Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXIX: The Half-Breed and the Tory >> Page 251

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE HALF-BREED AND THE TORY. 251
so to digest his answer as to guard it from every objectionable
expression ; yet he spoke with sufficient promptitude to avoid
the appearance of premeditating what he said.
Surely, Colonel Tarleton, the rebel who resists should die
in his resistance "� But when wounded, Barsfield when wounded and at
your feet"� was the abrupt interruption of Tarleton, who cer-
tainly did not diminish the surprise of Barsfield while thus ma-
king a suggestion of mercy to the conqueror. The tory could
not forbear a sarcasm : with a smile, therefore, he proceeded :
And yet, Colonel Tarleton, it has seldom been the case
that you have left to his majesty's enemies, even when you
have overthrown them, a second opportunity of lifting arms
against him."
The bitter smile passed from the lips of the legionary, and
his eye rested sternly upon the face of the tory. The sarcasm
was evidently felt, and, for a few moments, there was in Tarle-
ton's bosom something of that fierce fire which at one period
would have replied to the sharp word with the sharper sword,
and to the idle sneer with a busy weapon. But the sternness
of his brow, a moment after, became subdued to mere serious-
ness, as he replied :
It is true, Captain Barsfield, my sabre has perhaps been
sufficiently unsparing. I have been- a man of blood ; and
heretofore, I have thought, with sufficient propriety. I have
deemed it my duty to leave my king as few enemies as possi-
ble, and I have not often paused to consider of the mode by
which to get rid of them ; but "
He did not conclude the sentence. Isis face was turned
away from the listener. Thought seemed to gather, like a
cloud, upon his mind ; and a gloomy and dark hue obscured
his otherwise pale features. The tory regarded him with
increased surprise as he again addressed him; he could no
longer conceal his astonishment at the change in the mood
and habits of the speaker.
May I ask," he continued, " what has wrought the altera-
tion which I can not but see now in your deportment, Colonel
'.Tarleton ?"