Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XI: Scipio >> Page 96

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 96

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 96 MELLICHAMPE;
CHAPTER XI.
sciplo.

THE movement of Barsfield was almost as soon perceived
by Mellichampe as it had been by Janet Berkeley. He saw,
at a glance, the abrupt spring which the tory made from his
chair ; and, conjecturing the cause of his emotion, he prepared
himself for flight. Though rash in the extreme, he was not so
much of the madman as to dare the contest with such a force
as Barsfield could bring against him : yet loath-was he, indeed,
to fly before so hated an enemy.
" Oh, could we but cross weapons alone in that deep forest,
with no eye upon us but those heavenly watchers, and the grim
spirits that hover around and exult in the good stroke which
is struck for vengeance! Could we there meet, Barsfield-
but this hour �I would ask nothing more from Heaven !"
This was the prayer of Mellichampe ; these were his words,
muttered through his clinched teeth, as, turning from the win-
dow, be placed his hands on the light railing of the balcony,
and, heedless of the height something over fifteen feet
leaped, with a fearless, yet bitter heart, into the yard below.
He had come, agreeably to his appointment with the maiden,
and, as we have seen, in spite of all the solicitations of his
friend and comrade. He had uttered his accustomed signals
they had been, of necessity, disregarded. Vexed and fever-
ish, his blood grew more phrensied at every moment which he
was compelled to wait ; and, at no time blessed with patience, he
had adopted the still more desperate resolution of penetrating
to the very dwelling which contained the maiden whom he
loved. What to him was the danger from an enemy at such a
moment, and with feelings such as his ? What were those