Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Three: Aunt Betsy's Doric >> Page 119

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription AUNT BETSY'S DORIC 119
and thar jist nothing better than strong liquor, and you'll only hev' to
drink enough of 'em to make the drunk come!""Heavens!" now gasped the stately invalid "she'll proceed finally
to describe me as a drunkard!""Well, jedging from your fool-talk, hafe the time, thar's good reason
to think that the liquor's got to your head!""Oh! monstrous slanderer!""Oh! git out with your big words, Jane Carter; I've got enough of you,
and, I now tell you, jist so soon as Rose Carter goes off to that fine fash-
ionable old hag of the hill, I'll quit you! I'll be cussed to pieces of I don't!""Quit me! Quit your own sister, Betsy Moore, and in my disconsolate
condition; helpless, half the time unable to turn in my chair or rise from
it! You quit me abandon me, wretched and lonely as I am, to my fate
to desolation and despair! Oh! Oh! Oh!"
The speech was ended in a fit of hysterics, whether real or seeming
only, it is not within our province to decide; but, from our small experi-
ence in medicine, we should be inclined to think that Aunt Betsy had
some ground for the suspicion that the drops which the good lady was in
the habit of taking so freely, were possessed much more of spiritual than
medicinal virtues.
The fit was something like that which had alarmed the Lady Fairleigh.
Aunt Betsy seemed to understand it all; and very coolly proceeded
to the bottle on the stand, poured out a goodly spoonful of the liquor,
saying in undertones "The hair of the dog's good for the bite!"—a vul-
gar proverb which justifies the "phlegm-cutter" in the morning, to him
who has drank too deeply the night before. She administered the "drops"
carelessly enough. Frequent experience of the same sort of thing had
somewhat blunted the old maid's sensibilities.
When Mrs. Carter had somewhat recovered, she moaned out
queruously:
"And you would abandon your wretched sister to her fate, Betsy
Moore. Your only surviving sister, both children of the same mother! but
how wondrously unlike! abandon one so feeble as I am a confirmed
invalid!""Oh! shet up, and no more of your stuff and nonsense! Keep a decent
tongue in your head! Ef your lonesomeness is so hard to bear, what
makes you send off your own da'ter to sarve in the house of the stranger?
Ef she's to be comp'y for her, why kain't she be comp'y for you, I wants
to know? Tell me that!"