Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Two: Elysian Prospects >> Page 107

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Page 107

Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription CHAPTER TWO
WE WILL SUPPOSE the usual preliminaries of courtesy to be fairly over. Mrs. Carter has received her daughter's kiss and embrace; the good lady has arisen, with something more of eagerness than dignity,
to give her hand in greeting to the Lady of Fairleigh Lodge; Aunt Betsy
has shaken hands also, growling out some sulky civility as she does so;
and soon after disappearing with Rose, to join the Chinquapin party,
which is already at work, or play, not waiting for the cottage beauty; and
the two widowed dames, both of whom have tender memories of the
dear departed, are seated, each in a rocker, and facing each other, with
complaisant aspect. Mrs. Carter has welcomed Mrs. Fairleigh in stately
phrase, and now waits for the utterances of the latter, who is by no means
slow to begin, expert as she is in all the arts of insinuation, as well as in
those of pride and condescension.
"Really, my dear Mrs. Carter," said she, "I confess to an extraordinary
degree of surprise, at the sudden and most grateful discovery which I
have made, in the charms and graces of your daughter. That one so beau-
tiful and so accomplished, so very highly gifted in music, who sings so
exquisitely, and reads with so much effect, should have been born and
reared in the immediate neighborhood of Fairleigh Lodge, and I, its
owner, should have remained so long in such profound ignorance of the
wealth and attractions of this modest cottage, is to me very astonishing.
How, my dear madam, have you contrived to keep her charms so long in
concealment? How have you foreborne to make known to the world the