Wacousta : a tale of the Pontiac conspiracy — Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 192 pages of information about Wacousta .
grave they were now met to render the last offices of companionship, if not of friendship.  Indeed Murphy—­a rude, vulgar, and illiterate, though brave Irishman—­having risen from the ranks, the coarseness of which he had never been able to shake off, was little calculated, either by habits or education, to awaken feelings, except of the most ordinary description, in his favour; and he and Ensign Delme were the only exceptions to those disinterested and tacit friendships that had grown up out of circumstances in common among the majority.  If, therefore, they could regret the loss of such a companion as Murphy, how deep and heartfelt must have been the sorrow they experienced when they beheld the brave, generous, manly, amiable, and highly-talented Frederick de Haldimar—­the pride of the garrison, and the idol of his family—­lying extended, a cold, senseless corpse, slain by the hand of the bosom friend of his own brother!—­Notwithstanding the stern severity and distance of the governor, whom few circumstances, however critical or exciting, could surprise into relaxation of his habitual stateliness, it would have been difficult to name two young men more universally liked and esteemed by their brother officers than were the De Haldimars—­the first for the qualities already named—­the second, for those retiring, mild, winning manners, and gentle affections, added to extreme and almost feminine beauty of countenance for which he was remarkable.  Alas, what a gloomy picture was now exhibited to the minds of all!—­Frederick de Haldimar a corpse, and slain by the hand of Sir Everard Valletort!  What but disunion could follow this melancholy catastrophe? and how could Charles de Haldimar, even if his bland nature should survive the shock, ever bear to look again upon the man who had, however innocently or unintentionally, deprived him of a brother whom he adored?

These were the impressions that passed through the minds of the compassionating officers, as they directed their glance alternately from the common to the pale and marble-like features of the younger De Haldimar, who, with parted lips and stupid gaze, continued to fix his eyes upon the inanimate form of his ill-fated brother, as if the very faculty of life itself had been for a period suspended.  At length, however, while his companions watched in silence the mining workings of that grief which they feared to interrupt by ill-timed observations, even of condolence, the death-like hue, which had hitherto suffused the usually blooming cheek of the young officer, was succeeded by a flush of the deepest dye, while his eyes, swollen by the tide of blood now rushing violently to his face, appeared to be bursting from their sockets.  The shock was more than his delicate frame, exhausted as it was by watching and fatigue, could bear.  He tottered, reeled, pressed his hand upon his head, and before any one could render him assistance, fell senseless on the ramparts.

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Wacousta : a tale of the Pontiac conspiracy — Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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