Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XXXIV: The Fates Still at Work >> Page 291

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 291

Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYN29i
he heard the other, in language which assumed the whole command
for himself, while tone, look and manner declared equally his scorn
and contempt for most of his associates.
To the great surprise of Walter, who had been kept on the outer
edge of the circle, still a prisoner, he beheld, in front of Browne, no
less a person than Stephen Joscelyn, a single glance at whom sufficed
to awaken in his bosom a throng of bitter memories.
Stephen, accompanied by another Captain, of Hammond's com-
mand, was present in the character of a Commissioner to treat for a
pacification. He was sent to demand the surrender and disbandment
of the "Loyalists," under penalty of being held to answer to the State
authorities, as public enemies and traitors. He had already fulfilled
his mission, and made the demand in terms equally proper and im-
pressive. He had just finished speaking as Walter appeared upon the
scene.
It was then that Fletchall approached Browne, and said to him in
low tones:
"We should assemble in council to consider these terms."
"In council!" replied Browne, scornfully, "and why in council?
Am I not here, in the King's commission? Do I not know what are
the counsels of his majesty's representatives? We need no council,
sir, nor counsel. My counsel lies in my sword."
Then, as Fletchall sullenly fell back, he turned to Stephen Josce-
lyn, and replied:
"Go back to your masters, sir, and tell them I accept no terms from
rebels to their king. Let your Drayton, and your Richardson, and
your Williamson, your Mayson and your Hammond, bring on their
rapscallions as soon as they please. Their crippled diplomat is but a
fitting representative of their crippled policy and party, which we
shall cripple much more thoroughly if they only pluck up courage
to maintain impudent language by bold actions."
"You might have spared your personal insults to a cripple," was
the calm reply of Stephen, though his face was deeply flushed, and
his voice slightly trembled from the effort which he made to subdue
his passion. "Cripple as I am," he continued, "if you will only face
me when we do meet in the shock of battle, as bravely as you now
show yourself in words, you will find nothing of the cripple in my
arm!"