Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXI: Grace's Billet >> Page 200

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 200JOSCELYN

A desperate suggestion occurred to Grace.
"Why not explain the whole affair to Walter himself, and disabuse
him of the false and foolish impressions which he had received from
"And make your own sister out a liar!" retorted the mother,
sharply. "Expose her to the man that's to be her husband! Grace,
Grace ! I'm astonished that you've got so little affection for your own
flesh and blood."
Poor Grace ! She was confounded.
Still, what was to be done? Something, it is true, she had done,
but would it avail? It might; for the safety of one of the parties,
but in no wise for the other. And she had not yet completed even
that one thing, upon which she had grounded some portion of her
hope to keep the peace between the parties, and arrest the incipient
evil in the bud.
Worried, wearied, discomfited, she hurried down stairs, and passed
the piazza, looking forth eagerly, up and down the road. The clock
struck; she counted each stroke unconsciously aloud.
"Seven !
"It is too soon," she murmured to herself. "He will hardly come
along before eight, or after. But he may come along sooner than
usual. It is uncertain. That is my only chance, and I must not miss
So speaking, she went out, and called up Billy, the negro boy, who
tended upon the horses, drove the carriage, at times, and worked in
the garden. In low tones, looking to the dwelling all the while, as if
fearing to be observed, she said to him hastily:
"Billy, have you seen little Tom Watts going to school this
"Taint time for 'em yet, Miss Grace. 'Speck he'll be coming along
by breckfus (breakfast) time."
"Well, go out to the road, Billy, and watch for him. Don't let
him pass. Stop him when he comes, and bring him up tO the gate.
Let him wait for me. I won't keep him long. I'll be on the watch
for you, and be ready. Tell him I must see him."
She appeared a little easier of mind when this arrangement had
been made, and she beheld Billy trotting out to take his station by
the road side.