Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XVII: The Half-Breed Trails His Enemy >> Page 147

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Page 147

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
"And you think, cappin, that Marion's men is in these
parts ?"
Think !�I know it. . The appearance of this youth Melli-
champe, with his cursed inseparable Witherspoon, as good as
proves it to me. Not that they are strong, or in any force ;
on the contrary, my letters tell me that the rebels have, in. a
great many instances, deserted their leader, and gone into
North Carolina. Indeed, they say he himself has gone ; but
this I believe not: he still lurks, I am convinced, in the
swamp, with a small force, which we shall quickly ferret out
when we have got our whole force together. To-morrow we
go to meet our volunteer loyalists at ' Sinkler's Meadow,'
where they assemble, and where I am to provide them with
arms.""There's, a-many of them to be there, cappin ?" was the
inquiry of Blonay.
" Two hundred or more. The wagons which you saw carry
their supplies."
The tory captain, in this way, civilly enough responded to
other questions of the half-breed, the object of which he 'did
not see ; and in this manner they conversed together until the
%uard had emerged from the avenue into the main road, and
was now fully out of sight. Interested in giving to his com-
panion as precise a description as possible of the person, the
habits, and character of Mellichampe, which he did at intervals
throughout the dialogue, Barsfield had moved on slowly, and
had become rather regardless of the movement of his men,
until, reaching the entrance of the avenue, he grew conscious
of the distance between them, and immediately increased his
pace. But Blonay did otherwise ; he drew up his pony at this
point, and seemed indisposed to go forward.
Why do you stop ?" cried the tory, looking back over his
shoulder. The answer of Blonay satisfied him.
I forgot something, cappin the knife and the pass. I
must go back, but I'll be after you mighty quick."
Without waiting for the assent of his employer, he started
off on his return, pricking the sides of his pony with a degree
of earnestness to which the little animal was not accustomed,