Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXVI: The Wounded Lover >> Page 233

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE WOUNDED LOVER. -233
placed by the trusty Witherspoon the moment before his own
flight. From this cover she now strove to lift the form of her
lover; and, though wounding her delicate fingers at every
effort with the thorns, the devoted Janet felt nothing of their
injuries as she labored with this object. With great effort she
succeeded in drawing him upon the bank, and his bead now
rested upon her arms. A writhing of his person, a choking,
half-suppressed groan, attested the returning consciousness,
with the increased pain following this movement, and mixed
moans and menaces fell incoherently from his lips. Even
these signs, though signs of pain to him, and holding forth no
encouragement of hope to her, were yet more grateful than the
unconsciousness in which he lay before. She spoke to him
the words bursting forth in an intensity of natural eloquence
from her tongue, which could 'scarce have failed to arouse hire,
even from the stupor of overcoming death itself.
"Speak to me, Mellichampe r dear Ernest, speak to me.
tell me that you live that you are not hurt to death. It is
Janet, your own Janet, that calls upon you. Look up and
see ; look up and hear me. It is my arms, dear Ernest, that
hold you now ; the bloody men are all gone."
And his dim eyes did unclose, and they did look up with
a sweet mournfulness of expression, vacant and wild, that
grew into a smile, almost of pleasure, when they met the
earnest, commiserating glance of hers. They closed again
almost instantly, however ; but he murmured her name at the
moment.
Janet � you ?"
Your own, in life and death, Ernest ever your own."
And she clung to him with a tenacious hold, at that instant,
as if determined that death should take no separate victim.
He was again conscious, and spoke, though feebly
I fear me it is death, Janet. I feel it ; this pain can not
long be endured, and my limbs are useless."
Speak not thus, Ernest; I know it is not so. Stay
move not. I will lift you to the house--I will "
You!" and he smiled feebly and fondly, as he arrested
the idle speech.