Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter VIII: The Lynching Process >> Page 75

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Page 75

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN75
Griffith was quite mistaken in regard to the effect he thought to
produce.
"Captain Hamilton's troopers, eh? The very friends I desire to
see! All of them my friends, Griffith; beautiful boys, all of them;
very brave and beautiful fellows. I am impatient to see them, Grif-
fith; so stand aside, old chap, and let me embrace my friends."
Griffith protested, and still would have occupied the doorway, but
Browne suddenly seized him by the shoulder, and with a single whirl
transferred him from the porch to the pavement without. No sign of
drunkenness or feebleness in that demonstration of the physical man.
The dogged and tenacious will had corded up the muscles to the
utmost exercise of their power, and perhaps Torn Browne never
showed himself more powerful than when he was thus, as it were,
in the white heat of drunkenness.
He gave no look to the man whom he had laid prostrate, but
without more ado passed at once into the house, and into the hall, a
great apartment, where some six or eight of the rough-riders of Cap-
tain Hamilton were grouped at ease, in all attitudes, and in every
situation, with each his tankard beside him, and with pipe in mouth.
The room reeked with tobacco smoke, and through the cloud it was
not easy to discern the face of the new corner, or those of any of the
party in possession of the hall. A small table stood in the centre of
the group. The heels of one of the party rested upon it, amidst two
or three pewter flagons, and as many more of delph.
Having nearly reached the centre of the hall, Browne paused a
moment, the better to take in, through the cloud of smoke which
spread throughout the hall, the aspects of the party. Having satisfied
himself, he advanced.
"Who is it?" demanded one of the party, "Brighton?"
"Brighton, to be sure," was the reply; "all the bright ones."
"Where's Moore and Jackson? Where did you leave them?"
"Just entering the gates of hell, as an escort to the Continental
Congress."
The whole party started to their feet at this reply, and one of them
exclaimed :
"It's Tom Browne, by all the pipers."
Another cried out fiercely :
"What do you want here?"