Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXI: Grace's Billet >> Page 204

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Page 204

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 204JOSCELYN
The object of Walter's solicitude was changed at once, and the
divided lip of Grace was no longer the subject of discussion. She
busied herself in picking up the fragments of the teapot, then dis-
appeared to draw another pot of tea. This still farther delayed the
breakfast, and the fate of the teapot, and the alarm of Mrs. Kirkland,
when it was found she was not scalded, became a topic of playful
remark, in which all parties were relieved from their previous anxie-
ties. Angelica got over her terrors, and the paleness passed away
from her cheek.
After breakfast, Walter Dunbar retired to his chamber.
Grace seized the opportunity afforded by his absence to say to her
mother, in the presence of Angelica :
"Whether you fear as I do or not, it will be well to take such
precautions as we can to prevent the mischief, which I, at least, still
apprehend. You can see that Walter meditates something very seri-
ously. You can see it in the sudden change which has come over
him in his reluctance to talk as usual in his absence of manner
in his compressed lips, and in the wandering expression of his eyes.
I see it, at least. It will be well to keep close watch upon him, and
prevent him, if possible, from leaving the house to-day. You, mother,
must do your best to interest and engage his attention. Show him
everything about the grounds and garden; consult him about that
question between you and old Mr. Mercer about the titles to the
land, I mean the old parson's tract; and there are several other
things about which you will have need to talk with him as a lawyer.
Nor must you, Angelica,))
Here she turned to her sister, and spoke with a changed manner.
Now she is just as earnest as in speaking to her mother, but there
is in the voice, and look, and gesture, a dignity such as a just author-
ity should ever impart, but which, in the meekness of her nature, she
had hitherto forborne, whenever she had occasion to speak to Ange-
lica. The latter felt the change, and instinctively seemed to succumb
before it, while Grace proceeded:
"You, Angelica, must now do your best, using all the attractions
you can command, to keep Walter here at home until his mood
changes for the better. It will need all your efforts to undo that
mischief which I am satisfied your thoughtless speaking has already
done. Do not suffer him from your sight to-day, if you can help it.