Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XIII: How the Strife Began >> Page 136

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 136JOSCELYN
cre. It was yet to have its effect, and the savage temper of Browne
was yet to find a fitting auditory, prepared to follow his insane, but
still wonderfully capable guidance. He would yet have a command
of his own, despite of the Fletchalls and others, whom he held to be
but phlegmatic workers in the pious mission which he kept before his
eyes. But we need not anticipate.
The crowd dispersed, after hearing an exhortation from Drayton
to be vigilant and active. He had brought over several of the officers
of Fletchall's regiment, and distributed commissions among them. He
urged upon them a speedy organization, being now satisfied that the
highland country, under its present leaders, and with its existing
prejudices, was not to be conciliated till after a blow, or many blows,
had been struck, and much precious blood spilled unnecessarily.
Nor were his apprehensions limited to himself. The crowd that
heard his voice, proceeding in groups to their several homes, dis-
cussed the prospect from their own points of view, and by their in-
stincts, perhaps, rather than their reason, came to a like conclusion
with himself. They were an excited people somewhat bewildered,
but now, for the first time, realizing in mind the prospect of terrible
civil commotions, to say nothing of a foreign war.
It was now clear to them, as to Drayton, that the loyalist leaders
were fully possessed of the idea of both nay, that the secret thought
of several among them was of the importance which they were to
derive from it socially, and possibly of the profits which it would
ultimately bring. He and his party, which increased in numbers as
it went, now took the route again towards the Savannah river; Dray-
ton and Tennent dividing their labors between the people of Augusta,
the neighborhood of Snow Hill, Colonel Hammond's residence, the
Ridge, and what was then called the Long Cane Settlement. They
had still a great deal of work before them in the effort to mould the
opinions of a population so sparsely settled, and so little possessed of
the means of information. Drayton was soon to hear tidings which
would render it necessary that he should put off the civilian, and put
on the soldier. In a brief period Kirkland was at the head of an army
of nearly two thousand men. But of this hereafter.