Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXI: The Maiden's Gift >> Page 190

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Page 190

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 190 MELLICHAMPE.
BARSFIELD had neither ridden so far, nor in such haste, as
the partisans that morning. This alone saved him. His
horses were inferior ; and, but for the fatigue which his ene-
mies had undergone, he must have been overtaken. The judi-
cious disposition which the tory had made of his baggage-
wagons, in sending them back to Piney Grove at the first ap-
pearance of danger, also contributed greatly to the facility of
his movements ;. and, unimpeded by the necessity of guarding
them, and not much breathed by the,stirring encounter through
which they had passed, the stout horses his men bestrode,
though not so swift as those of the Americans, was yet better
able to make headway in the flight. The pursuit was hotly
urged, though unsuccessful. The horses of Singleton were too
much jaded with the hard ride of twenty odd miles which
they had taken, and could not be made to keep up even with
the fagged animals of Mellichampe's little troop. Barsfield
escaped them, and safely passed through the avenue of Piney
Grove before the pursuing party came in sight.
The baggage-wagons of the tory had just arrived, and, with
a sagacious disposition of his force, which indicated ability
worthy of a better cause, he proceeded to make effective ar-
rangements for the reception of Singleton's troop, which was
quite too large to suffer him to think that so enterprising a
partisan would draw them off without a farther attempt upon
him. Dismounting his men rapidly, therefore, he threw open
the doors of the basement story of the mansion ; and, without