Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XII: The Fugitive >> Page 122

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Page 122

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription I22JOSCELYN
Gipsy that ever starved at the trade of beggary and theft; and yet
withal he carried himself as proudly as a conqueror. He did not beg.
He did not whine. He scarcely answered a question; he rarely put
one, save to the parties whom he well knew to be with him, and then
his question was about "the cause;" and when he spoke, it was with
the solemnity of one who delivers judgment. He could, however, be
passionate and imperious of speech, under provocation, without los-
ing, for a moment, any portion of that stimulating and tenacious
purpose which had become, to his mind, its all-pervading law!
No wonder that he had wakened wonder, and sometimes terror,
wherever he came upon his route. His present host, when he dis-
covered who he was, would have found him better clothing would
have removed from his person all the wretched proofs of the bru-
tality from which he had suffered. But this, for the time, he reso-
lutely refused.
"It is not the hour ! " he replied. "That hour will come, but not
yet! Much must first be done. Something, too, will need to be
washed out in the blood of sacrifice ! Soap will not answer ! And the
blood must not be of goats and lambs, and the innocent herds of the
fields. Felon blood must flow to wash out the stains of the felon.
Heed me not in these regimentals, friend; they do not make the man.
Learn to know the man through his garments, and in spite of his
seeming shame ! Give me to drink ! "
He swallowed the stoup of apple brandy which was handed him,
at a single gulp, and without water.
"I must sleep now! Show me where to lie down, where none shall
see me till to-morrow! And then ! "