Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter VII: Piney Grove >> Page 68

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Page 68

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 68 MELLICHAMPE.
Madeira of the planter soon made its appearance, to which
they did ample justice. The generous liquor soon produced
freedom of discourse ; and, after a few courteous and usual
overtures, consisting of mutual inquiries after the health of the
several parties present, their relations, friends, and so forth,
the conversation grew more general, and, -perhaps, more impor-
tant, as it touched upon the condition of the country.
" You have quiet now, Mr. Berkeley," said Barsfield. The
rousing defeats which the rebels have recently sustained have
pretty well done them up on every side. The game is very
nigh over, and we shall soon have little else to do than gather
up the winnings. The drubbing which Cornwallis gave that
conceited fellow, Gates, and the surprise of Sumter, both events
so complete and conclusive, will go very far toward bringing
the country back to its loyalty."" God grant it, sir," was the ardent response of Mr. Berke-
ley, " for we shall then have peace. These have been four
miserable years to the country, since the beginning of this
war. Neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend, and
sometimes even brother arming and going out to battle with
his brother. It h as been an awful time, and Heaven grant, sir,
it may be as you say. Heaven restore us the quiet and the
peace which have been for so long strangers in the land."" You shall have it, sir, I promise you, after this ; though I
should think, by this time, you have been perfectly freed from
the incursions of that skulking fellow, Marion. The report is
that he has disbanded his men, and has fled into North Caro-
lina. If so, I shall have little use for mine; and these arms
which I have brought for distribution among your loyal neigh-
bors, will scarcely be necessary to them. Have you any in-
telligence on this subject, Mr. Berkeley ?"" No, sir no, none ! I am not in the way, Captain Bars-
field, of hearing intelligence of this nature. I know nothing
of the movements of either party."
This reply was uttered with some little trepidation and,
as the old gentleman spoke, he looked apprehensively around
the apartment, as if he dreaded to see the redoubtable " swamp
fox" and all his crew, Roaring Dick," Thumbscrew," and