Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter II: Malcontents in Council >> Page 10

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 10JOSCELYN
"Look you, Annie, that tell-tale blood of yours will some day
betray to Martin himself what it too clearly tells to me."
"Oh! Wattie, how can you think so? I should die rather"
"Hush, and do not be foolish! Only beware and do not let your
heart leap so quickly into your throat. Our father, I fear, has no
love for Martin, and shows him a cold shoulder when he comes
hither, though he knows that he comes to me, and that he ,is my
most intimate friend. Let him not see that my sister thinks even
more favorably of him than her brother."
"You are unkind, Wattie."
"I meant to be kind only, my sweet little foolish sister; and my
warning was to spare you some suffering. Keep down the heart;
for a season at least. This is no time for love and walks in the
groves together, without a word between you, which word you
should probably tremble yourself to hear. Enough now"
At this moment a harsh voice at the window cried out :
"Why there's Walter now ! Why does he not come in? Why do
you not send him in, Annie? Dogs and devils ! can I get nothing
done that I desire? Am I never to be master in my own house?
Come in, Walter. We have waited for you half the day."
At the first accents of his voice the girl disappeared in the shrub-
bery, making her way to the dairy. The young man replied very
quietly, and as if unmoved by his father's impatience:
"I will be with you directly, sir. I will 'but wash my hands."
There was an impatient ejaculation in reply, something very like
an oath, followed by
"Never matter about your hands. There are some things that
cannot wait upon soap and water. If you stop to wash your hands,
you will think it necessary to find a towel to wipe them."
"Very likely I shall."
"Well, in with you quickly," was the response, and the old man
left the window.
The youth did not hurry himself, however. He coolly proceeded
to perform his ablutions in the porch of the dwelling; used the
soap freely, and deliberately employed the towel, the old man
watching his proceedings through the window, and bestriding the