Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXXI: Night Adventure in the Hovel >> Page 266

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 266JOSCELYN
your robbing from me. You knows best if there's anything very
vallyble between you that you can rob from one another. That's all
my say. Look ayont now, over that turnip patch, and you'll see the
old stable. You'll find the fodder in the loft so you may see after
the beasts as soon as you please, and I'll do what I kin for your
supper by the time you come in again."
She pointed to the stables, and the two young men proceeded at
once, after watering their steeds, to bestow them away for the night.
The stranger made some few remarks as they rode, but to these
Walter made no reply, certainly none which was calculated to en-
courage his companion to more familiarity. He appropriated one of
the stables, and there were several, to his horse, filled the rack with
fodder, and, as the beast proceeded to eat without delay, he left him
and proceeded to the house alone. The stranger lingered behind for
a few moments, and followed slowly.
If Walter Dunbar thought of any one thing more than another, in
leaving his steed for the night, it was the rickety condition of the
building. It seemed to him that a good puff of wind would upset the
whole establishment, but there was no choice, no alternative. He
would have ridden farther, in search of better accommodation, for
his hostess did not come up exactly to his standard, but he was some-
how more fatigued than usual. He had ridden forty miles that day,
and he knew nothing of the country. He knew not how much farther
he would have to ride, in that sparsely settled region, before he
should find better accommodations than the one before him. He
loitered a while in front of the dwelling, looking around him, before
he re-entered it. The stranger, meanwhile, returned from the stables,
and approached him. Somehow, Walter had taken an aversion to
this man, and he turned away at his approach, and passed into the
dwelling.
A few seconds will suffice to show how the poor lived in that day,
and in this unsettled region. The house was old and narrow, built
of logs, and consisted of three compartments. The centre was the
hall or eating-room. On each hand a door led into a chamber; one
of these chambers was held by the landlady herself, the other was
yielded to the stranger, and a long bench in the central room afforded
Walter the only means of sleep.