Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXXIII: Summary Processes of Regulation >> Page 278

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Page 278

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 278JOSCELYN
But keep his seat, hold and guide and spur his horse forward all
of which he strove to do while smiting at his foe required a com-
bination of muscle and faculty, wit as well as will, which the rider
was not able to _command. A few moments found him prostrate on
the earth, a powerful man kneeling on his breast, the knife wrested
from his grasp, and a rope passing around both his arms, binding
him effectively in a manner to show that the capturing party was
expert and well trained by practice in such operations.
The prisoner was then lifted to his feet and . bade to show the
virtues in his legs. He walked into the cover of the thicket, while
one of his captors walked beside him. Another was, in a moment
more, mounted upon one of the captured horses and leading the
other. He, too, disappeared within the forest.
Very soon they were passing into the gorges of the hills which now
thickly strewed the face of the country, and effectually concealed all
parties passing through them from persons traveling the road. The
rest of the group of scouts resumed their post of watch, but it does
not lie within our purpose to remain with them.
This scene took place with as little noise as possible. Few words
were spoken on either side. The stranger was taken by surprise, and
though struggling, spoke but once or twice, and then in simple excla-
mations, the consequence of his situation. He addressed nothing to
the assailing party challenging their explanation. It seemed as if
both parties had enjoyed a degree of experience of this sort, which
needed no words for comprehension. It is just possible, also, that the
captive had a lurking consciousness which rendered him wary and
circumspect, especially in the use of his voice. The old offender at
the assizes knows how wiser it is to use the tongue of his counsel
rather than his own. Enough now to say that when day dawned,
the prisoner found himself quietly disposed with four other prisoners
in like condition of duresse, in the hollow of a group of hills which
completely fenced in the spot from all casual observation. All the
prisoners were securely tethered with ropes, their persons first being
examined and all weapons taken from them. They lay, or rather
crouched about among trees and boulders of rock, while a sentinel,
well armed, kept watch over all their movements.
Walter Dunbar proceeded on his way somewhat slowly, the better
to be sure that he followed the directions of Mrs. Carter. His prog-