Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Book Third / Chapter One: The Lady of Fairleigh Lodge >> Page 105

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 105

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription THE LADY OF FAIRLEIGH LODGE 105
described as a vain, pompous sort of a woman, fond of ambitious words,
and especially desirous of seeing her daughter a fine lady; she, herself,
affects high blood and superior social claims. I think the less said about
money and service the better. You need a companion rather than a ser-
vant or a governess. You take, ma'am?""I understand you, Mr. Bulkley, and thank you for the hint. I fully
understand, from what you have said, the sort of woman with whom I
have to deal."
And so we find Mrs. Fairleigh breaking ground before the fortress
of Rose Dale. So we find her making her first visit, and taking her out
for a drive; taking her to Fairleigh Lodge, and taking note of all her
qualifications.
There she had a grand piano, and she tried Rose at the instrument.
She was satisfied.
She tried her then at various readings, in prose and verse.
Being angry with Miss Hall, she was pleased to believe, or to say
rather, that Miss Carter was by far the best reader and player of the two.
She soon discovered that Rose was vain in greater degree than is com-
mon with young people, and she stinted none of her praises. She openly
declared her admiration of her music and reading, and hinted more deli-
cately at her graces and her beauty.
She treated her with equal hospitality and deference. She had cakes
and viands, and wines at lunch; took the girl over her house, showed
her all the fine chambers; that snug and handsomely furnished one, in
particular, which Miss Hall still occupied; whispered her complaints of
that ungrateful young lady; indicated her desire to find some one prop-
erly fitted to take her place, as a companion for herself, at home and in
all her summer travels; described these travels as carrying her regularly
every season to Saratoga and Lebanon, and Newport, extending some-
times to Quebec and Montreal, and dwelt upon the delights of all these
places, and the pleasures that were to be had among the grand people
whom she met.
Then she bestowed upon Rose, in the most graceful manner, a set of
topaz ornaments, including ring and brooch, bracelet and necklace. In
brief, she fooled the poor girl to "the top of her bent," making, as Aunt
Betsy subsequently expressed it to Mattie Fuller, "making the very feath-
ers dance 'pon top of her head."
Thus she prepared the way for the conquest of the daughter. The
mother was the next person to manage, and taking Rose home on the