Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> The Maroon: A Romance of the Carib. >> Page 235

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Page 235

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
from them some acknowledgment of the heart's inward suffering;
and seemed chagrined to perceive the steadiness of aspect with which
the woman bore his scrutiny.
"Truly, my life," he continued, with less than usual of that cat-like
play of feature which declared his peculiar malice, "truly, my life, it
pleases me to perceive that you have no sympathies for this monster
of a musician. I did fear, I confess, I did fear that, though you
might not have erred with him, you might have been foolish enough,
through some misplaced sentiment of feminine tenderness, to have
interposed and pleaded against his punishment. That would have
been a weakness, my beautiful Gitana. We must punish such enor-
mous guilt. We must punish it as it deserves! We must so punish
such an offender as that he shall never so offend again ! "
He paused and gazed steadily upon the woman! But she too
well knew the cool malignity of the tyrant—his peculiar and unrelent-
ing nature to suffer herself to be deceived by the obvious lure which
he threw out that she should implore mercy for the criminal of
whom he spoke. She also felt the importance of maintaining the same
settled indifference and coldness of aspect as before. He allowed
some lengthened moments to intervene, and resumed but with evi-
dent disappointment.
"And you have nothing to say, my life?"
"Madre de Dios! But it is so precious to me, that you so thoroughly
acknowledge my justice. Ho! there Juan!—bring forth this vile
singer, this wretch of a guitar player this audacious musician! He
shall vex no longer with his midnight strummings, the sweet quiet
of our Lady of Burgos our chaste Diana whom he makes unhappy
by his presumption. See to it, Juan! bring him forth quickly!
There might have been seen, for a single moment, while the eye
of Don Velasquez was averted, a convulsive quiver upon the lips of
the woman. Her arms somewhat sunk in that moment, and were
clasped together with a spasmodic intensity; yet the action was too
gently performed the movement quite too slight to fix the regards
of the person whose glance she chiefly feared. In that brief moment