Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Book First / Chapter One >> Page 6

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 6 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
panther; and his pride and profit were equally derived from his pursuit
and conflicts with the savage tribes by which he was surrounded. It was
no unfrequent thing for the professional hunter to make his annual
contracts, with the landlords of the neighboring settlements, for five
hundred hams of the deer which were then unconsciously browsing or
cowering within these thickets.
Very famous were the two hunters by whom the cabin was occu-
pied. Michael, or Mike Baynam, had a reputation far and near for his
skill, courage, and success. He was a splendid specimen of physical
manhood, six feet in height, straight as a pine tree, swift of movement
as a buck, without one unnecessary ounce of flesh to embarrass his
muscle, or interfere with the free breathings of his lungs. He was about
twenty-eight years of age.
His companion in the chase, usually, was Sam Fuller, who was
married to his sister Martha, a fine-looking woman of twenty, whose
husband might have been five years older. His, too, was a goodly
person strong, muscular, and lithe of limb, but fully five inches
shorter than Baynam. The experience of both together had been such
as to establish in each a full confidence in the fidelity of the other.
Let us look in upon the little trio, as they take breakfast in their
mountain cabin. There you see that plenty and content walk together
hand in hand. A huge platter of venison steaks smokes upon the table;
great cones of corn and rolls of wheaten bread, fresh from the oven,
with coffee, and a huge vessel of milk, declare for the skill of the hunters
and the housewifery of the woman. The rafters are already hung with
smoked venison, hams and shoulders, and here and there are limbs of
still larger prey the quarters of the brown bear, whose hides have fur-
nished seats for the strong oaken chairs and mats for the floor.
There was evidently plenty for the winter, which had just set in, with
generous, bracing airs, and a few light falls of snow. The hunting
season as of old in Merrie England which had ceased with the
Spring, had been resumed in the Fall, and the game had already shown
itself abundant.
Abundance, health, cheerfulness, strong men, and a thrifty, sensible
housekeeper, who kept all things neat, salute you as you enter. It is a little
family of peace and pleasant conditions.
And as they ate, the brother and sister chatted together in a healthy,
frank, good-humored strain, which naturally became their tempera-
ments. Both were of fair, sanguine complexion, with brown eyes and
brown hair, and well-developed forehead and chin.