Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XIX: The Black Dog >> Page 187

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Page 187

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYNI87

The tongue of Angelica became eloquent in pretty prattle, in its
praise, and the face of Walter, as he threw himself languidly back
against a tree, expressed nothing but a sense of weariness, the evi-
dence of the unrest laboring within his bosom.
At that moment the trampling of several horses' feet was heard
sounding along the ridges above; and, looking upward, the two
beheld, glimpsing through the woods, at a smart canter along the
heights, a troop of horse. Dunbar was roused.
"What can it be?"
"It's a troop of horse," answered Angelica. "They're raising troops
of horse and companies of infantry all about the island."
Walter seemed to be counting the troopers as they came in sight.
"There must be from twenty-five to thirty," he muttered.
"And would you believe it," she continued, "that miserable, hate-
ful cripple, Stephen Joscelyn, he, too, is one of them; he's raised a
troop of his own, and they've made him a Captain think of it! He,
a Captain!´┐Żand he's as proud of it, they say, as if he was born to be
a General; and he marches them, and teaches them, three evenings
every week, and on Saturdays they're out all day, galloping over the
country, and picking up recruits. Only to think of him as a Captain
of troopers!´┐Żand how should he know how to teach 'em and drill
'em, and all that sort of thing? I do believe this is his troop now,
though there are several of them. I should not wonder ! "
While she was speaking, Walter had raised himself from the
ground, and strode, or rather staggered, forward, shading his eyes,
and trying to distinguish the parties. The troop, meanwhile, follow-
ing the road along the ridge, wound half way about the amphitheatre,
so that, at intervals, every individual trooper loomed out distinctly
to the eyes of the two looking upward from below.
Walter's face suddenly became deadly pale for an instant, then, as
quickly, darkly savage.
Yes ! It was he! It was Stephen Joscelyn himself, who rode at the
head of the troop ! There was no mistaking that stalwart person, that
erect form, that graceful and stately horseman, who, blending com-
pletely, to the eye, the man and the horse, realized to the fancy that
brave conception of the Greek, which gives the Centaur to undying
fiction! Who, in that perfect horseman, would suspect the deformity
which made it painful to behold the same person as he walked? And