Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XLII: Scipio Set on Track >> Page 352

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Page 352

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 352 MELLICHAMPE.

or interruption, beyond the line of sentinels which Barsfield
had thrown around the family enclosure. These sentinels were
closely placed, almost within speaking distance from each
other, within sight at frequent intervals while going their
rounds, and changed frequently. Succeeding in this, the negro
was to go forward to the adjoining woods, and make his way
on until he happened upon Witherspoon, who was supposed by
Mellichampe to be in the neighborhood, or some other of the
men of Marion, who could be intrusted to convey safely the
paper which he carried, and which, describing Mellichampe's
situation and hopes, suggested the plan and agency necessary
for his deliverance. Tike difficulty, and, indeed danger of this
latter part of Scipio's performance, was even greater than that
of passing the tory sentinels, since it was important that his
missives should fall into the right hands. To be so far de-
ceived as to place the passwords of Marion's men and camp in
other than the true, would be to sacrifice, in all probability,
the hardy but little troop of patriots who found refuge in the
swamps around.
Scipio well understood the importance of his trust, and
needed no long exhortation from his mistress on the subject.
After hearing her patiently for a while, be at length, with
some restiffness, interrupted her in the midst of her exhor-
tations
Da's 'nough, missis, I yerry you berry well ; you no 'casion
say no' mo"bout it. Enty I know dem tory ? Ef he git any
ting out of Scip, he do more dan he fadder and granfadder eb-
ber 'speck for do. He's a mean nigger, Miss Janet, can't trow
dus' in the eye of dem poor buckrah, for it's only dem poor
buckrah dat ebber tu'n tory. Let urn catch Scip bu'ning day-
light. Enty my eye open ? da's nough. I hab for pass de
sentry, I know dat, da's one ting, enty, I hab to do fuss ?"
Yes, that is first to be done, Scipio, and you know how
close they are all around us. I know not how you will suc-
ceed."
Nebber you mind, Miss Jennet ; I know dem sentry ; whay
he guine git gumption for double up Scip in he turn and fore-
finger, I wonder ? Da' tory ain't born yet for sick ting, and I