Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXII: The Bird Flown >> Page 273

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Page 273

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE BIRD FLOWN. 273
"Enemy? what enemy ?" demanded the other.
"Our old enemy, the 'swamp-fox,'" responded Tarleton,
coolly.
What, Marion ! why, where is he ?"
But a few miles off. I hope to have late breakfast with
him time serving, God willing, and our appetite for fight as
good as that for breakfast."" But know you where he is, and how? Will he stand for
your coming? Will he not fly, as usual double himself
round a cypress while you are piercing your way through its
bowels ?"
Ay, doubtless if he can ; we must try to prevent that, and
I have hopes that we can do it. His scouts have been around
us, like so many vultures, all night ; and Barsfield reports that
one has had the audacity to fire upon a sentinel. This shows
him to be at hand, and in sufficient force to warrant the belief
that he will stand a brush."" But how find him, Tarleton ? His own men can not easily
do that, and you have never yet been allowed to see his
feathers."
I shall now, however, I think ; for I perceive our guide
stands in readiness, Look at him, Monc.rieff : did you ever
see such a creature ? Look at his eyes ; do they not give you
pain, positive pain, to survey them? They seem only to be
kept in his head by desperate effort ; and yet, behold his
form. He does not appear capable of effort scarcely, in-
deed, of movement. His limbs seem hung on hinges, and one
leg, as you perceive, appears always, as now, to have thrown
the whole weight of the body upon the other.""A strange monster, indeed: and is that the creature to
serve you? Can he put you on the trail ?""He pledges himself to do so. He has seen the ' swamp-
fox' and his men, all at ease, in their camp, and promises that
I shall see them too, under his guidance."
And you will trust him ?"
I will.""What security have you that he does not carry you into
trap ?"
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