Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXV: The Courage of Love >> Page 225

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE COURAGE OF LOVE. 225
another time and other more favorable auspices, she would
have prayed and labored for its preservation and safety.
With an intensity of feeling not surpassed by that of any
one of the brave men commingling in the strife, she had be-
held the progress of the flame. How her heart beat when,
more remote from the smoky cloud which hung all around the
dwelling, she had seen, sooner than the partisans, the impet-
uous rush mounted all, and with blazing weapons� of Bars-
field and his party ! But when she heard the clash of sabres
in front of the dwelling, and in the narrow avenue which led
to it, when she listened to the sounds of that conflict which she
could no longer see, it was then that her spirit sickened most.
Imagination�the feverish fancy grew active and impatient.
Crowding fears came gathering about her heart, which grew
cold under their influence. Her head swam dizzily, until at
length, in utter exhaustion, she sank from the seat at the
window, and strove feebly, on bended knees, by the side of
the trembling Rose, once more to pray. But she could not:
the words refused to come to her lips ; the thoughts of her
mind were too wild, too foreign, air(' not to be coerced ; they
were in the field of battle striving in its strife in the cruel
strife of man with man. How could she bring her mind, thus
employed, and at such a moment., with all its horrid and un-
holy associations of crime and terror, even for the purposes of
supplication, into the presence of her God ? She dared not.
She started from her knees as she heard the tread of hurry-
ing feet around the dwelling. She reached the window in
time to see that four of the partisans were employed in bearing
one in their arms, who seemed dead or fatally wounded.
They laid him down under the shelter of some trees behind
the house, and the moment after she saw them hurrying back
to the avenue. She tried to call to them, she sought to know
who was the wounded man ; but the words died away in inar-
ticulate sounds. She could not speak; and, in an instant,
they were out of sight. Her agony became insupportable.
Who was the victim ? Her fears, her imagination, answered.
She watched her time, during the momentary inattention of
her father, and, without declaring her intention to Rose, she