Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXVI: The Wounded Lover >> Page 231

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE WOUNDED LOVER. 231
and vines, which supported the trees on one side of the spa-
cious avenue. With a trembling hand she parted the shrub-
bery before her, and her eyes took in for an instant the field
of battle, and then, immediately after, shutting out its objects,
closed, as if with a moral comprehension of their own. She
could not be mistaken in the dreadful objects in her sight.
The awful testimonies of the desperate fight were strewed
around her. Her uplifted foot, in the very first step which she
had been about to take from the bank, hung suspended over
the lifeless body of one of its victims. She turned suddenly
and sickeningly away. She strove, but she could not pass into
the avenue at that point, and she receded through the thicket,
and made her way round to another quarter, in which she hoped
to find an unobstructed passa-ge. There was but little time for
delay, and with this thought a new resolution brought strength
to her frame. Again her hand parted the copse, making a pas-
sage for her person. This time she dared not look. She did
not again permit herself either to think or to look, but re-
solutely leaping across the ditch, she stood for a moment,
awed and trembling, but still firm, in the presence of the dead.
She was motionless for several seconds ; but her mind neu-
tralized, in its noble strength of purpose, the otherwise truly
feminine feebleness of her person. She was about to move
forward in her determined task ; but when she strove to lift
her foot, it seemed half' fastened to the ground. ,,, She looked
down, and her shoe was covered with clotted blood. She
stood in a fast-freezing puddle of what, but an hour before,
had been warm life and feeling. But she did not now give
heed to the obstruction ; she was unconscious of this thought.
Her mind was elsewhere, and her eyes sought for another
object. The anxiety of her heart was too intense to make her
heedful of those minor influences, which at another time would
have shocked the sensibilities and overthrown all the strength
of her sex. She hurried forward, and her eyes were busy all
around her. The whole length of the avenue seemed marked
by the suffering victims, or those who had ceased to suffer.
Death bad been busy in this quarter, and tory and rebel had
equally paid tribute to the destroyer. A deep moaning, feebly