Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXX: The Wolf in New Colors >> Page 261

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE WOLF IN NEW COLORS. 261
know sufficiently your secret ; which is no secret now to
any in our troop. Your duty commands that you attend this
young man, and none but the feeble mind will find any fault
with you for its performance. In matters of this sort, your
own heart is the best judge, and to that I leave it, whether
you will avail yourself of the privilege which I have granted
you or not. The youth is in no danger, says my surgeon, but
he may be if he is not carefully nursed. Pardon me- for so
long detaining you, I shall do so no longer. My orders are
given to secure you at all times admission to the chamber of
Mr. Mellichampe, should you desire it."
But, oh ! sir, what of Captain Barsfield ? These charges
Are slight, no doubt, but must be inquired into. Mr. Melli-
champe is the prisoner of Captain Barsfield, and must await
his trial. I can do nothing further, unless it be to promise that
all justice shall be done him."
But may he not be put in other hands, Colonel Tarleton,
than those of Captain Barsfield ? Oh ! sir I dread that man.
He will do Mellichampe some harm." .
"Fear not, Captain Barsfield dare not harm him, he has
quite too much at venture. It is for this very reason, with the
view to the perfect security of the prisoner, that I have made
Barsfield his keeper. His fidelity is pledged for the security
of his charge, and I have dwelt upon the responsibility to him
in such language as will make him doubly careful. But you
do Captain Barsfield wrong ; he has no such design as that
you speak of; his hostility to Mr. Mellichampe is simply that
of the soldier toward his enemy. Unless in fair fight, I am
sure he would never do him harm."
Janet shook her head doubtfully, as she replied, I know
him better, sir, I know that he hates Mellichampe for many
reasons, but I may not doubt the propriety of your arrange-
ments. I will, sir, take advantage of the permission made in
my favor, and will myself become the nurse of Mr. Melli-
champe. Why should I be afraid or ashamed, sir ? Am I not
his betrothed � his wife in the sight of Heaven 1 I will be
his nurse�why should I be ashamed ?"" Ay ; why should you, Miss Berkeley ? Truth and virtue