Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter VII: Piney Grove >> Page 66

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Page 66

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 66 MELLICIAMPE.
provoking thereby its frequent repetition. His mild blue eye
spoke his feelings ; his nervousness amply announced his own
consciousness of imbecility ; while his pale cheek and prema-
turely white hair told of a ictions deeply felt, and of vexing
and frequent strifes, injuries, and discontent.
On the present occasion he received his guest with a kindly
air of welcome, which was most probably sincere. He was
quite too feeble not to be glad of the presence of those who
could afford him protection ; and there was no little truth in
the boast of the tory captain to his companion, when he said
that the timidity of Berkeley would be one of the probable
influences which might facilitate his progress in the courtship
of his daughter. ri'lie manner of Barsfield was influenced
somewhat by his knowledge of the weakness of Mr. Berkeley,
not less than by his own habitual audacity. He met the old
gentleman with an air of ancient intimacy, grasped the prof-
fered hand with a hearty and confident action, and, in tones
rather louder than ordinary, congratulated him upon his health
and good looks.
I have not waited, you see, Mr. Berkeley, for an invita-
tion. I have ridden in and taken possession without a word,
as if I was perfectly assured that no visiter could be more cer-
tainly welcome to a good loyalist like yourself, than one who
was in arms for his majesty."
None, sir none, Captain Barsfield you do me nothing
more than justice. You are welcome his majesty's officers
and troops are always welcome to my poor dwelling," was the
reply of the old man, uttered without restraint, and seemingly
with cordiality; and yet, a close observer might have seen
that there was an air of abstraction indicative of a wandering
and dissatisfied mood, in the disturbed and changing expres-
sion of his features. A few moments elapsed, which they em-
ployed in mutual inquiries, when Lieutenant Clayton, having
bestowed his men, their baggage, and wagons, agreeably to the
directions given him, now joined them upon, the steps of the
dwelling, and was introduced by Barsfield, in character, to-his
host. Clayton reported to his captain what he had done with
the troop, their disposition, and the general plan of their