Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXXIV: The Fates Still at Work >> Page 288

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription 288JOSCELYN
appeared in a manner so mysterious as to awaken in the bosom of
Walter the most lively concern in respect to his fate.
He darted towards him eagerly with extended hand, and a warm
expression of recognition. But, to his equal surprise and mortification,
the other neither gave his hand, nor exhibited any such eagerness as
his own. He accordingly drew himself up with hauteur, bowed his
head, and looked calmly upon the new corner.
"We must be upon no terms, Mr. Dunbar," said the latter, "as
long as we do not know where you are. You have not chosen your
fate, and the fates are never single. There are always two in conflict,
foil and counterfoil, and they never suffer any mortal to play between
them. What I say to you now is dictated by a kindly feeling. I have
such knowledge of you and your situation, that I must presume to
counsel. Until you can decide with which fate to grapple, in hearty,
hardy, enduring and resolute conflict, go back upon your course. Go
not forward. If you do, you rush upon an adverse fate, and the
consequences may be ruin. Let me speak more plainly. Within three
hours from this point you will meet with the forces of the crown,
under the lead of Fletchall, Browne and others. Within the next
twenty-four hours they will probably be in conflict with the forces of
the patriots, under General Richardson. How will these things affect
"I have despatches to some of these very persons to Col. Fletch-
all, Robert Cunningham, Pearis, Kirkland and others."
"Kirkland is fled, Fletchall and Browne are at loggerheads, and it
is doubtful if the loyal militia do not disband before fighting. But,
are you sure of the nature of your despatches? You think them of
value. Open them, and see."
"Never, sir ! The letters are from my father. They are sacred."
"And their purport?"
"I know not, but I am assured of their importance."
"And they are valueless! Their sole object is to send you away
from the supposed influence of Martin Joscelyn upon you, to the
control of those leaders who, like your father, are devoted to the
crown. I assert this without fear of contradiction. Open, read them,
and you will see for yourself."
"That, sir, I cannot do, as a man of honor."
"You are not dealing with men of honor, Walter Dunbar."