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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 672 pages of information about Our World, Or, the Slaveholder's Daughter.
exposure would bring upon her; the knave who held him in his grasp, while dragging the last remnants of their property away to appease dishonest demands, haunted him to despair.  And, yet, to sink under them-to leave all behind him and be an outcast, homeless and friendless upon the world, where he could only look back upon the familiar scenes of his boyhood with regret, would be to carry a greater amount of anguish to his destiny.  The destroyer was upon him; his grasp was firm and painful.  He might live a life of rectitude; but his principles and affections would be unfixed.  It would be like an infectious robe encircling him,—­a disease which he never could eradicate, so that he might feel he was not an empty vessel among honourable men.  When men depicted their villains, moving in the grateful spheres of life, he would be one of their models; and though the thoughtlessness of youth had made him the type haunting himself by day and night, the world never made a distinction.  Right and wrong were things that to him only murmured in distrust; they would be blemishes exaggerated from simple error; but the judgment of society would never overlook them.  He must now choose between a resolution to bear the consequences at home, or turn his back upon all that had been near and dear to him,—­be a wanderer struggling with the eventful trials of life in a distant land!  Turning pale, as if frantic with the thought of what was before him, the struggle to choose between the two extremes, and the only seeming alternative, he grasped the candle that flickered before him, gave a glance round the room, as if taking a last look at each familiar object that met his eyes, and retired.

CHAPTER V.

The Marooning party.

A Marooning pic-nic had been proposed and arranged by the young beaux and belles of the neighbouring plantations.  The day proposed for the festive event was that following the disclosure of Lorenzo’s difficulties.  Every negro on the plantation was agog long before daylight:  the morning ushered forth bright and balmy, with bustle and confusion reigning throughout the plantation,—­the rendezvous being Marston’s mansion, from which the gay party would be conveyed in a barge, overspread with an awning, to a romantic spot, overshaded with luxuriant pines, some ten miles up the stream.  Here gay fˆtes, mirth and joy, the mingling of happy spirits, were to make the time pass pleasantly.  The night passed without producing any decision in Lorenzo’s mind; and when he made his appearance on the veranda an unusual thoughtfulness pervaded his countenance; all his attempts to be joyous failed to conceal his trouble.  Marston, too, was moody and reserved even to coldness; that frank, happy, and careless expression of a genial nature, which had so long marked him in social gatherings, was departed.  When Maxwell, the young Englishman, with quiet demeanour, attempted to draw him into conversation about the prospects of the day, his answers were measured, cold, beyond his power of comprehending, yet inciting.

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