Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXII: Caprices of the Conflict >> Page 203

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription CAPRICES OF THE CONFLICT. 203
Double quick step, riflemen ; hurry on with you, and skirt
the fence. Your rifles will then cover them as they fly, and
Mellichampe will answer for the rest. Quick step, men, or
you lose the fire."
The partisans were prompt enough in obeying these orders,
but. there had been some miscalculation in the distance, or the
speed of fear had not been taken into the estimate of those
advantages, possessed by the enemy, for which Singleton be-
lieved himself prepared. The tories were already in the avenue
before the riflemen reached the skirts of the park. Barsfield,
bringing up the rear, his huge form erect, his hand waving de-
fiance, was the only individual at whom a shot was obtained.
At him several bullets were sped ; but there is a something in
the daring indifference of boldness which not unfrequently
deranges the truest aim of an enemy. The tory was unhurt ;
yet some of the rifles pointed at his back were held by the
best marksmen of the lower country.
But a new enemy sprang up in the pathway of the tory, and
the sabre of the impetuous Mellichampe once more clashed
with that of his enemy.
" Ha, ha,!" cried Mellichampe, you were long in coming,
but I have you now. You are mine at last !"
There was a demoniac delight in the expression of the
youth's countenance, as, with these words, he confronted his
foe.
"Stand aside, boy !" was the hoarse reply of the tory, as,
wheeling his horse to the opposite hand of the avenue, he
seemed rather disposed to pass than to encounter the youth.
Mellichampe regarded no. other enemy, and the troop of Bars-
field' mingled pell-mell in the strife with the partisans, who
were scattered before them up the avenue.
With the sidling movement of Barsfield, the steed of Melli-
champe, under the impetuous-direction of his rider, was wheeled
directly across his path, and the tory saw at a glance that the
encounter could not be avoided. Preparing for it, therefore,
with all. his energies, he threw aside the weapon of his enemy,
and the swords recoiled from each other in the fierce collision,
as if with an instinct of their own. Again they bounded and