Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Ten: How Aunt Betsy Comes in at a Crisis >> Page 97

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription HOW AUNT BETSY COMES IN AT A CRISIS 97
Baynam hes a better right to be hyar, than any other pusson on this
ground!"
Fairleigh turned away and joined Bulkley, and the two wandered off
together; all unseen of Mike, who still stood, with that gaze of deep
intent, and condensed suffering, which told of a fond, a precious and
paramount hope of heart, lost, lost forever! And Rose, as if conscious
of guilt, still stood motionless as Mike, and with eyes fixed upon the
ground.
Good Aunt Betsy, still grasping the hand of Mike, drew him for-
ward and catching a hand of Rose, sought to bring the two hands
together, saying
"You, Rose, air a cussed fool, to leave an old friend like Mike
Baynam, for that cussed topheavy Cocksparrow. Squeeze hands and be
friends agin!"
But Mike Baynam drew back from the contact of hands, and
mournfully shook his head. He had recovered all his strength of will in
that instant. He drew back, mournfully looked, a long last look at the
damsel, and turned away, in spite of the earnest calls of Aunt Betsy, who
still kept shouting
"Mike! Mike Baynam! Don't you be foolish too, and go off in a huff!
Mike! Mike Baynam, I say. Mike! Mike!"
But he was already gone from sight in the deep thickets, like the deer,
mortally hurt, and flying to his covert as a last retreat, deep hidden from
the sun.
Then, Aunt Betsy grasped the wrist of Rose, and dragged her away
to the rest of the company, growling as she went, and panting as she
growled.
"I swow!" she exclaimed, in the native patois, "ef I didn't know you
to be naterally smart, and hed a good edication besides, at a college, I'd
say Rose Carter, you was as great a jackass as your mother, my fine top-
knot sister! Hyar you've been trotting off with this young fellow, wear-
ing me out with follering a'ter you; and all for what? What's to come of
it? Air you sich a cussed fool as to ixpect that he's come a-courting you?
Do you ixpect that his consequential mother's guine to let him marry a
poor gal like you? I tell you, Rose Carter, them nabob sorts of people
don't do sich things. Like goes with like; and them rich people's jist as
greedy a'ter money as of they hed none of their own. Come along, I say,
and dont be looking round. I tell you everybody's a giggling and talk-
ing about you and that cock a doodle do fellow!"
Bulkley and Fairleigh had, meanwhile, drawn off slowly together.