Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Five >> Page 31

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 31

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CHAPTER FIVE 31
"Hoorrah, young fellows, you hear! Take out your partners for a
country dance! Hoo! hoo! hurrah! Oh! had I the legs I had but ten years
ago, I'd ha' been ahead of you all! And I know what gal I'd have caught
up out of all the crowd." Such was the chorus Squire Blanton made to
the fiddler; and here he looked flatteringly, if not lovingly, at Rose
Carter, to the disgust of Mrs. Blanton. He continued:
"And Lord! what a leg I could shake once! Hoorah, boys, don't let
the music git cold! Don't freeze where you stand! As Wellington said to
the regiment at Waterloo `up, boys, and at 'ems'
And the boys did up, and at 'em. The crowd thickened. Every Jock
sought his Joan, and Rose Carter looked towards Mike Baynam; and
Aunt Betsy, standing conveniently near to him, nudged his elbows with
her own; and, under a sudden impulse, Mike leaped forward; but, sud-
denly, a fat woman floundered into his way; next, Squire Blanton him-
self seized his arm, and, by way of urging him forward, kept him back;
and when the poor fellow finally succeeded in getting across the room
to Rose, he had the misery of beholding her led out by Reuben
Whitesides, one of the tallest, if not the handsomest lads in all the
county —a fellow whose tongue was incessant, and who blarneyed the
young women with the grace of a bashful Irishman.
Rose smiled scornfully at poor Mike, as she beheld his disappoint-
ment. She sailed out into the room with swan-like motion, and the
grace of one who is equally possessed of, and confident in, her powers
and charms; and, still hauled away by Squire Blanton, Mike Baynam
found himself the partner of Mahala Scrymgeour, the fattest young
woman in the whole assembly, and by no means the prettiest.
She was, nevertheless, a creature of flesh and blood blood and
flesh so plump, so fresh, so lively, that, with every evolution, the spec-
tator reasonably feared that she would burst her bodice! and verily she
did! But of this hereafter.