
he continued to distinguish himself, rising to the rank of major
in the service of the state. With the return of peace, he re-
moved to the farmhouse of his wife's parents. But for him, in
all probability, the estate would have been forfeited ; and the
great love which the good old Dutchman professed for King