Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXVIII: Unprofitable Interview >> Page 316

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Page 316

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 316 MELLICHAMPE.
his glance what she yet trembled to demand from his lips ;
but remembering the solemn decision of her thoughts when
she granted the interview, to seek to know the worst that her
enemy could inflict, she recovered and controlled her energies.
With a firm voice, therefore, unfaltering in a single accent, she
requested him to proceed. -
" I am not strong´┐Żnot wise, Captain Barsfield, and I am
not able to say what my thoughts are now, or what my feelings
may be when I hear what you have to unfold, But God, I
trust, will give me strength to endure well, if I may not achieve
much. Your looks and manner, more than your words, would
seem to imply something which is dangerous to me and mine.
Speak it out boldly, Captain Barsfield better to hear the
worst than to imagine error, and find worse in wrong imagi-
nings. I am willing to hear all that you would say, and I beg
that you would say it freely, without hesitation."
I am glad that you are thus strong thus prepared, Miss
Berkeley ; for it pains me to think how deeply must be your
sorrow and suffering when you learn the truth."
He paused, and with a hypocritical expression of sympa-
thetic wo in his countenance, approached her when he had
done speaking. His hand was even extended with a con-
doling manner, as if' to possess itself of hers ; but she drew
herself up reservedly in her chair, and he halted before her.
Her words promptly followed the action
I am neither strong to endure much, nor prepared to hear
any particular cause of sorrow, as I can think of none in par-
ticular. Speak it, however, Captain Barsfield, since, whether
strong or prepared, I am at least desirous to know all which
may concern my feelings in the matter which you have to
communicate."
You will think me precipitate in my communication when
you have heard it ; and that you have not thought of it hith-
erto, leads me to apprehend that you will even feel it more
forcibly than I had imagined. I deem it doubly important,
then, to bid you prepare for a serious evil."
These preparatory suggestions, as they were designed to do,
necessarily stimulated still further the anxieties and appre-