Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XX: Sharp Passages at Arms >> Page 180

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Page 180

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 180 MELLIClAMPE.
Grove, with the double object of being nigh his enemy's hiding-
place and of meeting with the legionary.
"He is a spy, Janet. He has been put here as a watch
over us and upon Mellichainpe. Barsfield knows Mellichampe
to be rash, as he has shown himself, and he has put that
fellow here to look out for and shoot him."
Janet shuddered, and her eyes involuntarily turned to the
spot where, at a little distance, the half-breed stood leaning
against a tree. How imploring was the expression of her
eye ! Gould he have seen it, if such were his purpose, he must
have relented. Such was the thought of Rose�such the
hope of Janet. The scout had seen that look he had felt
its expression.
But where is he now, Janet ?" was the question of Rose a
few moments after. He was gone, and so stealthily, they had
not suspected his movement. The half-breed was again upon
the track of his enemy.
Barsfield, meanwhile, though dispensing with the attendance
of Blonay, did not fail to avail himself, in one respect, of the
information which the latter had given him. The proximity
of Marion in the swamp, with a hundred men or more, aroused
the tory to increased exertion, and counselled the utmost pru-
dence in his march, as it showed the neighborhood of so supe-
rior an enemy. The arms, baggage, clothing, and ammuni-
tion, intended to supply a large body of tories, and which were
intrusted to his charge, were of far more importance to his
present purposes than of real intrinsic value. Not to deliver
them safely into the hands of those who were to employ them,
and whom he was to employ, would be to suffer dreadfully in
the estimation of his British superiors, and in his own personal
interests. To have them fall into the hands of the rebels,
were to accumulate evil upon evil, as no acquisition which the
latter could make at this period could be of greater importance.
It was well for him that these suggestions filled the mind of
the tory. He was a tolerable soldier on a small scale, and
was already well conversant with the partisan warfare. He
sent forward a few trusty horsemen to reconnoitre and keep
the advance ; and, moving cautiously and with watchful eyes,