Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Seven >> Page 38

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 38 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
round the circle. The facts in the matter of the Widow Fairleigh's for-
tune were well known to Squire Blanton, who acknowledged her
importance in the extreme civilities which he addressed to her son, of
whom he knew nothing.
That young man had been but rarely seen even in his own
county since he had passed beyond his teens, having been kept for sev-
eral years at school, and subsequently at college, in another State. He
was now the observed of all observers; not exactly "the rose of fashion
and the mould of form," but a very well set and graceful young fellow,
of medium size, with a delicately moulded face, of swarthy but rich com-
plexion, and soft, glossy black hair, which it had been the fashion of his
society in college to suffer to grow in great masses, curling over the
shoulders; a just sprouting moustache jet black small tuft of impe-
rial and beard, well defined but thin, confined almost wholly to his chin,
served, in ensemble, to give him a picturesque expression, which, with
cool address, and the ease of a thoroughbred, rendered him quite dis-
tinguished in his own circle, and a perfect hero in that of Squire Blanton.
The young women fairly ate him up with their eyes, and their little hearts
beat the double-quick whenever his eyes turned in their direction.
Squire Blanton had now exhausted the special courtesies with which he
had received the stranger guests. Had he thought of any other peculiar
mode for distinguishing them, he would eagerly have seized upon it; but
his imagination was not particularly suggestive, and, after seeing the
Madeira handed round, and firing off a few champagne corks for the
benefit of the ladies —a novelty which seemed greatly to delight his
humors, always performing the operation by giving each bottle a hearty
shaking, he clapped his hands and hallooed to Joe Scrymgeour,
"Hoo! Hoo! Hoop! Joe Scrymgeour, are you sleeping, boy? Clap too,
boy, with your bow all spry, and make the fiddle speak! Let's have a reg-
ular `double shuffle,' and a good old `Backwoods breakdown.' Mr.
Fairleigh Mr. Bulkley—you both dance? Shall I find you partners?
What say you, Mr. Fairleigh?""If I may be allowed to choose, Squire Blanton, I should be pleased
to be presented to the young lady whom I see sitting on the sofa yon-
der—the slender one, I mean.""Oh, I guess who you mean. You're not after the old maid sitting
next her. One's the aunt, t'other the niece. `Aunt Betsy' is a fine old girl
a leetle too bony for much use but her niece, Rose Carter, she's a beauty.
She's the beauty of all the country round, for a hundred miles, I reckon!"
Mr. Fairleigh had already seen that for himself.