Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter X: The Old Tiger in His Den >> Page 94

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 94JOSCELYN
that he found the welcome of the gentle Annie particularly grateful
always. He was no less a favorite with that ancient maiden, Miss
Janet Porter, the aunt of Annie, who presides, as chief matron, over
the establishment of Dunbar, being the unmarried sister of his late
wife. Miss Janet is quite a demure, domestic lady, not over warm in
her deportment, rather stately, in fact; but very fond of her niece,
and very cordial in her treatment of Martin.
The Pasha, in his dressing-gown and slippers, was still the occupant
of his chamber, when Martin Joscelyn rode into the court-yard.
He encountered the fair Annie in the piazza. She had heard the
horse's tread, and like an innocent damsel, instead of peeping through
the blinds, like a knowing one, had fairly gone out to see who was
the new comer. He alighted, hitched his steed to the swinging limb
of an oak, and entered the piazza.
Here was opportunity. Even Miss Janet Porter had as yet failed
to make her toilet. The eyes of the girl were bright. Her heart was
light; for though her father had shown himself quite the savage on
his return home, yet he had revealed nothing of her brother's hapless
failure of the day before. She knew not the particular occasion of the
father's anger; but this mood was so frequent a thing with him, his
passions were so easily roused, and so unruly, no matter how small
the opposition that angered him, that no surprise was now felt at his
ill-temper; the girl and her aunt usually taking care, when he was in
his rages, to keep out of his way as much as possible till the storm
had blown over.
The opportunity was present; but the heart of Martin felt in no
mood to take advantage of it. As he silently pressed her hand, she
beheld the sadness of his aspect.
"Why, what's the matter, Mr. Joscelyn?"
"Mr. Joscelyn, Annie!" he said, reproachfully.
"Why, what would you have me say, Martin? Are you not Mr.
Joscelyn�Mr. Martin Joscelyn, and the good friend of Walter
Dunbar?"
"And yours, Annie."
"Well, yes; I suppose so. You say it, and I must believe you,"
she answered, coquettishly.
"And something more than friend, Annie is't not so?"'