Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXV: Guilty Schemes >> Page 293

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Page 293

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription GUILTY SCHEMES. 293
"But how do you calculate these chances ?"" I've got amost all his tracks. He's a master of the scouts,
and as I knows pretty much where they all keeps, I follows
him when he goes the rounds."" Why, then, have you not succeeded better before ? Have
you not frequently seen him before last night ? did you never
get a shot till then ?""Yes, three times ; but then he had other sod gers with him,
good shots, too, and rail swamp-suckers, sich as John Davis,
who's from Goose Creek, and can track a swamp-sucker jist
as keen as myself. A single shot must be a sure shot, or 'taint
a safe one. So we always says at Dorchester, and its reason,
too. It wouldn't be no use to shoot one, and be shot by two
jist after. There wouldn't be no sense in that."" No, but little ; and yet I shall probably have to take some
risk of that sort with my enemy. Do you know Blonay, that
I'm thinking to let Mellichampe run ?"" You ain't, sartin now, cappin ! Don't you hate him ?"
Yes ! as bitterly as ever. You wonder that I should so
determine toward my enemy. He is still such, and I am
his, not less now than ever. But I have been thinking
differently of the matter. I will meet him only like a man,
and a man of honor. His life is in my hands I could have
him murdered in his bed, but I will not. More than this,
my word, as you know, will convict him as 'a spy upon my
camp, and this would hang him upon a public gallows in
the streets of Charleston. I will even save him from this
doom. I will save him, that we may meet when neither shall
have any advantage other than that which his own skill,
strength, and courage, shall impart. You shall help me, or
rather help him, in this."
How?" was the very natural response of the half-breed.
Assist him to escape. Hear me, if he does not escape
before the week is out, I am commanded to conduct him to
Charleston, to stand his trial as a spy, under charges which
I myself must bring forward. He must be convicted, and
must perish as I have said, unless he escapes from my cus-
tody before. He is too young, and, I may add, too noble,