Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXXIII: Summary Processes of Regulation >> Page 279

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Page 279

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN279
ress was not gratefully beguiled by any reflections of his own. We
can easily conjecture of what character they were, and how naturally
they grew into self-questionings, the answers to which, however,
softly whispered in his own soul, were not calculated to lift it out
of that sea of humiliations into which the uniform experience of the
last few months had sunk his spirit beyond his own power to recover.
Darkly brooding over his vexing thoughts, he had probably gone
some five miles upon his way, when, rising from a hollow, and turn-
ing short around a huge boulder in the road, he encountered a rifle
muzzle at, his breast, while a stern voice cried to him
"Stop, and give the word ! "
"I have no word to give," was the sullen reply. The mood of
Walter at that moment, shaped by the thoughts of the last hour,
made him comparatively indifferent whether the man shot or not.
"That's bad for you," said the other, lowering his rifle as he saw
that Walter was weaponless and exhibited no hostile movement.
"Look up, my man, and let's see the color of your eyes?"
Walter looked up with an expression of quiet indifference.
"Where from, stranger?"
"Home!"
"Where's home?"
"Augusta."
"Ah! well they've been cracking crowns in this quarter ! What do
you think of a cracked crown, any how?"
Walter paused. There might be a snare in the words, which were
equivocal. When he did reply, it was coolly and calmly, and per-
haps in the proper spirit.
"My friend, I am unwilling to be questioned, except when I know
who it is that questions me. I am unarmed, as you see, and you have
your rifle, which I suppose is loaded."
"I reckon it is that, and with a half ounce bullet ! "
"You have then no need to fear from me. Now, I am in search of
a person to whom, however, you can conduct me."
"And who's the person?"
"One Clym Carter."
"And why the dicconer didn't you say that at the beginning? To
be sure I can bring you to him; but who sends you? That you must
say to me, or show to me in some way. Have you got no token?"