Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter I: The Curtain Rises >> Page 13

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE CURTAIN RISES. 13
several questions which Proctor had asked him, almost in a
breath. Siill, however, the reply of the half-breed was found
rather to accord with the first than the last expression of his
air and attitude.
And if you was to hang me up, major, you wouldn't be any
the wiser, and would hear much less than if you was to let me
run.
No trifling, sirrah, but speak to the point, and quickly : I
am in no mood for jest. Speak out, and say what is the part
you have taken in this business. The truth, sirrah the
truth only will serve you."
I'm no rebel, major, as you ought to know by this time.
As for the truth, I'm sure I can tell it, if you'd ax me one
thing at a time. I a'n't sparing of the truth when I've
got it.""I do know you, sirrah, and know you too well to trust
you much. Briefly, then, and without prevarication, do you
know the parties who rescued Colonel Walton? What do
you know of the matter ? The whole truth ; for I have the
means of knowing whether you speak falsely or not."
Well, now, major, I knows no great deal; but what I
knows is the truth, and that I'll tell. The men who foot here
were Marion's men, I reckon. I looked out from the ba,y-
bushes there; I was doubled up in a heap, and I seed the
whole business, from the very first jump."
Relate the matter."
Relate oh, ay tell it, you mean. Why, then, sir,
the rebels came down the trace, from out the cypress, I reckon,
and --"
Who led them ?" denianded Proctor, impatiently.
Why I reckon 'twas Major Singleton."
Reckon ! Do you not know, sir ?"" Well, yes, major, I may say I do, seeing that I seed him
myself."" And why, sirrah, did you not shoot him down ? You knew
he was a rebel that a price was set upon his head that
you could have rendered no better service to your king and
to yourself, than by bringing in the ears of a traitor so