Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXIV: After the Storm >> Page 219

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Page 219

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN219
"Oh! Walter Dunbar, what has happened? What have you done?
What means this blood upon you? Whose blood? Have you, Walter
oh! Walter have you forgotten the commandment, `Thou shalt
not kill'?"
"It is my own blood, Grace ! " he answered, gloomily; "I have
killed nobody ! "
"God be thanked that it is so. But there has been strife, violence,
and with no cause."
"No cause ! But do not speak to me, Grace let me pass let me
get out of sight! Oh! if I could bury myself out of sight forever !
My God!�my God! Oh ! Grace, I have suffered to-day the greatest
humiliation of my life! I would to God that he had taken it! It
would have been a mercy ! "
"He! Who? Stephen
"Aye ! Stephen Joscelyn! My enemy ! My fate ! He has triumphed
over me. His foot is even now upon my neck!"
"Stephen your enemy, Walter? What a delusion!"
"Delusion!�with this evidence before you."
And he smote his bloody vestments. Before she could answer
"But they come ! " he cried, starting and hurrying forward.
The rattling of the chaise was heard along the highway.
"She must not see me thus, Grace ! Let me pass to my chamber."
He was gone, and a few moments after Angelica arrived with her
mother.
"But where is Walter?" demanded the mother and Angelica in the
same breath. They were both in a whirlwind of excitement.
"He has gone to his chamber," said Grace.
Mrs. Kirkland was about to seek him there when Grace interposed.
"Let him change his clothes, mother. Besides, it will not do to
ask him anything. He talks like a madman."
"What could have happened?" cried Mrs. Kirkland. "He was all
over blood ! "
"And he looked so wild, and laughed when I called to him. Oh!
that terrible laugh ! It made my blood curdle in my veins. He must
be wounded, mother; you must go to him! Don't mind what Grace
says."
"I don't think him much hurt," said Grace, "though he says the
blood is his own."