Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXII: Caprices of the Conflict >> Page 198

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Page 198

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 198 MELLICHAMPE.

WITH the overruling judgment of a master-spirit, Singleton
immediately proceeded to make his arrangements. To Melli-
champe he gave orders to remount his men, and, leading them
around the park, once more gain. possession of the avenue.
Here he was to await the result of the experiment, and to
intercept the flight of the tories when they should be driven out
from their fortress by the progress of the flames. Humphries
was commanded to scatter his riflemen around the mansion,
keeping close watch upon every movement of the garrison
within : while two or three of the men, more experienced in
such matters, were occupied in preparing the combustibles
which were to be fastened to the lighted arrows. Singleton
himself took charge of the bow ; and, laying aside his sword
and every weapon which was calculated to encumber his
movement, himself prepared to discharge the more arduous
part of the proposed experiment. His commands were nearly
all instantly and simultaneously executed. A lively blast of
the bugle, from various quarters of the grounds, gave token of
concerted preparation. Arming himself with the prepared
arrows, the partisan advanced.
Lie close, men ! lie close !" he cried, as he saw several of
them emerging from shelter ; "Lie close and watch the win-
dows. Go back, Lance, and have your rifle in readiness."
With these words he advanced quickly but stealthily, and
with a heedful movement, from one tree to another, until,
reaching the inner limit of the park, he looked down upon the
yard immediately around the dwelling, and saw that from that
part he could certainly send his arrows to the roof.