Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XV: A Friendly Hitch >> Page 135

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Page 135

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription A FRIENDLY HITCH. 135
judge of men by his own nature, he saw no reason to feel
satisfied that Mellichampe would keep the promise of forbear-
ance which he had made to his companion ; and yet he dread-
ed to exhibit emotion or anxiety, for fear of giving him suf-
ficient excuse for not doing so. His emotions may well be
inferred from the natural apprehensions of such a situation ;
and his base soul sunk into yet deeper shame, as he lay trem-
bling beneath his enemy, dreading the death which was above
him, and which he well knew he so richly deserved.
But Thumbscrew was considerate, and did not long keep
the tory in suspense. In the few moments in which he had
withdrawn himself from the person of the prisoner, he had
made sundry arrangements for better securing him ; and, with
a cord of moderate length, which he had drawn from a capa-
cious pocket, he constructed a running noose, or slip-knot, with
which he now approached the prisoner ; speaking in a low
tone of soliloquy all the while, as much, seemingly, for 'Bars-
field's edification as for his own.
I will jist make bold, Cappin Barsfield, to give you a hitch
or two in the way of friendship. You shall have as fast bind-
ing a title to this little bit of a bed as time and present sar-
cumstances will permit. It's only for your safe keeping and our
safe running, you see, that I does it. I'll hitch up your legs
there, don't be scared, they shall go together to this same
bench here ; and that, you see, will keep them from coming
too close after ours. And as for the little bandage over your
arms, why, you'll have to wear it a little longer, though it's
too good a rag for me to leave behind. There�don't jerk or
jump now, for it will soon be done. I'm mighty quick fixing
such matters as these, and it takes me no time to hitch up a
full-blooded tory when once I gits my thumb and forefinger
upon him. There."
Thus muttering, be lashed the legs of the prisoner to one
of the rude seats under the magnolias; and, freeing his com-
panion from the further restraints of his watch, the two pre-
pared to start--Witherspoon, unseen by Mellichampe, having
first possessed himself of the sword of the tory, which he ap-
propriated with all the composure of a veteran scout. They