Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXI: Grace's Billet >> Page 198

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription CHAPTER XXI.
GRACE'S BILLET.
The revelation of what had taken place between the sisters, was
made by Grace to her mother, as a reason for claiming to share her
bed with her that night. We need not dwell upon the painful scene
between the two. Mrs. Kirkland was a loving mother to her children.
She knew the value of Grace; but she also felt the beauty of Angelica.
The one might be, in a household sense, her pride, but the other was
her pet as well as pride; and though not blind to this erring nature
of the girl, at once passionate and feeble, she had never been able
to find the heart to check or chide her, in any proper manner, so that
the correction might prove adequate to the cure of her infirmities of
mind and temper. She was a kind mother, but not always a wise one.
Grace had not dilated in her narrative of the quarrel; she had not
used any epithet in describing its details. She had, on the contrary,
softened everything that could tell against her sister. Still, the mother
thought that Grace might be to blame. She had spoken, perhaps,
too harshly to the child..
But the broken mouth, the still bleeding lips, spoke also, and told
their own story more emphatically than any words; and the old lady
groaned at the miserable signs of strife between her children. But
she could only groan. How to reach the evil? For the cure of this,
she could only pathetically wish that the time would come when
Walter Dunbar would find himself prepared to marry. Circum-
stances, as yet, did not suffer him to decide when the happy event
might be permitted to take place.
But the subject of greatest anxiety with Grace, was the possibility
of a scene of violence between Walter and Stephen. The mother,
however, could not see with her eyes, or feel any of the apprehen-
sions which oppressed her daughter's heart. There might be words
between them that she thought possible but blows surely not!
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