Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XLIV: The Cold Trail >> Page 372

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Page 372

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 372 MELLICIIAMP E.
he. saw none but the three companions; but, even whiles he
gazed upon them from a place of shelter by the wayside, and
at the distance of a few hundred yards, he became conscious,
though yet without seeing the object, of the approach of some
one on the opposite hand. The three disappeared from his
sight, and, as the last sounds reached his ears of the tread of
their horses as they plashed through the turbid waters of the
creek, he distinctly beheld the person of a man moving hur-
riedly along its margin. In the next glance he saw that it
was the half-breed.
I have him�here's at you !" he cried to himself, as he
raised his rifle. But, before he could pull trigger, his victim
had disappeared.
Vexed and mortified, he was compelled to squat down in
quiet in order to avoid being seen ; and, hiding himself closely
behind a bush, he waited and watched for a second opportu
pity. But this he was not destined to get so readily. While
he looked he saw the whole line of canebrake; on the edge of
the lagune, slightly agitated and waving at the tops as if
under a sudden gust, but be saw no more of the person he pur-
sued. In a little while he heard the feet of the returning
horses once more plunging through the pond ; and again did
he see the cane-tops waving suddenly in front of a grove of
huge cypresses, and as suddenly again subsiding into repose.
Witherspoon could see no more of the enemy, and, half-bewil-
dered, he awaited the return of Humphries, to unfold to him
what he knew and how he had been disappointed.
Blonay, meanwhile, though maintaining a solicitous regard
to his own concealment, kept a no less heedful watch upon the
progress of his enemy. He looked out from his. cover upon
the return of Humphries ; but, as he continued to be still accom-
panied by Davis and Frampton, there was evidently no oppor-
tunity for prosecuting his purpose. He sank back in silence
to his place of shelter among the canes and cypresses.
Witherspoon had again noted the disturbance among the
cane-tops, but he failed to see the intruder. It was with no
small mortification that he unfolded to Humphries, as he came,
the unsuccessful results of his watch.