Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Six: Gilded Sepulchres >> Page 76

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Page 76

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 76 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
"And yet you won't sell what you kill. Was ever hunter yet that did
not seek to make a bargain?""It is already disposed of, madam.""To whom and what did you get for it? It is a fine animal very
fat, I think, and ought to bring a good price.""In very good order, madam.""And what did you get for it?"
It is not sold, madam.
"Why, you said it was sold, sir.""No, madam, I said it was already disposed of. It is to be given away,
not sold.
"Ah! you are nice about words, sir. Well, I am glad that you are able
to make so liberal a gift. I thought professional hunters were generally
too poor to make gifts.""They are poor, madam, generally; but not so poor but that they
can sometimes help out a poor family, and the compensation may come
back in a blessing on their craft, some time or other.""Ah! you are pious! Well, my good man, whenever you have a fine
buck like that to sell, bring it to Fairleigh Lodge. You will never lack of
a good customer at my house, and your pay shall be forthcoming on
the instant. We do not need credit at Fairleigh Lodge."
The hunter made no reply, beyond a respectful bow, and rode away
after a moment's hesitation.
But his heart was stung.
The cool assurance, and quiet assumption of superiority on the part
of the great lady, and her style of address, though offensive, was com-
paratively unfelt. But, did he dream? was he mistaken? or did Rose
Carter really occupy a seat beside the widow in that vehicle and did
she draw back and shelter herself behind the curtains of the carriage,
as if to be unseen of him?
Surely, that was the tossing plumage of feathers, which she usually
wore, which first caught his eye, as he approached the carriage; that
shawl of crimson he had seen upon her shoulders before; and he fan-
cied he recognized the half-faded sheen of blue silk, on that arm which,
for a moment, had been seen resting upon the side of the window, and
which was so suddenly withdrawn from his gaze.
Was it possible that Rose Carter, the rustic beauty, was riding in the
carriage with the haughty lady of Fairleigh Lodge, notorious for her
equal pride, arrogance and meanness, throughout the country?
Was it further possible that Rose Carter should ignore his presence