Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Three >> Page 15

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CHAPTER THREE 15
As she led the way into the room, Michael humbly followed, but
thinking all the while of her accusation:
"Perhaps I am too slow. Does she mean that, or anything? I'm not
slow as a hunter. Is a man to court as he hunts; the moment he starts
the deer, run it down? Is that the idea? Perhaps. I'll try to be quick
enough yet."
But his heart did not second his thought. We shall see that he con-
tinued slow, his growing admiration still too great for his self-esteem.
Rose Carter was hardly more than nineteen. Her aunt, Betsy Moore,
might have been fifty, of thin, lantern visage, and tall, angular figure,
and her mother, who now received the young hunter, was probably
fifty-five, and something of an invalid.
These two old women, with their one young charge, dwelt together
in a somewhat thickly settled neighborhood, for that region; having a
snug farm, a good pasturage, with a moderate stock of cattle; but with
little money. A young farmer did all the work of the farmstead on
shares, while one negress, as cook and washerwoman, and another, a
girl of twelve, waited on the family.
The hall in which they received their visitors served also as a cham-
ber; its bedstead looking quite inviting with its white pillows and its
heavily-fringed and bright coverlet of domestic manufacture. A bear-
skin, with the wool upon it, answered the purpose of a rug beside it. In
one corner of the room stood a beaufet. This, with some half dozen
chairs, of oak, covered with untanned hides, a couple of rockers, made
in like manner, and a single table of pine, constituted almost the entire
furniture of the apartment. Two doors, at opposite sides of the room,
opened into separate sheds, which afforded two additional chambers,
which we need not penetrate.
Mrs. Carter, for a plain country housewife, was quite a stately per-
sonage in manner. Her air was consequential, and she exacted much
deference from all about her. She had been a pretty woman when
young, and still, in her features, carried proof of having, at an early
period, looked somewhat like her daughter. She possibly had been, at
her age, almost as great a beauty. But she was rheumatic, and had dosed
heavily with all the quack medicines in current use. Her annual income,
which was comparatively small, was chiefly consumed in the purchase
of these medicines, and of the gay clothes of her daughter. These were
generally of the brightest chintzes and calicoes. When you learn that
the daughter rarely wore a bonnet which was not heavily garnished
equally with ribands and feathers, you will understand why the latter