Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter IX: Owls Abroad >> Page 81

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Page 81

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription OWLS ABROAD. 81
The woodman shook his head and muttered to himself, with
an air not less of decision than of dissent. , If his companion
was fixed in his determination, Thumbscrew was not less re-
solved in his; .but of this he said nothing. Quietly enough,
and with the composure and intimacy of two relying friends,
they sought out their retreat, behind which, some hundred
yards, a close bay gave shelter to their horses two' noble
animals, well caparisoned, which bounded away beneath them
with a free step and a graceful movement, though the dark-
ness already covered the highway, making the path doubtful,
if not dangerous, in some places, to riders less experienced
and bold than themselves. They retraced the-ground which
they bad just left, and when they had reached the avenue
leading to "Piney Grove," they sunk into the contiguous
woods, and there Mellichampe, alighting, prepared himself for
that visit to his mistress from which his comrade bad so earn-
estly endeavored to dissuade him. Nor did he now forbear
his solicitations to the same effect. He urged his objections
more gently, yet with his former earnestness, only to meet
with same stern decision.
"Well, now, Airnest," said the faithful woodman, sence
you're bent to go, like a wilful fox that's still got a tail worth
docking, suppose you let me go along with you ? You'd bet-
ter, now ; I can keep watch "
Pshaw ! Thumbscrew, what nonsense ! I need no watch,
and certainly would not permit your presence at such a time.
You know I go to meet with a lady."
S wounds, Airnest ! but she sha'n't see me.""-Why, man, of what do you speak ? Would you have me
guilty of a meanness, Thumbscrew ?""Pang it, Airnest!" I see it's no' use to talk. You're on
your high horse to-day, and nobody can take you down. I'll
leave you ; but, Airnest, boy, keep a bright look-out, and stick
to the bush close as a blind 'possum that's lame of a fore-paw.
You're going among sharp woodmen, them same tories ; and
they'll give you a hard drive if they once sets foot on your
trail. When do you say you'll come ?"