Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XII: The Trail Lost >> Page 108

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Page 108

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 108 MELLICHAMPE.
now in charge. Leave it to me to manage the youngster I
shall make my arrangements for his capture, and he can not
long escape me. Once taken, he troubles neither of us again,
He swings for it, sir, or there is no law in the land."
This discourse confounded the old gentleman. He was
not unwilling to be thought free from any collusion with
Mellichampe, but the youth was a favorite. The bitter
speech of Barsfield, and the final threat, totally unmanned
his hearer, and he exclaimed, in a voice made tremulous by his
emotion
What! Ernest Mellichampe hang Ernest Mellichampe,
captain ? Why, what has the poor youth done ?"
Done !" exclaimed the other; " done, Mr. Berkeley?
Why, sir, is he not one of that traitorous brood of Max Melli-
champe, who was so fierce an enemy of his king ; so merciless
in fight, and so uncompromising in whatever related to this
struggle ? I had the good fortune to serve my sovereign, as
you know, by killing him ; and, from what has been shown to
me of this. young man, I shall do my country no less a service
by sending him after his father."
Oh, ay, captain but that was in fight. Of course Ernest,
if he lifts arms against our sovereign, must take his chance
like any other soldier in battle, but
He has incurred another risk to-night, Mr. Berkeley he
has penetrated into my line of sentinels as a spy."
The tory silenced the well-intentioned speaker. They en-
tered the hall, where Blona.y still sat, alone, and in as- perfect
a condition of quiet as if there had not. been the slightest
uproar. Glancing his eye quickly around the apartment, and
seeing that none other was present, Barsfield approached the
half-breed with a look of stern severity, and, laying his hand
upon his shoulder, he thus addressed him
Hark'ee, fellow ; you pretend to be a good loyalist you
have got Proctor's certificate to that effect why did you
not seek to take the rebel, when you were so much nigher
the entrance than any one of the rest? Did you not see
him?"
Well, cappin, I reckon I did see him when he looked into