Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XX: Grace's Discovery, and What She Got By It >> Page 194

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 194JOSCELYN
seriously gone wrong with him. When questioned by Mrs. Kirkland,
he himself was now not unwilling to profit by the evasive suggestion
which the good lady made, that he had overtasked his strength that
he had assumed his convalescence to be complete, when much more
time and self-nursing were essential to his perfect restoration; and
having arrived at this satisfactory conclusion, she again protested
against further exercise, insisting that there should be no long walks
taken any more, no matter how love should plead, until she should
decide upon his ability to encounter physical fatigue. She, too, like
Aunt Janet, had her vanity as a nurse.
Grace was not so easily deceived as her mother, and Walter felt
that her eyes scanned his countenance with glances of keenest inquiry,
mingled with doubt, when he thus accounted for his deportment by
connivance with her mother's opinion. Angelica was easily persuaded
to adopt the opinion of Mrs. Kirkland, though she insisted that their
walks had not been very long, and were by no means fatiguing. Grace
sagaciously thought again of the long talks, and rightly guessed that
in them, rather than in the walks, lay the true difficulty. But as yet
she never once, even in her own thoughts, referred to Stephen Josce-
lyn, as having any, the slightest concern in the matter. Poor girl !
she thought of him only as being her concern. -
She was soon to be enlightened. That night, when she and Ange-
lica had retired and they slept together the latter, who was one of
those persons who must be talking, mentioned casually their meeting
with, or rather their sight of, Stephen, at the head of his cavalry.
She spoke in her usual flippant and harsh manner, when he was
the subject. The light seemed all at once to break in upon her sister,
and Grace said quickly :
"I hope, Angey, you did not speak of him in these terms to
Walter."
"Indeed, but I did."
"Good Heavens ! Angelica!"
"And why not, I want to know?"
"Why not? when he is the brother of Martin, who is the best
friend of Walter."
"A fig for his friendship ! Why should Walter care a straw for the
friendship of any of these Joscelyns?"