Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter IX: Owls Abroad >> Page 78

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Page 78

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription '78 MELLICHAMPE.
Thumbscrew, as the course of Barsfield grew obvious, seemed
to add new fuel to the fire already burning in his bosom.
So ho ! lie's for Piney Grove to-night ! Well, Airnest,
that knocks up your business. There's no gitting to see Miss
Janet while Barsfield's there, I reckon."
And why not ?" was the fierce demand, why not ? I
will see her to-night, by Heaven, though I die for it ! I have
promised her, and God help me, as I shall keep that and every
promise that I have made, or shall ever make, to her! Do
you think, Thumbscrew, that I fear this scoundrel ? Do you
think that I would not the rather go, if I thought that it was
possible to encounter him alone ? I have prayed for such a
chance, and I would pray for it now, even were the odds more
numerously against me."
Don't be rash, Airnest don't be headstrong and contrary,
boy. It'll be mighty onwise and redic'lous for you to go to
Piney Grove to-night, though you did make a promise : there's
no use for it, and it's like going into the lion's den, as a body
may say. - Barsfield, you may be sure, will put out his sentries;
and them tories, like the smallpox they have in Charleston
now, are mighty catching. You can't go there with any
chance of clearing the bush ; and if that chap gets you in
his gripe, it'll go monstrous hard with you. He knows you've
got no reason to love him ; and he's hearn, long ago, how
you've sworn agin him ; and he'd like nothing better now, do
you see, than to set finger upon you. You can't think how
-pleasant it would make him feel to put a grape-vine round
your neck : so you must keep quiet, and not think of seeing
Miss Janet to-night."
But I must and will think of it. I will see her at every
hazard, and you need say nothing more on the subject, Thumb-
screw, unless you change very greatly the burden of what you
say. This caution�caution�caution�nothing but caution
is the dullest music ; it sickens me to the soul. You are too
careful of me by half, Thumbscrew ; I can't move but you
follow and counsel me�striving to guard me against a thou-
sand dangers and difficulties which nobody ever dreams of but
yourself."