Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter II: Indian Blood >> Page 21

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Page 21

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription INDIAN BLOOD. 21
thing which he was to remove ready for the moment of depar-
ture, he threw himself upon the miserable pallet of his hut, and
soon fell into unbroken slumbers.
The stars were yet shining, and it lacked a good hour of
the daylight, when he arose from his couch and began to bestir
himself in preparations for departure. Emerging from the
hovel with his bundles, as we have seen them prepared the
night before, be placed them under a neighboring tree, and,
undoing the string from the neck of the hungry cur that kept
watch in his kennel immediately beside the hovel's entrance,
he left him in charge of the deposite, while he took his way
to the margin of a little canebrake a few hundred yards off.
There, with a shrill whistle and a brief cry two or three times
repeated, be called up from its recesses a shaggy pony� a
creature of the swamps� a hardy, tough, uncouth, and unclean
little animal, which followed him like a dog to the hovel which
he had left. The hollow of a cypress yielded him saddle and
bridle, and the little _goat-like steed was soon equipped, and
ready for his rider. This done, Blonay fastened him to a tree
near his dog, and, without a word, proceeded to apply the torch
to several parts of the building. It was not long before the
flames rose around it in every quarter ; and, lingering long
enough to perceive 'that the conflagration must now be effectual,
the half breed at length grasped his rifle, mounted his tacky,
and, followed by his ill-looking dog, once more took his way
to the village of Dorchester.
Moving slowly, he did not reach the village until the day
had fully dawned. He then proceeded at once to the garrison,
and claimed to be admitted to the presence of the commander.
Proctor was too good a soldier, and one too heedful of his duty,
to suffer annoyance from a visit at so early an hour ; and,
though not yet risen, he gave orders at once for the admission
of the applicant, and immediately addressed himself to the
arrangement of his toilet. With a subdued but calm air of
humility, Blonay stood before the Briton his countenance as
immovable and impassive as if he had sustained no loss, and
was altogether unconscious . of privation. Regarding him
with more indulgence than had hitherto been his custom,