Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Four: In the Gilded Age >> Page 124

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 124 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
Sam Fuller possessed a certain dry vein of humor, and his eyes twin-
kled with mischief, as he glanced keenly into the recesses of the carriage,
Mrs. Fairleigh having now withdrawn with indignation from the win-
dow. Her face reddened deeply, when Sam, having finished his speak-
ing and looking, touched his coon-skin cap, bowed his head with as
much grace as he could command, but hardly to his saddle-bow, and
rode away.
"It seemed to me, Rose, that the fellow was insolent both of speech
and manner."
Rose assented, hardly knowing however that she did so.
"Really," continued the sweet lady, "if something is not done to curb
the insolence of these low wretches, there will be no living here for well-
bred people. They envy us our wealth, Rose, our acquisitions, privileges
and accomplishments! They hate us as much as we despise them!"
That the aristocratic lady should despise the vulgar, was quite legiti-
mate; but the case was of course very different when the poor vulgar
retorted with hate the scorn of the refined and wealthy!
As they drove into the ample court-yard of Fairleigh Lodge, they
beheld a little two-horse wagon before the door. Farmer Childs had sent
the vehicle to remove the person, with the goods and chattels of his son's
fiancee. The son himself was seen bringing forth a trunk, first one and
then another, from the house to the wagon.
Miss Hall stood in the piazza, shawled and bonneted, ready for depar-
ture. She bowed respectfully to Mrs. Fairleigh and to Rose, as they
entered and swept by her into the dwelling; the former lady making no
sort of acknowledgment in return, and the latter, bowing loftily, with
an air of condescension, having received her cue from Mrs. Fairleigh as
they drove into the court. She already began to take her lessons, in tone
and manner, from the lady born in "fine society."
Miss Hall smiled as they passed, somewhat sadly, then said to herself
"Poor young creature! she is to supply my place! so young and so
pretty! she little dreams of the heavy bondage which she will need to bear.
That mean, proud woman will pour venom, with her very looks, on every
mouthful of meat she puts into her mouth. Even while satisfied with the
slave, she will yet subject her to the torture. Poor young thing! she little
dreams! she little dreams!"
Miss Hall could afford to sympathize with the new captive, she her-
self having escaped her bondage.
And what Miss Hall said almost the very language was mur-