Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> The Maroon: A Romance of the Carib. >> Page 249

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Page 249

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
false, and wounded, as so many deceitful reeds which have broken
and pierced their sides; to the heart of deep and earnest passions
robbed of those upon whom all the heart's affections have been set;
these, all, might rejoice in an abode from which the trying services,
and vexing necessities, and disquieting obtrusions, of social life, were
shut out and excluded forever.
But Lopez de Levya was not one of these! He was young, and
handsome, and hopeful, and this was his first trouble. The world
still loomed out before his vision, the gay and songful paradise which
youthful fancies describe it still. There were warm passions and eager
sympathies in his soul still to be gratified; and though we may not
regard him as a person to whom affections of any kind were very
necessary, yet had he a bosom filled with those which grow from an
intense appetite for praise which could have their gratification only
in a world of beings like himself. It would be impossible to describe
the utter desolation which possessed the bosom of the unhappy wretch
when he did finally awaken to realize the fact that he was left alone
utterly abandoned by his comrades, upon an obscure islet of the
Caribbean Sea!
It was a long time, indeed, before he could utterly conceive his own
situation —a long time before he could persuade himself that the stub-
born and unrelenting spirit of Velasquez had absolutely resolved that
such should be his doom. For hours until the midnight came with its
sad and drooping stars, looking down mournfully upon the billows of
the ever chiding ocean; until the daylight dawned, and the red sun,
rushing up from the Eastern waters, rose angry and fiery, and
blazing down upon the little islet with the fierce glance of a destroy-
ing despot; for the first dreary interval, from sun to sun, he still
cherished the hope that this was but a trial of his strength —a cruel
experiment upon his youth, and courage ;and, recovering from the
first feelings of consternation, when at sunset the dusky white sails
of the vessel finally disappeared from sight, the unhappy wretch still
flattered himself that, with the morning, he should hail her outline
once more upon his horizon, and catch the glitter of her foaming
prow coming to his rescue.
And with this hope he clung to the beach all night. He slept not
how could he sleep? Even for one night how intense was the deso-
lation of that scene. There was the eternal sighing and moaning of