Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXVII: Love's Barrier >> Page 236

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Page 236

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 236 MELLICHAMPE.
" No, Scipio, let us go forward. I think we can get to the
avenue before they come up, and I would have you lift him
into the bushes out of the way of the horsemen, before they
have passed by. Do not fear, Scipio; we shall have time,
but you must go forward quickly."
The black looked into her face with astonishment, as well
he might. Her words were unbroken, and her tones quick
and unaffected, equable, even musical ; while his own, accus-
tomed as. he had been all his life to utter and complete subor-
dination, were tremulous with timidity and fear.
" Gor-a-mity, Miss Janet, you no scare E You no frighten,
and you only young 'gal Scip member when you been only
so high, and here you tall you 'tan up traight´┐Żyou look
all round you no trouble, dough you hear de horn blow and
de sogers coming. Wha' for you no scare like Scipio ?"
She could not smile at that moment, as at another she could
scarcely have refrained from doing; but her eye was turned
upon the half-unnerved negro, and her taper finger rested on
his sable wrist, as she said in tones which strengthened him,
as he felt they came from one who was herself supernaturally
strengthened
" nothing, but come on quickly. I need all your
strength, Scipio ; and, if you will mind what I say to you,
there will be no danger. Come on."
He opposed nothing farther to her progress, but followed in
silence. They had reached an outer fence, the rails of which
had been let down in order to the free passage of the cavalry
before, when the increasing clamor of the approaching detach-
ment under Barsfield again impelled Scipio to other sugges-
tions of caution to his youthful mistress. But she heeded him
not, and continued her progress. Nor did he shrink. He
could perish for her as readily as for Mellichampe ; and, to do
the faithful slave all justice, his exhortations were prompted
not so much by his own danger or hers, as by a natural sense
of the delicacy of that position in which she might involve
herself, under that strong and passionate fervor of devoted
love which blinded her to all feeling of danger, and placed
her infintely beyond the fear of death. Other fears she had