Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XI: Scipio >> Page 97

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Page 97

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription SCIPIO. 97
feelings what the fears which possessed him ? Patient and
reckless, his feelings and his thoughts did equal injustice to
her and to himself.
She forgets´┐Ż she forswears me like all the rest. He seeks
her, perhaps, and she--ha ! what hope had the desperate and
the desolate ever yet from woman, when pomp and prosperity
approached as his rival ?"
He little knew the maiden whom he so misjudged ; but it
was thus that be communed with his own bitter spirit, when
he made the rash determination to penetrate to the dwelling,
from the deep umbrageous garden in its rear, where, hitherto,
the lovers had been accustomed to meet, in as sweet a bower
as love could have chosen for a purpose so hallowed.
But, though rash almost to madness in coming to the dwell-
ing, Mellichampe was not so heedless of his course as to forget
the earnest warnings which yV itherspoon had given him. In
approaching the house he had taken the precaution to survey
all the premises beforehand. The grounds were all well known
to him, and he made a circuit around them, by which means
he discovered the manner in which the encampment of the
troop was made, and how, and where, the sentinels were post-
ed. These he surveyed without exposure, and, though imme-
diately contiguous on more than one occasion to the lounging
guard, he escaped without challenge or suspicion. From the
park he stole back into the garden. Emerging from its shel-
ter, he advanced to the rear of the building, and, passing under
the piazza which encompassed it, he stole silently up the steps,
sought the window, looked in upon the company, and was
compelled, as we have seen, to fly.
He was now in the court below ; and, as the bustle went on
above, he paused to listen and to meditate his course. Mean-
while the alarm was sounded from the bugle of the troop. The
commotion of their movement distinctly reached his ears, and
he leaped off fleetly but composedly among the trees, which
concealed his flight toward the garden, just as the rush of
Barsfield and Clayton down the steps of the piazza warned
him of the necessity of farther precipitation. At that moment,
darting forward, he encountered the person of one who was