Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter VI: The Plot Thickens >> Page 58

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 58 MELLICHAMPE.
Oh, yes ! I understand all that, Airnest. I'm your friend
so long as I don't think or act contrary to your thinking and
acting. Now, to my thinking, that's a bargain that will only
answer for one side, and I never yet made a bargain in my
life under them sort of tarms. If I sells a horse or buys one,
I does it because I thinks there'll be some sort of benefit or
gain to myself. I don't want to take ondue advantage of the
other man, but I expects to git as good as I gives. That's the
trade for me ; whether it be a horse that I trades, or my
good word and the heart, rough or gentle, all the same, that
I bring to barter with my friend. When I makes sich a trade,
I can't stand and see the man I trade with making light of
the article I gives him. If it's my friendship and good word,
he mustn't make them a sort of plaything, to sport which way
he pleases ; arid, so long as I say I'm his friend, he sla'n't
butt a tree if I can keep his head from it, though I have to
take main force to hold him in. On them same tarms, Air-
nest, I stood by the old 'squire, your father, when he got
into difficulties about the line of his land with Hitchingh am ;
when the two got ail their friends together, and fout, as one
may say, like so many tiger-cats, along the rice-dam, for two
long hours by sun. You've hearn tell of that excursion, I'm
thinking. That was a hard brush, and I didn't skulk like a
skunk then, as they will all tell you that seed it. But that
worn't the only time; there was others, more than a dozen beside
that, and all jist as tough, when Thumbscrew hung on to the
'squire, as if he was two other legs and arms of the same body,
and nobody could touch the one without touching the other.
Then came that scrape with Barsfield ; and now I tell you,
Airnest, it worn't a murder, as you calls it, but a fair fight,
for both the parties was fairly out ; and, though the old
'squire, your father, was surprised, and not on his proper
guard, yet it was a fair-play fight, and sick as comes about, as
I may say, naturally, in all our skrimmages with the tories.
They licked us soundly, to be sure, 'cause they had the most
men ; but we fout 'em to the last, and 'twas a fair fight from
the. jump."