Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XIV: Thumbscrew in Practice >> Page 122

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 7 22 MELLICII A MPE.
to linger even for an instant in the moonlight. He escaped
detection. He played the scout with a dexterity and ease that
seemed an instinct, and hovered thus around the footsteps of
his daring friend throughout his whole progress, to and fro, in
the adventures of that night.
From the outside to the inside of the garden was but a step,
and in a trice Mellichampe went over the fence. Watching
heedfully until the youth was out of sight, and hidden within
its intricacies, Thumbscrew followed his example, and was
soon wending after him, close along its shady alleys. A dense
and double line of box, which, from having been long un-
trimmed, had grown up into so many trees, afforded an admi-
rable cover ; and, pausing at every turning, he looked forth
only sufficiently often to keep the course of the lover for ever
in his sight.
In the meantime, Mellichampe made his way to the. garden
entrance. Here he stopped with an unwonted degree of pru-
dence, for which Thumbscrew gave him due credit ; he forbore
to press forward, as the latter feared he might do seeking to
cross the court, which, though interspersed with trees, was yet
not sufficiently well covered to afford the necessary conceal-
ment. Keeping within the garden, therefore, be gave the
signal, the first sounds of which chilled and warmed with con-
tradictory emotions . the bosom of the sweet maiden to whose
ears it was addressed. The breath almost left her as she
heard it, and she gasped with her apprehensions.
Too too rash, Ernest !" she exclaimed in a low tone, as
it reached her ears, and her hands were involuntarily clasped
together. Too rash too daring too heedless, for me as
for thyself. Ah ! dearly indeed am I taught how much you
love me, when you make these reckless visits, when you wan-
tonly brave these dangers ! But I must go !" she exclaimed,
hurriedly, as she heard the signal impatiently repeated; "I
must go �I must meet him, or he will seek me here. He will
rush into yet greater dangers ; he will not heed these soldiers ;
and his old hatred to Barsfield, should he have distinguished
him to-night, will prompt him, I fear me much, to seek him
out even where his enemies are thickest."