Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter VII: Piney Grove >> Page 70

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Page 70

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 70 MELLICIIAMPE.
having a pass from Proctor ? He looks as if he would make
an admirable one. If his eyes only see as far as they seem
willing to go, he is certainly a very valuable acquisition.
A distinct hem from another quarter of the hall attracted
all eyes in that direction, and there, squat upon the hearth of
one of the fireplaces, sat the form- of Blonay. He had piled
the dismembered brands together, and sat enjoying the fire,
unperceived and certainly unenvied. At what time he had
so secretly effected his entrance, was utterly unknown to any
of the party. Barsfield started as he beheld him, and, seeming
to forget his host, hastily addressed him
Why, how now, fellow ? you seem to make yourself at
home. Why are you here ? why did you not remain with the
troop ?"
Why, cause I an't one of them, you see, cappin, and they
all pokes fun at me."'The simplicity of this reply. disarmed Barsfield of his anger,
and his presence gave him a new subject upon which to enjoy
himself. The half-breed was now made to undergo another
examination, conducted by both the officers, who mingled freely
with their inquiries sundry poor jests at his infirmity, all of
which fell upon the seemingly sterile sense of the subject as
if he had been so much marble. While thus engaged an inner
door was thrown open, and the guests started involuntarily to
their feet.
My daughter, gentlemen, Miss Berkeley �my niece, Miss
Duncan," were the words of the old man, uttered with an air
of greater elevation than was his wont. The two ladies were
provided with seats, and in the momentary silence which fol-
lowed their first appearance, we may be permitted to take a
passing glance at their persons. Our opinions may well be
reserved for another chapter.