Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter IV: Grace and Angelica >> Page 49

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Page 49

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN49
"One of you girls carry Stephen a cup of tea," said the old lady.
Tea was still a luxury in sundry parts of the country, though under
the ban of patriotism in society.
"He will wait long enough before I carry him one," said Angelica.
"Grace, my child, will you carry him a cup of tea?"
"Mother!" said the young woman, pleadingly. What did she
mean? The old lady rose impatiently.
"I will carry it myself. He must be sick. Such a change as has
come over him to-day makes me fear that something's wrong with
him. He must be sick, and seriously."
Grace started from her seat, took the cup from the hands of her
mother, saying, meekly :
"I will take it to him, mother."
And she took it to Stephen's room, and rapped gently at the door,
and murmured, hesitatingly :
"Stephen, mother sends you a cup of tea. Will you take it?"
He came to the door, and received it in the calm, grave, sweet,
quiet manner, as of old, and he said:
"Thank you, Grace. You are very kind."
"Are you unwell, Stephen?" she asked quietly enough, but with
some effort.
"Yes, Grace, as all men are unwell who know not well to do.
Troubled, Grace, and sad and thoughtful, but not sick, if that is
what you mean. Thank you, now. There good night."
And he gave her his hand, and slightly pressed her fingers be-
tween his own, and said again, very gently, if not tenderly,
"You are a good girl, Grace. God be with you in mercy."
And Grace, somehow, slept very sweetly that night, and had
pleasant dreams; but Stephen was wakeful, and Mrs. Kirkland said
at breakfast the next morning that she had heard him pacing the
floor till after midnight. Poor Stephen; he was struggling with his
demon, and the struggle is not likely to be soon ended.