Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XIX: The Game Afoot >> Page 173

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Page 173

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE GAME AFOOT. 173
blood are not proof against the decrees of fate; and while Marion
was yet giving his orders, Torn reported to his master the death
of the horse Nabob. The epicure was for a moment overcome.
He proceeded, however, with commendable promptness, to
what was styled, par courtesie, the hospital, where Fentbaer,
the German, lay sick. From him he proposed to borrow his
horse. But, even while negotiating with the sick man, Tom
entered with great outcry and much rejoicing, conducting a
sergeant, who brought with him a fine horse, and a message
from Singleton, begging Porgy to use him until a better steed
'could be captured from the enemy. The animal brought him
was a noble bay, one of a pair, and Porgy was not the man to
underrate a generosity so unusual as well as handsome. Of
course, he accepted the gift, and was lavish of thanks. But
he said to Humphries, with a sigh : A handsome present,
Bill ; our major is the man to do handsome things. This is a
very fine animal, and just suits me perhaps even better than
Nabob but Nabob was a sort of half-brother to me, Bill. I
raised the ridiculous beast myself."
Humphries thought the use of the word ridiculous" rather
an abuse of language, but it was employed for a purpose
was in fact designed to conceal a sentiment. When, half an
hour after, Porgy beheld Tom stretching the skin of poor Na-
bob in the nun, he felt like cudgelling the negro, whom he
called an inhuman beast.
" Why," he asked, furiously, " why did you skin the animal,
you savage ?"
Oh ! maussa, kaise I lub 'em so ! Nabob and me guine to
sleep togedder a'ter this, for ebber and for ebbermore."
Tom was even more " an old soldier" than his master. Por-
gy growled
" Some day that will be the scoundrel's apology for skinning
me!"
But we are not permitted to linger over the mere humors of
our partisans. Let us leave them for a space, and look after
the half-breed Blonay. Relieved from the hot pursuit which
had been urged after him, he relaxed in the rapidity of his
movements, and made his way with more composure out of the