Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXV: The Courage of Love >> Page 227

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE COURAGE OF LOVE. 227
with a word, pointing out to them a proper cover, he hurried
forward with all despatch to the place of rendezvous. But,
though he strove to avoid being seen by any of the household
while passing, as he was compelled to do, the little cottage in
which the Berkeley family were collected, he could not escape
the quick, apprehensive eye of Janet. She saw him approach-
ing, she saw that he was seeking safety in flight, and, what
was of more appalling concern to her, knowing his attachment
to Mellichampe, she saw that he fled alone. How quick, how
far-darting, is the eye of apprehension ! She could read the
expression of his countenance as he approached, even as a
book. She saw the question answered in his face which her
lips had yet not asked. How slowly did he approach : she
rose�her hand was lifted and waved to him ; but, when he
looked toward her, he increased his speed. She cried aloud
to him in her desperation :--
Come to me, John Witherspoon come to me, if you have
pity but for one moment !"
Did he hear her ? He did not answer ; but, as if he guess-
ed her meaning from her action, he flung up his arms in air, as
if to say, Despair, despair !�all's lost !"�for so her heart
interpreted his action and in another instant he was out of
sight. The riflemen followed soon behind him, stealing from
cover to cover in the neighboring foliage, and had scarcely
been hidden from her gaze before the fierce troopers of Tarle-
ton came bounding after them. Vainly did her eyes strain in
the examination of the forms of those who fled ; she saw not
the one of all�he whom alone she sought for ; and the fear
of his fate grew into absolute certainty when the blue uniforms
of the terrible legion came out on every hand before her. She
saw them hurrying fast and far after the flying partisans, and
every blast of the trumpet, as it died away in the distance,
brought a new pang into her mind, until the agony became in-
supportable. She determined to suffer no longer under the
gnawing suspense which clamored at her heart.
I will know the worst : I cannot bear this agony, and
live !"
Thus murmuring, she started from her place by the window,