Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXII: Caprices of the Conflict >> Page 205

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription CAPRICES OF THE CONFLICT. 205
utmost stretch of Barsfield's arm�his body being writhed
round into an unnatural position for that purpose. The danger
was only delayed. In another moment he felt assured that the
stroke of Mellichampe a backward stroke � must be re-
peated, and that he could not recover his seat in time to ward
it aside ; but, ere the youth could effect his object � to which
he had addressed his entire energies, conscious that he now
had the tory at complete advantage � the forefeet of his horse
struck upon the carcass of a slain soldier, which slipped from
under him, yet carrying him forward, till be stumbled irrecov-
erably and came to his knees.
The moment was lost ; and, in the next, Barsfield had re-
covered his seat, from which the force of Mellichampe's as-
saults, and the efforts necessary for his own defence, had half
uplifted him. It was his turn now to press upon his foe.
'Wheeling his horse suddenly round, he dealt him a heavy blow
upon the shoulder of his sword=arm, which precipitated the
youth to the earth, while wounding him severely. The tory
would have paused to render his victory more complete ; but,
as be looked upon the avenue before him, he saw that he was
isolated. Cutting their way, without pausing for any particu-
lar encounter such as had controlled the flight of their leader,
his men had sped onward ; and, though fighting with the par-
tisans at. every step, had yet succeeded in carrying the fight
forward to the entrance.
The tory captain saw that he had no time for delay. Wither-
spoon, who had been busily engaged, was now pressing toward
him, closely followed by another ; and, though casting a wist-
ful look upon his prostrate enemy, as if he longed to make
certain his victory, the safety of his own life depended npon
his haste, and was infinitely more important to him than even
the death of so deadly an enemy as Mellichampe. Even now
it was doubtful what success would attend his endeavor to pass
the scattered partisans who lay in his path ; and be felt that
all his energies were required to meet the shock of Wither-
spoon, who was fast approaching.
While thus he prepared himself, the shrill clamor of a fresh
trumpet broke suddenly upon his sense, and brought him re-