Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Three: Aunt Betsy's Doric >> Page 117

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription AUNT BETSY'S DORIC 117
she'd a tried to choke her with her claws, than to put that shiny topazy
nickalace about her neck; and I'd rether them topazy brasseylits hed been
made of iron than of gold and shiny stones!' Yes, I said it then, and I say
it now, for, somehow, I thinks them things air jist so many chains to fais-
ten you up first, and then strip you clean of everything in the eend! Oh!
Lawd! hev' marcy upon the child! and, 0! Lawd! while your haind's in,
hev' marcy upon the poor, ridickelous fool-woman, her mother! Jane
Carter, you mark my words, you'll come to cuss the day when you let
your child go to the house of that high-necked old woman! You'll cuss it,
I tell you, and it'll break your heartstrings! and you'll cuss it, too, Rose,
you will! you'll see! and of ever you put any belief in your poor old aunty,
you'll jist now listen to what she's a saying, and stop short in the road
you're a traveling. It's a bad road, Rose Carter, and mischief and misfor-
tune's guine to come of it! I've been jubous about you for a long time!
I've been a seeing how parverse you was a growing, wuss and wuss every
day! and I tried to warn you and keep you straight in the right track,
but you wouldn't hear; and I don't blame you so much, poor child, for
with sich a fool-mother, it was nateral enough that you should turn fool
too. You've driv' off that good fellow, Mike Baynam, that would hev'
made you the very best and properest husband of all the county, and all
for what? For your fine society, and to toss a high head, and make pre-
tend to what you aint born to, and kin never be. Lawd! Lawd! hev' marcy
on the pair of fools, and put in and save them if you kin; for they haint,
neither on 'em, got the right sense to save themselves! Unless you helps,
Lawd o'marcy! salt kain't save 'em!"
We have put together the substance of much that was spoken at inter-
vals, interrupted by occasional sentences from Rose, and the prepara-
tions for the supper-table, upon which Aunt Betsy was engaged all the
while. She did not actually harangue, with unbated breath, but returned
repeatedly to the attack; impatiently listening to the expostulations and
explanations of Rose, who, in the disdainful silence of her mother, under-
took the task of defending her policy against the rude assaults of her
aunt. She dwelt upon the advantages of travel and society, in such phrases
as Mrs. Carter might have used. The latter was quite too well satisfied
with the triumph of her diplomacy, as she herself called it, to suffer her
complacency to be disturbed by any thing that Aunt Betsy could say.
When, indeed, she undertook to reply, it was in a singularly character-
istic manner.
"It is really distressing," she at length permitted herself to say, "really
most distressing, after long communion with a kindred spirit; after