Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Seven >> Page 41

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CHAPTER SEVEN 41
the prodigal display of buxom charms was such as to confound all wit-
nesses, male and female.
Squire Blanton rushed to the rescue; but good old Aunt Betsy was
beforehand with him, and before to use the Squire's own phrase
"before one could say Jack Robinson" she had gathered up the too
portly damsel, and hurried her off to the adjoining chamber.
"How did it happen?" was the question.
Aunt Betsy, perhaps, might have answered. It was certainly one of
the feet of Rose Carter that had caught Mahala on the bound; and the
gay laugh of Rose, which would not be repressed at the event, too
strongly persuaded Aunt Betsy that her niece had been the wilful agent
in throwing poor Mahala out of her equilibrium.
But the breaches were soon repaired. Some rather close fitting gar-
ments of the Blanton girls enabled Mahala to reappear in the assembly,
in time for the supper, which she would not have missed for any lover
under the sun; and while the fiddle of Joe Scrymgeour played a slow
march, the company, in pairs, moved into the great piazza, where the
tables were spread; Rose Carter hanging upon the arm of Edward
Fairleigh, and showing herself quite satisfied.
Mike Baynam saw nothing of the scene, and ate nothing of the sup-
per. He had looked with sad eyes upon the one only the errant and
wild one till he dared look no longer!
Then he sallied out, and wandered along the foot of the hills, chew-
ing the cud of bitter thought, and with all his little self-esteem, kindled
within him by the reflection that it would be a miserable presumption
for him any longer to hope for the beautiful creature who had won a
heart she did not know how to value!
At the first peep of daylight he mounted "Go-It," and sped home-
wards. He had already been told that Rose and Aunt Betsy were to spend
a week with the newly-married couple. He did not wish to see them or
any of the household, not one of whom had retired from the revel ere
the dawn. It was a glorious revel, and long remembered in the country,
as the time when Squire Blanton "laid himself out," because of his first
daughter's marriage!
Very lonely was Michael Baynam's ride along the hill-paths. Who
shall describe his bitter thoughts? Very sad are the fancies of the young
man who loves honestly, and who deems his only hope blown suddenly
away, as dry leaves by the winds of autumn.