Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXIX: The Half-Breed and the Tory >> Page 256

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 256

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 256 MELLICSAMPE.
axed me to describe it, and that I couldn't do. I can go over
the ground, cappin, jilt like a dog ; but I can't tell the name
of the tree that I goes by, or this bush, or that branch, and I
ha'n't any name for the thicket I creeps through. I knows
them all when I sees them, and I can't miss them any more
than the good hound when he's once upon trail ; but, if you
was to hang me, I couldn't say it to you in talking, so that
you could find it out for yourself."
Blonay was right in a portion of his statement, but his cor-
rectness was only partial. He could not, indeed, have de-
scribed his course ; but he had been really averse to unfolding
it to Barsfield, and he had, with the view to a greater reward,
thrown himself in the way of Tarleton, of whose approach he
had been apprized. He was true in all respects, to the simple
and selfish principle upon which his education had. .been
grounded by his miserable mother.. Barsfield had no farther
objection to urge on the subject. He was entirely deceived
by the manner of the scout. But there was yet another topic
of interest between them, and to this he called his attention.
You have not yet been successful with this boy ?�he lives
yet --"
Yes, but you have him now, and he can't help himself.
He is under your knife."
Ay !" exclaimed the tory, with an expression of counte-
nance the most awfully stern, and with a tone of concentrated
bitterness, " ay ! but I am as far off, farther off, indeed, than
ever. My hands are tied ; he is intrusted to my charge in
particular, and my own fidelity is interested in preserving
him."
Eli ?" was the simple and interrogative monosyllable with
which the scout replied to what was too nice a subtilty in
morals to be easily resolvable by a mind so unconventional as
his own. Barsfield saw the difficulty, and tried to explain.
I can not violate a trust which is confided to me. I must
preserve and protect, and even fight against his enemies, so
long as lie remains, in my custody."
He is your enemy ?" said Blonay, still wholly uninfluenced
ty the remark of Barsfield.