Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XLIX: Escape >> Page 411

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription ESCAPE. 411
And how know we that he is not faithful to his employer ?
What reason is there to believe him friendly to Mellichampe ?
This is my doubt. So long as Barsfield can pay this fellow in
solid gold, he has his fidelity."
Yes, sir, very probably ; but I scarcely think that Melli-
champe will keep the one track. I rely greatly on his saga-
city in all matters of this sort, and think that the moment he
leaves the dwelling, he will not feel himself bound to follow
the lead of his companion."
I hope not," was the response of Marion to the sanguine
calculations of Major Singleton´┐Ż" I hope not, but I appre-
hend for him. We must do our best, however, and look to
Good Fortune to help us through where we stumble. But no
more. See now to your further preparations, for we move by
dusk."
The affair on hand impressed no one more seriously with its
importance than Thumbscrew. He addressed Major Singleton
the moment after his return, bringing the desired intelligence,
which he did at noon. He addressed him to solicit what he
styled a favor.
But why incur a danger so great, and, seemingly, so unne-
cessary ? I see no use for it, Thumbscrew.""No use ! There's use for it, major, and satisfaction ; as
for danger, I'm a born danger myself, and I shouldn't be afraid
to stand in the way of my own shadow. But I don't think
there's any danger, major ; to cross the avenue ain't so mighty
hard to a man like me, that's played, in my time, a part of
every beast, and bird, and crawling critter that's known to a
Santee woodman. I can pass them sentries like a gust from
a big-winged bird, and so they'll think me. I can git into
that bay without waking a blind moscheto ; and, once I gits
there, I can do a mighty deal now, I tell you, by a sartin
whistle which I has, to tell Airnest Mellichampe where to
find me."
The arguments of Witherspoon soon persuaded his superior,
and he went alone, long in advance of the partisans, on his
individual and daring adventure. He gained the bay with
the same ease and good fortune which marked his progress in