Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XL: The Half-Breed Betrays the Tory >> Page 340

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 340

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 340 MELLICHAMPE.

be secure." He spoke with an air of confidence that almost
reassured her.
How?" she cried, anxiously ; " tell me all�tell me your
hope, Ernest. How will you escape by what management ?""By the simplest agency in the world. Hear me: Even
now that trusty fellow, Witherspoon, is lurking around my
prison. Only last night, just after you left me, I heard his
signals close upon, and evidently this side of, the avenue.
But for the fear of provoking suspicion I should have answered
them. He is about me night and day�lie will sooner desert
the squad than me. And thus he will remain ; if I can convey
intelligence to him, I can do anything �I can effect my
escape. I can put it out of the power of Barsfield to do me
any harm, unless he does it in fair fight.""But how will you do this; and what can I do toward it?"
Much, dearest very much. But hear me further. If I
can say to Witherspoon, ' On such a night I fly from my prison
I meet you at such a place�I pursue such a course�I
apprehend an ambuscade, and will require that a counter-
ambuscade be set'�ha! do you see ?""Yes�yes�go on.""He will understand�it will come to him like a light
like a light from Heaven. He will not be able to bring men
enough to encounter Barsfield's whole force, which has been
growing largely, you tell me, but he will bring enough to tell
against the few whom the tory will employ for my murder, and
thus � ah ! you understand me now."
Yes, Ernest, but still I fear.""I hope !�what do you fear ?"
The fighting�"
And, if I am free, dear Janet, I should still have to fight
until the war is over�until the invader has gone from the
land."
Yes, but�oh, Ernest, if there should not be men enough ? �if they should not come in time �?1I
These are risks which I must take hourly, my beloved, and
of which I may not complain now. Remember the dreadful
risk which I incur while remaining. Is there no risk in going