"Captives, at midnight, whither lead you them,
Heedless of tears and pity, all unmoved
At their poor hearts' distress? Yet, spare their lives."
THE blow was stayed — the death, deemed inevitable, was averted — the captives lived. The descending arm was arrested, the weapon thrown aside, and a voice of authority, at the most interesting juncture in the lives of the prisoners, interposed for their safety. The new comer was Chorley, the captain of the pirate, heading his troop of marines, and a small additional force of Indians. He was quite as much rejoiced as the captives, that he came in time for their relief. It was not his policy, in the house of the pastor, to appear the man of blood, or to destroy, though mercilessly destructive wherever he appeared before. There were in the present instance many reasons to restrain him. The feeling of " auld lang syne " alone might have had its effect upon his mood; and, though not sufficiently potent, perhaps, for purposes of pity in a bosom otherwise so pitiless, yet, strengthened by a passion for the person of Bess Matthews, it availed happily to save the little family of the pastor. Their safety, indeed, had been his object; and he had hurried towards their dwelling with the first signal of war, as he well knew the dangers to which they would be exposed, should he not arrive in season, from the indiscriminate fury of the savages. But the circuitous route which he had been compelled to take, together with the difficulties of the forest to sailors, to whom a march through the tangled woods was something unusual, left him considerably behind the party led on by Ishiagaska. Arriving in time to save, however, Chorley was not displeased that he had been delayed so long. There was a merit in his appearance at a moment so perilous, which promised him advantages he had not contemplated before. He could now urge a claim to the gratitude of the maiden, for her own and the safety of her parents, upon which he built strongly his desire to secure her person, if not her heart. This, at least, under all circumstances, he had certainly determined upon.
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Publication information: Book title: The Yemassee. Contributors: William Gilmore Simms - Author, Alexander Cowie - Editor. Publisher: American Book Company. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1937. Page number: 322.
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