Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Five >> Page 28

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 28 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
very passion made him timid, because of the deficiency of his self-
esteem; and at each turn of her head, at each toss of her sunny tresses,
at each glance, soft yet sparkling, of her great blue eyes, which dazzled
while they inflamed, and at each fall of her voice in mellow cadences,
that seemed to him the perfection of music, he was almost abashed at
the presumption which would teach him that such a being could be
designed for him.
And, quivering all over with the desire to possess her, he yet too
much trembled with the dread of failure to peril his fortunes, even at a
moment when all things seemed opportune when she was silent and
attentive when a more than wonted softness distinguished her man-
ner, and a slight touch of sadness in her look and tones seemed to invite
fondness and approach.
Was there a fate in it, adverse, which, though not insensible to these
shows of susceptibility, made Michael Baynam incapable of the neces-
sary speech?
It was with some feeling of pique that Rose Carter reached the farm-
stead of Squire Blanton, without having heard those words spoken
which she expected and desired to hear; and great was the mortifica-
tion of Aunt Betsy to learn, when she had retired with her niece to her
chamber, that her own prophecies had so far failed, that the suitor had
remained dumb.
"But there's all the night before us yet," quoth the ancient maiden,
"and they'll be a dancing till broad daylight for certain."
To this speech Rose answered only by a haughty toss of head and
curls. Her pique continued; and, already in her bosom, secret purposes
were forming to make her dilatory lover repent his slowness, in taking
occasion by the beard. When a young girl feels in this sort of humor, she
finds but little difficulty in making a sensitive lover feel uncomfortable.
Squire Tom Blanton was a person of some consequence in this
region. He was a man of substance, had been in his youth a colonel of
militia, and, with equal increase of years and substance, he had been
made a magistrate of the county. He was a hale, frank, florid farmer, of
stout burly proportions, a hearty feeder, and capable of hearty pota-
tions of mountain dew, of which he was the manufacturer; having won
great reputation, and as much popularity as reputation, for his coal-
dripped whiskey, and his golden peach and mellow apple brandies.
Of these he was as liberal in the diffusion as he was successful in the
manufacture. He kept a hospitable table, and was a jolly companion.
With a large, commodious dwelling, he had numerous rooms, and, with