Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXVIII: Grace and Stephen >> Page 242

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription CHAPTER XXVIII.
Walter gone upon his doubtful mission, Martin Joscelyn proceeded
upon his finding Cummings, and delivering the mission of his friend;
but of this matter nothing more need be said at present.
It was not" very long after this had been done, when, as Walter
had told him, Martin soon heard those tidings, which filled him with
equal pain and surprise. He could now comprehend the mystery of
Walter's deportment, and find a clue to the occult matter of his lan-
guage. The story of the encounter between Walter and Stephen
Joscelyn, and the prompt action of the school-boys, was very soon
spread abroad over Beach Island, Augusta, and the surrounding pre-
cincts. But the jeer and the jibe did not reach the ears of the fugitive,
who rejoiced that he was already far from the scenes of his humilia-
tion. We are yet to see what other scenes fate had in store for him,
of a more grateful character.
Martin rode over to Beach Island to see and sympathize with his
brother. But Stephen would hardly listen to any remark upon the
"Say no more of it, Martin. I pity the poor fellow. He is your
friend. That is enough for me. He knew not what he did. He has
some good qualities, but there is a fatal weakness in his moral, or
mind, which will always defeat the good he has in him. He pauses
when he should proceed, and darts ahead at the very moment when
he ought to pause and reflect. He is infirm of purpose. And the
annoying consciousness of this infirmity, when felt acutely, is very
apt to impel the party to a rashness, if only to satisfy himself that
he is not wholly infirm that he has the will, the courage, the deci-
sion, about which his own consciousness is yet full of perpetual mis-