Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XI: Scipio >> Page 98

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Page 98

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 9 8 MELLICHAMPE.
advancing. He had drawn his knife in the first moment of
his flight, and, looking now only for enemies, it had nearly
found its sheath in the breast of the stranger, when the tones
of his voice arrested the fugitive.
Ha, Mass Arnest, dat you? Lord 'a massy, you 'most
knock the breat out my body."
Silence, Scip �not a word, villain. I am pursued by the
tories. Would you betray me ?" were the hurried and em-
phatic, but suppressed words of Mellichampe.
'Tray you, Mass Arnest how come you tink so ? Enty
da Sip�you truss Sip always, Mass Arnest truss 'em now,"
was the prompt reply of the negro, uttered in tones similarly
low.
I will, Scip I will trust you. Barsfield is upon me, and
I must gain the garden.""No go dere. Tory sodger jist run 'long by the garden
fence."
Where then, old fellow ?"
The negro paused for a moment, and the clattering of the
sabres was now heard distinctly.
"Drop, Mass Arnest, drop for dear life close behind dis
tree. Hug 'em close, I yerry dem coming."
I have it," said the youth, coolly, to the bewildered negro,
as the sounds denoted the approach of the pursuers to that
quarter of the area in which this brief conference had been
carried on �
I have it, Scip. I will lie close to this fallen tree, and do
you take to your heels in the direction of the woods. To the
right, Scip � and let them see you as you run."
How den, Mass Arnest�wha de good ob dat ?"
Fly, fellow, they come to the right, to the right."
With the words Mellichampe threw himself prostrate, close
beside a huge tree that had been recently felled in the enclo
sure, while the faithful negro darted off without hesitation in
the direction which had been pointed out to him. In another
moment a body of the troopers was scattered around the tree,
bounding over it in all directions. Barsfield led the pursuit,
and animated it by his continual commands. The scene grew