Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XIX: The Black Dog >> Page 184

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 184JOSCELYN
the argument was quite adjusted in his mind, his good friend, Martin
Joscelyn, had disappeared wholly from the scene, leaving the case as
at first, "Walter Dunbar v. Stephen Joscelyn´┐ŻSlander," &c.
It was remarked by Mrs. Kirkland that Walter ate no dinner. It
was remarked that he had eaten no lunch. It was concluded that he
was ill; and the solicitude of all parties was aroused to sympathy.
Angelica reproached him that he was sick, yet pressed the favorite
viands upon him. In order to escape the annoyance of her attentions,
and silence the anxieties of Mrs. Kirkland, Walter made a desperate
effort at composure; and, as is usually the case with persons who
suffer mentally, and would conceal it, he rushed to the opposite ex-
treme, became very gay, very flippant, rather; affected the joyous,
and became the noisy, and, through grimace, persuaded himself that
he had disarmed suspicion.
He was not a very good actor; but his audience was not very criti-
cal. Angelica was easily deceived, and laughed with her lover; her
good old mother naturally ascribed the previous gravity of the young
man, and his want of appetite, to his late sickness, and continued
feebleness; and that he could become the Merry-Andrew was a
sufficient proof of improvement. He would be better, no doubt, the
next day only he must not suffer Angelica to beguile him to any
more of her long walks. "Angelica is so fond of those long rambles
in the woods, especially when she had company that she liked."
He said nothing about the long talks, in which all the mischief lay.
The warning served as a hint to the pretty damsel. She started
up for an evening walk. It was so beautiful an afternoon, and the
weather was so pleasantly cool, now that the sun was wheeling down
upon his last groove in the west.
"Come, Walter, what say you to a walk? We will go to the Indian
Spring."
Walter was willing. He professed to be so at least; but he an-
swered vaguely, with an abstracted air. He had already forgotten
his role of the humorist and funster, and had gotten back to his grave
face, and gloomy moods.
Grace watched his features earnestly, and saw that something had
gone wrong. He had undergone a material change for the worse,
since the first few hours after his arrival; and this change had been
the result of his long ramble with Angelica that day. Grace was