Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXIII: The Threatened Sacrifice >> Page 213

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 213

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
The boy readily understood the movement, and proceeded to
do likewise, but he was too late. The shot of Singleton was
immediate, and the foremost trooper fell forward from his
horse. His companion fled.
Don't 'light, Lance keep on. There's only one now, and
be won't trouble us. The other poor devil ! his horse was
too fleet for his master's safety. Away, sir."
It was time to speed. The report of the shot and the fall
of the dragoon gave a direction to the whole force of the pur-
suers, whose shouts and cries might now be heard ringing in
all directions of the forest behind them.
They can't reach us, Lance. We shall round that bay in
a few seconds, and they will be sure to boggle into it. On,
boy, and waste no eyesight in looking behind you. We are
safe. I only hope that all our boys are as much so. But I fear
that we have lost some fine fellows. Poor Mellichampe ! but
it is too late now. Push on�the bay is before us."
Thus speaking, guiding and encouraging the boy, the fear-
less partisan kept on. In a few minutes they had rounded the
thick bay, and were deeply sheltered in a dense wood, well
known at that period by a romantic title, which doubtless had
its story.
My Lady's Fancy. We are safe now, Lance, and a little
rest will do no harm."
The partisan, as he spoke, drew up his horse, threw himself
from his back, fastened him to a hanging branch, and, passing
down to a hollow where a little brooklet ran trickling along
with a gentle murmur, drank deeply of its sweet and quiet
waters, which he scooped up with a calabash that hung on a
bough, waving in the breeze above. Then throwing himself
down under the shadow of the tree, he lay as quietly as if
there had been no danger tracking his footsteps, and no deadly
enemy still prowling in the neighborhood and hungering for
his blood.
The chase was given over, and the lively tones of the bugle
recalled the pursuers. The legionary colonel stood upon a
hillock, awaiting the return of the men, who came in slowly
and half exhausted from the profitless pursuit. He wiped