Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XVIII: The Half-Breed is Winded >> Page 158

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Page 158

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 15 8 MELLICHAMPE.
Well, Mr. Mason, what is it you would say ? Speak out and
have done with it. A short horse is soon curried."
Dick Mason growled sulkily at the reflection upon his
dwarfish size.. He was the monster in little of the camp, be-
ing but four feet eight.
" Why, lieutenant," said he, " you're mighty cross to-day."" Cross !�And well I maybe, since here's Nabob, my nag,
as fine an animal as man would wish to cross, racked with all
the spasms of an infernal colic ! Tell me what I can do for
trim; if not, hold your peace, and go to the devil without
bothering me with your sense of what is due to your master."
Your horse !�what, Nabob ?" with interest.
Yes! my horse ! Nabob !" pertinently.
Give him red pepper tea !" said one.
Soot and salt !" cried another.
" Gunpowder and rum !" a third.
" Turpentine and castor oil !" a fourth.
A feed of pine burrs is the very best remedy, lieutenant,"
said a fifth.
Other suggestions followed, half in jest, half in earnest, until
the angry lieutenant, seizing one of the party by the hair of
his head with one hand, and snatching up a cudgel with the
other, was preparing to make a signal example of the one of
fender, for the benefit of the now dispersing group, when Hum-
phries seized him from behind, and drew, for a brief moment,
the fury of the epicure upon himself.
" Who dares ?" he demanded, wheeling about.
" Why, you're as full of fight as a spring terrapin of
eggs."" The comparison saves you a cudgeling, Bill Humphries,
though you half deserve it for saving these rascals. - They've
been jeering me, the heartless blackguards, about the condi-
tion of my horse, who's dying of colic !"" Colic ! do you say ? Is he bad ofl."" He's no horse if he isn't. Bad as he can be ! So bad, that
even Torn prescribes Oakenburg."" Oakenburg will kill him, if he undertakes the cure. But
there's a Santee jockey here, that's famous as a horse doctor.