Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter X: Thunder in a Clear Sky >> Page 90

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Page 90

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 90 MELLICHAMPE.
Mr. Barsfield, provided none but Marion's men get into them.
They never trouble us."
But, my dear," said the old gentleman, we are none the
less indebted to Captain Barsfield for his aid and assistance.
It is true, captain, we have not suffered much if any loss yet
from the people who are out ; but times may change, captain,
and there's no knowing how soon your kind assistance may
be of the utmost importance. We should not be ungrateful,
I would not, father," responded the maiden, meekly ;
" Captain Barsfield has my thanks for the aid he has proffered
us, though I still think we shall not find it necessary. Our
home has always been a quiet one, and has been respected by
all parties. My father," and here she turned to Barsfield with
a free and fearless glance, " My father is an invalid, and can
not take any part in the war which is going on ; and while he
extends his hospitality to all, without distinction, he may well
hope to need little of the aid of either in defending him from
any. It is as little, under these circumstances, as we can
require, that our guests shall forbear the use of language which
might either give us pain, as it refers contemptuously or un-
justly to our friends and those whom we esteem, or must in-
volve us in the controversy which we should better avoid.
Captain Barsfield will forgive me if I am unwilling to listen to
the abuse of my countrymen."
The manner of the maiden was so dignified as to silence
farther controversy. Barsfield submitted with a very good
grace, though inwardly extremely chafed at the resolute and
unreserved manner in which she spoke of those whom he
had denounced as rebels, and to whose patriotic conduct his
own had been so unhappily opposed. He strove, however, not
merely to subdue his ill-humor, but to prove to her that it had
given way to better feelings ; and, with a due increase of
courtesy, he arose, and would have conducted her to the fine
old harpsichord, which formed a most conspicuous article of
the household furniture in the apartment. She declined, how-
ever, to perform, in spite of every compliment which he could
bestow upon her skill and voice, with both of which be ap-