Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXVI: The Wounded Lover >> Page 232

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 232 MELLICH A.MPE.
uttered but full of pain, came to her ears. It guided her steps.
She followed the one sound only. A wounded mml lay half
in the ditch, to 'which he had crawled as if to be out of the
way of the horses. His head and shoulders were on the
bank, the rest of his body was concealed. A frightful gash
disfigured his face, and the blood-smeared features were yet
pale with the sickness of death. He stretched out a feeble
arm as she approached. He muttered a single word
" Water."
At another time, she would have run with the speed of
charity to bring him the blessed draught for which he prayed;
but now she gave him no heed. There was nothing in his
face which spoke to her heart ; and that moaning sound yet
reached her ears at intervals. She hurried onward, and the
pleading wretch sank back and perished, even as he prayed.
She heard his last gasping groan, but it had no effect upon her
feeling. Her mind was sensible only of the one sound which
had so far guided her footsteps. It seemed, through the me-
dium of some strange instinct, at once to convey itself to her
soul. She reached the bend in the avenue whence it came.
On the edge of the ditch, half-buried in the water and the
long grass, lay the wounded man. A single glance informed
her. She could not mistake the uniform.
Mellichampe !" she cried, in a thrilling voice of terror, as
with one desperate bound she rushed forward to the spot, and,
heedless of the thick blood which had dyed the grass all
around where he lay, sank on her knees beside him, while her
enfolding arms were wrapped about his bosom.
Ernest� dear Ernest ! speak to me ; tell me that you live ;
say that you are mine still--that I do not lose you. Look at
me, Ernest speak to me speak to me only once."
He was in her arms--lie breathed�he felt ; but he spoke
not, and did not seem conscious. Her heart was strong, though
suffering; and her feeble strength of person, under its prompt-
ings, was employed with an energy of which she had never
before conjectured one half the possession, to drag him forth
from the vines and brambles which lay thick around his
face the concealing cover in which he had been studiously