Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter I: The Curtain Rises >> Page 15

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE CURTAIN RISES. 15
among the red-coats, I could ha' dropped one or t'other for cer-
tain, and would ha' done so if 'twan't for the old woman. She
would go on the hill, you see."
Who ?" asked the officer.
Why, sir, the old woman. Jist when I was going to pull
trigger upon that 'skunk Humphries, as he came riding down
the road so big, I heard her cry out, and I couldn't help seeing
her. She did try hard to get out of the way of the horses, but
old people, major, you know, can't move fast like young ones,
and I couldn't help her, no how."
Of whom do you speak now'" demanded Proctor. What
old woman are you talking of ?"
Blonay simply lifted his finger, without changing counte-
nance or-position, while he pointed to a mangled carcass lying
a few paces from the place of their conference, It was there,
indeed, that the soldiers, of Proctor,. on their coming up, had
discovered him ; and the eye of the British major followed the
direction of Bloii,ay's finger only to turn away in horror and
disgust. The miserable features were battered by the hoofs
of the plunging horses out of all shape of humanity, yet Proc-
tor w.as not slow to comprehend the connection between the
vagrant before him and his hag-like mother. Turning away
from the spectacle, he gave directions to the men to assist in
removing the carcass, under the direction of the son, whom he
however proceeded to examine still. farther, and from whom,
after innumerable questions, he obtained all the leading par-
ticulars of the fray. It seemed evident to Proctor, when his
first feeling of exasperation had subsided, that the bereaved
wretch before him was innocent of any participation in the as-
sault of the partisans, and he soon dismissed him to the perfor-
mance of those solemn offices of duty, the last which were to
be required at his hands for the parent he had lost.
Obedient to the commands of their superior, the soldiers drew
nigh, and proceeded to transfer the corpse to one of the carts,
which they had now already filled in part with the bodies
of some of those who had been slain. The son resisted them.
" You a'n't going to have her to Dorchester burying-ground
ell ?"