Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter VIII: The Lynching Process >> Page 73

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription CHAPTER VIII.
THE LYNCHING PROCESS.
Browne, though left under watch, had escaped from the lodging-
house unobserved. He had made his way to the shop of a cutler, and
bought a large, sharp knife, and a single pistol. These he carefully
secreted about his person.
His proceedings, for a. man still half drunken, were singularly cool
and deliberate. There is a sort of temperament tenacious as the grave
of its purpose, which still works to the proposed end, in spite of any
loss of physical equilibrium; in which passion is still subordinate to
will, and works, however irregularly or confusedly, under a fixed
mental purpose. Hot-headed at once and cool, Browne was of bull-
dog peculiarities, and the liquors which fired his blood seemed to
have but little effect upon any determined action suggested by his
brain.
This, perhaps, is a characteristic of the Gael, generally. It was
especially so of this man. Though persevering in an unwise and
imprudent object, he was yet as religiously circumspect in all the
details necessary for its prosecution as if his whole intellectual nature
was in hand, and as if no unbalanced faculty remained to contest, in
his mind, with the perfect ascendancy of aim and purpose.
With like directness he made his way to the "Full Moon" public
house of Andrew Griffith, who kept in one of the side streets near the
present market-place, and but a few doors out of the main, or Broad
street. It was a second or third-rate house, designed for those who
wished to lodge economically, and yet enjoy those social freedoms
which, among this class, are very apt to degenerate into licentiousness.
Good suppers were provided here; and there were tempting bever-
ages; and private rooms, or crypts rather, were at hand; snug, not
easily found; where stakes were set on games which lacked in every
attraction, save to those who desired the shortest possible processes in
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