Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXIX: Fetes and Fates >> Page 252

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 252JOSCELYN
Dunbar, and aroused equally the ire of her brother and lover, were
the result of his own discovery of the danger in which he stood while
in that neighborhood. That sudden departure from the precinct of
Augusta, as well as of Beach Island, necessarily prevented him from
receiving the hostile message of Walter Dunbar.
For the present, we do not see the course which he has taken, but
doubtless he will turn up again at the moment when he is least
expected, and, perhaps, when his appearance will be least desirable
to any of the parties.
Meanwhile, Stephen Joscelyn as suddenly disappeared from the
scene as did the other parties. The squadron of Colonel Hammond,
his chief, had already shaped its course upward, and was gone from
sight, and Stephen was commanded to follow with all expedition.
The hostile parties were understood to be converging to one common
centre, and they were supposed to be very nearly equal in point of
numbers, and, we may add, in efficiency and material. It is doubtful
whether, at this early period, there was any remarkable development
of military ability on either side. Drayton, nominally the leader of
the forces of the movement party, was professionally a civilian, and
the militia Colonels and Captains under him, though many of them
had seen service against the red men of the mountains, had scarcely
arrived at much, if any, distinction in such a service.
On the other side, the case was not materially different. The
personnel was very much the same. They had stout men among
them, bold, sturdy, uncompromising, and somewhat reckless leaders,
such as Browne, the Cunninghams, and others of some local emi-
nence; but, in point of ability, in military respects, most of them were
yet to be tried.
Meanwhile, Walter Dunbar pursued his solitary way through a
comparatively savage country. Vast tracts lay in the original forests.
The settlements were few and far between. Colonies had been formed
in remote precincts Scotch, Irish, French, Dutch, which scarcely
knew each other. Wild wastes of wood and water separated them.
The roads were few communication was little desirable, where these
colonies, representatives of so many distinct foreign nationalities,
were still tenacious of their native tongues the Dutchman, Scotch-
man and Frenchman, each speaking the language of his people. The
Irish settlements alone exhibited that flexibility, ,still so characteristic