Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter IX: Owls Abroad >> Page 77

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Page 77

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription OWLS ABROAD. 77
CHAPTER, IX. OWLS ABROAD.

LET us back to the woods and their wild inhabitants. We
have seen the success of the woodman in dissuading his young
companion from the idle and rash demonstration which he
sought to make upon the person of the tory captain. Prevent-
ed from any attempt upon the life of Barsfield, Mellichampe
nevertheless determined upon watching his footsteps. In this
design he was readily seconded by Witherspoon. This, in-
deed, was a duty with them both. They were then playing
the part of scouts to Marion. Taking their way on foot,
immediately after their enemies, they kept the cover of the
forest, with the caution of experienced woodmen, venturing
only now and then upon the skirts of the road, in such conti-
guity as to enable them to command a full view, for some dis-
tance on either hand, of everything that took place upon it.
Familiar with the neighborhood, they availed themselves of
each by-way and foot-path to shorten the distance ; and thus,
gaining ground at every step, they were readily and soon ena-
bled to come in sight of the persons they pursued.
The fierce spirit of the youthful Mellichampe could scarcely
be restrained by a wholesome prudence, while he saw, at mo-
ments, through the leaves, the person of his enemy. It was
with no small increase of vexation, when they came in sight
of Piney Grove, that he saw the troop of the tory turning.
into the avenue. Could he have listened to the dialogue be-
tween the tory captain and his lieutenant at this time, his fury
would scarce have been restrainable. It would have been
a far more difficult matter for his companion then to have
kept him from his meditated rashness. A passing remark of