Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter VI: Walter Dunbar >> Page 62

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Page 62

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 62JOSCELYN
Deeply did the face of the young man redden under this keen
rebuke. He unhappily, in appearing on this occasion, did not Well
know what the orator owed to himself. The humiliating conscious-
ness of this truth made the shaft strike home. Drayton proceeded:
"Does any gentleman present know the handwriting of the Hon.
John Stuart and that of his assistant, Alexander Cameron, Commis-
sioners for the Crown of Great Britain, among the red men of
Carolina, Georgia and Florida? I have here, luckily, the original
letters of both these persons, intercepted by our Committee of Safety,
which will fully confirm to you what I have said of the atrocious and
damnable scheme of these two men, under the instigations of Lord
Wm. Campbell and the devil, to bring down the murderous savages
of the mountains upon the women and children of our frontiers.
Here, in their own hands, shall you read the proofs, so boldly chal-
lenged, of their infamous designs of midnight fire and slaughter
among our innocent people. Let any of you who are curious, any
who know the signatures of these men, examine these documents for
yourselves. There must be many among you who will be able to say
whether these papers be or be not genuine. Let me hope that the
gentleman who has challenged the proofs be among those who will
examine them. If I mistake not, he himself will be quite competent,
of his own knowledge, to decide upon their authenticity."
He held the papers up as he spoke. He read aloud their contents,
which were in full confirmation of the charge which he had made,
and a dozen or more persons, among them Captain Sam. Hammond,
a leading man in the neighborhood, drew nigh, and examined the
papers. So did Walter Dunbar, who turned away in silence, and
made his way back to the spot whence he had spoken. All the other
parties pronounced loudly in behalf of the genuineness of the docu-
ments.
"Is the gentleman satisfied?" demanded Drayton.
"We have been deceived, sir," was the reply of Walter, looking
not to Drayton, but to his father. The old man glared at him with
a face in which rage and scorn were equally conspicuous. Then', in
his insanity :
"Oh! fool and blockhead ! " he exclaimed, loud enough for every-
body to hear. "That such a cause should be lost in such worthless
hands!"