Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXI: Scouting >> Page 270

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Page 270

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 270 MELLICHAMPE.
in the dim light that occasionally stole from the heavens into
those deep recesses, to gather what he could of the noises
which had disturbed them. The hand of the half breed,
grasping the skirts of his coat, had scarcely drawn him back
into the shelter of the tree, when the whizzing of the bullet
through the leaves, and the sharp crack of the rifle, warned
him of his own narrow escape, and of the close proximity of
danger.
I knows where they are now," said Blonay, in a whisper,
changing his position; we are safe enough if you can stick
close to me, cappin.""Lead on I'll follow," was the reply, in the same low
whisper which conveyed the words of Blonay. The half-
breed instantly hurled a huge half-burnt chunk of wood
through the bushes before him, the noise of which be neces-
sarily knew would. call the eyes of the scouts in that direction;
then, in the next instant, bounding to the opposite side, he
took his way between two clumps of bays which grew in the
miry places along the edge of the tussock on which they had
been standing. Barsfield followed closely and without hesita-
tion, though far from escaping so well the assaults of the briers
and bushes upon his cheeks. His guide, with a sort of instinct,
escaped all these smaller assailants, and, though lie heard the
footsteps behind of his pursuers, he did not now apprehend any
danger, either for himself or his companion, having thrown the
thick growth of bays between them.
The party which so nearly effected the surprise of the two
conspirators came out of their lurking-place an instant after
their flight. The conjecture of the half-breed had been cor-
rect. They were the men of Marion.
You fired too soon, Lance," were the words of Humphries,
and the skunk is off. Had you waited but a little longer we
should have had him safe enough. Now there's no getting'
him, for he has too greatly the start of us."" I couldn't Delp it, Mr. Humphries. I saw the shiny but-
tons, and I thought I -had dead aim upon him.""But how comes he with shiny buttons, John Davis ?" said
Humphries, quickly. When you saw him to-day he had on
a blue homespun, did lie not ?"