Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Beauchampe; or, The Kentucky Tragedy. A Tale of Passion. >> Chapter X >> Page 87

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Page 87

Novel (Romance) | Lea and Blanchard | 1842
Transcription BEAUCHAMPE. 87
bouring county was familiar, he traversed the hundred
routes to and from the farmstead of old Davis, which she
now occupied, and wasted some precious hours, in which
neither his heart nor his gun found game, in exploring
the deep wood from whence the pistol-shot, the day before,
had first challenged his attention. But no bright vision
blessed his search that day. He found nothing to interest
his mind or satisfy his curiosity, unless it were a tree
which he discovered barked with bullets, where some
person had evidently been exercising, and, assuming the
instrument to have been a pistol, with a singular degree
of success. The discovery did not call for the thought of
a single moment ; and contenting himself with the con-
jecture that some young rifleman was thus teaching the
young idea how to shoot," he turned off, and, with some
weariness and more disappointment, made his way, bird-
less, to his cottage. But the disappointment rather in-
creased than lessened his curiosity, and before two days
had passed, he had acquired boldness enough to advance
so nearly to the dwelling of Miss Cooke, as, sheltered
beneath some friendly shade-trees, to see the passers by
the window, and, on one or more occasions, to catch a
glimpse of the one object for whom all these pains were
taken. These glimpses, it may be said, served rather to
inflame than to satisfy his curiosity. He saw enough to
convince him that Mary was right, and Jane wrong.
That he was not deceived in his first impression of her
exceeding loveliness�that she was beautiful beyond any
comparison that he could make ; of a rare, rich, and ex-
celling beauty ;�and slowly he returned from his wan-
derings to muse upon the means by which he should
arrive at a more intimate knowledge of the fair one, who
was represented to be as inaccessible as she was fair
like one of those unhappy damsels of whom we read in
old romances, locked up in barred and gloomy towers,
lofty and well guarded, whose charms, if they were the
incentives to chivalry and daring, were quite as often the
cruel occasion of bloody strife and most unfortunate ad-
venture. The surpassing beauty of our heroine, so
strangely coupled with her sternness of deportment and
loneliness of habit, naturally enough brought into activity
the wild imagination and fervent temperament of our
young lawyer. By these means her beauty was heigten-