Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter V: The Tory Squad >> Page 48

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Page 48

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 48 MELLICHAMPE.
did not disturb the waters with a discontented spirit, seeking
for more pleasure than the surface gave him. At the moment
of their approach the good-humor of the two was equally
shared between them. The subject upon which they had been
conversing appeared to have been productive of no small
degree of merriment to both, and of much undisguised satis-
faction to the elder. He chuckled with uncontrollable compla-
cency, and, long after the laugh of his companion had ceased,
a lurking smile hung upon his lips, that amply denoted the still
lingering thought of pleasure in his mind. Though ignorant
of the occasion of their mirth before, we may now, as they
approach, hear something of the dialogue, which was renewed
after a brief pause between them ; .and which, though it may
not unfold to us the secret of their satisfaction, may at least
inform us, in some degree, of much that is not less necessary
for us to know. The pause was broken by the younger of the
two, whose deferential and conciliatory manner, while it spoke
the inferior, was, at the same time, dashed with a phrase of
fireside familiarity, which marked the intimacy of the boon
companion.
" And now, Barsfield, you may laugh at fortune for ever
after. You have certainly given her your defiance, and have
triumphed over her aversion. You have beaten your enemy,
won your commission, found favor in the sight of your com-
mander, and can now sit down to the performance of a nominal
duty, with a fine plantation, and a stout force of negroes, all
at your command and calling you master. By St. George and
the old dragon himself, I should be willing that these rebels
should denounce me too as a tory, and by any other nickname,
for rewards like these."
They may call me so if they think proper," said the other,
to whom the last portion of his comrade's remark seemed to be
scarcely welcome ; " but, by God ! they will be wise 'not to let
me hear them. I have had that name given me once already
by that insolent boy, and I did not strike him down for it he
may thank his good fortune and the interposition of that fellow
Witherspoon, that I did not but it will be dangerous for any
living man to repeat the affront."