Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XVII: The Half-Breed Trails His Enemy >> Page 148

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Page 148

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 14S MELLICIIAMPL.
and which he acknowledged by setting off at a rate which
seemed infinitely beyond his capacities. Barsfield was satis-
fied. to call to him to follow soon; and, putting the rowel to
his own steed, be hurried forward to resume his place at the
head of his men.
But it was not the intention of Blonay to go back to the
dwelling which he had so lately left. He was practising a
very simple ruse upon his companion. He had forgotten noth-
ing´┐Żneither knife nor passport ; and his object was merely to
be relieved from observation, and to pursue his farther journey
alone. He had a good motive for this ; and had resolved, with
certain efficient reasons, which had come to him at the moment
. of leaving the avenue, to pursue a different route from that of
the tory.
After riding a little way up the avenue, he came to a halt ;
and, giving the tory leader full time, not only to reach his
men, but to get out of sight and hearing with them, he coolly
turned himself round and proceeded to the spot where they
had separated. Here he alighted, and his keen eyes exam-
ined the road, and carefully inspected those tracks upon it, a
casual glance at which, as he rode out with Barsfield, had de-
termined him upon the course which he had taken. He looked
at all the horse-tracks, and one freshly made in particular.
The identical outline of shoe, which he had so closely noticed
on the battle-ground of Dorchester, was obviously before him ;
and, remounting his horse, he followed it slowly and with cer-
tainty. Barsfield more than once looked round for his ally,
but he looked in vain ; and each step taken by both parties
made the space greater between them. The half-breed kept
his way, or rather that of his enemy, whom he followed with a
spirit duly enlivened by a consciousness that he was now upon
the direct track.
In this pursuit the route of Blonay was circuitous in the ex-
treme. He had proceeded but a mile or so along the main
road, when the marks which guided him turned off into an old
field, and led him to the very spot where we discovered N elli-
champe and Witherspoon the day before. The keen eye of
the half-breed soon discovered traces of a human haunt, but