Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXIII: Gulliver in Lilliput >> Page 216

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Page 216

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 216JOSCELYN
pressure of his puny antagonists, Walter Dunbar did not rise from
the floor.
"Lift him up," said the master.
They did so. They raised him to his feet, and he stood up at
length, not erect, but with the aspect of one ready to drop again. His
hurts, his previous illness, these, together, might have produced his
present drooping and prostrate condition. But the deep sense of his
humiliation was upon him, and was, perhaps, the more sufficient cause.
He groaned beneath it. He presented a pitiable spectacle. The blood
still trickled from his nostrils. It had already streamed over his
bosom. His clothes were stained with it, and some rents in his face,
as well as his garments, betrayed the free use of the claws of the
young tigers that had brought him to the ground.
For a few moments he stood, vacantly gazing around him. Then
his eyes fastened upon Stephen, who stood before him still in the very
spot which he had occupied when, in the violence of his wrath, his
assailant had lifted his whip to strike. A savage glare of Walter's
eyes, as he became conscious of the presence of Joscelyn, declared his
unabated hate. He smiled bitterly, as he said :
"Your myrmidons are too many."
"I did not need their help, Walter Dunbar. Their interposition
saved you. Had your whip once smitten me, I should have brained
you with a blow. Go, sir; go now. I am sorry for you. I pity you
from the bottom of my soul."
Another hateful glance from Walter's eyes upon the speaker, and
the humbled assailant wheeled about, and half tottering as he went,
made his way out of the building.
"Boys," said Stephen, after Walter had gone, "boys, I thank you.
I had thought to scold you for coming between me and my enemy.
What! Did you think that he could hurt me? and did you think that
I, who have kept you all in order stout fellows as you are was
not a sufficient match for him? But I thank you, now that I think of
it. But for your timely putting in, Walter Dunbar would be now
lying a corpse before your eyes. I thank you."
And he waved the heavy rule in his hand with such a grasp and
such a swing, that all present readily believed that, even as he had
said, he could have crushed his assailant at a single blow!