Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXVII: Picture of Lynch-Law >> Page 313

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription PICTURE OF LYNCH-LAW. 313
He paused, but she spoke not, and he went on almost in-
stantly,
The lash, the scourge, rods from the neighboring woods
were brought, and I suffered until I fainted under their
blows."
She clasped her hands, and closed her eyes, as if the horri-
ble spectacle were before her.
I came to life to suffer new tortures. They poured the
seething tar over me �"
Horrible ! horrible !""Then, hurrying me to the neighboring river, your own
Santee, they plunged me into. its bosom, and more than once,
more merciful than the waters, which did not ingulf me, they
thrust me back into their depths, when with feeble struggles I
had gained the banks. I was saved by one, one more tender
than the rest, and left at midnight, exhausted, by the river's
side, despairing of life and imploring death, which yet came
not to my relief."
Dreadful, dreadful !" exclaimed the maiden, with emotions
of uncontrolled horror, while her ghastly cheeks and streaming
eyes attested the deep pain which the cruel narrative had im-
parted to her soul.
Quivering in every limb with the agonizing recollection
which- his own horrible narrative had awakened in his mind,
Barsfield strode the floor to and fro, his hands clinched in his
hair, and his eyes almost starting from their sockets.
In another moment Janet, recovering herself, with something
of desperation in her manner, hurried and breathless, thus ad-
dressed him
But the father of Ernest Mellichampe, he was not one of
these men ? he had no part in this dreadful crime ? You have
not said that, Mr. Barsfield ?"" No !" was his bitter and almost fierce exclamation.
"Thank God ! thank God !" she exclaimed, breathlessly.
He rapidly crossed the floor, he approached her, and his finger
rested upon her arm
Stay!" he exclaimed, " be not too fast. The father of
your� of Ernest Mellichampe, did, indeed, lift no hand �he
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