Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXVIII: Unprofitable Interview >> Page 315

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Page 315

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854


THE maiden was indeed silenced. If she did not sympathize entirely with Barsfield, she at least saw what a natural course had been his, under the dreadful indignities which he had been made to suffer. She now looked on him with a feeling of pain and mortification as he paced the apartment to and fro ; and her eyes more than once filled with tears, as she thought how far guilty in this transaction had been the father of her lover. At length the tory captain turned to her once more. His countenance had recovered something of its serenity, though the cheek was yet unusually flushed, and when he spoke there was a convulsive unevenness in his accent, which denoted the yet unsubdued emotions of his heart. Still, with a moral power which he certainly possessed, however erringly applied, he subdued the feverish impulse ; and, after the pause of a few moments, which the excited and wounded feelings of Janet did not suffer her to interrupt, he proceeded to a more full development of his purpose and his desire.
" I have said to you, Miss Berkeley, that I am commanded, so soon as the condition of my prisoner will permit, to convey him to the city. Are you aware with what purpose ? have you any notion of his probable destiny ?" .
The manner-of the question alarmed the maiden much more than the question itself. It was grave and mysteriously emphatic. His face wore all the expression of one conscious of the possession of a secret, the utterance of which is to produce the most trying emotions in the hearer, and which the possessor, at the same time, however, does not yet dare to with-hold. Janet was silent for a few seconds while gazing into the countenance of the speaker, as if seeking to gather from