Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXVI: A L'outrance >> Page 234

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 234JOSCELYN
"Hardly, sir; he is really quite unwell, and much suffering from
a sudden attack of the gout."
"A gentlemanly disorder, at all events," was the remark of Alison,
as he coolly took the seat on the sofa which had just been vacated by
Martin.
"D �n the fellow's impudence!" was the almost audible excla-
mation of Martin. "What the devil could have brought him back so
soon and so suddenly?"
As if anticipating some such reflection, Alison said to Annie :
"I had not hoped for the pleasure of so soon seeing you again; but
a sudden exigency really, I could wish to see your father, if possi-
ble, to-night."
"I should be quite unwilling to disturb him, Major Alison, and
you would find him, in his present state of suffering, to be quite
unfit for any business."
He beat with his foot impatiently upon the floor, his eyes curiously
scanning the face of Martin, as the latter stood leaning against the
mantel. The poor fellow looked bewildered. A cold, malicious smile
passed over the features of Alison, as he surveyed him, while one
almost of contempt succeeded to it on his face, as he looked at Walter.
"Ahem!�Mr. Dunbar�" It was thus, though somewhat hesitat-
ingly, that Alison challenged the attention of Walter.
The latter started as from a dream, and replied abruptly:
"Well, sir what?"
The voice was harsh, the tones stern, the whole manner of the
speaker denoted dissatisfaction and dislike. Alison was taken aback
for a moment. Walter's voice sounded like a defiance.
"You seem unwell, sir," said the other, half deprecatingly. "I�"
"I do not accuse you, sir," was the seemingly inconsequent reply.
"Oh! no, sir; of course not my purpose was simply to request
that, as I have to depart again to-night, you will communicate to
your father the message�"
"Sir, I shall not see my father again until I return from a mission
upon which I depart by to-morrow's dawn. Nay, I know not that I
shall ever see him again! I can undertake no mission to him. You
must see to it yourself."
There was something in the burst of passion contained in this reply
that produced a profound sensation in the whole party. The eyes of