Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XVI: The Tory Captain and the Lady >> Page 142

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Page 142

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription I MELLICTT A MPE.
little or no danger to the father, if the daughter will listen to
reason. Will you hear me ?"" Can I do less, Captain Barsfield ?�go on, sir."
I accept the permission, however ungraciously given.
Hear, me, then. These vows the ties of childhood, and re=
straining none but children call hardly be considered, when
circumstances so bear against them. I have a perfect knowl-
edge of all the circumstances between yourself and this rebel
Mellichampe."" You have not said, sir, and I marvel at the omission, with
what wonderful ingenuity your knowledge was obtained."" Your sarcasm is pointless, Miss Berkeley, when we know
that a time like the present not only sanctions, but calls for
and commands, all those little arts by which intelligence of
one's enemies is to be obtained. Is .it my offence or my good
fortune, to have heard more than concerned the cause for which
I contend? Certainly not my offence ; it is for you to say
how far it may .be for my good fortune."
To the point� to the point, Captain Barsfield, if you
please.""It is quite as well," he responded, with a sullen air of
determination, as the impatient manner of Janet showed how
unwillingly she listened : "'tis quite as well that I should
and all I ask from you now, Miss Berkeley, is simply that you
should heed and deliberate upon what I unfold, and make no
rash nor ill-considered decision upon it. First, then, let me
say, that your father is in my power but in mine alone. I
am willing to be his friend henceforward, as I have been here-
tofore. I am able and desirous to protect him, as well against
the rebels as from the injustice of such loyalists as might pre-
sume upon his weakness to do him wrong ; but I am not suf-
ficiently his friend or my own enemy, to do all this without
some equivalent. There must be a consideration."
He paused ; and, as the maiden perceived it, she spoke, while
a smile of the most provoking indifference, suddenly, though
for a moment only, curled the otherwise calm and dignified
folds of her lips ---
" I can almost conjecture what you would say, Captain