Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Four: In the Gilded Age >> Page 122

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 122 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
The cheeks of Rose were beautifully flushed under these suggestions
of the serpent; her heart beat a lively march, as for battle, while she lis-
tened; her eyes already flashed with fires of conquest; she already saw the
captives in her bonds, sighing at her feet, equally distressed with devo-
tion and Congress-water! Mrs. Fairleigh was a subtle manager and a sly
flatterer. She could insinuate the feeling, sentiment or emotion, with-
out giving it a name; and, poor Rose, ignorant with all her smartness, was
as thoroughly lost in the glorious clouds of her own morning fancies,
as if immersed in some champagne element, with Ganymede adminis-
tering before her.
It was in the very midst of her highest degree of mental intoxication,
that the carriage reached the opening of the beautiful valley, between two
long stretches of the Apalachian, at the far end of which stood the stately
mansion of Fairleigh Lodge.
Great crags impended on each side, and mighty gorges came down
between, forming accesses for the traveler on horseback.
It was just as the carriage approached one of these gorges that two
mounted men, evidently hunters, were seen emerging from the gorge
into the valley. One of them carried a fine buck behind his saddle, and
the two were followed by four fine hounds, who still ran about with their
noses to the ground, coursing free on all hands, following their voca-
tion with the natural instinct of the beast.
One of these men was Sam Fuller, and he carried the slaughtered
buck behind him. The other was our melancholy hunter, who rode
ahead, silent, solitary, stern, looking neither to the right nor the left, until
he suddenly came up with the carriage, on that side on which sate the fair
coquette, who had so trifled with his affections and to whom he owed his
present misery.
Their eyes met. Neither could avoid it. Those of Rose were still flash-
ing with the intoxicating fancies with which she had been inspired. Those
of Michael Baynam were cold and proud, and stern, yet very sad withal.
As she met that one look which he gave her, her eyes sank; her bright
dream suddenly went out like a falling star. She recoiled back in the car-
riage, pale and trembling, while Mike rode on.
Mrs. Fairleigh, busied in watching the two hunters, did not observe
her emotion.
"Is not that the insolent hunter, Rose, that would not sell me the deer
t' other day?""I don't know, ma'am; I did not observe him well."