Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Five >> Page 27

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CHAPTER FIVE
"Now shake dull care with rounds of merriment,
And, from the sunset till the morning hours,
Let Joy be mounted on lavolting steed,
That sings in flight—with wings on both his shoulders
For love and wedlock are in sway to-night,
In triumph both with beauty."
ABEAUTIFUL SUNSET welcomed our little party, Aunt Betsy, the fair Rose Carter, and our modest hunter, Mike Baynam, on their arrival at the farmstead of Squire Blanton.
The ride had been a pleasant one enough, as a mere canter on horse-
back, and in fine weather. But it had afforded no precious opportunities
to Mike, or he had failed to take advantage of them. Aunt Betsy, like a
woman of experience, would occasionally fall behind the other two,
giving them a chance to approach each other with those undertones of
sentiment which are apt to preface love, and which need privacy.
And it must be admitted that, during these periods, Rose herself
seemed not unwilling to hearken to such language. She was much more
subdued than at the beginning of her ride, showed less caprice of
speech and action, was decidedly sentimental in her own speech, and
the instances of levity in her speech were less frequent than her wont.
Indeed, to speak the truth, she herself expected her gallant to come for-
ward in plain terms, and lay his heart at her feet. The confident assur-
ance of Aunt Betsy had taught her to expect a declaration certainly on
this occasion or during the day, or night; and, though the night was yet
in reserve, she did not exactly see why Mike should let any occasion slip
for speech, if he had any purpose or anything to say.
But Mike, somehow, felt that the time had not come, and, as while
moodily consulting with himself in a brown study of his chances, he
could not muster the necessary decision to decide his fate at once. His