Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> Mesmerides in a Stage-Coach; Or, Passes en Passant >> Page 226

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Page 226

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
Transcription 226MESMERIDES IN A STAGE-COACH
"Mr. Gilbert, extend your hand to Mr. Dalton ; you must be
friends, good friends, henceforward."
I was obeyed; and commanding Dalton at the same moment, he
rose and staggered to the spot where Gilbert was sitting and seized
his hand, which was cordially shaken.
"That will do; resume your seat, Mr. Dalton."
This was done. I ordered a table and writing materials to be
brought, and placing them before Dalton, commanded him to write
as follows
"On the honour of a gentleman, I never intended the slightest
impertinence to the family of Mr. Gilbert. The whole thing was a
mistake, the result of a condition in which I was scarcely conscious
of what I was doing. I believed Mrs. Gilbert to be my mother and
the young ladies my own sisters. I believed myself to have arrived
that moment at my own dwelling.
"SignedWILLIS DALTON."

"What do you think of that, sir?" I said to Colonel Alford.
"Waking or sleeping, very good; but it will not be satisfactory to
Gilbert," was his reply.
"We shall see, sir."
I had the table and writing materials transferred to the side of
Gilbert. I placed the pen in his hand, and said to Alford
"If, waking or sleeping, he writes that he is satisfied with this
apology, and believes it a conscientious one, what then will you say?"
"That it will satisfy me."
I placed my finger on Gilbert's benevolence and conscientiousness,
bade him read the apology of Dalton, and told him to write what
he thought proper. He obeyed me, and wrote
"Dalton is a good fellow. I am quite satisfied. He must go home
with me.
"Sign it, Gilbert."
He did so, and I placed the paper in Alford's hands.
"Why, this is art, magic, witchcraft!" he exclaimed. "Do you
know what you have done, Gilbert?"
But he spoke in vain to the sleeper, and turned to me with be-
wildered aspect. I placed his hand in that of Gilbert, then com-
manded the latter to speak to him. Alford renewed his question. He
was answered, but very slowly.