Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter II: Indian Blood >> Page 19

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Page 19

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription INDIAN BLOOD. 19
would never have been suffered so plainly to appear. For
some time he sat in this manner without change of position,
and during all this period it would seem that he was working
Quit in his mind some particular plan of conduct, in the pursuit
of an object of no less difficulty than importance. Of that
object we can only conjecture the nature from a reference to
events, and to his actual condition. The vindictive blood
within him his irresponsible position in society the severity
of the treatment to which, justly or not, be had been subjected
by one of the parties between whom the province was divided
and the recent dispensation which had deprived him of the
companionship of one, who, however despicable and disgust-
ing to all others, was at least a mother to him were circum-
stances well calculated to arouse the savage desire of ven-
geance upon those to whom any of his sufferings might be
attributed.
That such were his thoughts, and such the object of his
deliberations, may safely be inferred from the few words of
muttered declamation which fell from his lips at intervals while
thus rapt in his contemplations. It would be to no purpose
to record these words, since they do little more than afford a
brief and passing sanction to the opinion we have thus ventured
to entertain, and prove, at the same time, the character of a
mood seemingly hostile to humankind in general. They
were bitter and comprehensive, and summed up, to the cost of
humanity, all the wrongs to which he had been subjected, and
many others, wrongs in his sight only, of which he but com-
plained. Yet an attentive listener might have observed, that
in what he said there was an occasional reference to one
individual in particular, who was yet nameless ; which ref-
erence, whenever made, called up to his black, penetrating,
but blear eyes, their most malignant expression. All their
fires seemed to collect and to expand with a new supply
of fuel at such moments, and his swarthy skin glowed upon
his cheeks, as if partaking with them a kindred intensity of
blaze.
He remained in this state of feeling and reflection for some
hours, indulging his usual listnessness of habit while pursuing