Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XX: Grace's Discovery, and What She Got By It >> Page 196

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 196JOSCELYN
rash and hot-headed, and Stephen is a man with too much fire in his
own brain to submit to insult or injury."
"Why, what should that poor cripple do to Walter Dunbar?"
"Do!�and is it possible, Angelica, that you would have Walter
Dunbar presume on the condition of the cripple to use violence? For
shame! for shame ! Hear me, and say, tell me, my sister, tell me that
you have not been guilty of this sin of reporting to Walter the
wretched quarrel which you had with Stephen."
"That was the very thing I did tell him! And what have you to
say?"
"Great Heaven have mercy upon us. What can be done?"
"Yes,"�exultingly�"I told him how the vile and hateful creature
had called him a pitiful fellow, and spoke of him with contempt."
"Then may God have mercy on your soul, Angelica, for you told
him a most horrid falsehood."
Hardly had she spoken, when the closed hand of the sister smote
her upon the mouth. The blood flowed on the instant, a low moan,
that of a wounded spirit, broke from the lips of Grace, as she covered
them with her 'kerchief; and such a look as went out from her eyes
upon the offender so sad, so full of pity so very sorrowful, that
even the heart of the passionate fury seemed to be touched. Grasping
Grace by the wrist, as she was about to leave the room, she said
quickly, in low, husky tones
"I did not wish to do it, Grace; I did not mean it �I did not. You
will not tell, Grace."
"You have effectually closed my lips," was the answer. "Would
to God you had always been able to close your own. I fear, Angelica,
greatly fear, my sister, that you have done such work this day as may
require much better blood than either yours or mine to w ash out. I
will sleep with mother to-night. May God forgive you, my sister, as
I do."
"Grace ! Grace ! "
Calling, as the other was retiring, she darted after her, and seizing
her about the neck, was about to kiss her, when Grace interposed her
hand.
"It cannot be just now, Angelica; the caress following the blow
would be much harder to be borne."
"Then you do not forgive me."