Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XIV: Thumbscrew in Practice >> Page 120

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Page 120

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 120 MELLICHAMPE.
WE have seen, pending the pursuit, that Mellichampe had
coolly kept his way through the garden until he reached the
forest that lay immediately behind it. Here he paused�he
felt secure from any night search by such a force as that under
Barsfield. A huge gum, that forked within a few feet of its
base, diverging then into distinct columns, afforded him a tol-
erable forest seat, into which, with a readiness that seemed to
denote an old familiarity with its uses, the fugitive leaped with
little difficulty. The undergrowth about him was luxuriant,
and almost completely shut in the place of his concealment
from any glance, however far-darting, of that bright moon
which was now rising silently above the trees.
But a sharper eye than hers had been upon the youth from
the first moment of his flight from the garden. The trusty
Thumbscrew was behind him, and a watcher, like himself.
He had hurried from the conference with Humphries; and,
heedful of his friend, for whose safety he felt all a parent's
anxiety, he had pressed forward to the plantation of. Mr. Berke-
ley, and to those portions of it in particular which, as they had
been .frequently traversed by both of them before, he well
knew would be the resort of Mellichampe now. Still, though
resolute to serve the youth, and having no more selfish object,
he did not dare to offend him by exposing his person to his
sight. He arrived at a convenient place of watch just as the
pursuit of Barsfield was at its hottest. He saw the flight of
the fugitive from the garden, and, himself concealed, beheld
him take his old position in the crotch of the gum. His first