Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XLIII: Swamp Strategics >> Page 363

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription SWAMP STRATEGICS. 363
Crack away."" I set off in two hours for the skirts of Barsfield's camp,
where I'm to put a few owls who shall roost above him. After
that I take the back track into the swamp, and John Davis
and young Lance will keep along with me. I pretty much
guess ,that this fellow Blonay will not let half an hour go by,
after I've passed him, before he gets upon trail somewhere or
other, and fastens himself up in some bush or hummock, wait-
ing a chance at me when he finds I'm going back. If my cal-
culation be the right one, then all you've got to do is to take
the trail after me, keeping a close look-out right and left, for
the fresh track of an Indian pony. If you see that little bul-
let foot of a swamp-tacky freshly put down in the swamp or
sand after mine, be sure the skunk's started."
I see; I see."
Well, when you've once got his track, we have him. If
he finds he's got some one on his skirts, he'll go aside, and
you'll lose his trail, to be sure ; but you'll know then he's either
on one side or 'toder in the woods about you ; and all you've
got to do is to ride ahead a bit and go into the bush too."" Good, by gimini !"
What then ? Soon as he finds all things quiet, he'll come
out of the bush and take up my trail as he did before; and, if
you git a good place to hide in, so as to be concealed and yet
to watch the road, you can't help seeing when he goes ahead."
That's true ; but suppose he goes into the bush again, what
must I do then ?""Just what you've done before, the very thing, until he gets
to the bayou that opens the door to the swamp. If you can
track him that far, you can track him farther ; for when he
once gets there he'll be sure to go into hiding in some corner
or other where be knows I must pass, waiting the chance to
crack at me again."
Yes, yes ! And I'm to try and find out his hollow ? I see,
I see. It ain't so bard, after all, for I'm a very bear in the
swamp, and can go through a cane-brake with the best of them.
We shall have the skunk, Bill, there's no two ways about it.
If he can keep the track of a horseshoe through mud and