Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Four >> Page 20

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 20

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 20 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
sturdy manhood constitutes the best capital for the man, as it consti-
tutes the best security for the woman.
Briefly, such a man as Mike Baynam was not often to be found
certainly none of the many beaux in attendance upon Rose, at differ-
ent periods, could compare with him in personal appearance, in the
general propriety of his conduct, and in those various essentials which,
in society, become aggregated under the name of character. He was
poor, it is true was a professional hunter; and, though the owner of a
mountain wholly to himself, this only accorded him a small tract of
arable land; and all his worldly goods might be compassed, and were
compassed within the little cabin to which we introduced our readers
at the beginning.
Aunt Betsy had shown herself more than usually eloquent in insist-
ing upon his good qualities, and various possessions. And Mrs. Carter
hearkened with that air of stately patience which was so natural to her,
and which, when others were the speakers, had in it a sort of commis-
eration for the ignorance which presumed to anticipate the oracle.
"Mike Baynam is a marrying man," said Aunt Betsy. "He doesn't
come jist to please his eyes and pass away time. He's in airnest, after
Rose, of ever mortal pusson was in airnest.""Elizabeth, why will you shock my ears by such language, as if you
know no better and had been taught no better?""Why, what hev I said now?""Oh! a dozen bad words
Bad words! sister Carter. I defy you to say so. What bad words?""Earnest is not airnest, sister Elizabeth; nor is person pusson, nor is
just jist. You know better, Elizabeth, and should speak properly.""Oh, git out, sister Carter, with your fine words!""Git out! How very vulgar. You are daily teaching this bad English
to Rose.
"Oh, hang the English! We're talking plain American, sister Carter,
and we're talking about a matter that's too serious to all on us to bother
about a word here and there.""It is a serious matter, Betsy. My daughter's future fate depends upon
it your niece, Elizabeth. I know, though you may not, what a blessing
it is to have a good husband, and what a devil's curse it is to have a
bad one.
And the stately lady pressed her eyes with her handkerchief.
"Wasn't father a good man, mother?" asked Rose.
"Ask me not now, my daughter. Respect my emotions. Memory is
too keen at this moment."