Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXVII: Love's Barrier >> Page 240

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Page 240

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 240 MELLICHAMPE.
"Husband!" cried. Barsfield, in unmitigated surprise and
unconcealed vexation.
Yes, husband, before God, if not in the eye of man ! Liv-
ing or dead, Ernest, I am still yours�yours only. I swear it
by this unconscious form �I swear it by all that is good and
holy all that can hallow an innocent love, and make sacred
and strong so solemn and so dear a pledge ! You can not now
separate us�you dare not !"
You know not, Miss Berkeley, how much I can dare in the
performance of my duty."
This is no duty of yours I need none of your guardian-
ship."
Ay, Miss Berkeley, you do not, perhaps, but he does. He
is my prisoner, under charge of a heavy crime�of treason to
his sovereign, and of being a spy upon my camp."
What ! he Mellichampe ! Oh, false, false foolish and
false !" was her almost fierce exclamation.
True as gospel, Miss Berkeley, as I shall prove to his. con-
viction, if not yours. But this is trifling, surely. Beacham,
remove the lady ; treat her tenderly, but remove her from the
body of the prisoner : we must secure him at all hazards �
living or dead."
The rugged soldier, in obedience to these commands, ap-
proached the maiden, who now clung more firmly than ever to
the half conscious form of her lover. Her arms were wound
about his neck, and, with convulsive shrieks at intervals, she
spoke alternately to Barsfield and her lover. In the mean-
time, beholding the approach of the soldier who had been
instructed to bear her away, the faithful Scipio, though entirely
unarmed, did not hesitate at once to leap forward to her assist-
ance. He made his way between her and the soldier Beacham,
and, though his arms hung without movement at his side, there
was yet enough in his manner to show to the tory that he
meditated all the resistance of which, under the circumstances,
he could be considered capable. His teeth were set firmly ;
his eyes sought those of the soldier, and were there fixed ; and
his head rested upon one shoulder with an air of dogged deter-