Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XII: The Fugitive >> Page 119

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYNI19
officers of inferior rank, and, perhaps, ability, were promoted, in the
new organizations, above their former superiors. These things had a
great and very mischievous effect upon a people, already jealous and
suspicious of the parties who came among them to conciliate and
counsel.
Still, the work of Drayton went on. He made speeches, and
treaties and compromises, and played the politician as well as he was
able, in a country and among a people with which and whom he was
unfamiliar. He was misled, and frequently deceived, and encoun-
tered much treachery. But he did not wholly rely upon negotiations.
He organized troops wherever he could. He issued commissions
superseding those of the crown by those of the State; and, possessed
of secret powers from the Council of Safety, he prepared to use them
with efficiency, employing force, whenever events should so ripen as
to make it politic to remove all masks. His sagacity enabled him to
conceive that this period was rapidly approaching.
So much for the tidings brought by Alison to Dunbar, most of
which were wholly unknown to him before. And while Alison re-
mained, the occasional guest of the old man, making his house a sort
of headquarters for the loyalists in the precinct, and working secretly
through them, upon the surrounding country, he continued, from
time to time, not only to receive, but to transmit intelligence, as well
below as above, corresponding with the highland leaders on the one
hand, and the Governor, Lord William Campbell, in the harbor of
Charleston. His lordship by this time had taken refuge on board of
one of the King's ships of war, then lying in Rebellion Roads, from
which he threatened the city. The summary of events, thus given,
will enable us sufficiently to comprehend the relations of the two
parties now doubtfully struggling for ascendancy in the highland
country, and neither yet prepared, or, perhaps, willing, to come to
blows. They were soon to receive a decisive impulse from a fiery
messenger already on his way, bearing the torch which should con-
vert discord into war, and fix for a while the attitude of the rival
contestants for power.
Browne is on his way upward!�We have seen in what manner,
and with what abruptness, and in what mood, he left the dwelling of
the [Words missing. See textual note.] him solace. But his solace
was of a very different sort from any which she could offer. A stern,