Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXI: Grace's Billet >> Page 201

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN20I
She was fortunate in her plan. The breakfast was much later than
usual. Not one of the family had yet descended from their chambers,
when Billy reappeared, conducting the school-boy, little Tom Watts,
then on his way, with his satchel of well-thumbed, dilapidated and
greasy books, harbored in close propinquity with half a dozen sweet
potatoes, a good round of hoe-cake, and the leg of a chicken. Such
was the dinner assigned him for the day such as most of the boys
took with them to school, and which, eaten beside a branch of clear,
bright running water, was a thousand times more grateful to appe-
tite and health than the costly dinners of the rich at formal sittings.
Grace added something to the contents of the urchin's wallet,
which made him show his white teeth in delight. Some hot rolls of
wheat flour, and a few slices of delicious ham, opened to his mental
vision the felicitous dream of a supper with the Barmecide.
"Tommy," said Grace, "I want you to do me a favor."
Tommy was quite willing to do favors where the compensation
was not only so liberal, but made in advance of the service. He
grinned his assent. She handed him her billet.
"Give this to the master, Mr. Joscelyn, just as soon as you get to
school. Will you remember to do it, Tommy?"
He promised.
"And, Tommy,"
She paused.
"What's it, Miss Grace?"
"Ah! Tommy, you need not say who sent it. Remember that, will
you, Tommy? Don't say I sent it!"
Tommy promised.
"And, Tommy, when you come back from school, stop, and I will
give you a nice piece of potato-pone. Be sure and come for it."
Tommy went on his way, and found himself thinking of the
angels, and of the stuff that they are, or should be made of; and he
muttered as he went along not deluded, it seems, as older people
were, and are apt to be.
"Mother and all of them says as how Miss Angelica is an angel,
and a beauty; but I do think Miss Grace is a hundred, hundred times
more beautiful an angel than all the Miss Angelicas I ever seed."
And Tommy was right.