Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XX: Sharp Passages at Arms >> Page 184

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Page 184

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 184 MELLICHAMPE.
men, and a scornful jeer almost in the ears of his commander,
as, driving his good steed before him, lie advanced to the
charge, which he made with so much force and impetuosity as
at once to stagger the progress of the tories.
Barsfield was, just then, emerging from the pass �a little
cornfield, with its worm-fence enclosure, lay on one hand, and,
on the other, the woods were open and free from undergrowth.
It was here that Melton's men had been posted, not so advan-
tageously as they would have been had they reached the spot
which Marion had designated for them ; but sufficiently well
to have rendered the attack successful under a spirited charge
such as that made by Mellichampe. But the information
which Barsfield had received from Blonay had made him ex-
tremely cautious, as we have already seen, and he had prop-
erly prepared himself against, and was on the look-out for,
assaults like the present. With the first appearance of the
enemy, his men were ordered to display themselves in open
order ; the wagons were suffered to fall behind, and were car-
ried back under the escort of a single dragoon to the spot
from which they had started in the morning. To this effect
the instructions of Barsfield had been already given. Free
and unencumbered, the tory met his enemy boldly, and re-
ceived him with a discharge of pistols. The steed of Melli-
champe was at this moment careering within a few paces of
him. The sabre of the youth waving above his head, and,
with a bitter smile, rising in his stirrups, he cried out, as he
prepared to cross weapons with his enemy �
Dog of a tory, we have a clear field now! There are
none to come between us. Strike, villain, and strike well;
for, by my father's blood, I will give you no quarter !"
Barsfield calmly seemed to await his approach, and exhib-
ited no lack of courage : yet his sabre was uplifted �his bri-
dle lay slackened in his hand ; and, but for his erect posture
and firm seat, it might be supposed that he was a mere looker-
on in. the affray. He replied to the furious language of his
youthful opponent in tones and language as fierce.
You may swear by your own blood soon, boy, or I much
mistake your chances."