Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XII: The Fugitive >> Page 114

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription u4JOSCELYN
It was while young Dunbar was still an invalid, too feeble to leave
the lodgings of Martin Joscelyn, that old Dunbar received a visitor
at the Sand Hills, who came secretly, by night, and lay there perdu
at intervals for several weeks. This person was named Alison, though
it appeared subsequently that he passed under several names. He
brought despatches from Cameron, Kirkland, McLaurin, Fletchall
and Pearis, the loyalist leaders among the highland population, to
Dunbar, who, holding the same faith with these men, though of
superior moral to most of them, occupied a position in the precincts
of Augusta, and along the Savannah river, not dissimilar to that
which they sought to maintain along the Saluda, the Congaree,
Broad, and other rivers in the hilly or mountain country. In this
way, from district to district, from the Blue Ridge to the seaboard,
the loyalists, through the agency of Cameron and others, had estab-
lished a series of relays, posts of rests, points of rendezvous, and
agents for a rapid telegraphic communication between the extremes
of the country, with lateral agencies, which, from Augusta, south, so
far as St. Augustine, were all in working order.
Dunbar, at Augusta, a stern old influential Scotchman, was ex-
pected to play the same game in this precinct which the leaders in
the highlands were engaged in, and with much greater prospect of
success.
We have seen already with what timidity Cameron, Browne and
Dunbar, not to mention several other names, were required to pro-
ceed at Augusta. That town was of sufficient size and importance,
even in that day, to exercise a large influence upon the contiguous
forest population. It was, in brief, as towns and villages must be in
all agricultural countries, one of the chief fountains and well-heads
of intelligence. The professions here will be more exigent and self-
improving, and a stationary and growing population in daily atten-
tion, will not only possess more knowledge, but be much more active
in employing it, along with energies which are always thrice as press-
ing in the use of it, among a trading than a farming population. It
very soon became evident to Dunbar and the rest that their policy in
this precinct must be to lie low, keep dark, wait events, and keep well
in hand whatever resources they possessed, till the time when they
could profitably use them.