Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XLIV: The Cold Trail >> Page 370

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Page 370

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 370 MLLLICIIAMPE.
Thus addressing his horse, he tightened the rope which
fastened him to the tree, and prepared to continue the. pursuit
on foot.
I can walk jist as fast as that 'ere pony can trot, at any
time, and the skunk that straddles him is too cunning to go
fast now. I can outwalk him, I know ; and, if lie could hear
Button's big foot, it's more than his ears can do to hear mine."
Thus reasoning, the scout left his steed, pressed forward
upon the highway, and, with rapid strides, pushed for the
recovery of lost ground.
Blonay, meanwhile, had gained a sight of the person he pur-
sued. Humphries had lingered behind with this very object.
As soon as the half-breed heard the sounds of feet above him,
and so near the swamp, be sank into the deepest cover and
began to prepare himself. He first alighted from his pony,
which he led as far into the shelter of the woods as seemed
advisable. His own concealment was more easily effected
while on foot than when mounted, and the proximity of his
enemy rendered every precaution necessary. The sudden
rush of a fleet steed, like that bestrode by Humphries, would
have brought the latter upon him long before he could conceal
himself, if he happened to be mounted at the time. On foot
he pressed forward until he beheld the three and distinguished
their movements. Humphries was in the rear, Davis and
Frampton were about to enter the swamp, and, indeed, had
already done so.
It was then that Blonay urged the pursuit most rapidly;
and, with rifle ready to be lifted to his shoulder the moment
the opportunity should offer for its use, he leaped cautiously,
in a circuitous route, from cover to cover, and in the great-
est silence, in order to secure a position which might corn-
mand the pond, through which he well knew the partisans
must go before entering the swamp. He was the more stimu-
lated in this object, as be thought it not improbable that, as
the companions of Humphries were ahead of him, they might
go so far forward as to throw the entire length of the pond,
and the intervening thicket (which, thrusting itself up from
one side of it, and running far out into its centre, almost en-