Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXVI: The Subtlety of the Tory >> Page 300

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 300

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 4,.
sentence. The ignominious nature of such a doom would, be
was well aware, prompt the youth to seize upon any and
every chance to escape from custody. This opportunity was
to be given him, in part. The guards were to be so placed as,
at the given moment, to leave the passage from his chamber
free. The road was to be cleared for him at a designated
point, and this road, under the guidance of Blonay, the youth
was to pursue.
But it was no part of Barsfield's design to suffer his escape.
An ambush was to be laid for the reception of the fugitive,
and here the escaping prisoner was to be shot down without a
question : and, as he was an escaping prisoner, such a fate,
Barsfield well knew, might be inflicted with the most perfect
impunity. The cruel scheme was closely treasured in his mind,
and only such portions of his plan as 'might seem noble with-
out the rest were permitted to appear to the obtuse sense of
the half-breed, who was destined to perish at the same mo-
ment with the prisoner be was employed to set free.
Long and closely did the two debate together on the par-
ticular steps to be taken for carrying the scheme of the tory
into execution ; and it was arranged that, while lie, Barsfield,
should, in the progress of the same day, apprise Janet of the
contemplated removal of Mellichampe to the city for his trial,
Blonay should mature his plan for approaching the maiden on
a subject in which, to succeed at all, it was necessary that the
utmost delicacy of address should be observed. The half-
breed was to assume a new .character. He was to appear
before her with an avowal of sympathy which seemed rather
a mockery, coming from one so incapable and low. He was
to make a profession of regard for her, and for him whom she
regarded, and thus obtain her confidence, without which he
could do nothing. Barsfield did not believe it possible for
such a creature to feel, and his only fear was that the task
would be too novel and too difficult for him to perform de-
cently and with success. But the tory was mistaken in his
man. He did not sufficiently dive into the nature of the seem-
ingly obdurate wretch before him ; and he had not the most
distant idea of the occult and mysterious causes of sympathy