Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXXVI: The Battle >> Page 304

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 304JOSCELYN
The squadron of Hammond was in full pursuit of Cunningham,
when Browne, at the head of the force left with him, rushed des-
perately to the rescue. He darted between the pursuers and the pur-
sued, the latter massing themselves as fast as possible in his rear,
while he opposed a sturdy and well set column to the attack.
In an instant, the two opposing forces were in collision, and a
pell-mell conflict ensued. Suddenly, and when the conflict was at its
wildest, Browne found himself confronted by Stephen Joscelyn.
"Ah! ha! my brave fellow, you are there ! " shouted the former,
as with sabre whirled in air, he rode down upon him.
"I am in your path, and will cross it! " answered Stephen.
The stroke of Browne's sabre was delivered with all the weight
of his arm. It was handsomely parried, and the two steeds came
together; when, instead of smiting with his steel, Stephen, throwing
back the blade of his weapon, smote Browne with the iron hilt of the
sabre heavily in the mouth, and hurled him from his horse. Rising
in his stirrup, on his sound leg, he was about to give him point as he
lay upon the ground, when a bullet from Cunningham's pistol passed
through the brain of his horse, and the beast staggered forward and
fell; not, however, before Stephen had succeeded in extricating his
feet from the stirrups and sliding safely to the earth.
In an other moment, Cunningham had succeeded in remounting
Browne, and as the other, raging like a wild beast, was about to turn
again upon his opponent, Cunningham seized the bridle of his horse,
and turned his head, forcing him away from the melee.
"We have not a moment to lose," said he, "if we would cut our
way through the enemy. Our course is by the `Stony Hollow.' The
game is up for the day ! Away ! away ! "
So saying, he bade his bugles sound, massed his men in a brief
space, and gave the command to charge ! He broke through the
scattered troopers of Hammond, already broken by the recent pursuit
and attack, and, after some severe fighting, he succeeded in escaping
from the net. Browne, though very reluctantly, submitted to his
guidance, looking behind him and sending back his curses as he rode.
Stephen Joscelyn, provided with another horse, leading his Beach
Island Troop, was quickly in pursuit; but the day's work had been
already too much for horse and man, and our patriot partisans had
the mortification of a chase for five miles, made utterly in vain.