Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXII: The Bird Flown >> Page 272

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Page 272

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 272 MELLICHAMPE.
AT day-dawn the next morning, the trumpet of the legion
sounded shrilly over the grounds where Tarleton, during the
night, had made his encampment. With the signal each
trooper was at his post. Tarleton himself was already dressed,
and about to buckle the heavy sabre at his side which his arm
had ever been so proverbially ready to wield. The fire, the
stern enthusiasm, which grew out of his impatience for the
strife, already glowed balefully and bright upon his counte-
nance. He was joined at this moment by another� an officer;
a man something his senior, and, like him, accustomed seem-
ingly to command. �
� Your trumpets sound unseasonably, Tarleton, and de-
stroyed as pleasant a vision as ever came from the land of
dreams. I fancied the. wars were over�that I was once again
in old England, with all the little ones and their sweet dam
about me ; and your heartless trumpet took them all from my
embrace all at one fell swoop."
Tarleton smiled, but smiled in such a sort that the speaker
almost blushed to have made his confession of domestic ten-
derness to such uncongenial ears. He continued :
" But you care nothing for these scenes, and scruple not to
break into such pleasures to destroy. You have no such sweet
cares troubling you at home."
None, Moncrieff�none, or few. Perhaps I might please
no less than surprise you, were I to say that I wish I had ;
but I will not yield you so much sympathy ; particularly,
indeed, as there is no time for these matters or such talk when
we are on the eve of grappling with an enemy."