Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XV: Major Alison—The Orchard Scene >> Page 152

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Page 152

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription I52JOSCELYN
"This youngster ! " said he, shaking his fist, and clenching his teeth
together as he spoke. "This youngster would brave me, if he dared!
He shall feel me ere he knows ! I will pluck his sting some day ! It
is clear that he is in my way, and it is probable he thinks me in his.
Well ! well ! Perhaps ! I shall work a traverse for him before long
which will square the account, some way, between us. We shall see
which is the wiser, if not the better man ! "
Meanwhile, what of the party in the garden?
As Alison returned towards the dwelling, Walter followed him
till he beheld him re-enter and close the door. Alison was conscious
of this proceeding, and it added to his feeling of bitterness and
mortification.
Returning to the orchard, Walter called the girl Flora, and mo-
tioned her to go before him into the orchard, saying, as she went :
"A pretty sentinel, i'faith ! and, but for her timely squeal, that
rascal would have been upon us ! But we are safe for the rest of the
night. Ho! there, where are you?"
Here he was joined by his sister and Martin Joscelyn, Flora re-
maining in the background. He reported the nature and source of
the interruption, with the excuse for it given by Alison; but while
admitting its plausibility, he decidedly declared his doubts of its
honesty.
"And now," said he, "it is not to be supposed that this fellow has
gone to bed. He is watching for our return to the dwelling. Annie
must return by way of the garden and kitchen. She can make her
way unseen from any of his windows. Flora shall return from hence
over the open court, and I shall follow her, after a certain interval.
What say you, Martin?"
"Very good, so far as it goes; but something further may be done
towards mystifying, if not scaring, this fellow. The clump of peach
and pear trees, near the gate, are all visible from his windows. We
can easily wind around these trees, imperfectly seen from the house,
simply as human beings, go into shade, wind again around them sev-
eral times, so as to give him the impression of ten or twenty different
persons. This will go far, not only to relieve all suspicions about
Annie, but to awaken his mind to a new train of thought, and possi-
bly to a sense of his growing danger, of which I suspect he has had
some intimations already."