Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XIX: The Game Afoot >> Page 171

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Page 171

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE. 0-AME AFOOT. 171

with as much rapidity as comports with caution. The scouts
bring me word of a,.corps in that quarter, which can be no other
than Tarleton's. This scrawl, too, comes from that dear old
granny, Mother Dyson, who lives near Monk's Corner. Hear
what the good old creature says :

"' DARE GIN'RAL : There's a power of red-coats jist guine
down by the back lane into your parts, and they do tell that
it's arter you they're guine. They're dressed mighty fine, and
has a heap of guns and horses, and as much provisions as the
wagons can tote. I makes bold to tell you this, gin'ral, that
you may smite them, hip and thigh, even as the Israelites
smote the bloody Philistians in the blessed book. And so, no
more, dare gin'ral, from your sarvant to command,
"' BETSY DYSON.
N. B. Don't you pay the barer, gin'ral, for he's owing
me a power of money, and he's agreed with me that what I
gives him for guine down to you is to come out of what he
owes me. He's a good man enough, and is no tory, but he
a'n't quite given to speaking the truth always ; and I'm sorry
to tell you, gin'ral, that, in spite of all I says to him, he don't
mend a bit. ' B. D.'� Quite a characteristic epistle, Singleton, and from as true
a patriot as ever lived same old Betsy Dyson. These
troops must be Tarleton's, and I doubt not that he moves with
the entire legion. He has pledged himself to Cornwallis to
force me to a fight, and he comes to redeem his pledge. This
we must avoid, and we must therefore hurry to put these tories
out of the way before they can co-operate with the legion. I
will see to them. When you have done with Barsfield, should
Melton not have struck before you reach him, you will take
the upper track until you find Tarleton. But you are to risk
nothing : we can not hope to fight him, even with our whole
present force, and you must risk nothing with your little squad.
You must only hang about him, secure intelligence of all his
movements, and, where opportunities occur, obstruct his steps,
and cut off such of his detachments as come within your reach.