Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter VIII: The Lynching Process >> Page 79

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Page 79

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN79
At parting, Hamilton spoke to him kindly; expressed his regrets
at the harsh and compulsory measure which he had been compelled
to employ, and warned him, as soon as he was able, to quit the neigh-
borhood.
"If you remain here long," said he, "I would not give a shilling
for your life."
To all this he gave no answer. But his eyes, with intense stare,
were fastened upon the speaker all the while, and the physiological
student might have seen that the madness, the vindictive rage of the
demon, had not gone out of them or out of him.
When the party was gone, the savage man rose up he had been
released from his bonds and shook his doubled fist in the direction
of their retreating forms.
But he spoke never a word. He received the rude but kind ex-
pressions of old Floyd with sullen silence; said nothing; asked for
nothing; answered nothing, until some hours after, when he silently
rose from the spot where he had been seated all the while, and in
the same silence walked out of the cottage.
"Where would you go, Mr. Browne?" asked the old man. "You
are not well enough to travel. Your hurts "
"These!" said he, with a laugh of scorn. "These scratches ! "
"Pretty sharp scratches, I should say."
"The bites of a cur. I do not feel them. The bite is here," touch-
ing his head.
"But why not stay here? Where would you go?"
"I go to my work. From this day my work begins. You will hear
of it, old man. Ay, you will hear! The country will hear hear and
feel. I thank you, old man. Your name is Floyd Floyd! I must
remember the name, for your good. You are feeble you cannot
fight; but you have meant me kindly. May God, my poor fellow,
forgive you your many sins."
And so he went went out on foot, pursuing a wilderness track,
making his way in the direction of the little village of New Windsor,
in South Carolina.
"Guess he's crazy," said old Floyd. "Only to think of his praying
God to forgive my many sins, and not having a single prayer about
his own. He's gone crazy from his hurts and bruises. And what's
the work he's to do? and who's going to hire a creature like that for