Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Two: Matrimonial Speculations—How Women are to be Won, and So Forth. >> Page 56

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 56

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 56 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
"That's the trouble, now; and yet, I don't think the've got the idee
so sartin fixed in their heads as to gin up a good chaince for an onsartin
one! Now, I tell you: I do think, even now, that ef Mike was to press
upon, and push on, and bridle the filly, without so much as axing `by
your leave, Miss;' I say I do think that Rose has such a nateral liking for
him, that when he says `snip,' she'll say `snap: Only let him bring it to
the pint! I telled you that Rose and I both gin him the chaince, when
he was on that ride to Squire Blanton's, and ef a man won't take advan-
tage of a good chaince when the fig is ready to drop into his mouth,
why who's to help him, and how kin he find fault, ef the gal's not will-
ing to wait all his time for the axing? It's a little secret, but as we're
friends, and both friends to Mike, I'll let you into it. Only the day before
we was to go to the wedding, we had a consult, Jane Carter, Rose and
me, about this very business. Jane Carter talked over a great many torn-
fooleries, about wanting Rose's husband to be a lawyer, or a doctor, or
a parson. She had rather a preference for a doctor, for she believes in
physic as ef 'twas the best part of the Holy Scriptures; but she confessed
she had no particklar objection to Mike, except that he was a hunter by
ockypation. But she said, ef Rose was willing to hev Mike, she'd be will-
ing too she'd be consenting.""And what did Rose say?""Why she wouldn't say one thing or the other, but jist flung a
tantrim and bounced out of the room.""Well?""Well, to my mind, that was as much as to say that she was willing;
though, jist like her, she might shy here and thar, from this side to that,
ontill the man showed the spirit to put the bit in her mouth. The bridle
once fairly put upon her, and I reckon she'd take the marriage track
with an easy pace, like any other sensible woman."
Armed with all this information, Mattie Fuller made her way home
to her mountain cabin, bright and early, the next morning.
From the several cues we have had given us, we may reasonably con-
ceive how the rest of the day was spent Mrs. Carter playing the stately
lady; Rose the shy, sly and somewhat suspicious damsel; and Aunt Betsy
and Mattie Fuller annoying both by their audacity of remark and vul-
garity of pronunciation. When Mattie was gone, the criticism was end-
less, and Jane Carter reviewed all her readings in Walker's Johnson, to
find appropriate terms to express her disgust and indignation. But Rose
kept a judicious silence.