Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXXIX: Troubles of the Lovers >> Page 329

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription TROUBLES OF THE LOVERS. 329
"And you grieve thus at our parting, at the prospect of our
separation. Ab, dearest, sweet is this additional evidence of
your sole-hearted love. But it will not be long, I will soon re-
turn, I only go to be exchanged."
Oh, no, no, no ! �never� neve! You will return no more.
It is false, Ernest�false! No exchange no exchange !
They carry you to Balfour and to Tarleton, to be tried � to
die ! to die !"
Incoherently then, but with the utmost rapidity, she ex-
plained to him the circumstances which Barsfield had narrated
to her. His astonishment far exceeded her own apprehen-
sions, and, after the first feeling of indignant surprise was
over, he calmly and confidently enough sought to reassure
her mind on the subject.
Fear nothing, my Janet. They dare do nothing of what
you fear ; and this charge against me, of being a spy upon
their camp, is too ridiculous to need any refutation, and should
occasion no concern."
The composure of her lover failed to satisfy her.
Alas ! Ernest, no charge is too ridiculous with them. How
many have suffered from charges equally idle in the minds of
honest men !"
This was a truth well known to Mellichampe, and fully as
strong in his mind as a cause of apprehension as it was in
the mind of the maiden ; but, with that pride of character
and soldierly resolve which were becoming iii the man, be
did not allow his own fears to strengthen hers. He over-
ruled her reply, and rejected entirely the anticipation of
any danger resulting from the prospect of a trial in the city
under an allegation which, in his case, be esteemed so idle.
I can soon disprove the charge, my Janet, I have witnesses
enough to show what my motives were in coming to Piney
Grove that night. For, Janet, you yourself, dearest, could
speak for me "" I could, I could, dear Ernest."" But should not," he. replied ; you should not suffer such
exposure to the rude soldiers as such a task would call for.
No, no, my love, there will be no need of this. The scoundrel