Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXV: A Touch of Gout >> Page 228

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 228JOSCELYN
tation for morals as well as talents, and was generally considered
to use the elegant language so frequently employed by those who do
not suffer from much ardency of temperament as being "as good a
catch" as any in the country.
Maj or Alison, lying under all day in the house, and sallying forth
only by night, had sufficient opportunities for the exercise of his gal-
lantries, and testing the quality of hers. We shall leave them thus
related, for the day at least, taking for granted that, without dis-
turbing the old match, they will be found a sufficient match for one
another. So mote it be.
Walter was received very coolly by his father, who soon let him
know the business for which he had required his presence. The
scheme of Alison, which he had suggested to the old man, for send-
ing Walter up to the highlands, the better to wean him from old and
dangerous associates, and bring him into contact with those who might
succeed in bringing him into the right political fold, had ripened to
maturity during his absence at Beach Island. Walter was to be the
bearer of "dispatches" to certain leading men among the highland
gentry, which he was taught to believe were of vast importance to
his father's interests and the public good. He was instructed to treas-
ure them as sacred, and to deliver them only into the hands of those
to whom they were severally addressed. There were letters to his
kinsman, Moses Kirkland, to Colonel Robinson, Robert Cunningham,
Richard Pearis, and others, all of whom were engaged in the work of
subsidizing the common population in behalf of the royal cause.
Now, these letters were really only shams they were little more
than letters of introduction. Old Dunbar and Alison had sent their
real dispatches by a very different hand, anticipating the departure of
Walter, but announcing his coming, and revealing to all these per-
sons, the plot against his supposed political preferences; requesting
that he be kept among them for a season, until his latent loyalty
should be developed, by their influence upon him, into some activity.
He was to be persuaded to commit himself to the cause, and a Cap-
tain's commission, already filled out, and signed by the royal Gover-
nor in South Carolina, was to be employed as one of the lures by
which to beguile him into the royal ranks. It was well known to
them that he had not yet, in any way, committed himself to what
they facetiously called the "rebel" cause. His indecision of character