Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XV: A Friendly Hitch >> Page 137

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 137

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription A FRIENDLY HITCH. 137
Well, she'll think wrong, Airnest, if she does. It's true, I
did hear a good deal, but that was owing to the necessity of
being close upon the haunches of that other chap. As a true
man, Airnest, I never wanted to hear, and I did not get close
enough to hear, till that skunk come out from behind the pear-
tree, and I saw him sneaking round to the magnolias. Then
it was I came out too, and only then it was I heard the talk
between you."
It matters not now, Witherspoon ; my fear is that it may
pain Janet to suppose that my friends are brought to overhear
that language which a young lady should only think to herself,
and can only utter to one ; and no motive of regard for my
safety, though so far warranted by circumstances as upon the
present occasion, should have prompted you to do so."
But I had another reason, Airnest, that is a good reason, I
know. Just after. I left you came one of Marion's road-riders,
Humphries, you know, calling in the scouts ; and you're
wanted, and I'm wanted, and we're all of us wanted, for there's
to be a power of the tories gathering in two days at Sinkler's
Meadow, and the ' fox' is mighty hungry to git at 'em. I have
the marks and the signals, and we must push on directly.
It'll take us three good hours more to work our way into the
swamp."
Ah ! then we have little time to waste," was the prompt
reply ; and, scouring down the road, they came to the broken
branch which lay across the path, and indicated by its own
the position of its fellow. Following the directions given by
Humphries, they were soon met by the line of sentinels, and
the path grew cheery after a while, when the occasional chal-
lenge, and the distant hum and stir of an encampment, an-
nounced the proximity of Marion in his wild swamp dwelling.