The Yemassee

By William Gilmore Simms; Alexander Cowie | Go to book overview
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" His eye hath that within it which affirms
The noble gentleman. Pray you, mark him well;
Without his office we may nothing do
Pleasing to this fair company."

THE sailor turned fiercely, dirk in hand, upon the person who had thus torn him from his victim; but he met an unflinching front, and a weapon far more potent than his own. The glance of the new comer, not less than his attitude, warned him of the most perfect readiness; while a lively expression of the eye, and the something of a smile which slightly parted his lips, gave a careless, cavalier assurance to his air, which left it doubtful whether, in reality, he looked upon a contest as even possible at that moment. The stranger was about thirty years old, with a rich European complexion, a light blue eye, and features moulded finely, so as to combine manliness with as much of beauty as might well comport with it. He was probably six feet in height, straight as an arrow, and remarkably well and closely set. He wore a dress common among the gentlemen of that period and place a sort of compound garb, in which the fashion of the English cavalier of the second Charles had been made to coalesce in some leading particulars with that which, in the American forests, seemed to be imperatively called for by the novel circumstances and mode of life prevailing in the region. The sur-coat was of a dark blue stuff, usually worn open at the bosom, and displaying the rich folds of the vest below to the taste of the wearer, but which on the present occasion was of the purest white. The underclothes were of a light gray, fitting closely a person which they happily accommodated, yet served admirably to display. His buskins were like those worn by the Indians. A broad buckskin belt encircled his waist, and secured the doublet which came midway down his thigh. In his hand he carried a light fusil of peculiarly graceful make for that period, and richly ornamented with drops of silver let in tastefully along the stock, so as to shape vaguely a variety of forms and figures. The long knife stuck in his belt was his


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The Yemassee


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