Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXVII: Love's Barrier >> Page 238

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Page 238

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 238 MELLICHAMPE.
even then uplifted she had no further fears she had no
further thoughts of herself. She tore the branches away from
before her, and, in. defiance of all the efforts of the faithful
Scipio to restrain her, she leaped forward directly into the
path of the tory, and in the face of his uplifted weapon.
Her appearance was in the last degree opportune. Another
moment might have ended all her cares for her lover. Bars-
field was standing above himr and Mellichampe had exhibited
just life enough to give the tory an excuse sufficient to drive
the sword which he held into the bosom of tlia.t enemy whom,
of all the world, he was most desirous to destroy. The medi-
tated blow was almost descending, and the feeble youth, stim.
ulated by the presence of his foe, was vainly struggling to rise
from the earth, which was all discolored with his blood. His
dim eyes were opening in momentary flashes, while his sinew-
less arm was feebly striving to lift the sabre, which he had
still retained tenaciously in his grasp, in opposition to that of
Barsfield. The instinct rather than the reason of love pre-
vailed. Indeed, the instinct of love is woman's best reason.
With a shriek that rose more shrilly upon the air than the
bugle of the enemy, she threw herself under the weapon�she
lay prostrate upon the extended and fainting form of her lover
�she clasped his head with her arms, and her bosom formed
the sweet and all-powerful barrier which, in that perilous
moment, protected his. The weapon of the tory was arrested.
He had beard her.cry he had seen the movement� and he
did not, he could not then, strike.
Save him, spare him, Barsfield ! he is dying--you have
already slain him ! Strike no other blow have mercy, I pray
you�if not upon him, have mercy upon me. I have never
wronged you �I will not�let us go free. Why will you
hate us so�why�why ?""Fear not, Miss Berkeley you mistake my purpose : I
mean not to destroy him. Leave him now let one of my
men attend you to the house; and Mr. Mellichampe shall be
taken care of."" I will' not leave him," she exclaimed ; I dare not trust
you, Barsfield ---I can take care of him myself."