Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXXII: Conference and Confidence >> Page 271

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Page 271

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription CHAPTER XXXII.
"Oh, Lord ! oh, Lord ! have mercy on this wicked generation.
What are we coming to? I ought to have know'd what would happen,
and I tried to make you know, young man, just as much as I darst to.
Lord! Lord! Why, where upon the airth, young man, was you brung
up, not to know better what to do? I warned you both of the villainies
of people everywhere; and to think that you should travel with a
stranger you don't know, and put up your horse along with his'n, and
no lock to the stable; and you knowing just nothing about the char-
acter of the man. Oh, Lord! oh, Lord ! "
"Why, what should I have done, my good woman?"
"Done? Well, I'll tell you, since you don't seem to know for your-
self. You should hev watched your time, and hid your horse in the
bushes, and in the bottom of some of the hills, perticklarly when you
didn't know who 'twas you traveled with. Better if you had taken to
the bushes yourself. I told you both mighty plain, and I gin you a
sign with my finger, and that, to a man who had his five senses
about him, or any one of 'em, ought to hev been enough to make
you think of all that consarned yourself, and of what mought be the
dangers of the road. Oh! I reckon you've had a most foolish mother,
that jest let you play about always, with a great nigger or two to
follow you about, and pick you up whenever you tumbled down.
Lord ! Lord! There air such mothers in the world, and I've known
some of them ! "
This was the last feather on the camel's back. It capped the climax
of mortifying commentary upon himself, which had furnished the
chief matter to Walter in his humiliating soliloquies. He uttered a
bitter laugh as he turned away from the now eloquent old woman,
and stalked off into the darkness, as if to escape the glare of the fire-
light, which, at every sentence, she was flashing in his face.