Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXII: The Bird Flown >> Page 276

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Page 276

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 276 MELLICHAMPE.
The couch of rushes where Marion slept was still warm
the fragments of the half-eaten breakfast lay around the logs
which formed their rude boards of repast, but not an enemy
was to be seen.
Stimulating his men by promises and threats, Tarleton still
pursued, in the hope to overtake the flying partisans before
they could reach the Santee ; but in vain were all his efforts;
and, though moving with unexampled celerity, he arrived on
the banks of the rapid river only in time to behold the last of
the boats of the " swamp-fox" mingling with the luxurious
swamp foliage on the opposite side. The last twenty-four
hours had been busily and profitably employed by Marion.
He had utterly annihilated the tories who had gathered at
Sinkler's Meadow. Never, says the history, had surprise been
more complete. He came upon the wretches while they played
at cards, and dearly did they pay for their temerity and heed-
lessness. They were shot down in the midst of dice and drink;
foul oaths and exultation upon their lips, and with those bitter
thoughts of hatred to their countrymen within their hearts
which almost justified the utmost severities of that retribution
to which the furious partisans subjected them.