Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter V: Gathering of the Clans >> Page 57

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Page 57

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN57
heart of the country, who keep us from our rights, and invite daily
wrongs and trespasses upon our people! And unhappily, they exer-
cise but too much influence here at home in abusing the minds of
the ignorant, and in working upon the fears of the people. Not
content with these injuries, they are now busily engaged in the worst
work to which men could put their hands, under the instigation of
the devil ! We have the proofs in our possession of most treacherous
conspiracies set on foot for our undoing, and for the massacre of our
innocent people! Secret plans are in progress for supplying arms to
the disaffected and the ignorant among us. We are well aware of
the plans of the traitors! And a still worse work has engaged their
venomous and barbarous imaginations, inasmuch as they have already
begun to poison the minds of the heathen savages upon our borders;
to unite them into bands of war, and encourage them, at a given
signal, to descend at night time for the massacre of our women and
children along the frontier. Driven by his fears, and the conscious-
ness of his deep and dreadful guilt in this respect, John Stuart, the
Crown agent among the red men, hath fled incontinently from
Charleston, and taken refuge in Florida. His assistant, his agent
the facile instrument of his hands Alexander Cameron, who dare
not show his face among our people, is now busied among the Chero-
kees sending the `red stick' throughout their towns, and prompting
a chorus of war songs from the Saluda mountains to the Tennessee ! "
"That's a d�d lie!" cried a loud voice, hoarsely, from the crowd.
The voice was that of Browne, who could no longer restrain himself,
and whose mutterings for some time before had become audible to
the circle just about him. There were other parties about this circle
who had been attracted thither by these mutterings. Scarcely had he
spoken the offensive sentence when he was felled to the ground by
a terrible blow from the fist of Captain Hamilton.
All was confusion, and a general rush took place in the direction
of the fallen man. Drayton was silenced during the commotion.
Browne struggled to his feet, and bravely enough rushed on his
assailant, who stood ready, confronting him with a display of those
formidable knuckles which had already laid his cheek open to the
Hamilton wore his sword, but he made no show of using it.
Browne was entirely unarmed, but he was a powerful man also, of