Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter V >> Page 62

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Page 62

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 62 SOUTHWARD HO
side, after a fashion but too common with his neighbors. Every
storm brought him tribute, and his accumulations began to be
considerable. *Wrecks increased fearfully after his appearance
in the neighborhood ; and, for the goods thus brought to these
wild outlaws, by a wretched fortune, they had but one duty to
perform�to bury out of sight the human sufferers who were
quite as frequently the victims of their cruel snares as of the
treacherous shores and tempests.
Dalton prospered in the horrid trade ; and the rude cabin in
which he dwelt alone, and which was visited but rarely, began to
improve in its furniture. Bedsteads and beds, beyond what he
himself could use or seemed to need, were accumulated in his sol-
itary chamber. Chairs and tables and mirrors followed. Supplies
of crockery, and other things, implying the presence of woman,
were gradually brought from the cities ; and conjecture exagger-
ated the value of his stores and treasures. At length, the mys-
tery of these proceedings was explained. Dalton was now heard
to speak of mother, wife, and sister�all of whom he expected
from England to whom he had written, and sent the necessary
money for emigration. He spoke of these relations with a show
of feeling which occasionally softened, and even sweetened, his
savage aspect and utterance ; and seemed to entertain for them
(severally a degree of affection, which could hardly have been
expected from his nature. He was a coarse, uneducated man,
and the villanous scrawl which declared his wishes to his kindred,
was revised by one of his neighbors, better read than himself,
from whom, it seems, these particulars were afterward obtained.
His letter was despatched, and he spoke frequently of the family
which he expected, and for which he had prepared his dwelling,
filling it with comforts, to which, in all probability, they had
never before been accustomed.
But months elapsed, bringing him no answer to his entreaties.
Meanwhile, he still continued his fearful and criminal employ-
ments. Still he prospered in all merely pecuniary respects.
He became the envy of those who regarded his accumulations
as the proper and permanent objects of desire. But the wages
of sin and death are delusions also ; mockeries, which mortify
the very meanest hearts, even when they are most sought,
and most in possession.