Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XVIII: The Half-Breed is Winded >> Page 157

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Page 157

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE HALF-BREED Is WINDED. 157
bear to look at him. I can't bear to look at the sufferings
I can't help. If by'- a fierce wrestle now, a hand-to-hand fight
with an enemy, or even a match-race on foot with an Indian
runner, I could do the creature a service, I could go to work
cheerfully. Any physical or mental exertion now no mat-
ter of what sort that would do him good, I would undertake
with a sort of satisfaction. But only to look on, and do noth-
ing, sickens me ; it may be because I raised the rascally beast
myself!"
Thus muttering to himself as he went, our epicurean moved
slowly along by the several groups, taking the route toward
Humphries, who was seen approaching on the edge of the island.
The philosopher was too sad to enjoy the sports of others at
this moment. But his boon companions, who knew his usual
humors, and seldom witnessed his exceptional turns, were not
disposed to permit his unnoticed progress. A dozen voices
challenged his attention from all sides, all anxious to secure
the company of a good companion.
I say, Lieutenant Lieutenant Porgy. This way."
And this way," cried another and another.
In all these cries, Porgy fancied there was something of an
official tone, and he answered one for all.
" How now, you unfeeling brutes ? What are you howling
about, .at such a rate ? Have you no sensibility ? Must the
dying agonies of the poor beast be disturbed by such horrible
sounds as issue. from such monstrous throats ? or do you sup-
pose me deaf? Say what you want. From whom come you ?
Speak out, and do not think me so deaf as indifferent. I
would not hearken, but that you compel me to hear, and will
hardly heed unless you speak in more subdued accents. You
will crack the drum of my ear by such howlings !""Ho! ho ! ho!�Ha! ha ! ha !"
What a damnable chorus !" muttered the philosopher. And
this .disrespect is the fruit of my good nature. 'Familiarity
breeds contempt. He who sleeps with a puppy is sure of fleas.
Now, all because of my taking these rascals into my mess, and
treating them like gentlemen, do they presume to howl, and
shout, and yell in my ears, as if they were so many bedfelloTvs ?