Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Two >> Page 10

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 10 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
Mattie! She's all the roses that ever grew in a garden; she's all the beau-
tiful stars that ever shone in a frosty night; she's all that's sweet in the
sunshine, and soft in the breeze; she's all the singing birds in one; and
the very light of her eyes makes a music in my heart. I don't keep it
secret, Mattie. I am not sly, as you say. I don't care if all the world knows
it, but I do love Rose Carter from the very bottom of my soul.""But she don't love you, Brother Mike!""Who says that?""I say it!""And why? Do you know anything?""I know her, and I tell you she kain't love you. She kin love nothing
beside herself. She's pretty enough, I'm willing to say that; but she's got
no heart. She's all vanity and feathers, and so look out. She's jest as light
as air, and as full of change as the clouds, and she'll never hev you so'
long as she keeps others a-dangling about her.""Who dangles about her, Mattie?""She's had a dozen danglers! She thinks that when she's got them
about her, she makes all other women jealous.""And I reckon it does. But, as long as you don't know anything, and
guess at everything against her, you needn't speak any more about her. I
don't want to hear it. It's enough for you to know, Mattie, that I mean
to marry her if I can.""And if you do, Mike, you'll be sorry for it while your head is hot!
She'll make a fool of you. She's a real fool-woman, if ever there was one.
You'll never be your own master after you marry that gal!""Won't I then! Look you, Mattie, did you ever know me to have a
master yet? No; and the woman I marry, let me love her as I may, will
always know me for master of the house. She may be mistress I'm
willing; but she shall know that I'll be master. She shan't play the game
with me, Mattie, that you play with Sam Fuller.""And what game's that?""Tongue-game, Mattie, tongue-game! Your tongue goes at him,
from morning to night. You don't let him have wholesome sleep
o'nights. I can hear you dinging at him, from my room to yours, for all
the world like the clatter of a water-mill. It's lucky for you he's got so
easy a temper.
And the speaker laughed good humoredly, acknowledging, in this
way, that he meant simply to provoke her, and revenge himself upon
her for her sharp judgment upon his sweetheart.