Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXXII: Conference and Confidence >> Page 273

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Page 273

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN273
"Well, now, you seems to be upon some business of your own that
I don't ax you about, and don't want to know. And you're in a
country where you don't seem to know the pints of the compass; and
you're in rather a bad fix, now that your horse is stolen; and you're a
gentleman; so when I put all these things together, you see, I'll jest
let you a leetle into the sort of doings that's a-working in this part of
the country, among this gineration. You heard what that thief of a
man said when you laid the two crown pieces upon the table as pay
for your supper. Well, I seed that you didn't know his meaning.
He cried out with a halloo for the crown, and by that I knowd that
he was a Sco flite." *
"Now you see," drawing nearer to Walter, and speaking in a
whisper, "my son, Clym Carter, is one of the Regulators, and he's
out now with a party in sarch of this very gang of horse-stealing
Scoffilites. Ef you could only know where to find him now."
"Has he a spare horse?"
"I kain't say that he has; but, if any man kin get back your'n for
you, Clym's the man to do it, of you could only find him."
"And where's he now? I should be willing to pay well."
"Oh! jest shet up about the pay. Clym's on the track for the good
of the country. He's for making a clean sweep of the wretches; They
burnt us all out not quite a year ago, and he's now death on all the
tribe."
"Is there no way to find him?"
"Well, that's the pint. He's here to-day, but fifty miles off to-
morrow, clean away up among the mountain settlements, and into
North Carolina. But the fire's gone out, and we may as well be
getting back to the house, where we kin finish all we've got to say."
Here she shook her expiring brand, but failed to rekindle it, and,
in the darkness, Walter followed her as closely as he could around
the turnip patch, till they gained together the log-house. Closing the
* The Scopholites, or Scovilites, so called after a certain leader, were a band of outlaws, refugees from other parts, mostly foreigners, gamesters, plunderers, horse-thieves especially, and altogether a mere banditti, in the wild and unsettled regions of the Carolinas. Their organization finally became so powerful, in the early times of the Colony, and their depredations so atrocious, as to provoke another organization, called the "Regulators," who, by a sort of wild justice, which was summary enough, succeeded at last in putting the outlaws down. At the opening of the Revolution, out of the debris of these parties, in the same region, grew those of Whig and Tory, the Regulators generally becoming rebels to the common authority, while the Scovilites as generally became its adherents. They were the "loyalists" of that day, whose lineal descendants may be found in this.