Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter III: The Companions >> Page 32

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Page 32

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 32 M ELLICHAMPE.
conceive him one not often disposed for its exercise. .An air
of sluggish inertness marked his manner, and seemed to single
him out as one of the mere beef-eaters-,the good citizens,
who, so long as they get wherewithal to satisfy the animal,
are not apt to take umbrage at any of the doings of the world
about them. His face, however, had an expression of its own ;
and the sanguine flush which overspread the full cheeks, and
the quick, restless movement of his blue eye, spoke of an
active spirit, and one prompt enough at all times to govern
and set in motion the huge bulk of that body, now so inert
and sluggish. His forehead, though good, was not large ; his
chili was full, and his nose one of length and character. He
was habited in the common blue and white homespun of the
country. A sort of hunting-shirt, rather short, like a doublet,
came over his hips, and was bound about his waist by a belt
of the same material. A cone-crowned hat, the rim of which,
by some mischance, had been torn away, lay beside him, and
formed another portion of his habiliments. Instead of slioes,
he wore a rude pair of buckskin moccasins, made after the In-
dian manner, though not with their usual skill, and which lack-
ed here and there the aid of the needle. His shirt-collar lay
open, without cravat or covering of any kind ; and, by the
deeply-bronzed color of the skin beneath, told of habitual ex-
posure to the elements. A rifle lay beside him ´┐Ża long in-
strument, and in his belt a black leather case was stuck
conveniently, the huge knife which it protected lying beside
him, as it had just before been made subservient to his mid-
day meat.
His companion was a youth scarcely more than twenty.
years of age, who differed greatly in appearance from him we
have attempted to describe. His eye was black and fiery, his
cheek brown and thin, his hair of a raven black like his eye,
his chin full, his nose finely Roman, and his forehead impo-
singly high. His person was slender, of middle height., and
seemed to indicate great activity. His movements were fever-
ishly restless --l;e seemed passionate and impatient, and his
thin, but deeply red lips, quivered and colored with every
word, and at every movement. There was more of pretension