Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XIII: How the Strife Began >> Page 135

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Page 135

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN135
net, and struck such a blow as would have rung from the mountains
to the seaboard."
"The sun will rise to-morrow," replied Robinson, as he withdrew
Kirkland from the crowd into the woods.
Browne was not so easily managed. He had so nearly approached
the consummation of one stroke of bloody vengeance, that he raged
furiously against those who, after a fierce struggle, succeeded in dis-
arming and bearing him away from the scene. Still raving and strug-
gling as he went, he deplored his disappointment, denounced the
party as faithless to their sovereign, weak, cowardly, and wanting in
the wisdom to strike the first blow when all the signs were auspicious.
They consoled him with assurances that the time would come
that it was the especial counsel of Lord Campbell that they were not
to strike until the arrival of the British army, which, according to
his secret dispatches to Fletchall (which had determined the course
pursued by the latter), was already on its way for the coasts of
Carolina.
"And what am I to do with my bird?" demanded O'Brien, as he
still held Fletchall tenaciously by the throat, threatening him occa-
sionally with his knife.
"Oh! let him go," said one of the company; "he's nothing but a
barn-door fowl."
"And, therefore, the more proper for the spit! But be off ! " said
the Irishman, and giving the crestfallen colonel a kick "Be off, and
thank the color of your feathers for saving you from my tender
mercies!"
Fletchall disappeared with all expedition, followed shortly by
Browne, Cunningham, Kirkland and the rest of the chiefs. These all
sought Fletchall's quarters, the better for their future conferences.
That night Orrin O'Brien was made happy by receiving from
Drayton a lieutenant's commission, with instructions to report to
Colonel Hammond, at Snow Hill.
The party of Drayton had escaped a great danger. But for the
policy of Fletchall, in preventing the appearance of his whole regi-
ment upon the ground, and but for the timely attendance of so
many of the associated Whigs, the pernicious and wild eloquence of
Browne, enforced by the miserable exhibition which he made of the
treatment he had received, would have prompted to a general massa-