Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter X: Thunder in a Clear Sky >> Page 89

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Page 89

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THUNDER IN A CLEAR SKY. 89
" This allegory of your fair friend, Miss Berkeley, would
seem not altogether wanting in some direct application, if one
may judge from the degree of annoyance which it occasions
you. Is-it true that some favorite dove is in danger does the
hawk really hang over head ; and am I to trace in the likeness
of the one, a wild rebel, an outlaw of the land some senti-
mental robber of the swamp and, in the other, the vigilant
sentinel of an indulgent monarch, keeping watch over the fold
and protecting it against the excursive marauder ? If so, in
which of these two shall I hold Miss Berkeley to be so greatly
interested ?"
Mr. Berkeley eagerly bent forward to hear the answer of his
daughter ; and even Blonay, who had withdrawn himself
humbly into a corner of the room, seemed to comprehend some-
thing of the matter in hand, and stretched out his long neck,
while his blear eyes peered into those which the maiden now
fixed upon her questioner.
" I am not good, sir, at solving riddles," *as her calm reply;
and really can not undertake to say to what your present
remark should refer. Perhaps you are right, however, in com-
paring to the innocent bird, in danger from the lurking fowler,
the outlaw whom you call the rebel. The hawk, sir, stands
well enough for the pursuer. But, if these comparisons be true,
there is no danger to us, I assure you, as I myself believe,
even should the outlaw become the marauder."
And .here she paused, and her eyes were withdrawn from
the person to whom she had spoken. The tory bit his lip ;
and, though he strove with that object, failed to suppress the
dissatisfaction which her speech had occasioned. Taking up
her reply, which had been evidently left unfinished, lie pro-
ceeded to carry out the sentence.
But there is danger, you would say, from the latter. Let
me remove your fears, Miss Berkeley. The hawk will watch
over his charge without preying upon it, as you shall see. I
am not unwilling to appear before you as one of the brood, and
you and yours shall be secure in the protection I shall bring
you against any lurking rebel in your swamps."" I believe not that we have much to fear from that quarter,