Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXX: The Wolf in New Colors >> Page 259

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE WOLF IN NEW COLORS. 259
tered in a low, soft tone, little above a common whisper, yet
sufficiently measured and slow in their utterance to be heard
without difficulty by those to whom they were addressed.
What a difference was there between the same man sitting at
the hospitable board, and, when leading forward his army but
a few hours before, be rushed headlong, with kindled and ra-
ging spirit, upon the tracks of his flying foe ! There was
nothing now in his look or language which could indicate the
savage soldier. Was he, indeed, the same bloodthirsty war-
rior, whose renown, by no means an enviable one, had been
acquired by the most wanton butcheries in the fields of Caro-
lina ? This was the inquiry in the minds of all those who
now looked upon him. Certainly a most remarkable alteration
seemed, in the eyes of all who before had known him, in a
little time to have come over the spirit of the fierce warrior ;
and it is somewhat singular and worthy of remark, that he
gained no distinction, and won no successes of any moment,
after this period. His achievements were few and unimpor-
tant ; and two repulses which he received at the hands of
Sumter, followed up, as they were, by the terrible defeat which
he sustained at the Cowpens, finished his career as a favorite
of fortune in the partisan warfare of the South. His name
lost its terrors soon after this among those with whom it had
previously been so potent ; and, though his valor was at all
periods above suspicion, yet, in his reverses, it became the
fashion to disparage his soldierly skill, even among those whom
he commanded. It was then discovered that he had only con-
tended, hitherto, with raw militiamen, whom it required but
little merit, beyond that of mere brute courage, to overthrow ;
and that his successes entirely ceased from the moment when
that same militia, taught by severe and repeated experience
of defeat, had acquired, in time, some little of the address of
regular and practised warfare. There was, no doubt, much
that was sound in this opinion.
But�the dinner was fairly over, - and Tarleton withdrew,
after a few moments devoted to pleasant conversation with the
now composed Rose Duncan, from whose mind all the terrors
of the previous combat,. in which she had shared so much,