As he spoke, the Major drew near, and fixed a keen eye on Bergan's glass, in a way which led the latter to suspect that his late manoeuvre had not been so successful as he had imagined. At any rate, it would not be easy to repeat it. Well, what matter? He had submitted to his uncle's tyranny long enough; he might as well free himself first as last. He would try to do so in the way least likely to give offence.
"No!" roared the Major, with a dim suspicion that he was being made to appear ridiculous,—"not unless you like to come out and take the horsewhipping yourself. On the whole, I'd just as soon give it to you."What lay beyond these walls of verdure was only to be guessed at from occasional and indistinct glimpses. Here, a transient view of corn or vegetable rows, and a sound of voices, gave token of the vicinity of a small plantation or market garden. There, a scarcity of deciduous trees and a predominance of evergreens, a more lush and succulent character of undergrowth, and a dark gleam of stagnant water, betrayed the proximity of an extensive morass. Frequently, the eye lost itself in the complicated vistas of thick pine-barrens, stretching far away to right and left. And, ever and anon, a sudden break in the long line of verdure, and the sight of a diverging wheel-track, quickly lost amid overhanging boughs, served to show in what direction some large rice or cotton estate lay hidden in the circumjacent forest.