The Yemassee

By William Gilmore Simms; Alexander Cowie | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXIX

" A cruel tale for an unwilling ear,
And maddening to the spirit. But go on —
Speak daggers to my soul, which, though it feels,
Thou can'st not warp to wrong by injuries."

THE departure of the pastor and his wife was productive of some little awkwardness in those who remained. For a few moments, a deathlike stillness succeeded. Well aware that her affections for Harrison were known to her present companion, a feeling not altogether unpleasant, of maiden bashfulness, led the eyes of Bess to the floor, and silenced her speech. A harsher mood, for a time, produced a like situation on the part of Grayson; but it lasted not long. With a sullen sort of resolution, gathering into some of that energetic passion, as he proceeded, which so much marked his character, he broke the silence at length with a word — a single word — uttered desperately, as it were, and with a half choking enunciation: —

" Miss Matthews — "

She looked up at the sound, and as she beheld the dark expression of his eye, the concentrated glance, the compressed lip — as if he dared not trust himself to utter that which he felt at the same time must be uttered — she half started, and the " Sir " with which she acknowledged his address was articulated timorously.

" Be not alarmed, Miss Matthews; be not alarmed. I see what I would not see. I see that I am an object rather of fear, rather of dislike — detestation it may be — than of any other of those sweeter feelings I would freely give my life to inspire in your heart."

" You wrong me, Master Grayson, indeed you do. I have no such feelings for you, as those you speak of. I do not dislike or detest you, and I should be very sorry to have you think so. Do not think so, I beg you."

" But you fear me — you fear me, Miss Matthews, and the feeling is much the same. Yet why should you fear me — what have I done, what said? "

-295-

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The Yemassee
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • American Fiction Series *
  • The Yemassee *
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations vii
  • Introduction ix
  • A Simms Chronology xxxvi
  • Selected Bibliography xxxvii
  • The Yemassee Uprising xlii
  • Note on the Text *
  • To Professor Samuel Henry Dickson, M.D., of South Carolina 3
  • Chapter I 9
  • Chapter II 15
  • Chapter III 21
  • Chapter IV 28
  • Chapter V 34
  • Chapter VI 43
  • Chapter VII 51
  • Chapter VIII 65
  • Chapter IX 74
  • Chapter X 81
  • Chapter XI 91
  • Chapter XII 98
  • Chapter XIII 105
  • Chapter XIV 113
  • Chapter XV 118
  • Chapter XVI 123
  • Chapter XVII 133
  • Chapter XVIII 139
  • Chapter XIX 146
  • Chapter XX 151
  • Chapter XXI 159
  • Chapter XXII 165
  • Chapter XXIII 173
  • Chapter XXIV 182
  • Chapter XXV 188
  • Chapter XXVI 201
  • Chapter XXVII 210
  • Chapter XXVIII 215
  • Chapter XXIX 222
  • Chapter XXX 229
  • Chapter XXXI 235
  • Chapter XXXII 243
  • Chapter XXXIII 249
  • Chapter XXXIV 255
  • Chapter XXXV 265
  • Chapter XXXVI 271
  • Chapter XXXVII 276
  • Chapter XXXVIII 283
  • Chapter Xxxix 295
  • Chapter XL 300
  • Chapter XLI 307
  • Chapter XLII 314
  • Chapter XLIII 322
  • Chapter XLIV 329
  • Chapter XLV 336
  • Chapter XLVI 345
  • Chapter XLVII 355
  • Chapter XLVIII 363
  • Chapter Xlix 375
  • Chapter L 382
  • Chapter LI 389
  • Chapter LII 396
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