Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XII: The Trail Lost >> Page 104

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Page 104

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 104 MELLICIHA.MPE.

" COME, sir away put us on the track of the rebel. Show
where he is hidden and, hark you, Scipio not a word
no noise to tell him we are coming, or "
The threat was left unfinished, but it was nevertheless suf-
ficiently well understood. The reply of the negro was char-
" Gor A'mighty, Mass Barsfield, enty I guine? You no
'casion push a nigger so. Ef you was to hang me up agen, I
couldn't go no more faster dan I does."
He led the way freely enough ; but it was not the-intention
of Scipio to betray the trust of Mellichampe, even if it had
been in his power to lead them to the place of his concealment.
His object was simply to escape a present difficulty. He had
no thought beyond the moment. With this object, with the
natural cunning of the. negro, and the integrity of the faithful
slave, he framed in his mind a plan of search, which, while it
should be urged on his part with all the earnestness of truth,
should yet still more effectually mislead the pursuers. Scipio
was one of those trusty slaves to be found in almost every na-
tive southern family, who, having grown up with the children
of their owners, have acquired a certain correspondence of feel-
ing with them. A personal attachment had strengthened the
bonds which necessity imposed, and it was quite as much a
principle in Scipio's mind to fight and die for his owners, as to
work for them. Regarding his young mistress with a most un-.
varying devotion, he had been made acquainted at an early
period with the nature of the tie which existed between her-
self and Mellichampe, and many were the billets and messages