Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XVIII: The Half-Breed is Winded >> Page 153

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Page 153

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription TIIE HALF-BREED IS WINDED. 153

THE hiding-place of Marion was admirably chosen in all
respects, whether as regards convenience or security. It was
a high ridge of land, well timbered, narrow, and long, and run-
ning almost centrally into the swamp. Two or three outlets,
known only to the partisans, and these, as we have seen, in
the one instance already described, intricate and difficult of
access even to the initiated, were all that it possessed ; and
here, secure from danger, yet not remote from its encounter,
if circumstances or his own desires so willed it, the swamp-
fox" lay with his followers during brief intervals of that long
strife in which he contended for his country.
His force was feeble at this period. It consisted only of the
small bands of natives, gathered under local officers chiefly
from the lower country, none of whom had ever seen what was
called regular service. He had been deserted by all the con-
tinentals with the exception of two, whom he had rescued from
their British captors soon after the battle of Camden; but,
though thus few in number, and feeble in resource, the par-
tisans, catching the full spirit of their leader, were never in-
In the camp, while Blonay looked out on all hands for his
particular victim, the stir of preparation was heard by the over-
looking spy. Hurried orders were given, horses were put in
preparation, swords were brandished, and rifles charged home.
Amid all the bustle, there was still room for jest and merri-
ment. Like boys just let loose from school, the men playfully
gambolled about among the forest avenues. Here, you saw a
little party engaged in leaping ; there were others, hurling the