Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Four: The Deer and Deer Hunters on the Trail >> Page 67

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
people, and the sort of way that they treats you a'ter all you've done for
'em. Now, what I wants to say, is jist this one thing, and no other. Bring
this hyar business to an eending at onst—one way or the other! It's time
to be done with all this mealy-mouthing and hide and seek. Ef the gal's
only skittish, why you kin bring her to tairms by a straight up and down
axing the question! Ef it's so that she kaint like you, she'll then hev to
say it outright! and, ef you're sensible, you'll hev the answer straight
away, and no more twistings and turnings, and doublings, like a fox
that you kaint drive into his hole. Ef she's playing with you at whoop
and call, and with a dozen other men jist the same what the women
folk calls coquetting, and find quite funny why I'm of the notion that
that sort of thing shows cold blood and nothing better, and I'd as soon
marry with a black snake as with a cold-blooded, cunning, calculating
woman, that plays with an honest man's hairt, jist as ef she had none of
her own! To make an eend of it, I'd hev you go to it this very day, jist as
ef it was a piece of solid, square business, and hed no feelin' in it. Ef you
kaint git rid of the feelin' for the gal, don't let her play upon the feelin,
as ef 'twas a cane pipe or a cornstalk fiddle. Don't you do any more
dancing to her pipe; but pipe short yourself, and say it in jist as few
words as you kin git it in: `Will you and be blessed?' and if you won't,
then you be ! And so you git a downright answer; no matter how,
no matter what, and whether you likes it or not, it's best ef you makes
an eending. Ef 'taint what you like, grin and bear it like a man. It's mon-
strous wicked of her to be playing off her airs and graces on a strong,
big man like yourself, a man that kin wrastle with a brown bar, and aint
afraid to use a short knife in opening a painter's (panther's) jacket, with
such a hole as no horn-button kin stop up! Have done with it, I say, and
make her have done with it too, and so bring the matter to an eending
somehow, though you git the sack to carry. Now, don't you be vexed,
Mike, for my speaking to you in this fashion, but I kaint help it. It's a
monstrous thing to my mind, and it makes me fair sick, to see a strong,
tall man's hairt, big as a buffalo's, worried to fiddle-strings, by any
woman minx, no matter how purty a face she hes, and how many fine
curls she carries at her back. Don't be vexed, Mike, at what I say, I'm
your friend ef you ever had one, and the best friend you hev, no matter
who t'other one may be!"
Mike Baynam heard him patiently, and answered him very good-
naturedly at the close, saying, as he put his hand on the shoulder of the
"You're a good fellow, Sam, and I'm not such a bad one as to