Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Seven >> Page 40

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 40 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
Miss Scrymgeour, you couldn't be beaten in the great cities! Where do
they all come from? Do you grow nothing here but what is beautiful?
Now that I have come from college, and am about to live in these
mountains, I must look about me. With the `desert for my dwelling
place,' I must seek out some sweet spirit for my minister.""Oh! don't talk of spirits, Mr. Bulkley. It puts me all in, a shiver, for
it always makes me think of ghosts! I think that a good wife, now, would
be better for a young man than any spirit!""And so she would, Miss Scrymgeour; but where shall you find a
good wife? They tell me that women have greatly changed since my
father was a boy! And they have so terrified me about them that I have
almost resolved to live and die a bachelor.""Oh! don't make any such horrid resolution! Bachelors are infa-
mous people! Don't believe what you hear about women! They're all
too good for you men! You don't know how to value them!""Don't we then? Why, Miss Scrymgeour, it is my opinion, that men
are now-a-days exceedingly nice in their calculations of the value the
market value of the fair sex."
[Sotto voce.] "Thanks to that movement! What a bore it is!"
And the dance arrested the further conversation, so hopelessly car-
ried on against the grain; and Bulkley found it pleasanter to whirl the
fair Mahala about than to engage in conversation with her; and the fair
Mahala found it, no doubt, more agreeable to be whirled about, for she
began to have some shrewd suspicions, as she could not half the time
comprehend the speech of her partner, that he was amusing himself at
her expense. She had some notions of the fashionable virtue of quizzing
ignorance and inexperience, and when in any ways mystified, she felt
that she was being quizzed. She was, therefore, relieved in being twirled
about, and being a bouncing dancer, with heels of lightness almost
compensating the body's weight, she kept Bulkley busy.
Wondering at her agility, he was suddenly confounded by feeling
her glide from his grasp, and tumble incontinently to the floor, by a
rather rough collision with the opposite parties, who happened to be
no other than Rose Carter and Mister Edward Fairleigh.
The feet of the former one of them at least gave an awkward and
awry direction to the body of Mahala, when she was in the very utmost
impulse of her twirl; and down she went, with a pretty little scream,
which did not declare the whole extent of the disaster.
Her bodice burst! The warm and voluminous masses broke through
every frail impediment of stay and hook, and chintz, and riband; and