Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XV: Major Alison—The Orchard Scene >> Page 148

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Page 148

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 148JOSCELYN
will be well to get him out of the way. He may have a power for
evil if not for good; may check a wheel which he cannot himself put
in motion. His father doubts him holds him to be purposeless and
feeble and so, in truth, it would seem that he is. To faint in making
a speech!�what a ridiculous affair ! He is hardly man enough to do
much mischief anywhere; but if I can get him off, out of the way,
anywhere, I shall be better able, with less interruption, to carry out
my plans. To-morrow�yes! to-morrow! It will come, no doubt, and
I shall throw out a feeler on this subject. I have a plan the very
thing! Truly, it is astonishing how quick are my conceptions! I no
sooner feel the difficulty than I discover the means of getting over it!
That, indeed, is my great virtue. Cameron knows it, and McLeod,.
and McLaurin. As for Fletchall, you can teach him nothing but obe-
dience. Kirkland, now but no! he will go off at half-cock, and recoil
from his piece the moment he fires! He does not comprehend me;
and the great difficulty is to keep him from doing mischief. But I
have schooled Cameron sufficiently, and Cunningham has got a head
of his own. A little time �a little time and the game will be in
our hands! We shall then see who will have the mastery in this
goodly little colony ! "
Successive yawns completed his soliloquy; and, extinguishing his
light, after re-adjusting the handkerchief about his cheeks, he threw
himself upon the bed.
But he did not sleep, though wearied. There were busy thoughts
to keep him wakeful, and a large amount of business on his hands,
which thought was yet to methodize and adjust.
While thus engaged in meditation, all his windows being open, he
heard a signal whistle without, which so nearly resembled that which
had been concerted between himself and certain of his associates, that
he was on the point of rising from his bed and attending to it, as he
had more than once before had occasion to do, even at midnight. His
proceedings, by the way, were, by instructions of old Dunbar, to be
neither watched nor questioned.
But he paused. The signal, after a few moments, was repeated; and
he then perceived that there was a difference between his own and
that to which he now listened, and it was now evident to him that
the sounds were produced from an instrument, which none of his
agents employed. They were too full and sharp to be produced by