Wacousta : a tale of the Pontiac conspiracy (Complete) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 624 pages of information about Wacousta .

“De Haldimar—­dear De Haldimar, forgive me!” returned his captain.  “Heaven knows I would not, on any consideration, wantonly inflict pain on your sensitive heart.  My design was to draw you out of this desponding humour; and with this view I sought to arouse your pride, but certainly not to wound your feelings.  De Haldimar,” he concluded, with marked expression, “you must not, indeed, feel offended with one who has known and esteemed you from very boyhood.  Friendship and interest in your deep affliction of spirit alone brought me here—­the same feelings prompted my remark.  Do you not believe me?”

“I do,” impressively returned the young man, grasping the hand that was extended to him in amity.  “It is I, rather, Blessington, who should ask you to forgive my petulance; but, indeed, indeed,” and again his tone faltered, and his eye was dimmed, “I am more wretched even than I am willing to confess.  Pardon my silly conduct—­it was but the vain and momentary flashing of the soldier’s spirit impatient of an assumed imputation, and the man less than the profession is to be taxed with it.  But it is past; and already do you behold me once more the tame and apprehensive being I must ever continue until all is over.”

“What can I possibly urge to console one who seems so willing to nurse into conviction all the melancholy imaginings of a diseased mind,” observed Captain Blessington, in a voice that told how deeply he felt for the situation of his young friend.  “Recollect, dearest Charles, the time that has been afforded to our friends.  More than a week has gone by since they left the fort, and a less period was deemed sufficient for their purpose.  Before this they must have gained their destination.  In fact, it is my positive belief they have; for there could be nothing to detect them in their disguise.  Had I the famous lamp of Aladdin,” he pursued, in a livelier tone, “over the history of which Clara and yourself used to spend so many hours in childhood, I have no doubt I could show them to you quietly seated within the fort, recounting their adventures to Clara and her cousin, and discoursing of their absent friends.”

“Would I to Heaven you had the power to do so!” replied De Haldimar, smiling faintly at the conceit, while a ray of hope beamed for a moment upon his sick soul; “for then, indeed, would all my fears for the present be at rest.  But you forget, Blessington, the encounter stated to have taken place between them and that terrible stranger near the bridge.  Besides, is it not highly probable the object of their expedition was divined by that singular and mysterious being, and that means have been taken to intercept their passage?  If so, all hope is at an end.”

“Why persevere in viewing only the more sombre side of the picture?” returned his friend.  “In your anxiety to anticipate evil, Charles, you have overlooked one important fact.  Ponteac distinctly stated that his ruffian friend was still lying deprived of consciousness and speech within his tent, and yet two days had elapsed since the encounter was said to have taken place.  Surely we have every reason then to infer they were beyond all reach of pursuit, even admitting, what is by no means probable the recovery of the wretch immediately after the return of the chiefs from the council.”

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Wacousta : a tale of the Pontiac conspiracy (Complete) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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