Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XIV: Thumbscrew in Practice >> Page 131

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 131

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THUMBSCREW IN PRACTICE. 131
Speak not thus," he replied, hoarsely. "Why these sad
misgivings ? is ' our love so much a sorrow, my Janet ?"
Sorrow or pleasure, Ernest, it is still our love�a love that
I shall die in, and fear not to die for. But do not linger, I
pray you : remember that Witherspoon is waiting for your re-
turn before he can release that man."
Release him !" was the stern exclamation, and a fierce but
suppressed laugh of bitterness fell from the lips of Mellichampe
with the words.
"Ay, release him, Ernest.. What mean you by those words
that laugh ? Surely, surely, Ernest, you do not mean him
harm ?"" Would he not harm us ? has he not harmed me already?
Janet, you must remember �I had a father once."" I do �I do ; but oh, Ernest, dismiss your thoughts, which
I.see are fearful now. Promise me, Ernest , that you will do
this man no harm."
Her hand earnestly pressed his arm as she entreated him.
He. was silent.
"Ernest," she exclaimed, solemnly "Ernest, remember !
the hand of Janet Berkeley. can never be won by crime."
He released her hand, which till this moment he had held.
There was a strife going on within his bosom. She gazed on
him suspiciously, and with tensor.
" I leave you, Ernest," she whispered, " I leave you ; but do
that man no harm."
There was a solemnity in her tones that rebuked his thoughts.
She was leaving him, but turned back with a gentler tone
" I doubt you not, dear Ernest ; I doubt you not now. For-
give me that I did so for an instant ;. and oh,. Ernest, come not
again into this neighborhood till these men are gone. Promise
me promise me, dear Ernest."
What would not love promise at such a moment? Melli-
champe promised--he knew not what. Isis thoughts were
elsewhere ; and he felt not, that, in kissing her cheek as they
parted, his lips had borne away her tears.