Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XLVIII: Remorse >> Page 406

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Page 406

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 406 MELLICH A M P E.
Humphries, " that's one reason why I want to give you fair
play, and it's reason enough why I don't want to spill your
blood. Answer me now, Goggle, like a man do you want
mine ?"
He paused, but received no answer. He thus proceeded ---
I had you safe enough, but I couldn't find it in my heart
to take your life after that fashion, so I let you out. Tell me,
now, if you can go without taking tracks after me again ?
Suppose I let you run suppose I leave you, without troubling
you now with this lead, that only waits till I lift this finger to
go through your skull´┐Żwill you follow me again ? will you
come hunting for my blood ? Speak ? for your life depends
on it."
Adrat it, Bill Humphries, you've got the gun, and you say
there's a bullet in it. I'm here afore you, and I don't dodge.
I ain't afeard," was the reckless and seemingly impatient re-
sponse.
That's as much as to say that you wont promise, and it's
enough to satisfy me to my own conscience for pulling trigger
upon you at once. But I won't. I'll give you a chance for
your life. There shall be fair play between us. Take your
rifle there it lies get yourself ready, and take your stand
on the edge of the bank, and then be as quick as you think
proper, for the first one to cut away will have the best chance
for life."
A visible change came over the features of the half-breed.
as he listened to this address. His head dropped, his chin
rested upon his breast, and, without any other answer, he sim-
ply raised the hand which Humphries had mashed so remorse-
lessly with the pine-knot, when its owner had thrust it through
the crevice of the tree. He raised it, and in the action showed
his enemy how utterly impracticable it was for him to hold the
rifle with any hope of its successful use. Humphries was si-
lenced, and his own feelings were strongly affected when he
actually beheld a tear in the blear eye of the half-breed, as he
looked upon the maimed and utterly helpless member. The
privation must have been terrible indeed, to extort such an ac-
knowledgment from one so inflexible. It certainly was the