Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XI: Scipio >> Page 102

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Page 102

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 102 MELLICHAMPE.
well knew that Scipio was a favorite family-servant, and re-
markable for his fidelity, he did not doubt that he would keep
a secret concerning one so long intimate with it as Mellichampe
to the very last moment. This suggestion hastened his de-
cision. With the utmost composure he bade the soldier exe-
cute his office, and looked on calmly, and heard without heed-
ing the many adjurations, and prayers, and protestations of
the negro, desperately urged, as they hurried him to the tree,
over a projecting limb of which one end of the rope was already
thrown.
Will you tell now, Scipio ?" demanded Barsfield of the
slave, in a tone of voice absolutely frightful to him from its
gentleness. " Tell me where Mellichampe ran tell where
you have concealed him, and I let you go ; but, if you do not,
you hang in a few moments on this very tree."
I no see'm, Mass Cappin he no run, he stan' in de same
place. Hab a pity, Mass Cappin, 'pon Scipio, da's a good nig-
ger for old massa, and da's doing noting for harm anybody."
Once more, Scipio where is the rebel ?�where is Melli-
champe ?"
Da trute, 11'lass Cappin, I don't know."
Pull him up, men."
The cruel order was coolly given, and in tones that left no
room in the minds of the soldiers to doubt that they were to
execute the hurried sentence. Struggling, gasping, and labor-
ing to speak, Scipio was lifted into air. He kicked desper-
ately, sought to scream, and at length, as the agony of his
increasing suffocation grew more and more oppressive, and in
feeble and scarcely intelligible accents, he professed his wil-
lingness now to do all that was required of him.
" I tell--I tell ebbry ting, Mass Cappin cut de rope, da's
all. I tell--cut 'em Pass--lose 'em quick-. Oh he da mash
my head--I choke."
The cord was relaxed with the utterance of this promise.
The victim was suffered to sink down upon the ground, where,
for a few moments, he crouched, half sitting, half lying, almost
exhausted with struggling, and seemingly in a stupor from the
pain and fright he had undergone. But Barsfield did not much