Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> The Maroon: A Romance of the Carib. >> Page 238

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Page 238

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
too far you have shown me too vile an aspect too serpentlike a
tooth, for me to suffer your near approach, save as a most hateful and
hated enemy. I will brave any fate before I suffer this!"
"Beware ! your words but doom your favorite."
"Be it so!—Had he been the man I thought him, it had never
come to this. It had been your fate not his, or mine! He deserves all
that he finds, failing himself, and failing me, at the proper moment.
Hark you, the dagger which his fingers clutched, when your felon
hand rested upon his shoulder, was put into them by mine; and the
name which my lips uttered when I gave it him, was that of Juan de
Silva. And yet he struck not, but tamely submitted, sacrificing himself
and me. Now, that you have heard all, judge for yourself what
terms there can be between us ! "
The lofty if not noble scorn which filled her features at this narra-
tive, heightened wondrously the beauty of her countenance. Her
companion, though evidently moved by her words, could not forbear
betraying, with open admiration of his gaze, how much it stimulated
his passion. He spoke, after a brief moment, lost in the absorbing
pleasure of his gaze.
"I can forgive you, Maria, and adore you still. That this Lopez
was thus base and insensible, should surely satisfy you that he was
not meant to enjoy, or to deserve, a heart like yours. Be mine, and
all is yours! I am here, the master. I can save this creature will
save him, for I fear him not, but —I must have your assurance."
"Never! Juan de Silva ! Never ! "
"Once again, beware! You precipitate his fate ! "
"I should precipitate myself upon a worse, if I sought to save him
upon these conditions. I loathe and hate you, Juan de Silva; too
much to endure your smiles, your favors, the snake-like and revolting
coil of your venomous embrace."
"You have doomed him!" was the sullen answer from the scarcely
parted lips of the youth. "His fate is sealed forever ! "
He was about to turn away !
"Stay!" was the eager whisper of the woman.