Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXI: Scouting >> Page 267

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Page 267

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription SCOUTING. 267
Indian blood and temper. To win every advantage, to secure
success and triumph without risk and with impunity, are the
principles of the savage nature always ; and to obtain revenge
without corresponding disadvantage, makes the virtue of such
an achievement. These, indeed, may be held the principles
of every people conscious of inferiority to those whom they
oppose and hate.
So far the dialogue between Barsfield and his comrade had
been carried on without any reference to the particular subject
of interest which filled the bosom of the former. He seemed
reluctant to speak further upon this topic ; and, when he did
speak, his reluctance, still preserved, produced a halting and
partial utterance only of his feelings and desires, as if he
somewhat repented of the degree of confidence which he. had
already reposed in the person to whom he spoke. But the
desire to avail himself of the services of this man, and the con-
sciousness of having already gone so far as to make any future
risk of this sort comparatively unimportant, at length impelled
him to a full expression of his desire to get Mellichampe out
of his way, and, with this object, to hear from Blonay, and to
suggest himself, sundry plans for this purpose. The great
difficulty consisted in the position of Barsfield himself in rela-
tion to the prisoner so particularly intrusted to his charge by
Tarleton, and with orders so imperative and especial. This
was the grand difficulty, which it required all the ingenuity
of Barsfield to surmount. Had Mellichampe been the prisoner
of Tarleton, or of any other person than Barsfield himself, the
murder of the youth would most probably have been effected
that very night, such was the unscrupulous hatred of the tory,
if not of Blonay. For the present, we may say that the half-
breed might not so readily have fallen into any plan of Bars-
field which would have made him the agent in the commission
of the deed.
You go with Tarleton to-morrow : you will not keep with
him, for he goes down to Sinkler's Meadow. When do you
return ?"" Well, now, there's no telling, cappin, seeing as how the
colonel may want me to go 'long with him."