Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXXIII: Summary Processes of Regulation >> Page 282

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Page 282

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 282JOSCELYN
carefully shaven of all signs of beard, and beheld the grace of his
carriage, which, in his open and flowing hunting-shirt, reminded him
of the heroic aspects of the great chiefs of the red men, the Meta-
corns and Powhatans, and Attakullas, famous in the history of that
day. He could fully comprehend the secret feeling of the mother
when she dwelt so earnestly on the subject of "the gentleman," to
"the MANNER born."
There was a certain feeling of awe in the heart of Walter when he
beheld this noble presence, and he rose respectfully at his approach,
and simply presented the rude token which had been confided to him
by his mother. The welcome of the Captain was as simple as it was
gracious. When Walter would have made his report to him, he said:
"Not now, sir, if you please. That will keep warm, but not so our
beef and mutton. I must make you at home here, sir, by first show-
ing you that I make myself at home. Fall to, Lieutenant, upon that
mutton ! "
The practice of Lieutenant Sandys as a carver, had been consider-
able. Very soon he had served all parties, and there was none present
who did not testify to the virtues of the viands by the rapidity with
which they were consumed. The only beverage was water from a cool
mountain runnel, which gurgled away pleasantly at the foot of the
hill. The repast finished, the debris was quickly removed, and then
the Captain signified his willingness to hear the report of Walter,
the Lieutenant being requested by the Captain to continue present.
Walter began by telling who he was, but forbore to say anything
about his mission, and, indeed, confined his narrative wholly to the
period when the stranger, who first robbed him of his horse, first
joined him on the road. All that followed was given in full detail,
avoiding all prolixity. The Captain listened with an attentive grav-
ity, which was sometimes enlivened with a smile. Once or twice he
looked, with a nod of the head, at the Lieutenant, who bowed in
seeming acquiescence; and, at the close, when Walter had ceased to
speak, he said:
"I am happy to think, Mr. Dunbar, that we have been fortunate
enough to recover your horse. We have also caught the thief."
"Indeed! Is it possible? So soon ! "
"A party of our scouts captured the fellow within an hour or two,
as I reckon, after his felony was committed. He was in possession of