Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XI: The Crisis >> Page 109

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Page 109

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYNIo9
"He must neither see nor hear you, Mr. Dunbar, at present. In-
deed, such is his condition, that it will be a week before he can be
permitted to see or speak with any person, those alone excepted who
are engaged in watching him. His life hangs upon a hair, and the
very tones of your voice, Mr. Dunbar, or the glance of your eye, may
bring back his worst symptoms, under which he will certainly sink
from exhaustion."
"But, you say he has his senses?"
"Yes, but not his strength, and even reason, and the proper use
of one's senses, require, for exercise, a certain amount of physical
strength which he does not now possess. You must be patient, Mr.
Dunbar."
Relieved suddenly from his worst fears, the ancient devil of resist-
ance, opposition and obstinacy was beginning to reassert himself in
the old man's bosom, and, unconsciously, he raised his voice to a
louder pitch than before. Immediately, with looks of alarm, Miss
Janet made her appearance from the sick room, took the old man's
arm, led him aside, and said :
"Go home now, brother, unless you would do mischief. Your voice
has reached us in the sick chamber, and he has heard it. His excite-
ment has again begun, and you must go."
"Go?" said he "Go, and leave him now!"
"Yes, go, satisfied, as you must be, that, while I am here, Walter
will need no other presence."
"But," with a groan, "Janet, give the poor boy this. He has no
watch, and I have bought him one. It is a fine one all gold, capped
and jeweled. I bought it on my way down."
The maiden lady took the watch with a sad smile, and a quiet tear
trickled down her thin cheeks, as she gently pushed the old man from
the entrance, and into the street.
"Poor old man ! " she murmured to herself "To think of such a
toy at such a moment ! "
She was turning away, having seen him fairly out of the house,
and on the sidewalk, and was preparing to follow the doctor up to
the sick chamber, when a chaise appeared in sight, approaching the
entrance, which, she saw, contained Mrs. Kirkland and the fair
Angelica.