Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXIX: The Half-Breed and the Tory >> Page 255

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Page 255

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE HALF-BREED A:ND THE TORY. 255
not too great to render the escape of the suspected person at
all easy. 'Every precaution was taken to prevent the scout
from noticing this surveillance ; but the half-oblique eye which
he cast over his shoulder at intervals upon the two, must have
taught any one at all familiar with the character of the half-
breed, that he was not unconscious of the close attention thus
bestowed upon him. He walked away unconcernedly, how-
ever, and it was not long before, upon the edge. of the forest,
he had gained a favorite tree, against the sunny side of which
he leaned himself quietly, as if all the cares and even the con-
sciousness of existence had long since departed from his mind.
It was in this spot, an hour after, that he was sought out by
Barsfield. The tory captain had some cause of displeasure
with the scout, who had evaded his expressed wish to gain the
clew to the retreat of Marion. He had other causes of dis-
pleasure, which the dialogue between them subsequently un-
folded.
"Where did you meet with Colonel Tarleton to-day, Mr.
Blonay ? You had no knowledge of his approach ?"
None, eappin -- I heard his trunpet a little way off, when
I was making a roundabout foi�M tl~e = swamp thicket, and he
came upon me with a few d �agoons afore I seed him."
It is strange, Mr. Blonay, that a good scout, such as you
are, should be so easily found when not desiring it. Are you
sure that you tried to keep out of his way ?"
No, cappin�there was no reason for me to try, for I saw
first that they were friends and not rebels : and so I didn't
push to hide, as I might have done, easy enough.""And by what means did Colonel Tarleton discover that
you could lead him to the camp of Marion, unless you studi-
ously furnished him with your intelligence ?"
I did tell him, cappin, when he axed me. He axed me if
I knowed, and I said I did, fist the same as I said to you ; and
he then axed me to show him, and I said I could."
But why, when I asked you, did you deny your ability to
show me the way ? Was it because you looked for better pay
at the hands of Tarleton ?"
No, cappin : but you didn't ax me to show you�you only