Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Four >> Page 24

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 24 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
I'm a fool in the use of words, I've got the idees. I'm for the sense and
idees of the matter. Talk out, right to the pint, and no stopping by the
way to hum and to haw."
Mrs. Carter looked more gravely and stately as she hearkened to the
indirect suggestion that she was more a woman of words than of ideas;
and after a brief pause, accorded to self-respect, she said:
"My daughter is worthy of any gentleman in the country. I should
prefer that she should marry a gentleman of one or other of the pro-
fessions. She has a right to enter the best society, and to associate with
fashionable people. And she has time yet to think of marriage. She is
but nineteen, and need not fling herself away upon any man living in
obscurity. Such are my sentiments. She knows my feelings and opin-
ions. But I do not wish to deny her the exercise of her own tastes and
fancies. If she thinks of Mr. Baynam, the hunter, as you do, she is at lib-
erty to confer her hand upon him.""That's very well, Jane, but you might have said it in fewer words.
And now, Rose, what do you say?""Nothing more at this writing, dear Aunty.""Now, Rose! You're a mocking me.""Why, I'm not disposed to fling myself at the head of any man alive
before I know that he is willing to catch me in his arms. Here have you
two been argufying whether I'm to marry a man before he has expressed
the slightest wish to have me, just as if I should say `snip' before he says
snap.
"Snip! snap! and argufying! Heavens save us! What sort of language
is this? This is your teaching, Betsy; you have picked up every vulgar
phrase in the mountains."
The truth is that Rose was pretty equally indebted to mother and
aunt for the language which she used, the one teaching her what, in
slang parlance, is called the highfalutin, the other lowfalutin; and the
extremes were apt to meet, in her practice, without much regard to
euphony or cognation.
There was thrust and parry for awhile between the two old ladies,
the young one egging them on the while, by some mischievous sen-
tence, in which, by turns, she mimicked the stately phraseology of the
one, and the slang of the other. But Aunt Betsy returned to her game
with all the tenacity of an interested party.
"But supposing now, Rose, my dear, that Mike Baynam should ask
you, some time to-morrow, when you're at the wedding, or when you're
riding there, or when you're dancing with him "