Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XVIII: The Half-Breed is Winded >> Page 163

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE HALF-BREED IS WINDED. 163
prove the master to be present ? The brute may have
strayed."
No ! such a creature never strays. He can't do without
his master. He is a part of him. But let us see, now, if the
animal can be made to seek his master. Tom !"�to the
negro.
Tom had been listening curiously. He answered promptly.
The dog meanwhile, with his nose about the fires, had been
picking up bones and scraps� the remnants of the feast.
Tom, hit the dog a smart stroke suddenly with your stick
a blow not to hurt him much, but to scare him, and make him
run. Do you, Davis, move to the edge of the creek, and watch
him well as he runs. If he lacks a master, he will dodge
about the island. If he has left him anywhere about, he will
make off in that direction. Then we shall see what route to
take, and, with half-a-dozen of us on his track, we may make
out to cross his path, and cut him off from escape. Keep your
eyes about you, Davis."
Davis proceeded in one direction. Two other persons were
despatched quietly to place themselves in watch upon other
parts of the island overlooking the swamp. Humphries him-
self prepared to dash forward in a third direction, equidistant
from these. Tom, in the meanwhile, with a stick concealed
behind him, was sidling forward to a nearer acquaintance with
the dog, who, unsuspicious of the designs upon him and greedy
for food, was. still busy, with nose prying into pots, pans, and
kettles. All the parties were prepared, and Humphries gave
a sign to Tom to proceed, as soon as possible, to his part of the
performance. The negro watched his opportunity, and, soon
after, with right.good will, he laid the flail over the back of the
obtrusive animal. At the smart and unexpected salutation,
the dog, with a yell, darted back howling into the swamp ;
taking, as Humphries had calculated, the very route over which
he came, and toward the spot where he had left his master.
Humphries, and the companions whom he had selected, at
once dashed off in pursuit.
But Blonay was not to be caught napping. He had one
chief merit of a scout�indeed, it was his only merit he