Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter VI: The Plot Thickens >> Page 56

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Page 56

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 5 6 MELLICHAMPE.
"A stout fellow, quite as broad, but not so tall as me, with a skin brown, like mine, as a berry ; a book nose, and a mouth more like the chop of a broad-axe than anything else."
He paused, and the eves of the scout and those of his young comrade met. There was a quickening apprehension of the truth in those of Mellichanipe, which made them kindle with successive flashes, while his mouth, partaking of the same influence, quivered convulsively, as, bending forward to his more sedate companion, be demanded, with a stern, brief manner
" You are not speaking of Barsfield, surely?"" I am that's the critter, or I'm no Christian."
The youth seized his rifle as he replied´┐Ż" And you shot him not down ! you suffered him to pass you in safety ! my father's blood yet upon his hands --unavenged and he going now, doubtless, to reap the reward of his crime and perfidy! But he can not have gone far. He must be yet within reach, and, by the Eternal ! he shall not escape me now. Hold me not back, Thumbscrew-- bold me not back! I deem you no friend or mine that suffered the wretch to pass on in safety, and I shall deem you still less my.friend if you labor to re-strain me now. Hold me not, I tell you, Witherspoon, or it will be worse for you."
The youth, as he spoke, leaped upon his feet in a convulsion of passion, that seemed to set at defiance all restraint. His eyes, that before had sent forth only irregular flashes of light and impulse, were now fixed in a steady, unmitigated flame, that underwent no change. Not so his lips, which quivered and paled more fitfully than ever. He strove earnestly with
his strong-limbed comrade, who had grasped him firmly with
the first ebullition of that passion which be seemed to have anticipated.
"What would you do, Airnest ? don't be foolish now, I beg you ; running your head agin a pine knot that you can't swallow. It's all foolishness to go on so, and can do no good. As to shooting that skunk, I couldn't and wouldn't do it, though I had the muzzle up, and it was a sore temptation, Airnest; for I remembered the old man, and his white hair, and it stood