Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXX: Highway Adventures >> Page 258

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Page 258

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 258JOSCELYN
table for you, and provide the meals, and put up the fragments care-
fully in your wallet for to-morrow."
And all this time Walter knew not what to say. The other con-
tinue :
"Now," said he, "I have a sort of dog-fate pursuing me at this very
moment. I have been a fugitive for more than thirty hours, and I
am still pursued. I have scarcely more than half an hour to spare
for rest, and then I must take to my heels again. Your wallet will
help me wonderfully in the chase."
"What pursues you?" queried Walter, almost speaking for the first
"My Alban villa ! You remember the rich man who was pursued
by his Alban villa in the time of Sylla? (See Plutarch.) Well, I have
a pretty farm and cottage. It is just now impersonated as my fate!
If I can be hunted down, as a rebel, it becomes the property of a
beautiful rogue of a loyalist! you see. Well, this Alban villa of mine
is my fate, represented by a human rascal. He has got a small troop
of like rascals at his heels. They beset me yesterday. They are still
at my heels, and, when I have swallowed this last bit of hoecake, and
this last slice of your venison, I must tramp again."
"Do not spare them," said Walter.
"Don't intend to! My hunger-fate is an unsparing one, and, with
this venison of yours and beautifully browned hoecake, he declares
himself perfectly content, so far as the food is concerned, but he
suggests shrewdly that the same wallet of yours, which contained the
venison, is just as likely to contain the wine! Eh? It is certainly a
capacious one, and could you, by any magic, by the interposition of
any benevolent fate, find me a flask of rosy Jamaica in that same
wallet, I should be quite able to show you that the fates are never
hostile to man when they are properly commanded."
Walter laughed out, and at once proceeded to open out from his
saddle-bags a corpulent Dutch flask, containing a full pint or more of
the very liquor indicated by the stranger, to whom he handed it
without speaking.
"See what it is to have a sagacious and well-determined fate in the
service. By word of mouth ! "�carrying the flask to his lips "and
may your liquor never be less because of a thirsty fate in attendance.
I have been something of a fate to you, and am not yet done with