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 98

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 98

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 98 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
"Your game's spoiled for the rest of the day," said Bulkley. "D n it,
old fellow, you have all the luck of it.""D —n that fellow!" exclaimed Fairleigh, "but for the presence of
the woman, I'd have threshed him!"
Bulkley laughed outright, as he wheeled about and faced his
companion.
"You thresh him! Why, my boy, he'd have doubled you up in three
seconds by Shrewsbury clock! With his great arms; all bone and muscle;
his back like a whale's, and hands like a pair of sledgehammers, you
could'nt have stood before him a minute!""You forget" was the reply, "that I was the best boxer in college. My
guards
"Oh! Pshaw! that fellow's a giant! He'd beat down your fine fancy
guards, and go over you in a rush!""You'll see! I'll horsewhip the rascal yet!""Let me tell you," said the other, now more gravely, "it will be a dev-
ilish foolish experiment that you will make in any attempt to horse-
whip that man! He's got brains and blood, as well as courage and
muscle! Why, Fairleigh, he's as famous as old Jim Fisher, for hand to
hand fights with bear and panther! Don't make a Judy of yourself,
because of your skill as a bruiser! Your science will make no showing at
all in a grapple with his brawny sinews! Think no more of it!"
Fairleigh shook his head, as if, with a sullen determination, to try
the experiment nevertheless; and the two walked away together in the
direction of the chinquapin hunters. Little did Mike dream of the sort
of music with which Mr. Fairleigh desired to make him dance! Where
he strayed, how he brooded, in the deep woods, or among the lonely
hollows of the hills, who can say? But he did not reach his mountain
wigwam till midnight, and long after Sam Fuller and Mattie had gone
to bed.
When they met him in the morning, he was quiet and silent as usual,
but in greater degree. They now beheld, and continued to behold, a set-
tled sadness upon his face and brow, coupled with an unwonted stern-
ness; which was not the less a calmness! From that day, Mike Baynam,
became once more the hunter only! But, as he spoke but little, and ever
wore the same aspect of a sad unbroken calm, the billows subsided
from the storm, but with no sunshine to illumine them, he finally
obtained the sobriquet of the "Melancholy Hunter."