Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXI: Scouting >> Page 266

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Page 266

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 266 MELLICIIAMPE.
"Oh, that? that's only my big alligator : I can tell his
voice from all the rest, for it sounds hoarse, as if he had
cotched a cold from coming out too soon last May. He's a
mighty big fellow, and keeps in a deep, dirty pond, jist to the
back of you. I shouldn't be supprised to see him crawling out
this way directly ; he sometimes does when I'm lying here in
the daytime."
Barsfield started and looked round him, as an evident rust-
ling in the rear seemed to confirm the promise of Blonay.
The latter smiled as he proceeded :
Do n't be scared, cappin, for if a body aint-scared he can't
do no harm with 'em. When he comes out and looks at me, I
jist laughs at him, and claps my hands, and he takes to his
heels directly. They won't trouble. you much only when
they're mighty hungry, and aint seed hog-meat for a long
time, and then they won't trouble you if you make a great
noise and splash the water at 'em.' Why do n't you shoot him ?"
Adrat it ! I did n't load for him; ; it's no use : if I had been
to shoot alligators, I needn't have come up from Goose creek.
I could have had my pick there, at any time, of a dozen, jist
as big and not so hoarse as this.fellow : I picked my bullet
for quite another sort of varmint."
And what of him? Have you seen him?"
Yes," was the single and almost stern reply.
" Within rifle shot ?"
Not twenty yards off," was the immediate answer.
And why did you spare him ?"" Other people was with him : I would have shot him by
I see; you had no wish to be cut up immediately after.
Your hatred to your enemy, Blonay, does not blind you to the
wisdom of escaping after you have murdered him."
The half-breed did not seem to understand what Barsfield
said ; but his own meaning was so obvious to himself, that he
did not appear to think it necessary to repeat his words, or
undertake more effectually to explain them. His, indeed,
was the true Indian warfare, as, in great part, his was the