Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXVIII: Grace and Stephen >> Page 247

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Page 247

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN247
bring you into danger. My patriotism, Grace, has not been able to
hold its ground against my affection for your family."
"Oh, Stephen, I so thank you ! There is a person "
"Tell me nothing, Grace; and let me entreat you to say nothing to
your mother, or to any one, of your source of information."
"You are so good, Stephen," was the murmured answer. Then
becoming bolder she said:
"We have so missed you, Stephen."
"Ah! Grace ! Can it, indeed, be so? What is there in me, that my
presence or absence should occasion thought or regret in any of your
sex?"
"And why not, Stephen? Are you not "
Here she paused, seized with a sudden trembling, which caused
her to grasp a branch of the apple tree for support. "Had she said
too much?" "Had she gone too far?" These were the questions which
her conscious and sensitive heart asked of her unwitting tongue.
"You are faint. You are ill, Grace," and he put his arm about her
waist to support her, and she then trembled more violently than
ever. She felt that she could die gratefully under the acute sense of
pleasure, in that seeming expression of pain.
"Lean on me, Grace. You are chilled. You are faint. I was wrong
to bring you out here. But you know I could not enter the house,
and it is to your prudence alone that I could trust in this delicate
matter. Lean on me."
And she rested in his arms, and on his bosom. Her eyes closed.
Her lips murmured. She seemed, for a few moments, to have lapsed
away in her faintness, in her dream, to him, in his ignorance, into a
seeming death.
"Grace ! Grace ! my God! she will die?"
But, in the next instant, she broke away from his bosom, and stood
erect. He still would have grasped and sustained her; but, with a
sudden growth of energy, she waived him off, and said, in very low
but decided tones:
"No, Stephen. It is over. I am better now. It was a strange, sud-
den faintness, and and "
The sentence was concluded with an involuntary sigh, while her
eyes closed again, as if to sleep, and recall the happy dreams which
had been lost in her awaking.