Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Two >> Page 9

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CHAPTER TWO 9
"Why not? There ought to be some beast in the hollow below. We
kin only try till nooning. It's worth trying; I found the tracks pretty
thick yisterday, and thar's been more than one black bar (bear) scratch-
ing the bark off the trees.""Let 'em scratch, Sam! I shan't hunt to-day. I've promised Ben Fitch
to be at his wedding to-night.""Well, why kaint you do both? Take a drive first, now, in the airly
morning, and be in time for Ben Fitch to-night?""You forget that Polly Blanton, whom he is to marry, lives fifteen
miles off, and—""And what's fifteen miles to a man what calls his horse `Go It!' and
rides always, as of he had a call from the Old Nick himself to use noth-
ing but the whip and spur.""Ah! Sam, you don't understand. You don't know that Rose Carter
is off the road seven miles or more, and you must add that seven to the
fifteen.
So said Martha.
"And what's Rose Carter and her seven miles to do with the business?""Well, ask Mike if she aint to go to the wedding, and ask him, again,
if he hasn't promised to call for Rose Carter. Put two and two to-gether,
Sam, and you will make a long stretch over the mountains for `Go It' to
do, in time to get to Polly Blanton's by night!""You're a witch, Mattie," said Mike, now laughing and turning to his
sister. "It's all true, as you say it, and your count of miles is exactly right.
I did promise to call for Rose, but how did you know it, Mattie?""Oh! you think yourself very sly, but I kin see through the mile-
stone as well as other folks!""Yes, when there's a good large hole in it. I shan't try the sly on you
again.
"Ef 'twas only me, brother, but—" and here her tone, look and man-
ner changed, as she drew nigh and confronted him saying:
"Take care, Mike, that she don't play the sly game on you. She's keen
to do sich things; has done sich things before, and aint too good to
break a promise, though she had made a vow on the Holy Scriptures.""Mattie, you never did like Rose Carter."
Mike answered sternly, now rising from his chair, and taking long
strides across the room.
"No, Mike, nor never will. She's not the girl for my liking, and I am
sorry to think she's so much to your liking.""A prettier or finer girl don't live in the whole mountain country,