Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XII: The Trail Lost >> Page 111

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Page 111

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE TRAIL LOST. 111
away .a long life of tedium in a protracted and monotonous
humming. If ever I get a lover, which, Heaven knows, seems
but a doubtful prospect at this moment, I vow he should have
no quiet he should be required to do just what you fret that
Mellichampe is now doing. He should scale fences and walls,
ford creeks when there's a freshet, and regularly come to visit
me through the swamp ; and this he must prove to me that
he has done, by a fair exhibition of his bespattered boots and
garments. As for difficulties such as these frightening a lover
from his purpose, I would not give my name for any lover
who would not smile upon, while overcoming them."
In a sadder tone than ever, Janet replied to the playful
girl, who continued to run on and interrupt her at intervals
wherever her speech seemed more desponding than usual.
It is not mere difficulties, Rose, but positive dangers, that
I dread for Ernest ; and, but that I know he will not heed my
words in such a matter, I should utterly break with him, and
for ever, if it were only to keep him away from the risk into
which he plunges with little or no consideration. Twice or
thrice has he nearly fallen a victim to this same man, Bars-
field, who has a desperate hatred toward him
And a desperate love for you," said the other.
" Which is quite as idle, Rose, as the other is rash," replied
Janet, calmly, to the interruption. Vainly have I implored
him to desist to forbear seeking or seeing me until the danger
and the war are over ; and, above all, to avoid our plantation,
where my father is too timid and too feeble to serve him when
there is danger, and where I am certain that spies of the tories
are always on the watch to report against any of the whigs
who may be stirring."
And, like a good, stubborn, whole-hearted lover, Melli-
champe heeds none of your exhortations that would keep him
away. Heaven send me such a lover ! He should come when
he pleased, and, if I prayed him at all, it should be that he
would only leave me when I pleased. I would not trouble him
with frequent orders, I assure you."
Ah, Rose ! would I had your spirits !"" All, Janet ! would I had your lover ! He is just the lover,