Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XVI: Foot Prints >> Page 156

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 156JOSCELYN
Alison, it would seem to suggest so much. She expressed herself as
anxious for an explanation.
"Too cool by half ! " was the inward soliloquy of the Major. "The
girl is no fool, by Jupiter! She has had some experience has been
taught her lesson. She still needs to be watched."
His suspicions were enlivened. But the entrance of Miss Janet,
and the subsequent appearance of old Dunbar, arrested the conver-
sation, though it did not lessen the keen scrutiny which the Major
maintained upon both of the ladies during the repast.
"Where's your brother, Annie?" was the abrupt question of her
father.
"He rode out early this morning, sir. He proposes exercise on
horseback at present, the better to recover his strength."
The old man muttered something querulous in reply, and the
breakfast hour passed off in the talk of the ordinary nothings.
After breakfast the two gentlemen walked out into the grounds,
the Major leading the host in the direction of the orchard. While
they walked, he told him of the adventure of the night. The Baron
was astonished.
"What could it mean?"
The Major revealed his suspicions.
"What!�my own son!�and under my very nose, too! It is mon-
strous ! It is impossible, Major Alison. No, sir i no ! Walter has not
answered my expectations. That is true. He has disappointed me,
woefully disappointed me, as I said to you before. But he is not
treacherous, Major Alison. If he is too cold for the King's cause, be
sure that he does not sympathize with the rebels. He is too slow, too
indecisive, I know! It is the trait in his character which I dislike and
distrust that which mars his otherwise good parts. But I am well
satisfied that he has taken no part with these men. We must find
some other clue to this mystery."
"Perhaps so; but how do you account for his presence among these
men, for the watch he kept, and "
"You say that there were many of them?"
"I counted no less than twenty of them, at different times, moving
to and fro; and see here to the numerous tracks, all of men's feet,
under the trees see here there "
"By Jove, there are also the tracks of a woman."