Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XVIII: The Half-Breed is Winded >> Page 164

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Page 164

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 1 64 MELLICUAMPE.
never trusted himself within smell and sound of an enemy's
camp, without keeping his wits well about him. He had
marked well the party on the island ; had seen the movement
of Humphries toward the dog ; beheld his rifle uplifted, and
pointed for a moment at the head of the animal; and readily
divined the motives which induced his enemy to forbear shoot-
ing him, and which finally led to the movement which had been
subsequently conceived and acted upon. The great secret in
stratagem is to give your enemy credit for an ingenuity and
enterprise which are at least equal to your own. Blonay had
readily conceived the plan which he himself would pursue in
a situation such as that of Humphries. He acted accordingly,
felt his own danger, and at once proceeded to a change of
ground.
Leaving the advanced position from which he had watched
the camp, and running iii a straight line about fifty yards above,
he then turned suddenly about and kept a forward course in
the direction of the spot at which he had first entered the
swamp. But he did not take these precautions without some
doubts of their adequacy to his concealment. He muttered,
to himself, his apprehensions of the keen scent of the dog,
which he feared would too quickly find out his track, and lead
his pursuers upon it ; and, though he doubted not that he
should be able to get out of the swamp before any of those
after him, he was yet fully aware of the utter impossibility of
escaping them on the high road, should any of them mount in
pursuit.
Though a hardy and fast animal, his pony was quite too
small to overcome space very rapidly ; and the determination
of Blonay was soon made, if he could mislead the dog, to seek
a hiding-place in the swamp, which, from its great extent and
impervious density in many places, he knew would conceal
him, for a time, from any force which the partisans might send.
He hurried on, therefore, taking the water at every oppor-
tunity, and leaving as infrequent a track as possible behind
him. But he fled in vain from the sagacious and true scent of
his dog. From place to place, true in every change, the cur
kept on after him, giving forth, as he fled, an occasional yelp