Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XIX: The Game Afoot >> Page 172

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 172

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 172 MELLICHAMPE.
You can worry the advance, and throw them back upon the
foot, for their horses will not hold a leg with the meanest of
your troop. We want time, and this will give it to us : and
none of these risks should be taken unless you encounter the
legion before sunset to-morrow. After that, you are simply to
watch and report their movements. Should I succeed in the
attack at Sinkler's to-morrow, you will find me at the ferry at
midnight. Should you not, take it as a proof of my failure,
and look for me at Snow's island."
A few otter minor suggestions completed Singleton's com-
mission ; and Marion proceeded, in like manner, to detail to
every officer, intrusted with command, the duties which were
before him. With Colonel lorry's squad, he took to himself
the task of routing the tories at Sinkler's meadow. Twenty
men, under Captain James, he despatched to waylay the road
leading from Waccamaw, over which another small body of
tories was expected to pass; and, this done, the rest of the
day was devoted by all parties to preparations for the move-
ment of the night.
Promptness was one of the first principles in Marion's war-
fare. With the approach of evening, the several corps pre-
pared for their departure. Saddles were taken from the trees,
on whose branches they had hung suspended all around the
camp ; steeds were brought forward from the little recesses
where they browsed upon the luxuriant cane-tops ; swords
waved in the declining sunset ; bugles sounded from each se-
lected station, where it had been the habit for the several
squads to congregate ; and, as the sun went really down behind
the thick forest, the camp was soon clear of all the active life
which it possessed before. All who were able were away on
their several duties ; and but a few, the invalids and supernu-
meraries alone, remained to take charge of themselves and the
furniture of the encampment.
Our fat friend, Lieutenant Porgy, had a narrow chance of
being left. Were we to consider his bulk simply, he might
have been classed with those whom Marion spoke of as quite
too cumbrous" for movement. But his energy and impulse
were more than a match for his bulk. Still, the best will and