Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XIX: The Game Afoot >> Page 169

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE GAME AFOOT.
169
battle, one might have imagined that he was about to promise
to his men the relaxation and the delights of a festival. But
the sagacious among them knew better. They had' seen
him drinking vinegar and water�his favorite beverage in.
greater quantities than usual ; and they knew, from old ex-
perience, that a rapid march and a fierce struggle were at
hand.
Well, gentlemen," said Marion, seeing his officers and
favorite men all around him, if you are as tired of the swamp
as I am, you will rejoice at the news I bring you. We are
now to leave it."
Whither now, general ?" asked Horry.
"Ah, that indeed is the question. We must leave it first.
That, gentlemen, is the requisition of our old friend Captain
Barsfield, of his majesty's loyalists, who is now mustering in
force around us. He has instructions to set dog upon dog, and
hunt us out with our hounds of neighbors--the tories. It is
for you to say whether we shall stand and wait their coming,
or give them the trouble of hunting the empty swamp after us.
I am for leaving them the ground., and looking out for other
quarters and a better business."
Cries of No, no let us meet them let us not fly from
any tory !" were heard on all hands; and Horry, Singleton,
and sundry others of the most favored officers, seriously inter-
posed with suggestions of their strength, and the ability and
willingness of the men to fight. The partisan smiled pleas-
antly as he listened to their suggestions."
You mistake me somewhat, gentlemen," was his quiet and
general reply ; you mistake me much ; and I rejoice that you
do so, as I am now so much the better satisfied that your views
and feelings accord with my own. To leave the swamp does
not mean to fly from the enemy. Oh, no ! I propose, on the
contrary, that we should leave the swamp in order to seek the
enemy before he shall be altogether ready for us.. Why should
we wait until he has brought his men together ? why wait
until the tories from Waccamaw come in to swell the number
of our own rascals from Williamsburg ? and why, of all things,
wait until Captain Barsfield brings his baggage-wagons with
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