Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Two >> Page 8

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CHAPTER TWO
"How quick the eye
Of woman to discern the faults in woman,
Which lovers, with love's glamour o'er their eyes,
Exalt to beauties, and are still ensnared
By smilings of the serpent."
IKE BAYNAM BROODED, pipe still in mouth, over the cabin
Mfire. The smoke curled about his brow, but his eyes were half
closed, and he seemed to behold nothing; having suddenly fallen into a
sort of reverie, from which, for a while, no one appeared disposed to
arouse him.
Martha, meanwhile, removed the breakfast things, while her hus-
band, Sam, brought forth and began to clean and load his rifle.
It was an ancient weapon, that rifle, of a very long and now
exploded fashion; but it was very precious in the sight of its owner,
from the good service it had done. The stock, which had been more
than once broken over the head of the bear, had been roughly restored
out of mountain oak, by the hands of Sam himself. Every rifle of these
mountain hunters, you must know, has a name if it has a reputation.
The rude weapon of Sam he called, "The Columbian Orator," and he
was wont to say, that when "she spoke the beasts all trembled, from the
Hog-back to the Tennessee!"
The rifle cleaned and loaded, Sam garbed himself in a ragged,
brown hunting shirt, reaching nearly to his heels, the skirts and capes
of which still showed some remnants of fringe. He then looked to Mike.
But the latter did not look up. It was then that Sam spoke.
"Air you for brushing the woods to-day, Mike Baynam?""Don't feel much like it, Sam," was the answer, made indifferently.