Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXXI: Night Adventure in the Hovel >> Page 265

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN265
"And what may you men be wanting?" was her homely question.
Walter waited for the stranger to speak. He answered readily
enough, and to the point, for himself.
"Some place to sleep for the night, and some supper for myself
and for my horse, if I can get it."
She looked to Walter as if for his answer also, before replying to
the first speaker. He made the same application, in somewhat more
courtly terms, and with some difference of manner.
"Well, now, young men, look you both. I'm a most lonesome and
poor woman, living here just now by myself. You see what a house
it is, and you may guess for yourselves that there ain't much of any-
thing in it. I can give you a bit of hoecake, and a slice of rusty bacon,
for your supper, and there's good water from the spring. There's
some fodder in the old stable, and that may sarve your horses. As for
the sleeping, there's a room with one bed in it, and if you can sleep
together�" Walter cast a glance at the stranger, then said:
"This gentleman is a stranger to me�"
"How's that?" asked the old woman, quickly, and somewhat sus-
piciously�"how's that, when you come together?"
"It has happened so, but I never saw this person till the last half
hour."
"Nor I him," said the other, "but I overtook him, and we rode on
together, a leetle agin his wishes, I'm a-thinking."
This was said with a sort of grin, which might have been designed
for a smile.
"Well," said the woman, eyeing the last speaker keenly, "that's
onlucky; for you'll have to sleep together anyhow, onless one of you
is willing to make his bed on a bench in the eating room."
Walter promptly replied that the bench would answer his purposes.
"Well," said she, "it's well you're so easily satisfied. And now,"
she continued, "I warn you that you'll have to keep watch for your-
selves on one another, seeing that you're onbeknown to one another.
You may be both very good people, but then again you may be great
rogues. I don't answer for either on you, and ,I can't be answerable
for anything you do. But I warn you, considering the bad nature of
men in general, and the troubles that's going on now all through the
country, that you have business enough for all your eyes to keep them
on the stretch all night. There's hardly anything here that's worth