Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Six: Gilded Sepulchres >> Page 77

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription GILDED SEPULCHRES 77
so entirely; yield him no recognition, and studiously crouch out of sight
when he drew nigh? If not Rose Carter, what good reason had any other
woman to show herself so very reserved and so little curious?
The hunter rode on with vexing doubts, and his melancholy mus-
ings were renewed in all their former sombreness of hue. But his heart
was growing firmer and sterner, as he mused and rode, and his resolu-
tion was now riveted to the purpose for which he had set out. At all
events, he would soon learn at the cottage whether Rose Carter was the
carriage companion of the stately widow Fairleigh.
Alas! for Rose, and her poor, vain, feeble, unwomanish heart!
She, indeed, it was however difficult to believe who was the
companion of the haughty widow, with that child-vanity which pos-
sessed her, in which she had been trained to folly and perverseness, by
her foolish and perverse mother. She had obeyed the instinct of vanity,
rather than the honest laws of feeling and propriety. It was under an
impulse of which she had sufficient feeling left to be ashamed, that she
drew back at the sight of her simple-hearted and ingenuous lover, and
kept studiously out of sight while he remained. It was in deference to
the supposed tastes of her new and fashionable acquaintance that she
had made this sacrifice of truth, propriety, good sense, good feeling,
and we may even add, of love, so far as that miserably weak nature
could be susceptible to that pure and noble sentiment.
"A good-looking young fellow enough," quoth Mrs. Fairleigh, "but
stiff and consequential. He seems to have a very good opinion of him-
self. Such men are apt to grow forward and obtrusive. It is necessary
that they should be made to know their proper place out of society and
not in it. Have you ever seen him before, Miss Carter?""Oh! yes, ma'am. He brings us venison very often.""What's his name?""Michael Baynam, ma'am.""Do you know anything about him?""Not much. He's a professional hunter, you know, and I see him only
when he brings us venison."
Poor Rose very poor Rose the very poorest among the Roses!
She had not absolutely lied. Oh! no! And yet she had lied most
damnably throughout, with the deliberate intent to lie, in the meanest
fashion, by evasion and the suppression of the most necessary truth.
How nobly would a brave and honest woman have shown herself
throughout such a scene, and in such a dialogue! We need pursue it
no further, but let the carriage travel on its way, bearing the haughty,