Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXI: The Maiden's Gift >> Page 193

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Page 193

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE MAIDEN S GIFT. 193
With no more words, and with a single glance toward the
youth, that spoke volumes of affection warmly and truly felt,
the scout, without any hesitation, turned away from the park
where this conference was carried on ; and, waving his hand-
kerchief aloft the substitute for a flag lie proceeded on his
way of peril to the dwelling.
I see a rebel with a flag !" said one of the tories, who first
discerned the despatch, to his commander. " Shall I shoot
him, sir ?"
The hesitation of Barsfield to reply was almost a permission,
and the man had his gun lifted and ready ; tut the tory cap-
tain thought it more proper or more prudent to forbear.
"No ; let him come : and you, Clayton, receive him at the
entrance. But see that no other approaches. Fire at the first
man who appears within reach of your muskets."
In an inner room, in the presence of the family, Barsfield
received the messenger. His reply to the message was one of
scornful disdain.
Well, now, cappin," said Thumbscrew, coolly, you'd bet-
ter not send any sich word to the major, for he's old hell with
his grinders, and it'll be pretty bad for you if he once gits them
into your flesh. They'll meet, now, I tell you, if he does."" You are answered," was the temperate reply of the tory,
who then'turned to Mr. Berkeley.
" The rebel graciously accords you permission, with your
family, to leave the dwelling, Mr. Berkeley. You are at per-
fect liberty to do so, if you please ; but, if you will rely on my
defences, there is no danger : the place is perfectly tenable."
No, no, dear father´┐Żlet us go´┐Żlet us fly. There is dan-
ger ; and, even if there be none, it is no place for us."
But where shall we go, my daughter ?" said the old man,
utterly bewildered.
To the overseer's house, father. It is out of the reach of
all danger, and there is room enough for us all."
They came forth with Witherspoon, who led them at once
into the park, where Mellichampe received and escorted them
to the dwelling-house of the overseer, a rude but spacious
building, that stood in a field running along at a little -distance