Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXX: Highway Adventures >> Page 259

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Page 259

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN259
you. Do not yet put up that venison. I will but hack off a bit of it
for supper, and put a few of your biscuits in my pouch."
He suited the action to the word, and in the twinkle of his couteau
de chasse, divided the fragment of venison, very equally, between
himself and the proprietor, conveying his moiety to the pouch in his
hunting shirt, to which he also transferred some half dozen biscuits.
"You see, my friend, how I provide for certain of the fates´┐Żdanger,
trouble, doubt, anxiety all of them are of the same breed with
hunger, to be disarmed, subdued and made subservient, if we once
know how to manage our servants. There is not a dog-fate in our
homestead, not a trouble, fret, bore, difficulty, danger, which is not,
in some way, designed for our servant ! Only learn how to whip in
the brutes, and the rest is easy."
Walter said something, sufficiently commonplace, about the wisdom
of such a philosophy, could one command it always.
"And why not?" said the other. "This is the very business of life
the only process, indeed, by which life developes manhood. What
else has life to do? We are engaged in fighting the fates all the
while; but" and he stooped, with ear to the earth, and listened
without breathing. As he rose "Do you hear?" said he.
"Nothing!" said the other.
"My fate hath a keener ear," replied the stranger. "A horn was
blown, and I know the blows. He would impersonate my villa !
Now, my friend, I tell you confidentially that he is rushing on his
fate, and the pursued shall become the pursuer."
Here he caught his rifle. "I know it, just as if I beheld it before
me. This dog-fate has pursued me a few miles too far. He will
discover this before nightfall but too late. I must leave you. Thanks
to your wallet, I am strong enough for another heat. I shall bury
myself in yonder opposite wood, where my fate, grown quite good-
humored on your venison, tells me that I shall find succor. We must
part; but before I leave you, Walter Dunbar"
"What? you know me? Who are you, then?"
"No matter; I am Nemo for the nonce! But I will give you such
a token before we part, that you shall know me. Take my counsel
before parting. Hurry forward ! Do not linger in the neighborhood!
Stop not to look behind you, and be prompt in making your fate
subservient. Before you have ridden many miles, you will have need