Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXXIII: Summary Processes of Regulation >> Page 280

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 280

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 28oJOSCELYN
Walter showed the bit of leather with Mrs. Carter's sign manuel.
"That's quite enough; and I'll take you to the Captain's quarters
just so soon as I'm relieved here. You see I'm on duty, and we're
getting mighty strict. It'll be a good two hours before the `relief'
comes, and you'll have to kick your heels with me, behind the rocks,
for that time at least; and, even then, when we get into camp, there's
no sartainty that you'll see the Captain before nightfall. He's got his
hands pretty full, not too many men, and several pints of road to
Walter threw himself down upon the sward, and against a con-
venient boulder. The sentinel was good-humored and talkative, but
had little to communicate, except in broad generalities. He was in a
company of rangers. His company was an integral of Mayson's Regi-
ment. Mayson's Regiment was a portion of Richardson's Brigade,
and this brigade was a part of Drayton's army, raised for the defence
of liberty, &c. In like manner, a summary report was made of the
troops raised by the loyalists, and under the leadership of some half-
dozen of the chief men among the mountaineers, of whom we have
heard already.
"We'll have a fight out of them mighty soon, I reckon, since both
parties are gathering to a head, and the fighting won't be very far off
from here. We're bound to lick 'em, though they do brag mightily
upon the British officers they've got. But the Scoflilites are not going
to make good fight, and, just as soon as the bullets begin to fly, hot
and heavy, they'll break down all the bushes in the country, but
they'll find a way out of the skrimmage. We've licked 'em too often
before to expect to see them stand fire now."
But, though the dialogue was lively enough between the two, it
does not concern us to pursue it farther. In two hours, rather than
one, the relief came, and our sentinel was at liberty to conduct Walter
in the direction of the "rebel" camp. It was not long before some-
thing of the din of an encampment reached the ear. There was a
hum, a buzz, a faint murmur, and the impatient whining of several
horses. But the guide soon changed the direction which he took, and
led up a more sinuous path, winding around the steep sides of a hill
somewhat higher than the general elevation of the ridge. Suddenly
turning down a gorge, they went, as it were, right into the heart of