Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Five >> Page 29

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CHAPTER FIVE 29
several jolly daughters, he encouraged numerous guests; and his reli-
gion never stood in the way of dance and frolic, though he somewhat
frequently found himself under the censures of the church.
On the present momentous occasion, the marriage of Polly Blanton,
his eldest daughter, to Ben Fitch, a young farmer of the neighborhood,
he was resolved that the entertainment should not only far surpass all
his previous hospitalities and convivialities, but that it should become
a lasting example to all who lived within his own range of mountain
precinct, and this covered an extensive circuit. He said to his spouse
and family and friends:
"It's the first gal-child that I ever had to marry, and I'm gwine to
stretch myself out for the occasion. There shall be nothing that I will
spare. The young people and their friends shall have the best of every-
thing, and when they goes to housekeeping, they shall want for noth-
ing that I can give 'em. So, you other gals, four on you, I reckon, you
see what you're to expect, of you've only got the sense and sweetness to
win a smart young fellow, as Polly has done. We'll have a roaring wed-
ding, and every one of you must ixpect to shake your legs to Joe
Scrymgeour's fiddle, ontill the morning sun looks in upon you, to wish
you a happy New Year, and the more the merrier."
And his spouse, hardly less jolly than himself, though more sparing
in her potations, heartily echoed his sentiments and cordially approved
of his tastes and principles, in respect to wedlock and the duties of her
girls.
An hour before sundown, on this eventful occasion, the company
began to arrive. Rose Carter and her companions had been among the
first. But soon they came flocking from all parts, for twenty miles
around.
There were the Blakes, three girls, and two boys; the Harkinsons, a
popular family having none but boys, and these no less than five in
number; the Shattocks, girls and boys equally; the Scrymgeours,
famous for producing one first-rate fiddler, in the person of Joe
Scrymgeour, and a bouncing dancer, at a "Highland Fling," in his plump
and full-bosomed sister, Mahala; a girl all flesh and blood, with the
roundest, rosy cheeks, like great pippins, beautifully purpled in the
autumn sun. But why enumerate? Enough that the house was at its
fullest, and Tom Blanton at his happiest.
The ceremonies followed, and Benjamin Fitch was solemnly united
to the fair Polly. Rose Carter was one of the bridesmaids, and Mike
Baynam served as one of the grooms, and as Rose looked to her vis-a-vis,