Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXXIII: Summary Processes of Regulation >> Page 285

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Page 285

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN285
Walter bowed, fell back, and took a seat upon a boulder, while the
Sergeant led the horse away.
"Where's Corporal Harris?"
"Here, sir."
"You brought in the horse this morning, which Mr. Dunbar says
was stolen from him last night?"
"I did, sir."
"Is the horse the same?"
"The very same, sir."
"How did he come into your possession?"
"My scout caught this prisoner, Red Pyatt, before daylight this
morning. He was riding one horse and leading another; and this
other led horse is the one which Mr. Dunbar claims."
"Do you know these facts of your own knowledge?"
"I pulled him with my own hands off one horse, while Jim Oakes
jerked away from him the halter which had the other."
"Where's Oakes?"
He was brought forward and confirmed the testimony.
"That is enough. Lieutenant, you will see that Mr. Dunbar has
his horse restored to him; find him a saddle and bridle, if you have
them to spare, and when he is ready to depart, give him conduct
beyond our line of pickets."
Turning to Walter, he then said:
"You will be quite free to depart, Mr. Dunbar, as soon as you
think proper, and perhaps it will be prudent that you should do so
before we move. Before midnight, we shall ourselves be gone."
At this moment Walter looked towards the prisoner, and caught a
look from him so pitiful, that he could not forbear saying to the
Captain, in low tones:
"May I ask, Captain, if this proceeding will affect the life of this
man?"
It was with a grave aspect and cold accent that he replied:
"It certainly will!"
((Horse-stealing?"
"Is with us not merely a felony, but a peculiar crime, from the
great value of the horse in this country, the facility with which he is
stolen, and the great frequency of the offence. This fellow has long
since proved himself a master in the business."