Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXIX: Fetes and Fates >> Page 251

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN251
expect the intervention of a god in a conflict of mad bulls, scouring
the plains in their fury, and relying solely on the length of their
horns and the thickness of their skulls !
Stephen Joscelyn disbanded his scholars with an affectionate ad-
dress, full of loving counsel. He followed up this address by one to
the people, to the parents and connections of the boys, and, when all
had left the school-house, and wandered off to the shade trees where
the several contributions of food had been spread, he closed the doors
of his wigwam, and retired for a while within its recesses. When he
came forth again, it was with his raccoon cap on head, his spurs at
heel, in his long, blue hunting shirt, and with long, bright sabre
clanging at his side. His steed stood at the door, and, even as he
went forth, up rode his Lieutenant, Dick Marvin, at the head of
fifty-four gallant troopers, all in like costume with their captain.
A few seconds of awkward foot-marching took Stephen Joscelyn
from the door of the school-house to his steed, and, once in saddle,
the cripple had become the cavalier. Here it was that Stephen felt
his manhood, while all who beheld him acknowledged it. There was
a grand shout; and, leading his troop, Stephen coursed over the field,
and exercised his troopers in an hour's drill, to the satisfaction of all
the delighted spectators.
And while the parade went on, there came the wagons to carry off
to the house of Marvin the furniture of the school-house, which was
soon to lose the cheery echoes of those scores of happy children,
which had, for so long a time, made it a wildly musical precinct.
Stephen alone, that solitary man, came back to it that evening, and
sate till long after night, brooding over all its solitude as too truly
teaching of his own. It was that night that, obeying orders, trans-
mitted by Colonel Hammond, he dispatched a small squad, under
Marvin, for the search of Mrs. Kirkland's house. Her kinsman,
Colonel Moses Kirkland, was under the ban of treason. The search
was in vain. Kirkland had not been there, and the unknown party
who had been mistaken for him, was, as we happen to know, no other
than our old acquaintance, Major Alison. He had eluded the search.
It was at the school-house that Stephen awaited the return of the
report of his Lieutenant.
Alison's hurried visit to old Dunbar, at the Sand Hills, and his
equally hurried departure again, on the night when he insulted Annie