Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XL: The Half-Breed Betrays the Tory >> Page 337

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 337

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE HALF-BREED BETRAYS THE TORY. 337
rewarded. Had you not told me all of this business�had you
suppressed the connection of Captain Barsfield with the de-
sign � I might have accepted your services for Mr. Mclli-
champe ; nay, I must have been driven, by the desperate
situation in which he stands, to consent to his flight under
your direction. And then oh, horrible to think upon ! �my
hand would have been instrumental in his murder. I should
have prepared the snare which was to give his victim to this
bloody man !"
She preserved her coolness, though trembling with the new
emotions which the communication of Blonay had inspired,
and drew from him, by a series of questions, the whole dia-
logue which had taken place between him and the tort'. From
these developments she was persuaded�not that her lover
was likely to escape at the coming trial, and thus defeat the
wishes of his enemy�but that the anxious thirst of Barsfield
for his revenge in person made him unwilling to lose his prey,
even through the hands of the executioner. With this impres-
sion her misery was doubly increased. She saw nothing but
dangers and difficulties on every hand. Should Mellichampe
be carried safely to the city, what but a cruel and bitter death
awaited him there ? But could he be carried there in safety ?
This seemed to her impossible. Would he not go under the
custody of Barsfield's creatures? No longer guarded by her
watchful attendance no longer safe from the presence and
the obtrusion of others, would not his enemy then have those
thousand opportunities for working out his vengeance which
now were denied him by the excellent arrangements made by
Tarleton? And if he fled before that period came, what but
the knife or the pistol of the waylaying ruffian could she
expect for him in his flight? As these fears and thoughts
accumulated in her mind, she found herself scarcely able to
maintain a proper firmness iu the presence of the savage. She
accordingly prepared to dismiss him, and had already put in
his hands a small sum of gold, which he did not demur to
receive, when she remembered that it might be of advantage,
and was certainly only her duty, to disclose these circumstances
to Mellichampe before finally rejecting the proposition.
15