Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter VIII: The Lynching Process >> Page 77

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Page 77

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN77
in language of the most cold, yet savage intensity, of mingled hate
and scorn, and insolence.
"And ye are the salt of the earth, ye scum ! Ye are to purge the
Commonwealth, and to put your beggarly bodies on the seats of
Kings, Lords and Commons! Where are your Julius Cesars, your
Draytons, and your Dauphins, and your Hamiltons and Hammonds?
ye vile curs that sit in judgment upon better men ! Do I not know
ye? Ye would assert the rights of man, and ye are not men! I can
buy every soul of ye for a button! Your souls are at the bottom of
your flagons, and a gallon of rum will buy every dog of ye to sell
his grandmother! Here, take your flagons, and look after your souls.
There's for you, skunk ! for you, hound! for you, mongrel ! for you,
whelp ! "
And, as he uttered these epithets, he hurled the several mugs of
liquor, with their contents, at the heads of the troopers, and yelled
with delight to see them dodging the missiles which, drunk as he
might be, he aimed at them with no inconsiderable dexterity and
skill.
Trooper nature could not long endure this treatment; furious now,
they rushed upon him in a body, reckless of the danger, and, with a
howl rather than a shout, he welcomed the assault. With steady hand
and aim he fired his pistol, then hurled the empty weapon at their
heads, and slashed desperately with his knife.
His bullet scarred the shoulder of one of the troopers; his knife
gashed the cheek, and had nearly severed the carotid of another,
when they bore him to the floor, and the struggle became pell-mell,
while the table went over in the melee.
Browne fought like a tiger, with tooth and nail. A roar from one
of the troopers, as he withdrew a lacerated thumb from between the
jaws of the madman, showed that he was reduced to his natural
weapons. The knife had been wrenched from his grasp, and Ben.
Clymer, a huge Georgia trooper, now sate astride his breast, and,
with a tremendous flourish of his couteau de chasse, prepared to pass
the keen edge of the weapon over the throat of the prostrate man,
when his arm was arrested by the powerful grasp of one from behind.
Martin Joscelyn and his friends had not arrived a moment too
soon. A group had followed him in. Andrew Griffith had brought
up some of the posse comitatus, and had been fortunate in finding