Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXVII: Picture of Lynch-Law >> Page 308

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 308

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 308 MELLICIAMPL.
fatigue. He tells me that such will 'soon be the case. Mr.
Mellicliampe now walks his chamber, I understand, and is in
every respect, rapidly recovering from his hurts."
He is certainly better than he was, Captain Barsfield ; but
he is yet very, very feeble too feeble quite to bear with the
fatigues of such a journey."" You underrate the strength of the young gentleman, Miss
Berkeley. He is a well-knit, hardy soldier for one so youth-
ful, and will suffer less than you imagine. I trust that my
surgeon does not report incorrectly, when he states that in all
probability-it will be quite safe to remove him at the com-
mencement of the ensuing week."" So soon !" was the unaffected, the almost unconscious
exclamation.
It is painful to me to deprive you, Miss Berkeley, of any
pleasure of one, too, the loss of which, even in anticipation,
seems to convey so much anxiety and sorrow ; but the duties
of the soldier are imperative."" I would not wish, sir, to interfere with yours, whatever my
own wishes may be, Captain Barsfield," replied the maiden,
with a degree of dignity which seemed provoked into loftiness
by the air of sarcasm pervading the previous speech of the
tory.
It is for you, sir," she continued, to do your duty, if you
so esteem it, without reference to the weaknesses of a woman,
and, least of all, of mine."" You mistake, Miss Berkeley you mistake your own
worth, not less than my feelings and present objects. Your
weaknesses, if it so pleases you to call them, are sacred in my
sight ; and, though my duty as a soldier prompts me to take
the course with the prisoner which I have already made
known to you, such is my regard to your wishes, and for you,
that I am not unwilling, in some. particulars, to depart from
that course with the desire to oblige you."
The maiden looked up inquiringly.
How am I to understand this, Captain Barsfield ?"" Oh, Miss Berkeley, there needs no long explanation. If
Mellichampe has loved you, you have been no less beloved by