Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XVII: The Half-Breed Trails His Enemy >> Page 150

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 150
MELLICHAMPE.
steps he had followed, and he accordingly soon completed his
resolves as to what he should himself do. He slowly led his
horse back to a spot of land the highest in the neighborhood.
Having done this,, he fastened him to a shrub ; then sought
out one of the loftiest trees, which be ascended with habitual
and long-tried dexterity.
His elevation gave him a full and fine view of the expansive
swamp before him. He looked down upon the pale, ghostly
tops of the old cypresses, sprinkled with the green cedar, and
here and there, where the sand was high enough to yield a bed
sufficiently spacious for so comprehensive a body, the huge and
high shaft of the colossal pine. These all lay before him
their tops flat, gently waving under his eye beneath the slight
wind passing over them, making a prospect not less novel than
Imposing.
But Blonay had no eye for the scene, and but little taste for
the picturesque. He had sought his giddy perch for another
purpose ; and he was satisfied with the result of his labor when,
at the distance of six or eight hundred yards from the entrance
of the swamp, he detected a slight wreath of smoke curling up
from among the trees, and spreading around like some giant
tree itself, as if in protection over them. He noticed well in
what direction the smoke arose, and quietly descended from
his place of elevation.
Keeping this direction constantly in mind, he now saw that
the persons he pursued must have gone into the pond, and kept
in it for some distance afterward, emerging at a point not at
that moment within the scope of his vision. He doubted not
that, following the same course, he should arrive once more
upon their traces at some point of outlet and entrance.
To conjecture thus, was, with him, to determine. He touched
his pony smartly with his whip, and, whistling his dog to fol-
low, plunged fearlessly into the pathless space, and his saddle-
skirts were soon dipping in the yellow water. He kept for-
ward, however, through the centre of the pond, and was soon
gratified to find some appearances of an opening before him.
On his right hand the pond swept round a point of land, ma-
king into the copse, and forming a way which was impercepti-