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Joscelyn Cheshire: A Story of Revolutionary Days in the Carolinas by Sara Beaumont Kennedy

Joscelyn Cheshire: A Story of Revolutionary Days in the Carolinas by Sara Beaumont Kennedy

Author:Sara Beaumont Kennedy [Kennedy, Sara Beaumont]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Biography & Autobiography, General
Publisher: BiblioBazaar
Published: 2008-10-08T23:00:00+00:00


* * *

[Pg 181]

CHAPTER XVIII.

“KISS ME QUICK AND LET ME GO.”

“And to his eye

There was but one beloved face on earth,

And that was shining on him.”

It was a windy day in late November, one of those rare days when summer, repenting of her desertion, steals softly back to comfort the earth with a parting smile. Out in the brown fields the birds pruned their wings in the sun and sang a few notes softly, as a singer who recalls fitfully and doubtfully a long forgotten tune; the golden daisies by the door still burnt like stars late fallen from the far firmament; a revivified butterfly hovered languidly over the faded aster beds, and venturesome wasps sallied from their castles under the eaves and buzzed droningly against the window panes. It was a day of shifting shadows, of subtle changes and soft surprises.

Joscelyn and Betty sat over their embroidery frames in the latter’s parlour, talking over the events of the past two months—the long wait between their letter to Eustace and his sorrowful reply; the grief that clouded the two houses for four days following, before they knew that Richard [Pg 182]had escaped and was not dead, and the intense relief and joy his short message had brought them.

“It was like a hundred candles suddenly brought into a dark room,” Betty said, snipping off her thread. “But do you know, Joscelyn, that you acted so queerly, scolding because you had cried so much, and cocking your head before the mirror to count the wrinkles your grieving had made,—though for the life of me I could never see one of them,—that I half believed you were angry that Richard had not died in truth.”

“You give me credit for much feeling, I am sure,” quizzed Joscelyn. “But in sooth, Betty, when a woman gets circles under her eyes, and crow’s feet at the corners of her mouth, and a dismal whine to her voice through over-much sighing, she likes to know it has not been all in vain. Wasted grief is like wasted sweets—useless.”

“I would to heaven all grief were useless and in vain.”

Joscelyn shook her head. “That would not do; for without grief there would be no pity, and without pity there would be no love, and life without love were not worth the living.”

“Love? What do you know of love?” Betty asked, looking up quickly.

“You vain little minx! do you think Cupid wasted all his arrows on you and Eustace?”

“N-o; but Joscelyn—”

[Pg 183]

“‘But, Joscelyn,’” mimicked the other, still laughing; “from the doubt in your voice one would think you were own daughter to that biblical Thomas whose faith was so small. Trust me, Cupid has saved a shaft in his quiver for me.”

“You are such a queer girl, Joscelyn; one never knows how to take you. You sorrowed for Richard so vehemently at first—do you—can you mean that you care just a little for him?”

“My dear, I was much more in love with Richard dead than I am ever like to be with Richard alive.



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