Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter IV: Yorkshire Versus Yorkshire >> Page 43

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Page 43

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
The inquiry was adroitly insinuated, but Blonay was not to
be caught, even had he been in possession of the desired infor-
mation. He availed himself of the question, however, to sug-
gest another, by which, had his companion been less guarded,
he might have discovered to which party he belonged.
What troops ?" he asked, carelessly.
Why, them that fights, to be sure. Troops, if I'm rightly
told, is them men that rides on horseback, and *fights with
swords and pistols, and the big cannon."
Yes, troopers," said Blonay, tired, seemingly, of putting
questions so unprofitably answered.
"Ay�troopers, is it ? I always called them troops. But
you a'n't tell'd me if they're coming in these parts. You a'n't
seed any on the road, I reckon ? for you a'n't hurt, that I
can see. But, may be you out-travelled 'em ; they shot at
you, though ?"
The volubility of Thumbscrew carried him so rapidly on in
his assumptions, that it was with difficulty Blonay kept him-
self sufficiently reserved in his communications. He was at
some pains, however, to assure him that lie had neither seen
any troops, nor been pursued, nor shot at by them ; that his
whole journey hitherto had been unmarked by any other ad-
venture of more importance than the catching of the single
rabbit, in which Thumbscrew had himself so largely assisted.
This reference drew the attention of Thumbscrew to the rag-
ged and mean-looking cur that followed the stranger. He ad-
mired him exceedingly, and at length proceeded to ask
Won't you trade him, now, stranger ? I want a hunting-dog
Blonay declined, and was so pleased and satisfied with the
simplicity of his new acquaintance, that he ventured to ask
some direct, questions; taking care, however, that none of
them should convey any committal of his sentiments. He
stated, for himself', that he was on his way to Black river and
the Santee ; that he was looking after a person who was in-
debted to him ; that he was a peaceable man, and wanted to
get on without fighting, and be was therefore desirous of avoiding all combatants. In order to do this, he would like to