Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter LI: Jack Witherspoon >> Page 427

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription JACK WITHERSPOON. 427
hood. In that moment her worth was conspicuous, in his for-
getfulness of all fear and feebleness. He heeded not the cries
and the clamor, the dreadful imprecations and the sharp ring-
ing shot, which momently assailed his cars in his progress.
The fight was still going on along the avenue and in the park,
but its fury was abating fast. Mr. Berkeley hurried forward,
but soon became confused. His daughter was not to be seen,
nor Scipio, and he knew not in what direction to turn his
footsteps. While he paused and doubted, he heard the rush
of cavalry, like the sweeping force of a torrent coming down
the hills at midnight. He could see, in the bright moonlight,
the dark figures and their shining white blades. The clashing
of steel superseded the shot of the marksmen, and the horse-
men now evidently swept the field in irresistible wrath. The
tories were flying in all directions, the partisans riding over
them with unsparing hoofs, and smiting down with impet-
uous steel. A group fled toward the house, and came di-
rectly upon the spot where the old man's feet seemed to be
frozen. Timidly he shrank behind a tree, and, as the cavalry
pursued, the tories broke, and dispersed in individual flight.
One of them, an officer, sank back slowly, and with an air
of resolution and defiance in his manner which soon pro-
voked the attention of a partisan trooper. He pressed for-
ward upon the Briton, who turned gallantly and made fight.
The huge-limbed steed of the partisan was wheeled from
side to side under the curb of his rider, with an ease that
almost seemed the result of an instinct of his own. Neither
the steed nor his rider could be mistaken.
Yield surrender, sir you prolong the fight uselessly.
Your men are dispersed," were the words of Singleton.
Never, to a rebel !" was the response of Clayton ; never !"
and he struck at the partisan with an earnestness and skill
as he replied, which showed him that he was not an enemy
to be trifled with. The fierce mood of Singleton grew upper-
most as he witnessed the obduracy of the Briton. His own
blows were repeated with furious energy, and the retreat of
Clayton was perforce, more rapid than before. Backing, and
fighting all the while, his feet became entangled in some ob-