Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXI: Scouting >> Page 271

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Page 271

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription SCOUTING. 271
Yes�I seed him plain enough," said Davis, " and I could
swear to the homespun bit didn't you hear as if two was
walking together ?""Well, I did; and 't was reasonable I should hear before
you, seeing I was ahead. I heard them clear enough, first one
and then t'other, and one walked in the water while t'other
was on the brush."
D�n the skunk, that I should lose him ; it's all your
fault, Lance. You're too quick and hot-headed, now-a-days ;
and it'll be a long time before you can be a good swamp-fox,
unless you go more slowly, and learn to love less the sound of
your rifle. But it's useless to stay here now, and we've got
other work to do. Our sport's spoiled for this time, and all
we can do is to take off as quick as we .can ; for it won't be
long before the scouts of Tarleton will be poking here after
us. That shot must bring them in this direction, so we '11 push
round to the opposite side of the bay, where the rest of the
red-coats are in camp."
But, Mr. Humphries, can't I go now and pick off that sen-
try we passed by the avenue ?" demanded Lance Frampton,
with much earnestness.
No, d �n the sentry; if you had picked off this skunk of a
half-breed, it would have been something now I should have
thanked you for ; that's what I mostly come after. As for
the other, there's too much risk now. We mast take a cross-
track, and get round to the river by the gun-flats. Come,
push away."
They had scarcely moved off when a stir and hum in the
direction of 'j'arleton's camp announced to them that the alarm
had been given, and hurried the preparations of Humphries
for their departure. The scouts of Barsfield, led by the tory
himself and guided by Blonay, after a while scoured narrowly
the recesses of the bay: but the men of Marion had melted
away like spectres in the distant woods ; and, chafed and cha-
grined, the tory went back to his quarters, fatigued with the
unprofitable pursuit, and irritated into sleeplessness, as he
found himself .in the close neighborhood of a foe so wary and
so venturesome.